Spanakopita - Greek Spinach Filo Pastry Pie

A delicious vegetarian dish, perfect for spring! The combination of crisp filo and soft filling is wonderful and the comforting nature of a pie is just what you want whilst the weather is a bit miserable. The cheese and herbs disguise the copious amount of spinach - which is packed full of vitamin c and iron. You could use frozen spinach and omit stage one in the method, just wait for it to defrost before starting the recipe.

Chocolate, Orange and Olive Oil Cake

A deliciously rich and moist cake, perfect with a dollop or crème fraiche or coconut yoghurt, a grating of orange zest and some crunchy toasted hazelnuts. 

Asparagus and Baby Leeks with Romesco Sauce and Pine Nuts

Asparagus is delicious at the moment and more reasonably priced than any other time throughout the year. The soft sweetness of the asparagus goes brilliantly well with the smoky sharpness of the romesco sauce, and the toasted pine nuts and a welcome crunch.

Banana Oat Muffins

These are an excellent use of store cupboard supplies and over ripe bananas! The ingredients can be easily subbed so use whatever you have at home, we’ve given some pointers in the recipe below but ask us any questions you have! They’re super easy to bake with children too if they need some afternoon entertainment this week!

Gigantes Plaki - Greek Baked Beans with Feta and Herbs

A perfect brunch recipe for this weekends isolation. This is a one pot dish that you can probably make with your store cupboard ingredients. You can substitute the butter beans for any other type of bean, and you could throw in any spice pastes to give it an extra boost! It's also delicious without feta, you could use any other cheese or top with a fried egg!

Pancake Day

What better way to celebrate Shrove Tuesday than with these delicious vegan raspberry pancakes. The ground flaxseeds are a good egg substitute and the baking powder helps them to rise. Using spelt flour means they contain lower levels of gluten and is a healthier alternative to white flour.

2020 Food Trends

The 2020 food trends everyone’s going to be talking about. Read our article in BBC Food for our food predictions in 2020.

Brussells Sprouts, Smoked Almonds, Chestnut and Pomegranate Salad

Brusells sprouts are loaded with fibre, vitamins and minerals, so amongst all the super indulgent Christmas food, try this delicious winter salad. It’s super crunchy, beautifully balanced and the pomegranates create a beautiful jeweled finish, perfect for a Christmas spread.

Vegan Christmas Mushrooms

It can be such a challenge to please all your guests on Christmas day. We always have a vegetarian option on our menu and this year is no exception. We’ve veered away from pastry and heavy nut roasts, and have created this delightful plant based alternative which even the meat eaters will love. 

Boozy Dairy Free Hazelnut Hot Chocolate

A delicious plant based and boozy hot chocolate – perfect for a winter evening in front of the fire. This recipe is just as delicious without the Frangelica, and of course, you could add a little more maple syrup if you prefer yours sweeter.

Vegan Parsnip and Ginger Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce

This vegan and parsnip ginger pudding is somewhere between a carrot cake and a sticky toffee pudding. It contains parsnips, apple, banana AND dates as well as spices which are high in antioxidants, which gives us all a much needed boost over the winter months. It's also a delicious pudding to serve on Christmas day if you have some vegan guests, you could even add some booze soaked sultanas to the mix for a more adult pud.

Parsnip Soup with Spicy Chestnut and Chilli Gremolata

This is a wonderful soup, for either a plant based starter or a delicious wholesome lunch. Parsnips are full of goodness, they’re rich in potassium and folic acid and are a hugely underrated winter vegetable. 

Winter Ox Cheek and Beetroot Casserole with Horseradish Salsa

Ox cheek is an underrated cut of meat, it’s excellent value for money and breaks down so beautifully when cooked on a low heat for a lengthy amount of time. It’s very strong in flavour, but it can really stand up to the bold spices and red wine in this recipe. The horseradish salsa is an accompaniment, but it really helps cut through the rich earthiness of the casserole, and balances it so beautifully.

Chicory, Pear, Stilton and Pecan Salad

Christmas can be super indulgent, but food doesn’t have to always be so heavy and rich. This is a delicious salad recipe, which goes wonderfully alongside boxing day leftovers. Chicory (or endive) is a beautiful leaf, mostly grown in Holland, but it is now available in the UK. It is a little bitter in flavour but is balanced so well with the sweet crisp pear, creamy gorgonzola and earthy crunchy pecan, rounded off with a white balsamic dressing. 

Scandi Breakfast Bowl

This healthy and filling Scandinavian inspired breakfast is such a hit with our clients. The combination of textures and flavours really balances the dish well, and it contains high amounts of protein for those who have hit the gym hard. 

Pear and Pecan Bircher

High in antioxidants and fibre, oats are an excellent way start to the day. This is a great breakfast to make at the weekend, and then any leftover can be eaten on Monday morning as it keeps well in the fridge for a few days. Children love it too, and it’s a great way to keep them fuelled until lunchtime. If they like things a little sweeter, you can always drizzle some maple syrup onto their bowls.

Roasted Pumpkin, Sticky Red Onion, Feta and Rocket Salad with Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Our salads are always full of textures and flavour combinations to create a dish in perfect harmony. Here the sweetness of the pumpkin and onions, contrasts beautifully with saltiness of the feta and the bitter earthiness of the rocket. The crunchy pumpkin seed pesto adds welcome texture against the softness of the pumpkin and feta.

Dairy Free Raspberry and Coconut French Toast

This is a deliciously quick and easy weekend breakfast recipe. The golden crispy toast against the creamy coconut yoghurt and sweet raspberries is such a delight. If you can’t get hold of fresh raspberries, especially at this time of the year, then frozen ones work brilliantly. You could substitute the raspberries for any fruit, blueberries work really well and are full of antioxidants!

Levain Bakery - Chocolate Cookies

A recent trip to New York got us caught in a foodie frenzy. There were so many places to choose from, we were spoilt for choice, plus we were lacking in time, so we picked our restaurants, bars and cafes meticulously. We took to Instagram for recommendations, as well as hitting up some locals for all the top places to try. One eatery that topped the charts every time was the Levain Bakery – famous for their OTT cookies. 

Chickpea Kale Salad with Cashew Dressing

A wonderful side dish or standalone lunch. This dish contains a tonne of nutrients and is beautifully balanced as the spicy chickpeas are teamed against the creaminess of the dressing and the freshness of the kale and any other vegetables you choose to add!

Peanut Butter, Oat and Dark Chocolate Energy Balls

Perfect with a cup of tea, these afternoon pick me ups are great for that mid afternoon slump or pre/post gym treat. There are countless recipes available for energy balls online, but these ones are great if you don’t have access to a food processor. You can play about with the ingredients, but we find these ones are loved, especially by children and teenagers. They're SO easy to make, you can pop a couple in your bag and they will prevent everyone hitting that slump.

Vegan Chocolate Pots

We put our silken tofu to excellent use in these super simple and delicious chocolate pots. You could eat these all year round, and garnish with seasonal fruits of your choice. In the summer these would be great with summer berries and in the winter, maybe add some cinnamon, chia mix or some coffee granules for a lightly spiced warming flavour.

Nori Rolls with Spicy Almond Dipping Sauce

Whether as a snack, an entire meal or a side dish, we crave these nori rolls all the time. They happen to be raw and plant based (unless you add salmon or tuna – also delicious!), and we just love them, as do so many of our clients. They have a delicious balance of salty, sweet, sour and spicy – the crunchy vegetables paired so well against the creamy almond dipping sauce. 

Homemade Nut Butter - Almond and Coconut

Has nut butter ever been more popular? New brands are popping up all the time, most of them championing their ‘no palm oil’ approach to making nut butter, which we support, BIG time. Our favourites are Pip and Nut’s Almond and Coconut and Manilife’s Deep Roasted Peanut, both sublime and highly addictive. 

Vegan Cacao, Almond and Salted Date Caramel Tart

Vegan or not, this tart is a winner for all your guests, and it can be adapted beautifully to suit all seasons. We served ours in early summer where raspberries are just coming into season, but you could easily dress the tart with blackberries in the autumn, orange crisps in the winter, or cinnamon pear slices in the late winter early spring

Balinese Peanut Satay

The Balinese food scene is incredible and just our cup of tea - beautiful fragrant ingredients, fresh local produce, predominantly vegetarian and packed full of flavour. There were just so many memorable food moments I can’t include them all in this post, but here I have chosen the number one recipe that I took from Bali – Sambal Kacang. 

Date, Feta and Red Cabbage Salad

A salad for all seasons and all occasions. A salad that, in all honesty, doesn’t even taste like a salad. It’s crunchy, crisp, sweet, salty, zingy and spicy all in one. Whilst red cabbages are best in the winter months, you can get hold of them all year round, the key is to buy a crisp one, and slice it as finely as you can.

Vegan Super Seed Loaf

In a quest to find the best recipe for a delicious seeded gluten free loaf which is free from white processed flour, we have tried and tested various recipes, but have found this one to be an absolute winner. We love this vegan loaf, sliced and toasted, with some beautiful smoked salmon and avocado for breakfast, or with some fruity sweet jam and lashings of butter. 

Duchess Oil – Farming, Food and Festivals

Last week, we had the pleasure of meeting Max and Oscar from Duchess Farms, based in Sawbridgeworth. We were so pleased to meet some fellow Hertfordshire folk doing so amazingly well in the world of food.

Rhubarb and Vanilla Porridge with Pistachios

Porridge is a BIG love of ours, it's a cheap and versatile breakfast, perfectly suited to every season. It’s a big bowl of comfort, rich and creamy, yet nourishing with many health benefits. We like to keep our porridge seasonal as and when we can, so here we have shared our recipe for rhubarb and vanilla porridge with pistachios.

Slow Cooked Spring Lamb with Mint, Mustard and Caper Salsa

Lamb is one of the joys of spring, and as the days become brighter, we could think of no better way to spend a Sunday than surrounded by our best friends, a glass of wine, and a spring feast of lamb with our mint, mustard and caper salsa.

Vegan Raw Cacoa and Pistachio Brownies

A fabulous afternoon treat and perfect for a crowd. We made these for a recent client as they were desperate for a rich, fudgey brownie, but they were being very careful about their diet and wouldn’t allow a classic brownie to pass their lips.

April – National Stress Awareness Month 

As it turns out, April is National Stress Awareness Month, a slightly odd choice given that summer is on its way – the sun is a definite stress buster for us! Try our griddled salmon, greens, horseradish yoghurt and pine nut recipe for a midweek stress busting supper.

Welcome to H–Life 

Eighteen months on from Hakuna’s launch and you may notice that our company doesn't operate in exactly the same way as when we first started out. Whilst our friends and family have got to grips with where we are now, those further afield might be interested in getting up to speed, so we're going to let you in on the secret life of a start up and share Hakuna’s story which has led us to where we are now.