Friday, December 20, 2013

Butternut Soup

This is a really yummy & easy soup to make.  Butternut is one of my FAVE veggies, so I love this dish.
1 butternut, peeled & chopped into large chunks
1 onion, chopped into chunks
veggie stock
sunflower or coconut oil
cayenne (optional)
  •  place chopped veggies on baking tray, drizzle generously with oil, sprinkle over lots of cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg, and if you want to add cayenne for some kick, sprinkle just a light layer over (or add more if you like it hot)
  • bake at 180 degree C for 1 hour, until tender and cooked
  •  place in a food processor and add veggie stock - blend and add more veggie stock to get the soup a consistency that you like - you can make it chunky or smooth
Easy peasy.  :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Coconut Vanilla Pudding

I used a vanilla cake box mix to make this pudding, and it turned out so yum. :)
It's a cake mix but I made a pudding out of it.  I used a gluten-free vanilla mix and added my own wet ingredients in place of what the box said, and I'm impressed. :D  Here goes:

1 Orgran vanilla cake box mix (available at Dischem)
1 can coconut milk (400ml)
2/3 cup desiccated coconut
15ml veggie oil
  • pour coconut milk into mixing bowl, add cake mix & mix with a fork to combine
  • add desiccated coconut & oil, beat with electric beater on low speed for 1 min
  • beat with electric beater on high speed for 4 mins
  • pour into baking dish (I used a glass dish) and bake for 30 mins at 180 degree C
The vegan instruction on the box say to add 250ml water & 15ml oil.  I added more coconut milk because I thought maybe I need to do so because I added desiccated coconut.  It turned out really moist and you could taste the coconut - I really like it.
And then I decided to spice it up for some difference, and then it became EVEN BETTER!

I poured a little raspberry preserve over the cake and then poured some cream around it and turned it into a double-yummy dessert. :D

Red Lentil & Butternut Curry

This is good on it's own or served on couscous.  I loved it.
I added a few tbs cake flour at the end because it was quite saucy, but it would be nice served on couscous with the extra sauce, and better with less sauce if you were to munch it on it's own with no couscous to absorb the sauce.

coconut oil for frying
1 onion, chopped
1 tbs curry powder (or more to taste)
4 cups veggie stock
1 cup red lentils
3 cups cooked butternut, cut into bite-sized cubes (I steamed mine until cooked, about 25 mins)
1 cup greens of choice (I wanted to add spinach but couldn't find that day)
himalayan salt to taste
  • fry onion in oil for about 5 mins on low-medium heat
  • stir in curry powder & cook another few mins
  • add stock & lentils, bring to boil, reduce heat & cook for 10 mins
  • stir in butternut & greens, cook over medium heat for about 5-8 mins
  • season with salt and serve

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Curried Potato Salad

This is really good, and I think a healthier alternative to ordinary mayo 'tato salad, 'cause I don't like lots of those weird ingredients in mayo's.  And it's nice & creamy too.
3-4 medium cooked potatoes (cut them into bite sized pieces & steam for 25 mins)
50g butter
1 tbs curry powder
3 tbs cake flour
500ml milk
himalayan salt & pepper to taste
  • melt butter in pot
  • add curry powder and stir about 30 seconds to release fragrance
  • add flour, stir to dissolve, and add milk
  • bring to the boil while stirring, until it thickens a little (to about a soup consistency)
  • season potatoes with salt and pour sauce over potatoes and season with more salt as needed
I wouldn't mind having some more spice in here, so next time I'll try it with some chilli maybe?  Will see!

Date Truffles

These date truffles are beyond divine, they're one of my all time favourite sweets EVER.  Little bites of what I image must be the kinds of treats found in heaven. :D
This makes a really small portion (well, small to ME - it fills a side plate), so double, tripple or quadrupal it depending on how many people you want to serve.

125g pitted dates, chopped as finely as you can (I used organic ones without any nasty preservatives)
62.5ml butter
30ml sugar
25ml egg (beat an egg with a fork and then pour out 25ml)
2ml vanilla essence
10 (or 1/4 packet) marie biscuits, very finely crushed (put 'em in a packet and crush them with a rolling pin)
desiccated coconut to roll in
  • melt butter in pot and add dates
  • beat together sugar & egg until creamy; add to date mixture & mix
  • add vanilla & mix
  • add biscuit crumbs & mix, remove from heat
  • let cool & roll into little balls, then roll in coconut
  • cool in fridge
I want to try a sugar-free (& egg-free) version - that way I'll more readily make this treat, knowing that it's healthier!  Not sure how to replace the sugar filled marie biscuits, but I'll do some research.  :)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Cauliflower Mash

Yummmm . . .
1 head cauliflower
few tbs cream cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Steam cauliflower until cooked and soft
Mash with a potato masher
Season with salt & pepper to taste
Mash in a few tbs of cream cheese - see how much you prefer in there, add as much as you like

Best served right away, fresh and warm, mmmmm . . . :)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Mushroom & Rice Bake with Cheese

I'm not the best food photographer, but this dish is soooooo good & tasty, I'll definitely make this again, and it's easy too which is important for me. :)

coconut oil for frying
400g brown mushrooms, chopped up
1 large onion, well chopped
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
2 eggs
1 cup smooth cottage cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp himalayan salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 - 1/2 cup grated cheddar (or whatever cheese you like)
  • heat over to 180 degree C.  Get a baking dish ready of more or less 9x13 in.
  • heat oil and fry mushrooms with some salt to taste.  Stir now and again until mushrooms have released their liquid and have browned a bit
  • add onion and cook for about 5 mins until they're translucent, then remove from heat and add cooked rice - mix well
  • in another bowl, whisk together eggs, cottage cheese,sour cream & salt.
  • combine egg mix with rice mixture and mix to combine well, then pour into baking dish
At this point, this dish is actually ready to eat just as is!  It's delicious and if you're in a hurry or whatever, you don't even need to do any further steps - in fact I don't think I will next time - if I do this though I'll leave out he egg, I see no reason why that can't be left out entirely.
  • sprinkle cheese on top, cover with tin foil & bake for 30 mins
 Yum yum yum is all I can say . . .

Banana Cinnamon Smoothie

3 large bananas
1 cup rice milk
2 dessert spoons greek yoghurt
few shakes cinnamon (however much you like)

Blend together, enjoy.  :)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Cottage Cheese Salad

This is a quick & healthy lunch option on it's own, or it can be used as a side dish.
Ingredients: tomato, cucumber, plain chunky cottage cheese, himalayan salt to taste, (and pepper if you like, or spices if you prefer).

Add as much of each ingredient as you like, but more salad & less cheese would probably be more favourable for weight loss if that's what you're after. :)

Fruity Ice Pops

I thought I'd try make some healthy ice pops - actually my first ice pops too! 
I made watermelon & pineapple ice pops.  I juiced the watermelon in a juicer because I didn't want any seeds in the pop, but for other fruit I would use my blender/smoothie maker.

I did the watermelon first and let it freeze for about an hour before I added the pineapple.

I must say the fruit loses a bit of their flavour when frozen, mostly the watermelon but even the pineapple too, so next time I'd substitute watermelon for other fruits with stronger flavours, like mango or kiwi and see how they turn out.

These are good for a hot day. :)

After making banana icecream, I would even try a layer of banana in the ice pops, and the banana doesn't lose any of it's flavour at all when frozen.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Chickpeas in Spiced Tomato Sauce with Couscous

I discovered another keeper last night, a tasty spicy chickpea dish, and I can't wait to make it again. :)

3 tbs organic coconut oil
1 cup finely chopped onion (I added at least 1 1/2 cups - I love onion)
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
3/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or 1/2 tsp if you like it uber spicy)
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 cup finely chopped fresh tomato (I added maybe 1/2 tomato more - I love 'mato)
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups cooked drained chickpeas
1/2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • heat pan, add oil, and when hot, fry onion until soft
  • add ginger and stir once
  • add first 4 spices and stir once
  • add tomato and stir for a minute
  • add 1 cup water and salt, bring to boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10 mins
  • add chickpeas, bring to boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 mins
  • add curry powder and lemon juice, stir, cover and simmer another 5 mins
  • serve on couscous (or rice if you like)

It only serves about 2 large or 3 smaller portions.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Banana Ice-Cream with Banana Whipped Cream

It's Aidan's 1st b'day next month and I've been searching for a healthy birthday cake idea for him.  I haven't introduced any sugar to him yet and am trying to give him the healthiest meals I can.

Well, I just couldn't find a cake that met my criteria - either they had sugar in them, or I tried to substitute the sugar for something else healthier and it didn't work out, or I tried a sugar-free cake and it didn't turn out good, so I was disappointed that I couldn't find a healthy b'day cake!

Then I found someone online who made banana ice-cream - I tried it and it turned out really well. :D  And then elsewhere I found another recipe for banana cream - all I changed here was to sub stevia for sugar and leave out vanilla essence because I didn't have one without some nasty ingredients in it, and it's so tasty. :)

So here's my practice round for Aidan's b'day "cake" . . .
How cute is that? :D

All you do is freeze a ripe banana - just don't use an overly ripe one whose skin has already gone black - the ice-cream will taste bitter (I used such a banana 'cause I was so impatient to try out this ice-cream to see if it works, that I used the only banana I had on hand).  The recipe also said not to use a green banana, because it will make for a "green" tasting ice-cream.
  • peel banana, chop banana into bite size chunks (I used 1 1/2 banana for this single size serving)
  • freeze for 2 hours
  • put in a food processor and blend until it turns creamy
When you start blending it will look all crumbly, but eventually (less than a minute) it suddenly turns creamy and ice-cream texture-y.  If it sticks to the sides of the food processor, just scrape it down back onto the blades and keep blending.

Then it's basically ready to eat!  It's so creamy, and really good actually.  This must be one of the healthiest ice-creams ever!

I put the ice-cream into a mini silicone mould though, 'cause I wanted something that looks more like a "cake" with some shape instead of a bowl of ice-cream, so I froze it for another few hours - I accidentally forgot about it and so don't know how long it was in the freezer for, but I froze it until it was quite hard.

To get it out I loosened the edges of the mould and ran the bottom of the mould under warm water to get it loose, and it came out easily.
Next time I'll just make sure to press the ice-cream down nicely into the mould, but it doesn't matter, it's getting covered by cream. :)

As for the cream, here's what you need (this is WAYYY more than you need for a little baby dessert, so use less if you don't like to eat the cream throughout the day). :)

1 cup fresh cream
15 drops liquid stevia
1/2 banana, mashed REALLY well until it's almost liquid with no chunks in it (add more banana if you want it more banana-y)
  • add stevia and whip until stiff - make it as stiff as you like it
  • mix in banana by hand, or for just 1 second mix it with your blender - you don't want to over-whip the cream
  • scoop into ice-cream
Serve immediately.  Hope it turns out this good on his b'day!
A cute little "cake" that baby can make a yummy mess with. :)  You'll probably have to feed the ice-cream to him with a spoon though.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Scrambled Eggs with Cheese & Avocado

Here's a recipe I found online and tried it this morning, and I'll definitely be making this fancy scrambled egg version again. :)

For 1 serving, this is what you'll need:

1/2 small onion (small onion = 2 inch onion)
2 eggs
1/2 cup grated cheese (I used cheddar)
1/2 an avocado
salt & pepper to taste
butter for frying

  • Heat up butter then fry onion until lightly browned
  • Beat eggs then add cheese and mix together
  • Pour eggs into pan and fry like normal scrambled eggs
  • When cooked, stir in chopped avo, plate up & munch
Ok so I overcooked my onion a little, which are the brown bits you see there.  It really is more appetizing than it looks in my pic. :)  I wouldn't have thought eggs & avo are a good combo, but surprise surprise...

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Pineapple & Coconut Pudding

This tastes more like a pineapple cake and I can't really taste any coconut, maybe one could add some desiccated coconut next time.  But it's sooooo tasty, especially served with cream poured all over. :)

The recipe is actually a cake, but I used a glass dish and baked it like a dessert, 'cause cake tins can't be put into the dishwasher. ;)

175g cake flour (I used wholewheat normal flour and it worked perfectly)
10ml baking powder
150g castor sugar
95ml sunflower oil
75ml coconut milk
2 eggs, separated
1 lemon's grated zest
1 can crushed pineapple pieces, drained and juice reserved

  • mix flour, baking powder and sugar into mixing bowl.  Mix oil and coconut milk in a separate bowl
  • add egg yolks and lemon zest to coconut mixture.  Fold into dry ingredients and add pineapple pieces
  • beat egg whites until stiff and fold into cake batter.  Pour into baking tin (or glass dish) and bake for 40 mins, or until skewer comes out clean.
  • 30ml pineapple juice
  • 30ml golden syrup
  • 125ml coconut milk
          Mix together and heat to luke warm.  Pour over cake when you take it out of oven.

Serve hot or cold.
Yum yum yum!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Cinnamon Cake

The original name of this cake as I found it is Cinnamon Cinnabon cake, but it's not cinnabon-y enough to be classified as such, in my opinion, so to me it's just a cinnamon cake!
It was the yummiest the same day I made it - it was crunchy on top, but the next day the crunch was gone already.
But it's a tasty cake!


3 cups flour (I used wholewheat) + 2 tbsp separately
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbs baking powder
1 1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup butter softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbs ground cinnamon


  • preheat oven to 180 degree C (350 degree F), and grease 2 8inch cake pans and line the bottoms with wax paper
  • in a mixer, blend 3 cups flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, milk eggs, vanilla and 1/4 cup butter.  Divide batter evenly between 2 cake pans
  • in another mixing bowl, beat 1 cup butter with brown sugar, 2 tbsp flour and cinnamon.  Beat until fully blended and fluffy (about 3 mins).  Using 2 tablespoons, drop blobs of butter mixture onto cake batter and then use a knife to swirl
  • bake for about 25-30 mins
Best munched on the day it's made!  I didn't have any on hand, but I think this would have been yummy with cream poured all over it. :D