Category:  Savory Bites

Home » Archive by category "Savory Bites"

Quinoa Muffins

In Dinners and Meals, Lunch Box, Savory Bites On January 10, 2017 0 Comments

These quinoa muffins are perfect to make for picnics or to put on salads. They can be prepared in advanced and even stored in the freezer for later use. Muffins are also a great way to hide vegetables for those less willing to indulge in whole veggies.

Source of protein

Quinoa is known for being a good plant based protein source. It is known to contain all nine essential amino acids necessary for good health. Amino acids support strong muscles, keep our immune system in tip-top shape and have a big contribution towards keeping our bodies healthy (Source).

Gluten free

Despite being listed as a gluten free protein source, quinoa is still considered a grain and sources are somewhat contradictory. I thus suggest you try it and see the effects it has on your body. In fact, unlike other grains, I find I do tolerate it if taken moderately. In any case, it is always better than having couscous, rice or pasta :)

Three types of Quinoa

3 types of quinoa exist and all provide the same nutritional values and cook for roughly the same time. There is white, red or black quinoa and the choice is up to your preference. Red and black quinoa can be more crunchy and take slightly longer to cook.

Recipe Vegan Alternatives

For a vegan alternative remember to replace eggs with chia seeds. 1 egg can be replaced with 1 tablespoon chia seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons water. Let this mixture sit for about 5 minutes so that the chia seeds can grow and form a sticky gel.

Instead of cheese, you can use nutritional yeast. In fact, nutritional yeast is often used as a vegan alternative for parmesan cheese on pizza or other recipes. Nutritional yeast is another great source of protein, fibre and B vitamins (source). 

Comments

This recipe makes about 22 muffins. You can use half the ingredients if you want 12 muffins. Otherwise, you could make the recipe as is and freeze the extra ones for future use.

Feel free to comment for feedback at the bottom of this screen!

 

 

Quinoa Muffins
Yields 22
Print

Prep Time
30 min

Cook Time
40 min

Prep Time
30 min

Cook Time
40 min

Ingredients
  1. 1 medium butternut squash
  2. 2 cups quinoa (I used 3 colour quinoa)
  3. 6 eggs (for vegan replace with a mixture of 6 tablespoons chia seeds and 18 tablespoons water)
  4. 10 olives
  5. 4 tomatoes
  6. 1 teaspoon paprika
  7. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  8. 2  tablespoons mixed herbs
  9. 1 tablespoon ground oregano
  10. 80g white cheese (I used local cheeslet/gbejna)
  11. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Start by cooking the butternut squash. You can make this ahead of time. Cut the butternut squash in half, place in in the oven, skin facing heat source and bake for 40 minutes.
  2. In the meantime boil the quinoa in a double amount of water. Use 4 cups water for 2 cups quinoa and stir occasionally. This should take between 10 to 15 minutes until all liquid is absorbed.
  3. If you are using chia seeds instead of eggs, prepare the water and chia seeds mixture in advance.
  4. When the butternut squash is ready, remove the skin and mash the pulp with a fork.
  5. Add the quinoa and other ingredients to the squash and mix well together until all ingredients are incorporated.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a lined muffin tray or use silicon muffin moulds. Silicone moulds will ensure the muffins do not stick when it’s time to remove the wrapper.
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 200°C or gas mark 6.
  8. Enjoy warm or cold. Freeze extra ones for later use.
Rody's Hearty Corner http://www.rodysheartycorner.com/

 

Sweet Potato Fries

In Savory Bites, Vegan, Vegetarian On December 9, 2016 0 Comments

This is a super easy sweet potato chips recipe that you can make any time instead of conventional chips. For this recipe I have used white sweet potatoes which are grown locally in Malta. They are cheaper than normal sweet potatoes and we prefer their taste better than the orange ones. They are less strong making them taste similar to normal potatoes but with less starch. Below is a picture of these white type of sweet potatoes. 

These white fleshed sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A, a good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6. Additionally, they are a good source of potassium, dietary fiber, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and phosphorus (source). 

The final product was a quite satisfying experience. The same recipe however can be used with all type of sweet potatoes.

 

 

Sweet potato fries
Serves 2
Print

Prep Time
5 min

Cook Time
25 min

Total Time
30 min

Prep Time
5 min

Cook Time
25 min

Total Time
30 min

Ingredients
  1. 1 large sweet potato
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  4. 1 teaspoon paprika
  5. ½ teaspoon ground turmeric (optional)
  6. ½ teaspoon ground fenugreek (optional)
  7. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat grill or otherwise oven at 200°C.
  2. Cut the sweet potato in strips and place in a clean plastic bag.
  3. Add the olive oil, close the plastic bag and shake to evenly distribute the oil on the sweet potatoes.
  4. Add in the remaining spices and seasoning and mix well by shaking the bag.
  5. Place on oven tray, preferably onto baking paper and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes turning the potatoes half way through.
  6. Enjoy as a side or as a snack.
Rody's Hearty Corner http://www.rodysheartycorner.com/

Cauliflower Hummus

In Healthier Alternatives, Savory Bites, Vegan On August 30, 2016 0 Comments

Cauliflower is such an amazing vegetable when it comes to Paleo aka grain free recipes. You can create so many alternatives out of cauliflower and this hummus recipe is yet another use which I have recently discovered.
 

 
Chickpeas are great, don’t get me wrong. I like their taste and absolutely love the traditional hummus. But being a grain, even though gluten free, I still feel it’s nasty effect. It does make me less energetic and slightly bloated. So I feel like I’d rather take a pizza instead and when I want to stay light, I indulge in Paleo food. In fact this is why I love paleo, grain and refined sugar free food. It just makes me feel better!

cauliflower hummus (2) (Medium)

Apparently cauliflower hummus is not something new for Paleo diet, as I found many different variations of this recipe online. The good thing about it is that you can season it to your own taste. You can add other ingredients and remove the ones you don’t like. Feel free to experiment with the ingredients you put in. Some popular flavours are fresh garlic, cumin, coriander, turmeric, fresh herbs like basil and mint, tahini paste, yogurt, paprika and olives.

Since I previously mentioned that cauliflower is a saviour in many paleo recipes and alternatives, I thought of reminding you about these recipes (click on links for recipe):

Cauliflower pizza base

Cauliflower rice

Cauliflower couscous

Cauliflower buffalo wings

Cauliflower veggie patties

Cauliflower tortillas

Mac & Cheese inspired vegetable bake

Pineapple surprise

Rice free sushi

 

 

Cauliflower Hummus
Print

Ingredients
  1. 1 head cauliflower
  2. 1 whole head of garlic
  3. 1 tablespoon tahini paste (optional)
  4. fresh parsley or any other fresh herbs
  5. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  6. 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  7. salt and pepper
  8. water (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cut the top of the garlic head so that all garlic cloves are exposed. Place it inside some thin foil and bake in the oven for around 20 minutes. This will soften the garlic and create a nice flavour of roasted garlic. Otherwise feel free to use around three cloves of fresh garlic instead for a potent garlic flavour.
  2. In the meantime steam the cauliflower.
  3. When both garlic and cauliflower are ready blend all the ingredients in a food processor. You will need to squeeze the roasted garlic out of the skin. Add water depending on the consistency desired.
  4. Serve with raw vegetables or with homemade crackers (olive oil herb crackers or flax seed crackers).
Notes
  1. Don’t forget to experiment and add your own flavours to this dip. Other ideas of what you could add are: cumin, coriander, turmeric, fresh herbs like basil and mint, yogurt, paprika, olives
Rody's Hearty Corner http://www.rodysheartycorner.com/

 

Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

In Savory Bites On November 11, 2015 0 Comments

Snacking time is an important part of the day for me. I snack every two to three hours and if I don’t, I get crazy. I don’t have big meals because I can’t handle feeling full after a meal, and snacking is my way around it to feel lighter and better.

cauliflower bites (Medium)
As much as I know that eating in front of a television is wrong, I do sometimes do it during a movie night. Eating whilst focussing on something else will shift your focus from the food and you will end up eating and wanting more food. This recipe is great for munching on whilst watching T.V. because it is almost guilt free. Whilst stocking up on raw carrot sticks and celery is a great alternative, we often crave something warm and crispy. These cauliflower bites provide just that… and forget the taste of cauliflower, you will be licking your fingers afterwords!

caulifower closeup (Medium)
These cauliflower bites are a healthier option for the famous vegan buffalo wings alternative. Vegan buffalo wings use cauliflower instead of chicken to create a vegan but still tasty snack. This latter recipe often uses store bought processed buffalo sauce. Through in my recipe I am using spices to flavour the cauliflower florets and make them just as finger licking good!

 

Cauliflower Buffalo Wings
Serves 2
Print

Prep Time
10 min

Cook Time
20 min

Total Time
30 min

Prep Time
10 min

Cook Time
20 min

Total Time
30 min

Ingredients
  1. 1 head of cauliflower
  2. 1 cup ground almonds
  3. 1 teaspoon paprika
  4. ½ teaspoon ground chillies
  5. 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  6. plenty of salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the grill at high heat.
  2. Start by breaking up the cauliflower into small bite size pieces.
  3. Coat the cauliflower florets with coconut oil. You can mix cauliflower and oil in a bowl or otherwise throw them in a clean plastic bag to mix them well together.
  4. Mix all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then use mixture to coat well the oiled cauliflower.
  5. Let sit for about five minutes.
  6. If you have an air fryer, cook the cauliflower at high heat for about 20 minutes stirring half way through.
  7. Place cauliflower florets on a rack rather than a tray and grill for 12-15 minutes on each side.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature. You can also accompany them with this home made sour cream dip.
Rody's Hearty Corner http://www.rodysheartycorner.com/

My Red Harissa Salsa

In Healthier Alternatives, Savory Bites, Vegan On December 1, 2014 2 Comments

I made this great red salsa to go with my zucchini spaghetti. However it turned out to be so great that I also used it with my aubergine base mini pizzas, bread and cheese platters. This will surely be my red sauce alternative in many dishes.

I got inspired to make this sauce after watching Siba Mtongana make her own harissa paste on her own Food Network TV show. When i started making up this sauce the intention was to make my own version of a harissa paste, but I thought that with the addition of sun dried tomatoes and olives this was turning out to be more like a Mediterranean salsa/ paste. 

I am still not sure whether I should call this pesto, harissa, salsa or red sauce but in either case I can assure you it is truly delicious. I highly recommend you to make this sauce. It can be easily stored it in the fridge until you need it and goes well with pizza, pasta and bread. For a milder version omit the fresh chili pepper leaving just the roasted one. If you do not tolerate spicy food at all omit the chili peppers completely. Enjoy it as a replacement to store bought tomato sauces and let me know what you think. 

 

Red Pesto closeup (Small)

 

My Red Harissa Salsa
Print

Prep Time
10 min

Total Time
10 min

Prep Time
10 min

Total Time
10 min

Ingredients
  1. 4 cloves garlic
  2. 7g fresh ginger
  3. 10 basil leaves
  4. 1 red bell pepper (roasted)
  5. 1 small chili pepper (roasted)
  6. 1 fresh chili pepper, deseeded
  7. 10 sundried tomato halves
  8. 8 calamata olives (purple olives), pitted
  9. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  10. 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  11. 1/4 cup olive oil
Instructions
  1. Start by roasting the bell pepper and chili pepper for around 15 minutes.
  2. Once roasted peppers have cooled, remove skin and seeds.
  3. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until well combined and no large pieces can be seen.
  4. Store in a sterilized jar and keep in refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Notes
  1. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Rody's Hearty Corner http://www.rodysheartycorner.com/

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers

In Savory Bites, Vegetarian On October 17, 2014 0 Comments

I got to know that marrow flowers are edible whilst I was dining in Milan with my colleagues, and let me tell you they tasted really good. We had asked the steward for his suggestions and he told us to leave it in his hands for the appetizer. I remember asking him what he was going to get us, but we didn’t really understand what he said, just that it is exceptionally good. When the plate was presented to us and we tasted them, we asked again what they were, and then I learnt that the dish in front of us were zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta and coated in batter. They were deep fried but divine just the same.  The more I mentioned the dish to people the more I learnt that it was a common Italian recipe. Since then, I had wanted to create my own healthier version. I still used ricotta for the filling since I like ricotta a lot. The batter has been modified to my own and of course no frying is involved. 

It is not common to find zucchini flowers for sale in Malta, and in fact I never did. I got these flowers from a local farmer who was selling freshly picked marrows at the farmers market but he was actually using them to decorate. It’s a shame that they are most of the time thrown away. If you do find young marrows with the flowers still on I invite you to try this easy but very tasting dish as an appetizer or finger food. Make sure you use freshly picked marrow flowers as they tend to change taste once they start withering. Enjoy!

 Zucchini Bouquet (Small)

 

zucchini flowers (Small)

 

zucchini dissection (Small)

 

These are the flowers before going into the oven.

zucchini raw (Small)

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers
Yields 8
Print

Prep Time
30 min

Cook Time
30 min

Prep Time
30 min

Cook Time
30 min

Ingredients
  1. 8 zucchini flowers washed and air dried with stem still on
  2. 250g ricotta
  3. 8 fresh basil leaves
  4. 4 mint leaves
  5. 1 large egg
  6. 2 cups ground almonds
  7. 1 tablespoon harissa spice (or 1 teaspoon chili powder if not available)
  8. salt & pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven at 200 degrees celcius. I used electric oven.
  2. Chop the basil and mint leaves and mix them with the ricotta together with some salt and pepper. Put this mixture aside.
  3. In a separate bowl beat the egg lightly with fork and set aside.
  4. Use another bowl to mix the ground almonds with harissa spice and more salt and pepper. If you are unable to find harissa spice, use 1 teaspoon of mild chilly powder.
  5. Prepare an oven dish lined with baking paper.
  6. Start by filling the flowers with the ricotta filling leaving space enough to comfortably close the flower.
  7. Dip one flower in the egg mixture and then in the almond mixture making sure you get an even coat on each side.
  8. Place the stuffed flower on the oven dish and repeat the process for all the flowers.
  9. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes, and then turn over and bake for another 15 minutes. I used the stem to help me turn over the flowers.
  10. Keep an eye on them so that they do not burn. Heating might vary depending on ovens.
  11. Once baked, remove the stem and serve warm or cold.
Rody's Hearty Corner http://www.rodysheartycorner.com/

 

 

Homemade Vegan Pesto

In Healthier Alternatives, Savory Bites, Vegan On August 29, 2014 1 Comment

I love basil. It gives an interesting meaning to summer recipes. At this time of the year I usually make pesto as a means of storing this wonderful herb for longer times. At the end of summer, basil leaves will start to die, thus while leaves are still fresh, invest in some time to make this superb sauce which can be used in so many different dishes. If you do not have your own basil plants, now it is also the right time to buy them from supermarkets or green grocers. Small boxes which are pressed to every centimeter with basil are sold at around 1€ each at this time in Malta. Remember it is best to buy local produce when available.

 
pesto closeup (Small)

This is how I love to use this basil pesto:

  1. Toss it as dressing over salad leaves in any salad. It makes the salad so much more yummy. I toss 1 heaped table spoon of the pesto with my salad leaves and then add the remaining salad ingredients. 
  2. Toss it with pasta! I like to use it with my spiralized zucchini or thinly sliced, boiled cabbage. 
  3. Top it on grilled marrows or aubergines and use as a side dish. 
  4. Use it instead of mayo with boiled potatoes. This is a great side for barbecues. 
  5. Use the surfacing oil in the jar which will be infused with the pesto to fry chicken or meat. Then add the meat to a salad or choice of pasta and add some pesto. 
  6. Use it instead of tomato sauce in pizza. You could add it at the base of the pizza before putting any toppings or otherwise drizzle on top of the baked pizza. Try these aubergine pizzas with basil, colored peppers and feta cheese. Alternatively you can make your own choice of pizza base (I love quinoa flour pizza base) and dress the pizza with mozzarella and pesto. You can add some parma ham and fresh rucola as you take it out of the oven. 
  7. Use it as a spread in breads or wraps. You can also add use it to make garlic bread. 

 Two of my favorite pesto plates are showed below; pesto zucchini spaghetti and quinoa flour pizza base with mozzarella, pesto, cherry tomatoes and parma ham.

pesto_fav dishes

Fresh herbs can also be dried and stored. It is best to suspend them upside down until dry. Then crush them up and store them in a jar.
By the way click here for another great way to store fresh herbs for the winter. Freeze them with olive oil! 

 

Homamade Vegan Pesto
Print

Prep Time
15 min

Total Time
15 min

Prep Time
15 min

Total Time
15 min

Ingredients
  1. 2 cups basil leaves (best if thick stems are removed)
  2. 1 cup walnuts
  3. 4 cloves of garlic
  4. ½ cup olive oil
  5. salt and pepper
  6. fresh mint or coriander can be added
Instructions
  1. Start by processing the cloves of garlic in food processor.
  2. Then add the walnuts and process until you reach a nut butter consistency. Scrape the sides of the food processor frequently.
  3. Add the leaves, salt & pepper, and some of the olive oil and blend with food processor. If needed add more olive oil while processing. You should have a pasty even consistency.
  4. Place in a sterilized jar and top it with an additional layer of olive oil (about 1cm), this will help in preserving it.
  5. When using the pesto, mix the oil in the surface with the rest of the pesto and take the amount that you require, then top off with layer of olive oil before storing again. Store in the refrigerator.
  6. Once opened this can stay up to 5 weeks in the fridge or up to 6 months if sealed properly and unopened. It is very important that you have your jars and caps sterilized before storing so you don’t spoil the pesto with any bacteria which may be left inside the cleaned jars.
Rody's Hearty Corner http://www.rodysheartycorner.com/

Snack Idea: Grilled Long Peas

In Savory Bites, Vegan On July 7, 2014 0 Comments

This is a quick and easy healthy snack idea. Now that summer is on, and there are a lot more activities involving food, it is nice to have something tasty but healthy handy. I threw these grilled long peas in a brown paper bag and took them along with me to a barbecue. Whilst munching on them, all my friends were interested and wanted to taste the mysterious snack in my bag. It got me thinking that sometimes, the way we present healthy food is so boring that it puts everyone off, but if we put a little effort into the presentation or packaging, things would look better, hence be more inviting. 

Tip: make your snacks look yummy by packing them in a different nicer way and you will be looking forward to eat them! 

Check out other healthy snack recipes here

 

long peas portrait (Small)

 

Grilled long peas
Print

Ingredients
  1. as many long peas as you want
  2. salt and pepper
  3. cayenne chilly pepper (optional) or any other spice you fancy (smoked paprika would go well if you’re sensitive to heat)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  2. Toss spices onto the long peas and grill for about 15 minutes shaking over half way through.
Rody's Hearty Corner http://www.rodysheartycorner.com/