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What’s cooking? Gado gado, peanut sauce and satay skewers

chicken, dinner, lunch, salad, vegetarian | April 22, 2016 | By

So much of my time is taken up by just making food for my family to eat that I’ve decided to start a weekly blog post featuring links to the recipes that have inspired my cooking each week, even if the originals aren’t gluten free and I succumb to my usual habit of changing things around to suit what I have to hand. That way if you see something I’ve made on my Instagram feed, you’ll stand a chance of being to figure out how to make it. And if you havent yet found my feed on Instagram it’s here.

Going freestyle – with the feel of a recipe rather than using a recipe to the letter seems to be a major worry for a lot of people. I do remember the early days of learning to cook – rushing out to buy a bunch of spring onions because I’d forgotten to add them to the list. These days I’d thing rather along the lines of replacing them in a recipe – a bit of leek, red onion or shallot. No rice crumbs? – then how about breadcrumbs or quinoa flakes. It might turn out differently, but just suppose it turned out even better AND you didn’t have to hare round to the market just for one item? It’s just a question of confidence and actually becomes pretty exciting. What CAN you make with only an onion, a stick of celery and a carrot??!

I hope this helps you to see how recipes evolve and helps you to use up what you already have at home, reducing waste and time to boot. It will also help me to keep an uptodate record of the recipes I try. How frustrating is it when you make a recipe that is unanimously declared delicious only to lose the recipe forever (do NOT mention my hot cross bun recipe at this point, my heart is still bleeding).

For the observant among you, yes, this was a particularly meat/fish light week, but we aren’t exclusively vegetarian. 

  • The quinoa and sweet potato burgers were based on this recipe by One Ingredient Chef. Instead of the parsley/sunflower seed/garlic combo I used some radish top, roasted garlic and pistachio pesto I had leftover. I also didn’t bother hydrating the ground flax and reduced that down to 2 tablespoons from 3. They were really delicious.
  • The courgette besan cheela recipe is one I have taught before in my classes in Singapore. A chick pea flour ‘pancake’ with added cumin, spring onion and courgette – such a quick idea for lunch. I have submitted the recipe for publication to the summer edition of NiĆ©pi magazine, so I’m hoping that will reach a wider audience. This one I served with a cucumber and mint raita made using milk kefir kindly given to me by a dear friend. Thanks Marie-Odile!
  • The banana bread recipe was made using this BBC Food recipe for inspiration. I used my usual four flour blend instead of the plain/wholemeal flours in the recipe and reduced the sweetener from 4 tbsp of agave (which I never use) to 3 tbsp of maple syrup. I also added 1/2 tsp xanthan gum as a binder. The recipe contains a yogurt but no other fat, which made the texture bizarrely light for a banana bread. It made a nice light breakfast served with unsweetened creamy fromage blanc and another splash of maple syrup. 
  • The gado gado recipe is one given to me by a young Malaysian woman I met while doing an internship in America back in the 1980s and have guarded preciously ever since! I have included it below, along with a marinade for satay skewers.
Gado gado with peanut sauce & satay skewers
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Ingredients
  1. 100g roasted, unsalted peanuts, ground (OR use good quality peanut butter)
  2. 1 small onion, finely chopped,
  3. 1 clove garlic, crushed
  4. 1/4 tsp cayenne powder (or to taste)
  5. 1 tsp ground coriander
  6. 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  7. 250ml coconut milk
  8. 2 tbsp gula melaka (coconut sugar) or dark brown sugar
  9. 1 tbsp GF tamari (or to taste)
  10. 1 tbsp lime juice (or to taste)
To serve
a selection of vegetables to lightly steam
  1. courgette, carrot, green beans etc
a selection of vegetables to serve raw
  1. bean sprouts, red pepper, cucumber etc
  2. boiled eggs, halved
Instructions
  1. Place the peanuts (or peanut butter), onion, garlic, cayenne, coriander and cumin into a medium frying pan and cook together for 5 mins.
  2. Add the coconut milk, sugar and tamari, bring to a simmer and cook for 10 mins.
  3. Add the lime juice to taste and add more tamari if needed.
  4. Serve warm with a selection of steamed and raw vegetables and halved hard boiled eggs.
If you wish to make a quick tofu or chicken skewer to accompany the salad, as I did then make a marinade with
  1. 3 tbsp neutral oil
  2. 3 tbsp GF tamari
  3. 1 clove garlic, chopped finely
  4. 1.5 tsp curry powder
  5. 1 tbsp sugar
  6. Mix all together in a bowl - add cubed chicken or tofu and cover. Allow to marinade for a minimum of 3 hours, preferably 6, then thread onto soaked wooden skewers and cook on a grill pan until golden and cooked through.
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