Monday, May 30, 2016

Out and about in England: Norfolk

It's been a long weekend here in England and Mr Bite and I have just returned from 2 nights in Norfolk. I organised the trip as a birthday present for Mr Bite, although given his birthday was in April, it's been a rather delayed present for him to experience!

Norfolk flowers

Norfolk was one of the few counties we hadn't visited as a couple and I don't think I had visited it at all. It's not really en route to anywhere else and it doesn't have any 'star attractions'. However, the county has a character all of its own and the main city, Norwich, is particularly appealing. We had an enjoyable and relaxing few days exploring the area, and so I thought I'd share some highlights in photo form.

Norfolk Broads

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The best vegan chocolate courgette (zucchini) cake

To claim something as the best is a big claim. It is especially grandiose when you do so without any official contest, judging or rankings! However, this cake is so good that I have allowed myself the title. I have previously shared chocolate courgette muffins, and a whole host of apple courgette baked goods, but this cake is in a category all of its own. It is moist, fudgy and rich but also light in texture. Mr Bite loved it as much as me, even after hearing it had a vegetable in it (you really can't tell).

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Teriyaki tofu noodle bowls

I forecast more noodle bowl posts when I shared my orange-maple-ginger soba noodles two weeks ago. Here is the follow-through! This teriyaki tofu mix is easy, tasty, and was enjoyed by Mr Bite as well as myself.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Chocolate raspberry green smoothie

Like so many things, my smoothie consumption goes through phases. I'll be obsessed for a while, then forget about them, then resume my love affair. With the warmer spring weather, I think a smoothie phase is starting up. This one was the perfect blend of nutritional benefits and delicious taste.

As the colour shows, I didn't use a vast amount of chocolate flavouring, but you definitely still taste it. I combined regular cocoa powder and cocoa-based protein powder (the same mix I mentioned earlier in the month). If you don't have protein powder, cocoa powder alone will suffice.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Raw vegan bannoffee slice

This slice positions sweet, gooey banana caramel between a coconutty base and a rich, dark chocolate topping. It is delicious, satisfying and decadent. It is also made entirely from wholefood ingredients. In all, it is my kind of dessert and I liked it very much.

The slice is also an example of the whole being greater than the individual parts. Alone, the chocolate topping is a bit too dark; the banana caramel is a bit too sweet; and the base is a bit too plain. Together, thought, the layers work perfectly. This feature helps with not eating too much of the batter as you go along. It doesn't help with not eating too many slices at once!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Rose and vanilla stewed apples

This is a recipe that barely constitutes a recipe, such is its simplicity. At the same time, it is an ingredient mix that is so simple and so delightful that I couldn't not share it with you. In effect, you stew apples with vanilla essence, rose petals and raisins. The scent will perfume your kitchen while you're cooking and the flavours will woo you while you're eating.


Saturday, May 7, 2016

Orange-maple-ginger soba noodle bowl

Noodle bowls are something I go through phases with. They always appeal to me on restaurant menus if I'm eating out, but at home I can go for months without making them. Then, as I am wont to do, they will reach the top of my 'loving right now' list and I'll make a whole string of similar dishes close together.

I may be entering such a phase now. This orange-maple-ginger bowl is certainly worth making again - I loved the mix of flavours and that the dressing served as a tofu marinade as well as noodle sauce. I adapted the recipe from the orange-maple-miso noodle bowl in Angela's Oh She Glows cookbook. Her sauce used miso instead of soy sauce, didn't include ginger or apple cider vinegar, and had less orange juice. The vegetable / tofu components varied too - and you may want to vary them again to suit what you have to hand. It's an easy dish to customise.

I made this when my mother-in-law was visiting and it was well received by her. It was also tolerated by Mr Bite, which is as good as I can hope for when dishing him up tofu and broccoli! I found it worked equally well served hot for dinner and cold for lunch leftovers the next day. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

In my kitchen - May 2016

I am linking this in to the monthly In My Kitchen event, hosted by Maureen of The Orgasmic Chef.

In my kitchen, I can't quite believe it is May. Despite my disbelief, there are more and more signs of spring, from bought tulips (courtesy of my mother-in-law, who is with us until Friday) to bright buds on my apple tree. The weather is still quite variable, but the bright sunny spells are more frequent and longer lasting. Plus, it's going to be 23'C this weekend! That's a positive heat wave for the UK in May.

Leaving aside the weather, my kitchen also features this 'energy boost' mix of lucuma, maca, hemp and cacao. I bought it on special and enjoy adding it to cereal / porridge, yoghurt and drinks.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Cookie dough protein pudding cups (vegan and gluten free)

I have previously had success making desserts with chickpeas and bananas, in the form of banana-cinnamon pudding and coconut banana chocolate-coated truffles. Today's pudding cups drew inspiration from both of those recipes, as well as my chickpea-containing cookie dough truffle balls. The result was a dessert (or snack) that delivered on every front: nutrition, taste, texture and convenience.

If you haven't used chickpeas in sweet dishes before, rest assured that you can't taste them if you use a sufficient balance of other ingredients. The dominant flavours in these cups are banana, vanilla and the chocolate topping - a mix that really does resemble cookie dough, especially with the subtle tones of almond butter underneath and the smooth but thick texture the chickpeas provide. Pear is the other ingredient I used in these, and it adds extra sweetness without distracting from the flavour profile.