Healthy Doughnuts Exist, and I Made Them

Chocolate Chip Doughnuts with a Salted Caramel Glaze

This week, I have been having a bit of a rough one, and I must admit I was getting dangerously close to not baking or cooking anything for the blog because I’ve been so exhausted. My mum told me I should just leave it for the week with so much other stuff going on. But then I thought about it, and decided that I knew the perfect remedy for stress! As you know, the one thing I love doing when I’m stressed is baking, it just makes me feel so relaxed. I love the feeling of making something special out of a few ingredients, and that feeling of accomplishing something always helps with the stress.

Chocolate Chip Doughnuts with a Salted Caramel Glaze

A few things put the idea for this weeks baking into my mind. Firstly, for all of you who live in Brisbane, there is an amazing gluten free doughnut company called nodo donuts. Absolutely amazing and delicious guilt free doughnuts, if you are ever in the mood. Anyway, they have decided to open up a store, and the store happens to be really close to my work, which will mean I will have a lot of trouble not eating doughnuts every week (not the worst problem to have, I know). But it is also opening up on 1 Ella Street, which I take as a sign from a higher power that I should be eating more doughnuts! Seems legit.

Chocolate Chip Doughnuts with a Salted Caramel Glaze

Someone in my house also must have happened to purchase a mould for baking doughnuts, which has magically appeared in our drawer in the kitchen. I haven’t seen any doughnuts made using this mould yet, so I figured it was about time we broke it in! Having a doughnut mould means that you can bake your doughnuts instead of frying them, instantly making them healthier. It is the perfect way to cook doughnuts with special ingredients in them, such as making them gluten free or paleo. It really opens up the doughnut making to a whole new range of doughnuts! And as much as I am quite partial to a delicious deep fried doughnut, sometimes it’s nice to try healthy alternatives. Especially coming up to swim suit season in Australia!

Chocolate Chip Doughnuts with a Salted Caramel Glaze

I had a look for gluten free recipes for doughnuts, and surprisingly there are quite a few online, with so many variations it was hard to decide which one to try first. But I decided on a recipe for paleo almond doughnuts, because it seemed pretty simple and it used all natural ingredients. However, it didn’t have a recipe for a glaze, which I think is a necessity for any type of doughnut (except for cinnamon sugar, you can’t improve a classic). So I found another recipe for a salted caramel glaze that sounded amazing, and was also completely natural. And then in true Ella style I added dark chocolate, because I am absolutely obsessed with chocolate. I mean, you can’t be too healthy! And dark chocolate is good for you anyway. So I guess if you want it to be free of chocolate, you can easily remove it, but I wouldn’t personally, because they were really delicious doughnuts!

Chocolate Chip Doughnuts with a Salted Caramel Glaze

This recipe ended up being a little more complicated than I originally anticipated, but that’s ok because the results were absolutely delicious! I was surprised at how sweet they were given the lack of sugar in them, so I didn’t feel the slightest bit guilty about eating them. My only issue was that my doughnut mould and the recipe only made 6 doughnuts, which meant that they were gone really quickly. I think I might need to get more moulds to ensure I can make more, because I really want to try these again, and maybe try some other interesting flavours! It’s cool because once you’ve got your base doughnut, you can add whatever you want to it.

Chocolate Chip Doughnuts with a Salted Caramel Glaze

Chocolate Chip Doughnuts with a Salted Caramel Glaze

Adapted From Southern In Law (Doughnuts) and NoDo Donuts (Glaze)
Preparation Time 30 minutes (including assembly)
Cooking Time 20 minutes
Serves 6 doughnuts

Ingredients

Chocolate Chip Doughnuts

·         1 cup of Almond Meal

·         3 tablespoons of Honey

·         2 large Eggs

·         2 teaspoons of Vanilla Extract

·         ¼ teaspoon of Baking Soda

·         500 grams of good quality Dark Chocolate

Salted Caramel Glaze

·         ¼ cup of Coconut Sugar

·         2 tablespoons of Water

·         270ml of Coconut Cream

Directions

Chocolate Chip Doughnuts

1.      Preheat your oven to 150 degrees Celcius (300 Degrees Fahrenheit).

2.      Grease the doughnut mould with coconut oil and set aside. You could use something else to grease it if you wanted, but I found this worked quite well.

3.      In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix together all ingredients until smooth. You don’t really need an electric mixer for this, a wooden spoon worked perfectly fine for me!

4.      Roughly break the chocolate up and fold into the mixture.

5.      Fill the doughnut moulds with the mixture, filling each about half way full

6.      Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Mine took about 20 minutes to get completely cooked

7.      Take out of the oven and allow the doughnuts to cool completely before removing from the moulds. Place on a wire rack with a plate underneath.

Salted Caramel Glaze

1.      Add the coconut sugar and water to a saucepan and let simmer for 2-4 minutes until a golden caramel colour. Make sure you stir constantly to avoid burning.

2.      Add the coconut cream and a pinch of salt, and allow to simmer until the mixture reduces. Ensure you keep stirring the mixture to avoid sticking. This should take about 5-8 minutes, at which point the mixture should have reduced by half and thickened enough to coat your spoon.

3.      Allow the Glaze to cool for a few minutes and bring over to your doughnuts on the wire rack. Using a spoon, cover the doughnuts completely with the glaze, ensuring all edges are covered.

4.      To garnish, shave some dark chocolate and sprinkle over the top.

5.      Refrigerate the doughnuts until ready to serve.

These doughnuts were absolutely delicious and I didn’t feel the slightest bit guilty for eating them. I only wish there had been more! Next time I think I will make a double batch. I took these over to a friend’s place for dessert and her boyfriend demolished three of them in under 5 minutes. Given they were quite healthy I take this as a sign that they were really delicious.

Chocolate Chip Doughnuts with a Salted Caramel Glaze

The doughnuts ended up having a great texture, and I loved having the chocolate through them to break them up, like a delicious chocolate chip cookie! The glaze was surprisingly sweet for using coconut sugar, but not too sweet. It was the perfect balance of flavours with the salted caramel and almond honey flavours.

Chocolate Chip Doughnuts with a Salted Caramel Glaze

You could make these doughnuts with any flavours you wanted. I think blueberries or raspberries would also be delicious in these instead of the chocolate, or maybe even in addition! Go nuts!

Until next time, happy baking

Ella xx

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Make Ahead Breakfast for Busy Weeks

Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats

This week I’ve been away from home for dinner so much that I got to Wednesday night and realized that I hadn’t even thought about what I was going to make this week for my blog! I had a minor freak out moment when I got home late once again and frantically went through my Pinterest for some inspiration. But to be honest, it has been such a busy and stressful week that I was for once not feeling like a big baking session. I know, it is incredibly out of character for me to not feel like getting into the kitchen, even as a stress reliever. But I’m sure this is just a phase and soon I will be back up and running once more, ready to jump in there and cook up a storm!

Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats

However, it actually struck me how perfect the timing was to try out a recipe that might save me some time. I’ve been so busy this week that it’s been hard to even fit breakfast in, which is an issue because I get hangry if I don’t eat breakfast. This has also coincided with a bit of a heat wave in Brisbane, which has made my usual breakfast of porridge/oatmeal not that appealing. I mean, who wants a hot breakfast when it is already 25 degrees Celsius out? Nobody, you need something cool and refreshing! So it was the perfect occasion for me to try out something that I’ve been meaning to try, but never quite got around to.

Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats

Pinterest is full of recipes for overnight oats, and I’ve always wanted to give them a go. What’s not to love about chucking a couple of ingredients together of an evening, and in the morning having something delicious you can just pull out of the fridge ready to go? It’s a time saver in the morning, which is always a plus when you are running a little late. Although I am a morning person myself, I sometimes get to making breakfast on a weekday and find I’ve run out of time. At least with overnight oats you can easily transport them, and eat them on the go or when you get to work. It’s a really healthy and easy breakfast to make up at the start of the week, and just eat throughout. And oats are a great way to keep you full for the morning, along with all their health benefits.

Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats

I found a blog post which had a number of options for flavoring your overnight oats and had a hard time picking which one I wanted to try. I mean, it’s hard to choose when all the options sound like you’ll be eating dessert for breakfast! In the end, I decided to go with a ‘blueberry muffin’ flavor. This was because I had a lot of fresh blueberries on hand, as they are in season at the moment, and I thought it would make for a deliciously fresh breakfast. I added a couple of things in as artistic license, which you could most certainly do yourself as well. That’s the great thing about these sorts of recipes, you can add whatever you want and you won’t stuff it up! As long as you have the base recipe down pat, you can add in whatever flavours you want! It’s really up to you how you want it to taste, which makes for a really fun recipe to try!

Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats

Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats

Adapted From Another Root
Preparation Time 10 minutes
Cooking Time 0 minutes
Serves 1

Ingredients

·         ½ cup of Oats

·         ¼ cup of water

·         ¼ cup of milk of choice (I used coconut milk but you could use any kind)

·         ½ teaspoon of lemon zest

·         ½ teaspoon of cinnamon

·         1 handful of fresh blueberries

·         2 teaspoons of sliced almonds

·         1-2 teaspoons of rice malt syrup, or sweetener of choice

Method

1.       In a jar, place the oats, water and milk, and stir to combine.

2.       Add the remaining ingredients: lemon zest, cinnamon, blueberries, sliced almonds and sweetener. Stir to combine completely, ensuring that all ingredients are fully mixed through

3.       Put the lid on the jar and place in the fridge overnight.

4.       To serve: add some additional blueberries, almonds and sweetener of choice

And that’s all you need to do! I told you it was super simple. It was the perfect amount of breakfast, and really nice and fresh. I loved the taste of the lemon zest throughout the oats as it really complemented the blueberries. You could add whatever flavours you wanted to change it up and to suit your taste. If you like it a bit sweeter, add more rice malt syrup, honey, or a little bit of stevia. I think coconut would also be nice to add a little extra crunch, so you could mix some in instead of the almonds and sprinkle some on the top.

Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats

This breakfast was so fast and simple to make, I absolutely loved it. On top of this, even though it sort of tasted like eating dessert for breakfast, it was actually really healthy. What a perfect way to start the day! I will definitely try making these overnight oats again, and maybe try some new flavour combinations! Once you have the base of oats, water and milk, you really can add any flavours you want. The sky is the limit!

Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats

This recipe was perfect for my time poor self, as it was so quick to make and meant that I had a delicious breakfast waiting for me the next morning without having to do anything. I could just grab it and go when I was ready to head to work, which saved me a couple of precious minutes in the morning! So what ended up being a busy week where I was worried about what to blog about ended up perhaps changing my life just a little bit!

Until next time, happy baking!

Ella xx

Chicken, Mushrooms and Kale, Oh My!

Garlic Chicken with Mushrooms and Kale

I feel like these past few weeks I might have reformed from my former sweet tooth ways. For I, Ella Penman, have managed to write two blog posts in a row that do not involve baked goods or sugar. That’s not to say that I’ve quit sugar or anything, quite the opposite in fact. I guess I’ve just been in the mood for trying out new dinner recipes lately as opposed to baking things. As depressing as that might be to some, I think it is helping me to diversify my portfolio of recipes. And I’ve read somewhere that diversification decreases risk, or does that only apply to the stock market?

Garlic Chicken with Mushrooms and Kale

Anyway, I seem to be craving mushrooms lately, which isn’t anything new for me, as I seem to be quite obsessed. It seems to link up to my craving for comfort food, partially I think to do with winter being almost over, and also because I’ve been a bit stressed out. So what better to ease stress than some delicious, healthy comfort food? And mushrooms always lend themselves to those rich, comforting flavours. So it really was a win win situation. I could have my cake and eat it to, without actually baking any cake. Actually, there was no cake, which makes me a little sad now that I think about it.

Garlic Chicken with Mushrooms and Kale

I decided to make this dish before coming home and so was able to go to the store and get all the ingredients I needed, which was a novelty for me. But I realised once I had decided to cook this dish that my partner was coming around, and I became concerned that perhaps he might not be too keen on the whole kale thing. My boyfriend does like my cooking, especially the sweet stuff, but he does tend to be a little funny about health foods. He will try it, but he is a little sceptical whenever I make anything too healthy. So I decided that he would become the perfect tester of whether this healthy dish actually tasted any good.

Garlic Chicken with Mushrooms and Kale

So here it is, my recipe for a perfect one pot Chicken, Mushroom and Kale dish. This has fresh and comforting almost Italian flavours, thanks to the garlic and lemon, and is quite easy and quick to make, which is always a plus in my book. It also involves minimum washing up, which is another even better plus! I was surprised by how well the ingredients came together into something so delicious, so without further a do, here is the recipe:

Garlic Chicken with Mushrooms and Kale

Garlic Chicken with Mushrooms and Kale

Adapted From The Roasted Root
Preparation Time 15 minutes
Cooking Time 15 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients

·         1 tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil

·         6 cloves of garlic, minced

·         2 teaspoons of dried thyme

·         3 cups of brown mushrooms, or anything on hand, roughly chopped

·         500 grams of chicken breast, sliced into thin strips

·         ¼ teaspoon of salt (plus extra for seasoning of the chicken breast)

·         ¼ teaspoon of pepper (plus extra for seasoning of the chicken breast)

·         Zest of one large lemon

·         4 cups of kale leaves, roughly chopped

Method

1.      In a medium fry pan, heat the olive oil on a medium heat.

2.      Add the minced garlic cloves and thyme, and cook for 1 minute until it starts to sizzle and brown.

3.      Add the mushrooms in and stir frequently for about 5 minutes, until they have browned and started to go soft.

4.      Season the chicken breast with some additional salt and pepper, and add the chicken to the fry pan and brown both sides, this should take about 3 minutes.

5.      Add the chopped kale and cook for another 3-5 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked through.

6.      Stir in the lemon zest, salt and pepper. Cook for an additional minute and remove from heat.

7.      Serve with potatoes, vegetables or with pasta.

Garlic Chicken with Mushrooms and Kale

This most certainly passed the boyfriend test for tastiness. He really enjoyed it, despite the absence of cheese or pasta, and when normally he complains when something is a little too healthy, he was actually telling me that he really enjoyed it. So I think this dish might be boyfriend safe, if his reaction is anything to go by! The flavours were delicious, even if they are a little simple, this really made for a tasty and comforting weeknight meal. And I mean what’s not to love about something that’s easy, healthy, fast and tastes great? It ticks all the boxes for me, and I really hope you enjoy it as much as I did if you try to make it!So as you can see this is another one of those great quick dishes that is perfect for a weeknight meal. It is a really simple recipe, and more importantly it is really quite healthy. It’s full of good ingredients and doesn’t really have anything fatty in it. Plus, I’ve heard kale is a ‘super food’, whatever that means, so it must make the dinner extra good for you. I find kale a lot easier to eat when it’s cooked in garlic and thyme and served with mushrooms, so this dish is a perfect way to introduce more ‘super foods’ to your diet.

Garlic Chicken with Mushrooms and Kale

Until next time, happy cooking!

Ella xx

Lemon and Balsamic Lentils

Lemon and Balsamic Lentils

Occasionally, I really enjoy cooking for myself. It doesn’t happen very often, as most of the time I like to have someone there to try my food with me, and shower me in praise. Its no fun telling yourself how tasty your food is, I mean how are you to know how good it is without reinforcement from others trying it? Plus, its quite hard to cook a meal for one, as most recipes and the ingredients you need to make them don’t come in single serving size. It’s a real problem, and so I tend to avoid cooking for one. I guess I will need to get more used to it if I live on my own, which could be happening quite soon. But I guess I could either get used to it, or just invite more people over. I feel like the latter might end up happening.

Lemon and Balsamic Lentils

Anyway, I had a night where I was home alone and thinking about what I wanted to eat. And then it hit me: I can cook whatever I feel like eating, and I don’t have to consider what other people might want to eat. I could have chocolate for dinner, or cheese, and no one would be there to question it. However, I had a strange craving for lentils. I do like vegetarian food, and will tend to eat it when I’m out over meat without thinking. But I do live in a household where vegetarian meals don’t really fly. Each dish needs some form of meat in it, and so I often don’t get to eat it at home. So I took this as a perfect opportunity to try a dish that would satisfy my craving for vegetarian food.

Lemon and Balsamic Lentils

The dish I ended up cooking is delicious, simple and most of all healthy. It was really easy to make, but ended up with beautiful, Moorish flavours. I had already pinned a recipe for lentils a while ago that I had been meaning to try, but I realised that I actually had two recipes. So I ended up putting them both together, as I really felt like having some mushrooms in the dish. They ended up really adding to the flavour, and making the dish a little more substantial. I couldn’t stop eating these beautiful lentils, and they make a perfect winter dish (even though we can’t really call our weather winter anymore). Plus, I had it completely cooked in under half an hour, which is perfect for a weeknight dinner. What more could you want? Tasty, Healthy and Quick: It’s a perfect trifecta!

Lemon and Balsamic Lentils

Lemon and Balsamic Lentils

Adapted from The Petite Kitchen
Preparation Time 15 minutes
Cooking Time 10 minutes
Serves 2

Ingredients

·         1 can of lentils, drained and rinsed

·         1 and a half tablespoons of olive oil

·         3 cloves of garlic, minced

·         1 cup of chopped mushrooms

·         2 handfuls of baby spinach, roughly chopped

·         ½ tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

·         Juice of a small lemon

·         ¼ Sea Salt

·         ¼ teaspoon of pepper

Method

1.      In a large frying pan on a medium heat, warm the olive oil until sizzling

2.      Add the garlic and mushrooms, and cook until soft (about 4-5 minutes). If the pan gets too dry add a tablespoon or two of water.

3.      Add the lentils, spinach, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss the lentils around to coat.

4.      Cook for 2-3 minutes until the lentils are fragrant and get a nutty aroma. Once cooked, add the lemon juice and stir the lentils.

5.       Serve as is, as a side, or on toast.

Lemon and Balsamic Lentils

And that’s all there is to it. I told you it was really easy! It really takes no time at all to whip up this delicious meal, and the flavours were great! It filled the house with a delicious aroma, and I couldn’t stop eating the resulting meal. The lemon juice really lifted the flavours in the dish and made brought out the natural flavours in the lentils. Plus the mushrooms and baby spinach really complemented the dish, making it a more substantial and fulfilling meal.

Lemon and Balsamic Lentils

I ate these on their own, but they taste really great over toast, or as a side dish to lamb. I would eat these for breakfast for a protein boost. It is a really healthy dish but ended up being quite hearty and filling. If you are willing to look past the vegetarianism of the dish, it makes for a quick, simple and delicious weeknight meal that anyone could make!

Lemon and Balsamic Lentils

Until next time, happy cooking!

Ella xx

Lemon and Balsamic Lentils

Oven Baked Spicy Pork Chops

Oven Baked Spicy Pork Chops

I realised the other day that of the savoury food I’ve put on the blog, the only meat I’ve cooked with has been chicken. I guess I just really enjoy cooking with it, and I’ve always got a stack of it on hand. But this week I decided it was about time that I tried something different and ventured out of my chicken loving routine. After all, this blog is meant to be about me stepping out of my comfort zone, and so a little adventure was long overdue!

Oven Baked Spicy Pork Chops

I feel like I don’t eat enough pork. We have a huge campaign for it here that advertises how healthy it is for you, and yet I never really eat it. But it does make for a delicious meal, and it can be really quick to make, depending on what cut you have. If you are going for a pork leg it’s going to take hours to cook. But using pork loin is really fast, and makes for a delicious weeknight meal when you are a little short on time! I had on hand some lovely little pork loin chops off the bone that were nice and thin so cooked really quickly. Perfect for experimenting on!

Oven Baked Spicy Pork Chops

The recipe I decided to try drew me in because it sounded lovely and Moorish, with tonnes of sauce and flavours. Sometimes pork can end up being dry if you overcook it, but this recipe had plenty of fluid to ensure the pork was perfectly cooked. The resulting dish packed a lot of flavour punch, and was really delicious. It was also, more importantly, really simple and quick to make. The recipe itself is so simple I think anyone could replicate this with success. And you have a perfect dinner in about 30 minutes, which is all you want on a weeknight when you get home from work and realise you need to cook something.

So I would implore you to ‘get some pork on your fork’ with this recipe, and enjoy!

Oven Baked Spicy Pork Chops

Oven Baked Spicy Pork Chops

Adapted From Taste of Home
Preparation Time 10 minutes
Cooking Time 20-25 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients

·         500 grams of pork loin chops, without the bone (you could use ones with the bone, but make sure you account for this in the weight)

·         2 tablespoons of coconut oil, or oil of your choice

·         ½ teaspoon of ground pepper

·         ½ teaspoon of salt

·         1 teaspoon of paprika

·         1 brown onion, sliced

·         2 cloves of garlic, minced

·         ¾ cup of water

·         ¼ cup of pure maple syrup

·         2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

·         4 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce

·         1 teaspoon of Chilli Powder (leave this out if you don’t want it too spicy)

Directions

1.      Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius

2.      In a bowl mix together the pepper, salt and paprika. Get your pork chops and coat them in the dry mixture completely.

3.      In a fry pan, melt the coconut oil and then place the pork chops in the pan. Brown the pork chops on both sides.

4.      Transfer the pork into a baking dish, and sprinkle with the onion.

5.      In a bowl, combine the garlic, water, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and chilli powder. Pour over the top of the pork chops.

6.      Cover and bake for 20 minutes or until golden. It took me about 25 minutes to get this. Serve with your favourite vegetables.

And that’s all there is to it! I told you it was nice and easy. It is such a simple recipe but the result it delicious. If you don’t like too much spice I would skip on the chilli powder, as mine were quite spicy. But I loved the combination of the sweet and spicy flavours on the pork, and it really was quite healthy! You could eat this totally guilt free, as I’ve substituted butter for coconut oil, and reduced the recommended amount of maple syrup from the original recipe. Don’t you worry; I have got you covered on all fronts!

Oven Baked Spicy Pork Chops

This was an excellent mid week meal that I will certainly be trying again. It was so quick that I can see myself just chucking it in the oven when I get home after a long day without much effort required. And in 30 minutes you have a perfectly delicious, simple and healthy dinner! So much better than resorting to grilled cheese on toast (well, more nutritious anyway!)

Oven Baked Spicy Pork Chops

Until next time, happy cooking!

Ella xx

Perfect (and Healthy) Comfort Food

Sweet Spiced Roast Chicken

This week I’ve been sick with a chest infection. I was sick all of last week but I tried to ignore it because I just thought it was a cold and that I would get over it. Turns out this wasn’t the case and it hit me hard this week, meaning I’ve been off work and sitting around feeling sorry for myself. On my third day of forced resting (I’m not very good at it in case you couldn’t tell) I decided that the least I could do is try and cook something for dinner. Something that might make me feel a little better.

Sweet Spiced Roast Chicken

I love nothing more than a slow cooked meal when its cold and I’m sick. It’s just about as magic as soup, which I have learnt over the past few days you can only consume so much of. So I wanted to cook something that might perk me up and warm everyone up while it’s so cold outside.

Sweet Spiced Roast Chicken

I found a recipe from Martha Stewart for slow – cooker sweet and spiced chicken, and thought this would be really nice. But I only had chicken breast, which doesn’t go well in the slow cooker due to its low fat content. So I had to change to roast it in the oven instead. I also changed it a little to update the flavours because I didn’t have the raisins the recipe called for, but I did have olives. So I really did take a bit of artistic license on this one, but I have done it before so I figured changing it up a bit was worth a go.
The result was a delicious chicken dish that really warmed me up and got a smile on my face. The chicken really takes on the flavours of the sauce and spices, and the sauce is packed full of delicious flavours. Plus, the recipe barely uses any oil and so it is actually really quite healthy for you. What more could you want? Comfort food without the guilt is the ultimate solution to being sick.

Sweet Spiced Roast Chicken

Sweet Spiced Roast Chicken

Adapted From Martha Stewart
Serves 6
Preparation Time 30 minutes
Cooking Time 2 hours and 10 minutes

Ingredients

·         2 teaspoons of ground cumin

·         ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon

·         ¾ teaspoon of salt

·         ½ teaspoon of pepper

·         1 kilo of  skinless chicken breasts

·         1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil

·         1 brown onion, cut into wedges

·         3 garlic cloves, minced

·         3-inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced into thin rounds

·         3 celery sticks, diced

·         1 can of diced tomatoes

·         1/3 cup of water

·         ½ cup of pitted olives

Method

1.      Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius

2.      In a large bowl, combine cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Add the chicken and toss to coat evenly

3.      In a large skillet, heat the oil over a medium-high heat. Cook chicken until golden, about 4 minutes on each side.

4.      In a large dutch oven, pleace the onion, garlic, ginger and celery. Add the chicken to the top of this. Top the chicken with the tomatoes, water and olives.

5.      Place in the oven with the the lid on. Check every so often to ensure the chicken doesn’t overcook. It should take about an hour and a half to cook through. Stir every half an hour.

6.      Once the chicken is cooked, take this out and put aside in a bowl. Put the sauce back in the oven for another half an hour to ensure the juices cook down.

7.      For 10 minutes before serving, put the chicken back in the pot and cook with the lid off to ensure the chicken browns a little.

8.      Serve with roast vegetables or greens.

And that’s it! The recipe is really delicious and actually pretty easy once you have everything in the pot. You can just leave it until it’s done as long as you check it occasionally. And it’s actually quite healthy whilst still being really hearty. The sauce packs a lot of flavour and is beautiful when you spoon it over the spiced chicken.

Sweet Spiced Roast Chicken

I’d recommend this recipe whenever you have a couple of hours before dinner, you won’t be disappointed with the result. It’s a perfect winter meal and will really make you nice and warm on a cold night. Plus it keeps really well for leftovers, so what more could you want?

Until next time, happy cooking!

Ella xx

Guilt Free Banana Bread

Guilt Free Banana Bread

I had my first request this week for something to bake, which was really exciting! We had a lot of overripe bananas left in our fruit bowl at work, and so some of the girls were wondering what to do with them rather than throwing them out. Then, they thought of me! I was happy to oblige by taking the bananas home and re purposing them into something delicious!Guilt Free Banana Bread

Whenever I have overripe bananas, I always seem to go to banana bread. I just love it so much! So I couldn’t go past an opportunity to bake delicious banana bread for the office. But I realised that lately I’ve been baking a lot of sweet things, and thought it might be time to cook something a little healthier. I mean, I can’t always bake sugar filled treats, as much as I want to. So I decided to try out a recipe for healthy banana bread, and see how it turned out.

Guilt Free Banana Bread

This recipe was really simple, quick and delicious. It ended up being gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free, which means that it is practically guilt free. I couldn’t believe how delicious it tasted given it didn’t have any sugar in the recipe, apart from the sugar from the bananas and a little bit of honey! It really surprised me that I can make something healthy that still satisfies my sweet tooth. And despite my concern that something so healthy wouldn’t go down well with my office crowd, everyone loved it! A lot of them loved it even more because they didn’t have to feel bad about eating it one bit.

Guilt Free Banana Bread

There are a lot of ‘healthy’ banana bread recipes out there, but this one was quite simple, and didn’t involve too many ingredients you wouldn’t have on hand. It is based on coconut flour, which is becoming far easier to get, and the only other thing you needed was Almond Butter. But you could easily substitute this for peanut butter or any other nut butter. I also sprinkled cacao nibs over the top, but you could easily put anything over the top, like blueberries, raspberries, banana slices or sliced almonds. It’s completely up to you! You could even put chocolate chips on the top if you wanted to make it a little more naughty!

Guilt Free Banana Bread

Guilt Free Banana Bread

Adapted From Ambitious Kitchen
Serves 12 slices
Preparation Time 15 minutes
Cooking Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

·         4 medium ripe bananas, mashed up

·         1 tablespoon of honey

·         1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

·         ¼ cup of almond butter

·         2 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted

·         2 eggs

·         ½ cup of coconut flour

·         ½ teaspoon of baking powder

·         ½ teaspoon of baking soda

·         ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon

·         ¼ cup of cacao nibs

Method

1.      Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and line a loaf pan with baking paper, setting aside.

2.      In a medium bowl combine the bananas, honey, vanilla, almond butter and coconut oil. Using an electric mixer, mix the ingredients until combined and smooth.

3.      Add the eggs in, one at a time, on a medium speed until combined.

4.      Using a medium speed, mix in coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt until completely combined.

5.      Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Scatter the cacao nibs over the top of the batter evenly.

6.      Bake for 25-30 minutes or until when a skewer is inserted it comes out clean.

7.      Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Slice into 12 even pieces.

Guilt Free Banana Bread

And there you have it! It’s such a quick recipe and simple to make. And the result was really delicious, but very good for you. You won’t feel guilty going back for a couple of slices of this one, and I am sure you will want to! It is quite sweet surprisingly, but has a really nice coconut flavour, which I really liked. And using ripe bananas really brings sweetness so you don’t even need sugar!

Guilt Free Banana Bread

You can enjoy this banana bread as it, it is quite soft and moist, but does hold its shape. Otherwise you can toast it in a sandwich press for a truly decadent experience. If it’s not sweet enough for you, you could always add some yoghurt and honey on the top.

Guilt Free Banana Bread

Let me know if you would like to try this recipe yourself, and especially let me know if you give it a go!

Until next time, happy baking!

Ella xx