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Entries in coconut (7)

Thursday
Feb192015

dal with crispy sweet potatoes and coconut

this is a fabulous recipe, from anna jones’ a modern way to eat. i bought this book in the autumn, at the same time as diana henry’s a change of appetite - whilst i was in the bookshop i couldn’t choose between the two, but once i got home it was diana henry’s recipes that pulled me in and which i have been enjoying in recent months (i am still particularly smitten with her citrus fruit with ginger snow).

however, i am branching out and have started to try some of anna jones’ recipes.  they are all vegetarian and while both books share a similar desire to eat lighter healthy food, i think anna often goes a step further with replacing ingredients in traditional dishes – the (now) ubiquitous cauliflower base for a pizza, for example. i do want to try some of these dishes but have started with ones that are closer to my comfort zone, not least so i can see what i think of the book and the quality of the recipes.

this is a definite hit (there have been some misses) and one that i’ve already made a couple of times. the dal is enriched with coconut milk and also has spinach and coriander for freshness (which gives it quite a green tinge!) but the spicing is mild and warming, including quite a lot of cinnamon, which works surprisingly well.

i really like the addition of the crispy sweet potato topping flavoured with fennel and cumin seeds, which means that you don’t need to serve this with rice (i’ve had it with flatbreads each time), but which is delicious in its own right so worth making extra of it. i’m keen to try the coconut and ginger chutney with fresh coconut, but the version using desiccated is definitely good enough to be worth the effort in its own right.

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Sunday
Sep292013

coconut cavolo dal with lime

i bought my first cavolo nero of the season last week and was keen to try something new with it. old favourites include ribollita, various pasta dishes, pesto plus a lovely barley and pumpkin dish, all of which i am sure will be cooked in the coming weeks, as i tend to get obsessed with this leafy delight.

instead, i took inspiration from a red lentil, kale and coconut dish and cooked a pan of gently spiced coconut and cavolo nero dal. the quantities below are all approximate – you can increase any component if you want to emphasise particular flavours.

having said that, i don’t think the dish needs much, if any, tweaking - i had thought about adding spices at an early stage or finishing it with some fresh coriander leaves but don’t think either are needed. the final touch of lime zest and juice is well worth it though, as this gives a fresh zingy flavour which contrasts nicely with both the creamy coconut and lentil flavours as well as the green grassiness of the kale.

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Friday
Jul122013

coconut, coriander and pineapple rice

 

having made the coconut-lime pork and black bean chilli, which calls for pineapple juice, i had a small tin of pineapple rings left to use up. i wanted to cook confit duck and thought this would be a good pairing with the pineapple, given duck’s affinity for fruit (oranges and cherries are the more obvious choices, i think). i decided to take asian inspiration and make a coconut, coriander and pineapple rice.

jasmine rice cooked in coconut milk with a pinch of salt and, in some cases, a bit of sugar seemed to be the most common approach and the end result was pretty good. i omitted the sugar, partly because i was adding pineapple chunks, but also because i didn’t think any extra sweetness was needed. the quantities below gave me a rich coconut flavour and the rice absorbed all the liquid so it had a nice fluffy texture.

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Wednesday
Jul102013

coconut-lime pork tacos with black beans

 

we often have chilli with corn  tortillas or as quesadillas and it’s certainly the kind of food that appeals in the hot weather – a little something with rich spicy flavours and lots of fresh uncooked ingredients to balance it all out. i say this but actually this is comfort food for me in the depths of winter too – there must be some kind of magic afoot!

this was very different approach to the requisite “something with rich spicy flavours” – it’s a food 52 recipe which combines, in a beguiling way, pork, coconut, and spice. i used pieces of pork tenderloin instead of mince which was, i think, a nice way to make it a little more special.

the coconut adds a lovely richness without being obviously coconut – i was a bit worried about having a thai chilli-style filling for my tortilla! the pineapple juice apparently acts as a marinade, tenderising the meat. i’m not sure how much of an impact it had and am unsure if i’d use it again as i rarely have need for tinned pineapple – a slug of milk or just using the optional (not so optional, in my opinion) lime juice would probably do something similar, i think. the end result is very delicious and this is something we’ll be making again, not least given it freezes well.

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Wednesday
Feb222012

carrot and coconut bars 

 

sorry for the quiet blog, i’ve been in bed ill and not cooking, eating or doing very much at all as a result. however, despite feeling dreadful, these little lovelies caught my attention. or to be more precise, the smell of them cooking did – david knocked up a batch for his colleagues at work and the smell of buttery, cinnamony coconut made my mouth water whilst i lay in bed feeling sorry for myself!

i managed to snaffle one and they instantly went onto my list of new favourite things. there is so much to like about them - the crust is slightly chewy, the cinnamon, coconut and walnut combination works really well (i forget how much i like walnuts in a cake), and there is enough dried fruit and carrot that you can pretend it is a healthy snack.

discovering these is perfect timing as i’m getting a little bored of the multiseed peanut butter flapjacks that i make most weeks as a lunch-box treat. i also fancy tinkering with the recipe – the types of fruit and nuts are obviously easy to swap but i think grated pear or apple might also be worth a try. plus a bit of orange zest. and i really should find out more about using something like apple puree to reduce the fat and sugar content – who knows, maybe i will be able to justify these as a weekly treat!

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