TOP DECK COOKIE DOUGH NICE CREAM (dairy/refined sugar/gluten-free… and utterly delicious)

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost two and a half years since I first (and last) posted a “nice cream” recipe here. For the uninitiated, nice cream is essentially an ice-cream textured treat based upon the use of one humble ingredient; frozen bananas. And, despite the ease of preparation, the deliciousness and the fact that no nasties are added to it, it is something I make very rarely.

As the weather here declines into subzero awfulness, I find myself missing “home” and becoming nostalgic about the things of my childhood in Australia… like warm weather… and enjoying ice-cream in warm weather. And I don’t do white chocolate these days, but as a child I used to love the old Cadbury Top Deck combo of white and milk chocolate.

So here is my healthified version of Top Deck… in nice cream form. It’s a kind of homage to my childhood. And it’s got cookie dough morsels for extra yum factor. (Well, actually vegan protein bar, but you wouldn’t know it. I promise!)

No word of a lie, this is one of the yummiest treats I have made this year. And it is so easy to make!

<3 MM xx

PS I have it on good authority that L, Cupcake and “Baby Marzipan” all heartily approve this treat ;)



Serves 2-4 (depending on how generous you like to be with others)


3 bananas (sliced and frozen)
3 tbsp almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

1.5 tbsp cacao
1/2 a Chocolate Coated Coconut Squarebar*, broken into a couple of chunks

1/2 a Chocolate Coated Coconut Squarebar*, chopped into pieces
Raw cacao nibs


  1. In your food processor (I used a Thermomix, on speed 7), blend the frozen bananas, almond milk and vanilla extract until you have reached a smooth, ice-creamy consistency**
  2. Scoop half of the banana ice-cream mix into a bowl and pop it in the freezer for a minute to keep cold while you get on with the chocolate layer.
  3. Add the cacao and the remaining 1/2 a Squarebar* to the mix and whizz until just combined. You want some chunks of Squarebar in the mix. It will give that fabulous cookie dough texture that’s superb in ice-cream !
  4. Then all you need to do is layer the nice cream in a glass/jar, the bottom half being chocolate and the top half being the banana vanilla (or mock white chocolate ;) ).
  5. Top with Squarebar* pieces and cacao nibs and serve immediately.


*Or vegan chocolate raw/protein bar of choice.
**In a Thermomix it can take around 20 seconds, and you may need to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula once or twice.

EASY, HEALTHY APPLE CHIPS (no dehydrator or sugar required!)

So incredibly easy, these apple chips don’t require a dehydrator or sugar. I love them, my kids love them, they’re healthy and, honestly, they beat any store-bought apple chips I have ever tried. The batch you see in the images here were made from apples we picked as a family from our friends’ mini orchard, north of Stockholm.

Here’s the one-ingredient recipe (2 if you decide on the spiced version)…

<3 MM xx



Prep time: 5-10 minutes | Bake time: approx. 2 hours


Apples (2 apples makes approximately 2 trays of chips)
Ground cinnamon (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 95 -100* degrees C (fan).
  2. Wash apple/s and pat dry. There is no need to peel or core them, but do use a mandolin if possible to slice them thinly and evenly.
  3. Arrange apple slices evenly on baking parchment-lined tray/s, ensuring that the slices do not overlap. At this point, you can sprinkle the slices lightly with cinnamon, if desired (we usually do one tray with and one without).
  4. Bake for one hour.
  5. Remove tray/s from oven, flip all of the apple slices, then pop the tray back in the oven for a further hour or until all the chips are crisp. Don’t worry if they brown up a bit. As long as they don’t burn or turn too dark, they should be fine.
  6. Remove tray/s and allow the chips to cool (this doesn’t take long).
  7. Serve the chips as a snack or use them to garnish other treats or dishes (see apple crumble pic below). Store any unused apples chips in an airtight container for up to 5 days.


*I like my apple chips super-thin. As all ovens are different, please be aware that if your apple slices are especially thin or your oven has known hot spots, you may need to keep an eye on the time/temperature and adjust accordingly.


Individual servings of sugar-free, vegan apple crumble (made with a recipe from I Quit Sugar‘s Healthy Family Meals), topped with whipped coconut cream and an apple chip. Easy and pretty!



Some of you may remember my little Cupcake, now 2.5 years old and quite the kitchen helper. Here she is with her own mini baking tray, piled with apple chips that she proudly helped to make (she is the official Marzipan HQ cinnamon sprinkler ;) ). Our Saturday morning breakfast baking sessions are a highlight of the week… for both of us. :)



BAKED CARROT BACON (seasoned with paprika)

Many moons ago, I shared this recipe for vegan carrot “bacon” via my Instagram account. An alternative to the processed mock meats that are becoming more widely available by the day, this is a super-simple “real food” recipe. And, unlike all the carrot bacon recipes I had seen before I started experimenting with this myself, this one does not require a deep fryer nor a list of ingredients that I can assure you I never have on hand (liquid aminos, for example).

A fabulous addition to veggie burgers, salads or nourishing bowls such as the one pictured below (which features organic rice & black beans, roasted Brussels sprouts & red onion and pan toasted almonds, served with a drizzle of tamari, tahini & olive oil).

I hope you will enjoy this carrot bacon if you try it!

<3 MM xx

Without further ado…


(seasoned with paprika)

Prep time: 5-10 minutes | Bake time: 20-30 minutes


Peeled carrots (whatever you have on hand)
Olive oil (a tablespoon or two should do)
A sprinkle of ground sweet paprika and salt to season (once the “bacon” is done)


  1. Preheat your oven to 180 C (fan).
  2. Using a vegetable peeler or mandolin, cut the carrots lengthways into long strips. Pop into a bowl and lightly, yet evenly, coat the carrots in oil (they should be shiny, not drowned).
  3. Place carrot strips flat on a baking paper-lined tray, making sure to not overlap the slices.
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes, flip each slice and pop the tray back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes.
  5. Keep checking every couple of minutes during this second baking time.
  6. If happy with the result, remove from the tray from the oven. If you like things like this extra-crispy (I do), turn the heat down and let it sit a little longer (I turned my oven down to 150 C and let the slices bake for another 10 minutes).
  7. Season the baked carrot bacon slices with a sprinkle of sea salt and paprika.




*I use a mandolin for slicing my carrots evenly. If you find your slices are especially thin or your oven has known hot spots, please do keep an eye on the time and temperature and adjust accordingly.

CARVED & STUFFED BAKED BELL PEPPERS (a healthy Halloween treat!)

As has been our family tradition for the past few years, this Halloween saw carved and stuffed bell peppers on the menu. Wanting to update them somewhat, I came up with this recipe, loosely based on the first one that we ever used.

The kids have been dressing up for days. We’ve seen variations of pumpkins combined with ballerinas and Storm Trooper/Yoda hybrids, complete with Queen Elsa necklaces! There’s been more baking than usual taking place at Marzipan HQ. Today’s efforts consisted of sweet potato cookies with nuts, spices, chocolate chips and stevia. And there’s been nursery school parties, crafting, family movie nights with popcorn and Halloween themed story times.

In stark contrast to these festive activities, we have also observed the far more traditional Swedish custom of this time of year; that being the lighting of candles on Alla helgons dag, in quiet remembrance of loved ones no longer with us. This gorgeous video that I shared in a Halloween round-up post two years ago will surely illustrate the nature of this solemn yet lovely tradition for those unfamiliar with it.

And now, to this healthy, hearty, Halloween-perfect mealtime idea that is sure to please veg-loving diners of all ages…
Happy Halloween to all those celebrating and <3 to you all regardless!

MM xx


(a healthy Halloween treat!)

Prep Time: 10 Min | Cook Time: 30 Min | Serves: 3 (or 2 adults + 2 toddlers)


6 bell peppers
1 tablespoon rapeseed or olive oil
1 medium-large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 packet organic crushed tomatoes (around 390 g)
460 g mixed beans/beans of choice (approximately 2 tins, rinsed)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
200 ml cooked quinoa
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Prepare the peppers by cutting around the tops, twisting the “lids” off and removing pith and seeds (I use a small, very sharp knife for this). If carving a face, use the pointy end of a small knife, and do try to stick with carving angular shapes like triangles to make your task easier. Pop the cut pieces out with your little finger or a toothpick if they don’t come out straight away.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium-low heat, then gently sauté the onion and garlic for around 10 minutes or until the onions have softened and turned translucent.
  3. Tip in the tomatoes. Simmer for a minute or two to reduce slightly.
  4. Add the drained beans to the pan and roughly mash some of them with a fork, so they break up a little – don’t overdo it, you want some to stay whole.
  5. Add the cumin, paprika and coriander, mix well and simmer on a low heat for around 5 minutes. Stir through pre-cooked quinoa, and season with salt and pepper (to taste). Remove pan from heat.
  6. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C (fan). Stuff the mixture carefully into the peppers and top with the “hats”. You can also choose to construct you pepper by adding a heaped spoonful or two of bean and quinoa mince, followed by a little sprinkle of cheese (vegan or dairy), followed by enough mince to fill the rest of the pepper.
  7. Pop the stuffed, “hatted” peppers on a foiled-lined baking tray (one with higher edges works well for the peppers to lean against and remain upright) and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  8. Serve the stuffed peppers hot, with smashed avocado on the side, if you like… and a green salad.



*Make-ahead tip: The peppers can be fully prepared and carved the night before baking and serving. Just follow step 1 above then pop the peppers into freezer bags or airtight containers, seal and refrigerate. The bean mix can also be prepared in advance. Follow steps 2-5 then allow the mix to cool a little before sealing in an airtight container and refrigerating. On the day of serving simply follow steps 6-8. So easy! This is what we did this year and it meant an impressive looking dinner that took minutes to make… the kids even helped to stuff their own peppers, which was part of the fun.

CHOC BANANA PROTEIN SMOOTHIE (with coconut cream and grated chocolate)

Say hello to this delicious, super-easy-to-make treat of a smoothie!

I came up with this creation on the fly when the little peeps asked for smoothies on the weekend, and I used only ingredients I had on hand. The results were surprisingly lovely (though I suppose it is hard to go wrong with the ol’ chocolate-banana combo!). The kids enjoyed mini smoothies (of maybe 150 ml each) and my husband and I enjoyed the rest!

I am now fast approaching the 3rd trimester of this third pregnancy… and finding it hard to believe! Those of you who were “with me” during the last pregnancy may remember what a challenge it was at times (and I am forever grateful for your support). This pregnancy has been the easiest of the three in many ways but, as opposed to my last pregnancy which literally forced me to prioritise myself and my wellbeing, this one has seen me face a new challenge of setting boundaries/limits without a high-risk diagnosis to back up my decisions. I am reaching a point in the process where I am genuinely looking forward to taking a step back from all the busyness, nesting up and resting up… and catching up properly with all of you.

It’s been too long!

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this yumminess…

<3 MM x



(with coconut cream and grated chocolate)

Serves: 2-3


2 ripe bananas, chopped and frozen
2 tbsp your favourite chocolate protein powder* (I used Purple Balance, which is refined sugar-free)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
750 ml of your favourite plant-based milk (I used Oatly, but almond would be great too)

Half a square of dark chocolate for grating (I used Lindt 90%)
A couple of generous spoonfuls of coconut cream, ideally whipped with a pinch of vanilla powder


  1. Pop all ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth.
  2. Pour and serve immediately with a little coconut cream and grated chocolate.


*If you don’t have protein powder on hand or would prefer to use an alternative, why not try my chocolate fudge sauce? Make one quantity of the fudge sauce and add it in place of chocolate protein powder. Start by whizzing the smoothie ingredients listed above, minus the vanilla extract, along with the fudge sauce. Have a little taste, then decide if you want to add the vanilla extract too. Give everything another quick whizz if you decide to use it. Serve as suggested.



VEGAN SPICED BUNS (with orange zest & nuts)… + a little announcement

Before I get to the recipe for these yummy buns, I will share both a sneak preview of the buns themselves and my news… simultaneously (two birds, and all of that!).


I hope this goes some way to simply explain the reason why I have not been so active in the blogosphere recently. Thankfully the pregnancy nausea of the first trimester has abated, and I am starting to experience occasional periods of “normal” energy levels. But still, growing another hub, taking care of two little ones and working part-time is certainly keeping me occupied :P .

At least I can start making yummy treats like these again (now that I am not feeling unwell 24/7)… you know, treats to keep my energy levels up ;)


(with orange zest & nuts)

Makes: 10-12 buns


350 g strong plain flour
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
.5 tsp ground nutmeg
.5 tsp ground cardamom
1 pinch ground clove
1 sachet dry yeast (15 g)
25 g caster sugar
75 g chopped mixed nuts (I used pecans and silvered almonds)
25 g dehydrated/candied orange zest/peel, chopped
75 g vegan butter, melted
175 ml oat milk, gently warmed


  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, spices, yeast, sugar, orange zest/peel and chopped nuts.
  2. Make a well in the centre and add the melted vegan butter and most of the warmed oat milk.
  3. Mix until a dough is formed, and if it is too dry, add more milk, a dash at a time.
  4. Turn out dough onto a floured surface, kneading for approximately 10 minutes.
  5. Place dough into a large, lightly greased mixing bowl, cover with cling wrap and leave in a warm place to double in size. This should take 1-2 hours.
  6. Once the dough has doubled in size, knock it back and knead again for 5 minutes.
  7. Divide dough into 10-12 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Place each ball on a baking paper-lined tray and leave to rise for a further 30 mins.
  8. Bake at 180 C (fan) for around 20 minutes or until buns are turning golden.

*Recipe closely adapted from this one for hot cross buns, by The Vegetarian Society.
*Once cooled, these buns can be frozen (in an airtight container or ziplock back) for later defrosting/warming through and consumption.

NECTARINE & AVOCADO TOASTIES (with almonds, feta & chili flakes)

You will need to trust me on this one. These toasties are simply delicious; a perfect balance of savoury and sweet, crunchy and creamy… with touch of zingy, refreshing sourness, a little earthy nuttiness and a subtle kick of heat.

Do try this at home.


(with almonds, feta & chili flakes)

Serves: 1-2


2 slices of sourdough bread (or plain bread of choice)
1 ripe avocado
1/2 a ripe nectarine
1/2 a lime (enough for a good squeeze of lime juice)
60 ml crumbled feta (or vegan feta: try homemade almond feta or store-bought tofu/nut-based)
1/2- 1 tsp poppy seeds
A pinch or two of dried chili flakes
A couple of tablespoons of slivered almonds
Salt and pepper to taste (optional)
Unsweetened lingonberry powder* (optional)
Olive oil to drizzle over


  1. Line a baking tray with foil or baking parchment. Place the bread slices on the lined tray.
  2. Slice the nectarine half into 10-12 slices.
    Scoop the avocado into a bowl, add a squeeze of lime and smash it up roughly with a fork.
  3. Spread the avocado over both slices of bread. Sprinkle over the poppy seeds, then the crumbled feta and almonds. Place the nectarine slices on top and sprinkle with chili flakes. Season with salt and pepper if you wish
  4. Pop the tray under the grill for a couple of minutes, watching to make sure that bread is toasted but nothing burns (we’ve all been there, I am sure :P ).
  5. Remove from grill and sprinkle sparingly with a little lingonberry powder* (if desired) and drizzle over a small amount of olive oil. Serve immediately.

*I used Finnberry Lingonberry Powder

**I was first introduced to the fruit + avocado combo by I Quit Sugar (their strawberry avocado toasties rock!) and I have been a more adventurous eater ever since!


This truly delicious porridge is perfect for a make-ahead breakfast treat; an interesting, healthy, indulgent and different spin on overnight oats, that takes mere minutes to prepare… and is a great way to use up leftover quinoa.

It is wonderful served cold, straight from the fridge or, if you prefer, both the compote and the porridge can be warmed through (with additional milk of choice added) for a comforting way to fuel up on a frosty day.

Protein-packed, plant-based, gluten-free and cane sugar-free, this is one yummy breakfast treat that is actually good for you.



Makes: 2 generous portions (or 4 small portions) 

125 ml (75 g) cooked, cooled quinoa
60 ml chia seeds
60 ml desiccated coconut
60 ml ground/flaked almonds (depending upon desired consistency)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp maca powder (optional)
200 ml coconut milk
200 ml almond milk
1-2 tbsp rice malt/maple syrup (optional)

350 ml mixed organic frozen berries
A squeeze of lime or lemon juice

Slivered almonds
Extra almond/coconut milk for serving if desired


  1. Simply pop frozen berries into a small sauce pan over medium heat, squeeze over citrus juice of choice and allow berries to defrost, stirring gently occasionally. This should take around 5 minutes.
  2. Compote can be served warm or cooled and stored in an airtight container for a few days in the fridge.



  1. Add all porridge ingredients to a medium-sized mixing bowl or a large jar and mix well. Pop on cling wrap/a lid and place in the fridge overnight.*
  2. Remove from fridge and spoon into bowls or mason jars, topping/layering with spoonfuls of the berry compote.
  3. Sprinkle with slivered almonds, serve immediately and enjoy!


*If short on time, you can make this 2-3 hours before serving, preparing as above. Stir and check to make sure chia seeds have gelled properly before serving.




Looking for a veggie burger with a difference? If you like things a little spicy, this recipe could be just the ticket! I have eaten many a veggie burger, but not a single one with this flavour profile and I am very pleased to include this in my updated top 5 homemade burger recipe repertoire!

Unless you use a store-bought garam masala mix (in which case, tweaking the amount of spice you add may be necessary), you will have to create your own. Fear not! The Quick Garam Masala Spice Mix recipe included below is so easy and takes just a minute to make!



Makes: approx. 2 tbsp

This recipe is based on a thrown-together spice mix, made from a combination of spices in my kitchen spice rack, that turned out surprisingly well. I won’t claim that it’s 100% authentic, but I stand by the fact that it’s quick and easy!


1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
1/2 tablespoon ground turmeric
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes (optional, but recommended)
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
A pinch of ground clove


  1. Pound the fennel and mustard seeds using a mortar and pestle. Mix in remaining ingredients.




Serves: 4 | Combined prep & cook time*: 35-40 minutes


100 g cooked, cooled quinoa
220 g tinned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp Quick Garam Masala Spice Mix (see recipe above)
350 g cooked, mashed sweet potato
Salt and pepper to season


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix sweet potato, quinoa, black beans, onion, spice mix and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Onto your baking paper-lined tray, spoon even amounts of the burger mixture and, using your hands and the back of a metal spoon, shape the mixture into 4 hamburger patties.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Carefully flip the burgers and continue to bake for around 15 minutes more. Your burgers should be starting to dry out a little, though you shouldn’t expect them to crisp up on the outside in the same manner a fried pattie might. The longer the bake time, the firmer they will be and, as all ovens are different, do keep an eye on things during the second baking time to make sure your burgers are your preferred texture.
  6. Remove from oven when done to your liking. Serve immediately on bun of choice with your preferred additions** and heap of zesty tahini slaw.


*Assuming use of  pre-cooked quinoa and sweet potato
**My burgers featured thin slices of grilled aubergine “bacon”, plus slices of fresh tomato and avocado. 



Prepare the veggies and tasty dressing for this easy slaw while your veggie burgers are baking!



1 medium cucumber
1 large carrot, peeled
75 ml tahini
75 ml lemon juice
2 tbsp melted coconut oil/olive oil
Water to achieve desired consistency (approx. 30 – 75 ml)
A pinch of salt
Pepitas to sprinkle over, optional


  1. Using a julienne blade on a mandoline or a julienne peeler, shred the carrot and cucumber into long, even strips.
  2. Whisk, blend or shake (in a jar) the tahini, lemon juice, oil, water and salt until well-combined and smooth.
  3. Just prior to serving, dress your slaw. Depending on the consistency of your tahini dressing you can either toss as much as you like gently through your vegetable strips (best if the consistency is thin), or dollop a generous amount onto a handful of slaw.
  4. Serve immediately, sprinkled with pepitas, atop your Spicy Sweet Potato Burger. Alternatively, try this slaw as a side salad or sandwich filling.

*You will probably make more dressing than required, but it can be kept in the fridge for a few days and used as a salad dressing or dip.




Just 4 ingredients (+ water, of course) and zero sweetener; the perfect way to rehydrate after an active day… especially now that it’s finally starting to warm up a little in Stockholm.

My kids love this drink (they are big “bubble water” fans!) and particularly like scooping out and eating the cucumber ribbons once the water is gone. Double hydration factor- yeah!



Serves: 4 | Prep time: 2 minutes


1/2 a cucumber, sliced (for ribbons, use a vegetable peeler)
1 lime, sliced
A handful of mint leaves
Ice cubes
2 litres sparkling water


  1. Add handfuls of ice cubes, some mint leaves, plus slices of cucumber and lime to a jug/glass/jar, then top with sparkling water.
  2. Serve immediately and enjoy!