Simple Sunday: No hassle breakfast

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I actually had time for breakfast this morning, which is a rare treat on a Sunday in our house. The usual Sunday  chaos was lightened somewhat as hubby had a week off from preaching and playing in the worship band,  so I found I had time to rustle up these maple pancakes with Greek yoghurt, berries, honey and fresh mint from the garden.  Simple and delicious, whilst feeling indulgent at the same time.  Happy Sunday one and all.

Cinnamon Banana Bread (gluten free)

banana loaf 3Last year I stumbled across the most lovely cake recipe book. I fell in love with it, not just because of the recipes, but because the layout and feel of the book sings of English springtime and afternoon teas. The most intriguing thing about this book though is the fact that beautiful, delicious cakes are created using vegetables instead of fat. Yes, vegetables! Amazing! The book is ‘Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache’ by Harry Eastwood, and boasts of containing within its whimsical pages “natural cakes that taste naughty”.

The first recipe I tried was this Cinnamon Banana Bread. Light, moist and gloriously spiced with sweet cinnamon, it’s hard to believe this little gem of a cake is actually pretty low in fat and gluten free.

Here’s what you need:

Banana loaf 1
140g banana, mashed
2 medium eggs (I used 3 as mine were pretty small)
140g caster sugar
150g grated courgette (the book says to peel but I don’t bother, largely because most of the goodness is in the skin)
150g rice flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. mixed spice (I didn’t have any of this so added a little extra cinnamon)
25g finely chopped brazil nuts
25g finely chopped pecans

Preheat the oven to 180oC and grease a loaf tin. Whisk the eggs and sugar until light in colour and creamy. Add the mashed banana and whisk until completely incorporated. Add the grated courgette, the flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla, cinnamon and mixed spice (if you’re using it). Carry on whisking until completely blended. Mix in 3/4 of the chopped nuts and then pour the mixture into the tin and sprinkle the remaining nuts on top.banana loaf 2

Bake for about 45 minutes, leave to cool and enjoy with a cup of tea. This cake is great on its own or buttered if you’re feeling extravagant.

Enjoy, and please check out the book on Amazon. I cannot rate it highly enough.

Paprika spiced Salmon with minted Quinoa and roasted vegetables

Salmon & quinoa
With an under-the-weather and very tired toddler today, I needed something relatively easy to throw together for dinner tonight using what I had in. This totally hit the mark. Easy, yet tasty and undeniably healthy. Here’s how to do it.

Rub paprika, black pepper and lemon juice into the salmon and set aside to marinade. Chop up a load of veggies (I used butternut squash, onions, copious amounts of garlic, mushrooms, carrots, red and yellow peppers and broccoli) and place on a roasting tray. Season with pepper and herbs of your choice (I used parsley) and drizzle over some olive oil (or use fry light which is what I did). Roast for about 30 minutes, then toss and place the salmon on top and roast for another 20 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through.

Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa to help get rid of the bitter taste, then cook in vegetable (or chicken) stock with a handful of fresh chopped mint and a little less of parsley, and a couple of smashed cloves of garlic. I did mine in the rice cooker using a 2:1 ratio of stock to quinoa. It cooked itself to perfection and kept itself warm without me having to check it was even done. Easy peasy. Serve and enjoy.