Warming chocolate muesli

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This is definitely a weekend treat, maybe even just a Sunday morning treat when you feel like being indulgent. Instead of popping out to your local cafe, wake up a little earlier and toast these beautiful whole grains with natural honey, then stir through that little bit of decadence, dark chocolate chunks. Your whole family will wake up to sweet smells of honey and cinnamon and you’ll be everyones favourite for the day.

I made this on a chilly day when the rain just seemed to keep on coming down. I felt like something warm and nourishing for breakfast but also something a little special and different from my usual oats. Popped quinoa is a fabulous addition to any muesli as it has a beautiful nutty flavour and chewy texture. Quinoa is also a good source of plant protein, so along with the healthy fats from the almonds and complex carbohydrates from the oats you will be full until lunch. I have used organic dark chocolate, 85% cacao and dairy free, I would recommend using this or cacao nibs for a healthier alternative. Of course you won’t get the same marbling affect of the warm milk and chocolate if you opt for the cacao nibs.

Once again this is not your traditional granola or musli, so definitely a weekend or special occasion treat! Now i’ll just have to hide it in the back of the pantry so my sister doesn’t pour it on her cereal EVERY morning, or eat it all straight from the jar.

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Chocolate muesli

Ingredients

2 C rolled oats, gluten free if necessary

1 C popped quinoa

1/2 C popped brown rice

1/2 C raw almonds, roughly chopped

1/2 C shredded coconut

1/3 C sunflower seeds

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 C unprocessed local honey

1/4 C goji berries

100g dark chocolate (85% cacao or more)

Warm almond milk, to serve

Fresh berries, to serve

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

In a large bowl combine the oats, almonds, popped quinoa and rice, coconut, sunflower seeds and cinnamon. Pour over the honey and give it all a good mix. You will have a big sticky mess.

Carefully transfer this to your baking tray and spread it out. Place in the oven for 10 minutes before giving it all a good stir. Let cook for another 5 – 10 minutes, until its all golden and toasted. Cool in the tray.

Once the muesli has cooled stir through the goji berries and dark chocolate.

Serve in small bowl with fresh berries and warmed almond milk.

Leftovers will keep in an airtight jar for 2 weeks.

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Moroccan roasted couliflower salad

Even though its the middle of Winter I still have the urge to pack up the picnic basket and head outside for a meal of complete relaxation and deliciousness. Instead of packing salads full of fresh ingredients i tend to make salads with roasted vegetables and warming spices. So even if we are freezing on the outside, at least our bellies are warm. This is one of those salad’s, made with spiced roasted cauliflower, grilled zucchini and lovely fragrant quinoa to make it a little more substantial. Its perfect for a picnic but also a casual lunch or a side for dinner.

Moroccan roasted cauliflower saladΒ 

For the cauliflower:

1 head of cauliflower

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 tbsp cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

For the grilled zucchini:

1 medium sized zucchini

2 tbsp cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

For the quinoa:

1 C quinoa (white, red or a mixture)

1.5 C filtered water

1 bay leaf

To serve:

1 bunch of flat leaf parsley

1 bunch mint

2 lemons

1/4 C raw almonds

Pomegranate seeds

cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

Method

Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Slice the florets off the trunk of the cauliflower, reserving the stem for soup. Pop them in a bowl along with the cinnamon, cumin, olive oil and freshly ground salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat then place on a baking tray lined with baking paper in one even layer. Place into the preheated oven and roast for 20 – 25 minutes. They should be starting the crisp up on the edges when you take them out. Set aside.

Place the almonds on a small tray and roast in the oven for 5-10 minutes. Take out and roughly chop. Set aside.

Meanwhile, thinly slice the zucchini and place in a bowl with the olive oil and freshly ground salt and pepper. Toss to coat all slices evenly. Place the slices in a single layer on a baking tray and grill at a high temperature for 8 minutes. Turning once half way through. Set aside.

Wash the quinoa thoroughly and place in a saucepan with the water and bay leaf. Bring to the boil, turn down to very low and cook for 15 minutes. Leave the lid on for another 5 minutes before fluffing the quinoa with a fork. Once cooled slightly place it into a salad bowl.

Finely chop half the parsley and mint and add this to the quinoa. Zest one of the lemons and juice both before adding to the quinoa mix. Now top with the roasted cauliflower, grilled zucchini and roasted almonds. Pull the leaves off mint and parsley from the stems and add this to the bowl along with the pomegranate. Drizzle over a little more olive oil and pack up for a picnic or eat straight away.

Enjoy!