Fit flapjacks 

The Scrapbook: Recipe Thursday

This scrap is a simple, healthy and quick recipe – perfect for breakfast on the go or a post-workout snack especially if you add a scoop of protein powder.

Ingredients: (makes 6 large squares)

1 & 1/2 cup of rolled oats

1/2 cup of raisins

Heaped tablespoon of peanut butter 

1 cup almond milk

2 tablespoon of honey

1 Apple

3 tablespoon of Coconut oil

Cinnamon
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Dice an apple into small pieces and place into a mixing bowl. Mash the fruit with the back of a spoon.
  3. Add the rolled porridge oats, honey, milk and raisins.
  4. Add a pinch of cinnamon and a heaped spoon of peanut butter.
  5. Mix well so that none of the oats remain dry.
  6. Place the mixture into a greased oven tray. Flatten flapjack mixture so that it evenly distributed and around 2cm thick.
  7. Melt down coconut oil and pour over the flapjack mixture in the tray.
  8. Place tray into the oven for 20-30mins or until golden brown.
  9. Remove from oven and cut into squares whilst still warm from baking (it will be easier)
  10. Leave to cool and serve with one last drizzle of honey.

Note: add vanilla whey powder to the mixture to boost protein intake! But remember to increase the milk by another cup full to compensate the extra dry ingredient.

This recipe is very versatile. So try mixing it up at bit with pitted punes or dates too.

I’m not going to lie. This doesn’t taste better than the buttery, sugary flapjack we know & love but it’s a tasty and guilt free treat, packed with protein and healthy fats.

Give it a go

#recipethursday

Venice

A stroll with a camera …

I didn’t stay for very long but Venice was a spectacular city. It was crowded in August but this did nothing to diminish it’s beauty. I took a night train into the city and a night train out. It was a quick stop on my journey to Rome and wouldn’t have happened had it not been for a good friend of mine who took a position at the Peggy Guggenheim gallery. After a VIP tour of the gallery and a quick trek around the city. I vowed to return – hopefully with a lover in hand …

These are a few shots I took whilst making may way through the bridged maze. Venice is truly something.

venice-san-marco
San Marco

 

venice-canal

peggy-venice

venice-boats

peg-venice

venice-balcony

venice-canal-shot

venice-dragon-lantern

venice-dock

venice-tower

Butternut Squash Soup

Christmas is on its way and there’s nothing better than having a hot bowl of soup while snuggled on the sofa near a roaring fire. This is a quick recipe perfect for cold winter nights. It’s so easy to make and will have you warmed up in no time as the winds continue to howl outside.

With very few ingredients – This recipe is as healthy as it is fuss-free. All it takes is a little prep and either a heatproof blender or a handheld blender which will blitz the vegetables in no time.

Ingredients:

2x Butternut squash 

1x large onion

garlic

350ml of vegetable or chicken stock

tablespoon of honey

tablespoon of french mustard

dried oregano

olive oil

cumin seeds

Juice of half a lemon

salt & pepper

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  1. Chop the butternut squash into chunks. No need to peel the hard outer skin, just scoop out the seeds.
  2. Place the chunks of squash in a baking tray and massage the olive oil generously so that the chunks are coated.
  3. sprinkle a few cumin seeds onto the chunks of squash
  4. Place tray into a heated oven for 30mins at 200 degrees.
  5. Dice a large onion and a large clove of garlic.
  6. Add chopped onion & garlic to a pot with some melted butter or a little olive oil. Saute.
  7. Take the cooked squash out from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes. Scoop the squash away from the skin. After being baked, the skin can peel away easily.
  8. Add the squash to the pot
  9. Add the stock and stir
  10. Add a tablespoon of the honey, mustard and dried oregano. Stir
  11. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon in the pot and stir well
  12. Blend the stock and vegetables until smooth.
  13. Serve the soup with a  dollop of cream cheese or sour cream and a few diced chives.

This soup is so easy to make and is healthy too. Serve the soup with some crusty buttered bread, sit back and dig in.

Cooking tip

& a quick salad dressing

Here’s a recipe for a quick and tasty salad dressing. It can be stirred up in no time and is great with steak. Three simple ingredients simply mixed together – this dressing has a nice kick to it. Give it a go.

Extra virgin olive oil

light soy sauce

Dijon mustard

It’s really that simple. Depending on how much salad is needed, add a teaspoon of the mustard to about 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and soy sauce. mix and blend the dressing together and dress the leaves immediately before serving.

Simple yet deliciously effective.

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Another tip which I use all the time to elevate home made sauces is red pepper relish. I add a heaped tablespoon of this stuff into tomato pasta sauces or into chicken casseroles baked in the oven. The red pepper relish I usually use comes from Lidl – it’s great value and has a nice smokey flavour  perfect for pasta sauces with ham or bacon. It’s also great simply spread on crusty bread with cheese.

It’s a great kitchen cheat – that will give your sauces the needed depth & tang. As the best sauces are left to cook and boil down for hours – a tablespoon of relish stirred through a can of chopped tomatoes and some basil, substitutes for time and acts as a flavourful  thickener too.

Although tomato puree brings out a deeper flavour, the relish does its job and more – giving dishes a little spice.

It’s worth a try!

 

On my trip to Galway city, in the Latin quarter, over weekends there is a food and stall market along the many street encircling a small church close to the quays. There I bought for 10 euro a Provencail garlic grater. It comes with a rubber tube (see photo below) which makes peeling garlic husks in a matter of seconds possible. The garlic clove sits inside whilst you roll the tube quickly between your hands.

The actual grater then is the painted plate with many groves on it. Holding the garlic between your thumb and index finger – you simply rub the garlic in circular movements along the plate. In a matter of minutes you have minced garlic pulp which you can toss into your dishes or pan. The small handled brush is used to collect any pulp still clinging to the plate & the plate itself is dishwasher proof – though a blitz under the tap will do too.

I’m really impressed by this kitchen gadget – so I thought I’d share it here in the scrapbook. The grater can be used to grate almost anything, from carrot, nuteg, most nuts, chocolate, lemons, apple and pears – it’s a nice find.

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Egg fried rice

A healthy takeaway favourite

This is a quick recipe for a tasty meal packed with flavour. Unlike a Chinese takeway this home cooked scrap will have your tummy thanking you. Quick and easy – like all my recipes, this is a great warming dish perfect for cold autumn nights. Add as much spice as desired and you’re good to go.

The recipe below uses few ingredients but feel free to pack in more of your favourite veggies and of course use quorn or tofu as an alternative to chicken.

Vegetarian tip: Use rice wine vinegar too instead of Oyster sauce.

Seriously this meal is whipped up in minutes, just prep first and have all your veg chopped and ready to go.

Ingredients:

cooked chicken breast

cooked brown rice

spring onion

garlic

ginger

chili flakes

mangetout

1 egg

peanut or coconut oil

oyster sauce 

soy sauce

5 spice

toasted sesame oil (optional)

 

  1. Chop the chicken/tofu into bite sized pieces
  2. Dice the garlic, ginger & chop the veg.
  3. In a bowl, scramble an egg and leave aside for later.
  4. Heat a pan or wok with some peanut oil or coconut oil.
  5. Add the diced ginger, garlic and some chili flakes. Stir
  6. Add the spring onion and mangetout (and other desired veg). Stir.
  7. Add the rice and stir the wok, making sure to keep everything moving on high heat.
  8. Add the osyster sauce, spices and soy sauce.
  9. Add the egg and quickly mix/stir the rice and vegetables together making sure the egg coats as much of the rice as possible.
  10. Serve immediately in warm bowls with a final drizzle of sesame oil

 

The toasted sesame oil is optional but if you have it at hand use it as it adds a brilliant nutty flavour to the dish. The recipe is extremely simple and versatile but packed with flavour. It’s one of my favourites