Sweet potato falafels

Sweet potato falafels – serves 2

sweet-potat-falafelsThese are a great way to use protein rich chickpeas and vitamin packed sweet potatoes.  If you have some roasted butternut squash that can easily be used in place of the sweet potato. And feel free to play with the spicing by using curry powder, garam masala, turmeric or a small amount of cinnamon

My vegan cookery class guests will be making these little morsels all this week.


vegan cooking

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

Makes 10 x 30g falafels

sp-falafels-ingredients250g raw sweet potato

½ tin (108g) drained chickpeas (keep the water)

or 25g dried chickpeas soaked overnight in water until they swell to 125g (discard the water) and rinse them well. Add them to a large pot, cover the beans with several inches of water, and bring everything to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until they reach your desired tenderness,  1 ½ to 2 hours. Either with the a lid off or slightly on

35g chickpea (gram) flour

1 large garlic clove

½ tsp salt

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

½ tsp chilli flakes and smoked paprika

5g fresh coriander or parsley, chopped finely

toasted sesame seeds, to coat (optional)


Sesame sauce

1 tbsp tahini

2 tsp lemon juice

½ small garlic clove, crushed

½ tsp maple/golden syrup or agave

salt & pepper to taste

chickpea water



mashed-falafelsPut the potatoes into a 200° C / gas mark 6 oven and roast it until soft, it takes about 1 hour (depending on size). Or microwave for 5-6 minutes on full. Let them cool, peel and mash the flesh with a fork. You can bake the skins until crispy and serve with the falafels

Finely grind the chickpeas and garlic in a food processor.

In a large bowl, combine the mashed potato, ground chickpeas and garlic, chickpea flour, herbs and spices. Mix it well, if its very soft it can be placed in the fridge for an hour or two (or freezer for ½ an hour) to firm up.


patie-shapesUsing your hands (dipped in water to stop the mixture from sticking to them), form small patties (about 30g) out of the mixture. If the mixture is still too soft add a bit more chickpea flour. Once shaped, press them lightly into some sesame seeds spread on a small plate.

Brush a small amount of olive oil onto a baking tray and place falafels on it, making sure they do not touch. Bake falafel-in-the-ovenfor 20- 25 minutes, keep an eye on them after 15 mins and flip them over if they look too brown. At this point you can add the potato skins to the dish and crisp them up.  The falafels are done when they are crispy and golden.



Sesame sauce

In a bowl, mix tahini with lemon juice and a splash of chickpea water.

Add maple/golden syrup, garlic and a bit more water to thin it down so you can drizzle it. Taste and if necessary season with salt and pepper.



When you try this recipe, why not post your photos here?!




recipe inspired by LazyCat kitchen

Winter vegetable and lentil soup

Winter vegetable and lentil soup

veg soupWhat better way to keep out those chills than have a bowl of warming and nutritious homemade soup. Feel free to adjust the vegetables and add in whatever is to hand.  But always use the lentils as it adds protein and fibre, therefore making the soup really hearty and filling.


Makes 4 x 300g servings = which can be frozen

230 calories per portion

250g parnsips

150g swede

200g potatoes

100g leek

150g dried red lentils

1 tsp olive oil

1 garlic clove

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

½  vegetable stock cube or 1 tsp bouillon powder

½ litre of hot water

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp cumin

1 chilli or 1 tsp dried chilli

1 bay leave (optional)

Salt and pepper

Dash of lemon juice and a handful of chopped fresh herbs

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Wash all the vegetables but only peel the swede.  Both the parsnips and the potatoes can keep their peel (to retain more fibre and nutrients).  Chop in to bite sized pieces

IMG_2099I use a pressure cooker for this soup as it reduces the cooking time,  But if you don’t have one then use a large pan.  Add the oil to the pan and warm before adding the leeks.  Cook on their own for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally to stop them colouring too much.  Add the rest of the vegetables and stir.  After a few minutes add the chilli, spices, bay leaves, garlic, stock cube dissolved in the hot water and tinned tomatoes.

Give the whole lot a big stir and then add in the dried lentils.  With another big stir

If you are using a pressure cooker at this point add the lid and wait for a steady stream of steam to be produced add the weight, turn down the gas to a simmer and set the timer for 10 minutes.

If you are just using a large pan, cover with a lid, turn down to a simmer and cook for about 30-40 minutes (storing regularly), or until all the veg are nice and soft and the lentils have broken down

Have a taste and then season with salt and pepper and a dash of lemon and some chopped herbs, such as parsley, mint, coriander

IMG_2100You can leave the soup nice and chunky or use a stick blender to make it smooth.  This will thicken the soup so add some more hot water, until you reached the desired consistency.

It may mean that you then get an extra portion so the recipe will have 5 not 4 servings in which case the calorie per portion will reduce to 200

The soup can be kept covered in the fridge for 3 days.  Any uneaten portions can be frozen and defrosted and reheated before eating

As a chunky soup it can quickly be turned in to a versatile casserole by adding cooked veggie/vegan sausages or Quorn

soupAs a smooth soup it can be used as a protein rich topping for jacket potatoes or a filling for a veggie shepherds pie

Please share if you have other creative ways of using this versatile recipe

Speedy stir-fry

Speedy stir-fry – serves 2 or 3

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/


To celebrate the Chinese New year why not cook yourself this vegan speedy stir-fry.

This recipe makes a really quick and tasty light lunch or a more substantial supper dish.  The peanuts and sesame seeds add protein and some useful minerals like iron and magnesium and all the veggies are bursting with vitamins, fibre and antioxidants.  The wholegrain rice also adds some useful protein and fibre.




IMG_36311 packet microwavable wholegrain rice

½ (100g) large onion – sliced

2 (130g) carrots – cut into matchsticks

1 (130g) red pepper – sliced

80g spring greens or spinach or kale- shredded

20g fresh ginger – thin strips

¼ – ½ tsp dried chilli flakes

30g unsalted peanuts or cashews

1 spring onion – sliced

½ tsp soy sauce

1 tsp *toasted sesame seeds



Heat a wok (or non stick frying pan) until it is really hot and add 1 tsp of vegetable oil. Quickly add the sliced onion and keep them moving in the pan (with a large spoon or chopsticks). After 2 minutes add the carrots. Again move them about to stop them burning. If it looks too dry add a splash of water


After another 2 minutes add the pepper, greens, ginger and chili flakes. Cook for 5-8 minutes until the veg soften slightly


In the meantime microwave the rice according to the instructions on the packet (usually 2 minutes).  This step can be missed out, just tip the rice straight into the wok and cook for an extra 2 minutes with a splash of hot water


IMG_3639Add the steaming rice to the wok and mix in. Add the peanuts, soy sauce and spring onion and again stir to mix





Divide into 2 bowls for a generous evening meal serving (358 calories) or into 3 bowls for a lighter lunch or 5:2 fast diet meal (238 calories). And sprinkle over the toasted sesame seeds


Now you know how simple it is what are you waiting for?! 

* To toast sesame seeds. Heat a nonstick frying pan – don’t add any oil. Add the sesame seeds and keep moving the pan to stop the seeds burning. They will start to colour and go golden brown after 2-3 minutes. Switch off the heat and allow to cool before tipping into a container with a lid. The toasted seeds will keep for 2-3 months

Vegan sweet pancakes

Vegan sweet pancakes – Makes 8 small pancakes 118 calories each

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

IMG_2659As its Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday) tomorrow I thought I would make a ‘free from’ recipe because a number of my clients have intolerances and they miss out on some great meals.  But not this time!

As well as being vegan the pancakes are also gluten free.

They make a great protein packed breakfast as well as a delicious dessert or afternoon snack, with low GI quinoa flour*.  The flaxseeds also add omega 3 fatty acids.  Any leftovers can be reheated for the following day or frozen for another time

When the pancakes cook they are much more delicate than other pancakes so be careful when you turn to flip them over!  Dont worry if they break up they can just be pressed together and they will firm up


  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed (linseeds)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 250 ml unsweetened soya milk, coconut or almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 125 g quinoa*/coconut/wholemeal flour
  • 1 teaspoon golden caster sugar
  • 1 IMG_2642teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 50 g blueberries or 1 grated apple or pear, plus extra to serve
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • soya yoghurt, maple syrup or agave and sesame seeds, to serve


IMG_2643 IMG_2641Whisk together the ground flaxseed and 2½ tablespoons of cold water, then set aside to thicken.


Melt the coconut oil in a small pan over a medium heat or microwave on high for one minute, then leave to cool slightly.

IMG_2647Combine the soya, coconut or almond milk and vinegar or lemon juice. Leave to for 5 minutes then add the melted coconut oil and whisk in the flaxseed mixture.


Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt, then make a well in the middle. Gradually pour in the wet mixture, stirring continuously until combined – don’t worry if there are still a few lumps. Fold in the fruit, then set aside, until needed but at least 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to its lowest temperature.

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Heat about ½ a teaspoon of coconut oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Turn the heat down to low and place a ladleful of the batter in the pan (one ladleful is enough for one pancake).

Add more ladlefuls of the batter, ensuring they’re nicely spaced out – you’ll need to do this in batches.


Cook for around 3 minutes, or until golden underneath and little bubbles start to appear on the surface, Use a palette knife or spatula to carefully flip them over. Cook for a further 2 minutes, or until golden. REMEMBER, these pancakes are much softer than others so flip carefully!


IMG_2656Place in the oven to keep warm while you make the remaining pancakes.

 Serve with a dollop of soya yoghurt, a IMG_2684drizzle of maple syrup or agave and extra fruit.  Oranges, banana, kiwi and tinned prunes all work well.



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* Quinoa flour can be bought from most health food shops but it is easy to make your own for a fraction of the cost. Measure out 125g of uncooked quinoa place in a grinder (I used my ever versatile Nutribullet) and blend until it looks like a fine powder.  And hey presto you have quinoa flour!  You could also make wholemeal rice, millet, oat or barley flour the same way

If you would like to learn more about vegan cooking then why not come to one or more of my vegan cooking classes held in West Bridgford?

vegan cookery classes

Quick Cauliflower and chickpea biryani

Quick Cauliflower and chickpea biryani

A biryani that is perfect for meat free Monday

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

IMG_4476This is a very quick and easy vegan cauliflower  biryani recipe. It uses some store cupboard standbys, like microwaveable rice and some chutneys

By adding chickpeas you are seriously upping the protein and fibre content. The cauliflower adds more fibre and plenty of immune supporting antioxidants

Adjust the level of spice to suit your taste buds


Serves 2, 480 calories per portion


500g Cauliflower, cut in to florets, include the stalks for extra fibre

1 large onion (150g) – chopped

2 tsp oil

IMG_44741 x 400g tin of chickpeas –

1 garlic clove  and 1 nub of fresh ginger – sliced

or 1 tsp garlic and ginger paste

2 -3 heaped tsp curry powder

1 tsp each of turmeric, cumin, coriander and chilli flakes

splash of lemon juice

handful parsley and/or mint leaves – chopped

1 packet express wholegrain rice


nutracheck image

The calories have been calculated using the Nutracheck App


IMG_4472Start by heating the oil on a medium flame in a large frying pan and add the chopped onions and cauliflower. Cook until the onions start to colour. If it starts to stick and burn, resist adding more oil and add a splash of hot water instead.

Add the garlic and ginger (or the paste) and stir. After about two minutes add all the spices and using a metal spoon (the turmeric will stain a wooden one) coat theIMG_4473 vegetables. Cook until the spices start to smell fragrant. Add the chickpeas and their juice. Turn the heat down and cook until the cauliflower is soft – about 10-15 minutes. You may need to add more water


When your veg is nearly cooked, open the rice and add to the pan, mixing in thoroughly and cook for 2 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Add more water if its sticking to the base of the pan. Finish with a splash of lemon juice and the fresh herbs


IMG_4475Divide between two warmed bowls. And add a spoonful of mango chutney and lime pickle, for even more heat!


You can of course make this even quicker by using cooked left over veggies. The cooking time will reduce by 10 minutes. You can also add some lovely protein and omega 3 packed cashew nuts

Beetroot risotto

Beetroot risotto with pearl barley and quinoa

Serves 2, 320 calories per serving

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

IMG_4244This risotto has been inspired by Jack Monroe’s risotto recipe in the Royal Marsden cancer cookbook



vegan cookery poster jpeg


And is the perfect recipe for my Vegan cookery class to make this week!

The use of beetroot not only adds colour and a wonderful earthy taste but bags of fibre, antioxidants, potassium and iron. The pearl barley makes a healthy nutritional change to arborio rice: Its high in fibre, calcium and protein, but low in fat and calories. By adding quinoa the protein content really increases, making this a very filling and nutritious vegetarian and vegan dish


IMG_4276250g fresh beetroot, peeled and diced (or use the pre-cooked vacuum packs)

500 ml vegetable stock – either leftover stock from cooking some veggies or hot water and 1 teaspoon veg bouillon powder

2 tsp olive or rapeseed oil

1 fat garlic clove – crushed

1 small leek (80g) finely sliced

large pinch dried chilli flakes


Pearl barley

100g pearl barley or buckwheat (which you need to pre soak overnight) and 25g of quinoa

50ml red or white wine (or water)

100g frozen peas (or broad beans)

2 tbls chopped mint and parsley

salt and ground black pepper


IMG_4296flavoured drizzle oil (optional)

zest and juice of half a lemon (equivalent to 2 tsp)

1 tsp olive or rapeseed oil

½ tsp horseradish

If you are not using the oil you can substitute the horseradish for the chilli flakes in the main risotto


To make the drizzle vegan please use either fresh horseradish or a jar without cream

If you are using fresh beetroot put it in a pan and cover with some of the stock. Bring to the boil then simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until tender.

If you are using the vacuum packed variety, miss out this stage and simply open the packet*




*A word of warning! which ever type of beetroot you use, be aware that it stains everything! So your chopping boards, spoons and hands will all be a lovely pink colour by the end of this. You can minimize the pink by wearing rubber gloves to handle the beetroot, cook with a metal spoon (never wooden for beetroot), or use a plastic chopping board


Meantime on a medium flame heat the oil in a large IMG_4281shallow pan and add the leeks and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes until the leeks are soft.   Add the pearl barley and coat with in the oil. Then tip in the wine and allow it to bubble away for a few minutes.


Blitz the beetroot in a blender (a nutribullet does a great IMG_4287job), add the stock and chilli (or horseradish) and add a ladleful at a time to the grains. Keep adding a ladleful as soon as it is absorbed. This should take about 30-40 minutes


After 15 minutes add the quinoa (this takes less time to cook) and mix in. once the pearl barley and quinoa are soft and fluffy stir in the peas and 1 tablespoon of the chopped herbs. Taste and season with salt and lots of pepper


Serve into 2 warmed bowls


Lemon horseradish oil

Mix all the ingredients together and drizzle over the risotto





Finally scatter over the remaining tablespoon of chopped herbs






And here’s how the finish dish looks when its made by my vegan cookery guests







BCAMThis is a great recipe to support breast cancer awareness month.  So why not make a larger amount (its easy to double or triple the ingredients) and invite your friends over.  They can make a donation to your favourite cancer charity like Maggie’s (the cancer support centre inside the grounds of the Nottingham City hospital)


Pearl barley summer salad

Pearl barley summer salad Servings 2, 165 calories per serving

For more health and wellbeing advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

IMG_3173Pearl barley is high in fibre, calcium and protein, but low in fat and calories. It has a nutty flavour and chewy texture, and in this salad it makes a pleasant change from quinoa or couscous.  So don’t confine that packet of pearl barley in the back of the cupboard to only winter stews, casseroles and soups.  It is an all year round marvel.  If you don’t have the time to cook the barley, then a quick cheat is to use a microwavable pre-cooked packet

And don’t forget it makes an ideal dish for all you 5:2 fast dieters out there.  At only 165 calories,  that leaves you with 335 calories for the rest of the day.

50 g raw or 160 g cooked Pearl Barley – or 1 packet pre cooked microwavable barley

1 tsp Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon Powder

250ml boiling water

¼ tsp crushed red chilli flakes – or ½ – 1 small fresh chill finely sliced

IMG_318380 g cucumber, chopped

80 g carrot, grated

80 g (1 medium) tomato, chopped

80 g (½)  yellow pepper, chopped

5 g (10 leaves), mint chopped

5 g (small handful) parsley, chopped

For the dressing

2 tsp, olive oil

1 tsp balsamic Vinegar , apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

½ tsp Wholegrain Mustard

large pinch of ground black pepper and small pinch of salt

If you don’t want to calorie count you don’t have to be so exact with the veggies.  But stick to the weight for the pearl barley


Place a medium sized saucepan on to the heat and add the pearl barley. Toast for 2 minutes, until it starts to smell malty. Add the vegetable powder to the water and stir. Then quickly add to the toasted grains

Be careful as the pan will be very hot and will bubble furiously

Add the chilli flakes, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 50 minutes.  Ignore this step if you are using already cooked pearl barley

Meanwhile chop all the veg and herbs.


Prepare the dressing by mixing the oil, vinegar, pepper, salt and mustard. Taste and adjust the flavours as necessary




When the barley is cooked (it should still have a bite) let it cool before adding in the vegetables, herbs and dressing

Mix well and serve in two bowls





Non fast day additions

½ a tin of chickpeas – 135 calories

½ a ripe avocado – 150 calories

28g of unsalted cashew nuts – 164 calories

2 quorn fillets – 110 calories


homemade oat milk

Homemade oat milk

berry-smoothieI love my homemade muesli or a vibrant smoothie in the morning.  And my go to milk for both is generally soya or oat milk.  Whilst on the Vegan UK Facebook Group I came across someone who made their own oat milk. So I thought I’d give it a try



Here’s how it worked out

This is a short video of how I got on.  All the instructions are also below






  • oatsSimply take one cup of oats.  If you haven’t got a ‘cup’ it equates to 100g
  • tip the oats in to a bowl and cover with water
  • leave to soak for at least 2 hours or overnight
  • Strain the oats and throw away the water – at this point the liquid is not oat milk!
  • Add the oats to a blender, food processor nutribullet (this will have to be done in two batches)
  • add 3 cups of fresh cold water – tap water is perfectly acceptable but you can use bottled or filtered, its up to you
  • add a pinch of salt and 1tsp vanilla extract
  • blend until the oats have disappeared – about 1minute
  • strain the mixture through a fine sieve or muslin
  • put the oat milk into a clean jar or jug and keep in the fridge for up to 4-5 days
  • A leftover commercial oat milk bottle that has been washed out with hot water also makes the perfect container!
  • oatsDon’t throw the blended oats away either; they can be used in your porridge, made into delicious oat pancakes, using your fresh oat milk or turned in to a wheat free cheese sauce, using your milk and yeast flakes


The finished product!

And there you go.  If you have any other adaptations then please share and let me know how you get on

pouring oat milk


Skyr smoothie

Skyr smoothie

Serves one, 270 calories

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/


To celebrate National Vegetarian Week, why not take part in #MeatFreeMonday and make a smoothie?!  This is a really tasty and filling recipe, thanks in part to the chia seeds, the heart healthy fibre, protein rich oats and the protein and probiotic packed Icelandic yoghurt called *Skyr.  Making this an ideal breakfast smoothy that will leave you feeling full and healthy until lunchtime.  The smoothie will be nice and thick making it perfect to eat with a spoon: slowing down your eating and allowing you to properly digest and absorb all the nutrients

If you haven’t heard of Skyr (pronounced Skeer), then check out your local supermarket.  It has a creamy, thick, velvety texture and a tangy taste.  Being naturally low in fat, high in protein and probiotics, it is great for your gut health.  Although I’ve called it a yoghurt it is technically a soft cheese made from skimmed cows milk

I will continue to experiment with this new ingredient so expect to see more recipes.  But for the time being get out your blender and blitz.



* if you are vegan then substitute the Skyr for Alpro’s ‘Go on’ protein plus yoghurt




The Skyrs the limit!!! (sorry) :0)

IMG_313425g (1/4 cup) porridge oats

120ml (1/2 cup) coconut milk drink

125g (½ cup) of Skyr yoghurt or Alpro’s ‘Go on’ protein plus yoghurt for a vegan smoothie

100g ripe banana

1 tsp chia seeds

½ tsp toasted sesame seeds

sprinkling of raw cacao powder


Simply put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour out into a glass or bowl, sprinkle with the cacao powder and serve with a spoon.




You can serve these as a nutritious snack by pouring 50ml (the recipe makes 300ml) in to a shot glass. It adds up to a very pleasing 45 calories

Homemade bourbon biscuits

Homemade bourbon biscuits

Makes 8 generous biscuits


125g plain flour

15g cocoa or cacao powder

½ tsp bicarbonate soda

62g of non dairy marg or butter (I used Pure soya spread)

62g golden caster sugar

1 tbs golden syrup

2 tbs non dairy/dairy milk (I used soya milk)


For the filling

37g non dairy marg or butter

62g sieved icing sugar

7.5g cocoa or cacao powder

Optional – 15g toasted chopped nuts or biscoff paste


  • Preheat the oven 180C/160 Fan/350F/Gas 4
  • Put the flour cocoa, bicarb, marg, and sugar in a blender/food processor and mix until to make fine bread crumbs. Or place in a bowl and rub between your finger

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  • Add the golden syrup and milk and blend in the blender or in the bowl with a spoon. Chill the dough for 30 minutes
  • Roll out the chocolate dough between two layers of clingfilm. Remove the top sheet and cut in to two long lengths. Then cut across each length into 8 wide biscuits (about 2.5 cm wide) – 16 in total. Option: Make holes along the edges with a tooth pick or fork to look like the real thing


  • Spread the biscuits out on a grease proofed lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack


  • Make the filling by placing all the ingredients (except the nuts) in a blender/processor until a thick buttercream is achieved. Or put the marg in a bowl and gradually add the icing sugar and cocoa. Add the nuts and mix well


  • Spoon the mixture right up to the edges of 8 of the cold biscuits. Sandwich with the remaining 8. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks