Hazel Gingernuts

I’ve been trying to come up with an original recipe for a chocolate chip cookie, and it ain’t easy.

I started off adapting my chocolate chip cookie recipe, by simply adding cocoa powder instead of some of the flour, but it came out way too dry. So I added more liquid, but then they came out like little flat cakes! (NB: Keep an eye out for a brownie recipe, coming soon. ;)) Then I got bored of eating half-arsed chocolate cookies, so I ditched the cocoa and came up with these instead.

hazel gingernuts

makes 15-18

1 1/4 cup plain flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup hazelnuts, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup corn oil
1/4 cup soy milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Pre-heat oven to 180C. Sift the flour, baking soda, ground ginger and salt into a large bowl. Roughly chop the hazelnuts.

In another bowl mix the sugar, corn oil, soy milk and vanilla extract. Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix together until just combined. Add the hazelnuts and stir in evenly.

Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper. Make golf ball sized lumps of the dough and press them flat on the greaseproof paper. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until done. Cool on rack.

I’ve still got to come up with an original chocolate chip cookie recipe, but this one will do for now. Another notch to the bow. So far the reviews are good, which works for me. Hopefully if I ever do open my own bakery these guys will make it onto the menu. 🙂

Saag Aloo

A surprisingly quick and simple recipe that I think you’ll enjoy.

saag aloo - ingredients

4 potatoes, chopped
2-3 handfuls of spinach, washed
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated/chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp red chillies, chopped
2 cardamom pods, crushed
1/4 tsp salt
olive oil

saag aloo 1

Par-boil the potatoes in some salty water for 8-10 minutes or so. While you’re doing that fry the onions, garlic and ginger in a large saucepan on a medium heat until soft (approx 5 minutes).

saag aloo 2

Add all the remaining spices to the onion mixture and stir in. Drain the potatoes and add them too. Mix thoroughly, add a couple of tablespoons of water to prevent it from sticking, then cover and allow to simmer for 10-12 minutes (still stirring to keep it from burning to bottom of pan).

saag aloo 3

Once potatoes have gone edibly soft add the spinach and cook for another couple of minutes. Spinach will wilt and reduce in size a great deal.

saag aloo

Serve hot over a bed of rice.

A few notes on the recipe vs the pictures. I made mine with raw potatoes soaked in water rather than par-boiled ones, but this just meant I had to add more water to the pan and it took longer to cook, and I don’t think it added anything to the flavour, so I’d recommend doing it this way instead. Also, chop your spuds smaller than I did mine, again, to save time. As always I left the skin on, coz that’s where all the nutrients are, but cut the eyes out.

Also, I added more spinach than is pictured. After I threw in my 2 handfuls and it cooked down to size I saw the ratio was way off and more was needed. Really this is up to you. The recipe could probably handle more spinach even, if that’s what you’re into, I just didn’t have a whole lot more left so I stopped at 3 handfuls.

Kiki’s Sweet and Spicy Quinoa Salad

This is a surprisingly sweet and tasty little concoction, inspired by the recipe for Piyadassi Purnahana from the excellent book Buddhist Peace Recipes. If you haven’t got it check it out. Not all the recipes are vegan, but the ones that are are fantastic, and the rest you can adapt fairly easily.

kiki's sweet and spicy quinoa salad

1 yellow/orange bell pepper, chopped
1 medium red onion, finely sliced
1 tbsp walnuts (or cashews)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground paprika
1 tsp chopped ginger
a pinch of cayenne
1 tsp unrefined cane sugar
2 tsp of honey
juice of 1 lime (or 1/2 a lemon)
8-10 button mushrooms
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup quinoa
1 tbsp sultanas
some olive oil

First, marinate the button mushrooms (chopping any that are too large in half) in the balsamic vinegar for 15-20 minutes, whilst pre-heating the oven to 200 degrees celsius.

Place the pepper and onion in a large bowl. Mix the cumin, paprika, ginger, cayenne and sugar in a bowl with a dash of olive oil, then pour over the pepper and onion and mix thoroughly.

Heat some oil in a frying pan on a medium/high heat. Fry the pepper and onion mix for 10 minutes stirring until both have softened (the onion more so than the pepper)

Add the chopped cashews, honey and lime juice, and fry for a further 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Whilst frying, once the oven is up to temp, put the mushrooms in a casserole dish into which you’ve put a little olive oil to stop them sticking, and bake for 15 minutes.

Finally stick the quinoa and sultanas in a pan, cover generously with water, and bring to the boil. Cook for 10 minutes until quinoa is done, drain, then set aside to cool.

Combine all the ingredients and either enjoy straight away or let cool completely to be had the next day.