Friday, 27 September 2013

COLESLAW

If there's one type of salad that Nigerians can tolerate on the side of their plate, it's the humble coleslaw. The shredded cabbage and grated carrot is usually held together with a dollop of salad cream and chilled in the refrigerator until the main meal is ready. With the amount of spice and pepper we use in our food, coleslaw offers something of a cooling respite between those fiery mouthfuls.

Here is my version of coleslaw with an unbelievably rich vegan salad "cream" dressing. This is my second attempt at the recipe. I used rice flour the first time around but found it to be too grainy. Corn flour provided the right consistency and was a subtle enough base to build in layers of flavour. 


Ingredients
(serves 4)
- 2 cups raw shredded cabbage 
- 1.5 cups grated carrot
- 6 tbsp corn flour
- 3 tbsp coconut milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1 tsp sunflower oil

To make the salad dressing, combine the corn flour and coconut milk to form a smooth paste. Add the vinegar, lemon juice and sunflower oil and whisk vigorously with a fork. The dressing should be able to lightly coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt and black pepper.

Place the shredded cabbage and grated carrot in a large salad bowl and pour in a generous amount of the dressing. Give it a good mix and refrigerate until needed.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

LEMON AND TANGERINE CAKE

Just because summer is over doesn't mean that you have to wave goodbye to fresh and vibrant indulgences. This zesty, vitamin-rich treat is a great accompaniment to your afternoon tea or coffee. 

I have always been a big fan of lemon cake and this is my very first vegan attempt - with tangerine as an added twist!

The tangy lemon balances perfectly with the sweetness of the tangerine, and the flecks of lemon and tangerine zest in the cake batter are like little jewels, providing an additional burst of flavour.


Ingredients
(serves 8)
- 2 cups self-raising flour
- Pinch of salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup sunflower oil
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used coconut in this case)
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 lemons (juice and zest)
- 1 large tangerine (juice and zest)

Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the salt.

In another bowl, mix all the wet ingredients together, including the oil, non-dairy milk, vinegar, juice of 1 lemon and the juice of 1 tangerine.

Add the wet ingredients to the flour and mix to form a cake batter. Incorporate the grated zest of two lemons and the zest of 1 tangerine. Add the vanilla extract and mix well.

Pour the cake batter into a lightly oiled cake tin and bake in a pre-heated oven, gas mark 5, for 20-25 minutes.

Allow to cool for half an hour and then squeeze the juice of half a lemon or tangerine over the top. Sprinkle with a little extra sugar (optional) and garnish with fresh tangerine segments.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

CHUNKY HUMMUS


I have always wanted to make my own hummus. I'm not going to lie - the first time I set eyes on it, I was a bit skeptical, but after that first taste, I was completely sold! 
Hummus is made by crushing/blending chickpeas with a few other kitchen cupboard ingredients and can be used as a dip or a spread. It's a great source of protein, fibre and numerous essential vitamins.

Like peanut butter, you can have it super smooth or, as I like it, with chunky bits. I've served mine up with a few carrot sticks and some home-made flatbread (recipe also below) but of course you can eat it with just about any other crunchy vegetable out there (sliced cucumber, raw pepper etc.). They also go well with baked chips, crackers or, as fellow blogger Berry Dakara cleverly suggested in my mini pizza post, as a topping for your veggie pizza.

 
Ingredients
(serves 2)
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas
- 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
- Juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder (optional)
- Pinch of salt

To make the hummus, place the chickpeas in a large bowl and crush with the back of a fork to form a chunky paste.

Add the crushed garlic, salt, lemon juice, olive oil and chilli powder (optional), and give it a good mix.

Serve in a little dish and drizzle a little extra olive oil over the top.

For the flatbread:
- 1 cup self-raising flour 
- 1/2 cup warm water 
- 3 tbsp olive oil 
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp sunflower oil to coat the bottom of the frying pan
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, making sure to add the water a little at a time until you have a soft dough.

Heat a large frying pan and coat the bottom with a little sunflower oil.

Divide the dough into 4-5 parts and use your hands to form a flat, roughly round or oval shape with each piece. Once the pan is hot enough, drop the bread in and cook for about 2 minutes or until it starts to form brown spots all over. Turn over and brown the other side.

Monday, 2 September 2013

CREAMY AVOCADO PASTA

Nothing beats the creaminess of a fully ripe avocado. Here's a neat way to exploit this in a simple yet tasty pasta dish. It's worth using good quality olive oil in this recipe as it adds a certain depth of flavour to the dish.

Ingredients
- 1 cup pasta 
- 1 ripe avocado 
- 1/2 red onion (sliced in circles)
- 6 cherry tomatoes (halved)
- 1/4 cup sweetcorn
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- Salt to taste

Fill a saucepan with lightly salted water and bring to a boil. Add your pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until soft.

In another saucepan, sauté the onions and tomatoes in olive oil for 5 minutes, stirring frequently on medium heat until the onions soften. Add the sweetcorn, stock cube and mixed herbs. 
Toss the cooked pasta with the vegetables and scoop in the avocado. Mix well to break down the avocado so it coats the pasta nicely. Cook for a further 5 minutes.
Serve hot with a little extra drizzle of olive oil (optional).
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