Savory Oat Pancakes.

These pancakes are a wonderful option to our usual sweet pancake options.

They make a great breakfast, brunch or tea time snack and are filling, colourful and oh so tasty, which are my non negotiables when it comes to good food.

They are both vegan and vegetarian friendly as they are dairy free and egg free. They are also gluten free, and guilt free.

Best of all, they make great use of those little vegetables that are usually left in the fridge looking all forlorn and neglected at the end of the week.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:-
• 2 cups oats. Quick cooking ones work well.
• I heaped cup of assorted vegetables. ( I used some finely chopped onion, tomato, capsicum and grated carrot).
• 1 tsp grated ginger, and one grated garlic clove.
• 1 tsp mixed spice blend (this enhances the savory flavour).
• 1 tsp paprika and 1/4 tsp ground turmeric.
• 1 1/2 cups chickpea (besan) flour, also called gram flour locally.
• 2 cups water and more if needed.
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
• Cooking oil.

Method.
1. In a dry, preferably non stick pan, toast the oats on a low flame till they become a bit darker in colour. Don’t burn them . Toasting them releases a subtle nutty aroma and flavour. Put them on a wide plate or tray to cool down completely.


2. As the oats cool, chop or grate your veggies of choice. I like removing the seeds from the tomato. This can go into the salsa mix you will serve on the side.

These pancakes are also a great way to load up on your fresh veggie intake. 🤗


3. In a large bowl, add the gram flour, paprika, salt pepper and mixed spices. Mix well to combine.


4. Add the cooled oats and the water gradually till you get a thickish batter. Start with one cup of water and add gradually.
5. Next go in the chopped vegetables. Mix well and remember to season well. Taste a little bit to confirm.


6. Heat the pan on medium low and add a tablespoon of oil. Swirl the pan to ensure it is well coated, before adding a ladle or scoopful of batter. You can use a measuring cup for this.


7. Let the pancake cook until it looks dryish on the surface, then flip carefully to cook the other side. It will turn a lovely golden colour and firm up. They will however not puff up like our usual fluffy pancakes as they have no rising agent or gluten. So flip carefully, don’t make them to thick and keep the heat medium low to low, so they can cook completely on the inside. I like mine with a few crispy edges, which is fine.


8. Once ready, put them on a plate lined with a paper towel.

Look at that lovely golden colour!


9. Serve immediately with salsa or chutney and some avocado. The colours, flavours and textures blend in so beautifully.

This is a perfect colourful and filling meal that is not hard to make, makes use of what you have on hand and is healthy too. Win Win Right?

Definitely worth a try!

Herb and Cheese Rolls.

I am a big fan of savoury / seasoned breads. Such as these yummy cheese and herb rolls.

Don’t they look lovely?

I like using this recipe from half-baked harvest, though I usually make a few changes here and there.

These rolls are so soft, fluffy, buttery, well seasoned, herby, cheesy and great to have with some soup on the side or even on their own.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

1. 3-4 cups of all purpose flour.

2. 1 small packet of instant yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp).

3. 2 tbsp honey.

4. Small pinch of salt.

5. 1 cup of warm milk.

6. 2 tbsp of melted butter. Have some extra butter on hand to brush on the rolls once out of the oven.

7. 2 eggs.

For the herb and cheese filling our ingredients are:-

1. 2 tbsp chopped coriander.

2. 2-3 cups cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese (grated).

3. 1/2 cup of softened cream cheese.

4. 1 minced garlic clove.

5. Salt and freshly ground back pepper.

6. Mixed savoury spice seasoning.

This is the savory seasoning I used.

7. 2 heaped tsp mixed herbs (mine had thyme, oregano and basil).

8. 1 tbsp sesame seeds.

Let’s get started.

1. In a large bowl, add the flour, yeast, salt, and mix well. Add the sugar, milk, beaten eggs and butter. Mix with a wooden stick then once its kind of a shaggy dough, knead with your hands till it is soft and smooth.

2. Cover with a cloth and let rest for about one hour in a warm place, or till the dough is doubled in size. I usually keep mine in the oven with the light on.

3. For the filling, chop your coriander, which can be alternated with parsley too and set aside in a bowl. Add the grated cheddar and mozzarella, mixed herbs, salt and pepper, and the savoury spice and mix well.

4. In another small bowl, add the cream cheese, a little bit of salt and pepper and the minced garlic and mix well.

5. Get a baking tin and line it with parchment paper.

6. Once dough is ready, punch and knead a bit to deflate it. Roll it out to a rectangle shape, but not too thin.

7. Spread the cream cheese mixture on the dough generously, then sprinkle the cheddar and Herb mix.

8. Roll it tightly into a log shape, same way we do with cinammon rolls, then slice into 12 pieces.

This recipe makes 12 rolls.

9. Place the cut pieces in the baking dish, cover and let rest for half an hour.

10. Preheat oven.

11. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on the rolls and bake fo 25-30 minutes at 170°C. You can let them brown a bit and you will smell and see the cheese bubbling on top. They smell so good!

Love it when the cheese bubbles over. Yum!

12. Once out of the oven, brush generously with some melted butter and let rest for about 10 minutes.

13. Serve warm as a brunch side, or with soup on the side.

They are fluffy, soft, well seasoned and so tasty.

They bake so beautifully too. See how well browned the bottoms are. 😍

We have had them here on their own, with some roasted tomato soup and some pumpkin soup.

Had them with some pumpkin and bell pepper soup.
They go well with some roasted tomato soup too! The soup recipe is from here.

Definitely worth a try!

Sautéed Cabbage and Amaranth leaves.

One of the things that’s easy to take for granted in this part of the world, is having access to fresh green vegetables all year round.

If one has space to grow their own, even better. If you do not and have to buy, it is ok as they are not only inexpensive, but come in many different varieties to please different palates.

Amaranth leaves are more commonly known in Uganda as “Dodo” and in Kenya as “terere” or “mchicha.” It is on rotation in our meals a lot. It is rich in vitamins, easy to digest, low in calories and is a great immunity booster.

In this simple recipe, I used red amaranth leaves which are also rich in antioxidants, and gave the veggie mix a bright red color. Green amaranth leaves can work just as well too, minus the red colour obviously.

Let us get started:-

Ingredients.

⁃ Half a head of cabbage, chopped.

⁃ I small bunch of amaranth leaves. I used red but green can work well too.

⁃ 2tbsp ghee.

⁃ 1 tsp mustard seeds.

⁃ 1 large onion, sliced.

⁃ 1 tsp of crushed ginger and garlic.

⁃ 2 tomatoes, chopped.

⁃ 1 tsp dhania jeera powder.

⁃ 1/4 tsp ground turmeric.

⁃ Sliced bell pepper (optional).

⁃ Salt and pepper to taste.

Our spice mix for this dish.

⁃ A pinch of garam masala.

⁃ 1 small lemon halved.

Method.

⁃ Clean and chop all vegetables.

⁃ Heat pan, add ghee and mustard seeds. Once they sizzle a bit, add the onion and let cook till it is soft and translucent.

⁃ Add the ginger garlic paste and mix in well.

Once it’s cooked a bit add the tomatoes and cumin / coriander powder as well as some salt and pepper.

⁃ Let the tomatoes cook down then add the veggies.

Mix well and let cook for not more than ten minutes. You don’t want to overcook them. Leave uncovered.

They will shrink and wilt a bit. Don’t over cook them though. The cabbage is great when it still has a bit of crunch.

⁃ Check your seasoning and add the garam and squeeze half a lemon over the veggies.

The red amaranth leaves’ colour will give the dish a nice reddish, pinkish hue.

Serve hot with rice, ugali or chapati. It’s a perfect side dish but also yummy and healthy enough on its own.

Definitely worth a try don’t you think?

Try and let me know how yours turned out.

Love,

Wanjoro.

Pumpkin, Chana Dal and Ground Beef Curry.

A colourful, delicious, healthy and filling curry that is easy to make, and does not take too long either.

You will need:-

  • 1 cup already boiled chana dal.
  • About 300g of ground beef.
  • 3 tbsp of cooking oil.
  • I large chopped onion.
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds.
  • 1 heaped tsp smashed ginger, garlic and some turmeric.
  • About 2 cups chopped pumpkin cubes.
  • I small bunch of coriander, leaves and stems separated and chopped.
  • 1 green pepper, sliced.
  • I cup homemade tomato sauce. Can be alternated with 3 tomatoes, peeled and pureed.
  • 2 tsp curry powder.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
Look at those lovely colours.

To begin, heat your oil in a pan and the onion.

Once onion is soft and getting a bit browned, add your ginger, garlic turmeric paste and the roughly crushed coriander seeds.

The green pepper and coriander stalks will go in next. Then the curry powder. Mix in well and let cook a bit but make sure it doesn’t burn.

Followed in my the beef mince. Let the meat cook on high heat till it is no longer clumpy and has began to brown.

Once the meat is cooked down well and dried out, add the tomato sauce or tomatoes and a small pinch of sugar. Cover and let them cook down, before adding the already boiled chana dal.

Look at how colourful it is. If using tomatoes, you can add a cup of water so the curry does not become too dry. If using tomato sauce, add water if needed and remember to check and add your seasoning (salt) as you go.

Add the pumpkin last as it will not take too long to cook and you do not want it to turn mushy. You want the cubes cooked, soft but still firm. This should simmer for no more than ten minutes as the mince was already fully cooked before adding the lentils.

See how colourful it is!

Once done, add in the coriander leaves and switch off the cooker. The curry is pleasing in terms of how it looks, the aroma and how it tastes.

You can serve this with chapati or rice.

We had ours with plantain stuffed chapati whose recipe I have already shared here.

This is definitely worth a try.

Let me know how yours turns out!

Love,

Wanjoro.

Simple Vegetable Curry.

This is a simple vegetable curry that is full of flavour, filled with lots of healthy vegetables and comes together quite easily.

You can use any vegetables you have on hand. So feel free to mix and match as per your favourites.

I like this curry powder and this is the mixd spice blend I used this time round.

Our ingredients are:-

  • 2-3 tbsp of coconut oil. You can use ghee too if you wish.
  • 1 large chopped onion.
  • 1 tsp cumin and mustard seeds, and 1 bay leaf.
  • 2 tsps garlic ginger paste.
  • 1 tsp grated whole turmeric.
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 juicy tomatoes, peeled and chopped.
  • 1tsp mixed spice blend.
  • 2 heaped tsps Kenyan curry powder.
  • 1 tsp garam masala.
  • 1 cup already boiled chana dal.
  • 1 large potato, peeled and chopped.
  • 1 eggplant and I courgette, chopped and soaked in salty water.
  • 1 cup chopped green /French beans.
  • 1 small bunch coriander, separate the stems and leaves.
  • 1 cup, bell pepper, You can use any colour or all colours.
  • 1 can of coconut milk.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Tips:

*Boil your chana dal in a pinch of turmeric, 1 bayleaf, 3-4 cloves, and a cinnamon stick. It adds flavour and extra colour to the lentils.

Remember to skim off the foam as the lentils boil. Do not forget to discard the whole spices once boiled, drained and cooled.

Tip 2. *Soaking the eggplant and courgette (zucchini) in salted water lets them retain their shape and flavour once you cook them. Remember to drain and rinse before adding to the pan so the meal is not too salty.

Method.

Heat oil in your saucepan and add the cumin and mustard seeds.

Add onion, let cook till soft then follow with the turmeric and ginger garlic paste.

Add in the mixed spice and curry powder and let cook down a bit but make sure it doesn’t burn…

…then add the tomatoes, tomato paste and a pinch of salt. Cover and let cook down till tomatoes are mushy and oil starts leaving the sides of the pan.

Drain the soaked vegetables and add to the pan. Mix well and let cook a bit covered on low heat.The veggies will all release their liquid and absorb the spices’ flavour.

Once the vegetables are cooked a bit, add the coconut milk and garam masala as well as a small pinch of sugar. A teeny weeny pinch.

Cover and continue cooking on low for about 20 minutes.

Once done, give a final stir and check seasoning and if the veggies are cooked to your liking.

Garnish with the chopped dhania leaves then serve.

This dish goes well with some steamed rice or chapati.

We had ours with some butter naan and ndengu rice.

The curry is colourful, flavourful, filling and healthy. Definitely worth a try.

A great family meal to add to one’s repertoire.

Love,

Wanjoro.