Posts tagged sauce
Cauliflower 'Cheese'.... fat free!

This is the recipe that has got me most excited in recent weeks!!

…And this is why!

...it’s quick to whip up, it uses two basic cheap ingredients, it freezes well, it’s so versatile as a sauce in so many recipes or even as a stand alone dip!

This would make a perfect ‘lightened up’ pasta bake or really anything that would use a regular cheese sauce. I made cauliflower cheese because to me that’s classic comfort food and it’s what I craved. You could add other vegetables or substitute the beans for the peas. I had some beans needing using up so I added them for extra protein and texture.

I can’t take full credit for the 'cheese' sauce as it has appeared in various guises around the Internet, and I tweaked this spices and removed the oil to make it my own.

I want to point out, that you could add some fat (see this recipe which was my main inspiration) and but I wanted to see what the texture was like without. Also, I prefer adding the fat component of a meal by way of ingredients such as nuts and avocados as opposed to adding unnecessary oils into sauces etc. That is simply my preference. 

Recipe: Cauliflower cheese

Serves 2

Ingredients- Sauce:

  • 2 small fist sized white potatoes- chopped on to smallish pieces (approx 350g)

  • 1 heaped cup chopped carrot (approx 150g)

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 tsp salt

  • juice of half a lemon

  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast*

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard

Other ingredients: 

  • 1 head of cauliflower

  • 1 courgette

  • 1 can white beans (or beans of choice or peas)

Method:

Boil the chopped carrots and the potato for 15 to 20 minutes until soft. (I used a food processor for the carrots and potatoes and then only cooked them for five minutes or so).

Meanwhile mix the rest of the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. 

Chop the cauliflower and courgette into smallish pieces and lay evenly in a medium sized glass oven dish.

Once the carrot and potato have cooked, transfer to a blender/food processor and add the remaining ingredients. I found the veg retained some cooking water, so add only a little extra water to start with as you do not want the sauce to be too runny, add extra if needed. 

Pour the sauce into the oven dish to fully coat the veggies. Bake at 180C for about 20 minutes until the top is golden and the veg cooked through.. Serve immediately with a side salad if desired.

*Do not skip or substitute the nutritional yeast, this is what gives the sauce it's cheesy flavour. I use this brand and it can be found in most whole food stores in the UK and online. It's a good store cupboard ingredient to have on hand for dairy free cooking!

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Spicy Carrot Pickle

I want to start by saying I love this stuff!!

I've been eating it dolloped on top of soups..... mixed through a sty fry..... to jazz up a plain tomato sauce.... as a cracker topping with hummus....  the list really could go on and on!!

Before I go any further I give full credit for this recipe inspiration to Paul's Pickles as I originally bought a jar of his version from a craft market some weeks back and then when i ran out I went through the ingredients list and recreated my own, it tastes almost identical and so now i'm curious to go along the shelves of the supermarket checking out ingredients lists and making more of my own intriguing flavours :-)

Here is the original... if you are ever in the area and see Paul's stall he has loads of yummy things to offer- apparently this pickle in his best seller!

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The pickle is packed full of strong flavours and Indian spices, it's powerful stuff eaten straight off the spoon, and tastes best mixed with another 'milder' flavour, veggies and sauces.  It also tastes better over time (three days onwards) so don't worry if the vinegar flavours stands out a little when freshly made as this mellows right back. I have used cider vinegar but you could use an alternative vinegar.

It's so so easy to make, once you've got the various ingredients to hand,  and would make the perfect gift by making a few jars in a batch... I originally made a coupe of jars but then made four more jars at the weekend. I am not too sure how long this stores for but since it's a pickle I would imagine a good few weeks minimum in the fridge. 

Let me know what you think of you do make it, and what your favourite way to serve it is!

A couple of my own serving suggestions are below.

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Recipe: Spicy carrot pickle

Makes approx. two jars

Ingredients

  • 4 medium grated carrots (use a coarse grater or mandolin slice or both)
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar (or mild light coloured vinegar of choice)
  • 2 tbs oil (I used olive)

Spices:

  • ¼ cup fresh coriander- chopped
  • 1 tbs crushed chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp smoked garlic
  • 2 tbs turmeric
  • 1 tbs galangal paste (or grated ginger)
  • 1 tbs garam masala
  • 1 scant tsp salt
  • 1 tbs mustard seeds
  • 1 tbs fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tbs cumin seeds

Method

Mix the top three ingredients together and then add the spices- you could add them directly to the carrot mix or mix them together first and then add- it doesn't matter as long as the resulting pickle is well mixed.

Pack into a jar or two, store in the fridge or a cool place.

Simple mixed through plain quinoa and endamame

Simple mixed through plain quinoa and endamame

Dolloped on top of soup....(recipe for soup to come!)

Dolloped on top of soup....(recipe for soup to come!)

More quinoa.....

More quinoa.....

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Sweet Cream... (surprise!)

The 'surprise' part intrigued you...right?

Well check this out.... fruits and veggies in one sweet little dish! Er, where are the veggies you might ask?  The cream topping. Cauliflower is playing its tricks again!

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Cauliflower is so crazy versatile, not simply due to it's mild (slightly earthy but easy to cover up) flavour, but it's pure creamy colour makes it perfect for desserts and light sauces.  All you need is a good blender to whip whip whip....

Add a few subtle flavours to hide any hint of caulifloweryness (you can taste test as you go along) and you are good to go within minutes. 

Spoon over fruit, or even a hot autumn fruit pie or crumble.....mmmmm.... pie!

 

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Recipe: Sweet cauli-cream

Makes 1 heaped cup

ingredients:

  • 1 cup grated cauliflower (approx 5 large florets)
  • approx 2/3 cup non dairy milk* (or water plus 1 tbs almond/cashew paste)
  • 2 tbs syrup (i.e brown rice syrup, maple syrup, agave) I used BR
  • 2 tsp coconut oil*
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

Grate the cauliflower of pulse it in a food processor until fine chopped. Add to a pan along with the liquid and simmer covered for 5-7 minutes until cooked. Add all remaining ingredients and blend until very smooth. Add a little extra water/milk if needed to achieve desired consistency. Check for flavour and add extra vanilla, spice or sweetener if needed (or if sensitive tastebuds can detect the cauliflower!)

*I also made an alternative version using 2tbs 60% coconut milk powder mixed with boiling water in place of the non-dairy milk and coconut oil. It worked really well and the slight coconut taste also helped offset the cauliflower (it doesn’t taste at all coconutty in the end).

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Courgette chutney

I'm thinking this will be the last courgette recipe of the year… Not because I'm tiring of courgette quite yet, but because the tide seems to be shifting towards autumn and in particular pumpkin.

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Over here in the UK pumpkin isn't quite such the craze as it is in the US, blog world and my Instagram newsfeed is already becoming inundated. Squashes will undoubtedly make an appearance before too long but the whole pumpkin pie phenomenon doesn't really seem to exist over here, we don't even have 'pumpkin pie spice mix' which seems as commonplace as salt-and-pepper for you lot over the pond! 

I kind of feel as though I'm missing out ;-(

Anyway like I say this may (or may not) be the final courgette recipe, after all summer courgette supplies are fast dwindling now...

I got this idea for this chutney from a recipe link for a courgette marmalade in the Able & Cole newsletter, but I didn't like the idea of all the sugar so commonplace in regular chutneys and marmalades, So with the basic concept in mind I hunted around for ideas and came up with my own version using dates and a little unrefined sugar as well as all the spices you'd expect. The result is pretty tasty and once again makes a Novel way of using a ton of courgette!

I found the sauce particularly tasty with pasta, noodles, or to jazz up a veggie stir fry. Or just slather on top of crackers with a little hummus and salad leaves on the side.

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Recipe: Courgette Chutney

Makes 4 jars (approx. 300ml each)

Ingredients: 

  • I kg worth of courgette
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 2 onion- roughly chopped
  • 300ml apple cider vinegar
  • 2tbs olive oil
  • ¼ cup un-refined sugar (i.e coconut sugar or rapadura)
  • ½ cup date paste
  • Spices: (note- tweak to suit your own tastes)
  • 1 heaped tsp chilli
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 heaped tsp fresh ginger
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 heaped tsp cumin

Method: 

Chop the courgette into smallish (thumb sized) pieces in a processor. Add to a colander, add the salt and shake well to coat. Allow to drain for a couple of hours to draw out excess moisture.

When the courgette is ready, rinse well to remove most of the salt and pat dry.

Blend all remaining ingredients to form a soft paste (leave onion out of the blend if you want this to remain chunky).

Heat ‘paste’ in a large sauce pan on a low heat for 10 minutes or so, add the cougette pieces (and onion), mix and simmer whilst partially covered on a low heat for around 45 minutes or until well softened and thickened.

Pour into steralised jars whilst hot and screw lids onto seal tightly.

 

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Potato coleslaw

It’s all ‘red white and blue’ everywhere you look! Any one would think there was a celebration coming up…!

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee is a pretty big deal, it’s not every day that comes around, plus we all get an extra days bank holiday! That said, I have been a little slow on the uptake and my patriotic baking creativity hasn’t really happened…but I may have a little something up my sleeve for Tuesday (the day of the Jubilee itself) but you’ll have to wait for it. Plus I will have another reason to celebrate on Tuesday…you’ll have to wait for that too.

In the mean time I thought I’d share some patriotic baking of another kind….these cakes were baked and decorated by the kids my mum looks after (she’s a childminder), I think the iced tops were supposed to resemble Union Jacks….not so much, but still pretty cute!

Yesterday's dinner time was a good opportunity to see what the garden had to offer. My mum wanted to dig up some of the potatoes she’d planted to see if they were ready. 

Um, that will be a no then....

I posted this photo via Instagram on twitter yesterday, so some of you may have seen it there.  I have recently joined Instagram, and the link to my profile is now added to the top of the page so please come and find me!

I had originally planned a potato salad with homemade mayonnaise, but due to the potatoes being less plentiful than hoped for, I made a potato coleslaw of sorts which was pretty good with great texture. I had no cabbage to hand so once i’d cooked the baby potatoes and coated them with the mayonnaise, I grated some raw carrot and courgette over the top and mixed it through.

A lovely simple side dish. This would be great served up with these burgers!

Whether you are celebrating or not, I hope you have a great weekend…I hope the Queen does too!

Recipe: Vegan Mayonnaise

Makes ¾ cup

Ingredients

  • ½ raw cashews (or 1/3 cup cashew butter)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ cup soy milk (I imagine water would also suffice)
  • 2 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Pinch ground cayenne or parika
  • 2 tbs olive oil

Method

Grind the cashews along with the garlic to a paste (or use cashew butter). Add the remaining ingredients and blend again until smooth and creamy.

Stores in the fridge in a covered container for up to 3 days.

For potato coleslaw, coat boiled new potatoes with the mayonnaise and stir through raw grated carrot and courgette. Sprinkle with fresh herbs or seasonings if desired and serve immediately.

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Carrot burgers

These carrot burgers came about as a moment of spontaneity on my birthday evening last week. I shared these burgers for dinner with my mum, who proclaimed (after having eaten it all up) ‘oh I should have really cooked for you since it’s your birthday’, oh well….bit late now! Not that I minded, I think about food all day long and am always excited to try out something new when the idea strikes, this particular moment in time was no exception…birthday or not!

I’d had a pretty full on day…well, with the birthday cake under my belt (er, quite literally) I was in the mood for more of a light bite in the evening, so I served these burgers with salad and a simple tahini sauce. The perfect balmy summer dinner (balmy summer…I wish!) You could serve with a side of couscous for a more substantial meal.

The other great thing about these burgers is that they are pretty quick and simple to throw together and I’m pretty sure they could be frozen, although I haven’t tried. Add in your own favourite blend of spices, I used a cajun mix for a warm Mexican kick. I have also used red palm oil (as I like the deep yellow colour it gave to coat the burgers, but other oils would be absolutely fine. I like to add beans to things…most things, sweet or savoury! Beans or chickpeas give great texture, act as a binding ingredient and provide a good source of protein, so are a great base for many burgers.

If you have a thing for burgers, these recipes might also take your fancy:

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Recipe: Carrot burgers

Makes approx. 6 burgers (depending on size)

Ingredients- burgers

  • 300g carrots
  • 200g chickpeas
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tbs tahini
  • 1 tbs ‘spices’ (I used a Cajun mix)
  • Extra salt to taste
  • 50g oatmeal
  • 1 tbs chia or flax plus 2 tbs hot water
  • 1 tbs red palm oil (or other oil) for frying

Ingredients- tahini sauce

  • 50g yoghurt of choice (or cashew yoghurt as I used)
  • 2 tsp tahini
  • 2 tbs lemon juice

Method

Coarsely chop the carrot and onion in a food processor and then add the chickpeas, tahini and spices and roughly mash through. Transfer the mixture to a sauce pan and cook for approx. 10 minutes stirring frequently to prevent sticking.

Once cooked, stir through the oatmeal and gelled chia/flax mixture. The mixture should be sticky but firm, if too sticky add a little more oatmeal. With wet hands form flat burger patties and fry them in a lightly oiled pan for a few minutes on each side until golden.

For the tahini sauce, mix all ingredients together well in a small bowl.

Drizzle burgers with tahini sauce and serve immediately.

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Tomato ketchup

So, you remember this post from a couple of days ago…

Black bean beet burgers!

Well just peeking through in the corner of that photo is a little pot of tomato sauce. Homemade tomato ketchup, with a sweet  kick just like regular tomato ketchup but without all the sugar!  What provides the sweetness…plums! Helped out with a little agave syrup (you could omit this is you liked), the plums are a perfect complement to the fresh tomatoes.  I also added some ground chia seed stirred through right at the end to give a health boost and to act as a thickener. If you don’t have chia I would advise experimenting with some other form of thickener to achieve the right consistency for your sauce.

This will store in the fridge for a good for weeks and is the perfect companion for summer time. I can already picture the burgers on the BBQ now! It’s best to store this sauce for a couple of weeks before consuming as it will allow the flavour to mature…nut feel free to dip in of you can’t wait that long!

This sauce would also work well as a basic pasta sauce or base for my super- speedy GF pizza crust.

Recipe: Healthy Tomato ketchup

Makes approx. 500ml

Ingredients

  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 400g ripe vine tomatoes
  • 120g ripe plums
  • 2tbs tomato puree
  • 20g agave
  • 1tsp molasses- optional (gives a slightly deeper richness)
  • 50g white wine vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 small chilli pepper with seeds removed
  • Salt to taste (I added approx. ¼ tsp)
  • 3-4 tbs ground chia seed

Method

Roughly chop the garlic and add to a food processor along with the tomatoes and plums, pulse to achieve a coarse even ‘paste’.

I used my Thermomix for the entire cooking process, but for those without, transfer the tomato mixture to a medium pan, add the remaining ingredients (except chia) and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring as required to avoid sticking. Add the ground chia in the last  minute.

Remove the cloves and bay leaf (if you can find them) and then transfer the mixture to a blender (or use a stick blender in the pan) and blend until you have a smooth mixture.

Pour into a sterilised bottle or jar and store in the fridge. The flavour matures over a couple of weeks.

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Peanut Satay Sauce Skewers

It’s still sunny and it has been all week! Today I sat outside at my dad’s house writing up some posts to schedule whilst I am away on holiday next week. However I didn’t sit out too long as it wasn’t the most comfortable bench in the world! I’m just hoping the weather holds next week for my family break in Cornwall…well as long as we have some sun I will be happy!

Anyway, time for food……….

Remember my little teaser from this post at the weekend? Well, the wait is over and if you hadn’t guessed it already this is my current favourite, simple, speedy, no-fuss, super yummy (all my favourite words)… peanut satay sauce.

Even before I became a fan of peanut butter I always loved peanut satay sauce. Particularly on chicken skewers in a Thai restaurant! But now I have my own. I can’t believe I haven’t made it before. To me it tasted pretty much like the real thing but with only 4 ingredients and 2 minutes of time. Yes this is another one of my 5 minutes recipes.

As it was such a lovely spring day last Saturday I fancied a simple light lunch but wasn’t in the mood for salad. So instead here we have simple grilled veggie skewers with a satay marinade and drizzle sauce. It was so good. The drizzle sauce is quite light in colour as it is simply a thinner version of the marinade, you could add extra soy sauce or maybe even a touch of molasses if you want extra colour and depth. I felt it was perfectly tasty enough without.

I think this may even become my new quick snack recipe alternative to veggie sticks and dipsthe whole meal took no more than 10 minutes, and you could easily add some carbs or lentils for a more substantial meal. Want more peanut recipes? Well, I would suggest giving this unusual but yummy soup a try…plus I might just have a PB&J granola recipe currently undergoing a few tests….nom nom nom.

Recipe: Peanut Satay sauce Skewers

Makes one ramekins worth (for roughly one serving of veggie skewers)

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs soy milk
  • Approx. ½ tsp hot sauce or chipotle pepper sauce (to taste depending on what type you use)
  • Additional 1-2 tbs soy (or other) milk to thin out once the veggies have been basted in half the sauce.

Method

Mix together all the ingredients to get a fairly thick paste. Coat the veggies and feed onto skewers for grilling. Grill for up to 10 mins turning once.

Meanwhile, you should have about half the sauce remaining. Add additional soy milk until you reach a drizzle consistency. Taste and add extra soy sauce etc if required. Heat the sauce in the microwave for approx. 1 minute on 50% power (not full power as I found it burnt the sauce).

Serve along with the skewers.

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