OVERNIGHT GROATS

overnight-groats

Overnight oats are everywhere, blogs, Pintrest, Instagram.  And what a great idea they are, chuck everything together in a container before you go to bed and voila!  In the morning you’ve got your breakfast all soaked and melded and ready to go.  However if oats aren’t your thing where does that leave you?  Well I’ve recently started doing overnight buckwheat groats and it works for me 🙂

 

INGREDIENTS

½ cup raw buckwheat groats, ¼ cup whole, ¼ cup whizzed up in the food processor (I do this in bulk batches once a week)

1 Tbs raw mixed seeds (I use pumpkin, sunflower and chia)

2 roughly chopped raw Brazil nuts (great source of selenium)

1 Tbs yoghurt

2 Tbs water

1 Tbs flax seed oil (optional, but a good way to incorporate into your diet)

½ apple, grated or if you’re lazy like me, chopped

½ banana, chopped (optional, I don’t usually use this, but little bear ate half a banana this morning and didn’t want the rest and I abhor waste so I used it)

 

DIRECTIONS

Mix everything together.  You want quite a loose consistency as the seeds and buckwheat will absorb the water as it sits, so add more water or yoghurt if you feel you need it. Refrigerate overnight and in the morning, enjoy!

Nutty Cacoa Mousse

choc mousse

 

Holy crap!  I did not realise how full on having two little people would be… to all those people out these with more than two, I am in awe of you.

So baby bear is now 10 months old and little bear is nearly three.  Amazing how time flies when you’re trying to get some sleep, do some laundry, get some sleep, get nutritious food into everyone, get some sleep, moderate how much of a bombsite your house looks like, and did I mention get some sleep?  Any way suffice to say at the end of the day it’s nice to have a little something to look forward to and for me the last week or so it’s been this cheeky little nutty cacao mousse.

This is really so easy I feel a bit of a charlatan calling it a recipe so let’s go with suggestion. The below makes enough for one so just multiply as required.

 

INGREDIENTS

2 heaped dessertspoons of yoghurt – coconut, organic dairy, whatever takes your fancy

Heaped teaspoon of nut butter – I’m currently using almond

1 teaspoon of raw cacao powder

Optional – drizzle of maple syrup

 

DIRECTIONS

Beat everything together until it’s combined and has a lovely light texture. That’s it, enjoy!

 

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the new Baby Bear in the house

 

Paleo Fruit Jellies

fruit jellies

Well, it’s getting close to ‘B’ (Brand new baby) Day now.  I started my mat leave this week and I now have a massive pot of mince blipping away on the stove to be portioned up and popped in the freezer, many, many tiny pink things drying in between rain showers outside (Spring time babies and washing, not a great combo) and several last minute and probably unnecessary online baby gear purchases winging their way towards me.

Little Bear is starting to get more and more interested and now frequently pats my tummy and tells me that she “loves baby sister”.   I am somewhat encouraged by this, but less encouraged by the fact she has also informed me she doesn’t want her toys anymore, “want baby sister’s toys now”.

I guess we’re not going to get away without some level of jealousy/adjustment and my mother-in-law has warned me I need to be particularly vigilant about Little Bear trying to sit on her baby sister. (Seriously?  Sit on her?)  Knowing Little Bear as I do I suspect we’re going to have to be more vigilant about her trying to incorporate Baby sister into her games of gymnastics (No!  Baby sister does not want to jump off the back of the couch onto the cushions!) or feeding her culinary creations largely concocted of dirt, leaves and some water she found at the bottom of a disused plant pot (mmmm, delicious darling!).

Whatever happens I guess it’s going to be another crazy adventure in the Bear Family and I keep reminding myself to enjoy this time where it’s just Little Bear and I and no one is projectile vomiting milk across the room or doing poo-namis in their nappies.  So on Monday we made these.  They are based on Pete Evans fruit jellies from his book, Healthy Every Day.  I’ve tried a couple of recipes before for making fruit jellies and this is the best I’ve come across.

Little Bear’s been a bit snotty lately so we made lemon & honey jellies, but you could make with any kind of fresh fruit juice, just adjust the level of honey based on the sweetness of the fruit you’re using.

INGREDIENTS

1/3 Cup fresh fruit juice

1 – 3 Tablespoons of honey

1 ½ Tablespoons of powdered gelatine

DIRECTIONS

Put the juice, honey and gelatine in a small saucepan and stir until the gelatine is incorporated.  Leave to sit and absorb for 5 mins.

Gently heat, stirring constantly, for approx another 5 minutes or until the honey and the gelatine is completely dissolved.  Do not let it come to the boil.  Pour the mixture into your mould (we used a silicone chocolate mould, but you could just as easily use an ice cube tray) straight away then transfer to the freezer to set for 15 mins.  They’ll keep happily in the fridge for a week.

Coco-Choccie Cookies Courtesy of Little Bear

coco choccie cookie

What do you do when it’s a yucky weekend and Little Bear is at a loose end?  Well in our house to stop her from getting creative on the walls with her crayons or completely removing every article of clothing from the drawers that she can reach (and that’s quite a few now…)  you get her to do some baking with you.

The following cookies were supposed to be like Tammy Credicot’s Salted Chocolate Cherry Jumbles, but A) we didn’t have the right ingredients and B) Little Bear didn’t agree with some of the quantities.  Any way the resulting cookies might not stack up in the looks department, but they are definitely tas-tee.

Enjoy with a nice cold glass of coconut, almond milk.

INGREDIENTS

2 eggs

Pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp almond extract

2 Tbs coconut flour

¼ Cup almond flour/meal

¼ Cup raw cacao powder

1/3 Cup maple syrup

½ Cup shredded coconut

1/3 Cup sultanas

1/3 Cup dark chocolate chunks (we used Green & Blacks 85% cocoa chocolate chopped into nuggets)

DIRECTIONS

Heat your oven to 180C and line your baking tray with baking paper.

Mix everything together in a large bowl to combine and then scoop soup-spoonful amounts onto your baking tray pressing down slightly to flatten.

Bake for 12 – 15 mins.  Let them cool completely before storing in the fridge.

Little Bear’s Grain Free Granola

granola

Things are starting to get more interesting when little Bear helps in the kitchen now.  She’s definitely discovering her confidence and it’s really becoming more of a case of me helping her rather than the other way around, sometimes this works out well, other times, not so much.  I like to think the below recipe was a joint effort, she’d probably disagree, either way it’s a winner with both of us.

INGREDIENTS

½ Cup sunflower seeds

½ Cup pumpkin seeds

½ Cup coconut, desiccated, shredded, however you like it, we used desiccated

¼ Cup chia seeds

¼ Cup linseeds

¼ Cup roughly chopped walnuts

¼ Cup roughly chopped brazil nuts

¼ Cup unsweetened apple puree

1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

Optional:

¼ Cup washed and dried sultanas

¼ Cup washed, dried and diced apricots

¼ Cup washed, dried and diced figs

¼ Cup cacao nibs

DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat your oven to 150 C on bake or fan bake.

Gently mix together all ingredients, except the optional ones if you’re using them, until well combined.  The apple puree helps it all become crisp and make little clusters so try and get that over everything if you can.  Once it’s all well combined, spread it out thinly and evenly over a large baking dish and bake for ~30 mins gently stirring and turn every 10 mins or so.

Let it cool completely and then stir in any optional extras you’re going to use.  Store in an air tight container.  Will keep nicely for a week.

We enjoy it with ½ a sliced banana and some almond & coconut milk.

Boiled Orange, Carrot & Almond Cake

boiled orange cake

This is a lovely dense, moist cake, with an amazingly vibrant orange flavour.  It does require a little pre-work but I promise you it is worth it.  Grandma Bear has lots of oranges on her trees at the moment and this is made with the small blood oranges which I don’t like eating fresh.

I tend to start this this day before making the orange puree and then leaving it in the fridge overnight, but whatever works for you.

If you can bear to leave it this is actually better the day after baking, but it’s still really good just cooled as well.

INGREDIENTS

350 – 375g orange puree

250g ground almond meal

150 – 175g grated carrots

Large handful of well washed and dried sultanas

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon of baking soda

50g coconut sugar

2 large eggs

DIRECTIONS

To make the orange puree, take approx. 4 small oranges (organic if you can get them because you’re going to be eating the skin) give them a cursory scrub and cover in a pot with cold water.  Bring them to the boil and then turn the heat down to keep them simmering for 2 hours.  Let them cool completely and then rip into chunks, removing any seeds you find on the way, and puree in your food processor or with a stick blender.

To make the cake, pre-heat the oven to 180 C on normal bake.

Combine the orange puree, eggs and sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.  Gently stir together all remaining ingredients into a big mixing bowl then add the orange, egg, sugar mix in to and stir until just completely combined.

Tip into a cake tin lined with baking paper, I use a 25cm round spring form tin, and bake for 1 hour.  Depending on your oven you may want to start checking the top after 45 mins or so to see if you need to cover with foil to stop the top burning.  Trust me the cake is so moist it will need the full hour of baking.  To test for done-ness stick a wooden skewer in the middle, it should come out reasonably cleanly with just a few moist crumbs sticking to it.  It if looks like it’s got cake batter on it, keep baking for a bit longer.  When cooked remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool completely in the tin before turning out.

Protein and Cacao Breakfast Bowl

Photo

I think I really need to work on my food photography skills!  You might have noticed that I’m more concerned with the way things taste than the way they look, but after looking at today’s effort I think I may need to pick up my game just a little…

Anyway, this does taste very good.  It’s a lovely creamy, chocolatey, fruity bowl of deliciousness to start the day.  It’s been super chilly here in NZ the last week or so and I’ve been experimenting with Paleo porridge and really, really haven’t cracked it to my liking.  The fact that you can add hot water to this breakfast bowl gives you a warm treat that’s not slimy, gritty or strange smelling (don’t worry I will share my porridge adventures with you one day, just not right now).

The below ingredients make a serve big enough for me, but super easy to multiply as you need.

INGREDIENTS

1 – 2 Tablespoons of coconut yoghurt, make your own, or buy, Coyo is expendy but quite delish and I haven’t personally tried it, but I have heard good things about Raglan Coconut Yoghurt

1 scoop of protein powder, I use nuZest Clean Lean Protein Powder, vanilla flavour

1 dessertspoon of cacao powder

1 Tablespoon of mixed seeds, I’m using pumpkin and sunflower at the moment as they’re little Bear’s favourites

2 Brazil nuts, high in selenium

¼ cup of mixed berries, I’m enjoying blueberries and blackberries.  I just get bags of frozen ones and let the defrost over night as I need them

½ a banana, sliced

~1/4 – ½ Cup of water, I’m using hot because it’s so cold at the moment, but whatever suits your preference will be fine!!

DIRECTIONS

Put everything together in a bowl and stir gently until combined – that’s as hard as it gets 🙂 yum!

Lamb Loin Fillets with Caponata

lamb loin

Well here is effort number two with the Silver Fern Farms product Italian styles.

INGREDIENTS

2 lamb loin fillets, again like with the steak, hubby bear ate one and Baby Bear and I shared the other one, but for normal adults I’d allow one each

1 teaspoon coconut oil

½ brown onion, finely chopped

1 medium aubergine, cut into chunks

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Small bunch of fresh thyme sprigs, leaves stripped

1 tin of crushed tomatoes in juice

1 Tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, do try to get the good stuff, cheap ones often have all sorts of nasty additives in them

1 Tablespoon of olives

1 Tablespoon of capers, if you can get the ones preserved in salt do, just give them a really good rinse before using

Salt and freshly ground pepper

At least 2 Cups of shredded greens, I used baby kale and cavalo nero

Optional: Splish of extra virgin olive oil and Tablespoon toasted pine nuts
DIRECTIONS

Make the caponata first as it needs to cook for a while.  Heat a medium sized sauce pan over a gentle heat and sauté the onion in the coconut oil for about 5 minutes or until soft.  Add in the aubergine, cinnamon, thyme, tomatoes vinegar, olives, capers, salt and pepper and bring to the boil.  Turn down the heat and simmer for approx. 30 mins or until thick and stew-like.

Meanwhile bring you lamb loins out of the fridge and allow to come to room temperature uncovered on a plate (I believe they call this blooming, sounds fancy so I thought I’d throw it in!). Heat a heavy based fry pan over a medium heat until searingly hot then add in the fillets.  For medium rare cook on each side for 4 minutes.  Then rest for another 10 minutes before plating up.  While the meat is resting wilt the greens in the hot pan with any of the juices that came out of the meat then dress with the olive oil and pine nuts.

Plate up and enjoy!

Waldorf-ish Salad for One

waldorf salad

I suspect it’s a pregnancy thing, but I really, really like celery at the moment, I mean really like it.  To the extent that the following salad is my go to lunch every weekday.  Now I’m back to eating again I find myself craving after fresh, clean, slightly sweet, crunchy stuff and it certainly fits the bill.  It’s super easy and quick to throw together, just add a couple of crunchy seedy crackers (Little Bird Flax & Almond are my favourite at the moment) and you’re sorted!

INGREDIENTS

2 ribs of celery, roughly chopped

½ an apple, cored and diced

Small handful of walnuts

¼ ripe, but firmish avocado, diced

Optional, depending on how strictly Paleo you are, small cube of tasty cheese cut into slivers

Also optional if you’re not pregnant and raw eggs aren’t a ticking bomb, teaspoon of mayonnaise

DIRECTIONS

OK, now this is the hard bit, combine everything in a bowl and toss gently to mix.  Whew!  We made it, I knew you could do it!

Silver Fern Farms Porterhouse Steak with Vege Mish Mash

silver fern farms steak

I was lucky enough to be able to trial a couple of different cuts of the Silver Fern Farms meat selection.  Hubby Bear had quite a bit of say in which cuts we chose (aka he chose them), but I must admit this was a good choice.  I still have the lamb loin fillets left to cook so stay posted to see how they turn out!!

I wanted to do something quite simple that would let the flavour of the meat come to the fore and I think this was a success, there was certainly nothing left on anybody’s plate at the end of the meal and in Baby Bear No. 1’s case that is pretty rare…  She would rather filch food off my plate than finish her own even though it’s exactly the same.  Nothing quite like the grass on the other side of the fence 😉

INGREDIENTS

2 x porterhouse steaks, Hubby Bear can polish one of these off by himself, but Baby Bear No. 1 and I need to share as her tummy is still little and mine is currently being squashed mercilessly

½ head of broccoli, chopped into florets

1 Cup of sliced button mushrooms, white or brown

½ brown onion, finely sliced

½ red capsicum, roughly sliced

1 Tablespoon coconut aminos

DIRECTIONS

Take the meat out of the fridge and let it come to room temperate (~10 minutes on the bench should do OK).

Combine the onions, mushrooms and aminos in a large saucepan over a medium heat and cook until softened, stirring occasionally.  Next add the broccoli and cook until just starting to soften.  While it’s still al dente and brilliantly green throw in the capsicum and stir to coat everything together.  Capsicum is wonderfully high in vitamin C so you don’t want to destroy that by too much cooking.  Take the pan off the heat and leave the lid off so it doesn’t keep cooking too much.

Heat a heavy based fry pan over a medium heat until hot then add in the steaks.  Leave to sear for ~4 minutes each side (and just leave them alone while they’re cooking, don’t poke them!!) for medium rare (I had to cook mine for a bit longer, poo to pregnancy dietary requirements) then leave to rest for ~10 minutes to let the fibres relax and the juices redistribute through the meat.  Then plate up and enjoy.  We did 🙂

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