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.

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!

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!

red slaw with wasabi & avocado dressing

Recently red slaw is my go to side salad, I just add different spices or dressings. It’s so quick and easy to make. And cabbage stays fresh for quite a long time, so I can keep it in my fridge for a while without the risk that after one or two days it will go off.

I love the crunchiness of this slaw mixed with creamy avocado dressing. It’s so good that my partner ate all of it even though he’s not really a fan of avocado. Addition of wasabi gives lots of tangy flavour to gentle and nutty avocado. Mayo is always good, there’s no point for discussion 😉 But if somehow you don’t like mayonnaise, I think if you add Greek yogurt would work as well.

This dressing would also work as a dip for crackers, chips, veggies, it’s nicely thick and creamy. Not that I would encourage you to eat chips or crackers, but if it happens, keep in mind that mix of mayo, avocado and wasabi is delicious. Smeared generously over the freshly toasted ciabatta bread with couple cherry tomatoes also sounds amazing, but I didn’t say that 😉

You see, plenty of ideas already how to use this avocado and wasabi dressing, you might never get bored with your food.

red slaw with wasabi & avocado dressing

INGREDIENTS for red slaw:

  • quarter of a small red cabbage
  • 1 small brown onion
  • 1 small carrot
  • pinch of salt

INGREDIENTS for dressing:

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • about 2-3 tsp wasabi
  • about 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • pinch of lemon pepper
  • couple drops of lemon or lime juice

DIRECTIONS

Shred the cabbage, finely chop onion and grate the carrot. Combine all veggies together, sprinkle with pinch of salt and set aside.

Smash avocado using a fork or a blender if you want extra smooth texture. Add mayonnaise, pepper, couple drops of lemon juice and spice it up with wasabi. Add as much wasabi as you like – to make it more or less spicy.

Combine your dressing with red slaw just before serving. Avocado oxidise strongly, so with time your dip becomes rather greyish colour (addition of lemon juice helps but it will not remain nicely green for long time). So always keep it in air tight container and mix with slaw before serving.

If you don’t mind muddy colour you can mix it all straight away.

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one pot cabbage rolls (keto unstuffed lazy version)

I’m all about easy one pot meals, and I love cabbage rolls. So when I stepped upon this unstuffed lazy version I knew i have to make it. You know these days when you absolutely cannot be bothered spending more time in the kitchen than it’s absolutely necessary. Or you simply don’t have enough time to properly cook, but you still like to eat something homemade?

This lazy one pot unstuffed cabbage roll are perfect for these kind of days. What’s even better – it’s low carb, because we swap rice with cauliflower. All preparations will take you less than 30 minutes, than you just leave it on a small heat stirring it occasionally. Or you can pop all ingredients to a slow cooker (although it’s nice to fry the onion and meat first) and let it cook slowly without your attention.

This one pot unstuffed cabbage roll is full of flavour, aromatic, if you like it more on a spicy side, you can add some cayenne pepper or couple splashes of sriracha – Thai sauce made of mashed chilli peppers with garlic, vinegar, sugar and salt. Warm and hearty meal you can make even on a busy day and have for your lunch or dinner.

one pot cabbage rolls

(keto unstuffed lazy version)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 small white cabbage
  • 500 g pork (or beef) mince
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 small cauliflower
  • about 500 ml tomato passata
  • salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika powder
  • 1-2 chopped garlic cloves
  • dried or fresh parsley for garnish
  • 1 tbsp butter

DIRECTIONS

Finely chop onion, heat a large frying pan adding 1 tablespoon of butter. Fry onion until gold, than add minced meat, salt pepper and sweet paprika powder. Fry on a medium to high heat until meat becomes greyish – brown and won’t be raw any more.

In the meantime, chop your cabbage, it doesn’t need to be chopped in any particular way – should be quick and easy though. Also finely chop a cauliflower, you can also use a food processor if you have it on hand. I just chopped it in small pieces using a large knife.

When meat is ready add chopped garlic, cabbage and cauliflower. I used a large non stick pot to fry meat and onion, so I just added veggies to it. If you don’t have a pot like that transfer fried meat to a regular pot and add veggies. You need to be able to cover it with lid, to simmer gently. Also add passata, give it a good stir and cover the pot with lid lowering the heat so it will simmer slowly. Stir every now and then, keeping an eye it not burning on the bottom of the pot.

Cook until cabbage will become as tender as you like it. You can make it almost overcooked, or firm and crunchy. Add some more salt and pepper if needed, at the end garnish with parsley.

You can easily prepare this meal also using a slow cooker.

SLOW COOKER DIRECTIONS

Finely chop onion, heat a large frying pan adding 1 tablespoon of butter. Fry onion until gold, than add minced meat, salt pepper and sweet paprika powder. Fry on a medium to high heat until meat becomes greyish – brown and won’t be raw any more.

In the meantime, chop your cabbage, it doesn’t need to be chopped in any particular way – should be quick and easy though. Also finely chop a cauliflower, you can also use a food processor if you have it on hand. I just chopped it in small pieces using a large knife.

When meat is ready, transfer it to a slow cooker, add chopped garlic, cauliflower and cabbage sprinkle with some more salt and pepper, pour over tomato passata and about 100ml of water. Give it a good stir and set up your slow cooker on “low” for about 4 hours. After 2 hours give it a good stir and check if it needs any additional seasoning.

Serve hot garnished with some parsley.

Enjoy!

chocolate chia pudding

Really low carb themed dessert today, not sweet for most of the people, for me sweet enough to be a dessert 🙂 Obviously you can alter this recipe to your liking and needs. Personally I love combination of chocolate (cacao) and raspberries, and warmth of pudding mixed with frozen fruits, that’s melting over it. Add some chocolate on top and you don’t need anything else.

You can use various types of milk to prepare it, I had almond, but I think hazelnut would taste delicious, kind of nutella flavour. If you don’t mind regular cow’s milk, you can use it as well. The same with sweetener. I use xylitol, but if you have other sugar substitutes you like, feel free to add as much as you like.

I also used raw cacao powder, which in my opinion is much less bitter than regular cocoa powder, so you don’t need to add as much sugar or sweetener to balance the bitterness.

From this amounts of ingredients I got two quite large portions, but you can easily make four smaller ones.

Chia seeds are full of Omega-3 fatty acids, and also other nutrients, so if you’d like to balance your intake of Omega-6 fatty acids, chia is a great source. If chia seeds are not available to you, flaxeeds or linseeds are great substitute. Although I feel like soaked linseeds make slightly different consistency, more gel-like, kind of slimy. If you don’t mind (and I know lots of people do) you can use linseed to make this pudding. It’s also full of Omega-3 fatty acids, and one of the best foods that reduces inflammation in your body according to the researchers.

I would recommend eating your pudding when it’s still warm, with piece of dark chocolate melted on top. Sound good, isn’t it? 🙂

chocolate chia pudding

INGREDIENTS:

  • about 500 ml plant milk of your choice (or cow’s milk if you like)
  • 4 tsp raw cacao
  • 8 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tsp xylitol or other sugar replacement of your choice
  • handful of raspberries (I had frozen)
  • couple bits of dark chocolate

DIRECTIONS

Heat up the milk in a saucepan adding cacao powder and sweetener. Combine using a whisk. When milk heats up add chia seeds and whisk again until it starts to boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 3 minutes stirring repeatedly. Switch off the heat and set aside to cool down.

Transfer your chia pudding to smaller bowls or other dishes, place some raspberries on top, and couple bits of dark chocolate. You can either eat it warm or cold. I like it warm with chocolate melting on top.

You can store your chia pudding in the fridge for 2 days.

Enjoy! 🙂

leek, egg, sweetcorn & smoked mackerel salad

This salad always reminds me of Spring and Easter time. I like crunchiness and freshness of leeks, mixed with sweetness of sweetcorn, they give each other nice balance. Quite sharp onion-like taste of leeks also goes great with a bit dull taste of hard boiled eggs. All this gives very nice balance of flavours and variety of textures.

I decided to spice up my salad with some smoked mackerel which I really like, but if you’re not a fan or you don’t want the fishy odour afterwards just skip the fish and stay with basic ingredients.

Which part of leek we use?

For salads are best young and smaller leeks, I also chose organic option. You’ll need white base of the leaves and the light green parts, dark green parts are better for cooking. To make them slightly softer, it’s good to sprinkle them with a little bit of salt after slicing and leaving for about an hour. Salad is extremely easy to make, and will look great on your Easter table packed in a small serving size bowls, garnished with some greens and pieces of smoked mackerel if you decide to add it.

How to choose leeks for salad?

Always choose fresh, preferably organic leek, as they are rich in flavour and nutrition. Look for uniform, long, firm, white stalks with healthy root bulbs as it indicates fresh farm produce. And avoid stems with withered, yellow discolour tops. To keep them fresh, store leeks wrapped in a paper towel and place in the fridge. They should stay fresh for up to a week.

Leek contains many minerals, vitamins and unique flavonoid antioxidants. These compounds convert to allicin by the enzymatic reaction when the leek stalk is sliced or chopped. Laboratory studies show that allicin reduces cholesterol formation, reduces blood vessel stiffness, blocks platelet clot formation and has clot-breaking properties. 100g fresh leek stalks also provide 64µg of folates. Additionally, leeks are one of the good sources of vitamin-A and other flavonoid phenolic antioxidants such as carotenes, xanthin, and lutein, which are beneficial for your eyes.

Leeks are very cheap and easy to grow veggies, but very underestimated, although in Scotland very popular. They add a lot of flavour to all the cooked meals like soups and stews, but they can also be a great base for salads.

If you haven’t try this kind of salad before, definitely give it a try this Spring. It is said that the Buddhist monks of the Mahayana school do not eat leeks because they are believed to “stimulate the senses”. So if you’d like to “stimulate your senses” you should definitely stock up on young leeks 🙂

leek, egg, sweetcorn & smoked mackerel salad

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 small organic leeks
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • couple spoons of tinned sweetcorn
  • 2-3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • good pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • pinch of natural rock salt
  • piece of smoked mackerel

DIRECTIONS

Trim the ends of leeks (we need white base of the leaves and the light green parts), cut them in half (lengthwise) and wash thoroughly under running water. Slice them thinly, place in a container, sprinkle with a bit of salt and give it a stir. Put to fridge for about an hour to become softer.

Peel the eggs, and chop them. Drain sweetcorn from the brine. Add both to leek, sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and combine with mayonnaise.

You can leave it in the fridge for another hour or eat immediately. Place some salad in a small serving bowl, place couple pieces of mackerel on top, add couple sweetcorn grains for some colour and something green (little basil leaves in my case) for garnish. Small bowls will look really pretty on Easter table.

Source of knowledge:

https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/342617/nutrients