Black Quinoa Loaf with Lentils, Sundried Tomatoes and Cashews

Monday, February 23, 2015

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Black quinoa, green lentils, cashews and sundried tomatoes combined together to make a fabulously delicious and flavourful vegetarian loaf that your whole family will love. Gluten free, hearty, filling, and loaded with protein, fiber and you won't even miss the meat.

Black Quinoa Loaf with Lentils, Sundried Tomatoes and Cashews

adapted from Taste
  • 120 g Black quinoa
  • 80 g French green lentils
  • 1-2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 Long red chilli, finely chopped
  • 150 g Raw cashews, plus extra to serve
  • 1 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 120 g Carrot, coarsely grated
  • 70 g Sundried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped, plus extra to decorate
  • 1/2 cup Fresh herbs (parsley, savoury & coriander), finely chopped
  • 2 Large eggs
  • Yoghurt dressing and salad to serve
  1. Grease and line the base and two sides of a 25cm x 11cm loaf tin, allowing the paper to overhang on the two sides.
  2. Place the quinoa in a bowl, cover with cold water and set aside to soak for 15 minutes. Cook lentils in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 15 minutes. Drain the quinoa, then add to lentils and cook for 15 minutes or until the lentils and quinoa are tender. Rinse and drain and set aside. Preheat oven to 200C/400F.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, chilli and cashews and cook, stirring for 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes, or until the onion is tender.
  4. Place the lentils and quinoa in a large bowl. Add the onion mixture, grated carrot, sundried tomatoes, fresh herbs, eggs and season with salt and pepper. Mix well to combine and press into the loaf tin.
  5. Arrange extra sundried tomatoes and cashews on top and bake for 40-45 minutes, (covering if browning too quickly) or until golden firm. Leave to cool in the tin. Cut into slices and serve with some yoghurt dressing on a bed of salad.

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Beetroot Chia Seed Chiffon Cake

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

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Known for its light, moist, tender texture and rich flavour, chiffon cakes are so versatile and are always made with oil, not butter. It gets its height and airy texture from whipped egg whites. The cake needs to be turned upside down immediately upon removing it from the oven as this keeps the cake from shrinking and losing its volume as it cools. To dress it up, you can pour a beetroot glaze over the top or decorate with buttercream frosting. I like to dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar and it is great when served with fresh fruit and whipped cream.

On February 19, the Chinese New Year will be celebrated and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all happiness and prosperity in the coming year of the SHEEP.


Beetroot Chia Seed Chiffon Cake

inspired by Ann's Chiffon Cakes
Yolk BatterMeringue
  • 160 g Cake flour, sifted
  • 40 g Chia seeds
  • 160 ml Organic beetroot juice
  • 110 g Sunflower oil
  • 2 package NuNaturals White stevia powder
  • 6 Medium egg yolks, at room-temperature
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 60 g Fine white sugar
  • 5 package NuNaturals White stevia powder
  • 15 g Cornstarch
  • 6 Medium egg whites, at room-temperature
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice
  1. Sift the flour twice into a mixing bowl. Add in chia seeds. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 160C/320F.
  2. Beat beetroot juice, sunflower oil and NuStevia until well combined and emulsified. Add in flour mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in egg yolks and vanilla extract and stir until combined.
  3. Combine white sugar, NuNaturals and cornstarch in a bowl. Beat the egg whites and lemon juice on medium-high speed until frothy. Gradually add in sugar stevia mixture and beat until stiff and glossy.
  4. Fold 1/3 of meringue into the egg yolk batter to lighten it up, then fold in the remaining meringue and fold until well combined.
  5. Pour the batter into an ungreased 10-inch/25-cm tube pan and bake on the lowest oven rack for about 70 minutes until top springs back when lightly touched. Immediately invert baking pan and cool completely. Run a knife around sides and center tube of pan to remove the cake. Serve the cake with some whipped cream and fresh fruit if desired, or simply dust with some icing sugar.

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Amaranth Walnut Einkorn Cookies

Friday, February 13, 2015

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These healthy and nutritious whole grain cookies with walnuts and amaranth are easy to bring along and delicious to enjoy with a cup of tea. The trick with these cookies is to allow the dough to chill thoroughly and firm up, ideally overnight. If the dough balls become soft while you finish them with the walnut halves, chill the baking sheet with the cookies for 20 minutes before baking. Rolling them in amaranth seeds adds a wonderful crunch, but they are also delicious without.

Amaranth Walnut Einkorn Cookies

adapted from Epicurious
  • 120 g Walnuts, toasted and ground
  • 100 g Einkorn, ground into flour
  • 30 g Amaranth flour
  • 1/4 tsp Fine sea salt
  • 100 g Butter, softened
  • 0,4 g Pure stevia extract powder (or 120 g sugar)
  • 1 Large egg yolk
  • 1 tbsp Brandy
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 6 tbsp Amaranth seeds for rolling
  • 32 Toasted walnut halves
  1. Whisk together the ground toasted walnuts, ground einkorn, amaranth flour, and sea salt in a medium bowl.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter and pure stevia powder with an electric mixer at medium speed until fluffy and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes, scraping the sides with a rubber spatula as needed.
  3. Add the egg yolk, brandy, and vanilla extract and beat until well blended, about 30 seconds. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add in the walnut-flour mixture until it is just incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill until the dough is firm, at least 3 hours or overnight.
  4. Line 2 large baking trays with parchment paper. Place the amaranth seeds in a small bowl. Pinch off walnut-size pieces of the firm dough and roll them between your palms into smooth 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in amaranth seeds, gently pressing to adhere if needed, and place on the baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between pieces. Make an indentation with your thumb in the center of each ball, gently pressing it down about a third of its height, and then lightly press a walnut half into the center. Chill again for 20 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Bake, one tray at a time, until the cookies just turn golden brown around the edges and firm up but still yield to gentle pressure, 17 to 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully slide the parchment paper with the cookies onto a wire rack to cool. The cookies will crisp as they cool.

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Lemon Yoghurt Spelt Cake

Saturday, February 07, 2015

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This moist, tangy lemony spelt cake, adapted from Donna Hay, uses Greek yoghurt and sunflower oil rather than butter for a moist, soft, delicate crumb that just melts in your mouth, and to cut down on calories and sugar intake, a combination of applesauce and stevia works as a substitute. It is very easy, quick to mix and freezer friendly.

Lemon Icing
  • 300 g Refined spelt flour
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 180 ml Sunflower oil
  • 2 Eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp Finely grated lemon rind
  • 60 ml Lemon juice
  • 300 g Plain Greek-style thick yoghurt
  • 100 g Unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 g Pure stevia extract powder
  • 1 tbsp Savoury leaves
  • 160 g Icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp Boiling water
  1. Preheat oven to 160C/320F. Grease and flour a 25cm non-stick bundt pan. Whisk together the spelt flour and baking powder.
  2. Place oil, eggs, lemon rind, lemon juice, yoghurt, applesauce and stevia in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Sift over the flour mixture and stir until smooth.
  3. Pour the cake batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 50–55 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow the cake to stand in the pan for 5 minutes.
  4. To make the lemon icing, combine the icing sugar, lemon juice and boiling water. Carefully turn the cake out onto a cake stand and spoon over the icing while the cake is still warm. Sprinkle with savoury leaves and allow to set for 10 minutes before serving.

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Black Quinoa stuffed Bell Peppers

Monday, February 02, 2015

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A colourful and delicious recipe of stuffed sweet bell peppers with black quinoa, ricotta, tomatoes, golden raisins, sunflower seeds and cumin. The protein-rich quinoa makes a nice change from rice or meat-filled peppers and is a a wonderful option for those who can't eat gluten. It is perfect for an easy weeknight dinner and the leftover can be easily reheated in the microwave.

Black Quinoa stuffed Bell Peppers

adapted from taste
  • 130 g Black quinoa, well rinsed
  • 280 ml Water
  • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp Ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp Golden raisins
  • 2 tbsp Sunflower seeds, lightly toasted
  • 2 tbsp Roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 Vine ripened tomatoes, diced
  • 75 g Fresh ricotta cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 Large bell peppers, halved lengthwise, seeded
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Place the black quinoa in a medium saucepan with water, bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes or until just tender. Remove from heat, set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over a medium heat, spray with oil. Cook the chopped onion, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and cumin, cook for 1 minute more. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. Place onion mixture, black quinoa, golden raisins, sunflower seeds, parsley, tomato and ricotta in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Stuff the bell pepper halves with the quinoa mixture and place on a baking tray, cover tray with foil. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove foil, bake for a further 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and stuffing is golden.

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