Baked Purple Sweet Potato with Banana & Cherries

Baked Purple Sweet Potato with Banana & Cherries

Hello Everyone! A thousand apologies as this recipe was meant to go up a couple of days ago – but I haven’t been home at a decent hour for the past few nights to be able to write and get this up as planned. But, please bear with me for a moment as I attempt to absorb the fact that we’re 2 days away to the end of the month. All I can hint at this moment is that the upcoming month for me will say a final goodbye to a lifelong chapter – or should I say book? I feel like it’s more than an end to a chapter, but rather a book that I will be closing. To be able to open up a new story and at the same time revisit more chapters to one that was on hold for the past 3 years. One that I knew I will have the opportunity to continue writing. I know, I know, this all sounds very vague right now but in due time…

Baked Purple Sweet Potato with Banana & Cherries

Tangent aside and moving on, this recipe is pretty much open for you to get your creative juices flowing. Pair your favourite fruits together, add an element of crunch, and drizzle with your desired spread. What you can also do is play around with colour – I chose my fruits based on what colours will pop next to a beautiful deep purple sweet potato. This will make it look oh so aesthetically pleasing to the eye and (of course) taste even better in your tummy.

Before we dive into tonight’s recipe, be sure to check out where I drew inspiration for this beautiful breakfast dish over on Food with Feeling by Brita. Also, please make sure to read the end of this post to find out what’s happening on Amcarmen’s Kitchen for the month of August!

Baked Purple Sweet Potato with Banana & Cherries Ingredients

Baked Purple Sweet Potato with Banana & Cherries Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 80-95 MINS* | SERVES 2**

*Baking time time will vary depending on the size of your sweet potato.
**Half of a sweet potato for breakfast is already pretty filling, but the recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, and so on if you’re feeding more than 1-2 people at the table.

INGREDIENTS***

  • 1 medium-sized sweet potato, washed and scrubbed clean
  • 1 large banana, sliced
  • Chia seeds
  • Handful of fresh cherries, halved and pitted
  • Heaped spoonful of peanut butter
  • Granola

***Other optional toppings just to get your mind flowing: an array of mixed berries such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, hemp seeds, pepitas, nut butter, nutella, and many other choices for you to have fun with it!

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven 200C (400F or gas mark 6).
  2. Bake the sweet potato**** directly on the rack for about 40 to 50 minutes. Baking times may vary depending on the size of the potato. So to know if they’re done, stab it with a fork and if it easily pierces into the centre of the potato, the inside is most definitely tender.
  3. Once tender, cut a slit down the centre of the sweet potato about two thirds of the way down. Optional: slighty mush the inside of the potato.
  4. Top with your favourite breakfast toppings and don’t forget to make it look pretty on the plate too!
  5. Serve and enjoy!

****Here’s a tip: you can bake extra potatoes at the same time (I actually baked these together with my from week 2 of July), so that you can chuck them in the fridge and heat them up the next morning or two for another super easy and quick breakfast! It only takes less than 5 minutes to throw something together with your pre-baked potato.

Baked Purple Sweet Potato with Banana & Cherries

Baked Purple Sweet Potato with Banana & Cherries

Before I end tonight’s post, I’d like to share a little introduction to what’s coming as I won’t have the chance to when the next wave of recipes hit. If you have been following my blog since the beginning, or have been a frequent follower for more than a year or so, you’ll already know what August (or should I say, Auguest) means for Amcarmen’s Kitchen. Every year since 2015 I have been rounding up a couple of food bloggers and foodies alike to share their recipes in relation to the set theme. This year I have been able to round up some new faces, as well as familiar and recurring guests on Amcarmen’s Kitchen!

Stay tuned for an enticing array of delectably sweet and savoury breakfast dishes! If you want to read more on how this all started, click on the ‘Auguest’ tab above and there should be a link to take you to an introductory post that I wrote back in 2015.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Sweet Purple Sweet Potato Toasts (3 ways)

Sweet Purple Sweet Potato Toasts (3 ways)

Hello everyone! Apologies for not getting this post up last week as it was supposed to – I feel like I’ve been repeating myself in every post so far but yes, things have been hectic. Amongst the hecticness I speak of, my sister also arrived back from Singapore last week. Other than that, nothing exciting has happened over the past week – the week ahead though will definitely be one to remember.

Anyway, I’ll keep tonight’s introduction short and just dive straight into the recipe. To recap, the theme for this month on Amcarmen’s Kitchen is to hero Sweet Potatoes for breakfast! At the beginning of he month, I shared Savoury Orange Sweet Potato Toasts 3 Ways for you, and tonight I’m going to share you a Sweet Purple Sweet Potato Toasts 3 Ways for those who prefer a sweet option rather than savoury to kick start their mornings!

Sweet Purple Sweet Potato Toasts (3 ways)

Preparing your Sweet Potato Toasts

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 20 MINS* | MAKES 5 SLICES**

*Baking time time will vary depending on the size and thickness of your sweet potato slices.
**Or how-ever-so-many slices you can get from a single sweet potato

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large purple sweet potato, wash and dried

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4). Place a wire rack on a large rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Trim both ends from the sweet potato using a knife and slice them lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slabs using a knife or mandolin slicer.
  3. Arrange the slabs in a single layer on the wire rack and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender, but not fully cooked.
  4. Remove the potatoes from the oven and allow them to cool on wire rack completely before transferring to a storage container. They can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.

When it’s go-time simply add the desired number of slices to your toaster and toast away. Setting it on the highest setting takes only one toasting cycle to get them how I like them (warm, bubbly and crispy on the edges). Just be wary that yours may need more or less depending on the toaster that you are using. Adjust to your liking!

Notes/Tips:

    • Look for sweet potatoes that are relatively shaped like a tube so that they’re easier to slice.
    • Don’t remove the skin because fibre in it is good and it helps the slices hold up better during storage.
    • Using a mandolin slicer gives you uniform slices of sweet potatoes, and is easier and safer than using a big knife.
    • Allow them to cool completely after baking before stacking them in a container or they’ll get sweaty and will definitely take longer to toast when you’re ready to eat them.

Now the fun starts – you get to add toppings! The possibilities are pretty much endless but these three are my absolute favourite combinations for a yummy start to my day – the sweet edition!


Blackberries & Buttermilk Caramelised White Chocolate

Sweet Purple Sweet Potato Toasts (3 ways): Blackberries & Buttermilk Caramelised White Chocolate

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 5-10 MINS | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

  • Blackberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)
  • Sweet potato slice(s)
  • Whittaker’s West Coast Buttermilk Caramelised White Chocolate (Artisan Collection), roughly chopped

METHOD

  1. Place the sweet potato slices into a toaster and toast on the highest setting until warm, bubbly and crispy on the edges.
  2. Top with the above garnishes and enjoy!

Banana, Blueberries & Peanut Butter

Sweet Purple Sweet Potato Toasts (3 ways): Banana, Blueberries & Peanut Butter

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 5-10 MINS | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

  • Banana slices
  • Blueberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)
  • Chia seeds
  • Granola
  • Peanut butter
  • Sweet potato slice(s)

METHOD

  1. Place the sweet potato slices into a toaster and toast on the highest setting until warm, bubbly and crispy on the edges.
  2. Top with the above garnishes and enjoy!

Strawberries & Goats Cheese with Balsamic Reduction

Sweet Purple Sweet Potato Toasts (3 ways):Strawberries & Goats Cheese with Balsamic Reduction

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 5-10 MINS | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

  • Balsamic reduction
  • Goats Cheese
  • Lemon zest
  • Strawberry slices, fresh
  • Sweet potato slice(s)

METHOD

  1. Place the sweet potato slices into a toaster and toast on the highest setting until warm, bubbly and crispy on the edges.
  2. Top with the above garnishes and enjoy!

And there you have it – three simple ways you can make you mornings sweeter, brighter, full of colour, healthier, and energising altogether! I’ll TRY to get the last post for the month up, if not on Wednesday night, then on Thursday night hopefully – fingers crossed!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Dark Chocolate, PB & Banana Smoothie Bowl

Dark Chocolate, PB & Banana Smoothie Bowl

Hello Everyone! First off, apologies as I did say in my last post that I’d get this up within the week where I posted about Amcarmen’s Kitchen turning 4 last week! (Unnecessary) things got in the way which was why I wasn’t able to get this up. So to make up for that, since after this post I still have one more Smoothie Bowl recipe to share with all of you, I’ll ATTEMPT to get that up for you before May rolls in. Bare in mind that I will be flying off once again tomorrow, hence also why this post is going up on a Tuesday instead of my usual Wednesday post schedule, so my attempt may already be void at this point *cheeky grin* but for you guys, I will try my best to.

Moving on, here is tonight’s recipe for a devilishly delicious Dark Chocolate, PB, and Banana Smoothie Bowl! So incase you guys haven’t been following my Instagram pages, I got back from a 5-day business trip to Hong Kong two Sundays ago. I’ve italicised ‘business’ because well, though yes it was for business, it was also sort of a mini-vacation. It was my first time to travel to Hong Kong as well so I made sure that I made the most out of the trip, outside of business hours that is. Though it was a fun trip, both on the business and vacation side to it, I was super exhausted and sleep deprived from the trip when I got back. It’s not that I was out partying every single night until the wee hours of dawn, but rather my roommate/colleague basically kept me up all night. She snores like a helicopter continuously hovering over me and talks in her sleep. I’m a very sensitive sleeper and this for me was just… Pure torture. I probably collectively only slept 8-10 hours during that 5 day trip, and the hard part was, I couldn’t even take naps in between because she snores in her naps too. I’m definitely requesting for separate rooms if I ever have to travel with her again. At least I’ll be travelling by myself to the Philippines tomorrow so I won’t have to worry about a snore fest for the upcoming 5 days (thank God).

Rant over. So Dark Chocolate, PB, and Banana? In a smoothie bowl? For breakfast? Don’t mind if I do! Classic flavour combinations for those who prefer to start their mornings off on a sweet note. Now you may notice that in the ingredients shot below that the jar of peanut butter is missing… So here’s what happened, that day I was making two different smoothie bowls for a Sunday afternoon snack, therefore I took two ingredient shots that day. The jar of peanut butter found it’s way into the other shot (which by the way doesn’t need peanut butter) and I only realised it after I was going through the photographs I took a few days later – silly me! Oh well, so ignore the jar of peanut butter in the next recipe post!

Dark Chocolate, PB & Banana Smoothie Bowl Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME  | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

For the smoothie mixture

  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • 60g dark chocolate*
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder

*I used Whittaker’s Marlborough Sea Salt and Caramel Brittle Chocolate for this recipe – super yum with that hint of salt and sweet caramel.

Toppings

  • Bananas – loaded with essential vitamins and minerals such as potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, folate, niacin, riboflavin, and B6
  • Granola – contains vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients, including, but not limited to, dietary fibres, sodium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, vitamin C & E, niacin, iron, and thiamin
  • Coco Pops
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Desiccated Coconut

METHOD

  1. Add the milk, peanut butter, cocoa powder, dark chocolate, yoghurt, and banana to a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and top with sliced bananas, coco pops, desiccated coconut, roughly chopped dark chocolate, and granola. Enjoy as quick and easy breakfast or a filling afternoon snack to get rid of that midday schlump!

Dark Chocolate, PB & Banana Smoothie Bowl

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Oxtail Kare-Kare

Oxtail Kare-Kare

Hello Everyone! So I was just browsing through all the posts I’ve uploaded since I got into a regular uploading schedule and I realised that I actually haven’t posted a savoury dish in a while. I’ve been posting about cakes, cookies, and muffins these past few months! The last savoury dish that I blogged about was back in October with The Ultimate Brekkie (for those who have not seen it, click on it and prepare to drool, seriously).

Today’s recipe is a little different, or may be different to some of my readers/viewers. It is one of my most favourite dishes of all time, and only because my mom used to make it on a regular-enough basis to always have this orgasmic sensation with every bite. It may not suit the taste buds for many I feel, but seriously, every person I’ve made this for, well okay 3 people, loved it so much that they’ve even gone and tried to make it for themselves!

There are a few things to cover in this recipe that many may not know about, so I’ll start of with what even is Kare-Kare. Pronounced kah-reh kah-reh, it is a traditional Philippine stew flavoured with ground roasted peanuts or peanut butter, onions, and garlic; creamy, rich, and thick. Traditionally, a palayok (clay cooking pot) is used to cook this dish and it is also used as the serving pot. Typical meats that make the base for this stew include oxtail (sometimes this is the only meat used), pork hocks, calves feet, pig feet, beef stew meat; and occasionally offal, or tripe, rarely goat or chicken. Besides the meat, vegetables are also cooked with the stew and these include a range of (but are not limited to): eggplant, Chinese cabbage (or other leafy greens), long beans, okra (lady fingers), daikon, etc. – usually equaling or exceeding the amount of meat in the dish. The overall dish is then coloured (and flavoured) with annatto seeds, which is extracted by add the seeds in oil or water. Since I didn’t have some in handy, I just left them out – I feel like it didn’t have a significant effect to the overall flavour of the dish.

This dish is often served and eaten with shrimp paste known in a Philippines as bagoong (pronounced ba-go-ong). Sometimes it is spiced with chilli, or sautéed with garlic, onions, tomatoes, and sprinkled with calamansi (small round lime) juice. Bagoong paste varies in appearance, flavour, and spiciness depending on the type. Pink and salty bagoong is marketed as “fresh”, and is essentially the shrimp-salt mixture left to marinate for a few days. I sautéed a whole jar of shrimp paste and only used about a generous tablespoon of it on the side for this dish. The rest I put back into the jar and into the freezer until for later use. There are many other dishes that you can make with the sautéed shrimp paste and it may pop up in my blog a few more times!

I cooked up this dish for our supposed International (Asian) Feast Night that we had been planning for a while. I say “supposed” because instead of having food from 5 different Asian Cuisines, we ended up only having 3 and it turned out to also be Lydia’s farewell dinner. Basically Lydia cooked a dish from China, Vidhya from India, and me from the Philippines. Jialing (who did not show up by the way because she had a staff dinner) was supposed to make a dish from Malaysia, and Marissa, who already went on holiday, was supposed to make a Vietnamese dish. I was seriously so tired that night, I mean first of all, I had just come back from my Outback trip and only felt the tiredness after returning back. Secondly, I worked from 9am-5pm that day, and when I got home, I straightaway went into the kitchen to cook. I was SO tired that I actually seriously fell asleep at the table after dinner, during dessert. Talk about an induced food coma!

So for this night, which by the way happened about 3 days after I got back from the Red Centre, I decided to make my famous Oxtail Kare-kare. I also made a chicken version for Vidhya because the only meat she eats is chicken (and fish). I’ve never actually tried the dish with chicken before; it turned out okay but in my honest opinion, it wasn’t as flavourful as the Oxtail. I have made this dish in the past as well where I used pork hock/leg, pork shoulder, beef shank or gravy beef, and my mom made it a few times with beef tripe – all these cuts of meat work perfectly well with the dish. Some butchers sell oxtail either whole or cut. If your local butcher happens to seek them whole, just kindly ask them to cut it into rounds for you, that’s what I did. I remember as a little kid that I would always love the bigger cuts because they had more meat in them… Until someone ruined it for me saying that “the bigger the cut, the closer it is to its bum!”

Oxtail Kare-Kare Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 45 MINS | SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

For the stew

  • 1kg oxtail, cut into rounds
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 5 dried bay leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed then minced
  • 1 large onion, halved and then sliced
  • 1 tbsp crunchy peanut butter (a very generous tablespoon)
  • 1 tsp rock salt
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • Ground salt and pepper
  • Buk Choy, separated
  • Eggplant, sliced diagonally
  • Long beans, cut into 1-inch long strings
  • Okra (lady fingers), whole and then sliced later once cooked

For the sautéed shrimp paste

  • 345g bagoong alamang (shrimp paste)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed then minced
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large onion, halved and then sliced
  • 1 tbsp sugar

METHOD

  1.  Add the oxtail, bay leaves, rock salt and whole peppercorns to a large pot with about a litre of water, or enough to submerge the meat. Boil for about 1 to 1 and a half hours until tender. If you are using a pressure cooker (which I don’t have), 30-35 minutes should do the trick! Once the meat is tender, remove from the heat and set aside. Do not throw away the stock.
  2. While your meat is tenderising, move onto sautéing the shrimp paste. Heat oil in a medium-sized frying pan and sauté garlic and onions until fragrant. Add the tomatoes in and sauté until they have softened. Add the shrimp paste in and give it a good mix. Add in the sugar and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and set aside. You may need to heat it up again before serving.
  3. Heat oil over medium-high heat in another pot and sauté the garlic and onions until fragrant. Add the the oxtails, season with ground salt and pepper, and give it a good stir. Add the peanut butter to two cups of the stock and stir until the peanut butter has softened. Add the peanut butter mix to the oxtail and bring the heat to low. Let it simmer for about 8-10 minutes. If you want your stew to be less creamy and thick, add more stock to your liking.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and cook your vegetables for no longer than 5 minutes. Drain and transfer the cooked vegetables to your oxtail stew just before serving. Serve hot with sautéed shrimp paste and enjoy!

Oxtail Kare-Kare

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Banana & Peanut Butter Popsicles

Banana & Peanut Butter Popsicles

Happy June everyone! There is no doubt that my Dutch housemates Kevin and Sam, as well as myself, share an unconditional love for peanut butter. I also know that Kevin loves bananas and Sam loves popsicles. All these into account, I was almost certain that there is something out there that incorporates the three together.

I did some research and I found a recipe by Megan via Detoxinista, for Peanut Butter Banana Ice Pops. I shared the recipe with my housemates and we all agreed that we should make this – well, more like I make it and then they eat it. So that’s what I did yesterday, made the popsicles and let them to set in the freezer overnight for a happy Sunday afternoon snack 🙂

The recipe makes 8 popsicles, but I only had a mould that is good for 6, also it depends on the side of your moulds. I just kept the rest of the mixture in a container in the refrigerator to later pour into the mould as we consume them.

Banana & Peanut Butter Popsicles: Procedure

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME  SERVES 6 POPSICLES

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 large bananas (or 4 if small)
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup full cream milk
  • 1 tbsp honey and maple syrup blend
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt (optional only if you are using unsalted peanut butter)

METHOD

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender, and blend until very smooth and creamy. If necessary, adjust the sweetness to taste keeping in mind that the frozen version will taste less sweet than the mixture.
  2. Pour the batter into the popsicle moulds and freeze for at least 6 hours, or until solid. When removing the frozen popsicles from their moulds, submerge them in hot water for about 20 seconds to allow them to loosen.

Banana & Peanut Butter Popsicles

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Banana, Blueberry & Peanut Butter Teddy Toasts

Banana, Blueberry & Peanut Butter Teddy Toasts

Good afternoon everyone! Maybe still morning for others, even maybe early morning or late evening. Today’s post is very simple, no method needed really. I made this a while back and was inspired by an Instagram photo that my sister tagged me in. A creative fix to shake away the Monday Blues! That’s really all I have to say today 🙂

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME  SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 slices of Wholemeal Omega-3 Chia Bread, from Baker’s Delight
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 punnet (125g) fresh blueberries
  • Crunchy peanut butter
  • Honey & maple syrup blend, to drizzle

I just realised when writing the ingredient list out, how stupid it looked when I first wrote “9 slices of bananas” and “9 blueberries” 😛

Banana, Blueberry & Peanut Butter Teddy Toasts

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx
myTaste.com

Three-ingredient Pancakes

Three-ingredient Pancakes

A very good morning to all! Well, it’s like past 10am here in Sydney (almost 11am probably by the time I get this post up), but probably only just about past midnight in parts of the world, or maybe just a few hours behind/ahead depending where you are really. Anyway, today, I managed to get out of bed by 8am (I usually wake up at 8 but laze around until 9-9:30), maybe because it wasn’t as cold as the previous days that made me just want to snuggle in my thick warm blanket. Who I am kidding? I got out of bed because I was hungry and I wanted to do something about my overripe bananas sitting in the corner of my room. I then remembered a friend of mine posting a photo (probably a month ago or so) on Instagram about his ‘failed’ two-ingredient pancakes – well more like when he tried to flip it, it tore. And it was slightly burnt.

Anyway, so this magical two-ingredient pancake is gluten and dairy free – basically two eggs per large banana. But I decided to put a little twist to my two-ingredient pancake and make it my very own three-ingredient pancake (I’m pretty sure someone out there thought about it already, but who cares). I decided to add a spoonful (or two) of crunchy peanut butter to the mix. YUM. I love peanut butter, especially the crunchy ones. I also added a touch of vanilla and more than I should’ve added, ground cinnamon. I also love me some cinnamon. You can never go overboard with it – I guess?

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 15-20 MINS SERVES 4 PANCAKES

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • Dash of vanilla extract
  • Dash of ground cinnamon
  • Honey & maple syrup blend, to drizzle
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

METHOD

  1. Add the peanut butter and eggs in a medium-sized bowl and beat together. Add in the mashed bananas, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Mix until well combined. (Tip: if you are pressed for time, use a blender to mix all the ingredients together).
  2. Heat a small pan (nonstick or cast-iron) over medium heat. Fold a sheet of paper towel in half, and moisten with the vegetable oil and carefully rub the pan with the oiled paper towel. Ladle the batter onto the pan, using the back of the ladle to spread the batter into a round shape. Cook until the surface of the pancake starts to bubble, about 2-3 minutes. Flip carefully with a spatula, and cook until browned on the underside, about 1-2 minutes more (I am actually unsure about the timings so please don’t accurately follow them, I just used my eyes and instincts to tell whether they are cooked through or not).
  3. Continue with more oil and remaining batter (makes about 4 pancakes). Serve warm, with desired toppings.

Three-ingredient Pancakes

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com