Teriyaki Sauce

I’m trying to stay away from overly processed foods and a new habit I have adopted involves making my own sauces. I have made my own chutneys, barbecue sauce and of course teriyaki sauce. Obviously as I am making things myself I always try to use the freshest ingredients available to me and I also make these sauces in relatively huge batches. Do feel free to only use 1/2 or 1/4 of this recipes. I like to use 1/2 cup mirin and 1/2 cup sake, for no particular reason*.

 

Ingredients

1 cup or 235ml of dark soy sauce

1 cup or 235ml of mirin or  sake*

4 tablespoon raw  cane sugar

3 cloves crushed garlic

2 table spoons finely chopped garlic

2 teaspoons chilli flakes

1  level tablespoon cornflour

 

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan and boil on medium heat to reduce the sauce. Should take about 5 minutes. Watch out as things can get foamy real quick and you don’t want to pile up on your cleaning up. If you are fine with the consistency of the sauce omit steps 2 and 3
  2. Mix the tablespoon of cornflour with 2 tablespoons water to form a solution.
  3. Add this to the pan and stir until the sauce starts to thicken.
  4. Use as a sauce in stir fries and store the rest in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

How I make my own Garlic paste

A tip in general for making paste out of anything is to use table or sea salt. Obviously do not add to much a tiny pinch goes a long way. Salt adds an extra surface area which chopping up ingredients and kind of works like a mini grater.

To make garlic paste in particular, I try to chop the garlic into thin slices longitudinally, while maintaining its shape.  Then I slice it latitudinally again. I flatten the garlic with the flat area of the knife and then I add the salt at this point and then chop again. And repeat over and over again until I receive my satisfied texture.

 

 

How to eat more Veges and fruits III- Mango Salsa

 

This recipe is a fridge staple for me. It literally goes with everything and is super easy to make if you have a food processor. If you don’t, its a good way to practice your knife skills.

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Ingredients

4  medium Roma tomatoes

1 small red onion

2  small cloves of garlic

1 jalepeno pepper or  2 tablespoon  sliced jalepeno

1 teaspoon of salt

1/2  cup or 80g ripe mango

6 coriander stalks

juice of 1 lime or 1/2 lemon

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  1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse, until you reach your desired salsa consistency.
  2. If you do not have a food processor finely chop all the ingredients and mix well.
  3. Taste the salsa and season with more salt if required.

 

Spicy Roast Chicken Recipe

I was feeling very peckish recently and wanted to make something with a high protein content. We always have meat in the freezer, so I decided to make this roast chicken recipe, which also works amazingly on an outside grill, or for a barbecue.

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serves 4

Ingredients

8 chicken thighs

6 cloves of garlic

2 teaspoon chilli flakes

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 lemon

2 teaspoons chopped oregano

2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves

1/8 cup diced chipotle pepper

2 teaspoon paprika

1 tablespoon sumac

2 teaspoons olive oil

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  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and mince.
  2. Combine chicken and marinade mixture and each chicken is well coated.
  3. Let the chicken sit for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.
  4. Set the oven to grill on  250 degrees Celsius or 480 Fahrenheit.
  5. Place the chicken on a roasting tray and in the oven.
  6. Keep all the marinade juice left over after placing the chicken in the roasting tray.
  7. After 5 minutes flip the chicken and brush the chicken with the marinade again. DSC_0434

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    After Flipping the chicken
  8. After 5 minutes change the oven setting to fan assisted and bake at 200 degrees for 15 minutes. Check that the meet is not pink.
  9. Let the chicken rest for 2 minutes before serving it.

Goes great with barbecue sauce.

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My Naked Summer berry Victoria sponge cake for brunch

I’m on summer holiday woohoo!! Since I finished my IB, which was a whole year ago SHOCK HORROR, all my summers have been super futile and boring. I spent a majority of last summer crocheting. So I was in the peak of my futility and realised I had a brunch scheduled with a friend. So I decided to invite a bunch of friends over and see people I hadn’t seen while away at college!

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Yup! you guessed it that means a lot more brunch recipes will be coming up. While planning the menu, I decided to make one showstopping dish, and since I had been craving a good Victoria sponge,  I decided to make this lovely 3 tier naked Victoria sponge cake. One thing  I love about food in summer time is the wide availability of fresh herbs and fruits, so I decided to incorporate this by using berries in this recipe.

Hope you enjoy this recipe.

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Ingredients

For the sponge

500 grams or 2 1/8 cups of butter

500 grams or 3 3/4 cup of flour

500 grams or 2 1/2 cups of caster sugar

7 large eggs

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

For the frosting

250 grams or 2 1/8 cups of butter

250 grams or 1 3/4 cups of powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract

500 grams or 3 cups of strawberry

200 grams or 1 cup  of blueberries

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  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius ( 360 degrees Fahrenheit), fan assisted.
  2. Place the butter in a bowl and cream until it starts to turn pale. I use an electric whisk, but if you are doing this by hand, I suggest using a wooden spoon, I just find it a lot more efficient.
  3. Add the sugar to the bowl and carry on whisking until the mixture is basically white.
  4. Add the vanilla extract and beat until well incorporated.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time and whisk well.
  6. Sift in the flour into the bowl.Whisk the mixture first on a slow setting and then gradually build up to a higher speed.

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Preparing the Pans

  1. I use 3 pans with diameters 10cm, 17cm and 25cm.
  2. Using a brush, coat the pan with sunflower oil or butter.
  3. Add some flour to the pan and coat the layer of oil or butter with flour.
  4. Divide the batter mixture amongst the 3 pans and place in the oven.
  5. Bake the cake for at least 20 minutes before reopening the oven so it bakes on an even layer.
  6. After 20 minutes the littlest cake should be ready, stick a toothpick and see if it comes out clean, if so remove the cake. If it doesn’t come out clean, keep rechecking the cake every 5 minutes until all three are successfully cooked.

Making the frosting

  1. Whisk the butter until its very pale and its nearly white.
  2. Add the powdered sugar and the vanilla extract and whisk well.
  3. You want a very fluffy texture.

Frosting the Cake

  1. I let the cake cool overnight before frosting them.
  2. Ito ensure they all had a flat even surface I removed them form their pans as soon as they were cool enough to handle.
  3. I flipped them and then placed a flat heavy object, which had a larger perimeter than the cakes and left the overnight. I used heavy serving rays and baking dishes.
  4. Stem the strawberries and slice into thin slices.  Do not slice all the strawberries at once, as you may not need all of them.
  5. Take the largest layer of the cake and put a thick layer of frosting on the top layer of the cake. About 2 centimetres in thickness.
  6. Cover this layer with the freshly sliced strawberries.
  7. Carefully place the next cake layer on top of this and repeat.
  8. For the fruit layer of the last layer of cake I prefer to use whole strawberries with the stem still intact.
  9. I placed blueberries in between the strawberry slices and I randomly just placed it on the first layer.
  10. Using a butter knife I lightly coat the circumference of each of the cake layers.
  11. For the final touch, I decided to used powdered sugar and a sieve to lightly dust over the cake.

 

 

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How to Eat more Veges and Fruits II- Vegetable Rice (vegan)

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I came up with this recipe, on a Sunday while attempting to meal prep without doing my weekly groceries. Basically, as someone who is quite conscious about the environment I was researching means of making my lifestyle a lot more sustainable. I had always been obsessed with minimalism and found my self in a YouTube loop of watching videos on minimalism over and over again.

After watching uncountable amounts of videos on people who basically live a zero waste lifestyle, I decided to go through my freezer and use the ingredients I had in my freezer to meal prep. I found, frozen corn, frozen peas and frozen chopped spinach in my freezer and came up with this recipe.

Luckily, a lot of what I had in my freezers were veges which was great as I always try to ensure that my meals account for my daily five a day, in order to prepare for days when I’m too busy to make smoothies in the morning or make a salad.

If you are using stock cubes read the Tips on recipe variation


Serves four

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Vege rice served with a black bean chicken quesadilla

Ingredients 

1 1/4 cup of brown rice (225g)

1 cup of frozen peas (150g)

1 cup of frozen corn (175g)

1 1/2 cup of kidney beans (270g)

1 cup of frozen chopped spinach thawed (160g)

1 medium onion 

1-2 table spoons chilli flakes

500ml of vegetable, beef or chicken stock or 1 stock cube

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

salt 

black pepper

2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 cumin

olive oil


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  1. Thaw all the vegetables.
  2. Place the stock in a pan and add the rice. Cover the pan and boil on medium heat until the water is dried, about 15 minutes.
  3.  Chop the onions as finely as you can get it.
  4. Heat a pan and add about 2 table spoons of oil (any vegetable oil without a strong flavouring, like sesame oil) will do just fine. Oil test.
  5. Add the finely chopped onions to the pan and saute on medium heat for about 2 minutes.
  6. Stir in the cumin and chilli, then add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds on low-medium heat.
  7. Add the vegetables and beans and stir for another 2 minutes on medium heat.
  8. Stir in the rice and paprika.
  9. Taste the mixture and add more salt and black pepper until it is to your taste.
  10. Add 200 ml of water cover the pan and steam on low heat. Keep adding water until the rice is to your desired texture.

 

Tips

  1. If using stock cubes, add the cube to about 500ml of water and stir using a fork.
  2. You can use a dutch oven, if using a dutch oven, place in the oven after adding a further 200 ml of water.

Healthy Snacks II- Frozen mango Lassi

IMG_0842So my first year exams are over!!! Contrary to what you might expect I still feel a heavy burden on my shoulders. This is because I tend to over indulge in chocolates, buttery pastries and my all time weakness, Ben & Jerry’s phish food. So, rather than celebrating my short term freedom I find myself struggling to loose the pounds I’ve piled on and detox of all sugar, fat and lord knows what else.

This year, this burden was particularly augmented by the intense heat in London. So I came up with this dairy recipe ( with a diary free alternative). So this is my mango lassi recipe to help you beat the heat and get one of your five a day.

See tips and shortcuts below.

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 Ingredients

5 extremely ripe mangoes, (Alfonsos work very well)

(500ml) 2 cups greek yoghurt or coconut yoghurt

optional (80-175ml) 1/4- 1/2 cup of honey or agave

 

  1. Cube and destone the mangoes.
  2. Place the mango and yoghurt in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  3. Add 1/4 cup of the honey to the blender and blitz.
  4. Keep adding the honey and  tasting the mixture until it is to your level of sweetness.
  5. Place the mixture in a freezer safe dish and freeze.
  6. Take dish out of the freezer 30 minutes before serving and enjoy.

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Tips and Shortcuts

For when you can’t wait: you can buy frozen cubed mangoes from the supermarket for an instant froyo.

For lazy students and a cheap alternative: you can use tinned mangoes. This makes life infinitely easier and also saves up on washing up and the need for fancy equipment.

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