Hi Friends, Wow, it has been a hot minute since I have posted a recipe to this blog, apologies for my absence I have been busy growing and birthing a human, who arrived safely on the 22nd of December 2019 – I’ll save the birth […]
Hi Friends, Welcome back to another Kiah’s Kitchen recipe post! Today I am sharing this easy yet delicious Leek and Lemon Risotto with Green Peas and Spinach. This recipe came about for a few reasons, firstly, my lemon tree is doing exceptionally well right now, […]
Welcome to another Kiah’s Kitchen recipe post! Today I am sharing these easy and delicious sourdough starter pancakes.
As any regular readers would know, I am always on a mission to reduce my food waste (and plastic waste) and cook more from scratch. I am a lover of sourdough and I spend $9 every week on a freshly baked loaf of organic sourdough for myself (Nathan does’t eat it). Which a) is a lot of money for a loaf of bread and b) is something I’m wanting to learn to make myself. So, a couple of weeks ago I decided to take the plunge and create my own sourdough starter.
I haven’t found this to be the easiest process (I have a blog post on my experience coming very shortly). To create sourdough starter, you need to discard majority of it twice a day everyday while you are building the cultures, otherwise you will have too much starter and the flour you are feeding it won’t be enough for the cultures to thrive off.
Meet Mr W. Leviosa (my sourdough starter) I’ve been informed if you don’t name them you’re setting them up for failure, I am also a hopeless Harry Potter fan and I thought Leviosa was quite fitting as it originates from the latin word Levo meaning ‘I lift’ which is exactly what I’m hopping Mr W. Leviosa will do.
Discarding this much sourdough starter everyday was getting on my nerves because it is such a waste AND it’s a very thick gluey mixture that seems to permanently attach itself to anything it comes into contact with. Whilst you can compost sourdough starter, I decided to try and cook with it. Mr W. Leviosa isn’t quite powerful enough to bake a loaf of bread with just yet, however he is perfect for pancakes!
Confession, I am not the biggest pancake fan (I know, what is wrong with me) growing up my mum and sister loved them and mum would often make them for us from scratch, but I’m much more of a sourdough toast for Sunday breakfast kind of gal.
Nathan on the other hand LOVES pancakes and I decided this would be a good use of my sourdough starter discard. Nath was heading off to go mountain bike riding with one of his friends so what better way to give him some energy for the day than to fill him full of pancakes (and sugar) and use up the starter discard in the process.
This recipe was very easy to throw together and produced extremely fluffy and soft pancakes! I used 1.5 cups of sourdough starter, I just kept the discard from the two feedings the day before in the fridge and then added the discard from the feeding this morning and voila, 1.5 cups of sourdough starter.
I added a little extra flour to make the pancakes thicker, added in some eggs and some milk, some baking soda and some salt. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
If you wanted to make this vegan, use plant based milk and substitute the eggs for either two flax eggs or applesauce or mashed banana!
I didn’t use any sugar in the pancake batter as I feel like it is sweet enough with the toppings, however if you have a sweet tooth, add in some sugar to sweeten them up!
If you are also on a journey to making your own sourdough and have some starter you want to use, give this recipe a go, I promise you won’t be disappointed! If you do, be sure to let me know how you liked them either in the comments down below or over on Instagram, I would love to hear from you. If you would like to see more posts like this, feel free to subscribe to my blog via email so you receive a notification each time I post.
If you know me personally and you want to come over for some pancakes, just let me know, I have a lot of starter to use and I’m happy to cook them for you!
Until next time, take care!
Sourdough Starter Pancakes
These fluffy and delicious pancakes are so easy to throw together and will help you to use up excess sourdough starter discard without having to throw it away or put it in the compost. The starter makes them so fluffy and delicious you'll want to make them everyday!
- 1.5 cups fresh sourdough starter I saved the discard from a couple of feedings in the fridge
- 2 whole eggs or substitute flax eggs, apple sauce or mashed banana
- 2 tbsp flour optional - depends how thick you like pancakes
- 2 tbsp milk either dairy or plant based milk
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp butter or butter alternative for cooking
- 2 serves of toppings of your choice
Add the fresh sourdough starter to a mixing bowl
Add the flour and milk, mix through well
Add the eggs or egg substitute and wisk until combined
Add the salt and baking soda and mix through, set aside for a few minutes
Heat a large pan over a medium heat (I used my enamel coated cast iron pan which I love!) add in butter or butter substitute
Once melted, ladle in a scoop of the pancake batter, cook over a low to medium heat until large bubbles start appearing on the top of the pancake (this doesn't take too long to keep an eye on it!)
Use a spatula to flip the pancake and continue to cook on a low to medium heat for another 30 seconds to a minute (make sure you don't burn it)
Remove pancake from pan and onto a plate, store plate in a low temp oven to keep warm while you cook remaining pancakes
Re-grease the pan (if needed - mine doesn't) and repeat until you have used all of the batter and have a delicious stack of pancakes
Serve immediately with your choice of toppings, some ideas are fresh berries, frozen berries heated in the oven, maples syrup, lemon and sugar, nutella, fruit jam - really the possibilities are endless
Leftover pancakes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days or frozen for grab and go breakfast options during the week!
This recipe can use sourdough starter that isn't strong enough for baking bread. My starter had been going for about 13 days when I made these pancakes (so still very new) and I have a cold house so the cultures were not quite strong enough for bread baking but perfect for pancakes! I just saved the starter discard from about 3 feedings (in a jar in the fridge separate to my main starter) to get 1.5 cups!
Hello Friends! Welcome back to my September Grocery Budget Challenge, I can’t believe we are in week three, where is the month going! If you missed out on week one and two, you can find them here: September Grocery Budget Challenge: Week 1 September Grocery […]
Hello hello hello! Welcome to another Kiah’s Kitchen blog post! This is the second instalment of my September Grocery Budget Challenge! If you haven’t seen week one, you can check it out here. For those that need a quick recap – this challenge is all […]
Welcome back to another Kiah’s Kitchen recipe post! Today I am sharing my delicious and easy Black Eyed Pea Curry recipe!
Cooking with black eyed peas is actually new to me, I have never tried them before! I was in my local green grocer getting my produce a couple of weeks ago and they have a huge variety of dried beans, peas and legumes. If you are a regular reader you know I am always on a mission to reduce waste and eat whole foods (while being frugal) and dried beans/legumes are a great way to do this, you can buy them in bulk, they make SO much and are a great source of protein! I always get my lentils dried and I’ll often get dried chickpeas but have never tried cooking dried beans. So, I decided to grab a packet of these black eyed peas on a whim and come up with a recipe for them later.
The funny thing when you are recipe creating, usually you would have an idea of what you want to do in your head and then adjust as you go while you are creating the recipe and tasting it. I actually came up with this recipe on paper and then gave it to my husband to cook/test while I was at prenatal yoga. This was quite difficult as I had to leave him notes on things that he should watch out for and adjust if he thinks it needed it.
Usually he is quite good at following instructions and can cook really well if he is following a well written recipe. HOWEVER on this particular night, he somehow got confused between a tablespoon and a teaspoon (he obviously wasn’t paying attention) and he put in a TABLESPOON of each of the spices rather than a teaspoon. OMG MY MOUTH WAS ON FIRE! When I got home and realised what had happened I tried to compensate by adding a whole tin of coconut milk rather than half and I had to stir in plenty of yoghurt to try and balance out the overpowering spices. It was still very yummy and he really liked it (he loves spice) it was just a little too overpowering for me and I certainly would recommend sticking to the recipe as written! For the second test run I used the appropriate amount of spices and it turned out beautifully.
Now, for this recipe if you are using dried black eyed peas (as opposed to canned), you will need to pre-prepare them as the recipe calls for cooked black eyed peas. To cook them all you need to do is thoroughly rinse one cup of dried black eyed peas, then place them in a container of water to soak for anywhere between four hours to overnight (I soak overnight). If your house is warm it is best to store in the fridge to prevent fermentation. Once they have finished soaking, drain and thoroughly rinse them, then place in a pot with 4-5 cups of water and some salt. Bring to a gentle boil then reduce to a simmer for anywhere between 45 minutes – 1 hour (until the peas are soft). Drain out the cooking water and you are ready to go! I prepared these the day before to make it easier on Nath so all he had to do was actually cook the curry. One cup of dried black eyed peas will make about 3 cups cooked.
If you don’t have access to dried or canned black eyed peas, you could use another form of bean in their place.
I really hope you enjoy this recipe, I had fun creating it (and almost getting my mouth burnt off). If you give this a go, please let me know how you liked it in the comments below or over on Instagram, I would love to hear from you. If you’d like to see more recipes please subscribe to my blog via email so you get notified each time I publish a new post.
Until next time,
Easy Black Eyed Pea Curry
This flavourful black eyed pea curry is easy to create and perfect for a throw together weeknight dinner! It is very customisable, you could really put in any greens you happen to have in the fridge! The peas ensure there is plenty of plant based protein so you won't be left hungry, especially when served with rice and yoghurt, yum!
- 1 thumb fresh ginger peeled and grated
- 12 fresh curry leaves stalk removed
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground corriander
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 2 heaped tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
- 3 cups cooked black eyed peas equivalent to 1 cup dried or three 400g cans (see note)
- 2 whole zucchini diced
- 4 large handfuls baby spinach leaves
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 whole lime or lemon
- 1/2 400mL can full fat coconut milk
- 1 bunch fresh corriander chopped
- 4 servings of rice
- 1 cup plain greek yoghurt use coconut yoghurt for dairy free alternative
Prepare all ingredients as per ingredient list above
If using rice, put this on to cook now either in a rice cooker or on the stove
In a large cast iron pot, heat the olive oil over a medium heat and add the mustard seeds and curry leaves, saute for 1 minute or so until fragrant
Add onion, garlic and ginger and saute for a further 3 - 5 minutes until onion is translucent
Add ground cumin, ground coriander, garam masala and chilli flakes, saute for a further 30 seconds
Add diced zucchini and cooked blacked eyed peas, tomato paste, coconut milk and stock, stir well to combine
Simmer for around 20 minutes until zucchini is cooked through and flavours are well combined
Remove from heat and stir through fresh spinach leaves
Serve on a bed of cooked rice, squeeze over the fresh lemon/lime juice, sprinkle chopped coriander on top and add a dollop of plain yoghurt
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or can be frozen for up to one month for ultimate freshness.
If using dried black eyed peas for this recipe, you will need to have prepared them first: Rinse one cup of dried black eyed peas and then soak in water for 4-8 hours (I do overnight in the fridge). Drain soaking water and add to a pot with 4-5 cups of water, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes - 1 hour (until soft). You can then strain them and use them for the curry.
If using canned black eyed peas, around three cans drained and rinsed would be required.
Hi Friends, Welcome back to another Kiah’s Kitchen blog post! If you read my last post, you know that I have been on a mission to reduce my spending on groceries without sacrificing quality. I am a strong believer in cooking from scratch and the […]
Hi Friends, Welcome back to another Kiah’s Kitchen recipe post! Today I am sharing my easy and delicious Salmon, Dill and Potato Patties (or fish cakes..whatever you want to call them). Since falling pregnant I have done my best to incorporate fish 2-3 times per […]
Welcome back to another Kiah’s Kitchen post! Today I am sharing something a little different, specifically around budgeting and food.
I grew up in a single parent household and money was considered scarce and hard to come by, this attitude and fear towards money (specifically, not having enough of it) had a big impact on me and continues to do so into my adult life. I have always had fear around having a lack of money and not being able to support my own lifestyle and independence, and although this fear is unsubstantiated, it has pushed me to work multiple jobs at a time, save hard and take steps towards creating security in my life from a young age.
In 2015 my husband and I purchased our first house at the age of 23, whilst I was very proud of our achievement, having a mortgage was slightly terrifying! In 2016, I discovered the Dave Ramsey Show podcast, I am Australian so his show is not played on our radio stations, but I somehow came across it and was instantly hooked (for any Aussies, he’s like the original Barefoot Investor for Americans). From here I learn’t about the baby steps and the negative impact consumer debt has on your wealth building capacity.
I made the decision to remove all consumer debt from my life and refused to spend money I didn’t have, I created a monthly budget which I adjust and review every single month. That’s right, I have records of every single dollar we have earn’t and spent since 2016. I sold my car which had a $21,000 loan attached to it and instead drove around our second car which had no loan owing. We also cut up our credit cards and refinanced our house to a better mortgage allowing us to make additional payments towards the principle. Since then, we’ve purchased and made progress on a project car for Nathan with cash (he’s a mechanic and loves his projects), I finished and paid for my degree, we have cash flowed a month long trip to Europe, we paid cash for a very nice new-to-us family car and we are now expecting (and saving for) our first child.
Despite all the progress we have made, something about having a baby causes you to question your ability to be a good parent and provide for this little soul coming into the world. I think this is a normal experience for most parents especially with your first child as you are facing the unknown. Nathan and I are very comfortable and have never been frivolous with our money, however knowing that this little boy will be completely dependant on us has inspired a new level of dedication to managing our finances well. I want to be able to give our child the best that I can, from the food that he will eat to the experiences he will have and the life lessons he will learn.
So, in preparation for his arrival and my impending maternity leave, I have been looking at ways to cut costs and put even more of our income towards savings than usual. We are already really good at saving and managing expenses, so there weren’t too many places for me to cut things down, apart from our grocery budget and our weekly spending (fun) money.
I have always spent around $200 (often more, never less) on groceries for Nathan and I per week. I am a foodie and I place a lot of value on good quality, sustainably sourced, fresh and healthy food for us. I thought the only way to eat healthy was to spend this much every week, surely spending less was not possible without sacrificing quality. Well, let me tell you, it is possible, it just requires organisation, planning and the right mindset. I started getting inspiration by looking at blogs via Pinterest and Instagram about eating well on a tighter budget, I found many examples of families eating well for less, and what I really loved about them was their focus on zero food waste which has been a passion of mine for many years (I have previous posts on this).
I set myself the challenge of dropping my grocery budget to $120 per week, a total of $480 for an average four week month, for all food, groceries and household items (i.e. toilet paper, cleaning products etc.). Now for any American readers, that may not sound too difficult for a family of two, however in Australia, the cost of groceries is significantly higher! I figured $120 would be a challenge for me, but not impossible, the goal is still for it to be feasible otherwise there is no point. Remember my focus is still very much on quality, healthy and fresh food, I refuse to sacrifice my health, the investment is worth it. I also allocated up to $100 per month extra for protein (meat, poultry, fish and eggs) which I take out in cash at the beginning of the month and spend at local farms.
I set myself this challenge for the month of August, and I’m pleased to report I have managed to stick with the budget every week, I’ve even ended up with leftover protein money despite the fact that it was a five week month! I have also ended up with a freezer stocked full of meals from leftovers which I can use in weeks to come. I think it all depends on your family, your preferences and priorities and where you live to come up with an amount that is challenging yet feasible for you and your budget. My success with this challenge has inspired me to share some of my tips that I find really help me to spend less on groceries without sacrificing quality.
My top tips for cutting back your grocery budget:
Review what you already have.
Do a stock take of what is in your pantry, fridge and freezer. If there is something you have that needs to be used up, factor that into your meal plan and use it, don’t let anything go to waste.
Make a meal plan.
Have you ever heard that saying ‘if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail’? It’s true, at least if you want to stick to your grocery budget and minimise food waste. Before I do our weekly shop I write out our meal plan for the following week which includes EVERY meal: 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 snacks and 6 dinners for two people (told you I was an organisation freak). We do have one takeaway night or dinner out per week which is not included in our grocery budget.
Write your shopping list.
Based off your stock take of existing food and your meal plan for the following week, write out your grocery list of things you will need to buy. A good tip is to include quantities, i.e. if a recipe calls for one carrot, just buy the one, not a whole bag that will just get thrown out and is a waste of plastic!
Check the sales.
For pantry items that I need to stock up on, I will usually check the major retailers to see if either have it on sale. For example, I buy basmati rice in bulk to minimise plastic waste and save money. If I know I am going to need rice in the upcoming weeks I will check Woolworths and Coles to see if either have a sale, usually the big 5kg bags of rice are around $19 but you can grab them for $9 on sale and they last forever! I was in luck this week as Coles has it on sale for $9.50, winning!!!
Cut the crap.
I’m talking processed food, convenience food, packaged and heavily manufactured food. Whilst food from a packet may be convenient, it’s often loaded with unnecessary ingredients and preservatives that impact your health and you pay more for it. Whilst I’m not opposed to buying a jar of something like plain tomato passata here and there fore a recipe, you will never catch me buying pre-made sauces, recipe bases or convenience meals. I make things from scratch, which tastes better and honestly is cheaper. For example, I have a large stock of spices that I keep on hand, if I want to throw together a veggie curry, it is so easy to add a teaspoon of this and a teaspoon of that and voila I have my own spice mix, which if you break down the amount of spices I used would have cost fifty cents or less compared to $4 for a pre-made curry sauce in a jar from the supermarket, not to mention I have complete control over the ingredients so there is no added sugars, preservatives or nasties like vegetable oils.
Buy in season produce.
Learn what produce is in season in your area and plan or adjust your meals around that. Buying in season is always going to mean the produce is fresher, it has travelled less kilometres and it is cheaper. Not only is this better for your budget, but it is better for the planet! I do my produce shopping at a green grocer that stocks from local farms and growers. I always recommend finding a good green grocer or farmers market, the produce quality is better than supermarkets, you are supporting small businesses and minimising plastic waste, it is often cheaper as well!
If you are in Australia and even more specifically Victoria, Sustainable Table have a great guide to seasonal produce, check it out here.
Meat in moderation.
Meat should be a side, not the main event of your meals. My husband and I consume very little meat, in fact for the past two years I followed a very strict plant based diet. I have only recently incorporated a very small amount of meat during my pregnancy. Majority of our meals are vegetarian, we often have fresh fish once per week and red meat, poultry or eggs once a week, all other meals are pretty much plant based, full of fresh veggies, legumes and whole foods. This will not only help your bank account but also your health and the health of the planet. We buy our meat straight from the farm, we have a local on farm butcher where the animals have free range and are grass fed, the meat does not contain any preservatives and is of the highest quality.
Don’t let anything go to waste.
If you see something in your fridge that needs to be used, either use it, or figure out how to freeze it for later. Throwing out food is not only throwing out money, but it is terrible for the environment, clogging up landfill and producing harmful greenhouse gasses. If I have leftover bananas at the end of the week, I’ll make them into banana muffins for work lunch snacks during the following week, or I will peel and freeze them for smoothies. I had some leftover sweet potatoes the other week, so I made ginger sweet potato and coconut soup and froze it for work lunches. I had a butternut pumpkin I wasn’t going to use so I baked it, scooped the flesh into a container and froze it to make pumpkin risotto the following week (which turned out amazing, here is the recipe). If I cook a whole chicken, I will save the carcass and slow cook it overnight into a golden chicken broth to use as a soup base in a future recipe. You get the idea, literally nothing goes to waste.
Stick to your plan.
A plan is only going to help you if you have the dedication to follow it. Make it easier on yourself by planning meals that you know you enjoy and are easy to prepare, so when you get home after work and you’re exhausted you’re more likely to follow through and cook the meal rather than get takeaway. Plan to cook only as much as you need to, I tend to cook 3 times per week because we can eat leftovers on the other nights which saves time and means I’m more likely to follow through.
I hope you have found this post encouraging if you are looking to spend less on food without sacrificing quality. Whatever your situation may be, I hope these tips have helped and you have gained some inspiration from what I have shared. One of my goals in writing this blog is not only to provide delicious recipes, but also to show that eating healthy and in a way the supports your longevity as well as that of the planet, is something that is accessible to anyone reading this blog, no matter your budget or personal situation. During September I am thinking of doing a series on here where I show each weeks meal plan and grocery shop to demonstrate the method to my madness, we’ll see how I go!
I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below or over on my Instagram page, maybe you’re trying to cut costs or just looking at ways you can be more sustainable both financially and environmentally, I love chatting about both of these topics.
Until next time,