Apple Cinnamon Crunch Bars

Apple & Cinnamon Crunch BarsI don’t know if it is the abrupt change in temperature,  a symptom of the third trimester, or my obsession with the Great British Bake Off, but I am on such a baking kick at the moment! These Apple Cinnamon Crunch Bars are my latest creation, and they are so delicious.

Apple & Cinnamon Crunch BarsApple & Cinnamon Crunch BarsLike everything I bake, I reduced the refined sugar content to a minimum, and used a wholegrain flour. Plus you can guarantee they are simple to make because I don’t have the patience for any other type of baking! The first time I made these bars, I simply sprinkled a little brown sugar and cinnamon on top. Kirk, my resident taste tester, suggested making the topping crunchy as well as using the brown star and cinnamon. He was spot on, the nutty oat topping make this cake bar doubly satisfying!

Apple & Cinnamon Crunch BarsApple & Cinnamon Crunch BarsOther than baking, I have spent this week starting to get organized for the arrival of our little man. Suddenly it seems JUST around the corner, and I feel like we have so much left to do! Usually I see baking as kitchen-therapy, maybe this time I’m procrastination-baking? Either way, I hope you will share in some baked good love and make these beauties, let me know if you try them!

Apple & Cinnamon Crunch BarsPS. Are you Brits watching the Great British Bake Off? Who are you rooting for? My fave is Nancy!

Apple Cinnamon Crunch Bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Wholewheat apple cake bars sweetened with maple syrup, with a crunchy walnut oat cinnamon topping!
Author:
Recipe type: Baked Goods
Serves: 16 small squares
Ingredients
  • Bars:
  • 1 cup wholewheat flour
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅔ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted (or other flavourless oil)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups grated apple (about two medium apples, I used gala)
  • Crunchy Topping:
  • ¼ cup chopped walnut
  • 1 tbsp oats
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
Method
  1. Preheat Oven to 350F/175C
  2. Grease a 9x9 cake pan
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt
  4. In a large bowl mix maple syrup, coconut oil until fully combined, next beat in the egg and vanilla
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir until combined
  6. Fold in the grated apple
  7. Pour the mixture into the greased pan
  8. In a small bowl, combine the walnuts, oats, brown sugar, coconut oil, cinnamon, sprinkle on the nut-oat mix on top of the cake mixture
  9. Pop in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean

Notes

Adapted from TexanErin.

Pumpkin, Pecan & Cranberry Granola

Pumpkin, Pecan & Cranberry Granola- Emma's Little Kitchen

I’m fairly certain I saw an amber coloured leaf fall from a tree branch this week. I am taking this as my official cue that it is ok to share this Pumpkin, Pecan & Cranberry Granola recipe with you… Ok maybe I’m jumping the gun a little bit, but once you make a batch of this gently spiced, toasty, healthy granola, I’m sure you will thank me.

Pumpkin, Pecan & Cranberry Granola- Emma's Little KitchenPumpkin, Pecan & Cranberry Granola- Emma's Little Kitchen

The pumpkin bandwagon is one of those American trends that I have wholeheartedly embraced. I had certainly eaten pumpkin before I moved here, usually in soup form, but living in the USA opened my eyes to the endless possibilities for pumpkin- scones, bread, cake, pancakes, latte’s, smoothies, GRANOLA. The list is endless, you Americans love your pumpkin!

Pumpkin, Pecan & Cranberry Granola- Emma's Little KitchenPumpkin, Pecan & Cranberry Granola- Emma's Little Kitchen

I have several pumpkin recipes at various stages of testing in my kitchen at the moment, so watch this space for more pumpkin love soon. In the meantime, lets get stuck into this granola! It is oat-based with a little raw quinoa for extra crunch and nutty flavour. The pecans are lightly toasted (YUM!), and the dry ingredients are baked in a maple sweetened spiced pumpkin mixture. As a final touch I mix in dried cranberries, they look so beautiful amongst the warm orange color of the granola, and add a little tang. Paired with yoghurt, milk or even eaten raw, this is may be the perfect breakfast to see you through those crisp autumn mornings just around the corner.

Pumpkin, Pecan & Cranberry Granola- Emma's Little Kitchen

Happy (almost!) Autumn! I hope you love this granola as much as I do!

Pumpkin, Pecan & Cranberry Granola
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups oats
  • ½ cup raw quinoa
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla exrrtact
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 300F/150C
  2. Spread oats, quinoa and pecans on a parchment lined baking pan
  3. Toast for ten minutes, mixing once
  4. Remove from the oven and transfer into a large bowl, set aside. Turn the heat up to
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, maple syrup, vanilla, pumpkin, spices and salt
  6. Pour the wed ingredients over the dry, and mix until thoroughly combined
  7. Spread the mixture back onto the baking sheet and bake for an additional 20 minutes
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, mix in the cranberries and break up any larger chunks that have formed
  9. Store in an airtight container.

Notes

Adapted from Skinny Taste’s Skinny Pumpkin Granola

 

Chocolate & Coconut Energy Bars

Chocolate & Coconut Quinoa Energy Bars

Hello, and Happy September! Are you ready to hear about my latest obsession? Let me introduce you to these Chocolate & Coconut Energy Bars… Yum! I have been whipping up batch after batch of these beauties, and I am still craving them. They are healthy and satiating enough to be enjoyed as a quick breakfast, but taste indulgent enough to be enjoyed for dessert. More often than not I would nibble them at my desk for a mid morning snack. Like I said, obsessed.

Chocolate & Coconut Quinoa Energy BarsThey are very easy to make and come together quickly too! Start by toasting some oats and coconut until golden and deliciously nutty…

Chocolate & Coconut Quinoa Energy Bars

Mix in some warm almond butter, honey or agave and vanilla, add some quinoa and flax…

Chocolate & Coconut Quinoa Energy Bars

And finally spread a nice layer of dark chocolate on top and pop in the fridge. Et voila! Yummy scrummy Chocolate Coconut Energy Bars are your for the taking!

Chocolate & Coconut Quinoa Energy Bars

Enjoy!

Chocolate Quinoa Energy Bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 16 mini squares
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cup raw oats
  • ¾ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ½ cup raw quinoa
  • ¼ cup ground flax seeds
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup honey (agave or maple syrup if vegan
  • ¾ cup almond butter (substitute peanut butter if desired)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup dark or semi sweet chocolate chips
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C
  2. Spread oats and coconut evenly on a baking sheet, toast for 15-20 minutes stirring once
  3. Meanwhile, grind the quinoa using a food processor, blender of coffee grinder
  4. Transfer ground quinoa into a large bowl, add the ground flax seeds, sunflower seeds, cinnamon and salt, stir to combine
  5. Once the toasted oats and coconut are ready, add to the bowl and stir again
  6. In a small saucepan, melt the honey (or agave/maple syrup), almond butter, and vanilla extract together until smooth
  7. Add to the bowl and mix well, the consistency will be thick!
  8. Grease a 9x9 inch pan (I like to use a little coconut oil for the job), and press the mixture into the pan evenly
  9. Melt the chocolate chips in a small saucepan over a low heat, or in the microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring in-between
  10. Spread the melted chocolate in an even layer over the oat mixture in the pan
  11. Pop into the fridge for 20-30 minutes until set
  12. I like to cut mine into 16 mini squares

 

 

Strawberry, Watermelon & Chia Smoothie

Strawberry, Watermelon & Chia Smoothie- Emma's Little Kitchen

Are you ready for one last hurrah? One last Summer recipe before we turn our attention  to pumpkins and root vegetables?!

Strawberry, Watermelon & Chia Smoothie- Emma's Little Kitchen Strawberry, Watermelon & Chia Smoothie- Emma's Little Kitchen

Here you go! This is a yummy, light smoothie made from strawberries, watermelon, coconut water and chia seeds. It is so refreshing and full of good stuff that I found myself making it every other day in the past few months.

Strawberry, Watermelon & Chia Smoothie- Emma's Little Kitchen

I know, I know, I should have told you about it ages ago. But better late than never, yeah? Enjoy lovelies!

Strawberry, Watermelon & Chia Smoothie- Emma's Little Kitchen

 

Strawberry, Watermelon & Chia Smoothie
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Strawberry, watermelon & chia smoothie, the perfect drink for summer!
Author:
Recipe type: Drink
Serves: 2 generously
Ingredients
  • 3 cups watermelon, diced
  • 1 cup strawberries, stems removed and sliced
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 2 tbsp honey or agave nectar (optional)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
Method
  1. Put all of the ingredients except for the chia seeds into a blender and blend until smooth
  2. Stir in the chia seeds with a spoon and serve

 

Spinach & Mushroom Crepes with Balsamic Tomato Jam

Spinach & Mushroom Crepes with Balsamic Tomato Jam- Emma's Little Kitchen

I am leaving for Houston tomorrow. The purpose of this trip is to help my husband move back to home to Michigan now that his assignment is finally wrapped up. Of course by “help” I mean doing no heavy lifting, demanding toilet breaks every hour (ish), and torturing him by setting “Concept Albums” to shuffle (side note- if you really want to mess with my husband, do this with a Sonic Youth Album).  Aaanyway, preparing for this little trip got me thinking about the last time I journeyed down South. Along the way we stopped at St Louis for the night. The next morning we dined at a fantastic creperie called “Rooster“, and I munched on some fab spinach, mushroom and goat cheese crepes. They were so good, I wanted to recreate my own version when I returned home.

pinach & Mushroom Crepes with Balsamic Tomato Jam- Emma's Little Kitchenpinach & Mushroom Crepes with Balsamic Tomato Jam- Emma's Little Kitchen

Last week I feel like I perfected the recipe. Again I borrowed 100 Days of Real Food‘s wholewheat crepe recipe, but I omitted the honey and vanilla for a more savory taste. The version I had in St Louis came with a spiced tomato jam, but I opted for a balsamic tomato jam instead. I find the balsamic tomato jam adds the perfect sweetness and tang to cut through the rich creamy goat cheese- YUM so delicious! Sometimes, if I’m feeling ambitious,  I will make extra crepes and extra tomato jam for the week ahead. I stuff the crepes with berries and yoghurt, or bananas and nutella, and I use the tomato jam for a cheese toastie (transatlantic translation: toastie is English for grilled cheese… now you know!).

pinach & Mushroom Crepes with Balsamic Tomato Jam- Emma's Little Kitchen

If you have never made crepes before, sometimes they can be tricky to perfect. Expect a few blips as you are getting the hang of it. Just keep them very thin, use a good pan, and resist the urge to flip until they are nicely cooked on one side. You will LOVE these, promise!

pinach & Mushroom Crepes with Balsamic Tomato Jam- Emma's Little Kitchen

Spinach & Mushroom Crepes with Balsamic Tomato Jam
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Beautiful savory wholewheat crepes stuffed with spinach, mushroom and goat cheese, then topped with a sweet balsamic tomato jam.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast/Dinner
Cuisine: Loosely French
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For the Crepes:
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 cup wholewheat flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 tbsp melted butter, plus more for cooking
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • For the Filling:
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • ½ cup soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • For the Balsamic Jam:
  • 6 medium-large tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion (preferably red), finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
Method
  1. Start by making the jam: place the tomatoes in a large bowl, pour boiling water over the top of the tomatoes, making sure they are fully immersed, and let them sit for 30 seconds to a minute. Carefully drain the tomatoes, and slip the skins off. Dice the flesh, and set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and garlic, and cook gently for about 5 minutes until softened.
  3. Add the remaining tomato jam ingredients to the saucepan, stir, and simmer uncovered gently for about 40 minutes while you prepare the crepes and the filling. At the end all the liquid should have evaporated, and you will be left with a sticky jam
  4. Next prepare the Crepes: Put all the crepe ingredients in the blender, blend to mix, and let the batter stand for about 15 minutes to thicken
  5. Melt a small pat of butter in an 8 inch frying pan over medium heat, swirl around so that the pan is evenly greased
  6. Pour a little batter into the pan and swirl around so the batter covers the bottom of the pan in a thin layer, cook for roughly a minute until the batter is set and golden brown on one side, flip and cook the second site until golden brown
  7. Repeat until all of the batter is used, you should be left with about 12 crepes. Keep crepes warm in a warm oven (or pop them in the microwave to reheat when all of your crepes are ready)
  8. Meanwhile, make the spinach and mushroom filling: Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the onion and fry for a few minutes until softened, add the garlic and cook for a minute more.
  9. Add the sliced mushrooms to the pan and sauté for about 3 minutes, you want them to be cooked but retain a little bite and texture
  10. Add thyme and spinach, and allow the spinach to wilt in the pan while gently stirring
  11. If the filling is ready long before the crepes and jam, set aside and reheat in the microwave or pan if needed
  12. Finally, assemble the crepes: Take a crepe and stuff it with a few spoons of spinach and mushroom mixture, top with a little goat cheese, and roll up. Drizzle with the tomato jam and EAT!

Notes:

Crepe Recipe adapted from 100 Days of Real Food Wholewheat Crepes.

Balsamic Tomato Jam adapted from Delia Smith.

Roast Red Pepper & Cashew Soup

Roast Red Pepper & Cashew Soup- Emma's Little Kitchen

Hello friends! Can you forgive me for my little blog hiatus last week? I spent last weekend with two of my favourite people in the world- my husband and my little sis. Consequently I was having FAR too much fun to cook, let alone photograph. Am I forgiven?! Ok, good.

Roast Red Pepper & Cashew Soup- Emma's Little Kitchen

As you know, my hubby has been living in a different city for the Summer, so seeing him was obviously wonderful. We haven’t seen one another for two months now, and last time I saw him there was barely a bump to speak of, now I’m looking positively rotund…! We also found out that our baby is a he! Very exciting indeed, I feel like I am getting to know him a little more every day and I can’t believe how fast the time is flying.

Roast Red Pepper & Cashew Soup- Emma's Little Kitchen

I saw my little sissie last month when I was in England, but it was lovely to spend some quality time with her in the US. Plus, my pup Dexter adores her, so he was in heaven last week. My sis is on a ridiculously fun road trip across America, her last hurrah before she begins teacher training in the Autumn, I was pretty flattered to be squeezed into her plans! All three of us really wanted to relax, so we resisted the temptation to push ourselves into any kind of heavily scheduled itinerary, instead we ate a lot of food, slept, spent some time at the beach, and just relaxed. It was fab.

Roast Red Pepper & Cashew Soup- Emma's Little Kitchen

I really have no clever segway to take me from my lazy weekend to this Roast Red Pepper & Cashew soup, so I suppose I should just jump in and tell you how marvelous it is. Friends, this soup is to die for! It is creamy, aromatic, and ridiculously abundant in flavour.  There is a little sweetness, a little spice, a little tang, and even a little smokiness. Cashew nuts are blended with water to create a cashew cream, delicious red peppers are roasted to perfection, and both are mixed with tangy tomatoes and spices to make something truly magical. The lemon and parsley, though optional, are highly recommended as they give a little freshness to this otherwise creamy soup. We have been having a pretty cool summer here in Michigan, so a warm bowl of soup is still still very welcome. However, I have frozen a little stash in my freezer for those cool Autumn days just around the corner…

Roast Red Pepper & Cashew Soup- Emma's Little Kitchen

Enjoy!

Roast Red Pepper & Cashew Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 4 red bell peppers, deseeded and cut into quarters
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups raw cashew nuts
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp dried dill
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp dried cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 14.5oz/410g tin of tomatoes
  • juice of half a lemon (optional)
  • Fresh parsley (optional)
  • salt and pepper (optional)
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 400F/200C
  2. Toss the quartered red peppers with 2 tbsp of olive oil and lay on a baking sheet
  3. Roast for about 20 minutes until tender, and the edges start to blacken slightly, set aside
  4. Add the cashews and water to a blender, blend until smooth, set aside
  5. Warm remaining tbsp of olive oil in a large pan over medium-low heat
  6. Add onions and sauté for a few minutes until softened
  7. Add celery and cook for five more minutes, stirring occasionally so the vegetables don't catch the bottom of the pan
  8. Add the garlic and spices, cook for just a minute
  9. Add the roasted peppers along with all the oil they were roasted in, toss will to give the peppers a good coating of spice
  10. Add the tomatoes and cashew cream to the pan, stir until fully combined
  11. Bring to a simmer for about ten minutes until everything is heated through
  12. Return the soup to the blender, and blend (in batches if necessary) until smooth, or use a hand blender (be careful when blending hot food!!!)
  13. Return the soup to the pan and warm through if eating immediately
  14. Adjust the seasoning to taste, and add a splash more liquid if the soup is looks a little thick
  15. Squeeze in fresh lemon (optional but recommended!) and garnish with fresh parsley

Notes:

Adapted from The Kitchn’s Creamy Vegan Cashew Tomato Soup

I heartily recommend you serve this with some homemade bread!

This soup freezes very well, so double up stock your freezer with an emergency stash!

Quick Seed & Oat Loaf

Quick Seed & Oat Loaf- Emma's Little Kitchen

There are one or two things in life that I am pretty particular about. Coffee (freshly ground, strong black. Please, no Keurigs!), cheese (no kraft singles…ever!), and then there’s bread. I love bread, and if I’m going to eat it, I prefer it to be wholegrain, hearty, full of texture, and most importantly, delicious.

Quick Seed & Oat Loaf- Emma's Little Kitchen Quick Seed & Oat Loaf- Emma's Little Kitchen

I tend to buy our bread from one of two local bakers. By doing it this way I think I sidestep a lot of the “nasties” you might find in commercial shop-bought loaves. I have good intentions of making my own, but then I baulk at the time, effort and forethought that would require. The other day a solution magically presented itself. I was flicking through one of my favourite old cook books and I stumbled across a recipe for a “Lazy Loaf” that I had never noticed before.

Quick Seed & Oat Loaf- Emma's Little Kitchen

Instantly excited at the prospect of freshly baked bread, I took a quick survey of the kitchen cupboards. The original recipe called for a couple of cups of muesli, something I don’t usually keep in. Instead, I opted to replace the prepared meusli with oats and a mixture of seeds, in lieu of bread flour, I used regular wholewheat. Within minutes my quick seed and oat loaf was born! Now admittedly the cooking time is not quick, so don’t attempt this recipe unless you can spend an hour or two pottering about your house. Happily, it only takes 5 minutes to throw together and then you just have to exercise a little patience while your home fills up with the smell of freshly baking bread. Bliss!

Quick Seed & Oat Loaf- Emma's Little Kitchen

This loaf is as nutritionally dense as it is, well, dense. Full to the brim of whole wheat flour, oats and a variety of seeds it is both filling and bolstering. I like to dunk it into soup, or toast it and spread with a little jam or marmite… yum! However you like your bread I hope you will add this easy one to your repertoire!

Quick Seed & Oat Loaf- Emma's Little Kitchen

Quick Seed & Oat Loaf
 
A delicious and hearty "lazy loaf", freshly baked bread, no kneading required!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2¾ cups wholewheat flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • ¼ cup flax seeds
  • ¼ cup poppy seeds
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • 2½ tsp rapid rise yeast (1 sachet)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup (250ml) 2% or semi skimmed milk
  • 1 cup (250ml) water
Method
  1. Mix flour, oats, seeds , yeast and salt in a large bowl
  2. Pour in milk and water, and mix thoroughly to make a sticky porridge-like dough
  3. Smooth the dough into a greased, lined dough tin and place in the cold oven
  4. Turn the temperature to 225F (110C), and bake for 45 minutes, after 45 minutes turn up the temperature to 350F (175C) and bake for another hour, until the loaf is baked through and makes a hollowish sound when you tap the bottom of the tin!
  5. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack

Notes:

Get creative with your seed selection, pumpkin seeds would be a wonderful addition to this bread, maybe add a variety of nut or some dried fruit!

Make this vegan: use a non-dairy milk in place of milk

This freezes well, and stays pretty fresh for about 3 days.

Adapted from Nigella Lawson.

Mirin Glazed Tofu with Bok Choy & Shitake

Mirin Glazed Tofu- Emma's Little Kitchen

I have spoken before about my lifelong quest to make tofu taste really good, and today I want to tell you about another one of my tricks! One of my favourite ways to come up with delicious tofu recipes, is to take inspiration from seafood. Although I do not eat fish myself, I find that many seafood recipes are complimentary to tofu. This Mirin Glazed Tofu is actually adapted from a Mirin Glazed Salmon recipe from one of my faves, Nigella Lawson. Back when I was at university, I cooked all of my meals with my two besties Harriet and Harriet. They would prepare this recipe using salmon, I would have tofu!

Mirin Glazed Tofu- Emma's Little KitchenMirin Glazed Tofu- Emma's Little Kitchen

I like to serve mine up on a bed of stir fried bok choy and shitake mushrooms to make a light, elegant dinner, however rice works wonderfully too as it soaks up some if the tasty juices from the sauce. In her book, Nigella describes this as “the fastest possible way to create a culinary sensation”, and I completely agree. The rich combination of sweet, salty, tender and crisp is so delicious and more importantly, will make you appear very accomplished to dinner guests (with minimum effort!).

Mirin Glazed Tofu- Emma's Little Kitchen

Let me know if you try it!

Mirin Glazed Tofu with Bok Choy & Shitake
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • For the Tofu:
  • 4 tbsp mirin
  • 4 tbsp honey or agave if vegan
  • 4 2tbp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (or other flavourless oil)
  • 1 16oz package of extra firm tofu, drained and down the middle and then into four wedge shapes (see picture above)
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • For the Vegetables:
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 head of boy choy (or 3 baby bok choy) sliced into 1 inch strips, the tender greens separated from the firmer white part
  • 230g/8oz shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • To Garnish (optional):
  • 4-5 spring onions
  • fresh coriander
Method
  1. Cook the tofu:
  2. Mix the mirin, honey and soy sauce in a shallow dish
  3. Place the tofu in the dish, and marinate for a 3-5 minutes on each side
  4. Heat coconut oil in a large pan, when the oil is hot add the tofu and turn the pan down to medium, cook for five minutes and flip over
  5. Add the marinade and continue to cook for 5-6 minutes
  6. Cook the vegetables:
  7. After the tofu has been flipped, and the marinade has been added to the pan, prepare a second frying pan by heating the sesame oil over medium-high heat
  8. Add the garlic and cook for just 30 seconds being careful not to burn it
  9. Add the white parts of the bok choy, and stir fry for about 2 minutes
  10. Add the green parts of the boy choy and the sliced shitake, and cook for another 3 minutes
  11. Remove vegetables and divide between 4 plates, place a tofu wedge on top of each
  12. Quickly, add the rice vinegar to the marinade, and stir a few times to form a sweet, salty glaze
  13. Pour the salty glaze over each tofu wedge
  14. Garnish each plate with coriander and spring onions if desired

Notes:

Adapted from Nigella Lawson.

Chocolate & Courgette Honey Cake

Chocolate & Courgette Honey Cake

The moment that you announce you have a tiny human on the way, is the moment that people suddenly have a lot of questions for you. They vary from the politely inquisitive (When are you due? How are you feeling?!), to the very personal (Were you trying to get pregnant?!), and everything in between (Names? Boy or girl?). Then there is the classic “Do you have any cravings?”.

Chocolate & Courgette Honey Cake- Emma's Little Kitchen Chocolate & Courgette Honey Cake- Emma's Little Kitchen

Well, if it wasn’t obvious where I was going with this, I have been craving CHOCOLATE. Nothing too insane (discounting the time I ate almost an entire 200g bar of Dairy Milk in one sitting… oops), but I am pretty much eating chocolate in some form every day. To try and make things a little healthier for me and the babe, I have been trying to come up with ways to make my chocolate consumption a little more nutritious. That is how I came up with this beautiful Chocolate & Courgette Honey Cake.

Chocolate & Courgette Honey Cake- Emma's Little Kitchen

My friend Emma made me my first Chocolate & Courgette Cake a couple of summers ago. I was dubious from the sound of it, but it was incredible! The courgette makes the cake so unbelievably moist, and surprisingly, the almost tasteless courgette really shines! I wanted to make my cake wholegrain, and if possible reduce the refined sugar to the absolute minimum. So this cake is made with 100% wholewheat pastry flour, organic raw honey, and olive oil. Good grains, better sugars and good fats- win! It is not the sweetest chocolate cake, but it is potent in its chocolateyness and very rich- sort of like eating dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. I found that this also means I only need a smaller slice to satisfy that craving!

Chocolate & Courgette Honey Cake- Emma's Little Kitchen

It comes together quickly too, mix the wet ingredients, mix the dry, combine and bake!  I topped the icing with some sliced almonds, mainly for aesthetic reasons, but the texture is very pleasing. I hope you give this one a try, you will fall in love- promise! If this doesn’t tickle your fancy, here are some other healthier chocolate recipes from the World Wide Web that I will be baking up in the next few weeks:

Double Chocolate Banana Bread Oat Bars from Ambitious Kitchen.

Wholegrain Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies from Texanerin.

Nut & Seed Bars with Chocolate Ganache from Running on Real Food

Chocolate & Courgette Honey Cake- Emma's Little KitchenEnjoy!

Chocolate & Courgette Honey Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This gorgeous chocolate courgette cake tastes more indulgent than it is! Made with whole wheat flour, olive oil and sweetened with honey, it is a treat you can feel good about!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • Cake:
  • ¾ cup olive oil (180ml)
  • 1 cup good quality honey (250ml)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup whole milk greek yoghurt (180ml)
  • 2 cups wholewheat pastry flour (290g)
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ (90g) cup dutch process cocoa powder
  • ½ cup (90g) good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 cups courgettes, grated (about 2 medium courgettes)
  • Icing:
  • 1 cup (180g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2-3 tbsp hot water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • handful of sliced almonds (optional)
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C
  2. Grease a 9inch spring form cake tin
  3. Combine olive oil, honey and vanilla in a large bowl (this job will be easier using a cake mixer if you have one!)
  4. Once combined, stir in the eggs and greek yoghurt, set aside.
  5. In a second large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder making sure to break up any clumps with a fork or the back of a spoon
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, stir until just combined, fold in the courgettte and chocolate chips
  7. Pour the batter into cake tin
  8. Bake for 55-60 minutes, the center might still seem very slightly soft but thats ok! When the cake is ready, remove from the oven and allow to cool for ten minutes in the cake tin
  9. Remove from the cake tin and allow to cook completely on a cooling rack before icing
  10. Make the icing: Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave in 20 second bursts stirring between each time until melted. Stir in the vanilla and hot water to make the desired consistency.
  11. Spread the icing evenly on the cake and sprinkle with sliced almonds if desired

Notes

Courgette is the English name for Zucchini :)

Recipe inspired by this one from BBC Good Food, and adapted from this one by Texanerin. Icing borrowed from this recipe on Cookie and Kate.

For more chocolate recipes on Emma’s Little Kitchen, click HERE!

For more healthy bakes on Pinterest, click HERE!

Cucumber, Edamame & Quinoa Salad

Cucumber, Edamame & Quinoa Salad- Emmas Little Kitchen

Yesterday I was sat in my weekly staff meeting chatting about upcoming projects with my colleagues. Suddenly I realised that it will be August next week. AUGUST! Where does the time fly? And why has my summer been so devoid of summery activity?!

Cucumber, Edamame & Quinoa Salad- Emmas Little Kitchen Cucumber, Edamame & Quinoa Salad- Emmas Little Kitchen

Hey, no complaints really. I have managed to squeeze in two holidays after all… but almost no beach time, no barbecues and only one tiny ice-cream! Deary me. I decided then and there that I would have to make the most of the next few weeks and clock some serious summer fun, because before I know it, I could be in another Polar Vortex (please god, no!).

Cucumber, Edamame & Quinoa Salad- Emmas Little Kitchen

Barbecues and beach time aside, one thing I have certainly enjoyed this summer is the seasons produce. Today I have another offering for you- Cucumber, Edamame and Quinoa salad with a Miso Vinaigrette. So good! So good for you! I love grainy salads for the obvious reason that they fill me up for longer. This one is no exception, yet the cucumber, greens and ginger keep things crisp light and fresh. Plus, the combination of edamame and quinoa make this a protein bomb.

Cucumber, Edamame & Quinoa Salad- Emmas Little Kitchen

I encourage you to make a big batch tonight, thus freeing yourself up to make the most of the remaining long summer days… enjoy!!

Cucumber, Edamame & Quinoa Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A grain based salad with asian overtones, this cucumber, edamame & quinoa salad is perfect for Summer
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 3 cups (750ml) low sodium vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp miso paste
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1½ tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 2 tbsp sweet picked sushi ginger
  • 1½ cups (250g) uncooked quinoa
  • 1 medium cucumber cut into ¼ inch semi circles
  • 1 cup (150g) shelled edamame
  • 2 cups (85g) mixed baby greens
Method
  1. Take ¼ cup (60ml) of vegetable stock and add it to the blender along with the miso paste, rice vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil. Pulse a couple of times until mixed and then with the blender running, slowly add the coconut oil to make a creamy dressing. Add the pickled ginger and pulse a couple of times to chop. Set aside
  2. Take the remaining vegetable stock a simmer over a medium heat, add the quinoa, cover and cook for about 15 minutes until the quinoa is tender (but retains a little bite!), and the liquid is absorbed.
  3. Remove the quinoa from the heat and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Give it a quick fluff with a fork, and allow it to cool completely (about 30 minutes)
  4. In a large bowl toss the quinoa with the cucumber, edamame, and greens
  5. Serve with dressing, and dress to taste

Notes

Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine June/July 2014

Make sure you use gluten free soy sauce to make it completely gluten free

If like me you buy your edamame frozen, 1 10oz/280g bag should yield about a cup of shelled edamame

Make sure the quinoa is COMPLETELY cooled before you toss it with the salad mix, otherwise you will have a sad, soggy salad on your hands!