Monthly Archives: April 2013

Creamy Baked Squash

I present to you my SECOND Ekadashi post for today:)

I love gem squash. My mum used to prepare it for us in winter when we were kids, with a touch of salt, pepper and a generous dollop of butter.

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Many people aren’t aware that all types of squash are fine to eat on Ekadashi.  Even more people doubt the light, fluffy taste of this yung squash.

Preperation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 12 minutes

Serves 3-4

Ingredients: 

6 gem squash halves

6 tsp butter

4 tbsp creme fraiche or sour cream

4 tbsp cheddar cheese

1 tbsp parmesan* cheese

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp black pepper

salt to taste

Method:

Steam the gem squash in the microwave for 5 minutes and the set aside.. Make sure you don’t over do it – we don’t want the skin to be all wrinkly and neither do we want the shape to deform. Place a teaspoon of butter in each half.

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This is almost a 3 cheese squash bake! In a bowl, mix the remaining all the remaining ingredients.

Spoon the mixture into each half and sprinkle with a little extra cheddar cheese. Bake at 180 degrees for 7 minutes. For the next 3 minutes, switch the oven to “Grill” mode, so that the surface appears slightly crispy.

Remove from the oven and garnish with black pepper and some finely sliced fresh green chilli if you desire.

Dig in, and don’t be shy to scoop up the circumference of  squash and mix it well with the rich, creamy centre;)

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Tomato and Roast Pepper Ekadashi Soup

It’s Ekadashi yet again and I have decided to religiously publish some exciting food that we can enjoy on our fasting days:)

Hopefully this will give people incentive to feast oops I meant  fast more often;)

I’ve been feeling a little under the weather since Thursday – I think it must be the sudden drop in temperature in Joburg! Yes, summer is officially over! I thought I’d warm myself up with this absolutely delicious roast pepper and tomato soup. It is so good, I would even make this on a non-fast day, and enjoy it with some croutons or warm buttered bread:D I think I will repeat this some time next week!

My FAVOURITE long Pimento peppers are something that I can’t do without anymore. The flavour they lend to any dish is so sweet, deep and also a bit fiery. Don’t worry too much if you can’t get your hands on these – you can use yellow or red peppers, or anything similar:) The trick is to roast them – it’s what releases the deep flavours within.

I really enjoyed flavouring this soup with the basil and chilli from my garden. It is SUCH a pleasure to be able to snip ingredients from my mother’s little herb and vegetable garden. I really wish to cultivate the skill of gardening soon!

 

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I couldn’t resist photographing my quirky little  scissors that I use for snipping herbs in the garden. I got them from Melissas in Cape Town for a mere R10.00 !

 

Preperation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes

Ingredients: 

2 Pimento peppers ( or any other red, or yellow peppers that you can get your hands on)

8-12 ripe tomatoes

2-4 fresh chillis

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp black cumin ( shahi jeera )

a handful of basil leaves

1 tsp black pepper

salt to taste

*A dollop of creme fraiche

 

Method:

Chop the peppers into large chunks. Halve the tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and roast for about 20 minutes at 200 degrees. Make sure that the edgers of the peppers are slightly charred, and that the tomatoes are oozing and their skins slightly dehydrated. I have to admit that I popped mine into my Philips Air Fryer for about 15 minutes at the same temperature) – probably one of the BEST gadgets I have ever purchased. It saves me so much time, and not to mention – oil! If you are using a normal oven, try switching to “Grill” mode for the last 5-7 minutes of roasting, to help with the charring.

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Chuck into a blender and aim to achieve a smooth puree.  Heat the olive oil and add the cumin. Follow with basil once the cumin is sizzling in the oil. Now it’s time to add the puree…maybe even come some aside, and  use the thick, rich puree as a dip, pasta sauce or sandwich spread!

Add salt, pepper and a knob of butter if you wish! Add two cups of warm water and stir continously until the soup comes to the boil.

Check your seasoning and adjust if required.

Serve HOT with a dollop of creme fraiche or sour cream, and garnish with a sprig of basil. Enjoy!

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