Posts Tagged With: quinoa

Chocolate, Sea Salt & Quinoa Cookies (Gluten-free)

Chocolate, Sea Salt and Quinoa Cookies (Gluten-free)

Perfect weekend treat cookies!  Rich, light, chocolaty and yeah, made of quinoa.  More of that later, but these cookies are delicious!  I could eat a whole tray of them with a really big cuppa.

This recipe comes by popular request from our vegan cooking group over on Facebook.  It seems the combination of chocolate, sea salt and quinoa flour has got us curious, maybe some a little skeptical?  But it all works very nicely!

So, let’s start this weekend as if we mean it, with a big plate of warm, freshly baked cookies.  Made with love.  The whole house smelling like one big yummy cookie.  This recipe will make you many new friends, please neighbours, pacify children and generally help us to incorporate more cookies into our diets.  Which is important!

Try something new!

These are not just any old cookie though, they’re made with quinoa flour.  Yup!  It’s a thing.  And a mighty fine thing it is.  They’re a full chocolate flavour with added richness coming from the tahini/ peanut butter plus a little twist for the topping, sea salt.

I’ve been looking for a use for a bag of quinoa flour for a while, it just sat there staring at me from the cupboard, asking “Why am I here?”  I was challenged, I tried a few things out that I wasn’t happy with (you cannot make tofu with quinoa flour!  You can however make inedible grey sludge instead).  Then we had a big bake off, Jane’s Tea and Cake Day, loads of friends, loads of cake.  What better time to unveil a quinoa cookie?!  I really like them, these are soft, light cookies.

So, quinoa in cookies, whatever next you may say?  Well, quinoa flour is a healthy choice and more accessible now in shops.  It has some protein, a little fibre and a good lump of iron in there.  The protein in there helps with the baking, gluten is a protein, so flours rich in protein are best to use when baking gluten-free.  I like to add it to gluten-free bread recipes, it gives a good texture and makes for light baked goods.

Salt on sweet things? “Why?”

I know it sounds strange, in fact with the quinoa element also, these cookies may not be getting you that excited.  But trust me, salt is an essential component of most desserts and sweet things.  It brings dishes to life!

A little salt will make all the difference and sprinkling good quality sea salt on these cookies really enhances the deep chocolate flavour, salt also goes very well with peanut butter.  You’ve all tried salted caramel and most people seem to like that sweet and salty thing.

Although it’s distinctly not for everyone, our friend popped over and tried a cookie, I totally forgot to mention the salt and the face she pulled was impressive and a bit worrying.  A face filled with pure shock and disgust.  “What the heck is that?!”  Pointing at the salt.  Eyes blazing.  “SALT!!!”.  Then came a saddened shake of the head, and a defeated, pitiful, “Why?”  She has tried most of my far out there experiments with food, many of them are just a bit weird, but for me, salt on cookies is cool.  It works.  But is obviously not for everyone.  What is?

Make your own quinoa flour

I realise that we all don’t regularly stock quinoa flour in our cupboards.  But quinoa grains are more popular.  All we need to do to make quinoa flour is blend the grains in a high speed blender for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until nice and fine.  Then pass this through a sieve, taking out the lumps, and leaving you with light quinoa flours.  This works for most grains if you’re running low on specialist flours.  Try toasting the flour or the grains in a pan for 5-7 minutes, on a medium heat, tossing regularly.  You’ll smell a toasty flavour and see the quinoa change to a darker shade of brown.  This adds a deeper flavour.

How do you feel about these cookies?  Are you going to give them a go?  Do you like a little salt in your desserts?  Let us know in the comments below and, if you have an question at all, fire them across.

Have a sweet weekend!

———————

Recipe Notes

Not into salt on cookies.  That is perfectly fine, just omit it, no topping.   But please leave the touch of salt in the cookies, as I said, it’s important.

Not a fan of tahini/ peanut butter (there are a few out there), I would imagine any nut or seed butter would be fine, but I haven’t tried them out.  Don’t omit the nut/ seed butters, they give the cookies a nice richness.

Don’t over bake the cookies, 10 minutes should be enough, just till they form a crust.  They will be soft to the touch, just leave for a few minutes to cool on the tray.

Try to use a nice olive oil for these cookies.  I find the flavour of olive oil works brilliantly with dark chocolate.

Chunks are nice.  Of course!  You can keep the chocolate chunky for a nice chocolate surprise, or I also like to blitz the chocolate a few times in a blender and stir it into the cookie mix.  More and more richness!

I went off quinoa for a while, preferring more local grains, but in recent years, there are many sources of British grown quinoa.  Hodmedod’s is one.  They do some really interesting grains and pulses, I haven’t tried their smoked quinoa from Essex, but it sounds very cool indeed.  You will also find quinoa flour in places like health food shops and in some supermarkets (try the Free-from sections for example).

These cookies are absolutely brilliant with Dulce de Leche, see our recipe here.  Like a vegan coconut caramel.

Fresh out of the oven.

—————

Chocolate, Sea Salt and Quinoa Cookies

The Bits – For 10 cookies

 

Dry

100g quinoa flour

3 tbs cocoa or cacao powder

1/2 teas bicarb of soda

1/2 teas baking powder

 

Wet

80g light brown sugar

2 tbs tahini or smooth peanut butter

75ml olive oil

1 teas vanilla extract

2 tbs flax egg (1 tbs ground flax mixed with 3 tbs water)

1/4 sea salt

 

60g broken up, good quality dark chocolate (I used 80%)

Extra sea salt for sprinkling

 

Do It

Preheat fan oven to 180oC.  Line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Make your flax egg, mixing the ground flax seed with the water.  Leave it for 10 minutes, it will thicken.  Add a little more water if needed and stir, we’d like it gloopy and thick, but not totally solid.

Place the dry bits into a bowl.  Place the wet bits into a bowl, mixing them until combined.  Now mix the wet bits into the dry, until a thick dough is formed.

Roll roughly 2-3 tablespoons of cookie dough into little balls in hands, then press down onto the baking tray, making small disc shapes.   They will expand a little during baking.

Bake 10 minutes until thin crust forms over the cookies, but they are still soft in the middle.  Leave to cool on the baking tray and get the kettle on!

 

Foodie Fact – Quinoa

Quinoa is actually a small seed and is a rare plant-based source of complete protein, meaning it contains all the 20 amino acids we need.

It’s rightly regarded as one of the most nutritious grains going; high in fibre and folic acid.  Quinoa is naturally gluten-free and contains good levels of minerals like manganese, magnesium, zinc and iron.

Some of the health benefits associated with quinoa are a healthy heart, weight loss and it may even help to fight cancer.

 

Come and join Jane and I in Spain, along with the amazing cookbook author Aine Carlin (Keep it Vegan)

**It’s the last week of our Early Bird Offer**

Learn how to cook awesome vegan dishes and completely relax for a weekend on a beautiful Spanish beach?

Viva Vegan! Plant-based Cooking Holiday in Spain.   

 

 

Categories: Baking, Cakes, gluten-free, healthy, Nutrition, photography, plant-based, Recipes, Snacks and Inbetweens, Vegan | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Feta and Apple Quinoa Tabouleh

Feta and Apple Quinoa Tabouleh

Feta and Apple Quinoa Tabouleh

 

A very tasty tabouleh-like salad that is bursting at the seams with flavour, nutrition and texture.  It has everything we love in a salad, crunch, creaminess and a zesty kick to top things off.  Colour is also one of the elements that makes tabouleh salads like this stand out from the iceberg lettuce brigade.  I don’t mess around too much in the presentation stakes, but a salad like tabouleh, with good fresh ingredients just looks wonderful no matter what you do to it!  A tabouleh is the perfect way of showcasing amazing produce.

Quinoa (keen-wah) is a wonderful sprout/ seed, related to Kale and the fuel for many an Inca in times gone by.  I presume we all know what it is by now!  It seems to have been all the rage for many years and rightly so.  It has a great, strong flavour and is superbly healthy (see below, ‘Foodie Fact’) which is the main reason we have used it here instead of the traditional bulgur wheat.

Tri-colour tabouleh is a new one on us, Jane picked it up in Glastonbury.  It has a slightly fuller, earthy flavour than normal especially when roasted slightly before cooking (top tip!).  It initially reminded us of France, tri-colour and all, but it’s tabouleh heart is most certainly in the middle east, however the flavours here are quite European!?  A suitably confused dish, ideal for two nomads living on a green hill then (that’s us!).  Tri-colour quinoa seems to be a mixture of red, black and normal beige quinoa.

Tri-colour Quinoa

Tri-colour Quinoa

The ingredients here are changeable, please replace the cheese with tofu  if you are vegan; and use whatever is seasonal and looking good. As always, let your imagination run wild!

Midway stage of prep

Midway stage of prep

This recipe fills one very lucky salad bowl.

The Bits

250g tri-colour quinoa, 2 handfuls rocket, 1/3 cup roasted pine nuts, 1 cup pitted green olives,125g aged feta (cut into 2cm cubes), 6 cherry tomatoes (cut in quarters), 1 yellow pepper (chopped small cubes), 100ml good fruity olive oil, 1 small red onion (finely diced), 2 stick celery (finely diced), juice of 1 lemon, 1 handful chopped parsley, 1 handful chopped mint, sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Do It

In a saucepan, roast the quinoa on a medium heat until it is going slightly brown (5 minutes). It will pop a little, let it. Then cover with 1cm of water (thats 1cm above the quinoa) and a pinch of salt, bring to a boil and lower heat and cover. It will take 15 minutes to cook, then fluff up with a fork and set aside to cool.

Place all ingredients in large salad bowl and gently mix together. Whisk up your lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl.

Roast off your pine nuts on a medium/low heat until getting golden. Keep an eye on them, they are precious these little fellows and burn easily.
When quite cool (but not cold) add your quinoa to the salad mix and combine gently together. Serve immediately to great plaudits and smiles.

Feta and Apple Quinoa Tabouleh

Feta and Apple Quinoa Tabouleh

Serve

Here we added a few more greens to finish (mint and rocket), we actually like it slightly warm, it brings it all to life and the olive oil will give off a very fruity aroma.  For us a tabouleh is a main course affair, definitely not a side salad.  This is a star and needs no trimmings!

Every angle covered here, another one for good luck!

Every angle covered here, another one for good luck!

Foodie Fact 

Quinoa is a great source of amino acids, the vitamin B’s and has the highest level of iron found in any grain.  It is also a great source of protien.  Quinoa is the only grain that contains all of the essential amino acids that the body needs, the Incas knew this and called it the ‘Chisiya Mama’ – the mother grain.  The early Andean civilizations ate more quinoa than corn!  Quinoa is pretty much the complete food.

PS –  Its also gluten free. X

Tunes

What better way to celebrate cooking with some ‘tri-colour’ than with some Serge Gainsbourg, ‘Alor, voila!’:

 

Categories: gluten-free, Recipes, Salads | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Ang’s Quinoa and Roast Veggie Salad

A recipe here from a friend of the Beach House Kitchen.  All the way from sunny Auckland (New Zealand that is), Ang floats over some tasty bites over to the Beach House.  WE LOVE ANGx  

I met Ang in Barcelona, where she lived a tofu chuck away from a health food shop.  I needed some ‘health’ after being on the road for too long and eating out of dusty stalls.  Ang cooked up some amazing vegan treats and planted seeds that have now formed the BHK.  

We will be munching this soon and having tasted Ang’s cooking, just know that it will be very, very delicious indeed.  

Cheers AngX:

Ang sporting socks and deer

YUM!

Being a vegetarian on a low-FODMAP foods hasn’t been easy. No beans, chickpeas or lentils are allowed, but thank goodness for the almighty Quinoa.

I made some delicious quinoa and courgette fritters one night last week and had loads of quinoa left over, which resulted in this beast of a salad mixed together in a huge moroccan salad bowl – perfect for parties or BBQ’s.

-Cubed veggies, roasted (potato, pumpkin, carrot, courgette) with fresh rosemary and oregano
-Quinoa
-Baby spinach
-Feta
-Raisins
-Baby tomatoes

Dressing
-lemon juice
-dijon mustard
-basalmic vinegar
-olive oil
-S&P

Salads like this are so hearty and can be adapted in so many ways. Add olives? Avocado? Seeds? Make it your own 🙂

Ang’s Quinoa and Roast Veggie Salad

If there are any other friends of the BHK (thats all of you!) who would like to send us a recipe, we would love to hear from you and will most probably, depending on the deliciousness of the dish, put it onto the blog. 

Categories: Recipes, Salads | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Raw Asian Buckwheat Stew

Sprouting Buckwheat

This is not exactly Asian, not your average back street Shanghai fare; we lack some ingredients but do our best in the hills of Wales!  This recipe boasts all the flavours you would expect from a classic Asian dish, with the raw touch of sprouting buckwheat and the richness of cashews.  It really is a revelation that this food tastes so good cold and is so satisfying.  Who knew?

We live quite remote, the nearest decent shop being 30 mins drive.  For a cramped island like ours, 30 mins is quite a distance.  If you can believe it, there are no fresh fruit and veg markets in the entire area.  It is strange, we are quite unique.  We therefore use what we have locally, there is a shed over the hill that sells the occasional organic vegetable, at this time of year, local produce for sale is quite sparse.  Hence we make do and blend!

We have been missing our Thai curries, stir fries etc, so this was my attempt at adding a new set of flavours to this Beach House raw June.  I like adding cucumber to dishes, it freshens and lifts things.

These recipes are known as ‘living food’ due to the sprouting going on.  Anything sprouting is full of life and nutrients and is serious super fuel for your body (and mind/well-being…..).

Sprouting buckwheat has a lovely bite to it and reminds me of a fuller quinoa in flavour.  It tastes and looks like a grain, but is gluten and wheat free.  It can also be blended up into a lovely porridge (more of this to come).  Buckwheat sprouts well and only takes a couple of days.   The technique is simple enough, soak for 24 hours in fresh water, drain and wash, leave for 24 hours, drain and wash etc.  Until sprouts begin to appear.  It  is then ready to eat.

This stew has a lovely rich feel and is very satisfying, which you need on the grey island (Britain) were it is currently summer/winter in just one day.  The storms may rage outside, yet we are warm inside and dreaming of the East….

The Bits

Veg – 1 large tomato, 1 small onion, 1/3 cucumber, 1 carrot, 1/2 red chilli (check for heat)

Sauce – 2 cloves garlic, 2 inch cube of ginger, juice of 1 lime (finely chopped zest if you like a real tang), 2 teas honey, 3 tsp sesame oil, 2 tbs tamari (or light soya sauce)

Stew – 2 cups sprouting buckwheat, 1/2 cup whole cashews,

Topping – 1 1/2 cups chopped green beans, 2 teas sesame seeds, handful of broken cashews

Mid blitz aka carnage

Do It

Add all veg and sauce bits to the blender blend to a fine salsa like mix, taste check for balance of flavours, then add your stew bits and pulse a few times to break up the buckwheat and cashews slightly.  Not too much, you need a little bite there.  Chop up your greenbeans and scatter on top in any fashion that takes your fancy (we normally mix half into the stew).

Serve

Finish with a few sprinkles of sesame seeds (we were out of stock here) and some broken cashews.

Raw Asian Buckwheat Stew

We Love It!

This beats a sloppy Chinese takeaway any day of the week!  Bursting with vitality and nutrients, this is one of our favourite raw recipes thus far.

Foodie Fact

Buckwheat is one of the most complete grains globally and contains all eight essential amino acids (meaning you can basically live on it!).  It is great for diabetics as an alternative to sugary wheat and also alkalizes the blood.  Buckwheat even boosts the brain, it contains high levels of lecthin and 28% of the brain is made of lecthin which also purifies the blood and actually soaks up bad cholesterol.  Wonder food!

Categories: Detox, gluten-free, Healthy Eating, Healthy Living, Low G.I. (glycemic index), Lunch, Nutrition, Raw Food, Recipes, Superfoods, Vegan, Welsh produce | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

King Quinoa Burger (Vegan)

I love quinoa.  The Incas ate it!  It has a full, nutty taste and is super healthy.  I thought it would make an interesting burger/ falafel/ patty……etc…whichever shape you fancy.

The terminology of veggie food can be so mis-leading and unneccessary.  It’s a grey area.  Is something shaped like a burger, really a burger?  Mos people would say no?  We can buy sausages, burgers (that are a field mushroom or lumps of roasted peppers), bacon (made of god knows what?) etc.  Do vegetarians really want to eat bacon?  Things that taste like meat?  I don’t.

I think the global veggie community should get together and re-brand all of these dishes.  Come up with some new, interesting terminology.  Leave the burgers for the mincemeat crowd.  I like the name ‘chunk’.

Whatever we call this, it is very tasty, satisfying and healthy.  This is the King of veggie burgers!  Even better, it’s vegan and gluten-free also.

We were having a ‘date night’ in the Beach House (there aren’t many places to go around here, so we have in-house dates) so I went all out on the accompaniments.

This is a hearty burger, packed with chickpeas and the sweetness from the potatoes.  This recipe will make at least 6 big burgers/ patties and many little falafels.  The only difference between these is how you want to form them with your hands.  Whichever size fit.  Be gentle here, you don’t want to play with them to much.  Quick dip in flour, patted into a nice shape and straight into the hot oil.  The one quick, clean flip.  This will ensure a nice burger, that doesn’t fall apart.  It will turn out nice and crispy on the outside and creamy in the middle.  YUM!

The Bits

2 cups of cooked quinoa (1 cup dry quinoa), 1/2 cup of oats, 1 cup of cooked chickpeas (or one can), 1 cup of chopped and roasted sweet potatoes, 1 red onion (chopped), 3 tbs chickpea (gram) flour, 1 1/2 teas smoked paprika, 1 teas ground cumin,  3 cloves of chopped garlic,  2 inch ginger (chopped finely), 1 lemon zest (finely chopped), 2 teas mixed herbs (or preferably fresh and chopped rosemary and thyme), 1/2 cup of chickpea (gram) flour (for dusting), 1 small glug Linghams sweet chilli sauce (optional), 3 tbs olive oil, s +p.

You may want to go all out with this one, add a couple of handfuls of grated cheddar cheese.  But beware, that will be a mega-burger!  Not for the faint hearted.

Do It

Soak and cook off your chickpeas (or open the can), pan fry your chopped sweet potatoes until nicely coloured, set aside.  Cook quinoa. Boil a kettle and pour water over until covered by 2cm of water (cover and leave for 10 minutes).  Put all of these and the rest of the ingredients in a blender, add oil last.  Pulse blend for a few burst, you want around half smooth, half chunky.  Put into a bowl and stir.

Get a plate and cover it with a good layer of chickpea flour.  Warm a pan on medium heat, oil should be just about smoking, make sure the base of the pan is well covered with oil.

Take the required amount of mix in your hand and fashion a burger/ patty/ falafel.  Give it a good covering of flour, dust of excess and drop into the pan.  Work quickly and gently, get them all in the pan at a similar time (it’s easier that way).  Use a flat spatula, this will mean easier flipping and less battering to the burgers.

Fry for around five minutes per side, until golden and crispy.  Remove and place on kitchen paper to remove excess oil, cover and keep warm until serving.  For a normal shaped frying pan, you’ll need a couple of batches here.  The falafels will take lot of work, it would be easier to deep fry them.  That would be amazing!

The mix keeps well in the fridge and will be better and easier to work with if prepared the day before.

Serve

We had ours with homemade hummus, onion marmalade, wilted swiss chard and spinach (with a drop of garlic) and pan-fried potatoes with Jerusalem artichokes (pinch of paprika).  It all went a little restaurant-y.

You could have it in bread (or flat bread for the falafels) with a nice relish or yoghurt dressing and salad.  Maybe even some chips (American friends, this means french fries)!

We Love It

Date nights are ace!  Our food, music, atmosphere and no taxis afterwards!  Packed full of goodness, this is a super tasty burger-type creation.

Foodie Fact

Once called the ‘gold of the Incas’  quinoa gives ‘complete protein’, meaning all of your amino acids.  It’s also full of lysine, which helps tissue growth and repair.  Quinoa has unusually high amounts of manganese and magnesium, the list goes on here.  Quinoa is a real deal superfood!

Pickled Part

We drank a light, young Primitivo, which was full of sweet berries.  It went down a treat with the sweetness of the potatoes and chickpeas and wasn’t over powered by the spices or hummus.  Make sure your wine isn’t too light, especially when dealing with spicy or creamy dishes.  You need good acidity and fruit to conquer these strong flavours.  A medium white would have been fantastic, something like Pinot Gris or Gewurztraminer.  I love German wine, especially with spicy foods.

Categories: Healthy Eating, Recipes, Vegan, Wine and Booze | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: