Creamy coconut pumpkin curry (dairy free!)

Pumpkin and Yellow Split Pea Dahl.jpg

Pumpkin and Yellow Split Pea Dahl

This delicious Pumpkin and Yellow Split Pea Dahl is creamy, sweet, and lightly spiced. It’s a wonderful balance of flavours, it’s cheap, it’s filling, it’s nutritional, and it’s easy to make. I’ve used a slow cooker for this recipie as it means you can prepare the vegetables ahead of time if you want and then just throw everything in so you can be occupied with other things while it’s cooking. It’s also wonderfully allergy friendly!

Ingredients

  • 60ml neutral oil (I like rice bran oil)
  • 1 chopped carrot
  • 1/2 chopped pumpkin (flesh only, skin & seeds removed)
  • 2 potatoes, diced.
  • 200g yellow split peas (soaked overnight in water)
  • 1/2c sultanas
  • 3T curry powder
  • 400g can coconut cream

You can substitute the pumpkin for butternut squash or kumara if desired.

Allergies: soy free, dairy free, gluten free, egg free, peanut free, tree nut free.

Pumpkin.jpg

For sizing, I used half of this pumpkin.

Directions

  1. Put everything in the slow cooker and mix.
    • I suggest putting in half the can of coconut cream to begin with. You can then decide part-way through cooking if you want to add the other half. It will take longer for the full can to be fully absorbed but it does give a wonderful creamy flavour.
  2. Cook on high for 2-4 hours.
    • I added the second half of the coconut milk after two hours and switched it to warm after four hours.
  3. Eat on it’s own, with flatbread, or with rice. Add salt & pepper to taste.

How to make amazing rotissere / BBQ style chicken even if you’re working or just plain busy

This creates amazing melting-off-the-bone roast chicken with crispy skin and fantastic gravy. For best results (and practicality) it uses both a slow cooker and a oven. (The alternative is 5 hours in the oven but then you won’t get the amazing corn!).

Ingredients

  • Spice blend
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp smoked paprika
    • 1 tsp onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
    • 1/2 tsp white pepper + 1/4 tsp black pepper (or just fresh grind in tri-colour peppercorns)
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 chicken to roast
  • Vegetables to roast (i.e. potatoes, zucchini, carrot, whole peeled garlic, corn-on-the-cob).
  • Oil (I like rice bran oil)
  • Potato flakes or cornstarch (for the gravy)

Allergy friendly: soy free, dairy free, gluten free, peanut free, tree nut free.

Tip: Whole peeled garlic is often sold in large bags; consider portioning it out into little bags and freezing it. You can pull it out of the freezer each time you have a roast.

Directions

  1. Mix the spice blend together.
  2. Peel the onion & top’n’tail it.
  3. Make sure the chicken is ready for cooking (i.e. giblets removed).
  4. Rinse the cavity and pat dry with a paper towel.
  5. Rub the spice blend over the chicken inside and out.
  6. Put the onion inside the chicken cavity.
  7. Put the chicken into the slow cooker.
    • A note on timing: You can rub the chicken the night before, wrap it in a plastic bag, and marinade it overnight in the fridge so that all you have to do in the morning is pop it in the slow cooker. The choice on whether to put the cooker on Low or High depends on how long it will be in there and how long you want to have it in the oven. My chicken wasn’t 100% defrosted so I had it on High in the slow cooker for 5 hours and then in the oven for 1.5 hours.
  8. Prepare your vegetables to roast.
    • I chop the potatoes up and put them in the steamer in the microwave for about 10 minutes to give them a bit of a head start before placing them in the roasting pan.  You can brush the veggies lightly with oil before placing the chicken on top – they just need a touch to keep from drying out before the fat from the chicken starts to drip out.
  9. Carefully pull the chicken out of the slow cooker and put it in the roasting pan. Baste it with the juices from the slow cooker.
  10. Roast the chicken for 60-90 mins. Start the oven at 180-200’C; you’ll be able to drop the temperature to 150’C and cover the chicken in tin foil once it has browned. Keep basting the chicken periodically with juices from the slow cooker.
  11. Put the corn-on-the-cob in the slow cooker (in the chicken juices) as soon as you take the chicken out. Cook on High for 60-90 minutes.
    • The juices will only cover the bottom of the corn; this is fine. It comes out cooked, still with a good steamed firmness, sweet, and lightly flavoured by the chicken broth.
  12. Once the chicken, roast veggies, and corn are all cooked, you can use the juices in the slow cooker to make gravy. You can use flour or cornstarch, or try potato flakes.  It’s not just that these are gluten free, it’s that they thicken the gravy quickly and don’t go lumpy like cornflour sometimes does. Add potato flakes gradually (leaving the slow cooker on) and stirring; I made my gravy quite thick.

Leftover roast chicken can be used for the next night, sandwiches, to make chicken fried rice, or as a pizza topping on a flat or scone base.

Mediterranean Lamb for the slow cooker


Ingredients

  • 400g lamb (small cubes)
  • Marinade:
    • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    • 1 tsp paprika
    • 2 tsp ground ginger
    • 1 tsp tumeric
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 tsp cumin seeds
    • 1 tsp coriander
    • 1 tsp garlic flakes
    • 1 tsp honey
    • 1-2 T oil
  • 2T plain flour (or superfine white rice flour)
  • 1-2 T tomato paste
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1 large carrot (grated)
  • 1-2 T tomato paste
  • Dried dates, dried sultanas, dried apricots (or use 1/2 – 1 tin apricot halves).
  • Flaked almonds
  • 1/2c chicken stock

Directions

  1. Marinade the lamb overnight in the fridge (I marinade mine in the ceramic slow-cooker pot).
  2. In the morning you can brown the meat if you want but I always skip that step for sake of convenience and dishes!
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients in order and mix as you go. The exception is the apricots, I used tinned apricots (because they’re cheaper) and they can get added 30-60 mins before you finish cooking.
  4. Turn the slow cooker on. I put mine on around 8am on Low and then checked it periodically to add a little more water (I wanted to keep the consistency to thick gravy but you can add more liquid as per preference).
  5. Serve with your choice of carbs and veggies. If you’re in a rush then couscous is very quick, or you could choose rice or noodles; personally, I love the opportunity to make fluffy dumplings in the slow cooker so I made a double batch of cheese-garlic-mixed herb dumplings 🙂

 

As always, adjust the recipe to your personal taste. You can easily add more meat or a legume of your choice (i.e. chickpeas); don’t be put off by the long spice list if you don’t have all those in the pantry, there are lots of spice blends available at the supermarket if you prefer.

Allergens: Soy free (do check the chicken stock carefully though or use home made), dairy free, egg free, gluten free, nut free.

 

Beautiful fluffy dumplings

Accredit to: French Tart.

I stumbled upon this recipe one day when looking for something to add to a slow-cooker stew and they were beautiful! The secret is using really cold butter (chilled or frozen) and grating it into the flour.

Ingredients

  • 120g self-raising flour
  • 60g chilled/frozen grated butter (or suet)
  • Cold water to mix
  • Salt & pepper to season
  • Optional: parsley, dried herbs, grated cheese, garlic granules, onion powder, chilli powder etc.
  1. Put the flour, seasonings, & suet in a large mixing bowl, mix thoroughly.
  2. (If you are adding herbs or extra seasonings, add them now & mix well.).
  3. Add sufficient cold water – bit by bit – to make a pliable dough; it should not be too sticky, but just bound together.
  4. Divide the dumpling mixture into 8 portions, and roll into small balls with floured hands.
  5. Drop them into your soup, casserole or stew 20 minutes before the end of the cooking time, making sure that the soup, stew or casserole is very hot.
  6. Put the lid on IMMEDIATELY and do NOT take the lid off until just before the end of the cooking time, about 15-18 minutes to check that they are nearly ready.
  7. They should have doubled in size at least, and be very light & fluffy looking!
  8. Ladle the soup, stew or casserole into warmed soup bowls & serve 2 dumplings per person.
  9. Oven baked: place the dumplings on top of your stew or casserole and cook for about 30 minutes at 200’C or 400’F, or until well risen, golden brown & crusty.

 

Allergens: soy free, egg free, peanut free.