Giant Blueberry Breakfast Cookie/Cake

Sorry for the self imposed hiatus. I have been trying to sus out some sneaky allergies I have been suffering from and that has meant as self imposed elimination diet. Which meant lots of googling food I could actually eat. Once I got my head round not being able to use flour for a while (Whaaaat! I KNOW) I started creating my own food again. So I am back with a gluten free friendly breakfast. Hurray!!!

This giant breakfast cookie is crunchy on the outside but almost cake-like on the inside so it hit the spot for a few of my flour based cravings. It’s only lightly sweetened so the blueberries have a chance to shine through but if your more of a sweet tooth kind of person add some more honey or even drizzle it with maple syrup like a big pancake.

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Giant blueberry breakfast cookie
Serves 2 (or me)

Ingredients

1 cup Almond flour
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1 1/2 Tbs Coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsp honey (or more to taste)
1/2 Cup blueberries

Method

Set the oven to 180° fan forced and line a baking tray with baking paper (to be honest I used a pizza tray….because I don’t actually have a normal rectangle baking tray. They all do the same thing.)

Mix dry ingredients then add the wet, mixing till combined.

Next spoon the mix into the center of the tray and use your spoon to spread it out into a circle till the whole thing is about 1cm thick. Then pop it in the oven for 15 min or until golden brown.

No Bake ‘Red Velvet’ Love Bites

I am discovering that the hardest part of writing post for the blog is the first couple of sentences. I never really know where to start, maybe a photo will do.

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Aren’t they pretty?

I never quite got around to the little bites I was planning on making for Christmas so instead I give you the Valentines day option… Or you know, the whenever you feel like it option. They remind me of red velvet cake in appearance but are actually coloured with beetroot (I know, I know. Trust me)

These are super easy to make and are the perfect level of sweet without being sickly. If I am being honest this batch won’t make it till the end of the week let alone valentines day, but thats ok… because if I had them for valentines day that would mean sharing and I’m not so great at sharing food.

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No Bake ‘Red Velvet’ Love Bites

Makes approximately 12

Ingredients 

Juice of one large beetroot (uncooked)
2/4 Cup of coconut flour
5 tbs Coconut Oil
3 Tbs Maple Syrup (you can add less if you like they will still be sweet)
1/2 tsp Vanilla essence

Topping of choice:
– Melted chocolate
– Melted coconut butter
– Roll either of these in shredded coconut

Method

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined.

Next using a table spoon for measurement, scoop out the dough and roll into balls, placing them on a tray or plate covered in baking paper.

Place the balls in the fridge before coating in chocolate or coconut butter if you choose.

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You can eat these straight out of the fridge but for the best texture leave them for a couple of minuets at room temperature.

Notes on substitution: You can sub the coconut butter for some other form of nut butter, however be aware that the taste can overwhelm the beetroot. My first batch was made with peanut butter and while they where yummy it was all I could taste.

Running: Re-learning the first 5km

I have been working so hard on recipes lately but none of them seem to be quite right, its driving me mad! I feel like the blog is starting to look abandoned, poor thing. Seeing as I don’t have a finalized recipe to share I wanted to do a little post on something else I love. Running.

Depending on what you have read here before you may or may not know that I have plans to run a marathon this year (SCARY). A plan that would be so much less daunting if I hadn’t injured myself and then ignored it for months before finally going to a physio and getting fixed. Starting running from square one all over again was a bit of a slap in the face.

In some ways though it was needed, I had actually forgotten how much of a challenge getting to the first five km was the first time. It’s funny how fast you forget how much you struggled to get somewhere once your standing on the other side of the fence.

So I don’t forget next times because there is always a next time, I have made a little list of things that worked for me while re-learning the first 5km.

1. Slow Down: Running fast has its place, you will want to speed up during your runs at some point but to start with distance is the goal and distance means slowing down. Sometimes it means slowing down a lot.

2. Try Something Different: About two weeks ago I hit a wall at 3.5km, I just couldn’t run past it so I decided to decrease my running to once a week and focused on strength and interval training instead. When you hit a wall in your training shocking your body with something unexpected can have just the right effect.

3.  Eat for energy: You know your meant to eat healthy, blah blah blah, carrots etc, everyone knows they are meant to eat healthy but endurance exercise (even 30 minuets of running) also means eating enough to give your body the energy to keep moving. I could always tell the difference on a day where I had not really eaten enough and tried going for a run, it was horrible and I usually gave up after the first ten minuets. Don’t be afraid to eat some carbs on your run days, some brown rice stir-fry for lunch can do wonders.

4. Mind over matter: There is always a point where your brain decided its had enough running for today, that point often involves the bottom of a hill. You will find yourself thinking that you can’t do something because its all just too hard when really, if you can just hold out a bit longer you come to the realization that actually. You can. Running is not just a physical activity its a mental one and often your head is wrong about what your body can do (just ummm… don’t hurt yourself).

5. Try a different route: I hate being bored. I am sure that’s not something singular to me. Running the same route over and over and over again until you could probably do it with your eyes closed is not going to do much for your motivation levels after a while. There are so many running apps and website communities out there where people have mapped their runs online, check out some of the other places people run near you and give them a try. I like endomondo.

6. Try a different time: Running in the morning is harder for the same reason as running after a day of very little food is hard. Your body has no stores of energy to feed from. Apparently running first thing in the morning before food is good for burning fat (I have no idea if that true) but if you are struggling to hit a new distance goal leave the run till the afternoon  and you might just surprise yourself.

So there it is, some 5km lessons that I hope will help any new runners out there (or any old runners who forgot what being a new runner felt like).

Next stop in my training 10km…. pft that’s not even that far right? right?

Homemade Sundried Tomato Pasta Sauce

When I was a kid I used to love with all my heart and sole Latina’s packaged tortellini and sauces. My sister on the other hand hated them with a passion, but at that stage she was also still putting tomato sauce in our dad’s trademark spag bog (ummm thats Australian slang for spaghetti bolognese, yes we like to butcher the English language, its faster who has five seconds to waste on full words these days?) So at the time I wasn’t affected too greatly by her lack of appreciation for what I though where delicious packages of wonder.

I am sure you will all be pleased to hear that eventually my sister came to appreciate dad’s culinary mastery like the rest of us.

My memories of appreciate for latina lasted until I moved out of home recently and went through a stage where cooking for one person seemed like way to much effort pretty much every night. I remember weeks where I would make an enormous curry on Monday and just eat it every night all week or nights where my housemate and I would sit down and eat a block of chocolate together for dinner. I got sick a lot was a super healthy person when I first moved out, as you might imagine (I think there was a point where my mother was considering forcing me back home).

One of the things I actually did manage to cook a couple of times was Latina pasta. It was as easy and filling as I remember but I think I have been jaded by restaurant and home-made pasta and now Latina kind of tastes like sugary cardboard with a vague hint of tomato. I guess my sisters taste buds where not as void as I thought they were when we where kids.

So now I have a problem. I needed a pasta sauce that was easy and could use ingredients I would have in the fridge for nights where cooking something complicated was out and would stand up to being re-heated  if I needed it too.

The pasta sauce has been made many times since I moved out of home but until now I have never written it down so here we go.

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Easy Homemade Sundried Tomato Pasta Sauce
Serves 2 – 3

Ingredients

1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 brown onion sliced and halved
1 Tsp of crushed garlic (or one clove)
1 Can of diced tomatoes
1/4 Cup tomato paste
1/2 Tbs smoked paprika
1 Tsp ground cumin
1 Tbs dried tarragon
1 Cup sundried tomatoes
2 1/2 Tbs milk of choice (I used almond)
Season to taste

Method

Heat oil on medium to high heat in a medium saucepan then add your onion and garlic, stirring quickly to avoid burning the garlic. Cook the onion until it has gone soft and the garlic is fragrant.

Next add all other ingredients and combine. Lower the heat and let the sauce simmer for a good 15-20 minuets stirring occasionally.

Either serve immediately with some parmesan cheese or let cool, jar and keep refrigerated for  a couple of days.

The best part about this is you can buy the ingredients in bulk and then store them for an emergency like, for example, midway through the Easter long weekend when you realize that you don’t have anything for dinner and the shops are all closed (organization and planning are not my strong points).

I have served the sauce on zuchinni ‘pasta’ for the photos but you can of course have this on normal pasta.

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Naughty and Nice Food Porn: December 2013 Edition

The second day of the year is coming to a close and I still haven’t written anything about the New Year. To be honest for me it doesn’t feel like a New Year has started at all! I have been working around the public holidays and it seems to have a way of making the holiday season feel distinctly un-holidayish.

2014 will hopefully be the year of completing my first marathon, its my only goal and not really a resolution because I actually decided to do it in August! I feel as though progress on that front is happening at snails pace (kind of like my running pace HA!… but seriously) I will get there this year though.

There seems to be a bit of a trend this time of year for bloggers to do a re-cap of their favourite or most popular posts of the year but I think I have a total of 8 posts so pointless doesn’t quite cover that exercise.

Instead I want to do a little recap of food (and one drink) I have been admiring this year. A little food porn post if you will.

Becuase I am all about having a slice of amazingly bad for me cake with a slice of actually shockingly good for me cake I have a little bit of both worlds here. Click on the images to go to the recipe. Please note that none of these photos are mine.

Naughty Food Porn of 2013:

Jamie Olivers Quick Steamed Trecal Pudding:
This man knows how to make something yummy in a short period of time. I will definately be knocking this treat up at some point this year.

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Bakers Royal S’mores Cinnamon Roll Cake: Do I really need to explain why this cake would be so sinfully amazing? Nope. I didn’t think so.

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Not Without Salt’s Pulled Pork with a fennel, apple and raddicchio slaw on a sesame seed bun: I never used to be huge on pork, but there is something about slow cooked pulled pork that is just so ahhhhmazing. Plus bread. Carbs are always good.

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Penfolds Grange: Obviously this isn’t something I can make, I mean if I could I think I would have an obscene amount of money by now… but as that’s never going to happen I would really settle on just trying a bottle of this at some point (when I can afford it… which probably wont be any time this decade) 

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Nice Food Porn of 2013

Oh She Glows Rustic Chocolate Chip Banana Oat Cake with PB and Banana Glaze: I love baked oats, banana and chocolate so this one is a give in. I actually have a whole heap of over ripe oats in the fridge (cooking session due?)

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Healthy Food For Living’s Maple Baked Brie: Weather or not cheese can be considered ‘healthy’ I am putting down as irrelevant because mealty hot cheese that why. It’s not really bad for you in my personal opinion (provided you not eating by the kilo) so I’m sticking it in the nice section.

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Bakers Royale’s Cauliflower Crust Pizza: I have always wanted to try cauliflower pizza and this recipe by bakers royale looks especially colourful and tasty.

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My New Roots’ The Life Changing Loaf Of Bread: I have a bit of a thing for fresh bread filled with seeds and nuts, it takes comfort to a whole new level. This loaf of bread by my new roots had all of that comfort without any of the flour. I cannot wait to make this.

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Maybe this will be something I do every month, there is something fun about have a good stare at pretty food (why does that sound a bit creepy when I say it out loud?)

Happy New Year everyone I hope you have an amazing year!