Spontaneous Almond Cake

It was supposed to be a roulade but in our house, where baking is only getting born, there are no proper utensils so as a form I used the meat casserole bowl. 

amatour almond cake   

I therefore decided to go for a traditional cake style. And there you go.

Didn’t even noticed that while I was making my masterpiece Mr Moodley and Miss Moodley were still watching TV. Only then it came to me that Sanj was complaining the baby was still awake. For love of God, how is she supposed to sleep when you’re glued to the screen enjoying Peppa Pig. March to bed in this instance. 

Sugar-Free Miracle at 7am

Recently, Arya has been waking up at 6 am and no charm will put her back to bed so our day starts then and Sanj leaves to work much earlier than usual (which does, by no mean, equates to early arrival) and I’ve got 12 hours of labour (read: spending time with my baby) but thats ok because as, hopefully, you read in my previous posts – “Out-of nowhere” surplus of energy has filled my aura so I ain’t afraid of no babies. And to such an extent that again I baked. Aha, yep! Another sugar-free miracle. Got myself in a tiny “almost Xmas” mood when dishing it out on the plate.  And why a miracle? Try to bake with a sniffling with cold, 75cm growth stuck onto your leg for one part of baking and for the second part – having that growth moved to your right arm which immediately prompts you to swap the whisker and spoons to your, less dexterous left hand. The only way I can describe how it all looked is this video by Fat Boy Slim.

You can laugh but this is the result. Sanj will be the judge.

Sugar-free Brownie


Oh Food, You’re My Saviour

My relationship with food has undergone quite a few stages and I think I can say that food itself both ruined my life as well as saved it. Now, after 36 years of eating (and not eating) food became part of my life philosophy as I believe (well, technically it’s not a belief but a fact) that as we are part of nature, food, also falling into this cathegory, is what we are made of (since we were conceived) and as with everything – it’s all about balance so one should eat in such a way that the nutrients “fall into us as missing puzzles” and that only. Anything more or less will (sooner or later, slowly or quickly) destroy our body and mind (which is of course fuelled by the body functions). But I guess we now live in the times when more than ever we are conscious about the “magic of food” and lots of research has been done and then articles presented to us on what to eat to stay healthy, beautiful and young. I’m guessing therefore I’m  not the only one with the above view. The problem is – how to start, what to choose, do I really want to and am I (will I be) doing it right?

I have one word – a dietician. When you’re ready you do it. A good one. Not the idiot who tells you to starve for days and then drink some “magic potion” without even checking your blood tests or having a simple health interview. Don’t be bloody fooled because it’s a witchcraft of XXI century. Get a dietician, trained and recommended. Start there.

Now a question is – where in life do you have to be to take action? I did it after 34 years of living, 20 years of “fucking my life up” (excuse my French but I can’t find a better phrase to describe it) because of body issues (which I still struggle with) and 7 years (the darkest years of my life) of trying to conceive. We usually do it as the last resort, when no other “brilliant”, proven”methods work. Out of desperation. Shame that most of us don’t make a habit of healthy eating before a major problem occurs.

But that’s how it is in life, with us humans – we need a right moment. No one can push us. It clicks in our brains suddenly – whether it’s because we read an article about our favourite crisps or we lost a family member because of cancer. The motif, although brought upon us by life, comes from within. And then your life changing process begins.

I was brought up in a four generation house where my grandma was the cook in the family and no one else. It was her territory and her way of controlling life and the family. Breakfasts, lunches, dinners and suppers were all prepared on schedules, plates pushed in front of us as soon as we reached the table. The food was always amazing and she knew it. Everyone knew it and was coming for more. My grandma was a bit of Marie from Everybody Loves Raymond. Dumplings, cutlets, pizzas, spaghetti and cakes. Oh my god, the cakes – cheesecakes, poppy seed cakes, birthday cakes. I actually have no idea how, say 5-year old child can fit all that in her belly. Well she could. We could. And we were growing… Wide.

I was considered chubby. Cute chubby. And I remember the giggles coming from my mum and grandma when they were watching me dancing or when I was trying on a skirt after another girl (much slimmer than me of course). Every girl was slimmer than me and I was chubby. I loved dancing (ballet and Latin American dancing were my passion and I secretly practised them in my room on my own) but it was hard to get to any classes (living in Poland in 80s was hard enough as it was, I would say, let alone find a hobby place) and besides I was constantly being instructed by my mother that if I want to dance I need to eat less and exercise more. And then I remember the very time when I became body conscious forever. I was 13; standing in my own room looking in the mirror and then I focused my attention onto my legs and then I decided – they are too fat (I was 160cm tall and 58kg).They have been too fat ever since (even now, when I’m 160cm and 41kg). So I gradually stopped eating. I’m not going to describe the whole of that chapter because probably it would be about 20 pages long, maybe next time. By the time I was 20 I was drinking 2 litres of Pepsi max and 2 slices of bread (maybe a croissant or a chocolate bar). Pretty brutal and idiotic, now that I look back. But try telling that to a teenager who knows best, is more stubborn than an ass, has ambitious goals to become a Latin American dancer with lean limbs and no gram of fat under her skin and is a sort of a loner. That’s how bad it was. Not only for my body, but my mind too. Everyone around me was telling me it was wrong. I knew it too but didn’t see how wrong. I only wanted to be skinny. No, my legs to be skinny. It became a habit, an obsession, part of me. It was who I was. And when I started trying for a baby seven years ago – I knew the struggle was related to my eating disorder, which at that time wasn’t that bad as it had been but eating disorder never ends. Your mind, once it falls into this black hole, is always anorexic. Just like you’re always an alcoholic even when you’re sober for years. Deep down I knew it was the chemicals and the junk and lack of nutrients that “fucked up” my hormones and caused health problems but I wanted medicine to fix it. Fix it quick. Right there and then. Nope! Nothing helped. No IVF, no drugs, no injections, no alternative therapies.

One day one of my colleagues who was a life coach recommended a dietician to me and, surprisingly, I booked her in no time. Surprisingly, because I never listened to anyone’s advice. Never. She changed my life. Well,technically I changed it myself by following her instructions. Approximately one year after my appointment and 6 months of applying both – appropriate food habits and cardio I became pregnant.

It’s funny how both people – my mum and the dietician – told me exactly the same thing (food and exercise) in two different times of my life and as a response to two different behaviours – and how differently they affected me.

I cook now and am experimenting with sugar-free baking. Taking inspiration from paleo diet and trying to find time to make as many of my own product as I can – breads and pickles are now on my list. I want Arya to grow up in a healthy home, where she is willing to make her own food without preservatives and artificial colourants. She cooks with me or down times just watches me cooking. And then does the tasting. That’s her favourite part I recon.

I’m still learning and I do enjoy experimenting. Possibly my family loves it too because last night’s butternut squash sugar free cake simply disappeared and I don’t think it was Bastian who are it.


Whole-wheat Fast Cooking – Part 2

Using the recipe from Health.com as my base I decided to go for:

mushroom spagetti

You can therefore see I added an eggplant and a substituted the suggested mushroom with cup and shitake types. All the cooking was done on coconut oil (I’m nuts for a coconut) and to make the dish more interesting in regards to texture most mushroom are cut into big chunks and a few of cup mushrooms are blitzed in my supadupa Nutribullet (my recent awesome addition to our family).

Here it is – in all it’s glory – Mushroom Spaghetti:

mushroom pasta

spaghetti mushroom 1

Whole-wheat Fast Cooking – Part 1

Yesterday San-Jay started his fasting. Every year in mid September he gives up meat and fish for about a month and he always survives to the end.

I did it only once but I love meat too much and probably have the worst strong will in the world so he’s on his own again.

I usually am a bit sad when he fasts because I feel San-Jay is more miserable than ever and the truth is – it’s annoying. This year however, I think I’m slightly excited because I want to test my vegetarian (creative) cooking.

Since Arya’s arrival I have been enjoying cooking and household chores (who would have thought that 20 years ago when I didn’t even know how to boil eggs and Polish women were giving me this “you will be a useless wife” look; yes, there is a “you-will-be-a-useless-wife” look and it is a combination of derision look and a smirk).

So now is the time for vegetarian experimentation which is something rather new to me. On top of that, when possible and when my strength allows me (as well as Arya) I will be trying to incorporate all the teachings of my dietician (minus meat of course).

Since yesterday I actually forgot that it was the first day of San-Jay’s fasting and I only confirmed with him when at a walk with Arya, he had a veggie lasagna from M&S. Yes, I could have bought ingredients there and then and cook myself since I decided to get on this veggie cooking wagon but one thing about me is that I need two things for starting something new – a psyche-up moment (so prepping my mind, usually one day is enough) and inspiration (in this case – it’s the recipes, which I never follow religiously but just pick as a base).

So I’m starting from today and today is pasta day.

Yes, pasta. Whole-wheat pasta.

I bought two varieties as I’ve got a feeling San-Jay will be served brown macaroni dishes more than he thinks. After coming back home yesterday I already googled the health benefits of whole-wheat vs gluten-free. This diagram I found on Prevention is actually awesome

So if you’re not allergic to gluten, have Caeliac disease, insulin resistance problems including PCOS it looks like Whole-wheat pasta is a great culinary choice.

I also learned that there are also gluten free whole grains (millet, amaranth, teff, buckwheat and quinoa) which I will be testing in the near future too).

And I’m planning to cook based on this recipe in Health.com. Depending on which mushrooms I’m going to get in Waitrose Westfield.

Stay tuned…