Ancient Breakfast Varvara

I was drawn to this recipe after watching My Greek Odyssey It didn’t sound like something that would work and then I saw Peter Maneas, the presenter demolish a bowl of this with gusto! This dish has its roots in ancient Greece and was a breakfast dish (they certainly knew how to eat well in ancient times), some Greek islands serve it as a dessert also. Named after St. Barbara (Varvara) this dish is traditionally prepared the night before the saints day along with a prayer for the health of children. Although it takes a little bit of prep I have found a quick way to cook it and you WILL thank me for this recipe – a big batch made on the weekend will last you a few days. Please use organic barley, not pearl barley. I now make this every week and my husband calls it ‘miracle food’ as it aids digestion, fills you up (for hours) and is very healthy!

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Orange Tahini Biscuits

tahini biscuits
Deliciouslyorganic.net

I could have posted my own photo of these delicious little biscuits but they disappeared rather quickly! I made these on a Monday night after work, so that shows you how simple they are. I really loved the flavour of these biscuits and they go really well with a cup of tea or coffee. I would probably double up on the ingredients and make a bigger batch as they won’t be around for long 🙂 

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Longevity Apple Pie Bars

dutch-apple-pie-oatmeal-squaresAnother Blue Zone recipe that combines flavour and health. I love apples and oats so this is a winning combination for me. I do enjoy fruit but sometimes you just want a sweet treat or a snack that feels comforting. You don’t have to compromise on flavour in order to eat in a healthful way  – these bars can be eaten for breakfast or for a snack with a cup of tea or coffee. Cheap, simple and Vegan.

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Marvelous Oat Flour Cinnamon Muffins

UpSplash

Any kind of white flour is becoming an issue for me. My stomach just doesn’t appreciate flour too much – a little organic wholemeal is ok, or organic unbleached but any foodstuff that has refined flour in makes my stomach bloat and I feel uncomfortable. Soooooo, finding these little beauties was wonderful. The best bit is oat flour can be hard to find BUT you just whizz porridge oats in a blender and hey presto! Oat flour! These are great for breakfast or as a snack – I will be hiding them however as I live with a bunch of vultures! 🙂

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Lentil and Rice Biryani

ddsdawatdilse

Our neighbours have blessed us a couple of times recently with some wonderful Bengali cooking (see – even in London there are still good neighbours!) The rice they have sent us via their young daughter was out of this world tasty, non-oily and just amazing. As you know by now I am starting to love Indian cooking and this dish is a great way to brighten up mid-week meals. Lentils are a rich source of protein and keep you full for longer.
Although it looks like a lot of ingredients  – the process is simple, so don’t let that put you off 🙂

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Spiced Apple Cake with Pecan Crumble Topping

Rebel Recipes

A hit! I have had to hide this cake as it had taken a pounding! A lovely, autumnal cake with healthy ingredients and a delicious crunchy, crumb topping. Its always good to  share the love and the cake 🙂 It does have a few ingredients but everything goes into a food processor for the cake mixture so its pretty easy. I think if you want to impress vegan friends then this is the recipe. Use organic flour if you can and experiment with your spice levels – this combines my personal favourites of cinammon and mixed spice. Cinammon has a lot of health benefits and should be used generously!

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Caribbean Style Porridge

Sometimes I need a breakfast that will keep me satisfied until lunchtime -and this porridge does the job! My late Jamaican father-in-law was a regular porridge eater and he lived until he was 90! Some Caribbean porridge recipes call for condensed milk but as this is a blog site about longevity,  I am omitting the less healthy version 🙂  Oats are an all round good food – a great source of soluble fiber, a rich source of magnesium and it is great for controlling blood sugar. Best of all  – oats are fairly low cost (DO NOT use instant oats – they are not good!) and when my kids are hungry  – this is a go to for them any time of day.

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Jewish Honey Cake

kosher.com

With winter really settling in and the days becoming gloomy and grey I have felt the need for a bit of a comfort food hit and to be honest a sweet treat to look forward to! I am sooo over working from home – I even miss the people that used to annoy me in the office! This Jewish honey cake was one of the first healthier cakes I tried to make and my kids ate every last bit – so I knew I was onto a winner. Like all of the recipes I post you can swap and change spices and use what you have – unless you are inviting friends over – experiment with flours and spices – doesn’t matter if it looks perfect – its about taste!

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Koulourakia (Greek Cookies)

These are vegan, healthy and easy to make – although I had an epic fail the first time I made them! The recipe for these delicious Greek biscuits came from Kyria Georgia, our wonderful holiday landlady from Aroni in Chania, Crete. She brought these upstairs to us fresh from the oven (she came every other day with one of her fabulous home-cooked dishes :-)) needless to say – they were demolished very quickly! These are my favourite cookies to have with my mid-morning coffee on my balcony and think about my next trip to Greece 🙂 The original recipe featured ammonia bicarbonate (this is really old school Greek and makes the biscuits extra crispy), however, the strength of the one I ordered must have been industrial as it tasted like petrol! I have adapted the recipe a bit – but these came out really well and were fun to make! Continue reading “Koulourakia (Greek Cookies)”

Mushroom Stifado

Most people are used to eating Beef Stifado but this is just as tasty (with the same spices etc) but the meat is replaced with mushrooms. Its best to use a really firm mushroom such as chestnut or portobello so they keep their firmness through the cooking process. I like this served with rice and a little tzatziki on the side! Continue reading “Mushroom Stifado”

No-Bake Granola Bars

As Gino DiCampo the Italian chef says ‘maximum flavour, minimum effort’! These are the sort of recipes I love. I made these this week and needless to say they are all gone :-0 They get better after a few days and are definitely naturally sweet enough to ward off any sugar cravings. These are sweetened with dates and honey and are also filling so an all-round winner! 

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Olive Oil Cookies

These should really be in the Greek Zone but it’s getting quite busy over there! I love these biscuits – they are vegan and very simple to make – you can still enjoy a mid-morning cup of coffee and a biscuit without feeling bad 🙂 You can always swap the sugar for coconut sugar or Stevia if you want to.  I love anything with cinnamon or cloves and these do not disappoint.

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Mujendra – Cypriot Lentils & Rice

Thanks to Jane Heaney Hodson from Cyprus for reminding me about this little gem! I first had this dish in a Lebanese restaurant on the Edgeware Rd, then Limassol, Cyprus and then again in Isreal. The blend of cinnamon and cumin really lift this dish and make it a lovely winter warmer. The dishes origins are from the middle east and Cypriot cuisine is full of middle eastern influence.  The addition of caramelised onions on top of this hearty recipe will take it to another level 🙂

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