Raspberry-Apple Cashew Butter Pancakes

IMG_20170415_074659_937

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”

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pear & Chocolate Protein Smoothie

wp-1484842033994.jpgAfter the gym, if I need a snack instead of a meal, then I always opt for a smoothie. Usually a banana and chocolate smoothie, as I’m not generally a fan of tropical smoothies. However, pear and chocolate is one of my other favourite chocolate combos- and so that’s that we’re doing today.

I used a mixture of cacao and pea protein powders to give me both chocolate flavour and protein, making this suitable for vegans and those who can’t eat dairy- but a chocolate whey protein is also an ideal substitute for these ingredients.

Happy blending!

Ingredients

  • 1 large pear, chopped into small chunks, microwaved until tender, and stored in the fridge overnight (ALTERNATIVELY, you can use 80g of canned pears for ease; this also gives a smoother texture- but make sure that they are chilled. As these blend more easily than fresh pear, you could even freeze them to ensure a super-cold and refreshing drink)
  • 200ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 1tbsp cacao powder (I used Seven Hills)
  • 1tbsp pea protein (I used Pulsin)
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • OPTIONAL: 1tsp maple syrup (if you really have a sweet tooth; I personally didn’t add this), ice

Method

  • Into a blender place all of the ingredients, and simply blend until smooth. My blender isn’t too high-tech, and so there were still some pear chunks, but as I’m not fussy this was no issue for me! (If chunks are an issue, then see the “alternative” in the ingredients).

December’s Salad: Parsnip, Kale, Red Onion, Chilli & Tofu

wp-1480598634084.jpg

I can’t believe that this is the last seasonal salad of the year. So I had to make it a good one. And as I mentioned over on IG, this is my favourite salad so far.

Warm salads are something I actually prefer to crisp and cool summer ones- even in summer I like some roasted vegetables (preferably from an actual BBQ) on my lettuce leaves. People massively underrate winter salads though: they can be flavourful, and showcase root veg brilliantly. And, if you’re anything like me, you like spacing out the more indulgent meals of Christmas-time with a few simple (but always tasty) ones as well.

For this salad we’ll be honey-roasting parsnips, and baking tofu in some honey, soy sauce, and ginger. This means that the recipe takes a little more time start-to-finish, but it’s well worth it. Once the veg is in the oven, it all looks after itself anyway…

 

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 large parsnips, chopped into chunks, and tossed in 1tbsp runny honey in a large mixing bowl
  • 200g of firm tofu, chopped into chunks
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 fresh red chilli, finely sliced (leave the seeds in if you like spice, remove if not)
  • 2-3 large handfuls of kale
  • 1tbsp soy sauce
  • Ground ginger, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste

Continue reading “December’s Salad: Parsnip, Kale, Red Onion, Chilli & Tofu”

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars (no bake!)

wp-1479643937314.jpgYou probably saw my PB & J Crumble Topped Flapjacks last week, and now I bring you another classic PB combo…chocolate peanut butter. I promise I will make some non- peanut butter recipes soon. But if you’re into chocolate without peanut butter, then you can check out my recipes over on Discover Chocolate’s blog, where I’m currently freelancing.

Anyway, these bars are just as easy as the first, and they’re another great snack to carry about with you. No bake, a handful of ingredients,  a whole lot of flavour- and these ones are also suitable for dipping in tea, because I know we all like that…

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of oats
  • 1 cup chunky peanut butter (I used Meridian)
  • 3tbsp cacao
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 8 tbsp. unsweetened almond milk
  • Pinch of each: salt, cinnamon (just a little)

Method

  • In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, salt, cinnamon, and cacao
  • In a microwavable bowl melt together the honey and peanut butter
  • Pour the honey and peanut butter into the oats, and add the milk. Stir to combine, and then use your hands to bring everything together.
  • Press firmly into a tray lined with greaseproof paper, and refrigerate overnight. In the morning cut into bars, and store in an air tight tub in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.

 

TIP! – Top a bar with nutella. You won’t regret it…

Mackerel Power Salad (cheap, quick & easy!)

wp-1479641743207.jpgMackerel is something I love, but most of the time genuinely can’t bring myself to cook in a shared house. Because I value my friendships too much to do that.

But canned mackerel is a different ball game, because the smell doesn’t really linger (well, linger for as long, if you take the bins out regularly). It’s also very cheap, and using a canned product removes a lot of time spent faffing about. This salad took me just 10 minutes to prepare- but was packed with nutritious ingredients, omega-3, and nourishing fats. You can switch up the combination of vegetables used here, depending on what’s left in the fridge. It’s great for using up all of the little leftovers from different meals throughout the week. I have to say though, the combination of ingredients used here works really well. So perhaps plan the rest of your meals around this instead…

Ingredients

Spicy Bonfire Dogs

wp-1478270237736.jpgBack home Bonfire Night means two things: fireworks and food. And let me tell you, the food usually revolves around meat.

Excluding the beauty that is Parkin (super sticky and rich gingerbread specific to Yorkshire), my family’s bonfire food has always been: pie and peas with mint sauce (even when I ate meat I hated pork pies so this was just peas and mint sauce for me), chilli and rice (my mum made it with turkey mince when I stopped eating red meat, but by that time I was at uni and so not home for Bonfire Night anyway), or bratwurst with fried onions and ketchup.

Bonfire food basically has three requirements: meat, mess, and spice.

This recipe is one for all of your veggies out there. It kicks the meat out of the Bonfire food, but retains the joyful messiness of eating it, and the spice. Today I used Quorn sausages- the “Butcher’s Best” ones. However, use whatever sausages you like (if you are a meat eater then you can join in too), or if you’re a vegan then long pieces of roasted tofu would taste amazing as well (season it with turmeric, pepper, chilli powder and a little curry powder).

This recipe is quick, easy, and you’ll be able to get the ingredients at pretty much every supermarket going. It requires minimal effort, and so is definitely one for all of you who don’t have that much experience with cooking. You have caramelised red onions and mushrooms, green pepper to keep it slightly refreshing, and some peppery mustard and spicy chilli to keep you warm when watching fireworks. Let start… Continue reading “Spicy Bonfire Dogs”