Quinoa Flour Crepes

 photo WP_20170426_001_e_zps4g0fn1d6.jpgI did neglect to remove the pan from the heat when pouring, but they’re fine.

New recipes often need a few factors to appear. The biggest is whether or not I want it currently or if I can fit it into my meal plan. I feel it’d be too easy to lose sight of my health goals, that sounds so generic and phony now, you’ve ruined everything, shills! If I kept trying to match an imagined demand of food I’d end up ruining what has been a big success. I tell you, dear reader, I look at old photos of myself, ten stone heavier and it still chills me. I’m still going, I’ve never fallen and have no intention. Weight-loss is much, much more complicated than we’re led to believe. Have no fear, I’m not starting up another conversation on that topic, not today at least. Today we’re dealing in crepes.

 photo WP_20170426_002_e_zps29j4mpkk.jpgTurkey mince with Seven Spice is just delicious.

I felt like being a bit different today, so I decided on stuffed crepes. As I had quinoa flour and no quinoa flour crepe recipe I made these. I don’t include oil in the batter because it makes them too oily. I liked these much more than the waffles, the quinoa seems to do well with direct heat like this. They didn’t feel underdone or rubbery. They were really flexible and the taste of quinoa was muted by the strong spices and tahini sauce. You can’t go too far wrong with crepes unless you add to much batter or don’t keep the heat a little below high. These do turn very golden brown which makes them more appetizing. I’m checking how they freeze and I’ll add it in later. Take care, dear reader.

 photo WP_20170426_003_e_zpslsugqi1t.jpgI tried to be fancy! It looked better in my head. Still delicious.

Ingredients

65g Quinoa Flour
1 Large Egg (65g-75g in Shell)
80ml Low Fat Milk
80ml Water
Pinch Salt
Olive Oil for frying

Makes 4 Large Crepes.

Method

1. In a jug whisk together Egg, Milk and Water and whisk in the flour and salt until a smooth, thin Batter has formed. Rest for 5 minutes.

2. Heat a non-stick pan on a medium high heat and add a small bit of Olive Oil, when hot remove from the heat and add about 1/4 Cup of Batter, swirl it to coat the bottom of the pan and return the pan to the heat. Cook crepe until browned and slightly dry to the touch, about 2 minutes, then flip, cook the same way and then transfer to a wire-rack. Repeat until Batter is used up.

And Then There Were Plants

 photo WP_20170418_009_e_zpsjsnor2ft.jpgThese cathartic haiku
Observing verdant growth
Let stress float away

 photo WP_20170418_006_e_zpsjnicrewe.jpgElegant tulip
All dressed in midnight hues
Who do you mourn for?

 photo WP_20170418_008_e_zpsxoyjwhxt.jpgCor blimey, look here
Stone the crows, black inside and out
Lovely! God bless my soul!

 photo WP_20170418_001_e_zpszpqdvbpe.jpgAll is balanced
Never too serious, reader
Life is too short, smile

 photo WP_20170418_002_e_zpszbl5ny9u.jpgThese rescued flowers
Have found new life in my garden
Nothing better than free

 photo WP_20170418_003_e_zps1ynja9hg.jpgI hope for flowers
China Asters covered
Or, perhaps, just weeds

 photo WP_20170418_010_e_zpseokqqqqn.jpgLupins and lilies
Onions and more garter weed
Not for long, damn weed

 photo WP_20170418_011_e_zpsbu67y7x5.jpgOne pink anemone
I forgot to photograph
Take my word for it, please

 photo WP_20170418_012_e_zpskln1lntn.jpgHyacinth fade away
You’ve joined the crocus in rest
Tulip, stay a while

 photo WP_20170418_013_e_zpssjtoswwl.jpgGladioli gladly grew
Nerine just starting to show
Anemone wasn’t dead

 photo WP_20170418_014_e_zpsgowv59p8.jpgSummer and Spring part
A place for Autumn in there too
Winter as well

 photo WP_20170418_015_e_zpsrgcvvnvy.jpgPromised garden
Begins slowly to take its shape
Flowers for my best friend

 photo WP_20170418_017_e_zps5trqz8ou.jpgThe table king is late
The harlequin are running wild
Nine fools and one king

 photo WP_20170418_016_e_zpsyzuta4mr.jpgNothing as it seems
A Strawberry no berry at all
Science is confusing

 photo WP_20170418_019_e_zps7wnxwhmy.jpgArtichoke growing
Exotic immature thistle
How do they taste

 photo WP_20170418_020_e_zps3eyjmci7.jpgA tumbler beetroot
It actually worked, well then
Jack smug for a while

 photo WP_20170418_022_e_zpsxziwwsqe.jpgCabbage, Brussels sprouts
Getting ready for planting out
Brassica aplenty

 photo WP_20170418_021_e_zpsr8rcbgbn.jpgImprove the soil each year
Rotate the crops, smother those weeds
Enjoy every step

Quinoa and Amaranth

 photo WP_20170319_001_e_zpsepyfs5lr.jpgNot only a new recipe, but it already has variations!

I just realised that my Quinoa recipe was in dire need of editing. It’s been sorted now, sorry to anyone that tried it and had trouble. So, again, I’m back with a basic recipe, but you know what? I’ve found that often when these seeds, not grains, not pseudo-grains, are being sold they can often be listed with erroneous recipes on how best to prepare them, if they include a recipe at all. You’re flat out of luck if you’d like a little flair with your new side. That’s why I’m here, I was caught time and time again and one day decided I couldn’t do any worse. Think of these as the four Mother Seeds, like the sauces, you know?…Just Google it. You have Amaranth, Pigweed, The seed of the Aztecs, blah blah blah, you’ve heard it countless time and probably haven’t seen much use for it outside of porridge. I have you more than covered. No, no need to thank me. Wait, do, do thank me! I’m just wonderful, right? So humble, modest too. Then there’s Buckwheat, oh, you delight, seed of my heart. Perfection, to me at least. Then there’s Kaniwa…moving on. And finally Quinoa. You might be a bit dull, but you’ve stood me well in time, my old seed. I think no healthy free-from diet can be without a few of these seeds regularly. Just check the links and tags because if you think I’m linking to all those recipe you’re a sanguine lunkhead.

What’s the worth in listing a recipe this simple? Because chances are you don’t know how to cook these seeds singularly never mind together. I can only guess at this, perhaps you’re all, everyone one of you, well informed, but secretive, but I don’t often see them used, never to the absurd extent I’ve tried them. I’ve been on a restricted diet so long that it no longer feels that way. It takes so much effort, graft and willingness to get to here and that’s why I’m sharing the fruits of my labours. Quinoa and Amaranth go together really easily because they share a cooking time The water and weight was different for each, but they cooked perfectly. The basic side is very bland, hence the addition of a variation below. What you end up with here is a slightly differently textured amaranth. This is more on the side of homogeneity rather than the individual  distinct grains of quinoa. I like this. Mix it up with some nut or seed butter, some additional flavours and you’ve got a side that you can enjoy in place of mashed vegetables. I’ll just say that you should give these seeds a chance, they might be just what your diet needs. Oh, about the peanut butter and cranberry: You’d eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich right? That’s what this is, just savoury. So good with sweet potato and broccoli. Okay, dear reader, I’ll leave you now, to go and lament my lack of compost on this fine day, but to also marvel at my started seeds. Until later.

Ingredients

160ml Water
25g White Quinoa
30g Amaranth
Olive Oil

Method

1. Put the Quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and rinse with cold water.

2. Add a little Olive Oil to the pot and heat. Add the Quinoa and cook until dried. Then add in the Amaranth and Water. Bring to boil, reduce to a medium heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes.

4. After the 15 minutes is up, remove from the heat. Let it stand for another 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, lift the lid and take a fork and fluff.

Variations

Peanut Butter and Cranberry: Cook as normal. While cooking mix together: 1 Tbsp Cranberry Sauce, 1 Tbsp Peanut Butter, 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil, a Pinch Sea Salt and Black Pepper until a smooth Paste is formed. Stir Paste into Quinoa and Amaranth just before serving.

Sweet Peanut Butter Curry

 photo WP_20170301_001_e_zpsa7btqjgz.jpgAny time a photo turns out well you can be sure I just lucked out. Snap ’em and eat is my motto.

You take a Peanut Curry as a base idea, you fraction off some Sweet Curry Powder, take a little of a Sweet Mango Curry and here we are. Hold on, dear reader, the hyper-link menu is no longer lagging. You know what this means? I don’t either, but it is pleasant. See? It isn’t all buckwheat. It’s not all wine and roses either, but we have curry. What was it that Archimedes never said? Give me a spoon long enough and a bowl of curry large enough and I’ll feed the world. What? Fake quotes? Misquotes? Me? Never. No never. No more. I am ever and always the bastion of truth, justice and curry. A pillar of society, that’s old Jack. No, not a pill. How dare you? You, wait for it, Twenty Minute Egg! So hard, dear reader, be not cruel to one such as I. I give you so many curries. There seems to be a theme, there are the nut butter based curies, rich and filling. The fruity fares, sweet and saucy. There is also the herb curries, but they’re rather limited and seasonal. Nightshade intolerance might kneecap me in regards heat, but I find other flavour to play with, other salivatory (It’s a word!) sensations to tickle your taste-buds. To delight your dentistry. To, to…beat a dead horse? Okay, onto the main part of my orally-inclined oration.

So, nut curries. What can I say that I haven’t said before? Well, one thing I have noticed is that when you make them using coconut cream they become too rich, for me at least. Maybe it’s the ratio of fat to everything else, I’m not quite sure. Unlike my baking recipes you can use any nut butter, just again it might be too oily if you use a, I almost said unnatural, more blended peanut butter. The taste here isn’t as sweet as a fruit based curry, it’s more of a subtle undertone, the nutty flavour is still predominant. The sweeter spices and the honey just add a different backing flavour than the more savoury ones used in my original recipe. I used the sweet potato for its sweetness and how well it pairs with cinnamon. As does peanut. The ingredients may make it look complex, but it’s all just a matter of complementary flavours and a little experience from other recipes. On the whole a really nice curry, simple to prepare and one that keeps you filled. So, that’s that for now. Still more recipes incoming. See you then.

Ingredients

1 Chicken Breast, Chopped
100g Finely Cubed Sweet Potato
160ml Coconut Milk
1/2 Yellow Onion, Chopped Fine
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Tbsp Natural Peanut Butter
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Honey

For the Spice Blend:

1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Ground Cumin
1/4 Tsp Ground Turmeric
1/4 Tsp Ground Ginger
1/4 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/4 Tsp Ground Cardamom
1/8 Tsp Ground Cloves
1/8 Tsp Ground Anise
1/8 Tsp Sea Salt

Method

1. Add Olive Oil, Onion and Garlic to a pot, stir together, cover and heat on high until steaming, then reduce to a medium heat and let cook for 10 minutes until soft.

2. Add Spices and stir together, then add Chicken and Sweet Potato stir and cook for 5 minutes.

3. Add Coconut Milk, Honey and Peanut Butter and stir, bring to boil, cover and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

 photo WP_20170301_009_e_zps7zbw0fvr.jpgMy dual-toned rose is almost open. It’ll probably become fully red eventually.

Buckwheat and Almond Cookies

 photo WP_20170215_002_zpszjw5d0dg.jpgNondescript brown blob. Buy yours online from my store…no, I’m joking, get back here!

Stealing from myself somewhat, ah, well.  Today we have a new cookie, lighter than the all buckwheat version and perfect for dunking in your tea. I had ground almonds that were just sitting there and a hankering for a cookie. So I decided to go with brown sugar and more egg this time around. I’ve made these cookies, the original that is, quite often and I’m always pleasantly surprised how nice textured an all  buckwheat cookie can be. The replacing of some of the flour with ground almonds does cause some stability issues, but it adds a richness and  a lighter texture that really works well. I like using buckwheat and almonds, they’ve worked well together. Be it in bread or in biscuits. It’s difficult at times to know what to say. What can be the most help to someone trying to make this recipe? The dough is a tad stickier than in the original recipe. Not by much, that’s just the loss of the dry buckwheat flour. Just scoop it with a tablespoon measure and thwack it on the rim of the bowl. I did find it took a while to really work in the butter, perhaps it was the ground almonds soft texture as opposed to the grittier buckwheat which would create more friction and help the whole come together faster. Nothing much to screw up here, just make sure your brown sugar isn’t too hard or lumpy.

 photo WP_20170215_003_zps1y6uckas.jpgLovely neat rows. I said neat rows!

This is a case of do as I say and not as I do. I didn’t know they’d spread quite so much, though they still get a nice rise and are airy, so I advice you to leave about two inches between each cookie. I almost left off on posting this, but they tasted so good. They have a light, moist crumb. They’re somewhere between a sponge and a biscuit. A sponcuit. A Bisconge. Er, a cookie. They look flat, but they had a nice dome and just enough bite. Thinking of them now, I’d say they’re somewhat like what a Jaffa Cake bottom is. Yeah, pretty sure. It’s been a long time since I ate a Jaffa Cake. If you give them ample room to spread they should be perfectly round, but even if they turn out oddly shaped they’ll still taste the same. Funnily though there is quite a lot of sugar these don’t taste too sweet, just right. After baking they absorb liquid and hold their shape when wet, which is wonderful if you’re a dunker. They taste of sweet buckwheat, that’s really all I can describe it as. The buckwheat when coupled with the sugar is really delicious. Quick and simple. Add it to the recipe pile and we’ll come back again someday. Next time they’ll look prettier. Perhaps. Until then, dear reader.

 photo WP_20170215_006_zpsiiov67fa.jpgIgnore the dog bowl.

Ingredients

150g Buckwheat Flour
75g Ground Almonds
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
115g Butter, Chilled and cut into Chunks
100g Light Muscovado Sugar
1 Large Egg (70g to 75g in Shell)

Makes 16 Cookies.

Method

1. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.

2. Add the Flour, Ground Almonds, Sugar and Baking Soda to a bowl and set aside.

3. Rub the Butter into the Flour Mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs, then mix in the Egg with a fork, until combined. Knead together in the bowl until a soft sticky dough has been created. Form into a ball and leave in the fridge for 30 Minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 175c (Fan). Scoop 1 Tbsp worth of dough and roll into a ball, flatten onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between Cookies, and repeat until all dough is used up. Place one tray in the fridge if baking in single batches. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and slightly firm to the touch. Let cool on tray for 10 minutes and then remove to wire-rack to cool completely.

Spring Healed Jack

We start this rhyming post hence
In truth it's of little consequence
The rhyming starts off appealing
But my limits may soon face revealing
Whether it'll be worthy of derision
I leave that, Dear reader, as your decision

 photo 1_zpshxp84kc4.jpg
The wild garden reclaimed
The spirited roses are tamed
Horse manure for them, taken from under hoof
'twas sorely needed, the abundant leaves, the proof
Still two buckets wait for me to plant
Time will provide, in this garden there is no shan't

 photo 2_zps0wrcuiyo.jpg
 photo 3_zpsart5gpxh.jpg
Crocus rings, but no one answers
Tulips stretch themselves like dancers
Do not mistake the shoots for weeds
Doing so is a most heinous deed
Where do the flowers hide?
In stalk? Or stem? Which part does them provide?

 photo 5_zpsxzsnrt5x.jpg
 photo 4_zpszvjlvgl8.jpg
The gypsy girl's dress is yellow and pattern
Let no one call this one slattern
The sunlight did the fair one hide
A gloved hand does the shade provide
In time they will abound
The bees and butterflies will fly around

 photo 7_zpsvwhbk8mn.jpg
 photo 6_zpsnrkxpv0j.jpg
 photo 8_zpsngsdatwv.jpg
Up above and down below
Here and there the flowers grow
In the buckets on the ground
In the planters ever round
What they are we do not mind
In their colours, joy we find

 photo 10_zpsxvzlbnma.jpg
 photo 11_zpsnrzlgydx.jpg
 photo 9_zpscm4q1318.jpg
From old life new growth springs anew
Inside the greenhouse where winds can't strew
Look! These flowers how they strive
To grow and root and remain alive
Not all will live, some will perish
Those that remain are ours to cherish

 photo 12_zpsp275qzye.jpg
 photo 13_zps2v0udvxb.jpg
Last year's friends are not misplaced
For that would be a terrible disgrace
Instead we prune them down
How small they look without their crown
Old roots do faster growth provide
Always delicious either fresh or dried

Thus ends my little bit of fancy
Though the verses were often chancy
I hope you enjoyed this bit of mirth
Please don't give Jack a wide berth!
I hope that Spring will hurry here
There are plants to grow, readers dear

Bury My Bucket In The Backyard

 photo WP_20161009_002_e_zps9ht2okso.jpgHaiku post again?
This is a recipe blog, right?
“All is illusion”

Wood stain for borders
Just needs some decorate bark
Wild garden tamed

Are these haiku bad?
Yes, but Japan forgives me
This I know Why? Because

 photo WP_20161009_001_e_zpsfdfht0fp.jpgPlanters of dark oak
Filled with soil awaiting
Their purpose next year

Old beds cleaned out
Sheet pinned down to kill weeds
Expansions, new plans

A comma cheating?
Don’t tell on Jack, dear reader
Scold not your old pal

 photo WP_20161009_006_e_zps8mqhcfrb.jpgWeeds thick along the wall
Dug out, line with weed matting
Sink buckets, wood edge

No bottom bucket
Maybe garlic Perhaps salad
Anything but those weeds

Cinnamon Basil
Strawberries frozen when fresh
Made into chia jam

 photo WP_20161009_003_e_zpsimk1ggaj.jpgChillies ripening
Weather unpredictable
Take what I can get

Growing for family
Sharing fresh produce with friends
The garden has many gifts

Where has it gone to?
Deleted photo of jam
Imagine red mush

 photo WP_20161009_005_e_zpsagbccvxb.jpgHow much is left now?
I need six more to finish?
Oh come on! Too hard

I think of pumpkins
Growing vertically again
But in the ground this time

I read, I garden
Occasionally I post posts
Thrilling, aren’t I?

 photo WP_20161009_004_e_zpsyierz1hu.jpgPeach, Rambling, Pink, Odd
Still Growing inexplicably
Live Strive Thrive Grow strong!

Title? Lyric from song
Sung by Ariel, Icon for Hire
The song? Rock and Roll Thugs

Last one? These are done?
Bit of fun, eh, dear reader
Until we meet again