Chocolate Orange Sweet Potato Brownies

Choc orange brownies

This recipe almost defeated me.  I tried it so many times and I was never happy with the outcome for a number of reasons; too sweet, not sweet enough, didn’t rise, not gooey enough – I honestly thought I’d need to admit defeat and forget about it.

Thankfully a couple of weeks ago I had one last go and altered the recipe yet again and these delicious brownies were the result.  At first I thought I’d had another disaster as they didn’t seem to set but I left them on the side to cool and they firmed up but still retained their gooey-ness.  I had to taste test three in a row just to be sure I had finally got it right!!

I’ve since made the recipe a couple of more times and all were successful.  Once you take the brownies out of the oven and allow to cool, when you slice them they will still be gooey, however, once you set them aside they’ll firm up further.

Chocolate orange brownies

Makes approximately 9 brownies.

Ingredients

-1 cup mashed sweet potato (approx. 1 medium sweet potato)

-1 cup ground almonds

-2 tsp. baking powder

-1 egg, beaten

-1/2 cup cacao powder

-3 Tbsp. honey

-zest of 1 large orange

-2 Tbsp. chopped dairy free dark chocolate

How To Make

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

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients until fully combined.

Pour batter into prepared baking dish and top with broken chocolate pieces if using.

Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until the top starts hardening.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.  Once cool, slice in to squares (they will still be gooey at this stage) and set aside to firm up further.

Enjoy warm or cold.

These keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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 🙂

Curried Cauliflower Soup

Curried cauliflower soup

My usual way to cook cauliflower is to roast it or make ‘rice’ with it, however, when I received one in my veg box I decided I wanted to try something different.

The first soup I made wasn’t great.  I used too many ingredients, over complicated the flavours & couldn’t actually taste the cauliflower.  I decided that ‘less is more’ kept the recipe simple and voila!  The recipe below was born.

This is a lovely thick soup but if you prefer a thinner consistency add more water or stock.  This soup is lovely with a squeeze of lemon on top just before serving.

Serves 4

Ingredients

-1 heaped tsp. coconut oil or olive oil

-1 red onion, diced

-1 garlic clove, crushed

-1 thumb size piece ginger, peeled & finely grated

-1 medium cauliflower, trimmed and florets separated

-1 medium potato, peeled and roughly diced

-1 x 400ml can low-fat coconut milk

-600ml water or vegetable stock

-1 tsp. turmeric powder

-1 heaped tsp. curry powder

-salt & pepper to taste

How To Make

Place a large pan over a medium heat and heat the coconut oil.  Once the oil is hot add the onion, garlic and ginger.  Cook for 2-3 minutes until the onion starts to soften.

Add the remaining ingredients and give everything a stir.

Place a lid on the pan, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes or until the cauliflower and potato are cooked.

Allow to cool slightly then blend.  Season to taste with salt and pepper

This soup stores well in the fridge for 2-3 days in an airtight container.  It freezes well too.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Kale & Buckwheat Salad

kale & buckwheat salad2

Some people are a little taken aback when I say I’m eating or cooking with buckwheat as they think it is related to wheat, but fear not, it isn’t, as it’s not a grass and is actually related to rhubarb…who knew?!  The person who called it buckwheat probably had no idea the confusion it would cause nowadays!

Buckwheat is my gluten free alternative to couscous.  Whilst some people aren’t big couscous fans when they can eat gluten, it is one of the things I miss most.  Quinoa is lovely but just doesn’t come close enough in texture to giant couscous (Israeli couscous) for me so I was loving life the day I discovered buckwheat.

I cook buckwheat the way I do rice – one part buckwheat to 2 parts water.  Place in a pan and once it is up to the boil, cover with a lid and reduce to simmer for about 12 minutes until the water has been absorbed.

I think this salad will be featuring a lot over my Summer as it is so adaptable with what veggies and dressings you could use. Roast veggies with it would be lovely.

This can be served as a main or a side.

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

-150g-200g raw kale, cleaned, roughly shredded & tough stems removed

-juice of 1/2 a lemon

-1 & 1/2 cups cooked buckwheat

-handful cherry tomatoes, halved

-1/4 large cucumber, seeds removed & diced

-handful of fresh mixed herbs (I used mint & flat leaf parsley) roughly chopped

-1/4 of a small red onion, finely diced

-1 avocado, skin & stone removed, diced

-salt & pepper

Dressing

-juice of 1/2 lemon

-2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

-1/4 tsp. Dijon mustard

-salt & pepper

How To Make

Place the shredded kale in a large bowl with the juice of half a lemon.  Massage the kale with the lemon juice until it starts breaking down, this takes about 6-8 minutes so put your favourite tunes on and have a wee boogie whilst massaging the kale!

The photos below show the kale before and after massage.

Kale beforeKale after

Once you’ve massaged the kale, set aside as you will need to strain it through a sieve to remove the excess water it will produce.

In a separate bowl combine the tomatoes, buckwheat, cucumber, herbs and give a good stir.

Place the kale in a fine mesh sieve and strain the kale by squeezing it with your hand.  Place the strained kale in the bowl with the other ingredients and give everything a good stir to combine.  Check seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.

Place all the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk together.   Drizzle over some of the dressing onto the salad and stir.

Place the avocado on top of the salad just before serving.

The salad and dressing both store well in airtight containers in the refrigerator.

Kale & buckwheat salad

Enjoy 🙂