mushroom & brown rice bowl. www.cocobean.me

Simple Mushroom & Brown Rice Bowl

This brown rice and mushroom bowl is absolutely delicious as a side dish, sometimes I even eat a whole bowl of it for dinner and feel completely satisfied afterwards! The mushrooms add the most delicious hearty flavour to this dish, giving the (sometimes bland and boring) brown rice such depth and taste. It really is one of the simplest dishes to make, yet it tastes so good! I was contemplating whether I should even post this recipe on the blog as it is so easy and fuss free, but I had to share it with you as it is a delicious side dish and lasts well in the fridge, so you can keep a bowl of it for a few days and just add it to your meals. My favourite thing to do, as many of you know, is to add it to a beautiful rainbow bowl of goodness.

mushroom & brown rice bowl. www.cocobean.me

Now that I am pregnant, I am even more aware of what I am putting into my body and try to really make the best and most nutritious choices for my own body strength and also more importantly for my growing baby. Mushrooms have always been a favourite of mine, not only for their flavour and texture, but also for their amazing health benefits:

  •  Did you know that mushrooms are the only vegetable (or fruit) that provides us with vitamin D! Therefore it helps your body to absorb calcium, develops strong bones, helps with neuromuscular function, helps your immune system to function optimally and also prevents inflammation.
  • Mushrooms are high in antioxidants which protect our bodies from cell damage.
  • Mushrooms and brown rice are both high in selenium which increases your thyroid function and is good for your bladder.
  • The potassium in the mushrooms gives you a healthy heart, helps your blood pressure and also prevents muscle cramps.

mushroom & brown rice bowl. www.cocobean.me

Brown rice is a good staple to have in your cupboard or to keep a bowl of cooked rice in your fridge to add to meals. It is so much better than white rice! I actually can’t remember the last time I ate white rice, I just don’t really see the point in eating white rice as there is hardly any nutrition or flavour.

  • Brown rice will give you a good dose of fibre for a healthy digestive system and also keeps your blood sugar levels stable.
  • It is high in manganese and magnesium for healthy bones, synthesizes cholesterol, a good metabolic function and a healthy immune system.

These are just a few key health benefits in this dish, so you can eat up and enjoy the deliciousness and health boosting properties too.

mushroom & brown rice bowl. www.cocobean.me

It goes exceptionally well with slow roasted rosa tomatoes! All I do is place the tomatoes in a frying pan with a dash of balsamic vinegar, some honey and salt and pepper. Fry until soft, caramelized and delicious!

Mushroom & Brown Rice Bowl

serves 2

1 cup uncooked brown rice

2 Tbsp olive oil

250g mushrooms, sliced

1 large clove garlic

fresh thyme

1 Tbsp butter

salt and pepper to taste

Start by cooking the brown rice according to the packet instructions. I just boil mine in about 3 cups water and a pinch of salt.

While the rice is cooking, slice your mushrooms and chop the garlic clove very finely.

Fry the mushrooms, garlic and thyme leaves in the olive oil. Add the butter when it starts to smell amazing and add salt and pepper to taste. Fry until the mushrooms are golden brown.

Stir the mushrooms into the cooked brown rice.

mushroom & brown rice bowl. www.cocobean.me

  • also delicious sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese
  • sprinkle some extra fresh thyme leaves over and drizzle with olive oil before serving

I hope you enjoy this recipe! xx

honey, coconut & banana health muffins. www.cocobean.me

Honey, Coconut & Banana Health Muffins

Muffins are the ideal snack for anytime of the day! These healthy honey, coconut & banana muffins are the perfect pick-me-up to enjoy for breakfast, in your lunchbox, with a cup of afternoon tea or coffee or an after dinner sweet treat. I love using stoneground flour as it has so many added benefits for your body. It is so much better for you than normal white or wholewheat flour! If you can’t find stoneground flour then you can also use wholewheat flour.

honey, coconut & banana health muffins. www.cocobean.me

This recipe has no refined sugar, only raw honey and banana are used to sweeten these delightful morsels of deliciousness. I like to use overripe bananas as they are much easier to mash and also give a sweeter, deeper flavour to the muffins.

I am not the biggest fan of eating bananas, but I love baking with bananas as it adds extra sweetness (therefore you use less sugar) and also adds an amazing moist texture to your baked product! The health benefits of bananas are also so impressive that it is a good way to get them into your diet (if you are like me and don’t like the taste of them). They help to boost your digestion and metabolism, are an excellent source of potassium which is essential for a healthy heart, blood pressure, bone health and reduces muscles cramps! If you eat these after exercising, it will really reduce your muscle cramps, or if you are pregnant like me and get leg cramps at night.. these really help! Bananas are also excellent to make your body alkaline, so eat them if you suffer from stomach ulcers or heartburn.

honey, coconut & banana health muffins. www.cocobean.me

I used the stoneground brown bread flour from Eureka Mills for this recipe, but Im sure any of the other flours will be just as perfect! It is a super quick recipe to throw together and only uses one bowl! Therefore less washing up to do (yes please!!).

I like to store half in the fridge to nibble on whenever I feel like having a delicious snack and I keep the other half in ziploc bags in the freezer. They are so easy to defrost or just pop one in the microwave for an even quicker defrost. Then you will always have a snack on hand for those unplanned visitors and breakfast on the go!

Honey, Coconut & Banana Health Muffins

makes about 20 muffins

1 cup milk (I like to use coconut or almond milk)

1/2 cup honey

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup mashed banana (or apple sauce)

2 Tbsp coconut oil

2 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cups stoneground flour (or wholewheat flour)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

Preheat your oven to 180 C. Line 2 muffins trays with cupcake cases or grease with butter.

In a large bowl, whisk all wet ingredients together (milk, honey, vanilla, mashed banana, coconut oil and eggs).

Add the coconut and sieve the dry ingredients into the whisked wet ingredients. Mix until all of the ingredients are combined. Remember to never over mix muffins!

Spoon the mixture into your prepared muffin cases and bake for 18-20 mins.

Let them cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

Eat them just as it, spread with butter or nutella or my favourite combination on these muffins: peanut butter and honey!

honey, coconut & banana health muffins. www.cocobean.me

  • Add chopped nuts, cinnamon, blueberries, chopped dates, chocolate chips etc for extra deliciousness
im pregnant. www.cocobean.me

Im Back!

To all of my amazing followers, readers, cooks and friends.

This is a short note to say that I am sorry for being so quiet on the blog for so long now! I have some very exciting news for those of you that don’t know already… I am pregnant!! Yay!

im pregnant. www.cocobean.me

My silence on the blog all started at the beginning of my pregnancy, when I became extremely ill with severe morning sickness (more like all day sickness!!!). I could not eat or drink anything and if I did manage to eat something, it didn’t stay down for long. This carried on for for the first 15 weeks of my pregnancy and then at 15 weeks I was able to get out of bed and actually make myself useful and only throw up once a day, then by the end of 15 weeks I was perfectly healthy, energetic and back to my happy self, with a huge appetite added to my daily life! I actually ended up in hospital and had to be put on a drip as I was so dehydrated and weak, but that all feels like ages ago! So that is why I was not able to post any new recipes as I could not even look at food.

I am now 5 months pregnant (22 weeks) and loving every minute of it!

Now I am back in the kitchen, I am gathering inspiration again and trying out new and exciting recipes to share with all of you precious people!

Thank you for standing by me during this time and for your patience!

Here’s to a new and exciting year together.

I would love to hear form you if you have had similar experiences in your pregnancy and also any tips for motherhood.

All my love

Beans

xxx

spinach & avocado hummus. www.cocobean.me

Spinach & Avo Hummus

Im sure you have noticed that I am absolutely inlove with hummus. It is one of my all time favourite foods and I add it to almost every meal that I eat. This Spinach & Avo Hummus is such a delicious play on the usual hummus flavours. The flavours are so well balanced, the avo adds an incredible extra creamy texture to it and the spinach adds most of the gorgeous green colour. I like adding baby spinach to this hummus recipe as it adds so many incredible health boosting nutrients, yet you can hardly taste it, so it is the perfect way to get kids (and adults) to eat their greens without them even knowing that it is in there! This hummus really goes so well as a dip, on fresh salads, spooned over roasted sweet potato, used as a spread on sandwiches or eating straight out of the bowl!

spinach & avocado hummus. www.cocobean.me

I really love the green colour of this hummus. I made a roasted beetroot hummus recently which has the most exquisite pink colour, so now I am on a roll of making colourful, delicious and flavourful hummus recipes. Hummus is an excellent source of plantbased protein, perfect for vegetarians or vegans! The chickpeas add an excellent source of protein, helping to keep you satisfied and full for longer. It is also full of fibre and iron from the spinach and the chickpeas, it helps to lower your cholesterol and studies have even shown that chickpeas help to reduce colon cancer!

spinach & avocado hummus. www.cocobean.me

As many of you know, avocado is one of my absolute favourite foods, so added to hummus makes this hummus my all time favourite. Avo is one of the worlds healthiest foods ever made so that should be enough reason for you to eat it everyday. It helps to support your blood sugar regulation, is full of antioxidants, avo helps to increase the nutrient absorption of the foods that you eat it with and can help to reduce your risk of getting diabetes, heart attacks and cancer. Wow this superfood is incredible and it also tastes absolutely amazing! Spinach is also known as one of the healthiest foods in the world, so this hummus recipe really will do your body wonders! Spinach is very high in vitamin A and K, helping to keep your bones strong, blood sugar regulated and it builds clean and glowing healthy skin. Spinach is also incredibly high in antioxidants, iron, calcium, protein, fibre, magnesium and potassium (the list can go on for days).

spinach & avocado hummus. www.cocobean.me

Spinach & Avo Hummus

makes one bowl

1 tin chickpeas

1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup water

1 1/2 Tbsp Tahini

juice from 1 fresh lemon

1 cup baby spinach

1/2 avo

1/2 tsp cumin

salt and pepper

Firstly drain the chickpeas and rinse them.

Pour all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend until it forms a gorgeously creamy texture. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I often find that people forget to add salt to their hummus, but this is a very important ingredient as it brings out the flavours in the hummus. So taste and add more as required.

Pour into a pretty bowl and serve as a dip with fresh vegetable chunks and crackers, or top roasted veggies with it, spoon it over cooked chicken breasts, add it to your sandwiches or eat it with anything you like! I usually make double this recipe and keep it in the fridge for a few days, then I can snack on it throughout the day! Yum!

spinach & avocado hummus. www.cocobean.me

What is your favourite dip or party food?

If you enjoyed this recipe you will love:

Roasted Beetroot Hummus

Homemade Hummus

Broccoli, Avocado, Chickpea Super Salad

cinnamon honey nut granola. www.cocobean.me

Cinnamon Honey Nut Granola

This cinnamon, honey nut granola is my absolute new favourite breakfast! It has the perfect balance of sweetness from the cranberries, raisins and honey, the perfect crunch from the deliciously roasted nuts and seeds and then the coconut flakes enveloped in fragrant cinnamon round it off to perfection. I really love this healthy nutty crunchy granola and could eat it every single day for the rest of my life! Everyone who tastes it loves it and always begs for the recipe, so here it is, with love. This cinnamon honey granola not only tastes incredible, it is also satisfying and nutritious in every way. There is always a large jar (or 2) in my home as it gets devoured before I know it!

cinnamon honey nut granola. www.cocobean.me

A healthy granola really is the best way to start your day, especially when eaten with fresh fruit such as strawberries, blueberries and banana. I love eating it on top of a smooth and creamy yoghurt, the textures are perfect together, or drenched in fresh almond milk (or coconut milk or any milk for that matter) or sprinkled over a colourful smoothie bowl for some crunchy satisfaction. You will be getting so many amazing nutrients first thing in the morning, that you will glowing, happy and energetic for the rest of the day! The brazil nuts, hazelnuts, almonds and seeds add such a good protein punch that you will be full for longer and glowing from all of the omega 3 and vitamin E! I love adding cinnamon to my granola or muesli as it gives the most amazing flavour and fragrance and most importantly it also helps to stabilize your blood sugar levels.

cinnamon honey nut granola. www.cocobean.me

I have used coconut oil in this recipe as it is one of my favourite ingredients. I find that it gives such a beautiful subtle flavour to the granola and also helps to give it the perfect crunch that we are after! Coconut oil has incredible health benefits, to name a few, it helps to reduce obesity, improves your metabolism, protects your body against insulin resistance therefore helping to reduce your risk of getting diabetes. Coconut oil also helps to boost your immunity as it kills harmful bacteria in your body! Amazing!

cinnamon honey nut granola. www.cocobean.me

Now all of that combined with the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and protein gives you the perfect breakfast or snack for anytime of the day! It really is so delicious that I eat handfuls of it when I want a snack or after dinner for a little bit of sweetness. I promise that it is so much better than store bought granola or muesli, tastes better, is so much healthier and more nourishing and also much cheaper. I buy nuts and seeds in bulk to make a big batch of it and it can stay fresh for weeks! You can buy nuts in bulk here from amazon. So it really is worth making your own, that way you know that you are giving your body the best possible nutrition and love that it deserves.

Cinnamon Honey Nut Granola

(makes one large jar)

1 cup brazil nuts

1 cup almonds

1/2 cup hazelnuts (skinned)

1/2 cup flaxseeds

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup coconut flakes

2 cups oats

3 Tbsp coconut oil

2 Tbsp honey (or maple syrup)

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Chop the nuts so that they are nice and chunky. You can place the nuts into a food processor and pulse to chop them, if you don’t feel like chopping them all up by hand.

Pour the nuts, seeds, coconut flakes and oats into a large mixing bowl.

Pour the coconut oil, honey and cinnamon into a small pot on the stove and melt until all of the ingredients are combined. You can also do this in the microwave for about 40 seconds.

Add the coconut oil mixture to the other ingredients in the large bowl and stir to coat all of the ingredients in the delicious honey syrup. Pour the mixture into a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes so that the granola turns a beautiful golden brown colour, rather than burning.

Once it has finished baking, remove it from the oven and leave it to cool down. Now you can stir the raisins and dried cranberries through the golden granola and pour into a glass jar or any air tight container. It will stay crunchy and fresh for weeks!

cinnamon honey nut granola. www.cocobean.me

What is your favourite breakfast? Let me know if you try this recipe, I love hearing from you.

If you enjoyed this recipe you will also like my

Pecan, Date & Cranberry Muesli,

Creamy Cinnamon & Date Oats

Carrot Cake Pancakes.

dark chocolate mousse. www.cocobean.me

Dark Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate mousse is an absolute dream. Like a dark chocolate cloud melting in your mouth in utter perfection. This recipe is one of my favourites as it has no added sugar and also no cream, yet it is still incredibly creamy, rich and absolutely amazing! Another thing that I love about chocolate mousse is that you can make it in advance and it is ready to whip out of the fridge whenever you are ready to eat it. I hope you enjoy this chocolatey deliciousness that is about to happen!

dark chocolate mousse. www.cocobean.me

This chocolate mousse recipe only needs 4 ingredients, takes only a few minutes to prepare, yet it tastes like you have been mastering the kitchen all day long on these babies! I love serving them in dainty tea cups or in a large bowl in the middle of the table, and everyone can scoop out as much as they want. This recipe comes from Eric Lanlard, he calls it “French Bistro Chocolate Mousse” as they literally bring a huge pottery vat to the table and use a ladle as a spoon, to scoop it out. The French know best!

dark chocolate mousse. www.cocobean.me

How about putting little bowls alongside the mousse, filled with fresh berries, roasted flaked almonds, roasted coconut flakes, crumbled shortbread, my chocolate pistachio biscotti, chocolate shavings, roasted hazelnuts, crushed peanut brittle.. the list goes on and on of the delicious toppings that you can use! I love to make sure that there is something fresh (fresh strawberries or cherries) to cut through the deep rich chocolate flavour and then also a crunchy element to add extra excitement to the soft and creamy mousse. It really is so simple and so incredibly delicious!

dark chocolate mousse. www.cocobean.me

Dark Chocolate Mousse

(Recipe adapted from Eric Lanlard)

serves 6

250g dark chocolate (good quality) chopped

65g butter

6 eggs, separated

1 tsp vanilla

pinch of salt

Place a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Make sure that the water does not touch the bowl. Pour the chopped chocolate and the butter into the heatproof bowl and stir until it is all melted. You can also melt it in the microwave if you want to. Remove from the heat and add the egg yolks, beating after each addition and also the vanilla.

Whisk the eggs whites and pinch of salt in a large bowl (must be clean, dry and glass or metal) until stiff peaks form.

Fold a spoonful of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, to make it more light and airy for when you fold the rest of the egg whites in. Fold the rest of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, being careful not to over mix it.

Spoon the mixture into beautiful tea cups, glasses or pour all of it into a large serving bowl. Cover with gladwrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Before serving, take the gladwrap off and top with delicious toppings such a sliced fresh strawberries, shortbread, roasted almond flakes etc.

I hope you love this chocolate mousse recipe! What is your favourite dessert?

dark chocolate mousse. www.cocobean.me

If you enjoyed this recipe, you will also love my moist chocolate cake, raw chocolate browniesNanaimo Bars, 2 ingredient chocolate ice cream, chocolate pistachio biscotti

Moroccan Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Stuffed sweet potatoes are my go-to meal at the moment. I love using leftovers and filling delicious sweet potatoes with glorious different flavours and textures, I find that it makes the perfect vegetarian meal. This quinoa stuffed sweet potato dish is influenced by North African flavours and always puts a huge smile on everyone’s face when they taste it. Just think of a delicious quinoa stuffing dotted with juicy sweet raisins, crunchy nutty flaked almonds, fresh mint, spicy chermoula and finished with a dollop of greek yoghurt… makes a perfect meal if you ask me! I absolutly love the sweet and salty bites that you get from all of the different elements in this meal. Absolutely satisfying, nourishing and delicious in every possible way (not to mention extremely easy too). I love serving it with my avo, feta & sundried tomato salad.

moroccan quinoa stuffed sweet potato. www.cocobean.me

Chermoula is a North African spice mix that can be bought in paste or powder form. It is absolutely delicious rubbed onto chicken, fish, meat or vegetables and then roasted to glorious perfection. Chermoula really takes these sweet potatoes to the next level and adds such a unique and inviting flavour to them. It is mainly used in Moroccan and Tunisian cuisine and consists mainly of cumin, garlic, paprika, coriander, lemon, chili flakes and some variations of these spices. You can find it in most grocery shops in the spice section or click here to buy it on Amazon here.

moroccan quinoa stuffed sweet potato. www.cocobean.me

Sweet potatoes are absolutely delicious in any form or flavour, but they are also one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Sweet potatoes are very high in vitamin C and vitamin A which helps to strengthen your body’s immunity and also gives you beautiful glowing skin. Sweet potatoes have a very powerful antioxidant called beta-carotene, this helps your body to repair cell damage. Studies have shown that it helps to reduce breast cancer, skin cancer and also menopause (ladies, get your daily dose of sweet potato in). Beta-carotene is best absorbed when it is eaten with some healthy fats, so this is why we drizzle it with olive oil, coconut oil or eat it with a side of avo and nuts. Sweet potatoes also help to regulate your blood sugar levels, they’re full of fibre so keep you regular and also full for longer! All of this nourishment is made even better by the iron from the raisins, protein from the quinoa (it is a complete protein) and the nuts, and I could carry on writing for days about all of the health benefits but I think you can see that this meal is so good for you and you will feel like a million dollars after eating it!

moroccan quinoa stuffed sweet potato. www.cocobean.me

Moroccan Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

serves 2

1 large sweet potato

4 tsp olive oil

1/2 tsp chermoula

1/2 cup quinoa

1 cup water (to cook quinoa in)

1/4 tsp dried parsley

1/4 tsp dried mint

1/4 cup flaked almonds, roasted

2-3 Tbsp raisins

spring onion, about 5 cm

3 fresh mint leaves

to serve:

crumbled feta

thick greek yoghurt

fresh lemon

Preheat your oven to 200 C.

Wash the sweet potato and cut it in half, lengthways. Now cut scores along the sweet potato flesh, to help it cook faster and so that the flavours melt into the sweet potato.

Drizzle olive oil over each half and about 1/4 tsp chermoula on each sweet potato half. Place on a baking tray and roast for about 35 mins, until it is soft and cooked through.

Meanwhile, cook the quinoa in the water and add the dried parsley, dried mint and salt and pepper. Let it simmer until all of the water has been absorbed.

Slice the spring onion, roast the flaked almonds in a pan over medium heat and chop the fresh mint.

Once the quinoa is cooked, add the sliced spring onion, roasted almonds, raisins, fresh mint a squeeze of lemon juice and about 1 tsp olive oil. Taste this delicious mixture and add salt and pepper if needed.

When the sweet potato has finished roasting, take it out of the oven, place it on a plate and spoon the quinoa mixture onto the sweet potato halves. I press it down quite firmly to get as much quinoa is there as possible.

Sprinkle some feta over the top, place a dollop of greek yoghurt on the side along with a slice of fresh lemon to squeeze over.

moroccan quinoa stuffed sweet potato. www.cocobean.me

I hope you love these delicious flavours!

If you enjoyed this recipe, you will also like my roasted butternut  squash quinoa,