Thursday, 24 April 2014

Edamame & Chilli Dip

I had written down this recipe a while ago, but it wasn't until now that I got around to making it, and boy am I glad I didn't wait any longer!
It is deeeelicious, and can be used as a spread as well as dipping vegetable sticks into.

Edamame & Chilli Dip
(Serves 2-3)

Definitely even worthy as part of a mezze with sundried tomatoes in oil, olives, pita bread, the list goes on and on!

400g can edamame/soy beans (230g drained)
100ml low fat Greek yogurt (or natural yogurt, froamge frais, quark etc.)
1 red or green chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 sundried tomatoes in oil (optional)
1 small red onion, finely chopped

Bread, tortillas or vegetable sticks to serve

- Start by having all the ingredients apart from the onion in a bowl. Use a stick blender and blend until smooth.

- Prepare the onion, and fold into the dip mixture and serve up with lots of little bits and bobs for dipping, yum Did you know; soya beans is one of the few vegan foods that contains all of the key nutrients our body needs - pretty nifty, huh?

Oh, and it was great on top of the wholemeal linseed bread that I posted up yesterday. I reckon it would only need to be topped with a little ground black pepper, then it'd be even better!

Have you got a favourite home made spread/dip?

Original source:

- Jules

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Wholemeal Linseed Loaf

So I am moving in about two weeks' time, my new flatmate is apparently a master of bread baking, and so I felt inspired! I was working from home during the Easter holidays, and the thought of freshly made slices of bread for lunch was simply too good not to give a shot, and with the sun shining through the window, I simply let the dough rise sunshine style. It felt great, and the result was...well pretty darn good!

I halved the recipe, but this would certainly make a normal bread loaf tin's worth! It takes a while, but if you have a few errands to run, and can tend to the bread once inbetween for that second rise, you wont be disappointed!

Wholemeal Linseed Loaf
(Makes 1 loaf)

Straight from the oven!

250g wholemeal seedy flour (I used Allinson's seed flour, or you can use 60/40 wholemeal and plain white flour)
5g dry active yeast (about half a sachet)
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp sea salt
50g linseeds
120ml warm water (37°C=body temperature)
2 tsp sunflower- or olive oil
1 heaped tbsp natural yogurt or sour cream
Poppyseeds, oats or other seeds for topping

- In a bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients apart from the oats/seeds for topping.

- Boil up water and mix half and half with that and cold water so you have lukewarm water, have it in a cup along with the oil and yogurt/sour cream. Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture, and pour in the liquid. Mix well and knead until you have a nice dough. Cover and set somewhere warm to rise for about 1 hour.

- Now, the dough should be about double its original size, take it out on a floured surface and knead it well for at least 5 minutes (preferably 10-15 minutes to knock all the air out of it!). Place on a baking paper clad baking tray or a loaf tin and cover either with a large baking bowl, or loosely with cling film. Leave to rise once more for an additional hour/hour and a half (I went and did my food shopping whilst waiting, simple!)

- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Slash the loaf with a knife a couple of times diagonally, and sprinkle with oats or seeds. Now, place it in the middle of the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes. If you're baking it in a loaf tin, it will most likely take at least 40 minutes. You can tap it to check, it should have an almost hollow-like sound.

- Once done, place on a rack to cool, before serving with whatever toppings and spreads you feel like. I attacked it with a slab of basil pesto and ham - simple, but soooo effective. I hope you like it as much as I did!

Because of the shape my loaf had, I can imagine cutting it up thinly would make perfect "dippers" for dippy egg soldiers... now there's a thought!

Original source:

- Jules

Monday, 21 April 2014

Fish Gratin with Wholemeal Pasta

This was originally a recipe for two, buuut since I was only cooking for myself I halved the recipe, and I also cut out a few ingredients, making it a little easier.

I love fish gratin, and it is one of those childhood memories, a lovely thick white sauce, pasta, and fish - brilliant!

Fish Gratin with Wholemeal Pasta
(Serves 1)

200g fish, diced - I used cod, but you can mix cod and salmon
40g wholewheat pasta (macaroni or shells)
300-400ml semi-skimmed milk
1 tsp xanthan gum or cornflour
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/3 tsp grated nutmeg
A good handful grated cheese (I used Jarlsberg, but you can use parmesan instead)
Vegetables to serve, I simply used grated carrot and boiled broccoli

- Pre-heat the oven to 200 °C.

- In a pan, heat up 300ml milk along with the xanthan gum/cornflour, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Whisk until you have a smooth mixture. Once the sauce is warm, add the macaroni/shells, and cook for half of the cooking time of the pasta. Stir occasionally to keep it from catching the bottom, and add more milk if necessary, season to taste.

- Once you have a thick, creamy sauce, take it off the heat. In a medium oven proof dish, layer the bottom with the fish, pour over the sauce with the pasta, and top with cheese. Place on a low rack in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.

- 5-10 minutes from finishing time, prepare the vegetables. Boil up water for the broccoli, and grate the carrot.

- When the gratin is done, serve it along with vegetables, and enjoy!

Insert random breakfast picture here:
Part of yesterday's Easter breakfast, in the sunshine! I'm going to miss the window sill I can sit in when I move, I might just have to build a new one of my own!

Have you ever had gratin before? What's your favourite?

Original source:
Sunnere & Sterkere med Proteinrik Mat, p. 12

- Jules

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Asian Inspired Pork Casserole

I had it all planned out - I was going to make this lovely Thai sweet and sour casseole, but then, riiiiight before I started cooking, I discovered that I had forgotten to buy to main ingredients - cucumber and pineapple, oh no! I quickly got my thoughts together, looked at the original recipe, did a tiny bit of tweaking, and this lovely casserole was invented!

To serve alongside it, I cooked up some quinoa in chicken stock, but I reckon this pork casserole calls for noodles! It just seems like that kind of dish. I hope you like it!

You can also use other sweet vegetables in this dish should you have any, like baby corn, asparagus, carrots (just slice them thinly with a peeler towards the end of the cooking time), cauliflower or red bell peppers. I just went for what I had in the fridge really, the onion is essential though!

Asian Inspired Pork Casserole
(Serves 2)

1 tsp sunflower oil
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
200-250g pork fillet, cut into strips
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 cup strong chicken stock (I used 1 cube)
150-200g broccoli, cut into florets
100g mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp sambal oelek OR 1/2 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Rice, or preferably noodles to serve

- Start by heating up the oil in a medium casserole, once hot pour in the soy sauce and the oyster sauce, and tip in the pork. Once browned all over, add the onion.

- Wait until the onion has softerned, about 5 minutes, before adding the ketchup, chicken stock, sambal oelek (or chilli). Cover and cook for a further 5 minutes, before adding the mushroom and broccoli. Place the lid back over the casserole and cook for 10 minutes, stirring once halfway through.

- Cook up noodles to serve. Once the pork casserole is done, squeeze in the lemon juice, give it a quick stir, and serve up!

How has your weekend been?
I myself was at a birthday pot-luck dinner last night, and today some friends and I went to a basketball game to see the Glasgow Rocks play the final game of the season, and they won! Now, I'm just going to take it easy, working home from tomorrow despite it being a bank holiday! Aint no rest for the wicked *winks*

Recipe by yours truly,

- Jules

Friday, 18 April 2014

Dark Creamy Coconut Hearts

So I was going to keep this recipe from you for at least another day, thinking that posting something savoury between the Nutty Date Marbles and these would be better. But you know what? It's Easter! There shouldn't be a shortage of sweets, especially not when you can make them as healthy as this!

Originally, this was a recipe for a healthier version of the Kinder Maxi chocolate. I however, didn't have any white sugar-free chocolate, so I used coconut oil instead!

Dark Creamy Coconut Hearts
(Makes 5)

...all that was left was a broken heart, and a happy stomach!

40g dark (sugar free) chocolate, chopped
1 heaped tbsp coconut oil (if solid, 2-3 tbsp if liquid) (or swap for 20-30g white chocolate)
2 soft cheese triangles (about 30-40g)
1 1/2 tsp sukrin icing sugar
3 drops stevia vanilla (creme)

- Start by melting the dark chocolate by boiling up a little water in a small casserole. Place a heat-proof, smaller bowl in, and add the chopped chocolate into the dry bowl. Stir occasionally and allow to melt fully.

- Now, get your silicone mould out! Spoon 2/3 of the chocolate between 5 moulds, and use the backside of the spoon (the part you hold) and make sure it covers all the way up to the edge of the little moulds. Place in the freezer for 5 minutes until set (I left them in the fridge for a bit longer).

- Towards the end of the waiting, heat the coconut oil the way you did with the chocolate, once liquified, take it off the heat and mix in the soft cream cheese and sweetners. As you are doing this, return the remaining hot chocolate to melt the way you did at first.

- In the moulds, divide the coconut cheese filling, then...Top with the remaining chocolate and freeze until set. I currently don't have a freezer, so I popped them in the fridge for about an hour. Carefully take them out of the moulds and refrigerate until serving, if you can actually wait that is!

Not perfect...but you have to make sure they look home made, right?

Ah, the sun was shining here today, I sorted out a new flat and will be moving in there in two weeks, and I got to spend some time in the lovely weather with two lovely girls, pancakes, sunshine and card games - bliss! Not to mention the questionable 90s hits we were listening to, hah!

Original source:

- Jules

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Nutty Date Marbles

Simple, healthy, packed full of energy, and only THREE ingredients! (Or two...really)
No way? O-hoh-oh yes way! Come follow me.....

Nutty Date Marbles
(Makes 6)

1 1/2 handful mixed nuts
1 handful pitted dates
1 tbsp water (optional)

- What next? Have the ingredients in a blender and process roughly until you have a sticky mixture. I only used my stick blender, and it sort of went all over the place for the first few seconds. The only reason I used a bit of water was so as the stick blender would go a little easier on me, but it is by no means necessary!

- Once you have a sticky paste, and it's as rough or smooth as you like it: simply roll into a sausage and divide into six pieces. Roll into nutty date marbles, and enjoy!

Optionally, you can decorate with dried goji berries, cacao nibs, roll in dessicated coconut, chopped nuts, or cocoa powder!

You could add a little unsweetened cocoa to the nut- and date mixture for some extra chocolatey goodness. Or why not go all out and covered them in rich, dark melted chocolate?

Happy Easter!

The other day on the way home from the town in the evening, I got this given to me *bigsmileonherface*

I don't see how these happy, yellow flowers wouldn't put a smile on anyone's face!

What are your plans for the coming days? And do you have a favourite recipe where you use dates?

Original source:

- Jules

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Tandoori Mince & Tatties

I figured that I would put an Asian twist on the ever so popular British dish "mince and tatties" (potatoes that is!) by adding some tandoori flavours.

The recipe is simple, and it shouldn't take you more than 20 minutes from start to finish. After I had taken the photos, I realised I had forgotten something - chutney! And so I added some immediately, and it went soooo well with the meal!

Tandoori Mince & Tatties
(Serves 2)

400-500g potatoes, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced
250g lean beef mince (you can of course use any other type of mince instead!)
1-2 tbsp tandoori paste
A pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper
Tomato- or mango chutney and yogurt to serve
Fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

- Simply start by boiling up water and cover the potatoes, add a sprinkle of salt and let it boil until tender (about 10-15 minutes).

- Now, prepare the onion, heat oil in the pan and soften the onion for 5-10 minutes. As you are waiting, mix tandoori paste into the mince, making sure it is well incorporated.

- Add the mince to the frying pan with the onion and add a splash of water so it doesn't go dry. For for about 5-7 minutes until cooked. When it's close to done, drain the potatoes, but leave about 100ml of the water, mash with salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. You can add a knob of butter if you want it a little creamier.

- Serve the mince and onion mixture on a bed of mash, top with a good dollop of both yogurt, chutney and garnish with a little parsley.

Recipe by yours truly,

- Jules