Creamy grain-free, veggie-packed porridge | to her core

We just arrived home from a lovely, relaxing weekend away – the first for our little family (ie, B, Maggie and me). The place where we stayed had very intermittent internet coverage, and it was actually really nice to be disconnected for the majority of the weekend.  We spent the weekend reading, watching movies (including one of my all time favorites that I watched this morning whilst B slept in), playing cards, and also fit in a few small walks. We cooked up a few delicious meals as well, I remade a yummy curry that I’d cooked a few weeks earlier plus our favorite pizza, and recipe-tested a few other dishes which will be making their way here in the coming weeks.

I have quite a few recipes banked up at the moment – I always underestimate the amount of time it takes to photograph and write up a post (other bloggers – is this just me!?) so lately I’ve been doing a lot of photographing, but not so much writing.  I think I get a little over excited about a recipe, make it and then move on to the next without sharing it here. I have been (slowly) writing them all up though, so I should be posting a little more regularly in the future.

Creamy grain-free, veggie-packed porridge | to her core

Something I have been playing around with lately is grain-free porridge. Whilst I do love a bowl of steaming, comforting oats, I’m always looking at new places to sneak in vegetables and I also love experimenting with new flavours and recipe idea, hence my resolve to find a tasty grain-free alternative to porridge, preferably one with a good dose of vegetables to boot.

This recipe uses riced cauliflower as the base – I find the cauliflower taste here to be extremely subtle, especially when you use coconut cream to cook with and add a little sweetener of some sort – I just used banana, but adding in some coconut sugar or raw honey would help sweeten and change the overall flavor of the dish, and therefore I have included the extra sweetener in the recipe here. If you’re still not sold on cauli-oats, you could easily substitute half the cauliflower for oats to still get that oat-y porridge flavor with the added goodness of the cauliflower. Or, try adding in some different flavours – cacao is great here (when is it not!?) or add some mashed, roasted pumpkin to create grain-free pumpkin pie porridge.

A final note – Apologies for the quality of the pictures here – the dark winter lighting has left me with some very interesting tones in my photographs, these ones had a very distinct blue tone to them once uploaded to my computer. Any tips related to however to manually set white balance would be greatly appreciated :)

Creamy grain-free, veggie-packed porridge | to her core

Creamy grain-free porridge (aka Cauli-oats)

2/3 cup packed riced cauliflower
2/3 cup coconut milk or cream
2 Tbsp dedicated coconut
1/2 ripe banana, mashed

1 tsp raw honey
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla

Rice the cauliflower by placing the roughly chopped florets into a food processor and processing until resembling rice.

Add to a saucepan with the remaining ingredients over low to medium heat and stir to combine. The mixture may be a little thick at this point, but it will thin out a little once its starts to cook and the cauliflower starts to soften.
Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat and cover, stirring every few minutes until cauliflower is cooked through, around 15 minutes
Serve topped with berries, coconut cream or yoghurt, chopped nuts or seeds.

Serves 1

CC image courtesy of Skånska Matupplevelser on Flickr

CC image courtesy of Skånska Matupplevelser on Flickr

The last few weeks I have run a series of posts on how to include more veggies in your diet (scroll down for all the links). Now that that’s done and dusted, I thought it would be fun to run a competition to further encourage you to get into the kitchen and get creating. This is a great opportunity for you to start experimenting with new ways to prepare and cook vegetables, and to start including more vegetables into you and your families’ diets.

 

So - lets get to the competition!

Firstly, the nitty gritty of it all -

The intention of the competition is to encourage people to start including more vegetables in their diet, through trying out different techniques and recipes. To enter, you’ll need to submit a photo of a dish you have prepared that focuses on using vegetables in a creative and interesting way. Photos can be submitted three ways

  • via Instagram - simply upload to your account and tag @tohercore and #eatmoreveggiescomp
  • via Facebook - upload to http://www.facebook.com/tohercore or if you have a public page, upload to your own page and make sure to tag me
  •  via email – simply post your pic through to tohercore (at) gmail (dot) com 

You have until midnight (AEST) on Friday, 15th of August to submit your photos

Photos will be judged based on creativity as well as what the dish means to you and how it has allowed you to easily include more vegetables into your diet, so please include a little of your story when you submit your photo.

Entry is available to Australian residents only

 

And now the exciting part -

THE PRIZE PACK!

 

The prize pack will feature some goodies from some of my favorite businesses and people, including

 

 

prize pack 1 550

 

  • Chef Avenue 3-in-1 vegetable slicer, to suit all your vegetable noodle-ing needs
  • A copy of Indira Naidoo’s The Edible Balcony, to enable you to grown your own produce, no matter how small your yard (or balcony!)
  • Some delicious clean-eating goodies, courtesy of my favorite local healthy treat-making extraordinaire Bale of Straw

prize pack 2 550

 

 

For a little inspiration, be sure to check out the recipes and techniques featured in the How to include more vegetables in your diet series -

Including more vegetables at breakfast time

Including more vegetables in your main meals

Including more vegetables in your sweets and snacks

 

 Good luck!!

Vegetable noodle pad thai with creamy dressing

A few weeks back my friend Briana and I hosted a workshop entitled “Getting adventurous with your veggies”, which aimed to empower attendants with nutritional knowledge and practical skills to encourage and enable them to get a little more adventurous with their veggies.

I’m a huge fan of eating loads of vegetables and I know from my own personal experience as well as talking to others that it can be hard to think of exciting and interesting ways to prepare vegetables. And when you’re not used to eat them – particularly if you eat a lot of processed, sugary or salty foods – fresh or plainly cooked veggies aren’t that exciting. I remember when growing up, I used to hate “new potato” seaso, when Dads crop of freshly harvested spuds  would find their way onto our dinner plates steamed a la naturale, rather than in their usual form of mashed with a good splash of full cream milk, dab of butter, and liberal dosing of salt.
Nowadays I love fresh veggies – the fresher the better! – but from past experiences I can completely understand where this notion that “vegetables are boring” comes from. So if this is you – or if you are a fan of veggies but just a bit stuck on ways to cook them – then this ones for you.

Vegetable noodle pad thai with creamy dressing
This dish incorporates vegetable noodles mixed with some shredded cabbage and capsicum, plus some fresh herbs, seeds, and a deliciously creamy yet light sauce. We made this for the guests at our workshop and it was a hit!
I’ve used tofu as my protein but you could use whatever you want here – tempeh, prawns, chicken. We kept the pad thai a little simpler at the workshop and just used veggie noodles with seeds and the sauce, but I’ve made a bit more of an effort here to make the dish a more colourful. We eat with our eyes first and if a meal is visually appealing it can more enticing to eat, so lately I’ve been trying to put more effort into presentation of food. Further, different coloured vegetables have different nutritional content, so it’s important to eat a variety of different coloured veggies to ensure you’re getting maximum nutritional benefit.

Vegetable noodle pad thai with creamy dressing

Vegetable noodle pad thai
100g firm tofu, sliced
2 medium zucchinis, spiralised
1 large carrot, spiralised
1 cup thinly shredded red cabbage
1/2 smal red capsicum, thinly sliced
¼ cup fresh mixed herbs (coriander, Thai basil, Vietnamese mint)
2 spring onions, sliced
¼ cup chopped nuts (peanuts, cashews, sunflower seeds)
½ Tbsp coconut oil

Pad Thai sauce
¼ cup coconut milk
1 heaped Tbsp natural peanut butter or unhulled tahini
1 Tbsp tamari
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp coconut sugar
1 tsp fish sauce, optional

Make the sauce by adding all ingredients in a small bowl and stirring until combined and smooth.
Heat coconut oil over medium to high heat. Add tofu and fry a few minutes until starting to brown. Add zucchini, carrot, cabbage, capsicum and half the spring onion. Stir well to coat. Add the sauce and cook, stirring constantly, until heated through, around 1-2 minutes.
Remove from heat and serve topped with the remaining spring onion, fresh herbs, nuts and a small handful of bean sprouts.
Serves 2