Sunday, 30 June 2013

Frozen Yogurt with Pistachio

Frozen yogurt, something I've never actually made before (until today!) and something that I always have gotten at SevenEleven or out of the supermarket.
I came across this delicious recipe the other day, and decided that I had to give it a go!
Next time, I will try and make it with agave syrup instead of the stevia, as I prefer the syrup taste. Pistachio icecream is a very common thing in Norway, but not in the UK, so I quite miss that, but now, I can get my creamy pistachio fix in the flat! Deeelicious!

Just remember to freeze down some well ripened bananas, and you're good to go!

Frozen Yogurt with Pistachio
(Serves 2, about 210 calories each)


200ml low fat Greek yogurt
1 medium banana, chopped and frozen
1 frozen spinach nugget or half a cup of fresh spinach
50g avocado
1 packet of stevia or 1-2 tbsp honey or syrup
1/4 tsp almond extract
9-10 shelled pistachios
A handful of icecubes

- Simply transfer all the ingredients above into a blender and whizz until smooth.

- Transfer to a small ice tub or a bread ting and freeze for a couple of hours before serving.

- Garnish with chopped nuts or serve with a sprinkle of syrup or sauce of choice, and enjoy!
Note that the nutritional information is based on using Stevia.

Deeelicious! Maybe let it sit for a few minutes before you tuck in!

On another note, I thought I would give a few tea recommendations! Who doesn't like a nice hot cuppa to start their day, or perhaps cuddle up with in the evening, unwinding from the day that has passed.


The first two are by Higher Living and are decaffeinated. They come in lots a good few different flavours. My favourite is Sweet Chai, Chamomile & Vanilla, and the Cinnamon. The Sweet Chilli tea by them was...not my cup of tea, literally! But the Sweet Chai is so irresistible, that I have run out!
The one of the right hand side, Yogi Yogi Chai - it is my ALL time favourite. You mix it in with hot milk, honey, agave, and let it brew for 5-10 minutes, and you have yourself a cup of heaven! I got this from a local tea house, Tchai Ovna. The house of tea is situated on a little charming lane hidden off in the West End of Glasgow, to visit their website, simply go to:
http://tchaiovna.com/ They have a pretty good selection of tea there that you can buy online, Yogi Yogi included!


Original source:
http://www.nutritionistinthekitch.com/2013/06/27/healthy-almond-pistachio-frozen-yogurt-no-ice-cream-machine-needed/

- Jules

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Marinated Ginger Tofu with Soba Noodles

The first time I ever tried to make a tofu dish, I ended up with a random pile of scrambled something, this time, I decided to try again, and it turned out a whole lot better! I would suggest adding green onion or perhaps some spring onions to this as well for an extra bit of crunch!
I bought a packet of soba noodles a while ago, because they looked so fancy. It turns out they're really nice! Noodles made from buckwheat flour isn't bad at all *smiles*

Yesterday I had a herbivore Friday, and I might instate that into every week, we'll see. Over the last few years I've definitely gotten my eyes up for both vegetarian and vegan food!

Marinated Ginger Tofu with Soba Noodles
(Serves 2, about 420-425 calories each)


400g tofu (As firm as you can find)
150-300g pak choi (1 or 2), leaves cut lengthwise and the across
1 cm fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp rice wine or mirin
A pinch of chilli flakes
A good pinch of Chinese 5-spice (optional)

For the marinade:
2 tbsp grated ginger
2 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp light brown sugar

75g soba noodles to serve (Should be one fancy wrapped up bundle!)

- First of all, mix the ingredients for the marinade together. Cut the tofu into bite-sized pieces and poke them with a fork of barbecue skewer so the marinade will seep through more easily.

- Have the tofu in a bowl along with the marinade and leave it for 10-15 minutes whilse you prepare the rest of the dish.

- Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the ginger, cook on medium heat for a couple of minutes, before adding the pak choi and the chilli flakes. Cook for a couple of minutes, until the pak choi is a little tender. Divide between two bowls and place in the oven on the lowest heat possible, so it stays warm.

- In the same pan, pour in the rice vinegar and the rince wine/mirin, followed by the tofu and excess marinade. Gently turn the pieces occasionally. When it's about 5-7 minutes to go, cook the soba noodles as instructed. I found mine took a little longer than the noodles I'm used to cook, and you're better of leaving the tofu on low heat than serving undercooked noodles!

- Assemble the dish by swirling noodles through with the pak choi and top it with bit of tofu, mixing carefully. Serve with some extra soy sauce on the side, and enjoy!

Pretty soba noodles!

I hope you have a fantasmic weekend!

Original source:
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/412629/ginger-sweet-tofu-with-pak-choi

- Jules

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Creamy Spiced Dahl

An easy, but really tasty- and not to mention filling, vegan meal! I was pleasantly surprised whenever this was ready, and it came out much more creamier than I had expected it to be, hence the name I suppose, hehe. This might just become a regular in the flat!

Creamy Spiced Dahl
(Serves 2, about 540 calories each)


2 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin or cumin seeds
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2.5 cm fresh ginger, grated
7 cardamom pods
200g red lentils
400ml reduced fat coconut milk
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tsp salt

- Start by gently frying the mustard seeds in a medium sized pot, then pour into a small bowl and set aside.

- In the same pot, heat a small dash of olive oil, and add the onion, garlic, ginger and cardamom pods. Stir frequently on low heat for 5-10 minutes, add water if it looks like it#ll get burnt or catch the bottom.

- Now, stir in the lentils, seeds and spices. Wait a few minutes before adding 200-300ml boiling water and the coconut milk. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, If it gets a little too dry, add a little more water. The texture should be almost like thick porridge.

- Season to taste and serve with naan, flatbread, or simply on it's own, brilliant!

Original source:
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/13602/creamy-spiced-dhal

- Jules

Monday, 24 June 2013

Spinach Flatbread with Caramelised Onion & Apple

Ever since I saw the combinations in this recipe, I couldn't wait to try it out! I halved the recipe though, as I was only making it for myself. Note, that you might want to slice up the flatbread before you put the toppings on, and I found that to be a bit tricky.
I also think that if you double the recipe, using the same sized tin, and cook it for a bit longer, you'll find it even easier to cut it! See the "original source" at the bottom for the original recipe.

I will probably be making this again in the future! The salty and sweet ingredients really compliment each other!

Spinach Flatbread with Caramelised Onion & Apple
(Serves 2, or 1 hungry Julie, about 500 calories for the entire dish!)


For the bread:
160g bag spinach, roughly torn
1 egg
2 egg whites
25g oat bran, ground (or almond meal)
1 fat garlic clove, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tsp dill
1-2 tsp dried parsley

For the topping:
1 onion, sliced
1 apple, thinly sliced and roughly chopped
2 tbsp parmesan (I used one light triangle of laughing cow, didn't have parmesan)
20g dried cranberries or raisins
1 tsp basil

- Firstly, pre-heat your oven to 200°C.

- Secondly, take all the ingredients for the "bread" and whizz either in a blender, or with a stick-blender until smooth. Pour into a pie dish and cook for about 15-20 minutes.

- In the meantime, thinly slice the onions and add them to a pot on medium heat and caramelise them for a few minutes until soft. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and leave them for a while. Stir occasionally from keeping the onion from getting burnt. Add the apple slices to the pot along with basil.

- Take out the spinach flatbread, top with the onions and apples, and drizzle over parmesan and the cranberries or raisins. Season with a little salt and pepper if you like, and tuck in!

Original source:
http://cravingsgoneclean.com/2012/03/10/spinach-flatbread-with-caramelized-onion-apple-topping/

- Jules

Sunday, 23 June 2013

No-Rest Yogurt Bread

...Because the baking part of it takes long enough as it is when you want proper fresh, homemade bread, right?
I was really happy when I went to the oven to take out this bread, as it looked fantastic!

And you know what? It tasted brilliant! Seedy, moist and fresh, with a crunch from the sunflower seeds on the top, mmmm! I reckon both sweet and savoury topping will be great with this bread. Thankfully I've got plenty of bread left to figure it out *smiles*

No-Rest Yogurt Bread
(Makes 1 healthy loaf, about 1690 calories for the whole thing!)

Now, how about that with a big slab of patĂȘ, mackerel in tomato sauce, or jam?

500ml pot-set yogurt (I used quark)
3 tbsp honey or golden syrup
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
125g plain flour (1 small cup)
100g natural ground bran (1 small cup)
25g linseeds (1/4 cup)
25g oats (1/4 cup)
25g sunflower seeds

- Pre-heat your oven to 180°C.

- In a bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients except from the sunflower seeds. Make a well in the middle, and pour in the yogurt and the honey or syrup. Make sure it is all well combined before transferring it into a normal-sized, greased bread pan.
- Press it down, and top with the sunflower seeds, pat the down lightly so that they stick to the bread.

- Bake it in the middle of the oven for about 45-50 minutes until it's brown, and cooked. If you want to be sure, you can turn down the heat to 140-160°C after 45 minutes and leave it for another ten minutes. Take it out, and cool before removing from the tin and serving!


Aaaaaalso, I found this little tub of delicious in the shop the other day:



Perfect for dessert - nice and creamy with fresh berry compote swirled through, mmmm!





Original source:
Food.com, but I seem to have lost the link to the specific recipe!

- Jules

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Slow Cooked Aubergine & Olive Stew

Now for a lighter meal, Slow Cooked Aubergine and Olive Stew! You can make this vegetarian if you have a vegetarian Worcestershire sauce at hand, if not, just omit that ingredient and add a few drops of tabasco or some extra chilli instead!

I made this a little while back, right after work when I really needed something substantial, but at the same time quite "light". This recipe makes two large portions, and are great to dip some nice bread into!

Slow Cooked Aubergine & Olive Stew
(Serves 2, about 220 calories each, stew only)


1 onion, chopped (add a few spring onions if you need to use them)
20g light butter
200-250g aubergine (1 medium), chopped
60g pitted black olives
1 fat garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
500ml passata
100ml water
1 tsp dried mint
1 tsp Italian spices (oregano, basil, etc)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
A good dash of Worcestershire sauce

Crumbled feta to serve, along with pasta, rice, bread or other such things!

- Start by sautéing the chopped onion in butter, in a medium-sized pan, for about five minutes. Then add the aubergine, cover and cook for about 15 minutes.

- Mix in olives, garlic, vinegar, passata, water and seasoning. Cover and cook for a further 45-60 minutes. Season to taste, and serve with rice, pasta, bread or on its own, with crumbled feta cheese on top!

Original source:
http://www.easypeasyorganic.com/2012/02/slow-cooked-eggplant-and-olive-stew.html

- Jules

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Gingerbread Pancakes

So I came across this "gingerbread" oat porridge recipe on one of my favourite blogs that I follow, and I had one of those lightbulb moments "Ding!" I decided to take the task into my own hands and make some lovely spiced gingerbread pancakes!
OK, so gingerbread might usually belong to the jolly time of the year that is December, but you know what? I really enjoyed getting my christmas-spice fix today, in June! You can make it more Summery I suppose, but adding a little dab of cream, some fresh fruit!

First, I tried to make a little dash of nice cinnamon butter, buuuut I preferred it just with a little honey drizzled on top of it along with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon - delicious!

Don't be intimidated by the ingredients, it's all those Wintery spices that you usually don't know what to do with the rest of the year. It doesn't matter if you don't have all of them, the cinnamon, black pepper and at least one of the other spices will do, but I recommend using all of them, and perhaps an extra pinch of each too! It almost tasted like creamy yogi yogi chai tea, mmmm! I made them this morning first, and then I improved the recipe tonight, I can't think of anything else i would do differently with them. Maybe you can give it your own little twist?

Gingerbread Pancakes
(Serves 1, about 180 calories)


1 tbsp wholemeal flour
1 tbsp vanilla protein powder
1 tsp cinnamon (or a tablespoon!)
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/3 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp psyllium husk (optional)
1 egg white
1 tbsp agave syrup
3 tbsp hazelnut milk (or other milk)
1/3 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
About 100 ml water

- Start by mixing all the dry ingredients together in a bowl.

- Make a well in the middle and pour in the egg white, syrup, milk, extract and water and mix until the batter is free of lumps. Let it sit for about five minutes before you start frying them.

- Heat a small non-stick frying pan on medium low heat, and pour two tablespoons' worth of the batter in and spread out in a nice round shape. Cook for a few minutes on each side, flip once you see bubbles surfacing, and the edges are cooked. You should get about 3-5 small pancakes from this mix!


Pacman eating ALL the cloves!

- Serve with a little bit of honey or syrup and maybe some extra cinnamon or a drizzle of icing sugar for decoration!


I also tried to make a "gingerbread" bear, but I failed miserably...You can't say I didn' try though! Sorry bear

By now, I think I actually have made this four times already! Addicted? Me? Naaaaah, definitely not! *winks*


Source of inspiration:
http://vilblifrisk.blogg.no/1353707598_desember_pepperkakegr.html

- Jules

Monday, 17 June 2013

Texan Chocolate Cake

Or "Texas langpanne" as this recipe is originally called!
I went to an indoor barbecue birthday extravanganza at a colleague's on Saturday, and thought I should make something I could bring. And the result? This great chocolate cake that I found the recipe for on a nifty little Norwegian blog. I've been wanting to make for a while now, so this was a perfect opportunity. It turned out like a hybrid between a brownie and chocolate cake! It went down a treat *smiles*

There can't be a birthday and no cake, that simply isn't good enough!

Texan Chocolate Cake
(Cuts into about 25-30 slices, 220-185 calories each)


For the base:
200g light butter
200 ml water
4.5 dl sugar (about 400g)
4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
5 dl plain flour, about 500g
1 dl light soured cream, around 100-150ml

For the frosting:
100g cooking chocolate, I used 76%, mmmm!
100g light butter
2-3 tbsp water
100g icing sugar

- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

- Start by making the base. In a small pot, melt butter, sugar and water together. Once melted, take it off the hob and add the cocoa powder.

- Stir in one egg at a time, using a which to get it all nice and smooth, no lumps!

- Then, sift in flour, and baking powder, once combined, add the soured cream, and stir well.

- Pour into a large cake pan, and cook for 40-45 minutes, until a butter knife of tooth pick comes out clean when pricking the cake. The cooking time depends on how big the cake tin is.


- Once baked, leave to cook for 30 minutes-1 hour, before making the frosting:
Melt the water and sugar for the frosting with a couple of tablespoons of water, take the mixture off the heat, and sift in the icing sugar. Stir until it's free of lumps and looks lovely and glossy. Spread it evenly over the cake, and decorate it you want!

It will keep in the fridge for at least 2-3 days!

I dug through some recipes, and suddenly, I came across this fitness test that a local gym who visited our work place did. Here are my results:

The "result column" is my personal score, and the "information" is what it ideally should be. As you can see, my BMI should be a bit higher, and that is what I have been working on for the last year now, but other than that I was healthy as can be physically, which I was really happy to hear!

I hope you have a great start to the new week!

Original source:
http://studenterhjemmet.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/lrdagstur.html

- Jules

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Dairy Free Protein Strawberry Pancakes

...they are gluten free too!

Originally, these were made with sliced apple, and served with a date paste, because I made them for breakfast and didn't have an apple though, I found some strawberries and drizzled over some agave syrup!
If you don't have steva, you can use a different natural sweetner, or a few teaspoons of agave syrup.

Dairy Free Protein Strawberry Pancakes
(Serves 1, about 260 calories)


20g coconut flour (about 3 tbsp)
1 tbsp vanilla protein (a little less than half a scoop)
1 heaped tbsp flaxseed
1/2 tsp baking powder
A tiny pinch of salt
3 egg whites
1 tbsp unsweetned apple sauce
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp unsweetned hazelnut milk, or other milk of choice
1 packet stevia
1/2 tsp cinnamon (or more if you like!)
2 strawberries, sliced (or 1/4 apple, thinly sliced)
2 tbsp date paste or a good drizzle of agave syrup

- If you're making the date paste, soak a few pitted dates in hot water for a few minutes before whizzing with some of the water using a stick blender. Add a little bit more water for a more runny consistency.

- Now for the pancakes, mix all the dry ingredients and then make a well in the middle. Tip all the "wet" ingredients apart form the fruit, in and stir well. Let the batter sit for a few minutes.

- Heat a non-stick frying pan, and have about two tablespoons' worth of batter in to make a pancake. Fry on low heat for about a minute, before topping with a few pieces of strawberries (or a slice of apple) and cook for another minute before flipping over. Careful so the fruits doesn't catch the pan! Cook on the other side for a further two minutes, until it's cooked!

This recipe will make about three lovely, thick pancakes, mmmm

Next time, I will replace the stevia with a tablespoon of agave nectar or honey and see how they turn out!

Original recipe:
http://www.nutritionistinthekitch.com/2013/06/10/gluten-free-apple-caramel-protein-pancakes/

- Jules

Monday, 10 June 2013

Millet Porridge with Cocoa

So I re-discovered some ground millet in my cupboard last week when I was trying* to do a bit of organising in the kitchen. Inspired, I thought of trying to make millet porridge!
*note trying

Millet has quite a strong grainy flavour, and so I prefer it with a little bit of cocoa powder in it, just for a nice chocolatey taste, mmmm! And you do need a little bit of milk when you boil it so it goes creamy, using only water can make it a bit bland.
I might try some more experimenting with the ground millet, but for now, here's the recipe I made up. It makes quite a filling bowl of goodness, so if you want a little less, just use 30g millet instead! I served it topped with chopped strawberries, but I can imagine sliced banana would be a good choice too!

Millet Porridge with Cocoa
(Serves 1, about 300 calories)



40g ground millet
100 ml semi skimmed milk
Water
1 tbsp cocoa
1 tbsp agave syrup

Fruit, dessicated coconut or chocolate powder to serve

- Mix the ground millet and cocoa flour, before adding to a small pan along with the milk, agave syrup and water on medium low heat. The porridge will go a lot thicker after having simmered for a few minutes. Stir frequently, and add more water until you get the porridge the right consistency.

- Serve on its own or top with fruits, nuts, seeds, chocolate powder or anything else you might want to add!



Apparently millet is one of the oldest grains to be used by people, and is rich in iron, B vitamins, calcium, potassium, magnesium and zinc! I'll let that be the lesson for today, onwards - upwards and to the kitchen!

Recipe by myself - Didn't exactly require any rocket science!

- Jules

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Crustless Super Quiche

So I came across this magnificent looking recipe the other day, and decided that I would have to try and make that in the very near future. It's from Easy Peasy Organic's blog, and you can find a lot of genius recipes there!

First of all I tried to make some pesto swirls today, but the recipe I found wasn't the best, and so they turned out a little too crunchy for my liking. They looked really fancy though, and I think I will try and improve the dough so they get a little bit softer,

Quiche is a great dish to serve for dinner or perhaps even lunch now when it's getting so warm outside. It's light and you can serve it with whatever you want on the side, or perhaps as part of a little buffet. This number is only around 800 calories in total, meaning that I could easily scoff down the whole thing without even feeling bad! Getting iron from the spinach, as well as plenty of protein from the eggs! I think by the end of today... there wont be a lot left of that quiche, mmmm ^ ^

Crustless Super Quiche
(Serves 4, about 200 calories each)



2 spring onions, chopped
150g spinach, or other greens
4 eggs
100ml milk
2 tbsp wholemeal flour (or rice flour for a gluten free quiche)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Topping:
About 50g strong cheese, crumbled or chopped
2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced (I only needed one)

- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, and grease a pie dish.

- Have spring onions, spinach, eggs, milk, flour, and spices in a blender until you have a smooth mixture with only some bits in it. Pour it into the pie dish, top with the cheese and sliced tomatoes. Bake for about 30-40 minutes until set, and cool for about 5-10 minutes, and sprinkle over a little salt and black pepper before serving.


Bear in mind the first slice can always be a bit tricky to get out of the tin

You can serve this with some bread, salad and sauces if you want!




Here are the pesto swirls with home made pesto sauce! If you have a good bread recipe, why not use it to make these? Perfect to accompany quiches, soups or just have as a snack on the go!

Original source:
http://www.easypeasyorganic.com/2013/05/crustless-green-quiche-small-space.html

- Jules

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Not Quite Anzac Biscuits

...but close enough!

Traditionally made for the 25th of April in New Zealand and Australia if I'm not mistaken. I know that day has already been, but now you'll be ready for next years batch... or just go ahead and make them anyway, they're definitely worth it!

These remind me of a hybrid of the Scandinavian oat macaroons and coconut macaroons, which makes sense, as that#s mainly what goes into these scrumptious bites!

I replaced half of the sugar with "Sukrin Gold" which only has 15 calories per 100g, but tastes deliciously sweet, almost caramel-like! Also, I was running out of oats, and so I added a little bit of ground millet to the mix!
I used agave syrup in place of the golden syrup, and they still came out deliciously soft and sweet!

Not Quite Anzac Biscuits
(Makes about 26, 60 calories each)



60g porridge oats
25g ground millet
85g dessicated coconut
100g plain flour
50g Sukrin Gold (Can use normal sugar)
50g light brown sugar
100g butter (I used Flora Light)
1 tbsp agave syrup (or golden syrup)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

- Start by mixing all the dry ingredients - except from the bicarbonate of soda - in a medium baking bowl.

- Pre-heat your oven to 180°C

- Melt the butter on low heat in a small pan, and add the syrup, two tablespoons of hot water, as well as the bicarbonate of soda.

- Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture and pour in the butter-syrup mixture. Stir well and use two teaspoons to shape small balls. Place them on a greased baking paper on a tray, and bake for 8/10 minutes until golden, but still soft.

Enjoy!

Original source:
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/3803/anzac-biscuits

- Jules