November 29, 2010

Daikon fritters

Daikon fritters

First up, the daikon radish!
I actually called my mom for some recipe ideas and she gave me the advice to eat the daikon first because it would lose firmness pretty quickly the longer I kept it in my fridge.
The first thing that came to my mind was making a salad out of it, so I googled for some recipes with daikon and it seemed like you could make some good fritters out of it. I love fritters! Normally I make them with zucchini, but this was worth the try.
They were pretty easy to make and I ended up using only half of my daikon, so I can try making something else with it tomorrow. (or maybe I'll just put it in the salad I'm going to have for lunch at work)
The fritters didn't quite taste like the raw stuff, they were a little less bitter, which is much better to me. So all in all, I'm pretty satisfied with the result.

Daikon fritters (serves 1, or 2 as a side dish)
- approx. 15 cm of daikon
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1 tbsp arrowroot
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- 1/2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- pepper to taste
- vegetable oil, for frying

1. Grate the daikon and add the shallot, eggs, almond flour, arrowroot, sesame seeds, coriander, ginger and pepper.
2. Stir well, until a thick mixture forms.
3. Heat some oil in a frying pan and drop in a big, heaping tablespoon of the daikon mixture.
4. Reduce heat to medium, and flip the fritter when it starts to brown on the sides. (approx. 3 minutes)
5. Fry for another 2-3 minutes on the other side, until browned, and transfer to a plate.
6. Repeat with the rest of the daikon mixture. Of course you can always fry multiple fritters at the same time, depending on the size of your frying pan.
7. Serve with a green salad, or as a side dish with a chicken or fish curry for example.

Now all I need to do is find out what to do with the other half of my daikon..

New veggies

Groceries 29 nov

Well, this is what I'll be eating this week. I did my groceries today and also decided to go to the market and look for veggies that I'd never eaten or cooked with before, and as you can see, this is what I came back with. (looks really colourful, doesn't it?)
Of course I'm familiar with most of these fruis and veggies, but as for some, I don't have a clue what to do with them yet!
Ok, this is what's on the table:
Dried apricots, carrots, coconut milk, pumpkin, butternut, leeks, iceberg lettuce, raisins, eggs, broccoli, ginger, daikon radish (also called 'rettich' in Dutch), tomatoes, zucchini, apples, pears, bananas, kohlrabi, parsnip, okra, black winter radish, taro root (or Chinese tayer), turnip, thai eggplant.

Quite a lot, isn't it? I certainly won't be hungry this week!
I have a lot of research to do on some of these veggies, it even took me a while to figure out their English names. I'm really curious on how the taro roots and black winter radishes will taste. And turnips are quite new to me too. I only know you can put them into a salad, but I bet there's a lot more to them. The same thing goes for the daikon radish.
While I was waiting to pay for my veggies at the market, a woman came up to me and asked how I was going to prepare the taro roots. When I told her I didn't have a clue (I must have looked pretty weird, buying stuff I don't know how to cook with) she immediately started telling me that you could slice and bake them, but you could also cut them into cubes and make some kind of sauce out of them. She also warned me; they taste a bit slimy, but good. I'm not sure what to expect now, but I'll just hope whatever I end up cooking with them will taste good.

They actually had more veggies I didn't know yet, but I need to cook my way through this pile of food first. There will be another farmers market next week, and I might just go there!

November 28, 2010

Chocolate chestnut cupcakes

Chocolate chestnut cupcake

I spent a lot of time in the kitchen yesterday, attempting to make these cupcakes work. It was really hard to get them sweet enough, and unfortunately it simply couldn't be done without adding some agave. Not entirely paleo, but they're worth making for those times you feel like treating yourself with something sweet and don't feel like having fruit. You can simply freeze the ones that are left over and take them out another time.

This morning I had my first taste (I topped it with coconut cream, as you see) and I must say it turned out pretty well!
The chestnut flavour combines wonderfully with the cocoa, and it doesn't taste like banana at all even though there a quite a few of those in there.
My inspiration was this recipe from BBC GoodFood, mine however, don't look like those at all. I simply put the chocolate inside, instead of on top, and they aren't half as sweet as the ones from the original recipe are.
Because I only had 1 jumbo muffin pan, I ended up making 6 jumbo muffins, and I simply poured the rest of the batter into my brownie tin. That turned out pretty well too.
If anyone wonders where I got the chestnut puree; from my local supermarket. I knew they had it for a while, but never had a recipe to use it, so I bought it right away when this opportunity came around.

Chocolate chestnut cupcakes (makes 10 jumbo cupcakes)
- 1 can chestnut puree (439 g)
- 6 eggs
- 3 large, very ripe bananas
- 3/4 cup agave nectar
- 200g almond flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- coconut cream, for topping

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius and line 10 jumbo muffin cups with paper liners.
2. Puree the chestnut with the eggs, bananas and agave in a blender or food processor.
3. In a large bowl, mix almond flour, baking powder and cocoa until well combined. Stir in the chestnut mixture, until well combined.
4. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
5. Bake for approx. 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
6. Let cool and serve with a nice dollop of coconut cream on top.

November 26, 2010

Kohlrabi and thyme stir-fry

Kohlrabi and thyme stir-fry

Last weekend, my mom and me made this Kohlrabi Casserole from This Primal Life, as I told you before. Today I made my own version out of it, it's much quicker and I added more flavour to it by adding other herbs and spices. I also exchanged the sausages for some minced steak, so I wouldn't eat all those additives that usually are in sausages. The kohlrabi turned out to still be a little crunchy, I like that much better than veggies that are cooked until they've died, twice.
So all in all I liked the way it turned out, and I'm definitely going to make it again.

Kohlrabi and thyme stir-fry (serves 1)
- 150g minced steak (or low fat minced meat)
- 1 large kohlrabi, peeled and cut into 1x1 cm cubes
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp dried or fresh thyme
- 1 tsp dried or fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 tbsp olive oil

1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and stir-fry the meat until browned.
2. Add the onion, garlic and ginger, keep stirring, until the onion starts to get soft, then add the kohlrabi.
3. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes and add the other spices.
4. When the kohlrabi starts softening a little (approx. 5 minutes), add coconut milk.
5. Reduce heat to low and stir occasionally until no excess fluid is left in the pan.
6. Serve hot.

Banana coconut breakfast

Banana coconut breakfast

Yum, this is another one of my favourite breakfast dishes. Easy to make, and very satisfying.
The base is a creamy, thick banana coconut mixture, to which I add fruits and nuts. You could also eat it as a snack or dessert after a smaller meal.
It's also something I have at night, when I feel a little hungry or simply want to snack. (You know.. Friday nights..)

Banana coconut breakfast (serves 1)
- 1 large banana
- 2 tsp coconut flour
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 small apple, grated
- 2 tbsp ground flax seed
- hand full of mixed nuts
- some fresh or frozen berries

1. Puree the banana with a fork and add coconut flour and milk. Stir until well-combined and a creamy and thick mixture has formed.
2. Add the grated apple, flax seed and nuts and stir well.
3. Top with berries and serve.

November 24, 2010

Roast parsnip and squash

Parsnip and squash

Today I had this warming and wintery dish for dinner, and it couldn't have been easier to prepare. As I told you yesterday, I would be cooking something with parsnip today. I did some browsing online, to find a recipe I liked, and to my surprise most recipes involved roasting it in the oven.
Of course there were soups and stews too, and one recipe even was for 'parsnip cake' (which is the same as carrot cake, with parsnip instead of carrot, as you might have figured).

Since I'm fairly new to this veggie I thought it would be best to roast it, in order to get to know the taste.
I absolutely loved it!

Roast parsnip and squash, with tilapia (serves 1)
- 1 small parsnip, cut into fries
- 1/4 of a butternut, seeds removed and cut into fries
- 1 tilapia fillet
- 1 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- lemon pepper
- 2 tsp rosemary (fresh or dried)
- 1 tsp thyme (fresh or dried)
- 2 tbsp olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius, and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
2. Put the parsnip and butternut fries onto the baking tray, sprinkle with olive oil, 1 tsp rosemary and 1 tsp thyme and mix well using your hands.
3. Divide the fries over the tray, leaving some room in between the individual pieces. Leave some room for the fish on the tray too, and put the tray into the oven.
4. In the mean time, create a small baking dish out of some aluminium foil and put the tilapia fillet in there, sprinkle with the lemon juice, 1 tsp rosemary and lemon pepper to taste.
5. After 15 minutes of baking, put the fish on the left over spot on the baking tray into the oven. Bake for 20 more minutes until the fish is done and the parsnip and butternut are slightly browned.
Serve warm and enjoy!

Parsnip and squash 2

November 23, 2010

Travel plans

No recipes today.. Hopefully tomorrow! At least I do plan on trying a new recipe by then. I do however have something else to share;
I found another food spot in New York!
Peacefood Cafe
Everything on their menu is vegan, and they also offer gluten free options. It's not all paleo, but reading the menu makes me go hungry in an instant. They also have a small 'raw' section on their menu, including a key lime pie, raspberry pie and chocolate mousse. Sounds delicious! Hopefully we'll have some time to visit that place in April.
I wonder what their chickpea fries will be like..
I haven't had decent fries in a really long time, and I must admit that I sometimes crave them. I tried making pumpkin fries and carrot fries, but nothing tastes like the potato verson. I bought a parsnip yesterday so maybe I can try to make fries out of it, in case I don't come up with a better idea to prepare it.

Last Sunday my mom and me made this recipe from This Primal Life; Kohlrabi Casserole with Sausage and Fresh Thyme. It turned out really well! I didn't know you could prepare kohlrabi like this.
Next time we're going to add some garlic and other spices too, because it was slightly too blunt for our taste. (of course we left the salt out, which might have made a difference)

These days all I can think about is travelling.. I wish it was April already and time to go to New York!
Over the weekend I also changed my 'big holiday' plans for 2011. The only disadvantage about it is that I postponed it a few months. My destination will be Australia, and since the seasons are reversed over there it's best to go when it's Winter over here, so I can enjoy Aussie's warm and sunny weather while everyone else is freezing.
Of course I didn't work it all out yet, but I'm going to travel from Sydney to Adelaide (or the other way around) in my own small camper, along the Great Ocean Road. And on the way there and on the way back home I'm going to make a stop over in Asia for a few days. I'm not sure which cities yet, one of them will probably be Singapore, and the other one will either be Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong or Bangkok.
It's going to be my first time camping.. I wonder if I should try it out first somewhere in the Netherlands, in my own tent on a desolate place. Walking to the toilet in the dark, toilet paper underneath my arm.. Being cold in bed or sweating like crazy so I float out of my tent. Doesn't sound appealing at all to be honest. I'm sure a camper will be different, at least I'd have a decent bed and it won't be in Holland. (which probably is the point that makes most sense)
I'll probably go around November or December next year and will take about a month for the whole trip. I can't wait!!
It seems like a really long time away, and who knows what my life will be like by then, but it's what keeps me going, trying to save as much money as possible.
Eating paleo over there won't be much of a challenge I guess, besides having to resist the temptation from all the delicious looking cakes and pies.. I should definitely try and find some Organic supermarkets over there. If anyone has suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

November 21, 2010

High tea breakfast

High tea

This is what my breakfast looked like this morning! Yum!
It's more like a brunch, because my mom and me were so full afterwards that we're sure we don't need to have lunch today. It's almost all paleo, the only thing is that there was some agave in some of the muffins and, of course, sugar in the chocolates. No grains or dairy though!
The things you see are (from top to bottom):
- chocolates (from the local 'chocolaterie', with raisins and nuts)
- apple cinnamon muffins (made by mom)
As you can see I used a lot of recipes from Elana's Pantry, those always work out really well, and they're very tasty.
Yesterday evening we baked these biscuits, which are from Elana's Pantry as well. We thought they would make a perfect replacement for the usual scones you have with a high tea. And they did!
They were so easy to make. We just put all the ingredients into my mom's Magimix foodprocessor, and a dough magically formed. Because of the dough's consistency it gave me loads of ideas for other recipes (with some adaptations of course), but yesterday we decided to stick with the original recipe for biscuits.

Biscuits raw

It was just a matter of minutes before they were ready to pop into the oven. I didn't roll out the dough between parchment paper, I just made 12 balls out of it, making small scones. And after just 23 minutes at 175 degrees Celsius, they had browned nicely. We enjoyed them with some Apricot jelly (100% fruit) this morning. They're very tasty, and would be even better with 'clotted cream'; the thick coconut cream you can scoop out of a can of good quality coconut milk (no shaking) would do the trick.

All in all this made the perfect replacement for a high tea! As you can see, we're not that much into the sandwiches that usually go with that.
And if you can make it like this, there's no harm in enjoying a high tea every once in a while.

Banana muffins

Banana muffins

This weekend I'm staying at my parents' home, having fun in the kitchen with my mom. (and of course we're doing some serious (window) shopping too!)
Yesterday morning the funniest thing happened; the cat was stuck in the neighbours' garden. (not my cat, who's also living here now, but the older one they already had)
She's getting a little older and since the neighbour had removed all large plants from his garden, our cat couldn't jump the fence to get back anymore so she was totally panicked. This all happened before 8am, when it was still a little dark.
Of course my mom and me decided we had to rescue her, and since the neighbour wasn't home that meant climbing his fence. So I dressed up in my mom's old clothes and sneakers, put a ladder against the fence and climbed over it. My landing wasn't so smooth, I slipped and fell, followed by a worried cry from my mom 'ooh, did you just fall!?', which I'm confident the whole neighbourhood heard.. After winning the cat's trust, which was still panicked, and handing it over to my mom who was on the ladder, I had to get back out of that garden.. Climbing wouldn't work, because the wood was so moist I slipped all the time. I guess it looked hilarious since you saw my face coming up over the fence, and then slipping back again a few times. (of course followed by worried questions if I was ok) At that point I got worried if none of the neighbours would be filming us, you never know when you end up on youtube.. I'm sure a couple of them were laughing their asses off though.
Finally we decided my mom would hand me the kitchen ladder and a rope, which I would tie around the ladder, so I could climb back over the fence and pull it up. After slipping once more, we succeeded! To our relief, everything seemed quiet in the other homes, but when we wanted to go shopping an hour or so later, one of the neighbours stepped out, asking what had happened.. He had seen it all..

Anyhow, later that day we made these banana muffins, they're really tasty. We made them with vanilla, but you could also replace that for 1 tsp of cinnamon. Glazing them with chocolate would be good too!
Here's the recipe:

Banana muffins
- 3 bananas
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla seeds
- 1 tbsp arrowroot

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius and grease 5 large muffin cups with some oil.
2. Add all ingredients to a blender, process on high speed for about 30 seconds.
3. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
4. Bake for approx. 45 minutes, until browned and a toothpick inserted in comes out clean.
5. Let cool and enjoy!

We actually ate these when they were still warm, that was really good!

November 18, 2010

Pumpkin chicken curry

Pumpkin chicken curry

My second meal made with my Asian groceries was a success today! I had never prepared okra before, but it turned out really well. The best thing is that I had some of this curry left over, so I can have it again tomorrow.
I really should take a course on how to photograph food so that it looks tasty. I'd never thought this would be a form of art in itself.

Tomorrow I'm going to my parents' home to spend the weekend over there, and my mom and me have already decided to try out some new recipes. We're even planning to make some kind of brunch or afternoon tea together, and it'll be mostly Paleo!
I'm definitely going to take some pictures. (if it works out, of course)

Here's my curry recipe:

Pumpkin Chicken Curry (serves 2)
- 300g organic chicken fillet
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 small butternut, cut into small pieces (about 1x1x1 cm)
- 200g okras, cut into approx. 2 cm pieces
- 2 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger root
- 1 1/2 cup coconut milk (or 1 can)
- 2 tbsp chopped, fresh coriander leaves
- 1 tbsp coconut oil

1. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and heat the oil in a wok or frying pan.
2. Stir-fry the chicken until brown and add the onion, fenugreek seeds and ginger. Stir-fry until the onion starts to brown slightly.
3. Add the okra and butternut, stir-fry for a few minutes, then add the curry powder, cumin and coconut milk. Keep stirring for a minute or so, until well combined.
4. Reduce heat to low, cover the wok and simmer for 6-8 minutes.
5. Divide over two deep plates or bowls and serve with fresh coriander leaves on top.

If you want, you can also serve it with some dry roasted cashew nuts on top. But since I wasn't even able to finish the portion I made for myself, I was glad I hadn't.

November 17, 2010

Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin muffins

This is how my first try on pumpkin muffins looks. I got inspired by Elana's Pumpkin Pie Muffins and adapted the recipe to make it free of agave. I also added some walnuts as I love the way those combine with pumpkin and the spices used in these muffins.
I replaced the agave nectar for a banana, but next time I'm going to try and use 2 bananas and some more baking powder. These are just sweet enough to my taste, but it might be better if they'd been a little sweeter.

I love this BLOND Amsterdam plate that I put them on by the way. They've got so many girlie designs, they make me happier by just looking at them. There is a limit to this though. Some people might disagree, but you really can have too many happy designs. It would drive me absolutely crazy if my whole plate collection looked like this.

Anyway, this is how I made the muffins:

Pumpkin Muffins (makes 12)
- 1 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cookie spices (ground cloves, ginger, nutmeg)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 large banana
- 3 medium eggs
- 1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius and line a muffin tin with muffin cups.
2. Combine the almond flour, baking powder and spices in a large bowl.
3. Add the oil, banana, eggs and puree to a blender and blend on high speed for about 30 seconds.
4. Stir the blended pumpkin mixture into the almond flour and add the walnuts as well.
5. Scoop the batter into the muffin cups and bake them for approx. 45 minutes, until they're nicely browned. Let them cool for as long as you're able to hold yourself back from them, and enjoy!

If you'd like to put a topping on them, I suggest using some thick, coconut cream. If you take a can of good quality 100% coconut milk, put it in the fridge for a couple of hours (don't shake it!!) and then carefully take off the lid and scoop out the thick cream that's on top. This is your coconut cream. You can just put a dollop on top your muffin, or whip it up first, whatever you prefer.

Thai broccoli, salmon and Kimchi

Kimchi, Salmon and Thai broccoli

Here's what I did with some of my Asian groceries today. I didn't quite know how to combine the Kimchi, but this meal worked out pretty well. It looked way better on my plate than it does in this picture though..

First of all, I preheated the oven to 200 degrees Celsius and put a salmon fillet in there for 15 minutes.
In the mean time I chopped 150g of Thai broccoli and a small onion, and heated a teaspoon of olive oil in a non stick frying pan. First, I fried the onion until it started to brown, then added the Thai broccoli and stir-fried it for a few minutes. Then I added a small teaspoon of Thai red curry paste and stir-fried it for another couple of minutes.
I served it with 2 large tablespoons of Kimchi.
Easy does it!

I only need to find a way to use the rest of the Kimchi though, I've got quite a lot left. Perhaps I can mix it through a salad or something, or serve it on an omelet.

November 15, 2010

Asian groceries and pumpkin puree

Asian groceries

Inspired by Slice Of Seoul I decided to pay my local Asian supermarket a visit. This is what I came back with:
- A jar of Kimchi (Korean!)
- Okra
- Thai broccoli
- Coriander leaves
- 2 Small butternuts

I'm not sure yet what I'm going to cook with these, but I might try making a lovely Thai/Korean dish, served with Kimchi on the side, of course. I think I'm going to stir-fry the broccoli with some Thai red curry paste, and add sesame chicken strips and fresh coriander.
The okras will make a good Indian curry another day, together with some onion and small chunks of pumpkin.
You'll probably see what I turned these veggies into later this week.

Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish, the main ingredient is napa (or Chinese) cabbage. I've never tried it, so I can't tell you what it tastes like just yet. According to this Wikipedia article it's really healthy! I can't wait to try it. The only thing non-Paleo about it, is that it's made using quite a large amount of salt. Since I never add salt to anything anymore, I guess it won't do much harm having it just this once.
Today I made myself some pumpkin puree, using Kelly's idea, on her website The Spunky Coconut. It was so easy! I just popped the whole pumpkin into the oven (200 degrees Celsius), left it in there for an hour, let it cool, and I could easily peel the skin off. Even the seeds were really easy to scoop out and, using my new hand blender, a puree was made in just a few secs.
I added some ginger and cinnamon, to have it with some stir-fried broccoli and yellowfin sole fillets. Quite a simple meal, but satisfying. The puree combined nicely with the broccoli and fish, although I usually prefer more daring flavours. Let's just say I went Dutch today! (in other words; I made a boring meal)
I'm going to use the leftover puree in a whole different way though! I think I'm going to make muffins out of it.
Pumpkin puree with yellowfin and broccoli

So I've got loads of new cooking and baking ideas for the upcoming week. I certainly won't get bored after work!

November 14, 2010

Strawberry banana cheesecake

Strawberry banana cheesecake

Finally, I made a pie that actually resembles the strawberry cheesecake I used to make as a child. (but without the dairy, grains or sugar..)
A few months ago, when the strawberry season was coming to an end, I managed to buy a whole lot of them for a low price at the local market. Of course it was way too much to eat on my own, and quite a few of them didn't look like they were going to survive in the fridge for over a day. So I decided to sort them out and puree about half of them, I put the puree into the freezer with the idea to make some kind of cheesecake out of them later on. So when I knew my parents would be visiting me today, I remembered me strawberry puree and decided I was going to make a cheesecake.
They tested it, and loved it, and so did I! The best thing is that I still have enough left over to enjoy for breakfast for a few times.
This is how I made it:

Strawberry banana cheesecake: (serves 8)
- 1 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 500ml strawberry puree (takes a little over 500g of fresh strawberries, just give them a wash, no need to remove the green parts)
- 2 large bananas, sliced
- 100g solid creamed coconut (from a 200g block, also called Santen), chopped into smaller pieces
- 3 eggs
- 1 tbsp arrowroot
- 1/4 tsp vanilla powder

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
2. Combine almond flour and coconut oil in a bowl and mix it until it gets crumbly. Press it out with your hands in a large tart or quiche pan, making the base, and set aside.
3. Combine the other ingredients in a blender and blend on full speed until well combined.
4. Gently pour mixture into the base and put it into the oven.
5. Bake for approx. 35 minutes, don't let it get too dark, let it cool and put it in the fridge.
6. Serve cold.

Lemon avocado mousse

Lemon avocado mousse

Last Friday the avocados were on sale again in my local supermarket, so it was time to make one of my favourite avocado dishes: lemon avocado mousse.
This mousse is quite versatile, you can have it for breakfast, dessert or even as a snack when you're hungry.
I mostly have it for breakfast though!

Lemon avocado mousse: (serves 2)
- 2 lemons
- 2 big avocados
- 1 large banana
- 25g creamed coconut (from a 200g block, also called 'Santen')

1. Zest one of the lemons and put this away in the fridge.
2. Peel the lemons and remove the thin, white layers the cover the flesh (these are bitter) and seeds. You only want to use the actual lemon flesh. Put the flesh in a blender.
3. Slice the avocados in half, remove pits and scoop the flesh out. Add to blender.
4. Peel and slice the banana and add to blender too, along with the creamed coconut.
5. Pulse a few times until everything's combined, then put the blender on high speed for about 1 minute so you end up with a thick, creamy mousse.
6. Divide over 2 bowls and put in the fridge for a couple of hours. Serve with lemon zest.

As you see, it's an easy recipe, but the hard part is removing those thin white layers to get out the lemon flesh. It takes time, and I usually end up getting lemon juice squirted into my eyes a couple of times, but it's all worth it. (perhaps I should try wearing my old swimming goggles next time..)

November 13, 2010

Banana pancakes

Banana pancakes

Here's another breakfast dish I like to make; banana pancakes.
If you enjoy having a large breakfast, I'd recommend having half of these and save the other half for tomorrow, and just have some fruit and nuts or carrot salad with walnuts, whatever you prefer, with it. Personally, I ate the whole batch and then some more fruit with nuts and seeds. Yes, my appetite seems to have returned! Partially, at least.
Breakfast is my favourite meal, it gives me a solid base to get through the day. That's why I always get up quite early, I need some time to prepare and enjoy my 'brekkie'.
Sorry the picture isn't quite that clear, but here's the recipe:

Banana pancakes: (serves 1 or 2)
- 1 banana
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp coconut milk
- 2 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp vanilla powder (you could scrape out the seeds from a vanilla pod as well, or see if you can find the seeds in a jar)
- approx. 2 tbsp coconut oil, for frying

1. Mash the banana in a bowl and add eggs, coconut milk and flour, ground flaxseed, baking powder and vanilla powder and give it a good whisk until well combined.
2. Heat some of the coconut oil in a non-stick frying pan, take about a 1/4 cup sized (a little less) amount of the batter and drop it in the pan. Add another one, making 2 pancakes.
3. Reduce heat to low, and as soon as you see the sides of the pancakes becoming a little firmer and when they've started to rise, flip them over carefully. Try making it a quick flip, as the top will still be fluid.
4. Let them bake for a short while longer, check if the bottom has browned and if so, transfer them to a plate.
5. Repeat with the rest of the batter. Makes 6 pancakes.
6. Make sure you add enough oil, and don't be impatient by increasing the heat; they will blacken. As you can see in the picture, mine turned out slightly dark already.

You could serve these with some fresh fruit, I think any type of berries would be nice. You could also substitute the vanilla for cinnamon, if you want to make them more seasonal.

November 11, 2010

One (not so) Lucky Duck

Since I really haven't felt like cooking anything special, nor eating, these past couple of days, I thought I'd share a nice spot to have a meal or to get a snack I found online.
Next April, I'm going to New York City with my mom, so I've been browsing the web for nice places to eat. One of them is "One Lucky Duck", they've got a restaurant, 2 locations for take away (all located in Manhattan) and a lovely webshop. Check it out:

Of course I had to take a look at the menu (perhaps it would provide me with some inspiration), they only serve raw food and everything's vegan and gluten and dairy free! How awesome!

One of their dishes I would definitely like to try is this: Brazil Nut Crusted Almond and Sea Vegetable Croquettes
I don't have a clue what it'll taste like, but it sounds really good. I'm so curious about the recipe for this dish. Perhaps I could try and make some sticky paste out of veggies, turn them into balls and roll them through a mixture of ground nuts?
I guess a thick pumpkin puree would do the trick. I'm definitely going to try sometime!

As for the desserts, I wouldn't be able to choose. It all looks incredibly tasty and what's not to love when it's all gluten- and dairy free? "Trio of Dark Chocolate Coated Indian Spiced Ice Cream Treats" and "Lemon Cheesecake with Blackberries". I still have a lot to learn when it comes to raw food.
Their take away menus look just as tasty, so I'm sure my mom and me will be paying One Lucky Duck a visit, and maybe even more than once.
These Chocolate Truffles simply look too good to be true. (yes I know, they're not paleo, but every girl needs a chocolate fix every once in a while, and a holiday is the ultimate excuse to have one)

Even though I've found a place that has great food, I don't feel so lucky myself at all..
This Thursday my therapist found out that I've become allergic to cats, which meant my little kitten Luna had to go.. She's only 12 weeks old, and I had her for 5 weeks. I've never been allergic to cats, but my immune system has gotten weaker at work; I work with lung patients, who cough in my face all the time, giving me a lot of viruses to deal with. If I had to choose which had to go; cat or work, I would definitely have said work, but I can't live without any money (obviously) so the cat had to go.. Luckily my parents are now providing her a loving home, and even though my health will probably benefit a lot of this, I feel really sad and empty and I don't even feel like eating or cooking (which is extremely rare for me). There's simply no one to greet me in the morning or when I get home from work, who's always happy to see me. And it's not 'just a cat', it's my companion. I miss her.. a lot..
So I have to get used to living 'cat-less' for now. I'm going to visit her in 3 weeks, and if that doesn't make me feel tired or anything after a couple of hours, I can have her back. So I'm just hoping I'll be a lucky duck too..

November 9, 2010

Zucchini fritters & roasted butternut

Zucchini fritters

Since yesterday, an annoying headache has been bugging me, which drastically decreased my appetite. I was hoping it would be gone today, but unfortunately, as soon as I opened my eyes I noticed it was still there. By now it isn't that bad anymore, but food still doesn't taste that good. Therefore I made myself an easy lunch; zucchini fritters with roasted butternut.
Normally, I have these fritters for breakfast, along with some fruit, but you can have these with any meal of course.

Zucchini fritters: (serves 1)
- 1/2 zucchini
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp Italian herbs (preferably with dried red onion and garlic)
- 1/2 tbsp arrowroot
- some lemon pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp olive oil (for frying)
Optional: 1 1/2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped

1. Grate the zucchini (using a medium grater) and put into a bowl.
2. Add the other ingrediĆ«nts, except for the oil and stir until well combined.
3. Heat half of the oil in a frying pan and put in a heaping tablespoon of the zucchini mixture, add 2 more heaping tablespoons, leaving about an inch in between the fritters.
4. Reduce heat to medium and turn fritters after a few minutes.
5. After approx. 2 minutes, check if both sides have nicely browned, and transfer the fritters to a plate.
6. Repeat steps 3-5 with the remaining mixture. Makes 6 fritters.

I think these would be good with some home made tomato salsa, I'm definitely going to try that sometime. However I need to come up with a recipe for that first..
Just in case you would like to serve these with roasted butternut as well, this is really easy; preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Take the skin off a butternut, using a peeler. Cut it in half twice, lengthwise. For 1 person, you will need about 1 of these pieces.
Remove the seeds, cut the butternut into fries and put them on the baking tray. Drizzle with some olive oil and dust with the spices of your choice (paprika, pepper, chilli powder, oregano, whatever you like). Make sure the pieces are coated with the spices and oil, using your hands. (it does make your hands messy, but this is the easiest and quickest way)
Put the tray into the oven and bake approx. 25 minutes until soft.
If you don't have a butternut, you can use any kind of pumpkin instead.

November 8, 2010

Carrot Oatmeal

Carrot Oatmeal

Here it is, my first recipe I'd like to share with you.
It's one of my favourite breakfast dishes, it's really quick and easy to make and more importantly; it tastes good. I'm aware that it doesn't look that tasty at all, but if I had to describe the taste it would be a mix of warm oatmeal and carrot cake. Without the grains of course.
This dish always fills me up and keeps me going all morning without feeling hungry.

Carrot Oatmeal: (serves 1)
- 1 banana
- 1 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 1/2 tbsp almond flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cookie spice (or mix some nutmeg, ground cloves and ginger)
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 2 tbsp raisins
- 2 tbsp shaved almonds
- small handful of walnuts, broken into pieces

1. In a bowl, mash the banana with a fork and add coconut flour, almond flour, spices, coconut milk and eggs.
2. Mix (a fork will do, no equipment needed) until well combined.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and stir through.
4. Tranfer the mixture to a small saucepan and put over medium heat.
5. Stir constantly until the mixture has thickened and doesn't stick to the pan anymore, this takes approx. 6 minutes.
6. Serve warm and enjoy!

November 7, 2010


Here we go.. I've made my decision.
I've just scarfed down all non-paleo food I could find in my home (i.e. potato crisps, chocolate, sugar-sweet coconut pudding) and as we speak I'm baking myself some cookies to have later this evening. I gave in to my cravings for the last time and in case they ever come up again I'll just have to deal with it.
Starting tomorrow, I'm 'going Paleo'!
I've already made numerous attempts to make the switch, but I always end up stuffing myself with non-paleo food on weekends, and lots of it. That doesn't really benefit my health, nor my weight or mood. I already cut out grains from my diet a year ago, and dairy and gluten a couple of years before due to food intolerances, so it won't be a huge change for me. However, no sugary or salty snacks anymore will be hard sometimes.

In this blog I'll share some of my recipes (I love cooking!), food finds and more with everyone.