Folded Kimbap


Folded kimbap! It looks like a brethren to the onigirazu and in a way, it is, except that this is a Korean version and in all probability, mine isn’t as authentic as one would expect but it doesn’t have to be. I don’t think this recipe was created for food snobs to pass judgements upon its authenticity, but rather to have fun with. The nori sheets that are the Kim in this case, are folded to make a sandwich of sorts rather than roll into traditional kimbap’s, and it is fun in the food crafts sort of way to create your own version of this kimbap.

I have used here Nori sheets, sesame oil, cooked rice, roasted sesame seeds, kimchi, sliced cheese and some vegetables and ham

The list of ingredients can be as varied or as little as possible. You need nori sheets, sticky rice and any vegetable or meat of choice, preferably thinly sliced or shredded. I love using kimchi in this recipe for that salty-sweet pungent spicy taste but you can just as easily add some sriracha to your veg for a similar effect.

prepare the rice for stuffing by adding to it sesame oil, salt and roasted sesame seeds.

Take a clean pair of sharp scissors and cut the seaweed wrap only halfway through the middle.

Start by adding a thin layer of rice to one part and creating a different flavour profile for each part. I have added here sliced ham, sliced cheese and kimchi with some cucumbers.

Begin creating the kimbap by folding each part of the seaweed on top of each other. Start by lifting the bottom part with the rice and folding it over to the part above.

Fold the left part over to the right like closing a book and then back down to the bottom to make a full square.

These are some combinations. I have added sliced avocado, carrots and cabbages to one on the bottom left to make a vegetarian version. The one on the right has a thin omelette and some mozzarella cheese.

Fold and wrap with some paper or cling film before slicing.

Wrapping in cling film works better.

Serve with your favourite sauce. I loved how easy they are to pack in a lunch box. A perfect picnic food.


Ingredients 

Cooked sticky rice: 130g
Nori sheets: 3-4 nos
Sesame oil: 2 tsp
Roasted sesame seeds: 1 tbsp
Vegetables of choice: thinly sliced carrots, cucumbers, avocado.
Kimchi
Sliced ham/meat of choice
(tuna is excellent in this recipe)
Shredded or sliced cheese of choice.
Omlette

Recipe Instructions: Lay the nori sheet in front of you, its rougher surface facing the top and using a pair of sharp clean scissors, cut through the middle stopping halfway across.

Into the cooked rice add in the salt, roasted sesame seeds and sesame oil and mix.

Add a thin layer of flavoured rice to the bottom left of the seaweed paper and continue adding a different ingredient to each part of the sheet. You should have four different ingredients. Fold over to top the bottom left portion of the sheet with a rice layer and continue to fold toward the right and then back to the bottom.

You should end up with a deliciously bulging square of stuffed nori. Wrap it tightly in clingfilm before slicing it.

Serve with your favourite dipping sauce.

Lemongrass scented carrot and apple soup (vegan)


This isn’t just a soup but an absolute sensation, not least because it’s coloured very spring appropriate but also because it’s so fantastically delicious that you’d need excuses to make it over and over again. The earthy sweetness of carrots with the juiciness of apples which is offset every so gently with an undercurrent of lemongrass makes every spoonful a strange delight that though a bit familiar is also something of a mystery. Calming, comforting and almost too easy. This is a soup for all occasions.

the ingredients are apples, carrots, ginger, lemon, lemongrass, black pepper, soy sauce, cumin powder (not pictured), onion(not pictured)

Note: I have used lemongrass stalks here, if however you cannot find them or have no access to them then simply use 1 heaping tablespoonful of Thai yellow/red curry paste.

chop the apples and carrots into bite size pieces

Heat the coconut oil in a large pot and add in the chopped onions. (The onions aren’t pictured, but you need them)

add in the ginger and saute for a minute

before adding in some salt

and lemongrass. If you’re using curry paste then add it after the carrots and apples have cooked down slightly.

Mix in well and saute for a few minutes

finally add in the carrots and apples. Give them a quick turn in with the flavourings and this needs nothing more than cooking down to a soft mush.

The vegetable and fruit will leach out a lot of juice but I’m still adding a bit more water just to let everything simmer gently while I get on with laundry life.

cover the pot and let it cook on a low-medium flame. Keep checking occasionally, giving it a stir to coax the fruit and veg into softening.

After ten minutes of cooking the apples had softened to a pulp but the carrots still had a bite to them and we want to make everything smooth. If you’re using curry paste then this is the right time to add it.

While everything is still cooking and slowly becoming softer, add in the seasonings. Soy sauce

ground cumin. It was not pictured in the ingredients list but it’s an important part of this process.

and black pepper. Mix it all well and cover the pot again to let everything mix and soften. Add more water if needed.

FInally, after almost twenty minutes of cooking everything was as needed. Soft and mushy.

At this stage you can retrieve the lemongrass

and add more water to bring up the quantity that can make it easily blendable and soupy.

I am using a hand blender, but you can use a mixer or even a manual soup strainer as needed.

also add in a big squeeze of lemon.

depending on how you enjoy your soups, you can make it as smooth or as chunky. I like mine somewere in the middle.

and there you have it! Delicious, hearty and sweet with that unique fresh tang distinctly lemongrass which somehow turns into a soft hint of citric note, subtle and deep.


Ingredients

Carrots: 500g - 700g
Apples: 2 large or 3 medium
lemongrass: 2 stalks (if using curry paste then use 1 heaping tablespoon)
onion: 1 medium
Ginger: 1 inch piece
Cumin powder: 2 tsp
Black pepper: to taste
coconut oil: 2 tbsps
lemon juice: 1 tbsp
salt: to taste
water : 500mls + as needed 

Chop the vegetables and fruit into bite sized pieces. You can even grate the carrots for quicker cooking.

Recipe instructions: In a large pot heat the coconut oil and add in chopped onions and ginger. Saute for a minute and add in salt and lemongrass.

Give it a mix and cook for a minute before adding in chopped carrots and onions. Let cook until soft. (Add the curry paste if using once the carrots and apples have softened)

Add in soy sauce, pepper and cumin powder and stir together and let cook before completely softened into a mush.

Retrieve the lemongrass stalks. Add water and blend to form into a soup. Bring to a simmer before finally spritzing with lemon juice.

Serve hot

Vegetable lentil coconut curry (vegan)


This bowl of lentil curry which is bit of a twist on traditional dahl makes for such a cozy and filling weekday dinner that can be enjoyed both with rice or just as soup and is not only comforting but also nutritious and easy, not to mention completely plant based and unbelievably delicious.

This can be tailor made to suit your taste buds. It can be made spicier or more sombre and is a great way to clear the crisper drawer of any lingering forgotten vegetables.

All you need are some vegetables of choice and here I have beans, carrots, spinach and pepper along with the very essential flavour base that’s made of onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes. Also soaked lentils, coconut milk and turmeric, coriander powder, garam masala, red chilli powder and cumin seeds.

chop the vegetables into bite sized pieces and boil with soaked lentils until the lentils and vegetables are soft. Do not boil spinach along with the veg and lentils.

Chop the tomatoes, onions, ginger and garlic and keep aside.

In a large pan heat some coconut oil

Add in the cumin seeds and let them splutter

add the onions

with some salt and cook until golden brown.

add the ginger and garlic

and cook until it no longer smells of raw garlic.

Now add the tomatoes followed by spices that are coriander powder, turmeric, garam masala and red chilli powder.

Stir well to combine and keep stirring until the tomatoes are cooked.

Now add the coconut milk and bring to a boil

and add in the spinach if using.

The curry at this stage will be quite thick and you might need to add water.

Let it simmer and come to a boil and this will really draw out the flavour from the coconut milk.

Add the cooked lentil and veg. I might have cooked mine too long but that’s fine.

Add some salt because the curry will need it.

I also ended up adding some more chilli powder because I like this curry a bit spicy.

Let it simmer for a few minutes before turning off the flame and putting a lid on to let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

Depending on how thick or thin you want this curry water can be added.

Serve hot with flatbreads or rice or just help yourself to a large bowl and let it nourish and heal you this winter.


Ingredients

Red lentils : 60g
Yellow lentils: 100g
Coconut milk: 250g
Tomatoes : 200g (2 medium)
Onion: 150g (1 medium)
garlic and ginger chopped: 1 tbsp each
Chopped veg: 350-400g
Coconut oil: 1 tbsp
Water: 700mls
Spinach: 100g (optional)
Salt to taste

Spices
Cumin seeds, red chilli powder, turmeric : 1 tsp
Coriander powder, garam masala: 2 tsp

Recipe instructions:

Soak the lentils overnight or at least 3-4 hours before cooking. Add the chopped vegetables to the lentils and cook until softened. Leave out the spinach if using.

For the flavour base dice the tomatoes, onions, ginger and garlic and keep aside.

In a large pan heat some coconut oil and add the cumin seeds until they splutter. Add chopped onions and some salt and cook until the onions are golden brown in colour. Add ginger and garlic and cook until the garlic no longer smells raw. (roughly a minute). Add in the chopped tomatoes along with the spices and cook until the tomatoes have softened.

Pour in the coconut milk and let it simmer before finally adding in the spinach if using. Add some water to thin out the curry and some more salt.

Let it come to a bubble before finally adding in the cooked lentils and vegetables.

Put a lid on the pan and let it gently simmer for a few minutes.

Lastly check for seasonings and add more salt or other spices as needed.

If it’s too thick then you can add some water but let it come to a boil again after that.

Serve hot.

Onigirazu two ways


crispy shrimp
avocado and veggies (vegan)

It looked like a magic trick the first time that I ever saw Onigirazu. It was a rice sandwich wrapped in nori that tasted like sushi from an alternative reality and what? how? dear god! was all I could exclaim.

Not only did it taste delicious but it looked so mind bending that I had to make it and just like a sandwich it can be created any number of ways to suit your mood and needs, which is why I have two kinds here. One is a crispy shrimp and the other a more sombered vegan option and they both turned out absolutely scrumptious.

The ingredients for these particular onigirazu are thinly sliced vegetables (cabbage, onions, coriander, carrots), avocado and shichimi (optional) for the vegan option. Shrimps, semolina and paprika, salt, pepper, minced garlic, cumin and oregano for the shrimp option. Also Nori sheets.

and cooked rice. I have cooked some black rice with white to get a purple. Who knew? The rice seasonings include, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar.

add the soy sauce, vinegar and sugar in with warm cooked rice

and mix

Add semolina and spices to the shrimp and mix well.

Cook on a hot skillet

until cooked and crispy. These shrimps have such an astounding flavour.

Now for the assembly which might look a bit intimidating but isn’t all that impossible. On the rough side of the nori sheet spread a layer of seasoned rice. Clamp it down well so it doesn’t dome and make this into anymore of a daunting task than it already is

Add a spread or sauce of choice. I went for the classic which is mayonnaise and ketchup mixed to primrose emulsion.

Top with cabbage or lettuce.

Followed by crispy shrimps.

Topped with some more cabbage

sauce

and rice. It starts with rice, it ends with rice.

And now it’s just a matter of folding everything into a pocket to form our onigirazu

Fold the opposite edges inwards so that they meet together and they’ll stick. Oh, they will stick. It’s magic.

Fold from the top and that there is our rather untidy pocket, but it’s there.

Now wrap it all in plastic wrap or butter paper as I used here because ugh, plastic! And that’s one done until we slice.

Same again for Onigirazu number 2. Start with rice and since the vegetables had no seasoning I went ahead with some shichimi, but you can use anything instead.

sliced carrots

Followed by coriander

avocado and more shichimi, which was then topped again with rice and folded.

and so here we have a cross section of both. Side by side. I topped the vegan onigirazu with a bit of sriracha

Ingredients

Cooked rice- 1 cup
Nori sheets: 2
Seasoning for rice
Soy sauce- 1tbsp
Vinegar- 1tsp
Sugar- 1 tsp

Vegetables
Carrots thinly sliced
Coriander
Cabbage thinly sliced
Avocado

Note: You can use any vegetables as per availability and preference.

Shichimi pepper for seasoning (optional)

For shrimp Onigirazu
Shrimp- 200g
Semolina- 1tbsp
paprika, pepper, oregano, cumin, minced garlic, salt -1/2 tsp each

Recipe instructions

Mix the soy sauce, vinegar and sugar with warm rice and keep aside.
Mix the spices, salt and semolina in with the shrimp until they're well coated.
On a hot skillet with a teaspoon of oil cook the shrimp on both sides until crispy.

Lay the nori sheet so that the rough side is facing you.
Top with a dollop of seasoned rice and flatten it.
Followed with shredded cabbage. Spread some sauce or spread of choice on and top with shrimp. keep them all in a single layer so that the filling doesn't dome.
Top again with shredded cabbage followed by sauce and finally another dollop of rice.
Keep clamping down the filling.
Fold the nori sheet from opposite sides so that all meet in the middle.
Form into a pocket and wrap in cling film or butter paper.

Repeat process with vegetable filling.

Note: You can use any vegetables and seasonings according to your preference.

Enjoy!

Pesce con olive e pomodoro


Fish with olives and tomatoes. It’s an Italian classic or so they say in Italy, not the kind one would find on a menu but more like a proper home cooked meal and why not because fancy as it looks and sounds this a very simple dish to put together.

It’s not convoluted with flavours and is in fact minimal almost in terms of seasoning which is why it’s important to use good quality ingredients seeing how there is no cloaking device to this dish.

The ingredients are few and simple. There’s fish of course. Try and use boneless fresh fish fillets. I’ve used basa. There’s onions, tomatoes, potatoes, oregano, black olives, lots of olive oil, salt and pepper.

We want to start with a base layer. Coat the baking tray or dish with a thin layer of olive oil.

And layer with potatoes. Use thinly sliced potatoes for this dish. I used a mandolin to get the necessary thinness.

Sprinkle over some salt and pour over half the olive oil and bake at 200ºC for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked and have developed some colour.

Once out of the oven layer the thinly sliced onions and chopped up tomatoes.

And sprinkle over some salt

and pepper

before finally adding the fish.

Top with olives and oregano and sprinkle some more salt. Don’t go heavy handed with the salt. Sprinkle sparingly since almost every step has a bit.

Finish with a generous drizzle of olive oil before baking at 200ºC at for 20 minutes or until the fish is just cooked.

Let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

This can be eaten just as is or with a hunk of good bread.


Ingredients

Fresh fish fillets: 250g
Potatoes: 300g (thinly sliced)
Onions: 1 medium (thinly sliced)
Tomatoes: 250 gms (chopped into bite size or use cherry tomatoes)
Olive oil: 15-20mls
Black olives: 70g
Fresh Oregano: 1 large bunch or 2 tsp dry oregano
salt and pepper.

Recipe instructions

Brush the baking tray or dish with some olive oil and layer with potatoes.
Sprinkle over some salt and bake at 200ºC for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are mostly cooked and have developed some colour.
Layer the now cooked potatoes with thinly sliced onions and tomatoes and sprinkle some more salt and pepper.
Place the fish on top and cover with olives and oregano, either dried or fresh.
Finish with a generous amount of olive oil before baking at 200ºC for another 20 minutes or until the fish is just cooked.
Let rest for a few minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Vegan spring rolls


Wrapped in rice papers crammed with crunchy vegetables and piled with a delicious marinated tofu, these spring rolls which I do agree are a much larger almost dumpling sized kin to their fresh and slimmer relatives are a perfect treat either as a snack or even as a post workout meal when eaten in huge quantities since these are annoyingly delicious and guiltless and making them isn’t nearly as tedious as one would think.

Of course cooking anything in the kitchen requires a bit of work and these aren’t as much work as one would think and in fact they’re rather fun to make.

The filling is entirely personal and often depends on what’s present in the refrigerator; also a great way to use leftover vegetables.

The ingredients which I used were tofu, thinly sliced carrots, capsicum, avocado, cucumbers, coriander and leftover roasted asparagus. Like I said, the filling depends entirely up to you and the contents of your fridge.

You want to slice your carrots in a way that they’re almost julienned, so begin by slicing them lengthwise

and slice them lengthwise again to get matchsticks

also slice the rest of the veg as thin as manageable.

Slice firm tofu in long strips and the firmer the tofu the better its tenacity to not crumble.

we need flavour in these spring rolls since everything else is going to stay raw and crunchy with a play on textures, the tofu in question needs to have a punch and marinating it for a few minutes really does the trick.

Sizzle the marinated tofu on a very hot pan with a drizzle of oil.

let it char on both sides for a minute or so

Before finally adding the marinating liquid the tofu sat in. Let it cook and bubble and get absorbed.

And here you have it. What was once a rather pallid looking block of protein is now a bronzed vivacious looking filling for our spring rolls.

Now for the assembly which is where the fun begins. You need a large plate filled with water which can fit the rice papers, a clean damp kitchen towel and all the accoutrements sat neatly in front so the conveyor belt process can work.

Begin by immersing the rice papers in water on both sides for a few seconds until the entire surface is wet but not wilting.

Then transfer it to the damp paper towel

and begin layering the vegetables. I start with coriander first just so the rolls look pretty after getting rolled up, however because I stuffed them to spilling the final outcome wasn’t prettiness but greed and so the layering didn’t much matter but if you want to make them look presentable and dainty then maybe fill them a little less audaciously.

then came leftover asparagus. It’s absolutely optional. You can instead use cabbage, shredded lettuce or whatever you feel like.

next came in avocado

closely followed by capsicum and carrots

and finally tofu and cucumbers.

Next comes the rolling part where you gently but with purpose and intent enclose the vegetables in their transparent rice veil by folding the now very sticky rice paper over in a manner of wrapping.

and fold the two opposite ends to meet the first roll. Doesn’t matter if there are small tears in the paper or if all the vegetables don’t stay inside the first fold because we will roll it again.

Keeping the wrapping firm

Since the rice paper is sticky it will stay glued and the chances of making mistakes are few. Roll it up until it’s a roll.

something like this and there you have it. Giant spring rolls to stave off any hunger pangs.


Ingredients

Rice papers: 4 to 5
Firm tofu: 200g
Carrot: 1 small
Capsicum: 1 small or half a large
Coriander: 1 large bunch
Avocado: 1 half
Cucumber: 1 small
asparagus: 3-4 roasted and halved.

For the tofu marinade
Sesame oil: 2 tsp
Light soya sauce: 1 tbsp
Apple cider vinegar: 2 tsp
Sriracha or any chilly sauce: 2 tsp
Brown sugar: 2 tsp

Recipe Instructions

Slice vegetables into thin slices. Cut tofu into strips and marinate for 5-10 minutes. Heat some oil in a pan and gently place tofu strips until browned or lightly charred for a minute. Turn them over and after half a minute pour the marinting liquid in the pan. Let it bubble and thicken for another half a minute before turning off the heat. The tofu should be glossily bronzed on both sides.

Lay out all the ingredients for the rolls in front and fill up a large plate, big enough to fit the rice papers with water.

Dampen a clean kitchen towel and keep in front. Gently lower the rice paper in the plate with water and wet it on both side for a few seconds. Do not let it begin to soften. Transfer on the damp kitchen towel and begin layering the paper close to the edge near you to form into spring rolls.

Once the vegetables are stacked, fold over the now soft and sticky rice paper once. Fold the opposite ends on the sides to stick over the first fold and roll again to seal the edges.

Enjoy with some soy sauce or your favourite dip.

Black rice salad


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This was a sudden salad in that it came to happen rather abruptly in my repertoire while I was experimenting with a bit of culinary expansion in terms of recipes and cuisines and the sight of black rice always invited me with such fascination and enigma that I caved in and bought a few kilograms to experiment with and this salad was the result of a thrilled happenstance.

I hadn’t expected the results to be as delicious because this is a fairly simple recipe but seeing how it’s near impossible to be content with a small bowl of this black rice salad I found myself making it more of it almost every chance I got.

Black rice tends to be far less starchy and more pronounced in its nuttiness and provides a perfect vehicle to harmonize with simple, accurate flavours that work in tandem.

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It’s a fairly large amount of ingredients and this salad works to serve not just as a side dish but also as a meal. Great as a post-workout snack or dinner this salad does double duty. The vegetables you use depend on their seasonal availability but as long as there’s crunch, piquancy and dried fruit to balance it all it can’t go wrong. A bit of sweetness in terms of dried fruit is most desirable because it elevates the mood, texture and taste of this salad.

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Chop the vegetables, cheese and chillies in fairly small pieces. Deseed the chillies if they’re too spicy.  I have also scooped the seeds out of this cucumber. It’s an optional step.

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Chop oregano and rosemary fairly fine. Use dried herbs if you can’t find fresh ones.

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Put the chopped cheese and vegetables into a bowl

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along with the herbs

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and raisins

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Add lemon and salt

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followed by a drizzle of olive oil

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and mix

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until evenly combined

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add cooked black rice to the vegetables and mix well.

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There we have black rice salad. Cover and let rest for at least an hour before serving.

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It is delicious, colourful and nutritious. Won’t you please try it.


Ingredients

Black rice: 250g

Tomatoes: 3-4 small

Cheese: 100g

Chillies: 2

Herbs: rosemary and oregano fresh or dried mixed herbs

Capsicum red: 1 small

Raisins: 2-3 tbsps

Olives: 2-3 tbsps

Cucumber: 1

Lemon: 1 tbsp

salt to taste

Olive oil: 2 tbsps

NOTE: To cook black rice soak them the night before or for at least 5-6 hours and cook using 1:1.5 black rice to water ratio.

Use whatever vegetables and cheese are seasonally and easily available.


Recipe instructions

Chop the vegetables and cheese into small bite-sized pieces. If using fresh herbs mince them fairly fine and add to the bowl with vegetables and cheese along with the raisins, salt, lemon juice and olive oil.

Mix well until evenly incorporated and add the cooked black rice and mix again.

Let sit in the fridge for an hour before serving.

Pumpkin soup 2.0 (Vegan)


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Pumpkin soup has a special place in my repertoire and I’ve been dabbling with a lot of different recipes and ways to make this soup and not that I’m trying to be smug or anything but looks like I’ve finally perfected a recipe that I might sick to, and that it needs no pottering over a stove really does help.

The thing about soups and pumpkin soup, in general, is that it’s a very non-fussy way to create deliciousness from a rather humble looking vegetable and it’s versatile in a way that there’s never just the one way of cooking it just like there’s never one way of eating something and this particular recipe can be adapted to make pasta sauce, pizza sauce and curry base as well. Just a question of thinning or thickening it to your liking and I like it on the thicker more velvety side of things and that’s what I said and say.

Right, this blog is no stranger to pumpkin soups and in fact, I’m linking a previous pumpkin soup recipe here as well which is just as delicious but not nearly as quick and mad with flavours.

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Did I mention it was simple as simple as can be? The taste and colour are amped up with spices and how much or how little you add is up to you but I like it very spicy especially in this weather and turmeric helps with the goldenness of it all. Like molten sunshine on a chilly afternoon. There’s pumpkin, onion, garlic, salt, turmeric, cinnamon, paprika, nutmeg and black pepper.

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Chop the vegetables to an almost equal sized thickness and add some oil. The amount of oil you want to add is up to you. It could be a drop, a drizzle or a glug. Did I mention this is an atrociously healthy recipe as well?

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Next, come the spices and this is really what maketh the soup. I’ve been known to add almost three times the amount of pepper I show here and so can you. The spiciness is really a personal choice and so is salt. No nutmeg at this stage. It comes in later.

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there you go. All in.

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Time to smoosh it all together. Coating the vegetables with spices and oil.

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Bake at 190º for 15-20 minutes until the pumpkin is almost falling apart and the onions and garlic have softened but not burnt.

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At this stage, you can modify it to how you’d want the final results to be. You can add stock, cream, coconut milk, regular milk or just plain water which is what I’m doing because it’s choke full of flavours but having said that I do add coconut milk to it on days when I’m in an altogether different mood.

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grate in a bit of nutmeg and add that as well. Not too much or it’ll overpower. Just enough to haunt the soup with a peripheral kiss of the exotic and blitz.

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Pulse until it’s all emulsified and you have glorious golden soup. Oh, how it glows. taste for seasoning and thickness and adjust by adding more of whatever is required.

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and lo and behold!


Ingredients

Pumpkin: 250g

Onion: 1 small

Garlic: 3-4 cloves

Turmeric: 1heaped tsp

Paprika: 1tsp

Black pepper: 1/2tsp

Salt to taste

Cinnamon: 1/2tsp

Nutmeg: 1/4tsp

Oil: 2tsp

Water: 200mls



Recipe instructions 

Chop the vegetables into equal sized portions and drizzle over oil and mix in the spices and salt except for nutmeg. Place in a baking tray and bake at 190º for 15-20 minutes or until the pumpkin is very tender and the other vegetables softened.

Add the vegetables to a mixer, grate in the nutmeg and add hot water and blend to a smooth puree.

Serve hot with bread or even rice.

 

 

 

 

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!