Kidney Bean and Red Pepper Chilli
I’m back in the kitchen this week for Cuckoo Magazine cooking a dish so delicious and so attractive I want to wear it!
Click the photograph below to find out all the details.
I’m so delighted to introduce you to Cuckoo Magazine if you aren’t already familiar with it that is, and even more exciting is that I’m joining the team to talk all things food!
Each week you’ll be able to read my recipes, reviews, what’s good and even what’s bad and I’m kicking things off with a trip to Network café for my ‘Something for Dessert?‘ series. You can find out what I ate for dessert here and trust me it was good!
This little rectangle of delight has turned into an old favourite at lovetomtom HQ. What started out as a ketogenic snack has now turned into my version of a Cacao & Peanut Butter Fat Bomb. The perfect thing to get me through my sweet cravings and trust me there are many!
If you follow me on social media you may have heard me talk about these before but it is such an easy tasty recipe I felt it deserved its own video!
I should have mentioned in the video above that the one downfall to this recipe is that they don’t travel very well. It is not a huge problem for me as honestly as they go from the freezer to my mouth so no time to worry about taking them anywhere else! If you do want to make them keep their shape for as long as possible try mixing all the ingredients together instead of layering it like I do with mine.
I hope you enjoy and if you want to see more of what I get up to in the kitchen leave a comment below.
Before I give you my keto update, be sure to read Fat Fat Fat otherwise none of this will make sense!
Since I last spoke about keto, things have taken an ugly turn. I’m still consumed by fat but this time the ugly kind. My experience with keto was going well. I was seeing the benefits and felt this way of eating had become my norm. During the first two months I had very few ‘slips’ or cheats’ as some people call them. I actually had no intention of cheating as that is not how keto works. None of this five-day on, two-day off business. I didn’t go through what is known as ‘keto-flu’ to have to start from scratch again after one sniff of bread! If you have ever detoxed from anything, you can only imagine what I’m talking about. I did have the odd non-keto meal and if I’m honest I really didn’t enjoy them so didn’t feel the need to have those ‘cheat’ meals. Even though I didn’t feel the need for non-keto meals, I somehow stumbled into a new way, or in this case an old way of eating: Shove everything I see into my gob. That very way of eating was what lead me to keto in the first place.
With me eating my body weight in Cherry Ripes (an Australian treat that my parents brought over), bread, sugar, pizza and alcohol amongst other things I noticed something different. Before I started eating according to a keto diet I was eating anything that was in front of me, shaming myself about eating what I was eating while going in for another mouthful. This time while stuffing my face with Cherry Ripes I did less of the shaming and decided that this was where I was at that point in time.
Maybe that’s why my time with keto had been so successful, because I was ready to make those changes. A few months back I had that conversation over and over again in my head, that I needed to eat better. My body was telling me that what I was eating was making me feel rubbish but I didn’t do anything about it. However, for some reason or another, the day I decided to start keto was different to all those other days. Something just seemed to click and I knew I was ready to take on this change. It’s the exact same thing with #lovetomtomSBD the past month. I wanted to exercise more and I did (am). We all know the benefits of exercise and a healthy diet but maybe it’s best when it’s on our terms. The other thing I realised is that for me, keto has to be all or nothing until I can find some kind of healthy middle ground. What that will look like I have no idea but until I find it, the benefits and my head space say I’m going back to the good fat.
Like I said in my last post, I would never encourage or recommend a diet for anyone else other than myself but if I’m ever going to tell you what to do it’s this: Enjoy the chocolate or bread or whatever food it is that you like to eat. If you feel it is affecting your health, do something about it but only when you feel ready.
Recipe of the Month
The past few months I have been eating to my heart’s content. Anything that was put in front of me I ate, and loved every mouthful. I really hit a high, or should I say full note when my folks were over and I ate and drank like I was on holidays for a month. In fact I wasn’t on holidays for a month and I ate so much that I knew I had to make some changes! Perfect timing really with this month’s same but different. I knew what I had to do. Cut out the crap, but given the state I was in I knew that wasn’t going to be enough.
A friend introduced me to something called a Ketogenic Diet so off I went to do some research. Now I’m not one for diets and we all know there are a million out there but I say, do whatever works for you. In this case, I am happy to say a keto diet is working for me. Initially it all seemed rather technical. Tracking, measuring, macro nutrients and fat. I’m supposed to eat fat?! But now, two months on, having tried it, experimented with it and adapted it to suit me and I am glad to say I have seen the benefits. I am by no means an expert or would never recommend a diet of any kind but the reason I’m telling you about it is because I have come across some delicious recipes in my new ‘way of eating’ and diet or no diet, these dishes are staying put. Anything good enough to stay in my recipe collection is well worth sharing and that is why I want to share this month’s recipe of the month.
That’s what it’s about for me: Tasty, healthy food that allows me to function at my best. Sometimes this takes a little experimenting and what works for one won’t always work for another but the experimenting has been fun. Thanks to my experimenting, I have two recipes in one for you this month. First a Cream Cheese Pancake that I use for so many things, (pancakes, wraps etc) and this forms part of my Courgette Lasagne which is this month’s recipe of the month. This is how I make it.
Cream Cheese Pancakes
1 tablespoon of cream cheese
Sprinkle of salt
*Note: When I make these for breakfast I add cinnamon to the mixture or for a savoury version I add herbs to the mixture.
Courgette lasagne – serves 2
1 tin tomatoes
1 clove of garlic
Salt and pepper
A few leaves of fresh basil
Sprinkle of sugar to taste (or sugar substitute)
1 serve of tomato sauce (see recipe above)
1 – 2 medium courgettes cut into thin slices
1 serve of Cream Cheese Pancakes (see recipe above)
Parmesan and Mozzarella to taste
To start make a tomato sauce. My version is really simple. Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and cook. The longer the better. You will need the sauce to be a bit thicker for this recipe as the moisture from the courgettes can make it all a bit sloppy. If you are hard-core and having zero sugar you could use a sugar substitute like Stevia or in my case, I don’t like any sugar substitutes so I sprinkle a little cinnamon in it and that does the trick.
While that’s simmering away, make the Cream Cheese Pancakes. I initially made them as a substitute for traditional pancakes but they are more crepe-like than thick fluffy pancake and for this recipe they are the perfect thickness for what would be a sheet of pasta. I make the pancake mixture in a Nutribullet. so mix all the ingredients together and whizz away. Once the mixture is whizzed up, put either butter or coconut oil in a pan (matter of preference really), pour out enough mixture to make a full circle, basically the shape of the pan and repeat until you have used all the mixture. Depending on the size of your fry pan your quantity will vary but for this recipe I get three-four pancakes. Once cooked set them aside until you are ready to assemble the lasagne. With the sauce simmering and your pancakes made, thinly slice the courgettes and then it’s time to put it all together.
In a baking dish, (I use this silicone love-heart dish for fun) layer it all up. Tomato sauce, one cream cheese pancake, courgettes, mozzarella and parmesan. Repeat until you have used all the ingredients. Put it in the oven until the courgettes have cooked and the cheese is melted and crispy and then eat. If you have a bit more time you could grill the courgettes before assembling the lasagne but I have tried it both ways and the first way is the quickest and still super tasty. You can really play around with this recipe and the quantities. I have worked out exactly what I need so it is nice and snug in this love-heart dish so depending on what you are using, make changes accordingly and of course have fun doing it!
If you want to read more about what I’m eating these days leave a comment below. I’m always happy to talk about food!
April Wrap up & Recipe of the month
What a fun topic last month’s same but different was! If I’m honest I spent more time reading up on different recipes than actually making them but as with all of my same but different topics, they don’t end because the month is up, so there is plenty of time to cook, bake, share and of course eat!
There have been some real highlights the past month. It’s amazing what can happen when you look at things with a different perspective. It turned out that some of the dishes in my Moroccan feast are no longer different recipes but permanent fixtures in my repertoire. I tried different ingredients in my daily juice with the most memorable one being peas! Another same but different this month and one I’m very much looking forward to is thanks to Indy Power of The Little Green Spoon. Now Indy’s recipes are not new to me but I was delighted to hear that her fabulous recipes will take shape in a cookbook and you know how fond I am of those!
And now it is time for Recipe of the month. Thank you to everyone who sent in their recipes! I’m glad I’m not the only one completely obsessed with food! This month’s recipe is thanks to the wonderful Eavan from Dublin. Eavan shares my love for pancakes and the clever lady that she is introduced me to pancake mini muffins. I can’t believe I hadn’t tried this before! The name says it all, pancakes in the form of little muffins. Easy to make, totally delicious and the options are endless. Use whatever recipe you normally use for a basic pancake mix, I use this one and add whatever you like to the mixture. Pour into a greased muffin tin and bake for about 12 mins at 180 degrees. Of course it all depends on your oven and how your prefer your mini pancakes so if you want them a little crispy on the outside, leave them in a bit longer or if you prefer a more gooey texture, take them out sooner.
For this batch I added a small dollop of homemade blackberry and apple jam and the only bad thing about them was that I wanted to eat all of them! I have tried a few different variations, jam, fresh blueberries, peanut butter and next I’m going to try a savoury version. The thing I really like about this recipe (and the point of same but different) is that my love for pancakes has taken a different form, literally. I love that these are so easy to make and that I can even transport them with me to nibble on at work. Well done Eavan!
It really was a fun same but different and I look forward to working my way through all of your recipes.
Violet and Percy
Heard of Violet and Percy? If you haven’t you are missing out. It is a great online shop started by Flora and she sells all kinds of amazing things. Not only does Violet and Percy have a shop but also a fabulous blog. I was thrilled to be asked to be a guest writer and that’s where you can find this month’s recipe of the month. It really is a favourite and one that doesn’t get old.
No clues as to what it is. You’ll have to click here to find out.
It’s time to get back into sharing some of my favourite recipes and this month’s #ROTM is a doozy! Winter means soup for me but I have to say as fond as I am of soup I can sometimes get bored so I was thrilled to discover this Rosemary Ferguson recipe. The title says it all really; this soup is green. Green and delicious! I was sceptical at first but I decided to go with it.
Basically there is a whole lot of green in this soup. Courgettes, broccoli, kale, lime, a few herbs, coriander, ginger, turmeric and of course garlic and salt. Click here for all the recipe details.
Super easy and super tasty. If you’re a fan of soup you need to give this a go. The crisp, citrus flavour of the lime against the vegetables provides a fresh but hearty soup and a new favourite for the winter months.
I’ve been a bit slack with my recipes of the week/month and what better way to get back into it than with a birthday cake!
This month’s #ROTM is a delicious recipe from Rachel Allen’s Cake book and was a request from Mr B. It was his birthday after all, so of course he got to choose the cake.
I have only made this Victoria sponge recipe once before and by memory it was a hit, although for some reason, I do fear making sponge cakes. I don’t know about you but I always feel under pressure when baking for a special occasion. Why is it that when you bake ‘just because’ it turns out so well you think you could enter a baking contest, but when you know you will be serving it up to others, there is always some kind of baking disaster!
Thankfully Mr B is the kindest person I know when it comes to my cooking so regardless of how it turns out, I know it will get eaten. The recipe is simple and easy to follow, butter, sugar, eggs, flour. It says to divide the mixture between two same sized tins but unfortunately I only have one round cake tin so I put the entire mixture in and figured I’d cut it into two halves once it was cooked and completely cooled. Not quite a baking disaster but doing it this way brings its own problems. Uneven halves and as you can see, no clean edges, but you can only work with what you’ve got.
My cake didn’t rise as much as I’d hoped but not to worry, I piled it with homemade jam and cream to create the illusion of height!
Birthday or no birthday, this buttery, sugary delicious sponge, served up to someone special was well worth me facing my baking fears.
When a good recipe gets better!
A little while ago I discovered this great Puy Lentil Shepherd’s Pie recipe from the whole ingredient. My mouth was watering just reading the recipe and I’m glad to say I wasn’t disappointed! I’ve made it a few times now. So much so that I almost know the recipe off the top of my head and that’s why it is this week’s #ROTW.
I’ll be honest, I’ve made the odd change here and there. For example, sometimes I use kale instead of spinach, add courgettes, swap potatoes for sweet potatoes, use kidney beans instead of lentils, basically it’s whatever I have in the kitchen. This recipe tastes so good it doesn’t matter what’s going in!
One night while I was stuffing my face with this dish, I had a thought. It’s so good I wanted to eat more of it, so just to mix things up a bit I decided to turn it into a version of enchiladas.
I did everything the same as the Puy lentil shepherd’s pie recipe except I ditched the potatoes and cooked off the juices a bit more so as they weren’t too soggy. I served it with green beans with a dash of olive oil and lemon juice. You could serve it with anything really, sour cream, guacamole, salsa or a salad.
Although my enchiladas were tasty, they didn’t feel as nutritious as the shepherd’s pie. It may have had something to do with the mountain of cheese I put on top but it was delicious all the same!
Whether it’s shepherd’s pie or enchiladas, this is a great recipe that is a winner in the lovetomtom household so I’ll be making it again and again and again!