Superfood Siobhan

Healthy Plant Based recipes that make you look and feel great

Potatoes: more than a bit on the side.

Potato gratin is one of those dishes known as ‘naughty but nice’. It's potatoes in a cheesy creamy sauce, delicious but can be seen as an indulgent dish due to the cheesy creamy sauce. This potato gratin is lighter, the sauce is olive oil based so it’s packed full of healthy fats and it also has the advantage of being suitable for those who don’t/can’t eat dairy such as vegans. As a carbohydrate, potatoes can sometimes be seen as bad for you. However, this is often down to the company they keep and how people cook them. There are lots of ways to get all the goodness of potatoes into your balanced diet. Potatoes make people think chips, creamy and buttery mashed potato and baked potatoes laden with butter and cheese, but the truth is that potatoes are so versatile you can make them work in so many styles of dishes, whether it be adding them to a curry, a soup, making a potato hash as part of a savoury breakfast or roasting them in cubes with lots of winter veggies for a nourishing meal.

The thinly sliced potato is crisp and browned on top but also soft inside, delicately flavoured with mixer herbs and garlic. It works wonderfully as part of a roast dinner, as a healthier alternative to the traditional dauphinoise potatoes or just as a yummy addition to a typical weeknight meal to make things more interesting.

Potatoes are such a flexible, simple and nutritious food that can be used in so many ways. They're packed full of fibre and potassium, plus they're naturally free of saturated fats and salt. Best of all they hardy cost anything and are easy to store. For more potato info and potato recipes visit Potatoes: More than a bit on the side for Great Britain or Potatoes: More than a bit on the side for Ireland

Serves 4 people

15 minutes prep, 30-40 minutes cooking time

You will need:

500g white potatoes
75ml (5 tbsps) extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp water
2 large cloves of garlic
2 tbsps mixed herbs
Salt and pepper
¼ tsp Dijon mustard
¼ cup nutritional yeast (optional)

Firstly preheat your oven to 200C, then wash and peel your potatoes. Cut them into even slices that are about ½ cm thick. Lay them flat on the bottom of the tray, stacking the slices on top of each other and keeping the layers as flat and even across the tray as possible.

Place the garlic, olive oil, water, herbs, salt/pepper, mustard and nutritional yeast in a blender/food processor until it makes a smooth paste. Pour this over the potato layers, spreading it over evenly. 

Place the tray in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the potatoes are soft when a knife is inserted.

Serve with a side of your choice of veggies and your choice of protein, whether that be something seasonal like a nut roast or simply a veggie burger

This smoothie is super thick and creamy, it's honestly just dreamy. The mint is a unique kick of flavour that pairs so nicely with the raspberries and almost makes it taste like a cocktail! Plus the oats make it more filling which is ideal if you're like me and can't stay full for long on a smoothie, regardless of the size!

You will need:

3 frozen bananas
1 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup oats
2-3 medjool dates
A of small handful mint leaves (around 5-10 leaves)

Simply add everything to your blender and blend up well. Pour into a glass (or a jar for hipster status) and top with extra mint leaves for a pop of colour or more raspberries, up to you!

You can safely say I have become a spelt addict. I'm using it now in place of gluten free flours and I'm loving how much more elastic it is and how much less crumbly it is! It makes life a lot easier for sure.

This is essentially a regular vegan waffle recipe but using spelt instead of wheat flour, plus of course mashed banana and vanilla extract added, in true superfoodsiobhan style. They're good for both breakfast or dessert, they're so simple and so easy to jazz up also with melted chocolate and caramelised banana.

Waffles don't have to be unhealthy, there really isn't anything bad about these. Just flour, almond milk and some banana, it's simple and nutritious and leaves you a blank canvas to decorate to your heart's content.

I use this waffle maker from Cusinart which I like as it's sturdy, has a clear light indicating when it's ready to use and also the plates are removable to make it easy to clean.

Makes 2 waffles

You will need:

1/2 cup spelt flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 ripe banana
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup almond milk

Cut the banana in half, then mash one half and set the other aside. Combine the mashed banana with all the other ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well until smooth.

Heat the waffle maker and spread a little coconut oil on the plates to prevent the waffles from sticking. When the heat indicator light comes on, pour the batter into the waffle maker, close and allow to cook. When the heat indicator light comes back on to say it has reached the right temperature, the waffles are ready,

Serve topped with lots of fresh fruit and your choice of soy yoghurt, coconut yoghurt, nut butters etc.

This slice tastes super decadent and delicious and yet it's pretty wholesome too and it packed with antioxidants and all sorts of other good stuff from the added matcha green tea which also gives it a beautiful flavour. I used an amazing quality matcha from Bloom Teas.

You will need:

1 1/2 cups raw soaked cashews
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup medjool dates (or regular dates soaked in water for a few hours)
3/4 of a cup raw buckwheat groats
4 tbsps maple syrup
1 tsp matcha powder
A pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt
Hemp hearts for decoration

Firstly add the dates and buckwheat to the food processor with a little pink Himalayan sea salt to bring out the sweetness. Pulse until combined but still chunky. Spread across the bottom of a lined square baking tray about 20cm x 20cm in size. Place in the freezer to solidify and get to work on the creamy topping.

Blend up the soaked cashews with the maple syrup and coconut oil until smooth and creamy. You may need to scrape down the sides to ensure it all ends up smooth. Split the mixture from the blender in two. Remove the base from the freezer and pour half the mixture out over it, ensuring the white cashew cream layer remains level and smooth. Return the baking tray to the freezer to solidify. Keep the other half of the cashew cream mixture in the food processor and blend the matcha powder into it. Remove the baking tray from the freezer, evenly spread the matcha layer on top and then return to the freezer.

The slices can be stored in the fridge or freezer, just allow to defrost. Sprinkle on some hemp hearts to serve.

Pizza really is one of the most delicious things. I love pizza with a crisp, thin base and lots of juicy flavoursome toppings; lots of veggies, tomato sauce, herbs and some chilli flakes for a bit of kick!

Perfecting a gluten free pizza is very difficult (I did manage, see this recipe) but it needs extra ingredients and it's also very hard to roll out. Recently I've found I can tolerate spelt and rye, two low gluten grains that are related to wheat. They're known as ancient grains as they're thought to be the forms of wheat that were eaten by our ancestors before what was selectively bred to become the form it is today. They're far easier to digest than wheat flour due to the lower gluten content and are a healthier alternative to wheat products.

This spelt pizza really is no different to your regular wheat pizza, you're just a lot less likely to end up feeling bloated afterwards. You can use white spelt flour or wholegrain spelt flour, either will work.

Makes 2 large pizzas

You will need:

2 cups spelt flour
A pinch of sea salt
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 of a cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp regular yeast (not quick yeast)

Pizza sauce

1/3 cup canned/jarred smooth tomato puree
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp mixed herbs
a little salt and pepper

Combine the water, sugar and yeast in a small bowl. Mix well, then leave in a warm place until it froths up. Meanwhile mix the flour and the salt in a large bowl.

When the yeast mixture is frothy, pour it into the large bowl with the flour and also add the olive oil. Mix well. Spread some flour across a clean, dry surface and knead the dough for a few minutes. Place back into the bowl, cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for half an hour to rise.

Preheat your oven to 200C (if you have a pizza stone like I do, put it into the oven now) and knead the dough again on a floured surface. Roll out flat using a rolling pin. Put your rolled out dough either on your hot pizza stone or a large flat baking tray. Flour it first to make it less likely that the pizza sticks to it!

Spread half the tomato base sauce on each pizza, then top with chopped veggies like mushroom, pepper and courgette, then add tomato and things such as pine nuts, sundried tomatoes and fresh basil.

Bake for about 15 minutes until the base is crispy and the toppings look hot. Dig in and enjoy!

Ps: I also love adding some fresh rocket/arugula on top just before I eat it!

Image from Ethos' website

I had the pleasure of being invited to Ethos foods in London to try their Wimbledon afternoon tea- just like the original scones with cream and berries but healthy, gluten free and vegan!

Ethos is situated almost in the centre of London, only about 5 minutes walk from Oxford Circus tube station. When you walk in it's very fresh and modern in there, the lunch/dinner buffet is displayed in bowls on tables, ready for your to fill your plate. They operate a price by weight scheme, where you choose how much you want on your plate of each dish, then take it up to be weighed, when you pay for it by weight.

I sat down at a table and was asked my choice of tea, I went for green tea. A lovely white teapot and matching teacup soon arrived and the tea was delicious. The afternoon tea itself was presented on a very traditional looking cupcake stand. The tasty sweet treats were underneath, with the cream and the fruit on top. I went for the vegan option so I got whipped coconut cream alongside my berries, plus peanut butter balls, black bean brownies and chocolate cake.

The berries were deliciously fresh and juicy. The black bean brownies were my favourite, so moist and chocolately. Who would have known they were gluten free and vegan! Peanut butter balls were a close second though because come on, peanut butter! The staff were super polite also, I had a nice chat with one of the waiters about the restaurant and about my own blog/cooking too, I found out they do picnic hampers which is a lovely idea, perfect for a summers day in London, pack a hamper and head to Hyde Park for a picnic in the sunshine!

I had a lovely time overall and the afternoon tea was well priced and very tasty at £6.95 per person.

Find them at

One of the initial shocks of the switch to a healthy diet is realising you can't just grab something easy to eat from a shop in town like you used to, you have to actively search for somewhere that does suitable food. And unfortunately that food tends to be VERY expensive.

If you're a student or on a budget, you can't afford to be getting gourmet quinoa salads from a vegan cafe for lunch everyday, you need to figure out a cheaper option, which is where packed lunches come in.

I'm a big fan of a packed lunch, whether it's on a conference/trip with school, long car journey or holiday or just a day of lessons, it makes my life easier to know I have something with me that I can definitely eat and it won't make me feel bad afterwards because of ingredients I wasn't aware of.

Packed lunch ideas

The humble sandwich. It doesn't have to be a cheese and mayonnaise sandwich in white bread rolls (which I had in my lunchbox everyday for about 10 years as a child) you can try hummus, tomato and lettuce, avocado and salad, grilled veggies and hummus, so many options!

Stirfries. Leftover from dinner works great, just make double what you usually do and throw it in a lunchbox for later. I love brown rice with stirfried veggies for lunch!

Pasta. Homemade basil walnut pesto and roasted butternut squash is my fave combo. But what about a pasta salad? Just throw in some chopped onion, tomato, cucumber, celery and whatever else you fancy, make a dressing with some olive oil and vinegar, some salt and pepper and done! A tomato and basil pasta sauce is tasty too.

Wraps, Same as a sandwich, fill it up with yummy stuff, falafel with salad and hummus? Roasted veggies and hummus? Your pick.

Veggies and crackers/ricecakes with hummus. Simple and tasty and fun to snack on. I like cucumber, radishes, raw cauliflower, raw capsicum pepper, carrot sticks etc to dip into my hummus and then either rice cakes or buckwheat crispbreads to spread hummus on.

Snacks for your lunchbox

Rather than just eating a big lunch, it's nice to have some extra snacks to tide you over a long day and keep you energised and alert. I like making my own little pots of trail mix with dried fruit and nuts, taking fresh fruit like bananas, oranges, apples or pears, some sort of homebaking or bliss balls, or savoury things like veggies and hummus, pitta bread and hummus etc.

Stay hydrated

A big bottle of water is a must. If you want to liven it up, maybe add some fruit- lemon, strawberries, etc, to add some flavour. You could also bring some herbal tea bags with you, I always have some green tea bags!

Many people comment on my Instagram posts with things like "How you afford to eat so healthy?" "Isn't being vegan expensive?" "I wish I could afford food like this" etc etc.

Whilst I do like to treat myself with raw chocolate and coconut yoghurt, these aren't at all necessary. Living on a plant based diet doesn't mean eating every superfood in the health food store, it just means buying basics like rice, oats, potatoes, fruits and vegetables and using them as your meal base.

Buy in bulk and not for convenience
This is probably the most important tip. Don't buy little pre portioned packets of rice or oats or carrot sticks already cut up for you. Save money and buy big kg bags of rice that'll feed for you months and buy your veggies whole, not prepared for you. You'll save a lot of money by cooking your food from scratch.

Shop in season
If it is winter where you live, don't buy tropical fruit imported from the other side of the world. Shop local and shop seasonal. In winter eat lots of broccoli and cauliflower, in summer eat lots of salad. Stick away from imported foods as much as possible like baby sweetcorn from Asia or green beans from Africa and eat what grows in your country. Learn to love the staple foods of where you live!

Buy frozen
Frozen food isn't so bad! Stock up on frozen raspberries and blueberries for breakfast, frozen mixed stirfry veggies and frozen mixed veggies for soups. They're cheap, last for ages and are a good standby if you have nothing fresh.

Be prepared
Always take a lunchbox and snacks with you. And a bottle of water. Don't rely on expensive cafes or tuck shops, bring your food to classes with you. Bring your own snacks to the movies, use a reusable water bottle. All that eating out adds up!

Buy supermarket own brand
Rather than buying the branded oats, tinned tomatoes, beans, lentils, rice etc, go for supermarket own brand. It's usually a lot cheaper and you can get it in bigger packets too. Really all that's different is the packaging!

Plan meals ahead of time
Rather than going food shopping and just grabbing things and throwing them into your trolley, make a plan of the lunches and dinners for the week before you go, so you only buy what you need and don't have things lurking in the cupboard for ages. If you know you're making curry, get a can of coconut milk, otherwise you don't have to!

It seems pretty uncommon eating vegan and yet not eating HCLF. Everyone seems to rave about it and I didn't really know what it was like or what it was about. Pictures of banana icecream towering out of glasses, images of huge bowls of fruit for lunch, monomeals... What is it like?

So I set myself a challenge, eat high carb low fat for a week and experience what everyone else loves. Will I feel so much more energetic? Or will I be hungry all the time? Will I lose weight? Gain weight? Will my skin flare up like in the infamous detox period? A LOT of questions.

So what actually is HCLF?

Well, Mindfully Bliss calls it "a diet or as I like to call it, a lifestyle, where one consumes mostly carbs such as fruits and veggies, and low amounts of fats (sugars, salts, oils, etc)"

My Vegan Belly says a HCLF vegan is someone "that primarily eats carbs (from fruit!) The diet is made up of raw fruits, raw vegetables, cooked vegetables, cooked carbs (rice quinoa, potatoes, corn), and beans, with a few nuts and seeds. 80/10/10 means that 80% of the diet is made up of carbohydrates, 10% fat, and 10% protein."

So my challenge started, one week HCLF. 

What do you eat for breakfast? Well some people say oats are okay, some people say they are not as they are a lot higher in fat than fruit. So some days as much fruit as possible, others banana icecream, smoothies etc. I had mostly fruit based breakfasts, no nuts or seeds or nut butters which I found strange! I do really enjoy banana icecream though so it didn't feel like it was deprivation.

Lunch/dinner? Lots of carbs, of course! Some people go down the fruit monomeal route, I stuck with savoury food. I had lots of big salads, lots of rice, quinoa, potatoes, etc. Also, pasta! I tried making a low fat pasta sauce which was strange to me as I am used to cooking the onion and garlic in oil and sprinkling some nuts on top, etc but it was very tasty and I didn't feel I was missing out.

Snacks? Lots of fruit! Bananas, apples, oranges, dates, dried figs- you name it, I ate it! Certainly very healthy but I found that I craved something a bit some substantial sometimes and dried fruit without nut butter didn't seem right!

Overall thoughts

It definitely does help digestion, there is no denying that. You get bloated after a large fibre filled meal but it digests quickly and you do feel a lot lighter in your stomach. Also it means that food passes through quicker, which is good for those who suffer from constipation.

Energy wise? I'm ordinarily pretty energetic so it's hard to tell the difference in energy levels between a healthy vegan diet and a healthy high carb low fat vegan diet. Definitely not a negative impact anyway! I think you would notice a bigger difference going from a already quite unhealthy diet to hclf however.

Would I stick to it? Probably not. Why? Well as someone who ALSO can't eat gluten, life would start to get pretty difficult when I eat out. I think also not eating very much fat would make life very difficult for me as it would restrict my choices even further. Also, I do love nuts, avocado, etc and I couldn't see myself cutting them out to make sure it fitted into the 10% macro ratio.

So what have I learnt?

Banana icecream for breakfast more often because it keeps me full for ages and gives me lots of energy.

Less nuts and more fruit as snacks because the sugar hit helps keep you going

That it's not going to be that bad at all at uni when I'm going to be eating big portions of rice and pasta and nothing that fancy to liven it up, this week was cheap and tasty!

So I'm finally gotten around to buying a tripod and making a youtube channel and I'm excited to get to work over the summer and make videos of me cooking my favourite dishes as well as sharing things such as what's in my cupboards, market/food hauls and what I eat in a day. I can't wait to get started on it after my exams!

In the meantime, I filmed a little intro video to say hi to you all yesterday and it's on my channel, have a watch, let me know what you thought and subscribe so you'll be the first to see my next video :)