Monday, 22 August 2016

Sweet Potato Jollof Rice from Sierra Leone

Jollof Rice is something I have never tried before, but it sure was a hit with my friends and boyfriend! It is basically an African version of risotto almost. The simple flavours in this goes a long way, and one of my friends wanted the recipe!

As suggested by Red Cross, I used roasted dice of sweet potato instead of chicken - it was a treat! Also, the spice provided for this dish was ground crayfish, but they mentioned that this was used for a salty flavour, like salt, tamari and soy sauce is used, so I opted for a few tablespoons tamari instead!

Sweet Potato Jollof Rice from Sierra Leone
(Serves 4)

1 large/2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into dice
1 thinly sliced onion
1 tbsp fresh or dry thyme
2 tbsp tamari/soy sauce/salt to taste
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 veggie stock cube (1 heaped tbsp veggie stock powder)
360g long grain or basmati rice
1 red pepper, sliced lengthways
2 finely chopped garlic cloves
400ml can chopped tomatoes
Thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, grated
Handful fresh coriander to goarnish with (I totally forgot I had it in the fridge!)

- Pre-heat the oven to 190C, have the diced sweet potato in a bowl and drizzle with oil, salt and pepper. Place in the middle of the oven and roast for abut 20-25 minutes until tender.

- In the meantime, fry the onions in a large casserole for about 5 inutes until soft. Add the thyme, tomato puree, garlic, chopped tomatoes and ginger and fry for a further few minutes until heated through and bubbling. Turn down the heat.

- Add the stock, tamari/soy/salt and pour in 600ml boiling water. Add the rice and the sweet potatoes, cover with a lid and simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes until the rice is juuuust done.

- Scatter over with the red peppers and place the lid back on, cook for a further ten to achieve that lovely creamy texture.

- Before serving, stir a little to allow the peppers to run throughout the dish and serve topped with freshly chopped coriander.

Et voila!

I hope you have had a lovely start to your week! I am currently recovering from a superbug I must have caught over the weekend - boo! But I shall recuperate soon enough, and take on the world again once I have!

Original Source:
Red Cross Foodie Fest Team

- Jules

Monday, 15 August 2016

Syrian Potato & Chickpea Kibbeh


As I mentioned previously, I had a Foodie Fest kick started thanks to Red Cross, they gave me a spice kit and lovely recipes, and when I got in touch with them with regards to not all the recipes being vegetarian - they were quick to help and provide me with suggestions for meat free dishes, as well as including some desserts from all over the world. The five mains I rattled up that day were delicious! Some of them I will share with you here.

When I saw the recipe for Kibbeh, a Syrian version of the meatloaf, I was a bit daunted by making it vegan - simply because I know usually egg and meat binds it all together - but you know what? This was frigging delicious! Super filling, so don't be too greedy! These are perfect to cut into squares and bring in to work with some fresh salad on the side.

Syrian Potato & Chickpea Kibbeh
(Serves 8 - with salad on the side)

450g bulghur wheat
400g can chickpeas
3 medium potatoes
250g flour (I used Spelt)
30g fresh parsley, finely chopped
30g fresh mint, finely chopped
4 spring onions, finely chopped
1tsp cayenne (I used smoked paprika for a milder version)
1 tsp Baharat spice
1-2 tsp salt (because it is SUCH a bit batch)
250ml olive oil
Yogurt to serve (optional)

- Start by boiling the potatoes for about 15 minutes until soft, drain and rinse the chickpeas and add in with the potatoes, boil for a further 5 minutes (or until soft) drain well and mash.

- Rinse the bulghur wheat three-four times in cold water, drain and set aside.

- In a large mixing/salad bowl have the mash, potato, flour herbs, followed by the remaining ingredients along with 200ml of the olive oil - mix well until you have a sticky dough.

- Pre-heat the oven to 200C.

- Brush a baking dish with olive oil (mine was about 30x15cm). Tip in the dough and pat flat, it works best if you get your hands down and dirty! Pat flat and cut diamond shapes about 2.5 cm (one inch) down, and pour over the remaining oil - this will help the Kibbeh cook through.

Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes, until it is brown and crispy on top. Cool for a bit before serving. This dish also works great as part of a feast!

OH and you know those fancy floral teas you can get at some sushi restaurants? I finally got to try one! Mine had marigold, green tea and coconut and it was really lovely, subtle flavours.... Mmmmm... I took a couple of snaps - have you tried them before?

I hope you have had a lovely start to your week! I had a lovely walk back from work as the sun was still out and it was quite toasty! Now I have put my feet up, and am ready to just relax before heading to Bedfordshire... zzZZzzz

Original source:
Red Cross Foodie Fest Team

- Jules

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Fluffy Apple & Streusel Muffins

A Taste of Madness is safe to say one of my favourite blogs. Cathleen posted some wonderful Pear and Streusel muffins the other weeks - and I simply had to try them!

The weather last week... wasn't the best, so why not infuse the flat with cinnamon? Yes, please!

Instead of pear, I opted for apple since I already had them at hand, but I will make these time and time again - varying the fruity fillings! I can imagine adding sliced almonds to them as well, y'know - just to be fancy!

Fluffy Apple & Streusel Muffins
(Makes about 15)

2 cups flour (I used spelt)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
A good pinch salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup soft butter
1 cup sugar (I use Half Spoon)
2 large eggs, lightly beat
1 apple (or pear), cored and finely diced

For the Streusel (where the magic happens)
1/3 cup sugar (preferably brown)
1 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tbsp butter, melted

- Pre-heat the oven to 180C.

- In a bowl, apart from the sugar - mix together all the dry ingredients and set aside.

- Cream butter and sugar until it goes white, and then add your eggs, and vanilla extract. Make a well in the dry flour mix and pour in the butter. Stir well to combine before adding the apple and fold in gently, set aside.

- Mix all the ingredients for the streusel, until you have a crumbly or smooth mix (it really doesn't matter the consistency as it will almost sort of caramelise in the oven - yum!).

- Divide the muffin mixture between 15 cupcake cases (the larger ones you get, fill them up about half full). Then spoon over a little bit of the streusel on each. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes (mines took 20 minutes) until a toothpick comes out clean when you check it. Leave to cool slightly before serving. These are almost like a single serving cake, and when I bit into them, I though "This'd be amazing with ice cream!". So by all means... mmmm add ice cream on the side!

Today - I am currently in the middle of a MASSIVE cooking mission, because I am having a charity Foodie Fest to support Red Cross. I received the recipe pack and spices a few weeks ago, and noticed only one out of five recipes were veggie. When I mentioned that to Red Cross, they were really helpful and gave me ideas for substitutes for the meat - and you know what? All the food that I'm making will be vegan! Hopefully I get a few snaps of the dishes before they disappear, so far it all seems pretty tasty! I will keep you posted! Tomorrow, needless to say I will do nothing... Yesterday I went to see Suicide Squad with my boyfriend, it was really interesting to see a movie with no "good guys" and I enjoyed it, although the special effects was maybe a little too much - but cartoons were always about the POW and the SWOSH weren't they? Part of the charm methinks!

How is your weekend going so far?

Original recipe

- Jules

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Light Potato, Tomato & Boiled Egg Salad

Greetings! Today I have a nice little number for you. Although the weather over here has been temperamental, that is no excuse for not whipping up some Summery meals. Let's get started!

Light Potato, Tomato & Boiled Egg Salad
(Serves 2)

300g potatoes, diced
4 eggs, boiled and cooled
150g baby plum tomatoes, halved (optional)
A handful of chives, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the vinaigrette:
3 tbsp sunflower or olive oil
2 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp English mustard
1 tsp maple or agave syrup (or a good pinch sugar)

- Simply start by dicing the potatoes and power boil until soft, this takes about 10-15 minutes, dependingon the size of the dice.

- In the meantime, put the eggs on to boil, once they are done, run under cool water until you can handle them.

- Whilst you've got everything on the boil, half the tomatoes (if using), and make the vinaigrette, set aside, and chop the chives.

- Once the potatoes are done, cool under running water - same way as the eggs... Drain well before shelling the eggs and crumbling them in, add the chives, tomatoes, salt and pepper and now pour in the vinaigrette. Stir well to combine and make sure to break up the eggs a big, that gives the potato salad a creamier texture!

A nice, light Summery lunch or dinner I would say! You can also have this as a side dish if you are having a barbecue, in which case the portion will probably serve four.

How has your weekend been? I had the Friday off and was rather productive then! Saturday I was working away - and it was surprisingly busy actually, afetrwards I met up with my boyfriend and some friends and we had a lovely time! Today I have been lazy - but afterwards, to justify the laziness, I baked some muffins which I will share with you in the near future - they are delicious!
I hope you are making the most of your day, come rain or shine *smiles*

Original recipe:
Veg Everyday, p. 76

- Jules

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Falafel Dreaming

Hello good people!

I am sorry for being absent for some time now, the thing is - I had hit a bit of a blogger wall! My memory card is almost full, I keep rushing to photograph the food before it goes cold, I have had some kitchen disasters... We have all been there, right?

Earlier today, I had the idea of starting afresh, a blank canvas; a new all vegetarian blog! I spent one hour setting it up, only to realise that there is nothing wrong with my old blog, and I can always tweak it!

Yes Nokia, I will miss you... I might keep you just so I can occasionally play Snake though!

Currently, I am charged with new energy, a new iPhone (maybe I should try blogging on the go? Do you have experience with Blogspot VS iPhone? I would love to hear it!) and over the last few days I have also made a few tasty dishes that I know have to make again because - I didn't write it all down for my blog like I normally do!

In addition to this I have also gotten myself Pinterest and Instagram! And here I was thinking that at my grand ol' age of nearly 27 I was a technophobe! I suppose... I still am, and there are days where I miss my little Nokia from the Jurassic period, however now I will need my phone on the go as I am spending less time online at home.

You might have noticed, that I have deleted all the meat and seafood recipes, why? Because now with having been vegetarian for over a year, I felt it was time to have my blog reflecting that as there is no way I see myself going back to being an omnivore! So Spring clean has been had just now in the late days of July - and I feel better about it already!
I kept the "other" posts despite some of them featuring pictures of meat dishes - simply because I want to keep the posts real, the way they were written to begin with - because that is Julie at her most honest. Rethinking and editing and trying to word it all right again just seems pointless. So yeh! To get some hints and tips just click the "other" topic on the right hand side of my blog, and read away! Just note that some of them were written back when I didn't just eat veggies, nuts and fruit - it has been a long food journey and I am excited to continue it!

But how about you! What have you been up to? Ans what would you make RIGHT now if you had the ingredients?

I have a few things happening in my life, but all in good time - I just want to get back into blogging now! ^ ^

PS. Pics in this post is taken from Google... Also, I wonder if a lot of cats do like broccoli... I need to figure out how to make vegetarian doggy biscuits - so many things to do! Can't wait to get started! *smiles*

Sunday, 5 June 2016

"Mild" Two-Potato Vindaloo

I like spicy food, but not when it is so spicy it drowns out allother flavours. I found a recipe for a vindaloo that sounded fragrant, and it is! It was quite spicy even if I toned down the amounts of chilli, but I also found out that if you lightly crush the potatoes - it tastes even better!

Like a good casserole full of chilli, this vindaloo tastes even better the second day around!

And don't be intimidated by the long ingredient list - most of it is just spices and herbs!

"Mild" Two-Potato Vindaloo
(Serves 3-4)

1 tsp cardamom
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ground cloves
A good pinch turmeric
1 tsp paprika powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 red or white onions (because 12 shallots take way long to peel and chop!) finely chopped
1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
25 curry leaves (optional)
2 tbsp grated ginger
1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped (red chili if you're brave)
3 tomatoes, chopped
50ml apple cider vinegar
400ml water
1 tbsp sugar
2 red peppers, diced
400g potaotes (I used one big baking potato), diced
400g sweet potato (again - one large potato will do), diced

- Start by dry-frying the first 7 spices for about a minute until fragrant. In a mortar and pestle, ground until you have a fine spice mix, and set aside (if it is easier, use already ground spices or leave them whole - I did the latter).

- Heat oil in pan and soften the onions with the fennel and mustard seeds for about 10 minutes. Add the spice mix, curry leaves (if using), ginger and chilli - cook for a further 3 minutes.

- Now, add the tomatoes, vinegar, water, sugar and a little bit of salt - cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.

- Add the plain potatoes and the pepper, cook for 20 minutes before adding the sweet potatoes. Make sure everything is covered with the sauce - add more water if necessary. Cook for 40 minutes until everything is tender. Uncover and simmer for 10 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.

Serve with chopped coriander, and maybe a mango lassi?

This weekend has been short but lovely. I was working on Saturday, but in the evening I went to a friend's party (power nap was required before heading out!), and today it was really warm here in Glasgow - almost too hot to be walking outside, because of the humidity. A stroll was had anyway and a punnet of Scottish strawberries to keep me going. Since then I have just been taking it easy - I hope you have had a lovely weekend too!

Original source:
Plenty, p. 18

- Jules

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Green Pancakes with Lime Butter

Ottolenghi's take on the classic savoury spinach pancakes has a twist of zingy lime butter, which was unusual, but totally awesome! So fresh!

Green Pancakes with Lime Butter
(Serves 2-3)

For the Lime butter:
75g unsalted butter, room temperature
Zest of half a lime, juice of 1/4
Good pinch of salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp chopped coriander
1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped
A pinch of chilli flakes OR a few drops tabasco

For the pancakes:
250g spinach (I used 100g and it worked just fine!)
110g flour (I used spelt)
2 tbsp baking powder
2 eggs
50 unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
200ml milk
6 Spring onions, thinly cut (optional)
2 green chillies, thinly sliced (I omitted these)
Oil for frying (I used Pure soya spread)

- Start by mixing the ingredients for the lime butter together, transfer into a ramekin, and refrigerate until serving to allow it to set a little.

- Now, mix all the dry ingredients for the pancakes first in a baking bowl and set aside. Have the spinach in a big casserole and dry fry on medium heat, stirring often so it doesn't burn at the bottom. Once wilted, allow to cool slightly and the squeeze out the excess water, add butter to the spinach and melt.

- Add the vegetables, egg, milk and spinash mix to the bowl and if you want to make it easier for yourself - use a stick blender and whizz the mixture until smooth. You should have a semi-thick pancake batter.

- Now, fry the pancakes! They should be medium ones, which means you will get between 6-8 pancakes out of the mix. They cook through really fast so keep an eye on them!

Keep them hot and serve with the lime butter, enjoy!

How has your weekend been so far? Here the weather has been lovely, and my boyfriend, his sister and I went adventuring around in the West End today, went to Tchai Ovna and had some great food and lovely teas, followed by a walk in the Botanics, down by the River Kelvin. I have another two days off as the next week's first day off landed on a Monday, so I will try and make the most of it, and I hope you do too! Any plans? I will continue reading the Hitchicker's Guide to the Galaxy tonight, and then improvise tomorrow I think *smiles* Making some new dishes are definitely on the schedule somewhere as well!

Original source
Plenty, p. 150

- Jules