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Berry Almond Scones

4 Mar

Q: What’s the fastest cake?

A: Scone

That’s actually kinda true if you think about how long it took me to make these. I had a few spare minutes before work and BAM! Scones! The image on the website, healthhomehappy.com looks nothing like my scones so I’m wondering if it is the real picture or not. Either way, I’m attaching my own. The method says to shape it into a triangle but I’m happy with randomly blobbed scones/poorly formed circles. It makes no difference to the taste. By the way, I also added a pinch of baking powder. I don’t know why, something inside me made me do it and it just seemed appropriate. Maybe that’s why mine don’t look like the picture? I halved my recipe and it made three mahoosive scones. In hindsight I would make them half the size. I had them warm and they were ‘meh’. Tried them again after work and I seemed to like them more.

Ingredients:
2.5 cups of almond flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 eggs
4 tablespoons honey or other natural sweetener or 4 dates, pureed
1/3 cup melted butter or ghee
1/2 cup fresh or frozen berries

Method:
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a baking sheet with butter or coconut oil.
In a medium bowl, mix together dry ingredients.
In a separate bowl, whisk eggs until combined. Add melted butter, and honey.
Combine wet and dry ingredients.
Fold in berries.
Drop ¼ cup of dough onto the baking sheet, shape into triangle shapes.
Bake 15 minutes.

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3 blueberry scones, piping hot

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Baked Almond Crusted Prawns

27 Jan

Inspired by local Essex boy, Jamie Oliver. He has some good ideas, particularly if you like rustic food and can’t be bothered with fussing over presentation. Rustic food needs to be phographed well but as always, I can’t be bothered. If you try this recipe out, do send in some pictures inshaaAllaah.

Ingredients
Ground almonds/almond flour
Salt
Crushed red chillies
Roasted garlic and herb mix seasoning
Chopped flat parsley (optional)
Pinch of cayenne (optional)
Pinch of Paprika
Lemon zest
Prawns
Egg

Method
In a small bowl mix all the ingredients together but NOT the prawns and egg. In another small bowl, lightly whisk the egg. Dip the prawns into the egg and then place them into the ground almond mix. Remember to use one egg for adding the prawns to the eggs and then putting the eggy prawns into the ground almond mix. Then use the other hand to cover the eggy prawns with the dry mix. Use separate hands to avoid eggy-almond hands.

Place them on a non-stick tray and very lightly spray this with oil. Pop the prawns in the oven for approximately 12-15 minutes mak on gas mark 4 and you should turn them half way through to give them a nice even ‘tan’.

Serve with veg and a nice wedge of lemon. Squeezing fresh lemon juice on top of these prawns is just delicious!

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Washed prawns, whisked egg and ground almond mix… and a bit of the oven tray

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Close up of ground almond mix

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Ready to go in the oven

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Just out the oven with a tan

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Dished up ready to eat! Remember to add loads of lemon – yum!

Benefits of Grapes

23 Jan

Grapes are brilliant and I don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t like them! Admittedly I don’t think I like them in their dried form (raisins and sultanas) but I’m working on it… eventually… inshaaAllaah… baby steps…

I’m quite fussy when it comes to grapes. I don’t mind seeds but I have to say crunchy, crispy grapes are the best. I know I like crunchy and crispy foods but honestly, squidgy, over-ripe grapes aren’t the same. Unless they’re Italian grapes. Italian grapes are quite large and tend to come in bigger bunches, sadly supermarkets don’t really stock them as far as I’ve seen. They’re also sweeter and juicier.

I’ve had grapes for breakfast on numerous occasions. The best way to have them, I think is sliced in half (green and red/black grapes) with a drizzle of honey and a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. And you can top it with a tiny amount of fresh corriander or parsley if you want. Of course you can just have it as a snack too. I sometimes add watermelon, galia melon, yellow melon or honey dew melon to the mix if I have some handy.

Grapes are also mentioned in the Qur’aan, Allaah says:

وَجَعَلۡنَا فِيهَا جَنَّـٰتٍ۬ مِّن نَّخِيلٍ۬ وَأَعۡنَـٰبٍ۬ وَفَجَّرۡنَا فِيہَا مِنَ ٱلۡعُيُونِ

And We have made therein gardens of date-palms and grapes, and We have caused springs of water to gush forth therein. (Ya-Sin 36:34)

Ibn al-Qayyim writes that the Prophet salallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam was reported to have liked eating grapes and watermelon. Allaah knows best if he salallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam them together but that’s not the reason why I eat grapes and melons together, in fact I didn’t even know of this quote until very recently and I’ve eaten this combo since about 2010 (strangely specific…)

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A few more detailed health benefits of grapes:

  • Migraine. Home remedy for migraine is ripe grape juice. Should be taken pure (no additional water) early in the morning. (That’s the strangest thing, I’m pretty sure I’ve craved grapes several times when I’ve had a migraine in the past but I neever knew this!)
  • Blood cholesterol. Pterostilbene , a compound present in grapes helps lower the cholesterol level. Saponins in grape skin prevents the absorption of cholesterol by binding with it.
  • Alzheimer’s disease. Resveratrol in grapes reduces the levels of amyloidal-beta peptides in patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Grapes can enhance brain health and delay the onset of neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Kidney disorders. Grapes reduce the acidity of the uric acid and help eliminate the acid from the system thus reducing the pressure of the kidneys.
  • Heart disease. Grapes increase the nitric oxide levels in the blood which prevents blood clots thus reducing heart attack incidents. Antioxidants in grapes prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which blocks the blood vessels.
  • Indigestion. Grapes prevent dyspepsia. They cure indigestion and irritation of the stomach.
  • Anticancer properties. Resveratrol acts as anti-inflammatory. Effective in breast and colorectal cancers. Anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins have properties of anti-proliferate which can inhibit the growth of cancer causing agents.
  • Prevents cataract. Flavonoids in grapes reduce the damage caused by free radicals such as cataract apart from age related problems, heart disease and cancer.
  • Macular degeneration is age related loss of vision. Studies suggest 3 servings of grapes daily to lower the risk of macular degeneration by over 36%.
  • Asthma. Due to the high assimilatory power of grapes, moisture present in lungs increases. Grapes have therapeutic value for asthma.
  • Breast cancer. In a recent study, purple colored Concord grape juice helps prevent breast cancer. Experiment was conducted on laboratory rats. There was a significant reduction in breast tumor mass after they were fed the grape juice on the experimental basis.
  • Fatigue. It’s not the dark grape juice that gives an iron boost it’s the light and white grape juice that prevents fatigue because it replenishes the iron content in the body. So go for the light and white grape juice for boost not the dark one.
  • Antibacterial activity. Red grapes contain antibacterial and antiviral properties to protect you from infections. Its antiviral property is effective against poliovirus and herpes simplex virus.

Stuffed Omelette Calzone

7 Jan

I mentioned yesterday how I was going for a blood test, I had this gluten sensitivity/coeliac disease blood test form from Sept 2012 when I was told to consume gluten for 10 days straight in order to be tested. I decided against it and later discovered that gluten can lurk about for up to 6 months or something so figured I could have a blood test now. Plus with all these negative remarks about a paleo diet (because I eat fat and I’m not afraid of it!) I figured it was time for me to personally bust a few myths like “you’re cholesterol will be high” and so on. I want to prove paleo is a diet that everyone should adopt. Mostly because of the health benefits but also because it is a part of our Deen, Islaam (See previous post and download the audio inshaaAllaah).

If you follow me on Facebook you’ll also see that I’m expecting a raw milk delivery tomorrow inshaaAllaah… so excited! I’ll post more about this in the coming days, that is, the benefits of raw milk and what has been mentioned about it in the Sunnah. Yes, dairy is not a paleo food, however I can see why – when we’re talking about supermarket dairy and similar! Raw milk on the other hand is full of goodness, I doubt anyone can deny it having done some research. So I’m going to revive this Sunnah and take care of myself properly inshaaAllaah.

So anyway, I was hungry last night after a very early and very light dinner. Fasting for this blood test did not help and after that I went food shopping. Hungry old me bought an array of fruit, veg and meat and then I was stumped about what to have for breakfast. I eventually decided on a beefy omelette type thing after reading the Barefoot Coconut’s Facebook post whilst I was sat in the waiting room of the blood test centre. I came up with a new concoction: a stuffed omelette calzone. Aptly named because it contains a stuffing, the outer bit is made using an omelette and the shape or concept of it resembles a calzone. You know, the semi-circle stuffed pizza thing.

I apologise in advance for my lack of measurements. As usual I eyeball everything and today’s mixture should make 3 small omelette-calzones or 2 normalish sized ones. It depends on the size of your frying pan – I use a smaller than normal one!

Ingredients
Stuffing:
Minced beef (or other mince, finely dices meat, etc)
Half a small onion, chopped
Mixed herbs – dried or fresh, whatever you have handy really
Salt and pepper

Fresh garlic or it you’re rushed for time, garlic granules
Crushed red chilli flakes
Light spray of oil just so it doesn’t stick/burn

Omelette:
3 eggs
Spring onions, sliced (I used leeks, bit of the top and bottom)
Fresh Corriander
Dried, crushed corriander seeds and cumin seeds
Crushed red chilli flakes – fresh green chillies finely chopped are best
Salt and pepper
Chopped tomatoes
Sliced Mushrooms (I forgot to add the latter two ingredients, oops)

Prep
Mince beef: pop it all into a saucepan, mix until cooked, shouldn;t take long as you’re not making a ton
Omelette, whish all ingredients in a small bowl. It’s not rocket science really. See images below and captions for further instructions.

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Pour some of the omelette mix into a frying pan, make it kinda thin and make sure you have a good mix of everything in the omelette

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As the omelette cooks through, add soem mince beef mix to one half. Leave a ‘border’ so when you fold the other half of the omelette over it seals the stuffing in. The omelette needs to be wet still otherwise it won’t stick and seal when you fold it.

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The omelette should be sealed once you’ve folded it. If the stuffing’s spilling out you’ve probably added too much. Helps to turn the gas off at this stage if you’re a little slow with it.

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Dish up and serve with tomatoes which you forgot to add to the omelette mix *blush*

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Serve the omelette-calzone cut in half to better your presentation skills #yeahright