All posts filed under: Quick Meals

Spicy Pumpkin Parcels

What to do with left over pumpkin? Especially if you’ve bought a whole pumpkin like what I did, there is always going to be something left. Besides soups and throwing it in the oven, there are numerous creative recipes that can be made with this gourd. These spiced pumpkin parcels are the best example of this: once I baked them I threw a few of them straight into the freezer for those days when I really don’t feel like cooking anything. The pastry has a hint of turmeric powder in it just enough to compliment the flavour and colour of the spicy pumpkin filling. Another optional extra was that I placed two small spinach leaves at the base of the pie, for no other reason than I had some extra spinach lying around in the fridge! Once the parcels have been made they really take no time to bake in the oven and appear on your plate.                     Advertisements

Gluten Free: Pumpkin Falafels

For this recipe I used the Kabocha Squash for its sweet nutty flavour. I have always found falafel a little dry and so I thought the addition of squash to the recipe would give it a smoother texture. The last night I truly enjoyed a hot falafel wrap was during one of my trips around New York last year with a friend. I don’t normally eat from street vendors, but this one was surrounded by massive signs which read: “As recommended in the New York Times” as well as having an extended queue of customers, I took a risk. They were really nice and what I liked was the unexpected crunch of the coriander seeds. This falafel can be baked or fried, I chose to fry them slightly in shallow oil just to release some of the flavours from the spices and give it that crunchy texture. And then I finished baking them in the oven. Enjoy them with a nice fresh salad or in a wrap with your favourite dressing.  

Coquina Squash Gnocchi with Sage Butter

I have to admit, the first time I made Squash Gnocchi it was a bit of a failure. I didn’t stick to any recipe and simply went by my ‘feeling’. I ended up with Gnocchi which resembled mis-shaped dumplings that had lost their way. All the effort I had made in getting the fine groves into each of the pieces with my newly purchased gnocchi board were wasted because I failed to pay closer attention to the ratio of flour to pumpkin/ potato. With this recipe the dough cannot be very sticky, that was actually the hardest part of this dish, because I felt like I was forever adding flour to the mixture: I was afraid I would lose the bright orange colour of the pumpkin by diluting it further with flour. However when it came to rolling it out, I found that this time round the gnocchi pieces held their shape. I think it’s also because I laid them to rest for an hour before shaping and boiling. As it boiled, I found the bright zesty …

My Gourd Is Good!

I grew up eating only one variety of pumpkin: it had a hard green tortoise shell exterior with bright orange flesh. We moved just outside of London soon after I was born, but at least twice a week, we would be on the road to either Ridley or Brixton Market to buy our produce which they didn’t sell in our part of town. The markets were always a busy place, consumed with the strong smell of decaying raw fish, the booming reggae beats from the old record shop which thumped through my chest and the ever-present icon of the Rasta-man who sold sweet smoking incense from his stall at the entrance of the market. I loved going to market, because it was the one time I got to eat fresh beef patties from the bakery as we followed my parents around the stalls to buy our provision. We could never go to market and walk away without our Yam, Cassava, Dasheen…and piece of Pumpkin. A large yellow eclipse was often found hanging from a fish-hook suspended from …

P is for: Pistachio Pesto

I snack on a bag of nuts about once a week, normally roasted or raw almonds. That was until I came across these healthy snack bars that combined flax with hemp and sunflower seeds and honey to make a crunchy nutritious snack to satisfy my midday cravings for something sweet. And of course after a few bites my mind started wandering as to how to make my own nut/seed bars and what kind of variations I could come up with: peanut bar? coconut bar? And then bizarrely a contradictory thought came to mind: “Can I be bothered?” I know it doesn’t make sense given the whole drive behind this website, but really this was one wheel I didn’t feel the need to reinvent. That was a sure reminder that my goal is not to cook anything and everything in sight LOL. But as my mind laid to rest the thought of creating nut bars…the thought of creating dishes incorporating nuts was coming into view…and was slowly edging closer to me like a freight train. And …

Crispy Cornbread Waffles

When I was growing up, we had a large, cold, cupboard where we used to store dried peas, flour and rice, as these were stables in most of our cooking. Sometimes my mum would call me out of my day dreaming and ask me to go and fetch her the jar of Cornmeal which was stored in a large glass jar in this cupboard. In most cases it was to make cornmeal porridge which she’d mix with warm spices, a bay leaf and split with fresh milk for breakfast at the weekend. Oftentimes it formed cornmeal dumplings to add to the soup we traditionally shared as a family of six on Friday’s. Nowadays I use cornmeal for a variety of things: sometimes to add a crunchy texture to homemade burgers or breads. I also absolutely love it in Coo-coo (a dish I have yet to share on the blog…in time); as well as to make straight forward cornbread. Cornmeal flour comes in many textures, I tend to use the fine texture which still has a grittiness …

Mushroom Biriyani

  This recipe is really easy to prepare and cook, and its amazingly versatile: the mushrooms can be substituted for mixed vegetables if you wish. Each stage of the rice dish is injecting a different flavour into the rice. I actually prefer to cook the rice separately and then stir it into the sautéed seasoning, however I have detailed the traditional version below. I  would also recommend serving this with the Tarka Dhal which is coming up in this blog. Copyright © Ranette Prime and Love Loretta’s Kitchen, 2014. All rights reserved.

Salmon Kebab Sticks

Here marks the end of the stick it in the oven with a drizzle of lemon and pepper Salmon fillets. No more, and I mean it.  I have no problem with grilled Salmon any day of the week, especially if you want something quick after a long day that still tastes pretty decent with a simple side of potatoes or vegetables. I bought some salmon earlier at the weekend and seriously that was all I had in mind; but as with life, we all need a transformation of some kind and so as I walked through the dreary aisles of Morrison’s Superstore I almost shouted:  “What about the salmon?!” So this post is dedicated to the beloved Salmon which has served us tirelessly and has been crying out for a make-over greater than being chunked, diced or smoked. He wants more out of life. This recipe should take you no more than an hour. I took my time with this one only because I find cooking very therapeutic, but I’m sure it can be achieved in much …

Spring Salad Series: Kale & Avocado

If you are anything like me, then you will understand when I say that I have not always been a great big fan of Kale. Kale is like the adult equivalent of my childhood trauma with spinach: I thought I had overcome the beast of eating greens and grown up, until I met big daddy Kale in the vegetable aisle. At first I added it to smoothies and diced in chunks of pineapple and mango to disguise its taste and texture. And it worked for the most part. Having said that I actually prefer Kale slightly stir fried in the same way I would other stir fry vegetables, maybe the heat softens its coarse texture. But then came the challenge of Kale fully raw. This salad does the trick, I think the key is not chopping it too finely and also combining it with strong flavours, here I have used balsamic vinegar. You can also dress it with my vegan ranch dressing too! Kale is low in calories and high in fiber and has zero …

A Tale of Four Juices

Now and again I go on a crazy health trip where I banish all refined foods and live off fruit and vegetables. A couple of friends and I committed to this very venture just over a year ago. We picked the 21 day Daniel Fast which is based on the Biblical story of a man named Daniel a young intelligent guy who served in the Palace of the King of Babylon. He had committed to only eating fruits, vegetables and water for 10 days. At the end of the 10 days it is said that Daniel and his friends looked healthier and performed better than his peers who stuck to the rich food served to them from the royal palace kitchen. I am not a victim of eating rich food, just cheap food and plenty of it. The struggle we had was with planning what to eat when so much of our daily stables had been cut out (no eggs, no diary, no bread with yeast, no meat, no sugar). That’s when juices came to …

Cardamom Pistachio Pancakes

It was Shrove Tuesday a few days ago or Pancake Day to the rest of us which meant a floury of crepes and pancakes came flooding into the office for us to consume. I was curious to notice that my Boss hadn’t taken any of the crepes that had been brought in and so I inquired as to her withdrawal from the sweet treats. “I don’t like those kind of pancakes” she said, “I prefer the thick American style ones” to which we all nodded in agreement. “But they’re made from the same ingredients?” piped in another colleague of mine helping himself to the strawberries on the table. To some extent he is right, the only difference is the water content, classic pancakes have a bit more water so tend to be lighter and less dense. These pancakes below adapted from a Lebanese blog by Bethany Kehdy are nice and dense and as suggested can be made lighter with a little more water.

Pumpkin Rice

This rich and creamy pumpkin rice was inspired by Chris De La Rosa of Caribbean Pot – big shout out to Chris for creating this dish and for being my inspiration behind this blog! (this is the first time he is hearing this). Pumpkin has to be one of my favourite vegetables, it is so versatile as you will see from many other recipes I have created. Your going to see it crop up a few more times on my food journey in the form of soups and pies and maybe fritters. Interestingly enough pumpkin rice wasn’t a dish made in my household from what I can recall, unlike many other forms of ‘cook-up rices’ that I have enjoyed. Stuffing it into grilled sweet peppers simply intensifies the colour and texture if anything else. I enjoyed this dish on its own, but I think it could go well with any fish or meat dish of your choice.