Pomegranate + Spinach Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Dressing

So I’ve arrived at that point where beautiful, perfectly ripe produce is all around, but the last thing I feel like doing is cooking. It happens every. single. year. and I basically end up eating nothing but salads for a few weeks, which is fine by me because if that means I get to be lazy + eat this salad on repeat + not have to wash up any pans, I’m in!

7H8A1337-11

I’m never usually picky about buying the ‘best’ brands (becuase let’s face it, $$$ + a 16-year-old aren’t exactly compatible), but when it comes to balsamic, it’s worth paying a little extra for a higher quality one. The cheaper versions are often just wine vinegar with added colourings, flavourings, preservatives and sugars, which is why a proper, aged Italian balsamic vinegar is so worth it.

I’m a total balsamic-on-everything person, so trust me when I say that the Due Vittorie stuff is eat-it-off-the-spoon delicious. I’ve tried the Oro, the Tradizionale (which is slow-aged and basically as old as I am – whoa) and the organic version and I love them all.

7H8A1382-13

It’s especially good blitzed into a summery, bright pink strawberry balsamic dressing.

7H8A1392-14

Seriously. Who could resist that colour?!

7H8A1400-15

Let’s talk about this salad. Greens because vitamins, cucumber for crunch, pomegranate for a bit of sweetness, strawberries because summer, some optional grilled chicken and a big drizzle of strawberry-balsamic deliciousness. The chicken is marinated in a balsamic + olive oil mixture (I told you I liked balsamic on everything!) which forms a delicious, flavour-packed sticky coating and only takes 15 minutes to prepare!

Enjoy!

Pomegranate + Spinach Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Dressing

Pomegranate + Spinach Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Dressing

Ingredients!

    For the Dressing:
  • a big handful of fresh strawberries, hulled
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • a pinch of salt and pepper
  • For the Salad:
  • a few handfuls of spinach or mixed salad leaves
  • a small handful of pomegranate arils
  • 1/4 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • For the Grilled Balsamic Chicken:
  • 1 skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • a big pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions!

    For the Dressing:
  1. Blitz together all the ingredients in a blender.
  2. For the Salad:
  3. Toss together the greens, pomegranate and cucumber. Right before serving, toss with the strawberry balsamic dressing and top with the grilled chicken (if using).
  4. For the Chicken:
  5. Add the ingredients to a ziplock bag and shake a few times to coat the chicken in the mixture. Place in the fridge for 15-30 minutes to marinate, then either grill until fully cooked or roast in the oven at 400F/200C for 35-40 minutes until fully cooked.
http://thefoodieteen.com/pomegranate-spinach-salad-with-strawberry-balsamic-dressing/

Special thanks to Due Vittorie  for sponsoring this post! If I didn’t love their products, I wouldn’t share them with you. Thank you for supporting the brands who help keep the lights on around here!

A Huge Announcement + Coconut Blueberry Layer Cake

Hi! I’m so sorry about the lack of updates over here for the past few weeks! As you’ll find out in a few seconds, I’ve been a little busy, but I’m back and hope to be returning to weekly posts from now on. You might have noticed that the site looks a little different as well – I made a few changes and The Foodie Teen is now (finally!) mobile-responsive! On to the big news…

Thanks to your incredible support, kindness, and encouragement over the past year, I’ve got something very, very special to announce and celebrate today…

_H8A6050-2

With absolute disbelief, many, many nerves, and incredible, unspeakable excitement, I’m so honoured to announce that I’m writing a cookbook! A real, hold-in-your-hands, The Foodie Teen cookbook is in the works, and I truly cannot express how terrified, ecstatic, and absolutely thrilled to bits I am. I just cannot stop pinching myself, and every time I think about it (which is pretty much constantly!) my heart starts beating like crazy.

There have been so many times I’ve just wanted to shout it out loud. It’s been so hard to keep quiet until everything was official and confirmed, and I’ve definitely surprised myself by managing to avoid making every single blog post over the last few months consist of endless ‘AAAAH’s!

_H8A6139-2

The hardest thing, though, was to have to wait so long to say THANK YOU to everyone who reads, comments, shares, and likes my photos and recipes – this could and would never have happened without you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I know this post has been approximately 98% exclamation marks already, but it gets even more exciting! It’s a complete and utter dream come true to announce that I’m working with the wonderful people at Penguin Random House here in the UK to produce this book. The team there have been so kind and supportive, and I’m absolutely honoured to work with them. I’m definitely in great hands – they’ve published Jamie Oliver, Rachel Khoo, and Elizabeth David, to name just a few from their incredibly inspiring list!

I’ve had the chance to work with some amazing people so far on this journey, including my absolutely wonderful editor Lindsey and the amazing Issy who took beautiful photos of me and my family for the book. I’m just so, so excited to share it with you all!

I’m also thrilled to say that I’ll be donating a part of my profits from the book to charity.

_H8A6098-2

On to the book! It will be filled to the brim with delicious, nutritious, exciting recipes, many beautiful photographs, and lots of healthy lifestyle advice, and it’ll be mostly aimed towards teenagers and young people, which is something I’m incredibly excited about. I’m passionate about the importance of inspiring and empowering the younger generations to reconnect with their body, find happiness, and discover a healthier self through healthy food and lifestyle choices, and I’m truly so, so thankful to you all for helping to make this happen!

Even if you’re not a teenager, you’ll love all of the new, inspiring, and inventive recipes as well as the sections about health, natural skincare, and sustainable living.

_H8A6148-2

If you’re just as excited as I am and want to be one of the first to get your hands on a copy, it’s even available on Amazon Pre-Order right now! The cover shown isn’t the final cover, which will be up by late summer – it’s just a placeholder at the moment! Essentially what pre-ordering means is that you click the pre-order button, receive the book the very day it comes out (so you’ll be one of the first ones – eek!) and don’t pay a penny until your copy is shipped. It’s a great deal for you and it helps boost the visibility of the book to other people as well.

Book Announcement

The book will be published in March 2016, so please excuse any quiet periods on the blog as I try to juggle cooking, writing, photographing, book-writing, school and a social life! I’m going to try my very best to keep posting delicious recipes every week, though. You can follow along with book work on social media, where I’ll be sharing lots of sneak peeks and updates, and I’ll be sharing bits in my newsletters as well.

As I type this I’ve written all of the recipes, and it’s been a crazy few months! I don’t think I’ve ever worked harder and I’ve hardly left the house (except for groceries and the occasional yoga class!), but I’m very proud of the end result. Waking up with thoughts of almond butter fudge flavours, finding bits of kale in my hair and spending endless hours washing up has all been worth it – I’m so excited about this book, and I hope you are too.

Lastly, thank you so much for making this dream a reality. A bit over a year ago, when I started this blog on a whim in an effort to chronicle my path back to health through a lifestyle change, I would never have thought that it would turn into something as exciting as a book! None of this would have happened without your support, and I couldn’t be more grateful. Thank you!

 

coconut blueberry layer cake

Ingredients (serves 16)

    For the Cake

    • 1/2 cup coconut flour
    • 1/2 cup almond flour
    • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
    • 3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
    • 4 eggs

    For the Frosting

    • 2 cans coconut milk, left in the fridge overnight
    • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
    • 2 tbsp maple syrup
    • Fresh blueberries, to decorate

    Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 180C/375F.

    2. Grease and line three 6-inch (15cm) cake tins and set aside.

    3. Mix together all of the cake ingredients in a large bowl until very well combined.

    4. Divide the mixture evenly between the three cake tins, then bake for 30 minutes, until golden.

    5. Remove from the tins and let cool completely while you make the frosting.

    6. To make the frosting, remove the tins from the fridge, turn them upside down and open them. Scoop the white, fatty layer into a medium bowl, leaving behind the runny coconut water (this can be used in smoothies). Repeat for the other can, then whip the coconut cream with the maple syrup and vanilla extract for 3-4 minutes, until fluffy.

    7. Right before serving, place one of the cakes on the serving platter and spread with about a third of the coconut cream. Repeat with the remaining cake layers and coconut cream, then scatter generously with fresh berries and enjoy.

    Powered by Recipage

    Raspberry Pistachio Coconut Ice Cream

    I think by this point it’s quite obvious that I’m a complete stress eater (any excuse to eat copious amounts of chocolate, right?), so it gives that one of the things I’ve been indulging in most over the past few weeks as I’ve been studying like mad for looming exams has been ice cream.

    icecream3

    When I’m sitting at my desk, pyjama-clad and doing all I can to memorize the endless list of quotations and literary techniques I should’ve memorised by now, a bowl of creamy raspberry coconut milk ice cream lightly sprinkled with a handful of crushed verdant pistachios is exactly what I need.

    icecream

    Brain food, right?

     

    icecream4

    I mean, just look at all those antioxidants and healthy fats…

    edited

    If you don’t have an ice cream maker,  pour the mixture into ice cube trays, freeze for a few hours, then put the frozen ice cubes into a powerful food processor or blender and process for about 30 seconds, until smooth. Transfer this mixture to an airtight container and freeze for at least two hours until serving. Enjoy!

     

    raspberry pistachio ice cream

     

    Prep Time: 10 minutes + 30 minutes churning time

    Ingredients (serves 6)

    • 2 cans full-fat coconut milk
    • 2 1/2 cups frozen raspberries
    • 1/2 cup maple syrup
    • 2 tbsp arrowroot starch
    • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup chopped pistachios, to decorate

    Instructions

    1. Combine half the coconut milk, the maple syrup, and the vanilla extract in a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk to combine. Simmer for a few minutes, until the mixture is bubbling slightly.

    2. Meanwhile, stir together the other half of the coconut milk and the arrowroot starch in a small bowl. When the mixture in the saucepan is bubbling, add the arrowroot coconut mixture all at once and whisk constantly for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture suddenly starts to thicken. Do not let it boil, though!

    3. Once the mixture has thickened, remove from the heat, add in all of the raspberries, and blend with a stick blender until completely smooth. Pop in the fridge for 2-3 hours until completely cool.

    4. Place in the ice cream maker and churn for 25 minutes, until firm. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze for at least two hours before serving. Let sit out for 15 minutes before enjoying. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios just before serving. Enjoy!

    Powered by Recipage

    homemade raw, naturally-sweetened chocolate

    This post took a lot of research.. and when I say research, I mean chocolate tasting! Someone’s got to do it, right?!

    homemade-raw-chocolate13

    I’ve been making my own chocolate for about two years now, but during that time I’ve run in to quite a few problems along the way. I started off making the coconut oil version you can find all over the internet, but I wasn’t convinced; it tasted like coconut, had a greasy texture, and had to be kept in the freezer or it’d melt all over you. I knew there had to be a way to make proper chocolate, so I bought some cocoa butter and began to play around.

    I’m happy to say that, after a lot of experimentation (and eating!), I’ve teamed up with the wonderful people at Lakeland to finally find the perfect way to make silky, delicious raw dark chocolate that can be kept at room temperature, has a lovely shine, and has that crisp ‘snap’ when you break off a piece.

    homemade-raw-chocolate01

    And the best part? After trying many, many different methods, most of which needed fancy equipment like a marble tempering slab or a candy thermometer, the method which produced by far the best results was the incredibly easy, simple, no-equipment-needed one.

    You’re going to need some raw, organic cacao butter (make sure it’s the edible kind as it’s often sold for use in lotions and soaps as well), some cacao powder, and a splash of maple syrup or your preferred liquid sweetener.

    The most important thing to remember when you’re making chocolate is to keep any water far, far away from your chocolate – one little droplet of water can easily turn a bowl of silky chocolate into a seized, grainy mess! However, if it does happen, keep stirring in hot water spoonful by spoonful until the mixture comes together again (this will produce what’s called a water ganache).

    To make pure dark chocolate, though, you’ll want to try and avoid that happening!

    To begin, place your cacao butter in a wide, shallow heatproof bowl. Fill a small saucepan with about an inch of hot (but not boiling!) water, then set the bowl over the saucepan to form a bain marie or double boiler, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Place the saucepan over a very low heat. Very slowly, the cacao butter will start to melt – don’t try to hurry this process, or your chocolate may turn out grainy.

    Once the cacao butter has completely melted, lift the bowl from the saucepan. Use a tea towel to wipe the underside of the bowl, then place the bowl on the countertop. Let the cacao butter cool to room temperature – this will take about one hour. Once it’s completely cooled to room temperature, pour in the maple syrup.

    homemade-raw-chocolate03

    Whisk well, then add in the cacao powder as well and continue to whisk until the mixture is smooth.

    homemade-raw-chocolate05

    If your mixture suddenly stiffens up and becomes quite thick, don’t worry! This is just the cacao butter solidifying, and it’s easily fixed – just place the bowl in the microwave for 10 seconds or set it over a pan of hot water again until it returns to a liquid.

    Once everything has been mixed and you have a smooth, shiny mixture, taste it! You might want to adjust the levels of sweetener to your tastebuds. If you want to add some more, simply whisk it in teaspoon by teaspoon.

    If you want to add in any flavouring oils,  you can do that at this point as well. I love stirring in a few drops of peppermint and orange essential oils – just make sure that your additions are oil-based and do not contain water, or they could seize your chocolate.

    homemade-raw-chocolate08

    Now comes the fun part – the moulds! If you want to simply make a bar of chocolate, you can pour the mixture you have into a shallow rectangular container. However, if you want to make bite-sized pieces, have some fun with moulds. You can get inexpensive silicon moulds at most supermarkets, and while they’ll do the job, it’s hard to get the chocolates out and they have a slightly dull finish. 

    I’d highly recommend you take a look at some polycarbonate ones if you really want that professional, shiny look. Not only are the polycarbonate ones a lot more sturdy and hard-wearing, but they really do produce a much better looking product; I had been using simple silicon moulds for years, but when I was very kindly sent a polycarbonate one, I loved it so much that I immediately went and bought three more with different shapes! 

    Simply pour the chocolate into the mould you’re using.

    homemade-raw-chocolate09

    At this point, feel free to add any fillings or additions – I love adding in nuts and pieces of toasted coconut, but go ahead and experiment with your favourite flavour combinations.

    homemade-raw-chocolate11

    If your moulds get a little too full and you need to level them off, you can use an angled spatula or a scraper to get rid of any excess chocolate.

    homemade-raw-chocolate12

    When you’re done, place the moulds in the freezer for half an hour. This will allow the chocolate to set and shrink a little in order to make it easier to get them out of the moulds. When the time is up, remove the moulds from the freezer. If you’re using silicon ones, just push the chocolates out, and if you’re using the polycarbonate ones, turn them upside down and bang them on the counter – the chocolates will simply fall out.

    homemade-raw-chocolate14

    And that’s it! You’ve made your very own chocolate. Store the chocolates in a container at room temperature for up to a week (that is, if you have any left!). Enjoy!

    Many thanks to Lakeland for their support of The Foodie Teen!

     

    homemade dark chocolate

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Ingredients (24 chocolates)

    • 200g cacao butter
    • 3/4 cup cacao powder
    • 3 tbsp maple syrup

    Instructions

    1. Place your cacao butter in a wide, shallow heatproof bowl. Fill a small saucepan with about an inch of hot (but not boiling!) water, then set the bowl over the saucepan to form a bain marie or double boiler, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Place the saucepan over a very low heat. Very slowly, the cacao butter will start to melt – don’t try to hurry this process, or your chocolate may turn out grainy.

    2. Once the cacao butter has completely melted, lift the bowl from the saucepan. Use a tea towel to wipe the underside of the bowl, then place the bowl on the countertop. Let the cacao butter cool to room temperature – this will take about one hour. Once it’s completely cooled to room temperature, pour in the maple syrup.

    3. Whisk well, then add in the cacao powder as well and continue to whisk until the mixture is smooth. If your mixture suddenly stiffens up and becomes quite thick, don’t worry! This is just the cacao butter solidifying, and it’s easily fixed – just place the bowl in the microwave for 10 seconds or set it over a pan of hot water again until it returns to a liquid.

    4. Once everything has been mixed and you have a smooth, shiny mixture, taste it! You might want to adjust the levels of sweetener to your tastebuds. If you want to add some more, simply whisk it in teaspoon by teaspoon. If you want to add in any flavouring oils, you can do that at this point as well. I love stirring in a few drops of peppermint and orange essential oils – just make sure that your additions are oil-based and do not contain water, or they could seize your chocolate.

    5. Pour the chocolate into the moulds and add in any fillings.

    6. When you’re done, place the moulds in the freezer for half an hour. This will allow the chocolate to set and shrink a little in order to make it easier to get them out of the moulds. When the time is up, remove the moulds from the freezer. If you’re using silicon ones, just push the chocolates out, and if you’re using the polycarbonate ones, turn them upside down and bang them on the counter – the chocolates will simply fall out.

    7. Enjoy! Store the chocolate in a container at room temperature for up to a week.

    Powered by Recipage

    roasted carrots with parsley-cilantro pesto

    Also known as that-recipe-I’ve-been-eating-on-repeat-for-three-days-because-I’m-completely-obsessed.

    Roasted Carrots with Parsley + Cilantro Pesto // thefoodieteen.com

    I can’t stop.

    Roasting the carrots coaxes out their natural sweetness and intensifies their delicious, subtle flavour. They become beautifully tender and soft inside, and their crisp, roasty ends are seriously addictive.

    Roasted Carrots with Parsley + Cilantro Pesto // thefoodieteen.com

    All you need to do is toss them with a bit of oil, sprinkle with salt and shove them in the oven for half an hour; they’re the perfect easy, quick side dish! Or not.. I’d happily eat an entire plate of them and call it dinner!

    Roasted Carrots with Parsley + Cilantro Pesto // thefoodieteen.com

    Oh, and this pesto – don’t even get me started. Those verdant leafy greens turn in to a delicious pesto which has a gorgeous hue, a wonderfully spicy flavour, and goes with absolutely everything. I’ve been spooning it on anything and everything in sight, but ladled over these tender, roasty carrots definitely has to be one of my favourite ways to enjoy.

    Parsley + Cilantro Pesto (dairy-free) // thefoodieteen.com

    You can make the pesto a few days in advance if you wish and store it in the fridge until you need it (although it might end up being eaten before it gets to the carrots!). Enjoy!

     

    roasted carrots with parsley-cilantro pesto

     

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook Time: 30 minutes

     

    Ingredients (serves 4)

      For the Roasted Carrots

      • 1kg (2lbs) carrots, trimmed and peeled
      • 2 tbsp olive oil
      • 1/4 tsp salt

      For the Pesto

      • a large handful of cilantro
      • a large handful of parsley
      • 1/4 cup pine nuts
      • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
      • 1/4 tsp salt
      • 1/2 cup olive oil

      Instructions

      1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.

      2. Place the carrots on a lined baking sheet, drizzle over the olive oil, and sprinkle the salt on top. Use your hands to mix until every carrot is evenly coated, then roast them for 30 minutes, until tender and starting to caramelise.

      3. To make the pesto, place all the ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor and whizz until smooth. While the food processor is running, slowly drizzle the olive oil in through the feeding tube.

      4. Spoon some of the pesto over the carrots and enjoy. Leftover pesto can be stored in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 3 days.

      Powered by Recipage