Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Blog is moving

I want to thank you for reading my food blog and trying my creations.  I have decided to incorporate this blog into my main Caryl Haxworth - blog from now on, so please come on over and check it out and at the same time, find out more about what I do and who I am!

I look forward to seeing you there. :)

Love & blessings,
Caryl ♥

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Roasted Pumpkin Barley Risotto

I love a good risotto, but was looking for something other than rice to cook with.  Finding some pot barley in the cupboard, I figured it was worth a go.  It gave a lovely nutty flavour.  This recipe would work well with just about any vegetable and you could also add some diced chicken if you fancied.

Roasted Pumpkin Barley Risotto


1/2 medium to large butternut pumpkin - cubed
Olive oil
Ground coriander
1 cup pot barley, (or pearl barley if you prefer)
4 garlic cloves - thinly sliced
4 tbsp dry white wine
4 cups vegetable stock, (or chicken stock if preferred) 
8 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp butter
1 small bunch parsley - finely chopped


1.  Preheat oven to 190 degrees C.

2.  Toss the pumpkin with a splash of oil, a good shake of ground coriander and a little salt & pepper.  Spread in 1 layer in a baking tray and roast, stirring occasionally, until tender and well-browned, approx. 20-30 minutes.

3.  While pumpkin is roasting, toast barley in a dry pot over medium heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and golden, approx. 5-10 mins.  Transfer to a bowl.

4.  Cook garlic in another splash of oil, over medium heat, stirring, until pale golden, approx. 1-2 mins.  Add barley, stirring to coat.  Add wine and simmer briskly, stirring, until absorbed, approx. 1 min.

5*.  Add the warm stock, stirring and bring to the boil.  Pop a lid on the pot and turn down to simmer.  Allow to cook for approx. 30-40 mins, stirring occasionally, until barley is just tender and creamy looking.

6.  Stir in the pumpkin, cheese, butter and season to taste.  Stir in parsley.

At stage 5, instead of adding all the stock at once, you could cook this like a standard rice risotto as follows:... 
Add 1/2 cup stock and briskly simmer, stirring, until absorbed.  Continue simmering and adding hot broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until barley is just tender and creamy looking, approx. 30 mins.  (I use the other method because I generally have other things to do rather than standing over the hob for that long!)


Caryl  ♥

Monday, 20 January 2014

Chocolate Torte-like Cake

Having been on a bit of a health kick for a while now, I've been looking into gluten-free recipes to see if it makes me feel even better!  Loving chocolate and knowing how well it works with beetroot, I decided to play and came across this wonderful idea for something that is gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free!
--- Yes, you read that correctly - chocolate and beetroot in the same sentence, and in this case, the same recipe! ---

Chocolate Torte-like Cake


300g pitted dates
200g cooked beetroot
1/2 tsp Shoyu sauce (Soy sauce)
125g raw cacao - grated, or use cocoa powder
4 eggs - beaten
130ml Hemp oil, or you could use olive oil, or vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp baking powder


1.  Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.  Grease and line a deep 20cm round cake tin (preferably one with a loose bottom) with baking parchment.

2.  Place the dates in a small saucepan, cover with water and boil for 15 minutes.  Drain, discarding the liquid.  Puree the dates in a food processor until smooth.

3.  Add the beetroot, soy sauce and cacao to the date mixture and puree together.  Blitz until really smooth.

4.  Add the beaten eggs, oil, vanilla and baking powder and blitz again until thoroughly mixed.

5.  Tip the mixture into the prepared cake tin.  Place in the oven and immediately turn down the temperature to 170 degrees C.  Bake for about 25-30 minutes - it should have a smooth texture.  Allow to cool completely in the tin before cutting.

I found this to taste best when served cold, so store in the fridge until you're ready to eat it!

It's delicious on it's own and especially with plain vanilla ice-cream, but that takes away the non-dairy attribute!


Caryl  ♥

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Chia Almond Biscotti

We like to have biscotti in the house and as I've been on a healthy chia seed kick lately, I thought I'd see how combining the biscotti with chia seeds would work.  For this, instead of simply throwing the chia seeds into my normal ingredients, I replaced one of the eggs with a chia gel egg and they turned out firm and crunchy.  Perfect for dunking and they taste great too!

Chia Almond Biscotti

Ingredients ~ Makes approx. 36

2 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp water
2 cups whole almonds
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup ground almonds
1 egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
zest of 1 orange
almond milk for brushing tops of loaves


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2*.  Make a thick chia gel by mixing the chia seeds with water.  Whisk together and allow the seeds to absorb the water completely.  It will become a thick mixture.  Set aside.

3.  Place almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast in the oven at 350 degrees F. for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.

4.  In a large bowl, mix toasted almonds, sugars, cinnamon, baking powder, flour and ground almonds. 

5.  In a small bowl, whisk eggs. Add the vanilla and orange zest and whisk until well blended. Add to the flour mixture. 

6.  Work the batter together with lightly floured hands. The mixture will be sticky, but persevere. Keep squeezing the batter with your hands, until a dough starts to form. Once the dough is reasonably firm, divide it in half.

7.  On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a log shape that is approximately 10-12 inches long.  Place the logs onto the baking sheet.  Lightly brush a little almond milk over each log.

8.  Bake for approx, 30 minutes, or until the tops of the loaves are shiny and deep golden. Cool on the tray for about 10 minutes. 

9.  Turn oven temperature down to 150 degrees C. 

10*.  Using a large serrated knife, slice logs diagonally into slices, approx. 1/2 an inch thick.  Place slices on their sides onto the baking sheet.  Bake in the oven for approx. 10 mins, then turn oven off and leave the biscotti in there until oven has cooled.  (This is when I had to suddenly put on my chauffeur's hat for one of my children and leave the house for a while.  I returned around 1-1/2 hours later and took the biscuits out of the oven.)

11.  Transfer onto wire racks to cool.  

12.  Store in an air-tight container.  Biscotti should last up to a month, although it's never around long enough in my house to test that theory!

Notes *:
Step 2 - this is an egg replacement.  If you prefer to leave out the chia seeds, skip this step and use 2 eggs instead of 1 in the biscotti recipe. 
Step 10 - At this stage, if I hadn't had to leave the house, I would have baked the biscotti for approx. 30 mins. until dry and crisp, turning halfway through baking.


Caryl  ♥

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Chia Vegetarian Chili

This vegetable chilli with chia seeds is so tasty and you can use just about any veggies that are lying around.

Chia Vegetarian Chili

I found the inspiration for this recipe from the "Chia - the Complete Guide to the Ultimate Superfood" book, then adapted it.


Olive oil
2 leeks - sliced
6 garlic cloves - finely chopped
2 medium carrots - chopped
1 large red pepper - chopped
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp dried oregano
1-1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup (approx) soy beans
1 200g tin sweet corn - drained
1 400g tin red kidney beans - drained and liquid reserved (approx. 1/2 cup)
1 cup vegetable stock
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chia gel
1 lime - juice only
Handful fresh coriander - finely chopped

Chia gel (makes approx. 1-1/4 cups)

1 cup water
1-3/4 tbsp chia seeds

Pour the water into a sealable container.  Slowly pour in the chia seeds while whisking briskly.

Wait a few mins, then whisk again.

Let the mixture stand about 10 mins or so, before whisking a third time.  Seal the container and place in the fridge.  The chia gel can be stored this way for up to two weeks.  Whisk again before using.


Firstly, make up some chia gel.

While the chia gel thickens up, heat a good splash of oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.

Add the leeks, garlic, carrots and red pepper.  Sauté until the leeks start to soften.

Mix in the chili powder, oregano, cumin and cayenne pepper.  Stir for approx. 2 mins.

Stir in the soy beans, corn, kidney beans, reserved bean liquid, vegetable stock and tomatoes.

Bring the chill to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until flavours are blended and the chili and thickened, stirring occasionally.

Turn off the heat and stir in the chia gel, lime juice and coriander.

Enjoy on it's own, with rice, on top of a baked potato - whatever you fancy!

Caryl  ♥