Monday, 30 March 2015

Soft & Chewy Peanut Truffles

Peanut butter.... O mighty peanut butter how delicious you are!

And then there's PB2, peanut flour, which is great if you want to whip up a small batch of soft peanut truffles!

I thought I would start posting a little sweet recipe up in time for Easter... I will try and make some other goodies too, but as for now - here you are!

I didn't have chocolate at hand, so I made my own, but for dipping, you can simply melt some dark chocolate of your choice. This is best done by boiling up water in a casserole, about 1/3 or halfway up, turn the temperature down a little, placing the chocolate in a smaller bowl, and into the casserole so it's not in direct contact with the water, and doesn't burn.

Soft & Chewy Peanut Truffles
(Makes 5)

4 heaped tbsp PB2
1 tbsp xylitol, brown sugar og sukrin gold
A pinch of salt
About 2 tbsp water or milk

Dark chocolate to melt
(Or make your own by:
Melting 2 tbsp cocoa butter over low heat, turn off the hob, and stir in 1/2 tbp cocoa, 1/2 tbsp cashew butter and 2 tbsp syrup - I used agave)

Chopped peanuts or dried currants to decorate with, I placed a couple of dried cranberries on top of each for a little extra sweetness.

- Simply mix the peanut flour, sweetener, and salt in a small bowl, then make a little well in the middle and pour in 2 tbsp water or milk or choice. Mix well and add a little more liquid if needed to shape a slightly stick dough.

- Roll into a sausage between your palms, and divide into 4 or 5, roll into little truffles and place on non-stick paper.

- Melt chocolate, and use a spoon to coat each peanut truffle with chocolate. Place back on the baking parchment and repeat, topping with whatever you want, or keep them eu natural *smiles*

- Place in the fridge to set for about at least half an hour, allowing the chocolate to set properly. You can also leave them in there overnight, and serve the next day.

Original source:

- Jules

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Beetroot Salad

Creamy salads that you would serve alongside the barbecue, with salads or top slices of bread with... I remember parents buying all kinds of salads, but they never appealed to me because I was only young and thought that mayonnaise wasn't actually tasty, when it turns out - that it is!

Sometimes beets on their own can be a little too....beety for myself, but I found that with this combination here, it cuts through that, and it turns out lovely and creamy. I lightened it up using light mayonnaise, but you can also mix 1/3 mayonnaise with 2/3 light yogurt, and you'll see that it will still hold the same lovely flavours!

Beetroot Salad
(Makes 1 large tub)

250g cooked beetroot, finely diced
100g light mayonnaise (optionally 2 tbsp mayonnaise and 4-5 tbsp quark or light yogurt)
1 small onion or two shallots, finely chopped
1/2 apple, grated
Salt and pepper to taste

- Simply have all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined. Yes.... it is really that simple!

Serve with bread, or as an accompaniment with meaty mains, or as part of a salad.

This one goes out to my fellow Scandis and Eastern Europeans who are probably the most familiar with this!

Have you tried beetroot salad before?

Original source:

- Julie

Wednesday, 25 March 2015


Gratinated..... anything right? I love cauliflower and broccoli, but I think that even for picky eaters, gratinating things is a great way of "hiding" the vegetables.

I found that I ended up with excess cheese sauce for this (NOT a bad thing by the way!), so next time I make it, I might bulk it out with a couple of cups of al dente-cooked macaroni.

(Serves 2)

PS this photo makes the dish NO justice, it was gone in less time than it took me to take the photos...

300g mixture of broccoli and cauliflower, small florets
250ml milk of choice (I used almond)
1 tsp vegetable stock
125g smoked cheese, grated
2 tbsp cornflour or normal flour
A handful of pumpkin seeds

Boiled macaroni to serve, or bread for mopping. Alternatively, swirl in 2 cups of cooked wholewheat macaroni into the sauce and make a broc'n'mac'n'cheese! Mmmmm!

- Pre-heat your oven to 220°C.

- Now, boil up water in a medium casserole and boil the vegetables for about 5 minutes, until soft.

- In a small pan, have the milk and stock, heat up until just before boiling, and then simmer. Melt in 1/3 of the cheese on low heat. Have the cornflour in a small glass, and add a bit of water and stir out any lumps before pouring into the sauce.

- Now, in a small oven-proof dish or a loaf tin, have the broccoli and cauliflower at the bottom, pour over the sauce, top with the pumpkin seeds, and drizzle over the remaining cheese.

- Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until bubbly.

I was lucky enough for my Spanish flatmate to have made tortillas de patatas, which I served alongside this, and turns out that the two go hand in hand - teamwork!

As for today, I have been in much pain. Know that wisdom-tooth feeling? Yeh, I am on strong antibiotics now, and am trying to get better as soon as! The diet today has been anything than exciting, and I wish I could have had some of the gratinated cheesy goodness today, alas! I was also supposed to have someone over for dinner, but had to postpone it, sigh!

Until then, I just want to wish you a lovely evening! I hope your day has been better than mine *hugs*

Original source:
Good Mood Food, p. 50

- Jules

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Zingy Grilled Halloumi & Onion

Sometimes, a vegetarian diet might seem dautning, but then... just remind yourself of deliciously cheesy and fancy sarnies, and all of a sudden you find yourself breathing relieved again instantly - I promise! A couple of extra ingredients and you have yourself a deli-style sandwich at home!

You can grill the onion and halloumi on skewers over an open fire now that it is getting warmer outside *early-barbecue-enthusiasm!!* OR you can grill them in the oven, easy oozey!
I didn't have skewers, nor a barbecue at the time, and thus settled for using the grill on the oven, but it worked a treat!

Now, we have talked about the main part, now for ways of serving it!
The original recipe suggested to serve it in pitta with rocket and a dressing with Greek yogurt combined with crushed garlic.

I however, was feeling a little studenty, and had also bought a bottle of tamarind sauce (the sweet kind) and decided to build myself a fancy-pants "sammich" as I like to call it. Either way, you wont be disappointed - the secret is in the marinade!

Zingy Grilled Halloumi & Onion
(Serves 2)

200g halloumi, diced
2 small onions (red if you've got them), peeled and sliced across so you have pretty rounds

Juice of 1 lime
2 bay leaves, crushed
1/4 tsp allspice
A good pinch of black pepper
1 tbsp oil

To serve:
A) Pita or flatbreads with rocket on the side, and a Greek yogurt + crushed garlic
B) Four sliced of toast (two each), mayonnaise and sweet tamarind or chutney

- Start by combining all five ingredients ifor the marinate in a bowl and have the diced halloumi in, toss gently to coat and let it sit for at least a few minutes (the recipe said at least half an hour, but I am impatient and it ended up tasting delicious anyway *smiles*).

- Now, turn your grill on high, decide whether you wanna put the halloumi and onion rings on skewers or simply on a baking tray. Pour the rest of the marinade over the onions before you pop them in the oven. Grill for 5-10 minutes until the halloumi has a pleasant slightly brown colour.

Q: What did the cheese say when it looked in the mirror ?
A: Halloumi! (these jokes are so bad that they are good....)

Serve up with whatever you fancy, and tuck in! I love the zingyness of the halloumi and onion, will definitely be making it again! You can also use it in Caribbean salads for a bit of extra flavour instead of meat!

What is your favourite way of serving up halloumi?

I hope y'all have had a lovely weekend! I myself celebrated a belated St. Patrick's Day yesterday at a friend's after having walked for hours in the park, down by the Kelvin River - zenned out! What did you get up to?

Original source:
Spice it Up! p. 116

- Jules

Friday, 20 March 2015

Chickpea & Wannabe-Chicken

Hello and thank Faramir it is Friday!

This has been such a good week, and I hope it has by your end as well, been up to much? I just finished one out of three weeks of training, and passed that little test that we get, so - yarr! Right, let's move on to some much shall we?

Original recipe was topped with a piece of pan-fried trout, BUT I decided to top it off with a couple of Quorn fillets instead, and it was still a treat!

My chickpea craze continues and this time, we make a lovely tomatoey mash with it, I mean...why not, right?

Chickpea & Wannabe-Chicken
(Serves 1-2)

2 tbsp oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tsp (smoked) paprika
1/2 green chilli, finely chopped (or 1/2 - 1 tsp chilli powder)
225g chopped tomatoes OR 3 tbsp tomato purêe and a cup of water
400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 Quorn "chicken-style" fillets, or trout
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of 1/4 or 1/2 of a lemon, plus wedges to serve
Coriander leaves to garnish

- Heat oil in pan and soften the onion and garlic for about five minutes, before adding the spices, and some dried coriander - if you've got some.

- Now, add the tomatoes and chickpeas along with a splash of water and simmer over low heat to allow for the flavours to come together. I added my quorn fillets here to allow for them to defrost in the same process - saves time and effort, score!

- If you did the same sneaky step as I did, take out the fillets and put them aside. If you are preparing this dish with trout, you can pan-fry it with a little salt, pepper and oil for a few minutes on each side until cooked through.

- Mash the chickpea mixture, and add a little extra water if it is a bit too dry. Squeeze in lemon juice to your liking (I used 1/2 lemon) and season to taste with a little salt and pepper.

- Now, it is time to serve it up! Divide the mash between two plates, top with protein of choice, garnish with fresh coriander, and serve with some lemon or lime wedges on the side, et voilâ! Dinner is served, and it features chickpeas, yarr!

PS. Should you be one person only, and have made up a double portion - I can tell you that the chickpea mash tasted pretty darn sweet in a bun too! That was how I had it the second time around with leftovers.

Aaaand on Wednesday it happened... I finally got to see Dylan Moran -and I had no. flippin'. clue! My friend Anna had booked me for the Wednesday, telling me she had a surprise, and she got me all side-tracked: Asking if I liked dancing, telling me that we had to go by the Taco Mazama inside the trainstation and not outside it as we were going to take the train and go on an adventure! Little did I know, that she only meant two stops on the train, and down to the stage that is most famously known as the Armadillo....

This is what she handed me a little away from the venue...

Many a little happy dance was danced (so technically...she was right in mentioning dancing, it was somewhat relevant!). The show was fantastic, and I feel a little overwhelmed still, being a maaaassive Black Books and Mr. Moran fan. He also touched on the subject of vegetarianism, and so that is why I decided on this little number today. I am getting used to the vegetarian diet as well, so far it has been no problem (apart from having to stay away from marshmallows). But yeh, Dylan Moran's "Off the Hook" was amazing *speechless*.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend! I myself have planned to just take it easy, go to a friend's get-together tomorrow, and chill out. I had my first session back in the gym after over half a year today after work, and it felt amazing to actually have the energy to do it!

What have you got up your sleeve for the coming days?

Original course:
Good Mood Food, p. 85

- Jules

Monday, 16 March 2015

Dark Chocolate Dinner Mints with Oats

It is Monday, the start to a new week, and I just had my first day of training in a new job - chocolate is needed!

Yes, we have two sweet treats in a row on this here blog, because... Actually, no reason is required! All you need is a cuppa and putting your feet up. If you crush these up - come to think of it - they might make for a tasty ice cream crumble actually! Why didn't I think of this before it was too late?! These disappeared in the flashest of flashes.

Dark Chocolate Dinner Mints with Oats
(Makes 1 small cake tin's worth)

75g cocoa butter
2 tbsp cashew butter (or other nut butter)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp syrup (I used agave, but maple syrup works well too!)
5-8 tbsp unsweetened cocoa (depends on how dark you like it)
1-2 tsp peppermint extract (unless you have that really strong stuff that you only need a few drops of!)
About 50 grams of toasted oats

- Start by having a small frying pan on low heat and add your cocoa butter, once it starts to melt add your cashew butter. Stir until they are both mixed well and melted.

- Now, turn off the heat and stir through the syrup, vanilla and the cocoa powder. Then, gentrly fold in the peppermint extract and the oats, making sure it is all covered. Add more oats if you want to bulk out the chocolate a little.

- Divide between small confectionary cupcake cases (I used silicone ones), or simply spread over some clingfilm or baking parchment on a plate and leave it to set in the fridge for a couple of hours.

Once set - it's ready to serve! I find these are perfect after-dinner chocolate mints ^ ^ And I hope you like them!

Recipe based on: but altered by yours truly *smiles*

- Jules

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Pine-A-Berry Compote

...I might have used my Good Mood Food recipe book quite a bit recently, but you need happy dishes in the colder months right?! I am so glad I cam across it in a charity shop last year!

Plus, the recipe calls for a handful or two's worth of ingredients that are easy to obtain most of the time.

Instead of using the entire FOUR ingredients this dessert/snack called four, I limited it down to three (unless you count the three different seeds and nuts I had at hand...).

Whipped up in less than 15 minutes, I might have had this for lunch on a regular Monday, yup that's right!

I thought I had bought pineapple rings when I was in the shop, buuuut it turns out it was the chopped kind... Oh well! Tastes exactly the same, and with the garnish and a good dollop of yogurt on top, it doesn't really matter.

Pine-A-Berry Compote
(Serves 2)

2 slices of pineapple, or a small box of chopped pineapples, juice drained and set aside
4 handfuls of blueberries, washed
A handful of seeds and nuts (I used a mixture of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and hazelnuts)
Optionally 4 tbsp of runny honey (I used some juice from the pineapple instead)

- Start by pre-heating the grill in your oven.

- Now, in two oven-proof dishes, place the pineapple in them, top with blueberries (you can try and place them neatly in the pineapple "wells"), and then sprinkle over with the seeds and nuts. If you are using honey, you can drizzle that over now as well.

- Grill for between 2-7 minutes (depends on your grill), until the blueberries are tender and the nuts and seeds are toasted.

Serve as it is, of with a dollop og yogurt or icecream, and enjoy! I loved how it wasn't overly sweet and had that hint of tartness from the blueberries, mmmmm *smiles*

This weekend has so far involved quite a bit of food, and so I thought posting a light dessert was appropriate. I was at Nur last night, and had quite the feast! Today, I have been with a friend and bought clothes at charity shops - so many good finds, didn't spend a ridiculous amount of money, ended up with a lot of nice new clothes, and it was all for a good cause! We had lunch in the wonderful cafê/bar called 78 that serves vegan and vegetarian food, and I tried vegan cheese in a quesadilla for the first time! Not três bad if I may so myself, and it came with lots of other goodies too *smiles*

Now it is feet up, and maybe I'll watch a movie, or do something creative ^ ^ How has your weekend been so far?

Original source:
Good Mood Food, p. 73

- Jules

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Fragrant Sweet Potato & Tomato Stew

This week, has been turbulent to say the least, my career took a sudden turn, not entirely out of the blue... but still. A big change in a small life, but it seems like every day since Monday have had a silver-lining of sorts. I am also really lucky to have a solid support network in my friends, they have been there for me more than I would have ever imagined. Soon every thing will be all right, fall into place - I know it! How? Cause my friends assured me *smiles*

A simple dish asking for simple ingredients, but with the humble list of spices it turns into a delightful stew!

I served it with spinach paratha on the side and it worked a treat! I also had a leftover avocado to be used, but you can easily swap this for a courgette or something else really!

Fragrant Sweet Potato & Tomato Stew
(Serves 2)

70g quick-wholemeal rice, cooked
1 onion, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 medium avocado or small courgette, diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
200ml chopped tomatoes
300ml vegetable stock
1 tsp Garam masala
100g spinach

- If the rice isn't cooked, start by doing this. Drain and set aside.

- In a medium large casserole, heat up the oil on medium heat and soften the onion. After about 5 minutes, add the sweet potato, cumin, cinnamon and garam masala and stir for about a minute.

- Now add all the ingredients but the spinach. Cook covered, for about 15 minutes until the sweet potato is tender.

- Last but not least, add the spinach and cover for about a minute. Now, stir the stew until the wilted spinach is well incorporated into the stew.

Serve with good bread on the side!

Yesterday, after a day of running all sorts of important errands in town (OK, not THAT many, but more than one counts as a few at least), a dear friend and I went to visit another lovely lady who cooked up a storm for us! I brought some honey nut snack marbles to have as a light dessert, whilst we were having a little Easter craft night, including watching Black Books, aka being distracted by the show non-stop, I mean, how could you not? It is the best show!

Despite this, I managed to make a little egg-cosy, his name is Ludvik and he is showing off his new Easter shower towel.

I hope you have a lovely Thursday! Any plans?

Original source:
Good Mood Food, p. 19

- Jules

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

My Top Seven Eateries in Glasgow

And so I figured I would try and rattle up a post about some of my favourite places to go to eat in Glasgow. I have been to lots and lots of restaurants, pubs, some tea houses, bars and fast-food places over the seven years I have been living in this lovely sociable city, but a good handful+ have stood out.

You might have heard of them, been to them, or perhaps considered to try them out? I have added their websites, and unlike the posts with the food I make, the photos in this post was taken from google images, but I felt they represented the places, the way I got the impressions of them. The culinary-food scene in Glasgow keeps growing, and there is no way I am going to get to visit all of them, so if you have places you would like to add, please let me know in the comment field, as I would love to hear about them!

Note: None of these are in order of preference, apart from my Number 1, which is Nur - love that place!

My Top Seven Eateries in Glasgow

Nur - Egyptian

Perhaps my favourite restaurant in Glasgow to date! The location might seem a little odd, being on the outer side of the Clyde, but from Central Station - it takes about 10 minutes to walk over.
This hidden gem is perfect for any occasion, and the best spot is upstairs where there are low tables, cosy sofas and lots and lots of pillows. There are so many pretty things to look at, and the atmosphere is so relaxed.

As for the food, what can I say - I couldn't ask for more really! Generous portions, fair prices, and the neatest little finishes with garnishes and the like. They also have a selection of drinks other than the usual, and it is recommended trying the Egyptian hibiscus tea - hot or cold, as it is really good to have after a meal.

Baba ganough, and other spreads garnished off with pomegranate seeds and other goodies, with some delicious Egyptian bread, hearty and fragarant stews for a chilly night, or something straight of the grill (you can literally taste the flames - it's divine!), whichever you choose - you cannot go wrong, I promise!

I am so happy I stumbled upon this place, and am looking forward to my next visit. Usually I like trying out different restaurants when I am out, but I seem to somehow find my way back here regularly.... Mmmmm....

Mother India

If you're going out for Indian food, this is where it's at! Instantly I felt all warm and fuzzy inside. When arriving, there were no people there, but come a little past five - the place was buzzing.
Bookings in advance is the best, as sometimes you can find there to be a queue outside, and with good reason! The aromas from the kitchen sifting through the room, teasing your senses, under a dimly lit ceiling. Mother India consists of three restaurants, all quite small and cosy - intimate, and with a lovely staff.

I asked for something they would recommend, something special, and they even suggested having something made for me that wasn't even on the menu - Mutter or Matar Paneer. This was a lovely tomato-sauce base with diced and fried paneer cheese. I had this with some brown basmati green pilaf, and on the side we had one of my guilty pleasures to share - a fresh peshwari naan, delicious and freshly toasted!

Tchai Ovna - House of Tea

This might be the house of hundreds of teas, but they also have their own unique vegetarian menu. Although it might be a humble list of a few pages of foods - they vary the types of soups and curries regularly. But when they have their infamous falafel on the menu with some delicious hummous and pitta bread on the side accompanied with a little side salad, you don't really need anything else than a delicious warm pot of milky yogi yogi chai - it tastes of all the good things, and you can even buy some to take home with you - instructions included!
When I first started going here, I was in awe by all the beautiful little things there were to look at there, and soon I started calling it my "Glaswegian grandmother". You know when you go somewhere and just instantly feel at home?
The ever changing contemporary music accompanied with people from all over the world, regular events like gigs, poetry readings, this is the place to be.
The walls is even used as an Art Gallery for budding artists and you might end up buying a piece before you're on your way out, and back into the real world. The world "escapist" springs to mind, and should you feel a little adventurous; you might even brave yourself to trying the Dragon's Breath chilli tea!

PS. Their carrot cake is amazing!

PPS. They will soon be relocating unfortunately, so visit the original Tchai Ovna now whilst you can!

Nanakusa - Japanese

Fancy some amazing sushi, or just some hearty Asian food? This is the place! The interior combines both modern culture and the more traditional one, having dimly coloured coloured lights, and a really lovely old-fashioned ceiling and shape.
And as for the food? So good! So far it is definitely the place where I have had the best sushi to date, and the staff is always friendly, without being intrusive. The little starters that you could combine several of and just have a main, or an Asian-style tapas is also possible, and I have been tempted to do that on several occasions!
This is the place I also tried plum wine and sakê for the first time. They are both served in little urns, along with little glasses, perfect size of drink when you want to enjoy a proper meal out.
Price-wise they are also very affordable, and the portions are the size that portions should be, plus - you're going to want to try some of those delicious little starters too!

Bier Halle - German

This here German little beer hall was one of the first places that really was imbedded in my mind, and which I associated with cosy hang-out times as well as birthday celebrations! It is perfect for any occasion, be it a date, a catch up, a place to celebrate or... to take your cousin too when he is visiting from Norway.
The pizzas are incredible, and they also have a solid menu of favourites as well as some less-known combinations that might catch your eye (like the breakfast pizza with black pudding and fried eggs, or smoked salmon and pesto!). Even the humble vegetarian ones are packed full of flavour, and you'll be going out into the real world with a smile on your face afterwards (promise!).
It is also the place of the mighty stein - a beer glass so big that is basically the size of my face. When holding it, I felt like Pippin in the Prancing Pony in Lord of the Rings (Baggins? Sure I know a Baggins... Frodo Baggins. He's my second cousin once removed, on his mother's side and my third cousin twice removed on his father's side...if you follow me.) You do have to pay a deposit of £5 should you order one of these bad boys, but worry not - it will be returned after you have had your beer, and you also get a free hot dog, now how's that for a deal? They also do world wide beers and ales.

Babu Bombay Street Kitchen - Indian

Authentic, quick service, and flavours that you're not highly likely to come across elsewhere! I actually worked in the kitchen here for a couple of months, and you know how some places you feel like not eating the food that is being made and served in your work place because you get a little fed up with it? Well that was never the case here!
They have about a 50/50 meat vs. vegetarian menu, which makes it easy for people with all types of diets. Everything is made from scratch, and some dishes are not overly spices for those who should be a little sensitive to it.
Palak Paneer, the infamous Butter Chicken, as well as Sev Puri and Bhel puri (talk about street snacks!) are all served here, as well as the Dhal of the day, Bombay Badboy wraps, and more! Try the homemade Chai Masala, it's milky base and spiced flavour with a bit of ginger added - so good! Babu also sells food that you can take home as well, which is handy after a long day in work!

Taco Mazama - Mexican

Fast, delicious, fun and friendly... These are the words I would immediately think of if someone mentioned Taco Mazama.
This is where I took my father to get some proper grub after he first arrived Glasgow and had been travelling half of the day.
They have a variety of options, whether you want a mighty burrito, a lighter fajita, quesadilla, salad, burrito bowl or nachos. It is the perfect place if you want to treat yourself for lunch, and they also have a deal up for grabs around noon.
All their dishes, be it meat or vegetarian, melt in your mouth, and my favourite in particular is their aubergine and mushroom chilli, so good! The logo always catches my eye, I mean - how can you not love tribal lizards in bright orange (my favourite colour), right?!
Should you feel like tackling more than just one burrito, they also have the Burrito Challenge!

I hope you find this useful, whether you're a local or wanting to take a trip to Glasgow in the forseeable future!

What is your top three restaurants?

xox Jules

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Palak Paratha

Spinach - tasty, tasty greens! Perhaps even the "meatiest" of the greens as well? I remember now being much of a fan of greens when I was little, but as far as my blog goes - I am sure you can tell that has changed, and the first time I had a vegetarian pizza with spinach - I was hooked!

Why not try and add some spinach in homemade parathas? It works a treat, and can be served alongside almost any Indian main. I used spelt flour instead of wholemeal, and it worked a treat!

Palak Paratha
(Makes 5-6)

300g spinach
250g wholemeal or spelt flour
A pinch of salt
1/2 green chilli, finely chopped
1 tsp dried pomegranate seeds (optional, I didn't have any at hand)
About 2 tbsp oil for frying (or butter if you want)

- Start by having the spinach in a casserole. Boil up water and pour over it, stir a little for about a minute or so - until the spinach has wilted. Drain off the water, and whizz the spinach either in a processor or with a stick blender.

- Now, in a bowl, mix the flour, salt and chilli (plus pomegranate seeds if using), then, make a well in the middle and pour in the spinach mixture. Work the dough well. You can add water if necessary, but I found that after working the dough for about 5 minutes, there was no need for it.

- Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave to sit for about 30 minutes (....I was too impatient and skipped this, or...I let it sit for about 10 minutes rather...).

- Now, divide the dough into 5 or 6 pieces and flatten out until about 15 cm in diameter. I did this one by one as I had one paratha ni the pan frying.

- So! Heat about 1 tbsp oil in a small frying pan, and cook the parathas for a few minutes on each side until slightly crisp and green and golden. Continue with the remaining parathas, until you have a lovely little stack of them.

Enjoy straight from the pan with food of choice! I even rolled one up and had it as part of my lunch one day, so good!

Have you ever tried to make parathas before?
I used to make stuffed ones when I was working in the Indian kitchen, and I was surprised at how easy it was to make them instead of buying them. Usually you have the ingredients for plain or stuffed parathas at hand anyway, and so it can save you money *smiles*. Thanksfully, the spinach is cheap, and adds a whole lot of nutrition to this green version here, bonus! Not to mention the lovely flavour, mmm....

This weekend has been packed with as much as TWO charity pot-lucks where everyone brings some home cooked goodies for a good cause and get-together. Friday evening was for International Women's Day charities, and the brunch on Saturday was for Barnardo's children charity. It was great fun and I got to meet so many lovely new people as well as catching up with a lot of friends - win!

Today, the weather was actually great! And so a friend and I went out for lunch, before going on adventures through the Botanics and Kelvingrove Park, it was lovely! Tonight, I watched an eye-opener of a movie:

I think I can count on two hands the amount of times I have had any meat-produce this year, and this movie encouraged my views on potentially becoming a full-time vegetarian, for a better world! Previously, I have seen snippets of the way some animals are treated, but to watch a whole documentary about the whole process, as well as telling us how it can be beneficial for your health really did move me. When I was young, I was stubborn and picky and ate only a few vegetables (less picky on the fruit, because y'know it's so sweet and juicy most of the time!), but later in life, especially after having moved from home, I find myself discovering more and more exciting food that doesn't necessarily need to be prepared using these products.
What are your thoughts on vegetarianism/veganism?

Aaaaaand how has your weekend been? I hope you have a lovely Sunday evening, and a good start to the new week!

Original source:
India - Cookbook, p. 613

- Jules

Friday, 6 March 2015

Curry Roasted Cashew Nuts

Hey and thank Faramir it is Friday! Have you had a good week so far?

I thought I would post up a recipe for an amazing snack that can also be added to salads, used as topping for savoury dishes, or had as part of a spread, I tried to add them to some cucumber and mango rolls, tasty combination!

These nuts are so versatile! You can top stews with them, roll them up in cucumber rolls along with some carrots and mango, or just eat as a snack, it really is up to you.

Just be mindful and keep an eye on these bad boys, as they don't need long to roast! I think mine took between 10-15 minutes.

Curry Roasted Cashew Nuts
(Makes 1 cup)

1 cup cashew nuts, soaked for at least an hour
1 1/2 tbsp curry powder (I used Chinese)
1 tbsp coconut oil melted
1 tbsp syrup, such as agave - you can also use brown sugar or xylitol
A drizzle of salt

- Start by pre-heating the oven to 190°C.

- Now, melt the coconut oil in a small frying pan along with the sweetener of choice. Turn off the heat, and have the cashews in the pan and swirl around until coated. Then add the curry powder and salt and stir until the cashews are evenly coated.

- Place on a baking-paper clad tray, and roast in the middle of the oven for 10-20 minutes, keeping an eye on them.

In the original recipe, she roasted them for 35-45 minutes. I was impatient and didn't soak the cashews, so mine were well-done after about 10-20 minutes.

I need to make more of these, have used them up already!

Have you roasted nuts at home using different spices yourself? If so, do you have any favourite combinations?

I used these s a snack, and rolled them up in cucumber with mango cut into matchsticks, and I also used them to top the vegan sweet potato and peanut stew - In that recipe though, I swapped the chilli powder for paprika and fennel and it went hand in hand with the curry spice - awesome! I love when you make little discoveries like that *smiles*

Have you got any plans for the weekend?

I am lucky enough to have charity events that my lovely friends (both called Anna, in fact!) are hosting! Both are pot-luck events, one is tonight, and another one is tomorrow at lunch time, I cannot wait! For the occasion, I made two quiches, one with leek and another one with caramelised red onions. PS. should you feel like quiche, you can find a really good recipe here, as well as some crustless quiches if you use the search bar!

I'll try and remember to take it easy at some point during the weekend ^ ^ I hope you have a fantasmic one!

Original source:

- Jules

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Matar Paneer

So I had Matar Paneer at my first trip to Mother India a couple of weeks ago - and it was fantastic!

I found a recipe for it in my big book of Indian cuisine (I think I am missing the food from the kitchen I used to work in a little, the trip to the restaurant made sure to remind me about it!), and decided to lighten it up a little and make it a healthier meal for any day of the week. And the best of all? It comes together in 15-20 minutes!

I bought some 10-minute brown rice, if you just stir a little butter or oil and a pinch of salt through, it tastes really good, not to mention the fact that you save time and energy, perfect *smiles*.

Matar Paneer
(Serves 1)

2 tbsp oil or ghee
100g paneer, diced
1 small bay leaf
Water (4 tbsp + 1/2 cup)
A good pinch of each: cloves, cardamom and cinnamon
Also 1/3 tsp of each cumin, turmeric, ground coriander, and Garam Masala
Small pinch chilli powder
1-2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
Salt to taste
100g peas, drained and rinsed
Rice to serve

- Cook rice as instructed on the package.

- Now, in a medium frying pan, heat the oil and fry the diced paneer until golden, for about 5 minutes, tossing occasionally.

- Now, take out the paneer with a slotted spoon and transfer to kitchen paper. In the same frying pan, add the bay leaf, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon, along with 4tbsp water over low heat, for for a minute until fragrant.

- Now, add the remaining spices, as well as the salt, ginger and 1/2 cup of water. Stir well, before adding the peas and paneer and cook for about 5-7 minutes until it is all heated through properly.

- Serve the Matar Paneer over a bed of rice, and enjoy!

Other than that, some friends and I tried our hands at the pub quiz at Cafê Rio last night! It was a lot of fun, and I particularly liked the part where we were given a pot of Playdoh and told to recreate a scene from a horror movie, we picked Scream! And I must say it was pretty detailed and impressvie (I was watching in awe more than helping, not very good with Playdoh and haven't watched the movie!). Today I am going to work, and then have a quiet evening, should be good! Do you have any plans for the coming days?

Original Source:
India, p. 315

- Jules