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I used coconut flour, as I was given this a while ago, never used it- and it goes out of date later this year.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.

Banana & Nutella Pancakes (healthy, cheap & easy!)

wp-1488111400372.jpgIt’s nearly Pancake Day!! Even if I don’t go out for pancakes (a LOT of cafés and restaurants seem to do Pancake Day up here in Newcastle), or even if I don’t actually get around to making Pancakes on Shrove Tuesday (Tuesdays are busy days for me), I always HAVE to have pancakes at some point on the run up to this day. However, I find pancakes don’t usually fill me up for long, and so I wanted to create a recipe that was healthy, filling, simple, inexpensive, and delicious. Because lets face it, those “pancakes” that are just egg and banana are pretty damn gross. These though, are fluffy, soft, and definitely pancakes.

We’ve added in another few ingredients than banana and egg here- including some blended up oats for low GI energy release and “fluffiness”, vanilla for sweetness, almond milk for creaminess, cinnamon to balance blood sugar and add some warmth, and – of course- some “Nutella”. Though I’m actually using Jim Jam’s healthier alternative, of a hazelnut- chocolate spread. Seriously, I prefer this to Nutella. It’s still got a rich cocoa – hazelnut flavour, but it isn’t as sickly. However, I wouldn’t say no to a bit of the original either if it was kicking around in my flat, so don’t feel you have to go out of your way to get hold of this.

Let’s get cracking…

 

Ingredients (makes 6 small pancakes, or 3 large, which is one serving):

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 banana (a RIPE one- which is when they begin to get a few brown spots on them at the very least)
  • Cinnamon, to taste
  • 1/2tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1 heaped tbsp Jim Jam’s Hazelnut Chocolate spread , or Nutella (or, you know, abandon measuring this- it is Pancake Day…)

 

Method:

  1. Into a blender or food processor place all but the Nutella and half of the banana. Blend until a batter forms
  2. Bring a pan sprayed with cooking oil up to a medium-high heat, and then dollop the mixture in to create your pancakes, flipping each pancake over and cooking the other side once small bubbles appear on the surface facing you.
  3. Repeat until all of the mixture has been used.
  4. Take the remaining banana and slice into chunks. Stack your pancakes with Nutella and banana slices while they’re still hot, and then dig in…

Mustard- Balsamic Bean & Veggie Couscous (cheap & quick)

wp-1487931517876.jpgThis has been one of my favourite lunches for a while now. Last year my flatmate would make massive couscous, pesto, and veggie salads, and then divide them up, store them in tubs in the fridge- and have lunch ready for a couple of days. With practically no effort. You can see where the inspiration for this meal comes from.

Since I’ve been at uni I’ve gotten into the habit of always having a big bag of couscous in my cupboard- just the plain kind, so that I can add my own flavours. Currently, wholegrain mustard and balsamic vinegar is my go-to combination to flavour my couscous salads. The veg I add changes depending on how well-stocked my shelf in the fridge is, and whether I want to add in Quorn, tuna, tofu, mackerel, or kidney beans for my protein source. That’s the basic formula you want here: couscous + protein source + seasonings + vegetables. And you’re good to go. The great thing about this dish is that you can change up what you put in it according to what’s in the fridge- though the combination I’m showing you today is vegan and veggie suitable.

The ingredients I’ve given below then are just an example; use what you like and let me know what you add down in the comments. You can also easily double this, and then keep a second portion in the fridge for up to two days.

Ingredients

  • 50g dry couscous, left to soak for 5 minutes in 70ml freshly boiled water
  • 1/2-1 can kidney beans (depending how hungry you are), drained, and well rinsed
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 handful close cup mushrooms, sliced and then microwaved for 1 minute (or have them raw- they’re equally delicious)
  • Cherry tomatoes, however many you want really, each chopped in half
  • 1/2 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 large handful spinach (again, you can wilt this or leave it raw- completely up to you, and how much time you have)
  • Balsamic vinegar, to taste (I use 1-2tbsp)
  • Wholegrain mustard, to taste (I use 2-3tsp)

 

Method

Whilst the couscous is soaking, simply place all of your veggies and beans into a large mixing bowl. Once the couscous has absorbed all of the water then throw that in too, followed by balsamic vinegar and mustard, to taste. Stir everything up together, and then dig in straight away, or transfer into a tub, allow to cool, and store in the fridge.