Banana Blueberry Bread 


A not-too-sweet recipe which makes the fruit the star of this fluffy and moreish tea-time loaf.

Ingredients

  • 185g plain flour
  • 2.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 60g butter, melted
  • 50g packed brown sugar
  • 50g coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • A couple of handfuls of fresh blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees celcius
  2. Grease and flour a loaf tin.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Stir in the melted butter and sugars until combined.
  5. Add the milk, egg, vanilla and fruit and mix until just combined.
  6. Finish with a quick stir-in of the maple syrup
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.*

*Cooking time varies. I have a small oven which generally means quicker bake time. My loaf cooks in about 35-40 minutes with some tin foil introduced half way to ensure the top doesn’t burn. I would estimate a cook time closer to an hour for conventional sized ovens.

Leftover Hack: Grainless Cauliflower Fried Rice Turns into Soup


Today’s grain-free yum fest paired with a roast chicken dinner is tomorrow’s lazy lunch time soup.

Upcycling leftovers allows you to maximize your time in the kitchen and motivates you to actually eat that same (same, but different) meal the next day. This recipe  does just that – turning cauliflower fried rice into a soup base or salad mix for later.

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower, grated or diced into a fine grain in a food processor
  • Onion, diced
  • Courgette, cubed
  • Carrot, cubed
  • Pumpkin, cubed
  • Spring onion, chopped
  • a knob of butter
  • Seasoning: salt & pepper, paprika

Quantities are to taste / number of people getting fed. Athough butter is considered a good fat again (hallelujiah) I used it in moderation,  a little at a time during the cooking process.

The below fed 4 adults and 2 children, plus some extra for tomorrow’s soup. (1 cauliflower, 1 onion, 2 courgette, 2 carrots, half a small pumpkin, and a small bulb of spring onion.

 Method

Melt butter in a wok, add the onion and cook until it starts to soften. Add the carrot and pumpkin and paprika and cover for 2-3 minutes. Uncover, add the courgette and keep uncovered as you don’t want liquid to gather.  Once the mixture softens, add the cauliflower rice and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Season once more to taste, and add the spring onion at the very end.

Variants

Use olive oil or coconut oil instead of butter for a vegan version, and if eating on it’s own add beans or pulses. I would also suggest red pepper in leiu of courgette for a dryer texture but courgette / pumpkin / carrot do play so nicely together..

Leftovers

Blend the cauliflower fried rice using a food processor  to make soup. If eating on its own consider adding black beans or lentils to bulk it up and add some protein.

Fancy a salad? It has the same texture of a cous cous salad  – add green leaves, cherry tomatoes and cucumber and you’re well on your way. Dress with lemon / olive oil.

Motherhood: My Ten Commandments

Mother’s day eve, my husband came home with three small bouquets of flowers. One for me, one for my mother who had come round for dinner, and one for our helper – who cares for our children during the week when we are at work.

I think after eight years of adding ‘parent’ as another notch to who we are- we’ve worked out what makes us work as parents and as a family. We have a functional tribe; raising happy, curious children and despite their irritating penchant for Minecraft I think we’ll keep them. This by itself is enough reason to celebrate. With it being mother’s day I took stock of the past eight years of being part of this club and thought about what I want to impart; unconditional love and ” WOULD YOU please PUT YOUR BLOODY TOYS AWAY?!” aside.

So here are my 10 commandments for me (but really for my children.) It was a spontaneous activity on the elliptical (generally, me using an elliptical would also be considered a spontaneous activity). Some days  are better than others, but that’s kind of the point to this parenting lark.

Motherhood: My Ten Commandments

1. I refuse to be my child’s first bully.
2. I am not perfect but I am enough to get the job done, and do it well.
3. I will respect their time and be a good listener.
4. As a family we run our own race.
5. I am raising people, not just children. We will respect choices, but demand accountability.
6. Kindness, creativity, honesty, respect and perseverance – if I want my children to value these attributes, I will have to lead by example.
7. I will help them uncover their sense of self worth and learn to be kind to themselves.
8. I will always say sorry when I have been unfair.
9. I will empower their ideas, and invest in them – if they can achieve external buy-in.
10. I will continue to add, edit and work on this list, and for that I have to thank them. This is for me to keep myself in line for them, but really also for me. Because, that’s how it all works -you get as good as you give, just not how you expect it.

Healthy food that tastes good enough to be bad for you

A dash of nom courtesty of the Gallagher test kitchen. These recipes are deceptively good for you and will knock back a range of cravings whether  you’re gunning after something sweet, clean or a family meal.

Mango Blueberry Maple Vanilla Overnight Oats

This breakfast is a simple luxury. Satisfying and powers up your morning. We can’t get enough of this flavour combination. No specified quantities in the recipe because this is down to personal preference but if it’s your first time making overnight oats I’d guesstimate: 1 cup of oats, 1/4 cup chia seeds, 3/4 cup of milk, and  between 1/3 – 1/4 cup yoghurt as a base. When I first started making these I’d fuss with a funnel and follow the proportions in recipes online to a T. Now, I just chuck it all in and top up with a bit more milk when I eat it if required. The whole point of this breakfast is to keep it painless to prepare, a joy to eat, and that it packs a nutritional punch. IMG_9327

Ingredients

  • Rolled oats
  • Chia seeds
  • Greek yoghurt
  • Milk
  • Mango, cubed
  • Handful of blueberries
  • a Sprinkle of nuts and seeds (almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, pine nuts etc.)
  • a Drop or two of pure vanilla essence
  • a Drizzle of good quality maple syrup

Method

Place the dry ingredients in a jar (between 8oz-10oz) topped up with the wet ones. Stir, place the lid back on and shake. Leave it in the fridge overnight. Good for up to three days in the fridge. Out of all the recipes I’ve toyed with this one the most. Whether it was adjusting the consistency or being baffled by the fact that slow-digesting oats had little effect on me and I was still hungry by lunch. Thanks to the brilliant suggestion of adding nuts  by Louise from Loula Natural this recipe is now complete. Check out her website for a treasure trove of clean eating and healthy living recipes and articles.

Protein Party Salad

Filling and scrumptious – perfect for a post workout dinner.

Processed with Moldiv

Ingredients

  • Indian lettuce (crunchier than many other varieties, packed with iron and tastes very pleasant)
  • Spring onion
  • Edamame
  • Avocado
  • Half a soft boiled egg
  • Chunks of roast chicken breast
  • Sunflower seeds

Dressed with Salt, extra virgin olive oil, and a spritz of balsamic vinegar. The edamame and roast chicken were pre-cooked and sitting pretty in the fridge. To make our salads and sandwiches during the week, we typically roast and store some fish or meat, and always have legumes on hand – edamame, black beans, chick peas etc.

Lemon Parsley Yoghurt Chicken with 1/2 and 1/2 cous cous cauliflower rice

This is hearty, satisfying and makes a great family meal in colder weather. It’s low-carb as the cous cous is mixed with grated cauliflower and relatively low-fat depending on how much yoghurt you use. Processed with Moldiv

Ingredients for the Chicken

  • Chicken legs and thigh (6 pieces)
  • 1/2  to  3/4 cup greek yoghurt
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • Juice of 1 lemon, plus grated rind
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper for seasoning
  • 1 tbs Olive oil, for cooking

for the 1/2 and 1/2 grains

  • 1 head of cauliflower blitzed in the food processor into a fine grain
  • 1/2 a box of cous cous (150g or so)
  • 1 tbs. Coconut oil
  • Shallot, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • Red pepper, diced
  • A sprig of fresh coriander, chopped
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper for seasoning

Method

Combine the chicken, yoghurt, lemon, and tomato paste in a glass bowl. Cover and place in the fridge to marinate for half an hour. Heat up the olive oil in a pan, add the chicken with it’s marinade, including the lemon peel for flavour, and cook until the chicken has browned. Remove peel, add the lemon rind and parsley and cover until fully cooked. Whilst the chicken is cooking, prepare the cous cous by following instructions on the box (usually pour boiling water over the grains and leave it to stand for five minutes). Once done, fluff, and set aside. In a skillet  heat the coconut oil, add the shallot and turmeric and cook for 30 seconds. Add the red pepper and cook for a minute before adding the cauliflower cooking until it begins to soften. Add the cous cous and season with salt and pepper. In the final 5-8 minutes of cooking, incorporate the coriander. Serve hot, as is or with a side of steamed veg. I sometimes add almonds to the grain too.

Almond ‘nom’ balls

Inspired by a faux coco-roon recipe from Pinterest. These health(ier) snacks hit the sweet spot and are super quick and easy to make. Processed with Moldiv

When I say easy, I mean throw into a bowl, mix until it sticks and shape into little balls easy. Play with the flavours, using as little or as lot as you like and enjoy!

Ingredients

  • Almond flour
  • Peanut butter
  • Maple syrup ( a dash, let’s not go nuts – these are meant to be a healthier alternative to my usual snacking vices)
  • Cacao nibs
  • Coconut flakes
  • Sea salt

Almond balls Recipe

There you have it. Four recipes that have become  fast favourites in our household. If you make any of them, let me know how you go in the comments below.