Black garlic studded bread rolls and labneh..

I’m so proud of these rolls and so excited to share them with you and bring them to this week’s Fiesta Friday..Angie’s blog party extraordinaire rolls on in its 57th week of fabulousness this week 😀..I hope everyone gets to try one!

I basically added chopped black garlic to my standard wholemeal bread dough, gently kneading it into the dough once the dough had proved to mix it through, shaped the rolls, let these prove again whilst the oven heated up, and baked as usual, and the outcome was a bread roll studded with bursts of the black garlic sweetness – almost like sweet bread with raisins or dried fruit. A big fat YUM! 

I tried these with my homemade labneh: labneh is a middle eastern cheese which is basically made by straining yoghurt, and that’s pretty much it! You can use any kind of yoghurt, I often use a 0% fat greek yoghurt so I create 0% fat cheese for myself, but I’ve also used whatever plain yoghurt I’ve had in the fridge.



You literally just spoon the yoghurt into muslin, add any flavourings you fancy, then hang it to strain overnight and by the next day it’s done! I, of course, tried this with black garlic too..

As I don’t have a cool frame to hang it on, I tie up the muslin and hang it over the handle of my jug to catch the juice – make sure to tuck in the rest of the muslin otherwise the liquid travels down the fabric and all over your fridge shelf, as I found out…! It worked really well with the black garlic cloves, just chop some into the yoghurt and let it do its work, when you come to use the labneh you will see that the cloves almost melt into the cheese and spread easily with it.



I made a selection of flavours including smoked paprika and za’atar..

I even added some goji berries to another portion and made a sweet cheese which was lovely! 

The black garlic version went very well atop a roasted sweet potato for lunch..

I hope you’ve enjoyed my black garlic experiments this week, do check out what else I’ve done with it in previous posts this week on here and on Instagram, and don’t forget that you can still receive a 10% discount and free delivery in the UK from Balsajo Black Garlic until the end of tomorrow, 28th, by inputting ‘foodbod’ as a discount code. 

Have fun, happy partying and happy weekend xx

What would you feed me…Indu?

IMG_6100Welcome to this week’s WWYFM? post, coming this week from the lovely Indu from Indu’s International Kitchen, a blog packed full of fabulous recipes which Indu manages to find the time to not only cook, but blog about too, in her busy world! I’ve lost count of how many of Indu’s recipes I’ve loved and liked and the many conversations we’ve had: just another of my lovely international friends that I’ve made in blogworld :)

So, what would you feed me, Indu?

Elaine was one of the very first friends I made when I started
blogging a little over a year ago! And who doesn’t like Elaine? Her
warmth and kindness easily comes through her delicious and healthful
recipes as well as through her blog. Elaine is the Goddess of
everything ‘Healthy’! She not only strives to make healthful dishes
but she also is extremely creative about doing so! She has made an
incredible array of dips thus far, each one outsmarting the other in
terms of creativity of blending ingredients and acquiring perfect
textures! As for salads, Elaine has one for every day of the year!
Just check out her recipe index if you don’t believe me!

So when a few days ago, she asked me to write a ‘guest post’ for her
‘What will you feed me’ series, I was more than ‘honored’ …I was
simply ecstatic! And I also knew instantaneously what I would make for
her! There was this delicious red beans (adzuki beans) and pumpkin
curry that is a traditional kerala dish that I had been meaning to
post for some time now but somehow never managed to until now and so I
thought that was something Elaine would just love! This curry is also
served as one of many side dishes in a Kerala vegetarian feast (sadya)
which is served over a banana leaf. But when served with some cooked
parboiled rice, this can be a perfect comfort meal.! The red beans and
pumpkin in a coconut gravy is a delicious combination of flavors –
mildly sweet, mildly spicy and so creamy!

Red chori(known as payaru in malayalam) also known as adzuki beans,
are small, oval, dark-reddish brown beans. They have a strong,
unsually sweet flavor and creamy texture. In India it is more commonly
used in south indian cuisine. They are also called as red cow beans
and these beans are highly nutritious – rich in protein, fiber and
folic acid.

This curry is fairly easy to make as long as you have a pressure
cooker (to cook the beans) and a food processor to grind the coconut!
:) Yum! Hope you enjoy this delicious curry and thanks Elaine for
inviting me to make something special for you! I wish I could invite
you in person to my home and treat you to an entire Kerala sadya! :)

IMG_2727

Red Chori(Adzuki beans) and Pumpkin curry

  • Servings: <br /> Makes about 4 servings when served with rice
  • Time: About<br /> 45 minutes if using pressure cooker
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

1 cup red chore or payaru (adzuki beans)
1 1/2 cup water

1 1/4 cup pumpkin pieces 1 inch by 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp red chilli

For the ground masala

1 cup freshly grated coconut (or fresh frozen grated coconut that has
been thawed to room temp)
1 tbsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 small clove of garlic
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 cup warm water to grind

For the tempering

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 dry red chillies (optional)
4-5 fresh curry leaves
extra 8-10 pumpkin pieces for topping

Method:

Rinse the beans in water and place in a pressure cooker with the
water. (Do not add salt now as the beans will take longer to cook).
Pressure cook for 3 whistles. Take off the heat and let cool for a few
minutes until all steam has escaped and open the cooker. Add the
pumpkin pieces to the cooked pairu by adding the additional 1 cup
water, salt and red chilli powder and cook again covered (without
whistle though) for 2-3 minutes until the pumpkin pieces are cooked.
Take off heat and keep aside.

In a food processor, combine all ingredients under ‘ground masala’ and
grind everything to a fine paste. Add this paste into the bean and
pumpkin mixture and turn the heat back on. Cook for 1 minute or so
until the mixture begins to boil and then immediately turn heat off.
Set aside.

Finally in a small pan, heat the coconut oil and add the mustard seeds
and heat on medium until they start to splutter. Turn heat to low and
add the dry red chillies and the fresh curry leaves. Then add the
extra pumpkin pieces and fry lightly for 2 minutes until the pumpkin
pieces are cooked and add the entire pumpkin and oil mixture into the
cooked bean and pumpkin curry and stir. Serve the curry hot with some
cooked parboiled rice.

Notes:

You can cook the beans even in a regular pot instead of a pressure
cooker however, you will need extra water and will need to cook for a
longer time 9at least 20 to 30 minutes)
The red beans if very old could be really hard (depending upon where
you buy them) and in which case soaking them in water for a couple
hours would be best.
You need to use good quality coconut and pure extra virgin coconut
oil! to get the best taste.( I prefer Better Body Foods brand of
coconut oil and Daily Delight brand of frozen grated coconut)

Oh Indu, I love it, I love the beans, the pumpkin, the coconut oil, the spices…all perfect for me, thank you so much :) And, believe me, I would so love to visit your home and I know I would thoroughly enjoy all of your Kerala delights xxx

Black garlic and za’atar paste..



Black garlic cloves are so soft you can literally squeeze them between your fingers and it occurred to me that they would be perfect as a paste, you could literally spread it over toast! A plan therefore formed in my head to create a paste of black garlic and olive oil mixed with various spice mixes…my first stop being za’atar…

I tested this on aubergine slices, which was lovely, and I think it could be utilised on toasted bread, courgette slices, over chicken, all sorts! 

I cut aubergine slices about 1/2 – 1 cm thick, sprayed them with olive oil spray, grilled them under a medium heat on one side until nice and soft, then turned them over, spread them with the mixture, forked the surface of the aubergine, and grilled again until cooked. Due to the black garlic the paste might look like it was burnt, but it really wasn’t, just lovely and tasty.

I ate the aubergine slices with tahini sauce (tahini, lemon juice and water) and sprinkled with dried barberries and roasted pine nuts. YUM!!! 

I did the same with some creole spices on some more aubergine slices and again it worked well..



Lovely lovely stuff!!! 

Don’t forget you can try black garlic this week with 10% off and free delivery in the UK using my discount code ‘foodbod’. Enjoy! 

More adventures with black garlic: cauliflower, coconut and black garlic rice

IMG_0558Cauliflower rice is such a quick and easy dish, it’s healthy, tasty, gluten free, low carb, and open to all sorts of flavours, uses and experiments, like this one! It can satisfy a vegetarian, vegan, paleo, primal and healthy diet, or just satisfy the taste buds – it takes on flavours so well, and adding the chopped black garlic to this version gave it lovely little pops of fabulousness as I ate it.

I cooked this in coconut oil because it’s so lovely and so good for you – it doesn’t overwhelm your dish with the coconut flavour so if you’re not a coconut fan, don’t fear using it, it’s such great stuff it’s still worth you trying it out, and on this occasion, just don’t add the additional coconut to the dish.

IMG_7446

IMG_7583Ingredients

Half a head of medium cauliflower, roughly chopped into florets
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)
1/2 bulb black garlic, cloves cut into threes

Method

Pulse the cauliflower florets in a blender for literally less than a minute until it resembles a rice-like consistency
Add this to a wide bottom pan with the coconut oil and start to cook over a medium heat
Keep the cauliflower moving so that it all gets coated with some coconut oil
Add the turmeric (for the colour, flavour and health benefits!)
Add the shredded coconut and chopped black garlic
All the while keep it all moving in the pan
It will now be starting to cook and you could just keep frying it until it’s the softness you want it to be or, as I did, add a small amount of water to the pan and cover it with a lid to cook to the texture you would like.

Then eat it on its own as it is, or with everything and anything!

IMG_7449Of course, cauliflower rice can be a base for all sorts of additions; you can add anything to it that you would add to rice, you can add lots of flavours to it with spices and herbs.

Don’t forget that you can try black garlic yourself with 10% off the price plus free delivery (in the UK) using the code ‘foodbod’ until 28th February 2015. Order online or email them direct to enquire about delivery overseas at info@blackgarlic.co.uk

Having made this lovely rice last week, I ate it across a few days, it warms up again really easily. I finished it off by mixing it up with some roasted carrots and topping with some garlic, yoghurt dressing and, oh my word, it was so good!!!! This photo doesn’t do it justice, but believe me when I tell you I was in heaven!!

IMG_7462Have a great Sunday :)

Introducing my Black Garlic Harissa!!! So exciting!!!! (PLUS a discount for this amazing garlic)

IMG_0557As I mentioned earlier in the week, I have been playing with some black garlic recently; the lovely people at Balsajo Black Garlic sent me some to play with and I’ve had a LOT of fun! Over the next week I will be sharing my various dishes and recipes with you and hope that you like them :)

IMG_7434Black garlic is just that: black! The garlic bulbs are slow roasted for a very long time to create these beautiful, shiny, soft, balsamicky cloves. They are so soft you can squeeze them between your fingers and so tasty that you just want to eat them all up as they are…however, I have forced myself to actually cook with them and not just eat them!! I’ve added black garlic to endless dishes in their original form and it adds a lovely extra to any dish..

IMG_7540..like this one, harissa pan cooked cauliflower with pumpkin seeds and black garlic. You’ll be seeing more uses like this, but today I want to share with you the experiment I am most proud of, my black garlic harissa, and keep on reading right to the bottom for a fabulous discount offer from Balsajo Black Garlic just for you :)

IMG_7202I’ve read a lot of harissa recipes, and made a lot. One of my favourites is Kellie’s, which I’ve used and amended to my tastes quite a few times now; I recently read another version in Thomasina Miers cookbook ‘Chilli Notes’ in which she roasts all of the vegetables and this was my starting point for my black garlic harissa.

IMG_7188
My black garlic harissa

Ingredients

2 long red peppers or 2 red bell peppers
2 large tomatoes or 4 medium tomatoes
2 red onions
3-4 fresh red chillies
Olive oil to taste
3 tsp cumin seeds
3 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp dried coriander / bunch fresh coriander
Juice of 1-2 lemons
Salt and pepper

AND a bulb of black garlic cloves, removed from bulb

Method

Preheat oven to 200C/390F

Roughly chop the peppers, tomatoes and onion and toss in olive oil with whole chillies and black garlic cloves.

Season and roast in oven until they start to char and become soft.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan.

In a warm pan, dry fry the spices gently until the aromas start to release, ensure not to burn them. Remove from heat.

Add everything to your food processor, scraping the vegetables from the oven pan along with all of the lovely juices and oil and mixing with the spices. Whizz to a consistency you like, I like mine a bit chunky.

Add lemon juice a little at a time to suit your taste and mix well. The lemon juice really lifts the flavour and brings out the taste of the black garlic.

Stir dried or chopped coriander through the mix.

NOTE: I found this quite spicy to I threw in some extra oven roasted tomatoes to take the heat down a bit.

Store in a clean jar with a layer of olive oil over the top to preserve the harissa.

OR…like me..dig in with a spoon!!!!

Then, add it to EVERYTHING!!!! spread on toast, use it to marinate chicken, cook vegetables in it, experiment and play with it :)

IMG_7557Over the next week I will be sharing lots more recipes with black garlic and hope you like them. If you fancy trying black garlic for yourself (and I highly recommend it!!!) visit the brand new online shop and enter ‘foodbod’ as your discount coupon code and receive 10% off the prices plus free shipping until 28th February 2015. Enjoy!!!

I have not been paid to tell you about black garlic, I do not work for Balsajo, I am merely sharing something that I love with you because I just can’t keep it to myself!!!

I’m bringing my Black Garlic Harissa to this week’s Fiesta Friday and hope that the party goers like it. This week we have two lovely hosts: Tina and Juju – pop over the join the fun and say hello :)

What would you feed me…Julianna?

IMG_6100Today I bring you another wonderful offering that I can only wish was real and in front of me on a plate! This lovely dish comes to you from the lovely Julianna, from Foodie on Board, another lovely, chatty, supportive blogger, with whom I love to share and talk about our food. You will see from a mere glimpse at her blog that Julianna’s food is full of colour and vitality, as is the design of her blog, and her photographs will make you salivate.

So, what has she brought me…

IMG_7470Guest Post for Elaine @ Foodbod: Swiss Chard Rolls with Black Rice in a Vegetable-Coconut Broth

It is always an honour when one of your fellow bloggers asks you to do a guest post for them. So a few weeks ago, when Elaine of Foodbod asked me to write one for her, I was thrilled. Elaine added a little twist to her request, though. Elaine is a vegetarian who cannot eat gluten or sugar, so she has named this series of guest posts, “What Would You Feed Me?”, and challenged each of the guest bloggers to create a dish that we would feed her at a dinner party.

At first my plan was to do something Middle Eastern, but those of you who know Elaine, are aware that she is a master of these flavours. She makes the most amazingly creative veggie recipes. Imagine rich, caramelized, oven roasted veggies, accented with exotic Middle Eastern spice blends and you will know why I adore Elaine’s blog and cooking style. Who would ever miss meat, gluten or sugar when presented with so many flavourful dishes?

Since I had ruled out Middle Eastern cuisine, I spent some time mulling over what to cook for my friend. Those of you who know me, know that I have a soft spot for Asian cuisine. So I thought, “What the heck? I’m going to feed Elaine something with an Asian flair!” You know – something with coconut, a bit of ginger, and of course, cilantro! I started scanning through some of my favouritecookbooks when I spotted this recipe in “Vegetable Literacy” by Deborah Madison. I just knew that I had to make it for Elaine. It is the perfect blend of creamy coconut rice, wrapped up in savory, colourful chard leaves. I was especially enchanted by the unusual broth that compliments these exotic rice rolls perfectly. I really hope that Elaine loves this meal as much as my husband and I did. I have adapted the original recipe.

IMG_7469Makes 6

Ingredients:

6 Swiss Chard leaves, about 9 inches long without the stem
2 cups Black Rice with Coconut Milk and Green Onions (below)
1 large carrot, scrubbed and thinly sliced
1 celery stalk with leaves
½ cup cilantro stems
2 star anise
3 thin slices fresh ginger
3 cups water
sea salt
½ cup or more coconut milk

Method:

Cut away the tough base portion of the stem of each chardleaf, leaving the rest of the leaf intact. Bring a large, shallow pan of water to a simmer. Add the leaves and simmer until tender, but not too soft. When the leaves are soft, remove them from the pan and set to drain on paper towels on a counter. Arrange the leaves with the tip of the leaf at the top and the cut portion closest to you.
Place about 1/3 cup of the rice in the centre of each leaf. Fold the bottom portion of the leaf up over the rice, bring the sides of the leaf tightly over the rice, then roll up from the bottom, making snug little packages.

To make the broth, put the carrot, celery, cilantro, star anise, and ginger in a pot with 3 cups water and ½ teaspoon salt. Simmer, partially covered, until reduced to 1 cup. This should take 30 to 40 minutes. Strain the broth through a sieve placed over a bowl, pressing on the vegetables to release as much liquid as possible.

Heat the broth with the coconut milk in a saucepan. Taste for salt. Set the rolls in the pan, cover and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Put each roll in a bowland spoon the broth around it.

Black Rice with Coconut Milk and Green Onions

Ingredients:

1 cup black rice
2 cups cold water
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup finely sliced green onions or chves
½ cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Coconut butter, to finish

Method:

Rinse the rice, then put it in a pot with the water and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer until the rice is cooked and tender, about 45 – 50 minutes.

Turn the rice into a bowl. Add the onions, coconut milk and toss gently. Season with salt and pepper and stir in coconut butter to taste.

IMG_7471Oh my goodness, Julianna, what a lovely choice! Something completely new for me that I’d love to try, thank you so much xxx

What I’ve been up to…

There’s been lots going on in my kitchen recently, I’ve been experimenting with wonderful products and have created recipes and dishes I’m very proud of, which you will be seeing very soon! In the meantime I thought I’d show you some other bits and pieces I’ve been making….

IMG_7492I have steadfastly refused to jump on the ‘kale’ wagon over the last year, I got so fed up of seeing it everywhere, then recently I read Susan’s post about kale chips and decided now was the time. On my favourite market stall they have huge bags of fresh kale for 99p so I snapped some up and had a go. And was very happily surprised! What lovely, light, chips, not oily or greasy, just lovely and crisp :)

IMG_7493As you’ve all seen, I’ve been discovering the joys of baking sourdough bread. As a result I’ve ended up with a lot of spare starter, then I read Sue’s post showing how she used leftover starter to make ‘muffins’, this sparked an interest in me so I emailed her and she told me about Nourished Kitchen; I found the website and a recipe for sourdough pancakes which is what I made yesterday and which we eaten with great relish by Ben and his friend, Max.

IMG_7495I’ve also been topping up my stock of harissa, using all different dried chillies – so tasty, with EVERYTHING!

IMG_7433One of the ingredients I have been playing with is Balsajo Black Garlic – doesn’t it look gorgeous? Like a blossoming flower :)

This is such a great product, I can’t wait to tell you what I’ve been doing with it!

IMG_7409I’ve also been playing with different flavours of labneh, I’ll be telling you more about that soon too!!

Until then though, have a great day, and check out tomorrow’s ‘What would you feed me?’ post from the lovely Julianna..