Juicing for Wellness, Days 4 & 5

Homemade Vegetable Curry

Homemade Vegetable Curry

I may as well have just walked into a confession box because what I’m about to say isn’t good. I fell off the wagon big time yesterday. I was hungry, it was the weekend, I wanted to eat something familiar. I’m sorry!

In the interest of being open and honest, I may as well confess that yesterday morning I ate a couple of chocolate biscuits. Then at around 3pm I ate a burrito. It had pork, rice, guacamole, sour cream, pinto beans, peppers, cheese and a heck of a lot of flavour in it. It completely flouted the diet rules but it tasted sooooooooo good! It also gave me the motivation to buck up my ideas and get back on track. Well, that plus my bf watching me and telling me that I want to be healthy, not full of sugar.

So for dinner last night I had a corn on the cob and another bowl of my tomato and garlic soup. I’m back on course. Go me!

Today has been somewhat challenging as it’s been my first day back in the office and things are a bit slow after the Christmas break so I’ve had lots of time to think about food and stare at the chocolate bars and biscuits in the kitchen. On the plus side though, I’m feeling better than I’ve felt in months now that my cold is clearing and I’ve had some rest and good food for a few days.

Today’s menu has been much better:

Breakfast – strawberry, raspberry and blueberry smoothie made with just fruit and water

Lunch – tomato and garlic soup

Dinner – vegetable curry

Snacks – an apple, a clementine and some lemon & ginger tea

It’s not very juicy, I admit but it is bloody healthy!

I’ve posted the recipe for my homemade vegetable curry over on another of my blogs. You can find it here. It’s pretty quick and easy to knock up even on a school night and it’s bloody lovely. Not only that but there’s enough left for tomorrow night too. You’ll notice if you read it that I even experimented with the cauliflower rice that everyone’s talking about at the moment. It was pretty darned scrummy, if I do say so myself!

Happy eating, everyone. Just remember that falling off the wagon doesn’t matter, it’s about making a gradual change to improve the quality of what you consume. It’s not a race! x

Sugar-Free, Grain-Free, Bean-Based Chocolate Cake!

Hello All!

Sorry for my delay in writing but I don’t have the full Office suite on my work laptop and editing images seems rather tricky. By editing, I do just mean cropping as let’s face it, my images are pretty basic!

Anyhow, one of the things I was doing this weekend which meant I failed to post was making a cake with beans instead of flour. Yes, I did just say I made a cake with beans. I chose not to make mine dairy free but you could essentially make this a sugar-free, dairy-free, grain-free cake. The cake I made is sooooooooo super rich that it really needs cream or custard or something with it to break up the flavour but I think simply adding less cocoa powder would help.

As this isn’t really a cookery blog, I’ll just provide you with a link to the recipe on my other blog and tell you that this really is a moist, tasty cake and well worth a try. I’ve even had one of my male friends who is an awesome chef try it and he agrees that it’s good cake. Mine doesn’t look as pro as the original recipe but here are some images. AND HERE IS THE RECIPE – CLICK ME!

The Whole Cake

The Whole Cake

It Cuts Like Cake

It Cuts Like Cake

Tastes Like Cake

Tastes Like Cake

Sorry about the grainy photography, it always looks so good on my phone! This is a seriously rich, tasty chocolate cake. It’s easy to make and perfect for those of you needing a healthier but devilishly tasty treat or anybody who’s following a prohibitive diet. Get baking! x

 

 

Salted Caramel Cupcakes

This week I’ve had some time off and one thing I decided I wanted to do was try baking a new flavour of cupcake. This is partly just so I can try something yummy but partly because I want to improve my baking in general; baking does not come as naturally to me as cooking on the hob does! I found some recipes for salted caramel cupcakes and decided that would be a tasty flavour so I merged what I found to make my own recipe; below is the recipe I followed and the results.

For the cakes:

  • 150g butter (softened)
  • 150g golden caster sugar
  • 150g self raising flour (I used gluten free)
  • 3 eggs (beaten)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum (if using gluten free flour)

Heat the oven to 160 degrees C (180 if not a fan oven). Beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until light and fluffy, then gradually beat in the eggs, ensuring they don’t curdle. Finally, fold in the flour, baking powder, (xanthan gum) and vanilla essence until the mixture is smooth. Spoon the mixture into muffin cases in a muffin sized baking tin. Bake in the oven for 25-30 mins.

Remove the cakes from the oven when they are golden and springy to the touch, place on a rack to cool.

For the topping:

  • 50g butter (softened)
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 3tsp caramel evaporated milk (I used the Carnation stuff in a tin)
  • Pinch sea salt flakes (generous pinch)
  • Chocolate sprinkles

Beat the butter and icing sugar in a bowl with 2tsp boiling water until smooth (be careful, the sugar will go everywhere!). Then mix in the caramel and the salt. When the mixture is ready, pop it into a piping bag and pipe onto the cooled cakes. My piping was a disaster; for the first time ever I tried to use a piping nozzle but the mixture just wasn’t coming out properly. It was only at the end that I realised why; the salt flakes had clogged it up. The best thing to do is either use a wide nozzle or just pipe directly from the bag.

Once you’ve done that, if you have any caramel left, pipe some of that on too. Finally, sprinkle on some of the chocolate sprinkles.

Ok, so yes mine looks a bit like it has a turd on the top but that’s because of the last minute, unrefined piping method I had to adopt! What did it taste like? In all honesty, it was a bit dry but I think that’s my fault and I did question it when I put them in the oven. As these are gluten free, they should have been runnier to start with.

The caramel topping is very sweet; ideally I should have used golden icing sugar but I couldn’t find any – I’m not sure if this is why. To me, it doesn’t have enough caramel flavour to it so I shall be looking at how to make my own caramel next time. However the saltiness has really come through; using flakes means it comes in hits rather than just being a general salty flavour. Highly recommended!

So, for a first attempt this wasn’t bad and 3 cakes later I can verify they are definitely edible! Just need to refine the recipe a bit more and really make it mine; if I achieve what I consider to be perfection, I’ll share that with you too!

Anyone come across any good looking cake recipes they’ve tried and loved recently? x

Good Old Fashioned Fun (With the Girls)

Somehow, despite pay day having only just been and gone, pretty much everyone I know seems to be totally broke and I am definitely at the helm of this pauper-style living! With that it mind, it was time to get creative on the weekend just gone as there’s nothing worse than spending a whole month of weekends doing nothing because of a lack of funds. So, the girls and I decided to spend Saturday baking and watching movies; proper girly fun, the good old fashioned way.

Since gluten and I don’t seem to get on very well at the moment, I found a recipe for gluten-free cupcakes (and then amended it slightly) and off we went. ┬áThe recipe I stumbled upon can be found here; we doubled up for the first batch of 12 so they came out huge and then made another batch of 12 on the recipe sizes. We also added some xanthan gum and baking powder to the mix to make sure the cakes weren’t crumbly and that they rose enough.

Well, the first batch were pretty huge and consequently quite hard to ice so we were glad we made the second batch smaller! With the actual icing mix, we ended up adding a fair bit of icing sugar as well as we couldn’t get the mixture firm enough to be able to sit on top of the cakes. We then piped the icing on amateur style, (no nozzle, just a bag) and got round to the fun part of decorating those bad boys! Check out my amazingly edited video of us in full on piping action!

Bare naked cakes

Piped and ready to go

Some of our best work

All of our beautiful babies!

As you can see, we got a bit carried away with the decorating. We started off quite refined, creating sophisticated little numbers and then we went wild sticking on a whole array of sweets and decorative bits! It was brilliant fun!

The cakes themselves are not as moist as my friend over at Cuppies and Cream makes but they weren’t dry which is great considering they are GF. We also made one batch with lemon icing which I really love, a pretty good effort considering we were first-timers. Now however, my thighs are approx. 6 times the size they were last week because I’ve eaten so much cake!

I thought I’d share because it was such great fun and I’d really recommend getting back to basics with your friends when the pennies are tight. Do as they did in the old days and fill your time without using computer games, Facebook or the TV and you might just surprise yourself in just how much fun you can have! x