Paneer/Tempeh Lollipop

Paneer/Tempeh Lollipop

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This was a canapé that I served at my Indian Fusion Tapas party

It can be made using paneer or tempeh if you want to make a vegan version. It is super easy and fun visually – we all have a little artist in us, trying to get out!

You can also increase or decrease the spice levels, depending on who is coming to dinner. Mr B likes the highest spice levels possible and if he had it his way, this dish would be just a chill pepper covered in sesame seeds!

Ingredients

  • 1 block paneer/tempeh, cut into rectangles
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. organic ketchup
  • 1 tsp. Sriracha
  • ½ tsp. tamari
  • 2 tbsp. white sesame seeds, lightly toasted
  • 2 tbsp. black sesame seeds
  • Hand full of bamboo skewers

Method

  • Cut the paneer/tempeh into rectangles, important for the sesame layering
  • Mix the ketchup, Sriracha and tamari, marinate the paneer in the mixture for 10 minutes
  • Heat the oil and sear the marinated paneer/tempeh on all sides
  • Let cool and place on bamboo skewer
  • Paint with leftover marinade to act as an adhesive
  • Sprinkle white sesame seeds on half the piece, turning as you go
  • Do the same with the black sesame seeds
  • Serve as a lollipop for a fun canapé
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Roasted Romanesco with Garlic, Sage Crumbs (GF, DF)

Roasted Romanesco with Garlic, Sage Crumbs (GF, DF)

Cauliflower and Sage Crumbs

This is a stunning dish, fragrant, tasty, textured and healthy

I have a lot of fun cooking vegetables as sides to my southern Italian in-laws dishes. I can not make what would be perceived as a main dish, as it would be seen as disrespectful, even in my own house and since I don’t want to end up sleeping with the fishes, I choose to make vegetable accompliments that I think might compliment the food

This is one such dish, which I made with garlic and sage so as to stay within the Italian lane to compliment the beautiful muscles and shrimp that my in-laws made

Mr B was super happy to see everyone in the kitchen in harmony whilst he sat back and enjoyed his fathers homemade wine

You could use pretty much any cauliflower or vegetable for this recipe. I like Romanesco for its beautiful Fibonacci spirals, its nuttiness and textured crunch!

Ingredients

  • 1 head Romanesco (core and cut into florets)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil or coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. vegan or normal butter
  • ½ cup gluten free breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • ½ cup. minced sage
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper

Method

  • Preheat your oven and get a casserole dish ready
  • Place the florets in a bowl with the oil and a generous pinch of salt and pepper
  • Roast for 10-15 minutes until they start to brown at the edges
  • Whilst the cauliflower is roasting, add the butter to a pan on a low heat, add the breadcrumbs and garlic and stir to coat, cook for a few minutes and stir the sage in 30 seconds before finishing
  • Remove from the heat and cover the cauliflower
  • I take it straight to the table, steaming hot and serve it straight from the casserole dish

Methi Matar Malai (GF, DF)

Methi Matar Malai (GF, DF)

Mattar Malai

This is a beautiful fragrant vegan curry from the north of India. It is made with Methi, which is Fenugreek, Malai which is cream, which I substituted for tofu cream and Matar which is green peas

It is a beautifully balanced dish, due to the bitterness of the Fenugreek and sweetness from the onions, almond milk and sugar

Fenugreek is good for liver function, cholesterol and digestion and is therefore used a lot in Indian and Ayurveda cooking

‘When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use, when diet is correct, medicine is no need’

I served these as a canapé at my Indian inspired dinner party, but it is good with rice or a flatbread also

Ingredients

  • 2-3 cups of Fenugreek/Methi
  • 1 cup cooked peas
  • 1 cup tofu cream cheese
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped coriander
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • 1 chilli, chopped
  • ¼ cup cashew nuts

Method

  • Blend the onions, cumin, garlic, ginger, chilli and cashew nuts into a smooth paste
  • Heat the oil and fry this mixture for 5-10 minutes until the raw taste is gone
  • Add the fenugreek, cook for 2/3 minutes
  • Add ½ cup almond milk, mix well and cook for 3-5 minutes
  • Add the cooked peas, tofu cream cheese, garam masala, salt, sugar, mix well and cook for 5 minutes on a low flame
  • Garnish with the coriander leaves and serve with roti, rice or in tart cups as a fun canapé

Kimchi Quinoa StirFry (GF, DF)

Kimchi Quinoa StirFry (GF, DF)

Kimchi Quinoa Stirfry

I saw this in Bon Appetite and it just sang to me! A recipe with tamari, sesame oil, kimchi and Quinoa, some of my all time favourite ingredients! It’s an easy recipe and has a double helping of protein with the egg and Quinoa.

Kimchi is great for your digestion, as it is fermented, another wisdom passed down through generations

I use normal Kimchi for me and mama’s extra spicy Kimchi for Mr B

Happy Spring!

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Kimchi, plus 3 tbsp. of juice from the jar
  • 4 scallions/spring onions
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 cups Quinoa
  • 2 tsp. tamari
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. white sesame seeds, lightly toasted
  • 1 tsp. black sesame seeds

Method

  • Squeeze kimchi over a small bowl to catch the juices. Top up if you need more to make it up to the 3 tbsp.
  • Chop the kimchi, set aside
  • Cut dark green tops of the onions and thinly slice, set aside
  • Thinly slice the white and pale green parts and set aside
  • Heat the coconut oil in a large non-stick frying pan
  • Crack the eggs into the pan and fry until the white is solid and the egg is crispy around the middle, c. 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate
  • Add the carrot and cook until soft, c. 2 minutes
  • Add the green and white parts of the onions and kimchi and cook until golden, c. 3 minutes
  • Add grains, tamari, sesame oil and the kimchi juice, cook until well mixed
  • Taste and season with salt and pepper

To serve, top with the egg and black and white sesame seeds

Spinach Paneer (GF)

Spinach Paneer (GF)

Spinach Paneer

The word Paneer is of Persian origin and is used to refer to any type of cheese. Paneer is normally homemade by Indian families, boiling whole milk and adding some lemon juice. My Grandma tried several attempts to make Paneer using Soya Milk and Almond Milk, but it didn’t work, so this is a vegetarian recipe using full fat dairy paneer and is dedicated to my brother

My brother loves Paneer and will eat it, in pretty much any form. This paneer dish is packed with amazing healing spices and antioxidants from the spinach and thus is a complete meal full of your veggies and protein. I hope you love it, a much as I love you, Mr D!

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • ½ tsp. cayenne
  • ½ tsp. salt (to taste)
  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 12 ounces paneer
  • 16 ounces spinach
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 chilli (deseeded)
  • ½ tsp. garam masala
  • 2 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder

Method

  • In a bowl mix the turmeric, cayenne and salt and paneer, make sure the pieces are well covered
  • Heat half the oil and pan fry until at least golden on a couple of each side, set aside
  • Steam the spinach in a little broth, let cool and blend
  • Add the remaining oil to the pan, add the onions, tomato, chilli, ginger and garlic and cook until the onions are soft and starting to caramelize
  • Add the garam masala, cumin, coriander continue to cook until the spices are well incorporated, c. 5 minutes
  • Add the spinach, combine and cook for another 5 minutes
  • Add the paneer and continue to cook, make sure well combined and try not break the paneer pieces as you mix
  • Serve hot with rice or roti

Healthy Pop Tarts (GF, DF)

Healthy Pop Tarts (GF)

Pop Tart

Who would have ever thought you could make such a thing as a healthy pop tart?? It sounds like a contradiction in terms

The pop tart for those of you who don’t know was introduced to the world in 1964 by Kellogg as a pre-baked toaster convenience food and soon became popular as a kids breakfast. It is made out of two layers of pastry and has a sweet filling inside. The basic pop tart without frosting has approximately 16g sugar and 200 calories

The reason I know anything about Pop Tarts at all is due to Mr B, who recently admitted to me that when he is stressed at work he goes to the vending machine and liberates a pop tart. This surprised me, as Mr B is a firm believer in clean eating, and generally sticks to that during the week

I therefore decide to seek out the ultimate treat for him. A pop tart that he could eat, that would be healthy and clean but taste just as good. This recipe is adapted from Lexiscleankitchen.com and doesn’t disappoint. It has Pataya, blueberries, chia and almonds as the main ingredients and so has plenty of antioxidants. It is sweet, but the sugars are natural. The biggest difference is that unlike the shop bought version, it wont outlast a nuclear incident, but given how quickly Mr B ate them, that was rather unlikely anyway!

Ingredients

For the tart

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1 large egg

Homemade Chia Jam

  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds

For the glaze

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp. cashew milk
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. pataya powder

Method

  • To make the dough, combine all the ingredients in a blender and leave to chill in the fridge (very important)
  • To make the jam, put all the ingredients in a deep pot and cook on a low heat until broken down, be careful not to burn
  • Turn off an let cool
  • Combine the glaze ingredients and set aside
  • Between two pieces of parchment, gently roll out the dough and cut out rectangles using a sharp knife
  • Place half the rectangles on parchment paper, place a teaspoon of the jam in-between, wet the edges and press down with a fork to close
  • Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill and preheat the oven
  • Once the oven is hot, bake the tarts for 12-15, until golden brown. Let cool
  • Once cooled use a pastry brush to add the glaze
  • I added the pataya later after brushing first so that I had two different colours and used the glaze as a drizzle

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Cheese Rolls (GF, V)

Cheese Rolls (GF, V)

Cheese Rolls

This is a classic grandma dish, which until recently we had thought was made up for us, until I started finding different versions of the recipe on the internet

It is an Indian version of grilled cheese and can be made in many different ways, depending on your family’s palate

It can be fried or baked and made with different types of bread or cheese. My favourite adaptation is gluten free or rye bread with vegan cheese, but my grandma made it with a classic white loaf and cheddar

Mr B loved these as I added some extra chillies in the mixture for him. He ate an entire portion of 6 in one go, which is the equivalent of half a loaf of bread. I wouldn’t advise this, but it proves that the old recipes are the best!

I am still doing research on this, but it looks like the Turkish dish, Sigara Borek, which has a similar filling but is made with phyllo pastry not bread, influenced these. I’d love to hear from anyone who knows different, as I haven’t been able to track down the exact Indian lineage

Ingredients

  • 6 slices gluten free bread
  • 1 cup grated vegan cheese
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tbsp. coriander, chopped
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil to brush or fry if you prefer

Method

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cheese, onion, coriander and spices
  • Take the bread slices and cut the edges off, roll them flat with a rolling pin, roll as thin as possible
  • Brush the edges with water
  • Place some of the cheese mixture in the middle of the bread, roll and press the edges to seal
  • Brush the rolls with oil and bake
  • Or heat an inch of oil in a deep pan and fry until golden brown
  • Drain and place on kitchen towel
  • Serve hot, chutney optional