Soft Baked Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies

It’s no secret that I am beyond obsessed with oats. They’re so versatile and go far beyond their use at the breakfast table, though there they will remain a staple.  To showcase their use in sweet treats I present to you these soft bake cookies spiked with dried cranberries, orange zest and cinnamon, a delicious afternoon pick me up. Best served warm from the oven with a big mug of coffee, though I’m sure my Dad would suggest sandwiching them around a scoop of vanilla ice cream. He might be onto something there you know.

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I’ve made these using dairy free margarine and flax egg but you can easily use softened butter and egg if that’s what you have to hand. The mixture is really sticky so the chilling process is essential to be able to roll them into cookies- patience is key.

Soft Bake Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies (Makes 10 cookies)

Ingredients

125g Dairy Free Margarine, at room temperature

100g Soft Brown Sugar

1 x Flax Egg

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

100g Oats

100g Wholemeal Flour

½ teaspoon Baking Soda

¼ teaspoon of Salt

1 teaspoon of Orange Zest (zest of approximately ½ and orange)

1 teaspoon of Cinnamon

75g Dried Cranberries

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Method

  • Make the flax egg- place the ground flaxseed in a bowl with 3 tablespoons of water. Set aside for 15 minutes to form a gel.
  • Put the margarine into a mixing bowl and beat around with a wooden spoon until it is soft and fluffy.
  • Add in the soft brown sugar and again beat until it is fluffy.
  • Now add in the flax egg and vanilla, stir to combine.
  • In a separate bowl add the oats, wholemeal flour, baking soda, salt, orange zest and cinnamon. Lightly mix to combine everything.
  • Add the above dry ingredients into the butter mixture mixing thoroughly to combine.
  • Add in the dried cranberries, mix through so they are dispersed evenly through the mixture.
  • Place the cookie mixture in the fridge for a minimum of 60 minutes but overnight works best.

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When you are ready to cook the cookies.

  • Preheat the oven to 180℃.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Take approximately 1.5 tablespoons of the mixture and roll into a ball. Then press the ball  between your palms to flatten into a cookie shape. The cookies will spread slightly during cooking.
  • Place the cookies on the baking tray, making sure to leave some space between them, and place into the oven for 8-10 minutes. Check after 8 minutes, they should be starting to turn golden and crisp.
  • Once cooked remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
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Yogurt Cake (Vegan)

This is my other half’s favourite cake which ,of all the cakes possible, I always thought was rather disappointing. That said it’s become a staple in our household as an “everyday cake”. We almost always have the ingredients to hand so in a cake emergency this is my go to.  I decided it was time to make a plant based version replacing regular yogurt with soya yogurt and eggs with even more soya yogurt! The result is a deliciously moist cake which we’ve decided almost tastes like doughnuts ,in a really good way. You can jazz it up in anyway you fancy once you keep the basic ratio of flour, yogurt, sugar and oil the same.

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You could easily make this cake with no fruit but I just think it takes it to next level deliciousness. Here I’ve used plums but I’ve also made it with raspberries, blueberries and cherries, all equally moreish. Use whatever you have going, frozen fruit works great too!

This is honestly one of the easiest cakes to make and I urge you to give it a go.

Yogurt Cake (Serves 6-8)

Ingredients

1 Cup of Soya Yogurt

½ cup of Sugar

1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

Zest of ½ Lemon

¼ cup of Sunflower Oil, you can use any oil here with a mild flavour

1 ½ cups of Flour

1 teaspoon of Baking Powder

Fruit of choice- approximately 1 cup of berries or 4 plums or other stone fruit, sliced in half.

 

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Method

  • Preheat oven to 180℃
  • Grease and line an 8 inch tin, square, round, whatever you fancy.
  • Add the yogurt, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and oil into a mixing bowl, stir together.
  • Now sift the flour into the yogurt mixture and stir until all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • If you are using berries, mix them through the mixture at this stage.
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and spread out into one even layer. If you are using stone fruit place the halves on top of the cake mixture and press them gently in so they are snuggled in.
  • Place the cake in the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes, testing after 30 minutes.
  • Once cooked remove from the oven and allow  to cool before removing from the tin.

For an extra bit of pizzazz sift over some icing sugar, cut into slices, serve with a big mug of coffee and enjoy! x x

Apple Crumble (Vegan)

There’s nothing that delivers the taste of  autumn quite like an apple crumble. Crumble is probably one of my favourite desserts. I neglect it really, thinking maybe it’s too simple, but there’s never any complaints when I serve one up. I just love when the fruit bubbles up around the edges making the crumble topping tacky and just oh so delicious.

DSC_0440There are so many ways you can make a crumble topping be it with oats, flour or ground almonds. This is my version which you probably won’t be shocked to see is made from my favourite grain-oats. I add plenty of spices in to give it some warmth and extra comfort. 

The final debate with a crumble- what do you serve it with? As kids we would usually have fresh pouring cream. If we were getting fancy we may have had custard. Both of these are utterly delicious however in recent years I have come to the discover the joys of cold ice cream on hot crumble and it is by far my favourite combination.

I serve mine with Alpro Vanilla ice-cream, which taste unbelievable and just like the real thing ,not a word of a lie.

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Apple Crumble (serves 6)

Ingredients

1kg of Apples, peeled, cored and chopped into 1cm cubes

Zest of 1 x Lemon

Juice of ½ Lemon

200g of Oats

100g Vegan Spread, I used Flora

65g of Brown Sugar

1 teaspoon of Cinnamon

½ teaspoon of Ground Ginger

¼ teaspoon of Ground Nutmeg

¼ teaspoon of Salt

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Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180℃
  • Place the chopped apples into a large baking dish and add in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Toss everything together until all of the apple is coated, this will stop them turning brown whilst you get on with the topping.
  • Melt the spread and set aside to cool
  • Take ½ the oats and place in a food processor. Blitz the oats until they form a flour.
  • Add the oat flour, remaining oats, sugar, spices and salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
  • Now pour over the melted spread. Stir through until everything is combined and you have a flapjack like mixture.
  • Pour the crumble topping over the apples, spreading evenly.
  • Place the crumble in the oven for 40 minutes. You may need to cover with foil halfway through to prevent burning.
  • You’ll know it’s cooked when the apples are soft and the crumble is nice and golden.
  • Once cooked remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Serve with your favourite accompaniment- I choose ice-cream always!

Lemon and Herb “Cheese” Spread

 

Nutritional yeast, if you’ve not heard of it you might be wondering what in the world is that? It’s a deactivated yeast that adds a slightly nutty or tangy flavour to savoury dishes. I grabbed my first tin of it about a year ago. To say I was a little sceptical is an understatement,  but it didn’t take long to get me hooked. It resembles commercial fish food flakes but don’t be put of by this, please. It adds such a delicious tang a je ne sais quoi that I sprinkle it onto  just about every savoury dish I can.

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This recipe here my friends is gold. A vegan cheese spread perfect for those with milk allergies/intolerances or for those just trying to reduce the amount of animal products in their diet (go you!). I’ve tried a lot (A LOT) of the commercial vegan cheese brands and have found the majority to be unpalatable, inedible in fact. Having searched several recipes for a vegan cheese spread and several attempts at making  it I think I cracked it here.

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Lemon and Herb “Cheese Spread”

Ingredients

400g Firm Tofu

4 tablespoon Nutritional Yeast

1 large Garlic Clove crushed

2 tablespoons of Lemon Zest

6-8 tablespoons of Lemon Juice

½  teaspoon Salt

¼ teaspoon Black Pepper

½ cup Chives, finely chopped

¼ cup Parsley, finely chopped

Method

Place all of the above ingredients into the large bowl of a food processor, start with 6 tablespoons of lemon juice and add extra to your own taste. Whizz everything together until everything is combined and  you have a relatively smooth “cheese”.

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Delicious served on toast or mixed though vegetables or pasta, just like you would any other cheese really. Hope you enjoy!

Note* Keeps for a week, stored in the fridge in an airtight container.

Ratatouille

One of my all time favourite summer dishes is ratatouille. Simple, delicious and bursting with the flavours of summer. When  I lived in France (many moons ago it seems) I would head down to the Saturday market and grab all of the ingredients, amongst other things, to make a big batch of this for the week ahead. There I would use fresh tomatoes  as they were so juicy and perfectly ripe. I use passata in the recipe as good quality ripe tomatoes aren’t always so easy to come by. If you can find some ripe and juicy tomatoes substitute them in for the passata.

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Served hot or cold it makes for a delicious side dish or served alone with some cous cous (my personal favourite) to soak up all the juice.

 

Ratatouille

Ingredients

1 large Red Onion, peeled and sliced

2 cloves of Garlic, crushed

1 medium Aubergine, diced into 1cm cubes

1 large Courgette, sliced into 1 cm thick rounds

1 Red Pepper, cut into thick slices

1 Green Pepper, cut into thick slices

250 ml Passata

1 tablespoon of Olive Oil

1  Bay Leaf

2-3 sprigs of Fresh Thyme

½ teaspoon Salt

½ teaspoon Black Pepper

Handful of Fresh Basil

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Method

  • Place a large heavy based saucepan over a medium heat. Add in the olive oil.
  • Once the oil is heated add in the onion and cook until the onion has softened and starts to take some colour.
  • Now add in the garlic, stir about until it turns golden brown.
  • Add in the aubergine, red pepper, green pepper and courgette. Fry these off for a few minute to give them some colour.
  • Add in the passata, salt, pepper, thyme and bay leaf, stir everything together.
  • Lower the heat to a low flame and leave to simmer for 20-25 minutes, until all the vegetables are cooked.
  • Place in a serving dish and sprinkle over some fresh basil.

 

Enjoy! X x

Salted Caramel Overnight Oats

So I think this sounds a lot fancier than it is. In reality it requires four ingredients and very minimal effort to make this flavour bomb. I found the CoYo salted caramel a few weeks ago and oh my word this stuff is unreal. I didn’t think it would taste as good as it does so perhaps that has helped in my positive reaction. I was eating it on it’s own, then I had a lightbulb moment. Imagine having this for breakfast. BAM salted caramel overnight oats was born.

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Salted Caramel Overnight Oats (Serves 2-3)

Ingredients

1 x 125g pot of Coyo Salted Caramel Coconut Milk Yoghurt Alternative

1 Cup of Oats

1 Cup of Coconut Milk (Tetra pack, not canned)

Few drops of Vanilla Extract

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Method

  • Place all the ingredient in a bowl or jar and stir together until everything is combined.
  • Leave in the fridge overnight, or a least a few hours.

The next morning serve out a portion and top with your favourite fruit (I love strawberries) and maybe even a cheeky dollop of peanut butter. Enjoy! x

Sweetcorn Fritters

These sweet and spicy sweetcorn fritters are one of my staples. I love my sweet breakfasts (hello overnight oats) but these savoury pancakes make a welcome addition to the brunch table. They can be whipped up in minutes making them perfect for when I’m in need of something delicious but running short on time. Double up the recipe and you have lunch for tomorrow!

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Sweetcorn Fritters (Serves 2)

Ingredients:

1 Cup Sweetcorn

1 large Egg

½ teaspoon of fresh red chilli

1 spring Onion

2 tablespoons of Fresh Coriander

¼ cup Flour

¼ teaspoon Salt

½ teaspoon Baking Powder

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Method:

  • Hold aside ⅓ cup of sweetcorn.
  • Roughly chop the chilli, spring onion and coriander and place in a blender with   ⅔  cup of sweetcorn, egg, flour, salt and baking powder.Blend until you have a thick smooth batter.
  • Stir in the remaining sweetcorn you set aside
  • Place a small amount of oil in a frying pan and place over a medium heat.
  • Add small amounts of batter (about 2 tablespoons per fritter, but make them bigger if you want) to the pan to make your fritter.
  • Once golden on one side, about 3-4 minutes, flip and cook for about 2 minutes on the other side.
  • Serve with a poached egg on top, delicious!!

Squash and Lentil Soup

You know it’s autumn when there are squash and pumpkin recipes EVERYWHERE. Why would you expect any different from me?

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Autumn to me is the return of stews and soups, food that feeds the soul and warms you from the inside out. This soup is made almost weekly chez mois.  It’s not complicated, in fact it’s embarrassingly simple, but delicious nonetheless. It’s simplicity is why I keep coming back to it. Perfect to make during the week, it takes no more than 30 minutes from beginning to end.

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Butternut squash makes this soup so creamy and velvety without actually having to add any cream in. My Grandma always added red split lentils into her soup. Although I can never manage to make soup that tastes just like hers the lentils definitely take me back. Not only do they add great flavour but they add a punch of plant based protein to the soup too which is always a winner.

Squash and Lentil Soup  (Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:

1 medium Butternut Squash, peeled and chopped

3 medium Carrots, peeled and chopped

1 medium White Onion, peeled and chopped

⅓ Cup of Red Split Lentils

1 litre of Vegetable Stock

1-2 teaspoons of Black Pepper

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Note:Try to chop all of the vegetable in similar size, about a centimeter cubed should do the trick. You want them to be ready when the lentils are, better you cook the lentils longer than overcook the vegetables

Method:

  • Pop all of the ingredients into a heavy bottomed saucepan.
  • Place the saucepan on the hob over a high heat, bring the soup to the boil and then reduce the heat to medium. Allow the soup to simmer away for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are tender and cooked through.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before blending, either with a stick blender or in a free-standing blender. Serve.

Told you it was simple. I like to serve this with a few crunchy seeds and some fresh parsley. Make a big batch of this at the beginning of the week and you have a quick and delicious lunch ready to go. Enjoy x x

Cashew,Brazil and Vanilla Butter

I’m a nut butter addict, it’s no secret. If I see a new nut butter on the shelves I have to have it, regardless of how many half eaten jars there are in my cupboard. I’d never really thought about making my own nut butter. I thought why bother when I can buy perfectly good peanut butter from the supermarket. Enter the influence of social media, I saw so many people making their own I just had to see what all the fuss was about. The great thing about making your own is you can really jazz up the flavours as much as you want, and I love jazzy flavours.

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Every time we go to the supermarket we buy bags of nuts and ultimately we end up with lots of half eaten bags. I wanted to use up what we had and thus Brazil and Cashew Butter was born. You could of course keep this raw and not roast the nuts at all, but roasting the nuts gives the nut butter a much more intense flavour which I personally prefer.

Cashew, Brazil and Vanilla Butter ( Makes 2 x 200ml Jars)

Ingredients:

2 cups of Cashew Nuts

1 cup of Brazil Nuts

1 Vanilla Pod, or equivalent of extract or paste, chopped into pieces

½ teaspoon of Sea Salt Flakes

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Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180℃
  • Toss the nuts onto a baking tray and spread out evenly.
  • Place the nuts into the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes until they turn slightly golden, keep a close eye on them as they can easily burn.
  • Once roasted remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  • When the nuts are cool place them in a food processor along with the vanilla pod and sea salt. Blend until a nut butter forms. This can take anywhere from 5-20 minutes depending on your blender. If it gets a bit stuck you can always add in some oil to help it along but I find cashews and brazil nuts blend quite easily.
  • Pour the nut butter into jars and hide in a deep dark cupboard to stop yourself eating the whole batch.

If you want to make this sweeter you can always add in some honey, maple syrup or other sweetener to taste. I like it just as it is 🙂

Miso Aubergine

Miso. What can I say other than this stuff is nectar. I jumped on the band wagon for this one way too late, I genuinely don’t know how I have gotten through 28 years on this earth without it. I bought some barley miso quite a while ago having seen it in a recipe and never actually ended up making said recipe.  It was starting to gather dust so  I decided to finally put it to good use this past weekend.

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I’d never tasted  other than in miso soup, I had my preconceived ideas of that it would taste like. I ate some straight out of the packet and it was not what I expected at all,  it’s quite like soya sauce, savoury, tangy, salty and totally delicious.

So what to use it in? I’m always trying to create veggie dishes that are going to give me the “meatiness” I need from  a main meal. Let’s be honest here are only so many chickpeas and lentils a girl can eat. Aubergine provide just that and this tangy miso sauce makes them utterly delicious and a great addition to my mid week meals.

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Ingredients

2 medium Aubergines

Sauce:

2 tablespoons of Brown Miso

1 teaspoon of Honey

1 tablespoon of Lime Juice

1 small Red Chilli, finely chopped

½ teaspoon of  Freshly Grated Ginger

1 clove of Garlic, crushedMethod

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180℃
  • Mix all of the ingredients for the sauce together in a  bowl and set aside.
  • Take the aubergine and split in half  lengthways.
  • Place the aubergine halves on a baking tray and cover each half with a ¼ of the sauce mixture.
  • Pop the aubergine into the preheated oven for about 40 minutes until they are soft and slightly caramelised. You may need to cover with foil part way through the cooking to stop them from burning.
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly.

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I prefer to eat these at room temperature rather than piping hot, but that’s a personal preference. Make an extra few and keep them into fridge for an easy lunch or dinner through the week. Perfection. x x