Thursday, 17 April 2014

Nutty Date Marbles

Simple, healthy, packed full of energy, and only THREE ingredients! (Or two...really)
No way? O-hoh-oh yes way! Come follow me.....

Nutty Date Marbles
(Makes 6)

1 1/2 handful mixed nuts
1 handful pitted dates
1 tbsp water (optional)

- What next? Have the ingredients in a blender and process roughly until you have a sticky mixture. I only used my stick blender, and it sort of went all over the place for the first few seconds. The only reason I used a bit of water was so as the stick blender would go a little easier on me, but it is by no means necessary!

- Once you have a sticky paste, and it's as rough or smooth as you like it: simply roll into a sausage and divide into six pieces. Roll into nutty date marbles, and enjoy!

Optionally, you can decorate with dried goji berries, cacao nibs, roll in dessicated coconut, chopped nuts, or cocoa powder!

You could add a little unsweetened cocoa to the nut- and date mixture for some extra chocolatey goodness. Or why not go all out and covered them in rich, dark melted chocolate?

Happy Easter!

The other day on the way home from the town in the evening, I got this given to me *bigsmileonherface*

I don't see how these happy, yellow flowers wouldn't put a smile on anyone's face!

What are your plans for the coming days? And do you have a favourite recipe where you use dates?

Original source:

- Jules

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Tandoori Mince & Tatties

I figured that I would put an Asian twist on the ever so popular British dish "mince and tatties" (potatoes that is!) by adding some tandoori flavours.

The recipe is simple, and it shouldn't take you more than 20 minutes from start to finish. After I had taken the photos, I realised I had forgotten something - chutney! And so I added some immediately, and it went soooo well with the meal!

Tandoori Mince & Tatties
(Serves 2)

400-500g potatoes, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced
250g lean beef mince (you can of course use any other type of mince instead!)
1-2 tbsp tandoori paste
A pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper
Tomato- or mango chutney and yogurt to serve
Fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

- Simply start by boiling up water and cover the potatoes, add a sprinkle of salt and let it boil until tender (about 10-15 minutes).

- Now, prepare the onion, heat oil in the pan and soften the onion for 5-10 minutes. As you are waiting, mix tandoori paste into the mince, making sure it is well incorporated.

- Add the mince to the frying pan with the onion and add a splash of water so it doesn't go dry. For for about 5-7 minutes until cooked. When it's close to done, drain the potatoes, but leave about 100ml of the water, mash with salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. You can add a knob of butter if you want it a little creamier.

- Serve the mince and onion mixture on a bed of mash, top with a good dollop of both yogurt, chutney and garnish with a little parsley.

Recipe by yours truly,

- Jules

Monday, 14 April 2014

Snickers Cupcakes

Can you believe I forgot to add the cocoa in this recipe?!

....Don't answer that, because I am sure you can believe that. BUT thankfully for me, the recipe still turned out chocolatey and peanutty, which is exactly what I was hoping for! Should you want s lightly more decadent chocolate flavour though, I would suggest adding cocoa powder!

Top these with whatever you like, be it chocolate, peanut butter (both?!), chopped nuts, cream cheese frosting. There are so many options, and I am sure you already have something in mind by now!

The original recipe called for lots of eggs, but I decided just to opt for one, and I got four lovely little cupcakes out of it. I tweaked the recipe quite a bit, used what I had and this is the result!

Snickers Cupcakes
(Makes 4)

1 egg
2 tbsp low-fat (Greek) yogurt
100ml semi-skimmed milk
3-4 drops stevia (optional, but if you use it, then chocolate or vanilla will do the trick!)
1 tsp coconut flour (optional)
20g chocolate protein powder
20g peanut flour
20g sukrin icing sugar (or xylitol, you can of course use normal icing sugar too)
1 tsp xanthan gum (optional)
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa
Chocolate, sprinkles, chopped nuts for topping

- Start by pre-heating the oven to 180°C.

- In a small bowl, mix all the dry ingredients. Make a well in the middle and pour in the egg, yogurt, stevia and milk. Stir well to combine, you should end up with a thick waffle-like batter. If you need more milk, then I am sure 50ml will do the trick. The 100ml did it for me.

- Divide the mixture into four cupcake cases, and pop them into the oven, leave to bake for about 20 minutes. Tap them gently to check that they are cooked.

- Leave to cool on a wire-rack, whilst deciding on which topping you want to use! I simply melted two squares of dark chocolate. To do this, simply break up the chocolate into small pieces, place them in a small bowl (I used a small, Chinese tea cup), pour some hot water in a bigger bowl, and place the small bowl with the chocolate into it, allowing for the chocolate to melt. I also placed the big bowl in the oven after I had switched it off, using the last of the heat to hurry the process along a little.

Once cooled, frosted and decorated - it's ready to serve!

Original Source:
Sunn & Sterk med Protein, p. 149

- Jules

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Being Vegan in 1, 2, 3!

I thought that with Meat-free Monday becoming more and more popular, I would make a three day plan of healthy, vegan meals!

I myself am an omnivore and can eat most things, but sometimes... I just feel that vegetarian and particular vegan dishes don't get the acknowledgement and appreciation they deserve. So I guess that is why I decided to make this.

Each of the three days have five meals, and so there are a lot of varied, lovely meals and treats for anyone. I am sure even the carnivores could be convinced that eating dishes without meat can actually be quite delicious! You can also of course swap any of the breakfasts, lunches, dinners and other meals with one from the other days, it's all down to what you feel like having really!

Day 1

My Date with Mr Oat Porridge
Vegan Yogurt, Nuts and Banana
Funky Spring Bulghur Salad
Edamame Sloppy Joe's
Evening Snack:
Healthier Chocolate Pudding

Day 2

Chia Pudding with Piña Colada Granola
Apricot Shake
Tomato Barley Risotto (no Blue cheese)
Sweet Potato & Peanut Stew
Evening Snack:
Zingy Avocado Hummous (with salsa and nacho chips)

Day 3

Porridge 8) Poached Plum Punch
Pea & Artichoke Spread (with rice crackers)
Mushroom & Barley Soup
Vegan Smokey Burgers

Evening Snack:
Soy Yogurt and Small fruit Salad

And that's about it! I hope you find some inspiration here, whether it be just to try something different for dinner, or some other meal of the day. If there's one thing that's for sure though - it's that vegan food can be delicious!

Bon apetit!

- Jules

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Wannabe Congee with Poached Egg & Peanuts

From sweet rice - to savoury rice!

Now, congee to me - after having googled a little - looks like a dish that is basically made from a base of "overcooked" rice, kind of the way you would with a risotto to make it lovely and creamy.
Basically, I have called it "wannabe" because I used 10 minute rice to speed up the process a little, and I never had any Spring onions, so I had to use a little chopped red onion instead. Also, in the other recipe, they used about twice as much water as I did.

I was a bit sceptical I must say, only boiling the rice with no salt or anything, but you know what? The sauce you serve with it has a lovely sweet and spicyness to it that makes it very easy to like!

Wannabe Congee with Poached Egg & Peanuts
(Serves 2)

I am definitely going to poach an egg the proper way next time the recipe calls for one!

For the rice:
50g rice (I used bornw 10-minute rice)
1 1/2 cup boiling water

For the sauce:
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sriracha
1 tsp mirin
1 tsp honey

1 chopped Spring onion
A poached egg
1 tbsp roughly chopped peanuts )or you can use some leftover pulled pork if serving carnivores)

- Start by boiling up the rice. In the original recipe, a rice-steamer was used and it was boiling for one and a half hours! I however, decided to just cook it for 20 minutes, allowing the rice to puff up properly and almost breaking apart.

- 10 minutes in, make the sauce, simply by combining all the ingredients in a small bowl. Five minutes later, get some water boiled and poach the egg! I didn't want it to fail as I haven't practised my poaching skills enough, so I used a poach-mould. My egg got a little overdone as I only found out on a late stage that covering with a lid hurried up the process big time and allowed for the egg to cook more evenly from top to bottom - go figure!

- Once the rice is done (make sure there is a little water left), top with the sauce, Spring onion, chopped peanuts/pulled pork and finally the poached egg!

To end this post, I will add a photo of how I decided that the egg-poach-pouch should be used, aftraid that if I let it float on it's own, the egg would end up drowning...

Have you ever tried congee, or something similar before?

Original source:

- Jules

Friday, 11 April 2014

Riso Nero one of the best kind of risos, or rice if you will!

I had this as a sort of evening snack/late dessert, and it totally hit the spot. The only problem was that I only made enough for half a portion, dang! So I've doubled the recipe for you especially, and it'll still be considered healthy as I kept it sugarfree!

The coffee granules makes this extra rich, but you can of course opt out on it, it doesn't taste a lot like coffee, but should you not want to add it - I wont make you, cause I'm just that nice sometimes ^ ^

Riso Nero
(Serves 1)

60g wholegrain 10-minute brown rice
1 cup almond milk (or other milk like regular semi-skimmed or soy)
1 tsp decaff coffee granules
1 tbsp sukrin gold/xylitol or a 3-5 drops stevia vanilla
1 tsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Yogurt to serve (vegan yogurt foran all-in vegan treat!)
You can also use chopped nuts, cacao nibs etc. for topping - or perhaps a sliced banana?

- Start by having the almond milk in a small casserole along with the rice and simmer on medium heat.

- Halfway through, add the sweetner of choice, coffee granules, cocoa powder and cinnamon. It should begin thickening properly after about 8 minutes. Remember to stir frequently so it doesn't catch the bottom and get burnt (burnt chocolate is FAR from as good as lovely creamy chocolate...). Add a splash of water should the mixture be a little dry.

- Once the rice is done, you're ready to serve! Just try and be patient so you don't burn yourself. You can serve this topped with a little yogurt, or swirl it through. I think I added about three tablespoons that I swirled into it. So good!

Recipe by yours truly, but somewhat just tweaked the recipe from:

- Jules

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Tuna-Crust Pizza

...Ever heard of such a thing?
Well, let me tell you, this really prolific, lovely Norwegian girl Linda posted up this great protein packed recipe for a tuna-pizza base. I thought it was quite clever, as it is a cheap and quick way to pack some meat into your day.

Also, this means you wont necessarily need meat-based toppings! As little as some humble grated cheese, roast vegetables, and some seasoning will be enough.
I however, had a lot of random leftovers, and was sort of craving pesto (you know when you have those days where basil pesto just HAVE to be features in your day somehow? Yes! Exactly *sniggers*) Anywhoooo, I decided to use pesto as sauce, and then various vegetables that needed used up got to join the mighty pesto, et voila! This Julie had herself a darn good (if not a little alternative) feast!

Tuna-Crust Pizza
(Makes 1 small pizza base)

I know....A little bit of melted cheese on top, and it would've been complete!

1 tin of tuna
1 egg
3 tbsp oats or wholemeal flour
1 tbsp tomato pureê (optional)
Seasonings, I used salt, pepper, onion powder, oregano, rosemary
Fresh basil if you have some at hand

Toppings of choice (The ones I used were: green pesto, red onion, avocado, sundried tomatoes)

- Start by pre-heating the oven to 180-200°C.

- Mix all the ingredients for the base together, and spread over an oiled baking tray. Place in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes, but check on it after ten minutes and every five minutes from then, just to make sure. A lot of ovens work differently!

- Once it seems cooked (lightly tap the surface), take out the base and top with toppings of your choice. If using grated cheese, return it to the oven until the cheese has melted.

Pizza canvas! You probably only need a bit of tomato sauce, grated, melted cheese and fresh basil for this and it'd taste awesome!


Also, I have to move soon, and because of that, I decided to really get my head around what was hiding in the kitchen cupboards, and here is what I found....

My excuse? Well, they say a varied diet is key... PLUS you neeeed a lot of different things at hand so you can whip up something tasty if hunger strikes. When my current flatmate saw this, he just said that at least we wouldn't starve should we have to stay indoor due to whatever reasons. So now, my challenge is to at least try and eat my way through some of this... I reckon it's a good thing to have a look through all the things in the cupboards though, there are so many things you didn't even know was hiding there, and I found that I sometimes bought more because I wasn't aware that I already had some, hidden behind other various items.

So on my next food shop-list, I will try and incorporate as much of this as I can! It seems curry and chilli might be in the cards - and I can't say I'll mind too much! I have already written a list of potential recipes to try out. Sorted!

Do you have regular clearouts of your kitchen cupboards?

Original source:

- Jules