23 September, 2011

Muesli Rusks

I don't know where rusks originally came from - I think the Dutch brought them - or something similar -  to South Africa years ago. My memories of eating rusks involve crunching them on holiday in South Africa, eating them early in the morning in Nyanga, even trying Aunty Heather's rusks in Bindura when I was a kid. 

Here is my mom's recipe (with a few healthier substitutions) - the ones that taste like home, and it uses our homemade muesli recipe. . But you can use anything - oats, seeds, coconut, nuts, bran....be creative :)

Mix together:

1C melted marg/butter
1C applesauce
3/4C sugar
1 egg
1C lacto/buttermilk

In a separate bowl mix:
3 & 3/4C self-raising flour
1 tsp salt
2 1/2tsp baking powder
2 1/2 C muesli

Add the wet and dry mixture together - mixture will be sloppy.
Grease a 13x9" pan and plop the mixture into large balls in the pan (fit's about 12 balls).

Bake on 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes, until golden and a knife comes out clean.

Remove from oven and break or cut each ball into thin strips. Lay the strips on baking trays and place in the oven on low to become dry and crisp. (I usually leave them in the oven like this for a few hours and then turn the oven off, go to bed and let them dry in the oven)

14 September, 2011

Curried Black-Bean Soup

Here is an experiment that went amazingly well! The one I used as the base for it called for all sorts of things I didn't have; like chickpeas and coconut milk and so on. I just made a few adjustments...

1 C milk
1/4 C shredded coconut
1 onion large, chopped
1/4-1/2 tsp chili flakes
2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 medium tomato, chopped
1-2tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp salt

1 can black beans, drained
1 C chicken broth (or boiling water with a chicken cube)

Put the milk and shredded coconut together and set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Fry the onion, garlic and chili flakes in oil on medium heat until the onion is soft, approx 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, spices and beans and heat through for another 5 mins.
Add the broth and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, uncovered.
Add the milk/coconut mixture and heat through.

Delicious as a soup, with crunchy bread or with rice.
Try adding cheese on top or fresh cilantro.

04 September, 2011

Lentil Loaf

An easy Lentil Loaf with amazing flavour! I got the original ideas for this recipe from somewhere online but when I went back to look for the recipe I couldn't find the website! I am sorry I can't give credit where credit is due, but the oats and bread idea came from someone-else...I don't want to take credit for something that isn't mine :)

2C red lentils (it would probably work with green/brown ones too)
1C chicken stock (I used 1C water and added a chicken cube)
1/2C oats
2 Tbsp oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped small
1 carrot, chopped small
1/2 tomato, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2/3 slices bread, chopped small
1 or 2 tsp curry powder
sprinkle of chilli flakes
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp applesauce

Simmer the lentils and stock together for 15 minutes and then leave to cool for 15 minutes. I ended up adding about a cup of water...just keep an eye on it as it cooks...
While that is sitting, toast the oats in the over for about 10 minutes.
Fry the garlic in the oil, then add the vegetables and saute til soft. Add the herbs and fry for a short while.
Throw all ingredients into the lentils and stir together - don't forget the applesauce.

Grease a loaf pan (or a round cake pan if you don't have one...it works!) and put your mixture into the pan. Bake at 350 for an hour or an hour and a half. The sides will brown and the top will be golden - and the kitchen will fill with a wonderful aroma!

Goes great with rice, in pita bread with plain yogurt, on toast, even tastes good cold...