Posts Tagged ‘vegan’

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.
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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

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

I eat a lot of chickpeas. Some would say too much, but not me. I love chickpeas, like, a lot!

Chickpeas are probably my favourite protein next to lentils. I don’t think this whole plant-based-diet undertaking would be the same if chickpeas did not exist.

The great thing about chickpeas, besides being a good source of protein, fibre and folate, is that it’s such a versatile little legume – we’ve made cookies, burgers, savoury cakes, ratatouille, salads, hummus, crêpes and plenty more with chickpeas.

We keep a stash of chickpeas in the cupboard, I cook my own chickpeas because it tastes better, it’s cheaper and convenient to have around to throw into salads, soups, stir-fry etc. for added protein.

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
Spicy Roasted Chickpeas Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

I used to get roasted chickpeas from the Italian store; crunchy, spicy and hot… they were so very moreish; then I found it’s just as easy to make at home.

If you have cooked chickpeas, it’ll make for a quick and healthy snack. These are perhaps one of the fastest snacks you’ll make in a while; all you need to do is grab a jar or can of precooked chickpeas, toss with a little bit of nutritional yeast, pepper and salt, and bake until golden. That is it!

Spicy roasted chickpeas are one of our favourites snacks to bring on road trips and plane rides; I love bringing snacks and treats on long flights, it makes such a great difference, it takes the journey from bearable to enjoyable.

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
Spicy Roasted Chickpeas Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

The nutritional yeast adds a savoury ‘cheesy’ flavour to the chickpeas, pepper adds heats and salt rounds out the seasoning; it bakes slightly crunchy, and tastes spicy.

Do feel free to add your favourite spices and or change the spices up as desired.

These chickpeas came with us on this last trip to Paris, and this weekend, while setting out decorations for the season, we munched on spicy crisp chickpeas and sipped apple cider while listening to Christmas carols.

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
A great and healthy snack food, Perfect for those with nut allergies. It's a little addictive!
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INGREDIENTS
  1. 3 cups cooked chickpeas (about 1 2/3 15oz canned)
  2. 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  3. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  6. 1/3 teaspoon fine sea salt (or to taste)
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside
  2. Drain and rinse chickpeas (if using canned) and place them in a large bowl
  3. Mix nutritional yeast, olive oil, garlic powder, crushed red pepper and salt in a small bowl
  4. Pour over chickpeas and toss to combine, making sure chickpeas are evenly coated
  5. Transfer chickpeas to the parchment lined baking sheet
  6. Spread them in an even layer
  7. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, until chickpeas are golden brown, stir once halfway through
  8. Store leftover chickpeas in an airtight container at room temperature
  9. Enjoy!
NOTES
  1. Cool chickpeas inside the oven with the oven door cracked open, this will help them get crunchier
  2. Roasted chickpeas will lose its crunchiness after a day or two, but will still be very good!
  3. If your chickpeas are coming out soggy, increase your oven heat and cook for a little longer, keep a close eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn.
Adapted from Vegan Yack Attack
Adapted from Vegan Yack Attack
the Whinery http://elsbro.com/blog/
Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

Rosemary and Pepita Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Rosemary and Pepita Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

One of the things I miss about summers are tomatoes; lush, juicy, plump, just-off-the-vine and bursting with flavour tomatoes, there is nothing quite like it.

The sombre grey clouds and rain make it easy to long for summer tomatoes, but I do love the calm this time of year offers, there’s cool gentleness to autumn that is comforting.

Tomorrow our neighbours to the south celebrate Thanksgiving, and with that begins the rush of the Christmas season. I’m a little unprepared for the season, I feel like it just crept up on us, how are we at the end of this year?

I remember getting a bag of pepitas (pumpkin seeds) early this past spring at the Trader Joe’s in Bellingham, uncertain but eager to try them. I sprinkled a handful over a quinoa and corn with roasted tomato salad.

Months later I spied the neglected pepitas in the cupboard and thought about the roasted cherry tomatoes, and the idea for this rosemary and pepita sun-dried tomato pesto was born.

Rosemary and Pepita Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Rosemary and Pepita Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
Rosemary and Pepita Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Rosemary and Pepita Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

We love pesto around here!

The first time we made this pesto we used slow roasted tomatoes; it was wonderfully savoury and rich, and tasted good on almost everything.

It’s a handy sauce to have in the fridge for quick weeknight meals. It’s fast become a household favourite, we use it on pasta, as pizza sauce, with roasted new potatoes, and it’s amazing on crusty bread and in sandwiches.

I prefer sun-dried tomatoes to slow roasted tomatoes for this pesto; it’s heartier and rustic with a much more intense and sweet tomato flavour. I get freshly dried sun-dried tomatoes that are soft and moist, but oil-packed tomatoes will work too or you will have to reconstitute very dry tomatoes.

I used the last of my pepitas a month shy of its expiration date. I guess time has passed; we tossed some into our granola in the summer and kept sprinkling them over salad, but mostly we made pesto.

Rosemary and Pepita Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

Rosemary and Pepita Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
A delightfully savoury pesto bursting with rich flavours!
Print
INGREDIENTS
  1. 1 cup (packed) sun-dried tomatoes
  2. 1 cup toasted pepitas
  3. 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
  4. 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  5. 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  6. 3/4 – 1 cup olive oil
  7. 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
DIRECTIONS
  1. In a food processor, add sun-dried tomatoes and pepitas, and pulse to combine
  2. Add rosemary, garlic, Aleppo pepper and salt and pulse into a chunky paste
  3. While the food processor is running, gradually pour in olive oil until desired consistency is reached, make it as smooth or as coarse as you want it.
  4. Taste and check for salt and pepper, adjust seasoning as preferred
  5. Use immediately, or store in a jar or airtight container covered in a thin layer of olive oil
NOTES
  1. I used dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes that were soft and moist.
  2. Pepitas are toasted pumpkinseeds, you can get them at the nuts or bulk section of most grocery and natural food stores.
the Whinery http://elsbro.com/blog/
Rosemary and Pepita Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

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


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