Easy Strawberry Vanilla Vegan Crepes

After the crazy first week of college that I’ve had, I could use a batch of these deliciously light crepes.


Hi! It’s been a while, I know. Quick update: I have since relocated to Philadelphia. Pennsylvania in the USA from Zimbabwe to start college at the University of Pennsylvania! How’s the first few weeks of college been? Insane, wild and fun to put it in a few words. Expect a blog post detailing my experiences to come soon!

Anyways, on to this recipe. I think that crepes are severely underrated and underappreciated. The French really had something going with this one. Crepes can be had as either a breakfast option or a dessert, but the best part of having crepes is that the basic recipe never changes but there is an infinite combination of crepe fillings. I just filled these with cacao macademia spread (a vegan alternative to Nutella) and fresh strawberries but you can go with whatever you like! I’ve previously used lemon curd, strawberry jam and even plain sugar. You can top them with powdered sugar, ice cream, custard, the limits go as far as your imagination!


Strawberry Vanilla Vegan Crepes 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 cups soy milk (or any other plant based milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tbsp any neutral oil (I used coconut oil but vegetable oil would work too)
  • ½ cup strawberry jam or chocolate spread
  • 100g fresh strawberries, sliced in half

Method

  1. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Stir together before pouring in the soy milk, vanilla essence and oil. Stir with a fork until just combined. Don’t worry about getting all the lumps out it’s okay if there are a few here and there. The batter should be very runny.
  2. Heat a large saucepan on high and brush with some oil. Try not to add to much oil to the pan otherwise the crepe batter will run with the oil. Use a ladle to pour the crepe batter in the saucepan. Swirl the pan around to spread the crepe batter all around the bottom of the pan. Cook until the edges of the crepe start to turn up, about 2 minutes, before turning over. Remove the warm crepe to a plate and store in a warm oven so that they don’t get cold. Repeat the process until you’ve used up all the crepe batter.
  3. Once you’ve cooked all the crepes, spread the lighter side of the crepes with some strawberry jam or chocolate spread. Fold the crepes into half and then into quarters before serving topped with the fresh strawberries. Enjoy!
Advertisements

How to Plan Your Mother’s Day Breakfast In Bed

Greetings all! Welcome to the first of a series of posts that focus on all things outside the kitchen. Think hosting dinner parties, sustainability and food security, DIY projects and basically everything else that’s on my mind. Today, we’ll be talking about setting up an epic breakfast spread for Mother’s Day.


For all my regular readers, you’ll know that I am no stranger to breakfasts in bed. If you’re new around these here parts, I’d just like to say hello, I’m glad you’re here! If you’d like to dig around in my archives, here are my 2 previous breakfast in bed posts, one with lemon ricotta pancakes and the other with berry waffles. Featured in this post are these Carrot Cake Pancakes


There’s nothing much to creating a memorable breakfast in bed, there are just a couple of points to consider whenever you’re planning a breakfast in bed:

  1. Is there anything messy that could ruin your bedsheets?

There is nothing more aesthetically pleasing yet heart wrenchingly terrifying than a photo of a large breakfast spread on stark white bed sheets. Sure, we’d all like to wake up to that, but not all of us would like to then be responsible for the sticky bright orange juice stain on the Egyptian cotton sheets. People with fur babies at home, please be especially cautious about this. I’m not saying that you’re not allowed to enjoy a glass of freshly squeezed OJ at brekkie, I’m just forewarning you of any possible outcomes. The last thing you’d want is to stress your mum about is the clean-up.

Beware of these culprits: maple syrup/honey, fruit juice, tea or any beverages, jam or marmalade.


2. Consider the whole picture

There are 4 elements that I like to include in every breakfast of bed that I plan. These are something sweet, something savoury, something to drink and something pretty. In this particular one, I have these carrot cake pancakes, avocado toast, orange juice and flowers. For aesthetic purposes I have also included a newspaper and a ramekin of strawberries.


To me, breakfast in bed is about providing the hotel experience, lots of choices involved. What separates this from a hotel breakfast (apart from the fact that it’s free) is that this is done from the heart. That means making everything from scratch. This is something I refuse to budge on. You don’t have to create something elaborate, 2 options is better than none. I can almost guarantee that your mother would greatly favour your burnt cinnamon rolls and soggy toast over supermarket croissants. I don’t care how good your local baker is, this is non-negotiable. This is about a gesture of goodwill towards your mother, in the spirit of celebrating her, the least you can do is make an effort.


3. Think about how long it will take to prepare breakfast and plan accordingly

I’m lucky to live in a household where I don’t have to worry about my mother leaving her boudoir until about 10am, leaving me plenty of time to prepare. For those who are not as fortunate, it would do you well to prepare the night before lest you think about waking up at 5 am to have breakfast ready. Due to the simplicity of breakfast in bed, many elements can be prepared the night before and assembly is the only thing left for the morning.


To be done the night before:

  • Cutting and arranging the flowers
  • Wrapping the present and writing the card
  • Preparing any yeasted dough e.g. croissants, kouign amann, cinnamon rolls or bread that can then be baked in the morning
  • Organising the add-ons such as jam, butter, fresh fruit
  • Preparing pancake/waffle batter, though I wouldn’t advise keeping these around for more than 12 hours

Although most recipes let you know how long it will take you to prepare it, give yourself an extra 15 minutes for every hour, so if the recipe says 30 minutes, give yourself about 40 minutes; if it says 2 hours, give yourself 2 hours and 30 minutes. This is just to allow for any unfortunate happenings that may become you when you’re in the kitchen. The last thing you’d want is to keep mum starving.


All these points taken in consideration, you should be set for a stellar Mother’s Day breakfast. I wish you the best of luck for this Sunday! If I missed anything or if you have any more points you’d like to bring up, leave a comment below!

Until next time loves,

x Andy


 

Vegan Coconut Carrot Cake Pancakes

It’s D-Day for my mother’s vegetable garden.

It’s that wonderful time of year when everything is ready for harvesting. This week, we have homegrown spinach, carrots and onions gracing the pantry. How beautiful is this produce? 

It was only appropriate that I used our carrots to make something special, and as Mother’s Day is right around the corner, I’ve been itching to do another pancake post. You see how this post came to be, yes? These pancakes are part of this guide to making the perfect Mother’s Day breakfast in bed

These pancakes are nothing short of moist, delicious and did I mention, ridiculously easy to make? These no frills, no fuss, pancakes are the perfect accessory for your breakfast table. 

Vegan Coconut Carrot Cake Pancakes                                                      makes 8 pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 and ¼ cups flour
  • 1 and ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup grated carrot (about 1 large carrot)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Optional add-ins: 3 tbsp raisins, 2 tbsp crushed pecans, a handful of coconut chips

Method

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Stir together to combine. Add the grated carrot and stir to distribute. Pour in the coconut milk and apple cider vinegar and use a wooden spoon to gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet, being careful not to overmix. If you’re adding any of the extras, then now would be the time to do so.

Set the pancake mixture aside whilst you preheat a non-stick frying pan. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil/vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add a ¼ cup measurement of pancake batter to the pan and cook for 3 minutes before gently flipping over and cooking for another 2 minutes. Remove to a warm plate and repeat until you’ve used up all the batter. Serve warm topped with coconut cream and extra grated carrot and/or dessicated coconut. Enjoy!

 

 

Spinach and Feta Pesto Muffins

This recipe was originally posted on the 9th August 2016, but was updated with new photos and reposted on the 10th of May 2017. For the original photos, scroll to the bottom of this blog post. 

Killer combos: balsamic vinegar + honey, pasta + pesto, spinach + feta

Today, I decided to get you back onto the healthy wagon having tempted you with these killer chocolate chunk cookies, heavenly rich thick milkshakes and perfectly cooked French fries. We’re going to try and be healthy, okay? I’d also like to debunk this myth that healthy and tasty are mutually exclusive. These spinach and feta pesto muffins are everything you could ever want: an extremely light crumb, bursting with flavour in every bite and extremely filling. Loaded with the super food spinach, these could not be any healthier. It just happened to be a coincidence that these muffins are also sugar-free.


Let me dress down this superior vegetable just so you can see how amazing it is.

1. It turns Popeye into a superhuman.

Are you hoping to increase your gains in the gym? They say that abs are built in the kitchen and not the gym, so look no further than this lean green muscle building machine! Spinach: taking Popeye from 0-100 in 0.4 seconds since 1929.

Meal planning tip: make these muffins on a Sunday and freeze them. Defrost as needed for a grab and go breakfast.

2. It’s loaded with all sorts of great things such as iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B2 and folic acid. What that means for you: increased energy, stronger bones and lower blood pressure.

3. It can be used to make these bomb-ass muffins


The only thing I can fault spinach for is how much it shrinks. Uncooked spinach is roughly 25% water. That explains why this happens whilst making these muffins. I used my Simple Spinach and Parmesan pesto  to give these muffins that lovely dark green colour. It only takes 5 minutes to prepare the pesto, but if you’re seriously short on time then you don’t have to make it.


Spinach and Feta Pesto Muffins                                                               makes 10-12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 and ½ cups self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach or 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp spinach pesto, homemade or store bought (optional)
  • ¾ cup feta cheese, cut into cubes

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease 12 muffin cups, you can also line them with parchment paper to give it a more fancy look. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and paprika.
  2. Add the milk, oil and eggs to a separate smaller bowl and whisk until combined. If you’re using fresh spinach, add it to a colander and pour boiling water over the spinach until reduced in size by about 50%. Now squeeze the spinach to get all the water out. By the time you’re done squeezing, the ball of spinach you’ll be left with will be no bigger than a child’s fist. Carefully add the reduced spinach to the egg mixture and stir until the spinach is incorporated. Add the parmesan cheese.
  3. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the egg mixture into the middle. Use a rubber spatula to mix the two together to obtain a thick batter. Drop the tablespoons of pesto into the batter and gently stir it in to yield a dark green colour. Don’t be tempted to mix the pesto completely in, it’s okay if there are streaks of it in the batter.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool at room temperature for about 10 minutes before consuming warm. These can also be eaten at room temperature. Store in a cool dry place for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month. To reheat, microwave on high for 40 seconds or place in a warm oven at 200°C for 5 minutes.


Chocolate Chai Quinoa Granola Bars

I’m falling in love with chai spice.


There’s something magical about this particular combination of spices. Whether it comes from their insane health benefits, how good they taste together or the fact that it can be applied to any dish and make it 100× better. Especially when there’s chocolate involved.


Enter: these granola bars. Easy grab on the go snacks. They’re perfect just before a workout, during a long road trip or whenever you need a pick-me-up. They’re also ridiculously easy to make. They’re easily customised, so you can add whatever takes your fancy here. I’m talking coconut chips, sunflower seeds, chocolate chips, dried fruit, whatever you like! Need a weekend project? These bars- RIGHT NOW!!!


Chocolate Chai Quinoa Granola Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • ½ cup flaked almonds
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup almond butter
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tsp coconut oil

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper or aluminium foil, leaving an overhang so that you can remove the bars. In a large bowl, combine the oats, quinoa, almonds, chia seeds, cardamom, pepper, ginger and cinnamon. Mix with a wooden spoon until combined. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl. combine the almond butter, maple syrup and vanilla essence. Microwave for 30 seconds before whisking to combine. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the almond butter mixture into the centre. Use a wooden spoon to fold the wet ingredients into the dry.
  3. Dump the mixture into the square pan and press down into an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes or until set and remove to cool. Once the bars have cooled, use the parchment overhang to pull the bars out of the pan. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 bars.
  4. Add the chocolate and coconut oil to a small bowl. Microwave in 20 second increments, whisking after each, until melted. Drizzle the chocolate over the sliced bars. Leave for 5 minutes to set before indulging. Enjoy!

30 Minute Mexican Potato and Kale Anytime Hash

The 30 minute dinner of my dreams.Whenever I’m tired, uninspired or just lazy to cook, this is what I have for dinner. Roasted potatoes cooked in a tomato sauce and topped with a runny poached egg; what more could I want? What I love about this recipe is that it isn’t strict or bound by a set of predetermined rules. Only got sweet potatoes? That’s fine, sub them in. Hate spicy food? Leave the cayenne pepper out. Are you pressed for time? Take a shortcut and fry the potatoes on the stove top instead of roasting them in the oven.

This recipe is full of glorious shortcuts and magical alteration options, you can top it with more fresh herbs, some grated cheese (or nutritional yeast if vegan), sour cream, the options are endless! Go forth my lovelies: cook dinner, take photos, tag me in your photos, I’d love to see what you come up with! Happy weekend!

30 Minute Mexican Potato and Kale Anytime Hash

Ingredients

For the potatoes:

  • 2 Russet potatoes, washed, unpeeled and chopped into bite sized pieces (may sub sweet potatoes)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp each salt and black pepper
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp ground mustard
  • ½ tsp dried oregano

For the hash:

  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup chopped kale

optional for serving: poached egg (here’s a handy guide), nutritional yeast, whole grain toast or parmesan cheese

Method

Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F. In a large bowl, throw together all the ingredients for the potatoes and shake until the potatoes are covered in spice. Lay the potatoes in a single layer on a large baking tray and roast for 20 minutes or until browned and crispy on the outside.

Once the potatoes have roasted, heat a deep cast iron pot on high, add a glug of vegetable oil and fry the diced onion until translucent, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat before adding the tomato paste. Cook until the tomato paste has caramelised, being careful not to let it burn, another 2 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and stir until everything has combined. Add the kale and roasted potatoes to the pot and stir to coat in the sauce. Cook on low heat until the kale has softened, about 5 minutes.

Serve immediately topped with a poached egg (omit if vegan), nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese! Leftovers keep well in the fridge and make a delicious lunch, enjoy!

Chocolate Banana Nut Swirl Muffins

There are more bananas in my house at this moment than I know what to do with. As a result I’ve been baking banana breads and making nana ice cream like it’s my full time job.


Fun fact: I cannot stomach bananas. Eating the fruit raw makes me feel sick to my stomach. But give me nana ice-cream, banana pancakes or banana bread and you’ll make me a happy gal. I guess my stomach can only take it when the taste is masked by a ton of sugar and chocolate?


That is the subject of today’s recipe: these soft, yummy muffins. These are best made in a batch on a Sunday afternoon and eaten all through the week as a power snack. Score!

Chocolate Banana Nut Swirl Muffins                                             makes 12 muffins
Ingredients

  • ¾ cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed (approximately 1 cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt (may sub buttermilk)
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans and/or chocolate chips

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease 9 spaces in your muffin tin and line with wrappers.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Crack in the eggs and mix well to combine. Add the mashed bananas, vanilla essence and Greek yogurt and whisk until incorporated.
  3. Sieve in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet, being careful not to overmix. Add the chocolate chips and pecans and gently stir to distribute. Remove half of the batter to a small bowl.
  4. Add the cocoa powder to half of the muffin batter and stir until incorporated. Add a tablespoon of the yellow batter followed by a tablespoon of the chocolate batter to the lined tins, filling them ¾ of the way to the top. Gently use a toothpick or the tip of a knife to gently swirl the yellow batter into the chocolate batter. Top with chocolate chips or pecans if desired.
  5. Bake in the preheat oven for 17-20 minutes to until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before devouring. Will keep in a sealed container for 5 days, or frozen for up to a month. Eat as an easy breakfast on the go!