Niki’s Salted Peanut Butter Cups

2015, Christmas, Healthy, nikibakes.co.uk, Super Quick, Sweet, Winter

salted peanut

Hey there lovely people!

Hope you are all enjoying the weekend as much as I am…my salted peanut butter cups will certainly add a spring to your step, you will not believe how super simple and addictive they are, seriously…they are rich in antioxidants from the raw cocoa powder and full of protein from the peanut butter…the sugar? Only maple syrup! Delicious and healthy…sound good to you? Thought i8t would. All you need is:

For the chocolate shell:
3 tablespoons of coconut oil
2 tablespoons of raw cocoa powder (no alternatives please)
2 tablespoons of maple syrup

For the delicious peanut butter filling:
2 tablespoons of unsalted natural peanut butter (organic is preferable)
1 tablespoon of coconut oil (melted)
Generous pinch of Himalayan salt
1 tablespoon of maple syrup

peanut

Simply melt the ingredients for your chocolate shell very gently and fill your cupcake cases (you will need cupcake liners-about 6 medium or 12 mini ones) ¼ of the way, spread to the sides a little with your teaspoon. Next, in a small bowl whisk up your peanut butter filling, making sure it is thoroughly combined; this will literally take 10 seconds. Fill up your mini moulds with approximately half a teaspoon of your peanut mixture if you are using mini cases or one teaspoon if you are using medium cases and simply top off gently with the remaining chocolate mixture. Pop it in the freezer for 10 (yes, 10!) minutes and eat right away! You will love them.

Happy Baking!

Niki x

Niki’s Warming Winter Salad

2015, Autumn, nikibakes.co.uk, Savoury, Super Quick, Winter

winterwarmernikibakes

Happy Sunday everyone!

Whether you are beating the crowds for your Christmas shopping or just relaxing at home, my warming winter salad is perfect to fill you up and leave you feeling amazing inside and out. With all the squashes we have around us what better way than to use them in a salad? I have used the red onion squash variety but of course you can use any kind you have to hand. Jerusalem artichokes are also a winner here which I have used, they are equally as delicious and bring a robust and almost mushroomy-like flavour to your salad. Sweet potatoes are also delish and provide those extra vitamins and minerals, sound good so far? Keep reading…

All you need is:

1/2 medium-sized squash, cut into cubes

3 sweet potatoes, cut into small cubes

3 Jerusalem artichokes…wait for it…also cut into cubes!

A decent handful of any salad leaves you have to hand

A handful of cherry tomatoes

1/2 of an avocado, cut into small cubes

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil

Seasoning and extra chilli flakes if desired

Simply heat your saucepan over medium high and toss your artichokes, squash and sweet potatoes in your oil, season well and cook until golden brown and crisp to the touch. Set aside and let it cool down whilst you arrange your salad in the way you wish and simply scatter your delicious and hearty root vegetable cubes on top, what could be easier?

Happy Baking!

Niki

 

Niki’s Raw Pecan Crumble Slices

2015, Healthy, nikibakes.co.uk, Sweet, Winter

PECANSniki

Hello everyone!
The weekend is nearly upon us and what better way to celebrate than whizzing up my fibre-rich and mineral packed (magnesium, copper, iron to name just a few) raw pecan crumble slices? They are decadent but believe me when I say, there is nothing but pure goodness in my slices. The incredible sweetness from the dates and maple syrup compliments the rich and buttery pecans in the most satisfying way. So have a quick read and see how simple it is to create these delicious beauties…
All you need is:
(Makes 8 slices)
For the crust and crumble topping:
1 cup of raw pecan nuts
4 dates, pitted (at room temperature)
1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil
Pinch of Himalayan salt
½ cup of ground almonds

For the filling:

¼ cup of raw cocoa powder (only raw please…we want those antioxidants!)
2 of melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons of maple syrup

Line your loaf baking tin with greaseproof paper and set aside. Prepare your crust and crumble topping by simply placing the pecans in your food processer and whizz a few times to break it down. Next, add in the dates, coconut oil, salt and ground almonds and process again until you start to see rough dough like pieces form. It should stick together when you press it between your fingers.
Press three quarters of this mixture into the base of your loaf tin and reserve the rest for the topping. Set this aside and prepare your chocolate filling. Whisk together the cocoa powder, coconut oil and maple syrup in a bowl until the mixture begins to thicken up. Pour into the loaf tin and sprinkle the remaining cup of crumble topping, gently pressing the topping down and place in the freezer for a couple of hours before serving. This treat is best served chilled in order to hold its texture and flavour and should be kept in the refrigerator after this. Please give this a go guys and remember, you’re eating nothing but goodness…and it tastes sublime too!

upclosepecan

Happy Baking!

Niki

Niki’s Butternut Squash and Ginger Soup

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

butternut`

Happy Sunday my lovely readers,

my warming soup is just the ticket for this evenings meal…relax and put your feet up whilst I tell you how easy my soup really is. All you need is 20 minutes…(I promise!) and:

1 butternut squash, roughly chopped,

1 tbp of ghee or coconut oil

1 thumb sized piece of ginger, finely chopped

himalayan salt and pepper, generous pinch of both

1 tsp of turmeric and ground coriander

Simply heat your deep pan over medium high and melt your desired oil. Next, pop in your buttenrut squash and ginger and toss for five minutes. Add your ground coriander, tumeric and seasoning and top it over with 2 cups of water. Leave until your squash has softened which should not take too long and then simply blitz!

Happy Baking guys!

Niki

 

 

 

 

Niki’s Swedish Meatballs

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

swedishupcose

Hej hej everyone!

Feeling the chill? As we are well into January, I wanted to share my most recent cooking adventure: Swedish Meatballs! They have such an interesting flavour as I used a typically Nordic herb to season the beef meatballs. Dill is so underrated which is a great shame as it brings a fresh flavour to any dish and cuts through the richness of any heavy dish.

Make sure you try this refreshing take on my Swedish Meatballs, made with a simple tomato base and lots of dill!

Happy Baking!

Niki

Niki’s Tarka Dhal

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

dhal3

 

Dhal. Easy. Speedy. Economical. And most of all…nutritious! Yes, my Dhal could not be simpler or healthier compared to traditional versions, I do hope you try this over the weekend, I am sure it will become a staple in your household.

All you need is:

  • 250g red lentils
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 red chillies, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh root ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp hot chilli powder (optional)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of poppy seeds

 

dhal2

 

Simply all you do is rinse your lentils thoroughly and place into a pan. Cover with water, enough to cover the lentils twice over in volume and add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer over a medium heat until the lentils become tender and the mixture has come together. Add seasoning and olive oil after 15 minutes and serve generously with some brown rice or crusty bread.

 

dhal

Happy Baking!

Niki

Niki’s Butternut Squash and Kale Salad

2015, Autumn, Christmas, Healthy, nikibakes.co.uk, Savoury, Super Quick, Winter

kalee

 

Howdy!

How are your new year’s resolutions coming along? That good! Wow, well done. Okay…so perhaps you are having some trouble with sticking to healthy eating habits or maybe you are losing some motivation/inspiration? Never fear because my seasonal and super quick salad is sure to leave you smiling and satisfied!

All you need is:

A large handful of kale, torn up roughly (I cannot praise this delicious vegetable enough!)
1/4 butternut squash, cubed and roasted lightly with seasoning
1 tsp of sesame seeds
small handful of cranberries
squeeze of lemon
1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil

Simply arrange on a large serving plate and enjoy straight away!

upclosekale

Please try this delicious salad; I know you will love it just as much as I do!

Happy Baking,

Niki

 

 

Niki’s Cashew-Kale Pesto

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

kale

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

kale3

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

tikkafull

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).

tikka1

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.

upclosetikka

Happy Holidays and Happy Baking!

Love Niki

Niki’s Artichoke Soup

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

arti

 

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.

arti3

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.

 

arti2

Happy Baking!

Niki