Saturday 17 August 2019

Indy Power: Have a healthy christmas with all the trimmings

Indy Power's Mince pies with Cinnamon Cream
Indy Power's Mince pies with Cinnamon Cream
Christmas Pudding with Vanilla Custard
Lemon & Thyme Roast Veg
Balsamic and Maple Roasted Sprouts
Indy Power

Indy Power

From mince pies to Christmas puddings - and all the trimmings in between - you can still treat your taste buds while having guilt-free festive fare.

MINCE PIES WITH CINNAMON CREAM

These are absolutely delicious and taste just like their  not-so-healthy counterparts. With a dollop of cinnamon cream on top, they're festive  perfection.

Makes 10-12. Gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo-friendly

Ingredients

For the crust:

340g ground almonds

2 tbsp honey/maple syrup

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 egg

Pinch of coarse salt

For the mince meat:

2 oranges

1 tbsp honey/maple syrup

1 apple

150g raisins

75g dried cranberries

150g sultanas

100ml water

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp ground ginger

1 tsp vanilla essence

For the cinnamon cream: 2 cans coconut milk, refrigerated overnight

3 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp cinnamon

Method

Start with your crust. Add all of the crust ingredients to your food processor and blitz until everything is mixed in evenly and you have a crumbly dough mixture.

Use your hands to squish the dough into two balls and wrap them each in clingfilm. Pop them in the fridge for about half an hour.

While they're chilling, make your mince meat. Start by zesting and juicing the oranges, then add both to a pot on medium heat with the honey.

Peel your apple and slice it into thin strips, then add it to the pot.

Add in the vanilla essence, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and stir it around. Then add the cranberries, sultanas, raisins and water and mix it all around. Turn the heat down to low and leave it to simmer, with the lid on, for about 30-40 minutes, stirring regularly.

Grease your cupcake tin with coconut oil. When the dough is done chilling, take your dough balls out one at a time and roll it out until it's about 1 centimetre thick (it doesn't matter if the edges crack or crumble, just press and roll it more as you go!). Use a pastry cutter or the rim of a glass to cut out circles and then press them gently into your tin.

Fill each one with about a tablespoon of mince meat. Then use the remaining dough to make your lids. You can use whatever shape you like.

Bake at 180˚C for about 12 minutes.

To make the cream, scoop the coconut cream from the top of the cans of coconut milk. Add the maple syrup and cinnamon and use an electric mixer to whisk until smooth. Serve the mince pies hot from the oven with a dollop of the cream.

Best served warm. If they've cooled completely, pop them back in the oven to warm.

QUINOA STUFFING

This is a delicious twist on the classic. I've kept it vegan so it's baked on its own but you can, of course, use it to stuff your turkey too. The fresh herbs, apple, pecans and cranberries give this such beautiful winter flavour and loads of texture. It's a pleasure to make as your kitchen fills with those beloved Christmas scents. You can make the whole mixture 1-2 days in advance and then just top with the stock and bake on the day.

Serves 12. Gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan-friendly

Ingredients

340g quinoa

1.5-2l stock

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 stalks celery

1 white onion

2 apples, peeled

2 cloves garlic

75g kale

Large handful of fresh thyme

Large handful of fresh sage

75g pine nuts

75g pecans

75g cranberries

Coarse salt and pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Add the quinoa and 1L of stock to a saucepan on medium heat. Pop the lid on and let it simmer for about 22 minutes until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Then take it off the heat and leave it to steam with the lid on while you make the rest.

Dice the onion and celery and chop the apple into cubes. Add the olive oil to a pan on medium heat. Add in the onion, celery and apple and cook for about 5 minutes until starting to soften.

Mince the garlic and chop the kale. Pick the thyme leaves from their stalks and finely chop the sage. Add the herbs to the pan with the garlic and kale and toss well. Cook for another minute or two, tossing regularly.

Add the cooked quinoa and celery mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the pine nuts, cranberries and pecans and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread the mixture out into a casserole dish.

Pour 500ml of stock evenly over the top. Cover with tinfoil and bake for 20 minutes. Then remove the tinfoil and bake for another 10-15 minutes until starting to crisp. You can add more stock towards the end, depending on how you like it.

LEMON & THYME ROAST VEGETABLES

2016-12-17_lif_26938562_I2.JPG
Lemon & Thyme Roast Veg
 

My mum used to make the best 'lemony roast potatoes' ever when I was little. They were my favourite part of our Sunday roast and they'd be the most delicious addition to your Christmas feast. I've added in more kinds of veg (the parsnips are amazing!) and lots of thyme for even more flavour. I can't wait to fill my plate with these on Christmas Day!

Serves 6. Gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan-friendly

Ingredients

1.5kg root vegetables (carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips etc)

2-3 tbsp olive oil

Juice of 1½ lemons

3 cloves garlic

Handful fresh thyme

Coarse salt & pepper

Method

Preheat oven to 200˚C. Wash and peel your vegetables and chop them depending on their size. Add them all to a large roasting tray.

Drizzle on the olive oil and lemon juice and toss well. Pinch the thyme leaves from their stalks and sprinkle them on with a good pinch of coarse salt and pepper. Add the garlic cloves to the tray, skin on.

Toss everything well and roast at 200˚C for 45-55 minutes, tossing once in the middle.

BALSAMIC & MAPLE ROASTED BRUSSEL SPROUTS

2016-12-17_lif_26938472_I3.JPG
Balsamic and Maple Roasted Sprouts
 

I genuinely love Brussels sprouts, especially these ones, but even if you aren't usually a fan, do yourself a favour and try a bite of these. They're tender on the inside and beautifully crisp on the outside while the pine nuts add a little crunch and taste amazing with the sticky balsamic glaze.

They're also fantastic for you - they're full of fibre and great for detoxing and regulating inflammation due to their high glucosinolate content. They're really easy to prep so you can tick them off the list in a matter of minutes and get back to enjoying the festivities.

Serves 6. Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan- and paleo-friendly

Ingredients

1kg Brussels sprouts

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp maple syrup

2 garlic

Coarse salt & pepper

35g pine nuts

Method

Preheat oven to 200˚C. Chop the ends off the Brussels sprouts and peel off any dirty outer leaves. I like to cut the bigger sprouts in half and leave the little ones whole. Add them all to a roasting tray.

In a small bowl combine the balsamic, olive oil, maple syrup. Mince the garlic and mix it in.

Pour it over the Brussels sprouts and toss well. Sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper and pop in the oven. Roast for about 35 minutes.

Take them out and sprinkle over the pine nuts. Pop them back in the oven to roast for another 15 minutes until the sprouts are crisp and the pine nuts are golden.

CHRISTMAS PUDDING WITH VANILLA CUSTARD

2016-12-17_lif_26938823_I1.JPG
Christmas Pudding with Vanilla Custard
 

Another twist on a classic, this pudding is much more simple to make than most. It's full of all the usual suspects with a few nutritious tweaks. The vanilla custard makes it, it doesn't taste coconutty at all and the vanilla powder is a must - you'll be licking the plate!

Serves 8. Gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo-friendly

Ingredients

For the pudding:

Zest of 1 lemon

Zest and juice of 1 orange

1 apple

300g dried fruit (sultanas, raisins, cherries, cranberries etc)

100g walnuts/pecans

50g flaked almonds

75g cup coconut sugar

1 tsp ground ginger

1½ tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground or grated nutmeg

60g buckwheat flour

150g ground almonds

2 eggs, beaten together

For the vanilla custard: 2 cans coconut milk, refrigerated overnight

¼ teaspoon vanilla powder

1 tbsp maple syrup

Method

Grate the apple and add it to a large bowl with the lemon zest, orange zest and juice and dried fruit. Roughly chop the nuts and add them to a large bowl with the coconut sugar, spices, ground almonds and buckwheat flour. Mix well.

Add the flour mixture to the fruit mixture and mix.

Lightly beat the eggs and then add them to the mixture and combine thoroughly.

Grease or line a 1L pudding bowl. Scrape the mixture into it and then cover with parchment paper and tie a string around the top to seal it. Cover with a layer of tinfoil, pressed tightly around the edges.

Place the pudding bowl into a large pot and pour boiling water in around it until it's half way up the pudding bowl. Pop a lid on and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Prick a thin cake tester through the top of the tinfoil to test if it's ready.

When the pudding is ready, set it aside to cool for a few minutes before opening it. While it's cooling, scoop the coconut cream from the top of the cans of coconut milk (keep the water for something else).

Add it to a small saucepan on medium heat and add in the maple syrup and vanilla powder. Whisk well until smooth. When the custard is hot, serve the warm pudding with a generous pouring.

Weekend Magazine

Editors Choice

Also in Life