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”

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spicy Aubergine, Greens & Tofu Rice Bowl

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I know that quite a few people who follow me on IG are involved in Veganuary this year, and though I personally didn’t opt to attempt it (this year), I have still cut down my fish consumption these last few weeks (I’m pescetarian, but mainly eat vegetarian food- I just have a weakness for seafood every few days). Having done so I’ve ended up trying several more vegetarian and vegan meals- including this delicious stir fry.

This meal is relatively cheap to make, the only expensive ingredient is the tender stem broccoli, but feel free to swap it for regular broccoli- I just felt like splashing out, and love the tender stem variety. It’s also a meal crammed with goodness in the colourful veggies, low GI brown rice, and the vegetarian/vegan source of protein that is the tofu. Baking the tofu is much easier than pan-frying, and much healthier than deep-frying; you’ll get the perfect tender, soft interior, but a crispy golden exterior.

Let’s go…

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 1 baby aubergine, chopped
  • 5-6 Chinese leaves, sliced
  • 1 handful tenderstem broccoli, chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 large red chilli, cut into small pieces
  • 150g firm tofu, sliced into 8-10 pieces
  • 1/2-1tbsp soy sauce, to taste
  • Chinese five spice, to taste
  • Salt & black pepper, to taste
  • 50g brown rice (this is the dry weight)

 

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200*c, and place your tofu onto a baking tray sprayed with a little cooking oil. Season with salt and black pepper, and once the oven is up to temperature throw it in.
  • Meanwhile, boil some water, and place the rice into a small pan with enough of the freshly boiled water to cover. Set this re-boiling as you put the tofu into the oven, and set a timer for 25 minutes.
  • With 10 minutes left on the timer, place the onion, garlic, and chilli into a pan with non-stick spray. Cook over a low heat until the garlic and onion is softened, then add in the aubergine, soy sauce, and five spice, cooking for 3-4 minutes more. Finally, add in the broccoli and Chinese leaves, and cook until tender.
  • When the timer goes off, plate everything up, and dig in…

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

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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”