Thursday, 21 January 2010

Quinoa - Crackers and Cake



In India there is a savory snack, 
the crisp and tasty Mathi.
It is usually served at tea-time,
along with pickles and a chutney.
I baked instead of deep frying,
Used olive oil instead of ghee,
quinoa and spelt worked just fine,
no white flour for me.....
I wanted something else too,
a soft cake that is gluten free,
I used Avocado instead of butter,
and dates to make it sugar free.....


Crackers:

1 cup Quinoa flour
3/4 cup Whole Spelt Flour (or you can use whole wheat flour)
1 tablespoon mixed Herbs (I used dried mint and fenugreek leaves)
1 teaspoon Chili flakes
1 teaspoon Garlic flakes
1 teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup Water or slightly more

Preheat the oven at 160 C.
Mix all the dry ingredients together,
then pour the olive oil and rub it in,
till you get a crumbling sand like texture.
Add the water little by little and bring it all together,
kneading gently to make a firm dough.
Roll out the dough to 1/8th inch,
sprinkling flour on the surface.
Use a cutter to form round shapes for the crackers,
or make any other shape you desire.

Line a baking tray with parchment/baking paper,
and place the round shapes on it.
Bake for 10 - 12 minutes till the crackers are lightly brown.
Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.



We ate these crackers with Date Chutney and Avocado Houmous.

Date Chutney:

Use 1 cup of seedless dates.
Pour warm water over them, just till are covered.
Let them soak for a couple of hours.
Blend in a high speed blender to make Date Paste.
Keep aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a small pan.
Add 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds and lightly brown them,
Add the Date paste, then add 1 teaspoon of Garam Masala,
1 teaspoon of Sambal Olek (Indonesian chili paste)
or chili powder to taste.
Add the juice of half a lime or lemon, and sea salt to taste.
Mix it all together on medium heat, till it thickens and comes together.


Avocado Houmous :

1 ripe Avocado
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 teaspoons light Tahini
1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
sea salt to taste

Blend it all together till it becomes smooth and enjoy :-)


Quinoa, Date and Avocado Cake



Cake:

1 ripe Avocado
1 cup Date paste
1 Egg
2  tablespoon Yogurt
2 teaspoons Vanilla extract

1 cup Quinoa flour
1 cup Coconut flour (finely dessicated coconut)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
pinch of sea salt
Combine these dry ingredients together.


Preheat oven at 180 C
Grease a medium sized cake pan.


Whisk the wet ingredients together.
Add the dry ingredients and mix well till combined.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake
till the blade of a knife inserted in the cake,
comes out clean. Let it cool.
Dust the surface with dessicated coconut before serving.



Quinoa Info:

Quinoa is not a true cereal or grain, but a seed.
It is gluten free, alkaline in nature and easy to digest.
Unlike wheat or rice, which are low in lysine,
quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids,
making it an unusually complete protein source (12% to 18%)
It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorous
and is high in magnesium and iron. 
Quinoa has a light, fluffy texture when cooked,
and a mild nutty flavor suitable for sweet and savory dishes.
I use Quinoa seeds, flakes, pops and flour
and my recipes will showcase them in all these forms.

Keep it simple. Be Creative.
Taste and Play. Find your Own Way.


Sunday, 10 January 2010

Quinoa - Blueberry Bars



After two savory quinoa dishes,
it was time for something sweet,
something melting, something fresh,
Blueberry Bars sounded neat......
I wanted something rich and dark,
goats butter in preference,
then I found the best sugar ever,
and that made all the difference......
We had a bar when it was still warm,
just to try it we said,
but once we began we couldn't stop,
I even ate one in bed :-)




Quinoa Blueberry Bars:

75 gms Butter (I used goats butter)
1 cup dark unrefined Muscovado Sugar (you can use brown sugar)
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
3 cups cooked Quinoa
1 cup ground Almonds (almonds meal / almond flour)
1 cup Blueberries
1/2 cup finely chopped Walnuts

Preheat the oven to 180C.
Line a Brownie pan with greaseproof baking paper.

Cream the butter and sugar, then add the egg and whisk together.
Add the vanilla, cinnamon, sea salt and mix well till smooth.
Fold in the ground almonds and combine.
Add in the cooked Quinoa and fold in the blueberries and walnuts.
Gently mix it all together.

Pour this thick mixture into the greased brownie pan,
and bake for 30 minutes till the top is brown and the sides
begin to crisp a little.
Let it cool and cut into Bars.




Notes:

Muscovado sugar is a very dark brown,
slightly coarser and stickier than other brown sugars.
It is moist in texture and has a strong molasses flavor.
It is unrefined and thus nutritionally richer
than not only refined sugar of course,
but also all other brown sugars.
It retains most of the natural minerals inherent
in sugarcane juice as shown below :
  • Total mineral salts 740 mg max.
  • Phosphorus (P) 3.9 mg max.
  • Calcium (Ca) 85 mg max.
  • Magnesium (Mg) 23 mg max.
  • Potassium (K) 100 mg max.
  • Iron (Fe) 1.3 mg max 
Quinoa Info:

Quinoa is not a true cereal or grain, but a seed.
It is gluten free, alkaline in nature and easy to digest.
Unlike wheat or rice, which are low in lysine,
quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids,
making it an unusually complete protein source (12% to 18%)
It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorous
and is high in magnesium and iron. 
Quinoa has a light, fluffy texture when cooked,
and a mild nutty flavor suitable for sweet and savory dishes.
I use Quinoa seeds, flakes, pops and flour
and my recipes will showcase them in all these forms.

Keep it Simple. Be Creative.
Taste and Play. Find your Own Way.


Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Quinoa - Tasty Tangy Burgers



White landscape all around,
surrounded by beautiful snow,
such a blessing to be warm,
in our new home sweet home........
In Henley where we've moved,
there are no fast food joints,
no MacDonalds, KFC or Subway,
this town wins all the points :-)
We made Burgers for lunch today,
with quinoa, mint and chickpea,
some ginger, honey, lemon zest,
but orange juice was the key......

  


Cooking Quinoa:

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
drizzle of olive oil
pinch of sea salt

Wash and rinse quinoa thoroughly.
Heat water, add quinoa and bring to a boil.
Cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes,
till the quinoa sprouts are well visible.
Take it off the heat and let it rest
until all water is absorbed.

Burgers:

1 can Chickpeas
The cooked Quinoa
1 tablespoon Tomato paste
1 tablespoon Sesame seeds
2 tablespoons Orange Juice
1 teaspoon Honey (agave for vegans)
1 teaspoon Lemon zest
1 teaspoon grated Ginger
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Mint
Chili flakes and Sea Salt to taste
Olive oil
Chickpea flour

Mash the chickpeas coarsely.
Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Roll and flatten to make the Burgers
and dust with chickpea flour.
Heat a pan and lightly coat
with olive oil. Cook the burgers,
till brown on both sides, using oil as needed.


Notes:

Quinoa and chickpeas are best friends,
they go very well together.
Orange juice, lemon zest and honey
gives these burgers the tangy taste.
This is a nutrient dense, high protein burger.
I served them for lunch today,
with red pepper and zucchini humous,
and a mixed green salad with tomatoes, cucumber,
walnuts, raisins, an olive oil/balsamic vinegar dressing.


Quinoa Info:

Quinoa is not a true cereal or grain, but a seed.
It is gluten free, alkaline in nature and easy to digest.
Unlike wheat or rice, which are low in lysine,
quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids,
making it an unusually complete protein source (12% to 18%)
It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorous
and is high in magnesium and iron. 
Quinoa has a light, fluffy texture when cooked,
and a mild nutty flavor suitable for sweet and savory dishes.
I use Quinoa seeds, flakes, pops and flour
and my recipes will showcase them in all these forms.


Keep it Simple. Be Creative.
Taste and Play. Find your Own Way.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Quinoa - Spicy Peas Pulav (Pilaf)


 

New year and new beginnings,
this blog will have a new theme too.
Based on ingredients in the main role,
thus my recipes will flow for you.........
A few posts on Quinoa as the star,
in a series of savory and sweets.
And what will follow next?
Maybe some unusual Tofu treats......
2010 is a year of awakenings,
of following our hearts to bliss,
I wish you all the very best,
with sunshine, smiles and a kiss........

  

For Cooking Quinoa:

1 cup Quinoa
2 cups Water
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 teaspoon Oil
1 small Cinnamon stick
3 to 4 cloves
2 cardamom pods

Wash and thoroughly rinse quinoa.
Heat oil and gently fry the whole spices for a minute.
Add the quinoa, then pour in the water.
Let it boil, then cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes.
Take it off the heat and let it rest till all the water is absorbed.
Remove the whole spices from the quinoa.

Pulav:

1 medium sized finely sliced Red Onion
1 finely diced sweet Red Pepper
3/4 cooked Green Peas
1/4 cup chopped Cashew nuts
1/4 cup Raisins
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
The cooked Quinoa
1 tablespoon Oil
Sea salt to taste
1/4 cup chopped Fresh Coriander
Half a Lemon

Heat oil in a pan and brown the cumin seeds,
then add the sliced onions, red pepper,
cashewnuts and raisins and fry together.
Add the green peas, then garam masala, sea-salt and turmeric.
Saute together for a few minutes then add the cooked quinoa
and mix well. Add some lemon juice and fresh coriander.

I served the pulav warm with a big dollop of cucumber raita:
finely diced cucumber mixed with goats milk yogurt,
sea salt, garlic and chili flakes.

 

Notes:

Quinoa is not a true cereal or grain, but a seed.
It is gluten free, alkaline in nature and easy to digest.
Unlike wheat or rice, which are low in lysine,
quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids,
making it an unusually complete protein source (12% to 18%)
It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorous
and is high in magnesium and iron. 
Quinoa has a light, fluffy texture when cooked,
and a mild nutty flavor suitable for sweet and savory dishes.
I use Quinoa seeds, flakes, pops and flour
and my recipes will showcase them in all these forms.

Keep it Simple. Be Creative.
Taste and Play. Find your Own Way.