Almond Orange Chocolate Cake

This is one of the easiest cake recipes ever! It’s delicious and super healthy – how often do you find that in a cake?

It’s gluten-free and fat- free – but you would never know.

The recipe is from a friend of mine who is allergic to gluten and she is a master in creating the very best of recipes. This one is originally an orange cake, and it’s so good that I have made it a million times, but one day I thought, hmm chocolate…….in this? I mean, dark bitter chocolate, oranges and almonds……it could only be good and it was.

Orange Chocolate Almond Cake

Orange Chocolate Almond Cake

Almond Orange Chocolate  Cake

4 organic oranges

6 organic free range eggs

150g raw sugar

250g raw almonds

150g good dark chocolate

1 large teaspoon baking powder

1 vanilla pod

sea salt

Boiled Oranges

Boiled Oranges

You boil the oranges in water for 2 hours, allow them to cool. Melt the chocolate and allow it to cool slightly.  In the blender, blend the almonds into flour, then add the sugar, roughly chop the oranges and take out the pips, then put it, including the peel (no pips) into the blender along with the rest of the ingredients – blend into a dough.

Good Chocolate

Good Chocolate

Raw Almonds

Raw Almonds

Vanilla pod

Vanilla pod

Put the dough into a very well greased cake tin and cook in the oven for about 35 min at 360F

Still too hot to cut

Still too hot to cut

Serve the cake with some stewed berries or some orange sauce.

Served with stewed berries

Served with stewed berries

Let’s face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; It does for me. Audrey Hepburn 

I agree 🙂

Hope you have a fabulous weekend wherever you are!

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Honey Roasted Carrots with Fresh and Spicy Zhoug

These multi -coloured carrots seduced me at the market today. They were so beautiful I just had to find a way to turn them into a delicious meal.

Rainbow Carrots

Rainbow Carrots

I love middle eastern cuisine  – the spices, the flavours, the fragrances, the colours and the intensities. It’s the passion in middle eastern cooking,  it’s authentic and real honest food – that’s what I love!

This is what inspired me – I thought  Zhoug would make the perfect match to the beautiful carrots.  I decided roasting them slowly in the oven with honey, freshly squeezed lemon juice, sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil.

So, in the oven at 350F for about 40 min.

Zhoug is a fresh herb, garlic and chile sauce,  slightly spiced with cardamon, cumin and cloves, which I imagined would go really well with the roasted carrots.

Zhoug is not only wonderfully tasty, but also super healthy! Packed full of nutrients, antioxidants and flavours!

One of my all time favourite middle eastern cook books is Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamini’s book, Jerusalem, – it’s a visually stunning book with lots of great recipes. My Zhoug is strongly inspired by the recipe in the book, but with some tasty changes that I like.

Sauces like Zhoug, Harrissa, Chimicurri, and Muhamarra are amazing condiments. They make eating vegetables a total joy !

Fresh Parsley

Fresh Parsley

Zhoug

One bunch of big leaved parsley

One bunch cilantro

one green chilli

juice of one small lemon

1 teaspoon maple sirup

2 clove of garlic

4 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

sea salt

Wash the herbs thoroughly and put them in the blender, add the rest of the ingredients and blend into a pesto-like sauce.

Fresh Cilantro

Fresh Cilantro

Serve the roasted carrots warm or cold with the sauce and some pomegranate seeds

pomegranate

pomegranate

… and enjoy – an easy to make, but extremely tasty dish!

Honey Roasted Carrots

Honey Roasted Carrots

Perhaps, add a slice of good bread?

good bread

good bread

 I hope you have a wonderful weekend! 

Plant-wild week-day 5

Wow – this is one effective diet! I wasn’t trying to loose weight, all I wanted was to boost my health – give myself a serious health kick. That has happened in a big way, but on top of it, I have lost 2kg!!!

I’m feeling great, so great, that I’m excited about continuing this plant-wild adventure another day!

Here’s today’s breakfast

Slices of fresh watermelon and a delicious fruit smoothie made from summer berries – strawberries, raspberries, almonds, ice and filtered water.

Lunch

Baked tomatoes and red pepper fattoush – one of my absolute favorites – full blown taste of summer!

6 big ripe tomatoes

4 red peppers

1/2 cucumber

fresh mint

large-leaved parsley

1/2 red onion

some black olives

olive oil

4 pita bread

Cut the tomatoes into quarters, half the peppers and take out the seeds – put them on a baking tray (on baking paper), drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt – and bake slowly in a 300C oven for about an hour – checking so see that they don’t burn. Once they are done, take them out and leave them to cool.

Cut the pita breads in half and then separate them – put them on a baking tray in an 400F oven – bake till they are slightly brown and crisp. Put aside to cool.

Cut the cucumber in half length-wise and then cut into bite sized slices. Wash and roughly chop the parsley and the fresh mint, cut the red onion in half and slice it. Remove any skin of the red peppers that is burnt. Cut the red pepper into smaller pieces. In a bowl put the cucumber, the herbs, the baked tomatoes and pepper and the olives. Mix carefully, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar,

Serve with pieces of the crispy pita bread on top – and enjoy, preferably outside in the shade with a cool drink!

Dinner

Pasta with sun dried tomatoes and olive pesto – topped with garlic, chili and herb bread crumbs and served with summer salad

Spaghetti 75 g pr person

Pesto

Big bunch of fresh basil

100g of sun dried tomatoes ( I used about half a small glass)

15 black pitted olives

1 big clove of garlic

1/2 olive oil

2 table spoons of nutritional yeast

2 table spoons of pine nuts

Add all the ingredients in to the blender and blend into a perfect pesto sauce

Bread crumbs

1 cup of bread crumbs

a bunch of basil

a bunch of fresh oregano

2 cloves of garlic

some red fresh chili ( depending on how hot you like it baby)

grated lemon peel

sea salt

I used some of the good, but now stale, bread and chopped it into tiny bread crumbs. Finely chop the herbs along with the garlic and the chili, grate some lemon peel and mix everything all together.

In a frying pan – add some olive oil and heat – add the bread crumbs, stirring and tossing all the time to prevent them from burning, fry until they are slightly golden, then add the herb mixture and mix well. Leave on the heat for another minute still mixing. Take off the heat.

Cook the pasta – detente – drain and mix with the pesto sauce, serve on big plates with the bread crumbs. Serve with a summer salad, with tomatoes, of course.

Plant-wild week-day 4

Day 4 – This morning I went for an early morning run along the beach while the sun was rising, thinking, I can do another day of this! Another day eating greens, vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains – everything that supports my body and fills me with this zippy wonderful energy!

 

Breakfast

Rawfood musli with blueberries

This has become a breakfast stable in our family – we eat it almost every day. It is so tasty and creamy. I came up with this recipe because I wanted to make a healthy version of an old favorite that had both full fat yoghurt and cream in it!! This tastes just as good and just as creamy and sweet as the original, but without the guilt!

In the blender/food processor add:

1 cup of raw oats,
2 good handfuls of raw almonds
1 big apple cut into chunks
6-8 Medjool dates ( more or less depending on how sweet your tooth is)
1 cup of filtered water
Blend it all – not too much because it is nice if it keeps it’s crunchiness

Enjoy with either fresh berries, banana or dried fruit in the winter – today I served it with fresh blueberries from the garden.

The Good-Morning Smoothie is made from fresh raspberries and pineapple today.

Variations.
You can add a little less water and add an orange – orange and dates are a perfect match. You can also add a bit of cinnamon or cardamom

Morning snack

A delicious green smoothie made from fresh kale out of the garden, peaches, pineapple, lemon, ice and 2 cups of water

Lunch

Delicious vegetable wraps with garlic/ginger dipping sauce

Rice paper

1 avocado

1 red pepper

fresh spinach

2 carrots

1 zucchini

1/2 cucumber

3 spring onions

Fresh basil

fresh coriander

fresh basil

fresh mint

Rinse and cut everything into strips of julienne.

Prepare the rice paper – one at a time. Take a clean tea towel and make it wet, place one rice paper on the wet tea towel and fold so it is completely covered with the wet cloth. Leave for about a min. Over the sink, wring out the water and carefully place the soft rice paper so you can fill it and roll it. Fill it with spinach leaves, a little avocado, carrot, red pepper, zucchini, spring onions and alfalfa sprouts, add some fresh basil leaves, some coriander leaves and some fresh mint. Roll them together and cut them in halves and arrange them on a plate along with the garlic/ginger dipping sauce.

Dipping sauce

juice of 1/2 lime

4 small lime leaves

thin slice of fresh ginger

1 clove of garlic

2 spoons of hoisin

1//3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup water

4 spoons of braggs

Blend it all together and serve with the vegetable rolls

Dinner

Baked zucchini and eggplants- served with new potatoes and green salad with fennel

I found these gorgeous looking green and yellow zucchini and some beautiful eggplants. I decided to make a really tasty dish that i think is perfect for summer with ripe tomatoes, fresh herbs and all you need to make this dish amazing. So this is my take on the Turkish specialty, Imam Bayildi – baked zucchini and eggplant topped with a spicy fresh tomato sauce, served with little new potatoes gently baked with herbs and garlic and a green salad with fennel.

2 eggplants

2 zucchini

600 g fresh ripe and chopped fresh tomatoes

4 cloves of garlic

4 shallots

1 teaspoon of ground cumin

2 tablespoon of chopped fresh oregano

2 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme

3 table spoons of chopped big leaved parsley

1 tablespoon of tomato paste

1/2 cup of water

Finely chop the shallots and the garlic, gently saute them in oil til they are soft, add tomato paste,the herbs and the cumin. Add the tomatoes and the water. Cook for about 15 min. Season with sea salt and pepper, set aside. Add the parsley.

Cut the zucchini and the eggplant in halves on the length wise. Gently brown them in a bit of olive oil – on the inside. Place them in a baking dish on some baking paper and add the sauce on top.

Bake in an 350F oven for about 45 min

You can eat them right out of the oven but they taste amazing at room temperature too.

Potatoes

It is season for new and delicious potatoes – I love new potatoes!!

I prepared them like this

I washed them and cut them in to quarters and put them onto a piece of baking paper, drizzled with olive oil, sea salt and pepper, added some fresh thyme and some fresh rosemary – packed them in to little parcels and baked them in the 350F oven for about 45 min. They tasted so good!!

I served everything with a green salad with some fresh fennel

The dressing is a classic that has been in my family forever – we use it, let me just say, a lot
The trick is to use the best ingredients – the better the ingredients the better the dressing. So in other words don’t use the cheapest hot dog mustard.

2 spoons of good balsamic vinegar
a teaspoon of good Dijon Mustard
a pinch of sea salt
one clove of freshly squeezed garlic

Mix this – then add a little olive oil while you constantly stir, add more olive oil while stirring – continue doing this till you have a thick, dark yummy dressing. You can add a little maple syrup for a sweetness if you like. This salad dressing is so good and so easy to make.

Plant-wild week-day 1

I am excited! This is the first day of our 7-day plant-wild adventure.  I am really looking forward to eating plant-based for a week! It will be awesome, and  I can actually feel how every cell in my body is shouting harray and  jumping with joy!!

I’m also hugely grateful to my family for being in on this too – what a great thing to do together.

I am excited to see how we feel after a week, tanking up on heaps of greens, fresh summer fruits, nuts, grains and delicious vegetables.

So lets get started  – Here’s the first day’s goodies. I can hardly wait!!

Breakfast

Green good-morning smoothie:

2 apples

big handful of fresh spinach

1/2 cucumber

big handful of green grapes

1/2 an avocado

2 cups of water

a handful of crushed ice

Blend it all into a smooth delicious morning drink

Mango “yoghurt”

A while ago I made a raw food yoghurt with banana and avocado it tasted so good! This morning I am making a mango version of that. It is so simple and it taste so fresh and good!

1 big mango

2 avocado

a fresh squeeze of lemon

Add all ingredients in to the blender and blend into a smooth and beautiful, creamy breakfast treat

Serve with chopped dates, chopped walnuts and some fresh berries

Lunch

What is better than soup, made from the ripest local tomatoes and with basil from the garden?

It is really easy to make too, which adds to the joy of making it.

Tomato soup:

6 very ripe big tomatoes

4 shallots

2 cloves of garlic

1 l of vegetable broth

1/2 cup of cashews soaked in water

Lots of fresh basil

2 sun dried tomatoes

one bay leaf

Chop the onions and garlic and saute them in a pot with some olive oil – saute til they are soft and clear. Chop the tomatoes and add them to the sauteed onions and garlic. Add the bay leaf and cook till the tomatoes are soft. Add the vegetable broth and cook for about 10 min at low heat.

Blend in the blender with 3/4 of the fresh basil, the sun dried tomatoes, and the soft cashews to make it creamy.

Savour with salt and pepper and serve with a chunk of great bread, with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dip it in

Dinner

Wok fried vegetable served with cardamon rice:

I love everything Asian – Serve me Asian fusion and I am in heaven.

Marinade:

3/4 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup sweet chili sauce

2 tbs sesame oil

2 1/2 inch of fresh ginger

4 cloves of garlic

one bunch of spring onions

2 tbs of white wine

Finely chop the fresh ginger, the garlic and the spring onions – in a bowl mix the soy sauce, the sweet chili sauce, sesame oil and white wine – mix well and add the chopped garlic, spring onions and ginger.

For the stir fry – use any of your favorite vegetables

I used:

one bunch of green asparagus

1 red pepper

4 shallots

400 g of brown mushrooms

big head of broccoli

Fry everything separately in a wok, drizzle the marinade over the portion just before each sort of vegetable is almost ready. Put it aside and stir fry the next vegetable, making sure they all stay crisp and colorful. When all the different kinds of vegetables have been stir-fried to perfection and the marinade has been added – mix all vegetables together.

Serve with Jasmin rice cooked with some green cardamom pods and sea salt.

I got lots of great feedback from the family – no one turned their nose up, no one pushed the plate away – someone even said, while eating the tomato soup: “did you put cream in this”?

I feel nourished and full of energy & looking forward to tomorrow & another day of plant food!!

Go to Plant-wild day 2 here

Inspired by tortilla soup from heaven

A few weeks ago, I made tortilla soup inspired by a recipe from one of my favorite Canadian cook books “Whitewater Cooks at Home “, by Shelly Adams.  It was with all the trimmings and it was so tasty and so good. Spicy, hearty and full of intense flavors. It was such a success that I named it “Tortilla Soup from Heaven”. And then I started thinking, hmmm, how can I make a healthier version of this?

I guess I have been wanting to make soup lately because the weather on the West Coast of Canada has been kind of  crummy, cold and rainy – I heard someone call it Junuary – so quite frankly, when the weather is like this, you need a good soup to comfort the soul and brighten the spirit.

 

The soup above is so tasty and so good – it has all the trimmings, chicken, tasty cheese and fried tortillas!

Okay – so I really wanted to create a healthy version of this. And this is what I came up with – a healthy variation inspired by my earlier Taco Soup from Heaven.

Instead of chicken, cheese and fried tacos, I added sautéed mushrooms and zucchini with lemon and garlic and steamed quinoa.

For 6 portions

3 shalots

1 small tbsp ground cumin

5 cloves of garlic

2 small bunches of fresh cilantro

half a small red chili

Olive oil

2 small tbsp of flour

2 teaspoons of sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

6-7 sun ripe tomatoes

1.2 liter of mushroom broth

1/2 cup of sprouted quinoa

400 g of brown mushrooms

1 medium-sized zucchini

1 Lime

Finely chop the shalots and the garlic, throughly rinse (one bunch)the fresh cilantro and chop it, finely chop the chili, cut the tomatoes. In a pot heat some olive oil, add the shalots, the garlic, the cumin, and the cilantro, saute till all is soft.

Add the chopped tomatoes and saute till the tomatoes are tender, add salt – add it to the blender and blend into a smooth sauce.

Add a bit more olive oil to the pot and add the flour, whisk it around till it has dissolved, put it back on the heat and add the tomato mix, reduce over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes while stirring. Add the mushroom broth.

Cook 1/2 cup of sprouted  quinoa – set aside.

Stir fry the mushrooms in olive oil until they are golden brown, add a squeeze of lemon juice, some freshly pressed garlic and sea salt. Saute the zucchini till golden, add lemon juice, freshly pressed garlic and sea salt.

To the soup add a small bunch of finely chopped fresh cilantro, the juice of one lime – taste with salt and pepper.

In a bowl put the quinoa, some mushrooms,  some zucchini and some avocado bites

– pour the hot soup over the mixture and serve

If you would like to make the original “Tortilla Soup from Heaven” with chicken, cheese, etc., just follow the recipe above but use chicken broth instead of mushroom broth. And use chicken instead of mushrooms and zucchini.

In the healthy version, I used quinoa instead of making fried tortillas. If you would like to make them, in a separate pot put 1/2 cup of olive oil and gently fry strips of tortillas, turning them once – til they are just slightly browned. Put them aside on a piece of paper towel.

When the soup is ready add 400g of cubed fresh organic chicken breast and gently poach it in the soup for about 5 min and then add the cilantro and lime juice. Serve the soup with fresh avocado bites, freshly grated cheese and the fried tacos.

Enjoy!

So while writing this post the sun has come out and it is the most beautiful day! I’m wondering, if writing blog posts about warm hearty soups to comfort the soul on a rainy day, works in the same way as every time you remember to wear your gumboots and to bring your umbrella – the sun is sure to shine?

I am off to enjoy a green smoothie in the sunshine!

Scrumptious Stir Fried Vegetables

Friday again – hard to believe!

This weekend will be a relaxed one. The kids are reviewing for up and coming exams and I have two brand new high-beds in my garden that I am going to fill with my organic “baby” leafy greens and herbs.

Before the weekend starts I’m going to give you the recipe for a great dinner we had this week.  It is healthy but also full of taste – just love that combination!!

Scrumptious Stir Fried Vegetables with Jasmin rice

I used:

1 big bunch of asparagus

1 red onion

2 bunches of green onion

350 g of brown mushrooms

250 g snap peas

10 baby Bok choy

Chop all the vegetables.

Make the marinade

4tbs olive oil

4tbs hoisin

1/3 cup soy sauce

4 tbs sesame oil

2 tbs white wine

4 small tsp cane sugar

4 tbs green onion

2 tbs finely chopped fresh garlic

2 tbs finely chopped fresh ginger

Freshly squeezed juice of one lime fruit

Mix all the marinade ingredients together to make a delicious sauce.

Add a bit of oil to the wok/frying pan – stir fry one vegetable at a time and add some of the sauce to the pan just before it is ready. Put the stir fried vegetable into a big bowl. Continue until all the different vegetables have all been stir fried. Add the rest of the sauce to the stir fried vegetables – mix it all together.

I stir fry each type of vegetable separately to make sure they are done to perfection – just right, still crisp, full of color and flavor.

Serve with your favorite rice. I used Jasmin rice for this recipe, but it could be brown rice, wild rice or……………

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Healthy and delicious lettuce wraps

I love anything spicy and fusion and Asian is a favorite of mine. I think it is mostly because I love the explosion of flavours in my mouth – sweet, sour, salty, spicy, bitter – it is  party in the mouth, simply and I love that!

We have always been big fans of lettuce wraps the traditional way – but this healthy version is now the preferred version – it tastes incredible and it makes you feel nourished and energized after eating it. It is really easy to make and even the kids love it – also works as a healthy snack.

 

I use organic Romaine lettuce for wraps and I fill them with what ever vegetable takes my fancy. Today it was snap peas, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, zucchini sliced into Julienne strips and arranged on the lettuce. I added some fresh cilantro on top.

For the dressing/dipping

I used

2 tablespoons of Hoisin sauce,

2 tablespoons of soya sauce

2 tablespoons of white wine,

A fresh squeeze of lime

1 table-spoon of sweet chili sauce

2 small teaspoons of cane sugar

1 table-spoon of finely chopped fresh ginger

1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh garlic

1 table-spoon of chopped green onions

Mix it all together and use it as a dipping sauce.

Wrap the lettuce around the filling and dip into the sauce for a mouth-watering experience.

Yummy breakfast Musli

This Breakfast has become a favourite in our family. It is tasty, it’s filling and it leaves you satisfied and nourished for hours.
I remember once I was in Switzerland and there I had the most tasty musli. I am not sure how it was made, but when I came home I managed to recreate something that tasted just as good, but it was also very rich and not so healthy if you eat it every day. I made it from oats that was soaked in full fat yoghurt and a bit of cream, a dash of honey, grated apple, chopped nuts – this had been soaked overnight in the fridge. In the morning I served it with some fresh blueberries and a bit of Acacia honey – it is very very nice.
I wanted to make a healthier version – because I feel much better when I cut out or down on milk products, but I wanted it to be just as tasty.
Here it is – it took some attempts in the kitchen lab, but it was well worth it. Easiest and healthiest fast food, prepared in minutes.This portion is enough for a couple of days and it keeps excellent in the fridge.

Raw food musli

Raw food musli

 

In the blender/food processor add:

I take one cup of oats,
2 good handfuls of raw almonds
one big apple cut into chunks
6-8 Medjool dates ( more or less depending on how sweet your tooth is)
1 cup of filtered water
Blend it all – not too much because it is nice if it keeps it’s crunchiness
Serve with fresh berries, slices of banana or orange and a bit of acacia honey if you like.

Variations.
You can add a little less water and add an orange – orange and dates are the perfect match. You can add a bit of cinnamon or cardamom