DIY Mother’s Day baking – Easy recipe for courgette, orange and pistachio loaf

Need some inspiration for Mother’s Day brunch, dessert idea or even as a homemade gift?

This healthy yet delicious cake is perfect for impressing all the lovely mum’s who have already tried and tasted everything.

I really surprised myself with this recipe… who would’ve thought a green vegetable I’ve only ever eaten with chicken for dinner actually tastes super delicious in a cake. I can’t think of a better way to sneak greens into my diet than inside my favourite kind of treat – cake and it’s just the type of dessert my mum would be intrigued to taste but never ever make herself.

FullSizeRender (4)What’s even more good news about this cake is that not only does it have nourishing goodness from the green veg but it is also packed full of protein and fibre from the flour I’ve chosen to use.

I found loads of pistachios leftover from making granola and I saw this recipe in Stylist magazine a while ago and decided to take on the challenge. I definitely recommend anyone to give this recipe a go to really impress you friends with something a bit different and sure to please with its healthy goodness and tastiness.

Courgette, orange and pistachio loaf recipe

Ingredients

  • 200g crushed pistachios
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 225g spelt flour
  • 185g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • Zest of an orange

Orange icing

  • Juice of half an orange
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar

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Method

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a loaf tin with butter.

Step 2: Crush the pistachios as best you can- I finely chopped them. Just be careful to watch your fingers and keep some for the topping!

Step 3: Cream together the butter (make sure it’s softened) , sugar and orange zest. Then combine with the cinnamon and flour, gently stiring in one egg at a time.

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Step 4:  Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake in the oven for one hour. Cover the cake with foil halfway through cooking then allow to cool on a rack.

Step 3: To make the topping, just mix icing sugar and the orange juice for a sweet and citrus sauce.

Step 4: Serve the cake with the sauce poured over and some pretty crushed pistachio on top. Then enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my mum has and it encourages you to be a bit more brave and experimental with your ingredients in the kitchen!

Love Leeanna xo

How to make gluten free cauliflower pizza

So for lent I decided to give up gluten and I’m shocked at how well I’ve managed to keep it up. Me and my housemate have used it as a great excuse to actually have a go at different recipes we’ve seen all over Instagram and wanted to try for ages like courgette pasta and cauliflower pizza dishes. Sweet potato brownies is next on the agenda so I will keep you posted!

This gluten free alternative is a great healthy option for dinner parties, a sharing evening meal and even better when there are leftovers for lunch the day after.

I was so surprised how much the cauliflower base started to look like dough as it cooked in the oven and it really didn’t take too much effort. The only difference was that it didn’t turn out quite the same shape as a pizza as we’d have liked… but it was a our first go. There is room for improvement!

We topped one with veggies and the other with pesto chicken – both very scrummy and we recommend to try!

Read more: Gluten free chocolate cake recipe

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Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, stalk removed
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian herbs
  • A few grind of cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Break and chop the cauliflower into small florets and pulse in a food processor until fine.
  3. Steam and drain well. (We put it on top of kitchen roll to help get the moisture out)
  4. Once you have let the cauliflower cool, combine it with the rest of the ingredients.IMG_1599
  5. Transfer to the middle of the baking sheet. What I would recommend – that we didn’t do and should have done – is spread it into a circle to try and resemble a pizza crust.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Add desired toppings and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Top it up

For the veggie one we covered the base with tomato passata, chopped peppers, sweetcorn, red onion and grated cheese.

For the meaty one we fried the chicken in a little coconut oil and pesto before topping on to the tomato passata, onion, sweetcorn and adding cheese.

Read more: Baking cake with veggies

The might not be circular shape but I think they look pretty damn close to squared-shaped pizzas! Can you even tell from the pics that the bases are made from a vegetable? I hope you try this at home and enjoy experimenting with gluten-free options as much as we have.

Love Leeanna xo

Guilt-free Raw Snickers Cheesecake

Who doesn’t love a chunky snickers bar or a naughty slice of cheesecake?! Well there is a lot to love about this tasty combo of the two with it being gluten-free and refined sugar-free. It’s all-natural wholesome ingredients with no added sugar will help satisfy those sweet-tooth cravings and keep you satisfied for longer.

IMG_2158To replace the processed sugars of a normal snickers bar, I made this dessert a healthier alternative by using a raw and sugar-free recipe which is just as indulgent and fulfilling as the original. I was so shocked this actually turned out tasty and my whole family enjoyed it too. You can’t go wrong with a dessert of chocolaty healthy goodness- the perfect pud if you’re having friends over!

Raw Snickers Cheesecake

Ingredients

Base:

  • 1 1/2 cups of cashew nuts
  • 1 cup of desiccated coconut
  • 8 pitted Medjool dates
  • 2 tbsp of Agave Nectar

Peanut Butter Caramel layer:

  • 8 pitted Medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup of peanut butter (you can use a reduced fat one too)
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp Agave Nectar

To decorate:

  • 1/4 bar of melted dark chocolate

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Instructions

For the base:

  1. In a food processor, crush up the cashews into small pieces.
  2. Add in coconut dates and agave until a sticky dough forms.IMG_2159
  3. Press the mixture into a round dish lined with clingfilm and put in the freezer for a good hour.

For the caramel:

  1. Blend all ingredients, adding the almond milk a little bit at a time.
  2. Once a smooth caramel consistency has formed spread over the base.
  3. Drizzle with melted chocolate in any pattern you desire.
  4. Pop it back into the freezer until it has hardened and viola a deliciously healthy dessert for everyone to have a slice of.

After trying my first ‘raw’ creation I will definitely give some other treats a go. I hope you enjoy this easy-to-make recipe and test it on your friends at home.

Love Leeanna xo

Summertime Healthy Dinner Inspiration

I’ve mentioned it a few times on my blog and am gradually fulfilling my New Years’ resolution to learn how to cook. Well i’ve recently made substantial progress and finally cooked my first ever meal for my family so I thought I ‘just have to blog about this’ huge step of my life! They were very wary to start with but gave me a chance and left the kitchen to me.

I decided to make a few different dishes- something everyone can pick at and food that’s healthy. Well really I thought if anything goes wrong, at least there might be one good dish still standing haha! It’s so nice that the evenings are light again and being at home is great because we have a lovely garden to sit outside and eat together. So I went for a BBQ-esque summer time meal- food that can be cooked on the barbecue or just as well in the oven (gotta be prepared for the English summertime weather!)

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On the menu:

  • Soy sauce and honey marinated chicken
  • Light Halloumi cheese, cherry tomato and mixed pepper skewers coated in lemon, olive oil, chili and mixed herbs
  •  Roasted sweet potatoes drizzled with olive oil, rosemary and lots of black pepper (bake for a good half hour/45 mins to get them crispy)
  • Grilled asparagus wrapped in parma ham- so easy to chuck on the BBQ on hot days
  • Tomato and cucumber salad tossed in lemon juice, olive oil and seasoning- Tasted lush with the chicken!

I even made a garlic mayo to go with the sweet potato wedges! So easy to do- I just mixed 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise with 1 crushed garlic clove, a squeeze of lemon juice and some black pepper. It tasted sooo good with the sweet potato!

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I’d only tried the Cypriot cheese for the first time on Friday so I think my family were very impressed that I actually manged to cook a good dish with it! Everything went down a treat which made me happy! I can actually cook, yay!

If you’re like me and not quite the Jamie Oliver or Nigella Lawson just yet, surprise your family and friends with these dishes this Summer. Light, easy and very tasty.

Happy cooking!

Love Leeanna xo

How to make homemade healthy granola

One of my new year’s resolutions is to learn how to cook and actually follow a recipe! Two weeks into 2015 and I have my first accomplishment which was easy, healthy and delicious!

Breakfast is my absolute favourite meal of the day and something I really enjoy is yogurt topped with granola but I find most granola in the supermarket is either really unhealthy (because it is full of sugar) or really pricey!

IMG_0811 So I thought I would be brave and have a go at making my own. The best thing is you can add all the ingredients you like most like your favoutite nuts or dried fruit without adding all the naughty bits. With the help from a great recipe over on Elizabeth Rider, I got creative and got cooking. Mix together:

  • 1/2 cup of oats
  • 1/2 cup of chopped nuts. You can choose from your favourites and they can be as chunky as you like. I only roughly chopped mine to give my granola a bit of crunch.

IMG_0802 I chose to use cashews, macadamia nuts and walnuts, firstly because they were in my cupboard but also because I love the taste of them even as a yummy snack.

  • 1/4 cup of seeds– Sunflower or pumpkin seeds are great because they are super good for you and super tasty!
  • 1/2 cup of dried fruit. Again you chop it up or just throw it in. I went for raisins and dried cranberries for my mix.
  • 2 tbsp of honey– I actually used this great healthier alternative called Agave Nectar which is also a tasty addition to sweeten up your porridge.

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  • 2 tbsp of melted coconut oil–  This is where it gets a bit sticky but it’s also the fun part if your don’t mind getting a bit messy!
  • Mix everything together with your hands.
  • Pour onto a baking tray and bake for about 10 minutes until it is looking slightly golden.

IMG_0810 And there you have it your very own homemade granola! Delicious on top of yogurt, smothered in milk (I love it with unsweetened almond milk) or even just on it’s own!

I have such a big sweet tooth and always have to have a cheeky pudding so I tried to incorporate the granola into a tasty dessert. I came up with a berry granola cheesecake mess!

Mix fat free cream cheese and your favourite fruit or warmed berries and top with your very own granola. Delish!

I hope you enjoy this recipe and are sticking to your new year’s resolutions too!

Love Leeanna xo