Monday, 28 April 2014

Chocolate Cake Chia Pudding

So... I am still working my way through the cupboards and all the goodies that wont expire for another year, but would be nice to at least reduce a bit of before packing!

I hadn't had chia seed pudding in a while, and came across this lush recipe by A Taste of Madness, and my mind wheels started spinning, and I had to make this!
It's almost like a chocolate cake shake it you ask me, deeeelicious! And don't worry if you don't have PB2 or peanut flour, you can just use a tablespoon of peanut butter instead!

Chocolate Cake Chia Pudding
(Serves 1)

Topped with lightly salted peanuts and cacao nibs

1 cup almond milk (or other milk of choice)
1 heaped tbsp chia seeds...or make that 2!
1 heaped tbsp PB2/peanut flour or 1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
4 pitted dates
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Toppings optional, such as chopped nuts, granola, berries, yogurt etc.

- Simply mix the milk and chia seeds and then add the other ingredients.

- Leave to refrigerate overnight, and simply process until smooth in the morning and you're ready to go! The perfect pick-me-up, before facing the day! You can either enjoy this on its own, or fancify it to your liking with toppings of choice!

... Later on that day, I failed at making a fancy brownie, but I choose not to dwell on it, as I'd already had the pleasure of having this for breakfast!

I hope you have a lovely start to your week! Any plans?

Original source:

- Jules

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Mushroom & Rice Casserole

Chanterelles are a type of mushroom I never really discovered until after I moved away from Norway. In the supermarkets there, they usually sell them fresh and are quite common. Here in Glasgow however, I could only find some fried chanterelles in a Mexican shop, but you know what? They were a treat!

You can swap the rice for arborio rice and make this into a creamier risotto if you like. Then, just remember to "feed" the rice with a ladleful of stock at a time for the best result!

I love the contrast in colour between the humble closed cup mushrooms and the lovely almost red-ish chanterelles!

Mushroom & Rice Casserole
(Serves 2-3)

A knob of light butter
1 fat garlic clove (or 2 smaller ones), finely chopped
1 leek, chopped
30g dry chanterelles (or other mushrooms)
500ml vegetable stock
150g brown rice
250g mushrooms, chopped or sliced
2 good splashes of white wine vinegar/half a glass of dry white wine
60g cheese, grated (or 20g parmesan)
Salt and black pepper to taste

- Start by boiling up water for the stock and the chanterelles. Have the dried mushrooms in one bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to soak. In another bowl or measuring jug, mix your stock and set aside.

- In a medium/large casserole, melt the butter. Once the pan is hot, chuck in the garlic and leek and soften for about 5 minutes. Now, pour in the rice and stir until it's covered and glistening.

- Pour in the stock, and add the white wine vinegar (or wine), and a little pepper. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes. Then, add the mushrooms, both the soaked (keep the excess water!) and fresh ones. Pour in a little bit of the mushroom water if the mixture looks a little dry. Give the mixture a good stir, and cover and cook for five minutes.

- The last step, is to add the cheese, mix well to combine and turn the hob off. Once the cheese has melted, it's ready to serve! But do remember to season to taste right before - just in case!

Have you had a good weekend so far?
I was feeling sooo tired at the end of a long working week, but after going for Mexican last night at the lovely, quaint Bibi's Cantina, a couple of drinks in Velvet Elvis in good company, and then starting this morning with Norwegian Waffles and a workout before noon, I feel pretty perky actually! Hopefully my new flatmate and I will get to sign the lease for the new flat later on today - fingers crossed!

Recipe by yours truly,

- Jules

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Edamame & Chilli Dip

I had written down this recipe a while ago, but it wasn't until now that I got around to making it, and boy am I glad I didn't wait any longer!
It is deeeelicious, and can be used as a spread as well as dipping vegetable sticks into.

Edamame & Chilli Dip
(Serves 2-3)

Definitely even worthy as part of a mezze with sundried tomatoes in oil, olives, pita bread, the list goes on and on!

400g can edamame/soy beans (230g drained)
100ml low fat Greek yogurt (or natural yogurt, froamge frais, quark etc.)
1 red or green chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 sundried tomatoes in oil (optional)
1 small red onion, finely chopped

Bread, tortillas or vegetable sticks to serve

- Start by having all the ingredients apart from the onion in a bowl. Use a stick blender and blend until smooth.

- Prepare the onion, and fold into the dip mixture and serve up with lots of little bits and bobs for dipping, yum Did you know; soya beans is one of the few vegan foods that contains all of the key nutrients our body needs - pretty nifty, huh?

Oh, and it was great on top of the wholemeal linseed bread that I posted up yesterday. I reckon it would only need to be topped with a little ground black pepper, then it'd be even better!

Have you got a favourite home made spread/dip?

Original source:

- Jules

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Wholemeal Linseed Loaf

So I am moving in about two weeks' time, my new flatmate is apparently a master of bread baking, and so I felt inspired! I was working from home during the Easter holidays, and the thought of freshly made slices of bread for lunch was simply too good not to give a shot, and with the sun shining through the window, I simply let the dough rise sunshine style. It felt great, and the result was...well pretty darn good!

I halved the recipe, but this would certainly make a normal bread loaf tin's worth! It takes a while, but if you have a few errands to run, and can tend to the bread once inbetween for that second rise, you wont be disappointed!

Wholemeal Linseed Loaf
(Makes 1 loaf)

Straight from the oven!

250g wholemeal seedy flour (I used Allinson's seed flour, or you can use 60/40 wholemeal and plain white flour)
5g dry active yeast (about half a sachet)
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp sea salt
50g linseeds
120ml warm water (37°C=body temperature)
2 tsp sunflower- or olive oil
1 heaped tbsp natural yogurt or sour cream
Poppyseeds, oats or other seeds for topping

- In a bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients apart from the oats/seeds for topping.

- Boil up water and mix half and half with that and cold water so you have lukewarm water, have it in a cup along with the oil and yogurt/sour cream. Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture, and pour in the liquid. Mix well and knead until you have a nice dough. Cover and set somewhere warm to rise for about 1 hour.

- Now, the dough should be about double its original size, take it out on a floured surface and knead it well for at least 5 minutes (preferably 10-15 minutes to knock all the air out of it!). Place on a baking paper clad baking tray or a loaf tin and cover either with a large baking bowl, or loosely with cling film. Leave to rise once more for an additional hour/hour and a half (I went and did my food shopping whilst waiting, simple!)

- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Slash the loaf with a knife a couple of times diagonally, and sprinkle with oats or seeds. Now, place it in the middle of the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes. If you're baking it in a loaf tin, it will most likely take at least 40 minutes. You can tap it to check, it should have an almost hollow-like sound.

- Once done, place on a rack to cool, before serving with whatever toppings and spreads you feel like. I attacked it with a slab of basil pesto and ham - simple, but soooo effective. I hope you like it as much as I did!

Because of the shape my loaf had, I can imagine cutting it up thinly would make perfect "dippers" for dippy egg soldiers... now there's a thought!

Original source:

- Jules

Friday, 18 April 2014

Dark Creamy Coconut Hearts

So I was going to keep this recipe from you for at least another day, thinking that posting something savoury between the Nutty Date Marbles and these would be better. But you know what? It's Easter! There shouldn't be a shortage of sweets, especially not when you can make them as healthy as this!

Originally, this was a recipe for a healthier version of the Kinder Maxi chocolate. I however, didn't have any white sugar-free chocolate, so I used coconut oil instead!

Dark Creamy Coconut Hearts
(Makes 5)

...all that was left was a broken heart, and a happy stomach!

40g dark (sugar free) chocolate, chopped
1 heaped tbsp coconut oil (if solid, 2-3 tbsp if liquid) (or swap for 20-30g white chocolate)
2 soft cheese triangles (about 30-40g)
1 1/2 tsp sukrin icing sugar
3 drops stevia vanilla (creme)

- Start by melting the dark chocolate by boiling up a little water in a small casserole. Place a heat-proof, smaller bowl in, and add the chopped chocolate into the dry bowl. Stir occasionally and allow to melt fully.

- Now, get your silicone mould out! Spoon 2/3 of the chocolate between 5 moulds, and use the backside of the spoon (the part you hold) and make sure it covers all the way up to the edge of the little moulds. Place in the freezer for 5 minutes until set (I left them in the fridge for a bit longer).

- Towards the end of the waiting, heat the coconut oil the way you did with the chocolate, once liquified, take it off the heat and mix in the soft cream cheese and sweetners. As you are doing this, return the remaining hot chocolate to melt the way you did at first.

- In the moulds, divide the coconut cheese filling, then...Top with the remaining chocolate and freeze until set. I currently don't have a freezer, so I popped them in the fridge for about an hour. Carefully take them out of the moulds and refrigerate until serving, if you can actually wait that is!

Not perfect...but you have to make sure they look home made, right?

Ah, the sun was shining here today, I sorted out a new flat and will be moving in there in two weeks, and I got to spend some time in the lovely weather with two lovely girls, pancakes, sunshine and card games - bliss! Not to mention the questionable 90s hits we were listening to, hah!

Original source:

- Jules

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

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

Monday, 7 April 2014

Chia Pudding

So, this thing called chia pudding is a little something I have seen spread across the food blogs, and several posts in my newsfeed has been for exactly this!
I had chia seeds at hand, and I loooove almond milk, so I decided to give this a shot. And guess what? It's another vegan recipe! This is a lovely alternative to yogurt, or smoothies. Actually, you could probably use this as a base for a smoothie come to think of it!
Let your mind in control over what you want to add to it, whether it be crunchy granola, chopped nuts, spices, berries or fruits....and enjoy *smiles*

Chia Pudding
(Serves 1)

2 tbsp (1/4 cup) Chia seeds
1 cup almond mild
A few drops stevia vanilla/vanilla crême
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

- Simply mix the chia seeds and almond milk, stirring well - and set cold overnight. Or from morning to evening if having it as a treat after dinner or an evening snack.

- The next day, add the sweetner, and stir until the chia seeds are breaking up. Add berries, granola, nuts or other accompaniments of choice, and enjoy!

- I continued the whole piña colada theme and added two broken-up pineapple rings and a bit of the piña colada granola - tasty!

Pineapple in the middle!

Original source:
Several blogsites, this snack seems to become very popular these days! Note - some people don't stir it after having combined the almond milk and chia seeds and add the sweetners before it's left to set.

- Jules

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Vegan Piña Colada Granola

It was Saturday, I had been out in town all day, wandering through shops with one of my best friends Anna. Lots of caffeine had been consumed, and I found myself back in the flat with way too many things I didn't mean to buy - and now I felt like I had to make it up to myself by getting creative.
In the morning, I had noticed I was about to run out of the quinoa granola I made a while ago, and so my decision fell on this nifty little recipe for Piña Colada Granola the wonderful Christal at Nutritionist in the Kitch had made!

I made a few alterations to the recipe, adding a sneaky tablespoon of Jamaican rum, and blitzing the pineapple instead of using apple sauce. And the result? Amazing! Again, I got to experience the lovely baked granola scents spreading all over the flat, it smelt like Summer!

Vegan Piña Colada Granola
(Makes about 5 servings)

2 cups rolled oats (or swap a cup for puffed rice)
2 tbsp flaxseeds
Stevia (I used about 6 drops of stevia vanilla crême, optional though)
3 pineapple rings
3 tbsp agave syrup (or honey, but that'll mean it's not vegan!)
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt (optional)
1 1/2 handful roughly chopped nuts
1/3-1/4 cup dessicated coconut
1 tbsp Jamaican/white rum (optional)
A handful of dried pineapple (optional)

- Pre-heat the oven at about 160-180°C.

- In a small baking bowl, have all the ingredients apart from the oats, coconut, chopped nuts and dried pineapple (if using). Use a stick blender or a food processor to make the purêe.

- Once done, fold in the remaining ingredients, spread it evenly over a baking tray and bake for about 40-50 minutes, turning every 15 minutes or so to make sure it gets nice and crunchy. You can break it up a little as you go along too, but make sure to keep some nice big clusters in there!

- Once the granola is dried up properly, leave to cool completely before storing in an airtight jar!

Enjoy with some milk, or as topping with some yogurt and syrup, and perhaps some freshly cut pineapple for an extra bit of that piña colada goodness!

In the process of crumbling, and in the glass to the left you have my breakfast, and a little teaser for what's to come!

Also, last week, on Monday, I finally had a great night's sleep. Trouble was - my mobile decided to die (you know how they seem to be built only to last for barely 24 hours? Yeh...Not cool!) and I slept in. Thankfully I managed to get to the office in time, but I was looking mighty scruffy, we all have those days I suppose!

Anywhoo, so I gave it some thought, and looked over at my neglected (but ever so loyal!) alarm clock. It is almost 20 years old, as I got it for when I started school at the age of almost five years old. My mother, father and I had to stop by a petrol station after having visited some friends of them, and as soon as I laid my eyes on that cute lion face starting at me, I knew it would be perfect for helping me getting up for school!
So yesterday, I went to the shop, got some new batteries, gave Simba there a little clean, and set him back to work! Knowing that I can turn off my mobile overnight makes me feel a little more relaxed, and I'll be sure to actually get up on time! I might curse the little fellow as it beeps in the morning...I'll try not to though! There's nothing wrong with being a little childish, and it is things like these that gets your mind reminiscing, right? When my mum saw a photo of it online, she couldn't believe I had still kept it!

Do you still use an alarm clock?

I hope you've had a wonderful weekend! Mine has been filled with sociable times, curry, wine, chit chat, live music and dancing. I went to this swing bar here in Glasgow, and it felt as if I'd just entered the early 1900's or the attic in the Aristocats when the musicians starts playing, and Duchess and Thomas O'Malley starts jiggin' about - I will definitely be going back!

Original source:

- Jules

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Flourless Banana Waffle

Happy Wednesday!

So, you know whenever you come across a blog that has recipes strewn across the whole page that you really just want to start making immediately?
Exactly, that happened to me yesterday, and when I saw this four ingredient recipe for easy waffles, I couldn't help but make them for breakfast this morning, and you know what? FOr being flourless it is pretty darn tasty, and I cannot wait to make it again!

This first one, I decided to top with peanut butter and sliced strawberries (I munched another couple whilst making this, mmmm), hitting two of my five a day before eight o'lock in the morning, and in one of the tastiest ways possible!

Flourless Banana Waffle
(Makes 1)

1 medium banana
1 egg
A pinch of cinnamon (optional)
Butter for frying
Toppings of choice

- Simply turn on your waffle iron, and grease with a little light butter.

- Pour the waffle mixture onto the waffle iron and close, let it sit for a few minutes until it is cooked through.

- Now, top with your favourite spreads, fruits, jams, chopped nuts or whatever takes your fancy - and enjoy!

Original source:

- Jules