I made brownies the other day – I am also starting to realise that most of my receipes are snacks or treats. But I do think eating well is much easier i.e. fish or meat with vegetables and sallad is always tasty and easy. Not sure if people agree?
Anyway these brownies are great as they are really ‘fudgy’ and gooey and contain no gluten, no dairy or refined sugar.
Chocolate Brownies – oven at 175 degrees C
- 2 tins of chickpeas – rinsed
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 dl coconut sugar
- 6 tbsp of cacao
- 1 tbsp of coconut oil
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- 150 grams of dark chocolate (70%+)
- large pinch of vanilla
- large pinch of salt
Melt the chocolate and the coconut oil and whilst this is melting blitz all the above ingredients. You don’t want there to be lumps of chickpea! Add the melted chocolate and oil mixture and place in an oven proof dish – I used one about 20×25 cm.
For the topping:
- 50 grams dark chocolate (70%) chopped
- maldon sea salt – or as I did in this case used Saltverk Licorice Salt – I would add around 1 tsp.
Bake in the oven for about 15 min – keep an eye on it you want it to be gooey!
This Sunday it rained like never before hence me and my girls experimented a little in the kitchen. We made chocolate mousse/pudding, sweet potatoe pancakes and salted caramels, which we changed completely as I didn’t think they tasted at all like salted caramels.
Sweet Potatoe pancakes – makes 6/8 small pancakes or drop scones as some may call them (plättar in Swedish)
- Cook one peeled sweet potatoe in chunks and then add:
- 1 large egg
- 1 dl oat flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Milk to make it panncake batter thickness (almond milk is fine)
- pinch of salt
Blitz all of it in the mixer, food processor or similar and the cook in plenty of butter or coconut oil if you want to be dairy free. I ate mine with butter, one daughter with honey, the other with lemon juice. Everyone was happy!
Someone asked me if the activated quinoa was so super duper I am now a new woman. To be honest I don’t really know but it tastes great. I did find A LOT of information on line but in short I think the below may satisfy the basics of the benefits:
Quinoa has the most protein out of any other grain. Activated it is also full of nutrients like iron, potassium, riboflavin, niacin, zinc, magnesium, fibre, vitamin B6 and vitamin E. However I am not so scientific I try and eat well in order to feel good – and if it doesn’t taste good it can be super healthy and still a no go.
For lunch today I thought I better eat some of my now magic quinoa so I chopped:
- 1/4 of a red chilli
- 1/2 a spring onion /scallion
- 1/4 of a red pepper
- 1 big leaf of kale
- 4 cm or so of courgette/zucchini (I actually grated this)
To this I added 2 dl of cooked quinoa, an egg, salt and pepper as well as 1 tbs of tamari. Then I fried it in a pan for 5-7 minutes in a little oil and then I served it as is with a little herb salt. I just did a 12km run in the sun so feeling proud of myself and a little salt deficient. I don’t think it will win most beautiful meal or anything but it was delicious!
I have heard that activating seeds makes them even healthier. Hence I thought I would try. I poured red quinoa in a bowl and covered in cold water and then let it stand for 24 hours.
The next day I rinsed it well and then cooked it as per packet instructions (about 20 min for red quinoa). I added a teaspoon of bullion powder and some herb salt. You can see in the picture below, it has sprouted a little.
The cooked quinoa I keep in the fridge for up to a week and have with stews, curries, salads, roasted vegetables etc. Very handy and very tasty, I must admit I am not keen on the smell of quinoa but it tastes great.
This morning was another wet and non summery morning hence I made some seed bread and some ice cream. Our neighbours have hens which we are looking after hence I had 4 VERY fresh eggs to use. I am ridiculously proud of the fact that for nearly 2 years I have had home made seed bread (or frökex) in the house. Makes me feel like a domestic godess which is quite a nice feeling. To make the ice cream (which is not dairy free i´this tie sorry!) I did the following in the morning and the kids had it in cones after dinner.
Vanilla Ice Cream
- 5 dl of whipping cream (40% fat) – whipped firmly
- 4 eggs
- 2 tbsp of birch sugar
- 2 tbsp of coconut sugar
- 1 tsp of vanilla
Whip the eggs, sugar and vanilla and add it ot the whipped cream (you can use the same utensils!). I was rather fancy in my domestic bliss that I then churned it for 25 min in the ice cream maker. If not just mix it after 15 in in the freezer.
Of course you can skip the vanilla and ad fresh raspberries or something else…. I served this is cones (bought in the shop with gluten sugar the whole lot… easy and very happy girls) if I hadn’t been so tired from doing very little for the rest of the day I would have made chocolate sauce to go with it – it is very easy to make ‘healthily’. I include a picture below – excited girls means very little focus – sorry!
BEFORE the ice cream we had tacos – another thing that is very easy to make without any bad stuff in it. I fried the mince with my taco mix. Then I made some guacamole with 2 avocados, some lemon juice, salt and pepper and dried chilli. Salsa with dried chilli, olive oil, salt, pepper and lots of chopped coriander and then served it in an ice berg lettuce leaf with grated cheese, creme fraiche, chopped cucumber, jalapeno’s. Really tasty and so easy and easy to make dairy free or vegetarian. Face it guacamole is good with anything!
Get someone friendly to grill some GOOD quality sausages.
Make some tabbouleh – as I was away I made it with bulgur but Quinoa is a good gluten free choice. I make it simple and add to cooled quinoa or bulgur (I made 4 portions according to the packet – i lied my friend made it):
- A lot of parsley chopped
- A lot of min chopped
- juice of a lemon
- 2-3 tbs of good olive oil
- lots of salt and pepper
- a chopped tomato
I also made a buffalo mozzarella, tomato and avocado sallad with some lemon juice, basil infused olive oil and salt and pepper. And last but not least a ‘sauce’ with Turkish (or Greek or dairy free alternative) yogurt:
2 dl yogurt of some kind (plain!!)
Juice of half a lemon
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 tsp herb salt
Serve it all in the not so sunny weather with a BIG jumper on!
I often have some leftover bits and bobs in the fridge, this time I had 3 chicken thighs, a very old courgette/zucchini and finally my basil plant came back to life after playing sudden death so yet again I have mounds of basil.
Zucchini pasta with chicken and bacon (serves 2)
- 1 zucchini – Spirlize the zucchini
- Boil some water
- 3 chicken thighs – season lightly and cook ( I cooked them in a frying pan with some oil to give them some colour and them put them in the oven whilst I did the rest of the meal).
- 140 grams of bacon – fry to a crisp in bits
- 1 dl frozen peas
Add the frozen peas to the boiling water and add the zucchini after 1 min and then boil the two for a further minute.
Mix the zucchini, peas, chicken and pesto. Sprinkle with bacon. A very satisfying meal that feels decadent.
Finally it is summer here in Sweden and I am about to go on my holidays. I realised I hadn’t mentioned here on my blog that I currently have a course on Daily Bits Of called A Gluten free way of eating. Here I was asked to share some of my key learnings and why I am so passionate about my new way of eating, hence I thought I would share it here too and give you my easy to have at home frozen ingredient smoothie recipe.
I started cutting out gluten and refined sugar nearly two years ago and albeit I still slip into eating rubbish something overall I have actually changed the way I eat. I freeze the oddest of things and therefore ensure I waste a lot less food – ripe bananas and avocados go into the freezer for a on the run (in my busy life not a run from the police I promise) smoothie; a great snack. My course is all about snacks – I realized that with various ways of eating such as LCHF and Paleo there tends to be a lot of food ideas available and in my mind eating home made meals that are healthy and tasty is fairly simple – vegetables and salads with fish, meat or more vegetables can often be easy and tasty – especially now that BBQ season is upon us. But it is on the go snacks and easy fixes when you are starved (or bored) that is difficult – I am hoping my course helps people prepare for those dips. Some key tips from my course are:
- Be prepared! If you have good things in the fridge or freezer then it is at least possible to make a good choice.
- Don’t buy rubbish and say it is just for the kids – I eat all my childrens leftover sweets if they are there – they don’t need them either, and if like us you give your children Saturday sweets let them buy a few and eat them straight away.
- Be kind to yourself – changing the way you eat for the long term is a LONG process hence when you go to a friends house and eat a whole tube of Pringles, get over it and forget about it. There are worst things that could happen J.
Lastly have fun and experiment – if you want more tips about more snacks, food and general rambling about what goes on inside my head please go to www.lifeofmilne.com. Also if you want hands on advice about changing the way you eat book a one to one session (Johanna@lifeofmilne.com) and we can give the inside of your kitchen cupboards and new dusting of quinoa and buckwheat flour – unlike fairy dust this works if you want to feel better.
Albeit I am very much an 80:20 rules girl – I eat well 80% of the time and don’t worry about the other 20% I always look forward to holidays because then I can cook and eat well consistently and feel good too!
As an easy summer fix and a use of all the stuff you can freeze, here is the smoothie recipe which I had to hand writing this post.
- Half a frozen banana
- Half a frozen avocado
- 2-4 cubes of frozen spinach (depending on how green you are feeling)
- 1-2 handfuls of frozen raspberries (again use less if you are feeling braver)
- 2 tsp of spirulina
- Water to get it to the right consistency
Blitz and drink – if you don’t have an industrial blender you may have to let the avocado half defrost for a few minutes… Enjoy and have a wonderful summer.
I think one of the most difficult things in changing the way you eat is doing so in ‘odd’ places when you are away from home. I am VERY able to eat a lot of rubbish unless I am very well prepared. Some of my safety foods are:
- Hardboiled eggs – comes in their own packaging… just don’t forget one at the bottom of your handbag…
- Smoothies – again tread carefully I forgot to put the lid on mine one day in my very nice handbag which had lots of nice little dark holes where smoothie can hide…
- Nuts, seeds and raisins – I sometimes have those kids pack of raisins around for a sweet fix.
- Banana chips
- For fika (coffee and cake) on the go I always have things in the freezer such as Chocolate snack bites, Energy Bars and I always keep a Frozzypack lid in the freezer so they don’t turn into a mush before they are to be eaten.
- Small pieces of seed bread – you always get a lot of small bits at the bottom of the tin which aren’t good for much, a handful of these are a great snack though.
Last night I had one of my favourite meals – we used to have it when we were kids, a little odd I think now but now sure why. A large vegetable hence great dinner (or does it count as a flower?).
Boil the artichoke for 45 minutes with half a lemon and 1 tsp of salt.
(the leaves should come off easily). EAT with either some vinaigrette or melted butter and some salt and pepper. A small one as a starter a large one as a small meal!
Now off to my yoga and mindfullness course – will see if I am a new person upon my return.