Homemade Nutty Falafel

Super crunchy on the outside and light and fluffy inside, this falafel delivers a delicious flavour combination – fresh herbs, nuts with a wonderful spicy finish of ginger and chilli.

Super crunchy on the outside and light and fluffy inside, this falafel delivers a delicious flavour combination – fresh herbs, nuts with a wonderful spicy finish of ginger and chilli.Ingredients:

  • 300g dry chickpeas
  • 50g pecans
  • 50g fresh coriander; chopped
  • 30g fresh flat leaf parsley; chopped
  • 3 large cloves of garlic; halved
  • ~2cm piece of fresh ginger; peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium size onion; roughly chopped
  • 1tbsp spelt flour
  • 1 1/2tsp salt
  • 1 1/2tsp black pepper
  • 1tsp cumin
  • 1/2tsp chilli flakes
  • ~100ml olive oil for frying
  • 1.5l water for soaking

Method:

Pour 1.5l litre of filtered water to a pot, add the chickpeas, pop the lid on and leave to soak for at least 10h (overnight works best).

When you are ready to make your falafel, drain the chickpeas then pop them into a food processor.

Add all other ingredients spreading them evenly around the processor bowl but leaving the pecans to be added last. They will help to weigh down the fresh herbs, which means that everything will better stay in place while mixing.

Use the pulse function until your mixture is coarse to semi-coarse. Do not over pulse / mix or you will end up with a hummus-like texture, which isn’t ideal for falafels.

Once done, remove the blade from your food processor and start forming your falafels. I used an ice-cream scoop to measure mine out and the mixture should yield 24 almost perfect balls of falafel 🙂

Super crunchy on the outside and light and fluffy inside, this falafel delivers a delicious flavour combination – fresh herbs, nuts with a wonderful spicy finish of ginger and chilli.Do not squeeze your mixture too much as this will make it dense and remove moisture from it, which will result in dry falafels later on. If you are struggling to form your desired shape you can:

  1. Pop the blade back on your processor and pulse few more times.
  2. Pop it into the fridge to help firm it up a bit
  3. Or worst case scenario add some eggs to help it glue together, but you really shouldn’t need to do this, if you followed the measurements as stated.

Once all your falafels have their final shape, it’s time to fry!

Super crunchy on the outside and light and fluffy inside, this falafel delivers a delicious flavour combination – fresh herbs, nuts with a wonderful spicy finish of ginger and chilli.In a heavy bottomed frying pan, ideally a small cast iron one, preheat 100ml of olive oil (or more if you pan is bigger, ideally you are aiming for enough oil in the pan to cover half of your falafel).

Bring the oil up to 180C before popping your falafels in. Do not over crowd the pan. I cook 6 at the time despite having space for 12 or even 15. More falafels at one time popped into the pan means a bigger drop in the oil temperature once you put them in (this will result in your falafel soaking up the oil making them greasy) and a general inability to turn them with ease, so take it easy and fry them in batches.

When I fry the oil drops to 170C, this is temperature of my oil once all new falafels are in. I heat it up to 180C again as quickly as possible before turning the heat down and cook for about 5-6 minutes turning regularly

When done remove with a slotted spoon and place on some kitchen roll to soak up any residual oil.

Serve warm or cold with a green salad or go classic and add into a wrap.

Most importantly of all though… enjoy!

Do you like falafel?

What’s your favourite way of serving them?

Super crunchy on the outside and light and fluffy inside, this falafel delivers a delicious flavour combination – fresh herbs, nuts with a wonderful spicy finish of ginger and chilli.

Dog Friendly Pork Jelly Cupcakes

From time to time we all deserve a treat, so do our pets, so why not create some super tasty and healthy pork jelly cupcakes for them to enjoy?

The recipe is a remake of my jellied pig trotters I cook for my dogs to help them with any potential joint problems. Jellied pigs trotters are rich in collagen and gelatine, which will help to maintain healthy bones and joints for longer. The recipe is a remake of my jellied pig trotters I cook for my dogs to help them with any potential joint problems. Jellied pigs trotters are rich in collagen and gelatine, which will help to maintain healthy bones and joints for longer. Normally they would have it for dinner but they love it so much that I’ve decided to turn it into a treat for the days when they eat chicken 🙂

If you have a small breed dog, maybe start with half of the ingredients below so your pooch has a chance to eat it all whilst it is still fresh. They will sit comfortably in the fridge for up to one week (just make sure they are placed in an airtight container).

Ingredients:

*if you don’t have or don’t want to buy any simply add some carrots, maybe a parsnip or an apple or some seaweed, just something with minerals and essential nutrients.

Method:

Pop trotters into a large cooking pot.

Fill it up with water, just enough to cover them, and then add additional 500ml of water.

Cook on a low heat for at least 12+ hours. The longer you cook them the easier it will be to remove all the bones. Minimum cooking time for it to turn into jelly is 3 hours. These days we normally cook a large batch once a week and leave it to simmer for 24h; after this time there it totally no problem with picking all bones out as they are simply at the bottom of the pot. Additionally the longer you let it cook the more goodness you will extract from the bones.

Once your cooking time is up, drain all the liquid into a clean pot or a large bowl.

Pick the bones out and BIN THEM.

Chop any remaining bits of trotter meat and skin into smaller chunks.

Now fill your silicone cupcakes moulds:  a little bit of meat, some fruit and veggie flakes and fill up with the liquid, which over time will turn into awesome jelly.

Once cooled, pop into the fridge and allow to set completely (overnight will be best).

Then just feed to your dog as needed.

Both Lilly and Bunk go mad for them so I really hope your pooch will love them too.

As a final thought if you’re sensitive to smells you may want to get some essential oils going in the house or stock up on Febreze as the cooking does give off a strong odour. I have become used to it now a days but like I said, if you are sensitive you may not enjoy the experience.

The recipe is a remake of my jellied pig trotters I cook for my dogs to help them with any potential joint problems. Jellied pigs trotters are rich in collagen and gelatine, which will help to maintain healthy bones and joints for longer.

Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca

A quick, easy and delicious Italian dish which offers up quite an unusual flavour combination; tangy, a bit salty with a subtle warm peppery finish due to the use of fresh parsley…

A quick, easy and delicious Italian dish which offers up quite an unusual flavour combination; tangy, a bit salty with a subtle warm peppery finish due to the use of fresh parsley… There is a quite a lot of controversy on the internet about spaghetti alla puttanesca; fresh tomatoes versus tin ones; parsley versus basil; onions versus garlic; chilies or no chilies… Well at least most people tend to agree that the main and never changing ingredients should be olives and capers… the rest is optional… sort of…

My recipe is inspired by Italian Tomato Spaghetti by Bertolli. We made, as is our tendency, some changes to suit our refined palette and added some optional parmesan cheese (well according to Mark you simply can’t have a spaghetti dish with no cheese… I am sure most Italians (he isn’t Italian btw) would disagree but hey ho…).

If capers and anchovies aren’t to your liking, you might want to check out some of the other delicious Italian recipes on the Bertolli website, or you might, as I hope for, just give this one a try 🙂

The recipe will serve four adults and it can be on your plate in less than 30 minutes.

A quick, easy and delicious Italian dish which offers up quite an unusual flavour combination; tangy, a bit salty with a subtle warm peppery finish due to the use of fresh parsley…

Ingredients:

  • 400g fresh spaghetti
  • 500g fresh cherry tomatoes
  • 75g black olives; de-stoned
  • 50g Bertolli with butter
  • 50g fresh anchovies in olive oil; chopped
  • 2-4 cloves garlic; finely sliced
  • 2tbsp capers
  • 2tbsp tomato puree
  • Handful of fresh parsley; chopped (for serving)
  • Handful of fresh grated parmesan cheese (optional for serving)

Method:

Half each cherry tomato.

Roughly chop half of the olives.

In a heavy bottom large frying pan melt the Bertolli, and add the anchovies and garlic and sauté until soft, which should take you about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the capers, olives (both chopped and whole), cherry tomatoes and tomato puree, stir well then cover with lid and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Use this time to chop the fresh parsley and grate some parmesan cheese if like Mark, you can’t have an Italian dish without it.

Cook spaghetti as per the pack instructions; if you are using fresh it should only take 2 or 3 minutes in simmering salted water. Drain it well and add into your sauce. Ideally you want your pasta al dente and definitely not overdone.

Make sure the spaghetti is well coated, then serve sprinkled with fresh parsley and that optional parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

A quick, easy and delicious Italian dish which offers up quite an unusual flavour combination; tangy, a bit salty with a subtle warm peppery finish due to the use of fresh parsley…

Have you ever tried spaghetti alla puttanesca?

What do you personally think about this flavour combination?

*Recipe commisioned by Bertolli.

Pomegranate & Passion Fruit Muffins

If you love fruits you will love these muffins; they are moist, zingy and very fruity, filled with crunchy seeds offering an unusual sensation in your mouth and a wonderful flavour combination on top, not to mention their totally divine smell… just being close to them you will instinctively know there are passion fruits somewhere around.

If you love fruits you will love these muffins; they are moist, zingy and very fruity, filled with crunchy seeds offering an unusual sensation in your mouth and a wonderful flavour combination on top, not to mention their totally divine smell… just being close to them you will instinctively know there are passion fruits somewhere around.Unfortunately for some of my readers this is not a sugar free recipe but I might just try to develop a sugar free version of them as they are truly something special.

To be honest I wasn’t planning on baking such fruit rich muffins but as I had some passion fruits close to their use by time and also I had just returned from a foodie shopping expedition carrying a small carry bag full of pomegranates (lately, this seems to be my “go to” fruit) and Mark was nagging me for some “normal” muffins, I decided to give these flavours a try. And oh boy, am I glad I did because I totally love the final effect. It’s so aromatic and unusual. I think the sensation of the crunchy seeds when biting into them makes them one of the kind.

If you love fruits you will love these muffins; they are moist, zingy and very fruity, filled with crunchy seeds offering an unusual sensation in your mouth and a wonderful flavour combination on top, not to mention their totally divine smell… just being close to them you will instinctively know there are passion fruits somewhere around.The recipe will make 6 full size muffins.

Ingredients:

  • 150g flour
  • 120ml milk
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 30g butter; slightly melted
  • 4 passion fruit
  • 1 egg; lightly beaten
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
  • Giant handful of pomegranate seeds

Method:

Preheat your oven to 200C and line a 6 muffin baking tray with paper or silicone muffin casings.

In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and sugar.

In a second bowl mix the milk, butter, egg, vanilla essence and passion fruit pulp then gently hand whisk until combined.

Add the wet ingredients mixture to the dry ingredients mix and fold in until just combined. Do not under any circumstances over mix them or the muffins will come out tough.

Add the pomegranate seeds and mix in gentle till evenly distributed. Finally spoon the batter into your earlier prepared muffin cases.

Bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 20-22 minutes. You want them well risen and lovely golden brown on top.

Remove from the oven and move onto a cooling rack.

Let them cool completely before serving (if you can withstand the super intense fruit aroma around the house that is).

If you love fruits you will love these muffins; they are moist, zingy and very fruity, filled with crunchy seeds offering an unusual sensation in your mouth and a wonderful flavour combination on top, not to mention their totally divine smell… just being close to them you will instinctively know there are passion fruits somewhere around.

If you love fruits you will love these muffins; they are moist, zingy and very fruity, filled with crunchy seeds offering an unusual sensation in your mouth and a wonderful flavour combination on top, not to mention their totally divine smell… just being close to them you will instinctively know there are passion fruits somewhere around.So, what do you think?

Have you ever had any kind of muffins with crunchy seeds before?

Dry Apples & Cinnamon Muffins

Quick and easy to make these dry apples & cinnamon muffins make for a perfect sugar free treat.

Quick and easy to make these dry apples & cinnamon muffins make for a perfect sugar free treat. Frankly when I entered my kitchen the other day I was all for baking with coffee. My mind was set for a coffee treat but once I started preparing my ingredients I came across a big bag of dried apples which my mum had lovingly prepared for me… suddenly the coffee was out the window and the apples were in. As they were dried apples I wasn’t really sure what to do with them so I settled for yet another sugar free muffins. It was a good choice. The muffins came out perfectly oozing with rich apple flavour.

Ingredients:

  • 200g dry apples; chopped
  • 50g raisings
  • 250ml strong tea
  • 140g flour
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs; beaten
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tsp vanilla essence

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C fan and prepare a 12 muffin tin by lining it with paper muffin cases or silicon ones.

In a medium sized cooking pot place your lovely chopped dry apples, add 250ml of freshly brewed tea (I used black vanilla tea) and bring it to a gentle simmer.

Cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes or until all the liquid has incorporated into the apples.

Put aside and allow it to cool for a few minutes.

Quick and easy to make these dry apples & cinnamon muffins make for a perfect sugar free treat. In the meantime, sift your flour and mix with the bicarbonate of soda.

Beat the eggs.

Now back to our apples…

Add the butter and stir until melted and mixed in.

Add the cinnamon and vanilla essence and stir well.

Finally fold in the flour and bicarbonate of soda mixture, add the eggs and raisings and mix until fully combined but try not to over mix it.

Use a table spoon and scoop one heaped tablespoon of mixture into each muffin casing.

Pop into earlier preheated oven and bake for 18-20minutes at 180C fan.

When the time is up, remove from the oven, remove from the baking tray and place on wire rack and allow them to cool completely.

Quick and easy to make these dry apples & cinnamon muffins make for a perfect sugar free treat. Quick and easy to make these dry apples & cinnamon muffins make for a perfect sugar free treat. Enjoy!