Creamy Mushroom Soup

Mushroom SoupI normally make clear soups with a lot of spices and herbs. Though I sometimes get a craving for a creamy rich soup with earthy mushrooms. Don’t get me wrong I do not want any butter or cream in my soup to make me feel heavy. I’m talking about the meatiness of the mushrooms which can satisfy my cravings and fill me up. Their robust texture and flavour is great for vegetarian dishes. Not only that, they¬†are an excellent source of iron, selenium, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, copper, and zinc. This soup goes well with herbs like rosemary, thyme or parsley, even better if you can get a hold of fresh ones. Have some soup and stay warm everyone x

Ingredients

200g mushrooms chopped finely
1 cup of cauliflower chopped finely
1 potato
1 onion
1 tsp of minced garlic
1 tbsp of coconut oil
1/2 tsp of Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg
1 tsp of rice flour
1 cup of water or vegetable stock
1 cup of milk of your choice
salt and pepper to taste
tarragon for garnish

Heat coconut oil in a pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion and minced garlic until fragrant and soft. Add potato, cauliflower and mushrooms in and stir through for about 10 minutes until brown. Season. Add Dijon mustard, ground nutmeg, rice flour. Stir well. Then add water or stock with milk and simmer on low heat for 5-10 minutes. Ladle the soup into a serving bowl and garnish with a dash of milk and chopped tarragon.

GF Apple Tahini Loaf

apple tahini loafTahini is a paste made of sesame seeds. It is high in vitamins A, E, F and T, as well as B vitamins, biotin, and choline. Tahini is also 20 percent complete protein – higher than most nuts, great for vegetarians and vegans. Tahini is also high in minerals such as magnesium, potassium, iron, and phosphorus, and is an excellent source of calcium. I like using it in salad dressing, hummus, power balls and spreads. I’m sure you all know the slices of apple and nut butter is a good flavour combination as well as a great snack between meals. I added a table spoon of tahini in the loaf batter and used another table spoon to drizzle over the cake. It tastes beautiful and also adds more nutrition to this guilt-free cake. You can also add some chopped dates or walnut in this recipe if you like.

Ingredients

1 Granny Smith apple
3 eggs
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp unhulled tahini paste
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp flaxseed meal
1/4 cup coconut flour
3/4 cup almond flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla bean powder
a pinch of salt

Gently beat eggs, melted coconut oil, 1 tbsp of tahini paste and maple syrup in a large bowl. Add all dry ingredients into a bowl and combine well with a spatula. Pour the half of the mixture into a prepared loaf tin, put the layer of sliced or grated apples, then pour the rest of the mixture over the apples, and top with more apples on top. Bake in the preheated oven (180) for 45 minutes until cooked. Take it out of the oven and cool down in a tin for 10 minutes. Mix 1 tbsp of tahini with yogurt in a small bowl. Drizzle over the cake and sprinkle cinnamon before serve.

Two Raw Salads Perfect For Chilly Season

Salad dressing is easy to make at home without any added nasties that you get from the commercial ones. It obviously tastes fresh and a lot better for you. I like adding Asian flavours to the fresh salads and Western dishes. All you need is a few simple ingredients in your pantry to be bold and creative. A little tricky, but taste as you go so that a dressing or sauce has a balanced flavour – salty, sweet, sour and a little spicy (because I like chili!). Here is a list of my staple ingredients in Asian cooking. Try to use good quality ingredients and home-made ones are even better.

  • Coconut amino sauce or Tamari
  • Sesame oil
  • Vinegar: balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, white wine vinegar
  • Maple syrup or honey
  • Tahini paste
  • Deonjang and Gochujang paste
  • Grated ginger, garlic, shallot

apple fennel saladWhat can I say. Crispy, crunchy and light apple and fennel combine to create a perfect winter time salad. Subtle anise flavour in fennel is great for your digestion and helps with inflammation in your body. If you are not a fan of raw fennel, try to slice as thin as you can and marinade in dressing so that the acid will tenderise it and mellow the flavour while still leaving plenty of crunch. I promise you will be pleasantly surprised. Slight tart and sweet apple combined with fennel is a match made in heaven, plus this Asian dressing adds a bit of surprise. It is a great accompaniment to a grilled chicken, pork or fish.

Apple Fennel Salad with Asian Dressing

Ingredients

1/2 baby fennel
1/2 green smith apple
1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts
a bunch of coriander

For Dressing
1/2 tsp Deonjang or miso paste
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp sesame seeds
a squeeze of lemon
salt and pepper to taste

raw salad I’m definitely on a salad kick at the moment. What not to love making beautiful salads. I like the simplicity of making them, yet the complex flavours and textures that I can create with raw veggies and a light yummy dressing to combine all together. It is an art!

Everything Chopped Salad

Ingredients

1 cup chopped grape tomatoes
1 cup chopped continental cucumber
1 cup chopped beetroot
1/2 avocado, chopped
1 bunch of coriander, roughly chopped

For Dressing
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp olive oil
juice from 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Cumin Roasted Carrots

Cooking breaks down the cellulose in vegetables so they are a bit more digestible, but the healthy beta carotene in carrots needs fat in order to be absorbed. Roasting carrots in coconut oil, spices and a squeeze of lemon juice is the perfect way to get all nutritious, and so delicious on their own. Especially, cumin and carrots is a match made in heaven.

Cumin can boost your metabolism and immune system, improve digestion, and give you energy. The seed is rich in antioxidants and iron which may help women at certain times of the month. Many people say they are deficient in iron and feel run down; 1 teaspoon of cumin will give you 15.5% of the daily recommended value.Cumin roasted carrotIngredients

a bunch of carrots
1 tsp of coconut oil
1 tsp of honey
1 tsp of cumin
1 tsp of smoked paprika
1 tsp of Himalayan salt
pepper to taste
1 tsp of olive oil

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Wash the carrots, don’t need to peel. On a foil-lined baking sheet, toss carrots with 1 tablespoon coconut oil, cumin, smoked paprika, fennel seeds, salt and pepper. Roast until tender about 20-30 minutes, flipping them half-way through. Drizzle olive oil and squeeze a lemon to serve.

Cheater’s Falafel + Cauliflower Pilaf in Lettuce Cups

Almost raw lunch with girls. I made cauliflower pilaf in lettuce cups, topped with falafels and tahini dressing. I also made zucchini noodles with fresh basil and simple maple mustard dressing. Very light and healthy lunch!

I didn’t have soaked chickpeas to make falafels, so chose to take an easy way using chickpea flour. Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern food, deep fried balls made of chickpeas or fava beans or both usually served in pita bread. It is great in wraps, sandwiches, salads, or by itself as a snack. When made with chickpeas, falafel is high in protein, complex carbohydrates, and fiber. Chickpeas are also low in fat and salt and contain no cholesterol. Key nutrients are calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, vitamin C, thiamine, pantothenic acid, vitamin B, and folate. Phytochemicals include beta-carotene. To make it healthy, you can bake in the oven or lightly pan-fry with coconut oil like what I did. I really like them in refreshing salads with a drizzle of spicy tahini dressing. Yummo!

falafelFor Cheater’s Falafel (makes 7 petite size)

1 cup of chickpea flour
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp cumin
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp Himalayan salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup warm water
2-3 tbsp coconut oil for frying

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and add water little by little until all combined. Cover and rest the dough for 30 minutes. Heat coconut oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Spoon the mixture into a pan or shape with your hands. Pat into little discs. Cook for a couple of minutes each side until cooked. Cook in batches and add more oil if you need.
lettuce cupsFor Lettuce Cups

lettuce leaves
1 cup cauliflower florets, grated
1/2 cup of chopped cucumber
1/2 spring onion, chopped
1/2 cup bean sprouts
a handful of basil
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
toasted garlic chips for garnish

Cut the lettuce leaves into little cups. Mix grated cauliflower rice, chopped vegetables, spices and olive oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the cauliflower rice into the lettuce cups. Garnish with toasted garlic chips. Place cooked falafels on top of lettuce cups and drizzle spicy tahini dressing.
tahini dressingFor Spicy Tahini Dressing

1 tsp of tahini paste
1 tsp of white wine vinegar
1 tsp of olive oil
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
a pinch of Himalayan salt
warm water

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Whisk as you add warm water until you get a desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning.