WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

Recipes, rituals and other stories to realign the body and mind

SYRIAN

SYRIAN-INSPIRED STUFFED BABY AUBERGINES WITH TWO-WAY QUINOA AND WALNUT CREAM

Seasonal, Sides, Vegan, Vegetarian, Lunch, Recipe, Gluten free, Dinner, Dips + Spreads, Dairy Free, Brunchdanielle coppermanComment

This is quite possibly one of my favourite recipes, but I might just be saying that because it is one of my only recipes in the past few months. I know, I know, I'm a shocking excuse for a blogger, but I got other real things to deal with, like running a start up (ongoing), shooting music videos in Ibiza (october) and relocating to Berlin to train for 200 hours non-stop to become a Strala Yoga Guide (current). Never the less, I do have so much content saved up to share with you guys and I'm finally organising ample time to do so - so please bear with me and stay intrigued :) In the meantime, here is another syrian-inspired recipe I created to support my friends at Suitcase Magazine, who are part of Unicef Next Generation's #cookforsyria campaign, running throughout November. To help raise awareness, and ultimately funds, I developed a series of recipes, and it is now time for these Syrian-inspired stuffed aubergines with two-way quinoa, crushed chickpeas, pine nuts, medjool dates and a tahini walnut cream sauce to shine.

INGREDIENTS

Base Ingredients
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (cook in vegetable stock, nutritional yeast or plain water)
10-12 baby aubergines or 5-6 large aubergines
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch himalayan pink salt

For the Smokey Muhamara Quinoa
30g tomato puree
4 tablespoons olive oil
30g walnuts
3g paprika
1g turmeric
2g cumin
1g cinnamon
0.5-1g chilli powder
5g raw honey
2 tablespoons tahini
3/4 cup of the cooked quinoa and stir in the
40g pine nuts
20g dates, chopped
large pinch of fresh parsley
40g chickpeas, mashed with a fork

For the Plain Quinoa
3/4 cup cooked quinoa
1 tablespoon olive oil
1g turmeric
20g pine nuts
20g dates, chopped
40g chickpeas, mashed with a fork
large pinch of fresh parsley
1g cinnamon
pinch himalayan pink salt

For the Walnut Cream
100g Walnuts
130ml Water or nut milk
65ml Olive oil
Large pinch Salt
½ teaspoon Lemon juice
1 teaspoon tahini
Optional - garlic

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180c. Halve your aubergines (slicing lengthways) and if using baby aubergines feel free to leave some of them whole. Brush the sliced sides with olive oil, sprinkle with a pinch of himalayan pink salt and place in the oven for 30 minutes. (The cooking time will depend on the size of your aubergines, but baby aubergines will need no longer than 40 minutes, and larger aubergines should be perfect after 40-50 minutes. Keep an eye on them and remove them from the oven when the inside flesh has become soft and juicy).

Meanwhile, prepare the filling and the walnut cream. If you haven't already cooked your quinoa, cook it now. Use roughly 1/2 cup raw quinoa to 1 cup water or stock, which will make roughyly 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa.

As your quinoa cooks, make the tomato and walnut muhammara-style paste. In a small herb blender / nut grinder, measure the tomato paste, olive oil, walnuts, paprika, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, chilli powder, honey and tahini and blend until a smooth paste forms. Set aside until your quinoa is cooked.

Next, make the walnut cream. Simply add all of the ingredients to your blender and blend for 30 seconds on a low speed, and then for 30 seconds on a high speed. Scrape down the sides and continue to blend until the mixture forms into a smooth, thick liquid. The timings will depend on the power of your blender. Once you are happy with the result, pour into a jug or a serving bowl and chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

Once the quinoa has cooked and absorbed all of the liquid, rinse and drain completely. Divide the mixture, placing half in one bowl and half into a separate bowl. Stir the tomato and walnut paste into one bowl using a fork, mixing and mashing to combine. Stir through the pine nuts, dates and mashed chickpeas and set aside. To the other bolw of quinoa add the olive oil, turmeric, pine nuts, dates, chopped, chickpeas, pinch of fresh parsley, cinnamon and salt, mixing and mashing to combine.

Check your aubergines if you haven't already, and remove from the oven once they are cooked through. Use a teaspoon to gently scroop some of the flesh aside to make space for the quinoa. Don't remove the flesh, just push it to the sides of each aubergine half. Now, spoon the separate quinoa mixtures into the aubergines. (If you have mixture left over, offer it on the table or save it for another time).

If you want to serve the aubergines heated through, return to the oven now for 10 minutes. Alternatively, serve as they are (the quinoa will have cooled down completely but the aubergines should still be warm), or place in the fridge if you plan to serve them chilled.

When ready to serve, drizzle a few teaspoons of the walnut cream over each or some of the stuffed aubergines, or alternatively, offer the cream alongside the aubergines for people to help themselves to. Serve these as a side offering to meat or fish, or as a main meal with fresh salad.

+ Store aubergines in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
+ Store walnut cream in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

 

 

SYRIAN-INSPIRED ROSE WATER, HONEY, PISTACHIO, COCONUT, LINSEED AND BUCKWHEAT NOLA

Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Recipe, Paleo, Gluten free, Breakfastdanielle coppermanComment

I'm not the first person to point out that I have a thing or two for breakfast. Not just the act of eating in the morning, but breakfast things. All the breakfast things. So, when I was asked to develop a collection of recipes in support of Unicef Next Generation's #cookforsyria campaign, I thought of coming at it from two angles. The first being a general food angle, which would have been a natural progression for most people, and the second being a breakfast angle, an angle only a breakfast brand owner would generally let lead her decision making. Owning a breakfast brand and running a general food blog, I often come from both angles when making most decisions these days. I wanted to create something new and interesting for my blog here, but also wanted to bring Syrian to a more traditionally Westernised concept. Breakfast, and more specifically, granola. In Syria, breakfast is more commonly a spread of savoury foods such as cold meats, cheeses and spice-rich vegetable sides and dips. They havn't been quite as brainwashed over there as we have in terms of cereals being an essential part of a nourishing breakfast. They keep it simple and they aren't afraid of eating something they'd usually enjoy for dinner first thing the next morning too.

Never the less, cereals are easy, once made, and make for instant and effortless breakfast which I'm aware a lot of us need, a lot of the time. Would be nice to enjoy a Middle Eastern feast before work but that's just not something we can all make time for, so instead... If Syrian Cereal was a thing, I think this would be it. The whole situation is like a fresh, crunchy rose garden in a bowl. Disclaimer: it's less painful and thorny than it sounds, promise. It's safe for everyone, and due to the lack of oats and other stuff, that includes people with paleo, vegan and ceoliac dietary restrictions.

This recipe is sweetened lightly with honey - a popular ingredient in Syrian desserts - and is flavoured naturally with pure, refreshing rose water which is available from most health food stores. Pine nuts feature in a lot of Syrian dishes, most commonly savoury ones, but I wanted to incorporate them for added crunch and for the unique creamy, nutty flavour you just don't get from other nuts. Pistachios are popular in most Middle Eastern recipes, and as well as adding extra bite to this recipe, they make it look pretty good too IMO.

INGREDIENTS

35g honey or other alternative natural sweetener
12g rose water
30g coconut oil
6g vanilla extract / paste / powder or fresh seeds
45g pistachio nuts, sliced in half
50g pine nuts
40g desiccated coconut
60g untoasted coconut flakes
35g sunflower seeds
20g golden linseeds
2 teaspoons chia seeds
20g raw buckwheat
25g flaked almonds
2g himalayan pink salt

ELEVATE IT

1 Teaspoon maca powder
1 Teaspoon chaga powder
1 Teaspoon ground cardamom
1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 150c.

Start by measuring the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Then add the remainging ingredients and stir vigorously to ensure all dry ingredients are coated. The mixture won't clump together like oat granola but if coated properly, it will form subtle clusters once baked. Season to taste and add any herbs or spices to the mixture, but if the using superfoods and adaptogens like maca and chaga, add these after the cooking process to retain the most of their benefits.

Spread out evenly on a baking tray and bake for 20 mins, stirring gently after 10 minutes as the edges tend to cook more quickly.

+ Store at room temperature.


#CookForSyria is a nation-wide fundraising initiative curated by Clerkenwell Boy and SUITCASE Magazine. The month-long campaign focused around Syrian cuisine will encourage everyone from the UK’s top chefs to people at home to cook and raise money in aid of UNICEF’s Syria Relief fund via Next Generation London (UNICEF’s youth branch). This month, we're supporting the cause and raising awareness by developing and promoting a collection of exclusive recipes inspired by traditional Syrian ingredients.

If you make this, be sure to tag us and the organisations involved, and use #cookforsyria in your captions. You can also donate to the cause here.