30 April, 2012

Coconut & Apricot Balls

The easiest treat ever! It's also gluten free, dairy free, nut free, sugar free, vegan and paleo. And yummy :)




Ingredients
300g dried apricot
desiccated coconut + some extra for rolling in
2 tbsp water or rose water


Place apricots in a food processor for a few minutes until chopped finely. Add water or rose water, then add coconut. Once combined well, scoop out a small portion using a tea spoon and roll into a small ball. Finally, roll in coconut. 
Alternatively, you can roll out and slice it to little squares. 
Store in fridge.


Enjoy :)



Variations for wellbeing
Dairy intolerance: enjoy as is.
Gluten intolerance: enjoy as is.
Paleo: enjoy as is.

27 April, 2012

Chocolate Covered Marzipan Balls

Do you think it is hard to make marzipan? Not at all. It needs almond meal, water, rose water - and sugar.
Well, we don't eat sugar but there is a healthier solution.




Ingredients
150g blanched almond meal
100g xylitol
1 tbsp rose water
1 tbsp almond essence
100g 85% dark chocolate (eg. Lindt)


For the coating you will need toothpicks, aluminium foil and flat polystyrene. 


With a blender or a coffee grinder grind xylitol into a fine powder, the same consistency as icing sugar.
In a big bowl, mix almond meal and icing xylitol with rose water and almond essence and make a dough.
Take a teaspoon full of the dough and between your palms form a ball. Repeat it until all the dough is gone. Keep the balls in the freezer while you melt the chocolate but no longer.


Chop the chocolate roughly. On low temperature melt half of the chocolate. Remove from the heat then stir the rest of the chocolate in it. Leave it to melt.
Cover a flat polystyrene with aluminium foil. Stick a toothpick into a marzipan ball and swirl it around in the chocolate so that it's totally covered. Shake it a bit before you stick it into the polystyrene, so you won't waste too much chocolate. If the balls are cold enough, the chocolate will be hard very quickly. 
Once done, repeat till all your marzipan balls are covered with chocolate.


You should see something like this


If it's needed, place the balls into the fridge for 10-15 minutes.
When the chocolate coating is hard, you can cover the balls in coloured aluminium foil. 


Alternatively, you can roll the marzipan balls in Dutch (or raw) cocoa powder instead of the chocolate.  


Enjoy :)



Variations for wellbeing
Dairy intolerance: make sure to use dairy free chocolate.
Gluten intolerance: make sure to use gluten free chocolate.
Paleo: make sure to use dairy, gluten and soy free chocolate with high cocoa mass content. 

26 April, 2012

Strawberry Salad with Vanilla & Cinnamon Vinegar

This dish shows an example of the use of the Vanilla & Cinnamon Vinegar
I love fruit in savoury salads. I think it's great as the sweet, salty and chilly flavours are mixed together. We eat this salad as a side dish with meat, like lamb or duck.



Ingredients
150g  rockets, washed and dried
200g strawberries
1 red onion
a handful of pine nuts
extra virgin olive oil
Vanilla & Cinnamon Vinegar
salt & pepper


Chop the strawberries and red onion into thin slices. 
In a dry pan, fry the pine nuts until they are fragrant and golden brown. 
Place the rockets, strawberry and red onion slices into a bowl. Pour olive oil and vinegar over the salad and season it. 
Scatter pine nuts over the top.
Serve immediately. 


Enjoy :)





Variations for wellbeing
Dairy intolerance: enjoy as is.
Gluten intolerance: enjoy as is.
Paleo: enjoy as is.

23 April, 2012

Vanilla & Cinnamon Vinegar

As a foodie, sometimes you can find unique products which sound fancy but quite dear and you not even know what to use for. Like this Vanilla & Cinnamon Vinegar.


I tasted once on a wine market and fell in love with it immediately. It was so yummy! I didn't want to spend twenty-some dollars for a small bottle, especially, that I didn't know what kind of dish I could use it with. 
I checked the ingredients - as always - and found it quite simple. So, I came home and made it. 
Now I use it all the time. It's perfect with savoury salads with fruit or with special desserts. It's also a great kitchen gift. 
And, not at last, it costs a fraction of the shop price.




Ingredients
good quality balsamic vinegar
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla pod


Place cinnamon stick and vanilla pod into a dark bottle and fill it up with balsamic vinegar. Cover tightly. 
Leave the bottle in a dark place for 2-3 weeks then you can use it. Longer you let it infuse, more intense flavour you get. 
When it's run out you can fill it up again.






Variations for wellbeing
Dairy intolerance: enjoy as is.
Gluten intolerance: enjoy as is.
Paleo: enjoy as is.

20 April, 2012

Home Made Bounty - Coconut Filled Chocolate

Nowadays it's easy to make your own filled chocolate. The first mold I had I bought from Ebay but they have become so cheap since then that even Aldi sells them - well, not continuously but occasionally. 
I made these little coconut filled chocolates a week before Easter but I almost had to make a new portion as  every time we drank a cup of cappuccino we ate a little chocolate heart with it. 


I always use 85% Lindt dark chocolate because it doesn't have dairy or soy, although there is sugar in it, only 5g in a 100g bar which I think is acceptable.
So these home made Bounty bites are not too sweet at all unlike the original one with milk chocolate. 
Try it :)



Ingredients
100g Lindt 85% dark chocolate
home made Coconella


Roughly chop the chocolate bar to small pieces. 
Place half of it into a sauce pan and heat on low temperature until the chocolate is almost totally melted. 
Put the sauce pan aside. Pour the rest of the chocolate pieces into the sauce pan and stir.


Fill your mold cavities using a teaspoon about 1/3 full then paint the inside with a brush. The chocolate should leave a thin coat everywhere. Place the mold in the fridge (Sydney is too hot for making chocolates) and rest it for 3 minutes.
Using a brush only make another coat in the cavities. Rest the mold in the fridge again for 3 minutes.
With a piping bag or a small coffee spoon squeeze Coconella into the cavities making sure not to fill more than 3/4 of the way up the sides. 
When all the cavities are filled, set the filled shells to a cool place to let the filling hard again. 
Spoon chocolate to fill in the top. You also can drag a straight edge across the cavities to flatten the bottom. 
Place the filled mold (cavitiy side up) on a flat, cold surface (preferably in the fridge) to harden.


The chocolates are ready to be released when the chocolate pulls away from the mold slightly. 
Once you think the mold is ready, turn it over on parchment paper. If your chocolate is tempered properly and it is completely hardened, the chocolates should just fall out of the mold. If they don't, give the mold a little tap on the bottom to help release the chocolates.


Enjoy :)




Variations for wellbeing
Dairy intolerance: make sure to use dairy free chocolate.
Gluten intolerance: make sure to use gluten free chocolate.
Paleo: make sure to use dairy, gluten and soy free chocolate with high cocoa mass content. 

18 April, 2012

Barramundi with pesto

Have you been in Collaroy yet? 
There is a little deck restaurant right next to the beach. Actually, it is part of the Collaroy Beach Hotel to be correct.
It's a perfect place for people with kids as they can play in the sand while you are waiting for your meal. It has a beautiful view - there is no car between you and the ocean, only the orangy sand. 
The meals are very reasonably priced but don't expect Michelin star; a very rare place in Sydney.


This is the restaurant where I tasted this dish the first time. They serve it with the fish of the day and call the vegetables 'Mediterranean'. I don't know why, I think there is nothing Mediterranean about sweet potato...
Anyway, this dish is delicious and I have cooked my version of it quite often of late. 



Ingredients
4 barramundi filets
1 sweet potato
1 eggplant
1 red bell capsicum 
4 tbsp lemon pesto

Wash the eggplant and cut it into 7mm tick slices. Put the slices in a bowl and salt both sides. 
Cut the sides of the capsicum into 4 slices. 
Peel the sweet potato and slice it up about 7mm tick.
Add oil to a frying pan and cook the sweet potato and capsicum slices until they are soft. 
Wash the salt from the eggplant slices, dry and cook the same way as the other vegetables.
Keep everything warm while you cook the fish.


Add oil to a frying pan and cook the barramundi fillets for 4 minutes. Turn the fish and cook for a further 2-3 minutes or until cooked to your liking. 


Put a tablespoon of pesto onto each plate and place the fillet on it. Top with the vegetables then season with salt and pepper.


Enjoy :)





Variations for wellbeing
Dairy intolerance: enjoy as is.
Gluten intolerance: enjoy as is.
Paleo: enjoy as is.

16 April, 2012

Lemon Pesto

Well, this is a pesto without lemon, despite the name.
It does have Lemon Basil in it, however, which really has a lemony basil smell.


I have lots of herbs in my garden and they have grown very well this Summer.  I was quite successful with Basil unlike last season. I have Sweet, Greek, Thai, Purple and Lemon Basil. The last one is my favourite for making pesto. 





Ingredients
1 bunch Lemon Basil
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp pine nuts
corse salt
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmezan
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


Wash the basil carefully and allow to drain. Chop in a food processor, together with the garlic, pine nuts, and a pinch of coarse salt. Gradually add the grated cheese and work into an even paste. 
Finally, slowly mix in the olive oil, until a creamy consistency is achieved. 





Come back in a few days and you'll see what I use the lemon pesto with :)


Variations for wellbeing
Dairy intolerance: choose real Parmesan matured for 1-2 years. 
Gluten intolerance: enjoy as is.
Paleo: enjoy as is.

13 April, 2012

Home made Raffaello

It's so easy to make it at home! And, I think it's also healthier than the original. Let's see what the ingredients are in the shop version
Ingredients: Desiccated Coconut (23.5%), Sugar, Vegetable Oil, Skim Milk Powder, Vegetable Fats, Whole Almond (8%), Wheat Flour, Whey Powder, Flavourings, Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin), Rye Flour, Raising Agent (Sodium Bicarbonate), Salt. "Contains milk, almonds, gluten, soy"
So people with dairy or gluten intolerance cannot eat Raffaello. Unlike my home made version :)


Ingredients


1 jar (200ml) home made coconella 
approx. 16 almonds, blanched
desiccated coconut 


Put a teaspoon of coconella into your hand and place the almond into the centre. 
Bring together the outer edges. Make sure that the almond is covered completely, then roll in between your palms to form a nice ball. 
Put desiccated coconut in a small bowl and roll the coconut balls in it one at a time. 
Store them under 20 C. 





Variations for wellbeing
Dairy intolerance: enjoy as is.
Gluten intolerance: enjoy as is.
Paleo: enjoy as is.

11 April, 2012

Coconella - coconut spread with vanilla

I always read product labels. Not only because of the ingredients I want to avoid but also because I might be able to make it at home myself.
I saw coconut spread the very first time at the local health food store. I was interested but found it quite dear. I read the label - and put it back to the shelf. So easy!


With paleo banana bread


Ingredients
200g desiccated coconut
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tbsp honey or light agave nectar 
approx. 3-4 tbsp coconut oil, melted


Put desiccated coconut into a food processor and chop for about 5 minutes. Add coconut oil, vanilla paste, honey or agave and chop for another 1-2 minutes. It should be a smooth spread. You can add more coconut oil, if necessary. 


Coconut spread can be use the same way as Nutella: you can put in cakes or eat with bread. 
Or, you can make the most delicious, home made Bounty or Raffaello :)


Enjoy :)




Variations for wellbeing
Dairy intolerance: enjoy as is.
Gluten intolerance: enjoy as is.
Paleo: enjoy as is.

09 April, 2012

Crispy skin salmon with ginger glaze

I love this dish. I have done a few times and it became one of our favourite meal. The original recipe which I found in The Australian Women's Weekly a couple of month ago was with soba noodles but we don't eat pasta. I think it would be a heavy meal with the noodles anyway.  



Ingredients


20g piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated finely
40 g sugar free apricot jam
1 tbsp soy sauce
30 ml water
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 x 180g salmon fillets, skin on
1 tbsp grapeseed oil
steamed broccoli, for serving


Combine the ginger, jam, soy sauce and the water in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring. Boil, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes or until a syrupy consistency.


Add sesame seeds to a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Dry-fry seeds until fragrant and golden brown. Remove from pan.


Remove the bones from the salmon and season with salt and pepper.
Add the oil to the same frying pan and cook the salmon, skin side down, for 3-4 minutes or until the skin is crisp. Turn salmon and cook for a further 2-3 minutes or until cooked to your liking. 
Bear in mind that the fish will continue to cook for another couple of minutes after being removed from the heat.


Meanwhile, steam the broccoli for 3 minutes then remove from the stove and keep it warm. Do not overcook. It is the best if a bit crisp. 
Divide the broccoli between serving plates. Top with salmon. Drizzle ginger glaze over the top and sprinkle with sesame seeds. 


Enjoy :)






Variations for wellbeing
Dairy intolerance: enjoy as is.
Gluten intolerance: enjoy as is.
Paleo: enjoy as is.

07 April, 2012

Orange and almond cake

Despite of being a Jewish recipe this cake is widely and well known in Australia or at least, I should say in Sydney.
Nowadays, when more and more people are effected by some kind of  food allergy, mainly gluten or dairy, there is a strong demand in caf├ęs to have healthy alternatives.  
This cake is a perfect choice: gluten AND dairy free. I changed just a little bit of the original recipe to make it even sugar free.
I have made it a couple of times in the last few weeks and it was always a huge success. It is moist, not too sweet and has a beautiful colour.






Ingredients
2 Navel oranges (it doesn't have seeds)
6 eggs
250g (2 and a half cups) almond meal (from blanched almond)
100g xylitol
50g Natvia (which is mixture of stevia and erythritol)
1 tsp baking powder



Wash oranges and place unpeeled in a pot of boiling water for 2 hours. Don't forget to top up the water as it will evaporate. Change the water after 1 hour. 
Drain the water and allow the oranges to cool. This can be done ahead of time.

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Break 6 eggs into a mixing bowl or blender. Add xylitol and Natvia and blend together.
Chop the two unpeeled oranges in a food processor to achieve a smooth consistency. Add it to the egg mix then blend together. Add the almond meal and baking powder and blend.

Lay baking paper into a  20 cm spring form baking pan.
Pour batter into the pan and bake for 1 hour or until the top is golden brown.

Enjoy :)


As an Easter cake, dusted with icing Xylitol
If you bake it as mini muffins, you'll have approx. 40 muffins.
Variations for wellbeing
Dairy intolerance: enjoy as is.
Gluten intolerance: enjoy as is.
Paleo: enjoy as is.

Introduction

Hi there,




My name is Alexandra. I live in Sydney, Australia, with my husband and our two kids.
I already have a food blog in Hungarian but there are more and more people asking for my recipes in English.
Well, I have been afraid to post them in English as I don't feel confident about my grammar but hey, I might be improving!
One thing is sure: there will be a pressure on my husband to check my drafts... ;)


So, who am I?
I follow the Paleo diet, thus my recipes are gluten free, dairy free and sugar free. And as I am the one who cooks at home, my family is on Paleo as well. 


How did it start?
My son was 3 month old when we learnt that he had milk protein allergy despite of being breastfed only. As milk protein can go through the breast milk, I had to eliminate all dairy products from my diet and guess what, lost so much weight that I  became slimmer and healthier than I had been before my pregnancy :)
I was already reading about the Paleo diet so step by step stopped eating bread, pasta and other stuff. It wasn't too hard (okay, pasta was always a quick and convenient choice) as due to the beautiful Sydney's climate my diet already included lots of vegetables, fruits, salad, fish and meat. 


However, I was addicted to sugar. You didn't see on my figure but I ate lots of desserts. Maybe it's just a Hungarian habit (we really eat lots of sweet things) but I didn't want this to happen to my children.  
I want them to be used to eating healthy meals, to have beautiful and perfect teeth, good general health and bright minds. 


My daughter was already born as a paleo baby. She's now 14-month-old, my son is 3 years old. 
They are very, very rarely sick, full of energy and have good eating habits. They love fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and eat everything that we do. 
They get home made cakes, chocolates and desserts but not every day and the main thing is they are not addicted. 
So far so good and I want to keep on going this way.


Although you might find more desserts on my blog then other meals, it's only because they are more challenging. There are always birthdays and feasts and we celebrate them just like anybody else. 
The difference is that everyone has a healthier choice and that's what I want to show.


Follow me and I hope you'll enjoy my recipes :)




Cheers,



Alexandra