Beetroot and prunes in breadless burgers

While not in the market for another burger mix, the bright colours that accompanied the recipe on Sugar Soil hooked me: any healthy benefits aside, most beetroot recipes have striking colours and this one was no exception…

I made the mix i n accordance with the recipe on line but next time I thin l’ll aim for a mix with more even proportions of the beans, beetroot and prunes: I foud that the sweetness of the prunes rather underwhelming even though I did add more than the recipe quantities.

On a whim, I also decided to have a play with breadless burgers…Empowered Sustenace had some good ideas...it wasn’t difficult and I’m keen to try some of the other ideas as well. The most successful in this go-round was the mushroom evolution: fried just enough to bring out the flavour, and then stacked with the usual fillings burger-style…

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Mushroom ‘buns’

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Open burger on an eggplant ‘bun’

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Open burgers on pepper ring bases

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Mushroom and eggplant ‘buns’

Very tasty, with crisp clear flavours and surprisingly filling…no dairy, no nuts, no meat, no bread, no sugars, no hassle…

‘Cado, pineapple and ‘mato salad

Last night, I mentioned that, I was still searching for a suitable side to go with my Kumara curry and salmon hash browns…after five years, can you believe it? I’ve been getting by with rocket salads but I kinda hate rocket…if I’m absolutely honest about it…

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So, on Wednesday afternoon, I sat down with a lot of coffee and considered the problem. What textures and flavours would complement but not compete with the textures and flavours of the hash browns and salmon. There is just a hint of curry in the hashes, mixed with the salt of the salmon and smooth cheesiness of the sour cream that holds the stack together. Overall it’s quite sweet and smooth.

It all came together quickly after I thought of an avocado base….smooth and sweet…with pineapple, sweet with a fibrous texture…with diced tomato…more tart and something else to bite into. Originally I was going to warm this mix in the microwave – it is winter after all – but opted for a natural heat from a sauce derived from the fried avocado tacos at The Guardian by blending all these together:

1 cup of sour cream

2 small chillies

2 gloves of garlic

1 tablespoon of lime juice

1 bunch of coriander

a smidgen of salt and pepper

The black rice was an afterthought left over from the previous night’s beets, feta and rice…I wasn’t really sure what to do with it otherwise but it worked well in our salad.

The first night I only used a teaspoon-sized dollop of the sauce on the salad – wasn’t enough to appreciate all the flavours. I had one hash stack left over plus about a cup and a half of the salad and other stuff in the fridge from a  week of cooking that I needed to consume to free up fridge space.

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So this is Take Two: one curry kumara salmon stack reheated in the microwave (it was already cooked: normally, I would keep the hash mix uncooked), with a goodly amount of greek yogurt on top, with the salad accompanied by a decent-sized dollop of the coriander and chili sauce, topped with feta from the beets and rice dinner…

Mmmm…primo!!!! A great blend of flavours and textures, with bonus points for good use of left-overs…less points for unused salmon which I just remembered is still sitting in the fridge…

…so tomorrow’s challenge may involve smoked salmon, streaky bacon, feta, sour cream, greek yoghurt, a tomato and an avocado. The rest of the pineapple – all fresh here no canned stuff – is destined for smoothies with banana, chia seed, coconut milk and tumeric…

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Good for the Soul

Quote

So far this winter has been more wet than cold…three winter’s ago, we had already had some serious snow by now…
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This is a time when root vegetables, carrots, potatoes, parsnip, kumara, etc, are seasonal and thus cheap at the moment. I’ve been investing heavily in freezable storage containers to store the vegetable largesse as soup…

I scored half a large bag of potatoes that survived the ‘Kune Carrot Carnival a couple of weeks ago and scored the net for a variety of tasty light things to do with potato. There are surprisingly few variations on the theme of potatoes, less than consume large quantities of the target vegetable….

Although not a big consumer, this recipe combined potato with chicken and cheese. Like most soups, it is simple and quick to make.

Ingredients

100 grams of butter (probably should have used coconut oil but didn’t think of that at the time)
1 onion diced
3 carrots diced
3 spring onions (the recipe calls for celery but I’ve gone off that for now)
1/3 cup of flour
2 potatoes diced
2 cups of coconut milk (the recipe calls for cow but I don’t have that in the fridge anymore apart from occasional small quantities for guest brews)
1 teaspoon of black sea salt (yes, you could be boring and just use normal salt but I’m trying to stay away from processed foods: if it’s white, it’s bad)
3 cups of chicken stock
1 decent size organic chicken breast (after the Hot Doc’s warning about the growth additives that go into commercial chicken, I avoid it now) diced
1 1/2 cups of grated cheddar/Colby/tasty cheese
Fresh parsley and or coriander, finely chopped

Directions

Melt the butter in the pan
Add the onions, carrots and spring online and cook for 3-4 minutes
Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir it in.
Add the coconut milk, chicken stock, potatoes and chicken.
Bring to the boil and simmer for 12-15 minutes.
Slowly add and stir in the cheese until it has all blended into the soup.

Sprinkle with the parsley and coriander. Serve with stick bread sliced longways, or toasted jalapeño cornbread

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I’ll be making this again, for sure, not only is it tasty as and filling. I’ve already had a few requests for it and one can’t ignore one’s fan base. Changes I would make apart from those listed above? Probably only to add a diced parsnip: I forgot I have a bag of them in the pantry: it’s sweetness will go well with the chicken and cheese flavours…

Pure | The Daily Post

DSCF9555For this week’s challenge, share a photo of something pure — it can be a person, an object, or a moment.

Source: Pure | The Daily Post

Pure…strawberries…no additives…just naturally pure…sweet and tasty…

Thinking about pure got me on the thought path of purify and a chance to review when I am on my green journey. ‘They’ say that you need do something for six weeks before it becomes habit…I’m now six months in to the journey, taking its start from when I purged – in a most unhealthy manner – all the junk foods from the house. It’s now been six months since I had crisps/chips where I used to knock off a big bag at a time; and maybe three months since I last had a chocolate bar: those Whitaker’s L&P slabs are still just too good to walk away from entirely: who would ever have thought that anyone could successfully combine a chocolate bar and a fizzy drink to mindlessly well..?

The journey is pretty stable now: I’ve settled on the core elements and binned some the trial components. I never much liked the rice milk and so that’s gone and I don’t miss the coconut water even though there’s still a bottle in the pantry I need to polish off: for the most part, good old-fashioned filtered water does the trick – pure as well as it come straight off the roof. I’ve stocked up on bulk chia seed, black rice and sliced almonds from Happy and Healthy, and bulk coconut milk powder from Naturally Abundant. Fresh fruit and veges depend on what’s in season – with just a few out of season treats – bananas being the core staple for smoothies and sugar for baking.

I am becoming a creature of culinary habit – not necessarily a bad thing – starting with porridge and stewed apple mixed with a little coconut milk: the cocnut milk adds a great and unexpected sweet twist to the texture of the porridge and semi-tart apple. I follow this with a slab of homemade herby wholemeal toast with apple butter – a new addition to the pantry that is so tasty and simple, if time-consuming, to make; depending of my degree of personal organisation in the morning, toast may be consumed in the car on the way to work. My morning cuppa is evolving as well – it used to be simple Earl Grey with a little cow but now I am looking for a black tea that will blend well with the coconut milk that has replaced cow’s milk almost entirely now. I still keep some 250ml bottles of milk in the freezer for just in case visitors who still prefer something a little more conventional.

I think that I have finally mastered the coconut bannofee smoothie: the key was the coconut milk powder. I now dice a single banana (reduced from the original two) into the blender with a heaped teaspoon of Jed’s #5 coffee and a table spoon of coconut milk powder and zoom it all together for 30 seconds. It’s quick, it’s easy, it tastes great with competing hints of banana, coconut and coffee.

Lunch now is a bannofee smoothie and either a vege smoothie with cabbage or spinach, carrot (for its the ‘Kune carrot season), LSA or flaxseed, and water; or Jen’s pineapple, banana and tumeric smoothie mixed with a 50/50 combo of coconut milk (from the powder) and homemade almond coconut milk. Pre-assembling and freezing a couple of dozen smoothie bags – just add LAS and water – was a good move and, as I polish off the last of the first two batches, I run up some more – I just have to remember to take one out to thaw the night before…

If personal organisation in the morning trends towards zero, and I don’t the smoothies done, not too worry: the Pihanga Cafe in the side of the Chateau does a great and very filling kids menu (burger and chips, pasta, pizza or chicken tenders on a potato mash)for $8.00, $6.00 with a Whakapapa Village community card! Occasionally, I might supplement this with one or two apple oatmeal or almond coconut cookies – both very chewy and filling – or a couple of slices of my jalapeno or kumara bread – now that I have them sussed – toasted…

Dinner is where the variables come out – I am still slowly working to consume all the meat stockpiled in the big freezer. Items like chicken pieces that can be fried go into the air fryer with kumara and potato chips – just got given a big bag of spuds left over from teh ‘Kune Carrot Carnival so need to work on consuming these…watch this space for variations of potato soup themes. Other things that be can be diced or otherwise mixed in, go into one of my repertoire of stews and curries, to be eaten with rice – still currently white but switching to brown once the last of the white is finally gone. That’ll just leave a few small roasts to find something creative and healthy to do with…

So back to my ‘purify’ thought…yes, I think that I am slowly purifying my diet, reducing if not entirely eliminating processed foods and working more and more with the raw (literally) materials…I still get the munchies some evenings but an orange generally deals to these. I know there’s ice cream in the fridge and that I can make a dessert in a cup in minutes but I just can’t excite myself about that sort of food. Don’t panic though..!! I haven’t totally gone off either ice cream or dessert but I’m certainly not hanging out for or consuming either in anything like the quantities that I used to…watch this space for my crack at raindrop cake dessert with ice cream and a passion-fruit (or maybe tamarillo, I haven’t quite decided yet) coulis…

Is it actually achieving anything..? Well…yes…most definitely…although it’s getting into winter here and temperatures are dropping, I’m not eating more so my weight is holding around 87kg; I am sleeping less but way better, and I feel good…thanks Bubble...

Beets, feta and rice

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

Source: Dream | The Daily Post

This is one of those kitchen experiences where everything just came together perfectly…a dream to prepare and more so to consume…

The foundation was another of Jen Rice’s cracker recipes, Roasted Beets With Goat Cheese And Honey…if you have any interest at all in spicing up your kitchen and your diet, you really must check out Jen’s site Sugar Soil: it’s chock full of great ideas and cues to try different ingredients. Living in rural New Zealand, our local shops don’t have the same range of more exotic items as larger centres: at the moment, I’m making regular purchases from Happy and Healthy for things like root tumeric, agar, black rice and bulk almonds and chia seeds.

Anyway…as I’ve discussed on a couple of occasions previously, my green journey is driven by a desire to eat and be more healthy and less by any philosophical issues – although the Hot Doc’s insights into what gets pumped into commercial chicken and cattle gives me pause – so I’ve not gone entirely vegetarian or diary-free, just adjusted my habits for more healthy outcomes…which is why I’m quite comfortable with the dairy content of this particular dish…

As you can see, it is quite simple to prepare but I did make some minor changes:

I thought that I was buying baby beets at the supermarket: I was but it was only when I opened the packets to actually use them that I realised that they were precooked. I should have and will in future just buy normal beetroot.

Jen’s cooking time for this is up to four hours in the oven – I don’t get home from work til around 6 and there is no way that I will be waiting til after 10PM for dinner. My cunning plan was to just toss it all in the slow cooker while I was at work. This sounded like a good plan until I found that the beets were precooked.

I wanted a rice base to bulk it out as a meal – as writ in the original recipe it is more a snack or an entree than a meal in its own right – so set up a cup of black rice to pre-soak through the day so that the only cooking and delay in the evening would be cooking the rice.

I couldn’t find any goat feta locally so opted for the stuff from cows…I think I’ll survive.

I used black sea salt instead of normal salt – I bought some of this just to try but then found I had run out of normal salt any way so it is going into anything calling for salt.

I warmed the honey so it would mix better with the balsamic and spread over the beets.

I was worried that the precooked beets would just turn into mush after a day in the slow cooker. I needn’t have worried as they were still nice and firm when I nervously lifted the lid off that evening.

From there it was just a matter of flicking the rice cooker to ‘cook’ and dicing up a third of the feta…and then racing up to the National Park Village just before it closed to get the Greek yogurt that I had forgotten on my way home – they had none so I had to settle for natural yogurt: not a biggie for this non yogurt connoisseur. They only had a mega container though so will be applying yogurt to the next week or so of meals just to burn it up…

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Yes, my plating still needs work but OM-bloody-G!!! Did this taste good or what??? The best meal I have eaten in a long time – if I do say so myself – even better than the coriander tacos from Eat in Ohakune or my meal at Kokako the last time I was in Auckland and I COOKED IT!!!!

The challenge now is to be able to recreate this success next time. yes, it is possible that the sugars in the beets and the honey contributed to some extent to my sky-rocket level of satisfaction and enjoyment but then my serving also filled me up…

Whether by accident, chance or skill (most likely one of the first two!), this meal offers a great combination of texture and flavour:

The soft smooth beet, yoghurt and cheese is offset by the texture of the black rice.

The sweetness of the beets and rice is balanced by the more tart cheese and yoghurt.

Even the colours work well with the dark red of the beets and the black of the rice contrasted nicely by the lighter cheese and yoghurt.

There’s not really anything that I would change about my ingredients or preparation of this dish – if it ain’t broke… – other than use raw beets next time and see if I can find some Greek yoghurt…This was the first time that I had used the black sea salt and the black rice but both performed well: many recipes mention the need to soak the black rice overnight but it came out well after soaking through the day and also came out of the rice cooker, even after presoaking, better and cleaner than normal white rice…

15 out of 10 on the yummilicious scale!!!!

Hot stuff

Plans for dinner last night didn’t start so well…I was a bit unsure about the meat that I had thawed out during the day so the dogs got a treat for dinner…

Jen Rice’s beer and jalapeño cornbread was already a contender and I had bought some jalapeños and chillies on my way back from the Rangipo Dune field on Monday evening…I had thought that I had bought a couple of cans of Guiness for cooking purposes previously but couldn’t find them anywhere so went with this instead…

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The recipe is quite simple, not much more than mix all the ingredients and bake in a greased pan, so I won’t repeat it here unless I end up changing it at all.

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Almost ready for the oven

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With the butter drizzled over the top before baking – not sure this was a good idea…

It was quite delish though and I was sorely stretched to wait for the recommended 30 minute cool down period before removing it from the pan and slicing the first slice off…the combined aroma of fresh bread and jalapeño wafting out of the kitchen was irresistible…

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Even small slices like these are very filling but I need to think some more on where this might fit on the health scale…probably about midway as there is nothing inherently unhealthy in it, i.e. no sugar but it is three cups of white flower (although I could have added some bran had I thought about it) plus the beer. I used bottled jalapeños and canned corn: I’d prefer fresh next time if I can find some…

The top crust is quite crumbly, possibly due to the butter drizzled over the top before baking. Next time, like, probably tonight, I may try this again but deleting the beer and just putting it through the breadmaker. I think this may give me a denser loaf and less wastage from crumbing – this is too good to waste one speck!!

Have created this, I was a bit lost as to what to have with it and took the lazy option of a can of soup from the pantry – there is probably a reason that it was on special: the only reason that I would buy soup…it wasn’t very nice: well, certainly not a shade on our home-made soups. I tried a spice of jalapeño bread toasted with butter this morning and that was very nice – only later did I remember that I have some dipping sauces in the pantry that I bought because I liked the containers…

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I can’t complain as I’ve had a really good break with the weather while I have been consuming some leave – having the truck (still) at the ‘doctors’ has been a bit of a limiting factor as the courtesy car they gave me is way thirsty than the mighty Ssangyong and it’s only intended for local running – but it is a bit of a crappy day today so there go my intentions to finish off the framing for the roof over the deck on the cottage…

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I made a good start yesterday…it’s not a particularly complex task but made all the more difficult because the design that I inherited in this thing isn’t the greatest and the original construction leaves a lot to be desired: almost nothing is square and the builders took a lot of shortcuts. The spacing on the original roof supports over the deck was only a few cm less than the 660mm width of the supplied roofing iron so my first attempt had to be taken down and redone at 400mmm spacing…

….so insidey jobs today…more cleaning…updating my paper model database and more progressing on this beast…

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It’s not really as chaotic as it looks…just want to get all the foam-reinforced parts ready for sanding (outside) once we get some nice weather again…

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…most of the larger sub-assemblies are done…

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Just debating whether the day deserves a fire or not…

Fission chups

…as our Australian frenz might say…fish and chips to the rest of the world…

One of my challenges in my green journey is slowly purging the house of legacy foodstuffs…I got in early and disposed on the all the processed snacky food like chips/crisps and chocolate bars (too much 4 for $4 at the New World checkout!) before Christmas. Even if the way I disposed of them was not particularly healthy, it got the job done.

I am now working my way through the big freezer in the garage where I have been stashing loads of ‘reduced to clear’ meat. The last 5-6 nights I have been watching movies while peeling and dicing this years take of cooking apples before stewing them for long-term storage over winter: in making space for them in the freezer, I found even more meat packs that need to be disposed of…so dinner selections are becoming a bit of a lucky dip until they are all gone…

Sunday night, two large hoki fillet surfaced – easily enough for two meals for me + as it turned out, a late night snack as well…I probably could have gotten two decent meals from each fillet. Needing to also dispose of the large bag of potatoes in the back pantry, I opted for a traditional serving of fish with chips over a curry or such. I don’t do deep frying any more so the fish had to be baked or pan fried, while the chips would go through the air fryer…

Preparing the chips is pretty simple:

Rinse the potatoes – I don’t bother peeling them

Slice them about 3-4mm thick and about 10mm wide.

Rinse them in the colander from a  Tupperware steamer set and then dry the pieces in a clean tea towel.

Place the dried chips in the base of the Tupperware steamer, pour over a tablespoon of your choice of cooking oil, a good shaking of salt or other flavour – my chip flavour of choice at the moment is Cajun spice mix – place the lid of the steamer on and shake them all about..

Place the oiled and spiced chips into the air fryer basket.

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Turn the fryer to high and set the timer to 20 minutes. Every five minutes or so, take the basket out and give the chips a good shake-up.

DSCF9915I had seen online a recipe for parmesan baked fish but my search couldn’t bring up one that I like so I just ran with the idea and combined what was left of the parmesan in the fridge, grated finely, with parsley and breadcrumbs – both products of home, and 3 cloves of garlic and a little sea salt. I blended this in the Tupperware Terminator and would have had enough for both fillets if I hadn’t knocked the bowl into the sink…

Two eggs, blended by hand, provided a gooey take for the crumb mix and I applied this twice to each piece to get a good thick layer. I poured the little bit of remaining egg over the fish in the pan and followed this with the last of the used crumb mix…one of the recipes I had seen recommended cooking the fish in butter with a lemon’s worth of juice in the pan as well – a great idea!

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The lemon juice made a real difference to the taste – I’ve never been a big fan of squeezing raw juice over my fish – and blended well with the flavours in the crumb mix.

Last night, being a little short on the same crumb mix, I beefed up the surviving mix with more bread crumbs, garlic, parsley and fresh coriander, blending this time in the blender to get this cool Hulk-green colour…

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They might look a little odd in the pan…

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…but tasted beautiful…anyone for a Hulk Fish Burger..?

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Still quite a healthy meal with only a small quantity of butter and oil used, mainly herbs and spices with homemade wholemeal breadcrumbs…I’m quite a way down my green journey so the quantity of potato was probably n the limit for me know but the small quantity of parmesan added good flavour but no weight…

A tale of two peppers (Part Two)

…I knew there was something fishy about the can of chickpeas as I opened it….probably because it was a can of fish…

In my second go-round on stuffed peppers, I used a tried and trusty falafel recipe from Healthy Food Guide for the stuffing:

What you need: 

400g can chickpeas

1 medium onion, finely chopped

small handful fresh parsley, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons flour

Two tomatoes, sliced

Mozzarella cheese, grated

What you do:

Drain and mash the chickpeas by hand.

Add the onion and parsley then the remaining ingredients.

Let the mix rest in the fridge for 30 minutes

Cut each pepper in half and scoop out the innards.

Leave the stalk on because it looks cooler.

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Fill each pepper half with falafel mix and place a tomato slice on top

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Sprinkle a decent amount of the grated mozzarella on top. I’d recommend slicing a small amount off the base of each pepper half so it sits flat and doesn’t fall over in the oven…

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Like these ones did…

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Serve up with potato and kumara chips….it doesn’t look so sharp here as this last photo was an afterthought after I had already started eating…tasted great though….

The chips are cooked in the air fryer so only have use the bare minimum of oil, less than a tablespoon…

My Green Journey – one quarter in…

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A much healthier-looking top shelf

In Happy Endings, really a post about beginning than ending, I described the conversation that was the origin of my green journey. The theme of that particular WordPress challenge was “Tell us about something you’ve tried to quit. Did you go cold turkey, or for gradual change? Did it stick?

I was giving up an unhealthier way of eating and I am pleased to report at the end of the journey’s first quarter, it is working. It may well be working because many of the changes that I have made have been small in nature but large in effect.

Reduced caffeine

I used to churn through a half dozen or more cups of coffee a day. I’m now down to one coffee a day. True, it is the bannofee described here that fills a 700ml smoothie mug I only have one a day, the coffee component is just one normal cup of coffee, the remainder being two bananas and a cup of almond milk, usually unsweetened. So I’m saving in coffee consumption and I am sleeping way better – not as long now but the sleep I get is sooooo much better.

The only time when I will have a coffee that’s not from home is when I am with someone socially – that is really no change from pre-Journey – but I am more likely to consider, if the option is available, a non-diary option…or I might just say “Starbucks, do your worst…” the nearest Starbucks is at least two hours driving from here so it’s not a big risk…

Reduced dairy

I’ve dropped my milk intake right back. It would be down to zero but I had a few litres, quite a few litres, of milk stored in the freezer that I am disposing of the traditional way. Once that is gone, the only cow milk, I’ll have here will be frozen in small bottles, about 250ml each, for cooking and any other circumstance where an alternate milk type won’t cut it. Those bottles will be the smoothie bottles above: they were reduced to $1.99 and, even full, were cheaper than any empty bottle the same size that I could find. I could have done the same with cream bottles but disposing of the original contents may have been defeating the purpose.

I’ve also got a few kilograms of cheese in the freezer and am slower disposing of that in the traditional manner. I am keeping a small quantity of mozzarella and parmesan around as I have yet to identify a suitably tasty non-dairy substitute for these specialist cheeses.One of my original objections in Happy Endings was that there was no life without cheese but I did find and make with relative ease a non-dairy cheese recipe that not only met the requirement but which is easier and less messy to make than dairy cheese (note to self: write up and share notes from non-dairy cheese experiment).

Cream remains a necessary staple for desserts although my sugar not-quite-craving has reduced substantially and so thus has the numbers of desserts prepared.  Beyond an occasional (less than once a week) non-dairy ice cream in a cone, I hardly ever have dessert now unless I am entertaining (well, I am always entertaining: what I mean is when we have guests for dinner). But you cannot have butterscotch pudding or brandy cream on waffles without real cream from a real cow.

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I didn’t notice any real change when I swapped almond milk for cow milk but I definitely felt slower and heavier as soon as I went back to cow milk and dairy cheese. I don’t need much more incentive than that to stay my healthy course so far as dairy is concerned.I used to have an off-the-shelf iced coffee with my emergency breakfast i.e. those mornings when coordination and organisation are sub-optimal,  from the garage in National Park but it made me feel the same way so I’ve dropped that as well.

I mainly use almond milk in cups of tea and coffee and in my pretty-much-daily bannofees; and rice milk for bulk applications like on my breakfast muesli. The rice milk is cheaper than the almond milk and useful when the main purpose of the ‘milk’ is to soak. Drinks taste slightly different with almond milk, not better or worse, just different, and I notice that the original taste of the drink remains more distinct than with cow milk. After an awesome coconut coffee at Eat in Ohakune a couple of weeks ago, I am going to try using coconut milk for those (now) rare occasions, mainly when we have guests, that I have a normal coffee, like, with no bananas. After my pretty-much successful pumpkin spice latte, I am confident that I can froth up coconut milk much the same way as normal milk…

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I had more to say on this than I thought…to be continued…

Waffling away…

At the end of this quest, my question really was “What is a waffle?

This is not, apparently, as simple as it seems…this started as a simple chat about breakfasts…this recipe was one that I found at Minimalist Baker; it sounded pretty delish…how complex could waffles be…? Really..?

It turns out that waffles live in a complex world indeed, with many versions and variations. It amazes me, that for all my time working in Brussels, I never once tried a waffle from even one of the dozens of waffle vendors I would walk by every day…

If waffles are meant to be light and crispy, this recipe doesn’t deliver that: these waffles are heavy and chewy but not unpleasant, more so when they are primarily a delivery vehicle for the toppings…

Like I care but this is a vegan recipe (less the cream at the end) I’m interested to see how these alternate recipes work especially replacements for staples like eggs.

Ingredients

  • 1 flax egg (http://minimalistbaker.com/how-to-make-a-flax-egg/ )
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice:
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
    • Directions
    • In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Store in an airtight container.
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup very strong brewed coffee
  • 1 1/4 cups spelt or whole wheat pastry flour (I just used normal flour – this alternate stuff only goes so far)

Instructions

  • Make a strong coffee mix – I used a teaspoon of Jed’s #5 in a 1/3 of a cup of water.
  • Prepare the flax egg by combining water and flaxseed in a large bowl and letting it rest for 5 minutes.
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Flax ‘egg’ and and strong coffee mix

  • Add the pumpkin puree, coconut oil, brown sugar, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice and whisk together.
  • Add the almond milk and coffee and stir once more.

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  • Lastly add flour and stir until just combined. Let the batter rest for 5 minutes while preheating your waffle iron.
  • Once preheated, spoon about 1/2 cup of the batter onto the centre of the iron and cook according to your machine’s instructions.

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  • Once done, remove and place on cooling rack to let steam roll off and crisp up a bit.

I keep the toppings simple:

  • Original maple syrup – the real stuff not the maple-flavoured stuff you waste on the kids.
  • Brandy cream – about 100ml of cream with a nip of brandy, beaten til it’s stiff.
  • Four berry coulis – three large strawberries, and a small handful or blueberries, blackberries and raspberries, blended to a cream.

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Insights

I need to review my waffling technique – my waffles kept splitting when i opened the lid – I don’t think the ;light on the waffle iron really doesn’t anything useful – it just cycles randomly between red and green.

One nip of brandy for 100mls of cream isn’t enough – I could taste the brandy but it was beaten up by the maple syrup and berry flavours.

I’m not sure if the pumpkin puree actually does anything other than add weight. I am getting a bit dubious about this pumpkin puree thing because it didn’t add much to the pumpkin spice latte we had with dinner a couple of weeks ago

On the other hand, even a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice adds a delightful hint of spice the weaves itself in and around the more domineering toppings.

The coffee adds a real kick!! These are definitely waffles for breakfast as they hit you right in the motivator!!

The bitter-sweet of the berry coulis worked really well with the cream, despite the weak brandy flavour, but a tad of sugar in the cream would not have gone astray…

The flax egg seems to have done the business in lieu of a conventional egg – the only way I can really tell is to remake the recipe using a real egg…which I may do…one day…