Dairy, egg and gluten free chocolaty banana rum raisin cake -Pian suklainen rommirusina banaanikakku

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1 dl (100ml so 1/2 cup) raisins

1/2dl (50ml so 1/4 cup) rum

150g dairy free margarin

2dl (1 cup) sugar

2 bananas mashed

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 dl gluten free flour preferably self-raising

2 tsp baking powder (if you don’t have self-raising flour use double amount of baking powder)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

50g grated dairy free dark chocolate

3 tbs coco powder

2dl (200ml so 1cup) rice milk (or soy milk)

1. Soak raisins in rum.

2. Whisk margarin and sugar.

3. Mix the dry ingredients.

4. Add mashed bananans and vanilla extract to the margarin sugar mix.

5. Add dry ingredients into the mixture together with the rice milk. Mix well.

6. Cook in a cake tin for 30min in 175 celsius degrees.

I coated the cake with vanilla flavoured oat cream (1 pack of oat cream, 1 tbs sugar, 1 tsp vanilla sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla extract) and it was tasty but you can also use the avocado chocolate mousse recipe found in my blog and have that as an icing on the cake. Alternatively if you can use soy, whip the soy cream or serve with the soy custard, they would go lovely with the cake as well! Oh and almost forgot to mention..I cut the cake half and mashed banana and miz it with a small amount of oat cream and put it in between the cake to give some moist!

Sweet potato chickpea hummus

ImageThis recipe is worth trying. It is a bit more exciting version of hummus and so tasty too!!! It is more colourful than the original version as it is bright orange and it is suitable for toddlers as well when you leave salt out or use it a bit less. I use this spreading now as I cannot use butter. It is awesome on sandwiches or rice or corn cakes 🙂

1 sweet potato (cooked as cubes)

1  tin (400g) chickpeas

half an lemon

1 -2 tsp paprika

1tsp salt

1 tbs tahini or alternatively cashew butter ( I use cashew butter as my baby girl is allergic to sesame seeds)

1. Cook sweet potato until soft.

2. In a blender or with the hand blender puree sweet potatoes and chickpeas.

3. Squeeze half a lemon in.

4. Add the spices.

Enjoy!

Butternut squash risotto -Myskikurpitsa risotto

ImageI got inspired to cook some risotto when watching ”Jamie does Venice”. I thought I should make some lovely risotto too. I love risottos but good ones are not easy to make. My other source of inspiration for this dish is an American TV chef Rachel Ray who in one of her episodes did butternut squash risotto as a side dish for apricot chicken.  (You get an idea how many cooking shows I watch…so many!!!!! I am constantly looking for new inspirations!)

I wanted to combine these two inspirations I got and I created my own butternut squash risotto which was so tasty.  I didn’t use any meat although one chicken stock in this dish makes it non-vegetarian. If you want to make a vegetarian version do it with a vegetable stock. Otherwise this risotto is vegan as there is no dairy or eggs involved. My dear Aussie husband loved it and I have to say I was proud of my creation. This time it was me hunting the third plate 🙂

Serving for four people:

1 butternut squash

1 onion

2 garlic cloves

2dl (1 cup) risotto rice (Abrorio)

125ml dry white wine

500ml chicken (or vegetable)  stock (Knorr jelly ones are good!)

1 small zucchini

1/2 tsp mixed pepper spice (red, green, black in same)

hint of black pepper

hint of white pepper

handful of fresh sage

hint of salt

300ml water

1. Cut the butternut squash into small cubes, roll them in olive oil and cook them in the oven in 200 celsius degrees until soft and brown. After taking them away from the oven mash them in a bowl, it does not have to be fine mash but mash the cubes away.

2. Chop the onion and garlic and cook in olive oil in a frying pan until golden brown.

3. Add risotto rice and cook for a while.

4. Add the white wine and cook until the wine has absorbed into the rice.

5. Add zucchini cubes.

6. Add the chicken stock gradually into the risotto.

7. Add the spices except the sage.

8. Add the mashed butternut squash after the risotto has absorbed all the chicken stock.

9. Add the handful of sage.

10. Let the risotto simmer in a low heat and add 300 ml of water gradually.

11. Check the taste. Serve with white wine! Yum!

Bill Granger’s breakfast loaf -gluten, dairy and egg free

photo (23)I bought an amazing cook book yesterday. It has all the recipes of my favourite chef Bill Granger. The book was only four pounds in our local second hand book store and I didn’t even have to glimpse it through as I knew I would want it. I have been watching Bill Granger’s TV show where he is touring around UK and I absolutely love his recipes. He is so health conscious but recipes whilst being healthy are always mouthwatering. So if you need a good cookbook I warmly recommend Bill Granger’s Every Day. I am planning to cook it through and will drop some of the recipes to this blog.

I baked the breakfast loaf yesterday following Bill Granger..Well..I almost followed the recipe but not quite so here is my version of it.

50g rolled oats (1/2 cup = 1dl)

300 ml oat milk (Granger uses regular milk)

240g (2 cups =4 dl) plain white gluten free flour (Granger used regular self raising flour or wholemeal)

2 tsp baking powder

150ml (approximately 175g) dried fruits and nuts (crushed walnuts and hazelnuts, small pieces or dried apricot, raisins and dried cranberries, Granger used 125 dried cherries and 50g dried apple, 3 tbs crushed almonds)

75g (1/3 cup+3/4dl) soft brown sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

3 tbs honey (I used Acasia)

1 tsp Orgran No Egg + 2 tsp water (Granger used 1 egg  lightly beaten)

on the top some rolled oats

1. Soak the rolled oats with the oat milk for 30minutes.

2. Preheat the oven in 180 celsius degrees. Grease and line the bread tin.

3. Mix the flour and baking powder in a bowl.

4. Stir in rolled oats with oat milk, dried fruit, sugar, cinnamon, honey, No Egg mix and mix together well.

5. Pour it to the bread tin and bake for 35-45 minutes.

I can guarantee this is tasty!!! Bear in mind that when not using regular wheat flour the dough does not raise a lot but the flavour is amazing!

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Paella à la Pia -Paellaa Pian tapaan

ImageI was so excited to try some home made Paella after our summer holidays in Spain.  I knew it would be challenging as I had never tried to make it before and I couldn’t decide which recipe to follow so I thought I would create my own…and believe it or not it was amazing! I read many recipes to get an idea of the best ingredients and spices but in the end I just threw stuff from my head and created this dream Paella! It was actually really easy but took a long time to get perfect. The secret of Paella is to cook the base before seafood for a long time such as the rice gets all the flavours. I started cooking around 5.30pm and Paella was ready in 2h. I think that is the estimate, although most of that time you just let the rice simmer in the liquid.

Try this, I can guarantee it is tasty! My father-in-law loved it and my dear Aussie man was hunting thirds to his plate!

1 onion

2 garlic cloves

30 ml olive oil

3dl (300ml) Arborio rice

185ml (small bottle) dry white wine

1 red pepper

1 small zucchini

600-700ml chicken stock (Knorr jelly one is really good!!!)

3-4 tbs tomato paste

1 tsp paprika

hint of black and white pepper and salt

3-4 tbs sugar (to get tomato flavour sweet)

1/2 lemon

1 pack of seafood mix (squid, mussels and king prawns)

1 pack of prawns in shell (this is not necessary if you don’t want to have prawns to peal you can use another pack of king prawns)

1/2  teaspoon of mixed herbs spice (it has rosemary, thyme, marjoram, basil and parsley in it)

1. Cook the onions and garlic until golden brown.

2. Add the rice and cook for a little while.

3. Add the white wine and bring it to boil and let it simmer until the liquid is gone.

4. Add peppers and zucchini and paprika, black and white pepper and salt and mixed herbs.

5. Add some chicken stock and let it simmer.

6. Add tomato paste and sugar and let it simmer.

7. Slowly add all the chicken stock whilst the rice and other ingredients are simmering. Squeeze the lemon in.

8. When the rice has absorbed all the liquid and is soft mix it and let it cook in a Paella pan (you can use a big wok if you don’t have a paella pan).

9. Just before serving add the seafood and heat it through.

Serve Paella with some nice dry white wine. I had a really tasty French Chardonnay to go with it! A tip for you who live in the UK. Morrison has this amazing Chardonnay in offer at the moment. The normal price is £13.99 reduced to £8.99. This wine is super good. It is Montagny 1er Cru, Cave des Vignerons de Buxy.

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Coconut rice noodle wok

ImageI have been enjoying cooking lately. I have been so excited to try all the new type of dishes I can make by using the ingredients I actually am allowed to eat. I have been using more quinoa, veggies, fish, seafood and all the nuts and berries. I will post a nice quinoa salad recipe for you soon but before that I want to share a simple but an absolutely delicious coconut wok recipe with you.

I have been happily surprised that my dear Aussie man even noted that he likes this new diet and is also excited to try new things. You know how easily you can get stuck with the same old same old and circulate the basic recipes you know.

Anyway cook this wok and you will love it. I served it to my father-in-law who has been visiting us in the UK.

1 regular onion

1 red onion

3 garlic cloves

1 red pepper

1 medium size zucchini

400ml coconut milk

200-300g  tail on king prawns

200ml of rice noodles (precooked)

bunch of fresh coriander

juice of half the lime

1 tsp lemongrass paste (or one stick)

1/2tsp ginger paste (or a small piece of fresh ginger)

1/2tsp salt

1 tbs sugar

1. Cut the onions and garlic and cook them in a wok until golden brown.

2. Add the coriander and juice of the lime. Cook for a little while.

3. Add the rest of the veggies. Cook for a while.

4. Add the coconut milk and all the spices. Cook and bring the coconut milk to boil. Reduce the heat.

5. Add the king prawns and rice noodles and cook until the whole wok is heated through.

Serve with beer! Enjoy!!!

Balsamic red onion mix – Balsamico punasipuliherkku

KuvaI love to add some small side dishes or gourmet to every meal to make an everyday food a bit different. I enjoy eating salads and my latest favourite has been smoked salmon salad -of course-I am in the land of salmon after all. You probably cannot even believe it but for example at the moment salmon is only 7.99e/kg!!! My signature salad includes smoked salmon (bbq smoked salmon I mean), avocado, rock melon, salad, salted cashews (occasionally dry cranberries) and this lovely balsamic red onion mix on top. My mum made this absolutely gorgeous red onion mix and I had to ask the recipe as it was so tasty. I have made it myself before but I have not let it rest for a day in the fridge. By letting the onions sit in the fridge makes them softer and sweeter. You can find the easy recipe below.

In general I have to say I have enjoyed my holiday in Finland fully. In the beginning of the holiday I was eating forest blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, now the season of black and red currants has started. This week every morning I have gone to my parents’ backyard and eaten blackcurrants straight from the bush. Oh how lovely and sweet they taste when being freshly picked and they are so healthy too only a handful of them contains the required amount of vitamin C for the day!!!!

Anyway enjoy this easy, quick and tasty red onion mix in your own summer salads.

2 red onions

2 tsp salt

2 tsp sugar

1/2tsp black pepper

1-2 tbs red balsamic

1 tbs olive oil

1. Mix together thinly sliced red onions, salt, sugar, black pepper and red balsamic, wait for 5 min.

2. Add the olive oil into the mix and put it to the fridge to sit for 24h.

3. Enjoy in salads or in sandwiches!

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Eggplant dip -Munakoiso dippi

ImageYesterday I prepared some very tasty eggplant dip to go on top of the bread..or should I say on top of the ricecakes and buckwheat crispy breads that I am eating these days. For you I, however, recommend to eat this dip with freshly baked baguette or pita bread, It is slightly middle eastern style and that is why I like it. This dip would be perfect an ideal small nibble with friends before the actual dinner. It is super simple and quick to make too.

1 eggplant

1 onion

1 red capsicum

2 garlic cloves

50ml (1/2dl) olive oil

salt (I added half a teaspoon)

1. Cut the greenies to small cubes and cook them in the oven in 200 celsius degrees until nicely soft and brown.

2. Let them cool. Puree the vegetables and add olive oil and salt.

3. Store in the fridge to make the dip cold before serving.

Super tasty!!!

Kalamata Olive Focaccia

WP_000111We had a house warming BBQ last weekend to celebrate our new home. It was rather crazy as this point almost everyone has a kid or two so it was probably the same number of adults and kids, some newborns some toddlers. The funniest thing was that in the middle of the BBQ cooking it started suddenly rain rather heavily. As a result some of the meat burnt and some was uncooked -well bad luck! I made so many things for this BBQ  party and I will post the recipes here one after another. I baked home made focaccia, prepared some couscous salad, feta butternut squash salad and French strawberry tart. All of the recipes will be available soon. The first one I wanted to share with you was this home made focaccia. It was really tasty and in fact the first focaccia I have ever made. It turned out to be very tasty though.

4dl water (400ml)

50g fresh yeast or 1 pack of dry yeast (you need 1 1/2 pack of English dry yeast as it is only 7g per pack)

2 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

7.5dl plain flour (750ml)

4 tbs olive oil

Topping:

handful of kalamata olived (pitted) chopped

4 tbs olive oil

rock salt

fresh thyme chopped

1. Heat up the water (37 celsius degrees if fresh yeast, 40 celsius degrees if dry yeast). Mix sugar and salt and a bit flour (approximately tablespoon).

2. Add half of the flour and olive oil. Mix well and add rest of the flour. The dough is supposed to be quite runny. Cover the bowl and let it rise for half an hour.

3. Oil the baking dish 20cm x 30cm. Pour the dough into the baking dish and rise half an hour. Drizzle olive oil on top.

4. After the dough has risen add the kalamata olives and rock salt.

5. Cook in the oven in 225 celsius degrees for 25-30min.

Butternut squash spinach ricotta pie

This recipe is one of my most recent ones. I developed this pie for our Halloween party last weekend as I wanted to do something halloweeny that has pumpkin in it.  I decided to combine all my favourite flavours and it worked indeed. The pie was super tasty.

Ingredients:

500g puff pastry

1 big butternut squash

250g spinach

200g ricotta cheese

black pepper and salt

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1-2tbs Kecap Manis

1 egg

1. Precook the butternut squash. Cut it into small cubes and roll in olive oil, add lots of salt and black pepper. Cook the cubes in the oven in 200 celcius degrees for 15-20min so that they turn to brown and look cooked. You can do this phase on the day before and let the cooked cubes sit in the fridge  and absorb all the flavours.

2. Cook spinach in a casserole.

3. Mix butternut squash cubes, spinach and ricotta cheese together. Add salt, blackpepper, nutmeg and KeCap Manis. Let the filling sit for a while to absorb the flavours.

4. Put half of the puff pastry in a large baking dish and form the base. Precook the base in 200 celsius degrees for 10min. REMEMBER to stick small holes in it with a fork so that it does not turn out to be to puffy.

5. Take the precooked base out of the oven and put the filling on the top of the base. Use another half of the puff pastry to cover the pie,  brush the cover with some egg so that it gets a nice golden colour when it is cooked. Remember again to stick small holes on the puff pastry. Cook in 200 celsius degrees for 20-30min so that the pie looks golden brown and cooked.

ENJOY!