Category Archives: Snacks

Spiced spinach, buckwheat & cheese baked flatbreads/pancakes/pizza bases…

Welcome to Friday!!! Or…depending where you are, I hope you’ve had a good Friday and a good week? Let me share with you a recent creation from my kitchen..colour, goodness and flavour all in one go..

Basically, these concoctions could be used for so many things, hence the title…what they truly are, are tasty, healthy rounds of goodness that you could eat on their own or as a base for something else..

It all began with some leftover cooked buckwheat groats, a bag of spinach and some cheese…
Ingredients 

250g baby spinach

1 cup (when uncooked) buckwheat, cooked

80g mature cheddar 

Harissa spice mix – I just threw it in but probably around 2 heaped tablespoons would do – and if you don’t have this spice mix, throw in any spices that you like 

Method

Blend it all together in a food processor then place in a bowl to use immediately or refrigerate for later

Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan) 

Press several spoonfuls of the mixture onto silicone paper sprayed with olive oil until about 2mm thick

Bake for 15-25 mins until you start to see the edges dry out

  
  Above shows before cooking..

Below shows after cooking..
  They should happily slide off the paper or you should be able to turn out onto a plate in one piece 

I spread various dips and sauces over mine and ate them like pizzas..

But they would be good with just melted cheese, or a tomato sauce and cheese, or so many other things, or just eaten on their own..

  

  
I was so pleased with these and I had made enough of the ‘dough’ to enjoy them for a few days 🙂 sometimes, leftovers make the best meals!! Plus, the flavours developed further over a few days so maybe these are best made ahead anyway? 

I am bringing these babies to this week’s Fiesta Friday, I missed last week’s, so look forward to seeing everyone this week 🙂 

What would you feed me…Shruti?

 
This week we are being treated to a lovely dish by the lovely Shruti from Cooking with SJ. Shruti is one of those lovely people we meet on our blogs, always supportive and joyful; she prepares and shares tasty, fabulous looking dishes, as well as making amazing eggless cakes; her decorating skills are stunning! Her cakes are works of art 🙂 

So, what would you feed me, Shruti?

I have made so many virtual friends ever since I started blogging 5 years back… And specially when I switched to wordpress 🙂 Elaine is one of those lovely foodie-buddies. Well, despite me inviting co-bloggers over my space to do a guest-post, this is the 2nd one that I’m doing for someone else 🙂

Let me introduce myself a bit… I’m Shruti aka SJ of Cooking with SJ 🙂 I better describe myself as a home-chef, food-blogger and of course, a vegetarian baker!!! Now… I’m wanting to write so many things about Elaine but kinda stuck at my words. I have been following her space since last 2 years and must say, it’s as gorgeous as Elaine herself! Whenever I communicated with her through of comments or quick chats, I feel like I’m talking to someone who’s a master of flavors and healthy cooking!!! I have learnt a lot and yes, I’ll keep learning from you always 🙂

The dish which I have brought here is ‘Savory Pancakes’ which has got a pancake look with a healthy Indo-Chinese touch! To be honest, this is my 1st experiment with gluten-free flour and I must admit, it was not as tough as I imagined 🙂 Here is the recipe for you all to go through 🙂

   

SAVORY PANCAKES

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup Quinoa Flour

2-3 tbsp Rice Flour

1/4 cup Shredded Purple Cabbage

1/4 cup Grated Zucchini

2 tbsp Green Onions, chopped

2 tsp Soy Sauce

1/2 tsp Chilly Paste

Salt, to taste

Black Pepper Powder, to taste

STEPS TO FOLLOW:

1. Take all the ingredients (except veggies) in a big bowl and make a medium thick batter by adding water as required.

2. Add all the vegetables into it.

3. Mix everything well until well combined.

4. Heat a non-stick pan and pour a ladlefull batter onto it and spread it to make a small disk.

5. Drizzle some oil on top and roast on both the sides until crisp and golden in color.

6. Sprinkle chat masala on top and serve with Soy-Lemon Vinaigrette!

  

SJ’s NOTE:

• To make a regular version, you can substitute quinoa flour with plain flour.

• You can add more seasonal veggies of your choice 🙂

• To make Soy-Lemon Vinaigrette:

Mix 2 tsp Soy Sauce, 1 tbsp Lemon Juice, 1/4 tsp Garlic Paste, 1 tsp Sugar, 2 tbsp Olive Oil, salt & pepper 🙂

I love these, Shruti, thank you so very much, and great tips for mixing them up. Thank you for taking part and your lovely words 🙂 xx

What would you feed me…Chitra? 

 This week’s guest post comes to you from the powerhouse that is Chitra’s Healthy Kitchen. I say powerhouse because Chitra posts healthy, wonderful recipes daily, her recipe log is massive, you are guaranteed to be inspired! Chitra’s aim is to share healthy recipes, often her healthy version of typical indian recipes, always complete with nutritional information, which, of course, highly appeals to me 🙂

So, this week, Chitra, what would you feed me?   

 When Elaine approached me for guest post, I was really thrilled and it was a great honour for me to be here. “What would you feed me” is a series of guest posts initiated by Elaine and I am glad to be part of it. It is a great opportunity given to me by her to meet new people thru her blog.

I get inspired by Elaine’s Vegetarian healthy recipes mainly Salads and Dips variations. Knowing Elaine’s inclination towards spices and sugar free dishes. I wanted to try something which fits to ‘What would you feed me’ series, as well her healthy blog concept, so tried this Spiced Kiwi Lassi instead of Sweet Lassi.


Thanks again Elaine for the opportunity.

  

Kiwi Lassi – Spiced:


About:

Smoothies/Drinks are quick and easy and are a real treat on warm days. This is a thick, rich, flavorful smoothie is cool and refreshing and can be taken as a light meal or can be served for breakfast. You can enjoy it any time of the day … Delicious and loaded with nutrients, I love that 🙂


Health Benefits:


Kiwi has more vitamin C than an orange and it’s seeds are rich in Omega 3 acids. Supports learning process, boost immunity system and helps your skin to glow.


Fennel seeds (Saunf) are very effective for digestive problems. These seeds can be chewed upon or had as a tea decoction for beneficial effects upon the stomach. In India, these are routinely chewed upon after meals to aid in digestion after a rich meal while acting as herbal mouth freshener.


Cardamom– Elaichi or cardamom not only does it add sweet taste and unique flavour to your dishesCardamom contains chemicals that appear to treat stomach and intestinal spasms and gas, and increase the movement of food through the intestine.


Yields -2 servings

Preparation time -10 minutes


Ingredients:

• Kiwi fruit- 4
• Plain greek yogurt-1cup
• Milk-1/2cup 

For Spices:

• Fresh mint leaves-8-10
• Cardamom-1pod
• Ground pepper-1/4tsp (or as per taste)
• Fennel seeds-1/2tsp
• Salt- a generous pinch ( I used black salt)

Procedure:

• Place all spices (ground pepper, cardamom pods, fennel seeds), salt , mint, in a blender and pulse until coarsely crushed.
• Now to this add kiwi fruit, yogurt, mint and continue to blend until smooth.
• You can add more milk to reach your desired consistency and ice if you like a frosty smoothie.


Enjoy.


Note:

• Spices can be personalised
• Consistency of Lassi can be altered too 

 

What a wonderful, fresh looking smoothie, and with the spices, a completely different take on fruit smoothies for me. Thank you so much, Chitra xx

My veg box fun…part 1

You may recall that I mentioned that I received my first vegetable box delivery last Friday evening? It was from a local business ‘Luke’s Local Produce‘ and delivered by Luke himself, a nice young man with an interest in food – so he must be nice!!! 

I had no idea what to expect and I’ve been very happily impressed by the produce, it definitely brought new items into my vegetable world and challenged me to make new dishes, of which you will be seeing a few more posts this week..for now, let me tell you, the box included potatoes, carrots, parsnips (the photos of these three were taken AFTER washing off the mud!), shallots, mushrooms, a red onion, a HUGE leek, a kohlrabi….

….stunning purple kale, broccoli tops….

…and, wait for it….sprout flowers…a really new one to me…



…aren’t they beautiful?? And all this for £10! Very nice 🙂 Some items needed to be used sooner than others, which is no problem for me, and now, nearly a week on all I’ve got left is a couple of potatoes. 

So, to start with I made kale chips with the purple kale and threw in some of the sprout flowers too and they crisped up nicely too.



I washed both sets of the vegetables and dried them as much as possible, then chopped the flowers from the main thick purple stalk, and cut the kale leaves from the or stalks and cut them into pieces.

I heated the oven to 140C fan assisted. 

I sprayed the leaves and the flowers with olive oil spray, making sure it covered everything by moving through the leaves with my hands as I sprayed the oil, and seasoned them with salt and pepper, then laid them in a single layer on a sheet of baking paper on an oven tray.



I cooked them for 5-6 minutes then turned the tray and cooked for another 5-6 minutes then took them out and forced myself not to eat them all immediately whilst they crisped up a bit more. 

The sprout flowers needed to be cooked for a bit longer – you need to judge it yourself really, getting the leaves crispy but not overdone. 



This was just the beginning…and a very nice beginning it was too 🙂 

Check back tomorrow for the next dish veg box dish – something completely new x



Homous: soooooo much more than a dip!!!

IMG_7073Following my recent post where I shared my ‘holy grail’ homous recipe, I got into a couple of conversations about the eating of homous that made me think that maybe people don’t eat it or use it, quite like I do. I then read a post from the Frugal Hausfrau in which she and Ginger challenged each other to make their version of the same dish, and a plan formed in my head….the FH and I started to discuss a similar pair of posts between us and debated what dish we could compare. When she mentioned using chickpeas, my light bulb moment occurred: let’s compare how we each utilise homous. Here’s what the Frugal Hausfrau did with hers 🙂

Yes, I spell like this: homous; you may be used to seeing it like this: hummus, or this, homous, however you spell it, we are talking about the Middle Eastern dip comprised of chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and garlic (for my full foolproof recipe refer to my post). You’ve all seen me playing with variations on the theme, roasted parsnip, roasted carrot, harissa, black garlic, spiced sprouts, roasted garlic, sweet potato, there is an endless array of variations and flavours that can be achieved with this wonderful stuff, and all of mine are listed in my recipe index.

So, yes, on occasion, I too dip carrot sticks into my homous, bit more typically I eat my homous as my ‘meat’, for want of a better description. I eat great piles of it, together with salads and vegetables; it provides the protein in my meal with the tahini and chickpeas..

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IMG_7378I also use it as a sauce/dressing to add something ‘wet’ to my salads or vegetables. It’s probably a habit from the Middle East, homous and dips are eaten as a mezze with everything.

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IMG_7349I also use mine as a replacement for cream or yoghurt on sauces, especially in something like a chilli if I want to reduce the heat..

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IMG_7358..again, I’m adding much needed protein in my vegetarian diet, but it’s also then non dairy if anyone is looking for a replacement. You could also use tahini sauce, basically, replace the chickpeas with water to make it and add it to everything!

IMG_7133I hope these will give you some ideas about using homous differently and why it’s a great reason to make your own: it’s cheaper for starters! And when you use as much as I do, buying little 200g pots wouldn’t last me a day!!! (And also why it’s a myth that vegetarians are thin!!!)

The Frugal Hausfrau and I are bringing our homous regimes to this week’s Fiesta Friday; we hope that you can join us and all of the other wonderful bloggers who come along, and especially the weekly co hosts who look after us all so well; this week our co hosts are the inimitable Suzanne and Sue, two wonderful cooks and gorgeous ladies that I am very happy to call my friends 🙂

And if you’ve never visited the Frugal Hausfrau do pop over and have a look through her blog, every post comes with such useful information, she is so thorough and knowledgeable. You won’t fail to find a plethora of useful recipes!

Have a great weekend everyone, Happy Valentines Day from me and Bob xx

What would you feed me…Sonal?

IMG_6100I almost feel that Sonal needs no introduction, but just in case you don’t already know her, let me tell you that Sonal is an amazing, stunning cook, producing endless dishes, mainly of Indian, and always of vegetarian, food, packed with so much wonderful flavour I think I bookmark every single post!! It seems to me that her kitchen produces food fit for Gods on a daily basis, all shared with us in beautiful photos! At the same time as being this goddess in the kitchen, Sonal is also a friendly, supportive, sharing blogger, whom I count amongst my friends 🙂

Let’s see what delights she has brought me today…(then go and rifle through her blog and see even more of her wonders)…

IMG_7105Tea with Elaine : Kahwa, a Kashmiri Green Tea; Date, Figs n Pistachio Salami; Eggplant Fritters (Baingan Pakode), Pan Grilled

Elaine and I decided for a date to meet up. I was so excited that I am meeting one of my oldest friends from wordpress, even if for a virtual date. There is no better love to share than the love for food! Right Elaine? I totally love her and her gorgeous food! The dips, the vegetable roasts, the goodness bars are just to die for.

Sometimes I wonder, how lucky I would have been if I was her neighbor. Sigh! I wish I had known her when I lived in UK 10 years ago.

When she said that let’s catch up over your food, I had these dishes whirling on my head. Knowing her love for Middle East food, vegetarian, eggplants, gluten free and healthier dishes in general; I had a full lunch menu in my mind but that became too ambitious for me. So I cut it down to the Brunch Menu!

A Brunch Menu which has an aromatic and healing Green tea from Kashmir, called Kahwa, infused with spices and saffron. Accompanying it, is Dates Figs and Pistachio Salami. Salami for the shape of it but is is oh-so-yum! I am sure Elaine is going to love it with her Kahwa. A delightful combination. A brunch is not complete at my place without a hearty savory dish. So I made Baingan ke Pakode or Eggplant Fritters. These are traditionally deep fried and people just love these back in India. Though not as common as potato and onion fritters, they have they own cult. I took a leap on these and pan grilled these so we both can enjoy these guilt-free. Yay! Elaine loved it! Right Elaine ;).

Now off to preparation part. 3 easy recipes and a gorgeous brunch was ready to be shared, devoured and I had a heartfelt session of laughter and fun with a good buddy of mine….Elaine :).

IMG_7101Kahwa, a Kashmiri Green Tea

Serves : 2

Kitchen Equipments Required : a suave pan with lid, a tea sieve, spoon, 2 cups.

Ingredients :

Green tea bag : 1 or use 1 tbsp loose tea leaves
Water : 2 &1/2 cups
Cloves, whole : 2-3
Cinnamon bark : a small piece
Green cardamom : 2
Saffron : a fat pinch
Almonds : 2 tsp, chopped coarsely. Blanched almonds are recommended but may use them as is.

IMG_7102Method :

1. Crush the cardamom, cloves and cinnamon.

2. Add water to a sauce pan along with crushed spices. Bring it to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes. Put the gas stove off.

3. Add saffron and tea bag to the pan. Cover with lid and let steep for 3-5 minutes.

4. Add 1 tsp of almonds to each cup. Pour this steeped gold in the sauce pan to the cups. Here is the thing! Some people like all that crushed spice in their cup and some don’t. So pick and choose your style. I like my cup of Kahwa with everything in it.

5. Stir with a spoon. Sip it warm. It is soothing. It is smooth. It is just wonderful.

IMG_7107Date, Figs n Pistachio Salami

Yields : 1 small log

Kitchen Equipments Required : food processor, parchment or butter paper, a rolling pin.

Ingredients :

Dates : 12, pitted and chopped
Figs, dry : 12, chopped
Pistachio : 1/2 cup, chopped
Cardamom powder : a small pinch

IMG_7106Method :

1. Throw all the ingredients in the food processor. Blitz it on pulse for few times. Bring it all together in a kind of dough.

2. Transfer all of it in the middle of a big parchment sheet. Collect it like a log. Roll it tight in the parchment / butter paper. Fold and tick the paper from the sides.

3. Take the rolling pin. Flatten it further and even it out.

4. Refrigerate the dry fruits salami for 3-4 hrs before serving.

5. Cut it with serrated bread knife and enjoy! It is an excellent way to eat your food raw and healthy. Sweet but sugar free ( no processed sugar).

IMG_7103Eggplant Fritters (Baingan Pakode), Pan Grilled

Serves : 2-4

Kitchen Equipments Required : 1 big heavy bottom pan, flat spatula, a big bowl, plate covered with paper towel, chopping board, knife.

Ingredients :

Eggplant : 1 medium size cut into 1/2 inch thick slices, approximately 8-10 slices.

Besan / Chickpea flour : 1/2 cup

Salt to taste

Red chili powder : 1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp

Ajwain / carom seeds : 1/2 tsp

Garam masala : 1/2 tsp

Turmeric : 1/4 tsp

Water : 5 to 6 tbsp

Oil : 1 tbsp

IMG_7104Method :

1. Take the big bowl. Add chickpea flour and spices to it. Add 5 tbsp of water and make a thick paste kind of batter, which doesn’t flow but spreads at your command. If it is too tight, add 1 tbsp of water more. Make a lump free pasty-batter.

2. Heat oil in the pan. When it is hot, lower the flame to medium.

3. Dip one slice of eggplant at a time in the batter and coat it well from both the sides.

4. Place the slice in the hot pan. Repeat with all the slices and cook 5-6 slices at a time.

5. Cook from each side for 4-5 minutes on medium flame, till they are golden on both the sides.

6. Serve them warm with Cilantro and Mint Chutney!

Wow! I wish I had known you when you lived in the UK too, Sonal, I would have been your weekly house guest!! What a fabulous tea and what a great date we had, thank you so much for sharing your gorgeous food and beautiful spirit xx

Time for some goodness snacks (and how to make them!)..

2015/01/img_6873.jpgIt’s been a while since I’ve posted any of my goodness goodies, I make different ones every week, but don’t always share them – I don’t want anyone to get bored!!!

Last week I read two different recipes on two different blogs, one for making your own coconut butter, and one for making your own sunbutter…so that’s what I did, I made them, then used them in some bars.

To make coconut butter you literally just throw raw coconut into your nutribullet and whizz it until it becomes liquid. After a while it then solidifies and becomes butter. The same with the sunbutter – whizz up sunflower seeds with coconut oil (I used my newly made coconut butter), it liquefies then sets more solid.

2015/01/img_6922.jpgI wanted to make some goodness bars that were nut free, so the sunbutter was perfect for binding the bars. I just threw various seeds and dried fruit into a blender and chopped it all up, mixed it with the liquid sunbutter plus some extra coconut oil, then left it to set. I made some with nuts at the same time..

2015/01/img_6923.jpgI also threw together some others with a mixture of unsulphured apricots and mixed nuts, almond butter and coconut oil (more details at the end of this post)..

2015/01/img_6924.jpgI have recently discovered two new fabulous products which I used in these, Pip&Nut almond butter and Lucy Bee Coconut Oil:

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2015/01/img_6891.jpgBoth very very nice products, and I’ve tried and used many and various nut butters and coconut oils, and I can tell you that these are both rather lovely! (This is my opinion as a consumer, I have not been asked/paid to write this).

There are lots and lots more versions of my goodness snacks in my recipe index, but to give you the basics of making any of these, here is what I do..

I just chuck whatever dried fruit/nuts/seeds I have or fancy into my small bowl blender and chop them up to a fair sized crumb.
Then mix a good couple of tablespoons of nut butter of your choice and coconut oil together and melt them together in the microwave, usually takes 60-90 seconds, then stir this through the mixture, mixing well through the fruit and nuts. You basically want a good coating on everything.
I then use a silicone ice cube tray, fill each cube up and press it down with the back of a spoon, then freeze for 30 mins.
Press them out and store them in the fridge.
Et voila!

Enjoy xx

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My FF Anniversary gift: my ‘holy grail’ homous recipe..

2015/01/img_6816.jpgAs I prepared for this post, I thought about all of us around the world who were all prepping and photographing and writing about our offerings for this Fabulous First Fiesta Friday Anniversary Party – I could almost feel the connection between all of us as we prepared to celebrate the wonderful weekly gathering that Angie has created, and it made my heart sing, it really did.

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I cannot go any further without also mentioning all of the co hosts who have supported Angie as the parties have grown; you are all so welcoming and do such a great job, thank you all so much. And this week, Julianna and Hilda will no doubt continue the great work and look after us all superbly 🙂

And so, for my part, I have decided to bring you an gift: my ‘holy grail’ homous recipe. This is the recipe that I stand by and use to make my own homous every week; it works every time for me and I hope it will for you too. I must add that I now only ever make my homous in my NutriBullet and it does a super fast job of making super creamy homous. If you don’t have a NutriBullet, use whatever you have to create the texture you would like. If you only have a food processor and would like a smoother dip, use a stick blender to create finish it off.

Please note:
*I’ve tried making homous with dried chickpeas that I’ve cooked and cooled, and with canned chickpeas, that I’ve washed (and washed!) and drained; I’m happiest with the canned chickpeas. They are in salt water, so I don’t add any extra seasoning to the dip. This is only my choice of course.

*I use arabic tahini; this is a key point as I have recently been researching tahini (yes, I am that sad!) and arabic tahini is a lot thinner than greek tahini. If you use a greek version, maybe Cypressa or Sunita, you may want to add a tiny extra bit of water, but wait until you’ve made and chilled the homous before you decide that as the mixture will stiffen in the fridge.

So, here it is…
1 x 400g can of chickpeas, washed well and drained
100g tahini
100-150ml water (add the lesser amount then increase to get the consistency you want)
50-75g lemon juice (to taste – I like the higher amount, and lemon juice is key to good homous)
2-3 garlic cloves (again to taste – I like lots!)

And that’s it. Chuck it all in the blender and whizz it all up, and there you have it. A beautiful, easy, fresh homous.

2015/01/img_6837.jpgI happily eat it as it is, love it in fact, or I add other things to it to make different versions and tastes. Today I added some of my homemade harissa to some; some homemade ‘toum’ (Lebanese garlic sauce) to another; and some chopped black garlic to the rest.

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2015/01/img_6801.jpgAnd these are what I used to create my canapés for the Fiesta Friday block party, I hope you like them!

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2015/01/img_6800.jpgI used red peppers to create little boats, but you could use celery sticks or cucumber slices, bread/toast discs, whatever you like. I topped some with toasted pine nuts, some with sumac and other with aleppo chilli flakes.

And I’ve been waiting to use these beautiful dried rose buds that I got from Just Ingredients for ages – this is the perfect opportunity!

2015/01/img_6814.jpgI hope you enjoy my canapés and enjoy the party: happy fiesta and happy weekend 🙂

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What would you feed me…Selma?

2015/01/img_61003.jpgHere we are on the third week of my new guest blogging series and I, for one, am loving it! I love you guys and how you’ve embraced my idea, those of you who have taken part and those of you who have read the posts – thank you so much for your support 🙂

This week it is the turn of my lovely Selma from Selma’s Table; Selma’s blog is full to bursting with amazing recipes, wonderful stories and great tips, you have to have a visit, and at the heart of it all, is a wonderful, warm, supportive, highly knowledgeable, lovely lady. It’s not news that I love this lady, I’ve said it often enough on here, but I really do!

We were lucky enough to meet for the first time almost a year ago now, and we are now in touch almost daily; she is my guru is so many areas; Selma is yet another wonderful reason I’m glad I started this blog. So, let’s see what she’s brought…over to you, Selma…

2015/01/img_6697.jpgI discovered Elaine through a blogger who had re-blogged one of Elaine’s posts, which was of all things, a pavlova. I read her ‘About Me” page and was so touched by her story that I immediately followed her. I left a comment on the pavlova post and that was it; our friendship blossomed. We’ve met up a couple of times and chat incessantly, whether it’s on the phone or on social media. We pick each other’s brains for ideas, buoy each other up when things look a little bleak and generally behave as if we have known each other forever. Now, I bet that many of you are reading this and thinking – hey, that’s the relationship I have with her. Well, it’s a testament to Elaine that she spreads her love far and wide and we are all so much the richer for it. I was absolutely thrilled when Elaine asked me to guest post for her and decided to make something sweet, with her favourite ingredient. These Almond, Orange and Tahini Biscuits are something that she can serve her guests after one of her famous lunches, with a cup of tea. Or, in my case, an espresso – and a double, at that.

2015/01/img_6696.jpgThe Almond, Orange and Tahini Biscuits have Elaine’s name written all over them. Wheat free, refined sugar free but chock full of almonds and tahini of course! They are also dairy free and egg free, making them suitable for vegans. While these do have honey in them they are not very sweet so they won’t kick your sweet cravings into high gear.

They are super simple and quick to make. Just combine the wet ingredients, stir in the dry, roll into balls, top with an almond, coat with the sesame seeds, flatten and bake for 10 minutes! The mixture is quite sticky and much easier to roll with wet palms. And, purely in the name of research, of course, I found that the ‘dough’ is so delicious that you could eat it without baking too! I managed to myself! The orange and cardamom flavours work beautifully with the nutty flavours of the tahini and almonds. The Almond, Orange and Tahini Biscuits bake up crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside – just begging to be dunked in a cuppa!

Elaine, I hope you enjoy these – thank you so much for having me!!

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Almond, Orange and Tahini Biscuits

  • Servings: makes 25 biscuits
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Inspired by recipes for Chinese Almond Cookies which are traditionally made for Chinese New Year and Elaine’s favourite ingredients.

INGREDIENTS

175 g ground almonds/almond meal/almond flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
135 g honey
135 g tahini
1 tsp vanilla extract
finely grated zest of one orange
4 drops cardamom extract or the seeds from 4 cardamoms ground to a fine powder
½ c sesame seeds in a shallow bowl
25 whole or halved almonds
INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. The biscuits spread a little, so you will either need two baking sheets or should bake in two batches.
Whisk together the ground almonds, salt and baking powder in a small bowl to combine.
In a mixing bowl, combine the honey, tahini, vanilla and cardamom extracts and the orange zest. I used set honey and heated it up for few minutes so that it was easy to blend with the tahini.
Stir in the almond mixture and mix well. The dough should hold together firmly enough to shape into balls. If it’s too wet, sprinkle in some more ground almonds. If it’s too dry, spray a tiny amount of water on it.
This is quite a sticky mixture so to help with the rolling, fill a small bowl with water and wet the palms of your hands between rolling each of the balls. Using a teaspoon as a measure, roll into approximately 25 balls and roll in the sesame seeds to coat.
Place an almond on top of each ball.
Flatten, using the bottom of a glass and place on the prepared baking sheet, leaving a little space between each one as they do spread.
Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden brown. They will need to cool slightly on the sheet before transferring to a rack to cool completely.
© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from the author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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OMG! these look amazing!! Selma, you are a star! I love that you’ve included tahini – we’ve had so many conversations about tahini – and that they are not too sweet, just perfect. Thank you xxx

Super simple fast flatbreads..

IMG_5324.JPGI love Masterchef Australia; for some reason I watch the series religiously whereas I don’t watch the UK version at all!

One of the judges is a food critic called Matt Preston and he also gets involved in the master classes and shares lots of ‘cheat’ recipes; the first time I came across banana ice cream was from watching one of Matt Preston’s cheats.

Last week this really grabbed my attention: the simplest, fastest flat bread recipe ever! I’ve used this method twice now and it doesn’t fail!

IMG_5312.JPGJust mix 1 cup of natural yogurt with 2 cups self raising flour (basically any measurements as long as the flour is double the yogurt);
mix well – probably easiest in a food mixer;
separate the dough into balls and roll flat;
cook on very hot griddle/tawa without any oil.
Turn over when you see brown spots forming and cook the other side – et voila! Done!

IMG_5322.JPGI made these again at the weekend:
I used a thinner, 0% natural yoghurt (I used Greek yoghurt previously) and it was easier to mix;
this time I rolled them a bit thinner and made the rounds a bit smaller;
I heated the tawa over my medium gas ring instead of the biggest hottest ring so that they cooked a bit slower;
They puffed up more and cooked through better;
I also added some spices:
1tsp Coriander
1tsp Cumin
1tsp Nigella seeds
1tsp Aleppo chilli flakes
1tsp Garlic granules

YUM!!!!

I will of course now be working on a gluten free version – you know me!

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