Friday, 16 September 2016

Banana & weetabix snack cakes

September always reminds me of a fresh start, school and Autumn. As a busy mother of three energetic children trying to find a balance it is never been easy. Lets not go far, try to concentrate on a healthy eating, less stress, more reading, more music and more sleep.... That's my September mantra.... what's yours? Are you the only vegetarian in your family? Do you cook meat meals for your children? I do! I have decided to post some meat recipes that I regularly cook for my family, starting this late September!
For now, here is a classic banana cake with added breakfast cereal and few other yummy ingredients....  









Ingredients:

3 crumbled Weetabix
100 gr dry fruits, chopped
50 gr chcolate chips
150 ml milk
100 gr brown sugar
2 eggs
2 large and ripe bananas, mashed
120 gr butter, melted
150 gr self-raising wholemeal flour
1 tsp soda bicarbonate
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Place the weetabix, dry fruits and milk in a bowl and set aside until all the milk has been absorbed.
Meanwhile, whisk together the sugar and eggs until pale, add the banana, butter, flour, soda and cinnamon.Finally, beat in the Weetabix mixture as well as the chocolate chips.
Spoon into a buttered tin of your choice, I used a round flan tin, 28 cm across. You can also bake into a rectangle shape tin or a loaf tin.
Bake for 40 minutes on 170 C or 1 hour if you bake it in a loaf tin.

note: keep the cake in a airtight container for one week in the fridge. 
How to make them healthy
- aim to get 18 - 20 portions . 100 gr sugar + handful of chocolate chip which is equivalent to 1/4 of sugar from your shop-bought snack 




Monday, 5 September 2016

Fruity Bruschetta with whipped feta

These bruschetta were perfect Sunday brunch for me and my family. There was an extra whipped feta for the children to dip in... 









Ingredients:

1 baguette , sliced
olive oil
100 - 150 gr feta cheese
3 -4 Tbsp thick yogurt
seasonal fruit, I had fresh figs and nectarines
Brazil nuts 
honey 
mint leaves

Toast the bread in a toaster, under a grill or in a grill pan.
Brush the toasted bread with extra virgin olive oil.
Crumble the feta, place it into a mug together with the yogurt, using a stick blender whip it until smooth.
Spread the whipped cheese on your toasted bread and arrange sliced fruit on the top.
Drizzle some honey and sprinkle some chopped nuts.
Mint leaves are obligatory :) 



Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Harisa aubergines bake

I love aubergines, I grow up picking a fresh aubergines from our garden, those days we used to eat seasonal vegetables only. My mum was very creative in the kitchen, she still is, she was preparing aubergines in many different ways which were all delicious. Recently I discovered this recipe and so far it's my favorite because frying process is not in a game so it's easy to digest ... If you are auber-lover, this is must try dish ..










Ingredients:
(serve 4 )
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
300 gr short-grain brown rice
800 ml vegetable stock
salt and pepper
**************************************
2 aubergines 
2 Tbsp harisa paste
olive oil
2 - 3 fresh tomatoes cut into cubes
fresh parsley
thick Greek style yogurt to serve

First, slice the aubergines lengthwise. With the tip of a knife, score the flesh in a diamond cross pattern.Spread the harisa paste on the top.

In a big casserole dish heat up 3 Tbsp of oil, add the onion and saute for 10 minutes or so. Add the minced garlic and the rice ( pre-soaked in cold water for at least 2 hours ).
Mix it up, add the stock and place the aubergines on the top.
Put the lid on and cook the rice and aubergines on a low temperature for 20 minutes. Make sure the aubergines are kind of floating. 
If your casserole dish in ovenproof you can just take the lid off, sprinkle tomatoes on the top, season with salt and pepper and place it in oven for 40 minutes on 180 C .
Otherwise, transfer the rice to a ovenproof dish carefully transferring the aubergines ( at this stage they will be soft ) and sprinkle the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
The first 20 minutes keep the lid on of use a foil.
Remove the lid / foil and bake for 20 more minutes until everything looks yummy.
Sprinkle some chopped fresh parsley and serve with yogurt.

note: the harisa paste I was using had already oil and salt in it, that's why I didn't add much on the aubergines.
Some harisa pastes are in a tube and they are quite tick and oil free, if you use this kind of harisa mix it up with tablespoon of hot water and oil as well as salt. 








Friday, 26 August 2016

Granola dust

I am very exited to share this recipe. It's not a porridge or granola or muesli, it is a dust !































































Place in a big baking tray 


Bake until golden colour 




Blitz in a food processor




Store in a glass jar


with berries




with banana 


Ingredients:

1/2 kg porridge oats
100 gr mixed nuts
50 gr mixed seeds such as sunflower, pumpkin, flax, sesame, chia, poppy seeds
handful of dry fruit such as chopped figs or dates
zest of 1 orange


Place the oats in the largest baking tray you have, sprinkle the rest of the ingredients except the fruit.
Bake on 180 C for 20 minutes, stirring half way.
Cool it down a bit then blitz the mixture in a food processor in batches. 
Add the fruit. 
Store in a glass jar.
When you want to use it, simply scoop out 1/3 cup or around 50 gr dust, add your favorite milk, cold or warm, add yogurt and fresh fruit. 
And in winter, try a hot drink: heat up 25 gr dust with 200 ml of your favorite milk.
Or make a pancakes:
simply beat 2 heaped Tbsp dust with 1 heaped Tbsp self-raising wholemeal flour, 1 mashed banana and 1 egg, then cook as normal.

note: in the original recipe, the fruit is blended in the food processor together with the oats, nuts and seeds so it is completely dust.
The recipe is from one of the Jamie Oliver's books. 





Monday, 22 August 2016

West coast in UK

Hello my blog readers, I am delighted to be back to blogging. I have new ideas and new recipes for the next season but for now I am posting a photos of the beautiful Cardigan bay in Wales !






















Thursday, 4 August 2016

Raw vegan mini cups

Hello blog readers, this my last recipe before
 I go on holiday! 
Enjoy!!!
 






Ingredients:
for 12 cups
100 gr nuts, brazil nuts, cashew, walnuts or combo
1 tsp flax seeds
1 tsp chia seeds
90 gr dates or dried figs
50 gr dried berries such as cranberries
100 gr porridge oats
1 Tbsp oil, I used coconut 
1 Tbsp date syrup or any other ( even honey )
fresh strawberries
mint leaves


Place all ingredients in a food processor and blitz until everything is nicely chopped.
Scrape off into a clean and lightly oiled surface and form a long sausage shape.
Cut it into half then each half into half and so on to get 12 pieces.
One by one, pat and push into a small cookie cutter, pushing down in the centre and removing the cutter.
They don't need to look perfect. 
Place a piece of strawberry onto each cup and decorate with mint leaves.

note: I made double batch straight away, 12 cups and 12 balls, ready to be eaten as a snack !
Place them in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. They freeze well too !
recipe from Jamie Oliver!




Monday, 1 August 2016

Grilled corn & quinoa super salad

Hello August, the season of corns, tomatoes, figs and other yummy fruits and veg. Usually in August I am in Macedonia, my homeland, visiting my family. Mainly I can be found in my parents garden, sitting under their fig tree and just chilling. Not this year though ..
Although quinoa it is not something I eat when I am over there, the flavour of this salad transports me back home ......If you haven't seen the post Macedonia yet, here is a link 










Ingredients:

serve 4

1 cup of quinoa
1 avocado
4 medium size tomatoes
100 - 150 gr feta cheese
2 corn on the cob
green leaves such as rocket, parsley or basil
salt and pepper
olive oil


Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in a saucepan and add dry unwashed quinoa. Stir couple of times until the quinoa starts to change colour, then add 
1 1/2 cup of boiling water. 
Cook the quinoa covered with lid for a 12 - 15 minutes on a low temperature. 
I love cooking quinoa in this way, it's got a nice and nutty flavour.
In a meantime, heat up your griddle pan and place the corns on it. Turn it occasionally until the corns are nicely charred, then slice off the kernels.  This will take about 30 minutes. 
Dice the tomatoes and avocado, crumble the feta cheese and combine everything together with the cooked quinoa and grilled corn. Season it well with salt and pepper and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil. 
In the end mix in the green leaves. 
Enjoy!!!

note:  for the tea, place 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds in you favorite tea cup, pour in hot water and leave it to infuse for 5 minutes. Add slice of lemon and enjoy this tea, it is good for your digestive department :) 








Thursday, 28 July 2016

Buckwheat and courgette balls with pasta sauce

We absolutely love spaghetti with tomato based sauce. I usually make the sauce using RED LENTILS and other yummy ingredients but this time I enriched the sauce with these little balls made of courgettes and I add some leftover cooked chick peas. Grated cheese on the top is compulsory.....









Ingredients:

1 onion, diced 
1 big carrot, grated
2-3 Tbsp oil
1 tin of chopped tomatoes + 200 gr chopped fresh tomatoes
salt
pepper
dry oregano 
pinch of brown sugar
pinch of chili flakes
3-4 minced garlic cloves
2 handful cooked chick peas
fresh basil
**********************************************
for the courgette balls:
1 medium size green courgette, about 150 gr
1 egg
50 gr buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
little salt and pepper
fresh basil leaves, torn apart
**************************************************

500 gr wholewheat spaghetti 
cheese for topping
more fresh basil leaves
+
good olive oil 


Heat 2-3 Tbsp of olive oil in a saucepan on a medium to low heat and add the diced onion. Cook until soft. Add the carrots and continue cooking.
Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar, chili flakes and oregano.
Bring to simmer for about 45 minutes. Add the minced garlic and fresh basil right in the end of the cooking as well as the balls and the cooked chick peas.
In the meantime make the courgette balls:
- grate the courgette in a small mixing bawl, add the rest of the ingredients and stir well.
Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in a medium size frying pan . 
Using two teaspoons, form a ball shapes and drop them in the frying pan.
Fry them on medium to low temperature until they get a nice and deep colour.
Place them on a kitchen paper to get rid of some excess oil before you add them to to sauce.
Cook the spaghetti according to the packet and add them to the sauce. At this stage I always drizzle some good olive oil.
Serve immediately with some garlic bread on a side and green leaves salad.....











Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Super tasty vegan cookies

School holidays has started and we are on week one. The weather is not too bad so lots of outings and picnics are involved. I am still doing a lot of baking especially in the evening when I have more time for myself. I am slightly obsessed with this cookies, I bake them every second day so I always have then for a healthy snack alongside a savory crackers and carrot sticks.. 







Ingredients:

150 gr ground porridge oats
50 gr ground almonds
4 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp cocoa powder 
50 gr cocoa nibs
handful of currants (optional )
4 Tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
85 ml water

Combine everything in a mixing bawl , using your hands form a 16 cookies .
Place them on a baking tray covered with a baking paper. 
Bake the cookies for 20 minutes on 170 C . 

Thanks for reading! I would appreciate any comments or suggestions from you.



Thursday, 14 July 2016

One pot magic pasta

Inspired by Italian PASTA CRUDI, meaning raw pasta or pasta cooked together with the rest of the sauce ingredients. I have been making Spaghetti crudi cooked with fresh and ripe tomatoes but this is something different. The taste has blown my mind completely and now I am back to eating pasta like crazy. Try with parmesan on the top - it's bonkers !











Ingredients:

serve 4 - 5 

400 gr fresh and ripe tomatoes, chopped
200 gr pasta
2 - 3 handfuls kale
3 cloves garlic, chopped
200 gr cooked beans
zest of one lemon
50 ml olive oil
salt and pepper
1000 ml water

Place all ingredients in a large cooking pot, bring it to boil and simmer for 12 - 15 minutes.
Sprinkle with fresh herbs, add some extra virgin olive oil and freshly grated parmesan.
Keep it vegan - sprinkle some nutritional yeast for cheesy taste and extra B vitamins.