Make It Your Own Muesli

This recipe for wholesome and nutritious muesli is literally what you decide it to be! Individually you – by you, for you!

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Ingredients

Serves 15-20

600g rolled oats

100g dried dates, chopped

75g dried prunes, chopped

75g dried apricots, chopped

75g brazil nuts, roughly chopped

50g sunflower seeds

50g pumpkin seeds

Method

  • Put all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix.
  • Serve a portion in a cereal bowl with either milk or very low fat natural yoghurt – or the two combined.

Dawn: This recipe is so very simple and so very easy to do. I’ve quite literally taken some dried fruits, seeds and my most favourite always-in-the cupboard nuts – brazil nuts – and mixed them together. Bob’s your uncle! They make the most delicious muesli for breakfast and give a massive energy boost to help keep you going all the way through until lunchtime.

Originally devised around about 1900 by a Swiss physician, Maximilian Bircher-Benner for his hospital patients who needed diets rich in fresh fruit and vegetables and was inspired by “a strange dish” he and his wife had experienced while on a hike in the Swiss Alps. Nowadays, it is commonly recognised that we all need diets rich in fruit and vegetables to contribute to our overall healthy living and wellbeing. Bircher originally soaked oats with water and lemon juice overnight and then served it with yoghurt. Something I think I’m simply going to have to try! I’ll report back on what I think.

You can use any dried fruits: cranberries, currants, sultanas, etc. with any seeds and nuts you happen to have in at home. Fresh fruit can, for example, include grapes, grated apple, mango, strawberries, raspberries and can be served with fromage frais, quark and other dairy products as well as adding ground nuts such as ground almonds and a dash of your favourite spice such as cinnamon or ginger to create a muesli completely unique to you – you’re only limited by your own imagination!

I’m rather partial to serving this delicious muesli with a sliced banana, a roughly chopped orange and a smattering of fresh blueberries with a couple of heaped tablespoons of very low fat natural yoghurt on top, then lashings of cool milk and topped off with sprinklings of ground cinnamon. It’s currently my most favourite breakfast! And definitely counts towards my having my 5 A Day!

So go on – Make It Your Own Muesli! It can be anything you want it to be!

Another nutritious breakfast using oats is porridge and you can find the recipe here from my “How To Make” series – “How To Make Porridge”.

For more easy to make and oh-so simple to follow recipes, then follow this blog at www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com and over at Twitter @Love_Food_UK. The Cooking Whiz is also on Mumsnet and Facebook.

Vegetarian Three Beans Chilli

Are you a vegetarian? Or feeling in a “veggie” mood? Then this simple and tasty meal is a variation on my “Yummy Chunky Chilli” dish – minus the meat!

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Ingredients

Serves 4

2 tsps whole cumin seeds

1 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp chilli flakes

1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped

2 red peppers, washed, de-cored, de-seeded and sliced

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

500ml vegetable stock

1 tin of red kidney beans, drained and washed

1 tin of black eyed peas, drained and washed

1 tin of chick peas, drained and washed (or do your own “How to Rehydrate Dried Chick Peas”)

1/2 a butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and chopped into small squares

Method

  • Put the cumin seeds in a large saucepan and toast for about 3-5 minutes on a low heat.

Dawn: You’ll know the cumin is toasted as the seeds begin to release their ‘woody’ aroma. Mmm…delicious!

  • Next, add the paprika and a splash of warm water to prevent the spices from sticking to the saucepan.
  • Add the onion and cook gently for about 5 minutes, adding extra warm water as required to stop the ingredients from sticking to the saucepan.
  • Add the sliced red peppers and chopped tomatoes.

Dawn: You can roast the red peppers before adding them and this will lend a mild roasted flavour to the dish. I’ve not done this on this occasion as I was short of time but it’s worth doing as it adds another dimension to the depth of flavours achieved in the cooking.

  • The vegetable stock and three types of beans are poured into the saucepan and mixed together.
  • Next add the cubed butternut squash and stir the ingredients together. On a medium heat, cook these until they have reached boiling point and then lower the heat, cover and allow to cook on a low and gentle heat for about 45-60 minutes until all the ingredients are tender.

Dawn: You’ll know the dish is cooked when the butternut squash becomes ‘mellow-looking’ – soft and mushy – around the edges and the stock is thick and gluey-looking in appearance and texture. It’ll look like a thickish soup with lots of textures to it when it’s cooked.

  • Serve in a warm bowl with either cooked rice – see my “How to Boil Rice” – or a green salad or simply a slice of tasty bread to lap up the juices when you’ve finished.

Dawn: Voila! A glistening nest of ruby red jewels and opulent orangey gems to feast your eyes – and bellies – upon! Enjoy!

For more easy to make and oh-so simple to follow recipes, then follow this blog at www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com and over at Twitter @Love_Food_UK. The Cooking Whiz is also on Mumsnet and Facebook.

Perfected Recipe

Dawn: “Today, fellow foodies, I bring you a ‘funny’ post…funny, because it sure made me giggle this morning! Yes, I know…it’s the simple things in Life!!!

So without further a-do, here it is…offered up by yours and my all-time-favourite contributor to this here little old food blog….drum roll, please….red carpet…cameras’ flashes…

…I give you no other than my esteemed fellow foodie, chef supreme and all-round-good egg (no pun intended…well…perhaps a smidge of one)…the great, the glorious, the taste buds-alight recipe wizard himself…Andrew!”

Andrew enters to deafening applause…and takes a bow…and another…and one more…

Dawn: “Enough! Cut!” As I make a cutting action with my hand.

Andrew: “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Dahlings…I’m overwhelmed!!!” As he takes another bow.

Dawn: “I sure can feel a ‘Morecombe and Wise’ moment coming on here, Andrew!”

Andrew: “Shucks…sussed again!” as Andrew winks with mirth spread all across his face. 

Dawn: “OK, ‘Star Contributor’, pray what do you bring us today?”

Andrew: “A little something I threw together this very morning, oh esteemed foodie. Do you want me to start?”

Dawn: “Yes, please!”

Andrew: “Then I’ll begin”.

Serves 1

  • Recline on a comfortable location, from which servant can be directed.

Dawn obliges.

  • Direct servant to put kettle on.

Dawn obliges again.

  • Remind servant to fill kettle with water.
  • Direct servant to place teabag in mug or teapot.

Dawn directs…

  • Servant must pour freshly boiled water onto teabag.

Andrew pours freshly boiled water onto teabag.

  • Allow servant to rest.

Andrew rests for 60 seconds…no more…no less.

  • Order servant to check tea has diffused sufficiently.

Dawn directs…

  • If this is the case order the removal of the teabag. If not, feel free to cast a withering look.

Dawn checks diffusion of teabag…casts withering look at Andrew who robustly never grimaces.

  • Direct servant to add milk to mug.

Dawn directs.

  • If milk is added to teapot, roll eyes.

On cue, Dawn rolls eyes.

  • Servant must bring tea to reclining mistress.

Dawn reclines…

  • Serve with dark chocolate digestive.

Andrew serves tea and delicious dark chocolate digestive.

Dawn: “Yes, you can get “the staff” if you try!” and winks, laughing a hearty, mischievous laugh.

For the perfect cuppa, you’ll just need a good person with a heart of gold, a great sense of humour, a fan to cool the reclining said person with, plus one tea bag and lashings of hot water.

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Dawn: “And no! We’re not endorsing any tea producing company!”

Andrew: “It just so happens to be the only pic to hand to post!”

For more recipes from the Cooking Dynamo follow @Love_Food_UK on Twitter and follow this blog www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com. You’ll also find her on Mumsnet Bloggers Network and Foodies100…oh, and did I mention Facebook at www.facebook.com/lovefood.forfoodlovers? See you there for more fab recipes and food chat!