Chocolate avocado torte

This is lovely dense, rich torte… Not too sweet though, so it’s not overpowering if you ice it or serve it with ice cream or cream.

Instead of butter or oil, this torte uses the delicious, creaminess of avocado and richness of seed butter to provide the fats. Delicious and nutritious!

Don’t worry, despite the unusual ingredients, there’s no taste of the hidden avocado and sweet potato when it’s baked.

See below the recipe for a coeliac friendly version.

  • 1 3/4 cups spelt flour (I use half white and half wholemeal)
  • 2 tsp GF baking powder
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar*
  • 2 1/2 tbsp cocoa
  • 150g sweet potato (weigh after peeling)
  • Flesh of 1 1/2 medium very ripe avocados (100g)
  • 1 heaped tsp sunflower seed butter
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 3 tbsp aquafaba (liquid drained from a can of chic peas) OR 1 whole egg

*if you’re a sweet tooth or you are serving this uniced or in its own you might like to increase the sugar to 1 cup.

Dice and steam the sweet potato until soft, then set aside.

Mix together all dry ingredients and whisk to combine evenly (Speed 5, 10 seconds). Set aside.

In your blender/processor/thermal cooker/bullet place the milk, potato, avocado, vanilla, seed butter and aquafaba then blitz until smooth (Speed 6, 10 seconds, scrape down and repeat).

Add the wet mix to the dry mix and mix until well combined and smooth. (Speed 4, 8 seconds, scrape down and repeat).

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Pour into a lined, greased cake tin or approx 14 regular muffin holes.

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Bake in a preheated moderate oven for approx 40 minutes (for the cake) or 25 minutes for the muffins, or until a skewer comes out clean.

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Allow them to cool and then ice as desired.

You could use; a simple melted dark choc ganache or just dust with pure icing sugar. I like to use an icing made from melting together tasteless coconut oil, seed butter, maple syrup, vanilla essence, whisk it until smooth and then add pure icing sugar till you get the consistency you want.

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With the seed butter and maple syrup icing, ready to share at a church lunch

Serve on its own or with cream or ice cream of choice.

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Serves 12

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To make a coeliac friendly version: make sure you use a suitable milk and replace the spelt with 1 2/3 cups GF flour mix and 2 tbsp nut/seed meal.

If you’d like a more decadent cake, you can grate a handful of dark chocolate into the flour before you add the wet mix. We like Lindt dark 70%.

Enjoy 🙂

Warm pumpkin salad

I love my salads … but as the cooler weather comes, they don’t quite hit the spot like they do in Summer.

This is a great way to be able to enjoy salads all year ’round!

  • 1 kg butternut pumpkin
  • 400g can chick peas
  • 2 tbsp garlic olive oil
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp pink salt flakes
  • 4 large handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • avocado to serve

Dice the pumpkin and toss it in the olive oil. Place it in a lined baking tray and sprinkle with the rosemary and salt.

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Place in a preheated 200C oven for about 45 minutes.

Add the chick peas to the pumpkin and mix in well to coat in oil. Return to oven for further 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and drizzle with the vinegar.

Then add in the spinach and mix well so that the leaves are coated.

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Serve into bowls and top with avocado.

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Enjoy 🙂

If you are going to eat this one over a couple of days, store in an airtight container in the fridge  leave the avocado off so that you can warm the salad before adding fresh avocado each day.

Baked Beetroot Chips (‘Pink Dip Chips’)

When I first met my husband, in our first year of uni, his idea of a snack was a 600ml iced mocha and a bag of soy chips (or ‘extruded chips’ as he liked to call them) …. but who was I to judge …. I lived on Coke Zero 😉

With a little bit of research he soon found that he was just eating deep fried chips made with soy flour!! Ok – so they haven’t featured much since then.

Then recently I saw this idea to make something similar from ‘The little kiwi lunch box’ and was inspired to give my own a go.

Since Miss Ellie loves her ‘dip’ (Hummus) I decided to base mine around the flavours of the ‘pink dip’ version I made with beetroot puree and rosemary – so yum!!

They are really easy to whip up, they’re a much healthier version of my husband’s old favourites and plus …. they are PINK chips! One happy little miss!!!

  • 200g tinned chick peas (weigh the drained portion… it’s about 3/4 of a 400g tin)
  • 1 tsp of tahini OR sunflower seed butter
  • 1/2 tsp mince garlic
  • 1 heaped tbsp tasteless coconut oil
  • 75g pureed beetroot
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp pink salt flakes
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1/4 cup flour of choice (I have used GF or spelt)

Use a blender/processor/thermal cooker and process together all ingredients, except flour,  until smooth (Start on speed 4 for 10 secs, increase up to speed 5 for 10 seconds, then scrape down and repeat).

Add in the flour and process again until you have  a thick, smooth paste (Speed 5, 10 seconds).

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Scoop mixture into a piping bag with a nozzle that has the pattern you’d like.

Pipe, evenly, onto a lined baking tray. Then place into a preheated 200C oven (210C if it is not fan forced) for 15 minutes.

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Turn off oven and allow to rest in the oven for a further 15 mins before removing to cooling rack. They will still be a bit soft on removal from oven but will firm up on cooling.

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Store for a week in a airtight container…. If they don’t all get scoffed first!

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Enjoy 🙂

Fried Rice

Itchin' Kitchen

‘The best dinner in the whole world of ever time’ …. This is how Will describes my fried rice.  So nice when you get something right!!

This is a fairly regular feature on our menu because; it’s a meal that everyone loves, is easy to make, can be easily adjusted to cater for allergies, you can make most of it in advance, you can make it in bulk, it freezes well for emergency dinners later on and it is a muuuuch healthier option than the Fried Rice you’d get in a restaurant! What is not to love?!

  • 2 cups brown rice*
  • 4 cups of finely chopped veggies (peas, corn, carrots and bean shoots are our regulars)
  • 200g sliced mushrooms
  • 3-4 diced chicken thighs
  • 6 rashers short cut bacon, diced
  • finely grated, fresh ginger, to taste
  • 1/2 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup coconut aminos
  • 2 tbsp garlic olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (Massel for a…

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Lemon Lamb with Winter veg mash

Slow cooked, tender and fragrant Lamb – serious comfort food!

The slow cooker makes it super easy – to cook and clean up! I mostly do our accompanying veg separate so that we get them crispy. Some days though, there is just not enough time for evening meal prep past the 10 minutes first thing in the morning to get the slow cooker on …. and on those days we do our veg in the slow cooker and turn them into a veg mash instead – easy and delicious!

  • Boneless lab joint (2-2.25kg). Pick one that fits your slow cooker!
  • approx 1.2kg veg (I use a mix of butternut pumpkin, sweet potato and cauliflower)
  • 400g tin butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup warm vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tsp pink flaked salt
  • 1 tsp pepper corns
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsbp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • zest of 1 lemon (slice it off finely so you don’t get in too much of the white pith)

To make the paste for flavouring the lamb you’ll need either a bullet type blender, a small blender or a mortar and pestle. If you use a mortar and pestle, grind the dry/hard ingredients and then mix in the aminos and oil at the end.

Blitz together the rosemary, salt, pepper, garlic, lemon zest, aminos and oil until you get a chunky paste.

Chop the veg and place them in the bottom of the slow cooker – make them roughly even pieces. Add in the butter beans.

The pour the wine and stock over the top of them.

Place the joint of lamb on top of the vegetables and rub the paste into it.

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Place the lid on the slow cooker and set to low for 5 hours.

Remove the lamb and pull apart with a fork (or carve if you are so inclined!)

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Drain off (but reserve) the liquid from the slow cooker and set aside, then use a potato masher or a fork to roughly crush the veg into a chunky mash.

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If you’d like a gravy to drizzle over the meat, use the liquid that you have strained and reserved and follow my gravy method.

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Serve with steamed greens – I love broccoli or green beans.

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Enjoy 🙂

P.S. This amount of meat is enough for about 3 dinners for our family. So I freeze the extras in 2 meal size portions, together with the gravy and it defrosts beautifully later on for a very quick meal with some steamed veg.

Creamy Mango and Avocado Rice Paper rolls

Our Thai Beef rice paper rolls were such a hit that Peter requests then regularly.

So now we’ve added this version to our repertoire. So very delicious!

  • 50g Rice vermicelli noodles
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 cheeks of ripe mango
  • 1/3 tsp red thai curry paste (I like the Aayam brand)
  • 1 tbsp coconut cream – use the thickest part off the top
  • 8 Rice paper roll sheets
  • 4-6 mint leaves, finely chopped
  • Either: Firm tofu or 12 cooked prawns

Either drain, press dry and chop your tofu OR peel and chop your prawns.

Place into a glass dish.

Chop the avocado and add it and the mint to the tofu/prawns.

In a blender/bullet/thermal cooker, place the mango, thai paste and coconut cream and process until smooth (Speed 5, 8 seconds, scrape down and repeat).

Add the creamy mango sauce to the other ingredients, cover and set aside in the fridge for at least half an hour.

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Cook/soak your rice noodles according to packet instructions, then drain and rinse in cold water.

Soak your rice paper rolls according to packet instructions, then lay onto a damp towel.

Place noodles on the rice paper rolls, add a tbsp of mango mixture to the top and wrap up into rolls.

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Serve immediately.

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These are best fresh, but keep in an airtight container in the fridge they’ll last 24 hours.

Enjoy 🙂

Stuffed roast tomatoes

I suppose that this is less of an actual recipe and more a way to use up left overs and bulk meals.

When I make Bolognese I tend to supersize, so I often have a couple of frozen batches ready to go.

The kids enjoy theirs with pasta, not so much for me. I tend to eat mine on a bed of zucchini noodles or even better steamed green beans – Yum!! This is just a another way to enjoy your bolognese!

Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the seeds.

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Drizzle the oil over the tomatoes then place them, cut side down, on a lined baking tray. Bake in a preheated 200C oven for 5 minutes.

Remove tomatoes from oven, place each one in a muffin tray and fill with hot Bolognese sauce. Top with grated cheese of choice or cheesey sprinkles.

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Return to oven for a further 10 minutes until cheese is melted and golden.

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Serve on their own or with extra salad or veg.

If you have really big tomatoes and you want to bulk this us a little more, stir a good handful of cooked brown rice through the meat before adding it to the tomatoes.

Enjoy 🙂