Niki’s Chocolate Almond Fudge

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

almond fudcolor

lmlmlm
Happy Easter week everyone!
So this time of year Easter eggs of all varieties have graced the shelves and you know you it’s a little naughty but of course you’re tempted to buy…no I am by no means discouraging this as it’s all part of the fun but how about an equally satisfying sweet treat that will leave you feeling light and fulfilled? My chocolate almond fudge sweets are so so simple to make and even more delicious than you could ever imagine! It satisfies my sweet craving every time and the only worry I have is when I can make them next as they run out very quickly in my household!

How do you create these beauties? Simple. You only need 4 ingredients.
5 Tablespoons of almond butter
2 Tablespoons of coconut oil
1 Cup of pitted dates
2 Tablespoons of raw cocoa powder

spreadable

All you need to do is soften the dates over a medium heat in a little saucepan. Once they are all mushy and stuck together place to ne side to cool off. Next, in a food processor mix the coconut oil, almond butter and cocoa powder. Add your dates and then smooth this lovely mixture onto a normal sheet pan which has been lined with greaseproof paper. Freeze for two hours and then cut into your desired shape. These are healthy, yummy and really sweet. You may also add variations such as coconut or ground almonds. Please give them a shot!

cocnit

Happy Baking and have a great Easter my lovely readers!

fullview

Niki

Niki’s Pecan and Squash Salad

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

squash

Hey everyone!
Butternut Squash just keeps getting better and better in my eyes. I think it is a vegetable that is often overlooked and I am here to put a stop to that today. Yes, it can of course be used in a soup but when it is roasted, you can toss it through your couscous, as a standalone side dish and a delicious salad. I simply used the base salad leaves I had lying around in the fridge and some any nuts you have around really. I choose pecan because it has a wonderfully crunchy and dry texture. It works well with the soft and moistness of the squash. Do give it a go!

 

sqashhh

Happy Baking!
Niki

Niki’s Saffron Rice

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

riceupclose

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 Ramen

Autumn, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Savoury, Super Quick, Winter
ramenn

Niki’s Ramen nikibakescouk

Konnichiwa (こんにちは) my fellow readers and welcome to a new week!

So the days are getting shorter and those chilly nights are now upon us. How about a nice warm hug? Okay, well I can offer a hug but how about an all embracing toasty hug from the inside? My Ramen is super speedy yet packed with all the nutrients you need to keep you going through the day or equally delicious for dinner. The key here is versatility…

 

Traditionally, Ramen is a Japanese noodle soup that should consist of wheat noodles, soy sauce/miso and a fish or meat based broth with generous toppings such as sliced pork, green onions and even dried seaweed. Now, I did my own version based on what I had at hand but all means you can stick the traditional method. I simply cooked my speedy noodles and placed them in an already simmering pan of chicken stock and proceeded to swiftly add some shredded chicken, soy sauce, peas, red peppers, beansprouts and some minced garlic and ginger. I let the flavours all marry together for no more than ten minutes and served my dish with a generous garnish of spring onions and black and white sesame seeds.

FullSizeRender

I do hope you give this light yet satisfying dish a try, it lifts the spirits because you know it’s not only good for you but it is heating you up and making you feel all toasty inside and out. Who doesn’t want that?

 

Happy Baking!

Niki

 

 

Niki’s Baked Falafel

Autumn, International, nikibakes.co.uk, Savoury

falafel

As-salām ‘alaykum wonderful readers!

Come and let me whisk you away to the wondrously beautiful smells of a falafel. Warm…aromatic…crispy…tender…deep fried…hang on. Greasy?! Why? I totally appreciate that a traditional falafel is indeed deep fried and served in a wrap with a rich sauce but why can’t we make it healthy?
Here comes my spin on this truly delicious street food snack, it takes less time believe it or not and you are sure to get the same texture and flavour minus the calories and huge oil consumption. Love this right? I know you do. So let’s see what we need….
-1 cup dried chickpeas or 16 oz. can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans.
-1 large onion, chopped finely
-2 cloves of garlic, crushed
-1 teaspoon coriander and full seasoning with 2 tablespoons of flour
-1 teaspoon cumin
-1 egg, beaten
-Black and white sesame seeds
-Black or Green lives for garnish and a bunch of parsley, chopped

All you have to do is combine the chickpeas, garlic, onion, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper (to taste) in medium bowl. Add flour the flour and mash the chickpeas, ensuring to mix ingredients together. You can also combine ingredients in a food processor. You want the result to be a thick paste. Finally add your egg and shape into little patties and sprinkle with your sesame seeds.
Bake in a moderately hot oven until golden brown. I like to eat these warm but of course they are perfectly tasty hot or cold!

falafel up close

Happy Baking Folks!

Niki

Niki’s Mexican Rice

International, nikibakes.co.uk, Savoury

mexican

Hola! ¿Que onda??

yes my dear readers, let us head to the wonderful, colourful and passionate Mexico! Recently, my appreciation for Mexican cuisine has shot through the roof. Consisting of fresh produce and minimal cooking time, it is just tooo tasty to resist. My Mexican dish came about as a bit of an accident as I had some leftover rice and a few odd vegetables. I did some research and here we are now. My rice is not only super quick but it is the sort of dish you just want to keep on eating…forget portion control, we are in low calorie territory! I know you are all screaming for joy…so am I. How to cook? You know the drill….eyes open….

First of all I would like to mention that if you do not have any leftover rice, then by all means use fresh but please please try to use brown rice, it really does make all the difference here. In a separate pan, dry fry some whole cumin seeds (a quintessentially Mexican spice) with a scant teaspoon of chilli flakes. Next, add about 2 tbsp of sweetcorn, peas, cubed carrots and finely chopped red pepper and garlic. On a medium high heat swirl this around in the pan and season well. The next (and last!) step is to simply fold the delicious jewel like ingredients into your already warmed through rice. After two minutes, serve and enjoy immediately!!
Hablemos! Hablemos!

Niki

Niki’s Singapore Noodles

Autumn, Savoury

up close

Ni hao my fellow readers!

Yes, this week I am taking you to the wonderful world of Asian cuisine! With the wonderful aromas and mystical legends surrounding this area, I have always been fascinated with Chinese cuisine. I would like to share with you my all time favorite dish which I have enjoyed since childhood: Singaporean Noodles.

The ingredients needed for this dish are quite simple, you will even be thinking how it can turn into something so vibrant and pretty…sounding more and more appealing right? Thought so. Read on…

You need: A bunch of spring onions, 2 bell peppers, sesame seeds (black and white), 2 eggs, 1 small carrots, beansprouts, 2 garlic cloves (crushed), chili flakes, crushed ginger, Chinese five spice, groundnut oil, sesame oil, fine egg noodles, oyster sauce and soy sauce.

The key to this dish is food prep. Please make sure you chop all of your veggies very finely so it will cook evenly and quickly. Also, have your noodles drained and ready to go before you start your stir fry.

Have your pan ready on medium-high heat and add your groundnut oil until its piping hot. Crack your eggs and scramble them quickly. Next, add all of your veggies and toss vigorously in the pan. Add your five spice, sauces and noodles and with two forks, separate and incorporate your veggies gently but thoroughly. After five minutes your noodles are ready to devour! Enjoy my dear readers.

 

Happy Baking!

Niki