Tasty breakfast ideas with Vita Coco coconut milk alternative

So today I’ve taken up the challenge to come up with a breakfast idea using Vita Coco – a coconut milk alternative which is great for those with dairy intolerances and tastes delicious, too.

Of course, while I was pondering it I came up with two ideas, so decided to share them both with you. One is a more healthy option – a satisfying ginger porridge. Or you could treat yourselves with my tasty cardamom pancakes.

I had the idea of using spices in my breakfast dishes as their health benefits are widely accepted and they add a tasty element of surprise – the perfect way to wake up your taste buds. Plus coconut and spices are wonderful partners.

Ginger porridge with pistachios, raspberries and honey

This ginger porridge has a real zing and ginger’s anti-inflammatory effects can help with muscle pain and soreness, it’s great for treating nausea and is even thought to help lower blood sugar. The pistachios add a nice crunch and the sharpness of the raspberries works wonderfully with the sweetness of the honey. A great way to start your day.

Serves 2

Ginger spiciness goes perfectly with raspberries and pistachios

The ingredients

80g Quaker oats

500ml Vita Coco coconut milk alternative

1 tsp ground ginger

A handful of shelled pistachios

10 raspberries

About 2 tbsps runny honey

The instructions

Pour the milk into a pan and add the ground ginger. Heat to a low simmer and add the oats. Stir until thick and creamy.

Split the porridge between two bowls and top with the pistachios, raspberries and honey.

Add a dash more of Vita Coco if you like your porridge a bit runnier.

Ingredients for a delicious porridge to start your day

Spicy pancakes with cardamom and vanilla

Pancakes always seem like a real breakfast treat. These are spiced up and sweetened with the addition of cardamom and vanilla. I love the taste of cardamom and it’s said to help with digestive problems as well as being a good detoxifier. Ayurvedic medicine swears by the tea as a means of fighting depression. And it’s really delicious in pancakes!

Serves 4

Fluffy pancakes with a touch of exotic spice

The ingredients

140g self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp caster sugar

1 tsp ground cardamom

130ml Vita Coco coconut milk alternative

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 large egg, beaten

2 tbsp melted butter or olive oil

The instructions

Mix the flour, baking powder, caster sugar and cardamom together in a bowl.

Mix together the milk, vanilla, egg and butter.

Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and beat with a fork until you have a smooth batter.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium and add a knob of butter. When it’s melted, add a small ladle of the batter. Wait until it begins to bubble, turn and cook until golden brown.

Continue until you’ve used all your batter.

Serve with blueberries.

This recipe is an entry into the Dairy Free Style Your Breakfast challenge with Vita Coco and Foodies100. See more great breakfast ideas at http://vitacoco.com/uk/

Going French at Chez Lindsay in Richmond

So today we’re venturing to the outer reaches of London to beautiful Richmond. Well it’s really in Surrey but let’s say outer London – the underground does go there after all.

Home to one of the best views in town from the top of Richmond Hill which many artists have painted, a fabulous green with a pub on it called The Cricketers, and of course the majestic Thames, Richmond has a lot going for it. Including a delightful bistro called Chez Lindsay which specialises in authentic cooking from Brittany.

On a particularly damp and drizzly weekday night, we were greeted with a warm welcome and a mouth-watering menu, one of those ones it’s really hard to choose from. A wide range of starters, pancakes (or galettes, a Breton speciality) and mains served up by charming French waiters – why does English spoken with a French accent sound so good? Anyway, on to the food.

Boudin Noir – black putting served with apple compote may not look the most appealing of starters but it was fabulous. The sausage was beautifully aromatic and melt-in-the-mouth and the apples couldn’t have been more appley.

black pudding

Simple flavours that go together beautifully

I really battled to decide and in the end went for the Salad d’Ecrevisses. A crayfish and parmesan salad with croutons, apple, new potatoes and a light creamy garlic dressing. Beautifully presented in a neat stack, it was packed with flavour and textures. Truly delightful.

crayfish

Fresh and crunchy, a wonderful crayfish dish

And then there’s the galletes which can be starter or main course. These  nutty buckwheat pancakes are cooked to order on a flat griddle with a wide range of savoury fillings. Yummy.

ham pancake

Simply tasty – pancake filled with cheese and ham

Brittany is know for its fish dishes, so the Parmentier de Poissons seemed a logical choice. The flavoursome fish, cider and leek pie was served with a rocket and ruby chard salad.

fishpie

Fish pie topped with crunchy mashed potato

And then the wonderfully indulgent calves liver. Foie de Veau was served with petits pois a la Francais (peas with cream, lettuce and bacon) and mashed potato. Classic French fare perfectly done.

liver

Pink calves liver nestles on a bed of peas and mash

A fishy pancake for mains – the smoked salmon galette came with lemon and chive cream. A substantial portion of salmon I’m pleased to say (do love smoked salmon).

salmon pancake

The ideal dish for smoked salmon loveres

The roast rump of saltmarsh lamb was served with redcurrant and wine sauce, samphire, spinach and potatoes. A substantial, rich and warming dish, perfect for a dank autumn night.

lamb

Tender and tasty croupe d’agneau

To say we were all replete at this stage would be understating it. But something made us order some cheese to share…and it was worth it. A selection of four French cheeses (naturally), the ideal way to finish off a meal.

cheese

Can’t resist the cheese!

Chez Lindsay serves a great array of delicious French dishes and is a welcome sanctuary in Richmond which has more than its fair share of restaurant changes on its high street. It’s relaxed and friendly and also really good value for  money. What more could you ask for?

Chez Lindsay is at 11 Hill Rise, Richmond Hill.

Square Meal