Grain Free Carrot & Orange Muffins

So the boys slept for 2.5 hours today!  And what did I do? I’d love to say I cleaned all the things that need cleaning or maybe acknowledged the massive pile of laundry that is permanently installed in my hallway, but no.  Instead I binged watched Shameless, had a cup of tea and ate two of these delicious muffins. Sorry not sorry.

Grain Free Carrot & Orange Muffins

As a stay-at-home-mom I make a lot of muffins.  They are easy to make and travel well and something a toddler (and who are we kidding – everyone) always wants to eat.  So when we were following a grain free diet I still wanted to make sure we had some of our favorites to keep us motivated.  Learning to bake with almond and coconut flour has been a bit of a learning curve (ongoing!) but I absolutely love the taste and texture these ingredients give to the finished product.

Grain Free Carrot & Orange MuffinsThis recipe produces a moist and fluffy – almost cake like – muffin.  I love the flavor of orange and carrot together.  Its a classic combination and the added cinnamon really brings out the flavor of the orange.  You can add nuts and/or raisins to this as well for a more traditional carrot cake feel.  If you’re looking for a grain free cupcake recipe, these are a great option as well – just add your favorite frosting.

Grain Free Carrot & Orange Muffins

Grain Free Carrot & Orange Muffins

A new way to enjoy a old favorite.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp flaked sea salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • zest and juice of one large orange
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup grated carrots

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C) and grease or line your muffin tin.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (almond flour through nutmeg). Set this aside. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, oil, honey, vanilla, orange juice and orange zest.
  3. Add the dry mix to the wet mix just until combined and then gently fold in the grated carrots.
  4. Divide the batter evenly among the liners and bake for 17-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  5. Let the muffins cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. This are best stored in the fridge up to 3 days.
http://www.alotofyum.com/grain-free-carrot-orange-muffins/

 

Blue Cheese Tartiflette

If you are on a low-fat diet, look away now. Or don’t. But I warn you, once you read what’s below, you won’t be able to resist.  And how can you.  I mean I’m talking bacon, cheese, cream, potatoes.

Blue Cheese Tartiflette

With all this horrible cold, wet and windy weather, I was craving something warm and comforting.  I first came across this recipe in Delicious Magazine. A Tartiflette is a very traditional French dish made with Reblochon cheese.  I, however, mix it up and do mine with a soft blue cheese. I also add a few other less traditional ingredients like dried herbs, mushrooms and courgette.  For some reason if I add a few vegetables I feel a whole lot better about consuming all that yummy cheesy, creamy, bacony goodness. This is also a great meal to make with leftovers from a roast chicken dinner – using the leftover chicken and even the leftover vegetables!

Blue Cheese Tartiflette

So with the twins fully entrenched in some serious train track building, I’m going to share with you one of my favorite comfort foods.

P.S My mouth is already watering…

Blue Cheese Tartiflette

Blue Cheese Tartiflette

A new take on a traditional French Classic

Ingredients

  • 3 chicken breasts or the leftovers from a roasted chicken - shredded
  • 3-4 medium sized waxy potatoes sliced thin
  • 200g of smoked bacon - I used traditional French Lardons
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 courgette - sliced thin
  • 200g of chestnut mushrooms - sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons of flour (or you can use arrowroot powder for grain/gluten free)
  • 250g of soft blue cheese chopped
  • 200ml of chicken stock
  • 200ml of double cream
  • 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200C and grease a roasting dish.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and add the bacon.
  3. Cook the bacon until it just starts to crisp up. Remove and set aside.
  4. Add the onion to the frying pan and cook until soft.
  5. Once soften, add the herbs, mushrooms and courgette and again, cook until they start to soften. Once softened, add the bacon back in and sprinkle over the flour. Mix to combine. Take of the heat and set aside.
  6. If you don't have any leftover chicken, poach the chicken breasts in a pot of stock for about 10-15 minutes. Take the chicken out and shred.
  7. Add your potatoes to the pot of stock (or a pot of boiling water) and cook for 5 minutes, then drain. Mix together the chicken stock, cream and a dash of salt and pepper.
  8. Now you're ready to assemble. I like to do two layers. First some potatoes, then veg, then chicken, liquid and 1/3 of your cheese. Repeat one more time then cover the whole top in a layer of potatoes.
  9. Put in the oven and cook for 40 minutes until the potatoes are nice and brown. Add the remaining 1/3 cheese to the top with 15 minutes left.
  10. Remove from the oven and ideally let stand for 10 minutes before cutting into it
http://www.alotofyum.com/blue-cheese-tartiflette/

Although I’ve never been able to wait – but when you go back for seconds the sauce will have thickened up a bit and taste even better.  This is just as delicious the next day.

Blue Cheese Tartiflette

Take A Break From The Negotiations…

You know that funny blog, Reasons My Son Is Crying? Well today mine was because I offered grapes.  Apparently just the offer was enough to set him off…even though most days he’ll eat an entire pack. Thats the pain beauty of toddlers, you never know what you’re going to get.

So that’s why its so nice to have a few dishes in your mealtime arsenal that don’t involve negotiating for every bite.  I already shared one of our favorites – the veggie pancake – and today I’m sharing my recipe for Fried Rice, which I might add is popular with the whole family – not just the crazy little ones. Just like the pancakes, you can add any vegetables you have in the fridge and/or leftover meat. I often add ground chicken or even frozen shrimp. We order a cheeky takeaway more than I like to admit – don’t judge me – and I always save the rice to make this dish the next day. Using cold, leftover rice is best as it holds its shape and texture better than fresh prepared.

Loaded Vegetable Fried Rice

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Ingredients:

  • leftover rice Vegetable Fried Rice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/4 courgette
  • handful green beans or mangetout
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 a pepper – any colour
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce or oyster sauce
  • olive oil

Using a food processor – or your cutting board and knife – fine dice all your vegetables. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan or wok.  Add your vegetables and saute until soft.

Vegetable Fried Rice

Beat your eggs in a small bowl or cup.  Push your vegetables to the side of the pan and pour in the eggs letting them cook before incorporating them into the vegetables.

Vegetable Fried Rice

Once your egg is cooked and combined with the vegetables, add your leftover rice.  Heat through, stirring occasionally.  Add your soy and hoisin sauce and continue to stir to combine, making sure the sauces are mixed through evenly and you’re done!  A super fast and easy meal to feed yourself or the family.

Vietnamese Kebabs

Hiya!

Don’t worry…you’re in the right place! I played around with the layout of my blog and found that I like this design better.  I hope you do too!

So I realized yesterday when trying to get my 2 overtired toddlers out of the stroller, up the stairs, clothes off and into bed, that it somewhat resembled when you had to get a drunk friend out of the bar, off the phone, in a cab, up the stairs and into bed.  So maybe life hasn’t changed as much as I thought…its just shifted. Although at least when I had to help a friend, chances were I was a little drunk too…

It can be hard to find these links. Those little bites of life that remind me of what it used to be like before these two came along.  Yes, its been a while since I had to help a friend like that, but at least I’m reminded that there were hard times then too. I’m learning that there is no perfect and that’s ok.

Which is why it’s ok that these Vietnamese Kebabs, which started off as lettuce wraps, ended up as a salad – I was just too tired to wrap them up.  If you have a little extra energy, I recommend you try it out!

Vietnamese Kebabs

Vietnamese Kebabs

Sorry about the pic…nighttime lighting 🙁

For the kebabs:

  • 300 grams of pork belly cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 thumb of ginger – minced
  • 4 gloves of garlic – minced
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass cut into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon of tapioca starch
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of oil (I used coconut but you can use olive oil)
  • 2 teaspoons of fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • skewers soaked in water

For the wraps/salad:

  • salad leaves – I used butter lettuce
  • rice noodles
  • 1 julienned carrot
  • 1/4 julienned cucumber
  • pickled radishes 
  • 1/4 cup of chopped salted peanuts

Take all the ingredients for the pork, mix together in a bowl and let marinade for 20-30 minutes.  During this time, prepare your pickled radishes and put in the fridge.

Vietnamese Kebabs

Once your pork is ready, preheat the oven to 180C and skewer your pork. There should be enough for around 6 skewers with 3-4 pieces on each. Place your skewes on a lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes until they are browned and a bit crispy.

Prepare your noodles by placing them in a bowl with a dash of rice vinegar and a pinch of salt. Cover with boiling water and let stand for 5-10 minutes. Drain and cool to room temperature.

When you pork is done, assemble your wraps by taking a lettuce leaf, adding the noodles, carrot, cucumber, pork. Top with pickled radish (and a little drizzle of the pickle liquid) and chopped peanuts.

** Make this recipe grain free by omitting the rice noodles**