Category Archives: Coconut Oil

Moroccan spiced carrots, chickpeas and spelt…

It’s no secret that I love autumn, I love everything about it: the cooler temperatures, the beautiful colours, the changing leaves, the abundance of root vegetables…I didn’t mean to make something that almost epitomises autumn in a bowl, but that’s how it ended up! Maybe it’s just in my soul?!

In the beginning it was going to be a soup, but I can’t always bring myself to blend up the vegetables, they look too good whole, so this morphed into something else, not really a stew because it’s not very liquid, maybe a warm salad, or just as the title of the post says: ‘Moroccan spiced carrots, chickpeas and spelt’. I just kept adding things until I thought it was perfect!

I didn’t measure anything but I do remember how I made it so hopefully I can still share the process and it might be interesting…

In a large saucepan I heated some coconut oil, and added some chopped red onions over a medium heat; after several minutes and once the onions looked liked they were starting to brown, I added chopped garlic, cooked for a minute, then added liberal amounts of a Moroccan spice mix that I made previously. 

Again I cooked this for no more than a minute then added water to stop the spices from burning. I then added a great pile of peeled and chopped carrots, topped up the water until it covered them, added salt and pepper, then brought it to the boil. As the carrots cooked, I added some spelt, then later some chickpeas and chunks of butternut squash that I’d already roasted, chopped coriander (leaves and stalks) and finally some dried barberries for the colour and little surprise shots of their tart sweetness. 

And pretty much left it to bubble away until the carrots were cooked, but not mushy, and the spelt was cooked, adding water when necessary. 

Eating some with some tahini, as I did when it was just made above, you can still see the lovely colours of the individual ingredients. 

By the next day, the flavour had developed even more but the colours had all merged together and become one autumnal palette..

It’s the kind of dish that just gets better and better, and one I’ll be making again and again, and no doubt evolving as I do!

Happy Autumn everyone 🙂

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A pan of vegetables, egg, avocado and goats cheese..

How often do cooks/food bloggers contemplate ‘what constitutes a recipe?’? I’ve seen so many other bloggers ponder the same question, especially when they want to share a dish that they don’t feel fulfils the requirements of a ‘recipe’; likewise, I’ve discarded many photos and ideas because I don’t feel that there’s sufficient substance to share…

But then, what IS a recipe? It is one persons view of a set of ingredients that go well together that they’d like to share with other people in case they might enjoy it. 

And how should those recipes then be used? Should they be followed to the letter? (I’m not talking about baking here, which tends to need to be quite precise). 

For me, a recipe is a suggestion, sometimes an education, often a starting point…I read recipes out of interest to see how someone else has put flavours together and I glean inspiration from their creativity and let it roll around my brain; I read recipes to learn about other cultures and cuisines; but I rarely follow a recipe absolutely nowadays. And I know that also comes with time and confidence…years ago I would have been absolutely paranoid about following a recipe perfectly, because I wasn’t yet a comfortable, or confident, cook. Nowadays I ‘interpret’ recipes to suit my food choices and tastes, whilst embracing the overall aim of the recipe, if that makes sense?! 

Anyway, all that is to say that I wasn’t going to share this dish as a post, because it’s something I threw together, but it was so tasty and satisfying that I do want to share it, and not just on Instagram, so that maybe, just maybe, it might inspire someone else…

This was so good, I made it again the next day! If its your thing, it’s also packed with protein, good fats and low in carbs, IF that’s your thing. 

What’s in it? 

Coconut oil

Red onion, chopped

Garlic cloves, chopped

Cherry tomatoes, halved

Rose harissa, several tablespoons 

Spinach, big handful

Baby avocado, chopped into cubes

Eggs, 2 

Goats cheese, crumbled 

Salt to taste 

In went about a tablespoon of coconut oil, followed by the red onion, which I cooked for a few minutes on its own so that it would caramelise a bit; then I added the garlic and tomatoes; then I stirred through the harissa, and added the spinach; I allowed the spinach leaves a couple of minutes to wilt, then stirred them in too; then added the avocado and made two spaces in the middle of it all to break the eggs into; as they cooked as sprinkled the goats cheese over the top to start melting slightly. 

And then I ate it all straight from the pan! (And almost cried when I finished it!!! I didn’t want it to end!) 

So, I give you, and everyone at this week’s Fiesta Friday, my non-recipe recipe! Enjoy for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner! 
This was also followed up later in the week by another version using my chipotle en adobe sauce…

This one is coconut oil, red onion, garlic, red pepper, chipotle sauce, baby plum tomatoes, eggs and ricotta. 

Again, eaten straight out of the pan! Yum!!!

Now head over and join the wonderful co hosts of this week’s Fiesta Friday, the lovely, lovely Linda, and Margy…now there’s two ladies whose amazing dishes will always inspire you! 

Making your recipes..

You know I love to make lots of your recipes, I don’t believe in just commenting and then forgetting all about it, I love to go back and make as many as I can..there’s so many fantastic dishes in all of your blogs, it’s impossible NOT to be inspired! 

So this month I’ve made a few different things inspired by you all, including these.. 

This dish was something completely new and completely fabulous! This is ‘kadhi’ a yoghurt curry, it made with yogurt, chickpea flour and spices (including lots of kick ass turmeric! Great for the cold season) and creates a lovely sauce. In Whitney’s recipe she serves it with potato pakoras, I ate mine with roasted chunks of aubergine. It was great day one, and even better the next day!

Check it out: PUNJABI KADHI | YOGURT CURRY WITH POTATO PAKORA
 This is an Indian dish, made with mung beans, or green gram; for some reason my dish above looks a bit dry but I promise it wasn’t, and it was really tasty. The recipe is from Anjana: GREEN GRAM CURRY {KERALA CHERUPAYAR CURRY}. The Mung beans are really tasty and really easy to cook, I highly recommended trying them. 

This bread is an Algerian bread called ‘khobz tajine’. It is a bread made of fine semolina, yeast and nigella seeds, and cooked in a pan over a medium heat of the hob/stove. It’s a recipe from the lovely Linda from La Petite Paniere, a lovely lady and amazing cook. You really have to check out the wonderful food she makes, especially the pastries and breads! 

Serious food porn! 

I’ve wanted to make ‘pav bhaji’ (pronounced pao bhaji) for a while having seen recipes from many food blogs, including Sonal and Anjana, and my version above was an amalgamation of them all. 

Pav bhaji is Indian street food, and the spiced mashed vegetable curry is typically made with lots of butter, and eaten with sweet bread rolls. I made mine with lots of coconut oil instead of the butter, I used a mixture of cauliflower, white potatoes, sweet potatoes and peas, and ate it with the lovely Algerian bread above.   And doesn’t it all look gorgeous on my new hand thrown crockery from the wonderful Sytch Farm Studios. I am so in love with Gill’s work, she’s an amazing potter, and I am honoured to have some of her pieces in my home. 

I hope I’ve provided you with some lovely inspiration! Have a great week 🙂 

It all started with Kellie’s onion bhaji potato scones..

 It’s not news that I love Kellie’s blog and her recipes, she always inspires and excites me with her food 🙂

Recently she posted these fabulous ‘onion bhaji potato scones‘, an amalgamation of cuisines and flavours brought together to create a tasty flatbread. I made them the same week that she posted them and served them with an Indian feast that I had made for myself and my boys and they were a great success. I produced 14 mini breads and there was only 3 left at the end of the meal! 

I finished them off the next day with some roasted root vegetables and fresh tahini sauce (above & below). 

  The recipe triggered some other ideas in me…an element of the recipe is to make a spiced onion mixture and I liked it so much that I increased the quantities and cooked my version of the onion mixture with coconut oil. I like the idea of red onion chutney but I can’t stomach all of the sugar, so this was my version in a way..

Ingredients

4 red onions, peeled and chopped

2-3 tbsp coconut oil 

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground roasted cumin

1/2 tsp ground roasted caraway 

1 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tbsp onion powder 

2 tsp amchoor powder

Method

I started by heating the coconut oil in a pan over a medium heat and added the onions to start softening them

I then added all of the spices and cooked the mixture over a low heat for 30-45 minutes so that it caramelised…

It was so good!!! I used it in various ways one of which was to create a quick pizza: 

I spread the mixture over a plain flatbread (I used ‘khobez’, Arabic bread) and topped with crumbled goats cheese and baked until the cheese softened..
  
How good does that look?? I can tell you that it was good!

In my next post I’ll share what else I did with the onion mixture…

Hemp seed butter and hemp seed & parsley dressing..

  
Have you ever tried hemp seeds? Forget any association with the cannabis plant, these won’t affect you in any odd ways! 

I like hemp seeds (I always buy them hulled), they have a lovely nutty flavour, and adding a sprinkle to any dish adds a great extra flavour but also much needed protein for a vegetarian like me 🙂  

 
Having bought some recently I started to think about utilising them in new ways so decided to research some ideas for using them, hence making hemp seed butter. I literally threw some in my Nutribullet and whizzed them up to create a butter, akin to any nut butter basically. The Nutribullet makes light work of making any nut or seed butter and these took literally seconds to become a paste; I decided to add some coconut oil to mine for some extra goodness and flavour. 

 
The green colour really comes out when you make butter from the seeds. 

 
And so my brain continued whirring in the way it does…as tahini is just creamed sesame seeds, these creamed hemp seed could surely be used in a similar way to tahini? So I used it to make a dressing.. 

 
This is literally just some flat leaf parsley, garlic, lemon juice, water and some of the hemp seed butter. The result was really tasty! The hemp seeds respond well to being mixed with water and can be used as a non dairy addition to all sorts of things. I’ll definitely use it again in dressings and dips.  

 
It was perfect over some roasted butternut squash the next day.. 

 
  
I would definitely suggest giving some hemp seeds a go and check out the different things people have made with them online. If nothing else, just chuck some over your salad or roasted vegetables for some added goodness. 

Enjoy! 

Colour and flavour fills my lunches…

 I’ve been having a play this week; I’ve been throwing ideas round my head and using some different ingredients to see what I can create for my lunches, so today I am sharing a couple of them with you and the partygoers at this week’s blog party extraordinaire: Angie’s Fabulous Fiesta Friday – THE only blog party to join week after week – I hope the guests enjoy them 🙂    

I bought some gorgeous cherry and baby plum tomatoes at the market earlier in the week. After washing and draining them, I cut them all in half and laid them all cut side up on my biggest ovens trays, sprinkled with chopped garlic, seasoned and drizzled with olive oil, and roasted At 190C until they looked GOOD and tasted GREAT!!

  

These are so good just on their own, and the juice makes a lovely dressing. I ate a bowl of the tomatoes with some soft goats cheese which was just heavenly; I used most of them to make fresh harissa; and I used the rest for this lunch… 

The tomatoes sit atop mashed avocado and an experiential pattie/flatbread idea…this is made up of leftover roasted cauliflower, chopped in a blender, mixed with almond flour, coconut flour and natural yoghurt, cooked slowly on a tawa over a medium heat. It worked well and tasted great 🙂 

  

I followed the tip for saving half the avocado for the next day from Selma’s Tips and Tricks page (this is VERY useful as I could have very easily eaten the entire huge avocado in one go – like I usually do). 

I also discovered how to ripen hard avocados this week – I’d bought two that were rock hard so I put them each in a brown paper bag and they ripened themselves in a day! Note to self: do one at a time next time!  

  I finished up the avocado the next day with these beetroot ’rounds’. 

I used up some cooked beetroots by whizzing them up in my small bowl food processor and mixed them with almond flour, coconut oil, ground cumin, ground coriander, water, an egg. I put it all together and put it in the fridge to firm up into a dough but it remained pretty sloppy as I didn’t give it very long. I then took handfuls of the ‘dough’, formed them into balls and again, cooked them on a tawa over a medium/heat, flattening them in the pan.  

I piled the avocado on top of a pile of the rounds and tucked in.. 

..and made a kind of sandwich with the rest… 

And it was very good!!! And fun! I had fun playing around and trying out ideas – isn’t that all part of being in the kitchen?? 

I hope you like my inventions? And I hope this week’s co hosts, my lovely friend Mollie (do click on her name and check out her blog) and the talented Dini at Fiesta Friday enjoy them – have a great Friday and a fab weekend xx 

 

Mexican style beans, enchilada sauce and cauliflower tortillas: this isn’t just food, this is healthy, homemade food! 

 This week I have read two different magazines, both sharing several cauliflower recipes, as if they were a new invention and the wonders of cauliflower was something new to the world; but us food bloggers know different! Cauliflower experiments and recipes have been around for a while, cauliflower and it’s wonders have been widely celebrated in blogworld, nowhere moreso than my own kitchen 🙂 

It’s been really interesting to see the timeline and see how long it takes new food ideas to start off in home cooks’ kitchens and become mainstream. I wonder how long it will take for BBC Good Food to publish chickpea juice recipes

So, following on from yesterday’s post about my new pressure cooker and the Mexican beans that I made…this is what I did next.. 

  I decided to make some homemade enchilada sauce; funnily enough a few of us have made Mexican dishes recently so I hope mine stands up in amongst such brilliance. And then it was finally time to make some cauliflower tortillas. I’ve wanted to make these for a while and when I saw Sally’s recipe recently, I knew it was time.

These gluten free, healthy, tasty tortillas are basically cauliflower and egg, plus seasoning of your choice. I halved the quantities in Sally’s recipe and it made two quite thick tortillas – it was my first time making them, I’d work on making them thinner next time, but they we still very good. And they could be folded around my filling of beans, sauce and cheese, to make a great big, hand full of healthy, tasty food 🙂  

 Homemade enchilada sauce

Note: I used coconut oil and buckwheat flour to make these healthy and gluten free to suit my taste and choices; you can use any oil and flour. I also left out sugar which you might find in other similar recipes.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons buckwheat flour
  • 1 680g jar of passata 
  • 2 tablespoons paprika 
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder – I used ancho chilli powder 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Heat coconut oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Whisk in flour until well combined, about 1 minute.
  • Stir in tomatoes, chili powder, oregano, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder and 1 cup water; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. 
  • I am bringing my healthy Mexican inspired plate to this week’s fabulous Fiesta Friday (better late than never!), this week co hosted by the fabulous Angie and Anna.
  • Enjoy!