Whipped banana porridge with berries

Given this is a regular feature of my morning eats on What I Ate Wednesdays, I thought it was about time I share how I make my bowl of porridge. I have been known to eat this at any time of day if I don’t feel like cooking for myself, and it is always filling and satisfying.

While it can be made in a saucepan on the cooktop, I tend to just do it in the microwave. I use a red decor microwave bowl and then transfer it to a nicer bowl if I’m feeling fancy, but often I just guzzle it straight from the microwave one to save on washing up.

To make it I put 1/2 cup of rolled oats, a sprinkling of cinnamon, 1 cup of water, and a broken up banana (I don’t even bother to cut it up) into a bowl and microwave it for 2 minutes. I give it a really good stir and microwave it for a further 2 minutes. Then I put a spoonful of peanut butter in, give it another really good stir to make it nice and creamy and finish it by topping it with 1/4 cup each of blueberries and raspberries straight from the freezer (the hot porridge defrosts them really quickly). The berries and banana offer sweetness without the need for sugar or honey and the peanut butter ups the protein content to keep you feeling full.

And that’s it – one bowl of deliciousness that will keep me going for hours – just what a busy mother needs!

What I Ate Wednesday (11/4/18)

Today was a real empty the fridge day…

Its started by enjoying an almond milk latte made by my 14 year old…

…then 2 pieces of wholemeal raisin toast ends with vegan butter and a cup of tea and 2 glasses of water…

…lunch was similarly 2 pieces of wholemeal toast ends with peanut butter and the remains of the strawberry rhubarb jam with another almond milk latte and another glass of water.

…for afternoon tea I had another glass of water and 2 plums (I ate 1 before I took the photo)…

Dinner was my mangled piece of meatloaf with some bourbon glazed carrots, buttered peas and mashed potatoes…all kinds of deliciousness. 1 more glass of water!

Dessert was leftover Easter chocolates a final glass of water and a rooibos tea.

What I Ate Wednesday (4/4/18)

This week has been absolute chaos and today was no exception. The day started off with a coffee in the car and a glass of water when I got home, and then by 10 I was able to sit down with another coffee, another glass of water and a bowl of whipped banana porridge with a spoonful of peanut butter and some frozen berries. (Our coffee machine was being super weird, so I’m a bit worried that’s my last coffee for a while *sobs*.)

Thank goodness I had the foresight to have a big breakfast because out I went at 11 and didn’t stop until after school pick up when I made myself a cup of tea and sampled the three new types of Oreo cookies that my mom sent. Downed another glass of water too.

Raced back out the door after that to go pick up Aaron from work. His public transport commute has gotten ridiculous so while I’m loathing the car I’m always keen to get him home sooner.

This meant that dinner needed to be quick and simple, so I went for creamy sundried tomato pasta that I can have on the table from start to finish in 20 minutes. Another glass of water!

Some leftover Easter chocolates for dessert while lying in bed with a heat pack on my back…what have I done to cause so much back pain?!!

And my version of a night cap – a cup of vanilla rooibos tea (and one last water, not pictured).

What I Ate Wednesday (21/3/18)

A bowl of whipped banana porridge with peanut butter, cinnamon and frozen berries. A latte made on almond milk and a tall glass of water.

Followed not long after by another almond milk latte and another glass of water.

An open PB&J (aka two wholemeal bread ends with peanut butter and strawberry jam) and my 3rd glass of water!

An Earl grey tea with almond milk and water #4

Water #5 with 3 wafer crackers (which I since found out are NOT vegan!) spread with green olive and artichoke tapenade and some little tomatoes.

Dinner today was a bit of an experiment: one of our favourites, chicken pot parmentier, cooked in the slow cooker. It worked and it was wonderful! Oh and water #6!

A slice of birthday cake for dessert. Not gonna lie, it’s not the best cake…

Finished off with my favourite vanilla rooibos tea!

Daily Garnish’s four bean chilli & pumpkin cornbread

I couldn’t get this dish out of my head as I was menu planning this week. I first made it during vegetarian week 3 or 4 years ago, and while I’ll make it once, eating the leftovers daily until they’re gone, I tend not to put it into regular rotation because we often have beans in other dishes and this dish is ALL about the beans. So for me, this is a super special meal.

Yet it is so simple. The recipe can be found on Daily Garnish’s website. The first thing I made was the cornbread, and I set my darling daughter the task of kitchen hand. It’s a simple mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, the wet ingredients in another, fold to combine and then bake in the oven. There’s no need to elaborate other than to tell you that it is delicious!!! I could eat the whole thing on my own. If you used flax eggs instead of the 2 eggs in the recipe, it could even be vegan, which is something I definitely want to try when I buy some more flaxseeds.

Once that’s in the oven baking, I set to getting the chilli made. I do alter the recipe a bit here, mainly due to our access to ingredients. I fry off a diced onion in some olive oil, add a diced green chilli (seeded to make it kid friendly), 1 teaspoon of garlic and 2 diced red capsicums. Once that’s cooked, I add 4 tins of beans – black, red kidney beans, cannellini beans and butter beans. Then I add 2 tins of diced tomatoes, 2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon cumin, salt and pepper. Last I add 2 cups of vegetable stock, and then let that simmer in order for the stock to reduce and the flavors to meld together. This of course is vegan, but we always like to serve it with some cheese and sour cream. I was actually thinking this would be wonderful over potato wedges, but realized it too late to do anything about it for dinner tonight.

This is warm and comforting and just what I needed after a long hard day.

What I Ate Wednesday (14/3/18)

Just your typical hectic Wednesday…

Take away double shot almond milk flat white for the morning school trip

Whipped banana porridge with cinnamon and peanut butter and some frozen berries – my go to meal that can fill me up for a good chunk of time and gives me energy to keep going. Had this at about 10:30, when I finally had a chance for breakfast!

Lunch was small but that’s because I was still full from breakfast. Some wafer crackers with green olive artichoke tapenade and a medley of little tomatoes. And a refilled water bottle!

A last minute cup of tea before the school pick up run.

Pi day meant we had to eat pie! Reheated apple sausage pie with…

A simple green salad.

Dessert was bourbon rosemary peach pie with french vanilla ice cream and another cup of tea. (Both pies were made yesterday so that I didn’t have to worry about cooking today.)

What I Ate Wednesday (7/3/18)

A double shot flat white with almond milk for the school drop offs…

…along with some wholemeal peanut butter and honey toast because I didn’t have to do the driving until after Aaron got to work – I know it’s not vegan because of the honey, but today, that’s what I wanted, so that’s what I had!

A bottle of water and a pear for morning tea after I got home…

…followed by a wholemeal raisin toast end with nuttelex and a cup of black tea.

For lunch I tried the other vegan noodle dish (and another bottle of water) that we found at Aldi a few weeks ago. Meant to be a convenience food for when I’m short on time, but seriously, there are like 4 different packets to open and you have to measure out water…it’s really not worth it. Give me pita and hummus and veggies any day!

Feeling sluggish just before dinner so had another black tea and sampled the corner piece of olive oil rosemary chocolate chip shortbread from Smitten Kitchen Every Day. Mmm…this will be discussed further soon!

Dinner was something new – bacon and egg risotto from Diana Henry’s Simple. I see another future post coming on!

Rooibos and a flourless cocoa cookie…

…and finished the day with another pear cos I can’t stop thinking about how yum the one I had earlier was, a marzipan Easter egg, a rebrewed rooibos (I usually brew my rooibos tea bags twice) and my third bottle of water (no fourth bottle today cos I’ve had so many cups of tea and don’t want to be up all night).

Reflecting on 8 weeks of Wordless What I Ate Wednesday

This pretty much sums up my day today.

I didn’t take any more photos after that. Wednesdays are crap. Being a taxi service to kids, do the grocery run, household chores, going to lunch time Hebrew meetings since the start of the school year has meant that all the intentional eating I normally do has just fallen away and I just fuel up the best I can wherever I happen to find myself.

I ran out the door this morning at 8:15 not having had a chance for breakfast or even a coffee. Normally I can manage to bring a coffee in the car, but there just wasn’t that opportunity today. And I only have a small window of time where the toddler is happy to be strapped down. And we needed bread. And apples. So after the school drop offs finished at 9:15, I raced down to the shops for the midweek grocery top up.  I was pushing the stroller in the car park and it felt so heavy. Like I was walking at a snail’s pace with the weight of the world on my shoulders and in that stroller I was trying to push. I’m exhausted, and there are still two more days before another weekend’s rest. I grabbed the coffee milk because I knew my kiddo would crack it if I went to a place to grab a real coffee. And my upper back/left shoulder are still hurting from when he cracked it on Monday morning.

I bailed on my Hebrew meeting. It just wasn’t gonna happen today. I went home and reflected on how the wheels have fallen off in just four short weeks. I sat and drank a glass of ice cold water with orange wedges in it. And then another one. See, I don’t seem to be able to find my water bottle these days, so my water drinking has even slowed up quite significantly. I’m run ragged and I’m not taking care of myself.

I need to do better. I know that. And that’s one of the reasons I wanted to document what I consumed one day a week. My own little accountability check. At the end of the month I can look back at the past few weeks and know how I’m treating myself and if I need to make some adjustments.

Where do I go from here? Well, I’m actually thinking of two Wednesdays posts for the next month at least. A Wordless post and a What I Ate Wednesday post. So I can document one cool food related pic I’ve taken over the course of a week and I can also give some context to the food/drink I’ve consumed over the course of the day. I think that’ll help and I think it might be just what I need to kick things back into gear.

The Food Lab: Eggs Florentine

Today’s Meatless Monday post is from my husband Aaron. Just FYI there will be a lot of Throwback recipes this month as it’s the 1 year anniversary of Food52 Cookbook Club.

There is a confession I need to make – I absolutely LOVE The Food Lab, and everything Kenji does, so I am biased. But I’m biased because his recipes (and ideas behind them) make good sense. There are a bunch of videos of his on YouTube for various things, including one that talks all about eggs. Just ask Jen. After watching said video, I spent the next hour or so telling her all about what Kenji had to say about eggs!

Eggs Florentine is basically a poached egg with cooked spinach instead of ham or smoked salmon on an English muffin covered in Hollandaise sauce. Kenji shows you how to ensure your mayonnaise or Hollandaise sauce doesn’t split. It is probably the easiest Hollandaise I’ve made (and one of, if not THE tastiest). And out of the kindness of his own heart, Kenji gives you two methods to make the sauce – one for if you have an immersion blender, and another for the rest of us with standard blenders/food processors. Basically, you blend egg yolks, lemon juice and hot water, then slowly add melted butter to the blender/food processor to mix all the ingredients, and then season with salt and cayenne (optional). So easy and so nice!  The spinach for the Florentine was cooked with garlic and seasoned with salt and pepper – nice and easy, and nice and quick…and again, very tasty.

As an aside, an awesome tip I got from Kenji on poaching eggs is, if you’re having more than a few friends over for brekky, you can poach the eggs the day before (he may have even said up to 5 days before, but I’d check that before trying it!), put them in iced water and keep them in the fridge, then on the following morning, pop them back into the simmering water for about 30 seconds and they will be right to go! Very handy instead of trying to evenly poach a dozen eggs at the same time.

I’d highly recommend The Food Lab’s Eggs Florentine for a very nice brekky, or in our case, for brinner (breakfast for dinner), as it was fairly quick, easy and VERY tasty.

Two Eggs Florentine