Protein Rich Muesli…the yummiest you’ll ever eat!

I’m a busy, breastfeeding mum with 4 boys (well actually 5 if you include Not-hubby) to keep up with. I’ve struggled for some time to find a breakfast that is quick, tasty and able to sustain me until  lunchtime so the only thing left was to make my own protein filled muesli. I try to be gluten free (or at least minimal gluten) and it’s nigh on impossible to find a decent gf muesli that tastes great and doesn’t cost the earth.

Of course, this recipe is just a guide really and you can change the ingredients as you desire. I have put organic oats in this one so it isn’t gluten free but definitely wheat free which, for me, is the next best thing. If gluten is an issue, simply omit the oats and substitute them with something else…extra quinoa flakes or puffs, rice flakes or puffs, dried fruit, whatever you desire. And the toasting, that’s all personal taste too. I like mine quite toasty but you can bake for less time if you prefer.

2 cups puffed millet

2 cups rice puffs (I normally use quinoa but there seems to have been a nation wide shortage lately)

2 cups quinoa flakes

2 cups rolled oats (preferably organic)

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup flaked almonds (or chopped if you prefer)

1 cup sesame seeds

2 cups chopped raw macadamias

1 cup pepitas

2 cups shredded coconut (make sure it’s preservative free)

2 cups dried cranberries

2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp chai sprinkle (optional, but it really makes the muesli something else)

130g butter (pure butter, no additives) or you could use dairy free spread or even a nut oil

1 cup honey

3/4 cup agave nectar

Preheat oven to 120 °C. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a small saucepan melt the honey, agave and butter over low heat until boiling. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well, making sure everything is well coated. Spread evenly over a baking tray and roast for 20 minutes then give a stir and roast a further 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

protein muesli

 

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Failsafe falafel

These are brilliant, if I may say so myself!!! Who doesn’t like a little ball of chickpea goodness? Personally I do prefer mine with some yummy spices but these are pretty damn good compromise. You can make them into patties or balls of any size. Like all falafels, they’re best deep fried, but if formed into patties, they can be shallow fried successfully too.

 

2 cups chickpeas

2 cups celery leaf or celery stalk

6 spring onions roughly chopped

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp citric acid

3 cloves garlic

good pinch saffron

3 tbsp tapioca flour

1/2 cup parsley (leave out if super sals sensitive and add extra spring onion)

Soak chickpeas in water overnight or all day. Drain and rinse before using. Place all ingredients into food processor and blitz until the mix resembles fine cous cous. Refrigerate for about an hour. Using wet hands, roll into balls or patties of desired size.  Deep fry in hot oil until golden.

 

 

Chook Nuts!!

I had an epiphany…another one! They’re few and far between but when they happen, they’re something to behold, that’s for sure. I decided to make some chicken nuggets, or the like, and these little crunchy balls of sheer deliciousness are what resulted.

I’ve used quinoa for coating as it adds an amazing texture but you could certainly use rice crumbs or even bread crumbs…but they won’t be as crunchy.

I will ramble on no more….

1kg chicken breast chopped into chu
nks (you could use breast mince)

6 spring onions roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic

1 tsp saffron

2 tsp salt

2 tbsp maple syrup

1/4 tsp citric acid

1/4 cup besan (chickpea) flour

Quinoa for rolling in

Grind salt and saffron in a mortar and pestle to form a powder. Place spring onions, garlic and saffron salt in food processor and blitz until finely chopped. Add remaining ingredients (except the quinoa) and blitz until well combined. Using wet hands, roll the mixture into smallish balls then roll in quinoa to coat thoroughly. Deep or shallow fry in HOT oil until golden and cooked through (between 5 and 10 minutes).

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Gluten Free Protein Slice

I’ve been going mad making and eating my gluten free muesli slice lately, so much so that I’ve been making a double batch every week. It has been a very versatile snack indeed and a very convenient breakfast…I’ve even been fighting the kids for the last piece in the container!

Since bubs came along back in February, I’ve been struggling to get a wholesome breakfast down my throat…not because I’m not hungry but because of time and convenience. It’s very tricky eating cereal one handed whilst breast feeding a baby. If you don’t believe me, try it, haha. So my love affair with the above mentioned muesli slice led me to an epiphany…..why don’t I make a protein rich version? So guess what….I did…and here it is. It is YUMMY!

Oh, by the way, this makes a BIG batch!!

2 cups of puffed rice

2 cups of puffed quinoa

1 cup of quinoa flakes

1 cup of roast buckwheat (or buckwheat puffs)

1 cup of sunflower seeds

1 cup of pepitas

1 cup of sesame seeds

1 cup of coconut

1 cup of coconut flour

1 cup of chopped macadamias (or any other nut of your choice)

2 cups of dried cranberries (or other dried fruit of your choice)

250g of honey

125g of butter or dairy free spread

1 cup of brown sugar or sugar substitute

Preheat oven to 120°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper (oil the tray lightly to help paper stick if you wish). Mix all dry ingredients, except the sugar, in a large bowl. Put honey and butter in a saucepan and bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Mix thoroughly through the dry ingredients. Press into baking tray, making sure it is evenly distributed and bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool in tray before removing and slicing otherwise it will fall apart.

Fresh from the oven

Fresh from the oven

Cut up and ready to devour

Cut up and ready to devour

Vanilla Saffron Chicken Thing

Oh dear lord, it’s been a while since I posted anything. Life has been chaotic to say the least!! I gave birth to a gorgeous baby boy (number 4) back on February 25th, after what felt like years of suffering. It was really only a couple of months but gee did it drag!!! Sitting at the computer became a thing of the past…and still is really although today I have managed to steal a few moments of uninterrupted computer time…so best I make this quick before those moments are gone.

Ok, so I was experimenting with flavours last year…oh look, the toddler is awake, he can wait a few minutes…and discovered that saffron and vanilla go swimmingly with chicken. That’s saffron and vanilla together in the one dish. Yes, surprising that a “sweet” flavouring like vanilla could work so well in a savoury meal but trust me, it does! It’s my new taste sensation.

I discovered vanilla powder (ground vanilla beans) at a local health food store and have fallen in love with the stuff. It is a fraction of the price of whole vanilla beans and is much nicer than any extract, essence or paste I have ever tried. I suggest you get your hands on a pack. If you can’t find it at your local health food store, let Google help you as it is also available online.

1 leek

1 stalk of celery finely sliced

4 largish carrots roughly diced (or swede if looking for a low chemical option)

3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 1/2 tsp of salt

1 tsp of saffron

1/4 tsp of vanilla powder (or 1 vanilla bean, scraped)

1 kg of chicken (I prefer drumsticks with the knob end removed but thighs work well too)

Enough water to just cover

2 cups of cabbage or the like (eg silverbeet, spinach, buk choy if tolerated)

1/2 cup of rice milk (or whatever milk you tolerate)

1-2 tbsp of potato starch

4-6 spring onions

Grind the saffron with the salt in a mortar and pestle to break up the saffron strands. Sautee leek, garlic, celery and carrots in a little oil until leek is just wilted. Add the chicken, saffron salt, vanilla and water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through, adding the cabbage for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Add the spring onion then stir the potato starch into the milk and add to the pot, stirring constantly until thickened. Season with extra salt to taste. Tis delish served over a mix of rice and quinoa.

vanilla saffron chicken thing

Gluten and dairy free carob truffles

I did it! Another triumph in the kitchen! I took an old fashioned favourite and turned it into a treat my middle son can eat! He’s going to be one very excited little kiddywink when I surprise him with these truffles tomorrow afternoon when he gets home from his father’s 🙂

I wracked my brain for ages to come up with a dairy free alternative to sweetened condensed milk and just last week, whilst reading a post on a Facebook page, I had an epiphany! So here it is…..

300g of dairy and gluten free shortbread biscuits (I used Orgran)

1 cup of raw cashews crushed (in the food processor until they are quite fine)

1/2 cup of carob powder

1/2 tsp of ground vanilla bean (or 1tsp vanilla extract)

1/4 cup of rice malt syrup

1/4 cup of maple syrup

1/4 cup (55g) nuttelex (or other dairy free spread)

naturally coloured sprinkles for rolling in (or for a less festive look, more crushed cashews)

Crush the biscuits until they’re fine crumbs then mix with the crushed cashews, ground vanilla bean and carob powder (if using vanilla extract, add that with the wet ingredients). Heat the syrups and nuttelex until just melted (1 minute in the microwave) then stir through the dry ingredients and mix well. Allow to cool for a few minutes then roll into teaspoon sized balls and coat in natural sprinkles or crushed cashews. Place in the fridge to set.

Df gf carob truffles

Prawn Curry

My big guys were at their father’s yet again and all “not-hubby” wanted for dinner was a curry with rice, basmati rice. Who was I to argue? Just so long as it wasn’t too spicy as “belly baby” doesn’t seem to like overly spiced foods these days, and it was a seafood curry of some sort.

I found a curry in a book some time ago that I have made a few times, but of course I always change it slightly. I find that most curries in regular cookbooks lack something…usually a bit of oomph. Now I’m no spice expert, but I do know when a curry is lacking something and I can generally work out what it is. I think most recipes keep it quite mild and almost bland so as not to offend too many Western tastebuds. Well when the kids aren’t around, I like my food to be anything but bland…just not too spicy hot at the moment. So here is my adaptation of the prawn curry from one of my rarely used cookbooks. Oh, by the way, it is far from Failsafe. Another thing, if prawns aren’t your thing, you can use chicken fillets, firm white fish like rockling or you can even make into a vegetarian dish by using potatoes, cauliflower, snow peas, aubergine (eggplant), capsicum. I have even made it with a mix of prawns and white fish.

1/2 kg of raw prawns (peeled)

knob of butter or ghee or just some oil if you want a dairy free option

1 large onion diced

4 cloves of crushed garlic

1 tbsp fresh grated ginger

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste. I normally use at least half a teaspoon)

2 1/2 tsp of cumin

1 1/2  tsp of ground coriander

1 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp of turmeric

1 can of chopped tomatoes (about 425g)

200ml of coconut cream

1 finely chopped green chilli

handful of roughly chopped fresh coriander

salt to taste

Heat oil or butter in a medium saucepan then sautee the onion until just tender. Add the garlic and ginger and cook a further minute. Toss in the dried spices and cook until fragrant (about a minute or 2). Add the prawns and tomatoes, bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer gently for about 10 – 15 minutes or until prawns are cooked through. Add the coconut cream, chilli and salt and heat through but do not boil, then add the coriander. Serve over fluffy basmati rice.