Purple Sweet Potato ‘Hummus’

Purple Sweet Potato ‘Hummus’

Hello Everyone! Here’s my last recipe for the year 2020! Well, technically this was scheduled to go up earlier towards the beginning of the month, but with other commitments, both personal and work, and the festive season, I haven’t had the time to write this post and prepare the other recipes that I had wanted to share with everyone on the blog. I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas despite the circumstances, and I wish everyone a Happy New Year!

Purple Sweet Potato ‘Hummus’

Traditional hummus directly translates to chickpeas and is a dip, spread, or savoury dish made from cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. It is popular in the Middle East and in Middle Eastern cuisines around the globe. It can also be found in most grocery stores in North America and Europe.

Although multiple claims of its origins exist in various parts of the Middle East, the earliest known written recipes for a dish resembling hummus are recorded in cookbooks written in Cairo, Egypt, in the 13th century. The full name of the prepared spread in Arabic is ḥummuṣ bi ṭaḥīna which means ‘chickpeas with tahini’.

But here’s a playful PURPLE alternative that’s perfect as a fun snack, appetizer, breakfast, or a light meal. This Purple Sweet Potato Hummus is a legume-free version of a traditional hummus for those who simply prefer it legume-free and/or because of allergies. Though chickpea-free, it still incorporates the flavours of tahini and spices in this ‘hummus’.

Purple Sweet Potato ‘Hummus’

Tahini is a condiment made from toasted ground hulled sesame. It is served by itself (as a dip) or as a major ingredient in hummus, baba ganoush, and halva. If you can’t find tahini in stores, don’t worry because you can easily make it at home, which is what I did. Even if you can find them on the shelves of your local grocer, I highly recommend making your own so that you won’t have a jar of tahini sitting in your fridge waiting for it to go off because you won’t ever use it again – maybe. Just make enough for a one-off recipe.

Also, have you ever tried sweet potato… on toast? Put a vibrant twist to your morning toast with this complex carbs on carbs combination! *cheeky grin* It’s one of those combinations that surprises you just how good it is, together. Aside from its vibrant colour, it’s gluten free, paleo, and comes together with less than ten ingredients you probably have on hand or have easy access to from your local grocer. You may also substitute the purple sweet potatoes for other colour variants such as orange, yellow, or white, whatever is available locally.

Before we dive into tonight’s recipe, please take the time to check out the original recipe where I drew my inspiration from over on Flora & Vino by Lauren.

Purple Sweet Potato ‘Hummus’ Ingredients

PREP TIME 30 MINS | COOKING TIME 10 MINS | SERVES 6

INGREDIENTS

For the homemade tahini

  • 1 cup sesame seeds, hulled
  • 2 to 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of salt, optional

For the sweet potato hummus

  • 1 cup cooked and roughly mashed purple sweet potatoes*
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Filtered water or unsweetened almond milk, as needed
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Wholemeal bread slices
  • Fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • Ground paprika
  • Roasted pistachio nuts
  • Toasted cumin seeds

METHOD

  1. Homemade Tahini: Add the sesame seeds to a wide, dry saucepan over medium-low heat and toast, stirring constantly until the seeds become fragrant and lightly coloured (not brown), for 3 to 5 minutes. Sesame seeds can burn very quickly so keep an eye on them and be careful.
  2. Transfer the toasted sesame seeds to a baking sheet or large plate for them to cool down completely.
  3. Once cool, add the sesame seeds to the bowl of a food processor then process until a crumbly paste forms, about a minute.
  4. Add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil then process for 2 to 3 minutes more, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides of the food processor a couple times. Check the tahini’s consistency. It should be smooth, not gritty and should be pourable. You may need to process for another minute or add the additional tablespoon of oil.
  5. Taste the tahini for seasoning then add salt to taste. Process 5 to 10 seconds to mix it in. Set aside until ready to use.**
  6. Purple Sweet Potato ‘Hummus’: Add the mashed purple sweet potato, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and cumin to a high speed blender or food processor and pulse until well-combined and creamy, scraping down the sides as needed to recombine.
  7. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to the mixture. Taste and adjust if needed, i.e. add more lemon for brightness, cumin for spice, and tahini for creaminess. If the mixture is too thick, add filtered water or unsweetened almond milk in 1 tablespoon increments to reach your desired consistency.
  8. Serve with toast and top with your choice of toppings. I went with pistachio nuts, ground paprika, a sprinkle of toasted cumin seeds, and fresh parsley. Enjoy!

Purple Sweet Potato ‘Hummus’

Notes:

  • * To cook the sweet potatoes, scrub and peel them, then cut the flesh into large cubes. Fill a large pot with an inch of water and bring to a boil. Add the sweet potato cubes to a steamer basket and steam in the pot for about 7 to 10 minutes until the flesh is very tender when pierced with a fork. Drain, place the cooked sweet potato in a bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher.
  • ** Store any leftover tahini covered in the refrigerator for one month. You may notice that it separates over time, like a natural peanut butter would. If this happens, give the tahini a good stir before using.
  • Store leftover Purple Sweet Potato Hummus in the fridge for up to one week.

Purple Sweet Potato ‘Hummus’

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Purple Sweet Potato Rösti Eggs-in-a-Hole

Purple Sweet Potato Rösti Egg-in-a-Hole

Hello Everyone! How is it that we’re already more than half way through the last month of 2020? Where did the months in quarantine go by? Who would’ve thought that staying at home, isolated from the outside world, would actually fly by this quickly?

To be honest, never did I once feel a day go by so slowly. I’ve experienced slower days when actually in the office – the type where I’d look at the clock and it’d read 3pm. An hour later (or so I thought) and it would only read 3:05pm. At home, I’d look at the clock and it’d be 9am; 5 minutes later and it’s already 11am.

Firstly, I’d like to apologise for not uploading a new recipe on the blog for the past two weeks. I actually had this recipe ready to be posted in the first week of December, but at the last minute, I was invited to join two Noche Buena (Christmas Feast) Challenges. Here are my two entries for two separate challenges:

Christmas Noche Buena Challenges

Left: Christmas ‘Spaghetti’ with Meat-free Baubles for the #LODINGNocheBuena Challenge

The theme for this challenge was ‘Christmas Essence on a Plate’. We had to prepare a Pinoy Noche Buena dish, entailing the story behind it. I decided to take a Classic Pinoy Spaghetti and put my own healthy twist to it (you can read the full story on my Instagram account. This was a challenge set by The Official LODI LPG to the Food IG Community and I’m proud to say that I bagged the top spot and won a plus 3,000php cash!

Right: Potato ‘Wreath’ Salad for the #WVNocheBuenaCookOff2020

The theme for this cook off was ‘Christmas Like No Other’. We had to prepare a dish that’s always present on our Noche Buena table and describe how this year’s Noche Buena celebration will be different from the previous ones. This is a campaign spearheaded by World Vision Philippines to help provide Noche Buena packs to World Vision registered children and families in the Philippines. The winners for this cook off will be announced on December 22, 2020!

You can find the recipes to both my entries by clicking on the links that will direct you to my Instagram page.

So here’s a little insight first and foremost, I initially wanted to serve this dish with some smoked salmon to bulk up this brunch dish. However, since I couldn’t seem to source any from the various grocery stores I’ve been to over the course of a month, I then decided to make my own smoked salmon at home after coming across a video on how to DIY without a smoker. Of course, I got lazy and scraped the whole idea of adding smoked salmon to the dish and kept it ovo-vegetarian instead for a simple and light brunch.

Purple Sweet Potato Rösti Eggs-in-a-Hole

Rösti or rööschti is a Swiss dish that is made of potatoes in the style of a fritter. The potato, either parboiled or raw, is coarsely grated, and seasoned with salt and pepper. They are then shaped into rounds or patties and fried in either oil or butter. Rösti are most often pan-fried and shaped in the frying pan during cooking, but they can also be baked in the oven. Although the most basic of rösti consists of nothing but potato, various ingredients can be added, such as bacon, onion, cheese, apple, and/or fresh herbs. And that’s exactly what I did to put a little spin on a traditional potato rösti…

Keeping in line with our violet theme to end the year, I substituted regular potatoes for purple sweet potatoes instead and added an ‘egg-in-a-hole’ twist. An egg-in-a-hole is traditionally a piece of bread with an egg in the center, cooked with a little butter or oil. Serve with some pan-fried cherry tomatoes and asparagus on the side and you’ve got one heck of a brunch. Feel free to add any meat of choice to bulk up your brunch meal.

Newsflash! Breakfast just got a <em>hole</em> lot more interesting!

See what I did there? *cheeky wink*

Purple Sweet Potato Rösti Eggs-in-a-Hole

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 25 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

For the sweet potato rösti

  • 2 cups shredded purple sweet potatoes (about 4 small-sized sweet potatoes)
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil, for frying
  • 4 large free range eggs
  • Asparagus
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Chives or parsley, chopped
  • Lemon slice

METHOD

  1. Wrap the shredded sweet potatoes in a clean cheesecloth and wring out any excess moisture from it until dry. Place in a large mixing bowl and add one egg, garlic, onion, and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high and add oil. Add half a cup of the shredded sweet potato mixture in an even layer and cook for approximately 2 minutes or until golden and crisp. Flip and use a round cookie cutter to remove the center of the rösti.
  3. Drop an egg in the center of the rösti and cook until the whites are set. Remove the rösti from the pan and repeat with the remaining sweet potatoes until all are cooked.
  4. Top with fresh chives or parsley, and salt and pepper. Get creative at this point and serve with your choice of veggies; I went for some pan-fried asparagus and cherry tomatoes. Enjoy!

Purple Sweet Potato Rösti Eggs-in-a-Hole

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Purple Sweet Potato Crisps with Easy Roasted Garlic & Chive Aïoli

Purple Sweet Potato Crisps with Easy Roasted Garlic & Chive Aïoli

Hello Everyone! Now this is a recipe I’ve been so eager to make since forever. I first came across this dish from a café across the road from my campus when I was still studying in Australia for my design degree. The café is known as Ampersand Café & Bookstore. I did a review of the café back in 2015, so if you have some free time up your sleeves, go and have a read, or just a look at the lovely ambiance of the café and the delicious food served there.

Purple Sweet Potato Crisps with Easy Roasted Garlic & Chive Aïoli

The one thing I would never fail to order off their blackboard menu? That’s right, their sweet potato crisps with aïoli. I even remember going there several times and not being able to order this dish because their deep fryer had been broken for a couple of months. At times I would even ask them “is your deep fryer still broken?” and then make a sad face later when they would unfortunately say yes.

The crisps from the café are made using orange sweet potatoes, and since we’re sharing violet recipes for this month, I decided to use purple sweet potatoes that I sourced from PruTazan. The sweet, crispy, and caramelised sweet potatoes pair really well with the slightly tangy, spicy, and garlicky aïoli. It’s a perfect side dish to your main meal, or even just a light snack on its own. Either way, it’s a whole new experience of enjoying sweet potatoes!

Purple Sweet Potato Crisps with Easy Roasted Garlic & Chive Aïoli

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 5 MINS* | SERVES 4

* Plus additional 40 minutes for the roasted garlic (if not made in advance).

INGREDIENTS

For the sweet potato crisps

  • 2 small (100-200g) purple sweet potatoes, washed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the roasted garlic

  • 1 bulb garlic
  • Dried thyme leaves
  • Ground paprika
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the easy roasted garlic and chive aïoli

  • Roasted Garlic (see above)
  • 1 stalk chives, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Japanese mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper powder, plus more if needed (optional)
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Cooking oil, for deep frying

METHOD

  1. Roasted Garlic: Preheat oven to 200C (400F or gas mark 6).
  2. Use your fingers to peel away all the loose, papery, outer layers around the head of the garlic. Leave the head itself intact with all the cloves connected.
  3. Trim about 1/4 inch off the top of the head of garlic to expose the tops of the garlic cloves.
  4. Drizzle 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil over the exposed surface of the garlic, letting the oil sink down into the cloves. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, and flavour with your favourite herbs and spices as well (optional).
  5. Wrap the garlic in aluminum foil and roast in the oven for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, begin checking the garlic. The garlic is done when a center clove is completely soft when pierced with a knife.

Note: Even once soft, you can continue roasting until deeply golden for a more caramelised flavor — check the garlic every 10 minutes. Exact roasting time will depend on the size of your garlic, the variety, and its age.

  1. Let the garlic cool slightly, and then press on the bottom of a clove to push it out of its paper.

Tip: Roasting a single bulb of garlic in an oven for 40 minutes sounds a bit excessive doesn’t it? Well, what I usually like to do is whenever I use my oven for something, be it baking a delicious sweet treat or roasting away some beautiful salmon portions, I always throw a couple of garlic heads wrapped in foil into the oven as well. That way I’m killing two birds with one stone. I then keep the roasted garlic in a jar together with olive oil to preserve and use it when I need to. Roasted garlic can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 3 months.

  1. Roasted Garlic and Chive Aïoli: Add all the ingredients into a small bowl and mix well. Add ground cayenne pepper if you want a bit of heat to your aïoli, otherwise you may omit. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Set aside to chill until ready to serve.
  2. Sweet Potato Crisps: Using a peeler, peel off the skins of the sweet potato. Continue peeling into the flesh of the sweet potato to make long and thin strips. Place on top of a kitchen towel and pat dry to remove any excess moisture from them.
  3. Pour cooking oil in a large, heavy pan to a depth of about 2 inches, and heat the oil to 165C/325F. Working in small batches, fry the sweet potatoes for about 45 seconds to a minute. Stir them a few times to keep them from sticking together. Using a metal slotted spoon, lift them out onto paper towels to remove excess oil.
  4. Season the crisps with a touch of salt and serve immediately while hot and crispy with the roasted garlic aïoli. Squeeze a touch of lemon juice onto the crisps before eating. Enjoy!

Purple Sweet Potato Crisps with Easy Roasted Garlic & Chive Aïoli

Purple Sweet Potato Crisps with Easy Roasted Garlic & Chive Aïoli

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Creamy Parmesan Sauce, Danablu & Pistachios

Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Creamy Parmesan Sauce, Danablu & Pistachios

Hello Everyone and a Happy November to all! I honestly didn’t think that I would be spending my birth month still under general community quarantine, but at least it means that we’re still taking safety precautions… Or are we really? I went grocery shopping over the weekend, and it seemed like people weren’t keeping their distances. I was queuing up at the pharmacy and though there were evident markings on the floors on where you should stand, this one lady behind me kept standing right behind me. The security guard had to tell her to follow the markings.

Mini introductory tangent aside, gnocchi (pronounced ni-yok-ee; singular gnocco) are a variety of pasta consisting of various thick, small, and pillow soft dough dumplings that are primarily made by combining potatoes, flour, and egg, but may also be made from semolina, ordinary wheat flour, breadcrumbs, cornmeal, or similar ingredients. The dough for gnocchi is most often rolled out before it is cut into small pieces about the size of a wine cork. The little dumplings are then pressed with a fork or a cheese grater to make ridges that can hold sauce. Alternatively, they are simply cut into little pillows.

Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Creamy Parmesan Sauce, Danablu & Pistachios

Gnocchi are generally homemade in Italian and Italian-immigrant households. They may also be bought fresh from specialty stores. Packaged gnocchi are widely available either refrigerated, dried, or frozen, if industrially produced. Like many Italian dishes, gnocchi have considerable variation in recipes and names across different regions. Gnocchi are commonly cooked on their own in salted boiling water and then dressed with various sauces depending on the type of gnocchi and recipe used. Common accompaniments of gnocchi include melted butter with sage, and pesto.

For tonight’s recipe, I decided to put a little spin to it by using sweet potatoes instead or regular potatoes. In addition, since it’s a new month and therefore a new colour theme on Amcarmen’s Kitchen, I specifically used Japanese purple sweet potatoes that I sourced from PruTazan, for my last colours of the rainbow theme for the year! That’s right, for the month of November and December, I will be sharing violet recipes with you guys.

Also known as Murasaki Imo, which means “purple potato” in Japanese, contains dietary fiber, vitamins A and C, and minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. The flesh also contains anthocyanin, a naturally occurring antioxidant that gives the tuber its purple hue. They are used in a variety of culinary applications including desserts and snack foods and are valued for their sweet flavour and high antioxidant content. They are also commonly dried and turned into powder for use as a natural food colouring.

Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Creamy Parmesan Sauce, Danablu & Pistachios Ingredients

PREP TIME 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

For the sweet potato gnocchi

  • 1 kg purple sweet potatoes
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour, plus more if needed as well as for dusting
  • 1 large free-range egg
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the creamy parmesan sauce

  • 250ml all purpose cream
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 small red onion, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Chives, finely chopped
  • Danablu Cheese, crumbled
  • Pistachios, roughly chopped

METHOD

  1. Sweet Potato Gnocchi: Bake the sweet potatoes in a preheated oven at 230C (450F or gas mark 8), for 45 minutes or until completely tender when pierce with a fork. Once done, set aside to cool.

Note: Japanese purple sweet potatoes are best steamed or roasted. When boiled, they will lose their purple hue. So to retain their vibrant colour, they should be roasted or steamed.

  1. Once cool enough to handle, peel the skins off the sweet potatoes and in a large mixing bowl, roughly mash them using a fork. Add the flour, egg and season with a touch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring the mixture together to form a dough.
  2. Gently fold and press the dough a couple of times, adding flour as necessary if the dough feels sticky. Turn the dough out onto a work surface lightly dusted with flour. Cut the dough into four equal parts and form each quarter into a ½-inch diameter log using the palm of your hands.
  3. Cut each log into 1-inch pieces and then press over the tine of a fork to create ridges. Transfer to a baking sheet dusted with flour and repeat with the remaining dough. I managed to make about 76 pieces of gnocchi with this recipe, more or less depending on how you roll them out/cut them.

Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi

  1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Working in batches, add the gnocchi to the pot, gently stirring once or twice to prevent them from sticking. Cook until the gnocchi floats to the surface, about 3-5 minutes, and then cook for an additional 30 seconds. Remove using a slotted spoon and transfer to a tray lightly drizzled with oil. Set aside.
  2. Creamy Parmesan Sauce: Heat about a tablespoon of cooking oil over medium-high, in a medium-sized pan. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Immediately add in the onions and continue to sauté until fragrant and slightly golden in colour and onions have softened and begin to go translucent, a further 45 seconds.
  3. Add the cream and season with a touch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Mix and bring to a gentle simmer. Once simmering, add in the parmesan cheese. Mix until the cheese has melted and then remove from the heat.
  4. Assemble: Heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a large frying pan over medium-high. Working in batches again, add the gnocchi to the pan and lightly fry until golden brown in colour.
  5. Spread the creamy parmesan sauce on a serving dish, and place the pieces of fried gnocchi on top. Add crumbles of Danablu cheese* (or any other type of blue cheese) and top with roughly chopped pistachios, and chives.
  6. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Creamy Parmesan Sauce, Danablu & Pistachios

This recipe for Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi creates a vibrant and eye-catching dish that is as visually pleasing as it is delicious. You get the best of both worlds with the light, soft-pillowy interior and golden-crispy exterior in every mouthful. These gnocchi are a touch sweeter than those made from regular potatoes, and therefore are best complimented by salty and savoury flavours, like a Creamy Parmesan Sauce. Sharp, rich, and bold especially with the danablu cheese. Balance it out with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice to cut through the creaminess, and you’ve got yourself a killer dish!

Purple Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Creamy Parmesan Sauce, Danablu & Pistachios

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Auguest 2020: Jialing Mew

Roasted Purple Winter Vegetable Salad

“Waste not, want not.” — Jialing Mew

Short of blackened and burnt, I’ve learned from my many Auguest disasters that you can almost always save a dish on the brink of catastrophe! Just get creative, do a quick Google search, or go with your gut. I’m also a big believer of using up what you have, even if it means not quite following the recipe to a T (shoutout to anyone with random vegetable halves rotting away in their fridge!). In the same vein, ingredients can always go further than you think. Simmer bones for a flavoursome broth, that, when combined with your salvaged refrigerator produce, equals soup for supper! It’s kinder on your wallet and better for the environment.

Auguest 2020: Jialing Mew


So before we get started, I would like to explain that were it not for a HIGHLY misleading label at my local supermarket, this dish would have been much more on-theme (surely I can’t be the only one who didn’t know that ‘Purple Sweet Potato’ is in fact WHITE once peeled??). Also. Having never actually cooked with beetroot before, I was woefully unaware of how shockingly long it takes to roast in the oven, thereby obliterating whatever small amount of purple pigmentation my poor adjacent sweet potato had to begin with.

Anyway. Just your standard Auguest post featuring Food Fiascos by Jialing.

Roasted Purple Winter Vegetable Salad

Actually, though, apart from the frustrating lack of purple, I consider this to be one of my standout Auguest recipes, as it makes for a pretty fab morning meal. Feel free to skip the pomegranate if unavailable (if we’re being completely honest, that was mainly brought onboard in an effort to edge our way closer to the violet spectrum, though it did turn out to be a nice addition). I do highly recommend the candied walnuts and feta, though!

This dish comes together with fairly minimal effort, despite the lengthy roast-time. Plus, it’s warm and carb-y – the good kind of carbs, I’m told! – making it the perfect cure for your winter morning blues. P.S. keep reading until the end of the recipe for a sneaky vegan plot-twist #Auguest2016

Roasted Purple Winter Vegetable Salad Ingredients

PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 2 HRS 30 MINS | SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

For the roasted vegetables

  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 3 beetroots, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 3 red onions, cut into wedges
  • 1 purple sweet potato, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1 tsp flaky sea salt (or 1/2 tsp regular salt)
  • Pepper

For the candied walnuts

  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

For the balsamic glaze

  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

To assemble

  • 50g baby rocket leaves
  • 1 cup feta, crumbled
  • 1 pomegranate (arils only)

Roasted Purple Winter Vegetable Salad Ingredients

METHOD

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (160C fan-forced), and line a baking tray with parchment (this is for the walnuts) plus a large roasting tray with parchment paper or aluminium foil (this is for the vegetables).
  2. First prepare the candied walnuts. Toss the walnuts with the 2 tbsp maple syrup until evenly coated. Spread out over your lined baking tray and place in the oven for 10 minutes (in the meantime you can begin to prepare your vegetables), then take out and turn pieces over to ensure even cooking. Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes, then transfer from parchment onto a plate for cooling.
  3. To prepare the roasted vegetables, first combine the 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp thyme in a bowl and lightly whisk with a fork until emulsified.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the beetroot, red onion, and sweet potato with the balsamic mixture until evenly coated. Transfer to a roasting tray and season generously with pepper and 1 tsp flaky sea salt. Roast in the oven for 1 hour, then turn the vegetables to make sure they cook evenly, and return to the oven for another 1 hour.
  5. In the last 15 minutes or so of roasting, you can start to arrange your rocket leaves on a serving dish, and prepare the balsamic glaze by heating the 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar and maple syrup over low heat until it begins to bubble (about 2-5 minutes). Remove from heat after 10 seconds and let cool slightly (it will thicken as it cools).
  6. Arrange roasted vegetables on top of the rocket leaves, and top with crumbled feta and pomegranate arils. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, serve, and enjoy!

Roasted Purple Winter Vegetable Salad

Tips:

  • To make it vegan, simply omit the feta (or use a plant-based substitute).
  • To make this dish even better (but less vegan) serve on toasted sourdough bread topped with poached eggs for the ultimate Instagram-worthy brunch!

Photo Courtesy & Recipe Copyright © 2020 | Jialing Mew (@jialingmew)

BON APPÉTIT

– Jialing Mew

myTaste.com

Vegan Turmeric, Chickpea, and Sweet Potato Stew

Vegan Turmeric, Chickpea, and Sweet Potato Stew

Hello Everyone! I’ll keep tonight’s introduction short, and so, on to the recipe! This glowing Turmeric, Chickpea, and Sweet Potato Stew is hearty, spicy, creamy, nutrient-rich, and delicious! The addition of pineapple juice in the stew adds a hint of sweetness and slightly enhances the flavour of the overall dish that pairs nicely with the coconut milk.

It’s the perfect comfort food for the cold weather months. Having said that, it’s probably not an ideal dish to whip up in the tropics, especially during the summer time *cheeky grin*

Vegan Turmeric, Chickpea, and Sweet Potato Stew

Before we dive into tonight’s recipe, please take the time to check out the original recipe I followed for reference, over on Yup, it’s Vegan by Shannon. It’s dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, and vegan/vegetarian altogether (that is if you skip the garlic-malunggay toast on the side)!

Vegan Turmeric, Chickpea, and Sweet Potato Stew Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 30 MINS | SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

3 garlic cloves, minced
2 pcs dried bay leaves
2 small-sized sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 small red bird’s eye chilli, finely minced
1 small red onion, diced
2 cups water or vegetable stock
1 & 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 & 1/2 cups full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup pineapple juice (fresh or if store-bought, with no added sugar)
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 & 1/2 tbsp fresh turmeric, grated
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tbsp yellow curry powder
2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp turmeric powder
Blanched kale leaves, roughly chopped to garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Add the coconut oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the minced garlic and sauté until golden brown and fragrant, about 30 seconds. Be careful to not burn the garlic. Then add in the diced onions, chillies, ginger, turmeric, and dried bay leaves, stirring often, until they soften, about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the sweet potatoes into the pot, together with the curry and turmeric powder. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste, and then give it a good mix, cooking for about a minute or two.
  3. Add the water or vegetable stock and bring to a gentle boiling. Once boiling, add in the pineapple juice, and half of the coconut milk and bring back to a gentle boil before reducing the heat to a steady simmer. Cover the pot and leave to cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are cooked through.
  4. If desired, use a fork to mash up some of the sweet potatoes to thicken the stew slightly. Stir in the cooked chickpeas, lime juice, soy sauce, and the remaining coconut milk. Let it simmer, partially covered, for 5 to 10 more minutes.
  5. Check and taste to see if the stew needs additional seasoning. If so, season with a touch more salt, freshly ground black pepper, and lime juice.
  6. Once done, top with some blanched kale and fresh chillies. Serve hot with some garlic-malunggay bread slices on the side (optional). Enjoy!

Vegan Turmeric, Chickpea, and Sweet Potato Stew

Note: The sweet potatoes in this stew makes it nice and hearty on its own, but it is also lovely served with jasmine rice. Feel free to add other stew-friendly vegetables too, such as cauliflower or other leafy greens like how I added kale to mine.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Ginataang Halo-Halo (Binignit)

Ginataang Halo-Halo (Binignit)

Hello Everyone! For some reason I felt that the week went by so slowly, yet so fast at the same time. Has anyone ever had this feeling before? Maybe it’s because I’m growing bored of being home all week for the past several months. For those of you just tuning in, I quit my job back in Brunei last August 2018 and until present day have yet to find a new job to keep me busy. I’ve applied to many places and attended a handful of interviews, but none have been successful so far. I’m hoping to find a job soon – my savings are slowly deteriorating away…

Ginataang Halo-Halo (Binignit)

Anyway, small tangent aside, Ginataang Halo-Halo, or also known as Binignit in some parts of the Philippines, is a popular Filipino dessert dish. Aside from it being a dessert, it is also widely served as a mid-afternoon snack.

As mentioned in previous posts, Ginataan is a cooking process that involves stewing in coconut milk/cream. Halo-Halo, when directly translated into English means mix mix, is referred to the combination of different ingredients that are used to complete the dish – a mix mix of various root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, yams, and taro, plantains, tapioca pearls, and glutinous rice balls (bilo-bilo) are simmered in coconut milk. Bilo-bilo are glutinous rice balls simply made from a mixture of glutinous rice flour and water. You don’t have to add any colouring to them, I just made mine purple to add colour to the dish.

Ginataang Halo-Halo (Binignit) Bilo-Bilo

Most, or all recipes I guess of Ginataang Halo-Halo have shredded langka (jackfruit) in them. I personally don’t like langka, which is why I’ve omitted them from my recipe. Instead, I wanted to replace them with shredded young coconut flesh which I didn’t end up adding to the dish because they went off in the fridge having kept them in there for a few days before using it *whoops*

Ginataang Halo-Halo (Binignit) Ingredients

PREP TIME 25 MINS | COOKING TIME 2 HOURS | SERVES 6-8

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups coconut milk (fresh, canned, or frozen)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup young coconut flesh, shredded
  • 3/4 cup white granulated white sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or essence
  • 3-4 pcs ripe plantains (saba), sliced
  • Medley of sweet potatoes (I used 1 medium-sized each of orange, yellow, and white), diced

For the bilo-bilo (makes about 20-24 balls)

  • 1 cup glutinous rice flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp purple food colouring (optional)

For the tapioca pearls

  • 1 cup big tapioca pearls (sago)
  • 6 cups water

METHOD

  1. Tapioca Pearls: Add the water to a large cooking pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add in the tapioca pearls. Turn the heat down to medium, cover, and leave to boil for about 50 minutes. Check and stir every 10 minutes. Add more water if needed to prevent the pearls from sticking to the bottom of the pot and burning. Once done, turn the heat off and set aside.

Tip: For better results, leave the pearls in the cooking pot until it reaches back to room temperature. One hour of boiling will completely cook the pearls, but the core will still be slightly opaque. Leaving the pearls in the cooking pot for several hours (with the heat turned off) gives them a chance to absorb more water. Which makes the core translucent overtime.

  1. Bilo-bilo: Combine the purple food colouring and water together and add to the glutinous rice flour. Mix thoroughly – a soft yet sticky mixture should take form.
  2. Scoop about 1 & 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of the mixture and roll into a ball shaped figure using the palm of your hands. Wet your palms with a bit of water to prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands.
  3. Place the balls on a plate or container that has been dusted with a bit of glutinous rice flour to prevent them from sticking to the plate. Set aside.
  4. Ginataang Halo-Halo: Add the 2 cups of water to a large cooking pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add 3/4 cup of the coconut milk and bring to a slow boil. It is important to bring it back to a boil slowly to avoid curdling the coconut milk. This happens when it is heated too quickly.
  5. Once boiling again, add in the sweet potatoes and simmer for about 8 minutes.
  6. Pour in the remaining coconut milk together with the sugar, and glutinous rice balls. Stir and simmer for a further 5-7 minutes. Then add in the sliced plantains and simmer for an additional 2 minutes.
  7. Add in the young coconut flesh together with the cooked tapioca pearls. Stir for about a minute and then turn the heat off.
  8. Transfer to a large serving dish, or individual bowls. Serve either hot or cold and enjoy!

Ginataang Halo-Halo (Binignit)

I definitely prefer to have this dish warm for an afternoon snack. To have this right after a main meal might be too heavy for a dessert – just my opinion! And no! You don’t need basil leaves for this dish. It just so happens that I had some lying around from a dish I made for lunch that day and used a sprig of it to add some green for photography purposes only *cheeky grin*

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Baked Purple Sweet Potato with Banana & Cherries

Baked Purple Sweet Potato with Banana & Cherries

Hello Everyone! A thousand apologies as this recipe was meant to go up a couple of days ago – but I haven’t been home at a decent hour for the past few nights to be able to write and get this up as planned. But, please bear with me for a moment as I attempt to absorb the fact that we’re 2 days away to the end of the month. All I can hint at this moment is that the upcoming month for me will say a final goodbye to a lifelong chapter – or should I say book? I feel like it’s more than an end to a chapter, but rather a book that I will be closing. To be able to open up a new story and at the same time revisit more chapters to one that was on hold for the past 3 years. One that I knew I will have the opportunity to continue writing. I know, I know, this all sounds very vague right now but in due time…

Baked Purple Sweet Potato with Banana & Cherries

Tangent aside and moving on, this recipe is pretty much open for you to get your creative juices flowing. Pair your favourite fruits together, add an element of crunch, and drizzle with your desired spread. What you can also do is play around with colour – I chose my fruits based on what colours will pop next to a beautiful deep purple sweet potato. This will make it look oh so aesthetically pleasing to the eye and (of course) taste even better in your tummy.

Before we dive into tonight’s recipe, be sure to check out where I drew inspiration for this beautiful breakfast dish over on Food with Feeling by Brita. Also, please make sure to read the end of this post to find out what’s happening on Amcarmen’s Kitchen for the month of August!

Baked Purple Sweet Potato with Banana & Cherries Ingredients

Baked Purple Sweet Potato with Banana & Cherries Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 80-95 MINS* | SERVES 2**

*Baking time time will vary depending on the size of your sweet potato.
**Half of a sweet potato for breakfast is already pretty filling, but the recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, and so on if you’re feeding more than 1-2 people at the table.

INGREDIENTS***

  • 1 medium-sized sweet potato, washed and scrubbed clean
  • 1 large banana, sliced
  • Chia seeds
  • Handful of fresh cherries, halved and pitted
  • Heaped spoonful of peanut butter
  • Granola

***Other optional toppings just to get your mind flowing: an array of mixed berries such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, hemp seeds, pepitas, nut butter, nutella, and many other choices for you to have fun with it!

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven 200C (400F or gas mark 6).
  2. Bake the sweet potato**** directly on the rack for about 40 to 50 minutes. Baking times may vary depending on the size of the potato. So to know if they’re done, stab it with a fork and if it easily pierces into the centre of the potato, the inside is most definitely tender.
  3. Once tender, cut a slit down the centre of the sweet potato about two thirds of the way down. Optional: slighty mush the inside of the potato.
  4. Top with your favourite breakfast toppings and don’t forget to make it look pretty on the plate too!
  5. Serve and enjoy!

****Here’s a tip: you can bake extra potatoes at the same time (I actually baked these together with my from week 2 of July), so that you can chuck them in the fridge and heat them up the next morning or two for another super easy and quick breakfast! It only takes less than 5 minutes to throw something together with your pre-baked potato.

Baked Purple Sweet Potato with Banana & Cherries

Baked Purple Sweet Potato with Banana & Cherries

Before I end tonight’s post, I’d like to share a little introduction to what’s coming as I won’t have the chance to when the next wave of recipes hit. If you have been following my blog since the beginning, or have been a frequent follower for more than a year or so, you’ll already know what August (or should I say, Auguest) means for Amcarmen’s Kitchen. Every year since 2015 I have been rounding up a couple of food bloggers and foodies alike to share their recipes in relation to the set theme. This year I have been able to round up some new faces, as well as familiar and recurring guests on Amcarmen’s Kitchen!

Stay tuned for an enticing array of delectably sweet and savoury breakfast dishes! If you want to read more on how this all started, click on the ‘Auguest’ tab above and there should be a link to take you to an introductory post that I wrote back in 2015.

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Sweet Purple Sweet Potato Toasts (3 ways)

Sweet Purple Sweet Potato Toasts (3 ways)

Hello everyone! Apologies for not getting this post up last week as it was supposed to – I feel like I’ve been repeating myself in every post so far but yes, things have been hectic. Amongst the hecticness I speak of, my sister also arrived back from Singapore last week. Other than that, nothing exciting has happened over the past week – the week ahead though will definitely be one to remember.

Anyway, I’ll keep tonight’s introduction short and just dive straight into the recipe. To recap, the theme for this month on Amcarmen’s Kitchen is to hero Sweet Potatoes for breakfast! At the beginning of he month, I shared Savoury Orange Sweet Potato Toasts 3 Ways for you, and tonight I’m going to share you a Sweet Purple Sweet Potato Toasts 3 Ways for those who prefer a sweet option rather than savoury to kick start their mornings!

Sweet Purple Sweet Potato Toasts (3 ways)

Preparing your Sweet Potato Toasts

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 20 MINS* | MAKES 5 SLICES**

*Baking time time will vary depending on the size and thickness of your sweet potato slices.
**Or how-ever-so-many slices you can get from a single sweet potato

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large purple sweet potato, wash and dried

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4). Place a wire rack on a large rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Trim both ends from the sweet potato using a knife and slice them lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slabs using a knife or mandolin slicer.
  3. Arrange the slabs in a single layer on the wire rack and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender, but not fully cooked.
  4. Remove the potatoes from the oven and allow them to cool on wire rack completely before transferring to a storage container. They can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.

When it’s go-time simply add the desired number of slices to your toaster and toast away. Setting it on the highest setting takes only one toasting cycle to get them how I like them (warm, bubbly and crispy on the edges). Just be wary that yours may need more or less depending on the toaster that you are using. Adjust to your liking!

Notes/Tips:

    • Look for sweet potatoes that are relatively shaped like a tube so that they’re easier to slice.
    • Don’t remove the skin because fibre in it is good and it helps the slices hold up better during storage.
    • Using a mandolin slicer gives you uniform slices of sweet potatoes, and is easier and safer than using a big knife.
    • Allow them to cool completely after baking before stacking them in a container or they’ll get sweaty and will definitely take longer to toast when you’re ready to eat them.

Now the fun starts – you get to add toppings! The possibilities are pretty much endless but these three are my absolute favourite combinations for a yummy start to my day – the sweet edition!


Blackberries & Buttermilk Caramelised White Chocolate

Sweet Purple Sweet Potato Toasts (3 ways): Blackberries & Buttermilk Caramelised White Chocolate

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 5-10 MINS | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

  • Blackberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)
  • Sweet potato slice(s)
  • Whittaker’s West Coast Buttermilk Caramelised White Chocolate (Artisan Collection), roughly chopped

METHOD

  1. Place the sweet potato slices into a toaster and toast on the highest setting until warm, bubbly and crispy on the edges.
  2. Top with the above garnishes and enjoy!

Banana, Blueberries & Peanut Butter

Sweet Purple Sweet Potato Toasts (3 ways): Banana, Blueberries & Peanut Butter

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 5-10 MINS | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

  • Banana slices
  • Blueberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)
  • Chia seeds
  • Granola
  • Peanut butter
  • Sweet potato slice(s)

METHOD

  1. Place the sweet potato slices into a toaster and toast on the highest setting until warm, bubbly and crispy on the edges.
  2. Top with the above garnishes and enjoy!

Strawberries & Goats Cheese with Balsamic Reduction

Sweet Purple Sweet Potato Toasts (3 ways):Strawberries & Goats Cheese with Balsamic Reduction

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 5-10 MINS | SERVES 1

INGREDIENTS

  • Balsamic reduction
  • Goats Cheese
  • Lemon zest
  • Strawberry slices, fresh
  • Sweet potato slice(s)

METHOD

  1. Place the sweet potato slices into a toaster and toast on the highest setting until warm, bubbly and crispy on the edges.
  2. Top with the above garnishes and enjoy!

And there you have it – three simple ways you can make you mornings sweeter, brighter, full of colour, healthier, and energising altogether! I’ll TRY to get the last post for the month up, if not on Wednesday night, then on Thursday night hopefully – fingers crossed!

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Baked Sweet Potato & Egg Brekkie Boats

Baked Sweet Potato & Egg Brekkie Boats

Hello Everyone! Oh wow – two words in and I’m already having a writer’s block! I literally just spent the last 20 minutes thinking about what to write after ‘Hello Everyone!’ In all honesty, there are definitely A LOT of things I can talk about to you guys, but the timing isn’t just quite right yet. You’ll probably only hear about everything that I have to share in September – is it worth the wait? Well maybe it’s more just for me as exciting things are about to unfold, maybe for Amcarmen’s Kitchen, but definitely on my personal life and adventures ahead!

So aside from that thing that I can’t tell you guys just yet, there’s actually nothing I can touch on at this moment and just realising what a boring week/weekend I had. Okay, just as I typed weekend out, I just remembered that it wasn’t all that boring at all. I met up with a couple of friends on Friday night to celebrate a birthday. The night was great – the usual good food, good company cliché but I thought that my food could have been a lot better to be honest. And of course, the cherry atop the cake was that of all places and of all times, my Boss had to have dinner at the same place, at the same time, and sit directly opposite the direction I was facing. Good times. Can’t escape. I remember one of my friends saying “Oh sh*t it’s my colleague” as he pointed out to my manager’s (my Boss’ daughter) husband, to which I responded to him “Oh sh*t it’s my Boss and his WHOLE family!” *insert cold sweat emoji* On Sunday night I met up with more friends at a friend’s open house for Raya which equated to more laughs and definitely great home-cooked food! The night ended young for me as I was for some reason immensely exhausted that day.

Baked Sweet Potato & Egg Brekkie Boats

All that side and diving right into tonight’s recipe – I came across the original recipe by Willow over on Will Cook For Friends. I especially loved how she described that this was one of those ‘fluke recipes that came to [her] out of nowhere’ and I’m sure all foodies, home cooks, chefs, and probably anyone really has had one to these revelations(?) is this the correct word to use? Anyway, this is how I come up with so many different variations of stir-fries and weird combinations of food pairings (that actually do surprisingly work, but probably not for Gordon Ramsay) during my university days.

We’ve all stared into the black hole that is our fridge, as Willow describes:

Me: “Man, I really need to go shopping.”
Eggs: “We’re here! Pick us, pick us!”
Me: “I don’t want eggs… unless they were really, really awesome eggs!”
Sweet potato that’s been sitting on my counter for two weeks: “AHEM. I’ve got you covered.”

And so behold these wickedly delicious gluten-free and paleo Baked Sweet Potato Boats for a filling weekend (or even week day if you have the time) brekkie for champs!

Baked Sweet Potato & Egg Brekkie Boats Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 80-95 MINS* | SERVES 2**

*Baking time time will vary depending on the size of your sweet potato.

**Half of a sweet potato with an egg in it for breakfast is already pretty filling, but if you’re serving these to particular bunch of super hungry people, then you might want to plan on a whole potato and two eggs per person. The recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, and so on.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 very large orange sweet potato, washed and scrubbed clean
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 2 slices of bacon strips
  • Fresh chopped spring onions, for garnish
  • Ground sea salt and black peppercorns, to taste
  • Tabasco, Sriracha, or any other hot sauce, to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F or gas mark 4).
  2. Place the washed and dried sweet potato (whole) in a baking dish and into the oven. Bake for about 60-70 minutes, or until tender as time will vary depending on the size of your sweet potato.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a small frying pan over high heat and cook bacon to your liking***. Remove from the pan once done and transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain off excess grease. Set aside.
  4. Once done, remove the sweet potato from the oven and cut it in half lengthwise. Using a pairing knife, carefully carve out a well in the center of each half, about as big as you think you’ll need for the size of your eggs. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and pour into the carved well. Season with a touch of salt and pepper.
  5. Place the potato halves back into the baking dish, resting them against the side of the pan if needed to keep them from tipping and spilling any egg. Return to the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked to your liking. I like my whites cooked with an oozy yolk!
  6. Remove from the oven and crumble the bacon over the top. Serve with your favorite hot sauce, and a bit of freshly chopped spring onion to garnish. Enjoy!

***There are many ways in which we all prefer to cook our bacon, and there is no wrong way of doing so. You can do this in a pan on the stove like how I’ve done, or bake it in the oven. To bake the bacon, spread the bacon strips in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with a sheet of foil for easier cleanup.

Baked Sweet Potato & Egg Brekkie Boats

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com