Carrot Cake

Everyone has a few handwritten recipes handed down from friends and family members, which makes referencing the recipe back to an original source pretty difficult…. This is one of those recipes.

Carrot cake must be one of the most under-rated cakes in my books. I don’t normally think of it first when I think of baking a cake, but in reality, it is one of the easiest, moist and delicious cakes out there! (Ask my mom… it is her favourite.)

And this one is no exception! A definite make again

Carrot Cake

half a tin of pineapple pieces (drained and roughly chopped)
3 eggs
175ml sunflower or canola oil
200g sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
225g self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
50g desiccated coconut
60g walnuts (roughly chopped)
200g carrot (grated)

  • Whisk together eggs, oil and sugar until creamy
  • sift cinnamon, flour, baking powder & bicarb into the egg mixture
  • fold in coconut, walnuts, carrot and pineapple pieces
  • spoon into a greased baking tin and bake for 45min at 180C
  • I topped mine with a cream cheese icing (300g cream cheese with 50g icing sugar) and some roughly chopped nuts (pistachio & walnut)



Oat Pancakes

As mentioned in my Banana Pancake recipe posted last week => I used the BodyBoss Method for exercise and meal plan for inspiration over the last few months.

I love making pancakes on a Sunday morning, as we normally only go to church around 11/11.30am and there is no other rush on a Sunday morning except family breakfast time. I found this recipe in the BodyBoss weeks 7-12 notebook and couldn’t believe how little ingredients it needed! For me the mixture was a little thin, but all in all, they turned out pretty good!


115g cottage cheese
40g rolled oats
3 eggs

  • Blend all the ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth
  • lightly oil a frying pan and heat over a medium heat
  • Cook spoonfuls of batter onto the pan and cook for 2-3minutes on each side (or until golden brown)

Banana Pancakes

At the beginning of the year, I decided to make a few small changes in my eating habits – nothing drastic (as if I could actually give up on all good food things ;)) and started walking each day. 6months done the track, I had lost 7kg and had signed up for the SleekGeek online community and their 8week challenge PLUS I purchased the plan from BodyBoss for added motivation (both exercise and meal plan ideas). 8months down the track and 11kg was gone… *poof*

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love food and Sunday pancakes are pretty much a monthly event in our household – which is why I started to try out different pancake recipes from the BodyBoss meal plan booklet.

I call these Banana pancakes … while they call it “berry me in pancakes”… whatever it is called – they are delicious!!


1 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 large banana (mashed)

  • Mix flour and bicarb of soda in one bowl
  • In another bowel, mix together the banana, milk and vanilla extract
  • Carefully add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and lightly mix together (don’t!! overmix!!)
  • lightly wipe a non-stick frying pan with oil
  • Spoon mixture onto frying pan and cook over a medium heat
  • cook on both sides, until golden
  • Serve as you wish (I added some homemade strawberry jam and a handful of berries to mine)

Frozen berry and coconut biscuit yoghurt dessert

Coming back from holiday means that desserts still need to be tasty but obviously more healthy and if possible, lower in calories…. right??

I was making my favourite beef stew for sunday lunch and I needed something sweet to serve afterwards… so back to my trusty pile of food magazines and lo and behold… I found this recipe in the BBC Good Food Magazine (July 2018 issue) for “Frozen berry & gingernut yoghurt pots”… except I didn’t have gingernut biscuits, so I substituted them with coconut biscuits (Tennis biscuits that I had brought back from South Africa) and I used paper ice-cream cups as the basis.

Frozen Berry and coconut biscuit yoghurt dessert

100g tennis biscuits
387g condensed milk
250g red berries (raspberries and strawberries)
250g purple berries (blueberries and blackberries)
500g Greek yoghurt

  • Place biscuits into a food processor and blitz into crumbs
  • Add 2 tablespoons of condensed milk and blend to make crumbs
  • Divide biscuit crumbs between 8 paper cups, pressing down with a back of a spoon
  • Put half the yoghurt and condensed milk with the red berries into the food processor and blend until smooth
  • divide between the 8 cups (on top of the biscuit base)
  • Put the remaining yoghurt and condensed milk with the purple berries into the food processor and blend until smooth
  • divide between the 8 cups (on top of the red berry mixture)
  • Freeze for at least 4hours before serving

Coconut Chocolate Brownies

I love my chocolate brownie recipe but in all fairness – it isn’t actually a brownie but more of a moist chocolate cake version….so I was in search of a TRUE brownie.

I have had Alida Ryder’s Simply Delicious cook for ages (probably since she launched it), but this was the first time that I actually made her Chocolate brownies with coconut. She claims that they are the best brownies ever… and you know what? They might just actually be!


I didn’t feel the need to make the chocolate sauce for the top as these were already so rich with half a kilogram of sugar, otherwise I kept the recipe pretty much “as is” and it was easy to make and delicious to eat (in fact, my colleagues are STILL talking about it!)

brownies 3


250g butter
500g sugar
100g cocoa powder
4 large eggs
100g flour
50g desiccated coconut
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
100g walnuts, roughly chopped

  • In a large pot, combine the butter cocoa powder and sugar and allow to melt over a medium heat
  • Remove from heat, allowing to cool slightly before beating in the eggs, one at a time (Alida suggests using a hand mixer… so I did)
  • Mix in the flour, desiccated coconut, baking powder, vanilla and finally the nuts
  • Pour batter into a greased baking dish (batter should be 2-4cm from the bottom of the dish)
  • Bake for 20-30minutes at 180C coming out of the oven firm but still squidgy (I found that mine took almost 40minutes and still remained moist and squidgy in the middle)

Yoghurt and Mixed Berry Muffins

I have tried to change my eating habits over the last 5months but that doesn’t mean that I have lived on celery sticks – it just means that I have tried to make smarter choices, get more active and limit my portion sizes.

Through the SleekGeek community and their 8week challenge (this being the last week of my particular heat) as well as with the help of the BodyBoss Method (which has provided some meal plans, recipes as well as a great 12week workout plan) – I have managed to shed 9kg in 22weeks. I am now half way to my goal weight but already I feel so much more energetic and full of life. Compliments have started to surface in the recent days from colleagues and this is probably more down to the fact that I am making more of an effort with my appearance than trying to hide in black, black and more black. (Don’t get me wrong – 80% of my wardrobe is black, but now I am wearing items of clothing with a splash more colour and slightly more fitted).

One thing that I want to point out is that I have not starved myself. I still eat carbs. I have still gone out to restaurants. I have even had a few alcoholic beverages. Not to mention the fact that I have still baked some delicious treats! This particular recipe is from the BodyBoss recipe book and the only difference is that I used sunflower oil instead of nut oil. It makes 6 delicious muffins and works out to 190 calories per muffin.

Yoghurt and Mixed Berry Muffins

1 cup of whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
85g greek yoghurt
1 Tablespoon nut oil (or sunflower oil)
1/2 cup honey
1 cup mixed berries
1 Tablespoon flour (for the berries)

  • In a medium bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, yoghurt, honey and oil
  • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined
  • Cover the berries with the tablespoon of flour and gently fold into mixture
  • Place into 6 greased muffin cups
  • Bake for 20minutes at 190C

No-bake Lemon Cheesecake

Another year, another reason to celebrate, right???

I got to ring in the new year with some awesome friends at the end of May, in our 4th floor apartment in Brussels. It was a hot, humid day and there were 7 children under the age of 3 running around, screeching and have fun. Sounds crazy, eh?

I opted to keep things simple and serve crudités/dip, fresh fruit sliced up, while HIM ordered a cake from the Portuguese bakery as well as a large amount of various Portuguese rissois (a traditional deep fried savoury snack something like a croquette, but could be filled with meat, chicken, fish, etc) and of course, I made a cake (because cheesecake is a cake in my books, ok!?).

I had planned on making this granadilla cheesecake recipe, but then at the last minute decided to rather make it a lemon flavoured. It was super easy to make, required no baking and went down well.

No Bake Lemon Cheesecake

200g coconut biscuits (crushed)
1/4 cup of butter (melted)
1 packet of lemon jelly
1 cup boiling water
250g cream cheese
1 tin (385g) condensed milk

  • Mix jelly powder with boiling water until dissolved, set aside to cool
  • Mix crushed biscuits with melted butter and press into a greased spring-form cake tin
  • Beat cream cheese until smooth and then slowing add the condense milk, continuously beating until smooth
  • Mix in the cooled jelly mixture
  • Pour cream cheese mixture over the biscuit base and place in the fridge for 3-4hr (or until set)

Bao Bang Bang, Brussels

Sometimes I think I know food… and sometimes it is proved that I have barely scratched the surface of deliciousness…. and this is just one of those times!

M and I were in search of nourishment last week, we had been eyeing out a chicken place on Vleurgat (Ixelles), but it has either been closed or being set up for an event (the latter was our experience on this particular evening), so we meandered down Bailli to find that it was too early for Dim Sum… and on we walked until we passed Chatelain and into the quaint, simple but homely restaurant called BAO BANG BANG.

I had no idea what a Bao was… so M did a quick google search and we were eager to try out these Taiwanese soft, steamed buns filled with goodness. Apparently, it is considered street food and once the bao is garnished, it looks like the tiger jaw shaped around the filling.

Service was really friendly. Ambiance is relaxed but warm, homely and stylish. It was only 7pm, one were one of the only tables seated, but once we left at 8pm, it was half full…

I ordered a beer, while M opted for a glass of white wine.

Food wise – it was cheap and cheerful and we both ordered 2 dishes (one item each from their Boa section and one item each from their “Side dishes”) – lets just say that we did NOT go hungry! Portion sizes are generous at these prices!

Duck Bao: 6,50€: M says it was amazing…

Pork Bao: 6€… crispy pork belly with Hoisin sauce, carrots, cabbage, peanuts, coriander… OMG (I originally wanted to order the pulled pork Boa but it was not available… I wasn’t upset… it just gives me an excuse to go back!)

Kimchi Ball: 6€… again M was in heaven!

Rice Burger: 6.50€. Crispy crumbed chicken breast sandwiched between 2 “sticky rice” buns and 2 gorgeous onion rings, plus a homemade mayo….

Would I return? Absolutely….


address: Rue de L’Aqueduc 155, 1050, Ixelles, Brussels, BELGIUM
telephone: +32 2 538 85 58
Opening hours: Tuesday-Saturday 12h00-14h30; 19h00-22h30

Courgette Ribbon Salad

As mentioned earlier, I have signed up to something called “Sleekgeek 8 week challenge“, which means that I have been trying to be more imaginative with regards to meal planning, colourful plates and cooking etc.

On a recent trip to Stonemanor (a grocery shop in Brussels specializing in British products), I stocked up on my favourite English food magazines… including a new one that I found called “Food to Love” magazine. Within this magazine, I found a recipe for a chargrilled courgette ribbon salad with green olive dressing. I didn’t make the dressing and rather added a sprinkle of feta and some toasted pine-nuts on top of the cooked courgettes.

Make again? I already have 🙂

Courgette Ribbon Salad

2 large courgettes
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
sprinkle of feta
toasted pine-nuts

  • using a mandoline, vegetable peeler or sharp knife, slice the courgette lengthways into thin pieces
  • Toss with olive oil and season
  • Cook the courgette on a heated grill or a grill pan for 1 minute on each side (cook in batches)
  • Place on a plate, sprinkle with feta and toasted pine-nuts


What is a “Buddha” bowl?

If you love instagram like I do, then you wouldn’t be able to scroll past the foodie accounts without encountering at least one “Buddha” bowl picture.

They might also have been called a glory bowl, grain bowl, sunshine bowl, hippie bowl or macro bowl… but as far as I am concerned, it is essentially a *deconstructed salad in a bowl*.

There is no rule written in stone on how to construct the bowl, but it essentially consisted of a little bit of this and a little bit of that, focusing mainly on vegetables (raw or cooked), a bit of grains (if you so wish) and some protein (although 90% of the bowls seem to be vegetarian and thus featuring tofu, beans, etc… it hasn’t stopped anyone from adding some form of fish or lean meat.)

There is also some disconnect on where the name came from and what it actually means with some definitions of a Buddha bowl indicating that the shape of the round bowl reflects the round belly of Buddha or (my personal favourite story) is that Buddha walked around with an empty bowl at the beginning of the day and each of his neighbours provided a spoonful of what they were eating – thus by the end of the day, he had a bowl full of food (with a little bit of this and a little bit of that).

Whatever definition or story you like to believe – I don’t really believe it matters but I do think that it looks pretty… so here is my deconstructed salad (aka “Buddha Bowl”) => corn, red kidney beans, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado and some sliced cooked chicken breast with a squeeze of lemon juice.