22 February 2015

Spelt and pesto savoury muffins filled with smoked salmon, cream cheese and avocado





I am absolutely obsessed with Marta's blog
Apart from having a brilliant name: What Should I Eat For Breakfast Today (breakfast is my favourite meal, hence this is my favourite blog!) it also has the most beautiful styling, photography and writing. 
Every time an update pops into my inbox, I love reading Marta's news and the inspiration for her beautifully creative and delicious recipes. 
This recipe popped up on my feed a few weeks ago and has been bookmarked in diary ever since!
I've adapted it slightly by using spelt flour. 
The muffins are light with a golden crispy edge and squidgy roasted tomato hidden in the middle. 
Sandwiched with pesto, smoked salmon, cream cheese and beetroot, they are incredibly moreish and a perfect lunch! Especially for a picnic!





Ingredients: makes 9 small muffins


100g spelt flour
50g cornflour
1/2 tsp baking powder
50g grated cheese
2tbsp olive oil
1 egg
2/3 cup buttermilk (roughly 150ml)
1tsp pesto
9 cherry tomates

Filling:

Smoked salmon
Lemon
Cream cheese
1 ripe avocado
Raw beetroot (finely sliced)
Pesto



Method:

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C (fan.)

In a large mixing bowl, mix together all the muffin ingredients (except the cherry tomatoes) with a large metal spoon until just combined. Season well with salt and pepper.

Grease a 9-hole muffin tray and then pour the muffin batter evenly into each mould. Then pop a cherry tomato into the middle of each one and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until risen and golden brown.

Once baked, leave to cool on a wire cooling rack.

To assemble, cut a muffin in half, spread over some cream cheese and then top with some sliced avocado, thinly sliced raw beetroot, a generous helping of smoked salmon and a spoonful of pesto. Squeeze over a little fresh lemon juice and season with black pepper.











Slightly adapted from: http://whatshouldieatforbreakfasttoday.com/post/101843330870/breakfast-in-bed-savoury-muffins-with-salmon

19 February 2015

Dairy and wheat free rhubarb and coconut crumble

 



Nothing beats crumble.
Especially when it's rhubarb and coconut crumble.
This is wheat-free, dairy-free and refined-sugar free but totally delicious.
Sweetened with dark treacly coconut sugar and pure maple syrup, paired with citrusy lime and sharp rhubarb, it's heaven in a bowl!


Ingredients:

800g rhubarb
Zest of 1 lime
2tbsp coconut sugar

100g rolled oats
150g ground almonds
75g flaked almonds
75g buckwheat flour
2tbsp coconut sugar

3tbsp coconut oil (at room temperature)
2tbsp crunchy almond butter
90ml maple syrup


Method:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (fan).

Grease a large baking dish with coconut oil.
Chop the rhubarb into roughly 2cm pieces. Arrange the rhubarb pieces in the baking dish and grate over the zest of 1 lime. Sprinkle over the 2tbsp of coconut sugar and then bake in the preheated oven for around 15-20 minutes until slightly tender. 




Meanwhile, mix the rolled oats, ground almonds, flaked almonds, buckwheat flour and 2tbsp coconut sugar in a large mixing bowl. 


In a separate bowl, mix together the maple syrup, coconut oil and almond butter and then pour this over the dry ingredients.  Using your hands, mix everything together, rubbing the coconut oil into the oats and almonds until you have a crumble-like mixture.



Spoon the crumble mixture over the baked fruit and then return to the oven for another 20-25 minutes until it is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling through from underneath. (You may need to cover the top with tin foil to stop it from burning whilst it remains in the oven.)






Serve with coconut yoghurt or dairy free ice-cream!




13 February 2015

Coconut amaranth porridge with baked apples and strawberries




I’ve been feeling really rotten the past few weeks and I’ve been trying to figure out why. The first week I went down with an awful flu- the night before I started my new job- absolutely typical! Which meant that I actually only made it half way through my first day before being sent to the doctors and bed bound for the rest of the week!
And although I’m back at work now and recovered from the brute of the flu, I’m still feeling pretty groggy and really bloated and drained a lot of the time. I’m starting to think it might be something else that’s causing it. For years I’ve kept clear of wheat as it doesn’t sit well with me at all. Having a gluten free diet was much easier in England- Spanish cuisine is very wheat-heavy and a nightmare for a celiac! And so last summer I started to incorporate a little bit of wheat back into my diet and although I can now get away with eating a bit, it still leaves me bloated and generally feeling pretty unhappy!
So I’ve made the decision recently to return to a gluten-free diet and whilst I’m at it I’m going to try my hand at avoiding dairy and refined sugars too. I think it might be dairy that’s making me feel so groggy – do any of you have any advice on any good dairy free alternatives/ coconut milk/nut milks/ soya based products I should try?
I’m hoping it won’t actually be too difficult to stick with as my diet generally involves very little dairy or refined sugars – I always use raw honey or dates to sweeten my food and make my breakfast with almond milk.
I’m trying to track down a Spanish version of Coyo but its proving difficult!!
I’ve also realised that for the last few months, I’ve pretty much been eating as a vegetarian- not completely consciously but mainly because I’ve been experimenting with recipes from the likes of Deliciously Ella and Green Kitchen Stories who have such great vegan and vegetarian repertoires of recipes.  To be honest, I haven’t really noticed that I haven’t been eating meat. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of roast lamb and a proper cheese-laden burger but I tend to only eat meat when I’m out at a restaurant and I actually think it has been doing me some good to avoid cooking it at home. You can also gain a huge amount of your vital protein sources through nuts, seeds, grains and vegetables.
A really good source of protein and one that I’ve been seeing a lot of recently is Quinoa. Quinoa granola and quinoa burgers are some of my favourite recipes but I recently discovered quinoa’s relative amaranth. It looks very similar to quinoa and is also a brilliant source of protein but its grains are smaller in appearance and is slightly harder to get hold of. It has a great nutty taste and is absolutely brilliant for making porridge with.

Especially when you stir in some coconut oil, almond milk and decadently rich cream of coconut! It’s very easy to make, super yummy and a very nutritious, energy-sustaining breakfast. You can also top it with whatever goodies you fancy- I plumped for fresh fruit, a handful of chia seeds and almonds and some roasted apples and strawberries. I also made mine with a handful of rolled oats but you can make it purely with amaranth (or with quinoa if you can’t find amaranth.)

I’d love to hear any of your tips on living a gluten/dairy/refined-sugar free lifestyle or if you know of any good blogs/ people I should follow!

Why not rustle up this delicious breakfast for your loved one tomorrow morning!

Have a beautiful day! x




Ingredients:

Strawberries
1 apple- cored and cubed
1tbsp honey
1tbsp coconut oil
1tsp ground cinnamon

1tbsp melted coconut oil
1/2 cup/75g amaranth
1 cup water
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup/50g oats
3/4 cup almond milk
1tsp ground cinnamon
2tbsp coconut cream (I used Goya coconut cream)

Optional toppings:
Chia seeds
Kiwi
Banana
Dates
Almonds
Honey



Method:

In a mixing bowl, mix a handful of whole strawberries with the cubed apple, 1tsp cinnamon and 1tbsp each of honey and coconut oil.

Transfer this mixture to a baking dish and bake in the oven at 180 degrees C(fan) for 15-20 minutes until roasted, slightly caramelised and smelling divine!

Meanwhile, add another tablespoon of coconut oil to a small pan over a medium-high heat. Once it has melted, add in the amaranth and toast for 3-4 minutes until it starts to pop. Then add in 1 cup of water and a pinch of salt. Simmer the amaranth for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and then add in the oats and almond milk. Simmer for another 5 minutes, stirring well until you have a creamy porridge. Add in the cinnamon and then remove from the heat. Stir in the 2 tablespoons of coconut cream and then let the mixture sit for 2-3 minutes. Serve with the baked strawberries and apple and whatever other toppings you fancy!!

It would be delicious topped with some toasted desiccated coconut!

1 February 2015

Vietnamese sticky chicken rice noodle salad






Tomorrow I start my new job here in Madrid - ahhhhhhh!!!
I'll be working as an intern in a really exciting and creative marketing and communications agency who specialise in working with food brands, restaurants and chefs. 
I'm really looking forward to starting and can't wait to get properly stuck into my working week with hopefully lots of exciting foodie opportunities along the way! I'm also super nervous- I will of course be working completely in Spanish- something which seems pretty daunting right now! Over the past 4 months I've learnt to talk very chatty Spanish and can just about understand the jokes of my Spanish flatmates, but speaking Spanish professionally is a whole different story! It will be a challenge but I'm hoping a very rewarding one!
In order to calm my pre-interview nerves last week, I set about making one of my all-time favourite Vietnamese recipes. I think I've made this salad maybe 4 times in the last 2 weeks!- I'm completely addicted. It's really fresh, super colourful and bright and totally delicious. It's also incredibly simple- most of the work is just finely chopping your veggies and herbs and you can do this whilst the sticky soy, ginger and honey marinated chicken is on to cook!




Ingredients: Makes 2 large servings

3 chicken thighs (roughly 500g)
Salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves
Thumb-sized piece of ginger
1tbsp runny honey
3tsp soya sauce
3tbsp olive oil

1tbsp coconut oil

Rice noodles
Fresh mint
Fresh coriander
1/2 a cucumber
Peanuts
1 lime
1/2 small red chilli
1/2 small green chilli
1 small carrot
1/2 a mango

Method:

Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves and fresh ginger. Add them to a large mixing bowl along with the chicken thighs and a good seasoning of salt and pepper. Add in the honey, soya sauce and olive oil and mix well. Leave the chicken thighs to marinate for about 20-30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (fan.)

Put a large frying pan on a medium-high heat and add in the coconut oil. Once the oil is sizzling, add in the chicken thighs, skin-side down and fry on each side for about 3-4 minutes until golden brown and caramelised.


Then transfer the chicken thighs and all the juices and oil from the pan into a baking dish.
Roast the thighs in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.

Meanwhile, peel the carrot and mango and finely chop them lengthways into thin pieces. Chop the cucumber in the same way and then roughly chop a large handful of fresh mint and coriander. Remove the seeds from the chillies and finely slice them. Roughly chop the peanuts.
Add all of these fresh ingredients to a large mixing bowl.



Put a large pan of water on to boil with a few drops of olive oil.
When the water is boiling, add the rice noodles. Bring the pan back to the boil and then remove from the heat. Let the noodles sit in the boiling water for 3-4 minutes and then drain them. Refresh the noodles under a little cold water and then add to the mixing bowl.

Use a sharp knife and fork to pull the chicken meat away from the bones, Roughly chop up the chicken meat and crispy skin and add to the mixing bowl along with the juices from the roasting dish.
Squeeze over the lime juice and then mix well with a large metal spoon.

Serve immediately.











26 January 2015

Wheat-free carrot cake muffins


Carrot cake might just happen to be my all time favourite treat.
Luckily for me, its a bit of a craze over here at the minute and all my local cafes seem to be competing for  some kind of imaginary best carrot cake of the area award which I'm definitely not complaining about!
I have a classic recipe here that is my go to for a teatime cake but this time I wanted to make something a little healthier and a cross between a breakfast muffin and afternoon snack.

Ingredients:


50g porridge oats
190g rice flour
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
50g walnuts
30g coconut oil (melted)
60ml olive oil
70g natural yoghurt
75ml almond milk (or other plant milk)
1 large banana (mashed)
2 large eggs
5tbsp honey
160g grated carrot
75g grated apple

Rolled oats
Ground cinnamon
Coconut oil
Honey
Demerara sugar

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (180 fan). 

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the porridge oats, flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and roughly chopped walnuts. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, olive oil, natural yoghurt, almond milk and eggs. Add in the mashed banana and the honey and stir well. 
Add in the grated carrot and apple to the wet ingredients and then mix in the dry ingredients. Mix well with a large wooden spoon until everything is just incorporated. (Don't over-mix it.)
Then spoon large tablespoons of the batter into a pre-greased muffin tray. 

Add another few tablespoons of coconut oil to a small saucepan along with 2-3 tablespoons of honey. Melt them together over a low heat and then add in a large handful of porridge oats, 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and a good spoonful of demerera sugar. Mix together until you have a crumble-like consistency. Sprinkle a little of this crumble mixture over each muffin. 
Then bake in the preheated oven for around 12-15 minutes until risen and golden brown.




23 January 2015

Beetroot, courgette and goats cheese salad

"Keep your face towards the sunshine & shadows will fall behind you." (Walt Whitman)








I absolutely love this weather in Madrid- it's my favourite. Freezing cold but fresh, bright and the days filled with beautiful sunshine.
It's amazing what difference a bit of sunshine can do for the soul.
Sunshine calls for colourful, drawn out lunch breaks. I've just started my training for a half marathon here in Madrid in April that I'm running with my flat mate and that means the start of a conscious effort to eat fresh, nutritious meals that help me recover from the gym!
Luckily, my flat is surrounded by fruterias, selling good quality cheap vegetables and so my fridge this week has become our own little greengrocers!
Each day I've tried to make something new, the first few nights inevitably ending up in Vietnamese noodle dishes and stir fries and today with this vibrant and totally delicious salad.

Super quick to make and very good for you!!


Ingredients:
1 raw beetroot
1 courgette
Cold pre-roasted butternut squash and sweet potato (roast the peeled squash and sweet potato in small chunks in the oven with a little olive oil, salt and pepper for about 15-20 minutes at 170 degrees C.)
1 small avocado
Spring onion
Spinach leaves
Goats cheese
3 tbsp linseed
Large handful of walnuts
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar
Large handful fresh mint
Salt
Pepper



Method:
Peel the beetroot and slice finely into thin rounds. Add to a large mixing bowl. Then either use a spiralizer to make the courgette into thin noodles or slice the courgette into long thin pieces.
Add to the bowl along with the small pieces of roasted squash and sweet potato.
Peel and de-stone the avocado and then slice lengthways.
Finely chop the spring onion and add both to the mixing bowl.
Put the walnuts in a small frying pan over a medium-high heat. Toast for about 4-5 minutes, shaking regularly until golden brown.
Remove from the heat and bash them up slightly with a spoon. Add the walnuts, linseed and a large handful of roughly chopped fresh mint to the bowl along with some crumbled goats cheese.
Pour in 2-3 tbsp of good quality olive oil and 2tbsp of balsamic vinegar. Season well with salt and pepper and then mix well.
Serve the salad on top of a bed of fresh spinach leaves and top with extra mint.






16 January 2015

Vietnamese Bun Cha



I seriously crave Vietnamese food.
Spicy, colourful, a little bit of everything street food.
I fell in love with it during my travels in Vietnam (you can catch up on them here) and ever since, I've been craving the country's fresh, spicy and salty cuisine.
One of my favourite street food meals which I came across for the first time in Hanoi, is Bun Cha.
Its a mix of a spicy and aromatic sauce/soup with pork patties usually charcoal grilled and accompanied with fresh rice noodles, lime and lots of herbs.
Its a delicious contrast of flavours and textures with sticky, caramelised pork and a tangy refreshing sauce.
And the best thing about it, is that it's one of those meals where you can get your hands stuck in and throw a bit of everything together - a great meal to serve with lots of friends around a big table.
With hopefully better chopstick skills than mine!
I also apologise for the low quality of these photos- I only decided to make this for supper last minute and so by the time I'd got round to photographing it, there was no natural light left and 4 very hungry people waiting to tuck in!

Ingredients: (serves 4)

2tbsp caster sugar
600g pork mince
1/2 large onion
2 cloves garlic
Black pepper
Salt
1tbsp Soya sauce (or fish sauce)

Small piece of fresh ginger
1 clove garlic
750ml chicken stock
2tbsp brown sugar
2tbsp soya sauce (or fish sauce)
Juice of 1 lime
Stir fry vegetables
Pak choi
1 pack of beansprouts

Cooked Rice noodles
Coriander
Mint
Cucumber
Limes



Method:

Mix the caster sugar with 3tbsp of water in a small pan. Cook over a high heat for 5-8 minutes until the sugar has dissolved and a golden brown caramel begins to form. When you have a caramel, remove it from the heat and swirl in 2 more tablespoons of water. (Swirl the pan rather than stirring in the water with a spoon.)

Let this mixture cool slightly. Meanwhile combine the pork mince, soya sauce or fish sauce and finely diced onion and garlic in a large mixing bowl. Add a good seasoning of black pepper and salt and the caramel. Mix well with your hands until everything is fully combined. Then form the mixture into small patties (the size of meatballs) and leave to marinate on a plate in the fridge.

Meanwhile, finely chop the ginger and 1 clove of garlic and add it to a large pan with a little oil on a medium heat. Fry the ginger and garlic for a few minutes and then add in the brown sugar and chicken stock. Let it simmer for 5 minutes and then add in the soya sauce and lime juice. Leave the mixture to simmer whilst you fry the pork.

Put a large frying pan over a high heat and add in a good glug of oil. Fry the patties in batches for about 4-5 minutes on each side until golden brown, cooked through and beginning to caramelise.
Then remove from the heat and cover with foil to keep warm.

At this stage, add your stir fry vegetables to the broth and cook for 3-4 minutes until tender. At the same time, steam the pak choi and beansprouts for 2-3 minutes.

Finely slice the cucumber and prepare some extra lime wedges. When you are ready to serve, add a big handful of roughly chopped mint and coriander to the broth.

Fill each bowl with a few pieces of pak choi, some beansprouts, 4-5 of the pork patties and a good serving of the broth and vegetables.
Then let everyone help themselves to noodles, fresh herbs, sliced cucumber and more lime.
I like mine with a lot of fresh mint leaves and a good squeeze of lime.


Influenced by: http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Bun-Cha-Vietnamese-Pork-Meatball-Noodle-Salad