What I Made – Red Bean Brownies

red-bean-brownies

I’ve yet to try making traditional brownies. To be honest, the sheer amount of chocolate, sugar and butter that seems to be involved scares me a little. I followed this recipe pretty closely but did make some substitutions:

  • I couldn’t find black beans so I used red kidney beans instead
  • Not being vegan, and not having flax on hand, I used actual eggs rather than flax eggs
  • I measured out the amount of sugar specified (1/2 cup) but only ended up using about 2/3 of it

Notes

  • The mixture was a bit too dry so I added a few tablespoons of water bit by bit to help with combining all of the ingredients.
  • I whacked the batter into a square tin to bake for around 20-25 minutes at 180°C, and then left it to sit in the oven for a little while with the door open.
  • The texture of the brownies was quite soft and on the fudgier side due to the lack of flour. I’d describe the taste as rich and dark. You cannot taste the beans but I do attribute the slight creaminess of these brownies to the usage of beans.
  • I should have added some walnuts to provide a bit more complexity.

What I Ate

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Breakfast: Overnight oatmeal with chia seeds, cacao powder, desiccated coconut and dried mulberries  + banana spread with peanut cacao butter

Lunch: Sweet potato, hummus, carrots, chicken and baby broccoli

Snack (not pictured): Peach + cashews

Dinner: Rice with cauliflower, tofu and meat + Quest cookie dough bar (this was actually a pre-dinner snack)

Snack: Blueberries + some potato (not pictured)

Alrose Garden, Strathfield

alrose-garden-strathfield

  • I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve eaten at Alrose Garden.
  • It’s a decent place for Korean food, albeit the menu is somewhat limited.
  • This doesn’t bother me too much because I’ve pretty much nailed down what I like to eat in the form of their seafood + vegetables + rice cakes dish (the udon variation used to be my go-to until I discovered an appreciation for rice cakes) which packs a decent flavour punch with a kick of chilli.
  • There’s also a noodle and dumpling dish that is simple, satisfying and has a homey taste.
  • It should be noted that Alrose Garden’s claim to fame (as far I as know) is their chicken schnitzel.
  • It’s ginormous and served with an interesting sauce that’s slightly tangy, as well as some rice and greenery.
  • The schnitzel is not shabby at all but it’s always hard to tear myself away from the rice cakes.
  • Anyway, Alrose Garden is one of my go-to eating places in Strathfield – yummy, reasonably priced, not too cramped and okay service.

What I Ate

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Breakfast: Overnight oatmeal with cinnamon, mulberries, half a banana and frozen blueberries + the other half of the banana with some peanut butter

Snack: Unsalted roasted cashews

Lunch: Meatballs + roasted carrots and onions + nectarine

Snack: Yoghurt with granola

Dinner (not pictured): Rice with vegetables + lebanese bread with cheese + unsalted roasted cashews

Snack: Vanilla ice cream with blueberries + some more unsalted roasted cashews (not pictured)

Italian Nougat, Gelato Messina, Darlinghurst

italian_nougat_gelato_messina

  • “Honey based gelato with roasted nuts, egg whites and Italian nougat.”
  • This melted very rapidly.
  • There was a generous smattering of almonds, caramelised peanuts and pistachios as well as a few pieces of actual crispy nougat.
  • The first spoonful was the best because there was a satisfying crunch from the almonds.
  • It was downhill from there due to the melting factor.
  • I also found the honey gelato too sweet, and it got overly creamy/milky towards the end.

What I Made – Blueberry Yoghurt Muffins

blueberry-yoghurt-muffins

I used this recipe as a base but doubled the ingredients and made some substitutions:

  • A bit less than 2/3 of the sugar that was called for (the 8 tablespoons that I ended up going with were not completely filled)
  • Self-raising flour instead of all-purpose flour, which also meant that I omitted the baking powder and baking soda
  • Plain yoghurt rather than flavoured yoghurt
  • Coconut oil (4 tablespoons) instead of canola oil

Notes

  • The initial mixture turned out a bit lumpy. I suspect this was due to the cold wet ingredients making the coconut oil solidify. Switching from my wooden spoon to the electric mixer more or less solved the lumpy dilemma.
  • They tasted fine, nothing phenomenal, slightly… cheesy due to the yoghurt. Texture could’ve been a tad softer/more moist.
  • Yield: 24 mini muffins and 6 regular muffins.

What I Ate

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Breakfast: Overnight oatmeal with cinnamon, cacao nibs, sunflower seeds & dried mulberries + sunflower seeds wholemeal sourdough with cheese  & soft boiled egg

Lunch: Two xoi khuc (mung bean and meat in spinach casing with sticky rice on the outside) + mango

Snack: Yoghurt with granola

Dinner: Potatoes, choko, meatballs with mustard + Whittaker’s Peanut Butter chocolate

Snack (not pictured): A potato and some more meatballs with mustard