Marinated Zucchini Salad

Courgette (Zucchini) is a simple and affordable fruit that is harvested immature. Some information about zucchini was collected in the other post for Zucchini Patties recipe. Young zucchini have a subtle taste and they are perfect for being used raw in salads. If you like cucumbers try to substitute them with young zucchini and you will increase your vitamin intake. Below recipe uses uncooked zucchini but not completely raw!

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Marinated Zucchini Salad

Ingredients:

 5 small zucchini
100 g soft goat cheese
Marinade:
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
2 small gloves of garlic (finely minced)
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
Optional:
150 g cherry tomatoes

Method:

1. Thinly slice zucchini using a vegetable peeler, or a knife if preferred.
2. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large jar and shake. Add zucchini and shake gently to mix the marinade through the zucchini. Leave the jar in the fridge for an hour.
3. Lay out marinated zucchini from the jar on a shallow serving plate and crumble the goat’s cheese coarsely over the salad. Optionally, decorate the salad with halved mini tomatoes.
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Celeriac Croquettes Recipe

Croquettes

My recent holidays in Spain inspired me for croquettes. The tapas variations in Spain are endless, and the croquette is the most common one. Traditionally croquettes are made with potatoes. There are regions in Spain that use paella for croquettes.

My new croquette recipe uses celeriac that is sometimes called “root of celery”. This vegetable is rich with vitamins and minerals, and it is twice less calories than potato.

Another ingredient that is a vital part of the traditional croquette recipe is the bread crumbs to keep the shape and make a crust. I am replacing bread crumbs with fine oatmeal. Also, I am using an ingredient that will help me to make a perfect croquette shape, see below 🙂

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Celeriac Croquettes

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Teff Polenta Recipe

In Tzatziki and Teff Crackers post we discussed the health benefits of teff. This recipe will be loved by those who enjoy corn polenta but wish it had less carbs and more protein. Adding olives and cheese is just my improvisation that adds more flavours, you can also experiment with herbs and seeds. This polenta is best to accompany any  dish with a sauce. Alternatively, polenta slices can be toasted and served with a soup.

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Teff Polenta

Ingredients:

5 cups water
1 cup polenta
1 cup teff flour
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Apricot Paste Recipe

Beautiful apricots are now ripe and sweet across Australia. This simple delicious addition to your cheese board is full of Christmas spirit. This paste is prepared with raw apricots and takes only 10 minutes.

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Apricot Paste

Ingredients:

500g apricots, ripe and sweet
1/8 cup semisweet or sweet white wine
1g agar (European, fine quality)
* Fine mesh sifter drum, silicone spatula, 170ml wide jar.
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Calamari Cauliflower Risotto Recipe

Cauliflower

If along with vitamin and mineral content, phytochemical content is also taken into consideration, food can be ranked, and the food that contains the most nutrients per calorie are ranked the highest. Phytochemicals are plant substances that have beneficial health effects. Cauliflower would be in the top 20 foods in regards to this score. This concept was created by Dr.Fuhrman.

Cauliflower contains natural sulforaphane that has been of increasing interest for nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries due to its anti-cancer effect. The highest amount of sulforaphane is found in cauliflower seedlings. (Food ChemistryVolume 104, Issue 42007Pages 1761-1764, ‘HPLC Screening of anti-cancer sulforaphane from important European Brassica species.’)

The cauliflower is used raw in the below recipe, as it is more beneficial for health when it is fresh. But you can easily increase the heating time in step 5 to make the ‘rice’ softer.

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Calamari Cauliflower Risotto

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Duck Risotto Recipe

Duck Fat

During the last few decades no fat was welcomed in our kitchens. Now we are coming back to a good fat. And chefs say the duck fat is one of the must-have ingredients.

The duck fat is considered to be a good fat. The content of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat is high and the content of saturated fat is very low. According to Google, the duck fat has only 10% of saturated fat. Compare that to the natural butter, which has 51% of saturated fat.

This is very fortunate because duck fat tastes great too. The traditional duck confit is not a French duck confit without a duck fat.

Cooking the whole duck is easy but the eating is simply unattractive. I had been buying only legs or fillets until one chef shared a secret for the consumption of the whole duck. I used his idea in my recipe below. Enjoy, this is a very special risotto that has an unforgettable taste.

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Chocolate Cheese Cake Recipe

Cacao

All chocolate lovers probably felt even happier when cacao was declared a super food. However, a chocolate and raw cacao are very different. The process of producing cacao powder involves cold-pressing raw cocoa beans to remove cacao butter before turning the product into cacao powder.

So, how harmful is a high temperature for the health benefits of cacao? It was found by multiple researchers that the critical temperature for cacao is 130C. Temperatures above 130C reduce the cacao’s antioxidant activity, however temperatures above 170C significantly change the product.

I came across one study that investigated insulin secretion qualities of cacao under various pH (3.5 and 5.2). In that research, fat, alkaloid and polyphenol (which act as antioxidants) were removed from cocoa beans before the material was used for these experiments. The cocoa under 3.5 caused the highest insulin secretion, but both types decreased blood glucose. The research paper concludes ‘It can be suggested that besides other compounds of cocoa, its peptides and amino acids could contribute to its health benefits.’ (Food Chemistry, Volume 134, Issue 2, 15 September 2012, Pages 905-911  )

Cocoa contains about 60% of dietary fibre, most of it is insoluble fibre. This is why raw cacao as a low calorie and high-fibre food with exceptional anti-oxidants qualities is an amazing product.

Of course you could sprinkle cacao over your porridge, add some to your chia puddings, add into your coffee instead of adding a chocolate syrup…

I worked very hard on this chocolate cheese cake, but finally I am very happy with the result and can’t wait to publish my recipe!

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