Tag Archives: health food

Baingan Bharta – Spicy Roasted Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Onions

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Baingan Bharta – Spicy Roasted Indian Eggplant

 With Oxford’s biggest boat racing on the river this weekend, it’s like we’ve all stepped into a romantic British novel. Silver skies, a dark blue river, and future members of Parliament sipping Pimms from the boathouses and screaming for their colleges. 

But even with summer just days away, the atmosphere is stormy and dramatic. Even the excitement of the races can’t make it warm and sunny.

When I want to feel sunny or warm, I cook something like this dish, with spicy peppers and brightly colored tomatoes and turmeric.

Ingredients:

1 eggplant

2 onions

5 tomatoes

3 green finger chilies (or 2 if they are big)

1-2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil

1 garlic clove

1 tsp. cumin seeds

1 tsp. chopped fresh ginger

1 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. red chili powder

½ tsp garam masala

½ tsp. salt

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Step 1. Begin by roasting your eggplant at about 375 for 45 minutes until the skin is scorched and wrinkled.

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Step 2. Chop the onions, tomatoes, finger chilies, garlic, and ginger in preparation

Step 3. Heat 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil and when hot, put in the cumin seeds. Allow to ‘pop’

(Note, heat should be about medium high)

Step 4. Add chopped onions to the cumin seeds, cook for about 2 minutes

(Note, I added an additional two tsp. of coconut oil at this point. You could add it at the beginning as well, but I prefer to keep some of my oil less cooked. You could also probably go without the extra oil if you want a healthier dish)

Step 5. Add the chopped garlic, ginger and finger chilies, stir and allow to cook about a minute

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Step 6. Add the turmeric, red chili powder, and diced tomatoes. Stir and cook for about 5-8 minutes, until the tomatoes have cooked down to a sauce-like consistency and the oil begins to separate from the mixture

Step 7. Cut your cooked eggplant in half and scrap the inside pulp into a food processor or blender. It should be soft and easy to remove from the skin. Blend the eggplant with the ½ tsp. of salt

Step 8. Add the eggplant pulp and the ½ tsp. of garam masala to the pan, stir in, and let cook for an additional 2 minutes so mixture comes together

*Taste and potentially add between a ½ tsp and a full tsp. more salt to taste

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Warmth in a bowl! To contrast with gray cloudy days. 

Orange Almond Cake with Sesame Honey Layers

Orange Almond Cake with Sesame Honey Layers

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One of the things I appreciate most in England is a national understanding that cake is for constant consumption, best enjoyed with tea. A surprise? Brits do not in fact sip their tea out of tiny little flowered teacups. They drink it out of mugs like the rest of the world.

Here’s my ideal cake. It’s light, fruity, and made mainly with almond flour (milled almonds) so that you can let go of calorie counting, close your eyes, and count the flavors: almonds, tahini, oranges, sesame seeds, coconut, vanilla, oh my!

Ingredients:

2 c. almond flour (milled almonds)

1 cup organic flour

¾ c. fresh squeezed orange juice

½ tahini (unhulled sesame seed tahini preferred, it will have a darker color and undergoes less processing)

¼ c. virgin coconut oil (substitution for other oils is fine, but try coconut oil in your cakes once and you’ll be using it for all time. Just make sure you get the cold-pressed/virgin variety)

½ c. coconut palm sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon grated orange peel

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. baking

1 tsp. soda

1 tsp. salt

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Mix dry ingredients together (almond flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda). Then add eggs, tahini, orange juice, orange peel, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Set aside batter and begin…

Candied Almonds and Sesame Seeds

Ingredients:

1 ½ c. flaked almonds

1 c. sesame seeds (note, I used black sesame seeds for the amazing color. It locks like volcanic rock)

¼ c. virgin coconut oil

1 ½ tablespoons honey

pinch of salt, a few drops of vanilla extract

Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes (don’t let it burn, keep stirring)Image

Pour layer of nuts and seeds into a greased baking pan, then add a layer of cake batter, then another layer of candied nuts and seeds, then final layer of batter.Image

Place in over and bake at 175 degrees Celsius, or about 350 Fahrenheit, for between 25- 30 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle with the Orange Honey Sauce

Orange Honey Sauce

Ingredients:

½ c. orange juice

2 tablespoon honey

1 tsp virgin coconut oil

Cook on medium for about 7 minutes, goal is to see liquid orange and honey mixture begin to thicken, honey crystallize, and consistency become thicker. Notice that the smell will change from heavily orange to a honey candy smell