Niki’s Italian Dips

2016, Easter, Healthy, International, Savoury, Spring, Summer

dips

Buonasera!

Fancy a light aperitif? My trio of Italian inspired dips are sure to tickle your taste buds whilst giving you that healthy boost as well. Whilst walking around the streets of Milan in the evening I was pleasantly assaulted with the delicious aromas of small hot plates of food. From colourful rich dips to little cuts of salami, mortadella and of course bianco focaccia/pizza, these aperitifs were a true feast for the eyes. I would like to share my own version based on what saw out there and inject some Italian into your dips!
All you need for the three dips are:
For the basil infused houmous:

1 tablespoon of chopped basil
½ jar of cooked chickpeas, drained and washed
½ teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt and white pepper
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of tahini paste
1 small garlic clove, crushed
For the orange/red roasted pepper dip:

1 orange/red pepper, chargrilled and roasted
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped basil
½ jar of cooked chickpeas
½ teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt and Turkish red chilli flakes (optional)
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 small garlic clove, crushed

For the beetroot-thyme houmous:

1 small beetroot cooked and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of finely chopped thyme (dried is okay here too)
½ jar of cooked chickpeas, drained and washed
½ teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt and white pepper
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of tahini paste
1 small garlic clove, crushed
Simply blitz your chosen dip in a food processor on high pulses for about five minutes or so until ultra-smooth. These dips are best served chilled and last up to 5 days in the fridge.

Buenisimo!

Happy baking!

Niki

Niki’s Milanese Meatballs

2016, Healthy, International, Savoury, Spring

mila2

Bonjourno my lovely readers and welcome to my Italian week! 

I would like to start off my Italian week with my delicious and sumptuous Milanese meatballs. Upon my recent trip to Milan, I was truly taken aback by all the vibrant colours and alluring aromas of roasted garlic and basil wafting in the residential streets. Steaming hot pasta dishes glistening in top quality extra virgin olive oil to sweet and decadent dolce treats lining the cobbled streets of central Milan. One thing I was particularly taken with was all the delicious meat dishes and of course the meatballs. There are a million ways to create a meatball out there, I saw some stuffed with eggs, oozing mozzarella cheese and deep fried with breadcrumbs and herbs. Now of course, whilst it was amazing to see all of this I want to now show you my take on the classic meatball, Milanese style.

All you need is: 

500g of organic grass fed beef
1/2 teaspoon of Himalayan salt and cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon of chopped up basil
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander
I egg yolk
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup of water
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 extra tablespoon of basil, roughly geared up
1 teaspoon of tomato purée

 

Simply mix your beef with your seasoning, egg yolk, basil and 1 clove of garlic. Set aside for 30 minutes. Next, in a separate pan heat your oil and add in the other clove of garlic and heat gently with your tomato purée. After a couple of minutes, turn up the heat to a high flame and add in your chopped tomatoes, stir well. Then, shape your meatballs into small sized balls using a teaspoon to measure them out equally. Pop them into your tomato sauce and lower the heat. Simmer your dish for 20 minutes and just before you’re ready to serve, garnish with your basil. 

Buonissimo! 

Happy Baking! 

Niki 

Niki’s Turkey and Tarragon Bolognese

2016, Healthy, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Savoury, Spring, Winter

turkeytarragon

Bonjourno!

Fancy a little shake up to your classic beef Bolognese. How about something a little lighter but just as tasty? I have recently discovered a delicious paring: tarragon and turkey. It’s so refreshing and uplifting in flavour. The sauce could not be more straightforward and the main thing to remember here is to please use fresh tarragon.

All you need is:
3 tablespoons of chopped tarragon
400g of organic turkey mince
1 teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt and cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1 red onion, diced finely
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tomatoes, chopped roughly
1 teaspoon of tomato puree
2 tablespoons of avocado oil
1 cup of water
Heat your oil in a medium pan and throw in your onions and garlic, stir for a couple of minutes until softened. Add in your minced turkey and seasoning and brown for 5-10 minutes, grounding the meat with your spatula or wooden spoon. Toss in half of your chopped tarragon and turn the heat down. Next, add in your tomato puree and chopped tomatoes and toss for a further 5-10 minutes. Lastly, add your water and bring to the boil, simmer your Bolognese for 20 minutes and then serve hot with some steamed vegetables. Bellissima!

Happy Baking!

Niki

Niki’s Rainbow Sushi

2016, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Savoury

sushi

Hey guys!

To really kick off this sunday let’s inject some colour and fun with my rainbow sushi rolls. They are so straightforward, filling and quite enjoyable to make, its perfect to get your loved ones together as someone can chop the veggies whilst someone else cooks the rice and so on.

All you need is:
1 standard pack of Nori
1 sushi mat, wrapped in cling film
1 tablespoon of black sesame seeds
1 cup of white sushi rice
1 avocado, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
2 bell peppers, different colours, thinly sliced
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon of pickled ginger, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon of turmeric which has been mixed with ½ teaspoon of water to form a paste
3-4 tablespoons of beetroot juice
2 tablespoon of tamari, for dipping

For the rice:

1 tablespoon of rice vinegar
1 pinch of Himalayan sea salt
1 teaspoon of honey
1 tablespoon of avocado oil

Simply cook your rice according to the packet instructions and set aside to cool down. While you are waiting for your rice to cool down, prepare your veggies and make sure your sushi mat is covered in cling film and that you have as much space as you need in order to prep your sushi. Once your rice is completely cold, add in the rice vinegar, salt, honey and oil and mix together until well incorporated. As you roll your sushi you will see that you can really have some fun and create as many colour combinations as you like. After you have rolled and cut all your sushi rolls my favourite part has arrived: the colouring! All you have to do is sprinkle on the turmeric or beetroot juice on top of the rice (please use sparingly as it does colour the rice quickly!) and garnish with black and white sesame seeds. Serve with tamari and enjoy!

Happy Baking guys!

Niki

Niki’s Sweet Potato Katsu Curry

2016, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Savoury, Super Quick, Winter

sweetpotatokatsu

So it’s still quite chilly outside and with all this wind why not cosy up to my comforting and super easy sweet potato Katsu curry? It couldn’t be more straightforward guys, as long as you have curry powder there’s not much more to it. Best part? It is gluten free as well! Happy days indeed! All you need is:

1-2 tbsp ghee or avocado oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
5 whole garlic cloves, peeled
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp of polenta
2 tbsp medium curry powder
2 tbsp. of cornflour
500ml of water or vegetable stock
1 tbsp of soy sauce
2 bay leaves
1 free-range egg, beaten lightly
3-4 tbsp of coconut oil or ghee for shallow frying
2 medium sized sweet potatoes, sliced into ½ inch thick medallions
Japanese rice or the rice you have to hand, pickles and salad to serve

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a small pan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté gently for 2 minutes, then throw in the carrots and sweat slowly for a further 10 minutes with the lid on, giving the odd stir, until softened and starting to caramelise. Stir in the curry powder and cook for a minute. Slowly pour in the stock and cornflour until combined and whisk thoroughly whilst doing so. Next add in your soy sauce and bay leaves and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, so the sauce thickens but is still of pouring consistency.

While you are waiting for the sauce to thicken, simply dip your sweet potato medallions in the beaten egg and then dust with the polenta and season it as desired and fry on both sides on a medium heat…4 minutes on each side should do the trick but keep an eye on it as it can burn so very easily! You could also use chicken if you prefer, it is equally as delicious.

Happy Baking guys!
Niki

 

nikibakes: 7 days, 7 ways ecover

2016, Autumn, Breakfast, Christmas, Easter, Healthy, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Savoury, Spring, Super Quick, Sweet, Winter

nikibakes3DHey guys,

 

I am so thrilled to finally share the ecover for nikibakes: 7 days, 7 ways! Out on the 31st of Jan on amazon kindle…I hope to show you how you can eat optimally and be the best version of yourself. Join me on my food journey where you will see how easy it is to have healthy AND tasty food! – love Niki x

Niki’s Mexican Polenta and Griddled Veggies with Avocado Cream

2016, Healthy, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Savoury, Winter

polenta

Hey guys!

well with less that two weeks to go until the release of my ebook, I wanted to share a sneak peak of my Mexican Polenta and Griddled Veggies with Avocado Cream. This recipe will be featured as one of my 7 days, 7 ways plan…it is easy, tasty and oh so good for you. Find out exactly how you can make this lovely creation in less than 2 weeks!

Happy Baking!

Niki

Niki’s Chunky Guacamole

2015, Healthy, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Savoury, Super Quick

chunguac.

Hola hola!
Comfort and convenience is what we all crave this time of year, so why not whip up my chunky guacamole? It is creamy, tasty and packed full of vitamin e from the avocadoes. What’s more, this is a perfect dip for the festive season so it’s great if you have last minute guests, they will love the flavours and can enjoy it guilt-free. Read on:

All you need is:
½ a medium red onion, finely diced
1 tsp of fresh red chillies or dried chilli flakes
2 ripe avocados, mashed up roughly
1 small handful of fresh coriander, chopped finely
6 ripe tomatoes, chopped finely
the juice of one lime
a generous splash extra virgin olive oil
a pinch of Himalayan salt and cracked black pepper

Simply have your fork at hand and mash all the ingredients up, it couldn’t be simpler! I have served my chunky guacamole with purple sweet potato chips and some extra fine salsa but you can be as flexible as you like with your dip! Go ahead and enjoy it guys 

chunky

Happy Baking!

Niki

Niki’s Prawn Laksa

2015, Healthy, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Savoury, Super Quick, Winter

prawnsss

Let me take you to Asia with my Laksa…The creaminess of the coconut milk and the citrus notes from the lime and lemongrass are truly uplifting for the soul. My Laksa provides comfort without all the calories or bad fats that you may find in other Laksa dishes. Why not give it a go? It literally takes no more than 15 minutes. Read on…

All you need is:

300g of raw king prawns (please source as locally as you can)
250g of rice noodles or pad Thai noodles

For the Laksa paste:

1 can of coconut milk (standard 400g)
1 lemongrass stalk
2 garlic gloves
1 medium onion
2 tablespoons of turmeric
1 tablespoon of ginger
1 small handful of chives (for garnishing)
1 tablespoon of tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon of fish sauce (optional)
1 tablespoon of peanut butter (natural and unsalted please)
1 tablespoon of coconut oil

Simply blitz all of your Laksa paste ingredients until a smooth consistency forms. Heat up your deep wok and add your coconut milk, simmer gently and mix in your Laksa paste thoroughly, you may use a whisk if this would be helpful. After a couple of minutes your kitchen will be captivated with the smells of lemongrass and ginger, truly comforting. Finally, pop in your prawns and cook for a couple of minutes and once they are pink and cooked through, add your noodles and stir occasionally until softened and incorporated. Serve immediately and garnish with your chives…and enjoy!

Happy Baking!

Niki