Only Amazing Recipes

Amazing gluten-free, low GI, completely guilt-free and simply delicious and healthy food!


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And again Amazing Orange & Almond cake


If you’ve fallen in love with citrus desserts, it’s for ever. Even reading orange or lemon recipe, make my mouth water and my hands becomes itchy – I wanna make it!!!!

I adore my Orange & Almond cake. When you make it, you start believing that Impossible is Nothing and what a pleasure to see how happy this cake makes your friends – mmmmm I cant tell you!:) I am very loyal to this recipe but when I saw an Orange & Almond cake recipe from Masterchef judge, Michel Roux I was immediately tempted to try! The recipe and my feedback happy to share with you now!
Ingredients:
For the cake:
  • 50g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 250g ground almonds
  • 250g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1tbsp grated zest of orange (you can make it the same way as a lemon one here)
  • 4 free-range eggs

For syrup:

If your baking tin is 20 cm or less:

If your tin is more than 20 cm (for example mine is 25 cm), use 100 ml of juice and 80 g of sugar

For decoration: 
Either:

  • 1tbsp marmalade
  • Handful of sliced almonds, toasted

Or:

  • Caramelised orange peel

Preparation: 

  1. Butter a round cake tin, approximately 20cm wide. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and sugar, and add the ground almonds. Whisk the butter (room temperature) with the orange zest until pale, then add the eggs one at a time. Fold in the dry ingredients with a spoon. Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake in the preheated oven for 45 mins if your baking tin is 20 cm or smaller.Bake for 40 min., if your tin is more, than 20 cm. E.g. mine is 25 cm).
  3. Meanwhile make a syrup by boiling the orange juice with the brown sugar. I recommend using real_brown_sugar, like this. When you see that the syrup is beginning to thicken, turn off the fire and leave to cool – it will become thicker while cooling. It should be quite dark and thick, a bit like caramel.
  4. Once the cake is cooked, prick several times with a skewer to the base and pour on the cooled syrup. Leave the cake to cool completely.
  5. For decoration (choose one or more:)
    1) Brush on a little warmed marmalade and sprinkle it with a few toasted, sliced almonds.
    2) Simply use more syrup and it will make the cake’s top cameralised. Decorate with cameralised orange peel.
    3) Served with orange segments marinated in a generous splash of whisky and a little demerara sugar.

This time I didnt cameralise the skin in a traditional way but simply threw a few slices of peel in the syrup while cooking it 🙂

 

Ok, you probably now what my feedback, right? 😉

Lets put it this way, if I had to pay £6 for a slice of this cake in the restaurant, I would think I got a bargain! It deserves to be on the best restaurant menu – no question about that! It is moist, rich and grainy. Butter makes it very rich a obviously it is by no means “low calorie” but it is a real treat. You will remember this taste and…your guests will never forget you! 🙂

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Himalayan Pink Salt


I am Russian. I live in Britain. My husband is Italian. My friends are from all over the world. Hmm… how does this work? Mixture of traditions, cultures, habits etc, etc. Lots of cooking and eating habits as well. I am looking for a balance in all this melting pot and find MY way, the way that is good for ME. It has taken me many years to find it and I am happy about the result at the moment. One of the ingredients of my lifestyle is That Secret Ingredient 🙂

There are loads of “diet improvement” programmes on British TV. I like some of them, when they educate people to cook from scratch instead of stuffing their faces with the supermarkets’ ready-made meals. But most of the time they piss me off, when they just telling people to cut calories. Booooohhhhh….   Its not gonna help anyone, Do You Understand??? People would be just starving themselves until that celebration, beach holidays, meeting or whatever. And then they simply go back to their chips, pizzas, burgers etc because they are just were constantly hungry and were not learning any new habits!

In this blog I am sharing loads of things that can help you get new habits, that will allow you live happier and healthier lives, full of good energy.

One of my recent discoveries is Himalayan salt. Using it is now my new wonderful habit. I learned about it from Claudia, who is vegan and knows loads about healthy ingredients. (By the way, it was her to told me about that wonderful Raw Strawberry Cheesecake.)  So, what is Himalayan salt and why it is better than usual salt or even sea salt?

Himalayan salt is millions of years old and pure, untouched by many of the toxins and pollutants that pervade other forms of ocean salt (have you ever thought that sea salt is actually coming from the sea? And seas are not the cleanest places these days!)

Theres is a lot of information about this salt on the Internet. The following salt’s qualities easily persuaded me to start using it:

  • HS controls the water levels within the body, regulating them for proper functioning (meaning you body wont keep the water you really dont need)
  • Promoting stable pH balance in the cells, including the brain.
  • Encourages excellent blood sugar health
  • Aiding in reducing the common signs of aging
  • Promoting cellular hydroelectric energy creation
  • Promoting the increased absorption capacities of food elements within the intestinal tract
  • Aiding vascular health
  • Reducing muscle cramps
  • Increasing bone strength
  • Naturally promoting healthy sleep patterns
  • Creating a healthy libido
  • In combination with water, it is necessary for blood pressure regulation
  • Prevents cellulite, when compared to table salt
  • Reduces chances of developing rheumatism, arthritis and gout, when compared to common chemically-treated salt
  • Reduces chances of developing kidney and gall bladder stones when compared to common chemically-treated salt

If all these qualities above are not that important to you, please carry on using table salt! 🙂 If you would like to get a new habit and help your  body  get rid of any extra water easy – start using this wonderful pink salt!

Can be bought in health shops.


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Green & Easy


Right. Its been a while since my last post. The excuse it that I was finishing my dissertation, was very busy at work, have done quite a bit of travelling…oh excuses, excuses! 🙂

Still I have a few amazing recipes to share! Today it is going to be an easy-peasy fantastic side dish.

I love greens. “Greens” I mean various green leaves, salads, spinach, etc etc. They do so much good to the human’s body – no sugar, not to much water, lots of fibre. Recently I discovered something called “Spring Greens”. As well as very easy way to cook it.

Ok, lets crack on!

Ingredients:

  • Spring greens
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Lemon

Preparation:

Get your spring greens and big saucepan of water ready.

Thats the type I used

Wash the greens

Put them on the pot of a slightly salted boiling water and cover it.

Boil until ready: very soft and dark green now. Sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Fantastic with white fish!

🙂


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Choco Chestnut Pudding


 

Continuing extra light theme.

Once you are done with your extra light soup 😉 you are ready for a dessert. Well, if you are of course. Probably it would be weird  to have a dessert straight after soup.  Better instead! haha 🙂

Any way! A terrific chocolatiest, lightest and healthiest dessert is in town! Please welcome Choco Chestnut Pudding.

Ingredients:

  • 50 gr dark chocolate (70+% cacao)
  • 100 gr cooked chestnuts (I use this ones) Attanzione: dont buy a chestnut mix. It is salty – for savoury dishes!
  • 1 tb. sp. cocoa powder
  • 5 whole pitted dates (or, if you want a Low GI version, use figs, prunes or blueberries!)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes (can be also called desiccated coconut)
Preparation:
  1. Break the chocolate into pieces and melt slowly in a double boiler and set aside.
  2. Puree the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Add the melted chocolate and pulse until all the ingredients are combined.
  4. Add about 1/2 cups of water and check the consistency. It should be soupy. Don’t worry – it will firm up as it cools! You can prepare a few portions and keep in the fridge for “the case of emergency” 😉

Play with the ingredients proportions – add more choco or berries/fruits if you like. I love it this way!

 




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Tomato Minestrone Soup


Now and then we all have to “go extra light”. The best way to do it is to cut something we realllyyy like 😉 :

  • Salt & Fat

You will be amazed what difference it will make to your body if you exclude these two from your diet (at least khe khe) for a while.

I would like to share with you an extra light and delicious soup recipe, which is perfect for the days when I think: “Mmmmm… I wanna eat something light!”

So, put on your sexy kitchen outfit and start!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth, divided. (Alternatively use 1/2 cube veg stock)
  • 1/4 cup peeled and chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup peeled and diced sweet potatos
  • 1/4 cups chopped celery
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tb. sp. chopped parsely
  • 1 tb. sp. chopped chives
  • 1 cup steamed fresh spinach
  • 1 cup steamed kale
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  • Cayenne pepper

Preparation:

In a sausepan combine 1/4 cup of the stock with the onion, celery and sweet potatoes. Sweat the vegetables for 8 minutes over medium heat, stirring. The stock will reduce – time to add the tomatoes and the rest of the stock, simmering until the vegetable are soft. Add the basil, parsley, chives, spinach and kale (the last two have been previoisly steamed, remember?!), and simmer for another 5 minutes. Season with black pepper and a pinch of cayenne. Serve.

This tasty and light soup is made in minutes! Buon apetito!

Portion size: approx. 250 gr. If you want to make more soup, increase the amount of ingredients accordingly.


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Simples placeres


When I was about to write this post, it took me a while to decide in which category I should put it: “Wine”? “Mains”? “Dessert”? or..may be “Breakfast”?? Perfect for any!!

Here we are talking about the best combination on this planet: jamon + Manchego cheese + red wine = simples! Or simples placeres (/simples platheres/ – as the Spainsh say). If you are depressed, frustrated, pissed off, tired or upset, this will make you appreciate life again within minutes! If you are happy and satisfied, a bite of manchego and jamon, followed by a sip of a wonderful spanish wine will put a smile on your face and will be a confirmation that it was STILL a good thing to be born on This planet!

That night I felt like I needed some love.

I stopped at a cosy little wine&cheese shop and, to my pleasant surprise, found an exceptional selection of wine there! A few days before my best friend Ana Fernandez Marin brought me some jamon from Spain. The

thought of that made my mouth water. I automatically moved to the shelf labelled SPAIN. I like Spanish wine (Tempranillo and Garnacha are the most popular types you will find in the shops). However, sometimes the taste of these wines is too strong for me (too much tannin!). A new label caught my eye – PACHECO, 2009, 14% alcohol (dangerous;-),  produced in Murcia – exactly where Ana is from! And, most important, interesting grapes combination: Shiraz and  Monastrell…I am curious now! Price: £8.99. I grabbed it without hesitation (lets see!).

To make a cheese choice when Manchego is on the menu is a piece of cake. In the basket. Called Alberto and asked to take jamon out of the fridge (you have to keep it in a warm place for some 15 minutes before eating. When warm, the cheese releases all the aromas and  tastes better than just out of the fridge).

Without further ado, my dear ladies and gentlemen, that  was THE feast! The wine turned out to be absolutely fabulous! It was a perfect match to manchego and jamon, very easy to drink (despite 14% alco), smooth… we were totally in 7th heaven!!!

You can buy PACHECO 2009 online here. Check Borough market for manchego and jamon and… enjoy the true and simple pleasures! 😉

To find out about the wine sold in the UK click here.

If you want to start learning more about wine,  find some tips here.

I will repeat once again: Life is too short to drink bad wine! Puurrr 🙂


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Lemon rice


As you might remember, the whole story started with me trying to boil some rice. Things changed since then and I’ve discovered a few successful ways to cook it. Glad to present you the latest, Lemon rice one.

Add the mug of rice, a pinch of salt, a splash of olive oil to a medium pan, and cover with 2 mugs of boiling water (use the same mug you used for the rice). Cut the lemon into quarters and add to the pan. Cover with a lid and cook on a medium heat for 7 minutes, then take off the heat and leave to steam with the lid on for 7 minutes.

Thats what I call easy-peasy! 🙂

Tip: When you rinse your rice, please, drain it properly – you don’t need more than two cups of water to make this rice perfect 😉