Breakfast Bulgur with Peanuts and Popcorn

Bulgur Breakfast

This time last year we put up the Christmas decorations and ate granola, and a little tree trimming tradition was born; make a huge breakfast, play carols and let everyone pitch in.

This year we made a big pot of bulgur porridge, warm, filling and comforting, and slightly tart from a squeeze of lemon.

This bulgur breakfast is akin to oatmeal, with a lovely chewy texture and nutty flavour.
Normally, we love our bulgur porridge creamy, cooked in (plant) milk and topped with nuts and dried fruit; it’s the ideal breakfast for wintry mornings.

This time we let the warm nutty bulgur flavour shine on its own with a little boost from sour lemon juice, added a little sweetener and topped it with lots of popcorn and peanuts for crunch.

Christmas Christmas
Christmas

If having popcorn for breakfast sounds odd to you, consider this, back in the 1800s Americans were eating popcorn cereal for breakfast just like you would cornflakes.

Popcorn and peanuts are a fine pairing, we pop the corn ourselves so it’s fresh but you can use any type of popcorn you want, and we love the added protein from the peanuts.

We loved that this breakfast bulgur with peanuts and popcorn is not just delicious, quirky and fun… it is nutritious as well.

Bulhur Breakfast

Christmas Christmas

I can’t think of a more energy boosting breakfast for the task of putting up festive decorations; it made untangling the Christmas lights bearable, and added to the excitement of setting up twinkly lights, hanging stockings and decorating the tree.

Our ornaments are odd and quirky, some certainly sentimental – a mishmash of ‘stuff’ we’ve gathered along the way, a reminder of years’ past and the joys of the season.

This is my favourite time of the year for sure; I like that we generally try to be kinder to each other, and celebrate good food.

Bulgur Breakfast

Breakfast Bulgur with Peanuts and Popcorn
A nutritious protein-filled delightful hot breakfast cereal with a nutty and fun twist.
Print
INGREDIENTS
  1. 1 cup water
  2. 1/2 cup medium-grind bulgur (dried cracked wheat)
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  5. 1 – 2 tablespoons brown sugar to taste
  6. 1 – 1/2 cup popcorn for topping
  7. 1 cup roasted peanuts for topping
DIRECTIONS
  1. Toast bulgur in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often until browned lightly, about 3 – 5 minutes
  2. Combine water, bulgur and salt in a saucepan or pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil
  3. Reduce heat and let porridge simmer for 10 – 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until bulgur is tender and is the consistency of oatmeal
  4. Stir in lemon juice and sugar
  5. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with lots of popcorn and peanuts
  6. Enjoy!
NOTES
  1. Use 1/4 cup lemon juice for a tarter taste
Adapted from marthastewart.com
Adapted from marthastewart.com
the Whinery http://elsbro.com/blog/

Christmas

Bulgur Breakfast

Christmas

Coffee Journal | Rocanini Roasters, Steveston

Rocanini Cafe, Steveston

Rocanini Cafe, Steveston

While browsing through photos of some of the delightful coffee shops I’d like to feature on my coffee journal series, it dawned on me that I wouldn’t be able to include some of my favourite coffee shops because I don’t have pretty pictures to show.

These are coffee shops I frequent often, like the ones close to work and the one I go to on weekends; they make some of the best coffee I’ve had, but I’ve been in and out of these cafés so much that I don’t remember to take pictures anymore.

The Rocanini Café is one of those coffee shops.

Located in the picturesque fishing village of Steveson, I’ve been going to Rocanini since they opened their doors a couple of years ago.

These pictures are actually from two years ago; while Christmas shopping in Steveston, we stopped for a little coffee break.

Rocanini Cafe, Steveston

Rocanini Cafe, Steveston

I love the space at this café, it has beautiful bright interiors, large windows that let in natural light, high ceilings, warm wood furnishing and charming local art installations.

The café sits in front of a pedestrian scramble, which is always cool for people watching.

We end up here every time we go to Steveston, which is often, especially in the summers when Steveston is full of perfectly quaint and enchanting explorations, it’s a nice little getaway from the city.

Steveston also plays Storybrooke in the ABC tv series Once Upon a Time, so parts of the village feels like a movie set sometimes.

Rocanini Cafe, Steveston Rocanini Cafe, Steveston

Rocanini Cafe, Steveston

This is the perfect spot to slow down and linger over good coffee; they make chocolaty smooth almond mochas here… creamy lattes and other espresso drinks and pour-over coffee. They have a swanky cold brew setup and a fascinating lab-style siphon coffee.

The pastries, sourced from a local baker are always so tempting and the staff are friendly and helpful, one time they suggested a store where we could pick up an electric gooseneck kettle for a friend.

The coffee here is of course from their Vancouver roastery; we love their medium-roast beans from Ethiopia’s Yirgacheffe region, we always bring a bag home.

Rocanini Cafe, Steveston Rocanini Cafe, Steveston
Rocanini Cafe, Steveston Rocanini Cafe, Steveston

Rocanini Cafe, Steveston
Rocanini Cafe, Steveston

Rocanini Coffee Roasters – Steveston Café
3900 Moncton Street,
Richmond, BC V7E 3A6
http://www.rocanini.com/

Hearty Chickpea Stew

Hearty Chickpea Stew

I was chatting with my friend K’s daughter the other day about what we’re most looking forward to this Christmas. She of course is excited for presents; last year she got a little sister, I don’t know how her parents are going to top that one. Another thing she was exciting about is making snowman pancakes with her granddad when he comes home for the holidays.

This made me think about the holidays and how integral food is to the holidays.
Food at this time of the year is almost as important as the family we break bread with; it provides us a reason to gather and to celebrate.

I love that I come from a family of food lovers and ‘food sharers’ – Christmas celebrations at my grandmother’s included the task of delivering cakes to friends and neighbours.

On Christmas morning, she’d cook a giant pot of jollof over an open wood fire to share with friends and family, it was always vibrantly orange and fragrant with subtle hints of smoke.

Hearty Chickpea Stew

Hearty Chickpea Stew

This hearty chickpea stew is the type of food that comes to mind when I think of sharing meals over the holidays. It’s hearty like its name suggests, plentiful, filling and vibrant like my grandmother’s jollof.

My sister, @pearlsa makes this stew. She’s taken over the helm as the family cook and inherited my grandmother’s spirit of generosity, she always makes enough to share with family, friends and neighbours.

It’s a simple but rich and flavourful dish; chickpeas are stewed in a warm and tangy spiced broth of tomatoes and finished off with a splash of lemon juice.

It’s an adaptation of channa masala with discreet elements of a traditional Ghanaian stew.

It’s intensely satisfying served over warm rice, we love a sprinkle of crushed toasted nuts and some fresh lemon juice over it.

Left overs are even better because the sauce thickens and time allows the flavours to deepen some more.

It’s also wonderful on those super dark wintery days when you crave meals that are especially comforting, filling and nutritious.

Hearty Chickpea Stew

Hearty Chickpea Stew Hearty Chickpea Stew

Hearty Chickpea Stew
Excellent, spicy, fragrant and warming stew, serve over a bed of warm rice for a deliciously tempting and filling meal
Print
INGREDIENTS
  1. 1/8 - 1/4 cup coconut oil (about 2 – 4 tablespoons)
  2. 1 teaspoon mustard seed
  3. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  4. 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  5. 1 large onion, diced
  6. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  7. 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  8. 3 cups crushed tomatoes (or 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes)
  9. 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  10. 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  11. 3 1/2 - 4 cups cooked chickpeas (about 2 15-oz canned beans)
  12. 1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt, plus more or less to taste
  13. Juice of 1/2 a lemon, plus more for serving
  14. Freshly ground black pepper and chopped fresh cilantro for serving
DIRECTIONS
  1. Heat coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat
  2. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds, ground cumin and coriander
  3. Stir and cook for about a minute or so until spices are fragrant and mustard seeds start popping
  4. Add onions and garlic and sauté for a few minutes until onions start to soften
  5. Add turmeric powder, tomatoes, chili powder and ground ginger, let it cook for 3 – 5 minutes
  6. Add chickpeas, let the stew cook for a few minutes, stir occasionally and let it come to a gentle boil
  7. Add salt, lower heat and let stew simmer for another 5 - 10 minutes or so to let the flavours meld and the oil rise to the top
  8. Check seasoning, stir in lemon juice and remove from heat
  9. Serve over a bed of cooked basmati rice with freshly ground black pepper, and garnished with cilantro and lemon juice
  10. Enjoy!
NOTES
  1. For a thicker stew, blend or process tomatoes, chilli powder and ginger until smooth and add to stew
  2. If you find that your stew is too thick, add 1/4 cup or more water or vegetable stock
  3. This stew makes for great leftovers!
the Whinery http://elsbro.com/blog/
Hearty Chickpea Stew

Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies

Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies

Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies

It’s beginning to look decidedly like Christmas…
The tree is trimmed and our favorite carols have been playing on repeat for almost a week now.

We baked the first batch of Christmas cookies this weekend; we’re officially in the season.

Although I’m not a huge cookie person,I never pass up an opportunity to bake cookies at Christmas time.
Having cookies at my grandmother’s is enfolded in some of my happiest memories of Christmas.

I usually start out with these thumbprint cookies, they’re fun, easy to make, I think they capture the cheerfulness of the season; everyone loves them and you get to fill them with your favourite jams or preserves.

Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies
Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies

Our last thumbprint cookies were made with oat flour and a combination of ground almonds and pistachios, and they were spectacular hit.

These cashew and oat thumbprint cookies use nutty fine-textured cashew meal for buttery, melt-in-your-mouth-good cookies with a delicate crumbly texture.

Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies

Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies

Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies
Deliciously festive cookies, vegan, gluten-free and filled with your lovely jams and preserves
Print
INGREDIENTS
  1. 2 cups ground oats (oat flour)
  2. 2 cups ground cashew (cashew meal/flour)
  3. 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  4. 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  6. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes
  7. 1/2 cup safflower oil (or a neutral flavoured oil)
  8. 1/2 cup maple syrup (or liquid sweetener of your choice)
  9. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  10. Your favorite jam or preserve
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Mix oat flour, ground cashew, cardamom, cloves and salt in a large bowl with a wooden spoon
  3. Add safflower oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract, mix until well combined
  4. Form the dough into rounded tablespoon-sized balls and space them evenly on to the baking sheet
  5. Using your index finger or the end of a wooden spoon, make an indentation into the center of each bowl
  6. Fill the center of each cookie-dough with a small amount of jam or preserve
  7. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until cookies are evenly browned
  8. Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheet for a few minutes before transferring them onto a cooling rack
  9. Enjoy!
NOTES
  1. You can make oat flour by grinding rolled oats in a food processor, grinder or a powerful blender
  2. One cup of rolled oats will make about a cup of oat flour
  3. I get cashew meal from the store (Trader Joe's or some natural food store) but you can easily grind whole cashews to make flour too.
the Whinery http://elsbro.com/blog/
Cashew and Oat Thumbprint Cookies

Coffee Journal | Heart Roasters, Portland

Heart Roasters, Portland
Heart Roasters, Portland Heart Roasters, Portland

I’m starting a new series called ‘coffee journal’ to feature some of the wonderful coffee houses I’ve had the pleasure of visiting in the last little while.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I didn’t’ start drinking coffee until I moved to the Pacific Northwest; it was here that I fell in love with the passionate culture of coffee drinking.

It’s almost a hallowed process, this third wave coffee movement – the origin of the beans, roasting techniques and brewing methods is considered carefully.

It seems therefore fitting to start off with one of the Pacific Northwest’s beloved specialty coffee roasters; Heart Coffee Roasters in Portland, Oregon.

Heart Roasters, Portland
Heart Roasters, Portland

We went to the East Burnside location at the end of a weekend trip to Portland this past spring; we crossed the Burnside Bridge and walked the neighbourhood until we found the café.

The space is awash in natural light, and the décor is aesthetically lovely, airy and minimalist. I imagine it’s the kind of café you’d go to when you needed an undistracted moment to work or enjoy your coffee.

There is seating along the giant Probat roaster situated in the middle of the café, so you can watch the coffee being roasted in-house.

I tried their latte, made with fresh locally sourced hazelnut milk which was rich, smooth and robust.

I loved it, and the space.

It’s the lovely spot with well-crafted drinks and an understated décor with intriguing focal points.

Heart Roasters, Portland
Heart Roasters, Portland

Heart Roasters, Portland
Heart Roasters, Portland

Heart Roasters, Portland
Heart Roasters, Portland

Heart Coffee Roasters
2211 East Burnside Street
Portland, OR 97214
http://www.heartroasters.com/


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