Since last post I’ve followed a few brilliant advices of the importance of taking a break when faced with what some would call a writers block, though I would have considered it to be more of a creative block altogether.
So a week, a couple of goof books, some painting and lots of wandering later, I feel a new wave of inspiration sweeping again. It’s incredible how stepping back and looking around brings a whole new perspective on things.
I’ve already been a couple of days elbow deep in new recipe development which I can’t wait to share, but before we dive into the new and very summery treats, there’s a little wrap up that needs to be done.
Back in May, I’ve started one month challenge, to show how healthy balanced eating everything in moderation (and sticking to a weekly budget) most importantly not wasting a bud of food would look like.
It’s been lots of fun, a bit of work and little bit of stretched patience waiting for every single meal to be captured, but not nearly as challenging as I thought it might be.
I’ve started off with fairly strict weekly plans on what I’ll cook each and every day, but as days and weeks went by the plans were put aside and I went back to the usual “think on the spot” approach, which is far more fun than following a detailed plan, though I do have to admit that planning saves time and reduces the number of time running to the shop, because of last minute realization that an essential ingredient is missing.
The most challenging part was keeping up with making sure that every dish is photo worthy and at least in the beginning trying to post every single day. That was probably the most ambitious and least manageable part and something I won’t attempt to repeat any time in the foreseeable future.
Coming back to the last recipes, there aren’t as many as you’d expect from four days, as it so happens that my wonderful parents in law came to visit during these days.Which meant lots of walking and eating out, and very little cooking.
For the few moment I did spend in the kitchen, it was all about quick and easy meals with occasional spicy kick.
Almond muffins are quickly become favorites of ours, this time made out of caramelized bananas and blueberries, they’re pure bliss.
- 3 bananas, sliced
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 eggs
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
- Line 12 cup muffin tin paper and set aside.
- Mix bananas with honey and spread evenly on a baking sheet.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until slightly starting to caramelize. Let cool completely on the baking sheet, then mash.
- In a large mixing bowl combine all of the dry ingredients.
- In a separate jug combine all the wet ingredients (including bananas) and stir into the dry ingredients.
- Finally, gently fold in blueberries.
- Divide the batter between muffin tins, ice cream scoop works best here
- Bake for 20- 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each muffin comes out clean.
- Let it cool for 10 minutes on the cooling rack before digging in.
This tomato and cucumber salad is nothing out of the ordinary, but fresh vegetables with a bit of creamiest buffalo mozzarella is understated simplicity at it’s best.
- 4 tomatoes, diced
- 2 medium cucumbers, sliced
- 2 buffalo mozzarella packs
- handful fresh basil leaves
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon honey
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- freshly grounded pepper
- 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- For the vinaigrette, stir together all the ingredients and adjust seasoning to taste.
- In a salad bowl combine tomatoes, cucumbers, torn mozzarella and basil leaves. Top with vinaigrette and serve.
Finally, a sticky glazed chicken to end the day. Easy to make, full of flavors and adjustable chili levels to cater each taste. I love this one with fresh quinoa salad, but rice, noodles or a stir fry would go very well with it too.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons chopped ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3-5 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 cup white quinoa
- 4 medium carrots, grated
- 2 cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1-2 red chillies, chopped
- large bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
- Whisk together soy, honey, ginger and garlic and pour over the chicken.
- Leave to marinate at least 30 minutes in the fridge, 2 hours would work best.
- Cook the quinoa according to package instructions, then drain. Toss the quinoa together with carrots, avocado and cucumbers, set aside.
- Heat sesame oil in skillet on a medium low heat.
- Pat dry the chicken breast and cook them for 2-3 minutes on each side.
- Then pour in the marinade and cook for another 3-4 minutes turning chicken breasts a few times.
- Once the chicken is done, remove it from the pan and take the pan of the heat.
- Stir in the lime juice and taste. If the sauce is too thick, or too intense you can stir in a little water or more soy sauce.
- Serve chicken with quinoa salad, topped with sauce, fresh cilantro and chillies. Enjoy!