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Cover: Gluten free cooking

Recipes with coriander

06Jul 12

Vegetable and Legume Soup

Vegetable and Legume Soup

This delicious and nutritious vegetable and legume soup is traditionally served to break the Muslim fast of Ramadam.  It’s called harira and is usually accompanied by dates, but as I don’t really like them, I’ve left them out of my recipe.  However, feel free to include them if you want the truly authentic experience. I also recommend this Moroccan hummus!

 

Vegetable and Legume Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 125g chickpeas, soaked overnight in water
  • 50g green lentils, soaked overnight in water
  • 4tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 celery ribs, washed and chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1tsp turmeric
  • 1tbsp frshly ground black pepper
  • 400g canned diced tomatoes
  • 1tbsp tomato paste
  • 1tbsp cornflour
  • 40g gluten-free soup noodles
  • 4tbsp fresh, finely chopped coriander
  • 3tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
Instructions
  1. Rinse and drain well the previously soaked chickpeas and lentils.
  2. Place in a large pot of cold water and bring to the boil.
  3. Boil for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook for 45 minutes, or until the chickpeas are quite tender.
  4. Drain off the liquid, but save it for later.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large pot until it's hot but not smoking.
  6. Sauté the onions, celery and garlic with the pepper, turmeric and cinnamon for 3 or 4 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
  7. Add the cooked chickpeas and lentils, the canned tomatoes, tomato paste and 1 litre of the broth from cooking the legumes.
  8. Cook for 20 minutes. Add more broth if necessary.
  9. In a small bowl or glass, make a paste by mixing the cornflour with a tablespoon or two of the broth.
  10. Stir the cornflour paste into the soup a little at a time to thicken the broth.
  11. Add the soup noodles and cook for 5 more minutes or until the noodles are tender.
  12. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the coriander and flat-leaf parsley.
  13. Serve in bowls with a lemon wedge or 2. The idea is for each person to squeeze some lemon juice over the soup according to their own taste.

 

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03Jun 12

Guacamole

GuacamoleThe first time I tried guacamole, I remember being intrigued by its green colour and greasy appearance.  After eyeing the bowl surreptitiously for at least half an hour, I finally got up the courage to give it a try.  I remember a smile instantly forming on my face as the first mouthful exploded in a rainbow of flavours and sensations on my unsuspecting tongue.  Spicy and smooth, tart and sweet, I had no idea such an incredible mixture of supposedly contrary tastes was even possible!

Ever since that mystical first time, I’ve been on an unending quest for the perfect guacamole recipe. This  version is definitely an excellent guacamole recipe, and I’ve even had more than a few compliments from my Mexican friends, so I must be on the right track.

One trick I’ve discovered along the way is how to keep the guacamole from turning brown as it tends to do not very long after making it.  The secret is to put the avocado pits into the finished mixture.  There seems to be some debate as to the effectiveness of this method. Some say it’s just an old wives’ tale, but I can attest to the fact that I’ve tried it repeatedly and it always seems to work just fine.  Clingfilm placed firmly against the guacamole works quite well too.

You need:

  • 2 large, ripe avocados
  • Juice from 1 lime (lemon may be substituted)
  • 2 spring onions, very finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, very finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped very fine
  • 1 plum tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, very finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Steps:

  1. Mix together all the ingredients, except the avocado, pressing down on them as you mix to release the juices.
  2. Let the mixture marinade in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
  3. Add the avocados to the mix, mashing them well with a fork.
  4. Make sure all the ingredients are well mixed.
  5. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes so that the flavours blend together.
  6. Garnish with a bit of chopped coriander and tomato.
  7. Serve with corn chips for dipping.

Ready In: 1 hour

Serves: 4

Difficulty: 2 out of 5

Note: Ever tried baked avocados? Just looking at the picture gets my mouth watering!

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22May 12

Indian-Style Brown Rice

indian style brown riceLately I’ve been trying to eat more whole-grain foods, but at first I had a hard time getting down plain, whole-grain brown rice.  It’s just so heavy and seemed to always get stuck in a ball at the back of my throat.  I’ve always loved Indian pilau rice, so I decided to try and make something similar with organic brown rice.  This Indian-style brown rice recipe is the result.

As with most Indian dishes, you need a lot of ingredients that you might not have in your kitchen, so a trip to the shops might be in order before you can start making it.  In any case, I’ve tried to keep the ingredients list as short as possible and only use the most common Indian herbs and spices.  I also added frozen peas to the mix to try and make it into a full meal in itself, although the best thing to do is to top it off with your favourite curry.  It also goes quite nicely with my baked tofu in peanut butter sauce recipe.

You Need:

  • 500g organic brown rice
  • 1.5L water
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsps unsalted butter
  • Seeds from 8 green cardamoms
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 cloves
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  •  2 tbsps fresh chopped coriander

Steps:

  1. Melt the butter in a 3 litre pot over medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic slices, cardamom seeds, fresh ginger, bay leaf, cloves and cinnamon sticks and sauté for about 2 minutes or until the garlic starts to brown.
  3. Add the rice and sauté for about a minute, stirring constantly and making sure all the rice gets coated and toasted with the butter and spices.
  4. Add the water, salt and turmeric and bring to the boil.
  5. Add the frozen peas.
  6. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes or until the rice is tender.  The exact time varies greatly depending on the brand of rice used.
  7. Drain off any excess water.
  8. Mix the fresh coriander into the rice and serve with your favourite curry.

Ready In:  30-45 minutes

Serves:  6

Difficulty:  2 out of 5

Note: Now that I enjoy brown rice, I also eat this brown rice salad with pecans and sultanas. Simply scrumptious!

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13May 12

Vegetarian Black Bean Soup

Vegetable Black Bean SoupBack in my university days, there used to be a café near my school that served the most delicious Vegetarian Black Bean Soup every Friday, and at a price that even us struggling students could afford.  Ever since then I’ve tried to keep up the tradition at my home, where Fridays are still known as Black Bean Soup day.

The original version used smoked tofu, but I’ve substituted it for firm tofu, fried with paprika and cumin. Of course, if you’re a meat-eater, you could go ahead and substitute the tofu for ham; just make sure you remove it before puréeing. Another hearty broth is this bacon, carrot, butterbean and coriander soup.

You need:

  • 500g dried black beans, soaked overnight in 5 litres of water
  • 250g firm tofu, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1.25 litres water
  • A pinch of baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Spanish onion, chopped fine
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 500 ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 4 tbsp lime juice (lemon may be used)
  • Fresh coriander, chopped

Steps:

  1. Put the beans in a 5 litre pot with 1.25 litres of water, the bay leaves, half the salt and the baking soda.
  2. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to a slow simmer.
  3. Cover and let it cook for 90 minutes, or until the beans are tender.
  4. Remove from heat. Take out the bay leaves and set aside.
  5. Heat olive oil in a large (at least 9 litres) stock pot on a medium-high heat until it’s hot, but not smoking.
  6. Add the onions, celery, carrot, tofu and more salt.
  7. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until lightly browned and softened, stirring occasionally.
  8. Reduce heat to medium and add the cumin, paprika and garlic, and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
  9. Add the beans and their cooking liquid back into the mix along with the vegetable stock, molasses and red pepper.
  10. Bring to the boil; then reduce to a simmer and continue cooking for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  11. Remove from heat and put half of the soup in a blender and purée until smooth.
  12. Mix the purée back into the rest of the soup.
  13. Add the lime juice and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  14. Serve with the chopped fresh coriander as garnish.

Ready In: 2 hours

Serves: 6

Difficulty: 4 out of 5

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12May 12

Easy Onion Bhaji

Easy Onion BhajiI’ve always loved getting onion bhajis from my local Indian takeaway, but I imagined they would be quite difficult to make, so I never seemed to get around to making them myself.  Then, by pure chance, I happened to see them being made while I was waiting for my order and quickly asked the cook if he would mind telling me the basic recipe.  I didn’t have a pen or anything to write with, but luckily I’ve got a pretty good memory.  This easy onion bhaji recipe is what I made the next day by memory from those instructions.

The only real change I made (as far as I can remember) was in the frying methodOnion bhajis, sometimes known as vegetable or cheese fritters served in soups, are usually deep fried, but I wanted to try and make them a little bit healthier and lighter, so I decided to just fry them in a frying pan with a little bit of oil.  They turned out perfectly and were much lighter and less greasy than the typical takeaway fare, while still retaining all of the flavour.

Once you get the hang of making them, you can try substituting the onion with courgette or whatever other vegetable tickles your fancy.  I personally recommend eating them with tamarind sauce, but feel free to use whatever sauce you prefer, or even just eat them plain.

You Need:

  • 500 g Gram flour
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 150 ml water
  • 1.5 tbsps fresh chopped coriander

Steps:

  1. Mix the Gram flour, cumin seeds, chilli powder, salt and baking soda in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the onions and fresh coriander and mix well.
  3. Add the water and mix to form a thick batter, making sure the onions are evenly distributed throughout.
  4. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  5. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a non-stick frying pan.
  6. Drop a tablespoon at a time of the batter into the hot oil and fry for about 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.  You will need to add more oil for each new set of bhajis.
  7. Remove the finished Bhajis from the oil and let them drain on a wire rack or kitchen paper.
  8. Serve with your favourite dipping sauce or chutney.

Ready In:  30 minutes

Serves:  6

Difficulty:   3 out of 5

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02May 12

Cheddar Cheese and Courgette Quesadillas

Cheddar Cheese and Courgette QuesadillasQuesadillas basically means “Little Cheese Things” in Spanish, and are simply mini toasted cheese sandwiches made using tortillas instead of bread.  These scrumptious cheddar cheese and courgette quesadillas are made with finely sliced courgettes as well as the cheese, but feel free to make them with just cheese or add your own favourite fillings such as  shredded chicken, beef, or pork; caramelized onions; black olives; or avocado. (For more Mexican flavours, I recommend these chicken fajitas with red onion and guacamole.)

 

You Need:

For the filling:

  • 250g shredded cheddar cheese
  • 65g chopped fresh coriander
  • About ½ a small courgette, washed and sliced as thin as possible

 

For the tortillas:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 gluten-free tortilla wraps

For the garnish

  • 100ml sour cream

 

Steps:

 

  1. Combine the cheese and fresh coriander in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. To make the tortillas, brush half of the olive oil over the surface of a flat, non-stick grill pan or frying pan large enough to hold the tortillas.
  3. Lay a tortilla down directly on the pan, but do not turn on the heat just yet.
  4. Spoon the cheese and coriander mixture evenly spaced over the tortilla.
  5. With a spatula, gently spread the filling evenly over the tortilla to within a centimetre or so of edge.
  6. Place a layer of the thinly sliced courgette over the cheese, not too close to the edges.
  7. Gently place a second tortilla on top of the filling and gently press down.
  8. Turn the heat on to medium and cook, covered with a lid large enough to cover the tortillas, for about 2 to 3 minutes or until tortillas are gently browned.
  9. Carefully turn over the tortilla either with a large spatula or by flipping it with the pan as with an omelette.
  10. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Gently lay the cooked tortilla on a flat surface, such as a large cutting board, and cut into quarters with very sharp knife.
  11. Remove the pan from the heat to let it cool off a little.
  12. Repeat the process for the rest of the tortillas.
  13. Serve immediately with a dollop of sour cream or salsa.

 

Ready In:  20 minutes

Serves:  4

Difficulty:   1 out of 5

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04Apr 12

Broiled Salmon with Spicy Bell Pepper Sauce

Broiled Salmon with spicy bell pepper sauceHigh in protein, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin-D, fresh salmon is a great addition to any diet, and just happens to be one of the only kinds of fish I actually like!  This broiled salmon with spicy bell pepper sauce makes for a fast and satisfying meal, especially if accompanied with whole-grain rice or even pasta.  The slightly spicy bell pepper sauce nicely offsets the rather subtle flavour of the salmon and definitely makes it more palatable if you are not much of a fish enthusiast, like me.

The latest scientific evidence seems to suggest that salmon from fish farms are much higher in dioxins and lower in omega-3 content, so try to get wild salmon if you can.  I’ve also tried the same recipe with trout, and it was pretty good too. (Here is another rather tasty fish and bell pepper recipe for tuna steaks with roast peppers.)

You Need:

For the salmon:

  • 4 fresh salmon fillets (about 100g each)
  • 1tsp salt
  • ¼tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼tsp paprika
  • ¼tsp ground cumin
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 fresh lemon, quartered, for garnish

For the sauce:

  • 125g diced red onion
  • 125g diced red bell pepper
  • 125g diced yellow bell pepper
  • 125g diced green bell pepper
  • 125g diced plum tomato
  • 60g chopped fresh coriander
  • 2tbsps sherry or champagne vinegar
  • 1tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2tsp paprika
  • 1/2tsp ground cumin

Steps:

  1. Sprinkle the salmon fillets with salt, pepper, paprika and ground cumin.
  2. Let sit for 15 minutes so that the fish absorbs the flavours.
  3. While the salmon sits, place a broiler rack about 15 centimetres away from the heat source.
  4. Preheat the broiler while you prepare the sauce.
  5. In a bowl, combine the red onion, bell peppers, plum tomato, coriander, vinegar, olive oil and spices.
  6. Place in the refrigerator and let it marinate until the salmon is ready.
  7. Coat broiler and salmon fillets with cooking spray.
  8. Broil the salmon, skin side down, for about 8 to 10 minutes. The exact time will vary depending on the thickness of the fish. When the fish is just barely opaque when cut in the thickest part, or when it flakes easily with a fork, it’s done.
  9. Pour the sauce over the broiled salmon fillets and serve immediately with the fresh lemon wedges.  The idea is to squeeze the lemon juice over the fish just before eating.

Ready In:  30 minutes

Serves:  4

Difficulty:   2 out of 5

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26Mar 12

Avocado and Mango Salsa with Corn Chips

Avocado and Mango SalsaEver since I was a kid, I’ve absolutely loved everything Mexican, and when I developed a wheat allergy I was glad to know that at least I’d still be able to eat a lot of my favourite dishes since they tend to use cornflour a lot more than wheat flour.  Or in any case, there are plenty of corn flour alternatives available, as long as you make sure to check the label in case it’s mixed with regular flour.

Anyway, after so many years of eating standard nachos and salsa, I became a little bored with the typical sweet tomato flavour and started to crave something different.  This avocado and mango salsa was the perfect solution and has since become one of my all-time favourite dipping sauces.  The sweetness of the mango is offset perfectly by the spicy peppers and tangy lime juice, and the avocado serves as the glue to bind it all together into one explosive taste sensation! 

If you prefer a spicy salsa as I do, feel free to pump up the quantity of jalapeño chilli peppers and/or the cayenne pepper.  If you go too far with the spiciness, mix in a bit of Greek yoghurt or sour cream to tone it back down.

You need:

  • ½  medium red onion, diced
  • A splash of rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh coriander
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 large mango, peeled and seeded and cut into small cubes (1cm)
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into small ½ inch cubes
  • 1 red jalapeño chilli pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 large bag of plain Mexican-style corn chips

Steps:

  1. Bring a small pot of water to the boil
  2. Add the onions and stir for 20 seconds.
  3. Remove from heat and drain off the water.
  4. Toss the onions with a splash of rice vinegar.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the cayenne and the coriander, and toss the mixture well.
  6. Set aside for about a half an hour for the flavours to set.
  7. When you’re ready to serve, toss in the coriander and cayenne.
  8. Serve as a dip for the corn chips.

Ready In:  10 minutes

Serves:  2-3

Difficulty:  Out of 5, it’s a 1!

 

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