On the menu – The Don Macaroni, Poppy Seed Pound Cake and Chocolate Porridge

Sunday

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The Don Macaroni is from Anna Mae’s Mac N Cheese book, it’s basically macaroni cheese with bacon and homemade pesto, the fat from cooking the bacon mixed in with the cheese sauce. It was nice, it was the pesto that really made it though, not, surprisingly, the bacon.

Monday

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Poppy Seed Pound Cake (in case you hadn’t guessed, I love poppy seeds) is my perfect sort of cake; quick but pleasurable to make and no too sweet icing to distract from the business of the actual cake. This recipe came from Lorraine Pascale’s Bake (if you click on the link, it’ll take you to Google Books, which has the recipe) and as well as being text book lovely, was actually lovely in real life too (and the poppy seeds, as well as adding great flavour and a little bit of healthy stuff, made it look so pretty).

Tuesday

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I don’t often look forward to breakfast, well, I do, I have to take a medication in the mornings that means I can’t eat for half an hour afterwards and that half an hour can sometimes be very long but this breakfast, I’d been looking forward to for the past two days. The recipe is chocolate hazelnut protein oats or if you’re being less fancy, chocolate porridge and the recipe is from The Food Medic (you can find the recipe here, sorry, it’s a Daily Fail link). I made this in another attempt to get me to eat more nuts and to also try and increase my protein intake, I am very bad at not eating enough protein. Despite the chocolate, this is an uber healthy recipe, I’m using Lifesum at the moment (so now I know exactly how little protein I eat) and for those who are not familiar with the app, it rates your food, meals and days with a series of smiley or not so smiley faces (depending on how you’ve done or not done) and this recipe got a ‘perfect’ meal rating smiley (I had an espresso with it, if that makes any difference) and I very rarely get perfect meal ratings. I made a few changes to the recipe, I used cow’s milk, as I don’t have an issue with it physically, I used plain protein powder not chocolate flavoured and I didn’t grate any dark chocolate on top, I think if I’d used chocolate flavoured protein powder and the dark chocolate, it would have made it even more chocolatey, if that’s at all possible and that may have been just too much because even with just the cacao, it is extremely chocolatey.

Anyway, it was nice, it was very very very chocolatey which was definitely bordering on too much, especially first thing in the morning for this person who normally loves chocolate (loves chocolate way too much). I had to down a bottle of water afterwards just to calm my taste buds down. It’s also a massive portion, so I struggled to finish it. I think it would be an excellent thing to eat in the winter, especially if you know you’ve got a day coming up where you’re going to be out in the cold a lot, it would be excellent hiking fuel, it would be good too, if you’ve just come in from a cold, early morning run. So I definitely won’t be eating this regularly but it will definitely be something to remember for those occasions where I need extra fuel. But as for this time, well, after my taste buds recovered a bit, it was a very satisfying breakfast yet I didn’t feel bloaty or full, I felt like I was far less likely to snack and I was left with that pleasant post good chocolate buzz, so a good result.

Also it left me feeling a bit virtuous, as well as getting me to happily eat hazelnuts, did you know that non-dutched chocolate (which I used for this) is really good for you? I usually use Green & Blacks cocoa but after reading about non-dutched chocolate in James Wong’s How to Eat Better, I looked out for some whilst shopping and this is the first time I’ve used it. According to Wong, most chocolate is dutched, which is the addition of potassium carbonate to balance out the acidity of the chocolate, however this cuts the level of polyphenols (which are really good for your heart) by more than 80%. It took a little bit of searching to find chocolate powder that didn’t have potassium carbonate in but I managed to find some in the baking aisle in Sainsburys and it is just as nice and intense (possibly more so) than the brand I normally use.

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