how to summon Spring? cacao crepes with banana and blackberry jelly

I’m officially sick and tired of this Spring-called weather. Whoever pulls the strings up there is either mentally unstable or simply mean. This so-called Spring is an error, something is broken in matrix, it’s beginning of May and I’m still wearing my high top sheep wool slippers. And I had to switch on the heating (although having a look on my energy bill should heat me up). 9 degrees Celsius (feels like 6°C) doesn’t call for short sleeves and ditsy floral dresses that are abandoned in my wardrobe for months. Spring – you’re urgently called to be present! I understand that North Scotland is not the hottest place on Earth (either in Spring or Summer), but it’s not Alaska for God’s sake.

That’s why, against all odds lets make a very Summery recipe today. Maybe it will cheer me up while I rest my feet on the radiator.

These fruity crepes are just in time for a weekend breakfast or afternoon tea. We have three flavours here – slightly dry cacao pancakes, sweet banana and slightly sour blackberry jelly. This combination makes the dish not overly sweet. Adults should like it, and kids will surely be delighted with this combination. Especially since we have quite a lot of goodness here – cacao is a source of magnesium and gives happiness, bananas are full of vitamins, minerals and natural fiber, blackberries are full of goodness, all without artificial additives. So basically if you don’t mind carbs – just yummy. It’s a great Spring and Summer meal (if your Spring and Summer is warm) when your body calls for something lighter, juicy and fun.

I give approximate amounts of ingredients for crepes – I always guesstimate the amounts and if I want thinner crepes, I make slightly more liquid batter – it’s easier to spread it on the pan. About 10 pancakes came out of this amount of ingredients. But it all depends on your personal preferences and own way of frying crepes and, of course, the size of the pan.

For making blackberry jelly, apart from fruits, you can either use water or blackberry juice (or other fruit juice). You can also swap blackberries with cherries, blueberries or blackcurrants. Choose the one you like the most or the one that are available for you. You can also use frozen fruits if you don’t have fresh on hand.


cacao crepes with banana and blackberry jelly


NOTE: my cup is 250ml regular glass

INGREDIENTS for crepes batter:

  • about 1½ cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp sugar (or sugar replacement)
  • milk of your choice
  • 3 tsp raw organic cacao
  • clarified butter for frying (or coconut oil)

INGREDIENTS for blackberry jelly:

  • 2 handfuls of blackberries
  • some water (or blackberry juice)
  • about 2 tsp potato starch or corn starch
  • sugar to taste (or sugar replacement)

ADDITIONALLY:

  • couple bananas
  • clarified butter for frying (or coconut oil)

DIRECTIONS

Prepare a traditional pancake batter: whisk together flour, baking powder, egg and milk add enough milk to be able to pour batter and spread it over the pan. Additionally add a little sugar (so that the pancakes are not bitter) and cacao. Mix everything thoroughly so there’s no cocoa lumps in it. I also always add a tablespoon of coconut oil or clarified butter to the batter (it helps crepes not getting sticky to the pan).

Heat the pan adding a tablespoon of clarified butter or coconut oil and pour your first crepe. Usually the firs crepe is always imperfect, so don’t you worry an keep frying. When the crepe pan heat up properly you should be able to get beautiful crepes, without even using any fat. Make rather thin crepes so that when the banana is wrapped in them it’s not going to be too thick. When you make a batch of crepes put them aside and cover with a pan or a plate to keep them warm and soften the edges.

Now it’s time for jelly. Place blackberries in a small saucepan and add a little water – just enough that the fruits are in water but not covered with it. Add sugar to taste and heat it up, let it simmer for a minute. In a small cup, combine potato starch or corn starch and 2-3 tsp of cold water. Pour in the starch and stir quickly, but as gently as possible, so as not to crush the fruits. Simmer until you get jelly-like texture and clear colour. If you feel like it’s not thick enough add a little bit more starch (but always combine it first with a little bit of water, never add straight to the fruits because you’ll get lumps). When you get consistency that you like switch off the heat and let it cool down slightly.

Peel bananas and cut them lengthwise in half. Wrap each half with a crepe. Heat the frying pan adding butter or coconut oil, and fry crepes for a few minutes on both sides, over low heat, so that the banana has time to warm up and soften.

Serve warm, right after frying – crepes are then crispy, and banana is sweet and soft – it melts in your mouth. Decorate crepes with warm or cold blackberry jelly and enjoy 🙂

broccoli stir fry with red rice and oriental sauce

Again old recipe inspired by Tesco magazine I used to collect when I was shopping there. I rarely buy from Tesco nowadays but this stir fry was very good. And because at the moment we are in a stage of trying different things I went back to this recipe. We eat less meat now so we’ve decided to incorporate rice and some grains into our diet. And soon we’re planing to make our own bread, so if it will be somehow successful I will post you about that.

We try not to label foods as good – keto and not good – carbs. Rather – nutritious or not nutritious. The one that actually serving us and not serving. And because recently we don’t eat so much meat as before, we need to replace it with other foods. And will see, in couple months we might come back to keto if we won’t be entirely happy with this meal plan. And as we both work full time, I try to make our diet as flexible as possible, so it meet the needs of both of us. And I would rather call it a lifestyle than a diet, because the word “diet” is associated with some kind of restrictions. And it’s more a matter of our own choice, not something imposed in advance by someone else. It seems to me that it’s just a healthier approach, that gives more freedom and does not make us feel guilty if for some reason we “go off the road”.

Our chosen type of rice is either brown, red, black or wild.

White rice is the most popular variety of rice, but the least nutritious. In the production of white rice grains, the top layers are removed along with the most valuable vitamins, minerals and fiber. As with most of the grains, the husk contains the most nutritional value, if we remove the husk, we will have pure carbohydrates. Brown rice is rich in numerous nutrients, as it is only deprived of inedible husk. Its grains remain “unclean”, and therefore contain fiber, magnesium, iron and B vitamins. They also have high fiber content. Red and black rice is paddy, medium grain, very similar to brown but with a red or black husk. It contains many valuable nutrients. Of course, it all depends on where (on what soil) the rice is grown, as the nutrient content also depends on it. And whether pesticides or other chemicals have been used in its cultivation. Unfortunately, we are not always able to check this. Most of the times we can only trust that we buy a healthy product.

If you like oriental flavours this recipe will be perfect for you – mix of sweet, spicy tangy and salty taste with amazing aroma of sesame seed oil. Sesame seed oil so flavoursome, makes the whole kitchen smell like in a oriental restaurant.

I used red bell pepper to make this stir fry, but if you’re a fan of really spicy flavours you can add chilli peppers instead. Or simply add both. Red rice was my choice, but you can either use brown or wild rice – they both will work perfectly. All of them are very aromatic with a nice nutty flavour.


broccoli stir fry with red rice and oriental sauce


NOTE: my cup is regular 250ml glass

INGREDIENTS for stir fry:

  • 1 broccoli
  • 1 red sweet pepper (you can use chilli pepper instead of sweet)
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • bunch of spring onions
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup of red rice
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds

INGREDIENTS for sauce:

  • 1 tbsp of miso paste
  • 1 inch (2.5cm) fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or pressed through a press
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp of rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

DIRECTIONS

Boil the rice in salted water until tender. In a bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients and let it sit for a while.

Wash your broccoli, divide it into florets. Chop spring onions, cut the pepper into thin strips, ginger in very thin slices. Heat the olive oil in a wok and add broccoli. Season with salt and fry over a large heat until golden and semi-soft, add pepper and half of spring onions. Fry for a while, then add garlic and ginger chopped into thin slices.

Mix fried vegetables with cooked rice, pour over prepared sauce, sprinkle with sesame seeds and the rest of spring onions.

Bon Appetit!

4 ingredients Rafaello (no sugar)

Another Instagram inspired recipe. I think I need a rehab, because my head gets overloaded with all the Instagram photos and ideas I would like to try. And obviously there’s not enough time in the world I would be able to try them all. I got to the point that I consume more (content) than I can process, and I spend more time on it, that I could actually use for testing these ideas. My procrastination wins with each photo scrolled on IG, and I feel like soon I will need to bury my phone under the tree in front of my house. Some of you might know that feeling – you grab your phone just to check the emails and you wake up an hour later scrolling photos and reels on IG. There’s hardly any benefit from that, but when you catch yourself on that, it’s usually already too late and some of your time gets soaked by a black hole.

This annoys me because I’ve never had this tendency to endlessly scroll FB or watch whole seasons of Netflix series in one night (I hardly ever watch any series). So this time I’ve made a resolution and give myself a ban for Instagram. Before that though, I have this low carb Rafaello recipe for you, inspired by Instagram.

It’s super easy and quick, and if you love coconut I’m sure you’ll like it. I’m not a coconut fan but I like Rafaello, that’s why I was curious how it tastes. And although it doesn’t contain that crunchy wafer inside, that real Rafaello does, it’s actually quite good. I have to admit I didn’t add any sugar replacement to it, which for sure would make it better. So if you prefer sweet sweets add some sort of sugar (icing sugar) or sugar replacement. For sure next time I will add some sweetness to it.

Also if you don’t have a coffee grinder to grind dessicated coconut, you can use either coconut flour (but add teaspoon by teaspoon – not sure how it’s going to work) or coconut cream (very thick, much thicker than coconut milk). Most probably the second one will work much better as coconut flour will soak up all the moisture and might make your Rafaello quite dry.

It will literally take you couple minutes to prepare, plus about 30 minutes in the fridge. And as all low carb high fat snacks – you won’t need more 2-3 when you feel full (comparing to real Rafaello where you can eat whole box and you’ll still feel like it’s not enough).


4 ingredients Rafaello (no sugar)


NOTE: my cup is regular 250ml glass

INGREDIENTS for about 20 fat bombs:

  • 1½ cup dessicated coconut
  • 250g mascarpone
  • handful of almonds
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • optionally: xylitol or other sugar replacement

DIRECTIONS

Finely grind 1 cup of coconut using a coffee grinder. Put away the other ½ cup for sprinkle. Combine grinded coconut with mascarpone and vanilla extract, first using a spoon, then simply use your hand (if you use sugar replacement also add it). Using your hands make small balls a size of a walnut placing an almond in each of them. Coat in the remaining coconut and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Store in the fridge for 2-3 days.

apricot pancakes

That’s a really old recipe and really old photos, but I have a fondness for these apricot pancakes. Recipe comes from a recipe book from the 80’s. I’ve made them years ago, but still when I look at these photos it reminds me of hot Summer days when life was a bit more gentle. Not that I feel like life would be more harsh than ever, it’s just different than it used to be. But you know that feeling when you come back to some of your old memories – they always look happier and more colourful in your head (than they’ve really been, most probably). I guess everyone has these kind of memories, and mine are often somehow connected with food. Photos are not the best ones, but I still like looking at them, and they always make me smile inside.

That was the days when I was exploring recipe world, there was no one day with the same meal. It’s a really great recipe – 80’s were masters of making something out of nothing. The pancakes came out plump, delicate and I think that even without the addition of apricots (because there are no apricots in the original recipe) they would be delicious. I love apricots. I like all nutty flavours of fruit, and apricot has such a slightly nutty flavour for me. In addition, they have a beautiful colour – probably even peaches are not so pretty.

Pancakes are not the meal I would make often. First of all because I’m not a fan of frying (oil splashing everywhere, smell of frying, lots of cleaning after), second of all I try to avoid high carb foods. Although this recipe requires only couple spoons of flour, so it’s not a crime. These pancakes are going to be amazing as a treat yourself weekend breakfast or Summer dessert.

Being able to cook from scratch and make for yourself (and your loved ones) something you really enjoy eating is a great value. On the other hand eating something you don’t even like or enjoy makes me feel a bit sad. Eating good things it’s such a simple thing that can add value to your life, just try to spend some time and little bit of effort and you can make your life more pleasurable.

That’s why I want to encourage you to start cooking from scratch if you didn’t tried it yet. There’s a whole word of flavours, and I’m sure you’ll find the ones that will bring you instant joy and make your gut happy.


apricot pancakes


INGREDIENTS for about 10 pancakes:

  • 250 g curd cheese
  • 3-4 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp powder sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • few apricots
  • vegetable oil for frying

DIRECTIONS

Separate egg whites and whip them with a pinch of salt. Add sugar and curd cheese to egg yolks and mix it until smooth. Next add flour and baking powder, and combine (it will be very thick) at the end add whipped egg whites. Mix it gently using a spatula or spoon with folding motion. If it’s still to thick add a little bit of water or milk.

Now it’s time for apricots: wash them, separate seeds and chop them. Add them to pancake mix. Heat the pan with some vegetable oil. Using a spoon make small pancakes. Fry on a small heat until golden-brown on both sides. They are pretty gentle and might be tricky to flip, so better wait until one side gets nicely golden brown then flip it.

I made about 10 pancakes from that amount of ingredients – it’s definitely to little, because they were delicious!

🙂 Enjoy!

grilled aubergine and chickpeas salad with sumac dressing

I’m a sucker for a good salad. Recently salads became my go to lunch options, I just open my fridge early in the morning and I pack my luchbox with bunch of veg with occasional addition of meat, cheese or egg. Sometimes it’s even hard to call it a salad, it rather looks like someone placed randomly some foods with splash of olive oil and cream cheese on top (oh, cream cheese is like ice cream for keto-people – yummy). But at 6am that’s sometimes the pinnacle of my abilities.

If I’m more fancy and I get myself together to prepare something on the evening before, it looks more like that.

Although this one looks and tastes much better when freshly made, rather than on a next day, when aubergine becomes a bit soggy and discoloured. Grilled aubergine (and courgette…and peppers… and mushrooms…oh and onion) tastes like heaven, so before I even managed to complete preparing this salad for photos half of it was eaten by my partner (nightmare of food blogers – while you setting up a photo shoot space, your other half shouting from the kitchen: “will you need that veg? I already ate some!”)

Definitely I need to remember that I love grilled aubergine, and use more often my grilling pan that lives on the bottom of the cupboard – forgotten. Apart from being delicious, aubergine is simply beautiful with it’s shiny dark purple firm skin, I’m always amazed by their look. Technically aubergine is a fruit, but I guess apart from bunch of pen-pushers thinking about how to classify a plant or at what angle should the banana curve, no one cares. Aubergine is versatile – it can be baked, mashed into a dip, roast, grilled and cooked – as it easily absorbs other flavours, so it works great in meals rich in spices – like curry’s and stews. Aubergines have a high water content with almost no cholesterol or fat and are a source of vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, dietary fiber, folic acid, potassium, and manganese.

They are though a part of the nightshade family – which also include tomato and bell peppers – and in some cases are known to cause severe allergic reactions. So if you’ve never tried aubergine before and you have a history of food allergies , keep it in mind.

For the lucky ones that can eat aubergine without limits here’s a delicious recipe 🙂


grilled aubergine and chickpeas salad with sumac dressing


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 small aubergine
  • 150g can of chickpeas
  • baby salad leaves (spinach, different types of lettuce)
  • handful of cherry tomatoes
  • piece of feta cheese
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • couple tbsp olive oil

DIRECTIONS

Heat up a grill pan, drizzle a little bit of olive oil. Cut aubergine in about half inch (1-1.5cm) slices and grill couple minutes on each side. Set aside to cool down.

Prepare dressing: finely chop garlic (or use garlic press), crush it with pinch of salt, add lemon juice, olive oil, black pepper and sumac.

In a large bowl place a bunch of baby salad leaves, arrange slices of aubergine (you can chop them in smaller pieces), halves of cherry tomatoes and chickpeas. Crumble some feta cheese on top and drizzle with sumac dressing. Serve fresh.

You can store it in the fridge for up to two days, but it tastes the best when fresh.

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flourless chocolate and raspberry cupcakes

As you can probably tell baking is not my best skill 🙂 But it doesn’t bother me, as long as the final effect is tasty. I passionately can spend hours in the kitchen trying to make something pretty, usually inspired by sweet creations made by others – and most often it comes out like this. But as soon as I make a first bite and I can taste chocolate fluffiness, and creamy texture of mascarpone mixed with juicy raspberries it doesn’t matter how it looks like. For sugar eaters it might not be sweet enough, as I didn’t add any sugar or sugar replacement to mascarpone. But for me it’s sweet enough. I prefer to be able to taste slight bitterness of chocolate and gentle sweetness of fruits. I think cherries would be also delicious. Chocolate and cherries and chocolate and raspberries are my favourite combinations.

I used a muffin tray and baking paper cut in squares instead of proper cupcake liners. You can do the same or use fancy, colourful cupcake liners – they will look much prettier that’s for sure. I don’t bake often enough to have them on hand, that’s why I always use bits of baking paper.

It’s a perfect recipe for all of you who cannot tolerate gluten as these cupcakes are free from flour. They are made only with 4 ingredients: eggs, dark chocolate, butter and sugar replacement. With simple mix of mascarpone and fruits on top. These cupcakes are very light and that’s their downside – you won’t even notice when you eat them all, and you will need to make a new batch.



flourless chocolate and raspberry cupcakes


NOTES: my measuring cup is regular 250ml glass

INGREDIENTS for 12 cupcakes:

  • 100g dark chocolate (I’ve used Lindt 90% cocoa)
  • 100g butter
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup xylitol (or any other kind of sugar replacement or regular sugar, if you don’t mind)
  • 250 g mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup raspberries

DIRECTIONS

Break the chocolate in smaller pieces and place in a large glass bowl and melt over a double-boiler (pot with some boiling water, glass bowl placed inside, the bowl theoretically should not touch the surface of water but my usually touches and I didn’t manage to burn the chocolate yet). Add butter and stir until fully melted. Remove the bowl from the pot and let cool down to room temperature.

Now whip the egg whites. Separate the egg yolks and set them aside, we will use them later. In a bowl or a pot start whipping the egg whites, first on the slower program, after a minute or so you can use faster one (it will make you sure that all the whites are whipped and nothing stays on the bottom). Start adding sugar replacement and mix until you get soft peaks. I don’t like very sweet sweets, but if you feel like it’s not sweet enough for you, add more.

Heat the oven to about 160ºC.

Now go back to melted chocolate, if it’s room temperature add egg yolks and stir to combine. You can first add one spoon of chocolate to the egg yolks to warm them up, then pour them to the rest of chocolate.

Now slowly spoon by spoon start adding egg whites to chocolate, and stir gently using folding motion. You can easily do it using spatula or a big spoon. Always add egg whites to chocolate not the opposite, because whipped whites will deflate. You should get quite fluffy consistency.

Now fill up each cupcake liner, bake for about 25 minutes. After baking let it cool down completely.

Set aside couple raspberries and smash the rest with a fork. Whip mascarpone cheese with mashed raspberries. I used my icing kit to “decorate” cupcakes but mascarpone mixed with raspberries is not thick enough to keep the shape of icing tip, although still looks nicer than if I would use a spoon. Decorate each cupcake with couple raspberries and enjoy.

green peas, bacon and cheese fritatta

As I start my days quite early right now, I no longer have time for proper breakfast. So weekend is the time for me to have nice, decent and more time consuming breakfast. Today I would like you to have a look at this colourful, delicious fritatta. Usually this way of preparing eggs is not my favourite – I prefer fried or scrambled eggs with lots of fresh salad on a side, but this fritatta really surprised me. I only regret that I didn’t add more green peas (I love green peas by the way) because they added lots of freshness to this meal. Addition of feta cheese was also a good idea – it gives a mediterranean vibe and lots of lightness, a contrary to bacon and cheddar. In general great option for a hearty breakfast or lunch. Perfect as a low carb meal, even though green peas are not a ketogenic vegetable – you still keep your carbs low, obviously if you won’t have a slice of bread or toast with it. And it’s absolutely not needed here. If you place your fritatta on a bunch of fresh rocket leaves and garnish with fresh chopped herbs, you’ll get a delicious Summer dinner.

To make this fritatta it’s good to have a non stick pan, with quite thick bottom, so you won’t burn the eggs easily, covering the pan with lid will help to melt the cheese faster, without burning the bottom of the fritatta.

Choose delicious, juicy and sweet cherry tomatoes, preferably from your local supplier. If you choose tomatoes that had to travel thousands miles to finish on your plate, you can be sure that they didn’t managed to ripe on the bush, but during the long journey. So they didn’t managed to develop all the nutritional components as they should. In the ideal world we would have tomatoes that grow happily in the sun, not in the greenhouse. Hydroponic cultivation is gaining more and more popularity. In a small area, in a controlled atmosphere and irrigated with a mixture of chemicals, they grow huge bushes. That’s why in stores tomatoes are cheap even in winter. One bush, grown in this way, can bear up to 25 kilos of fruit. This kind of tomatoes don’t see any sun and most of them don’t even grow in the soil. Why don’t they smell and don’t taste like tomatoes? – that is why.

If we think that we eat healthy because we eat vegetables, we can often be very wrong. If the only source of our vegetables will be those from the supermarket packed in plastic, imported from distant countries, we can almost be sure that their nutritional values will be very poor. If you look for fruit and vegetables from a local grower, you can be more sure that what you get your body will have more value. Such vegetables will sometimes be more expensive than in the supermarket, less diverse, but isn’t it better to eat something that has some value and will nourish our body than something that will give us only a illusory sense of health and, as a result, malnutrition and disease?

There’s one more thing about small local growers – they usually grow their crops not for lust of earning as much money as possible. Lots of them are truly passionate about what they grow, they are often small family run buisnesses so they also eat what they grow. And if they are honest they will be happy to answer all your questions and tell you how their veggies and fruits are grown. Like Mhairi that I spoke with some time ago – you can read our conversation here.


green peas, bacon and cheese fritatta


INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 large eggs
  • couple slices smoked streaky bacon
  • 1 brown onion
  • slice of butter
  • 2 handfuls of green peas (I had frozen peas)
  • handful of grated mature cheddar cheese
  • handful of crumbled feta cheese
  • couple cherry tomatoes
  • natural rock salt and black coarse pepper to taste
  • dried or fresh parsley for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Chop onion and bacon. On a large pan melt slice of butter and add bacon. Fry until golden, add onion and sprinkle with a little bit of salt and black pepper. Fry for about 5 minutes. Add green peas and lower the heat. Fry for another 2 minutes stirring from time to time. Whisk 3 eggs, pour all over the pan.

Sprinkle with grated cheddar and crumbled feta, add cherry tomatoes. Cover the pan with lid and fry on a very low heat until cheese will be melted. Garnish with dried or fresh chopped parsley and serve.

Enjoy!

easy Spring no bake tangerine cake

Although the weather outside right now doesn’t look like Springtime at all, let’s try to summon it with a light Spring-Summer dessert. Easter is coming soon and I think this kind of light, slightly exotic, no bake dessert will be perfect for this occasion.

Today I would like to introduce you to one of my old recipes for for a small sweet, simple dessert with tangerines. Although from the instructions it may seem complicated it’s very easy to prepare. And if I was able to make it, you will be able too 🙂

Tangerines I had was quite sour – but actually in that cake it was a plus, because they worked great with sweet layer of whipped cream. This made the dessert very refreshing. You can also adjust the ingredients to your needs and liking, swap tangerines with oranges, add icing sugar or sugar replacement, also I used basic tea biscuits, but feel free to use different biscuits that are available to you. Sponge biscuits would work well if you have quite high baking tray. If you don’t have loaf shaped baking tray you can use a high glass container or bowl. Get creative – even if it’s not going to look like from Instagram I can assure you it will be tasty. And that’s the most important. Isn’t it? 🙂


I used my silicone cake loaf shaped baking tray, but in the end, it wasn’t the best way to make it. Jelly stick to the silicone surface and wasn’t easy to remove it from the tray. Perhaps placing the cling film inside would be much better. Also my baking tray has 21cm at its widest point – it did not fit the whole amount of ingredients I had, just a little jelly and some whipped cream was left, but it’s not a problem – they can be alternately arranged in a small bowl and also cooled. Oh, and the top layer of jelly does not really want to stick to biscuits, as you can see in the picture. I guess if I would place biscuits before jelly sets completely they would stick better. But heigh-ho, the final thing was delicious and quite good looking for my cake-making abilities at that time. Not that I would say that right now I’m a great baker 😉


easy Spring no bake tangerine cake


INGREDIENTS for a loaf shaped baking tray:

  • 2 large tangerines
  • orange jelly powder (pack to be dissolved in 500ml of water)
  • 500 ml whipping cream
  • icing sugar or sugar replacement to taste
  • 4 tsp of gelatin
  • classic tea biscuits

DIRECTIONS

Dissolve the jelly in 400 ml of hot water – adding slightly less water than it says on the packaging will make the jelly more stiff and easier to slice. Leave it to cool down. Prepare small loaf shape baking tray, you can cover inside of it with cling film – it will be easier to remove the cake when it’s ready. I used silicon baking tray thinking it should be easy to remove it – placing a layer of cling film would make the process much easier.

Peel tangerines and also peel of the membrane from each segment. It’s more time consuming, but worth making – tangerines will be easier to bite and lot more attractive looking.

Pour a little cooled jelly into a loaf shape baking tray and place the nicest tangerine segments on the bottom. The jelly level should cover tangerines. Place baking tray into the fridge. When it’s almost set place a layer of biscuits.

In the meantime prepare second layer. Dissolve gelatin in approx. 2 tablespoons of hot water and let it cool down slightly. Whip the cream using handheld mixer, add some icing sugar or sugar replacement while whipping. When the whipped cream is ready, add gelatine and mix well. Place the cream layer on top of the biscuits and cover with another layer of biscuits. Then again place it in the fridge. Whipped cream with the addition of gelatin will set very quickly, faster than jelly.

Now again place a layer of jelly and the rest of tangerines. I arranged the mandarin pieces and just poured a little bit of jelly, because I was running out of space in the baking tray, but you can make this layer higher. Put the tray back in the fridge. After the jelly is set, go with another layer of cream and biscuits on to of it. Wrap the tray tightly in cling film (cream likes to catch other flavours from the fridge) and place it in the fridge for a few hours, or for the whole night.

Long story short:

jelly + tangerine segments

biscuits

whipped cream

biscuits

jelly with tangerine pieces

whipped cream

biscuits

Before serving, of course, turn upside down. With cling film it should go quite easy. Store in the fridge, consume within two days.

low carb banana bread

Spending lots of time on Instagram sometimes ends up making things I usually wouldn’t do. I haven’t been eating bananas for ages, and I’m not a fan of cakes made with coconut flour – I don’t like the the texture and the taste of it. I rather eat a piece of real flour and sugar cake, than it’s keto replacement. I’m not saying that it’s not possible to make keto friendly tasty cake. I don’t fancy the one made with coconut flour, almond flour is a bit to pricey for me (although tastes much better), and I don’t miss cakes that much that I would be looking for replacements. But after several banana bread photos that popped on my screen I decided I will give it a try. I had some leftovers of coconut flour I had to use anyway (and I still have some more, so expect another coconut flour recipe).

I bought three tiny small, baby size bananas. I used two of them to smash and add to the mixture and one to place on top. Lets say one tiny banana has about 19 grams of carbohydrates, so whole loaf has about 57 grams of carbs. But obviously you won’t eat the whole loaf at once. I didn’t add any other sugar or sugar replacement to this bread, so the only sweetness comes from bananas – I used very ripe bananas that already started having brown spots – they are the sweetest. For average person most probably it’s not going to be sweet at all, so keep it in mind that you might want to add some sugar or sugar replacement if you want to keep it low carb recipe.

The other thing is coconut flour. Coconut flour is quite specific – it sucks all the moisture, so more you add the texture will be more dry and crumbly. And this dry and crumbly texture I don’t like. That’s why I added only three tablespoons of coconut flour. This way my banana bread came out quite moisture and even a bit soggy on the bottom. So if you like it on the more dry side, definitely add more (2-3 tablespoons) coconut flour.

With the stated amounts of ingredients you’ll make a small size loaf. My banana bread came out a bit crooked, just because I used silicon loaf shaped tray and it bent while baking.

I’ve used 250 g quark cheese I’ve had in my fridge, but I believe that cream cheese would also work great. Do not afraid to experiment. You can also sprinkle the top with sunflower seeds or walnuts.


LOW CARB BANANA BREAD


INGREDIENTS for small loaf shape baking tray:

  • 3 very small ripe bananas
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 250 g quark cheese
  • 1/3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • couple drops of vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • optionally: sunflower seeds

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to about 160-170°C. Prepare loaf shape baking tray – grease it with some butter or place place of baking paper.

Smash 2 small bananas using a fork, leave one banana to place on top of the bread. Beat the eggs using handheld mixer until they’re fluffy and light in colour. Add vanilla extract, smashed bananas, quark cheese, butter, 1/3 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp baking soda. At the end add about 3 tablespoons of coconut flour. Add more if you want your bread to be more dry. I would add about 2 more tablespoons for more crumbly and dry texture.

Transfer your mix to a baking tray and place halves of your third banana, if you want sprinkle some sunflower seeds on top. Bake for about 40-45 minutes – depending of your oven – always make a toothpick test: prick the bread with a wooden toothpick, if it’s clean – bread is ready, if not – it needs couple more minutes.

After baking let it cool down on a cooling rack. Consume within 2 days.

Indian style vegetable curry

This Indian style veggie curry recently became one of our favourite meals. What’s great about it is that it’s extremely easy and quick to make. Perfect when you don’t have much time to cook, but you still want something nourishing and hearty. It’s full of flavour one pot meal you can prepare, using different veggies you have in your fridge. Mushrooms are the most important though. You can swap cauliflower with broccoli, courgettes and aubergine with other veggies (root veg for example). I chose the one that are most low carb.

Choose closed cup baby mushrooms – they are the best for this recipe. They are small, so there’s no need to chop them, they won’t become soggy while cooking. Baby mushrooms will remain firm and juicy, perfect for one bite. There’s no need to add any meat to this curry.

I chose mild curry powder – feel like mild flavour goes better with veggies, but I you like more spicy curry, try adding hot curry powder or sprinkle your curry with chilli flakes. Also I wouldn’t be myself if I wouldn’t add garlic for even more delicious flavour. But if you don’t like smell or taste of garlic you can skip it in the recipe.

Also choose good quality coconut milk. There’s plenty of choices, but various coconut milk can differ a lot. Look for the simplest list of ingredients: coconut extract and water. If you can, try to stay away from the ones that contains emulgators, stabilisers, starches and emulsifiers. Also look what’s the percentage of coconut extract it contains – the more the better.

You can serve your curry with multiple additions like rice, quinoa, bulgur wheat or on its own, or with piece of naan bread.


vegetable curry


INGREDIENTS:

  • 500 g baby mushrooms
  • 1 small cauliflower
  • 1 small courgette
  • 1 small aubergine
  • handful of cherry tomatoes
  • spring onion for garnish
  • 450 ml coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • about 2 tsp mild curry powder (or hot curry powder if you like)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • salt to taste

DIRECTIONS

Thoroughly wash all veggies. Divide cauliflower in small florets. Chop courgette and aubergine. Heat large, deep frying pan (or wok) adding one tablespoon of coconut oil. Fry cauliflower first, on high heat, until slightly golden, then add baby mushrooms. Fry for couple minutes, then add courgette, aubergine, curry powder, turmeric, chopped garlic and sprinkle with salt.

Add coconut milk and lower the heat, let it simmer for couple minutes – mushroom should be still firm and juicy. At the end of cooking add halves of cherry tomatoes. Garnish with spring onions before serving.

Serve on its own, it will also taste great with rice, couscous, bulgur wheat or quinoa.

Store in the fridge for about 2-3 days.

Enjoy!