VEGAN SAUSAGE CASSEROLE

This recipe is perfect for a hearty, warming, comfort food sort of meal. You can add whatever veggies you having lying around in the bottom of your fridge that need using up. I find that mushrooms work really well in this recipe- mix it up and have fun.

Ingredients

🌍6-8 vegan sausages (I used Heck ones)

🌍Coconut oil

🌍1 large onion (diced)

🌍4 cloves garlic (chopped)

🌍4 carrots (peeped and diced)

🌍Can of beans (I used haricot, but any will do)

🌍1 can chopped tomatoes

🌍1 tbsp tomato purée

🌍300ml veggie stock

🌍1/2 tsp paprika or smoked paprika

🌍1/2 tsp thyme

🌍Vegan mayo (see my recipe!)

Method

⭐️ Cook vegan sausages as per instructions.

⭐️ Fry onion in a large saucepan for 5 mins until soft.

⭐️ Add garlic, carrots, stock, chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, paprika and thyme- cook for 15 mins (low to medium heat, lid on).

⭐️ Add beans and vegan sausages and cook for a further 15 mins.

⭐️Serve with sweet potato wedges and salad YUM!

NO BAKE ENERGY BALLS

These date energy balls are a super quick and easy snack to make. Perfect for on-the-go children and adults alike- my little girl absolutely loves them. It’s also something fun to do with children, as they can help measure the ingredients into the food processor- I always find that children are more likely to eat something, if they are involved in the making. The chia seeds are an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids, which make them great for vegan and vegetarian diets.

Ingredients

🌍 1 cup pitted dates

🌍 Handful unsulphered dried apricots

🌍 2/3 cup rolled oats

🌍 3 tbsp 100% peanut butter (I use Meridian Organic 100% Peanut Butter)

🌍 1/4 cup vegan chocolate

🌍 1 tbsp chai seeds.

Method

⭐️ Whizz dates in a food processor until they break up into small pieces.

⭐️ Add the oats, apricots, peanut butter, chocolate and chia seeds and whizz up until combined. You might need to add 1-2 tbsp water, if the dates are quite dry.

⭐️ Mould into small balls using the warmth of your hands.

⭐️ Pop in fridge for 15 minutes to set and then add them to a sterile air-tight glass jar.

⭐️ They should stay fresh for one week, or longer if you choose to freeze them.

33 Uses for Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a super versatile product, so I’ve come up with a list of all the different ways that I have used it…

Cooking

  • †One of most obvious use for coconut oil is for cooking and baking. It is said to be better to cook with than other oils, as it can withstand higher temperatures without oxidation.
  • Add 1-2 tbsp to your morning coffee for a creamy taste to replace dairy-based lattes. (It is best to blend it in, but if this isn’t an option you can add it to your mug first, then add hot black coffee).
  • Whizz into your smoothies for a natural boost of medium chain triglycerides (MCT). MCT are easily absorbed by the body, compared to other fats and are believed to suppress hunger, increase energy levels and increase metabolism.
  • Use instead of butter in your mashed potatoes.
  • Melt coconut oil and dark chocolate together and then use as a topping to ice cream (my fave is Swedish Glace). The mixture will instantly solidify and taste awesome, as well as looking cool!

Skincare

  • †Use as a complete body moisturiser. It is 100% natural and usually comes in a glass jar (which can be reused or recycled). In cooler environments it will have a solid consistency, but as soon as it is worked into skin it will melt away and create a lovely sheen.
  • Add to your reusable/washable makeup pads to easily and gently remove makeup. It is probably one of the safest makeup removers, as it contains NO nasty chemicals.
  • Replace your shaving foams with coconut oil. (Tip: best used with a safety razor, as the blades won’t clog up as easily as crappy disposable razors. Safety razors are awesome as they contain no plastic and the metal blades can be recycled).
  • Use to soothe dry lips. Decant into a small container for on the go.
  • Mix with arrowroot powder and your favourite essential oil, for a natural deodorant.
  • Add to your used coffee grounds to create a body scrub. I like adding a few drops of peppermint oil to my homemade body scrub.
  • Add a dollop of coconut oil to use as a bath soak.
  • Work coconut oil into your hair before shampooing, for a deep hair conditioning treatment.

Baby

  • Create a bum spray to compliment reusable baby wipes. Simply combine 6oz water, 2 tbsp coconut oil and 1/2 cup witch hazel and voila: a natural, zero waste, cheap bum spray for baby’s sensitive skin.
  • Use to soothe nappy rash. Not only will it relieve the pain, it will fight infection and promote healing, as coconut oil has antibacterial qualities.
  • Apply coconut oil to cradle cap and leave for 20 minutes before washing off, by gently rubbing with a warm, wet flannel.
  • Use coconut oil for baby massage. Baby massage has numerous benefits, from alleviating colic, promoting better sleep and bonding with your baby. Using coconut oil will provide a natural massage lubricant and also moisturise baby’s skin.
  • There is evidence that coconut oil is 30% more effective at reducing the severity of eczema in children compared to other mineral oils.
  • I used coconut oil on my stomach during and after pregnancy to reduce the likelihood of stretch marks– it worked for me, I wouldn’t use anything else and many other mothers swear by it too!
  • Coconut oil is said to stimulate milk supply during breastfeeding, as it contains lauric acid.
  • It works great to soothe sore or cracked nipples, due to the early weeks of your newborn breastfeeding like a demon.
  • A little coconut oil can relieve heartburn, as it said that it cleans the bacteria out of your oesophagus to relieve acid reflux.

Health

  • Apply a little coconut oil to nostrils to help relieve hay-fever/allergic rhinitis/pet and dust allergy symptoms. This is much cheaper than buying the shop-bought barrier balms.
  • Add coconut oil and baking soda together to create a natural teeth whitener.
  • Coconut oil has antimicrobial qualities, which make it great for mild ear infections. Just melt a blob of oil and decant into a dropper bottle and leave to cool to room temperature, before adding a few drops to the affected ear.
  • As coconut oil is a natural analgesic (pain-reliever), it can be used on chicken pox, insect bites and poison ivy stings to help with the pain.
  • Coconut oil can be used for the ancient practice of ‘oil-pulling,’ which is ever-increasing in popularity. Take a tablespoon of coconut oil into your mouth and swish it round for at least 10 minutes (ideally 20 minutes)! I know this may seem like ages, but it is scientifically proven to effectively combat bad breath and plaque by drawing out impurities and moisturising oral tissue. Best done when you don’t have a toddler asking you a million questions!

Household

  • Combine 3/4 cup coconut oil with 1/4 cup lemon juice, as a natural furniture polish.
  • Create a non-toxic insect repellent by mixing 1/4 cup melted coconut oil with 20-30 drops citronella essential oil. Pour into a jar and then leave to set in the fridge. Rub into the skin to keep pesky bugs at bay.
  • Condition your chopping boards and wooden/bamboo dinnerware by rubbing coconut oil onto the surface to restore the wood, as well as removing bacteria.
  • Make non-toxic play dough! Over a low heat, melt 1 tbsp coconut oil and then add 1 cup water, 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, 2 tsp cream of tartar and gel food colouring of your choice.
  • Mix coconut oil and baking soda to form a paste, which works great to scrub away soap scum and mildew from the bath.
  • Remove sticky residue from jars by wiping coconut oil to the sticky part and leave for at least 5 minutes, then wipe away with a cloth.

Tip: Keep one jar of coconut oil for the kitchen and one for the bathroom, to avoid any cross contamination.