I’ve been house sitting my parents house down in mandurah for the past week and a half while they’re in the US (lucky ducks! Can’t wait until that’s me next year!) and I think the winter weather plus being back in my family home has got me craving classic winter desserts! When I used to live here and I didn’t live the clean eating lifestyle, I used to always eat the Nanna’s Apple Pies with ice cream during the winter months for dessert and being back here is making me crave it!
So, to satisfy my cravings without resorting to the packaged pies I know are sitting in the freezer, I decided to whip up my own yummy dessert! Instead of a pie, I’ve made a crumble but I’m happy with that coz I’m a sucker for those types of desserts (warm pies and crumbles are seriously my dessert weakness – give me them over cakes and brownies any day!).
I looked to a few recipes online for guidance, but in the end I winged it and created my own recipe! They’re pretty easy things to make your own so you can change it up as you please, especially with the topping. You can add chopped nuts and dried fruit, use maple syrup or honey and the list goes on! Add more syrup to make it sweeter. The possibilities are endless! 😉 so without further ado, my version of clean eating …
Apple & Berry Crumble
1 apple, chopped
1/2 cup mixed berries
2 tsp organic agave syrup
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 tbsp wholemeal flour
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp desiccated coconut
1 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
- Add apple and berries in a medium pan with enough water for them to stew in.
- Simmer apple and berries for 5 or so minutes, or until soft.
- Mix together the oats, flour, coconut, oil and cinnamon with your fingers until it becomes crumble like in texture.
- Pour apple and berry mixture into a ramekin dish (you may want to grease it but mine was fine).
- Drizzle agave syrup over the mixture.
- Spoon crumble mixture over the top. Sprinkle with more cinnamon if desired 😉
- Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden on top.
- Serve while hot with a side of plain Greek yogurt (as a substitute for ice cream, otherwise it tastes great on its own!).
Enjoy your classic winter comfort dessert, minus the guilt! I’m eating mine wrapped up in a blanket watching masterchef which is what generally makes me crave yummy food! At least I have my own tonight and don’t have to sit here drooling 😛
As I’ve mentioned previously (only every post for the past two weeks) I’m currently studying for a buttload of exams (two done, three to go!) so time is not my friend at the moment. Times like these it’s tempting for people to just grab takeaway or resort to packet food, so I am here to show you that a simple, easy and delicious dinner can be whipped up in the time it would take for the pizza delivery guy to get to your house!
Best thing about tonight’s meal also was that I have heeeeaps of leftovers that I can pop in the freezer which means I have several meals ready for me to go when I really cannot be bothered to cook (it happens sometimes). Another great thing about this meal is that you can throw in as many vegetables and extras as you like, which is handy if you’re like me and had a bunch of vegetables that needed to be used pronto. So, the recipe is pretty much add/subtract what you like and adjust the quantities of the curry sauce as per taste preference.
The curry is based on a recipe my mum gave me, originating from Tanzania where she has spent a lot of time, effort and money helping those who need it over there! You can visit this website for The School Of St Jude to see where a lot of her effort goes into, it’s very inspiring stuff! I remember when she was on a trip there, the main source of food she ate was veges and beans and at the time I wouldn’t go near that stuff (again, was a bit of a fussy eater in my younger years!) and so she would laugh and say the meals were “Hayley’s Worst Nightmare”. However, here I am now making huge batches of the stuff all on my own accord! Who would have known hey E 😉
The title of the curry will constantly change but tonight’s curry was:
Chicken, Chickpea & Sweet Potato Curry
Serves: probably get about 4-6 servings out of mine
Time: 10 minutes prep, 25 minutes cooking
- One can of Macro Organic Diced Tomatoes (No Salt Added)
- One can of Macro Organic Chickpeas (can use Kidney Beans or any other type)
- One sweet potato
- One skinless chicken breast (remove to make vegetarian – I just had to use up this chicken before it went off)
- Red capsicum
- Baby spinach leaves
- Red onion (I used about a quarter of one) [brown onion would be better but there’s none in my house!]
- 3 cloves of fresh garlic
- Extra virgin olive oil (about 2 teaspoons for cooking)
- 1 tbsp tumeric
- 1 tsp ground chilli powder
- 1 tbsp cumin
- About a cup of water (will change depending on how much veges you put in – need enough to cover them)
- Half a lemon
- Dice chicken and brown in a frying pan (don’t cook it all the way through, but get the basics done)
- Drain and rinse chickpeas in a strainer (to remove the excess salt)
- Chop vegetables into whatever size pieces suits your fancy (the smaller, the faster they cook)
- Dice the red onion and finely chop garlic (or use one of those handy garlic presses)
- Heat oil in a large saucepan and cook onion and garlic for 2 – 3 minutes
- Added tinned tomatoes, tumeric, chilli and cumin and stir through. Taste and adjust the spices as needed.
- Add the rest of the vegetables into the saucepan and add as much water as needed to cover them.
- Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Leave to simmer for around 20 minutes (I think it was) or until vegetables are cooked. Stir through every now and then. Taste the sauce as well and adjust spices as needed.
- Squeeze lemon juice into the sauce pan and stir through.
- Serve with brown rice or quinoa.
This isn’t your traditional thick sauced curry but I like it all the same. Good flavours and healthy as! Can’t go wrong. And like I said, now you’ll have tonnes of leftovers so you have no excuse for grabbing takeaway coz you’re too tired. Win win!
Until next time xo
P.S – sorry the photos aren’t that amazing but the lighting in our kitchen isn’t the best, plus it’s not one of those foods that looks like a million bucks 😉
Although it’s technically not winter yet, the temperature drop recently has made me feel like it is (10 degrees at night is cold right? Maybe its just the tiles in my room making me feel like I’m in an igloo…)
And a cold “winter” night to me says roasted vegetables! The smell of rosemary wafting through the kitchen is a comforting one – it just always reminds me of home. My parents always cook up a mean roast but I don’t think they would have ever thought they’d see the day when I would make a big batch of roast veges for myself (to say that I was a ‘fussy eater’ when I was younger is a slight understatement… sorry guys! :P)
I decided to whip up a quick quinoa salad too as a side – easy to make and just adds something else to the meal since I’m not roasting any meat. Both meals take minimal preparation and will make heaps of leftovers!
When I started preparing my veges I realised that I didn’t have any rosemary in the house – I ummed and ahhed for a while but made the decision to run down to the IGA and grab some and it was definitely a good call. Garlic and rosemary go together like peas and corn (except I don’t like peas so that’s never been a combo that works for me ;)). I took the scenic route to make it worthwhile and got treated to a pretty view of Perth across the Swan River (sorry iPhone quality).
Winter Roast Vegetables
Prep: 10 mins (or 20mins if you need to run down to the IGA like me!)
Cooking: 45 – 60 mins
Ingredients (not limited to these – add in veges to your hearts content!)
- Sweet Potato
- Red onion
- Cup mushrooms
- Eggplant (not a traditional roast vege but I needed to use it so in it went!)
- Garlic cloves
- Fresh Rosemary sprigs
- Mixed herbs
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Turn oven on to 190 degrees.
- Cut up all the veges (except the mushrooms-keep those separate) into pieces (doesn’t matter what size or shape, although thinner/smaller cook quicker) and place in a mixing bowl. Cut up garlic into smallish pieces (or keep them whole).
- Pour 2 – 3 tablespoons of olive oil, a tablespoon or so of mixed herbs and several springs of rosemary in the bowl.
- Mix together so that all the pieces are coated with the oil and herbs.
- Place all vegetables on a wire rack that is sitting on top of a baking tray wrapped with aluminium foil. Spread the veges out so they have some breathing space and place in the oven.
- Cook for anywhere between 45 mins to an hour. They should be easily pierced with a fork when they’re ready. Keep checking on them at 20 minute intervals, turning the veges if they need it. Place the whole cup mushrooms in the tray at the first 20 minute mark.
Warm Quinoa, Avocado & Feta Salad
Prep: 5 mins
Cooking: 15 – 20 mins
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (makes about 1 cup cooked quinoa)
- 1/2 avocado
- Baby spinach leaves
- 1/2 small shallot (thinly sliced)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Low fat Feta cheese
- Walnuts (cut into smaller pieces)
- Red capsicum
- Green capsicum
- Dried parsley flakes
- Cook quinoa as per instructions (I did mine on the stove top: rinse quinoa in a sieve before adding to a saucepan, add 1 cup of water and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 – 15 mins or until the liquid is absorbed. Keep an eye on it and stir occasionally).
- Mash the avocado in a bowl before adding to the quinoa and mix together. Leave to cool slightly.
- Place in a bowl and add other ingredients (you be the judge of how much of each you want! I’ve never been one for exact quantities for this kind of thing – although remember to get the right portion size of the cheese!)
And dinner is served! Definitely a happy and satisfied tummy tonight 🙂 which I will need to get me through the study I’m planning on powering through! Exam time makes for such exciting Saturday nights… #unistudentlife