Meatless Monday: Roasted Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Curry.

This is one of my favorite recipes. Good enough for a delicious weeknight or even weekend dinner. It is easy to make, healthy, filling, not too spicy and a hit with kids and adults alike. It is also a great make ahead meal. Remember with curries, the longer they sit, the more the flavours get concentrated. Yum!

I never liked cauliflower growing up. Whenever my Mum made a dish with it, I would always try and look for excuses to not eat it, they never worked though and I had to eat it. But as an adult, once I discovered how good it tastes roasted; I make it more often now. Let’s get started:-

Ingredients; Two medium cauliflower heads, one medium sweet potato, 1 cup coconut milk, 1 tbsp curry powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste, 1 tsp ground coriander, I lemon and 2 tbsp tomato puree, salt and pepper to taste.

Peel and chop your sweet potato and blanch it for about five minutes. Clean and separate your cauliflower into small florets. Preheat your oven to 200°C.

Toss the cauliflower florets and sweet potato with some olive oil, about a tbsp, salt and pepper, and a tsp of dhania jeera powder and a pinch of ground turmeric. Bake for about 30 minutes or till ready and a bit browned.
Something like this. And please resist to snack on them as you might just finish them all. Yes, they are that tasty!
Heat your pan, add a tablespoon of oil and saute your onions. Add your crushed ginger garlic and mix well, then add your ground spices.
Add your tomato puree , mix well.
You can add half a cup of water so it doesn’t burn but not too much. If the tomato puree is a bit tangy, you can add a pinch of sugar.
Add your coconut milk, let simmer for almost ten minutes on low heat.
The aroma at this point is just amazing! Add your roasted vegetables and cook for not more than 10 minutes, to get them heated through and absorb the sauce flavours.
This creamy curry is ready! Switch off the heat, squeeze juice of half a lemon and garnish with coriander leaves.

You can serve this with your flatbread of choice or some steamed rice, something that will not distract the curry flavours on the palate.

I served it with some simple coconut rice.

I like using basmati rice as a little goes a long way, and it is pretty straightforward to make it. Aged basmati is the best if you can get it. Washing and soaking the rice for about 20 minutes also helps it cook better. I like how it remains firm, doesn’t get sticky and has a really lovely aroma.

Look at that lovely plate!

This curry is a must try!

Sweet Potato and Apple Breakfast Casserole.

Weekends are for late breakfasts, and taking time to make and enjoy a filling meal to start and carry you through the day till dinner. This is an easy American style breakfast casserole that is healthy, tasty and quite satiating.

I really love sweet potatoes; boiled, fried, baked, grilled, stewed, in all its forms, and it is found in plenty here in Kampala, much to my happiness.

Fun fact: Sweet Potatoes are an ideal weaning meal too for little ones. Their natural sweetness is easier for the baby as it is as sweet as breast milk. So steam and mash it up well for your little ones. It is gentle on their digestive systems and rich in Vitamins A, C, full of betacarotene and has copper, manganese among other minerals important to your physical development. I weaned all my kids on this and I liked how easy it was to prepare and also quick for them to adapt to. Try it.

This breakfast casserole is quite loaded, making it tasty and filling. Let’s get started:-

Ingredients: 2 sweet potatoes, 3 apples, 2 tbsp oil, 1/ 2 tsp salt, 3 eggs, 1 cup coconut milk, butter, chia seeds, desiccated coconut, raisins and mixed nuts. Spices: pinch of nutmeg and 1 tbsp cinnamon.
Wash and grate your apples and strain all their juice. You can squeeze some lemon juice so they do not discolour.
Peel and clean then grate your sweet potatoes.
Heat your pan, add a bit of butter and the oil, cook the sweet potatoes till they turn golden brown and set aside to cool.

Preheat your oven to 200° Celsius and lightly grease your baking dish.

In a bowl, add the salt, spices, some chia seeds, the coconut milk, and the beaten eggs. Mix well.
Squeeze out all the juice from the apples and add to the egg mixture, then add the sweet potatoes and mix well.
Add the mixture to your baking dish and add the raisins, nut and coconut on top. You can use other toppings if you wish.

Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the eggs are set and the dish begins to brown. It may be a bit longer or shorter depending on your oven too.

Once ready, let cool a bit then serve as you wish.

Slice as per your preferred size. You can have as is with a cup of ginger tea.
Or you can serve with a crunchy red cabbage and carrot slaw.
Or my fav, with some creamy avocado slices with a bit of hot sauce. Yum!

Quick notes: I did not add sugar as the sweet potatoes here are sweet enough plus the apples. Do not throw the strained apple juice, you can use it to soak overnight oats or drink it, please don’t waste it.

Weekend breakfasts don’t have to be heavy fry ups or just same ol’ pancakes, you can try this for a change. Right?

Weekend Cuisine: Sweet Potato Moussaka!

One of the best ways to ‘visit’ a country is through their cuisine right? I would love to visit Greece someday and since travel is out of the picture for now, might us well familiarise myself with what I will be ordering when I get there! LOL!

The first time I had moussaka was in my uni days, and I fell in love with this delicious layered dish of potatoes, eggplant, mince and a white sauce on top that’s baked till brown and ooh, you have to try it to believe it!

This was my first attempt to make this dish and I did differ a bit from the original. I combined different moussaka recipes online to work with what I had on hand. Also, I didn’t fry the vegetables, I baked them instead. And I used sweet potato instead of usual Irish potato; the meal is still delicious so let’s get started.

Ingredients: one medium sweet potato, I courgette, three small eggplants, one chopped onion, three loves of garlic chopped, two chopped tomatoes, 1 tbsp tomato paste a pinch of dried oregano and dried thyme (if you have fresh the better), I stick of cinnamon, 2 bay leaves, three cloves and one nutmeg, 500 g beef mince, salt and pepper to taste.

You can get started with the mince first. In a large saucepan, heat some oil then add the mince and cook till brown.

Break the clumps and let the meat cook to a dry mix.
Add the onions and mix well till they soften, then add the cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves and oregano. Mix well.
The aroma is so good at this point. Add the tomato paste and tomatoes, cover and let the tomatoes cook completely. You can reduce the heat at this point and let the meat cook slowly till the sauce almost dries.

NOTE; You can add a cup of red wine to the meat mixture of you like, it really deepens the flavour of the meat 🙂

As the meat cooks, you can be baking the vegetables.

Peel and slice your sweet potatoes, toss in some olive oil and thyme, salt and pepper and bake in a 200 degree Celsius oven till ready.
Do the same with the eggplant and courgette.
I added some sliced onion too but it’s not a must.

You can get started on your bechamel sauce at this point. I am no white sauce expert but I am happy with my attempt at this smoothness folks! Here is a nice recipe for the béchamel sauce.

Once sauce is almost ready, add black pepper, grated nutmeg, and salt. Remove from heat.
Add your egg yolks and cheese and mix well. I only had cheddar cheese and it worked ok.
You can mix in a bit of the sauce into the meat mixture. Decadent people, decadent!

Now it is time to start layering the dish.

Get your oven proof dish ready and begin by layering the sweet potatoes at the bottom.

Then add part of the mince mixture.

Try to make it an even layer then add the vegetables.
Yeah, a bit messy I know!
Add the remaining mince mixture and layer evenly on the vegetables.
Add the remaining bechamel sauce as the top layer, and bake for 40- 50 minutes or until golden brown.
I have no idea why it almost burnt ( I swear I was not engrossed online!) Anyway, let cool for about thirty minutes. It will firm up well and you can slice and serve.
You can have it on it’s own as it is really a compete and filling meal. Though I had mine with some garlicky French beans. Just saute them in some butter, garlic, lemon juice and salt and pepper.

This was not an easy dish to make but the efforts and messy kitchen are WELL WORTH IT!

The leftovers were perfect for breakfast the next morning too! But if you have a really hungry crowd I doubt you’ll have left overs.

Moussaka is an amazing dish to make and savour guys, you need to try it out.

Sweet Potatoes in Coconut Milk.

This is a delicious recipe quite common in Kenya’s coastal region. They mostly use potatoes and meat simmered in coconut milk and spice, called ‘viazi vya nazi‘, or sweet potatoes called, ‘viazi vitamu vya nazi’.

This is a luscious breakfast or brunch dish that is easy to put together and is so tasty and filling.

Sweet potatoes are a rich source of fibre, full of Vitamin A, and contain anti inflammatory, anticancer and anti diabetic properties. I also used lemongrass, ginger, cardamom and coconut milk in this recipe.

Sweet potatoes are abundant in Kampala and are so sweet. Look at the size of these babies!

Almost as big as my forearm!

This is my take on this tasty dish. Let’s assemble our ingredients:-

One teaspoon each of grated ginger, orange rind, Finely chopped lemongrass and some cardamom pods. You can also use a1 tsp of ground cardamom powder if you don’t have the whole pods. A cup of coconut milk, and some thick coconut cream, about 2 tablespoons.
I had some already roasted sweet potatoes which I peeled and cut up.

In a sauce pan on medium low heat, add your coconut milk and your spices. I removed the cardamom seeds from the pod, you can leave them whole if you don’t mind picking them out later.

(If you do not have ready sweet potatoes, Peel and chop 2 medium sweet potatoes and cook on low heat with the coconut milk and spices until ready).

Add the sweet potatoes to the milk and mix carefully and well. Let them simmer on low heat to heat through and absorb the spices’ flavours.

Some people also add sugar but I don’t as the sweet potatoes here are very sweet, and you also don’t want to overpower the other flavours.

Make sure they don’t burn and use a flat spatula to turn them so they don’t mash up. Once heated through , add a dollop or two of the thick coconut cream. Mix well and switch off the heat.

Your dish is now ready to serve 😋

You can garnish it anyway you want; maybe sprinkle some ground cinnamon, some grated coconut and some more coconut cream.
I had mine with some sautéed amaranth leaves and spinach on the side.

This can also be a perfect supper right? You can add meat, other spices and it’s a complete meal on its own.

Try it and enjoy!