After my last attempt at a chia breakfast pudding, I did some experimenting to see if I could come up with a tasty recipe for a chai-spiced pot. I realised along the way that the weird taste, which I had attributed to the maca and lucuma powder in the previous iteration, was partly down to the chia seeds, which have a bit of a weird taste in themselves.
- 300ml milk, any
- 2tsp black tea
- 5 peppercorns
- 1 green cardamom pod
- 1 vanilla pod
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1tbsp sugar, any (e.g. honey, coconut sugar, cane sugar)
- 3tbsp chia seeds
Measure your milk into a small saucepan. Halve the vanilla pod and add the seeds to the milk. Do not discard the rest of the pod.
Add the tea and whole spices. You can either put them into a tea infuser (apart from the cinnamon stick and vanilla pod) or straight into the saucepan. Put over a low heat, watching carefully so that you do not allow the liquid to boil over. As it comes to the boil, turn down the heat and leave to simmer for two minutes to allow the spices to infuse.
If you have used an infuser, give it a squeeze to release the extra-concentrated flavours lurking within. If you haven’t used an infuser, strain.
Stir in the chia seeds and decant into a container to cool. Refrigerate overnight.
I served mine with a couple of tablespoons of speculoos butter, Greek yoghurt and pomegranate arils.
Sun’s out, buns out… of my lunch box, that is. The magnificent weather had reinvigorated my quest against lunch ennui, resulting in this tasty salad.
I found the recipe that inspired me, via Pinterest, here. Feel free to substitute any of the vegetables for other root vegetables you like. I also chucked a couple of shallots in the roasting tin as I had them on hand.
Ingredients (serves four)
- 800g (about two medium) sweet potatoes
- 400g (one root) celeriac
- 300g (two medium) parsnips
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1tsp fennel seeds
- 200g washed baby spinach
- 160g washed other leaves (I used sprouted peas)
- 200g pomegranate seeds, or one pomegranate if you’re not lazy
- 200g feta, cubed
- 2 avocados
- 50g pumpkin seeds
For the dressing
- 1tbsp French mustard
- 1tbsp honey
- 2tbsp cider vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed or finely chopped
- 1tsp balsamic vinegar
- 6tbsp flavourless oil
- Preheat oven to 200C (400F)
- Chop all of the root vegetables into bite-sized dice. Peel if desired. I peeled the celeriac but not the sweet potato and parsnips. Place into a baking tray.
- Coat evenly with the olive oil and sprinkle over the fennel seeds. Place in the garlic cloves (no need to peel or chop)
- Bake for 20-25mins, until golden brown and tender.
- Combine the dressing ingredients, aside from the oil, in a food processor or hand blender and blitz until smooth. Add the oil slowly, through a funnel if you have one.
- Cut open avocado, remove store, scoop out the meat and cut into smaller cubes. Add the avocado to the salad leaves along with crumbled feta and pomegranate seeds
- Heat a small saucepan, add the pumpkin seeds and a little sprinkle of salt and toast until golden.
- Mix the roasted roots with the salad and top the salad with toasted pumpkin seeds. Add dressing to taste.
I make this salad ahead of time for work. I put my roasted roots in a large airtight container in the fridge, with the feta, pomegranate and toasted pumpkin seeds in separate containers.
Each morning, I put the leaves in my lunchbox, topped with the roots and other ingredients. I take my dressing in a separate container and dress the salad just before eating. It’s a little more effort doing it this way, but gives a really enjoyable result.
The salad is also very nice undressed. You could add a tablespoon of honey to the vegetables before you roast them for extra flavour.