Category Archives: Vegetarian

Dark Chocolate and Date Bakes

These are seriously dangerous to have in the house!

A great gluten free bake that is very forgiving.

Makes 12.

Ingredients

100g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids

125g pitted dates

130g ground almonds

3 egg whites

60g caster sugar

40g melted dark chocolate to decorate

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade.

Line a 12 hole muffin tray with baking parchment.

In a food processor, blitz the chocolate until you have a light crumb. Tip into a large bowl.

Next, check each and every date for a stone and then blitz them in the food processor until finely chopped too. Tip the dates into the chocolate crumb.

Weigh the ground almonds into the same bowl and then, using your finger tips, break up any big chunks of dates so you have an even mix.

In another large bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks, add the sugar, a table spoon at a time until all of the sugar is incorporated.

Fold the chocolate mix into the egg white mix and spoon into the prepared tins.

Bake for 20 minutes. Once golden, turn the heat off but leave the bakes in the oven, with the door a jar, to cool completely.

Melt the remaining chocolate and then drizzle over the cool bakes.

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Baked Egg and Zucchini Cups

These are versatile little cups that we have for dinner when the non gluten free boys are having quiche.

This recipe makes 6 standard muffin cups.

Ingredients

3 large eggs, beaten

70mls milk

130g grated zucchini

30g ground almonds

15g fresh coriander, chopped

1 red chilli, shedded and sliced finely

Salt and pepper

1-2 teaspoons black chia seeds

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.

Take out a muffin tin and cut squares of baking parchment to line 6 of the muffin holes.

Squish the paper up under a running tap and then shape to line the holes.

Combine all of the ingredients, except the chia seeds, in a bowl.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tins and then sprinkle over the chia seeds.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until risen, they will sink again as they cool.

Hasselback Potatoes With Porcini

I recently found porcini powder in my local green grocer and it’s my new favourite ingredient!

The boys are not fans of mushrooms but it is more the texture than flavour that they have an issue with so, this powder still gives loads of flavour without the slugs as the boys call them!

Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

1kg baby potatoes, finely sliced, most of the way through

1/2 teaspoon porcini powder

A large pinch of salt flakes

Freshly ground pepper

2 teaspoons oil

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade.

Combine all of the ingredients.

Tip into a roasting tin, potatoes with their cut side up.

Bake for 1 hour, spooning over the oil in the pan occasionally.

White Chocolate and Ginger Tart

If you aren’t into sweet treats, stop reading now!

My youngest came up with this recipe and has grudgingly shared small slices with the rest of us.

You could use a pastry shell but, as we are gluten free, the biscuit base is a nice quick alternative.

This tart fits a 25cm round tin or we use a rectangular tin and make two individual tarts for another night.

Ingredients

475g gluten free ginger nuts

150g butter

400g white chocolate

100g butter

400mls creme fraiche

Dark chocolate to grate over

Method

Melt the butter in the microwave or in a pan, add the crushed biscuits and mix well.

Press the biscuit mix into a loose bottomed tin or individual tins, packing tightly into the base and sides.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Gently heat the chocolate and butter in the microwave, stirring frequently until melted.

Whisk in the creme fraiche until lump free.

Pour into the prepared tins and smooth the top.

Refrigerate for 2 hours.

Brownie Cakes

We have an ongoing argument in the family as to what to call these, bruffins is the boys choice but they really are just a brownie.

As they are a brownie, they come out of the oven puffed in the middle and rapidly fall as they cool, the icing then fills the gap but be warned, these are rich!

Makes 16.

Ingredients

120g dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids

120g butter

70g smooth peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

300g caster sugar

120g ground almonds, almond meal

3/4 tablespoon baking powder

3 eggs

ICING

130g butter, at room temperature

225g icing sugar

25g cocoa powder

Method

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Centigrade.

Take two muffin tins and line 16 holes with muffin cases.

Either over hot water or carefully in the microwave, melt the butter and chocolate gently, stir in the peanut butter and vanilla.

In another bowl, measure out the sugar, ground almonds and baking powder.

In a third bowl, whisk the eggs until light and fluffy.

Pour the chocolate into the dry ingredients and then fold in the eggs gently.

Spoon into the prepared cases and bake for 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin.

Once the cakes are cool, make the icing.

In a food processor, blitz the icing sugar to get any lumps out or sieve it.

Add the cocoa powder and then beat in the butter.

Spread a little icing into the middle of each cake and then grate over some white chocolate.

Tandoori Flavoured Whole Baked Cauliflower

I know that making the paste might sound like a bit of a faff but I highly recommend that you give it a go, the colour is amazing and it really makes the humble cauliflower a bit of a star turn.

Obviously liquid smoke doesn’t have a place in Indian cuisine, so I apologise in advance, but, it does give you a fab, just out of the tandoor oven flavour. If you don’t have any, consider swapping out some of the paprika for smoked paprika.

Serves 6-8.

Ingredients

1/2 brown onion, roughly chopped

3 ripe tomatoes, quartered

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1 thumb sized piece of ginger

100mls water

50mls oil or ghee

4 teaspoons sweet paprika

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

1 lemon, juiced

125mls natural Greek yogurt

1 large head of cauliflower, leaves removed and some of the inner stalk removed

Method

Whizz the onion, tomatoes, garlic, ginger and water in a food processor to make a smooth runny paste.

Heat the oil or ghee in a frying pan over a medium to high heat, add the tomato and onion paste, bring up to a simmer and simmer until you have a thick, dark red paste that the oil or ghee is separating from.

Add the dried spices and salt and cook for 1 minute.

Take the pan off the heat and add the liquid smoke, lemon juice and yogurt, stir well.

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Centigrade.

Line the base and sides of a large casserole, that will fit the cauliflower snuggly, with two large pieces of baking parchment.

Turn the cauliflower upside down and spread some of the paste over the base, pushing it into all of the nooks and crannies.

Turn the cauliflower the right way up and smear over the remaining paste until completely covered.

Carefully place the cauliflower in the prepared pan, cover the top of it with another piece of baking parchment and then the lid.

Bake for 50 minutes and then remove the lid and paper and bake for 20 minutes until the cauliflower is beginning to colour.

Warm Rice Salad

As we roll through summer here in Western Australia salad becomes my go to veg option and now with the boys being teenagers, I need to bulk out the salads more to fill them up!

Serves 6-8.

Ingredients

200g basmati rice

375mls water

120g iceberg lettuce, finely shredded

100g cucumber, finely sliced lengthwise, I use a potato peeler

4 large spring onions, sliced at an angle

80g fresh coriander/cilantro, roughly chopped

6 dried figs, chopped into 4-6 pieces each

1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced

80g shelled pistachios

25mls lime juice

25mls olive oil

1/4 teaspoon sumac

Salt and pepper

Method

Wash the rice, pour it into a pan with a tight fitting lid, add the water and cover. Bring the rice up to the boil and then simmer, covered for 12minutes. Turn the heat off and let the rice sit for 10minutes. Do not take the lid off during the cooking and sitting period!

Allow the rice to cool a little.

Heat a dry frying pan over medium heat and add the pistachios.

Dry roast for 3 minutes and then tip the nuts onto a chopping board.

Once the nuts are cool enough to handle, roughly chop.

Combine the lime juice, oil, sumac, salt and pepper, check the seasoning.

Fork through the rice and tip into a large bowl, add the vegetables, fruit and nuts, stir well, finally pour in the dressing and stir again before serving.

I sometimes keep a few pistachios back to throw on top at the end.