Oh, goddamit, I’ve got to stop baking – I’m going to develop diabetes at this rate.
But on the other hand, if there was a cake that was low fat and low sugar, that would be ok, wouldn’t it? To be honest, I’m not really asking your permission 🙂
I was doing a little research for my writing (alright, alright, I was procrastinating and surfing the internet, dreaming up things to eat) and bumped into this Maltese recipe from SBS which contains NO ADDED SUGAR OR FAT OR EGGS!
No sugar, fat or eggs? Blergh, I hear you say, but you’d be wrong.
The texture was surprisingly good – I expected it to be crumbly but it wasn’t. It was soft and moist and sweet, and everything a cake should be. As a bonus it is completely dairy free and vegan, and could easily be adapted for gluten free.
Tips from TheO
Soak the fruit in a little apple juice for an hour before you bake to keep it moist
Switch out the wheat flour for a wheat/gluten free option – I used wholemeal spelt, but perhaps this is taking the concept of healthy cake a step too far
If you’re not using SRF, add 1.5 tsp baking powder
Although the recipe didn’t say so, I assumed the oven temperature should be 180°C
Adapt the cooking time for your tin – I didn’t have a ring tin so used a loaf tin which took 50 minutes to cook
Mr Eleanor found the apricot flavour a little too strong so I might try using dried mixed fruit next time, and a bit of cinnamon.
It doesn’t get any simpler than that – barbecued calamari dusted with sichuan pepper or nanami togarashi, at your whim (both in my case); served with a salsa of red pepper, pineapple, sweetcorn, onion, coriander, chilli and lime juice.
Bliss! And calamari gets a sustainability tick of approval – it’s all good!
As promised in What do you mean ‘salad for dinner’? here’s some salad for dinner. This beast has SUBSTANCE: crispy duck with that deeply salty sauce, scattered with braised lentils, on a bed of cucumber, spring onion, courgette and avocado. You won’t feel hard done by, I promise.
Hoisin sauce usually contains wheat but gf versions are available. As always, MAKE SURE YOU READ THE LABEL
Same goes for crispy noodles – I use Chang’s Gluten Free Fried Noodles. They have a, erm, special texture and always need refreshing in the microwave before use to make them bearable. But, beggars … choosers etc.
It hits so many spots it’s just not funny. The noodles are slippery, soft and unctuous. Against that is the crunch of cashews. The sharp and bitey dressing makes the broccoli taste almost sweet (I know!) and the sesame seeds add a toasty aroma. And I slipped a little crispy fried summin’ summin’ in there too …. mmm mmmmmm!
Not only that but it’s gluten free*, vegan, and dairy free
*Make sure you use tamari and 100% buckwheat noodles – try Spiral Foods
Mr Eleanor is, I would go as far to say, a pizza fanatic. I’m going to the UK for 5 weeks soon. I’m a little worried that he’s only going to eat pizza while I’m away and I will return to find that he’s invented an as-yet-unknown nutritional disease. Or he’ll be 3 stone the heavier.
Pizza is the most infamous topped flatbread, but there are others out there. Lahmacun is the Turkish variant and, I hope, a much lower fat and lower calorie version.
My inspiration was again from Istanbul by Rebecca Seal. I couldn’t help but fiddle with what I’m sure is a great recipe, but I thought the savoury, fatty flavours of the meat needed balancing with some fresh veggies and tartness so I added spinach and rocket leaves, along with some strips of roasted red pepper. It was absolutely DELICIOUS! One of the best things I’ve cooked in a while.
True to my word, I have been using kangaroo and this recipe works incredibly well with it, keeping the fat down even further. As always, I also had my eye on how to make it vegetarian or vegan. Following consultation with the Grand Vegetarian Matriarch (my Mama) I reckon you could switch out the mince for VERY finely chopped, cooked mushroom (like duxelles), or even a tin of refried beans as they are already laced with cumin and coriander.
Love experimenting in the kitchen. You’ve got Maxine at Without Cruelty to thank for the inspiration for this one.
There are just 5 ingredients, of which the primary is avocado. It’s ridiculously easy, perilously quick and tastes divine. Gonna feed it to Mr Eleanor tonight and see if he can guess what’s in it. He he he he! Here’s the recipe! Enjoy, x
Flapjacks (that’s the oat bar kind, not pancakes) were always a family favourite when I was little. I love them in so many ways:
1. So easy to make
There are only 6 steps – 1 is for prep and 3 are about baking!
2. Versatile for special diets
Vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free
Margarine, eg Nuttelex
White table sugar
Use molasses for extra iron (Vegan: not honey)
Use certified gluten-free oats*
Nuts & seeds
Candied peel or stem ginger (always check the ingredients first)
* This, as with a lot of food intolerances, is dependant on the consumer. Some cultivars of oat are known to be safe for coeliacs, however much of the issue arises because oat crops become contaminated with wheat and other gluten-containing cereals. Do your research if you’re feeding these to other people! Wikipedia: Oats and Coeliac disease
3. Flavour combinations
I love that the flavour combinations are limited only by your imagination. What about:
Cranberry with white chocolate drizzle
Stem ginger and sesame
Dried apricot and almonds
Pecan and dark chocolate drizzle
Raisin and hazelnut
Dried mango and coconut … I wonder if you could replace the butter with coconut oil … ?
Late addition thanks to Dylan Moran at the Melbourne Arts Centre last night: Bacon flapjacks … may be with a little maple syrup? Not as crazy as you might think …
Combine their superpowers with the protein, good fats and essential minerals from those nuts and seeds and you can just about pretend that these flapjacks are healthy.
(What fat and sugar? I can’t hear you! La la la laaa!)
5. Good shelf life
In fact, they get better over time. Put them in a tin and hide them on a high shelf for 3-5 days. They sort of relax and become soft and caramelly. Do let me know if you manage to successfully hide a batch of flapjacks for 5 days …
The ingredients may seem a little light on, but don’t be tempted to add more as it will be too salty. In the same vein, it doesn’t need seasoning with salt, or topping with parmesan which makes it a really tasty vegan option.
Shame it’s only lunch time, it would go REALLY well with a glass of merlot or rioja.
Although, it’s only me and the cats at home. And the cats wouldn’t tell on me. Would they?
I sort of wish I hadn’t. Now I’m alone in the house with the cake. There’s no one to stop me. It’s incredibly moist but light and springy. You can taste the rosemary and olive oil without it being overpowering. Delicious! I’m a genius!