Category Archives: Food Blog

Köfte with Tahini Yogurt sauce

Köfte

Köfte are Middle Eastern sausage-shaped meatballs, often grilled on a stick. They can be made from either ground lamb, beef, or a combination.They’re perfect for the barbecue, or can be fried in the pan or even baked in the oven. This recipe is simple and delicious and all it needs is a salad and good flatbread.

You can watch a quick video here

INGREDIENTS:

Köfte:

500 gr minced Beef
1 small onion, grated about 1/4 cup
1 clove garlic,  grated
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp dried parsley or 1 tbsp fresh
1/2 tsp dried mint
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp all spice
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 egg

Tahini Yoghurt sauce:

1 cup (greek style)Yoghurt
Squeeze of lemonbjui
1 tbsp. Tahini
1/2 tsp dried garlic and 1 tsp dried onion powder
Salt & pepper

Flatbread to serve.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Combine all ingredients for the Köfte in a bowl and mix until evenly combined. Shape the meat mixture into sausage shaped meatballs, wetting your hands as necessary to prevent sticking. At this point you can also form the meat around skewers about 4 1/2 inches long. To secure the meat on the skewer, open and close your fingers along it, moving up and down the skewer and flattening the meat. Refrigerate the skewers until you are ready to grill.
Otherwise heat a frying pan to medium hot and  cook the Köfte for about 5 minutes until cooked thru.  Mix the ingredients for the Tahini sauce. Serve over flatbread with a salad, yogurt, and plenty of sauce. Enjoy!

Cakey Sweet Potato Brownies

Let’s have a chat about these Brownies, these super soft and cakey Brownies.

They’re so unbelievably good that I don’t even know where to start. I’m not kidding either, they taste like Chocolate Birthday cake, and that’s not even my own comment. Someone actually said that while eating one of these babies. Very soft and chocolaty and pure indulgence. But…the most amazing part is that they are fat free, and I made them sugar free too. I have made them at least 9 or 10 times the past month and we just can’t get enough of them. I honestly don’t know what magic happens when you put sweet potato mash in a brownie recipe but believe me, it’s real magic.
I microwave a medium sweet potato in the morning (after piercing it with a skewer a few times) and forget about it until I am ready to bake. You could even do this the night before. For a video click here.
Then you mash the peeled sweet potato and add it to the batter, instead of butter. If you don’t want to bake with Stevia you can omit the applesauce and Stevia and substitute it for 1/4 to 1/3 cup Maple syrup or regular sugar.

INGREDIENTS:

2 eggs
1/4 cup apple sauce * see note
1/2 cup Greek yoghurt
1/2 cup mashed sweet potato
2 tsp. liquid Stevia extract * see note
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
1/4 cup small chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS


Pre heat the oven to 180C/350F
Line a square tin 20x20cm/8″x8″ with baking parchment and oil lightly.
Pierce the medium sized sweet potato a few times with a skewer and microwave on high for about 3 minutes, turn the potato over and microwave for 2 to 3 more minutes until soft.
I always place the potato on a folded paper kitchen towel.
Let cool completely, remove the skin and mash.
In a bowl beat the two eggs, add the yoghurt, the apple sauce, stevia, vanilla and mix until combined. Add the sweet potato mash and mix well. Now add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. You’ll notice the batter is quite thick, but spongy, this is good.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and place on a rack in the middle of the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes. Test with a wooden skewer to see if the brownies are done.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely before cutting into 9 squares.
These are best kept in the refrigerator if not eaten the same day. I have roughly calculated the calories in one square and they are about 100 calories each. Awesome right? If you make them with maple syrup or sugar they will be a bit more, but still very OK.

Enjoy!

  • NOTE: omit the applesauce and Stevia and substitute it for 1/4-1/3 cup Maple syrup.

Cod and Shrimp in a Lemon cream sauce

This recipe for Cod and Shrimp in a lemon cream sauce is probably the easiest recipe on the blog. The seafood is baked in a delicious cream sauce in the oven, so there’s barely any hands-on time involved, and the result is a melt in your mouth dinner, that even your most demanding guests will love.
You can serve it with anything you like,  such as rice, pasta or French bread to mop up the amazing sauce and a nice salad on the side or your favorite veggies.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 x medium white fish fillets (cod, tilapia , hake etc…)
  • 1 cup clean peeled shrimp
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 garlic, peeled and grated
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill or 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tbsp fresh chives or 1 tsp dried chives
  • 1 tbsp capers (optional)
  • Salt & pepper
  • butter for baking dish
  • 1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs or one to two tbsp. dried
  • some olive oil or melted butter for drizzling over breadcrumbs
  • Fresh parsley or chives and lemon wedges, to  serve

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 200C / 400F

Season fish and shrimp with salt and pepper on both sides and place in a butter baking dish, add the capers if using.

Place cream, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, wine, dill, chives, salt and pepper in a small pan and bring to a very low simmer, until smooth. Pour sauce over fish and shrimp. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and drizzle with a teaspoon or two of olive oil or butter.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until fish is just cooked. Remove from oven.
Scatter some Parsley or chives over the fish and serve straight away.
Serve with rice, pasta or bread and a vegetable of choice.

Enjoy.

Olive oil Zucchini Banana Bread with chocolate chips

Olive oil Zucchini Banana Bread with chocolate chips

Shredded zucchini and mashed banana work perfectly together and ensure that this nutritious loaf stays nice and moist. The banana adds sweetness so there is no need to add too much sugar.
It’s the best of all quick breads if you ask me. With the added chocolate chips to make it a real treat. Lightly sweet and perfectly fluffy and moist, and very healthy too.


INGREDIENTS:

WET
• 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium bananas)
• 2 large eggs
• 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
• 1/4 cup honey
• 1/3 cup mild olive oil
• 2 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1 1/2 cup grated zucchini, don’t pack to measure, instead fit loosely in the cup. (about 1 medium/large zucchini) SEE NOTE about drying zucchini*


DRY
• 1 cup oat flour, made by simply grinding oats in a food processor
• 1 cup brown rice flour or whole wheat all purpose flour
• 2 teaspoon baking powder
• pinch salt
• 1/2 cup chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS:


1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Spray one 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, add the the first six ingredients and whisk to combine.
3. In another bowl combine the flours, baking powder and salt, stir in the grated zucchini. Add the wet ingredients, and stir with a spatula, now add the chocolate chips and stir thru.
4. Turn batter out into the prepared pan , smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.


5. Bake for about 55 minutes or until the top is golden, the center is set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Allow bread to cool in pan for about 15 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.

Note – place grated zucchini on a clean kitchen towel and roll it up, wring out as much moist as you can.

Enjoy!

Greek Steak Souvlaki with Feta and Cucumber Pomegranate salsa

Now that summer is here I can’t wait to get the Bbq on, and these Steak Souvlaki skewers are perfect for grilling. Tender pieces of Beef are marinated for a few hours with Greek herbs and spices. The marinade is so amazing that you can use it on any kind of meat. The red wine vinegar is a key ingredient as it tenderizes the meat and gives the dish that typical Greek flavour.  
The smell when the beef is grilling is insane – you can really smell the oregano and it’s almost as if your in a Greek Tavern, (with a bit of imagination and perhaps a glass of Retsina in your hand).   If you ever go to Greece make sure to bring back some Oregano, they sell it dried in bushes and it’s the best you’ll ever find.

Serves: 4 – 6

INGREDIENTS:

• 2 lb / 1 kg beef (steak), thinly sliced
Marinade
• 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and grated
• 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tbsp. chopped parsley
• 1 tsp. smoked paprika
• 1½ tbsp dried oregano
• a pinch of cinnamon
• a pinch of ground cloves
• a pinch of dry mint
• 1/2 tsp dry chili flakes
• salt and pepper


Cucumber Pomegranate Salsa:
• 1 large beef tomato, de-seeded and diced
• 1 cucumber, peeled, de=seeded and diced
• 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
• 1/2 red spanish onion, peeled and finely chopped
• a pinch of sugar
• salt and pepper
• a drizzle of olive oil
• a little squeeze of lemon juice
• 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
• 1/2 tsp.dry mint
• 1/2 tsp. dry oregano


To serve:
• 4 – 6 Pitas or baguette
• extra lettuce
• more Feta to crumble on top

INSTRUCTIONS:


1. Place the Marinade ingredients and the beef in a ziplock bag and massage to mix. Marinate for at least 2 hours or up to 6. Remove from marinade and skewer on to wooden or metal pins alternating with pepper and onion pieces.
Salsa
1. Combine ingredients in a bowl.
Cook Beef
1. Heat a griddle pan over high heat.
2. Cook the skewers on high for a few minutes until crispy and brown then turn them over and cook for an other two minutes.
3. Remove and serve straight away. Serve with lots of Pita or Baguette

Enjoy!


Strawberry Ice Cream Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches (vegan)

 

These Strawberry Ice Cream Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches are a great (weekend) project, fun to make and sooo delicious to eat. The kids will love helping you make them. You can assemble them completely ahead of time and keep them in the freezer, ready to eat at any time. The combination of chewy chocolate cookies and the fresh strawberry ice cream is the best ever. 


Prep time : Cookies, 15 minutes plus baking. Ice cream, 10 minutes plus freezing
Cooking time: 12 minutes
Makes : 6 (large) Sandwiches

INGREDIENTS STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM;

• 300 grs / 10.5 oz , about 1 1/2 cups (frozen )Strawberries, hulled
• 4 tbsp. Agave Syrup or according to taste
• 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
• 1 tbsp. tapioca flour* (see notes)
• 1 cup Soy or Oat whipping cream

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Freeze the strawberries the night before if you are using fresh ones.
2. Put the strawberries with the agave syrup, the tapioca and vanilla in a blender and blend until very smooth.
3. Whip the soy cream until stiff peaks form and fold the strawberries thru the whipped cream.
4. Place in an ice cream maker or in a container in the freezer. If you freeze it in a container you need to whip it after about two hours to avoid crystallization. Freeze preferably over night, but it should be frozen after about 4 to 6 hours depending on your freezer. 

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES:
WET INGREDIENTS;
• 1 tbsp ground flax plus 1 tsp. tapioca flour, plus 3 tbsp. water mixed
• 1/2 C. solid coconut oil/fat
• 3/4 C. coconut sugar
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
DRY INGREDIENTS;
• 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. (gluten free) flour 
• 1/4 C. cocoa
• 1/2 tsp. baking soda
• 1/2 tsp. pink Himalaya salt
• 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
• 1/2 C. mini vegan chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Start by soaking the flax/tapioca mix and let stand for about 10 minutes while you prepare the rest.
2. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.
3. In an other bowl, mix the wet ingredients and combine with the dry.
4. At this point I like to place the cookie dough on a piece of parchment paper and roll it into a cylinder.
5. Then I place it in the refrigerator for at least two hours or if you are in a hurry in the freezer for half an hour.
6. This will give you the perfect cookie consistency when baking. They dough needs to be really cold!!!
7. Then when you’re ready to bake, pre heat the oven to 175° C / 350° F
8. Shape dough into balls and press them a little flat with your hand. Lay them onto the baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
9. Bake for 12 minutes.
10. The cookies may look a little soft still but they will continue to cook on the baking sheet as thy cool. 
11. When you take them out of the oven, immediately press on a few more chocolate chips, for prettiness. And because it’s so darn delicious!
12. Let cool completely. I keep mine in the refrigerator because I love how they become chewy.
13. To make the ice cream sandwich, take two cookies. Scoop out one big ball of strawberry ice cream*(see notes) and place it on one cookie. Gently press down with a spoon first and then place the second cookie on top being careful not to break.
14. Press the sandwiches in some sprinkles if you like.

Notes: 

1). Seeing tapioca as an ice cream ingredient may seem odd  at first, but it actually makes the ice cream so much creamier. 

2). I scooped the ice cream balls ahead of time and placed them in a container and back into the freezer until I was ready to “build” the sandwiches.

Enjoy!

Parpadelle Puttanesca with Lemon Pangrattato and fried Halloumi

Parpadelle Puttanesca with Lemon Pangrattato and fried Halloumi

This is one of our favourite Summer dishes. It’s easy, quick to make and FULL of flavour. Thick noodles covered in Puttanesca sauce,topped with fried Halloumi and sprinkled with a generous amount of lemony Pangrattato. Most of the ingredients are pantry staples.

Serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time total: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

Pangrattato

  • 1/4 cup  extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup  fresh breadcrumbs made from stale bread if you have it, otherwise fresh is fine
  • 2 tbsp. thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

Pasta Puttanesca

  • 16 oz. 400g Parpadelle or Fettucine
  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 4 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • (28-oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 c. green olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1/4 c. capers
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:

To make the pangrattato;
Heat  1/4 cup  oil in a pan to medium heat and cook the breadcrumbs until crisp and golden, about 4 minutes . Remove from pan and stir through the lemon zest, thyme and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Start boiling water in a large pot (don’t forget to add a generous amount of salt once boiling) while you make the Puttanesca sauce. Also slice Halloumi and drain on kitchen paper.
Heat a large frying pan and add the 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil, the 3 cloves of smashed garlic, the 4 anchovy fillets, stir for a minute or two until fragrant. Then add the remaining ingredients and simmer for about 5 – 10 minutes until tomatoes are soft.
Heat a non stick frying pan to medium high heat and fry the Halloumi, cooking it on both sides until very golden brown.
Cook the pasta according to package directions.
Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the water, and return the pasta to the pan. Add the Puttanesca tomato sauce, parsley and enough reserved water to loosen and toss to combine.
Place Pasta in a large serving dish, top with Halloumi and sprinkle with  the Pangrattato. Serve straight away.
Enjoy!
Need more pasta inspiration?

Salted Peanut Caramel Bars

Salted Peanut Caramel Bars

This one is for all the candy bar lovers out there. Make them at home and don’t feel guilty about it, you totally deserve it. Besides, they’re pretty healthy.
With a crispy cookie-like base and heaps of gooey salted peanut-laden caramel, these bars are three layers of WOW!
Yep, three layers of WOW, that’s right! It’s a sweet-and-salty lover’s dream come true.
You need to make these at least once in your life, or twice or a hundred times, who’s judging?
I can tell you one thing, our self-control was taken to test, we had a hard time not scoffing them down all at once.

INGREDIENTS:

COOKIE BASE:
• 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
• 1 1/3 cup oats
• 1/2 cup shredded dry coconut
• 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
CARAMEL PEANUT FILLING:
• 1/3 cup rice syrup
• 1/2 cup coconut cream (fat on the top of a can of coconut milk)
• 1 tbsp peanut butter
• 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
• A pinch of salt
• 3/4 cup lightly salted peanuts
CHOCOLATE TOPPING:
• 3.5 oz (100 gr) dark chocolate bar, chopped
• 1 tbsp coconut oil

INSTRUCTIONS:

COOKIE BASE:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8-inch square pan with greased foil or parchment paper with overhanging sides.
2. In a food processor, combine all the ingredients for the crust and pulse until fine crumb. Test by pressing some “dough” between your thumb and index finger, when it sticks together, it’s ready for the next step. Press evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Prick all over with a fork
3. Bake until edges are golden and center is set, 15 minutes. Let cool completely.


CARAMEL PEANUT FILLING:

1. Add the rice syrup, coconut cream and peanut butter to a heavy bottomed pan and cook over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes, until very thick. Add the vanilla and stir. Let it cool a little bit. Sprinkle some peanuts over the cookie base, then spread the caramel evenly on top and sprinkle with more peanuts. Let it set in the freezer for 20 minutes before finishing with the chocolate layer.

CHOCOLATE TOPPING:

1. In a medium saucepan over medium low heat melt chocolate with coconut oil until smooth. Immediately poor chocolate over the top of the bars, using a spatula if needed to spread it out evenly. Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes until filling and topping are set
2. Use overhanging foil or parchment to lift bars out the pan, and slice as desired. Bars are best stored in the fridge.


Enjoy!

Myra

More Bars to make:


Passion Fruit and Blood Orange Ponzu Salmon Poke Bowl

Seriously delicious POKE Bowls!

You can indulge in these hearty bowls of healthy goodness without any feeling of guilt. They’re simpleto make and very delicious.

Fun fact: Poke (pronounced POKE-AY, not POKE-EE), began with fishermen seasoning the cut-offs from their catch to serve as a snack. Traditional Poke seasonings have been influenced by Japanese and other Asian cuisines. These include soy sauce, green onions, and sesame oil. Others include furikake which is a mix of dried fish, sesame seeds, and dried seaweed, chili pepper, limu (seaweed), sea salt, inamona (roasted crushed candlenut), fish eggs, wasabi, and onions. Other variations of poke may include raw tuna and various kinds of shellfish.

This here is my version and of course, with my personal twist. I have added some tropical sweetness to give the Salmon extra Aloha flavour.

serves 4
INGREDIENTS:

• 1 lb. sashimi grade salmon cubed into 3/4 inch pieces
• 3 cups steamed white jasmine rice
• 1 cup Spinach
• 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
• 1 cup sliced cucumber, lengthwise
• 1 cup carrot ribbons
• 1 Nori sheet, cut into little strips
• 4 green scallions cut into sticks and sliced lengthwise but not all the way thru, like little brooms.
• small bunch cilantro
• 2 avocados cut in half, skin removed and sliced thin
• 1 blood orange, sliced for decorating
• 1 lemon, quartered for decorating and serving
• 2 tbsp. toasted black sesame seeds for sprinkling on top.


For the dressing:
• 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
• 4 tbsp. blood orange juice
• 1 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
• 2 tsp. Ketjap Manis
• 1 passion fruit pulp
• juice of 1 lime
• 1 clove garlic, peeled and grated
• 1 – 2 teaspoons fresh ginger grated

INSTRUCTIONS:

Make the dressing. Place the salmon in a bowl. Cover the salmon with the dressing and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for a few hours, or up to 6.
Soak scallions in a medium bowl of cold water until they begin to curl, about 10 minutes. Drain and shake dry.
Cut the cucumber into ribbons and roll up.
Cut the peeled carrots into ribbons too.
Place Rice in a bowl, and basically add all the ingredients one by one, adding the salmon last, drizzle on some of the marinade.

You could also make a “Poke Bar” and let each person make their own bowl.

Enjoy!
Myra

Broccoli Salad

With Summer on its way, it’s great to have lots of salad recipes on hand. This Broccoli salad is so colorful and fun to make, and obviously fantastic to eat. The great thing about this particular salad is that you can even make it a day in advance, it holds up really well, making it perfect for Bbq’s and Picnics.

It’s very simple to make, start by soaking the cranberries in warm water.
Then you caramelize the pecan nuts with the butter and sugar.
As these cool, you steam the broccoli florets for just 3 minutes in the microwave. You rinse them under cold water and drain.
The rest of the ingredients are then added and tossed with the delicious simple dressing.


⏰ Prep time : 15 minutes
🍝 Cooking time : 15 minutes
🍴 Serves : 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main course


INGREDIENTS:

• 1 large head of Broccoli, cut into florets
• 1/2 cup of pecans
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon butter
• pinch of salt
• 1/3 cup dried cranberries
• 1/3 cup pomegranate arils, reserve some to scatter on top before serving
• 4 oz. chopped cooked ham
• 4 oz. grated aged cheddar, coarsely grated or finely chopped
• 2 tbsp. chopped chives
• 2 tbsp. chopped parsley, (1 tbsp. goes in and the other on top)
• 1/2 cup sour cream
• 1/2 cup mayonnaise
• a good squeeze of lime juice
• 2-3 tbsp. milk
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Start by soaking the cranberries in warm water.
2. Then heat a small pan on medium heat and melt the butter. Add the Pecans, salt and the tablespoon of sugar.
3. Keep stirring until sugar is caramelizing and the nuts are golden.
4. Transfer to a plate lined with a piece of parchment paper and make sure to separate the nuts or they will form clusters.
5. Steam the broccoli florets for three minutes, rinse under cold water and drain very well.
6. For the dressing mix the sour cream, mayonnaise, milk, lime juice, sugar and season with salt and pepper.
7. Drain the cranberries and pat dry with kitchen paper.
8. Toss all the remaining ingredients over the broccoli and mix carefully.
9. Add the dressing and toss again.
10. Place all on top of some salad leafs on a big platter to serve.
11. Sprinkle with the pomegranate arils and some parsley.

ENJOY!
MYRA