Archive for February 2016

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Pancakes with Apple Chia Compote

Monday, 29 February 2016

Confession: I had some pancake disasters before coming up with these. I just wanted some pancakes for breakfast, like any normal person. I also wanted to use up some healthy ingredients that we have that I can't seem to use up (coconut flour - the packet is so small but seems limitless? And cacao nibs?), so I started to make these banana quinoa pancakes (by this I mean I just started taking out the ingredients), but then realised I didn't have bananas (sorry for super long run on sentence).

Anyway, I'm not sure what happened next but I then had the clever idea to start with a chia pudding base and somehow that would turn into pancakes (because I remember reading somewhere that chia pudding can be substituted as eggs? I didn't research it or anything... why, you ask?... I have no idea) and I just started adding things to it... It did not turn out well.

So then I was started getting super a bit frustrated, and then remembered that I had some pancake shake mix leftover from a camping trip! Why didn't I just use this in the beginning? One, I forgot about it, and two, I just wanted to do something fun and new and creative and interesting (which is also why I didn't just use my standard base pancake recipe). Yes, sometimes I struggle.

ANYWAY, I really don't know what happened this time but it was an epic fail. I think it is because I started filling up the jug with water, then remembered that I was supposed to shake the mix before doing that to loosen the mix, but I had already started filling it up, so I screwed the lid back on, shook it, then continued filling it up to the line. Maybe that meant I added too much water? Because it was a very runny mess, and then I almost cried while throwing it all out. And then had toast for breakfast instead.

But never fear, because apparently I just don't know when to give up and attempted round three. Finally, success! These were dinner pancakes. Cream cheese because we had it in the fridge (I originally wanted ricotta pancakes). Very easy, very quick, comes together in a food processor. And very delicious! Yay!

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Pancakes with Apple Chia Compote
Serves 2 

For the Pancakes

  • 125 g cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor/blender. 
  2. Whiz until combined, and let sit for a few minutes to settle.
  3. Cook 1/4 cup at a time on a non-stick (or buttered non-non-stick) frying pan. (I use this cute little mini egg frying pan)
For the Apple Chia Compote
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp currants
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp honey
  1. Add all ingredients into a saucepan and simmer until apples are soft and liquid has thickened.
  2. Pour on top of pancakes.
Bonus: Whipped Cinnamon Cream Cheesse
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp honey
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, whip until light and fluffy.
  2. Dollop on top of pancake/compote + serve.

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Cauliflower Mac + Cheese

Friday, 19 February 2016

In spite of all the bad rep that the blue Kraft Easy Mac mac + cheese boxes with the orange flavouring get, I actually really liked them in my youth. In fact, if someone served me some today I would probably happily eat it. ("Dude, macaroni + cheese is food of the gods" - Haley James Scott) It has a very nostalgic/early high school vibe to it which is very comforting. Even if it isn't the healthiest meal (:

I remember when we first moved into our current house, we were unpacking boxes and one of my friends was over to hang out and help. We didn't have a microwave yet. My friend and I decided to make it on the stove (thinking 'how hard can it be?') and it was very disastrous. I'm not even sure what went wrong but it was just terrible - I don't think it got burnt, but anyway, I think that was the last time I had it.

Anyway, I would still eat some today, but I would eat this cauliflower mac + cheese every day! The cauliflower addition is not just a way to make this healthy (it isn't really, because there's still a bunch of cheese in it, because, cheese) but it makes it more delicious and filling. 

I think you could probably add in any other vegetable (carrot, pumpkin, zucchini, anything!) and it would be equally as delicious but I'm a big fan of cauliflower and so we always have heaps at home. The cauliflower is roasted with salt, pepper and rosemary and then pureed and added in in place of the roux that's normally in mac + cheese. 

Cauliflower Macaroni & Cheese
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, in small pieces
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, torn into pieces
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 2 cups macaroni (any kind), cooked
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels (optional, but delicious)
  • 1/2 cup milk*
  • 3 tbsp cheddar
  • 3 tbsp pecorino 
  • 2 tbsp cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs**
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp parsley

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a baking tray with baking paper and then scatter cauliflower, onion, garlic, and rosemary. Drizzle with olive oil, salt + pepper to taste, and bake for 20 minutes until browned.
  2. While waiting, you can prepare your mac + cheese pan by spray-oiling it. I used this lil cutie roasting pan. 
  3. Once cauliflower + friends are done, allow to cool for a few minutes. Remove the wooden rosemary bits if you have any, before transferring to blender. Add in milk and blend to desired consistency. I left mine quite chunky because I was impatient like the texture. Add cheddar, pecorino, cottage cheese to cauliflower puree. Reserve some pecorino for later.
  4. Mix breadcrumbs, and assorted herbs, and reserved pecorino together.
  5. Add the corn to the macaroni, stirring to combine. Pour cauliflower + cheese mixture in and stir to combine. Transfer into mac + cheese pan. (If you are lazy like me, you can just do the mixing all in the pan) Sprinkle herbalicious breadcrumb mixture over, and put tray back into oven for 15 minutes or until it is a bubbling pan of deliciousness with golden breadcrumb crust. 
  6. Serve happily.

* I am slightly lactose intolerant (will eat dairy if it is delicious enough to override queasy stomach feelings - cheese and ice creams are my exceptions to my lactose rule), so we don't have milk at home. I used almond and it was perfectly fine, so please feel free to sub milk of your choice.
** I would ideally have used Panko, but we didn't have any, so instead I tore up one slice of rye + quinoa bread (any kind will do), and pulsed in the food processor.

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