Breakfast snails

Cashew -raisins snails

Cashew -raisins snails

Ingredients:

  • 1 pre-rolled puff pastry
  • 50g dry raisins
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 200g cashew butter (or smooth peanut butter)
  • Vegetable oil for the baking tray

 

Cashew -raisins snails ingredients

Cashew -raisins snails ingredients

Method:

Preheat the oven at 180°C.

Measure 50ml water and dilute the 2 teaspoons of sugar in it. Now add the raisin and soak for 1 hour, then drain and pat dry. Set aside.

If the butter you are using is slightly hard place it in the oven for a few minutes to soften then, kneed with the back of a spoon or a spatula to make as creamier and as spreadable as soft butter.

Unroll the puff pastry on a flat surface but, keep it on its baking paper.  Spread on it
the soften cashew butter then sprinkle on top the now drained raisins and roll the pastry length ways. (follow the sequence in pictures below)

HJ Cashew -raisins snailsHJ Cashew -raisins snailsHJ Cashew -raisins snailsHJ Cashew -raisins snails
Now, using a very sharp knife, cut the pastry every 1.5 cm then squash each of them with the palm of the hand and place them on a lightly oiled baking tray.

HJ Cashew -raisins snailsHJ Cashew -raisins snailsHJ Cashew -raisins snails

Cashew -raisins snails

Cashew -raisins snails

Place in the oven to bake for 12 minutes at 180°C.

Leave to coll for few minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

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#Veganuary salad – Caramelised Tofu salad

Caramelised Tofu salad

Caramelised Tofu salad

Caramelised Tofu salad

Serves 2 as mains or 4 as a starter

  • 70g wild rocket – washed

    Salad components

    Salad components

  • 150g beansprouts – blanched & drained
  • 200g tofu – fried in caramelised sugar
  • 2 fresh tomatoes – Cut and de-seeded.
  • Teaspoon of Sesame seeds

For the vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons mustard oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 generous pinch of ground ginger

    Prepping the tofu

    Prepping the tofu

  • ½ teaspoon of caster sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • ½ small red chilli – very finely chopped
  • Garlic granules

 

Prep:

Tofu sticks

The tofu is sold as a block that will need to be cut and fried. Use the DragonFly pressed tofu as they are much tastier and absorb flavours.

Just cut as in the picture. Rub with salt and ground ginger. In a hot pan, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil with 1 teaspoon of sugar. Leave the sugar to brown slightly. Then add the tofu sticks and swirl to allow the sugar to coat the sticks. Allow 1 minute for each side to crisp before turning them from side to side.

Once that is done, set aside and prepare the other components of the salad.

The vinaigrette. In a small jar with a lid, add: mustard oil, soy sauce, ground ginger, caster sugar, salt, garlic granules, and chilli. Shake well to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Mixing bowl

Mixing bowl

Caramelised Tofu salad

Caramelised Tofu salad

Now into a large bowl, add: rocket, sprouts, tomatoes and toss. Add the tofu sticks, sesames seeds drizzle the vinaigrette, serve & enjoy!

See the original post on my vegan blog here.

#Veganuary soup – Beetroots red pepper and mustard

Beetroots red pepper & mustard soup

Beetroots red pepper & mustard soup

Beetroots red pepper and mustard soup

Serves 3

  • 4 small precooked beetroots
  • 1 big red sweet pepper
  • A hand full of fresh coriander
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 tea spoon wholegrain mustard
  • Salt
  • Mustard oil

Method:

Peel the outer layer of the beetroots, rinse and roughly chop. Do the same for the onion, cut the sweet pepper and the coriander. Rinse all and place in a deep pan with 1L water or stock. I did mine just with water and salt to keep it simple.

Add 2 tablespoons of mustard oil and 1 teaspoon of wholegrain mustard. Cover and place on the hob to simmer for 20 minutes. This will allow the vegetables to soften.

 

To gauge that the soup is ready, taste the hardest to cook vegetable in the pot. Here it would have been the beet if they were not precooked. So, I tasted the onion quarters and sweet pepper.

Adjust the seasoning, take away from the hob and using a hand blender. Liquidise the soup to your liking.

I like my soup with bits in it and others prefer theirs smooth.

Beetroots red pepper & mustard soup

Beetroots red pepper & mustard soup

Serve with croutons or… potato wedges on a skewer.

Enjoy. x

See original recipe on my vegan blog here

#Veganuary mains – Creamy Spinach & garlic roast potatoes

Creamy Spinach & garlic roast potatoes

Creamy Spinach & garlic roast potatoes

Dinner for 2

Ingredients:

  •  150ml Alpro cream

    Creamy spinach ingredients

    Creamy spinach ingredients

  • 1 medium carrots
  • 200g bag of spinach
  • 2 white shallots
  • 6 small potatoes
  • 25g soya mince
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 Brazil nuts
  • 1 spring onion
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Groundnut oil.

Prep:

Re-hydrate the mincemeat in boiling water for 10 minutes, then sieve and set aside.

Ready to roll!

Ready to roll!

Wash the spinach and set aside.

Parboil the potatoes in salty water and halve them.

Peel and chop the carrot, garlic, shallots & spring onion. Keep them separated and leave aside.

Grate the Brazil nuts.

Method:

Preheat the oven at 180°C.

In an oven dish, place the halved precooked potatoes with 1 chopped garlic and spring onion, a pinch of salt and 1 table spoon of groundnut oil. Toss to mix well. Place the potatoes face down in the dish then, using the potatoes masher press the potatoes down to mash them a bit. Place in the oven for about 10-15 until they start crisp.

Crushed potatoes

Crushed potatoes

Crushed potatoes 2

Crushed potatoes 2

Crushed potatoes 3

Crushed potatoes 3

In the meantime, in a hot pan with 2 table spoons of groundnut oil, fry the shallots until brown, add the mincemeat with salt, pepper & garlic.  Stir until the mince starts to crisp. Now add the chopped carrot. Hope fully the latter has been chopped thinly enough not to take too long to soften. In this case, it took about 2 minutes. As all that starts to brown it adds flavour to the dish.

Now add the grated Brazil nut and the cream. Leave to simmer for about 3-5 minutes then, stir in the spinach, adjust the seasoning and leave to soften for about 2 minutes.

All this shouldn’t take more that 10-12 minutes and the potatoes should be ready by then. Serve.

This dish is the worst nightmare of a person with nuts allergies make sure none of them is around.

Enjoy!

See the original recipe from my vegan blog here.

#Veganuary – Cinnamon pear Tatin

Cinnamon tatin with Single cream & poppy seeds

Cinnamon tatin with Single cream & poppy seeds

Cinnamon pear Tatin for 10

(see original post from Nash’s vegan creations, my test kitchen here)

Ingredients:

  • 7 medium pears halved and corked
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 125g of sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 125g butter
  • 1 rolled pastry (made with dairy free butter, sugar and flour)
  • Cream for serving (use alpro soy cream)
  • A 25cm tart dish

Pre heat the oven at 200°C

Method:

Pear zest and poppies

Pear zest and poppies

Pour 100g sugar and 100g of butter in a pan, melt both stirring until they start to brown. Add the peeled halved pears in the mix, all the cinnamon, lemon zest and salt. Cover to simmer for 20 minutes until the pears soften.

Meanwhile, coat the inside of the baking dish with half of the remaining butter and dust with the remaining sugar.

cinnamon 2Place the pears in the baking dish one by one and face down, then cut the remaining piece of butter and deposit the chunks on top of the pears. Now cover with the rolled pastry. Use a fork to prick the top of the pastry all over so it will let steam out while the cake is baking.

Place the dish in the oven and cook for 40 minutes at 200°C.

Once it is ready, take the dish out of the oven and allow it to cool down before serving.  and leave to cool before serving.

cinnamon pear tatin

cinnamon pear tatin

I served mine with cream and poppy seeds to finish. Alternatively use roasted almond flakes.

I use very little sugar because I am not a big fan. If your guests have a sweet tooth, serve the cake with a coulis or ice cream.

ENJOY!

Don’t forget to post a comment!

To see the original recipe from my vegan click here.

Happy 2016!!!

Start fresh & reset!

Start fresh & reset!

Happy New Year!

Thank you for all your follows and support during 2015… Hope I won’t let you down in 2016.

SO! You’ve enjoyed the great fancy and fatty foods during the festive period, the jegging is a bit tighter at the waist as is the purse… No worries let’s try and be practical and smart with our eating habits for a bit.

For one month only, we are going to be kind to our body.

Forget the Costa, the Starbucks and the likes…. You will save a bunch. Instead, opt for homemade brews that can be prepared in advance for your day at the office.

Have you ever tried homemade ginger and lemon tea? You can do it yourself or buy it

Mint tea brewing in the strainer

Mint tea brewing in the strainer

ready made. It goes without saying that fresh is better and much more flavoursome. Buy the ginger, grate it, take half a lemon grate the zest. Place both in a tea strainer and pour over it a cup of boiling water. Leave the strainer in the cup for 2 minutes then drain before adding the lemon juice and drink.

If you don’t like lemon and ginger go, for the mint tea. Do you know mint tea is great to fight bloating? Lemon is great for cleansing and ginger I great for a good digestion?

To make the tea either buy a bunch of mint in the supermarket or go for the teabags.

If using fresh mint, simply pick out 3-4 leaves of mint rub them together to bruise them, place in the tea strainer and pour water over it.

You can pre-prepare both infusions in advance and just reheat a cup full when needed.

For the mint tea for example, bruise a whole bunch, pour 1.5l of water and bring to boil. Strain, leave to cool and place in the fridge. When you are ready, pour a cupful and heat for 2 minutes in the microwave. Voila!

Both can be consumed hot or cold. With or without sugar and if you are looking to fit better in those jegging, I do recommend that you either reduce the sugar or remove it completely and replace with lemon.

HJ porridge mix

HJ porridge mix

Another great way to eat smart will be to have porridge for breakfast. Porridge keeps you fuller for longer so, if having porridge for breakfast you will feel full until lunch time. Again, rather than using sugar here, opt for fruits to bring in all the sugar needed…

I prepare my on porridge mix by adding few extra to make it interesting…

The porridge flake costs 39p in Lidl and I add in chopped roast peanuts from Lidl cost 49p mix seeds, dry raisins or any dry fruits, seeds and anything else I’d like.

1 pack of 250 can become 500 just by adding the extra. In the morning, I measure 4 table spoons of porridge add 100ml (whole) milk or soya milk, place in the microwave for 2 minutes, stir and place back for 1 minutes and enjoy!

For the mid-morning snacks, I opt for a banana, pear, raw nut or crackers…. I feel that often when I want a snack it is not that I am hungry, it is just that I want to chew on something…. 1 cracker or two is enough to distract me until meal time. Water is also a great distraction from chocolate cravings.

My breakfast - dairy free no added sugar

My breakfast – dairy free no added sugar

As far as New Year resolutions go, I decided to go coffee free in January, will also eat more meat and dairy free meals. This to cleanse, reset and get ready for the rest of the year. For more information about doing a meat and dairy free week/month, google Veganuary for ideas or see the vegan dishes available on this blog. I will post some of my meat and dairy free recipes in the next post. They are from my vegan blog… been running since 2013…

Shinny tennis set

Shinny tennis set

Exercise: I am also taking up rackets sports to get fit… I found a set of 2 tennis rackets & balls for £9.99… will be taking lessons in Dulwich at £5.00 per session that is the cheapest I could find.

I am also taking badminton for recreation. A meetup group in Pimlico offers the session at £6.00.

The set of two badminton rackets and shuttlecocks (the balls) cost £9.99.

My badminton set

My badminton set

Last but not least squash! I’ve always wanted to do squash. The single racket cost £9.99, the set of 3 ball cost £4.99 and the lesson cost less than £5 in Stockwell.

But if you cannot do and don’t like racket sports, take on walking! To go shopping 2 bus stops away, walk it on the way and jump on the bus on your way back as you are carrying loads. Join Park run for free. You can do mini 5Ks marathon or walks weekly.

Squash racket & balls

Squash racket & balls

I have also decided not to buy chocolate bars this year and only eat some when offered to me 😉 Let’s see if I can complete January first… ha ha ha!

The above are of course few of my recommendations for January and are mutually exclusive so, pick one or two things from the list and stick to it at least until end January.

And if you wish to lose weight, weigh yourself every 2 days or so and readjust your food intake… little often with a spot of exercise.

Before you weigh yourself, try to wee and do number 2. That always helps J

Do not no hesitate to send me your questions or if you need further details about the Tennis/badminton/ squash lessons.

Happy New Year to you and yours.

PS: I am not a nutritionist, all the above are from experience.

#TurkishByHJ – Tomato and almonds dip

Meze - Tomato & almond dip

Meze – Tomato & almond dip

Meze for 5 people

Including: Babaganoush, Broad beans hummus, Fresh tomato & almond Dip, Dolma and flat crusty breads.

Ingredients:

Tomato dip ingredients

Tomato dip ingredients

  • 10 small tomato (50p)
  • 10 leaves basil (59p)
  • 10g red onion
  • Salt
  • 10g roasted almond flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 50ml groundnut oil or any other vegetable oil

Cost: From time to times, Lidl sells groundnut oil from 99p for 250ml during their Asian week promotion. I already had this oil, so didn’t need to buy some. For this dip, I only had to buy tomato and basil. I have flaked almonds left over from a previous recipe. They are essential to this recipe and they give it the dippy taste. This dip cost £1.09.

Method:

Cut the quantity of onion needed, peel, dice and place it in the blender. Rinse the tomatoes, quarter them and place them in the blender. Rinse and chop the basil, peel the garlic and add all in the blender as well as the almonds and groundnut oil. Put the lid on the blender and mince the content in 2-3 bursts.

This dip is not meant to be smooth and should still have visible bits in it…

Once you are satisfied with the consistency, pour in a serving bowl, cover with the cling film and chill.

Done.

Turkish Meze - 3 dips

Turkish Meze – 3 dips

Next, the dolma and flat bread.