Hemp Seed Falafel

When I think of Hemp Seed now I have association with the words: Fatty acids, Protein and Minerals. It is amazing how well balanced the nutrition of the hemp seed is. It is one of a few plants where we get not only high level of protein but also a good level of fatty acids, this allows our body to process and use this high quality protein. In addition, we get magnesium, calcium, iron and copper from hemp seeds, if only to mention a few minerals, and vitamin E.

There was even a research for the impact of adding hemp seeds to the meat products, which showed dramatic improvements in quality and demand!

One research work caught my eye, ‘Chemical constituents of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) seed with potential anti-neuroinflammatory activity‘ (Yuefang Zhou, February 2018). They isolated two new compounds along with 18 known compounds. And what is wonderful about it, they found “The results laid a solid foundation for additional research on hemp seed related to its value against neurodegenerative disease.” This is due to a new compound coumaroylamino glycoside derivative (2), which exhibited significant inhibitory effects by an anti-neuroinflammatory activity.

And if you try to find out the health benefits of Hemp Seeds, you will find lots of articles on Internet. The main five evidence-based benefits that are listed in many sources are: Risk of heart disease reduction or boost heart health; Skin disorders improvement or anti-ageing effect; PMS and menopause symptoms reduction or emotional stability; Digestion aid; Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases aid or brain protection.

Hemp seeds inspired me for my version of this Super Healthy Falafels, they are crispy on outside and soft and rich inside. Serve with this traditional Tzatziki with a modern twist. Enjoy, and stay healthy!

Hemp Seed Falafel

Ingredients:

2 can organic chickpea
2 cup hulled hemp seeds
200g organic spinach, (1 pack of finely chopped and frozen baby spinach)
50ml light olive oil
2 tablespoon pea or brown rice protein (alternatively brown rice flour)
1 small garlic clove, finely grated or minced
1 cup parsley and coriander, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt as desired

Method

1. A couple of hours before, thaw the spinach in the sieve, do not press the juices.
2. Switch the oven on to 185C.
3. Process hemp seeds in a coffee/spices grinder in five-six batches by pressing only for two seconds, otherwise it will cake.
4. Drain chickpeas well and process in a food processor only by doing three pulses. If any whole chickpeas are left, you can squeeze them between your fingers in the next step.
5. Mix all the ingredients, and make 16 falafels. Each is about 60g a wheel of 5cm in diameter and 1cm thick.
6. Use a shallow tray with some oil in it – the amount enough to cover half of the tray only by turning it. Then with the help of your fingers or spatula distribute to cover the whole tray.
7. Place all falafels on the tray and bake at 185C for ten minutes. Then take the tray out, turn the falafels over and bake for another ten minutes. Serve warm with Tzatziki dip or plain yoghurt.

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Pulled Lamb Shoulder Bake

Although I miss researching new superfoods, this is just a warm home made dish, which did not require any research, only imagination and creativity. I think it is a perfect meal for a Melbourne winter weekend.

And in the next post, I will research about Spirulina and Hemp seeds! Equally excited about this recipe as well.

So here, my very new recipe was a success from the first try. I still made it three times for the consistency of the recipe result. Please note, the first step for preparing Lamb Shoulder can be used as a separate recipe, just add a few peeled potatoes in the same bag. Using the oven bag makes a big difference for the result. I used to make this lamb shoulder on its own and had to share the recipe on many requests.

When you have all the eggplants sliced, choose the most beautiful 10 slices of similar size for the top layer and take care of them.

Magic Tablecloth.

Pulled Lamb Shoulder Bake

Ingredients:

1 Lamb Shoulder trimmed
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 thick eggplants
500g ripe tomatoes, skinned and diced
1 onion, finely diced
2 capsicums, finely diced
150g button mushrooms, no stems, sliced
1/4 cup Besan flour
2x100g Manchego cheese, grated
1/4 cup stock (or water)
salt and pepper

* deep baking tray approximately 23cm x 43cm; baking paper

Method:

1. Switch oven to 200C. Rub lamb shoulder with salt, pepper and garlic, place into the baking bag and tie. Put the tray with lamb into the oven. Once the temperature is at 200C put timer to 30 minutes, after that reduce to 150C and cook for an hour. As the last step, reduce to 100C and and keep the meat for two hours. If the lamb is done a night before, you can switch the oven off after the 150C step is completed and leave the lamb in the oven overnight for the best result.

2. Once the meat is cool enough to touch, pull all the meat apart. Cover and put aside.

3. Cut the eggplants into 5-7 mm thick slices, and keep them in lightly salted water for at least 10 minutes. Then bake them in single layers for 10 minutes at 180C, using the oiled baking paper (the eggplant slices should not brown).

4. In the deep pan, cook onion, garlic, tomatoes, and capsicum on low heat for 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can use ready to use 800g of your favourite tomato and capsicum based sauce. Mix in the Besan flour and half of the cheese, also the stock, lamb, and mushrooms. Heat the sauce through, simmer on low for 5 minutes and switch off the stove.

5. Use the deep tray to make a single layer using the egg plant slices, then distribute half of the lamb sauce. Repeat with another layer of eggplants and lamb. Make the last layer using the ten best eggplant slices and evenly cover with the second half of cheese. Cover the tray with aluminium and bake at 180C for 35 minutes. For crispy cheese and eggplant top layer, bake without aluminium for 30 minutes.

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Buckwheat Mushroom Pie

This has been my longest trial so far. Maybe it shows I crave pastries. Maybe because I have been trying to make it gluten free. Apology to my coeliac (celiac) followers, but I could not. If you want to experiment, try to substitute Spelt flour with Brown Rice flour. Although, the flavour will be different, the overall experience will be very close.

So, here we are!

Magic Tablecloth

Buckwheat Mushroom Pie

Ingredients:

Base:
1 cup buckwheat flour
3/4 cup very hot water
25g ghee (or butter, if not allergic to dairy)
3 tablespoon oil
1/4 cup goat, sheep or greek yoghurt
1/2 teaspoon bi-carb soda
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 egg
1 cup wholemeal spelt flour, take 2 tablespoons for filling

Filling:
350g button mushrooms, finely sliced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
15g ghee (or butter)
2 tablespoon wholemeal spelt flour
salt and pepper
*silicone baking form and frying pan with lid, matching sizes

Method:

1. Season mushrooms well and cook with garlic in butter for 5 minutes on low-medium heat, reduce the cooking time if juices start to separate. Add two tablespoons of spelt flour, heat through, and switch off the heat. Cover and let it cool.
2. Make a dough from buckwheat flour by gradually adding the hot water. Make a consistent mixture.
3. Dissolve soda in lemon juice to react, then combine all the dough ingredients in the order of the recipe, mix well until consistent.
4. Use little oil or spray with oil the frying pan on medium heat, then cook half of the dough as if you were making a large pan cake that covers the whole pan. Reduce the heat to minimum and cover with the lid, cook for 2-3 minute.
5. (If you don’t have matching sizes form and pan, cut the base out for a required size in the pan. Enjoy the cuts, they are tasty!) Turn over the pan cake into the baking form and spread the mushrooms on top of it. Then, using a spatula, distribute the rest of the dough over the top. Bake at 180C for 30 minutes with fan or for 45 minutes without fan.

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Protein Cookies

If you want to be lean, you need protein. If you are working out in gym, you need protein. If you want energy, you need protein. Our modern lifestyle is not very convenient for making steaks every day, and if you are vegetarian your options are limited too. The recommended daily protein intake is 0.8 g per 1 kg of human’s weight. So, for someone with 60kg weight, you need to consume 48 g of protein every day for an average active life style.

So, we see more products on the shelves  that promise a quick and easy protein fix. However, if you read the ingredients you will find that they might have a high level of carbs.

The protein cookies you see on the picture are not sweet, and they are not just savoury, they have a special flavour. This recipe has about 116 g of protein in total. I love these cookies, as they can be eaten on its own for snacking or with hot beverages. The best way to enjoy these protein cookies is with Paleo broth.

Protein Cookies Recipe

Ingredients:

3/4 cup pea protein (70g)
1/4 cup hemp seed protein (12g)
1/2 cup teff flour (10gr)
1/2 cup quinoa flour (4gr)
1 tablespoon chia seeds (1.5g)
1 tablespoon turmeric (1gr)
2 tablespoon ground cumin (2g)
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 egg whites (8g)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
250 ml light coconut cream (8gr)

Method:

1. Turn oven on to 175C.
2. Mix all the dry ingredients well.
3. Combine with all the rest ingredients.
4. Make 16 cookies using your palms. First, roll into the balls, then press to form a cookie.
5. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool them down at the room temperature, then store in airtight container.

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Cauliflower and Almond Soup

How versatile cauliflower is! It is a pack of vitamins and fibre. Cauliflower belongs to the same family as cabbage, broccoli, and most of green leaf vegetables.

Its taste is mild, creamy and slightly sweet, that makes it a perfect candidate to be partnered with delicate almond flavours. I am delighted with this combination, this is why my soup doesn’t have many ingredients and it has two simple steps to cook. A perfect soup for spring or autumn, hope you will enjoy it too.

Magic Tablecloth

Cauliflower and Almond Soup

Ingredients:

1 L filtered water
1 L almond milk
1 Kg fresh cauliflower
1 leek white (about 20 cm)
Seasoning
Optional: 0.5 g saffron

Method:

1. Separate all the cauliflower florets and finely slice the leek. If using saffron soak it in little water.
2. Cook the vegetables in the water with seasoning until soft, then add the saffron.
3. Process the soup until smooth by gradually adding the almond milk. Serve warm.

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Cashew Feta Vegan Cheese

Cheese lovers might not approve my post.

I consider myself lucky as I am well with goat or sheep dairy products whereas cow milk products don’t agree with me. A friend of mine, who is vegan, introduced me to an almond feta cheese and I loved it.

After a few experiments, I found that a texture of cashews are more to my liking for the vegan feta cheese option. I have other recipes with cashew as an ingredient and you can find more information on this product there, for example lemon and cashew dessert .

Here I am, publishing the final version of my new recipe, please enjoy!

Magic Tablecloth

Vegan Cashew Feta Cheese.

Ingredients:

2 cups raw cashews
1/2 teaspoon table salt
lemon juice

Dressing:
3/4 cup virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
2 soft rosemary, chopped
a few dill, chopped
1/4 lemon, juice separated and put aside.
1 teaspoon pepper corns

*a glass jar min 400ml; a tray or a container about 30cm x 40cm.

Method:

1. Overnight, soak the cashews in the filtered water, also infuse the oil with all the dressing ingredients.
2. On the next day, rinse and process cashews in the food processor with salt and the lemon juice saved from last night until smooth and fine.
3. Place baking paper on the tray or container, transfer processed cashews and make an even layer about 1.5-2 cm thick, cover airtight and refrigerate for a few hours.
4. Cut the whole cashew layer into the cubes or ‘fingers’.
5. Place the herbs from the infused oil into a glass jar and stack the cashew feta pieces on top, then pour the oil over it. Refrigerate for 2- 3 days before consuming.

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Pumpkin and Chia Jam

Yet another Pumpkin recipe!

If you’ve managed to quit the sugar or trying to, but craving for a jam, try this recipe. You will love it!

Maybe you have some baked pumpkin left from Pumpkin Bread recipe, then this will be a great use for it.

This recipe also contains chia seeds; such a good source of calcium, protein, magnesium and phosphorus. Enjoy and stay healthy.

Magic Tablecloth

Pumpkin and Chia Jam

Ingredients:

300 g ripe sweet pumpkin, alternatively roasted and ready-to-use pumpkin
2 Golden Delicious apples
2 tablespoon Chia seeds
1 tablespoon honey, for diabetic version use 1 teaspoon of Stevia sugar or add no sweetener at all

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 185C. If using ready-to-use pumpkin go to step 3.
2. Remove the pumpkin seeds, cover and bake for 50 minutes or until soft.
3. Bake apples for 25 minutes, or until they start collapsing. If baking pumpkin, add them into the oven half-way.
4. Remove apple skin and the middle, place the soft apple into a food processor along with chia seeds and honey..
5. Transfer all the soft pumpkin including any liquid collected in the pumpkin into the food processor.  Process all ingredients until smooth and put into a glass jar to refrigerate.

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