Roasted Sweet Potato with Spinach and Thyme

Roasted Sweet Potato with Spinach and Thyme

So I had an extra sweet potato lying around when I was making Thanksgiving dinner. It seemed wasteful not to use it, especially for this meal. I had to think quick—I was already harried—roasted? Yes. That would do it. But don’t misunderstand. This is a great side dish to any fall meal, not just Thanksgiving.

Roasted Sweet Potato with Spinach and Thyme

Roasted Sweet Potato with Spinach and Thyme


  • 1 sweet onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, coarsely chopped into 1 ½  -2” pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. EVOO
  • Kosher salt to taste (I used about a tsp.)
  • 1 heaping tsp. fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • Pinch white pepper
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • A handful of raw baby spinach leaves


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, toss the sweet potato and onion with the EVOO.
  3. Next, add the dry ingredients, reserving the spinach for later.
  4. Place the veggies on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes.
  5. After 30 minutes, remove the veggies from oven and scrape them into a medium casserole dish.
  6. Stir in the spinach and cover the dish. The heat from the potato and onion will slightly wilt the spinach.

Stay tuned on Lulu’s Cafe for more healthy recipes. Cheers!

Vegan Cowboy Beans

Yeah, the first two words sound like an oxymoron.

I made these recently for a birthday luncheon at the office—it was something I could scratch up pretty quickly and simmer in a crockpot on low for most of the afternoon. It’s adapted from this recipe from the Carolina Treet website. (Incidentally, if you’ve never tried Carolina Treet, you are really missing something in your life. It’s spicy, vinegary goodness and deserves its own post. Mental note.)

Anyway, here is the vegan version:

Vegan Cowboy Beans

Bush’s Baked Beans can be found almost anywhere, and they’re made right down the road from me in Knoxville, TN. I like that Bush’s has a vegetarian option, as most baked beans contain pork fat. And when you read the label, you won’t find high fructose corn syrup or any weird unpronounceable ingredients. I realize that these are indeed from a can, but sometimes you have to take shortcuts.



  • 1 package of Yves Meatless Ground
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped
  • ½ medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • ½ to ¾ c. Carolina Treet Original Cooking Barbecue Sauce
  • ½ c. organic ketchup
  • ¼ c. organic brown sugar
  • 28 oz. can Bush’s Vegetarian Baked Beans


Sauté the onion and peppers for a few minutes on medium-high heat. Then add the meatless ground.

While that is cooking, add beans to a medium crock pot and stir in the other ingredients. When the meatless ground and vegetables are ready, add them to the beans and simmer for an hour or two. †

†As an alternative, you can bake them in an oven set to 350 for 30 minutes to an hour.

If you have any queries regarding the recipe, just ping me here.

Creamed Corn with Roasted Peppers

After staring blankly into the freezer for a few seconds and trying to decide on a side dish for dinner, I spotted two freezer bags of sweet corn.  Back in the late summer, I bought several ears of local corn because I knew I’d miss it in the winter. I was right.

Now, the measurements below depend on a few factors: the sweetness of the corn and Scoville units.  The corn I had was a mix of sweet and not-so-sweet. So I used 3 tablespoons of cane sugar. If you have super sweet corn, you may want to reduce the amount of sugar you add. And since I used low heat peppers, I added hot pepper flakes. However, if you use jalapenos, chipotles, or habaneros, I suggest you leave out the flakes. I only used the flakes to improvise since I didn’t have the hotter peppers on hand.

Creamed Corn with Roasted Peppers

This recipe makes plenty! I like to cook large amounts so I can bring leftovers for my work week lunches. It beats opening a can of soup. (How drab!) Note that you can add a couple of tablespoons of vegan cream cheese to this recipe if you like.

Creamed Corn with Roasted Peppers


  • 2 Tbsp. Earth Balance
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 Anaheim peppers
  • 1 Red or orange bell pepper
  • 5 ½ c. corn
  • ½ c. unsweetened soy milk
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp. cane sugar
  • 1 tsp. hot pepper flakes
  • Black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
  2. Cut peppers in half and remove the seeds.  Place the halves sliced side down on the prepared baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes.
  3. Keep an eye on them; the skins should bubble, and at that time, turn them over to roast the other side for a few more minutes.
  4. Make sure they have a nice brown hue around the areas where they’ve bubbled. This will indicate that they’re done.
  5. Remove peppers from the baking sheet, and place in a bowl. Tightly fit plastic wrap over the bowl and let them steam for a few minutes.
  6. Next, in a food processor, process 3 cups of the corn, reserving the rest.
  7. In a large pot, with the Earth Balance and flour, make a roux. Add the processed corn and the whole kernel corn to the pot and stir.
  8. Then add the soy milk, salt, sugar, black pepper, and hot pepper flakes. Continue stirring.
  9. Remove the skins from the roasted peppers and dice. Add them to the pot. Cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes. Serve.

If you have any doubt regarding this recipe feel free to contact us here.

Little Coconut Snowballs

I’m prepping food for tomorrow’s special Plant-Based Picnic Christmas Beauty Brunch that Maxine and I hosting with the amazing Neal’s Yard Remedies in Covent Garden.

The brunch is the last commit that I have this year before I head off with my lovely friend Hannah to Marrakech for some much needed R&R. I’ve definitely overdone things over the last few months, and my body has definitely started suffering, so from next year I’m going to have to be a lot more careful about what I do and make sure that I take the time I need to look after myself.

I’ve booked in private sessions with a yoga instructor who has EDS and understands my body (amazing) and is hoping to start meditation, eating better again and make sure everything is planned in a way I can also look after myself while trying to succeed and do well at life.

Luckily, I’m the laziest cook, and making sweet and delicious treats in minutes is my specialty. These coconutty date balls are the perfect treat to whip up over Christmas.


  • 1 cup pitted Medjool dates (if they’re tough, soak for about ten minutes)
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 2-3 good pinches of desiccated coconut (and another 1/4 or so cup in a separate bowl)
  • Scant 1/4 cup mixed seeds (I use Punch Foods Supersedes)
  • Pinch of pink Himalayan salt


  • Throw the dates, cacao nibs, 1/4 cup of desiccated coconut, flax, seeds, and salt into the food processor. Buzz until the dates are broken down and everything is combined and sticky.
  • Roll the mixture into small balls (the size is up to you) and then roll the balls into a small bowl of desiccated coconut to create the snowball.
  • Put your dates in a box and freeze for about an hour. I like to keep them in the freezer for as long as they haven’t been nommed.

7 Types of Shower Heads

There are different types of Shower Heads available and each of them has their own set of pros and cons. If you were wondering how to determine the best type of shower head for your bathroom, then this article will definitely help you in doing that.

We have discussed about the different types of Shower Heads that are currently used by users:

1. Fixed Shower Head

As the name suggests, a fixed shower head is attached to a shower arm which is attached to a shower arm that comes out of the wall. You can change a fixed shower head by simply unscrewing the old one and then installing a new one. This is one of the cheapest shower heads and can offer you basic water flow.

2. Handheld Shower Head

In this type of shower head, the shower head is attached to a long rubber hose which can be bundled into a cradle when you are not using it.

Hand held showerhead

You can this type of shower head as a fixed shower head but once you take it out of its cradle, you can use it to bathe your pets, kids, wash tubs and shower walls, and so on. It is really flexible and comes in different lengths which makes it really convenient to use.

3. Water-Saving Shower Head

If you are an eco-friendly person, then water-saving shower head is the ideal product for you. This type of shower heads use as little as 1 gpm and can help you greatly in conserving water and water bill. This type of shower head is aerated so it feels like they are pouring out more water and it works great in low water pressure conditions.

4. Massage or Spray Shower Head

This type of shower head offers different spray patterns like pulse, rain, jet, and so on but not all spray patterns are as effective or convenient as the other patterns.

I first found out about these when I was reading some reviews at KitchenGuyd.

5. Rain Shower Head

This is an overhead shower head which resembles rainfall so you have to stand directly beneath it to be able to use it.

Rain Shower Head

This type of shower head distributes water evenly through its wide shower head and is ideal for users who have high water pressure available. This type of showerhead is quite popular among most users.

6. Dual Shower Head

If you want the best of both the worlds, then dual shower head is the perfect match for you. This type of shower head comes in different shapes and sizes and some are integrated so that they look like a fixed shower head but you can pull out the inside piece to be used as a shower wand.

7. Body Sprayer

Another interesting type of shower head is the body sprayer which requires a special shower valve and spray bodies to be installed inside the wall. They can be integrated only when you are remodeling your bathroom but once it is done, you can use it independently or with your shower head. This would require a lot of planning so you have to plan ahead if you wish to use this.

Fruity zoodle & rocket salad

Today’s guest recipe comes from the amazing Malin over at the Good Eatings Blog. I met Malin at the second Plant-Based Picnic and since then have been blown away by her recipes, her photos and her simple approach to eating well. So I’m delighted that she’s agreed to become a recipe contributor for Nutritiously Natasha!

So I’ll save you a long and deep post about my health today (partly because I’m far too tired to write one) and hand right on over to Malin!

Natasha asked me if I would like to share a recipe here on her blog and of course, I do! Here is the recipe for a simple fruity fresh salad to break off the Christmas madness for a second.

What I really love about Natasha’s recipes is that they are completely fussing free and right to the point. So in that vein, I created this dish. It will literally take you ten minutes to prepare and provide you with heaps of raw veggie goodness. It is quite a sweet salad with cherry tomatoes and bell pepper which I break off by adding some garlic and seeds to the base dressing and topping. The real wild card in this salad though is the physalis, a fruit that I seem to only eat around this time of year with an interesting sweet yet tangy flavor.

I hope you all enjoy! This dish will feeds 4-5 as a side.


  • 2 courgettes
  • A generous handful of rocket (arugula)
  • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
  • Juice from ¼ lemon
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • Pink salt and black pepper to taste
  • ½ yellow bell pepper
  • 100 g cherry tomatoes (I used 8-10 plum cherry tomatoes)
  • 10 physalis
  • A sprinkling of pumpkin and hemp seeds


Julienne or spiralize the courgette and mix in a bowl along with rocket, oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt and pepper.

Cut the bell pepper into thin sticks and halve the tomatoes and add to salad.

Peel the physalis and rinse off the stickiness before halving the larger fruits whilst leaving the smaller as is, add to salad.

Sprinkle salad with pumpkin and hemp seeds.


Raw Key Lime Pie

Wow – it feels good to have limited access to wifi right now! I still don’t have the internet at my flat (seriously, I could write a book on how ridiculously terrible BT’s service is) but I’m currently back with the parents due to a slightly unfortunate (yet hilariously wonderful and glamorous) incident on Thursday.

Strictly Come Dancing was filming part of their Christmas special at my Grandma’s retirement home. I was there, of course, and went to take a photo with one of the dancers. He unexpectedly picked me up and crushed my left side. I am now in more pain than I have been in this year. I was already feeling weakened that day because the idiot cleaner in my building left the floor on the left entirely soaking wet and I slipped and it shook me up (not to mention the toxic chemicals making my skin burn and feel insanely sick and migraine-y). So now I’m dealing with the aftermath of those two events that conspired to leave me pretty much bed bound and needing my parents to look after me. It also doesn’t help that winter has probably just started to truly take hold, and that’s when my physical problems often go a bit bonkers.

As a result, I have been on a 24-hour food self-sabotage, but to get back on track my dad is taking me to buy a tonne of juice, and then I’m going to spend some time in the kitchen to distract myself. Although, not being able to pick up equipment may be a bit challenging.

Due to lack of consistent internet access/being super busy/and now being slightly crippled, I haven’t had time to come up with recipes of my own. And to be honest, while I love spending time in the kitchen (both cooking and eating), exact recipe development on my own isn’t my totally favorite thing. So, it’s a good thing I have some amazing friends who make the most delicious food. So, to regularly bring you some of my favorite plant-based goodies while I currently don’t have time to do so, I’ll be sharing some wonderful recipes with my friends!

Today, I’m featuring a raw key lime pie from Maxine over at Gloriously Delicious.

Raw desserts were one of the first things I started experimenting with when I changed my diet. It’s funny, I never had much of a sweet tooth (give me bread and a bag of crisps any day), but as soon as I cut stuff out, in an attempt not to feel like I was deprived, I started making raw brownies and cheesecakes every day. I would now say that I’m a bit of a sweet friend. And while the ingredients in many of these desserts are often wonderfully good for you, I’m still at the point where I’m definitely overindulging a bit too regularly.

But hey, I’m human!

And Maxine’s cakes are some of my favorites. So over to her!


For the base

  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 2/3 cup Medjool dates
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons desiccated coconut

For the filling

  • 3 avocados
  • Juice and zest of 4 limes
  • 8 tablespoons rice malt syrup (or another liquid sweetener, use less if using maple syrup or pure honey)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • Pinch pink Himalayan salt
  • 1 tablespoon lucuma powder (optional)
  • Water as required


Begin by placing your almonds and pecans in a food processor and blend until crumbly. Then, add your pitted dates, coconut oil, and desiccated coconut and blend until well combined. Press this mixture into the bottom of a lined tart tin and place in the freezer.

For the filling
Simply place the avocados, lime juice and zest, rice syrup, coconut oil, salt and (optional) lucuma in your processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Add water if your processor is struggling a bit. You may need to adjust the amount of sweetener depending on the ripeness of your avocados as they can have a more prominent taste.

Remove your base from the freezer and pour your filling into the tart tin. Return to the freezer for 1-2 hours, then store in the fridge and enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Banana Almond Muffins

I used to have an oven that hated me. Whenever I tried to make (normal people) baked goods, they always ended up raw inside. So I generally just gave up. Then we got a new oven. And I produced gorgeous banana bread and muffins and I was happy.

Switching from using eggs and sugars and milk and flours to gluten free, refined sugar-free, vegan baking seemed extremely daunting. Especially considering I don’t use any funky gums or even baking powder. So I know that my baked goods aren’t going to necessarily have those deliciously fluffy textures that I grew up loving.

That being said, I woke up this morning craving muffin, and I was determined to turn my usual almond butter and banana based breakfast into muffin form.

These muffins are insanely filling (I was super full after my second one) and taste just like banana bread. Yes, they’re dense, but they’re loaded with raw cacao nibs for an extra bite and are totally guilt free as they’re full of healthy fats and plant based goodness to help you start your day the right way.


  • 2/3 cup organic almonds
  • 1/2 cup gluten free oats
  • 1 1/2 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 large very ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao nibs
  • 2 tbsp sweetener of choice (I used rice malt syrup)
  • 2 tsp Organic Burst maca (optional)
  • 1/2 Tsp raw vanilla powder
  • Pinch pink Himalayan salt


  • Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius
  • Grind your almonds down so it becomes a super fine flour. I use my NutriBullet and then sift using a sieve. Pour into a large bowl.
  • Grind down oats and add to the bowl.
  • Add in cacao nibs, salt, vanilla powder and maca and stir.
  • In a separate bowl mix together the mashed banana, sweetener, almond butter and then stir with the dry ingredients to combine. The mixture will be quite dense – if it’s too dense, you can add a splash (literally a small splash) of almond milk to loosen it up a bit. If you’d like it sweeter, add some more of whatever liquid sweetener you choose.
  • Add 2 tbsp of mixture to each muffin liner
  • Pop in the oven and bake for around 20 minutes (or until you can stick a knife in there and it comes out dry.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool in the tray for a few minutes before removing and letting them cool fully on a rack.
  • Enjoy!

Brown Rice Pasta with 3 Ingredient Basil Avocado Pea Pesto

A lot of people ask me how I manage to spend so much time in the kitchen when I have such low energy levels. Honestly? I really don’t. I’m probably the world’s laziest cook, and I just love throwing things into a food processor, plating, snapping, and chowing down. One of my favorite go-to dishes is brown rice pasta with this three ingredient pesto. When I’m cooking for myself at home, I want lovely, balanced and subtle flavors that I can create in minutes. I honestly have this dish a few times a week, it’s just so simple, easy and delicious.


For the pesto

  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 small avocado
  • Handful fresh basil
  • Pinch pink Himalayan Salt
  • Optional: Squeeze of lemon & fresh garlic

For the pasta

  • 1 serving gluten free pasta of choice (I love 100% organic brown rice pasta)
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Pomegranate seeds


  • In a medium saucepan bring some well-salted water to the boil and cook your pasta according to the package directions.
  • Meanwhile place your peas in a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to a rolling boil. This should take a few minutes. Drain the peas.
  • Throw your basil, avocado, peas in a food processor. Add a pinch of pink Himalayan salt (to taste) and whizz until smooth and creamy. You may need to scrape down the sides. Sometimes I add a squeeze of fresh lemon.
  • Mix pesto with pasta. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and pomegranates. Enjoy.