In the interest of creating a filling breakfast before heading into the clinic to see clients, as well as using the lovely Transition Farm leek I had sitting in the fridge and the remainder of a jar of passata leftover from last night’s reheated meatloaf situation, I present you with this morning’s breakfast: a quick shakshuka with leek.
Shakshuka with Leek
Grab a small skillet. Sautee diced leek in extra virgin olive oil and butter, plus a teeny pinch of sea salt, until soft. Add some crushed garlic and cook for a further minute or so until fragrant. In goes a couple of glugs of passata. Make room for two eggs, crack them into the spaces, cover the skillet and cook until the eggs are cooked to your liking. Top with smoked paprika and parsley. Serve with buttered sourdough toast and freshly cracked black pepper. Good things.
Happy Wednesday, friends.
I’ve been on a cacao hit this week. It started with the choc tops we ate over the weekend while seeing Mad Max at the cinema. Whoa, that movie was intense, I needed a nap afterwards. Instead we went for a burger. Choosing which choc top to eat was also intense. Usually it’s a clear boysenberry order, but for some reason I’ve been jonesing for coffee and mint chocolate flavours. Well, they didn’t have coffee and ahhhh, I don’t know, I’m usually always disappointed with mint…somehow it never lives up to my expectations and childhood nostalgia. So boysenberry it was.
And since then, my love for cacao has been pretty strong. As a way of indulging this desire I’ve been enjoying a square of Pana chocolate some afternoons and adding raw cacao powder to my breakfast, like yesterday. Chocolate porridge is a pretty neat way to both hit a craving and nourish yourself.
It’s been a while since I’ve made porridge with cacao and tahini, but this morning it felt right. With toasted almonds and sunflower seeds, lots of milk and extra sea salt. Next up, coffee and chocolate porridge, perhaps…
I’m usually not a fan of steamed broccoli. Roasted, yes. Stirfried, sure. Baked in a pasta dish, absolutely. But steamed? Boring. That was, until I got my first taste of the 2015 broccoli crop from our weekly Transition Farm vegetable box. And sure enough, I’m steaming broccoli and eating it for breakfast. I think it’s because it’s farm fresh. Vegetables grown in a thoughtful way taste so much better. And even though I overcooked it this morning, dulling the true colour, it was wonderful and simple and everything broccoli should be.
I served my broccoli with eggs, cheddar cheese, parsley and sourdough toast for Wednesday Breakfast Club this week.
Happy Wednesday, folks.
I find a lot of comfort in how the seasons change.
There’s comfort in the familiarity of figs and quince, the warmth of my favourite knits against my goose-pimply morning skin, and the show of those rich colours, the yellows, browns and oranges, decorating every other tree. My body tells me to eat soup and curry, to stay snug. I listen dutifully.
And though I adore the comfort and familiar traits of this time of year, I equally love the excitement and anticipation that comes with the change of season. Will the crop of figs from my parents’ tree be particularly fruitful this year? What will be our recurring soup recipe this winter? Where are my my thick socks hiding and are they as cozy as I remember? (they always are) And then there’s the thought that by the time the next sunshine season arrives, our baby will be here… to feel the warmth on their morning skin. That thought, friends, is entirely too comforting and exciting.
The answer to whether my parents’ fig tree came through with the goods this season is a spirited, “yes”. Mum has been gifting a couple of figs every now and then, though less than you might expect based on her track record of generosity. Curious… I think my dad is particularly fond of figs, you see. Mum too. I can’t blame them, as their fruit is particularly good, with a texture that doesn’t melt into suspicious softness and a flavour that says “I’m a fig but I’m not yelling about it”. And though good when enjoyed fresh and untouched, I’m partial to a quick pan fry, to encourage them into jaminess.
Atop a bowl of creamy porridge and crunchy toasted seeds, they’re rather spectacular. I knew this is what I wanted to make for Wednesday Breakfast Club this week. Having practiced my porridge with figs game earlier this week, (see the picture below), I was keen to recreate it this morning. And so it went…
I rarely deviate from my usual breakfast provisions. Most mornings I’ll reach for our jar of rolled oats, then some nuts and seeds, Greek yoghurt will come out of the fridge and I’ll create a meal using these reliable goods, whether porridge of varying flavours or stovetop granola. Or I might have some regular granola on hand (that is, if Ben hasn’t eaten it all).
Yesterday, while in the shops picking up parmesan cheese and a coffee for Ben, I spotted some sweet potatoes looking perfectly sized for one hungry pregnant lady. There were a bunch of avocados on sale (and by “on sale”, I mean they were $3 each instead of $6), so I grabbed two and danced like it was Christmas morning. Last night, after bolognaise on the couch with the final season of Mad Men (sniff), I peeled then roasted that sweet potato in the oven for 40 minutes, wrapped in foil and seasoned with sea salt, black pepper and extra virgin olive oil. I closed it tight for the first 30 minutes then opened it up to crisping opportunities in the final 10 or so. This morning I added a bunch of Transition Farm spinach and, together with the sweet potato, threw it in the microwave at Ben’s work for a couple of minutes, before decorating my plate with toasted pepitas and some of that prized avocado.
Mum and Dad’s fig tree was particularly fruitful this season. On Monday I took some home from my Mornington clinic, where I worked with the folks and now, for Wednesday Breakfast Club, I am enjoying two fresh figs at my new Richmond clinic. Together with yoghurt and muesli, they make a sweet morning meal.
I’ve started consulting from Richmond, which is right near Ben’s office, gradually building up a workload. I’ll need a break from September, as our baby will be making his/her arrival and will no doubt keep me busy. Then I hope to reopen in full force at Richmond at the start of the year, perhaps consulting once a week or once a fortnight, we’ll see. I’ll continue consulting from Mornington as soon as I get into the groove with bubs – as I work with my parents my hours are very flexible and can just duck in for a consult, coordinating with Mum and Dad for babysitting duties. My goodness, it’s starting to feel very real. Tomorrow we hit the halfway mark. And yesterday we had our big scan! I’ll go into more detail at my next pregnancy update, but everything went really well, bubs looks beautiful and healthy and so snug.
Happy Wednesday, friends. We’re off on a road trip for Ben’s work tomorrow after dinner with friends tonight. Bolognaise is on the menu (our friend makes a mean bolognaise sauce). I hope your Wednesday is equally delicious.
It’s that sweet time of year, my favourite, when the mornings are crisp and cold, sometimes sunny and always invigorating. Everything is undeniably Autumnesque, from the quince in our fruit bowl to my cravings for curries, pasta bakes and soup. It’s gentle weather, Autumn. As long as you’re prepared for it.
Last week I opened the chest at the end of our bed and pulled out our Autumn wool jumpers. They’re pure comfort, and, along with the prospect of porridge, help to coax me out of bed the morning. As soon as I wake I’ll slip on one of Ben’s big jumpers he throws over the chest when getting ready for bed. His larger tops are in high demand now, as this belly grows and anything too tight feels uncomfortable. I just need to be sure not to spill bolognaise sauce over them, which is my constant night-time struggle. Though I do have a few favourites of my own, which I spill food over freely. For example, this green number above, knitted by my mother-in-law a couple of years ago. Armed with woollen jumpers and thick socks, as well as bolognaise sauce (and a bib), these April days are nothing but nice.
To complete this cozy picture I would have made porridge, but today I wanted Greek yoghurt and so I deferred to stovetop granola (recipe link), which I made with almonds, walnuts, oats, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, honey and sea salt. Mid-morning I’ll need to swap my wool jumper for tights and a dress (my standard maternity work-wear), and head into the clinic. And in the afternoon, I get to visit the library and renew one book that Ben is reading and look for others. We’re Jo Nesbø fans in this house and I quite fancy a good crime novel right now. Books from the library… more things making these Autumn days sweet.
It’s been a sleepy and sunny start to the week in my world.
I’ve been spoilt with a number of lovely catch ups with friends over the past 4 days, and it’s kept me buzzing. I always get energy from other people, whether friends or clients (and I’ve definitely felt a burst of energy recently, which is common in the second trimester of pregnancy). But then I come home and crash. Yesterday, after a battle with the fax machine at the clinic, I crashed into my food processor and some nuts to create this spread. Followed by the couch.
When crafting this nut butter I fancied throwing walnuts into the mix, as I’m even more keen on getting my healthy fats these days. So into my shopping basket they went, along with some hazelnuts that were on sale. Almonds were waiting for me in a jar at home, as I rarely make a nut butter without my faithful almonds, and together they made a lovely blend. I was going to keep the preparation plain, maybe adding a dash of maple as is my usual style, but then glanced at my jar of cacao powder and felt, in lieu of my morning coffee, that future Heidi would appreciate the energy hit come breakfast time. You know, to make me less sleepy and more sunny, to help keep me bright.
This recipe is not wild. It’s not even particularly creative. I mean, overnight oats is nothing new, neither is the act of adding ripe banana to preparations as means of upping its deliciousness. But last Thursday evening, the simple step of mashing a banana into my oat/yoghurt mixture the night before a busy morning left me feeling rather clever. An inquiry on my instagram picture as to whether the recipe was on the blog encouraged me to write it up and share another serve today, for Wednesday Breakfast Club.
This breakfast is sweetly comforting in the morning. It’s the vegemite toast of overnight oats. My love of bananas as a child surely amplifies these feelings of nostalgia, but I’m sure you’ll be affectionate towards it too. Speaking of fruit and children, I have another pregnancy update coming this week where I mention my present desire for all things fruit, as well as my inability to feel full. These oats help tick both boxes.
French toast is the perfect choice for those days when you want bread, eggs, yoghurt, nuts AND sweet stuff all at once.
Of course you can have savoury French toast, with bacon and cheese and chives, or you might go down the caramelised banana and coconut route. I’m open to all French toast preparations (let me know your favourite pairings!) But my go-to French toast assembly involves a simple soaking and topping method, using pantry and fridge staples. It makes for a super nutritious and filling meal that satisfies all my French toast cravings.
My Dad, the sourdough scientist, is pretty generous with his loaves, gifting Ben and I one of his creations oh, every other week. If we’ve already purchased a treason loaf from someone else, we’ll freeze Dad’s bread and defrost it on a Friday, ready for weekend egg-eating. Sometimes when Mum or Dad ask if we have bread in the freezer, Ben and I will look at each other and say, in brazen-faced unison, “No”…even though we clearly do. We just can’t get enough. For toast with scrambled eggs, a PB and banana snack, salad sandwiches or alongside soup or salad, there’s nothing better than Dad’s bread.