Ginger & Clove Spiced Cookies

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“Crap! I’m never going to be able to make as good a ginger cookie anymore.”


Or at least that’s what I told myself after I lost my ginger cookie recipe – Gray’s favourite cookie recipe. And of course by lost, I mean I forgot to write it down as I made the recipe…Silly, right?

Anyhow! It might have been a blessing in disguise because you guys, this recipe (‘Ginger Spiced Cookies 2.0‘) is even better than version 1. In fact, not only are these better tasting but they’re also surprisingly healthier because I used mostly oats in place of white flour- WINNING!

These ones are tender and beautifully laced with just the perfect amount of ginger and clove to give you that warming and mouth-watering feel similar to the one you get after drinking a cup of decadent, silky hot chocolate.

So good that no doubt these will be a repeat offender in my house for months to come. Not that anybody will complain of course – these are good. In my opinion, these get even better a day or two after they’re made because the flavours of ginger and clove meld together with time and even seem to intensify ever so subtly.


That being said…Let us eat cookies!


 

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Ginger & Clove Spiced Cookies

Makes 16 regular-sized cookies or 8 extra large (palm-sized) cookies.
Larger cookies are great for ice cream sandwiches.
Time: 20 mins

Ingredients

1 cup oat flour (blended oats)

1/3 cup plain flour

A small pinch of salt

1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda

1.5 tsp ground ginger

Pinch of ground cloves

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3  tbsp water, let sit for 5 minutes or until gloopy)

3 tbsp of water (in addition to the flax egg)

1/4 cup coconut oil

2 tbsp molasses

Steps

 1. Preheat your oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

2. Meanwhile, add your oat flour, plain flour, salt, bicarbonate soda, ginger, cloves and brown sugar to a large mixing bowl and stir to evenly distribute the ingredients.

Next, add your flaxseed egg, additional water, coconut oil and molasses to your dry ingredient and stir to combine.

3. For smaller cookies, scoop about 1.5 tbsp of cookie dough into your hand at a time and roll into dough balls. Place it down onto the baking tray and press it down gently into your desired cookie shape. For larger cookies, take around 2.5-3 tbsp of cookie dough into your hand and roll into a ball slightly smaller than a gold ball. Put it down onto the baking tray and press it flat until it  is roughly the size of your palm. Repeat for the remaining cookie dough and bake in the oven for roughly 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely before eating. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Vegetarian Laksa

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Laksa has always been a hit or miss for me.


Sometimes I loved it and other times the strong waft of sardines made me want to bolt in the other direction. More recently, I’ve started craving laksa again and since becoming mostly vegetarian a few months ago, the desire to bother with this shockingly bony fish has reached an all time low.

Anyhow, it was clear to me I needed to make a vegetarian laksa recipe. Well, it was clear to me that I needed vegetarian laksa in my belly ASAP…but since one kind of led to the other I knew I had my work cut out for me.

I tried to vegan-ise this curry laksa recipe but the spices alone just didn’t do it for me… Something was missing. So I settled for “vegetarian” and used fish sauce and lime juice to deepen the range of flavours and to impart an umami that I found there to be lacking without it.

Yes, yes, fish sauce is a feared ingredient because of it’s pungent smell but if you see past the waft of stinky fish, it is always well worth it (especially in Thai curries – yes please)! Contrary to the smell, fish sauce doesn’t taste fishy in the finished dish because its generally used in relatively small amounts. So, peg your nose with a clothes peg if you have to because fish sauce is the key to some pretty rocking flavours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I used a mortar and pestle to pound my spices because I love how it makes me feel in touch with the traditional way of making food. Sure, it takes a ton of patience and a decent forearm… and yes, I’m not impartial to the convenience of a food processor myself…but there’s just something so ritualistic about pounding your spices by hand. The fact that my mortar and pestle was made of stone was just a happy coincidence adding to the primal-feel of it all. Maybe it’s the hard work that goes into the pounding that makes the finished product even more rewarding to eat?

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P.s. Did I mention that my wonderful mother grows lemongrass in her backyard? Yes, lemongrass. Loads and loads of lemongrass.  When I found out, I literally squealed with excitement and made a bee line straight for the plant with my DSLR in tow… and behold, the lemongrass plant/bush/goldmine/stash!

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It may not look like much but the picture to the right shows over 20 sticks of lemongrass just waiting to be harvested! Needless to say, I was overjoyed. Guess that means I’ll be cooking Thai food and lemongrass dishes for the next month – Yessssss!
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A little toasting of the spice paste and a little simmer of a stock later, and we have ourselves a very fragrant and tasty finished product!

I topped my plate with some freshly made chickpea tofu (recipe to come), sweet potato, cabbage, fresh mint and coriander leaves, and a cut of lime. The laksa broth itself was quite mild in terms of chilli but word to the wise – don’t top yours with extra chilli like I did unless you know you can handle it! My mouth was absolutely, positively, on fire.

Happy eating, guys! :)
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Vegetarian Laksa

Serves 2.  Time: 30 mins

Ingredients

A thumb size piece of ginger

2 cloves of garlic

3 shallots (or 1/2 red onion)

1 stalk of lemongrass, chopped finely

1 small red chilli, deseeded

4 coriander roots, washed well

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tbsp vegetable oil

750ml Vegetable stock

2 tsp fish sauce

Juice of 1/2 a lime

5 kaffir lime leaves

200ml coconut milk

1/2 a carrot, sliced thinly

1/4 a block of firm tofu, cut into strips *

YOUR CHOICE OF VEGETABLES

Beansprouts, purple cabbage, bokchoy, Chinese cabbage… They all go nicely in this dish but just use anything you have on hand! I used sweet potato, balled using a melon baller, and some purple cabbage.

 

GARNISHES

The remaining 1/2 a lime, cut into wedges

A few coriander leaves and/or mint leaves

Optional: extra chilli, to garnish

 

 

* Instead of using firm tofu, you could use a packet of fried tofu (more authentic), cut into halves. Blot the extra oil off them with paper towels before adding them to your soup.

 

Steps

  1. Finely chop the ginger, garlic, shallots, lemongrass (chop the lemongrass as finely as you can or it may be woody), chilli and coriander root. Save the coriander roots for the stock.

Starting with the the lemongrass and ginger, pound in a mortar and pestle until it begins to resemble paste. Then add in the garlic, shallots, chilli, coriander roots, and ground coriander and cumin to the mortar and pestle and continue to pound into a paste. This will take approximately 10-15 minutes. Alternatively, you can just blitz all your spices and aromatics in a food processor.

Add a tablespoon of oil to your soup pot over medium heat and fry off your spice paste for a minute or so, until fragrant.

2. Add stock and coconut milk to the spice paste. Now, use the back of your knife or your pestle to lightly bash your kaffir lime leaves to help release the oils within the leaves. Add the kaffir lime leaves, coriander stalks (reserved from earlier) and sliced carrot to the stock and continue simmering uncovered for an additional 15 minutes. At this point, you may taste your broth for seasoning, adding more lime juice for acidity or fish sauce for saltiness if needed. Remove the kaffir lime leaves and the long pieces of coriander stalk. Gently lower the tofu into the stock and let come up to temperature. Depending on what vegetables you use, you may cook them in the stock with the carrots or with the tofu – depending on how long they take to cook.

3. Rehydrate your rice noodles as per packet instructions and divide into your serving bowls. Remove the tofu from the soup and place them on top of your noodles along the vegetables of your choice. Ladle the stock over your noodles and vegetables. Serve with wedges of lime, a few leaves of coriander and mint, and some extra chilli if you wish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 
 
 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
 


The 30-second Beetroot & Roast Almond Dip

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What?! Food in just three minutes? 

Oh yes, it can be done.

This beetroot and roast almond dip has been a recurring snack for the last year in our household and for good reason: the hardest part of making it is opening a can of beetroot. That, and wiping remnants of dip from the side of your mouth because this dip is hella delicious.

This dip is many things but the words nutty, tangy and not boring instantly come to mind. I do like mine chunky with a little texture to it but if you do like your dip smooth, just keep your food processor running for a couple of minutes extra and hellooooooo smooth dip.

P.s. This dip is also a lot lower in calories/kilojoules than a lot of other dips thanks to its beetroot content (thank goodness since dip can be so addictive). Guys -we’re winning on all fronts here! Bon appetite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Beetroot & Roast Almond Dip

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 3 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

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You’re going to need roast almonds for this recipe so if you don’t have any, go ahead an pop some almonds into an oven until nice and toasted. I also used canned beetroot in this recipe because it’s convenient and I like the tanginess of canned beetroot! However, if canned beetroot gives you nightmares you could always use around 650 grams of cooked beetroot and use a squeeze lemon juice instead.

This dip is versatile, while it goes well with the usual suspects of crackers and/or carrot and celery sticks, it is also excellent on toast with poached eggs or in a sandwich!

Ingredients
  • 1 large can (825g) of beetroot, drained
  • 1 cup of roasted almond
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
Steps
  1. Add all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until it’s your desired consistency. This will take anywhere from 30 seconds (for a more chunky dip) to 3 minutes (a smooth dip).

Avocado & Chocolate Brownies

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Having 3kgs of avocados at home just waiting to be eaten means that I have to come up with new and creative ways to eat them all before they spoil! As much as I love having smashed avocado on toast – which I don’t think I could ever get sick of since it is my absolute favourite – I’ve decided to venture into the chocolate and avocado domain. Cue this brownie recipe, which uses avocados in place of oil to keep it moist and fudgy.

I also used milk chocolate in this recipe as the brownie itself isn’t overwhelmingly sweet. However, feel free to use dark or white chocolate if you so please (or a mix of all three if you want a triple choc brownie). P.s. You can easily makes this recipe vegan-friendly by using vegan chocolate in place of regular chocolate.

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