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Cauliflower Tagine

Winter Warmer – Cauliflower Chickpea Tagine with Wholemeal Couscous Recipe

North African cuisine is heavily influenced by a number of cultures including Arabic culture, with ingredients such as ginger, saffron and cumin and the matching of sweet and sour, which gives North African dishes a distinct flavour. The Spanish introduced products like olives, tomatoes, paprika and Jewish refugees introduced preserving methods such as preserved lemons. Couscous, a staple of North Africa is produced from wheat flour rolled into tiny balls of dough which are steamed and eaten as an accompaniment to tagines.

This dish uses all these ingredients to create a flavour explosive recipe for one to add to their weeknight dinner collection. If you do make this tagine and couscous recipe, please share your photos and tag us on Alfalfa House Instagram. We would love to see your creations 🙂

Recipe and images courtesy of Sandra Clark, one of our members and volunteers

Cauliflower and Chickpea Tagine

A cauliflower and chickpea tagine recipe that is warming, vegetarian and vegan friendly. It is wholesome and nourishing, ideal for winter weeknight dinners.

  • 2 Bowls
  • 1 steamer
  • Tea towel
  • sieve
  • Oven proof casserole dish
  • Knife, chopping board
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter or coconut oil
  • 1 medium brown onion (chopped coarsely)
  • 2 cloves garlic (( or 1 clove Russian garlic ))
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp raw sugar
  • 400 g organic chickpeas can (drained)
  • 1/2 medium cauliflower cut into small heads (florets)
  • 400 g tin organic Tomatoes- chopped
  • 1 tsp harissa (or more if you like it spicy)  (sub for chilli powder or flakes if you can't find harissa)
  • 1 bunch  organic coriander, ( roughly chopped)
  • 1/4 medium preserved lemon ((rind only coarsely chopped))
  • 20 g sea salt
  • A pinch black pepper ((freshly ground))

For the Couscous

  • 350 g wholemeal couscous
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 sprigs coriander
  1. Heat butter and olive oil in a large heavy based saucepan. (I use a cast iron pan.)

  2. Add onion and fry for 2-3 minutes on medium heat until soft.

  3. Add chickpeas and cauliflower florets

  4. Add in chopped tinned tomatoes and stir in Harissa. Season with salt and pepper.

  5. Add just enough water or vegetable stock to just cover cauliflower. Bring to the boil then turn down to simmer, put on lid and cook gently for 15-20 mins.

  6. When cauliflower is almost tender, toss in half of coriander and preserved lemon and cook a further 5-10 minutes.

  7. Remove from stove and garnish with the rest of the coriander.

To make the couscous

  1. Place wholemeal couscous in a bowl and just add warm water until it resembles wet sand.

  2. Add 1 tbls olive oil and toss together.

  3. Place in a steamer lined with muslin or a tea towel. (see picture)

  4. Steam for 20-30 mins

  5. Remove from steamer and place in a large bowl and toss the couscous with a large spoon. This will make it light.

  6. Serve in a separate plate decorated with ground cinnamon and coriander sprigs or toasted almonds

If you have a heat proof saucepan you can put the tagine in the oven at 160 degrees C. for 20 minutes.

Main Course
cauliflower, couscous, tagine, vegetarian
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Black Sapote Baked Custard with Blueberry Compote

Black Sapote Baked Custard with Blueberry Compote

Black Sapote Baked Custard with Blueberry Compote

Closely related to the Persimmon and native to Central America and Mexico, Black Sapote is often referred to as the Chocolate Pudding Fruit due to its resemblance to dark chocolate. However it is more suited to tropical climates. Black Sapote tastes delicious eaten as a dessert, in milkshakes, ice cream or as a replacement to chocolate due to its dark brown colour. Below we are sharing a quick and easy recipe for a Black Sapote baked custard with blueberry compote.

The Black Sapote fruit is green when picked. Wait about a week for it to ripen. When ripe, the flesh is dark brown to almost black and is soft and squishy to the touch. It has an almost bruised appearance. Further, a ripe Black Sapote has a beautiful creamy texture, similar to a ripe avocado and is sweet in flavour like a custard apple. Black Sapote has a low fat content. It is high in fibre and Vitamin C making it a great alternative to sweets. So have an open mind and try out this delicious fruit when available.

P.S. Alfalfa House Newtown does stock Black Sapote when available in season.

Use of Black Sapote In Food

Use Black Sapote in food and mostly in desserts. Here are few ways to use in different styles of desserts . (If you want to read more on this fruit, its cultural uses, harvesting etc we found this link with lots of useful info on the Black Sapote fruit. )

  • In the Philippines, the seeded pulp maybe served as a sweet treat often with milk or orange juice poured over it.
  • The Mexicans mash black Sapote pulp with orange juice to serve with whipped cream. Some times they also mix the pulp with wine, cinnamon and sugar to eat as a dessert.
  • Adding an acidic medium like lemon or lime juice to the pulp also makes a good filling for pies and pastry.
  • Churn the Black Sapote pulp with milk into ice cream
  • The people of Central America, ferment the fruit into a liqueur (tastes similar to brandy)
  • Bake this Black Sapote Bread (similar to a banana bread)

Now enjoy this Black Sapote custard Recipe here. The recipe and images courtesy of Sandra Clark, one of our members and volunteer

Black Sapote Baked Custard with Blueberry Compote

A delicious custard recipe using black Sapote served with a blueberry compote

  • 2 Saucepans
  • 2 Bowls
  • Fine Sieve
  • whisk
  • Wooden spoon
  • oven proof casserole dish or baking tray
  • glass pots or ceramic ramekins (ovenproof)
  • 1 whole black Sapote
  • 600 ml milk (any kind)
  • 1 vanilla pod (split lengthwise) or vanilla essence
  • 90 g rapadura sugar
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 2 tbsp hot water
  • 5 medium egg yolks
  • 1 medium egg (whole)

For the Blueberry Compote

  • 350 g blueberries ((fresh or frozen))
  • 80 ml agave ((or sweetener of choice))
  • 1/2 medium lemon ((rind and juice))
  1. Pre heat oven to 180 degrees C

  2. In a saucepan, heat milk with vanilla bean to boiling point, set aside.

  3. Cut black sapote in half, remove seed and scoop out flesh. Puree with a fork.

  4. In another saucepan heat rapadura sugar with the cold water until caramelised. Add the hot water to dilute the caramel. Put back on the heat and stir until smooth. Set aside

  5. Put the egg yolks and eggs in a bowl and slowly add the caramel. Add black sapote then pour into milk. Pass through the mixture through a fine sieve.

  6. Pour mixture into glass pots and place in a casserole dish

  7. Half fill casserole with boiling water and cover with a lid or foil.

  8. Cook for 25 mins or until just set. Leave in the hot water for 5 mins before refrigerating.

For the Blueberry Compote

  1. Place half the blueberries and the rest of the compote ingredients in a saucepan

  2. Bring to boil and cook for 8 minutes

  3. Remove from heat and add rest of blueberries.

  4. Serve with blueberry compote or fresh strawberries

• Use leftover egg whites in omelettes or in biscuits

black sapote, recipes
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buckwheat pancakes recipe

BUCKWHEAT – Delicious Buckwheat Pancakes Recipe

Recipe and blog post courtesy of Sandra Clark, member at Alfalfa House

Closely related to Rhubarb, buckwheat groats or seeds can be used in a variety of ways. Groats are not really a grain though they resemble one. However these seeds or groats are used to substitute grains in a gluten-free diet. By grinding the groats you can make your own buckwheat flour, the base for Sarasen crepes made in Brittany in France and soba noodles, popular in Japan. Here our volunteers have submitted a quick and easy buckwheat pancakes recipe that can be enjoyed for breakfast or brunch.

Native to south east Asia, the first recorded use dates back to China in the 5th Century. The name buckwheat however is derived from the Dutch word “beechwheat” as the triangular shaped seeds resemble beech nuts. It was first introduced into Europe in the middle ages where it became popular as a minor crop. It was also grown in North America, Africa and Brazil.

The Buckwheat plant is very hardy and grows in cold climates with poor soil. Use buckwheat as a whole grain or as a flour. Using it to make bread is not a great idea owing to its no gluten content. The most famous buckwheat of all buckwheat dishes is the Kasha, a specialty of Russia.

How do you use buckwheat (besides pancakes recipe) ?

Soak whole buckwheat grouts overnight then strain. Cover with water and cook for around 30 minutes and serve hot with poached fruits.

Bircher buckwheat:
Use cold porridge mix above and stir through natural yoghurt, honey, banana and dates.

Use buckwheat flour in the below buckwheat pancakes recipe for breakfast or blinis. Top these with your favourite pancake toppings. Some ideas in the notes below.

More Buckwheat Recipes To Enjoy

Looking for some more inspiration ? Try out these nourishing and delicious recipes that use buckwheat

Buckwheat pancakes with pineapple, banana and toasted coconut flakes

Quick and easy breakfast pancakes recipe made using wholegrain buckwheat and spelt flour. Shop for all these ingredients at your Newtown Food Co-op Alfalfa House

  • 2 mixing bowls
  • coffee/spice grinder
  • sieve
  • whisk
  • non-stick fry pan
  • 3 medium  Free range eggs (separated)
  • 65 g Ground buckwheat groats
  • 60 g Plain organic soft flour
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 140 ml milk
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1/4 medium pineapple (peeled, core removed and finely sliced)
  • 1 medium banana
  • 50 g coconut flakes
  • 1 tbsp Maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp natural yogurt (optional)
  1. Pre heat oven to 150 degrees C.

For Dry Ingredients

  1. Make buckwheat flour by placing groats in a coffee grinder and grind until fine

  2. Measure flour then add to plain flour. Sieve into a bowl.

  3. Add baking powder and salt to the flours

  4. Toast coconut flakes (dry) in the oven on a baking tray for around 10 minutes until golden

For Wet Ingredients

  1. Separate eggs, place yolks in a bowl and beat lightly with a whisk or fork then add milk

  2. Make a well in the centre of the DRY ingredients and slowly add WET ingredients. Also add in the honey at this stage.

  3. Whisk egg whites until they form firm peaks, ( will hold firm on the whisk) then gently fold through batter

  4. Heat a non-stick frypan to medium heat, spoon in batter leaving space around each. Cook 2-3 minutes per side. Keep warm on a plate in the oven while making next batch.

  5. Serve with sliced pineapple, sliced banana, toasted coconut flakes and a drizzle of maple syrup and maybe a spoon of homemade natural yoghurt.

  1. For coeliacs and gluten free diets simply use 125g buckwheat flour and no plain four.
  2. Other topping ideas: Blueberry, banana and agave syrup.  Caramelised apple or pear and chopped roasted hazelnuts
buckwheat pancakes, recipes

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