Pistachio Friands

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I love little bites of yummy cake and I love serving tea and cake.  Now here is a healthy one : fully SCD and GAPS and Paleo compliant and not overly sweetened.   To top if off it is easy and quick to make and the recipe is very flexible and can be used for different style of cakes.

I found some really cute tiny friand trays and used them.  I also used the mix for pear upside-down style cakes for a dessert too.

 

 

15977258_10209364389604362_2965881995801385071_nIngredients

80 g pistachios
80 g almond meal
20g coconut flour
100 g honey
5 egg whites
60g butter, melted
90 g coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda

Method.

Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius and place paper liners (if using)  into 12 hole muffin tin or other similar type of cake forms.

(Instructions are for a Thermomix but you can use a food processor quite easily)

Place pistachios and almond meal into Thermomix bowl and mill 15 sec/speed 10. The pistachios should be the same texture as the almond meal.

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Using the same batter for an upside down style mini cake.

Add coconut flour and bicarbonate.

Mix through.

Add egg whites, vanilla and honey and process 20 sec/speed 4.

With lid closed, pour butter and coconut oil through hole in lid as you beat 30 sec/speed 4.

Pour batter into liners.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and set in centre.

Allow to cool before removing cakes from tins or cake forms.

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Raw Strawberry “cheesecake”

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There are so many raw vegan cheesecakes around.  For good reason!  They are delicious and full of good food.  I decided to fiddle around with a recipe and I reckon this one stacks up pretty well with the best, even if I do say so!  It is so creamy and the flavour, with the citrus and strawberry together is amazing.

I love pink and reds, especially for desserts, and this is more pink…. a bit of a theme happening, I think.   Without further ado, here it is!

Raw Strawberry Cheesecake.

Ingredients.

Base
100g pepitas
100g dedicated coconut
10 mejdool dates
1 tsp coconut oil
Cheesecake
275g Strawberries
125 g Cashew nuts
90g Coconut oil
25g Honey
Vanilla
Juice of two small lemons OR juice of one blood orange.

Method. 

For base.

1. Place all ingredients for the base into thermomix  bowl. Blend 20  seconds sp 8.
If using a food processor, it may take a little longer.
2. Mixture should be able to be compressed together.  If it doesn’t, add another tsp of coconut oil and reblend.
3. Place about a heaped tablespoon of base mix into mini cheesecake pans and press into the pan so nice and firm.   If you don’t have a mini cheesecake pan, use silicon cupcake moulds.
This mixture makes enough for 12 mini cakes and one 18 cm springform cake (I like to have a springform with a cheesecake base ready to go in my freezer.  It makes it so easy to whip up another cheesecake when I want to. )

For cheesecake.

1. Place cashews in Thermomix bowl. Grind at sp 7 for 10 sec.

2. Add strawberries. Blend sp 9 for 20 seconds.
3. Add honey, coconut oil, vanilla and lemon or orange juice. Blend sp 9 for 30 seconds.
4. Scrape down sides of bowl.  Blend at sp 9 for 20 seconds.  Check if mixture is creamy.  If not, repeat.
* if using a food processor it may take longer.  If using a blender, you may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl between steps.
 5. Pour mixture into mini cheesecake pans.
6. Cover with plastic wrap and set in fridge overnight.  If using silicon moulds, it works well to freeze the cakes.  It is easy to pull the mould off the cake when frozen.
Makes 12 mini cheesecakes.

Easy lunch…. let’s have frittata.

Ok, so I have to watch what I eat.  I am on SCD but my kids and husband aren’t.  One of my daughters is a real carnivore and loves her meat.  I eat a lot more veg as does my other daughter.  Different strokes…     It is sometimes a pain when trying to cook dinner or lunch for all of us.  I usually cook something I can eat and then perhaps do a side for the others…. keeps everyone happy!

Well, last weekend, I was thinking about this and I didn’t want to spend ages in the kitchen.  I decided on frittata for lunch as we all love that.  Having just made an international move, I am enjoying getting out all my kitchen stuff after they were in storage for months and then we stayed in a small apartment for a month after coming back to Oz… so it has been months since I had my things.  Rummaging through, I saw my small tart dishes and I thought “Individual frittatas”!   That way I can put what everyone wants in their own one and we are all happy… for very little extra work.

IMG_1741I don’t use a real recipe for this, but I am inspired by Daniela’s Cooking School and the day I spent with Daniela in Rome a few years ago.   One of the dishes we made was a frittata.

The veggies I used for these frittatas were onion, artichokes and red capsicum.  Artichokes take some preparing, so you may like to use zucchini, which you can simply slice, instead. You can see how to prepare an artichoke here.

So, I diced the onions, prepared the artichokes and sliced the capsicum.   Salute the onions and artichokes until soft and the onions are clear.  Divide into your individual dishes which have been greased.   I then put some diced bacon on top of the veg for those wanting  some.

Place a clove of garlic in your thermomix or food processor.  Chop.  speed 5 for 4 seconds.  Add 6 eggs and 2 tbs water and salt and pepper to taste.  Blend at speed 6 for a few seconds until combined.  Pour the mixture over the contents of each dish.  Sprinkle a little nutmeg on top and decorate (I used red capsicum) so you can remember who has which dish !

Bake at 180 celcius for about 25 minutes until lightly browned and set.  YUM!

Serve with fresh, chopped herbs like basil.

 

Clafoutis… yummy, light… and quick!

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I want dessert!  Not all the time, but I do love it.   And inspiration can come from unlikely

places.     During the week, I was messaging a friend online about cooking (what else !)  She is grain free AND nut free.    I really felt like a dessert that night and our messages inspired me to make a dessert that was grain free, sugar free and nut free….  what to make!    I got to searching online, as you do, and I found some clafoutis.  I love clafoutis and thought that would be just the shot.  As usual, I didn’t stick to the recipe and I converted it straight away!   Sometimes you get a real flop and other times you end up with a winner.  Well, this time it was a winner!  I had some pears so I decided to make a pear clafoutis, but you could use any fruit and arrange it as you like.    I left the skin on as I like the look of that.  Peeled, it becomes too light and it’s harder to see any pattern you make as the colour blends in with the custard mix.   So…. here is my recipe.

Pear Clafoutis

Ingredients

2 pears (I used red pears)

3 eggs

Vanilla essence (read ingredients well if you are on SCD to make sure it is legal.

100g coconut milk

80g honey

45 g coconut oil.

25 g coconut flour

Cardamon (ground)

Method.

  1. Quarter and core pears.  Slice each quarter into 4 lengthways.  Arrange in a greased baking dish, about 20cm diameter.
  2. Add all the other ingredients into Thermomix or food processor bowl.  Mix at speed 6 for a minute.
  3. Pour over pears and sprinkle cardamon to taste on top.
  4. Cook for 25 minutes at 180 degrees or until browned on top and custard just set in the middle.

 

The all time best fruit soft serve ice!

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On such a hot and humid day in KL, the girls were complaining about how hot they were.

I have been allowing some ice creams from the store at the bottom of our condo (bad, bad mummy, I know!) and I thought it was time I brought out this miracle dessert which has the Thermomix world all craving for it.   And it was lunch time too, so GOOD mummy made a dessert for lunch!  Little do they know how healthy it is (sneaky mummy!)

Why I did not do this before, I don’t know.  it was so easy and sooooo delicious, I could eat it every day for my lunch.

So, here it is.  my recipe for fruity dream soft serve.

Fruity Dream Softserve.

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 Ingredients.

150 g bananas

150 g pineapple

150g red dragon fruit (or a mix of berries if you don’t have dragon fruit)

1 egg white.

Method

  1. Cut fruit into chunks approx ice cube size.  Freeze and separate.
  2. Add fruit to the thermomix bowl and chop for approx 10 seconds  on speed 8. Scrape down sides of bowl with spatula.  Scrape most of the chopped fruit into a bowl quickly before inserting the butterfly.
  3. Insert butterfly and add back the fruit and the egg white and mix for 3 minutes on speed 3.5 to 4 or until you have a soft consistency.
  4. serve in bowls or glasses with topping of your choice.  I used toasted coconut on this one. fdream2

A lot like Christmas

WOW.  is all I can say.  I am in France and Germany and the Christmas markets are absolutely amaziimageng.  It is a wonderful time of year to travel.   I love the atmosphere…. lights everywhere, smells of Christmas spices, wonderful floral arrangements, glass ornaments….  can you tell, I just LOVE Christmas?????

Being such a foodie, I love looking at what’s on offer…   and eating what I can… and thinking about how I could make and convert what I can’t readily eat from a cafe.   I love Christmas food and I love tarts.    Naturally, walking into a French patisserie, I spied the most wonderful seasonal tart.  I HAD to take photos!

It was rustic, full of fruit and looked just divine!   It was tarts like these and English mince pies which led me to create a Fruit Mince Tart last year.   I love fruit mince and I love Frangipani tarts and I love oranges….

I just had to make a tart that I could eat on Christmas day.  I spent a while experimenting and looking at different recipes.  Finally I had my mix which has that Fragipani texture and the taste of Christmas!    So here is my Christmas offering

Enjoy!!!!!

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Ingredients

Pastry.
200g hazelnut meal
3 dates
1 tbs coconut oil
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch sea salt

Frangipani
200g almond meal
50 g honey
100 g butter
2 eggs

1/2 quantity fruit mince (see recipe)

Topping
5 or 6 cherries with stalk
130 g orange marmalade (see recipe below)
Dash water
1/4 tsp each nutmeg and cinnamon

METHOD.

Make Fruit Mince.  See recipe at the bottom.  This can be made a day or two ahead and refrigerated.

Make marmalade.  See recipe at the bottom.  This can also be made a day or two ahead and refrigerated.

To make pastry.

Place all ingredients into processor bowl and mix.
Line tart tin with pastry and place in fridge.

To make frangipani

Add butter and honey to the processor bowl. Thermomix 8 seconds speed 4.  (or place in a food processor until well combined.)
Add eggs and almond meal. Thermomix 6 seconds speed 6. (or mix well in a food processor until well combined)

To make topping.

Warm marmalade, water, nutmeg and cinnamon together (Thermomix 3 minutes, 70 degrees, speed 2)

To assemble the tart,

Spread fruit mince over pastry layer.  (Remember : only half of the fruit mince from the recipe below.  You can freeze the rest of the fruit mince or keep it in the fridge for a few days.)
Spread frangipani over fruit mince
Brush orange marmalade topping over the frangipani.
Stud cherries decoratively in the frangipani.

Bake at 180 celcius for half an hour to 40 minutes.  Check after 20 minutes and if the orange topping is browning, cover with foil and reduce oven to 160 degrees.

 

FRUIT MINCE

Ingredients.

Zest of one orange.
700 g apples, peeled and quartered.
100 g cranberries
130 g currants
60 g flaked almonds
Juice of one lemon
Juice of one orange
1 tsp each cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.

Place orange zest into bowl and mince . Thermomix 10 seconds speed 7.
Add apples and chop for 3 seconds, speed 6.
Add remaining ingredients and cook for 30 minutes on varoma temp, reverse, speed 1. If you don’t have a Thermomix, use a pot on the stove and a little extra water and stir constantly until the mix is soft and the right texture.

MARMALADE
Ingredients.
Approx 1 kg oranges (pref organic, or wash very well using vinegar to remove wax, etc off the skin)
300 g water
Approx 2 tbs honey

Place oranges (skin on) in processor bowl and blend, so skin is in small chunks.
If using Thermomix, add water and cook for 15 minutes at 100 degrees, reverse, speed 1-2.
Check, stir, add water if needed (needs to be a sauce consistency) and cook again for 15 minutes.
Add honey to taste, stir and cook for 5 more minutes.

If using a food processor or blender, blend oranges so skin is in small chunks.  Place orange and water into a saucepan on medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes.  Add honey and cook for 5 more minutes on low.

As Dutch as apple pie

One of my favourite “special occasion” foods as a child was Dutch apple pie that my mum used to make.  She had a traditional recipe and it was something she made for birthdays and other family occasions.  Deep and filled with lots and lots of yummy apple, flavoured with not just a little cinnamon and enjoyed by everyone, it was a hit every time.  The traditional pastry shell and plaiting of strips of pastry on the top was sure to impress.

I have been wanting to convert the recipe for some time.  The pastry is a little softer than many and slightly cake like.  I wanted that same texture.    Wheat pastry is more pliable and able to be manipulated than anything with nuts and I didn’t like the idea of trying to lift up strips of my nut pastry and plaiting them together without them breaking them up.  Brainwave!  Use nuts and cinnamon for a topping!  Not quite the plaited look, but pretty, nevertheless.

To make sure the pastry cooked without the apples turning it soggy, I decided I would try baking the pastry as a shell first, then put raisins on the bottom (to soak any juice from the apples) and put very well drained apples on top.    Finally, I sprinkled walnuts and cinnamon on top and then baked again.

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Recipe.  SCD / Paleo Apple Pie.

150g Almond meal

50g walnuts

50g coconut flour

0.5 tsp baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)

70g butter

20g coconut oil.

2 tsp honey.

6 apples (I used Granny Smiths.  Other tart green apples will also work well)

150g raisins or sultanas

2 tsp cinnamon.

200g walnuts

3 tsp honey.

  1. Place almond meal, 50g walnuts and coconut flour in Thermomix and grind for 5 seconds, speed 8/9.   (for non Thermomix users, blend in a processor until walnuts are like flour and mixed with the other ingredients)
  2. Add baking soda and butter.  Mix at 4 seconds, speed 6.  (for non Thermomix users, mix until butter is mixed through the nuts and mixture resembles crumbs.
  3. Add coconut oil and honey and pulse a few times until mixed through.   The mixture will be softer and more wet than wheat pastry.
  4. Place pastry in plastic wrap, or a sealed container, in the fridge.
  5. Peel and quarter 6 apples.
  6. Place in a pan with 2 tbs of water and cook on stovetop, on low, until the apples are just cooked through but not mushy.  I just bring to the boil and then turn off the stove and leave the pan (with the lid on) for about 5 minutes.
  7. Once the apple is cooked, place in a sieve over a bowl to drain well.
  8. Turn oven to 180 degrees c.
  9. Once pastry is cool, place in a 20 cm springform cake tin, which has been oiled and has baking paper on the bottom.  Pat and spread out to the corners and up the sides of the tin.  The pastry should be about 4cms up the sides of the tin.
  10. Bake the shell for 15 minutes.
  11. Remove the tin from the oven,  scatter raisins or sultanas on the pie shell.
  12. Place apple in the pie, scatter 200g walnuts on top, drizzle 3 tsp of honey over and then sprinkle cinnamon on top.
  13. Lower oven to 160 degrees c, and bake for a further 10 minutes.

 

On family, carers and yummy treats…

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This post is in tribute to all carers of sick, disabled and elderly people.  The work they do and the sacrifice they make is nothing short of amazing.

I have gone to stay with my mother, who cares for my grandmother, for two weeks. Just loving being in my hometown and feeling ‘home’ but, oh my, the work that needs doing!

Being 95, having had 2 falls, and suffering dementia and Parkinson’s, she needs around the clock care.    I am tired!  And I haven’t been doing  this for years, 24/7!!!!!!!!

Thankfully she likes my Omelettes, so I have breakfasts under control.  (Yaaaay for eggs!)     But cooking for someone who can’t swallow or chew easily takes a lot of time…. then there is everything else that needs doing during the day.

And, of course, I still want to make some yummy treats for when a friend comes over and for a birthday on the weekend.

What can I do that takes next to no time, tastes yummy and looks amazing?   I fall back on my basic mix for bliss balls and dehydrated raw biscuits, of course!

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With one mix, I roll out half of it and cut out biscuits and dehydrate them… and the other half becomes bliss balls, some rolled in coconut and some dipped in melted chocolate!   Yummy, healthy, easy, quick…. and it satisfies SCD and Paleo diets, depending on  the use of chocolate (SCD allows no chocolate)

Raw Red Dragon Fruit Biscuits 

  • 100g almonds
  • 80g shredded coconut
  • 6/7 dried apricots
  • a drop of vanilla
  • 40g red dragon fruit  (or berries with a small chunk of beetroot if you don’t have dragon fruit)

For chocolate coating.

  • 50g Lindt 99% dark chocolate
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 2 tbs honey

To make biscuit/bliss ball mix.  Place all ingredients into a food processor or Thermomix and blitz until combined and you can press together to shape.  If the mix is still too crumbly to shape, add a little more dragon fruit  or berries and blitz again.

Take half of the mix and place onto a pastry mat.   Spread out and place a piece of cling film plastic on top.  Roll to about a half cm thickness.  Cut with a cookie cutter (I love hearts!)   Place in a dehydrator for 24 hours at 40 celcius.

Facebook-20151023-102325With the other half of the mix, roll out into small ball shapes.   You can finish them by rolling in desiccated coconut, or by dipping in chocolate.

To make chocolate, place chocolate (broken into squares) into the Thermomix bowl.  Grate, 4 seconds, speed 8.   Scrape down the sides of the bowl so the chocolate is at the bottom.  Add oil and honey.  Heat… 3 minutes, 50 degrees, speed 1.

Or add chocolate squares, oil and honey to a bowl over a saucepan of hot water and melt, stirring constantly.  As soon as it is melted, take off the heat.

Dip bliss balls and dehydrated biscuits into chocolate as desired…

Place on a tray with waxed baking paper and refrigerate until chocolate has set. Store in the refrigerator  and   ENJOY!

Stuff that cabbage!

IMG_3046 cabbage rollsI love comfort food.  Don’t we all!  home cooked meals cooked with love, family around the table.    I love getting good veggies into my family and that isn’t always easy.  Fussy pants regularly leaves out mushrooms, rolls her eyes at egg plant or courgette and scowls at spinach or other greens with the death stare extraordinaire !      So I am always trying to find dishes that make both of us happy – me with the nutrition she is receiving and her with the taste…  not always easy, but sometimes we get a real winner!

 

I also adore savoy cabbage… I love the bright green colour and the wrinkles.  I don’t see them a lot here in Kuala Lumpur, so when I see one I just HAVE to buy it….  I’m crazy like that 🙂

When my niece who was visiting said “I gotta say this is really good” and my girls agreed, I knew I was onto one of those winners I look for. !   “Thanks mum” is one of those things which makes my heart burst and the time taken in the kitchen suddenly becomes all worth while.  So here is the long waited for recipe I have promised!

 

PORK CABBAGE ROLLS WITH SWEET AND SOUR TOMATO SAUCE

 

Ingredients:

For the cabbage rolls:

  • 1 green cabbage, about 2 lb., bruised or discolored outer leaves discarded
  • 500 g pork mince
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 red or yellow onion
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 5 sage leaves
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 12 juniper berries
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil.

 

For the sweet and sour sauce

  • 1 red or yellow yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalk, chopped, leaves included.
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 1 kg tomatoes
  • 1 sweet bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup bone broth
  • 1 to 2 tbs tomato paste (See my post on how to make your own)
  • 1 apple.
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar.

 

 

  1. Wash cabbage well.   Bring a large pot of water to a boil. . Remove the cabbage core by cutting with a knife and twisting it out and place the cabbage into the boiling water and cook until the leaves are done.   (5 to 10 minutes)  Set aside and cool. Once cool, remove about 12 of the nice large outside leaves (these will be stuffed).   Retain a few of the small inner leaves (about 50 to 100g worth)  to mix with the pork.  (and use any other left over leaves for a soup the next day!)
  2. Peel and quarter the onion. Chop in Thermomix … 3 seconds, speed 6. Add one tsp olive oil. Saute. 3 minutes, 100, speed 1. Chop carrot into large chunks and place in Thermomix. Add sage. Chop. 3 seconds, speed 6. Add, pork, egg, nutmeg, salt and pepper and the retained small inner leaves.   Mix ingredients at Speed 3, 15 seconds, using the thermomix spatula through the lid to stir. (do not use any other than the Thermomix spatula) .   Repeat if needed. Divide the pork filling among the cabbage leaves. Fold the white stem end of each leaf over the filling, add a juniper berry then fold in each of the sides and roll up the rest of the leaf. Repeat for each leaf. ( If you do not have a thermomix,  chop onion and grate the carrot.  Saute until translucent and add sage, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Remove from pan and add pork and egg to the mix.  Mix well.)

 

To make the sauce, sauté the chopped onion and diced carrot over medium heat until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add chopped celery. Stir and heat through. Add caraway seeds, tomatoes, broth, tomato paste, apple and balsamic vinegar. Stir for a minute or two until well mixed. .  Place the cabbage rolls, seam down, in a single layer in the pan, and then spoon sauce and vegetables over the rolls. Cover and transfer to the oven and bake in a 180 celcius / 350 F oven until the cabbage rolls are tender and the filling is cooked through. This should take about an hour.

 

 

 

Why would I buy tomato paste when I can make it?

IMG_3047 (1)In our family, we love, love, love tomatoes.  We adore rich Italian sauces and also light, sweet and sour type of dishes and curries , both which have tomatoes or tomato paste in their sauces….

But being on a strict diet (SCD) which prohibits canned tomato paste and sauces, means I don’t have a stash of jars of paste in my pantry, which I would otherwise have!

Canned products may contain sugar or thickeners, both of which I cannot eat.  Until I started making my own paste, my cooking did not have that same ‘oomph’ and richness which a good Italian sauce needs…    Frustrating as anything  and my kids missed that flavour as well.   As you know, I love cooking and I love my family and I love making food which is not only healthy but tastes good, looks good and is interesting.

Once I discovered how to make my paste, I felt that I could cook  again and have that taste I craved 🙂

So I just had to share this recipe.  Through trial and error, I have found this is THE one I love and nothing else can match up to it.. so give yourself a favour and give it a go.

TOMATO PASTE – THERMOMIX VERSION.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbs oil
  • 4 bay leaves.
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 kg tomatoes
  1. ¼ onion and chop in Thermomix. 3 seconds,Speed 5.
  2. Scrape down sides of bowl, Add oil, and fry … 4 to 5 minutes, varoma temp, soft speed.
  3. Quarter tomatoes and add to bowl. Add bay leaves, balsamic vinegar and salt.
  4. Blend mixture for 30 seconds. Speed 10. This will blend all peel and seeds.
  5. Cook for 20 minutes, aroma temperature, speed 1 with steaming basket on the lid instead of the measuring cup.
  6. Blend mixture again for 30 seconds, speed 10.
  7. Cook again. 20 minutes. Varoma temp. speed 1.
  8. When done, this can be used as a base sauce for recipes.
  9. If you wish to make a tomato paste which is stronger tasting and has less liquid, cook again for 15 minutes at Varoma Temp, speed one.

TOMATO PASTE – NON THERMOMIX VERSION.

Be sure to use the same ingredients I listed above for an amazing taste.  You could easily double the recipe, too, if you are going to make it this way.

  1. Turn oven to 180 decrees celcius / 350 F.
  2. Chop tomatoes and onion.
  3. add oil to pan and saute onion until translucent.  Add tomatoes, salt, balsamic, bay leaves.
  4. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring as needed.
  5. Blend  until smooth.  This may take a good minute.
  6. Oil a large, rimmed baking sheet with olive oil, ribbing in well.
  7. Transfer mixture to baking sheet.
  8. Bake in oven, stirring well every half an hour. (this is very important)    Depending on how much liquid you have in the tray, this could take from one to three hours.  You can turn down the oven temperature as you feel you are getting close to the desired consistency.