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Carrot Coconut Curry Soup using 7 simple ingredients

This soup is a great warm up during these cold chilly days.  It is one of those budget meals that you can make very quickly and the taste improves the day after making it.

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For 4 large portions or 6 smaller ones, you will need:

750g carrots, washed, trimmed and roughly chopped
1 small piece of ginger [skin on if fresh and larger piece if you like a more tangy ginger flavour]
1 garlic clove
1 small onion
1 stock pot [I use Oxo garden vegetables]
1 tablespoon Medium Curry Powder
250ml coconut milk

Carrot coconut curry Soup
My star ingredient is ginger. I prefer to use it fresh but it is always good to have dried ginger powder stocked in your kitchen cupboard.  

To make ginger tea: Hot ginger tea is a firm favourite in my family during the winter and it can also be a good remedy for common colds. Simply cut up a piece of fresh ginger
cut up a hunk of fresh ginger (no need to peel) and place in a teapot or mug.  Pour boiling water over it and allow to infuse for a few minutes, covered, so that it remains hot.
Drink as it is or simply add a slice of lemon and some honey or agave. It also works wonders to treat a tickly cough.

In a large pot, place the carrots, garlic clove, onion, ginger, stock pot and curry powder.

Add enough water to immerse the ingredients.

Bring to a boil on moderate heat.  Do not allow the water to dry out and keep topping up with water, just enough to keep the ingredients immersed.  Simmer the soup for 30 minutes.

Remove from heat and place in a food processor to puree to a smooth consistency.

Add the coconut milk and puree again for a few seconds.

Reheat gently but do not bring to a boil.  Serve immediately.

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Oxo Stock Pots and Stock Cubes are imported, distributed and marketed by Geor
ge Borg Ltd and are available in all leading supermarkets and stores.
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For a chance to win this hamper by Oxo and Sharwoods SHARE this recipe on your social media page [facebook, instagram, twitter, pinterest or linkedin] and leave a comment below. The winner will be notified on 25 February 2019.

 

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Hand made by televiewers Doris Busutill and her husband Noel

 

Photos by Rachel Muscat
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Life and Style Weekend

You can watch this week’s show here.

We wondered last week what the herb ‘chervil’ was in Maltese and the best suggestion so far was ‘tursin franciz’ Any improvements on that let us know 🙂 🤩

Thank you Rachel at Rachel Muscat Photography for your amazing photos during our live show.

Flowers and arrangements by Brian Camilleri at Warda Flower Shop Qormi
Lea thanks Maria Bonavia at Ange Paola, Flormar, Analise the Make Up Artist, Sue Caruana at Beauty Inc

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Valentine Hamper by Novi and Pedrini

For a chance to win the Valentine hamper by Novi in collaboration with Pedrini
, SHARE this recipe on your social media page [facebook, instagram, twitter, 
pinterest or linkedin] and leave a comment below. The winner will be notified on 1
2 February 2019.
Novi hamper 2-1
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Making a cup of thick old-fashioned hot chocolate [the healthy way]

In the middle of a cold winter, there is nothing more welcome that a cup of hot chocolate.  The old fashioned thick chocolate you usually find served in smaller cups around the Continent is ideal to give a sense of warmth and satisfy the longing for comfort food and sweet cravings that the cold weather usually brings with it.

 

‘And there is a way to achieve that luscious thickness and keep a fairly healthy luxurious hot chocolate at the same time.   I would say this recipe makes a rich and creamy hot chocolate without the addition of cream and it is delicious’

hot chocolate 9e

70% chocolate has a higher content of cocoa and this makes it rich and not too sweet, although neither is it too strong or intense.  Standard chocolate bars of dark chocolate contain around 45% cocoa.  Cocoa particles absorb more liquid so with a higher content of cacao in a chocolate bar, you usually need to increase the water slightly in a recipe that uses standard dark chocolate

 

For a healthier thick dark hot chocolate, you will need:

100g dark chocolate 70% [Novi Nero Nero]
250ml milk [any type of milk of your choice and this recipe is very delicious using a nut milk]
1 tablespoon cornflour mixed with two tablespoons milk from the allocated milk in the recipe
1 tablespoon agave
[optional vanilla, cinnamon]

You can vary flavours by adding what takes your fancy such as :

  • a touch of instant coffee for a mocha flavour
  • vanilla
  • a shot of your favourite liquor
  • cinnamon or nutmeg or cloves

 

For a chance to win the Valentine hamper by Novi in collaboration with Pedrini, SHARE this recipe on your social media page [facebook, instagram, twitter, pinterest or linkedin] and leave a comment below. The winner will be notified on 12 February 2019.

Novi Chocolate is imported, distributed and marketed by M&Z (Marketing) Ltd and is available in all leading supermarkets and stores.

From a series of door knockers by Mario Mifsud

From a series of door knockers by Mario Mifsud

For more recipes using Novi chocolate:

Carrot, Oat and Chocolate Bars

Sicilian Cuccidati Cookies

Orange Almond Chocolate Gluten Free Cakes

Maltese Easter Vegan Figolli

 

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Baked baby zucchini stuffed with ricotta [6 ingredients, gluten free]

I use small Zucchini [Qarabali/marrows], round mini ones that I harvested this week. Here is the shrub and we ate these vegetables literally within a couple of hours from when they were harvested.  You cannot get much fresher than that !

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Just to give you an idea of the size here these are the mini zucchini I am using for this recipe compared with a regular sized one

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I scooped out the flesh and used it to add to my vegetable soup.   Then I filled the zucchini with a ricotta mix and roasted them in the oven.

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This is a gluten free, nut free recipe and you will need :

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12 mini zucchini, scooped out
200g ricotta
1 egg
A handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped, remove stems
A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Finely grated zest of 1/4 lemon
[Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper, optional]

nutmeg

My star ingredient for flavour is nutmeg.

For the best flavour,  use whole and grate just the amount you need.  It should always be used in moderation, a little amount goes a long way in flaour.  Whole nutmeg has a long shelf life and will keep for a few years if stored properly.   Ground nutmeg quickly loses its flavour.

Immerse the scooped out zucchini in boiling water and leave for 5 minutes.

Mash the ricotta with a fork. Add the egg, parsley, nutmeg, lemon zest, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Mix until it is consistent.
Place the mixture into a piping bag, no nozzle needed. Pipe the mixture into the cavity.

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Place in an ovenproof dish covered with baking paper.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Roast in a hot oven preheated 180 C for 25 minutes.
Serve as a starter or with drinks instead of canapes.
They can also be eaten as a main course with a salad or as a side with a main meal.

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Nutmeg and a range of spices and dried herbs are imported, packed and distributed by Lamb Brand

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Local produce by Big Fresh

Photos: Rachel Muscat

Fresh maltese seasonal vegetables by Big Fresh photo Rachel Muscat

Can’t praise local fruit and vegetables more. I enjoy every part of the process from having the privilege to harvest them sometimes to preparing them and sharing them at my table. The freshness and flavor is unique. It is so important to support our local farmers so that these beauties full of goodness can survive the harsh reality of competition from imported produce.

For an easy zucchini ginger and coconut soup click here

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Healthy breakfast for two – celebrating Valentine’s Day

I made a breakfast bowl for 2 on tv this week because it is the meal we tend to skip and breakfast gives such a good boost in terms of energy levels that lasts all day when the right ingredients are chosen.

 

 

A combination of oats, Greek yoghurt and delicious fruit is always a winner. Then of course comes the linseed and and some pecans. And for that special valentine’s day just a drizzle of honey to finish off.

You will need:

100g oats
2 tablespoons linseed
150ml hot water
1 tablespoon honey
6 large strawberries
2 tablespoons blueberries
2 pots of Strawberry Greek Yoghurt
some pecans
fresh mint for garnish [optional]

chia seeds linseedsMy star ingredient is linseed [or flaxseed].  Their benefits are endless and I will be using them very often in recipes over the next couple of months.  But as a start, they are high in Omega-3 fats which
*are needed for the healthy function of cell membranes throughout the body
*improve the function of the cell receptors and hormones that regulate blood clotting.

The night before place the oats and linseed into a bowl and immerse with hot water.

Cover and place in the fridge overnight.

Linseed can be used as an egg replacer in baking
1 egg= 1 tablespoon linseed + 3 tablespoons water

The next morning assemble the yoghurt and oat breakfast.  Use a large flat plate and pour the yoghurt onto it.  Use a large spoon to spread the yoghurt neatly around the plate and provide a flattish surface.

 

 

Empty the contents of the oat and linseed bowl into a piping bag and pipe small circular portions of the mixture neatly on the surface of the yoghurt.

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Cut up the strawberries into slices and top each portion of oat mixture with a slice of strawberries and some blueberries and a pecan nut.

 

 

Pour some honey and garnish with some mint leaves if you wish.  Prepare two long teaspoons and SHARE 💖

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More recipes using Mornflake Oats:

Crustless Vegetable and Ricotta Pie

Egg Free Oat Cookies

For a chance to win a gift of a variety of products by Mornflake,  SHARE this recipe on your social media page [facebook, instagram, twitter, pinterest or linkedin] and leave a comment below. The winner will be notified on 31 January 2019.

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Mornflake Oats are imported, distributed and marketed by Rimus Group and available in leading supermarkets and stores.  They are available in gluten free packs.

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Photos: Rachel Muscat

Fresh fruit and vegetables by Big Fresh.

Lea thanks Analise the Make up artist, Flormar and  Chef Works Malta
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Piano Recital on Tuesday 15 January

(27) Hogg

Ramona Zammit Formosa

A solo recital by Ramona Zammit Formosa will take place on Tuesday 15 January at 12 noon at St Augustines Church, Old bakery Street, Valletta featuring works by Cimarosa, Mozart, Chopin, Debussy and Granados.

Proceeds from the event will go to the restoration project of the Augustinian Monastery. Tickets, costing 8 euro, can be obtained from the venue itself half an hour before the concert begins. For more details phone 7968 0952 or email: baroccomalta@gmail.com.

 

You can watch Ramona’s interview by clicking here

Photos: Gino Galea

st augustine church valletta

St Augustine Church, Old Bakery Street, Valletta

Lea thanks Ange by Maria Bonavia, Analise the Make up Artist, Flormar

 

 

 

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5 ingredient Baked Sweet Potato and Tuna Patties [diabetic friendly, gluten free, lactose free]

I wanted to start the year on a healthy note.  I also decided to publish recipes that only use common and economical ingredients, and that also require as few ingredients as possible.

pATTIES

New year is for new beginnings and if making more healthy choices is one of your resolutions this month, then these patties are the answer for a quick, healthy meal or even to take to work with you.
My star ingredient in this recipe is sweet potato which is a rich source of:
* fibre
* vitamins A B C
* minerals [iron, calcium, phosphorus]
* antioxidants [betacarotene]

You will need:

2 eggs
600g  sweet potato
1 clove garlic
200g tinned tuna fish
1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon sunflower oil [for brushing dish]

sweet potato tuna patties

The quickest way to add garlic in easy recipes is to microwave the cloves with skin on high speed for 4 minutes.  This softens the garlic and it is cooked in its own steam..  Allow the garlic to cool down the peel off the skins.  Use a fork to mash up.  The garlic will be soft and mashable and can be added to almost any recipe that requires garlic.

Cook the sweet potato and garlic clove in the microwave.  Allow to cool and peel them.

Place them in a large bowl.

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Use a fork to mash them up.

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Add the tuna, smoked paprika and eggs.

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Mix.  Then prepare a large baking tray covered with baking paper.

Use a brush dipped very lightly in sunflower oil to cover the baking paper.

Use a spoon and your hands to form fritters and place them on the tray covered with baking paper.

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Use a fork to flatten them and bake them in a preheated oven at 160C.

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Bake for 30 minutes, flip over and bake for a further 10 minutes.

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Remove from oven, allow them to rest for 5 minutes and remove them from the dish.  Serve hot or cold.

 

For a chance to win this hamper by Quality Foods and Marketing,  SHARE this recipe on your social media page [facebook, instagram, twitter, pinterest or linkedin] and leave a comment below. The winner will be notified on 31 January 2019.

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Redelmar Tuna is imported, marketed and distributed by Quality Foods Marketing Ltd

Seasonal vegetables january rachel muscat

Local Seasonal Vegetables in January by Big Fresh

Photos: Rachel Muscat

For more tuna recipes:

Tuna and Sweetcorn Salad [gluten free, lactose free]

 

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Life and Style Weekend End of Year Show

You can now watch the end of  year show via the link below and hope  you enjoy it as much as we have !

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Photos: Gino Galea

Lea thanks Ange by Maria Bonavia, Analise The Make up Artist and Flormar

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Jespers Back to School Hamper

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For a chance to win a ‘back to school/work’ hamper with a variety of delicious fresh breads and bakes by Jespers the Danish Bakery , simply like and share and leave a comment below.  Winner will be advised on Wednesday 9 January 2019.

 

lea hogg pippa jamie travis

With Travis Boyd from Jespers, Pippa Mattei and Jamie Cini

Photo: Gino Galea

Lea thanks Ange by Maria Bonavia, Analise The Make up Artist and Flormar
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Yoga with Pamela and Daisy

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Pamela Griffin with Daisy

It was so beautiful and surreal to watch Pamela doing  some warm up exercises before she was due on air with her 6 year old daughter Daisy.

And after her second visit, I can say that I am convinced that yoga with kids is  a positive and beneficial activity for a parent and child.

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Pamela and Daisy were so relaxed and focused on their activity that they are synchronized, in complete unision with each other  and there was something magical about the bond between them.

With such a lot going on in the studio, the crew, the rest of the guests on the show and the filming,  I could not help but notice that Daisy was completely oblivious to all the commotion around her.  It seemed that her mother was the only person in the room.

Quality time with your kid/s is so important and yoga with kids certainly gives you that.

Pamela says:

‘Yoga builds core strength for good posture and overall physical fitness. The beauty of kid’s yoga is that it can accommodate all body shapes and sizes and it’s not competitive, so it’s a good form of exercise for non-sporty kids too.’

Kids’ yoga also helps to reduce the risk of injury in sports and games by maintaining flexibility and mobility in all joints and muscles. It improves balance, alignment and coordination with practice of postures.

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Mental, Emotional and Social Benefits
Yoga for kids helps to increase their attention span and improves concentration through the fun and exciting story structure, and the multiple learning styles – visual, auditory and connecting emotionally.

Pamela encourages self-expression and incorporates relaxation and breathing techniques into daily life and children are better able to deal with anxiety, healthy sleeping patterns and stress.

You can watch Pamela and Daisy by clicking here

I look forward to welcoming Pamela with Daisy again very soon.

See also Yoga with Kids

You can find more information on Pamela’s classes via this link

Photography:  Gino Galea

Happy New Year! fb

My Balloon Decorations come from Posh Party in Gzira 

 

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Quick weekend baking: Orange Ginger Muffins

‘the idea of using the oranges that are still abundant and ginger makes these muffins sound so healthy with all that Vitamin C and healing properties of ginger.

A very quick, all-in-one method, these muffins can be prepared and baked in 20 minutes from start to finish. I used a mix of grated fresh ginger, ginger powder and crystallized ginger which resulted in the most rounded ginger flavor laced with orange and drizzled with melted dark chocolate and more crystallized ginger pieces. These are the best muffins for a cold January, the ginger will give you instant warmth’.

You will need:

250g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
90ml Greek Yoghurt  [I use Kolios and you can choose from a variety such as organic, 0% fat,  high protein and full fat]
4 tablespoons stevia
4 tablespoons honey
3 eggs
1 tablespoon ginger powder
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 tablespoon crystallized ginger [you can omit this]
zest of an orange
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
a pinch of salt

After baking: 150g dark melted chocolate and more crystallized ginger

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Preheat the oven to 180C.

Sift the self raising flour and baking powder twice. Place in the bowl of an electric mixer.

Crop the crystallized ginger into very small pieces. Add to the mixing bowl together with all the other ingredients. Whisk everything for a minute on high speed.

Line a muffin tin with muffin cases and immediately fill the muffin cases. Scatter some more crystallized ginger pieces on top. Bake for 15 minutes [depending on size and up to 25 minutes for giant muffins].

Remove from oven.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a bain marie. Add a couple of drops of olive oil and drizzle the chocolate over the muffins.

 

Scatter a few small pieces of crystallized ginger and allow the chocolate to harden up.

Prepare your cup of tea !

mdina-by-marconia

The magical silent city of Mdina on an island blessed with so much.

Photography: Marconia Schembri

Kolios Greek Yoghurt is imported, distributed and marketed by Quality Foods Marketing Ltd