FEOTW- 11/05/2014

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Here is a little summary of my favourite experiments in the kitchen over the past week. First trialling something new that I’ve been intending to try for a while:

Home-made Veggie Burger:

carrot and lentil burger

Expect to see a blog post coming soon detailing my experimenting with this one, for now here’s a tasty veggie burger serving suggestion. I served mine on grilled aubergine ‘burger baps’ and sliced tomatoes and beetroot with some grilled button mushrooms on the side.

Aubergine Pizza Slices:

aubergine pizza

Here’s another little experiment using aubergines. I have recently been searching for wheat free pizza recipes but being short on time (and having almost zero baking experience) I am still unmotivated to try and make a cauliflower crust pizza or any of the other magical alternatives. And so I found the lazy way, fairly thick slices of aubergine, grilled then topped with tomato purée, cheddar and feta cheese, grilled until melted deliciously. For now this will be my go to method when craving pizza as it definitely did the trick whilst being quick and using minimal ingredients. I served my pizza slices with a spinach, tomato, pepper and beetroot salad.

After a few experiments I decided to go back to some basics…

Creamy Banana Oatmeal:

banana oatmeal
Porridge never gets old for breakfast. Here, I first did the oats in the microwave for one minute with water and a dash of cinnamon then stirred in a small spoonful of peanut butter and a large spoonful of Greek yoghurt and put back in for an additional half a minute. Then I stirred in some honey and chopped some bananas into the bowl and finished off for a further half a minute. Of course, this could also be made in a saucepan on the hob but I’m afraid my student ways have made me lazy. Served with my morning cup of Twinings tea this is a sweet way to start the day.

Quinoa Stuffed Pepper:

stuffed pepper

Bell Peppers are a fridge staple for me and stuffed peppers are one of the many reasons why, as my go to dish when I have lost inspiration. Here I used a mixture of quinoa, onion, mushroom, feta cheese and garlic with some tomato purée for added flavour.

The Perfect Post-Workout Snack:

peanut butter pancakes

These wheat and gluten free pancakes have been in the recipe inventory for a while but I recently began to get a bit more creative than the simple one banana, two eggs and a dash of cinnamon by adding in pumpkin seeds and raisins into the mixture. And then I discovered a whole new use for this recipe and I will never look back. Simply make up a batch when you have some free time and store them in the fridge and you’ve got the perfect post workout snack. I simply spread on some peanut butter, pop them in the microwave and I’m ready for my protein.

Courgette and Broccoli Frittata:

broccoli and courgette frittata

I’ve never tried a courgette and egg combination before but I have to say it was a definite hit. I boiled some broccoli and fried some sliced courgette before throwing these in, alongside sliced cherry tomatoes, with three beaten large eggs and cooked in a pan on low-medium heat. I always finish off my frittatas under the grill, in this case after sprinkling on some grated cheddar. This is a classic that will never let me down (I’d say the same about most recipes using eggs as their base).

And that is it for this week. what foods have you been enjoying?

Homemade Falafels

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When I became a vegetarian I discovered the wonders of falafels, and then when I decided to go wheat free I faced the disappointment of these no longer being in my life. So I decided to overcome that and make my own wheat free alternative since these are the perfect little packages of protein to add to salads. An advance warning they do not look like the falafels you buy in the supermarket but they are tasty (and probably healthier).

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As above I served my falafels with spinach, tomato slices and beetroot slices. So how did I make them? First you want to boil the chickpeas to make them easy to mash. I used tinned chickpeas and approximately a third of large tin to make six falafels. I then drained them and put them into a bowl for mashing, I used a fork for this process but if you are lucky enough to own a processor feel free to use this instead. I then fried one small chopped onion, a handful of shredded spinach, two chopped cloves of garlic in some olive oil and added some salt and pepper. I put this mixture into the bowl of mashed chickpeas and squeezed in a lemon slice before adding in a beaten egg to the mixture. I then divided this up into 6 onto a foiled oven tray (to avoid making the same mistake as me and struggling to remove them from the foil spray the foil with some oil) Bake in the oven on 180 degrees Celsius for 20ish minutes or until they are browned to suit your liking. (As you can see like I don’t measure I also neglect to time my cooking). In summary:

Step one: Mash the boiled and drained chickpeas

Step one: Mash the boiled and drained chickpeas

Step two: fry the onion, spinach and garlic

Step two: fry the onion, spinach and garlic

Step three: mix the two together in a bowl

Step three: mix the two together in a bowl

Step four: Mix in the beaten to hold the mixture together

Step four: Mix in the beaten to hold the mixture together

Step five: divide up the mixture and place in oven

Step five: divide up the mixture and place in oven

Step six: take out of oven and serve in the way of your choice or store in the fridge for lunches

Step six: take out of oven and serve in the way of your choice or store in the fridge for lunches

Breakfast Mug Muffin

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So I thought I’d share my go to breakfast at the moment inspired by the wonderful Cassey Ho from Blogilates and that is a blueberry and banana mug muffin. The original recipe can be found  here but I have made a few alterations and so thought I’d share my version. When I tried this recipe it was after I had realised I am wheat intolerant and I was craving blueberry muffins like crazy (as well as every other item of food in the bakery section of Tesco). I was disappointed with the result, the taste of the egg was really overpowering without the flour to balance it out and it didn’t taste sweet but instead like a savoury omelette with some blueberries thrown in.

And so I started to think of some alterations, I tried adding cinnamon, honey and pouring greek yogurt on the top but these didn’t change the taste but merely added a new flavour over the top. It was after I tried another of Cassey’s recipes, gluten free pancakes, that I realised the missing ingredient: Banana.

I don’t know what it is but mashed up banana and egg really do make the perfect combination as a replacement for wheat. So here it is a step by step guide to a simple, tasty and healthy breakfast. Just a little warning it doesn’t look as impressive as your Costa blueberry muffin but it tastes just as good and won’t leave your body feeling awful! Here goes:

The ingredients and equipment:

Muffin IngredientsThe Basic ingredients and equipment are:

  • one medium egg
  • a couple of drops of milk-I used semi skimmed cows milk but feel free to use almond/ soya etc
  • a small handful of porridge oats
  • a mashed up ripe banana- use a fork to mash it, the process is easier the more ripe the banana is
  • A mug, this was the only one I had but it’s a lot easier if the top of the mug is wider than the bottom
  • A microwave

Pretty simple, eh? and yes it tastes good as just a banana muffin if you don’t have any blueberries on hand but optional extras include:

  • A small handful of blueberries
  • A few pumpkin seeds (source of iron)
  • a dash of cinnamon
  • Raisins or any other dried fruit
  • Other berries

muffin mixture

So first things first, crack and whisk the egg in your chosen mug and then pour in all the other ingredients and give them a bit of a mix before placing in the microwave.

I put mine in for 2 minutes on full power but I hang by the microwave and keep an eye on it because it does rise and above the mug level if you aren’t careful. So I usually have to stop it a couple of times to let the mixture return to a safe level in the mug before restarting. Check that the mixture has ‘baked’ on the top- the only liquid should be from those delicious blueberries, if used. Now simply tip out of the mug onto a plate. I usually serve mine with honey (so satisfying when it melts over the warm muffin) a spoonful or two of greek yogurt and any fruit I have to spare, usually a few grapes. However, today I just drizzled honey on.

finished muffin

The finished result! I told you it wasn’t the prettiest of foods but it’s very satisfying and easy. Enjoy!