Quinoa and vegetable casserole

Quinoa Casserole

Ingredients:

1.5 cups white quinoa
1 tbsp oil
2 tsp vegetable stock powder

2 tbsp  oil
1 large onion , diced finely

1 red pepper, diced

2 tsp minced garlic

2.5 tsp cumin

1 tsp oregano

2 tsp smoked paprika

1 x 420g can kidney beans

1x 420g can corn

1 handful shredded vegan cheddar (optional)
1/2 bunch finely chopped coriander

Method

1. Start by cooking the quinoa. Place 1 tbsp oil in a pot, followed by the quinoa and 2 1/4 cups of water and the vegetable stock powder. Leave to boil and then most of the moisture has been absorbed, cover and reduce the temperature to low until the quinoa is fluffy and cooked. Remove from heat.

2. Heat the rest of the oil in a deep, wide saucepan and saute the onions and red pepper until starting to soften

3. add the garlic and spices and saute for 2-3 minutes

4. add the drained cans of beans and corn and mix well to combine.

5. add the quinoa back into the saucepan and mix well to coat with all the ingredients.

6. Taste for salt and pepper

7. Add in the optional vegan cheese and stir until melted

8. toss in the coriander just before serving.

Enjoy and happy cooking xx

Chicken pot pie

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Comfort food at its best. The chicken is first poached in water infused with thyme and garlic, mixed with carrots, mushrooms, peas onions and celery. Then flavoursome poaching stock is then used as a base for the velvet cream sauce. All mixed together and topped with a piece of pastry. What more can you ask for from weeknight comfort food? Happy cooking xx

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed of most of the fat
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, trimmed of most of the fat
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of most of the fat
  • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, bruised
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 85 g unsalted butter
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 75 g  all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • 1.5 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
  2. Place chicken, chopped onion, celery, and chopped carrots in a large stockpot; season with salt and pepper and enough water to cover. Add thyme and garlic to the  pot. Cover pot and place over medium heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until chicken is no longer pink, about 25 minutes. Add the peas and allow to boil for 3-5 minuts.
  3. Strain, keeping the vegetables,  chicken and liquids separate; let cool and set aside.
  4. Heat 10g  butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook until browned, 3 to 4 minutes; let cool.
  5. Cut chicken into bite-size pieces and place in a large nonreactive bowl along with the vegetables  and mushrooms; set aside.
  6. In a medium skillet, heat remaining 75g butter. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add 3/4 cup of the reserved cooking liquid and heavy cream. Cook, stirring constantly, until liquid comes to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce; season with salt and white pepper. Add to bowl with chicken and vegetables; toss to combine.
  7. Divide mixture evenly between four  shallow baking dishes (or if you like, one large family sized baking dish). Cut puff pastry into circles large enough to cover your dishes (I like to cut a circle into the centre of the puff pastry at this point rather than a cutting a slit later, but this is up to you) and place on top of each of the bowls, crimping edges as desired. Cut a slit in the centre of each piece of puff pastry to allow steam to escape; brush beaten egg over puff pastry.
  8. Transfer bowls to a baking sheet. Bake until puff pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbling, about 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
  9. I suggest placing the baking dish into another plate before  bringing it to the table

Happy cooking xx

Prawn Kofta

prawn kofta

A unique kofta (meatball) made with prawns, herbs and spices. They would be delicious served on their own freshly fried as a canape with drinks, or with the tomato sauce as is displayed in the picture. Enjoy and Happy cooking x

Ingredients

For the kofta
1 kg frozen prawns, shelled and thawed
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 chilli pepper, deseeded (optional)
1 handful fresh dill
1 handful fresh coriander
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp mild paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 cup rice flour

For the sauce

1 x 475g can diced tomatoes
1.5 tbsp tomato paste
1 onion diced finely
1 cup water
salt and pepper to taste

Method

For the kofta

1. Combine the onion, chilli pepper, dill and coriander in a food processor and blitz until smooth.
2. Add the thawed prawns and blitz until a smooth paste forms.

3. Add the spices and lemon juice and mix well

4. Add the rice flour in stages, mixing on low speed.

5. Form the mixture into balls and deep fry until light golden brown. beware this will happen very fast as prawns do not need much cooking time.

For the sauce

1. In a deep wide saucepan, Saute the diced onion until soft, then add the can of tomatoes and tomato paste.

2. Cook on low heat until the tomatoes start to break down, adding water when neccessary.

3. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and add remaining water.

To put together – do this right before serving, otherwise the kofta will continue to absorb the sauce until there is nothing left. 

1. Put the fried kofta balls into the tomato sauce mixture in a single layer.

2. Cover and cook for 5-10 minutes, adding a small amount of water if necessary. Be careful when stirring not to break up the balls

3. Serve with white rice.

Enjoy and happy cooking!

Vegan Pancakes with blueberry and maple syrup

vegan pancakes

 

A special birthday breakfast during a vegan fast requires extra innovation. These vegan pancakes have perfect texture and look, but to be honest they do need to be smothered with maple syrup and/or fruit or icing sugar in order to live up to the non-vegan counterpart. The benefits are that they are really quick and simple to make and the ingredients are always in your pantry! Enjoy and let me know how you go. Happy cooking xx

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2.5 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Preparation:

1. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt in a bowl2. Mix in the soy milk and oil and beat together until batter is smooth. Be careful not to overbeat the batter, as that will stress the flour and will turn out tough and unpleasant tasting pancakes.

3. Drop a few tablespoons of batter at a time onto a HOT oiled pan. If the pan is not properly hot, it will result in a tough unevenly cooked pancake. When bubbles appear on the surface and the pancake becomes easy to move, flip it over and cook the other side for another minute or so.

4. Serve with icing sugar, maple syrup, your favourite fruits or even some melted vegan chocolate.

Enjoy!

Vegan Mango Konafa with vegan mango cream

I love the creativity that starts to come out at the end of a fast. As you know I made this recipe earlier in the season when fresh mangoes were not plentiful in a non vegan fashion. I re-created it for a dinner party at mine using vegan ingredients and it went down a treat. Refreshing and fruity it is truly a festival of mangoes. Enjoy! xx

vegan mango konafa

Ingredients

500 g Konafa (kataifi) pastry
100 g icing (powdered) sugar
100g vegetable ghee (or vegan butter)
4 large mangoes (Peeled and chopped, peels reserved)

for the vegan mango cream

2.5 cups almond milk
1 cup mango nectar
115 g sugar
4 tbsp cornflour

for the syrup

1.5 cups of sugar
1 cup water
1 tbpsn lemon juice

Method

Start by making the vegan mango cream

1. Take half a cup of the almond milk (room temperature) and whisk with the corn flour until completely dissolved and set aside

2. Place the rest of the almond milk, mango nectar, and sugar into a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.

3. Once the sugar is dissolved, add the cornflour and almond milk mixture and stir until the mixture thickens.

4. Check to taste for sugar

5. Cool to room temperature

make  the syrup

1. In a saucepan over low heat, add the water, sugar and lemon juice and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved, and allow to almost come to a full boil.

2. Set the syrup aside to cool, to room temperature. Add the mango peels to the syrup and refrigerate until cold.

Bake the konafa

1.  Shred the konafa pastry well

2. Add the melted ghee and mix well

3. Add the sugar and mix well

4. Place into 2 identical 9 inch spring form pans (or any similar size round pans that have been sprayed with oil). This will form the top and bottom of the konafa

5. Place the tins into the oven for 30-35 minutes or until a deep golden brown

assembly

1. As soon as the baked Konafa pastry comees out of the oven and while it is still hot, Pour the COLD mango syrup over it. use half of the syrup for each half of the konafa

2. Once the syrup soaked konafa has cooled down to room temperature top one of the konafa discs with the mango cream and the chunks of mango.

3. Top with the other syrup soaked disc.

4. Refrigerate, then serve.

Happy Cooking and God bless. xx

Bengali Prawn Curry

prawn curry0019

I recently got to indulge in one of my favourite pastimes that I have not been able to partake in for a while. I watched a cooking program! Between the 2 sets of twins and work and my constantly messy house I don’t this very often anymore, but lucky I watched Saturday Kitchen when Vivek Singh was on to show me this benghali prawn curry. It is a rich, oniony spicy sauce with a hint of coconut.  I varied the recipe slightly as I am not a fan of sweet curries and I only enjoy the slightest hint of coconut. In fact this felt quite like a thai curry rather than an Indian one, but it was delicious all the same. Top scores from hubby and the kids. THis recipe can also easily be attempted substituting firm tofu for the prawns. Happy cooking all 🙂

Ingredients

For the boiled basmati rice
  • 1.5 cups basmati
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable ghee
  • pinch smoked salt (optional)
For the prawns
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 500g (16 oz) frozen prawns, tail on
  • 90ml/3fl oz vegetable oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 medium red onions, blended to a fine paste
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 2.5 tsp salt
  • 1 green chilli,  de-seeded to reduce the heat
  • 60 ml coconut milk
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • ½ lime, juice only

Method

  1. For the boiled basmati rice, add 3 cups of water to the saucepan, then add the rice and salt. Cook on low heat until all the water has disappeared. Place a lid on top, lower the heat completely and set aside for 20 minutes.
  2. For the prawns, marinate the prawns with the turmeric and salt in a shallow dish in a cool place for 30 minutes to an hour.
  3. Heat 60ml/2fl oz of the oil in a pan and add the bay leaves and onion paste. Fry gently for 6-8 minutes on medium heat, or until very light brown.
  4. Meanwhile heat the remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the prawns briefly for a minute or two. Set aside.
  5. Mix the ground cumin, turmeric and ginger-garlic paste in 75ml/2½fl oz of water and add to the onions, reduce the heat and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring regularly.
  6. Add salt, green chillies and the prawns and stir for one minute. Mix in the coconut milk and simmer for 2-3 minutes, or just until the prawns are cooked.
  7. Season to taste with salt. Sprinkle over the cardamom powder and coriander and a squeeze of lime. Stir the ghee and smoked salt into the rice and serve immediately. Happy cooking!

Singari Fish (Samak Singari)

Barramundi Singari

I never hear my family and friends speak more fondly of any fish more than a Samak Singari eaten quite literally on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. My husband’s favourite seafood ‘restaurant’ was one right next to the wharf, on the sand with plastic chairs and table but OOH the food was incredible. I am still trying to perfect my vongole (clam) soup to be as good as theirs. I am happy to say that I have, tonight, achieved the Singari Fish recipe exactly the way I like it. Fresh and tasty, a zing of chilli and earthy spice, the flavours infuse incredibly into the fish and it is a complete and satisfying meal in itself. I hope you enjoy, from my family to yours.

Ingredients

1 x 1.5-2 kg fish (or 2 smaller fish) I used Barramundi, but feel free to use Snapper, Hamour, even mullet would do.
1 bunch parsley chopped roughly
1 bunch Coriander, chopped roughly
2 green peppers, 1 sliced, and the other chopped roughly
1 red pepper sliced
2 ripe tomatoes sliced
2 carrots, grated
1 red onion, sliced
3 tsp + 2 tsp minced garlic
1 green chilli, partially deseeded (optional)
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tbsp + 4 tbsp lemon juice
3 potatoes, peeled and finely sliced
2 tsp cumin

For the fish

1. Start by asking your fish monger to butterfly the fish through its belly, opening it up into a heart shape and removing the head. Place the fish on a baking tray lined with foil and scattered with the finely sliced potatoes which have been drizzled with olive oil

2. Make the first marinade of the fish by combining a handful of coriander and parsley, adding the 3 tsp of mixed garlic, the roughly chopped green pepper, half the chilli  into a food processor and whiz until smooth. Add the 4 tbsp lemon juice, and season with salt. Coat the butterflied fish with this mixture and leave for at least 1 hour.

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3. Meanwhile make the stuffing mixture by heating olive oil in a saute pan, adding the onion, peppers, tomato, carrots, coriander, parsley, and garlic and sauteeing until starting to soften. Add the cumin and lemon juice and season to taste.

4. Once the mixture has cooled down a bit, top the fish with the vegetable mixture and place in a 180 oven for approximately 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of your fish.

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5. serve with fresh basmati rice

6. happy cooking!

Spectacular Vegan Potato and Mushroom bake

Spectacular potato bake

My father in law’s recipe, this dish may look simple but it does not dissapoint. The creamy mashed potatoes encase the most lucsious mushrooms in a spiced tomato sauce. The cheesy topping takes it to another level. Family friendly and loved by all. Enoy.

Ingredients

For the Mash:

700 g potatoes
1.5 cups soy or rice milk
2.5 tablespoons Vegan Margarine
handful vegan cheese shredded
salt and white pepper to taste

For the filling:
400 g mushrooms, sliced thickly
1 large onion diced
1 can diced tomatoes
1.5 teaspoons arabic 7 spice (sometimes called all spice)

For the topping
1 big handful shredded vegan cheese
1/4 cup soy/rice milk
1.5 tablespoons vegan Margarine
season with salt and pepper

To make the Mash
Peel then boil the potatoes in salted water. Drain and mash on a low flame, adding the milk, margarine, cheese and seasoning while mashing.

To make the filling
Saute the onions in saucepan until just before they are about to change colour, add the mushrooms and saute for about 2 minutes then add tomatoes, spice and seasoning.

To make the topping
Add all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.

To assemble
Pick an oven dish and spray the base with oil, Divide the potato mixture in half and place the first half at the base of the dish, pressing to spread across the entire base and a little bit up the sides.

Place the mushroom mixture on top of this potato base and spread evenly.

Dot large bits of potato mash on top of the mushrooms and gently press to spread and join with other bits of potato until the top is covered.

Spread the topping on top.

Place in a 180 fan oven until the top is golden glistening brown.

Enjoy and happy cooking xx

Grilled marinated Jewfish with Green Rice

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I found this recipe in Delicious magazine this month and I just had to try it out. I almost tried it before I was even fasting! It was easy to prepare taking minutes to make the marinade. THe marinade itself really infused the fish with flavour. I got hubby to fire up the bbq to grill the fillets, but doing it on an inside grill plate would have been just fine. Green rice is an unusual but truly taste provoking dish. I highly recommend you try. Happy cooking and happy advent fasting all xx

Ingredients

4 Jewfish fillets (or other firm white fleshed fish)

1 bunch coriander, stems chopped

1/2 preserved lemon (rind only)

2 garlic cloves

100 ml olive oil

4 spring onions

Green rice

1 1/2 cups Longrain rice, cooked to packet instructions

4 spring onions, sliced finely

1 bunch coriander,  chopped

5 cos lettuce leaves, shredded

Method

For the marinade, place the spring onions, coriander, preserved lemon, garlic and oil in a food processor then season and whiz to puree.

Coat the fish with the marinade, cover and chill for at least 4 hours to marinate.

For the green rice, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, Season and mix well to combine.

Preheat a bbq or grill pan to medium/high and brush with oil. Chargrill fish for 304 minutes each side or until just cooked. Remove the skin, then flake and serve with green rice and lemon wedges.

Russian cheesy chicken, potato and onion bake

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Ingredients:

800 g Pontiac potatoes (or other potatoes that stay firm when cooked)

1 large onion

1 small onion

2 carrot

1/2 tablespoon butter

¾ cup thickened cream

¾ cup full cream milk

2.5 teaspoons paprika

8-10 sprigs thyme

salt, pepper

8-10 chicken thighs

3-4 tablespoons mayonnaise

2-3 handfuls shredded mozzarella cheese

1 handful shredded tasty (cheddar) cheese

Method

  1. Peel and cut the potatoes into long and thin rectangular sticks, The reason I have suggested the use of pontiac potaotes (the reddish hued ones) is because they do not fall apart or disintegrate during cooking, they keep their shape and this is imperative for this dish.
  2. Finely chop the large onion and peel and finely chop the carrot. Melt 1/2 Tablespoon of butter, add the onion and carrot, and cook until they are soft.
  3. Add the carrot and onion mixture to the potatoes and mix together, seasoning with salt, pepper, paprika, and thyme. Place all of this into a 13×9 inch casserole dish.
  4. Combine the cream and milk in a saucepan and season with salt and pepper. Bring to almost boiling (scald) and then Pour over the potatoes.
  5. Season each of the chicken thighs well with salt and pepper and a touch of paprika, then place the chicken thighs in an even layer on top of the potatoes.
  6. Spread the mayonnaise evenly on top of the chicken layer, then top with the small onion, sliced finely in rounds
  7. Cover this all with the mozzarella and tasty cheese.
  8. Cover the dish with aluminium foil (sprayed with oil so that it doesn’t stick to the yummy cheese) and Bake for 1 ½  hours at 180 degrees, until the potatoes are cooked through. Take off the foil in the last 5-10 minutes of cooking so you can brown the cheese.
    Serves 6

Serve immediately with a garden salad.

Happy cooking 🙂

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