Tag Archives: eggs

Pizzaphilia

Hi.

Just stopping by to tell you about the pizza I made for dinner this evening.

I left all my exciting new flours in Brighton so this base is standard wholemeal flour, you can use the gluten-free one if you like.

From bottom to top:

Pizza base, pre-baked.
One avocado, whizzed up with garlic, salt, pepper and lemon juice.
Spinach, blanched.
Parmesan cheese.
Steamed butternut squash.
Sundried tomatoes.
Egg, poached or fried.
Rocket.

Warm toppings through in oven for about 10 minutes once the base is cooked.

Is there anything more satisfying, nutritious, diverse, delicious and quite frankly perfect than home-made pizza ?

You couldn’t find a more straightforward path to my heart.

Summer is here and the Squirrell family are having a barbecue tomorrow.

See you then x

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Jubilee Fun and Conquering Dairy Fear

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LONG LIVE OUR NOBLE QUEEN and other such patriotic exclamations, this weekend was the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and double bank holiday bonanza here in Britain, which meant…

TOTALLY NOT VEGAN, NOT HEALTHY, NOT NUTRITIOUS IN ANY WAY VICTORIA SPONGE CAKE, WOO !!! Complete with no less than four eggs, and butter, and milk. And sugar, but that scares me but for different reasons.

You see, I still haven’t had cheese or milk since I ‘stopped’ being vegan. Crayfish, yes, and a scoop of ice-cream at a restaurant, but overall my relationship with non-vegan food items has been strained to say the least. I’ve given myself Dairy Fear. It’s time for drastic action, because cheese is awesome and should be consumed with vigour and pleasure, not avoided for reasons I’m not even sure I understand.

So what better way to kick this quasi-vegan lifestyle I find myself living in the face than celebrating Our Gracious Queen’s 60th year as monarch with probably the most patriotic cake you ever ate, complete with British-grown blueberries and strawberries ? And sparklers and little music boxes that play ‘Rule Britannia’ when you cut yourself a slice. And a guard of miniature Beefeaters. And corgis, tally ho !

You absolutely must have this cake with a cup of tea or you will prosecuted for treason. It’s the law in England.

Me and Gareth are currently sitting side by side in my bed, drinking tea. He is reading the paper and I am updating my blog. We’re so middle class, or at least we would be if I weren’t a student. Yesterday we went to [the most awkward] street party [in the world – “Would you like some cake ?” I said to a nearby small boy. “We’re not allowed cake until after lunch,” I was told, very sternly indeed. Well, that’s the last time I offer my baking efforts to children in an attempt to make friends]. I ate two slices of the above cake (after lunch, obviously) before going on a panic run for an hour in the pouring rain, made awesome by my excessive levels of sugar and patriotism. I love Britain, God save the Queen, who looked fab in her golden dress at the Jubilee tribute concert.

In other news, I finished second year. Cue do-absolutely-totally-fucken-NOTHING days such as yesterday where my boyfriend works for his keep morning til night…

…and I watch terrible, terrible films (yesterday I chose Mean Girls and Bad Teacher) and make elaborate baking plans, to which I subject him when he gets home from his shift.

I’ve got some mozzarella in the fridge with which I am going to make pizza later.

Amy x

Dairy-free Tea Party

KP came to visit. She is my best friend, other half of our band, KP and Squizz and she turned 21 on Monday ! (Happy Birthday, KP !) There was only one thing for it. Dairy-free tea party !

Yes. A dairy-free tea party with presents, four different types of tea, jam, soy buttercream, raspberries, scones (rustic cupcakes that I intended this time to be scones, ie. bigger) and banana muffins from Joy the Baker‘s banana mango bread recipe minus the mango and plus some dried fruit and seeds.

A dairy-free tea party that escalated into dairy-free vodka lemonades in The Mashtun…

Dairy-free mojitos and japanese food in Pompoko…

Dairy-free tequila and blueberry vodka in The Pav Tav…

Dairy-free cocktails in The Twisted Lemon…

More dairy-free drinks and excellent (hideous) dancing in Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar…

Oh, and then a visit to the all-night Market Diner café, which was dairy-free because I was too drunk and too tired to eat or drink anything even if they’d had soy (I didn’t think it appropriate to ask).

I pondered the practicality of a soy White Russian. I had to pass on a delicious-sounding cocktail entitled ‘Banoffee Pie’ because it was made with cream. I almost ordered one until Alex kindly pointed out that my crazy new diet restriction would not allow it. Then Will had two and I have to say I eyed them wistfully. And now as the hangover slowly nibbles away at my good humour all I want to do is fry myself up a couple of eggs BUT I CAN’T BECAUSE I’M A FECKING VEGAN THIS MONTH.

I cycled to university and felt like utter death. The lid to my salt shaker fell off while I was cooking and thus emptied its entire contents into my sautéed spinach and kale recovery lunch, rendering it totally inedible. I think I must have consumed about a million calories in cakes and alcohol. Me and KP had a conversation about chocolate Philadelphia in the car on the way home and I died a little inside at the thought of having to wait a month to try some.

The saga continues, the plot thickens, the challenge goes on.

Oh, also, we apparently climbed into an olive grove at some point during the evening. I remember none of this…

Sincerely,
Never Drinking Again
x

Too Lazy to Type Pt. 2

Continuation of  the Home Alone Vlog Experiment:

1. Breakfast and beginning to bake the baguettes

 

2. More baking (and coffee)

 

3. Garlic bread and soup

Veggie Quiche with Lentil Freakin’ Pastry

This post is by far my most anticipated ever since I started this blog, and definitely worth the addition of the word “freakin’” in the title (although I could not be persuaded to omit the apostrophe; I may be down with the kids but practising good punctuation skills will always remain important to me).

A while ago I wanted to make quiche, but remained wary as pastry is so high in fat. Add in the sheer amount of egg and cheese that makes up any quiche filling, and you’ve got this health-conscious calorie-phobe’s worst nightmare. I remained, however, determined to satisfy my quiche-craving without enraging my arteries; to “have my quiche and eat it too” so to speak, so I typed “healthy alternatives to pastry” into Google. Good old Internet, you are indeed ripe with all the secrets of the universe, always ready and waiting for when I so often turn my hand to purging the baking world of all its saturated fat, sugar and calories (oh alright, I’ll leave some).

It’s pastry. Made with LENTILS. I have no idea why it’s taken me so long to try this ! (See, they use the word “freak” too ! Must be a lentil thing…)

By making the crust with lentils instead of using traditional pastry, you not only drastically reduce the calorie and fat levels, but get a whole load of extra protein into the bargain (which promotes post-meal satiety, meaning no biscuit-cravings !). And I promise you it’s tasty too !

So tonight I made vegetarian quiche with caramelized onion, spinach, mushroom, red pepper and tomatoes. You can put in pretty much anything you want once you’ve made the filling; for example, chop up sausages or bacon to fry with the onions, or substitute the cheddar for goat’s cheese (I almost did this). Just some ideas…

I got really nervous making this for some reason. I think it was because I’ve never heard of making pie crust out of lentils before; I had no idea how it was going to turn out and had kind of amalgamated several recipes together, as well as my own basic quiche-knowledge, and I guess I just really, really wanted it to work. Basically this is a long-winded way of excusing my sub-par photography skills tonight (apart from the ones that Tom took).

Anyway, here’s what I did through the blurry lens of my over-zealous photography attempts:

Lentil Freakin’ Pastry

You’ll need:

125g of orange lentils

50g of porridge oats

1 tbsp of tomato puree

Salt/pepper/herbs

340ml of (soy*) milk

3-5 eggs

½ a red onion

60g of grated cheddar cheese

Olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

Handful of fresh basil (if you have it)

What to do:

First, start to caramelise the onion in olive oil. Place in a saucepan on a fairly low heat and cover. Stir occasionally to avoid too much blackening and stickiness.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and grease a flan/quiche dish, or line it with foil and grease that instead. I don’t have a flan dish but I do have 2 slightly smaller bendy plastic cake ‘tins,’ I foiled one and left the other as an experiment and hoped for the best (ie. not a repetition of the cake-biscuit incident).

For the crust:

Boil the lentils in twice their volume of water for about 10 minutes. I have no idea how this is worked out – baking FAIL ! Best to start with not enough water and add more than to have too much, I thought, and I did have to keep putting tiny splashes in every now and then to keep it moist enough. If the mixture does end up too watery you can always add more oats.

Stir, mash, pound, grind (and any other dubious adjectives that come to mind) the lentils continuously as they boil to form a thick paste, then add the oats, tomato puree and seasoning (salt, pepper and a bit of oregano for me).

It should form a sticky  (yet un-kneadable) ‘dough.’ I had to mash at it with my spoon for AAAGES before it became pulpy enough to transfer to the dish.

Press into quiche dish and cook at about 200 degrees for 5-10 minutes, just until it starts to firm.

For the filling:

While you are waiting for the crust to get crusty, beat the eggs and milk together and season with salt, pepper and whatever else you like (I tore up some basil, natch, and added some cayenne pepper).

Take the crust out of the oven. The onions should be just about done (they should be soft and, well, caramelised).

Add the garlic to the onions and a splash of balsamic vinegar for extra flavour and cook for a few more minutes before you take them off the heat, makes ‘em zingeeh !

Distribute the onions and sprinkle the cheese over the top. This would be a good point to also add anything else you’re planning on putting in your quiche.

Pour over the egg and milk mixture and return to oven to bake for about 45 minutes at 200 degrees, making sure the filling is cooked through by gently pressing the top and making sure it is springy (no runny egg left schlepping around).

BAM.

I just made pie base out of lentils. Okay, so you can’t see the ‘crust’ as the mixture wouldn’t hold its own enough for me to line the sides with it, but luckily I ended up using about 5 million eggs which allowed the filling to stand up all on its own ! The base was still very moist when I got it out of the dish, but no stick-age !

I now have a MOTHER-LOAD of quiche to get through this week.

1/6 of this quiche (or 2 small quiches in my case) if you don’t count the vegetables contains 154 calories. It’s okay, you can thank me later (when you’ve finished gorging on guilt-free vegetable-plenty pastry-void quiche).

So, uh… I’m having a third of this for dinner. DON’T JUDGE ME.

I also made this for afters.

Microwave-baked apple with figs and honey

I do spoil myself sometimes…

Lots of love,

Amy x

*The reason I use soy milk is not because I’m a vegan. I’m not (if you hadn’t already noticed, what with the amount of time I spend raving about cheese and eggs). I went through a non-dairy spell due to some skin-related issues, and have never quite been able to return to real milk. I just prefer soy, plus its lower cal, higher protein than dairy milk, and doesn’t taste like you’re putting cheese on your cereal. Just ma opinion.

An Experimental Afternoon: Junk Food Trauma and Huevos Rancheros

I have a confession to make. I’ve been very bad.

I just made these.

So, I made cake. Out of wholemeal bread flour. I don’t know why I did this. Boredom must have prevailed (it gets very lonely in our house on a Monday afternoon, it seems. I should probably cease to be left alone with the oven).

Anyway, the whole ordeal had a promising start. It was because I wanted something to do with the crystallised ginger, like, for example, bake it into muffins (because I tried some and I forgot that I hate the taste of ginger on its own, why did I make this? I thought to myself). So, as usual I began my internet-wide search for tasty treats that retain even just the slightest bit of healthiness and nutritional value, and found many recipes for high-fibre-low-carb-low-fat bran muffins, oat muffins, and, yes, there are many combinations that involve fruit and candied ginger. Perfect.

Then I realised I don’t have any muffin cases.

Or a muffin tin.

So I made a big cake. Out of some weird mixture I concocted from a cake (not muffin) recipe (I forget where it is now, I’ve looked at so many this afternoon) that involved nothing but oil, sugar and flour. No eggs. I put milk in; all the flour I have is for bread, but I used it anyway. I used no measurements whatsoever, not even “a handful” or “a glug.” It was totally arbitrary and I was feeling very uneasy about the whole thing. But I put it in the oven and hoped for the best, figuring that I’d made the mixture anyway so may as well see if it tastes alright.

Well, it did. But I couldn’t for the life of me get it out of the baking tin. (Yes, I greased it. But obviously not enough.)

So with a lot of scraping and peeling I finally managed to get it out of the tin. In pieces. So I looked up a fridge cake recipe and resigned myself to mixing together suspect quantities of dark chocolate, butter, peanut butter, honey and marshmallows, layered it all up in cups and chucked it in the fridge.

THIS IS THE UNHEALTHIEST THING I THINK I HAVE EVER MADE. How has this been allowed to happen ? I am going to eat one, obviously, who wouldn’t ? I’m going to give the other one to darling Gareth. He can share in my junk-food trauma (JFT, to which it will from now on be abbreviated). Don’t read on if you’re calorie-phobic: I’ve estimated this dessert to be worth around 531 calories. I’m telling you, Christ, this better be worth it.

And at the end of the whole ordeal…

The candied ginger DIDN’T EVEN GET USED.

There, in the blue tupperware. Look how lonely it is.

So here is something HEAPS healthier that I made the other week but haven’t got round to posting. Huevos Rancheros is so tasty and easy I can almost let the pictures speak for themselves.

Huevos Rancheros for 1

You’ll need:

Chopped tomatoes (enough for you, half a pack ?)

1-2 eggs

1 clove of garlic

Olive oil

Tomato puree

Seasoning (basil, salt, pepper, cayenne)

Cheese to serve

What to do:

Heat olive oil in a saucepan

Reduce heat and add chopped tomatoes,  tomato puree and crushed garlic (and some basil, wink)

Season with salt and cayenne pepper. Or whatever you have in your cupboard

Simmer for 10 minutes

Getting steamy...

Break your egg(s) into the tomato mixture. Cover and let eggs poach until they are cooked to the consistency that you like

Spoon eggs and sauce onto toast/wrap/pitta and serve with vegetable of your choice (I made steamed spinach) and garnish with cheese (YES ! YES ! MORE, MORE CHEESE !)

Calories per serving (2 eggs, without cheese, bread or veg): 234; fat: 14.5g; of which saturates: 3.6g.

I don’t know if the orgasmic-ness of the simple combination that is garlic and tomato is sufficiently recognised in British society today.

I’m going on an awareness march.

See you when garlic-tomato sauce has dominated the world.

Amy x