Niki’s Rosemary and Red pepper Sauce with Polenta Dumplings

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

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Happy May everybody!

Let’s kick off this warm and lovely month with a meat-free Monday dish ready to make for the beautiful bank holiday. Guys, you know how much I truly adore polenta but I have now come to use it as one of the main staples of my evening dishes. With Summer just on the horizon, polenta is fantastic for those light evening meals. I just love its versatility, you really can eat it all year round, hot or cold and this includes my easy and addictive polenta dumplings.

Roasted red peppers make a lovely introduction here too as they not only contain high levels of vitamin c but give an almost fruity like flavour to the sauce, complementing perfectly with the smooth and creamy texture of the polenta. Rosemary just adds to the delicate aromas of the garlic and red chilli flakes (optional!) here and it contains anti-inflammatory properties also. So I want to share this lovely dish with you guys…it couldn’t be simpler, let me show you how to make this tasty and nutritious dish:

 

All you need to serve 2 is:

 

For the Rosemary and Red Pepper sauce:

 

2 red bell peppers, sliced into chunks

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped,

A handful of rosemary, chopped

2 tomatoes, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons of organic avocado oil (Olivado is great) or organic olive oil (Mr organic is perfect)

½ teaspoon of Himalayan salt and cracked black pepper

1/3 cup of water

 

For the Polenta Dumplings:

100g of polenta

½ teaspoon of chilli flakes (optional)

½ teaspoon of finely chopped rosemary

½ teaspoon of Himalayan salt and cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon of organic avocado oil (Olivado is great) or organic olive oil (Mr organic is perfect)

 

 

 

 

 

Make sure your oven is preheated to 200ºC or gas mark 6 and scatter your tomatoes, peppers, garlic and rosemary onto your baking sheet. Gloss with your choice of oil and season with salt and cracked black pepper to taste and roast for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, get your polenta cooked according to the packet instructions. Let it set for 15 minutes in a small pyrex dish whilst checking in with your roasted red peppers. Once 15 minutes has passed, heat your saucepan over a medium high heat and toss in all your roasted veggies and herbs and cook it down for a good 7-10 minutes. Pour in your water and cover your pan, let it simmer for around a further 10 minutes until a thick sauce comes together.

Whilst that is happening grab a teaspoon and scoop out little balls from your now set polenta mixture. Pop it on the baking sheet you already used for your roasted red peppers (less washing up- yay!), season and drizzle with olive oil, back into the oven it goes for 10 minutes until it becomes crispy and golden. Keep mixing your sauce now and again and check the seasoning while your dumplings are cooking.  You are now ready to dish up your sauce once it’s thickened up and top generously with your yummy polenta dumplings. Easy! Go on, give meat-free Monday a go today!

 

Happy Baking!

 

Niki

Recipe Creator

Niki’s Pink Hummus

2015, Healthy, nikibakes.co.uk, Spring, Super Quick

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Happy May my dear readers!

Beetroot. It has a beautiful earthy flavour which is not only stunning to look at, it is sweet and tender as well. There are many uses for this superfood to include a simply salad or eaten simply as a side dish OR in my wonderfully pink hummus! Couldn’t be easier or prettier to look at.
All you need is:

• 2 cans of chickpeas, drained and washed thoroughly
• 1 crushed garlic clove
• 4 tablespoons of olive oil
• 3 tablespoons lemon juice (or more as needed)
• 2 teaspoons Himalayan salt
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 1 large cooked beetroot, chopped roughly

Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Put the garlic clove, chickpeas 3 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, salt and cumin into a food processor and blitz to a knobbly purée.
Add the cooked beetroot and process again; if the hummus is still very thick add another 1–2 tablespoons of lemon juice and the same of oil. (This will often depend on the chickpeas, as different sorts make the hummus thicker or not.)
Taste for seasoning, adding more lemon juice and salt if you feel it needs it.

Please give this speedy and delicious dip a go!
Happy Baking!
Niki

Niki’s Peruvian Eggs

2015, Breakfast, Healthy, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Savoury, Spring, Summer, Super Quick

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Saludos!
Want a little Breakfast shake up? Then come with me to Peru! This mysterious country has amazed me in what it has to offer and this includes its culinary taste. With over 400 dishes to choose from, Peruvian cuisine is rich and diverse, ranging from all different types of potatoes and tomatoes to exotic spices such as Aji (hot peppers), muňa (mint) and Huacatay. There are also more accessible herbs that are commonly used such as ground coriander, oregano, basil to name just a few. This brings me to my Peruvian eggs. They pack a tasty punch and once you try this much loved dish, you’ll find yourself whipping this dish up for lunch and dinner!
To serve 2, all you need is:
• 3 eggs
• Pinch of ground cumin
• Pinch of sweet paprika
• Pinch of ground coriander
• A good pinch of Himalayan salt and ground black pepper
• ½ lime
• 1 tbs of avocado/olive oil
• 2-3 medium sized tomatoes or a handful of cherry tomatoes
• 1 green pepper, finely diced
• 1 small onion, finely diced
• 1tbs of coriander and chives, finely chopped

Simply heat your oil over a medium heat and lightly sweat off your onions, peppers and tomatoes. Season well and add your spices are 2-3 minutes. Once you see the tomatoes reducing down to a pulp-like consistency, add your eggs and immediately cover your pan. This is very important as your eggs will start to bake wonderfully and all the flavours will infuse better. After 1-2 minutes, serve immediately with a fresh salad or some tortillas…I love to break the yolk and watch it ooze out into the tomatoes…bliss!

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You will find that these simple yet key flavours really do marry together to create a wonderful dish. I do hope you enjoy it as much as I did…and still do!
Happy Baking!
Chau!
Niki

Niki’s Dark Chocolate and Coconut Bites

2015, Easter, Healthy, nikibakes.co.uk, Spring, Summer, Super Quick, Sweet

 

 

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Hi there!
With Easter just a few days away, I wanted to share a last minute sweet treat that is very simple to create but is far from simple when it comes to taste. The best part? It is gluten free, good for you and is hit with a double whammy of coconut! It is made with coconut flour and desiccated/shaved coconut! Just one bite and you will feel that you’re in the tropics! So light…so smooth in texture…let me show how easy it is!

Now first thing to mention is that coconut flour is lovely. Lovely and very different. So please do not be alarmed if you find it a little odd to cook with initially. Yes, it may not rise like traditional flour but it has this beautiful sandy like texture. It really is refreshing to use and will now use coconut flour from now on in all my baking adventures.

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So next time you fancy making your ordinary baked goods, please swap your flour for coconut flour, you won’t regret it!
Happy Baking!
Niki