Splendid spinach soup

A spinach soup as pure as it could possibly be! Made of only spinach with a delicious spice mix, but without adding other vegetables, which so many others do, it blends into velvety, creamy deliciousness. In addition to tasting absolutely splendid, it will also give your iron levels a decent kick in the buttocks, huzzah!!


Ingredients 

  • Spinach – 500g 
  • Coriander powder− ½ teaspoon 
  • Cumin powder− ¼ teaspoon 
  • Garlic powder− ¼ teaspoon Paprika powder− ¼ teaspoon 
  • Fenugreek powder− ¼ teaspoon 
  • Flora ProActiv Light margarine − 30g 
  • Philadelphia Lightest − 50g 
  • Maggi stock cubes − 2 
  • Erythritol Gold – 1.5 tablespoons 
  • Water – 400ml

Protocol

1. Blanch the spinach for 3 minutes in boiling water on a medium heat, then immediately rinse with cold water.

2. Dry roast the spices (coriander, cumin, garlic, paprika and fenugreek powders) in a small pan, over a low heat, for 30 seconds, then take off the heat,

3. In a separate pan, melt the margarine and the Philadelphia for 30 seconds, then take off the heat.

4. In a high-speed blender the spinach, spice mix, melted margarine and Philadelphia, stock cubes and Erythritol Gold and 400ml water, and blend until smooth.

5. Simmer on low heat until the soup starts to bubble. Serve hot!

Light vanilla sponge cake

Finally, a healthy cake! After dozens of tries, fails and much frustration, at long last I have succeeded in baking a healthy cake that cuts out most of the carbs (including sugar) and saturated fats that usually go into a cake, whilst maintaining a soft and spongy consistency and most importantly, a fantastic taste! 

The main challenges when substituting the classic cake ingredients such as butter, sugar and plain flour are really rather difficult to overcome. One time the cake doesn’t rise, another time the sugar substitute leaves a crunchy note as it doesn’t dissolve properly, another time the consistency is like cardboard, or the whole cake collapses when getting it out of the tin. 
 
However, using powdered erythritol (I have now switched to erythritol, a sugar alcohol that is very similar to Sukrin, since Sukrin is getting ridiculously expensive), and mixing it with arrowroot flour and almond flour (almond flour on its own without lots of fat makes it very dense and dry), I have finally managed to bake a scrumptious cake with a splendid Rupsha-friendly icing. So, here we go! 
 

Ingredients
Cake:
Eggs − 5
Arrowroot flour − 100g
Finely ground blanched almond flour − 100g
Powdered erythritol − 70g
Erythritol Gold − 70g
Flora ProActiv Light margarine − 65g
Alpro Soya Simply Plain yoghurt − 50g
Baking powder − 2 teaspoons
Cream of tartar − ¼ teaspoon
Vanilla essence − 3 teaspoons
 
Icing:
Philadelphia Lightest − 120g
Powdered erythritol − 67g
Flora ProActiv Light margarine − 15g
Vanilla bean powder − ½ teaspoon (or 1 teaspoon vanilla essence) 
[Optional: dried rose (another flower of choice) petals for sprinkling]
 
 
Protocol
Cake:
1. Sift the arrowroot flour, almond flour and powdered erythritol through a sieve.
2. Mix all cake ingredients together until smooth.
3. Grease cake tin of choice, add mixture and bake in preheated oven at 175°C for 40 minutes.
 
Icing:
1. While the cake is baking, mix all the ingredients together until a smooth consistency is achieved. 
2. Once the cake is baked, spread on cake and allow to cool for 1 hour in the fridge. [Optional: sprinkle on flower petals.]
 
 

Rainbow chard and mushroom stir-fry

I love rainbow chard, and the fact that it is the most colourful member of the cabbage family. It has a lovely, earthy taste and doesn’t need much interference for this deliciousness to surface, making it a fabulous accompaniment for rich meaty dishes and light seafood or veggie dishes alike!

Ingredients
Rainbow chard – 200 g, roughly chopped (stems and leaves separated)
Mushrooms – 130 g, roughly chopped
Garlic − 3 cloves, minced
White wine − 4 tablespoons
Salt − ¼ teaspoon
Sukrin gold− 2 teaspoons
Rapeseed oil spray
Ground black pepper to taste

Protocol
1. 
Heat 1 spray olive oil in a wok, and sauté garlic on low heat until it starts to brown.
2. Add in the mushrooms and white wine, followed by chard stems. Keep the heat low. Stir-fry for 2 minutes.
3. Add chard leaves and salt. Stir-fry until the leaves start to wilt.
4. Add the Sukrin, and fresh ground black pepper to taste.

Berry Potter

A ravishing potted blackberry dessert, old chaps! This delectable dessert has a lovely, smooth, silky ice cream-like texture, without the addition of any kind of oil or cream. And of course it contains Sukrin instead of sugar. The result is pure (guilt-free) bliss! 

Ingredients
Blackberries − 5-6 berries
Cashew nuts − 5 tablespoons
Sukrin gold − 2 tablespoons
Vanilla powder − ½ teaspoon
Alpro soya light − 100 ml
Rosewater − 1 drop

Protocol
1.
 Blend all ingredients together until very very smooth.
2. Scoop into small dessert bowls or ramekins.
2. Chill in the freezer for 1 hour; this timing is perfect for delicious ice cream-esque consistency. 😀

 

Sukrin

For all the people that can’t eat refined sugars, or those of you who want to cut down on them, try Sukrin!! 

I have been searching high and low for sugar alternatives for over 9 years and tried various sweeteners such as commercially bought Stevia (it has a very strange artifical taste, which I really don’t like and an even more undesirable aftertaste) or agave nectar (not the healthiest either, but still better than sugar). Last year I came across Sukrin, and found that it hit the nail on the head both in terms of taste and its effect on health. It has been my favourite ever since!

First of all, it doesn’t add any strange flavour to a dish, nor is it overpowering. Secondly, it can be substituted for sugar 1:1 (i.e. it can be used in exactly the same quantities). Most importantly, it is a polyol made from the Stevia plant (but remember, this tastes a hundred percent nicer than straight-up Stevia that is available in most supermarkets). Polyols are biologically neutral carbohydrates that don’t affect blood glucose levels, will not get converted into fat and get dumped in your arteries, and has a glycemic index of less than 1. Basically you just pass it straight out!

I usually buy my Sukrin from Amazon (it can also be bought directly from their website) but I wish all supermarkets would stock it. Better spread the word! 😉 

Here is a link to their website: http://www.sukrin.co.uk/

 

 

Tomato potato tom-tato!

My version of patatas bravas, minus all the oil – a fiesta for the senses! Ole!

Ingredients
Potatoes − 250 g, peeled and diced
Onion powder − ¼ teaspoon
Garlic powder − ¼ teaspoon
Ground paprika − ½ teaspoon
Salt − ⅓ teaspoon
Sukrin gold (or Stevia) − ½ tablespoon
Magnificent Mediterranean tomato sauce − ½ cup 
Fresh basil leaves – a handful, roughly torn
Black olives – a handful, thinly sliced
Fresh ground pepper – ⅓ teaspoon
Chilli flakes – ⅓ teaspoon (optional)

Protocol
1.
 Boil the potatoes with salt until soft. Place the boiled potatoes in a bowl
2. Mix onion powder, garlic powder, ground paprika, salt and Sukrin together, and add to potatoes and make sure they are evenly coated with the spice mix. 
3. In a non-stick pan, add one spray of oil and brown the potatoes.
4. Add in themagnificent Mediterranean tomato sauce, mix well and simmer on low heat for 2 minutes.
4. Turn off the heat, and mix in the basil leaves and black olives.
5. Mix in the fresh ground pepper and chilli flakes to serve.

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Crunchy chocolate orange mousse

I do believe it is high time for something sweet… Therefore, I present a dreamy, creamy, chocolate orange mousse with a delightfully pleasing crunch! Divine deliciousness, duly delivered. 😀

Ingredients
0% fat Greek yoghurt – 200 g
Rich Tea light biscuits – 4, broken up
Soya milk – 5 tablespoons (I used Alpro Soya Light)
Sukrin gold – 2 tablespoons
Carob powder – ¾ teaspoon + 1 teaspoon
Orange essence – 2 drops
A pinch of vanilla seed/powder (or a drop of vanilla essence)
Zest of 1 orange 

Protocol
1.
 Whisk together Greek yoghurt, Sukrin, ¾ teaspoon of carob powder, soya milk, orange essence and vanilla, to make into a creamy mousse.
2. Add the broken Rich Tea biscuits and mix well.
3. Place mixture into ramekins, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of carob powder. 
4. Refrigerate until fully chilled (for at least 30 minutes), and add orange zest to decorate.