Saturday, 25 April 2015

CUCUMBER NOODLES WITH AVOCADO-PEPPER SAUCE (RAW)

My julienne peeler has been in hiding for a while now. If you've followed my blog for long, you'll recall the Vegetable 'Spaghetti' and Boiled Plantain recipe I shared around this time last year. The julienne peeler is such an exciting and inexpensive kitchen tool to have on hand, allowing you to turn your veggies into lush noodle/spaghetti strands. Great for gluten-free 'pasta' options and for making your meals lighter in general. If you'd like one for yourself, you can grab it easily on Amazon:


Today's recipe is fairly basic but it packs a powerful punch. It's super filling, the fresh flavours are intense and it is the perfect light lunch/dinner option as the summer months get closer.

*Tip: to give this recipe a little extra kick, add a bit of chilli or scotch bonnet pepper to the sauce blend.























Ingredients
- 1 large cucumber (julienned)
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper (chopped)
- 1/2 green bell pepper (chopped)
- 1 red bell pepper (chop one half, save the other half for the sauce)
- 1/2 avocado
- juice of half a lemon
- cherry tomatoes (as many as you care for; halved)
- pinch of fresh thyme
- salt to taste


To julienne the cucumber, simple run the julienne peeler lengthwise. Once you reach the soft, watery centre of the cucumber, turn it around and julienne the other side(s). Do not discard the centre, simple chop it up to use in the sauce.



To make the sauce, place the chopped cucumber centre, 1/2 a red bell pepper, 1/2 an avocado, lemon juice, thyme and salt in a food processor and blitz until you have a thick, creamy sauce (it doesn't have to be super smooth).



Place the cucumber noodles in a large bowl, along with the chopped bell peppers and cherry tomatoes. Add the sauce and combine!



Enjoy!




Monday, 20 April 2015

COCONUT AND TURMERIC ROAST POTATOES

I've got a love-hate-love relationship with coconut flour. Or should I say a love-hate-love history. Let's begin with the first love: it all started when I discovered that coconut flour was even a thing. As a long-time advocate of coconut oil, coconut water, coconut milk and every other coconut product that has been brought to light, I was only too happy to embrace this new addition to my coconut-centric world. Which is to say, I fell head over heels in love with the very idea of coconut flour even before I knew what to do with it. I imagined all the cool stuff I'd make - pancakes, cakes, porridges. It was goodbye plain old conventional wheat flour and hello powdery coconutty goodness. 

And then came the hate, which really was to do with my determination to make coconut flour into something it was not; to use it in ways that it was not intended to be used. The gritty consistency frustrated me - 'these pancakes taste like sawdust!' 'this gluten-free coconut flour cake is literally falling apart at the touch of my little finger!' Frustration I tell ya... 

Who would have thought that this simple life lesson would also apply to kitchen ingredients - that we must inherently appreciate things (and people!) for what (or who!) they are and not what we would ideally like them to be. So then came the love again, this time with the realisation that coconut flour is unique and different and shines in all its coconutty glory when its qualities are highlighted and celebrated rather than suppressed. That gritty texture? Turns out it makes a delicious coating on roast potatoes. Consider this recipe a statement of our reconciliation. 


Ingredients
- 2 large potatoes (cut into wedges)
- 2 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 tsp ground turmeric 
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 vegetable bouillon cube

Place the potato wedges in a saucepan and cover with water. Allow the water to reach boiling point then lower the heat and allow to simmer for 2 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside.

To make the coating, place the coconut flour, turmeric, olive oil and vegetable bouillon cube in a large bowl and mix until you have a paste.


Drop the potatoes into the paste and mix to coat them completely.


Spread the potatoes out on a lightly greased roasting tin. Drizzle with a little extra olive oil and cover with foil (poke the foil and create some holes to allow any steam to escape). 


Place in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, gas mark 6. Remove the foil 3/4 of the way through the cooking time and turn the potatoes over once.

Serve as a side dish or have as a meal with your favourite tomato sauce (aka ketchup).










Tuesday, 14 April 2015

VEGAN TIE DYE CAKE (POPCORN FROSTING)



I made this for a special birthday this month and it is epic in every way you can imagine. It's bright, sweet, decadent, pillow-soft and crunchy all at once. It's a tie dye cake inspired by this YouTube video and the popcorn frosting was a last minute addition to take the cake to the next level.

I created a YouTube instructional video if you fancy giving it a try.

You'll need 2 equal-sized cake tins. Leave a comment below if you have any questions and be sure to follow my page on Facebook for more up-to-date stuff!

Ingredients
Cake batter:
- 5 cups self-raising flour
- 4 tbsp corn flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 cups almond milk
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 and 1/2 cups sunflower oil
- 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
- gel food colouring (purple, green, blue, orange, red)

Frosting:
- 1 cup soft vegan margarine
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 1 tbsp almond milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract

Popcorn:
- handful of popcorn kernels
- sunflower oil
- icing sugar, water and gel food colouring (for colourful coating)







Saturday, 4 April 2015

VEGGIE MEATBALL CURRY

Happy Easter lovely people! Things have been slow in the Vegan Nigerian kitchen lately as I juggle life responsibilities and whatnot. Right now, I am home for the Easter break, feeling completely stress-free, surrounded by family and delicious home cooking ;) On the occasions that I cook for my entire family, I like to create hearty vegan meals that rival the regular meaty dishes they're used to eating. This veggie meatball curry is an example of such a meal. There's tons of flavour in every bite and the veggie 'meatball' morsels are mouthwatering. I served it with some fried plantain and a blend of brown rice, quinoa and bulgur wheat. Although the focus of this recipe is the curry, I'll include the instructions for the rice/quinoa/bulgur blend at the very end.
























Ingredients
(serves 4-5)
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 2 large tomatoes
- 3 vegan sausages (I used Linda McCartney's)
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 2 potatoes (peeled)
- 1 large carrot
- 1/2 head of broccoli
- 1 small red onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 scotch bonnet pepper
- 1 tin coconut milk
- 3 tbsp red lentils
- olive oil
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 3 bay leaves
- salt


Blend the red bell pepper with 1 large tomato and half a cup of water until you have a smooth mixture. Set aside.

Defrost (if necessary) 3 vegan sausages and cut each one into 7 equal pieces. Roll each one between the palm of your hands to form the meatball shapes and roll them in some plain flour. Set aside.


Chop the second tomato into bite-size pieces, along with the peeled potatoes, carrots, and broccoli. Set aside.


Finely chop the small red onion, garlic and scotch bonnet pepper. Heat a cooking spoon of olive oil in a large cooking pot and sauté the chopped onion, garlic, scotch bonnet pepper and meatballs. Keep turning the meatballs around until they are lightly browned all over.


Add the rest of the chopped vegetables (carrots, broccoli, potatoes and tomato).


Add the blended red pepper and tomato mix. Then add the tin of coconut milk. Add the three tablespoons of red lentils for an extra depth of flavour. Stir gently to avoid crushing the meatballs. Season with enough salt to taste, dried thyme and 3 bay leaves.
Turn the heat down and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Stir gently halfway through.

Serve with some rice and fried plantain.


Below is my technique for combining brown rice, quinoa and bulgur wheat...


Ingredients
- 1.5 cups brown rice
- 1/2 cup bulgur wheat
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- salt to taste

Place the brown rice in a cooking pot and fill with a generous amount of lightly salted water (i.e. triple the rice quantity). Cook on a high heat, uncovered. After 10 minutes, add the bulgur wheat and mix well. Add more water if you notice the water drying out too fast. After another 15 minutes, add the quinoa. Again, add a little bit more water if necessary. Turn the heat down, cover and allow to simmer for another 10 or so minutes until the brown rice, bulgur wheat and quinoa are all soft. Allow the water to evaporate so that you're left with a sticky rice consistency.
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