Monthly Archives: April 2012

Pineapple Muffins

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This recipe is a really great, healthy and low fat snack option. The muffins are so effortless to make and easy to pack for work. They fill you up while satisfying that sweet craving. The only thing I would do differently with this recipe is possibly use cupcake cases as opposed to muffin cases. Although the picture below is not that great, (I’m working on a new camera so that I can share the true “yum” of recipes with you πŸ™‚ ) you can see that the cases are too big for the muffins. Alternatively, keep the muffin cases, double the recipe and allow to cook a little longer πŸ™‚

Ingredients:

– 30g low fat spread
– 200g wholemeal self raising flour
– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1 tsp ground ginger (I would suggest a bit more as the ginger flavour was not prominent in mine)
– 75g light brown sugar
– 1 egg, beaten
– 432g can crushed pineapple in natural juice, drained

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C
2. Line a muffin tin with muffin/cupcake cases
3. PLace the low fat spread in a saucepan over a low heat and melt.
4. Sift the flour, baking powder and ginger into a large mixing bowl.
5. Add the melted spread and the remaining ingredients, whisking until just combined.
6. Spoon into the paper cases and bake for 15/20 minutes.
7. Cool and enjoy!

Mama’s Meatballs

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Growing up I always thought my mama was the best cook out there, and today, I still do. For some reason she was always able to make all our meals delish knowing exactly what spice is needed to make the dish perfect. There are certain meals as a kid that stick in your mind and the taste and texture are so distinct – this recipe is one of those… Enjoy!

Ingredients

– 500g mince meat
– 1 onion, chopped
– 1 egg
– salt & pepper

sauce:
– olive oil
– plain flour (about a wooden spoon full)
– 1 clove of garlic, crushed
– 1 tin of tomato paste / puree
– 1 tspn sugar
– water

1. Mix the mince, egg, onion, salt & pepper together with your hands until the mixture is combined well.

2. Roll into small balls about the size of a small plum.
3. Fry on a medium heat until cooked through and place aside.
4. In a hot saucepan, add some olive oil and the flour and fry for a few moments.
5. Add the tomato paste, sugar and garlic and stir well.
6. Gradually add water and stir constantly until you are happy with the consistency and thickness of the sauce.
7. Season with salt and pepper.

Β NOTE: You need to be really quick with the first few steps of the sauce… it is easy to catch the sauce on the bottom of the pan. πŸ™‚

Vegan Brazil Nut and Banana Brownies

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With Orthodox Easter being this weekend I thought I would make something a little different for Good Friday tomorrow.. As I have grown older, I have become a bit more innovative on the days that we fast before special calendar events… Why should Good Friday be any different? I did a bit of research and found this recipe on a Vegan website and these “brownies” actually turned out to be pretty tasty. The texture is not the same as you conventional brownie but the sponge is moist and almost bounces back in your mouth when you take each bite… (as you can see, I had a sneaky taste before tomorrow πŸ™‚ ) The banana and chocolate flavours are prominent and you actually feel like you have taken a bite of something sweet but healthy… The only alteration I would make is probably changing the name to “Brazil Nut and Banana Sponge Bites” πŸ™‚ Enjoy these delish creations!

Ingredients:

– 2 very ripe bananas (8oz/225g flesh)
– 6 oz (170g) gluten-free flour
– 2 tbsp cocoa
– 4 oz (115g) sugar
– 5 fl oz (140 ml) vegetable oil
– 5 fl oz (140 ml) water
– 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
– 2 oz (55g) brazil nuts

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. Mash the bananas in a mixing bowl, then sieve in the flour and cocoa.
3. Add the sugar, vegetable oil and water, reserving 1 tbsp of the water.
4. Mix with a hand held mixer until all ingredients have combined and you have a smooth mixture.
5. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the tbsp of water then add to the bowl and mix well.
6. Stir in the brazil nuts with a wooden spoon.
7. Put the mixture in a greased brownie tin and place in the oven. Bake for 40 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean. (I baked mine for 30-35 mins)

Roasted Aubergine with Saffron Yogurt

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A few weeks ago on a Saturday morning me and my very good friend decided to do a bit of London exploring… from South Ken to Hyde Park to Nottinghill to Bayswater we found some real gems but i will leave those for their own special post. One of the stops in particular was a place I have been meaning to go to for ages, Ottolenghi. We ended up having a light bite and a chocolate fondant which to be honest was a bit too heavy. As for the salad, it was just incredible. Within a week, my Ottolenghi cookbook had arrived in the post and I was ready to start exploring the recipes that ooze the most interesting flavours.. Tonight, the same friend who I visited Ottolenghi with me, came over for dinner. While she made her incredible Sevilla Salad, I made the delish Roasted Aubergine and Saffron Yogurt salad I had tasted that day… The sight and taste of this salad, will not disappoint on any occasion…

Ingredients: (serves 4)
– 3 medium aubergines, cut in 2cm wedges
– olive oil for brushing
– 2 tbsp of toasted pine nuts
– a handful of pomegranate seeds
– 20 basil leaves
– coarse sea salt and pepper

For the Saffron Yogurt
– a small pinch of saffron strands
– 3 tbsp of hot water
– 180g of greek yogurt
– 1 garlic clove crushed
– 2 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice
– 3 tbsp olive oil

Method:

1. For the sauce, infuse the saffron in the hot water for 5 minutes. Pour the infusion into a bowl containing the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and some salt. Whisk well to get a smooth golden sauce. Taste and adjust the sauce if necessary then chill in the fridge.


2. Preheat the oven to 220C. Place the aubergine slices onto a roasting tray and brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3. Roast for 20-35 mins until the slices turn a golden crisp colour. Let them cool down.

4. To serve, arrange the aubergines on a large plate slightly overlapping, drizzle the saffron yogurt over them, sprinkle the pine nuts and pomegranate seeds.

5. Lay the basil on top and serve to enjoy…

Cheese & Spinach Muffins

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I’ve been wanting to make savoury muffins for some time now but always seem to get distracted… So, being home alone for the long weekend added to the bag of spinach my housemate left in the fridge before heading home for the holidays gave me the perfect opportunity πŸ™‚ These muffins were meant to last a couple of days but didn’t make it more than 24hours… That’s how Delish they were… This is a Hummingbird recipe but please see the method below as there are somethings that are not explained in the recipe which had me googling and rechecking to see whether i had done something wrong…

Ingredients:

– 30g butter
– 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
– 360g plain flour
– 2 1/2 t baking powder
– 1 t cayenne pepper
– 250 grated cheddar cheese
– 220ml whole milk
– 1 egg
– 130g baby spinach, chopped if you like.

Directions: (makes 12 muffins)

  1. Preheat oven to 170Β°C (325Β°F).
  2. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat and fry the onion until cooked. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl stir together flour, baking powder, cayenne and cheese. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk and egg together, then slowly pour into the flour mixture and beat with a hand mixer until too thick to mix. (NOTE: this will become like a sticky dough so do not stress)
  4. Stir in the onion and spinach with a wooden spoon until evenly dispersed. (It will be hard to stir because of the dough like mixture. Use your hands if you like).
  5. Spoon batter into muffin cases. Fill about two thirds full. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Place the muffins on a wire rack to cool

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