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Monthly Archives: April 2012

I’ve been living in New Zealand coming up to 10 years. Although I come back once a year to visit my family, I haven’t lived here for a long time and the place has definitely changed. I know that I’ve also changed in the sense that I’m now in my early 30’s with responsibilities and a few more life experiences. But it’s still a strange feeling to feel like a tourist in my own home town.

D and I took the bus Today and went to Downtown LA. The place has changed so much since I left 10 years ago. It’s still littered with little shops around the fashion district and a wide array of ethic and fast food joints around the streets. But there is also a group of “hipsters” who live in the renovated lofts in Downtown LA walking their dogs especially around Gallery Row.

We had an amazing day walking around Downtown LA, taking random photos on Instagram and of course people watching. Some of the highlights from Today include:

  • St. Vincent’s Court– A little alleyway off Hill Street with a cluster of Greek restaurants and really cute looking buildings.
  • Hive Gallery– I saw the coolest paining of a bear dressed like a gangster.\
  • Raw Spicy Tuna Roll– made with almonds instead of rice. Tastes surprisingly like real sushi.
  • Dogs everywhere. A couple walking 3 bull dogs told us that all the apartments in the area allow dogs and there is a good community of dog lovers.

One thing is for sure. I need to go back and have another look at Downtown LA as one afternoon is not enough to soak up the atmosphere of the area.

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There is something about baking that is very soothing.  Maybe it’s the mixing of the ingredients with exact precision or maybe it’s the aroma of cinnamon and vanilla in the air.  Either way, I find baking to be quite theraputic.

So I made these Cinnamon Blondies with the intention of baking cookies. But once I mixed everything through, the batter was way too runny for cookies. I just put the whole batter into a square cake tin and this is the end result. As usual, this is completely grain-free, gluten-free, and low-carb. I really like this recipe as it doesn’t contain any eggs.  A lot of baking with coconut flour or even almond flour often turns out with a strong egg-y taste which a lot of people don’t like. This just tastes like a lot of cinnamon with a hint of almonds.

Cinnamon Blondies

1/3 cup coconut flour sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbs cinnamon
45 grams honey (about 3 tablespoons)
250 grams almond butter (about 1 cup)
100 ml coconut milk
150 ml water

  1. Preheat oven to 175ºC.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients- coconut flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients- honey, almond butter, coconut milk and water.
  4. Mix the dry into the wet ingredients.
  5. Stir with a wooden spoons until there are no lumps
  6. Grease a square cake tin with butter or coconut oil.
  7. Pour batter into the greased cake tin and spread evenly.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  9. Cool on a wire rack.

Makes 24 slices.

This recipe used to be called Turkey Pot Pie but since then, I started eating chicken again.  I had a crazy aversion to chicken after a a couple of really bad food poisoning incidents.  It look a while but slowly but surely, I started eating chicken again.

This pie is the definition of comfort food and perfect for those cold winter nights.

Chicken Pot Pie with Almond Flour Crust

For the Filling

2 rashers of bacon, thinly sliced
1 onion chopped
1/2 tbs ghee
200 grams turkey thigh fillets, cut into chunks
1 carrot cut into cubes
1 cup button mushrooms sliced thinly
chicken stock (just enough to cover the turkey mixture)
2 tbs arrowroot (or cornflour)

  1. In a large pan with lid, melt the ghee and sautee the bacon and onion over medium heat.
  2. Add in the turkey thigh pieces, carrots, and mushrooms until cooked through.
  3. Add in just enough chicken stock to cover the turkey mixture.
  4. Make slurry with the arrowroot powder and a little bit of cold water.
  5. Add the slurry into the stock and turkey mixture.
  6. Lower heat and cook until the stock thickens.
  7. Remove from heat and distribute evenly to 2 remekins or small bowls.

For the Crust 

1 1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/4 cup water

  1. Preheat oven to 175°C.
  2. Mix all dry ingredients together.
  3. Mix the egg and the water in a separate bowl.
  4. Combine the dry and the wet ingredients together.
  5. Spread the dough evenly on the ramekins filled with the turkey mixture.
  6. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the crust is golden.

Makes 2 generous servings.

I recently discovered swedes at my local green grocer. I believe they are called rutabagas in America, but I don’t recall ever seeing it there. They seem to be more commonly available in New Zealand and I can’t believe it took me this long to discover this vegetable. It looks like a cross between a beetroot and turnip with a slightly yellow creamy color with the slightest hint of a deep beetroot like color on the outside.

Compared to a potato, a swede is much lower in calories and carbohydrates making it my new favorite root vegetable. I’m generally not a huge fan of mashed potatoes but I loved the taste of this recipe.  I used macadamia oil which gives it a nutty taste but I’m sure it’ll be just as good with butter.

Creamy Mashed Swede

450 grams swede
1 tbs macadamia oil
1/2 tsp salt

  1. Peel and chop the swede into small cubes.
  2. Boil the cubed swede in water until tender.
  3. Drain.
  4. In a food processor, add in the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.
  5. Serve warm.

Makes 4 rich servings.