Friday, 24 October 2014

I'm not Vegan, but I'll eat it anyway

There are so many different diets out there these days. Paleo, Vegan, clean eating, vegetarian ect ect. I don't like sticking to one particular diet or cutting out a food group. Food is for enjoying, but always in moderation.

So all of this clean eating hype, has led me to experiment with Vegan food.
I have been trying to cut back on dairy in everyday eating...except for in my 3/4 latte!!
So I decided to make clean/vegan carrot cake muffins...with vegan cream cheese frosting!!! Yes, Vegan!

Carrot, banana, pineapple, apple, chia, almond meal, coconut oil, coconut sugar. Nothing but goodness! And without any milk, butter or eggs, you can still achieve a moist  delicious cake.

There are so many ingredients you can use to substitute butter, milk & eggs. Banana for oil/butter, 1tbs ground chia seeds + 3tbs water for an egg, crushed pineapple or stewed apple for oil/butter/sweetener, soaked dates/agave syrup for sweetening. Start experimenting!

And the vegan cream cheese! Wow! It tastes just like cream cheese! But I ended up adding some vanilla & coconut sugar to make it a cream cheese frosting for my muffins.

*note: this frosting has chia seeds added & the almonds had been re-ground after this pic.

Vegan Carrot Cake Muffins
1 Banana mushed
1 Carrot grated
2 tbsp Coconut oil
1/3 cup Coconut sugar
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, pulsed
1 apple stewed & pulsed
1 chia egg (1tbs ground chia seeds + 3tbs water)
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup polenta (or use almond meal/coconut flour)
2tsp gluten free baking powder
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup raisins/sultanas 

Pregheat over to 180degC. Mix & mash all wet ingredients together. Stir in dry ingredients.
Coat muffin tins with coconut oil & spoon in mixture.
Place in oven for 18mins.

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting 
Vegan Cream Cheese
1 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp apple cider vinegar 
1 tsp lemon juice
Additional for Frosting
2 tbsp Coconut sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
1/2 tbsp grated lemon rind
2 tbsp Coconut oil

Soak almonds in water for 8 hours - no less. Drain & blanch almonds in boiling water. Remove skin from almonds. The skins will just pinch off.
Add all ingredients (only top ingredients if you just want to make cream cheese) to blender/vitamiser & buzz till smooth. If your having trouble getting it to smoothen out, gradually add tsp of water if needed.
Spread on your Vegan Carrot cake muffins & Enjoy!!!

Saturday, 11 October 2014

When Life Gives You Lemons

Well, turns out you can have too much Lamb!

The next day for Lunch we had Lamb, Bean, Beetroot, Quinoa Salad, then for dinner we had Lamb Rogan Josh. Then Leftover Lamb Rogan Josh with a lettuce & cucumber side salad. Then Lamb Ruben toasted sandwiches!! OMG! I think I want to become a Vegetarian!!

And, we still had enough Lamb for another meal! But no! No more! I could not have any more Lamb! The idea of buying in bulk & using all the leftovers, was really not worth it in the end. I think the next time I have Lamb will be at Christmas!! Anyway, was definitely a good effort & a good cooking venture!

Talking about having too much of a good thing...Dad asked if I wanted some Lemons which were growing in his wonderful Veggie garden. And I thought sure, you can always use lemons. Little did I know that I would be going home with a bag full of them!!

So, onto Pinterest to find out what I could possibly make with them all...
Lemon Gelato! Perfect! Used up about four Lemons...of my bagful!! Salmon, Dill & Lemon pasta. One Lemon. Lemon Coconut Chia Balls. One Lemon.

I still have SO many left! What will I do?? Lemon curd? Lemon meringue pie? Lemonade?
Any ideas? I would be greatly appreciative!

Dairy free Lemon Gelato

• 2 cups Almond/Coconut Milk
• 4 Egg Yolks
• 1/2 cup Stevia
• 3/4 cup Lemon Juice
• 2 heaped tbsp. Grated Lemon Peel

Whisk the egg yolks and set aside
Combine the milks and sweetener in a heavy saucepan over medium high heat and bring to a simmer
Once the milk is simmering, reduce the heat to low
Slowly whisk about a ladle full of milk into the egg yolks, whisking the entire time
Slowly add the egg yolk mixture back into the warm pan, whisking the entire time. Add the lemon peel at this time
Continue cooking the mixture on low and stirring until it thickens up, coats the back of a spoon
Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Strain the mixture to remove any seeds and the lemon peel
Place in the fridge or freezer to cool

Once cooled, run thru an ice cream maker or freeze it in a loaf pan.

Lemon Coconut Chia Balls

• 3/4 cup Almond Meal
• 1 cup Shaved Coconut + extra for coating balls
• 2 tbsp Chia Seeds
• 1 tbsp Honey
• 1 1/2 tbsp Coconut oil
• Juice of 1 Lemon
• Grated Rind of 1 Lemon

Combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add Lemon Juice & Lemon Rind. 
Slightly melt the Honey & Coconut oil, then pour into the mixture. Stir until all ingredients are combined. Roll into balls & coat with extra coconut shavings. Place in fridge.
Enjoy when cold & set.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Lamb for a week...

So, here it starts...

What better way to start my blog with a 'Mothership Lamb Roast' as Jamie Oliver would say. With a side of mega crispy baked potatoes thanks to the Roast Potato king, Heston Blumenthal.

Last week we started with Pork for a week. Which is all everyone can talk about these days. Pulled pork this & pulled pork that. But ill have to fill you in all about that another time. There is sure to be another pork dish appear on my blog.

Lamb it is this week. SO much to do with Lamb. So many cuisines...Greek, Indian, Middle Eastern; bit it seems that the roast to start it all is a traditional roast with all the sides.

I started with Jamie Oliver's, Mothership Lamb Roast. Which had my 2.5kg Leg of Lamb slow cooking for 4 hours! I was a little worried that the Lamb would dry out, but as the recipe said to cover it in foil, it kept it very moist

I made up my Rosemary, Garlic, Olive oil & Salt rub in my trusty Tupperware Turbo Chef. A must have in any kitchen! So, I gave the leg a nice little massage to get all the rosemary garlic goodness into the meat. Then covered it with foil & into the oven. And so then goes on the timer.

Back to work...

Now, as for the most amazing potatoes I have ever had...sorry Nanny. I had seen Heston make roast potatoes on his own show, and also on Masterchef. So there was no doubt to check out his recipe.

The key is oil. I don't really like to use so much oil, at all if I can help it, but it had to be done. If I was going all out with the Lamb, I really had to go all out with the potatoes...and to keep my husband very happy!
As for the Bean, Leek & Beetroot salad, well that was a Shelly DIY. I had leeks & Spinach that I got from my dads garden on the weekend, plus a few bits n pieces in the fridge. It was so good! Really good!

So I am quite pleased with my Lamb for a week. Super tender & juicy Lamb, Crunchy & fluffy nuggets of potato, and a sweet vinegary, caramelised bean, Leek & Beetroot Salad. Now, for the leftovers...

There is so much leftover! OMG! I thought I would have to freeze some lamb, but Rob assures me that it will definitely get eaten...

Mothership Roast Lamb

Ingredients:• 2 cloves garlic• Sprig of Rosemary• Olive oil• 1 Brown Onion• 1 x 2.5kg Leg of Lamb

Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°C/gas 3. In you Tupperware Turbo Chef, wizz 2 peeled garlic cloves, half the rosemary leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper, then wizz in a good lug of oil. Stab the lamb ten times, then stick your finger in each hole and massage the marinade in and all over. Peel and quarter the onions and place in a snug-fitting roasting tray (this is important), with the lamb on top. Add 50ml of water, cover tightly with tin foil and cook for 3 hours. Remove the foil (I forgot to), pour away all the fat and add another 200ml of water to the tray. Cook for 1 hour more, or until the meat falls away from the bone, adding another good splash of water, if it starts to dry out. Remove the lamb from the oven, transfer to a platter and cover. 

Mega Crunchy Roast Potatoes

• Potatoes
• Olive Oil
• Salt

Preheat the oven to 180°C/160ÂșC fan/gas mark 4.

Wash and peel the potatoes and cut into quarters. Put them in a bowl under running water for 5 minutes to wash the starch off.
Cover the potatoes with water in a large saucepan then add the garlic and rosemary, if using, and bring to the boil. Cook for about 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes are very soft and almost breaking apart. Drain carefully and leave to cool in the colander.
Meanwhile, pour 5 mm of olive oil into a roasting tray large enough to hold the potatoes in one layer. Place the tray in the oven for 15 minutes to preheat the oil.
Add the potatoes to the pan and coat them in the hot oil. Place the tray back in the oven for at least 1 hour and 15 minutes, turning the potatoes gently every 20 minutes, until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy all over.
Drain on kitchen paper and season with salt.

Warm Bean, Leek & Beetroot Salad

• 1/4 Red Onion, sliced
• 2 Baby Leeks, cut into slivers
• Handfull Green Beans, cut into 2cm peices
• 50g Salami, chopped
• 1 Cup chopped Cabbage
• 2 Cups chopped Spinach
• 2 small beetroots
• Olive oil
• Salt & Pepper
• 1/2 tsp ground cumin
• 1 cube Goats Cheese

Peel beetroot & roast in oven for 30mins.
Meanwhile, blanch Green Beans, Cabbage & Spinach in Hot water & set aside.
Heat a fry pan with some olive oil & ground cumin. Saute Leeks, Salami & Red onion until soft. Add Beans, Cabbage & Spinach. Season with Salt & Pepper.
Place vegetables in bowl & top with chopped beetroots & goats cheese.