Prague fruit market

Prague fruit market

Friday, 3 July 2015

Scrummy Spiced Carrot Granola

This is a carrot cake inspired recipe to spice up your usual breakfast! It's not too sweet but has plenty of flavour and natural sweetness from the fruit.

This recipe is so easy to make and so much cheaper than buying granola also you can add in pretty much whatever you like.

3 cooked carrots, 1 carrot finely grated
6 large dates
6 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp apple juice
1 tbsp honey
(about) 400g oats
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp mixed spice, you may need more
2cm cube of fresh ginger, finely grated
50g  pumpkin seeds
50g sunflower seeds
Sprinkling of flax seeds
A handful of sultanas
A  handful of nuts (I used pecans)
50g desiccated coconut

The great thing about granola is you can really add whatever you have in the house when it comes to nuts and seeds and dried fruit. I've used sultanas and pecans especially to fit in with the carrot cake theme, but its up to you!

Begin by blitzing the cooked carrots, maple syrup, dates and apple juice in a food processor until completely smooth. Then just add in all the other ingredients until its well combined. You want the mixture to be reasonably sticky and moist and this point, it will dry out and crisp up in the oven. Make sure you taste the mixture at this point, add in extra maple syrup/honey or spices if you think it needs it.

Put about 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a baking dish and evenly spread out the mixture. Cook for 30-40 mins at 160 degrees C. Keep checking it and stirring it to help crumble it up and ensure that it doesn't burn. You're looking for it to be golden brown and crispy.

This granola lasts for about 2 weeks in an airtight container.

Enjoy! xx

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Chicken katsu curry with cauliflower rice

This is a take on Wagamamma's classic chicken katsu curry- just slightly healthier, gluten-free!

The cauliflower rice is an excellent substitute to normal sticky rice, it adds another vegetable into the dish and lowers the carbohydrate content but is still just as good at mopping up the sauce! I've also swapped the breadcrumbs used to coat the chicken with crushed cornflakes. Usually panko breadcrumbs, a type of Japanese breadcrumb, would be used as they are really crispy, however cornflakes have the same effect and are also cheaper and gluten-free.

This recipe can also be made veggie-friendly! Simply lightly steam chunky slices of vegetables such as aubergine, courgette or sweet potato so they are almost completely cooked and then coat them in the flour, egg and cornflakes as you would with the chicken. Vegetable stock should be then used instead of chicken stock in the sauce.

(Serves about 4 people)

For the katsu sauce:
2 tbsp oil (sesame oil or rapeseed oil work well, but any can be used)
1 onion, finely chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into small chunks
4 gloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp gluten-free plain flour
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp garam masala
3 tbsp curry powder
2 curry leaves
2 bay leaves
800ml chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste

For the chicken:
6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (I use thighs as they have a bit more flavour than breasts and are less likely to dry out. Also much cheaper!)
Roughly 150g gluten-free plain flour
2 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper
2 Eggs, beaten
250g cornflakes, crushed

For the cauliflower rice:
1 whole cauliflower, grated (into rice-sized pieces)
Salt and pepper
Squeeze of lemon juice
Coriander to garnish

For the sauce, begin by frying off the onions and carrots in a large frying pan with the oil. Fry on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes until the carrots are beginning to become soft and the onions are translucent, at this point at the chopped garlic and continue to fry for another 5 mins, be careful not to let the vegetables catch and start to brown or the garlic to burn. Then add in the flour, curry powder, garam masala, curry leaves, bay leaves and ensure that all the vegetables are completely coated. Begin gradually adding little bit of stock at a time until all is added and you have a thick sauce. Leave this to simmer for 5-10 minutes to allow the vegetables to completely cook and the flavours to set in. At this point, taste the sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper, also more soy sauce or curry powder can be added at this point if you think it needs it. Finally, blitz the sauce until completely smooth using a food processor.

Start on the chicken by laying out all the thighs on a board and lay a piece of grease proof paper over the top, then flatten with a rolling pin until about 2 cm thick. Season on both sides with salt a pepper.
For the coating of the chicken you will need to set out three plates, one thick the crushed cornflakes on, one with beaten egg on and the third with the flour, smoked paprika and salt and pepper on. Firstly dip the chicken pieces in the flour, dust of the excess, then dip into the egg and then into the cornflakes. Repeat this with all the chicken thighs. In a frying pan heat up about 3tbsp of oil on a high heat, when hot add in the chicken. They should take about 8-10 minutes to cook. Keep turning the chicken to ensure each side is golden brown, but be careful when moving the chicken as you don't want to loose the coating.

While the chicken is cooking, put the grated cauliflower in a bowl, cover with cling film and put in the microwave for 6-8 minutes until tender. When cooked add the salt, pepper and coriander.

To serve, slice the chicken and pour over some of the curry sauce. I also serve the curry with a crisp green salad.


Friday, 29 May 2015

Perfect post-workout feast

Half-Marathon training requires some serious energy! This is my ideal post-run brunch, plenty of protein, low GI carbs, iron-filled and lots of healthy fats- what more could you ask for!

I'm all for breakfast being the most important meal of the day and this recipe definitely lives up to this. Scrambled eggs, toasted wholemeal gluten-free bread, chunky avocado and tomato salsa and fresh spinach salad. Totally delicious!

For the eggs:
2 large eggs, beaten (really makes a difference if they are fresh)
Small knob of butter
Salt and pepper

Simply beat together the eggs and add the butter. Heat gently in a pan on a low heat, stirring regularly to ensure it doesn't stick, or turn into an omelette! When at a scrambled egg consistency, remove from the heat and season well.

For the salsa:
Half an avocado, chopped into chunky pieces
1 large, ripe tomato, seeds and insides removed, again cut into chunky pieces
Sprinkling of dried chilli flakes
Salt and Pepper
Plug of olive oil
Small handful of chopped coriander
Juice of one lime (or half a lemon)

To make the salsa combine all the ingredients and stir well- it's that simple!

I have served the eggs and salsa with some dressed spinach leaves and a slice of wholemeal toast, however it would work with any kind of bread.

Super simple, but packed with lots of flavours- Enjoy!

Hope xxx

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Simple, but super tasty banana pancakes

These pancakes are super simple and with only 3 ingredients, super healthy too. What I love about these is that you can switch what you serve it with to suit what you have available. Today I've chosen  natural yoghurt (I love total yogurt and it's so thick and creamy), frozen summer fruits and peanut butter.

1 Banana, mashed
2 Eggs, beaten
Sprinkle of cinnamon, this helps sweeten the pancakes

Served with:
Fruits of your choice
Peanut butter

Simply mash the banana and thoroughly beat in the eggs and cinnamon. Heat up a pan on a medium heat and add a little butter/coconut oil and then spoon in the mixture into small pancake-sized dollops (I find they are easier to flip when they are a bit smaller). They don't take long at all to cook, once you start seeing little bubble appear on the top, flip them over using a fish slice. Cook until lightly golden.

You can really serve these pancakes with anything you feel like, adding seeds and nuts give a nice extra crunch, also granola works really well. Honey or algarve or maple syrup all add a nice extra bit of sweetness, or even jam or fruit compote.

I love having these for breakfast when I have a little extra time in the mornings and when am bored of porridge! Equally, they work well as a snack or as a healthier dessert.

This recipe makes a generous portion for one person (especially if lots of extras are added!), but they can always be kept in the fridge and eaten later.

Happy cooking!

Hope xx