In Happy Food, Bettina Campolucci Bordi shares a collection of easy and delicious plant-based recipes that anyone can incorporate into their busy life. Whether you’re looking to eat more veggies or have decided to turn vegan but don’t want to compromise on taste, this is the book for you.
Bettina’s philosophies are simple: she believes that food is meant to make you happy! Whether it’s love at first sight because a dish looks so colourful and delicious, or at the first hit of flavours when they burst into your mouth, everything you eat should put a smile on your face. With recipes including Hearty Buckwheat Waffles, a tasty Korean Pancake, a delicious yet quick One Pot Curry in a Hurry, and the decadent Hazelnut Bites, Bettina proves that nutritious food doesn’t have to be restrictive.
Happy Food is designed to take you through your busy day and will easily meet the needs of any modern household. Bettina is also a firm believer that meat-free food doesn’t have to cost the earth—you’ll find recipes containing ingredients that can easily be sourced from your local supermarket, and she even uses white potatoes! Her passion and expertise lie in how to use everyday ingredients, and she makes them tasty in the simplest possible way.
Visit Bettina’s blog Bettinaskitchen.com which features plant-based foods and recipes that are gluten and refined sugar-free.
Sticky Toffee Pudding with Sticky Toffee Sauce
250 ml (81/2 fl oz / 1 cup) Almond Milk or plant milk, shop-bought or home-made
300 g (101/2 oz / 2 cups) Medjool dates, stoned (pitted)
80 g (3 oz / 1/2 cup) coconut sugar
125 ml (4 fl oz / 1/2 cup) coconut oil
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda= (baking soda)
95 g (31/2 oz / 3/4 cup) Gluten-free
1 vanilla pod (bean), seeds scraped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground clove pinch of pink Himalayan salt
For the sticky toffee sauce
140 g (5 oz / 1 cup) coconut sugar
250 ml (81/2 fl oz / 1 cup) coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
Vanilla Custard (recipe below)
Preheat the oven to 190ºC (375ºF/Gas 5). Line a 20 cm (8 ins) square cake tin (pan) with greaseproof paper (wax paper) or use a good-quality silicone mould.
Start with the pudding. In a small saucepan gently heat the milk and dates for 5–10 minutes until the dates have softened. Once softened, set aside.
In a blender, blitz the coconut sugar and coconut oil until the sugar has mostly disintegrated.
Add the bicarbonate of soda to the milk and date mix—it will start to fizz and bubble, but that is okay.
In a bowl, combine the flour, vanilla, spices, pinch of salt, coconut oil and sugar mix along with
the dates and milk mixture and give everything a good stir.
Pour into the cake tin (pan) and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
While the pudding is cooking, make the sauce. Heat a pan over medium heat, add the coconut sugar and coconut milk and let it heat through.
Add the salt and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let it simmer for 20 minutes until the caramel has thickened. Stir it occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn. A great way of knowing if it’s ready is to see if it sticks to the back of your spoon.
Stir in a little more salt if desired and either use it straight away or let it cool down before storing in a glass jar—it will become even thicker as it cools.
Once the cake is done, transfer to a wire rack to cool and enjoy with a home-made custard and a drizzle of sticky toffee sauce.
Tip The cake, custard and toffee sauce all last for a long time in the fridge—well, that is, if you can keep your hands off them!—or freezer.
Makes 500 ml (17 fl oz / 2 cups)
2 tablespoons very fine cornflour (cornstarch), such as Maizena
500 ml (17 fl oz / 2 cups) coconut milk (preferably from a Tetra Pak that is consistently creamy and doesn’t separate)
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 whole vanilla pod (bean), scraped
Blend the cornflour with a little bit of the coconut milk in a medium pan over a medium heat, whisking until you have an even consistency. Then add the rest of the ingredients including the scraped vanilla pod—there is still a lot of goodness there—whisking until the cornflour and vanilla are fully incorporated into the coconut milk.
Whisk until the custard starts to thicken and then, as soon as the mixture begins to boil, take it off the heat and let it cool.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Hardie Grant Books.