Olive rosemary focaccia


It’s been a while since everything and among other things that I love and crave, bread is definitely the frontrunner and not finding any upon opening the refrigerator can be a bit surprising, agitating and often tends to send me on a downward spiral of domestic crisis which is why and when I ended up with this coppery slab of carb heaven.

The thing about focaccia apart from creating your very own custom flavour is the straightforwardness of the whole process because there isn’t any particular shape that we need fret over and it’s all too easy to begin tearing into one the moment it’s out of the oven, moreover I like slicing stale focaccia into slivers and toasting it in the oven to make crispy crouton like sticks.

As all breads go, focaccia also begins life with flour and yeast and so here we have bread flour, tepid water, olive oil, yeast, salt, rosemary and olives.

Begin by adding yeast into the water which is just warm to the touch and let it sit until it foams. You need good, fresh yeast for that or else the dough won’t rise.

Once the yeast has nicely bubbled up, add it to the flour

along with half the olive oil, reserving the rest for later

add salt and mix it with a spoon until it forms a shaggy dough

Transfer to the countertop and knead until smooth and pliable adding more water a little at a time without making it sticky.

Let it rest in a warm place for a couple of hours until doubled in size. You can even leave it in the fridge overnight.

Once risen it is ready to be formed into bread.

Punch it to deflate. Not only because it’s important but also because it’s fun.

Prepare the baking pan by oiling it generously

Sprinkle some semolina. This is an optional step but helps in the crisping of the bottom.

Scrape the dough into the tray

and brush the top with reserved olive oil. Be generous with the oil here. It’s crucial to this bread making process.

Push the dough with fingertips until evenly distributed in the baking tray, also giving it the typical focaccia dimpled look.

Stuff the dimpled surface with rosemary and olives and push them right into the dough.

Cover and let rise for another hour before baking at 200ºC for 25-30 minutes or until the top is nicely browned and the bottom is slightly crisped up

Brush the just baked bread with olive oil and let it rest at least ten minutes before serving.

Here’s a cross section of this delicious focaccia. It’s soft, spongy and moist and deliciously satisfying.


Ingredients

  • Flour: 700g
  • Yeast: 2 tsp
  • Warm water: 300mls + more for kneading
  • Salt: 2 tsp
  • Olive oil: 50mls
  • Olives: 100g
  • Fresh rosemary: 10g
  • Semolina: 2 tsp

Recipe instructions

Add the yeast to warm water and let it bloom. Make sure the yeast is fresh and not expired or it will inhibit the rising of the dough.

Add the water to the dough along with olive oil and salt and mix with spoon until just combined to form a shaggy dough.

Transfer to countertop and knead to a smooth pliable dough. Add more water if need be but a little at a time to keep the dough from getting sticky.

Let the kneaded dough rest in a warm place for a couple hours or until doubled in size. You can even let it rest in the fridge overnight.

Once the dough had doubled in size, deflate by punching and scrape into a well oiled baking tray sprinkled with semolina.

Push the dough to fit into the tray with fingertips giving it the typical dimpled look and stuff the surface with rosemary and olives.

Cover and let rest for an hour before finally baking in a preheated oven at 200ºc for 25-30 minutes or until the top has bronzed and the bottom lightly crisped.

Brush with olive oil and let rest for at least ten minutes before serving.

Wholewheat bagels


Do you ever wake up and suddenly remember something delicious you had months ago and feel the sudden need to recreate that moment or eat something similar? I’d ordered a bagel sandwich while out for brunch and though the sandwich was pretty lacklustre, the bagel in question was extraordinary and so it stuck and one day I woke up craving a bagel.

Bagels aren’t as easily available where I live and so it’s better and more entertaining to make some yourself which is exactly what I did and these came out pretty good, though I do intend on tinkering and tweaking a bit more with the recipe.

Whole wheat bagels with absolutely everything on top, fluffy on the inside and chewy on the out!

The premises are the same as any leavened bread. Start with some risen whole wheat dough. Recipe here. You also need some sugar, baking soda, and a mixture of whatever seeds or toppings you’d like on the bagel. It could be as simple as salt and sugar or a mixture of poppy, sunflower, black and white sesame seeds as I have here.

Divide the dough into equal sized dough balls. I made a total of eight from a kilo of dough for medium sized bagels. Each dough ball is 125g. You can make larger fewer bagels or smaller.

Make even sized balls

and let rest covered for 25-30 minutes.

Once they’ve slightly risen poke a hole in the centre and stretch the dough around to create a doughnut shape which is essentially also the bagel shape.

Like so.

Bring some water to the boil and add in sugar and baking soda.

Once the water comes back to a boil slowly drop in the bagels

and let boil for a couple of minutes on each side

use a long spoon or chopstick to flip them over.

Fish them out of the boiling water once you see them floating, cover generously with the toppings and bake for 15-20 minutes at 200ºC until crisped and browned at the top.

Enjoy!


Ingredients and recipe instructions for whole wheat dough.
Ingredients for bagel

Wholewheat bread dough: 1 kilo
Sugar: 1tbsp
Baking soda: 2tsp
Poppy seeds: 1tsp
Black sesame seeds: 1tsp
White sesame seeds: 1 tsp
Sunflower seeds: 1tbsp


Recipe Instructions

Make the whole wheat dough a day before and let rise overnight in the fridge. Let rest at room temperature for an hour before dividing the dough into eight equal sized portions.

Roll each portion into a ball and let rest once again, covered, for 25-30 minutes.

Poke a hole in the middle of each dough ball and stretch around the hole to create a doughnut like shape.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add in the sugar and baking soda.

Once the water comes back to a boil slowly drop in the bagels carefully, not spilling any water. Let boil for a couple minutes on one side before carefully flipping using a chopstick or a long spoon and boiling on the other for the same time.

Fish out onto a baking tray and sprinkle over the toppings.

Bake at 200ºC for 15-20 minutes until the top has browned.

Let rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing. The outside should be chewy and the inside fluffy, and since these are whole wheat bagels the texture within will be a bit denser than the usual refined flour ones, but they will be just as delicious.

Green coriander chutney


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It’s an amplification of harmonious flavours put together in a way as to extract the maximum potency of their parent ingredients is what chutney I believe is and this recipe extracts, exaggerates and emboldens every flavour that found itself in the making of this luridly green almost viciously spicy and flavour festooned green chutney.

Chutneys are of course not meant as a solitary treat because of their main purpose in life as an enhancer, that is they upgrade any dish from their current pedestal and double as dips, dressings even spread and this particular coriander chutney especially works hard to earn its keep not least because it’s an old recipe using few readily available in season ingredients.

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The spice levels on this depend on the creator but it’s good to have it on the not so mild side of the spectrum and keep them a bit on the more tear-jerking levels, not to be vulgar or anything but because that’s really how this stuff works and it’s meant to. Ingredients are few and simple. Coriander, green chillies, garlic, dried red chillies, salt, cumin seeds and dried mango powder.

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It’s just a question of blending everything together. So along with the coriander leaves and the stalks which contain most of the flavour

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add the garlic and chillies, halved or chopped to convenience

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the dried red chillies

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and the spices that are cumin, dried mango powder and salt and blend

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until you have a somewhat smooth paste. Make sure that all the ingredients have been incorporated and that there aren’t any large chunks left. Add a little water but not too much and use a spoon to clamp down the leaves and chillies to avoid too many air pockets.

And that’s it. Your green coriander chutney is ready.

I especially love it sandwiched between two slices of bread with lashings of butter and a dollop of this chutney. But really, over rice, in salads, as a dip for anything fried, this chutney is where it’s at!


Ingredients

Coriander: 100g

Chillies: 3-4 (use fewer for a milder taste)

Garlic cloves: 2-3

Cumin seeds: 1 heaped tsp

Salt: 1.5tsp (or to taste)

Dried red chillies: 2-3

Dried mango powder: 1tsp heaped



 Recipe instructions

Wash the coriander well and rinse under running water until no grit or dirt remains and add to a blender with green chillies, garlic cloves, salt, cumin powder, dried red chillies and dried mango powder.

Blend to form a smooth paste. Add a tablespoon of water if it feels too dry but do not add extra because it can make the resulting chutney watery. Clamp down with a spatula or spoon for even blending.

Remove to a clean container and store in the fridge. It will stay fresh for at least 3-4 days.

Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instant chilli pickle


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For when you want to add a little something-something to a dish that doesn’t taste just there yet or feels flat or maybe you just want a tiny spice kick and spicy texture to enhance and complement the food then this is the pickle of instant dreams because it adds that fresh zing and unique flavour that you could have been looking for but didn’t know where to find.

It’s quick in that it’s instant and depending on the chillies you put it can vary from anything naughtily mild to demonic hot.

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Doesn’t hurt that it’s full of ingredients really good for you and how they come to marry in perfect harmony to form this delicious pickle.

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Chop and dice the green chillies into smaller than bite-sized pieces and remove any seeds if you want. These chillies though large in size are rather tame in taste, in fact, they’re almost sweet and so I didn’t much bother with deseeding them.

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Crush the yellow and black mustard seeds till some are fine dust and some still intact.

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Find a suitable bowl for mixing the pickle.

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Add crushed mustard seeds to the chopped chillies

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followed by salt and turmeric

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In with apple cider vinegar

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mustard oil

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and lemon

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give everything a thorough mix

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until spicily combined

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This is ready to be eaten immediately. Alternatively, you can cover and keep for a day for the flavours to mingle and mellow before transferring to a clean jar. This will keep well for several weeks or you can transfer to a fridge after a few days.

(Note: the flavours will intensify with each day and the mustard seeds lend a pungent spiciness of its own which is most desirable in such pickles.)

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You can add this to rice, slices of bread and anything you feel could do with a boost. I have tried mixing it with boiled pasta during days of lazy inactivity and loved every morsel of it.


Ingredients

Chillies: 250g

Lemon: 1

salt: 2tsp

Turmeric powder: 1tsp

Mustard seeds (crushed): 30g (you can use either all black or all yellow or a mixture of both)

Mustard oil: 70mls (or use olive oil if mustard oil is unavailable)

Apple cider vinegar: 60mls



Recipe instructions

Crush the mustard seeds until some are pulverized and some whole. Chop chillies into small pieces and add to a bowl.

Mix in the mustard seeds, turmeric, salt, oil, vinegar and lemon juice.

Cover and keep for a day or decant into a clean jar to be eaten immediately.

Note: The addition of vinegar increases its shelf life and this pickle can be stored for several weeks, however, you can store this in the refrigerator after a week as well.

 

Veggie burger


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There are no pretences, no affectations in this humble little patty to be anything even remotely meaty because it’s not and it definitely doesn’t parade as one either, nor is it a suitable substitute for a fat juicy meat burger, however it’s a rather decent vegetable patty and goes a long way with varied flavourings, not to mention too easy to eat without the guilt of it all.

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The ingredients are as follows. Kidney beans, boiled potatoes, spring onions, green chilli, lemon, mushrooms, salt and some spices.

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to begin, chop the vegetables into small pieces and peel the potatoes.

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I decided to throw in a bunch of coriander as well,

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Put the chopped vegetables in a large bowl

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add kidney beans

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spices

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and lemon

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and smoosh everything together to form a mixture

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Scoop out the mixture in equal sized portions to form it into patties. I do this using a 1/3 cup measure.

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and fry them in a pan with some oil

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until they’re deliciously crisp and golden on both sides.

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And just like that, we have our patties and here are some fixings to turn it all into a burger.

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which we begin by smearing some lovely sauce that is really just some mayonnaise and ketchup with a dash of Tabasco over a toasted homemade burger bun

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a layer of ripe tomatoes and crunchy onions

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stack a just made vegetable patty over it.

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some cheese for good luck in good measure.

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and then perhaps another patty

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and another slice of juicy tomato

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and onions. We’re building a food skyscraper here.

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and finally the dome of the bun. And there you have it. A veggie burger.


 

Ingredients

Kidney beans: 200g

Boiled potato: 150g

Mushrooms: 50g

Spring onions: 3-4 stalks

Coriander: 3-4 stalks

Green chilli- 1 small

Cumin: 1 tsp

Salt: 1tsp (to taste)

Cinnamon: 1tsp

lemon juice: 1 tsp

Paprika: 1 tsp



Recipe instructions:

Chop the mushrooms, spring onions, green chilli and coriander into fine pieces and add the peeled boiled potatoes into a large bowl. Add in the kidneys beans, lemon juice and the spices into the bowl and mash all the ingredients together with a potato masher.

Once they’re evenly combined, form them into patties and fry over medium heat in a tablespoon of oil.

Once the patties are crisped and golden on both sides use them to form into burgers.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wholewheat hamburger Buns


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There’s no reason why you can’t just run to the nearest food store and buy a packet of perfectly decent soft burger buns but here is the difference between the store bought ones and the homemade ones, and that is you know exactly what goes in here and I’m not even talking about the bread softening chemicals; it’s the quality of the ingredients that you have the power to control, not to mention that these have whole wheat in them which does set them apart from the absolutely refined floured buns, and really it’s worth the effort, not least because it’s hardly an arduous task. Just a question of mixing and placing and baking. Talking of which..

 

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The ingredients are few and pretty straightforward. We have strong bread flour, wholewheat flour, melted butter, salt, sugar, yeast and some lukewarm water. It could be argued that these wholewheat flour buns do have bread flour in them, but it’s not all refined flour, moreover, when made entirely of wholewheat the buns tend to get a bit too dense.

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Mix the flours and make a well in the centre.

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Add yeast, salt and sugar

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followed by water

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and the butter

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Give it a cursory mix with a spatula or spoon just so that everything is dispersed evenly before we begin to get our hands dirty.

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Form into a shaggy dough to feel if you need some more water and I did.

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Add water little by little, or teaspoon by teaspoon lest the dough gets too wet and sticky

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form a rough clump before you begin kneading when the moisture to flour ratio feels just right.

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Slap the dough on a large surface such as kitchen platform and get kneading. I use a simple technique wherein I flatten the dough then stretch and pull at one end

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before bringing it back to meet the opposite end, and repeat

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until the dough starts feelings soft and pliable under the fingers and palm. You really have to get a feel of this to understand because it’s a transformation and takes anywhere between 5-7 minutes.

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Once you’re happy with the dough, form into a ball

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transfer to a greased bowl. Oil the dough as well to prevent sticking

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cover with cling film and let rest for an hour or until doubled in size.

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like so..

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scrape out of the bowl on a well-floured surface

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and divide into two equal portions

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dividing each portion into four equals.

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before forming into rounds and placing on a well-oiled baking sheet

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to transform these dough balls into decently sized hamburger buns, gently press each until a bit flat, about 7-8 cms wide and roughly 2 cm’s thick; ensuring you don’t make them too flat or they’ll be something of a pita bread.

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Cover with a damp kitchen cloth and let rise for another hour until doubled in size.

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Once they’re nicely fluffed, brush the top with some water/milk/egg white. I brushed mine with water because it ensures that sesame seeds stick and do not budge

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Speaking of which, sprinkle the top liberally with some and bake at 200ºC for anywhere between 15-20 minutes, or until the top gets deliciously browned and the buns have cooked evenly.

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Like so..



Ingredients

Bread flour: 300g

Wholewheat flour: 200g

Water: 250 mls + more if needed

Yeast: 2tsp

Salt: 1 tsp

Sugar: 2 tbsps

Butter (melted): 80g


Recipe instructions: 

Mix the flours in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add yeast, salt, sugar, water and melted butter to the well and mix with a spatula or wooden spoon until it forms a shaggy dough.

If the mixture is too dry and not coming together add water a teaspoon at a time until the mixture forms a dough. Scrape onto a large surface or platform and knead until the dough becomes soft and pliable for about five to ten minutes and form into a ball.

Transfer to a large bowl and ensure it’s well greased to keep it from sticking.

Cover with cling film and let rest for an hour until doubled in size, after which scrape the risen dough on a well-floured surface and divide into two portions, further dividing each portion into four equal parts and form into balls.

Place formed balls on a greased baking sheet and gently press until they’re larger in size, ensuring that they’re at least 2 cms’ thick

Cover with damp cloth and let them rest for another hour until doubled in size.

Once they have nicely fluffed up, brush the tops with some water and sprinkle sesame seeds.

Bake at 200ºC for 15-20 minutes or until the buns are deliciously golden.


 

Skinny energy bars (vegan)


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One could, if one wanted, call them superfood mega nutritious healthy chocolate energy bars but that would be too long a name for something so decidedly elegant and petite and so, skinny bars it is and these are skinny in both appearance and spirit and all too easy to eat not just as a nutritious dessert, but also as a post-workout snack or during that time of the day when you feel hungry or depressed.

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I might have mistakenly erased the photograph of ingredients assemblage which is why we begin with the recipe. Starting with a clean bowl and a spatula.

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in with coconut oil, always a good start.

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followed with an all natural sweetener in the form of mushed up, pitted dates

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mix them well to form a somewhat wet base for the rest of the ingredients

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rolled oats that I pulsed a couple times to somewhat break them

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followed by rice flour and cinnamon and vanilla extract

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give it all a mix to incorporate the wet ingredients well into the dry.

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and finally the dried fruits, nuts and seeds. Here I have some raisins, goji berries, chia seeds, chopped almonds as well as some black and white sesame seeds.

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Give all the ingredients a thorough mixture to slick them somewhat with the oil and dates mixture

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and prepare a baking tin by lining it with baking paper to prevent the oatmeal bars from sticking to the tray.

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Scrape the contents into the tray and flatten the top, making sure it’s even on all sides before baking it at 180ºC for 35-40 minutes.

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It will come out bronzed at the top and I realized the raisins had swollen a bit and protruded out. This is, at this stage, a tin full of delicious granola and to make them into skinny bars you have to let it cool completely.

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The final stage involves a bit of pouring and sprinkling and here I have some melted chocolate and a couple tablespoons of slivered pistachios. You can melt some vegan chocolate for this purpose but I have here some homemade chocolate, the recipe for which I’m still perfecting and perhaps I will upload it soon but for now some melted chocolate (any you prefer) would work.

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Sprinkle over the nuts while the chocolate is still liquid and keep it to set in the fridge for a couple hours or until you’re ready to unmould and slice after it’s set.

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The surface takes over a rather matt look accentuated with the vibrant greens of the slivered pistachio’s and tastes even better.

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Find a sharp knife and get carving. The size of the pieces you cut is entirely up to you. They can be shards, chunks, blocks, slivers or you can just chew on this entire thing whole.

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Just look at this glorious cross section. There’s a bit of everything.

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and another cross-section, if you’re into cross-sections. I mean, of course, you could make thicker chunkier bars by spreading it into a smaller baking tin but they’d still be skinny bars.

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Ingredients

Rolled oats: 250g

Rice flour: 80g

Coconut oil: 50mls

mashed dates: 170g  (Alternatively use maple syrup or any other syrup)

Nuts +seeds: 80g (I used almonds, chia, black and white sesame seeds)

dried berries and raisins: 60g (I used raisins and goji berries)

Cinnamon: 1 tsp

vanilla extracts: 1 tsp

melted Vegan chocolate: 150g

Slivered Pistachios: 2 tbsps


Recipe instructions

Pulse the oats in a food processor to break them as an optional step.

In a clean bowl mix together the dates and coconut oil until well combined. Tip in the oats, rice flour, cinnamon and vanilla extract and mix. Add the nuts, seeds, berries and raisins and mix until well combined.

Spread in a baking tin lined with baking sheet and flatten the surface evening out the layer and bake at 180ºC for 35-50 minutes or until the top is browned.

Let it cool completely before glazing with melted chocolate and sprinkling over slivered pistachio’s.

Refrigerate to set and cut into large pieces or smaller chunks.

Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for best results. These keep for a couple weeks if well stored, though they are much too easily eaten before the weekend is over.

NOTE: use date/ maple/rice syrup or coconut sugar instead of mashed dates if you prefer and any other dried fruits, nuts and seeds of your choice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homemade peanut butter in a blender


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This began as something of an experiment in search of peanut butter that I could enjoy without staring at the nutrition facts with guilt and wincing. I’d found myself swimming in wonderfully raw plump peanuts and decided to go ahead with making my version of homemade peanut butter that not only kept the ingredients to a minimum but also ensured that everything was easily available and immediately present at hand, which is why a blender works better than a food processor in this case because almost every house has a blender if not a processor.

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The ingredients are few and wholesome which makes it so much better than shop bought ones which are jam-packed with hydrogenated fats, preservatives and stabilizers. Roasted peanuts, coconut sugar (or any sugar), salt and coconut oil (or any oil.)

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I began by roasting peanuts which I did on a baking tray in a very low oven at 110º for about 20 minutes.

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until they had changed colour from pale to rosily bronzed.

 

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The only hard part is removing their skins which is easily done by shaking them vigorously or just rubbing them between your palms. Decant peanuts into a blender of choice and add sugar.

 

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and salt. Give it a good whirr in pulses.

 

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It isn’t a matter of seconds, it will take time, but keep pulsing until some peanuts are crushed, some turned to rubble and some still intact. Using a spatula keep mixing it about to ensure that nothing is stuck to the blade.

 

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It might look like it’s not coming together, but it will. Keep mixing in long and short pulses, alternating with pushing and mixing the broken peanuts with the spatula until you see more crumbs than intact pieces of peanuts.

 

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Add the oil and blend again.

 

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You might get anxious because it doesn’t look like anything’s happening but suddenly the bottom part of the blender will show almost liquefied peanuts, and then you’ll know you’ve struck oil, except its butter and wonderfully delicious at that.

 

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keep blending until you reach the desired consistency. This was still sort of chunky and a few long pulses later..

 

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You’ll get a satiny smooth terracotta emulsion of warmth. All you need at this point is a clean jar to store this homemade peanut butter in.

 

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Once upon a life, there was honey in it. Now there’ll be peanut butter.

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Pour into a jar of choice and refrigerate. This turned out far more delicious than any store-bought ones and easy to boot, not to mention self-righteous and annoyingly healthy.


Ingredients

Peanuts: 370g (2 cups)

Coconut oil: 2tbsp

Coconut sugar: 1tbsp

Salt: 1tsp

Note-  The resulting peanut butter will have a mild underlying coconut flavour to it, which is on account of coconut oil. If you do not like it then use any other oil of choice. 


Recipe Instructions: Roast raw peanuts either on a gas stove or oven by placing in an oven tray and roasting at 110º for 20-25 minutes until they’re rosy and golden. Keep checking to see that they don’t burn.

Remove their skins and place in a blender along with sugar and salt and pulse for a few moments. Use a spatula to mix them in the blender to keep the peanuts from sticking to the bottom. Once most of them are crushed add coconut oil and blend again until desired peanut butter consistency is achieved. Pour into a clean jar and refrigerate.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cardamom coffee cake


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It’s been sometime since I posted a cake recipe on this blog and what better to break the monotony than a coffee cake. The thing about coffee cakes is that apart from pairing ‘oh so beautifully’ with a strong cup of caffeine they are scrumptious just on their own for moments when you want to eat something sweet but not overwhelmingly so.

Cardamom is such a rich exotic spice with an almost romantic ring to it with curious undertones of mystery and an enticing allure of the East so rare in cakes and with a crispy crumb on top this cake is two layers of delicious, resonating with cardamom in each bite, hefty with flavours and yet symbiotically submitting when paired with a cup of coffee or even tea, because cardamom does go well with tea.

 

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these ingredients might seem like a lot but that’s only because there are two parts to this cake. A crispy nutty crumb and a base cake.

 

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first with the crumb topping. Into a bowl add flour (please excuse the lighting)

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walnuts

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brown sugar

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cardamom

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and mix with a fork until ingredients are equally dispersed.

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finally add room temperature butter to form the crumbs

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mix thoroughly

 

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until nice fat crumbs or rather buttery nutty lumps are formed. Set aside.

 

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for the dry ingredients in a separate bowl mix sugar, flour

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baking powder, baking soda

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and cardamom

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mix well and keep aside

 

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Now we get mixing to wet ingredients and also learn how exactly galaxies came to be formed. In a clean bowl add coconut oil

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vanilla extract and coffee

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milk and eggs

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check out your handywork at creating the universe

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now for some orange liquor

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and a quick whisk to disperse everything

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into a murky reality

 

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now it’s just a question of adding the wet to the dry, much like life.

 

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and stirring it all together to form a lovely terracotta mixture of cardamom flavoured dreams.

 

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pour into a well greased baking tin

 

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top with buttery crumbs

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take a moment to gaze at the beauty that is this cardamom crumb cake before plunging it into the depths of a furnace that is your oven to bake at 200º for 40-45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean

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after 45 minutes this is what you’ll be rewarded with.  beautifully bronzed looking slab of spiced haven.

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let it rest for at least ten minutes before taking it out of the tin. It’ll be a moist flavourful cake with a rather delicious, even crispy topping. It’s the crumb topping that offsets flavours of this cake, giving it texture that comes in with a surprising cardamom punch.

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serve warm with a strong cup of love.



Ingredients 

For the crumb topping:

Flour: 60g (1/2cup)

Walnuts: 60g (1/3cup)

Butter: 80g  (1/3cup)

Brown sugar: 80g (1/3cup)

Cardamom: 3/4 tsp

Note: I used regular cardamom pods and crushed the seeds to make a rough powdered texture

For the cake:

Flour: 150g (2cups)

Sugar: 145g (3/4cup)

Baking soda: 1/2 tsp

Baking powder: 1 heaped tsp

Eggs: 2

Cardamom: 1 tsp

Vanilla extract: 1tsp

Coconut oil: 120mls (1/2cup)

Coffee: 60mls (double shot)

Milk: 65mls (1/3cup)

Orange liqueur (optional): 30 mls (single shot)


Recipe instructions:

making crumbs: mix together walnuts, flour, brown sugar and cardamom. Add the butter and using either fingers or a fork mix everything together until it forms crumbs.

making cake: Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, soda and cardamom and keep aside.

In a separate bowl whisk together coconut oil, vanilla, eggs, coffee and orange liqueur if using and once blended well pour into the dry ingredients and mix to form batter. Pour into a greased baking dish and top with crumb toppings. Bake at 200º for 40-45 minutes until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Let it rest for an additional 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Chicken katsu


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Chicken katsu, one of those exquisitely done Japanese morsels of fried cutlet done just right. Golden, crunchy and juicily subtle. These breaded pieces of fried chicken encompass the elegance that somehow a chicken bucket does not. Either cut into dainty strips or fried in small portions, chicken Katsu is a sure fire easy as breath and quick to jeuje up fantastical dish that everyone can easily have in their repertoire.

 

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it’s done pretty much the same way you would these fish fingers    . The principles are the same and so is the technique, though you can play around with how you’d like these cutlets to taste.  The usual fare of eggs, garlic powder, salt, pepper, flour, bread crumbs and chicken breasts that I have sliced into fillets.

The one thing to note here is that instead of regular breadcrumbs Panko breadcrumbs would be more appropriate while preparing katsu, but all I could find in the grocery store were ‘Japanese style breadcrumbs’. 

 

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begin by seasoning the chicken with garlic powder

 

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pepper

 

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and salt

 

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smoosh them together until chicken is well coated and let it rest while we get on with the breading station.

 

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I used two plastic food bags to coat and bread the chicken because I didn’t think I wanted to wash too many dishes, and this just works.

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Season the breadcrumbs with some paprika because it helps brings out a better colour when fried.

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flour in another plastic food bag.

 

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so here you have it. the stage is set for frying

 

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Into the flour

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coat it well

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followed by an egg bath

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after which a casual lay about in grainy crumbs

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you can also scrunch about the plastic bag to make sure it’s all coated.

 

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It hardly takes time and before you know it, there are three richly swaddled pieces of chicken sitting pretty on your station.

 

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You can deep fry these if you want, but I’m totally into shallow frying things, because deep frying makes me nervous.

 

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Lay these gently in a pan once the oil is hot and cook each side for 4-5 minutes depending on the thickness of chicken pieces until the outside is bronzed and crisp while the insides retain their juiciness without being overdone or undercooked.

 

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fish them out on a paper towel to let them drain

 

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check for doneness if you want. This one was well done, moist and delightfully flavourful

 

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serve with fresh vegetables or salad or even fries if you want. I like mine with a bit of steamed broccoli.


Chicken katsu Ingredients

Bread crumbs: 75 g (1 cup)

Flour: 60g (1/2 cup)

Garlic powder: 1 tsp

Pepper: 1/2 tsp

Salt: 1/2 tsp (the image shows 1 tsp, but 1/2 tsp should be enough, or to taste)

Paprika: 1/2 tsp

Eggs: 2

Chicken breast: 150 g either sliced to fillets or flattened out to quicken and ensure even cooking.

Oil for frying


Recipe instructions – Coat the chicken evenly with garlic powder, pepper and salt and let it marinade for a few minutes.

In separate dishes assemble the eggs, flour and breadcrumbs. Add paprika to the breadcrumbs.

Coat the chicken first with flour, followed by eggs and then breadcrumbs.

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat, slowly place the breaded chicken pieces. Cook the chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side until the exterior is crisped up well and the insides are cooked. It’s for this reason you don’t want to use a thick piece of meat.

Drain on a paper towel for a minute and cut through to check for doneness.

Serve hot and crunchy with a cooling salad or steamed vegetables.

Enjoy!