Category Archives: can be dairy free

eggs and breakfast

Sometimes, simplicity is all that the body and mind are asking for. When it’s cold and I have to get away from a warm and comfy bed, my taste buds are asking for something warm and comfy!

Like everybody else, I don’t have hours ahead of me in the morning.

 I love a simple egg with some melted cheddar cheese, espelette hot red pepper, sprouts and fresh basil.

It’s quick and nourishing. It’s filling and the colours are helping to start the day!

So it’s not always necessary to spen hours in the kitchen in order to eat well and you don’t need a cupboard or a fridge full of fancy stuffs.

Sometimes I skip the cheese and the green but the only thing I can’t do without is the espelette red hot pepper.

It comes from some part of France (pays Basque in the South East near Spain) and for me it’s like a magic powder that brings some depth to a simple meal.

Try it next time you taste like the sauce is missing something. Often, it’s either a few drops of lemon juice or a pinch of red hot pepper. It’s a light red pepper, not too hot but subtle in flavor. But if you like it spicy, don’t hesitate to use another one!

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chestnut financiers


What to do with egg white when you make cannelés or crème brûlée? Here is a great idea that everyone will enjoy!
I love financiers!
It’s soft and delicious especially when you take time to brown the butter as it should be!
It’s easy to make and to take for a pic nic if you can resist eating them all at once!

For this recipe, I chose a mix of almond and chestnut but you can make it 100% almond or replace the chestnut by pistachio.
Because I’m crazy about matcha green tea, I can’t resist adding a spoon of the emerald powder to the mix when it’s all almond.

I use whole sugar as it has a caramel like taste that goes really well with chestnut.

140g of salted butter
3 eggs’ whites
100g whole sugar
60g powdered almonds
20g powdered chestnuts
50g flour

Turn the oven on at 160°C.
You can mix whole chestnuts and almonds in a blender if you can’t find grounded nuts.
Melt the butter in a pan until golden brown (beurre noisette pr chestnut butter!)
Leave to cool a little.
Grill the chestnut powder at 160°C for 10 minutes. Leave to cool and turn the oven up at 220°C.
Mix the flour + sugar + almond and chestnut powders.
Add the whites while whisking.
Add the butter also while whisking.
When the mix is smooth, pour into financier molds (about 8 mm deep rectangles)and cook in the oven for 7-8 minutes. Leave to cook on a cooling rack.

You can replace the flour by the same amount of almond powder. It works really well and suits the gluten sensitive while everyone can enjoy it.
If you want to avoid lactose, you can replace the butter with the coconut oil. You can’t brown the coconut oil so it’s important to use the whole sugar.
I choose rapadura or muscovado or any whole sugar.
Sometimes this sugar is a bit “thick” so you can mix it to get a finer sugar.

One bite, hold by the finger tips, to eat with tea, coffee or hot chocolate. A golden bite like gold!

  • steamed matcha cake


     I do love green tea and I’m always ready to try dessert recipes containing matcha powder (matcha green tea is use in Japanese Tea ceremony).  This tea works beautifully with white chocolate and almond but this recipe makes steamed cake called Mushipan in Japan.

     As I used whole sugar (I feel less guilty eating sweets made with whole sugar!), my cakes have kind of a look from the seventies!

    But it’s delicious!

    You  have to eat them the day you made them as they won’t be as good when they dry out.

    It(s very good with sweet azukis purée but as it takes time to cook, I skipped it this time around.DSC00214b

    For 6

    125g flour

    3 tsp matcha tea powder

    2 tsp baking powder

    1 egg lightly beaten

    100 ml raw milk

    4 tbsp rapadura, muscovado or whole cane sugar

    4 tbsp of olive oil (choose a fruity one)

     Line 6 round tin with papercups of use cupcake silicone mould.

    Preheat your steamer (or the pan on which you’ll add you steam basket). The water has to be really hot when you add the cakes in the basket.


    In a bowl, mix the flour, the matcha tea, the baking  powder and a pinch of salt.

    In another bowl, whisk the egg with the milk, the sugar and the olive oil.

    Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ones but don’t overwork the dough.


    Divide the dough into the 6 papercups and put the tins in the basket of your steamer. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes.

    Check if it’s done with a skewer or a knife. The blade has to come out clean. 

    Take the tin out and leave to cool for about 10 minutes before you eat it.


    You can replace wheat flour with rice flour or almond meal.

    You can replace cow milk with any vegan one but I love coconut and rice.

     It’s not possible to make green tea powder at home but for another tea cake, you can infuse green tea leaves in the milk warmed at 60°C for 10 minutes. Filter the milk before using.


    sheet zucchini pie

    The more time passes, the more the process of making pies please me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved eating blueberry or cherry pies but making them seemed boring.

    Now I’m enjoying it more.

    Even though I’ve started with the salty stuff, I’m growing founder of the sweet homemade pies!

    So here is a savory pie. I find ti delicious, cheap, easy to make and nourishing. And super easy to adapt to all seasons.

    I’m imagining this pie with sheets of butternut instead of zucchini!

    When I say sheets I mean really thin slices of the vegetable cut with a mandolin.

    You can decline this recipe with any vegetable coming your way: fennel, tomatoes, parsnip, turnip, carrot,…

    Usually, I make pies with a gluten free crust. Why? I find it more interesting for my taste buds, it varies my diet and it suits this kind of recipe really well. You get more flavor from one simple dish.

    Ingredients for a 24cm pie:

    100g buckwheat flour

    50g rice flour

    30g quinoa flour

    1/2 tsp sea salt flakes

    85g cold butter cut in cubes or thin slices*

    1 small egg (optional)

    3 tbsp of cold water or 4,5 tbsp if not using the egg 

    1 firm zucchini

    1 fresh goat cheese or 200g of ewe ricotta

    2 tbsp of mustard

    With a pastry blender or with your hand, mix the flours with the butter. When the mix is sandy, add the egg and/or the water.

    Add the water little by little to get the right consistency. You need to form a ball.

    Wrap the dough in plastic film and leave to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

    Turn the oven on at 180°C.

    Roll the dough on parchment paper and transfer in your pie tin.

    You can skip the parchment paper by oiling the tin then cover the bottom with flour.

    Prick the dough with a fork and cut as is in the oven for 15 minutes.

    In the meantime, cut thin slices of zucchini (almost translucent slices). The best way to do it is to use a mandolin: the slices will have the same thickness and you’ll gain time. Watch your fingers though!

    On the precooked dough, spread the mustard with the back of a spoon then crumble the cheese on top. Add the zucchini slices. I add them in spiral starting from the outside and I make several layers until all the slices are on the pie. Add salt and pepper. Be careful with the salt as there are some in the cheese already.

    Cook the pie in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes. The more the pie cooks the dryer it will be. To get a softer texture, cut the slices a bit thicker or cook for a shorter time.

    Don’t hesitate to add basil, mint, rosemary, thyme or any fresh herbs you have in your garden.

    You have the base, you can have fun now.

    * For the vegan and lactose intolerant, replace butter with coconut or olive oil. 

    Replace the cheese with:

    1,5 cup of cashew nuts: soaked 12 hours in fresh water, rinsed and drained 

    1 organic and cleaned lemon: finely grate the zest and juice the fruit

    2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast

    1/2 tsp sea salt flakes

    Mix the cashew nuts. Add the zest and lemon juice, the nutritional yeast and the salt. Mix for one more minute and taste to rectify seasoning. Use as you would the cheese.


    almond babycakes

    Those babycakes can take any shape you like. It’s delicious and stays moist for a couple of days.

    I use whole sugar like muscovado or rapadura. I like the textures and the caramel taste of those sugars and they’re rich in minerals which refined sugars are not.

    I don’t sift the sugar because I like the sugary explosion here and there when I take a bite.

    If you’re gluten intolerant, feel free to use any GF flour like quinoa, rice or corn.

    As for the lactose intolerant, the butter can easily be replace with coconut oil.

    150g whole sugar

    200g almond powder

    50g flour

    125g butter

    5 eggs’ whites

    Turn on the oven at 180°C.

    Mix the sugar, the flour and the grounded almond.

    Melt the butter.

    Beat the whites into firm meringue and incorporate it to the almond mix.

    Add the melted butter.

    Pour into the silicone shapes and press so the dough goes into every “corners”. 

    Cook in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

    Leave to cool a little before removing from mould and leave it to cool on a cooling rack. 

    You could add walnuts, almonds, chocolate chips to the dough.

     If you add walnuts, reduce the sugar content and add a pinch of salt, it would be delicious with cheese!


    wraps – easy & delicious


    When you’re short on time and there’s not much left in the cupboards, you can often find ingredients to make a good wrap. When you’re fed up with bread sandwich, these are great and there’s more garnish then bread! 

    I always try to have my favorite toppings and some wraps for when there’s no more eggs, no more homemade fresh bread, when I don’t want to heat any pots or pans, or if there’s no way I’m going out to brave the cold/wind/rain to find something to eat and, whatever the choice, I better not have anything else to eat but chocolate (there’s plenty of that around here).

    If you’re gluten intolerant, there are some gluten free wraps made with corn flour.

    Here are two possibilities with fish, one more luxurious than the other.

    On the wrap, place two thin slices of ewe’s cheese (like pecorino), add some green leaves (I had spinach on hand).

    Mash some tuna with dry tomatoes purée (easy to make with olive oil and dry tomatoes!). Leave the cheese if you don’t tolerate it.

    Add this spread on top of the leaves.


    It’s ready!

     The tuna mix is delicious inside cherry tomatoes or accompanying chickpea. 

    The other recipe is even more simple:

    On the wrap, mash some fresh avocado, sprinkle a few drops of lemon juice. Add a slice of smoked salmon and sprinkle hot pepper like espelette pepper or shichimi togarashi).

    Roll, it’s ready!

    That’s it! It’s great on fresh homemade bread but add some seeds inside the dough like chia seeds, sunflower seeds, or pavot seeds… so it’s a bit crispy in the soft inside of the bread!  

    So it’s possible to eat something good and not stay in the kitchen for half a day!


    My Mother-In-Law’s Nut Cake


    150g of whole sugar (like sucanat)

    4 eggs (organic or from your chickens)

    100g of flour (wheat, buckwheat, rice or a mix)

    1 tsp of baking powder

    20 grounded walnuts

    20 walnuts (in big chunks)

    125g of raw milk butter or coconut oil

    Turn the oven on at 190°C.

    Whisk the eggs and the sugar until it whitens. Add the butter in chunks.

    Mix the flour, the baking powder, and the grounded nuts.

    Mix the eggs with the flour and add the chunky walnuts.

    Pour in a mould that you previously buttered and floured.

    Cook in the oven for 40 minutes.

    If you make small individual cake, it will cook 25 to 30 minutes. The blade of a knife has to come out clean from the cooked cake.

    It’s a perfect cake to take advantage of the beautiful nuts we get this time of year.

    It has a soft center and a nice crust. Just remembering the taste makes me remember the time we ate it close to the fire and I feel warmer already!

    catfish with ginger & hot pepper, double coloured tomatoes

    Wednesday is fish day!

    Indeed, at the market I can get very fresh fish; i’m always suspicious of pre-packed fish at the supermarket.

    So yesterday I bought catfish. Very firm and tasty!


    While at the market I also found green tomatoes (or green zebra). It changes from its red cousin although they don’t really taste different. It’s sweet and juicy and nice to look at!

    I served Roma tomatoes in another bowl for colours and experiment!


    For the fish: 3-4 servings

    400g catfish filet 

    1 red hot Thaï pepper, minced

    about 1cm of fresh ginger minced or grated 

    really thin slices of butter*

    1 tbsp olive oil

    sea salt flakes 

    Put a few very thin slices of butter in an oven dish. Put the fish on top and distribute a few other thin slices of butter on top.

    Cook in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes at 85 to 90°C. The cooking times depends on the thickness of the filet.

    10 minutes before the end, mix the ginger, the red hot pepper, the olive oil, and the sea salt flakes and spread on the fish. Put back in the oven for the remaining 10 minutes.

    *You can replace butter with olive oil.

    Serve with two tomato salad: one green, one red. Simply season them with sea salt flakes and olive oil.






    chickpea, mint, and feta cheese

    Drain 375g of chickpea and rince until there’s no foam coming from it.

    Heat 4 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan on low heat and cook a minced onion until golden. Add 7 garlic cloves (peeled and minced) with 2 hot peppers (deseeded and minced). Cook for a few seconds until fragrant. Leave to cool.

    Mix the chickpeas with the cold onion mix (and the cooking oil that go with it) and with 375g of crumbled feta (or cut in cubes), minced flat leaves parsley, ciseled fresh mint, the juice of 2 lemons. Add 2 tbsp of olive and toss.

    You can make it without the feta and add olives instead.

    cured cod with beeroot and vodka

     This is a great recipe, easy to make but that you’ll have to prepare well in advance.

    We made it with mackerel at Christmas and ate it as a condiment with rye bread and sour cream. In this recipe, I made it with cod filets wich are thicker then mackerel and so not as salty.

    I’ve found this recipe in Donna Hay’s magazine. Donna Hay is Australian and has a way to make cooking simple.

    The fish is pink because of the beetroot.

    It’s crucial to choose well the ingredients:

    -raw and organic beetroot, firm

    -coarse grey sea salt (rich in minerals)

    -very fresh fish. Make this recipe the day of your purchase.


    2 tbsp of black pepper in grains, lightly crushed

    1 bunch of flat leaf parsley

    600g coarse sea salt

    220g of sugar

    1 beetroot, peeled and grated

    60ml of vodka

    1200g of cod filet with skin on

    250g of cour cream

    1 tsp wasabi powder

    1 tsp grated horseradish

    1 bunch of cleaned watercress

    rye bread (sourdough is better)

    freshly grounded pepper

    olive oil (cold pressed)

    Mix the pepper grains, parsley (chopped), sea salt, sugar, grated beetroot, and vodka.

    Put 2 pieces of plastic film on a cutting board. Spread half the salt mix on the film, place the fish filet on top and cover with the rest of the salt;

    Wrap the fish tightly and put on a plate. On top, put a smaller plate with heavy objects.

    Leave in the fridge for 36 hours, turning the fish upside-down every 12 hours.

    Unwrap the fish and brush the salt. Rince well, dry with some paper towel.

    To serve:

    Cut the fish in thin slices.

    Mix the sour cream with the wasabi and horseradish. Taste and add some more wasabi or horseradish if you like but don’t add salt as the fish is salty enough.

    Serve the fish with the cream, watercress, rye bread slices, freshly ground pepper and a few drops of olive oil.

    It’s delicious in or with a salad of beetroot, kohlrabi and lamb’s lettuce seasoned with grilled sesame oil.