Monthly Archives

September 2013

Banana Bread Almond Pancake

September 30, 2013

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Lately I’ve been drowning in breakfast recipes. Deliciously drowning, I might add. There’s a lot of maple syrup and cacao in there…but drowning nonetheless.

You see, I like to ensure I only post recipes on my blog that I know are going to be yummy. Breakfast recipes are easy. It’s more of a gathering of familiar ingredients – for me that usually means oats, often some dairy, a bit of fruit. Maybe some other ‘health foodie’ ingredients will feature, like chia seeds or mesquite powder, but these fancy ingredients can usually be omitted or replaced by some good old fashioned honey or maple syrup. It’s no big deal.

Savoury recipes, on the other hand, tend to require a few tries before I’m completely happy with the result. Unless a bucketload of butter is involved…yeah, then I usually get it right first try. But *sigh* I like to practice moderation with my butter consumption and so the savoury recipes I have floating in my food-dreaming mind take that little bit longer to reach these pages of my diary. What I am trying to say is that though it may seem I only speak the language of porridge and caramelised bananas, I assure you that is not the case. I like a spoonful of pesto on my steak just as much as the next person.

Shush and handover the recipe for this banana bread almond pancake? Alright.

This breakfast will keep you full for a really decent amount of time. It’s a bit of a power breakfast. Good for those days when I don’t have time to make breakfast pie. The texture is not that of a fluffy buttermilk pancake, rather a dense slice of banana bread…in pancake form. Toasted almond flakes in place of the almond butter topping is a smashing idea. Or use both – up the almond ante! Add as much honey as you desire when dressing your pancake (I’m on a bit of a honey bender and enjoy a generous drizzle) but please do serve with a heaping tablespoon of Greek yoghurt (my current favourite is Farmers Union). The yoghurt provides not only freshness and a flavour compliment to the dish, it’s adding more good nutrition to help you dance through your morning.

Carrots are coming soon, I promise.

 

Banana Bread Almond Pancake

Serves 1, generously.

Ingredients
1/4 cup Rolled Oats
1/4 cup Almond Meal
1/8 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground Flaxmeal (you can replace this with ground LSA or if lacking in flax, add extra almond meal)
a generous pinch of Salt
1 large ripe Banana
1 teaspoon Honey
1 Egg, whisked

Toppings: 1 heaped tablespoon Greek Yoghurt, 1 heaped teaspoon Almond Butter (or 1 tablespoon flaked, toasted almonds) and a drizzle of honey.

Method
1. Using a food processor, blend the oats until they resemble a flour (some bigger pieces are fine). Add the almond meal and pulse a few times. Add the baking powder, cinnamon, flaxmeal and salt.
2. In a mixing bowl mash the banana, then add the flour mixture, honey and whisked egg. Stir until just combined. Leave the mixture to chill in the fridge for ~15 minutes (shower time?).
3. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat with a bit of oil or butter. When hot, spoon the mix into the pan and spread out to make one large pancake 1-2cm thick. Cook for ~5 minutes until golden on both sides, confidently flipping the pancake halfway through.
4. Serve with a spoonful of almond butter (or toasted almond flakes), a drizzle of honey and greek yoghurt.

Heidi xo

Lemon Coconut Bars. And Being Selfish.

September 27, 2013

I need to tell you something. I’m really enjoying being selfish.

I think my recent birthday has encouraged some life reflection. Bear with me. I’ll reward you with lemon coconut bars at the end of this self-indulgence.

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My mid to late twenties has been full of travel and adventure and wine (some of which was from the expensive row in the bottle shop) and decidedly lacking in mortgages and loans. I don’t have too many responsibilities right now besides taking care of myself and being a good wife, sister, daughter, granddaughter, friend. I’m striving to be a good business lady and to educate myself. And I’m enjoying it. I’m fiercely enjoying my “me time”.

Why all the drama? Well, as I get older I am acutely aware that this “me time” will soon fade. No, this is not a pregnancy announcement (someone hand me the Campari), but if I am lucky enough to have a family some day, things are going to change.

Oh, with children I will experience more love than I ever thought possible and my life will be fulfilled in new and overwhelming ways, of this I am certain. And I will surely look back on my present time and think “how on Earth did I fill my days?”… It’s going to be magic.

But I’m not there yet. Despite the questions and expectations and belly glances from those around me.

And so, I am doing my best to enjoy this time before Ben and I expand our family. It may be only a couple more years when it’s just the two of us. And I really like the two of us. This is such a fun stage in my life. So I’m savouring it. All of it.

I’m savouring being able to focus solely on my best friend, spending a ridiculous amount of time making him the perfect sandwich, having movie marathons til the early hours of the morning and watching him sleep because he’s more perfect than that perfect sandwich (even if it did have roasted balsamic onions).

I’m savouring being able to spend all day cooking, losing myself in a book and letting unscheduled hours pass by before pouring a big glass of wine and on a whim deciding to go out to dinner.

I’m not saying I won’t have time for any of this AC (after children). But it will be different. My priorities will shift. It will be amazing. But it will be different. So for now, I’m really enjoying being selfish.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. Childless at twenty eight, it’s shocking, I know. And I’m aware that these questions simply mean that people are just excited for us. I suppose the awkward monitoring of my wine glass at every single social occasion has gotten to me. I’m sure some of you can relate.

Here, have some lemon coconut bars (recipe link). I selfishly did not dust these lovelies with powdered sugar, prioritising my personal flavour preference over a prettier picture. But hey, I did give some to my dad and grandfather (lemon bars are far more exciting than a baby, right?). Maybe I’m not so selfish after all…

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Heidi xo

Birthday Crêpes

September 24, 2013

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I am so very fond of crêpes.

Lovely and lithe, these dear blankets are delicious without enhancement. Though I do encourage decoration with yummy fillings. And when you layer lavishly within the frayed edges, perhaps with lemon curd or cream or jam, and the ingredients soften and melt and ooze (the tender result of ‘straight from the pan’ warmth)…oooh. It’s heavenly.

I fell in love with crêpes on a trip to France with my mother ten years ago. It was undoubtedly love at first bite. And this wasn’t any crêpe, it was a nutella crêpe (“nOOtella”) from a hole in the wall crêperie in Paris. I mean, truly, is there anything more beautiful than a fresh crêpe exuding, ostentatiously, a sweet and fluent stream of warm nutella? I suppose there is…devouring this hedonistic pancake drama on the streets of Paris. Yes, that is one of my most favourite activities in the entire world, negotiating the Parisian cobblestone streets and the inevitable ‘nutella on your face’ situation as you dive into a takeaway crêpe with reckless delicious abandon.

In the absence of the city of lights and charming crêperies, I like to make these beauties in my kitchen for special breakfasts. And lunches and suppers and snacks. Really, it takes little persuasion for me to crack out my crêpes pans.

…..

Yesterday was my birthday. I made crêpes for breakfast with an array of toppings. There were frozen berries, chestnut spread, greek yoghurt and blood orange jam. They were intoxicatingly good.

We also ate crêpes for lunch, with smoked salmon, creme fraiche and dill.

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Crêpes for breakfast AND lunch. I told you I’m fond of crêpes. This recipe is stellar. I suggest you follow Clotilde’s instructions closely, making the batter the night before and cooking your crêpes quickly over a high heat. I’m also very partial to the rum inclusion. Ben? Not so much. That reveals much about our cooking and eating preferences, actually…

After whipping up the remainder of the crêpes and laying out creme fraiche, smoked salmon and dill for their filling (a savoury favour works well with this batter, too), I assembled a salad using mixed leaves, chopped red onion, gherkins and dill (followed by a splash of both quality extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar). The final salad ingredient? Wasabi cheese.

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Last week I visited Tasmania on a blogging gig to write about some of the incredible produce the North and North West region has to offer. Ashgrove Cheese was one producer I visited and boy did I leave with a lovely bounty. There will be more to come on my Tasmania visit in the next couple of months but for now, know that I had the most wonderful time. This wasabi cheese was for my husband. He fell instantly in love. Much the same way I fell for crêpes…

…..

Do try this crêpe recipe, it really is superb. And let me know if you have any beloved fillings I simply must try.

Heidi xo

 

 

Coffee Date Porridge with Coconut Whipped Cream

September 20, 2013

I’ve got another porridge recipe for you. Another one? Yes, I’m afraid so. But I do so love to dress my oats.

Porridge recipes are hardly tricky tasks, more an assembly of ingredients. Some flavour inspiration… from my cauldron of goodies, scribed for your morning oat spell.

Personally, I find I need regular porridge inspiration to get me away from the familiar honey, banana, cinnamon combination so that I don’t get sick of my childhood favourite. I sure didn’t put coffee in my porridge as a child. Gosh, no. Nor did I top it with a luxurious dollop of coconut whipped cream.

This recipe is hella indulgent. I am rightly obsessed and dare I say it’s trumping my peanut butter and banana porridge. It’s the coconut whipped cream, which lightly oozes over the thick coffee pudding and oooooh… lovely. A bit of porridge witchcraft for your morning.

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Coffee Date Porridge with Coconut Whipped Cream

Serves 1

Ingredients

1/2 cup Rolled Oats
1/2 cup Milk
3 dried, pitted Dates, chopped
2 teaspoon Ground Coffee
1 teaspoon Mesquite Powder (you could substitute Pure Maple Syrup, but I do so love Mesquite Powder)
1 teaspoon Coconut Palm Sugar (you could use brown sugar or more Pure Maple Syrup here)
1 heaping teaspoon (or two) Coconut Whipped Cream (see this great tutorial. You’ll need to make this in advance, I always keep cans of coconut milk in my fridge for this purpose)

Method
1. Put the oats, milk and dates in a saucepan and allow to soak for 15 minutes (this will help them become really creamy).
2. Add the mesquite powder and ground coffee and cook over medium heat for ~5 minutes until the oats are cooked and the milk is absorbed (add more milk or water if required).
3. Serve with a scant spoon of sugar (if you like a sweet bowl) and a generous spoon of coconut whipped cream.

 

Heidi xo

Chocolate Nut Butter Cups

September 17, 2013

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I think it’s clear that I like nut butter, right?

Roasted, pulverised almonds (or walnuts or cashews or peanuts or macadamias or hazelnuts… or all of the above), completely and utterly defeated into an earthy butter. It’s dreamy nutrition.

If I’m feeling like some hard truth, I spread my nut butter on toast. Maybe I’ll sprinkle some sea salt as well.

If I’ve got a sweet tooth, which is not a rare occasion, I will spread my nut butter on toast and top that with a few dainty dots of jam or honey or maple syrup. Again with the sea salt.

If it’s time for a decadent snack, I will envelop my nut butter in chocolate, refrigerate it and call it a homemade nut butter cup. It is truly dreamy nutrition.

When I make these cute cups I think of friends in the USA, I think of my brother and my dad who love all things…food. I think of my love for nut butter and chocolate. Combined.

Pleasing most everyone – friends and family, young and old – these chocolate nut butter cups do not feel particularly familiar. They are not happily sedating like a slice of your grandma’s sponge. No, these bites feel like a cheeky hug. They’re a little eccentric. It’s the dance of the peanut butter and chocolate, an ever entertaining jig that feels at once so wrong but so right. Mostly the latter…

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Chocolate Nut Butter Cups

Adapted from Sprouted Kitchen’s Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

Makes 14-18 nut butter cups, depending on the size of your little cups/liners

Ingredients
200g Dark Chocolate (you can use milk, but I much prefer the bitter-kissed intensity of dark chocolate)
1/3 cup Natural* Peanut Butter (* with no added salt or sugar or oils)
1/4 cup Natural* Almond Butter
1 tablespoon Honey
1 tablespoon Pure Maple Syrup (or extra honey, I simply don’t like mine to be too honey-flavoured)
1 heaped tablespoon Coconut Flour (you could use almond meal or even desiccated coconut in it’s place. Or powdered sugar, as the original recipe calls for, but do taste for sweetness and add less honey as desired if you go the sugar route)
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 pinches Sea Salt plus extra for sprinkling on top

Mini baking cups/liners (I used flimsy liners and so doubled up to ensure they were strong enough to handle the goods)

* Options: you can skip the different nut butters and flours and sweeteners listed in this above recipe and  just put a scoop of your favourite nut butter in here. This is lovely with hazelnut butter. Lemon curd with a bit of almond flour is also a ridiculous filling. The only thing that will differ (besides the obvious flavour change) is a runnier, less uniform texture. Get creative, folks!

Method
1. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler, stirring occasionally and removing from the heat when it’s all melted and smooth.
2. Spoon a teaspoon of the chocolate mixture into the mini baking cups/liners and swirl around so the chocolate reaches up to the sides, then place on a tray. This is fiddly work, my friends.
3. In a separate mixing bowl combine the nut butters, honey, maple, coconut flour, vanilla and salt. Stir well to combine. If the mixture is too wet, add some more flour. Taste and adjust as desired.
4. Scoop a heaped teaspoon of the mixture and roll in the palm of your hands to create a round disc. Slightly moist hands makes this work less sticky. Place in the baking cup on top of the chocolate and press down slightly. Repeat with the remaining mixture and liners.
5. If required, reheat the chocolate over the double boiler. Once melted and smooth, spoon a teaspoon of chocolate delicately on top of the nut butter round to cover it. Sprinkle with sea salt. Repeat with the remaining cups.
6. Place the tray in the fridge and allow them to set. Store in a container in the fridge.

Heidi xo

 

 

 

My Mindful Kitchen

September 13, 2013

I love to cook. And personally, I feel like a kitchen success whenever I create something that is both edible and earnest. Edible requires no explanation, I simply like my food to taste good and for my loved ones to agree that this meal/baked good is indeed delicious. But what do I mean by earnest? Well, I like to have sound and true intentions behind my meals. Let me explain.

As a Dietitian and thus, someone interested in health and nutrition, I pretty much always intend for my meals to be nourishing – to provide my body with nutrients and energy so I can function really well in life. I also intend for my meals to be an expression of love and to nurture people. To provide them with the joy that is a good piece of pie or the comfort of a beloved childhood dish (which reminds me, I must make my husband his Aunty’s asparagus soup…) This is all earnest cooking to me.
Though recently, I’ve articulated another dimension to my earnest kitchen endeavours. To shop, prepare and consume food mindfully. What do I mean by that?…Ok, let’s get serious. Don’t worry, there’s pasta at the end it it all.

The past sixty years or so has seen incredible changes to our food production and consumption systems. These changes have drastically impacted our world, our health, our planet – sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. I’m focusing on the “worse” here, the environmental and lifestyle-related illness impacts.  Last year I attended a few different talks on the environmental costs of this overwhelming mass production and greedy resource draining. The resounding advice from experts was that we consume too much. And boy, is this terrifyingly true.

I first acknowledged my own consuming ways after volunteering at a children’s home in rural Thailand a few years ago. Six weeks later I arrived home in Melbourne, walked into my bedroom and opened my wardrobe to have what was surely a panic attack before donating half my wardrobe in a rather dramatic, self-important affair. I had so much stuff. I still struggle to enter shopping centres. I find the excess suffocating.

Bringing this back to our kitchens, the statistics on food consumption and household wastage are shocking, with young adults being some of the worst offenders. Over the past sixty years we have gradually become more and more spoilt. Vast, ridiculous quantities of food are readily available wherever you turn. And we are greedy – we buy in excess “just in case” or because “it was on special”. Yes, we’re being tricked by sly Supermarket advertising tactics but we ourselves have become blind and lazy. We purchase too much, we waste too much, we consume too much. It’s distressing.

And so as a coping mechanism (to avoid another panic attack and subsequent possession purge, because I really do like my pretty bowls and spoons) I went foraging for inspiration to live simpler, to live more intentionally, to live…better, and to help reduce my consumption and wastage.

There are many people out there striving to be more accountable in what they cook and consume, and setting a wonderful example for us all. Tammi and Rohan are just a couple of inspired individuals whose names spring to mind, and we can certainly all learn from them. The message? Know where your food is coming from and support local producers who are employing sustainable, environmentally friendly practices with happy animals; steer clear of major corporations who edge out smaller, local companies; think about what you’re buying and don’t just mindlessly consume…shop, cook and eat with these intentions. Becoming more mindful in this way can help us to get into the habit of consuming less and in turn wasting less. This benefits the planet, directs funds towards sustainable food production and also saves us money. It’s a no brainer.

And please, this post is not meant to sound preachy or shame you for ducking into Coles to buy cling film and frozen peas on your way home from work. Nope. We are not going to be perfect all the time. But I do know that we can do better. Every time you choose to buy produce from the local green grocer who you know source their goods from local orchards and farms with sustainable practices (ps don’t be afraid to ask your green grocer or butcher these questions), or every time you decide to make your own stock out of the leftover chicken bones instead of buying it from the store (real talk, this does require a bit of time), or every time you favour an apple instead of a pre-packaged apple-flavoured snack, or every time you save that extra scoop of casserole for tomorrow’s breakfast on toast, or every time you share your lemon tree surplus with neighbours in exchange for their fresh eggs…Every time, you’re making real, sustainable, mindful choices, which will benefit our planet and our bodies.

I hope that My Mindful Kitchen can inspire us all to be more intentional in our kitchens and in our lives. A mindful kitchen is a beautiful thing.

And now, we eat…

Here is a recipe for a dish I frequently make when we have little in our fridge and I’m encouraged to turn to pantry staples for nourishment. Research shows that you tend to buy more food, as well as food outside your original intention when you are hungry. And so rather than racing to the store for last minute, hurried purchases, it’s nice to slow down and take a few minutes to search through your pantry. Instead of spending more, use what you have. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll have anchovies on hand.

Anchovies – they’re a recent love of mine. Previously I parked these beautiful oily fish firmly in the funky aisle. But with time I’ve come to see their true wonder, how they lend a sharp, sticky, saltiness to dishes and in return for this outrageous deliciousness, you get a bucket load of good nutrients. Yep, they’re pretty ace.

I’m quite thrilled to post this recipe as my first Mindful Kitchen post. I hope you enjoy it.

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Spaghetti with Anchovies, Kale and Pangrattato

Serves 2

Ingredients
2 slices of stale Sourdough Bread (or 1 large slice)
1 tablespoon Oil (go for the anchovy fillet oil, it’s there and so tasty)
1 clove Garlic, crushed
4-7 Anchovy Fillets in Oil (depending how fishy and salty you like your dish)
A pinch of dried Chilli Flakes
1 handful cooked, diced Kale (you can replace this with spinach or rocket, or omit it altogether. It’s not traditional but I love my greens)
1 generous handful chopped Flat-Leaf Parsley
200g Dried Spaghetti
~1/2 cup reserved Pasta Cooking Water
1 Lemon
Optional: parmesan

Method
1. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil.
2. Meanwhile, blitz your bread in a food processor to make breadcrumbs.
3. Add the pasta to the boiling water. You absolutely must cook your pasta al dente for this dish. I always check mine early and tend to cook it for 1-2 minutes less than recommended on the packet. Overcooked pasta kills this dish.
4. While the pasta is cooking, heat a large frying pan over medium heat with the oil from the anchovies. When hot, add the breadcrumbs, garlic, anchovies and chilli. Cook for 3-5 minutes until the breadcrumbs get nice and toasty and golden, stirring occasionally. When done, add the parsley, stir one last time and then place in a bowl for later (don’t wash the pan, return that to the stove but ensure the heat is off).
5. Place the cooked, diced kale in a colander. When al dente, drain the pasta over the kale to reheat it (reserving about 1/2 cup cooking water).
6. Add the pasta and kale to the frying pan with the juice of 1/2 lemon and a splash of the reserved cooking water (add more as required). Add only a third of the breadcrumb mixture then stir well before quickly serving. Sprinkle the remaining breadcrumb mix over the top of your pasta and top with parmesan if you’re feeling cheesy.

Heidi xo

Peanut Butter and Banana Porridge

September 11, 2013

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I mean, it had to be done, right?

Though it’s recently turned to Spring, Mother Nature is not sending us off to the beach just yet. It is still pretty cold in Melbourne. And on mornings when I fear leaving my bed for surely sudden frostbite, it’s a tender bowl of porridge that summons me from the covers.

We have recently moved to the country and are finding it decidedly arctic in our house whenever the sun is asleep. This chill lingers for some time, as the sun is indeed a sleepy fellow who takes his time in giving us his morning kiss of warmth. Thick socks are doing the job of keeping us snug. As are some obscenely puffy jackets purchased in Vietnam a couple of years ago. Though my favourite way to warm up is with porridge for breakfast. The only tough decision is what kind of porridge to make…

Maybe I’ll add a spoonful of cacao, or perhaps some spice. Do we have bananas in the fruit bowl? Yes? Oh, perfect. Perfect. I’ll have peanut butter and banana porridge.

Three years ago I wrote about my love for this divine, heavenly, food of the Gods combination in sandwich form. Now it is time for it’s porridge cousin. Is this a simple recipe? Sure. But, dear friends, it’s a super one. Peanut butter and banana porridge trumps cacao and ginger every time (and it’s rather smug about it, too).

I certainly knew what I wanted to make for Wednesday Breakfast Club this week, as I had an abundance of bananas at home and, let’s be real, an ever-present desire to have a peanut butter party.

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Peanut Butter and Banana Porridge

Serves 1

Ingredients
1/3 cup Rolled Oats
1/2 cup Milk
1/4 cup Water
1 Banana
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 – 1 tablespoon Natural* Peanut Butter (depending on how generous you’re feeling)
A sprinkling Sea Salt (I love Maldon)
Butter to grease your pan

* Natural nut butter contains 100% nuts. If your nut butter also contains salt, omit the salt sprinkle in this recipe.

Method
1. Place the oats and milk in a small, heavy-based saucepan. Cut the banana in half. Add half the banana (sliced) to the oats and milk. Stir and leave to soak for 10-15minutes – this helps your oats to become super creamy.
2. Slice the other half of your banana lengthways, so you have two long, thin pieces. Set aside.
3. When it is time to cook your oats add the vanilla and heat over low-medium heat until bubbling. Turn down the heat and stir frequently, adding the water (and more) if required until the oats are cooked and plump (~5 minutes).
4. Meanwhile, heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Lightly grease the pan with butter and then cook the banana slices until golden and caramelised (~2-3 minutes, flipping halfway through and turning down the heat as required to avoid burning the banana).
5. Serve your porridge topped with the peanut butter, grilled banana and a sprinkling of sea salt flakes.

 

What did you have for breakfast today?

Heidi xo

Beet Patties

September 7, 2013

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Beets. They bleed wealth, don’t you agree? I find them to be romantic…indulgent.

And it’s goes beyond the blushing colour. Beets transport ordinarily lovely dishes into the realm of divinity with their stunning red stain and luxurious, flush flavour. Thus, I quite favour beets as my “special occasion” vegetable. Though I fancy most meals to be a special, beet-worthy occasion…

Today is most definitely a special occasion, as I share with you my favourite recent recipe discovery – beet burgers (or “patties”, as I tend to use them beyond burger form). This recipe, from the exquisite blog Green Kitchen Stories, is so very good. These vegetarian burgers are beyond delicious, beyond scrumptious. Does anything exist beyond scrumptious? Do not be wary of the rolled oats addition, you cannot even notice them. Perhaps the cheese distracts you… No, it’s most certainly because you’re swooning over the beets. Don’t blush now.

I served these patties as the recipe suggests, as burgers. I have also served them in salads and, lovingly for breakfast one morning on a bed of spinach, topped with a fried egg and sprinkled with sprouts.

Beet Patties

Recipe by Green Kitchen Stories, with only a few minor adjustments below.

Makes 6-8 depending on the size you form

Ingredients
3 cups grated Beetroot
1.5 cups Rolled Oats (or 1 cup Rolled Oats and 1/2 cup cooked Quinoa)
1 Onion
2 cloves Garlic (use 1 clove if you don’t enjoy a garlic taste, it’s quite prominent)
3 Eggs (or 2 very large eggs, we found the mixture needed an extra one)
150g quality Feta (I love Dodoni. Lightly cooked Haloumi pieces would be a delicious alternative to feta)
2 tablespoons Olive Oil, plus more for cooking
1 handful fresh flat-leaf Parsley (or Basil, as the original recipe calls for), chopped
2 generous pinches Smoked Paprika
2 generous pinches Sweet Paprika
Salt and Pepper

Method
1. Peel the beets, onion and garlic and then grate them (by hand or using a food processor). Place the grated goods in a big mixing bowl and stir through the oats (and quinoa if using). Whisk the eggs and add them to the mix along with the olive oil, parsley, smoked and sweet paprika, freshly cracked pepper and a generous sprinkle of salt. Mix everything well.
2. Crumble in the feta and stir again, then leave for 30 minutes to help the oats soak up the liquid and ensure the patties will stay together in the pan.
3. Form the patties with your hands, adding more oats if the mixture is too wet and set aside.
4. Heat a generous glug of oil in a large, non-stick pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the patties and cook for a few minutes until golden. Using two pans might be a good idea to avoid over-crowding. Flip the patties (I find using two spatulas does the trick most glamourously) and cook for a further few minutes until golden.
5. Serve as you wish, as burgers, in a salad or with a fried egg on top. These patties go excellently with lots of greens – spinach, sprouts, avocado… Enjoy.

 

Heidi xo

Chia Seed and Date Pudding

September 4, 2013

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Good morning to you!

It’s Wednesday, and that means I’m hashtagging all over instagram and twitter with #wednesdaybreakfastclub, sharing my morning eats and encouraging you to do the same. I so love to see what everyone is eating on a Wednesday. I find this casual weekday breakfast snooping to be wonderfully inspiring. So far, it’s resulted in the creation of coffee date oats and a dash to the shops to buy fruit loaf. And this chia seed pudding.

A couple of weeks ago, club member Kate posted a #wednesdaybreakfastclub picture of her coconut chia pudding (recipe by Petite Kitchen). This sparked some keen chia planning on my behalf, and so here we have my creation, assembled last night and enjoyed this morning. Totally hashtag worthy.

I used mesquite powder in this pudding, which has an intense caramel flavour. Mesquite powder (ground from the pods of the mesquite plant) is a low GI sweetener, providing some nutrients including the amino acid lysine (if anyone else gets cold sores like I do – ugh – then you might join me in a little dance at the mention of lysine, which is said to help prevent cold sores). The mesquite powder encouraged this to be quite a sweet pudding (especially with the addition of maple syrup and dates). It therefore paired wonderfully with the tang of unsweetened Greek yoghurt and a sprinkling of earthy roasted almonds.

Play around with your favourite flavours to create your ideal pudding. If you don’t have mesquite powder, try some raw cacao, half a ripe mashed banana or just extra maple syrup in it’s place. Coconut milk or desiccated coconut, as per the original inspiring recipe, would be a fun, Summery addition. And then you could top your coconut chia pudding with chopped mango and toasted desiccated coconut. Oh, bring on Summer!

Chia Seed and Date Pudding

Begin this recipe the night before so the mixture can soak overnight (or allow to soak for at least 2-3 hours).

Serves 1

Ingredients

2 generous tablespoons Chia Seeds (found in health food shops and the health food aisle of Supermarkets)
3/4 cup Milk (almond milk would be outrageously good in this recipe)
2 generous teaspoons Mesquite Powder (it’s not cheap but a little goes a long way)
1/2 teaspoon Pure Maple Syrup
3 dried pitted Dates, chopped
To serve, Greek Yoghurt  and Roasted Almonds, chopped

Method
1. Combine all the ingredients (except for the yoghurt and almonds) in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Cover and allow to sit in the fridge overnight.
2. In the morning give the mix a vigorous stir. If it has separated, this will allow the pudding to gel together nice and plumply (plumply?).
3. Serve with a spoon of Greek yoghurt and a sprinkling of roasted almonds.

What did you have for breakfast today?

Heidi xo

 

 

Father’s Day At Our New Home

September 2, 2013

A mild Spring evening, the first of the season, spent with my dad. And my grandad. And my mum and brother and nana and husband, on Father’s Day.

It was casual and familiar – my family together, gathering around food… but this evening was especially special, as it was the first time Ben and I hosted everyone at our new home.

Early yesterday morning I began the food preparation and I didn’t stop, really, until family arrived. It was glorious. Burning eggplant (intentionally), pureeing beets, chopping herbs… and my favourite activity of them all, making a pie crust. With my most loved soundtrack playing in the background, I worked to keep it cold – always, colder, more cold, there you go, chill it again, great job, keep it cold – for flaky, all-butter pie crust perfection.

As family arrived we drank some beer, played a game or two of quoits, and went for a little wander to the beach before moseying back to tackle the lamb that was cooking on the spit. Together. At our new home.

Yes, it was an especially special evening.

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On our table (which was actually my parents’ first dining table) was dressed in a Jerusalem-inspired feast! We had the burnt eggplant, pureed beets, cauliflower salad and wild rice with chickpeas.

I find Ottolenghi‘s dishes tend to be simple in concept, using humble and nourishing ingredients (though some decidedly foreign to many Western palates), which require keen concentration in preparation and a gutsy execution. They’re spirited and exciting dishes that are so often incredibly scrumptious. I highly recommend Jerusalem to anyone who enjoys good food and delights in tender meal preparation.

Our Jerusalem dishes were served with spit-roasted lamb and chicken, and my dad’s sourdough bread which is so darn good. As we ate, we laughed and shared tales and marvelled at the beetroot and how homely this new place of ours feels. And after a day of cooking, a glass of wine never tasted so good.

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To finish, a salty honey pie. This recipe came all the way from Brooklyn, NYC, from the very best pie shop in the world. And despite the wonky shape of my crust (let’s blame my new oven, shall we?) it was wonderfully flaky, and the salty honey filling was outrageously delicious. I served my dad and I seconds, with cream. It was Father’s Day, after all.

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Happy Father’s Day, dad. The sign you sneakily hung on my cupboard all those years ago, proclaiming “congratulations for choosing to be born to such a great and wonderful Dad” was indeed right. No one can bake bread, tie rope knots and chop wood like you. You’re a true boy scout. Top of the class, as always.

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Heidi xo