The first instalment in my semi-regular update of what’s been going on in Tommy’s Happy Kitchen!
Following last week’s blog this is the first instalment in capturing some of the goodies that have been concocted in my kitchen. It’s not an exhaustive food diary but aims to capture new things I have discovered, experiments on existing recipes that may (or may not have) gone well and good things that I’ve managed to get the kids to eat.
Success is when I manage to get the kids to eat something that can later be tweaked, twisted or simply reheated so that Lucy and I can eat it ourselves; we don’t always manage to eat together as a family but a minimum of extra effort when we eat later is always very welcome indeed!
A note on recipes – I very rarely follow recipes to the letter either because I don’t have all the ingredients or I think a different way will work better. Where I make changes and link to a recipe I will try to capture this.
Term time weekday breakfasts generally need to be quick. Where possible I like to get more nutrients into the kids than jam on toast or a bowl of cereal. A serving of Chocolate Buckweat Granloa is a major hit, so much so that we always seem to have run out. I like to improvise and today we had: jumbo oats (2tbsp) and flaxseed (1tbsp) soaked in blood orange juice served with a good dollop of yoghurt, kiwi and blueberries. I then topped this with roasted buckwheat (kasha), pumkin seeds and bee pollen (Alice opted out of the last 2 of these). I keep a lot of grains and seeds in glass Le Parfait jars and whether soaked overnight or briefly in the morning these always produce an express breakfast, in the preparation if not in the eating! I will produce a few sample recipes in future posts but the combinations are almost limitless.
I will cover my thoughts on sugar replacements in a future blog (overpriced woo foods or genuinely better alternatives to refined white sugar) but I do use these quite extensively. I have been working with a friend of mine to give a sweet alternative to pots of Hartley’s jelly. My personal favourite so far have been some Hemp Protein Breakfast bars where I substituted more hemp seeds for the hemp protein powder and more oats for the poppy seeds – both because I did not have the ingredients called for. I also used 15 dates rather than the 20 specified due to food shortages! These were sublime and were used both for breakfast with the kids (added yoghurt and fruit) and for snacks. The photos for these are the cover photo.
The previous week I also cooked up some sweet potato brownies. These were a combination of 2 or 3 of the first Google Search term for “sweet potato brownies” and I have made these a couple of times now. The more cacao you use the stronger (and I think better) the taste but this will be an individual choice – pic below. These are very good and certainly moreish but less sweet than a “genuine” brownie.
Lunch & Dinner
The kids LOVE baked beans but they are high in added salt and sugar. I took the Deliciously Ella Baked Beans recipe – get a link to it by clicking here – and tweaked by adding some onions, maple syrup, stock, chorizo (see bel0w) and cabbage. The girls seemed to like this a lot although Alice picked out the chorizo (which Zoe ate) and Zoe picked out the cabbage (which I ate). With the choice additions this was a whole meal.
Squashes make an amazing main ingredient for soups. Simply chop and onion, sweat it. Add some butternut squash (seen simmering below), spices, stock to cover and season and one blend later you have a wonderful soup. Add a finishing note of a dollop of harissa and this is a quick, easy and healthy lunch. Double up and you can stretch it over a few days.
Finally I’ll share last night’s meal for 2. Lucy was lateish back and picked up a couple of small goats cheeses. I roasted up a beetroot, a couple of small sweet potatoes and 2 red peppers. I added the goats cheese for about 10 mins in the oven at the end and served the veg on a bed of rocket drizzled with a basil dressing (whizzed up some basil with olive & rapeseed oil plus seasoning). Cooking time was over an hour due to the beetroot roasting time but if we spent 5 mins each on actually preparing I would be surprised. This was a great meat-free meal but sadly I forgot to take a pic.
Recipe of the Week – most definitely the hemp breakfast bars which were sensational and can double up as breakfast, pudding and a snacky treat!