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Spinach & Cream Cheese Cannelloni

Spinach & Cream Cheese Cannelloni

A fabulous, fabulous recipe for cold nights and snuggling on the couch with loved ones. It requires some preparatory work but it is absolutely worth it. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

◦ Cannelloni Tubes – 1 box (Carrefour) or Lasagna Sheets

◦ 100g grated cheddar / gouda – Dama Dairy

 

Spinach Mix:

◦ 2 bunches spinach

◦ 250g cream cheese / ricotta – Happy Cow

◦ 1tsp salt

◦ 1/2 tsp black pepper

◦ 150ml cream

 

Tomato Sauce:

◦ 6 large tomatoes – diced

◦ Half a clove of garlic – crushed

◦ 2 large onions – diced

◦ 4 spring onions – diced

◦ 1 tbsp tomato paste

◦ 3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

◦ 1 tbsp White Wine Vinegar

◦ 75ml cream

◦ 2 tsp sugar

◦ 2 tsp Jaggery

◦ 1 tbsp honey

◦ 2 tsp salt

◦ 1/2 tsp black pepper

◦ 1 bunch (1 tbsp ) of fresh Oregano – chopped

◦ 1 bunch (1 tbsp) of fresh Marjoram – chopped

 

Instructions:

The Creamy Tomato Sauce:

1. Put the all the tomatoes, garlic, onions, spring onions and tomato paste in a pot with 2 tablespoons of Macadamia oil and cook them down on a medium to high heat for about 10-12 minutes.

2. Add the balsamic vinegar, white wine vinegar, sugar, jaggery, honey, salt, black pepper, oregano and marjoram to the pot and cook for a further 10 minutes.

3. Add 750ml of water (House of Mumbi will be proud), cover, reduce to heat to medium (the sauce should be just bubbling) and let it simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

4. Once the sauce looks like pasta sauce, remove from the heat and let it cool.

5. Once cooled add the 75ml cream, 25g of the grated cheddar and set aside.

 

Spinach Mix:

1. Steam the spinach until soft with abit of crunch.

2. Remove the spinach from the heat, add the cream cheese, 150ml cream, salt and black pepper then mix thoroughly.

 

The Build:

1. Get a large deep dish and put some tomato sauce at the bottom (1 ladle is adequate) to prevent burning and sticking.

2. Fill the tubes with the spinach mix. You could also wet some lasagna sheets (for malleability), cut them into 2, put some spinach mix at the end of one and roll it up – make sure there is enough mix for only one roll.

3. Arrange them in the dish leaving enough space for the sauce to get it.

4. After the first layer, cover with some sauce.

5. Add the final layer and cover with sauce – make sure all the pasta is covered or it will just remain hard and burn.

6. Put in the oven at 200°C for 50 minutes to 1 hour.

7. At the 40 minute mark add the remaining 75g of grated cheddar on top.

8. When golden brown, remove and serve hot with a nice bottle of Chianti.

Buon appetito!

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Grilled Halloumi & Grape Tomato Salad with An Avocado & Olive Dressing.

Something easy, bright and fulfilling. It can be made in advance and put together later. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

The Salad:

250g Halloumi Cheese

250g Grape or Cherry Tomatoes

100g Baby Spinach

100g Leafy Lettuce

½ tsp Salt

The Dressing:

1 large Avocado

2 tbsp Olive Pickle Juice

8 pitted Olives

1 tsp Yellow Mustard

5 tbsp Plain Mala

½ tsp Salt

½ tsp Black Pepper

1 tsp Honey

½ tsp Lemon Juice

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Blend the avocado, olive pickle juice (from the same jar holding the olives), pitted olives, our yellow mustard, plain mala, salt, black pepper, honey and lemon juice then put it in a jar and refrigerate.
  2. Wash the baby spinach and leafy lettuce, pat dry them dry with kitchen paper, chop up into bite sizes and place in a large salad bowl.
  3. Slice the halloumi cheese (I used Sirimon Cheese) into your preferred shape and set aside.
  4. Slice the grape or cherry tomatoes in half and set aside.
  5. Heat up the grill pan to medium-high and brush with your preferred oil (I used Rosemary Canola Oil from Mountain Oil).
  6. Grill the halloumi until caramel golden grill marks appear, then flip and repeat. If the halloumi breaks up in the pan, not to worry, it will still be delicious. When done, set aside.
  7. Increase the heat to high and add the tomatoes sliced side down. When you see dark grill marks, turn them and after 3 minutes, take them off the heat.
  8. Place the tomatoes in a ring near the edge of the plate, on top of the salad leaves and sprinkle with salt.
  9. Get the dressing from the fridge and add some on top of the tomatoes and salad leaves.
  10. Layer the grilled halloumi in the middle of the salad leaves and liberally add the dressing.

Light, Healthy and Acutely Delicious!

Happy Grilling!!😃

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Masala Chicken

Masala Chicken

I made this chicken dish while in a rush as work was pending. I used fresh herbs from my balcony garden. I bought the herbs from Nan’s Garden Kenya. It is a very simple and very easy recipe to make – deliciousness being a bonus. Also excellent the next day. Enjoy!

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 Whole Chicken (at least 1.6 Kg at room temperature)

1 tbsp Garlic Powder

1 tbsp Paprika

1 tsp Ginger

2 tbsp Garam Masala

2 tbsp Marjoram

2 tbsp Thyme

1 tsp Rosemary

1 Bunch Dania (Coriander)

1/2 Lemon

5 Tomatoes

4 Onions

1 tbsp Brown Sugar

1 tbsp Tomato Paste

1 tbsp Cooking Oil

1/2 tsp Black Pepper

1&1/2 tsp Salt

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix the salt, spices and sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Separate the Dania stalks and leaves. Chop them both and put into separate bowls.
  3. Chop the chicken into pieces or leave whole if desired.
  4. Heat the oil (I used Rosemary Canola Oil from Mountain Oil) on medium heat in a large pot and add the onions, tomatoes, tomato paste and spice mix.
  5. Cook the onion, tomatoes, tomato paste and spice mix until it forms a paste.
  6. Increase the heat and add the chicken to brown (sear).
  7. Add enough water or chicken stock to cover the chicken and bring to a boil.
  8. Add the herbs and Dania stalks then after 5 minutes reduce the heat to medium-low where the chicken is just bubbling away.
  9. Partially cover the pot and leave to simmer for about 40-45 minutes or until the chicken is just falling off the bone.
  10. Squeeze the lemon over the chicken, sprinkle with the Dania leaves, and it is ready to serve.

I served the chicken with Bhajia and salad. Extremely Delicious!

Happy Cooking!!😃

 

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Lemon, Garlic & Herb Roast Chicken

I made this chicken on a weekday when I needed cheering up and it certainly did that. It was prepared as soon as it got home and marinated overnight. It was definitely worth the wait.

INGREDIENTS:

 

5 Chicken Quarters

1 tbsp Garlic Powder

1 tbsp Oregano

2 Sprigs Of Thyme

1/2 Lemon – sliced

2 tbsp Maziwa Mala – Unsweetened

1/2 tsp Black Pepper

1 tsp Salt

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Mix the salt, spices, herbs, lemons and mala in a bowl to form the marinade.
  2. Chop the chicken quarters into 2 or 3 or leave whole if desired.
  3. Put the chicken into the marinade and mix thoroughly.
  4. Cover the bowl with cling film and chill in the fridge overnight. I used a ziplock bag to save space and washing up.
  5. Remove the chicken and let it get to room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 220°C.
  7. Once at room temperature, put the chicken with the lemons into an oiled baking tray.
  8. Roast in the oven for about 40 minutes or until the juices from the chicken are running clear.

I served the chicken with sautéed carrots and chips with Cayenne pepper sprinkled on top. Extremely satisfying!

Happy Roasting!!😃

 

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Chèvre Pasta with Pepper-Stuffed Olives

One of the quickest and most satisfying meals to make on the fly.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 400g Pasta
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 250ml Cooking Cream from Bio Foods
  • 1 Pack Chèvre Cheese from Toggs* or Brown’s* Cheese (Chèvre is cheese made from goats’ milk)
  • 200g Tbsp Pepper Stuffed Pitted Olives or Regular Pitted Olives
  • 1 Pinch of Black Pepper
  • Salt to Taste

1. Put your preferred pasta in boiling water, add the 2 teaspoons of salt and cook until al dente (firm). I normally use spaghetti or tagliatelle.

2. In another pot, gently heat up some olive oil, add the cream and chèvre. Stir the ingredients into a sauce.

3. Put the al dente pasta into the sauce and toss together.

4. After 5 minutes add the olives, toss well and take off the heat.

5. Serve the pasta in a bowl and season with black pepper and, if required, additional salt.

Ecco! A delicious meal in minutes.

*You can find the Toggs chèvre cheese here and the Brown’s chevre cheese here.

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Paprika, Lemon & Garlic Tilapia

I had missed fish and wanted something easy and fresh to make. 

INGREDIENTS:

2Kg Tilapia Fillet

2 Tbsp Spanish Paprika or Regular Paprika

1 Garlic Bulb

1 Large Lemon

2 Tsp Salt

1 Tsp Black Pepper

7 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

2 Large Broccoli Florets

4 Large Carrots or 6 Medium Carrots

1 Onion

 

SAUTÉED VEGETABLES:

  1. Put 1 teaspoon of oil in a pan & set the heat to medium-high.
  2. Chop the broccoli into small florets & the carrots & onions into thin strips.
  3. Put the vegetables in the pan with ½ a teaspoon of salt & ½ a teaspoon of black pepper.
  4. Cook them for 2 minutes after which you will reduce the heat to medium-low & cover.
  5. When the vegetables are softened but still have a little bite to them, take them off the heat as they are ready.

 

GRILLING THE FISH:

  1. Set your oven to 220°
  2. Line the oven baking tray with foil & set aside. It should be big enough to cook all the fish at once. If not, you can use 2 smaller baking trays.
  3. Juice the lemon & cut the remainder of the lemon into slices.
  4. Put the paprika, garlic, lemon juice, salt & pepper in a pestle & mortar, then grind them into a paste – add the remaining oil & mix thoroughly. You can also put ingredients in a blender inclusive of the oil.
  5. Lay half of the lemon slices evenly on the baking tray.
  6. Cut the fish fillets into chunks (or if you prefer, leave them whole) & lay them on top of lemons in the baking tray. Don’t leave too much space between the fish as they will dry out quickly.
  7. Pour the paprika paste over the fish & distribute evenly.
  8. Put the remainder of the lemon slices on top of the fish.
  9. Put the fish into the oven & grill for about 40 to 45 minutes or until the fish has browned on top & is white & flaky inside.
  10. Serve with the sautéed vegetables.

Happy grilling! 

 

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Orange Stuffed Roast Chicken 

Orange Stuffed Roasted ChickenImage: Naisenya

A really easy and simple roast chicken recipe for days when you just want to chill. 😊

INGREDIENTS:

1 Whole Chicken (1.5/1.7kg for 4 people or 2 people if they are really hungry. 😅)

1 Orange

1 Tbsp Garlic Salt

1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

BRINE:

2 Tbsps Salt

2 Tbsps Sugar

Water – Enough to cover the chicken in a container.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. To make the brine add the salt, sugar and water into a container.
  2. Immerse the chicken into the brine and make sure it is fully covered. If not add more water.
  3. Put the container into the fridge and let it sit overnight.

BEFORE ROASTING:

  1. Set your oven to 220 degrees centigrade.
  2. Cut the orange into thin slices and stuff them into the chicken’s cavity with garlic salt.
  3. Put a little garlic salt on the skin of the chicken and massage it in.
  4. Add a table spoon of vegetable oil to the baking pan, place the chicken and put it in the oven.
  5. The first 30 minutes on a very high heat (220 degrees centigrade) to seal the chicken and then 40 to 50 minutes at 160 degrees centigrade to cook the inside.
  6. The chicken should be ready when a clear liquid comes out from the chicken when pierced with a skewer or knife.

Happy Roasting!! 😃🍊🍗

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Ham Mac N’ Cheese with Caramelised Silver Skin Onions

Image: Naisenya

A most comforting dish.

INGREDIENTS:

500 g Elbow Macaroni (or any other pasta that you prefer)

1 tbp Salt

1 tbsp Vegetable Oil

500 g Ham, chopped into squares

100 g All Purpose Flour

100 g Butter 

1 L Milk

250 g Cheddar Cheese, grated

350 g Mozzarella Cheese, grated

1/2 tsp ground Black Pepper

1/2 tsp ground Nutmeg

2 tsp Yellow Mustard

1 bunch Dania (Corriander), chopped

150 g Silver Skin Onions (mini opaque onions in jar)

1 tbsp Granulated Sugar

1 tbsp Water

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Mac N’ Cheese:

  • Heat the vegetable oil in a pan & when hot sauté the ham squares for a couple of minutes, drain and set aside.
  • Boil the macaroni & salt until al denté (firm), drain & set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  • In a pot, heat up & continuously stir the butter and flour until it becomes a roux.
  • Add the milk, a little at a time, to the roux until the mixture is thickened and well homogenized into a white sauce.
  • Add the black pepper, nutmeg, yellow mustard, 3/4 of the cheddar & 3/4 of the mozzarella to the white sauce.
  • Put the cooked pasta, sautéed ham & white sauce in an oven dish & combine well.
  • Mix the remaining grated cheddar & mozzarella cheeses & sprinkle evenly over the mac n’ cheese.
  • Put the mac n’ cheese in the preheated oven for 25 – 30 minutes or until the mac n’ cheese is bubbling on the edges & the cheese is golden brown on top.
  • Remove the mac n’ cheese and sprinkle the dania over it.

Caramelised Silver Skin Onions:

  • Put the sugar and water in a pan & heat until a syrup is formed.
  • Add the silver skin onions & cook until they are caramelized.
  • Serve the caramelized silver skin onions on top of the mac n’ cheese.

Happy Eating! 😃

 

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Vanilla & Strawberry Jam Ghee Cake

Image: Naisenya

One of the most aromatic, moist and delicious cakes by light years. All thanks to the mighty Ghee.

INGREDIENTS:

For the Batter:

200 g Granulated Sugar

200 ml Ghee (I used Lato)

250 g All Purpose Flour

1 tbsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Salt

3 Eggs

1 tbsp Vanilla Paste / Vanilla Extract

200 ml Strawberry Jam (leave some to serve with)

INSTRUCTIONS:

The Batter

  1. Preheat the fan oven to 170°C .
  2. Beat the sugar, eggs & vanilla paste or vanilla extract in a mixer on a medium speed.
  3. Add the ghee to batter & continue mixing until it increases in volume.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder & salt into a bowl.
  5. Reduce the mixer speed to low & add the flour mixture 1/3  at a time.
  6. Pour the cake batter into two prepared oiled (I used vegetable oil) & floured or lined loaf tins. You can use one tin for a taller loaf.
  7. Dollop the strawberry jam on to the middle of the batter.
  8. Use a toothpick to gently swirl the batter & strawberry jam together.
  9. Put the cake batter into the oven for 45 – 50 minutes.
  10. Poke the cake with a toothpick or skewer in the middle at 40 -45 minutes. It is ready when the toothpick/skewer comes out clean.

Serve with vanilla ice-cream & the left over strawberry jam.

Happy Baking! 🍰🍰🍰🍰🍰

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Double Chocolate Brownies

Image: Naisenya

No need for long explanations, I wanted loads of chocolate bundled into a small package and brownies came to mind. Voilà!

INGREDIENTS:

240g Butter/Margerine (melted and cooled)

2 tbsp Vegetable Oil

200g White Sugar

200g Brown Sugar (the one with molasses)

4 large eggs

2 tbsp Vanilla Extract/ Vanilla Paste

1 tsp Salt

130g All Purpose Flour

100g Cocoa (not drinking chocolate)

250g Chocolate Chips

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 175°C.

2. Grease an 8×12-inch baking tin (the longer the pan the thinner and drier the brownie) and dust with cocoa powder or line with grease-proof paper.

3. Mix the melted butter/margarine, vegetable oil and the 2 sugars together until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla extract/paste then beat the mixture until it is lighter in colour.

4. Mix the flour, cocoa powder and salt together.

5. Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined (don’t over beat the batter as this will affect the texture of your brownies).

6. Fold in 3/4 of the chocolate chips.

7. Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin, smoothing the top out evenly, and top with remaining 1/4 of the chocolate chips.

8. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the middle of the brownies in the baking pan no longer jiggles. If testing with a toothpick, the toothpick should come out with a bit of batter for a gooey brownie. If you prefer firmer brownies bake for a further few minutes and keep checking. When you test with the tooth pick, it should have a smidgen of batter on it.

9. When the brownies have cooled to room temperature, you can begin slicing into your preferred size of brownies.

10. We used Cadbury’s Cocoa powder (which you can find in any supermarket) and the Vanilla Paste & Chocolate Chips from Naisenya Foods.

Absolute Decadence. 😆