Salads & Suppers, Sides, x For Freezer x

A pot of Really Good Daal

During these biting wintry weekends, daal can be a life-enriching experience. It’s a form of spellbinding magic. My nostrils do an all-consuming samba as I inhale a whole load of happiness that only food chemists could explain. This is daal – noun, verb, adjective, it’s much more than a bowl of hot legumes.

Food is always my first medicinal port of call. I prepare daal to soothe indolent moods and sore hearts. It’s got to have lots of sizzling garlic and blood-thumping ginger. Like a hug, these are to help us feel grounded yet simultaneously lifted, something Indian cooking almost always achieves. The injection of chilli is life’s defibrillator – the bigger the burn, the quicker we wake and shake.

 

 

 

Yellow Daal

Serves 3-5

This daal’s got more kick than a bunny in heat. Yellow split peas will give the daal a chunkier consistency, boiled until softly crushed then stirred into slow cooked onions and spiked with spices.

Namaste, from my little Indian love nest.

 

250g yellow split peas, rinsed
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
3 tablespoons coconut oil, butter or ghee
1 white onion, finely diced
4 fat cloves of garlic
1 red chilli, sliced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
Chunk of ginger, lightly peeled and grated
Squeeze of lime
Generous handful of plum tomatoes, halved
Natural yoghurt, to serve
Fresh coriander, to serve

 

Cook the split peas and ground turmeric in a small deep pan, covering with unsalted water. Let them putt-putter for 30-45 minutes until you can crush the peas between your thumb and forefinger. You’re looking for a soupy consistency.

While the peas gurgle away, gently colour the onions in your preferred form of fat (butter, coconut oil or ghee) over a low flame for 12 minutes. Turn up the flame, add the crushed garlic, chilli, cumin and grated ginger, stirring for a few minutes to prevent charring.

Now you can add the lime, fresh tomatoes and turn the heat right down to let the flavours socialise under a lid. After 10 minutes of cooking, stir through the cooked split peas. Serve in large bowls alongside some natural yoghurt and freshly torn coriander leaves. A plump poached egg also serves us well.

 

 

 

 

 

Treats & Snacks, Vegan &/or Raw, x For Freezer x

Gingerbread Men

If my kitchen frolicking has taught me anything, other than the limits to my belt-expansion, it is that how food tastes qualifies as only one segment of its true appeal. When is just as crucial to our taste buds because of the memories it can set in motion. And who plays a decisive role in a food’s celebration.

Nothing demonstrates this better than Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Gingerbread Men are suffused with happy memories for me. I start pimping them from early November, just so I can bathe in childhood memories and mad amounts of oxytocin.

Happy holidays everyone! May endless mistletoe and sherry be upon you.

 

 

Ninjabread Men

A note for wily mums; you can replace some of the ground almonds with milled flaxseed or hemp powder, to inject some omega-3 artillery into your little ones.

 

4 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil

3 tablespoons maple syrup (or raw honey for snotty noses)

100g (4oz) ground almonds

1-2 teaspoons ground ginger

Pinch of unrefined salt

 

Gently melt your coconut oil in a small pan over a shy flame. Remove from heat and stir through the remaining ingredients. Scrape the mixture out over a sheet of baking parchment. Press it into a rough dough ball, then place another sheet of parchment over it and flatten with a pastry rolling pin. You’re looking for a couple of mm in depth.

Transfer to the freezer for 10 minutes, until barely set. Alternatively, you can freeze for up to 3 month and let thaw for 5 minutes before cutting into gingerbread men. Choose a cookie cutter, and off you go! No need to bake. We store ready-to-eat gingerbread men in a freezer bag, waiting for unexpected playdates and midnight munchies.

 

 

Taking the hell out of healthy.

Hit “BOOM” at the top left corner with your email address my friend, to receive new monthly recipes direct to your inbox. Free of charge. Namaste!

 

 

 

 

Treats & Snacks, Vegan &/or Raw, x For Freezer x

Sea Salt, Date & Cacao Halva

Apparently, women think about chocolate more then men. Some scientists think this is because eating cacao helps release a cavalry of dopamine in the female brain, the same substance released during orgasm. It’s even been suggested that when women eat chocolate, it affects activity in the cerebral hemisphere responsible for regulating sexual desire.

Only one way to find out …

 

 

Sea Salt, Date & Cacao Halva

 

3 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
1 mug light tahini (circa 340g)
Up to 1/2 cup date syrup (125ml)
Good pinch of flaky sea salt
2 tablespoons carob powder (can be subbed with cocoa/cacao)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons raw cacao nibs

 

1. In a small saucepan, melt your coconut oil and date syrup together over a gentle flame.

2. Keeping the pan on a very low heat, add the remaining ingredients together, mushing with a fork. Ensure the oil is well mixed. Taste, and adjust with vanilla or sweetener. Work quickly, as the oil will begin to separate from the other ingredients as soon as it starts cooling. If this starts to happen, whack up the heat.

3. Line a small rectangular container (a little lunchbox perhaps?) with cling film so that it comes out over the sides. Transfer your gorgeous gooey gloss into the lined container and tickle with more cacao nibs and flaky salt (if you have any left).

4. Transfer to the freezer for 6 hours before indulging. Store it there too, as it melts quite quickly at room temperature.

We serve this in great big hunks and chards, alongside coffee and hygge (naturally).

 

******

This recipe is from page 208  Tasty. Naughty. Healthy. Nice. cookbook my friends. One of 140 healthy-assed recipes to help turn your kitchen into a wholefood mecca. 

If you live in the States, you can nail 20% off both my cookbooks this month by using the code SUSANJANE20 at the checkout of my US publisher’s online store www.RoostBooks.com. Here’s hoping I lovebomb your kitchen! Namaste. xxx