Crunchy Nutty Granola

2 Comments

You may have noticed that for the last few months I have been super quiet and if you pop on over to my second blog, Being Mrs D  you will see I have been quite busy! We moved to Brisbane, Australia at the end of August and since then everything has been a little bit crazy. I’ll let you in on some of the reasons I haven’t been blogging over the next couple of weeks. One of them reasons being I haven’t had any of my kitchenware as it was in a shipping container for weeks! I knew this was coming as it was the same when we moved from Switzerland to Singapore last year but I forgot how difficult it is! As I am sure you can imagine, the move has kept me very busy so in between trips to Thailand, Brisbane, a visit from the in laws and a trip back home for my very good friends wedding. There hasn’t been much Sipping, Chomping and Chewing that I’ve had time to write about.

 

This simple recipe for Granola came about because I refused to pay the ridiculous prices the supermarkets in Singapore get away with charging for the smallest box. So with a trip to Ikea for some storage jars, I pretty much had everything else I needed to make up a batch. For basic granola, all you need is oats, a sweetener and some kind of oil to bind the whole thing together and after experimenting a little, I found the best mix to be honey and virgin coconut oil. Although the oil has a deliciously coconutty smell, the flavour doesn’t come through once it’s all mixed in so don’t worry if you’re not a fan. The addition of nuts adds some crunch to the texture which wakes up those taste buds first thing in the morning. It’s delicious served with fresh fruit and yogurt!

 

All you’ll need:

2 Cups of Rolled Oats

1 Cup of Mixed Chopped Nuts of your choice – I’ve used peanut and almond this week

1 Cup of Mixed Seeds of your choice – this week I have used just sunflower seeds whilst my pantry is still not quite fully stocked!

1/2 Cup Dried Fruit such as Raisins, Blueberries or Cranberries

A pinch of salt

1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

1/4 Cup of Honey

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

 

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Mix all the dry ingredients except for the dried fruit in a bowl. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, over a low heat, mix the oil, honey and vanilla extract until well combined. Pour the wet mixture over the dry and mix until well coated. Place on a baking tray in your preheated oven and cook for ten minutes, give the mixture a stir so that the paler oats are now on the top and cook for a further ten minutes. Mix again and pop back in the oven. Now keep an eye on it for the last ten minutes as depending on your oven, it may need pulling out sooner than the ten minutes if the sugar gets too hot. Leave to cool, stir through the dried fruit and store in an airtight jar.

IMG_2409.JPG

It gets the Pug approval!

IMG_2405.JPG

IMG_2407.JPG

IMG_3317-0.JPG

Advertisements

Chipotle Chicken Stew

3 Comments

Roast chicken in our house is much more than one meal. I like to get creative with using the leftovers and try and make as many meals as possible out of them. This almost always includes me cooking up a pot of stock the next day using the bones and a tasty salad using the scraps of thigh and leg meat but thats not really that exciting. This is one of my favourite quick, easy, healthy roast chicken left over meals using few ingredients and taking minimal time. You can use skinless, boneless chicken thighs if you don’t have any roast chicken to use up!

SCC Chipotle Chicken Closer

 

For two people, you will need:

A teaspoon vegetable oil

Left over roast chicken

1 red onion, sliced

1/2 Green Pepper, sliced

1 can of chopped tomatoes

2 Tbsp Chipotle Sauce, you can add more depending on your prefered taste. I like to use the La Costena brand

Fresh Coriander to finish

 

Add a small amount of oil to a lidded saucepan and cook the onion and peppers until softened. Add the chicken, tomatoes and chipotle, cover and gently cook until the chicken is heated through. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve with rice. So easy!!

 

SCC Chipotle Chicken

 

Fresh Mango and Chia Seed Overnight Oats

6 Comments

SCC Granola with pool in the backgroundIt makes my husband laugh when I announce at roughly 9pm that I’m going to make breakfast. I think at first he thought I was going a bit nutty or just being plain daft but he soon realised what I was doing when he was preparing his the next morning and me? I just grabbed a spoon along with my oats out the fridge and I was good to go.

SCC Mango Chia Oats Close Up

Overnight oats have developed from Swiss Birchermüesli which contained apples, lemon juice, sweet evaporated milk and honey all mixed in with the oats. Although that’s uncomplicated, the recipe I’m about to give you is even quicker and easier to make. All you need is a 1/2 cup measure each of oats, milk or juice and natural yogurt, this will make your basic oats to which you can add any of your favorite breakfast fruits, nuts and seeds. Any toppings that you want to stay crunchy will need to be added right before serving. The addition of chia seeds the night before not only adds some texture to the oats but they have many, many health benefits. My favourite is how extra filling they make a dish. I take part in a Latin Fitness class two mornings a week which, prior to starting my day with these oats, I would be ravenous by the time the class was over. I am happy to say that is a thing of the past.  Once wet, the seeds get a kind of jelly coating around them this is the part that along with helping to fight blood sugar spikes, keeps your hunger pangs away.

By following this recipe you can also make it in a lunch box for a healthy, yummy grab and go breakfast.

SCC Breakfast on Balcony

 

To make one portion you will need:

 

  • 1/2 Cup of Rolled Oats
  • 1/2 Cup of Fat Free of Low Fat Yogurt
  • 1/2 Cup Almond Milk
  • 1/4 Fresh Mango, chopped. I normally freeze the mango in portion sized pots and just allow it to defrost, stirred into the oats over night.
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds, either black or white will do

 

Mix together all of your ingredients and leave in the fridge, covered, overnight. Before you tuck in, top with nuts or seeds, whatever you fancy. I love it with granola but it’s also yummy on it’s own!  That’s it, Done!

 

SCC Granola Close in Jar

Soup of the week! Lamb Mulligatawny

Leave a comment

SCC Lamb Mulligatawny Soup TextThe first time I tried Mulligatawny soup it was out of a Heinz tin. As a kid, I thought it was Scottish. Of course it wasn’t the mild spices that lead me to my conclusion but the name, to me, sounded very much from Scotland. It’s not really much of a surprise as the very same child thought that ‘random’ was a small town near Manchester. You know when you’re watching a TV show and they say, ‘Winners will be chosen at random’? Well I thought it was a happy place where, in a special building, there were winners everywhere. I was very much a youngster who lived in a world of Rainbows and Unicorns!

I pulled this soup together a couple of weeks ago when my husband came home from work feeling a little fluey. He said he wasn’t hungry but I had to make sure he got his vitamins if he was going to get better and it went down a treat! It’s so miserable here in Singapore at the moment. Earlier this year we had no rain at all for about 8 or 9 weeks but now we seem to be getting some everyday. This soup is full of goodness and along with the spices, a yummy, healthy, comforting dinner when the heavens are opening up outside.

This recipe, which serves 6,  comes out similar to a dhal’s consistency which you can thin out if you would prefer with some extra stock but I personally like it just the way it is.

When I’m cooking I like to prepare a Mise en Place before I start with anything else. I have multiple ramekins, dishes of various sizes and plastic containers that fill my cupboards and are used almost daily for this purpose. Our kitchen has very little worktop space so if I start making a meal and haven’t prepared anything, the odds are that something will go wrong. If I keep all my prepared ingredients in their own area, fill the sink with hot soapy water and throw the pots and ramekins straight into the washing up bowl whilst I’m cooking, I find it not only keeps the mess to a minimum, but during those periods where I have to wait 5/10 minutes before the next step,  I can get those pots washed, dried and put away making much less tidying to do after dinner. And that my friends, is what I call a good result!

 

What you’ll need:

 

  • 250g Minced Lamb
  • 1 tbsp Sunflower Oil
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic, 2 finely chopped and one squished with the flat side of a knife
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Large Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Medium Carrots, cut into smallish chunks
  • 2 Celery Sticks, sliced
  • 1 Large or Two Small Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut into smallish chunks
  • 1 Tbsp Curry Powder
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 1 Eating Apple, peeled, cored and cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 a Fresh Mango, cut into chunks (You can take the other half, chop into pieces and freeze in two parts, I have another recipe coming soon that it can be used in!)
  • 1 Litre Hot Chicken Stock
  • 1 Cup of Uncooked Green Lentils
  • Fresh Coriander, Natural Yogurt and flat breads to serve

 

Get all your ingredients ready as directed above and once prepped, set the oil on a medium heat in a saucepan and start browning the lamb. Whilst this is going on, place the lentils in second saucepan and add the one squished garlic clove and a bay leaf to help add some flavour into them whilst cooking. Add 2 cups of hot water and simmer for around 20 minutes. Once the lamb has browned, add in the onion, carrots, celery, sweet potato and the remaining garlic. Pop the lid on and sweat out for around 10 minutes stirring or shaking the pan occasionally to prevent sticking on the bottom. Once soft, add in the tomato puree, curry powder and cinnamon. Stir well before pouring in the hot stock, apple and fresh mango and simmer for about 5 minutes. Check your veggies are tender before turning off the heat and leaving to cool for a few minutes. Your lentils should now be quite soft so drain them and remove the garlic and bay. Set them aside whilst you blend the soup in a food processor. It’s up to you how much you process the soup but I like to leave a few little lumps in there. Pour back into the saucepan and stir in the lentils. Season with salt and pepper before serving with a dollop of yogurt, a scattering of coriander and your chosen flat bread, pitta, chapati or naan.

SCC Lamb Mulligatawny Rain

 

 

Soup of the week: V Day Special! How to present your soup with cream hearts

1 Comment

As all my lovely facebook followers will know, I promised this ‘how to’ a couple of weeks ago.

SCC Hearts on Soup 10

It’s so cute and with V Day coming up, it’s a fun thing to pop on that soup you cook up for your significant other. It looks even cuter with the red background of my Tomato and Lemongrass Soup  and it’s super easy to do! All you need is some double cream, a cocktail stick, a teaspoon and of course some soup! I used Carrot and Coriander as that’s what I fancied the day I took these pics.

SCC Hearts on Soup 1

Just start off with the cream and your teaspoon, very gently make a dot of cream in the centre of the soup.

SCC Hearts on Soup 3

Continue in a spiral of dots working outwards until you reach the edge of the bowl.

SCC Hearts on Soup 4

Next, take your cocktail stick and place the tip into the soup just before the first dot.

SCC Hearts on Soup 5

Basically, what you need to do here is to drag the stick through the soup in a spiral shape cutting through the centre of each cream dot on the way and you’re done!

SCC Hearts on Soup 9

This works well with so many different foods, why not get all romantic and give it a go? If you bodge it up, just stir in the cream and start again! What? You didn’t see the original photo on facebook, it’s never too late to start following me!

Soup of the Week: Miso with Chicken

2 Comments

I love Miso Soup! Miso is so healthy I find it almost cleansing. I never realised how easy it would be to make at home. A few months ago I discovered a supermarket in the basement of a mall I frequent. It’s called Meida Ya, a large Japanese supermarket selling global products with a separate section dedicated to japanese food including dine in outlets selling freshly made sushi or, my personal favourite, Katsu Curry. I have tried a few new japanese recipes since finding this store, the difficulty is trying to find the correct products as all the writing is in japanese, sometimes with a small white tag on the back with the English product name. Mostly I just ask someone who looks like they know what they’re doing! I have found out recently that you can get all the ingredients for this recipe from the japanese section of your local large supermarket.

SCC MIso

Traditionally, Miso Soup contains tofu. Now let me tell you this, I CAN NOT stand tofu! It’s not just the texture or the taste, it’s the way it sits in the soup as if to say ‘hey! i know i look like some tasty cheesy feta, but I’ll show you!’ it tries to trick you every time into giving it another try just to make sure you don’t like it, and as soon as it hits the inside of my mouth it triggers that gag reflex, like some cold, solidified, instant custard, yuck! Well I have had enough of the tofu tricks and replaced it with poached chicken breasts (take that tofu!).

SCC Miso Close Up

Here’s the recipe for my Chicken Miso Soup!

Makes 4 large servings:

For the poached chicken

  • One Carrot
  • One Celery Stick
  • One Bay Leaf
  • 3 Black Peppercorns
  • 3 Whole Chicken Breasts

For the Miso Soup

  • 40g Dashi – dashi is a japanese stock, if you can’t get your hands on it, make sure you use some top quality chicken stock
  • 3 Pints of boiling water
  • 4 Spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1 Sheet of Wakame (edible seaweed)
  • 4 Tbsp white miso paste
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp mirin

Optional

  • Cooked Edamame topped with a pinch of Maldon Salt
Edamame, another love of mine!

Edamame, another love of mine!

Start by placing the ingredients for the poached chicken in a saucepan and fill with water until the chicken is just about covered. Turn the heat on low and simmer for around 20 minutes. Next, get your water boiling in a separate saucepan, whilst this is getting up to heat, soak the wakame in cold water for a couple of minutes. Add to the pan along with the spring onions. Pop your miso paste into a small container, this needs to be watered down before adding to the main soup pan as it will stay in lumps if you don’t. Add a laddle of the stock mixture to your miso container and mix with a fork until completely combined. Slowly add this to the stock mixture whilst stirring continuously. Make sure that you keep the heat gentle, if you boil miso, the heat kills the aroma. Next add the soy sauce and mirin, and continue to stir gently. Check your chicken is cooked by cutting one chicken breast lengthways. Once it’s white the whole way through, drain the pan and cut into chunks before adding to the soup. Stir gently before pouring into bowls and enjoying with Edamame.

SCC Miso Soup Set

I’d just like to take this opportunity to apologise to any tofu lovers out there. If any of you have a recipe that you think will make me fall in love with it then please contact me to try it out.

Soup of the week! Harissa Spiked Pumpkin

2 Comments

I always have some homemade soup in the fridge or freezer. It’s often what I’ll have for lunch and I love trying out new combinations. Which is why I have decided to introduce soup of the week!

It was a couple of months ago that I started making this one and it’s become a regular. It’s great if you’ve got the sniffles as the spice from the harrissa paste helps clear out those sinuses. It’s really easy to pull together and good for you to boot! The Pumpkin I use for this soup is ‘local’ Malaysian Pumpkin. I’m not sure if it has a season here as it always seems available and so cheap. You really need a sharp knife to cut through that pumpkin skin but it’s worth the hard work for that smooth sweet taste!

You will need:

  • One onion, roughly chopped
  • 25g butter
  • 900g pumpkin, skin removed and cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp of harissa paste, you can add more or less depending on how spicy you want to go. I used green harissa.
  • 1 litre of hot vegetable or chicken stock
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Once you have all of your ingredients prepared, heat the butter in a large saucepan on a low heat and slowly cook the onions until translucent. Next, add the harissa paste and sizzle for one minute. Add the pumpkin and stir to coat with the harissa before pouring over the hot stock and simmering with the lid on for 5 – 8 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft. Whizz through a food processor until smooth and serve with your favourite bread.

SCC Pumpkin Harissa Soup