Spiced Pear & Walnut Muffins

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A Muffin ~ a type of quick bread that originated in America and portioned for one person. Traditionally eaten for breakfast but these days so very popular especially the sweet variations, with a lovely cup of coffee or tea.

I went back to its roots and thought I would make my version of a breakfast fruit muffin. I used walnuts as they are one of the healthiest nuts available and are an antioxidant. Aswell as proven to lower blood pressure and cholesterol

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So a perfect choice to start the day and what fruit marries well with walnuts? Pear! A match made in nature!

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I felt the need to spice the muffins up so I used mixed spice to warm up the soul. I also reduced the sugar and fat content but this hasn’t had any effect on the taste or consistency! This muffin will definitely set you up for the day! I’ve just had one this morning and I’m still going. A great winner all round! Enjoy, much love D x

INGREDIENTS

250g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
60g caster sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp mixed spice heaped
200g grated pear
70g walnut chopped
100ml natural yoghurt
2 free range eggs beaten
50g melted butter
50ml-70ml milk

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METHOD

• Preheat oven to 190°c/375°f/gas mark 5, grease a 12 hole muffin pan

• Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar and mixed spice together. Add the yoghurt, eggs,syrup and milk and stir until combined. Stir in the melted butter

• Fold in the grated pear and chopped walnuts. The batter should be a drop like consistency

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• Fill the muffin pan and bake for 20-30 minutes until the muffin tops are nice and golden

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Walnuts are healthy! a great read 🙂

Rupa’s Salsa Verde…

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Salsa verde is a green salsa, it can be quite chunky but the one that was prepared by my youngest sister in law last Saturday, was something extremely special.  Rupa had called us round for dinner and  Oh my did we enjoy ourselves!  She had prepared grilled vegetable and golden halloumi skewers with a jewelled vegetarian couscous along with the salsa that tantalised our taste buds and made all the the different ingredients on the plate sing!

The consistency was very smooth and the colour so very vibrant.  I just deeply regret not taking a picture to show you all, I was too busy eating away! Sorry!
I have however, found a picture that shows the type of consistency of the salsa we had.  The colour here, is more a lime green but the colour you will achieve with this particular recipe will be slightly darker due to the mint. I hope you all enjoy it as much as we did.

Thanks to R & V for a wonderful evening and for this lovely recipe!

INGREDIENTS

1 bunch parsley, chopped leaves only
1 bunch basil, chopped leaves
1 bunch mint, chopped leaves
2 tbsp capers drained
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 tsp dijon mustard
Olive oil as required
Sea Salt & Ground fresh pepper to taste

METHOD

Simply blitz all the above ingredients together in a food processor, grinder or Nutribullet if you have one

Pour into a bowl and leave in the fridge until your ready to serve

Picture courtesy of https://fortheloveofyum.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/img_5766.jpg

A Baked Broccoli Kofta Curry….

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I absolutely love to find new recipes to try and am able to get a variety everyday on the Facebook interactive food group. With over 6000 members, I have made many friends and you can imagine the amount of vegetarian food dishes, recipes and ideas that are flying around.

I see so many that I wish to make, that now I have started to bookmark them. The first one I couldn’t wait to cook was The Baked Broccoli Kofta Curry by Swathi Pareek @ Cooking wid joy and what an outstanding recipe. Firstly what stood out at me was that the koftas were baked rather than fried and the ingredients were really healthy with hardly any use of oil.

What resulted was a superb curry with an intense broccoli hit of kofta in the most delectable tomato based curry. Swati! What a fantastic recipe!! One I know I will be making over and over again. Thank you so much!

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It’s a must make…Do visit Swati and check out more tasty vegetarian recipes. Hope you all enjoy it. Have a relaxing, stress free Sunday! Much love D x

I followed the recipe with one acception.  I added a handful of cheddar cheese to the broccoli mash!  You know me and cheese! Lol!

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Naturally Sweet Beetroot Flatbread

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Pickled beetroot or beetroot in salads is how I eat this vibrant vegetable normally, so I thought it was time I “Shivaay Delights” it! 😉
So introducing the beetroot flatbread, which was meant to be savoury but in the end turned sweet because the beetroot was extremely sweet naturally. It was really lovely to have, especially as it has no added sugar yet the yummy earthy flavours remain.

I think I made about 14 flatbreads, left them in the kitchen and I went to watch the Wimbledon Men’s final, only to find 3 left when I went to the kitchen to make a quick cup tea?! My husband that’s who! I thought he was in the kitchen for quite a while lol 🙂

Hope you enjoy them as much as he did!

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INGREDIENTS

2 raw beetroots peeled & grated
2 cups plain/wholewheat flour
1/2 tsp ginger puree
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 level tsp salt
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1/2 cup boiling water
Oil for shallow frying
Flour for rolling

METHOD

Place the grated beetroot into a large mixing bowl. Add all the spices and seasoning. Next the flour and the 2 tablespoons of oil

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With a fork bring all the ingredients together. Slowly add the boiling water little by little till a soft dough forms. You may not need all the water as the beetroot will be generous in releasing its juice

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Heat a non stick frying pan on a medium heat

Take about a tablespoon and a half of dough, roll into a ball, dust in some flour and gently roll out into a flat round approximately 6 to 7 cm

Place into the frying pan, wait for a minute or so until it bobbles, turn over and cook til both sides have a few brown spots, using a little oil to aid the cooking process

Serve with a little melted butter

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Peri-peri spicy masala chips

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A really lip smacking chips masala that I think allows the ordinary though much loved potato chip come to life!

A masala so moreish that you won’t be able to stop once you’ve started! For all those “Nando’s” lovers out there this peri peri mix likens itself to their famous seasoning! And the best thing is you can have as much as you want as you can mix up some more!

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I’m bringing this super duper spice mix to Angie’s awesome party over @ The Novice Gardener!…let’s all sprinkle and shake those chips to the music being played! 🙂

INGREDIENTS

1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic granules
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp dried coriander
Fresh lemon juice
(Cayenne pepper optional)

2 plates ready made hot crispy chips ~ I oven bake mine so that they are more healthy!

METHOD

• Throw in all the seasoning ingredients into a non stick plate

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Mix well, add the chips and coat well with the masala and finally squeeze a little lemon juice. You can skip the lemon if you want the chips to remain crisp! But I love how it lifts the spices!

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Tangy rolls of Khandvi

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An amazing writer, cook and TV personality, Tarla Dalal. The Indian cooking queen. I have made many of her recipes but recently I had the urge to eat Khandvi…A subtle tangy rolled snack made from (chickpea) gram flour and yoghurt. This particular dish is very special to me as my aunt and I made this together. She had taught me the technique.

However I had forgotten to make a note of the recipe, so I referred to Tarla Dalal’s brilliant recipe. The results were outstanding in terms of flavour. I didn’t take step by step pictures as it was my first attempt. But I know I will use this particular recipe time and time again so knew that all of you would love it too! I’m also bringing some at Angie’s Fiesta Friday Party co hosted by my lovely friend’s Selma & Jhuls…x

INGREDIENTS

1 cup besan (gram flour)
1 cup fresh yoghurt mixed with 1 1/2 cups of water
2 to 3 drops of lemon juice
2 tsp ginger-green chilli paste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
a pinch of asafoetida
salt to taste
3 1/4 tsp sunflower oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
5 to 6 curry leaves
1/2 tsp finely chopped green chillies (optional)

For The Garnish
2 tbsp freshly grated coconut
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander

METHOD

Combine the gram flour, yoghurt-water mixture, lemon juice, ginger-green chilli paste, turmeric powder, asafoetida and salt in a deep non-stick pan and mix well to make a smooth batter (taking care that no lump remains)

Cook on a slow flame, while stirring continuously till it becomes thick (approx 8 to 10 minutes)

Grease a clean work top surface or a flat metal plate (approx. 10”) on the reverse side using ¼ tsp of oil and spread a spoonful of the batter on a greased plate or work top and wait for a few seconds and try to roll up. If it doesn’t, then cook for a few more minutes, and check once more till done

Divide the batter into two equal portions. While the batter is still hot, spread each portion evenly using a spatula, on the reverse greased side of 2 thalis evenly to make a thin uniform layer using a spatula (refer step 1)

When cool, cut the khandvi on each thali lengthwise (approx. 1½” in width) into equal portions (as shown in the image) and roll up each gently (refer to step 2 and 3)

For the tempering, just before serving heat the remaining 3 tsp oil in a small non-stick pan and add the mustard seeds.When the seeds crackle, add the asafoetida, curry leaves and green chillies and sauté on a medium flame for a few seconds.Pour the tempering over the khandvis.Serve immediately garnished with coconut and coriander

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The video link is in Hindi but it will give you an idea of the technique that is needed to make this dish
You Tube Video http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=C_2p-Si0gvU

Original recipe @
http://www.tarladalal.com/Khandvi-(-Gujarati-Recipe)-557r

A Tomato & Soya Bean Spaghetti

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You already know how much we love our pasta, especially a simple spaghetti pomodoro! But sometimes you want to feel a little healthier alongside the carbs that you are about to devour.

So on that note! Soya beans, please come to the stage! It’s time you made a special appearance! The Soya bean contains up to 40% protein and has the highest protein content amongst plant products. It is also the only vegetable food that contains all eight essential amino acids!

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An appetizing pasta dish with protein! You just can’t go wrong! Yay! A brilliant way to get the kids to eat soya beans as they all love pasta. However, if you wish to disguise the beans, pre boil them and blitz them into a paste and then add to the tomato sauce! Enjoy x

INGREDIENTS

1 onion diced
1 garlic clove crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp dried oregano
250g tomato passata
Salt to taste
1 cup frozen soya beans
Fresh Spaghetti

METHOD

• In a medium saucepan heat up the oil, sauté the onion and garlic until the onion becomes golden, mix in the oregano and cook for 2 minutes on a low heat

• Pour in the passata, stir in the salt
and simmer gently for 10-12 minutes

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• Boil the soya beans alongside the fresh spaghetti upon instruction

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• Once done, place the cooked spaghetti into the sauce, combine well and serve with grated parmesan or a mature cheddar

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The HEALTHIEST Cake I’ve Ever Baked!!!

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Two ripe avocados sitting in my fridge staring at me…”We don’t want to be turned into a standard guacomole or just eaten as a salad component…please turn us into something exciting!!!”
Yes your reading correctly, the avocados spoke to me… Lol! 😉

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No! These were my thoughts that prompted me into doing something very different from what I have done before. I’ve heard and seen people baking with avocados so it was my turn now. Pleasantly surprised at how soft and moist the loaf turned out and how extremely healthy it is apart from the sugar content!

A Fatless, butterless cake wooo hooo!!! Everyone who tried it couldn’t tell the main ingredient and it went down a treat especially with the zingy lemon icing sugar that hits your palette as you take your first bite!

Soooo simple….sooo quick and easy…great for those who crave cake but may have cholesterol issues! My little one said it was very tasty and children do not lie! So give it a go friends…much love D x

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INGREDIENTS

For the cake
200g self raising flour
150g caster sugar
4 free range eggs
2 ripe avocados

For the topping
juice of half a lemon
4-6 tbsp icing sugar
Handful of flaked almonds

METHOD

• Preheat oven to 180°c/350°f/gas mark 4. Line and grease a loaf tin

• Beat sugar and eggs in an electric mixer for 5-7 minutes on a medium speed. So that the initial ingredients have doubled in volume

• Meanwhile mash and smooth out Avocado flesh into a very silky consistency. Should be similar to a soft butter consistency

• Add the flour and avocado to the egg mixture and mix until combined well

• Transfer the batter into the loaf tin and bake for 35-45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack

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To make the icing ~
• Gradually stir the lemon juice into the icing sugar and beat to get a thick sticky white consistency

• Once the loaf has cooled spread over the lemon icing and sprinkle with the flaked almonds

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For the love of South Indian food ♡

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A delicate chutney that I just put together by whizzing it up in the blender at the very last minute. I had made onion and tomato uttapa on the request of my husband but he always likes sambhar with it.

I had forgot to put the lentils on for the sambhar and already started making the fluffy soft uttapas..so ummm a chutney? Yes that would do perfectly.

I had to use coconut as it is a staple in South Indian food and I love it so! And yoghurt to give the dish a little sharpness. It went down really well and I couldn’t resist just eating the chutney by itself! What?! At least it’s healthy this time lol x

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INGREDIENTS

40g fresh coriander with stalks
35g desiccated coconut
2 cloves of garlic crushed
1 green chilli
5 tbsp natural yoghurt
½ tsp salt or to taste

METHOD

• Whizz the coriander, garlic and chilli in a grinder/blender

• Once you get a coarse paste, pour in the yoghurt, throw in the salt and coconut and blend until just combined

• Whizz….blend…chutney done!

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Serve with your uttapas on the side or directly onto it and then fold the uttapa over so that the chutney does its thing and oozes out…
Enjoy x

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Chickpea pav bhaji masala

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I’m having one of those weeks where I would like to try and use up as much food there is in the larder and fridge. Before we do our big food shop again! So I found all the ingredients for my husband’s ultimate favourite which is pav bhaji. He loves the soft buttered rolls and buttered infused veg bhaji/curry. But I’m afraid I’ve gone all healthy and added chickpeas and used a healthy buttery spread instead of butter in the bhaji. However the taste is not compromised as the pav bhaji masala does its magic as always! One to try for sure x

INGREDIENTS

1 tin of chickpeas rinsed and drained
500g frozen mixed veg
200g broccoli
200ml water
250g tomato passata
6 cloves garlic crushed
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp chilli finely chopped
1 1/2 tbsp sunflower oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
Ii1/4 tsp cumin seeds
Pinch of asafoetida
2 cloves
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 tsp ground cumin and coriander
1/2 tsp garam masala
2 1/2 tsp pav bhaji masala
1 squeeze of tomato ketchup
1 tbsp butter
Handful of chopped coriander

METHOD

1. Boil the mixed veg and broccoli together for 5-7 minutes. Drain and add to the food processor with the chickpeas and 150ml water. Blend to a soft mushy puree with all the veg mashed

2. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Put in mustard and cumin seeds, cloves and asafoetida. Once seeds start to pop stir in the passata, garlic, ginger and chilli. Throw in all the ground spices, ketchup and seasoning and cook on a low heat for 4 minutes

3. Slowly combine the veg/chickpea puree into the tomato gravy and mix well. Pour in the 50 ml water you may need to add more if it has been absorbed. Stir in the butter and taste the bhaji/curry. You may need to season further with a little salt if needed and to make it more spicy add more pav bhaji masala

4. Sprinkle some fresh coriander. Traditionally served with pan fried buttered soft white rolls. But in this instance I fancied it with some plain paratha

Note-pav bhaji masala available in local Indian food stores and sometimes in large supermarkets