Thursday, 20 September 2012

Bouncing like Bean

The other night I had the insane desire to bake. And for once it genuinely wasn't a desire motivated by wanting to eat whatever delicious thing I whipped up. I genuinely just wanted to chop, melt and fold.

I guess I could put it down to the fact that I took a running break over the weekend and the extra energy had me doing things like chasing my mum around the supermarket with the shopping trolley. Yeah I'm still 5 at heart.

So I had a rave in the kitchen on my own... Hopping around like a bean to the deadly beats on phantom 105.2 while baking chocolate covered katies black bean brownies. Except I used kidney beans cause that's all I had.

Anyway I ended up decided that although the brownies were reaaaalllly good, the raw batter was even better. So then I had the super awesome idea of making nutella out of kidney beans.

Oh no she didn't!? :0

Bouncing Bean Chocolate Spread
•Tin of kidney beans
•2 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
•70g nut butter ( I used almond and hazelnut )
•60g coconut palm sugar
•Drop of vanilla essence
•Pinch of salt
•Optional: stir in roasted almonds or chocolate chips for extra decadence

Blend everything except the optional ingredients in a food processor and process until silky smooth (no beany lumps!).

Once again, excuse the poor picture quality! :S

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Killer Kale

It must seem pretty odd that this blog is yet to host a single kale recipe. People, I've done you an injustice.

Kale holds some fond memories for me. When I was a kid it was a tradition to hide money in the kurly kale at halloween. I would jump up and down with excitement like all normal kids would when presented with a leafy green vegetable.

I had a lonely jar of pumpkinseed butter hiding in the corner of my pantry just waiting for me to finally think of a good way of using it. It was reduced price in the organic supermarket and I am actually physically incapable of turning down a bargin.

So finally I had a eureka moment in the shower (let's face it, everyone was their epiphanies in the shower.... Or is that
just me? :S). I connect my need to make kale crisps with that lonely jar of green goodness.

Killer Kale Krisps

•200g kurly kale
•125g pumpkinseed butter
•Quarter cup of nutritional yeast
•Scant teaspoon of sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 120°C.

2. Remove the stems from the kale and tear into bitesize pieces.

3. Put the kale in a large bowl and add the yeast, seed butter and salt.

4. Massage until the kale is evenly covered. Make sure there are no clumps.

5. Distribute the kale onto 3 trays. Make sure that none of it is covered by another leaf.

6. Place all 3 trays in the oven. The top tray will take 15-20 minutes. During the last 5 minutes make sure to check them very regularily as they will burn very quickly.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Back to Business.

So I haven't posted in, um, a month? More?

Jeez, what a slacker.

Well not really. See now that I'm in fifth year all I've had time to do is eat, sleep, run and study.

Reading my novel for fifteen minutes before bed feels as luxurious as visiting a five star spa.

But hey, I'm not complaining folks. Truth be told I love fifth year. It is definitely way better than fourth year.

Asides from the fact that I'm now studying 8 amazingly interesting subjects that I adore, my classes are now mixed with boys (gasp!) for the first time since I was twelve. It just feels more natural... And a lot more exciting if I'm going to be honest.

I've barely had time to cook let alone blog and I was kinda worried I would have to give this up except during holidays.

However today I stumbled upon the blogger app. How convenient!

It's not gonna be as fancy seeing as the mobile format of the site is a lot more basic. And the photos won't be as pretty due to the quality of the camera on my phone.

But it's a compramise that I'm willing to make in order to keep updating this blog.

Here's a tantalizing preview of yummy things to come.

Á bientôt mes amis.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Losing My Kitchen Mojo

It's been a while since I posted. And it's not because I wasn't bothered.

It's just that every single time I cooked something I would think, this is really tasty but it's just not original enough to post.

I'm such a perfectionist it's ridiculous. I just couldn't stand putting up a recipe that I didn't think would absolutely change someones life.

And when I look at people's blogs and I see they've invented black bean brownies and bread made out of spinach I just think ''wowzers, how can I compete with that''.

It's funny how your self esteem really does affect you in all aspects of your life. I really didnt think it would get in the way of me blogging frequently. But boy, oh boy, it did.

I would make something and go ''hmm, thats not pretty enough'' or ''these flavours have been done before''. All in all I started to feel like I was failing in the kitchen. I started to lose my cooking mojo. :(

But then I realised... Hey, blogging isn't about being the best. It's not a competition. It's not about flaunting your super glamorous life and gourmet meals in front of other people. Blogging is about being you and sharing the wonderful insights you have about your day to day life and the beautiful things you eat and cook on a day to day basis. 

Maybe you don't think your cooking is super duper exciting but the chances are somebody else will.

Without further ado I leave you with a lip-smackingly deliciously smoothie.

Mango, Banana, Rasberry and Ginger Smoothie.
  • half a large mango
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 50g frozen rasberries
  • 150g yogurt
  • half cup of soya milk or rice milk
  • lump of ginger (do this to taste... some may prefer it stronger than others)
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (I use sunwarrior)
  • banana, mango and rasberries to garnish

Blend the lot and top with tasty toppings.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Triple Chocolate, Single Chin.

Today I'm just gonna let the pictures do the talking...

Triple Chocolate, Single Chin Banana Muffins.

Adapted from Peas and Thank You

  • 1 1/2 c. oat flour 
  • 2/3 c. cocoa powder
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • 1/2 t. baking soda
  • 3/4 t. salt
  • 1 1/2 c. grated courgette
  • 1 very large ripe banana
  • 1 c. maple syrup or agave nectar
  • 1/4 c. coconut palm sugar
  • 2 t. vanilla extract
  • 2/3 c. roughly chopped 85% dark chocolate

  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 100g silken tofu
  • 100g cashew butter
  • 1 very large ripe banana

1.  Preheat oven to 170 degrees.

2. Mix all the cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar and oat flour together in a bowl.

3. Blend the banana with the maple syrup and vanilla until smooth.

4. Add wet mix to dry mix and stir through chocolate and courgette.

5. Fill a bun tin with muffin liners. Scoop the mixture into the liners. There should be enough for 10-12 muffins. or 12-14 smaller cupcakes.

6. Place the tray in the centre of the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes.

7. While the muffins are in the oven blend the cocoa, tofu, cashew butter and banana together until smooth. Put the frosting in the fridge to thicken. The longer you leave it the thicker it gets but I left mine for about 40 minutes and it was fine.

8. Remove the muffins from the oven and allow to cool completely before frosting.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Secret Birthday Cookie Box

Yeeeeah. Birthdays. When I hear it's someones birthday all I can think of is the fact that I now have an excuse to bake! WOOP. 

Last minute present? Cookies.

Elegant surprise? A beautiful cake decorated with piped icing.

Girly sleepover party? A big plate of brownies for the group to gorge.

My dad doesn't really believe in birthdays. So he always forgets his and hence we tend to forget it to. :S

Luckily I only found out a day late this year so I was able to whip up one of his favourite treats in time for birthday lunch with granny.

Coconut Macaroons. There is just something about Coconut Macaroons. I can't explain it.

My dad says he spent his first day of wages on a liter of milk and 2 packets of coconut macaroons. Needless to say he had a bit of a feast.

ps. No tables were harmed with glue during the process of making this box... Shhh...

Coconut Macaroons

  • 250g shredded coconut
  • 30g ground almonds
  • 4 eggs
  • 50g buckwheat flour
  • 15g stevia
  • 75g xylitol
  • 1tsp cream of tarter
  • pinch of salt
  • tsp vanilla essence

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees.

2.  Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl and mix them into the dry ingredients.

3. Grease a tray and shape the mixture into rounds on the tray.

4. Bake for 15-20 minutes in the center of the oven until lightly brown.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Delayed Rabblings

Man, it's been a while :S Apologies to any readers for my lack of posts, I was in France for the week. I've also become very much 'bitta this, bitta that' about my cooking. I'm developing a very bad habit of not measuring things and scoffing stuff down without taking snaps so now I have loads of yummy eats to share but only a few recipes! :( Oh Well... I guess I'll just share a bit of whats been going on with me :)

I went to my friend Niall's house where we baked this beautiful polenta and orange cake. Unfortunately it didn't taste as great as it looked. We both agreed it was only ok so I decided not to post it despite the fact that I wrote down the recipe. At least it made some pretty pictures :) And then we played Skyrim for a while... I got slaughtered by a load of trolls. Dammit.

Then I was off to the French countryside. We stayed in a place called La Tour Sur Orb for a week. It's a tiny village in Languedoc and the house we were staying in was literally right beside a river which was perfect for swimming in the mornings. I love to lie in the sun and get all warm and sweaty reading my book and getting a great tan and then jump into the ice cold water. Incredibly refreshing.

The village was part of a string of towns along a road. It was cute and quaint with barely any people. The only shops were a supermarket, a goats cheese shop and a post office. The next town was about 3 miles away so you could walk or cycle to get some bread but it took a while. There was literally nobody on the streets...ever.

Despite the fact that there was vineyards absolutely everywhere I didn't see a single packet of grapes while I was there. They clearly weren't in season I guess. Or maybe they all get used up making wine.

I discovered this hat in the house that we were staying in. I was very reluctant to give it up when we were leaving.

Despite the fact that we ate out most nights because the stove seemed to have a mind of its own some cooking did get done when I figured out how to use the micro-oven. These babies are goats cheese, lentil and buckwheat pizza and that green stuff is avocado and white almond mashup.
The food in France is great but as a vegetarian you get a lot of cheese and bread and by the end of the week all I wanted was vegetables. The moment I got home I guzzled down two packets of baby carrots raw.

In honur of raw food day my mums friend brought me my first ever kale chips. Eh yum much?

And raw chocolate peanut butter brownies. I love this girl.

But boy, oh boy, my mums one pot wonder has never tasted so damn good.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Back to Basics

Being human, I find it easy to fall back on the easy option sometimes. That’s all fine… Until it becomes a habit and you stop living your life to the full. Because the easiest option is rarely the best option.

As a vegetarian it’s very easy to become overly reliant on snacks like nuts, bread and dairy products. These all taste great with absolutely minimal effort.

When you’re hungry and you have the choice between popping a pitta bread in the toaster and slathering it with pb + jam versus spending 30 minutes chopping vegetables and slaving away over the cooker to make a soup most of us will choose the first option because its convenient and comforting.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not attacking peanut butter. Peanut butter is the bomb.

But sometimes high fat foods like nuts and dark chocolate are just a bit heavy on your system. Regardless of the fact that these are really healthy foods they shouldn’t be the basis of our diet.

Fruits and veggies should make up at least 50% of what we consume in my opinion. They’re light, filling and packed with nutrients. Unfortunately raw veggies don’t really pack as much flavor as their higher fat plant buddies do.

So here’s two delicious recipe’s that can be prepared in under 20 minutes and taste just as good as soft and chewy peanut butter sandwich. For optimal speed efficiency prepare the hummus while the soup boils. Race ya to the stove!

Herby Hummus

  • 2 tins of chickpeas
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • juice of ½ lime
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • handful of fresh coriander
  • handful of fresh parsley
  • handful of fresh mint
  • ¼ cup of water (You can use oil if you want a richer hummus but this one is meant to be light on your system)
  • sliced scallions to garnish
  • cucumber circles and wholemeal pitta to serve

1.     Pop all the ingredients into the blender and blitz the living daylight out of them until a smooth consistency is reached.

Creamy Honey, Ginger and Parsnip Soup

  • 2-3 parsnips
  • ½ a cauliflower
  • a decent lump of ginger (the amount depends on personal taste)
  • 2 small onions
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 200ml soya milk
  • salt to taste
  • fresh herbs to garnish

1.     Chop the vegetables finely. The smaller they are, the quicker they cook.
2.     In a soup pot, sautee the onion in a little water. Meanwhile boil some water.
3.     Add the chopped cauliflower, ginger and parsnips to the pot. Add enough boiling water to cover the vegetables but not enough as that they float apart. Boil for 10 minutes.
4.     Add the honey, salt and soya milk. Blend until smooth.
5.     Add water or extra soya milk until it is as thick or thin as you like. Heat and serve with a garnish of fresh herbs.