Thai Spiced Courgette & Quinoa Cakes

Thai spiced quinoa cakes

This was a recipe that came together when I hadn’t been to the shops for groceries and used whatever was left in my fridge, which wasn’t a lot!!  A courgette and some left over quinoa didn’t really give me a lot of ideas then I found some Thai green curry paste in my cupboard and these little beauties were born!

I’ve tried this recipe with an egg as a binder but I didn’t like the texture it created so I’ve omitted that and much happier with the final result.  I used 3 teaspoons of curry paste as I love some spice and heat but you can start with a couple of teaspoons and see how you like it.  You could use homemade curry paste but for convenience I use a good quality jar of paste.

To save time you can miss out the step of browning the patties first and just put them straight in the oven to bake.

These are delicious hot or cold so great to make ahead to take for packed lunches or on picnics.

Makes 6

Ingredients

-2 cups cooked quinoa (approx 1/2 cup uncooked)

-1 cup grated courgette (approx 1 small courgette)

-2 to 3 tsp. Thai green curry paste

-3 tsp. coconut cream

-2 spring onions, finely chopped

-scant 1/2 cup brown rice flour

-2 tsp. coconut oil/olive oil

How To Make

Pre-heat oven to 180C/355F.  Line a baking sheet with oiled baking parchment.

Place all the ingredients except the oil in a bowl and mix fully until combined.

Take some mixture (slightly larger than golf ball) and roll between palms then squash down to a patty.  Continue to do this until all mixture is used.

Place a large frying pan over a medium heat and warm the oil.  Once the oil is warm place the patties in the pan and cook for a few minutes each side until browned.  You may need to do this in batches.  Place browned patties on the prepared baking sheet.

Cook the cakes in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

Serve hot or cold.

These cakes store well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Thai spiced quinoa cakes2

Enjoy 🙂

Berry & Spinach Smoothie

Berry & spinach smoothie2

This post is very short as I’m super busy with my studies but I wanted to share this smoothie recipe with you.

I’ve just discovered an amazing coconut milk by Rude Health (I’m already a fan of their rice and almond milk) and it is amazing, just reminds me of being somewhere exotic…not a rainy Scotland!

Serves 1

Ingredients

-1 cup mixed berries (I used strawberries, blueberries & blackberries)

-1 cup coconut milk or almond milk

-2 cups baby spinach

-1 Tbsp. chia seeds

-1 small banana or half an avocado

-handful of ice

Berry & spinach smoothie

How To Make

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Enjoy 🙂

Carrot Cake Balls

carrot cake balls

My favourite cake of all time is carrot cake with lemon drizzle coming a very close second.  Both my grandmothers made wonderful cakes and whenever I visited either of them I usually made a beeline straight for the cake tin to see what was available.

I, unfortunately, did not get the ‘baking’ gene.  I have had many baking disasters but I’ll keep trying and I’m sure one day I’ll figure it out!

These carrot cake balls are very more-ish but they do have a high sugar content due to the dates so they really are meant for a treat.

I’ve made them a number of times now and varied the dried spices and this recipe works the best.  I roll some of the balls in desiccated coconut just to add another texture and flavour but you don’t have to.  The balls are quite sticky but once they’ve been in the fridge they firm up nicely.

Ingredients

-1 large carrot or smaller carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

-1/2 cup walnuts

-1/2 cup cashews

-1 cup medjool dates, stones removed

-1 Tbsp. chia seeds

-1/4 tsp. ground ginger

-1 heaped tsp. ground cinnamon

-1/4 tsp. all spice

-1/4 cup desiccated coconut (optional)

How To Make

Place all ingredients except coconut in a food processor and blend until thoroughly blended.

If using the coconut place in a dish.

Take the blade out of the food processor bowl and using a tablespoon, scoop mixture out and roll between your palms in to a ball.  Roll in coconut if using.  Continue doing this until all the mixture is used up.

Place the balls on a plate and place in the fridge to firm up.

These keep well in an airtight container in the fridge.

carrot cake balls2

Enjoy 🙂

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 🙂

Kale & Pineapple Smoothie

Kale & Pineapple smoothie

My Dad got me a fab gadget when he was over visiting last year that makes slicing up a pineapple so easy!  The best bit too is you’re left with the shell of the pineapple and some of the delicious juice to drink.

As pineapples always remind me of hot Summer days I was waiting for a hot spell before I stocked up on them and created some recipes.  However,  I think the two days of sunshine we had here in Scotland was Summer this year, eager as I was to use my new gadget I’ve stocked up on pineapples – sliced them up with said gadget and filled the fridge and freezer!

I made this smoothie the other morning after my workout and it is delicious with the heat of the ginger coming through.  It is a thick smoothie so if you prefer a thinner consistency add more milk.

Kale & pineapple smoothie2

Serves 1

Ingredients

-2 large handfuls of kale, cleaned and tough stalks removed

-1 heaped cup chopped pineapple

-1″ piece of ginger, peeled

-1 stick of celery

-1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed

-3/4 cup brown rice milk, or your preferred milk

How To Make

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Pour into a glass and serve.

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 🙂

 

Oven Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted chickpeas

I love chickpeas and any dish that contains them or is made with them.  I’ve always got some in the house, tinned or dried.

I cannot believe I haven’t tried roasting chickpeas before now, they are utterly delicious and very, very moreish (be warned!).  I was developing recipes the other weekend and instead of making hummus I thought I’d try these and now making them weekly, I’ve even got my friend hooked on them.  So now I’m wracking my brains thinking of other recipes I could incorporate chickpeas in – baked goods?  Who knows? But I’m sure I’ll have fun trying.

I use Ras El Hanout on these chickpeas but you could use any spice you like.  Ras El Hanout is a Moroccan seasoning with cinnamon, lavender, rose petals and cloves among some of the spices and herbs used to make it, which makes it lovely and fragrant.

These are lovely enjoyed warm but be sure to allow them to cool enough when you take them out of the oven.  I didn’t the first time making them and ended up with a sore tongue!

Ingredients

-1 X 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and thoroughly rinsed

-1 Tbsp. olive oil

-1 Tbsp. Ras El Hanout or spice of your choice

Roasted Chickpeas2

How To Make

Pre-heat oven to 180C and line a baking sheet with tin foil.

After you have rinsed the chickpeas pat them dry with kitchen towel and put in a bowl.

Pour over the oil and seasoning, mixing well so all chickpeas are covered.  Pour onto the lined baking sheet spreading out the chickpeas.

Put in the oven for 25-30 minutes, giving a stir halfway through cooking time.

Remove when golden and crispy.

Allow to cool slightly before enjoying.

These store well in an airtight container for 2-3 days (although once you start eating them it’s hard to stop!)

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 🙂

 

 

Sweet Potato & Spinach Curry

Sweet Potato & Spinach Curry

I hadn’t realised when I wanted to make a curry from scratch it would be so difficult.  Trying to get the spices just right nearly defeated me but I kept on trying and I am so glad I did.  This curry is lovely and creamy with just enough heat but if you prefer more heat then add an extra chilli or more curry powder.

The ingredients list for this recipe may seem long but I promise you it will be worth it.  I normally use a curry paste when I make a curry but I always wanted to make my own from scratch.  My mum used to make great curries from scratch and now I wish I’d paid more attention to what she was doing!

Like most curries, this tastes even better the next day.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

-1 red chilli, seeds removed

-large thumb size piece of ginger, peeled

-4 cloves of garlic, peeled

-1 Tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil

-1 red onion, peeled & diced finely

-1 tsp. curry powder

-2 tsp. garam masala

-1 tsp. ground coriander

-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

-1 tsp. turmeric

-2 Tbsp. tomato puree

-1/4 cup desiccated coconut

-2 medium organic sweet potato, peeled and diced (large dice)

-1 x 400ml can of light coconut milk

-1 x 400ml can of cannellini beans, drained & rinsed well

-approx. 180g of baby spinach, rinsed

Sweet Potato & Spinach Curry2

How To Make

First put the chilli, ginger and garlic in a mini food processor and process until very finely chopped.  If you don’t have a mini food processor you can crush the garlic and finely chop/grate the chilli and ginger.  The processor just saves time!

In a large pan heat the oil over a medium heat and add the onion.  Cook the onion gently for 4-5 minutes until it starts to soften.  Next add the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook until it becomes fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Add the spices and cook for another minute then add the tomato paste.  Cook the tomato paste for about 5 minutes as this helps remove any bitterness.  You may need to reduce the heat to prevent the spices burning.

Next add the sweet potato and give everything a good stir.  Pour over the coconut milk and fill the empty coconut milk can with water and add this to the pan too.  Add the desiccated coconut and cannellini beans, giving everything a good stir.

Put the lid on the pan and bring everything to a boil.  Reduce heat to a high simmer and cook for approximately 20 minutes or until the potatoes are just becoming tender (cooking time will depend on the size of your diced potato).

Add the spinach and cook until wilted and the potatoes are ready.

Serve with brown rice or buckwheat.

This curry can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Enjoy 🙂

 

 

Hazelnut Chocolate Balls

hazelnut chocolate balls1

I can’t stop making and eating these balls.  They taste very similar to Ferrero Rocher which used to be my favourite sweet treat before I had to give up gluten and dairy.  They are great with a cup of tea in the afternoon when most people get a sweet craving.

These are really easy to make and store well in the fridge for 3-4 days; they may possibly store longer but I never have any left longer than 4 days!

Makes 6-8 balls

Ingredients

-6 large medjool dates, stones removed

-2 Tbsp. cacao powder

-1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. roasted, blanched hazelnuts

-1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

hazelnut chocolate balls

How To Make

Place the dates in a bowl and pour over just boiled water.  Let the dates stand in the water for 1-2 minutes until softened.

While waiting for the dates to soften, place the hazelnuts in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  Remove 2 tablespoons of chopped nuts and place in a dish – this will be used to roll your balls in.

Place the dates, vanilla and cacao powder in the processor along with the chopped nuts and blend until all ingredients come together to form a ball.

Take some of the mixture and roll into balls between your hands then roll in the reserved chopped hazelnuts and set aside.  Continue to do this until all the mixture is used up – should make 6 to 8 balls.

Place balls in the fridge until firm.

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

Enjoy 🙂