Egg, Asparagus, Broccoli & Pepper Couscous (fast, easy, and healthy!)

IMG_20170516_212211_450The past few weeks have been a bit busy for me, what with my final essays for third year being handed in tomorrow, and completing my poetry portfolio to hand in a couple of weeks ago- something I’ve spent nearly a year working on and had to be pried away from me. I know that this time of year us students tend to just pick up food as we go, and though I am always ready to indulge my love of food, it can become a little bit expensive. It can become a LOT expensive. And since I’ve been spending a lot of time in a local cake shop recently, and I would rather spend my money on cake (its really good cake), this was becoming a bit of a problem. This is the kind of lunch that provides a solution: its fast, its pretty no-brain-power-required, it tastes great, and it will make you feel good. You can also then spend more money on cake.

Swap in whatever veggies you want/have. Here I’ve used broccoli (I always have that in), pepper (I was finishing up a three pack), and asparagus (on offer in the market, and coincidentally one of my favourite vegetables, so I was using up a massive bunch of the stuff). The idea is to keep this cheap, so don’t go buy mega-expensive ingredients. Couscous is something I feel like every student should have in, as are eggs. Both are things you can make multiple meals out of, and so are invaluable.

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Healthy Breakfast Trifle (single serve!)

IMG_20170515_071546_420First things first: Hello! Its been a while hasn’t it? This is the first recipe I’ve posted in what seems like forever, but since my final EVER university essays are nearly complete, I can start recipe developing again. Beginning with this recipe for a breakfast trifle/overnight oats hybrid…

About two days ago I was sent some lucuma powder from Seven Hills Wholefoods (I’ve been calling it lumaca for about two years now- I clearly don’t read things properly), and told that it’s apparently popular in ice cream in South America, and it also has a custard-like flavour. I was sold on custard-like. However, I have found that if you just straight-up use lucuma, it tastes nothing like custard. You have to add vanilla. Once I figured that out, a breakfast trifle was inevitable. We have a cheat’s apple and raspberry compote (takes five minutes, literally), a “custard” overnight oats layer, and then a layer of Greek yoghurt mixed with maple syrup, dusted in cocoa powder and topped with raspberries.  Looks like a dessert, but you can eat it for breakfast. Eat real trifle for breakfast if you’re into that kind of thing, but I took the time to type this, and these are more likely to keep you going until lunch, so at least give it a try. This recipe is one of your ‘5 a day’, the Greek yoghurt provides some protein, the oats provide some slow release carbohydrates, and it tastes like something worth getting out of bed for. Continue reading “Healthy Breakfast Trifle (single serve!)”

Raspberry, Pear & Chocolate Overnight Oats

IMG_20170421_091924_883I tend to go through phases with breakfasts. The porridge phase (okay, that one never ends), the pancake phase, the eggs on toast phase, the shredded wheat phase…and the overnight oats phase. This is one of my favourite variations on overnight oats. You’ll find plenty of recipes for them under the food section of the blog, though the combination of sweet pear, bitter dark chocolate (we’re using cacao, though if you really like things much sweeter you can either add maple syrup, or use a cocoa powder / hot chocolate mix instead), and juicy, sharp raspberries is amazing. Any overnight oats recipe is ideal for mornings when you know you’ll be in a rush, and short on time to make something. Continue reading “Raspberry, Pear & Chocolate Overnight Oats”

Lemon & Raspberry Pancakes with Cashew Butter & Yoghurt “Cream”

IMG_20170419_074354_424-2I feel like lemon and raspberry is a classic combination. It’s one of my favourites. So obviously I wanted to showcase this in pancake form- and top it all off with a creamy, sweet, nutty cashew butter and Greek yoghurt cream.

I used coconut flour, as I was given this a while ago, never used it- and it goes out of date later this year. However, feel free to use plain or self raising flour, but you will need to reduce the milk by a couple of tbsp. (as coconut flour is richer in fibre, and so apparently  requires more liquid to form a batter). If I didn’t have the coconut flour I would be using self-raising flour, as I don’t see the point in going out to buy expensive ingredients that you’re only going to use for one recipe. Don’t feel the need to go out and buy it specifically for this is what I’m saying, though if you feel you’d experiment with it a bit more regularly than I do, then go for it- I hear that it’s great in baking.

Hope you enjoy the recipe!

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour mixed with 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 6tbsp almond milk
  • Zest and juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 1 large handful frozen raspberries
  • 50g Greek yoghurt
  • 1tbsp smooth cashew butter
  • 1.5tsp maple syrup

Method

  • Mix together the coconut flour, cinnamon and baking powder, with the egg, milk, 1/2tsp maple syrup, and lemon zest.
  • Spray a pan with non-stick cooking spray and bring up to a medium heat. Add the batter a little at a time to form pancakes. Onto each pancake crumble some frozen raspberry, then flip and cook the other side.
  • Plate up. Beat together the Greek yoghurt and cashew butter. Top the pancakes with the mixture, some frozen raspberries, and the remaining maple syrup.

Raspberry-Apple Cashew Butter Pancakes

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Lately I have been fancying pancakes. When I was little we made pancakes pretty much every weekend- Scotch drop scones are actually what we made. My mum was often the one who made them with us, and as that’s the pancake recipe she prefers, my brother and I grew up feeling these were proper pancakes. They’re small, fluffy, and much more “stackable” than crepes. These remind me a lot of those pancake-driven mornings.

This was the first time ever that I’ve ever used the flour in a recipe, and I actually quite like it (I’ve used the Seven Hills one here). There’s a subtle coconut-y taste and texture. Not as fluffy as regular pancakes, but really delicious. If you want mega-fluffy pancakes then I’d say use self-raising flour and omit 2-3tbsp of the milk (coconut flour has a higher fibre content, which mean you need more milk to form a batter).

This is a really satisfying breakfast, and the apple adds the height that guarantees a decent stack. The cashew butter is amazing when it melts into them. My top tip is this: stack them, adding cashew butter, then microwave for up to 1 minute. If you’re anything like me, then you’re quite slow at making pancakes and the first has gone stone-cold by the time the last is ready, so the microwave is your best friend. I also highly recommend adding a dollop of thick Greek yoghurt, or even a scoop of ice-cream if you’re pushing the boat out. Continue reading “Raspberry-Apple Cashew Butter Pancakes”

Veggie & Bean Chilli (no quorn!)

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If you’re looking for a veggie packed, delicious comfort food style dish, then this is for you. I’ve posted a quorn chilli on the blog before, but I personally prefer chilli made up of beans and veggies on their own.

The chilli you see in the picture is actually my mum’s recipe, which I occasionally let her cook for me, and the same one that I cook when I’m at uni. Mum had to adapt to cooking vegetable chilli when I went off of meat, and I’ve got to say: she’s adapted well. This version of the chilli is suitable for vegans, veggies, omnivores, and any carnivores wanting a change. Ideal sides are rice, bulgur wheat, potato wedges/jackets, wraps, guacamole, sour cream, quorn meatballs, chicken chunks, or canned tuna…so many endless possibilities. Even if you aren’t veggie and want to ease yourself into simply trying more veggie meals, you can. I’m pescetarian, and love this with bulgur wheat, avocado, and either quorn or tuna.

The basic idea behind this chilli is that whatever veggies we have go on in there. I’ve used courgette, celery, various different beans, olives, peppers, onions, spinach, tomatoes…anything you need to use up, whack it in there. In the recipe below we used only one can of kidney beans as that’s what happened to be in the cupboard, but feel free to mix up the beans, or add in two cans. Also, in my house (excluding my dad) we love spicy food. Which meant we added in a lot of chilli flakes- hot ones. If you aren’t a spice fan, then simply decrease the amount of chilli you add in. This is a completely adjustable recipe.

Continue reading “Veggie & Bean Chilli (no quorn!)”

Spicy Asparagus, Spinach & Egg Pitta Pizzas

wp-1490546830425.jpgWhen I was in my first year of uni I got into pitta pizza in a massive way. It was a staple meal whilst adjusting to uni life. Now that I’m weeks away from completing my degree, I keep remembering little bits of my first year and giving a few nostalgic sighs now and again. I feel like this is the perfect time to resurrect pitta pizzas- but make them a bit more sophisticated. Seen as I’m such a classy, sophisticated nearly-twenty-one year old, who is completely in control of her life, and ready to graduate in July (your sarcasm klaxon should be going by now).

But back to the pitta pizza. These are basically a healthier, quicker, much easier alternative to making/ ordering a Florentine pizza. If you’ve never tried egg on pizza, then you seriously need to make these. Because runny yolks ain’t just for breakfast. Though you could make these for breakfast, because pizza for breakfast actually sounds pretty attractive to me. As long as it isn’t the leftover post-drinking pizza we all experienced in first year. Which we aren’t going to talk about.

Ingredients

  • 2 wholemeal pitta breads
  • 1tbsp tomato puree mixed with 1tsp dried Italian herbs, and 1 tbsp. cold water (you’ll probably have some leftover-you don’t have to use it all)
  • 1 handful of asparagus, chopped into small pieces (each spear into roughly three)
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 small handful spinach
  • 30g cheese of choice, grated
  • Salt, black pepper, chilli flakes, and white pepper to taste

Method

  • Preheat the grill to medium, and place some foil onto a baking tray (means no sticking, and less washing up)
  • Place your pittas onto the tray along with the asparagus, and place under the grill for 2 minutes
  • Once the pittas are a little toasted, turn them over, spread the tomato puree over the top, and layer on the asparagus, spinach, and cheese. Place back under the grill for 1 minute.
  • After a minute crack one egg onto each pizza. Return to the grill for the final time, now for 4-5 minutes, until the egg white is cooked, and the yolk still runny (TIP! If the pitta is starting to brown a little too much but the egg isn’t cooked to your liking, then whack each pitta in to the microwave for up to 30 seconds, checking it regularly to avoid egg explosions).
  • Plate up, and top with black pepper, white pepper (AMAZING on eggs), salt, and chilli flakes.