Adzuki Bean Burgers

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I remember years ago now we had some cooked adzuki beans laying around the house without a purpose, and my mum liked the idea of making burgers with them so asked me to find her a recipe online. It was a pretty difficult task, as I seemed to be looking for something that didn’t exist, but I eventually found one and we made them.

Long story short, they sucked. They had no flavor, they didn’t hold together and broke apart in the pan and they were filled with bits of raw garlic and onion. Needless to say, we were both pretty unimpressed with how they turned out, and have any desire to have some any time soon.adzuki bean burgers 012 adzuki bean burgers 050I guess enough time has passed since that fateful event for me to try my hand at them again, but this time I wanted to get it right, and I think I managed to achieve what my mum wanted all that time ago, but I guess I’ll have to wait until she tries my recipe for herself.

I wanted burgers with a little crunch to them, so I added some sesame seeds which also boost the flavor and nutrition profile enormously.Thanks to the buckwheat groats, the burgers hold together really well, so I have a feeling they could stand up on a barbecue nicely, and it would also give a slight smoky flavor that would be pretty awesome. These are also really good cold, so next time I’m going to make extra for leftovers for lunches on-the-go or as a snack.

I decided to keep things light and summery and topped them with crunchy cucumber, apple and radish (all the radish in the garden seem to be ready at the same time!), all nestled inside cabbage leaves, but these would also be good sandwiched inside a big fluffy bun.

adzuki bean burgers 067 Adzuki Bean Burgers

Makes 4 small burgers

1/2 small onion

1 cup cooked buckwheat (1/4 cup raw)

1/2 cup cooked adzuki beans

1 tbsp liquid aminos (or soy sauce)

1 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds

1 tsp dried mixed herbs

1 large handful basil

1 large handful spinach

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp finely ground sea salt

Cracked black pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 220C (425F)

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined, but still retaining a bit of texture.

Line a tray with baking paper and then shape the mixture into 4 burgers, I used an ice cream scoop to scoop the mixture evenly and then pressed it down to flatten into a burger shape.

Pop in the oven for 10 minutes, then take them out, flip them, and pop them back in for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Serve cocooned in cabbage leaves or bread rolls with slices of apple, cucumber and radish.

Quinoa and Flaxseed Cornbread Muffins

1quinoa cornbread 018Lately I’ve been having serious savory cravings, and these muffins have been my latest creation to satisfy them. I’ve never had actual cornbread, here in England it’s just not really a ‘thing’, but I have some distant memory from back when I read The Help of Aibileen making them and the idea just kind of ran away with me.

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I looked  at a couple of traditional cornbread recipes to get the gist of ingredients, and went from there. Quinoa seemed like a pretty good vehicle to get more protein and fill-ability into the muffins, making them a more well-rounded snack or perfect accompaniment with picnic season upon us. It also lends a beautiful texture to the muffins, which I’m in love with.

I decided for the first couple of attempts at making these to leave out any additions so that I was able to get the batter just right, but these are now primed and ready for whatever additions your heart desires – and don’t feel you have to stick to tradition, go crazy with it. I’ve just got really into green olives, so I think that’ll be my next batch sorted, but sun-dried tomatoes, chilli or spinach all make perfect sense too, it’s pretty open.

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Quinoa and Flaxseed Cornbread Muffins

Makes 12 medium sized muffins

3 tbsp ground flax seed

9 tbsp water

1 cup soy milk (or another dairy-free milk)

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 cup medium ground cornmeal

1/4 cup chickpea flour

1 tsp finely ground sea salt

1 tbsp dried mixed herbs

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 cup of quinoa, cooked

1 tbsp olive oil

Pre-heat the oven to 200C (400F) and line one 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases.

In a little bowl, mix together the flax and water then pop in the fridge and let it sit for at least 15 minutes.

In a medium size mixing bowl, stir together the milk and vinegar and leave to let it curdle (this will mimic the traditional buttermilk).

Add all of the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir to combine, then add the quinoa and give it another good stir, making sure it is mixed together.

Add the flax seed mixture to the curdled milk, along with the olive oil and whisk until it is all nicely mixed together.

Pour the wet into the dry, stirring until just combined. Spoon the mixture into 12 muffin cases then pop in the oven to bake for around 18 minutes, or until firm and springy to the touch. Enjoy warm, fresh from the oven when they’re at their best, or allow to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Spiced Banana Bread Granola

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Since my Thursday evening immersion food blender incident (involving me running around the kitchen shouting like a cartoon character) my kitchen antics have been pretty limited by the comically large dressing and bandage adorning my finger, but thankfully this recipe is manageable, so I have plenty of granola to ease these times.(!)

Granola plays a pretty crucial role in our home. There is always a jar or two in circulation, and it is certainly missed when there is not (cue nagging and pleading for more to be made). Luckily, granola can be whipped up pretty fast and without a recipe, so it’s never much trouble, however in our home it is reliant on there being surplus perfectly ripe, speckled bananas (a rarity with me in the vicinity).1granola + bars 123

This wasn’t always the case, not until I stumbled this granola recipe from the wonderful Green Kitchen Stories, and since trying banana-y granola, I haven’t looked back. This recipe is crunchy, slightly sweet, chewy and distinctly banana bread-y with the blend of spices, and I have to say utterly addictive. Once the trays have been removed from the oven and left to cool, I challenge you to resist the allure of the delicious aroma that will fill your home.1granola + bars 112

This makes a pretty large batch (what can I say – we’re granola fiends!) so you may want to halve it if you don’t get through it so fast, but it does keep for up to a month in an airtight container.

Spiced Banana Bread Granola

2 large ripe speckled bananas

3 tsp ground cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

3-4 cups oats (depending on banana size and how clumpy you like it – I used 4 cups)

1 cup pumpkin seeds

1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

1 ½ cups raisins

Pre-heat the oven to 180C (350F) and line a couple large deep baking trays.

In a big bowl, mash the bananas into a puree, then mix in the spices.

Add all of the remaining ingredients, except the raisins, to the bowl, adding the oats gradually until you reach your desired consistency (my preference varies but for this batch I went for a much less clumpy mix).

Using your hands, mix until everything is nicely coated.

Distribute the mixture evenly between the 2 trays and spread out well to ensure even cooking.

Pop in the oven for 30-45, removing to move it all around a bit once or twice to make sure that it all bakes evenly and remove from the oven once it’s nicely browned. Add the raisins when the granola is still warm and lightly mix.

Leave to cool completely on the trays before storing in glass jars or an airtight container for up to a month.

Raw Blackcurrant and Fig Jam

1toasted buckwheat  jam + shake 114At the very top of our garden used to sit a big blackcurrant bush, which every year in the summer months would be laden with fruit. I remember my mum sending me and my brother out in the afternoon sun, armed with tubs to pick the ripe fruits. We would return to the kitchen, usually covered in blackcurrant stains, and deposit our pickings, where they would find their way into innumerable crumbles and pies for pudding. But, despite our best efforts, we would have many currants leftover at the end of summer and they would have to be shut away in the freezer.

The bush at the top of the garden is no longer in existence, but some of its fruits still lurk in the freezer, waiting to be munched. When I discovered some of these the other day, I couldn’t resist using them, and decided to whip up something versatile and delicious, and so this raw chia seed jam was born, and I couldn’t be more happy with the result.1toasted buckwheat  jam + shake 059

The blackcurrants alone are pretty sharp, so this is sweetened up a little with some dried figs, but just enough to take the edge off whilst allowing the currant flavor to shine. Once it’s had about 15 minutes in the fridge, this becomes a nice thick-set jam which I personally favor, but if you prefer a runnier jam, feel free to reduce the amount of chia seeds.

I had this swirled into my cinnamon porridge this morning and I have to say it is a match made in heaven, but the jam is also great in all the ways it would normally be – mixed through yogurt, dolloped on pancakes, spread on toast or oatcakes, or to sandwich between layers of cake (and of course it’s great just spooned out of the jar!)

Raw Blackcurrant and Fig Jam

Makes 1 regular-size jam jar full

3 cups fresh blackcurrants (if frozen like mine, thawed)

2-4 soft and goey dried figs (depending on desired sweetness – I used 2 but you can always taste and add more)

1 tsp apple cider vinegar (optional, but helps it keep longer in the fridge)

1 tsp chia seeds

Using an immersion blender or food processor combine all of the ingredients until smooth. If you prefer a chunky jam whiz up the figs, vinegar, chia and 1/2 the blackcurrants and then mix in the remaining blackcurrants by hand. Test for sweetness (all blackcurrants vary greatly) then scrape into a jar and place into the fridge. Keeps in the fridge for up to 2 weeks if you’ve used the vinegar or 1 if you haven’t.

Spinach and Red Lentil Bake

lentil bake 045My mum used to make a version of this when I was growing up, and everyone I remember trying it loved it. But her version was slightly different to mine, using breadcrumbs and eggs, no vegetables and was topped with  lots of grated cheese. I have to admit, being the picky eater that I was (and am…) I used to pick the cheese off the top, but this was my mums favorite bit so she was always all to happy to have extra.

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Possibly the most awesome thing about this bake is that it tastes so good hot, and possibly even better cold the next few days, and freezes really well. Consequently, this made many an appearance in lunches that I made and took to work, I get some veggies (roasted, steamed, salads, you name it) in a tub the night before, get a slice of this out the freezer and add that too and then leave it in the fridge ready to be picked up on my way out in the morning – *insert meerkat voice*  simples. This also makes a great addition to a picnic spread, or taken along to a pot-luck lunch.lentil bake 033This variation is super nutritious, energizing and most importantly filling and highly addictive. If you’re looking for a simple, quick prep tart/bake that’ll be a real crowd pleaser, I urge you to give this a try.

Spinach and Red Lentil Bake

Makes 1 large bake/tart

2 cups red lentils

2 3/4 cups vegetable stock

2 small onions, diced

4 cups spinach

3 tsp dried mixed herbs

1 1/2 tbsp oats

Freshly ground sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 190C (375F)

Rinse the lentils in cold water until the water runs clear and drain well, then cook the lentils in the measured stock until the liquid is all absorbed, around 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. It’ll look pretty mushy, but that’s what you want.

Sauté the onion until soft and transparent, then add the spinach to the pot and stir until it just begins to wilt. You can then remove from the heat and combine all of the ingredients before pressing into a shallow 9 inch tin to bake for 30 minutes.

This slices easiest when cool, but if you’re serving it hot just let it sit for 5 minutes before cutting.

Super-Food Cinnamon Granola Bars

1granola + bars 049As the days grow and stretch their lengthening legs in front of us, our days seem to blossom in accordance. We welcome with the warmer weather the winds of adventure and change. As we emerge from our winter cocoons, lives seem suddenly to fill, and it’s times like these in which I think it most important to have tasty and sustaining treats hidden away to whip out in times of need.

As our lives speed up, we must make conscious effort not to neglect that which keeps us moving forward: our body, and must therefore fill it with the nourishment it so needs and deserves. These super-charge granola bars fill this need perfectly, providing a burst of energy in even the lowest of times.1granola + bars 101

These are my kinda granola bars; soft rather than the crunchy sort, but hold together well so travel incredibly well, they’re oil-free (natural fats are found in the seeds), last well, are naturally sweetened with apple, dates and maca powder, they’re balanced, filling and most importantly; they taste really damn good. Plus, these can be whipped up in no time at all, so no time = no problem. I personally don’t like dried fruit in my granola bars, but if you’re a fan go ahead and add some in, swap out the seeds for nuts, its all pretty open for customization.

If you’re looking for a go-to snack to make and keep in your cupboard for a couple weeks, something fulfilling to take in your carry-on for nourishment on the plane, for a lunch-box filler for kids, something to bring on a long road-trip/trip to the beach/picnic/unexpected adventure/just to keep in your bag for emergency sustenance, no matter – I gotcha covered.1granola + bars 090

Super-food Cinnamon Granola Bars

1 pink lady apple, peeled and chopped

1.5 tbsp soft, goey dried dates

¼ cup warm water

1 ¾ cups oats

1 tbsp chia seeds

2 tbsp pumpkin seeds

1 tsp maca powder

1 tsp cinnamon

Pre-heat the oven to 200C (400F) and line a 9 x 7.5 inch tray with baking paper.

Using an immersion blender, or a food processor/regular blender, blend the apple, dates and water until they form a smooth puree. Combine all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl and then add in the fruit puree and stir until well combined.

Plop the mixture into the pre-prepared tray and press it down very thoroughly using a metal spoon (this is pretty crucial in ensuring that the bars hold together).

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges just begin to color. Remove from the oven and leave in the tin until completely cool, allowing the bars to firm up and set. Once cooled, you can lift out of the tin, remove the paper and chop into slices using a big sharp knife. I cut this into 12 small squares, but you could equally go for 6 long bars, whatever you fancy.

Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Wrap bars individually in baking paper for kid-friendly lunch-box granola bars that hands down beat the store bought variety.

Black Quinoa and Roasted Butternut Goodness Bowl

1butternut quinoa 071When I’m hungry, I get grumpy (or hangry as I sometimes like to call it). This girl needs a full belly at-all-times, so when it gets to the point that I’m already hungry, things need to come together pretty fast. I guess this dish is an extension of that need, coming together in less than 25 minutes. It serves as a sustaining and nourishing lunch or dinner in a pinch and tastes awesome hot or cold, so of course leftovers are always welcome.1butternut quinoa 019

I’m a huge fan of hummus in general, but one of my favorite ways to enjoy it lately is folded through grains, giving them a creamy deliciousness and a punch of flavor too. Since I had just whipped up a batch of my hummus, it seemed the perfect fit instead of making a dressing to accompany the dish, but you could equally substitute something with avocado here to that that creaminess, you’d just be missing that Middle-Eastern flavor the hummus lends. The pine nuts add a toasty nuttiness that just completes this dish, but could of course be substituted with something like pumpkin seeds in a pinch, but will have a totally different flavor to offer.

Black Quinoa and Roasted Butternut Goodness Bowl

Serves 3 as a main

1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped

3/4 cup black quinoa (or any other color), preferably soaked overnight

3/4 cup boiling water (if the quinoa isn’t soaked overnight, increase the water to 1 1/2 cups)

3 tbsp pine nuts

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen English garden peas

3 cups spinach

1 cup hummus

Pre-heat the oven to 200C (400F)

Drain and rinse the quinoa, then place in a pot with the water and a little sea salt and bring to the boil, then pop a lid on and reduce the heat. Allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed.

Place the butternut on a baking tray, sprinkle with a little sea salt and cracked black pepper and roast until it begins to turn in color, around 20 minutes, turning halfway through.

Meanwhile, lightly toast the pine nuts in a pan and set aside.

Once the quinoa is cooked, turn off the heat, add the peas and spinach in on top and keep covered, placing a tea towel between the top of the pot and the lid, allowing it to rest for at least 5 minutes.

Once everything is cooked and the quinoa is rested, stir the hummus into the quinoa in the pot.

To assemble: spoon the quinoa mixture out and place in a bowl, then add the butternut and finally sprinkle on the toasted pine nuts.

Favorite Homemade Oil-Free Hummus

1hummus 056I love hummus. As a kid, one of my all-time favorite lunches would be a piping hot pita bread filled with butter and hummus, or a hummus sandwich made with fresh white bread, a freshly toasted bagel smothered in butter and hummus (are you sensing a pattern here? Did someone say white refined carbs and saturated fats?) and bread sticks and hummus were a go-to snack. It wasn’t until I actually read the ingredients on a pack and saw what went into it that I began to drift away from the grasps of hummus. That was until I came across the notion of making it yourself, and I’ve got to be honest, its a real game-changer. You can tailor the hummus to your personal preferences, and the taste is far superior to any pre-packaged version.

I tried a few different recipes out first before endeavoring to make my own, but it wasn’t until one pre-lunch rush of preparation that this one came about, and I have to say, it’s the best tasting one I’ve ever had.  I forgot to put the oil in, but the flavor had never been better. I scribbled down what I did as I munched away on my lunch and I haven’t looked back since.

If you’ve tried making your own hummus before, you’ll be aware of how simple it is, but for those that haven’t; chuck all ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth. (As you can probably tell from the photo, mine isn’t all that smooth, but it’s purely down to a suck-y food processor. As you can image, a decent one is pretty high on my current wish-list.)hummus 012

 

Favorite Oil-Free Hummus

Ingredients

1 rounded cup chickpeas

Large handful basil leaves

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tsp tahini

1 tsp cumin

Pinch sea salt

Ground black pepper

A couple tablespoons water (or more, depending on your desired consistency)

Blend in a food processor until smooth and store in an airtight container in the fridge. This will stay fresh in the fridge for 5 days.

Scottish Oat Cakes

1oat cakes 147I think by now its probably quite apparent that I have a long-standing love affair with all things oat related, so it will likely come as no surprise to find out that I adore oat cakes. About a week ago I had an evening hunger pang for something savoury, and my mum suggested I have some oat cakes. I had forgotten how tasty they were and I ended up polishing off the packet. Since then, I have been snacking on them almost every day (what can I say? I am half Scottish), so thought it was about time I came up with my own, recipe, and here it is.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this Scotch delight, oat cakes are kind of like a cracker and are made of oat flour then baked in the oven. These were traditionally eaten with every meal as a filling accompaniment to dishes in order to make them stretch further, so as you can imagine, they’re super versatile and are good either sweet or savory. For a sweet oat cake, you can eliminate the salt and replace with some maple syrup.1oat cakes 206

In terms of serving suggestions for these, I personally love them plain with a cup of tea, but if you are wanting something more substantial or flavorsome, you could try topping with:

  • Guacamole
  • Hummus
  • Roasted butternut squash and pine nuts
  • Caramelized onion and tomato
  • Chutney and cheese
  • Coconut yogurt and blueberries
  • Almond butter and honey
  • Hazelnut butter and banana

These are also really yum along side a soup, salad or stew and are an awesome filling snack to have packed on-the-go. Basically, they are good with pretty much anything. To make these gluten-free, just use gluten-free oats.

Variations of the classic:

  • Herb: 1 TSP dried herbs (rosemary, oregano, thyme, parsley, mixed herbs)
  • Seeded: 1 TBSP either poppy, sesame, sunflower (chopped) or pumpkin (chopped)
  • Sea Salt: sprinkle sea salt over the oat cakes just before they go into the oven
  • Cracked Black Pepper: twist black pepper over the oat cakes just before they go into the oven
  • Sweet Maple: reduce the salt to 1/2 TSP and add 1 TBSP maple syrup, reducing the water
  • Cheese: 1 TBSP nutritional yeast1oat cakes 177

Scottish Oat Cakes

Makes around 25 oat cakes using a 2.5 inch cookie cutter

Ingredients

3 cups medium oatmeal (gluten-free if required)

1 tsp freshly ground sea salt

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tbsp coconut oil

14 tbsp hot water

Pre-heat the oven to 160C (320F) and line 4 baking trays with baking parchment

In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, then rub in the coconut oil until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Now, add in the water, a little at a time. The amount you need will vary with the oats, so be cautious and don’t add too much at once! You can even measure in tablespoons for maximum control. Keep adding water and mixing until a nice dough forms.

Put the dough in the middle of a fairly large wooden board or work surface and begin to press it out and flatten it, then swap over to a rolling pin and roll out to your desired thickness (pretty much anything goes here; it’s just down to personal preference), then cut out your oat cake shape using a round cookie cutter and lay out on the baking trays.

Once you’ve rolled, cut and placed once, you’ll notice that the remnants look pretty dry and crumb-like. No worries, pick up the baking parchment and put the dough back in the bowl, add one or two more table spoons of water, or enough to form a dough again and then repeat the rolling process.

Bake for 30 minutes, then increase the temperature to 200C (400F) and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown and they seem crisp. If you prefer your oat cakes a little less crunchy, take them out earlier.

These keep for up to 4 weeks in an airtight container, (though I challenge you to make them last that long!) but if you’d rather not have them hanging around that long you can freeze the cut-out shapes and then bake them from frozen when you want them, just increase the baking time by 5 or 10 minutes.

Peace and love //Rosie

Blueberry Oat Galette

galette 029Would you  believe me if I told you this was a healthy breakfast containing only 5 ingredients? Probably not, but I’m pleased to tell you that it’s true. I’ve always been a big pastry fan and growing up I would always eat the filling of a pie or tart, making sure to leave the pastry for the last few bites – because that was the best bit of course! (Is it weird that I used to still do this?). So, when watching Masterchef, (does anyone else love that show?) seeing them make delicious fruity tarts, I couldn’t resist the temptation and knew I had to make something to that effect for myself, and since breakfast is the best meal of the day, I decided that it had to be suitable for that purpose.

So, with that in mind, a galette seemed to fit the bill perfectly as its a hassle-free, quick tart-like thing that can be whipped up on a lazy Sunday morning, or made the night before and enjoyed as a delicious week-day pick-me-up. You could even pop it back in the oven to get all hot and oozy again if you have the time and/or inclination.

Not only is this an awesome breakfast, but can also be cut into slices and served with tea for an afternoon treat with friends. It might not be great to look at, but one taste and anyone will be won over, I assure you. And no worries if you don’t have blueberries to hand, any fruit will work beautifully, either fresh or frozen. Okay, I’ll stop gushing now and just give you the recipe.galette 003

Blueberry Oat  Galette

Serves 1 for breakfast

Ingredients

½ cup oats, milled into flour (gluten-free if required)

2 tsp coconut oil

½ tbsp apple sauce

Almond milk  (or another plant-based milk) to bind

½ cup blueberries (I used frozen and just got them out of the freezer and popped them into the fridge the night before, so by morning they were thawed)

Pre-heat the oven to 200C (400F)

Using your hands, rub together the oats, coconut oil and apple sauce until well incorporated. At this point, add a tiny splash of milk, or more if needed, to make a firm dough that holds together well.

Roll the dough in your hands into a ball shape, but try and do it pretty fast as you want to try and keep the dough cool.

Place the dough on a sheet of baking parchment and press it out using your hands as thin as you can, trying to maintain a circular shape. Once you are happy with your little circle, pop your fruit in the middle of it, leaving around half a finger’s worth of width around it. You can then fold up the sides of the dough around the fruit, trying not to allow the dough to overlap too much (this bit won’t cook so well). Then lift the baking parchment with your little galette on onto a baking tray and bake in the oven for around 15 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown.

This is best served hot from the oven, but also tastes amazing cold.