A Month of Weekend Brunches

These are all images I’ve shared on my Instagram, but I thought putting them together in a post could provide some inspiration or ideas for what you can cook this weekend!

I’ll reference my homemade spelt bread a few times here —  I’ll put up a recipe in a few weeks. I’ve been testing it for 4+ months!

Spoiler: I like eggs on the weekend.

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You’d see this repeated a lot if you follow me on Instagram: basically, a slice of my spelt bread, topped with avocado and eggs. I just try to change it a little bit to have the flavours pop in different ways.

Here, I toasted a slice of the bread and cut it in half, mashed some avocado with chilli flakes and coarse salt, and topped each half with an egg sunny-side up. That yolk though. I was mopping it up with the bread — heaven.

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The following week, I woke up with the strongest craving for pancakes. I swung my legs out of bed and went straight into the kitchen (after brushing my teeth).

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This is another recipe I’m still testing for you folks, as I’m no pancake expert. But these spelt pancakes are naturally sweetened with a banana and have absolutely no artificial sugar in them. I chose to top mine with peaches and strawberries, because that’s what I had in the fridge, plus a drizzle of maple syrup. Very satisfying.

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I went back to my classic avocado and egg ways the following week, but this time I decided on poached eggs. For eggs cooked to this level of yolk porn, I set my timer to 3 minutes. I went for fresh cracked black pepper too and that really elevated the flavour.

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Finally, last weekend, I wanted eggs but wanted to skip the bread and get my carbs from another source. I decided to make my Shakshuka — it’s hands-down one of the recipes I’m proudest of and I worked on this recipe, slowly testing and changing, for several years. It’s now a favourite in our household. Please give it a go — recipe is here.

I hope this gave you some sort of idea! Did you like this kind of wrap-up post with recipe ideas? I can do more of them if so. If you do make any of these recipes, please tag me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook @sandkitchen.

As always, bilafiya
(well wishes and wellbeing)

Healthy Rice Krispie Treats

It has been a while since we’ve had dessert over here in Sand Kitchen! It’s a tad ironic how few dessert recipes I post consider they’re what I’m known for IRL (in real life). It’s probably because I’m more of a savoury person, but anyway

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Who else loved these growing up? I didn’t have them often enough to call myself addicted, but if they were around, it was downright dangerous. So let’s make a refined-sugar-free version that will still tickle the tastebuds.

These can easily be made vegan by substituting honey for agave or maple syrup, but I haven’t tried it myself.

You will need:
GF

  • 6 squares of dark chocolate (I used 70%)
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 1-2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp nut butter of choice (I used peanut)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups puffed rice (sugar-free)
  • A splash of milk (I used almond milk)

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Break up your squares into smaller chunks. Before this, actually, it’s a good idea to put your sesame seeds into the oven to roast for five minutes with a drop of coconut oil.

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Add the coconut oil to the chocolate and a splash of non-diary milk and microwave it in 30 second intervals, until it melts. You can, of course, do this over a pot of boiling water as well.

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Mix it together until evenly combined. Your sesame seeds should be ready, you just want them ever so slightly golden and nutty. Take them out.

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To your chocolate mixture, add your nut butter and mix until it combines well.

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Then add your sesame seeds and mix. If you don’t like sesame seeds, you can simply skip this step (although I’m not sure we can still be friends).

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Once you’ve got your gorgeous chocolate mix ready, we’re in business!

This bit is imperative: WAIT FOR IT TO COOL. If your chocolate mix is warm, it will de-crunch your puffed rice, and we don’t want that.

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Once it’s cooled, add it to the puffed rice in a bowl and mix.

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You can set these however you like — either in a baking dish, like me, or in muffin cases. Set it in the fridge to cool, probably about 30 minutes to an hour. Once it’s ready, cut them up into squares.

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Let me know what you think, and if you make them tag me @sandkitchen on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

Enjoy!

As always, bilafiya (well wishes and wellbeing)

Lamb Meatballs | Holiday Recipes

This is my second of four holiday recipes coming up in the next few weeks. Even if you’re not gearing up to celebrate any holidays this winter, all these recipes are great for dinner parties or used separately for lunches and dinners.

For my Mint Pesto recipe, which is a great accompaniment for this dish, go here.

I think most of us like to be able to pile different bits and bobs on our plate, so having a side dish of meat on the table at a dinner party is always a great shout. Lamb is the most popular meat in the Gulf, so it was a natural choice for me. I wanted to give you guys a good, uncomplicated recipe that’s a staple in different forms the world over. In Bahrain, we would call this kubbah, instead of meatballs.

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You will need:
(Makes 18)

  • 500g minced lamb
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 handful of mint, chopped
  • 1 finely diced chilli (I used a Scotch bonnet)
  • 3 diced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 coconut milk (or milk of your choice)

For the love of good food, folks, please don’t use low-fat mince. There is literally no point, you basically get rid of all the flavour and then have to use oil to cook it anyway. This way, you can skip the oil and use the natural fats in the meat.

However, please do adjust the chilli to your heat requirements — these were spicy, but that’s how I wanted them! Any chilli you like will work here, but I particularly like the sweet edge to the red-hot Scotch bonnets.

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For your spices:

  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • salt

Odd to have cacao on this list? Just think about that lovely flavour you get from a good chilli when you add chocolate powder in there. It works, promise!

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Add your onions, garlic, chilli, and spices in a non-stick pan and sauté for a few minutes until the ingredients are incorporated and your onions are translucent. Take it off the heat and pop it into the freezer for it to cool for a few minutes before you add it to your mince.

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Pop everything into a bowl! Then get your hands in there and give everything a good old squeeze. You could use a utensil, but really, why?

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Start rolling them out into balls. I just eyeball the size and go for what’s essentially two-bites. Lay them out on a tray that’s ever-so-slightly greased, because these beauties will release more fat as they cook.

You could, of course, fry them. I don’t really fry anything nowadays, so I cook them in a hot oven, at 200C for 25-30 minutes, turning them over halfway through.

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Serve and enjoy!

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I served it alongside some honey-roasted carrots, cumin cauliflower and roasted butternut squash.

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When I made this for a dinner party, we had it with the mint pesto on top of some courgetti and a grating of fresh parmesan.

Please do let me know if you make these! Tag me on Instagram (@sandkitchen). They’re fantastic. I have witnesses that will attest to the same!

As always, bilafiya (well wishes and wellbeing)