All posts filed under: Vegetarian

Moist Vegan Cornbread

  This recipe makes a really dense, crumbly vegan cornbread that is quite moist and really easy to make. What I love the most about this recipe is that it combines a bunch of nutritious ingredients without spoiling the traditional taste and texture you expect from cornbread. I first made this recipe at a friend’s house and was surprised at how quickly it baked in the oven; try to let it cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing and removing it from the dish, to avoid it crumbling too much. I thought I should leave you with some useful insights into the health benefits of some the ingredients 5 Facts About Coconut Oil: Very high in lauric acid (bacteria destroyer!) Rich in anti-oxidants (strengthen ability to fight disease and infection) Contains natural microbial and anti-bacterial agents Improves metabolism and prevents fatigue Improves cholesterol levels 5 Facts About Maple Syrup: Contains manganese and zinc (strengthens bones) Contains 54 different antioxidants Helps with inflammation 1/4 cup contains more calcium than the same amount of milk 1/4 cup contains more …

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.                    

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 …

Blueberry Scones

I was hunting around as I usually do, looking for something different to do with Blueberries. I normally throw them into smoothies, and I remember once making a blueberry drink for a friend’s dinner. And now come to think of it I also made a blueberry sauce to go with some quick pancakes when my Uncle came down to spend some time with us (you know those pancakes you make and they turn out so nice…but you can’t remember how you did it? It was one of those days).  Ok so I’ve kind of lost the argument: I have done a few things with Blueberries, but I have to say these scones excite me the most. Not only are they really quick and simple to make but extremely tasty!  To speed up the process, this can be made in a food mixer. Adapted from recipe by La Petite Brioche

A Bowl of Sunshine: Tarka Dal

I can still remember the sizzling sound the crushed garlic would make as it hit the tin roof of the small dutch pot my mother would use to temper. The almost charred bitter taste of the garlic is actually really pleasant here, this is the only dish where you can get away with it I think. Dal and rice was a family stable in my household growing up and so seeing this bowl of sunshine at least once a week always brightened up my day. Apparently there are at least 60 different kinds of dal, but I have traditionally grown up with the ‘yellow split pea’ as a base. In this recipe I have actually mixed it with the red lentil which cooks a lot quicker and doesn’t need soaking over night like the yellow split pea. I also didn’t completely mash up the yellow peas, you can still achieve the creamy texture this way. The ‘Tarka’ part refers to the a mix of spices fried in oil or ghee until sizzling and aromatic, and then …

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.

Authentic Brioche

Brioche can be enjoyed any day of the week. But it tastes so much better freshly baked on a Sunday morning. While the loaves were baking in the oven, their buttery scent has a way of drifting upstairs and filling the house with warmth. So nice! I wanted to bake this bread weeks ago but time wouldn’t allow me to do it. Brioche demands patience. People often ask me how do I find the time to cook/ bake ? The simply response is day and night: first thing in the morning, last thing at night. So for the Brioche and Jelly this is how I squeezed it in: I got home late Saturday evening and mixed the dough as it needs a good 7 hours or more to rest. Then I woke up early this morning after spending a few moments connecting with my Creator; and took the dough out the fridge for an hour for it to get to room temperature. I shaped the dough and then went to the park and did an …

Spring Salad Series: Courgette Spaghetti w/ Avocado Cream

  For the final instalment of the Spring Salad Series, I thought I should share with you one of the newest members to the salad group. I think we can safely say that the juicy tomato and cool cucumber have held this section up pretty well; they have taken us through some tough times and have survived many a drought, reinventing themselves to suit our new tastes (from the greek salad to the mexican salsa). But alas, the spotlight is growing dim on the celebrated duo, make room for the crunchy courgette! Courgette’s are hugely versatile especially when sliced with a Julienne peeler to make ‘spaghetti’. It really does resemble spaghetti firstly in its texture (when drizzled with lemon juice which I think helps loosen it up so it can twirl around your fork) and its ability to absorb all the flavours you throw at it. Here I have made an avocado mayo and tossed in some candied walnuts. You can experiment with all kinds of flavours: try making a tomato salsa to resemble spaghetti …

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 …

Supermalt Chocolate Muffins

Ever wondered how red velvet cake achieves its moist crumbly texture? It’s the addition of sour cream, a little well-known ingredient popular in cakes I tasted during my adventures in the Deep South of the United States (‘tasted’ is an understatement, I devoured them). The sour cream also helps intensify the rich taste and texture of these muffins. I loved the first sight of these cakes when I took them out of the oven: the crackled tops resembled mountain peaks the perfect base for the creamy frosting to sink into.  The addition of Supermalt really holds the cakes rich dark colour together, it’s not at all overly sweet or damp as you might expect: think of pouring a cool glass of Supermalt on a summer’s day, with bees buzzing past your ears as you sip the creamy froth oozing over the glass…you have the picture? Well that’s the intensity this cake has on not only your eyes but your tastes buds. Enjoy!

Guyana: Paratha Roti

Oil-roti, buss-up-shot, Dhal puri. Some of the names I have grown to associate with the iconic national dish of both Guyana and Trinidad. From the Street Vendor in San Fernando to the Blue Hut on Mount Irvine Beach in Tobago, Roti is enjoyed by everyone, everywhere. The hardest task I have found however was not in the consuming, but finding someone who could do it well (or as well as my Mother…as we would all say). And I’m sad to report that those places and people are very few and hard to find. Many make the mistake of preparing Roti much like chapatti or some other flat bread, which is fine to those who don’t know any better, but to those who can sniff a good Roti from a far off it won’t be enjoyed as well. The key to making a good Guyanese Paratha Roti is letting the dough rest adequately between each stage. The ratio of baking powder to flour is equally important. It’s also important that you use the right utensils. A Tawah (flat …

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 …

Oreooooo’s

This is the closet you will EVER come to making any chocolate cookie which tastes like an Oreo cookie. I will go as far as saying that if this cookie was in a fight with the all American Oreo, this cookie monster would take him out! They are monstrously huge I tell ya, of course you can always make them smaller, but I was so determined to find a cookie mould that resembled the Oreo shape and pattern, really didn’t mind and I heard no complaints at the office! These deep dark cookies are made with a peppermint centre another surprise I thought I could fling in there and it works very well. All credit for unlocking the secret recipe goes to Joanne Chang and her cook book ‘Flour‘. The good thing about this recipe is that the dough can be wrapped in cling film and refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month, so you don’t have to bake them all at the same time.

Sushi & Tofu

You might find it hard to believe, but I am not someone who is very adventurous when it comes to trying new foods: I like to stick to what I know. I’ve come a bit further down the line then where I was a few years a go. I never thought the day would come when I would actually enjoy snacking on cold rice which is essentially what I summed up sushi to be. I was first introduced to sushi whilst at university about 12 years ago. My housemate’s girlfriend at the time is Japanese and she would often prepare sushi at the weekend with him. She must have cornered me or something because I went from going in the kitchen to wash dishes to clapping down a ‘scrambled egg mayo’ sushi she had made. I wouldn’t say it was like fireworks in my mouth (sorry it does get better believe me), but my interest was peaked. The second occasion was probably another 10 years after that, this time it was salmon. But again the …

Supermalt Banana Fritters

This is an original creation of mine which I am so excited to share with you! Don’t let the deep-frying put you off, this is an occasional irresistible, seriously addictive dessert which is best served hot and crispy with vanilla ice cream. I can’t say I am a huge fan of Supermalt, but I do get a thirst for it with certain meals. Fans of Supermalt, when you make this dish, tell me if you can taste the drink in the batter? Not being a malt novice, in my mind Supermalt gives the batter its colour and the crispy light texture. It also makes an incredible caramel sauce which detailed below. One thing to remember, make sure the bananas you use are not overly ripe, the firmer the better with no dark spots – they need to take some intense heat while frying!

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.