Monday, October 1, 2012

FOOD BLOG: MUESLI COOKIES


 You can actually eat these for breakfast. Not that I'm publicising that point in my household, as it's hard enough keeping these around for a couple of days.

I'm very proud of these creations. Not only do they taste fantastic, they put to shame other muesli cookies. No butter, sugar or flour and just a moderate amount of honey to sweeten them.

I was inspired to dream up my own (along with these very similar muesli bars) after too many frustrating purchases where I thought I had gone for the healthy option and then discovered they were packed with sugar, butter, golden syrup, white flour - you may as well have bought a piece of cake for afternoon tea.

I've basically stayed true to muesli - my version at least - and then used peanut butter and tahini to bind it. Wheat-free, dairy-free, and low-fat healthy snacks that go down a treat with all ages.

After my muesli bars were born I experimented and threw in a couple of eggs. I now prefer these to the bars, but if you don't eat eggs the muesli bars are popular too.

 

 RECIPE: MUESLI COOKIES

3/4 cup of oil (I use rice bran but sunflower would work) or 100g coconut oil
5 Tablespoons honey
1/2 cup shredded coconut or desiccated coconut  
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raisins/sultanas (use big juicy ones if you can) - optional
2 cups oats
4 Tablespoons peanut butter
1 Tablespoon tahini (If you can't get it just add 1 extra peanut butter)
2 eggs
 
 
Preheat oven to 180 c or 350 F. Grease two large, flat and preferably metal oven trays.

Melt oil and honey in small pot on low heat until just bubbling. Meanwhile, combine dry ingredients in large bowl. 
 
Remove oil and honey from heat and stir peanut butter and then tahini through until smooth. Immediately mix it through dry ingredients until well combined. Add eggs and combine well.

Wet hands with hot water and roll large tablespoon lots into round cookies - run your hands under the hot tap regularly as this will really help form the cookies. Place on greased trays and flatten slightly with fork or back of spoon. They won't spread like other cookies as there is no raising agent, so you can place them fairly close together.
 
Bake until golden browned - approximately 20 minutes.  If, like me, you have a conventional oven you will need to swap the top shelf cookies with the lower shelf ones half way through. You also may need to cook them a bit longer to get the cookies nicely bronzed.

Place on wire rack to cool and store in airtight container. They keep well - but in our house last only a couple of days.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

SUPERB CHOCOLATE CAKE

The Superb Chocolate Cake

There was a bit of a cake-baking frenzy around here last week.

Billie turned three, and instead of getting overwhelmed hosting one mammoth party I opted to bake three cakes for three celebrations. That way, we also got to try out three different cakes.

We kicked off the cake-a-thon with my old reliable and extremely Easy Chocolate Cake. It has already featured on these pages, but a friend - caught out when her husband brought a dodgy store cake home for their daughter's birthday last week - had trouble finding it late at night. Make this for any occasion, particularly when time is short.

The second cake was a surprisingly healthy number with no dairy or oil in the cake at all. Just lots of dates and walnuts and eggs. Oh, and a cream icing. Details to follow.

But now I would like to introduce you to my new SUPERB CHOCOLATE CAKE. Still quick and easy, just beefed up a bit to make it more interesting for the adults. And a bit larger to cater for those bigger mouths.

Basically, it's all about the cocoa. Don't be shy. I've ramped it right up to create a rich, satisfying chocolate cake. The icing here makes a difference too - melted chocolate and cream. COCOA NOTE: If you can, invest in the 'pure cacao' stuff. Pricey, but it tastes so much better.

RECIPE: SUPERB CHOCOLATE CAKE

 Cake:
2 cups flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 cups sugar 
1 1/2 cups cocoa
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
125 g butter, melted

Icing: (If you don't have cream and chocolate to hand or prefer a simpler icing, refer to one included above under Easy Chocolate Cake)
1/3 cup cream
250 g dark chocolate
30 g butter
Preheat oven to 180c/350f. Grease a large round cake tin with a removable base and line the base with baking paper. 

Sift dry ingredients together into large bowl. Create a well in the centre and pour in milk, vanilla, eggs and butter. Mix well with an electric beater or by hand until there are no lumps and you have a nice silky smooth cake mixture. 

You may now lick the bowl...

Pour into prepared tin and place on middle shelf of oven. You may want to put an empty oven tray on the rack beneath it to catch any drips (sometimes these tins leak). Bake for between 60 and 80 minutes, depending on your oven. Check it after one hour with a skewer. If the skewer stuck into the middle of the cake comes out clean, you're done. If not, pop it back in for another ten and test again.


Remove cake from tin and cool on rack before icing.

To make icing, place ingredients in small pot and melt gently while stirring. Once smooth pour over cake. If you place a plate under the cake you will catch the drips and can then smooth the extra icing over the cake when it has set a little. Place in airtight container until ready to serve.

I'm proud to say our modest party last Sunday at the local park managed to demolish most of this large cake, helped by the lack of other sweets I'm sure. I wound up serving a table of savoury party food, partly because I ran out of time but also because I've noticed how little interest guests have in the birthday cake by the time it comes round. This way, most people came back for more. And the kids weren't stuck on ridiculous sugar highs.

Ready, steady - eat!

Billie's Third Birthday Party Menu:

Super Patties (Billie's favourite dinner, and I was surprised how quickly they disappeared)
1980s Cheese Ball with crackers (very popular)
Hommous and carrot sticks and corn chips (can't go wrong)
Brie and Camembert (Billie's favourite cheeses)
Fruit

The finished product, complete with Billie's requested out-of-season blue berries and the popular letter B


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Vegetarian Food Blog: 'Greek' Stuffed Peppers


Sweet, soft red peppers filled with a basic tomato-based risotto and currents to keep you interested. This is not nearly as fiddly as it sounds. Tomatoes work well too, just too expensive in Sydney at the moment.

RECIPE: GREEK STUFFED PEPPERS OR CAPSICUMS

6 large red peppers/capsicums
1 large onion, chopped 
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup arborio rice (or other short grain risotto rice)
1/2 cup white wine (optional)
1/2 cup currents
2-3 Tablespoons pine nuts (optional)
1 cup tomato puree (or can chopped tomatoes, blended)
1 handful fresh parsley, chopped
2 cups water
salt and pepper                                                                         

Preheat oven to 180-200 C or 350-400 F (depending on how hot your oven is).

Heat oil in large or medium pot. Add onion and saute on low heat for about five-ten minutes - until clear. Stir in rice and cook for a minute or two, taking care not to let it catch. Pour wine in and cook until absorbed, stirring a couple of times. Next add currents, pine nuts, half of the tomato puree, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a decent grind of fresh black pepper. 

Once the tomatoes are absorbed add 1 cup water, and cover with lid. Perhaps move to a smaller element so it can cook very slowly. Stir regularly. Once the water is absorbed taste it - the rice should be undercooked, but not too crunchy. Add another 1/2 cup water if necessary and cook gently until absorbed.

Meanwhile, prepare peppers/capsicums. You have several options: Slice the tops off for 6 larger servings, or cut the whole pepper in half lengthways for 12 smaller serves. I've tried a bit of both tonight. Two whole ones for Miles and I to eat for dinner, and a selection of half peppers to take to work for Food Club.

Stand peppers in large, lightly oiled baking dish, preferably one that fits them nice and snug -  a lasagne dish works well. Stuff with rice mixture. Pour rest of the tomato puree and half a cup of water around the peppers, so they are sitting in a bit of liquid. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top if you like, and pop in oven on middle shelf for about 35 mins, or until peppers are very soft.

These are best served warm or at room temperature. Leave them to settle for a bit when you take them out of the oven, or if eating cold the next day be sure to remove from fridge in plenty of time.





Tuesday, August 21, 2012

GINGER CRUNCH


This baked delight was a staple within my childhood treat collection. If you turned up to a friend's for afternoon tea, the cake tins were often filled with homemade ginger crunch.

However, I've just discovered the sweet and spicy slice is some kind of New Zealand specialty. When I took a batch to work last week I was greeted with, 'What's ginger crunch?'

So here's an education, for the Australians and Americans at least. Reduce the ginger if you don't like it spicy. And be mindful that it takes a while to set, so don't plan to serve it right away.

RECIPE: GINGER CRUNCH

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 cup sugar
125g hard butter, cubed

Topping:
150g butter
4 heaped tablespoons golden syrup
1 1/2 cups pure icing sugar
2 Tablespoons plus 4 teaspoons of ground ginger

Heat oven to 180 C/350 F, or if you have an oven like mine just crank it up.

Combine flour, baking powder, ginger and sugar in a food processor if you have one, otherwise a large bowl. Add butter and pulse or rub with fingers until you get a dry crumb. 

Lightly grease a slice tin and generously line with baking paper - so that it goes up sides to allow for easy removal after cooking. Press crumbs into tin with your hands, ensuring sides are just as well-covered, if not more. If it's too thick in the centre it may not cook properly. It will feel very dry.

Bake until golden - better to be a bit over than under done. Depending on your oven, this will take between 25 and 40 mins. 

Meanwhile, prepare topping by first melting butter and golden syrup in small pot over medium heat. It doesn't need to be stirred at this stage. While it's melting, sift icing sugar into a bowl - or use food processor to break really big hard lumps. Stir icing sugar and ginger into liquid over low heat, stirring constantly until dissolved - at least a minute.

Pour over slice and use spatula to even out. Leave to cool and set - if you're in a hurry place in freezer briefly or fridge once it's cooled down. 

Remove from tin and cut into small pieces. Store in airtight container for a few days (if it doesn't get eaten).


Sunday, August 19, 2012

VEGETARIAN FOOD BLOG: SPICED PUMPKIN AND LENTIL SOUP


This is super comfort soup. Super because it contains only ingredients designed to nourish and power your body. And comfort because it's hearty warmth will take the edge off the harshest nights.

Where I'm sitting in Sydney the days are gradually getting warmer, but there's still plenty of opportunities to whip this up before the hot nights hit. If you're up north, mark this one for the coming seasons.

This spiced pumpkin and lentil soup even goes down well at a dinner party. I served it as a starter at my 30th birthday party a while back.



This is my adaptation. Credit where credit's due to the Vegetarian Adventure Cookbook, a New Zealand number by Rowan Bishop and Sue Carruthers that has been part of my kitchen for more than a decade.

A good pumpkin is always the key to an outstanding pumpkin dish. However, I'm happy to report that even average pumpkins come up tasting superb here once the spices and lentil do their work.

RECIPE: SPICED PUMPKIN AND LENTIL SOUP
3/4 cup brown lentils
1 cup water
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp tumeric
1 T butter (optional)
2 T olive oil
1-2 onions, chopped
1/3-1/4 pumpkin (depending on size) chopped roughly
1 cup vegetable stock (I dissolve a cube in boiling water)
extra water if needed
black pepper 
thick yoghurt (compulsory)
chopped fresh coriander (very optional)

Place lentils in small pot with water and lid and bring to the boil, lowering heat to simmer until water absorbed or lentils cooked. This will take about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil and butter in large pot and saute onions over medium hear until soft. Turn heat to low and cook spices briefly - only about 30 seconds.

 Prepare stock and add to large pot with pumpkin. Chop pumpkin according to how quickly you want soup to cook. Turn heat up and put lid on until boiling. Lower to simmer and cook until pumpkin mushy. Add 1/2 cup more boiling water if it looks too thick for your liking. Add lentils to soup at whichever point they are done, or nearly done. They will continue cooking with the pumpkin. 

Remove from stove and use stick blender to process, leaving a little bit of texture. It's nice if you can still get a sense of the lentils. Grind over plenty of black pepper, and taste for salt seasoning.

Gently reheat when ready to eat and serve each bowl with a generous dollop of thick creamy yoghurt. Garnish with little chopped coriander if desired (but it's delicious without too).


Sunday, March 25, 2012

MAGIC ZUCCHINI AND CHEESE MUFFINS

Billie Bites sponsors Word Travels Rocks Pop Up launch

These muffins are 'magic' because they don't require any fat. No oil or butter. Just plenty of cheese. I didn't quite believe it until I made them today. I slightly adapted the recipe from Danielle, a parent at Billie's childcare.

Now why did I make three batches? Today was the Word Travels Rocks Pop Up Launch headlined by acclaimed US spoken word poets Sarah Kay (of TED fame) and Phil Kaye (no relation and not a couple). But they are partners in crime at Project Voice, which uses spoken word to work with young people in the US.

So Billie Bites thought all this a worthy event to sponsor, and last night the cook-off began.

It was afternoon tea. Sunday at 2pm - what a civilised time for a gig. There was no oven available in the space so all the finger food had to be cold.

Last night was chocolate slice night - I made one batch of chocolate coconut and a double batch of chocolate walnut. See recipe here (just swap coconut for walnuts, but personally I prefer the nut version).



This morning was muffin time, and three batches of these delicious and healthy savory muffins flew out of my kitchen. A double batch of cannellini bean dip (extra garlic to keep those colds away) and a cheese platter made up a pretty laden table at the launch.

Hmmm, how did those corn chips get at the front. Better angle next time.




RECIPE: MAGIC ZUCCHINI AND CHEESE MUFFINS

2 cups wholemeal self raising flour
1 cup grated strong cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper
250 g grated zucchini/courgette
1 cup milk
3 eggs

Preheat oven to moderate hot - 180c or 350 f. Grease 12 muffin trays ( I use silicon ones).

Sieve flour into large bowl and add grated cheese. Combine eggs and milk and pepper in small bowl. Grate zucchini and put to one side.

When ready to bake, use a large fork to quickly and gently combine the zucchini with the dry ingredients, and then the milk and eggs. Once mixed through (don't over-mix) quickly place large spoons of mixture into each muffin tin.

Place in oven on reasonably high shelf and bake for about 30 minutes (40 minutes if you use silicon muffin trays like I do, as takes longer for muffin bottoms to crisp).

Remove from trays and cool on wire rack. Eat as soon as possible. However, a bonus of this recipe is they are still fabulous many hours later. Especially spread with a little butter.


Congratulations to Word Travels on the launch of their new space in Sydney's Rocks, and thanks to all the fabulous spoken word performers for warming up the space. It was Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye's first visit to Australia.

Miles Merrill encourages the packed room to slip out and grab some more Billie Bites


US spoken word poets Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye launch Word Travels' Rocks Pop Up space


Saturday, March 24, 2012

FOOD BLOG: MUESLI BARS

Little Patience: Watching the muesli bars cool down for eating

Our household practically keeps the manufacturer of a certain muesli bar, and muesli, in business.

And when we get caught out and about sans snacks (which happens far too often) muesli cookies are often the only 'healthy' option on offer. (Next up we'll have the recipe for the muesli cookies I just removed from the oven.)

So with muesli bars undoubtedly sitting at the top of Billie's favourite food list, I've been cooking them up in my head for some time now.

Finally last weekend Billie made it happen. 'Mum, can we make muesli bars?' 'How about we make something else - muffins, scones?' 'No. I wanna make muesli bars'. Okay, it's decided then.

I'm extremely happy with this recipe, made up on the go. I cooked them a little hot and fast the first time round - see blackened raisins above - but the taste was still superb.

If you have peanut allergies in the house then swap for another nut butter. If you're in a total nut-free zone then try a little more tahini and a little more honey. But really the peanut butter isn't that essential. (It just tastes great.)

Don't try and distribute and eat straight from the oven. Very crumbly. Wait an hour or so and they will set nicely. We rushed the hot muesli bars off to a gardening bee at our local Waverley Park Communal Gardens. The gardeners still enjoyed them though.


RECIPE: MUESLI BARS

100g coconut oil (or use 3/4 cup of another suitable oil such as rice bran, sunflower)
5 Tablespoons honey
1/2 cup shredded coconut or desiccated coconut  
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raisins/sultanas (use big juicy ones if you can) - optional
2 cups oats
4 Tablespoons peanut butter
1 Tablespoon tahini (If you can't get it just add 1 extra peanut butter)

 Preheat oven to 180 c or 350 F. Grease a large rectangle oven dish, or two square/round ones.

Melt oil and honey in small pot on low heat until just bubbling. Meanwhile, combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Remove oil and honey from heat and stir peanut butter and then tahini through until smooth. Immediately mix it through dry ingredients until well combined.
Spread out flat in oven dish and bake on middle shelf until just browned on top and cooked through - approximately 20-30 minutes.  If it is browning on top and not cooking through then cover with foil for a bit.

Leave muesli bars to cool before removing, and then slice into bars.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Vegetarian Food Blog: Billie's Wholemeal Cheddar Scones



When Billie's not invited into the kitchen to cook, she's busy cooking up a storm for her teddy bears using imaginative equipment and ingredients. Her dolls eat sock and peg soup with a side of duplo and dried beans.

This week I decided to open the floodgates. Billie baked. I let go of the perfect cake and scones and allowed her free rein with the sieve. Well, almost. I was a bit more precious with the chocolate cake (recipe coming up soon).


I let her really go for it with these delicious wholemeal and cheddar scones. She buttered the tray. Sieved the flour. Rubbed the butter into the flour. Whisked the egg and milk together. And rolled the dough out before cutting it into pieces and using a slice to manoeuvre the scones onto the baking tray. Toddler Master Chef here we come.




I discovered if I don't breathe down her neck and take over as soon as some flour strays out of the bowl, she gets bored of the task at hand and asks me to finish.

Billie can be credited with helping create this recipe. I had no plans to add black pepper but the grinder was on the table. I turned to find Billie busy grinding a reasonable serve of pepper into the dry ingredients. She did the same thing with some fritters the other day - except she asked before she ground.


These savory scones are best eaten straight out of the oven with a generous spread of butter. However, they were pretty popular later at the playground. 

*NOTE ABOUT WHOLEMEAL FLOUR: If you can, buy stoneground wholemeal flour. It's processed in a traditional way by stone-milling the whole wheat grain and the result is a superior product. You get the goodness and texture of wholemeal without the density. I still often get the cheap and easy regular wholemeal from the supermarket. But lately I've been baking with stoneground wholemeal, and it's noticeable how much lighter the scones are.

RECIPE: BILLIE'S WHOLEMEAL CHEDDAR SCONES

75 g wholemeal flour 
75g self-raising plain flour (white)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
25g butter, at room temperature
100g grated cheddar
1 egg
4-5 tablespoons milk
1/2 tsp mustard (optional)

Grease a flat oven tray with butter or oil. Preheat over to about 210-220.

Sieve flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add freshly ground black pepper and grated cheese, saving a couple of tablespoons to sprinkle on top. In a separate small bowl, lightly whisk the egg, milk and mustard.

Rub butter into flour until crumbly, then add wet ingredients and combine. If mixture is too dry, add a few more drops of milk. It should be moist but still dry enough to lift out of the bowl and mold into a ball with your hands (but your hands should get covered in mixture - if not it's too dry). 

Place on a floured bench and roll out just a little. Don't roll it too thin, just about the size of a side plate. Cut into nine scones, place well-spaced on tray and bake in hot oven for 10-15 minutes or until just browning.



Sunday, February 26, 2012

VEGETARIAN FOOD BLOG: SPINACH, RICOTTA AND RICE FRITTERS



Before we go any further with this fritter and patty party, an explanation of what defines each is useful.

Fritter mixture is wet. Sloppy. You can't use your hands to form balls with fritter batter. Imagine a very thick pancake batter, with vegetables and stuff bulking it out.

Patty mixture can still be quite moist. But importantly, you can use wet hands to form large round balls. You place them on a large plate, flatten them slightly, and place in fridge or freezer to firm-up before frying. Being cold keeps the patty in one piece when you fry it, especially when you flip it.

If you've only just stumbled across Billie Bites, here's some background: Billie grew a little fussy. On return from holiday we embarked on a fritter and patty frenzy. Suddenly, vegetables are back in her diet.

She loves cooking, and fritters and patties are perfect toddler fodder. Yes it does involve hot oil, so here's where I insert a disclaimer. However, Billie is very clear that pans on the stove are hot. We've never had any problems or any near-misses. I do of course watch her at all times around hot oil. Hey, those master chef kids had to start somewhere.

This is from the fritter camp. Next up, we'll demonstrate the difference with a patty recipe.

These numbers were a HUGE hit. Billie ate plate-loads. And she was a fabulous sous chef.

SPINACH, RICOTTA AND RICE FRITTERS


2/3 cup brown rice (makes 1 1/4 cooked rice, and can be prepared ahead)
Large bunch of English spinach 
1/2 cup grated cheddar
600g fresh ricotta (if at all possible, use the really fresh, firm stuff)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
freshly ground black pepper
just a little bit of salt
freshly grated nutmeg, or 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
handful fresh oregano (or basil, parsley if oregano not around)


Place rice in small pot with double the amount of cold water. Bring to boil with lid on, then turn right down to low and simmer with lid on until water absorbed. Don't stir, just lift lid occasionally and it will be obvious when water almost gone. Turn off and leave lid on for few minutes. Remove rice from pot and place in large bowl to cool.


Meanwhile, pick spinach leaves and wash. Drain, leaving a little water on the leaves. Place in large pot with lid, on medium heat. After a minute shake pot. After another minute lift lid and give quick stir. When just wilted, remove and chop spinach.


Add salt and pepper, nutmeg, spinach, cheddar and herbs to rice. Next add eggs, then ricotta. 


Heat a large heavy fry pan on medium with couple of spoons of oil - olive, rice bran or coconut are best. Once hot, turn down to low and dollop tablespoons of mixture into pan. The smaller the fritters, the quicker to cook. But if they are larger they will soak up a bit less oil. So depending on your priorities...With this recipe I found smaller to be better as the mixture is a slow cooker. 


Flipping rules: Avoid multiple flips. This encourages breakage. Instead gently try the edges with your flipper, and if it comes away easily and does not look about to break into pieces, your fritter is ready to be turned. Flip when solid. Patience is a virtue with these fritters, they don't like to be rushed.


Place on a large plate lined with newspaper to soak up any excess oil and serve as are. No sauce or chutney needed. (Yes, newspaper really works just as well as paper towels. But if you don't have newspaper lying around your kitchen because you read everything online, you may have to go out and buy paper towels.)


Where's the picture? Billie scoffed them all before I could reach for the camera.











Sunday, January 29, 2012

QUINOA, SWEET POTATO AND BROCCOLI FRITTERS

Actually, Billie is making some other patties here
 It's well and truly fritter season in our household. And we're partial to patties too.

Billie Bites is back with a wad of inspiring recipes after a rather long summer break.

I'll admit I've been hiding a little due to a bit of an extra fussy faze - not mentioning anyone in particular...

But I can now report two solutions for dealing with that fussy toddler: Get them cooking. Make fritters. Oh, there's one more - make patties.

So stay tuned for the play-out of Toddler Master Chef. It helps that Billie actually loves cooking. Really. I can't get her out of the kitchen.

Here's the first in our series of fritters and patties - otherwise known as 'hide the vegetable'.

But they are tasty. And multi-functional. Today I wrapped a warm pile of these straight out of the frying pan to serve at Billie's friend Henry's third birthday party. I think the adults devoured them before the kids got a look-in. Except for Billie - who barely moved from the food  table.

I've been busting for ages to experiment with quinoa in a patty or fritter. I'm very happy with this result - and Billie gobbled back a plateful for dinner this weekend.

QUINOA, SWEET POTATO AND BROCCOLI FRITTERS

These are kind of in between fritters and patties - in that the mixture is too wet to form into solid patties but not quite as wet as a traditional fritter. It works well though.

This makes quite a large batch, but the mixture keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days. Half it though if you like. And it's gluten-free (provided you use tamari rather than soy sauce). 

1 cup Quinoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cup water
1 large sweet potato (use the purple-skinned kumara if possible)
1 head of broccoli
butter (optional)
2 eggs, lightly whisked
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
three spring onions, finely chopped (or use one brown onion)
handful mushrooms, finely chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2-3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce (depending on how salty you like)
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar (optional)
coconut oil (or olive or rice bran oil)

Peel sweet potato and chop into smallish pieces. Steam until soft enough to mash. Chop broccoli and add to steamer about half way through.

Meanwhile, rinse quinoa and place in small pot with water and salt. Bring to boil with lid on, then turn right down low and simmer with lid on until water is absorbed. DON'T STIR. To check if water absorbed simply tilt pan. It will take about 15-20 mins. Once absorbed remove pot from heat and leave to stand with lid off for about 5-10 minutes.

While this is all on the boil, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy frying pan. Saute onions, garlic and mushrooms (if using) on a medium heat until nicely softened. Add spices and black pepper and stir for 30 seconds.

Mash sweet potato and broccoli, adding a dollop of butter if you fancy. Combine with rest of ingredients. Check seasoning.

When ready to fry heat heavy frying pan over low-medium heat with large tablespoon of coconut oil (or other oil). Dollop a tablespoon of mixture into pan, and repeat until pan is full. Leave room to flip.

Try not to flip too soon - they take longer than you think and will break up if you flip too early. Try them gently with the flipper - when done they will turn easily. Cook on other side for a few minutes, until browned. It's better to be slightly overcooked than under cook when it comes to fritters. Place on a plate lined with newspaper, recycled printed paper or paper towels (newspaper actually works very well and saves on buying all those paper towels).

Add more oil to pan and repeat. 

Delicious hot, warm or cool. No sauce needed but a salad on the side is nice.




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