Quick and Satisfying Cashew Butter Slices

I love quick and simple cooking because whilst I love to eat I also love to whip together dishes that will have me enjoying the pleasure of tasting and the satisfaction of a quick clean up. Food doesn’t have to be complicated and at times I’m just too busy or running behind schedule to stay long in the kitchen. It’s sometimes about poking your head in the fridge (haha, literally) and pulling out ingredients and this one was for the books (or rather the blog).

Ingredients

2 slices gf bread 

2 tbp cashew nut butter

1 banana 

Pomegranate seeds

Cacao nibs

Honey

Instructions:

Spread your tbs of nut butter on each slice and drizzle with honey. Slice your banana and add your slices on your bread. Top with some cacao nibs and drizzle more honey on top of your first slice.On your second slice of bread top with pomegranate seeds and drizzle with honey. And indulge. Another way would be to add these two slices on top of each other to make a sandwich and enjoy all crunchiness, bitterness, sourness and sweetness of all the elements in one sandwich.

Quick, simple, tasty.

GF | RSF | LF

Refined sugar free living Vs Favourite candy barΒ 

Ha! Another favorite post because it makes me smile quietly to myself. When I first bought Nadia Damaso’s cook book ‘Eat Better Not Less’ I had no intentions of going refined sugar free – to be honest I didn’t really care whether or not I used brown sugar, xylitol, stevia or honey, whatever I felt like adding I would simply add. But in moving to my new house all I had was honey and xylitol and so it made the choice simple. Xylitol is not liquid like honey and so for texture and ease of blending I stuck to honey. It had been about 2 weeks in eating solely from the book when I had to get change at the petrol station and I bought my old favorite chocolate bar Lunch Bar and a packet of chips for my little girl. When I finished my breakfast that morning and still felt peckish I decided to eat my Lunch Bar. I must say now that my favourite type of chocolate is one with nuts, chewy nougat and dreamy milk chocolate, my mouth was watering as I unwrapped this treat. I took my first bite and I was nothing but disappointed because the chocolate bar tasted very sweet and nothing like it used to – my taste buds had been altered. What once was the perfect heavenly chocolate bar was now too sweet and completely unenjoyable. I was obviously used to eating refined sugar free. A few days later I was missing chocolate and I thought wow what now? Does that mean I have to give up candy? But then I remembered I had a couple of recipes that I hadn’t tried before that were from Hippie Lane who has a food app and a wonderful section called chocolate fix. I made my first chocolate bar which was a Twix version. I was in heaven let me tell you! The shortbread crust made of blended raw macadamias and honey and the delicious sticky caramel made of dates and nut butter and the dark chocolate covering the entire bar and what I loved was that it was such little ingredients for a couple of bars that lasted for up to a week. I see the benefit of living refined sugar free, it also provides that guilt free indulgence. If you’re thinking of going refined sugar free and throwing out all that processed food sitting in your pantry that’s waiting to sit on your hips then I’d say go for it. It’s a healthier option and there’s none of the feeling like you have to rummage through your kitchen for more food because your sugar levels have been spiked. My typical sweetening method is honey which I only generally ever use a teaspoon or two but I also use bananas and dates to sweeten my foods, maple syrup is also a lighter calorie option I just personally end up using higher quantities because maple syrup is very light but if I did make a complete switch my taste buds would definitely get used to maple syrup and maybe find honey too sweet. It’s a wonderful way to change up your health and incorporate healthy eating habits. I’ve never bought another Lunch Bar since and trust me that is saying a lot!

Food time πŸ™‚

Oriental cooking Fun!

It amazes me to this day when I watch my daughter reject a chocolate bar and get excited by a bowl of broccoli or how she will half finish her plate of pasta but cry if I don’t make or buy her sushi. She’s different and I have to accept that and I’m still figuring out what she likes and dislikes, most times it’s a dismal fail but with this cooking time it was fun. I really thought I’d never be able to make my own Chinese dumplings due to the glutenous flour required to make the dumplings but thanks to Google I found out that with all purpose gluten-free flour, I’d be able to enjoy a treat that I indulged in once a blue moon. Folding these were so tricky, haha I think that much is obvious by the look but no taste was sacrificed here no no, these delicious dumplings were filled with salty bacon and baby spinach mixed with a mouth watering combination of sesame seed oil and soy sauce. My daughter told me to make more the following day for after school but unfortunately for her I didn’t make enough dough in case my experimentation went wrong. My bamboo steamer will certainly not be collecting dust, I only need a muslin cloth to get to steaming some sticky rice. I will also accept, willingly that my daughter loves oriental cuisine and a big bowl of broccoli and that she is different in that sense but wow what a gorgeous treat we will be indulging in this year! Dim sum? Yes please!

Cacao, Maca Nice Cream Chia Pudding

I have to be honest here, I’ve never been truly impressed with chia pudding, the taste just never did much for me and since eating chia pudding since 2015 I’ve been trying to find the so called Holy grail of chia puddings and I’ve finally found one that has met my satisfaction and that is all thanks to banana ice cream or nice cream. My favourite additions to nice cream are nut butters, nuts, frozen blueberries but I needed the right amount of sweetness that didn’t leave a sickly feeling. I love cacao and maca superfoods for their enriching tastes and these make a great addition to your chia pudding. So enough chatting and let’s get cooking?

Ingredients

3 tbsp chia seeds

200ml almond milk (or and dairy free alternative)

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp honey

2 sliced and frozen bananas

50ml almond milk

1 tbs cacao powder

1 tbs maca powder 

2 pitted dates soaked in hot water for 5mins

2 tsp honey

1 tbsp cashew butter or nut butter of choice

Dried white mulberries

Roasted peanuts

Instructions:

Soak your chia seeds in milk, honey and extract overnight in the fridge or for no less than 3 hours.

In the morning place your frozen bananas, milk, cacao, maca, soaked dates, honey and nut butter and blend until a smooth thick consistency (basically the consistency of ice cream). Remove your chia seeds and mix with a spoon to separate the gelled seeds and pour into your bowl and add your nice cream and mix until combined. Roast your nuts until browned and top your bowl with mulberries and nuts, you can also add blueberries for extra sweetness. Add your spoon and dig in!

GF | LF | RSF 

Flavourless onion free life?

This post is a laughable one because when I learnt of my allergy to onions I thought oh my goodness bland food for life. I mean onions add an incredible amount of flavoring to food right? And yes there’s garlic seeing as I can handle it for flavoring but not every food recipe agrees with garlic. If you do not read my first post returning to food blogging, I discovered in 2016 that I am allergic to onions (yes it’s a thing) it causes the throat to be inflamed and can provide symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, stomach irritability, vomiting. Prior to learning about this allergy my spices and herbs included, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, ginger and basil. Now in my pantry you will always find cinnamon, Himalayan salt, black pepper, chilli powder, cumin, basil, dill, ground coriander, thyme, rosemary, turmeric, ginger… there are so many ways to flavor my foods which completely negate the need for onions and taste so extremely good. I honestly don’t miss onions. If you yourself have an onion allergy, I am here to tell you that you will survive without onions, that is a promise. 

Sweet Potato Fries with a Chilli Mayo Dip

I am not feeling so fantastic today – I think I have a stomach bug – so I am keeping my cooking as simple as possible and I just thought I’d share one of my favorite go-to recipes Sweet Potato Fries with a Chilli Mayo Dip. The only time consuming part is cutting a large sweet potato (I can’t wait to get a food processor)

So the things I love about this dish is the subtle chilli mayo paired with a sweet and salty sweet potato fry. Very little ingredients, very little effort, get cooking and enjoy – if I can even refer to it as cooking haha.

Ingredients:

1 large sweet potato (preferably orange variation)

1 tbsp olive oil

Himalayan rock salt and black pepper for taste 

1 tsp ground paprika

Dip:

4 Tbsp reduced oil mayonnaise (sub with vegan mayo if needed)

1 tsp honey

1/4 – 1/2 tsp chilli powder (you can add more for more heat)

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 200 degree celcius – fan assist. Give your sweet potato a good rinse with cold water and peel the skin off with a veg peeler. Cut your sweet potato in 2cm thick round discs and then into thick chunky strips. Line a baking tray with baking paper and season with salt and pepper. Throw your chips onto your baking sheet, drizzle over olive oil then season with more salt, pepper and finally your paprika. Give your fries a good mix for even coating and place in the oven for 40 minutes. Whilst your chips are cooking make your chilli mayo dip in a small dipping bowl and mix – you can adjust measurements to suit your taste. Once your chips are ready (usually by the time ends are burnt) remove from your oven and throw them onto your plate with your dip. Now food time πŸ™‚

This recipe is perfect for one as a lunch meal or two as a snack.

*Tip: if you don’t have baking paper replace with foil but double your olive oil measurements and add the extra for spreading on the foil to prevent the fries from sticking to the foil.

GF 

Gluten-Free Apple Blondies

Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! I made these one day for my daughters bake sale and honestly a few didn’t make it to school. I’m a huge apple dessert fan and so these chewy warm apple cinnamon goodies were my hearts joy. I used xylitol for this recipe which is a natural plant based sweeter and has lower calories than your cane sugar and is less sweet but perfect for baking because I don’t like adding too much sugar. The cinnamon! Oh the cinnamon. Eating some delicious cakey goodies without my stomach swelling up? Perfecto! I will refine this recipe at a later stage as I was experimenting with gluten-free flour and xylitol and maybe next time a little less cinnamon as it turns the xylitol brown and it looks burnt but I promise isn’t haha.
It’s food time πŸ™‚

Polenta Corn Fritters

I absolutely love these and they just so happened to be a creation out of pure cravings and since I’m gluten intolerant Polenta has been my saving grace. These are perfect for a filling breakfast and even kids love them. If you have a fussy eater like my kid you can dice some corgettes finely and add them to the mix, otherwise the corn adds delicious sweetness. Add some smoked salmon for added protein or some guacamole for a vegan/vegetarian option. 

Ingredients: (Serves 2)

1/2 cup polenta

1 cup corn (frozen/canned)

3/4 tsp gluten free baking powder

2 eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk/yoghurt plain/milk

1/2 cup almond flour

Grated cheese

Himalayan rock salt & black pepper for taste

Sides

100g smoked salmon

Tomato

Basil dried

Mix all ingredients in a bowl except sides and fry with olive oil on medium heat. Be patient as they take time to cook through before having to turn. Serve with smoked salmon and slices of tomato with basil and seasoned with salt and pepper and some balsamic cream drizzle. Yum!
GF | RSF 

New health journey – new habits

How long has it been since I last food blogged? Forever! How long since I’ve been in the kitchen? Well that never ended ha ha, I still love to cook. So much has happened since my last post which will give some insight on why I haven’t blogged. I’ve been diagnosed as gluten intolerant and also found out why I just couldn’t stomach eating one chicken breast or a burger patty or a piece of steak – I am allergic to onions. Typically what would happen is the piece of meat would taste gorgeous until I’m a quarter way through and I would begin to struggle to swallow my food, but it tastes so good right and I’m still hungry so I’d power through until I’m half way through where if I even tried to swallow more it would feel as if my throat was completely rejecting the meat and would almost feel like a gag reflex. By then I would just stick to vegetables which my throat welcomed with open arms but it was done with meat. My initial solution was to only eat smaller portions of meat until I only ate meat once or twice a week and upped the fish intake since I had no problems with fish until I literally stopped eating meat because it was just not worth the fight. I tried to google it but I couldn’t find a single thread of information as to what was happening to me. It wasn’t until months and months later of not blogging and being an unhappy pescatarian that I was watching a cooking show and drooling over the meat that I could no longer stomach that I heard a guest chef state that people that suffer from celiac diseases (which is a serious gluten allergy) cannot eat onions and garlic. The lights went off and off I went to search if it’s truly possible to be allergic to onions and garlic as the chef stated – I mean I used to shout for my mother to chop onions for me because no matter all the solutions I tried, onions burnt my eyes in the chopping and frying stages and the tears would fall and I would joke “I’m allergic to onions” (be careful what you wish for!). When I eat onions my throat swells or rather becomes inflamed and thus makes it impossible for me to swallow my food and what was the number one ingredient used to cook meat? Onions. So I tried meat without onions and I was fine, I enjoyed my meat again. I then decided one day to make an omelette with onions and boy did I suffer the entire 24 hours. I am allergic to onions. Cooking was done for me. Not only was I lactose intolerant since 2011 but now I was also gluten intolerant AND allergic to onions. I went through a year of struggle because no matter what I ate I would feel terrible, my stomach would bloat constantly, I would feel nauseas, I sometimes could not swallow my food. But how would I survive gluten, lactose and onion free?? I went grocery shopping one day with my mother and I could not find anything that didn’t contain gluten, even candy contained gluten. I gave up bread and my favorite pasta and oats and junk food, it was tough eating only vegetables and meat. I need colourful and flavorful food otherwise I get bored quickly. Vegan food bloggers then started to become all the rage for me because their plant based foods looked so delicious. I then began to follow a few recipes and began to better understand how to cook gluten and onion free which was fantastic because then it led me to all variations and replacements of gluten free foods such as almond flour, nut butters, seeds, cooking with almond milk and even more cooking creatively with vegetables and legumes. Cooking became interesting again. I downloaded Ebooks and even bought my first ever cook book ‘Eat Better Not Less’ by Nadia Damaso who now taught me about nice cream (banana ice cream), gluten free millet, cauliflower pizza, versatile sweet potato and amazing superfoods such as maca powder. I now live gluten free, lactose free, onion free and refined sugar free and I adore it! It’s as if nothing has changed in my life because anything gluten makes, there’s a way to make it gluten free. I still have some junk food here and there and completely disregard my gluten intolerance because well I’m human. I must state that I do not have celiac disease which provides symptoms such as a bloody nose when consuming gluten, I am intolerant meaning that my symptoms are far milder such as bloating of the stomach and nausea. I never compromise on onions and lactose because they are not worth the pain, so no more strawberry milkshakes and I order my burgers without onions. I am still learning and loving experimenting in my kitchen. Cooking is still my passion and being creative is too. I am so glad to be back to offer some delicious GF, RSF, LF, onion free recipes which if you are in the same boat as I was a year or two ago or even just looking to make healthier choices I hope I can make a difference in your life as other bloggers have done for me. I have been itching to blog since my lifestyle change but like anything in life, these things take time. 

Food time πŸ™‚