Almond Flour Banana Cake(Gluten-free) with Chocolate Ganache

If you have some overripe bananas and you’re wondering what you can make with them, this recipe is easy, healthy, and tastes amazing.

I’m sure everyone has a repertoire of banana recipes to make – banana muffins, pancakes, ice-cream, etc. However, you might want to add this recipe to it too. It’s light and moist, no added oil plus the chocolate ganache takes it to the next level!! To be honest, the cake is not sweet enough for me but the chocolate ganache makes up for it. It’s velvety and chocolatey – absolutely yummy. Bananas and chocolate are a great flavour combination.

I used jaggery because I think bananas and jaggery go so well together. I chose to make a syrup with the jaggery and incorporated that into the cake batter. You can use a food processor, blender or stand mixer to make this cake. The chocolate ganache is also very easy to make. I chose milk chocolate as it’s my favourite but if you want something more healthy, you can use dark chocolate. I used fresh cream for the ganache but you can also use almond milk or even some espresso to make it more interesting.

Try mixing nuts or chocolate chips into the batter or swap the ganache for any other frosting that you like. This recipe is so versatile. You can even turn them into cupcakes. Do let me know if you make this cake.

PREP:  15-20 minutes  COOK TIME:  35 minutes 

Ingredients

3 medium ripe bananas

3 eggs

3 tbsp jaggery

1 tsp almond extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

21/2 cups blanched almond flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

1 tsp baking soda 

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

For the Chocolate Ganache

11/2 cups milk chocolate chips

1/2 cup cream

Instructions

Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment. Preheat the oven to 180C.

Mix the jaggery with a tablespoon of water and heat gently until it is completely melted. Strain and set aside.

Combine the bananas, eggs, jaggery syrup and both the extracts in a food processor or a stand mixer. You can also use a hand mixer. Blend until the mixture is really smooth.

Add the dry ingredients to the bowl – the almond and tapioca flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Blend the mixture until the ingredients are combined – do not overmix. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 35 minutes until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Be careful not to overbake – it’s best to set a timer. Cool completely before adding the ganache.

Melt the chocolate chips and the cream together in a bowl set over a pan of boiling water. The bowl should not touch the water. When the chocolate is completely melted, take it off the heat and cool for a few minutes. Pour it over the cake and smooth it out using a spatula to spread it out evenly. Refrigerate until the ganache is set. Slice the cake into 12-16 squares. Enjoy.

 

Vegan Butter Chicken Sandwich

Butter Chicken is a very well known and well loved recipe all over the world. The recipe that I have given here is a very simple one. There are many elaborate recipes for this dish and the most celebrated one was aired on Masterchef Australia a few years ago, by celebrity chef Saransh Goila. 

The vegan chicken is jackfruit. I bought a pack of dehydrated jackfruit from Amazon. They just need to be soaked in water for 30 minutes and you have fresh jackfruit! To my surprise, they were very good. it’s great for making savoury jackfruit recipes. I haven’t yet tried anything sweet with them.

I marinated the jackfruit for about 4 hours. The end result was quite surprising and satisfactory – The texture was very close to actual chicken. I loved the flavour – creamy and delicious. This is definitely something I would make again. You can buy tinned jackfruit as well and drain it before using.

I used ordinary burger buns but you can use anything you want – brioche buns, croissants, etc. And you can assemble it the way you like. I just used some lettuce and onion rings, as it’s quite rich. If you feel that the butter is too much, you can reduce it according to your taste. I hope you like it.

PREP:  30 minutes  COOK TIME:  30 minutes  TOTAL TIME:  5 hours

Ingredients

Marinade:

500 gms jackfruit pieces

1 tsp lemon juice/vinegar

3/4 tsp red chilli powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

3/4 tsp garam masala

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

For the gravy:

2 onions, grated

100 gms butter

1 cup tomato puree

2 tbsp cashew butter

1 tsp garam masala powder

3/4 tsp red chilli powder

1/2 tsp sugar

3 tbsp fresh cream

1 tbsp tomato sauce

Salt to taste

Lettuce and onion rings to garnish

Instructions

Mix the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and drop the jackfruit into it. Mix well and refrigerate for four hours. Remove the jackfruit from the marinade and bake it in a moderate oven until it becomes golden brown. You can also use a pan for browning it. Heat a little butter and fry the jackfruit until they are golden brown.

Heat a pan and melt the butter in it. Add the onions, salt and red chilli powder and cook for a few minutes. Add the remaining marinade and cook until it is dry. Add the jackfruit and tomato puree and a cup of water and cook covered on a low flame for about 15 minutes, until the jackfruit is tender. You can add more water if necessary, but it should be thick enough to make a sandwich. Add the tomato sauce, garam masala, cashew butter and fresh cream and mix well. Remove from the heat. Spoon on to toasted burger buns and assemble the sandwich.

 

Cauliflower and Broccoli Crust Pizza

Since both Broccoli and cauliflower have the same origin, I decided to combine them in this delicious and healthy crust for pizza. You can have pizza everyday if you make it this way. It’s really simple. 

The health benefits of cauliflower and broccoli need no introduction. I used a small quantity of low fat mozzarella cheese mixed with the base and on top. Just shape the dough, top it with tomato sauce and your favourite toppings. 

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The base will not be as firm as regular pizza dough but it’s delicious. 

This recipe makes about 6-8 slices of pizza.

PREP:  25 minutes  COOK TIME:  30 minutes

Ingredients

1 medium cauliflower

1 medium broccoli

2 eggs

1/2 cup + 3 tbsp low fat mozzarella cheese, grated

!/2 cup tofu, cubed

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp peanut butter

1 tsp red chilli flakes

5 tbsp tomato sauce

1 small onion, sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Prepare a baking tray by lining it with parchment. Preheat the oven to 200 C.

Combine the soy sauce and peanut butter. Add the tofu and mix well. Set aside.

Remove the stalks from the cauliflower and broccoli. Reserve them for something else like soup. Steam the florets until they are tender. Blitz them in a food processor and strain through a cloth. Make sure that all the water has been removed. 

Break the eggs into a bowl. Add the salt, pepper and chilli flakes. Beat well and add the cauliflower mixture to it. Add 1/2 cup of the grated cheese and mix well. Turn out on to the baking tray and shape into a round or square with the help of a silicone spatula and the back of a spoon. Make sure that the edges are slightly higher. Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and spoon the tomato sauce on the base and spread it out. Add the onions, tofu cubes and any other toppings that you like. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake for 10 minutes until the cheese has melted.

 

 

 

 

Millet Pancakes with Grilled Pineapple and Date-Tamarind Sauce

Amaranth is a psuedocereal, which simply means that it is a seed which acts like a grain. It has been cultivated for about 8000 years.  It contains all nine essential amino acids and is a protein powerhouse. It contains lunasin, a peptide believed to have anti-inflammatory and cancer-preventive diseases. It has a distinctive peppery taste with a pleasant aroma of grass. 

I combined amaranth flour with powdered oatmeal and coconut flour for these pancakes which are both vegan and gluten-free. It’s an ideal breakfast option and it’s quite filling as well. The grilled pineapple and the date-tamarind sauce paired beautifully with the pancakes. It was sweet, sour and salty, all at the same time! And very delicious.

This sauce is usually made in India to go with chaats, which are savoury snacks or hors d’oeuvre, available all across the country in roadside stalls, food carts, restaurants, etc. It’s a combination of several things blended with different chutneys and spices, sometimes with yogurt and topped with crisp vermicelli called sev and freshly chopped coriander leaves. It’s an amazing explosion of flavours in your mouth. 

You can mix the batter and let it sit overnight in the fridge to speed up the cooking process. Coconut oil exudes a wonderful aroma while cooking and it also complements the pancakes and pineapple. The spices are also quite subtle and you can taste them on your palate. A very simple and comforting dish.

PREP:  20 minutes  COOK TIME:  20 – 30 minutes  SERVES:  4

Ingredients

11/2 cup old fashioned oats, powdered

3/4 cup amaranth flour

3/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp cardamom powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp flaxseed meal, mixed with 6 tbsp hot water

2 cups coconut milk/almond milk

Coconut oil

2 tbsp organic brown sugar (optional)

Salt to taste

For the pineapple

1 pineapple, cut into cubes

2-3 tbsp coconut oil

For the Date-Tamarind sauce

250 gms dates, seeded

75 gms tamarind

50 gms jaggery

1/4 tsp black pepper powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cumin powder

Instructions

Prepare the pancake batter by mixing the oatmeal, amaranth flour and coconut flour with all the dry ingredients. Add the coconut oil and the flaxseed mixture and mix well. Add the coconut milk to the flour mixture, adding water if necessary to make a thick batter. Set aside.

Wash the tamarind well and combine it with the dates in a small pan. Add just enough water to cover them. Add all the other ingredients and cook over medium heat until the tamarind and dates are cooked thoroughly. Cool and blend into a paste. Strain and set aside.

Heat the coconut oil in a pan and add the pineapple pieces. Toss them in the oil, turning them if necessary until they are a golden brown in colour. 

Heat a non-stick pan and add some coconut oil. Pour the batter and spread lightly to make a thick pancake. Cook until the edges start browning and flip them over and cook the other side. Make all the pancakes and serve hot with the grilled pineapple and the date-tamarind sauce.

Chocolate Chip Chickpea Protein Balls

When you need a sweet fix, these protein balls are good for your sugar cravings. They offer a mix of carbs, proteins and good fats, which give you a boost of energy, especially in the afternoon. Pack them in your purse or gym bag to snack on at anytime of the day.

If you like cookie dough, then you’re sure to love these chickpea balls. Chickpeas, peanut butter and flaxseed along with dark chocolate – what’s not to like? The cayenne pepper gives it a touch of heat, which you can taste when you’re eating them.

I have given below the recipe for the sunny butter. I had used it in a previous recipe Vegetable Patè. The quantity is more than what is needed for this recipe. It keeps very well in the fridge and it’s a delicious and healthy spread.

This recipe has been adapted from www.livestrong.com. It makes around 20 balls.

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PREP: 15 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup chickpeas, cooked and drained

1 tbsp ground flax seeds

3 tsp coconut nectar

1 tsp virgin coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/8 tsp almond extract

1/8 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

½ cup peanut butter

¼ cup sunny butter

1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks

Sunny Butter

1 cup unsalted toasted sunflower seeds

½ tsp coarse salt

½ cup honey

Instructions

Place the sunflower seeds in a food processor and grind. Add the salt and honey and process until a ball forms. Set aside.

Add the chickpeas,flax seeds, coconut nectar, melted coconut oil, vanilla and almond extract, salt and cayenne pepper to a food processor and process until creamy, about two minutes.

Add the peanut butter and a quarter cup of the sunny butter and blend until well combined, about one minute.

Chill the mixture in the fridge for about an hour. Add the chocolate chips and mix well. Form into 15 balls and place in a sealed container. Store in the refrigerator for a week.

 

 

 

Lettuce and Cucumber Pesto with Poached Eggs

This unusual pesto took root in my mind when I had some lettuce and cucumber sitting in my fridge. I was bored with the usual recipes and I thought that I would try out this pesto. I wasn’t sure about how it was going to turn out. I’m really glad I stuck with my idea because the end result was delicious. Very fresh, light and perfect for a hot, summer day!

I used a few mint leaves and also added some cashew nuts and almonds. Almonds are very good for heart health. I guess you could experiment with other nuts too. As both lettuce and cucumber don’t have a very strong flavour, they bring out the flavour of the ingredients that you use.

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I did not use cheese for the pesto but I’m sure it would be lovely. Other herbs like fresh coriander or parsley would go well with it too.

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I had made some bread the previous day. I topped it with the pesto and finished it off with a poached egg. Very healthy and tasty.

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PREP: 10 minutes COOK TIME: 10 minutes

Ingredients

1 iceberg lettuce, washed and separated

2 cucumbers, peeled and chopped

A few mint leaves

¼ cup cashew nuts

¼ cup almonds

½ cup olive oil plus more for topping

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Cottage Bread

Poached eggs

Sea salt and Chilli flakes

Instructions

Place the lettuce, cucumber, mint leaves, cashew nuts and almonds in a food processor and process until they are finely chopped. With the machine running, pour in the oil slowly and process until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a bowl and swirl some oil on top.

To make the poached eggs, boil some lightly salted water in a large pan and break the eggs into it gently. Drain them with a slotted spoon when they are done.

Pile the pesto on toasted, crusty bread topped with a poached egg. Sprinkle some sea salt and chilli flakes on top of the egg. Enjoy.

Krem

A classic, this Swedish dessert is so simple to make. The flavour of the grapes is so subtle and the combination of grapes and cinnamon is just perfect. The flavours complement each other so beautifully.

Grape juice and cornflour cooked together – just these ingredients produce this melt in the mouth dessert. It was an instant hit with my family and they all just disappeared. A lovely ending to an impromptu get together or after a heavy meal.

A really creamy and delicious dessert minus the dairy – a vegan treat. It could also be made with other fruit juices as well.

This recipe made 5 servings of the dessert.

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PREP: 10 minutes COOK TIME: 10 minutes

Ingredients

2 cups grape juice

3 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp cornflour

Cinnamon

Instructions

Combine the sugar and cornflour with about three tablespoons of water, blending well. Bring the grape juice to a boil over gentle heat and add the cornflour mixture, stirring constantly. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until thickened. Spoon the mixture into individual dessert dishes and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Refrigerate until it’s ready to serve.

Green Pepper and Peanut Curry

I have been making this curry for the last 20 years. It’s very easy to prepare once you have the ingredients. It is absolutely delicious besides being very good for your health and also vegan.

In the Indian Ayurveda system, it is recommended that every food that we consume contains the tastes of sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent. This curry comes very close to fulfilling all these tastes. it’s definitely a must try recipe.

This curry is traditionally called Capsicum Kairus in India. It’s a specialty of a region broadly known as the Konkan which is a rugged section of the Western coastline of India. It comprises of various places in India like Maharashtra, Goa, etc. This region is famous for mouth watering food, great beaches, seafood and delicacies with coconut and local spices.

Jaggery is a traditional cane sugar made from sugarcane juice and can vary in colour from a golden brown to a dark brown. It’s used extensively in Indian sweets and cooking. You can substitute it with brown sugar or palm sugar.

Urad dal is actually split and dehusked black gram lentils. It is white in colour. It is usually used to season Indian food along with mustard and curry leaves. These three ingredients are the standard seasoning used for most Indian recipes.

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PREP: 20 minutes  COOK TIME: 30 minutes  SERVES: 4

Ingredients

  • 3 green peppers, cut into large pieces
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ cup grated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 ½ tsp urad dal
  • 1 ½ tsp yellow split peas
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 6 tbsp roasted peanuts
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste
  • 2 tbsp jaggery/palm sugar/brown sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil

Roast

  • 1 ½ tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp urad dal
  • 4 red chillies
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds

Dry roast the coriander seeds, 2 tsp urad dal, fenugreek seeds and red chillies separately. Grind to a fine paste with the coconut and turmeric powder.

Roast the sesame seeds and powder. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pan or wok, add the mustard seeds, urad dal, yellow split peas, curry leaves and peanuts. Add the green pepper, tomatoes, ground paste, sesame powder, tamarind paste, salt and 1 cup water. Cook until the peppers are tender. Add the jaggery/brown sugar and simmer for five minutes. Serve with steamed rice or chapattis.

 

 

 

 

 

Moist Zucchini Bread

Zucchini is one of my favourite vegetables. It’s so easy to prepare and it’s so versatile. It can be used in a variety of cakes and other baked goods. It doesn’t alter the taste and it’s super healthy and so moist.

When I saw this recipe from King Arthur Flour, I decided that I must try it. The result was so good and the best part about it is it’s so easy. It was chock full of walnuts and raisins and very moist. The top tends to be a bit soft, but as long as the toothpick comes out clean, the bread is done.

Since it contains zucchini, it doesn’t keep for very long. It can be stored in a container for several days or frozen if you want to keep it for a longer period. But I must tell you, it doesn’t last that long!

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This recipe yields an 8 ½” x 4” loaf.

PREP: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3/4th cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 3/4th cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 3/4th cup walnuts, chopped
  • 3/4th cup golden raisins
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar for sprinkling on top

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease an 8 1/2”x 4” loaf pan.

Beat the brown sugar, milk, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until smooth.

In a separate bowl, mix the baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into the flour. Mix the dry ingredients with the liquid ingredients until creamy and smooth.

Stir in the zucchini, walnuts and raisins.

Scoop the batter into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing the top as required and sprinkle the brown sugar on top.

Bake for 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove the bread from the pan after it has cooled for 10 minutes. Turn it out on to a rack to cool completely. Slice the bread after it has cooled completely.

Purple Cabbage and Tofu with Noodles

I bought some purple cabbage recently and I was looking up some recipes online and found this interesting dish from https://www.vibrantplate.com/purple-cabbage-chicken-lo-mein/.

Being a vegetarian, I decided to substitute tofu instead and also made a few changes. I marinated the tofu with some spices, because in my experience the tofu soaks up the spices and creates a subtle yet interesting flavour.

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This recipe is so delicious and just takes about 15 minutes. Purple cabbage with veggies, tofu and nuts! Couldn’t be healthier and tastier than that! Just toss in the ingredients and stir-fry.

 

It’s perfect for lunch/dinner.

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PREP: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 15 minutes SERVES: 2

Ingredients

  • 2 cups purple cabbage, shredded
  • 6 small spring onion, sliced thinly 
  • Green stems of spring onions, chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2 green chillies, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 tbsp ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 150 grams hakka noodles
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 200 grams tofu, cubed
  • Salt and Pepper as needed

Toasted Nuts

  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp peanuts, chopped

Instructions

Marinate the tofu with the ginger, garlic, red chili flakes, soy sauce, and pepper. Set aside for 30 minutes or longer if you prefer it.

Heat a pan to medium, then add the sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds. Toast until golden brown, stirring regularly. Remove from pan and set aside to cool. Add the peanuts and mix well.

Prepare the noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

Heat a large wok, add about 2 tbsp sesame oil and add the marinated tofu. Stir-fry until cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.

Heat about 2 tbsp sesame oil in the same wok. Add the green chilies, sliced spring onions with the chopped green stems and carrots to the pan. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes until the vegetables are tender and add the cooked noodles, shredded purple cabbage and tofu. Mix together and stir-fry for a few minutes more. Add more soy sauce if needed. Season with salt and pepper. 

Serve hot sprinkled with the toasted nuts.