Technology Tuesdays: Air-popped Popcorn

I’ve been eating popcorn on and off in the cinema lately.  I know I shouldn’t –  but I can’t help it.  Sometimes, I make it at home, my stove-popcorn style.  However,  the popcorn only pops with at least 3 tbsp of oil!  Ok, that’s to feed two very hungry people. LOL 🙂

So I went on amazon and decided to order a fat-free popcorn maker.  It was 20 pounds with free shipping.  Really a good deal! It just arrived – and I couldn’t resist but try some!

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Thought I’d add the pamphlet – incase anyone wants to order it too (all the info is on there!)

Pros:

  • Fat Free
  • Takes less space than my blender (it’s tiny)
  • Pops the corn in 3 minutes
  • Minimal clean up needed (just wiping with damp cloth and washing the measuring spoon)
  • Melt your butter in the same measuring spoon as the kernels (ONLY ONE SPOON TO WASH!)

Cons:

  • Only a small quantity can be made (about 4 cups of popped corn).  We eat a lot. LOL.  It’s good for portion control though!
  • Wait 12 minutes for it to completely cool down before a second batch can be made
  • Not as crunchy as popcorn made with oil

Having said all this, I would recommend it.  It makes a very easy snack when you are in a peckish mood. 🙂  Also, popcorn is rich in fibre and low in fat.  It’s oil-free with this device!

TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY?  TO BUY

xx

B

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B’s Crispy Kale Recipe

Hope everyone had a good weekend.  Somehow weekends always bring about “cheat” days for those who are dieting!  I know they do for me 😉  So here’s to some healthy food *cheers* 🙂

Crispy Kale is delectable and very nutritious!  Kale is a superfood – a food often eaten by gorillas (surprisingly!).  They are packed with nutrients such as:  Vitamin K, A and C.  It also has copper, calcium and manganese.  Actually the list goes on but these are the significant nutrients in Kale.  However, always remember to buy ORGANIC KALE as you wouldn’t want to be eating pesticide instead of nutrients.  The detrimental effects would largely outweigh the benefits of it being a healthy vegetable in the first place!

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Make sure to trim all the stems out and break kale into pieces…

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Dry the leaves properly…

ImageLay out in a baking sheet ensuring that leaves are spread out and not overlapping…

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Crispy and flavourful – right out of the oven! 🙂

My recipe featured on Almonds & Raisins:

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Hope you guys like it! x

B’s Crunchy Chickpea Bites

I’ve been reading about roasted chickpeas online as a healthy snack and have been meaning to try them forever.  The final push was when I saw a post by Celeste and thought OK,  I should give it a go!  Her recipe was completely different than mine but i might try hers out too!  I made mine a bit spicy and with indian infused flavours 🙂  It came out delish so much so that I forgot to take a picture of the final product.  I will add it to this post when I re-make it.  This just goes to say how yummy it was that I was completely thrown off-track.

Benefits of Chickpeas:

  • High Fibre content
  • Contains Iron
  • Source of Protein
  • Contains Manganese
  • Low GI-index, controls sugar and keeps you full longer (good for weight loss too!)

These are few motivating factors for you to consumer chickpeas as a vegetarian!

Here’s what I did:

ImageMixed all the flavours on dry chickpeas…

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Lay them out on a baking sheet, making sure they don’t overlap… BAKE AWAY AND EAT!

B’s Crunchy Chickpea Bites

Makes: One big bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas  (drained, washed and dried)
  • 1/2 tsp oil
  • Flavourings: 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 1/2 tsp cumin powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, salt & pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 C.
  2. Wash the chickpeas and drain them.  Dry thoroughly on paper towel.
  3. Mix chickpeas with flavourings and oil.
  4. Roast for 35 – 45 minutes, depending on how crunchy you want it.  (I roasted mine for 40 mins)

Notes:  Make sure the chickpeas are DRY.  If not it would result in the bites being soggy rather than crunchy!!

Enjoy this fibre-rich low fat snack!  It’s much better than munching on crisps and gives you similar satisfaction 🙂

xx

B

Easy Fresh Home-made Artisan Bread…!

We have stopped buying bread in our house and I make it instead.  When I told my brother, he implied I have become a miser. It was pretty funny comment, I was like huh?  NO!  I don’t bake bread to save money. YES, it is a cheaper alternative but really switching to home-made bread is not going to get me haute couture with the saving!  I would need to bake 20000 loaves to justify a LV bag (I’m not into justifying my purchases btw!) hahaha.  Why do I bake bread?  It’s so tasty and so easy. Usually yeast creeps me out.  I have yeast-o-phobia – the whole bubbling process makes me sick.  However,  I came across this recipe and the simplicity of it made me want to try it.  The recipe was adapted from Artisan Bread in 5 minutes!  I changed the flour from all-purpose to strong white as that’s what I had on hand.  I loved it!  Will be trying multi-seed next time.

Advantages of home-made bread:

  • YUMMY (most important!)
  • Healthy – the recipe has zero oil.  Compare this 4-ingredient bread recipe to any store-bought that has 20 ingredients which are unnecessary! (It’s alarming if you read the ingredient list)
  • Cost-effective (20000 loaves baked can buy you an LV BAG LOL)
  • Your house will smell of fresh bread…Mmmmmm.

WARNING:  AFTER BAKING THIS, THERE’S NO GOING BACK!! A picture of my beautiful baked loaf…

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Doesn’t that just look gorgeous?  The first time I baked it, I was amazed too.  How can something that simple to whip up, be that mouth-watering? Hmmmmm….

Here are a few snaps to demonstrate how I made it…

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Mix the ingredients together for 2 minutes… Flour, Yeast, Salt and Lukewarm Water.  Amazingly easy. 😉

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Cover with a foil and keep it away for 5 hours.

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After 5 hours, it will look like this!  It’s extremely slimy to work with (on the first day)… But this is the dough!

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Yummy… Bread slices pan fried. OMG. I have died and gone to heaven at this point.

I am typing this recipe by memory btw!  This emphasises on how easy it is, and how often I bake it!

EASY HOME-MADE ARTISAN BREAD

Makes: Enough 2 big loaves or 3 small loaves

Ingredients:

  • 6 1/2 cup strong white flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
  • 3 cups lukewarm water

Method:

  1. Mix wall the ingredients together with a wooden spoon in a big bowl (as it will double in size later)
  2. Cover with a foil for 5 hours.
  3. Use a knife to divide dough into half (I’d recommend a day after as it’s slimy on the first day!  Hard to work with, but not impossible!)
  4. Form a ball and cover with flour.
  5. Grease a small roasting tin with butter and place dough there for half an hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 235 C.
  7. With a knife cut 3 lines in the bread (so air can escape while baking!).  Also dust a bit of flour for aesthetics.
  8. Bake for 33-34 mins and leave to cool on a wire rack.  Place some water (about 1 cup) in another roasting tin and put beneath the bread.

Notes:  The dough can stay in the fridge in an airtight container for 2 weeks!  I’ve personally only tried till a week as my husband loves bread!  I prefer making the dough a day in advance as I find the dough much easier to work with.

B’s Easy Coleslaw Recipe

I’ve always wanted to try to make coleslaw – as I know it’s pretty easy but the creaminess of it made me feel it shouldn’t be rendered a salad. LOL 😉  Prior to this recipe I came up with I’ve been buying store bought creamy coleslaw.  I usually like coleslaw without onion and that’s not an option when you buy packaged coleslaw!  So my version is healthier, onion-less and less creamy without compromising the taste.

Firstly, I used a food processor to grate carrots and cabbage:

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And I whisked the dressing together… and tried it to make sure it was the taste I wanted… Hmm.. And adjusted it accordingly!

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I refrigerated it for about 2-3 hours and let the flavours combine properly… 🙂  Doesn’t it look yummy?? 🙂

B’s Easy Coleslaw Recipe

Makes: Enough for 3-4 people as a side 

Ingredients:

  • 2 carrots (grated)
  • 1/2 cabbage head (grated)
  • 6 tbsp ‘lighter than light’ mayonnaise (I buy into marketing! LOL)
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2-3 tbsp water
  • salt, pepper

Method:

  1. Grate the carrots and cabbage finely.
  2. Whisk all the dressing ingredients together.  Taste it once it’s done and adjust accordingly to your taste.  If you do miss the cream, add a few tbsp of cream 🙂
  3. Mix the dressing with the salad and refrigerate!

That was simple!  🙂  Enjoy this nice side with jacket potatoes! 🙂

xx

B

B’s Easy Home-made Peanut Butter

So I finally tried to make home-made creamy peanut butter.  It was awesome!  The creamy texture was incomparable to the store-bought peanut butter.  B had to add it to her recipe blog index!  It was that good and that easy!  Not to mention, obviously a healthier alternative to store-bought peanut butter which contains preservatives.

First step:

ImageBlend ingredients together for around 5-10 minutes depending on the power of your food processor.

Final result is a creamy-to-die-for-texture:

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It was simply delectable.  I really loved the texture of it and was amazed how it turned out.  I was skeptical as I saw it blending as it started off grainy.  I couldn’t help but wonder how this texture would be achieved.  HAHA!  I’ve read that peanuts release their own oils after being blended for a long time – I guess seeing is believing!

B’s Easy Home-made Peanut Butter

Makes:  1 small bowl

Ingredients:

  • 90g Peanuts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Method:

  1. Blend peanuts and oil in a food processor.
  2. After a few minutes scrape down the extras to ensure even consistency.
  3. Blend for about 5-10 minutes depending on the power of your machine!

Note:  You can store this for a few days without refrigeration.  However, if you are in a hot country I would eat it up fast! LOL.  Remember that unlike store-bought peanut butter this has no preservatives so it doesn’t last as long.  It taste so good that it anyways won’t last so long in your kitchen!

B is exiting her kitchen for the day! More in B’s Kitchen to come.

xx

B

B’s Easy 3 ingredient Ice-cream : Banana, Nutella & Peanut Butter

The title gives away the whole post 😉  I’ve made Frozen Banana Ice-cream before (just blend the frozen banana – I’ve blogged about it here).  It’s a simple vegetarian ice-cream with added flavours.  Delectable. Today I wanted a tiny bit of Nutella and Peanut Butter in it… I got started on whipping this up! 😉

Got my ingredients ready:

ImagePut it in the food processor with a bit of milk and the additional flavourings:

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The end product – creamy yummy… delish… HEALTHY… Well relatively healthy, much better than an ice-cream scoop!  So here it is… The end product:

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Nice creamy texture…photo (11)

This one has more chocolate! 🙂

B’s Easy 3 ingredient Ice-cream : Banana, Nutella & Peanut Butter

Makes:  One Scoop

Ingredients:

  • 1 Frozen Banana (cut into pieces prior to freezing)
  • 1-2 tbsp Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Nutella
  • 1/2 tsp Peanut Butter (home-made it better, check out my recipe here)

Method:

  1. Blend frozen banana pieces in a powerful blender or food processor.
  2. Add a bit of milk if needed.
  3. Add Nutella and Peanut Butter.
  4. Keep blending till smooth consistency is achieved.
  5. Serve immediately (Yes immediately!  Do not underestimate the melting power of frozen banana! haha)

Hope you enjoy it!  It’s helping me overcome this terribly hot weather in London.

xx

B

B’s Eggless Oven Pancake Topped With Frozen Banana (ice-cream)

Me again 🙂  Today I thought I’ll blog again – another healthy recipe to keep the vegetarians going!  This oven pancake is eggless and puffs up in the oven – thus there’s no flipping required!  Easy treat with minimal ingredients.  Recently over my eggless home-made scones, a friend and I were having a conversation about eggless baking and she gave me a tip about substituting buttermilk for milk in the recipe and omitting eggs completely.  I had  to give it a go! 

I lined a pyrex dish with baking paper.  This allowed me to omit buttering the dish.  You can slightly butter the paper though.

ImageLooks kind of iffy, but it comes out easy don’t worry!  

The final result (I love this photo- it’s been edited using Snapseed):

ImageThis is a great low-fat treat.  There is NO SUGAR (except for the chocolate sprinkles on top which is minimal if you ask me). Also – the ice-cream is frozen banana which I blended.  That’s it!  Easy!  B’s food is usually quite easy! 

If you haven’t frozen banana before, here are the steps:

  • Peel the banana that is slightly browning
  • Cut it in small pieces
  • Freeze in ziplock
  • Can be frozen till 6 months (I’ve read online, but to be safer I’d say 3 months as I’m not a huge fan of freezing food to begin with)

B’s Eggless Oven Pancake Topped with Frozen Banana (ice-cream)

Bakes: One pancake for 2 people

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk + 1/2 tbsp vinegar (for the buttermilk)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Vanilla essence to taste
  • A bit of butter to butter the tray (can omit this if using baking paper)
  • Frozen Banana
  • Chocolate Sprinkles (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 210 C.
  2. Pour a bit less than 1/2 cup of milk in a measuring cup.  Add 1/2 tbsp of vinegar to it and let it sit for 5 minutes.  This becomes your buttermilk.
  3. Pout milk in a bowl and mix in the flour and salt with a whisk.  Add vanilla essence. 
  4. Don’t overmix as it will lose its fluffiness as a pancake. (Just FYI)
  5. Pour in a pyrex dish lined with baking paper.
  6. Bake for about 30 minutes till it’s golden.
  7. Blend the banana pieces with a tiny bit of milk. 
  8. Top the pancake with the ice-cream and serve!

Enjoy a healthy dessert to beat the summer in London!

xx

B

 

B’s Easy Guacamole (Avocado Spread) Recipe

HOLY MOLY – GUACAMOLE!

I’m trying to go back to my healthy eating regime.  It’s really a challenge with all the visitors that keep coming to London. No guest would like a bowl of salad for a meal or a healthy spread.  But since everyone’s gone for now – I can eat healthy again.

I made a guacamole spread as I had 2 avocados in the fridge and didn’t feel like eating them raw in salad. It’s really very easy for those of you who haven’t made it before!  I leave out onion and garlic just for the added simplicity.  However, you can fancy it up all you want!

Many people mash the avocado up but I prefer it to be a smoother paste.

I blended my ingredients to form a paste:

ImageThe creamy spread after I seasoned it:

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It was lovely!  Tasty and healthy vegetarian food, you can’t go wrong!

B’s Easy Guacamole (Avocado Spread)

Ingredients:

  • 2 avocados (ripened)
  • 4-5 cherry tomatoes
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • Salt and Black Pepper to season

Method:

  • Mash avocado.  Put it into a blender/chopper with cherry tomatoes cut into halves.  Blend till its a creamy paste.
  • Remove into a bowl and season with lemon juice, cumin powder, salt and pepper!

So easy, so tasty, so… there’s just no excuse 🙂

xx

B

Foodie Fridays: B’s Mediterranean Lettuce Cups

Hope everyones doing well.  It’s Friday so I’m sure the weekend makes everyone smile. 🙂

Foodie Fridays have been pretty fatty, should be called Fatty Fridays honestly.  Today was pretty healthy – I have to admit.  Well so far at least!  I had leftover hummus (the link will direct you to my recipe) from yesterday and thought I’d eat it differently.  Had Baby Gem Lettuce in the fridge which made me think of lettuce cups!  Baby Gem Lettuce are the best for lettuce cups as the shape holds very well as opposed to other types of lettuce – just FYI. I strongly recommend it!

hummus cups

Don’t they just look absolutely yummy?  They were better than good enough to eat, as far as the aphorism goes.  Very refreshing for a hot day in London (rare to have hot days here!).  Surprisingly, even my husband loved it for lunch.  For him it was more of a snack to be honest!

B’s Mediterranean Lettuce Cups

Makes: As many as your leftover hummus can fill!

Ingredients:

  • Hummus (home-made) or store bought
  • Baby Gem Lettuce
  • Olives

Method:

  1. Wash lettuce with cold water and assemble in a plate.  Leave it in the fridge for 10 mins if you want it nice and chilled.
  2. Spread hummus on it.  Top it off with olives!
  3. Voila! Eat and enjoy 🙂

So simple.  Yet so delicious and pretty!

xx

B