Falafel – Gluten Free

Had you been wondering if I did any cooking anymore? Well I have to admit, I’ve been a bit slack, I do still cook, I just been sticking to staples and not really bothering to take pictures and remember recipes.  But here we have a simple little falafel recipe, perfect for summer days as part of a mezze or stuffed in a pitta.

falafel

So for the recipe…

Ingredients (makes 10 small falafel):

  • 1 400g tin of chickpeas
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 tablespoons of gram or gluten free flour
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of ground cumin
  • a handful of mint
  • salt
  • oil for frying

Method:

First soften the onions and garlic, I do this in a microwave because I find it easy but gently frying in a pan has the same results, you just want them soft and translucent.

Then add all the ingredients bar the flour to a food processor.  Blitz, you may need to scrape down any stray chickpeas or you might want to keep it chunky.  Then depending on the wetness of the mixture I add two to three tablespoons of flour, now my plan was to have chickpea flour (gram/besan) but  mine was out of date so I substituted gf plain flour, if you’re not coeliac then plain regular flour would work too.   You want a thick but not too wet mixture that you can easily manipulate, see picture for clarity there, it’s awful hard to describe!

Once you’ve got the right consistency, scoop out walnut size blobs if you want to emulate mine, but frankly any old size will work, you could make big fat burgers or round footballs or cut them into star shapes should you desire but flat patties was what I was after.

Then chill the patties for a while (time constraints permitting, I’m sure they would be fine fried straight away should you need to).

Shallow fry for about 3/4 minutes each side on a medium heat.  Then serve hot stuffed into a pitta with chilli sauce and yoghurt.

falafel stages

You can freeze these and heat up in the oven at a later date should you need to, I made too many for me and my little dinner guest so I’ve stashed the remainder away for a mid-week dinner.

Ok, so that was the first recipe for a while.  It felt good, what do you think?

 

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Roasted Carrot and Cauliflower with Spiced Minced Lamb

I’ve been stockpiling carrots recently, I do love a carrot, it might well be my favourite vegetable.  Anyway it would seem I’m not really using the quantity I’m buying at the moment so my little orange friend must come to forefront for once and start starring in a dish or two.

This is a very moreish warm salad type affair that mixes the sweet earthy carrots, almost crunchy cauliflower with the spiced, crispy minced lamb

Serves 2 with a couple of toasted pittas on the side

Ingredients:

  • 4/5 carrots halved or quartered lengthways
  • half a large cauliflower, broken in to small florets
  • 100g minced lamb
  • 1 onion
  • 2 teaspoons of garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • A handful of mint
  • a large tablespoon of yoghurt
  • a heaped teaspoon of sweet chilli sauce
  • water
  • salt and pepper

Method:

Pre heat your oven to 200 degrees.  Mix 1 teaspoon of garam masala with the cumin, coriander, honey and oil.  Throw your veg into a baking tray and pour spiced dressing over, tossing until all the veg are covered. Roast the veg in the oven for about 35 min or until tender and slightly charred.

Whilst your veg is roasting get on with the lamb and dressing. Chop the mint, put half in a bowl and leave half for garnishing later.  Add the yoghurt and sweet chilli to the mint and let down with water until you have a runny dressing the consistency of double cream.

Soften a chopped onion in the a pan  (or microwave) then set aside.  Fry the minced lamb in a dry pan until golden, add the onion and continue to fry until browned, add the other teaspoon of garam masala and toast for a further minute or so then turn the heat off until the veg are ready.

When the veg is ready, season generously with salt and pepper and pile up on plates.  Top with the crispy minced lamb and onion mix and drizzle over the yoghurt dressing.  Finish with a scatter of the remaining shredded mint and serve with toasted pitta or flat breads.

Spiced Squash and Satay Noodles

It’s Autumn, we are approaching Halloween, it’s time, isn’t it? Cue the squash recipe…

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • Half a large butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1 and 1/2 cm dice
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of ground coriander and ground cumin
  • oil
  • half an onion
  • 2 inches of ginger
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 a can of coconut milk
  • A heaped tablespoon of crunchy peanut butter
  • A tablespoon and a half of sweet chilli sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Juice from half a lime
  • Salt and pepper
  • Flat rice noodles
  • A handful of spinach

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to about 220 degrees.  Chuck the chopped squash into a baking tray lightly coat in oil and sprinkle with the cumin and coriander, toss to coat then shove in the oven for about 15 min until slightly charred and tender.

Blitz the onion, ginger and garlic in a mini food processor ( or finely chop) then soften in the microwave (in a covered bowl) for a couple of minutes, alternative fry on low until soft and translucent.  Transfer onion mix to small sauce pan and begin to fry (add fresh chilli here if you like it hot), add curry powder, fry off for a min then add peanut butter, coconut milk, sweet chilli and stir until combined.  Add soy and lime, bring to the bubble, taste and adjust ingredients to suit.  Set aside whilst you prep the noodles.

Soak your rice noodles in boiled water until tender (I usually keep changing the water, about 3 times, in between 2 min soaks so that I’m not hanging around too long and the noodles stay hot as well as soft.  Once the noodles are ready, drain and toss with the spinach.  Boil up sauce and add half to the mix, stir together, mix in half the roasted squash and plate up.  Top with the remaining and most beautifully charred squash, maybe a few crushed peanuts and some chopped coriander (miss out the last 2 steps if you are like me and can’t be arsed with faffing around when you are hungry).

Tip:  If you don’t have a use for the remaining half a tin of coconut milk, half an onion (aka the awkward leftovers) double up the sauce recipe and freeze some for the next time you feel satay inclined, I’m not actually sure why I didn’t do this, oops…

Spinach, Potato and Onion Curry (Saag Aloo??)

So I’m attempting to cut down the shopping bill by buying less meat and therefore eating more veg.  This is a quick veggie curry, it reminds me very much of Saag Aloo and I’m guessing it’s pretty close seeing as all that means is spinach and potato.  I’m upping my game here and diversifying with separate spices, I thought it was going to be tricky to get the balance right but turns out it’s pretty simple and you get a much more defined combination of flavours.  I served this with a version of my super quick raita, a mix of yoghurt, fresh coriander and a squirt of the ubiquitous sweet chilli sauce – you can’t take it away from me, it’s my friend!

Spinach, Potato and Onion Curry

Serves 2/3 with pitta or flat breads and the raita mentioned above

Ingredients:

  • About 500g of new potatoes
  • A couple of big handfuls of spinach
  • 2 onions
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of brown mustard seeds
  • some oil, I made this with that spray light stuff (I don’t really want to think about what goes into that stuff but it is diet friendly, if you don’t need to use it DON’T)
  • Salt and pepper
  • A handful of fresh coriander
  • Pitta or flat breads to serve with for pure carb on carb action – I ate this for lunch without so it’s not a necessary and obviously if you can make your own flat breads go you, but I couldn’t be arsed so got out a gluten free pitta and popped it in the toaster

Method:

Boil the potatoes until tender then drain and set aside.

Slice and soften the onions, I nuke mine in a covered bowl for 4 min, but you can stand over a pan on a low heat if you wish.  If nuking transfer to a hot frying pan and begin to brown the onions in a little oil.  When the onions are starting to brown add the spices and fry for a min or so.

Add the cooked potatoes and bash about a bit in the pan so that they break up and colour and mingle with the spices.  Add the spinach at the last minute, turn the heat of stir together so the spinach wilts and season generously.  This dish likes salt.

Chop up some fresh coriander, chuck some in your raita and some in your finished curry then serve with accompaniments suggested or what ever your heart desires!

Pan Fried Mackerel with a Quinoa and Mango Salad

I’ve been trying to up my fish intake recently, I’m on holiday so can make more of an effort to get down to the fish mongers and see what is on offer.  Mackerel is one of my favourite fish. It’s full of flavour, packed with healthy omega 3s and a reasonable price. This is a fresh summery way to serve this rich fish and would work well packed up for lunch as well.  The mango and lime cut through the oily meat of the fish and the flavours meld perfectly with the light quinoa grains.  So, errr, yeah,  it tastes good, OK? Try it…

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 mackerel, filleted and boned
  • 1 large mango
  • A ramekin full of quinoa
  • A handful of coriander
  • A handful of mint
  • 1 or 2 spring onions
  • 1/2 a lime

Method:

Cook your quinoa following the instructions on the packet or check out these instructions here.  Peel and chop your mango into little chunks (about 1/2 cm dice), finely chop your spring onion, coriander and mint and mix together with the quinoa.  Squeeze in the juice of half a lime, season and spoon onto plates.

Heat a dry pan.  Oil your mackerel fillets and place in the searing hot pan skin down.  Cook until for a couple of minutes or until the fish is almost cooked through then flip and cook for a further minute.  Sit the fillets on top of the quinoa salad and serve.

 

 

Mini Lamb Kofta Burgers

I nearly didn’t make these but they are a late addition which will form part of tomorrow nights tea.  I adapted the recipe from http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2187/lamb-koftas and just added a heaped tablespoon of sultanas to the mix.  I made mine into little mini burgers and am hoping to serve them with some homemade Tzatziki.  Watch this space!

Anyways goodbye lovely weekend, hope to see you again soon…