EGG FREE PUMPKIN CUPCAKES

My son and eggs do not mix well.

After planting 2 seeds of pumpkin  that months later brought fourth 8 really huge  pumpkins,i was left twiddling my thumbs on what to do with the rest of them .

Then i had one of  those now of my now rare light bulb moments……i decided to try my hand at making cupcakes packed with lots of vitamin  A and flavor to boot that he would not react to. what

I tinkered with a carrot cake  recipe i had and i replaced the butter  with sunflower oil which gives them a crumbly crust but a very moist inside……yummy.

Here is the recipe……

Photo credits:Broccoli Crazy!
Photo credits:Broccoli Crazy!

Ingredients

150 grammes cooked pumpkin well mashed

150 grammes flour

1/2 cup milk

1/3 cup sun flower oil

3 tablespoons grated white chocolate

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon vanilla extract/essence

 

Instructions

1. Pre- heat your oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Line a 12  section cupcake tray with liners.

2.In a medium sized bowl  sized bowl sift your ingredients,add your wet ingredients and using a hand mixer with whisk attachment,mix for 2-3 minutes till  combined.

3.Using an ice cream scoop,spoon  mixture into cupcake liners.It should be enough for all 12 of them.

4.Pop into the oven for 25- 30 minutes,you will know they are done when toothpick  inserted into the center of the cakes comes out with moist crumbs.

5.Remove from the oven,leave to cool for 15 minutes then remove them from tray and serve.

Can be kept in an air tight container in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Photo credits:Broccoli Crazy!

 

STORING CHAPATIS

How do your store  your chapatis,especially on those days  when you have made one too many.

I deliberately make twice as many chapatis that we can have for at least 2 meals or for breakfast/tea.

The trick to keeping them in the freezer and having them taste as fresh as when you made them is to wrap them in cling film so as to keep them fresh,then adding foil as an extra wrapping.

This works well for me on those days  when  we are late in preparing dinner ,all i have to do is come up with stew…a real time saver!!! 2013-06-24-097

Wrapping your chapatis for the freezer…

FRESH BEANS GITHERI

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Ingredients

1.5 par boiled green maize/corn kernels

2 cups fresh beans

4 medium sized potatoes,peeled and cubed 

2 medium sized carrots,peeled and cubed

1 medium sized red onion,chopped

2 cloves of garlic,minced

1 medium sized zucchini,grated or chopped

1 teaspoon tomato paste

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

salt and back pepper to taste

3-4 tablespoons chopped spring onion/coriander leaves

Method

1.Heat a medium sized saucepan over medium high heat and then add your vegetable oil,red onion and garlic,fry for 30 seconds.

2.Add your grated zucchini,potatoes,chopped carrots,cubed tomatoes and a teaspoon of tomato paste,add salt and black pepper to taste and lower heat to medium low and fry the  vegetables for 3-5 minutes till tender.

3.Add your fresh beans and corn/maize then add enough stock or water ,simmer covered for 20-35 minutes till stock reduces and you have a thick sauce.

4.Add the 3 tablespoons of chopped spring onions/coriander for garnish,stir and serve

Other variations to having this Kenyan staple include having it as a salad.

VEGETABLE SAUCE PASTA DISH

Do you know what goes really well with spaghetti especially if you are not a meat lover like i am…

It is cumber,carrots,red onions and lots of tomatoes.

My son loves this dish so much he almost always scraps his plate clean.

And it is a very very cheap dish too,no exotic ingredients in this dish.

Orange,green,red and pasta!!!
Orange,green,red and pasta!!!

Ingredients

1 medium sized red onion,chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic chopped finely/minced

1 medium sized zucchini sliced

2 carrots grated/chopped

2 tomatoes

1 teaspoon of tomato paste

1-2 tablespoons olive oil/vegetable oil for frying

 200 grammes of spaghetti

Method

1.Boil a medium sized saucepan half filled with water,then add a tablespoon of salt once its starts boiling.Don’t worry you will not taste the salt.

2.Boil till al dente about 6-7 minutes.

3.Drain the pasta but retain a cup or so of the pasta water,you will add it later to the vegetables.

4.In the same saucepan add some olive oil.vegetable oil then add your chopped red onion and sauté till tender,.

5.Add the minced garlic,sauté for 0 seconds,then add your tomatoes,carrots fry for a minute or so till softened then add your tomato paste and salt and stir.

6.Add the cucumber slices and cover for a minute to let the steam tenderize them.

7..After a minute add a few tablespoons of the pasta water,enough to cover base of sauce pan,let simmer for a minute to thicken the sauce then add your drained paster and stir then cover for 30 seconds and remove from heat.

Add a splash of olive oil and toss then serve.

Bouon  appetito!

MY RUBBED IN BUTTER AND SPRING ONION CHAPATI RECIPE

Chapati chapati..how many ways do i love thee…

I could go all Shakespearean and spew odes about chapati

This Asian delicacy tha is a favourite of mine is something I could eat all week.

In a forum that I am a member of,someone asked how she could make the perfect chapatis.

Everyone gave her ideas on how to make them but they forgot to give her the measurement of the ingredients she would use to make them.

Like cake making,chapati making is a precise art,once you get the measurements wrong nothing ever seems right after that.

In a bid to correct this I have written out my fool-proof chapati recipe that has everyone asking for more.You can find a another recipe chapati recipe where i mixed wheat flour with  gram flour here .

I need also to mention that to be great at making chapatis,you need patience and lots of practice,i will never forget how first chapatis  were as hard as biscuits with time I have become good at it.

Butter and spring onion chapatis

Ingredients

2 cups each white and brown flour plus an extra 1 cup for rolling out and needing

3 level tablespoons softened butter

1.5 cups warm water

2 tablespoonfuls of chopped spring onions

1 level tablespoon of sugar

1 level teaspoon salt

1 cup corn oil

Method

1.In a bowl sift flour,sugar and salt together then add your butter.Using clean fingers rub in the butter in the flour till it looks like fine breadcrumbs.

2.Add your chopped spring onions and using a fork mix them into the flour.

3.Make a well in the centre of your flour and add the warm water and working from the centre outwards mix in the flour till you have a soft lumpy dough.

4.Turn the dough onto a clean surface and working with clean hands use your palms to kneadt he flour turning it over  frequently and making sure to dust flour  your working  surface to prevent the dough from sticking.

5.Chapati flour does not need to be kneaded for too long just work it till you have a soft ,elastic dough that does not stick to your work surface.

6.Once your dough is read,shape it into a ball .Clean your bowl,dry it and return the dough to the bowl , drizzle a tablespoon and a half of your cooking oil onto the dough then roll your dough round the bowl to make sure every inch is covered with oil.

7.Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and set it aside for 20 to 30 minutes to give it time to rest.This is what gives your chapatis a soft texture as the gluten strands have had enough time to rest from all the kneading .

Rolling out

After 30 minutes get your round ball of dough and using a sharp kitchen knife divide the dough into 2 equal halves then quarter it,each quarter gives your about 4-5 balls each of dough.

Rollout  each ball of dough out to about 1/8 of an inch round ,drizzle about half a tablespoon each of good vegetable oil and spread it evenly all over your rolled out dough, using the back of a spoon or a pastry brush.

Roll your dough into a thin  cylindrical shape and then into a spiral and set aside,repeat this with each of your balls .

Cooking

Heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat,get each chapati ball and roll it out into 1/8 of an inch  round ,put it on the heavy skillet till you see bubbles on the surface then you know its time to turn,oil the cooked side then turn it over oil the second side,turn again and once it lightly browned your chapati is ready to be turned onto a flat platter and covered with a clean kitchen cloth.

Repeat this procedure with the rest of the balls of chapati.

BUTTER,BUTTER,BUTTER

Better English was an English grammar book we used in class 3  ..the year 19 something and it had some tongue twisters.

My favourite  at the time wa all about  Betty Botter and her butter.

It went something like this….

Butter..photo courtesy pinterest.com

 

Betty Botter bought some butter,
“But,” she said, “this butter’s bitter.
If I bake this bitter butter,
It will make my batter bitter.
But a bit of better butter –
That would make my batter better.”
So she bought a bit of butter,
Better than her bitter butter,
And she baked it in her batter,
And the batter was not bitter.
So ’twas better Betty Botter
Bought a bit of better butter.

Maybe this obsession with Betty may explain my love for butter despite what health experts say that its bad for your arteries.

I don’t use it everyday  because like all good things moderation is key  but when I  do..

It is great especially when working with wheat and for popcorn,gives popped corn  a really nice buttery taste.

And for toasted bread ,especially when you want to make garlic bread…..scrumptious.

In terms of nutritional value;a gramme of butter gives you about 7 calories .

It is rich in vitamins A and E,Riboflavin which is also known as B12 an is important for body growth and in red cell production,it also helps in releasing energy from carbohydrates.

It is also rich in minerals great for your bones and teeth  like calcium,phosphorus and potassium while also containing a good amount of sodium and small amounts of fluoride,zinc and magnesium.

The Kenyan dairy market has only two types of butter ;salted and unsalted butter.

Salted butter has a longer shelf life than unsalted.

If you intend to use butter in your cooking use the unsalted one.

When using butter for any recipe scoop as much as the recipe needs  and refrigerate the rest.

When  making bread,cookies,cake,flat bread/ chapati or any product that calls for rubbing  butter into the flour  make sure it’s at room temperature before adding it to your flour.The exception would be in certain  pastry recipes where it may call for using cold butter.

If you are not going to be using the butter too quickly freeze it as this will help it keep for longer.

When using butter for frying,never heat it over high heat as t burns very easily,moderately low heat is best.

When using butter with other oils like sunflower oil,first heat the pan add the oil then add your butter .

Butter can also be added to soups to give them a glossy silky smooth texture.

Here is how to make coriander or dhania butter that you can use on toasted bread/crostini.Only make as much as you can use at a time.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons butter at room temperature

1 finely chopped tablespoon of coriander

Method

In a small bowl using a fork thoroughly mix the butter and coriander together .

Spread it on fresh slices of bread and toast .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GUACAMOLE BREAD SPREAD

This delicious Mexican food is something I can eat everyday.

It has avocado,onion,coriander,you can een add tomatoes and it has fresh lemon juice to kick the flavours up a notch.

Not only is it a great salad,filling for sandwiches but you can deconstruct it to make a delicious bread spread that is better and healthier than margarine.

The recipe uses white onion which is less pungent than the red onion.

For this tangy bedspread here is what you need.

1/2 a ripe avocado

2 slices of whole wheat bread

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

black pepper to taste

2 slices ripe tomato

some slices of white onion rings

1 teaspoon finely chopped coriander

Method

1.Scoop the flesh from the avocado and place it in a small bowl,add the freshly squeezed lemon juice and just a hint of black pepper.Mash these with a fork into a chunky paste.

2.Take  1 slice of whole wheat bread,spread this delicious goodness evenly  using a butter knife/spoon.

3.Take the 2 /3 onion rings and place this on top of the avocado spread,then add the two tomato slices finishing this off with a sprinkle of chopped coriander.

4.Cover with the remaining slice of bread.

Enjoy!

 

JAZZED UP GITHERI

For a total of 8 years of ,4 each in  upper primary and high school ,i spent every evening eating githeri.

Githeri is a  central Kenyan delicacy of boiled maize and beans, fried in onions, tomatoes with some potatoes put in for good measure.

Murram  as we called it in school then, was a staple and you did not have to be a rocket scientist to know what food our faithful cook Kariuki would put out to be served by whoever’s duty it was to act as  “server of food” for that week to a table of 12 hungry teenagers.

The only deviation to this routine was on visiting days and any other day  when parents trooped to school to see their young geniuses take a break from all the hard work.

Then they would bring us chapatis,pilau,chicken ,soda and anything else we were starved off in school.

Only for them to leave us with Eno to keep of indigestion that inevitably came with eating too much.

One of my first posts on this blog was turning githeri on its head and making a salad out of it in  deconstructed githeri.

Now this is another way to have this Kenyan classic ,which nutritionally speaking, by combining maize and beans it results in  a perfect protein much like rice and beans has been made famously healthy by the Mexicans.

My 5-year-old loves it and your family will love it too.

Its githeri jazzed up with some spice and lots of vegetables off different colours that make it so appealing visually.

I digress…this was meant to be a recipe.

Ingredients

2 cups dry/fresh beans parboiled

1.5  cup green corn/maize parboiled

2 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 medium-sized red onion,chopped finely

3 cloves minced garlic

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root

1 teaspoon garam masala

4 medium-sized potatoes peeled and halved

2 tomatoes cubed

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 small green capsicum,chopped

2 medium-sized carrots

salt and pepper to taste

stock/water

Method

1.Heat a medium-sized saucepan over medium high heat and pour the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.

2.Add the red onion,saute it till it turns soft then add the garlic and fresh ginger root minced,fry for 30 seconds taking care not to brown it too much.

3.Add the garam masala and the black pepper,let cook for 15 -30 seconds taking care not to burn it, then add the potatoes and  the vegetables plus the salt and tomato paste.Let it cook covered for 2-3  minutes ,stirring often till it turns into a thick sauce .

4.Add the beans and maize and enough stock to cover and let simmer for 30 minutes till the potatoes are soft and a fork passed through them goes through and the stock has reduced to just below the level of the beans and githeri.

Serve with some creamy coleslaw or kale or you favourite salad.

THREE FLOURS-PUMPKIN CHAPATIS

This recipe was inspired by my sister in laws who make the most amazing pumpkin chapatis.

It uses a sweet pumpkin that I picked from my kitchen garden but you can use butternut or whatever type of pumpkin is available.

The three flours i have used in the recipe are locally available and give the chapatis depth in terms of texture,flavour and colour and the added benefit of using whole wheat flour which is that you get dietary fibre,calcium and iron.

Ingredients

1 cup  pumpkin,cubed

3 cups water

1 cup whole wheat flour/amaranth flour

1 cup regular four

1 cup semolina flour

1 teaspoon salt

 1 scant tablespoon  sugar

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

vegetable oil for frying

Method

1.In small saucepan put 2 cups of water then add the 1 cup of chopped pumpkin and bring it to boil.

Cook till pumpkin is tender about 15 minutes.

2.In a mixing bowl add the three flours,salt and sugar and mix together with a fork.

3.Once the pumpkin is cooked you are left with about 1 cup water,blend this or mash with a fork till it looks like a paste .Add half a  cup of water(cold) and then add it to the flour mixture,retaining half of it incase you need more water for the dough.

Make a well in the middle of the bowl with the flour and pout this pumpkin water in.

4.Incorporate flour into the pumpkin water with a fork, then once mixed use your hands to knead dough  for 5 minutes till the dough is soft and smooth.

5.Add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and knead again about 2-3 minutes.

6.Let the dough rest for 30 minutes covered.

7.Get a large platter,sprinkle some flour  and using knife or kitchen scissors snip off dough and roll little dough balls the size of a small egg placing them on the platter .It makes about 12-14 chapatis.

8.On your rolling board roll out the chapatis into thin discs the size of a small dinner plate,brush with vegetable oil and roll into strip.Then roll the strip round into a round ball and place back on the platter.

9.Repeat this with the rest of the balls.

10.Heat a heavy frying pan.skillet/girdle over medium heat then take one ball of the dough roll it out into the size of a small dinner plate then place on the hot pan.

11.Watch for bubbles on top of the dough and you know it’s now time to turn the chapati over.

12.Brush the cooked side with some oil,turn it over.Brush the second side with oil turn it over,by now both side of the chapati should have lovely patchwork of brown.Turn it onto a clean platter and cover with a kitchen towel.

13.Repeat this with the rest of the chapati balls.

Serve with your favourite stew

PINEAPPLE PANCAKES

I love pancakes.

I make them every Sunday morning for breakfast.

You can find some of the recipes for parsley/coriander pancakes,gram flour pancakes and pancakes where i used grated chocolate.

Last week I bought semolina flour because I wanted to make fresh pasta  and thought I could use it to make this pancakes.

Semolina makes the batter a little thicker than regular flour ,the pancakes also have crisper edges and they are a little thicker than crepes which makes them pancakes!

Semolina flour is yellow and  has a lot of gluten than people who sensitive to  gluten(a plant protein need  to stay away from.

The flour is made from the endosperm of durum wheat.

The Nakumatt chain of supermarkets sells locally produced of semolina in packets of 1 kilogramme at 85 shillings ,they also stock imported semolina in 500 grammes packets.

Gluten being a wheat protein that helps baked products like cakes,doughnuts,bread retain their shape better.

Here is the recipe ,the pineapple really gives them a sweet taste without the need for too much sugar.

Pineapple apart from being rich in Vitamin C also contains manganese a radical fighting dietary component and copper that helps in the utilization of iron.

Ingredients

1/cup semolina flour

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 eggs 

1 cup milk

1 scant tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoon ripe pineapple finely chopped

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

2 tablespoons extra virgin oil

oil for frying

Method

1.In a blender combine  eggs,milk,flour,sugar.salt,essence and 2 tablespoon extra virgin oil in a blender and blend for 2 minutes.

2.Add the pineapple pieces and leave overnight in the fridge.

Next morning…….

3.In a skillet of heavy pan over medium heat  add i tablespoon of vegetable oil,once it hot enough about 60 seconds add some of the batter and swirl it till it cover base of pan thinly.

i use a serving spoon to measure out the batter.

Wait for 2-3 minutes till the pancake starts to curl around the edges and they turn a light brown then flip them over.

4.Add just a little bit of oil to cook the second side making sure to press down to ensure the pancake gets cooked,takes about 30-45 seconds.Then turn it onto a flat platter.

5.Repeat this with the remaining b atter and you are going to end up with about 4-6 pancakes.

Enjoy!