Cream cheese and Chive Dip (without the cream cheese)

 

Tofu dip

I titled this recipe cream cheese, because without hesitation or reproach all of my guests thought it was cream cheese, just a little lighter.

Luckily for me, who is sans lactose, this dish was made with tofu (da-da-dah.)

It is so light and pure, it is good as a dip with crudité, or if thinned down slightly further as a salad dressing.

It’s another blender recipe, so takes less than 5 minutes to make including preparation. I should probably change the name of this blog to Tasha. Blender, given the amount of recipes I post just using a blender, perhaps we should take a vote on that one?!

Ingredients

  • 15oz organic silken tofu (drained and squeezed)
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp. garlic salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp. grape seed oil
  • 3 tbsp. chopped chives (leave a little for garnish)

Optional

  • Use a seasoned salt (see earlier post) for a different flavor profile

Method

  • To make the dip, blend all ingredients until smooth, taste and spice to your liking
  • To make the dressing, thin further using a little more vinegar and oil

Good for the waistline, heart and taste buds; with love Tasha. Blender

Three for the price of one: Falafel, faux liver and vegan meatballs

This recipe is so fantastic, that it can be used as a raw pate, cooked to create a falafel or turned into meatballs.

Unlike a falafel the middle is still soft, which I actually quite like.

Other cooks use them as vegan meatballs by enveloping them in a tomato based sauce.

I don’t think they would last long enough in our household however as Mr. B loved them so much, that I turned my back and they were all gone!

I served the raw pate this weekend and my NY bestie told me that this was often served as faux liver. Amazing.

Three recipes for the price of one!

This mixture is high in protein, magnesium, healthy fats and fiber.

Tasty, healthy, happy days!

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. mushrooms
  • 100g pecans
  • 100g cashews
  • 1/2tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ½ tsp. garlic salt

Optional

  • 1 Serrano chili, sliced and placed on top to serve

Method

  • Preheat oven to 425f/220c
  • Line baking tray with wax paper
  • Blend the pecans and cashew, then add the mushrooms
  • Blend entire mixture, season and taste
  • Use the palm of your hand to make falafel balls and place on lined baking tray
  • Bake for c. 20 minutes or until brown
  • Top with one slice of Serrano pepper
  • Underline with a little of the raw mixture

Winter mushroom medley

Mushroom medley

It is gluten, nut and soy free

It can be made as breakfast, a canapé or a side dish

This recipe can be made dairy free and whole30 compliant by substituting the butter for a tbsp. coconut oil

Ingredients

  • mixed mushrooms (e.g. shitake, oyster, king trumpet)
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • Himalayan sea salt and ground black pepper

Method

  • Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium high heat
  • Arrange the mushrooms in the pan and let them cook undisturbed, until golden brown on the bottom, c. 3 minutes
  • Season with salt and pepper, toss and continue to cook, tossing often and reducing the heat as needed until golden brown all over, c. 5 minutes
  • Reduce the heat to medium
  • Add the 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, 2 thyme sprigs and 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • Tip the pan towards you so the melted butter pools. Spoon the foaming butter over the mushrooms until the butter smells nutty, c. 4 minutes
  • Remove mushrooms with a slotted spoon and place on the plate

Aubergine/eggplant croquettes

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Now that we know how to burn an aubergine…lets make some burnt aubergine croquettes

This is a great little gluten free snack or canapé

I rarely fry anything, but these little morsels of love are worth it

Kids and adults will love them, they get pretty addictive

This is taken from Ottolenghi’s plenty

Ingredients

  • 4 medium aubergines
  • 280g cooked fluffy potatoes, peeled and broken roughly with a fork
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 140g feta, crumbled (I used goats cheese feta)
  • 20g Parmesan, grated
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 200g gluten free breadcrumbs, seasoned
  • Sunflower oil for frying
  • Salt and pepper

(Options: the recipe calls for feta, I used goat milk feta but you can use sheep milk. If you want to make it vegan omit both cheeses but add more seasoning to compensate)

Method

  • First burn the aubergine (see below)
  • Place the aubergine flesh in a large bowl. Add the potatoes, egg, feta, Parmesan, salt and some pepper
  • Bring everything together gently with a fork; you want to keep the mixture quite rough
  • Add about half the breadcrumbs, just enough so the mux is sufficiently solid to hold its shape but still a little sticky
  • Remover the mix from the bowl and divide into four
  • Roll each portion into a thick sausage about 2.5cm in diameter
  • Sprinkle the remaining breadcrumbs on to your work surface and roll the sausages in them so they are completely coated
  • Transfer to the fridge and leave to firm up in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, or overnight depending on when you are making them for
  • To cook the croquettes, cut each sausage into 5cm long barrel-shaped pieces; you should end up with around 20 pieces
  • Pour enough frying oil into a frying pan to come to about 1.5cm deep.
  • Heat up the oil, then fry the croquettes in small batches for about 3 minutes, turning half way
  • Transfer to kitchen paper to drain
  • Best served hot, but pretty awesome cold too

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How to burn an aubergine – recap

  • I used a BBQ, turning the aubergine every 2/3 minutes for around 10-15 minutes until all sides where brown/burnt and the inside of the aubergine was soft
  • The recipe recommends using a gas hob. Start by lining the hob heads with foil to protect them. Put the aubergine on a flame and roast for 12-15 minutes, turning frequently with metal tongs.
  • Alternative if you don’t want to use a naked flame, put them on a foil lined tray and place directly under a hot grill, turning a few times.

Prosciutto, Fig and Goats Cheese Rose

This takes 5 minutes to prepare and 5 minutes in the oven

It is visually pretty and looks similar to a rose

It is a great combination of sweet and salty

A light starter for a dinner party, or just an alternative afternoon snack

Ingredients

  • 2 slices of prosciutto (1/2 per fig)
  • 4 Figs
  • 2 tbsp. goats cheese

(Options: You can drizzle a little bit of honey on the top, for some extra umami)

Method

  • Slice the fig to 2 cm to the bottom, in both directions (to form a cross and space for the goats cheese)
  • Cut the prosciutto in half length ways and wrap each fig with the prosciutto
  • Place half a tbsp. of goats cheese in the middle of each fig
  • Place in a preheated oven, 180c/350f for 5 minutes or until the prosciutto is crisp and the goats cheese a little melted

Cheese biscuits: Gluten free

This is great as a snack or a canapé

Ingredients

  • 150g Rice flour
  • 2 tsp. Paprika
  • ½ tsp. Salt & ½ tsp. Pepper
  • 50g Butter
  • 100g Grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs

(Optional extras: swap the cheddar for another hard cheese, remember to season well as gluten free flours are a little bland)

Method

  • Mix together flour, paprika, salt & pepper
  • Work the butter into the mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs
  • Stir in the grated cheese
  • Beat the egg and stir into the mixture, bring everything together into a ball of pastry
  • Rest the pastry in the fridge for 10 minutes
  • Roll out the pastry on a floured surface or between two sheets of cling film until around 4mm thick
  • Use a biscuit cutter or cut into strips
  • Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper
  • Place into a pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes
  • Take them out and put them on a rack to cool
  • Snack, serve with salmon, goats cheese or a bit more cheddar

Healthy Scotch Eggs

With ‘spring’ tentatively tip toeing in to season in the UK, I thought it would be good to start a picnic series

These gems are gluten free and baked

They are made with quail’s eggs, so it’s very tempting just to pop the whole thing in your mouth

Ingredients

  • 3 organic gluten free sausages
  • 6 boiled quails eggs
  • 2 tbsp. rice flour
  • 1 medium egg
  • 50g gluten free breadcrumbs

(Optional extras: you can spice the breadcrumbs if you want more flavour-my sausages have enough flavour so I didn’t. You can fry them but I prefer to bake them)

Method

  • Take the sausage skins off and bring together the sausage meat. Divide into 6 even portions
  • Take one portion and flatten it in your hand. Place a quail’s egg in the middle and bring together around it. Use more sausage meat if needed. Roll it in your hand once done to make sure it takes shape and that the quail’s egg is fully covered. Repeat with all 6 eggs
  • Place the flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs in 3 shallow bowls. Dip each Scotch egg into the flour and lightly coat, then into the beaten egg and finally in the breadcrumbs. Repeat.
  • Preheat an oven to 200c. Once warm, place the eggs on a baking tray with greaseproof paper and bake until golden or for around 20 minutes. I also turned them once as some of the sausage meat juice came out. Make sure the sausage meat is cooked all the way through.
  • Serve hot or cold. Protein dense and totally tasty!