Friday, 5 October 2012

Cashew Pâté and Butternut, Quinoa and Feta burgers

I remember when I told my friend Georgie that I had a huge soft spot for a McDonald's Filet O Fish, how she looked at me aghast. How can I write a food blog and eat from the Golden arches? Whilst we are at it, I also enjoy a kebab once in a while on the way back from a big night out and one of my favourite chicken recipes is one my mum used to make us as kids which involve chicken thighs, dipped in egg and rolled around in a smashed up packet of crisps and baked in the oven.
I cater 'fine food' for clients and eat in lovely restaurants, It doesn't mean dinner can't be Malteasers and ice-cream. For this reason, I think it's odd how fascinated I am in how raw ingredients  can be put together in a delicious way.
My friend Grace is a bit of a raw enthusiast and she introduced me to cashew cheese. A 'cheese' made of soaking and fermenting raw cashew nuts. It takes two days but seeing how magic it is that soaking cashews, blending them, leaving the mix overnight in a cloth then mixing in a few herbs can be transformed into something like this.. well, it spurs me on in my raw experiments. 
I added milled flax seeds which made my cheese a little brown and solid but delicious all the same. I would rather call it a Pâté as it doesn't taste how I would expect it to look. I also spotted raw spiced brownies on Grace's site which I had to try; everyone loved them. See her site for recipes
 It can be cut into wedges but can also be spread on a cracker.
With sundried tomatoes, bliss!
 Raw spiced brownie.. No chocolate, sugar, eggs or flour!
Over the last couple of years I have been preparing more 'whole' food for clients, especially for Yoga retreats, like the vegetarian group I am cooking for this week. 
It is important to think where your proteins, fibre and vitamins are coming from. Because our yoga clients don't get a say in what they will eat for the next 21 meals, I have to carefully plan out the mealplan to not only be healthy and delicious but also not be too similar to the day before, especially for the meat eaters who are just eating vegetarian for the week, I need to keep it exciting. 
One of my favourites has been butternut squash and quinoa burgers.
They take a little time but they couldn't be more simple to prepare.
I made it up as I went along and I am cooking for a group. This made enough for 2 little burgers each for 10 people. 

1 kilo of cooked quinoa 
1 kilo of cooked butternut squash, mashed up
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp curry
2 tsp paprika picante
2 tsp flaked salt
Black pepper
1 sauted onion, chopped finely
5 eggs
1 cup of SR flour
Crumbled feta x 2 packs

Just mix everything up in a big bowl! Form into burgers, the mix can be a tad wet but you can spoon into a pan like a thick pancake and it will firm up. 
Fry 3 mins on each side in a little oil and then finish in oven for 6 minutes.


good times tora said...

I think that the whole purpose of being a 'foodie' or someone with a passion for food, is that you enjoy it. Plain and simple! And if that means you only enjoy food when it is cooked by Michelin chefs, or when it comes out of a packet made for a microwave, then so be it- if you're passionate enough about food to class yourself as a 'foodie' then that word should not come with limits. Because when it DOES come with limits, the first word that comes to my head is SNOB.

Milli said...

Couldn't have put it better myself Tora!