Tag Archives: gluten free

Courgette Slices and Goat Cheese in Tomato Sauce

Last week I found a delicious-looking recipe on this blog: http://marcelamatallana.com/2013/07/15/meatless-monday-recipe/ : Eggplant Cannelloni

It inspired me to make the recipe I am blogging about today with what I had available in my fridge / cupboard. It was the 1st time I made such thing and, you know, it takes a bit of practice to master a new recipe, so I’ll give my feedback as well.

Courgette, goat cheese, tomatoINGREDIENTS (for 1 to 2 servings)

2 courgettes

125g soft goat cheese

olive oil

1/2 onion

rosemary

pepper

SAUCE:

half a can of chopped tomatoes (approx. 200g)

2 shallots

basil leaves

olive oil

1 garlic clove

salt

pepper

(If you have time to roast or steam a pepper, try adding one in the sauce for more flavour)

 

INSTRUCTIONS

1st things 1st: Preheat your oven to 180 C (350F / Gas 4)

Start by making the sauce:

  1. Fry the shallots in 1 to 2 tbs of olive oil
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes, chopped basil leaves, crushed garlic and salt and pepper
  3. Cook for 5 minutes, then put to rest on the side

Then, the filling:

  1. Fry the onion in olive oil, until soft and lightly brown
  2. In a bowl, mix the cheese, onion, rosemary, and pepper together

Cook the courgettes:

  1. Slice the courgettes, about 3 to 5 mm thick
  2. Then, either spray them with olive oil and cook them on low heat in a pan or steam them until soft for a healthier version. Olive oil is the healthy oil, sure, but we’re using a lot of it here!

Finally, put about a tsp of filling at the end of each courgette slice and roll. Empty the bowl of sauce in a baking tray and add all the courgette rolls. Cook in the oven for maximum 15 mins and finish with the grill if you would like them to look nice and brown.

When serving, if you have a bit of filling left, why not crumble it all over the plate. Looks nice and if like me you love cheese, you can never have enough!

Feedback: The extra cheese filling mixed in the tomato sauce tasted really good but maybe I’m just a cheese addict! I will definitely try again with a red pepper and maybe some chilli pepper too next time. If you do make this recipe and add your own twist to it, I would love to know how it turned out!

Energy Boost Blueberry Muffins

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Hello there! I hope you are all having a lovely Sunday. I baked today, and felt like I HAD TO share this! Back in March, I uploaded a recipe called Simple Coconut Flour Muffins. If you remember, it was my 1st ever attempt to cook without sugar and a gluten free and dairy free recipe. At the end I mentioned that they would have probably been better with blueberries or something to make them a bit more moist and maybe a bit sweeter. Well, I just baked them again with lots of blueberries and this is totally the answer! They are so good! I can’t believe they are sugar free and wheat flour free!

For the recipe, go to https://eatingwellin2013.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/my-1st-low-carb-and-low-sugar-sweet-treats/ and add about 300g of blueberries and the result will be amazing!

Now, about the calorie content. First of all, you need to know that these muffins are healthy because they have no refined sugar, I use Stevia (Canderel) which is a natural sweetener extracted from a plant that grows in South America. Instead of wheat flour, they have coconut flour, instead of butter, coconut oil, and lots of eggs. It makes them low in sugar and carbohydrates, high in protein and high in healthy fat. The fat from coconut oil is believed to help losing weight as it provides energy to be used by the body instead of being stored as fat. Coconut oil has so many healthy properties I can’t remember them all. It’s meant to be good for chronic fatigue, psoriasis and other skin disorders, to eliminate dandruffs, help with digestive problems, high blood pressure, migraines, diabetes, gum disease, weight loss… (see The Coconut Oil Miracle, by Bruce Fife, founder of the Coconut Research Center for more info on coconut).

Anyway, it tastes good and is healthy, that’s enough for me.

Back to calorie content now, I have roughly calculated that there is about 160 – 170 kcal per muffin. I think it’s higher than an what average muffin has but again, these are healthy calories. Calories that won’t make you feel stuffed and sleepy, that won’t make you put on weight (unless you eat all 12 at once!) and that will give you a lot of energy for the day ahead. So my advice is to eat 1 to 2 blueberry muffins for breakfast, or have one as a mid morning snack or before going to the gym or after exercising. You will feel great, trust me, because it taste like something we would normally feel guilty to eat but these muffins, they are good for you! You need them! So enjoy! And don’t hesitate to tell me what you think, share your recipe if you made them with a different fruit, etc.

Bon Appetit!

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Muffins ready to be baked

Quinoa salad with feta cheese

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Yes, I finally bought quinoa! Everyone is talking about it these days. I felt like I was behind not knowing about it. For those of you who don’t know (like me last week), quinoa is a seed providing protein, carbohydrate, fibre, vitamins and minerals. It is a good protein alternative for vegetarian and vegan people. It can be used in salads and other dishes, such as couscous, making it a nutrient-rich alternative for people with gluten intolerance as well. What a discovery, right?

So I made a quinoa salad with tomatoes, cucumber and feta cheese.

Verdict: Wow! Maybe I’m just a huge cheese fan but honestly, feta cheese, quinoa, tomatoes and olive oil is an amazing combination! Interesting texture, a bit soft but light as well. The taste of the seed on its own is rather bland, which means it is good news for adapting recipes. I think you can make it any way you like. Next I’m going to try a couple of recipes I saw on others blogs. One was a quinoa version of chilli con carne and the other had roasted sweet potatoes and goat cheese. I like the sound of it. Meanwhile, starting with a salad as a first ever quinoa experience is good to get an idea of what quinoa is like, tastes like. I think if you know an ingredient well, you are more likely to cook it well and make tasty recipes out of it.

This salad makes a delicious healthy and light lunch. I can also picture it on a summer night, dinning in the garden or at a picnic.

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How to make the salad:

Simply boil the quinoa following the instructions on the packet, slice the tomatoes and cucumber. Add all the ingredients and serve.

Ingredients:

  • A handful of quinoa
  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • 5 slices of cucumber
  • 1cm wide slice of feta cheese
  • a drizzle of olive oil
  • a squeeze of lemon
  • salt and pepper

Quinoa nutritional information: per cooked 100g

  • calories: 120
  • protein: 4.4
  • carbohydrate: 21.3
  • sugar: 0.6
  • fat: 1.9
  • fibre: 2.8
  • also contains vitamins B1, B2, B6, Folate, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc (source: Wikipedia)

My 1st low carb and low sugar sweet treats

Coconut flour muffins

Coconut flour muffins

Is it possible to eat healthy cakes? I am so happy to say the answer is yes!

In my opinion, if you have to choose between sugar and fat in order to reduce calories, get rid of the sugar! Fat has health benefits but caster sugar really doesn’t. And let’s face it, a low fat AND low sugar cake would not taste good!

These cakes do taste good and are nutritious and almost totally guilt free! Enjoy :-)

1. Flourless chocolate cake

Flourless chocolate cake

Recipe found online at http://www.taste.com.au/recipes. There was a little bit of coffee in the initial recipe but I left that out. I also replaced most of the sugar with stevia. Stevia is a natural sweetener coming from a plant that grows in Paraguay and contains almost no calories. Powdered Canderel stevia is a good brand to use for baking because 1 spoon of it = 1 spoon of sugar, making it easy to measure.

Suitable for people with gluten intolerance!

Ingredients:

  • 200g butter
  • 180g dark chocolate (I suggest Lindt Excellence Dark, 70% or 85%)
  • 2 tablespoons coco powder. Try to find one without added sugar (I used Cadbury’s Bournville).
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar and 3/4 cup Canderel Stevia
  • 2 cups ground almonds

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) or 160 degrees fan oven (320 degrees Fahrenheit). Grease a round cake tin.

2. Place butter, chocolate and coco powder in a saucepan on low heat and stir until melted. Transfer to a bowl to cool.

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3. Beat egg yolks and sugar until thick.

4. Beat egg whites until peaks form.

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5. Add the chocolate and almond flour to egg yolk mixture and stir. Gently add the egg whites to the mixture. Pour into cake tin and bake for 40 to 45 minutes.

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5. Cool cake in tin then place on serving dish.

Flourless chocolate cake

2. Simple coconut flour muffins

Coconut flour muffins

I found this recipe on thecoconutmama.com. These muffins don’t have the texture that you would expect of a muffin but given that gluten is the ingredient that makes cakes rise, it was inevitable that these would be more dense. The recipe suggested you add chocolate chip or sultanas to personalise them. I wanted to make plain ones for a first try but to be honest they were a bit dry. Next time I will add blueberries. Blueberries in cakes are great because they burst and bring moisture, acidity and sweetness as well as colour. I also replaced the sugar with stevia.

Suitable for people with gluten and dairy intolerance!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup Canderel Stevia (instead of honey)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Dried shredded coconut for decoration

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit).

2. In a small bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together and set aside.

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3. In a medium bowl, beat eggs and mix in melted coconut oil and vanilla.

4. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Let sit for 3-5 minutes or until the coconut flour has absorbed the liquid.

5. Scoop batter in muffin cases in muffin tray.

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6. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Let muffins cool before serving. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

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