Monday, 23 May 2016

Pasta with Pumpkin, Omelette and Parmesan (Vegan)

"What will I make for dinner?" I asked Sylvia as I pottered about the kitchen after her bath.  I try to be organised enough to know what I will cook of an evening but it doesn't always happen.  It is pretty useless to ask a 7 year old who turns her nose up at so much that I cook.  Yet there is nothing wrong with a bit of democracy.

While I gathered up bits and pieces for dinner she watched news headlines on ABC3 that are aimed at kids.  We try not to have the news on in our house while Sylvia is around, though occasionally she hears it on the radio.  She is fascinated by it.  If only like Noni Hazelhurst suggested, it did not paint the world as such a violence, sad, black place.  And don't get me started on politics and all the inadequacies of our politicians.

So I was surprised as Sylvia watched her kids news that she said accusingly that I had not told her there was an election on.  (As an aside, our MP of 20 years is retiring and it is exciting that our area might actually have a proper contest in the forthcoming federal election next month)  Not only did she tell me that she loves elections but she asked if she could help me vote. 

Sadly Sylvia did not get to vote on dinner.  Her suggestions included pizza and sausages.  She highly approved of the pasta but was a bit reluctant about eating the pumpkin and spinach on the side.  Not too reluctant, I was relieved to observe.  E and I really enjoyed this dinner made from odd bits and pieces that needed using.  It was a bit easier to make, given I had leftover omelette and the pumpkin was put on to roast earlier.

Today is a significant day in the preparations for the federal election.  It was the closing date to enrol to vote.  For those unfamiliar with the Australian political system, voting is compulsory.  So as Sylvia expressed her enthusiasm for the election, I was hopeful that in the not too distant future, she will be just as enthusiastic about enrolling to vote when she turns 18.

I am sending this to Healthy Vegan Fridays with congratulations to Kimmy for reaching the 100th week, Meatless Mondays at Tinned Tomatoes where Jac had posted some interesting posts for UK National Vegetarian Week last week, and Pasta Please.  I am delighted Jac at Tinned Tomatoes is now running Pasta Please with a new co-host, Chris at Thinly Spread, who is hosting this month.  For long time bloggers, you might recognise this event as the one that grew out of Presto Pasta Nights that Ruth at Once Upon a Feast held years ago.

More spaghetti recipes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Avocado pasta (v)
Cheesy peas pasta (v)
One pot pasta with chickpeas and zucchini (v)  
Soy bombs and tomato sauce on top of spaghetti (v)
Spaghetti pie (v)
Spaghetti with silverbeet and cauliflower grematola (v)

Pasta with Pumpkin, Omelette and Parmesan (Vegan)
An original recipe from Green Gourmet Giraffe
Serves 2

Spaghetti for 2 people (measured on a spaghetti measurer), cooked
1/2 butternut pumpkin, peeled, trimmed, cubed and roasted
1 onion, finely sliced and fried til well cooked
1/3 batch of leftover vegan omelette (see recipe below), diced
drizzle of olive oil, optional
squeeze of lemon juice, optional
vegan parmesan (see recipe below)
2 good handfuls of spinach, chopped, to serve

While roasting pumpkin think about what to do, fry up onions and while they are slowly cooking, cook the spaghetti.  Push cooked onions to one side and heat up omelette and pumpkin on frypan.  (NB the omelette works best if it has cooled first so it is easy to cut.)  Mix omelette and vegies together.  Serve the spaghetti in bowl with a drizzle of oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Serve omelette-vegie mixture alongside it and lots of chopped spinach.  Scatter with a generous spoonful or two of parmesan.

Tofu besan omelet
From Green Gourmet Giraffe

300g silken tofu, drained
6 tablespoons besan (chickpea flour)
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon mirin
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion granules
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
pinch black salt
1-2 tsp canola oil, for frying

Blend tofu, olive oil and mirin in tall large jug using a hand held blender.  Heat frypan and swirl around the canola oil.  Pour omelette into frypan and cook 10 minutes on low heat, then a further 10 minutes with a lid on frypan.  Use an eggflip or spatula to check it does not stick to frypan and then flip onto a large plate.

Vegan parmesan cheese
From Green Gourmet Giraffe, slightly adapted from Minimalist Vegan

1/2 cup cashews
2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 tsp salt flakes
1/8 tsp garlic powder

Blend in high power blender until ingredients are blitzed to a powder.

On the Stereo:
The Best of the Pogues

Friday, 20 May 2016

Homity Pie (potato, onion and cheese pie)

When I landed in London for the first time 20 years ago, I remember the joy of the wholesome vegetarian meals offered at Cranks Covent Garden restaurant.  I can only remember eating the sausage rolls there but I wanted to eat it all.  As a vegetarian, it was a wonderful place to discover.  It still pains me to think that this Covent Garden shop is no longer there, even if I too have not been in London for a long time.

Homity pie is one of those classic old-school 1970s vegetarian recipes I have always meant to try.  Choclette mentioned it in her memories of Cranks recently.  Suddenly I had a hankering.  And there were potatoes needing to be used.  Plus one last lonely egg and some gouda cheese in the fridge.

Lately life has been busy and I haven't been cooking or cleaning as much as I would like.  If I have spare time it is one or the other.  Usually cooking takes priority.  So I was pleased when baking these pies (and a cake) that a visiting neighbour commented on how cosy the house was.  It made me think perhaps I can get away with a bit more mess if the house has the homely smells of cooking.

I kept the pies simple so they might appeal to Sylvia.  No seeds or smoked paprika or herbs.   Sylvia has not been terribly adventurous in her eating with all the upheaval earlier this year.  But as things calm down, I am pushing her to try new foods a bit more.  Firstly was a homity pie.  Just a few mouthfuls.  She picked it apart until there was a mess on her plate and not much eaten.  She had a meltdown over the onion.  I was tempted to finish her dinner there and then.  But I breathed deeply and took her to her room to calm.  When she came back she ate most of half a small pie.  It did help having cake for dessert!  She has also eaten small amounts of roast pumpkin and kale salad this week!

I used vegan margarine but happened to have an egg to use for the shortcrust pastry.  However as I don't always have eggs in the house I had a look for an egg-free alternative.  The best vegan shortcrust pastry I found on my blog was this one but I think I would just try the one below with 3 tablespoons aquafaba instead of the egg.  In fact if you did this and used biocheese or daiya instead of gouda, you could easily veganise this recipe.

I don't make a lot of pastry and tarts.  So it was the first time I used some cute heart shaped tart tins I bought last year.  I was also able to use some smaller tins that had belonged to my grandmother.  The pies were a bit small for one serve with a kale salad but two seemed a lot.  Probably another salad would have done the trick.  That would be in the spirit of Cranks. 

Update: Quite a few people in the comments said they had not heard of or had Homity Pie.  I checked Wikipedia where it says that Cranks actually popularised the pie.

I am sending these pies to Meat Free Mondays, FoodYearLinkUp (for UK National Vegetarian Week which is this week) and Treat Petite (picnic food).

More Savoury Pies on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Eccles cakes with leeks, spinach and blue cheese (v)
Festive Mushroom Pie  
Samosa Pie (v)
Spaghetti pie (v)
Spinach and ricotta pie with filo roses
Stargazy Pie (v)
Will's farmhouse (mini) pies

Homity Pie 
Adapted from Cranks and The Hairy Bikers
Serves 4-8

125g/4oz plain flour, plus extra for rolling
125g/4oz wholemeal flour
150g/5oz butter
1 free-range egg, beaten

400g potatoes (about 4-5 small), chopped
3 tbsp oil
450g onions (about 6 small), chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
100g cheese, grated (I used gouda)
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp ground pepper, or to taste

Make pastry.  Rub butter into flours and then mix in egg.  This is so much easier in the food processor.  Knead briefly to form a round, wrap in clingfilm and refridgerate for about 30 minutes.

Make the filling.  Boil the potatoes for about 15 minutes or until cooked.  Gently fry the onions in oil for about 30 minutes until quite soft.  Stir in garlic and remove from heat.  Mix with potatoes, half the cheese, salt and pepper.  Don't worry if some potatoes collapse but they don't need to be mashed.  Check and adjust seasonings.  Set aside to cool while lining the tins with pastry.

Assemble pies.   I used 8 pie dishes and divided the dough among them.  Then I pushed it into the tins.  (I greased four of the old tins but did not grease the four larger non stick tins.)  Divide the filling among the tin and sprinkle with remaining grated cheese.  Bake at 220 C for 20 minutes.  Eat hot, warm or room temperature.

On the stereo:
In the Wee Small Hours: Frank Sinatra

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Very Good Falafel by Shuki and Louisa: Brunswick cafe

I have always enjoyed the dips (such as these) from Shuki and Louisa at farmers markets.  So when I heard they were opening a new cafe in Brunswick I was excited.  I met Faye from Veganopoulous blog there at 11.30am on the day the cafe opened.  It was still fairly quiet and we were able to watch the place filling up for lunch as we ate.

When we ordered our falafel and salad plates, the names of the salads had not been chalked up on the blackboard yet.  (After all the place had only opened at 11am!)  They all looked so beautiful that I was happy to order something of each.  Faye ordered a vegan platter which came with everything except the eggplant salad.

While we waited, Shuki gave us a falafel to snack on.  Yes they are friendly folk as well as excellent cooks.  I was super impressed with the falafel.  Prior to this I would have claimed that the best local falafels were at Half Moon Cafe.  Shuki's were really really good.  So light and crisp with a lovely green colour inside.  I can see why their University of Melbourne market stall falafels in pitas are popular.  You can also buy falafel in pita bread at the cafe.

Opening another Middle Eastern cafe on Sydney Road seems like take coals to Newcastle.  You might ask why pay $13 for a salad plate (and I think more for the falafel) for lunch when you can get much cheaper Middle Eastern food in other cafes.  I would counter that this cafe is really beautifully designed and offers a very different sort of meal that is great value for money.  We were really full by the end of the meal.

I really loved the salad and falafel with a drizzle of tahini sauce.  We also shared a pita bread which was soft and pillowy.  I am not sure which salad I liked best but I can tell you that they were brilliant together.  The fried potatoes and the wilted greens.  The starchy comforts of the freekah and the fresh aniseed flavours of the raw fennel.  I've been told that the salads change regularly.  I hope the desserts don't change too much as I would love to go back and try the tahini halva and walnut brownies.

For lots of great photos of the cafe, check out Faye's review at Veganopoulous.

Very Good Falafel
629 Sydney Road, Brunswick

Very Good Falafel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, 16 May 2016

Only-kale-can-save-us-now salad

When I started blogging 9 years ago I had never heard of kale.  Now you only have to wander down to your local supermarket to find big bunches of the stuff.  And if you want to know how to serve it, you don't have to look hard for recipes.  It is often found in our kitchen.  Even so, it has taken me a long time to find a raw kale salad to really love. 

The recipe was found in the Vegan Life Magazine that I bought on holiday.  It was so simple it was worth a try once.  I had tried a few raw kale salads previously and didn't get the kale adoration.  This salad - with the tongue in cheek title "Only kale can save us now salad" started as being not quite right.  The tahini and soy sauce was a bit sharp and salty for me.  Then I added a spoonful of maple syrup.  And suddenly it was wondrous.

I have now made it four times recently and love it.  It is a great side dish in so many meals or just great to eat with a sandwich at lunchtime.  The only time I wasn't quite so keen on it was when I ran out of maple syrup and used agave syrup instead.  More amazingly, E loves it.  He was heard to say he wished there was more of the kale salad the other night.  This is the same man who once said Kale rhyme with Epic Fail.

So finally I have a kale salad that I am really excited about.  I lick my fingers when I have massaged the dressing into the kale.  I am happy to eat a bowl of it without any accompaniments.  Washing and ripping up the kale takes a little bit of time.  Not long.  And it is worthwhile to stop and make a dressing that makes it so easy to include that little bit more greenery on my plate.

I am sharing this delightful salad with Eat Your Greens, Healthy Vegan Fridays, Gluten Free Fridays and No Croutons Required.

More kale recipes from Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Kale cake (v)
Kale, cheese and mole quesadillas (v)
Kale scones (v) 
Potato and kale enchiladas (gf, v)
Pumpkin and kale soup with tempeh crumbles (gf, v)
Tahini lime rice with kale and cashews (gf, v)
'Teriyaki' tofu with brown rice and kale (gf, v) 
Tomato and kale soup with pistachios (gf, v) 

Only-kale-can-save-us-now salad
Adapted from Eat Like You Give a Damn by by Michelle Schwegmann and Josh Hooten via Vegan Life Magazine
Serves 2-4

6-7 large leaves of curly kale (about half a bunch)

1 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 tablespoon linseed meal (flaxmeal)
1 teaspoons onion granules
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tbsp water, if needed

2 tablespoons hemp seeds (optional)

Firstly tear kale leaves off the stalk and rip up into small pieces.  Wash and dry.  (A salad spinner would be great but if you don't have one like me just wrap in tea towel and squeeze water out.)

In a large mixing or salad bowl, make dressing by mixing ingredients.  It should be a pouring consistency.  Add a spoonful or two of water if too thick.

Tip leaves into the mixing bowl with the dressing.  Use your hands to massage the dressing into the kale.  You want to help the kale wilt a little, spread the dressing throughout the leaves and end up with really messy hands. 

Sprinkle with seeds to serve, if desired.  Salad can be kept in the fridge for a day or two.

On the Stereo:
Waxing Gibbous: Malcolm Middleton

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Malteser and Milo Mudcake

After E's birthday we had a celebration in Geelong with my family.  I had decided to make a malty cake that had both Milo (Australia's chocolate malt powder) and Maltesers (malty balls encased in chocolate). It was good if you didn't eat it all at once.  I don't mean that I expect any individual would eat the whole cake.  I mean that its parts were greater than its sum or that the dark chocolate cake and ganache tasted much better without the sweet milk chocolate Maltesers and Chocolate Sticks.

Sigh!  You live and learn.  While I had thought the dark and milk chocolates would be fine together they just brought out the worst of each other - the bitterness of the dark and the toothaching sweetness of the milk. Next time I would sweeten the cake and ganache more with either sweeter chocolate or more sugar.  And I think the Milo taste might be brought out more with some sweetness.  I would also let the ganache have more time to cool so I could spread it on thicker.

I also baked the cake in a smaller tin in an effort to try and make it high enough for the chocolate sticks.  It contributed to this cake being really really soft and pudding-like.  It wasn't a bad thing.  Unless you wanted a nice neat slice. I did manage to get around the chocolate sticks being too tall despite my best efforts.  I just chopped them to size with my large chef's knife.  At least the cake looked pretty.

Sylvia and I had fun putting the maltesers on wire.  I took the cake in the car to Geelong in the boot, a little worried at how my new(ish) cake stand would go in the journey.  The cake arrived at my parents place safe and sound with bobbing Maltesers intact.

My mum had made a superb lunch with bread and dips, amazing battered and deep fried tofu (which Sylvia loved), a deconstructed green salad and a delicious rice and cauliflower salad.  Then we had a spread of desserts: jelly slice, pavlova with peppermint crisp, sponge cake, brownie, cheesecake and the Malteser and Milo Cake. 

The cake was based on a reliable mud cake recipe that I have made and adapted many time for special birthday cakes.  E says this is the sort of cake I always make and I agree.  Hence I am sending it to JibberJabber for the Love cake challenge in May which focuses on Signature Bakes.

More rich chocolate cakes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Coconut and chocolate chunk cake (v)
Jill Dupleix's flourless chocolate cake (gf)
Melt and mix chocolate chunk mud cake
Nigella's Nutella cake (gf)
Walnut fudge cake
White chocolate mudcake

You can also find some amazing cakes at this article on 10 Spring Cakes that Will Make You Smile by Jacqueline Meldrum in the Readers Digest.

Malteser and Milo Mud Cake
(adapted from the Women’s Weekly Cakes and Slices Cookbook)

250g butter, chopped
150g dark chocolate, chopped*
1 cup hot water
1 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp cocoa
1/2 cup milo
1/3 cup milk
1 13/4 cups plain flour*
scant 1/4 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
2 eggs

Adapted from Baking with Gab

110g dark chocolate*
40g butter
2 tbsp hot water
1/3 cup milo

Chocolate fingers

Grease and line 22 cm round cake tin. Preheat oven to 160 C.

Combine butter, chocolate, water, sugar, cocoa and milo in a large bowl and microwave til melted (or melt on stovetop). The chocolate might seem a bit flecky but that is fine.  Add milk, flour, baking powder and salt,  It might have some small flour lumps but they seem to be ok once baked.  Now stir eggs in well until you have a glossy but quite thin batter.  Pour into prepared cake tin.

Bake 1 1/4 hours. The cake should be slightly gooey but it doesn't hurt to test with a skewer to chekc it is mostly done.  Sit at least 10 minutes before turning out (it can cool in the tin if you like).

To make frosting melt all ingredients together and leave to cool until it has thickened enough to spread.  This can take at least a few hours in the fridge.  Spread over cake and decorate with chocolate fingers around the edge and Maltesers on top.

If you have craft wires that you have never managed to find use for, feel free to put Malteserts on top but if you have to cut them to size like me, just watch out for anyone eating Maltesers straight off the wire and prevent any health and safety issues.

NOTES: I used 70% chocolate for the cake and the frosting.  This made for quite a bitter cake and I liked it when served without the maltesers and chocolate fingers.  However it did not contrast successfully with the maltesers and chocolate fingers so if I was to combine these again I would use either some milk chocolate or a sweeter dark chocolate or I would add more sugar.  I used Bob's Red Mill gluten free flour instead of regular wheat flour.  I had some frosting leftover - if I had cooled it longer I would have got more on the cake.

On the Stereo:
L'essentiel Sylvie Varten: Comme un garcon - qu'est ce que fait pleurer les blondes

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Mung beans and quinoa in a spicy broth

I bought dried mung beans last year with the admirable intentions of regularly sprouting them.  It just hadn't happened.  Hence my interest in finding this recipe for spicy mung beans and quinoa.  It ls like a double whammy hit of protein and nutrients.  We ate it the first night with stirfried vegies, leftovers corn and some frozen peas to add a bit of green.  It lasted well in the fridge for a few days and was really good with kale salad and chopped red pepper or in wraps.

My only quibble was that the mung beans could have been cooked a bit longer.  The dish kept really well for a few nights in the fridge and the mung beans softened over this time.  It is great comfort food and quick to make.  I used the cherry tomatoes because they had to be used and I have added pepper into the recipe though I didn't use it because I think a little extra seasoning would be good. 

I am sending this dish to Healthy Vegan Fridays, Gluten Free Fridays, No Waste Food Challenge, My Legume Love Affair and Meat Free Mondays.

More quinoa dishes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Asparagus, potato and quinoa soup (gf, v)
Pea, quinoa and feta fritters (gf)
Polenta quinoa sticks with rhubarb sauce (gf, v)
Pumpkin, almond and quinoa soup (gf, v) 
Quinoa, cashew and honeyed carrot salad (gf) 
Tahini, quinoa and apricot toasted muesli (v)

Mung beans and quinoa in a spicy broth
Adapted from the Full Helping
Serve 6

1 cup dried mung beans
1 tablespoon rice bran oil
1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
6 cups water
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes (optional)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup quinoa

To serve: 4-6 cups chopped vegetables

Before beginning, cover mung beans with boiling water to soak for 30 minutes.  This can be done while you prepare the spices.

Heat oil in a medium-to-large saucepan over medium heat.  Fry mustard seeds and garlic for 1-2 minutes until mustard seeds start to pop.  Stir in turmeric and cumin for a few seconds and then add water, salt, tomatoes, quinoa and drained mung beans.

Bring to the boil.  Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes and then rest for 5 minutes.  Serve hot with vegies.  This dish keeps well in the fridge overnight.

On the Stereo:
High Violet: The National

Monday, 9 May 2016

Mothers day brunch: Apple, passionfruit and macadamia muffins and baked beans

It is an interesting life with kids.  I think I have used up all the apples and can head out to the farmers market for more and then I find that a couple have found their way to the dolls trolley under a comic.   Meanwhile I have been told by an allergy clinic that she still has a peanut allergy (not one of the lucky 20% who grow out of it) but that I should make sure she is exposed to macadamias and brazil nuts.  And I bought some passionfruit to make some healthy smoothies but she was too busy eating weetbix for breakfasts.  These are the challenges and inspirations behind the apple passionfruit and macadamia muffins!

The muffins were made for the Mothers Day weekend that has just passed. I made them after visiting the vet, the farmers market and taking Sylvia for gymnastics class.  Sylvia was interested in my baking until I had told her she wasn't to eat the apples I was chopping for the muffins.  This was not such a problem as the fact that I had the muffins bake for ages but they still seemed uncooked on the inside.  After cooling, they just seemed nicely moist but then they stuck to the papers.  Such as shame when they tasted delicious.  Perhaps more flour and less tinkering with a recipe might have helped.  The mixture was really really runny.  Far more than my gut felt was right.  And E complained about the passionfruit seeds but I loved them.

My family had arranged to have brunch for Mothers Day.  I had sort of thought the muffins might be suitable as they were quite fruity without too much added sweetner.  That was why I kept them gluten free.  However before decided to bake them I had planned to make a quick baked beans.  I went ahead with these and I love baked beans and on Mothers Day I felt I could indulge my tastes a little too.  The photo below is the only one I took of them in the busy weekend.

The brunch was really delicious.  Sylvia and I helped mum to make corn and red papper fritters and zucchini and feta fritters.  She had learnt well about flipping pancakes in our own kitchen.  The fritters were pillowy soft and went well with the baked beans and fresh orange juice before I started on the pancakes. 

I mentioned that Sylvia had allergy testing recently for her peanut allergy.  They say kids should retest when they start school.  Only it took her two and half years on the waiting list.  They finally contacted me when I was in Scotland.  I would love it if she had outgrown her allergy but it was not to be.  We get by pretty well with her peanut allergy, despite my love of peanut butter.  I know we are lucky she has not had such a severe allergy that it is judged anaphylactic. 

However there are time when the peanut allergy is terribly inconvenient.  Like when her little cousin innocently spreads peanut butter on toast and brunch and then sticks the same knife in the vegemite to spread some of that too just minutes before Sylvia is about to have vegemite on toast.  It is understandable that Sylvia was upset when her allergy makes peanuts seem like the devil incarnate.  Fortunately these sort of incidents have been very rare in the 5 years since the allergy was first diagnosed.

Meanwhile, my dad and my siblings put in money to buy new crockery for my mum.  It was very pretty.  I remember my mum putting together supermarket coupons to buy the dinner set this crockery will replace.  I think I might have been a teenager at the time.

As the pancakes had been very popular and disappeared liked the proverbial hotcakes, and Sylvia was off the idea of vegemite on toast she was still hungry after most of the family had left.  It was then that we realised I hadn't even brought our the muffins.  Sylvia decided she liked them and ate quite a few.

Even so I wasn't sure about taking them to a Kerin's house for afternoon tea because of the awkwardness of them sticking to the paper.  The muffins were so much part of the paper that it reminded me of a classic moment on talkback radio years ago when someone confessed they were too lazy to put the cupcake paper in the bin so they just ate it.

So I took some of the lovely beetroot, seed and walnut cake that my mum had made for dessert on the previous evening.  It went down very well.  (But I took a terrible photo of it.)  There was lots of lovely food at the afternoon tea but I think I was particularly fond of Damian's imitation of the Filou spinach and feta pastry which was superb.  Then we went home and had leftover soup for tea after which I fell asleep in front of the tv.  It was a fun weekend but very tiring.

More fruity muffins on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Apple and walnut crumble muffins (v)
Blueberry oat muffins
Cranberry, apple and butterscotch muffins
Fruity quinoa muffins (v)
Marmalade, blueberry and nut muffins (gf, v)
Strawberry yoghurt muffins

Apple passionfruit and macadamia muffins (work in progress)
Inspired by The Witches Kitchen

2 large or 4 small apples, peeled and finely diced (about 2 cups)
Pulp from 9-10 passionfruit, about 1/2 cup
1 cup milk with 1 tbsp lime juice to curdle it
1 cup (120g) ground macadamia nuts
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp olive oil
2 beaten eggs
mix and add:
1 cup gf flour (or plain wholemeal flour if you don't need it to be gf)
2 tsp baking powder

Mix apples, passionfruit, curdled milk, nuts, maple syrup, olive oil and eggs.  Stir in flour and baking powder.  Add more flour if needed to make the batter a thick enough consistency to lift on a spoon without dripping everywhere.  Spoon into mini muffin pans.  (I lined mine with cupcake papers but might try just putting circles of baking paper at the bottom of each hole and spraying with oil.)  Bake in a moderate (180 C) oven for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in a muffin.  Cool on a wire rack.

Quick baked beans
Adapted from Oh She Glows and Cook for Your Life
Serves 4-6

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tins cannellini beans
1 cup passata
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp blackstrap molasses
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp mustard powder

Fry onion in oil for about 5-10 minutes over medium heat or until browned.  Add remaining ingredients.  Check and adjust seasoning.  Simmer for 10 to 20 minutes.

On the Stereo:
The Swell Season - self titled album