CREAMED SPINACH

Are you addicted to cooking shows like i am.

Always thinking of ways to make the ingredients in your fridge and pantry work into something amazing?

Well,here is a recipe that will have you eating spinach almost every other day.

I used fresh cream for this recipe .

It is absolutely great on its own with ugali.

It is especially great with a spicy beef/chicken/fish

Then try this creamed spinach.It is absolutely divine!

Spinach with cream
Spinach with cream

Ingredients

200-300 grammes chopped spinach

2 big chopped onions

1.5 tablespoons oil.

salt/black pepper to taste

Method

1.Heat a medium sized saucepan and add your oil then onions.

2.Fry them till softened.

3.Add salt and some black pepper to taste,stir  for 30 seconds.

4.Now add your spinach and cover  for 2-3 minutes.

5.Uncover saucepan and stir the spinach to ensure it is evenly cooked.

6.Keep stirring uncovered for 4 minutes then add your 1/2 cup of  fresh cream.

7.Let cook uncovered for  a further 2 minutes.

8.Serve with  beef curry and coconut rice

8.Serve with some rice,ugali or chapati.

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!

 

CHOCOLATE MILK POPSICLES

For the longest time i have wanted  to make popsicle for the kids and when i saw  this 4 piece mold at Nakumatt,i grabbed it  and i prayed there would be some sun soon so that i could try making some.

I waited six weeks , finally last Saturday i did get to make some.

How to get your kids to drink more milk...make popsicles1
How to get your kids to drink more milk…make popsicles1

Ingredients

250 ml chocolate milk(you can make hot chocolate,wait for it to cool then  use it)

Method

1.Fill the mold ,leave space of about a  centimeter from the top free to allow for expansion of the milk.

2.Freeze for 4-6 hours.

3.To remove the molds ,boil some water,dip the mold in hot water for 30 seconds,twists the  tops off,and remove from the mould.

4.Enjoy.

Try different flavors like strawberry and vanilla and roll the popsicles in shaved chocolate or toasted coconut for some extra kick.

MY FLEA MARKET COOK BOOK

Living in the most beautiful town in Kenya has some perks.

Nakuru has amazing scenery,weather,great scenery and the best flea market in East Africa.

You get the most amazing finds ,like this cook book i got for 300 shillings  a few weeks ago.

It has so many classic recipes that i want to try,like Irish  Soda bread and filets mignons.

Awesome stuff!!!

 

The Cook book...
The Cook book…

 

PERFECTLY OVEN ROASTED POTATOES

*DRUM ROLLS*

A new oven and i decided to break it with roasting potatoes!

I love potatoes,my kids love potatoes in all forms,fried,roasted,mashed…

Here is a recipe that will make your tastebuds swoon without expanding your waist line.

I had run out of fresh garlic and i replaced it with garlic powder ,feel free to replace that with a clove or two of crushed or minced garlic.

Ingredients

1 kilo of medium sized irish potatoes,peeled,washed and quartered

2-3 tablespoons corn oil

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

2 pinches salt

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves

Roast potatoes are ready.....!
Roast potatoes are ready…..!

Method

1.Parboil your potatoes for 5-7 minutes,then drain

2. Pre- heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

3.Line your drained potatoes onto a roasting pan,make sure all potatoes touch the bottom of the pan.

4.Drizzle the oil on the potatoes,sprinkle the garlic powder and salt on to the potatoes and using clean hands rub the oil,garlic powder ,salt onto the potatoes.Making sure all the potatoes are coated.

5.Once your oven is ready pop your potatoes for 30 minutes,,with kitchen gloves on remove the pan from your oven and sprinkle the chopped rosemary leaves on the potatoes and pop back the pan into the oven for a further 20 minutes.

6.Serve hot with a vegetable salad or a meat dish of your choice.

UGALI WITH OOMPH!

It is strange that my spell check does not recognize ugali…a Kenyan delicacy like that needs to be put in the Oxford dictionary.

In my younger days i hated ugali because the wooden stick used to stir it frequently found a home on my derriere when i was extra naughty.

The more glorified form of ugali that plays is in the  league of gourmet food is the Italian polenta.

Instead of boiling water and mixing in with your usual maize flour try the following tips to add some oomph to kawaida /regular  ugali:

1.Add desiccated coconut to your ugali,fresh i s best but if you cannot get fresh the store bought variety works fine too.The flakes add crunch to your ugali and an absolutely out of this world  nutty  aroma will fill your kitchen as you cook.A tablespoon or two for each cup of water should do.

Coconut milk or cream will also give you great results ,bye bye bland ugali.

2.Add fresh cream to your ugali halfway during the cooking time ,adding  it too early causes the ugali to burn before it is ready.

3.Grate some cheese into the ugali ,stir it into the ugali  then serve.

4.Add sour cream,use it in the same way you use the cream.

5.Mix in millet flour with your regular stir  ugali flour,this should be thoroughly mixed before you start making the ugali or else you get lumps.Cook ugali made from millet flour on medium high heat it burns very  quickly.

6.If you have left over ugali,don’t throw it away,cut it into cubes make an egg/milk and chopped coriander  mix,then fry or bake and have them for breakfast

What other unusual ways do your cook ugali….please share.

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.

TURMERIC FLAVORED MASHED POTATOES

I love the earthy smell of turmeric and the fact that my star sign is Virgo may have something to do with it.

Virgos are said to be very health conscious and are known to have very refined palates,this may explain my obsession with preparing food well.

I love potatoes a lot and my kids seem to have taken after me,they eat potatoes in all their forms,fried,baked,roasted and they especially love mashed potatoes.

Yesterday i decided to indulge them with their favorite food but this time i would add some turmeric and it worked like a charm…they cleaned their plates.

You can read about turmeric benefits and why for me it defines Indian cuisine for me.

Hello food  delivers traditional Indian food that contains spices like turmeric ,try their amazing food and see why turmeric is such a definitive spice for this culinary style.

This recipe could be tried with baby potatoes ,just make sure you thoroughly clean them without bruising the skin and boil them as is,without peeling .

Ingredients

1 kilo of Irish potatoes,washed peeled.

1 small red onion,chopped.

1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 cup frozen peas

salt and ground black pepper to taste.

METHOD

1.In a mediums sized saucepan add,1 and a half tablespoons of vegetable oil then add your chopped red onion and saute on low heat till soft.

2.Add the turmeric to the onions and stir,let cook for 2 minutes then add your  potatoes,stir the potatoes till they are coated in the oil,onions and turmeric.you get lovely looking turmeric kissed potatoes.

3.Add salt to taste and black pepper,stir ,let cook for a minute.

4.Add enough water to cover the potatoes then cover the saucepan with a lid ,bring to boil and let simmer for 15,add your frozen peas,then let boil for a further 5 minutes to cook the peas.The potatoes are ready when a fork easily passes through .

5.Remove from heat and drain the potatoes reserving a cup of the liquid.

6.Using the back of a wooden spoon mash your potatoes till smooth,then serve.

We had the mashed potatoes  with a beef stew that had blanched broccoli.

Buon appetito!

ZUCCHINI…..Little Pumpkin

My 6 month old baby loves Zucchini !

She practically smacks her lips with delight when she is having them with her favorite food so far…mashed green bananas.

So much does she seem to enjoy them that  i had to buy the seeds and plant some in my kitchen garden.

Zucca is the Italian name for pumpkin and zucchini is the dimuntive form of that…which means little pumpkin.

The zucchini comes in both green and yellow varieties,though in Kenya we only seem to grow the green zucchini/courgette.

It is a vegetable that is very versatile and can be cooked in all manner of ways .You can grill,fry,add it to stews,stuff and even deep fry it.

I will be posting zucchini a recipe for zucchini pancakes soon.

Practically everything this plant has is edible,from the flowers ,leaves and the fruit itself.

The leaves are cooked in the same way you would pumpkin leaves,while the flowers can be dipped in a light batter of flour and eggs and deep fried or stuffed with precooked rice,diced vegetables,meats and also deep fried.

The zucchini fruit is rich in folate,a B vitamin that the body does not store and whose intake is needed daily for the synthesis of DNA and RNA.

Folate intake is especially important for pregnant mothers because it helps prevent neural birth defects like spina bifida.

Zucchini are also rich in potassium,Vitamin A and scant amounts of manganese .

So next time you go shopping do not dare pass these delightful little pumpkins.

Here is a picture i took of grated zucchini and carrots that use to thicken my stews…it does look lovely not to mention all the added nutritional benefits of two of my favorite vegetables.

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BLANCHED BROCCOLI WITH BEEF

What can i say about broccoli that i have not said already….

They are most beautiful, gorgeous vegetables in the whole wide world…

Back to cooking now..

On a recent trip to Nairobi from Nakuru,at Soko Mjnga(fools market) located just before Kimende,you get a lot of vegetables.Cucumbers,broccoli,red onion,garden peas and many others.The reason for this is the cool  and sometimes cold climate of the highland areas like Limuru and its environs  that favor the growth of such crops.

It is such a pity that these farmers for all their hard work get a pittance for such high value crops.

Be warned though,you have to put on your best negotiating demeanor with these guys as they  swarm up to your window the minute you make a stop at the market which is literally on the roadside.Be sure also to park off the road as the place is a known blackspot .

I was brought for about 2 kilos of broccoli by someone special and it has been a joy to eat as much of these vegetable as i could dream up recipes literally daily.

I even thought i should open up a restaurant that served only broccoli in al its delicious forms..

The secret to perfectly delicious broccoli or cauliflower is to blanch the vegetables before adding them to any stew.

That way the vegetables retain their color and all their nutrients.

For these stew you need the following….

Ingredients

1 and  1/2 cups blanched broccoli

5oo grammes cubed beef meat

2 medium sized red onions,sliced

3 medium sized carrots,cubed

2 tomatoes,chopped

2-3 medium sized potatoes peeled,washed and quartered

1 medium sized chopped zucchini

1 level tablespoon tomato paste

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/4 teaspoon crushed black pepper

salt to taste

water/beef broth

Broccolini in beef stew
Broccolini in beef stew

Method

1.In a saucepan add beef and a cup of water then set to simmer covered  till beef becomes tender and no water is left in the saucepan.

2.Add your oil,red onions,tomatoes and carrots,tomato paste ,potatoes,black pepper and salt then cover till the vegetables are softened and there is a thick gravy/sauce in the pan.

.Add your water beef broth enough to cover the meat and let simmer on low heat till it thickens with saucepan still covered.

4.After 10 minutes add you blanched broccoli,slices of cucumber,cover saucepan and turn off heat.

Leave covered for 5-7 minutes,stir the stew then serve.

Serving suggestion:great with turmeric rice,chapatis and any other flat bread.