Love, Cake and Gyoza

Far from my “home”, family and friends in a country where I cannot manage a simple errand without succumbing to a pathetic pool of tears, I was, and I am, simultaenously surrounded by an infinite source of 愛 (LOVE). Last night, that love came from an Israeli (the country I was taught to hate by my Iranian primary school), a loving Japanese and their adorable son, a global citizen, Oz-kun. How incredibly lucky am I? And what did I do to deserve all this? Thank you Lydon family and thank you, God!

Aki prepared vegetarian curry, one spinach-based, one tomato and yet ANOTHER amazing salad, this one had hemp-seeds and raisins. Oz-kun, Aki and I (but really, mostly Aki) made completely home-made naan and vegan gyoza filled with onion, spinach and quinoa. Last, I made a gluten, dairy and refined-sugar free chocolate raspberry cake adapted from the Petite Kitchen website (recipe after the pictures).


3 free-range eggs
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/3 cup runny honey
1/2 cup of thawed frozen raspberries (fresh even better)
1 1/2 cups of ground almonds
1/2 cup of raw cacao powder
1 tsp pure vanilla essence
1 tsp baking soda

1 block of good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
the creamy top from a can of full-fat coconut milk

Preheat oven to 170C

Place cake ingredients in a food processor and blitz to combine

Pour batter into a greased cake tin and bake for about 30-40 minutes or until done

Let cool completely before glazing.

To prepare the ganache, add the chopped chocolate and coconut cream in to a small saucepan over extremely low heat. Whisk continuously until melted together then immediately remove from heat

Let cool slightly (1-2 min)

Using a spatula, spread deliciousness evenly on  cake, allowing it to drizzle over the edges

Last but not least, decorate with berries and fresh flowers

Middle-Eastern Inspired Quinoa Salad

Tonight’s dinner was so good that I wish I could go back in time and eat it all over again.

1 cup red quinoa
200g halloumi cheese 
1 small red onion (finely diced into cubes)
1/2 red capsicum (finely diced into cubes)
1/2 large cucumber (finely diced into cubes)
1 punnet cherry tomatoes (halved)
bunch of fresh mint leaves (roughly torn)
bunch of fresh parsley leaves (roughly torn)
4 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1 lemon 
handful of raw pistachio kernels
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp sea salt

Cook the quinoa as per packet instructions (usually it’s 1 cup of quinoa with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt)

Meanwhile, toast the cumin and pistachios in a dry pan until golden, then bash with 1/2 teaspoon of salt using a mortar and pestle until you have a rough spiced salt – set aside

Gently mix through the cherry tomatoes, onion, cucumber, capsicum, mint, parsley, olive oil and lemon juice with the cooked quinoa

In as little oil as possible, grill 1/2cm thick pieces of halloumi until golden on both sides, when ready, place on top of the quinoa salad.

To finish, sprinkle with the heavenly pistachio and cumin salt.

Yes, you can marry me.