Spiced Citrus Quinoa Porridge

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A fast blog is a good blog when it comes to recipes, right? All you really want to know is what you need and how to make it. Simple. Just like this little belly-warmer…

So let’s go!

  • 1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 orange, rind and flesh
  • 3cm knob ginger, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • almond flakes
  • rice malt syrup/ maple syrup
  • banana – or berries if you prefer (to serve)
  • soy milk (optional)

Bring quinoa to the boil and then add cloves, ginger and orange rind. Simmer until quinoa has absorbed all of the water.

Remove the cloves and orange rind. Dice the orange and stir through the quinoa.

Serve hot topped with cinnamon, almond flakes, banana, and a drizzle of rice malt syrup.

 

Try this…

Pre-cook the quinoa the night before so that it’s ready for you when you rise, bleary-eyed for that early morning class or off to work.

Play around with substituting part of the water for orange juice.

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Just Juice Part 1: hold the fructose!

It’s been a while since I posted anything food related. Many of you who are new to my blog (by the way, welcome!) may have mistaken me for a flash fiction writer. I’m not-so-secretly very happy if that is the case. However, I thought I’d take a breather from that today as it’s quite an intense process – particularly when you’re not used to producing new work every day. The A to Z Challenge has truly been just that – a challenge! – but a wonderful one at that.

Truth be told, I originally started this blog as a means of exploring and recording my journey with food. If you’ve happened to take a little trip around ‘an immovable feast’ you may have stumbled upon my fructose malabsorption info. I’ve been meaning to do a post about juicing for a while. In the fructose-free world, juices are almost unheard of. Go to any juice bar and you’ll find most of the base ingredients that provide the all-important sweetness – and let’s face it, the part that makes them taste good! – are loaded with high amounts of fructose (apples, honey…). Which is totally fine, if you don’t suffer the consequences later! But these can be simply taken out or substituted for other options (like kiwi fruit, rice malt syrup…)

If I’m blatantly honest…I also am fairly useless at actually juicing at home. I keep vowing to get into it and yet, come breakfast time, always end up opting for the peanut-butter-on-toast option. But then, I could eat peanut butter any time of day. Which is actually counter-productive as peanuts have the highest fructose content of all the nuts! I blame my low blood sugar – it craves the salt.

I’m a bad yogi. And loving it.

Enough! Onto the juice recipes!

So as you can see, you may get around to trying these out before I do, and if so – let me know how you go! I workshopped these ideas with a lovely nutritionist from the Retreat Cafe at The Power Yoga Company. If you’re a Londoner, I highly recommend you get yourself along to this quirky little oasis. You don’t even need to do a yoga class – just plan a breakfast date! You’ll notice I haven’t included measurements as with juicing, it’s all down to personal preference. As a general rule, the ingredients are in order from ‘more of this’ to ‘less of that’. So play around and see what works for your taste buds.

Retreat
beetroot
carrot
apple *
ginger
Lumi Lounge
cucumber
celery
apple *
lemon
ginger
Coco-Nana
coconut water
banana
spinach
1/2 cucumber
kiwi fruit
Green Monkey
almond milk
banana
spinach
chlorella/ spirulina
My favourite… (this one I actually make religiously…)
soy milk (or regular, if you prefer)
banana
cinnamon
vanilla extract
chia seeds
spirulina

*omit for fructose free option

So that should get you started! One of these days, I’ll get on to that too..

20140411-080846.jpgLumi Lounge at Lumi Power Yoga

 

fruit free muesli

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For a long time, one of my favourite things to eat on a cold Melbourne morning used to be a big bowl of hot toasted muesli. In fact, it used to be one of my favourite things to eat as an afternoon delight too. However, since discovering all my tummy sensitivities, it’s now highly fraught with danger: gluten in bran and oats (I know, controversial), fructose in all that sweet dried fruit, fructose in the added fruit juice, added sugar, added this, added that…it’s a mine field (and a mind field)! And a sad state of affairs. How can something so simple be so bad for me? Unfortunately the majority of pre-packaged cereals – and the cereal aisle in a supermarket more generally – are the same.

Well, I walked in to work this week to find my colleague’s bag of muesli sitting on the kitchen bench. Now, it’s not often you see the words ‘Fructose Free’ on any kind of packaging, but Aussie Health Snax have done it – I soon found out after a quick google – on a number of cereal products. Brilliant! Go Aussies!

The only thing is…I’m a little bit of a Scrooge when it comes to this stuff. I get that the market is smaller for these companies trying to cater for people like me, and I understand that this has to be reflected in their prices. I really do. And for those who prefer the convenience of someone else sourcing the ingredients, having it made, packaged AND delivered to their door – I totally get that a lot of the time you would rather save the time (as opposed to the money).

I – on the other hand – get a lot of pleasure out of spending the time strolling around food aisles, designing and redesigning my recipe ideas, discovering alternatives and of course, playing with measurements, utensils and flavours back in the kitchen itself. And to be frank, at $9.95 for a 700g bag, I can spend $20 and end up with twice that in mixture PLUS ingredients left over to mix up a whole other batch once I’ve eaten my way through the first lot. But please, don’t get me wrong – their products look great, and to be fair, I drew my inspiration from one of their bestsellers, Organic Quinoa Blend of Fruit Free Muesli and couldn’t be bothered going the extra mile to include the quinoa on my first run so…each to their own. I’ll give it a go next time though…famous last words.

  • 2 cups puffed brown rice
  • 2 cups corn flakes
  • 1/4 cup natural almonds
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup linseeds
  • 1/4 cup coconut, shredded
  • 1/4 cup LSA meal
  • 1/4 cup psyllium husks
  • 1 tblsp cinnamon, ground
  • vanilla concentrate extract (to serve)

Optional additions…
2 cups quinoa, cooked and toasted
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup cacao nibs

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I quite literally just dumped everything in a big bowl, stirred it through and poured in into an air right container for storage. I might even try drizzling with coconut oil and toasting the whole lot in the oven next time…as I said earlier, with some quinoa. The best thing about making your own muesli is there are no rules! Mix ‘n’ match, pick ‘n’ mix and for goodness sake – enjoy!

I topped this batch with some (fructose free) fruit – banana or berries – soy milk and a little drizzle of vanilla concentrate extract. Or go without the fruit – still tasty, hot or cold! And outrageously easy. If you can spare the time. You can definitely spare the money. Just beware the psyllium husks – and the chia seeds, if you include them – those babies are machines at soaking up liquid, so have your milk at the ready if you like your muesli moist and creamy. Dare I say, we’re heading into bircher territory. And I say: go there.

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egg and bacon muffins

All you ever wanted for breakfast in one neat little parcel! These are adapted from Sarah Wilson’s recipe – I’ve just used persian fetta because it’s the best – fetta in oil (so there’s no need to grease the muffin tray), marinated with thyme, garlic, bay leaves and peppercorns. Brilliant.

These tasty protein pockets were a great favourite at the breakfast table on Easter morning. My folks are always looking for ways to use up the copious amount of eggs their chooks lay about the farm. While I always buy free range, nothing beats the bright yellow yolks and the creamy texture of freshly laid eggs. After I served the urban-version to their rumbling tummys, I get the feeling they’ll be taking a little bit of the city back to the country…

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To make six muffins:

  • 4-6 rashers bacon
  • 6 eggs
  • Persian fetta
  • Chives, chopped finely

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Slice the bacon so that it lines the edges of 6 muffin cups. Line the bottom with any any broken bits.
Crumble a teaspoon of fetta into each muffin cup and sprinkle with chives.

Crack one egg into each and gently poke a knife through the yoke so that it breaks ever so slightly.

Bake for 15 minutes, until the egg is white and set. Remove from the oven an let sit for a minute or two.

Run a knife between to the bacon and the muffin tray to separate any bits that are stuck and then use a spoon to gently remove the muffins from the tray.

Serve with crusty bread, some avocado, and perhaps a little slice of lemon on the side. There’s really no need for any extra seasoning as the bacon provides enough salt and the fetta is infused with pepper. But pop it on the table for sheer aesthetics alone – and marvel at how no one even bats an eye.

Tastes like home…

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mike’s rice pudding

After a Thai-inspired dinner party I was left with an obscene amount of leftover rice. What is it about rice that makes it so tricky? It’s either burnt or gluggy, the wrong grain or too much grain! As it was I miscalculated my measurements and ended up with mountains of the stuff clogging up my fridge. But with a little trip down memory lane, I managed to find a very tasty way to start my day with an old favourite. My Dad used to cook us up this soul food for supper when we were kids. While this has a bit of an alternative spin on his recipe, I’m sure it would do him proud.

  • 1 cup cooked medium-long grain rice
  • knob of butter (use Coconut Oil or Nuttelex for a dairy-free alternative)
  • Tsp ground cinnamon
  • Tsp vanilla extract
  • Soy or almond milk to cover (or other milk alternative)

Optional additions…

  • Tblsp Linseed, Sesame and Almond meal (LSA)
  • Tblsp coconut flakes

In a small saucepan, melt the butter/oil. Add the cooked rice and stir through for 30 seconds. Sprinkle cinnamon over and stir through vanilla extract. Finally, add enough milk to cover the rice and simmer until the rice starts to soak it up. It will continue to thicken slightly on standing so make sure you take it off the stove with some liquid.

Serve immediately with another sprinkle of cinnamon. Some chopped banana on top might be a welcome addition too.

Serves 1.

Try this! Swap the rice for white quinoa and add some chia seeds or psyllium husks (one tablespoon should do the trick). Chia seeds and psyllium tend to soak up any liquid they can find. Chia then tends to bind together while psyllium becomes gel-like – both or either would help bind the quinoa together to create that ‘pudding’ consistency.