MY BLOGGING JOURNEY
Happy Easter to all my dear readers. Without you, it would have been impossible to keep this journey going. Everyday cooking with Mira has come a long way since we started. At first, it was a mother, to whom food came natural, suffering from post-natal depression and seeking an outlet. Cooking came easy, but writing and food photography were much more of a struggle. To be honest, it’s still a bit of an effort but I’ve learned so much, I love how my pictures and my styling have improved week on week.
If you see my earlier pictures, you’ll notice the lighting was bad, and the colours were often all wrong but it’s a journey, and I am proud to have progressed this far. We never stop learning, even my cooking style has changed and continued to change. I have to adapt to recipes that are budget friendly, time friendly and let’s not forget that they need to be crowd friendly. It feels like I’m feeding a crowd. So many of us, kids and grown-ups and with different likes and dislikes, some don’t even have all their teeth.
COOKING FOR ME
Unfortunately, I don’t have the time or energy to cook for hours anymore. I keep my complicated recipes for when there’s somebody else at home to mind the kids. There’s a lot of love/hate going on with me and my kitchen. I hate the hours of cleaning and labouring, the repetitive tasks that are no sooner done than the need to done again. But I love my kitchen; I love fresh green ingredients, the scent of herbs as chopped, the smell of onions, garlic and chilli sauteing and the sizzling sounds that emanate from my cooker. Being from a multi-ethnic country, with many festivals from different cultures which all involve food, I can’t help but have a special connection with food.
MAURITIUS AND FESTIVALS
In Mauritius, every occasion evolves around food. On festival days relatives will call unannounced and when they come it is our custom to feed them before they leave. Whatever you have, it doesn’t have to be fancy. You honour your guests with a cup of tea some snacks or Gajak as we call it. Everything involves food. When I say ‘relatives’ it means a bit more in Mauritius than it does here in Ireland. In Mauritius 2nd or 3rd cousins are relatives. It doesn’t take long for the numbers to mount up during a festival or celebration.
And on that note I’m celebrating Easter this year with my ‘not so little’ family with few opportunities of unannounced relatives calling, most of his and mine (in Ireland) are at the far side of the country. Hubby is making roast beef, baby potatoes and spring veg. And I did fancy Fudgy Paleo cacao and beetroot brownies for dessert. I had a mind to make these beetroot brownies for a long time, and I finally got to do it. The recipe is moderately easy with 14 ingredients and about ten steps.
- 2 tablespoons flax seed meal
- 6 tablespoons water
- 1-¼ cup pureed beets, about 4 medium beets, chopped and roasted first
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1-1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
- ¾ cup raw cacao powder
- ¼ cup tapioca starch
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1-¼ cups almond meal
- 1-½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.
- Grease an 8” x 8” baking dish.
- In a small bowl, stir together the water and flax meal and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
- While the beetroot is roasting and the flax meal sitting put the rest of the ingredients into a food processor.
- After the beets are roasted and cooled, puree them.
- Add the beet puree and the flax egg to the food processor and mix till it turns into a runny batter.
- Pour the brownie batter into the prepared baking dish and tap to smooth it out.
- Place in the oven and bake for 55 minutes.
- Allow brownies to cool 30 minutes before slicing into them.
- Could be served straight away but best after a day in the fridge.
Once you have the beetroot roasted and pureed the rest is easy. There was a blender, a few measuring cups and spoons, a food processor, a spatula and a baking tray that got dirty. #Thankfulformynewdishwasher. The recipe is, of course, sugar-free, dairy-free, paleo and vegan. I followed the original recipe from The Roasted Root except I skipped the 3/4 cup of sugar that the recipe asked for and I replaced tapioca starch with cornflour. I didn’t realise it would need the sugar especially with the beetroot but these brownies need a sweetener.
The first taste was quite bitter but still edible. Then I thought of eating it with a slice of strawberry, and it worked! Thank goodness I had strawberries in the house. If you are trying to have a healthy treat without sugar, then this one is for you but you’ll need the fruits. Chocolate and strawberry are proven match made in heaven after all.