Aubergine & Tahini Dip with Oryx Desert Smoked Salt

Hatzilim im Tchina

This is a very common dip in Israel and I often make it for Shabbat dinner. Traditionally the aubergine will be cooked on an open flame, giving it a smoky flavour. Using Oryx Desert Smoked Salt gives it that same flavour, while simply roasting it in the oven.

Ingredients

1 large aubergine
2 tbsp tahini
juice of 1/2 a lemon, or to taste
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
1/4 tsp ground cumin
small handful fresh coriander leaves
Oryx Desert Smoked Salt
Black pepper

Method

Heat the oven to 200C.
Pierce the skin of the aubergine with a sharp knife a few times. Place it in the oven, straight on the rack. Roast until the skin is blackened and the interior is soft, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Remove the skin of the aubergine and chop up the flesh. Combine with the rest of the ingredients, adding the smoked salt and black pepper to taste.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Roasted Lemon, Sweet Potato & Corn Salad

Roasted Lemon, Sweet Potato & Corn Salald

I recently posted my recipe for Roasted Lemon Ice Cream. The roasted lemons also work beautifully in savoury dishes, especially when combined with Mediterranean or Middle Eastern flavours. This salad is filling enough to have as a meal on its own, or it makes a great side for a family braai (South African BBQ) or picnic.

Ingredients

2 lemons, quartered lengthways
475g sweet potato, sliced into 2cm rounds
2 tsp chilli flakes
extra virgin olive oil
3 cobs of corn
250g mini rosa tomatoes
200g black olives
a big handful of fresh coriander
5 spring onions, finely sliced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp organic maple syrup
Salt and black pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 200C.
Place the lemons in an ovenproof dish and roast until soft and slightly caramelised, about 45 minutes to an hour.
Toss the sweet potatoes and chilli flakes together, along with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt. Roast until tender, 30 to 40 minutes.

Boil the corn in a pot of water until done, about 20 minutes. Cut the kernels off the cob.

Whisk together the 2 tbsp olive oil, vinegar and maple syrup.

In a large salad bowl combine the sweet potatoes, corn, tomatoes, olives, spring onion and coriander. Remove the pips from the lemons and then scrape the soft, juicy flesh into the salad, discarding the skins. Add the dressing, and salt and pepper to taste, and toss everything together.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Goji and Baobab Bars

Goji & Baobab Bars

For those of you who have been saying that some of our recipes are a bit intimidating, here’s the perfect place to start. These energy bars are so simple to make, all you need is a food processor, no other techniques required!

Ingredients

1 cup goji berries
1/2 cup raw brazil nuts
6 – 8 fresh medjool dates (about 125g)
2 tbsp baobab powder
1/2 tsp Oryx Desert Salt
4 tbsp ground flax
1/3 cup organic virgin coconut oil
2 tbsp raw honey

Method

Place the goji berries and brazil nuts in a food processor and process into a rough crumb. Add the dates, making sure to remove the pips and process again. Add the baobab powder, salt, and ground flax and process to combine. Finally add the coconut oil and honey and process until everything is well combined and sticky but with a rough texture.

Spread evenly in a loaf tin lined with clingfilm (for easy removal) and refrigerate until set. Cut into bars and keep refrigerated.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Lemon & Basil Truffles

Lemon & Basil Truffles

I love to use savoury flavours in desserts, and in these truffles the basil compliments the lemon really well. They are perfect to finish off a dinner or to give as a gift. Put them in a pretty glass jar and tie a ribbon around the neck… people always appreciate something that you have made yourself!

Ingredients

200g creamed coconut (or coconut butter, not coconut oil)
zest of 3 lemons
30ml lemon juice
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp organic stevia leaf powder
pinch of organic vanilla powder or 2 drops vanilla extract
1 tbsp baobab powder
pinch of himalayan salt
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
about 40g cacao butter
an empty egg carton and toothpicks

Method

Place all the ingredients except the basil and cacao butter into a food processor. Process until well combined. Then add the chopped basil and pulse to combine. If the mixture is very soft you can refrigerate it until it firms up. Take about a heaped teaspoon of mixture at a time and use your palms to roll it into a neat ball. Place on a plate as you go. You should get about 21 truffles. Place them in the freezer to harden.

In a small saucepan, gently melt the cacao butter (don’t be alarmed that it turns brown as it melts, this is normal.) You will need to melt more cacao butter than what you actually end up using – simply allow the remainder to set again and return to the packet. Spear a truffle onto a toothpick and then dip it into the melted cacao butter, swirling to remove any excess and ensure an even coating.

Lemon & Basil Truffles 2

Then stick the other end of the toothpick into an empty egg carton, allowing the cacao butter to set.

Lemon & Basil Truffles 3

Repeat with all the truffles. Once they have set you can give them a second coating if you like, and then keep them refrigerated. This is actually the first time I’ve made truffles in years and I really enjoyed the process, but if this seems like too much hard work for you, you can omit the last step of coating them in cacao butter!

Health & happiness šŸ™‚

Love,
Raine

Chocolate Birthday Cake with Berry Chia Jam & Chocolate Mousse Icing

Chocolate Birthday Cake

For my son’s first birthday I made a cake without refined sugar but still used stoneground wheat flour and organic butter. Last year for his second birthday I was determined to come up with a completely clean cake recipe, so I began The Cake Trials (which you may have seen if you followed my old Instagram account @unsinfully_divine.) I must have baked about 10 cakes in the month leading up to his birthday, and finally came up with the perfect recipe!
This cake was so good I made it again this year for his third birthday. You would never guess that it is so healthy… it’s rich, moist and has a good crumb (very hard to do with gluten-free baking!) Berry chia jam and my awesome Chocolate Mousse Icing finish it perfectly.

INGREDIENTS

For the cake:

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
70g raw cacao paste
150g pitted fresh dates
180ml boiling water
150ml organic maple syrup
200g organic virgin coconut oil
4 eggs
1/2 tsp organic vanilla powder or 1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of himalayan salt
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 cup almond flour
60ml raw cacao powder

For the Chocolate Mousse Icing:

320g mature coconut flesh and 1 1/2 cups hot water, OR 2 cups organic coconut cream
80ml raw honey
pinch of himalayan salt
1/4 tsp organic vanilla powder or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
5ml agar agar powder (not flakes – they require different measurements)
40ml organic virgin coconut oil
90ml raw cacao powder

For the Berry Chia Jam:

1 cup frozen mixed berries
1 tbsp raw honey
1ml organic vanilla powder
small pinch of himalayan salt
2 tbsp chia seeds

METHOD

Set aside the frozen berries to allow them to defrost.

Firstly make the icing. If using fresh coconut to make your own cream, blend the coconut and hot water in a high speed blender for 30 to 60 seconds. Strain through a nut milk bag. Allow it to cool slightly before squeezing so that you don’t burn your hands! Return the coconut cream to the blender, along with the honey, salt, vanilla, agar agar and coconut oil. Blend until smooth. Pour into a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer for three minutes exactly and then remove from the heat. Boiling activates the agar agar, allowing it to set, but over boiling will destroy it, so use a timer. Refrigerate.

Preheat the oven to 160 C. Line two 20cm cake tins with baking paper or silicone liners.

In a clean, dry blender, grind the oats until you have a fine flour. Sift together with the almond flour and 60ml cacao powder. Set aside.

Place the cacao paste, dates, boiling water and maple syrup in the blender. Blend until completely smooth. Add the coconut oil, vanilla and salt, and the eggs one at a time. Blend until the mixture is smooth, thick and glossy. Add the bicarb and blend just to disperse it thoroughly. Pour the mixture onto the sifted dry ingredients and fold them together. Pour into the cake tins, dividing the mixture evenly, and bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

While the cake bakes, make the jam. Blend the berries with the honey, vanilla and salt. You can make it smooth or leave it chunky, as you prefer. Pour into a bowl and stir in the chia seeds. Refrigerate until needed.

Once the icing has set, blend it again with the 90ml cacao powder. Agar sets much firmer in comparison to gelatine, but blending it breaks up that glassy texture, giving you a smooth and creamy end result. Refrigerate again to firm up.

Once the cakes have cooled, turn them out. Use the berry jam to sandwich them together and then top with the icing.

My son asked for a Maleficent cake. I made two 20cm cakes and two 10cm cakes, and sandwiched them together with the jam. I then used coloured cardboard and ribbon to decorate, rather than using fondant icing which is full of refined sugar and chemical colours which are so bad for kids! Once the cardboard was on, I carefully piped the icing ontop, and placed a Maleficent figurine we got from the toyshop on the top of the cake.

Maleficent Cake

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Mango Coconut Ice Cream

mango coconut ice cream

The last few mornings in Joburg have been quite chilly and I’m not at all happy to admit that autumn is definitely on its way. Use the last of our beautiful tropical summer fruit to make this quick and easy ice cream – no dairy or sugar! I’ve frozen it in lolly molds to make it fun for my son, but you could also freeze it as regular ice cream to be scooped on its own or to accompany a dessert.

Ingredients:

650g fresh mango flesh (about 2 mangoes)
1 tin (400ml) organic coconut milk
60ml organic virgin coconut oil
30ml raw honey
1/4 tsp himalayan salt
1/4 tsp organic vanilla powder or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp organic stevia leaf powder

Method:

Blend all the ingredients until smooth. Pour into lolly moulds and freeze, or process in an ice cream machine. If you don’t have an ice cream machine, freeze until almost set, then blend again to break up the crystals and return to the freezer.

mango coconut ice cream 2

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Zoodles with Roasted Fennel, Sage & Salmon

Zoodles with Roasted Fennel, Sage & Salmon

I recently bought a spiralizer and have been excited to start playing with it. I would definitely recommend getting one if you want to eat more healthy food… it was super easy to use and this dish was just as satisfying as a regular pasta. Maybe even more so because I felt so good after eating it!

Roasting the fennel gives it a beautiful caramelized liquorice flavour, which pairs so well with the sage, lemon & salmon. If you don’t eat fish you can simply omit that, and you’ll still have a gorgeous, fresh and healthy supper.

IngredientsĀ (serves 2)

1 large bulb of fennel
12 cloves of garlic
juice of 1 lemon
60ml olive oil
a handful of fresh sage
380g zucchini
another 2 tbsp olive oil
200g hot-smoked salmon

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 C.

Use a mandolin to finely slice the fennel. You could just use a sharp knife, but using a mandolin is quicker and easier. Peel the garlic and just use the heel of your chef’s knife to smash them up a bit – you still want biggish pieces. Place the fennel, garlic, lemon, olive oil and sage in an ovenproof dish. Season with himalayan salt and black pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes, until the fennel has caramelized and has a sweet aroma.

Meanwhile, spiralize the zucchini into noodles and flake the salmon. When the fennel comes out the oven, add the zoodles, additional olive oil and salmon. Toss together in the hot dish to warm everything through. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary with more himalayan salt, black pepper or lemon juice. Serve immediately.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Pan-fried Kingklip with Exotic Mushrooms, Spinach and Canihua

Pan fried Kingklip with Mushrooms, Spinach & Canihua

As I don’t eat meat often, I try to eat fish once a week. Whether you eat meat or are vegan or vegetarian, it’s very important to be aware of your protein intake, especially if you train regularly. While it’s perfectly possible to get enough protein on a vegan diet, you have to be much more aware of it and put in more effort. It won’t happen by accident! That said, fish is a great clean source of protein for those of us who are not vegan.

Kingklip is a deep sea fish widely found in the coastal waters of southern Africa. It is low in fat and as well as being high in protein, also containsĀ calcium, iodine and iron. If you cannot get kingklip you can use another solid white fish for this recipe.

Canihua is a close relative of quinoa and is native to the Andes. It is gluten-free andĀ scores higher than quinoa in levels of protein, iron, magnesium and calcium. It has a similar flavour to quinoa, but the grains are much smaller.

Ingredients (serves 2)

150g shiitake mushrooms, sliced
150g shimeji mushrooms, separated
6 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
extra virgin olive oil for frying
2 big handfuls spinach, sliced into ribbons
2 tbsp organic tamari
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tsp raw honey
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp raw sesame seeds
1/2 cup canihua (or quinoa)
400g fresh kingklip (2 fillets), skinned

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 C.

Place the canihua in a small pot with 1 cup of water and 1/4 tsp himalayan salt. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and cover with a lid. Simmer until all the water has been absorbed and the grains are cooked, about 20 – 25 minutes.

Slowly fry the mushrooms in some olive oil until they start to brown. Add the garlic and fry for a further 2 minutes. Add the spinach and stir. Add the tamari and lemon juice and quickly put the lid on so that the steam will cook the spinach. After a couple of minutes remove from the heat. Add the honey, sesame oil and sesame seeds.

Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and place the kingklip down. Fry until golden and crispy then turn and do the same on the other side. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and roast for about 5 – 7 minutes, until the fish is cooked through. The flesh should be opaque and starting to flake, but not dry.

To plate, put the canihua on the bottom, then the mushrooms and spinach, and top with the fish. Squeeze some lemon over the top and enjoy.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Fig & Plum Smoothie

Fig & Plum Smoothie

Figs are one of my favourite fruits, with their sweet, luscious flesh which is more desert-like than fruit-like! Figs and plums are both high in dietary fibre, antioxidants, as well as potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure. Plums also increase your body’s ability to absorb iron, due to its high vitamin C content.

The combination of fig, plum and vanilla makes for a delicious smoothie.

Ingredients

200ml almond or coconut milk
2 plums, cut up and frozen
3 figs, cut up and frozen
1/4 tsp organic vanilla powder or the seeds scraped from a vanilla pod
10ml organic virgin coconut oil
10ml raw pumpkin seeds
2 fresh medjool dates

Method

Blend all the ingredients until the desired texture is achieved. Serves 1

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Choc-Chip Sweet Potato Cookies

Sweet Potato Choc Chip Cookies 1

If you’ve read my Joburg recommendations in the “Two Kitchens Loves” page, you’ll know that I am a big fan of the Organic Emporium in Bryanston. It has replaced regular supermarkets for my day-to-day grocery shopping. The owner, Debbie, is so passionate about the work she does, it’s hard not to get caught up in her enthusiasm!

Last week I was in the store and Debbie asked me to come up with a recipe for Wensleydale’s new organic Sweet Potato Flour. I made these gluten, sugar and dairy-free choc-chip cookies. They’ve been really popular with everyone’s who’s taste-tested them for me!

Sweet potatoes are naturally gluten-free and low-GI so the flour makes a great substitute for regular wheat flour. It is quite granular, so it gives the cookies a chunky texture. If you’d prefer a smoother texture you can grind the flour more finely in a blender. In the first batch I used a combination of honey and coconut sugar to sweeten; and in the second batch I replaced the coconut sugar with organic stevia leaf powder. Both worked equally well, so it’s just a matter of preference. If you’re watching calories I would recommend using the stevia.

IngredientsĀ (makes about 20 cookies)

1/4 cup organic virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup organic coconut sugar OR 1/2 tsp organic stevia leaf powder
2 tbsp raw honey
2 tbsp nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew etc)
2 farm-raised eggs
1/4 tsp organic vanilla powder OR 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp himalayan salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 ripe banana, finely mashed with a fork
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup rolled oats
75g Gayleen’s Decadence Raw Chocolate Baking Slab, available at the Organic Emporium
1 1/2 cup Wensleydale’s Sweet Potato Flour, available at the Organic Emporium

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Make sure that the raw chocolate is cold from the fridge. Chop it up into small pieces for your “chocolate chips” and then return to the fridge. If left at room temperature it may start to melt.

Beat together the oil, coconut sugar or stevia, honey and nut butter. Add the eggs and beat well. Stir in the vanilla, salt, bicarb, banana and water. Add the oats and chocolate chips. Now stir in the sweet potato flour. You will notice that the flour is very “thirsty” and the dough will thicken quite quickly. Stir well so that there are no dry lumps of flour.

Line a large baking tray with silicone mats or baking paper. Place a heaped tablespoon of dough onto the tray and spread out into a neat circle, about 1.5cm thick. You can wet your fingers to prevent the dough from sticking to them. Repeat till all the dough is used up. The cookies will not spread during baking, so you can place them quite close together.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until slightly golden and firm to the touch. Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine