Monday, March 23

Baked Sweet Potato Samosas with Cilantro and Mango Chutneys.


Sometimes you mess around with a recipe and it just doesn't work. No matter how hard you try, you just can make a super healthy and tasty gluten-free vegan fat-free croissant (well, maybe you can, but I can't). Maybe it looks good, and it might taste....well okay, but much like those times you accidentally buy 'baked' potato chips instead of the fried ones, it just doesn't satisfy you in the way you want it to. And you know what, sometimes junk food is better off being junky. But then the other 99% of the time, unhealthy food is made a hundred times more amazing by making it healthier (hello banana ice cream!!!). And this is just the case here. 

While samosas are typically deep fried, often meat filled, and usually made with refined white flour, these little ones are vegan, oven baked, and made using whole spelt. Filled with sweet potato, warming spices like cumin, and fresh cilantro, they are substantial enough to be a light dinner for four, or a hearty lunch for two. I like to serve these along side the sweet Mango Chutney and zippy Cilantro Chutney, both of which help bring a bit of tropical spin to these chilly spring days. To turn this into a compete dinner, try serving along side or as an appetizer to my Go To Ginger Dahl

If you need your samsosa to be gluten free, try using the filling in rice wraps like this 



Baked Sweet Potato Samosa

Recipe: (Serves 16-18)

2 Cups peeled and cubed Sweet Potato
1/2 Cup Green Peas (fresh or thawed)
1 Tbsp. Chopped Fresh Cilantro
1/2 Tbsp. Cumin Seeds, toasted
1 tsp. Fresh Grated Ginger
1/2 tsp. Chili Flakes
1/4 tsp. Cayenne Powder
1/2 tsp. Turmeric
1/2 tsp. Coriander Seeds, toasted 
1/8 tsp. Ground Cardamom
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt

Procedure:

1. Begin by cooking the chopped sweet potato in a saucepan of boiling water for about 5 minutes, or just until the cubes are tender and easily broken by a fork. Drain them and set aside to cool.
2. In a mixing bowl combine the green peas, cilantro, fresh ginger, chili, cayenne, turmeric, cardamon and salt. Gently toast the cumin and coriander in a dry frying pan until fragrant, and gently crush with a mortar and pestle. Add these to the mix as well. 
3. Finally add the sweet potato and stir to combine. With the back of a fork, gently crush about half of the sweet potato cubes, making a nice and chunky mix. 


Spelt Samosa 
Adapted from here 

3/4 Cup Yogurt (if using a thicker vegan yogurt, try reducing the amount by a couple of Tbsp. and add a couple Tbsp. Almond Milk to thin it out)
1 1/2 Cups Spelt Flour
A Pinch Sea Salt
More Flour for Rolling
A little Avocado Oil or Coconut Oil for Brushing
A Tbsp. Sesame Seeds for Sprinkling

Procedure:

1. Combine the salt and flour in a bowl. Add the yogurt and stir until combined. Place the mixture on a work service and knead as you would bread, adding flour as needed. How much more flour you add will depend on the yogurt as well as the grain.
2. Divide the dough in half, then each half into approximately four (so you have eight balls total).  
3. With a little flour, roll each ball into a circle the size of a saucer (about 15 cm or 6 inch). Bring the left edge of the semi-circle over to the right cut edge (see pictures below). Press the seams together to make a little cone. Fill the cone with about 1 1/2 Tbsp of filling, making sure to leave enough dough at the top to seal together. Press the top edges together to seal completely. If you have trouble at anytime sealing your dough's edges, dip your finger tip in water and gently moisten one of the seams.
4. Place samosas seam-side down on a parchment lined tray. Lightly brush or dab a little oil to the tops of the samosas and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake in a pre-heated 218 C (425 F) oven for 13-15 minutes, or until the begin to turn golden on the bottom. 
5. Reduce the oven temperature to 180 C (350 F) and flip the samosas. Continue to bake for another 10 minutes. Serve with chutneys.


Mango Raisin Chutney


1 Mango, peeled and chunked
1/2 Cup water
1/2 tsp. Brown Mustard Seeds
2 Tbsp. Raisins
1/8 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/8 tsp. Chili Flakes
1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tbsp. Honey
A pinch of Sea Salt

Procedure:

1. Combine the mango and water in a covered saucepan and bring to a simmer. Let simmer gently for 15 minutes. 
2. Remove the lid and gently mash the softened mango. Add the mustard seeds, raisins, cinnamon, chilli, honey, salt, and all but 1 Tbsp of the apple cider vinegar. Simmer with the lid off for about 20 minutes, stirring regularly. 
3. Once the mixture has thickened up a but add the remaining tbsp. vinegar and let cook for just a few more seconds before removing from the heat. Let cool before serving. 


Cilantro Lime Chutney


1 Bunch Cilantro
1 Lime, juiced
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil or Avocado Oil
4 Green Onions, chopped in quarters
1 tsp. Chopped Hot Chili (jalapeno or Fresno)

Procedure:

1. Chop the lower half of the cilantro stems off, using only the softer stems and leaves.
2. Combine the Cilantro, lime juice, cumin, salt, oil, green onions and chili in a blender and puree until smooth. Taste for seasoning.

xox Sophie

Friday, March 13

Six Grain Breakfast Cereal, Date Bar Oatmeal, and Simple Overnight Oats!



As I have gotten older, weekends have become extra special to me. When I was young, they were anticipated because they offered a break from school, the chance to sleep in, and the ability to watch my favourite cartoon. But since I've grown up, the things I look forward to have evolved and shifted. Instead of waking up early to watch TaleSpin, I wake up early to meticulously grind coffee, and whip up a dreamy breaky for my housemates. Sadly, my days off are my only time of the week that I have the chance to eat a warm breakfast. So naturally, I saver it! To me sitting at the kitchen table surrounded by friends, the radio humming, a cat curled up at my feet, and breakfast baking away in the over, is pure bliss. When life gets busy and crazy these are the moments I need. This is my rejuvenation.  

Having a dish that can be popped into the oven with little effort is the perfect thing for lazy, social, Saturdays. And this dish is just the thing. Firstly, it involves making a big batch of Six Grain Breakfast Cereal which I use throughout the week as the base for my make-ahead work breakfast of overnight oats. However, if you have more time, you can simply cook it as you would porridge. Come the weekend, I toss the cereals together with some of our favourite ingredients and make the tastiest baked Date Bar Oatmeal. Having a batch of grainy cereal on hand is a real life saver, making more time for those important moments.


Six Grain Breakfast Cereal 


I used a variety of different flakes in this mix, but if you can't find all of these, feel free to replace them with anther variety or sub with more of another. If you need a gluten free mix, sub the Barley and Kamut with more of the other rolled grains. 
Recipe: (Makes 6 1/2 Cups)

1 Cup Quinoa Flakes
1 Cup Buckwheat Flakes
1 Cup Barley Flakes
1 Cup Kamut
2 Cup Gluten Free Oats
1/2 Cup Chia Seeds

Procedure:
1. Mix all ingredients together and store them in an airtight container. Cook as you would oatmeal, or follow the instructions for overnight oats, or Date Bar Oatmeal below. 


Date Bar Oatmeal


Recipe: (Serves 6)

Base:

2 Cups Six Grain Cereal (see above)
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. Ginger
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
A Pinch of Sea Salt
2 1/2 Cups Plant Based Milk (I used Almond)

Date Filling:

2 Cups Chopped Dates
Juice of 1-2 Oranges (enough to get 3/4 Cup)
Zest of 1 Ornage
1/4 Cup Boiling Water

Topping:

1 Cup 6 Grain Cereal
1/4 Cup Toasted Hazelnuts, chopped
3 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
1 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
A Pinch of Salt
A Pinch of Cinnamon

Procedure:

1. The night before, or earlier that morning, mix the chopped dates, orange juice, zest, and water. Let sit overnight or at least for a few hours. Then puree the mixture in a high speed blender until smooth.

2. Line an approximately 20 cm square dish (8 inch) with a little coconut oil. In a bowl mix the dry ingredients of the base together. Add the milk, stir until combined, and pour the mixture into the dish. Let sit for about 5 minutes for the mixture to set a little (and the chia to thicken).

3. Dollop the date filling over the base, trying to cover it completely.

4. Make the topping by mixing the cereal, salt, and cinnamon together. Work in the oil and maple syrup. Toss in the hazelnuts then sprinkle over the date filling.

5. Bake in a 180 C (350 F) oven for 30-35 minutes. 


Simple Overnight Oats


Recipe: (Serves 1)

1/2 Cup Six Grain Cereal
3/4 Cup of Plant Milk (I used almond)
1/2 tsp. Honey or sweetener of choice (optional)
A pinch of cinnamon
Berries or fresh fruit to garnish
A spoon of almond butter (optional)

Procedure:

1. The night before, mix the cereal, milk, sweetener, and cinnamon until combined. Store in a jar in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning top with fruit and nut butter.

xox Sophie

Monday, March 2

Simple Homemade Toothpaste - You'll never look back!


Having a non-food based post is a bit of a shift for me, but it's something I've been meaning to do for ages now. To be frank, I've actually made quite a few homemade remedies in the past for the blog, but never had the courage to post them here in doubt that anybody would be interested. But when it comes to this homemade concoction, I knew right away that I had to share it with you all! I know what you might be thinking: what... toothpaste? Yeah, I know its not really exciting, or very tasty for that matter. But it's super simple, totally affordable, and best of all, works like a dream! 

I was encouraged to make this after my mum, whose been making her own toothpaste for the last little while now, went in for a check up and was informed by the hygienist that she has surprisingly little plaque, and that compared to last time, her teeth looked whiter! And guess what her secret is? Yup, homemade toothpaste using four pantry ingredients. 

Baking Soda- While some people may be worried that baking soda is too abrasive for teeth, it's actually an alkaline which, it turns out, is less abrasive to enamel and dentine than commercially available toothpastes! It cleans teeth in two different ways. Firstly, by helping dislodge the plaque build up which contributes to dental decay and cavities and secondly, by removing those yellowy stains (in my case from coffee and tea). So all in all, it's both a excellent cleaner and natural tooth whitener!

Coconut Oil- Recently, pulling has become a super trendy habit - and there is good reason behind it! Oil pulling has been used holistically for thousands of years to improve oral and systemic health. Traditionally it consists of swishing about 1 Tbsp. of sesame oil in your mouth for about 20 minutes, much like mouthwash. While this recipe doesn't call for that much oil, or amount of time, it still provides some of the numerous benefits associated with pulling. By swishing the oil around in your mouth, bacteria is said to get caught in the oil and removed.This prevents such mouth problems as bad breath and gingivitis.   

Oil of Oregano- While you may only use this when feeling under the weather, oil of oregano is a great addition to your tooth paste and as a preventative against illness. A antiseptic and great ridder of bacteria, oil of oregano is great at getting into those crevasses  and deep in your gums which are so often a haven for bacteria.

Peppermint Oil- Peppermint oil is a wonderful breath freshener and is great at masking the flavour of the oil of oregano!

I promise you, your teeth will have never felt cleaner (or more like a slip and slide)!


Simple Homemade Toothpaste 


Recipe: (Makes the equivalent of one tube)

6 Tbsp. Organic Coconut Oil (Soften but not melted)
4 Tbsp. Baking Soda
20 Drops of Oil of Oregano
20 Drops of Peppermint Oil

Procedure:

1. Begin by leaving the coconut oil in a warm spot to soften. Mix it with the baking soda until smooth.
2. Add the oils and stir to combine.
3. Divide up the paste into small jars. Keep in a warm spot or use a small spoon to scoop onto your toothbrush.

xox Sophie