Store-cupboard Brekkies

Yes, it’s another porridge post!

I figured everyone needed something calming after all yesterday’s… excitement.

So, got up at six this morning to get the firstborn on the bus to college. Starving. REALLY starving. And thought, “Aha! Porridge! I think I’ll just swing by Tesco and pick up some blueberries and yogurt raisins to go on top.” Then remembered that it was the crack of dawn and Tesco’s was firmly shut till eight. Foiled again!

Stared moodily into the cupboard. Tried another cupboard with no better result. Rifled through the tins, and found a small tin of crushed pineapple. Inspiration struck! So herein may I proudly present:

PIÑA COLADA PORRIDGE

Oh, yeah.

First you make your plain ordinary porridge. Then you add half the tin of pineapple, and mix it in.

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If you like cinnamon, add a goodish sprinkle, and mix again.

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I intended to add shredded or dessicated coconut to the actual porridge as it was cooking, but a quick search through the kitchen cupboards revealed that after last month’s ill-advised out-of-date-food blitz, I didn’t have any, so I substituted a good glug from a tin of coconut milk. This had the unexpected but welcome side-effect of making the whole thing very creamy-tasting. Cat optional. *Cat-hair probably not optional.

(*see my post from a few days ago)

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At this point I tasted it, decided it wasn’t quite pineappley enough, and dumped in the rest of the tin.

Top with a proud twirl of aerosol cream and a leetle sprinkle of demarara sugar, et voila!

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If you don’t have to actually function today, you could go the whole hog and add Malibu. Just sayin’.

Tastes nice cold, too.

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More Culinary Torture!

What is it in protein shakes that makes them taste so indefinably, ineffably… WEIRD?

I bought Body Fortress vanilla last year and it tasted so wrong, I just shoved the giant tub to the back of the cupboard, appalled, and abandoned it. It’s still sitting there behind a stack of old egg boxes and assorted vacuum flasks and hot water bottles, whispering, “Thirty-two quid! I cost thirty-two quid!” in an accusing tone every time I open the cupboard. I’m thinking of nailing the door shut, actually.

Thankfully, I’ve discovered a way to beat the weirdy-protein-powder taste: add really strong-tasting stuff to it. A few people have asked since my gloaty food post below, so here, for your very much delectation, I present my method for making the Choca-Mocha Peanut Butter Protein Shake (patent pending).

First, get chocolate-flavoured protein powder. This gives you a head-start in the flavour stakes. Vanilla just leaves far too many taste-buds vulnerable to attack by the weirdy-protein-molecules. Unless you’re the sort of athlete who happily glugs down raw eggs and Worcestershire sauce, you still won’t want to drink this stuff unmodified.

Make a very small cup of very strong coffee. I just use my usual brand of instant, and make it extra-strong, but those of you who love espresso, feel free. Just don’t use too much water.

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You can follow my usual method and accidentally forget about the whole enterprise until the coffee is cold, or you can drop an ice cube in it to hurry the process along a bit. So long as it’s not hot-hot, it’ll be fine. My protein powder tub recommends 250-300ml cold water to two scoops of powder, so I use 250ml and let the coffee make up the rest of the liquid content.

Put powder into water. It will float. Do not panic. Add coffee. The powder-slick will go lumpy. Still don’t panic, OK, because we’re not done making a mess yet.

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Get two big dollops of peanut butter – smooth or crunchy, it doesn’t matter as you’re going to be blending this in a minute. Dump them on top of the mess in the jug.

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Now poke a stick blender into the jug (or use a bigger bowl to start with and use whatever electric whisk-like implement you like), and whizz until it’s smooth.

It’s possible at this point to add in a drop or two of vanilla essence if you like, or cream (but adjust the rest of the liquid content).

You should end up with a jugful of liquid that somewhat resembles this:

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Yes, the fulfilment of all my breakfast dreams: a pint, glinting gently in the early-morning sunlight!

And no hangover afterwards…

Deprivation? I think not, Mister Bond!

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Does this look like diet food to you? Me neither. After feeding my family on pasta last night, I constructed this little beauty for myself feeling very, very smug indeed. Sorry about that, but it’s hard not to gloat.

This is (deep breath) half a butternut squash and one chicken breast, drizzled with olive and sesame oil and chucked in the oven for half an hour; half a tomato, wedged up; a big handful of rocket, ‘cos I love rocket; a handful of roasted pistachios (they’re the purplish things that look spookily like borlotti beans); a dollop of full-fat soft cheese in the scooped-out bit of the squash; a squirt of mayo on the chicken; a shake of lime juice and Lo-Salt overall (and here’s a big shout-out for potassium chloride), and a final drizzle of the cooked-out juices from the roasting pan.

That, my friends, not only looks like a bleedin’ feast, it tasted like one too. Who knew low-carbing was such fun? It also means I can have cream in my coffee, ‘cos cream has less carbs than milk, I get to freak out the disembodied voice at the McDonalds drive-thru in Newcastle by asking for a Big Mac without buns, and I still get to down the occasional single malt at the pub. Win. Win. Win-win. Hence my insufferable smugness right now. Again, sorry about that.

I’m just off to make a coffee and peanut butter protein shake for breakfast.

Love,

Mrs. Gloaty McSmugness of Smugsham, Northsmugsland.

xxx