Category Archives: Vegetarian

JACKPOT visits Me and Art

Hello readers!

Hope you all are having a great week so far and thank goodness it’s Thursday meaning it’s nearly the end of the week! Looking forward to relaxing on the weekend with some good weather, good food and catching up with friends, celebrating a 1 month for a cute baby girl and of course some basketball in between!

Last weekend I wanted to grab a few things from Thomas Dux in Surry Hills as I do from time to time when I have a chance to stock up on baking ingredients and food for the week ahead. As Mr Muscles and I had not eaten breakfast at this point in time, I thought this would be a good opportunity to check out another café on my list. I love going to vegan cafes to try out the various foods on offer whether it be savoury or sweet food.

My top vegan places in Sydney at the moment are:

  • Sadhana Kitchen – great for breakfast and lunch and of course if you feel like indulging, they do some really great raw cakes
  • Nourishing Quarter – great little dinner place serving fusion Vietnamese food with a modern take on it – love their tofu and quinoa dumplings, their quinoa rice paper rolls and their noodle salad served with crispy tofu and they also do raw cakes here if you are feeling like something a bit more sweet after dinner

I have yet to try Earth to Table in Bondi Junction which I have read many great reviews and am keen to hopefully try this vegan place out on the weekend…blog will follow shortly after of course =)

I’m always worried about taking Mr Muscles to vegan places as I am always worried he will never be full or won’t like what is on offer on the menus. Mr Muscles however happily guided me along the way as we searched for the café. We ended up walking from Thomas Dux a few blocks down in Surry Hills and finally found the café after a nice walk through Surry Hills.

Me and Art is quite a small café with some seating provided outside the café, some tables and chairs found inside the café and out back in their courtyard. As it was a nice day, we decided to sit outside their courtyard and take in the nice weather. It was chilly but the sun was shining and it turned out to be a really nice day.

The café is known for their Japanese artwork which hangs inside the café. I didn’t get to take a picture of this unfortunately but will next time I visit. Apparently these pictures are not just for show and that they are available for purchase for anyone interested with new artwork coming in every few weeks. It’s a very quirky café with even tables that have been sourced by the owner from various places.

The one thing that stood out about this café were the friendly staff who were quick to assist wherever needed. Mr Muscles had no idea what he wanted to drink as he was feeling like some juice and one of the staff decided to make something on the whim from the flavours that Mr Muscles had told them he wanted. It was this attention to detail and their great service that really makes this café different to other cafes we have been to.

Courtyard

Courtyard 2

Courtyard 3

 

Courtyard 4

Menu

Breakfast Menu

Menu

Lunch Menu

Green Tea

Lemon Water

Juice

Mr Muscles Juice – I think this had beetroot, carrot, ginger, apple and other flavours (it was meant to be some sort of detox juice – it was very delicious!)

Avocado Toast

Mr Muscles’ meal: avocado on toast: avocado with special herbs & spices heaped on crunchy sourdough $9.00

Mr Muscles wasn’t feeling too good so decided to get something small to eat. We were both surprised at how generous they were with the avocado which was lovely, ripe and smooth. The sourdough had a nice taste to it with the toast still quite crunchy despite the amount of avocado layered on top of the toast. Mr Muscles really enjoyed the dish however didn’t really care for the ground turmeric which had been sprinkled over the top of the avocado. He felt it overpowered the taste of the avocado and so decided to remove this and eat the rest of it sans turmeric. All in all a very healthy and filling breakfast in which Mr Muscles left feeling rather full.

Buckwheat Pancakes

My meal: cocoa and cinnamon buckwheat pancakes topped with banana, berries, nuts & seeds served with maple syrup and shredded coconut $12.00

I ordered the pancakes as I really can’t say no to pancakes and the fact that these were healthy pancakes…this was already a win win situation to begin with. The pancakes were not as soft as I had imagined but rather a bit more dense as the buckwheat flavour was quite predominant. I couldn’t really taste the cocoa or cinnamon but I found the pancakes really lovely and not too heavy to eat that I managed to finish the whole dish. The banana and the nuts and seeds were a nice side to the dish as you got a bit of crunch, a bit of sweetness from the maple syrup and banana and a bit of tartness from the berries. I felt healthier just by eating this dish. I’ve tried recreating buckwheat pancakes at home but have never been successful. Now that I have tried these pancakes I am on a mission to try and create some wonderful buckwheat pancakes that don’t taste like rubber!

Mr Muscles and I left the café feeling full and satisfied. This café is definitely an up and coming café as I’m sure that more and more people will come to visit as they also serve lunch and if not for the dining experience then to view the lovely art hanging on the walls of the café. I know I’ll be back to try their nachos with tofu cashew sour cream and vegan cheese and of course their vegan pies which I have heard are really good!

Stay tuned for a recipe post…I know it’s been awhile but I’ll be posting one soon…

Here are my recent baking pictures:

Vegan Banana Bread

A new recipe experiment: vegan banana bread made using applesauce – surprisingly turned out better than I expected and the applesauce gave the bread a lovely moist texture

Vegan Chocolate Banana Donuts

Vegan Baked Chocolate Banana Donuts made with spelt flour and coconut sugar

Raw Brownie Balls

Raw Brownie Balls made with raw cacao powder, walnuts and dates

Chocolate and Vanilla Layered Banana Muffins

Vegan Chocolate and Vanilla Layered Banana Muffins made with wholemeal spelt flour and coconut sugar

Mini Vegan Chocolate Cakes

Recipe experimenting with Mini Vegan Chocolate Cakes made with applesauce, spelt flour and coconut sugar – surprisingly tasted light and moist without too much of an applesauce taste

Me and Art

62 Mary Street

Surry Hills NSW 2010

Website: http://meandart-sydney.webs.com/

Until next time!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Banana, Breakfast, Brunch, Cafe, Dessert, Fruit, Health Food, Healthy, Lunch, Muffins, Pancakes, Recipes, Seeds and Grains, Toast, Vegan, Vegetarian, Western

Jackpot visits Three Blue Ducks

Hello readers!

It’s been awhile since I have visited one of the cafes on my list of cafes I have been wanting to visit. Whilst Three Blue Ducks is nowhere near new, I had been wanting to visit this cafe for ages now and finally a brunch date with Miss Baller and Mr Baller meant that we could all try this new cafe together. Miss Baller and I had talked about a brunch date at Three Blue Ducks for awhile now and finally we were able to pick a date to go which suited everyone.

We all arrived at the cafe around 10:30am on a Saturday and you could tell the cafe was already quite busy with most of the inside tables already full. We were in luck as there were a few tables outside that were available and so we were seated outside the cafe with a nice wooden table and wooden benches. The waitress offered Miss Baller and I a rug to share in case we got cold as it was quite chilly last weekend.

I liked the atmosphere of the cafe, everything seemed so calm and relaxing and Miss Baller and I were discussing how long it had been since we had last visited Bronte besides going to the beach back in our uni days. The cafe is nestled among some local shops and bakeries such as Iggy’s which is famous for their sourdough breads. There was an urban and modern vibe I picked up from the setting of the cafe with painted graffiti walls on the side of the cafe. The weather was very lovely that day and soon we began to feel the sun shining on us which was a nice change from the cold weather.

I had read the menu online and seen many photos on Instagram and various blogs and was keen to try their quinoa and fig bircher but come saturday I was ill with the flu and wanted something a bit warmer. There were more options on the menu once we sat down and read the menu. The online menu only shows a few dishes that they offer so I was pleased to see that there were a lot more options to choose from. I was so tempted to order the pancakes as I love all things pancakes but in the end settled for porridge.

Three Blue Ducks

Wall

Setting

Setting 2

Alley

Painted Walls

Cakes

They sell cakes, toasted muesli and sandwiches to take away or eat in the cafe – apologies about the terrible photo as I was rushing to take a photo before we left. Wouldn’t mind some of that lemon meringue tart!

Menu

The Menu

Carrot and Ginger Juice

Mr Muscles’s Carrot Apple and Ginger Juice

Ginger Cinnamon Tea

My Ginger and Cinnamon Tea

Flat White

Miss Baller’s Coffee

Coddled Eggs

Mr Muscles’s: Coddled Eggs with Chorizo, Pulled Pork and Cannellini Baked Beans $21.50

Mr Muscles ordered the coddled eggs as he wanted to order something different to everyone. It was quite a heavy and rich meal as the chorizo itself was quite rich in flavour and the baked beans were also quite heavy. This is definitely a dish for someone who is feeling rather hungry. Mr Muscles felt so full by the end of the brunch but was satisfied with his meal choice.

Poached Eggs

Mr Baller’s: Poached Eggs, Spinach, Hollandaise Sauce and King Salmon $21.50

Mr Baller decided to order the poached eggs. This dish came with a nice plump serving of salmon which had been wonderfully cooked to create a crispy skin. Although I didn’t try this dish I assumed that he liked this dish as he managed to finish the whole dish. This is always the sign of a well executed dish.

Scrambled Eggs

Miss Baller’s: Scrambled Eggs with Black Sausage, Dill Cucumber Yoghurt Salad and Red Currant Jam $21.50

Miss Baller ordered the scrambled eggs and seemed to thoroughly enjoy her meal. She mentioned that the black sausage was quite flavourful and decadent. The meal itself was beautifully presented on the plate and the texture of the black sausage contrasted significantly against the tomatoes, red currants and the softness of the scrambled eggs.

Porridge

My meal: Black Rice, Tapioca, Quinoa Porridge with Poached Fruit, Yoghurt and Honey $16.00

I was very happy with what I ordered. The black rice, tapioca and quinoa combined so well together and for something that looked rich, it was actually quite light. The sourness from the yoghurt and the sweetness from the poached fruit and honey really paired well with the porridge. This was quite a generous serve as well so I didn’t end up finishing it all but it’s definitely something I would order again. Also this was just what I needed, something warm yet not too heavy. There were also bits of walnuts and nuts throughout the porridge which contrasted against the soft poached fruit. The poached pear was soft and subtly sweet against the tartness of the rhubarb. This meal was rather healthy with all the different grains that I felt good about eating this dish – something that tastes quite indulgent but that is healthy and good for you…definitely a win win situation…or at least I keep telling myself that ;P

I really want to come back and try the orange and yoghurt pancakes and of course the quinoa and fig bircher that I missed out on trying during this first visit. Definitely a cafe that I would love to come back to regularly.

Iggy's

Miss Baller and I couldn’t help but walk into Iggy’s to buy some bread. They had some sample sourdough which we tried and instantly we were swayed to buy some bread. Their sourdough was really delicious and I’m sure that if no one was looking I could have eaten most of the sample bowl. Miss Baller and I both ordered a poppyseed bagel to eat later and halved a sourdough bread stick. The bread is so addictive and I thoroughly enjoyed my bagel which I had for lunch the next day. I will be back for more bread…carbs are my weakness afterall ;P

I don’t have a photo of the bagel and bread we bought as I quickly demolished any evidence of the wonderfully addictive bread ;P

Once again great food and even better company – that’s what I call a good saturday =)

Thanks again Miss Baller and Mr Baller for an awesome brunch date yet again…where to next?

Three Blue Ducks

143 Macpherson St

Bronte NSW 2024

Ph: (02) 9389 0010

Opening Hours:

Tuesday to Friday Breakfast: 7am – 11:30am Lunch: 12pm – 2:30pm and

Saturday/Sunday Breakfast: 7.30am – 11:30am Lunch: 12.00pm – 3:00pm

Dinner (wed, thu, fri, sat) 6pm – 11pm Dinner bookings only

Website: http://www.threeblueducks.com/

Until next time!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Bagel, Bakery, Breakfast, Brunch, Cafe, Eggs, Health Food, Restaurant, Seeds and Grains, Sydney, Toast, Vegetarian, Western, Yoghurt

My recent baking experiments…

I’ll be back soon with a blog post but for now I thought I’d share with you all my recent food pics….

Paleo Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Paleo Chocolate Crinkle Cookies made with raw blanched almond meal, raw cacao powder and pure maple syrup

Protein Muffins

Chocolate Protein Muffins made for Mr Muscles – one topped with chia seeds and the other topped with walnuts made with protein powder, spelt flour, raw organic honey, mashed bananas and applesauce

Marbled Chocolate and Pandan Steamed Sponge Cakes

Steamed Pandan and Chocolate Marbled Sponge Cakes made with white spelt flour, raw cacao powder, pandan paste and coconut sugar

Healthy Almond Meal Cookies

Been trying to perfect my healthy almond meal cookies recipe lately until I get the right consistency: made with raw blanched almond meal, whole wheat spelt flour, coconut oil and pure maple syrup

Chocolate and Vanilla Spelt Donuts

Baked some vegan chocolate and vanilla spelt donuts for some friends made with whole wheat spelt flour, raw cacao powder, pure vanilla extract, coconut sugar and coconut oil

Paleo Cookies

A big batch of Paleo Cookies: Chocolate Paleo Cookies and Coconut Paleo Cookies using raw blanched almond meal, pure maple syrup

Coconut and Chia Seed Paleo Cookie

Paleo Coconut and Chia Seed Cookies made with raw blanched almond meal, pure maple syrup, chia seeds and dessicated coconut

Vegan Matcha and Chocolate Muffins

Vegan matcha (green tea) and chocolate marbled muffins made with whole wheat spelt flour, matcha powder, raw cacao powder, coconut sugar, almond milk and coconut oil

Vegan Banana and Date Muffins

My vegan banana and date whole wheat spelt muffins made with whole wheat spelt flour, dates, mashed bananas, coconut oil, almond milk and walnuts

Almond Butter Cookies

Paleo and Vegan Almond Butter Cookies made with organic almond butter spread, coconut sugar and a bit of almond meal

Vegan blueberry and banana muffins

Vegan blueberry and banana whole wheat spelt muffins made with whole wheat spelt flour, mashed bananas, almond milk, date syrup and blueberries

Paleo Coconut Macaroons

Paleo Coconut Macaroons made with dessicated coconut, egg whites, and agave nectar

Vegan baked banana donuts

Vegan baked banana cinnamon whole wheat spelt donuts made with whole wheat spelt flour, cinnamon, mashed bananas, coconut oil, coconut sugar and almond milk

Paleo banana muffins

Paleo banana muffins made with raw blanched almond meal, eggs, mashed bananas, some pure maple syrup and coconut oil

Chocolate and Vanilla banana muffins

Vegan chocolate and vanilla banana muffins made with whole wheat spelt flour, mashed bananas, raw cacao powder, pure vanilla extract, pure maple syrup, coconut oil and almond milk

I think I can conclude that I am seriously a little too addicted to baking and trying to develop new recipes and experiment with new ingredients for various diets whether it be gluten free, vegan or paleo…there’s definitely something for everyone!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Biscuits and Cookies, Cookies, Dessert, Donuts, Fat Free, Health Food, Healthy, Instagram, Matcha, Muffins, Nuts, Oil Free, Paleo, Pandan, Recipes, Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Western

JACKPOT bakes gluten free and vegan banana and raspberry quinoa muffins

Hello dear readers!

Happy Friday! I’m glad the weekend has finally come around again and cannot wait to have another enjoyable one! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend too! ;P

I thought I’d share with you all one of my recent baking experiments. I recently purchased some quinoa flour (pronounced KEEN-WAH) and wanted to bake some gluten-free muffins after tasting one at the Eveleigh Markets on the weekend. It inspired me to make my own version of a gluten-free muffin which happened to also be vegan as well.

I had some ripe bananas sitting on my bench top and some raspberries in the fridge so decided to make banana and raspberry muffins using the quinoa flour. Quinoa flavour has quite a distinct taste and I think it is more an acquired taste. This first batch of muffins turned out alright in terms of texture and flavours however I definitely think that I needed to add a bit more sweetness to the mixture to counteract the tartness from the raspberries and the strong flavour of the quinoa flavour. I adapted my recipe from Bob’s Red Mill who specialise in various flours (http://www.bobsredmill.com/recipes.php?recipe=7020) but didn’t use any eggs as I was trying to make my muffins vegan as well as gluten-free. I think that I will experiment more with my recipe and tweak it until I get the flavours just right however for a healthy gluten-free and vegan muffin, this wasn’t so bad ;P

JACKPOT’s gluten-free and vegan banana and raspberry quinoa muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of quinoa flour
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1-2 tsps of ground cinnamon
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of soy milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup of pure maple syrup (you can use 1/2 a cup if you like a sweeter muffin)
  • 3-4 bananas mashed with a fork
  • 1 cup of raspberries (fresh or frozen)

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Line a muffin tray with cupcake liners and set aside.
  3. Mix all your dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt) with a wooden spoon and set aside.
  4. Pour a cup of soy milk into a measuring cup or a small bowl and mix together with the apple cider vinegar to create your vegan buttermilk. Leave it for a few minutes until it curdles.
  5. Add your vegan buttermilk mixture and the rest of the wet ingredients into a small bowl (maple syrup and mashed bananas) and stir to combine.
  6. Pour your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Be careful not to over mix your batter.
  7. Add in the raspberries into your muffin batter and fold them in gently.
  8. Using an ice cream scoop or a large spoon, spoon the batter into the cupcake liners about 3/4’s full.
  9. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. I baked mine for about 25 minutes as my batch seemed to need longer cooking time.
  10. Take your muffins out of the oven and out of the muffin tray and line them on a wire rack to cool.
  11. Enjoy!

Quinoa Flour

Dry Ingredients

Vegan Buttermilk

Mashed Bananas

Wet Ingredients 2

Wet Ingredients 3

Muffin Batter

Muffin Mixture

Muffins

Quinoa Muffins

Quinoa Muffins

Quinoa Muffins

I’ll definitely be experimenting more with quinoa flour and try to get the right consistencies and flavours but for a first attempt I was quite happy with the results. The fact that this muffin is gluten-free, vegan, has no eggs or oil in the mixture and is dairy free is a big bonus =)

So until next time!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Dessert, Gluten Free, Health Food, Healthy, Muffins, Oil Free, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian, Western

JACKPOT visits Plunge Cafe

Hello dear readers!

I’m sorry about the delay in blogging but it has been a really jam-packed week starting on sunday where we won a semi finals and then on Tuesday where we won another semi finals in basketball…it’s been a great week so far full of really great matches and I’m really looking forward to the finals this weekend and next week.

This is just a short post on a cafe I visited last weekend on my way to basketball training. Mr Muscles and I didn’t know where we should eat as time was limited before training. We decided to go to Summer Hill as Mr Muscles had heard from his workmates that there were a few good cafes in the area. We decided to try our luck at Plunge Cafe.

Plunge cafe is a small cafe located among various shops in summer hill. It’s quite a small cafe so you might blink and miss it if you drive too quickly. We were in luck as we were searching for parking, we coincidentally found the cafe right in front of where we parked the car. Plunge cafe has quite a cozy settings with quite a few chairs and tables but you can tell the place gets really packed quickly. We were lucky to get a table as it was still rather early. What I liked is that they serve home-made muffins at the front near the counter so you can either take them away or eat them there. As we sat down, we noticed a diner who was eating a muffin at the table. I noticed how large the muffin was and knew I probably wouldn’t have been able to finish it off so decided to not order one. I think the diner was thinking the same thing because shortly after she took her plate to the counter and asked to takeaway the rest of her muffin.

Mr Muscles and I didn’t want to eat anything too heavy so we decided to eat light. Unfortunately, as soon as my eyes scrolled the menu I saw the word pancakes and knew I could not resist. Damn my sweet tooth! ;P Mr Muscles stuck to the original plan and ordered some eggs with toast but he agreed to share some of my pancakes to lessen my guilt ;p

Plunge Cafe

Plunge Cafe

Plunge Cafe

The great thing about this cafe is that breakfast is served all day just the way I like it. It’s quite a short menu for breakfast but with quite a bit of variety. They also do specials of the day and I think on the day the specials were a slice of their banana and blueberry loaf or the choice of salmon Benedict instead of the usual ham Benedict.

Menu

Menu

Coffee

Mr Muscles coffee

Green Tea

My Green Tea

Eggs and Toast

Mr Muscles meal: poached eggs with toast with a side of sautéed button mushrooms $16.00

I could tell Mr Muscles wasn’t too happy with his meal choice due to the portion size of his food. I think he was hoping for a much larger serving size. He gobbled his meal up quickly but eyed my pancakes shortly after so I was more than happy to share my serve of pancakes with him. He said that he enjoyed his meal however there was nothing too special about his dish.

Pancakes

Buttermilk Pancakes served with Peaches, Cream and Maple Syrup $16.00

I was so excited about ordering pancakes that I couldn’t wait to dig in once the dish was placed in front of me. Once again I had similar remarks to Mr Muscles. The dish was quite enjoyable however there was nothing memorable about it. I think I’ve become more picky after eating so many different kinds of pancakes at various cafes across Sydney. These pancakes reminded me of the short stacks I used to order at Pancakes at the Rocks. The fruit was fresh though and it paired nicely with the hint of maple and splashes of cream. I gave Mr Muscles a pancake to try and he agreed with me. Whilst the pancakes were lovely and light, they were missing something compared to other pancakes I have tried.

We left the cafe feeling just full enough but not quite satisfied. Perhaps it’s one of those cafes we will need to come back and try again when we aren’t so rushed for time.

Look out for some upcoming recipe posts…I’m definitely planning on baking on the weekend when I have time…and Mr Muscles birthday is coming up next week..so look out for a restaurant post next week!

Plunge Cafe

46 Lackey Street

Summer Hill NSW 2130

Ph: (02) 9799 9666

Breakfast & Lunch: 7 Days

Dinner: Thu, Fri & Sat

Website: http://plunge46.com.au/

Until next time!

x

Jackie

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Cafe, Eggs, Pancakes, Restaurant, Sydney, Toast, Vegetarian, Western

JACKPOT bakes Paleo and Vegan Chocolate Pistachio, Cranberry and Almond Biscotti

Hello All!

Mid week means it’s time for a recipe post. My dear friend Ms Shortee shared a link for some Paleo chocolate biscotti she found on the internet. I have baked a few Paleo items here and there but not a lot leaning more to vegan baking and gluten-free baking so I was interested in seeing how this Paleo recipe would turn out. I definitely have seen a big trend towards people on Paleo diets as the new craze these days for exercise is Cross Fit. I don’t think I have the energy to do Cross Fit but the whole Paleo eating interested me quite a bit so I wanted to see how it would affect the results of my baking.

So what does eating on a Paleo diet mean for you? Here are two good link for foods you should eat if you are on a Paleo diet and a summary of what a Paleo really means http://www.paleoplan.com/resources/paleo-plan-food-guide/ and http://greatist.com/health/the-ultimate-guide-to-eating-paleo-022012/. Mr C was talking to me recently about the Paleo diet aka what he calls the Caveman Diet and I was interested in listening to what types of foods you are allowed to eat if you are eating Paleo. He was telling me to just imagine you are back in the old days during the caveman era and you had to hunt for food and basically what a cave man would eat during that time i.e. vegetables, fruit, meat and eggs. On a Paleo diet you would want to avoid having any grains of any sort hence why in most the baking recipes that are Paleo, the main ingredients used are almond flour or coconut flour as these are better for you to digest than any other flours.

I adapted my recipe from the Paleo Spirit website (http://paleospirit.com/2012/double-chocolate-pistachio-biscotti-paleo-vegan/). I loved the fact that the biscotti was Vegan and Paleo at the same time without using any egg. The recipe is quite healthy considering there are no refined sugars or oil in the batter. I have to admit that my biscotti didn’t look quite like the website or even resemble a typical biscotti shape but I think this was due to the fact that I was not used to the textures and the correct consistency needed for the batter when making biscuits such as biscotti. I thought my biscotti were still quite decent for a first experiment. This will definitely not be my last experiment as I want to try other paleo biscotti recipes and make Paleo banana pancakes and muffins even. Stay tuned for this in upcoming future posts.

Now back to the recipe:

PALEO & VEGAN CHOCOLATE PISTACHIO, CRANBERRY & ALMOND BISCOTTI

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/4 cups of raw blanched almond meal
  • 1/4 cup of raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup of pure maple syrup
  • a mixture of various nuts and dried fruits to your liking (I used unsalted pistachios, cranberries & raw blanched almonds but you can use whatever you prefer) – roughly about 1 cup’s worth

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper/baking paper and set aside.
  3. Add the dry ingredients (almond meal, cacao powder, baking soda and salt) into a large mixing bowl and combine with a wooden spoon.
  4. Add in the maple syrup to the dry ingredients mixture and combine with a wooden spoon until a dough forms.
  5. Fold in the nuts and dried fruits carefully into the dough.
  6. Form the dough into a rectangular log on your baking sheet. (Note that the dough may be quite sticky when trying to mold the dough into a log)
  7. Place the baking tray into the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Allow the log to cool on a wire rack until it has cooled completely.
  9. Cut the log into 1.5cm slices using a bread knife. Cut the slices on the diagonal to create that biscotti shape.
  10. Place the slices on the sides back onto the baking paper and bake for a further 15 minutes or until your biscotti are nice and crunchy.
  11. Cool your biscotti on a wire rack.
  12. Enjoy your biscotti with a cup of coffee or tea!

Almond Meal

Dry Mixture

Dry Mixture 2

Biscotti Batter

Biscotti Mixture 2

Log

First Baking

Sliced Biscotti

Biscotti

Biscotti 2

Biscotti 3

So they might not look like your typical biscotti but they tasted pretty alright to me. Once I took out my biscotti from the first baking time I almost didn’t want to put them back in as they tasted like a soft flourless chocolate cake that I couldn’t stop picking at some of the leftover biscotti that didn’t make it into the oven or rather that I consumed too quickly as it was rather addictive ;P I will definitely work on the presentation of these biscotti so that they look more like biscotti. Also because my log ended up rather flat and not as high as it should have been, I will need to ensure next time I make a narrower log so that it is easier to slice through for the second baking time. I gave this batch to Ms Shortee to try and she seemed to enjoy it despite her saying they were a tad chewy and soft in the middle. Perhaps I will need to bake them for longer in the oven for next time to get that extra crispiness and crunchiness that biscotti are so well-known for.

 

So until next time…

x

Jackie

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Filed under Biscotti, Biscuits and Cookies, Dessert, Paleo, Recipes, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian, Western

JACKPOT celebrates Valentine’s Day with some Vegan Strawberry Pancakes

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY dear readers!

I hope that this special day is one filled with plenty of love, happiness and of course an excuse for you to all indulge in various foods especially dessert or at least I know I will be ;P I know that most guys and maybe most girls don’t really celebrate Valentine’s day as they think it is a holiday conjured up by the people at Hallmark so that people spend various sums of money on their loved ones whether it be insanely expensive roses or taking your boyfriend or girlfriend out to a fancy dinner…I still naively think it’s a nice day just to remind your loved one that they are special and treasured by you. They say every day should be a special day and that is completely true but why not once in a while celebrate your love and care for all your loved ones by just doing the little things =)

I decided to make Mr Muscles pancakes for Valentine’s Day. I wanted to make him heart-shaped pancakes but unfortunately it did not turn out that way as my batter was too thin and as I was pouring out my batter into the pan, the mixture would always spread too quickly. I made some deformed heart pancakes at the start but decided to just settle on normal round sized pancakes. I made this pancakes vegan and used wholemeal spelt flour as the base then added in mashed strawberries and a bit of maple syrup to sweeten them up. I was really happy with the way they turned out albeit a few odd-looking pancakes from the first few batches. Mr Muscles seemed to enjoy the pancakes which I served with some chopped strawberries and some pure maple syrup.

I loved the fact that with each bite of the pancake, there was a lovely burst of strawberries in your mouth. The pancakes weren’t too sweet and I liked that as you got most of the flavour from the strawberries itself. Next time I might process the strawberries in a food processor as I found it very difficult to mash the strawberries with just a fork. This also added problems during cooking the pancakes as the strawberries would spread in lumps on the pan and therefore it was harder to cook the pancakes more evenly for each batch.

Vegan Strawberry Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 Cups of Wholemeal Spelt Flour
  • 2 Tsps of Baking Powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 1/4 Cups of Vegan Buttermilk (1 1/4 Cups of Buttermilk + 1-2 Tbs of Apple Cider Vinegar)
  • 2 Tbs of Coconut Oil
  • 2 Tbs of Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tbs of Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Cup of Mashed Strawberries

Method:

  1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Make your vegan buttermilk in a smaller bowl by placing some apple cider vinegar into the milk and leave it aside to let it curdle for a few minutes.
  3. Add in the coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract into the buttermilk mixture and whisk.
  4. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine being careful not to overmix the batter.
  5. Add in the mashed strawberries by folding them in gently.
  6. Put your pancake batter mixture into a pancake pen or a snap lock bag with one side snipped off for easy pouring.
  7. Heat up an oiled fry pan on low heat and once the pan is hot, pour your batter into the pan (usually about 1/4 cup worth of the mixture depending how small or big you want your pancakes)
  8. When you notice bubbles forming on your pancake and the sides starting to cook, flip your pancake over and cook the other side for a few minutes. Each side should only take a few minutes.
  9. Place your pancake on a plate and cook the rest of the pancake batter until there is no mixture left.
  10. Serve your pancakes with chopped fruit of your preference and some maple syrup if you want them slightly sweeter. ‘
  11. Enjoy!

Flour Mixture

Wet Mixture

Pancake Batter

Mashed Stawberries

Strawberry Pancake Mixture

Pancake Pen

Vegan Strawberry Pancakes

Vegan Strawberry Pancakes 2

Here are a few cute valentine’s day themed food pics I found on the net:

heart macarons

love candies

love pancakes

PANCAKES

valentines cheesecakes

valentines day cupcakes

Until next time!

x

Jackie

 

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Filed under Breakfast, Fruit, Health Food, Pancakes, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian, Western