Posts Tagged ‘oatmeal’

I’ve recently ventured into the realm of sourdough bread baking.

In the last two weeks, I have learned so much about bread baking and have really enjoyed discovering new recipes and techniques.


This weekend I made a light and fluffy sourdough oatmeal bread that is perfect for sandwiches.


Sourdough Oatmeal Bread

Adapted from Sourdough Cookery


1 1/2 cups sourdough starter

1 cup lukewarm water (or milk for a richer taste)

1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1/2 cup molasses (I used goldensyrup)

2 teaspoons salt

3 Tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cups rolled oats

4-5 cups all-purpose flour

melted butter or butter replacement


  1. Measure sourdough starter into a large bowl. Add lukewarm water, brown sugar, molasses, salt and oil. Stir to combine.
  2. Add rolled oats, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the flour, starting with 3 cups, adding more flour as necessary to create a tacky dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if necessary.
  4. Place in an oiled bowl, turning once to oil all sides of the dough. Cover with a damp cloth and set in a warm place to rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
  5. Punch down dough. Turn out onto a surface and separate into 2 pieces. Shape into loaves and place in well oiled loaf pans. Brush tops with melted butter and cover with a damp cloth. Set pans in a warm place to rise for another 1.5 hours. Bread should rise until it reaches the top of the pans.
  6. Bake at 400 F (205 C) for 35-40 minutes. Makes 2 loaves.


Simply enjoyed toasted and smeared with strawberry jam.


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P4055044 Sweet strawberries and tart rhubarb. Delicious!

For breakfast this past week, I enjoyed oatmeal with a fresh strawberry rhubarb sauce.


The sauce was very simple. Just a matter of chopping up the fruit and simmering until it was tender. P4055032

I cooked the apples, lemon juice and rhubarb for a little while first then added the strawberries later. P4055041 Vanilla sugar, my new love.P4055046 Good morning, sunshine!

Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal

For the Fruit Sauce

1/2 cup water

1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb

1 cup sliced strawberries

1 apple peeled, cored and diced

1 tsp. lemon juice

1/2 Tablespoon vanilla sugar, or to taste

For the Oatmeal
1 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup soy or rice milk

1/2 cup water

1/2 banana, mashed

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

For the sauce, combine the chopped fruits, water, lemon juice and sugar. Bring to a boil, and simmer on low heat while cooking the oats.

Separately, combine the water, milk, oats and salt. Simmer on low heat, until the oats thicken to a porridge like consistency. Remove from heat, and stir in the mashed banana and cinnamon.

Serve the oatmeal topped with the fruit sauce.

Makes 2 large servings.

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Pumpkin Obsession

Pumpkin can only be purchased fresh here, no canned varieties are available.

For this reason, when pumpkins are in season, I become obsessed.

My motto becomes “everything is better with pumpkin.”

Breakfast supports this claim.

Pumpkin Oats

PA059838 Creamy oatmeal with freshly pureed pumpkin, topped with ground flax, autumn almond butter and dark chocolate spread.

Between school finishing and play rehearsal beginning, I made an autumn-inspired pumpkin syrup.

PA059854 Pumpkin Syrup

  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 scant cup raw brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • sprinkling of additional cinnamon, ginger, cloves and nutmeg to taste
  1. Boil all ingredients together in a small saucepan, whisking continuously. Turn the heat down and continue simmering and whisking until the liquid becomes syrup-like in texture, about 10 minutes.
  2. Cool and pour into a clean glass container. Store in the refrigerator.

Perfect for making a homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte!

PA059844 One jar for home and one for school!

PA059851Just beware of dripping, this stuff is sticky!

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After an unnecessary absence from blogging, I’m back with a delicious recipe to share.

The days are getting shorter and colder.

Comfort food is making a reappearance this autumn.

P9299686 Cozy up to a warm serving of Vegan Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

P9299670 Mix together the dry ingredients and stir in the sliced apple.

P9299671 Add in the wet ingredients

P9299672 Give it all a good stir and put into the prepared baking dish.

P9299676 Sprinkle the crumble on top and bake.

P9299683 Once the apples are soft and the sides are bubbly, your oatmeal is done!

P9299688 Serve as is, with warm ‘milk’ or maple syrup.

Vegan Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

Makes 6 servings


  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/3 cup and 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. dried fruit such as raisins or dates
  • 1 handful of chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 fresh apple, cored and sliced
  • 1 3/4 cup almond or soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp. and 2 teaspoons ground flaxseed, divided
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 3 Tbsp. wheat germ


  1. Mix 2 Tbsp. water and 2 tsp. of ground flaxseed in a bowl and set aside to thicken. Preheat oven to 350 F (176 C.) Grease a baking dish.
  2. Mix together the oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, 1/3 cup brown sugar, baking powder,  salt, dried fruit and nuts in a large bowl. Stir in the sliced apple.
  3. Add the almond milk, vanilla and apple sauce to the flaxseed mixture and stir into the dry ingredients. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 2 Tbsp. brown sugar, 2 Tbsp. flaxseed and wheat germ. Sprinkle the crumble over the oatmeal mixture. Bake for 30-40 minutes.
  5. Eat as is or topped with warm almond milk or maple syrup.


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Pumpkin, pumpkin and more pumpkin!

Over the weekend, I cooked my first pumpkin of the season.

Slowly but surely, my pumpkin pile is dwindling.

Just look at the last 3 days’ breakfast for evidence.

P9069111 Pumpkin oats with brown sugar and pecans.

P9079132Pumpkin oats with maple syrup and pecans.

P9089147  Pumpkin oats with ground flax, peanut butter and maple syrup.

Clearly, my morning pumpkin needs are being met.

But what about lunch and dinner?

If I had only thought about it earlier, I would have put pumpkin in my celeriac soup.


It was pretty amazing, even without pumpkin!

What about my lunch-time salad from yesterday?

P9069120I could have subbed pumpkin in place of the blueberries. Pumpkin would have gone well with the plum cobbler the Year 1 students made for the teachers.

I guess my pumpkin addiction will have to manifest in muffin form.

P9089236 My attempt to create a Pumpkin Morning Glory Muffin was quite successful.

As an added bonus, my apartment now smells like autumn!


These muffins were tossed together using ingredients I had on hand.

P9089194 Sift together the dry ingredients.


P9089200Whisk the wet ingredients together.

P9089201  P9089204 Stir in the carrots.

P9089205 Add the dry ingredients.

P9089207 Stir until well combined.

P9089210Chop the seeds, nuts and dried fruit.

P9089217  Fold in the nuts, seeds and fruit.

P9089220Spoon the batter into greased muffin trays and garnish with pumpkin seeds. 

P9089232 Bake, cool and enjoy!

Healthy Pumpkin Carrot Muffins

Makes 14 muffins


  • 1 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or yogurt)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 large carrots, grated
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 cup dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, apricot, etc.)
  • 1 Tbsp. flaxseed, ground
  • 1 Tbsp. sunflower seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds plus more to garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, pumpkin, vanilla and honey. Stir in the shredded carrots.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet. Stir until well mixed.
  4. Fold in the nuts, seeds seeds and dried fruit.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the muffins.

Now please excuse me, I haven’t eaten pumpkin in the last 3 hours.

I must remedy this immediately.

Thank God for muffins!

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Today was another strange day.

I slept in quite late then woke up only because I was hungry.

Breakfast was simple: oatmeal and orange juice.

P8118359 Oats cooked with water and soy milk, a white peach, ground flax and pumpkin seeds

While in London, I bought Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food.

I can’t put it down; this alone accounts for the fact that I barely moved at all today.

After several hours of reading, I got up to eat again.

Lunch was Moroccan Tomato and Chickpea Salad.


Moroccan Tomato and Chickpea Salad

1 Serving


  • 1/4 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. flaxseed oil or olive oil
  • 2-4 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • pinch of paprika
  • pinch of cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste


Mix all ingredients in a bowl and set aside for 10 minutes allowing the flavors to infuse. Serve.

This quick improvisation was delicious, I’ll certainly be making it frequently once school starts up again.

Throughout the afternoon, while reading some more and catching up on e-mails, I snacked on grapes and Brazil nuts.

P8118366 P8118367

Believe it or not, the next monumental activity of the day was more eating!

Dinner was leftover green beans and warm aubergine salad from last night alongside pan seared smoked tofu.


While heating up dinner, I got a call from Kate asking if I wanted to see Inception. Although I’m not much of an action-movie kind of girl, I have really been missing my friends so eagerly agreed to meet up with Kate, Zoe, Kim and Will.

In order to save my health as well as some money, I made my own popcorn and smuggled it along with iced tea into the theatre.

P8118374  Chili popcorn: sprinkle freshly popped corn with chili powder, garlic powder, ground cumin, nutritional yeast and a bit of salt.


Let’s just say that when I went into the theater, my finger nails were painted. When I left the theater, there was one little stripe of polish left on my left ring finger. No joke. I mindlessly scraped the polish off of 9.9 finger nails.

Although it was a strange movie, it was really good and I’m glad that I went.

So, after a day of eating, reading, and movie watching, I’m off to bed. Tomorrow, I have to get my body in motion!

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Vacations have many purposes.

It’s not all about doing, going, seeing.

Vacations can also be about reading and relaxing.

Because of this, I don’t feel guilty in the least bit for the way I spent today.

I did absolutely nothing.

Luckily, in doing my nothingness, I ate, so at least I have that to share with you.

Here goes!


P7287963 Plain yogurt

Raw oatmeal, ground flax and hemp seeds.

Blueberries, strawberries, peaches and red currents.

Drizzled with agave nectar and sprinkled with cinnamon and coconut flakes.




Whole wheat pita bread with horseradish hummus

Red cabbage, tomatoes, cucumbers, sprouts and sweet potato falafel.

Junk food cheeze balls (at least they are baked!) and the rest of my peach

Most of my day has been spent reading a book my brother recommended.

In my relaxing, I decided to read while taking a bath.

All was well until I got out and realized while drying off that my left arm felt like it was on fire.

When I looked in the mirror, my entire left shoulder was bright red and there was a bright red line running down to my elbow. The skin was raised and swollen. It looked like I had a huge scar running down the back of my arm.

Upon further investigation, I realized that the medicated muscle pain bath serum had leaked.

Now this stuff is strong. On the bottle, it has a huge warning with very specific requirements for how much of the medication (one small cap) is to go into how much water. It also says the exact temperature the water should be and how long to stay in the bath.

Now, when you use this stuff as recommended, your skin does turn sun-burn red for about 10 minutes after the bath and it feels all prickly and itchy.

The concentrated medication must have gotten wet when I filled the bath and then leaked back into the tub, via my body. About an hour after my bath, the redness and swelling started to go away. Now, everything is back to normal, but it was kind of scary.

I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t take pictures and think about putting them on here. But, common sense wins! I really don’t want nearly naked photos of myself on the internet, so you’ll just have to use your imagination. Think scar. Big, red, puffy, scar then you’ll have it.

Back to the food!

Afternoon Snack

P7287981 Date with peanut butter, times 2!

(Yes, I do realize there is a piece of fuzz/ cat hair on the date. No, I didn’t realize it until just now. Delectable!)


I was going to make the couscous stuffed tomatoes like before, but then decided to change from Northern Africa influenced couscous to Italian influenced couscous. So basically, I didn’t use the same recipe at all. I guess I ought to share the new version as it was even better than the first!


Italian Couscous Stuffed Tomatoes


  • 6 tomatoes (I only used 3 and had a ton of stuffing left over)
  • 1/3 cup instant couscous
  • 1 Tbsp. bruscetta seasoning mix (mine was from Aldi)
  • 2/3 cup boiling water
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp. capers
  • heavy drizzle of olive oil


  1. Cut the tops off the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds and flesh inside the tomato, reserve for later. Turn the tomatoes upside down on a paper towel to drain any excess liquid.
  2. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan. Add the garlic, spring onions, capers and tomato juices. Cook until the onions soften.
  3. Mix the bruscetta seasoning (probably just a mixture of Italian seasoning, salt, and dried tomatoes) with the dry couscous. Pour the boiling water over and mix well before covering tightly for 5 minutes.
  4. Mix the cooked ingredients with the cooked couscous and stuff into the prepared tomatoes.
  5. Microwave on medium power for 3-6 minutes, depending on the size of your tomatoes or bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.


I ate one stuffed tomato, along with the remaining stuffing. The other two will be my lunch tomorrow!

I also ate this:


Mixed green salad with another hunk of pan-cooked cheese and balsamic glaze.

Then it was back to my book with a glass of red wine.


Oh, and chocolate blueberry cake. I can’t forget the cake.


Because, eating, reading and relaxing are what vacations are for!

Oh, I just remembered! I did do something today… I cleaned the toilet.

I did have plans to do the whole bathroom, but I only got as far as the porcelain thrown.

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