chick pea

Curried Lentil Soup with Carrot + Coriander Dumplings (Gluten Free + Vegan)

curried lentil & dumpling stew
We spent our entire saturday morning in 3 carpet/wood flooring superstores and it was sooooo bad. Bad because I hate these places at the best of times, bad because I feel I should take a greater interest and enthusiasm for the flooring that goes down in our home (especially considering the financial outlay) and bad bad bad because we just couldn’t make a choice – oh golly! Instead we left with several quotes and unfinished business but I’m never going back there, no way. I really do want some nice flooring but it’s the time (it’s a lot) and effort that goes into choosing whilst getting caught up in the maze of DIY-ers frantically filling their trolleys like they know exactly what they’re doing. I guess I just need to be one of those people, someone who loves everything DIY, but I’m not. I’m the person who likes the nice house but without ever entering a huge superstore, I’m more than happy to choose online, at home and in comfort! The thing is you just can’t choose flooring online, it just doesn’t feel right….oh I know, first world problems hey!

lentil dumpling stew

Anyway, it’s food like this that gets me through car crash mornings such as hanging out in DIY stores in a confused state!! A real good, homely, comforting, major silly healthy lentil stew with the best dumplings ever. Oh yes.

curried lentil & dumpling stew

I’m gonna put myself out there now and say this is probably one of my favourite meals just for how wonderfully feel good and delicious it is. This is a complete meal in itself with plenty of protein and four servings of veggies served with grain and dairy free dumplings. I just gotta say these dumplings are better than those dumplings you used to love…..you know the ones and with healing onion, garlic, chili, ginger and turmeric this stew is sure to warm and nourish you all winter long….spring and summer too.

Right, time to call the DIY superstore and finally make that decision!

curried lentil & dumpling stew

Curried lentil soup with carrot + coriander dumplings

(serves 2)

soup:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
small piece of ginger, chopped finely
2 sticks celery, chopped finely
2 large carrots, chopped into small pieces
1 cup red lentils
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon each of cumin, coriander, turmeric + cinnamon
1 heaped teaspoon curry powder
2 handfuls greens, shredded
chili + coriander for dressing

dumplings:
1 cup chick pea (gram) flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 small carrot, grated
1 tablespoon coriander, chopped
2 tablespoons soya yoghurt
1/2 cup water

method:

1. Heat the olive oil over a low heat + add the first 6 ingredients, stirring until softened + aromatic.
2. Add the lentils, broth, spices + greens, keep on a low heat for 15 minutes. You may need to add more water if it over thickens, or add a teaspoon corn flour if it needs thickening.
3. Whilst the soup is simmering make your dumplings by combining the flour, salt + baking powder. Once combined add the carrot, coriander, soya yoghurt + water to form a sticky cookie dough mixture.
4. Form 6 dumplings by hand or alternatively spoon the mixture directly into the soup. The balls should sit on top without sinking. Cover the pan + simmer for a further 15 minutes.
5. Serve dressed with chopped chili + coriander.

Socca – One ingredient Grain Free Bread (GF + Vegan)

Socca breadSimple is my new thing.

I’m pretty good at making things more difficult than they need to be, blindly overlooking all short cuts and getting knee deep with the complex stuff. So naturally i’m loving simple, yet rewarding recipes and this socca recipe is right down with this simplicity stuff. ONE ingredient, really, just the ONE. By the way, I’m not counting the water and the salt – I hope you think that’s fair. Oh, and coconut oil too, these extras don’t count, surely.Socca

The one ingredient is gram, garbanzo, chick pea flour – whatever name floats your boat. I like chick pea flour because I’m from the UK and this is what we say. I’ve always perused the bean flours in my local indian supermarket and thought about finding out more about it but never really got around to it. So after some serious googling I found that it’s not just indian cuisine that favours this flour. Chick pea flour is used to make Socca which originates from France and Italy and sold in pizzeries and bakeries throughout. It’s usually cooked in a tin baking pan with olive oil and eaten hot from the oven. In my opinion, this is the best way but I have enjoyed it cold several times. It’s pretty versatile too and i’m certain you could create some seriously delicious flavour combinations. I’m thinking chocolate already………pumpkin maybe?Just one ingredient bread

Anyway, since making this I’m perplexed by a couple of things. Firstly, why have I not come across socca on trips to Italy and France, ever? I’m pretty offended as I was only in France last week and I didn’t see any socca……anywhere. My second trouble is, why don’t more people love the chickpeas? I mean, chickpea curry, falafel, cookie butter, pupadums, delicious dips, chocolate chip chick pea bites and now socca. Where would we be without chick peas? They get a bit of a bad rap and people assume if you eat a lot of chick peas you’re a barefoot, tie dye, free loving hippie, well maybe not but you do know what I mean right? They also have a reputation for producing excess gas……my advice here is to eat beans and lentils such as chick peas more regularly, always chew well and your digestion will soon thank you for eating them.  They’re tasty, healthy with impressive versatility and don’t deserve the bad rap they get! Love ’em.Simple socca

Let’s all get some more chick peas in our lives…..they’re seriously cheap and full of health so you just know I wanna sell chick peas a little more to you. Well OK……….

fibre rich so fantastic for digestive support
scientifically proven to increase satiety and decrease calorie intake
blood sugar regulation
unique supply of antioxidants
lowers cardiovascular risks

So, the take home message is………eat more chick peas and why not start with this simple bread. You cannot go wrong with this recipe and it’s great to experiment with, I often make this soft and bendy and other times I prefer a crisp and snappy socca! I usually bake it in a 12″ square baking dish but by using a smaller dish you can achieve a thicker softer bread and for a crispier version just use a bigger dish or less socca batter. I like to use the same ratio of water and flour but I’ve tried it with more water which works great too for a less dense lighter version.Socca pre slicing

Either way, enjoy this gluten, dairy and grain free bread on it’s own, with a hearty stew, some smoked black beans, topped with peanut butter or humous or used for a simple socca sandwich. I like it with a little cookie butter smeared on top…..a double whammy of chick pea love. It’s the perfect carrier for other flavours so get creative and add your favourite herbs or veggies.

What’s your simple 1 or 2 ingredient go to recipe?

Socca + cookie butter

socca

1 cup chick pea flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
2 teaspoons coconut oil

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 200 ºC. Place coconut oil in a baking dish + put in the oven to melt.
2. Combine the socca ingredients to form a smooth batter. Leave to sit for 5 minutes to thicken.
3. Remove hot dish from the oven with the melted oil + pour in the batter. Place back in the oven + bake for 30 minutes.
4. Remove  from the oven+ flip the socca. Return to for a further 5-10 minutes or grill on high for 2 minutes for a crispier version.

 

 

Guilt Free Cookie Dough Butter (GF + Vegan)

Guilt Free Cookie Dough ButterBetter than peanut butter, chocolate spread, shop bought cookie dough…actually I don’t think you can buy raw cookie dough in the UK? If you can, it’s definitely better than this. I know this because its flies through the ‘can you eat it straight from the jar’ test.Cookie dough butter!

Whatever, this is a continuation of my sweet chick pea lovin’. I’ve been making little chick pea chocolate cookie bites and I usually end up eating half the ‘raw’ dough before I’ve made them……and then it dawned on me. I couldn’t believe how blind i’ve been – why the hell did I not make this guilt free cookie dough butter sooner?Cookie dough process.....

I hate words like ‘guilt free’ because I don’t think we should let guilt interfere with our enjoyment of food but let’s face it, it does all too often. So calling these ‘guilt free’ is just a way of conveying that this cookie dough butter is unprocessed, low in sugar, protein rich, has zero bad fats but more a big bowl of healthy. It’s hard not to eat the whole jar, I did urge Russ to take half to work to get it out of my reach….he forgot and I finished it….all of it. So delicious, it’s equally dangerous to prepare especially when spooning it into the jar, near impossible to do this without eating some. I’m just trying to tell you how good this is….and good for us, thank the lord it’s good for us. So happy that food like this is healthy cos it sure as hell don’t taste like it.Cookie dough butter

Add a little more or less milk for your desired consistency, I like mine quite thick but a little looser works well poured over ice cream – whatever floats your boat really.

Butter, a dip, dolloped in your morning oats, on cereal or yep…..straight up out of the jar, whatever.

Is it wrong to wanna dip a cookie in this cookie dough butter……I think I’ve answered my own question……no of course not. Enjoy.Cookie dough butter

Guilt Free Cookie Dough Dip

250 grams drained + rinsed chick peas
2 heaping tablespoons peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons vanilla essence
4 tablespoons maple syrup or 1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flaxseeds
1/4 cup almond milk
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (dairy free)

1. Place all the ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth. Stir through the chocolate chips and transfer to a glass jar ready to dip your spoon into.

Store in the fridge in an airtight container and use within 7 days.

Adapted from ‘Healthy cookie dough dip……..the famous recipe’.