Nourishing and delicious treats

Food writer and former chef Emma Galloway. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
Food writer and former chef Emma Galloway. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
Raglan food writer and former chef Emma Galloway believes the foods we crave every day are those that are nourishing, beautiful, simple to make and absolutely delicious to eat.

The Book: Every Day, by Emma Galloway, HarperCollins NZ, RRP $60
The Book: Every Day, by Emma Galloway, HarperCollins NZ, RRP $60
While her life revolves around food, she does not have loads of spare time so her everyday food is quick and easy, using readily available ingredients and simple techniques.

Her years as a chef - and now as a mother of two - have taught her little tips and tricks to make cooking simpler by planning ahead, using leftovers and mastering basic recipes.

It is with this in mind that she created her latest book, Every Day.

Galloway realised many home cooks did not know how to swap ingredients out for something that they had to hand.

"I want to help change that, to empower you to be bold and cook with confidence. So long as you keep the base recipe the same, you can’t go wrong with simple seasonal changes."

The book was written during the Covid-19 lockdown.

"The need for everyday recipes became more than an ideal; in fact, it was a reality, which pushed me to consider every ingredient that went into each recipe."

 

 

Cardamom and dark chocolate cheesecake bars

This cheesecake makes a great plan-ahead dessert and will store happily in the fridge for 45 days, or in the freezer for up to three months.

I prefer to use freshly ground cardamom seeds because their flavour is superior, but you could use 1-2 teaspoons ground cardamom at a pinch. In recipes like these, where the cashews are blended, you can use cashew pieces instead of whole nuts because they're usually cheaper.

Start this recipe the night before to soak the cashews.

Makes 12-14 slices

Gluten free, vegan

Base

240g (1½ cups) dried pitted dates, roughly chopped

100g (⅔ cup) raw almonds

1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil, melted

Filling

375g (3 cups) raw cashew nuts, soaked overnight in cold water and drained well

185ml (¾ cup) virgin coconut oil, melted

125ml (½ cup) freshly squeezed lemon juice

125ml (½ cup) pure maple syrup

2 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp fine salt

seeds from 20 cardamom pods (or 2 tsp ground cardamom)

Chocolate topping

85g dairy-free dark chocolate, roughly chopped

60ml (¼ cup) coconut milk

2 Tbsp pure maple/brown rice syrup

Method

To make the cheesecake base

Line a 28cm x 18cm slice tin with baking paper, overlapping the sides by 2cm. Put the pitted dates, almonds and melted coconut oil into a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Press the mixture into the tin, using the back of a spoon to pack it in firmly.

To make the filling

Place all the filling ingredients into a high-powered blender and blend on high until smooth. If you don’t have a high-powered blender, use a mortar and pestle to finely grind the cardamom seeds before adding to the blender. Pour the mixture over the base and smooth the top. Allow to set in the fridge for at least six hours or preferably overnight.

To make the chocolate topping

Place the dark chocolate in a small heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl.

Add the coconut milk and the maple/brown rice syrup and heat gently until melted. If it starts to look a little split (this can happen because of the coconut milk), whisk to bring it back together into a smooth sauce. When just melted, remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly, before spreading over the cheesecake. Return to the fridge until set. Once set, slice into 12-14 bars, using a sharp knife warmed under running hot water.

Everyday buckwheat chocolate chunk cookies

I’ve been making variations of these cookies for years. Loosely based on the chocolate chip cookies in my friends Shauna James and Daniel Ahern’s cookbook Gluten-free Girl Every Day, I’ve tinkered with the recipe to make them work with just two easily found flours and reduced the sugar a tad.

Tasting very much like the traditional chocolate chunk cookies I used to make as a chef, they’re also nut-free making them perfect for school lunches.

I prefer the texture with the psyllium added and they hold their shape ever-so-slightly better, but you can totally get away with leaving it out if you don’t have any on hand.

Makes 24-28 cookies

Gluten free

140g (1 cup) buckwheat/quinoa flour

70g (½ cup) brown rice flour

¾ tsp gluten- and aluminium-free baking powder

½ tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)

good pinch of fine salt

1 tsp psyllium husks (optional)

115g salted butter, softened

100g (½ cup) golden caster sugar

50g (¼ cup) packed muscovado sugar (or use brown sugar)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 large free-range egg

125g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Method

Heat oven to 180degC.

Grease two oven trays and/or line with baking paper. Sieve flours, baking powder and baking soda into a bowl, then add salt and the psyllium husks, if using, and whisk well to combine.

Cream butter, sugars and vanilla with electric beaters or with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat until well combined (you may need to stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl at this point to get the egg to mix in well).

Add dry ingredients and chopped chocolate, and mix to form a soft dough. With clean, dry hands, shape the dough into generous tablespoon-sized balls (if you find the dough starting to stick to your hands, wash and dry them again and carry on).

Transfer to oven trays, press down to flatten slightly and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden, rotating trays halfway to ensure even cooking. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Will store in an airtight container for five to seven days or in the freezer for up to three months.

Seedie hemp and orange muesli bars

Right from the start of writing this book, I knew I really wanted to perfect a great muesli bar: one made of nourishing ingredients, not too much sugar and that’s nut-free so the kids can take them to school. I’ve got to be honest, it took many trials; I nearly gave up on getting the recipe right before my book was due.

But then I nailed it. Best feeling ever, especially because this quickly became one of my favourite recipes in this book.

I’ve used homemade sunflower seed butter, but you can use store-bought if you prefer (it’s just a damn sight cheaper to make your own!). That said, if nuts aren’t an issue, you can replace with your favourite peanut/nut butter.

And of course, you can leave out the hemp seed hearts if they’re out of your price range - not a problem. I add them for a boost of protein and omegas.

Omit orange zest when not in season or use frozen zest if you’ve planned ahead. If you don’t like pumpkin seeds (like my kids!), increase sunflower seeds to 1 cup.

Makes 16 bars

Gluten free, vegan

70g (1 cup) unsweetened shredded coconut

10g (½ cup) puffed millet/brown rice

70g (½ cup) pumpkin seeds

70g (½ cup) sunflower seeds

35g (¼ cup) hemp seed hearts

1 Tbsp sesame seeds

25g (¼ cup) tapioca flour

90g (½ cup) natural dried raisins or your favourite dried fruit, finely chopped if large

good pinch of fine salt

250ml (1 cup) sunflower seed butter or your favourite nut butter (see below)

125ml (½ cup) brown rice syrup

2 tsp vanilla extract

finely grated zest of 1 orange

85g dairy-free dark chocolate, melted (optional)

Any nut or seed butter

Makes 1½ cups nut/seed butter

Gluten-free, vegan

560g (4 cups) your choice of nuts, seeds or a mixture

Method

Heat oven to 160degC. Grease a 28 x 18cm slice tin and line with baking paper, overlapping the sides by 2cm.

Combine coconut, puffed millet, seeds, tapioca flour, raisins (or other dried fruit) and salt in a medium bowl, then mix well. Add sunflower seed/nut butter, brown rice syrup, vanilla and orange zest and mix until well combined. It will be a stiff, sticky, doughlike consistency, so use your hands to mix if you find it easier, as I do.

Transfer mixture to slice tin and, using the back of an oiled spoon, press in firmly and evenly. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until evenly golden and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool in the tin. If using chocolate, drizzle over slice and allow to set. Cut slice into 16 bars with a sharp knife.

Will store in an airtight container for up to five days, in the fridge for up to one week or the freezer for up to three months.

Any nut or seed butter

Lightly toast your chosen nuts in a preheated oven at 180degC for eight to 12 minutes or, if using seeds, toast them in a dry pan over medium heat until lightly toasted.

Transfer to a food processor or blender and blend on high, stopping to scrape down the sides every now and then. Initially, the mixture will turn into nut/seed meal; blend a little longer and it will start to clump as the natural oils are released.

Keep blending further and it will turn into a smooth nut/seed butter; blend some more and it will become a lovely smooth and almost liquid consistency (this can take up to 10 minutes, depending on the motor power of your processor/blender). \

Season with a generous pinch or two of fine salt, then scrape mixture into a glass jar and store at room temperature for up to two weeks. The butter can be stored in the fridge for longer.

Notes: Homemade nut or seed butter is a truly beautiful thing, and it’s so adaptable. I like to use a mixture of nuts - mostly almonds, walnuts and cashews.

You can make a larger quantity than the recipe above. However, I wouldn’t recommend trying to reduce the quantity because you’ll struggle to get the food processor or blender to grind them finely enough to turn into butter.

You can use any nut or seed: almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, macadamias, cashews, peanuts, pistachios, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds (use in small amounts with other nuts, or use sesame seeds to make tahini!). If using hazelnuts, rub off the skins after toasting.

Along with the salt, you can add other flavourings, such as raw cacao/cocoa powder, vanilla extract or spices such as cardamom or cinnamon.

 
 

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