Maple Roasted Delicata Squash with Quinoa, Kale & Smoky Tahini Sauce

This recipe for Maple Roasted Delicata Squash with Quinoa, Kale & Smoky Tahini Sauce makes for a hearty and flavourful main or side dish for the late autumn and early winter months.

Maple Roasted Delicata Squash with Quinoa, Kale & Smoky Tahini Sauce- Emma's Little Kitchen

Hello my lovelies, how is your week going? Tomorrow will be my last day at work before I go on maternity leave, and I am so ready! Sleep has been elusive for weeks, and I have felt particularly wiped out in the last few days, I’m ready to hibernate. Speaking of such things, West Michigan has outdone itself again with the old lake effect weather- we have been blasted this week! This timely combination of snowfall and sleepiness is making me want to curl up and never leave the house, so I have found myself with a little extra time to play in the kitchen- yodelay!

Maple Roasted Delicata Squash with Quinoa, Kale & Smoky Tahini Sauce- Emma's Little Kitchen

I wanted to create a Thanksgiving themed dish for you all, and here it is: Maple Roasted Delicata Squash with Quinoa, Kale & Smoky Tahini Sauce (admittedly, not the punchiest title for a recipe…). Obviously being British I didn’t grow up celebrating Thanksgiving, but it is a holiday I have embraced wholeheartedly since moving to the States. Any holiday that centers around food, drink and family is a-ok in my book! As a vegetarian, I always like to make sure that I bring something creative to family gatherings. A dish that is festive and delicious for me, but can also be enjoyed by everyone else. This recipe ticks all of those boxes, plus it is pretty easy to make so you don’t have to have any Thanksgiving morning meltdowns.

Maple Roasted Delicata Squash with Quinoa, Kale & Smoky Tahini Sauce- Emma's Little Kitchen

Aside from this dish, I haven’t decided what else to bring to Thanksgiving yet, but I’m thinking it will be one of the following:

Smoky String Bean Casserole with Sriracha Buttermilk Onion Rings from Eats Well with Others

Sweet Potato Pie with Sweet and Salty Pecan Crust from Ambitious Kitchen

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with a Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette from Orchard St Kitchen

Sweet Potato & Kale Gratin from Oh My Veggies

Pumpkin Hummus from the Muffin Myth

What are you making for Thanksgiving?!

Maple Roasted Delicata Squash with Quinoa, Kale & Smoky Tahini Sauce- Emma's Little Kitchen

Maple Roasted Delicata Squash with Quinoa, Kale & Smoky Tahini Sauce
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Main/Side
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • For the Squash:
  • 2 small delicata squash
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 tbsp maple syrup
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • For the Quinoa and Kale:
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup vegetable stock (or 1 cup of water)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 small bunch of kale, destemmed and finely chopped
  • ¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
  • For the Smoky Tahini Sauce:
  • ½ cup tahini
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Dash low sodium tamari
  • Dash liquid smoke (optional)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp chili powder
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C
  2. Cut the squash into 1 inch rounds
  3. Mix the olive oil, maple syrup and cayenne pepper in a bowl, and toss the squash slices with the oil-syrup mixture, or brush each slice individually. Lay the squash in a single layer on a baking sheet (line with foil for easier clean up!)
  4. Roast for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and flip, then roast for 15-20 more minutes until tender and golden
  5. Meanwhile make the quinoa and kale: Combine the quinoa, stock and water in large pot. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed, and the quinoa is tender (with a little bite!)
  6. Heat the olive oil in a large shallow skillet, add the onions and saute until softened, and the kale and saute until tender. Add the cooked quinoa to the skillet and toss to combine.
  7. Make the sauce: throw all of the sauce ingredients into a mason jar and shake shake shake until everything is well combined
  8. Assemble the dish: Place the cooked squash atop the quinoa kale mixture, sprinkle with pumpkin seeds if desired, and drizzle with the sauce

Notes:

Squash inspired by this recipe from Edible Perspective, and the sauce is adapted from this recipe from Vegan Yack Attack.

If delicata squash is not available, you can substite with any other squash- I love delicata squash as it requires no peeling (hurrah!).

PS. Do you subscribe to Emma’s Little Kitchen yet? Follow along with Bloglovin!

Pumpkin, White Chocolate & Cranberry Scones

These pumpkin, white chocolate & cranberry scones are made with whole wheat flour, and have a mild pumpkin flavour with pockets of sweetness from the white chocolate and cranberries.

Pumpkin, White Chocolate & Cranberry Scone- Emma's Little Kitchen

It is my observation that scones can be neatly divided into two categories: the British Scone and the American Scone. The British scone is plain, no frills. It might be dotted with dried fruit, but its main function is to provide a vehicle for the dollop of jam and cream (if you’re lucky, clotted cream) scooped liberally on top. The American scone is more of a self contained unit. Often larger and sweeter (of course…!), the American scone comes in all sorts of flavours, and stuffed full of all kinds of goodies- fruit, chocolate, nuts, spices, sometimes all of the above. No jam or cream are required on the American scone, that would be overkill.

Pumpkin, White Chocolate & Cranberry SconePumpkin, White Chocolate & Cranberry Scone- Emma's Little KitchenPumpkin, White Chocolate & Cranberry Scone- Emma's Little Kitchen

This scone is much more American in nature, moist and amber-hued from the pumpkin, mellow sweetness from the white chocolate and vanilla, and studded with tart dried cranberries. Happily it is also made with 100% whole wheat flour, just like the rest, and has a relatively low sugar content. Even though they are made with whole wheat flour, they are remarkably light, and didn’t dry out for a couple of days (although, for best results: always eat your scones on the day of baking if possible!). These scones are perfect for a weekend breakfast with a strong coffee, or for a nice mid afternoon snack. I adore them for there autumnal quality, but I have a feeling I will be enjoying them all winter long.

Pumpkin, White Chocolate & Cranberry Scone- Emma's Little KitchenEnjoy!

Pumpkin, White Chocolate & Cranberry Scones
 
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Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 5 tbsp butter, chopped into small chunks
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup white chocolate chips
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar
  3. Cut the butter into the dry mixture, you can use a pastry cutter or knife, but personally I like to use my fingers!
  4. Stir in the pumpkin puree, milk and vanilla until the mixture is fully combined
  5. Fold in the chocolate chips and cranberries
  6. Turn the mixture onto a lightly floured surface, and use your hands to mold the mixture into a circle shape, about an inch in depth
  7. Cut the circle into 8 equal portions, and transfer each scone onto a lined baking sheet
  8. Bake for about 15 minutes, until risen and slightly golden brown, remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for just a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling
  9. Eat as soon as possible!

Notes

Basic scone recipe adapted from Cookie and Kate.

These can be easily made vegan by using coconut oil in place of butter, almond milk in place of milk, and vegan white chocolate chips.

Store for 2-3 days in an air tight container.

Pasta with Butternut Squash Sage Sauce

This creamy butternut squash sage sauce is simple, quick, and can be enjoyed with any kind of pasta.

Pasta with Butternut Squash Sage Sauce-  Emma's Little Kitchen

A couple of weeks ago, after a string of failed kitchen experiments, I found myself dangerously low on blog-worthy material. Gazing into my fridge for inspiration, my eyes landed on a butternut squash, and I realised that there is something I have been keeping from you. My butternut squash sage sauce is a recipe I make so often, it really hadn’t occurred to me to blog about it. This is one of Kirks absolute favourite recipes, not just for the creamy, velvety texture, or the sweet, warm, nutty flavour, or even the fact it can be made in about 20 minutes. No, what Kirk likes most about this dish is the way it sounds when I say “Butternut Sauce” with my accent…

Pasta with Butternut Squash Sage Sauce- Emma's Little KitchenButternut Squash Sage Sauce- Emma's Little KitchenButternut Squash Sage Sauce - Emma's Little Kitchen

ANYWAY, a little more about this fabulous pasta dish: I found the original recipe for this a few years ago, but I confess I do not remember where! It was so simple that I only looked at it once and had it pretty much locked in. Over time I have tweaked and evolved the original, and it has become a staple for us in the autumn and winter months. I often double the batch so I have an easy dinner ready to go ahead of time. It can also easily be made vegan by omitting the parmesan- it will still taste great!

Butternut Squash Sage Sauce - Emma's Little KitchenEnjoy!

Pasta with Butternut Squash Sage Sauce
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large sprig of sage
  • 1 small onion
  • ½ medium butternut squash, peeled and diced (3-4 cups)
  • 1½ cups water
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan, plus more for sprinkling
  • generous helping of salt and pepper
  • One 14oz/400g box of pasta (I used whole wheat penne, but pick your fave!)
Method
  1. In a large saucepan, melt butter and olive oil over a low medium heat, add sage and cook gently for about 2 minutes, letting the sage flavour infuse the oil
  2. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes until softened, but not browned
  3. Add the butternut squash and give everything a good stir, cover and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 10-12 minutes until tender
  4. While the butternut squash is cooking, prepare the pasta according to package instructions
  5. Pour the contents of the butternut squash pan into a blender, add grated parmesan and season generously with salt and pepper, blend until smooth (be extra careful when blending hot liquids!!)
  6. Check the seasoning and consistency. If it is a little thick you can water down with a little pasta water (or just water if you are making ahead)
  7. When the pasta is cooked, drain, and return to the hot pan. Toss the pasta with the desired amount of sauce and gently heat through until piping hot
  8. Serve into bowls and sprinkle with extra parmesan

Notes

To make vegan, simply omit the cheese. The sauce is still wonderful without it.

Depending on how saucey you like your pasta, you may have a little sauce left over. It stores for up to 5 days in the fridge, or can be frozen for pasta emergencies.

Parkin

Parkin is a traditional cake native to Northern England. This better-for-you version is made with whole wheat flour and reduced refined sugar, but it is every bit as good as the original!

Whole Grain Parkin- Emma's Little Kitchen

When I tell my American friends about Bonfire Night, or “Guy Fawkes Night”, they are often a little bewildered. Maybe it’s the way I explain it, “so there was this man called Guy Fawkes who tried to blow up Parliament in 1605, but he was caught. Now we celebrate by lighting fireworks and eating toffee”. Yes, bewildering indeed!

Whole Grain Parkin- Emma's Little KitchenWhole Grain Parkin- Emma's Little Kitchen

I will  not use up anymore of this space laying out the facts of Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot, thats what google is for! What I REALLY want to talk to you about is Parkin. Oh lovely Parkin! This traditional cake is native to Northern England (where I hail from!) and it is usually served on Bonfire Night alongside the aforementioned toffee.

Whole Grain ParkinWhole Grain Parkin- Emma's Little Kitchen

A classic Parkin cake is made with treacle, ginger and oats, and some versions might even contain lard…! My version of Parkin is a little better for you than the traditional as it contains whole wheat flour, reduced refined sugar and certainly no lard. Don’t worry purists (Hi Mum!), this Parkin retains every bit of its Northern character- it’s no nonsense, perfectly spiced, moist, sticky and dense. Absolutely perfect to nibble on a cold November evening with a hot chocolate.

Whole Grain Parkin- Emma's Little Kitchen

It really is a favourite of mine, and not just out of sentimentality. Give it a try, and enjoy!

Parkin
 
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Parkin is a traditional cake native to Northern England. This better-for-you version is made with whole wheat flour and reduced refined sugar, but it is every bit as good as the original!
Author:
Serves: 9 squares
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole what pastry flour
  • ½ cup oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cup plain yoghurt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ¼ cup maple syryp
  • 1 tbsp treacle or molasses
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C
  2. Grease a 9 x 9 square pan
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger
  4. In a large bowl, combine yoghurt, sugar, butter, maple syrup, and treacle
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir to combine
  6. Bake for 40 minutes until a knife or toothpick come out clean, and the edges of the cake start to pull away from the side of the pan
  7. Cool in the pan for an hour, and then turn onto a cooling rack to cool completely

Notes

Recipe adapted from here.

Parkin keeps incredibly well and becomes more sticky and moist a few days after baking, just store in an airtight container.

More about Bonfire Night at this handy dandy Wikipedia Page!

Sweet Potato Wedges with Rosemary & Sea Salt

These baked sweet potato wedges with rosemary and sea salt are crisp, salty-sweet, and good for you too!

Sweet Potato Wedges with Rosemary & Sea Salt- Emma's Little Kitchen

The temperatures are falling and the days are getting shorter, it even snowed this week (*sigh*, Michigan!). Root vegetable season is in full swing, and today I am celebrating with some beautiful baked sweet potato wedges, adorned with crunchy sea salt and piney, aromatic rosemary! Not only are they tasty and incredibly good for you, they cook more quickly that normal potatoes… and that means they are in your belly faster… Hooray!

Sweet Potato Wedges with Rosemary & Sea Salt {Emma's Little Kitchen} Sweet Potato Wedges with Rosemary & Sea Salt- Emma's Little Kitchen

For years I have been making sweet potato wedges the same way: seasoned with smoked paprika, cumin and a dash of cayenne pepper. I still LOVE this version, but I recently stumbled upon this rosemary and sea salt combination, and am smitten all over again. I love mixing the sweet with the  salty and bold, so these are a real winner in my kitchen. I serve them alongside a scramble of some sort – tofu or eggs will do- for a quick healthy and delicious dinner!

Sweet Potato Wedges with Rosemary & Sea Salt {Emma's Little Kitchen}

Give them a try!!

Sweet Potato Wedges with Rosemary & Sea Salt
 
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These sweet potato wedges with rosemary and sea salt are crisp, salty-sweet, and good for you too!
Author:
Recipe type: Side
Serves: 2-4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 large sweet potatoes,
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1-1.5 tsp sea salt
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 425F/220C
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes and slice into wedges
  3. In a medium bowl, toss together the wedges, olive oil, rosemary and cayenne pepper if using
  4. Spread the wedges on a baking sheet (or two) making sure they aren't touching- you need to give them space or they get soggy!
  5. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, remove and flip with a spatula, return to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until the edges are crisp, golden brown and lovely
  6. Sprinkle with sea salt in the pan, and serve!

PS. Do you love Sweet Potato Too? Maybe you will enjoy my Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchilada Bake, or Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Leeks in a Coconut Curry Sauce!

 

 

The Liebster Award (or, let’s get personal)

 

Hello All! A special post for you today: I was nominated last week for a Liebster Award by fellow blogger Ksenia from The Immigrants Table. Thanks for the nomination Ksenia!

Liebster Award

What is the Liebster Award? Well, it is a way to recognize the work of other bloggers and to share blogs that I love with my lovely readers!

What are the rules?

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated me and link to their blog + display the award badge.
  2. Answer 11 questions provided by the blogger who nominated me
  3. List 11 random facts about myself
  4. Nominate 11 bloggers (I tweaked this rule, sorry!)
  5. Pose 11 questions to said nominees
  6. Go to each nominee’s blog and notify them of their nomination.

Apologies: This is a SUPER LONG post! But don’t despair, I will be posting a recipe for you at the end of the week!

Ok! Here I go!

The Questions:

  1. What person, dead or alive, has had the most influence on your cooking? My family! They are my favourite people to cook for, and with. Especially my sissies!
  2. What are your thoughts on the Food Network in particular? Love it. I don’t have sky or cable, so my husband and I tend to just binge watch in bed when we are staying at a hotel.
  3. … and TV cooking shows in general? Again, love! My fave of all time is anything Nigella. My husband, the Scientist, loves Good Eats!
  4. If you could eat one convenience store junk food for the rest of your life, absconding all others, what would you choose? Cadbury’s Dairy Milk? Does that count?!
  5. What is your favourite way to prepare eggs (if you’re vegan, what is your favourite way to prepare tofu)? I am pretty fussy with my eggs, and only really like them in omelet form or in a quiche. I rather enjoy my tofu rancheros though!
  6. What is your favourite cake? My Grandmas coffee cake was always my favourite when I was little, I am also a sucker for a good chocolate cake, or a classic Victoria Sponge with a cup of tea.
  7. Sweet or salty? You wouldn’t have guessed it from my last answer, but salty!
  8. Crunchy or chewy? Both, please!
  9. What do you love most about yourself? My health!
  10. Which dish of yours would you want your (future?) children to make in perpetuity, and to remember you by? Ahh… perfect roast potatoes.
  11. What has been your favourite blog post of yours? You know, I’m not sure if I have one. But my Honey Glazed Tofu is unexpectedly my most popular post to date!
Cooking with my Sissies!

Cooking with my Sissies!

The Random Facts:

  1. My parents were in the Royal Air Force, and I lived in four different cities and in three different countries before the age of seven. I think it’s where my itchy feet come from.
  2. My husband and I did not click for the first couple of weeks we knew each other (like, at all!), but we got engaged within six months.
  3. I have never watched Shawshank Redemption. Mainly because people keep telling me that I HAVE to watch Shawshank Redemption.
  4. My favourite place in the whole world is the Lake District, just north of where I grew up. Every time I go home to visit, I make a little pilgrimage there. It is simply beautiful.
  5. I am an unskilled but enthusiastic skier.
  6. I love to read, and am slowly working my way through The Guardians 1000 Novels Everyone Must Read List. 
  7. My dog is kind of named after the fictional TV Serial Killer Dexter.
  8. I ran my first marathon last year, and I’m hoping to do my next one when I get back into my stride after this baby boy gets here!
  9. I went to an all-girls high school.
  10. I became a vegetarian at the tender age of 12 after seeing a documentary meat and how it gets to our tables. Something didn’t sit quite right with me, and with the support of my parents, I never looked back! My sisters both became vegetarian shortly afterwards.
  11. I used to be EXTREMELY afraid of flying (in fact, I would need a Valium to get me through!), but the more my life has necessitated air travel, the more I have gotten used to it. Now the fear is pretty minimal!

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The Nominees:

I nominate Katie from The Muffin Myth, because I just discovered her blog and it has quickly become a new favourite. I love her approach to sensible eating!

I nominate Francesca from Della Cucina Povera because her musings make me chortle, and I love her laid back approach to old family recipes. Plus, I want to live in Amsterdam too.

I nominate  Manali from Cook with Manali for her incredible Indian recipes, and all the context she gives them!

I nominate Julia from Orchard Street Kitchen for her approachable vegetarian recipes, and the fact her blog is still so new: I would love to get to know her better!

Our tiny wedding

<3

11 Questions:

  1. Of all the places you have visited, where has the best food?
  2. Is there a recipe you just can’t perfect?
  3. Has blogging helped you learn anything new about yourself?
  4. What cookbook do you use most often?
  5. What do you eat for breakfast on the average weekday?
  6. Sweet or Savory?
  7. What is your idea of “food heaven”?
  8. …and “food hell”?
  9. What is the one thing you always have in your fridge?
  10. What is the one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?
  11. Describe your perfect weekend?
First Marathon!

First Marathon!

Phew! Thanks for sticking with me. It is never easy to talk about yourself at length, but thanks for reading and learning a bit more about the lady behind the blog! Please take a minute to visit Ksenia, my nominator, and all of my Nominees- they are a talented bunch!

Until next time!! xx

Strawberry & Coconut Jarfait

Strawberry & Coconut Jarfait- Emma's Little Kitchen

Ah, the Strawberry and Coconut Jarfait! What is a Jarfait you ask? Why, it is a parfait in a jar of course! Everyone knows that food is instantly cooler if served in a mason jar (*wry smile*), haven’t you been on Pinterest lately?

Strawberry & Coconut Jarfait

In all seriousness, packing my breakfast in a mason jar has a lot of advantages. I can make it the night before and just grab it to go in the morning which is handy when you start your work day at 7am. I also prefer to store food in glass containers instead of plastic, and admittedly, it does look a lot prettier in a mason jar than it would in a battered old tupperware container.

Strawberry & Coconut Jarfait

That being said, I encourage you to make this Strawberry and Coconut Jarfait, and serve it in whichever vessel you see fit, whether your reasons are aesthetic, practical or otherwise. The combination of creamy, tart greek yoghurt, toasted, nutty granola and sweet strawberry compote is such a treat, and choc full of good-for-you stuff too! The strawberry chia jam is adapted from my quinoa porridge recipe, one of the first recipes I ever posted on E.L.K! I make it all the time in big batches and use it for porridge, mixing in yoghurt, spreading on toast. Try it, seriously, and begin with this jarfait!

Strawberry & Coconut Jarfait

 

 

Strawberry & Coconut Jarfait
 
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Author:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • For the strawberry chia compote:
  • 2 cups frozen strawberries (1 10oz/280g package)
  • ¼ cup honey (or agave or maple syrup)
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • For the oat mix:
  • ¾ cup of oats
  • ⅓ cup flaked almonds
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • To assemble:
  • 2 cups plain greek yoghurt
  • Additional nuts, seeds or coconut to top (optional)
Method
  1. Start by making your strawberry chia compote so it has time to cool: Combine strawberries, honey, and vanilla in a saucepan, gently bring to a boil, add the chia seeds and reduce to simmer for 20 minutes, remove from the heat and allow to cool and thicken while you prepare the oat mix
  2. Preheat the oven to 375F/190C
  3. Combine oats, almonds and coconut flakes in a bowl, transfer to a glass baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes until everything takes on a golden hue, remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  4. When the oat mix and strawberry compote have cooled, you can assemble your parfait: start with a quarter of the yoghurt, followed by a quarter of the oat mix, and then a quarter of the compote. Repeat!

Notes:

You can make the strawberry chia jam a few days before- the longer you leave it, the thicker it becomes.

The jam is also very adaptable- try it with a different berry!

Go-To Spinach & Chickpea Curry

Spinach & Chickpea Curry- Emma's Little KitchenI’m sharing a family favourite with you today! This spinach and chickpea curry is a staple in the home of my parents, and has since become a staple in mine. This is the ultimate curry in a hurry- the spices are simple and I always have them to hand, it comes together in 30 minutes making it a wonderful weeknight meal, plus it is packed full of healthy goodness!

Spinach & Chickpea Curry- Emma's Little KitchenIndian is my absolute favourite, and Kirk and I eat curry dishes frequently. However, when I bring leftovers into work, a lot of people tell me that they find the spices in traditional indian food intimidating. The idea behind this curry is to keep it approachable (no long list of ingredients!) without loosing any of that beautiful aromatic flavour. It may not be the most authentic curry, but it is terribly tasty!

Spinach & Chickpea Curry- Emma's Little Kitchen

I doubt my parents follow much of a recipe with this, it is not really their style. Similarly, it took me a while to pin down the exact quantities of ingredients because I would just throw it together by what looked right. After a little trial and error I finally got there, and I’m really excited to share the results with you!

Spinach & Chickpea Curry- Emma's Little Kitchen

What about you?! Do you like Indian food? Do you make it often?

Go-To Spinach & Chickpea Curry
 
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Author:
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pinch piece of ginger, minced
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (or more or less to taste)
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 tin, drained)
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes (14oz)
  • pinch of sugar (optional, to cut through the acidity of the tomatoes)
  • 3 generous handfuls of fresh baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped (optional)
  • squeeze of fresh lemon (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Method
  1. Heat olive oil in a large lidded pan over medium heat
  2. Add the onions, and fry until translucent
  3. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook for a couple of minutes more, stirring frequently
  4. Add the garam masala, cumin and cayenne pepper, stir so that the onions have a nice coating of the spices, cook for just a minute until the spices are a little toasted
  5. Add the chickpeas and stir well so they are covered in oil and spice
  6. Add the tomatoes and sugar (if using), give everything a good stir, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes on low-medium heat.
  7. Add the spinach in batches, and stir until the spinach is wilted
  8. At the end of cooking, add a sprinkling of fresh coriander, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice if desired
  9. Serve with rice or naan

 

 

 

Black Pepper & Sesame Stir Fried Noodles

Black Pepper & Sesame Stir Fried Noodles

Hello! How is your week going? Kirk and I have been cracking on with all things baby related this week, we are on the countdown now! On Sunday my mother-in-law and sister-in-laws threw me a Pumpkin themed baby shower (you know, in celebration for the baby AND my love for all things pumpkin). I was truly touched by the generosity of my American side of the family, we received so many sweet gifts for our little nugget. Now onto organizing it all- no small feat! This tiny person really does seem to need a lot of stuff, and all of that stuff needs a place to live in our tiny home. Suffice to say, we are pretty busy.

Black Pepper & Sesame Stir Fried NoodlesBlack Pepper & Sesame Stir Fried Noodles

Consequently I have been on the hunt for some extra low-stress, quick meals. Preferably ones that make decent leftovers (fewer meals to plan!), and still pack a nutritional punch. This black pepper and sesame stir fried noodle dish has quickly worked its way into our rotation, for all of the reasons listed above, and because it is absolutely divine.

Black Pepper & Sesame Stir Fried Noodles

My recipe is adapted from A Pinch of Yum’s Black Pepper Stir Fried Noodles. I can’t fault the original, its fab, but I wanted to add some vegetables and ultimately decided to loose the tofu. The result is a fresh, light dish with a salty-sweet sauce and a peppery kick. It comes together so quickly, and best of all it is highly adaptable, just use whatever vegetables you have to hand and throw it in there! Happy stir frying, friends!

Black Pepper & Sesame Stir Fried Noodles

Black Pepper & Sesame Stir Fried Noodles
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For the Black Pepper Sauce:
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black peppercorns
  • 6 tbsp low sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 3 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 1 inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • For the Noodles & Vegetables
  • 8oz package of udon noodles
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into small batons
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
Method
  1. Put all of the sauce ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until a smooth sauce forms, set aside. If you don't have this equipment to hand, simple whisk them together in a bowl.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add noodles, and cook for just two minutes until softened. Drain, and rise under cool water, set aside in the colander,
  3. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a wok, or large non-stick frying pan. Once the pan is hot, add the carrots and mushrooms and stir fry over a medium-high heat until just tender. Empty onto a dish and set aside
  4. Add the remaining tbsp of oil to the pan or wok, followed by the cooked noodles and the block pepper sauce. Stir fry the noodles over a medium-high heat until completely cooked, just a couple of minutes should do the trick
  5. Remove from heat and add the cooked vegetables, spinach leaves and sesame seeds. Toss everything together until everything is well combined, the spinach has wilted, and the vegetables have heated through
  6. Serve and enjoy!

 

Sticky Maple Balsamic Glazed Tempeh

Sticky Maple Balsamic Glazed Tempeh

Tempeh. Are you familiar?! Up until a couple of years ago I was really more of a tofu girl, but after a few experiments – not all of them successful(!) – I have come to love tempeh just as much, if not more than its soy-cousin. Similar to tofu, I have found that tempeh just needs a little love and attention to transform it from palatable to delectable. Today I want to share my go-to tempeh recipe with you- Sticky Maple Balsamic Glazed  Tempeh. Is your mouth already watering?! I know, there are few dishes that can’t be improved with a glug of maple syrup and a splash of balsamic vinegar… amiright?!

Sticky Maple Balsamic Glazed TempehTempeh is chewier and nuttier than tofu, I find that it can also be a little bitter if you don’t cook it with something a touch sweet. The maple syrup does the trick in this recipe, and the fruity balsamic vinegar balances the sweetness out with a tangy punch. Both of these flavours beautifully compliment the natural earthy taste of the tempeh. Another reason why I love this recipe: no marinating required! Just throw the ingredients together in one dish, and you are ready to go. Enjoy!

Sticky Maple Balsamic Glazed Tempeh

Sticky Maple Balsamic Glazed Tempeh
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 package of tempeh
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp tamari or low sodium soy sauce
  • 1½ tsp dried thyme
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F/175C
  2. Slice the tempeh into ¾ inch slices
  3. Mix the vinegar, syrup, oil, tamari, garlic and thyme in a 9x9 glass baking dish, and place the tofu in the dish ensuring the slices are equally spaced. They should be about half-submerged
  4. Cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes
  5. Remove from the oven and flip each slice over, return to the oven uncovered and cook for a further 20 minutes
  6. Remove from the oven and place the tempeh slices onto a serving dish
  7. Pour the remaining liquid into a small saucepan, bring the saucepan to the boil and then reduce to simmer for 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the liquid becomes a sticky glaze
  8. Pour the glaze over the top of the tempeh

Notes

Adapted from Meghan Telpner.