Chocolate Avocado Cake (Gluten-Free)

I baked this cake for my birthday last month, without actually realizing that the amazing combo of avocado & chocolate would be so good! I have never made an avocado cake before, even though I always wanted to. So, I felt this was the proper time to test this new recipe I had discovered! Everyone who tasted it was absolutely surprised by its full taste and gooey texture! If you try this recipe, let me know how it went in the comments below 😀

avocado-cake-15
Equipment: 20cm spring form, parchment paper
Total Time: 1 hour, Yields 8 pieces

Ingredients
For the batter:
2 ripe avocados
2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup almond milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup unrefined sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda

For the topping:
1/2 cup dark chocolate
2 tbsp coconut milk

Method
Preheat your oven to 180 °C. Take a 20-cm spring form, grease its sides and line with parchment paper.

Puree the avocados with a fork or in a blender. Add the rest of the batter ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well with a wire whisk until the mixture becomes homogenous.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared spring form. Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes or after a knife comes out clean (the usual test). Take the cake out of the oven and let it cool for about one hour.

Warm the dark chocolate and the coconut milk in a small pan and stir till they melt. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cake and sprinkle with some extra almond flour or any type of nuts you wish.

You can keep the cake up to 3-5 days in the fridge.
Enjoy!

avocado-cake-22

Olive Oil Apricot Almond Cake

For a long time now, I have been trying to find a different cake recipe. One that doesn’t have all those vegan ingredients (that are expensive and for some hard to find) and is not raw. I have noticed I have uploaded only raw cake recipes recently, not only because I really really like them, but also because it is a trend online, why would I deny that? And I also didn’t want to bake a typical chocolate cake – not that I would say no to one of those right now – but something a bit more different. This cake is indeed different, unique and fulfilling! Fan or not of the apricots (I couldn’t find fresh ones in NL, so I used dried ones), this cake is perfect for tea and coffee and is so aromatic and tasty that you will fall in love with it. Great alternative would be to skip the apricots and even add another fruit (fresh or dried) of your choice. I mean, why not? I will try that in the future for sure. If you bake this cake, let me know in the comments below!

apricots-olive-oil-cake-19
Equipment: 20cm spring form, parchment paper
Prep Time: 15 min, Cooking Time: 40min, Total Time: 55 min, Yields 8-10 pieces

Ingredients
200ml full fat milk
1 tsp lime zest
200gr brown sugar
1 vanilla bean
4 eggs
100gr almond flour
150gr white flour
1,5 tsp baking powder
100ml virgin olive oil
500gr dried apricots
20gr almond flakes to sprinkle

Method
Preheat your oven to 170°С. Take a 20-cm spring form, grease its sides and line with parchment paper.

In a saucepan with a thick bottom combine milk, sugar and lime zest. Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds with the back of a small knife. Add the seeds to the milk mixture and stir. Place the saucepan on low heat and bring to simmer. Take the saucepan off the heat and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, cut the dried apricots in lengthy pieces. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl sift the flour, almond meal and baking powder. Add the eggs, but one at a time, mixing good after every addition. Add the olive oil, followed with the cooled milk and whisk mixture till it becomes homogeneous.

Pour the batter into the prepared spring form. Spread the apricots on top and sprinkle the cake with some almonds.

Bake your cake for about 40 minutes. Insert a knife in the center of the cake and if it comes out clean, this means it is ready.

Let the cake cool before serving it. Sprinkle with some powdered sugar.
Enjoy!

apricots-olive-oil-cake-11

The ultimate Moussaka

The famous Greek dish has arrived at “When a Greek Cooks”! People in the Netherlands are very familiar with this dish, they even call it “Greek Lasagna” even if it is quite different from that. The sure thing is that they are crazy about it 😀 I have cooked it for birthdays and Sunday family visits and people keep asking me for the recipe. Well, here it is! A traditional Greek recipe, right from my mother’s kitchen, slightly developed by me! If the White Giant Beans recipe requires patience and devotion, this one asks for much more! But this doesn’t mean it is super difficult. You just need to get used to the mess it creates – with all those pans everywhere – and the fact that it is quite time consuming. With practice you do become better! For further questions or advice, please leave a comment below! I am curious over your results 🙂

the-mussaka-33

Equipment: oven dish, medium saucepan, 2 large baking pans, parchment paper, frying pan
Prep time: 20 min, Cooking Time: 2 hours, Total Time: approximately 2,5 hours. Serves up to 8-10 people

Ingredients
2 eggplants cut in slices
4-5 potatoes cut in slices
400gr minced meat (beef)
1 big onion, in cubes
2 medium tomatoes, in cubes
½ cup white wine
3 cloves minced garlic
1 cup tomato juice
salt, pepper, a little bit of cinnamon
olive oil, as much as it takes
feta cheese for serving, optional

mussaka-8

for the béchamel
6 tbsp. butter
6 tbsp. flour
2, 5 cups of room temperature milk
2 eggs
nutmeg
Parmesan or Pecorino cheese for extra taste
black pepper & sea salt

Method

Wash the eggplants and peel their skin, but in stripes, so that there is some skin left for extra taste. Cut them in slices of 1 cm and put them in a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with some olive oil, salt and pepper and cook them in a preheated over till soft. Approximately 30 min on 200° C. At around half the time turn the slices so that they are evenly cooked.

Peel the potatoes and cut them also in 1cm slices. Follow the same procedure with the eggplants. If you can put them to cook the same time in the oven, in different pans, you will save considerable time.

Heat some olive oil over medium heat in a medium frying pan. Sauté the onions and stir well till they become soft for about 4-5 min. Add the minced meat to the pan and try to open its chunks, so it will be evenly cooked. Pour in the white wine and stir well till the alcohol is vaporized. Add the tomatoes, the garlic, your spices (cinnamon, salt and pepper) and the tomato sauce. Let it boil for 10-15 min. Check if it needs more salt or pepper.

Take your oven dish and as soon as the vegetables are evenly cooked, start layering. First put the eggplants and then the potatoes on top. Add the cooked minced meat and let it rest.

Time for the béchamel! Take a medium sauce pan and melt the butter over low heat. Put in the flour and stir. Add the milk (on room temperature) and stir fast and steady till smooth and medium thick. If you let it boil by itself, the béchamel will stick to your pan and the flour will not be properly dissolved. If it is too thick, add some more milk. Add some nutmeg, some cheese of your own choice (optional) and some black pepper. Add some more salt if needed. Be careful though, not to add too much, since the rest of the layers also have a considerable amount of salt.

Take the béchamel out of the heat and let it cool down for a bit. Add one by one the eggs, stirring really good after every addition. When the béchamel is smooth pour it on top of the moussaka. Add some grated parmesan or pecorino (kefalotyri cheese is the best option here). Bake for 40 minutes, till the béchamel has turned to a light brown color.

Let it cool and cut in square pieces. Serve with feta cheese.

Enjoy!

the-mussaka-22

Dark Chocolate Cake (vegan)

Really easy and quick cake for dark chocolate lovers! It contains no sugar, but the famous agave syrup, a natural sweetener derived from the Agave plant which grows in Mexico. It is ideal for diabetics; it keeps the blood sugar levels normal. The combination of coconut oil and almond flour makes this a healthy and unique dessert that melts in the mouth! If you try the recipe, please let me know at the comments below 😀

dark-chocolate-cake-22

Equipment: 20cm spring form, parchment paper
Prep Time: 10 min, Cooking Time: 25-30 min, Total Time: 40 min, Yields 8-10 pieces

Ingredients
170gr dark chocolate
½ cup coconut oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup cocoa powder
¾ cup agave syrup
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1 cup almond flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
A handful of cocoa nibs for garnish

Method
Preheat the oven to 190-200° C
Melt the dark chocolate in a bain marie with the coconut oil.
Remove the mixture from the heat and transfer to a large bowl. Add one by one the remaining ingredients, mixing well after each addition.
Dress with parchment paper a round baking pan of 20 cm.
Pour the mixture into the pan, sprinkle with the cocoa nibs and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Let it cool and serve!
Enjoy!
This recipe was included in the online platform, melisoula.gr in Greek. Check it out here.

dark-chocolate-cake-11

Red Cabbage & Mango Salad with Garlic Shrimp

Fresh and absolutely summerish! You can serve it as a salad or you can even transform it to a main dish with some extra basmati rice on the side. If you try this recipe, please let me know on the comments below. 😀

mango-shrimp-16  mango-shrimp-18  mango-shrimp-23

Prep Time: 10 min, Cooking Time: 5-7 min, Total: 15-17 min. Serves 4 people

Ingredients:
2 tbsp olive oil
2 limes, divided
1 tsp sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
400gr red cabbage, sliced or cubed
1 mango, julienned
1 large red onion, sliced into thin strips
Fresh chopped coriander
400gr fresh shrimp
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp pepperoncino flakes

mango-shrimp-3

mango-shrimp-14

Method:
In a big bowl combine 1 tbsp olive oil, the juice of 1 lime, 3/4 tsp of the salt and pepper. Add the red cabbage, red onion, mango and some fresh coriander.
In another bowl, combine the raw shrimps with the remaining salt, turmeric, pepperoncino flakes and cumin. Stir well.
Heat the rest of the olive oil (1tbsp) in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Cook the shrimp for 2 minutes on each side, until shrimp is cooked through and its color has changed from grey to orange. Add the crushed garlic at the last minute and stir to combine.
Remove the shrimp from the heat, squeeze some lime on top and sprinkle with the rest of the coriander.
Divide the salad and shrimp between 4 plates.
Enjoy!

mango-shrimp-21

 

 

 

Lime and Ginger Water

This refreshing drink was actually created in my kitchen by accident! I have always been reading about how healthy and detoxing is for your body to drink every morning a glass of squeezed lemon, but I never actually enjoyed doing it since I am really sensitive with sour taste (yes, I know). So, it was a torture for me to drink lemon juice in this way. However, from the moment I discovered lime, I realized this is the only citrus fruit that I actually enjoy using! So why not make a drink out of it? I began experimenting and soon I started putting mint leaves in the drink. I don’t remember how I thought of using ginger, but the moment I did was a revelation! I started cutting it in small pieces, but I saw its taste was barely there (I am ignorant with ginger in general) and then I remembered I had to grate it. And then tada (!) Lime and Ginger Water was created! It is so refreshing and perfect for the hot summer days or to offer as a refreshment to your friends. If you try it, please let me know at the comments below 😀

lime ginger water-31

Prep. Time: 5 min, Yields up to 4 medium glasses.
Ingredients (for 1 liter)
Juice from 1 lime
2cm ginger, grated
Some blueberries
Fresh mint (optional)

Method
Fill your bottle with some water and pour in the lime juice.
Peal the skin off the ginger and grate it. Use a tea filter to squeeze the juice out or if you don’t have, take a big spoon, lay the grated ginger on top of it and with the back of another spoon, squeeze the juice in your bottle (traditional way, also discovered by chance).
Add some fresh mint leaves for some extra taste (optional). Add some blueberries (or any other berry) to the glasses and serve with some ice cubes. It is ideal if you consume it immediately, since it tends to lose its freshness after a day has passed.
Enjoy!

Chicken with kale and sun-dried tomato sauce

Pinterest is the ultimate cooking inspiration. Perhaps many of you already know that. I can browse on Pinterest endlessly and discover great ideas, not only for cooking, but also for home decoration, fashion, DIY, yoga poses and photography. Pinterest is my safe place, it relaxes me and it gives me so many beautiful ideas about what I love in life! If you don’t know it yet, I suggest you search for it today, you won’t regret it!

So I discovered this delicious recipe one evening on Pinterest. I changed it slightly, since the marinated version of the kale wasn’t looking attractive to me. So I decided to cook it instead. If you would still prefer it marinated, check the full recipe here. It is simple, super nutritious and full of flavor! If you try it let me know in the comments below 😀

chicken kale-21
Prep. Time: 15 min, Cooking Time: 30-35 min, Total time: 35-40 min, Serves up to 4 people

Ingredients:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
150-200 gr black kale (lacinato kale)
3 tbsp olive oil
2 spring onions sliced
2 cloves garlic
½ cup vegetable stock or water
½ teaspoon salt
½ tbsp apple vinegar
2 cups uncooked quinoa (I used 1 cup black and 1 cup white quinoa)
1 ripe avocado sliced
sesame seeds or crushed red pepper flakes for topping

For the Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce:
1 jar (300 gr) sun-dried tomatoes, drained
3-4 cloves garlic
½ teaspoon salt
juice of 1 lime
½ cup olive oil
½ cup sliced almonds
Some chives

chicken kale-19
Method:
Clean the kale leaves thoroughly. Cut out and keep the soft part of every leaf, throwing out the long, hard stems. Check out this useful video in order to save time and effort. Slice the leaves finely.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and the spring onions and cook until soft, but not colored. Raise heat to high, add the stock and kale and toss to combine. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring until all the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add vinegar. Put aside.

chicken kale-13
Heat some olive oil in the same saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken without cutting it and sauté until golden brown on both sides (about 5-8 minutes each side) & till it is cooked through. Let the chicken cool a few minutes before cutting it.

Cook the quinoa according to the package directions. When the quinoa is cooked and fluffy put it aside. You don’t have to season it, since it will end up with the full flavors of the sauce and the cooked kale.

While the quinoa is cooking, in a food processor add all the ingredients for the sun-dried tomato sauce and pulse them together till smooth. Add the almonds last in order to gain some crunchiness.

Serve your bowls by filling them with the quinoa, kale, chicken, avocado, and sun-dried tomato sauce. Top with some sesame seeds, extra sliced almonds, red pepper flakes and a bit of olive oil.
Enjoy!

chicken kale-17