Cauliflower Bread Grilled Cheese.

Do you remember that coconut song by Harry Nilsson? “You put de lime in de coconut and mix a bowl up”. When I was younger I used to think he sang cauliflower every time he sang coconut, so I had a major love for cauliflowers – I mean, there’s a song about them!

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Years on and I’ve only just realised how silly that was. But my love for them remain! My all time favourite has got to be cauliflower cheese – it’s the best part of a roast!

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However I love how creative things are getting in the cauliflower world, and I am happy to share this cauliflower bread with you! It would be nice by itself, slightly warm from the oven, but there’s nothing better than gooey cheese oozing out from it. Feel free to mix up the fillings!

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This is enough for two people – I halved it as I only had half a cauliflower left:

1 small head of cauliflower

1 egg, beaten

50g grated mozzarella

salt and pepper

mayo (mix it with hot sauce if you desire – I did and it adds a lovely twang)

cheese of your choice, and as much as you can cram in

2-3 slices German salami

butter

Whiz the cauliflower in the food processor until it resembles rice and preheat the oven to 180. Place a baking sheet in to heat up.

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Put the cauliflower rice in a microwaveable bowl and set to high for 8 minutes.

When you remove the bowl tip the cauli into a clean tea towel and wring out over a sink – this will be scorching hot! Use oven mitts if you have to, or leave to cool a bit.

Once wrung out (it’s surprising how much water will come out) place in a large bowl with the egg, mozzarella and season. Mix it up then shape into 4 squares.

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Place onto baking parchment, then shimmy it onto the hot baking tray. Cook for 14-15 minutes then leave to cool for about 10 before removing it off the parchment. The bread is complete!

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The rest is your generic grilled cheese recipe. Once the bread is cooled, smother one side of each slice with mayo, then salami on one side and cheese on the other. Sandwich it. Melt some butter over a medium heat then add the sandwich. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then flip it. Add more butter if necessary. After another 3-4 minutes, the cheese should be melty and the bread browned. Eat up!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream.

Can I tell you something?

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This rich, peanutty, bowl of deliciousness is… wait for it… HEALTHY!

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I woke up this morning with the sun shining and a hankering for ice cream. Now we do have plain old vanilla ice cream in the freezer, but a) that just ain’t figure friendly and b) vanilla’s a bit, well, blah. So I thought I’d make my own. This is just like my Vegan Ice Cream, but a bit more decadent! Still, however, without any of the guilt!

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Ingredients:

1 banana, chopped

1 Tbsp. peanut butter

1 Tsp. good quality cocoa powder

2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted (can sub honey or agave nectar for a sweeter ice cream)

Put your chopped banana in a freezer bag and pop in the freezer before you go to bed. When you get up, grab your banana, and place it in a sturdy food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Blitz for about 5 minutes (it will start off loudly!) or until smooth – you may need to add more coconut oil. Top with some grated chocolate or salted peanuts.

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Flaxseed Twists.

In our cul-de-sac, once a month we hold a Ladies Night where we chitchat, drink wine and nibble. And what’s better than nibbling something which is good for you AND tasty? Nada, that’s what. Plus they look cool.

These little gems are perfect dunked in some hummus, or if you’re feeling virtuous serve these alongside a salad instead of croutons.

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I’ve done the flaxseed hype before, but as a quick recap this superfood is gaining a reputation as a food that may reduce risks of certain cancers, as well as cardiovascular disease and lung disease when eaten as part of a healthy diet. So eat up!

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup flaxseed

1 1/2 cups plain flour

1/2 Tsp. baking powder

1 Tsp. salt

1/2 Tsp. black pepper

2 Tsp. garlic powder

1 Tsp. oregano

1/2 cup semi-skimmed milk (or sub dairy-free if you’re vegan)

4 Tbsp. rapeseed oil

Preheat oven to 180C. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and the wet ingredients in a jug. Pour the milk/oil mix into the dry mix and combine with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Dust some flour on a work surface and roll out the dough until it’s about 1/2 cm to 1 cm thick (doesn’t need to be exact).

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Slice it up lengthwise and twist each one.

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Place on greaseproof paper on a baking tray and bake for 15-18 minutes depending on your oven, or until slightly browned.

Gluten Free, Low Carb Bread.

Gluten free bread – the recipes often call for xantham gum or random ingredients which you don’t often have lying around. This, however, does not. It uses the increasingly-popular flaxseed.

Okay, superfood hype again, sorry. The flaxseed (or linseed as it’s sometimes called) has 100% of your daily fibrous intake in 2 tablespoons! That means, it’ll get your colon feeling happy again, and you’ll be pooping like a baby (aka, a lot!). Which is good! Means your innards are all working. On top of that it’s packed full of omega 3, most of the B vitamins, and it’s great for your hair, skin, nails, joints & keeping your heart healthy. AND you can buy it in Aldi for a little over a pound. Seriously, just make it already!

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And this bread, well! It’s a sort of hybrid between brown bread and a moist cake, and has a marvellously nutty flavour. Perfect with a smidge of butter as a nibble, or smothered in avocado for breakfast. Today, I used it to mop up all the sauce from my mussels – can’t have that going to waste! (Excuse the laptop, I’m hooked on Luther. Bet I’ll have finished it all by the end of the day!)

 

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I’m afraid the measurements are in cups as I use a Tala Dry Measures cone, so either invest in one of those or convert it, or just keep it all in proportion.

Ingredients:

4 eggs

3 Tbsp. water

1 cup of flaxseed (mine has goji berries in it, which is why there are reddish specks in my loaf!)

1/2 cup ground almonds

1 Tsp. baking powder

Sprinkling of salt

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Preheat the oven to 200C and line a loaf tin with a paper case. Whisk the eggs, then add the water. In a separate bowl, throw in all the dry ingredients, then slowly mix the egg/water concoction in with the dry ingredients. FYI it doesn’t look pretty at this point.. A bit sloppy, but that’s fine! Pour it into the loaf tin, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. It’s lovely warm, but it’ll keep for a few days.

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Sangria Granita.

Alcoholic desserts are just the best. And this one is up there with the best of the best. A good quality Cabernet with the sweetness of orange juice and the iciness of the granita equals a fabulous summer dessert! It’s nice and light too, so it won’t leave you feeling bloated and full. If you like sangrias you will LOVE this. It literally takes a few minutes for prep and requires no more than a few hours in the freezer, a good forking (did I just say good forking?) and you will be on your patio in no time, spoon in one hand, book in the other.

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Ingredients:

  • 175ml Cabernet Sauvignon (or your favourite red)
  • 125ml water
  • 35g sugar
  • 125ml orange juice

Method:

In a saucepan combine the wine, water and sugar. Stir and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute then remove off of the heat and add in the orange juice.

Pour into a 9×9 metal pan and let cool before popping it into the freezer.

After 30 minutes remove. With a fork scrape the edges and break up any frozen clumps. Return to the freezer for 30 more minutes and repeat one or two more times.

Cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve.

Scrape the granita one last time before dishing it up into small bowls or glasses.

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How to: Sun blush Tomatoes

I’m getting to the point where I don’t want to pay for things I can make, and you should too! Sun blushed tomatoes are the simplest things to make, and taste super yummy when fresh from the oven. Throw it in a salad, or a simple pasta dish; with just these tomatoes, some garlic and a drizzle of oil and you have a fresh, summer pasta dish! You can even preserve it in a jar filled with oil like the ones you’d buy – and you’re saving a bucketload.

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Ingredients:

  • As many tomatoes as you want, any type (this time I used cherry tomatoes)
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Garlic cloves, crushed (optional)
  • Dried herbs (optional)

I haven’t included quantities as it obviously depends on how many tomatoes you intend on making.

Preheat your oven to it’s lowest setting (mine was 80 C). Halve your tomatoes and scatter face up on a baking sheet. Drizzle over olive oil (each tomato should have a bit of oil on it), the salt and garlic if using. Place in the oven and leave to bake for 40 minutes to an hour, shaking the tray occasionally to re-coat the tomatoes in oil (or add a bit more!).

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And there you have it – told you it was simple!

Vegan Ice Cream.

YOU GUYS.

I’ve done it. I think I’ve done it! **insert evil laugh here**

And by that I mean created a guilt-free ice cream. GUILT FREE. Which of course means you can eat triple the amount. It’s science.

This ice cream has no cream, no milk, no added sugar, no nuttin’ except a whole lotta goodness! And that makes it vegan too!

Enjoy this treasure whenever you need some ice cream, but don’t want to hit the gym afterwards.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 banana, chopped
  • 450g frozen forest fruits (or frozen fruit of choice!)
  • 50-75ml coconut water

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Pop the banana in the freezer and when it’s frozen, blitz it with the other frozen fruit in a food processor. THIS IS LOUD AND SCARY. But do not fear, it’s meant to be. You may need to wipe the sides to get all the fruit blitzed. Add the coconut water to make it smooth and enjoy in the sun with a good book.

 

Lightened Up Broccoli Tart

I was asked to make something fairly healthy that my family could easily take to work/uni for lunch, so I immediately thought “broccoli”. Not only is it the tastiest vegetable (not open for debate!), but it’s high in iron and protein and for my gym-obsessed cousin that’s just the ticket. I say this is “lightened up” as the recipe called for 250ml double cream, which I replaced with 0% fat plain yoghurt – bit of a difference!

 
Recipe adapted from The Great British Bake Off recipe book.
 
 
 
For the pastry: 
200g plain flour
100g cold unsalted butter
50g walnuts, finely ground (this adds a nice nuttiness you don’t often get in a tart)
4-5 tbsp. ice cold water
 
For the filling:
1 head broccoli, cooked al dente in salted boiling water
250ml natural yoghurt (or substitute crème fraiche) 
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp each of parsley, smoked paprika and herbes de provence
150g grated cheese (I used Cornish Gove but Cheddar would work just as well) 
 
Instructions:
1. For the pastry, tip the flour and butter into a bowl with a pinch of salt. Rub the mixture together with your fingertips until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in the walnuts.
2. Add the water one tablespoon at a time until the mix comes together and looks like a dough. Knead the pastry then rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
4. Roll the pastry out between two sheets of cling film, remove the cling film and use the pastry to line a 25cm/10in tart tin.
5. Line the pastry with greaseproof paper, fill with baking beans and bake for 10-15 minutes. Remove the baking beans and greaseproof paper and bake for a further five minutes, or until pale golden-brown.
6. Whilst the pastry is baking, mix the yoghurt with the crushed garlic and herbs. 
7. Once the pastry is pale golden-brown, assemble the broccoli on the tart base, then smother on the yoghurt mix. Top with the grated cheese. 
8. Bake in the oven for around 35-40 minutes (less time if you’re using a small tin) until cooked through. 
 
This made enough for one large and one small broccoli tart, with pastry left over, which I filled with leftovers from the fridge – chorizo, Boursin and coleslaw.