Parsnip and Carrot Soup

So, Christmas is officially over, and if you’re like me, you may still be in a food hangover. Also, you may have lots of leftover root veg. We went to Aldi on Christmas Eve and found that they had their super 6 veg on sale for 9 p! So, of course I got a few bags of parsnips and carrots. When I woke up this morning, I realized we had to do some cooking! So, my husband is guest chef today and is preparing a lovely parsnip and carrot soup. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 5 parsnips
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 1 liter chicken stock
  • 1/2 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds (garnish)

First, peel your root veg after giving them a good cleaning.

Next, you will chop the root veg, onions, and garlic. When chopping the parsnips, cut out the fibrous, woody core. This makes a sweeter, less bitter flavour.

Sauté the onions and garlic with the olive oil. Once softened, add the garam masala.

You will then add the parsnips and carrots, mixing it around in the fragrant sautéed bits.

Lastly, add a liter of chicken stock. You can used prepared stock, or you can quickly make it with stock cubes. You can easily make it vegan by adding veggie stock.

Cover, and let it simmer for an hour, or until the root veggies are softened.

Turn off the heat, remembering to add the chopped ginger at the very end. Once it cools for a few minutes, use a hand blender to blend until very smooth.

Garnish with pumpkin seeds, and there you have it, Parsnip and Carrot Soup! This was the perfect thing to make on a lazy Boxing Day, and full of nutrients for you hungover peeps. You can even add chunks of leftover turkey or ham for an even heartier soup.

I really love the mild spice the garam masala and ginger adds. Very warming, without being too intense. You can easily make it in a slow cooker for a filling midweek meal. I really liked the way it turned out and this may be on a regular rotation in my household. Enjoy the last days of 2017 and here’s to baking and cooking wonderful things in 2018! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

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Mince Pie Twists

Christmas is nearly upon us and since I’m exhausted, I wanted to make something easy, yet tasty for a potluck at work. So, pave the way for Mince Pie Twists, one of the easiest Christmas treats you can make. Here is what you’ll need:

  • Two boxes of puff pastry rolls
  • Jar of mince pie filling
  • 1 egg for egg wash

First, roll out one sheet of puff pastry on a clean surface. If you’re worried about it stick to the counter, lay out some parchment paper, or lightly flour the surface.

Next, spread the mince pie filling evenly across the pastry.

You will then place the second sheet of pastry on top. Lightly press down.

Using a sharp knife, or pizza cutter, cut the pastry into longitudinal strips. Then cut each strip in half.

Go ahead and twist each strip and place it on a lined or greased baking tray. Beat the egg, and brush onto the exposed bits of pastry.

Place in the oven at 350 F / 180 C for 20 minutes.

And there you have it, Mince Pie Twists! This treat is so easy to make, but looks like something you spent hours on.

It is the perfect baked pastry to bring to Christmas parties and get togethers. You can pretty much put anything in the middle really. A few delicious options include: nutella, jam, chutney, salsa, cheese, peanut butter, etc.

I hope you enjoy making this, as I’m sure it eill turn out perfect. As always, thanks for reading, and Happy Eating!

Grain Free Mince Pie Thumbprint Cookies

It was a lovely weekend here in Bristol. And even though today gave us a bit of drizzle, it’s perfect weather for more Christmas baking. Today’s recipe is a great way to enjoy the flavour of a mince pie, but in cookie form. It is also a great option if you’re looking for a grain free, dairy free, AND egg free dessert. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups ground almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Your choice of mince pie filling

First, melt the coconut oil and add it to the honey and vanilla.

On a side note, I picked up this lovely orange blossom honey at the Bristol Christmas market from Nature’s Pantry. Their stall was located near the M&S entrance. There was a lovely selection of honey and candied fruit. I may even go back this week for more!

Next add the salt and ground almonds. Mix well until the liquid is fully incorporated.

Since the dough uses ground almonds, it is very crumbly. You will have to shape it carefully to make sure there is a good indentation in the middle. I made these quite large, but you can make them smaller if you’d like.

You will then put a heaping tablespoon of mince pie filling into the middle of each cookie.

Heat the oven to 350 F / 180 C and bake for 10-12 minutes, depending on how brown you’d like them to be. I left them in for 13 with my oven, but I think I’ll try for 11 next time.

And there you have it, Mince Pie Thumbprint Cookies that are grain free, dairy free, and egg free!

This recipe is really simple and yields a chewy, yet satisfying treat. You can easily make it vegan by using maple syrup instead of honey and by using a vegan certified mince pie filling. These also are very lovely with jam in the middle if you don’t happen to have any mince pie filling. And if you haven’t started already, get to baking! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Chocolate Coconut Flour Bread

The Christmas season is upon us, yay! Did anyone else catch the dressed up boats cruising the harborside Saturday night? Really put me in the holiday baking mood! This is my favourite time of year to bake up treats. Mostly because it’s cold and baking helps to heat up the kitchen. So tonight I’m bringing the heat by baking some Chocolate Coconut Flour Bread. This does not contain any refined flour, and to be honest, is more like cake than bread. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 6 tablespoons butter (or coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 eggs

First, cream the butter, sugar, and vanilla. It helps if the butter is room temperature.

Next add in the cocoa powder and mix well.

In a small bowl, combine the coconut flour, baking powder, and salt. Then add it to the butter mixture, combining it well.

In another separate bowl, whisk the eggs very well until yellow and smooth.

You will then add the eggs to the flour and butter mixture. At this point, it is time to really stir it up!

As you can see, at first glance, it may not appear to come together. But keep going.

It will begin to turn a light brown colour, but more mixing is still required.

The mixture will be ready when it looks like brownie batter. If you have a hand mixer, it will be helpful. Otherwise just use a whisk to mix thoroughly.

Go ahead and pour it into a lined or greased loaf tin. At this point you might be thinking there doesn’t seem to be enough batter for a loaf, but don’t worry, it will rise.

Heat the oven to 350 F / 180 C and bake for 24 minutes. Depending on your oven, you may need a few more minutes.

When you take it out the oven, you’ll see that it did indeed rise. You can enjoy it as is, or add a glaze and festive sprinkles similar to the cookies I made last week.

And there you have it, Chocolate Coconut Flour Bread! Well, really, it’s more like cake, but calling it bread means you can have it for breakfast. With 6 eggs and coconut flour, it is actually pretty decent protein wise. It’s also a great option if you are baking for those who cannot tolerate traditional flour. Also, you can substitute coconut oil for the butter to make it dairy free as well.

That’s all for this week. Hope you enjoyed this chocolatey treat and are enjoying holiday baking in your kitchens across the globe. Mind the snow, thanks for reading, and Happy Eating!

Almond Softies

December is finally here! I love this time of year because there’s a chill in the air and the best way to warm up is by baking something sweet! For my first recipe this month, I’ll be making Almond Softies which are a perfect treat for the Christmas season. Here is what you’ll need:

For the cookie dough:

  • 1 cup (225 g) butter
  • 1/2 cup (110g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups (240 g) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup icing (powdered) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ~3 teaspoons water
  • sliced almonds
  • festive sprinkles (optional)

First, cream together the butter, sugar, and almond extract. It helps if the butter is room temperature.

In a second bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Next, you will incorporate the flour mixture into the butter mixture. Add it two tablespoons of flour at a time to ensure an even and smooth dough.

Place the dough in the fridge for about 30 minutes to harden up.

Spoon and slightly flatten small balls of dough, lining them evenly on a lined cookie sheet. Heat your oven to 400 F/200 C and bake for 7 minutes.When you take them out they will be very soft. Let cool for about 10 minutes.

As the cookies are cooling, you can prepare the glaze. Pour the powdered sugar into a small bowl, adding the almond extract. Stir in the water, one teaspoon at a time until the glaze comes together.

Drizzle the glaze over the cookies and add sliced almonds and sprinkles to garnish.

And there you have it, Almond Softies! As said in the name, these delights are soft and melt in your mouth with each delicious bite. These are a great addition to a Christmas party as they are always a crowd favourite. Even without the glaze and toppings, they are a hit and super easy to make. The only problem is never making enough!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe and that you liked eating them even more! Until next time, stay warm Bristol! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Mushroom Pasta

For the last dish of November, I decided to do a lovely mushroom pasta based on a side dish I made for Thanksgiving. It is very fragrant and gets a nice kick of flavour from the garlic. This is what you’ll need:

  • 2 punnets of small button mushrooms
  • 10-15 cherry tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour (not pictured)
  • 125 g pasta (enough for 2 people)

First rinse the mushrooms of any dirt or debris.

Next, slice the tomatoes in half and roughly chop the garlic.

Heat the olive oil in the pan, then add the mushrooms, garlic, tomatoes, sage, thyme, and salt. Place a lid on top and let it simmer until the mushrooms cook down. You’ll want to keep the excess moisture in the pan, so some sort of lid is a must.

While the mushrooms are cooking, go ahead and boil your pasta.

Once the mushrooms have reduced in size, add the butter and stir it through.

Turn off the heat, but leave it on the stove. Go ahead and add the flour, stirring it through the mushrooms. You will see the liquid begun to thicken to a gravy like consistency.

Spoon over cooked linguine or spaghetti, and there you have it, Mushroom Pasta! This recipe was so super easy, quick to make, and great for a delicious midweek dinner. It is also vegetarian, but can easily be made vegan by adding soy butter or a bit of nut milk instead of butter for a creamy texture. And if you need meat, you can easily add sliced steak, chicken, or crispy pancetta on top. I truly hope you enjoyed the savoury recipes this month and have had the chance to try them in your kitchen. However, it’s now time to jump aboard the Christmas train – All Aboard!

Thanks for reading, and Happy Eating!

Stuffed Butternut Squash

Thanksgiving is just a few days away and hopefully you have all your ingredients in order. If not, there is still a bit of time. If you happen to have to cater for a vegan guest, this week’s recipe would make a great dish on your menu. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup cooked couscous
  • 1 tablespoon rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon crushed pecan pieces
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 butter nut squash, cut in half, seeded

Add the couscous and oats to a bowl.

Next add the pumpkin seeds, almonds, pecans, and raisins.

Add the honey and cinnamon to the mixture and combine well.

Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place in a baking dish and measure out the filling evenly into each half.

Place in the oven at 350 F / 180 C, on the lower rack (to avoid burning) for ~45 minutes.

And there you go, Stuffed Butternut Squash! These were delicious and not too sweet. The nuts gave it a savoury bit of flavour and the cinnamon made my kitchen smell so good! I highly recommend trying this, especially since it’s easy to customize and change the filling as you see fit.

Enjoy your week and watch out for the rain in the forecast. Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Pea & Vegetable Soup

I know it sounds crazy, but I really like when the weather turns cold. It means I can use my slow cooker for a lot of meals, which means dinner is warm and ready when I get back from work. So continuing with savoury things this month, my slow cooker prepared a lovely soup for me the other night that was hearty and satisfying for a vegetarian soup. This Pea & Vegetable soup can easily be made vegan by substituting veggie stock instead of the chicken stock. Here is what you’ll need:

  • 1 onion
  • 1 leek
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 carrot
  • 4 small potatoes, or 1 large one
  • 5 cups frozen peas
  • 5 cups water
  • 3 chicken stock cubes (use veggie stock cubes to make it vegan)

First chop up the onion, celery, and leek, and throw it in the pot.

Next, chop up the bell pepper and carrot, adding it to the other veggies in the pot.

Chop up the potato and also throw that in. There isn’t really an order of chopping here. It will taste the same regardless of what you chop first, but this is the order I did it.

Next, add the frozen peas.

Lastly, throw in the stock cubes and add the water.

Place the lid on top and let it cook away on medium for ~6 hours. If on high, you can cook it for 4-5 hours.

Once the cooking has been completed, give it a good stir. Then, you can go ahead and use a hand blender to make it smooth.

If you don’t have a hand blender, you can get similar results by using a potato masher.

And there you have it, Pea & Vegetable Soup! This was the perfect thing to eat after a long day at work.

You can also add pepper to it to enhance the flavour. My husband modified his by adding cooked gammon (ham) bits. I didn’t add any other spices or seasonings other than the chicken stock and pepper at the end. This is because the recipe uses really fragrant vegetables, that when cooked together, gives it a wonderful flavour of its own. But of course, you can always add other spices if you’d like. That’s all for this week my lovers! Enjoy your weekend and if you get the chance, have a walk around Bristol and check out the Christmas market stalls around town. Maybe whip up a batch of this soup before you head out for an easy dinner, ready for you when you return. Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Pumpkin & Butternut Squash Soup

November is finally here and Christmas is right around the corner. For me, that means there’s lots more baking to come, but I need a break from it at the moment. So, I decided this month will be about savoury things, and I’ll save the sugar for later. As I now have a hand blender, I thought I’d make a smooth Pumpkin & Butternut Squash soup. Here is what you’ll need:

2 tablespoons Olive oil

  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 clove/ 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1 can (~2 cups/425 g) puréed pumpkin
  • 1 pound (~3 cups/500 g) cubed Butternut squash
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 chicken stock cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme


First chop up the leeks, onions, celery, and butternut squash. I like to have all my ingredients ready to go before I switch on the oven.


Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Then add the leeks, onions, celery, and garlic. Cook 5-10 minutes, or until soft.


Once the veggies are cooked and soft, add the pumpkin and butternut squash.


Then add the water and stock cubes. If you’d like to make this vegan, just add vegetable stock.


Stir until the stock cubes are dissolved, then simmer for around 30 minutes, or until the squash is very soft.


Turn down the heat at this point. If you have a hand blender, you can then now make the soup smooth. You can also use a regular blender, or even a potato masher to smooth it up.


Lastly, add the sage and thyme. I tend to add dry spices at the end. Let simmer for another 10 minutes.


And there you have it, Pumpkin & Butternut Squash soup! This is healthy, tasty, and very filling. It’s full of fiber and vitamins, and is perfect for these cold, dark evenings.


You can enjoy it on its own, or you can add toppings such as pumpkin seeds or a bit of parmesan cheese. My husband cooked up some chorizo chunks to add to his soup which really added some amazing flavour. Try your hand at making this soup and you’ll have a very happy tummy, and lots of leftovers to boot! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!

Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes


As you can see, I really like pumpkin, hence all the pumpkin recipes throughout October and November. It’s such a versatile gourd. It’s naturally sweet and full of fiber. It’s also a great substitute for butter in a lot of recipes, if you don’t mind the orange hue. So, I decided to try my hand at making paleo pancakes. Don’t get me wrong, I love carbs, but I also like to try new things. So, here is what you’ll need:

3 eggs, beaten

  • 2/3 cup (150 g) puréed pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup (75 g) almond milk (or whatever milk you like)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


First beat the eggs until smooth and yellow.


Next, add the pumpkin, almond milk, honey, and vanilla, mixing well.


You will then add the coconut flour, baking soda, salt, and spices.

Once the batter is thoroughly combined, heat up a greased pan and put a large dollop of the mixture in. I used a large cooking spoon which ended up giving me 6 like sized pancakes.


And there you have it, Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes!


Instead of syrup, I used some cranberry sauce I bought at the Bath Christmas market made by the company Victorian Kitchens.


It went really well with these pancakes, although maple syrup or whipped cream is nice too. These pancakes weren’t the easiest to make as they were a bit delicate, making them hard to turn over. Most likely because traditional flour was not used, hence, no gluten. I may add a bit of flour to help bind them next time. It was definitely worth a try making something different. The hardest part was finding the right temperature so they would cook without burning. I started at heat level 4 on my stove, then put it down to 3 if you’re wondering where to start. Hope you try making these pancakes this week! Thanks for reading and Happy Eating!