Vegetarian

Home-made Banana Cake – using free range duck eggs

banana cake

 

 

After noticing that 2 banana’s beginning to go dark in colour, I decided to try out banana cake for the first time! And having fresh free range duck eggs in my fridge, I decided to use them – my parents have a poultry farm with chickens and ducks!

Outcome: a very light and fluffy texture, and my new cake addiction! There’s 2 more ripe banana’s in the fruit bowl that has made me tempted to make more banana cake!!

 

 

Prep: 10minutes

Cooking time: 35minutes

 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 egg – beaten
  • 125g butter
  • 150g castor sugar
  • 2 ripe bananas, mash
  • 190g self raising flour
  • 60ml milk

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees celcius
  2. Prepare your ingredients by mashing your banana’s in a separate bowl and beating your egg in another separate bowl.
  3. Melt your butter over medium heat
  4. Once melted, add in your sugar and mix well
  5. Remove from heat and add in your mash banana’s – I used an electric mixer from here on-wards, I find it helps create that light and fluffy texture!!
  6. Next add in your beaten egg and mix again.
  7. Then mix in the flour and milk until fully combined.
  8. Pour into a prepared tin – I didn’t have a baking tin so used my roasting tin – still came out lovely!
  9. Bake in hot oven fro 35 minutes.
  10. Enjoy!!

 

 

 

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Categories: Desserts, Top 5 favourite meals, Uncategorized, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My go at Old El Paso – Vegetarian Enchiladas!!!

tortilla

 

With red kidney beans, courgettes, yellow bell peppers, red onions and mushrooms!!!

Categories: General, Mexican, Uncategorized, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Day 9: Last day in Cyprus!{Travel Log – Food Diary} the rescue chickens story…

Saturday 19th – Sunday 20th January – Last few days in Lefke…

Our journey on the beautiful Island of Cyprus was approaching it’s end with just our last day left, we started to feel upset already with the thought of leaving the wonderful people that we had met in the sister’s guesthouse, the sister’s from Italy, Russia, Manchester, Serbia and Indonesia and the peaceful atmosphere, the 5 times a day prayer routines, the dhikr circles, the delicious food that was always so filled with blessings, our teacher sheikh Nazim and…on the last day we found out it was snowing heavily in the UK, so another thing to miss was the beautiful sunshine in Cyprus as we were nearing our days the weather became more and more sunny reaching 20 degrees Celsius in January months. We knew it was going to be difficult to adjust to the climate back in the UK – and really it was!

So on our last day, aunty Samia made a very delicious breakfast with the usual home-made jams and molasses and fresh toasted bread, but this time with a big pot full of fresh free range eggs from the farm and tasty holloumi cheese!

Story of the rescue chickens

In Cyprus, our teacher Sheikh Nazim, found out that someone had a few hundred chickens that the owners didn’t want anymore. Because they were very skinny and hardly any meat, they were burying them alive under a large heap of soil. Once Sheikh Nazim found out about what they were doing, he took all their chickens off them and placed them onto his fields with the rest of his animals (goats, sheep…etc). Now they run around happily on the fields looking all healthy and chirping ecstatically  This story was told to us, while aunty Samia served us the breakfast made by eggs from those very chickens…

breakfast1

And it was delicious!!! Blessings of the food at the guesthouse.

I would most likely be trying out this meal – recipe included 🙂

As a second surprise, was aunty Samia’s version of bread and butter pudding. Don’t let the image fool you, it was not burnt but tasted absolutely delicious! The bread was soaked in milk, eggs and sugar and topped with home-made jam and placed in the oven.

desssert

You can also make this topped with banana’s and apples also!

It was time to end our journey in Cyprus, with teary eyes and heavy hearts we departed from Larnaca Airport back to London Gatwick to meet with the snow that was waiting for us in the UK. Goodbye Cyprus, you will be missed, even though it was an amazing trip also being on my homeland as my parents are from Cyprus, discovering the foods from my heritage and the holy sites around the small Island, it was definitely a spiritual and awakening experience where I will be taking back with me the love and warmth of the sister’s guesthouse, the teachings of our teacher Sheikh Nazim with the blessings of food and how not to waste, how to be a good person – through your work, your heart and doings, Cyprus I will be back again, God Willing.

To all my fans, I hope you enjoyed this Travel Log – Food Diary as much as I have enjoyed my experience in Cyprus and hope that you all have also gained something from the travel log and also not to forget I will be trying out many of the meals that I had in Cyprus and sharing with you the recipes!

This was my first Travel Log – Food Diary but as the name suggests ( The Wandering Cook 786) we intend to travel more, so this is not my last Travel Log – Food Diary, more to come from TWC786!

Thank you for reading 🙂

xxx The Wandering Cook 786 xxx

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Categories: Backpacking, Day 9 - Last day, Northern Cyprus, Top 5 favourite meals, Uncategorized, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Day 4: in Cyprus! Vegetarian Day {Travel Log – Food Diary} Rainbow Salad, Yogurt soup, Chickpea dish and simit halva!

Monday 14th January 2013 – 10.30am Sister’s Guesthouse

 

breakfast1

Woke up to a bright and sunny day with the smell of fresh food being prepared downstairs. Day 4 at the guesthouse, we were beginning to get into the routine of things. 10.30am breakfast, 11am clean up and tidy, 12:10pm the call to prayer was called, 1pm walk to the dergah for prayers then with all our other days after prayers taking a walk around the village and back in time for dinner and to catch a glimpse of the sheikh (teacher).

This morning breakfast comprised of the biggest salad bowl I’ve seen filled with colorful fresh veg. It had shredded white cabbage, red cabbage, beetroot (which has become my new favorite vegetable!), fresh parsley and lots of olive oil, apple vinegar and salt to finish it off.

breakfast2

                    Toasted bread with chickpeas and garbanzo beans in a yogurt & tahini mix/hummous

Breakfast wasn’t just about the wonderful salad, but this amazing dish which is another one which I will definitely be trying out! Not only was this dish tasty but such a brilliant way of using up old bread or bread that has been left out and hardened. Underneath this delicious meal, had a layer of old bread that had been toasted, with a layer of cooked chick peas and garbanzo beans covered in a mix of tahini, yogurt, lemon, garlic, seasoning and broth of the beans and chick peas (note: I will be providing a full recipe and tutorial of this meal next month!)

It was my first time trying this dish, but something I have brought home to inspire myself to create also and a very yummy vegetarian dish also!

 

Photographs of our daily walk around Lefke…

walk1

beautiful historic buildings

walk2

palm trees!

walk5

local fresh veg market

walk4

something I always wanted to build, a cob oven, perfect for Lahmacun!

walk3

and a new fascination with old doors!

6pm – Dergah (Sufi Centre) – Dinner

dinner1

Tonight’s dinner we had food served by the dergah where the sheikh lives, the food is free and welcomed by anyone to come and join the dinner service. For tonight, we had very yummy Yogurt soup for starters with again, without wasting bread, toasted bread cubes.

Yogurt soup is a mixture of well..yogurt and rice with drint mint, it is a very tasty soup – again I will be trying out my own yogurt soup! – with recipes.

salt

Did you know??

If you have a pinch of salt before and after each meal, it helps your

stomach defend itself again diseases.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dinner3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next meal was my mother’s specialty which we have back home, runner beans in tomato sauce and Bulgar with vermicelli noodles! A very close competition with the dergah and my mother’s meal but another yummy vegetarian meal.

 

 

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After blogging about my mother’s specility, we then got served..my father’s favourite dessert! Even though being miles away from my home in the UK, I had both my parents favorite foods right in front of me reminding me of them.

This is known as Simit Halva, it’s very much like the halva you prefer with flour and butter, but done with Semolina – very yummy! And the perfect end to our meal and day.

 

 

 

Tomorrow will be Day 5 & 6 in Cyprus!! With cheesy pasta bake, butter beans salad, lamb kofte kebab and a mountain trek – perfect way to view Cyprus from high up!

Don’t forget you can also find The Wandering Cook 786 on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube!

(click the logo to take you straight there)

 

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Categories: Day 4, Northern Cyprus, Uncategorized, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Day 1 and 2: We had arrived in Cyprus! {Travel Log – Food Diary}

Rucksack edited1 text

plane

 

 

 

Friday 11th January – 7.30pm Cyprus time – Larnaca Airport, Southern Cyprus

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a calm 4 hour trip from London Gatwick to Larnaca, Southern Cyprus, our journey had started within our group of four, our next mission was to find our pre-booked taxi to head to Lefke, Northern Cyprus. After collecting our luggage we headed towards the Taxi’s department outside only to find after half hour of waiting that our taxi man hadn’t arrived yet. Our first test on this journey!! This holiday to Cyprus wasn’t just going to be for the ‘holiday experience’ (or for the yummy food that awaited ahead of us) but also to treat it as a Spiritual Retreat, since we will be living fully in the Sufi/Islamic lifestyle with our routines and learning about ourselves and the blessings of sharing food.

 

So after waiting in the cold night and ringing the taxi man, turned out he completely forgotten about picking us up! And to get to Northern Cyprus in Lefke took an hour and a half, now you understand why we called this our first test on our spiritual journey in Cyprus. So we decided to get something to eat as we waited for the taxi man called Hajji Omer to arrive, which I might add, was an extra hour late then stated but we simply laughed it off, whether it was the jetlag of our system still being 2 hours behind then the Cyprus time or just the thrill of finally being on this beautiful Mediterranean Island.

 

 

world-cyprus-map

 

 

Lefke, Northern Cyprus – 11pm 

 

We had arrived! Albeit more of a delay then we expected but it started to sink in more. My sisterinlaw and I stayed at the free sister’s guesthouse, a place where ladies are welcomed to stay and enjoy the beautiful atmosphere as you meet other ladies from different parts of the world. While our husband’s stayed in the dergah (sufi centre/mosque).

We were kindly welcomed by two sisters (in Islam, all women are considered your sisters and men called your brothers, like a family – a very comforting feeling which I find in other cultures shared the same concept). One sister was from Manchester and the other all the way from Russia! After greeting each other with hugs and smiles, they showed us the shared rooms we can pick where there’s blankets, mattresses and pillows to choose from.

After settling in, the most quietly as we could as their were other’s sleeping in the same room, we reflected on how one moment you are in the busy life of the UK to the peaceful and beautiful Island of Cyprus and how thankful we were and contemplated on what was to come in these next 10 days!

 

 

 

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Saturday 12th January – 10am – Lefke, Sister’s Guesthouse

 

Guesthouse

 

 

Waking up to the beautiful sunshine of Lefke overlooking the sister’s guesthouse, a truly tranquil place. Meeting so many different sister’s at breakfast time, some flown in from Italy, Serbia, Germany, Russia, even Indonesia, it didn’t feel like we were in Cyprus at all, meeting so many wonderful people from different continents of the world sharing the same intention of spirituality and love.

 

Now onto the breakfast!! There is one lovely lady who run’s the free guesthouse, aunty Samia and her food is amazing!

 

 

breakfast1

 

 

Today’s breakfast consisting of yogurt soup (on the topic of soup, soup is always served every morning before any meal – something which I will be taking into account when back home!) a yummy vegetarian oven bake dish (in the middle) consisting of potatoes, leeks, carrots and tomatoes topped with bay leaves. And a healthy porridge and fruit dish made by some other sister’s from Serbia (who had an amazing inspirational story – they CYCLED it to Cyprus!) Not forgetting one of my favorite dishes that got served nearly each day, red cabbage and beetroot salad (middle left) – a dish I will definitely be making myself – and of course sharing the recipe to my wonderful fans of TWC786. 

 

Did you know??

When eating bread with your meal it helps absorb nutrients from the food into your nerves!

 

With the breakfast meals, always accompanies the olives, the home-made range of jams which are made from the fruits in Cyprus, and a tahini and molasses mix (very yummy and molasses known to help the blood!). Also served every day with tea and toasted Turkish bread.

 

 

breakfast2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that’s not what was only served during breakfast/brunch, the most delicious omelette made also with fresh leeks. I only had a quick chance to take a picture!

 

 

breakfast3

Another meal I intend to try out myself and share the recipe!

Each breakfast, before it being served we all make a prayer on giving thanks to God for the meal and to bless Sheikh Nazim, he is a spiritual master that lives in Lefke, the one that owns the guesthouse and has opened it to people, the one that has brought everyone from around the world to unity and Divine Love.

And at the end of each meal, another prayer is added again to say thanks after eating the delicious food, I found it very beautiful to finish and start a meal with thanks…it makes you appreciate the food that has been given to you.

Tour of the guesthouse…

guesthouse1

2050_1231Cyprus10461

guesthouse3

guesthouse4

Midday – Lefke

oranges

After helping out with cleaning up after the yummy breakfast we went for a walk around Lefke – which then became a regular routine, a walk after midday – and in Lefke particularly  they are well known for their orange trees and January was the season that they are ready to use! So we had to try one of THESE…..

orange2

Freshly squeezed Lefke Orange Juice!!!

No exaggeration intended, but by far it was the best orange juice I had tasted and only for 4 Turkish Lira – which comes to about £1.40 – I don’t think I paid that much for juice before, but it was definitely worth it and being so fresh, I would consider it a bargain! So that’s CAFE NATURAL you would want to look out for if your in Lefke! 

Day 3 will be up tomorrow with MORE yummy breakfast from the sister’s guesthouse,  fresh bread made directly from an outside mud oven, and Lahmacun!! Can’t come all the way to Cyprus and not have a traditional Turkish Pizza which I have tried many times in making myself!

Don’t forget I will posting each day’s experience up to Day 10 of our travels to Cyprus! Including videos!

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Categories: *My Travel Food Diary in Cyprus!*, Backpacking, Day 1 & 2, General, Northern Cyprus, Uncategorized, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Simple Chickpea Curry Recipe – Vegetarian

 

Hi to all the cooking fans out there!

So sorry haven’t blogged for awhile, been another busy week. And unfortunately won’t be able to blog for another week as we’ll be visiting my motherinlaw but i’ll be recording some of her delicious foods!!

But for now, this post is dedicated to my version of the classic Chickpea curry. My husband and I are trying to venture onto vegetarian meals more and after realizing that I had a can of chickpeas in the cupboard, chickpea curry it was!

Chickpea curry22

 

Prep time: 5-10minutes

Cooking time: 30minutes (+45minute simmer time)

Servings: 2

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Ingredients1 onion
  • olive oil for frying
  • 1tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2tsps. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. chili flakes
  • hot water
  • 1/2 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper

 

 

Method:

  • First start by preparing your ingredients, by finely chopping your onions and garlic. And wash and drain your chick peas. 
  • Also wash your parsley and roughly chop, including stalks.
  • Now start cooking by placing a medium saucepan with 3tbsps of olive oil onto medium-high heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, start by frying your onions and garlic till soft.
  • Next add your cumin powder, cinnamon, paprika and chili flakes. Stir and fry for a further 5minutes until the onions have browned from the spices.

Step2

 

 

  • Next add your chopped tomatoes and stir into the onions.
  • After, add in your chickpeas and stir thoroughly into the onion and tomatoes spice mix. Add hot water from the kettle to just cover over the chickpeas. 
  • Now add in your coriander powder, garam masala and salt & pepper to taste.

 

 

spice spoon

  • Now add in your chopped fresh parsley, stir and lower heat to the lowest setting. Cover and simmer for 45minutes.

 

 

Step6

 

  • Serve warm!

 

If you want more spice, then add tad more garam masalan and chili flakes to enhance the chili!

This recipe is also under the Category of ‘Winter Foods’ as I find the spice in this curry helps to warm you up!

 

Chickpea curry

Enjoy!

Coming up soon!

How to make Turkish vermicelli noodle rice

 

 

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Categories: 30minute meals, My own mix, Pakistan, Uncategorized, Vegetarian, Winter foods | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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