Creamy Honey & Mustard Dressing

 

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Whoever came up the idea of combining honey and mustard together knows what they were doing, for me, it’s such a winning combination.  I used to love having cheese sticks (when I could eat dairy) dipped in a honey mustard dressing, however, looking back now it was such an unhealthy snack to eat – deep-fried cheese and a thick dressing!

I decided to come up with a healthier dressing and this turned out great first attempt and now is a staple in my fridge most weeks.  I use a dairy free coconut yoghurt which is quite thick so if you can tolerate dairy then natural yoghurt or Greek yoghurt would work well.

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Roasted Red Pepper & Sun Dried Tomato Dressing

zoodle with red pepper sauce1

Right now I seem to be going through a phase of eating sun dried tomatoes, olives and sauerkraut, which is strange as I never used to like any of these foods!  I do think, however, as we get older, our taste buds change and we like different flavours we may have not liked previously.

I had a red pepper which needed to be used and instead of doing a red pepper hummus like I would normally do, I tried this dressing and it turned out really well.

I’ve had this dressing on courgette ‘noodles’, over homemade gnocchi and regular gluten free pasta and it works well with all.  The dressing can also be made in to a nice spread by reducing the amount of water, it’s lovely spread on gluten free oatcakes.

Ingredients

-1 roasted red pepper, seeds removed (if using jarred red pepper, rinse off oil)

-1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, oil drained & rinsed

-2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds

-1/2 red chilli, seeds removed

-1/2 cup water

-1 tsp. lemon juice

-salt & pepper to taste

gnocchi with red pepper sauce

How To Make

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Stores well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

Enjoy 🙂

Ginger & Lime Tahini Dressing

Ginger, lime tahini dressing

Well we had two glorious days of sunshine last week and me being ever so positive decided to finally put all my Winter clothes away, bring out my Summer clothes and started trying some Summer inspired recipes I have planned.  It is now cold, grey and raining and I’m wearing a jumper!  I’m hoping this is just a temporary blip in the Scottish Summer.

I love all the fresh fruits and vegetables during the Summer months.  I like trying different ways to incorporate the various foods available into my diet, not all salads have to be limp lettuce, a tomato, cucumber & grated carrots as I have learned!

This dressing gives a lovely punch from the lime and a bit of heat from the ginger.  Ginger is great to help digestion and also is anti-inflammatory so an excellent addition to your diet.  I use lots of ginger in this dressing but if you’re not overly keen use less and adapt to your taste.

salad with tahini dressing

Ingredients

-2 Tbsp. tahini

-1 Tbsp. tamari

-juice of half a lime

-zest of one small lime

-large piece of ginger (approx. 2″-3″ ) peeled & finely grated

-2-4 Tbsp. cold water

How To Make

Place all the ingredients except the water into a small jar.  Add two tablespoons of water first, secure the lid on the jar and give it a good shake.

Check consistency of dressing and if you prefer a thinner dressing add more water.

Stores well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Creamy Cashew ‘Cheese’ Sauce

Spaghetti with cashew cheese

So there’s no cheese in this but I didn’t know what else to call it! Although,  I do use nutritional yeast to add a cheese-y flavour .  I’ve been making this for quite a while now and it’s lovely over pasta, spread on crackers or as a dip.

It’s best to soak the cashews overnight as the longer they soak the smoother the sauce, however I’ve tried making the sauce and soaked the cashews for about 6-8 hours and it still worked well.  It’s not a quick recipe that you can decide on the spur of the moment to make but once your cashews have been soaked it literally takes minutes to throw together.

If you find the sauce too sour for you I’d suggest using less apple cider vinegar.

Cashew cheese dip

Ingredients

-1 cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked in water overnight or at least 8 hours

-1/4 cup nutritional yeast

-2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

-1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

-juice of 1/2 lemon

-1/4 to 1/2 cup water

-salt to taste

How To Make

Drain the cashews and place in a blender with all the ingredients except the water.

Blend until the cashews are starting to break up then add 1/4 cup of water and blend on high-speed.

If you prefer a runnier consistency add more water and continue to blend.

This stores in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Enjoy 🙂

 

 

Satay Sauce

Noodle salad with satay

This dressing is extremely quick and easy to make and has proved to be popular amongst my friends and family that I thought I’d share it with you all.  You can use it as a pour over sauce (great on noodle salads), a marinade or as a dip.

I use crunchy peanut butter as I like the texture but you can use smooth if you prefer.  Ideally your peanut butter will not contain anything other than peanuts – no added salt or oils.  I use the Meridian brand but there are many other good ones available.

If you prefer a thicker sauce just use less coconut milk but you can easily adapt the recipe to your liking.

Ingredients

-2 Tbsp. peanut butter

-1/4 cup tinned coconut milk

-1 red chilli, seeds removed & finely chopped

-thumb size piece of ginger, peeled & finely grated

-1/2 tsp. curry powder

-1 Tbsp. tamari

-1/2 Tbsp. sesame oil

-juice of 1/2 lime

Satay Sauce

How To Make

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

Enjoy 🙂

Spicy Roast Pepper & Walnut Dip

This dip is loosely based on the Middle Eastern dip muhammara.  Although I lived in the Middle East for 10 years, I had never tried or had even heard of this dip (and I tried A LOT of Arabic food) then on a visit back to see my Dad we went to a new cafe and muhammara was one of the dishes we were served.  It was love at first bite for me.  It’s spicy yet you don’t lose the flavour of the peppers and walnuts.

Spicy Red Pepper & Walnut Dip

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Minty Pea & Broad Bean Dip

Some of the readers of Four Candles Kitchen may be aware that I love hummus.  I have it every day as a snack or with a meal or just spooned right out of the blender and straight into my mouth!  Lately though I’ve been wanting a dip/spread that isn’t hummus and concocted this recipe.

This actually reminds me when we used to go for Sunday lunch to my Gran’s house.  She used to have mint growing in her garden and would put  in with the new potatoes and through the peas too….it makes the dip fresh and Summery in my opinion.

Minty Pea & Broad Bean Dip2

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Beetroot & Walnut Hummus

I know, I know, it’s another hummus recipe but I really had to share this one.  If you like beetroot and hummus, well this is the recipe for you!

I must admit I’m slightly obsessed with hummus at the moment and have some everyday.  This combination is becoming a firm favourite of mine just now.  I think beetroot and walnut are fantastic together, I often have them on a salad together and love the earthy flavour they have.

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Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce

I’ve called this a pasta sauce but it pretty much goes with anything.  I’ve had it over grilled vegetables, lentil and cashew nut loaf and with chicken.  It also freezes well too which makes it ideal to cook up a big batch then portion it out before freezing so when you’re stuck for time you could whip up some pasta and sauce in no time.

Lentil roast with tomato basil sauce

I find the wine makes this sauce lovely and rich but if you don’t have any wine in or don’t want to use it then just omit from the recipe.  The longer you leave the sauce the simmer the thicker it gets.  I forgot to set a timer one day and left the sauce simmering for about 45 minutes and it had thickened beautifully – ideal for a homemade pizza sauce.

Ingredients

-1 Tbsp olive oil

-1 small or 1/2 large red onion, finely diced

-2 garlic cloves, crushed

-1/4 cup red wine

-1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

-1 heaped Tbsp tomato puree

-small handful (approx 2 heaped Tbsp) fresh leaves, roughly chopped

-salt & pepper to taste

How To Make

Place a medium saucepan over a low-medium heat and add the oil.

Add the onion to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes before adding the garlic.

Cook the onion and garlic slowly (for at least 10 minutes).  The onion should become soft and golden.  Stir often to prevent it burning as this will make the sauce taste bitter and you’ll need to start again.  If you think the onion is browning too quickly reduce the heat.

Add the wine, if using, and turn up the heat.  Allow the wine to bubble away until reduced by half.

Next add the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree.  Bring to the boil give everything a good stir.

Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes.

Add the basil, salt and pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Check seasoning before serving.

Sweet potato gnocchi

If freezing, portion out sauce in to suitable containers, allow to cool and then freeze.

Enjoy 🙂

Creamy Lemon Dressing (Dairy free)

Creamy Lemon Dressing

I’ve called this a dressing but it could be used as a dip or even a spread – I’ll explain more later!  Sometimes I find the hardest thing is to name a recipe once I have created it.  And normally once I’ve posted a recipe I have a flash of inspiration and think of another name for the dish!

Just now I seem to be a tad obsessed with lemons.  I’m not sure if it’s due to Spring arriving but the smell and taste of lemons just reminds me of warmer weather and long Summer days!  Lemon tea, lemon slices in water with mint or lemon juice over salads, it’s all about the lemons in my house right now!

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