Special 'No' Egg Fried Rice

I absolutely LOVE egg fried / special fried rice!  A total indulgent comfort food it is a staple part of our home and a great way to use left over rice.  Recently I have not been eating rice and grains and so been looking for an alternative to fill that stodgy fried craving.  I finally found it, a bag of cauliflower rice in Trader Joe screamed at me and I thought I would give it a go.  It turned out delicious and is seriously super easy!  I cheat and get the vegetables in a bag, however, if you have patience you could just grate the cauliflower yourself :)

This dish is filling, satisfying and totally grain, gluten free.  You can throw anything into this dish, whatever you have left over or laying around.  I have fallen in love with frozen petit pois for freshness and a selection of nuts to add texture.  The absolute secret to this being a success is to make the egg before hand, like you would a scrambelled egg, set it aside and just pop it in at the end.  

You will need:

  • 1 onion chopped or sliced - as per personal preference
  • 1 garlic clove crushed
  • 1/2 a bag of sliced white cabbage
  • approx. 1 cup of frozen petit pois
  • 1/2 bag of broccoli slaw
  • 1 bag of cauliflower rice
  • toasted sesame oil
  • amino acids / soy sauce
  • cashew nuts / toasted almond slices / sesame seeds (personal choice)
  • approx. 3 eggs beaten and then scrambled - no need to add any milk or anything else.
  • Tablespoon of coconut oil

Beat 3 eggs together and scramble in a pan until cooked I use coconut oil, set aside in a bowl.  In the same pan, sauté the onion and garlic till golden, add the broccoli slaw and cabbage and cook all until soft.   Throw in the cauliflower rice, add a dash of amino acids to help steam the cauliflower, if you find it a little dry you can pop the lid on top to allow it to steam for a couple of minutes, otherwise just keep it moving so it doesn't burn on the pan.  Once nicely brown and all the veggies soft, throw in the cooked egg to warm it up and combine the flavours, throw in nuts of your choice, personally cashew nuts are my fav.  Pour a little toasted sesame oil to add taste.  Last minute put a rinsed cup of frozen petit pois into the dish once off the heat, this is enough to defrost the peas but keep them fresh and bright green.

Add additional toasted sesame oil and amino acid just to your taste preference.  Top with sesame seeds.  It's yummy with some fresh lime and coriander too!

Enjoy! it's one of my fav's

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chocolate chip cookies

EVERYONE loves cookies, My little boy always asks me if we can bake together.  I found these online here, they are so simple and actually really nice.  They are gluten free and made with coconut sugar so a lower GI which makes me happier about him scoffing them :)

They remind me a little bit of these cookies we eat at Passover as they are made with almond flour so get that yummy chewy centre and after a day are more squidgy than crunchy but still delicious as a sweet treat without refined processed ingredients.

There is a little sugar in the chocolate chips, but we opted for dark chocolate and you could sub this with nuts, raisins, or whatever you like...

You will need:

  • 2 cups Blanched Almond Flour
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup max coconut sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 handful or less of organic dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350.

Mix the almond flour, baking soda, sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the softened butter or coconut oil (or a mix of both) and stir well until mixed. It should form a thick dough that is hard to stir. Add the egg and mix well. This should make the dough more formable and easier to mix. If needed, add a teaspoon or two of milk or water to thin. Finished dough should be easy to form.

Add chocolate chips and stir by hand until incorporated. Form dough into tablespoon size balls and bake for 10 minutes or until tops are starting to be golden brown. The centers will be somewhat soft, but they will continue to harden once they are removed.

Let cool at least 5 minutes and serve.

Enjoy!

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Vegetable Lentil Soup

As always I just rummaged to see what I could find in my house and came up with this soup that was so delicious I decided to write it down to remember how I made it.

Lentil Vegetable soup is just so nourishing and comforting, it's like a bowl of minestrone but without the pasta in it so there is a good dose of protein by using Lentil instead.  The secret to any good soup is stock.  I used to have time to make my own stock with all the left over vegetables, I still do on occasions and then freeze it into cubes to use.  This time I resorted to one of the cartons from Whole foods, Low Sodium Vegetable Broth.  These are great in times of need and speed and I find myself using them more and more.  Just be conscious to read the ingredients to make sure they don't have too much unnecessary additional ingredients in them.  I find just using the broth the flavour gets a bit intense, so I tend to use 2/3 broth and then add an additional 1/3 water.  i don't really measure things I just add water to cover everything and leave about half a finger worth of water on top for reduction.  

You will need:

  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 2 celery sticks chopped
  • 1 courgette chopped
  • 1 carton of vegetable broth
  • few cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil
  • dash (about a table spoon or to taste) of Worcestershire sauce
  • Aprox 2 table spoons of tomato paste
  • Cup of green lentils (you could use any type, the firm lentils are better, like yellow and green as they retain their shape and don't go mushy like the red lentils you use for Dhal)
  • handful of chopped kale (add at the end)
  • handful of chopped fresh parsley (add at the end)

The secret to good soup is sweating off the vegetables for AGES!!!  Put the onion, carrot, celery and courgette into a pan with some olive oil and sweat them off with a pinch of salt for a good 15 minutes until really tender and you can smell all the flavours of the vegetables.

Then add the vegetable stock and water to cover everything and let reduce for about 10 minutes.  After this I add the tomato paste and mix in to give a nice warm colour, it also thickens it up a bit.  I also add the herbs and sauce at this point and do everything by taste, so my guidelines are pretty rough, add more or less as you desire flavours.  You will feel like Goldilocks and go 'mmm, just right' when you hit that sweet spot!  I refrain from black pepper and too much salt until serving as flavour changes so much as you reduce and cook soup.

Once you have added all your spices add the lentils, then just leave the soup on a really low heat for an additional 20 minutes or until it's nice and thick.  Then add the kale and parsley and you can serve when you want. It's really yummy, warming and soothing.

Timings are very rough, just keep an eye on it and keep tasting it! ENJOY!

Halloween Puree

Halloween is MASSIVE here in the USA, there are pumpkins EVERYWHERE...  Getting into the spirit, I decided to make some easy food for Eden to eat that also doubled up as a rather delicious soup for grown ups!  I just added a touch of water to my bowl version when warming it up.  A Pumpkin, Lentil, Sweet Potato Medley...  This soup / puree is comforting, delicious, sweet and so warming for the winter season.  It also has magic protein in it as lentils, so I know it's good for everyone :)

I find I don't really use salt when cooking now too much so this way I can give the kids anything we make for ourselves, I add at the end to taste if required.  The beauty of this is I freeze the batch in ice cube trays so I have it in meal size portions for Eden whenever I like.  Easy is the key to happiness :)

You will need:

  • small to medium pumpkin of your choice (peeled, gutted and chopped
  • medium sweet potato (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
  • approx. 2cm of fresh ginger peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • approx. 1 pint of water, veg stock or chicken stock (as you desire)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garamasala
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • walt and pepper to taste

Sweat off the onion till it's translucent.  Add in the pumpkin and sweet potato and sauté until softened and flavours have come out. Add the garlic and ginger to infuse flavour then add water to just cover the veg and bring to the boil, simmer down to reduce a little, about 5 mins.  Put the coconut milk into the pot and add the lentils.  Reduce down even further.  You don't want to reduce too much you want there to be sufficient liquid as you need to puree this and it gets rather tick with the lentils so don't be shy when adding liquid or topping up.  Add the spices.  leave to simmer for about 20 mins.  When it has full flavour whizz it up to a pulp and add more seasoning to taste.  It is really great with chilli and coriander to serve for grown ups :)

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Love

Who doesn't love cookies?!... Maybe a few odd balls, but in general we are all suckers for those yummy comforting hand held bites of joy.  My toddler is deffo' a fan, in fact it's a daily ritual conversation, he wakes up around 6am and says 'mummy, Reno have a cookie please'  to which I reply 'it's porridge time'  Yes I shatter his dreams every morning...

So - how do you give your kids their childhoods without shattering their dreams as well as their sugar in take?  See below for a cute discovery / invention that I made, guilt free, gluten free and frankly really awesome.  Granted these do have some coconut sugar and chocolate chips, they are not overloaded with refined sugars as coconut sugar has a lower GI and dark chocolate chips are better than milk.  With this in mind, these are still a treat and do not replace porridge for breakfast!

You will need:

Beat together the coconut oil and coconut sugar until well combined, add in the almond butter and vanilla extract, then the egg. Stir in the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and salt. Gently stir in the chocolate chips. I think made the dough into a cylinder and wrapped it in clingfilm and put it in the fridge for about 30 mins to set.  Once it was firm I cut it into slices to bake in the oven at 350 / 180 for about 15 - 20 mins.  Just keep an eye on them not to burn.

Vegan Blueberry Muffins

My sister has always joked with me and my recipe testing since we were kids, she calls me 'Auntie Lentil Cake'  because I am always getting creative to find substitutes to those sweet cravings out of healthy ingredients.  She also laughs and says... " Colette, this cake is gluten free, dairy free & sugar free, is it taste free?..."  

With this... I would love to share with you a new invention I have just discovered. I take NO credit for the recipe, the wonderful Aine Carlin 'Keep it Vegan' wins this one with her delicious gluten free blueberry muffins.  They took about 10 minutes to make in total and are so yummy, which to be honest was a total surprise as not only do they have no dairy or no refined sugar but also made with CHICKPEA / GRAM Flour... so, my darling sister - these are for you ;)

You will need:

  • 1 cup of chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 banana mashed or 3 tablespoons of apple puree
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1 1/2 cups of blueberries

Two notes - I used blueberries and blackberries as I didn't have enough blueberries, this was a great addition of flavour.  I also used both the banana and the apple sauce which was actually a mistake, but again tastes really good!

Whisk together in a bowl all the wet ingredients, the banana, apple sauce, milk, vanilla extract and maple syrup.  Add in all the dry ingredients, the flour, almonds, baking soda and powder.  Don't over mix, keep the batter light.

Add the fruit at the end and spoon into muffin tins, I made 12 smaller muffins, her recipe suggests 6 larger ones.

I baked them in the oven on 350 / 180 for 25 mins then let them cool to set before taking them out as they were rather fragile whilst warm.  They are delicious!

Tangerine & Cardamon cake

What to do with a sad looking orange and a Tangerine who has seen better days?... why... create a cake of course!!!  I took a basic almond meal recipe and added some magic to it and it came out SUPER yummy.  You could make this more intense by adding Orange Blossom Extract to it and top of the Middle Eastern vibes by adding chopped Pistachio & Rose Petals to the top of the cake.  It would be super tasty with an orange drizzle on top too...  This cake is light, fluffy, melts in your mouth and makes you feel like you're on an exotic holiday somewhere. 

Having none of those things I settled for a sprig of Rosemary which worked well too and my cupboard of stocked baking goods, these include:

  • 4 eggs
  • juice of 1 orange
  • zest of 1 orange
  • juice of 1 tangerine
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of cardamon powder (who has patience for the pods?!)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup soft honey
  • 3 cups almond meal

beat the eggs in a bowl till full of air. Add the juice of the orange and tangerine and keep whisking, add the cinnamon, cardamon and baking powder, whisk up again.  Beat in the melted coconut oil and honey - be mindful they are not too hot, you don't want to cook your eggs!  Beat everything together till smooth.  Fold in the almond meal to keep things nice and light.  Spoon into a cake tin and bake for 30 - 35 mins at 350 / 180 or until knife clean.

Veggie Taco Soup

I love these flavours, they are spicy, fresh, fulfilling and just delicious...  I live in California now and have been opened up to some incredible Mexican food here and am slightly obsessed with tacos. So... How can I get that flavour hit without the fiddle.  Making taco's is such work, the guac, the salsa, the fillings, where as this soup is so easy and satisfying and now I have discovered it I am going to make this a staple.  It's vegan and gluten free so great for everyone.

It's light, fragrant and great for the end of summer as it's not a thick heavy soup.  This recipe is also super fun as you can basically add whatever veggies you like to it!  I used black beans, I also used tinned.  It was faster, same for the sweetcorn...  You could totally use fresh beans and any type you like, pinto, navy or black.  Also I imagine corn raw off the cob thrown in would just taste incredible! Use whatever you have the patience and energy for.  It is the week end after all :)

This took about 20 mins total to make.  You will need:

  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 garlic clove diced
  • 2 table spoons of tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • approx. 1/2 teaspoon chilli (flakes, powder or fresh, whatever you like and add to taste)
  • 4 tablespoons of chopped coriander (again, add more to taste)
  • approx. 4 cups of hot water or veg stock.
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 1 courgette diced
  • 1/2 a yellow bell pepper diced
  • 2 tomatoes chopped up
  • 1/2 can of tinned sweetcorn
  • 1 can of tinned black beans - drained and rinsed
  • Round soft corn tortillas sliced (you can fry or griddle these if you want them crunchy) or just use tortilla chips from a bag if you don't have fresh ones.

Dice the onion and garlic and saute.  Add the carrot & courgette, let sweat off for a few mins until soft.  You don't want the courgette too soft.  Add the cumin and chilli, then add the tomato puree and add the water or veg stock and half the coriander.  I think veg stock adds a greater depth of flavour, but you could just add some celery salt or a stock cube if you like.  Let this simmer for about 5 - 10 mins, until you have a taste of it and it has real flavour.  Then add the rest of the coriander, the tomatoes, the peppers, sweetcorn and black beans.  let simmer for about 5 mins.  you want the peppers to remain nice and fresh and crunchy so don't cook for too long.  Add more chilli if it's not hot enough for you.  Cut the corn tortillas and add to the bowl with a bit more coriander when serving. 

HOW EASY WAS THAT!!

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One Bowl Wonder

Possibly one of the most welcomed Monday night 'leftover meals' I could ask for.  After a long day it was so comforting to know I had made bulk on Sunday to tide me over the first day of the week working full time with my husband away.  I'm discovering that the challenge of this gig is not really about logistics, it's about emotionally supporting myself, so that comes in the way of eating as well as I can to really nourish myself to get through another 20 hour day.  This meal is a sort of accident but the flavours work so well together, so I have broken it down into the 3 main elements, then threw a handful of almonds on top, why... just because.

The Leeks.    The Roast Veg.  The Roast Chick Peas. 

  • 3 leeks, washed and chopped up - sliced
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • salt / pepper
  • mint sauce - the kind you get in a jar
  • tin of chopped tomatoes
  • teaspoon of tomato puree / paste
  • water / veg stock - enough to fill your chopped tomato tin

warm some olive oil in a pan, add the leeks, add some salt.  Let them saute for about 5 mins on a medium heat, you want them to go all green and juicy, not burnt and cooked just so all the water comes out and they look tender.  Then add a generous dash of Worcestershire sauce, let simmer another minute or two.  Add pepper and a can of chopped tomatoes, add a can filled with water or veg stock so all the leeks are covered with liquid, then stir in a spoon of tomatoes paste / puree.  Let simmer for about 10 - 20 mins depending on how reduced you like your sauce, add more salt if required.  Once cooked to your liking add a teaspoon of mint sauce / jelly through the mix, it makes it super yum!  Serve on a bed of brown rice topped with some nuts.  It's literally perfection.


  • peppers
  • aubergine / egg plant
  • red onion
  • yellow and orange peppers

Roughly chop, put on a baking tray with some olive oil, salt and roast in an oven for about 30 mins or until golden.  I like to leave it in there till the peppers are almost burnt it adds such a great flavour.


  • can of chick peas drained and rinsed
  • garlic salt
  • pepper
  • paprika
  • sumac
  • cumin
  • olive oil

Put your chickpeas in a bowl, coat in olive oil, add the spices above until you get the taste you like - you can literally add ANY spice combination to these.  Put in the oven to roast with your veggies on a separate tray for only 10 - 15 mins.  Take out and eat warm or cool. They are such a yummy snack or great addition to any dish.


 

 

Banana Brownie Cake

This is a really nice week end treat cake and PERFECT for a Monday leftovers lunch box :) 

I have an overwhelming sense of relaxation when I make this cake, partly because it's super easy and makes me feel like a pro! Also, I usually do it at the end of the week and the aroma of banana bread filling my home just fills me with comforting memories.  This cake is great as it's a one bowl wonder with no refined sugar and no gluten.  I do add eggs but you could always substitute them with flax meal or chia seeds if you rather.  

I also love this recipe as there are ALWAYS uneaten slightly black bananas in my fruit bowl and I just don't like eating bananas that are too ripe so this is a great way to use them up!  You could totally glitter this cake up by adding nuts, chocolate chips or a handful of whole rolled oats for texture.  I call this a banana brownie rather than a cake as it does come out more dense than a cake, due to the amount of banana and that it is gluten free, but it's moist and full of flavour and very satisfying and keeps well in an airtight box, it's also rather yummy in the fridge too. 

You will need, in this order:

  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 bananas mashed
  • 1/4 cup of almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (optional)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup of oat flour
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour

mix the honey, oil and eggs with an electric mixer, add the banana and milk.  Then add all the dry ingredients to the bowl mixing it all together till you get a lovely batter that has lots of air bubbles in it.  Put in a cake tin greased with coconut oil and bake in 350 / 180 for about 45 minutes or until the knife comes out clean.  Cool before eating as it sets better.

ENJOY!

Gluten Free Chocolate Birthday Cake

Having 2 birthday parties means having two types of cakes!  Both gluten free, both without refined sugar!  So me being me, I just bastardised one recipe to make the other!  This one is Almond Chocolate, a similar base recipe with a few more additions to it, this cake is moist and fluffy, I think it could do with a little more density of flavour to it, so you could add real chocolate chips into the batter or just more cocoa powder to it as it was slightly overpowering with egg flavour, but it was still good.  I topped the cake by melting dark chocolate chips on the top and smoothing it over, yes it has a bit of sugar in it but made a massive difference.  you could make a ganache cream or fill the cake as a sandwich, any of these would really lift it even more.

You will need:

  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup Coconut Sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup water

stir together almond meal, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.  Beat in a separate bowl the eggs with whisk or electric mixer. Add water and mix well. Add butter and mix again. Add vanilla and sweetener and mix again.  Add dry ingredients to egg mixture. Stir/mix until thoroughly blended. Pour batter into pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 min.  Let top of cake get completely cool to the touch before cutting or removing it from the pan.

Party Popcorn

I have recently become obsessed with pop corn as a healthy snack.  It is so fun to make and you get really cool Amish blue corn here, which I thought would pop blue but doesn't although it has a lovely sweet flavour to it.  I decided to play around trying to make a toffee popcorn without all the butter and refined sugar and created this yummy one, it went down a storm, just be mindful not to let it burn so AS SOON as the corn has popped take it out the pan or it will just burn and not taste good at all.

You will need:

  • popping corn
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add all the ingredients to a big pan and heat up.  Cover and allow temperature to rise so the corn pops and the liquid caramelises.  As soon as the pop corn has stopped popping tip into a bowl and serve.   YUM!  If you store this in a tupperwear or tin it will last overnight, but good luck having any leftover to store ;)

Gluten Free Orange Almond Cake

This was the perfect birthday cake, not too sweet, moist, golden and delicious.  What was even better was there was only 1/2 a cup of honey in the whole cake to sweeten it of which I used just a little less.  It also had a really nice orange tone to it and would have been really eastern with a bit of rose water added to it as well or adorned with rose petals.  As I had neither I stuck to raspberries.  I like this cake because it's gluten free, I would love to say it's totally vegan but the eggs really lift this cake more than I think flax meal would.  I served this with some home made strawberry lemonade, it was just such a fun combo!

You will need:

  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil at melted
  • 1/2 an orange zested
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Mix together in a bowl: eggs, honey, coconut oil and orange zest in a bowl and mix well. Now add the dry ingredient mix to this bowl. Mix well and make smooth batter.

Bake for 30-45 minutes at about 350 degrees / 180c until top is golden brown. 

Veggie Oat Pancakes

These are DELICIOUS!!!!  I can't lie, I didn't invent them I got inspired by this FANTASTIC website:  Nutritionstripped. These yummy nuggets of fun are Gluten Free, Dairy Free and you can pretty much put what you like in the base.  I went for coriander, shredded broccoli, sweetcorn and spring onion.  I reckon they would taste great with Parsley or thinly sliced peppers.

I love these as they use oats instead of wheat flour which makes them a grain based meal and slow release energy with low GI.  I made my own oat flour by putting 1 cup of gluten free oats into the blender until a nice powder, you can also play with the consistency of your flour if you want it thicker and chunky.  It's like peanut butter, some like chunks others like smooth.  They took me about 7 minutes to whip up the batter and 10 minutes of cooking.  I used coconut oil but you could use canola oil also. Refrain from Olive Oil at high temps as it burns.  The original recipe used a spoon of dijon mustard as well which you could try to add another level of flavour and you could also swap the coconut flour for chick pea flour.

You will need:

  • 3/4 cup oat flour - see above
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup of almond milk (add 1/2 then add more at the end depending on how thick you want your batter)
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut flour
  • salt / pepper
  • handful of chopped coriander
  • spring onion finely chopped
  • handful of shredded broccoli (the stem, not the florets)
  • handful of sweetcorn
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 garlic clove crushed

Beat / whisk all the ingredients together until you get a batter.  Be prepared for a lumpy batter with all the extra ingredients so keep mixing till it's as smooth as you can get it.  Mine started out a bit thick so I kept adding almond milk till it was a nice pancake consistency.  heat up coconut or canola oil in the pan and ladle out spoonfuls into the hot pan.  You will notice when they are done because you will see air bubbles, When you do, flip them.  Serve with salad.

Smooth Sundays

I was craving a smoothie, something thick and satisfying.  No surprises with the combination here but it just tasted sooooooo good I had to post it.  I love the vitamix to make smoothies as it makes them taste just like out of a diner.  I also like this desert / snack as it has no sugar in it and a tonne of protein.  The raw almonds also give it a lovely blush tone to the mixture as well so it feels very Sunday Stylish to me too.  

You will need:

  • 2 bananas
  • heaped big spoon of peanut butter (no sugar)
  • 2/3 cup of raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • heaped teaspoon of cocoa powder
  • cup of ice

Put everything into the vitamix / blender and wizz up to make a creamy smooth mixture.  Serve with a straw.  You could make it more chocolaty if you added more cocoa powder, or more nutty with more peanut butter, you can make it thicker with less almond milk if you want a real thick shake.  It totally depends on your cravings.  Call me Goldielocks, I got this one JUST right... 

zucchini fritters

This article may be double dutch to many people as there seem to be SO many names for the items listed. I still call them courgettes, chickpea flour and coriander, but here people will stare at you blankly if you say that and wonder what you are trying to ask for in the grocery shop.  

These babies are a gem, especially with a poached egg on top as a week end breakfast.  Gluten free and full of green stuff you can enjoy them freely.  We certainly do, I always think I have made too many then they are gone within the day, sneaking them out of the fridge at any moment we happen to walk past.  Once again, these bad boys are a one bowl wonder and I use chick pea which is also known as Beason / Gram or Garbanzo bean flour which adds an extra dimension to their texture and flavour which is almost nutty and smoother than regular flour.  You an get chick pea flour in most wholefood shops, online or any Indian Supermarket.  I really like the Bob's Red Mill brand for my alternative flours, they have cute packaging :)

You will need:

  • 2/3 courgettes
  • 3 spring onions
  • 1/2 can or 1 small can of sweetcorn
  • 2 eggs
  • approx. 1 cup of chick pea flour   
  • salt / pepper / garamasala or oregano depending on the flavour you want
  • fresh coriander
  • coconut oil

Grate the zucchini in a bowl, slice the spring onion nice and thin, add to the bowl.  chop the cilantro and add with the spices.  Garamasala makes them a little sweeter, oregano is a fresh more Italian flavour.  Choose which you fancy.  Drain the sweet corn and stir in, add the two eggs and mix all together until the eggs are combined. Start with 1/2 a cup of flour then add as you need until the mixture is binding and you can hold it on your spoon without it sliding off.  You can also put the mixture in the fridge for 10 minutes before cooking to help it thicken.  I use coconut oil as it's great on high temp and adds another layer of flavour to them.  Cook on a medium / high heat until golden on each side.

Chocolate Treats - sugar free!

I LOVE these, I ALWAYS have a jar of them in my freezer.  Most of the time my darling husband has eaten them all before i can get to them and my toddler is a total fan of them as well. I can't actually decide if I love them because they are so fast and easy to make, that they last so long or that they taste so satisfying.  Those nights when the handful of almonds just doesn't cut it and you NEED chocolate.  Go to your freezer and you don't need more than 2 of these to satisfy your craving without resorting to refined sugar.

The sweetness comes from dates which are great for you, they contain essential minerals like calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium and zinc.  They also contain thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin A and vitamin K. These things are super to eat if you are pregnant too as you should eat 1 date per day when pregnant to help with fibre and also towards the end of the pregnancy it is suggested that dates help with labour.  These little balls of love are bound together with coconut oil which is also super good for you, preventing alzheimers, being anti fungal and anti bacterial.  There are a million reasons to treat yourself with these chocolate delights. 

If you have a blender these will take 5 minutes to make, the lethargy is in the rolling, it takes me a while to roll them all and don't get lazy and start making super big ones, they taste so much better in little bite size pieces.  I sometimes add some dedicated coconut to them whilst rolling them as well for a bit of interesting texture and colour flex.  You can mix this recipe up and use an types of nuts, they work well with a mix too.  Macadamia, cashew, pecan, walnut, they all work.

You will need:

  • 2 cups (about, maybe more...) of raw uncooked almonds (or a mix of nuts, ALL raw)
  • about 10 mejool dates - you add more depending on how sweet you like them
  • 2 tablespoons of good quality coco powder
  • teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • about 1 big tablespoon of coconut oil

Blitz this all in the blender until it becomes combined and a good texture to roll into balls.  Add more coconut oil or almonds to adjust mixture and more dates for sweetness.  Sometimes I add a tablespoon of boiling water to help the mixing if it's getting stuck in the blender.

Roll into balls (this yields about 50) and freeze in a jar.

Almond Chicken

I tried and conquered this experiment, almond meal covered chicken.  With out doubt it tasted 100 times better than breadcrumbs, the chicken stayed so moist and juicy and it had a real crunch.  It was far lighter to eat and had a really nice flavour with the nuttiness complimenting the meat.  I am a total convert.  Give it a go, you won't be disappointed, unless of course you have a nut allergy, then DON'T even THINK about it.  

You will need:

  • 2 chicken breast - cut into strips
  • 2 cups of almond meal
  • salt / pepper / spices (I used cajan spice this time, you could use paprika, cumin, whatever you fancy as the almond meal has a gentle flavour)
  • 2 eggs beaten

Place the beaten eggs into a large bowl and put the chicken strips into the bowl to cover them with egg.  In a separate bowl mix the almond meal and spices.   Dip each strip into the almond meal till coated.  I like to double dip it gives an extra crunchy exterior, so i go back to the egg then return to the almond meal again.  Shallow fry (or bake) with canola oil until golden brown and cooked inside.  Trick is not to have the oil too too hot or the nuts just burn, mid temp works well.

chocolate orange heaven

A delicious chocolate and orange cake for a delightful Mother's Day in sunny California.  It was a quick make mixing all the dry and then adding the wet ingredients. I decided to put this cake into a loaf tin instead of a round tin and it's worked out nicely.  I used wholemeal flour but I reckon you could use a combination of almond meal and any other type of flour too.  I was also thinking to exchange the eggs for a cup of Greek Yogurt, i will try that and let you know how it goes :)

In the meantime, here are the ingredients.  i like this cake as it's not very sweet, you could make it sweeter by adding more dates or a 1/4 cup of maple syrup if you like it sweet.  it's crumbly and light and not a dense cake like the brownies, the orange also lifts it a lot.

  • 2 cups whole meal flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 20 mejool dates
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • tablespoon of boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon of marmalade
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 eggs

Put all the dry ingredients into a big bowl.  In a blender put the dates, orange juice, boiling water and marmalade ( I used the hot water to help melt the dates into a paste) blend until you get a nice paste.  Add the eggs and oil and combine.  Mix all the wet into the dry until all mixed together.  It will look rather thick and you will have to scoop it out into the tray rather than just pour it.  Put in the oven for 45 minutes or until a knife comes out clean on 350F / 180c.

Enjoy with ice cream :)

3 minute pudding

An Absolute delight is this 3 minute pudding.  Chia and Chocolate, it makes me so happy for so many reasons mostly because it takes so little effort and is so comforting and rewarding.  You will need:

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Put all of the ingredients into a jar and shake vigorously.  Leave in the fridge overnight or at least 6 hours. You can eat it out of the jar or make it posh and serve it in a bowl with some strawberries and almond slivers on top :)  ENJOY!