Recipes

Felafel…

My son was born in May…since his food journey so far has exclusively involved breast-milk, I’ll save his inclusion in this blog for another time! (Excuse for not posting in a year: check!)

I made felafel yesterday. Given that there are two excellent felafel shops within 5 minutes of my office, this is a regular meal for me, but I haven’t made it myself for a long time, if ever. 

Some recipes include bread crumbs, others are deep fried. These do neither & are super easy if you have a food processor. 

Ingredients:

3 Small Sweet Potatoes 

1 tin of chickpeas, drained & rinsed

1 large clove of garlic, crushed

1 heaped tsp cumin

1 heaped tsp dried coriander

1/2 tsp dried ginger

Small handful fresh coriander,  chopped

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180¤C.
  2. Prick the potatoes & microwave on high for 9 minutes. Leave to cool & then peel & roughly chop. 
  3. Add all ingredients to food processor & pulse until combined, but not smooth. 
  4. Use a teaspoon to shape mixture into felafel shape. Place on a baking tray. 
  5. Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes – turning once half way through. 

    We served ours with quinoa & a red cabbage salad (dry toast a large handful of cashew nuts & a heaped teaspoon of cumin seeds, until nuts start to colour. Shred 1/2 small red cabbage & mix together with juice of half a lemon.)

    Yummy!

    Summer Salads

    Preparing food to take to work is so much easier in the summer time. I could probably prepare a different salad combination every day, although I tend to make a batch to eat two or three days in a row.

    This week I got my hands on some lovely beetroot at the local market and was very pleased with the resulting salad. Really simple, really fresh and really tasty. This was made particularly easy by the grating function on my food processor…I really love my food processor!

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    1 x Beetroot: topped, tailed & grated

    3 or 4 large carrots (I alway buy organic when I can, as they taste so much better) – topped, tailed & grated

    About 2 cm of root ginger – peeled & grated

    2 sticks of celery – cut in 3 lengthways and finely sliced

    Black olives to taste

    About 1/4 Pack of Feta Cheese

    Lightly mix all of these ingredients together (if you mix it too much the whole lot will end up pink!)

    Then add:

    Juice of 1 lime

    1 tbsp of sesame seeds

    *******

    This gave me two large portions. I ate it for lunch two days in a row, accompanied with some rice-cakes. Would also work really well as a side dish (like a healthier coleslaw perhaps).

    Another variation of this is to omit the beetroot, use a couple more carrots and add a tin of cooked (drained & rinsed) chickpeas.

    Easy!

    Warm Lentil Salad

    I keep finding lots of recipes for amazing gluten free cakes and deserts, but I’m also challenging myself to eat less sugar, so I’m going to aim to post as many savoury recipes as I do sweet.

    While travelling home from London on the train this afternoon, I spotted a shout out from @FeastAndGlory looking for recipes using green lentils. One of my most often cooked recipes is inspired by an Alkaline Cookbook that my Mum gave me. It’s easy, quick, fresh and delicious.

    Although my version is scribbled down on a scrap of paper and never really followed properly, the original is available online via the Energise for Life website. This version is slightly different and just based on what I have in the fridge today – the important thing is to have a whole heap of fresh, crunch veg… use whatever you’ve got!


     

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    150g green lentils

    1 level teaspoon of vegetable bouillon dissolved in 400ml of hot water.

    Juice of 1/2 Lemon

    1 tablespoon of coconut or other cooking oil

    1 Pepper (I used 1/2 red & 1/2 orange)

    2 small courgettes

    Small head of broccoli

    2 Cloves of Garlic

    1 Green Chilli (mild)

    A handful of cherry tomatoes (a couple of regular tomatoes would work just as well!)

    3cm (ish) of fresh root ginger (peeled and chopped small)

    A large handful of baby leaf spinach per person (or other green leafy salad)

    (Serves two hungry people as a main meal – would also work as a side with grilled chicken or some tofu steaks)


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    Boil the lentils in the bouillon/stock for 30 minutes or until tender. Add more liquid if it starts getting dry.

    Add the lemon juice, stir and set to one side.

    Finely cut or crush the garlic. Chop the vegetables (other than the spinach) into small pieces.

    Gently heat the oil.

    Add the vegetables in order of their firmness – I went for: Garlic, Peppers, Courgettes, broccoli, chilli. Let soften slightly (you still want them a bit crunchy) 2 or 3 minutes and then add the tomatoes and ginger.

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    Let this heat through (1 or 2 minutes).

    Serve over a bed of Spinach.

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    That’s it! I sprinkled some seeds over mine too – delicious!

    I’ll eat what’s left over, cold for my lunch tomorrow too….

     

     

    Portuguese Rice Muffins

    My boss mentioned these little cakes to me a few weeks ago. She’d had them on holiday in Portugal and had found them in the little cafe around the corner from the office. However, after a recent accidental poisoning from a cake labeled ‘gluten free’ I wasn’t tempted to run out and buy one – however delicious she said they were! I made a note and then completely forgot about them.

    This week, while checking through my notebook, I found the note I’d made and immediately looked them up. After sifting through a couple of different versions, one of which included wheat flour, I found this lovely website Delicious Wordflux.

    Teresa writes about her own search for the right recipe and accompanies the recipe with some really very beautiful pictures, which I can’t even hope to replicate. Not least because the batch I made were eaten before I got a chance to take a picture!

    You can take a look at the original recipe and Teresa’s page here: http://www.deliciouswordflux.com/2011/05/portuguese-rice-muffins-bolo-de-arroz/ 

    I haven’t really changed the recipe, just altered the measurements to grams and millilitres. I’ve found that a lot of the gluten free recipes I’ve found online are American and measured in cups and spoons. The best conversion tool I’ve found is actually through an ovens website: http://www.traditionaloven.com/tutorials/conversion.html & it works really well. Google helps out with anything else.


     

    Ingredients:

    85g of Butter (this should be room temperature, especially if you don’t have a food processor)

    200g Sugar

    250ml of whole milk

    2 eggs

    1 egg yolk

    350g Rice flour (brown, white or a mix)

    2 teaspoons of baking powder (check it’s gluten free!)

    1/4 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

    Pinch of salt (I used salted butter, so left this out)

    Zest of 1 lemon (unwaxed)

    Juice of 1/2 lemon (the lemon I had was small, so I actually used the whole thing.

    Granulated sugar to sprinkle on top.


     

    Pre-heat oven to 180°C (Gas Mark 4)

    Prepare paper or silicone muffin/cup-cake cups.

    In a large bowl, combine the sugar and the butter until creamy. (I forgot to get the butter out of the fridge in advance, so was very pleased to have my trusty food processor on hand for this!)

    In a separate bowl or jug, mix the milk, eggs & egg yolk and lemon juice. Add to the butter mixture.

    In another bowl, whisk the rice flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt (if using) and add slowly to the existing mixture, stirring/blending until well combined.

    Half fill each of the muffin cups. Sprinkle a little of the granulated sugar on the top of each one.

    Bake for 20/25 minutes.


     

    Work in progress

    Work in progress

    The original recipe mentions that you should leave the cakes to stand for 20 minutes before baking. I cooked mine in two batches and I can’t honestly say there was a difference between the ones I cooked straight way and the ones I left to stand.

    The only other difference from Teresa’s recipe is that I suggest you add the lemon zest to the flour instead of the wet mix, as I found when I made it all the zest clumped together.

    The cakes were absolutely delicious and filled the whole house with a wonderful lemony cake-y smell. I will definitely be making another batch soon!

    Slow-cooker Chilli

    Most recipes I’ve ever found for Chilli con (o sin) Carne have been Gluten Free & in fact most Mexican food seems to be Gluten Free too – especially if made with traditional with Corn Tortillas (flour or wheat tortillas clearly aren’t & shop bought ‘corn’ tortillas tend to have wheat flour in, so beware).

    Anyway – this is a quick recipe that I have almost literally thrown together from what I have left in the fridge. What with the bank-holiday weekend and having a very laid-back (lazy) few days, I haven’t been shopping, or this recipe would also include onion and a red pepper at the very least!


     

    Ingredients:

    1 packet of lean minced beef (could easily be substituted for 150g red split lentils if going for a vege version, but you’ll need to add more liquid)

    3 Cloves of Garlic (crushed or chopped finely)

    1 Green Chilli (chopped small)

    1/2 Red Chilli (chopped small)

    3 heaped teaspoons of Cumin

    1 teaspoon of dried oregano

    1 heaped teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper (or other Chilli Powder – use more or less to taste)

    1 level teaspoon of bouillon

    1 tablespoon of tomato ketchup

    1 tin chopped tomatoes

    1 tin chick peas (drained)

    1 tin of kidney beans (drained & rinsed)


     

    Brown the mince over a medium heat until there is no pink showing. (The crock from my slow cooker goes on the hob, which minimises washing up!)

    Take off the heat, add the garlic, chilli, cumin and oregano – stir well.

    Add the chopped tomatoes & kidney beans.

    Add the bouillon & ketchup to the bottom of the empty tomato tin – half fill with hot water, stir and add to the mix.

    Stir again and put in the slow cooker.

    I’m short on time today, so I’ve put the cooker on high for an hour to get it started and then will turn to low for another 5 hours.

    About an hour before it’s ready, I will add the kidney beans and give it another quick stir.

    That’s it! Easy, inexpensive and tasty!

    Serve with rice, or a jacket potato or a big pile of tortilla chips! photo 2-2photo 1-2(Will add to the recipes tab once I work out how to do it!)