Sorry, no posts happening at the moment - flat out with parent teacher interviews, after-school stuff, and blah blah blah.
I don't even have any good pictures of the week, so you'll just have to suffer.
Or... y'know, go on with life. However you roll.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
I'm quite enjoying this 'feature' of the blog - certainly having a schedule makes me much more conscious of needing to do it, to find a meal to photograph, and to work on my photography skills. Unfortunately, it coming into winter here, the days are getting shorter and darker, so the lighting of the photos is usually pretty crummy.
This week, I wanted to share a recipe that gets used a lot in our house. We have a sunday morning ritual, where Nic makes pancakes, and then we watch Grey's Anatomy. We've modified a few versions of a pancake mix to be vaguely more healthy, so that we can then load it up with maple syrup and cancel out any health savings we made. Logical, right?
Prep time: Maybe 10 mins. Cooking: About 15-20, depending on how many you make.
This recipe makes about 5-6 pancakes (depending on the size you make them) and we find that two each for breakfast is MORE than enough, but a lovely little indulgence at the same time.
Enjoy! As always, feel free to add or remove bits and pieces as you prefer- our recipe originally had sugar in but doesn't any more (syrup is sweet enough), but you may want to cut down on syrup and therefore add a little raw sugar to the mix.
Add your dry ingredients to a bowl. The little black things you can see aren't poppy seeds, they're Chia seeds and you don't notice them at all in the pancakes (and if you can get additional nutrition in without consequence, why not!?).
For this installment, lovely Nic is doing our cooking, while Mallei waits hopefully below. Make a well in your dry mix and add two eggs, stirring them in, and then yoghurt.
Adding cinnamon and nutmeg to the mix- it's a bit thick at this point and will be thinned out with a bit of soy milk.
Stop! Kitten break.
Here it is! Flipped, with raspberries. They look a little burnt but don't stress. You can't taste it.
Unless they are burnt.
Don't cook them so long that they burn.
Try not to spill maple syrup all over yourself (I usually do.)
Somewhat healthy raspberry pancakes.
- 1/2-3/4 cup of both wholemeal self-raising and white self-raising flour.
- 1-2 tblsp Chia seeds
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (if desired)
- 2 med-large free range eggs (or substitute)
- 3 tbsp apple sauce (unsweetened)
- 3-4 large tbsp natural yoghurt.
- "Two big glugs" of non-cows milk until slightly runny.
- Cinnamon/nutmeg as desired.
- 1/2 cup (approx) raspberries.
- We also used to add oats.
Mix dry ingredients and add sugar if you're using it.
Make a well, add eggs and stir through.
Add apple sauce, stir.
Add yoghurt, stir.
Add milk until mix falls off the spoon, but isn't watery or too liquidy.
Heat pan over low heat. If using non-stick, don't bother with butter/oil. Take about 1 cup of the mix in a scoop and pour onto pan. Drop 4-5 raspberries on pancake.
When bubbles appear at the edge, flip and wait.
Serve with more raspberries (any you didn't use!) and maple syrup.
Monday, April 23, 2012
So, I've officially been writing on this blog for over a month now, and therefore, Nic and I have been vegetarian for over a month now, and yesterday I realised something surprising:
I don't miss meat.
I recall before we made the change fully, that we'd debated it- how we'd miss bacon, and how would we ever cook without using chicken as a staple? And what would we do if we couldn't have ham sandwiches for lunch?!
And I think that a lot of people struggle with these things, and think about them, and wonder how they'll get by, but... it's fine.
We've learnt a bunch of new recipes, and we're trying new things all the time- that's really exciting.
We're eating with a clearer conscience and voting with the decisions we make, and I love that feeling of empowerment.
We go to the supermarket and bypass huge sections, usually hitting up the fruit and veg, the dairy, and the tinned veggies. Yum.
We feel healthy and full.
I don't know whether it's because of the reasons I went vegetarian that I've found it so easy to not 'yearn for' meat, or whether that's just something we build up in our heads, because we're so used to it being a big part of how we eat, but it's genuinely surprised me that I have no desire to 'slip' and get that ham thing at the cafe. Maybe we thought of it more like a diet, where you deprive yourself even though you secretly want that slice of chocolate cake, and eventually you want it so bad that you go an eat the whole damn thing... But it's not.
There's been two times- once at a country, rural bakery where there were one or two veggie options and all of them were depressing, and I felt like throwing my hands up in the air and giving in (but got fried rice instead and it was ok.)... and once in the supermarket walking past roast chickens, when I thought: smells yum! ... not worth it! And moved on.
So that's progress so far.
And in other news, I've begun eating mushrooms like there's about to be a Great Mushroom Shortage and I'd best stockpile them (inside my stomach) which is really bizarre because I've never liked mushrooms before.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
as the title suggests, your regular photo-of-the-week has been replaced by a complete series, mostly involving various angles of Mallei's mouth and teeth as he destroys various sticks that I am feeding him and pulls funny faces. What's not to love!?
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
As a younger person, I always felt that veggie sausage rolls were too 'veggie' - read - I don't like peas & they always contained peas.
So recently, when Nic and I developed (read: amalgamated several different recipes into one) a veggie sausage roll that was tasty AND had a smooth, dare I say 'almost-meat-like' texture (though not really), we were stoked. These make a great meal for lunches - we often have ours as leftovers, microwaved, even though microwaving kind of makes them soggy, they're still good.
Allow about 20 mins prep, 45 mins cooking.
Please let me know if you make any of our recipes, and how they turn out for you, if you add or change anything. I'd love to know. :) Similarly, if you have any suggestions as to how I can improve the recipe write-up, do let me know.
Not too many pictures on this one because I was tired, and then I was selling a camera while Nic was making them. Most of the first part is just putting stuff in a food processor anyway. You can figure that out without pictures, right?
Not-Sausage Rolls.First, collect your ingredients.
Chop up the veggies.
Yep. Not the most attractive photo but that's a whole lot of processed veggies & bread for you.
Put the veggies in the food blender (hope you have one) and whiz until they're very small chunks, but not a paste or puree. You should be able to see liquid build up.
Squeeze the liquid out.
Put the mix in a bowl, and rinse out the food processor.
Put the bread slices (torn up) into the processor and make into breadcrumbs.
Add the bread, eggs, cheese, curry and herbs to the mix and stir through well.
Cut your pastry in half down the middle, and spoon the mix into the middle of one of the halves.
Fold the inside edge to the middle of the mix, then the outside edge over the top, pressing down gently so they stick.
Putting the 'seam' face down, load your rolls onto a baking tray. We used to use foil but it always stuck to the bottom. Hopefully baking paper will work better.
Brush the top with soy milk, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Place in the oven for approx 45 minutes, until puffed-up and golden brown. Serve with sauce, or, if you feel like being especially fancy, with some kind of homemade relish.
- 3 slices of reduced fat puff pastry
- 3 free-range eggs
- 2-3 large slices of wholemeal/rye/healthy bread (more/less according to liquid value of the mix)
- 1/2 a red capsicum
- 3 small-medium carrots
- 3 cup mushrooms
- 1 small zucchini
- 3 spring-onions (or regular onion, whatever you prefer)
- Corn if desired (we would but we always forget)
- Peas if desired (yuck).
- 1 level teaspoon mild curry powder
- 1 handful of basil (preferably fresh, chopped)
- 1/4 block of fetta OR cup of shredded tasty cheese
- Sesame seeds
- Soy milk (to brush on)
- 1 handful oregano (preferably fresh, chopped)
- Chop up the veggies into manageable pieces.
- Put them in the food blender and whiz until they're very small chunks, but not a paste or puree. You should be able to see liquid build up.
- Squeeze the liquid out.
- Put the mix in a bowl, and rinse out the food processor.
- Put the bread slices (torn up) into the processor and make into breadcrumbs.
- Add the bread, eggs, cheese, curry powder and herbs to the mix and stir through well. Add any salt or pepper.
- Cut your pastry in half down the middle, and spoon the mix into the middle of one of the halves.
- Fold the inside edge to the middle of the mix, then the outside edge over the top, pressing down gently so they stick.
- Putting the 'seam' face down, load your rolls onto a baking tray.
- Brush the top with soy milk, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Place in the oven for approx 45 minutes, until puffed-up and golden brown. Serve with sauce, or homemade relish.
Monday, April 16, 2012
As an avid reader of A Practical Wedding, I have come across the phrase: 'Wanting/needing ALL THE THINGS' in regard to the wedding industry often enough.
It means that when you start planning a wedding, people will inevitably tell you all the things you 'need', or, the industry tells you that your wedding won't be 'perfect' unless you have 'all the things' - eg. the mason jars, the perfect makeup, the expensive flowers, the three tiered cupcake tree with custom designed icing decorations that taste like spring.
You know what I mean.
Looking at buying a house has brought out a new breed of 'all the things', and it isn't necessarily an industry pressure the way that planning a wedding is, but I am feeling a new sense of stress because I need all the things.
We saw a house on Saturday, and it's great as it is. You can move in and all you'd need to do was floor the bedrooms (though it's not like they don't have a floor, it's just not a 'real floor). The kitchen is huge, the bathroom is big, there's a yard up the back ready for Mallei, there's a huge drive and a carport. It's a great house, even though the kitchen is dated and too 'country' for me and the stove is electric hotplates (bleurg, ugh), and the bathroom is 1980s-salmon-pink... it works, it's fine.
I want all the things.
I want a new kitchen, right? Gas stove, yes please. Beautiful beautiful island with wood benchtops and an impractical place for recipe books...
I want to fix the bathroom, make it more pretty.
I want the floors to be lovely.
(Keep in mind, too, that we haven't even put an offer in on the house yet- it's not ours).
I want to plant Japanese maples out the front.
I want to buy bar stools, and armchairs, and a new couch, and a new dining table, and new chairs because mine are from 1991 or so.
I want RUGS.
I want to have a brilliant, functional vegetable garden out the back, with a little mini fruit tree orchard, and a chook pen and chickens with eggs.
I want to sell my car for a little diesel car so that it's more economical to drive the longer distance to work and back.
I want bird feeders, wind-chimes and herbs hanging from the front balcony.
I want more artwork.
I want to have cool, unusual and interesting recycled timber furniture.
So... not a long list, right.
All the damn things.
And I need to stop feeling so stressed about having all the stupid things right now. Floors? Probably a priority in that house. Everything else? Couches are still sittable. Table still has legs, chairs? They're pretty stained and fur-covered, but they work for now... These things will come, when they come. This needs to my mantra.
First thing's first: get a house. Everything else will come in time. And if it doesn't, at least we'll have a place to call our own, with room to move, and places to put plants in the ground because we'll be there for a while. And walls that we can put hooks in, because it won't be carefully documented with the threat of a reduced bond looming.
And that will be lovely.
Friday, April 13, 2012
I know, my days are all over the shop, but here's a photo of the week on a friday, instead of... wednesday? Whatever.
I chose this one this week because it's so typical of Darcy (in the way that the last one was so typical of Mia). Here he is, this big boofa of a cat who can't jump and who doesn't clean himself, sleeping with his back legs splayed open like some kind of hussy, just taking it in his stride, phased by nothing, afraid of very little.
The photo came out a bit too noisy (in fact all of the ones I took of Darcy at this time did, and I didn't think it was particularly dark) which is a shame. Booo.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
What a whirlwind weekend.
On Saturday we saw a house, fell in love with it, and became deeply engrossed in the process of how to get a homeloan and put an offer in on a house.
On Sunday we spoke with friends about it, fell more in love, and dreamed about it.
On Monday, we scoped out the area, talked to the agent, learned some more, and got super excited.
On Tuesday, we showed a different set of friends the pictures, gushed over it, and talked 'the process'.
On Wednesday, I saw my Mum for lunch, talked finances and vegetarianism, showed her the photos, oo-ed and aahh-ed, and then essentially decided it was unsuitable.
This house is gorgeous.
It ticked pretty much all our boxes.
And then Mum said: there's nowhere for kids. Not even one kid.
Because the house had a mezzanine bedroom with stupid stairs that would be ridiculous for a toddler/young child. And nowhere to build a bedroom.
So I speak to Nic.
We go back and forth about it.
Let me back up a little- I've never wanted kids. Nic asked me why, and honestly, I don't have a specific reason, just that I've never had the inclination to want them. I'll look after other peoples', I'd say, or they're too much effort, or, they tie you down.
But... a while ago, something very quiet in me said: but maybe... one day?
And since I started teaching, that's grown into a much louder something. Not demanding kids now, but certainly wanting to keep the possibility of one, or two on the table for future.
So I'm speaking to Nic. We're talking about the fact that I've always said I didn't want kids, and how he had thought maybe he would but had come around to my point of view, and by the way, he says, do you want kids?
And I say
I think I would. Someday.
... and then I burst into tears.
Because of course that's a perfectly logical reaction.
And hey, maybe it is. Here I am admitting what I had been essentially unwilling to admit since that tiny voice surfaced, except to say to mum: Hey! Good news! Kids might be back on the table, ha ha.. I hadn't admitted it.
And here I was essentially saying, no, we can't buy this amazing house because hypothetically, we might want a family in the future - in the next 5-7 years, I guess - and there's no point buying an impractical house with low resale value (because other people with kids won't buy it, either) if we have to sell it again in 5 years.
So, that's my bombshell for the week.
And then I cried a bit more because I felt like I'd 'ruined' our perfect house. Nic hugs me, kisses me, and tells me it's ok, it's right.
And he'll make a great Dad, anyway. He'll be cool, like my Dad, and go on adventures with his kids, and take them snow-bashing, and make snow-cordial, and read books to them, and teach them to kayak.
But there's still a while to go before we need to think about all that, anyway.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
So I found this dhal recipe while trawling for new vegetarian dishes and it is a WINNER. I mean, my god, this dhal is amazing, if I don't say so myself. Here's a few things- I'd never cooked dhal before this and I only managed to stuff it up by using canned lentils.
DON'T USE CANNED LENTILS.
For Christ's sake.
After that unfortunate mistake, it's been easy. FLAVOUR-PACKED, not too liquidy, a nice smooth dhal texture with hidden veggies and deliciousness. YUM.
Nic's verdict: Flavours are well infused on the second sitting (when eaten as leftovers), thoroughly enjoyed with some good bread.
As with all my recipes, and all recipes, you need to adjust the spices, vegetable content, etc etc to your taste. This is how I've made it- a few times now, and I LOVE it, but I change, taste-test, smell, change, add, subtract... the original recipe only had 2 veggies, this one has 4. Add what you like, not what I like.
On to the yumminess!!!
This is a good dish to have with rice (we use brown) so start that cooking nowish.
First, chop your onions. Do a better job than I did in this picture.
Rinse your dry, red lentils in a fine sieve and leave aside for a while.
In a pan... pot? Heat up your olive oil, then add the onions, garlic, ginger and bay leaf, and cook until the onions are soft.
Um. Start chopping your capsicum, eggplant, pumpkin and sweet potato at this point.
I forgot, then had to do it in a rush.
Add the lentils, turmeric and chilli powder to the mix, stir for about 2 minutes - stuff will stick to the pan, don't freak out. Add the stock, then the veggies.
If you haven't finished chopping the veggies yet, it's ok. Do it now. I won't judge you- I put in the lentils and went: sweet... and now to wait. Oh, crud! It doesn't matter all that much, promise. Capsicums cut into strips, like so!
I never got taught how to cut eggplant so I kind of just make it up. Slices, then cubes. Seems to work.
Pumpkin, and sweet potato.
When you put the veggies in the pot, you will question whether you've gone overboard. It's ok. Everything shrinks, and your food will fit, eventually.
Add the coconut milk (see, everything is fitting better already), give it a good stir, and cover to cook on low heat for about 45 mins or so.
This dhal is not quite finished. When the lentils are no longer recognisable, and the pumpkin has disintegrated to become one with the dhal, THEN it's finished. At this point, add any garam masala, coriander powder, salt or pepper, as you see fit. When it's JUST ABOUT done, rip up some baby spinach and put it in.
Yep, it's the photo from the top. So it looked pretty, I garnished mine with basil because it was the only herb I had access to.
Do not garnish your dhal with basil. If you need to garnish it, use coriander (yuck). Serve with roti fresh off the pan, and rice, either regular or spicy.
The Recipe, in Easier to Follow Format:
- 1 tbsp olive oil.
- 1/2 - 1 onion, diced.
- 2 cloves garlic/2 tsp pre-crushed garlic.
- 1 teaspoon ginger.
- 1 bay leaf.
- 1 tsp turmeric.
- 2 tsp curry powder.
- 1ish tsp garam masala.
- 1/2 tsp coriander powder.
- 1 cup dry, red lentils, rinsed.
- 3 cups of vegetable stock.
- 1/2 cup coconut milk.
- 1/2 red capsicum
- 1/4 butternut pumpkin half (so, 1/8 a pumpkin?)
- 1/3 sweet potato (or... y'know, however much you like)
- 1/2 eggplant.
- 2-3 handfulls of baby spinach.
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Cornflower (if too liquidy by the end).
- Dice the onion. Heat oil in a pot, then fry the onion, ginger and bay leaf in the oil until onions are soft.
- Add the lentils, curry powder and turmeric, and fry for about two minutes, stirring the mix.
- Pour in the stock. Chop the vegetables, and add them, followed by the coconut milk.
- Cook for 30-45 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally. Perform taste-tests, and add garam masala and coriander powder according to preference.
- Add chopped spinach at the end, and stir through until wilted before serving. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with rice and/or roti. (Garnish with coriander if desired)
In regard to spices- we've recently accumulated a bit of a collection of Indian spices, namely: turmeric, curry powder (though we got the "Keen" brand and have been using it), garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder and bay leaves - we picked these all up from the local Indian grocery store for super cheap.
Friday, April 6, 2012
I used to hate running.
I would have a sore knee, sore hip, sore leg, sore foot... I'd feel heavy and clunky and couldn't run 3km/1.8mi without having to stop and walk along the way. Some of that was general fitness, yes. A lot of it I attribute, now, to how I run.
I remember one day Nic and I went for a run together, which was unusual because we rarely do this- he is faster than I am, and could run further than I could at the time. I suddenly had a sharp, unexpected pain in my hip. Frustrated, I looked over at Nic with his easy, bouncy gait and declared: "Fine! I'll just run like you!"
See, Nic is naturally a forefoot runner. Somehow, he has always run by striking the ground with the meaty front part of his foot first, before the ball of his foot very lightly brushes the ground. Sounds like running in reverse, right?
Strange thing was, after I'd said these words, I tried it - I was too far up on my toes and remember awkwardly hobbling along trying to jog on tip-toes... but the pain subsided. I thought this was strange- that doing something foreign could alleviate pain if I was meant to have trained and built fitness running the normal way. I took this as a sign and I started training.
I spent a lot of time doing short runs. I re-did the couch-to-5km-program, paying particular attention to how I landed on my feet. I became acutely aware (and I still am, now) of if I'm too far forward, or if I'm trying too hard. I came home with sore Achilles - tendons that were so rarely used before. Sore calves! I mean, isn't running meant to be about using your legs?!
But it felt better.
My running felt easier and I enjoyed it. It was hard work, it was constant conditioning of my legs, but I no longer felt heavy (and I'm not heavy, by the way, I just felt like I was when running), I felt light, and springy. I felt like my legs were elastic, long and sprightly. I'd never felt this way before and I'd been 'running' for years.
The interesting thing for me has been - I've not had any injuries since I changed my gait. I get sore muscles after I do a 10km run, but that's because that's the absolute limit to my fitness. A year ago I would have laughed at the thought of doing 10km. No way, too far. I can barely run for 15 minutes let alone over an hour. I have a little niggle above my foot, though I suspect that could be partially due to wearing ballet slipper-type shoes and having to keep them on my feet.
Here's what you mightn't know - modern shoes, with so much technology, have a huge heel to toe drop. That is to say that essentially you're wearing high-heels (well, maybe not that extreem) in your sneakers. Apparently there's been research done, and whether you wear a more 'flat' shoe or not doesn't necessarily 'force' you to run fore (or mid)foot (I think that has to be a conscious decision), but I think these high-heeled shoes do make new runners run heel first.
Have a look at these shoes and tell me if this looks 'natural':
These are the shoes I run in (below). They look like they have a heel, but when I stand in them, I don't feel like I'm tilted down hill like I do with most other shoes- they're flat.
And look, maybe there's nothing wrong with it, this is my personal experience, but I tell you what - every now and then I change to heel-strike just to see how it feels, and instantly, I feel like all the shock is absorbed through my bones. Now, my muscles can act as elastic bands- it's kinda what they're made for, but every time you hit the pavement, and shocks go up your bones, and you land heavily instead of springing off the ground, LIKE A GAZEL??? That's not for me.
I suppose I like it because, if you take off your shoes and go for a run, barefoot, around a grassy field, I am doubtful that many, if anybody, would heel-strike. Naturally, I don't think we're meant to run that way. So we loose condition in our legs, and in our feet (interesting fact: I used to have SEVERELY flat feet - they have nice smooth arches now. Nothing extreme, but certainly more than there used to be.), and expect our joints and our bones to take all the impact.
If you're a runner, maybe you should try it out- just a really short run. See if you feel better. If you're not a runner, if you've tried running and failed, if you'd like to run, it might be worthwhile giving it another try, but altering how you run. Using this gait is natural for me now, but at first it was a really conscious decision with each step, basically. But hey, I can run, and I couldn't say that before I changed. Have a look on youtube if you want to see the gait slowed down, or get some more information. Like everything, though, there's people for and against it - as there is for heel strike.
There's plenty of videos on Youtube analysing gaits... what always gets me is when people heel-strike and lock out their knee, then land heavily. Ouch.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Photo of the week this week is Mia, in an esky (... translation: icebox?). Mia has an innate fascination
with being inside boxes/paper bags/recyclable bags/baskets... you get the picture. If she can be in it, she
will. Even if it means sitting on cold-packs and getting a chilled behind.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
My first wedding post for twigs. To be honest, I'm a little sick of wedding blogs. Our wedding is in November, so that's 7 months to the day from today (oh lord), but I feel like everything is under control.
We've booked/arranged the:
This one is nice..
Now I'm distracted with youtube and pretty songs.
My first wedding post for twigs. To be honest, I'm a little sick of wedding blogs. Our wedding is in November, so that's 7 months to the day from today (oh lord), but I feel like everything is under control.
We've booked/arranged the:
- Venue for ceremony & reception, inc. food & drinks
- Rings (decided on, need to buy but don't want to get them too early because we'll want to wear them).
- STDs (sent & received)
- Invitations (need to get printed)
- Know where we're going for the Honeymoon but it's too early to buy tickets.
- Favors & place-holders (same thing).
- Hair (step-mum)
So, as far as I'm aware, there's not a lot of gaping holes in there, right? There's transport to/from, which is so low on the priority list and apparently my Mum wants to take care of it... There's a whole lot of DIY/crafty stuff that we can't really do until closer to the date (menus, table plan, etc)... Am I missing something obvious?
I wanted to share some of the music we'll be using on the day because it's beautiful, and it was a difficult task figuring this out and no doubt something will change between now and then, so in either case, sit back and listen to some pretty songs.
Walk down the aisle:
Walk down the aisle:
This one is nice..
Now I'm distracted with youtube and pretty songs.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
As a note: I do a lot of talking before I get the recipe. I figure it's important stuff but if you want to get to the nuts and bolts, feel free to skip ahead.
A long time ago -probably two years ago now - N & I decided we didn't want to buy cereal from the supermarkets any more. A big box cost $8 and would last us a week, we didn't know how much sugar, salt and fat was packed in there, and they just didn't really taste that great. So, we researched and found a recipe for home-made toasted granola. Over the last two years we've tweaked the recipe to suit, the last improvement being to cut out the brown sugar and just have honey instead of both, as we were watching our calories. We make a 'double batch' every two weeks, and have this for breakfast almost every morning. A 'scoop' and a bit, eaten at 7am will satisfy me until about 10.30.
There are unlimited variations you can make to this recipe. For a vegan version, sub the honey for brown/raw sugar, or rice bran syrup. If you have a sweet tooth, try adding 2/3 a cup of brown or raw sugar as well as the honey. If you don't like almonds, don't add them! Love cashews? Chop some up and toast them with, or after the almonds. We used to add coconut in a step after adding the seeds but felt it was a lot of calories (but it is tasty) so we leave it out now. If you want to add apricot and leave out the paw paw, do! It's up to what you like eating, what you can eat (I can't have dried apricots because the sulphites give me asthma), and whether you're dieting or not! Similarly, we sometimes add nutmeg, and we go crazy for cinnamon- you mightn't like it as much as we do, so alter it to your tastes.
If you double the ingredients & steps below, you'll have breakfasts for two weeks (or more or less depending how much you eat). This isn't a 'quick and easy' meal, but it does last for two weeks so I figure it's worth the time. Preparation time is probably about 5-10 mins, but cooking takes about 40 mins (80 if you're doing a double unless your oven fits in more trays than ours, we can only do 2 trays at a time) and you have to take the trays in and out so you can't go for a walk and come back when it's done. We usually watch a movie and just pause it every 7 minutes when the granola needs to be stirred.
Oats! El cheapo style. Add the whole lot to your bowl.
Flakes! Not as cheap.
But they're meant to be good for you, so what the hey?
Add a cup of each type of flake to your oats.
I added 2 very heaped teaspoons. You may wish to add less
if you're not as obsessed as we are.
There was meant to be a picture of the honey going in the microwave but our microwave looked unclean so I did some artistic effects with the fern and the wombat instead. Put your honey in your microwave and zap it for 30 seconds.
Here it is, nice and runny. Pour in about 1/2 to 2/3 of the jar
(our jar was 500g).
Add about 1/3 cup of oil. Any less and it might be dry
and not 'crunchy', any more and it'll be super crispy.
Stir! And.. um.. try not to get the mix all over the
bench in the process.
Put the mix in two baking trays as so.
Set a timer for 10 minutes.
Get out all the rest of the stuff.
Have a kitten break while you wait for the timer.
This is Mia. She's a cat who, as a rule, doesn't sit on
your lap. Except for this time, apparently.
There were chin-rubs on offer, you see.
Ok! Get the trays out of the oven, stir the mix
paying special attention to the corners. Mine somehow
ended up looking like the Third Reich war bird. Even out the mix.
Add your pre-chopped almonds, then put the mix back in for
When the timer goes off, get it out, stir it, then add the seeds on top.
Put the mix back in for 7 minutes.
Remove helpful cat from pantry.
This time, when the timer goes off, remove the mix, stir it
and put it back in for 7 minutes (add coconut here if you want).
When the timer goes off, get the mix out, allow it to cool a bit
then add the fruit as much or as little as you prefer
(this mix is a bit fruity for us- I'll 'thin it out' with some non-fruited
mix before I put it in a container).
The Recipe - Easy to Read format.
It seems like a lot of ingredients but if you can buy in bulk, then you sort of do a 'big shop' every few months for the seeds and stuff that you run out of. We get our oats for 99c a bag (for US readers, we don't have self-serve bulk options easily available in our supermarkets yet - this may be a cheaper option for you).
Makes approx 14 bowls.
We recommend eating with soy milk or other dairy alternatives, for both health and ethical reasons.
1 x1kg bag of oats
1 cup triticale flakes
1 cup rye flakes
1 cup barley flakes
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 - 2/3 jar of honey (approx 330g - our jars are 500g)(substitute rice malt syrup, agave syrup, sugar or other sweeteners for a vegan version, note that using sugar only will probably mean the oats won't 'crisp up').
Cinnamon to taste
Nutmeg to taste
1-2 cups chopped almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup flax seeds
1/3 cup sesame seeds
Sultanas according to preference
Dried paw paw according to preference
Dried pineapple according to preference
Dried cranberries according to preference.
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
- Tip oats into a large stirring bowl.
- Measure out and add 1 cup each of rye, triticale and barley flakes.
- Microwave the honey for approx 30 seconds. Careful! Hot!
- Pour honey over oats. Add cinnamon and oil to mix. Stir thoroughly until entire mix is coated (should have a sticky feel and no dry oats/flakes).
- Divide mix onto baking trays, about 2cm thick. If doing a 'double', you will probably need 4 trays.
- Cook for 10 minutes - set a timer. When the timer goes, remove trays from oven and stir the mix, paying attention to the edges and corners as these areas will be the first to burn.
- Put back in oven, cook for 7 minutes. When timer goes off, remove from oven, stir the mix, and add almonds (divide evenly between mixes, so if doing a double batch, set half aside).
- Put back in oven, cook for 7 minutes. When timer goes off, remove from oven, stir, and add all the seeds.
- Put back in oven, cook for 7 minutes, when timer goes off, remove, stir (add coconut at this point if you want), and put back in oven.
- Cook for 7 minutes. Allow to cool. Add fruit, stir through, store in air-tight container.