Sunday, February 26, 2017

Pecan pie squares

I am surprised to see that nearly a week has passed since my last post. Alas, our household has been ill again this week and it seems that illness affects one's sense of time. We have had a poor winter when it comes to bugs. I had hoped that child-related illnesses would be held at bay until Mini Bite was a bit older, but I suspect our baby groups and activities are a hotbed for germs. Hopefully all of this exposure will be good for our immune systems in the long run!

Fortunately, these pecan pie squares are easy to whip up even if you aren't feeling entirely well. I actually planned to title them 'fruity pecan squares' as it seemed unlikely they would actually taste of pecan pie - and yet, somehow, they do. With a simple, whole food ingredient list they make for excellent snacking.

The topping for these is made from mixed dried fruit - the type that comes with multiple fruit varieties in the one bag. Mine had roughly equal parts of dried pears, dried apricots and prunes. I imagine different mixes would work just as well, with associated variations in flavour profile..

Monday, February 20, 2017

Vegan creme bunnies (or eggs)

With time whizzing by, Easter is on the horizon again. We have had mild sunny weather in the UK this week and so spring is on the horizon too. It is a nice time of year. It is also a time of year for chocolate (although, for me, any time of year is a time of year for chocolate!). 

Lest you think I am impressively organised with an Easter post, I will say upfront that I am actually very disorganised. You see, I made these creme bunnies last Easter but didn't have time to post them before Easter Sunday. They were so enjoyable that I saved the recipe and pictures in a draft post, and so, nearly 12 months later, I can share them with you now.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Triple chickpea stack

I had such fun making and naming this dish. There is something about three layers of chickpeas, in three different forms, that appeals to my kitchen creativity. If the photos don't immediately give it away, the three forms here are chickpea flour (besan flour) pancakes, whole chickpeas, and hummus.

This can be as easy or complicated as your life permits. I cooked chickpeas from dry and made the hummus myself, but then took a short cut with ratatouille and used a commercial tin for that. If you needed a meal in a hurry, you could use tinned chickpeas and store bought hummus; if you are more organised than I was you could whip of ratatouille yourself.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Blueberry and sweet potato mug cake {vegan + fat free}

Mug cakes are excellent for when time is short and/or you want cake in a hurry. They are also handy for making single serve treats and, in this case, using up small amounts of leftover ingredients. I don't really need help with using sweet potato or blueberries - both are foods I'll happily snack on plain - but they are given a boost in this easy recipe.

In truth, this should probably be called a mug pudding as the texture is softer than a traditional cake. With a third of a cup of sweet potato in the mix that is perhaps not surprising. Happily, as you will eat this from the mug with a spoon, a pudding-like texture presents no problems.

This is not overly sweet, which allows the natural sweetness of the sweet potato and blueberries to shine through. However, it would be easy to increase the added sugar if you so desire. As I made it, this could almost be served for breakfast, which I think is a winning outcome.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Mango chutney roast cauliflower and broccoli

From mango cookie balls we move to mango roast vegetables! In truth, I made these recipes a few weeks apart but my blogging places them in rather closer proximity.

With thinking about starter foods for Mini Bite, I have had broccoli and cauliflower on my mind lately. This particular recipe is not very baby friendly, but it is a delicious way to boost your intake of the vegetables. Indeed, this reminds me that I don't roast cauliflower and broccoli often enough as they are delicious with an oven-lent crisp.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Mango cashew cookie balls {vegan + no bake}

I am a big fan of raw fruit and nut truffle balls, but sometimes I like to mix things up a little. These no bake cookie balls take the classic fruit and nut combination - mango and cashew in this case - but add oats and banana to the mix. The result? Soft, chewy cookie balls that are eminently satisfying yet full of whole food nutrition.

With mango and banana in the ingredient list, these could also have been titled 'tropical cookie balls'. They taste of sunshine regardless of what the weather is doing outside. A version with dried pineapple would be equally delicious, or you could use half mango and half pineapple.

These are softer than pure fruit and nut balls but hold together if kept in the fridge. Or alternatively phrased, they are squishable but won't fall apart on you!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

In my kitchen - February 2017

I am linking this in to the monthly In My Kitchen round up, currently hosted by Lizzy of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things.

We are through January and into the second month of the year. In our part of the UK, January was cold with maximum temperatures often around 0'C. In contrast, my Australian family have described 40'C temperatures in Perth. My long term readers will know what I prefer! Whatever your current weather is, I hope you are keeping appropriately warm or cool.

Indoors from the cold, my kitchen has seen some new vegan products from Marks & Spencer. An M&S foodhall has opened within walking distance of us, which is exciting for me if not for our finances. Fortunately it is a half hour walk so my visits and spending will be moderated! I was pleased to pick up their new vegan sandwiches, shown above, after a long period where M&S lagged behind other food chains in providing vegan sandwich options. I expected to like the Rainbow Veg option best, with its red pepper bread and chilli squash filling, and it was enjoyable. However, I preferred the Super Greens pack with minted edamame and pea crush on linseed and chia bread.