Category Archives: Food Blog

One pot Summer Quinoa salad, Tahini-Orange dressing.

A quick Summer Salad that is made all in one pot. It can be served straight away (aka warm),  at room temperature,  or cold. We like it best cold, but that’s completely up to you of course.
I mean, what’s not to love about a salad that can be made all in one pot right?
You start by heating some olive oil in a large pot and cook some onion, garlic and veggies. Then you add the Quinoa,  add the rest of the ingredients and like magic,  15 minutes later you have the best Summer Quinoa salad of your life. Perfect for lunch or dinner over a bed of some greens, or as a side.
The Tahini Orange dressing takes the recipe to a whole new level 
Before you know it,  you’ll be making this one pot Summer Quinoa Salad, all Summer long.

INGREDIENTS:


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium chopped onion
1 medium carrot,  peeled and chopped
1 cellery stalk, chopped
1 garlic clove,  peeled and chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium tomato, green top removed,  chopped
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups hot vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup chickpeas from can, drained
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup fresh corn, removed from ear or frozen

Tahini Orange Dressing:
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup orange juice, about one
Juice from half a lemon
1 heaped tablespoon tahini
1 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
2 teaspoons Coconut aminos
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
A dash or two of franks hot sauce

1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup basil leafs, torn or chopped
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
Chili flakes
Extra orange or lemon wedges for serving

INSTRUCTIONS:


Place a medium pot over medium heat. Add two tablespoons of olive oil,  add onion and cook until glossy, about 4 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables in the order mentioned above stirring while doing so.  Carrot, cellery, garlic,  bell pepper and the tomato. Season with salt and pepper. Stir for two minutes and then add the quinoa,  give it a stir and combine well with all the vegetables in the pan.
Now add the hot stock, bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 13 minutes. Turn off the heat and let rest uncovered for 5 minutes. Tip the Quinoa into a large serving dish.  Add the fresh herbs and carefully spoon thru to combine.
Sprinkle with the chopped pistachios and decorate with orange or lemon wedges if desired. Serve with the Tahini Orange dressing .
To make the Tahini orange dressing,  simply combine all the ingredients in a small jar and shake to mix.  This dressing is delicious on all sorts of salads,  so I advise you to bookmark it. Enjoy!

Oatmeal banana breakfast muffins with cookie dough crumble

Where to start with these Oatmeal Banana breakfast muffins? They are the best, everyone in my family loves them and I can’t seem to bake them fast enough to keep up with the demand. 
As you know I love baked Oatmeal,  but at a certain point you want something else in the morning.  Something even easier, better and more delicious.  Also more suitable for warmer weather.

They are so simple to make, I blend the wet ingredients in the blender, then poor this over the dry ingredients in a large bowl,  give it a stir and scoop into lined muffin tins. Sprinkle with plenty of the topping and bake, that’s it.
The great thing about these Oatmeal banana breakfast muffins is that you can also make these well ahead of time and store them in the freezer. Just pop them in the microwave to re-heat for a bit before serving. I actually microwave them for one minute from frozen, and they are warm and yummy and taste like freshly baked.

I almost forgot to mention the topping, the best part of course. The topping tastes like cookie dough and forms big lumps, just the way I like it and once baked,  has a slight crunch too it. You’ll love it!
These  Oatmeal banana breakfast muffins are also the perfect treat for when that afternoon sweet tooth hits.

Oatmeal banana muffin

Makes 6 jumbo muffins or 8-10 smaller ones.

INGREDIENTS:

Dry:
1.5 c. oat flour
1 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 c. chocolate chips
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
Wet:
1/2 c. Greek yogurt
1/4 cup natural oil
2 ripe bananas, peeled
2 large eggs at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. stevia extract or 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
2 tbsp. honey

Topping:

3 tbsp. light brown sugar
1/2 c. All purpose flour
2 tbsp.  Natural oil or cold butter

INSTRUCTIONS:

Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F.
In your blender, add all the wet ingredients and blitz until smooth.

Meanwhile add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl,  also the chocolate chips and give everything a good stir.

Pour the smooth batter from the blender over the dry ingredients and stir with a spatula until just combined.
Scoop into lined muffin tins, I use 6 large muffin tins or you can make 8-10 smaller ones. You have to adjust the baking time, see below.

Make the topping by adding all these ingredients to a smaller bowl, and stir to combine. You can use your fingers to crumble the dough. Place a good amount on top of each muffin.

Place the muffins on a rack in the middle of the oven and bake for 25 min for 6 jumbo muffins or 20 min for 8 medium muffins. But since every oven is different,  I advise you to always do the wooden skewer test, when inserted in the middle of the muffin, it should come out just dry, then they are done.

Enjoy!

Gluten free Brownies

Brownies are probably the most comforting dessert I can think of and what’s even more comforting is how easy and uncomplicated they are.
I served these at my last minute birthday party and they were gone in ten minutes,  no joke.
(I was hoping for leftovers,  but not a chance)
The gluten free flour blend is home made but I imagine this Gluten free Brownies recipe will work with store bought gluten free flour as well. Below is my own flour mix which doesn’t contain xanthan gum or guar gum.

INGREDIENTS:

200 gr butter
200 gr dark chocolate
3 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tsp instant coffee
200 gr rice syrup
115 gr gluten free flour blend *see note
40 gr cocoa
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 – 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Line a baking tin of 20 x 20 cm approximately with parchment paper and spray with oil or pam.
Pre heat oven to 180C/350 F.
Melt butter and chocolate in a non stick saucepan on low heat until smooth stirring with a rubber spatula, add the coffee and vanilla and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile in a large bowl mix together the flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda, whisk to combine.
Once the chocolate has cooled,  stir in the rice syrup.  In a large bowl whisk the eggs and add the melted chocolate slowly and mix to combine well.
Stir in the flour and mix with rubber spatula until combined. 
Add the chocolate chips if using and pour in to baking pan.
Place in the middle of the oven and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes. It should still a a bit of a wobble in the center when you tap the baking tin.
Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting into squares.
Enjoy!

GLUTEN FREE FLOUR BLEND
200 gr brown rice flour
200 gr white rice flour
100 gr corn flour
50 gr tapioca
4 tbsp. Psyllium husk powder
2 tbsp flax flour

Mix all these thoroughly and keep in a jar for all recipes like bread,  buns, pancakes and brownies.
Note that there is a lot of psyllium powder in here, this is to bind the flours during cooking instead of xanthan gum or  guar gum. You may need a little extra fluid in your recipe.

Healthy Granola Bars, extra protein!

I’ve said this a million times, but I am a serial-snacker. I need to be able to reach out and grab something no matter where I am, and luckily I always can. I have a lot of recipes for healthy snack as you can see here. I love love bars. They are so perfect for any occasion. To take to work, or to take from the kitchen down the corridor to your home office, like in my case or to give to the kids to take to school. Or even after a gym session.

They are loaded with fibre, healthy fats (hello omega-3) and of course oats! Oats are a true power house and one of the healthiest grains around. Oats are also loaded with important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. And even contain protein.

The wonderful thing about these bars is that they don’t fall apart, like most healthy bars. And bars that do stick together are usually loaded with sugar (used as glue). The trick here is the egg, it’s perfect and also adds more nutrition. I prefer to use dark chocolate because it contains less sugar, but you can use chocolate chips if you prefer. Also change up fruit and nuts as you please. All of that doesn’t matter and is according to taste. I love apricots because they contain a lot of potassium.

To make this vegan, simply replace egg with a chia egg or flax egg by using one tablespoon of seeds plus three tablespoons water. Let it sit for 10 minutes before mixing in with the rest of the ingredients.



INGREDIENTS:

• 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
• 1 cup oat flour
• ¼ cup protein powder, I use rice protein
• ¼ cup melted coconut oil
• 1/4 cup almond butter
• 1/3 cup rice syrup, or maple syrup
• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 3/4 cup roughly chopped pecans or nuts of choice.
• 1/4 cup sesame, pumpkin and sunflower seeds
• 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
• ¼ cup chopped dried apricots, and/or raisins
• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 2 x 1/4 cup chopped 78% dark chocolate
• 1 large egg
• 1 – 2 tbsp. water



INSTRUCTIONS:

Pre heat oven to 350 F / 180 C.

Start by making your own oat flour by blending oats in a food processor.

Then in a large non-stick frying pan, toast the nuts gently for a few minutes. Then add the seeds as well and toast for another minute or two. Transfer to a plate to cool.
In a large bowl mix oats, oat flour and protein powder. Stir to combine.

In a small saucepan, gently heat coconut oil, almond butter and rice syrup until soft and combined, add the vanilla and mix. Remove from heat and let cool.

Add the cooled nuts, seeds, coconut flakes, apricots/raisins together with the salt to the bowl with the oats in it. Stir to combine. Also add a quarter cup chopped chocolate and stir through.

Now beat the egg in a small bowl and add to the dry ingredients together with the cooled oil and syrup mixture. Stir to combine.
Once combined well, pick up a small mount and squeeze together in the palm of your hand. If it sticks together well, it’s ready to bake. Otherwise add a tablespoon of water and combine again.

Now place the mixture in a baking tin lined with parchment paper and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting into bars. I prefer to let the tin sit in the fridge overnight before cutting.
In a small heat proof bowl microwave the remaining quarter cup chocolate at 10 second intervals until melted. Cut the bars into preferred size and drizzle with the chocolate using a small spoon.
Place in a Tupperware and keep in the fridge for about 6 days. You can also freeze these.

Enjoy!