Oat Pancakes

As mentioned in my Banana Pancake recipe posted last week => I used the BodyBoss Method for exercise and meal plan for inspiration over the last few months.

I love making pancakes on a Sunday morning, as we normally only go to church around 11/11.30am and there is no other rush on a Sunday morning except family breakfast time. I found this recipe in the BodyBoss weeks 7-12 notebook and couldn’t believe how little ingredients it needed! For me the mixture was a little thin, but all in all, they turned out pretty good!

OAT PANCAKES

115g cottage cheese
40g rolled oats
3 eggs
honey

  • Blend all the ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth
  • lightly oil a frying pan and heat over a medium heat
  • Cook spoonfuls of batter onto the pan and cook for 2-3minutes on each side (or until golden brown)

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Banana Pancakes

At the beginning of the year, I decided to make a few small changes in my eating habits – nothing drastic (as if I could actually give up on all good food things ;)) and started walking each day. 6months done the track, I had lost 7kg and had signed up for the SleekGeek online community and their 8week challenge PLUS I purchased the plan from BodyBoss for added motivation (both exercise and meal plan ideas). 8months down the track and 11kg was gone… *poof*

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love food and Sunday pancakes are pretty much a monthly event in our household – which is why I started to try out different pancake recipes from the BodyBoss meal plan booklet.

I call these Banana pancakes … while they call it “berry me in pancakes”… whatever it is called – they are delicious!!

BANANA PANCAKES

1 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 large banana (mashed)

  • Mix flour and bicarb of soda in one bowl
  • In another bowel, mix together the banana, milk and vanilla extract
  • Carefully add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and lightly mix together (don’t!! overmix!!)
  • lightly wipe a non-stick frying pan with oil
  • Spoon mixture onto frying pan and cook over a medium heat
  • cook on both sides, until golden
  • Serve as you wish (I added some homemade strawberry jam and a handful of berries to mine)

Frozen berry and coconut biscuit yoghurt dessert

Coming back from holiday means that desserts still need to be tasty but obviously more healthy and if possible, lower in calories…. right??

I was making my favourite beef stew for sunday lunch and I needed something sweet to serve afterwards… so back to my trusty pile of food magazines and lo and behold… I found this recipe in the BBC Good Food Magazine (July 2018 issue) for “Frozen berry & gingernut yoghurt pots”… except I didn’t have gingernut biscuits, so I substituted them with coconut biscuits (Tennis biscuits that I had brought back from South Africa) and I used paper ice-cream cups as the basis.

Frozen Berry and coconut biscuit yoghurt dessert

100g tennis biscuits
387g condensed milk
250g red berries (raspberries and strawberries)
250g purple berries (blueberries and blackberries)
500g Greek yoghurt

  • Place biscuits into a food processor and blitz into crumbs
  • Add 2 tablespoons of condensed milk and blend to make crumbs
  • Divide biscuit crumbs between 8 paper cups, pressing down with a back of a spoon
  • Put half the yoghurt and condensed milk with the red berries into the food processor and blend until smooth
  • divide between the 8 cups (on top of the biscuit base)
  • Put the remaining yoghurt and condensed milk with the purple berries into the food processor and blend until smooth
  • divide between the 8 cups (on top of the red berry mixture)
  • Freeze for at least 4hours before serving

Coconut Chocolate Brownies

I love my chocolate brownie recipe but in all fairness – it isn’t actually a brownie but more of a moist chocolate cake version….so I was in search of a TRUE brownie.

I have had Alida Ryder’s Simply Delicious cook for ages (probably since she launched it), but this was the first time that I actually made her Chocolate brownies with coconut. She claims that they are the best brownies ever… and you know what? They might just actually be!

 

I didn’t feel the need to make the chocolate sauce for the top as these were already so rich with half a kilogram of sugar, otherwise I kept the recipe pretty much “as is” and it was easy to make and delicious to eat (in fact, my colleagues are STILL talking about it!)

brownies 3

COCONUT CHOCOLATE BROWNIES (makes 12-16)

250g butter
500g sugar
100g cocoa powder
4 large eggs
100g flour
50g desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
100g walnuts, roughly chopped

  • In a large pot, combine the butter cocoa powder and sugar and allow to melt over a medium heat
  • Remove from heat, allowing to cool slightly before beating in the eggs, one at a time (Alida suggests using a hand mixer… so I did)
  • Mix in the flour, desiccated coconut, baking powder, vanilla and finally the nuts
  • Pour batter into a greased baking dish (batter should be 2-4cm from the bottom of the dish)
  • Bake for 20-30minutes at 180C coming out of the oven firm but still squidgy (I found that mine took almost 40minutes and still remained moist and squidgy in the middle)

Yoghurt and Mixed Berry Muffins

I have tried to change my eating habits over the last 5months but that doesn’t mean that I have lived on celery sticks – it just means that I have tried to make smarter choices, get more active and limit my portion sizes.

Through the SleekGeek community and their 8week challenge (this being the last week of my particular heat) as well as with the help of the BodyBoss Method (which has provided some meal plans, recipes as well as a great 12week workout plan) – I have managed to shed 9kg in 22weeks. I am now half way to my goal weight but already I feel so much more energetic and full of life. Compliments have started to surface in the recent days from colleagues and this is probably more down to the fact that I am making more of an effort with my appearance than trying to hide in black, black and more black. (Don’t get me wrong – 80% of my wardrobe is black, but now I am wearing items of clothing with a splash more colour and slightly more fitted).

One thing that I want to point out is that I have not starved myself. I still eat carbs. I have still gone out to restaurants. I have even had a few alcoholic beverages. Not to mention the fact that I have still baked some delicious treats! This particular recipe is from the BodyBoss recipe book and the only difference is that I used sunflower oil instead of nut oil. It makes 6 delicious muffins and works out to 190 calories per muffin.

Yoghurt and Mixed Berry Muffins

1 cup of whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
85g greek yoghurt
1 Tablespoon nut oil (or sunflower oil)
1/2 cup honey
1 cup mixed berries
1 Tablespoon flour (for the berries)

  • In a medium bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, yoghurt, honey and oil
  • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined
  • Cover the berries with the tablespoon of flour and gently fold into mixture
  • Place into 6 greased muffin cups
  • Bake for 20minutes at 190C

No-bake Lemon Cheesecake

Another year, another reason to celebrate, right???

I got to ring in the new year with some awesome friends at the end of May, in our 4th floor apartment in Brussels. It was a hot, humid day and there were 7 children under the age of 3 running around, screeching and have fun. Sounds crazy, eh?

I opted to keep things simple and serve crudités/dip, fresh fruit sliced up, while HIM ordered a cake from the Portuguese bakery as well as a large amount of various Portuguese rissois (a traditional deep fried savoury snack something like a croquette, but could be filled with meat, chicken, fish, etc) and of course, I made a cake (because cheesecake is a cake in my books, ok!?).

I had planned on making this granadilla cheesecake recipe, but then at the last minute decided to rather make it a lemon flavoured. It was super easy to make, required no baking and went down well.

No Bake Lemon Cheesecake

200g coconut biscuits (crushed)
1/4 cup of butter (melted)
1 packet of lemon jelly
1 cup boiling water
250g cream cheese
1 tin (385g) condensed milk

  • Mix jelly powder with boiling water until dissolved, set aside to cool
  • Mix crushed biscuits with melted butter and press into a greased spring-form cake tin
  • Beat cream cheese until smooth and then slowing add the condense milk, continuously beating until smooth
  • Mix in the cooled jelly mixture
  • Pour cream cheese mixture over the biscuit base and place in the fridge for 3-4hr (or until set)

Courgette Ribbon Salad

As mentioned earlier, I have signed up to something called “Sleekgeek 8 week challenge“, which means that I have been trying to be more imaginative with regards to meal planning, colourful plates and cooking etc.

On a recent trip to Stonemanor (a grocery shop in Brussels specializing in British products), I stocked up on my favourite English food magazines… including a new one that I found called “Food to Love” magazine. Within this magazine, I found a recipe for a chargrilled courgette ribbon salad with green olive dressing. I didn’t make the dressing and rather added a sprinkle of feta and some toasted pine-nuts on top of the cooked courgettes.

Make again? I already have 🙂

Courgette Ribbon Salad

2 large courgettes
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
sprinkle of feta
toasted pine-nuts

  • using a mandoline, vegetable peeler or sharp knife, slice the courgette lengthways into thin pieces
  • Toss with olive oil and season
  • Cook the courgette on a heated grill or a grill pan for 1 minute on each side (cook in batches)
  • Place on a plate, sprinkle with feta and toasted pine-nuts

 

What is a “Buddha” bowl?

If you love instagram like I do, then you wouldn’t be able to scroll past the foodie accounts without encountering at least one “Buddha” bowl picture.

They might also have been called a glory bowl, grain bowl, sunshine bowl, hippie bowl or macro bowl… but as far as I am concerned, it is essentially a *deconstructed salad in a bowl*.

There is no rule written in stone on how to construct the bowl, but it essentially consisted of a little bit of this and a little bit of that, focusing mainly on vegetables (raw or cooked), a bit of grains (if you so wish) and some protein (although 90% of the bowls seem to be vegetarian and thus featuring tofu, beans, etc… it hasn’t stopped anyone from adding some form of fish or lean meat.)

There is also some disconnect on where the name came from and what it actually means with some definitions of a Buddha bowl indicating that the shape of the round bowl reflects the round belly of Buddha or (my personal favourite story) is that Buddha walked around with an empty bowl at the beginning of the day and each of his neighbours provided a spoonful of what they were eating – thus by the end of the day, he had a bowl full of food (with a little bit of this and a little bit of that).

Whatever definition or story you like to believe – I don’t really believe it matters but I do think that it looks pretty… so here is my deconstructed salad (aka “Buddha Bowl”) => corn, red kidney beans, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado and some sliced cooked chicken breast with a squeeze of lemon juice.

 

Chilli Con Carne

Nothing says comfort quite like a warming bowl of Chilli right? And helping me to eat “clean” without breaking the bank is Colruyt (a Belgian retail store that offers good quality, fresh ingredients with a no fuss attitude).

Can you believe that I had never eaten (or even had the inclination to even try) a bowl of Chilli before I moved to Brussels 10 years ago? But one fine (rainy Belgian) day, my Spanish friend, Sonia, had invited a few of us around for a meal and produced this magnificent meal and I was hooked.

I begged her for the recipe, which she kindly provided and I have been making it regularly ever since. The below has some minor adaptions to the original recipe that she gave me but in essence has not been altered too much!

Chilli con Carne

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
2 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
1Tablespoon oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves – crushed
2 red chillies, chopped
500g mince (I use a combination of pork/beef)
tin of tomato paste
500ml Passatta
425g tin of red kidney beans (I like to use the variant that is already in chilli sauce)
1 green pepper – diced
200g tin of sweetcorn
250ml stock (I prefer to use chicken stock)
1 teaspoon brown sugar

  1. Heat frying pan over a medium heat
  2. Add cumin, allspice, chilli flakes and paprika and *dry fry* for about a minute to release the flavours
  3. Heat oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and spices and cook for 2-3minutes
  4. Add garlic and chilli and cook for a further minute
  5. Add mince and cook on a high heat for 4-5minutes until the meat has browned
  6. Add the tomato paste, passatta, beans, green pepper, sweetcorn, sugar and stock
  7. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally until the sauce has reduced and thickened.

Top with some diced Avocado, cream cheese or a sprinkle of grated cheese… the choice is yours!

Easy Rocky Road

Leftover Easter chocolate and leftover wine are myths in our house… except that having a toddler in the house means that the amount of chocolate available around the Easter season had increased (even for me!).

Monkey is 2,5 years old and although we only gifted her one (Peppa Pig) chocolate Easter Egg… I had purchased more goodies for our Easter table (for the adult guests) and of course… this meant more chocolate in the house after the celebratory luncheon. I do tend to “over cater”….

I was flipping through Jamie’s America cookbook and kept coming back to his Rocky Road recipe… typically a type of biscuit/chocolate hybrid with nuts, marshmallows, etc etc… so good….

Rocky Road

400g chocolate
Handful of pretzels
Handful of mini marshmallows
Handful of pistachio nuts (roughly chopped)
100g raisins
leftover mini eggs

  • Melt the chocolate over a water-bath
  • Stir in chopped nuts, marshmallows, pretzels, etc. leaving a handful to one side for decorative purposes
  • smooth the mix over a grease-paper in a baking tin and then “decorate” with your remaining ingredients
  • Leave to cool/set (I put mine in the fridge for 20minutes before breaking or cutting into chunks)