GLUTEN-FREE RICE FLOUR MATCHA WAFFLES + SUMMER FRUITS WITH THE SUNSHINE EATERY (V+, ChF, GF, NF)

GLUTEN-FREE RICE FLOUR MATCHA WAFFLES + SUMMER FRUITS WITH VIOLA FROM THE SUNSHINE EATERY (V+, ChF, GF, NF)

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where –” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.” - Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Caroll (1832 -1898)

I kinda feel like Alice at the moment, which is why this quote really resonated with me when I spotted it on Jessica's instagram feed a few days ago. See with all the joy that's come from finishing my nutrition course, I am now faced with the reality of saying goodbye to my student status and getting serious about working again, of finding something 'real' to do. But what do I want to do? Where do I want to get to? I wasn't so sure...

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And that really freaked me out for a long time. Mainly because this sense of uncertainty and confusion was terribly unfamiliar to me. For those of you reading this who don't know me personally, you gotta understand that I've always been really clear about what I wanted to achieve in life, when I wanted it and how I was going to get it. And - as luck and hella hard work would have it - I've always accomplished what I've set out to. But now things feel different. And I've tried really hard to unpick why that's so.

Though I don't know 100%, I think partly it's got to do with the fact that up until recently, my aims and objectives have fitted nicely into the parametres of what society expects well-educated, middle-class, 'proper', mainstream women to do; that is to climb the career ladder, make a fair amount of money and feel really smug about being 'successful'. Basically make the most of a 9-5 whilst never questioning too loudly the deep rooted (dare I say it - soul destroying -) implications of the constraints that are attached to sitting day in, day out within the 4 walls of a concrete building, staring at a computer screen, writing loads of meaningless, fancy words and thinking, delusionally, that you're really important in the process. 

But now I don't have those contraints and this sense of freedom is both liberating as well as rather frightening. What do I do if not pursue that 9-5 path which I thought I would for my entire working life?

To be honest, last week when I got an e-mail notifying me of what I previously would have called my 'dream job' within the profession I left back in November 2015, I did for 1 second think about applying, of sticking my head in the sand again and jumping with both feet (and no heart) back onto the merry-go-round, even if only to avoid asking myself the many hard questions I outline above. It would be the grown-up, responsible thing to do, right? But thankfully, a friend quickly talked me out of it and.... 

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... then out of the blue I got a lovely, kind message from the talented food photographer and plant-based food creator Viola from The Sunshine Eatery. She wrote that she was travelling from her home in Germany to London to visit a relative and would I be interested in hanging out with her and creating yummy vegan food? Uhm, HELL YEAH!

It was so, so lovely chatting to Viola non-stop, cooking and eating together. We noticed that we had so much in common and I am beyond happy that she reached out to me :). She's such an inspiring person to be around! Her visit totally made my day :). Luckily for you, you can of course see the fruits of our labour here ;). The waffle styling is all her work. Isn't she awesome?

The following day was just as eventful - I had a gig providing nutritional consultation to a big food brand during which I bumped into one of my ultimate food and photography heroes, Uyen Luu. A quick conversation led to me jumping into an Uber cab with her to her trendy studio and kitchen in happening Hackney, East London. On the way, I got to say 'hi' to another one of my foodie crushes, the lovely, mega cool Kylee Newton, from Newton & Pott (I wrote about her stunning book here). Our encounter was brief, but I did get to snoop around her kitchen (it's amazing), pick up some jams (YUM) and promise to meet up wit her in earnest soon, before getting to work in Uyen's kitchen (hardcore, not to be snubbed at). 

That night my head was buzzing - indeed picking up the camera, cooking vegan food, rambling on about nutrition and gushing over food photography props was most certainly not what I'd envisaged my life to be, but at this point in time it feels like this is where I need to be. Not, most likely for always, but most certainly for now. And perhaps, just maybe, my confusion and fear are coming from the fact that I'm trying to control, plan and predict the future, which is of course completely out of my hands? Though I don't know much, what 35+ years on this earth have taught me is that following my heart and doing what feels right have never led me astray. So for now I'll continue to trod along this bumpy path and see whether the Cat is right and I will, after some tumbles, falls and mad hatter parties reach my very own SOMEWHERE.

Thanks for reading everyone. See you in 2 weeks ;).

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GLUTEN-FREE RICE FLOUR MATCHA WAFFLES + SUMMER FRUITS WITH VIOLA FROM THE SUNSHINE EATERY (V+, ChF, GF, NF)

This beautiful recipe is the brainchild of super generous and talented Viola whose gorgeous pictures and plant-inspired food you can find here. She was kind enough to allow me to share her recipe on the blog.
I am so grateful and hope you enjoy making and eating these waffles as much as I did! The use of rice flour means the waffles are quite moist inside yet really crispy on the outside. Somehow they reminded me of matcha mochis (YUM!). So, yeah, whatcha waiting for ;)? Get cooking!

Preparation Time:
10-15 minutes
Cooking Time: 3-5 minutes per waffle
Makes: 3 waffles

Ingredients for the waffles:
1tbs ground flax seeds + 3 tbs of filtered water
1 cup/125g brown rice flour
1cup/125ml unsweetened plant-based milk, we used rice milk
1tbs cashew butter
1/4tsp vanilla extract/vanilla bean powder
2tbs maple syrup or honey
1/2tsp baking powder
1-2tsp matcha green tea powder

Ingredients for the toppings:
4 handfuls of fruits of your choice - we used blueberries, raspberries, plums and cherries
1-3 tbs of maple syrup
4 tbs of plant-based yoghurt (we used soya yoghurt)

Instructions:
In a small bowl, mix together the ground flax seeds and water set aside until the mixture resembles sticky glue (about 5-10 minutes).

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, milk, cashew butter, maple syrup and vanilla extract/powder. Mix well. Then add the flax seed mixture and mix well again. Next add the baking powder, mix well and then separate the waffle mixture into two equally sized doughs, by taking out half and putting it in a separate bowl. Add the matcha power to 1 half of the mixture and combine.

If required, spray your waffle iron with some oil and heat it up.
When the waffle iron is heated, pour a little bit of the plain and some of the matcha mixture onto your waffle iron to create a marble effect. 
Bake your waffles for 3 to 5 minutes or until they are nice and golden brown. 

Whilst the waffles are being heated, wash and prepare your fruit. We kept it simple and just added some maple syrup onto the fruit, but the sky's the limit here.
Serve the waffles warm, with a spoon or two of fruit and a dolop of vegan yoghurt. 
Done!

Tip 1: We used rice milk, but any milk will do just fine here.
Tip 2: To keep the recipe nut free, please replace the cashew butter with tahini or coconut oil.
Tip 3: These waffles are not very sweet. If you prefer yours sweeter, I suggest topping the waffles with some extra maple syrup.
Tip 4: Feel free to double this recipe and freeze any surplus.

Want to find another waffle recipe? Why not try my sourdough spelt waffles? You can find them here.

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