A healthy and hearty soup that’s full of protein and nutrients from the chickpeas, spinach and tomato. It’s equally delicious in the winter season as it is on a warm summer day. Bringing the earthy aromas and flavours thanks to the spices, I can just imagine having a spoonful of it somewhere in a remote Moroccan village. The simplicity of ingredients means that you’ll most probably have everything to hand so can make this soup at any time. It’s actually more than a soup though. It’s a one-pot meal that will satisfy anyone.

Ingredients

400g canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
400g canned chopped tomatoes
100g fresh spinach, chopped
500ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp chilli flakes
Salt and freshly ground pepper


To serve
100ml Greek yogurt
4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation

Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until soft. Add the garlic, cumin seeds and chilli flakes and cook for 1 more minute, stirring constantly.



Add the chickpeas and the tomatoes, season to taste with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes.



Pour in the vegetable stock, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.



Add the spinach and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the spinach has wilted.



To make the dressing, mix the Greek yogurt with fresh coriander leaves and season to taste with salt and pepper.



Serve the soup warm with a dollop of yogurt dressing.



Bon appétit!
Lena x

Chickpea and spinach soup
Chickpea and spinach soup




On a warm summer day, I could have a bowl of this tabbouleh as a salad, on its own, or accompanied by some green leaves or fresh tomatoes. It’s a great ingredient of a mezze too. And it makes a fantastic side for a dinner, you could serve it with grilled halloumi cheese, or with pita bread, or with falafel balls. Whatever is your interpretation of a Mediterranean feast.
This recipe is not a truly authentic tabbouleh recipe, but a variation inspired by the Mediterranean tastes.

Ingredients

Serves 2

120g white quinoa, rinsed
250ml water
1 courgette, coarsely grated
Small bunch of spring onions, thinly sliced
Handful of fresh parsley leaves, chopped
8 walnuts, chopped



For the dressing
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp mustard
1 garlic clove, crushed
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation

Place the quinoa in a saucepan with the water. Bring to a boil and simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes. After this time, remove from the heat, cover the pan and leave for about 5 minutes. Fluff up with a fork to split the grains.



Transfer the quinoa to a bowl, and gently mix with the courgette, spring onions and parsley.



To make the dressing, mix together all the ingredients. Pour over the quinoa mixture and gently stir to combine.



Sprinkle with chopped walnuts.



Serve at room temperature.



Bon appétit!
Lena x

quinoa and walnut tabbouleh
quinoa and walnut tabbouleh




This time, it’s not an anti-candida diet recipe…

It’s a wonderful recipe and one very close to my heart. From my lovey mum.

Last week, the chatter in the office moved was all around the Great British Bake Off. It didn’t take long until we came up with a sweep stake accompanied by our own baking spree. The rules are easy, if your contestant leaves the show, you’ve got one week to bring your own cake to the office. This week it’s my turn…

A yummy cake that will make everyone’s mouth water? It’s gotta be mum’s recipe! It’s September, the best season for apples. And so I’m baking an apple pie. Yum, my favourite. Even he scent itself is simply so delicious. For me it’s more than a scent of a delicious cake. It’s a scent of my family home. And even though I will try to resist it myself (September is my usual detox month when I return to a stricter anti-candida diet after holiday time), just baking the cake has been a pleasure.

I do hope that we will wow everyone e with this cake. Me and my mum.

Ingredients

Butter for greasing
1tbsp bread crumbs



For the crust and crumble:
520g plain flour
220g sugar
2 eggs
250g butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp sour cream
Pinch of salt
1tbsp bread crumbs



For the apple filling:
1,5 kg baking apples
4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon



To decorate (optional)
3 apples
0.5 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp sugar
Juice from 0.5 lemon
2 tbsp butter

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 180 C

Put all the ingredients for the crust and crumble into a large bowl and quickly mix to form a dough. Divide into 2 parts and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Spread one of the parts on the bottom of a round baking tin (greased with butter and sprinkled with 1tbsp of bread crumbs. Bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes, take out of the oven and sprinkle with the remaining bread crumbs.

Peel the apples and cut into roughly dice, sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Place half of the apples to a small pot with 2tbsp water and cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly until the apples soften and begin to caramelise. Mix with the raw apples.

Place the apples into the tin, on top of the crust.

Take out the remaining dough from the fridge and grate it roughly over the apples.

Optionally, make a few apple roses to decorate (instructions below).

Bake for about 40 minutes in a preheated oven. Take out and sprinkle with a little icing sugar.

To make the apple roses, cut the apples (skin on) into very thin slices. Place into a heatproof bowl and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Pour over lemon juice mixed with melted butter. Place in a preheated oven for 5 minutes to soften the apples. To make the roses, fold the first apple slice to form a tight roll and stick it in the dough. Then place another slice around it and so on, until the roses form.



Bon appétit!
Lena x

mums best apple cake
mums best apple cake




The man and I love weekend dinners in a mezze style, with a few different dishes to try. It transforms a simple dinner into a feast, where we celebrate the long conversations over the dinner, enjoying time spent together.
The more plates there are to be, the simpler they need to be. Much as I like spending time in kitchen, I prefer spending it with the man, over the dining table!
Here’s a dish that works well as a standalone main, or as part of the mezze.
I much prefer the taste of red peppers, but you can use green ones if you like their bitter taste.

Ingredients

Serves 2
2 red peppers, tops removed and retained, deseeded
125g mixed wild rice and basmati rice
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tomato, diced
10 black olives, pitted and chopped
2 tsp pine nuts, toasted
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
3 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation

In a large pot, bring plenty of salted water to a boil and cook the rice for about 15-18 minutes until tender.

Preheat the oven to 200 C / gas mark 6.

Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil on a frying pan, add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Add the herbs and spices, pine nuts and olives and stir. Add the cooked rice and stir again. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide the mixture between the peppers, packing them tightly. Place the peppers in a roasting tin, upright, topped with the pepper lids. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil and cook for about 30 minutes until the peppers begin to soften. Cover the roasting tin with aluminium foil and cook for another 15 minutes.

Serve hot.



Bon appétit!
Lena x

Turkish-style stuffed peppers
Turkish-style stuffed peppers




This summery salad brings together wonderful tastes and flavours of roasted vegetables, mixed with quinoa. Perfect for a summery dinner al fresco and if you make a bigger batch, you can pack it for lunch next day!

Ingredients

Serves 4
4 peppers, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 large courgette, roughly chopped
1 aubergine, roughly chopped
1 fennel bulb, cut into thin wedges
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh chopped thyme
200g quinoa (any colour), rinsed
500ml vegetable stock
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
40g pine nuts, toasted
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 200 C / gas mark 6.

On a large roasting tin, in a single layer place the peppers, courgette, aubergine, and fennel. Drizzle the oil over and sprinkle with thyme leaves. Season with salt and pepper and mix to cover. Bake in a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until tender and lightly charred.

Put the quinoa into a saucepan with the stock and crushed garlic. Bring to the boil and simmer for 12 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and keep aside for 5-7 minutes. Fluff up with the fork to separate the grains.

In a large bowl, mix the vegetables with quinoa. Sprinkle with fresh parsley leaves and pine nuts.

Serve warm.



Bon appétit!
Lena x

Quinoa with roasted vegetables
Quinoa with roasted vegetables




This is a variation of my favourite carrot cake.
I wanted to prepare some bite-size sweet treats for a friend’s visit one evening, so opted for muffins rather than a cake.
Another variation was less planned, but turned out very well. At the very last minute I realised I had no walnuts in the cupboard, so I decided to replace them by hazelnuts.
And here we are, time for some tea to accompany these lovely wholemeal muffins packed with veg and nuts.



This sugar-free version can be enjoyed in the latter stages of anti-candida diet.

Ingredients

Makes 12 muffins

200g wholemeal flour, sieved
150g xylitol
75g hazelnuts, chopped
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
0.5 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
210ml rapeseed oil
250g carrots, grated



For the Greek yogurt buttercream
75g butter, softened
30g xylitol, powdered
150g full fat Greek yogurt
finely grated orange and lemon zest
12 whole hazelnuts

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 180 C/ gas mark 4.



Grease a 12-hole muffin tin and line with muffin cases.



In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients: the flour, spices, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, xylitol and chopped hazelnuts.



In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and rapeseed oil together. Pour into the flour mixture and fold until combined, without overmixing.



Stir in the grated carrot.



Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases.



Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the muffins are well risen and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.



To make the frosting, beat the softened butter and half of the powdered xylitol until creamy. Beat in the Greek yogurt and orange zest. Gradually add the remaining powdered xylitol to achieve desired consistency.



Divide the frosting between muffins, spreading it over the top of each. Top with the hazelnuts and sprinkle with lemon and orange zest.



Bon appétit!
Lena x

Carrot cake muffins (sugar-free)
Carrot cake muffins (sugar-free)




Fresh.
Cool.
Crisp.

Finger-licking.
Mouth-watering.
Moreish.

You.
Have to.
Try.

Ingredients

165g desiccated coconut
2 eggs, whites and yolks separated
1 egg yolk
7 tbsp of xylitol
150ml full fat Greek yogurt
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
Juice of 1 lemon
Butter for greasing
Berries to garnish

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 180 C / gas mark 4. Grease 4 loose-based tartlet tins.

In a bowl mix together the coconut, 2 egg whites and half of the xylitol until combined and sticky. Press the coconut mixture firmly into the base and to the sides of the tartlet tins. Place in the fridge and cool for 30 mins. After this time, place in a preheated oven and bake for 5-8 minutes.

To make the filling, beat together 3 yolks, half of the xylitol, Greek yogurt, lemon zest and lemon juice.

Remove the tartlets from the oven and pour in the filling. Return to the oven for 15-20 minutes until the custard gets firm and golden.

Leave to cool on a wire rack completely before removing the tartlets from the tin.

Decorate with fresh berries.



Bon appétit!
Lena x

Lemon tartlets with berries
Lemon tartlets with berries




I found inspiration for this recipe in a beautifully illustrated book by Celia Brooks ‘Low Carb & Gluten-Free Vegetarian’. I like referring to it for healthy no-fuss recipes, whether it’s for a special occasion or just a simple ‘something’ without any particular reason, just because I fancy it.
This recipe uses canned tomatoes and canned or jarred artichokes, so it’s an all-year-round formula.

Ingredients

Serves 2

2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 jar of artichoke hearts, drained
2 eggs
Fresh parsley leaves
0.5 tsp chilli flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

In a large frying pan heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Add the tomatoes and artichoke hearts. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time. Remove the lid, add the chilli flakes and fresh parsley leaves and simmer for another 10 minutes, allowing the sauce to thicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Make two hollows in the vegetable mixture and break the eggs into them. Sprinkle with a tiny pinch of salt. Cover the pan and let the eggs poach.

Serve warm with cooked millet and salad greens.



Bon appétit!
Lena x

Tomato and artichoke stew
Tomato and artichoke stew




Quick post, with quick coriander flatbreads. Fresh coriander added to the dough transforms these flatbreads, giving them a truly aromatic, Mediterranean touch. And they go so well with the baked aubergine dip. A Mediterranean feast in the making. This is just the beginning…

Ingredients

200g buckwheat flour
100g rice flour
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cumin
3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
200ml water



For the aubergine dip
2 small aubergines
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation

Start by preparing aubergine dip.Preheat the oven to 200 C / gas mark 6.



Prick the aubergines with a fork and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for about 1 hour until the aubergines are wrinkled on the outside and soft inside. Set aside to cool.



Cut the baked aubergine in half, lengthways and using a spoon take out the flesh and roughly chop. Place the aubergine flesh and the other ingredients for the dip in a food processor and mix until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.



Chill in the fridge before serving.



To make the coriander flatbreads, sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the coriander, oil and water and mix together to make elastic dough.



Divide the dough into six parts and shape into small balls. Roll out on a lightly floured surface into round shapes.



Preheat a griddle pan to very hot. Fry the flatbreads for about 1-2 minutes on each side until firm and golden.



Serve warm coriander flatbreads with chilled aubergine dip.



Bon appétit!
Lena x

Coriander flatbreads with aubergine dip
Coriander flatbreads with aubergine dip




I first tried this salad when I was visiting my friend last year, in the early phase of my anti-candida diet. As usual, we started the meeting in the kitchen, as the kettle was on and she was preparing dinner for her little baby girl. As I was telling her about my past troubles with candida and the new diet I embarked on, she seemed a little confused to start with.

‘Oh, it must be so complicated to move onto such a strict elimination diet. I’m not sure if there’s anything I can offer you to eat… All I’ve made is this crunchy salad which my daughter just loves. We will have to stick to our fragrant teas.’

I was impressed by how quickly she assembled the salad. Well, being a mum, you haven’t got unlimited time to prepare the dinner. Seeing what goes into the salad, I could only notice healthy ingredients allowed on the anti-candida diet. And it looked and smelled so nice! Finally, seeing how the little girl devours the salad with a big grin on her face, I decided to try a little. And soon, we were in the kitchen again, as my dear friend prepared some more salad for all of us.

Turns out, it’s a pretty simple diet and it’s a pretty delicious salad.

Ingredients

1 small cauliflower (about 350g)
1 bunch of radishes, sliced
50g sunflower seeds
50g pumpkin seeds
Fresh parsley leaves (or dill or chives, if you prefer), finely chopped



For the sauce:
200ml natural yogurt
1 garlic clove, crushed
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation

Remove the leaves from the cauliflower and remove the core from the centre. Separate the florets and then cut them through the base to make smaller florets. Place in a large bowl.



Place a dry frying pan over small heat. Put the sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds onto the pan and roast it for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.



Add the radish slices, roasted seeds and chopped parsley in a large bowl with the cauliflower.



Prepare the sauce by mixing all the ingredients and pour it over the vegetables mix.



Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before serving.



Bon appétit!
Lena x

Raw cauliflower salad
Raw cauliflower salad