Posts tagged brunch
Chocolate, Carrot & Mushroom (yep!) Porridge... for World Porridge Day!

It's World Porridge Day today... and in order to celebrate, I am sharing a porridge recipe with a chocolatey theme for some extra celebratory indulgence!

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What's World Porridge Day all about?

Taken from Mary's Meals website, "In Malawi and Liberia, where we have our largest school feeding programmes, the children receive vitamin-enriched maize porridge every school day. World Porridge Day celebrates the huge difference this daily mug of porridge makes to the lives of chronically hungry children." 

Head over to their website to find out how you can help support the project and share your #PorridgeSmiles (see my entry down below!)

I'm also sharing the love for RealFoodSource who have just launched a new range of amazing porridge blends full of chunky goodness and free from refined sugars. I was sent some samples last week for recipe testing and I am seriously so impressed, I will be sharing the results with you soon!

Back to my recipe! This ticks all my boxes- oats, veg and a 'booster' this time in the form of medicinal mushroom powder... my new best friend!

Adding medicinal mushrooms to anything chocolatey is great as it compliments the earthy flavour. It also works fantastically in a latte style drink with chai spices or of course a hot chocolate. I made a chocolate pudding with it here. 

I use a blend of organic chaga, reishi and cordyceps (I buy as separate small packs and mix them together in a tub ready to use as it was cheaper to do it that way) but any medicinal mushroom powder would work.

Porridge is not just perfect for breakfast, on this occasion I think it was lunch (or maybe brunch) whilst I was working (yep I went for the in-situ shot for a change) and I topped it with some dark choc chunks and a few small bliss balls I'd made that were left over from an event. 

In this recipe, I used finely grated carrot, but I could have used courgette or sweet potato for equally great results.

If that wasn't enough, for even more porridge recipes... click here for my porridge ebook (or scroll down and click the front cover pic) and for the rest of this month as a tribute to #Worldporridgeday grab yourself a 20% discount when you buy the book and quote PORRIDGEDAY20 at the checkout!

Enjoy getting all porridged up! :-)

choc carrot mushroom porridge.jpg

 Recipe: Chocolate, Carrot & Mushroom Porridge

Serves 1 


  • 1/2 cup porridge oats

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk of choice

  • 1 small carrot- finely grated

  • 1 heaped tsp medicinal mushroom powder

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder/paste

  • approx 1 tbs syrup of choice or coconut sugar to taste

  • 2 tbs raw cacao

  • for optional decoration- dark chocolate chunks, bliss balls, turmeric dusted coconut.


Add all ingredients except the medicinal mushroom powder to a small pan on the stove. Simmer for about five minutes, until cooked. Take off the head and add a little extra liquid if desired to achieve desired texture and stir through the medicinal mushroom powder just before serving to retain the maximum nutritional benefit. Add any toppings of choice or a drizzle of extra sweetness and serve.

Grab my ebook here... for the rest of October I am offering 20% discount when you buy the book and quote PORRIDGEDAY20 at the checkout!

P.s do you like my carrot cake tabby cat I made for breakfast this morning for my Mary's Meals #PorridgeSmiles...


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Blueberry & Banana High Protein Pancakes

I feel like it's been forever and a day since I've posted loads of food recipes! Once upon a time back in the early days) I was posting three or four times per week, but that's when I had nothing else to do alongside ;-)

Blueberry & Banana High Protein Pancakes

Recently I've been spending a lot more time doing my own inner work which is my track of to becoming a better person and coach. I've also been doing a lot of brainstorming- figuring out how to make my mark on this world and how best to make a difference in your lives. With the news of Scott's passing a few weeks ago it made me think more deeply about how I show up and the actions I take.

On another lighter and altogether delicious note, if you've been keeping up with me on Facebook page you'll know I have been busy creating recipes for a 'porridge' e-book to be ready for you very very shortly. Sign up to my newsletter for a special launch offer coming in the next couple of weeks!

In the meantime it's the weekend and so I reckon pancakes should be on the agenda. It's been a while!

Mmmmm pancake brunch!

These ones are super duper simple and also super duper high protein- all natural protein by way of the chickpea flour, chia seed and a little nut butter. 

I love the flavour of these, although if you are not such a fan of chickpea flour you might want to sub half with ground oats or another grain for a neutral flavour.  I have used banana and frozen blueberries, but for for an autumnal twist why not try stewed apple or pear.

If the hot sun comes out as it has done most days this week, I may well whip up another batch and sit out in the garden. Indian summer bliss!

Blueberry & Banana High Protein Pancakes

Recipe: chickpea flour pancakes

Serves 1 (3 small pancakes)


  • ½ cup chickpea flour (aka gram or garbanzo flour) 
  • 2 tsp chia seed (or flax)
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 heaped tsp coconut sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup water
  •  1 tbs peanut or almond nut butter 
  • toppings of choice- I used mashed banana, blueberries and soy yoghurt


Mix/mash all ingredients together until you have a thick but spoonable/runny batter. Ideally, allow to stand for 2-3 minutes to thicken a little more whilst you prepare your toppings.

Dollop into three equal sized pancakes into a large oiled frying pan. Cook for 2 minutes then flip and cook for another minute or so until both sides are golden.

Layer up with mashed or sliced banana and blueberries (or fruity filling of choice!) and a little non dairy yoghurt for extra messyness ;-)

Serve immediately.

Blueberry & Banana High Protein Pancakes vegan
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Blackberry & Apple chia porridge

It's been a beautiful sunny October with some very warm days thrown into the mix. I love the seasons. Conkers on the floor, red crunchy leaves in the woods and the nip of winter on the horizon with dark mornings and early nights creeping in. Particularly now the clocks have changed.

Is it porridge time yet?

Yes please!

I had some blackberries left from picking a few weeks back in the freezer and some apples that I picked from a a friends tree sop this little warming breakfast or brunch was perfect. Plus I have been experimenting with recipes using this natural unrefined syrup by Sweet Freedom. More on this to come soon, but you can check them out here. The thing I love most about this syrup is that it is the closest equivalent to honey in flavour that I ever have come cross in a vegan sweetener.  I love it in muffins or drizzle on porridge like this. They also make a chocolate drizzle syrup and I have had both on hand in my cupboard for a few years, so versatile!

You could also try this porridge concept with gluten fee oats or something else entirely such as buckwheat or quinoa flakes.

By adding chia seeds and grated apple along with the oats, you'll create a lovely warming porridge that is that little bit lighter than the norm... perfect for the shift to winter when full blown comfort foods might not quite yet be in the agenda!  

Recipe: Blackberry & Apple chia porridge

Serves 2

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 1/2 cup nondairy milk of choice (plus extra to suit)
  • 2-3 tbs chia seeds (white will look prettier)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 small apple grated
  • 1 small apple chopped
  • large handful blackberries
  • 1 tbs sweet freedom plus extra to serve


Add the oats, milk, chia, cinnamon and grated apple to a medium saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes (or until preferred consistency- I like my oats only just cooked) Add extra milk to achieve desired consistency- the amount of chia you use will impact this.

In a separate frying pan cook the apple chunks- or you can just add them into the porridge along with the rest of the ingredients at the beginning if you are not fussed about having them as a chunky topping.

Add the cooked apple and blackberries on top (I add the blackberries cold) then drizzle with sweet freedom to taste. Add an extra dusting of cinnamon if you are a cinnamon freak like me!

Note: you can also stir through a teaspoon of maca powder, it's totally optional by I usually add it to all my porridgy concoctions as it gives me a boost for the day!

blackberry apple porridge3.jpg

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Carrot cake breakfast blinis

These carrot cake blinis had not started life in my head as carrot cake blinis...

Carrot cake breakfast blinis

They were going to be some kind of gorgeously thin crepe that I could use to wrap up with a breakfast fruit compote...kindly of like these (but with carrot). But as is usually the case, I have issues making large pancakes look pretty. Actually that's not entirely true as  these were pretty good pancakes of the classic British variety, but that aside that I tend to have more success with the small blini type and for that level of perfection I find a melon baller scoops exactly the right amount of batter into the pan…just a little tip for ya!

Since I had already added blended carrot into the batter, I simply added a few extra spices and some walnuts onto the top and then we have carrot cake blinis, the walnuts were actually a really great addition since when the blinis are flipped over for the final minute of cooking it also toasts walnuts nicely.  I blended my carrot, but you could use finely grated carrot for a more visible carrot texture.

This could be served in a variety of ways, here I simply teamed mine with some satsuma slices and a little soy yoghurt but anything goes's your weekend brunch after all so what would you have with them?

Oh, and it goes without saying these could easily make dessert... just layer up into mini ice-cream sandwiches and drizzle with some maple syrup on top and you're good to go. Yay!

Last note, this batter makes quite a lot of blinis but remember they are don't get scared but the number! 

Carrot cake breakfast blinis

Recipe: Carrot Cake Blinis

makes approx 20 (serves 4 ish)


  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 3 tbs ground flax
  • 2 tbs maple syrup (or a little stevia)
  • scant 1 cup water (add extra if needed)
  • 1/2 cup grated or 1/3 cup blended carrot
  • 2 tsp coconut oil- melted
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp each nutmeg and cinnamon (or to taste)
  • approx 1/3 cup chopped walnut pieces for topping


Blend together all ingredients (other than buckwheat) in a blender until smooth*. Pour into a medium bowl and add the buckwheat flour mixing until a smooth thickish batter is formed. Allow to sit for a couple of minutes to allow the flax to help thicken and bind a little.

Using a melon baller (easiest way!) scoop small dollops of batter onto a hot, lightly oiled, frying pan. add a few chopped walnuts to the top and fry until golden beneath and flip to cook for a minute on the other side.

Serve immediately. 

*Note: if you prefer the carrot more visible and a little chunky mix this in at the same time as the buckwheat.. 

Carrot cake breakfast blinis
Carrot cake breakfast blinis


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Carrot cake pancakes

So, on Saturday pancakes got to me again….!  I hadn’t planned for this little distraction at all since I had a nice bowl of oats lined up in my head (hmm, that sounds odd?)

But then Facebook happened and somebody had posted about pancakes- how much they really wanted some….so then I really wanted some too! So I figured I really ought to do something about that.

Meet the newest addition to the pancake family. Carrot cake pancakes!

It’s still only a relatively small pancake family but there are plenty more flavour combos bubbling away in my mind awaiting a future weekend brunch trial.

Check these ones out too:

What’s your favourite flavour?

You will see the note below about carrot content. I made these originally with quite a large carrot, and therefore the ratio of ‘wet ingredient to dry’ was fairly large as carrot releases more moisture whilst cooking. You will see from the photos that the pancakes were more dense and moist than fluffy, I liked it this way as a nice change but my mum (who I’d shared them with) preferred a slightly fluffier version. Therefore I have slightly reduced the amount of carrot in the recipe below. Also note that the carrot should be finely grated so that it cooks through quickly.

P.S wish me luck for tonight, as I have my first new Pole Fitness class to teach…I’m a big ball of nerves and excitement!

P.P.S do you notice how there are 4 pancakes in these photos yet the recipe makes 6- well guess who ate four pancakes and who ate two! (yes I was hungry!)

Recipe: Carrot cake pancakes

Makes approx. 6 smallish pancakes 


  • ½ cup white spelt flour
  • 4 tbs oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon or mixed spice
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 smallish carrot finely grated (or larger carrot for a less fluffy pancake)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbs maple syrup
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1tbs melted coconut butter


Mix coconut butter, orange juice and vanilla in a bowl and heat in microwave to melt the coconut butter into the mixture. Combine dry ingredients in a separate small bowl then add the wet and mix. Add finely grated carrot last and lightly mix through. Spoon dollops on a lightly oiled hot frying pan and fry till golden for a few minutes each side.

Serve with soy yoghurt and walnuts with a dusting of extra cinnamon as desired.

Note: when I first made these I added a medium- large carrot to the mixture which made for a wetter pancake due to the moisture in the carrot as it cooks. I enjoyed this texture, but if you prefer a more traditionally fluffy pancake then you may wish to reduce the carrot as noted.

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Irish potato farls

Ooo look I’m just in time…for St Patricks Day that is! 

I also had one other recipe I wanted to make, this time along the green theme but alas I didn’t quite get organised enough. Oh well I may as well just get that up tomorrow anyway on the actual day itself, I know it will be short notice but I am pretty certain it will a recipe for St. Paddy’s and far beyond!

So…. I wrote down and crossed off so many options for so many reasons:

…irish cream

….soda bread

…green smoothie

…. anything green!

Problem was I’d seen plenty of amazing looking recipes along these themes already. At some point I do want to attempt a soda bread though, but having never baked a GF loaf before I figured it might be best to wait for another time when I have time on my side to make a few mistakes and few attempts if necessary.

For today I wanted a fool proof recipe with a short ingredient list, but still decidedly Irish. I also wanted a savoury recipe (to compliment tomorrow’s sweet recipe!)

So, here we have Irish potato farls (with a little twist of my own that I couldn’t resist).  The traditional Irish recipe simply calls for regular potatoes and does not include any seasonings other than salt. The ‘cakes’ are meant to be plain as an accompaniment to a dish. However I wanted to add some sweet potato into the mix also adding a hint of seasoning whilst not being overpowering. I also substituted GF flours for the regular plain flour that would be more typically used. Feel free to mix things up as you wish.

One thing I would note is that the potatoes should ideally be ‘dry’ before they are mashed.  When I made them I didn’t let my potato dry very well after draining and had to add more flour to compensate, the flour is an approximation so add as much as it takes. It’s not a huge problem if you add a lot more, but better to let the potato take centre stage and not risk adding copious amounts of flour to the mix to alter the flavours.

I served my farls with a light salad as a brunch, I left the rest of the dough in the fridge to cook up at another time. The dry frying in flour is what really makes the farls, giving them a lovely crisp exterior and leaving a creamy soft interior.

Recipe: Irish potato farls

Makes 4-6 farls


  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and halved
  • 2 medium (or one large) sweet potato
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Approx.1/3 cup GF flour mix (I used tapioca and buckwheat)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tsp mix of garlic and onion powder- optional


Boil the potatoes for approx. 20 minutes until cooked. Drain the potatoes and let sit for a few minutes to let dry out properly.

Add potatoes to a bowl and mash well, once mashed add  all the other ingredients and mix through until a soft dough begins to come together. The dough should be sticky but if it is too sticky to handle add a little more flour until it becomes workable (note- allowing the potato to dry should help combat this).

On a well floured surface bring the dough together into a ball and flatten into a circle approx. 1cm thick- cut into 4 or 6 wedges using a floured knife.

Heat a frying pan and sprinkle a little more flour over the base, cook the farls fry in the flour for approx. 3 minutes in each side until browned.

Sprinkle with salt to serve.

This post is also in memory of my Grandma Marion, who's birthday it would have been today... had she been born one day later she would have been named Patricia! 

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Pesto polenta bruschetta

I gave you a little teaser yesterday and now here it is…

Pesto polenta bruschetta.

The perfect light lunch option, it’s also a lovely twist on tradition since the polenta offers a tasty gluten free alternative to traditional crusty bread.

The recipe is pretty simple, but it’s more the concept that I was going for really. The idea of using polenta as a bruschetta base delicately flavoured with pesto and then topped with a pesto coated bruschetta medley. Perfectly delicate (dare I say it ‘summery’) flavours, you could mix and match with other ingredients to suit your tastes.

The polenta is simply made mixed with water according to the packet instructions. Just add a dollop of pesto to the mixture too. I used quick cook polenta and whipped it up in 3 minutes in my Thermomix, but it would also work in exactly the same way on the hob- just keep stirring until it thickens.

You don’t need to be too precise with the topping ingredients, below is just a guide so just throw in what feels right!

This really does seems like a summery dish, why is that?  What makes some foods comforting winter dishes, like my sweet potato coconut curry or chickpea and lentil soup, and some foods much more ‘spring’ like? Well I am going for the spring option today, we’ve had some glorious warm weather recently although I haven’t spent much time outside in it, and the daffodils are well and truly emerging now.

Spring is most definitely in the air…happy times!

Recipe: Pesto polenta bruschetta

Serves 2-4


  • Quick cook polenta
  • Water (amount varies depending on how much polenta used- see polenta packet instructions)
  • 2-3 tbs pesto divided between polenta and the topping
  • 1 onion- chopped finely
  • 2 handfuls tomatoes- chopped
  • Half a red pepper- chopped
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • A few sprigs of fresh basil
  • Vegan parmesan- optional


Cook the polenta according to the packet instructions and then pour/spoon immediately into a lined loaf tin (size based on the amount of polenta you’ve cooked up). Allow to cool and set in the fridge.

Once set, cut into 1cm thick slices before frying on a griddle for approx. 5 minutes. each side to achieve a slightly golden crisp coat (mine should have had a little longer ideally). You couod oven bale the polenta.

Note any extra polenta can be stored in the fridge for a few days prior to its second cooking.

Meanwhile, prepare the bruschetta topping by combining all the remaining ingredients and toss together with the remaining tablespoon of pesto. 

If serving the polenta hot, heat the topping through before spooning over.  Alternatively, both polenta and topping can be served cold.

Dust with a little vegan parmesan if desired.

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Blueberry banana pancakes

Sunday morning brunch…. quite possibly one of my favourite meals.  This is the time of the week where I feel that anything goes, time to be a little bit crazy and go for whatever it is you really fancy!

And today I really fancied…..pancakes!!

This notion had originally been inspired a few weeks back by this recipesuch a simple concept and I figured that it wasn’t actually so far removed from my usual oats combo! A few tweaks and one hot frying pan later, one plate of pancakes were all mine!

Recipe: Blueberry banana pancakes

Makes approx. 6 medium sized pancakes. (serves two for brunch or desert)


  • ½ cup mix of wholemeal and white spelt flour
  • 3 tbs rolled oats
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½  tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tsp agave (if needed)
  • 1 mashed ripe banana
  • 1/3-1/2 cup soy milk
  • Handful of blueberries (fresh or frozen defrosted)
  • Topping- soy yoghurt layered through the stack topped with a few more blueberries and a drizzle of maple syrup if desired.


Mix the banana, soy milk, agave and vanilla in a bowl. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl then add the wet and mix. Add blueberries last and lightly mix through. Spoon dollops on a lightly oiled hot frying pan and fry until golden for a minute or so each side. Serve in a stack with soy yoghurt and blueberry topping as desired.

Mmmm, lovely warm and ooooozy, they were dripping everywhere as I rushed to take a few photos!

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