Beetroot, pear & cardamom quinoa bowl

I’ve just sown some beetroot seeds on the allotment and can’t wait for my abundance of beetroot to play with over the coming months. So in anticipation I bought some to keep me going and have been experimenting with ways to incorporate them into breakfast. I love the combination of beetroot and coconut and the floral flavours of cardamom really bring the dish to life –  it’s a perfect healthy protein rich brekkie bowl.

You could just use quinoa, but I like the slightly different texture that the quinoa flakes bring to the dish.  You may wish to adjust the milk – I do like my bowls a little more on the wet side.

Beetroot, pear & cardamom quinoa bowl (serves one)

Beet pear quinoa2

  • 30g uncooked quinoa – rinsed
  • 20g quinoa flakes
  • 200-300ml coconut milk
  • 1 pear – grated
  • 20g raw fresh beetroot – finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon crushed cardamom (that’s about 6-8 pods)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar – or other brown sugar
  • Coconut flakes
  • Pumpkin seeds

Put the uncooked quinoa, the grated beetroot and 200ml of coconut milk in a pan. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the grated pear, cardamom, sugar and quinoa flakes and a further 50ml of coconut milk and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the pan and add  more coconut milk if it’s getting too dry.

Take off the heat and stir through the coconut flakes (I used about a tablespoon) and some pumpkin seeds (I used around a teaspoon).

If you can wait – it’s nice to let mixture sit in the pan for a few minutes to infuse and soak up a little more moisture before you eat it.

Beet pear quinoa1

Put it in a bowl and sprinkle a few bits of coconut and some extra sugar if you fancy.

 

 

Orange & Almond Brown Rice Bowl

Brrr it was so cold this morning that another big warming bowl was required.  I had more brown rice to use up from last night so I’m  back to the brown rice porridge.  This has a lovely zesty fresh taste and is a lovely warming filling brekkie. I love the flavours of orange and almond together.

Orange & Almond Brown Rice Bowl (serves one)

Brown rice orange1

  • 120g of cooked brown rice (from the night before is good)
  • 100g water
  • 100ml orange juice
  • 50-100ml Almond milk
  • Zest of one orange
  • 25g sultanas or raisons
  • 1 tsp ground almonds
  • Cinnamon – liberal amount
  • Ginger – liberal amount
  • 5-6 roughly chopped almonds
  • Flaked almonds – for topping

Put the rice, orange juice and water into a saucepan and boil gently for around 4-5 minutes until the liquid is absorbed – keep an eye on it and keep stirring it, don’t let it dry out.

Then start by adding 50ml of almond milk and the orange zest, chopped almonds, ground almonds, sultanas and spices and simmer for 8-10 minutes – keeping an eye on the liquid levels – add more of the almond milk as you stir – don’t let it get dry.

This is lovely with some flaked almonds on top – and I do sometimes add some brown sugar too.

Pear Ginger & Spirulina Oat bowl

 

Pear ginger and spirilenaIf you can reset your spectrum of acceptable breakfast colours – this is truly green and delicious.  I couldn’t resist sneaking a few mouthfuls as I put it in the fridge to soak overnight. I’ve tried spirulina in smoothies before and I find the taste can be quite overwhelming, so I was very moderate in my use of it here. It adds a lovely hint of flavour but still allows the ginger and pear to get a look in too and of course it creates that wonderful breakfast colour.  No cooking required – just another soaked oat bircher delight.

Pear Ginger & Spirulina Oat bowl

  • 30g porridge oats
  • 20g oat bran (you could use all porridge oats but I find mixing the oats gives a slightly less heavy bowl)
  • 1 pear – grated
  • 1cm piece of fresh ginger – grated
  • 25g Sultanas
  • 1/4 teaspoon of spirulina powder
  • 10g pumpkin seeds
  • 200ml almond milk

Mix everything together and put in the fridge overnight.  It’s lovely served on its own or with a blob of yoghurt – or crème fraiche.

Pear ginger spira and yog

I had a quick early banana before a run this morning and then settled in to eat this whilst watching the London Marathon.

Pear & Fennel Buck Bowl

Buckwheat fennel bowl

I’ve been using buckwheat for a little while now mainly cooking risottos with it. However I recently discovered that soaking and blending it (no cooking) creates a fabulous creamy dish.

Deliciously Ella and Oh She Glows have some lovely buckwheat porridge recipes so I’ve been inspired to experiment. This week I’ve also been pondering fennel. On Tuesday I had an energy bar that had fennel seeds in and I loved the slight aniseed hit that it gave.  I’m not a great fan of strong aniseed but this was lovely.

So I’ve been thinking about how to incorporate this into a breakfast dish.  Subtlety is the key and I think that raw blended buckwheat makes the perfect base for including more delicate flavours.

It’s quite a small amount compared to my usual bigger bowls of porridge, but it’s surprisingly filling and tastes wonderfully creamy.  I did add some maple syrup to mine as I was craving sweetness today, but the dish works without this too.

Pear and Fennel Buck Bowl (serves one)

Buck pear with maple

  • 50g buckwheat – soaked overnight – it won’t work if they aren’t soaked.
  • 1 pear
  • 2 tbsp. natural yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp. almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds – grinded in a pestle and mortar
  • 4-5 walnuts

Drain and rinse the buckwheat. In a blender or food processor blend the buckwheat, 1/2 the pear, the yoghurt and almond milk.  Put into a bowl and stir through the ground fennel seeds, the rest of the pear diced up and the walnuts crumbled in.   Decorate with some walnuts and a few extra whole fennel seeds if you fancy a bit more aniseed.   Drizzle over some maple syrup if you fancy more sweetness.

Sticky Prune Bites

I found a tin of prunes in the back of the cupboard that were almost out of date, I have no idea why I bought them, but I hate wasting things so spent a large part of this morning trying to figure out what to do with them.  I tried making some granola but instead my ‘granola’ came out quite sticky and actually rather lovely, keeping the moistness of the prunes.

The result of my experiment are some rather lovely moist snacky bites – definitely somewhere between chunky granola and sticky flapjacks. Delicious on their own with a cup of coffee. It’s a good way to incorporate some prunes into your diet – I’ve never been a big fan, but keeping the moisture and adding some lovely zesty oats works for me.

Sticky Prune Bites

Makes enough bites for around 3 snacky breakfasts – if you can resist the urge to snack on them during the rest of the day.

Sticky prune bites

  • 100g oats
  • 1 tin of pitted prunes in juice (290g)
  • 50g whole almonds
  • Juice and Zest of one orange
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of the prune juice
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar

Drain the prunes – and keep the juice. Put the oats in a bowl and chop in the prunes – I used scissors to chop them into chunks. Add the almonds and orange zest and mix well to ensure all the prune chunks are well covered in oats.

Mix the honey, orange juice, prune juice and sugar together in a small pan and heat gently for a couple of minutes until the honey and sugar is dissolved.  Let it cool for a couple of minutes and then add to the oat mix.  Mix it well – it will be wet and sticky.

Rub some butter on the bottom of a baking sheet to stop it sticking and then spread the oat mixture over the sheet.

Put it in the oven (200c/400f/Gas 6) – for 5 minutes.  Take it out and give it a shake and another mix up to break it up into pieces. It will still be quite sticky.

Cook for a further 5 minutes.  Take it out, shake it up again and leave to cool.

The final mix is still quite sticky but really lovely and moist and easily breaks into bite sized bits with lovely chunks of prune.

Store in an airtight jar in the fridge

Kiwi Kale Smoothie

Sunday morning after a few chips and cocktails last night means a healthy brekkie was required. No long run this morning but the prospect of a lovely lunch.  So I’m back on the green smoothies to make room for more lunch later.  Coconut water is great after exercise (or drinking) – definitely a top rehydration fluid.

Kiwi is another fruit that mixes brilliantly with coconut flavours and the hint of sesame from the tahini works well. The kale and the pear take second stage in this smoothie but do add to the texture and colour so don’t miss them out.

Kiwi Kale Smoothie (serves one)

kale tahini smoothie

  • 200ml Coconut water
  • Kale – a handful
  • Kiwi – one peeled and chopped
  • Pear – one cored and chopped
  • Tahini – 2 teaspoons

Blend it all together

 

Brown Rice Apple Porridge

I first tasted brown rice porridge at a yoga retreat a couple of years ago. The rice from the previous evenings meal was re-cooked for breakfast with delicious results. Whenever I cook brown rice for dinner, I always make extra so that I can have this breakfast a couple of times over the following days.  It does take a bit of stirring and infusing of flavours and liquid so it’s an ideal weekend filling breakfast when there is more time to enjoy the wait.

Brown rice apple porridge (serves one)

Created with Nokia Smart Cam
Created with Nokia Smart Cam

  • 120g of cooked brown rice
  • 100ml water
  • 100ml Almond milk (or other milk) – plus a bit extra if the rice gets too dry
  • 1 apple – grated
  • 25g sultanas or raisons
  • Cardamom – I crushed around 5 pods
  • Cinnamon – liberal amount – this dish can take a lot of spices
  • Cloves – small sprinkle as it’s quite a strong flavour and easy to overpower the other spices
  • Demerara or other brown sugar to serve

Put the rice and water into a saucepan and boil for around 4-5 minutes until the water is absorbed – keep an eye on it and keep stirring it.

Then add the almond milk, grated apple, sultanas and spices and simmer for 8-10 minutes – keeping an eye on the liquid levels. You want the apple to be really squishy and almost dissolving into the rice so don’t simmer for less time, if it’s getting dry add a bit more milk.

This is lovely with the added crunch of some demerara sugar to serve.

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I managed to do a spinning class and dog walk before enjoying some time in the kitchen to cook and eat this dish, which I really felt I had earned – a lovely feeling.  I did have a banana before heading out to spin – I needed something to keep me going.

 

Tropical Chia Zinger Bowl

This is a serious hit of the tropics with added vitamin C. The mix of pineapple, ginger, kiwi and coconut puts the zing in. If you’re struggling to wake up in the morning, this will seriously wake up your taste buds.  I’ve been using coconut yoghurt a lot lately as a change from my usual natural yoghurt and it really enhances the whole taste of this dish.

There is some previous night preparation to make the pineapple and chia mix.

Tropical chia zinger bowl  (this pineapple chia mix is enough for 2 portions)

Tropical chia zinger

  • 200g fresh pineapple, peeled and chopped into big chunks
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • Thumb sized piece of fresh ginger (I used mine from frozen)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • A few mint leaves
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds

Put all of the above apart from the chia seeds into a food processor and mix to a puree. Put the puree into a bowl and mix in the chia seeds. Cover and put in the fridge overnight.

To serve (per single portion)

  • 1 kiwi fruit – diced
  • 1 teaspoon desiccated coconut
  • A sprinkle of shredded coconut

Mix together and top the pineapple chia mix with this.

Then add some coconut yoghurt on top with a few  more bits of shredded coconut.

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I managed to get up early this morning to walk the dog on the beach – lovely to see the sunshine so early and it prolonged the mood being able to eat this afterwards.

 

 

 

Simply Hot B&B

This morning was a quick ‘what’s in the fridge to use up’ type breakfast – and today the blueberries were getting to that not so fresh stage.  Cooking them up with a banana is quick and easy and adding a few oats helps to bulk up what is essentially a warming low fat brekkie.

Simply Hot B&B (serves one)

Baked banana

  • 1 banana – cut into thick slices
  • handful of blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 20g oats
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

Melt the coconut oil then mix with the honey.  Mix this with the banana, blueberries, oats and cinnamon.  Make sure it’s all well coated. Pop into a hot oven – 200c/400f/Gas 6 for 10 minutes.  You want the blueberries to start going a bit squishy.

Nice served with yoghurt.

Jaffa Bircher

I love Jaffa cakes, the mixture of chocolate and orange is one of the best flavour combinations. I’ve recently  run a few trail events where Jaffa cakes have been available at the drinks stations alongside the gels and I have been nicely fuelled by Jaffa power.  I’ve been trying to recreate that Jaffa taste in a slightly healthier way.

I first discovered the joys of orange puree during a patisserie course last year and it’s fabulous for adding a really strong orange hit.  There is a bit of preparation the night before due to having to boil the oranges and make the puree, but it’s really easy and worth it.  The puree also freezes really well.  I freeze it in ice cube trays or small ramekins so it’s portioned ready to use.  So instead of boiling one orange at a time I boil 2 or 3 and freeze the leftover.

To make the orange puree

Put 1 or more whole oranges in a big pan of water, bring to the boil and then simmer for around an hour – they should feel very soft when ready but still intact. Drain them, cut them in half and let them cool. When cool blitz them in a processor – skin and all. This is your puree.

Jaffa Bircher (serves one)

Jaffa bircher

  • 100g orange puree (this a about half of a large orange when pureed)
  • 30g oats
  • 2 teaspoons of cacao powder
  • 10g dried cranberries
  • 100ml Almond milk

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, cover and leave to soak overnight.  If you want a slightly wetter bircher add an additional tablespoon of almond milk over the mixture before putting in the fridge.

Before eating I like to sprinkle a few more cranberries and cacao nibs on top.

This is another most delicious brekkie that tastes soooo much better than it looks.