October 17, 2015

Buckwheat Spiced Porridge with Cacao, Peanut Butter and Strawberries

i bought a coconut in Covent Garden, ready for cracking into this morning to re-hydrate and re-fuel so I was ready for the day ahead. The corkscrew came out, as did the screwdriver (which I have previously given myself a black eye with), but try as I might, I could not get into that coconut. I even joked that we might need the power saw. So this morning's foodie encounter had to be, much to my dismay, different. Saying that, I made something that almost everyone can enjoy without the guilt!

Both gluten free and vegan, this buckwheat bowl was spiced with cinnamon and ginger, laced with cacao coconut oil and drizzled with peanut butter and agave syrup. Add a sprinkle of quinoa pops, cacao nibs and chia seeds, plus a scatter of strawberries and you have by far one of the most indulgent but yet considerably healthy breakfasts on the planet. 
It takes a bit of planning and a few special ingredients but it definitely makes breakfast more exciting. Waking up to a little bit of deliciousness every morning certainly starts your day in a positive way and that, is the only way to start. 

Buckwheat is not wheat related but rather a plant based superfood that is rich in complex carbohydrates. It can be used in granola or sprinkled upon yoghurt to give some crunch, even ground to a flour for use in cakes and desserts. However, I soaked mine overnight in water, drained and rinsed it in the morning and whizzed it up with some almond milk, spices and maple syrup as an alternative to my usual porridge oats. 

If only I had my coconut water to go with it.


October 10, 2015

Orange, Carrot & Ginger Juice
Brie, Bacon and Fig Toast

sometimes it's easy to get carried away; overindulge and pull out all the stops for a breakfast that is decisively mouth-watering, entirely comforting and given a good kick with a freshly squeezed juice. 

The man flu descended upon our household this week. In full force, may I add. After five full days of what appeared to be Hurricane Avent, action had to be taken. With a supermarket sweep of hot ginger, tangy orange and bright crunchy carrots, I rustled up a round of fresh juice to pump in the Vitamin C and to both energise and clear congestion. For someone that is not a raw juice man, this went down like a spoonful of sugar. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper and you have yourself a remedy to really sweat it out your system. Sounds delightful...

Being a Saturday morning, there were no excuses for an indulgent brunch, especially for said man and since the inside of my handbag had now adopted a strong whiff of creamy brie, it had to be eaten quickly so that it didn't waft it's cheesiness elsewhere. I can't complain except that walking down the street I now smell like Neal's Yard Dairy. With the bacon under the grill and the bread in the toaster, I readied my platter with sliced fig, oozing brie and a little butter. 

Add your favourite coffee, weekend papers and jovial company for the perfect start to a beautiful weekend ahead.


October 08, 2015

Coconut Chia Pudding with Passion Fruit Coulis

thursday is the new Friday, in my breakfast books anyway. When Wednesday has passed and we're on the home run, so very very close to the end of the working week, there's one day in between that we should really make the most of and this morning, I certainly made it worth getting out of bed for. 

I always have good intentions: positive thoughts, optimism brewing from within when I tell myself, "I will go to the gym tomorrow morning before work", but soon enough my alarm goes off and the willpower required to hop, skip and a-jump out of bed, tug on my gym leggings and grab a shake to keep me fueled up 'til lunch is near to nonexistent. And before I know it, I'm hitting the snooze button. Someone, please, tell me the secret! I'm an early bird; a lark up at the crack of dawn, even at weekends and cake-laden before most have bat an eyelid to the gentle rise of dawn. So why is it, waking a little earlier on a weekday is such a struggle? This morning was one of those mornings.

Peeling myself wearily from bed, I suddenly remembered what goodness awaited me in the fridge. Simple, unadulterated bliss. The iridescent glow that radiated from my face (predominantly from the gleam of fridge light interior) gave me away as a stream of human robots greeted me good morning in the kitchen, their eyes clocking on to the jars of sweet passion fruit pudding. It's a good job I made enough for four. Prepared the night before, when everyone was sleeping, this took minutes to throw together and looks so pretty, it's the ultimate petit dej to awaken the senses and brighten the beginning of your day. 

A mélange of tropical goodness, this creamy chia pudding is topped with passion fruit coulis and coconut shavings to give it a distinct flavour and rich aroma. With just six ingredients, it's a decadent quick-fix to slip in to your morning routine: Hawaii in a jar. 


October 03, 2015

Ginger, Lemon and Coconut Crunch Slice

when life gives you lemons, make a lemon tray bake (or a Gin & Tonic as the saying goes). However, on this day in particular, life was not giving me lemons, nor was it giving me a Gin & Tonic. I was mildly sedated on my sofa at home. Being cooped up all day is no fun at all... Even if the rain was cascading down the window panes and the wind was howling, whipping tree branches in all directions, leaves being plucked from boughs in successive motion, I didn't want to be here. I sometimes wish that I could be tucked under woollen blankets, with a roaring fire, marshmallows on sticks, oozing their sticky sugary gooey-ness into the flames and a mug of hot chocolate at my side to keep me warm when the weather is so atrocious outside. But this is England. And although these creature comforts can so easily be arranged, today was not one of those days.

To my dismay, I was stuck. Stuck at home, with nothing but sleep and tea to comfort me. I was, unfortunately, unable to make it out the house due to an ongoing injury that had left me bed-bound for a few days and so with withdrawal symptoms of the outside world, I gathered some baking books and settled down to draw inspiration for a much needed weekend bake (in between episodes of drowsy consciousness and torpid sleep). Not only that, but I could feel a cold coming on; a full on beast that I am point blanc refusing to give in to. 

Lemsip and Night Nurse might be the quick fix, but I've always preferred to tackle colds in a more natural way: essential oils, lemon, ginger and honey tea and of course, a good steam. But who could resist something just a little more delectable. Something to tickle the taste buds in a way that Strepsils can't. This might not cure your cold, however it'll lift your mood and give you a little pi-zang of energy that no over-the-counter medication can.

So, when the weekend finally rolled round - I made these.