Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Triple chickpea stack

I had such fun making and naming this dish. There is something about three layers of chickpeas, in three different forms, that appeals to my kitchen creativity. If the photos don't immediately give it away, the three forms here are chickpea flour (besan flour) pancakes, whole chickpeas, and hummus.

This can be as easy or complicated as your life permits. I cooked chickpeas from dry and made the hummus myself, but then took a short cut with ratatouille and used a commercial tin for that. If you needed a meal in a hurry, you could use tinned chickpeas and store bought hummus; if you are more organised than I was you could whip of ratatouille yourself.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Blueberry and sweet potato mug cake {vegan + fat free}

Mug cakes are excellent for when time is short and/or you want cake in a hurry. They are also handy for making single serve treats and, in this case, using up small amounts of leftover ingredients. I don't really need help with using sweet potato or blueberries - both are foods I'll happily snack on plain - but they are given a boost in this easy recipe.

In truth, this should probably be called a mug pudding as the texture is softer than a traditional cake. With a third of a cup of sweet potato in the mix that is perhaps not surprising. Happily, as you will eat this from the mug with a spoon, a pudding-like texture presents no problems.

This is not overly sweet, which allows the natural sweetness of the sweet potato and blueberries to shine through. However, it would be easy to increase the added sugar if you so desire. As I made it, this could almost be served for breakfast, which I think is a winning outcome.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Mango chutney roast cauliflower and broccoli

From mango cookie balls we move to mango roast vegetables! In truth, I made these recipes a few weeks apart but my blogging places them in rather closer proximity.

With thinking about starter foods for Mini Bite, I have had broccoli and cauliflower on my mind lately. This particular recipe is not very baby friendly, but it is a delicious way to boost your intake of the vegetables. Indeed, this reminds me that I don't roast cauliflower and broccoli often enough as they are delicious with an oven-lent crisp.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Mango cashew cookie balls {vegan + no bake}

I am a big fan of raw fruit and nut truffle balls, but sometimes I like to mix things up a little. These no bake cookie balls take the classic fruit and nut combination - mango and cashew in this case - but add oats and banana to the mix. The result? Soft, chewy cookie balls that are eminently satisfying yet full of whole food nutrition.

With mango and banana in the ingredient list, these could also have been titled 'tropical cookie balls'. They taste of sunshine regardless of what the weather is doing outside. A version with dried pineapple would be equally delicious, or you could use half mango and half pineapple.

These are softer than pure fruit and nut balls but hold together if kept in the fridge. Or alternatively phrased, they are squishable but won't fall apart on you!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

In my kitchen - February 2017

I am linking this in to the monthly In My Kitchen round up, currently hosted by Lizzy of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things.

We are through January and into the second month of the year. In our part of the UK, January was cold with maximum temperatures often around 0'C. In contrast, my Australian family have described 40'C temperatures in Perth. My long term readers will know what I prefer! Whatever your current weather is, I hope you are keeping appropriately warm or cool.

Indoors from the cold, my kitchen has seen some new vegan products from Marks & Spencer. An M&S foodhall has opened within walking distance of us, which is exciting for me if not for our finances. Fortunately it is a half hour walk so my visits and spending will be moderated! I was pleased to pick up their new vegan sandwiches, shown above, after a long period where M&S lagged behind other food chains in providing vegan sandwich options. I expected to like the Rainbow Veg option best, with its red pepper bread and chilli squash filling, and it was enjoyable. However, I preferred the Super Greens pack with minted edamame and pea crush on linseed and chia bread.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Super dark chocolate blocks: Reviewing 85% to 100% cocoa options

It's no secret that I love chocolate and my In My Kitchen posts often feature my lastest chocolate discoveries. However, it has been many months since I've done a proper chocolate review. Today's post aims to make up for lost time with reviews of four dark chocolate options. And by dark I really do mean dark - these blocks range from 85% to 100% cocoa.

Starting with the 85% choices, one of my Christmas presents was the M&S 85% cocoa 'Intense Dark Chocolate' block. I featured it in my January In My Kitchen post but didn't elaborate on flavours then.

For a long time I avoided 85% cocoa blocks because I don't like the Lindt 85% cocoa option, and it put me off other chocolates of the same cocoa level. Happily, I am now a convert and know that the Lindt flavours don't generalise to other brands. This M&S 85% cocoa block is delicious. The packaging describes the flavours as bringing "aromas of ripe fruit and a flavour of mixed berries, with the slight acidity balanced by overnotes of honey". I wouldn't have come up with this exact description but agree that the tartness of the berry-cocoa tones is offset by a more mellow sweetness.