A cookbook…

Whatever’s Left is not what it once was. There is no secret to that. There was a turning point. A moment in my life where my daily routine became more about bikes & travelling than it did about cooking.

Not that my passion for food ever left me, just that what I was creating became very tailored in how to keep my stomach satisfied when I was on the road, rather than how many different types of cake I could make in a single week.

As a result of that, i spent a lot of time in the kitchen dreaming up recipes for energy/protein bars. There are a lot of them on the market, granted, but I always felt unsatisfied by the quality of them versus their high retail price.

It was because of this that I created my own. It was a way to spend time in the kitchen, but make something that was versatile enough to make me instantly happy when I needed something sweet or filling, & small enough that I could pack into my bags & take off on a two week trip without finding myself in a situation where I was starving & all that was available was cheap, packaged junk.

So here they are… in my first ever cookbook. You’ll notice the title is not what you might expect. I created a new brandname called “Bikes & Baking” for my road travels so that I wouldn’t bored everyone here at Whatever’s Left with constant updates of road maps & motorcycle pictures.

Here is the book with the recipes that help me make it through the day, & give me the energy & courage I need to get back on the bike & do another 200km..

It is available at the moment for sale on ETSY in both the .epub & .pdf formats.

I hope you enjoy creating the recipes as much as I do. Happy Holidays everyone!

bikes-baking-energy-bars

thin & crispy pizza crust

pizza dough recipe: gluten free, egg free, dairy free, sugar freeI use instagram to procrastinate.

When I just don’t feel like doing something, i sit & troll through peoples pictures until I miraculously find the motivation needed to do the thing I was avoiding doing in the first place.

Today it just so happens I was trying to avoid thinking about food.

Not that I wasn’t hungry or didn’t want to eat. It’s just, well, I had fresh basil from the garden, a bulb of garlic, some delicious tomato sauce & a huge block of parmesan…. & the only things to put all these wonderful ingredients on were this disgusting gluten-free spaghetti, or rice.

No motivation I tell you.

It just seemed like such a waste!

Back to instagram…

I follow this cake designer who goes by the name of The Sugared Saffron. Turns out, she made home-made pizza for her kids & they loved it. What I loved, was the picture.

It looked glorious.

It’s been a while since I had pizza. I was sold on the picture she posted immediately.

That’s how this recipe came about.

The only way to have pizza, was to make my own gluten-free pizza crust. I’m very happy with this recipe. It rolls out thin, the edges get super crispy, the middle has a slight chew, it kind of reminds me of a whole-grain crust since it has flaxseed in it. It was just, delicious!

I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve eaten two pizzas. Well, one & a half… I shared with Mel because I’m a good fiance.

Here it is. My pizza dough.

It’s gluten-free. Dairy free. Egg free. & sugar free. It would be vegan too if it wasn’t for the honey. So close!

I haven’t included a recipe for the toppings, I kind of just threw everything on there in a big heap. My mouth was watering too much to keep track of what was going on. My apologies. Next time.

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the “no room for modesty” turkey sandwich

turkey, gruyer & avocado sandwich on cinnamon raisin bread - gluten free

About seven years ago, I found myself standing in front of the open fridge. It was one of those excruciatingly hot, Arizona days, & a friend & I had just come back from hiking up Camelback Mountain.

So. Sweaty, exhausted, red from the heat & starving, I stood there staring at the contents of my Aunt’s fully stocked ice-box. I swear, she always had the best contents in her fridge.

I’m not sure what came over me in that moment, maybe it was complete clarity, maybe it was wanting to impress the hottie I’d gone hiking with. Who really knows. I just know that without even thinking, I popped four slices of cinnamon raisin bread in the toaster & started grabbing ingredients out of the fridge.

The more I grabbed, the more inspired I became. It was like this frenzy of my taste-buds just took over & compelled me to make the best sandwich I had ever eaten!

The whole grain dijon mustard, spicy arugula leaves, salty gruyere cheese, creamy avocado, sweet tomato, smoked turkey, fresh cracked black pepper & sea salt! Each one getting piled on top of each other before I even had time to think.

One bite in & I knew I’d struck gold.

turkey, gruyer & avocado sandwich on cinnamon raisin bread - gluten free

The way the sweet raisins played off the smoked turkey & danced in my mouth. It was heaven.

I kept making that sandwich for years… but only for a special, select few.

About a year after I moved to Greece, one of my best friends (Zaid) had come to see me. On that occasion (just like this one), I made the bread from scratch. He still tells me about that sandwich.

I think I’ve hyped it up enough…..

…..& don’t be tempted to swap out the bread for something else. It HAS to be raisin bread.

Let me know what you think!

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fish baked in aromatic parcels

We are always excited to be in the kitchen and cook… for us, for other people, or even for our dog. Even making fried eggs makes me happy. However, there are some cooking sessions that stick with me for a long time and put a smile on my face. It can be for a number of reasons, like the first time I was hired to cook alone for 20 people.

This recipe is in my special list because of the way I incrementally acquired the ingredients without having planed it at all.

So the story starts with our standard, twice a week trip in to the town center which is at the port where we stock fresh fruit and vegetables from the farmers market. Depending on the weather there are sometimes, early in the morning, a few small fishing boats docked along the pier which is exactly next to the road we drive on. So when we spot them we always check them out. This time, one of them had three, nicely sized fish that we bought right away. This doesn’t happen very often because the Aegean is not like the big oceans… it’s a lot warmer and shallower and the fish mainly caught are small to medium size from sardines to red snappers. So having bought the fish along with our weekly shop, we head home.

The island we live in has an abundance of two things growing everywhere in the wild: Caper berries and fennel. Both go well with fish, but because caper berry season is over, I chose to use the fennel seeds. I cannot describe how much more fragrant the fresh un-dried seeds are compared to the store bought, and you get them in various stages of maturity… I even use some of the flowers from the fennel plant. So off I went for a walk in the fields with the dog to cut some stems, and 20 minutes later I was back with a handful of seeds. Now, all that was left was some lemons from the lemon tree. Ohh and because i was watching a Jamie Olive episode a few days before, I was a bit influenced by his obsession with chillies and added some chili infused olive oil that Lauren made.

The smell that came from that parcel was amazing, and I recommend this recipe especially to people that don’t like fish very much.

– Mel

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lentil soup & roasted chestnuts

Every job no matter how exciting, has a dull repetitive aspect that can be unavoidable. Some stack dominoes for months on end in order to experience less than a minute of amazingness. Others lay a thousand bricks before they see a building come to life.

We (the recipients) are all very grateful they went through the motions when we see the end result and we thank them.

In cooking, it’s the hours of prep, and the most fundamental is chopping. It’s cool to wield a super sharp blade for a short while & pretend you’re a ninja, but after onion number 53 has been peeled & diced, your mind has switched off and your hands move on auto-pilot. This is where accidents happen & fingertips go missing….

Other tedious activities include peeling cherry tomatoes and  gutting slimy calamari.

Personally, I love chopping carrots really finely because they have that clean crisp cut that you can work with a lot of speed. Keep me away from the garlic cloves however.

Today’s task is cleaning those stubborn chestnuts, and in particular, peeling off the fuzzy second layer that is not pleasant to eat. I haven’t got a good tip to give you here other than a lot of patience goes a long way. It seems that there are some varieties out there where that fuzz just peels right off but, I can’t recognise them easily. Apart from that we have a straightforward lentil soup that will keep you warm,  full and healthy during cold winter days.

– mel

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