Orange and Garlic Humus

Vegan and Gluten Free
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When I was little I used to hate Middle Eastern food. I don’t think I even tried it before I had decided. Falafels and humus were just not for me. The only thing I liked was the greasy deep fried cauliflower, which I would steal from the rest of the table and eat by the bowlful. (Soooo good.)

Luckily times have changed! I think I realised how much I liked this kind of food when I was in Europe, which has amazing Middle Eastern food literally everywhere. You’re so lucky! I’ll never forget the humus plate I had in Munich. Swirled with baba ganoush, beetroot dip, and covered in dolmades, falafels, tabouli and fattoush it was the nicest thing I’ve ever eaten in my whole life. Oh my gosh! Just thinking about it makes me weep.

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Fast forward to now and I’m kind of obsessed. Like, I can’t remember the last time I didn’t have some element of za’atar or humus or sumac at least once in the day. I realised it was probably time to give homemade humus a whirl, what with me wanting to have it at every meal.

I used the recipe from Jerusalem as a starting point, but halfway through realised I didn’t have any lemons! Oh no! But then I remembered a recipe in Moosewood Cookbook that had used orange juice instead. I don’t want to brag, but it turned out so amazing! I couldn’t stop eating it. I had it on sweet potato fries (the best kind of fries) but you could do so much with it!

I’m excited to experiment with all the different legumes. I’m also super excited to make homemade falafels now. I might just have to make an official falafel month! Who knows, it could be even more exciting than Dumpling Month.

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This week is the first week of uni holidays and I’m so excited. Hopefully I’ll be able to find time to post all the recipes I’ve been promising to make on Instagram for ages! Saying that I can already tell I’m going to spend most of my time at the beach sunbaking or watching Shrek and eating ice cream…(don’t judge me.) But I will try!

I’ve been dreaming of making some coconut ice cream with brownie chunks for a while now, if anyone is interested in that…have a great break every body! xx
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Orange and Garlic Hummus: Adapted from this book

250g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
1 tsp bicarb soda

270g tahini (hulled)
4 tbsp orange juice (or lemon)
1/2 tsp each ground cumin, coriander and ginger
100ml ice cold water

parsley and olive oil, to garnish
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Drain the chickpeas and put a pot of water on to boil. Add the bicarb soda, then the chickpeas, and boil for about 20 minutes, until the skins come off and the chickpeas can be easily crushed between your fingers. Drain and peel off any remaining skins. You can use canned chickpeas, but you will have to pick off all the skins yourself. Boil for 5 to 10 minutes. The final weight should be about 600g of chickpeas.

Add to your blender along with the tahini, spices, orange juice and a pinch of salt. blend until combined. Slowly pour in the ice water, blending as you go until the humus is completely smooth and of the desired consistency. Leave to settle for about half an hour before stirring in any crushed chickpeas and herbs for texture.

Top with fresh parsley and olive oil. Keep in a sealed container for up to a week in the fridge, although it’s best fresh.

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Dumpling Month Part 4 – Pumpkin and Beetroot Dumplings

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Are you guys ready for the next instalment of dumpling month? Because it’s pretty darn exciting. I swear each new flavour I’ve tried has been better than the last ones. These are possibly, *dare I say it* the best so far!

They kind of happened by accident. The other day I was roasting a pan of vegetables with vague plans of eating them for lunch/dinner/as a random morning snack, and I had a lightbulb moment. How good would these be in a dumpling?! Maybe dumpling month has got to me and sent me a little bit crazy. Maybe you’ll see me trying to squeeze all kinds of terrible things in dumplings from now on (is it just me or is nutella a fantastic idea) but luckily this time I was right!

I made a little soy dipping sauce to go along with them and they were so perfect. I had a pack of wonton wrappers in the fridge as I am still experimenting with different brands, but you could easily make your own dumpling dough from my first post.
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These are super easy to make even for dumpling amateurs like me. As long as you can use an oven and do some simple folding you’re sweet. When I was making these I had a little realisation that so many cuisines have some form of dumpling. If you rolled the dough slightly thicker and replaced the ginger and chilli with ricotta, these would be undeniably Italian tortellini. I guess great minds just think alike!

You can mix up the vegetables you put in there, and even just use pumpkin. I made these planning on putting them in a miso soup but ended up eating them all prematurely. If you wanted to do that though I bet they would be delicious! Have a great week everyone 🙂

One Year AgoCinnamon, Dark Chocolate and Berry Ice Cream Cake
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Roast Vegetable Dumplings (vegan)
1 shallot, finely minced
1 tsp ginger, finely minced
1/2 red chilli, finely chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into big pieces
2 beetroots, peeled and chopped
1 cup pumpkin, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
salt and pepper
olive oil, to drizzle

1 packet wonton wrappers (30-40)
soy sauce
1/2 red chilli
1 shallot, chopped
ponzu vinegar
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Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Put the chopped vegetables on a roasting tray and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 40 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Mash them with the ginger, shallot and chilli and allot to cool.

Put a small spoonful of the mashed vegetables on a wonton wrapper and lightly wet the edges. Pull the top half over the bottom half like you’re folding a piece of paper, and seal all the way around. Pull one side over the other side and slightly wetting one edge, crimp it closed in a circle to make a round shape. Repeat with the rest of the dumplings.

Mix the soy, chilli, shallots and vinegar to make a dipping sauce. Steam the dumplings from fresh for about 8 minutes, or from frozen for about 15-20 minutes, until cooked through. Makes about 35 dumplings.
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Dumpling Month Part 2 – spring vegetable and mushroom

Vegan

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Are you guys ready for the second instalment of dumpling month?! I know I’m ready. This time round I tried to channel my absolute favourite dumplings from a local Chinese restaurant. Every time we go there I go a little bit cray cray over them. They’re full of vegetables and mushrooms, which makes them kind of…meaty? That sounds gross, but you know what I mean. They’re hearty!

This time did the moneybag shape, which worked well and was super easy to store and steam. Plus it was faster than the crimping method in last week’s spinach and tofu dumplings, which was helpful. I was inspired by Smitten Kitchen‘s recipe to use a mix of seasonal vegetables, so you can kind of add what you like to these. I used a mix of fresh pea, cabbage, spinach, mushroom and tofu. This time round I lightly stir-fried the vegetables first before putting them in the dumplings. This made the flavours much more intense and tasty so I will definitely keep doing this step.

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For the sake of experiment (code for laziness) this time round I didn’t make my own dough, I bought some pre-made dim sum squares from the local Asian grocer. It did save a lot of time, but the dough was really hard to work with. Any moisture that got on them would disintegrate it into pieces. They did steam fine, but I think they would be too delicate for pot stickers. If you know any good brands for dumpling wrappers let me know in the comments!

This week I’m going to Splendour in The Grass music festival, so I may be a little slow with comments and questions. My third dumpling recipe will be going up some time in the week though and it’s my favourite by far! So make sure you check it out 🙂 I’m loving all the dumpling suggestions I’ve been getting so keep telling me your favourite flavours! May dumpling month never end!

One Year Ago: Lemon Berry Poppyseed Cake (gluten free)
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Spring Vegetable and Mushroom Dumplings: Inspired by Smitten Kitchen
Makes about 30 dumplings
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 shallots, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1 cup finely shredded wombok (Chinese cabbage)
1 cup finely shredded English Spinach
1/2 cup baby peas (frozen ok)
3 large flat mushrooms, chopped finely
100g (3.5 ounces) firm tofu, chopped into small pieces
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp black vinegar

1 quantity dumpling dough or 30 bought wrappers
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In a hot wok, fry the shallots, garlic and ginger in the oils until transparent. Add in the mushrooms and tofu and stir fry until slightly brown. Throw in the greens and just slightly cook. Pour off any excess liquid that comes out in the cooking process and discard.

Once the mix has cooled a little, use a spoon to put a small amount (about 3cm, 2 inches) of mixture in the centre of the wrapper. slightly wet (not too much!) the edges with a bit of water and fold the dumpling over towards you, in half. Press down the edges. Slightly wet one edge of the dumpling and fold over the front, pressing it together with the other side. Keep on a plate with baking paper whilst you make the rest of the dumplings.

To cook, place each dumpling about 1cm apart from each other in a steamer. Steam for about 5 minutes, until the skin is shiny and translucent in places. If you freeze them first you will need to cook them for longer. Enjoy! Serve with chilli and vinegar
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Brown Rice Hippie Sushi (vegan, gluten free)

Vegan, Gluten Free, Low Fat

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When I eat this sushi I feel like a spiritual nature loving Buddha. It’s so green and crunchy and ‘healthy’ tasting. I know that can be a bad thing (wheat grass shots I’m looking at you) but here it’s a super yummy thing. It’s one of those meals where you feel like you just undid the entire week of bad eating that came before (I’m sorry tub of ice cream for destroying you).

It took me so long to get my sushi making skills up to scratch. The first time I tried my level of failure was actually ridiculous. There was probably an entire cup of rice I was trying to squeeze on the one roll. I ended up just throwing it in a bowl and eating it like a sad sushi salad. I think I’ve got it pretty much perfect now! And you can customise this recipe to make it as fancy or as simple as you want.
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I can’t believe how easy it is to make if you actually know what you’re doing. This morning I was on major struggle street (way waaay too much lolly water last night). I was so wobbly taking an overhead shot I literally almost dropped my camera on the avocado. That would have just been too much to handle. But I still managed! I brought a huge plate of sushi to my friend’s lunch and felt like a sushi superstar.

A few key points I have gathered on the way to perfect sushi status: The rice should be brown. It is so much more flavoursome and textured than white rice. Sorry generations of skilled Japanese chefs, I’m going to have to pull rank on you with this one. My tastebuds would like to officially make brown rice sushi the next big thing.
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When putting the rice on the seaweed, leave a generous gap on either edge so that you can properly seal it. Make sure you push your rice right to the other edges, otherwise you’ll lose filling from either end. It will be so sooo sad when you cut it and end up with a deconstructed seaweed bowl.

Use thinly sliced very fresh veggies like carrot, cucumber, lettuce, radish, shallot, whatever you like eating really. But don’t put too much filling! AND DON’T YOU DARE LEAVE OUT THE AVOCADO. It’s so wrong on so many levels. You don’t need to include the teriyaki tofu, but it adds some protein as well as a sweet flavour. You could always replace it with egg or fish if that is your thing.

And make sure to serve your sushi with lots of wasabi and pickled ginger! I know wasabi is a bit unnecessary with vegetarian sushi, but it makes it so much nicer so once again Lil the Queen of Sushi would like to publicly announce the importance of wasabi and override those that disagree.

One Year Ago: Banana Layer Cake with Maple Icing

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Healthy Brown Rice Sushi Rolls
Makes enough for 6-8 large rolls
1 packet dried nori sheets
3 cups brown rice
pinch of salt
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 carrot, julienned
1 large cucumber, seeded and julienned
1 large handful of lettuce, chopped in strips
1 large ripe avocado
250g (1/2 pound) of firm tofu
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp honey or agave syrup for vegan
1 tsp chopped ginger
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 TBSP chilli oil
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Cook the rice according to packet instructions or using the absorbing method, in a pot with 5 cups of water and the salt, covered, for about half an hour until dry. Take the lid off and stir through the vinegar, then spoon in to a bowl and mix it around to let the heat escape. Chop all the greens and set aside. Chop up the tofu in to matchsticks and pour over the marinade ingredients. Fry in the chilli oil until crispy and set aside.

To roll the sushi, make sure the rice is quite cool otherwise the seaweed will crinkle up around it and make it hard to roll. Place a sheet on the bamboo matt (you can roll it if you want by hand). Spoon about 4 tbsp of brown rice in to the centre of the seaweed and use the spoon to spread it evenly across the middle in a wide strip, leaving a gap on each horizontal edge. On the edge closest to you, lay a strip of each vegetable, a thin strip of avocado and the tofu. Grab the edge of matt closest to you and firmly, with no hesitation, roll the matt over to encompass all the fillings and then continue to roll and tighten with your hands as you go. Chop into 5-6 pieces and repeat. Serve with soy sauce and pickled ginger, as soon as possible.
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Chilli and Basil Mushrooms on Avocado Toast

Vegan and Gluten Free

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 I LOVE MUSHROOMS. 

I love them. I don’t know about any other vegetarians out there, but the only thing I kind of miss from eating meat is eating chewy food. Vegetables can be crunchy and tempeh and tofu can be crumbly, but there isn’t much chewy food in a vegetarian diet. (Unless you count chewy worms and jelly snakes, which I do…) So whenever I feel like all I’ve been eating is soft and mushy food and get scared my teeth are about to fall out,  I crave mushrooms. 

Last week the farmers market had the best mushrooms! We bought four boxes of them! I ate mushrooms in four different meals in a row. By the last one I will admit I was feeling a little over-mushroomed. We made mushroom stir fry, baked mushrooms, mushroom pasta sauce, and my favourite way; chilli basil mushrooms on toast. 

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 The number one crime when making mushrooms on toast is to only use one type of mushrooms. ESPECIALLY if you just use button mushrooms. Button mushrooms are great, but they aren’t very flavoursome by themselves. They need the help of their little mushroom friends enoki and oyster. I went to Bill’s Cafe with some friends recently and got the mushrooms on toast, and I think there must have been four different types used! It was incredible. This recipe is partially inspired by that breakfast because it was amazing!

The number two crime is overcrowding the pan. Don’t do that. Mushrooms release juices when they cook and your pan will fill with liquid and they will broil. You will be sad. They will be sad. Make sure there’s lots of room for them to get brown and crispy and soak up all the flavours you add. (Thank you Julia Child!)

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I’m so excited to keep posting savoury recipes on this blog. This recipe is so easy, even if I haven’t quite mastered the ‘how to take a photo of a hot pan without burning yourself’ skill yet.  But I’m hopeful for the future. I used sour dough bread as the base of choice but the recipe is really about the mushrooms, so you can use gluten free bread or serve it over pasta or rice if you want. 

For the chilli jam I used a homemade jar made by a friend, so you could either make your own or buy a good quality one from a deli or market. I wouldn’t recommend a commercial brand just because they’re so much sweeter and less spicy than homemade, but if that’s all you have I’m sure it will taste fine. If you don’t like spice, you can also leave it out. 

You can put a poached egg on top too if you eat eggs. That’s what my sister did this morning, after I finally let her have the plate when I was finished photographing it. And it did look pretty good! Enjoy!

One Year Ago: Wholemeal Brown Sugar Strawberry Cake

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 Chilli and Basil Mushrooms on Avocado Toast:

For 2 people – 

30 ml (1.5 tbsp) olive oil 

2 small cloves of garlic, chopped 

2 big handfuls chopped field mushrooms

1 handful oyster mushrooms

2 handfuls mixed other mushrooms like enoki, button, flat etc

2 tsp chilli jam

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 handful torn basil leaves, split in half

2-4 pieces of bread (gluten free fine)

1/2 an avocado

Optional: poached egg, grilled tomato, lemon juice to serve

salt and pepper, to serve

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 Fry the garlic in the oil in a large pan on a gentle heat until soft. Increase the heat to medium and add in the mushrooms, chilli, and vinegar and sauté. Fry the mushrooms so that they become crispy and brown. Taste to check the seasoning. Grill your toast and spread with avocado. Squeeze on some lemon juice if you want and spoon over the mushrooms. Top with salt and pepper and extras, if you want. Serve hot!

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Spiced Pumpkin Fritters with Roast Garlic Tahini Sauce (gluten free!)

Gluten Free
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 Oh my gosh guys. Today might just be the biggest day of the year. Possible EVER. Sugar and Cinnamon has officially started doing savoury! I can hear you thinking ‘but the name sugar and cinnamon suggests you know, sugar…and cinnamon…’ I knooow. But I thought that was a silly reason at the end of the day to not do something I’ve pretty much been thinking of doing since I started this blog. 

This year I wanted to focus more on making healthy, wholesome recipes packed with loads of good for you things. In my real life I’ve actually started making savoury food all the time, as you can probably tell if you follow me on Instagram (I over-gram. I can admit it.) So I thought it was time to start sharing the successful recipes on here with you guys. Because everyone has to eat savoury food. You can try and live off cake, weetbix and toast, I did that very well all through school. But once you start making awesome stuff like these fritters it’s kind of hard to go back to those sad breakfast foods for lunch. 

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I think the photography is going to take a while to catch up in the savoury department…I did try and do some ‘stylistic’ swishing of sauce and fancy herb placement as you can see but fritters are hard. Fritters are just so ugly. They make up for it though by tasting amazing. Packed with pumpkin, carrot and zucchini as well as cumin and tumeric they’re so flavoursome! And the roasted garlic sauce…oh my goodness. I might of eaten the whole bowl while shooting photos…I’m not going to lie. 

I’ve given quantities for the amounts of vegetables I used but you can sub in sweet potato, more or less carrot and zucchini, basically whatever you have really. I bet even corn would be nice! Just try and keep a good ratio of firm roots (carrot, potato, sweet potato) and the watery vegetables (pumpkin, zucchini, spinach). I used quinoa flour as a little experiment and they worked out so well! You can’t taste the difference at all. Feel free to sub back in plain white flour if that’s what you have though. And you can double or even triple the recipe too if you want, they’re so easy! I have a sneaky feeling they’d taste epic in a sandwich or burger as well. 

I haven’t tried making these fritters without eggs but you could try flax as a binding substitute. If you do let me know how they go! Otherwise these fritters would be completely vegan friendly 🙂 

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 Vegetable Fritters with Garlic Tahini Dipping Sauce:

350g grated zucchini (about 4)

350g grated pumpkin (1/4 large pumpkin)

250g grated carrot (4-5)

1 handful chopped coriander

2 shallots, finely sliced

2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp each cinnamon and tumeric

100g quinoa flour

4 large eggs, or 4 tablespoons flax mixed with water

Olive oil, for frying 

Mix everything together in a large bowl, seasoning with a little salt and pepper at the end. Heat a large fry pan with a good splash of the olive oil to shallow fry the fritters. Use a big spoon to scoop ladles of the mix (about 3-4 tbsp) into the pan. Using the back of a spatula, push down the fritters carefully so they are flat. Fry on each side for about 5 minutes, draining on a plate with paper. 

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For the dipping sauce:

Roast 4-5 cloves of garlic in the oven until soft in the middle, about 10 minutes. 

Blend with 4-5 tablespoons of tahini and the juice of 2 limes. 

Keep blending, slowly adding water until the sauce is as runny as you like it. Drizzle over the fritters with extra coriander to serve. 
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