Berry smoothie

IMG_3124

peanut butter creaminess on top

Adapted from Food Network Kitchen

8 ounces (225 g) fresh/frozen mixed berries (I had fresh strawberries)
2 spoonfuls of peanut butter (no bananas!)
3/4 cup (175 mL) plain yogurt, whole milk
1 cup (235 mL) almond milk
1/4 cup (60 mL) cranberry juice
1 – 2 spoonfuls of honey
ice

I would add ground flax seed and a handful of spinach if I had any. I could have added a spoonful of chia seeds, or chopped frozen bananas, or some cooked oatmeal if I wanted a thicker smoothie. Optional: Add 1/2 cup coconut water. I might try hemp, hazelnut, coconut or rice milk to substitute in the future!

~Jessica

Strawberry chia jam

IMG_2693.JPG

Fresh  out of the pot

Adapted from Nadia Lim

Ingredients:
2 cups strawberries, frozen
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp chia seeds
splash of vanilla extract (optional)
splash of water
splash of lemon juice

Directions:
Mix all ingredients except chia seeds. Cook in a small pot over medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Stir until thickened, breaking up the fruit. Sweeten to taste. Add the chia seeds and stir for a minute. Let jam cool slightly, then transfer to heatproof, sterilized jars (I adore Bonne Maman preserves, so I always save up their jars). Cover and let cool completely. Chill in the fridge until ready to use.

IMAG1293After looking up all of those interesting ways to use chia seeds, I became fascinated with this simple recipes. Only berries and sugar and chia seeds are essential, but I had the rest in the pantry, so hey, why not? All the little chia seeds look like strawberry seeds in the photo! I thought the vanilla flavouring unnecessary, so I wouldn’t add it next time. And it wasn’t overly sweet, as most jams are — a nice change!

~Jessica

Chia seed pudding, part II

IMG_2689Adapted from Wellness Mama retry of this

Ingredients:
2 cups almond-coconut milk
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup (or honey)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder

IMG_2686

sprinkled with a touch of cinnamon

Instructions:
Whisk all ingredients together. Refrigerate overnight. Eat with fresh fruit in the morning.

IMG_2687

pre-almond topped

I wanted to try a chia seed recipe without using yogurt, because I love my yogurt, but I wanted to use up the almond milk before it expires (one week after opening, according to the label).

So I layered 3 spoonfuls of chia pudding with 2 spoonfuls of whole milk plain yogurt. Added chopped strawberries and toasted chopped almonds and a spoonful of jam to finish. This made enough chia pudding for six (small) servings.

IMG_2690

~Jessica

Steel-cut oats oatmeal

IMAG1097Adapted from Alton Brown

Ingredients:
1 tbsp butter
1 cup steel-cut oats
3 cups boiling water
1 cup almond milk
pinch of salt
toppings: ground cinnamon, honey, toasted chopped walnuts, extra milk

Directions:
Melt the butter in a saucepot. Add the oats and toast for a couple of minutes, stirring. Add the boiling water, then reduce heat to low and leave untouched for 25 minutes, simmering. Add the cup of milk and mix to combine, scraping up the bottom if need be. Leave for another 10 minutes. Add the salt; stir. Let rest 5 minutes to thicken. Serve with toppings of your choice. I like to add a little more milk at the end, like a warm porridge cereal.

My favorite packet of Quaker ® Instant Oatmeal is apples and cinnamon, since childhood. So I first started trying this type of oatmeal when I came across a rust-red box of it in the organic cereals section of my local ShopRite back in Jersey City, during my grad school days. Eating healthy and cheaply then was the priority. Now I think of steel-cut oats as being Irish, ever since visiting Ireland. This does take longer to cook than instant oatmeal, but I like the chewy texture and nutty flavor. It’s worth it. Plus, slow food!

~Jessica

One avocado one banana bread

Adapted from Food Network and A Little Yum. Similar to a previous post.

80 g (3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
3 spoonfuls of sugar
pinch of baking soda
pinch of salt
ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves (subbed with 5 spice powder)
1/2 avocado, chopped (we used the whole, made for a very moist cake)
1 egg
dash of pure vanilla extract
orange zest (optional — have used apple juice before!)
1 very ripe banana, mashed
2 spoonfuls of honey
100 g (4 tbsp) butter, softened
a couple splashes of milk (optional)

Preheat oven 175 deg C. Mix the dry ingredients together. Whisk the wet ingredients together. Combine the two. Pour into buttered baking dish. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool. Slice. Serve.

~Jessica

Patatas bravas

aka patatas a la brava or papas bravas. Adapted from No Recipes and Felicity Cloake

Aioli
6 cloves garlic, finely grated
1 egg
2 splashes of lemon juice / sherry vinegar
pinch of sea salt
pinch of honey / sugar
olive oil

4 Yukon gold potatoes, chopped (~500 g)
300ml olive oil (or duck fat, if you can get it)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
smoked paprika, cayenne pepper/red pepper flakes/chili
400g tin chopped tomatoes
Chives, chopped, to serve

No Photo! I forgot the chives and overcooked the potatoes!

Bake the potatoes in olive oil for ~45 minutes at 200 deg C. Salt lightly and set aside. Fry onion and chili at medium heat in the fat of your choice until fragrant, then add the tomatoes, spices, and simmer 20 min. Add 1 spoonful of your acid. Taste. Mix with the potatoes. Top with chives.

Whisk garlic with olive oil separately. Mix the egg, 1 spoonful of lemon juice, salt, honey to this. Serve potatoes with a side of the aioli (aka garlic mayonnaise), with chorizo or chistorra.

~Jessica

Bulgur salad with chickpeas, roasted red peppers and cumin

Adapted from smitten kitchen, adapted from A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen

500 g fine-grain bulgur
700 mL boiling water
3 splashes of fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon ground cumin
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt
60 mL extra-virgin olive oil
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (400 g)
170 g drained jarred roasted red peppers, diced (I made mine)
170 g quartered cherry tomatoes
1 shallot, finely chopped
fresh parsley leaves, minced
1 medium head Bibb lettuce (I had iceberg)
4 pita breads, warmed and cut into wedges

IMAG5540.jpgAdd boiling water to bulgur. Set aside for 15-20 minutes. Mix lemon juice, honey, cumin, cayenne, salt, and olive oil together. Toss chickpeas, peppers, tomatoes, onion, and parsley with the bulgur to this dressing. Plate this on lettuce leaves inside the pita bread.

~Jessica