Red Velvet Cake Recipe - TheWanderingMother Blog

Recipe: The Ultimate Red Velvet Cake

A couple weeks ago I bought these cool silicone bundt cake moulds from Amazon and I can’t get enough of using them. They’re so easy to use and clean – also, two moulds for £13.99 is a bargain! I’ve used them to bake all sorts of cake. I’ve used the swirl one to make coconut and banana cake, marble cake and now I’m using the more traditional-looking Bundt mould (doughnut-ring shape) to make lemon drizzle cake and now, red velvet Bundt cake. Just in time for Mother’s Day too! Initially I was going to make a lemon Bundt cake topped with edible flowers but I’ve missed the delivery for those so I’m opting in for this red beauty instead.

I found out that Bundt cakes are basically the same as standard round cakes. There’s no different in taste – something I used to think was a thing. Their unique doughnut-ring shaped design is pretty much what sets them apart your usual cake so you can use this recipe to make your red velvet cake in a round cake tin, square cake tin, tray bake – whatever you fancy!

Super moist. Super rich. Super yummy!

This rich, red velvet cake is super moist with a velvety texture, thanks to the added buttermilk (more on this later). It’s super-rich but not overly sweet, thanks to high quality cocoa powder and… coffee! More on this secret ingredient later too. And then what makes it super yummy? The deliciously tangy cream cheese frosting that it’s topped off with. If you’re not a fan of cream cheese frosting, no worries because I’ve got you covered with a vanilla buttercream frosting recipe instead. Happy days!

Red Velvet Cake Recipe - The Wandering Mother Blog
A truly decadent cake for people who like their cakes a little different
Red Velvet Cake Recipe - TheWanderingMother
Soft, velvety and moist – just how a red velvet cake should be.

There are LOADS of red velvet cake recipes out there. I’ve been trying out quite a few before learning how to perfect my own version. My ultimate red velvet cake recipe is an adapted version of both RecipeTin Eats and Something Sweet Something Savoury – by selecting bits from each recipe I was able to make something amazing to my taste and liking. Check out the originals below:

The MAGIC ingredients in my red velvet Bundt cake…

Buttermilk

This is an absolute MUST. I’ve made red velvet cake before without buttermilk and it’s okay but it’s more on the sponge cake side instead of the unique texture red velvet has. You can buy buttermilk from the supermarket or alternatively, you can make your own buttermilk mix.

Broma Bakery has an amazing post on how to make your own buttermilk in three different ways. I make mine with milk and lemon juice.

Self-raising flour

A lot of the recipes I see opt for plain flour (all purpose flour) instead of self-raising flour (cake flour). I’ve never been able to make a good red velvet using plain flour. It always seems to comes out really dense. Maybe I need to try it with the baking soda and vinegar combo to get it to fluff-up and rise more. Nevertheless, I like the light and smooth texture I get from using self-raising flour and baking powder so I’ll stick to what I know best on this one.

Food colouring gel or paste NOT liquid

Forever, I’ve been purchasing the little red food colouring gel tubes from the supermarket and kept wondering why my red velvet cake wasn’t as red as the ones we buy from the bakeries and shops. I then came across Sugarflair’s extra red food colouring paste on Amazon and OMG THIS STUFF IS AMAZING! The reviews said you’d only need a small amount and boy they were not wrong. I used 1/2 level teaspoon to get it as red as in my photos. Literally that’s it. I don’t usually make it as red so would use amount 1/4 level teaspoon. I’m sure it’s the same stuff professional bakers use.

PLEASE don’t use liquid. Liquid food colouring works better with liquids or at the most, buttercream frosting. For cakes, you need a paste or gel.

Coffee

This is not a traditional ingredient and no, it’s not going to make your red velvet cake taste like coffee cake. However if you do add too much, it might make your cake taste more like chocolate cake than anything else. You only need a tiny amount and the reason for adding in coffee is because coffee enhances chocolate. This was something new I learnt from Something Sweet Something Savoury’s recipe.

Because we’re not loading up with cocoa powder in a red velvet cake, the chocolatey taste is just too mild – the coffee really brings it out and gives depth to the flavour. Fine instant coffee will do if you don’t (I don’t!) have expresso powder. I use Nescafe’s Azara americano instant coffee because it’s fine like a powder and mixes easily with a bit of water. It also smells amazing and is actually my favourite instant coffee. 🙂

Recipe: Red Velvet Cake | The Wandering Mother Blog
I love the pretty designs of the Bundt cake moulds. They make this cake extra special!

The Ultimate Red Velvet Cake Recipe

This delicious can’t-stop-won’t-stop-eating-it cake will yield about 8 good slices or 6 very generous slices.

Prep time: 20mins
Cooking time: 40-45mins
Cooling time: 30-45mins

Ingredients

For the cake:
200g self raising flour, sifted
200g light brown sugar or golden caster sugar
100g unsalted butter, softened
100ml whole milk + 2 tsp lemon juice (to make the buttermilk)
2 medium/large eggs
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp high quality cocoa powder (I use Green & Blacks organic cocoa powder)
1 tsp fine coffee powder (add with 2 tbsp water)
1/4 tsp of Sugarflair maximum concentrated paste red extra (you can use an alternative red food colouring gel or paste and adjust the measurement accordingly)

For the frosting:
225g icing sugar
100g unsalted butter at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g full-fat soft cream cheese (for cream cheese frosting)
40ml whole milk (for vanilla buttercream frosting)

Method

Prep for buttermilk: add milk into a cup and slowly add in the lemon juice as you stir continuously. It will start to feel a little thicker. Leave to stand for at least 5 mins. If your milk has curdled, don’t be afraid, add a little extra milk then before adding into your cake mix strain it through a sieve.

  1. Preheat your oven to 160’C degrees / gas mark 3 / 320’F degrees and lightly grease your cake tin or silicone mould with a little butter or oil and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, soften the butter then add in the sugar. Mix well until everything has combined – it’ll look like soft buttery sugar dough, almost like cookie dough mix.
  3. Beat your eggs separately before slowly pouring it into your sugar-butter mix. Whisk until you see that a smooth consistency has formed with no lumps but be careful to not over-beat if you’re using an electrical whisk.
  4. Add in the ‘wet’ ingredients – vanilla extract, red colouring, coffee (already mixed with the water) and buttermilk, then whisk until it’s just about mixed in.
  5. Add in the ‘dry’ ingredients – sifted flour, baking powder and cocoa powder, and gently fold into the mix until there’s hardly any lumps. try not over-do it with the mixing here otherwise it can make the cake dense. The batter should feel a little heavy – I find it similar to pancake batter.
  6. Pour into your cake tin or mould. If you’re using a silicone mould, place your mould on a baking try first before pouring to ensure the cake bakes evenly and avoids any spillages as the moulds will feel heavy and wobbly.
  7. Place into the oven on the middle shelf and bake for 40-45mins. Use a wooden skewer or small knife to see if the cake has cooked thoroughly, if not, bake for another 5mins and check again.
  8. Once done, remove from the oven and leave aside for 5-10mins. DO NOT take it out of the silicone mould too soon or you’ll risk it breaking and may be hard to remove. For the silicone mould, pull the sides away from the cake first then place a plate over the top and flip over. Gently press the sides and lift the mould off, it should release very easily.
  9. Allow to cool whilst you prepare your frosting. Remember, whilst your cake is still warm you can’t add the frosting unless you like a runny mess on your plate. Allow the cake to cool in the fridge if you want to speed things up.
  10. To make the frosting – add icing sugar to the room-temp butter and mix well until a smooth paste forms. Add in the vanilla extract and EITHER milk for a vanilla buttercream or add the cream cheese for a cream cheese frosting. With the cream cheese, careful not to over-beat as it will result in a runny consistency. Chill in the fridge until 10mins before use.
  11. Remove the cake from the fridge and add your frosting. You can decorate your red velvet with a little crumb topping by pinching some of the cake from the bottom and ta-da! The ultimate red velvet cake.

Making this cake? If you do give my ultimate red velvet cake recipe a go, please tag me in your photos – I want to see! Instagram: @manny.wandering / Twitter: @manny_ngo / Facebook: @thegreenwichmummy

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The Wandering Mother Blog | Ultimate Red Velvet Cake Recipe
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The Wandering Mother Blog | Recipes

Recipe: Lemon Posset Creme Dessert Pots

This week I have been indulging myself in baking delicious desserts. I’ve gotten a little bored with baking and photographing cakes – too much browns and beiges I wanted to shoot something a little more fun and summery. I was looking back on the blog and came across this old favourite of mine. Well, it’s actually Daddy P’s favourite recipe and it’s been a while since I made it for him. Behold, my deliciously tangy but sweet lemon posset dessert pots!

The lemon posset creme pots tastes like a citrusy creme brûlée and the texture is similar to a rich chocolate pot. It’s velvety smooth and oh so delicious! A word of warning though – this dessert is very sweet so if you are watching the calories or don’t have a sweet tooth, it’s best to avoid this one. Daddy P likes his lemon pots super sweet so I normally use 100g but for the sake of the rest of us, 80g sugar is sweet enough. If you prefer even less sugar, us about 50-60g sugar with the recipe below for a tart lemon taste. That should get you salivating!

Even though this dessert is very sweet, the tangy lemon juice does offset some of that sweetness and creates a refreshing balance. Enjoy it with a black coffee and shortbread (here’s a recipe for both!), or sparkling elderflower and mint for the perfect summer accompaniment.

The Wandering Mother Blog Recipes
Try topping your lemon creme pots with lemon curd for tangy-ness!
The Wandering Mother Blog | Recipes for comfort cooking
A dollop of lemon curd adds an extra tang to the lemon creme!

Lemon Posset Creme Dessert Pots Recipe

This dessert is very quick and easy to make and follows a similar method to making custard. You can also swap the caster sugar for golden caster sugar or light brown sugar. Simply double up the measurements to yield 6 pots.

Time: prep – 5 mins, cooking – 15 mins, chilling – up to 4 hrs
Serving: 3 small dessert pots or ramekins

Ingredients:

  • 300ml double cream
  • 80g caster sugar (use 60g for less sweetness)
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • x1 lemon (squeezed)
  • lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
  • optional – toppings for your pots ie. lemon curd, melted white chocolate or shavings, berry compote or crushed ginger biscuits

Method:

  1. Add the double cream, vanilla extract and caster sugar to a saucepan, preferably a heavy-based pan to prevent the cream boiling too fast or burning, and stir continuously on a medium/high heat with a whisk.
  2. When the cream looks starts bubbling from the sides of the pan, take the pan off the heat or reduce to a very low heat.
  3. Whilst stirring, add in the lemon zest and the freshly squeezed lemon juice. You’ll see the cream turning into a thick custard consistency.
  4. Stir briskly a bit more then leave to cool for around 5 mins before pouring or spooning into the tall ramekins or glass pots. If you don’t want to bite into any lemon zest, you could strain the mixture through a sieve as you pour into your pots. This also helps to remove any lumps from your lemon creme.
  5. Place in the fridge to cool for 4 hours (or overnight) then enjoy them alone or accompanied with some shortbread biscuits.
  6. OPTIONAL – you can add toppings to your lemon creme dessert like a dollop of lemon curd or white chocolate, crushed ginger biscuits or even a berry compote for a fruity twist.

If you give this recipe a try, let me know in the comments below. X

This post was first written and published on this blog in May 2015.

The Wandering Mother Blog - Mindful Chef X LEON limited edition box

Mindful Chef X LEON Limited Edition Recipe Box

Bring sunshine into your kitchen this November with flavours from Morocco and Sicily!

For a limited time only, meal box delivery company, Mindful Chef has partnered up with Naturally Fast Food chain, LEON to provide you with an enjoyable restaurant experience at home with two exclusive recipes. These limited edition recipes will be available on the Mindful Chef website from November 8th to 21st -all you’ll need to do is order your box by November 17th..

Naturally Fast Food at home with Mindful Chef x LEON

You’ll be rolling meatballs, simmering sauces and slicing the ‘slaw in no time with these two new recipes. As always, your box will contain all of the pre-measured ingredients in your limited edition box PLUS you will also receive a jar of the iconic LEON’s vegan garlic aioli (per recipe) which you can serve on the side of your delicious LEON lunch. The two recipes you can choose from are Moroccan Meatballs and Sicilian-Style Meatless Meatballs.

What’s the hype about food boxes?

Working from home can be stressful and figuring out what to cook for your next meal can even be more challenging. This is why many people have taken a liking to food delivery boxes such as Mindful Chef, Gousto and Hello Fresh. The Mindful Chef x LEON boxes are delivered directly to your door which saves time, money, packaging and food wastage. The portion sizes are expertly measured out for you so you don’t have fiddle around with measuring spoons, jugs etc. Simply sit back, cook as per instructions (which are easy to follow!) and enjoy.

You can check out all of Mindful Chef’s food recipes here if you need some cooking inspiration.

Bon Appetit!

 

The Wandering Mother Blog - Mindful Chef X LEON limited edition box

NEW: LEON Moroccan Meatballs recipe

Make LEON’s juicy Moroccan Meatballs at home, featuring grass-fed beef and their unique spice blend! Serve with a fresh tomato sauce, crunchy red cabbage and kale slaw and a dollop of LEON’s iconic aioli.

30mins / 601 cal / allergen: mustard, soya

The Wandering Mother Blog - Mindful Chef X LEON limited edition box

NEW: LEON Sicilian-style Meatless Meatballs recipe

Recreate LEON’s Sicilian-style Meatless Meatballs at home, starring beluga lentils, aubergine, black olives and lemon zest. Spoon over fluffy brown rice, top with a luscious tomato sauce and enjoy with a dollop of LEON’s iconic vegan aioli.

30mins / 650 cal / allergen: mustard

The Wandering Mother Blog - Mindful Chef X LEON limited edition box

So, how does it work?
I want to try it!

If you’ve never tried food boxes before, they are an experience in themselves. It’s super easy to order, you just follow these three simple steps:

  1. Pick your delivery date
  2. Choose how big you want your box and select 2-3 recipes
  3. Fill in your delivery/payment details

Sit back & relax!
It’s really that simple. There’s no commitments or contracts, and you can cancel at anytime. To find out more and see what recipes you can add to your box click the button below:

 

 


NB. This post contains affiliate links. If you do click on the links and make place an order, I may receive a small commission on qualifying transactions. Photo Credit: LEON – all photos should be credited to LEON respectively.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Food & Drink: Chickpea

Recipe: Easy Homemade Chickpea Burgers (V)

We’re currently low on rice and pasta at home right now. With no car to drive to the bigger supermarkets and our little Sainsburys Local and nearby Iceland has a long waiting queue that seems never-ending. A big shop is due soon and I managed to get a delivery slot one evening next week so hopefully that’ll tie us over for another month. I really try to not use the delivery service to let others and more vulnerable get a chance to order delivery but sometimes these little journeys to the local shops cause us to pay much more as they’re premium prices.

Homemade vegetarian burgers

We have a big bag of uncooked chickpeas that I’ve been wanting to tackle but couldn’t be bothered to… until now. We didn’t have all of the ingredients needed to make a curry so I had to re-think about what else we could make. Then I had the idea of making chickpea burgers! Why I never thought of it before who knows but I’m glad I came to my senses. Uncooked chickpeas need to be soaked in water overnight before they’re ready to use so make sure you do this too. Fill water to fully submerge the chickpeas and by the next day they’ll be softer. Boil them until they’re firm but soft enough to squish with your thumb and forefinger. 

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Food: Easy Homemade Chickpea Burgers Recipe
chickpeas soaked in water overnight then drained

We had leftover buns from when we had Linda McCartney mozzarella burgers the day before. I can also make a really nice sweet and tangy fried onion garnish so thought that’ll do. I looked up chickpea burger recipes and went for the first link I saw which happened to be a recipe from BBC Good Food for chickpea & coriander burgers.

I knew I’d need eggs (which we had) but didn’t know what else to add to make the burgers. We didn’t have coriander or breadcrumbs but the burgers still came out amazing. Also we ran out of cumin so I subbed that with garam masala (has a similar warming taste to cumin), turmeric, ginger and smoked paprika. If you don’t have any of these then you can make do with salt, pepper and garlic, puree or fresh clove is fine (which I’d forgot to add but it was still delicious without).

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Food: Easy Homemade Chickpea Burgers Recipe
The ingredients before it’s blitzed (left), and the consistency you need after blitzing (right)
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Food: Easy Homemade Chickpea Burgers Recipe
Transfer mix to a bowl and add the onions

How to make your deliciously simple chickpea burgers

This recipe is suitable for vegetarians however to make it vegan friendly, swap out the egg for a substitute, chia seed or flaxseed water creates a similar eggy-consistency which might work well.

When I made this the other day I kind of eye-balled the chickpea and water measurements so use your own judgement. The recipe in BBC Good Food called for more lemon juice and lemon zest but I found just 1/4 lemon juice was enough – this was fresh squeezed, not the bottle kind. I used garam masala which has a slightly more ‘curry flavour’ taste than cumin, try both and see which you prefer.

You should be able to make around 2-4 good-sized burger patties (6 at a stretch) with this recipe. If there’s only two of you, you could make four chickpea burgers and stack up them up.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Food: Easy Homemade Chickpea Burgers Recipe
Fry lightly in oil until golden brown

Choosing your bun

Choosing a bun really sets the foundation of how your burger will turn out, especially if you like to toast them (we do!)… our favourite is toasted brioche buns because they’re light, fluffy and taste buttery but it is loaded with fat and calories so not great if you’re looking for a healthier option. Here are a few bun choices you can choose from…

  • sesame bun
  • brioche bun (our favourite!)
  • white morning roll
  • wholemeal bun
  • roti or flatbread (healthier option!)

Adding your toppings & condiments

You can go wild with what you decide to top your burger with. There’s tons of condiments out there and who’s to say you can’t even make up your own version? We love our own version of pico de gallo which we make really simple with just tomatoes, onions and balsamic vinegar. Here are a few suggestions in case you can’t decide…

  • cheese or vegan cheese
  • sliced tomatoes
  • lettuce
  • spinach
  • bistro salad mix
  • pickles or gherkins
  • pickled vegetables (daikon, carrot, radish)
  • cucumber
  • fresh sliced onions
  • homemade salsa or pico de gallo (fresh, chunkier version)
  • ketchup
  • mayo or vegan mayo
  • sriracha hot sauce

We didn’t have a lot of ingredients at home so we had to keep it simple. Trying this recipe again, I’ll add in spinach, perhaps a few sliced gherkins or pickled vegetables to add more crunch and tang or go for a little pico de gallo instead. We ate our burgers with homemade potato wedges drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Yummy!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Food: Easy homemade chickpea burgers recipe
Ta-da! Double stacked chickpea burgers with tomatoes, cheese and mayo

Without further ado, here’s the recipe…

Easy Chickpea Burgers Recipe

Serves: 2-4 people
Prep time: 20mins (minus pre-soaking and boiling of uncooked chickpeas)
Cooking time: 20mins

INGREDIENTS

Patty mix:
500g chickpeas, pre-soaked and boiled from uncooked (drained, if from can)
1/4 lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp garam masala or ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of Aromat seasoning (use salt if you don’t have it)
1 medium egg
1/2 medium onion, chopped and diced
2 tbsp oil for frying

50ml water (have 10-20ml extra in case your burger is too dry/crumbly)
4 morning rolls (or any buns of your choice)

METHOD

  1. Add into a food processor or blender (I used my nutri-bullet) the chickpeas, egg (or egg substitute for vegan option), all dry seasonings, garlic, lemon juice and 50ml water.
  2. Blitz on medium power or until the texture is smooth but a little chunky for texture. If it’s very smooth, don’t worry as the next step will add some texture to the patty.
  3. Transfer the contents into a mixing bowl and add the chopped onions. If the patty mix looks too thick and crumbly add in a little water and stir or mix with your hand. Make sure you don’t add too much water as the patty needs to hold its shape when frying.
  4. Turn on the cooker to a medium heat (number 3 or 4 on electric cookers) and add the oil to your pan. Take a small handful of the mix and roll into a ball. Flatten it into a patty/burger shape around 1cm to 1.5cm thick. I wouldn’t advise on patties thicker than 2cm.
  5. Place gently into the hot pan and fry for about 3-4mins or until golden (golden brown if you like crispy bits) then turn over and fry on the other side.
  6. Take off the heat and place on your bun.
  7. Add your favourite toppings – we topped ours with a really simple pico de gallo style dressing, mayo and cheese for Daddy P and cheesy sautéed mushrooms for me.
  8. Sit back and enjoy!
    You can team your burger with a side salad, homemade coleslaw, wedges (like us!) or chunky chips.

Have you tried this recipe? Rate it below:

Rating: 3 out of 5.
The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Pancake Day

Recipe: simple egg-free fluffy pancakes (V)

Egg-free fluffy pancakes (V)

Love pancakes but not a fan of eggs? No problem!

This delicious recipe is vegetarian friendly (make it vegan by substituting the milk for dairy-free milk and butter for coconut oil).  You could even try swapping the self-raising flour for oat flour but I can’t comment on how fluffy the pancakes will be… will have to be a new experiment for me! I’ve also made protein pancakes in the past, there’s two protein pancake recipes here which you can try.

Here’s a photo of the ones I made the other day with vanilla ice on top and a homemade peanut butter dulce de leche caramel in between.. it was delicious! The kids had their pancakes with chocolate-hazelnut spread and Daddy P had his with traditional lemon and sugar. I liked making the pancakes small as they looked so cute and perfect size for small hands.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Recipe: Egg-free fluffy pancakes
My egg-free pancakes… just as fluffy as standard pancakes!

Ingredients

  • 100g Self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 150ml Whole or semi-skimmed milk (use dairy-free milk to make it vegan)
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp unsalted melted butter (use sunflower or olive spread to make it vegan)
  • oil spray (a few tbsp oil for cooking)

Method

  1. Sift the flour into a bowl, add in caster sugar and baking powder then mix – these are known as dry ingredients.
  2. Then add in milk, vanilla extract and butter – these are known as wet ingredients.
  3. Whisk all the ingredients together until a smooth consistency is formed, it should be a thick, creamy-smooth consistency.
  4. Put the hob on a medium heat and add oil to the pan, only use a small amount and distribute evenly either with a brush or flat spatula.
  5. Pour in the batter slowly and cook for around 2-4mins or until bubbles can be seen forming to the top of the pancake. You can check the base of the pancake, it should be a light brown colour before turning.
  6. Flip over and cook on other side for about 1-2mins, you can check by slightly lifting the pancake
  7. Use batter to make remaining pancakes and serve with your own toppings!

Topping suggestions:

  • Lemon and sugar
  • Chocolate hazelnut spread
  • Ice cream scoop
  • Banana and caramel sauce
  • Strawberries and whipped or pouring cream
  • Greek yoghurt, blueberries and honey
  • Cherry or mixed berry compote and vanilla ice cream
  • Oranges (sliced) with grand marnier liqueur (alcohol)
  • Syrup – golden or maple
  • Any combination of the above!

miguel-andrade-unsplash

Enjoy!

THE GREENWICH MUMMY FOOD RECIPES | FISH CURRY

Recipe: Sweet potato, haddock and vegetable coconut curry (V)

(V) this coconut curry contains fish which you can omit for a full vegetarian dish

THE GREENWICH MUMMY FOOD RECIPES | FISH CURRY
Photo credit: Unsplash

So in The Greenwich Mummy’s household, Daddy P recently decided to stop eating meat products, adopting a pescetarian diet. I, however, still enjoy my meat products on top of our new food diet. The popular new label for people like me is ‘flexitarian’ – someone who is semi-vegetarian and enjoys vegetarian meals but still consumes all animal, fish, egg and dairy products.

Being Vietnamese, I love my meat dishes but we also have a lot of healthy vegetarian dishes too which is a nice balance. Our little family have been on this pescetarian diet for about 4 months now and the transition has been really smooth. The kids don’t mind it and Daddy P has done really well considering he was the biggest meat-eater out of all of us. He hasn’t missed eating meat at all! I guess because we’re still eating fish, shellfish, egg and dairy products we’ve still got a wide variety of protein sources in our diet so it’s not too noticeable. Some may even say cutting out red meat is a healthy thing to do.

A curry is a great dish to enjoy any time of the year, similar to soups, but I especially love it in the winter and the summer. Winter because you can have a mean hearty curry to get you through the cold nights. Summer is a great time for curries because you can make it taste as light and as fresh as you like.

I originally wanted to make a haddock and butternut squash cashew curry but my local Sainsbury’s had run out of butternut squash so I bought some sweet potato instead and came up with this recipe. It tasted fantastic! I’m afraid my photos don’t do this dish any justice so you’ll have to just take my word for it. 🙂 It tastes like a cross between a Thai curry and a creamy fish dish. If you like your curry with heat, add in some chilli flakes but I preferred mine mild so made it without any spices.

Bon Appetit!

IMG_9674
add onions to the oil and fry

FullSizeRender 2
add in the sweet potatoes

FullSizeRender 1
now time to add the carrots!

FullSizeRender 3
add in the seasoning and stock then simmer!

IMG_9681
add in the fish, remaining veg and coconut milk

Haddock, sweet potato and vegetable coconut curry recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 haddock fillets (leave this out to make it a vegetarian/vegan dish)
  • 3-4 whole carrots, sliced
  • a handful of green beans (frozen or fresh)
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced or diced
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 2 tsp mild curry powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1tsp cumin
  • 1-2 tbsp sunflower oil for frying
  • 100ml water
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. On a medium heat, add the oil to the pan and fry onions until soft then add the sweet potatoes and fry for a further 7mins until soft but firm inside.
  2. Add the dry seasoning (curry powder, garam masala, cumin, salt and pepper) then add the veggie stock cube to 100ml water and pour into the pan. Let everything simmer for about 15mins.
  3. Add in the fish, veg and coconut milk and simmer for a further 7-10mins or until the fish is cooked and falling apart (flaky looking).
  4. All done! Serve with jasmine rice and enjoy. x

 

The Greenwich Mummy - Food recipe

The Wandering Mother Blog | Banana Bread Bake Recipe

Recipe: Apple & Banana bread bake (V)

Last week I went along to my local IKEA store for a foodie workshop event called “Waste Not, Want Not”. It was hosted by the lovely Melissa Hemsley from Hemsley + Hemsley and was about making the most with leftover food and learning how to not throw anything away.

We were ushered into the sleek kitchen showroom by Maria from IKEA Greenwich who ticked us off the registration list as we entered. Melissa poured us all a glass of water, sparkling lemon or lingonberry mixed cordial. We were then told that we were going to receive Melissa’s latest cookbook, Eat Happy as a gift which was a wonderful surprise.

The Wandering Mother Blog | Banana Bread Bake Recipe
Waiting for the workshop to start at Ikea Greenwich
The Wandering Mother | Banana Bread Bake Recipe
The workshop space is light and beautifully set up for Melissa Hemsley

IKEA X Melissa Hemsley workshop

Melissa then introduced herself to us and talked about her love for cooking and how she lives by the “waste not, want not” motto which was the take-home message of this workshop. Growing up with strong Filipino traditions and culture, she explained to us that her mother made sure she never wasted food. I think it must be an Asian thing as I always remember my parents saying the same thing to me when I was young and as a result, I too rarely waste food. I always had to finish my bowl of food and was never allowed to throw it away… or else there’d be trouble.

The workshop was supposed to include a live cooking demo of her delicious banana bread bake but because of some technical issues, it didn’t happen so instead we got lots of tips and advice from Melissa on how to build a ‘waste not, want not food bowl’ from unwanted bits and bobs sitting in the fridge (there’s also a recipe for this in the Eat Happy cookbook).

The Wandering Mother Blog | Banana Bread Bake Recipe
Food, glorious food!

Food glorious food

She constructed a simple, beautifully presented bowl filled with chickpeas, boiled eggs, radishes, green beans, a leafy salad and feta cheese – all topped off with a light dressing. I love healthy food bowls but never really knew how to construct it properly so seeing it done was very helpful. We all chatted about food and how some foods can have so many ways of cooking it or eating it. For example when eating an orange, instead of throwing the rind away, zest it and use the shavings to infuse sugar or add it to another dish. Alternatively you can even save the rind and use it as pot pourri.

The Wandering Mother Blog | Banana Bread Bake Recipe
The Wandering Mother Blog | Banana Bread Bake Recipe
Melissa building her waste not, want not food bowl with eggs, lentils, radishes, green beans and mixed leaf salad

During our chat, Melissa pointed out the delicious cake that caught everyone’s attention; the banana and apple bread bake! She posted up the recipe on her instagram page @melissa.hemsley the following day and I was keen to give it a try. It smelled so so divine at the workshop, I knew I had to get back to baking.

The banana bread bake came out so soft and fluffy. I don’t know if that’s how soft it’s supposed to be but I love it like that. Occasionally, a heavier banana bread hits the spot but this evening a lighter version was perfect. I decided to make mine a little different and changed the recipe slightly – simply because I didn’t have all the ingredients at home so just made it up as I went along which turned out great!


RECIPE: Banana and apple bread bake

Here’s my adapted version of Melissa’s banana and apple bread bake. To make this yummy dish vegan-friendly, simply swap out the eggs for a chia or flax seed mix, or another egg substitute. To make it gluten-free Melissa suggested quinoa or buckwheat flakes. If you’re allergic to nuts, use only coconut flour if you’re okay with coconuts otherwise you can try it with another flour ie. polenta or millet.

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe medium-sized bananas
  • 1 apple; 3/4 grated for the bake and 1/4 sliced for decoration
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 25g coconut flour
  • 100g rolled oats
  • 4 medium eggs (for a vegan alternative, swap for soaked chia seeds or egg substitute)
  • 150g coconut oil
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp allspice seasoning
  • 1tbs brown sugar

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180C/350F or gas mark 4
  • Add all ingredients (apart from the bananas and apple) together in a blender and blitz until smooth
  • Add in banana and apple and blitz further to your desired consistency (with or without lumps)
  • Pour into a lined loaf tin and add the decoration apple slices
  • Bake on the middle shelf for 50 minutes
  • Do the knife test to ensure the bread bake has thoroughly cooked inside then leave on rack to cool

Enjoy!

There’s so many different ways to recreate this banana bread and that’s the real beauty of it. I’m thinking of adding in chocolate chips or orange rind next time too to spice it up a little bit more. If you give this banana bread bake recipe a try, let me know how you get on with it! 🙂

The Wandering Mother Blog | Banana Bread Bake Recipe
Bon Appétit!

#FoodieFridays | Organix’s Gruffalo-themed muffin tin meal recipe

Toddler snack brand, Organix have teamed up with Chessington World of Adventures Resorts to offer little explorers (and adults too!) a chance to go free. You can find the vouchers on the packaging of Organix snack packs, I found mine on the Organix Goodies bars. Each voucher entitles one adult or one child free entry to the park and the Gruffalo ride with one full paying adult on the day. The voucher can’t be used in conjunction with any other offer and full T&Cs can be found online at Chessington.com/organix.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Organix Gruffalo Themed Muffin Tin Meal Recipe
Help! It’s a gruffalo! / Source: Gruffalo.com

We’re planning to use our voucher this Halloween half term as Chessington has some spooky special events on this October. I’ll write up a post shortly on our trip to Chessington if we end up going. 🙂

To celebrate their new partnership, Organix have come up with this little healthy recipe, a Gruffalo themed muffin tin meal so little ones can recreate the story with their food…

Gruffalo-themed muffin tin meal

Gruffalo Themed Muffin Tin Meal Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Homemade potato wedges (Terrible Tusks)

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Organix Gruffalo Themed Muffin Tin Meal Recipe
“He has terrible tusks…”

  • Cooked peas (Poisonous Warts)

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Organix Gruffalo Themed Muffin Tin Meal Recipe
“…and a poisonous wart at the end of his nose”

  • Lightly steamed sliced carrot rounds (Orange Eyes)

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Organix Gruffalo Themed Muffin Tin Meal Recipe
“His eyes are orange. His tongue is black…”

  • Organix Goodies Cheese & Chive Breadsticks (Knobbly Knees)

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Organix Gruffalo Themed Muffin Tin Meal Recipe
“He has knobbly knees and turned out toes…”

  • Sliced Organix Goodies Apple & Date Fruit Bar (Terrible Teeth)

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Organix Gruffalo Themed Muffin Tin Meal Recipe
“… and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws”

  • Sliced roast chicken breast (Roasted Fox)

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Organix Gruffalo Themed Muffin Tin Meal Recipe
“… and his favourite food is roasted fox”

  • Or for a vegetarian option, replace the chicken breast with 18g sliced cheddar cheese, cut into triangles (Terrible Claws)

Greenwich Mummy Blogger | Organix Gruffalo Themed Muffin Tin Meal Recipe
“He has terrible tusks and terrible claws…”

How to Make:

  1. Prepare your ingredients; make the potato wedges using the recipe below, cook the peas, lightly steam the carrot, chop the fruit bar into 5 pieces, slice the chicken breast or cheddar cheese if using.
  2. Place small portions of each ingredient into silicone or paper cupcake cases.
  3. Pop them on a platter, plate or into a 6 hole muffin tin to serve.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Organix Gruffalo Themed Muffin Tin Meal Recipe
Gruffalo Themed muffin tin meal


Simple Potato Wedges Recipe 

Ingredients:

  • 250g new potatoes
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to season (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (Gas mark 6/390°F).
  2. Scrub the potatoes in cold water then pat dry. Slice each potato into 4 or 6 wedges, (depending on potato size).
  3. Place in a roasting tin and drizzle over the olive oil. Season with a little salt and pepper if using.
  4. Shake the tin until the potatoes are coated in the oil.
  5. Put the tin in the oven to cook for 20-25 minutes, taking out and shaking every 10 minutes to help the potatoes cook evenly.
  6. Take out when slightly golden and enjoy!!

potato wedges - terrible tusks - updated text


NB. This is collaborative post. The above recipes were provided for me by Organix to raise awareness for their latest campaign with Chessington World of Adventures Resorts. The photos have been provided for me by the PR team and other images have been credited respectively.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Organix Gruffalo Themed Muffin Tin Meal Recipe
The Gruffalo / Source: Waterstones

Review: Mister Paste’s new sweet and sour mango sauce makes vegetarian cooking easy!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Mister Paste New Vegetarian Mango Sauce Review
Photo source: MisterPaste.co.uk

I don’t always make vegetarian meals even though I did wish I made more of an effort to. LO is not a big meat fan – unless it’s oven cooked (fish fingers/chicken nuggets/turkey drummers), or meatballs with spaghetti you couldn’t get him to even touch it with a barge pole.

When the founder of Mister Paste, Ian (you can read more about Ian and his company in an interview post I wrote here) got in touch last month to inform me of his new sauce I was more than intrigued to try it out. Mister Paste’s vegetarian line of food had been recently accredited by the Vegetarian Society and was exhibiting at the Just V Show in Olympia.

So let’s talk about the mango sauce… it’s a lovely rich sauce that reminds me of Nandos’ mango and lime marinade (due to the kaffir lime leaves and mango sauce) and the consistency a Chinese sweet and sour sauce. It’s rich, sweet and tangy sauce is delicious, on the recipe printout included in the pack mentions that you could add fresh mango chunks but the sauce has so much flavour (made from real mango puréed, you don’t need to). I had made two dishes with the sauce; one for myself with Quorn cubes and the other with pan-fried salmon for the family as they’re not a big fan of Quorn.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Mister Paste New Vegetarian Mango Sauce Review
Quorn chunks with vegetables and egg noodles

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Mister Paste Vegetarian Mango Sauce Review

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Mister Paste New Vegetarian Mango Sauce Review
Pan-fried salmon with veggies and egg noodles

The sweet and sour mango sauce and other ingredients come in vacuum-sealed bags. All I had to buy was my choice of protein (salmon and Quorn), one red pepper, fresh coriander and lemon. I added in fish sauce instead salt as well as black pepper for seasoning and taste. I loved the chilli flakes that came with the pack so much that I bought extra. 🙂 I didn’t add all the flakes because otherwise the children and Daddy P wouldn’t have been able to eat it so it was more of a sweet and tangy mango sauce than a spicy one. But that suited our taste buds just right.

I had also originally planned the dish to be made with jasmine rice but we had egg noodles left over from when I was planning to make salmon teriyaki so we used that as a sub instead. I imagine that the dish would’ve been just as delicious with rice but somehow it felt a bit healthier and lighter with soy-tossed egg noodles. Daddy P who was initially sceptical about a fruity and savoury sauce admitted that he enjoyed it. I certainly did and so did the kids and my sister who was over for dinner.

Mister Paste’s sauce packs are literally an all-in-one product. The packs provide you with not only the sauce but the ingredients to go with it (all measured out for you) and comes complete with instructions on how to use it which is quintessentially the recipe on how to make the dish. Any ingredients that may be an allergen are highlighted in bold so you know exactly what goes in it.

I am very thrilled that the company’s vegetarian line has been recognised and accredited with an awarding body. It’s a statement to show everyone that Mister Paste really knows his stuff and can deliver high-quality sauces and pastes to vegetarians, non-vegetarians and those in-between like me! 🙂

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Healthy Pancake Day Recipes

Two simple & healthy recipes for you to enjoy this Pancake Day!

It’s Shrove Tuesday today aka Pancake Day and what better way to enjoy this day than bake up a fresh batch of pancakes to enjoy with the family… or all by yourself. 🙂

I’ve got TWO amazingly simple recipes for you today; the first one is a chocolate protein pancake one that I’ve dressed with a low-calorie mint choc ice cream and dark chocolate drizzle, and the second is a simple oat pancake with coconut yoghurt and berries. Yum!!

Both of the pancakes came out super fluffy. I added baking powder but I am sure they would still be quite fluffy without it. Out of the two, I think the chocolate protein pancake was the best – I have a sweet tooth so to be able to enjoy something sweet but in a healthy way is a wonderful win-win situation haha!

I got myself a little crepe maker from AO.com which is brilliant. I can make tasty crepes and make pancakes on there in minutes. I’m sure I could even fry food on there but don’t think I’ll do that. It’s a good-sized hot plate that heats up fast (literally in seconds, it’s ready to use in one minute) and you use minimal oil. A quick spritz of oil would work well but I just got a piece of kitchen towel and added a little bit of oil to that and rubbed the hot plate with it and it was good to go! I would definitely recommend this little invention to anyone who’s looking for something similar.

So without further ado, here’s the two recipes I came up with yesterday after some long thoughts about what I wanted to do.

Chocolate Protein Pancakes

So you think chocolate’s going to be super calorific and bad for you right? Well, you are wrong! Chocolate – especially dark chocolate (my fave!) can actually be good for you.. little amounts obvs we’re not talking about demolishing the whole bar here. I’ve also found that the stronger and darker the chocolate, the less you want of it in one go. My favourite is Green & Blacks 85% dark chocolate.. Daddy P and I literally fight over this stuff. I didn’t use G&B’s chocolate in this recipe and tried out another brand called Menier instead which wasn’t bad.

I used my standard protein powder which is PhD Diet Whey. It’s a whey protein powder that’s low in fat and low in carbs and also contains BCAAs which helps the muscles to grow and repair. I chose to top these chocolate protein pancakes with Oppo mint chocolate ice cream and drizzled two squares of the Menier dark chocolate on top. You can choose any other topping(s) that takes your fancy but I wanted a bit of ice cream lol.

The Greenwich Mummy | Pancake Day 2017
Chocolate protein pancakes… now chocolate can be healthy!

 

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Healthy Pancake Day Recipes
Super fluffy inside!

If you’ve never heard of Oppo ice cream, look them up. They’re a new ice cream company that currently offers three flavours; Madagascan vanilla, salted caramel and mint-chocolate but the ice cream is low-calorie, low-fat and low-carb. To put that into context, two scoops of their mint-choc ice cream (approx. 100ml) is only 85 cals and contains just 9.7g of carbs (most mint-choc ice creams have around 19g carbs), 3.8g of fat and 3.1g of protein. Yum. Yum. Yum… and you don’t even have to feel guilty! 🙂

This recipe yields around 4 medium-sized pancakes which is plenty for one person. I usually only finish about two of them. I think these chocolate pancakes would also be really nice with fresh fruits or a delicious nut butter.


Recipe: Chocolate Protein Pancakes
with mint-chocolate ice cream & dark chocolate drizzle

Serving: 4 medium pancakes
Time: 10 minutes (5 mins prep, 5 mins cooking)

INGREDIENTS

To make the pancakes, you’ll need:

  • 1 scoop of PhD Diet Whey protein powder in Belgian Chocolate
  • 6 tbsp Two Chicks egg whites
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 60 mls water
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Don’t forget to have a tiny bit of oil on kitchen towel or an oil spray to very lightly grease the crepe maker

For the topping: (optional)

  • 1 scoop (approx 50ml) of Oppo mint-chocolate ice cream
  • 10g cooking dark chocolate (I used the Menier brand)

METHOD

  1. Add all of the pancake ingredients together and mix to a batter consistency. I used an electric whisk to make it quick and easy.
  2. Lightly grease your crepe maker (or frying pan) with a bit of oil on a sheet of kitchen towel or spray once with an oil spray.
  3. Once the crepe maker/frying pat is hot enough, add in your batter.
  4. Turn your pancakes over once the heated side is done (you’ll know because it’ll no longer be stuck to the crepe maker/pan.) which is usually around 30 seconds on a medium/high heat.
  5. another 30 seconds on the other side or until it’s brown on the other side then place onto your plate.
  6. Repeat with the rest of the batter and stack up those pancakes!

If you’re using the same toppings:

  1. Break the dark chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl.
  2. Add boiling hot water to a larger bowl and place the chocolate bowl inside to melt the chocolate. Once it’s melted, drizzle over your pancakes.
  3. Add the ice cream scoop on top and voila! All done and time to eat. 🙂

Notes:
If you are allergic to nuts or coconut you can substitute the coconut flour for oat flour or buckwheat flour instead. You can make your own flour by adding your chosen grain to a nutribullet or food processsor and blitzing it until it turns into a powder.


Recipe: Simple Oaty Pancakes

This recipe is slightly simpler than the chocolate one because it’s a standard oat pancake, you can turn this dish into a savoury one if you’re not a sweet person. I wanted to make this because in case you’re not a chocolate person like me you can still enjoy a healthy pancake day. There’s not as much protein in this recipe as this is not a protein pancake but it’s slightly different from your traditional wheat pancakes as this is made with oat flour.

For this recipe I used smaller amounts of the ingredients so the pancakes came out really small. I just about managed to get out 3 mini pancakes which would be enough to make one large fluffy pancake.

The Greenwich Mummy | Pancake Day 2017
Simple but just as lovely – adding fruits makes pancakes taste light and fresh.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Healthy Pancake Day Recipes
soft and fluffy inside


Oat pancakes with coconut yoghurt & fresh berries recipe

Serving: 1 pancake or 3 mini pancakes
Time: 10 minutes (5 mins prep, 5 mins cooking)

INGREDIENTS

To make the pancakes:

  • 4 tbsp oat flour (I made my own using Quaker rolled oats blitzed in my nutribullet)
  • 60mls Alpro almond milk
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp Two Chicks egg whites

NB. Don’t forget your oil spray or have a little bit of oil on kitchen towel to lightly grease the crepe maker/pan

For the topping: (optional)

  • 4 tbsp coconut yoghurt
    (I recommend the Fage Total one – it’s so yummy)
  • a handful of fresh raspberries
  • a handful of fresh blueberries

METHOD

  1. Add all of the ingredients together to create the batter which should be near to a drooping consistency. Not too runny otherwise the pancake won’t be able to have much height.
  2. Lightly grease your pan or crepe maker and make sure it’s very hot before adding the batter.
  3. Cook the pancakes on each side (about 30-60secs each) depending on how hot you’ve got your pan/crepe maker.
  4. Take your pancakes off the heat and place onto your plate.

If using the same toppings;

  1. Add your 4 tablespoons of coconut yoghurt one by one on top of the stack of pancakes or in the centre of your large pancake.
  2. Add your fruits however you fancy and voila!

Notes:
You can also use dairy milk instead of non-dairy milk. These oat pancakes would also make a great foundation for any savoury topping.


And there you have it! I hope these two recipes give you some inspiration on what to make today or any other day you’re feeling like a good pancake. If you don’t like pancakes, try making crepes instead! I love crepes as they’re so light, thin and slightly on the crispy side, perfect as a savoury or sweet treat.

Happy Pancake Day!


NB. We were kindly sent a crepe maker by AO.com for the purpose this recipe post. All words, opinions, recipes and photos are my own.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Prawn Pad Thai Salad Recipe

Recipe: Low-carb Prawn Pad Thai Salad

Since I started my fitness journey last August 2016 I’ve been eating much healthier than before. I’ve cut out a lot of the processed foods I used to eat before and try to consciously opt for complex carbohydrates over simple carbs. The reason for this is because of my high-risk for developing Type II Diabetes later in life. Diabetes runs in my family, both on my maternal and paternal side then to top it off I had Gestational Diabetes in both pregnancies.

So yeah… really high risk.

I am human and sometimes I do slip up and have chocolates, cakes and biscuits but try to have a really small portion. After all, eating a healthy diet doesn’t mean eliminating treats 100% out of your diet. Healthy eating is about balance, sustainability and having a positive association with food. Basically if you eat a large slice of pizza (or the whole pizza), don’t put yourself on a massive guilt trip for it and ‘punish yourself’ by eating less the next day or putting your body through hours of cardio trying to ‘burn off’ the added calories. Instead acknowledge that you’ve been able to enjoy yourself that day with that meal and eat a little better the week ahead to balance it out. Remember, one pizza won’t make you fat nor will one salad make you healthy.

I’m currently increasing my calorie intake to build up my muscle size and strength. As my weight loss stalled in December (plateaued at 51.8kg despite me increasing workouts and cutting a few more calories) I decided to reverse diet (where your aim is to gradually add back the cals in an attempt to kickstart your metabolism) which is going well. I’ll be writing up a progress post soon and will be going in more detail about this on there. Look out for it! Continue reading “Recipe: Low-carb Prawn Pad Thai Salad”

Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning: Vegan Coconut Matcha Tart Recipe

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Macmillan World's Biggest Coffee Morning

It’s now under two weeks away until the Macmillan Big Coffee Morning! I love baking but since changing my diet and adopting a healthier lifestyle I have pretty much given up on scoffing cakes and pastries. Don’t get me wrong I will still indulge every now and then but it would be a very small treat as I am cutting down on sugars and carbs. This is because I have had gestational diabetes in both pregnancies meaning that my chances of getting Type II diabetes later on is very high.

Last week I was invited to attend an exclusive baking masterclass held by the Macmillan Cancer Support. I was so excited to attend but unfortunately, when it came to the actual day of the masterclass my childcare fell through and I wasn’t able to find anyone else at the last minute and had to forfeit my attendance. Continue reading “Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning: Vegan Coconut Matcha Tart Recipe”