Sunday, 29 August 2010

lasagne with kidney beans

Again we have a recipe inspired by my daughter Maria. To say that she loves lasagne would be an understatement. At restaurants we don't have to ask her what she's having; she's having lasagne as long as it's on the menu. I have to admit that I'm not particularly fond of lasagne with minced beef, so I decided it was time to make my own recipe, a vegetarian version with beans and a mild chilli sauce. The white sauce is based on a sauce from my foodie friend (Cafe)Sigrun. This dish has become one of our favourites (excellent for Meat Free Monday if you're involved) and is for dinner whenever Maria is allowed to choose.

LASAGNE WITH KIDNEY BEANS

INGREDIENTS

RED SAUCE

  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 yellow or red pepper, diced
  • 1 vegetable stock cube, yeast free
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (2 x 400 g)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon sweet chilli
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon raw cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (Modena) balsamic vinegar
  • 1 can kidney beans or black beans (400 g)
  • pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • optional: sweetcorn, as much as preferred
  • optional: a handful of fresh spinach, coarsely chopped

WHITE SAUCE

  • 450 g cottage cheese
  • 2 eggs, free-range/organic
  • 280 g grated cheese (mozzarella or mild cheddar or whatever you like)
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

OTHER

  • 120 g grated cheese (mozzarella or mild cheddar or whatever you like)
  • optional: freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • approx. 250 g dried lasagne sheets (preferably organic)

METHOD

RED SAUCE

  1. Rinse and drain the beans and keep them in a colander until ready to use
  2. In a large frying pan over medium heat, fry the onion in the olive oil until soft. Add the pepper and garlic and fry for a few more minutes
  3. Add the vegetable stock cube and mix together
  4. Add the tomatoes, turn up the heat and bring to the boil
  5. Add all the spices, sugar and vinegar
  6. Finally add the beans (and sweetcorn + spinach if using) and season with salt and pepper. Allow to simmer while you prepare the white sauce

WHITE SAUCE

  1. In a large bowl, combine the cottage cheese and eggs
  2. Add the 280 g cheese and nutmeg

  1. Preheat the oven according to the lasagne sheet package directions (adjust oven rack to lowest position)
  2. Remove the frying pan from the cooker. Use a ladle to pour a thin layer of red sauce into a lasagne dish (there is no need to completely cover the bottom) and cover with lasagne sheets
  3. Add a thin layer of white sauce, followed by a layer of the red sauce and cover with lasagne sheets. Repeat the layers as often as you like (some people prefer many layers) and finish with the rest of the white and red sauce
  4. Cover with the 120 g cheese and sprinkle the Parmesan on top
  5. Cook in the preheated oven according to the lasagne sheet package directions (the lasagne sheets I have used so far call for 220°C/425°F/gas 7 for 25)

Serve with, for example, simple salad, homemade whole grain bread or garlic bread. When making garlic bread, sometimes I make yeast free pizza dough and place the pizza base in the oven about 8 minutes before the lasagne is done. When I remove the base from the oven, I pencil it with a mixture of olive oil, garlic, oregano and sea salt, and use a pizza cutter to slice it.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

chocolate tray bake


I have to be honest, choosing the first recipe for kitchen & aroma was a thinker (first impression, you know). There are simply too many recipes to choose from. When discussing this with my foodie friend, CafeSigrun, we agreed that it had to be something simple and definitely have the word chocolate in it. So, we agreed on my chocolate tray bake. It's simple and it's easy to prepare, and the most important thing: it's delicious! The photo of the frosting may also be familiar to some as it has been on the Facebook and Twitter profiles. I like making my own recipes and sometimes, as with this one, the first try is a hit. My daughter Maria asked me so kindly to make a chocolate cake with no almonds, nuts, or dates (common ingredients in healthy cake recipes) and it seems as if I delivered 100%. I hope you like it as much as we and our friends do. The recipe contains no butter and there is only one tablespoon of coconut oil in the base. The cake is rather small but in my opinion chocolate tray bakes are very filling; I at least can never eat much of them.

CHOCOLATE TRAY BAKE, BASE

INGREDIENTS

  • 100 g raw cane sugar (½ cup)
  • 1 large egg, free-range or organic
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or agave syrup
  • optional: 1 tablespoon coffee, hot or cold (I use a rather strong brew)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (from a health food store)
  • 3-4 tablespoons cocoa powder, organic/fair-trade
  • 1 tablespoons coconut oil (if solid, place the jar in a bowl of hot water before use)
  • 130 g spelt flour (1 cup)
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder, gluten free (1 tsp if using regular)
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 5 tablespoons (75 ml) plain or Greek yoghurt
  • 4-5 tablespoons (60-75 ml) lukewarm water
  • desiccated coconut for decoration

METHOD

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, egg, agave syrup, coffee and vanilla essence thoroughly with a whisk. Add the cocoa powder and whisk gently
  2. Add the coconut oil and mix well with a spatula
  3. In a medium bowl, sift the spelt flour, baking powder and salt and pour into the wet mixture. Do not stir, just use the spatula to gently fold the dry ingredients in until there is no flour remaining at the bottom
  4. Blend the yoghurt with 4 tablespoons of water, add into the bowl and mix gently. The texture of the batter should resemble yoghurt. Add one more tablespoon of water if you need to
  5. Line a 25 cm/10 in square baking tray with baking parchment, pour the batter into it and use a spatula to even it out (the height of the baking tray should be about 5 cm/2 in)
  6. Place in the oven and allow to bake for 24-28 minutes at 170-175°C/325°C/gas mark 3. Make the frosting while the cake is in the oven
  7. Allow to cool in the baking tray on a wire rack for 30 minutes before adding the frosting, then sprinkle with desiccated coconut

CHOCOLATE FROSTING

This is an easy to make chocolate frosting that I especially put together for my chocolate tray bake. I recommend preparing the frosting while the tray bake is in the oven.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons fine raw cane sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons coffee, hot or cold
  • 1-2 tablespoons water
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or organic vanilla sugar
  • 2½ teaspoons agave syrup or pure maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon coconut oil
  • pinch of fine sea salt

METHOD

  1. In a small bowl, mix the cocoa and sugar with a spoon
  2. Add the vanilla essence, coffee and water and stir gently
  3. Add the agave syrup and coconut oil, then the salt to taste. The texture of the frosting should be smooth and spreadable
  4. Allow the frosting to remain in the bowl at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before covering the cake

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover