recipes for healthy living

Tag: spices

Pain D’Epice with Autumn Apples


Apples Spices and Honey – a match made in heaven. The days are closing in and there is the hint of autumn on the way which makes these a perfect weekend dessert.

Oven at 170C
Makes 12

150ml water
100g honey
70g butter
1tsp ginger syrup (Optional)

220g flour
40g coconut sugar or brown sugar
11/2 tsp mixed spice
zest of an orange
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bread soda
pinch of salt

2 Apples washed sliced and cored so that you have rings of apple
Cut the rings in half

Melt the honey syrup and butter gently
Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl and mix to combine
Add the melted butter mix and the water to the dry ingredients and mix to a smooth batter
Add the batter to 12 muffin cups or silicon molds greased if needed
Press 1-2 slices of apple into the middle of the mix with the skin side up
Bake for 15-20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean
Serve warm

Spicy Turkey Meatballs in Masala Sauce

IMG_1393 (2)

Protein Packed and full of flavour with a delicious texture, turkey burgers and meatballs are all the rage. Rather than buy ready made, I prefer to make my own, the flavour is much better and I can assure myself as to the origin of the mince used to make them.

For the meatballs
400gr turkey mince – seek out free range or organic if affordable
1 lemongrass
1 red chilli
1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 spring onion chopped
1 tbsp mango chutney
2oz breadcrumbs
1 tsp salt

Makes 8 small meatballs- feel free to double and freeze!
Peel the tough outer layers away from the lemongrass and cut off all but the bottom inch. Chop this very finely
Chop the red chilli very finely
Tip the turkey mince into a bowl, add all the other ingredients, mix well and shape into meatballs. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes for the flavours to develop.

For the Masala Sauce
2 tbsp rapeseed coconut or olive oil
1 medium white onion finely diced
1 tbsp fresh ginger peeled and grated
2 cloves of garlic peeled chopped and mashed
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp mild curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
1/2 can of chopped tomatoes (about 200gr)
1 400ml tin of coconut
1 tsp sugar (if required on tasting)

Heat the oil and add the onion and sweat for about 2 minutes until it softens.
Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another 3 minutes.
Stir in the spices and salt then cook for a minute or 2 – add a splash of water if it seems too dry.
Add the tomatoes, and coconut milk and stir to combine. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and taste. You may need the tsp of sugar at this point as sometimes tomatoes need a bit of sweetness. If required add, stir and taste. And add the turkey meatballs and cook the meatballs in the sauce over a medium heat for about 8 minutes, then turn them over and cook for about the same until cooked through. Splash the sauce over them occasionally.
Serve with some Basmati rice on the side.

Tex Mex Style Turkey and Pork Burgers with Barbeque Sauce

One of the best way to avoid dry burgers (aside from avoiding overcooking them) is to add some extra moisture in the form of this delicious secret sauce – I love to add some into the mix as well as baste some on top when I am cooking the burgers. It is also amazing with any slow cooked meats such as pork or lamb, it adds an amazing tangy flavour – just add a slaw for food heaven.
This sauce will keep for a few weeks in the fridge – I will be the first to point out that it is packed full of sugar in various forms so just remember it is a condiment not a main meal… 🙂

Tex mex Turkey and Pork Burgers

Grainne's Barbeque sauce

Turkey and Pork Burgers (Can also be used to make Meat balls)
Makes 6

450gr each of minced pork and turkey
4 tbsp chopped coriander
4 tbsp barbeque sauce (below)
1 tsp each salt and pepper
3ox breadcrumbs (I use gluten free)
1/2 white onion peeled and diced

Oven at 180C
Mix all the ingredients well to combine
Shape into patties and chill well before cooking
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a a pan and sear on both sides
Top each with 1 spoon of barbeque sauce
Transfer to an oven proof dish and finish cooking for about
20 minutes. I use a meat thermometer to check.
Serve with choice of veg

Barbeque Sauce

300gr tomatoes chopped and drained free of water
1 white onion peeled and diced
2 cloves of garlic peeled and chopped
20gr spice mix from below
125ml apple juice
125ml cider vinegar
125ml maple syrup
125ml american mustard
125ml molasses
100ml chutney (I used ballymaloe)
250ml ketchup
1 tbsp chipotles in adobo
1 tsp smoked garlic or maldon sea salt

Heat 1 tbsp oil and cook the onion and garlic over a gentle heat until cooked
Add the tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes
Add the spice mix and cook out for a further 5 minutes
Add the apple juice and vinegar and simmer until reduced by about 1/3
Add everything else and bring to a oil, turn right down and simmer for 5 minutes
Blend and pour into sterilised bottles and store in the fridge until needed.

Spice Mix
5gr each of fennel, cumin, coriander, nigella, mustard seed and black peppercorns
Toast the spices and when cool grind to a rough powder

North Indian Chicken Curry

My time spent at Dublin Cookery School learning both Indian and Thai curry flavors opened the world of great spicing to me and there are some of my favourite cuisines to experiment with. This is one of my favourite home style curries, so named because it is easy to prepare and can be reheated the next day and tastes even better. You just can’t go wrong with this curry. Best cooked with free range chicken and I prefer on the bone, though not everyone likes the skin left on during cooking. The final step of adding the chopped ginger at the end is courtesy of my time spent with Sunil of Ananda, just about my favourite Indian restaurant in Dublin.

North Indian Style Chicken Curry
Serves 4
1.25lbs chicken in 1” cubes or
the same weight in chicken on the bone cut into pieces
100ml veg oil
1 bay leaf
Spice mix made from 5 green cardamoms, 1” cinnamon stock, 1 tsp black peppercorns, 1 star anise, 2 tsp cuimin seeds and 4 cloves – pounded together in your Mortar & Pestle
½ lb onions finely sliced
1 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
1 ½ tsp each of ground coriander, turmeric, red chilli powder
4oz canned tomatoes, juice drained
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 ½ tsp salt
Enough water to cover

To Finish
1 tsp Garam Masala
2 tbsp chopped coriander
1 tbsp finely chopped finely

Heat the oil in a pot and add the pounded spices and the bay leaf. Stir till the spices release their aromas and start to crackle. Be careful not to burn as they will be bitter if they do. Tip in the onions and cook will golden brown then add the garlic ginger paste and stir continuously. Add a little water if it starts to catch on the bottom of the pan. Add the powdered spices and stir quickly, add the tomatoes, the tomato paste, salt and stir to combine. Tip in the chicken and enough water to cover everything.
Cook on a slow heat stirring slowly occasionally.
As the tomatoes melt to form a sauce, add water if you need it to keep everything covered. Cook for about 20 – 25 minutes until the chicken is almost fully cooked.
Sprinkle in the Garam Masala and finish cooking the chicken. Just before serving sprinkle in the chopped coriander and ginger which add a delicious dimension of taste. Serve with some basmati rice or my delicious sweet potato rotis.

Chicken and cashew nut curry….

IMG_2221.JPGI have this recipe so long but had forgotten about it until the other evening. My sister asked me for a curry without coconut milk as she is not a fan and I remembered this one. I love making curry’s and usually my take has more of a Thai bent with lots of coconut milk, fish sauce etc. This one for a change, has no coconut milk, its sauce is based on nuts blended to make a paste, diluted with water and topped with lots of fresh chopped coriander, green chillies and more nuts making a really lovely dish.  You should leave in the seeds in the chilli you blend but if you prefer it a bit milder, leave them out. I make it with a whole chicken which I butcher into 8 pieces and make a stock with the carcass for a soup or another dish. The cooking time is the only thing that takes a while with this dish; the paste can be ready in a few minutes. When I dished this up this evening, I was asked ‘Where are the quinoa wraps, I need something to dip in the sauce’…. Sadly I had forgotten to take them out of the freezer so we had to make do with a little rice on the side, still really nice though!

Serves 4 hungry people
1 chicken butchered into 8 pieces (or you can buy the pieces you wish to use)
30gr ginger peeled and roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic peeled and roughly chopped
2 green chillies
2 tsp turmeric
150gr unsalted cashews
3 tablespoons ghee or oil
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 cloves
3-4 black peppercorns
2 medium onions
120gr natural yoghurt
1 bunch fresh coriander chopped
Salt and Pepper

Place ginger and garlic in a blender with 125ml water, one green chilli (deseeded unless you are really brave), the turmeric and half of the cashew nuts.
In a small pan with just a drizzle of ghee or vegetable oil, fry the coriander seeds, cloves and the black peppercorns until they start to pop.
Add the seeds to the blender and blitz everything until smooth. Set aside
Season the chicken and fry in a little ghee or oil until caramelised and lovely and golden. Remember to not move them around too muuch – let them get lovely and caramelized. Dont overload then pan either or they will just steam – if you are in a hurry do the 8 pieces in 2 pans.
Remove and drain when brown.
Fry the onions in the same pan until lightly coloured. Place chicken back in the pan, season with salt, add the spice paste and pour in 225mls water, bring to the boil and then reduce to a gentle simmer.
Cover with a lid and cook for 45 minutes turning occasionally until the chicken is cooked.
Just before serving pour in the yoghurt and simmer gently for a further 3 minutes
Meanwhile roast the remaining nuts.
Slice the second chilli and sprinkle the nuts, coriander, and remaining chilli over the chicken.
Serve at once as is with my superwraps if you have them!

%d bloggers like this: