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Strawberry Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting (Paleo, Clean Eating, Gluten Free)

IMG_2506 (640x427)There is something classic about a chocolate cake. It is timeless. It never aged. Best of all, it always bring out that little comfort when things are a little tough. 

There are some requirements when it comes to a good chocolate cake though. For me, they have to be

  • Super dark. I like my chocolate a touch bitter. 
  • Moist. Bitter doesn’t mean it has to be dry. 
  • Moorish. I want to have a another bite after the first one. 
  • It has to make me feel like a princess. IMG_2497 (640x427)

You know me and my love for strawberries. They are paired perfectly with chocolate. I love how the strawberries gives it the sweetness this cakes need. Yet not so sweet that it takes the chocolate out. I have been using coconut flour quite bit, and is happy to have this be more “cake like”. What I love though, is the “salted caramel” It is made out of coconut sugar and coconut milk and it is very addictive. I can’t help by finish licking the spoon and pot by the end of it! IMG_2494 (640x427)

I made these mini cakes for my coach and workout buddy’s birthday. A special treat for two very special people. Strawberry Chocolate Cake with Caramel Frosting

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Strawberry Chai Jam with Coconut Chia Pudding + Strawberry Crumble Tarts (Paleo, Gluten Free, Clean Eating)

IMG_2474 (640x427)Are you having strawberry fever yet? I know I am. Around two months ago, a good friend went to a strawberry farm and brought back around 4 kg worth of strawberries for us. Freshly picked. It was epic awesome. We went strawberry picking in Tassie as well and was so impressed with their spray free strawberries. Asher was even more impressed by how he can pick and eat them. IMG_8153-2

I love strawberries for many reasons. I like the texture, its’ sweetness, tang and of course one of the most nutrient dense food around. The are probably the lowest sugar/frutose fruits but are filled with phytonutrients and antioxidants. IMG_2466 (640x427)

With the amount of strawberries, I made this chai jam that was perfect for our coconut chia pudding that I made for hubby’s breakfast. Chia Jam is awesome because they are so quick to whip up, using chia seeds as the thickening agent.IMG_2465 (640x427)

 I usually have a few tbsp of chia pudding pre work out too. For a toddler like Asher, he would have his chia pudding topped up with 1/2 cup of milk (with 1 tsp of chia seeds). There are times I give him cows milk or almond milk for variety. While chia is full of omegas, fibre and are “good for you”, I think there can be too much of a good thing especially for a toddler and choose to dilute chia seeds with more liquid for easier digestion. IMG_2461 (640x427)

[yumprint-recipe id=’88’] IMG_2476 (640x427)With the little amount of strawberry jam left, and some miracle left over tart (see previous post on my savoury tart) pastry in my fridge, a tart is inevitable. Now, this pastry recipe is a little vague because I used left over pastry from my silver beet tart. One thing with the jam though. I forgot that we are essentially double cooking it when the crumble tart enters the oven. I felt that the strawberry flavour was there but there was a missing strawberry freshness to it. Next time, I would add a few slices of fresh strawberries on top of the jam for that freshness. Strawberry Crumble Tart

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Strawberry Banana Loaf (Paleo, Gluten Free, Nut Free) + Meal Prep

IMG_2493 (640x427)Yes, more strawberries. I told you I cannot have enough of this fruit. It was so much fun having a fruit to experiment in the kitchen. This summer will be interesting with a possible abundance of fruits that could appear in our garden. As I type, I can see flowers in our mandarin tree, lemon tree and peach (!?). Hubby has done well. We are thinking of planting strawberries and passionfruit too. I’m only good at using the produce though and all credit goes to hub. Strawberry Banana Loaf

I have been wanting to write about how I do my meal prep for some time. I have learned that spending 1-2 hours of cutting vegetables and marinating meat over the weekend saves me heaps of time through the week. I would even squeeze in another 1 hour or two to bake or do a massive batch cook. It feels so good when a week day appears, and we just need to whip something out of the freezer of fridge and have dinner in front of us within 10 minutes. IMG_2491 (427x640)

We like to have vegetables cooked most nights fresh or have a salads. If it is not  a stir fry, it would be roasting. That means ALOT of prep work for veggies. 

To start of:

Meal plan. I start my meal plan early. Usually by Wednesday, I would have an idea of what to cook for the next week. I would check catalogues for specials, or reply on farmers’ report to tell me what is in season. We usually do a shop on Friday or Saturday. 

Saturday afternoon:

When Asher is asleep, hubby and I would put music on and meal prep. I like a mix current pop and r&b music. Maybe even 90s. Anything that has a beat to it. IMG_7595

In that photo I think I chopped

  • 250 grams grams brussel sprouts 
  • few beetroot
  • 250 grams beans
  • 2x broccoli 
  • 1/2 a cabbage 
  • a few carrots and maybe a bunch of baby carrots washed
  • 250 grams of mushrooms 
  • couple of zucchini (for more recent bakes or salads)
  • 1 Leek
  • silver beet for the tart (I made that tart that day)
  • maybe 1-2 onions 

I have a system in place so do not mess with it. I usually chop what I am going that night first. Then moving on to harder vegetables that require soaking and draining. I like chopping broccoli and beetroot last. Then I put them in boxes, bowls and even oven trays for roasting. Everything is separated out for ease for removal for that day’s meal. 

I probably wouldn’t chop tomatoes in advance or anything that is too soft. Unless I’m making a zucchini salad, I find that they don’t last as long. For chinese cabbage, I like to do it the night before OR i schedule cooking it on a Sunday night. 

With that done, I’m usually relaxed. I like doing it on a Saturday so that Sunday afternoon is spent at parks or playgrounds. Here you go. That is what my fridge looks like after a Saturday of chopping (and I have big fridge!) IMG_8444

As for baking, I like to whip out quick items. This strawberry banana loaf is done in a food processor. Quick and easy. IMG_2487 (640x427)

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Strawberry Crumble Cake (Paleo, Gluten Free, Clean Eating) + Have that choice of eating well

IMG_2312 (640x427)This crumble cake was inspired purely because I had left over Rhubarb and Strawberry Compote left. Yes, we could have just have it for breakfast with our granola, but I thought it would make a wonderful moist filling for mini cakes. Truth is, I love strawberries. I am always finding ways to use them. 

To follow up with my previous post about simple food, I hope that I’m sending a message that healthy is delicious. I want Asher to grow up appreciating food. I hope to share the good news that it is ok to nourish our bodies. It is not hard and it is definitely a choice.  

Sometimes I am asked the question on how does my hubby feel about all these? IMG_2319 (640x427)

We see us as a team. He saw the journey I went through and my battle with obesity. He saw how I battle with PCOS and our struggle with infertility. He watches documentaries. He witnessed his mother battling cancer and autoimmunity issues. He ate the food and he enjoyed it. 

Besides, we eat steaks. We have sweet potato chips. To him, we have not “lost” much if not any. What we had to do though, is to re adjust our food budget. We had to eat out less and cut back on other things to spend more money on vegetables, fruits and meat. On top of that, we love to shop at our local farmers market- which can be a tad pricier but so much fresher. Once hubby tasted the fruits, there was no turning back. 

How about traditional chinese meals? We still have time, just less of the sauces. If we travel overseas, we eat. We recognise that it is a small percentage of our meals overall so as long as it doesn’t make our tummy hurt, we don’t see a problem. IMG_2318 (640x427)

Same goes to eating out. I do think it is much easier to do so here than in Asia countries where there are processed carbohydrates everywhere. Even my own mother brings her lunch to work because she found that there are way too much processed food at foodcourt in the hospital she works in! 

But back to Strawberry Crumble Cakes. That’s the reason why I experiment. I want hubby and Asher to know that we can have healthy treats that fuel the body. They make us feel good- all the time. Not just the 5 minutes that will pass our lips. IMG_2321 (640x427)

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