Saturday, 20 January 2018

Fabulous Falafel

I've been trying to eat more vegetarian dishes in my weekly diet, trying to up my usual once a week meat free meal to twice a week. With so many bloggers having a meat free January or participating in veganuary there has been a number of inspiring recipes on social media which I'll be sharing in the coming weeks. 
After flicking through my new cookbooks that I brought in the January sale, I found this incredibly easy recipe for falafels from The Greedy Girl Diet. Falafels, a popular middle Eastern dish are perfect for a light lunch or dinner. What's better, this recipe is low in calories and fat, so you can treat yourself to an extra falafel. This recipe is lightly spice, full of flavour and easy to make. I served the falafel with a beetroot dip as I had beetroot use and of course, pitta bread.




245 calories, 4g fat per serving
Serves 4
1x 400g can chick peas, drained
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed
zest of 1/2 unwaxed lemon
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon very finely chopped fresh coriander 
vegetable oil spray
4 warmed wholemeal pitta breads

For the dressing 
150g low-fat Greek yogurt
1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
100g chopped rocket.

Method 
Preheat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7. Put the chick peas, salt, spiced, garlic, lemon zest, bicarbonate of soda and chopped coriander into a food processor and lightly blend to a coarse puree. 
Wet your hands to stop the mixture sticking to them and shape the mixture into 16 patties. Spray a baking tray with oil, arrange your falafels on top and lightly spray them all over a find midst of oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning once.

While the falafels are cooking, make the dressing by beating together the yogurt with the crushed garlic and rocket in a bowl. If necessary, you may need to thin the mixture with a couple of tablespoons warm water to a coating consistency. Serve the falafels inside the warmed pitta breads and top with yogurt dressing. 

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Thursday, 18 January 2018

Mango Salsa Chutney

Mango chutney in January, I hear you say. These days you can buy Summer fruits, all year round in most markets and supermarkets. I am fully aware that mangoes in January is not seasonal, but we all could benefit from a tropical burst in our lives. I used to eat mango chutney, shop brought and to serve alongside a curry. However, making Newton and Pott mango salsa chutney, I don't think I'll go back to shop brought mango salsa chutney. For one, the mango pieces are chunky and juicy instead of the mainly pureed shop brought version. The mango salsa chutney was incredibly easy to make and even easier to eat.





Ingredients 
2 red peppers
500g red onions
3 tbsp olive oil
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
2 small garlic cloves
3 birds eye chillies
2 limes
30g fresh ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp chili flakes
250g light brown sugar
4 large mangoes
350ml cider vinegar

makes 3-4 300ml jars

Method
Preheat the oven to 120C/100 (fan), gas mark 1/2. Halve the red peppers, remove their stalks and seeds then place them on a baking tray and cook in the oven for at least 1 hour. Once soft and browned, remove from the oven, peel off their skins then finely slice and dice them.
Peel and dice the onions. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan, then add the onions and a little salt and pepper and cook for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel the garlic, de-seed the chillies the finely chop them both.
Zest the limes then halve them. Peel and grate the ginger. Add the garlic, chillies, lime zest and halves, ginger, cinnamon and chili flakes to the onions and cook for another 10 minutes.
Add the sugar to the pan and caramelise for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel, stone and cube the mangoes. Add to the pan with the vinegar and gently bring to the boil.
Simmer, stirring continuously for 20-30 minutes, until the chutney starts to thicken, add the diced red pepper and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and take out the lime halves. Ladel into warm, dry sterilised jars, then seal.
You can eat this one the very next day but it will mature nicely if left for at least 4 weeks.
Keeps for up to 6-8 months unopened. Once opened, refrigerate and consume within 4 months.

xxx
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Sunday, 7 January 2018

Feeling Green Hangover Helper

I wasn't hungover when I made this juice, I can assure you. But what I wanted was a green juice which had a caffeine kick and one which would make me feel a little more alive first thing on a cold money. What I found was this refreshing and nutritious green juice from my much loved 1000 juices book. A great way to start the week. 





Ingredients
1 white tea bag
175ml very hot boiling water
2 green apples, quartered
75g piece cucumber
50g fresh spinach
15g fresh mint leaves
1/4 lemon
2tbsp honey
2 sprigs of mint

Method
Put the tea bag in a teapot or heatproof jug. Steep in the hot water for 5 minutes. Remove tea bag; leave to cool.
Process all the ingredients except the honey and mint sprigs through the juice extractor. Pour into 2 glasses, sweeten with the honey and serve immediately garnished with a sprig of mint.

Makes 2 glasses.
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Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Pumpkin, Black-Eyed Bean and Coconut Curry

I'm trying to include more vegetables in my diet this January by replacing my animal rich diet with vegetables and attempting to eat more vegetarian based meals. One of my favourite vegetarian dishes is making a vegetarian curry following a fridge raid of vegetables that had a better life but need to be cooked quickly. This recipe hails from my latest addition to my cookbook collection, Fresh India by Meera Sodha. I opted to use butternut squash rather than pumpkin as this features weekly on my shopping list. The rest of the ingredients for this curry, I had knocking about in the fridge/cupboards. What I found really interesting is the use of roasting butternut squash. It made the curry more earthy and as the butternut squash is naturally sweet, there was a slight sweet tang. The curry was moderately spiced, there was certainly a kick to the curry with the use of chilli. I served with coconut flavoured curry with corn (cornmeal based) roti, the recipe is also included in this book.




Ingredients

Serves 4 as a main course
1.2kg pumpkin or squash
1 tablespoon garam masala
salt and black pepper
coconut or rapessed oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 green chillies, slit lengthways
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic
1 x 400g tin of black-eyed beans, drained
150g ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 x 400ml coconut milk.

Method
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6 and line two baking trays with foil. Cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out and discard the seeds, then cut it into crescents around 2cm at widest part. Transfer to a big bowl, drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with garam masala, 1 teaspoon of sale and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Toss to coat evenly, ten arrange in a single layer. Roast for 30 minutes, or until soft and tender.
Meanwhile, put 2 tablespoons of oil into a large lidded frying pan over a medium heat and when hot, add the mustard seeds. When they pop, add the slit green chilies and the onion. Cook for 12 minutes, or until the onion is soft and golden then add the garlic. Cook for another couple of minutes, then add the drained beans and stir to mix together. Add the tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes until soft and jammy around the edges.

Next, add the turmeric, 1/3 teaspoon of black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the coconut milk. Tip the roasted pumpkin into the pan and stir to mix. Cover with the lid and leave to heat through for 5 minutes. Check the salt and chilli, adjusting if you wish, then transfer to a serving dish.

xxx


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Tuesday, 2 January 2018

December 2017 Monthly Eatings

 December was another foodtastic month, I visited restaurants in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury and thoroughly enjoyed the culinary delights.

Bella Italia - Wolverhampton




Westacres - Wolverhampton



House of The Rising Sun - Shrewsbury



Natural Healthy Food - I wrote a review earlier in December 

D'arcys - Ironbridge





Thank you everyone who viewed my blog in 2017, I hope to share more foodlicious treats with you over 2018.

xxx
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