Nutella Granola Bars

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Yes.

Who doesn’t love nutella? (update: I have found actual living breathing human beings who do not like nutella and they are currently under observation right now for mental illness and/or extra terrestrial taste buds)

I love granola bars. They’re the perfect snack but the store bought ones are so expensive and unnecessary when it’s so unbelievably easy to make your own at home!

You can eat them anytime –  take them to school, eat them as a midnight snack, eat them for dessert, eat them for breakfast, eat them with more nutella on top, eat more than half the batch while you’re photographing them..

You can play around with the ingredients and mix and match to your liking.

Don’t like nuts? Don’t put them in.

LOVE nuts? Put in more!

Like your granola bars crunchy? Add 2tbsp. more oil to the batter and bake for a few minutes longer!

These make approximately 8-10 bars, depending on how big you cut them and how much of the mixture you ‘taste’ before baking.

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Nutella Granola Bars

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup mix nuts and dried fruit
  • 6 tbsp nutella
  • 5 tbsp honey
  • 1.5 tbsp oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional but strongly recommended)
  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celcius and grease a baking pan.
  2. Mix oats, flour and nuts/dried fruit in a large bowl.
  3. Microwave the honey and nutella in a small bowl.
  4. Beat an egg into the honey and nutella.
  5. At the wet ingredients into the dry and  mix well.
  6. Add in the chocolate chips.
  7. Press the mixture into a baking pan.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes.
  9. Let cool before slicing and eating.

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Spiced Chickpea & Spinach Stew

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Wowwie! This is so wonderfully flavorful and warm and cozy and I might or might not have finished 3/4 of the whole batch in one go.

I’m a huge fan of chickpeas in almost any form – curries, hummus, spiced and dried, in desserts (yes, desserts! google chickpea desserts and don’t knock it before you try it) – so it was inevitable that I would love this stew specially since it involves lots of olive oil, spices and spinach (my favorite vegetable by far – it’s so versatile!).

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It can take a while to cook if you soak and boil your own chickpeas, which we always do at home, but if you use canned chickpeas this is a super quick dish to whip up for lunch.

The recipe is technically for four people but since last time I made half the batch for my mom and I, there wasn’t enough left for my mom (oops!), I will definitely be making a bigger batch next time. And even if there’s some leftover, you can keep it in the fridge and it’ll make a great leftover lunch or dinner the next day.

I served it with brown rice but you can serve it with any grain – millet, quinoa, basmati rice etc. or even with some crusty bread like sourdough or a baguette.

Forgot to mention – the stew itself is accidentally vegan and gluten free! (I love it when that happens hehee..)

It was based on this recipe I found on food&wine but I changed it up quite a bit🙂

Spiced Chickpea & Spinach Stew

serves 4

  • 1.5 tablespoon crushed garlic
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp cumin powder, pinch ground cloves, pinch black pepper, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1-2 tsp chili powder (adjust chili according to personal preference), 1/2 tsp salt
  • ~3 cups cooked chickpeas or two 15oz cans (reserve the water!)
  • 2.5 tbs olive oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and diced
  • 1 large tomato or two small, diced and the seeds removed
  • salt, to taste
  • handful sultanas/dates/raisins (I recommend sultanas)
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, chopped finely
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • fresh coriander/mint/parsley to top (optional)
  1. In a small bowl, mash the crushed garlic with the saffron and the spices. Add a couple tablespoons of the chickpea liquid.
  2. In a skillet or a deep pan, heat 1.5 tbs olive oil.
  3. Add the onion and tomatoes and stir on low heat until softened and browned.
  4. Add the spiced garlic paste and cook for another minute
  5. Pour in the chickpeas, 1.5 cups of their liquid (if there is no more liquid, use water or stock) and the sultanas
  6. Bring to a simmer and add in the spinach. Lower the heat a bit, and let simmer for around 2 minutes until spinach is fully cooked.
  7. Transfer to your serving dish and top with 1 tbs of the olive oil, lemon juice and fresh herbs.
  8. Serve with rice, quinoa, cous cous, millet or crusty bread.

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Fruit Crumble for One (or more!)

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Easy to whip up dessert when you want something sweet without all the hassle of making a large serving! If you want to make more though feel free to double, triple or quadruple the recipe.

All the ingredients needed for this recipe are ones you probably have lying around! And the type of fruit used is flexible too. I have used apple, banana and strawberries but you can also sub in other berries, cherries, pears, peaches, plums or mangoes. Actually this would be to die for with some peaches so I can’t wait to try it again in the summer when peaches are in season!

This is great on it’s own but it might not hurt if you decide to top it with a scoop of ice cream. Just saying.

So what are you waiting for?

 

Individual Serving Fruit Crumble

  • 1 cup fruit (equivalent to 1/2 small apple + 1/2 banana or 1 cup berries or 2 peaches)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp + 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoon oats (I used quick oats but whatever oats you have on hand will work)
  • 1 tablespoon almond meal (ground almonds)
  • 1 tablespoon butter softened
  • 1 tablespoon nuts and dried fruits, roughly chopped (optional but highly reccomended)
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  2. Dice the fruit
  3. Mix the fruit with lemon juice, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1 tsp brown sugar and then place in the ramekin you will be baking in.
  4. In another bowl mix together the oats, almond meal, butter, remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, nuts and dried fruit until well combined
  5. Put the oat mixture on top of the fruit and bake in oven for around 25 minutes until the top is lightly browned
  6. Top with ice cream or whipped cream or more fresh fruit if desired and enjoy!

 

 

 

Carrot Cake Pancakes

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These don’t need much of a write-up. They’re delicious yet healthy. They’re fluffy and amazing and they taste like carrot cake and you need them in your life.

Just make these okay?

Please.

Ingredients

  • 1 banana, 2/3 mashed and the rest sliced
  • 1 small carrot grated
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons flour (I used chickpea)
  • 1.5 tablespoon plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ginger grated
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • handful raisins and almonds chopped roughly
  • butter/olive oil to cook
  1. Mix together the mashed banana and the egg
  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients
  3. Mix well
  4. Heat a pan and lightly coat with butter/oil
  5. Drop in ~1.5 tbs of the pancake batter and wait until the bottom is browned
  6. (bubbles should form on the pancakes)
  7. Flip and cook on the other side
  8. Transfer all pancakes to a plate and top with remaining banana slices, chopped fruit and toppings of choice

Topping Ideas

– honey, maple syrup, coconut chips, nuts, peanut butter, dried fruit, chocolate chips, flax seeds, cream cheese, caramel, butter

 

Presto Pesto

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The saying about only appreciating things when you don’t have them – so true.

When we moved to India, one of the biggest problems for me was getting used to the fact that lots of the fresh products I was used to getting in Singapore were just not available widely here. I mean, you can still get things like raspberries, blueberries, avocados and asparagus but you have to go to specialty ‘gourmet’ stores and they’re extremely overpriced. Things I had taken for granted like basil, I now relished.

But now that we’ve moved into our own house we have lots of fresh produce growing in our own garden! We have spinach, methi (fenugreek), basil, mini oranges…  So you would think that now I have an almost endless supply of fresh basil I would be using it 24/7. Right?

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But yeah… not so much. Since we’ve moved into the house (5 months) I think I’ve used basil approximately… 3 times. And in that time we have probably gone through 10-12 jars of store bought pesto. I know, I know. Disgraceful.

It’s just that the whole process seems like so much work. It’s easier to just buy a ready made jar and not think about it. But when I went out one day and saw that the basil plant was slowly drying up I decided it was time to change.

And I’m so glad I did! Making pesto is so easy – it takes practically 15 minutes and most of that time is spent getting the pesto out of the food processor! When you make your own pesto, you can alter the flavors to your liking and experiment with different nuts and even add in other herbs. Also the taste of fresh pesto exceeds store bought by a landslide!

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So no further ado.. here’s an amazing, customizable, pesto recipe inspired by love and lemons.

How to customize:

I always use 2/3 basil + 1/3 coriander because otherwise the basil flavor is a bit too strong, but feel free to use all basil or experiment with addition of other herbs like mint or arugula

For the nuts I used a combination of walnuts and almonds, but you can use any nuts – pistachios, hazelnuts, pecans.. Pine nuts are generally the best for pesto but I didn’t have any on hand🙂

Add in some grated parmesan cheese, some nutritional yeast or a dash of balsamic vinegar for some extra kick. Most recipes also use black pepper but I prefer the taste without it. It’s a personal opinion though so if you like it – go for it!

Basil Pesto

(Makes around 1 cup)

  • 1 1/2 cup herbs
  • 1/4 cup nuts
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and paprika/chili flakes
  1. Lightly toast the nuts in a small plan until lightly browned
  2. Add all the ingredients in a food processor until well blended
  3. Taste and adjust the salt or acidity if necessary. If too sour, add a splash of honey or agave syrup.

Enjoy!

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Lentil Millet Vegetable Stew

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This is a take on indian ‘khichdi’, a simple traditional stew made with lentils, rice and vegetables. I used millet instead of rice and added some masala to brighten it up.

It’s a one pot meal – all the veggies, lentils and grains are dropped into a pressure cooker with some ghee and spices and voila, in twenty minutes you have a complete meal.

It’s already vegetarian but if you use oil instead of ghee and omit the yogurt topping, it’s vegan!

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This dish is a nutrition power house!  Protein rich from the lentils and millet, high in fibre, full of vitamins and minerals! Millet is one of the best sources of copper and manganese, while the ginger and yogurt aide digestion.

Did I mention it’s creamy, comforting and delicious?

mhm.

I have used carrots and bottle gourd (an indian vegetable) this time, but most vegetables work really well in this type of stew or khichdi. Use whatever produce you have at home – Zucchini, Spinach, Kale, Beans etc. would all be fine. Just keep in mind some vegetables like greens decrease a lot in volume when cooked so you would need to use more of them to start with. If you don’t have millet feel free to use rice.

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Lentil Millet Vegetable Stew

(Makes 1 large serving, just multiply the ingredients to make more)

Ingredients:

  • ~1.5 – 2 cup vegetables diced
  • 1/4 cup lentils (I used green split mung – mung (gram) lentils work best)
  • 1/4 cup millet
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1.5 tsp ghee/oil
  • 1 tsp curry powder (can substitute with indian spices of choice like cumin, coriander or turmeric powder)
  • salt to taste
  • plain yogurt + coriander/cilantro to top (optional)
  1. Wash the millet and lentils
  2. In a pressure cooker turn on medium heat and add the ghee or oil
  3. When the ghee/oil becomes hot, add in the diced onion and sautee until browned
  4. Add in the vegetables, ginger, spices, millet and lentils.
  5. Add ~2.5 cups of water
  6. Put on the lid and cook for around 20 minutes
  7. Release the pressure and remove the lid
  8. Serve and if you wish, top with yogurt and herbs

best (healthy) pancakes

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these pancakes were good.

like really good.

and not just ‘healthy’ food good, but actually delicious.

if you ate them you wouldn’t be able to tell they don’t have any refined flour, sugar or butter.

(and they’re gluten free!)

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now the best part about pancakes that are healthy is that you can have them anytime without feeling guilty because hey, they’re healthy. and they’re quick and easy too. win, win, win.

i really hope you make them. (like now) because once you make them, you probably won’t want to ever make the normal white flour-butter-sugar-egg combo pancakes ever again. i swear, they’re really not lacking in the sweetness department but if you like your pancakes sweeter just add sweeter toppings🙂

and have fun with the toppings! GO CRAZY! because the pancakes themselves are so nutritious and good for you, you can even use crazy toppings like chocolate chips and sprinkles.

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more topping ideas: nuts, nut butters, honey, coconut cream, dried fruit, chocolate chips, sprinkles, banana slices, strawberries, chocolate syrup, maple syrup, whipped cream, butter, toasted coconut, granola

note: for the flour, I used chickpea flour (besan) but you can use oat flour (oats ground into a powder) or buckwheat flour too. (if you’re gluten free make sure your oats are gf)

now on to the recipe!

(makes 1 serving which is around 4 pancakes)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large-ish banana, mashed
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons flour (see note above)
  • 2 tablespoon yogurt or 1/2 tablespoon yogurt and 1.5 tablespoon coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder (optional)
  • 1.5 tsp chia seeds (optional)
  • olive oil/canola oil to cook

Directions

  • mix the mashed banana, the egg, yogurt/coconut milk, honey and vanilla essence in a bowl
  • add in the flour one spoon at a time and then the baking powder, cocoa powder and the chia seeds.
  • heat a fry pan and spray/spread with oil
  • when oil is hot drop in roughly 1/4 of the batter (2 spoons?) onto the pan in a circular shape
  • lower the heat
  • (i make 2 pancakes at a time but depending on the size of your pan and your cooking ability, cook the pancakes at the rate you want)
  • little bubbles should appear and after around twenty seconds when the pancake is holding together, flip it (lift the edge with your spatula to check whether its ready)
  • cook until both sides are lightly browned and then take out on to a plate, stacking the pancakes
  • add toppings to your pancake stack!
  • (my pancakes have coconut milk, honey, nuts and dried apricots on top)