the seductive side of spinach tortillas

gluten-free spinach tortillas. Perfect for wraps!

I’ve been wandering around my kitchen all morning wondering how in the world I can make spinach tortillas look seductive…..

Do you know how hard it is to make green food look good?!  I’m not talking about salad green, or fresh cucumbers… I’m talking about baked goods that look green. It’s almost like asking the Grinch to pose for glamour shots.

The pictures fail though.

I’m telling you, I kept frying up tortillas & before I could even plate them, I was stuffing them in my mouth. I made my way through FOUR before I managed to actually set one aside for the picture.

So much flavour!

Immediately after I was done photographing them… I whipped myself a scrambled egg & quinoa filling with fresh parsley & sweet chili sauce. I know that probably doesn’t sound appealing, but it was frickin’ amazing.

I assure you… the colour of these tortillas are all natural & the flavour is overwhelmingly delicious. I can’t wait for Mel to come home so I can get him to make me chicken burritos again!

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new & improved carrot cake

Moist carrot cake with coconut & walnuts, & a delicious cream cheese frosting.... all gluten-free

I used to have a carrot cake recipe that I would use to woo people with. It was delicious & perfect, and completely stolen from Ottolenghi…. Yes, I confessed to this a few years ago in this post.

If it had been up to me, I would have gone on for another decade using the same tried & tested recipe. Not everything in this life is within my control, however.

You know how they say that good things come from bad situations? I’d like to think my new recipe is one of those good things.

I had a failed attempt where I’d simply tried to convert the old Ottolenghi recipe to gluten-free… my cake literally fell apart. Pieces. There were pieces of cake just sliding off & landing in a pile of crumbs. Disaster doesn’t even begin to cut it. Once I scrapped the conversion of his recipe & decided to start afresh with my own, things started to come together nicely.

Moist carrot cake with coconut & walnuts, & a delicious cream cheese frosting.... all gluten-freePleased doesn’t even begin to explain just how thrilled I am with the results. So that’s the moral of this little story… a change in circumstance led me to write my very own carrot cake recipe & branch away from the theft of someone else’s. I guess I became a better person for it.

Make it. Love it. Thank me later.

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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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almond hummus & pita chips

Finally. Snack FOOD!

I told you I had a craving for pita chips. These things are so deliciously crunchy & perfect for vegging out, watching a little stand up comedy.

Paired with almond & roasted red pepper hummus…. well it’s just divine.

Yea, Mel & I had a little veg. A well deserved putting-up of our exhausted feet. Moving is hard work (especially when one of you is a hoarder, not naming names).

I honestly think I deserve a medal for pulling this off. Trying to cook in our kitchen whilst it looks like an obstacle corse was interesting to say the least. I can’t wait to restore order to it. Looking at all my dishes strewn across the counters is unnerving.

Still, I promised I would do something really good with those gluten-free pita breads we made, & I’m pretty darn good at keeping my promises. Especially when they coincide with my cravings.

Right, back to packing… see you all on the other side of the move! xxx

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traditional paximadia / rusks

I’m not sure what you write about a rusk. On its own it’s not the most interesting of food items. It’s hard, dry, it will cut the roof of your mouth if not softened with oil or water first. Not really all that great, right?

Wrong.

Granted by itself it’s nothing to fuss over, but we haven’t even begun to discuss the possibilities when it’s not!

I like to drench mine in olive oil & drizzle honey over it in the mornings. Or a little garlic oil, salt, pepper & tomato as a snack. Mel soaks his in water to soften it & then covers it with maple syrup & almond butter. It also goes well crumbled up in salads or with a little cheese. We have one dish called ‘dakos’ where it’s covered in finely shopped tomatoes, herbs, salt pepper & then loaded with katiki cheese. Divine.

The reason we’re sharing this basic recipe is because we have something in mind that we really want to share. I can’t remember the last time I saw a gluten-free rusk around though so we needed to create a recipe for that before Mel could create an even better recipe for you.

Don’t underestimate the rusk though. It may be simple & uninteresting at first glance, but it’s a solid staple in our household & indeed many other households in Greece.

Also, don’t confuse it for a biscotti. That’s not what it is. The two are nothing alike.

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