Saturday, 23 August 2014

The guilt-free crisps

Kale. Seems like the ingredient of the time, right? Now, I may have dismissed it a a bit of a fad, but after reading that kale contains more nutrients than any other food, I decided to give it a go and now I am OBSESSED!

I love to kale into a gorgeous rainbow salad, but my current favourite way to serve it is to roast it in the oven to create some crispy and crunchy kale crisps. They are incredibly easy to make and definitely satisfy some salty cravings every now and then. They make a yummy snack to have with some homemade houmous too!

  • Kale (however much you want to make!)
  • A sprinkling of pink salt
  • Tablespoon olive oil
  • The topping of your choice (today I went with cayenne pepper, but I love cinnamon, pepper or coriander)
The Making

  1. Wash your kale. Then pull the leaves away from the hard woody stems and lay flat on a baking tray. Make sure you have pre-heated your oven to 190C and have lined your baking tray.

Doesn't look so appetising before it goes in, but trust me-it tastes delish!
2. Top your kale with your olive oil, salt and chosen topping. Make sure that every leaf is coated well.
3. Put your kale into the oven for around 8 minutes. You want it to be darker in colour and crispy, but NOT brown or black in colour!

I have also seen an interesting recipe which involved blending sun-dried tomatoes to make a tasty topping, I definitely want to give that a go next time I have some tomatoes in my fridge!
As always, let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions for other kale crisp toppings or flavours!


Friday, 22 August 2014

The not so naughty chocolate brownie

Sometimes we all need something a little bit sweet, right? For me watching Great British Bake Off gets me everytime, I can't sit through five minutes without rooting through my kitchen cupboards! This has happened one too many times, so this week I made sure I was prepared with some clean brownies to nibble on. This was the first time I have made them before and I have to say that both Mr MGK and myself were very impressed! Gooey and chocolatey and perfect company for Queen Mary Berry herself!

  • 1 medium sized sweet potato (mine filled one cup when cooked and mashed)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 3 eggs, mixed
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup (or sweetener of your choice- maple syrup would be amazing but we had none in!)
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons cacao (or unsweetened cocoa poweder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Something for an added crunch! Could use cacao nibs, dark chocolate chips, any nuts or even chia seeds.
The Making

  1. First of all you need to cook your sweet potato. My favourite way to do this is by popping it in the steamer for around 20 minutes, as this will hold in more of the nutrients, although you could put the potato in an oven set to 190C for 30 minutes, or pop it in the microwave for around 6 minutes. You then need to peel off the skin, mash the potato, or blend it to a smooth puree.
  2. Add all your wet ingredients to the potato (eggs, oil, syrup and vanilla) and mix.
  3. Then mix in all the dry ingredients to form a thick batter.
  4. Grease a brownie tin with a little coconut oil, then pour in the batter to around 3/4 full.
  5. Bake in your already pre-heated oven for around 35 minutes.
  6. Let your brownies cool, if you can resist trying one straight away!

Let me know if you have tried making sweet treats with unexpected ingredients before, I couldn't believe how gooey the sweet potato made them! I'm definitely up for experimenting with them again!


Thursday, 21 August 2014

The 'suits everything' tomato sauce

Another super speedy recipe for you today, can you tell it is almost back to school and I am madly trying to get all my lessons planned?

This easy tomato sauce is one of my stock recipes. The reason I love it so much is that it works for so many different purposes and is made from ingredients that I will always have in my fridge (or at la push be able to find in my local Co-Op on the way home from work!). It is delicious with some courgette pasta, drizzled over a roasted sweet potato, or even blended into a soup. However today I was craving pizza and so used it to top my gluten-free pizza bases, then topped with some roasted veggies- YUM!

  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, quatered
  • 1 red chilli, diced 
  • 1 clove of garlic, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave syrup
The Making

  1. Brown the onions in a pan (I used coconut oil to make sure they didn't stick). If you like a sweet sauce then add in the agave syrup at this point- this is a natural substitute for sugar which will help to caramelise the onions.
  2. Add in the chilli, garlic and olive oil and fry until the garlic is slightly caramelised (doesn't take long at all!).
  3. Next, add in the tomatoes. Give everything a stir then find yourself something to do for around 20 minutes- suggestions include some yoga or pilates, but are more likely to be reading a magazine or watching trashy TV! Make suure you keep stirring your sauce, and remember to add in some water if it begins to look dry.
  4. Take off the heat when your sauce has reached the desired consistancy. This will depend on what you are using it for- a pasta sauce will be nice and juicy, however a pizza base wants a more sticky, almost jam-like texture.
There we are, a great sauce for a mid-week, can't quite be bothered sort of tea. Is it Friday yet?


Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The quick and easy houmous

The very first recipe on my blog surely has to be a cracker, right? Well, not to blow my own trumpet but this one really is! I absolutely LOVE houmous. It's one of those foods that I could never ever get bored of eating. If you were to investigate my supermarket shopping you would, without a doubt, find a few tubs of houmous sneaking their way into my shopping bag! But after having a quick read through some of the ingredients of pre-made houmous, I realised that I didn't know what half of it was, which is never good! So I decided to try making some myself, and after a few attempts (and some decidedly dodgy ones at that!), I have finally settled on a recipe that I LOVE, and make at least once a week. Feel free to change ingredients and whatnot to suit whatever you fancy!

Just a note, this recipe usually makes enough to feed me for around 5 days worth of lunches, or would be fab for some nibbles between four of you.

  • 1 tin of chickpeas (drained)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper or paprika
  • 1 tablespoon water (optional)
The Making

(Yes I promise you, this is as easy as it sounds!)

  1. Blend the chickpeas in a food processor or hardcore blender (note to self, buy a better blender!), until they are whatever texture you are going for. Personally I air on the side of chunky!
  2. Then add in all your dry ingredients and blend again.
  3. Finally, mix in your wet ingredients and give it a final blend!
  4. At this stage you may want to add in some water if you prefer a smoother texture.
  5. That's it! The whole thing took me less than 2 minutes, and I probably managed to eat a bowl full in a similar time.
So now you can enjoy your ridiculously quick and easy bowl of houmous. I love to serve this with a rainbow coloured bowl of vege- think carrots, celery, peppers and radish, although I am also partial to some crackers to dunk in.

Remember that this is only a basic houmous recipe, there are lots of ways you can spice this up a bit! My current favourites are beetroot and mint, Moroccan spices and pesto.

Please let me know if you try this recipe, and if you have any suggestions for new flavours I could try!


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The First Post

Good evening all! Ok, so I'll admit, it may be a little past evening. It may even be past midnight. But now is the time when I have finally decided to join the rest of the world and start writing a blog. As you may be able to tell from the title, it will be very much food related (to match my food-obsessed brain!), filled with all my favourite recipes. Now I don't expect many people will ever find this little corner of the internet, it is more for me to remember what I have tried, tested and tasted and to create a little recipe book to look back on. So what sort of food will I be talking about? First things first, it will be vegetarian, as I have been officially meat free (sounds weirder than it should!) for around 15 years now and have recently been trying to eat as cleanly and healthily as possible. This is half to do with the fact that I was suffering from kidney stones, but maybe more to do with wanting to fit into my wedding dress!

Now that the wedding is done with, I have a bit more time to be trying out lots of new recipes, so please leave any recommendations in the comments. Also, please share if you have a food blog too, I love finding new ones to read!

Ok, so enough rambling from me. See you tomorrow, with whatever I conjure up for our dinner!