The Perks of Being a Foodie

Goodbye blogger and Hello wordpress...

A much as I have enjoyed blogging on Just Eat It, I have decided to take blogging a bit more seriously, and felt that a change was needed.

From now on I will blog on perksofbeingafoodie.com.

I would appreciate it so much, if you follow me over to me new home. I hope you will enjoy! :)



In my Lunchbox

There is beet in my lunchbox. Beet. That weird red stuff that I have refused to even smell for 19 years.
And it gets even crazier...it is paired with spinach!!!
My mum would probably High Five me by the sight of this....

I have never been a picky eater. Well, I don't eat meat, haven't eaten it for seven years, and don't plan on eating it ever again. But apart from that I'd like to think that I am an adventurous eater and there wasn't a lot of food that I wouldn't eat as a kid. On that list were:
Mashed potatoes
Brussel Sprouts

And look at me now, stuffing beet and spinach in my face by the handfuls. Oh hasn't my palate developed beautifully! :D
(But I'll still never ever go near brussel sprouts or mashed potatoes, which is just really degrading abuse of a beautiful vegetable)

This is a beautiful refreshing little salad, that keeps really well in a box and won't go soggy and blehh even after a couple of hours.
Thanks to the barley it also fills you quite a lot and gives you the necessary energy to make it through a stressful day!
If you don't have pot barley on your hand, quinoa, cous cous, or rice would make a nice substitute as well.
Don't leave out the cranberries or walnuts, in my opinion they really make the salad!

Beet and Barley Salad (1 serving)
1/2 cup pot barley
1 tsp salt
2 cooked beets
A handful of spinach (approximately 1 cup)
1/2 cup roughly chopped leek (optional)
1 tablespoon dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1 tsp honey
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp balsamic vinegar (to taste, you might want to add a little more)
A dash of dried parsley, or a couple of leaves of fresh parsley
1 minced clove of garlic

Cook the barley in 1 cup of  salted water for about 15-20 minutes, until the barley has absorbed the water and has become soft. You might have to add a little more water as you go.
When the barley is cooked, you can either let it cool or make the salad right away.
Roughly dice the beets, add them to the barley together with the spinach, leek, cranberries and walnuts.
For the vinaigrette just combine all the ingredients and taste because you might have to adjust the flavours by adding more honey or more vinegar, depending on how sweet you prefer your dressing.


Let's talk curry

I am not Indian, and I am by no means pretending to be.
In fact, cooking Indian food used to seem so intimidating and scary to me, I much rather left the challenge of getting the spice balance right to the boyfriend.
Oh how I wish I had the curry making skills like Kumar from Masterchef Australia...
Wasn't he the most adorable thing ever? To be honest, Season Three didn't have the best cooks though, much preferred Season One, because, you know, Julie is a legend...

Anyways, I am scared no more. Curry, I owned you!
I got my spices out, I opened the can of coconut milk, I threw a few veg together, I did a bit of stirring, and I celebrated a triumph.
Veni, vidi, vici. Take that curry!

However, besides all the success-talk, I honestly couldn't tell you if this dish is even remotely authentic to what you would get in India.
It had a few Indian spices in it, it tasted absolutely unreal, does the rest really matter?

Shrimp, Green Bean and Chickpea Curry (1 serving)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 finely diced garlic clove
1 finely diced chili (optional)
2 tbsp diced onion
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
3 smashed cardamom pods

1 handful of green beans (I used 12)
1/2 cup of frozen shrimps (I used 6)
1/2 cup boiled chickpeas
2 diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt

1 can coconut milk
1/4 cup almond meal
1 cup spinach (optional)
Juice of 1/2 lemon (optional)

Stir all the spices and the olive oil together in a large pot or a deep pan. Let them sweat for about a minute on medium heat but be careful not to burn the spices.
Add the beans, shrimps, chickpeas, spinach and tomatoes. Salt the vegetables to your liking and let them cook for about 3 minutes while continually stirring them.
Add the coconut milk, almond meal, spinach and lemon juice. Turn the heat down to a low and let the curry simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until the shrimps are not raw anymore.


OMG Is it already October?!?

Autumn is here!!!!!!!!
Well not technically, and not that you could notice a difference between summer and autumn in Ireland anyway...
But it is here and I am totally down with all the autumn food that's available in an abundance now. Gimme apples and mushrooms and pumpkins (oh how I wish one could get hold of pumpkin puree here) and chestnuts and beet and cabbage.
And let's make soup with it. Because cold, miserable days only require a bowl of hearty goodness to become a winner. 
Soup is so on my autumn bucket list...

Edith's Autumn Bucket List
- Make soup. All the soup. 
  I especially got my eyes on Joy the Baker's Carrot Apple Ginger Soup,
- Accompany the soups with homemade bread rolls. If I can make bread, I should be able to make rolls. Right?
- Purchase real, proper boots. Because refusing to wear boots in winter even tough it is snowing because that would mean winter has won the battle with you, seems a bit childish at the age of 19. These boots from Topshop are gorgeous me thinks!
- Rock the scarves. Any shape, any colour will do. A warm neck is my priority this autumn.

On a completely different note....I missed the Foodie Penpal reveal day. I am sorry, I only have procrastination to blame.

My Second Foodie Penpal Box
Last time was so much fun, I just had to take part again.
The blogger I was assigned to was Anna from Grow Your Own Food, and I tried my best to send her a parcel full of things she and her family would enjoy. I think I succeeded....

In return I received a generous and lovely box from Kris Stone. Thank you Kris!!! You absolutely hit the spot, you ledgebag!

In my box there were....
- Chinese tea. It is delicious, I already had a cuppa :)
- Black Cardamon. Kris let me know that this is an ingredient in Vietnamese Pho, a dish I am dying to try!!
- Harissa Paste. It seems very, very spicy.....me likey!
- Jamie Oliver Stuffing. Ugh. Jamie, marry me already.
- Homemade Egyptian spice mix. I have yet to use this in a dish, but I totally had a teaspoon full of the nuts and spices...without anything else. God, this is good!
- Lavender Sugar. I have never ever heard of this before. I am excited, it looks and smells so nice.

Also, adored the Alice in Wonderland tags, thank you so much Kris!

(In case you are wondering what the Foodie Penpal thing is all about, this button will take you to its origins.)


Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I started this blog, about two months ago, I was on holiday and I did not have a job. In a way, 'Just eat it' is the result of those bygone days of boredom and hunger. (Because regrettably hunger is always the direct consequence of boredom.)

Now I am back in college AND I have a job. Major change. I still have to get used to juggling it all.
Unfortunately I lack the talent of juggling, guess I will never make a career as a clown...

While I somehow always find the time to read the bazillion food blogs I follow, I couldn't find the time to squeeze in a baking session between working my butt off and reading Charlotte Bronte.
The boyfriend thought this is a lame excuse and subtly let me know that he hadn't been spoilt with baked goods in a while...

Which is a quite justified complain. There should always be at least a jar of cookies in the house. That's like a rule, isn't it? No exceptions.

And I do want to find the time to bake. Baking is my happy place, when I'm in the zone nothing else, not college work or to-do lists or work related worries seem of importance. I am fully content with life. Do you know what I mean?

These cookies are incredibly simple. There's no secret ingredient involved, no special kitchen gadget required. Mix and stir and pop it in the oven.
Boom. Makes your place smell of the homey goodness that are cookies.

Go on, take one straight from the tray when it comes out of the oven, maybe two, no regrets here. Lie back. A cup of tea would be a good idea too. Turn on an old episode of Sex and the City. Dawson's Creek? No judgements. Read a book? How sophisticated you are.

And PS.: If it was one of those days that requires more than a healthy dose of chocolate....double up and sandwich two cookies together with a filling of melted white chocolate.
Solves. Everything.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies (makes 16)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 medium egg
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cream together the butter, peanut butter and sugars until smooth.
Add the egg. Stir in the flour and baking soda.
Fold in the chocolate chips.

Bake at 180C for 15-18 minutes until the cookies are just starting to brown on top.


Oat-less Breakfast with Polenta

Right, if I have the choice I always, always opt for porridge when it comes to breakfast. Or muesli. Or granola, that's a favourite too.
These brekkies give me comfort. They feel like a big hug on a cold morning telling me that it's going to be a good day. Anyone agree?
No? Okay.....but you got to admit that porridge and friends are simple, they are quick to whip up, and there are so many ways to customise them.

That's why we like porridge. But sometimes you just gotta get out of a rut and be daring and adventurous to jazz up your life a little. That's why we are having polenta today.
I'll admit, I am also a little bit afraid that I might get sick of porridge eventually if I have it day in-day out (I know right!?!?).

Polenta is totally an adventurous terrain for me. I have never had it before because I was so convinced that I would absolutely hate it. But we're getting out of our comfort zones, we are fearless bastards today!!!

Polenta with Spinach, Asparagus, Mushroom Sauce, and a Poached Egg
To cook the polenta, add about 1 and 1/2 cups of water to every 1 cup of polenta. For one person I only used 1/2 cup of polenta and 3/4 cup of water.
Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat and stir the polenta constantly until it is a thick paste (about 5 minutes). Season the polenta with salt, pepper, and if you a tablespoon of butter, some parmesan or a splash of milk for creaminess.

For the asparagus, just "roast" the asparagus lightly in a pan with 1 tablespoon of butter, salt and pepper.
If you like your spinach a little wilted, add it to the asparagus for about 30 seconds.

For the mushroom sauce, fry about 1/2 cup of sliced mushrooms (I used one big portobello mushroom) in a tablespoon of butter. Season with salt, pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice and thyme (parsley would be nice as well). To finish the mushrooms off, add about 1 tablespoon of sour cream, or cream to give it more texture. Blend the mushrooms for a thick sauce or leave them as they are for a lovely ragĂș.

To poach the egg, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add salt and about 1 teaspoon of vinegar into the water. Crack the egg first into a separate bowl and then carefully drop the egg into the water.

Even though oats did not make an appearance this morning, I was fully satisfied with this brekkie concoction. Polenta might be a winner.....I'll definitely have more polenta recipes up in the future!!


The Porridge Diaries: Banana Bread

Guys, I present to you the second edition of "Edith Eats Porridge That Tastes Like Cake", today with a cake that's very close to my heart.....Banana Bread.

Banana bread has made its first appearance in my life when I spent some time in Australia. I used to eat it by the loaves. Safe to say, it wasn't a very healthy relationship. 

I consider one of the few major achievement in my life to be creating a recipe for Super-Healthy Banana Bread. Major. 
It's like the best thing since John Travolta in 'Hairspray'. 

But it was only a matter of time until banana bread would find its way into my breakfast porridge...

Banana Bread Porridge
1/2 cup porridge oats
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup water
1/2 mashed banana
1 tbsp honey (or brown sugar)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 sliced banana

Cook the oats with buttermilk and water until soft, for about 3 minutes. Stir in the mashed banana, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Serve with walnuts and banana on top.

Aaaand, have a great start into what's going to be a fabulous day! :)


Chia and Peach Parfait

The full title of this post should read "Chia Seed, Yoghurt and Honey Parfait with Homemade Granola and Thyme roasted Peach".
And you basically got the whole recipe there.

I have stumbled across so many chia seed posts lately, it seems to be the foodies' new favourite superfood. And actually, after reading up on the health benefits of chia seeds, I have to say I am pretty amazed.
If you are interested, this website tells you all about the magic powers of chia.
Of course, I jumped the bandwagon, and the other day when I got Quinoa and Polenta from the health store (a pretty impulsive act, I have never cooked with either of them before, so if you have any recipes... ;) ) I just had to get a little bag of chia seeds.

So far I have sprinkled chia on my morning porridge, I mixed it into granola and put it into smoothies. But hey, those precious little seeds should really deserve the main role in a dish too.

Aaaaand, we're off...

Chia and Peach Paifait (serves 1)
1/2 yoghurt (I used plain low-fat)
1-2 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp honey (or more if desired)
Granola (I used the one I made HERE)
1 Peach
1 tsp olive oil
A few leaves of fresh thyme

Combine the yoghurt and chia seeds. Let them chill in the fridge at least 30minutes, ideally overnight. The seeds will develop a gel and turn the yoghurt into a pudding-like texture.
Cut the peach into half, remove the stone, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with thyme. Roast in the oven at 200C for 12-15minutes.

Stir the honey into the yoghurt. To assemble, layer a glass alternately with the chia yoghurt, the granola, and the peach slices.

If you like thyme and honey, brilliant.
If you think the combination of thyme and honey is weird,......well you're weird.
Okay you're not.....but you should still totally give this recipe a go.

The combination of the sweetness of the peach, highlighted by the honey, with the depth of flavour found in thyme, is just heavenly!
And then you have the smooth creaminess of the yoghurt paired with the crunchiness of the granola that just makes the whole dish.
Seriously, this parfait is pure bliss.
Also, it is super healthy and makes a great breakfast. I had some today and it totally made my morning AND gave my enough energy for a mega workout! :)



Because the internet needs yet another granola recipe....
I know, I know, you're right. Granola is so dead-simple to make, why even bother to share a recipe? Seeing recipes for granola on food blogs makes me feel like I am too retarded to use a spoon.

I am not teaching you how to use a spoon.
My aspiration here is merely to inspire you and give you ideas what yummy combinations of granola are possible.
I know you are fully capable of making it without guidance! Because you rock!

The granola I made today comes in two varieties.
I did a batch for the boyfriend, a sweet attempt to replicate the beloved 'Crunchy Nut Feast Cereal' from Kelloggs, and one energising combination of granola for myself.

The base for both were some oats and chia seeds (because they have like superpowers or something...)
His granola consists of cornflakes, chopped hazelnuts, chopped almonds, and honey. Chocolate chips were added at the end.
Her granola featured slivered almonds, dried cranberries, dried dates, mixed seeds, and maple syrup.

I stirred  all the ingredients together, trying to cover everything in honey/maple syrup until the mixture is really sticky. Then I baked the granola at approximately 180C for about 15 minutes, or until it starts to turn brown.

I learnt the hard way that granola straight out of the oven is incredibly hot and may burn your tongue to punish your impatience. Be smarter than me!

A proper taste test has been conducted after some cooling time and both subjects have been approved.


My first Foodie Penpal Box

So, the other day the postman rang (once) and I got excited like a fat kid that hears the jingle of the icecream van...
It meant the mysterious parcel from my foodie penpal has arrived.

Foodie Penpal, what's that, you ask?
Every month you are assigned a penpal, that's as passionate about food as you, and then you send them an awesome box filled with cool baking or cooking stuff or homemade treats....whatever tickles your fancy. And in return you will receive an awesome box from someone else.
Easy. Awesome. Foodtastic.
This was the first time I participated, after reading about foodie penpals on Rock Salt's blog, and it was fun. So much fun, that I'll totally do it again next month!!

This is what the lovely Sarah from A Tomato Sardine has sent me.

- The cutest handwritten card ever.
- Ground Almonds, which I use almost on a daily basis, so that's a winner!
- A packet of Soy Garlic Sauce. This is a winner too because I have always been a bit intimidated by Asian cuisine, and already having the sauce will make it easy.
- Dried dates. Yes! Dried fruits might as well be the best thing on this planet. I'll be snacking on dates loads in the next couple of days.
- A little booklet, self-made by Sarah, that contains cool recipes and cooking stories. 
- A jar of cinnamon sticks, which makes me think that Sarah is either able to read my thoughts or actually stalking me, because I have been looking for cinnamon sticks for ages and couldn't find them anywhere!
- Handmade Chocolate from Wales. As you can see half of the bar is already gone. Need I say more?

Thank you so much Sarah!

If you like this idea (which is totally amazeballs, if you ask me) you should click on the button below and check out all the other foodie penpal boxes.

The Lean Green Bean
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