Like most of Australia, I sat on the edge of my seat watching the World Cup qualifiers as they scored goal after goal after goal after goal. Fricking awesome job Soceroos!! One more game to win and we are in the 2014 World Cup!!
I’m at that point of the household food cycle where I’m literally out of everything fresh. I was down to my last zucchini, last couple of carrots – you get the idea! I still managed to throw together a scrumptious chicken and veg soup, followed by a quick and easy chocolate brownie that I’ll be using for school lunch boxes.
I found the original recipe for brownies here http://www.welltraveledwife.com/2013/04/coconut-brownies.html. I didn’t alter it too much and ended up with the most delicious brownies! As always I reduced the sugar and added ground chia seeds to increase nutritional content, and then, just because I had them I added some prunes, chopped quite small, to add some nice tartness to it. This recipe is great, because it is dairy free, with the use of coconut oil instead of butter, although if you look around her blog, she also has the same recipe with butter substituted in if you prefer. I don’t normally love coconut oil in baking, and mainly use it for the health benefits, if I’ve run out of butter, or someone has allergies. Over the weekend a friend had picked me up the Costco organic virgin coconut oil (the brand is Absolute Organic, and there is a website on the jar if anyone is interested, www.ecofarms.com.au) I must say that it was much, much nicer than the standard organic one I buy. And so, to the recipe…
CHOCOLATE CHIA BROWNIES
3/4 cup cocoa
3/4 cup coconut oil (or butter)
1.5 cups brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup plain flour
1/8 cup ground chia seeds
6 pitted prunes chopped small
Add cocoa to coconut oil in a small saucepan and heat gently until melted. Set aside.
In a bowl add remainder of ingredients, and mix thoroughly. Add cocoa/oil mixture and stir to combine.
Put in lined brownie tray and bake in 180’C oven, 30 mins or until cooked (but not too cooked if you like a gooier texture).
This mix could easily lend itself to experimenting, by using a sweet potato mash or cooked quinoa instead of flour, making it gluten free. I will be playing with this recipe over the coming weeks to see if I can make it paleo 🙂
CHICKEN SOUP IS GOOD FOR THE SOUL…
It’s true when they say chicken soup is good for the soul. It has such a warm and comforting affect on your body and is a great vitamin boost for the kids during the colder months.
I almost wasn’t going to bother blogging the chicken soup recipe, but it was so nice and tasty, I thought I’d share it, in case anyone is interested. Like I said, I literally was down to the last of my veggies, so I made a soup with what I had. You generally can’t go too far wrong with soup, the only thing you want to keep in mind is to keep it simple and don’t add too many different flavours.
Firstly, I boiled 3 free range chicken carcasses for the stock for around 3 or 4 hours. The stock was a lovely deep colour. Ideally for a proper bone broth you would boil the bones for 24 hours, but I wasn’t that organized. Anyway, I boiled the bones (bought cheaply from my butcher), then strained the bones out. I used large stock pot, and topped up the water when it reduced down. I always have chicken carcasses in the freezer, because they give such a beautiful stock. If you want more meat in your soup, add a Maryland piece (or other cuts of meat on the bone) of chicken into the pot with carcasses. When I take out the bones, I squeeze lemon and sprinkle salt over them, then the kids and hubby pick the meat off the bones while they eat the soup. Trust me – it’s delicious hot or cold!!
Then I added:
4 large cloves of garlic
1 med zucchini, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 small sweet potato, diced
3 bay leaves
a stick of celery
a bunch of silver beet, chopped (the only thing I am able to grow in my garden without killing it!)
Salt and pepper to taste
I threw these in for around 30mins, took out the bay leaves (well, I took out 1, I couldn’t find the others!). Take off the heat, then, using a stick blender, I pureed the veggies.
If you have ever made the greek soup, avgolemeno, you will be familiar with this next step. For a large pot, I used 3 eggs, cracked into a metal bowl and the juice of two lemons. Whisk together until creamy in colour. Ladel the soup into the egg/lemon mix slowly, whisking at the same time. After 5 or 6 ladels, slowly pour the egg lemon mixture back into the pot of soup, stirring to combine. Let the soup ‘rest’ a few minutes – I’m not even really sure why I do this, but I always have! lol!
I had some brown rice left from dinner the night before, so I used this in the bowls, then poured the soup over it. You could add rice or noodles into the soup after pureeing the veggies, allow time to cook these properly before mixing the eggs and lemons. Alternatively, you could leave it as a thin soup like I did for myself because I had a late lunch and wasn’t too hungry. It’s also good to freeze as a thin soup and then defrost when needed and add in whatever carb you want.
This was such a warm, comforting, delicious soup, even hubby who isn’t a big soup eater really enjoyed this!