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Apple Thyme Galette with Freekeh Crust

Friday, August 29, 2014 | © 2014 |

A fantastic autumn dessert, this delicious rustic galette is made with a delicate buttery freekeh crust filled with honey roasted almonds, sliced apples drizzled with fresh thyme and honey. Freekeh is roasted green spelt berries. The spelt is harvested when it is still young and green. It is then slow roasted over coals in the hulls, and is then de-hulled resulting in a beautiful green spelt berry. You can replace it with wholegrain spelt flour.

  • 150 g Freekeh berries, ground into flour
  • 100 g White spelt pastry flour (#630)
  • 125 g Butter, cut into small pieces and slightly softened
  • 1 Medium egg
  • 1 tsp Raw sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 40 ml Cold water
  • 50 g Honey roasted almonds, ground
  • 4 Apples (I used pink lady)
  • 1 tsp Fresh thyme leaves
  • 1-2 tbsp Honey
  • 2 tbsp Raw brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  1. Whisk together the ground freekeh flour and white spelt pastry flour. Heap the flour mixture on the work surface and make a well. Put the butter, egg, raw sugar and salt in the middle. With your fingertips, mix and cream the ingredients in the well.
  2. Now, little by little, draw the flour into the center and work the dough with your fingertips to a grainy texture. Add the cold water and mix it in until the dough begins to hold together.
  3. Using the palm of your hand, push the dough away from you 4 or 5 times until it is smooth. Roll the dough into a ball. Gently press dough into a 4-inch circle on plastic wrap. Chill 30 minutes. The pastry can be refrigerated overnight.
  4. Peel, halve and core the apples and slice them crosswise 1/4 inch thick. Set aside the larger center slices and coarsely chop the end slices and any broken ones. About half of the slices should be chopped.
  5. Preheat oven to 190C7375. Unwrap and place dough on a sheet of parchment paper. Roll dough into a 15-inch circle. Place dough and parchment on a baking sheet.
  6. Spread the ground almonds over the pastry to within 1 inch of the edge, then add the chopped apples on the top. Sprinkle fresh thyme leaves, then the honey over the chopped apples. Decoratively arrange the apple slices on top in slightly overlapping rows. Sprinkle the raw brown sugar evenly over the apples and dot with the pieces of butter. Fold the pastry edge up and over the apples to create a 1-inch border.
  7. Bake the galette for about 55-60 minutes, until the pastry is nicely browned and crisp and all of the apples are tender. Serve warm or at room temperature. | © 2014 | | © 2014 |

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Roasted Hokkaido Salad with Green Bean and Feta

Monday, August 25, 2014 | © 2014 |

Pumpkin, red onion, green bean and Feta are a great combination of flavours, textures and colours and simply drizzled with a sweet and tangy balsamic glaze---this makes a healthy, tasty and budget friendly salad that's great with roasted chicken, or on its own as a main.

  • 1 Hokkaido pumpkin, seeded and cut into thin wedges
  • 2 Red onions, cut into wedges
  • 2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Dried chilli flakes
  • 200 g Green beans, trimmed
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp Pepitas, toasted
  • 50 g Feta, crumbled
  • Balsamic glaze / reduction
  1. Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Place the pumpkin and onion, in a single layer, on the prepared tray. Sprinkle with the coriander and chilli. Spray with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes or until tender and golden.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the green beans in a saucepan of boiling water for 2 minutes or until bright green and tender crisp. Rinse under cold running water. Drain.
  3. Gently combine roasted hokkaido pumpkin, onion, green beans, and pepitas in a large bowl. Divide among serving plates. Sprinkle with feta and drizzle over balsamic glaze. | © 2014 | | © 2014 |

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Matcha Spelt Madeleine

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 | © 2014 | | © 2014 |

These buttery sponge cakes are traditionally baked in scallop-shaped Madeleine moulds. Like all the delicate sponge cakes, they have a moist and tender crumb that are best eaten the day they're baked. Classic madeleines are made with sugar, flour, melted butter and eggs, often flavoured with vanilla or lemon. I gave these classic French tea cakes a twist by adding matcha tea powder and dipping them in melted chocolate.

  • 2 Eggs
  • 30 g Caster sugar
  • 50 g Organic agave powder
  • 90 g White spelt flour
  • 10 g Matcha powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking powder 100 g Butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus extra for greasing 100 g Dark chocolate, optional
  1. Whisk together the eggs, sugar and agave powder in a bowl until light and frothy, about 5 minutes. In another bowl, whisk together the spelt flour, matcha powder and baking powder together.
  2. Sift flour mixture into the egg mixture, then pour melted butter around edge of batter. Quickly but gently fold butter into batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
  3. Brush the madeleine tray with melted butter then shake in a little flour to coat, tapping out the excess. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, filling 3/4 full. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the mixture has risen a little in the middle and is fully cooked through. Transfer the madeleines to a wire rack and leave them to cool.
  5. Place chocolate in small microwave-safe cup. Microwave on medium for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until chocolate has almost melted. Dip each madeleine into melted chocolate, coating bottom third part of the cookie. Shake off excess chocolate and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Dust with a bit of matcha powder if desired. Madeleines are best eaten the day they're baked. | © 2014 | | © 2014 | | © 2014 |

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Pumpkin and Cranberry Salsa

Friday, August 15, 2014 | © 2014 |

I love salsa in every season and this nutrient dense autumn favorite makes a beautifully balanced and tasty pumpkin salsa, featuring roasted diced Hokkaido pumpkin, red onions and dried cranberries.

Pumpkin and Cranberry Salsa

adapted from Taste
  • 600 g Hokkaido pumpkin, finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 Red onion, finely chopped
  • 40 g Dried cranberries
  • 2-3 tbsp Homemade raspberry vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Walnut oil
  • 2 tbsp Finely chopped parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 220C/410F. Arrange chopped pumpkin in a single layer on a large baking tray. Drizzle with some olive oil and bake for 20 minutes until tender.
  2. Place mustard seeds in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook for 2 minutes or until seeds begin to pop.
  3. Combine mustard seeds, red onion, dried cranberries, raspberry vinegar and olive oil in a bowl. Stand for 20 minutes to let flavours develop.
  4. Place pumpkin in a large bowl. Add cranberry mixture and chopped parsley. Stir gently to combine. | © 2014 |

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Chia Seed Nectarine Popsicles (Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Vegan)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 | © 2014 |

These chia seed nectarine popsicles are more than just a summer cooler, they are nutritious and good for you too. The combination of silky almond milk, sweet juicy nectarines, and crunchy nutty chia seeds make these popsicles a delicious super food. You can experiment the recipe with different types of fruit and milk too.

  • 2 tbsp Chia seeds
  • 400 ml Almond milk
  • 2 Nectarines, peeled and pitted
  • 1 tbsp Maple syrup
  1. Whisk together the almond milk and chia seeds in a jar. Fill 8 moulds with half of almond milk-chia mixture. Place them in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  2. Peel and pit the nectarines. Place them in the blender together with maple syrup and puree until smooth. Remove the moulds from the freezer and divide among 8 popsicle moulds. Return the moulds to the freezer for another 30 minutes.
  3. Remove the moulds and place a popsicle stick in the middle of each cup, return to freezer again for another 30 minutes.
  4. Lastly, divide the remaining nectarine puree into the moulds and freeze until set, at least 6 hours. | © 2014 | | © 2014 |

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Blueberry Hazelnut Friands

Friday, August 08, 2014 | © 2014 |

A friand is a French term for a bite-sized almond cake typically made in an oval shape, but suitable for a muffin pan too. They are a great way of using up leftover egg whites and other than almonds, you can also use hazelnut or pistachio meal.
This recipe uses a mix of confectioners' sugar and powdered agave (I ordered mine from Amazon), a natural sweetener made from dried organic agave syrup. Its consistency is very similar to confectioners' sugar, but much sweeter and contains 25% less calories than sugar. If you plan to use only confectioners' sugar, increase the amount of sugar to 100 grams.

  • 100 g Butter, melted and cooled
  • 40 g Organic powdered agave
  • 50 g Confectioners' sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 40 g White spelt flour
  • 80 g Ground hazelnut
  • 4 Small egg whites
  • 80 g Fresh blueberries
  1. Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Grease eight non-stick standard-size muffin or friand holes. Melt the butter and set aside to cool.
  2. Sift the powdered agave, confectioners' sugar and flour into a bowl. Stir in ground hazelnut. In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until just frothy. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Gradually add egg whites, stirring with a spoon until combined. Stir in melted butter to form a soft batter.
  3. Divide the batter among the muffin holes and sprinkle a few of blueberries over each cake. Bake for 15-20 minutes until just firm to the touch and golden brown.
  4. Cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then turn out and cool on a wire rack. To serve, dust lightly with icing sugar. | © 2014 | | © 2014 |

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Naked Barley Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Grapes

Monday, August 04, 2014 | © 2014 |

Healthy and delicious, this salad is a perfect low GI meal as it uses naked barley, sweet potato and grapes. The lower a food's glycemic index or glycemic load, the less it affects blood sugar and insulin levels.
Naked barley, aka hulless barley, is a low glycemic food that is not just good as part of a diabetic-friendly diet, It also helps to fight diabetes. Its soluble fiber slows the absorption of sugar and reduces the risk for developing Type 2 diabetes. It has a chewy texture and more fiber and nutritional value than pearl barley, which has been processed to remove the hull and bran. You can use naked barley everywhere that you formerly used rice.

  • 200 g / 1 cup Naked barley
  • 1l / 4 cup Water
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 400 g Medium sweet potato
  • 1 tbsp Maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 150 Grapes, halved
  • 1 Red onion, thinly shredded
  • 1 Small carrot, thinly shredded
  • 2 stalk Spring onions, chopped
  • Romaine lettuce, halved lengthwise
  • 45 ml White balsamic vinegar
  • 2 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 80 ml Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Rinse barley under cold running water and drain. In a medium saucepan, bring water with salt to a boil. Add barley and bring back to boil, then reduce to low heat and cook, covered, for 50 minutes or until barley is tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200C/400F. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 3cm cubes. Toss the cubed sweet potatoes with maple syrup and olive oil, then arrange them on a baking tray in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  3. In a small bowl, combine white balsamic vinegar, garlic, and mustard. Whisk in olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Combine barley, sweet potatoes, grapes, red onion, carrot and spring onions in a large salad bowl. Pour the dressing over the barley mixture and toss. Spoon the salad over the Romaine lettuce halves and serve. | © 2014 | | © 2014 |

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