Dark Chocolate Bark

For probably one of the first times ever, we had pistachios in our house. Oh so many ideas were coming to mind for what to do with them! Desserts, crusts, breakfast toppers or just on their own because they’re glorious. I had a bunch of 85% dark chocolate which I wanted to muck around with and make something tasty. So that’s what I did on this quiet and relaxing Sunday afternoon.

In addition, I have recently been introduced to a new blogging community “Our Growing Edge”. The concept is to bring together fellow foodies and to share our creations and inspire us to create something new. This month’s theme is “Allergy Friendly Recipes” and is hosted by Joana from My Gut Feeling.

So some fast facts, my recipe is dairy free because 85% chocolate. Enough said. Also conveniently gluten and egg free for anyone worried about those too!

This recipe is oh so easy. The longest part of it is melting the chocolate! Honestly, quick, convenient and you will be able to consume it within half an hour of you making it (just to make extra sure that the chocolate has completely set!) Okay let’s get to it.

Dark Chocolate Bark

What you’re going to need

50 grams > 70% dark chocolate (if 85% is too bitter for you, feel free to use 70% instead to still get it dairy free)

small handful pistachios, shells removed and ready to go

small handful raspberries

pinch, cracked sea salt

Method

  1. Melt your chocolate using your preferred method. (Just please for your sake, do not get any water/moisture near the chocolate!!! Seized chocolate is the worst and just ruins your day so be careful.)
  2. In a lined shallow baking tin, pour melted chocolate and spread evenly. Once even, sprinkle and mix of the pistachios and raspberries ensuring they are embedded enough in the chocolate so that they won’t roll off!)
  3. Sprinkle with desired amount of sea salt.
  4. Freeze for up to 30 minutes or until chocolate has re set. Break pieces off and devour!

Dark Chocolate Bark

For more info about the “Our Growing Edge” community: Our Growing Edge

And to take a look at the host of this month’s Growing Edge theme: My Gut Feeling

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Salted Caramel Bliss Balls

As much as I adore PB choc bliss balls, thought it was time to try something else! Whoever thought of bringing sweet and savoury flavours into one dish is a genius. I have taken that concept and put it into my bliss balls as they are fast becoming one of my favourite work snacks.

Bliss balls are super easy, jam packed full of deliciousness and will keep you full for your afternoon! These are dairy, gluten and refined sugar free!

Salted Caramel Bliss Balls (yielded 8 for me but will depend how big you roll them)

What you’re going to need

1 cup dates, chopped (soaked in boiling water for 15 minutes if not moist)

3/4 cup walnuts (soak in cold water for 30 minutes – optional)***

1/2 tablespoon rice malt syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

sprinkle cinnamon

cracked sea salt (to taste)

desiccated coconut for rolling

Method

  1. In a food processor, add of the ingredients except the coconut.
  2. Process until ingredients are well combined.
  3. On a plate, add a few spoons of desiccated coconut. Using gloves, a spoon or bare hands, roll the mixture into evenly sized bliss balls.
  4. Roll each ball through the coconut. Repeat until all the bliss ball mixture has been used.
  5. Store in the fridge/freezer and enjoy!

Salted Caramel Bliss Balls

*** The bliss balls will still turn out wonderfully without soaking the nuts prior to blending, but soaking them makes them so so creamy and perfect for these sweet treats!

Strawberry and Cream Cups

As a big fan of dessert, I always make sure there is something delectable either in my fridge or freezer for me to devour straight after dinner.

The whole lactose intolerance thing unfortunately deters me from eating ice cream at home (which sucks because I used to eat it all the time). Alas, everything coconut has become my new favourite dairy substitute for creating desserts and so led to today’s creation.

Desserts for me don’t have to be super sweet to be enjoyable. This dessert I find is just the right balance of sweet, creamy and a bit of tartness from the strawberries. This recipe requires just 5 ingredients and about 15 minutes of your time (plus freezing time)

Once again, silicone moulds are the way to go with this kind of food preparation just for ease of removal!

Strawberry and Cream Cups (yields 6)

What you’re going to need

Strawberry Layer

6 strawberries, pureed

1 teaspoon maple syrup

Cream Layer

1/2 cup coconut cream

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

  1. Place your silicone moulds on a tray that will fit in the freezer. Mix the pureed strawberries and maple syrup together in a bowl. Pour even amounts into each mould then place the tray in the freezer.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the coconut cream, oil and vanilla extract until well combined.
  3. Check the strawberry layer in the freezer. If slightly firm to the touch, remove the tray and pour even amounts of cream into each mould.
  4. Place tray back in the freezer until cream has completely set. (1-2 hours)
  5. When ready to eat, pull out of the freezer for about 10-15 minutes before consuming.

Strawberry and Cream Cups

Potato and Zucchini Waffles

Ever since I was recently gifted a waffle maker, I seemed to have stumbled across so many creative things you can do with it!

The waffle maker has been proving to be incredibly handy in the kitchen. It’s one of those ‘leave and forget’  for a while gizmos. Using the waffle maker too means that less ingredients are involved for holding the mixture together!

Lunch today was these tasty potato and zucchini waffles. These are super duper quick and easy and require very minimal preparation. They are also conveniently dairy free, gluten free and egg free.

Potato and Zucchini Waffles (yields 2)

What you’re going to need

1 medium-large potato, peeled and grated

1/2 zucchini, grated

fresh rosemary, roughly chopped with stem removed

fresh thyme, stems removed

salt and pepper to season

Method

  1. Using a tea towel or your hands, squeeze out as much of the liquid from the potato and zucchini as you can (the drier the crispier they will go)
  2. Once squeezed, place in a bowl with rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Mix through until evenly distributed.
  3. Prepare your waffle maker. (My waffle makes two square waffles at a time and still has functioning non stick but if yours doesn’t, I’d suggest a light spray of oil). Add even amounts of mixture making sure it is packed in really tightly.
  4. Close and lock the waffle maker and cook for approximately 10 minutes or until they are crispy brown on the outside and lift out with ease.
  5. Serve with sauce of your choosing (I went with sweet chilli)

Potato Waffles

 

 

 

 

Saucy Quinoa with Mushroom and Avocado

Bit of a long winded name but when there are so many good components I wanted to mention them all! I wanted something filling and healthy for lunch today. I also wanted something relatively straightforward and with ingredients in my immediate vicinity.

If you ever get the opportunity, you should definitely try your next tomato sauce based dish with oven roasted tomatoes! If you cook them enough and get a nice char on the top, they just give the dish this phenomenal flavour. If you don’t have home grown tomatoes, that’s okay just grab some Roma ones, they roast up real nice.

The avocado for this dish was a great addition. It provides a smooth, creamy texture without the heavy feeling you get with cream. It’s also a great way to get more vegetables on your plate.

This dish is dairy free, gluten free and entirely plant based.

Saucy Quinoa with Mushroom and Avocado (serves 2 or 1 very hungry person)

What you’re going to need

1/2 cup quinoa, cooked according to packet instructions

7 roma tomatoes, halved

2 mushrooms, sliced

1/2 avocado, sliced vertically

1 tablespoon Nuttelex dairy free spread

2 teaspoons pinenuts

small handful fresh basil, roughly chopped

olive oil

salt and pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celcius. Move shelf to the highest in your oven.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the tomatoes, salt and pepper and just enough olive oil to coat all the tomatoes. Place spread out on a baking tray with a wire rack. Bake until roasted to your liking.
  3. Whilst the tomatoes are roasting, cook your quinoa. Once cooked set aside.
  4. Once the tomatoes are done, blend them a little bit so as to maintain a slight chunky texture. Set aside.
  5. In a fry pan, melt the Nuttelex and cook the mushrooms until soft. Town down to the lowest heat and add the tomato sauce. Mix through then add the quinoa and mix through until completely coated.
  6. Serve straight away topped with pine nuts, basil and avocado. Yum!

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Mango Dessert Cups

What’s Summer in Oz without mangoes?! A perfect fruit which purees up a treat for my mango dessert cups! Making desserts in a cup shape is great because they are great portion sizes for each person and the silicone moulds just peel away when the mix inside is frozen! Decided to pair up this delightful mango puree with some Greek Yoghurt because I love the creamy texture it provides for the base. This recipe contains just 5 ingredients!

Mango Dessert Cups (yields 6)

What you’re going to need

1/2 mango, roughly chopped

1/2 cup Greek Yoghurt (I use Jalna because it’s the one that reminds me the most of Greece)

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 tablespoons water

Method

  1. Prepare silicone moulds on a tray that will fit into your freezer.
  2. In a pulse blender, blend mango, water and maple syrup until smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the yoghurt and coconut oil until well combined
  4. Pour an even amount of yoghurt into each mould. Continue until all is used. Place in the freezer for about 10 minutes so that it has hardened a bit but not completely solid
  5. Pour even amounts of mango puree into each mould. Freeze for 1-2 hours or until completely set.

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Peanut Butter Slice

The peanut butter party continues at my house this week with this super simple peanut butter slice. I really enjoyed this because I used crunchy peanut butter as opposed to smooth so you get bits of peanut throughout which I love. Another dessert where a bit of time waiting by the freezer is required but I assure you it is worth it!

These are dairy free, gluten free and refined sugar free!

Peanut Butter Slice

What you’re going to need

1/4 cup  almonds

4 dates, chopped

1/2 cup coconut cream

3 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 tablespoon maple syrup

Method

  1. In a small square tin or ceramic baking dish (my dish was about 10cm x 10cm), line with baking paper overhanging the sides
  2. In a pulse blender, blend the almonds into a coarse meal. Add the dates and pulse again until a crumb comes together.
  3. Press the almond crumb into the base of the dish making sure it is even. Set aside (outside the freezer)
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the coconut cream, peanut butter, coconut oil and maple syrup until well combined.
  5. Pour mixture over the almond base. Pop in the freezer for 1-2 hours. Slice into squares and store in the freezer until ready to eat.

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