Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

It is time to fill the cookie jar with these delicious rustic cookies. It is getting mighty cold on this side of the woods. And cold times call for oatmeal cookies. That’s how I see it. This is a fun recipe to make, really easy so my daughter always helps out. Great activity to do together with your children. I know mine loves to help!

So what do we need?

  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 150ml vegetable oil
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 140g plain flour
  • 1/4tsp bicarbonate of soda (or baking powder)
  • 300g oats

How do we do it?

1. I always start by soaking the dried cranberries in boiling water. This is because it gives a boost to the texture of the cranberries and stops them from burning during cooking. Shouldn’t be more than 50ml of water. Leave them soaking for about 20 minutes and then drain them, but keep the liquid. In the meantime, turn on your heat oven to 180C and get your baking trays ready with baking parchment.

2. Once the baking trays are ready to go, start working on your mix. In a large bowl, mix together the oil and the sugar. Gradually beat in the egg, along with the reserved water from the cranberries, the cinnamon and vanilla extract. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and a tiny bit of salt into the bowl, then add the oats. Stir for a bit, and then finally mix in the cranberries.

3. Drop heaped tablespoons of the cookie mix onto the baking trays, well spaced apart as they will spread when cooking. Bake for about 15 minutes until golden. Leave to cool on the trays for about 10 minutes before tucking them in.

 

They usually hold up to 4 days in an airtight container. Make sure to eat them with some warm coco or some fresh mint thee.

 

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Pasta with Tuna, Spinach and Lemon

Time for another awesome weekly recipe. So what makes this recipe awesome? The little time it takes to make (15 minutes approx). Great for a quick and easy weeknight meal. I love making this dish when I come back from my yoga class and I don’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen.

So what do we need?

  • 300g of whole-grain pasta (yes! I prefer whole-grain). Its up to you which type. I usually prefer penne or spaghetti.
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finally chopped
  • 1 cup of dry white wine
  • 185g of tuna chunks in oil, drained
  • 100g spinach.
  • 1 lemon, zest finely graded (optional, but damn good!)

So how to do it:

I usually start by boiling the pasta. So bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Once the water boils add your pasta and cook, stirring often on an off for about 12 minutes or until pasta is tender but still firm to bite. Whole-grain pasta takes slightly longer to cook. Drain the pasta, and reserve half a cup of the pasta water.

Now we grab a large frying pan and add a tablespoon of the oil, then add the finely chopped shallots. Cook, stirring, for about a minute, then add the wine and cook for about 4 minutes, or until reduce by approx three fourths. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of the extra virgin oil and add salt and pepper. For the remaining steps you can reduce the heat to low and add the tuna, stirring to lightly break up the tuna chunks.

Once that’s done, add the pasta the pan and toss to coat it with the sauce you’ve been making. Add the spinach and lemon zest, and keep tossing. Make sure you add enough of the reserved pasta water to make a light sauce. Season the pasta accordingly with salt and peper. You are now ready to serve. With the amounts presented in the ingredients list you should have enough for 3 to 4 portions.

Buen provecho! ­čÖé

Sweet Potato, Onion, and Apple Gratin

Yes my ladies…it is time to start cooking robust meals to protect us from the cold. The weather is changing, and the days of sun are now a memory. Ok enough on that depressing thought!

Now to business. Today I will share my sweet potato, onion, and apple gratin recipe. I took this recipe a while ago from helloglow.co but I gave it a slight twist. I use onions instead of leek. Yes I know, with leek you don’t cry, but onions are definitely still tastier in my book ­čśë

Let me warn you that this recipe takes slightly longer than my other recipes. Usually a millennial recipe is characterized by the little time it takes to prepare it. But if you have time, then I do suggest you take it when making this recipe. It will be all worth it.

So what do we need:

  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or butter)
  • 1 small onion, preferably finely diced
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 cups of warm chicken or vegetable broth
  • salt & pepper
  • 1.5 kilos of sweet potatoes
  • 2 granny smith apples, peeled and finely diced.
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • breadcrumbs (or panko)

So what do we need to do:

Let’s start with peeling the potatoes. Once they are peeled grab a medium saucepan, add your olive oil or melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir for about 2 minutes. Slowly but gradually whisk in the broth in a steady stream.┬áLet it┬ásimmer until thickened slightly, about 2 minutes and then season with salt & pepper. Let it cool. At this point the sauce will continue to thicken as it cools)

While waiting for the other ingredients to gently boil, turn on your oven to 200 degrees (I work with Celsius on this side of the woods). Grab a medium casserole dish and grease it. Slice the sweet potatoes thinly. Here is where my food processor┬ácomes in handy, the slicing disk does wonders! Anyway, start arranging half of the sliced potatoes in the casserole dish in an even layer. Now its the apples’ turn to be thinly sliced in the food processor. Once you’ve sliced them add the slices on top of the sauce. Then you add some of the sauce in an even layer. So now you should have three layers of awesomeness. First your potato layer, then the apples and then the sauce. To finish off, repeat the layer procedure, so add the remaining half of the potatoes in an even layer, then the apples, and top it off with what’s left of the sauce. Cover the dish with foil and bake until the sweet potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, which is usually after 45 minutes. Half way, like after half an hour of baking, remove the casserole from the oven to spread breadcrumbs and grated parmesan cheese on top of the sauce, and then put the casserole back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes letting it broil until topping browns, if needed. For this remaining time it might be better to lower your oven’s temperature to 180 degrees ┬║C.

And there you have it. Quite an easy meal to make and a perfect side dish for chicken and fish recipes. I normally eat it with white fish, and it tastes amazing!

Enjoy!

 

Shiitake Truffle Risotto

It’s been a while..so I figured I’d start posting some of my yummy recipes again. And what better way to start than by sharing my delicious and slightly decadent shiitake truffle risotto. And fear not! I won’t make you go buy fresh truffles at your local market. The point is to make these recipes as cheap and fast as possible. However, it is important to always have truffle oil in your kitchen. It adds amazing flavor to loads of dishes.

So, what do we need for this recipe?

  • Chicken broth
  • 1/4 olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 3 cups of shiitake mushrooms (you could also use other mushrooms like crimini, for example)
  • 1 cup of risotto rice (one cup is enough for 2 people. Use this as your measure)
  • 1 glass of white one (and also one to drink while you’re cooking ­čśë )
  • Salt and pepper
  • Truffle oil

Once you’ve gathered the ingredients it’s time to let the games begin:

In a large saut├ę pan over medium heat add the olive oil and the chopped onion. Sweat, stirring often for about five minutes until the onion is soft and tender. Add the mushrooms and cook another 2-3 minutes.

The next step is to add the risotto rice and stir to coat the rice with the onion and olive oil. So cook stirring often for about 2 minutes. Having done this, add the white wine to the rice and keep stirring, scraping any bits from the bottom of the pan. As the wine cooks off, add a large ladle of hot chicken broth and continue to cook and stir. As the broth cooks off, add another cup of stock. So you basically continue this process of adding the broth and cooking it off, stir continuously for about 15-20 minutes or until the rice is al dente.

Last but not least, season to taste with some sea salt, pepper. I always like to throw in some fresh salad rocket, some graded Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of the truffel oil and voilá!

This recipe is easy to make and a particular favorite among vegetarians. My daughter also loves it ­čÖé

Hopefully you’ll have fun preparing it!

Spicy Pumpkin Curry Soup

Let’s talk soup. A soothing and savory soup ideal for fall and winter days.

I had been staring at a can of coconut milk sitting in my pantry for a couple of weeks. I finally decided to put it to good use, in quite an unorthodox way. Normally I would throw it in my green curry Thai stew, but, I decided to make a pot of delicious spicy pumpkin curry soup instead. My colleagues raved about the soup at work and asked me for the recipe.

Let me share the wisdom with all of you! Let’s take a look at our ingredients:

  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil (coconut oil or clarified butter are also an option)
  • 2 chopped up garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, preferably minced
  • 1 tablespoon of curry powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 medium sized pumpkin (cut in half with pulp and seeds removed)
  • 1 block of bouillon or broth (though I usually use one and a half)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • Cayenne pepper (for the spicy part)
  • Salt
  • cilantro, creme fraiche, and toasted pumpkin seeds (optional, all for the garnish)

So let’s get to work!

I first start by rubbing the pumpkin halves with olive oil and roasting them in the oven for about 35 minutes (or until the flesh is tender when pricked with a fork). Wait until they are cool enough to touch and scoop the pumpkin flesh out from the skins in order to use it later.

Once you’re done with we that we begin making the soup. Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Melt your olive oil (or coconut oil) and add your onion. Wait before you start stirring and let the chopped up onion get brown on one side. Then add the garlic and ginger, and cook for about 2 minutes, until the garlic becomes slightly brown. Add the curry powder and coriander and constantly stir until the spices become toasted and fragrant, should take about a minute. Then add the stock, coconut milk and pumpkin, and bring to a boil.

After a few seconds, turn off the heat, and use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth. Once the soup is completely smooth, turn flame back on to medium-high heat and bring soup to a simmer.

Serve soup with a bit of creme fraiche, toasted pumpkin seeds, and cilantro leaves (this is of course, optional!)

Buen provecho!

Not-So-Healthy Strawberry Wine

It’s Friday, baby dolls, and I’m not fucking around. I want something that’s going to melt the troubles of the week and my panties all at once. So hold on to your knickers girls, ’cause it’s happy hour at redressingthebalance.com. This is why today I’m sharing my signature drink with you: my delicious strawberry wine.

This vicious sip of epicness is made by combining dry white wine (preferably cooled), a bit of sugar, and strawberries in a blender. The first sip will already warm your cheeks. Bliss.

Happy hour is all about keeping it simple. Don’t break out sweat.

What do you need?

  • 10 strawberries
  • 1 bottle of dry white wine
  • Sugar (but the amount is up to you)
  • A blender

Throw all the ingredients in the blender for about a minute or two. Pour this elixir into a chilled wine glass…and voil├í!

Girls like us take a hard look at the lows in our lives and we kick the shit out of them with a whole lot of sass and creativity. This cocktail is my personal tribute to this sentiment, ’cause there’s not a single thing that can rattle your cage when you are sipping on this glorious cocktail…

Enjoy!

Cheese Nachos and Guacamole with Spirulina

I know what most of you are thinking…spiru what? If you haven’t heard of this superfood then it’s time you got acquainted.

My ingredient of the week is spirulina. Let me set the stage here:

  • Spirulina is actually one of the oldest life forms on Earth. Also, it is one of the most nutrient-rich foods on Earth.
  • Spirulina has between 55 and 70% protein (so more than chicken, beef, and soybeans), 8 essential and 10 non-essential amino acids and is rich in beta-carotene, vitamin B12, iron, calcium..the list is never ending.
  • Spirulina provides a rapid energy boost once it is digested. It helps to improve endurance and reduce fatigue. Additionally, it helps to improve the immune system, and provides unparalleled aid for the heart, liver, and kidneys.
  • Spirulina is also a natural detoxifier, it helps to cleanse the body of toxins and other impurities that may be causing illnesses or other health problems.
  • If you happen to be on a diet or want to go on one, then I definitely suggest you try spirulina because its a natural appetite suppressant and it helps to improve the body’s digestive system. Its powerful antioxidant properties help to balance the body’s pH and can help to reduce inflammation in a safe and chemical-free way.
  • Spirulina is a spiral-shaped microalgae that grows naturally in the wild in warm, fresh lakes, natural springs, and saltwater.
  • If you happen to be allergic to iodine then I have some bad news. Spirulina is safe and effective but it does contain iodine, so those allergic or sensitive to iodine should avoid taking it.

Ok so now you know what you need to know about spirulina. Since it is my ingredient of the week I will use it for this week’s healthy recipe and I will also give you some organic home made tips on some facial masks that you can make with spirulina that will leave your skin as soft as a baby’s bottom. But more on that on the next article.

The recipe of this week is┬áone of my all time favourite dip dishes: Cheese Nachos and Guacamole┬áwith Spirulina. If you dig Mexican food, then you will definitely dig this dish (and you should, ’cause Mexican food is amazing).

What do we need?

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice (yes lime juice, not lemon juice)
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro (i.e. coriander)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onions
  • 1/2 a jalape├▒o (or a whole one if you want it reaaaally spicy), finely chopped (including the seeds)
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon of spirulina
  • Nachos
  • Graded cheese
  • tomatos (optional)

Let’s get started!

It’s always important to find the right avocado, not too squishy yet firm, and with a nice green colour on the inside.

Before we get started on the guacamole let’s warm up the oven (180 degrees should do it). I usually grab an oven tray and start with a layer of nachos and then I sprinkle cheese on it (cheddar usually does the trick), and then again a layer of nachos, and again sprinkle some cheese. It’s up to you how many layers you want. Once you’re done with that place the tray in the oven and let the cheese melt for a good 10 minutes. The nachos will also get warm and crispy…yum! While that magic is happening in the oven, we get make┬áthe guacamole…

Cut the avocados in half and carefully remove the pit. Scoop the avocados, place the avocados in a medium bowl, add the lime juice and let the mashing begin. While mashing (a fork does wonders) add salt. You should pretty much mash until a smooth texture is achieved. After that you can add rest of the ingredients into the mix. Always taste the guacamole (over and over) to adjust seasoning if necessary.

Usually I can make a a meal out of guacamole. I don’t even need the nachos. But nachos are tasty, so I’ll add them anyway.

The guacamole should take you no longer than 10 minutes to make. Once you’re finished, the cheese nachos will be melted and crispy enough. Remove the oven tray from the oven. You can either choose to serve the guacamole as a side dish, or you can choose to place it on top of the cheese nachos. You could also add sour cream if that’s your thing… and voil├í!

Mango Spinach Spirulina Smoothie To Go

mangospinachsmoothieWhen in doubt, smoothie it out! Which is why I spent my morning making this smoothie goodness.┬áToday, of all days, is national smoothie day at redressingthebalance.com.┬áThis recipe kicks the crap out of your regular smoothie recipe because of this one powerfood ingredient: spirulina. As you ardent readers already know ,this is the ingredient of the week. So without further ado…

What do we need:

  • A blender
  • 1 teaspoon spirulina
  • 1 mango
  • 100g spinach
  • 250ml yoghurt
  • 100ml coconut water (optional)

Simply add all ingredients to your blender and blend it for a minute or so until smooth (and depending on how runny you like it)

That’s all folks. For more spirulina recipes check out my epic guacamole spirulina dish…