Thursday, August 17, 2017

Blackberry bake

The hardest part of this recipe was knowing what to call it. I have taken an easy route and used the very generic 'bake'. As an adaptation of my blackberry chia muffins, this is really a cross between a cake and a slice. Because I cut it into triangles, I am also reminded of American style scones (although that may be where the resemblance ends as I have never eaten them). Terminology aside, this is a minimally sweetened but maximally tasty snack or breakfast option.

The adaptations to the original muffins were relatively minor: adding a banana, swapping the white sugar to coconut sugar, halving the sugar amount, and slightly reducing the oil. I also cut out the salt. These swaps were made with a 1-year-old in mind and Mini Bite did love these, although I can now say that if you give this to a child you will have blackberry stains everywhere (their clothes, your clothes, their hands, your hands...). The stains are worth it though, and to be honest, with a 1-year-old you will probably have stains everywhere no matter what you do.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Fig cacao balls

Thank you for your birthday wishes to Mini Bite. She has become an expert at spotting presents and cards, although is still just as interested in the paper (and more specifically, trying to eat the paper) than what may be hidden within.

With her birthday over and my sister returned to Australia (sob), normal routines are returning. I made these fig cacao balls during my sister's visit but they could just as easily be slotted into a normal weekend - the preparation time is minimal, they keep well, and they are easy to eat. They were even well received by Mr Bite, who supposedly doesn't like nuts or figs!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

In my kitchen - The first birthday edition {August 2017}

I am linking this in to the monthly In My Kitchen round-up, now hosted by Sherry of Sherry's Pickings.

It was this time last year that I introduced Mini Bite to the blogging world via an In My Kitchen post. It seems appropriate to mark her first birthday in the same way now. I will not even attempt to summarise the learning, highs, low, development, milestones and laughter-to-tears that accompanies the first 12 months of a babies' life. Instead, I will share a few recent pictures and showcase her two birthday cakes - a fruit based tier for her, and a vegan chocolate cake for us.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Golden couscous salad

It has been a while between couscous recipes. There is no particular reason for this, other than the usual one of my favoured foods going through cycles. I may be re-entering a couscous phase since reminding myself of how easy it is to make.

Today's salad is golden in lots of ways. There is orange in three formats (zest, juice, segments) plus grated carrot, chopped butternut squash and turmeric. Coriander, ginger and a dash of soy sauce round out the flavour mix, whilst chickpeas and spinach leaves round out the meal. It all comes together very easily and the result is hearty enough to stand alone as a meal, whilst also being well suited to picnic-style eating or a barbecue side dish.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

New (to me) vegan lunches and snacks

It's been an exciting week in the Bite-Sized household. My sister is visiting from Australia and it is the first time I've seen her in over 3 years. It's also her first time meeting Mini Bite, and the visit spans Mini Bite's first birthday next week. I'm still at work this week but have next week off for birthday and visiting celebrations. So, with all this happening, I hope you'll understand if this post is short and sweet!

I did want to share some recent phone-snapped photos (please forgive quality) of new-to-me vegan products. One of the benefits of being back at work is having access to a new range of vegan lunch options in London, and the excuse to buy lunch and snacks on the go again. There are a surprising number of new options given my absence of only a year. M&S and Pret a Manger have branches near where I live or visit regularly, so today's post covers some of the less widespread options, albeit not necessarily London specific.

First, and starting away from lunch, did you know that Leon restaurants now stock vegan baked goods from Ruby's of London? I raved about Ruby's products in 2014 when I encountered them at the Greenwich food market. Sadly I don't make it to Greenwich these days, so having access to the items in central London is fantastic. I stopped at the London Bridge Leon restaurant and they had an assortment of vegan iced baked donuts and cupcakes.

Iced rose and pistachio donut by Ruby's of London, courtesy of Leon Restaurants

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Vegan-friendly mint chocolate refrigerator slice

I struggled with the naming of this slice. I could have called it a tiffin, the English term for a no-bake chocolate slice with biscuits and dried fruit. However, I wasn't sure it was quite chocolatey enough. I could have called it a hedgehog, the Australian term for a no-bake chocolate slice with biscuits and coconut. However, I wasn't sure it was quite cake-y enough and it is definitely not coconutty enough (not coconutty at all, in fact). I could have called this a chocolate fridge cake, because that's what it was called in the recipe I adapted. However, my version is definitely a slice and not a cake. And so - refrigerator slice it is.

The good news is, it doesn't matter what you call this. The slice is delicious. It takes a simple concept (chocolate + biscuits in slice form) and adds mint to beautiful effect. I am not sure I'll go back to non-minty equivalents now.