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Jay Halford

Butternut Squash Sausage Rolls

Butternut Squash Sausage Rolls

A perfect winter warmer and a great dish to serve up to friends and family. These vegan sausage rolls hit the spot when it comes to comfort food. Freeze them uncooked for convenience or prep with this recipe as it makes 6 servings and will keep for 3 days when refrigerated or up to a month frozen.

  • Cuisine: Vegan
  • Preparation Time: 30 Mins
  • Cooking Time: 50 Mins
  • Total time: 80 Mins
  • Servings: Makes 6 Portions
  • Allergens: Cereal, Soya
  • Storage: Refrigerate for up to 3 days when cooked or freeze when uncooked for up to 1 month!

Ingredients

  • 340g Diced Butternut Squash (Cut in half, peel and remove the seeds).
  • 70g Baby Leaf Spinach (Wash and dry)
  • 2 Cloves of Fresh Garlic (Peel and finely dice)
  • One Small Red Onion (Peel and fine dice)
  • 5ml Dark Gluten Free Soy Sauce
  • 220g of  Tinned Butter Beans – Approx 1 Can (Drained and washed)
  • A Small Handful of Fresh Coriander (stems removed and finely chop)
  • A Small Handful of Fresh Basil (stems removed and finely chop)
  • Fresh Thyme (stems removed and finely chop)
  • 15ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 225g Puff Pastry Sheets (21cm x 40cm)
  • 10ml Almond Milk
  • 100g Natural Breadcrumbs
  • Salt and Pepper

Equipment Needed

  • Chef’s knife
  • Sauce pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Large bakings trays x 2
  • Large mixing bowls
  • Food processor
  • Pastry brush
  • Baking parchment
  • Scales

Method

  • Put 340g of diced butternut squash onto 2 baking trays and coat with 10ml of olive oil and finely chopped thyme. Season with salt and pepper and roast on 200°C for 30 minutes (swap the trays round halfway through).
  • Heat a thick-based saucepan over a medium heat and add 5ml of cold pressed olive oil. Once the oil is hot add the red onion and garlic and gently fry until the onion is golden and soft.
  • Put the cooked onion and garlic into a food processor along with the roasted butternut squash.
  • Drain the butterbeans and add them to the food processor along with the freshly chopped coriander, basil and spinach plus 10ml of soy sauce.
  • Lastly, add the breadcrumbs.
  • Add a pinch of salt and pepper and pulse the mixture in the food processor until the ingredients are combined but still chunky so that the mixture retains a good texture.
  • Set the mixture aside and allow it to cool for approx 10 minutes.
  • Keeping the pastry on the parchment paper, cut it into one piece measuring 21x40cm.
  • Place the filling in the centre the whole way along the middle of the sheet of pastry.
  • Once the filling is on the pastry, wash one of the exposed sections of pastry with 5ml of almond milk. This will allow the pastry to stick together as you roll the sausage roll. Roll the bottom edge of the pastry over the filling and continue to roll the sausage roll the whole way over and round until the sausage roll is complete.
  • Cut the sausage roll in half and place it onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  • Brush the whole outside of the sausage roll with almond milk.
  • Score the top of the “sausage roll” with the blunt side of a knife.
  • Place into the oven and bake at 200 degrees for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, turn the tray and cook for a further 20 minutes. Then roll the whole sausage roll over and remove the parchment paper from the bottom and cook for a further 10 minutes upside down. This will allow the bottom of the pastry to become crisp and ensure it is fully cooked.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  • Cut into 6 equal portions and serve on a long wooden chopping board covered with a sheet of unbleached parchment paper.

Nutritional Info

(Per Portion / Slice)

  • Calories (kcal): 305
  • Protein: 6.9g
  • Fats: 14.7g
  • Of which saturates: 6.3g
  • Carbohydrates: 37.6g
  • Of which sugars: 4.4g
  • Fibre: 4.6g
  • Salt: 0.6g

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The Green Goddess of Fruit

Did you know that the avocado is actually a fruit? Well, it is and is also known as the fruit of the avocado tree, which is called Persea Americana and often referred to as an “alligator pear” due to the texture of its skin!

It’s renowned for being a superfood, due to its nutritional values increasing popularity amongst nutritionists, dieticians and food enthusiasts. This is for good reason 

FACT 1

Avocados contain more soluble fibre potassium than other fruit and is also filled with various minerals, which include iron, potassium and copper. They are also a good source of the folate, a B vitamin.  

FACT 2 

As well as being a virtuous. nutritious food, consuming avocados can increase the nutrient value of other plant foods that you eat. So, all those plant-based recipes you’ve been re-creating at home will provide your body with even more antioxidants, which can often go to waste. Don’t fancy avocado with your dish? Then drizzle avocado oil over your vegetables and continue to reap the benefits. 

FACT 3

Avocados may help relieve symptoms of arthritis.  Studies have shown that avocado oil and soybean oil can significantly reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Research is still ongoing, but if there’s anything we can do to help alleviate this common problem in the Western world, then it’s worth doing. 

FACT 4

Avocados are an excellent source of vitamin E and monounsaturated fat – so, very good for the skin but should be consumed in moderation due to the high fat content. Don’t worry, it’s the good type of fat and said to be better for heart health than saturated fat. So choose an avocado over crisps! 

FACT 5

They are delicious and versatile.

I surely don’t need to expand on this but I will anyway… That creamy, rich texture well it blends with so many ingredients but one of my favourites is my Guacamole and Baked Avocado and Egg. They go well on toast, with eggs, salads oh and chilli chocolate mousse – yes, you read that correctly: a healthy, chocolate mousse… Just one thing you need to be aware of it ensuring it is ripe enough for consumption. Nobody likes an overripe avocado.  

The avocado should feel slightly soft and another good indicator is if the pip at the top comes off easily.  Another tip is to add lemon juice to you avocado; once spooned out of it’s skin, the nutrients in avocado can oxidise very quickly so this will prolong the benefits. Lastly, don’t put them in the fridge until they are ripe. 

Sugar Bomb

Not all sugars are equal but we do need to look at how much we are consuming. It won’t be news to you but the average adult is eating way more sugar than necessary, which is linked to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, fatty liver disease and obesity… to name a few!

The majority of this sugar isn’t always related to natural sugars that occur in products including fruit and milk, meaning this will be due to heavily processed foods and even those disguised as ‘healthy’ and ‘low fat’.

Thinking of ditching sugar or curious as to how you could limit it?

Firstly, I wouldn’t recommend a ‘sugar diet’ – it’s about tweaking your lifestyle and habits whereby choosing natural, unprocessed foods becomes the go-to and not quick fixes. Sadly, the majority of our food is processed and refined, which is damaging our health so ditching this side of it should be explored for your health.

Sweet Tooth?

Ditching the white stuff doesn’t mean that you can’t get your sweet fix anymore. What I can show you through my recipes and online course is how to replace sugary foods with healthier (and even tastier!) alternatives; meaning you get your fix but also a dose of essential vitamins and minerals.

How To Cut Out Refined Sugar

1.Slowly does it!

Take your time––gradually reducing the amount of sugar in your diet will make it more manageable and will be more realistic.

Begin byeliminating the most obvious sources of sugar: Baked Goodies – yes, that meansthose temptingcakes, muffins, and brownies, which look good on the outside but aren’t so good on the inside. We can recreate versions of these!

Then start reducing the amount of sugar you have, if any, in your hot drinks. Eventually, you can reduce this to not needing that extra sweetness as your palate cravings will adapt.

2. Read labels

Getting used to reading labels of a productscan help identify types of sugars to avoid and whether or not to use that item.

The tricky thing is not all sugars are labelled “sugar”. With various names and in many different syrups and concentrates, there are over 60differentnames for sugar on food labels.

Themain culprits are:

  • cane sugar or brown sugar
  • corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup
  • evaporated cane juice
  • invert sugar
  • beet sugar
  • coconut sugar
  • maple syrup
  • agave syrup
  • rice syrup
  • juice concentrate
  • honey
  • demerara
  • sucanat
  • panela or piloncillo
  • turbinado
  • muscovado

Alarm bells should also ring for any ingredients that end with “-ose”:

  • sucrose
  • glucose
  • dextrose
  • fructose
  • lactose

3. Avoid simple carbs

It’s best for you to avoid simple carbohydrates such as white flour, white pasta, and white rice. The reason being is that these foods can be quickly broken down into sugar in the body, which can cause the blood sugar levels to spike – meaning you end up craving more or get that energy slump! Swapping these fox wholegrain options will make a difference straight away.

4. Avoid artificial sugars

Many people will swap refined sugar for artificial sugars and although they can give that sweet punch or certain acquired taste with little or no calories, they should still be avoided. Artificial sweeteners will trick the body to think it’s consuming sugar, which can lead to you craving more sugar to get that next fix. Sounds addictive? That’s because it is.

An example of artificial sugars include:

  • Splenda
  • Stevia
  • Equal
  • Nutrasweet
  • Sweet’N Low

Products labeled as ‘low sugar’, ‘ low fat’, ‘ low calorie’ or ‘diet’ will still contain sugar but in a chemical form. These include:

  • aspartame
  • sucralose
  • saccharin
  • acesulfame k or acesulfame potassium
  • neotame

5. Do not drink sugar

Fizzy drinks can, sadly, be many people’s downfall as these are often laden with sugar. Try replacing these drinks with unsweetened herbal tea, coffee without sugar, sparkling mineral water, or just plain water. You will be surprised at how much your sugar intake will be reduced and you will be more hydrated. can help a person reduce their sugar intake and stay hydrated.

6. Focus on whole-foods

Processed foods are more likely to contain refined ingredients or added sugarsso focusing on consuming whole and complete foods will ensure you are including ingredients such

A diet with a focus on eating whole and complete foods will be rich in:

  • vegetables
  • fruits
  • tofu
  • fish
  • whole, unprocessed grains and legumes
  • nuts and seeds

7. Spice It up

The palate often misses sugar because it’s craving flavour, therefore using sweet-tasting herbs and spices are worth exploring. Products such as salad dressing and condiments, pasta sauce, breakfast cereals, milk, and granola bars often have sugar in their ingredients list. Check out my blog on seasoning for more information.

How will it help?

It may feel like an effort to begin with and will take short while for your body to adjust but know that you will feel so much better for it. Your body doesn’t know how to process refined sugar, panics, then stores it as fat! Reducing your visceral fat (fat around your vital organs) is crucial and embarking on a life without so much sugar will only benefit you.

You will notice:

  • Weight loss
  • Improved energy
  • Clearer skin
  • Less mood swings
  • The risk of digestive conditions and type 2 diabetes will be reduced.

I’m ready but I don’t know what to cook?

I am launching a new online food course, which will show you how to prepare the most delicious recipes that your body and organs will adore. It will be a step-by-step guide; with videos, downloadable recipes and real food. Click here to register your interest so you can join us.

Seasoning: When, Where and How

Do you like to sprinkle a little seasoning over your dishes? I do and I bet you do too. Seasonings are there to enhance and compliment the flavour in your food, which will make the eating experience even more pleasurable, making it an important element in my cooking.

If you’ve been following my journey for a while, you will know that I’m all about the food with the natural flavour of food being my main focus. like my food to taste how it is supposed to, so when it comes to seasoning I keep things at a minimum.

The two most fundamental and widely used spices are salt and pepper. Typically, what people think of when speaking of salt and pepper is white, granulated salt and pre-ground black pepper–but these are far from the only kinds of salt and pepper that exist.

Salt Rocks

Rock salt is a great salt variation, the larger crystals carry a punch. Sea salt is cherished by many as a more natural, culinary salt. There’s also Kosher, iodized, pickling and black salt, amongst many more.

My absolute favourite is Himalayan pink salt–yep, it comes directly from the Himalayas and is pink. If you’re considering going pink then you’re onto a good thing; it’s a far better alternative to processed salt and by using just the right amount in your foodis actually very good for your health. Yup – salt can be healthy. Pink Himalayan sea salt contains over 84 minerals and trace elements, including: calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron. So, it definitelydoesmore than enhance the favour of your food. You can also add it to hot baths to ease sore, tired muscles too!

Pepper Time

There is a vast assortment of peppers to explore ranging from your basic black pepper to chilli, jalapeño, habanero, cayenne to a white pepper, each with its own degree of spiciness and subtle flavour distinctions.

Spice Game

Let’s look a bit closer at other seasonings – we will explore blends shortly! Most individual seasonings are classed as herbs or spices.Herbs are usually the fresh or dried leaves of succulent plants that grow in particularly temperate climates. Spices tend to referto any seasoning derivedfrom the other parts of the plant besides the leaves, including the roots, stems, bark, seeds, fruit or buds.

Just to add a ‘sprinkle’ of confusion, chefs will use these two terms differently; spicescanbe used to describe all seasonings, including herbs.

Whereas herbs will have a somewhat milder flavour, spices are likely to be more pronounced. The most common cooking herbs willinclude: basil, oregano, marjoram, parsley, rosemary, thyme and dill. Common culinary spices include cinnamon, paprika (another pepper),turmeric, ginger, saffron and cumin. Ginger and garlic are both considered spices as well.

An interesting fact for you:

Did you know that some herbs and spices cancome from different parts of the same plant?

Dill seed and dill weed. Two other herbs, cilantro and coriander, both come from the same plant, but at two different stages in its growth cycle.

Many herbs and spices come from different varieties of the same plant, such as the mind-boggling array of types of basil, including Thai basil, Lemon basil, Cinnamon basil and Royal basil. What’s more, basil is just one kind of mint, of which there’s an even greater variety. Interestingly, although many herbs and spices, like licorice, fennel and star anise, have a very similar flavour but are actually not linked to one another at all!

Try It You Might Like It

Experiment! Different seasonings and blends applied to similar dishes may take you on entirely different culinary journeys.

When creating raw dishes, I have a strong focus on seasonings as this really enhances the flavour of dishes.

My main ones include:

– lemon juice

– tamari

– cinnamon

– vanilla

– nutritonal yeast

Are you a seasoned pro or are there specific ones that you stick to. Explore my free recipes on my blog or download my eBook for inspiration for dishes that will use a variety of seasonings.