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An Asian Easter

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An Asian-Canadian-French-Italian Easter spread

Easter isn’t something I’ve ever experienced in Asia, for some reason it is only this year that I feel spring has sprung.

Perhaps it’s the feeling that I know these are my last few months in crazy Bangers… but something has definitely changed. Time to spring forward my friends!

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Looking at Phuket island to the west. Feb 2016

Please  be patient with me readers, there’s plenty of comments and replies to be written! But some restaurant and product reviews too!

Biscuit Recipe / Pie Crust Recipe

Gluten Free Paleo Banana Bread

This makes your whole house smell delicious!

This makes your whole house smell delicious!

I found this super easy recipe on Goop and have to say that I’m impressed!

Moist, full of protein and yummy!

Moist, full of protein and yummy!

It’s much healthier than my Grandma’s recipe, and has less ingredients than the Vegan recipe I tried before.

Everything you'll need

Everything you’ll need

You will need:

  • 3 cups almond meal
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 mashed ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil + extra for greasing a muffin or bread tin

imageThis really is simple!

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 F) and then grease your pan. Mix all the ingredients together and then pour in the tin. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the cake comes out clean.

imageAllow to cool and then enjoy!

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Great for snacks and breakfasts on the go!

Easy Breakfast Egg Muffins

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This was a very recipe to make. I saw the idea somewhere online, perhaps Facebook. My friend Maura, also used to make these for her commute into London. I knew I was going to have a busy week so prepared these in advance.

They only need 10-15 minutes to bake at 180 degrees Celsius. Watch for the eggs to rise and turn golden on top.

You can use muffin cases or grease your muffin tin.

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Basically, you beat some eggs and add milk if you like it. Throw in some salt and pepper too. Get together some tasty I gredients for your eggs, like red pepper, green onions and cheese.

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This is what they looked like when I first pulled them out of the oven.

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Grandma’s Super Banana Bread

imageMy Grandma is a super lady – and a great baker. This recipe comes from her arsenal of goodies. I apologise in advance for the amount of butter!image

You will need:

  • 2 cups gluten free flour (I use the Yes You Can stuff because it’s lighter and fluffier than Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/3 cups ripe banana, mashed

imageHow to do it:

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 175 degrees Celsius. Gather together your ingredients.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and lightly whisk – flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. In another bowl, add brown sugar to the butter. Make sure the butter is room temperature. With a whisk, turn this into a thick cream.
  4. Then add the eggs to the wet ingredients, following with the bananas.
  5. Now you’re going to add the wet ingredients to the dry ones. Try not to mix it too much – you don’t want to overwork the flour.
  6. Grease your muffin tin or bread pan, before pouring in the batter.
  7. Bake for approximately 60 minutes. I’m not sure how long it would take for muffins. I tend to watch for the tops to turn a dark brown. Use a sharp pointed knife, or a toothpick to determine if they’re done. You want the knife to come out clean, not sticky.image
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Well & Good Gluten Free Bread

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Bread. We have a love / hate relationship. When I crave it most, I screw it up. When I don’t want it, there’s an abundance of it. We can never find a happy balance.image

And I’m sorry to say, but I wasn’t impressed by this bread mix. I followed the instructions, which were easy, but time-consuming. The bread smelled great, and then lost that smell and squishy texture very quickly.image

I also sliced my finger and nail open while trying to slice this bread. The outside was tougher than a piece of jerky!

It didn’t improve when I toasted it either. It just got very difficult to chew! image

It didn’t last long either and I suppose it’s because there are no preservatives like store-baked breads from Canada and the UK. I was hoping that this would be good, but it was just ok.

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Decadent Chocolate Cake – Orgran’s (from a box)

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I like sweets and they like me. ‘Nuff said. Sometimes, you just crave sugar, in the form of a moist, chocolately cake. Well my friends, this happened to me recently and as I stood staring down the baking aisle, I decide to take a plunge. I have made the ‘Yes You Can’ chocolate mud cake before and it was pretty damn good. I needed to test out what Orgran had to offer.imageYou will need:

  • a bowl
  • cake pan
  • eggs
  • water
  • oil
  • someone to taste-test it

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It was super easy to make and I was even lucky enough to spy some Betty Crocker icing. Love Betty Crocker – she’s gluten free and easily available in most supermarkets in Thailand.

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Unlike the Yes You Can, this was much lighter and acted more like a regular cake. I approve of this for birthday celebrations.

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I am also happy to report that it tastes good even after you freeze it.

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Easy Pie Crust

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The last pie crust I made was great, but I didn’t have any cashews or walnuts sitting in my pantry. I figured I could use almond and coconut flour. And guess what? I was right!image

For this, you will need:

  • 6″ pie tin
  • 1 1/2 cup ground almonds / flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil (or rice bran oil, since it doesn’t have a taste)
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt

I combined all the ingredients in a bowl. It didn’t take long for it to get quite sticky.

imageI recommend you put it into your pie tin, and then either oil your finger tips to move it around, or cover it with plastic wrap until you get the dough in place.

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I filled my pie crust with pumpkin filling and cooked for 15 mins at 200 degrees Celsius, then another 10 mins at 170. The crust easily turned gold – just had to wait for my pumpkin to settle!image

Next week I will try to use this crust for a quiche. Will keep you posted!

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Better Paleo Bread Recipe – Gluten Free!

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Great with sweet spreads

I have been suffering from a lack of bread after spending the summer in Canada. While the breads I tried were hit and miss, it was nice to see how readily available they were at most shopping centres. Last week I made the Orgran Multigrain Bread Mix, and while it served its purpose, I don’t think I’ll be buying it again any time soon.

So I decided to try out another Paleo bread recipe that I found on Elana’s Pantry. I’ve made a few modifications as I found it was quite sweet and smelled like applesauce. At the end of the day, you want a bread that can go with jam, but also with humus and other savoury things.

The great thing about Paleo breads, is that I find they keep me fuller longer, unlike white flour breads. In addition, by using the flax seeds it tastes a bit more like a whole grain bread, without the annoying chunks of seeds!

I find that this freezes well and should be kept in the fridge.

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This protein will give you a kick in the morning!

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Orgran Bread Mix Review

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I came home from work this evening craving baked beans on toast. Maybe this was my body’s way of preparing me for my training run tomorrow morning. Luckily I found this at Emporium Food Hall last weekend and decided to give it a go. I’ve tried the Orgran white bread mix before and it was thick, dusty and chalky. Not a great bread mix. But I thought I would give this one a try.

imageJust add water and oil.

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Let the bread rise for 5-10 minutes and then throw it in the oven for about 30 minutes.

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Take it out and let it cool.

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It doesn’t taste awful, it’s much nicer than the eggy Yes You Can bread mix, and much softer than the Springhill Farms stuff (although I can’t find this mix at Topps anymore).

All in all, it took about 45 minutes and required minimum effort. Success!

 

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Gluten Free Paleo Brownies

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I have binged on these bad boys a couple times while back home. They are delicious and easy to make. My favourite is using them instead of graham crackers for s’mores. Most marshmallows are gluten free. This is good news!

imageIngredients:

6 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup Hershey’s cocoa or 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse Celtic sea salt (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/3 cup tapioca flour or arrowroot flour
2 teaspoons coconut flour or almond flour

** 2 teaspoons maca powder optional

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 ºF and adjust rack to middle position. Grease an 8-inch glass square pan with some coconut oil.

Place coconut oil and chocolate in the bowl of a double boiler. Melt over low heat. Remove chocolate mixture from heat and whisk in sugar, sea salt, and vanilla extract.image

Whisk in eggs one at a time. Whisk in tapioca flour and coconut flour.

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Let batter sit for 5 minutes (this allows the coconut flour to absorb some of the moisture). Pour batter into the baking dish and smooth into an even layer.

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Bake for 25-30 minutes until edges are just pulling away from the sides and middle is still just a touch moist. Cool and then cut into squares. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.image

** Of course you can add some chocolate chips or nuts of your choice to add texture.