Sugar & Wheat Free Fruit and Nut Breakfast Muffins

Packed with fruit and nuts these sugar and wheat free muffins will provide a good nutritional start to any day.

Sugar & Wheat Free Fruit and Nut Breakfast Muffins. Packed with fruit and nuts these sugar and wheat free muffins will provide a good nutritional start to any day. New year, new me… and yes, I am still on my journey to a healthier eating me. The main goal is to try and eliminate sugar, especially refined ones. These muffins do not contain any sugar or any sugar substitutes, they are simply sweetened by the dry fruits included in them, so all natural and much friendlier for our body. Despite not having a need for a wheat free diet I’ve decided to use a spelt flour to up the nutty flavour… the results are truly yummy!

Ingredients:

  • 100g dates; chopped
  • 75g raisins
  • 50g prunes; chopped
  • 50g pecans; chopped
  • 250ml coconut milk
  • 140g spelt flour
  • 2 eggs; beaten
  • 2tbsp coconut oil; rounded
  • 1 1/2tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4tsp salt

Sugar & Wheat Free Fruit and Nut Breakfast Muffins. Packed with fruit and nuts these sugar and wheat free muffins will provide a good nutritional start to any day. Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C fan and prepare a 12 muffin tin by lining it with paper muffin cases or silicon ones.

In a medium size cooking pot place the dates, prunes and raisins (Whitworths dry fruit selection is perfect for baking), add coconut milk and bring it to a gentle simmer.

Cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes or until all milk has incorporated into the fruit.

Put aside and allow it to cool for a few minutes.

In a meantime, sift your flour and mix with bicarbonate of soda.

Beat the eggs.

Now back to our fruit…

Add two heaped table spoons of good quality raw virgin coconut oil and stir until melted and mixed in.

Add salt and vanilla essence and stir well.

Finally fold in the flour and bicarbonate of soda mixture, add the eggs and nuts and stir until fully combined but do not over mix it.

Use a table spoon and scoop one heaped tablespoon of mixture into each muffin casing.

Pop into earlier preheated oven and bake for 20-22 minutes at 180C fan.

When the time is up, remove from the oven, remove from baking tray and place on wire rack and allow them to cool completely.

Sugar & Wheat Free Fruit and Nut Breakfast Muffins. Packed with fruit and nuts these sugar and wheat free muffins will provide a good nutritional start to any day. Enjoy!

Bengali Spiced Chicken

This Bengali Spiced Chicken is quick and easy to make and it will provide a wonderful dining experience. Moist and well-seasoned with just a little bit of spiciness it can be used as a part of a main meal or as an addition to salads or sides.

This Bengali Spiced Chicken is quick and easy to make and it will provide a wonderful dining experience. Moist and well-seasoned with just a little bit of spiciness it can be used as a part of a main meal or as an addition to salads or sides.I was challenged by Tesco to try something different this Christmas. They want to inspire people to try out new flavours and cook a traditional Christmas dish from another country. I love trying new foods so the idea of a Festive Food Swap was perfect for me.

The recipe was provided by Mummy Be Beautiful as a Bengali seasonal recipe which can be used over the festive season.

Once my mystery recipe card arrived, together with a wonderful foods of the world hamper, it was time to go shopping and get cooking!

Ingredients:

  • 500g chicken breast, which means around 3 chicken breasts
  • 4tbsp olive oil
  • 1tbsp brown sugar
  • 1tbsp paprika
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 1/2tsp black pepper

You will also need 1 large roasting bag.

Method:

In a bowl place all the herbs and spices and mix well.

Pop them into your roasting bag, then add the oil and squeeze the bag to mix, finally add the chicken breasts and again massage the spice mixture into the meat, giving it a good massage.

Place the roasting bag in the fridge and allow to marinate for at least one hour but longer is better (I left ours for 24h and the meat was wonderful).

Once you are ready to roast, preheat the oven to 180C fan and pop your roasting bag into a roasting pan and then into the middle of the oven. Cook for 1 hour. If you double or triple the recipe, you might have to increase cooking time slightly just to make sure everything is well cooked through.

I didn’t received any serving suggestions so I served it with boiled potatoes seasoned with my sun dried tomatoes, basil and garlic mixture, plain boiled carrots and a homemade beetroot side… the meal as a whole was wonderful!

I really enjoyed the taste of the chicken. I actually have some further plans for it in the near future, especially in connection with lunch salads 🙂

What do you think about a Festive Food Swap idea?

Would you be tempted to cook something unusual this Christmas?

Oh and something else…
Did you know that a Bengali Christmas is also known as bada din meaning the big day and their houses are decorated with balloons and paper chains?

Coconut Carrot & Ginger Soup

Sweet meets spicy – sweet potato and carrots combined with chilli and ginger with back notes of coconut… a surprisingly wonderful combination!

Coconut Carrot & Ginger Soup Sweet meets spicy – sweet potato and carrots combined with chilli and ginger with back notes of coconut… a surprisingly wonderful combination! The idea behind this soup was to create something with a little bit more “bite” but without making it spicy with chilli based products. Don’t get me wrong I totally adore standard carrot soup and its sweetness but this time I was in the mood for something else. I decided to take my soup to the next lever by upping the amount of ginger… it worked… the soup it truly something and if you like ginger you really should give it a go. And remember ginger is a super healthy spice loaded with vitamins and minerals that have many powerful benefits for your body and brain.

The measurements below will make 4 large servings or 6 starter sized portions.

Ingredients:

  • 750g carrots
  • 350g sweet potato
  • 75g ginger
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • Pinch of chilli flakes (or to taste)
  • 700ml vegetable stock
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of fresh cracked pepper
  • Coriander; for serving

Method:

Peel and roughly chop the carrots and sweet potato.

Peel and fine chop the garlic, onion and ginger.

In a heavy bottomed frying pan preheat the oil and once hot add the onions. Add a pinch of salt and some fresh cracked black pepper and fry until soft.

In the meantime as they cook grab yourself a large stock pot and prepare 700ml of stock. I’ve used two vegetable stock cubes from Knorr. Once ready pour it into your cooking pot and bring it to a gentle boil.

When your onions are almost ready add the ginger, garlic and a pinch of chilli flakes then fry for an additional 1 to 2 minutes but no longer, as you don’t want any garlic to burn and therefor becoming bitter.

Remove from the heat and add into the cooking pot containing the stock.

Add all the carrots and sweet potato, pour in the coconut milk and bring it all to a gentle boil again.

Simmer on a low heat for 45-55 minutes.

Remove from the heat and either use a hand blender or let it cool a while and pop it into a proper worktop blender in order to cream it.

Once the texture is silky smooth and even with no visible lumps, you are ready to eat.

Coconut Carrot & Ginger Soup Sweet meets spicy – sweet potato and carrots combined with chilli and ginger with back notes of coconut… a surprisingly wonderful combination! Serve with a generous serving of coriander and ideally some toasted or fresh buttered rustic bread (well we didn’t have any at the time of creation but Mark thinks it would be an ideal addition to this soup).

If you decide to try it I am absolutely sure you will like it as much as we did.

Do you like carrot soup? If not then this next level soup will convert you 🙂

Do you have any other next level carrot soups you adore and want to share?

Cabbage Stew

Cabbage stewed with carrots, apples and onions with added raisins and bacon to lift the flavours and take them to a new dimension. This recipe is super easy and fairly quick to make; it doesn’t call for any unusual ingredients and it makes a truly delicious meal.

Cabbage stewed with carrots, apples and onions with added raisins and bacon to lift the flavours and take them to a new dimension. This recipe is super easy and fairly quick to make; it doesn’t call for any unusual ingredients and it makes a truly delicious meal.Ingredients:

  • 1 large cabbage ~600g
  • 1l chicken stock
  • 200g smoked bacon pieces
  • 4 carrots ~300g
  • 3 apples ~400g
  • 2 onions ~250g
  • 100g raisins
  • 1tbsp dill
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/4tsp allspice
  • 250ml double cream
  • Sea salt – to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper – to taste
  • Olive oil
  • Chilli flakes (optional)

Method:

Thinly slice the onions.

In a large heavy bottom frying pan heat up a little bit of olive oil and fry the onion. After 2-3 minutes add the bacon bits and fry until the onions are well caramelised and the bacon crisp.

Whilst your onions and bacon are cooking chop the cabbage, then peel and grate the carrots and apples. You can, as I do, leave the skin on the apples if you want as they really don’t have to be peeled.

Prepare a large cooking pot and add to it: cabbage, carrots and apples together with onions and bacon bits; then add stock. Season with salt (about 1/2tsp at this time), add allspice and bay leaves.

Stew on a medium heat for about 1 hour.

Taste the cabbage and add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Add dill and cream, stir well and bring back to boil.

Serve with potatoes or a nice slice of your favourite bread.

If the stew is too sweet to your liking add some chilli flakes, they would balance sweetness perfectly and give a little kick.

This recipe is inspired by a cabbage stew my Gran used to make. She would prepare it with chicken and tomatoes and put giant handfuls of fresh dill on top. We always make such good memories in the kitchen, don’t we?

Cabbage stewed with carrots, apples and onions with added raisins and bacon to lift the flavours and take them to a new dimension. This recipe is super easy and fairly quick to make; it doesn’t call for any unusual ingredients and it makes a truly delicious meal.With memories in mind Prestige have just launched their new vintage collection – inspired by the past, for families of today to help create new memories.

To celebrate the launch of the new range, they are offering the entire Prestige Vintage Collection worth £340 in a choice of either red or blue as a competition prize. All you have to do it to share your favourite kitchen memory via the Prestige Facebook app.

I am submitting my cabbage stew memory 🙂

Cabbage stewed with carrots, apples and onions with added raisins and bacon to lift the flavours and take them to a new dimension. This recipe is super easy and fairly quick to make; it doesn’t call for any unusual ingredients and it makes a truly delicious meal.

Which kitchen memory will you share?

Brittany Bean Stew A.K.A Fasolka po Bretońsku

A hearty substantial meal made with smoked meats and butter beans that is luxurious to eat either as a starter or as a main.

Last week was chilly and this week its fine and sunny, this can only mean two things. First winter is coming and secondly that our diet will start to change from light summer foods to more substantial warming dishes for the cold days ahead. This is one of my Marks favourites and as soon as the thermometer starts to head downwards he starts asking, so this year I thought I would share with you a family fave.

If you like beans, I promise you will love this recipe.

Brittany Bean Stew A.K.A. Fasolka po Bretońsku - A hearty substantial meal made with smoked meats and Butter beans that is luxurious to eat either as a starter or as a main.Ingredients:

  • 500g of dry butter beans
  • 250g pork shoulder
  • 150g smoked bacon
  • 100g smoked sausage (polish type works perfectly)
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 200g tomato puree
  • 1 large onion
  • 1tbsp butter
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic; minced
  • 1 fresh chilli; chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2tsp dried oregano
  • 1tsp allspice
  • 1tsp cumin
  • 1tsp sea salt
  • 1/2tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1tbsp dried marjoram
  • Fresh parsley to garnish

Method:

The night before put your beans into soak. In the evening rinse them and place in a large cooking pot filled with water and set aside. They will want at least a 12 hour long “bath”. This step is required if you want your beans to be super soft.

The next day, it is time to start cooking!

Leave your beans in the same water they were soaking in and bring it to a boil. Cook for a minute or two, then drain, rinse them well and add fresh water. You will need enough water to cover the beans plus 500ml on top of it.

Add bay leaves, allspice and start cooking again on a medium heat.

In the meantime chop the onion, bacon, sausage and your pork.

In a large frying pan heat up the butter and olive oil and start browning the onions, than add bacon and sausage. Once your onions are caramelised and the bacon looks well-cooked remove it from the frying pan and add to your beans but reserve any fat you have left on the frying pan.

Heat up the frying pan again and add the chopped pork shoulder. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add the minced garlic and chopped chilli and cook for a further 5 minutes; then also add them into beans.

Finally add the tin tomatoes, tomato puree and all other herbs and spices including salt and stir well. Cook on a low heat for an additional 30 minutes or until beans are super soft.

Serve, add some parsley garnish and enjoy!

Brittany Bean Stew a.k.a Fasolka po BretońskuWhat’s your favourite bean dish?