Cardamom Loaf

A simple, tasty treat that will go perfectly with a cup of chai. This is a very easy to make bake, my 11 year old daughter made the one pictured!

Ingredients

  • 200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 200 granulated sugar
  • 10 cardamom seeds, peeled and crushed
  • 3 eggs
  • 200g plain flour
  • 1tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
Cardamom Loaf

Cardamom Loaf

Method

Pre heat oven to 170C.

Grease and flour a loaf tin and set aside till needed.

Mix the butter, sugar and cardamom well until it is light and creamy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Sift the flour, bicarbonate soda and salt together and add it to the batter carefully and mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.

Lastly add the vanilla extract and mix it in.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake for around 55 minutes or longer if needed.

Vegan Cupcakes

Thought I’d share this adapted recipe for vegan cupcakes that will satisfy any sweet cravings for vegans and non vegans alike! If you follow me on Instagram (@Rahema_m) you may have seen in my insta stories that we went a whole day eating just vegan foods yesterday! It was such an eye opener for us. I found it a challenge but it was enjoyable. I don’t think we will be going vegan full time any time soon but we would love to incorporate more vegan days in our diets.

Ingredients

  • 275g self raising flour
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1tbsp cocoa powder
  • 200ml Alpro chocolate soya milk
  • 200ml sunflower oil
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g dark chocolate chips (optional)

 

Vegan Cupcakes Ingredients

Vegan Cupcakes Ingredients

Method

Pre heat the oven to gas mark 5 and line a muffin tin with 12 paper cases.

Mix the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and sugar together.

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add in the oil, milk and vanilla and whisk until all ingredients are well incorporated.

Spoon each muffin case with the batter 3/4 of the way up and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the cupcakes are well risen and cooked all the way.

Vegan Cupcakes

Vegan Cupcakes

Banana Loaf

This recipe works best when made using really ripe bananas, the browner the better! It tastes delicious straight out of the oven. I didn’t even get a chance to take a better picture once it was cooked! Please note this is not a SW friendly recipe, I like to bake from time to time and will share baking recipes for friends who are not following a diet. Hope you enjoy this recipe, feel free to tag me in your pictures if you make this or any other recipe from my blog.

Banana Loaf

Banana Loaf

 

Ingredients

  • 140g butter, melted
  • 140g light brown sugar
  • 140g self raising flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 50g chocolate chips (optional)

Method

Pre heat oven to 160C. Grease and dust with flour a loaf tin and keep it aside till needed.

Mix the melted butter with the sugar using an electrical whisk. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Slowly add the flour making sure it is well incorporated with the ginger and cinnamon.

Add the mashed bananas and chocolate chips (if using) and mix well by hand.

Pour batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes or more if needed.

Tim Horton’s Lunch Menu

So Tim Horton’s launched a new lunch menu this week and I was invited along to try it, I was not sure after checking the menu but once I confirmed the chicken served at the Birmingham branch is halal I was there like a speeding bullet 😉

It’s in the city centre, a short walk from New Street station/Grand Central on New Street itself – a little further up from the Apple shop.

My complimentary meal

My complimentary meal

My complimentary meal included Tim Horton’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich served with a pot of potato wedges, a dipping sauce and a drink. I also ordered some Chicken Tenders on the side as they sounded delicious, they were good and appreciated by my chicken tender expert, Ammara! That came with a choice of 3 dipping sauces – I had the chipotle, BBQ and ketchup. For the drink I chose a cold brew iced coffee with maple syrup, it was so good I would go back just for this! I’m a normal hot coffee drinker so for me to go iced was unusual but I loved it.

Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Crispy Chicken Sandwich

The food did not disappoint – it all came super fast even though the store was really busy and the queue was snaking out of the main door! The staff were friendly and efficient even with the crowd of customers and the quality of the food was not compromised. Everything was prepared to a consistently good level.

5 Chicken Tenders

5 Chicken Tenders

Potato Wedges

Potato Wedges

Chilli Con Carne

Haven’t shared a Slimming World friendly recipe for a while, so I thought I might as well post this one as I haven’t made this in such a long time and this is not in my recipe list!

If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I have been having some major house building work done since March this year and we have been without a kitchen all this time. Cooking has been extremely difficult! So this is how we have been coping. We have 3 bedrooms and a bathroom on the first floor. We turned the smallest bedroom (hubby’s office) into our kitchen with a table top electric hob, a small fridge (big enough just for the essentials like milk, cheese, butter), a microwave, slow cooker and my trusty Tefal Actifry. My youngest daughter’s bedroom has been turned into our living room. We moved her bed and most of her furniture away so we could put the sofas and TV there. Luckily we had our loft conversion done a couple of years ago so we gained two bedrooms and a bathroom there so all the kids (I have 3 daughters) share that space. Our main bedroom is also hubby’s office for the time being.

I have to admit the work has taken much longer than we anticipated, we did have a few problems along the way which delayed the work but it looks like it will be end of September/ early October before we can start using the downstairs space again and I cannot wait!

I can’t wait to share with you once it is complete, in the meantime, if you are on Instagram please follow me on there for my house renovation updates and other bits and bobs about me on @Rahema_m.

Anyway, back to the recipe! Hope you enjoy this simple chilli recipe. We had it served with boiled rice topped with cheese and jalapenos, but it is lovely on a jacket potato too. As always, if you make this or any other recipes featured on my blog, feel free to tag me in your creations. I love seeing your versions of them x

Serves: 4

Syns: FREE

Time Taken: 60 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Chilli Con Carne

Chilli Con Carne

Ingredients

  • 2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • Tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • Tin red kidney beans
  • Spray oil

Method

Spray a pan with spray oil of your choice and fry the onions until soft with the cumin seeds. Add hot water to the pan if needed to stop the onions from sticking to the pan.

Add the garlic, chilli flakes, paprika, ground cumin and mixed herbs. Stir well and cook for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the mince and brown it off on a high heat. Crumble the stock cube over it and mix well. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and tomato puree and cook the mince on a low heat for around 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Drain and rinse the red kidney beans and stir them into the mince and cook for a further 10 minutes. Add some water to the mince if it is too dry and season to taste.

Serve with plain boiled rice.

British Halal Food Festival – Birmingham

I attended the first British Halal Food Festival in Birmingham yesterday and it did not disappoint! I’ve been to the London one a couple of times so was super excited that there was going to be one in my home city and didn’t want to miss out.

Whether you’re a foodie or not, it was a lovely family day out and plenty of halal food choices to choose from.

I went along with my family, there were 8 of us. 6 adults and 2 children under 11.

The actual venue (Digbeth Arena) is quite large and all the stalls were outdoors. There was a tent set up with some tables and chairs where people could eat or take shelter when it was raining for a short while in the morning! The sun did come out though and it was a beautiful day for the rest of the day.

The atmosphere was fantastic – it was busy and buzzing, which meant that some of the queues for the food stalls were quite long! But we found the food we had queued up for was all worth the wait.

There were plenty of food cuisine to choose from – Indian, Greek, Jamaican, Japanese, Portuguese, Mexican to name a few. I was expecting more sweet/dessert stalls but the ones that were there had amazing food. The churros were by far the best ones I’ve had! And I’ve eaten plenty in my time 🙈 my other favourite food there were the chips. They were so nice (obviously I wasn’t counting any calories or watching what I was eating).

There was also a henna stall by a super talented henna artist, a mocktail stall, pick & mix sweets stall and some other non food stalls too.

One criticism that I have is that the event stage in my opinion wasn’t in the right place. It was situated near popular food stalls so there was a lot of people queuing up nearby and lots of noise making it difficult to hear and even see what was going on on the stage. The benches for people to sit on were not stable, one collapsed on the floor with a pregnant lady sat on it! She was fine though, but had the stage been in an area a little away from food stalls, it would have been better.

Apart from that, it was all good! Prices were not as extortionate as we were expecting, they were set out at a reasonable level.

Overall it was a great experience that could have been enhanced with maybe some live music. However, I would still recommend visiting the next one in Birmingham.

P.S. Apologies for the quality of the photos, we were too busy enjoying the food to take better photos! Just wanted to still give you an idea of what the food looked like though.

Arroz de Marisco (seafood rice)

Arroz de Marisco (seafood rice)

Meat & Eat Beef Sandwich

Meat & Eat Beef Sandwich

Chips

Chips

Jerk Chicken with Rice & Peas

Jerk Chicken with Rice & Peas

Cheeseburger

Cheeseburger

Rainbow Cake

Rainbow Cake

Churros

Churros

Pasteis de Nata

Pasteis de Nata

Bulgur Wheat Salad

I love bulgur wheat and this is a very easy to make recipe. It is perfect for a picnic, lunchboxes or a side dish. You can add any fillings of your choice and change the herbs if you prefer. 40g of feta cheese is a healthy extra A choice, so bear that in mind when adding your cheese. As always, feel free to tag me in your creations. I love seeing my recipes recreated.

Serves: 4

Syns: FREE, when using cheese as part of your healthy extra A choice

Time Taken: 20 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Bulgur Wheat Salad

Bulgur Wheat Salad

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of bulgur wheat
  • 2 cups of boiling water
  • 1 oxo vegetable cube
  • Diced red onion
  • Diced cucumber
  • Diced pepper
  • Tin of chickpeas (drained)
  • Chilli flakes
  • Chopped fresh parsley and coriander
  • Feta cheese

Method

Put the bulgur wheat in a pan with the boiling water and crumble the oxo cube to it. Cook on a low heat, covered, until all the water has evaporated and the bulgur is cooked.

Whilst the bulgur wheat is cooking, prepare and your veg and herbs you want to add to it.

Once the bulgur is cooked, use a fork to fluff up the grains and let it cool completely before adding the veg and herbs.

Mix through some feta cheese and season to taste

Ramadan 2019 Meal Planner

I posted a poll on my Instagram today asking if people wanted to see my meal plan for this Ramadan, and the majority said yes so here it is!

I have included below my main food plan for Suhoor and Iftar.

I will open my fast every day with water and a variety of fruit – watermelon, berries, mango, grapes etc. and one date (3 syns for each Medjool date). After praying I will eat my main meal with coffee and try to drink as much water as possible (I aim to drink 6-8 glasses of water, not all in one go! This will be drunk throughout the night up until Suhoor). I don’t intend on eating a dessert, although I will be making it for my family. I will be using my syns on dates instead or within my meals and I may have a cereal bar or a chocolatey treat with a coffee.

Hope this helps those following Slimming World plan. For my Food Optimising guide through Ramadan please click here.

Ramadan 2019 Meal Planner

Ramadan 2019 Meal Planner

Ramadan Mubarak x

Fish & Coconut Curry

A really simple and easy curry to make – I normally use frozen basa fillets (I let it defrost before using). The syns in this recipe come from the coconut milk, please check the syns if you use a different brand. I get the coconut milk tins from B&M Bargains (4 for £1 – a real bargain!) and it is just the right size. Each tin is only 7 syns, divided by 3 of us works out at less than 2.5 syns per serving. I used to buy the bigger tins of coconut milk and only use half a tin and throw the rest away, so I’ve stopped doing that. This curry is lovely served with coconut rice if you don’t mind using more syns.

Serves: 3

Syns: 2.5 syns per serving

Time Taken: 30 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Fish & Coconut Curry

Fish & Coconut Curry

 

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 200g passata
  • 1.5 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves (methi)
  • 1 veg oxo cube, crumbled
  • 165ml tin Full Moon coconut milk
  • Firm white fish fillets

Method

Spray a pan with plenty of syn free spray oil and cook the onion till lightly golden. Add hot water if the onion starts to stick to the pan.

Add the chopped garlic and fry for another couple of minutes. Add the fenugreek leaves, curry powder, crumbled up oxo cube and passata and cook the spices down for about 10 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and the fish fillets and cook on a gentle heat. Try not to stir the fish too much or you’ll end up with broken pieces. Instead, gently shake the pan when you need to.

Served with boiled basmati rice and a speedy salad.

Banana & Date Smoothie

I know a lot of people usually struggle to eat Suhoor (pre dawn meal during Ramadan) so here is a recipe that although is quite high in syns. it is still within the recommended daily syns allowance. I like to use unsweetened almond milk for this recipe for a nutty flavour but you can use any other milk of your choice. Just remember to check what the health extra allowance is for the milk you’re using. Top tip: try to use the ripest banana you have as this will make the smoothie even sweeter without having to add any extra syns for sweetening the smoothie.

Banana & Date Smoothie

Banana & Date Smoothie

 

Serves: 1

Syns: 13 syns plus part of healthy extra A choice

Time Taken: 5 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana, chopped
  • 3 Medjool dates
  • 200ml unsweetened almond milk
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

Method

Remove the pit from the dates and mix all the ingredients together. Serve immediately.