gluten free

Boiled Orange Cranberry And Chocolate Cake

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2 whole ORGANIC oranges
2 and 1/4 cups ground almonds
1 cup coconut sugar 
4 free range eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup roughly chopped good quality dark chocolate

Place whole oranges in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil and continue the boil for 1 hour.

Drain. Let cool (apparently patience is virtous)

Preheat oven to 160 C

Cut oranges in half and place in a food processor (skin, pith, flesh errythang) with ground almonds, coconut sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and baking soda then process until smooth.

Turn the food processor off, unless you want to die and using a spoon, gently mix in the cranberries and chocolate (leaving a handful behind for topping)

Pour batter into a baking-paper lined cake tin, top with remaining cranberries and chocolate and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a fork comes out clean when inserted.

Let cool completely before removing from tin.

Note: using organic oranges is vital here seeing as you’re going to be eating the whole thang. Also, the thinner the orange skin, the sweeter.

Enjoy! Let me know how it goes and don’t forget to tag me in your creations xx

Eating NZ In Japan

As you may or may not know, my parents visited me recently here in Japan. And, they brought an entire SUITCASE of food just for me! OK, and maybe some for my friends… The funniest thing they managed to get through was goat’s cheese! I couldn’t believe it! 1.How does Japanese immigration allow that? and 2.How did it not go off?! As in become mouldy not beep beep in the sensor. Cheese don’t do that. Anyways, I won’t complain. I have been eating NZ in Japan. Today I had a smoothie bowl made with ViBERi blackcurrants and topped with Pic’s Peanut Butter. I ate it by myself on the grassy patch in the centre of my apartment complex and though highly optimistic, I/it did not lure any boys to the yard.

In a food processor, simply blend the following until smooth and creamy:

1 large frozen banana
1 cup freeze-dried or frozen ViBERi blackcurrants.
3/4 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond)
1 tsp pure maple syrup (optional)

Finish with a large dollop of Pic’s Peanut Butter and whatever else your heart (and stomach) desires. I used fresh banana, chia-seeds, shredded coconut, macadamia nuts, more blackcurrants and raw almonds.
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Experimenting In Ze Kitchen

Most of the time I don’t follow a recipe. Instead, I experiment and end up pleasantly surprised (most of the time). Below are some of my recent creations. From top to bottom: gluten, refined-sugar and dairy-free walnut and mandarin cake which I made using the juice of two mandarins and which ended up tasting not a smidgen mandariney but still yum according to my mom (that rhymed). Wholemeal turmeric, sundried-tomato and parsley muffins, and today’s lunch: a green salad of broccoli, snap-peas and asparagus, all young and all blanched in hot water for 4 seconds then tossed with raw pumpkin seeds and pistachio nuts before being dressed in lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper.
Oishi katta (it was delicious).  They were delicious.
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Day Nine, Our First Hanami!

Hanami literally means “flower viewing”, however, it commonly refers only to cherry blossom viewing. Cherry blossom viewing is easy: simply enjoy the intensity of the many blossoms by looking at a single tree or a group of trees and eat good food. I made Petite Kitchen’s gluten and refined-sugar free cheesecake topped with 100% cherry jam, My New Root’s Life-Changing Loaf, hummus, babaganoush/eggplant dip (recipe below) and a simple pasta salad with tuna, blue-cheese stuffed olives, red onion, parsley and cherry tomatoes. My beautiful friend Mina prepared a vegetable frittata, brown rice, carrot, mushroom and soybean onigiri (rice ball), rice-paper rolls, semi-dried bananas, a tomato salad and cut fruit. It was all so good. I am so happy. Happy one year Japanniversary to me! <3

PS: Just like that, sakura carpets, already!
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Babaganoush:
1 large eggplant
2 tbsp tahini
juice of half a lemon
2 garlic cloves

Optional toppings: a handful of skinned then roasted pistachio nuts, some sesame seeds, and a small dollop of extra virgin olive oil.

You’re going to take me as a fool but I’m not kidding, honto (really in Japanese). Place the eggplant as is in a toaster oven or normal oven on high heat (mine goes up to 220) until burnt on the outside and squishy on the inside. Don’t fret the burnt skin, it’s what gives this dip its smoke.

When cooled, scoop out the insides and blitz alongside remaining ingredients (excluding toppings – well, duh) in a food processor or in batches, in a blender like moi. Das all. Top with toppings and enjoy with bread, cut veggies, grissini or what have you!

On Day Five The Three Little Bears Rested

From top to bottom: a walk in the village with mom, snaps from a small Japanese matsuri (festival) in the old street of my village (the food is shiitake mushroom tempura, onigiri and tempura onigiri!), lunch with Lifa, Akiko and Oz at mine where my father gifted Oz a Kinder Surprise (a surprise-toy containing chocolate egg), a gluten and dairy-free black sugar and raspberry cake, and last but oh my goodness never least, an incredible make-your-own sushi dinner at Kaori and Taka’s with BROWN RICE, avocado and all things nice. It is an understatement to say that my heart is bursting with 愛 (love). image-13image-14image-9image-7image-22image-21image-20
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Today Is The Day

My parents arrive TONIGHT! In Japan for their first time! YAY! Naturally, as Anisa does, I spent last night baking for them. I baked my “Bluberry and Lemon Yoghurt Loaf” into muffins using raspberries in place of the little blue babies. And, I made my “Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes” into a loaf, with the addition of macadamia nuts mixed both through the batter and sprinkled on top of the thing. Also, at one point I had a mini, okay major, panic attack because I’d so obviously overfilled my muffin tray and visual evidence clearly indicated that they were destined to merge into one giant cookie, which on second thoughts wouldnt be that bad a thing (hehe) but thank heavens for the brilliant invention of the silicon tray cos I managed to get them out just fine and look at that.. now they’re sporting, perhaps the sexiest muffin-tops I’ve ever seen ;)
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A Healthier Potato Salad and Cheesecake

Both recipes inspired by Petite Kitchen 

Potato Salad:
3 large potatoes of choice
1 small-medium cucumber
2-3 medium gherkins/pickles (chopped small)
A handful of dried blackcurrants
1/2 cup of raw pistachios (chopped small)
A large handful of fresh mint (roughly chopped)
Juice of one lemon
4 tbsp natural yoghurt
a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Pepper

Scrub potatoes well then cut in to small cubes. Place in a large saucepan, cover with salted water and bring to the boil. Then simmer, uncovered until just cooked. Be careful not to overcook!

When ready, strain potatoes and set aside to cool.

Once cooled, combine and toss all ingredients in a large bowl.

Cheesecake: 
6 free-range eggs
1 cup natural yoghurt
1 cup of mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup of honey or maple syrup
1/4 cup of almond meal/almond powder
juice of half a lemon
1 tsp vanilla essence

Topping:
Note: alternatively, you can use 100% store-bought fruit jam. 
1 cup of fresh or frozen strawberries
2 tbsp honey
1/4 cup of water

Decoration:
Silvered almonds and flowers

Preheat oven to 180C

Grease a round cake tin then line with baking paper -grease that a little bit too.

Combine all cake ingredients in a food processor and blitz until combined. Since my blender couldn’t fit/handle all the ingredients at once, I managed this part by blending in batches at a time.

Pour batter into a cake tin and bake for about 45-50 min or until set. Note: batter will be very runny, this is normal.

Keep a good eye on the prize, if the top starts prematurely browning because your oven is shit like mine, use a sheet of tin foil to cover the top.

As your cake bakes, add all topping ingredients to a saucepan, bring to the boil then simmer until juicy and thick- set aside to cool.

Once both topping and cake have cooled, bring the two together in the most perfect union using the back of a tablespoon..

Decorate with silvered almonds and small flowers. Last but definitely not least, Instagram it.

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A big shout out to Daniel and Mariko for having me over, listening to all my Japan problems and giving me kind brotherly and sisterly advice and my tummy, vegetarian gyoza and perfectly cooked brown rice!

Fancy Bananas

Today is White Day, a Japanese FEMALE exclusive Valentine’s Day, if you will. So to celebrate myself, I took the time to assemble these fancy bananas for my breakfast. Self love 101!

All natural nut butter, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, slivered almonds, raisins and unsweetened dedicated coconut! Surprisingly filling ^.^
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New Recipes

I have been experimenting…

1. Savory oats. Basically, make porridge as usual then crack a free-range egg into it, stir for a minute and season with salt and pepper. This time, I also added a tablespoon of home-made basil pesto. Finished with pumpkin seeds and avocado. The verdict? GOOD!
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2.Coconut baklava balls. It’s almost Persian New Year (March 21st) and so, the perfect time to attempt to healthify my favorite Iranian sweets. These turned out pretty amazing (if I can say so myself). Next, I’ll try healthifying (like how I made up a word?) the original baklava, as well.
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1 1/2 cups unsweetened desiccated coconut plus a little more for coating
1 cup almond powder
4 tbsp melted coconut oil
4 tbsp honey or maple syrup
juice of half a lemon
1 tsp rose water (optional)
1/2 tsp cardamom or more depending on taste
a pinch of sea salt

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or blender for 1-2 min or until the mixture starts to come together like a dough.

Use your hands to form small balls (wet them to prevent sticking).

Roll the balls in the extra coconut until well coated then transfer to a plate.

Refrigerate for at least 30 min before nomnom.