Salted honey rosemary walnuts - to her core

You would probably by now be aware of the fact that – contrary to the popular belief of the past few years – fat does not make you fat (and in case you were wondering what does make you fat, it is largely to do with the high amounts of sugar which most of us eat to excess daily thanks to our processed diets made up largely of packaged convenience food). In fact, not only does fat not make us fat, we actually NEED fat as part of a healthy diet to help us absorb essential vitamins and minerals.

Another benefit of including fat in our daily diet – it makes food taste better. Anyone that has had a salad doused in a fat free salad dressing as opposed to a drizzle of olive oil, squeeze of fresh lemon juice and sprinkle of salt will know exactly what I mean.

Salted honey and rosemary walnuts - to her core

Salted roasted honey and rosemary walnuts - to her core

Nuts are a great source of healthy fats, and make a great addition to a meal – sprinkled in salads for a little protein and texture, blended into a creamy paste, or roasted with a few flavourings for a delicious snack on the go. If you are lucky enough to be able to source fresh nuts, they make for a great snack as they are.

When I was younger, we used to spend weekends foraging for walnuts and chestnuts with my grandparents. We’d jump the fence to the big trees behind the medical centre (though this sounds like we were trespassing, I’m pretty sure my parents new the owner who gave us permission… I think…) and squash the chestnuts out of their spikey covering. We’d then run to the walnut tree and scoop up the kernels, jumping on some as we went so that we could taste the deliciously fresh nuts as we went along.

I managed to get my hands on some local walnuts the other day, and they were damn good! I managed to stop myself from eating the whole lot there and then and instead decided to roast a few. I have been loving the sweet and salty combo lately so that was a given, and I also decided to throw in some rosemary left over from a baked cheese experiment for good measure. Not only do these make an impressive snack, packaged up they would make a lovely Christmas present too.

Roasted salty honey and rosemary walnuts - to her core

Salted honey and rosemary roasted walnuts

Ingredients

  • 1 cup | 100g walnut halves
  • 1 heaped Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp Himalayan sea salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 190 C | 375 F
  2. Add all ingredients to a medium ovenproof frypan over medium heat, stir well to coat as the honey and oil softens. Once the walnuts are evenly coated, place the pan in the oven, cook 7 - 10 minutes until lightly browned and fragrant.
  3. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with a little extra salt and fresh rosemary to serve.
http://tohercore.com/salted-honey-and-rosemary-roasted-walnuts/

Creamy tahini roasted veggies - to her core

Today’s recipe comes via a lovely little cookbook I received recently titled ‘Veganish‘ by Mielle Chenier-Cowan Rose.

Veganish

What first struck me about this vegan cookbook was that it was actually written by a meat-eater. After following a Vegan/vegetarian diet for 20 years, Mielle started to include nutrient-dense meant products such as bone broths and organ meats after her 2 year old daughter was diagnosed with tooth decay caused by nutritional deficiency.  Mielle’s internal dilemma over whether or not meat and animal products really should be included in her own diet is evident throughout – she calls herself a ‘reluctant omnivore’ – and argues very persuasively for those who are staunchly for or against eating meat to fairly consider the opposing arguments. She ascertains throughout that whichever diet you choose, “pure and natural goods” should prevail with a strong emphasis on fresh vegetables, something I strongly agree with myself.

Though the book is filled with recipes, Mielle argues that she wants to inspire people to reach their “own potential as a confident, initiative, and skilled cook” and that she would love to see the cookbook on the nightstand rather than in the kitchen. And it easily could – Veganish is packed full of useful tips not just about ingredients and cooking techniques, but also about food labels and particularly those such as “organic”, “free range” and “grass fed” and what they really mean. The recipes throughout are simple to follow and cover all bases from Macadamia Coconut Porridge for breakfast to Miso Glazed Japanese Eggplant for dinner, and from Parsley-almond pesto to sauerkraut and kimchi. It includes a section on homemade vegan cheeses, milks and other dairy alternatives; and how to make the perfect salad dressing. At the end of the book is a useful resources section, as well as an in depth glossary.

VEGANISH creamy tahini roast vegetables - to her core

VEGANISH Roasted veggies with creamy tahini - to her core

If there is one criticism I would have of Veganish, it would be the lack of pictures – I’ve very visual when it comes to food and love to look at beautiful pictures to inspire me. But what the book lacks in pictures, it makes up for with descriptions and instructions, and though you can’t see the dishes, it’s easy to imagine how they would taste.

Mielle’s writing is honest and informative and this book takes things back to basics with a focus on real, plant-based wholefoods. Her recipes are easily adaptable and though completely vegan, this book would fit perfectly into the library of any meat-eaters looking for a little inspiration and knowledge on how to include more plant-based foods and recipes into their diet.

Veganish is packed full of gentle wisdom, useful tips and delicious recipes and I have no doubt it’s something that I will refer to again and again.

Roasted sweet potato and beetroot creamy tahini - to her core

The publishers of Veganish have kindly offered a free copy of the cookbook to a to her core reader. For a chance to win, just leave a comment below – I’d love to hear why you’d like to eat more “Veganish“. The winner will be drawn at random in a weeks time (9pm AEST, 1st December).

Creamy tahini roasted veggies + a giveaway

Recipe source: 'Veganish' by Mielle Chenier-Cowan Rose

Ingredients

  • Roasted veggies
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 2 medium beets
  • 2 small carrots
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 spring fresh rosemary, minced
  • Creamy tahini dressing
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp tamari
  • 2 - 4 Tbsp water, to achieve a pourable consistency

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 220 C || 425 F
  2. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Combine the veggies with the oil, garlic, lemon slices and rosemary and toss to coat in a line baking tray.
  4. Roast until soft, around 50 minutes. Remove from oven, stir through the sauce, and return to oven for 3 - 5 more minutes to allow the sauce to dry out a bit and get a little sticky.
http://tohercore.com/creamy-tahini-roasted-veggies/

Disclaimer: Whilst I received a free copy of ‘Veganish’ to review, all thoughts and opinions within this post are my own.

Bondi savoury breakfast bowl - to her core

This past weekend I had one of my oldest and dearest friends come and visit from London. The last time I saw her was when I visited her a little over two years ago, and it was hard saying goodbye when we dropped her off at the airport not knowing the next time we would see one another. We are both a little slack at keeping in contact. I like to jokingly blame her – she’s not a social media fan at all which I use as an excuse, but admittedly I’m sure I could make more of an effort on my part.

I also went along to an amazing wedding of two friends which was gorgeously put together, with beautiful styling and fresh, delicious food – plus a fun rockabilly band that we danced away the night to. So today was a bit rough coming out of a fun three-day weekend and going back to a busy day at work!

Bondi breakfast bowl - tohercore

Bondi breakfast bowl -- to her core

But – onto this recipe. This savoury breakfast bowl is based on a delicious breakfast I had on holiday in Bondi a few weeks back. I wanted to recreate it for here, not only because it’s delicious and healthy, but also because it’s a great example of how adding a few simple flavours to standard ingredients like quinoa and sweet potato can completely transform a dish.

I often roast a few veggies and cook up a big batch of quinoa or other seed/wholegrain at the start of the week that I can quickly chuck into salads, turn into a stirfry or add to a soup. This is another great way to use those standard ingredients, and you could easily substitute other ingredients here, such as roasted pumpkin or cauliflower for the sweet potato or brown rice, freekah or buckwheat for the quinoa.

Though there are a few different components to this dish which may intially seem like a bit of an effort to pull together for breakfast, the main components can be prepared in advance in bulk to last you for breakfasts for the whole week. So that you don’t get bored of eating the same thing, try to add in something different each day – sub out the tofu for tempeh or a crispy egg, mix some fresh herbs through the quinoa, or mash other leftover veggies through the sweet potato miso mix.

Bondi breakfast bowl - to her core

Bondi breakfast bowl

Bondi breakfast bowl

Ingredients

  • Quinoa
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 small handful chopped greens
  • 1 Tbsp coconut cream
  • 1/2 Tbsp tahini
  • 1/2 Tbsp tamari
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • Sweet potato
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 Tbsp miso paste
  • Tofu/Tempeh
  • Avocado
  • Sauerkraut
  • Micro sprouts to garnish
  • Savoury seed granola

Instructions

  1. To make the quinoa, combine the coconut cream, tahini, tamari, sesame oil and coconut sugar in a small bowl and mixed until smooth. Stir through the cooked and cooled quinoa, and then mix through the greens.
  2. To make the sweet potato, peel and roughly chop and then roast in a hot (220 C) oven around 40 minutes, turning once. Remove from oven and allow to cool a little, and then add sweet potato to a bowl, add miso, and mash all ingredients together with a fork.
  3. To make the tofu/heat, heat a pan over medium to high heat. Add a little oil (I use coconut) and then add to tofu and fry a minute or two on each side until golden brown.
  4. To assemble bowl, add each component separately to the bowl, then top with sprouts and savoury granola.
http://tohercore.com/bondi-breakfast-bowl/