Apr 2015

POTATO AND COURGETTE FRITTERS

POTATO AND COURGETTE FRITTERS


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This is my take on the very popular potato and courgette fritters. The recipe is close to my heart, based on the very traditional potato “pancakes” that my grandmother used to make. She would make stacks of them, sometimes using 5 kg of potatoes in one go. I still remember the endless grating (we did it by hand as using food processor would result in coarser texture)…. She used to fry them in a rather awful hydrogenated fat. But they did taste delicious. We ate them without anything, just stacks and stacks of potato pancakes. Delicious!!!

Courgette fritters is what I always order at The Terrace Cafe in Seaton, Devon. As I don’t do a lot of frying these days this is a real treat. Adding courgettes to the potato makes the pancakes more fragile and they will more likely fall apart. To prevent this you must squeeze as much water out of the courgette and potato mix. Use floury potatoes they will have more starch to help them stick together. You may have to add more buckwheat flour if the mixture looks too wet. Make sure you cook them as soon as you make the mix, leaving it stand will make the mixture wet again.

Enjoy with a lovely green salad, maybe a bit of sweet chilli sauce if you wish and a scoop of hummus on the side to make it a complete meal. They do taste delicious at room temperature making them perfect picnic food or take to work lunch.


beautiful mint from my garden
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POTATO AND COURGETTE FRITTERS
Makes 10 fritters (serves 2 -3 with a salad, or 6 as a part of mezze)

2 medium courgettes
2 large potatoes (about 600g)
Flax egg (1 tbs ground flax + 3 Tbs water)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 Tbs of fresh mint leaves
2 Tbs of fresh chives
1/4 cup (30g) buckwheat flour, or more if needed
salt and pepper to taste
Rice bran oil or coconut oil for frying

mixture before adding the flax egg and buckwheat flour
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  • Make the flax egg by mixing the flax seed and water. Let sit at least 5 min or till it becomes thick and gloopy.
  • Finely grate the courgette and potato. Place in a tea towel in squeeze all excess water.
  • Chop the mint and chives finely and add to the potato and courgette mix together with the flax egg and buckwheat flour. You may need to add more buckwheat flour if the mixture is too wet.
  • In a non stick pan (I use Green Pans) heat tiny bit of oil. Place about 1/2 cup of mixture into the oil, flatten and shape into a fritter. Cook on a medium heat till golden brown on both sides and cooked through.
  • Serve with a salad.

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CHICKPEA AND SUNDRIED TOMATO “MEATBALLS”

CHICKPEA AND SUNDRIED TOMATO “MEATBALLS”

This morning, I read an article discussing how men still see going vegan as something that makes them look weak. It’s the perception versus reality. With more and more athletes switching to the plant based lifestyle this perception should change in time. If you have doubts just watch Rip Esselstyn (in the documentary Forks over Knifes) climbing up the fire station poll, using arms only, chanting “real men eat plants”. Or check out the insane work outs of vegan athlete Frank Medrano on Youtube!

Recently, I have discovered Jim Smith and his blog http://www.finallyourtime.com . It is very inspiring to see that a change is possible at any age and indeed with great benefits. Jim has seen several health issues resolved after changing his diet, for example his Parkinson’s disease symptoms have disappeared. Read and get inspired.

And make some chickpea and sun-dried tomato balls, they are scrummy! I am making them today for a bunch of 12 year olds who are coming for dinner! Serving them spaghetti with meatballs style and doubling the recipe. Let’s home they will enjoy them as much as my family did. I may not tell them what is in them. KIDS can be awkward!

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CHICKPEA AND SUNDRIED TOMATO “MEATBALLS”
Makes 20

1 medium onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp paprika
6 sun dried tomatoes
1 tin chickpeas, drained
2 Tbs Tahini
1 cup breadcrumbs (regular or gluten free)
salt and pepper to taste

  • Add the onion, garlic, paprika, sun dried tomatoes, chickpeas and Tahini into your food processor. Process till all ingredients are well combined.
  • Add the breadcrumbs and seasoning. Combine well using hands.
  • Shape into walnut size balls, it will make about 20. Wetting your hands with water when doing this.
  • Bake on a baking tray lined with parchment paper for about 20 minutes or till golden brown. Turn the chickpea balls halfway through.
  • Serve with pasta and tomato sauce, or as a component of a mezze spread.


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COURGETTE NOODLES WITH PEANUT SAUCE

COURGETTE NOODLES WITH PEANUT SAUCE

After having visitors last week and making meals that were friendly for five children I really fancied something a bit more “out there”. Yes, making noodles out of vegetables is still very odd to so many people. There is however a shift towards healthier, more plant based diets. Small but sure steps. There are more and more people telling me about drinking green smoothies or buying juicers. I have also noticed that every time I show somebody the spiraliser there is a 50/50 chance they will be buying one.

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As you know I am addicted to peanut butter and use it in my cooking very often. You can also use almond or cashew nut butter in this recipe. It works well with either. You can make it as spicy or as mild as you like, you don’t have to use any chilli at all. I like quite a lot of lime juice, I added juice of 1 lime to the sauce but added another half a lime worth of juice to my portion. I didn’t have any fresh coriander, if you do, use plenty of it as a garnish. You can also use half courgettes half carrots for the noodles.

One important thing to remember about courgette noodles: if you let them sit (i.e. prepare in advance) mixed with sauce, they will release quite a lot of water. The lesson is, if you are planning to make this recipe and eat it later, use less water in the peanut sauce otherwise the flavours will be too diluted.

Enjoy!

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COURGETTE NOODLES WITH PEANUT SAUCE
Serves 2-3

3 courgettes
1/2 red pepper
3 spring onions
2 Tbs sesame seeds (I used black)
fresh coriander

Sauce
4 Tbs organic peanut butter
1 Tbs soya sauce (tamari or shoyu are best)
1/2 a mild chilli pepper
1-2 limes, juice
3-4 Tbs water

  • Using a spiraliser make the courgettes into noodles. I used the linguini setting. Place in a large bowl.
  • Slice the pepper into thin long strips, add to the bowl.
  • To make the sauce add all the sauce ingredients apart from water to a blender and blend adding water to achieve desirable consistency (see picture)
  • Pour the sauce onto the noodles mix well.
  • Serve the noodles garnished with slices of spring onion and black sesame seeds.

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