Easy and Guilt Free Pumpkin Pie


So it’s Fall and the pumpkin flavors are upon us and the pie crusts are secretly joining forces with our hips! If I want to enjoy pumpkin pie season I’m gonna need to take it easy on the crusts and this pumpkin pie is not only ridiculously easy but it’s also more healthy! The kids loved it so much too! Shocker. 

The pan I cooked it in was quite wide in diameter so the filling came out to be low so I cut them up in bars to be sent to school individually. Next time, I’ll do it in a smaller pan for more thickness! Apart from that this was so good! 


Prep: 10 min 

Bake:40 min 

Servings: 8

  1. 1 cup canned (or fresh) pumpkin purée. If using fresh please make sure to strain out all the liquid from the puréed pumpkin! 
  2. 1/2 cup pancake mix ( I used the bob mill 7 whole grain one). This is what will help create a thin layer as the pie bakes. 
  3. 1/2 cup refined free brown sugar 
  4. 1 cup evaporated milk 
  5. 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice 
  6. 1 tsp vanilla 
  7. 2 eggs

Method: 

  • Heat oven to 180 C and grease a 23cm pan with butter. I used a bigger pan and cut the pie into bars later.
  • In a large bowl mix all the ingredients with a whisk. And pour filling into pan. 
  • Bake for 35-40 min until toothpick inserted comes out clean. 
  • I topped each bar with a pecan and less than half a tsp of a failed butter cream I’ve been trying to make for my daughter’s upcoming birthday.

The end!! 

Shrimpy Rice Balls – Not Just for the kids.

Shrimpy Rice Balls – Not Just for the kids.

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These amazingly delicious croquettes were intended for my daughter but after I tried one, I realized my subconscious must have led itself to make them for me! I completely winged this recipe as I do with many of my meals but there’s no way you can mess this up because if I can do it then then you’ll be just fine.

It’s all about the ingredients and the combining agent – the egg. So please don’t feel discouraged. This also isn’t your typical arancini balls that are usually loaded with cheese. These are actually quite healthy and could be baked instead of seared like I did just because I was in a hurry.

I made these because I thought more people were coming over one day so I made two cups of rice when I should have only made one especially in my house hold where carbs are being murdered. I also had some freshly cooked shrimp!. Now that you know where the inspiration came from, let me try to tell you how I made them.

Preparation Time: 6 min

Cooking Time: 7 min

Yields: 15 small balls

Ingredients: Rather than give you exact measurements i’m going to give you estimates (remember how I said I winged these right?)  You can add less or more of something else but keep it somewhat constant. Did that make any sense?

  • 1 – 2 Cups Cooked Shrimp
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice
  • 1 small carrot chopped
  • Fresh or Powdered Ginger
  • Fresh or Powdered Garlic
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp parsley

Batter: Tempura Crumbs + Flax Meal

Method:

  1. Blend all the ingredients together while adding 3 to 5 tablespoons of milk
  2. Empty blended ingredients into a bowl and crack an egg and whisk
  3. If mixture is too wet and not easily manageable, add 1 tbsp of flour
  4. Otherwise, shape into balls and then coat with mixed batter of tempura and flax meal. The balls will be gooey and its ok!
  5. Refrigerate till balls are firm again for 10 min
  6. Heat up some oil of choice in pan and gently sear them on medium to low heat till crispy.
  7. Place on paper towel and serve with some veggies on the side or a sweet and sour sauce.

The End! So. Damn. Good.

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Stir Fry – The Easy Way

Stir Fry – The Easy Way

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This stir fry is done almost every two weeks at home. Its a great change from the usual Lebanese Stews and always goes down well with the fam.

Some reasons I love it:

  1. It’s made with egg noodles and that is definitely healthier than your usual flour based ones.
  2. The flavor in this stir fry comes from the vegetables themselves and just from a few teaspoons of soy sauce and ginger. I always buy ginger, grate it and keep it in the freezer in a jar.
  3. You can throw in anything your heart desires or whatever you think won’t be protested against by your usual suspects, the kids.

Here’s how to do it:

Preparation time: If using fresh ingredients 15 minutes. If using frozen vegetables then 2min!

Cooking Time: 20 min

Serves: 3 adults + 2 kids

Ingredients:

  1. 1 pack Egg Noodles
  2. 1 to 2 carrots julienne
  3. 1 to 2 cups green beans
  4. a handful of fresh coriander
  5. 1 kg shrimp (fresh or frozen)
  6. 1 to 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  7. 1 onion diced
  8. 2 tsp chopped ginger
  9. 2 cloves garlic chopped
  10. 3 tbsp Soy Sauce
  11. 1 tbsp sesame oil

Method:

Step 1: Stir Fry the onions till translucent, then add ginger, garlic and mushrooms with sesame oil.

Step 2: Remove and place aside.

Step 4: Add Shrimps till slightly golden. Do not over cook so a max of 5 minutes.

Step 5: Remove Shrimp and add egg noodles with some water.

Step 6: Cook egg noodles according to instructions on bag. and Strain water while keeping 1/2 cup of hot water aside.

Step 7: Add vegetables (carrots and beans), add 1/2 cup reserved hot water. Add Soy Sauce.

Step 8: Simmer for 5 min and serve

The End!

stir-fry

Rice Ban this week

Sometimes my daughter who is my happy foodie becomes picky like her brother. His negative food vibes must rub off on her at times! How can’t they! He’s so extreme 😒. We usually have a lot of rice dishes with a side of stew in our home but this week she seemed so uninterested and kept asking for pasta! PASTA! No child of mine is going to become an everyday pasta child especially not the child who does enjoy food so I thought of what to make her that still had some carbs with a side of meat and this is where the meat balls and mashed potatoes came from. I used sweet potatoe mash which by the way I heard a little complaints from (she prefers white potatoes) but it was all good! The best part was that my husband who also doesn’t eat rice (as I’m writing this I am connecting the pieces. Pretty clear where daddy’s girl was getting her new food ideologies from- apologies to my son!) Anyway, this was one dish that we all ate from and I didn’t have to be a short order cook for my husband and kid. My son, he must have eaten zaatar with labneh. 

Here is the recipe which I am sorry is not 100% I really need to work on writing down everything I put in the pot but don’t forget…My recipes are easy and made in a way where you can still always add your own touch! 

You will need: 

Ingredients: 

Meatballs: (you can purchase ready made ones or make them yourself by adding paprika, garlic powder, chopped parsley, salt and pepper and an egg into 500grams of lean ground beef). Mix together and shape into balls. 

Sauce:

  1. One big onion sliced
  2. One box of mushrooms cleaned and sliced 
  3. 2 tbsp tomatoes paste 
  4. Spices: 1 tsp of dried oregano, salt, cinnamon, paprika and 1/2 tsp pepper. Adjust according to taste. 
  5. 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup water 

Method:

  1. Heat olive oil in a pan and brown the meat balls on all sides.
  2. Once done remove and place on a plate on the side 
  3. Using the same pan, add the sliced onions and begin caramelizing till golden. This gives your stock that you will eventually make with the water you add more flavorful! 
  4. Add the mushrooms and cook through. Don’t let them dry out too much. You want the moisture the mushrooms are releasing to add to the sauce/stock. 
  5. Add the meat balls again and mix together for 2 minutes on high heat.
  6. Add water and tomatoe paste and allow to simmer for 10 min while adding remaining spices. Oregano, salt, pepper, paprika, cinnamon. 
  7. If you are feeling happy, add some fresh cream otherwise leave the gravy sauce as is. 

Mashed Potatoes: 4 sweet potatoes, salt, rosemary, 2 mashed garlics

  1. 4 sweet potatoes cleaned and chopped to boil in less time. You can opt to keep skin on! I removed it for this time. 
  2. Do not over boil or else you will lose the nutrients. Once cooked through remove them from water and begin to mash. I sometimes add shredded cheese and or cream to mine but we were trying to be strict with carbs so I didn’t this time.
  3. Add mashed garlic and chopped rosemary (Optional), salt
  4. Preserve the water they boil in to adjust the consistency of the mashing once ready.

The end! 

Anytime Popsicles

These Popsicles will always be in my freezer! I realize that when you juice fruits the fibers go and it’s more sugar for the kids however with this Popsicle, I only blended a watermelon i purchased that is always too damn big for our family of four and added plain yogurt to it. If your kids have a sweet tooth, add a little bit of honey but try it Au Naturel the first time. The cereal you give them with the yogurt popsicle can be the sweet part if you want to use that as your negotiation! The kids and you will love these! And the best part is…when they start melting just a little in their little hands, the yogurt falls into the granola and makes that even better. It’s like a win-win situation guys! 
No recipe needed for this. Just blend whatever watermelon you have left and then add some Yogurt (2:1 ratio) worked well! 

Other ideas: I am always doing these Popsicles, if you want to add more nutrition to them, you can cut up some fruits inside, add coconut water, aloe Vera, some super food powder! The list can go on and on but for now and for my son’s “good boy” stamp that he received today; these will do with a side of organic crunchy granola. 


Enjoy! 

Pumpkin spiced Banana cake


Yes!!! My weekly banana cake has gotten a little nicer and it’s dangerously my favorite. I’m a sucker for pumpkin must be the chocolate hater in me. Who knows! This week we tweaked my usual go to banana cake recipe a little with the addition of the pumpkin purée. I used an all natural canned pumpkin purée because I am not made out of time. However if you want to experiment (which I have before) you can steam your fresh pumpkin however I would recommend you let it release all its moisture by putting the puréed pumpkin on a thin towel over a strainer with a bucket underneath! You will be surprised at home much liquid comes out. Save the liquid and cook something in it. With my picky eater finally eating plain rice (HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENT), I would boil his rice in that strained pumpkin water. Just some ideas I’m getting carried away with now! Back to this cake! Recipe is below! It’s super easy and lasts all week in the fridge! I send it to school for the kids in their lunch box. 
Enjoy y’all! 

Pumpkin spiced Banana Cake 

Method and Ingredients

  1. Preheat oven to 180C or 350F
  2. Gather all the wet ingredients and beat them well
  •  3 eggs 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  •  1/2 tsp vanilla 
  • Add 1/2 cup sun flower oil 
  • Add 1/2 cup yogurt                     

NEXT: In a separate bowl add the dry ingredients

  • 2 cups flour 
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder 
  •  1/2 tsp baking soda 
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2-3 tsp pumpkin spice mixture (will provide recipe for that below!)

NEXT: Mix the dry ingredients and slowly add it to the wet mixture

NEXT: Mash up two ripe bananas with 1 cup pumpkin purée and mix into mixed batter and you’re done! 

Finally: Grease a pan, pour batter in it and pop in oven for 45 min or until toothpick comes out dry. 
** Pumpkin Spice Mixture: I suggest you make this and add it in a jar and use it throughout the next few months! The original recipes you’ll find elsewhere call for more all spice and nutmeg with the addition of ground cloves. I personally prefer it the way I’ve shared with you below only because I’ve got kids eating this! The cloves scare them away haha! 

Pumpkin Spice Ingredients:

4 tbsp ground cinnamon 

1 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground all spice 

1/4 tsp nutmeg 

Mix together and use accordingly! 

Chocolate Mints, After Eight please!

Chocolate Mints, After Eight please!


One of the great things about Dubai’s heat is my surplus of mint. I’ve got some drying up now for herbs and I’ve got some dipped in dark chocolate for a little something after dinner. Sometimes you don’t want to eat a chocolate because that’ll just open up a box of naughtiness that you can’t control so these are amazing! Serve immediately once they’re out of the fridge or else the chocolate will melt. They were a great taste bud changer for our guests! 
Method: 

  1. Get some mint leaves and wash them and dry them with a towel (pat dry). 
  2. Melt some chocolate 
  3. Dip half the mint OR ALL OF IT into chocolate and place on wax paper
  4. Refrigerate for 1 hour and serve immediately! 

Snickers and Twix get an extreme make over! 

Snickers and Twix get an extreme make over! 

Watch video for tutorial! What you’ll need: 

  • Dates (mine were so sweet and soft and almost tasted like caramel. That’s what inspired me to do this!)
  • Peanuts 
  • Peanut Butter 
  • Chocolate Melted
  • Biscuit (I used digestive) 

Watch the video and you will see how it’s done! https://youtu.be/HBgCelqqIiU

Chewy chocolate chip cookies adapted from Betty Crocker herself! 


I love cookies! I always felt bad making them though because of all the butter that goes into the batter. NOW that butter is apparently OK again (insert eye ball roll) we are at it again! This recipe is adapted from Betty Crocker. There’s less chocolate in them because I’m weird like that and much less sugar than Betty ever intended! 
Here’s the recipe: makes 4 dozen small sized cookies

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (refined free)
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour 
  • 1 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups chocolate (I used some from patchi and chopped them up. You can use whatever you want. I mix between dark and milk. AND, I used 1 cup not 2)

Notes: 

  1. You can add 1 cup of chopped nuts to this batter
  2. I used half the amount of chocolate so increase or decrease depending on the chocolate monster inside of you. 

Method: 

  • Heat oven to 180 C
  • In large bowl beat the sugar, butter, vanilla, and egg with an electric mixture or spoon. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt. 
  • Stir in chocolate and nuts. 
  • Drop dough by rounded tablespoons around 5 cm apart to avoid them over lapping on another
  • Bake 8-10 minutes. They’ll still be soft but lightly browned on the bottom. Let them cool off and then transfer to plate. 

Notes: 

  1. Depending on your oven, I always add a pan under my pan to avoid any burning from under! 
  2. These cookies will appear like they’re still raw but trust me when I say to just remove them out of oven once you see the bottom is golden brown. They’ll continue cooking on their own and will solidify after 10 minutes of being out of the oven 

Enjoy!