This weekend its been about simplicity. Post a very hectic and slightly stressful week – I wanted to make delicious but easy food that would put a smile on my face.
I have a love of trying complex dishes, testing myself with new and interesting ingredients and putting something together that I would never have thought up on my own.
However – that’s all well and good when you have the energy and the time. But what about when you just want yummy food with minimal effort.
K.I.S.S (keep it simple stupid).
And thats just what I did.
I had an amazing girls night on friday night with two lovely friends and that’s what gave me the idea. We had a rice paper roll night where we all bought different ingredients and laid them on the table and just assembled and ate as we chatted and put the world to rights. At the very last minute – about 10 mins before I left the house to meet them – I decided to make a dessert as I had some random ingredients laying around that I thought might just work together….
Here’s what I made…4 Ingredient Banana Chocolate Mousse. It took me 5 minutes and that might be exaggerating. And it made enough to serve 5 small serves (at about 300 calories a pop).
How? So easy that your 10yr old could make it.
- 2 frozen bananas
- 1 bag Sweet William Chocolate Chips
- .75 of a tin of ayam light coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
Simply melt the choc chips in the coconut milk. Place in microwave for 40 secs (or in a saucepan) to heat the milk and then – once warm – tip in the choc chips and stir until melted. Put aside and let cool for a minute. Then chop the frozen bananas and pop into blender with the coconut milk and maple syrup. Add the choc mix to it and blend away. It will become mousse-like in consistency. Then – simply pop into serving utensils and put in fridge to chill (if you can wait that long). So yummy and chocolately and banana-ery. Amazing. Not great if you don’t like a strong banana taste…but otherwise faultless in taste versus effort stakes. I sprinkled a handful of walnuts on top when I served them.
Inspired by the simplicity of this recipe – I then tried another dessert – just now. Having previously made ice cream in an ice cream maker – I was a little suspicious of blender-made banana ice cream. How wrong I was….will I ever go to that much effort again I wonder after the ease and taste of this dish.
Banana Ice cream (vegan):
- 2 frozen bananas
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- half cup nut milk (I used brazil because I make it at home and its my fave but any would work)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
As before – simply chop the frozen bananas then pop everything else in the blender together and blend. Bob’s your uncle. It takes about 3-4 mins to blend and the consistency will change from thick to light and fluffy. And its amazing. Why spend $$$ on buying a vegan ice cream when you can just whisk up this little bad boy at home. I think it would be awesome sprinkled with nuts or with dark choc mixed into it. I think the skys the limit here. And – what’s more – its only about 6o calories a serve with hardly any sugar in it. WINNING.
Finally – something savoury. Many many moons ago my friend Terri had a house warming party in Manly and her housemate at the time made a spinach dip that I still remember. It was creamy and yummy and served in a cob. It was also laden with cream, mayo and cheese….which probably aided the indulgent flavour. Its been years and I’ve never yet tasted a spinach dip that was its equal.
However, after looking at a bag of spinach in the fridge yesterday and thinking I was going to have to throw it away (and I HATE wasting food) or get creative I decided to google ‘spinach dips’ and to veganise one. What I came up with was so yummy that even my dairy loving hubby thought it was delish.
Creamy Vegan Spinach Dip
This was definitely the most complex of the 3 recipes cooked; however it was still achieved in under 10 mins! So I think that still counts.
- 10 ounces fresh spinach
- half cup cashews (raw)
- 1 red onion (medium sized)
- 3 cloves garlic
- Half teaspoon onion powder
- juice half lemon
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- Corn starch to thicken (if you need it)
- Teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tablespoon oil (your choice)
So…how to achieve this yummy dip (that vegans and non-vegans alike will love)
- Pop the cashews in your blender with half cup luke warm water and leave for 5 mins.
- Roughly chop the spinach, the onion and the garlic.
- Fry the onion gently so it doesn’t colour in 1 tablespoon coconut (or olive) oil. Then add the spinach and the garlic and gently cook until it wilts.
- Finally – squeeze the half lemon over the wilted spinach.
- Go back to your cashews. Blend the water and cashews together. Then add the nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, onion powder, salt and pepper and blend again. It should be slightly thick and not runny. If its too runny feel free to add more cashews or more nutritional yeast. Just make sure its nice and smooth.
- Add the spinach mix into the cashew mix a bit at a time and blend merrily away until its a lurid amazing green in colour.
- If its too runny – mix cornstarch / cornflour with a little water in a mug and add to the mix and blend again. This will help to thicken and stabilise it.
Then simply serve…I had it hot with fresh bread – amazing. It ended up becoming dinner as I couldn’t put it down. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
So there you have it. K.I.S.S in action. I am so pleased I did. 3 yummy dishes with really minimal effort and hardly any cost (or calories). Hard to beat that combination.
Until next time. Happy blending.