Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Peanut butter browni

My mum didn’t bake much sweets when I was growing up. Koreans don’t eat much sweet cakes, muffins and pies, but have a fruit plate for dessert. However, we do have some chocolate snacks from the shop. Oh oh.. I remember when I visit to my grandma’s house, she always gives me some money and asks me to get a packet of cigarette from the shop. Then I’m more than happy to run down to the shop because I can buy whatever with the change. The bigger note she gives me the more snacks for us 🙂 We have a couple of snacks called “Choco pie” and “Oh! yes!” (yes, it is English name >.<). First one is basically similar to a whoopie pie with marshmallow in the middle. Second one is a light chocolate sponge cake bar with chocolate cream in the middle. It comes in an individual packet, a dozen in a box. I then kindly share with all my cousins when I get back from the shop. A dozen of pies easily gone in a sec! Brownies kind of remind me of those snacks I used to have and baking them makes me happy. This brownie recipe gave me 8 little squares. When it’s all done in the oven you are supposed to take it out, cool it down in a pan, even put in the fridge to cool completely before cutting them. Me? I just don’t wait whenever I bake cakes or bars. Why is it so hard to walk away and let it cool? Don’t make same mistakes like me x


100g dark chocolate
100g self-raising flour
1/4 cup of oats
1/2 cup of coconut oil
1 egg
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of baking powder
a teaspoon of cacao powder
a pinch of salt
3 teaspoons of crunchy peanut butter

Preheat the oven to 180. Sift all dry ingredients and set aside. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler over medium heat or in a microwave and then stir in the sugar. Whisk the egg, milk and chocolate mixture in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Fold to combine until smooth. Transfer to a prepared pan, drop little globs of peanut butter and swirl with a knife. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Allow the brownies to cool in the pan before cutting.

Tofu Scramble

Tips for cooking with firm tofu! When you scramble or stir-fry or grill your tofu, having it pressed before cooking prevents too much water coming out and brings out more texture and flavour. Place the slices of firm tofu on top of kitchen towel and another paper towel on top. Put a heavy object like a plate or book on top of that for about 30 minutes while you are preparing other ingredients. After that, you can marinade or add spices to it.


1 block of firm tofu
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 small onion sliced
1/2 cup chopped kale (any kind of vegetables)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
salt and pepper to taste
a drizzle of sesame oil to finish

Press the tofu as above. Cook garlic and onion with coconut oil in a pan over medium heat. You can stir in any kind of vegetables here, mushrooms, capsicum, broccoli, tomato, etc. Add diced firm tofu and spices. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes until all ingredients are mixed together. You can smudge the tofu with the back of the wooden spoon to make more scramble, but I left them intact. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to the plate and top with fresh kale or herbs.

Forbidden Rice is New Black

Forbidden rice salad
I’ve written about red rice before. Today it is black wild rice (forbidden rice). According to Chinese sources, the name “Forbidden Rice” came from the fact that it was eaten only by royalty likely comes from the term 御稻 (yù dào) or imperial rice.

First of all, here is nutrition information of the different rice colours.

Polished white rice – contains 6.8 protein, 1.2 iron, 0.5 zinc and 0.6 fiber.
Brown rice – contains 7.9 protein, 2.2 iron, 0.5 zinc and 2.8 fiber
Purple rice – 8.3 protein, 3.9 iron, 2.2 zinc and 1.4 fiber.
Red rice – 7.0 protein, 5.5 iron, 3.3 zinc and 2.0 fiber.
Black rice – 8.5 protein, 3.5 iron, zero zinc and 4.9 fiber.

It is well-known that brown rice is a healthier alternative to white. The difference between the two is that white rice is devoid of bran, which is full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Like brown rice, black rice has similar nutrient levels and higher amounts of antioxidants. It is also a source of fiber and minerals, including iron. A 100 gram serving of black rice has 8.5 grams of protein, 3.5 milligrams of iron and 4.9 grams of fiber. Compared to white, brown and red rices, black rice has the highest amount of protein and double the fiber of brown rice. Black rice turns a deep purple when cooked and is packed with anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are phytochemicals found in deep blue and purple foods, which are thought to fight chronic disease such as cancer and heart disease. Another kind of antioxidant found in black rice bran is thought to be responsible for lowering bad cholesterol levels, helping prevent heart disease.

My mum used to cook wild rice with white and brown rice since the coloured rice can be quite tough and hard to digest for kids or if you are not used to it. So I recommend doing the same if you are the first timer cooking wild rice. I cook it in the same way as other rice but with more water for a little longer. Bring one cup of wild rice and three cups of water to the boil and then simmer on low heat for 40 minutes. Stir occasionally making sure it doesn’t burn at the bottom. My tip is once the rice is cooked, turn off the heat and then leave it for 5-10 minutes with a lid on. I find this process makes the rice moist and fluffy. You can make nice rice salads, pilaf, paella, sushi rolls, rice pudding, soup, baked rice casserole, etc. Choice is yours!
wild rice salad


For the forbidden rice salad
1 cup of cooked wild rice
1 carrot grated
1 cup of raw green beans chopped
a teaspoon of cayenne pepper
a teaspoon of cumin
a handful of pepitas
a stick of feta cheese
Himalayan salt and pepper to taste

For tahini dressing
a teaspoon of tahini paste
a teaspoon of white rice vinegar
a squeeze of lemon
a teaspoon of e.v.o.o
a teaspoon of sesame seeds

Raw Berry Cashew Cheese Cake

Having a handful of nuts everyday is good for you because nuts have a moderate amount of protein (9-20%) and high quantity of essential fat (49-74% total fat). They are also a good source of fibre, a range of essential nutrients, especially vitamin B and vitamin E, minerals like iron, zinc, potassium, magnesium and anti-oxidant compounds. Increasing nut consumption is NOT going to cause a weight gain, however, you need to enjoy in moderation and replace them for less nutritious foods such as chips and sugary snacks. So how much is recommended daily? 30-50 grams which correspond to

  • 20 almonds
  • 15 cashews
  • 20 hazelnuts
  • 15 macadamias
  • 15 pecans
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 60 pistachios in shells (30 g of kernels)
  • 10 whole walnuts or 20 walnut halves
  • a small handful of mixed nuts

As per my previous post, it is better to soak your nuts for your digestion. I find an easy way is making a nut-based “cheese” cake and enjoying a slice a day to have your daily nut intake. They are absolutely raw, pre-soaked and blended for you with a pack of flavour. Make this cake (about 6-7 servings) on the weekend and enjoy for a week. So easy!

Raw Berry CakeIngredients

For the base
100g mixed nuts (I used cashew, almonds, walnuts)
1 table spoon of coconut oil
1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
1 tablespoon of nutmeg
5 Medjool dates
a pinch of salt

For the filling
100g raw cashew nuts (soaked 4-5 hours or overnight)
100g frozen mixed berries
1 table spoon of coconut oil
1 table spoon of maple syrup or honey

Place the base ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it all comes together. Scoop out the mixture and spread in a spring-form pan. Press firmly and set in the fridge. Now onto the filling. Put all filling ingredients in a food processor and whiz up until smooth. Then pour the mixture onto the crust and smooth with a spatula. Place in the freezer for a few hours to set. Use a sharp knife to cut into slices to serve. Keep the rest in the freezer. Enjoy with berries on the side or just by itself x

GF Ravioli and Raw Zucchini Ribbon Salad

GF ravioli
Believe or not, I’ve never ordered ravioli or any other pasta dishes at Italian restaurant. I remember when I went out with work people for Christmas party a few years ago. We all went to this very popular Italian restaurant in town. Well some people ordered pizza, pasta, lasagna, you know all the traditional Italian foods. I ordered a bowl of salad (a safe option for being gluten-sensitive) and Daniel ordered a steak. Everyone laughed at us not ordering any Italian foods at Italian restaurant. I still don’t order those although they offer a gluten-free option. It tastes quite heavy to me. When I was browsing some food blogs, I came across this blog called “Dolly and Oatmeal” based in NY. Her blog has beautiful photographs and simple recipes that I fell in love. This ravioli is inspired by her.

You should all have some leftover rice papers in your pantry. Well I do! If you don’t, you can get them from any Asian groceries or in the Asian food aisle at the local supermarket. Handling rice papers can be a little bit tricky because it gets sticky and messy when you dip it in water too long. So you might need to play with it and practice until you get the hang of it. I like making rice paper rolls using fresh crisp vegetables and now making this gluten free ravioli! You can put any kind of fillings such as pesto, cheese, tofu, etc. I had a jar of chilli-capsicum chutney made up in the fridge, so decided to try with it. The bright red colour actually went so well with the green zucchini salad.

GF Ravioli1

For the ravioli
Rice papers

Dried chilli
Char grilled capsicum
a teaspoon of coconut oil
a teaspoon of smoked paprika
a teaspoon of cardamom powder
Himalayan salt

For the salad
1 zucchini
1 cup of arugula leaves
1 cup of sliced celery
a teaspoon of fennel seeds

Maple vinaigrette
a table spoon of coconut vinegar
a teaspoon of e.v.o.o
a teaspoon of maple syrup
a teaspoon of cayenne pepper
a squeeze of orange juice
salt and pepper to taste

Dip the rice paper in water until soft and set it on the plate. Put dollops of chutney fillings on the rice paper. Dip the second piece of rice paper in water and then put it over the bottom piece. Get rid of air bubbles using a knife to make little cuts and create a seal around the filling. You might want to use a bit of oil in your finger to handle the rice papers since it can be quite sticky. Use a cookie cutter or a sharp knife to cut the ravioli. For the salad, I simply mixed ribboned zucchini, sliced celery, arugula leaves and fennel seeds. Then tossed with the maple vinaigrette. A beautiful fresh summer salad! You can make this to impress your loved ones or it is a perfect entree on a special day.