July 04, 2015

Vegan Overnight Oats


Okay- this is a totally 4th of July inspired post. 

It has nothing- and I mean ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the fact I was watching Captain America. 

Nothing WHATSOEVER!

This is totally 4th of July inspired. 

Happy 4th of July to those who are celebrating by the way! 

Okay- so this is very regularly my breakfast. Even more so now I just bought a 16oz jar of Chia Seeds. Cause that's totally something 'normal' people do. 

They're called overnight oats. I have the vegan version- cause.... I just do. 

Essentially- it's a mixture of oats, milk (I usually use almond, sometimes I have oat or coconut) and chia seeds. You combine the ingredients, cover, and leave overnight in the fridge. You wake up in the morning (although if you decide to have a midnight snack I'm sure they would be good then too) and you have a really yummy breakfast.

Chia seeds are one of the wonder foods going around at the minute- but I can't tell you exactly what their wonders are because everyone disagrees slightly. But they all agree that they pack a BIG nutritional punch- and some say that they are one of the only sources of all the amino acids in one go. Basically- they are a little seed- usually black but can also be white (and there is no difference between the colors apart from aesthetics) that can do wonderful things. They absorb liquid- like a lot of liquid. Different people claim different things- anywhere between 8 and 20 times their weight in liquid- but however much it is (and I'm sorry that the Internet failed me this time) ... it's still impressive. And as they absorb liquid like that, they are very good at turning a mixture of oats and milk into a yummy breakfast. If you want to know more about chia seeds- just Google it. There is loads and loads of stuff about them on the Internet. Chia seeds are pretty expensive- however you only use a little bit at a time, so it's not that bad per breakfast- and if you shop around you can usually find some at an okay price (surprisingly, try Waitrose or the Internet).

Okay.... you are going to have to use you're imaginations here guys- cause there is only one way I can think of to describe overnight oats, and to be honest- it sounds like something that's come from a Dicken's novel. So... use you're imagination cause it's actually really good....

Possibly the best way to describe is to say it's like cold porridge. 

There you go- I told you it sound's like it came straight out of a Dicken's novel. You thinking of Oliver Twist right now? Please don't. It's not that bad. To be honest- it's more like a cross between cold porridge and muesli. Does that make it any better? Maybe you could think of it like Bircher Muesli without the apple. There- that better? 

Okay- possibly not. But the best thing about overnight oats? The add ins and the toppings. Cause you can go crazy. Like, real real crazy. We're talking about uber amazingly absolutely crazy. Which trust me, is really fun. I bet anyone they could have overnight oats every day for the rest of their life- and never have a repeat combination. I mean - you can seriously- do anything!!!!!

Except today I went with the really plain (okay slightly boring) overnight oats so that you could see how simple they are at their best.

Cause really - they are simple. I mean- real simple. Add oats and chia seeds- shake- add milk- leave overnight in the fridge- eat. We're talking that simple.

No time in the morning to make breakfast? This is the answer- all you need to do is take the lid of your container.

Too hot to want to turn on the stove top? No cooking required.

Just looking for a really yummy breakfast that is really customisable? Overnight oats are the answer.

Okay- so bear in mind that this is overnight oats at their very bare bones- and because of that mine are a bit runny (they'd be thicker if I had lots of add in's like I normally do) so they do NORMALLY look thicker.

And this recipe is a guide- it's how I like my overnight oats- but you may wanna play around with it till you find what's best for you. Want less- scale it down (try 1/4 cup of oats and 2/3 cup milk). Want more- scale it up (try 1/2 cup oats, 1 cup of milk and then add a splash for luck). Too runny/too thick- adjust the milk- add more/less by a couple of Tablespoons.

Also- yeah- I didn't leave it plain cause I had a load of fresh berries in my fridge..... and I like berries.

Vegan Overnight Oats

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds
  • Add in's (literally whatever you want)

Method


  • Combine oats and chia seeds in a lidded container.

  • I find the easiest way to combine them is to put the lid on and give them a really good shake - and trust me- you want to combine them cause otherwise you get these strings of chia seeds and they can freak you out a bit if you're not used to chia seeds. 
  • Add the milk- and give it a good shake again (you're gonna have to take the lid OFF to add the milk and then put it ON again to shake)
  •  
  • If you're using add ins (and you should- cause there are a lot of yummy things in this world to add in) - add any dry ones in AFTER you have shaken the oats and chia seeds together but BEFORE you add the milk. Add any wet ones (including things like fresh fruit) in AFTER you add the milk but BEFORE you shake it again. 
  • Place in the fridge overnight- or at the very least a few hours. 
  • When you're ready to eat it take it out of the fridge- if it's too thick you can stir in a bit more milk- it it's too thin it's harder to solve- but you can add more chia seeds and wait 10 minutes for it to thicken up a bit. 
  • If you want to add any topping- feel free- nothing's stopping you!
  • Enjoy (and if you don't- try it again. You'll love it once you get the fact that it's cold porridge out of your head!) 




Nothing, what so ever, to do with Captain America guys!!!!


June 27, 2015

You Don't Bring Desert to a Barbecue


Apparently- you don't bring desert to a barbecue. 

Trust me- if you turn up to a 4th of July Barbecue with disposable pie dishes covered in tin foil- you will get told that you don't bring desert to a barbecue. 

This. Is possibly. Not the best. Time. To tell someone this. 

Ya know- with the them just having turned up with dessert and all. 

I mean- at least they haven't brought a melon for once (cause that's what my parents usually and infamously did) (and at least they had a different reason for turning up late). 

But it's okay- this was dessert that went on the barbecue (cause what else do you take to a barbecue? Apart from a melon- and why would you do that cause you only then have to cut it up at the hosts house and then isn't that a pain?) 

And FYI- desert that goes on a barbecue goes down very well. The three trays we bought weren't enough. 

And it was MY plan to take desert to a barbecue- ha ha ha!!!


So I thought I'd recreate those tinfoil pie dishes.

The original dishes were chopped fruit coated in butter, sugar and cinnamon- with a lot of emphasis on canned peaches (that was obviously what we had in).

This time tho- I didn't want to make dessert.

Because you don't bring dessert to a barbecue.

Veggie-dog Barbecued Peach Relish

Makes Enough for 8 Veggie-dogs

1 can of Peaches

1/2 a small Red Onion

Marinade

2 T Sriracha (or other hot chili sauce)

1 T Soya Sauce/Tamari

1/2 t Dijon Mustard

1 T chopped Jalapenos


Directions

Chop the canned peaches into bite sized pieces. 

Whisk together the first 3 marinade ingredients till well combined- then stir in the chopped jalapenos. 

Chop the red onion into a fine dice.

For Barbecue Method: 

Combine the peaches, onion and marinade in a disposable pie dish, cover with tinfoil and place on the barbecue until caramelized slightly and 'piping hot'. 

For Grill/Broiling Method:

Combine the peaches, onion and marinade in a ovenproof dish, and place under the grill/broiler on high for half an hour. 

Best served hot- although delicious cold with leftover sliced veggie dogs the next day. 





June 18, 2015

Noodle and Cheese Salad



And here starts the start of a very complicated venture. Called writing my blog posts backwards. Starting with the week of my last exam and working backwards, so hopefully (if it works) there will still be posts even when I am not able to write any because I am revising. So I am going to try and write as many as possible in the next week and see how far (back) that takes me.

So actually- you will be reading this post last- so you possible already know all this.

Is it just me or are you thinking Professor River Song out of Doctor Who? 

Glad it's not just me.

Someone once told me that cheese with noodles was totally normal.

I was not so sure. So I had to try it.

I'm still not so sure that it's totally normal- but I'll accept that it's not horrendous. It's actually quite okay. And a good source of calcium to boot.

It does, however, need a bit of thinking. I'm willing to accept cheese with noodles, I just have to draw a line at something like cheese with stir fry. Because.... urgh.

I think I can cope with cheese in a noodle salad though.

I had to think logically about what to put in it. I mean real logically. Putting cheese with noodles may be normal to some people, but to me it is something with should be approached with great caution. Like brushing a tigers fur. I hope I got it right, because really, I'm still not sure. Cheese and noodles?

No, now is not the time to point out that it is basically mac and cheese. Not the time at all!!!

Noodles and Cheese Salad (serves 1)

  • One portion of whichever type of noodles you like using best. Here I used instant noodles because I had a load that I wanted to use up, but normally I would have used my wholewheat egg free noodles or soba noodles. 
  • Either half a red (bell) pepper or a few smaller sweet peppers. I used three mini sweet peppers
  • Either 4 small tomatoes or one big one. 
  • Two spring onions.
  • 1/2 t turmeric
  • 1/4 t cumin
  • However much cheese you want. I used a small handful but I don't eat a lot of cheese. 
  • Optional: some chives. I cut up a fresh one, but you could also used 1/4 t dried chives. 



  • Cook your noodles according to the instructions on the packet. Add the turmeric and cumin to the cooking water. If your using dried chives add them too. 
  • Meanwhile, cut up the veggies. I like the spring onion and pepper cut up small, and the tomatoes cut up into bigger pieces. 

  • Drain the noodles. Yes, that means your getting rid of most of the turmeric and cumin, but you don't want a sauce. Just a bit of color/flavor. 
  • Mix the veggies into the noodles. 
  • Top with the cheese and fresh chive if using. 

So here is the end (or start) of my pre-written posts. And the day of my last exam, so, see you soon (in your view) or in a really long time (my view). 

You know... we do something like this in physics... I should revise.... for an exam I've done... messing with your heads yet?


June 11, 2015

Barny Bento

This is the last in my bear-y bento mini series. 

And next week- I can assure you- isn't a bento post. 

I know because I just wrote it. 

Okay, now, you know when you really really REALLY want something- even though you know that there is a high probability that you won't like it? 

Good.... and glad that it wasn't just me. If you've never experienced this- just pretend. It makes me feel less stupid- okay? 

So... we were down in Birmingham on an intensive week of physio (and that was less fun than it sounds, I assure you). And we frequented the local Tesco shop a lot. Because to be honest- there was nothing else to do. Except watch Food Network. Although that was actually a lot of fun and we have done it several times at home since. 

But they had a 'reduced' section. And in it were apple flavored Barny cakes. And despite the fact that I don't like cake at the moment and had never wanted one before- an apple flavoured Barney cake was suddenly very desirable. Unfortunately they only come in packs of 5. 

You know what? I don't like Barny cakes. But we are not telling Mom that and so I have to eat all of them. 

I should point out this probably doesn't mean that the cakes were bad- I just don't like cake.

Luckily this time someone gave me a couple of biscuits to take the taste away. 


So that is a Barny cake (apple flavoured), some grapes and celery sticks, some Quorn cocktail sausages, and some chickpea omelet. 

1. TIME This took me all of about 10 seconds to put together. I'd pre-cut the celery, pre washed the grapes, and cooked an extra (much smaller) omelet when I was making one for tea. So the time to pack this bento? Very little. One star for me. (Red today I think)

3. RECORDING I loose that star. We're talking months afterwards guys. 

4. BALANCE This is the first time that I used an 'omelette' as my calcium sauce. (okay, I don't think that it's the first time that you've seen me do it, but it is the first time that I actually did it). The omelette's are made with fortified milk, the chickpea flour is a source of calcium (who knew- right?) and this particular omelet mix contained sesame seeds. So we're good on calcium. So one red star (I'm currently talking to my friend about rubies, hence the red star). 

9. EATING I could possibly have eaten more. Well, I ate my friends biscuits so I did eat more. But this is not necessarily the fault of I didn't pack a big enough lunch- because as my friend pointed out- I had eaten breakfast very early- so by lunch I was very hungry!!! So the fault was actually more that I hadn't packed a snack! So we'll stay neutral on this one. Once. If I do it again I'll deduct a star. 

Which means that I end on one star. (and it sparkles. for the record)