Smoked Paprika And Cayenne Tortillas

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Shop bought corn tortillas here is Oz have a nasty habit of splitting and being rather similar to cardboard in texture so I now make my own.

I invested in a tortilla press a while ago and the boys happily work in the production line to make bigger batches of these. If you don’t have a press, don’t panic, a couple of heavy books will work a treat too!

This recipe makes 12 tortillas but I usually triple the recipe as the tortillas will last for a week in a sealed bag or a few months wrapped well in the freezer.

Ingredients

220g masa lista, Mexican corn flour

325mls warm water

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

a pinch of cayenne powder

a pinch of salt

Method

Weigh the flour, smoked paprika and cayenne into a large bowl.

Pour the water in and using your hands, mix to form a dough.

Knead gently and then divide into twelve portions and roll into balls.

Heat a frying pan over a high heat. Do not add oil.

Take a piece of baking parchment that will fit over the press, top with one of the dough balls and then top with another piece of parchment.

Pull down on the press to flatten the dough.

Once the pan is very hot, peel the parchment from the dough and place it in the pan.

Cook for 30 seconds and then flip, cook again for 60 seconds and then flip one last time and cook for 30 seconds.

Set aside, covered in a clean tea towel and continue cooking the remaining tortillas.

Serve warm.

Coriander Dressing

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This is one of those fab dressings that goes with so many things, we have it poured over roast chicken pieces, salads, barbecued meat and roast vegetables.

I delight in the fact that some of the vibrancy of the sauce comes from a sneaky handful of spinach leaves, what the boys don’t know won’t hurt them!

Ingredients

a large bunch of coriander, around 70g

1 cup firmly packed baby spinach

1 green chilli, deseeded

1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped

juice of 1 lime

60-80mls olive oil

salt and pepper

 Method

In a food processor, whizz the coriander, spinach, chilli and garlic.

Pour in the lime juice and with the motor running pour in enough oil to get it to the consistency that you are after.

Hasselback Sweet Potatoes With Smoked Salt

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These were a huge hit with the boys over the weekend, they managed to polish off a kilo of sweet potatoes all by themselves!

Smoked salt isn’t the easiest of things to come by so salt flakes or roughly crushed sea salt works beautifully too.

Ingredients

1.5kg small sweet potatoes, around 9-10, skin lightly scrubbed to remove any dirt.

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons smoked salt flakes

freshly ground pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade. Line two baking trays with baking parchment.

Take a potato and begin to slice into 3mm slices without cutting all the way through. If you do cut through, don’t worry, they will still taste fab!

Place the cut potato on a tray and repeat with the remaining potatoes.

Drizzle a little oil over the top of each potato and then rub all over with your hands.

Grind over a little pepper and then sprinkle over the salt.

Pop in the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes, basting a couple of times to help crisp the edges up and encourage the potatoes to open up.

Curried Pumpkin Soup

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This soup brings together two of my favourite things, the comforting hug that soup gives and the glow that using up leftovers guarantees!

I recently found an opened jar of rogan josh curry paste and as we are still on a bit of a health kick I wanted to use it in a vegetarian dish and not the meat that I would usually use. Added to that I am still trying to sneak pulses into the boys without them noticing too much and liquidised soup hides a multitude of goodies!

Quantities wise this makes a BIG pot, 12-16 serves depending on portion sizes but don’t panic, this soup freezes a treat to allow you a meal off another day!

Ingredients

50mls oil

2 medium red onions, peeled and roughly chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped

a thumb size piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

100g rogan josh curry paste

2kg pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and roughly chopped

400g potatoes, peeled and diced

2 litres vegetable or chicken stock

150g  uncooked red lentils, rinsed and drained

Method

In a BIG pot, I use a 6litre pot.

Heat the oil and add the onion, cook slowly until soft.

Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.

Spoon in the curry paste, stir well and cook for three minutes.

Add the pumpkin and potatoes, stir through and cook for one minute.

Pour in the stock and add the lentils  stir well, cover and bring up to the boil.

Turn the heat down and allow to simmer, covered for 30 minutes.

Check that the potatoes are cooked at this stage, if not pop the soup back on the heat.

I then use a stick blender to whizz the soup until smooth, taste and season with salt and pepper.

 

 

 

Mexican Green Chorizo

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This is so tasty I always make double!

Can’t get the kids to eat greens? Give this a try, I serve it with mini tortillas and the boys make their own, we can get through an entire lettuce, 2 capsicums, 4 avocados and 10 tomatoes, never mind the sneaky spinach and capsicum in the chorizo!

Although I crumbled this for tonight’s dinner it also works well as a burger and sausages.

Leftovers are brilliant with eggs, over an omelette or scrambled eggs is a favourite in our house of I have thrown a little chorizo crumble into the boys school wraps for added zing!

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

small green capsicum

80g fresh coriander, leaves and stalks

30g green jalapeño chilli, deseeded

4 garlic cloves, peeled

50g baby spinach leaves

1 lime, zest and juice

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

salt and pepper

500g minced pork

a little oil to fry

Method

Over a BBQ or gas ring, singe the skin of the capsicum, all over until it is completely black. Pop the capsicum in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Wait for 15-20 minutes and then remove from the bowl and rub off the skin, remove the seeds and stalk too.

In a food processor, whizz the capsicum, coriander, jalapeño, garlic, spinach, lime zest, lime juice, oregano, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper to form a bright green paste.

Weigh the meat into a bowl and add the paste, mix really well with your hands.

Form into any shape that you want, patties, sausages or crumble as I use.

Heat a large frying pan, I use a 32cm non stick pan, add a splash of oil and once hot tip in the green meat.

Using the side of a wooden spoon break up the meat, turning and squishing all the time.

To begin with lots of fluid will release but just keep cooking, on high heat until the water evaporates and the meat is beginning to colour up.

Serve immediately.

 

Date And Coconut Bliss Balls

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Perfect for the lunch boxes or to give you a wee boost with no added sugar and wonderfully gluten, dairy and egg free too!

Makes 36.

Ingredients

300g pitted dates

210g sultanas

200g desiccated coconut

3 tablespoons coconut oil

Method

Process the dates, sultanas, 150g coconut and oil in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped and coming together a little.

Tip the remaining coconut into a bowl.

Roll the date mix into walnut sized balls and then roll in the coconut.

Store in an airtight container.

Chocolate And Cherry Cake

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This is a super moist cake that combines the classics of chocolate and cherry without any gluten or dairy!

I realise that adding cooked quinoa might seem very odd but it really does help here to keep the shape and certainly adds its own nuttiness.

I tend to cook a bigger quantity of quinoa, using some for a salad and reserving some for this cake.

I didn’t ice this cake as it’s for the school lunch boxes, just a little icing sugar over the top.

Ingredients

100g quinoa

250mls water

4 eggs, seperated

150g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

100g ground almonds

2x 415g tins cherries, drained and patted dry

Method

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Centigrade. Grease and line a 24cm ring cake tin.

Pour the quinoa into a pan, add the water, cover with a lid and bring up to the boil and simmer, covered for 13-15 minutes. Leaving the lid on, allow to sit, covered, for 5 minutes and then allow to cool.

Beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale and fluffy.

Fold in the vanilla and cocoa followed by the cooked quinoa and ground almonds.

With clean beaters, beat the egg whites until forming stiff peaks.

Gently fold a couple of tablespoons of egg white into the yolk mix, then gradually fold in the remaining egg white in three or four stages.

Sprinkle one third of the cherries over the base of the prepared tin.

Spoon over half of the cake batter, spreading it out gently.

Top with a third of the cherries again and the remaining cake batter. Sprinkle over the last cherries and pop into the oven.

Bake for 45 minutes until the edges of the cake are coming away from the pan.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tin and then tip onto a baking rack to cool completely.