Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, High in ProteinGluten Free, Vegan, High protein Quinoa Porridge siennalula sienna somers

It was recently my 21st birthday, resulting in an indulgent few weeks involving lots of sugary and fatty foods. A few weeks and a few too many cakes later, I need to get back on track.

My key tip to a maintaining a healthy lifestyle is always a good breakfast. Having a good wholesome breakfast full of protein, carbs and healthy fats, not only keeps you fuller for longer but sets you up for a great start to the day, providing you with energy to get up and make the day your own.

My go-to get back on track breakfast is Quinoa Porridge.

Quinoa, pronounced KEEN-wah, is gluten-free, high in fibre and high protein grain. During the Incan Empire, it was referred to it as the “mother of all grains” and believed it to be sacred.

Nowadays, it’s hailed as a “Superfood”. Quinoa is a great choice (especially for Vegans and Veggies) as its high in protein and unlike other grains, contains all the essential amino acids, so is a “complete” protein. Quinoa also contains antioxidants which help to reduce inflammation and a portion contains 30% of your RDA for magnesium and 15% of Iron (both essential during your time of the month).

What I love about this recipe is the ability to mix and match and adjust the recipe to your preferences. Today, I had a chai spiced quinoa breakfast with raspberries, chia seeds, yoghurt and a bid drizzle of almond butter. Other times I love the indulgence of adding a teaspoon of cacao powder and having a chocolatey treat. Another favourite of mine is lemon and coconut quinoa porridge.

Feel free to experiment with any combinations and let me know how you get on.

Gluten Free, Vegan, High protein Quinoa Porridge siennalula sienna somers
Quinoa Porridge
Gluten Free, Vegan, High protein Quinoa Porridge

Serves 1

30g-45g  Quinoa or Flaked Quinoa
150ml Milk of Choice (I use almond milk)
150ml Water
½ tsp Desired Spices (Usually, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg and occasionally turmeric or vanilla)
40g+ Fruit of Choice (Raspberries, Strawberries, Blueberries, Banana, Lemon and apples all work well)
Pinch of salt

Optional add-ins

10g Nuts (I usually use pecans or Almonds)

If you’re feeling adventurous, grate half a courgette in. Adds double the volume for an extra 10 calories.

Cacao powder if you want an indulgent chocolatey feast

20g of Protein Powder for an added protein kick (I usually use Pea protein but Whey works well too)

 

Optional Toppings- Mix and Match to your heart’s content

Nut butter (I always choose almond butter!)

Dollop of yoghurt

Mixed Seeds

Drizzle of Agave syrup, Honey, Date Syrup, Choc Shot or another sweetener

More fruit

Desiccated coconut

Chocolate buttons or pure cacao melts luxuriously on top

 

How to:

Place the milk, water, spices, quinoa and pinch of salt in a saucepan on a medium heat.

Pop the lid on and let it simmer, stirring occasionally.

Cook until a preferred porridge consistency (I like mine thick). With standard quinoa, this will take about 25 mins but flaked quinoa will take less than 10 mins.

Transfer to a bowl and go wild with toppings

Enjoy

Gluten Free, Vegan, High protein Quinoa Porridge siennalula sienna somers

 

 

crop-apples

apple
Salt caramel sauce is irresistibly moreish.  Poured over a baked (scrumped, of course) apple, the zingy, fluffy apple combines beautifully with the rich, sweet and salty sauce.

 

Wherever you are at University, there will be plenty of apple scrumping possibilities around you.  I found a whole webpage dedicated to scrumpable trees in Falmouth and Penryn!

 

This recipe uses coconut sugar to make the salt caramel sauce, which has a lower glycemic index than normal sugar and tastes so much better.  Buy online from wholesalers such as Lembas.   The saltiness comes mostly from sea lettuce which is readily available around much of the coast of Britain.

 

1. Read my blog post on how to gather and dry sea lettuce.

2. Heat 200g/7 ounces/1 cup of coconut sugar with 110g/4oz/8tbls butter over a medium hob.  Keep stirring all the time. Don’t leave it or it will burn!  Once it has come to the boil, continue boiling for about 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.

stirring-caramel

3. Add 120ml/8tbls/half a cup of cream. Double cream is best but single should work fine. Pour it in slowly and keep stirring all the time.  Then bring back to the boil and continue to boil for about 10 minutes.  You can tell that the sauce has thickened when you put a dribble onto something cold (I often use a jam jar lid which I leave in the freezer) and the sauce will then feel quite pliable once it hardens in contact with the cold lid.

cooking-caramel

4. Take the pan off the hob and add a few drops of vanilla extract and a sprinkle of good quality sea salt.

5. Grind up some of your dried sea lettuce and add according to taste. The emerald green specks in the sauce look very pretty.

6. Decorate with a sprig of sea lettuce

7. Enjoy!

 

apple-with-caramel

Beef Bone Marrow is an absolutely delicious food that you can often get for free from butchers, but is served in posh restaurants around the country and is primary ingredient in classical French dishes such as, Pot au Feu and Bordelaise sauce.

Bone Marrow cooked

There is something almost Palaeolithic about scooping the creamy, rich marrow out of the centre of roasted bones. It is certainly what our evolutionary ancestors did for eons as this prized food is amazing source of long chain fatty acids, fat soluble vitamins and minerals all of which contributed to the growth and development of the human brain (Hello Hangover Cure!).

Its also contains many essential amino acids such as Glycine which many people take supplements of and swear by as a means of improving sleep quality and promote wakefulness in the following morning (Hello, what did I say about a hangover cure?). Bone marrow also contains the amino acid Proline which is used in the synthesis of collagen within your body. As many of you probably know, collagen is key for your skins health, elasticity and overall appearance. As people age, they’re body produces less and less collagen hence making the skin slacker and wrinkled. There has been evidence that an intake of Proline can increase collagen and thus decrease the skin ageing! It is often used in many beauty products from shampoo’s and conditioners to anti-ageing face creams. I may have to start putting bone marrow on my face!

Where to get it

Cooking bone marrow is very simple, but you first need to get you hands on some and you will need to visit you local butcher for that. Most butchers just give it away to their customers who will pass it on to their dogs who absolutely love it, but if you do have to pay it shouldn’t cost more than a pound or two for a big bag of it. It’s very important to get the butcher to saw the bone marrow into 2-3 inch pieces, otherwise you will be in your kitchen attempting to smash a big bone with a rock like prehistoric caveman which I can guarantee will be disastrous for all parties involved. Heston Blumenthal recently sold Bone Marrow for £4.99 in Waitrose as a luxury meal whereas my version is almost completely free!bone marrow with caper and parsley salad

It think the easiest way to prepare bone marrow is simply to roast it in oven and serve it with a bread and a parsley, caper salad which will help cut through the richness of the bone marrow.
Recipe

. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
. Place the bones in a roasted tin baking sheet with the cut-side facing upwards. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper
. Roast for about 12-15 minutes, or until the marrow is soft and coming away from the bone ( as the bone marrow cooks it release a clear oil in the pan.) The Mummy 2017 film download

Please be aware that if you overcook, it basically just melts away completely!
Parsley Caper Salad

What I love about this recipe is that there is no need to be too precise here, but the basic recipe is: 
A handful of chopped parsley
A couple tablespoons of chopped capers.
Thinly sliced onion, shallot, or green onion. (depends whats in the fridge)
A few gulps of olive oil
A wee bit of balsamic
A squeeze or two of lemon juice
Mix all the ingredients, then season with salt and pepper. 

To eat

Just spread the marrow over the bread or toast and sprinkle a bit of the salad on top.

Or if like me it’s become your new favourite comfort food, scoop it straight out of the bone with a teaspoon and feel it melt on your tongue, Yum!

sienna somers eating bone marrow