Wheat & dairy free almond cake

This simple cake is made with just five ingredients, it’s delicious, gluten-free, dairy free ( unless you choose to eat it with cream of course) and low on sugar. Most commonly it is made with ground almonds but I have made it with various nuts – almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts, either on their own or a combination – and it is really delicious.

Ingredients:

3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

pinch sea salt

200 grams ground almonds (or other ground nuts)

Method:

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (Regulo mark 4).  Grease a 9-inch spring-form tin and line with baking paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 2 tbsp. sugar until the yolks become thick and pale in colour, (appr. 1 minute). Add the vanilla extract, and set aside. Beat egg whites on medium speed until they become opaque – again about 1 minute.  Gradually add the rest of the sugar, and continue to beat until the egg whites hold medium peaks. With a rubber spatula, stir about 1/4 of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture (no need to be gentle).  Scrape the remaining egg whites and about half of the ground nuts over the yolks, and partially fold them in.  While there are still a few streaks of white left, fold in the remaining ground nuts until the mixture is smooth, but be gentle so that it remains nice and airy!  Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and shake gently until the batter is level.

Bake for about 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and springy to the touch. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then run a butter knife around the edges of the cake pan to release the cake.

I like mine with fresh berries and a sprinkling of powdered sugar, but ice cream, sorbet and/or cream work just as well.

Tunisian Aubergine with mint & Greek yoghurt/ via Sharon Minkoff

This delicious recipe is Tunisian in origin and is an adaptation of Delia Smith’s adaptation of Elizabeth David’s recipe. According to Delia, you should prepare it the day before you serve it but I have to confess to having made it many a time the same afternoon and no one has ever complained!

Its quicker to make than it sounds. You can make the tomato mixture while the aubergine chunks are roasting in the oven, and you dry roast and grind your spices while the tomato mixture is simmering. It’s easy.

It’s important to stick to the spices in this if you want the real depth of flavour. I also encourage you to use whole cumin and allspice berries and dry roast and grind them.

(Sharon Minkoff Blog)

Ingredients:

2 medium large aubergines

I large onion chopped

3 cloves garlic – finely chopped

I red chilli finely chopped – or hot chilli flakes

2/3 can diced tomatoes (avoid adding too much of the juice)

I heaped tablespoon tomato puree

4-5 sun dried tomatoes (optional)

I heaped teaspoon cumin

I heaped teaspoon allspice berries

salt

black pepper

olive oil

small handful chopped fresh mint

fresh chopped coriander leaves Greek yoghurt

Method

Preheat your oven to 220 C/450.F Cut the aubergine into 1 /2inch cubes. Toss in olive oil, some salt and spread on a baking tray Bake for 25 minutes, until the aubergine chunks are slightly tinged at the edges but still soft and creamy in the centre.

While the aubergine is in the oven, make the tomato mixture. Gently fry the onion, garlic and chilli in olive oil a large skillet for about 5 minutes. When they are pale gold in colour, add the tomato puree, fry briefly, then the tomatoes (not too much juice) and the chopped sun dried tomatoes if using. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes till thick and chunky. It should not be at all watery.

While all that is cooking, dry roast your spices for a minute or so, then remove from the heat and grind to a powder in a mortar and pestle. Take a moment to inhale the intoxicating smell of the roasted spices, then add them to the tomato mixture along with some coarse black pepper and mix.

Once the aubergine is ready, mix it into the tomato mixture and cook gently for a few more minutes so that all the flavours combine. Allow it to cool completely.

When you area ready to serve, preferably after a night in the fridge, sprinkle over the freshly chopped herbs and a good drizzle of olive oil and, if you wish, a dollop of thick Greek yoghurt. Delicious!

Serve as part of a mezze type meal with pitta .

Red lentil and coconut milk soup/Tina Jeffers via Linda Friedrich

This is an easy and delicious vegan soup that is perfect for lunch when served with a side salad; or as a nourishing dinner – especially good on a chilly night.         

Enjoy!  Linda

Cooking time:  30 mins.

Serves: 8

 INGREDIENTS

  • nice glug of olive oil
  • 2 cups red split lentils
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 fresh jalapeno or Serrano chilli with seeds, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. curry powder or Thai curry paste
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsps. salt
  • ⅓ cup tomato paste
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 tin unsweetened light coconut milk
  • 1 15-oz. tin chickpeas
  • 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • fresh coriander & lime wedges for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add onion, bell pepper, jalapeno. Cook 5-7 minutes until vegetables have softened and begin to colour.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, spices, tomato paste. Cook 2-3 minutes until evenly cooked and fragrant.
  3. Add water, coconut milk, lentils, chickpeas. Cook uncovered 20-25 minutes, adding the lime juice at the end of cooking.
  4. Taste and adjust seasoning – salt or more lime juice if desired.
  5. Serve topped with a sprinkling of fresh coriander and lime wedges on the side.