Showing posts with label pantry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pantry. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hot Damn - Tasty Hot Vegan Dips

Hot Damn - Tasty Hot Vegan Dips - White Bean Dip and Roast Beet Dip

On a ‘oh-my-god-these-are-so-cute-AND-on-sale’ whim…I bought a set of individual casserole dishes. And I LOVE them. But to justify my purchase of said cute-but-not-entirely-necessary dishes, I want to use them all of the time. We were having people over for some casual drinks one cold night and I thought of the perfect plan for using the casseroles and having a delicious snack to go with said drinks. Hot dips. In my experience, if you get served a hot dip it’s invariably cheese based. Often served in a cobb loaf. Nothing terribly wrong with that…but we were having mac and cheese for dinner. Didn’t want to over-do the cheese. Plus one attendee doesn’t really do cheese. My mind was blown when I was first served warm hummus – essentially chick pea mash and now it’s become a frequent side dish in my house. Which made me think of my white bean dip. I love it because it only contains a handful of ingredients, all of which are always in my pantry so it can be made in under 5 minutes when unexpected guests come around. That is pretty much flavoured white bean mash if you heat it up!

Knowing a few of my readers are vegan, and already rebelling against the hot cheese dip in my head, I thought I would make the second dip vegan too, seeing as my first one was by sheer coincidence. I had some roasted beets waiting for me in the fridge and basically came to the same conclusion as with the white bean dip. I could make a beetroot mash and serve it as a dip. To the beets I added coconut cream to help loosen the mixture while adding that sweetness that pairs beautifully with the earthiness of beetroot, and then chia seeds to help it gel and give it a lovely texture.

Pop both in casserole dishes, heat in the oven for 30 minutes and voila!

Hot Damn - Tasty Hot Vegan Dips - White Bean Dip and Roast Beet Dip

White Bean Dip

One tin white beans
5 sundried tomatoes in olive oil
1 tsp mixed dried Italian herbs (basil, thyme, oregano, parsley)
1-2 tsp sriracha (to taste)
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 150C

In a food processor, combine the white beans, sundried tomatoes, sriracha and herbs. Process until a smooth paste. Add olive oil from the tomatoes if you need more liquid to form a proper dip consistency. Taste and add salt and pepper.

Put in a casserole dish and heat for 30 minutes or until warm through.

Hot Damn - Tasty Hot Vegan Dips - White Bean Dip and Roast Beet Dip

 Roast Beet Dip

2 roasted beetroots
¼ cup coconut cream
¼ tsp caraway seeds
2 tbsp chia seeds
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 150C

Chop the beets into quarters and add to your food processor with the coconut cream and caraway seeds. Process until smooth. It will be fairly liquid at this point. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the chia seeds and pulse to distribute.

Put in a casserole dish and leave to sit for 15 minutes while the chia seeds absorb some of the liquid and makes it a more dip-like texture. Heat in the oven for 30 minutes or until completely warm through.

Hot Damn - Tasty Hot Vegan Dips - White Bean Dip and Roast Beet Dip
Hot Damn - Tasty Hot Vegan Dips - White Bean Dip and Roast Beet Dip
Hot Damn - Tasty Hot Vegan Dips - White Bean Dip and Roast Beet Dip

Friday, January 24, 2014

Warm Hummus Mash Za’atar Spiced Popcorn

Since first making my Yummy Chicken with popcorn, I grew quite fond of using popcorn as a ‘garnish’ on savoury dishes or as an addition to salads. In fact, Lance told me off for writing that the popcorn on the Yummy Chicken was optional – he thought it made the meal special. Something about the presentation as well as the texture addition is really fun in an otherwise everyday meal. I hadn’t done it for a while, when Alejandra posted her Ras El Hanout spiced popcorn. My mind was blown. What a brilliant idea. I already love the popcorn/chocolate combination, this just takes it to a whole new level of awesomeness! Instead of having it as just a snack, I thought I’d like it as a side dish with my dinner. Since I was already planning on having warm hummus with dinner, I thought instead of Ras El Hanout, I’d try more Middle Eastern style spices and went with a Za-atar spice blend that I bought from The Grocer. I really like this blend because I’ve recently discovered the wonders of sumac as a spice and this mix has sumac in it. I then added a little cayenne and extra pepper for a kick – totally optional but I like a bit of heat.

I have become a huge fan of warm hummus since first being served it about 12 months ago. That in itself was a revelation. My favourite dip is also a wonderful mash! Why hadn’t I thought of that? And using tinned chick peas makes it so easy. I like adding cashews instead of tahini because it adds a nice sweet, creaminess which really compliments the warm silky mash. I find tahini can be a bit bitter and prefer it in cold hummus. You do need to soak the cashews overnight to make sure they blend properly.

To balance the heat and vaguely sour taste of the middle eastern spices I wanted a hearty meat and a touch of sweetness. So I served it with lamb rump steak and a fig salad to create that balance. Sadly, the last figs of the season for me, but put to perfect use. The combination of hummus and spiced buttered chocolatey popcorn has been my favourite meal of a long, long time. And I loved standing in the kitchen, eating the leftover popcorn after dinner. This and other spiced popcorn is going to happen. Often.
I try to keep my posts in the order of the dishes I cooked, so when I post them, they are as close to being seasonally pertinent as possible. But whilst I have about 5 posts stockpiled that were cooked and eaten before this dish, I was so blown away by it's deliciousness that I am going to break my rule and let this jump the queue. Make this dish. Now.

Warm Hummus Mash
(serves 3)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp sea salt
1 tin chick peas, rinsed and drained
2/3 cup cashews, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
Juice from one (small) lemon
1/4 – ½ cup water

In a small saucepan heat olive oil to a low heat and gently cook the garlic with ¼ tsp salt for 5-10 minutes or so until soft, translucent and very aromatic. Do not allow it to colour. Add the cashews and chick peas, stir well then cover and allow to warm through for around 10-15 minutes. The heat should be very low, so it shouldn’t burn, but stir here and there to make sure.

When warm, squeeze the lemon juice over the top and pour everything into a food processor or use a good stick blender if you have it to process to a smooth paste, slowly add some water with the motor running to help the hummus get a creamy, mash like consistency. You could also use milk or cream instead of milk to make it richer, but I think water is fine. Check for seasoning, then pop back in the pot and reheat for a few minutes while you make the popcorn

Za’atar Spiced Popcorn
barely adapted from Always Order Dessert
(makes approx. 3 cups popcorn)
¼ cup popcorn kernels
25g butter (approx.)
1 ½ tsp za’atar spice blend
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
8-10 grinds black pepper
¼ cup dark chocolate chips

Put the popcorn into a brown paper bag, fold the top down a few times to “seal” and put in the microwave for 2-3 minutes on high to pop the kernels. Keep an ear out for the popping to stop, and a nose out to detect it burning.
Put the popped corn into a really large bowl. Melt the butter, pour over the popcorn, then stir to coat. Mix the za’atar spice, sea salt, cayenne and black peppers together, then tip into the bowl and stir really well to coat all the buttered popcorn.

Melt the chocolate chips in a small bowl in the microwave
Serve the mash, tip a generous serving of the popcorn over the top, then drizzle the chocolate over the top of that.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Two Super Easy Vegan 'Pantry' Curries

So I was reminded one afternoon that some of the girls at work were doing a bring-a-dish lunch the next day. I was most disheartened. Not because I don’t like lunching with the girls, but because it meant I’d have to specifically cook something to bring in. We were already going to have leftovers for dinner, so there was going to be no cooking. Nothing I could just make a little bit more of in order to bring in the excess for work. I also didn’t have much by way of fresh veges in the house, and I really didn’t want to go to the shops. So I went to the gym and had a brainwave whilst running...
Enter two of the simplest curries you’ll ever make. All from stuff in the pantry, and a sweet potato. Literally 5 minutes prep time, then I walked away for half an hour and then turned off the heat. Sorry the photos are pretty bad quality. Oh, and in the interests of full disclosure, the lentil curry photo is no longer vegan, we added some diced up leftover sausages with the leftovers the next night.
Lentil and tomato curry
1 tin of lentils, rinsed
1 tin of crushed tomatoes
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp dried chilli
1 tsp dried coriander
¼ tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp cinnamon
Salt to taste
Chuck everything in a pot, add ½ cup of water, simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes or so. Check for seasoning.
Sweet potato and chickpea curry
1 large sweet potato, cut into small dice
1 tin chickpeas, rinsed
1 tin coconut milk
1 ½ tsp ginger
¼ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the sweet potato into small dice, put everything in a pot, add ½ cup of water and simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes or so, until the sweet potato is tender but holds it’s shape. Check for seasoning
 Serve  both with rice and breads etc. of your choice