Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Beignets de maïs & bananes servi avec des haricots verts aux amandes

Beignets de maïs & bananes servi avec des haricots verts aux amandes mean
Corn & Banana dumplings served with Green beans cooked in almond milk

 Serves 5
Ingredients for the beans
Ingredients for the beans:
  • 400g frozen green beans
  • 100g raw almond flakes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red scotch bonnet (optional)
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 2 stock cubes
  • Salt
  • Sesame oil.
Read the whole recipe before starting.

the almond cream sticks to the sides
Prep: Cover the almonds with cold water and leave aside for 1 hour in order to rehydrate them. Once rehydrated, pass through the food processor to blend very finely with about 200 ml water. Set aside.

Take the sliced beans out of the freezer and leave them to unfreeze, then rinse and put on a colander to remove the extra water. Set aside.

Dice onion, Butternut scotch and garlic set aside.

Method: Pour in the liquidised almonds in a pan, add onion garlic and the stock cubes. Add 3 tablespoons of sesame oil (this will add more nutty-ness to the dish). Stir and leave to simmer for 5 minutes. We want some of the water to evaporate and leaving behind a creamy texture. The onion will have lost its crunch by then and the cream should stick to the sides of the pan.

Now add the green beans and chilli, mix well continuously for 3-5 minutes until the beans soften to your liking. It is done.

Note: if you intend to reheat, just switch the heat after adding the beans.
Now onto the dumplings
Ingredients for the dumplings:
  • 2 over-ripped bananas (about 300g)
  • 300g fine corn flour
  • 200 self-rising flour
  • 20g sugar (I don’t like sweet stuff much)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 200ml water
Banana & Corn batter
Method: In a bowl, crush the bananas with the corn flour… Because the corn flour is so grainy, it is ideal to use it to mash the bananas.

Once that is done, add water, salt and sugar. Mix well to melt the sugar especially, then add the flour. Mix until you obtain and homogenous wet batter. Leave to rest for about 30 minutes to allow the corn flour to soften.

Heat about 500ml of vegetable oil in a deep pan. The oil has to be really hot and to test it, drop a small amount of the batter in it. If the dough rises up to the surface immediately, your oil is ready.
Yum... Golden and well formed

Using a table spoon and a bowl with cold water. Scoop the batter and drop into the hot oil. In order for the batter not to stick to the spoon, deep the spoon quickly into the cold water and scoop again… so forth and so on.

Given how hot the oil is, it should take about 1 minute and half for the dough to cook through. Make sure to turn them so all sides will be golden.

Just like when frying chips, remove the dumplings from the oil and place on a tissue paper to remove the extra oil.

The dumplings cannot really be reheated unlike the beans above and they are best served hot if for dinner as served below. The left over can be used for breakfast too.

Tuck in! Serving suggestion
I love these dumplings and do them often. I forgot half way to take pictures, but you’ve got the idea.

Hope you like it.

Send me your comments. x



Tuesday, 17 February 2015

3 flours vegan pancakes

Eat my shorts Picasso!
Today is Shrove Tuesday, which is the Tuesday before lent start. In some part of the world, this day is also known as Mardi Gras or Crepes day… in most houses here in the UK, people will be making pancakes with all sorts of topping.

Unfortunately for me I am currently on sick leave and cannot go out to buy extras for my pancake.  I just had to make do with what I found in the house… and this is what I found.
The brownest on is the wheatbran

For the pancakes:
·         50g Natural wheat brand
·         50g Fine corn flour
·         50g self-rising flour
·         4 Apples (sugar replacement)
·         150ml Soya milk
·         150ml fizzy water (great for the bubbles)
·         Rice Bran oil

Fruit Salad:
·         1 Sharon fruit
·         1 Pear
·         5 Dates
·         1 Orange (for the juice)
·         1 Pomegranate
Fruits salad
Start by preparing the fruits salad.
Peel and cut the Sharon fruit, pear, ½ orange, pomegranate and combine in a bowl.
Chop the date and set aside as the will be added just before serving (a wet date does not taste good).

The other half orange will be drizzled over the dish before serving as the juice will keep it all wet and moist.

Making the pancakes.
Peel, cut the apple and blend with the milk to obtain a smoothie-like mix.
In blender or food processor, combine the wheat bran, corn flour and the smoothie. Whizz to obtain a very smooth batter. I should mention here that wheat brand looks a bit like really tiny flakes that do not tend to break down on the contact of a liquid.  Putting all the flours through the food processor will help the flakes to become a bit more flour like and help perfectly combine it with the corn and self-rising flour.
Fresh pancakes
Once all that is done, pour the batter into a bowl and fold in the fizzy water with a small pinch of salt. The pancake mix is ready.
Note: this batter will not behave like a plain flour mix. It take a lot of oil and will take long and a gentler touch to manipulate. You won’t for example be able to flip it over. So take your time with it while frying.
Got this after my half marathon
So, in a hot pan 3 table spoons of Rice Bran oil and measure up about 2 table spoons worth of batter for each pancake. Don’t do too many at the time as you may lose track of time and burn the pancake.
Fry each side for 1 minute to 1.30 minutes on medium to low heat to allow the batter to cook through. Again, because it isn’t made of flour, it take slightly longer to cook. I had few mishaps while doing it and learning as I went.
With the measurements above, you should obtain 9 to 10 small pancakes.
Serve warm with the fruit salad washed with orange juice.
Serving suggestion
If you’ve got sugar, you could cook the fruits in caramelised sugar and serve with the juice from the cooked fruits!
This is just perfect for digestion with all that fibre!


Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Creamy Spinach & garlic roast potatoes

It is as tasty as it looks
Dinner for 2
  • Ingredients
    150ml Alpro cream
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 200g bag of spinach
  • 2 white shallots
  • 6 small potatoes
  • 50g soya mince
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 Brazil nuts
  • 1 spring onion
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Groundnut oil.
All chopped and ready to go!

Rehydrate the mincemeat in boiling water for 10 minutes, then sieve and set aside.
Wash the spinach and set aside.
Parboil the potatoes in salty water and halve them.
Peel and chop the carrot, garlic, shallots & spring onion. Keep them separated and leave aside.
Grate the Brazil nuts.


Preheat the oven at 180C.
Boiled and seasoned potatoes

In an oven dish, place the halved precooked potatoes with 1 chopped garlic and spring onion, a pinch of salt and 1 table spoon of groundnut oil. Toss to mix well. Place the potatoes face down in the dish then, using the potatoes masher press the potatoes down to mash them a bit. Place in the oven for about 10-15 until they start crisp.

In the meantime, in a hot pan with 2 table spoons of groundnut oil, fry the shallots until brown, add the mincemeat with salt, pepper 
Roasted potatoes
& garlic.  Stir until the mince starts to crisp. Now add the chopped carrot. Hope fully the latter has been chopped thinly enough not to take too long to soften. In this case, it took about 2 minutes. As all that starts to brown it adds flavour to the dish.

Now add the grated Brazil nut and the cream. Leave to simmer for about 3-5 minutes then, stir in the spinach, adjust the seasoning and leave to soften for about 2 minutes.

All this shouldn’t take more that 10-12 minutes and the potatoes should be ready by then. Serve.

Serving suggestion
This dish is the worst nightmare of a person with nuts allergies make sure none of them is around.


See you next week!