MEETING MY FUTURE SELF (the most powerful visualisation exercise I have EVER done)

It’s not often that I get to prioritise writing a post immediately after deciding that it might be worth drafting. But when I mentioned this particular visualisation exercise on Instagram last night, I had quite a response of interest. As those of you who have been following my blog for a while will already be aware, I am a HUGE believer in the power of visualisation and meditation. Some of my most visited blog posts are on the very subject. All my experiences with meditation have been positive in some way. Most recently I have participated in Josefine’s Yoga’s meditation challenge (involving practicing a different meditation technique everyday for 21 days) and I am currently doing the latest Chopra Center 21-Day Meditation Experience™, Getting Unstuck: Creating a Limitless life.

But the particular meditation experience I am writing about today is based upon a visualisation exercise that I did only one time, but it dramatically changed/informed the course of my life.

Around autumn 2000 in Australia, I attended a small event at a local community center in a suburb of Adelaide. The main focus of the event was meditation. I’d had some experience with meditation before, specifically guided audio relaxation techniques and open-eye meditation à la Sri Chinmoy.

To give you a little background to this story, I was extremely lost at the time, having just emerged from a period of self-destruction/living in dysfunctional relationships (but that’s for another post). In short, I was very young and had, through acting upon self-loathing, become very broken. But I was recovering and had begun walking on a healing path. I still experienced anxiety daily and unfounded fear was my constant unwanted companion. In hindsight I would also say that I was mildly depressed on top of everything, however having been thoroughly depressed (and diagnosed as such) not so much longer before, I didn’t quite recognise it at the time.
I had been on a cocktail of medications in 1999 prescribed to address the symptoms of depression and anxiety I suffered from. There are least 5 medications that I can recall off the top of my head, but there were possibly more. However, after 2 years of being diagnosed, reassessed and re-diagnosed, I had been taken off of all forms of medication upon the suggestion of my primary treating doctor under supervision in the hospital for which he was the director*.

It was now up to me to, with support, develop some skills and emotional tools to cope with “life stuff”. Meditation was one of the things that helped. And so, when my boyfriend at the time was invited by a family friend to attend a meditation event, I gladly went along. It may be coincidence, fate or something else, but regardless, certain things were revealed to me that day about paths I didn’t even know I wanted to take. I ended up taking them… and there is not a single thing in my life today (from my husband, to my children, to the fact that I live in Sweden) that hasn’t been shaped by these things.

So, are you curious to know how it works? To be honest, I still don’t know. But I can outline the basic exercise and you can try it for yourself. Then, if you are interested to know what I saw and what came to pass in reality, read on.

MEET YOUR FUTURE SELF

Completely from memory, the visualisation exercise we did was basically as follows (there may be details that I am missing as it was 16 years ago!):

Imagine yourself sitting in a comfortable quiet room, in a large comfortable white chair.

A screen appears in front of you and on it are projected numbers. Imagine those that you may have seen at the start of an old documentary. They count down, from 10 to 1.

10… 9… 8… 7… 6… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…

Slowly your chair starts to rise off the floor, large glass doors on one side of the room open to reveal a peaceful natural landscape and your chair, with you comfortably seated upon it, slowly drifts outside.

Your chair starts to descend, then land, and you find yourself quietly observing your future self, exactly a year from now. You are happy, healthy and doing something that you love. What is it that you are doing? How do you look? How do you feel? When you feel as though you have taken in this scene, sit back in your chair and relax.

Slowly your chair starts to rise again and drift up and away to another place, 2 years into the future. Again you have the opportunity to observe your future self. Where are you now? What is it that you are doing? How do you look? How do you feel? Do you want to talk to your future self? If so approach and ask a question of your choosing. Once you have the response and when you feel as though you have taken in this scene, sit back in your chair and relax.

Slowly your chair starts to rise again and drift up and away to another place, 3 years into the future. Again you have the opportunity to observe your future self. Where are you now? What is it that you are doing? How do you look? How do you feel? When you feel as though you have taken in this scene, sit back in your chair and relax.

Slowly your chair starts to rise again and drift up and away to another place, 4 years into the future. Again you have the opportunity to observe your future self. Where are you now? What is it that you are doing? How do you look? How do you feel? When you feel as though you have taken in this scene, sit back in your chair and relax.

Slowly your chair starts to rise again and drift up and away to another place, 5 years into the future. This place is by a beautiful lake. Watch as the sun begins to set over the stunning landscape. As the moon appears in the sky, you see your future self. You approach each other, smiling and feeling at ease. How do you look? How do you feel?

As you stand together by the lake, the moon reflected in its water, you ask your future self one question. Now listen carefully. After receiving your answer, you say thank you, turn and walk back to your chair. You sit back down in your chair and relax.

Slowly your chair starts to rise and drift up and away. Your chair approaches a house and large glass doors open to allow your chair to drift into the same room you started your journey in.

Your chair starts to descend, then lands gently, and once again you find yourself sitting in a comfortable quiet room.

A screen appears in front of you and on it are projected numbers. They count up, from 1 to 10.

1… 2… 3… 4… 5… 6… 7… 8… 9… 10…

Now slowly open your eyes and find yourself sitting comfortably where you are.

To end this experience and to solidify what you have envisioned, create a collage of images that help tell the story of what you saw or evoke the same positive emotions.

___

For those of you who are interested in what I saw when I did this visualisation exercise myself, here are a few of the things that really stand out in my mind.

I saw myself one year in the future, wearing a smock (such as an artist would wear). I was standing in the courtyard of a place that was my own. At the time I had only ever lived in arguably chaotic share housing situations post moving away from my family home as a teenager, with up to 6 others in the same household. As a result of poor lifestyle choices on my part (and, arguably, many with whom I resided), there was always the possibility of losing a lease, and security in all forms hung precariously in the balance. In my visualisation, however, it was my name on the “important papers”, I didn’t have 6 housemates to be concerned with and everything was peaceful. It was a sunny day, warm and mild. There was a canvas on an easel and I was painting. I was smiling, I was focused on what I was doing and I was calm.

Not long after doing this meditation, upon deciding that tertiary education was something I might like to pursue, I was using the SATAC tertiary course guide as a flip book, unsure of what I was meant to study. I stubbornly (perhaps foolishly) determined that whatever page I landed on would be the course I should look into. I let my thumb stop flicking on a random page, opened the guide and read the words “Bachelor of Visual Communication”. As I read the course description, every fibre of my being knew I was meant to do that course. My guidance counselor thought otherwise and advised me against full-time study on account of my history (she thought I’d be too fragile to take the course or indeed any form of further study). In any case, I battled through the anxiety I still had and sat the university entrance examination. My result secured me a place in my chosen course in art school.

In high school my results had been rather mediocre for most subjects (with a couple of exceptions for classes I loved) and I was generally not a particularly motivated student. My university years, however, were some of the best I have had, both in terms of how I felt and how I performed academically. I discovered passions I didn’t know were there (such as an interest in corporate design), I won the award for best first year student, made the Dean’s Merit List every year, and graduated with the highest GPA in my course and a traveling scholarship to Japan. I also met my husband, a Swedish exchange student, during my second year of study. And I was finally living in a place that was my own.

During another stage of the visualisation I saw myself on a tropical beach, wearing a bikini and eating tropical fruit. Being raised in Australia, I was no stranger to beaches… except I didn’t frequent them, didn’t consider myself a “summer person” and would have balked at the thought of wearing a bikini. This beach was not in Australia. It was somewhere I had never been and somewhere that I would not have been interested in visiting at the time I did the meditation (I was an urban dweller, not a “nature girl”). The thing that actually shocked me was that my future self felt so incredibly comfortable in her own skin. She was literally glowing (tanned, even!), she was not self-conscious in the slightest and looked so happy, healthy, calm… and unlike me.

Fast forward a couple of years and my boyfriend (now my husband) and I travelled to New Zealand to renew his Australian visa. A friend from Auckland met us in the backpacker hostel where we were staying and, we happened to see a pamphlet in the reception area for a backpacker boat (60 Fijian dollars per night, including food, drinks and activities). On a whim, our friend suggested that we meet in Fiji to celebrate New Year’s Eve 2003/04. And so, just months later, we did. Prior to leaving, I realised I was in need of a bathing suit and picked up a bikini (my first) on a last-minute shopping trip. We extended our New Year’s trip to include an island visit and, one morning, sitting on the beach on the island of Kuata, eating fruit in my bikini, I thought “I have been here before”.

barefoot-island-lodge

Image © tripadvisor.com**

There is a final stand-out memory I have of the visualisation. I saw myself in a land of green fields, abundant nature, space and lakes. I knew it was somewhere in Europe, though not anywhere I had been before. It was a cold land, but I saw my future self on a cool summer’s evening. I watched the sun setting and the day turn to night before my future self appeared on a hill and almost glided over to meet me. She was even more calm and serene than my other future selves had been. We walked down the hill and came to stand side by side by a still black lake, stars twinkling overhead, lush green hills all around us. She looked at me with a knowing kindness. She knew what I was going through and I knew she felt compassion, but not pity.

After a short time I asked her one question.

“How did you get here?”

“I lived every moment to the fullest.”, my future self responded, smiling kindly.

big_thumb_277a8d4e9bfcf31f0b564974fc9274a5

Image © wallpaperup.com

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*This account of my experiences is purely anecdotal and shared only to provide a background to the meditation experience itself. If you have a diagnosed illness, mental health-related or other, I implore you to seek professional support if you’re even considering abandoning a prescribed medication protocol. The reason I was able to stop taking the medications I was prescribed was that 1) I was misusing medications and therefore they were doing more damage than good 2) It was determined that I didn’t have any kind of neurological imbalance, but rather needed to accept greater personal accountability and find strategies to cope with life and the issues I had. Medication was not going to help me be more responsible for my own life. But there are absolutely times when medication is crucial. This is not an “anti-medication” post. And everyone is different.

**This was the actual beach I saw myself sitting on during the visualisation. And where I ended up almost 3 years later.

BAKED BANANA “FRITTER” SPRING ROLLS & BANANA CHOCOLATE “CREPE” SPRING ROLLS

You may wonder why the words “fritter” and “crepe” appear in the titles of these recipes (and in quotation marks). The first variation is clearly not a fritter at all, as the banana is neither battered or fried, and the second variation is clearly not a crepe. Rather, both are inspired by food memories of mine involving banana fritters and crepes respectively.

Plant-based and low-sugar, both options are baked in the oven and ridiculously easy to assemble. It is not my intention to spam you with dessert spring rolls, but they are in hot demand at Marizpan HQ, and so we are constantly coming up with new versions.

When I was growing up in Australia, at least once a week we visited Chinatown as a family. Are you familiar with the ubiquitous fried, syrupy bananas with ice-cream served in many a Chinese establishment? Yes, those ones. Well, I loved them. Actually, I still love the flavour combination, but it goes without saying that they are far from healthy. I had the notion to try out a version of dessert spring rolls that might replicate the flavour of those battered, fried, sugary bananas in a slightly more wholesome way. I am thrilled to say that, not only are these the easiest dessert spring roll version I have made thus far, but absolutely delicious too.

I implore you to serve them with vanilla ice-cream and a drizzle of maple or rice malt syrup (if only for the sake of flavour balance “authenticity”😀 ). My creamy cashew-based custard would also work for a less sweet option.

The second version was an attempt to recreate the flavours of my favourite treat when we were in the south of France in 2010 during my pregnancy with Louie; chocolate and banana crepes. Again, I am happy to report recipe-testing success!

Please feel free to do as I did and make a double batch (one of each version!) and do let me know which is your favourite!

And don’t forget, if you’d like a simple how-to guide, see my quick DIY Dessert Spring Rolls video on Instagram.

Thanks to the generosity of some dear friends, we have just returned from a wonderful weekend in the countryside spent bathing, picking berries in the forest, eating far too much comfort food (I literally had veggie burgers and sweet potato fries twice in one day), exploring and having lots of rest, chats and cuddles.

Returning to the city, my heart is heavy with sadness, not because our little vacation is over (we are very thankful for the time we had), but rather over recent tragic events both near and far. I will be prioritising meditation tonight… and trying to ground myself in gratitude for the things that are right with the world in the midst of all that seems wrong.

❤ MM xx

MissMarzipan_banana_fritter_springrolls_lg

BAKED BANANA “FRITTER” SPRING ROLLS

Makes 12

INGREDIENTS

1 large banana, sliced
75 ml walnuts, crushed (optional)
3-4 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
6 sheets dairy-free filo pastry
50 ml olive oil
Syrup & vanilla ice-cream of choice for serving

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 180°C fan.
  2. Place one sheet of filo on a clean surface. Brush the entire sheet lightly with oil and place a second sheet over it. Pat across the surface lightly with your hands to smooth out.
  3. Cut the double filo sheet in quarters, widthways.
  4. Lightly brush the sides of each pastry strip with a little oil.
  5. At the top of each strip of pastry, add 3-4 slices of banana and a sprinkle of crushed walnuts if using.
  6. Roll the top section over the once, then fold the sides in too, before continuing to roll all the way down, creating a secure filled pastry parcel. Repeat the process.
  7. Place all the spring rolls on a baking paper lined tray, leaving a little space in between each one. Brush each roll lightly with oil. You can sprinkle the sesame seed on at this point, or you can toast them lightly and serve them on the side as an optional “sprinkle”.
  8. Bake for 20 mins until golden and crispy.
  9. Serve warm, preferably with ice-cream and syrup.

 

MissMarzipan_banana_chocolate_springrolls_lg

BAKED BANANA CHOCOLATE “CREPE” SPRING ROLLS

Makes 12

INGREDIENTS

1 large banana, sliced
4 squares (30-40 g) dark chocolate, chopped
75 ml flaked almonds/chopped toasted hazelnuts (optional)
6 sheets dairy-free filo pastry
50 ml olive oil
Whipped coconut cream or vanilla ice-cream of choice for serving (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 180°C fan.
  2. Place one sheet of filo on a clean surface. Brush the entire sheet lightly with oil and place a second sheet over it. Pat across the surface lightly with your hands to smooth out.
  3. Cut the double filo sheet in quarters, widthways.
  4. Lightly brush the sides of each pastry strip with a little oil.
  5. At the top of each strip of pastry, add 3-4 slices of banana, some chopped chocolate and a sprinkle of nuts if using.
  6. Roll the top section over the once, then fold the sides in too, before continuing to roll all the way down, creating a secure filled pastry parcel. Repeat the process.
  7. Place all the spring rolls on a baking paper lined tray, leaving a little space in between each one. Brush each roll lightly with oil. You can sprinkle the sesame seed on at this point, or you can toast them lightly and serve them on the side as an optional “sprinkle”.
  8. Bake for 20 mins until golden and crispy.
  9. Serve warm or cold. If serving cold, an extra drizzle of dark chocolate over the top of each roll looks lovely.

 

SWEET POTATO MINI NACHO BOWLS

Looking for the perfect treat to jazz up your Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday or Fredagsmys (roughly translates from Swedish as “Friday cosy time” :D )? I thought so! Now, before you get started making these delicious Sweet Potato Mini Nacho Bowls, please note that there’s the super-easy version, and there’s the “cheese”-topped version (which is also easy, but takes a little extra prep time).

It’s your choice. Either way, you can be assured that these will taste delicious and rather look cute on your table.

To make it easier, for those who just want the Whipped Sweet Potato “Cheese” Dip recipe, you can get it here.

If the Sweet Potato Mini Nacho Bowls are what you came here for, read on. I have stated that this recipe will serve 2-4 and this will depend upon how you serve them (as an appetizer or a main), what you serve them with (you may wish to have them with rice and/or salad)… and how hungry you are!

And, this has nothing to do with food, but I feel compelled to add this anyway, after reminiscing with my friend today over lunch.

I miss being here.

I mean, I miss being here on this blog… in a more “emotionally present” way. I tend to share my everyday “feels” on Instagram nowadays, only because it is easier, faster and I am connected to that space almost everyday. But this space – the so-called blogosphere – will always be special to me.

I realised today that I probably never prioritised myself or my emotional/spiritual well-being more than I did during my high risk pregnancy with Lillian (who some of you may know as Cupcake). And, for a time, this humble little blog was my link to the outside world and a vehicle for me to keep myself both inspired and accountable.

For all the support, inspiration and kindness I received during that time from people who connected with me here, I am forever grateful. To those who are still here, well… I think of you as old friends now (honestly getting teary-eyed as I type this). And to those who have connected with me recently, I thank you for being here too and hope to share more with you. More recipes, sure. But more of myself too.

❤ Marisa xx

MissMarzipan_sweet_potato_nacho_bowls_lg

SWEET POTATO MINI NACHO BOWLS

Serves 2-4

INGREDIENTS FOR POTATOES

6 medium-sized sweet potatoes, washed and scrubbed but not peeled
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp olive oil (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste

INGREDIENTS FOR EASY BEAN & CORN MIX
1 small can of sweetcorn, drained, rinsed, patted dry with paper towel
1 can black beans, drained & well-rinsed
1 small onion, finely chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1-2 roasted red bell peppers, chopped (homemade or from a jar)
1 jalapeño, finely chopped (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste

FOR SERVING all of the following work well

Fresh lime wedges
Fresh sliced chilli
Fresh basil/coriander/mint
Slices of avocado
Guacamole
Tomato based salsa
Taco sauce
Cashew cheese
Tahini dressing
Greek-style yogurt
etc., etc.!

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 190°C (you can adjust this temperature according to your oven’s settings, but somewhere between 180°C and 200°C works).
    Pop your scrubbed sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking tray and bake them for 40-45 minutes or until the skin is wrinkled and the potato inside is tender.
  2. Meanwhile get onto toasting your corn. Over medium heat, pop the sweetcorn into a frying pan with a small amount of oil of choice (I use coconut or olive). Allow the corn to brown on one side by leaving it without stirring for 3-5 minutes. Stir, then leave for an additional 3-5 minutes until corn has acquired a richer toasted colour. Remove from heat and set to the side in a bowl.
  3. Heat a pan over medium heat. Add a small amount of oil of choice (I use coconut or olive), the chopped onion and the crushed garlic. Sauté until translucent. Add the chopped red bell peppers (and jalapeño if using). Add the black beans and the corn you toasted earlier. Stir through the spices and season the mix to taste.
  4. Your potatoes should be ready after 40-45 minutes and this is where you decide if you want to do it the super-easy way, or the simple “cheese” dip-topped way! Read on for directions for the super-easy way first (I’ll pop the “cheese”-topped version directions down below*). Remove sweet potatoes from the oven and slice them in half.
  5. With a fork, give the sweet potato a good mashing, but be careful to keep the potato skins intact (they are your “bowls”, remember😉 ). You can add a tiny drizzle of olive oil at this point if you like. Sprinkle a little pinch each of garlic powder, onion powder and sweet paprika over each potato half and mash a little to incorporate.
  6. Top with heaped spoonfuls of the bean and corn mix, before dressing with a little squeeze of lime juice and adding extra toppings of choice. And don’t forget to pop some little tortilla chips or organic corn chips right into the mini nacho bowls for dipping!

MissMarzipan_sweet_potato_nacho_bowls2

*FOR MAKING THE “CHEESE”-TOPPED VERSION

INGREDIENTS

6 small-medium sweet potatoes, washed & scrubbed but not peeled
3 tbsp* plant milk of choice (I used cashew milk)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2-1 tsp garlic powder
1/2-1 tsp onion powder
1/2-1 tsp sweet paprika
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
Salt (and pepper, if you like) to taste

INGREDIENTS FOR EASY BEAN & CORN MIX
1 small can of sweetcorn, drained, rinsed, patted dry with paper towel
1 can black beans, drained & well-rinsed
1 small onion, finely chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1-2 roasted red bell peppers, chopped (homemade or from a jar)
1 jalapeño, finely chopped (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste

FOR SERVING see list of toppings above

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 190°C (you can adjust this temperature according to your oven’s settings, but somewhere between 180°C and 200°C works).
    Pop your scrubbed sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking tray and bake them for 40-45 minutes or until the skin is wrinkled and the potato inside is tender.
  2. Meanwhile get onto toasting your corn. Over medium heat, pop the sweetcorn into a frying pan with a small amount of oil of choice (I use coconut or olive). Allow the corn to brown on one side by leaving it without stirring for 3-5 minutes. Stir, then leave for an additional 3-5 minutes until corn has acquired a richer toasted colour. Remove from heat and set to the side in a bowl.
  3. Heat a pan over medium heat. Add a small amount of oil of choice (I use coconut or olive), the chopped onion and the crushed garlic. Sauté until translucent. Add the chopped red bell peppers (and jalapeño if using). Add the black beans and the corn you toasted earlier. Stir through the spices and season the mix to taste.
  4. Remove sweet potatoes from the oven, slice them in half, scoop out the flesh carefully with a spoon (keep the potato skins to the side) and blitz the sweet potato in a food processor with the plant milk and olive oil until smooth.
    Add remaining “cheese” dip ingredients to the mix. Blitz until well combined, try a little of the mix, then season to taste, adding more salt and spices, if you like.
  5. Add a heaped tablespoon or two of the “cheese” dip back into the empty potato skins. Top with heaped spoonfuls of the bean and corn mix, before topping with more dip, adding extra toppings of choice and dressing with a little squeeze of lime juice. Don’t forget to pop some little tortilla chips or organic corn chips right into the mini nacho bowls for dipping!

 

WHIPPED SWEET POTATO “CHEESE” DIP

Another “oldie” revisited! This time, it’s a super-easy plant-based spreadable “cheese “, perfect for dipping your favourite vegetable/corn chips or crudités into. The basic preparation technique I use for this is based on how I make baby food from sweet potatoes… which probably doesn’t sound very appealing😛 , but I promise you it’s fuss-free and, with a few simple additions, delicious too. You can also thin it out to make a sauce (see directions below).

Who says vegetables are boring?😉

Stay tuned for my next post for the continuation of this old idea & recipe where this “cheese” will come in handy (and don’t forget to keep those potato skins too if trying it out!).

Let’s get to it…!

❤ MM xx

MissMarzipan_whipped_sweet_potato_cheese

WHIPPED SWEET POTATO “CHEESE” DIP

INGREDIENTS 

6 small-medium sweet potatoes, washed & scrubbed but not peeled
3 tbsp* plant milk of choice (I used cashew milk)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2-1 tsp garlic powder
1/2-1 tsp onion powder
1/2-1 tsp sweet paprika
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
Salt (and pepper, if you like) to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 190°C (you can adjust this temperature according to your oven’s settings, but somewhere between 180°C and 200°C works).
  2. Pop your scrubbed sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking tray and bake them for 40-45 minutes or until the skin is wrinkled and the potato inside is tender.
  3. Remove sweet potatoes from the oven, slice them in half, scoop out the flesh with a spoon* and blitz in a food processor with the plant milk and olive oil until smooth.
  4. Add remaining ingredients to the mix. Blitz until well combined, try a little of the mix, then season to taste, adding more salt and spices, if you like.

 

*Do this carefully and keep the potato skins to the side if making my Sweet Potato Mini Nacho Bowls.

**If you prefer a slightly thinner “cheese sauce” consistency, add a little extra plant milk and/or olive oil and blitz until desired consistency is reached.

EASY NUT & SEED PAN-TOASTED DUKKAH

I am currently going through my Instagram archives in an attempt to keep my recipes more organised and easy to locate. It turns out that there’s even more in the captions than I could recall. In fact, a whopping 87 weeks ago I made a super-fast version of dukkah to accompany a cauliflower, chickpea and kale dish that cropped up in the IQS8WP meal-plan. This recipe is still a go-to for me, but would be very difficult for someone else to find if they had to scroll back so far in my gallery.

Dukkah is not readily available in stores here as it was when I was growing up in Australia. I still remember when it suddenly became all the rage and made an appearance on the table at every entertaining occasion my parents held for a period of a couple of years. They never made it themselves, but rather purchased it from markets or specialty food stores. In any case, 87 weeks ago I had no such luxury. I simply looked in my pantry, took out what I thought might work and decided that I’d use a pan as I didn’t have time to preheat my oven!

This non-traditional yet tasty dukkah was the result.

Use it as you like, try it with my Dukkah Crusted Sweet Potato Fries & Tahini Dipping Sauce with Roasted Garlic… or eat it as my parents did at so many dinner parties in the late 90s, by taking chunks of good bread (sourdough or focaccia are great), dipping it in olive oil and then into a bowl of dukkah.

So easy and SO yummy!

❤ MM xx

MissMarzipan_pantoasted_dukkah_nuts_seeds

EASY NUT & SEED PAN-TOASTED DUKKAH

INGREDIENTS
1 tsp coriander seeds
1.5 tsp fennel seeds
150 ml raw, unsalted almonds
100 ml raw, unsalted pistachios
50 ml sunflower seeds
50 ml pepitas/pumpkin seeds
4 tbsp sesame seeds (I used a mix of black & white)
1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
2 tsp crushed nori flakes (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Throw all ingredients into a food processor and blitz for around 15 seconds.
  2. Pop the dukkah mix into a frying pan/skillet over medium heat and toast, stirring occassionally*, for around 7 minutes.
  3. Allow to cool before sealing in jar/airtight container/plastic gift bags**

 

*Do not leave the pan unattended unless you plan to toast the mix on a lower heat for a longer amount of time. 

**Yes, this makes a lovely gift!

WORLD’S EASIEST 4-INGREDIENT PLANT-BASED HOLLANDAISE SAUCE

Many of my recipes are super simple, like my 3-ingredient plant-based caesar salad dressing. And this recipe is actually based on that very one, made in a pinch in order to have something to dress my asparagus & roasted sweet potato toasted sandwich the other day.

And, as this is an extremely short recipe, I’ll keep this post fittingly short and sweet too.

❤ MM xx

MissMarzipan_easiest_plantbased_hollandaise_tahini

WORLD’S EASIEST 4-INGREDIENT PLANT-BASED HOLLANDAISE SAUCE

INGREDIENTS
2 heaped tbsp tahini
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 turmeric
A pinch of white pepper, ground
At least 3 tbsp of water, but more if needed to achieve desired consistency

DIRECTIONS
Pop all dressing ingredients into a small blender and blitz until smooth, adding more water/lemon juice to taste and to reach desired consistency.

 

MissMarzipan_aparagus_sweetpotato_toasted_roll

BAKED APPLE PIE SPRING ROLLS

This classic apple pie flavoured version of my dessert spring rolls is sure to please, regardless of the climate you happen to find yourself in right now. If you’re currently enjoying the warmth of summer, I recommend serving these with ice-cream (we had the exact spring rolls pictured with tofu vanilla ice-cream). And if you’re trying to stay cosy as winter does its thing, why not try these with warm, creamy cashew-based custard?

Lillian spent part of the weekend with my in-laws. She has recently “graduated” from dummies (or pacifiers) and we are all very proud of her. The trade-off has been that she has moved from her “little bed” into Louie’s “big bed”. And, as the protective and ultra-kind big brother he is, despite being a little uncomfortable with the new (hopefully temporary) top-to-toe arrangement, he is very accommodating. With Lillian away for a couple of nights, we thought he’d be thrilled for the opportunity for some special “mama & papa time”. But, as much as he did love the extra attention & some fun “big boy” activities, he missed his little sister. He even cried on the first night. And these apple pies were his idea to welcome her home.

His request was, “Mamma, can we make apple pies so that we can have an apple pie and ice-cream party for Lillian when she gets home? Lillian loves apple pies and ice-cream. I want her to be happy.”.❤

Seriously. How could I refuse?

So, if there’s someone in your life that you would like to make happy too, feel free to give these a go… they might just do the trick! And don’t forget, if you’d like a simple how-to guide, see my quick DIY Dessert Spring Rolls video on Instagram.

❤ MM xx

MissMarzipan_apple_pie_spring_rolls_lg

BAKED APPLE PIE SPRING ROLLS

Makes 12

INGREDIENTS

2 medium-sized green apples, peeled, cored & chopped
1 tbsp rice malt/maple syrup
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
3 tbsp currants (optional*)
6 sheets dairy-free filo pastry
50 ml olive oil

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 180°C fan. Place the chopped apples, currants, syrup and spices to a saucepan and cook, covered, on low-medium heat until the apples are soft (5-10 minutes). Stir occasionally.
  2. Tip into a shallow dish and spread out to cool slightly.
  3. Place one sheet of filo on a clean surface. Brush the entire sheet lightly with oil and place a second sheet over it. Pat across the surface lightly with your hands to smooth out.
  4. Cut the double filo sheet in quarters, widthways.
  5. Lightly brush the sides of each pastry strip with a little oil.
  6. At the top of each strip of pastry, add a heaped tablespoon or so of apple pie filling.
  7. Roll the top section over the once, then fold the sides in too, before continuing to roll all the way down, creating a secure filled pastry parcel. Repeat the process.
  8. Place all the spring rolls on a baking paper lined tray, leaving a little space in between each one. Brush each roll lightly with oil.
  9. Bake for 20 mins until golden and crispy.
  10. Serve warm, with custard or ice-cream and extra syrup, if you like.

 

*Omit currants if following the IQS program.

BAKED SWEET SPRING ROLLS WITH CREAMY EGG-FREE CUSTARD (plant-based & IQS-friendly)

I couldn’t possibly let Swedish midsummer go by without baking something seasonally appropriate. A few months ago I started making these baked spring rolls in an attempt to use up some extra filo pastry. They were an instant hit with hubby and kids alike.

They’ve since made an appearance on the table at several celebrations (including today’s)… I even created a little video of a strawberry & rhubarb compote version that I made for Mother’s Day recently.

Read on if you’re interested in the recipes for both the baked spring rolls & the custard, and happy midsummer to all those celebrating!

❤ MM xx

MissMarzipan_baked_sweet_spring_rolls

BAKED SWEET SPRING ROLLS

Makes 12

INGREDIENTS

1 large green apple, peeled, cored & chopped
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp rice malt syrup
A handful of small strawberries, tops removed, cut in half
6 sheets dairy-free filo pastry
50 ml neutral plant oil (such as organic rapeseed oil)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 180°C fan. Place the apple, rice malt syrup and water in a saucepan and cook, covered, on low-medium heat until the apples are soft (5-10 minutes). Stir occasionally.
  2. Tip into a shallow dish and spread out to cool slightly.
  3. Place one sheet of filo on a clean surface. Brush the entire sheet lightly with oil and place a second sheet over it. Pat across the surface lightly with your hands to smooth out.
  4. Cut the double filo sheet in quarters, widthways.
  5. Lightly brush the sides of each pastry strip with a little oil.
  6. At the top of each strip of pastry, place a few apple pieces and a couple of strawberry halves.
  7. Roll the top section over the once, then fold the sides in too, before continuing to roll all the way down, creating a secure filled pastry parcel. Repeat the process.
  8. Place all the spring rolls on a baking paper lined tray, leaving a little space in between each one. Brush each roll lightly with oil.
  9. Bake for 20 mins until golden and crispy.
  10. Serve warm, with custard if you like.

 

CREAMY EGG-FREE CUSTARD

INGREDIENTS
200 ml raw organic cashews
200 ml cashew milk
300 ml water
50 ml arrowroot powder
2 tbsp rice malt syrup
1 tsp vanilla powder
A little pinch of ground nutmeg

DIRECTIONS

  1. Blitz cashews until they reach fine crumb consistency.
  2. Add cashew milk, water and arrowroot and blitz for at least a minute on high-speed.
  3. Tip into a medium saucepan, add rice malt syrup, vanilla, and nutmeg and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally. As soon as custard reaches a simmer, turn the heat down to your stove’s lowest setting and stir gently (using a whisk) for a couple of minutes. The custard should have a creamy and thickened appearance but maintain a pourable consistency. If you want to thin it a little, add extra cashew milk and stir well to incorporate.
  4. If serving immediately, pour into a jug. If serving later, pour into a bowl, cover the bowl with cling film and push the cling film down so that it touches the surface of the custard. This will prevent a “skin” forming on the surface.

 

HOMEMADE MULTI-SEED CRACKERS (my mother-in-law’s dairy/gluten-free “secret” recipe!)

I received many requests for this recipe when I first shared these crackers on Instagram, but I had to secure the go-ahead from my mother-in-law before sharing. Well, just in time for Swedish midsummer picnic time, here it is… and I promise that you will not regret giving this recipe a go!

A few years ago, my in-laws surprised us by completing a 100% plant-based detox program. Despite eating a rather prototypical Swedish diet prior to the detox, they managed without dairy, meat, sugar and alcohol for a period of 40 days (if I remember correctly), and medical tests afterwards showed a marked improvement to their health.

These crackers (fröbröd, or “seed bread”, as they called it) were their favoured bread substitute during that time. In fact, this recipe was so beloved that it became a go-to, and we have all enjoyed these crackers since. My mother-in-law was kind enough to share the recipe with me… and I hope you will now enjoy them just as much as we do!

Glad midsommar, Swedish friends!

❤ MM xx

MissMarzipan_multiseed_crackers

HOMEMADE MULTI-SEED CRACKERS

Makes 2 trays

INGREDIENTS
300 ml organic cornmeal
150 ml organic linseeds
150 ml organic sesame seeds
150 ml organic pumpkin seeds
150 ml organic sunflower seeds
375 ml boiling water
75 ml organic olive/rapeseed/other plant-based oil

A sprinkling of flaked sea salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat your oven to 150°C.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
  3. Pour the oil and water over the mix. Stir to combine.
  4. Spread the mixture out as evenly as possible over two baking paper-lined trays.
  5. Using a sharp knife, create cuts both horizontally and vertically to create rectangular cracker shapes (once baked, they will break apart along the guidelines).
  6. Sprinkle sea salt flakes over the unbaked crackers.
  7. Bake each tray for 55 minutes.
  8. The baked crackers are best eaten after cooling and can be stored in an airtight container for at least 3 days (or even frozen for later use).

 

*I have also used a round cookie cutter to make circular crackers. This is more time-consuming than my mother-in-law’s way, but is a nice idea for different presentation.