Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pumpkin, Seed, and Nut Cookies stack

Normally my diet is very healthy, but someties after a hard aerobic workout, nothing but a cookie will do. However I am fairly strict about the requirements for a cookie, they have to be healthy I know I know the idea of a healthy cookie is an oxymoron. First of all my cookies have to be soft and I have to attack their construction like the dishwasher method. Everything but the kitchen sink goes in I have to have oats, because they give the softness, not for me the Italian twice cooked cookie, I love to have a soft chewy cookie. In this case the soft bake comes from the oats and the pumpkin base, then the texture coems from the almonds, pumpkin seeds and chocolate for me it has to be dark chocolate.


1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup almond meal
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin
2 large organic eggs at room temperature
1 teaspoon oure vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate in small chunks
1 cup whole oats

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.


Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, spread the almonds and pumpkin seeds on the paper, and toast for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Set aside. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats, and set aside. Whisk the flours, almond and flaxseed meals, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon together in a medium bowl, and set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy about 2 minutes. Whisk the pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla together in a small bowl, then add to the butter and sugar mixture, and mix on medium until well blended. Fold i nthe flour, add the chocolate chips, oats, and toasted almonds and pumpkin seeds, and stir to blend.

Drop the dough by heaping spoonfuls 2” apart on the baking sheets, and bake for 16 to 18
minutes, rotating the sheets top to bottom and front to back halfway through cooking, or until the cookies are barely cracked on top and brown around the edges. Cool for five
minutes on sheets, transfer to racks to cool completely.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Spicy Pumpkin Smoothie

Spicy pumpkin smoothie
Some morning I go to the gym and when I have finished an hours aerobics and then an hours swim I am famished. I take this drink with me in a flask and it keeps me going unitl lunch.

Spiced Pumpkin Smoothies

3/4 cup pumpkin
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons brown sugar(optional)
4 ice cubes
whipped cream (optional)

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into 2-3 glasses. Serve with a small amount of whipped cream on top.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Pumpkin enchiladas with mole sauce

Mole sauce is a rich, deep, smoky sauce with both a chocolate and chilli hit. I leave the seeds in my chllies because I like them hot, remove them if you prefer.

For the sauce
10 red chillies
2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
25g/1oz flaked almonds
5 black peppercorns
3 cloves
1 red onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
vegetable oil, for frying
400g/14oz can of chopped tomatoes
pinch of cinnamon
sugar, to taste
150ml/5fl oz chicken stock
100g/3½oz dark 70% cocoa-solids chocolate, grated

For the enchiladas
vegetable oil, for roasting
2 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3cm/1¼in cubes
400g/14oz can of refried beans
freshly chopped coriander leaves
1 red chilli, chopped
12 soft flour or corn tortillas
salt and freshly ground black pepper
To serve
soured cream
lime wedges
fresh coriander leaves

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6


To make the sauce, put the chillies, coriander seeds, sesame seeds, almonds, peppercorns and cloves in a mortar and pestle and crush. Tip into a frying pan and dry fry for a minute or so until lightly charred and aromatic.

In a separate pan, saute the onion, garlic and cocoa in a little oil for two minutes. Add the tomatoes and bring to the boil, then add all the dry-fried spices, the cinnamon, sugar and stock and cook for 25 minutes. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Turn out and fold in the chocolate.

For the enchildas, place some oil in a roasting dish and put in the oven to heat up. Place the squash into the roasting dish, season well and roast for forty minutes, or until soft. Put the squash in a bowl, add the refried beans, coriander and red chilli and stir to mix.

Divide the mixture between the tortillas, roll up and cut the ends straight. Put in a baking dish, cover, and cook in the oven for about ten minutes minutes, until warmed through.To serve, put two tortillas on each plate and spoon over a little of the sauce. Serve with bowls of soured cream, lime wedges and fresh coriander alongside.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

This is my first winter back in the UK for twenty years
I am finding the cold difficult to say the least. Then this week the ground has been covered with white stuff and it has been horrid.The only thing that has kept me going is the thought of Caribean comfort food.

large hjar of cooked chickpeas
30ml (2 tablespoon) olive oil
Handful of fresh thyme or lemon thyme
1 onion, red finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
30ml madras curry paste
450g (1 lb) pumpkin peeled and cubed
5ml (1 tsp) salt
500ml (2 cups) vegetable stock
6 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
30ml (2 tablespoons)freshly squeezed lime juice
60ml (4 tablespoon ) coriander, chopped
Saute the onion in the hot oil for five minutes, add the thyme, chilli, garlic and curry paste and pumpkin and simmer for twenty minutes unitl cooked. Add the spring inion and lime and cook for a few seconds. Serve sprinkled with the fresh coriander.