egg, cheese and onion stuffed mushrooms

Using leftovers from your kitchen it’s a great opportunity to step out of the box and use some ingredients in a different way than usually. I had three large flat mushrooms and hard boiled eggs that I cooked for a salad that I didn’t make. I was also baking something else and had a bit room on the baking tray. That’s a great opportunity to take advantage of that and make stuffed mushrooms. Nowadays it would be a waste to heat up an oven only for three mushrooms, wouldn’t it?

Obviously if you have more mushrooms and more people to feed, feel free to multiply the amounts of ingredients and fill up the baking tray with these egg, cheese and onion stuffed mushrooms. If you have more patience than me, you can use small cup mushrooms and stuff them exactly in the same way. Small mushrooms will be great as an appetiser for a garden party or any party actually. They can be eaten hot or cold.

Big mushrooms in my opinion tastes better hot, straight from the oven. They will be a great meal on the hot Summer days when you’re not really hungry.

Stuffed mushrooms are also low in carb, so for all of you on a ketogenic diet they might be another good idea how to use eggs and mushrooms. Mushrooms were always considered as nutritionally useless as they contain mostly water. But studies showed that they are actually great source of vitamins B (thiamine, riboflavin, niacine, pantothenic acid), vitamin D (if they grow in the UV light), also phosphorus and potassium.

I used medium cheddar cheese for this recipe, but any stronger flavoured cheese will be great. Mozzarella or other delicate cheese might be to insipid here. Also if you like it more on the spicy side you can add some chilli flakes or cayenne pepper instead of black pepper.

Garnish with some freshly chopped spring onions and aromatic cherry tomatoes and delicious meal is ready in minutes!


egg, cheese and onion stuffed mushrooms


INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 large flat mushrooms (also called jumbo mushrooms)
  • 2 large hard boiled eggs
  • handful of grated hard cheese (cheddar, emmental, gouda)
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 small brown onion
  • spring onions for garnish
  • pinch of salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

I always peel the skin from a mushroom cup instead of rinsing it under the water. So it’s not going to soak the water and become soggy. Remove the stems, chop them and keep for stuffing.

Finely chop hard boiled eggs, also chop one small brown onion. Combine them both adding a spoonful of mayo, pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Then add mushroom stems and grated cheese of your choice.

Fill up the mushrooms, sprinkle with additional cheese and bake in 180-200°C until cheese melts and becomes slightly golden. Remove from the oven, garnish with some spring onions and serve.

two ingredients keto pancakes

Another Summer comfort food recipe. Scotland is not the hottest place in the world and to be honest I don’t feel like there’s a place for typical Summer staples – all the meals and drinks that supposed to cool you down a bit and soothe the warmed by the sun body and mind. I would say that the theme here is: “if not the wind, it would be actually quite warm”. But maybe it’s just my perception of the Scottish weather and natives might feel a bit different about it. Anyway, I don’t feel I need to be cool down more than I already am. That’s why I will provide you today with a mix of hot pancakes with Summer fruits.

I had a pack of curd cheese in my fridge that was getting close to its end date, that I bought God knows why, so one afternoon I decided to try and make pancakes with them. I’ve seen pancakes made with eggs and cream cheese, so I was curious if it will work with curd cheese, that obviously has completely different texture and taste. To be honest I wasn’t really sure what I was doing, it was kind of experiment.

The outcome wasn’t bad at all, it was a little tricky to fry them, as they are quite gentle and bigger ones wasn’t that easy to flip. But when I lowered the heat and let them fry a bit longer it wasn’t so bad. They have a bit peculiar taste and squeaky texture, but with some sort of “sweet” addition of fruits or keto friendly chocolate sauce they are perfect.

I had only strawberries and frozen cherries, but if I would have some honey or maple syrup I would definitely brake the keto rule and drizzle them with some golden sweetness.

To make these pancakes you will need only two ingredients: eggs and curd cheese. Optionally, you can add some sugar replacement to the mix (xylitol, monk fruit sweetener, stevia) but if you decide to put some fruits or sauce on top it’s not necessary. You can use bits of fruits or smash strawberries or raspberries with a fork (or blender) to make some sort of fruit sauce and generously drizzle all over.

Non-stick frying pan will be also very useful as pancakes are quite gentle and might be little tricky to flip if you don’t have enough patience. But it will be a great option for you if you’re on gluten free diet and you can’t eat traditional flour made pancakes. Also all of you who’s on ketogenic diet and crave for pancakes will make a good use out of this recipe.

I think it would also go great in savoury meals with meaty sauces for example. But for the Summer take advantage of fresh fruits that are low in carbs like: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries.


two ingredients keto pancakes


INGREDIENTS for about 8 pancakes:

  • 450 g full fat curd cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • optionally: some sort of sweetener – xlylitol for example
  • some clarified butter or coconut oil for frying
  • additionaly: strawberries, cherries or any other fruits or for non keto options – honey, maple syrup, chocolate sauce

DIRECTIONS

Preparation is extremely simple: whisk the eggs until fluffy. I used blender. Add crumbled curd cheese and blend utlil you get quite thick, fluffy consistency. If you want you can also add a teaspoon or two of xylitol or other sweetener. Pancakes have quite neutral taste on its own.

Heat the non stick frying pan, add some clarified butter (won’t burn while frying) or coconut oil. Pour couple pancakes, trying to keep them quite small – they will be easier to flip. Fry on both sides on medium to small heat until golden. Flip gently. Remember pancakes don’t contain any flour so there’s not a lot of density. They might be more prone to break if you won’t be gentle enough or you try to flip them too early.

Decorate with bits of strawberries or other fruits or fruit sauce, drizzle with honey or maple syrup if you don’t mind some sugar. Anyway some kind of “sweet” addition would be needed, as pancakes itself have quite neutral taste, but they are very fulfilling comparing to regular flour made pancakes. They taste the best freshly made and hot.

Enjoy!

chocolate dumplings with apricots

As I probably mentioned before lately we don’t eat a lot of meat, maybe once or twice a week. It’s quite challenging because for last two years we’ve been eating mostly meat, fish and lots of low carb veggies. But recently we were a bit fed up with meat and decided to try incorporate plenty of different veggies and seasonal fruits with addition of grains, pasta and flour. Although the last two not too often, using more of an organic wholemeal or spelt flour. Luckily Spring and Summer gives us some variety of veggies and fruits, so we take advantage of them without filling of guilt or regret. Although at the beginning I have to admit I felt slightly uncomfortable preparing meals with high carb ingredients.

One of my favourite fruits are apricots, and since I’m also a big fan of dumplings, combination of these two makes my mouth watery. To make the dumplings even more special I decided to add a bit of cacao to it. All freshly cooked, piping hot, drizzled with heather honey makes a perfect Summer meal. Maybe it’s not the most nutritious one, but for sure it’s the comfort food of the Summer season. And since they require a bit of time and work, they won’t become our everyday meal.

Try to find small, juicy and ripe apricots – they will be the best for this recipe. Since cacao dough is more on a dry side so addition of something sweet will be a great idea. I used heather honey, but you can choose from: honey, maple syrup, whipped cream (homemade is the best), double cream sprinkled with some brown sugar. As a decoration use other fruits like wild blueberries, raspberries or finely chopped strawberries.

I used a mix of plain flour and spelt flour. Spelt flour is not as fine as plain flour, so I wouldn’t use only spelt flour to make these dumplings. Plain flour gives a lot of elasticity and flexibility, and makes more delicate dough, which is important especially with a fruity filling. So you can use either plain flour on its own or with small addition of wholemeal or other more nutritious flour.

Preparation requires a bit of work and patience, that’s why it’s a good weekend recipe when you have more time to spend in the kitchen without rushing yourself. Personally I really enjoy the process of making dumplings, it’s kind of meditation for me. These repetitive steps make me more calm and quiet inside, although I know that for some people making dumplings is not as calming activity as it is for me 🙂

What about you, do you enjoy making dumplings? Which kitchen activity (apart from eating) gives you a sense of calm and inner piece?


chocolate dumplings with apricots


NOTE: my measuring cup is regular 250 ml glass

INGREDIENTS for several dumplings:

  • 1 1⁄2 cup plain wheat flour
  • 1⁄2 cup spelt flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1⁄2 lukewarm water
  • 3 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 500-600 g small apricots
  • heather honey for drizzle
  • optional: wild blueberries for decoration

DIRECTIONS

Make a pile of flour with a hollow on top, like a volcano and add 3 tablespoons of cocoa. Combine a little, and then make a hole into which place the egg. Cover it with a mixture of flour and cocoa and start kneading. Pour a little water on it and a teaspoon of olive oil and knead until you get quite elastic and uniform dough. Sprinkle with a little bit of flour if needed, but in small amounts so dough won’t get to dry. Addition of olive oil will make the dough more elastic and flexible. Kneading will take a couple minutes, so take your time and enjoy the process.

When your dough is ready set it aside for a moment to rest and wash the apricots, dry them, cut them in half and remove the seed.

Roll out the dough thinly and cut out circles using a glass or a mug. Thinner you roll out the dough more delicate will be your dumplings, also might be more prone to brake while cooking. If you don’t have much experience don’t roll too thin.

Place a half of the apricot between two discs and stick together all around the edge. You can also make small pinches on the edge. Boil large pot of salted water and cook dumplings in several batches, for 5 minutes from the moment they start floating on the surface of water. Remove from water with a slotted spoon, arrange on the plate and drizzle with honey, optionally decorate with blueberries.

The best are freshly cooked, but if you have any leftovers you can fry them on a pan with a little bit of butter until hot and crispy.

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.

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.