It’s been so great discovering this little world of healthy food enthusiasts… it’s really inspired my kitchen creations. I used to get in a lot of ‘food ruts’ – eating the same sort of things day in, day out.
Nowadays, I get so excited to create new recipes, or try other blogger’s recipes.
Actually, reading blogs of any description has really got my creativity cranking. I’m having so much fun just making STUFF. For some reason, I have a lot more focus these days. Maybe it’s because the time I have to get a little project completed is usually pretty short. Either when Misty’s sleeping or after dinner is about it… not like ‘back in the day’ before child where I just had too much time on my hands to know what to do with.
I made this washable snack bag as I am so sick of using plastic snap lock bags for Misty’s snacks when we are out and about. So much plastic. This is great as it is a light vinyl-you can wipe it out, or chuck it through the washing machine.
I can’t help defacing things, even with a sewing machine. Angry apple.
I’m always wanting new and different non dairy milk ideas… I’ve made home made almond, coconut and brown rice milks. They were all good, but not great if you know what I mean. Store bought almond milk is not that flash here down under, and it’s super expensive so not really worth it. Home made coconut milk is good for cooking, but not so tasty in coffee or tea (which I drink a LOT of). I actually mix my home made coconut milk with Dr Bronner’s amazing soap and use it as shampoo. It really is wicked knickers stuff.
I stumbled across the idea of tahini milk while reading Gena’s blog. Awesome. Tahini is one of my favourite things, and I love mixing it into soy milk with a touch of agave and cinnamon already. I whipped up the recipe and it was love at first sip. Great on it’s own, or over cereal.
I had about a half cup of this recipe left over (the barley) I chucked it in the freezer, not wanting to waste it. After returning from Sydney to an empty fridge, I pulled it out to feed my hungry beast. I was being a lazy Mama and didn’t want to spoon feed it to Misty, and was bored so I decided to bake it into something.
Baked Barley Fridge Scrape:
- 1/2C this recipe
- 1T ground flax seed mixed with 3T water to make a flax egg
- 1/8t baking soda
- 1/16t baking powder
- 5t coconut flour (I reckon chickpea flour would work well too, the texture might be a little different, but would be good)
- Combine all ingredients.
- Spoon into a lined baking tray (a mini muffin pan would be great but I don’t have one, so I used a tiny loaf pan – 10cm in length)
- Bake for 30 minutes at 170 degrees C.
- Turn off oven, take the bake out of the pan and flip onto a cooling rack upside down.
- Put back into oven (which is turned off) and let the bottom dry out a bit until the oven had cooled down completely.
Seemed to go down a treat. Fruit, flaxy and easy to hang on to – no Mama spoony needed.
Anything new/creative/fun you’ve made or discovered recently?
I eat a lot of fruit. A lot. Perhaps a little too much? How much is too much? I don’t care, I love the stuff. Today I had an apple, a pear, 2 bananas, 6 prunes, and sculled a bunch of the fruity beverage featured below. That’s a pretty normal fruit day. Viper hardly ever eats fruit. I don’t get it; I don’t feel right if I don’t get in at least a couple pieces of fresh fruit a day. Misty is working on a couple of chompers at the moment, so apart from the grizzlies, he is off his usual solid fare. Bring on the smoothies – he is guzzling back a tasty combo of banana, pineapple and coconut milk as I type. Chunks of frozen watermelon seems to be helping those sore gums too.
My thing is pineapple at the minute. Oh yes, we have entered the pineapple-kick territory. As the pattern goes with my fruit consumption, I tend to go too hard, too fast. I get excited and go overboard. With pineapple in particular, this can have horrible results. Enter the sliced and diced mouth and tongue. Those tasty fibres are sharp. I have found blending it up helps this problem, and opens up a new world for pineapple creativity without the bleeding mouth.
I made this for Misty and me the other day… and am now looking at other ways to use up copious amounts of pineapple juice and puree I have hanging around.
The beauty of these recipes are that canned pineapple if just fine to use if you don’t have access to tropical fruit as I do… just try to use the varieties that don’t contain added sugar.
Photo from week in Sydney… this was at an amazing water front cafe called the Boathouse at Palm Beach (for those in the know, near where ‘Home and Away’ is filmed. No, I didn’t run into Alf… ‘stone the flamin’ crows!)
Use for Juice:
Pineapple and Mint Kombucha
I’m totally digging home brew Kombucha… so delicious and ridiculously easy once you have the appropriate fungi. Thanks to Kaitlyn from The Tie Dye Files for the how-to guide.
- 1/2C pineapple juice
- 2t lime juice
- 1 litre of brewed Kombucha
- Handful fresh mint
Purpose for Puree:
Pineapple Fluff Sprinkle
I use this sprinkle to add texture to things like tofu pudding, yoghurt, ice cream or oatmeal/cereal combos. Love the crunch of buckwheat, and the coconut flour is so good when it soaks into any kind of liquid. You could use any kind of fruit puree if pineapple is not your thing – apple, mango, peach, pear, apricot. All good.
- Pineapple puree (225g pineapple blended with 1/4C water)
- 1C raw buckwheat groats
- 1/2C coconut flour
- 1/4t sea salt
- 2t coconut oil, melted
- 1-2T liquid sweetener, depending on your sweetie preference (I used apple juice syrup concentrate – agave, rice syrup, even maple would all be fine)
Combine all ingredients, either place in a dehydrator or do what I did and spread on a lined baking tray for 1 hour at 120 degrees C. Lower to 100 degrees C for another 30 minutes. Turn off oven, leaving tray inside until it has cooled down completely.
Pineapple Fluff Sprinkle with toasted pepitas and Green Monster Tofu Pudding (recipe coming). Crap picture as this was a night time snack, and there is no light.
Fruit consumption? Big, non existent or in between? Fresh/dried/canned frozen? Fruity thoughts?
- 1/4C cooked grain (I used barley)
- 1/4C chickpea flour
- 1/4C grated cheese (I used mozzarella)
- 3T water
- 1t olive oil/melted butter
- Pinch of sea salt
- Black pepper
- 1/2t mixed dried herbs
- Butter/oil for pan
If you think I’m bad with going off on tangents when I write – you should see me in the kitchen. I begin with a recipe to try, or an idea of a certain dish that I would like to prepare. I always end up getting distracted by some new ingredient or stroke of genius (yeah, right) half way through. The resulting dish is about as far away from the original idea as you can get without being arrested (that makes no sense whatsoever, similar to my style of cooking).
It all started with a few skinny eggplants I bought for some reason. I don’t know what I was thinking of doing with them, but they were pretty and purple so I bought them. Fast forward to lunch today, and I knew I had to use these beautiful, albeit annoying fridge dwellers. I chucked them in a hot oven, not really thinking it through, and this happened:
It seriously exploded in there. It looks kind of like a squid trying to escape. I find the insides of eggplants quite unnerving.
Due to the slightly creepy appearance of the insides, I decided to blend them up, thus banishing all thoughts of giant squid tendrils flapping around in my belly. Doing what I do best, I proceeded to scrape out the fridge and dump it into my blender along with the eggplant. I found some abandoned roast pepper strips (thanks Viper) a little plastic bag of herbs my girlfriend stole for me from another friends garden, some garlic and sad looking lemon wedges. A few dashes of seasoning, and a new delight was born. It’s kind of in between hummus, baba ganoush and pesto – really it just reminded me of a pesto because of the basil.
Vegan Eggplant Pesto
(Vegan, gluten free, nut free, soy free)
- 1C roasted eggplant
- 1/2 roasted red pepper
- 1t lemon juice
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 1/2T nutritional yeast
- 1/4t balsamic vinegar
- Big handful of fresh basil leaves
- A few sprigs of fresh sage
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 3T apple puree (or pumpkin, mashed banana etc)
- 1/2C rice (white or brown)
- 1 3/4C milk (I used full fat coconut milk, but cow, soy, almond etc are all good substitutes)
- 1/4C chopped dried fruit (or date puree gives it a lovely caramel flavour)
- 3/4t ground cinnamon or mixed spice (Pumpkin Pie spice)
- 2t tahini
- 1/2t pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of sea salt
- Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.
- Bring to the boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer.
- Keep and eye on it, and stir every few minutes to prevent sticking.
- Wait until most of the liquid has been absorbed, turn of heat and place a lid on the saucepan. Let the rice soak up the rest of the liquid. (Puree in the food processor for under 8 month olds).
- Eat warm, or pop in fridge to firm up to serve with Chia Seed Jam. Far too hot here for a warm breakfast… the pudding goes all solid-like so you can carrrrrve off chunks (spoken with a Scottish accent, naturally) yummo.
Misty’s new favourite thing is biting. Biting me. He thinks it’s hilarious, and I don’t know how to stop him. He also thinks me saying ‘No!’ is positively wee- your- nappy funny. He has nibbled the railing of his cot, knawed the TV cabinet, and loves gnashing his teeth on my measuring spoons. I suppose it’s just like having a puppy – our wooden outdoor furniture will never be the same after Boosty’s treatment of it. Bite marks? Try whole chunks of arm rests and chair legs GONE.
So I realise that this recipe would have been a great Hallo-weeny type dish, but since it’s not really celebrated here I’m not bothered. I have a little monster all of my own. Let’s hope he will enjoy biting into these, rather than my shoulder or knee caps. He’s seriously going to draw blood soon, it really hurts. I figure if I combine cheese with anything, Misty will eat it, so I’ve snuck some chicken in too, to see if he’ll go for it this time.
Green Monster Balls:
1/2C cooked rice
1/2 large free range organic chicken breast
1/3C grated cheese
1T ground flax seeds
1/3C edamame (or peas)
Freshly ground black pepper
A handful of greens (I used Indian spinach) chopped up finely (either by hand or just whizz in the food processor).
- Pulse chicken and breadcrumbs together in a food processor.
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and place in fridge for 15 minutes.
- Roll tablespoons full of mixture into balls.
- Bake at 180 degrees C for 10 minutes, roll balls over and bake for another 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
- 1/4C breadcrumbs (I used millet bread but any bread is fine)
- 1/2C vegetable puree (something starchy works best, I used carrot and sweet potato)
- 1/4C pureed corn kernels
- 3T brown rice flour
- 1/4t curry powder
- 1/8t aluminium free baking powder
- 1/8C sesame seeds
- 1/8C raw cashews
- 1 egg (or 1 flax “egg”)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2t fresh or dried herbs (I used fresh chives and mint)
- Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
- Heat a fry pan with a little oil or butter.
- Drop teaspoons full of batter in, and cook for 2 minutes each side or until golden brown.
- Serve with a dollop of yoghurt, sour cream or mashed avacado.
* Viper tells me this is how one of his workmates describes (ahem) himself if you get my drift. Wouldn’t think a male would willingly admit this, anyhow… One time, we had a Mexican party.
I had a mono-brow.
We drank sangria. Lots of sangria. I made cactus sculptures out of pickles. There was a pinata. A lot of cheese and corn chips were consumed. I drank lots of sangria. I didn’t make this particular dip, but something kind of close to it. Basically, I wanted something yummy and spicy for lunch today, utilising what limited resources I had on hand. I am also participating in Alex’s Sugar Free Challenge so needed something that would not cause a sugar induced coma.
Luckily I’m not a big sugar fan at the best of times, so it’s not too difficult for me. This is what I came up with:
Red Bean Small Chilli Dip:
(If you want to make this into a salad dressing, simply thin with water and a splash of apple cider vinegar until you reach the desired consistency).
- 1C cooked red kidney beans
- 1/3C jarred salsa (one with no added sugar, of course)
- 1/2C cooked sweet potato (or pumpkin)
- 3T nutritional yeast
- 1/4t sea salt
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- Black pepper, freshly ground to taste
- 1/4t ground cumin
- 1/4t ground coriander
- 1t lime juice
- 1/4 small birds eye chilli (or to taste, the ones I have at the moment are blow your face off HOT).
- Blend all ingredients together in a food processor. Serve with assorted ‘dippers’ (not the birds eye chilli as pictured if you would like to keep your eyebrows… HOT).
- 1C cooked red kidney beans
- 1/2C cooked sweet potato (or pumpkin)
- 1/3C canned tomatoes
- 3T nutritional yeast
- 1/4t garlic powder
- 1/8t ground coriander
- 1/4t ground cumin
- Black pepper, freshly ground
- 1/2t lime juice
- 1/2C coconut milk
- 1 1/2 T Thai green curry paste
- 1/4C TVP
- 1/2C vital wheat gluten
- 1T onion granules
- 1/2t ground coriander
- 1/2t chilli flakes
- 1t ginger powder
- 1T soy sauce
- Quickly fry off curry paste in a fry pan until fragrant (a few minutes). Mix into coconut milk, and add soy sauce.
- Combine remaining ingredients in a separate bowl.
- Mix wet and dry together.
- Give “dough” a quick knead, and shape (this time instead of the usual sausage roll I just made little patties)
- Place in a steamer for 30 minutes. Chill in fridge until ready to serve.
- When ready to serve salad, slice into strips and pan fry.
- 1/2C soaked dates (chop dates and pour about 1/8C boiling water over them to soften)
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/2C + 3T water
- 5t lime juice
- 5t fish sauce
- 1/2-1 small birds eye chilli, chopped (depending on how hot you like it)
- Blend all ingredients in a food processor. Chill in fridge until ready to serve.
- Mung bean noodle threads, rehydrated and tossed in sesame oil
- Dry toasted chopped peanuts
- Fresh coriander
- Red onion
- Mung bean sprouts
- Steamed Pak Choy
- Steamed Pei Tsai
- 1/2 bunch fresh coriander, chopped.
Short but oh so sweet.
A weekend island getaway, complete with family, friends, babies, beer and music (among other things).
Straight out front.
These were sampled, smooshed and smeared.
Stairs were discovered.
Sweet ride. Real sweet.
SNACKS: (vary seasonings according to your tastes)
Balsamic Baked Chickpeas
- 1 can chickpeas, drained
- 1 t sea salt + extra salt for seasoning after baking
- 1-2t garlic granules (optional)
- 3-4T balsamic vinegar (I like it vinegary)
- Toss chickpeas in vinegar, salt, garlic.
- Place on a baking tray that has been misted with olive oil spray.
- Bake for 1 hour at 150 degrees C – keep and eye on them and stir/rotate every 10 minutes or so.
- After 1 hour, turn off oven, leaving chickpeas inside to cool completely (helps dry them out further)
- Sprinkle with more salt (mmm) and a crack of black pepper for luck.
Strange beachy plant specimens.
Homeward bound… sleepy time.