November 21, 2014

Quince & Apple Baked Oatmeal

Oval dish with an apple and quince oatmeal pudding

Staying with the theme of breakfasts that can be had for pudding and vice-versa, I came up with this baked oatmeal recipe a few weekends ago. All I’ve wanted in the mornings recently have been warm breakfasts. When it’s dark and cold outside, this seems to be the only way to start the day. A bowl of something warm and comforting.  Have you noticed that if you take time to listen to your body and tap into your intuition/inner GPS, it’s hard to go wrong? I love tuning in with the seasons and adapting the way I eat accordingly. Listening to your inner light and going with the flow.

The oatmeal calls for oats, which slowly release their energy throughout the morning, easily keeping you going until lunchtime. I also used a fruit that I had kind of forgotten about: quince. I remember that my grandparents had a big quince tree in their back garden, but I hadn’t seen or eaten quince for years. At first sight, you’re not really sure whether they are a big lemon or a misshaped apple or pear. However, when cutting into their tough flesh, they are definitely recognisable. I am not sure quinces can be eaten raw. They are most often found in jams/jellies or paste form. I like to mix them with apples and cook them in a compote, for an easy no fuss dessert, or like here, steam them and use them as the base for a delicious warming autumn breakfast.

Have a lovely weekend x

Quince & Apple Baked Oatmeal – serves 4 to 6
•4 quinces
•3 apples
•180g small rolled oats
•A pinch of salt
•1tsp baking powder
•2 eggs
•500ml plant milk (I used sesame milk)
•1 red apple
•1tbsp nut butter (such as peanut or hazelnut)
•1tbsp honey

1.Peel, core and chop the quinces. Steam them for about 20min, until tender. Add the apples and steam for another 5min.  Spread across the bottom of an oven dish.
2.Preheat the oven to 180°C.
3.In a bowl, mix the oats with the salt and baking powder.
4.In another bowl, beat the eggs with the plant milk. Add to the dry ingredients and mix well. Spread over the quinces/apples.
5.Core the red apple and slice it into thin slices. Spread them over the dish and put in the oven for 30-40min until cooked and fragrant.
6.In the meantime, mix the nut butter and honey in a small bowl. Add water, 1tbsp at a time until you obtain a smooth runny sauce. When taking the dish out of the oven, drizzle the sauce over the oatmeal. Serve warm.

Gruau d’Avoine au Four aux Coings & Pommes – pour 4 à 6 personnes
•4 coings
•3 pommes
•180g de petits flocons d’avoine
•1 pincée de sel
•1cc de levure
•2 œufs
•500ml de lait végétal (j’ai utilisé du lait de sésame)
•1 pomme rouge
•1cs de purée d’oléagineux (de noisette ou de cacahuète par exemple)
•1cs de miel

1.Peler, évider et couper les coings en morceaux. Les faire cuire 20min à la vapeur, jusqu'à ce qu’ils soient tendres. Ajouter les pommes et faire cuire encore 5min à la vapeur. Répartir dans le fond d’un plat à four.
2.Préchauffer le four sur 180°C.
3.Dans un bol, mélanger les flocons d’avoine avec la levure et le sel.
4.Dans un autre bol, battre les œufs et les mélanger avec le lait végétal. Ajouter aux ingrédients secs et mélanger. Répartir sur les fruits.
5.Evider la pomme rouge et la couper en tranches fines. Les répartir sur le dessus du plat et enfourner pour 30-40min, jusqu'à ce que le gruau soit doré.
6.Pendant ce temps, mélanger la purée d’oléagineux avec le miel. Ajouter l’eau, une cuillérée à la fois, jusqu'à l’obtention d’une sauce lisse. A la sortie du four, la verser en filet sur le plat. Servir chaud.

November 10, 2014

Sesame Milk - 2 Ways

Two glass bottles of plant milk, made from sesame seeds

Discovering plant milks opened a whole new array of possibilities for me. As a child, I simply wouldn’t drink cow’s milk as this would make me feel sick. I would however tolerate other dairy products, but milk on its own was a no-no. Later, I tried soy milk, but never really liked its taste either.  And then, a few years ago, I was introduced to homemade almond milk. And my universe suddenly changed. Its delicate flavour and smooth texture seemed to have been made in heaven. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to experiment with many different plant milk variations, and even if I often buy readymade organic rice or oat milk for convenience, it is always a treat to make my own. Each type of milk has a distinctive taste, and this is particularly true of sesame milk. I’ve come up with two ways of making it: the first one uses sesame seeds and I opt for this option when wanting to make a big bottle and when I have a bit more time ahead of me and the second one, which uses tahini, for cases when I want a drink that will be ready in only a matter of minutes. The later tends to be a bit thicker and richer; you can try both and see which one you like best.

Sesame milk is rich in calcium and can be used as a substitute to dairy milk, as a drink or in recipes. It can also be sweetened by adding a date before blending, or maybe a grated vanilla pod for extra flavour.  Have a great week!

Two spoons, one filled with sesame seeds, the other with tahini

Sesame Milk – 2 ways
Option 1
•100g whole sesame seeds, soaked overnight
•500ml pure filtered water

1.Drain and rinse the seeds. Place them with the water in a blender and blend on high speed until the seeds break.
2.Pass through a muslin cloth to filter the seeds. Pour the milk in a bottle and keep in the fridge for up to a week.

Option 2
•2tbsp tahini
•250ml pure filtered water

1.Place the tahini in a small bowl and add a couple of tablespoons water. Stir with a spoon to start incorporate the tahini to the water.
2.Pour in a blender and add the rest of the water. Blend until smooth. Enjoy straight away or pour in a bottle and keep in the fridge for later.

Boisson Végétale au Sésame – de 2 façons
Option 1
•100g de graines de sésame complètes, trempées pendant une nuit
•500ml d’eau filtrée

1.Egoutter et rincer les graines. Les mettre dans un blender avec l’eau et mixer jusqu’à ce que les graines soient broyées.
2.Passer à travers une mousseline, pour filtrer les graines, puis verser le liquide dans une bouteille en verre. Se garde au réfrigérateur pendant une semaine.

Option 2
•2cs de tahini (purée de sésame)
•250ml d’eau filtrée

1.Mettre le tahini dans un petit bol et ajouter quelques cuillérées d’eau. Remuer pour incorporer le tahini à l’eau.
2.Verser dan un blender et mixer jusqu'à l’obtention d’une texture lisse et crémeuse. Déguster de suite ou verser dans une bouteille et garder au réfrigérateur.

November 03, 2014

Butternut Squash & Black Beans Enchiladas

Weekend meals tend to be fairly relaxed in our home. I love cooking with my other half and we sometimes spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen preparing homey comforting dishes. Foreign foods is often what we go for on Saturday or Sunday nights, and we might be inspired by dishes from China, Japan, India, Italy or Mexico, to only name a few. We might take a basic recipe and give it a few twists to adapt it to our taste or mood of the moment. Enchiladas are a no fuss favourite of ours, and I think we’ve had the combination of black beans and squash already a number of times in the past few years, but we never get tired of it.

The past two months were incredibly hot and sunny here: I was still wearing shorts last week, going for sea swims, and temperatures were averaging 28°C during day time! But with days being shorter and eating autumnal foods, my body kind of felt a bit at odds with what’s the season. November is now upon us, and as if by magic, the weather seems to have finally turned to proper autumn. Maybe it’s just time to pause and embrace it, like the calm before the storm that December usually is.

Have a lovely week and if you decide to feed your tummies with these enchiladas, I’m sure you’ll be on for a treat! x

Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchiladas – serves 4
•200g dried black beans, soaked overnight
•1 small butternut squash
•Salt and pepper
•Olive oil
•1 onion, peeled and chopped
•3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
•1tsp ground cumin
•2tsp chilli powder
•2tsp smoked paprika
•1 can chopped tomatoes
•8 corn tortillas
•150g manchego cheese (or other hard sheep cheese), grated
•1 avocado, peeled, stoned and sliced

1.Rinse the beans, place in a large saucepan, cover with plenty of water and bring to the boil. Cover, lower the heat and cook for 1 hour. Drain and set aside.
2.Preheat the oven to 200°C. Peel, seed and chop the butternut squash into small cubes. Place on a baking tray, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Mix well and place in the oven for 20-25min until tender. Set aside.
3.In a large sauté pan, heat 2tbsp olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and fry gently until soft. Add the spices and stir them in. Then add the tomato can, mix and leave to cook for 15-20min until reduced to a fairly thick sauce.
4.In a large bowl, mix together the beans, butternut squash, half of the sauce and a third of the cheese. Place a few spoonfuls of the mixture in the centre of a corn tortilla, roll it and place in an oven dish. Repeat. Once all the tortillas are in the dish, spread over the rest of the sauce and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. Place in the oven (still on 200°C) for about 10min, until the cheese has melted. Serve with the avocado slices and a green salad.

Enchiladas à la Courge Butternut et Haricots Noirs – pour 4 personnes
•200g de haricots noirs secs, trempés pendant une nuit
•1 petite courge butternut
•Sel et poivre
•Huile d’olive
•1 oignon, pelé, et émincé
•3 gousses d’ail, pelées et émincées
•1cc de cumin en poudre
•2cc de piment en poudre
•2cc de paprika fumé en poudre
•1 boîte de tomates concassées
•8 tortillas de maïs
•150g de manchego (ou autre fromage de brebis), râpé
•1 avocat, pelé, dénoyauté et tranché

1.Rincer les haricots. Les mettre dans une grande casserole, couvrir d’eau et porter à ébullition. Couvrir et laisser cuire à petits bouillons pendant environ 1h. Egoutter et réserver.
2.Préchauffer le four sur 200°C. Peler, égrainer et couper la courge butternut en petits morceaux. Les mettre sur une plaque à four. Assaisonner de sel et poivre et d’huile d’olive, bien mélanger et mettre au four 20-25min, jusqu'à ce qu’elle soit tendre. Réserver.
3.Dans une sauteuse, faire chauffer 2cs d’huile d’olive. Ajouter l’oignon et l’ail et faire revenir à feu doux quelques minutes. Ajouter les épices et faire revenir 1min. Ajouter la tomate et laisser réduire pendant 10-15min, jusqu'à l’obtention d’une sauce assez épaisse.
4.Dans un grand saladier/bol, mélanger les haricots avec la courge, la moitié de la sauce tomate et un tiers du fromage. Mettre une bonne cuillérée de cette garniture au centre d’une tortilla, puis la rouler et mettre dans un plat à four. Répéter jusqu'à épuisement. Une fois que toutes les tortillas sont dans le plat, parsemer le reste de sauce tomate au dessus, puis le reste du fromage. Mettre au four (toujours sur 200°C) pour 10min, jusqu'à ce que le fromage ai fondu. Servir avec les tranches d’avocat et une salade verte.

October 27, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Granola

With Halloween just around the corner, I’ve had envies of squash and pumpkin. I love that there is such a variety of them and that they are so incredibly versatile and can be had in both savoury and sweet dishes. As you probably know by now, we are big fans of granola in our home. These days, rather than having it for breakfast, we often tend to have it for pud, layered with sheep yogurt and fresh fruits, or I might sometimes top up my smoothies with a couple of tablespoons of it. My trick to prevent using too much sweetener or fat is simply to use fruit or vegetable purée. Only a small quantity of it is needed, in order to keep the granola crunchy. The pumpkin spice combination is delightful: not only will it make your home smell divine, but also will spice up your taste buds every time you dig into a portion of this granola!

Happy Halloween you all and here is to a healthy treat for all to enjoy! x

Pumpkin Spice Buckwheat & Oat Granola
•250g buckwheat
•250g oat flakes
•80g desiccated coconut
•80g pumpkin seeds
•100g hazelnuts, chopped
•1/2tsp ground clove
•1/2tsp ground nutmeg
•1/2tsp ground all spice
•1/2tsp ground cinnamon
•Pinch of salt
•125ml pumpkin puree
•60ml coconut oil, melted
•80ml maple syrup
•100g dry cranberries

1.Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2.In a large bowl, mix the buckwheat with the oats, coconut, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, spices and salt.
3.In another bowl, mix the pumpkin puree with the coconut oil and maple syrup. Add to the dry ingredients and mix well.
4.Spread on the baking tray and put in the oven for 35-40min, stirring the granola every 10min or so to give it an even golden colour and prevent it from burning.
5.Take out of the oven and leave to cool down. Mix in the dry cranberries. Store in a glass jar or airtight container for a couple of weeks.

Granola Avoine & Sarrasin à la Citrouille Epicée
•250g de sarrasin
•250g de flocons d’avoine
•80g de noix de coco râpée
•80g de graines de courge
•100g de noisettes, émincées
•½ cc de clou de girofle en poudre
•½ cc de noix de muscade en poudre
•½ cc de 4-épices
•½ cc de cannelle en poudre
•1 pincée de sel
•125ml de purée de citrouille
•60ml d’huile de noix de coco, liquide
•80ml de sirop d’érable
•100g de canneberges séchées

1.Préchauffer le four sur 170˚C. Couvrir de papier cuisson une grande plaque à four.
2.Dans un saladier, mélanger le sarrasin avec l’avoine, la noix de coco, les graines de courge, les noisettes, les épices et le sel.
3.Dans un autre bol, mélanger la purée de citrouille avec l’huile de noix de coco et le sirop d’érable. Ajouter aux ingrédients secs et bien mélanger.
4.Répartir sur la plaque à four et enfourner pour 35-40min, en mélangeant toutes les 10min environ, de façon à ce que le granola dore de façon uniforme.
5.Sortir du four et laisser refroidir. Y ajouter les canneberges. Se garde dans un bocal en verre ou récipient hermétique pendant quelques semaines.

October 16, 2014

Cacao & Cardamom Amaranth Pudding

Today, I’d like to introduce you to amaranth. This tiny seed was very well known by the Aztecs who cultivated it and ate it thousands of years ago. Like its cousin quinoa, it is a gluten-free seed with very interesting nutritional value, such as being very rich in protein and calcium.

Amaranth can be eaten as replacement for grains in soups, stews, porridge, or as a side. Here I’ve prepared it in a super creamy and chocolaty pudding. You can even have it for breakfast. Yes, you’ve read well, pudding for breakfast! If you’re not a banana fan, you could of course leave it out, but I find that it adds extra creaminess. We had it warm (my favourite option) and cold, and topped it up with coconut shavings and pomegranate seeds. Pomegranates are in full season at the moment and I cannot get enough of them. We saw a tree laden with them in our neighbourhood, and maybe, maybe, one day I’ll dare ask its owners whether they wouldn’t mind me picking a couple…

Weekend is nearly here… Have a lovely rest of the week and don’t forget to try this amazing amaranth pudding ;)

Cacao & Cardamom Amaranth Pudding – serves 4
•250g amaranth, soaked overnight, if possible
•2tbsp maple syrup
•1/2tsp ground cardamom
•2tbsp raw cacao powder
•1 banana, mashed
•Seeds from 1 pomegranate
•Coconut shavings

1.Place the amaranth in a saucepan with 2½ times its volume of water. Bring to the boil, cover and leave to cook for about 20-30min, until all the liquid is absorbed.
2.Take off the heat. Add the maple syrup, ground cardamom, cacao powder and banana and mix well.
3.Spoon into small bowls or ramequins and top up with pomegranate seeds and coconut shavings. Serve.

Dessert d’Amarante au Cacao et Cardamome – pour 4 personnes
•250g d’amarante, trempée pendant une nuit, si possible
•2cs de sirop d’érable
•1/2cc de cardamome moulue
•2cs de poudre de cacao cru
•1 banane, écrasée
•Graines d’une grenade
•Copeaux de noix de coco

1.Mettre l’amarante dans une casserole avec 2½ son volume d’eau. Porter à ébullition, couvrir et laisser cuire environ 20-30min, jusqu'à ce que tout le liquide soit absorbé.
2.Retirer du feu. Ajouter le sirop d’érable, la cardamome, la poudre de cacao et la banane et bien mélanger.
3.Transférer dans des petits bols ou ramequins et parsemer de graines de grenade et de copeaux de noix de coco. Servir.