Had the U3A cookery group here yesterday.
As usual, we fitted in lots of different recipes in our two hours. As well as a couple of made up things, I wanted to try some recipes from a new book. I saw a couple of recipes from Izy Hozzack in the paper and liked the look of them. I investigated her blog, topwithcinnamon.com, and was impressed by her knowledge and interesting flavour combinations. Miso orange courgette salad: red lentil harrisa hummus and herbed couscous: gingerbread pancakes with salted treacle butter caught my eye for instance. You know how much I like to try new things!
So although I already have FAR too many cookbooks, I decided to buy it. Very glad I did, there are some wonderful ideas in it and flavour combinations in the salad dressings that I haven’t come across before. As most of the recipes are vegetarian, with suggestions for adding meat and fish if you want to, there are masses of vegetables, which I love. There is no nutrition break down for any of the recipes, so I’ll be working some out as I go along.
We started off our cookery session with Chicken with soy, sesame and honey. Everyone loved it and talked about how quick and easy it was to make. Although you can make this recipe with any protein, including tofu, or indeed use sliced and cooked potato or sweet potato slices, I have only ever made it with chicken. It’s the version I like the best.
Next up was Tahini Carrot Slaw
I was attracted by the unusual dressing for this. It says in the recipe that it will keep for 3 days, but it has salt in it and in a couple of hours there was liquid at the bottom of the bowl. If you want to keep it, you would need to keep the dressing separate and add it at the last minute.
It was a delicious salad, tasty and different. I think I might add a few more raisins, and I’ll definitely be trying the dried apricots version.
Carrot Ribbon, Cinnamon & Halloumi Salad
Our newest member wasn’t looking forward to this as she didn’t like halloumi. But it turns out she had only tried it uncooked (which must have been vile) and loved this. We used parsley and rocket from the garden instead of the coriander and spinach. It was delightful and something I look forward to making for Mike and myself. Mike is a great fan of halloumi, and one of his favourite dinners is halloumi, sweet potato chips and coleslaw.
Broccoli Apple Yogurt Slaw
Another good one, although more of a side than a main dish, which is how I would have the previous two. A lovely, crunchy salad, this would be perfect with a chicken breast.
Baked bean hummus
Then I demonstrated how to make ‘hummus’ using rinsed baked beans. Mixed in a little caramelised onion chutney in a bit too, to show how nice it is.
To make baked bean hummus:
A tin of the cheapest baked beans you can get, 23p
100ml oil, £1.15/litre, 11p
A garlic clove, 5p
The zest of half a lemon, or 2 tablespoons lemon juice 49p/250ml, 6p
2 tablespoons tahini, 300g/£2.50, 25p
Salt and pepper
Total cost 70p. Makes a good sized pot, enough for 3 or 4 lunch boxes with carrot and pitta dippers
Rinse the baked beans under the tap. Retain the sauce if you want to use it in soup or a casserole, where it is delicious.
Tip everything into a food processor and whizz for a few minutes. Taste and adjust if necessary. Store in the fridge in a clean jam jar etc. Use exactly the same as any hummus.
If you don’t have a food processor, because these beans are so soft, you could either use a hand blender, or even mash everything together with a fork.
If the raw garlic is a bit strong for you, pop the clove in the microwave for 10 seconds. This has the effect of almost roasting the clove and rendering the flavour much milder.
If you want to keep the cost to the minimum, use vegetable oil. If you can afford it, olive oil gives a good flavour. Also, a little peanut butter can be substituted for the tahini, they taste similar.
If you want to keep the calories to a minimum, hummus made with chick peas is absolutely fine made with water and no oil at all. So I would anticipate that this would be the same.
Rocket, carrot and baked bean hummus
At the end of the session, there were several carrots that had been ‘ribboned’ as much as possible and a big bunch of rocket leftover. So I drained another tin of beans and threw everything in the food processor with a microwaved garlic clove, olive oil and salt and pepper. The whole lot was whizzed for a minute or two and the result was this lovely, peppery hummusy type spread.
My rocket is full of small holes, I think it might be flea beetle, so I’m going to try some remedies and see if I can get rid of most of them. I don’t mind a few holes, but it’s every leaf!
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I’m a perpetual dieter, and to help with that endeavour, there is now also a Thrifty Lesley dieting group, a lovely, growing community