Cook this: (Almost) paleo granola

On my naturopath’s advice, I gave up grains for a few weeks to help reset my tummy lining. The only thing I really missed was my morning bowls of porridge and muesli; I need my oats!

Because I eat breaky at work every morning, poached eggs and sautéed veggies every morning wasn’t a realistic option, so I needed something else… something easy to prepare in advance and easy to take to work.

Enter paleo granola. Basically, a whole lot of nuts and seeds, toasted and ready to top my green smoothie bowl. Over the last few weeks I’ve become hooked on it, so now that I can reintroduce some grains back into my diet, I’ve decided to stick with it, but just add some oats to the mix. And it’s pretty delicious!

Ingredients:
– juice & zest of 1 orange
– 1 tbsp maple syrup
– 1 cup mixed sunflower & pepita seeds
– 1 cup shredded coconut
– 4 tbsp chia seeds
– ½ cup rolled oats (leave these out if you want a proper paleo mix)
– ½ cup crushed walnuts
– ½ cup slivered almonds
– ½ cup chopped dates

 

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line an oven tray with baking paper.

2. Combine the orange juice, zest and maple syrup in a small bowl, and set aside.

3. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then stir through the orange juice.

4. Pour the mixture onto the tray and spread it out. Bake for about 20 – 25min or until golden; stir the mixture around every 5min or so to ensure it bakes evenly.

5. Once completely cooled, store in an air tight container up to 2 weeks

Cook this: T2 Lamington Tea porridge

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Monday morning, ready to take on another week! But not without a good breakfast. And this one is an absolute beauty. But before I get to that, let me explain how the ridiculous idea of making porridge with a cup of tea came about. I stumbled on a great find last week in the Extraordinary Routines site. This project, put together by Madeleine Dore, is exploring the daily routines of creatives such as writers, artists, designers and other who “bring a unique spirit to the world around them.” It’s really interesting to read how these successful and happy people run their days, and has some fantastic inspiration if you’re looking for a bit of a change!

Being food-minded though, it wasn’t long before the RECIPES menu caught my eye. The first image I saw was what looked to be a pretty little bowl of porridge or overnight oats or something, so I clicked on that to find myself face to face with a recipe for earl grey porridge. Sorry, WHAT?!

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It’s no secret that I love my tea. As you may be able to tell from the picture above: that’s all of the tea. No, that’s a lie – there’s more in the pantry And more tea cups and mugs. So many more.  I also love oats, in just about any form. So the idea of combining these two of my favourite things? Yup. All sorts of yup.

I mentioned this earl grey porridge idea to husband, to which he replied, “I bet it’d taste good with that Lamington tea you’re so obsessed with at the moment.” Damn, why didn’t I think of that?! Done deal! I love T2’s teas (their Melbourne Breakfast is a HUGE favourite in our house), but they’ve really outdone themselves with their Lamington Tea; as you can see below, it’s a gorgeous black tea with coconut flakes, cocoa nibs and tiny little chocolate drops. Heaven!
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I’m sure whatever the recipe on the site was was perfectly good, but I didn’t actually bother reading it. Once I’d seen the title, I figured I’d be able to get it right myself. And surprisingly, I actually did (not all of my ideas work out so well)! Here’s how you can make your own bowl of lamington porridge breakfast happiness..

For one bowl of porridge, you’ll need:
– 1 cup of tea. T2’s Lamington is perfect for this, but if you don’t have any/can’t be bothered buying any, just use your favourite black tea. Brew it with ¾ cup boiling water, steep for a few minutes, then mix it ½ cup milk.
– ½ cup rolled oats
– Toppings of choice – I used a few raspberries, crushed toasted almonds, shredded coconut and toasted cacao nibs

 

To cook it:
1. Combine the tea and oats in a pot over medium heat. Bring to boiling point, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until porridge reaches your desired consistency. Serve immediately with your toppings of choice.

A one step recipe. So simple. So delicious. It’s also the perfect starter meal for the day for me, being gluten and lactose free (I use almond milk), as well as low FODMAPs. So much stomach can’t bitch up later on. And just to get a bit more tea in, I made a cup of the English Tea Shop’s organic green tea to go along with it.That, my friends, is the way to breakfast.

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Cook this: Hazelnut, coconut & dark chocolate biscuits (gluten free, low FODMAPs)

These biscuits are really different, but surprisingly delicious – they’re the sort of gluten free biscuits that you’d eat even if you weren’t gluten intolerant! They are surprisingly light, and I really love the taste that the hazelnut meal gives them. If it’s not for you, any other nut meal will work just as well – almond, cashew, whatever! IMG_2975.JPG You’ll need:
– 100g butter, softened
– 100g caster sugar
– 1 egg, at room temperature
– 1½ cups hazelnut meal
– ½ cup gluten free plain flour (or you regular plain flour if you don’t need it to be gluten free)
– ½ cup shredded coconut, toasted
– 2 tbsp dark chocolate, finely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a large oven tray with baking paper.

2. Beat the butter and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer for 3 – 4 minutes, until it becomes noticeably thicker, lighter and creamier. Then, beat in the egg.

3. Fold the nut meal and flour into the creamed mixture with a spoon, followed by the coconut and chocolate. This recipe is incredibly adaptable, so feel free to substitute the coconut and chocolate with anything else you’d like – seeds, chopped dried fruit, chocolate chips, whatever!

4. Roll the mixture into tablespoon sized balls, flattening them slightly when you place them on the tray, and bake 12 – 15 minutes, or until they start to turn golden around the edges. Cool completely on the tray.

Cook this: Easy pork bun cha

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I decided to make a version of my favourite Vietnamese dish for dinner the other night – bun cha. I grabbed out my very trusty cook book that I got at the Morning Glory Cooking School for some inspiration from Ms Vy’s version, which calls for minced pork patties.

Because I’m giving this whole low FODMAPs thing a go, it sadly lacked the shallots and garlic I’d have usually used, otherwise I really didn’t change a lot! After glancing quickly at the picture in the cook book for a little inspiration, I made up a quick and easy version that will be super easy to re-create for dinner even on the nights I’m in a bit of a hurry.

To make this quick and healthy bun cha for 2, you’re going to need:
– 300g minced pork
– finely grated zest of 1 lemon
– 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
– 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
– 1 small shallot, finely diced, as well as 1 crushed clove of garlic (leave these out if you need it low FODMAPs!)

– rice noodles, as much as you want, cooked as per packet instructions
– 1 carrot, peeled and grated
– 1 cucumber, halved lengthways and thinly sliced
– fresh coriander and chives, to serve

To make the pork patties, combine all of the ingredients and mush them together with your hands. Roll them into balls and flatten slightly, cooking them for a few minutes on each side on a hot pan sprayed with cooking oil. Or, if your very Aussie husband is cooking them while you’re preparing the rest of the meal, cook them up on the BBQ. We are coming into BBQ weather, after all.

To serve, pop your noodles in a bowl. Add the carrot and cucumber, then the pork patties. Sprinkle some fresh coriander and chives over the top, and spoon some sweet and sour chilli sauce over it, too (recipe below). How easy is that?! It’s also highly advisable to double the quantities so you can have the leftovers for lunch the day after!

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SWEET CHILLI SAUCE – if you’re keen and want to make your own (which I’d recommend, it’s actually really easy!):
– 3 tbsp lemon juice
– 3 tbsp fish sauce
– 1 tbsp caster sugar
– 2 tbsp cold water
– 1 small shallot, diced and crushed a little
– 1 small red chilli, sliced

To make your chilli sauce, just combine everything in a bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves. To be perfectly honest, this is not a perfect science; the taste can easily vary depending on your lemon and type of fish sauce, so it is absolutely imperative that you taste it and just adjust accordingly! Once it’s all done, just set it aside – left over sauce also keeps really well in the fridge for a week or so in an air-proof container or jar.

Cook this: gluten & lactose free, low FODMAPs chocolate mug cake

AND it doesn’t taste like crap!!! Who’d have thought?! Honestly, special dietary requirements can be a pain in the ass, but they don’t have to mean sacrifices in taste. I know those of you who are afflicted with conditions like gluten and lactose intolerance have probably heard it all before, but I swear this cake tastes really good!

But seriously, I found the original recipe on Secret Squirrel Food and thought I might give it a try – a few standard Jess modifications, and here’s what I came up with…

To make 4 of these mini bundles of chocolatey love:
– 2 tbsp almond or hazelnut meal
– 2 tbsp gluten free plain flour
– 1 tbsp cocoa or raw cacao powder (depending on your requirements)
– 1 tsp gluten free or regular baking powder
– 1 egg, whisked
– 2 tsp oil of choice (I used vegetable oil because it’s what I had at the time. I think any nut oil, like maybe coconut oil, would work well though)
– 2 tbsp maple syrup
– ¼ cup milk of choice (I used almond milk)

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Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl, and the wet ingredients in another.

Add the wet to the dry and mix well until totally combined.

Divide the mixture into 4 silicone cupcake cases.

Microwave for 2 – 3 minutes (microwave dependent – mine took 2½ minutes until they were firm on top and cooked through without being dry or rubbery).

Top with your choice of deliciousness – I like a bit of Mayvers crunchy peanut butter, cacao nibs and a tiny sprinkle of sea salt flakes.

Enjoy 🙂