Gingerbread Granola Bars

These gingerbread granola bars combine all of the warm spices of gingerbread with the chewy, nutty texture of a classic granola bar. 

Gingerbread Granola Bars- Emma's Little Kitchen

Before we get stuck into today’s recipe, I wanted to update you all on a little personal news. Next month our little family are packing up and moving across the country to Houston, Texas! This has been in the works for about two years now, so I am excited to finally settle in and have some new adventures in the South.

Gingerbread Granola Bars- Emmas Little Kitchen

What does this mean for ELK? Well, my hope is that I will have a little more time to work on some (long overdue!) site updates and improvements, and make ELK a truly valuable resource for all of you health-conscious, time–pressed vegetarians and veg-curious out there. This blog has been my labor of love for the past 18 months, but I have not yet been able to dedicate as much time to it as I would like, so I’m VERY excited breathe some new life into this little space! I would love to hear your feedback- what do you want to see more of? Please let me know!

Gingerbread Granola Bars- Emma's Little Kitchen

Ok, onto these Gingerbread Granola Bars…! I’m sticking to my strong suite again today- healthy snacks! I have posted many quick bites on the blog, and of all of them, these are my absolute faves! These bars contain all of the warm spices of gingerbread with the chewy, nutty texture of a classic granola bar. Absolute perfection!

Gingerbread Granola Bars- Emma's Little Kitchen

Enjoy!

Gingerbread Granola Bars
 
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Author:
Serves: 8 bars
Ingredients
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1½ cups rolled oats
  • ½ cup whole raw almonds
  • ¼ chopped walnuts
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup honey (or agave/maple syrup if vegan)
  • ¼ cup peanut butter )or almond butter)
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp molasses
Method
  1. Line a 9x9 inch baking tray with cling film (plastic wrap), set aside
  2. Put the dates into a food processor, and process until the dates form a sticky dough-like ball
  3. In a large bowl, combine the date "dough" with the oats, almonds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds. Set aside
  4. In a small saucepan, melt together honey, peanut butter, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and molasses over a low heat, stirring constantly
  5. When the honey-peanut butter mix is warm and well mixed, pour the mixture over the date-oat mix
  6. Stir thoroughly until fully combined, press into the 9x9 inch baking tray, and chill in the fridge for at least 20 minutes
  7. Cut into 8 rectangles
  8. and press the

Notes

Inspired by Minimalist Bakers Gingerbread Granola

This recipe is very adaptable- you can play with the nut and seed combinations and even replace some nuts with a little dried fruit!

Roasted Broccoli with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Farro, Feta and Tahini

This dish of roasted broccoli with sun dried tomatoes, Farro, Feta and tahini make for a simple, nourishing dinner, packed with nutty, salty flavour.

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Self care. Do you make it a priority? What does it mean to you? Last weekend I was all set to catch up on photographing some new recipes and posting them on here for you, but on Sunday I totally crashed and burned. It turns out that a full time job, a baby, a husband facing a thesis deadline, two transatlantic flights, a training schedule and a social life became too much for me to manage, and my body told me so.

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I spent most of the weekend unable to move from the sofa (which I discovered is especially horrible when you have a baby to take care of!), and this experience confirmed what I already know to me true: health is really all about balance. A good diet and exercise regime will only get you so far if you are sleep deprived or not managing your stress well. So, I decided to take the last week to take care of myself a little better, a few bubble baths, yoga in place of HIIT, better food choices, and early nights when I could get them. I’m now back to my usual self, so thanks for letting me take the week off!

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It seems fitting that I am sharing this recipe with you today, because for me it embodies those themes of health and balance. Whole grains, fresh seasonal vegetables and a sprinkling of good cheese. This feels like such a restorative meal, and most importantly it can be made in about 20 minutes which is vital if you are feeling pressed for time! I am a huge fan of broccoli, ESPECIALLY when roasted with a little salt. In this dish I have paired the broccoli with juicy sun dried tomatoes, salty feta cheese, and a nutty tahini dressing, all on a base of farro. So beautiful, so nourishing.

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Enjoy!

Roasted Broccoli with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Farro, Feta and Tahini
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For Farro/Broccoli mix:
  • 1 cup farro
  • 1 medium head of broccoli cut into florets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • ⅓ cup sun dried tomatoes (drained if oil packed)
  • ¼ cup feta, crumbled
  • For tahini dressing
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Juice of half a lemon
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 400F/200C
  2. In a large saucepan, bring two cups of water to a boil, add farro and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes until water is absorbed and the farro grains are tender. Set aside
  3. Meanwhile, roast the brocolli: toss florets with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes when the brocolli is tender, a little crisp, and beginning to chat at the edges
  4. While the farro is cooking, and the brocolli is roasting, whisk together the ingredients dog the tahini dressing, set aside
  5. When the brocolli is ready, remove the florets from the oven. Combine brocolli with cooked farro, and stir in the sun dried tomatoes.
  6. Divide into four portions, and sprinkle feta over each plate
  7. Finally, drizzle a little tahini sauce over the top of each portion

Notes

Quinoa, rice, barley or other grains can be used in place of farro if you don’t have it to hand!

Smashed Avocado Chickpea Sandwich

This smashed avocado chickpea sandwich comes together in minutes, and makes a bolstering and tasty lunch.

Smashed Avocado & Chickpea Sandwich- Emma's Little Kitchen

Hello all! I am writing this post from a cosy room in the north of England, the fire is crackling, and melting snow is dripping from the tree branches outside. This is the last day of a whirlwind week back home. The three of us travelled here for my sissies wedding, and we are finally relaxing after a jam packed week. Smashed Avocado & Chickpea Sandwich- Emma's Little KitchenSmashed Avocado & Chickpea Sandwich- Emma's Little Kitchen

By the time you read this, we will be jetting back over the Atlantic (hopefully James will snooze the whole way again!). Anyway, I just wanted to drop by and leave you with a tasty, filling idea for a vegan lunch. You can throw this avocado chickpea sandwich together in mere minutes, and then be satisfied for the rest of the afternoon. Sometimes I make the filling in bulk so I will have lunch supplies for the rest of the week.

Smashed Avocado & Chickpea Sandwich-Emma's Little Kitchen

Smashed Avocado & Chickpea Sandwich- Emma's Little Kitchen

Seriously easy and delicious. Enjoy!!

Smashed Avocado & Chickpea Sandwich
 
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This smashed avocado chickpea sandwich makes for a quick, bolstering and tasty lunch.
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 tin chickpeas or 1¾ cup of prepared chickpeas
  • 1 large avocado
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • juice from ½ a lemon
  • 2 tsp dried dill
  • dash of tamari
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 slices of good quality whole grain bread
  • Handful of fresh baby spinach leaves
Method
  1. Combine chickpeas, avocado, parsley, lemon juice, dill and tamari in a large bowl. Using a potato masher, or a fork, smash everything together until well combined but with a little chunkiness remaining. You can also use a food processor but just pulse lightly- you don't want the filling to be a smooth paste!
  2. Give the filling a quick taste test, and adjust seasoning to taste
  3. Spread the filling on four slices of the bread, and spinach or other garnishes
  4. Pop the final bread on top of each slice to complete your sandwich!

Notes

Inspired by Happy Herbivores “Tuna” Salad recipe.

Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Chunk Oat Bars

These quick and easy vegan Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Chunk Oat Bars are fudgy, satisfying and packed full of energy.

Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Chunk Oat Bars

When I left the hospital with my tiny two day old baby, my sweet friend Tanya sent me home with a tin of homemade walnut blondies. I’m only exaggerating a teeny bit when I say that these walnut blondies saved my life the first week of being home. Whenever I felt like my energy was fading, I would pop a little blondie in my mouth and feel instantly lifted. I realised that having delicious snacks around was going to be an absolutely necessary part of my new life, where sitting down for a meal (let alone cooking it!), could be a challenge.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Oat Bars- Emma's Little KitchenPeanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Oat Bars- Emma's Little Kitchen

These bars take me less than ten minutes to whip up and then the bake in a little over 20, they have been a lifesaver over the past few weeks. Much as I would LOVE to be eating homemade blondies all day, I knew I had to make something a little healthier to truly sustain me. These bars are made with oats and therefore are whole grain, gluten free and packed with iron and fibre. They are sweetened with maple syrup and vanilla so they contain no refined sugar (ok, maybe a little in the chocolate chunks but its pretty minimal!). And they are so wonderfully peanuty, fudgy and satisfying.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Oat Bars- Emma's Little KitchenOh, and added bonus, they are GREAT with coffee…! Enjoy!

Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Chunk Oat Bars
 
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Author:
Serves: 9 squares
Ingredients
  • 1¾ cups of oats, divided*
  • ½ cup maple syrup**
  • 1 cup peanut butter (chunky or smooth, but I prefer the texture of chunky!)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup almond milk***
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips****
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C
  2. Line or grease an 8x8 inch baking dish, set aside
  3. Take ¾ cup of oats and blend for about 2 minutes in the blender to make a rough oat flour (you could also do this in the food processor if you prefer), set aside
  4. Using a mixer, beat together maple syrup, peanut butter and vanilla extract until fluffy
  5. Add the oat flour, oats, baking soda and salt, and mix into the peanut mixture until combined
  6. Slowly mix in the almond milk in a steady stream, and continue to mix until a thick batter forms
  7. Finally fold in the chocolate chips
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the batter is set. It might seem a little soft in the middle but it will continue to set once its out of the oven
  9. Allow to cool in the baking dish before cutting into squares

Notes

*Make sure your oats are certified gluten free if you need this recipe to be gluten-free

**Honey would probably work in place of maple syrup if you are not vegan, although, I have not tested this recipe using honey myself. Please let me know if you try it!

***Or any other milk you have to hand

****Make sure you are using vegan chocolate chips if you need this recipe to be vegan

Recipe adapted from the fabulous Sallys Baking Addiction.

You may also like these Flourless Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies with Dark Chocolate and Sea Salt, or these Chocolate & Coconut Energy Bars.

Butternut Squash Goat Cheese Lasagne

This vegetarian butternut squash goat cheese lasagne makes for perfect winter comfort food.

Butternut Squash Goat Cheese Lasagne

Well its been a week of ups and downs returning to work. On the one hand I love being back at the office, on the other I miss James terribly. Fortunately I have had our upcoming trip to England to look forward to, so the short stint back has seemed manageable.

Butternut Squash Goat Cheese Lasagne

I have been cooking in big batches to save time (and my sanity…!) through the week. This butternut goat cheese lasagne made an appearance in last weeks line up, and Kirk and I were feasting on the leftovers for DAYS. Is it me or is leftover lasagne The. Best.? I can (and did…) eat this stuff cold and directly from the pan…

Butternut Squash Goat Cheese Lasagne- Emma's Little KitchenIMG_5924

I love this vegetable heavy version with its alternating sweet and tangy layers. A sprinkling of sage and walnuts add to its all round cosiness and suitability for these last weeks of winter. Creamy, cheesy, rich and super satisfying, just the way a lasagne should be!

Butternut Squash Goat Cheese Lasagne- Emma's Little Kitchen

Enjoy!

Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Lasagne
 
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This vegetarian butternut squash goat cheese lasagne makes for perfect winter comfort food.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • Squash Filling
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 10 sage leaves
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into small bite sized chunks
  • ¼ cup of white wine
  • ¼ cup of water or vegetable stock
  • 14.5oz (400g) tin of tomatoes
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Tomato Sauce
  • 2½ cups (750ml) of passata or tomato sauce
  • 2 cups of water
  • Cheese Sauce
  • 1½ cups of goat cheese
  • 2 cups of whole milk ricotta
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • For Assembly/ To Garnish
  • 1 package of fresh lasagne or oven ready (see notes)
  • 1 ball of fresh mozzarella
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • 12 sage leaves
Method
  1. Melt butter and oil in a large lidded skillet
  2. Add sage leaves and fry for about 2 minutes until the oil is infused with delicious sage flavor.
  3. Add onions and fry for for about 5 minutes until softened
  4. Add garlic and fry for a minute more
  5. Add cubed butternut squash, and give everything a good stir, add wine, tomatoes and stock or water to the pan, season everything generously with salt and pepper
  6. Cover and simmer for about 20-25 minutes until the squash is meltingly soft but still retaining its shape
  7. While this is happening, prepare the tomato and cheese sauces.
  8. For the tomato sauce, simply combine the passata and water in a large jug, set aside
  9. For the cheese sauce, begin by lightly whisking the eggs in a large bowl
  10. Add the ricotta and combine thoroughly
  11. Next, add the goat cheese and stir until combined (note: this will be easier if you have cut your cheese up into small chunks first!) season with nutmeg and a generous grind of black pepper, set aside
  12. When the squash is cooked, we are ready for assembly! At this point, preheat your oven to 400F/200C
  13. Begin by tipping about half of the tomato sauce into the bottom of a 10x14 lasagne pan
  14. Next, line the pan with a layer of lasagne sheets
  15. Add about half of the squash mixture in an even layer
  16. Top this with half of the cheese mixture
  17. Then add a second layer of lasagne sheets
  18. The remainder of the squash mixture
  19. Followed by the remaining half of the cheese mixture
  20. Pour the remaining tomato sauce evenly over the whole dish
  21. Finally top everything with the sliced mozzarella and remaining sage
  22. Scatter the walnuts evenly over the top
  23. Bake for about an hour and allow to rest for about 10 minutes before you serve

Notes

Adapted from Nigella Lawsons ‘Christmas’

I have made this with both whole grain and regular lasagne sheets.

Chocolate & Red Wine Cake

Chocolate and red wine come together to make magic in this vegan, whole wheat chocolate red wine cake. Perfect for your vegan valentine!

Whole Wheat Vegan Chocolate Red Wine Cake

Only a serious loser would bake her own birthday cake, right? Right. So I will just gloss over the fact that my hubby and I ate this Chocolate Red Wine cake for my Birthday dessert last month, and focus on its suitability as a vegan valentines day dessert instead.

Vegan Chocolate Red Wine Cake

Chocolate and red wine contained within one bite? That is my idea of a good time. This is such a lovely variation on the traditional chocolate cake. I was first inspired by this recipe from the Smitten Kitchen, but used this recipe from Moosewood to make it vegan, and a little tweaking of my own to make it whole grain.

Vegan Chocolate Red Wine Cake- Emma's Little Kitchen Vegan Chocolate Red Wine Cake- Emma's Little Kitchen

I definitely fall into the Valentines Day non-enthusiastic camp, but I will take it as an excuse to make this chocolate cake again. I mean, by birthday isn’t for another 11 months…
Vegan Chocolate Red Wine Cake- Emma's Little Kitchen

Enjoy!

Chocolate & Red Wine Cake
 
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Chocolate and red wine come together to make magic in this vegan, whole wheat chocolate red wine cake. Perfect for your vegan valentine!
Author:
Cuisine: Dessert
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • For cake:
  • 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar*
  • ½ cup safflower oil ( or other neutral vegetable oil)
  • ¾ cup red wine
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • For Icing:
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp red wine
  • water or almond milk to create desired consistency
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 375F/190C
  2. Line a 9 inch cake pan or grease liberally
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and sugar, set aside
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, wine, water and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the try, and mix until just combined. Quickly transfer to the cake pan
  5. Add the vinegar to the mixture, and quickly stir until its evenly distributed throughout the cake batter
  6. Bake for 35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean, allow to cool for a few minutes in the palm before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely
  7. Make the icing: place chocolate chips, vanilla and wine in a small microwavable bowl, microwave at 20 second increments, stirring between each blast. When the ingredients have completely melted together, you can stir water or almond milk to reach desired consistency
  8. When the cake is completely cooled, smooth the icing over the cake

Notes

Adapted from this recipe, and inspired by this one.

If you don’t have a microwave you can prepare the icing with a double broiler instead.

Sweet Potato Pineapple Curry

This spicy-sweet sweet potato and pineapple curry is vegan, simple to make and will warm you from the inside out.

Sweet Potato Pineapple Curry- Emma's Little Kitchen

You guuuyyyysss! In just a couple of short weeks I will be flying across the atlantic to spend a little time at home with my family. Yay! I’m so excited for all things England- the normal-sized portions of comfort food, the drizzly weather, the long walks, the cosy pubs! Theres just one small glitch- a transatlantic flight with an infant, including a 6 hour overlay in Atlanta… gahh!

Sweet Potato Pineapple Curry- Emma's Little KitchenSweet Potato Pineapple Curry- Emma's Little Kitchen

So why would we put ourselves though that? Well, my sissie is getting married, hooray! I would say thats a pretty good reason. So, speaking of my sissie (seamless segway…!), she was the person to turn me on to the magical combination of sweet potato, pineapple and coconut milk (thanks sis!).

Sweet Potato Pineapple Curry- Emma's Little KitchenShe found the original recipe here, and I tweaked it a little to create this beautiful, warming, spicy-sweet curry. It is fantastic on its own, or with rice or naan. It also freezes nicely and makes terrific leftovers. I am urging you to make a big batch today so you can reap all of the sweet, warming benefits. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Pineapple Curry- Emma's Little Kitchen

 

Sweet Potato Pineapple Curry
 
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This spicy-sweet sweet potato and pineapple curry is vegan, simple to make and will warm you from the inside out.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or any other flavourless oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • cayenne pepper or chili powder to taste (I add about ½ a tsp of cayenne, but go with what you like!)
  • 15oz/400g tin of coconut milk
  • 15oz/400g tin of crushed pineapple
  • 3 generous handfuls of baby spinach
  • fresh coriander to garnish (optional)
  • rice or naan to serve (optional)
Method
  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large, lidded skillet
  2. Add the onion, and saute until softened
  3. Add the sweet potatoes and curry powder, and give everything a good mix. Put the lid on the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes until the sweet potato starts to get slightly tinged at the edges
  4. Add the coconut milk and pineapple to the pan, give everything a good stir until well mixed. Simmer, covered for about 25 minutes until the sweet potato is tender
  5. Add the spinach and stir until just wilted (just a minute or so!)
  6. Serve in bowls with rice or naan, sprinkle a little fresh corainder on top, if you wish!

Notes

Adapted from this recipe.

Feel free to change the greens! I love spinach with this, but kale or chard would work really well too.

You may also like my Go-To Spinach and Chickpea Curry or Roasted Sweet Potatoes in Coconut Curry Sauce.

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Muffin, for one.

This chocolate chip cinnamon muffin for one is whole wheat, vegan and refined sugar free, but still feels indulgent!

Chocolate Cinnamon Muffin Picture the scene: it is my first day on maternity leave, Kirk has left for work and I am alone, left to my own devices. It is cold and snowy, but I am all cozy inside my little cocoon. I want something special for breakfast, something warm and comforting, something to celebrate 9 long months of growing this babe. Only a baked good will do! A quick google search yields the perfect solution: a single serve muffin! Yodelay! A few small adaptions later and my chocolate chip cinnamon muffin for one was warm from the oven and ready to be devoured.

Chocolate Cinnamon Muffin

I agree, the fact I am touting baked goods after all of the holiday indulgences may seem like poor timing. I’m sure many of you are on a detox now, or at least keeping to your resolutions. Fear not. I have no intention of sabotaging you fine folk, this muffin recipe is not like the others. Lets take a closer look, this chocolate chip cinnamon muffin for one is:

  • Made with whole wheat flour
  • Refined Sugar Free
  • Vegan
  • Moist
  • Packed with cinnamon flavour
  • Perfect with a strong coffee

Best of all, this recipe is for one solitary muffin, which means there are not a eleven other muffins calling your name when you’re done. Are you sold? Get baking!

Chocolate Cinnamon Muffin

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Muffin, for one.
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast, Baked Good
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp whole wheat pastry flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 heaping tbsp dark chocolate chips (make sure they're vegan if you want a totally vegan muffin!)
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil, or any flavourless oil
  • 1 tbsp almond milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp vanilla
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C
  2. Line a muffin tray with 1 liner, and set aside
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and chocolate chips
  4. Create a small well in the center, and pour in the oil, milk, syrup and vanilla. Stir the mixture until just combined
  5. Pour batter into the liner and bake for 15-17 minutes

Notes

Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie.

Ensure you get vegan chocolate chips if you want your muffin to be totally vegan!

You can also bake this muffin in the microwave: pour the batter into a ramekin and bake for 1-1.30 minutes on high. However, the consistency is nicer if you bake in the oven.

 

Mexican Veggie Bowl

This mexican veggie bowl covers of all of your bases- healthy whole grains, fats, greens and beans. Oh, and it tastes fantastic too!

Mexican Veggie Bowl- Emma's Little KitchenHello friends, I’m back! Thank you for your patience during my little blog hiatus, I have missed you! The last 6 weeks have been totally bonkers adjusting to life with a newborn. As it turns out, babies are a lot of work, and sometimes you just can’t reason with them… However, I am happy to report that our little James is gorgeous, healthy and thriving. Thank you for all of your well wishes :)

Mexican Veggie Bowl- Emma's Little KitchenMexican Veggie Bowl- Emma's Little KitchenSomewhere in the blur of early parenthood I have managed to find time to cook and even develop a couple of great recipes. I can’t wait to share them with you! I’m starting with this lovely mexican veggie bowl, it is packed full of good for you stuff, vegan, and makes for fabulous leftovers. There are five components: lime-marinated kale, brown rice, roasted sweet potatoes, stewed black beans and a big dollop of guacamole.

Mexican Veggie Bowl- Emma's Little KitchenI love it because you are covering so many bases in one meal- whole grains, healthy fats, protein, iron, greens. Plus it is super filling! Kirk and I have eaten this every week for the past month, we are pretty obsessed. I’m thinking of branching out into other themed veggie bowls, Med bowl? Indian Bowl? Japanese bowl? Any takers?!

Mexican Veggie Bowl- Emma's Little Kitchen

Hope you enjoy this one! So happy to be back!

Mexican Veggie Bowl
 
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This mexican veggie bowl covers of all of your bases- healthy whole grains, fats, greens and beans. Oh, and it tastes fantastic too!
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For the kale:
  • 1 large bunch of kale (I like lacinato in salads)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch of sea salt
  • Chili flakes (optional)
  • For the rice:
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • For the sweet potatoes:
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • For the black beans:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tin of black beans or 1¾ cups of prepared black beans
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (or more or less to taste)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp water
  • For the guacamole:
  • 2 medium avocados
  • juice of 1 lime
  • sea salt to taste
Method
  1. Prepare the kale: rinse kale well, destem, and then cut the leaves into thin strips. Place into a large bowl, and set aside. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil and sea salt in a cup and pour over the kale leaves. Using your fingers, massage the dressing into the leaves for about a minute until the leaves are evenly coated in oil and dark green in colour. Set aside in the fridge to marinate while you prepare the rest of the bowl.
  2. Prepare the rice: cook rice according to package instructions
  3. Roast the sweet potatoes: preheat the oven to 425F/220C. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 1 inch chunks. Lay them in a large baking dish ensuring that there is space between each chunk (use a second baking dish if necessary). Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake for about 25 minutes until tender.
  4. Cook the black beans: Heat olive oil in a small saucepan. Add onions and saute for a couple of minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more. Add the black beans, spices, tomato paste and water. Simmer gently while the rice and sweet potatoes finishing cooking.
  5. Prepare the guacamole: Cut the avocados in half lengthways. Remove the stone, and scoop out the filling of each fruit into a bowl. Add the lime juice and salt, and using a fork, roughly mash the avocado until you have reached your desired consistency.
  6. Assemble bowl: When the rice and sweet potatoes are ready, divide each component of the veggie bowl into four, and serve in large shallow bowls.

Notes:

Another reason I love this is that it is very easily adaptable, change your grains, greens or beans if you don’t have the specific ingredients to hand!

You may also like my Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchillada Bake, my Tofu Racheros, or my Black Bean Quinoa Chili.

Top 5 Recipes 2014 & Year Recap

Happy (almost) 2015! Rather than a new recipe I wanted to recap 2014 with you all today, and share the top 5 Emma’s Little Kitchen recipes of the last year. 2014 also happened to be my first year of blogging, so these are currently the top E.L.K. recipes of ALL TIME!

2014 started off all very innocently with smiles, champagne and big plans for Kirk and I. We were just going to keep our heads down and work hard, Kirk to complete his masters degree and I had plans to grow this blog and finish several more half marathons before the end of the year. However, somewhere around March we were surprised with a little spanner in the works, and this little guy changed everything.

After a tumultuous Summer that included (another surprise!) house move and living in two different States for work, we had a relatively laid back Autumn before our family grew by one this Winter. We are so excited for what the future may bring, and I thank each and every one of you for sharing it with us through this little corner of the internet. Sharing my love for simple vegetarian food has truly been one of the highlights of my year, I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings. Happy New Year!

Alright, without further ado, the top 5 Emma’s Little Kitchen 2014 are-

5. Rainbow Slaw with Sweet Ginger Lime Dressing- This salad is so fresh, crisp and full of sweet zingy flavour! I absolutely love it as a boost in the cold wintery months.

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4. Mushroom & Chickpea Curry- A surprise hit! I was really indulging myself on this one as I adore both mushrooms and chickpeas (if you read my blog often, you have probably noticed!), but I’m so pleased you this one too!

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3. Black Bean & Quinoa Chili- This is a true staple in our household. It is so easy, so full of great spicy flavour, and packed full of vegan protein. Additional bonus- it freezes well!

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2. Honey Glazed Tofu- My simple solution to bland tofu seemed to capture your hearts! I love the blend of sweet and spicy in this recipe, and it remains one of my favourite ways to eat tofu.

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1. Go-To Spinach & Chickpea Curry- I’m sensing a theme here, the top recipe of 2014 captures the essence of Emma’s Little Kitchen perfectly. It is quick, easy, full of flavour and good for you! Exactly what I aim to bring to all of my recipes. This go-to family staple was a huge it, and it makes me so happy!!

Spinach & Chickpea Curry- Emma's Little Kitchen

Lastly, I want to hear from you!! What would you like to see from Emma’s Little Kitchen next year?! Stay in touch on Instagram, Facebook, Bloglovin, Twitter, or shoot me an email!