Muhammara Roasted Red Pepper Walnut Dip

Sunday, November 29, 2020

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A traditional Middle Eastern red pepper and walnut dip, this Muhammara recipe is easy and quick to make. Originating from Syria, muhammara tastes deliciously spicy, nutty, tangy and pairs perfectly well with fresh flatbread or any of your favourite bread. If you’re short on time, you can use jarred roasted red peppers instead. Muhammara can be made in advance as it keeps well in the fridge for a few days and the flavour develops even better after storing a day in the fridge, but be sure to bring the dip to room temperature before serving.

MuhammaraFlour Tortillas
  • 3 Red bell peppers, halved and seeded
  • 25 g Fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp dried Aleppo chilli flakes (or 1 Long fresh red chilli, halved, seeded, and chopped)
  • 1 Large garlic clove, crushed
  • 1-2 tsp Ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp Pomegranate molasses
  • 1/2 tbsp Fresh lemon juice
  • 50 g Walnuts, toasted and chopped plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 tsp Sea salt
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 250 g Plain flour
  • 130 g Whole spelt flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 80 ml Olive oil
  • 240 ml Hot water
  1. Whisk together the flours, salt and baking powder into the bowl of your stand mixer. Add in the olive oil and hot water . Mix on a low speed until a firm smooth ball forms, about 5 minutes.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 8-10 equal portions.
  3. Flatten each dough ball with the palm of your hand as much as you can, then cover with a clean kitchen towel. Set aside for 30 minutes to rest.
  4. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out each ball into an 18-20cm round.
  5. Heat a heavy bottomed skillet over a medium-high heat. Cook each dough round for 30 to 45 seconds or until beginning to puff up and brown patches appear on underside. Turn. Cook for a further 30 seconds or until beginning to puff up and brown patches appear on underside.
  6. Wrap in a clean tea towel to keep warm. Repeat with remaining dough. Serve.
  1. Heat the oven to 200C/400F. Put the pepper halves on a tray and roast for about 35 minutes until they are cooked and the skin is blackened. Put the peppers in a bowl, cover with cling-film and, once cool enough to handle, peel and discard the skin.
  2. Pulse the breadcrumbs, red pepper, red chilli, garlic, cumin, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, walnuts and sea salt in a food processor until almost smooth.
  3. With the processor running, slowly add the olive oil and blend until the oil is completely incorporated. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  4. Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with some chopped walnuts. Serve at room temperature with your favourite bread.

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Roasted Purple Carrots with Cilantro Yoghurt and Pistachios

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

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I love how coriander, garlic, chilli pepper and roasted pistachios add aroma, texture and flavour to this otherwise simple roasted vegetable recipe. The combination of tangy Greek yoghurt and sweet carrot is just perfect. It makes a feast of a light lunch or if you are looking for a more substantial meal, toss it with some whole grains or grilled meat. It is simple to make, and you can use other root vegetables too, like parsnips, rutabagas or beets. It would be great to sprinkle some dukkah (a Middle Eastern spice blend made with toasted nuts, seeds and fragrant spices) over too.

Cilantro Yoghurt
  • 750 g Purple carrots, halved lengthwise if large
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • 4-5 Garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 3 Thyme sprigs
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander powder
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 2 tbsp Toasted unsalted pistachios, chopped
  • 1/3 tsp Chilli pepper flakes
  • Cilantro leaves and thyme
  • 250 g 10% Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp Cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt
  1. Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Place carrots, garlic and thyme on a baking tray. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with coriander, salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast until the carrots are tender, about 30 minutes.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the Greek yoghurt, chopped cilantro, and lemon juice. Stir well to combine and add salt to taste.
  3. Spread the prepared yoghurt on a platter and arrange roasted carrots on top. Scatter chopped pistachios, chilli pepper flakes and fresh herbs on top, and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice.

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Pineapple, Matcha, and Puffed Teff Granola Wedges

Monday, November 23, 2020

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Give your granola bars a nutritious boost with matcha- a fine green tea powder, packed with antioxidants. These granola wedges are naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined-sugar-free. Substitute your favorite dried fruit, nuts and/or seeds for the pumpkin seeds and/or dried pineapple in these granola bars. Puffed teff can be substituted with quinoa or amaranth pops too.

  • 220 g Rolled oats
  • 120 g Pepitas
  • 100 ml Maple syrup
  • 5 tbsp Almond butter
  • 3 tbsp Coconut oil
  • 1 tsp Vanilla paste
  • 75 g Dried pineapple, thinly sliced
  • 80 g Puffed teff (or armanth or quinoa)
  • 1/2 tsp Sea salt
  • 1 tbsp Matcha powder
  1. Preheat oven to 160C/320F. Combine rolled oats and pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the oats are lightly toasted and have a nutty aroma. Remove and set aside to cool.
  2. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the maple syrup, almond butter, coconut oil, and vanilla paste. Whisk to combine.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cooled oats and pumpkin seeds with the dried pineapple, puffed teff, sea salt, and matcha powder. Pour the almond butter mixture over the oat mixture and stir quickly to mix.
  4. Spread the mix into an 9-10 inch springform pan lined with plastic wrap or baking paper. Press down the mixture firmly. Place in the fridge for a couple hours to firm up, then remove from fridge and slice into wedges. Keep leftovers in the fridge for up two weeks.

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Flower Pot Whole Spelt and Rye Bread with Hazelnuts and Quark

Saturday, November 21, 2020

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These are some fun, totally foolproof, yeast-free and delicious bread to bake in a flower pot, which I have adapted from this Quark-Nussbrote found on eatsmarter. The dough is prepared with a mix of whole spelt and rye flour with Quark (a type of German fresh cheese), spices and whole hazelnuts that would result a rustic, hearty bread packed with nutrition and flavour with slightly denser and chewy texture.

  • 300 g Whole spelt flour
  • 300 g Whole rye flour
  • 1 tbsp Baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp Anise powder
  • 1/4 tsp Fennel seed powder
  • 1/4 tsp Caraway seed powder
  • 1/4 tsp Coriander seed powder
  • 100 g Olive oil
  • 250 g Quark
  • 180 ml 3.5% Milk
  • 2 Eggs, medium
  • 1 tsp Sea salt
  • 80 g Hazelnuts
  1. Whisk together the spelt, rye flours, and baking powder together with all the spices in a mixing bowl. Now add in olive oil, 160 ml of the milk, eggs, and sea salt. Use a hand mixer fitted with dough hooks to beat all the ingredients until a smooth dough forms.
  2. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work surface and knead in the hazelnuts. Cut out two portions of dough, each weighs about 150 grams. Shape each into a ball and place each into a small greased or parchment-lined flower pot. Shape the rest of the dough into a ball and place into a large grease or parchment-lined flower pot. Brush the top with the rest of the milk.
  3. Fill an oven-safe bowl with water and place it at the bottom of your oven. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F fan forced.
  4. Bake the small ones for 30 minutes and the large one for 60-70 minutes until nicely golden brown. Remove and cool briefly. Turn out the bread and cool on a wire rack completely before slicing.

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Chickpea Flour Hummus with Olives and Pine Nuts

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

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A silky smooth, flavourful and healthy hummus that is so easy and fast to make. The secret is to use chickpea flour (also known as gram flour or besan) instead of whole chickpeas. Hummus made with the whole cooked chickpeas is great, but if you want ultra silky, light as air texture, and don't want to go to all the bother of peeling the skin off chickpeas, then chickpea flour is the answer. The dip will generally keep for up to 5 days in the fridge.

  • 80 g Chickpea flour
  • 550 ml Water
  • 3 Garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 100 g Tahini
  • 2 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1/2-1 tsp Cumin powder
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Sea salt
  • Olive oil
  • A mix of green and black olives
  • Pine nuts, toasted
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Flatbread and vegetable sticks to serve
  1. In a medium saucepan, mix together the chickpea flour and water until lump free and well-combined. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cook on medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook another 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly. Let cool.
  2. Transfer the chickpea paste into the pitcher of your immersion blender. Add the garlic, tahini, lemon juice, cumin and hot sauce. Blend until smooth. Season with salt. If the mixture is too thick, add a little olive oil.
  3. Scrape into a bowl and cover a thin layer of olive oil. Sprinkle some olives, pine nuts and parsley over. Serve with flatbread, crackers or vegetable sticks.


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Classic Pain de Mie / French Sandwich Loaf

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

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Pain de mie (literally means crumb bread) is a fine-crumb, soft tender French sandwich bread baked in a special bread pan with a lid, which keeps the loaf from crowning, giving it a flat surface and square-edged slices and keeps the crust as thin and soft as possible. The main difference between pain de mie and regular white bread is that pain de mie uses milk, whereas most white bread recipes call for water.
If you don't have a pullman pan, just cover a normal bread pan first with a piece of baking paper, then with a heavy baking tray as the weight to hold it down. Besides sandwiches, this bread makes amazing toast, grilled cheese, and French toast.

  • 7 g Active dry yeast
  • 320 ml Whole milk, lukewarm
  • 550 g All-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp Raw sugar
  • 1 tsp / 7 g Sea salt
  • 3 tbsp / 42 g Butter, at room-temperatur
  1. Dissolve the dry yeast in warm milk and set aside for 5 minutes. Place flour, raw sugar, and salt in the bowl of your mixer fitted with a dough hook.
  2. Add in milk-yeast mixture and mix at low speed for about 1-2 minutes. Then increase the speed to medium and knead for 4-6 minutes.
  3. With the mixer running at medium speed, add the butter one tablespoon at a time. Once all of the butter has been incorporated into the dough, stop the mixer and turn out the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Shape the dough into a ball and place it into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for about 2 hours until double in volume.
  4. Gently deflate the dough and shape into a ball. Cover with a plastic wrap and set aside to rest for 15 minutes. Grease a 26x12x9cm pullman loaf pan with butter. Set aside.
  5. Pat the dough out into a rectangle. Roll it up just like you do the jelly roll and pinch the seam together. Place into the prepared loaf pan with seam side down. Cover loaf pan with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place for about an hour until almost 2 inches from the top rim of the loaf pan.
  6. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Remove the plastic wrap and cover the loaf pan with its lid. Bake for about 30 minutes in the center of hot oven.
  7. Open the lid and let cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack and let cool completely.

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