Double Chocolate Banana Bread Slabs

imageIve been feeling really unwell this week. I suffer from PCOS which can sometimes take it out of you and it seems this month it has done just that! (Now where did I put my tiny violin?!) I haven’t trained as much or as hard this week due to being so lethargic, which is SO frustrating, but the rest was much needed. Being anemic and suffering from PCOS means my insulin levels do drop quite dramatically, which leads me to crave sugar (the devil itself!) and CARBS… Well actually my body is just in search of foods which provide energy, but my cravings have been pretty extreme this week! Not helped by the fact it is Ramadan here in Dubai, so drinking and eating at my desk is forbidden…. My usual afternoon dip was turning into a crash! I have to mention how much respect I have for people who fast, I honestly could not do it!

On Monday night I went home feeling awful and made myself some creamy steak with sweet potato and THEN had a bowl of ice cream so there was no way I would let myself fall into the hole of eating badly two nights in a row! So obviously the only solution was to bake. As always, I bought FAR too many bananas on my last visit to the supermarket (the only thing that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg in Dubai!) which lead to my decision to make a banana bread. I had a little debate with myself as to whether I was going to make this a blueberry and banana bread, peanut butter and banana bread or a chocolate one, so I eventually came to the decision that CHOCOLATE was the winner (isn’t it always?!).

Here you have my new fave – Double Chocolate and Banana Bread Slabs. Be prepared to turn into a addict, this recipe is just insanely moreish!

What you need:

  • 3 large ripe bananas (or 4 medium)
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 3/4 cup of coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup o almond flour
  • 1/4 cup of raw coco powder
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of chopped 70% organic chocolate (or dark choc chips)

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190degrees and grease a 8×8 inch pan WELL with coconut oil
  2. Blend bananas, eggs, and vanilla until smooth
  3. In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients: Coconut, almond flour, baking powder & soda, salt and mix well.
  4. Gently stir wet mixture into dry ingredients.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips, leaving some to the side to place on top.
  6. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan and sprinkle remaining chocolate chunks on top.
  7. Bake for 18-23 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean (I SWEAR by this theory)
  8. Leave to cool for 15 minutes before cutting into slabs. ( Should make around 12-14)
  9. Try not to eat them all in one sitting!! (Much harder than you think!)

 

Happy snacking!

Love J xxx

P.S I will not be made responsible for any addictions this recipe may cause….

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Thai-Style Baked Dory

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I LOVE fish but, admittedly, I do not eat enough of it! I grew up eating fresh fish in Spain, we had the type of fish which still had its head and tails attached!  It always shocks my friends when I sit and pull a full prawn apart, they find it disgusting, but for me it is sooo normal! I ain’t scared of getting my hands dirty!

I nipped into my local supermarket on the way home and they had some Dory fish fillets on offer which caught my eye (NOT the Dory from Finding Nemo, promise) so I snapped them up with no real plan of what I was actually going to do with them. I got home to realise that my fridge was prettyyyyy empty so this recipe was a ‘throw anything I have accessible in and hope for the best’ type of recipe!

I decided I wanted to cook the fish Thai style, inspired mainly by the fact I had a lot of ginger and chilli in my fridge! (It always lasts forever!) So with the help of some freshly squeezed lime and a little bit of green curry paste, I came up with this Thai Baked Dory.

It took 5 minutes to put together and 15 minutes to bake and was so so tasty! I always find the combination of ginger, chilli and lime works so well and always tastes so fresh!

You will need:

  • Two big fillets of Dory white fish (not the cartoon character)
  • 3 teaspoons of grated fresh ginger
  • 1 medium chilli
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 limes to squeeze
  • 1 teaspoon of organic green curry paste
  • 2 teaspoon of grounded Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh parsley or coriander (I only had parsley)
  • Pinch of salt and sprinkle of sesame seeds (optional)

I baked mine on a bed of spinach, cherry tomatoes and some red onion which is totally optional but a great combination of veggies to enjoy this fish with!

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Prepare a glass dish by drizzling with some olive oil.
  2. Add uncooked spinach leaves, cherry tomatoes and red onion then place your fish fillets on top.
  3. Add grated fresh ginger, chopped chilli, garlic,salt and ground pepper over the fish fillets ( you can use your fingers to bed the ingredients in).
  4. Finish off by  spreading the green curry paste accross the top of the fillets and squeezing lime juice all over them.
  5. Sprinkle parsley and sesame seeds on top of the fillets and place in the oven.
  6. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes dependent on how strong your oven is.

Try not to overcook the fish as it can go quite dry! Bake it until the top coating is crispy but the inside is still quite soft.

Baked fish oven

I hope you enjoy it fellow fish lovers!

J xx

PS. I saw the new “Finding Dory” movie on Saturday and it was A-MAZING! A must watch for any Disney/Pixar fans!

No-Bake Peanut Butter & Coco Energy Balls

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So here is a little fact about me: I used to HATE anything with peanut butter in it! I KNOW, how crazy is that?! I actually disliked nuts most of my life until I was about 20. I would only eat them if they were drenched in salt and masked most  of the nuttiness (the type of nuts you get complimentary in a bar!). I would always turn my nose up if I was offered a Snickers bar or any chocolate which contained nuts in it, I just hated the taste! It’s funny how our taste buds change as we grow, because now I could happily eat a whole jar of peanut butter without a second thought and you will certainly never see me turn down a Snickers bar!

Yes, peanut butter is very high in fat, but it is a good fat! Just as long as you buy the raw type (or make your own) and don’t overdo consumption of it ie; DON’T eat the whole jar! (Easier said than done). If you stick to these simple rules and monitor your intake, then it can actually be a great part of a healthy balanced diet! Yaaaay!

I always used to try and avoid fats, thinking that they would make me fatter! I would be sucker for the whole “low fat” advertising, until I learnt that not all fats are bad for you and 9/10 times these ‘low fat’ products are usually much higher in sugar than full fat products! I am now a big believer in the saying “eat fat to burn fat” and I use peanut butter to boost my ‘good’ fat intake quite often now and I just can’t get enut!

These energy balls are for you peanut butter lovers out there and are one of my favorites out of my energy ball recipe family! A perfect balance of fats and carbs and very high in protein, these are a great healthy way to snack anytime of the day, just as long as you don’t eat the whole batch at once!

What you will need:

  • 1 cup of gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 cup of Flaxseeds
  • 1/2 cup of raw peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup of raw coco powder
  • 1/4 cup of dessicated coconut
  • 1 teaspoon of Chia Seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons of honey
  • 1 scoop of whey vanilla protein

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How to make them:

  1.  Mix all ingredients together in a big bowl, ensuring everything is mixed together well.
  2.  Roll mixture into medium sized balls using the palm of your hand. I usually measure this using a dessert spoon so each ball is around the same size.
  3. Place balls on a tray and pop in the fridge to set. They should only need around 30 minutes but are great when leaving overnight!

So there you have it, a snack that is free of gluten, refined sugar and full of goodness! Remember to keep the balls refrigerated. They should be consumed within 5 days but you can also freeze them if you wish to keep some for a later date!

Happy snacking!!

J xx

Creamy Cashew and Pineapple Chicken

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I was having one of those days where I just couldn’t decide what to cook (ok, I realise this happens more often than not!) I had a craving for a nutty chicken, like satay (or something similar) but I wasn’t entirely convinced satay would do it for me! I also kept thinking about Jamaican food, after seeing  an advert for a new restaurant which has just opened Downtown. I remember having these satay style skewers a few years ago, with little bits of pineapple and they were sooo delish!

My indecisiveness was at an all time high today (did I mention I am probably the most indecisive person you will ever meet). It’s not because I am picky, I am actually the opposite! I think its mainly because I hate ‘what if’s’… Like choosing a dish at a restaurant, what if I make the wrong choice and wish I had picked something else? It is always the way, I spend ages debating what I want, narrowing it down to 3 or 4 choices, but I will still wonder if I made the right decision, whether I enjoyed my choice or not. Foodie problems! All I was sure about this time around was that I definitely wanted chicken, in some kind of sauce and it just HAD to be nutty!

I was originally going to make some kind of creamy cashew curry but I couldn’t quite shake the image of those pineapple skewers from my mind or the thought of that Jamaican restaurant! So I went to the supermarket and bought a medium sized Pineapple with no real idea as to how it was going to turn out. I wanted it to be fruity but with a kick, a little exotic!

I went off the basics of my satay recipe but skipped the coconut milk, put a splash of fish sauce in the mix and added pineapple (funnily enough). Can I just say…. WOW. My tastes buds were in heaven! Admittedly, I had picked at half the sauce before even adding it to the chicken to cook! All for a good cause though, I had to check to see if it needed any additional ingredients adding to it… then double check, and check again jussssst to be sure! What can I  say, I am a perfectionist!

So here it is! Jamaican inspired exotic finger licking chicken for you to try maaaaan.

What you will need:

  • 500 grams of boneless chicken breast
  • 1 small cauliflower head
  • 2 cups of diced pineapple (Cut the pineapple in half, length ways and scoop out the middle –  Don’t throw the pineapple shell away if you want to use it to serve food in!)
  • 1 red onion (1 half to be diced and 1 half to be blended)
  • Small red pepper
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Half a cup of natural cashews
  • 1 tablespoon of cashew butter (Peanut butter would work nicely too but stay clear if you want this to be completely Paleo)
  • 1 tablespoon of organic, natural honey
  • 1 whole chilli, deseeded
  • 2 cmall galric cloves (to chop and add when baking the chicken)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of powdered ginger
  • Salt and Pepper to season
  • A handful of cahsews to chop and sprinkle on top (optional)

How to make the sauce:

Blend all the ingredients in a food processor apart from – Half red onion, galic cloves and red pepper. This is to be left to one side and added to the chicken when roasting in the oven.

How to make the cauliflower rice:

Add chopped cauliflower head to blender until a ‘rice’ texture is formed. Add a dash of cumin, pinch of pepper and thyme for taste.

Cooking guide:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
  2. Dice the chicken into cubes and add the chopped onion, chopped garlic and red pepper. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with some olive oil.
  3. Add half the sauce to the chicken and stir, ensuring it is covered fully.
  4. Put in the oven for 20-25 minutes (dependent on the strength of your oven, mine was done after 22 minutes!)
  5. Meanwhile heat some coconut oil in a pan and add your ‘rice’ to it. Cook for 3-5 minutes continually stirring it to ensure it doesn’t stick. Season as you wish!
  6. Serve the chicken with cauliflower rice and sprinkle with chopped cashews. You should have enough sauce left to have a little jar for dipping…. it is extremely moreish so this is recommended!

This recipe is guaranteed jamaic-ya crazy! (Such a bad pun but I could not resist)

Love J xxx

 

Paleo Banana and Date Muffins

 

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What to do when you are overwhelmed with dates? Bake of course! Yes, by dates I mean the edible type. I can safely say I am not overwhelmed with date requests, my life isn’t quite that exciting! But who cares when you have freshly baked Paleo muffins!

As you have probably gathered I am a sucker for something sweet and love having a little treat to go with my green tea from time to time, but eating a full fat slice of cake every day or a muffin would not be great for my waistline, or my health for that matter! (there is a reason they call it a muffin top). Which is exactly why I create these recipes, so you can stay healthy without feeling restricted!

Gluten-free and paleo friendly…. A perfect healthy snack! These muffins would also be a great addition to your kids school lunch box or an afternoon tea snack! Put a dollop of almond butter on top for a protein boost and boost of good fats… SO yum!

What you will need:

  • 2 large over ripe bananas
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1 cup of dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup of coconut flour
  • 1/4 coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • Pinch of salt

Get baking!

  1. Preheat Oven to 180 degrees
  2. In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients; Coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
  3. Combine all other ingredients together using a blender ; Banana, eggs, coconut oil
  4. Add wet mixture from blender to dry ingredients and combine thoroughly.
  5. Spoon mixture into greased or paper lined muffin tins
  6. Top with a sprinkle of chia seeds or/and coconut shavings (totally optional but a lovely touch)
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes (this may vary depending on your oven, if in doubt use a toothpick to check whether the inside is fully cooked, it should come out clean if it is!)

Tip* Add 3/4 cup of chopped walnuts to the mixture once combined, before baking, if you like your muffins nutty or with a bit of a crunch!

Certainly no bluffin’ with these muffins!

J xxx