Thursday, December 30, 2010

God Jul!

Ok, so I'm little behind in regards to this post. I meant to share this before Christmas. But as is usually the case at this time of year, things were quite hectic & busy. Plus combined with the fact that it was my first White Christmas, & first Christmas in Sweden, my thoughts weren't exactly on updating my blog.

So the day may have passed, but I still want to share with you what I had for Christmas. Being the only one in my (new) family who is heavily intolerant to a lot of foods, I decided to make myself some sweet Christmas treats, so I wouldn't feel like I was missing out on anything. Here's my spread:

I do wish I had taken more photos, I apologise for that not being the best shot. But you get the idea. I made myself choc-hazelnut truffles, Scandinavian thumbprint cookies, gingerbread cookies, & blueberry raspberry blondies. The gingerbread was my own recipe concoction I've been playing around with for a while (since so many of the spices in gingerbread are so very good in helping to combat Candida). The truffles I made where another bit of guesswork, based on Elana's various truffle recipes; the Scandinavian thumbprint cookies were my alteration of Kelly's recipe, & the blondies were another alteration of a recipe, this time courtesy of Amy

I'll post my altered recipes for each soon, as well as my yummy gingerbread. H was very impressed with my spread (even helping me eat my blondies & thumbprint cookies!). His mum tried my gingerbread & said that it tasted just like pepparkakor, just without the crunchiness the original ones contain (mine are rather soft, as there is no syrup in them to harden them).

Sugar-Free/Gluten-Free/Flour-Free Gingerbread Cookies
½dl (50g) coconut flour
½dl (50g) soy flour (can alternate with other bean flours if soy is not tolerated)
1 tablespoon (15g) psyllium husk
½dl (50 mls) water
½dl (50 mls) milk (for dairy free, use soy/oat/rice/almond/coconut milk)
1 egg
2 teaspoons liquid sweetener (equals 100g sugar)
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon bicarb soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1½ teaspoons dried ground ginger
1 teaspoon cardemom
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 mls vanilla essence
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt

- Sift the flours into a bowl. Add the rest of the dry ingredients & mix well.
- Melt coconut oil & butter. Whisk egg in another bowl, & add the rest of the wet ingredients. Stir together.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients & stir together. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or place the dough into an airtight container & leave it in the fridge overnight.
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.
- Roll dough flat with a rolling pin, then cut into cookies using cutters. Place the cookies on a tray covered with baking paper & bake for 15 minutes.

Enjoy! Writing about this now makes me want to go & bake another batch...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Strawberry Mookies

I'm making my first recipe submission! A little exciting & nerve-wracking. I don't know if what I make is really for other people's tastes besides my own, but I'm never gonna know if I don't throw myself out there & take a chance, now am I? I'm going to submit it to Amy's great site Simply Sugar & Gluten Free. I've been following her site for a few months now, & have tried a variety of her recipes, so I'm a little nervous & excited about doing this.

I made these after some experimenting with coconut flour. As I've stated before, coconut flour has opened many doors for me food-wise. Most flours I cannot tolerate, as with most nuts. & I'm not too keen on nut flour only mix in my baked goods. I can't enjoy an indulgence in them, as the fat content lays heavy on my mind (even if they are good fats. I still like to keep this to a healthy limit. & I like to have the 'freedom' to indulge when those whims hit without the mental guilt barrage I put myself through - silly, I know).

I call these 'mookies', as they're about cookie size but oh-so soft & fluffy like muffins, therefore mookies. The light & fluffy consistency is thanks to the coconut flour. & because of this ingredient, these are also high in fibre & oh-so nutritious. Sweet, healthy, tasty food is fun :)

Again, this is a small serving recipe, as I tend to bake for myself. H doesn't have a sweet tooth like I do, & I figure having a small amount to indulge in is better than too much. Feel free to double the ingredient amounts as needed. As for sweetners, I use liquid sweetener. Stevia in Sweden is hard to come by, where I am located, anyway. I'm still on the lookout, & will use it once I find it (I was using it in Australia). But until then, I use a liquid sweetener that I buy at the supermarket here.

Strawberry 'Mookies'
65g coconut flour
15g psyllium husk
1 egg
15 mls water
50 mls milk
50 mls coconut milk
30g coconut oil, melted
5-6 strawberries, chopped
2t cinnamon
2mls vanilla essence
70mls liquid sweetner or 70g sugar/sweetner
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt

Preheat oven at 180 degrees celcius.
In one bowl, sift the coconut flour & mix together the psyllium husk. Add the rest of the dry ingredients, & stir well together.
In another bowl, whisk the egg. Add milk, water, coconut milk & oil, sweetener & vanilla essence & mix well. Add this to the dry ingredients, & stir to get a moist, sticky batter. Add more milk or water if needed. Add the chopped strawberries & stir into the mix.
Spoon into mini muffin tins, or roll into small cookies. Bake for 25-30 mins.
Cool & serve. Can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Yields about 10 'mookies'.

Enjoy! Feel free to tweak the recipe as needed. You could use different berries instead of strawberries, & you could replace the coconut oil with butter (& add more to your liking). These came out soft & moist for me. I ate some with a dollop of creme fraiche on top. Yums!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Soup for Breakfast (& first recipe post!)

This is what I eat for breakfast:

Not much to the to the eye aesthetically. H gives me curious & funny looks when he finds me making this in the morning. I can't have cereal or bread, & I'm not a big egg eater, so I take what I can get. I'm also not a big breakfast eater. I never have been. I tend to have breakfast about 2 hours after I wake, sometimes longer, but always after my morning pilates/yoga workout (courtesy of the lovely Ellen Barrett, I highly recommend her Pilates Yoga Blend workout). I'm also not into heavy breakfasts. I don't like food as a general that weighs heavy in my stomach, & this 'muck' I find a perfect start to the day.

It may not look like much, but it's super healthy; a mix of broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, spinach, garlic, onion, & kale. Kale. I only started eating it recently. I ran out of it one morning & had this, sans kale. I noticed the lack of kale while eating it, & later in the day I realised I was actually craving kale. Better than the sugar cravings I get at this time of the month! (Yes, it's that time again - 'monthly fun time', as I 'lovingly' call it).

Most recipes that I'll post here will be servings for one, as I tend to make these things for myself only. H doesn't have much of a sweet tooth, & I'm not comfortable with having a cake or slice to consume all to myself, so any recipes I follow or create, I cut the ingredients in half, or even a quarter of what's listed. The same goes with this.

Broccoli, Zucchini & Cauliflower Soup with Kale
(Serves 1)

4-5 broccoli florets
3-4 cauliflower florets, cut in half
small handful of spinach, fresh or frozen (I use frozen)
1/4 zucchini, sliced
handful of kale, chopped
2 cloves garlic (I'm a big fan of garlic & aren't afraid to use a lot of it, so feel free to use less)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 teaspoon coconut oil
splash of milk (feel free to sub with any type of milk, sometimes I just use coconut milk)
splash of coconut milk
1tablespoon coconut oil
salt, pepper & spices to flavour

Steam or boil broccoli, cauliflower, spinach & zucchini until soft. Add to a blender with the milk, coconut milk & a bit of the water from the pot used to steam or boil the vegetables. Blend together until smooth.
In a pan, heat coconut oil & add garlic, onion & kale. Sauté until onion is translucent. Transfer to a bowl, adding the vegetable puree on top.
Add salt, pepper & spices to your liking. I add garlic (anti-fungal), paprika, tumeric (anti-inflammatory), dill, salt & pepper - I like lots of flavours!
Eat! Yum yum!

I love this rather unconventional breakfast, & I look forward to it each morning. I find the combination of the lightly sautéed vegetables with the puree a nice mix for textures. But then, I'm known for eating strange food!

I hope you enjoy it!