Wednesday, 25 January 2012

butter bean vanilla cake and sweet potato gnocchi

heya everyone, it's time for another wiaw post, courtesy of jenn over at peas and crayons :)

it's been a pretty D-licious foodie day really:

more brown rice congee (i think i may have developed a slight addiction?), topped with raspberries and ground flaxseeds. um yum.


mum and i went out for the day to do the £1 challenge (where you each have only £1 and you have to compete to find the best buy in charity stores or health food shops - great game!). my purchase was this smoked mackerel pate from an awesome deli, which we had as a little car picnic in the forest on the way home.


sweet potato buckwheat gnocchi is such fun to make! i sort of followed this recipe from kath eats, but i added buckwheat instead, and added only just enough to make it come to a dough instead of measuring it. anyways, it was delicious, and very filling.


we had it with butter beans, fresh tomato, black pepper and spring onions, thend drizzled with good extra virgin olive oil. fantastic!


butter bean vanilla cake - literally made with a tin of beans. this is the white sponge version of my favorite black bean chocolate cake. thanks to the spunky coconut for the inspiration!


i'll be making another one for my niece's birthday next week, and i'll have my version of the recipe to share with you all. it'll be a classic whipped cream and berry topping, instead of the coconut butter and honey icing i made for this one...


the only problem with cakes made with beans, is that i think they're so totally healthy that i can't stop eating them!

my boyfriend had his first taste of one of my famous bean cakes last weekend (a carrot cake version of this), and he was really impressed... 'it's basically a healthy, protein-packed, tasty version of a regular sponge, isn't it?' - yes, yes indeed. great food for people that frequent the gym... anyone who wants to eat low carb, low GI, wheat free, gluten free, sugar free. basically, this cake is awesome!



so, i hope you enjoyed that incredibly random day of food! and maybe it might inspire you to try putting a tin of beans in your next cake :)

have you made a cake with beans yet? do you enjoy car picnics?

currently listening to: bones by young guns

Friday, 20 January 2012

sweet pepper omelette and buckwheat creme

it's almost the weekend, and i'm sure you're all excited about a little time off...

the weather here in Wiltshire has taken a turn for the worse - it's been grey and cloudy, and generally just not very nice. thankfully i did have enough light to film a tutorial of brown rice congee for you all on my notjustapples youtube channel, so check that out if you're wondering exactly how to make it.

i'm off to Shepton Mallet to visit my auntie and uncle, and i'm looking forward to some quality time and delicious food (my auntie makes the best risotto). we might even get a little local market shopping in, and maybe lunch out at Wells Cathedral. i hope you all have good plans in mind for the next couple of days too!

now onto my latest eats and treats:

sweet peppers fried in a little butter, then covered with a souffled omelette. i didn't have the right sort of pan for this (we are in dire need of a new non-stick frying pan) so it didn't come out in one piece, but it was darn delicious...


creme of buckwheat - oh my, scrumdidlyumptious. this was my buckwheat porridge recipe blitzed up with a hand blender. instead of following the instructions for proper creme, which would have been silky smooth, it had a delicious texture, which my little brother deemed the best 'faux porridge' he'd ever had.


salmon fishcakes, cous cous and salad - thanks to my gorgeous friend Zoe, who invited me round for some lunch. 


the farmer's have ploughed, and re-instated a footpath across their field in a different direction. they laid the way with lots of golden straw, and i couldn't help singing 'follow the yellow brick road' along it's winding way.


i love being able to try out new things for you guys - it does make life so much more interesting and exciting!

are you a silky smooth or a crunchy person? are you up to fun things this weekend? have you ever souffled your omelette?

currently listening to: i can never be by maverick sabre

Monday, 16 January 2012

banana oat drop scones

good morning! i hope you all had a spectacular weekend, involving plenty of delicious food and lots of laughs with friends and family. this weekend i introduced my boyfriend to the delights of bircher muesli, and we made bolognese for a massive group of students on sunday - really good fun!

today i would like to share another of my favorite recipes from my healthy breakfast recipe cookbook - these banana oat drop scones are easy to make, very delicious and quick too.

with greek yoghurt, homemade jam and a little sliced banana, this is basically brunch perfection.


and a cup of green tea on the side never goes amiss...


banana oat drop scones
serves 4

3/4 cup (180ml) milk
1 egg
1Tbsp coconut oil
1 banana
1-2tsp maple syrup
1 cup (120g) oats
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon

1. blend together the milk, egg, oil, banana and maple syrup in a food processor, or using a hand blender, until smooth.
2. add the dry ingredients to the wet, and blend again. leave overnight, or for at least 15 minutes, until thickened.
3. heat up a frying pan (use a little coconut oil if you don't have a non-stick pan) to a medium temperature.
4. pour tablespoonfuls into the pan, and cook for a few minutes on either side, until golden.
5. serve with yoghurt, homemade jam and fresh fruit.


thanks to everyone that's already bought a copy of my healthy breakfast recipes book - it's been super downloaded on Kindle, which is a fantastic surprise, and it's been reviewed so well by lots of different people, some of which i wanted to share with you (because it's too exciting not to!):
  • jen of simply breakfast made my coconut loaf recipe, and said of the book "It's the perfect cookbook for me-- there are a lot of different options, including sweet and savory."
  • the amazing vegetarian cookbook writer, rose elliot, said "It’s inspiring, original, practical and full of tempting recipes. It makes me feel very hungry just reading it!"
  • salisbury life magazine even printed a little feature about it! (and i'm now sat on several dentist chairs and opticians coffee tables) -

if you still haven't picked up a copy, you can find it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository, Better World Books or uRead...

currently listening to: pumped up kicks by foster the people (awesome tune!)

Friday, 13 January 2012

fried green tomatoes and gram apple cake

i love simple food. and i'm really enjoying eating smaller portions of lighter, cleaner ingredients now that it's no longer party season. my stomach has breathed a huge sigh of relief and is able to function normally again - save this Wednesday when i massively overdid it in celebration of my breakfast book being featured in a local magazine!

so, lately we've been eating a lot of soup, and a lot of mild vegetable curries. they're quick, cheap, clean and tasty - and perfect for winter evenings when you want something warm and satisfying. you can also pretty much make them out of whatever you have in your fridge... which is perfect!

here are a few of the delicious things i've been treating myself to lately:

fried green tomatoes with homemade spelt rolls, baked squash, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and mayonnaise.


chili tomato lentil soup - this was so so so spicy. i had to have copious amounts of yoghurt in it to soothe the fire on my tongue. note to self: half a dried chili is enough.


after the festive season, i've been drinking so much peppermint tea to get my tummy back into shape, and help it out a little - it really did have to work overtime this Christmas.


an adaptation of maria's quince, pear and apple cake, using gram flour and ground almonds instead of wheat flour - turned out pretty well, and was demolished within 24 hours.


this weekend, i am heading up to see my dad in Essex with my boyfriend Pete. it should be a really great time, and i am taking lunch and dessert along with us to treat him and his wife - still not sure what i'm making, but it'll be gloriously gluten free and very scrumptious!

what fun things are you up to this weekend? are you still going through a post-Christmas detox?

currently listening to: give me everything by pitbull

Monday, 9 January 2012

chickpea pizza crust with feta and broccoli

happy new year lovely blog readers!

today i want to share with you a recipe that i've used 5 times in the last 2 weeks... it's quick, easy, cheap and very versatile.

chickpea pizza crust is incredible! and once you try it you won't want to eat standard pizza crust any more, because this is far healthier and far tastier (in my humble opinion). it kind of comes from the idea of socca, using gram flour (chickpea/besan flour) instead of regular wheat or grain flour.

the first time i made it was with jonny when we were filming 101 things to do when you're bored (it's number 71!) - i'd had it on my to-do list for ages, and realised that the ingredients were all cheap pantry staples, that it wouldn't matter about using if it went totally wrong. thankfully, it didn't. in fact it went SO well that we made a second batch immediately... and then again the day after.

it looks as good as it tastes i think!



chickpea pizza crust
inspired by the socca crust from nourishing flourishing

1 cup chickpea flour (gram/besan flour)
1/2 - 1 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried rosemary (or other italian herbs)

1. combine the above ingredients in a jug or bowl, and whisk with a fork until smooth. add enough water to get the consistency of double cream - it should be pourable, but not runny.
2. heat up a nonstick pan (i use a pancake pan) to a medium temperature.
3. pour half the batter into the pan, and cook until set.
4. flip it over and cook for another few minutes until golden.
5. place on a cooling rack, and repeat with the rest of the batter.
6. let cool on a rack whilst you make your toppings. this enables the crust to firm up and ensures it doesn't get soggy.

 for the topping:

- spread over a thin layer of pesto, tomato paste or homemade tomato sauce. then cover with your favorite veggies, some black pepper and a little cheese. bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. serve with steamed broccoli or some other green vegetables.

if you don't fall in love with this recipe and want to make it every single day, i will be surprised! i've made it with all sorts of toppings, and the base always tastes crispy, can be eaten in slices with fingers, and supports a good quantity of topping. i've even made a fiorentina with an egg in the middle... yum!

currently listening to: this isn't everything you are by snow patrol