Tag Archives: desserts

WIAW – I’ll bring the hemp burgers

Happy Wednesday everybody!

Yep, it’s Wednesday again, which means it’s time for the lovely Jenn’s virtual WIAW  party where the guests post and share their eats.  If you haven’t visited before, you must check out all the amazing pics!

Okay, so here’s what I ate this Wednesday:

Breakfast

Glass of warm water and a slice of lemon (this week I’ve really been enjoying this gentle start to the day, rather than the big cups of black coffee I had last week.  It’s reassuring to know that I’m no longer dependent on coffee to kickstart my day 😉 ) 

Big bowl of porridge into which I added some blueberry fruit spread, chopped walnuts, chopped pecans and sunflower seeds.  It was lush!  With the porridge, I drank a cup of nettle tea.

Lunch

I had to make a quick lunch before I dashed to school to teach my meditation classes, so I grabbed some Scottish oat cakes, celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, black olives and cashew nut butter.  I bought a jar of Meridian cashew nut butter for the first time last week, and I’m LOVING it!  I’ll definitely be buying it again 🙂  

Snacks

After school, I enjoyed a 5-minute sitdown with a cup of coffee and a piece of date and zucchini chocolate brownie (which I made last week).  It was a bit of an experiment but it worked out really well (unlike a lot of my experiments 😉 ) 

I’ve never been a big fan of brownies, but I absolutely love this one.  The taste and texture is lush!  Plus, by using no refined sugar, very little oil, and with the addition of dates, zucchini and whole wheat flour, it’s actually a healthy brownie!  What more could we want eh??  Lil’ L has been taking it to school for his lunchtime snack.  I’ve just asked him what he thinks of the brownie and he said “really, really, really nice” 🙂

 

Dinner

I’m really into hemp seed at the moment, and have been using the Good Hemp milk, oil and shelled seeds as a way of adding omega-3 into our meals.  From what I’ve read, hemp is a ‘super food’ as it’s packed with nutrition.  Here’s a few facts I found out about hemp today:

  • It is a complete protein, containing all the essential amino acids.  It also has a high protein content (see image below).
  • The globulin edestin in hemp seed closely resembles that found in human blood plasma and is completely compatible with the human digestive system, making it easily digested, absorbed and utilised. 
  • Hemp seed contains phytosterols, which have been shown to reduce bad (LDL) cholesterol.
  • Hemp seed has a high content of antioxidants (all part of the Vitamin E family).
  • Hemp seed has the perfect ratio of omega-3 to omega-6.

What an amazing amount of goodness packed into a little seed! 

I’ve been using the Good Hemp shelled hemp seed a lot lately, sprinkling it into breakfasts and on dinners.  For those interested, here’s the nutritional blurb found on the back of the pot:

Good Hemp also makes a hemp protein powder, which M has been trialling whilst mountain bike training.  I don’t think that I do enough exercise to warrant using protein powders, so I’ll leave it to him to review that one 😉

So, with my new love of all things hemp, on Monday I decided to create some hemp seed burgers.  I had very little time on Monday evening as we were going out trick ‘n’ treating, but as per usual with me, when I get the creative urge, I have to pursue it 😉  So, within 20 minutes I’d made the burgers, cooked them, served them, and we were out the door!  I made 8 burgers in total, so we had them for dinner tonight too. 

Lil’ L’s verdict on the hemp burger… deeeeelicious!!!  Yay another winner!   The burgers had a great texture and I thought they tasted a bit like the sausage meat that you find in veggie sausage rolls.  To make the burgers, I used tofu, hemp seeds, chopped onion, minced garlic, soy sauce, tomato puree, ground oats and a little stuffing mix.  (If anyone’s interested, I can post the recipe).  As accompaniments, we had sunflower and sesame seed rolls, roasted butternut squash, red pepper and crispy kale. Delish!

Dessert

For dessert tonight, I had some stewed apples with natural yoghurt, cinnamon and pecans, while Lil’ L finished up the banana cinnamon icecream that we made a couple of weeks ago.  It had gone before I had time to take a photograph, so here’s the pic from last time we had it.

 

So, that’s me done!  Time to head over to Jenn’s now and check out the lush foodie photos 😉 

Happy WIAW everyone!

9 Comments

Filed under Baking & Desserts, Breakfast and Elevenses, Dinners, Nutrition

The Big Budget Challenge – Week II

I’m  now in my second week of ‘The Big Budget Challenge’ hosted by the lovely Laura @ Keeping Healthy Getting Stylish.  I did okay in Week I, but Week 2 has been even better 🙂 

Here’s a run down of my top ‘money saves’ this week:

1. Avoid waste. No food thrown away this week!  

See these sad-looking bananas….

I turned them into this:

It’s banana cinnamon ‘ice cream’.  It’s so creamy that you would think it was proper ice cream!  To make it, I simply cut the bananas into slices, froze them, then whizzed them in the blender on the ice setting until they were all chopped up.  I then transferred them to a bowl, added a dash of nondairy milk, lashings of cinnamon and a tablespoon of ground linseed.  I then pulsed them using a hand blender until they went white and creamy.  The bananas were so ripe that I didn’t need to add any sweetener.  Lil’ L loves this dessert and it makes a nice change from apples 😉

2. Shop around for cheapest deals.  I finally got round to trying out www.mysupermarket.co.uk that a friend recommended way back in the summer.  I was really impressed with it.  It’s so simple to use.  At a click of a button, it allows you to import your online shopping basket from your usual provider (mine’s Tesco). You can then easily edit the basket, deleting items you no longer need and adding new items. 

Then, it does something really useful…

  • It shows you how you can save money by swapping to cheaper items. If you agree with their ‘Swap & Save’ suggestions, you just click to swap.  I saved £6.36 by swapping some items.
  • It then compares the cost of your basket at four supermarkets.  If your shop would be cheaper elsewhere, you just click to swap.  I did a big grocery shop (83 items) and the total was £139 at Tesco.  In Asda, the same shop would have cost me £155; Sainsbury’s £166; and Ocado (Waitrose) a wopping £177. I’ve always done my big grocery shops at Tesco, so it was great to discover that it is actually the cheapest supermarket for me. 🙂 
     
    It’s interesting because the cheapest supermarket very much depends on the types of groceries you buy.  For my friend, Sainsbury’s came out £30 cheaper than Tesco!  Lately, I’ve been disorganised with my grocery shopping and have ended up buying bits and pieces on a weekly basis from the Waitrose in Bath.  By getting more organised and ordering a fortnightly Tesco home delivery, I should save a small fortune! 🙂 

3. Make use of home grown foods.  We’re eating tons of apples and there’s still hundreds left!  After watching Monty Don’s episode on how to ‘over winter’ apples, I challenged M to make me a storage contraption using old scraps from the garage.  He rose to the challenge and made a great storage system…..

… but it took him the whole of Sunday.  He’s now banned me from watching Gardners’ World as he’s fed up with landing Monty Don’s ‘Jobs for the Weekend’. 😉

4. Go foraging!  No foraging this week as I’m still working out what to do with all the nuts we found last week

5. Make use of vouchers and deals. HUGE savings here! Last Friday, me and my good friend J went to London to meet up with our gorgeous friends N and H for lunch.  I converted my Tesco vouchers into tokens for redspottedhankie.com and managed to get both our travel tickets for FREE!  A total saving of £66!  This meant we had more cash to spend on gorgeous eats and drinks 🙂 

So, lots of savings this week.  Good thing too because next week is going to be v. v. expensive 😉 

10 Comments

Filed under Baking & Desserts, Being Frugal, Growing Fruit & Veggies

WIAW – Pancakes, Dhal, Pasta, Flapjack & Yoghurt Apple Surprise

Yesterday, after school, Lil’ L and I went apple picking down the orchard. Well ‘orchard’ is a bit of a grand name for one apple tree and one plum tree but, to us, it will always be known as our little orchard. 😉 Next year, I’m determined to plant some more fruit trees. (I’m quite fancying a greengage tree at the moment… I ate some of my sister’s greengages at the weekend and they were gorgeous!)

Last night, I made a large batch of apple sauce so I could surprise Lil’ L this morning by cooking one of his favourite breakfasts… apple cinnamon pancakes. They made the house smell wonderful! Lil’ L is a big pancake monster and he ate 3 large pancakes and I had a couple. The remaining batter is stored in the fridge and I’ll cook M a couple of pancakes for his supper tonight.

These pancakes are made with wholemeal flour, oats, baking powder, apple sauce, fortified soya milk, vanilla extract, and a little water. We love to serve them with a sprinkling of ground flaxseed and a drizzling of Sweet Freedom fruit sweetener or agave syrup.

For lunch, I ate the dhal with coconut and butternut squash left over from Monday’s nights’ dinner. This is one of our all-time favourite meals and costs only a few pence to make.  The recipe can be found here.

For a snack, we had a piece of home-made goji berry flapjack, which contains no fat and no refined sugar. Here’s the recipe.

On Wednesday’s, Lil’ L has his swimming lesson and I usually don’t start cooking dinner until we get back home. This means we eat dinner around 7.15pm then have very little time for a sit down and bed time stories.  THIS week, I’ve actually got myself organised and made dinner ahead of time. There’s a first time for everything! 😉

In the pantry, I came across a packet of long-life tofu, which I bought in France this summer. It’s made in Germany and I must see if we can buy it here in the UK. It’s got a very firm texture, which makes it suitable for pasta dishes as well as noodles.

For tonight’s dinner, I’ve chosen to make a simple 6-veg pasta. The tofu was chopped and drizzled in a little soy sauce for flavour. For veggies, I used a large carrot, a handful of mushrooms (both whizzed in the mini chopper), some courgette (zucchini), celery and red pepper (all finely chopped). (I would have used broccoli but we’ve run out. 😦 )  While the wholewheat penne was cooking, I added the veggies to a large saucepan, along with the tofu pieces, a squirt of tomato puree and a jar of Seeds of Change organic tomato and basil sauce.  When the pasta was ready, it was added to the veggie sauce mixture. After allowing it to cool slightly, a teaspoon of Good Hemp hempseed oil was mixed into each pasta portion (for an omega-3 boost) and garnished with a sprinkling of pine nuts and chopped basil. A super quick (15 minute), delicious and nutritious meal. I’m sure the boys will love it. 🙂

I’ve also made dessert ahead of time! Gosh I’m on fire today. 😉  I had this idea of layering Alpro Natural Soya Yoghurt, home-made apple sauce and sprinkling goji berries, dates, nuts and seeds on top (all whizzed together in the mini chopper). It looks quite cool.

If anyone can think of a good name for this dessert, please let me know! The best I can come up with is ‘yoghurt apple surprise’ which is a bit dull and predictable. Your suggestions would be greatly appreciated! 🙂

Right time to head over to Jen’s party and see what everyone else is bringing. Happy WIAW!

14 Comments

Filed under Baking & Desserts, Breakfast and Elevenses, Dinners

WIAW Party – I’ll bring noodles

Wahay! I’ve finally worked out how to get the technical bits working so I can join in the ‘What I Ate Wednesday’ virtual party hosted by Peas and Crayons.  Is it acceptable to drool over pictures of other people’s dinner or is that a bit weird?  Okay it might be weird but I doubt that I’m the only one doing this. 😉  It you fancy trying out some new meals, check out the WIAW party. It’s really inspiring! 

Anyhow, here’s my contribution to the WIAW event. It’s actually what I ate on Tuesday but I think that still counts. 🙂

Breakfast:
A bowl of porridge, made with organic jumbo oats, fortified soya milk, water, lots of cinnamon, chopped pecan nuts, almonds, and brazil nuts, a sprinkling of goji berries (one of my latest passions) and a sprinkling of ground flaxseed for an omega-3 boost. 

Sorry the photo's not great but I was starving and couldn't wait to eat it!

I’m a huge fan of porridge and eat it most mornings.  By far my favourite oats are Flahavan’s Organic Jumbo Oats.  The description on the back of the packet says that the Flahavans have been milling oats for over 200 years at their family mill beside the river Mahon, at Kilmacthomas, Co Waterford, Ireland.    This conjures up so many wonderful images in my head. 🙂

The porridge was followed by a cup of nettle tea.  I absolutely adore this stuff!  Apparently it’s very good for you too.  

I'm sure you don't need to see a photo of nettle tea but I bought this mug the other day and justified the cost by telling myself that I NEEDED it for my blog 😉

Lunch:
It was such a cold, rainy day that I was looking forward to polishing off a bowl of watercress soup (left over from the weekend), with some toasted pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top.  This is Lil’ L’s all-time favourite soup.  It’s a great way to get kids to eat watercress as it has a lovely mild flavour in soup, compared to its raw peppery flavour.
 

Dinner:
I had to make a quick dinner as I was going out, so we had oriental-style vegetable noodles. I love stir fries as they are super quick and easy to make, as well as being extremely tasty. Lil’ L described this meal as ‘noodley doodely delish’. 🙂

Here’s how I made the noodles:

Serves: 4
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp fresh or frozen root ginger, grated
2 carrots, chopped into thin julienne strips
250g / 9oz / 3½ cups pak choi, shredded
100g / 3½oz / 1½ cups small broccoli florets
90g / 3oz / ½ cup Chinese or oyster mushrooms (optional)
1 red pepper, sliced
175ml / 6fl oz / 3/4 cup vegetable stock
2 tbsp reduced salt soy sauce
2 tbsp cashew nut butter
½ tsp agave syrup (you can use any sweetener, to taste)
27g / 1oz / ¼ cup unsalted cashew nuts
4 tsp hempseed oil (optional).
300g / 10½oz wholegrain noodles (we used brown rice noodles)

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a wok. Stir fry the onion, garlic and ginger on a medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables and stir-fry for a further 2 minutes.
  2. Mix in the vegetable stock, soy sauce, sweetener and cashew nut butter and cashew nuts. Cover and gently simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the noodles for 5 minutes in boiling water. Drain, rinse in cold water, add to the wok and mix thoroughly. Arrange the noodles in four bowls. Allow to cool slightly, then mix in 1 tsp of hempseed oil into each bowl for an omega-3 boost.

For children that are not keen on big, chunky vegetables, chop them finely or whiz them in a mini chopper or food processor. Pak choi is a great vegetable for children as it blends very well into the sauce and noodles.

Dessert:
For dessert, we had some of our plum and blackberry yoghurt (made using home grown plums, foraged blackberries and Alpro Soya Natural Yoghurt).

Right, time to check out the WIAW party. Hope to see you there!  xx

9 Comments

Filed under Baking & Desserts, Breakfast and Elevenses, Dinners

Plumdiddlyumptious!

We picked our last bounty of plums last week from our little plum tree.

We’ve been enjoying lots of delicious plum crumbles over the last month but, as the last batch were so ripe and weren’t going last more than a day or two, I decided to simply stew them.  I absolutely adore stewed plums!  I could easily eat them morning, noon and night… although that probably wouldn’t be a wise move. 😉  

To stew them, I simply cut them up (leaving the skins on), added them to a saucepan with a little water (about 1/4 cup) and let them gently simmer for 10 minutes.  After this time, I mixed in a little Sweet Freedom fruit sweetener.

As we had such a huge batch of stewed plums, I decided to freeze a few portions, and refrigerate the rest for desserts and smoothie juices.  We made this gorgeous fruit puree, by blending the stewed plums along with some stewed blackberries.  (We foraged the blackberries during a bike ride along the Bristol & Bath Railway Path).  I sieved the puree to remove the pips, then used the puree to make fruity desserts and smoothies.  

To make fruity yoghurt, I simply mixed some of the plum and blackberry puree into a bowl of natural soya yoghurt.  The first time he tried it, Lil’ L polished off the bowl and then exclaimed “this is plumdiddlyumptious!” 🙂  This week, he’s been taking little pots of the yoghurt in his lunchbox to school (great way to get some more fruit into him. 😉 )

To make the smoothie, I simply whizzed the plum & blackberry puree in a blender along with a handful of ice cubes.  It was absolutely delicious!  I felt like I was zinging with vitamins after downing a glass of this. 😉

Well, the plums are coming to an end… but the apple tree is laden with ripe fruit.  Time to get creative again!

I’d love to know what your favourite plum recipe has been this year.

3 Comments

Filed under Baking & Desserts, Growing Fruit & Veggies