Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Spinach Fritters

Firstly, I’d like to say I hope you all had a lovely holiday season! I had a very relaxing three weeks off work where I ventured off to New Zealand for the first time and fell in love with the exquisite landscapes and sense of adventure. Now it’s back to work, routine and most importantly, cooking!

It has been a little while since I’ve shared a recipe and this tends to happen when I get really comfortable with things I have already shared so I end up making mostly the same types of meals. Alas, new year and time for something different!

As usual, I was really keen to leverage on ingredients I had at home with only minimal additional purchases required. I go through phases where I enjoy eating certain types of food and then go off them for a while and in this instance, it’s quinoa. I had half a packet of perfectly good quinoa ready to go but wasn’t feeling a salad or adding it to my granola so went with this recipe today!

For any type of patty or fritter (if you want to keep it vego), potato works as the glue to keep it all together so I used sweet potato to give it some solid flavour!

This recipe is will take approximately 30 minutes as the sweet potato and quinoa require cooking first before making the patties.

Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Spinach Fritters (yields 6)

What you’re going to need

1 medium sized sweet potato (mine weight approximately 600 grams), roughly chopped into small pieces

1-1 1/2 cups quinoa, cook according to packet instructions

generous handful baby spinach

zest of 1 lemon

1 clove garlic, crushed

salt and pepper to season

olive oil for baking

Method

  1. Bake the sweet potato at 200 degrees Celcius on a lined tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle of salt. At the same time, cook quinoa according to packet instructions. Both of these should take 20 minutes.
  2. In a food processor, add all the ingredients. Pulse blend on medium until well combined but not too smooth. (You don’t want a paste, more of a chunky mixture that can be moulded in your hands)
  3. Using gloves or clean hands, grab a handful of mixture and shape into a ball then flatten with your palm until approximately 1cm thick. Repeat until all mixture has been used.
  4. In a non stick/lightly oiled fry pan that is on a medium heat, add the patties and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. (Note: the mixture is already cooked, this is mainly to add the crispy outside)
  5. Serve with sweet chilli sauce or a simple yoghurt sauce*

Sweet Potato Quinoa and Spinach Fritters


*Simple yoghurt sauce

What you’re going to need

2 heaped tablespoons Natural Yoghurt

juice from ~1/2 a lemon

sea salt

pinch mixed herbs

extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. In a small bowl, add all ingredients at desired quantities. Serve cold.

Aquafaba Chocolate Mousse

So aquafaba (chickpea water) desserts have been all over my Instagram and Facebook feed for a little while now. Since I always have a tin of chickpeas in my pantry, I figured I’d give this a go. I was definitely a bit of a sceptic at first that’s for sure. However as I began to whip the aquafaba like I would eggs, it was coming together exactly as it should. Weird huh? I don’t have an intolerance to eggs so this was a curiosity challenge more than anything. With melted chocolate folded through, these turned out to be quite a tasty afternoon dessert.

This recipe definitely gives you the light and airy feel of a mousse with a subtle chocolate flavour. If you are looking to be more nifty with your food leftovers and are keen for an experiment, I reckon you should try this out. Or, if you happen to have an egg allergy or are a vegan well then this is perfect!

Aquafaba Chocolate Mousse

What you’re going to need

1 tin chickpeas, draining the liquid into a medium sized bowl (save chickpeas for Hummus )

1 block 70% dark chocolate (100g if using Lindt)

2-3 tablespoons castor sugar (adjust to taste)

Method

  1. Using a hand mixer, beat the aquafaba and sugar until stiff peaks form (ideally you can lift the mixer out of the bowl and you will have mixture all over the blades). This will take at least 10-15 minutes.
  2. Melt chocolate using your preferred method. (I like the bowl over water approach on the stove top. It’s quick and works every time).
  3. Once completely melted, pour into the aerated aquafaba and fold through with a spatula. Keep folding until all mixture is even.
  4. Spoon mixture into small ramekins.
  5. Leave to set in the fridge for 4 hours. Serve fresh out of the fridge with grated chocolate on top.

 

Chocolate Mousse

Homemade “Cocoa Pops”

Cocoa pops have been a childhood favourite for years. However they have been banned from my house since I was about eight years old! Recently, I haven’t really been the biggest fan of cereal but I figure that I may as well create one of my old faves with the abundance of puffed rice I had around the house today (which is super cheap by the way, only about $3 a bag).

So commenced the experimentation of making these tasty treats. I followed the same kind of approach as I would with making a baked granola just without the nuts. Super easy and simple with only 4 ingredients which are all conveniently gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. I reckon that these matched up with vanilla unsweetened almond milk are a match made in heaven so be sure to try that.

Homemade “Cocoa Pops”

What you’re going to need

3-4 cups of puffed rice

2 tablespoons organic cacao powder

1/4 cup maple syrup

pinch sea salt

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 140 degrees Celcius.
  2. In a large bowl, add the puffed rice, cacao powder and salt and stir until well combined
  3. Add the maple syrup and stir through until it all comes together and the mixture is wet. (if there are parts that are dry and you bake it, it will not taste great…)
  4. Place on a lined baking tray and bake for 20-30 minutes on a low shelf in your oven.
  5. Leave out to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

cocoa-pops

In other news, I am lucky to be the host of this month’s Growing Edge blogging community event themed “Festive Feeds”. If you would to share your creations, please submit your post via the following link: Festive Feeds Submission. Looking forward to seeing all the wonderful festive inspired creations for both the summer and also from my friends in the Northern Hemisphere. I will be sharing a compilation of all the submissions in early January. Merry December everyone!

Dark Chocolate Bark

For probably one of the first times ever, we had pistachios in our house. Oh so many ideas were coming to mind for what to do with them! Desserts, crusts, breakfast toppers or just on their own because they’re glorious. I had a bunch of 85% dark chocolate which I wanted to muck around with and make something tasty. So that’s what I did on this quiet and relaxing Sunday afternoon.

In addition, I have recently been introduced to a new blogging community “Our Growing Edge”. The concept is to bring together fellow foodies and to share our creations and inspire us to create something new. This month’s theme is “Allergy Friendly Recipes” and is hosted by Joana from My Gut Feeling.

So some fast facts, my recipe is dairy free because 85% chocolate. Enough said. Also conveniently gluten and egg free for anyone worried about those too!

This recipe is oh so easy. The longest part of it is melting the chocolate! Honestly, quick, convenient and you will be able to consume it within half an hour of you making it (just to make extra sure that the chocolate has completely set!) Okay let’s get to it.

Dark Chocolate Bark

What you’re going to need

50 grams > 70% dark chocolate (if 85% is too bitter for you, feel free to use 70% instead to still get it dairy free)

small handful pistachios, shells removed and ready to go

small handful raspberries

pinch, cracked sea salt

Method

  1. Melt your chocolate using your preferred method. (Just please for your sake, do not get any water/moisture near the chocolate!!! Seized chocolate is the worst and just ruins your day so be careful.)
  2. In a lined shallow baking tin, pour melted chocolate and spread evenly. Once even, sprinkle and mix of the pistachios and raspberries ensuring they are embedded enough in the chocolate so that they won’t roll off!)
  3. Sprinkle with desired amount of sea salt.
  4. Freeze for up to 30 minutes or until chocolate has re set. Break pieces off and devour!

Dark Chocolate Bark

For more info about the “Our Growing Edge” community: Our Growing Edge

And to take a look at the host of this month’s Growing Edge theme: My Gut Feeling

our-growing-edge-badge

White Bean Dip

I did once say that if I had to eat one dip for the rest of my life it would be hummus. Rest assured, that is still the case. However, it is time to expand out of the range and play around with other ingredients to make some tasty, healthy meals for work lunch. I’m a big fan of meal prep and dip provides a perfect means for this as it can be made ahead and stored for a longer period of time in the fridge compared to other products. It also has the element of versatility where you can serve it with crackers, veggie sticks or as part of a salad or as an accompanying spread on sandwich. The options are endless.

To give this dip a bit  more body, I decided to add some fresh breadcrumbs. I have kept things simple, as always, but never compromising on flavour. If you want to give it a go, follow the recipe below!

White Bean Dip

What you’re going to need

1 can Cannellini beans, strained well

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 cup freshly made breadcrumbs (the staler the bread, the better)

1/2-1 clove garlic (to taste)

salt, to season

3-5 sprigs fresh thyme, stems removed

Method

  1. In a food processor/pulse blender, add all of the ingredients.
  2. Blend until a smooth consistency is established. Too easy!

Too easy!

White Bean Dip

 

Salted Caramel Bliss Balls

As much as I adore PB choc bliss balls, thought it was time to try something else! Whoever thought of bringing sweet and savoury flavours into one dish is a genius. I have taken that concept and put it into my bliss balls as they are fast becoming one of my favourite work snacks.

Bliss balls are super easy, jam packed full of deliciousness and will keep you full for your afternoon! These are dairy, gluten and refined sugar free!

Salted Caramel Bliss Balls (yielded 8 for me but will depend how big you roll them)

What you’re going to need

1 cup dates, chopped (soaked in boiling water for 15 minutes if not moist)

3/4 cup walnuts (soak in cold water for 30 minutes – optional)***

1/2 tablespoon rice malt syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

sprinkle cinnamon

cracked sea salt (to taste)

desiccated coconut for rolling

Method

  1. In a food processor, add of the ingredients except the coconut.
  2. Process until ingredients are well combined.
  3. On a plate, add a few spoons of desiccated coconut. Using gloves, a spoon or bare hands, roll the mixture into evenly sized bliss balls.
  4. Roll each ball through the coconut. Repeat until all the bliss ball mixture has been used.
  5. Store in the fridge/freezer and enjoy!

Salted Caramel Bliss Balls

*** The bliss balls will still turn out wonderfully without soaking the nuts prior to blending, but soaking them makes them so so creamy and perfect for these sweet treats!

Chocolate Muffins

I always get cravings for baked goods but I tend to avoid buying them from cafes and other places because I have no clue what’s in them. I also just love baking so baking something myself is much more satisfying. There was a bit of experimentation with these in getting the wet to dry ingredient ratio right. I feel pretty good about how they turned out!

So here we go, my chocolate muffins which I made dairy free because of bod and there’s no eggs either because we hadn’t done the groceries yet! Alas, subbed in apple sauce (random but great) to fill in for the eggs. Also mixed a bunch of dark chocolate through these for an extra chocolatey hit!

Chocolate Muffins (yields 6)

What you’re going to need

1 1/2 cups self raising flour

1/4 cup cacao powder

1/4 cup apple sauce

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup Nutellex (or any dairy free spread), melted

1/4 cup rice milk (or any other non dairy milk)

1/4 cup maple syrup

50 grams dairy free dark chocolate (70% and above), roughly chopped

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Grease a muffin tray with cooking spray.
  2. Sift the flour and cacao powder into a large bowl. Add all the other ingredients except the dark chocolate and mix well.
  3. Add in the chocolate and make sure it is evenly distributed through the mixture.
  4. Place even amounts in each muffin tin until all batter is used.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  6. Cool on a wire rack and then store in a container until they all disappear!

 

Chocolate Muffins