Sunday, March 31, 2013

Mouthful Biscuits

-->Mouthful Biscuits (aka Gluten-free Peanut-butter Honey-cacao-tahini biscuits)

I call these biscuits ‘mouthful’ biscuits, because they are, in fact, a mouthful. They may appear dry and crunchy on the outside, but they are actually melt-in-your-mouth-stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth delicious. These are another healthy-recipe where you can eat 3 with a cup of tea and not feel guilty. I adapted this recipe from Green Kitchen Stories Tahini & Peanut butter cookies. I accessed this recipe from the Green Kitchen Stories Healthy Desserts iPhone app, and cannot locate it online, therefore I will also write the original recipe underneath my own.


  • 1 cup and ¾ of almond meal.
  • 1 tsp baking soda.
  • ½ tsp of ground cinnamon.
  • 1 tsp sea salt.
  • 1 cup of peanut butter.
  • ¼ cup Arlington’s Honey-Cacao Tahini (alternatively you could use normal tahini here).
  • ¼ cup of honey (if only using regular tahini, increase this to ½ cup).
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil.

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Mix almond meal, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a small pot over a low heat, stir together the peanut butter, tahini, honey and olive oil, until combined. Allow to cool ever so slightly.
  4. Pour this peanut butter mixture over the almond meal mixture and stir together until combined (this mixture will still be warm, and that’s okay).
  5. Use your hands to shape the dough into smallish balls of dough and place onto two large baking trays lined with baking paper (you should be able to get about 36 same-sized balls out of this).
  6. Use the back of a fork to press down each cookie.
  7. Bake for between 8-12 minutes, depending on your oven. I took mine out of the oven at 8 minutes, because it is important to remember that cookies continue to cook after you take them out of the oven. If you over cook these, they will become dry and lose their melt in your mouth quality. They will be slightly soft when you take them out of the oven but will firm up once they cool down.
  8. Let them cool for a few minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack. When cool completely, serve!

These biscuits are kind of weird, but really wonderful. I recommend you give them a try! 

The original recipe.....


  • 1 cup gluten free oat flour
  • 3/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup organic peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup organic tahini
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or date syrup 
  • 1/3 cup olive oil  


  1. Set the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Mix oat flour, buckwheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. If you can't find oat flour, you can make it yourself by simply grinding rolled oats in a food processor
  2. Put a small skillet on the stove on low heat. Add peanut butter, tahini, maple syrup, olive oil. Stir until combined.
  3. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the flour mixture and fold them together until combined.
  4. Use your hands to shape 1-inch balls of dough and place onto parchment lined baking sheets.
  5. Use the back of a fork to press down each cookie.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Don't over bake or they will become dry. They will be slightly soft when they come out but will become firmer as they cool off.
  7. Let them cool for a few minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.
  8. Serve! 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Healthy Lemon Bars

-->It is part of my daily quest to eat healthily but never sacrifice flavour; and these lemon bars are a perfect example of this. They are gluten and dairy free, use maple syrup instead of sugar and are incredibly easy to make.
I found this recipe when looking through one of my favourite blogs – Green Kitchen Stories, now do yourself a favour and check out this blog right now (well, after you read my post that is) -

Not only do these guys have a fantastic website/blog full of incredibly healthy and delicious recipes, but they have also recently brought out two new apps for the iPhone (‘Green Kitchen’ is the original app & ‘Desserts’ by Green Kitchen is full of entirely guilt free desserts – so inspiring!).
Looking through the healthy desserts app is what inspired me to make these lemon bars, and I’m so glad I did! I slightly altered the recipe when making them myself by using sunflower oil instead of coconut oil, as it is what I had in the house, and I also added the zest of one lemon, which the recipe didn’t mention. ANYWAY, here is a link to the original recipe -

What I like most about these bars, is that they taste almost identical to a heavily sugar laden lemon curd slice (which are also delicious, there's no denying that), only these are miles better for you – what could be better? 


For the Crust –

  • 5 tablespoons of sunflower oil - also coconut oil (as the recipe specifies) or any other nut oil would be fine here.
  • 3 tablespoons of maple syrup.
  • 2 cups of shredded coconut.
  • 1 cup of almond meal.
  • 1 pinch of salt.
  • 2 egg whites (save the yolks for the lemon curd)

For the filling –

  • 3 whole eggs + 2 egg yolks.
  • 6 tablespoons of maple syrup.
  • The juice of 2 lemons.
  • The zest of 1 lemon.
  • 1/3 cup of almond meal.


  1. Set the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a 12x8inch baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Place the sunflower oil in a medium sized pot and place over a very low heat, don’t allow it to bubble or boil in any way, this process just helps to bind it well with the other base ingredients.
  3. Add the maple syrup, shredded coconut, almond meal and salt. Stir around until everything is combined and then remove from the heat.
  4. Crack two eggs and set aside the egg yolks for later; and add the whites to the pot while stirring. Keep stirring for about a minute, the mixture should be quite sticky.
  5. Pour this mixture into the baking tray and spread and flatten it evenly on the pan, you can use the back of a spoon here, or what is much easier is to use your hands.
  6. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes and then remove it from the oven. While this is cooking, start on the lemon curd filling.
  7. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and 2 remaining egg yolks with an electric whisk until frothy. There is no need to get out heavy machinery here, but if you wish to do so, feel free.
  8. Add the rest of the filling ingredients and beat for two more minutes.
  9. Pour this mixture on top of the baked base ensuring it is evenly spread atop the crust.
  10. Bake in the oven for 16-19 minutes (I took mine out of the oven at 16 minutes) or until edges are light brown and the centre is set.
  11. Let it cool until slicing it up into bars. Slice, dust with icing sugar and serve.

This is a seriously delicious and delightfully guilt free treat to have with a cup of tea. Warning: it is extremely easy to inhale large slices of these bars in mere moments – but, who cares?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Holy Trinity Pasta Sauce

I use the term holy trinity here, but really I am referring to my personally three favourite and absolutely necessary ingredients for any delicious pasta. These are – garlic, red onion and chilli. There are no two ways about it for me, as long as I have these three ingredients; I am off to a very good start.

The pasta sauce recipe that I am about to provide, is again, very versatile. I change the recipe nearly every time I make it according to what I have in the fridge – or should I say, mum and dad’s fridge. I have never gone out to purchase anything for this pasta, which is what I love about it. It is all according to taste and your own personal taste, and that is a very important element to enjoying cooking.

Ingredients –

  • Garlic.
  • Chilli and/or dried chilli flakes.
  • Red onion.
  • Olive oil.
  • Tinned tomatoes (crushed, diced, whole, with garlic and herbs – whatever! You may also need more than one tin if making a large batch of pasta sauce)
  • Red wine.
  • Tsp of sugar.
  • Any other extras that you like – olives, capers, artichokes, semi dried tomatoes, “fresh” tomatoes (this is a particularly good way of using up tomatoes that have almost had it)
  • Dried oregano.
  • Fresh basil (delicious but you can do without)
  • Fresh spinach (delicious but you can do without)

Method –

  1. In a large frying pan, drizzle some olive oil and top with chopped garlic and onion and fresh chilli (if using chilli flakes instead, add these in a bit later).
  2. Fry these on a low-medium heat until soft and translucent.
  3. Add in fresh tomatoes if you choose, but most importantly add in a tin of tomatoes and stir around. Also at this stage, add a teaspoon of sugar, this helps to bring out the flavour of the tomatoes.
  4. Let this mixture bubble away and while doing so; pour in a glug (or a bit more…) of any red wine you like. My rule is that its important to cook with wine that you would also drink, there is no point using a cheap wine that tastes horrible in cooking, as it will still taste bad in the food!
  5. Allow the wine to simmer and stir it through so it cooks into the sauce.
  6. Add any other extras you like as stated in the ingredients. At this stage I would also add some water, simply fill up the tinned tomatoes can with water and pour this in and allow it to cook and the sauce to thicken again.
  7. Add dried oregano and chilli flakes and any other dried herbs that you like, and stir through.
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. At this final stage I would also add in fresh basil and spinach and stir it through.
  10. When cooked to your liking, stir through some freshly cooked pasta and serve!   

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The most versatile Quinoa salad

Quinoa - 

I do know that quinoa is a superfood/grain and that it is extremely healthy for you! But that’s about all I know scientifically speaking. More importantly, what I do know is how delicious, easy to cook and (here’s that word again) versatile it is.
This recipe for delicious quinoa salad, is a vegan recipe (you can change this factor if you wish) and I suppose what you would consider “clean” eating. It certainly feels clean when you're eating it! It’s healthy, filling, super tasty and extremely easy to make. I quite honestly change what I put in this salad every single time I make it, that’s why I love it so much.
My recipe is an adaptation from Yottam Ottolenghi’s Avocado, Quinoa and Fava Bean salad in his book Plenty. Here is a link to the original recipe: 

My tip: anyone wanting to eat more vegetarian food, purchase this book (you’re going to have a whole bookshelf of books soon) – but I’m serious, this book is packed full of extremely enticing vegetarian recipes, you’ll be forgetting meat exists after reading this book! Here is a link to purchase: 

Do it…. Now for the recipe! I am not going to give proper measurements because it really depends on your own taste.


  • Quinoa – red or white, or both!
  • Dried chilli flakes and/or fresh chopped chilli.
  • Cumin seeds or ground cumin.
  • Lemon.
  • Vegetables – sometimes I use carrots, corn, frozen peas, spinach leaves, broccoli, ALWAYS avocado – it is quite literally whatever you like in your salads, or, whatever you have lying around the house.
  • Garlic.
  • Red onion.
  • Any sort of raw nuts and/or seeds – sunflower seeds, pepitas, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts – whatever!
  • Salt and pepper to season (Himalayan pink salt is best)

  • Cook quinoa to package instructions and set aside. Cook as much quinoa as you will use, 1 part of quinoa needs 3 parts water, keep in mind that quinoa expands a lot as well so only a small amount is necessary for one person. If you want to make a large salad to feed around four people comfortably, then 1 cup of quinoa will be more than enough.
  • To cook the quinoa, place 1 part of the grain (for example 1 cup) in a saucepan, and 3 parts water (in this example, 3 cups of water) and bring to the boil. When boiled, cover and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes take off the heat, drain into a colander and set aside.
  • With the red onion and garlic, you can cook these either by roasting them or pan-frying them – both are delicious.
  • To roast – chop up red onion in pieces, leaving the skin on – and place on a roasting tray. Place whole cloves of garlic, again with the skin on, and throw these on the tray too. Drizzle with some olive oil, and bake in the oven until roasted. This is done by eye and I would bake them at around 180 degrees Celsius but you can make the temperature hotter if you want to speed up the process. By leaving the skin on the vegetables, they will become incredibly tender, especially the garlic which turns into a smooth sweet and oh so delicious garlic paste when you squeeze it out of the skin – yes it does mean you have to peel while eating, but trust me its worth it.
  • To pan-fry – chop, dice, slice, whatever – the garlic and onion (you could also throw some fresh chilli in here) - again, as much as you want to use - and pan fry in some olive oil on a low heat until soft and translucent.
  • Peel and slice as much lemon as you want to use, I like to cut the lemon into segments and then squeeze the remaining lemon juice from the lemon, place this directly into the salad bowl you will be using, to start the process of assembling the salad.
  • Sprinkle the lemon juice and segments with dried chilli flakes, ground cumin, or if using cumin seeds – make sure you crush them in a mortar and pestle a bit first – add whatever other seasonings you like, but be mindful of the flavour combinations.
  • Now put the cooked quinoa in this same bowl.
  • On top of the quinoa, add any vegetables you want as I said above, the choice is yours and completely up to your taste. In this process also add the garlic and onion.
  • Top with some nuts and/or seeds, any of your choice, but make sure you pan-fry them in a dry pan on a medium heat for 30 seconds to a minute first, until they are beginning to brown and are fragrant, to bring out their flavour.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste, toss gently but thoroughly. If putting avocado in the salad, add that in at this last stage and gently toss through.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy! You can refrigerate this salad and eat it the next day, but it doesn’t last much longer than that, and anyway its much more delicious when eaten fresh.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Brown's Brownies

This brownie recipe is my staple for whenever the need for brownies arises - much more often than you may think. 
I mostly make these brownies to give away - as many people I know have fallen deeply in love with them.
They are rich but not too rich, and highly addictive. I adapted the recipe from Nigella Lawson's snow-flecked brownie recipe (original recipe - and I have never looked back. I change the recipe in a few ways, but most importantly by refrigerating the brownies - and this makes the world of difference. 
You must must must try these.

Brown's Brownies 

  • 360g dark chocolate (you can use chocolate with 70% cocoa, but any good dark chocolate will do - the more percentage of cocoa, the richer they will be!) 
  • 400g unsalted butter (I know...I know...)
  • 1.5 cups plus 2 tablespoons of plain flour
  • 6 eggs (at least free range my friends - always needs to be free range! organic is even better!)
  • 2 cups caster sugar (I know...I know....white sugar is also fine if it's what you have, you can also choose to cut this back a bit if you'd prefer but...why bother?)
  • Splash of vanilla extract (I never measure vanilla, just free pour baby)
  • Pinch of salt 
  • 250g of white chocolate buttons/melts chopped up/chopped up white chocolate/throw some chunks of milk chocolate in too (I personally never measure this in cups, I just chop up a block of dream and some cadbury milk chocolate and throw that in if I have it - the more chocolate the better!)  
  1.  Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius and grease and line brownie tray with baking paper. You could use any large square tin - I'm not sure of the measurements required - but my brownie tray purchased for $25 at Victoria's Basement was the best thing my cousin Brydie ever bought for me! Go get one!
  2.  In a medium sized saucepan, melt butter and dark chocolate on a low heat, stirring occasionally. Heat and stir (with a wooden spoon, always with a wooden spoon when involving heat!) until butter and chocolate are melted together, smooth and velvety. Don't leave the pan for too long as you avoid the butter burning and ending up with a curdled and grainy texture. Set aside to cool slightly when melted.
  3. Whisk eggs, sugar and vanilla together. Pour this into the chocolate and butter mixture and whisk together in the pot.
  4. Dump the flour and salt into this sugar-butter-chocolate-egg mixture and fold in with a wooden spoon.
  5. Finally add the chocolate chunks, I recommend coating these in a little bit of flour before mixing them in to the mixture as this stops them from all sinking to the bottom during baking. Very lightly mix the chocolate chunks in, as they can melt easily and you want them to remain as chunks. 
  6. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
  7. Take out of the oven when done, they will be a lighter brown on top as the picture at the top shows.
  8. Leave to cool to room temperature, cover with cling wrap and then refridgerate for a few hours.
  9. Cut into slices, pile on a plate and dust with icing sugar (if serving at a party or otherwise). Other ways of eating these brownies - standing over the kitchen sink, be careful not to shovel them in too quickly however they are extremely "more-ish" (ick, sorry - I couldn't think of another word)  

This recipe is extremely versatile. You can exchange the chocolate for walnuts or macadamia nuts, you could add these as well as the chocolate. You could omit any white chocolate at all if you wanted (but that would be a bit silly...)
You can serve them with ice cream and make a chocolate sauce to go with, serve with fresh raspberries or blueberries, or as stated above, shovel them in as quickly as possible and feel no regrets.
As stated above, you don't have to refridgerate them, you can eat them gooey and hot, or room temperature - all of which are delicious - but I really feel that the refridgeration is key, it gives them more of a fudge-like texture and they keep longer in the fridge.
So go... make You will never look back.