Niki’s Cashew-Kale Pesto

Christmas, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Savoury, Super Quick, Winter

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Happy New year my wonderful readers!
I do hope you all had a great Christmas and hopefully an even better New Year. I know that 2015 will be out year! Parties. Parties. I know, at the moment everyone seems to be in the partying mood and although there is nothing wrong with that, it is so easy to slip into bad eating habits. You think to yourself it’s okay to have a nibble here or there or perhaps just an extra glass of wine. Well, it’s so difficult to say no, especially when everyone else is joining in, but hopefully my Kale-Cashew Pesto will lift your spirits and give you that excellent healthy boost for the festivities that lie ahead.
All you need for my super simple pesto is:
1 standard bag of Kale
1 handful of cashew nuts
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese (optional)
Full seasoning

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Simply blitz in a food processor and your super speedy pesto is ready to go with your regular pasta (I go for gluten-free) or some crusty brown bread.
Enjoy my readers and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Niki x

Niki’s Chicken Tikka

Christmas, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Savoury, Winter

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Hello lovely readers, how are we all doing?

Wow. One week. One week until the big day is here, I genuinely believe that as I grow older, I appreciate the holidays that little bit more. It’s not what’s under the tree that matter but rather, who surrounds it. And good food. Food of all cultures grace my table over the holidays simply because I have an eclectic taste and believe that Christmas is a time to really indulge in a variety of delicious food. My chicken Tikka is truly irresistible, I generally have it on boxing day along with all my leftovers. It couldn’t be simpler to prepare and cook. Read on…

I strongly advise you to invest in some good Asian spices before attempting this dish simply because curries are taken to the next level by their aroma and spice. Please don’t use any shortcuts and instead make sure you have some poppy seeds, cumin seeds, garam masala, turmeric and seasoning. I use these as a good solid foundation for my tikka paste but I enhance the sauce by including saffron and some ghee (yes, a little amount is fine to use).

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Furthermore, I use chicken tenders as oppose to any other part of the chicken because it is soft and has more flavour in my opinion. Of course, chicken thighs are also a good alternative as the bones add some unique delicious flavour. As for the vegetables I use mushrooms, bell peppers and peas as staples but in addition to this I am also very generous with my ginger and garlic.

My dear readers, I would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas. I sincerely hope it is spent in good company with great food, lots of laughter and most of all, love.

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Happy Holidays and Happy Baking!

Love Niki

Niki’s Artichoke Soup

Christmas, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Savoury, Super Quick, Winter

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Happy Friday everyone!

As the festivities are nearly upon us I wanted to share with you a vegetable that I have recently started using: Artichoke. At first I was feeling uneasy about using artichokes as they seemed hard to prepare and generally cook but I can safely say that this is certainly not the case. It has such a lovely savoury flavour and is super easy to prepare once you have a sharp knife and a few minutes to spare. And yes, please do take out the ‘choke’ in the heart of this mighty green vegetable as I did learn the hard way, it tastes like hell.

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My artichoke soup is deliciously robust in flavour and a real winter warmer treat. You can add cooked chicken breast for extra depth or you can just simply as some leeks, celery, potatoes and the herbs you wish to the base. Versatile, healthy and oh so tasty, this soup is well worth a go.

 

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Happy Baking!

Niki

Niki’s Saffron Rice

Christmas, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Savoury, Super Quick, Winter

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Happy Sunday dear readers!

I hope you do get some time to yourself whilst you are all out there battling the crowds at this busy time. My Saffron rice is the perfect meal to come home to, not just for refueling but to keep you light and energized for this busy time!

I simply use turmeric and saffron to the cooking water whilst my rice is getting ready. Simple yet very effective…perfect for entertaining in the festive season!

Happy Baking!

Niki

Niki’s Bolognese

Christmas, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Savoury, Winter

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Hello my lovely readers!

December is almost upon us and I particularly love this month not just because of Christmas but because as a wise person once told me, it is a time to reflect. It is my Birthday month and of course as the year draws to an end it makes me think about what we all went through and what is to come. This all sounds a bit heavy doesn’t it? Well, why not ponder such thoughts with a plate of my Bolognese?

My sauce is so unbelievably quick and simple to create, even after you come home from work or picking up the kids. All you need is one onion, 200-400g of minced lamb, seasoning, handful of oyster mushrooms, passata (this is the key!) and some minced garlic. My ingredients are minimal but the flavour of this dish is far from simple or plain. It will compliment your tastebuds and have you smiling all evening. It’s light yet satisfying and more importantly, healthy!

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I do sincerely hope you try my sauce and pay homage to the wonderful Italians!

Ciao for now!

Nikis Carrot and Coriander soup

Autumn, Christmas, nikibakes.co.uk, Savoury, Super Quick, Winter

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Howdy all!
Perhaps you have already noticed…I have a bit of an obsession with soups! I love the versatility and array of flavours which can be produced along with the fact that the ones I make take no time at all. How do you create my delicious and fresh carrot and coriander soup? With five ingredients! Yes, you read that right…a handful of carrots (chopped up), a bunch of coriander (roughly chopped as it will all be blended anyway), 1 large onion (roughly chopped), seasoning and 1 leek. Simply, toss these in some olive oil over a medium heat for about ten minutes. Season and then cover with 2-3 cups of water. Bringing to the boil, blend and add your coriander. You will end up with a vibrant and delicious soup which you will be tempted to have for lunch and dinner! Yum yum!

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Happy Baking!
Niki