Vegan Asparagus & Fennel Quiche (with a Quinoa Crust)

Vegan Asparagus & Fennel Quiche (with Quinoa Crust)

Vegan Asparagus & Fennel Quiche (with Quinoa Crust)

Happy Easter weekend friends! It’s been absolutely glorious here these last couple of weeks. I’m inside working most of the day unfortunately but I love that it’s not getting dark here until around 8.30 now, leaving plenty of daylight after work. We’ve been lazing in the park or by Lake Geneva, browsing the evening farmers’ markets (it seems there’s a different market here every day- morning or evening!), and sitting out on the streets with a drink or ice cream.

It’s not supposed to last but I’m going to pretend it’s still warm and sunny and enjoy my Spring meals all the same…

Vegan Asparagus & Fennel Quiche (with Quinoa Crust)

Spring is the time to start lightening up our meals and to me that usually means satisfying salads, smoothies/juices and fruit & veggies galore. Dishes which can be eaten warm or at room temperature are also ideal for this time of year,  and for picnic weather (!). My Vegan Persian Frittata or Rustic Beetroot Galette would be nice options, as would today’s recipe- my Vegan Asparagus & Fennel Quiche (with a Quinoa Crust).

Fennel, Asparagus, Carrots

This recipe is good and seasonal with Spring vegetables- fennel, asparagus, carrots and peas- but you could easily adapt it to what’s good in your part of the world right now. I’m especially enjoying fennel right now so there may well be some more fennel recipes appearing soon…though I still can’t get on board with it in fresh juice.

Sautéed Spring Vegetables

I was feeling a little lazy when making this and not really in the mood for making pastry, so I ended up with an alternative easy quinoa crust (adapted from a recipe by Julie Morris’s Superfood Kitchen). I was really pleased with how it turned out.  Don’t expect it to be like your regular flour-based crust, but it does hold together really well and has a nice chewiness to it.

Vegan Asparagus & Fennel Quiche (with Quinoa Crust)

It would be a lovely Easter Sunday brunch served with a salad or two- light enough to leave you some room for chocolate eggs!

Vegan Asparagus & Fennel Quiche (with Quinoa Crust)

Vegan Asparagus & Fennel Quiche (with Quinoa Crust)
Serves 6
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For the Crust
  1. 1/4 C Ground flax
  2. 1/4 C Water
  3. 1-1/2 C Cooked & cooled quinoa
  4. 1-1/2 Tbsp Melted coconut oil
  5. 2 Tbsp Nutritional yeast
  6. 1/4 tsp Salt
For the Filling
  1. 1 Tbsp Coconut oil
  2. 1/2 Onion, diced
  3. 2 Cloves of garlic, minced
  4. 1 Small bulb of fennel, diced small
  5. 2 small carrots, diced small
  6. 1 Bunch of asparagus, woody ends removed and remaining stalks diced
  7. 1/2 C Fresh or frozen peas
  8. Handful of fresh basil, chiffonaded
  9. 1x 350g/12oz pkg firm tofu, drained
  10. 1 tsp Salt
  11. 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  12. 1 Tbsp Lemon juice
  13. 2 Tbsp Tahini
  14. 2 Tbsp Nutritional yeast
  15. 1/2 tsp turmeric
  16. Pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F and grease a 9" tart pan with coconut oil.
For the crust
  1. Combine the ground flax and water in a small bowl and set aside to thicken.
  2. Stir together the cooked quinoa, nutritional yeast and salt. Add the coconut oil and flax mixture and mix well.
  3. Press mixture into the prepared tart pan and bake for 15 minutes, until lightly golden and dry.
  4. Turn the heat down to 180C/350F
For the filling
  1. In a large pan, warm the coconut oil over medium heat and add onions, fennel and carrots. Sauté, stirring for approx 5 minutes. Add the asparagus; cook 2 minutes. Add the peas and garlic and cook for a final 2 minutes. Stir in the basil.
  2. In a blender or food processor, blend/process the remaining ingredients until very smooth. Remove to a bowl and stir though the sautéed vegetables.
  3. Spread the filling over your prepared crust *, smooth over and bake for 30-40 minutes.
  4. Leave to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.
  5. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  1. * You will have EXTRA filling. I poured this into 4 oiled muffin cups and baked these alongside the whole quiche. Still delicious without the crust.
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Do you have Easter plans? What’s on the menu?

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Middle Eastern Lentils with Roasted Cauliflower, Sweet Potatoes & Dukkah

Middle-Eastern Lentils with Roasted Cauliflower, Sweet Potatoes & Dukkah

Middle Eastern Lentils with Roasted Cauliflower, Sweet Potatoes & Dukkah

Apologies again for the irregular posting. As I mentioned last time, I’m away in Geneva this month interning so have a lot going on. I’m missing sharing recipes with you (and my kitchen of course!) but I’m having a great time here and learning lots.

Olives et al "Love a Dukkah" hamper Today I want to introduce you to Olives et al. This British company was founded by a young couple who went on an adventure through the Mediterranean, Middle East and North Africa and brought back the flavours, ingredients and recipes they discovered. They very kindly sent me one of their gorgeous“Love a Dukkah” hampers, packed with goodies to try. Included in the hamper were:

Olive Oil - Egyptian Style Spiced Dukkah Aromatic Rub - Moroccan Inspired Tapenade Marocaine with Preserved Lemons- Sunshine Rosemary & Garlic Olives - Very Deli Herbed & Pitted Olives

This would make a lovely present for a fellow foodie friend.

Olives et al Dukkah

I’ll be sharing another recipe I made using one of the ingredients soon but today is all about the dukkah.

Have you tried it yet?

If you’re unfamiliar with it here’s a little info for you. “Dukkah” originates in Egypt and comes from the Arabic word “to pound”. Makes sense really since it’s made from toasted and crushed nuts, seeds and spices. Olives Et Al makes theirs from roasted almonds, hazelnuts, cumin, coriander, sesame and spices which they roast and grind themselves. It’s often served before a meal – everyone sits around dipping hunks of bread into olive oil, then into a plate of dukkah before munching.

I’ve been using dukkah in my cooking for a while- I love it sprinkled on top of a chickpea flour pancake with grilled peppers and onions, or over salad, and you might have caught my recipe for Roasted Carrot Hummus with Dukkah in the Spring edition of Fresh Vegan magazine

Roasted Cauliflower and Sweet Potatoes

When you thought vegetables simply roasted in coconut oil with s+p couldn’t get any better- add dukkah and you’ve got something even more magical!

Middle Eastern Lentils with Roasted Cauliflower, Sweet Potatoes & Dukkah

I especially adore roasted cauliflower  at the moment, and sweet potatoes of course never need any justification. For a complete meal, I served them on a bed of simple Middle Eastern lentils  and chard and sprinkled it all generously with the dukkah. It really is a wonderful ingredient to add that extra layer of flavour to a dish

Middle Eastern Lentils with Roasted Cauliflower, Sweet Potatoes & Dukkah

Middle-Eastern Lentils with Roasted Cauliflower, Sweet Potatoes & Dukkah
Serves 4
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For the vegetables
  1. 1 Small head of cauliflower, broken into florets
  2. 2 Small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  3. 2 Tbsp Coconut oil, melted
For the lentils
  1. 1/2 Tbsp Coconut oil/ olive oil
  2. 1 Onion, diced
  3. 2 Cloves of garlic, minced
  4. 1 tsp Ground cumin
  5. 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  6. 1/2 tsp All spice
  7. 1/2 C Puy lentils (Green are also fine but watch the cooking time as they can get mushy)
  8. 1 to 1-1/2C Water
  9. 1/2 tsp Salt
  10. 1/2 Bunch swiss chard OR kale, chopped ( approx 2 C)
  11. 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  12. Pepper
  13. Dukkah to serve
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
  2. Toss the sweet potato and cauliflower in the melted coconut oil and spread in a single layer in a roasting dish.
  3. Cook for 20-30 minutes, until the vegetables are firm but tender and the cauliflower is getting nice and crisp around the edges.
  4. Meanwhile, warm the remaining coconut/olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and spice and cook for a further minute, stirring. Add the lentils and water (start with the lower amount and add more if necessary).
  5. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Add the chard/kale and salt and cook for a further 5 minutes approx, until the lentils are cooked, greens are wilted and most of the water has been absorbed. Add the lemon juice and pepper to taste. Check for seasoning.
  7. Remove the lentils to a serving dish, top with the roasted vegetables and sprinkle generously with dukkah.
  8. Serve dukkah on the side so individuals can add more to their own serving.
Coconut and Berries
I’m sharing this recipe at the weekly link-up, Healthy Vegan Fridays.

Middle Eastern Lentils with Roasted Cauliflower, Sweet Potatoes & Dukkah

Have a browse on the Olives et al website, I’m sure you’ll find something which takes your fancy. I’ve got my eye on their new Smoky Chipotle Chili Olives and the gorgeous olive wood dishes to serve them in. As well as an impressive, award-winning range of handcrafted gourmet foods, Olives et al has delis in Sturminster Newton and Poundbury, Dorset, together with its very own café offering global cuisine (with veg options!)

How do/would you use dukkah?

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Vegan Persian Frittata

Vegan Persian Frittata

Vegan Persian Frittata

Writing my “All about Chickpea Flour” post earlier this week gave me the chance to delve through my recipe archives and rediscover some forgotten favourites. I’m constantly creating new recipes so I don’t often repeat old ones, despite how successful they are.  Amongst the recipes I highlighted were my Tofu Omelettes (Pesto-Ricotta with Cherry Tomatoes) and I couldn’t get the idea of making something similar out of my head. 

I’ve made vegan frittatas before, including my Roasted Vegetable one, but thought I’d add a little bit of a Middle Eastern twist this time as it’s been a long time since I’ve experimented with those flavours.

Vegan Persian Frittata

I feel like recipes with foreign names often sound more complicated than they necessarily are and frittatas are definitely one of them, even vegan-style! I use a simple base of tofu and chickpea flour which I spiked with ginger, garlic and fresh herbs. I sprinkled it generously with tangy, lemony sumac for a little extra jazziness.

You can either bake the frittata in the oven or cook it on the stovetop if you don’t have an oven-proof pan. 

Vegan Persian Frittata


Vegan Persian Frittata

Yield: 4 Servings

Vegan Persian Frittata


  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Clove of garlic, minced
  • 2" Fresh ginger, peeled and minced/grated
  • 1 Large courgette OR 2 small, sliced into half moons.
  • 1 350g/12oz pkg Silken tofu
  • 2 Tbsp Nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/3 C Almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Black salt (This gives it the "eggy" taste. Highly recommended)
  • 1/2 C Chickpea flour
  • 1 Tbsp Arrowroot
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley
  • Sumac


  1. Warm the olive oil in a large pan (oven-proof if baking) over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until soft.
  2. Add the garlic and ginger and continue to cook, stirring, for another minute.
  3. Add the courgette and cook for a further 8-10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, blend the silken tofu through to the black salt in a blender. Add the chickpea flour, arrowroot and salt and pepper and blend briefly again.
  5. Fold in a handful of chopped parsley.
  6. Spread the vegetables evenly in the pan and pour the frittata batter over, spreading with a spatula so it is evenly distributed.
  7. If cooking on the stovetop (this is what I usually do) cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Carefully slide onto a plate, flip the frittata and cook the reverse side for a further 15 minutes. It should be browned and firm to the touch.
  8. Alternatively, place the pan in the oven and bake for approx 30 minutes at 180C/350F
  9. Sprinkle liberally with sumac and fresh parsley to serve.

Vegan Persian Frittata

 For a light dinner, I served the frittata with a green salad and to carry on the Middle-Eastern feel I made another salad with beetroot and pomegranate. This one is a little sweet, a little tangy and a little spicy! It would be a tasty addition to a full-on Middle Eastern feast.


Beetroot-Pomegranate Salad
Serves 4
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  1. 3-4 Medium beetroot
  2. 3/4 C Pomegranate arils
  3. 1/8 tsp Chili flakes
  4. 1 Tbsp Pomegranate molasses
  5. 2 Tbsp Lemon juice
  6. 1/2 Tbsp Olive oil
  7. Salt and pepper, to taste
  8. 1/2 C Chopped fresh parsley OR coriander
  1. Scrub the beetroot, cut off the greens, wrap loosely in tin foil and bake at 200C/400F for 45 mins-1 hour, until very soft.
  2. When cool enough to handle, rub the skins off with your fingers. They should come off easily if the beetroot is fully cooked.
  3. Dice the beetroot and add to a bowl with the pomegranate arils. Mix the chili flakes through to the salt and pepper in a small bowl/jar. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir through the fresh herbs.
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Vegan Persian Frittata

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All about Chickpea Flour

All About Chickpea Flour

Chickpea flour, also know as garbanzo flour, gram flour or besan is simply a flour made from ground dried chickpeas. It’s one of my favourite store cupboard essentials and something I use very regularly. Whenever I post a picture on Instagram and mention chickpea flour I find I get a lot of questions about how to use it so hopefully this “All About Chickpea Flour” post will be helpful for those of you new to the ingredient and perhaps give a few more recipe ideas to those already familiar with it. My love affair with chickpea flour began a few years ago when I first tried “socca”, a traditional French flatbread recipe. Since then, I’ve discovered its versatility. It’s high protein, gluten-free and supposed to be more digestible than other legume flours (like soy flour), so suitable for pretty much everyone. All About Chickpea Flour- Tofu/Chickpea Flour Omelette

Pesto-Ricotta Tofu Omelettes with Cherry Tomatoes

It’s widely available these days, in Indian, Italian and French stores as well as health food stores and even some supermarkets. I tend to buy the Dove’s Farm brand as I can buy it locally but you can also make your own! I haven’t tried doing so yet as it is pretty cheap to just buy the flour readymade but if you’re into making things from scratch all you need is a high-powered blender, spice blender or food processor, and dried chickpeas. Process/blend on high for a few minutes then sift the fine flour to remove any unground chickpea pieces. This is definitely not an exhausted list as there are so many ways to use chickpea flour and I’m discovering more all the time.

All About Chickpea Flour- Chickpea Flour Scramble

Chickpea Flour Veggie Scramble

1. Vegan Omelettes and Scrambles I add chickpea flour to tofu omelettes to make them a little sturdier and easier to flip. You can also make vegan omelettes exclusively with chickpea flour like this one from the Fat Free Vegan. Newer to me, but even easier to make is the chickpea flour scramble which is essentially the same batter as for a chickpea flour omelette but scrambled up in a pan with any vegetables you like thrown in the mix. I’ve made a few variations on this including Mexican and Mediterranean style scrambles. Here’s a base recipe you can adjust to your tastes and what you have to hand.

All About Chickpea Flour- Baked Beetroot Falafel

Baked Beetroot Falafel

2. Veggie Burgers. It works wonderfully as a gluten-free/ grain-free binder for veggie burgers. Just add a few tablespoons to your mix of beans, grains, veggies, etc.

All About Chickpea Flour- Kidney Bean, Sweet Potato & Quinoa Patties

Kidney Bean, Sweet Potato & Quinoa Patties

All About Chickpea Flour- Sweet Potato, Red Lentil & Sesame Patties

Sweet Potato, Red Lentil & Sesame Patties

3. Quiche. I’ve made a few variations of this vegan and soy-frree Chickpea-Veggie Quiche before and recently tried this Chickpea-Cauliflower Crustless Quiche (pictured below) which turned out great.

All About Chickpea Flour- Chickpea-Cauliflower Crustless Quiche

Chickpea-Cauliflower Crustless Quiche

4. Pakora and Bhaji. Chickpea flour is used a lot in Indian cooking, often as a batter for pakora and bhaji. I’m a little wary of deep-frying so these Baked Lemon Cilantro Pakoras from Tess Challis’s “Radiant Health, Inner Wealth” via the taste space, were perfect for me.

5. Indian desserts. Chickpea flour isn’t just for savoury dishes. Try these vegan Besan Ladoo (sweet chickpea flour balls with cashews and raisins) from Vegan Richa.

5. Crackers. One of the easiest options for using chickpea flour as you don’t have to worry about raising agents or how “rustic” they look. When cooked, chickpea flour is pretty mild in taste so you can play around with different cracker flavours and add-ins.

All About Chickpea Flour- Simple Chickpea Flour Flatbreads

Chunky Black Bean Dip and veggies on Simple Chickpea Flour Flatbreads

6. Socca/Savoury Pancakes. I mentioned that I discovered chickpea flour when making socca. This Italian flatbread is one of those tasty recipes which goes well with so many things. You can adjust the amount of water to make it thinner or thicker to your liking.  Eat it all on its own, with various dips, use it for scooping up curries and wrapping around fillings or even for a gluten-free pizza base. This is the basic “recipe” I use. It can be made as a large pancake or several small ones.

Simple Chickpea Flour Flatbreads/Pancakes
Serves 2
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  1. 1/2 C Chickpea Flour
  2. 1/4 tsp Baking powder
  3. 1/2 tsp Salt
  4. Pinch of chili flakes
  5. Pepper
  6. 1/2 C Water
  7. (Fresh herbs, other spices, etc.)
  1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
  2. Whisk in the water until you have a smooth batter.
  3. Pour desired amount of batter onto a lightly oiled pan over medium heat and cook until dry around the edges. Flip and cook through.
  4. Cook time will vary depending on the size of your flatbreads/pancakes
  1. Warning: RAW chickpea flour tastes awful so I don't advise taste-tasting your batter!
Coconut and Berries

All About Chickpea Flour- Simple Chickpea Flour Flatbread

Simple Chickpea Flour Pancake topped with Roasted Peppers, Red Onions & Dukkah

7. Gluten-free Baking. Chickpea flour is often one of the flours in commercial all-purpose gluten-free flour mixes and you can combine it with your own favourite flours to make your own mix too. A good blog to check out for chickpea flour breads is The Edible Perspective. A couple of Ashley’s chickpea flour recipes I’ve made and enjoyed are the hearty Cinnamon-Coconut Raisin Bake and Socca Bake. These Chocolate Cupcakes also look incredible and are made entirely from chickpea flour! 

All About Chickpea Flour-Chickpea Flour Breakfast Pancakes

8. Pancakes. You can make sweet pancakes with chickpea flour as well as savoury ones.  I just use the same recipe as above, omitting the spices, using non-dairy milk instead of water and normally adding a little vanilla, cinnamon and sweetener. You can also simply combine chickpea flour with another flour for a higher-protein pancake, such as in this recipe from Choosing Raw.

 9. Soup. This Leek and Chickpea soup uses chickpea flour to thicken it as well as whole cooked chickpeas. 

10. Hummus! When you have no chickpeas cooked nor even a lonely can hanging out in your cupboards you can still get your hummus fix with a hummus made from chickpea flour instead of whole chickpeas.

Have you tried any of these ideas? How do you like to use Chickpea flour? If you’re new to Coconut and Berries, Please sign up for email updates and join me elsewhere: I’m on FacebookPinterest, Instagram (@coconutandberries), Google + and Twitter!

Lightened-up Caponata

Lightened-up Caponata

Lightened-up Eggplant Caponata

 I’m over on All About Vegan Food again today with a new recipe for you- my Lightened-up Caponata. Caponata is a traditional Italian aubergine/eggplant dish which is delicious but usually very rich.

Lightened-up Eggplant Caponata

I’ve taken my friend Giovanni’s family recipe and given it my own spin, making it a little lighter without compromising the flavour. I know aubergine isn’t really in season here yet but I’m crazy about olives and capers at the moment and haven’t had aubergine for so long so I couldn’t resist making caponata.

Lightened-up Eggplant Caponata

Head on over to All About Vegan Food for the recipe

I’m sharing this recipe over at Wellness Weekends (the finale!) too.