Blossom on the trees, cool crisp days, daffodils standing proud. My favourite time of the year.
As soon as I heard that this month’s We Should Cocoa challenge involved cooking with coconut I knew I wanted to try out this chocolate coconut mousse. I have come across it many times on the internet but have never got round to trying it out. It didn’t disappoint! It is thick and creamy with just the slightest hint of coconut. It is quick and easy to make. No raw eggs to worry about. Just delicious.
I have added 100g of dark chocolate which gives a very strong chocolate flavour. You may want to start with a bit less and add more to suit your taste. It is also very rich so only a small amount is needed. I love the contrast of hard chocolate with the creamy mousse so I served mine in chocolate cases which I made by coating silicone cupcake cases in melted chocolate. I also made small chocolate cones and filled them with the mousse which I think was just about the right serving size. The mousse does firm up quite a bit if left in the fridge so I think I would only pipe into my serving dishes just before serving. That way you can give it a quick stir to loosen up before piping.
Using a whisk beat the coconut cream and sugar together for a couple of minutes until smooth and thick.
Melt the chocolate carefully over a pan of boiling water or in the microwave.
Add the melted chocolate to the coconut cream and continue to whisk for another couple of minutes.
Spoon or pipe into small serving dishes and refrigerate until ready to serve.
You do need to ensure that your coconut cream is chilled before starting. I store mine in the refrigerator so that it is ready chilled.
Coconut milk will not work in this recipe - it needs to be the much thicker coconut cream.
I love granola but very rarely buy it. For one it is so expensive and secondly I eat too much if it is in the house. Making your own granola is quick, easy and allows you to control what goes into it and how much you make. The base ingredients for any granola are healthy – oats are full of protein and minerals and have a long list of benefits, seeds are a rich source of the essential Omega-3 fatty acids and nuts are rich in antioxidant vitamins. So what’s the downside? Well, all that lovely sweet crunchy yumminess comes from the added sugars and oil which are needed to bring it all together. That’s where making your own is better as you can play around with different sweeteners – honey, stevia, maple syrup are all better than refined sugar. Try different oils too – a popular choice is coconut oil which I do like but it is very expensive. Add in different nuts and seeds, dried fruit, even chocolate for a very special treat – the variations are endless. If eaten in moderation then granola has more health benefits than downsides. The key word here is moderation – I made this chocolate granola last weekend with the intention of taking photographs for my blog but it was polished off by all four of us snacking on it throughout the day. This weekend’s batch has been photographed and stored away out of sight until tomorrow’s breakfast 🙂
Ok, so I’m not going to tell you my exact age but I will admit that I’m at an age where I have to start thinking about the health of my bones and joints. Yup, the old joints are stiffening up on me 🙁 It is well documented that oily fish helps to reduce swollen joints, pain and stiffness so I try to eat at least two portions a week. One of my favourite lunch snacks is this smoked mackerel pate. It takes a few minutes to put together and keeps well in the fridge for a good few days. Served with toast, crackers or oatcakes it makes a delicious snack packed full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
One problem though – it is hard to stop eating it. Enjoy!
Sticky Asian pork is one of our standard weekly meals normally saved for a Saturday or Sunday night treat. It’s good, really, really good! The only thing I would say is that you have to choose your pork carefully. Use the wrong cut of meat and it can be tough and dry. I have suggested shoulder steaks which is our favourite but they do have a bit of fat on them which might not be to everyone’s liking. A nice piece of pork fillet would work well too but is that bit more expensive.
We have had so many fabulous entries to this month’s Credit Crunch Munch and I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who took the time to take part. I have discovered so many new and wonderful blogs and of course there are so many recipes to try out. Grab a cup of tea, find a quiet space and sit back and enjoy.
TASTY & QUICK PASTA FOR 2 FROM “NOTHING”
First off the mark is this super quick and tasty pasta dish from Manjiri of Slice Off Me. Manjiri shows us that a bit of imagination and a delve into the back of the fridge can produce a delicious meal – just look at that sauce.
PULLED PORK NOODLES WITH SAVOY CABBAGE
Next up is Sarah of Dinner with Crayons and this very frugal dinner which makes the most of a large roast pork. The initial cost may seem expensive but Sarah worked out that each portion cost only £1.25 which is very reasonable for a good cut of meat.
BIRCHER MUESLI Who wouldn’t want to wake up to a bowl of this lovely nutritious bircher muesli? Tina of The Worktop is a recent convert to this delicious breakfast, so much so that it is going on the menu at the coffee shop where she works. WINTER MINESTRONE
Chris from Cooking Around The World has given us a perfect Winter Minestrone which is not only warming but kind to our waistline and will have us beach ready in no time – a definite plus for me 🙂
COCONUT DAL (RED LENTILS WITH COCONUT MILK & CRANBERRIES
I love lentils – they are cheap, low in fat, an excellent source of protein and a good source of iron so I was delighted when Gayathri from Spices Galore submitted this recipe for Dal. I have made Dal before but never with coconut milk and the addition of cranberries is a new one for me. This is definitely on my ‘to make’ list.
No introductions needed for the lovely Camilla of Fab Food 4 All – she is after all one half of Credit Crunch Munch. Camilla has opted for an all time favourite and used up some plums to make this plum crumble. Perfectly frugal and perfectly delicious!
SPAGHETTI WITH MUSHROOMS, SPINACH & PANCETTA TOMATO SAUCE
No jars of ready made pasta sauce for Julie of Julie’s Family Kitchen. A small amount of pancetta is all you need to make a tasty meal out of some fresh mushrooms, frozen spinach, tomatoes and pasta. A great recipe for the whole family.
SPICY CHICKEN LIVERS
Now here is a dish that brings back lots of memories for me. Chicken livers are a very popular dish on any South African menu and when they are cooked in a delicious sauce of tomato, brandy and spices it is a match made in heaven – just don’t forget the bread to mop up that sauce. Thank you to Deon of Food Jam for reminding me to add chicken livers to my shopping list.
LEFTOVER ROCKET PESTO WITH STILTON AND WALNUT
Dinner with Crayons has submitted another great entry – this time Sarah made good use of her freezer to store a bulk purchase of Stilton cheese which had been reduced from £8 down to £1. Whizzed together with some choice ingredients and you have a very tasty pesto in no time at all. Sarah also has some good ideas on how to use the pesto in your cooking.
MINI CHOCOLATE VALENTINE’S CAKES The lovely Choclette celebrated Chocolate Log Blog‘s 5 year anniversary with these small and elegant chocolate cakes. Rich, moist and chocolatey they look like the perfect tea time treat.
LENTIL MARINARA SAUCE WITH SPAGHETTI SQUASH Here is a recipe I can personally recommend. I made this Lentil Marinara sauce for dinner tonight (without the nutritional yeast) and served it over pasta. It is made with store cupboard ingredients and is really quick and best of all – really tasty. Thank you to Janet from The Taste Space for a great low cost meal.
STUFFED FRITTATA ROLL Just looking at this next dish makes me think of sunny days and picnics. Alida from My Little Italian Kitchen made this stuffed frittata roll with the help of her children and I think they did a perfect job. Wouldn’t it make for a perfect packed lunch?
ROAST CHICKEN Feeling under the weather meant the Drifting Traveller needed to keep cooking down to the bare minimum. Once the chicken had been roasted they managed to get three completely different meals out of the one chicken – a roast chicken for lunch, chicken soup and a spicy chicken bharta. Very impressive!
HOMEMADE MASCARPONE CHEESE Next up is Kitchen Flavours all the way from Malaysia with a great post on making your own mascarpone cheese. Just two simple ingredients and a bit of patience and you will be rewarded with thick, creamy and above all – fresh mascarpone cheese.
LEFTOVER BEEF AND POTATO PIE Elizabeth of Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary has cooked up some wonderfully spiced potatoes and then added in some leftover roast meat to produce what you would have to agree is a very tasty looking dish. I can picture myself curled up on the sofa next to a roaring fire tucking into a bowl of this pie – delicious.
DUCK HEARTS WITH GARLIC & PARSLEY AND PARMESAN RISOTTO Next up we have Delicieux who opted for a very different Valentine’s dinner – one of duck hearts with garlic and parsley. Served with a parmesan risotto this turned out to be a very delicious and elegant meal which was enjoyed by the whole family (well minus one who prefers another duck delicacy).
TAGLIATELLE WITH LEEKS AND SAUSAGE Pasta is always a firm favourite in our house and I think Leeks and Limoni may have just added another one to my weekly repertoire. A few simple ingredients of sausage, leeks and garlic added to pasta make for a very satisfying family meal.
MONDAY PIE Another fabulous dish from Fab Food 4 All is this Monday Pie. Made on a Monday with Sunday’s left over roast with added potatoes, cheese and beans – comfort on a plate.
CHICKPEA AND SPINACH CURRY Next up is my entry for Chickpea and Spinach Curry. I always have the ingredients in my cupboard and only have to remember to buy the fresh spinach. A super quick and tasty meal.
CRESPELLE – ITALIAN PANCAKES Next we have a delicious reminder from Farmersgirl Kitchen that next Tuesday (4th March) is Shrove Tuesday. Janice has some fabulous ideas in her post for different serving suggestions – my favourite being the curry sauce.
LEMON & RAISIN SCOTCH PANCAKES Now if you weren’t paying attention above then here is another reminder from Fab Food 4 All that next week is Shrove Tuesday. No need to go out and buy pancakes from the supermarket – make your own in mere minutes and much fresher too.
PEA AND GAMMON SOUP Linzi from Lancashire Food has used dried marrowfat peas for this soup and I have to admit that I have never heard of them before. The colour is gorgeous and with such a classic combination of flavours I can only imagine how delicious this soup was.
TERIYAKI CHICKEN MEATBALLS WITH RICE & GREENS All those who are familiar with the Credit Crunch Munch challenge will know that chicken thighs are a popular choice. Gingey Bites doesn’t disappoint with these very frugal chicken meatballs coming in at £1.20 per head. Note to myself- I really must get a new food processor.
SLOW COOKED OX CHEEKS WITH RED WINE & PICKLED WALNUTS Next up we have a real winter warming dish from Fuss Free Flavours. Ox cheeks have been a popular choice this winter and you can see why. Cooked long and slow in red wine the meat becomes meltingly tender. Just look at that sauce.
HOME-CURED BACON, PANCETTA AND LARDONS And finally we have a very informative post on how to cure a pork belly from Vohn’s Vittles. It may at first seem a bit daunting but with Vohn’s beautiful photographs and step by step instructions I’m feeling inspired to give it a go.
Thanks to Camilla of Fab Food 4 All for asking me to host this wonderful challenge.