Tuesday 29 November 2016

Healthy cake – is it possible?

vegetarian, sugar free

Makes one 22cm layer cake

For the cake:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (we use gluten free mix flour from Shipton Mill)
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cup grated carrots
1 cup grated curgette
1 cup finely grated beets
1/2 cup raisins
1 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or you can use 100g unrafined sugar and 1/2 cup maple syrup
2/3 cup sunflower or other mild-tasting oil
4 eggs

For the frosting:

ripe avocados flesh of 2, chopped  

200g good quality cocoa powder
1-2 tablespoons liquid honey or pure maple syrup

Arrange oven racks to divide oven into thirds. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease two 22cm cake pans, dust with a spoonful of flour and tap out. Line each with a round of parchment paper.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, stir together carrots, curgettes, beets and raisins.

In a large mixing bowl, beat maple syrup and oil together until emulsified. Add eggs one at a time, beating until batter is smooth. Add flour mixture in three or four batches, mixing gently until mixture is even. Gently mix in the vegetable mixture. Divide between baking pans.

Place one baking pan in center of each of the racks. Bake 25-35 minutes, until a skewer or paring knife inserted into centers comes out clear and cakes are pulling away from the sides of pans. Cool on a rack about 5 minutes, then gently remove from pans. Cool to room temperature before frosting.

To make frosting:

Place avocado and cocoa powder in a food processor and blend together until smooth. Keep blending until the mousse is very smooth and creamy. Taste, and if you would like it a little sweeter, you can add a bit of honey or maple syrup.

inspiration from

Friday 18 November 2016

pan - fried cheese pasties

150g plain flour
1/12 teaspoon salt
300g leaf spinach
150g feta
30g parsley
sunflower oil for frying

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl then blend quickly with water. Kneed to a soft, smooth dough and shape it into 12 small balls. Place them on a floured board, cover with a damp cloth and leave to stand for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, sort the spinach, trim wash and drain the leaves and cut them into thin strips. Place the cheese in a shallow bowl and mash finely with a fork. Wash the parsley and shake it dry. Finely chop the leaves and stir them into the cheese.
On a floured work surface, roll out the balls of dough to thin circles about 20 to 22cm in diameter and carefully shake off any excess flour. On to one half of each circle, spoon 1 tablespoon cheese and a little pile of spinach. Fold the other half of the dough over the filling and press the edges down firmly with a fork to seal and secure them.
Heat 1 to 2 tablespoon oil in a frying and fry the pasties, in a batches, over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until golden-brown on both sides.
For extra flavour, brush the cooked pasties with melted butter.

Monday 14 November 2016

raw vegan snickers

vegan, gluten free, raw
These raw vegan snickers slices are healthier versions of the original candy bar. Filled with all-natural, plant-based ingredients, they pack the same delicious punch with three layers of pure decadence.
You can find my previous recipe for vegan snickers here


For the base:
250g almonds 

150g raisins  
4 dates (stones removed)

For the caramel:
32 dates (stones removed)
4 tablespoons coconut oil
one vanilla pod
4 tablespoons water

For the toping:
80g salted peanuts, chopped
300g dark (vegan) chocolate

To make the base, process the almonds in a food processor for about 1 minute until they reach a fine texture. Set the almonds aside in a bowl. Process the raisins and dates in a food processor until they a smooth paste, add the almonds and process the entire mixture. Place the mixture between two pieces of greaseproof paper and, using a rolling pin, roll it out until you have a square that is 1 cm thick.

To make the caramel, blend the dates, coconut oil, vanilla and water in a blender until it becomes a uniform caramel-like mass. It shouldn`t runny, but should hang easily on a spoon. Add a few additional dates or put it in the fridge if it is too runny- just be aware that it solidifies quickly.
Smooth the caramel over the base and sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marine and pour it over the caramel. Let the chocolate cool, then cut the mixture into 14 pieces and place them in the fridge.

The bars can also be frozen.


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Recipe taken from:
Maarie Tourell Soderberg


Friday 11 November 2016

tradition, authentic Cretan Salad

This tradition, authentic Cretan Salad is available throughout Crete and is an alternative to the ubiquitous Greek Salad (village salad). The Crete Salad uses soft goat's cheese instead of salty feta and has additional fresh vegetables and herbs served with rusks (hard twice-baked bread). A must try in Crete!

Cretan Salad

The blend of Cretan juicy and sweet tomatoes, goat`s cheese and salty capers, with bell peppers and olives, gives this salad – believe or not – a unique flavour. All the ingredients in this salad are very, very common in Crete and the rest of Greece and a handful of capers does the magic.

paximádia - rusks
goat`s cheese
black olives
handful of capers
oregano, salt and pepper to taste
extra virgin Cretan olive oil

olive tree

feta cheese

Chania Mosque Yiali Tzami

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Monday 7 November 2016

Semolina halva (χαλβάς)


This dessert has to be one of my favourites of Greek cuisine. It’s one of my favourities because it’s not “over the top” sweet, as many Greek desserts can be.

street market of Chania (Crete)

In Greece and Cyprus, the term halvas (χαλβάς) is used for both varieties of the dessert. Sesame halva was produced in classical times. The standard recipe for semolina halva is referred to as "1:2:3:4", as it calls for one unit of oil, two of semolina, three of sugar and four of water.
Chania (Crete)

Little Shrines on the Road in Crete Island


175g butter
225g semolina 
100g almonds 
1 litre milk
300g sugar 
1teaspoon ground cinnamon


Heat the butter in a wide-based pan. Add the semolina and almonds and stir-fry them over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until both the nuts and the semolina are golden. Remove the pan from the heat.

In a second pan, heat the milk and sugar, then pour the milk over the hot semolina and almonds, taking care as the mixture may split. Return the pan to the heat and simmer over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring until the mixture is thick and firm.

Rinse out a small, square baking tin with cold water. Pour the halva mixture into the wet tin and smooth the surface with a spoon dipped in water. Allow the halva to cool, then leave it to chill in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.

Carefully turn the halva out on to a serving dish.

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