Purple Mash…

Back in the potato-cravings-zone, but this time on a more healthy note than before… Never did I ever liked mashed potatoes of any kind until I tried this recipe. For some reason, in my opinion, mashed potatoes were always done by those that are too lazy to actually fry them or bake them in the oven – the way potatoes are meant to be eaten – I mean, all you have to do is boil them and mash them and you end up with one of the most boring options to cook potatoes. In my opinion, no matter how much milk or butter you added to them they always ended up tasting like paper.

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Since being pregnant means that you literally go a bit insane, this weekend I was craving mashed potatoes. But not any type of mashed potatoes, blue mashed potatoes because I thought they must taste great solely based on their colour and the fact that I decided to add some of my favourite ingredients plus skipping the unhealthy butter. Obviously, blue potatoes are only called ‘blue’ to confuse the shit out of you, because in fact they are purple. Like really purple! And you do need to use gloves when you handle them raw otherwise you’ll end up with purple-stained palms for a few days – trust me, not the greatest look! While blue potatoes are a bit more expensive than plain white potatoes, they do not taste any different or make a big difference from a nutritional stand point, therefore unless you do not want to a)get your hands dirty and b)eat something a bit different in colour, you can easily swap them for plain potatoes for this recipe.

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Moving on to the recipe. Here’s what I used:

  • 1 kg blue potatoes
  • 400 gr greek yoghurt (instead of all the milk and butter – for a very creamy result)
  • 20 gr of fresh dill
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 150 gr shredded mozzarella (or any other shredded cheese you like – I picked mozzarella because it is lighter and has less salt)

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While making this takes about an hour, there are only a few simple steps to follow:

  1. Take pics of the lovely coloured ingredients and then start chopping everything. Peel the potatoes and cut them, chop the dill and mince the garlic.
  2. Boil the potatoes for about 40 minutes, drain them and mash them with a hand blender.
  3. Add the greek yoghurt and blend some more.
  4. The garlic and the dill are next into the blending pot.
  5. In comes the shredded mozzarella which must not be blended but mixed really well with a spoon.
  6. That’s it! All you have to do now is serve the purple mash in cups!

Besides it looking very interesting, it is very tasty thanks to the dill and the garlic while still being very satisfying to cheese lovers like me thanks to the mozzarella. This can be a side to any dish or you could consume it the way I did, on its own as it is really filling. It is a grade A food which means it is a healthy dish and it does not pack a lot of calories (only 211 per serving) while giving you a good amount of protein. All the nutritional info is courtesy of MyNetDiary app and I’ve uploaded both the serving info as well as for the whole thing. I divided the whole quantity to 8 servings. I hope you’ll enjoy my purple mash!

L.

Healthiest berry muffins

These muffins are some of the healthiest sweet things you are going to find on this blog or online, for that matter. They contain absolutely no sugar or any derivates of sugar and no white flour whatsoever. And, as an added bonus they do satisfy your sweet tooth, while also giving you some healthy nutrients.I must admit that I did use some frozen berries as those were handy at the time, but they are just as healthy and tasty as fresh berries and, to be honest, it doesn’t really matter which ones you use.About a week ago, D came home with a bag of frozen mixed berries but did not hint anything, so this week I decided to take things into my own (baking) hands and surprise him with something that is both healthy (so it won’t upset my weekly diet) and tasty (to satisfy his growing sugar cravings). There are times when I think that he is the pregnant one as he seems to have all sorts of cravings lately but I think that is partly due to the fact that he, being the gentleman that he is, is trying to keep up with my weight gain so that we can loose it all together after the baby comes.

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Back to the muffins… as you’ve probably noticed, I prefer to eat savoury rather than sweet things therefore making a tray of sweet muffins is usually not my first option, but this time, I really wanted to try and make the tastiest and healthiest sweet muffins ever. They are way easier to make than it appears and only take about 40 minutes for basic ingredients to turn into perfectly moist and tasty muffins.When you think about muffin perfection, there are a few boxes that must be ticked: moisture and softness. Usually you get this by using large amounts of butter, but I did not use any here, I only used a tablespoon of coconut oil and tried to get that softness and moisture by using plain yoghurt. True, I could’ve used greek yoghurt but that would’ve just added to the fat count and I was really curious as to how these were going to turn out with simple yoghurt – they were great!

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Here’s what you’ll need for 12 muffins:

  1. 240 g wholegrain flour
  2. 2 tsp baking powder
  3. a pinch of salt (not too much)
  4. 1 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
  5. 2 large egg whites (no yolk)
  6. 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  7. 125 g plain yoghurt
  8. 2 tbsp honey (I used a mixture of cinnamon and honey as I can already feel the Christmas spirit and I need to put cinnamon in everything)
  9. 1 cup milk
  10. 240 g red berries (I only had frozen at hand but you can use fresh)

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What you need to do for the next 10 minutes:

  • Preheat the oven at 175 degrees C and mix together the baking soda and the flour in a bowl.
  • In another bowl, put the egg whites and whisk them for a couple of minutes then add the vanilla extract, the coconut oil, the yoghurt and the honey and mix it all together really good until there are no lumps left.
  • Carefully start incorporating the flour mixture and the milk – I used a spoon for each as that is going to make it easier to control the texture.
  • Sprinkle the frozen berries with flour as that way they are going to keep your batter from becoming murky-grey because of all the juices. If you are using fresh berries there is no need to do that.
  • Incorporate the berries into the muffin mixture and fill in the prepared muffin tray.
  • Put them into the oven for about 20 minutes, or until they are golden and look done. Before eating them, let them cool for 10 minutes – trust me they are better when they do not burn your taste buds!

That’s it! Healthy deliciousness on a tray that is easy to make and does not require any ‘exotic’ ingredients. All the nutritional information is from the MyNetDiary app that I totally recommend as it really helps you check everything you eat and has a huge database. I’ve put the serving information as well as the info for the entire quantity of the muffins. Hope you’ll enjoy them as much as we did!

L.

The best dish you’ll have all autumn long!

Yes, I know this is the second recipe in a row, but I just couldn’t let autumn come for good and not share what is in my opinion the best thing you’ll eat all autumn long. Did I just repeat the post title? Well, yes I did and that’s because this recipe is just that good. This has to be my favourite dish for autumn dinners ever! First of all, I have nothing to do with the recipe in itself, as opposed to the other recipes presented here that all have some sort of twist from yours truly that strays away from the original inspiration, this one is presented to you exactly the way my mother taught it to me.

Yes, this is a family recipe. Well, to be honest, I am the second generation in our family that knows it, so I can say that my mother invented it. A bit about mom… She is what I call an ‘intelligent cook’. Why? Because never ever have I seen that women actually follow a recipe or spend more than 2 hours in the kitchen to cook an entire dinner. She just adapts and uses whatever tricks she can to come up with the best easy recipes ever, that can make you think that she spent an entire day in the kitchen. True, she has been known from time to time to screw things up, but she always jumps right back at it and perfects the recipe so that it is easy and very tasty.

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Today’s recipe is one of those easy, hearty and amazing recipes. First of all, this stew is usually made with meat and using the traditional ways, it can take up to half a day to make. My mom intelligently removed the meat (which is great for me) and used some newly acquired tricks to have this done in less that 1 hour – it took us more because we has to take photos of every step. If you are a meat lover you can always add whatever type of meat you like next to it, but I cooked this one yesterday without it. First of all, there’s nothing that says autumn better than mushrooms in white sauce so this is best for those chilly autumn evenings, especially, as you’ll find out at the end, this is not really a heavy meal but it is quit filling.

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What you’ll need:

  • 800 gr of white large mushrooms (you can easily go for 1 kg and not mess things up – like I said, mum is not really one for measuring the ingredients)
  • 3 large white onions
  • 300 gr of full fat sour cream (if you use a lighter version you’ll need a bit more flour)
  • 2 tablespoons of white flour
  • 1 cup of fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable base
  • 1 teaspoon of hot chilly powder
  • 2 tablespoons of pomace olive oil

What you need to do (keep in mind that although there are quite a lot of steps to follow, the stew is really easy to make and basically foul-proof):

  1. Cut the onion as finely as you can, but do not stress over that, slice the mushrooms in big chunky pieces if you want to feel their texture and chop the parsley.
  2. In a bowl mix the salt and the pepper and in another one mix the vegetable base with the chilly powder.
  3. After taking lots of pics of your ingredients (for some reason I find it extremely satisfying to take photos and edit food pics), put the oil in a saucepan and let it heat up before adding the onion.
  4. After about 5 minutes add a teaspoon of the chilly mix and half of the parsley and stir well for another 5 minutes.
  5. Add half of the mushrooms to the mix, a teaspoon of the salt and pepper mix and stir well.
  6. After abut 5 minutes add the remaining mushrooms and another teaspoon of salt and pepper mix, give it a good stir and put a lid on.
  7. When the mushrooms have left a considerable amount of water, pour the remaining chilly mix, give it a good stir and place the lid back on. Keep in mind that the entire recipe will need a moderate-low stove flame.
  8. Now for the tricky part… take the flour bowl and carefully incorporate water while stirring continuously until it reaches the consistency of sour milk (not too watery).
  9. Pour a glass of cold water to stop the boiling in the saucepan and carefully add the flour mix while stirring continuously. The cold water you just added will keep granulations at bay.
  10. Leave the stew to boil for a few minutes and then add the sour cream, the remaining parsley and what is left of the salt and pepper mix and stir well.
  11. Bring it to boil for another couple of minutes and that’s it!

Keep in mind that, if you do not like your food too spicy, you should cut in half the quantity of both the pepper and the chilly powder – my entire family enjoys spicy food, hence the spiciness of this one. I really hope you’ll love this recipe as much as I love it. As you can see from the nutritional info, this stew doesn’t go overboard on any unhealthy stuff and, as usual, the info is for the entire quantity. If you followed the recipe to a letter, you’ll end up with about 5-6 servings, depending on how hungry you are, and after dividing the numbers I’d actually say that this can be considered a light (about 170 kcal), warm dinner. If you like it, than pass it on to your friends and family!

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L.