German chocolate fudge bites

I’ve been kicking it up a notch as far as vegan eating goes and this week I wanted a sweet treat that would go nicely with an afternoon soy chai latte. This is definitely that!

I first discovered this recipe on Chocolate Covered Katie in 2011 and I couldn’t even tell you how many times I’ve made them since. They are almost like a nutty brownie in texture and flavor and they perfectly satisfy that sweet craving, only using dates as a sweetener. And they take maybe 10-15 minutes in total to throw together. I swear I do want to try some of her other bite recipes but every time I go to do so, I somehow cannot seem to bypass this one. They are definitely worth a try!

Golden: Vegan Ginger & Date Loaf Cake

Food52 Baking Club is going through Honey and Co’s book Golden this month and I just couldn’t help but be intrigued by their loaf cakes. I adapted the vegan was as the book suggests with their ginger and date loaf cake fillings to make this hybrid beauty.

The cake is a mixture of date syrup, water and canola oil that has been brought to a boil and then stirred through a dry ingredient mixture of flour, sugar, bicarb, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cardamom. Lastly, you stir in some chopped dates and crystallized ginger before baking it in a greased loaf tin for 30 minutes. When you pull it out of the oven, you simply brush on more date syrup and add some more chopped ginger to decorate.

I was surprised that the vegan cake recipe said 30 minutes in the oven, but when at 30 minutes I checked it and the top looked done and the skewer came out clear I promptly pulled it out, declaring the time had been right.

Or so I thought. I really should’ve gone with the date and ginger loaf time which was twice as long. While the cake was cooked on the outside, the middle is a bit raw still. Oops. Luckily it doesn’t contain raw eggs so it’s still edible, gooey and delicious. I’m such a ginger fanatic, I could eat the crystallized ginger straight out of the bag – maybe even to the point of eating the whole bag!

For my first recipe from this book,  I’m pretty happy and will definitely have a go at making this again with a longer oven time. Next up, I’ll be trying one of their divine looking cheesecakes. Mmm mmm….

Aaron’s Green(ish) Breakfast Smoothie

We thought since the theme for this April’s Meatless Monday posts has accidentally become breakfast focused, what better way to end the month than with one last breakfast recipe, and it’s an Aaron specialty.

This is a pretty straightforward recipe – nothing too fancy, and pretty easy to make. I make it in a blender, so that has the added bonus of waking everyone in the house up, so they’re ready for their smoothies.

(I say green(ISH), because, well, it doesn’t look that green…)

Aaron’s Green Smoothie

Aaron's Green Smoothie

(Serves 2)
Ingredients:

Handful of baby spinach (about 1 cup)

1 large banana

3/4 cup frozen blueberries

3/4 cup frozen raspberries

1 cup cold water (or more if needed)

Add the first four ingredients, plus about half of the water, to a blender and pulse until combined (should be the consistency of a thick shake) or the blade isn’t doing anything. If the blade isn’t doing anything, add a little more water to loosen the frozen berries up. Only add as much water as you need to get things moving until the smoothie reaches the consistency of a thick shake. Pour into glasses and enjoy!

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.)