Raspberry and Coconut Chocolate Torte.

It’s all about chocolate again.

Last week it was the other day when we craved for chocolate and I was looking for something healthy and delicious to make. It’s getting cold outside, sometimes it even feels like winter and my body starts asking for more sweets. I wish I could eat them as much as I want and still stay fit and slim. Unfortunately, it is not the story of my body, and to stay in a shape as I am now, I should be careful with every single piece of sweets in my life.

Recently I start using coconut flour in my recipes more often and it actually tastes really good.

Today’s recipe is gluten, dairy, sugar and wheat free.

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I just used Maple Syrup instead of honey.

Both honey and pure maple syrup have advantages and disadvantages. If you seek minerals and lower fructose, maple syrup is a good choice; for those who want the vitamin boost and no fat, honey is your best bet.

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Raspberry and Coconut Chocolate Torte.
• 1 cup frozen rasberries
• 1/4 cup Maple Syrup
• 1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
• 5 organic eggs
• 1/2 cup coconut flour
• 1/2 cup cocoa powder
• 1/2 tsp baking soda

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1. Preheat the oven to 300F  and grease or line a cake tin with baking paper.

2. In a small saucepan on low heat, melt together the extra virgin coconut oil, and maple syrup . Set aside to cool.

3. Add the raspberries to a food processor. Blend until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients, including the coconut oil and maple syrup. Blend until smooth.

4. Pour the batter in to the prepared cake tin, then bake in the oven for 30-50 minutes.

5. Leave to cool, before inverting on to a plate.

6. Serve with coconut or vanilla ice-cream.

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You can find the original recipe here.

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Zucchini stacked pancakes.

For my new healthy vegetarian recipe I picked 2 completely different vegetables, but it worked great together in this dish.

All the vegetables have their benefits, and all of you know that the vegetables are great for your health, body etc.

First ingredient is zucchini:

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Zucchini is a variety of summer squash with dark- to light-green mottled skin. Zucchini and other types of squash have been used by humans for over 5,000 years. Though raw zucchini is mostly water, it does offer some essential vitamins and minerals. Most of the vitamins and minerals in zucchini are found in the skin. So when you cook with zucchini, try to use with the skin on. Don’t forget that most of zucchini crops in US is GMO, so pick organic ones for your recipes.

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First, I made zucchini pancakes, using chick peas flour instead of the regular one. They turned out juicy and delicious, but zucchini pancakes by themselves looked boring and simple for me, so I decided to be a little creative, and made the beet paste for them.

A lot of people don’t like beets, but Ukrainians use them a lot in the recipes, so beets are one of my favorite vegetables, and they have a lot of health benefits, which is important for me when I cook for my family.

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For my beet paste I baked some beets in the oven first, and then put them in the food processor with some walnuts, garlic, apple cider vinegar, sea salt and olive oil. The paste was very delicious and even my daughter ate it.

At the end I just used my zucchini pancakes and beet paste and made this delicious stacked zucchini cake.

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So I made a fancy delicious dish from the simple and healthy ingredients.

We ate it for dinner, but I guess it might work as an appetizer or light lunch and dinner.

Serve warm.

Zucchini stacked cake.

Ingredients:

2 medium zucchini ( shredded)

1 organic egg

1/3 cup chick peas flour

pinch of sea salt

1 glove of garlic ( smashed)

Beet paste:

2 oven baked beets

1/2 cup walnuts

pinch of sea salt

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

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 Shred your zucchini. After it’s shredded, you want to try to get as much water out of it as possible. You can do this by spreading the zucchini out flat on a piece of plastic wrap or a paper towel, and then press another paper towel (or two) on top of the zucchini and press out the water. I did this a couple of times to try to get as much out as possible. The dryer the zucchini, the better your pancakes will come out. Place your dry, shredded zucchini in a medium sized bowl.

 To the shredded zucchini, add the salt, garlic, flour and fold it into the zucchini. Then, lightly beat your egg in a separate small mixing bowl, and then fold it into the zucchini mixture.

Heat a large non stick skillet over medium heat.  Let the pan heat for 2-3 minutes so that it’s hot and then place 1/4 cup of the zucchini mixture in small dollops onto the heated pan. Let cook for about 2 -3 minutes, until the bottom feels firm and can be easily scooped up by a spatula. After 2-3 minutes, flip over and cook on the other side for another 2-3 minutes. You’ll know the pancakes are done when they’re golden brown on both sides.

For the beet paste put all the ingredients in the food processor.

Pulse until well blended.

To stack into a beautiful creation: start with pancakes  put the beet paste on top as you go: zucchini,beet paste, repeat.

Enjoy!!!!

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Sushi Napoleon

One of my favorite foods is Japanese cuisine and we eat it at least once a week.

I love sushi and rolls. They taste the best at the Japanese Restaurant, but I am trying to make homemade rolls recently. Almost all the Japanese restaurants use GMOs ( Genetically Modified Ingredients) ingredients, because of using soy in their dishes, and it’s better to avoid it as much as possible.

To tell you the truth I am awful at making sushi. The secret is in making rice. It should be special sushi rice that I am not using, because I use brown rice. You need to wash and soak it before cooking, and cooks it for certain amount of time.  Next comes the rolling part. This is the worst for me, because I just can’t roll the rolls properly.

I am following all the rules, and trying  my best, but every time my rolls are falling apart, the pieces of veggies are sticking out, the rice is too sticky or too dry.

Finally, after a few awful attempts, I found the perfect recipe for somebody like me.

Sushi Napoleon. Sounds interesting.

The recipe is very easy to follow, and it really turns into a great Japanese dish. I guess I can call this dish Japanese, although I am not sure if they cook something like this, but the ingredients are the same as for rolls, so let’s call it Japanese Sushi Napoleon.

Here is the original recipe:

http://nofaceplate.blogspot.com/2011/05/sushi-napolean-for-kicks.html

I changed it a little bit.

First of all I used the brown rice.

I made my rice and let it cool for 30-40 minutes. After that I mixed the rice with some rice vinegar and a little bit of stevia, but you can use regular sugar. You can use different types of veggies, cream cheese, spreads, and fish for the filling. I used fresh cucumber, avocado and shredded carrots.

Now just lie out the nori sheet and cover it with some rice.  You can get nori sheets on Amazon.com. Place the veggie layer on top. Repeat this step 3 more times, stacking the nori sheets on top.

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You should have four layers of your Sushi Napoleon.

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After you are done, cover the last layer with the wax paper and place the heavy plate on top. Put some extra weight on the plate, and let it stand for 20-30 minutes.

Next is the cutting part. Just be careful when you cut your Sushi Napoleon, because your knife needs to be very sharp. To make it easier, dip your knife in warm water which will prevent it from sticking. I personally used the special Japanese sharp knife for cutting.

I sliced it 3 times, and we had enough pieces to share for two.

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I used toothpicks for picking it up and dipping in the sauce.

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For the sauce I used the regular Low Sodium Tamari Sauce, but you can use whatever you like:  like teriyaki, soy sauce, spicy peanut sauce and/or wasabi.

This dish is for somebody who likes Japanese food and ready to experiment and get a nice surprises in the kitchen.

Just try to make it one day, and it will become one of your favorite dishes in the future.