I had the weekend to myself and decided to treat it as a relaxing weekend to rest and unwind. In reality this resulting in spoiling myself with some amazing foods- steak, dark salted chocolate, olives and even pancakes for breakfast… Whoever said eating for one is depressing, has obviously never met me before.
I like making pancakes every now and then on the weekends but I usually try and keep them relatively healthy (as much as pancakes can be healthy I suppose). This weekend I decided to try and make some chocolate pancakes and these turned out really well. I used buckwheat and oats in place of flour and they had a lovely texture. If you don’t like buckwheat or are just not bothered trying to give your pancakes a healthy slant, you can just use plain flour. As the cocoa used is unsweetened, you could add some honey if you liked for your sugar rush.
These are so easy to make and take no time at all to whip up (about 10 minutes from start to finish!). Give them a go and rid yourself of your pancake guilt!
Ingredients (serves 2):
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup buckwheat (or other flour)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk
2 level tbsp cocoa (you could use raw cocao for extra health freak brownie points)
Flaked toasted almonds
Peanut butter (optional)
Whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, cocoa, milk and egg in a mixing bowl. You want a custard like consistency so you might not need all the milk.
Pop a non-stick frying pan on a medium high heat. Add a little oil (I used coconut oil but you can use any mild tasting oil… not olive oil!), then spoon a ladle of batter onto the pan. You should be able to fit about 3 on the pan at a time.
After a minute or two bubbles will start appearing at the top of the pancake, this means it’s time to flip them over. Fry for another 2 minutes.
Stack ’em high and if you like peanut butter and have it handy, I like to smear a little between the layers of pancakes. Serve with banana, yoghurt, toasted flaked almonds. You can also add a spoon of honey if you need your sugar hit.
It’s probably apparent to anyone who has read this blog more than a few times, that I have a weakness for anything with oats or nuts in the ingredient list or any dish that can fall into the breakfast/ brunch spectrum- so making a tray of granola bars for this blog was an inevitability. These are ridiculously good. Now these are decadent granola bars… I don’t suggest eating them every morning for breakfast as they do contain butter, brown sugar and honey. However, the taste and texture is pretty unparalleled.
I think these would be brilliant to make some weekend for breakfast, or if calling to a friends for brunch, or even brining to work some morning if you are looking for brownie points. Or you can make a batch like me on a Sunday evening and eat three in quick succession. The choice is yours, however I do urge you to make these- they’re delicious.
250g Jumbo Oats
50g Coconut Flakes
100g Dried Prunes (chopped)
200g chopped nuts (almonds and hazelnuts)
175g soft brown sugar
1. Melt the honey, sugar and butter in a large heavy bottomed pot until it’s liquid. Then stir in all other ingredients until totally combined and all the dry ingredients are coated.
2. Pour the mixture into a greased and lined brownie tin. Pop into an oven preheated to 180C for 40 minutes or until golden. Keep an eye on them throughout cooking and increase/decrease the temperature if necessary.
3. You must wait until totally cooled before slicing as otherwise the granola bars will crumble apart into crumbs. When cooled slice into rectangles and store in an airtight container for a few days.
Calling all lovers of the humble scone! These brown oatmeal scones are just the thing you need to accompany your cup of tea, or even for a quick breakfast. During my few years living in Dublin I have become well acquainted with the Avoca scones. They are amazing. They come with jam, butter and cream (enough said). While I initially was all about their berry scones, I am now quite obsessed with the brown scones they make. I found the recipe online and decided to give them a go but substitute some of the flour for oats. The result was pretty amazing, they are really nice and wholesome. The outside is all biscuity and crunchy/crispy and the inside is all soft and wholesome. They take hardly any time at all to make, you feel like you’re eating something relatively healthy… Unless you load on the butter and raspberry jam like I do.
I think adding some nuts, seeds and dried fruit would be really nice too, but I thought if I added them in to these they would be a little too similar to my Fruity Seeded Spelt Scones. These are definitely worth giving a go, and adding to your baking repertoire. Now go forth and bake!
Ingredients (makes 10-12 small scones):
350g wholemeal flour (I used Howards coarse wholemeal flour)
110g butter cut into cubes
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp greek yoghurt
75 – 150ml whole milk
1 pinch salt
1 egg beaten
Pour the flour, oats and salt in a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Running your hands under cold water for a minute first helps prevent the butter from melting.
Mix a well in the centre of the bowl and add in the yoghurt of bicarbonate of soda. Leave to react for a couple of minutes and then add 75ml of the milk and mix well. You may need more or less milk, you just want it to come together. (I used all 150ml milk)
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and pat down until it’s about 2 1/2 cm thick. Cut out into scones with a scones cutter or an upside down glass and transfer onto a buttered baking tray.
Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle the seeds on top. Pop into an oven preheated to 180C for 15-20 minutes (they took me 16 minutes). Enjoy hot from the oven with butter and jam. When cooled, store in a sealed container. They’re best eaten the day they’re made, but gorgeous a day or two after toasted and buttered.
Do you love eggs but feel things are getting monotonous? Do you look at your scrambled eggs and secretly long for something saucy with a bit of bite? Do you ultimately feel you need to shake up your relationship with breakfast? I have just the thing for you… These amazing scrambled eggs with goats cheese and pesto!
The idea is my sister’s, she has been making this breakfast for some time. She casually mentioned a few weeks ago that he favourite way to eat her scrambled eggs is the goats cheese and pesto… It was quite the revelation. I never even thought of pimping up my eggs like that before, I usually lob a bit of salmon or bacon on top of mine and call it a day. I never thought of putting stuff like this in the actual eggs. All of a sudden my previous eggy breakfast choices felt very vanilla. I decided to make this dish asap, and it was everything I hoped for and more. So stupidly easy to make, but so delicious.
If you are looking at this and feel even the slightest curiosity, please go make this immediately. It would also make a nice little quick post-work dinner. You could of course use tomato pesto, but I think the basil is pretty incredible so recommend trying that. All this needs is a few good quality ingredients (no sliced pan thanks very much) and you’ll have a yummy breakfast in 5 minutes. Easy.
Ingredients (Serves 1):
1 knob butter
1 splash milk
50g goats cheese (about 2 tablespoons)
1 heaped teaspoon pesto
Salt & pepper
A few basil leaves (optional)
1 slice bread
Toast bread and butter generously.
Crack the eggs into a pot, and add in the milk, butter, goats cheese, a pinch of salt and a crack of pepper. Put the pot on a medium heat and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon.
After a minute or two add in the pesto and keep stirring. Take off the heat just before it looks done, as they will keep cooking in their own heat after you take them off (and you want them silky, not rubbery).
Serve on your hot toast and crumble over and leftover goats cheese on top. If you have any basil leaves, you can throw them on top as a garnish.
A recent blog post got all of my colleagues and I in a bit of a state. Niall of Lovin’ Dublin put up a recipe for homemade sausage rolls. Within our team at work, we have a bit of a penchant for posh sausage rolls, and had such cravings for sausage rolls after reading it, that many of us did go out and buy some posh sausage rolls at the local deli to satisfy our cravings. To be honest, the whole ordeal left me in a bit of a dither. I had never thought of making homemade sausage rolls before. Could it really be as easy as Niall’s blog implied? Would mine be nice enough to warrant making them from scratch? Well after a few weeks of dreaming of these aforementioned sausage rolls, I decided to make a batch of my own. And oh my god, they were mighty.
I had a bit of an unfair advantage after taking a trip to The English Market before making them, and stocking up on beautiful O’Flynn’s Gourmet Sausages, which are just heavenly. Their stall has such an amazing collection of high pork content gourmet sausages, but in the end I went for their spicy Italian sausages. I had invited a few guests over for the sausage roll eating extravaganza, one of whom is a bit of an aficionado of all things spicy and sausagey. He seemed to love them, so that was a good sign. One of my aforementioned colleagues also gave them the nod of approval. In fact they were so good, that I was only give 90 seconds to take some hasty pictures before they were all gobbled down, crumbs and all.
These are just something you have to make, they are so tasty. You can mix in or out whatever spices you like. They were really good with country relish. I think raisins soaked in a little juice would be a nice addition (if you left out the basil and chilli). These would also be fantastic to make over Christmas if you have guests coming, just make them smaller and thinner to feed many mouths as little canapés.
6 jumbo gourmet sausages (about 80% pork content – I used Italian spicy sausages from O’Flynns Gourmet Sausages in Cork… Sure doesn’t all the best food come from there?!)
1 yellow onion diced
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 handful basil chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 deseeded chilli (optional)
1 tsp fennel seeds crushed into a powder
Salt & Pepper
1 sheet puff pastry defrosted
1 handful flour (for rolling out pastry)
1 beaten egg
Mixed seeds (optional)
Sweat down your chopped onion, garlic and chilli (if using chilli) in a frying pan on a medium – low heat in a little oil. You don’t want these to go golden or crispy, just nice and soft. When cooled, set aside in a bowl until cool. When cool, add the lemon zest, basil, fennel and a few cracks of black pepper and a pinch of salt.
Remove the skins from your sausages and pop into the bowl with the onions etc, break the sausages up with the back of a wooden spoon and stir all the mixture together.
Roll out the defrosted piece of pastry on a little flour into two rectangles, to only about the thickness of a coin. Take one of your rectangles of pastry pread your sausage meat along the length of one of the long edges of the pastry. The roll up the pastry tightly, and brush a little bit of beaten egg along the very last bit of pasty to seal it together. Do the same with the other rectangle of pastry. Cut the pastry into little sausage rolls of whatever size you like, seam side down.
Place the rolls on a lightly oiled baking tray and wash the tops of the sausage rolls with a little beaten egg, and sprinkle with the seeds if you are using them.
Pop into an oven preheated to 180C for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden and crispy. Best served with some tomato country relish.
This is the best breakfast I have ever eaten. In fact I feel bad that you’re reading this and not eating this. The only solution is to stop whatever you are doing and go make this immediately! I have been experimenting with baked oatmeal recipes for a few weeks and this last batch I made is true perfection, it takes like banana bread, but it’s actually healthy, nutritious and guilt-free. When I heard about people baking oatmeal, I instantly decided to try it as all my favourite breakfasts are oaty (porridge, granola, bircher muesli etc), and this is definitely the most delicious breakfast I’ve had and yet it is still a very healthy breakfast option. For people unfamiliar with baked oatmeal, think of it as a breakfast casserole of oats. Okay that’s an awful description… It’s like if a milky bowl of porridge and a soft delicious cake had a baby. I tried a few different varieties using different fruits, different amounts of eggs/milk, and tried various cooking times and this beauty is the result of much experimentation. Having said that feel free to add or subtract whatever spices, nuts and fruits you like, but I have found that the addition of the mashed/ puréed fruit makes this extra soft and mouth watering.
It’s really easy to make and keeps for up to four days in the fridge so if you make a batch you have just reheat individual portions in the morning before work very quickly. Some people have theirs with milk, but I thought it was just perfect with Greek yoghurt. I added four mashed bananas into my oatmeal mix which gave it the lovely banana bread effect, and I also threw in some raisins that I had soaked in juice (for extra juicy plumpness) and some chopped walnuts. I made some caramelised bananas to go with mine as I was making it for brunch at the weekend for others as a treat and thought they would be a decadent addition, but you can leave them out if you like as during the week before work they’re a bit impractical. This is so delicious, it tastes like it should be bad for you but its actually a really healthy breakfast and is packed full of fibre. If you make one thing from this blog, try my banana baked oatmeal!
Ingredients (serves 4 to 6):
2 cups jumbo oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon
1 handful of raisins (try soaking in apple or orange juice the night before so they plump up)
50g chopped walnuts
1 tbsp dark brown sugar (or honey)
2 cups milks
4 mashed bananas
1 tbsp butter/ rapeseed oil/ coconut oil
Caramelised Bananas (optional):
1 large banana sliced into little discs
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp butter
Whisk the eggs and milk together well until totally combined (you don’t want lumps of egg in the milk as you want to avoid eggy bits in your baked oatmeal). Add mashed bananas and mix together.
Add in add other ingredients and mix well, pour into a pyrex baking dish lined with either butter or mild-tasting oil.
Pop into an oven preheated to 180C for 30 minutes. Don’t be tempted to overcook the oats as you want them soft, not dry. Once the oatmeal is set (not wobbly) it’s done.
To make caramelised bananas just pup the butter into a frying pan on a medium high heat. Spinkle the slices of banana with the brown sugar and fry in the butter for a minute or two on each side.
Serve a slice of the oatmeal with a dollop of Greek yoghurt and caramelised bananas if you made them.
This dish is a result of some stolen apples. My neighbours apple tree grows over into our garden and little apples plod onto the grass in the back garden regularly. When I was home last weekend I decided to use a few fallen apples to make sure they didn’t go to waste. I wanted to make a nice warming breakfast that was still nice and healthy so I decided to stew some apples with nice warming spices and serve it with delicious Greek yoghurt and toasted almonds. Not exactly re-inventing the wheel, but I think the simplest of foods made well can often be the nicest.
This is really really easy to do and doesn’t take long to make. This makes about 4 servings of spiced stewed apple, but you could make more and it will keep well in the fridge for a few days, or you could freeze it. This is a lovely healthy way to start your day this Autumn.
Ingredients (serves 4):
500g cooking apples (or other tart, sharp apples)
1 tbsp brown sugar (optional)
1/2 – 1 cup water
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground clove (I ground 5-6 whole cloves in a pestle and mortar)
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
500g greek yoghurt (Glenisk full-fat greek yoghurt is definitely the best)
4 tbsp flaked almonds
Peel and chop the apples into little pieces and pop into a heavy bottomed pot on a medium high heat.
Add brown sugar and spices, stir well to combine and put the lid on the pot. The steam will help the apples cook faster, but stir every few minutes to make sure it doesn’t stick to the base. It should only take about 15 minutes for this to stew down.
Add the water (more or less depending on how dry or loose your stewed apple is) and stir well for another 5 minutes.
Let cool slightly. Meanwhile toast the flaked almonds on a dry pan on a high heat, stirring constantly for a few minutes until just turning golden. Be careful as they burn very quickly. When done remove from hot pan.
Serve apple in layers with greek yoghurt in bowls or tall glasses and sprinkle with toasted almonds.