5 Ingredient Banana and Peanut Butter Flapjacks: From Bowl of Delicious

Once again lack of time has prevented me from eating my bananas before they went ripe.

At this stage you are probably thinking ‘How the f*** do you lack time to eat a banana? They are the natural convenience food?’

Trust me, when you lack the time during the week to keep up with basic hygiene levels (TMI?) then you also lack the time to eat a banana.

I felt like using up my peanut butter too, for sh**s and giggles, and you can never go wrong throwing in a few seeds, nuts and dried fruit.

So I found this recipe and got my bake on (by the way, one of my catchphrases is ‘Get Your Bake On’ and I sing it to the tune of ‘Get Ur Freak On’ by Missy Elliot).

I am now very happy as I have something tasty for my on the go breakfasts this week. And I now have to buy more seeds, nuts and dried fruit which always makes me happy.

The boy was very unhappy that I made Banana, Peanut Butter, Seeds, Nuts and Dried Fruit flapjacks when Banana, Peanut Butter, Seeds, Nuts and Dried Fruit are some of his most hated foodstuffs. So I am now making him Hummingbird Bakery Chocolate Cupcakes and is he grateful? No, he is now complaining that we have had to delay dinner.

Grrrr.

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The Fabulous Baker Brother’s Spinach Muffins: Batch Cooking

There’s a bit of a story behind this.

The boy decided to revolutionise the hallway of our house, this meant I had to find a place for the relegated cook books, the ones I am debating whether to get rid of or not.

One was The Fabulous Baker Brothers which I inherited from my step mum. I was flicking through it this morning looking for inspiration when I saw the recipe for Spinach Muffins, and thought that would be great for my work breakfasts.

Then I totally made the muffins instead.

Then I did the weekly food shop and saw that Spinach was on special offer and forgot that I had decided against making them on account of the fact I had made muffins and bought some.

As soon as I got home I said s*** when I remembered.

And spinach doesn’t exactly last long, and I am planning something mega and not involving spinach at all for dinner which will involve leftovers for lunches, so this left me pondering.

And I decided f*** it and made the muffins anyway.

They are delicious. Of course I have eaten some already. I had to check for poison.

In other news somehow I have managed to get down to my lowest weight all year so I will celebrate with an extra muffin. Yes, I am stupid.

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Inspired by Nigella ‘Chop Chop Earl Grey Muffins’ (Batch Cooking my Work Breakfasts)

I decided to watch Saturday Kitchen Live today on BBC 1, a show I surprisingly don’t normally watch, and my watching it today has absolutely nothing to do with my crush on a certain TV chef.

One of the segments of the show featured the widely known Nigella Lawson who was making Chai Breakfast Muffins. This got me really excited as I was sure I had a packet of chai tea in the tea cupboard (I have a Tea cupboard, well, a hot drinks cupboard, how British am I?).

I didn’t.

BUT I did have an unopened packet of Earl Grey tea which is (wait for it) at least 18 months old, so it was probably time to use that up.

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Before this year I was so lacking in confidence with cooking that if I saw a chef making something on TV, no matter how thorough the demonstration I would not be able to copy the recipe and would probably fork out for the cook book.

Now I am brave.

My recipe is very similar to Nigella’s, I will show you mine, but bear in mind Nigella’s is probably far superior. Mine is cheaper.

INGREDIENTS

300ml Soya Milk (Or any milk, I don’t mind)

3 Earl Grey Tea Bags

1.5 Tsp Cinnamon

115ml Vegetable Oil plus extra for greasing

2 large eggs, as a personal choice my eggs are always free range

400g Plain Flour

2.5 Tsp Baking Powder

50g Mixed Dried Fruit

50g Almonds

100g Sugar

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METHOD

First thing first. Put your milk in a saucepan, open up the three tea bags and pour them into the milk and add the cinnamon. Cook over a very, very low heat and do not boil, just bring to bubbling stage.

Leave to cool/thicken.

Now the ‘chop chop’ bit. On a chopping board place your dried fruit and almonds. Using a nice long sharp knife (or if you have a fancy pants blade thing like Nigella did then use that) go up and down and along the nuts and fruit in a ‘see saw’ motion until everything is nicely chopped.

Weigh out the flour, sugar and baking powder and lightly mix together. Add the dried fruit and nuts.

Add 2 beaten eggs and the oil to the cooled milk mixture and mix.

Add the wet mixture to the dried ingredients and mix but don’t over mix. Remember, lumpy batter = light muffins.

Grease your muffin tray with oil and spoon in your mixture.

Cook for 20 minutes on Gas mark 5, or until a skewer comes out clean.

If you want to overload on sugar then have a muffin with a little maple syrup.

Batch Cooking my Work Breakfasts: Vegetable Muffins

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We have very little remaining of the food budget, and to be fair we only have to last till Friday, but that was after the boy and I had a disagreement about whether we needed to replace the rice krispies in this month, or the next food month. We compromised, the boy and I donated half the cost each and bought a pack (he can’t live without them), but I will add it to next month’s food budget spreadsheet.

I normally take 2 cheap cereal bars and a banana in my bag to eat on the train for my breakfast, but the budget didn’t allow me to replace these stocks after they ran out on Saturday. So I had to come up with a batch cook idea to last me for the week.

These muffins are from a combination of the original recipe, and a swap recipe in this book I absolutely love called My Zero-Waste Kitchen which is a Dorling Kindersley book, I believe the author is Kate Turner, and I have found out she has a blog called homegrownkate.com.

So for that reason I won’t repeat the recipe, as it is not mine, but the muffins contained 2 grated sweet potatoes and 1 grated carrot and I managed to finally use up all my chickpea flour. They are yummy.

I really can’t recommend that book enough.

 

Batch Cooking My Work Lunches: Yellow Split Pea Soup

Hi everyone,

Don’t worry, my silence on here was due to problems with our internet connection, not a mental health breakdown. Did you miss me?

(Tumbleweed blows past)

Anyways, this is what I made last Sunday. It made three portions of yummy soup. Three g e n e r o u s portions of soup, so really if you have a normal size stomach instead of one the size of Australia then it will probably feed you for a lot more days.

I was trying to make some sort of pease pudding type thing from a recipe in ‘The Bean Book’  by Rose Elliot (a book I borrowed off my sister in law over a year ago and am yet to give back), but then decided it was going to be mush, and who wants that? So I blitzed it into soup.

You will need:

250g Yellow Split Peas

2 x celery sticks

Leek

Carrot

Onion

2 Litres of stock

Turmeric, because like my previous post ‘There ain’t no party like a Turmeric party’

 

METHOD

Cook the yellow split peas first in about 3/4 of the stock till soft. Don’t do what I did which was leave it thinking it would take ages only to come back not long later and see all the water had absorbed and the peas were only just saved from being stuck to the bottom of the pan.

In a separate pan lightly cook the leeks, carrots, celery and onion until soft but not burnt.

Add all together, with the remainder of the stock and as much turmeric as you feel is decent and when you feel ready add it to a blender and blitz the cr*p out of it.

WARNING!

If you have a nice pristine white blender, then I’m sorry to say you may risk staining parts of it permanently yellow due to the turmeric.  I like yellow so I like the look, but you might not. If you don’t want this to happen leave out the turmeric.

Take into work and be the envy of your colleagues.

 

Batch Cooking My Work Lunches: Mushroom ‘Barlotto’

I have been feeling guilty about my long forgotten grains in the cupboards which expired months ago, so decided today when it came to making my lunches for the week I would use up the one with the oldest best before date. Which was my Pearl Barley.

(A quick note, yes I am gung ho and cavalier with my best before dates, because that is ok, the food was just better before that date. You can disregard a best before date but you should never disobey a USE by date. You can really make yourself ill.)

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As usual I used almost exclusively frozen vegetables because it’s cheaper and suits the boy and my’s lifestyle.

The recipe came from the excellent student cook book ‘Beyond Baked Beans Green’ by Fiona Beckett.

A ‘Barlotto’ is a risotto type dish made with pearl barley. You don’t need to stir it as much. And it is cheaper.

Normally I tell a little whimsical story about something I did whilst I was cooking this, but unfortunately the boy and I were getting angry with each other and our internet as it had stopped working and we were failing to get back the connection. I know, I know, ‘First World Problems’, but that’s why I wasn’t doing something cute. I wasn’t even listening to Absolute 80s.

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250g of pearl barley, celery, frozen mushrooms, 1 red onion, frozen onion and a tin of chopped tomatoes and 500ml stock equalled four work lunches made up of 3 heaped kitchen spoon portions. I should be fine till Friday, when I will panic.

Roast Vegetable Couscous – Batch Cooking my Work Lunches

I decided that July was a write off in terms of how I spent my money (more to come later on that). One way I need to regain control is to be better prepared for work. So today I made a huge cauldron of cous cous for my lunches this week.

INGREDIENTS

Courgette

Red Onion

Sweetcorn (I used frozen)

Sweet Potato

Peppers (I used frozen)

Oil

Mint, Basil, Chives

200g couscous

300ml Stock

 

METHOD

Cut your veggies into tiny bite size pieces and roast in oil for about 45 minutes.

Make up 200g of couscous according to the packet instructions.

Once the couscous is ready mix the roast vegetables and the herbs in and leave covered for a little while for the flavours to soak in.

Eat a bowl to check it’s not poisoned and vow never to buy one of those instant packets of couscous again.

 

THIS IS A GREAT WAY TO USE UP THAT 500G PACKET OF COUSCOUS YOU BOUGHT LAST YEAR WHICH IS BEST BEFORE AUGUST 2017.