Given that I had limited time to prepare for Christmas this year I decided to make some granola as a gift for my nearest and dearest.
My first ever attempt is this sweet, salty and slightly chewy version which I am sharing with you. Enjoy!
Preheat oven to 180.
3 cups gluten free oats
1 cup coconut chips
1 cup pistachio
1 cup sunflower
1/2 cup almond slices
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 sesame seeds
1/2 cup cranberries
1/2 cup coconut oil ( use butter if you wish )
3/4 cup golden or maple syrup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 cup dried mango.
Mix all then bake for 10 mins then turn and bake for 10 more. Turn one last time and bake for 5 more.
Serve with yoghurt or ricotta and fresh fruit.
By popular demand (on twitter!):
To say I have been taking the time to make my own almond milk lately wouldalmost be a little lie, the truth is you see, it hardly takes any time at all ( minus the soaking )
Taste the milk before adding any of the Salt, Agave or Vanilla and then add one ingredient at a time and taste it after each addition the first time around to see how you prefer to have your milk… This is for you, you gotta love it! :)
1 cup of almonds
3 cups of water
Himalayan rock salt
Soak almonds in water. I usually do this before heading to bed at night
Wake up and blend almonds with water.
Use a cheese cloth bag or a coconut straining bag to strain the milk out.
Add Salt, Agave syrup and Vanilla to taste.
Halumi is one of my most favorite ingredients ever I would have to say.
My mum tells me that it one of the healthiest cheese’. I have not looked into this yet, because I just want to believe its true ;)
Haloumi can withstand grilling without loosing shape or melting and is chewy, salty and sightly rubbery.
I love haloumi just simply grilled and served with a dash of balsamic vinegar.. But for this recipe its got some great companions.
( if you cant find haloumi you can use feta as a substitute )
Wild Rice and Haloumi Salad
185G Brown Rice
60G Wild rice
3 tbls Olive Oil
Rind and juice of one small orange
1 tbls red wine vinegar
4 spring onions finely chopped
2 tbls fresh parsley chopped
2 tbls fresh mint chopped
200G Haloumi grilled and cut into small cubes
Fresh mint leaves to garnish
In a pot of salted water cook the beetroot till tender and set aside to cool then peel and chop into small cubes
Bring a pot of water to boil.
Rinse rices under cold water until clean.
Cook for 20 mins or until tender then drain well.
Add some oil to a pan and cook the onions and the cooled beetroot for approx 8 mins stiring regularly
Add the orange juice and the rind with the red wine vinegar, stir, then remove from heat.
Put the cooked rice, spring onion, parsley and half the mint with the orange beetroot and onion mix.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Just before serving add the grilled haloumi and top with mint leaves.
Chikpea Fritters With Yoghurt Dressing
2x300g drained cans of chickpeas
1 veggie stock cube crumbled
1/4 cup green curry paste
1 onion grated
3 cups fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup coconut powder
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup natural yoghurt
2 tablespoons milk
1 clove of crushed garlic
1 tomato diced
1 tablespoon chopped mint
Process Chickpeas until finely chopped
Add all other ingredients and mix well.
Shape into roughly 10 patties and shallow fry.
Mix all ingredients and drizzle over patties.
Has the hot weather wilted your appetite? This week, try an uplifting, thai-inspired salad. Served with brown rice vermicelli plus an array of crisp veggies, here’s a guilt-free dish that’s satisfying enough for a late night supper. The chili peanut sauce will also kick in to revive those weary taste buds.
Fried Tofu Salad with Chili Peanut Sauce
4 tbs peanut oil
200 grams pressed tofu
200 grams dried brown rice vermicelli, soaked and drained
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 cup red cabbage, shredded
1 handful thai basil leaves
Peanut Sauce Ingredients:
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 bird’s eye chili (chili padi, more or less to taste)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tbs honey
1 heaping tbs grated ginger
4 heaping tbs natural peanut butter (smooth, unsalted)
1/4-1/2 cup water
1. Pat dry tofu and set aside. Heat 2 tbs of oil in a skillet or wok until hot, but not smoking. Carefully add single layer of tofu to pan, cook undisturbed for about 1 minute, or until tofu browns. Turn and cook until opposite side is also browned. Removed tofu from pan and transfer to cutting board; cool slightly, then dice into 1″ cubes.
2. Heat remaining oil in same pan. Add drained vermicelli and stir fry until soft. Remove from pan and set aside.
3. Except for water, combine all sauce ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth. Gradually add water and continue to blend until sauce is desired consistency. Taste sauce and adjust seasonings.
4. Arrange vermicelli and cut vegetables on individual plates. Add fried tofu cubes. Drizzle on peanut sauce, then finish dish with thai basil leaves.
My hubby and I just returned from a 2 week visit to Hong Kong. For a dim sum loving Cantonese girl like me, it was absolute paradise (never mind the shopping). On the flip side, while every meal in Hong Kong was really, really good, nothing spared us from the inevitable bout of food fatigue. Even deciding where or what to eat became a chore – by then, all I really wanted was a bowl of brown rice. Once at home, I devoured half a cantaloupe for dinner. Party season was officially over.
Since then and many cups of ginseng tea later, I’ve been craving flavors that are light, bright and tangy. Just my body’s way of detoxing, I suppose, and that’s how pomegranates fit into today’s recipe. In case you haven’t noticed, pomegranates have been dubbed nature’s “miracle fruit”, curing everything from heart disease to cancer. Fortunately, there’s substance behind the hype as pomegranates, with their translucent ruby-like seeds, contain high levels of antioxidants – higher than most other fruit juices, red wine or green tea. And since winter is pomegranate season, there’s no better time to enjoy the benefits of this amazing fruit (go to Mustafa for the most reliable selection).
Taste-wise, pomegranates have a tendency to be more tart than sweet. In this restorative dessert, I take a large Chinese pear and poach it in pomegranate juice laced with star anise, cloves, ginger and honey. For a fun twist, I also add a few drops of Golden Orange Oil (available at Sheng Siong). Actually, this intriguing condiment isn’t an oil – the ingredients read sugar, orange juice and salt – it’s really a highly concentrated orange syrup with hints of Chinese preserved plum; next time, I’ll probably put it to work in an Asian-inspired dip or dressing.
Once the pears can be pierced with a fork, set them aside and continue boiling the liquid down to a thin syrup. Right before serving, drizzled the syrup over the pears, fresh pomegranate seeds and lemon zest; any leftover syrup can be added to tonic water for a refreshing spritzer. This dessert is easy but oh-so impressive, plus it signals the end of your meal with a striking interplay of color, texture and flavor. A perfect way to highlight a new year of healthy eating.
CHINESE PEARS WITH POMEGRANATE SYRUP
1 large Chinese Pear, peeled, cored and quartered
2 – 2 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
1 star anise
1 inch knob of ginger, thickly sliced
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon Golden Orange Oil (available at Sheng Siong*) or 1 tablespoon orange juice
Seeds of 1 large pomegranate
Zest of 1 lemon
1) In a saucepan, combine all ingredients except pomegranate seeds and lemon zest.
Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer, 20-25 minutes. Making sure pears remain covered in the poaching liquid. Add more juice if necessary.
2) When pears are tender, remove with a strainer and set aside. Continue simmering poaching liquid until syrupy and reduced to half. Strain and let cool to room temperature.
3) Slice quartered pears into halves and arrange on individual plates with pomegranate seeds and lemon zest. Drizzle on pomegranate syrup right before serving.
With the year winding down to a close, I finally took stock of the odds and ends languishing in my kitchen cupboard – you know, those last bits of nuts, dried fruits or half opened packets of millet and barley. Usually such ingredients get thrown into a batch of granola or multi-grain fried rice, but when I discovered a bag of dried soy beans (from a failed homemade tofu experiment), I was stumped for a recipe. It then occurred to me that soya beans would be awesome when paired with edamame and a miso dressing. By adding some finely shredded carrots, peppery watercress and black sesame seeds, I conjured up one tasty powerhouse of a salad.
Just remember that dried soy beans take awhile to cook – after soaking them overnight, you still need to boil them for about 3 hours. It’s a good idea, then to make extra to chuck into the freezer. Soy beans can also be roasted and enjoyed on their own with some sea salt or grated cheese. To make this salad more of a meal, I added some fresh buckwheat noodles, but you can also use whole grain rice – it’ll be equally as delicious!
EDAMAME AND SOBA SALAD WITH CREAMY MISO DRESSING
1 cup soy beans, cooked
1 1/2 cup edamame, cooked and shelled
1 small carrot, cut into matchstick strips
2 handfuls watercress, roughly chopped
4 servings soba noodles, cooked
4 tablespoons black sesame seeds, lightly toasted
2 tablespoons white miso
1 tablespoon mirin
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1) Make the miso dressing. Using a whisk or blender, combine dressing ingredients until thick and creamy. Taste to adjust seasonings.
2) In a large bowl, toss the soybeans, edamame, carrots, watercress and soba noodles. Gradually add the miso dressing, one heaping tablespoon at a time. Continue tossing until everything is lightly coated. Serve straight from the bowl and top with toasted sesame seeds.