Sunday, April 30, 2017

Zucchini noodles with orange and cashews

I was recently browsing my own Recipes page and was surprised to see, first, just how many recipes are on there (well over 200!) and, second, how many dishes I have made, loved, and then not made again. My various courgette / zucchini noodle dishes are a case in point. Whilst I haven't recreated one of them here, I was inspired to pull my spiralizer out again and make a new zucchini noodle dish to match the spring weather.

This salad is dominated, in a good way, by orange. It features an orange-soy-ginger dressing as well as orange segments. A scattering of cashews rounds out the dish and I also included tofu (ginger flavoured for good measure) that I enjoyed in the mix. If you left the tofu off this would be a nice side dish but with it you can easily consume the salad as a main meal.

My tofu was the new-ish sweet ginger tofu made by Cauldron foods. If you aren't in the UK or don't have access to that, any marinated tofu would work, although one that compliments an orange-soy-ginger dressing would obviously be best.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Make ahead blueberry chia and coconut oats

It has been a busy week in the Bite-Sized Thoughts household. My mother-in-law is visiting from Australia and we have enjoyed introducing her to Mini Bite. Mr Bite has taken the week off work to enjoy her company, and I took advantage of that to have a 'keeping in touch' day at work on Wednesday. It was the second time I'd left Mini Bite for more than an hour or so and I'm pleased to report that all went well - for her and for me. It was also rather lovely to have a day of adult company, complete with baby-free train rides into and out of my workplace. Reading a book with a cup of coffee never felt so good.

If you have a similarly busy schedule, this blueberry oat mix is a useful way to make a breakfast (or snack) option ahead of time. It is also adaptable and with a few small tweaks you could turn the recipe into one for blueberry oat balls instead - just omit the milk and use a little more oats to give a sturdier texture.

This does use a food processor and you may be wondering why you would bother with that when freshly made oats and blueberries provide a delicious combination without any meddling. Simply put, this is delicious in a different way. The blended mix is pudding-like and reminiscent of bircher muesli. It is also thick, easily portable, and (or course) can be made well in advance.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Vegan Life Magazine - issue 26 {April 2017}

I receive complimentary digital copies of Vegan Life, which allows me to post reviews with screenshots included. My reflections on the magazine are entirely my own.

This month's Vegan Life edition is jam packed with recipes I am keen to make. I often admire the ideas shared, but this month is particularly full of inspiration!

To start with savoury, I love the sound of these roasted vegetables with a lemon tarragon sauce. I imagine the sauce would make a delicious marinade for tofu too.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Banana, carrot and sultana mini muffins {vegan, no added sugar + non fat}

I was hesitant to put 'fat free' and 'sugar free' in the title of this post, because those labels may conjure up images of bland, flavourless muffins. The texture of fat free baked goods is often different too. However, these muffins are fully flavoured and beautifully textured. The use of lots of bananas and natural sugars simply removes the need for added fat or sugar. (For the sticklers among you, there is some fat in the oat milk and oats.)

I recently had lots of bananas to use up, thanks to my clumsiness when unpacking shopping and a bag of bananas being dropped on the floor. They all went a bit mushy and prematurely brown - good for freezing, smoothies and baking but not so good for eating in their natural state. These muffins used 3 of the bunch so they are good and banana-y!

Whilst I made these as mini muffins, you could, of course, make regular sized ones instead. Just increase the cooking time accordingly (adding 5-10 minutes at an estimation).

Friday, April 14, 2017

A carob recipe round-up {vegan}

I know, I know - if you aren't a fan of carob, you will be wrinkling your nose at this post (or skipping it altogether!). Carob is one of those products that seems to divide people into love/hate categories. Personally, as this post highlights, I adore the stuff. I have my mother to thank for this, as she gave us carob as children when trying to ration our chocolate intake. I love chocolate too but carob has a firm place in my heart alongside it.

Hazelnut and cherry carob cookies

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Herby lemon and pea fritters

At the risk of tooting my own horn, I am rather proud of these fritters. I made them on a whim, without a recipe, and surprised myself with how well they turned out. They taste of spring: fresh, lemon-y, light yet satisfying, and a little bit fluffy.

These take some of my staple ingredients (like besan flour and chia seeds) and give them a new twist, thanks to the lemon and fresh basil and parsley. The fritters come together quickly and make an easy meal if paired with salad. 

I used mashed sweet potato in these, but in future I would probably use regular potato. You can't really detect the sweet potato flavour and potato seems a better match for the other ingredients. However, either would work and you could even try mashed squash or celeriac.

I think these are best warm from the pan, but they will also keep for a few days in the refrigerator and are enjoyable cold or reheated.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Sweet potato and spinach nuggets

'Tater tots' are one of those American products that I have heard of for many years without quite knowing what they are. (Other examples, although I set these ones to rest when I visited America a few years back, include graham crackers and Twinkies.) It turns out, according to Wikipedia, that they are "pieces of deep fried, grated potatoes". I am saying all of this because I adapted today's recipe from these spinach sweet potato tater tots on Physical Kitchness. I could have called my adaptation tater tots too, but as I am such a novice to the term and these don't feature frying or grated potato, I am using the more generic 'nugget' instead.

Terminology aside, these are delicious whatever you choose to call them. Since making them the first time, I have done a repeat batch with kale instead of spinach and they were just as good. They are a very easy side dish and, if you have children, perfect for little hands to grasp.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Loving this week {April 2017}

It has been too long between these posts. To make up for lost time, here are six things that I am loving at the moment...

1. Spring scenes. I think Spring may be my favourite English season. It is certainly glorious at the moment, with blue skies, sunshine and flowers everywhere. I am delighted to have flowers re-blossoming on my apple tree and tulips growing in my garden.

The longer daylight hours are wonderful too - the photo below was taken at 7.50pm!

Monday, April 3, 2017

In my kitchen - April 2017

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

Another month and another peak into my kitchen, thanks to the fun round-up currently hosted by Bizzy Lizzy.

It is officially spring in the UK and with the warmer weather comes an embarrassing amount of ice cream in my freezer. No, really, a truly embarrassing amount:

In my defense, all of the above items were new-to-me options that were dangled in front of me by Ocado. In an example of good marketing, Ocado offered me 3 months of free home grocery deliveries and, like a good consumer, I have made multiple orders that I otherwise wouldn't have done. (To non-UK readers, Ocado is an online grocery chain that offers lots of gourmet and vegan items.) I love all of the above ice creams, although the two Fry's tubs are not very sweet and Mr Bite was not a fan.

In addition to new ice cream flavours, the Fry's company have released some new frozen savoury items. I loved their stir fry strips made from rice protein and chia seeds (you can't detect either in the flavour, which is of rosemary and sage) and also enjoyed their Asian spiced burgers. Both are very faux meat-y and so aren't something I'd eat too regularly, but as faux meat products go they are excellent.