Monday 28 September 2015

Paneer Tikka Skewers paired with Yeni Raki - sponsored video

With the summer ending and Autumn is gradually creeping upon us, I feel I still want to savour the al fresco dining experience. With the rain it's impossible to light a barbecue and cook outside so what better way than to create the same barbecued food indoors on a griddle and pair it up with some delicious salads and awesome drinks such as Yeni Raki.

Yeni Raki is Turkey's world famous national drink. It has the most aromatic anise flavour made with distilling grapes and aniseed. It makes the meal perfect when paired with appetisers and grilled foods.

Yeni Raki invited three chefs, Andre Magalhaes, Barbara Massaad and Aydin Demir to create some dishes from Raki and Fish, a Mediterranean seafood Odyssey Book to go with the the Yeni Raki.
I was most inspired by the dishes, but being vegetarian they were not suitable for my diet and so I decided to create my very own vegetarian dish that could be paired with this amazing drink.
The succulent Paneer Tikka marinated in aromatic spices and griddled makes the perfect vegetarian option to go with the Yeni Reki. You can see the lovely recipe below.

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Paneer Tikka Skewers
Succulents chunks of paneer marinated in a rich spicy yoghurt sauce and griddled.
  • 240 g Block of paneer
  • Red Capsicum
  • Green Capsicum
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ginger paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Green chilli minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic paste
  • 4 tablespoons Natural yoghurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon Tikka masala paste
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Coriander
  • 1 small Red Onion
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon Olive oil
1. Cut the paneer into 2cm cubes, you should have at least 12 pieces of paneer (three for each skewer)2. Cut the capsicums into 1 inch pieces. You should have at least 12 pieces (three for each skewer)3. Peel the onion and cut into 1 inch pieces. You should have at least 12 pieces (three for each skewer)4. In a bowl add the yoghurt, chilli paste, ginger paste, garlic paste, salt, chilli powder, tikka masala paste and lemon juice and mix all the ingredients together.5.Add the chopped onions,capsicums and paneer into the marinade and toss together.Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in the fridge for 2 hours to marinade.6.After two hours take the bowl out of the fridge and thread the paneer, peppers and onions onto the skewers alternating them. Repeat for all four skewers. 7.Spray some oil onto a griddle and place 2 of the skewers onto the hot griddle. Cook the skewers until griddle lines appear approx 3-4 minutes after which turn then around and cook the second side. You can brush a little more marinade on top of the skewers to stop paneer drying out.8. Repeat for all remaining 2 skewers.9.Serve the Tikka masala Paneer skewers on a bed of lemon rice and garnished with fresh coriander
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 skewers

This post was sponsored by Yeni Raki, all opinions expressed in this post are my own and unbiased.

Monday 21 September 2015

Garlic Naan~Secret recipe club challenge 21st Sept 2015

This is my assignment with the Secret Recipe Club.The aim of the club is that you are allocated a blog from which you have to select a recipe and try it and blog about it. For the month of September my assigned blog is Picnic written by Nicole who is a neuroscience researcher and is a keen photographer. Looking through her log was fun and I really liked the garlic naan bread recipe which I have selected for the secret club challenge. The recipe turned out perfect.

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Garlic Naan Bread
Delicious, light and fluffy garlic and chilli flavoured naan bread

  • 3/4 cup Warm Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Dried active yeast
  • 2 teaspoons Sugar
  • 2 cups Flour plus 1 table extra for kneading
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons Natural yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Finely chopped green chilli
  • 1 tablespoon Butter
  • 2 stalks Fresh Coriander
1. In a large jug combine 1 teaspoon sugar, yeast and warm milk and leave to one side for yeast to activate.2. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a large bowl.Add the chopped garlic and and stir it through the flour.3.Add the yoghurt and oil to the activated yeast and mix together.4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the bowl a little at a time until the flour comes together. Once a soft dough is formed, transfer the dough to a floured tabletop and knead the dough.5. Place the dough in a bowl and oil it slightly.Cover the bowl with cling film and leave the dough to prove in a warm place for two hours.6. After two hours, remove the dough from the bowl and knead again. Divide the dough into 6 portions.7. Roll each portion into a long oblong shape naan.8. Place a large griddle or frying pan on the heat. Brush the underside of the naan with water and place it on the griddle. Cook the naan until small bubbles appear. Flip the naan over and cook the top side for 1-2 minutes. 9. Remove naan from pan and keep it wrapped in tea towel to keep it warm and soft and repeat process for remaining dough.10. Before serving drop a dollop of butter onto each naan bread and sprinkle with chopped chillies and chopped coriander.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6

Monday 14 September 2015

Go Organic for one week Challenge ~ My Meal plan

The month of September is Organic September and I have agreed to participate in the "Go Organic for one week Challenge" in association with Waitrose and Soil Association. In this challenge, each day I have been swapping one of my daily meals  for a meal created with organic ingredients.

I found a great selection of organic fruits and Vegetables in the Waitrose Duchy Organic Range together with some organic store cupboard stables such as oats, milk, rice and eggs.Weekdays are very rushed for me at I leave home most days by seven and don't return till 6.30 in the evening. I plan my meals so that they are quick and simple and ones I can prepare with minimal fuss and are healthy too. Breakfasts tend to be fresh fruits and yoghurt or smoothies on the go which I prepare and take with me if I am in a hurry.Lunches generally are salads or soups which I prepare and pack to take to work so that I can easily warm the soups up or eat salads in the summer. Dinners I prepare stirfries with plenty of vegetable, savory rice dishes that can be made very quickly and pies that I prepare in advance and can be cooked in the oven on the day. Being vegetarian fruits, vegetables, grain and lentils are my kitchen cupboard staples as are herbs and spices.

For my Go Organic challenge I did not have to make any specific changes to my daily food intake, I just  made sure that when I made my shopping list I purchased organic produce that could be used in my recipe plan and together with my basic store cupboard ingredients that I already had. The challenge was not difficult and I must admit that the fruits and vegetables did taste nicer than non organic or value ones that I have bought in the past. However the only drawback was that my shopping bill was a little more than I would normally spend as the organic produce was more expensive in comparison to non organic produce but definitely worth it for the taste.

My Organic shopping list:
Bananas, Raspberries, Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Honeydew Melon, Papaya, Lemon, Lime,Tomatoes,Couscous,Oats, Lettuce, Cucumber, Carrots, Bread Flour, Milk, Yoghurt, Feta Cheese, Olives, Onions, Peppers and Courgettes. Additional ingredients I used, I already had in my pantry.

Day 1- Breakfast
Breakfast Porridge made with Organic oats, Organic milk bananas and honey.

Day 2- Lunch
Organic tomatoes and basil soup made with organic tomatoes. I roasted the tomatoes in the oven with garlic, olive oil, basil leaves and oregano and then blended them to a puree before straining the tomatoes. I reheated the soup and seasoned it with salt and pepper.

Day 3- Breakfast
Organic Strawberry and honeydew melon smoothie with teaspoon of flax seeds .This was my breakfast smoothie on the go that I prepared by blending strawberries and melon with half a cup of water.No sweetner was necessary as the melon was very ripe and sweet.

Day 4- Dinner
Greek Salad made with Organic lettuce leaves, baby tomatoes,cucumber, carrots, red onion and Feta cheese all drizzled with a dash of olive oil, lemon juice and seasoned with oregano,freshly ground black pepper and salt. I served this with homemade Bread made from Organic flour and the left over Tomato and basil soup.

Day 5- Breakfast
Mixed Berries and Banana Smoothie made by blending organic mixed berries, teaspoon of chia seeds and banana in a blender.

Day 6-Dinner
Organic Couscous Salad, I made this by preparing the couscous in vegetable stock. I seasoned it with a pinch of turmeric, chilli flakes, salt, olive oil, lemon juice, black pepper and then I stirred in some cooked chickpeas, fresh coriander and fresh diced tomatoes.

Day 7- Breakfast
Fresh Fruit Salad made with Honeydew Melon, Papaya and Fresh Strawberries drizzled with lime juice and Honey.

I took part in this challenge in collaboration with Waitrose who sent me a shopping voucher for the ingredients.

Sunday 6 September 2015

Nergi Berry and White Chocolate Mousse

NERGI® is a fruit berry that is naturally sweet. It is 2-3 cm big and it resembles a baby kiwi but it has a smooth skin so it can be eaten without peeling it.  

The berry has been cultivated in France, Portugal, Italy and the Netherlands since 2013. It is available between the months of September-November when the berry is at its ripest stage and ready for picking.

The berries are packed with vitamins C and E, they are also very rich in minerals and fibre making them a super fruit. At only 52kcal per 100g they are low in calories and perfect for lunch boxes, snacking and for creating some mouth watering recipes with. 

There are many ways you can eat this tasty berry.You can get some recipe ideas using the berries here. NERGI® is not only deliciously tasty but it’s easy to transport too as it comes in small berry trays which hold approx 12-15 mini berries.

My first taste of NERGI® berry fruit left me seriously wowed. I loved the sweet juicy berry with a slight tartness. The berries are really refreshing and exude a very sweet aroma. 

I used my berries to make a Nergi berry and white chocolate mousse. The sweetness of the white chocolate mousse and the slight sharpness from the berry made the perfect combination making my dessert simply delectable.

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Nergi Berry and White Chocolate Mousse
Creamy white chocolate mousse with sweet tangy Nergi berries.
  • 15 Nergi Berries
  • 200g White Chocolate
  • 300ml Double Cream
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla essence
1.Break up the white chocolate into small pieces and place it in a large bowl.Add a third of the cream to the chocolate and place the bowl on a double boiler.2.Once the chocolate has melted in the cream, mix it together until its well combined with the cream and remove the bowl from the double boiler.3. Leave the chocolate mixture to cool until it reaches room temperature.4.Add the remaining cream and vanilla  to another bowl and whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks.5. Fold the whipped cream into the cooled chocolate mixture.6. Slice half the Nergi berries into small pieces and fold them into the chocolate mousse.7. Spoon the chocolate mousse into serving glasses and place the mousse into the fridge to set for 1 hour.8. Before serving, remove mousse from fridge and garnish with slices of Nergi Berries.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 servings

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