Posts Tagged ‘vegan’

Wheat Berry Breakfast Porridge

Wheat Berry Breakfast Porridge

October flew by so fast it feels as if I blinked one September morning and November rushed in.

This was supposed to be the lull between the haze of summer and the crazed holiday season, the past two weeks have been a blur of transitions, from coming home and being sick for a few days to settling into the damp grey autumn landscape.

I’m getting back into the swing of things, slowly, I haven’t cooked a proper meal yet – still imagining that black eyed pea stew with harissa, cumin and fried sage… maybe this weekend.

The good news is, I’m managing breakfasts just fine – I’m usually excited for breakfast this time of year because porridges and hot cereals, which I utterly love, are better suited for fall and winter.

Wheat Berry Breakfast Porridge

Porridges are warming, comforting and hearty; ideal for starting off a cold dreary day.

Although I’d heard of wheat berries, I didn’t really discover it until this summer when I had it in an amazingly good salad and it was pleasingly chewy and nutty. I knew I’d love it for breakfast, cooked in a thick, rich, sweet porridge.

This wheat berry breakfast porridge can also be made overnight in a slow cooker too. The ‘berries’ absorb the sweet creamy almond or coconut milk it’s cooked in, it tastes sumptuous.

I love the chewy texture of wheat berries, it has a nice crunch to it, it’s nourishing and keeps me energised throughout the morning.

I grate a little dark chocolate over mine with a little more milk, and it gets chocolaty and yummy

Wheat Berry Breakfast Porridge Wheat Berry Breakfast Porridge
Wheat Berry Breakfast Porridge

Wheat Berry Breakfast Porridge

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Lemon Olive Oil Cake Lemon Olive Oil Cake
Lemon Olive Oil Cake

I’ve neglected this space for far too long; in that time I’ve had éclairs in Paris, coffee in Amsterdam and an amazing lunch in London.
It’s been an active couple of weeks; exhausting but in a good way, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m back now, and just like last year I’m battling a cold again.
I have plans for soup this weekend, black-eyed peas stewed in a brothy sauce with lots of harissa and cumin and topped with fried sage – I can almost taste it!

But I’ll like to share this lemon olive oil cake with you before I move on to that – I’ve had this post prepped and ready for weeks, waiting for words to go with it. It feels surreal to be staring at it again after all this time.

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

This cake saved me this summer, not in that critical and dramatic way one usually gets saved, but I made it a few times over summer and it felt like a little victory every time it came out perfectly. It made life deliciously easy.

It’s one of those cakes that looks like a bit of work, but it really isn’t – it’s a breeze to make and it turns out spectacular every time!

I collected a few teas during my vacation, I stayed across the street from the oldest tea house in Paris.

I knew I’d need lots of tea to get me through the damp grey autumn and winter months ahead; I had these intoxicating images of cold rainy afternoons curled up with aromatic cups of tea with generous slices of this cake.

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Lemon Olive Oil Cake

I try to use mild and fruity olive oils that taste smooth for this cake, and Meyer lemons if I can find them, although I’m beginning to love the bold flavours of regular lemons.

I love the sweet lemony flavours. It’s the perfect everyday cake for breakfast or afternoon tea, and light enough as a refreshing dessert (after a heavy meal) with whipped cream and fruit.

This is one of my favourite cakes just because it’s simple, rustic and delectable with wonderful crumb and texture.
We’ve been collecting a list of cakes for our would-be café for years and this definitely makes the cut.

Lemon Olive Oil Cake Lemon Olive Oil Cake
Lemon Olive Oil Cake


Lemon Olive Oil Cake

Quinoa, Lentil, Carrot and Fennel Salad

Quinoa, Lentil, Carrot and Fennel Salad

I’d forgotten how much I love this time of the year. I love that stillness in the mornings that wasn’t there weeks before and the breezy cool sunny days.

It’s this time of year too that I start yearning for my favourite ‘comfort meals’ again; maybe it’s the cool evenings or the insight that we’re about be plunged into cold dark nights, but there’s something about this time that has me craving big hearty salads and soups.

Quinoa, Lentil, Carrot and Fennel Salad

I love lentils… sometimes to a point of silliness; I swear I could eat lentils for breakfast, lunch and dinner without complaint – it’s pretty evident from the amount of lentil recipes I have on this blog.

I love this time of year for salads like this wonderful quinoa and lentils with vegetables, it’s comforting, hearty and filling, and comes together quickly.

I’m all about easy to prepare meal; especially during this time when there’s still light out to bring dinner down to the beach or eat out on the balcony.

Quinoa, Lentil, Carrot and Fennel Salad Quinoa, Lentil, Carrot and Fennel Salad
Quinoa, Lentil, Carrot and Fennel Salad

This is a well-rounded salad that can be adapted to include your favourite vegetables and legumes; use peas instead, or carrots or roast your fennel first for caramelized sweetness – I did this a few weeks ago.

I usually precook the lentils and quinoa and store them in the fridge, and reheat them when I’m ready to make the salad.

I use whatever vegetables I have on hand; with this salad it’s shaved fennel, carrots, red onions and sundried tomatoes, finished off with a tangy mustard vinaigrette.

I make plenty so there’re leftovers for the rest of the week because I love this salad more after a day or two, it gets even more wonderful when the ingredients have had a chance to get to know each other better.

Quinoa, Lentil, Carrot and Fennel Salad

Quinoa, Lentil, Carrot and Fennel Salad

Strawberry Icebox Pie

Strawberry Icebox Pie

The summer we started making icebox cakes, we made them throughout the season; it was as if we couldn’t stop, they were so good, and easy and fun.

We ate a ton of strawberries that summer, and perfected the art of beating coconut milk into perfect fluffy whipped cream. We’d alternate between graham crackers and digestive biscuits because we couldn’t decide which we liked best.

It was the summer of the Stanley Cup Riots, and the weekend before we made icebox cake for the very first time and the city was going to the Stanley Cup finals – it felt enormously celebratory.

Strawberry Icebox Pie

We continued making icebox cakes with strawberries (mostly) until the season passed.

We haven’t made that many icebox cakes in subsequent years; I’m not sure why, it’s not like we fell out of love with it.

I thought about them when this season’s strawberries starting appearing at the market, it must have been the heatwave but I suddenly wanted to make icebox cakes with fervour again

Strawberry Icebox Pie

Strawberry Icebox Pie Strawberry Icebox Pie

The icebox pie is similar to the cake, it’s basically the same ingredients just in pie form with the graham crackers crushed to form the crust, which is filled with coconut milk whipped light and airy and then topped with fresh strawberries.

It’s just how I like my desserts, simple, fresh and decadent with a bit of crunch.

We’re back to making icebox cakes and pies again, this time with a less urgency – although July is almost over and we’ve only made one, and it feels like we’ve lost a month already.

Strawberry Icebox Pie


Strawberry Icebox Pie

Buckwheat with Mango and Coconut Cream

Buckwheat with Mango and Coconut Cream

We had a scorcher of a heat wave last week, with soaring temperatures bothering on uncomfortable.

I walked around in a wide brimmed hat and tried to do as little as possible, eating mostly salads, fruits and ice cream for dinner. We spent time at the beach and stayed out on the balcony for as long as we could.

I kind of loved those hazy sultry days; the super long hot days, humid nights under the fan with the windows open and even those mysterious bug bites – it was almost as if we were living on some tropical island.

Temperatures cooled slightly over the weekend to almost fall-like weather, with grey clouds and light rain.

The change felt nice; it seemed the perfect opportunity to make porridge – it’s my go to comfort food for breakfast, and I don’t get to make it enough during the warmer months.

Buckwheat with Mango and Coconut Cream

This buckwheat with mango and coconut cream is my take on the humble buckwheat porridge (kasha), and because it’s summer there are mangoes and coconut for a tropical twist.

I love the nutty chewy taste of buckwheat, and all its good-for-you properties, it’s easily digestible and doesn’t feel too heavy.

I like mine with an extra splash of almond milk, it makes it deliciously creamy!

I started making this porridge back in the spring when we’d just gotten out of the dark wintery days. They had Kent mangoes at my local grocery store; juicy, rich and sweet.

Chopped mangoes folded into whipped coconut cream are the ideal luscious warm weather topping for this kind of porridge – it’s bright and summery.

*To make whipped coconut cream, refrigerate a can of coconut milk overnight, or freeze for the few hours. This is so that the cream (coconut fat) would rise to the top and harden. Open the chilled can of coconut and scoop out the fat leaving behind the watery liquid. Combine the coconut with 1/3 cup of icing sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla, whip until light and fluffy.

Buckwheat with Mango and Coconut Cream


Buckwheat with Mango and Coconut Cream


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