Monday, October 20, 2014

Oatmeal Fudge Bars

Okay, first of all, I have to warn you. I ate more than half of the pan. Just by myself. In one day. 
If you like me are living alone, I suggest stop reading this post. Because these oatmeal fudge bars are dangerous. SERIOUSLY. You CAN'T eat just one. Or two. 
If you are still reading and planning to save this recipe, make sure you gather all your friends and family to share these bars so you don't eat the entire pan by yourself. 
What makes them so irresistible? Well, there is a fudgy, chewy chocolate layer sandwiched between soft, buttery dough. And there's condensed milk in it which is one of my favourite things ever. In other words, I love everything about them. 
But there's one thing. As I've mentioned before, these little bars are quite dangerous. They're really rich so you shouldn't eat more than two at a time. Don't be like me. There are a little bit more calories than you'd prefer, but hey, sometimes you have to treat yourself. You deserve that.

Oatmeal Fudge Bars

113g (1/2 cup) butter, softened
200g (1 cup) light brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
156g(1 1/4 cup) flour
135g (1 1/2cup) quick-cooking oats 
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Fudge layer:
200g (1/2 can) sweetened condensed milk
160g (1 cup) semisweet chocolate chips
15g (1 tbsp) butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

1) In a medium bowl, combine together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

2) With your mixer, beat butter and sugar until soft anf fluffy. Add egg amd beat until incorporated. Beat in the vanilla.

3) Stir in the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Add oats and stir just until combined.

4) Spread 3/4 of the dough in a greased 8x8 inch (20x20 cm) metal or silicon pan. Reserve the remaining dough for the topping. Refrigerate it while you prepare the fudge layer.

5) In a saucepan, melt butter. Add condensed milk and chocolate chips. Heat just until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Pour the warm fudge layer over the oat layer. Top with small bits of the reserved dough. 

6) Bake in a preheated oven (180C/350F) for 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden on top. Let cool completely and refrigerate overnight. Cut into squares and enjoy! (I like keeping mine in the fridge all the time).

Recipe adapted from here.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Chickpea & Vegetable Skillet

A hearty, filling and healthy vegetable skillet is what I call a perfect dinner. This recipe is completely from scratch. You can use any veggies you have in your fridge, but this combination of carrots, zucchini and cauliflower is my favourite. The addition of chickpeas and spices makes it a perfect meal for a cold fall evening. And this makes quite a lot, definitely enough for three people. Or.. two?

Chickpea & Vegetable Skillet

2 tbsp oil
2 small onions (170g), finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 chili pepper, finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/3 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 carrot (120g), sliced
325g cauliflower, chopped into small florets
250g zucchini
190g leftover boiled potatoes, chopped
70g chickpeas, cooked
2 tomatoes (200g), chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley, plus more for garnish

1) Heat oil in a heavy skillet. Add onions and cook, until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and all the seasonings, and cook for another 2 minutes. Add carrots and cook, covered, for a few minutes. Add more oil, if needed.

2) Add zucchini and cook for 5 more minutes. Finally, add cauliflower and cook for another 2 minutes. 

3) When all the veggies are cooked, add potatoes, chickpeas and tomatoes. Stir-fry until tomatoes release liquid, just a few minutes. Garnish with some fresh parsley.

Recipe by collecting memories

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Double Chocolate Oatmeal

If you like having dessert for breakfast and at the same time try to eat healthy, congratulations! You clicked on the right recipe. This oatmeal is super gooey, creamy, milky, sweet, fudgy, wonderful. It's a chocolate lover's dream. And it's... healthy! It only takes 10 minutes to prepare it and I'm sure you already have all the ingredients in your pantry. It's a perfect way to start your morning. Or.. evening.

Double Chocolate Oatmeal

1 cup (240ml) milk
1/2 cup (50g) old-fashioned rolled oats (do not use quick-cooking!)
1 tbsp (7g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tbsp (20g) light brown sugar
A few chocolate chips (optional)

1) In a heavy pot, bring milk to boil.

2) Once it starts to boil, add oats, cocoa powder and sugar. Cook uncovered over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3) Sprinkle some chocolate chips on top. (Yep, you shouldn't but.. just a few.)

Serves 1

Recipe by collecting memories

Friday, October 10, 2014

Coconut Cashew Cheesecake

No, I'm not vegan and I'm not going to become vegan. But the more vegan desserts I make, the more I fall in love with this kind of food. It feels so good when you know that what you eat is good for you and every ingredient has important nutrients. I LOVED this cashew cheesecake! It doesn't taste like a traditional cheesecake, I'd say it tastes like a coconut ice-cream pie. Doesn't that sound good?? 
Just use unrefined coconut oil. Trust me, don't use refined stuff here.
It's best to serve it frozen. Keep it in the freezer and let thaw at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before serving. If you keep it in the fridge, it will have a mousse-like texture which is yummy too, but I prefer it frozen. Then it really tastes like ice cream. It Melts in your mouth! 

Coconut Cashew Cheesecake

50g dried coconut flakes
50g ground cashews
90g raisins

2 1/2 cup (350g) cashews, soaked for 6-8 hours, drained
1/4 cup (60ml) unrefined coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup (150g) agave nectar
3/4 cup (180ml) coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

1) To make the base, grind coconut, cashews and raisins in your food processor until the mixture looks sticky and comes into a ball. Press it into the bottom of a round baking pan (I used a 23cm pan with a removable bottom).

2) To make the filling, grind cashews in your food processor until you get a smooth creamy paste. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour onto the crust and freeze overnight.

3) Thaw at room temperature for 5-10 minutes and slice!

Recipe by collecting memories

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Bean Thread Noodle & Carrot Stir-Fry

Going to Chinese supermarkets can be a fun experience. Despite tons of different foods which definitely don't look edible and I'd never know what to do with them, and a strange smell which I find in most Chinese supermarkets, I really love shopping there. It's super fun to explore the shop full of unusual stuff. But I'm kind of scared to buy something I'm not familiar with so I usually choose something I know. Bean thread noodles, Bean sprouts and Teriyaki sauce is what I really love. And here's a simple dish with these 3 awesome Chinese ingredients. If you're not used to Chinese food, don't be scared. This recipe is super simple. Aaand it's probably my favourite dish now. Really, after I made this, I fell in love with mung bean noodles even more!

Bean Thread Noodle & Carrot Stir-Fry 

2 tbsp oil
100g bean thread noodles 
1 medium onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot (140g), thinly sliced
1/2 chili pepper, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground ginger
A handful of bean sprouts
salt, to taste
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2-3 tbsp Teriyaki sauce (I used this)

1) Pour some boiling water over the noodles and let sit for 3-5 minutes. Remove from hot water and rinse through with cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain completely.

2) In a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add onion and cook until lightly browned and softened. Add garlic, carrot, chili pepper, ground ginger and salt. Cover and cook for a few minutes, over medium heat, until carrots are softened. Add bean sprouts, sesame seeds and noodles. Stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Add Teriyaki sauce and sesame seeds.

3) Serve immediately and enjoy!

Serves 2

Recipe by collecting memories

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Falafels with Tahini Sauce

I'm obsessed with falafels. Seriously. I'm obsessed with food in general but falafels have always been my favourite thing. It's strange I've never made them at home before! I guess I didn't want to spend a lot of time soaking chickpeas, grinding everything, refrigerating, frying etc. But, surprisingly, it didn't take as much time as I thought. The only time-consuming thing was making the Tahini sauce but I wanted to make everything by myself and not use store-bought products. Another reason why I've never tried making them is that I try to avoid deep-frying food. Let's be honest, when you order something at a restaurant or somewhere else, you don't think about the amount of oil used to make food because you simply don't see it. But for falafels, I can make an exception. It's worth it!

Falafels with Tahini Sauce

1 cup (220g) dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
1 small onion
4 cloves garlic
3 tbsp fresh parsley
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp flour
pinch black pepper
Oil, for frying

Tahini Paste
100g sesame seeds, lightly toasted
1 tbsp oil

Tahini Sauce
Tahini paste (recipe above)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp honey
3 tbsp (45ml) lemon juice
4 tbsp (60ml) water
1 tsp salt

lettuce, chopped
tomato, sliced
onion, sliced

1) First, make the Tahini paste: add sesame seeds into your food processor and process until it starts turning into a paste. Add oil and pulse for a few minutes until it's smooth.

2) To make Tahini sauce, add all the ingredients into your food processor and pulse a few times until smooth. Set aside.

3) To make Falafels: put all the ingredients into your food processor and process until chickpeas look like tiny grits. You don't want to turn this mixture into a paste. Test if the dough is fine by taking a piece of dough and trying to form it into a ball. If it holds together, stop mixing. Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes.

4) Heat oil in a pot or a saucepan. If you have a thermometer, make sure the temperature is 180C (350F) degrees. Form little balls and fry for about 4-6  minutes or until nicely brown. Drain on paper towels. 

5) Serve with tahini sauce and salad (and some pita bread, if you like). Enjoy!

Recipe by collecting memories


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