Monday 23 May 2016

Vegan Homemade Granola

I absolutely love granola for breakfast. I also believe that ready made granola options at the supermarket are not as great as they sound. The package may read vegan/ gluten free/ healthy but if  the granola tastes very sweet and sugary (which it usually does), I start doubting the ingredients. Plus when you can make your own delicious granola  at home within 15 minutes, why would you ever want to buy it from the supermarket?

For my homemade vegan granola you will need the following-

1 cup oats
1 table spoon maple syrup
1 table spoon coconut oil
Handful of almonds
Pumpkin seeds
A dash of cinnamon
Handful of raisins 

Place parchment paper or foil on a baking tray and throw in your oats and then sprinkle some cinnamon on it. Add maple syrup and then add melted coconut oil as well. Add almonds and any other nuts that you like to the mix. Give this a good whirl with a spoon, spatula or your good old fingers. Once mixed well, place the baking tray in a pre heated oven at about 150 degrees celsius. Bake the granola mix for about 10 minutes then add pumpkin seeds. Whirl everything once again and put it back in the oven to bake. After 5 minutes of baking add raisins. Once you have added raisins,  turn the oven off and let everything cook a bit more with the left over heat. 

After 5 minutes take everything out and voila your granola is ready. Once cooled off, the granola gets crunchy and you can eat it as is, or with milk or even better with yogurt and fruit! Either way, it tastes absolutely delicious. Let me know if you get to try this xx

Thursday 19 May 2016

Vegan Chickpea Burger

We are bang in the middle of National Vegetarian Week and although for me every week is a veggie week, I present to you a lunch or dinner recipe that is vegetarian as well as a major a crowd pleaser.  Here's a step by step guide to preparing my vegan burger, served with a giant portion of salad on the side. 

So without much further ado, lets get right into the recipe. 

What you will need- 
400 grams chickpeas boiled and cooked
100 grams peas boiled and cooked
100 grams sweetcorn boiled and cooked
Extra virgin olive oil 
Millet flour 
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes  or crushed chillies
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 
1/2 teaspoon sumac
1/2 teaspoon curry powder 
Bread of choice 
4-6 portobello mushrooms
Salad of choice 

Add chickpeas, peas and sweet corn to your blender and then add a small glug of extra virgin olive oil. Throw in paprika, cumin powder, chilli flakes, coriander, sumac and curry powder. Blend away. 

Once the ingredients form a smooth- ish paste, make burgers and coat them in millet flour for that extra hold. You should be able to make 4-6 burgers out of the paste. Once your burgers are ready, put them in the fridge for at least half an hour. Once they are firm enough, go ahead and heat some extra virgin love oil in a shallow pan. Shallow fry the burgers on high heat and once they get good colour on, finish them off in the oven. Place them in a pre heated oven at 200 degrees celsius for about 12 minutes. 

In the meantime, in the same shallow pan add a teeny tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil and cook your portobello mushrooms as well. Season them lightly with salt & pepper. 

From this point its pretty much an assembly job. I like to place my mushroom first and the chickpea burger on top. I love having this burger with hummus or salsa or guacamole! Feel free to use whatever condiments you love. This burger is so so delicious, I promise you won't miss meat. Let me know if you get try this. 

Have you got any vegetarian recipes to share this Vegetarian Week? I am all ears!


Friday 13 May 2016

Sweet Potato, Chickpea & Spinach Curry

Any type of stew/ curry a.k.a. sabzi will always hold a very special place in my heart partly because of my Indian roots. But also because curries are quick & easy to make; with pretty much the same spice base, they are kind of a no-brainer.

I particularly love the contrasting taste of sweet potato with a spicy curry base which is why this sweet potato, chick pea and spinach curry is my current obsession. Lets get straight down to business shall we?

1 chopped onion
6 tomatoes chopped or pureed
chilli (optional)
Ginger (optional)
Garlic (optional)
Cumin powder
Garam masala
Hot curry powder which is basically a mix of (cumin turmeric, chilli, black pepper, fenugreek, garlic, coriander, fennel, salt & ginger in a powder form)
2 sweet potatoes peeled and chopped
200 grams chickpeas (boiled & cooked)
100 grams spinach
1.5 cups almond milk (unsweetened)

Throw in a good glug of olive oil in a pan and let that heat for a couple of minutes. Then add your chopped onion to the pan and let that cook for a couple of minutes. Add in a bit of salt and pepper. Let the onions cook for a couple more minutes and at this point add in 1 tablespoon each of cumin powder, garam masala and the hot curry powder. Now add in the chopped tomatoes or tomato puree. Mix everything in together with a spatula or turner. Let this cook for 5-7 minutes on high heat and this rich sauce will form the base of your curry.

Next, add sweet potato chunks and keep stirring & mixing everything together. Then add in 1 cup of almond milk to make the curry rich & creamy. You can also opt for coconut milk. Work with whatever you have access to and with whatever option you prefer. Your kitchen, you are the boss!

Let this cook for about 20 minutes on a medium to low heat with an occasional switch to high heat. Make sure you keep turning everything around in the pan every now and again. If you think you need to add some more almond milk, go ahead and add some more. After about 20 minutes when the sweet potato chunks start to soften, throw in chick peas. Cook for another 10 minutes and then add in your spinach leaves. Spinach will wilt in minutes... after about 7 minutes everything should come together nicely. At this point, taste some of it and see if you need more salt, or pepper or spice. I usually top it up with  a teaspoon more of the garam masala and curry powder. I also squeeze in the juice of half a lemon. Serve piping hot with steamed rice.

Let me know if you get to try this? See you next time xx


Monday 2 May 2016

Roasted Aubergine with Harissa Spiced Lentils

I saw Jamie Oliver post a picture on his Instagram account a couple of weeks back and since then I have been dreaming about his vegan aubergine dish. 

He did a pretty amazing job of describing the dish and his description was pretty much what I followed to create my own version of this dish. For any one who is interested in Jamie Oliver's dish, it is available at Jamie's Italian and it is vegan as well. That is brilliant for anybody who is vegan and struggles to find half decent vegan options at restaurants. 

I m super pleased with how the dish turned out eventually and I cannot wait to make this again. 

To somewhat create Jamie's dish you will need the following- 

1 aubergine 
Harissa paste
1 onion 
A tin of soaked lentils
6 tomatoes
Smoked paprika
Rocket leaves

Heat some extra virgin olive oil in a pan and add chopped onions to it. Sweat the onions for a couple of minutes on high heat and then add in some salt and pepper. Sweat the onions for a few more minutes and add the tomatoes to the pan. You could chop tomatoes or you could simply blend them into a puree and add them that way. 

Cut your aubergine in half and layer it with some extra virgin olive oil and rub some salt and pepper on the aubergine halves. Squeeze some lemon juice and throw on generous quantities of sumac, ground cumin and smoked paprika on the aubergine halves and then put them in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees to roast for about 40 minutes. Aubergines on their own can taste a bit strange but by adding these spices they get a lovely colour & taste as they roast.

Lets get back on the sauce now. Let it cook for a few minutes till your tomatoes start getting a good orange to red colour. To this add the harissa paste;  I just went in with the full bottle. The thing with harissa is that it is not spicy as such, it has a slightly spicy after-taste-kick-thing going, which I love!

Once the harissa paste is nicely mixed in add a bit of cumin, sumac, smoked paprika and lemon juice and also tip in the lentils. You could use a mix of lentils and even chickpeas. I just used a tin of lentils (not proud of using the tin lentils). Let this cook for 10-15 minutes.

When your aubergine halves are nicely roasted, soft & squishy, with a fork dent some space on the aubergine to stack your lentil sauce on it. Serve with rocket leaves and pomegranate. 

His dish also had a garlic almond yogurt element which I skipped. But even without the yogurt, it was rather delicious.

The different textures and flavours make a seriously kick-ass combination. This dish is really delicious, healthy and filling; all at the same time. It is also gluten free. 

I think it's amazing that Jamie Oliver has introduced this scrumptious vegan option at his Jamie's Italian  restaurant.  I cannot wait to try this dish at his restaurant. But till then I am quite happy tucking into my version of it. 

If you get to try this at home or even at Jamie's Italian, please let me know. Hope you are having a fabulous Bank Holiday Weekend. xoxox

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