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Nutrition, Recipes

Gooey Brownies (Gluten-Free & mostly Paleo)

October 17, 2017

Sweet, decadent and ultra-fudgey, these almond flour brownies are sinfully delicious. And did I mention gluten-free with little refines sugar?

As an adult, I’ve had an obsession with the perfect brownie, which may have stemmed from growing up in an Asian household where I was surrounded by red bean desserts, and other no chocolate items! The definition of a brownie is something that is sinful and requires a cold glass of milk to wash it down with(coconut for me!)

This brownie is a new HACK. Made with Almond flour, I have now made a healthier brownie that I am happy to share with my child and family. If you are looking to make it completely without refined sugar, you can omit the semi-sweet chocolate chips and add cocoa nib but I can’t promise the same result.

Just a reminder, the butter is to be browned and the batter needs to sit in the fridge doing its magic for at least 24hours before going into the oven. Happy Baking!


  • 71g butter, melted
  • 1 Cup of xylitol
  • 1/4 -1/2 cup of Coconut sugar(I recommend ¼ cup because of the chocolate chips but if you want it a little bit sweeter, you can experiment up to ½)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup cocoa powder, Dutch-process
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup and 2 Tablespoons almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon of Greek yogurt
  • 4 squares of melted 90% dark chocolate
  • (optional if giving to children) shot of espresso
  • (optional) 2 Tablespoons of Hemp powder
  • Additional items if desired: ¼ cup of sour cherries and ¼ cup of semi sweet chocolate chip


  1. Melt the butter in a pan until the nutty aroma releases under medium heat.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the melted butter, (optional: hemp powder), xylitol, salt, vanilla, cocoa, Greek yogurt, and eggs.
  3. Add the espresso.
  4. Melt the dark chocolate. Pour into the melted butter mix.
  5. Stir in the almond flour and baking powder.
  6. At this point, you can add other ingredients to pimp out your brownies (i.e. semi sweet chocolate chips & sour cherries, white chocolate & cranberries, walnuts) But if you are a brownie purist, keep it classy.
  7. Put batter in the fridge for 24 hrs, if you are desperate to try them sooner, put in the freezer for 2 hrs.
  8. The next day: Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease an 8″ square pan or to make your life easier, line the pan with wax paper and enough so you can extract the brownies once its cooled.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it to the edges.
  10. Bake the brownies for 33 to 38 minutes, until the top is set. Use a toothpick inserted in the center-if it comes out nearly clean, with perhaps a few wet crumbs, its ready.
  11. Remove the brownies from the oven and cool them for about 15 minutes before cutting. Once the brownies are cool, cover them tightly with plastic. Store at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.


Nutrition, Recipes

Paleo Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars

July 5, 2016

What do you get when you combine a yummy bar with a crumble? Magic. Its rhubarb season and there is no better way to make use to them but in a healthy decadent bar.


  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp Himalayan pink sea salt

RhubarbfillingRhubarb & Strawberry Jam Center:

  • 2 cup frozen or fresh rhubarb, chopped finely
  • 2 cup frozen of fresh strawberries, chopped finely
  • 2 T xylitol
  • 1/4 cup kombucha(can also use water, or juice)
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot powder

Optional spinach layer

For the crumble:

  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • ¾ cups almond flour
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 T honey (can add more if you want it sweeter)
  • 4 Tablespoons coconut oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line the bottom of a 8×8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ingredients for the crust with mixer.
  3. Evenly press the dough onto the bottom of the prepared baking pan.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes. The crust is done when it is lightly brown and firm to the touch.
  5. Mix all the rhubarb & strawberry jam ingredients in a medium sized pot and turn the heat to low.
  6. Stir the ingredients and continue stirring until the mixture has thickened. (should look like jam)
  7. Wait until jam is cooled
  8. Optional Step: add half a bag of raw washed spinach into a blender with half the cooled jam and blend until fine
  9. Pour spinach mixture into the crust.
  10. Gently pour in the rest of jam covering the green jam mixture
  11. Mix the pecans, flours, cinnamon, salt and honey together in a medium mixing bowl. Cut in the coconut oil with your hands until the mixture begins to form crumbs.
  12. Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the filling.
  13. Optional Step: add a few slices strawberries on top for decoration.
  14. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  15. The bars are done when the crumble top is lightly brown.
  16. Allow the bars to cool completely for a few hours.
  17. Cut the bars into 8 squares.
  18. Store the bars in your refrigerator.
Nutrition, Uncategorized

My 6-week Sugar Detox Summary

May 19, 2015

Hey everyone, sorry I have been a bit quiet on cyberspace. I’ve been cooking, lots of cooking. I got Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar Book after hearing great recommendations from friends. So Jan 4th I took the plunge and started my sugar detox. (mind you, it is now May and I am finally publishing this post! ;-))

Week 1.

I started with the activated nuts + granola. It took ages to do and the activated nuts smelled funky in the oven but the outcome was amazing. I loved the granola! I was not able to find malt rice syrup and got barley rice syrup which will be a favorite in the cupboard once I am allowed to incorporate a little sugar back into the diet.

I had a headache on the 3rd day in and woke up with it in the morning. It was not fun. I persisted with drinking water, herbal teas, and no pain-killers.

I also been making bone broth every week, so I continue drinking that whenever possible.

The rest of the week, I was more conscious of my sugar intake and started a food journal to keep track. I ate the same amount of veggies as my normal days (3-8 a day) and fruit BUT I did up my protein intake.


Week 2.

I made meffy muffins. I, of course being a food experimenter and hacker, made an italian sausage recipe. I made the recipe without brown sugar, and it was AMAZING. I made enough to store in the freezer for the following week.

The other recipe I made was the kale sausage stir-fry. I was a bit bleh on the the beets-not really my favorite veg unless its masked in baked goods. I also added a bit of red onion for a bit in my stir-fry.

Here is the link to the recipe:

Sausage( I omitted the brown sugar this time): Click here

Kale sausage stir-fry. I loved it but added red onion into it to give it a bit of a bite.


Week 3.


Oh my!…Leek fennel soup. A favorite. A hint of veggie sweetness and fennel seeds, did i mention you put bacon into it? Yum.

Recipe fail? The sweet potato lentil soup. I didn’t like the combination of spices and sweet potato.

So far so good, the detox is going well, and I find my snacking has stopped. I’ve had very little desire to grab something like chips (crisps) or chocolate.

This week was also the “Quitting” week. It was no fruit, no jam, honey, chocolate, dried fruit. Nada. Surprising I followed the book and stayed on course.


Week 4.

I had a teeny set-back this week as I had to go to a charity afternoon tea. I couldn’t resist the amazing meal and teeny desserts. The headache followed shortly after. Migraines are not fun. I drank load of water to flush it out immediately.

I made the courgette cheesecake. Nice, very cheesy, I would recommend adding the dill to your taste. I did 3 instead of her recommended 4.

I made the fennel leek soup again, love it, gotta have it.

I also found and made the most amazing Italian tomato sauce because this girl has to have Italian food once a week! Here is the recipe. Click here.

I also made the Spinach and Fennel Smoothie. That was a recipe fail for me because it was too much cucumber, it overpowered the smoothie and I even added coconut water but still found it difficult to drink.

Then, I had another slight fall back this week, I have a handful, okay..okay TWO handfuls of dark chocolate chips because well, once a month I have a moment where I just need the hit of chocolate. Ladies, you should know what day I am referring to. And I then, had an orange because I bloody miss my fruit!  The headache that soon followed was not nice. It lasted 8 hrs, I tried drinking water and bone broth but finally had to take a pain killer =( to get rid of it. Lesson of the day? Stay on the detox =no crazy headaches.


Week 5

mishmashsoupI made the Cheesy green misc-mash soup. I thought the whole lemon provided too much acid for the soup so I edited it and put in only 1/5 of the lemon and a bit more cheese. It turned out really nice. I am looking forward to eating it with my lunches this week. I made enough for 5 days and enough leftover to stick in the freezer for lazy weeks when I am too tired to cook.

I also took some more activated nuts I store in the freezer from week one and made some Tamari soy sauce with Salsa en Polvo ( a lemon and chili spice from Picado, this amazing Mexican store in Dublin. Just to make sure I am sorted on snacks, I used the same spices to make chickpea snacks in the oven with lime juice. It came out brilliantly.


I am also planning on making something not in the book as I have been craving carbs since doing this detox. I made garlic cheesy zucchini bread to go with the soup.

Here is the link. Click here.

When I was craving something sweet at night, I made myself some Chai tea with coconut milk or just hot coconut milk from the stove with a pinch of cinnamon and sea salt.

Week 6.

This was the week to add back some sweetness but as it was Valantine’s Day I also made some sweets for my sweetie and used honey to make him some matcha white chocolates with a white chocolate hemp macadamia nut filling. I also made some protein nut balls with a dash of honey. The recipes will be in my cookbook.

I made some raspberry ripple, I found it to be super tasty and hit the spot.

I made loads of soup this week. This time I used my friend recipe of bone broth, kombu, lemongrass, onion, ginger, chili flakes. It was so nice and I topped it with crabmeat. Definitely a keeper.

I also noticed that on this detox I have consumed an insane amount of cheese and cheese products, not a bad thing since I love cheese.

The one recipe fail this week was the breakfast casserole with turnips and sausage. The turnip was a bit much for me in the am. Although I like turnips, this recipe has turned me off of them for a while. The only saving grace was, it was fun picking out the sausages to eat with my toddler.

Week 7.

I made sausage stir-fry dish again, and made less beetroot. I used the garlicky kale I saved in the freezer.

I noticed I have been using my freezer more efficiently with extra stored meals and pre-cooked ingredients.

Week 8.

Oh its been almost 60 days! Things I’ve noticed: less snacking and more conscious eating. I find myself full faster and don’t push myself to breaking point where it hurts to stand up after eating.  I have had a few lapses and noticed after that, I usually crave more of the sweet stuff. I am pretty able to talk myself off that cliff, but sometimes we all need a little something sweet. But I do try to make it a healthier option.

Lastly, about this detox and diets in general. We grab the stuff we shouldn’t eat because subconsciously we don’t want to miss out. People don’t like missing out on an opportunity. We think this might be the end all be all of brownies, biscuit, chocolate, cake, ice-cream, etc. But in reality, there are always opportunities to eat sweets, remember that and it may save you from a snack attack.


Here are some pics from my 8 week cooking journey.
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