Crunchiest Potatoes and still soft inside [with sesame seeds and couscous]


couscous potatoes

Crunchy Couscous Potatoes,  Photo CJ Baldacchino during a live tv show

How do you get more of the crunch and leave them so soft that they melt-in-your-mouth at the same time?

Everyone loved these and you will need:

300g potatoes, chopped with skin on
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons uncooked couscous
1 teaspoon fresh or dried herbs [optional]
Sea Salt

Prepare an oven dish by greasing with a tablespoon of olive oil. In a large bowl toss the potatoes with the olive oil, herbs and salt if you are using it. Finally add the raw couscous and toss again. Use your hands to mix the potatoes and ensure that they are consistently covered.
Place in a preheated oven at 220C for 35 minutes.
Serve hot or cold with drinks and a toothpick or as a side to a main meal. The inside remains soft and so creamy !

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Trade Enquiries:

Batchelors Spicy Couscous by Premier Foods at George Borg

My vegetables today come from Oscar’s Fruit and Vegetables in Paola, Big Fresh Mosta and Barbuto [organic]



Carrot, Orange and fresh turmeric soup with gbejna



‘Autumn is here early it seems and this soup gives a boost of vitamin C and is loaded with ingredients that are good for us.  It is gluten free and diabetic friendly.  For a vegan or lactose free recipe, leave out those delicious gbejnas.’

You will need :

4 medium carrots
1 medium onion
1 large garlic clove
1 bayleaf
1 medium sweet potato
Juice of 1 orange
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1/8 teaspoon grated orange zest
50ml tomato polpa
1 Oxo Herbs and More Stock Pot
1/4 cm fresh turmeric root
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 hard or soft gbejna
Salt and pepper to season if desired

Place the olive oil in a large pot on low heat.  Chop the vegetables roughly and place in a large pot. Heat through and stir. Add the stock pot and then top the vegetables with water. Immerse the vegetables with water, add the bay leaf, fresh turmeric root and the tomato polpa.
Cook on medium heat and bring to boil, lower heat then add the orange juice and zest. Cook for around 35 minutes. Check that the vegetables are cooked. Remove from heat and cool. Take out the bay leaf. Use a hand held blender to purée until it is very smooth.
Reheat and serve topped with a fresh gbejna or use grated mature gbejna.

Carrot Orange Soup

Carrot Orange Soup with fresh turmeric root and fresh gbejna. Photography CJ Baldacchino during a live tv show

You can watch Lea’s Good Food Everyday on Smash TV and follow on facebook

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Trade Enquiries:

Filippo Berio Olive Oil and XTra Tomato Polpa by Rimus Group

Oxo Stock Pots, Saxa Salt by Premier Foods at George Borg Ltd

Dried Herbs by Good Earth

Fresh vegetables and herbs by Big Fresh Mosta, Oscars Fruit and Vegetables Paola and Barbuto [organic]



Maltese Pudina and Barbetta’s



Maltese Bread Pudding, photo during a live tv show

‘A visit to a very old bakery in the village of Zejtun prompted me to bake this old fashioned Maltese chocolate pudding [Pudina] that my grandmother, like most frugal Maltese and Gozitan grandmothers, used to make.

It was an economical cake, the way to use up stale bread and all the bits and pieces in the kitchen store cupboard.

As with most Maltese sweet recipes, I use one given to me by Renato Briffa, passed on to him by his father who owned a confectionery in Old Mint Street, Valletta in the 50s. You can sprinkle it with coconut before serving just as Renato does but I studded it with blanched almonds when I made it on tv this week.

It keeps moist in an airtight container for two or three weeks and the flavour and texture improves a few days after baking.’


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For the Maltese Pudina, you will need:

1 loaf of bread and you can use up your stale bread
4 spoons cocoa powder
150g butter (melted)
Zest of 1/4 lemon
Zest of 1/4 orange
4 eggs
4 drops vanilla extract
25 g sultanas
1/4 teaspoon mixed spice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
25g chopped dark chocolate
2 tablespoons jam
125g sugar
1 shot of  your favourite liquor
25g canded peel
50g coconut
75g ground almonds
70g custard powder
Milk, enough to bring the mix dropping consistency and more for soaking the bread

A baking tray of 35cm by 25cm x 6 cm deep

Soak the stale bread in milk for at least an hour and then drain it thoroughly by squeezing the milk out using clean hands.

Melt the butter in the microwave and mix all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. If you are making a large quantity you can mix by using the k beater and an electric mixer. Or use a large metal spoon as I did on tv.
Spray the baking dish with baking spray [I like coconut flavour or avocado spray for the Pudina] and then pour in the mixed pudding batter.
Bake at 190 C for about 45 minutes to an hour.

For a gluten free recipe, use a gluten free loaf of bread.

For a lactose free pudina, use a plant-based milk and this is especially good with almond milk.  Use chocolate that is lactose free.

For a vegan recipe, use a plant based milk and swap the 4 eggs with 4 tablespoons of linseed ground in 12 tablespoons of water.  Use a dairy-free chocolate and a dairy-free spread instead of butter.

To reduce the sugar content, use stevia instead of sugar, sugar-free dark chocolate and a sugar-free jam 


‘Zejtun brought back many memories from my childhood.

A lifetime ago, I spend my childhood in a peaceful southern Maltese village  built around an imposing church, where one of my favourite places was Barbetta’s  with the strong aroma of yeast, sesame buns and whiffs of vanilla.

Mikiel welcomes me and weeps. I am a face from the past and as his memories come alive, he squeezes my hands and cries with joy. He is the last of the older generation of a family who own an amazing village bakery, built by Mikiel’s grandad in 1858, a busy hub tucked away in a village corner, contented customers forever flowing through the doors


I have been gone too long he says, yes thirty one years is too long, a mature face no longer that of a child but the eyes never change he says. Mmm… the eyes …. now gone is the innocence, with more expression as they carry the burden of the real harshness of life. Oh how wonderful it was to be a child in this village and I feel emotional as I see him weep.

I remember kind people with a heart of gold. We were outsiders here and made to feel at home, made to feel that we belonged and part of the close-knit clan. We are outsiders now, even more so, but the doors still open,  and the generosity of spirit is still here.  The heat from the ovens wraps around me like a comfort blanket on an unusually very cold day.   Comfort food, kind faces, kind words and more smiles.

Mikiel reminisces and I listen to his anecdotes. He speaks of my parents and his admiration for my father. I promise to come back to see him again very soon. He will not allow me to leave without piling his baked goods into my car.’

Lea’s Good Food Everyday airs on Smash TV and you can follow the facebook page

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Trade Enquiries:

Birds Custard Powder by Premier Foods  at George Borg Ltd, Telephone 356-21 472 177
Baking Ingredients and Gluten Free Bread by Genius  available at  Good Earth
Fry Light Cooking Sprays  President Butter   by Rimus Group

5 must-do-activities in Malta

Photography Ian Noel Pace and CJ Baldacchino

Good Food Everyday

Smoky Chicken, Roasted Tomato and Cabbage Soup


Chicken breast marinated in paprika, cabbage at 50c per piece and tomatoes at Euro1 per kilo, this soup is a perfect all-in-one healthy and wholesome meal.

You will need:

1 chicken breast marinated overnight in a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of smoked paprika

6 slices arrosto ham

1/2 cabbage, shredded

1/2 kilo tomatoes

1 carrot, diced

1 stock pot [I use Oxo chicken]

Garlic spray [I use Fry Light Garlic]

3 tablespoons mild and light olive oil

salt and pepper

1 bayleaf

fresh herbs of your choice and I use fresh thyme

1 litre water

Preheat oven to 220C.

Shred the cabbage and chop the tomatoes into quarters with skin on.  Line an ovenproof dish with baking paper and spray with garlic or avocado cooking spray.  Place the cabbage and chopped tomatoes on the dish and drizzle 2 tablespoons of mild and light olive oil. Place the dish in the oven to roast for about 15-20 minutes until the edges of the tomatoes start to lightly char.

Chop the chicken into small pieces.  Place a tablespoon of the olive oil in a large pot and spray with garlic cooking spray.  Saute the chicken pieces until they start to brown then chop the arrosto ham and add it to the pot.  Stir as it cooks for up to about 4 to 5 minutes.  Add the stock pot, bay leaf, fresh thyme.  Stir and add the water.  When it starts to boil add the roasted cabbage and tomato, stir and reduce the heat.  Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 35 minutes.

Remove from heat, allow to rest for 5 minutes, remove the bayleaf and serve immediately.


Good Food Everyday is aired on Smash TV and you can follow the page on facebook

During today’s tv show I also made Maltese Sesame Otti with Olive Oil and Stevia

Today’s vegetables come from Oscar’s Fruit and Vegetables in Paola



Peaches and Custard Egg Free Cake


‘The countryside and nature are very important to me.  They keep me in touch with life in real time, the seasons and months, the change of weather and time ticking along.  And they also take me to the very roots of our food.

And here on the islands, fresh produce tastes clean and sweet because it is ripened to perfection by the sun that shines nearly every day of the year.

This is the month when peaches are abundant, at give-away prices in the greengrocers and in the weekends on the way to the seaside, trucks and vans line the roadside with the abundance of the land; colourful and nearly intoxicating with the fruity perfume of the peaches at their peak.

I like to use the best ingredients that I can get my hands on and fresh fruit always produces an amazing outcome.  I love to add stone fruits to my baking. For me, it is the obvious thing to do rather than decorate cakes, heavy with sugarpaste.  I like food that is as close as possible to its natural state, being able to see the bits of seed or skin set into the cake, I like the sensation of the different textures and the juice that oozes out while it is baking and then thickens as the cake cools down, nearly turning it into a bit of jam.

There is nothing better I can think of during this hot summer than biting into a ripe peach and waiting for the juices to gush into my mouth and drip down my lips, quenching the dryness.  There are so many varieties in the market and I counted at least 10 different varieties with yellow and white flesh during the last week.

This recipe brings me back memories as a child. The taste of old fashioned custard combined with peaches and yet this cake is egg free, because Mr. Bird created the custard to suit his wife’s allergies. And this reminds me once again that the ‘free from’ trend is nothing new and way back in 1837, Mr. Bird was certainly a pioneer’

Peaches and Custard Egg Free Cake


Peaches and Custard Egg Free Cake, photos by CJ Baldacchino during a live tv show

You will need:

In the first bowl, mix well:

250g self raising flour, sifted twice
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt

In a second bowl, mix well:

500ml ready made Birds custard
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon apple organic vinegar
[1-2 tablespoons stevia or agave or honey if you like very sweet cakes]

In a third bowl:

2 large peaches [or 3 smaller ones], sliced with skin on

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Prepare the ingredients in three separate bowls. Fold in the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients by using a large metal spoon. If the mixture is too dry add a couple of tablespoons of water until you have a dropping consistency.


Prepare a cake tin with baking spray. Pour the batter into the cake tin and arrange the peach slices on top.

Bake for 35-40 minutes in a preheated oven and allow to cool before removing from the cake tin.

Lea’s Good Food Everyday airs on Smash TV and you can follow the page on facebook


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Trade Enquiries:

Birds Custard by Premier Foods  at George Borg Ltd, Telephone 00 356 21 472 177
Fry Light Cooking Spray, Butter Flavour at Rimus Group
Baking Ingredients by Good Earth Distributors
Fresh Fruit and Vegetables by Big Fresh Mosta, Oscar’s Fruit and Vegetables Paola and Barbuto [Organic]

For a gluten free recipe use gluten free flour

Nut and Seed Breads

I  have made several nut and seed breads during this tv series and this is a sweeter version.  I add raw red quinoa [and why not as quinoa is a seed] to the nut content of this beautiful loaf studded with nuts, apricots, chia, linseed and pistachio.  It is gluten free and perfect for serving with a sharp mature cheddar or perhaps with lashings of honey or agave and a good cup of tea.

We are experiencing one of the hottest summers this year.  What I like about this loaf is that although you need to turn the oven on to bake it and it may be something that one tries to avoid at the moment, you can freeze this loaf for up to a month and refrigerate it and cut it in thin slices for a week.  A little goes a long way as it is busting with amazing ingredients.  When I made the it the first time, I was rather sceptical about how it would cut but the slices are perfect and look like a mosiac.’


Photography CJ Baldacchino during a live tv show

Apricot and Pistachio Nut and Seed Bread with Red Raw Quinoa
[gluten free, lactose free]
100g pumpkin seeds
100g sunflower seeds
100g whole white blanced almonds
100g pistachio nuts
100g linseed
100g chia seeds
3 tablespoons raw red quinoa
100g dried apricots
4 eggs
50g ground almonds
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon agave or honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the top
70g dried apricots
30g pistachio nuts
warm agave or honey to lightly brush the top
Preheat the oven to 160C.  In a large bowl mix all the ingredients today and use a large metal spoon to gently bring together in consistency.
Prepare a cake tin or a loaf tin with baking spray.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake or loaf dish.
For the surface, cut the apricots horizontally and place on top of the unbaked loaf with the cut side up.
Cut the pistachio nuts in half and place a piece on top of each apricot half.
Bake in a precooked oven for 50 minutes to 1 hours.  Allow the loaf to completely cook down before removing from the dish.  While the loaf is still warm, brush lightly with agave or honey.
Allow to cool and cut into thin slices.
It freezes well for a month and you can store it in the refrigerator for a week.
Lea’s Good Food Everyday airs on Smash TV and you can follow the facebook page

Vegan Carrot and Prune Torte

 Vegan Carrot Prune Torte 2

‘Low in fats and diabetic friendly, this torte is loaded with everything that is good for you. It is moist and tastes even better a day or two after baking.  It freezes well for up to 3 months as well as a dessert served with ice cream or fruit, it also makes an ideal breakfast, mid-morning or afternoon snack and is a great addition to a packed lunch. If you have a very sweet tooth, add stevia’

You will need:

1 cup grated raw carrots
2 cups dried prunes
2 cups coconut milk
4 tablespoons linseed [flaxseed]soaked in 12 tablespoons of water
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup agave OR 1 cup stevia [if you wish you can use 1 cup brown sugar]
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon apple organic vinegar
3 cups self raising flour [use self raising gluten free flour if you wish]
1 cup ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest

For the top of the tart:  1/2 cup flaked almonds

Vegan Carrot Prune Torte 1.jpg


Allow the linseed [flaxseed] to soak in water from 1/2 hour to overnight.
Use a hand held blender to process the mixture and appear consistent. The result is a gelatinous mixture that will replace eggs in this recipe.

Preheat the oven to 170C.

Prepare a tart dish by spraying it with cooking spray or by covering it with baking paper.

Sift twice the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking power into a large bowl. Add the ground almonds, salt, vanilla and cinnamon and mix.

Grate the carrots and chop the prunes into small pieces. Add to the flour mixture and mix gently making sure that the carrots and prunes are covered all over.

Add the apple organic vinegar, orange zest and coconut milk to the linseed and process until the mixture is well blended.

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and use a large metal spoon to fold in.


Pour the batter into the prepared pie dish and scatter the flaked almonds on top.   Place in a hot oven immediately for 25-35 minutes.

Allow to cool completely before serving.

Vegan Carrot Prune Torte 3

Lea’s Good Food Everyday airs on Smash TV daily and you can follow the facebook page

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Trade Enquiries

Baking Goods, dried fruit and nuts by Good Earth Distributors

Baking spray by Frylight at Rimus Group

Fresh fruit and vegetables by Big Fresh Mosta, Oscar’s Fruit and Vegetables Paola and Barbuto [Organic]


Cold Cured Salmon

gravlax 1 charles vassallo

Home made cold cured salmon, photo Charles Vassallo during a live tv show

‘I love to make Cold Cured Salmon because it is so economical in comparison to buying it prepared and sliced.  To get the best result you need to use very fresh fish.  If you are having a large crowd, this will be a big hit !

I made it during the tv show and it proved to be very popular.  You can keep in the the fridge for up to 4 days after curing it but it also freezes very well and it is always welcome in sandwiches, salads and to enhance a weekend breakfast or brunch.’

You will need:

50g sea salt
70g sugar
a large bunch of fresh dill
2 tablespoons vodka
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black peppercorns
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon apple organic vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon crushed pink peppercorns

A large piece of boneless salmon fillet with skin on [around 500g]

To serve:  Lemon Wedges and Seed Bread

Cold Cure Salmon home made

Home Made Cold Cured Salmon, photo Stefan Stafrace during a live tv show

In a bowl mix together the sea salt, sugar, fresh dill, pink peppercorns, tarragon, coriander seeds, apple vinegar, vodka and ground fresh pepper.

Place the salmon, skin side down, on a large piece of cling film.  Cover the salmon with the mixture of herbs and spices making sure that it is completely covered.  Place the bay leaves on top.  If the piece of salmon is very large, cut in half and place the two pieces on top of each other with the skin side outside.  Wrap the fish securely in the cling film and place it in a large container skin side down.  Place another large dish on top of the salmon and weigh it down with some food cans to compress the salmon while it is being cured.  Place in the fridge for 36-48 hours.

gravlax sliced

Thinly sliced salmon, photo Stefan Stafrace during a live tv show

To serve, remove the weights and unwrap the salmon.  Discard the cling film and remove any excess of the cure mix.  Place on a chopping board and use a sharp knife to cut thin diagonal slices and serve on a platter with seed bread and lemon wedges.


Lea’s Good Food Everyday airs on Smash TV and you can follow on facebook

Trade Enquiries: Spices and dried herbs by Good Earth Distributors

Fresh Fruit and Vegetables by Big Fresh Mosta, Oscars Fruit and Vegetables Paola and Barbuto [organic]

Fresh Fish by Adam’s Gourmet Fish Shop Mosta

Apple Vinegar Monari Federzoni by J Calleja Import Export Ltd

Quick Pea and Cashew Dip


Quick Pea and Garlic Dip, photography CJ Baldacchino during a live tv show

Peas are associated with comfort food, as a side with cottage pie and lashings of thick mashed potato and  Sunday roasts.  However this dip is light and perfect for the summer.  I combine it with dry roasted cashews for flavour and creaminess and it is a welcome change from chickpea dips, hummus and guacamole.

Should we only eat organic and fresh vegetables? It is very difficult to find good fresh peas all year round and frozen peas prove to be of a high nutritional value and they have usually been harvested when they are ripe at their peak. They are washed, processed and bagged within minutes of being picked and can be beneficial in many ways.    Buy a good brand from a reputable commercial outlet to be sure that they have been transported in transit vans at the right temperature to retain their freshness and flavour, especially in the summer.

‘It is sunny here with a bright blue cloudless sky and everything looks spectacular in June, perfect weather before the intense heat.’

For the pea and cashew dip, you will need:

450g frozen peas
1 large clove garlic
30g grated gbejna cheese or parmesan or use vegan cheese
a pinch of dried marjoram
4 leaves fresh marjoram
4 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons cashew nuts [I use the more economical cashew pieces that come pre-packed]
1/8 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
salt and freshly ground pepper

To finish off: a few leaves of fresh marjoram and olive oil

Boil ample water in a pot and as soon as it starts to boil add the frozen peas and garlic clove and remove from heat. Cover the pan with a lid and leave for 2 minutes and not more to retain the vibrant colour and consistency. Drain the water and place the peas in a food processor or liquidizer. Dry roast the cashew pieces by placing them in a large pan over high heat. Shake the pan and do not allow them to brown but the oils of the nuts start to release and the roasted taste combined with the peas is delicious. Add the rest of the ingredients and puree. You may wish to have a very smooth dip or leave it with some consistency and texture by pulsing the processor and stopping once the cashews have broken down completely. Taste and season. Tip into a bowl and top with some olive oil and fresh marjoram leaves. Serve warm or place in the refrigerator for an hour.

*This recipe is *gluten free * diabetic-friendly  *vegetarian*  
*For a lactose free or vegan dip, omit the cheese or simply use a vegan cheese*


Serve with warm pita bread or nut and seed bread. It is great for dipping crudities and also to serve with any finger food. I also like this dip as an accompaniment to grilled meats or fish.

Lea’s Good Food Everyday airs on Smash TV every day and you can also follow the facebook page  

Trade Enquiries:

Frozen Peas and frozen vegetables by Green Isle at Rimus Trading Agency 

Fresh Fruit and Vegetables from Big Fresh Mosta, Oscar’s Fruit and Vegetables Paola and Barbuto [Organic]

Homemade Carob Milk and making other Plant-Based Milks

I was surprised to discover how simple the whole process is for making plant-based milks and drinks.  It takes about 5 minutes as long as the main ingredient is soaked overnight in plenty of water. You do not need any fancy appliances and can use a simple food processor or blender.

Homemade, dairy-free milk lasts for three to five days when refrigerated in airtight glass containers. Boiling this milk with sugar or an alternative sweetener and then simmering the mixture for around 45 minutes results in a thick consistency very similar to condensed milk.

Hemp seed and rice milk provide very good, creamy and nut-free alternative. The left-over pulp can be used as an ingredient for other recipes and I am including some ideas.

Carob fruit is rich in potatssium, magnesium and calcium. It is fibre rich and a good source of Vitamin E. The flavour of carob milk goes particularly well with coffee. Carob milk is not as creamy but I also make one combined with Oats for a creamier result.

For the Carob Milk, you will need:

250g Carob fruit
3 cups bottled or filtered water
2 dates
a pinch of salt

Thoroughly wash the carob fruit and completely immerse them in water in a large container. Allow them to soak overnight. Rinse them then place them in a large pot, add the filtered or bottled water and bring them to boil. Simmer for half an hour and remove from heat. Allow them to cool down completely. Break up the carob fruit into pieces and place in a blender or food processor.  Add the water that you have cooked them in together with the other ingredients and blend on high speed for 3 minutes until the mixture is milky and consistent.  Pour the mixture into a sieve covered with a clean dishcloth or use a nut milk bag.  Squeeze the milk bag so that the carob milk is extracted out of the pulp as much as possible.

‘The left-over pulp can be used in other recipes and during the tv programme I have made use of it by making pie crusts, energy balls and granola bars.  The possibilities are endless and I like the idea of making the most out of every ingredient, extracting the milk and using the pulp with absolutely no waste.  It is always best to use a milk bag to squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible’


Almond Milk
You will need:
1 cup almonds
3 cups bottled or filtered water and more for soaking
a pinch of salt
2 dates

Soak the almonds overnight. Drain the water and rinse the almonds.
Place the almonds in a blender and add 3 cups of bottled or filtered water. Add the dates and a pinch of salt.
Blend on high speed until the mixture is well blended. The almonds must be totally ground and the mixture appears consistent.
Strain the almonds by placing them in a sieve covered with muslin or a clean dishcloth.
Squeeze out the almond milk into a container by wringing the dishcloth or muslin. Do not discard the ground almonds
Refrigerate the milk in airtight glass containers for up to 4 days.
Use Almond Pulp to make almond flour. Place the almond pulp on a flat ovenproof dish covered with baking paper and bake it in a cool oven at 150°C for an hour. Allow to cool down completely preferably overnight, then place in a food processor and grind to a fine texture.

Hazelnut Milk
You will need:
1 cup hazelnuts
3 cups filtered or bottled water and more for soaking
1 tsp organic apple vinegar
Pinch of salt

For sweetened milk add 1 date or 1 tbsp stevia and some vanilla
Place the hazelnuts in a glass container and soak them overnight with a pinch of sea salt and a tsp of apple organic vinegar. Drain and discard the soaking liquid and rinse the hazelnuts well.
Place the hazelnuts in the blender and add 3 cups of bottled water. For a sweetened milk add also 1 date or 1 tbsp of stevia and some vanilla.
Blend at high speed until the nuts are completely ground to a fine pulp. Place a piece of muslin or a clean tea towel over a sieve. Pour the contents of the liquidiser into the covered sieve and gently press the pulp down to squeeze the liquid through. Store the milk in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Use the hazelnut pulp to add to smoothies.
Hemp Milk
You will need:
½ cup hemp seeds
4 cups filtered or bottled water and more for soaking
2 dates

hemp seeds
Soak the hemp seeds overnight in a glass container. Drain and discard the water. Place the soaked hemp seeds in a liquidiser or blender and use a high setting to completely grind the seeds to a fine consistency. Strain the hemp milk by pouring it through a strainer covered with a clean tea towel. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Use the hemp seed pulp as an additional ingredient to make homemade energy bars.

Coconut Milk


Fresh homemade coconut milk as seen on tv, photgraphy during the live show by Marconia Schembri      For the home made coconut milk you will need: 100g coconut, 5 cups of filtered or bottled water, a pinch of salt [1 date, optional].  Soak the coconut in water overnight.  Place in a blender or food processor.  Add the filtered or bottled water and blend on high speed for 4 minutes until the mixture is milky and consistenty.  Pour the mixture into a sieve covered with a clean dishcloth or use a nut milk bag.  Squeeze the rest of the coconut milk but wringing the dishtowel until you have extracted as much coconut milk as possible.

Rice Milk
You will need:
1 cup long grain rice. I like to use basmati
5 cups water and more for soaking
1 tbsp agave


Making rice milk during a live tv show, photography George Aquilina  Appliances by Kitchenaid at Forestals, professional wear Chefworks, nails by Jessica Camilleri using Max Factor Noisette No 145

Rinse the rice and place it in a glass container. Immerse completely in water and allow to soak overnight.
Drain the rice and place it in a blender with the rest of the ingredients.
Process the rice on high speed for about 3-4 minutes. Line a sieve with a clean dish cloth and place over a bowl. Pour the rice milk into it and squeeze as much milk as you can by wringing the dishcloth with your hands. Store in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Use the rice pulp to make a rice pudding. Place the rice pulp in a saucepan and cover with water. Add some cinnamon and honey or agave and 2 tablespoons of raisins. Bring to boil and reduce the heat. Stir constantly and when the liquid is absorbed, remove from the heat. Add more rice milk to achieve the consistency of your choice and serve warm.

Oat Milk

You will need:

1 cup oats
3 cups filtered or bottled water and more for soaking
1 date or 1 tbsp agave
A pinch of salt

oat milk george.jpg

Homemade Oat Milk, this photo was taken by George Aquilina during a live tv show, kitchenware by Tescoma

Soak the oats overnight in plenty of water. Drain and discard the soaking water and place the oats in a blender. Add the filtered or bottled water and the rest of the ingredients. Strain the oat milk by pouring it through a strainer covered with a clean tea towel. Use your hands to wring the tea towel to squeeze all the milk out. Refrigerate for up to 3 days. Stir the milk thoroughly before using it. This milk can be used to thicken a soup or dessert simply by adding heating it as it becomes thick and gelatinous.

‘The pulp from plant based milks can be used in a variety of recipes’


Use your left over oat pulp to make pie crusts for tarts.  Photography Illumina Media during a live tv show.  Fresh fruit by Big Fresh Mosta

Use the oat pulp to make an oat flour crust for tarts.  Place the oat pulp on a flat ovenproof dish covered with baking paper and bake it in a cool oven at 150°C for an hour.  Allow to cool down completely preferably overnight, then place in a food processor and grind to a fine texture.  Then add it to your recipe to make a tart crust.  Ingredients: 200g flour, 200g oat flour, 100g ricotta,  1 tablespoon agave or honey, a few drops vanilla, zest of half an orange, 1 egg and cold water.  Method: Sieve the flour and add the oatmeal.  Add the ricotta and rub it into the flour and oatmeal using your fingertips
Add the other ingredients except the water and eggs and mix. Now add the beaten eggs, mix using a knife. Then add the cold water, start with one tablespoon and mix, then add a spoonful at a time until you form a dough. Wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge for half an hour. Roll out onto a lightly floured surface.

Lea’s Good Food Everyday airs daily on Smash TV and you can follow the page on facebook
Trade Enquiries: Ingredients by Good Earth Distributors

Fresh Herb Soup with Turmeric Rice and Soft Maltese Gbejna [gluten free, diabetic friendly]

fresh herb soup with turmeric vegetable rice 2

‘Fresh herbs are abundant this month.  And with the exception of fresh mint, basil and parsley many of us worry about what to do with big bundles of fresh oregano, tarragon, marjoram and thyme.  Antida gave me a large basket of mixed herbs from her garden this week which also  included ‘English’ curly parsley and purple basil.  I wanted to make the most of them while they were fresh and use fresh herbs as a main ingredient, rather than as a garnish, nearly an afterthought.  I also used organic seasonal vegetables that are delivered to my door every Thursday from Barbuto in Sicily, 60 miles away from us.

The fertile volcanic soil of Sicily make it an agricultural dream and it is comforting to know that the produce is pesticide-free with no artificial additives to enhance it.

The soup is a puree of lightly cooked fresh herbs and organic vegetables topped with a quick rice stir fry of the same finely diced vegetables that are in the puree and to give a nutritional boost as well as enhance the color and flavors I add fresh turmeric root.  If this is not available, use turmeric powder.  The contrast in the texture of the same ingredients in the puree and stir fry bring out different flavors it makes a great meal in itself, with no second courses required.   To make it more local I finished off the soup with  soft Maltese Gbejna Cheese and a garnish of fresh herbs.  I could not eat enough of it !’

fresh herbs goodfoodeveryday

Herbs from Antida’s garden.  All my photos are taken during a live tv show

For the pureed organic vegetable soup will need:
[Serves 4]

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion
1 natural garlic and herb stock cube and 1 litre of water
2 courgettes
2 light green marrows
1 potato
2 carrots
1 pak choi
100g mixed fresh herbs of your choice
a pinch of dried mixed herbs
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Salt and Pepper

Barbuto veg 2

Fruit and vegetables in Barbuto’s organic box this week.  For the soup, choose vegetables of your choice or use seasonal vegetables

For the Turmeric Rice Stir Fry you will need:

1 tablespoon olive oil
150g cooked basmati rice
1/2 onion
1 courgette, diced
1 marrow, diced
1 carrot, diced
6 fresh broad beans, peeled
1 teaspoon grated fresh turmeric root or 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

To finish: 1/2 fresh gbejna per portion, cut horizontally, fresh herbs and a drizzle of olive oil [if gbejna is not available use feta or ricotta]

For the Soup
Heat the olive oil in a large pot and add the roughly chopped onion and vegetables. Stir and cook on low heat for 5-10 minutes. Then add the stock cube, the roughly chopped fresh mixed herbs and the pinch of dried herbs and cook for another 5 minutes on low heat, then add the water. Bring to a boil then simmer on low heat for around 10 -15 minutes until the vegetables soften. Do not overcook. Season with salt and pepper then use a hand blender to puree to a smooth consistency.

turmeric rice.jpg

For the Turmeric Rice
Heat the oil in wok over medium heat. Add the diced onion and vegetables and cook for about 5-10 minutes, stirring constantly until they cook through. Do not overcook. Add the cooked basmati rice and mix everything together very well. Cook until it is heated through for around another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Top with the fresh broad beans.

To serve the soup:
Slice the gbejna cheese horizontally into 2 and allow one slice per portion.
Gently reheat the pureed soup if necessary. Use a ladel to fill individual soup bowls. Spoon some of the turmeric rice on top, then arrange the slice of gbejna cheese and garnish with fresh herbs. Drizzle a few drops of olive oil and serve immediately.
fresh herb soup with turmeric vegetable rice

Lea’s Good Food Everyday airs on Smash TV every day and you can also follow the facebook page

Trade Enquiries:
Basmati Rice by Grandi at J Calleja Ltd
Kallo Stock Cubes at Good Earth
Fresh Herbs by Big Fresh Mosta
Fresh Organic Vegetables by Barbuto in Sicily

Granny’s Fruit Loaf with Chia Seeds [no refined sugar and no butter, lactose free]

Granny's fruit loaf slices

 ‘I wake up very early every morning to the smell of freshly baked bread from the small village bakery across the road. The aroma gives a sense of belonging, just what you may associate with being in a cosy home and it is a good start to the day.

Malta is well known for its crusty sour dough bread which is a staple in the local diet. Customers start to arrive before 6am to pick their own loaf and from across the road I watch as the village starts to awaken. I love the buzz and sense of community that comes with being in the heart of an old village and hope that the process of modernization can be avoided and village life on the island is preserved.maltese bread felix.jpg

My bake today is a traditional old-fashioned fruit cake adjusted to suit modern day preferences. I use stevia and pureed fresh apples to sweeten the fruit loaf and it is butter-free. When I made it on tv this week, I used tofu but if you prefer you can swap the same amount with ricotta instead. I add Chia Seeds which are high in antioxdidants and Omega3 to boost the fruit loaf with extra nutritional value and fibre but these are optional and if you do not like the idea, leave them out. The oven temperature needs to be reduced to 160C to retain their nutritional value. ‘

Granny's fruit loaf 2

You will need:

250g self-raising flour
100g tofu [you can use ricotta instead of tofu]
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 large apple, peeled and roughly chopped
Juice of half a lemon
3 large eggs separated [if eggs are small use 4]
8 tablespoons stevia [OR use 150g golden raisins soaked in water overnight and pureed]
250g dried fruit of your choice (raisins, sultanas, candid peel, cherries, currants)
1 tablespoon vinegar [I prefer Apple Cider vinegar but you can use any vinegar]
A pinch of salt
Grated zest of a lemon
Grated zest of an orange
A pinch of mixed spice

[Optional:  4 tablespoons chia seeds]

Granny's Fruit Loaf

Preheat the oven to 160C. Prepare a loaf tin by spraying it with Cooking Spray.

Sift the flour twice into a large bowl.

Add the tofu [OR ricotta] crumbled into pieces and olive oil and use your finger tips to rub in the olive oil and tofu into the flour in the same way as you are rubbing in butter.

granny's fruit loaf slices 2Add the vanilla, salt, citrus zest and mixed spice. Then add the dried fruit and mix well until all the pieces of fruit . In a separate bowl, use a hand blender to puree the apple with the egg yolks, the lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Beat the egg whites until they are stiff. Add the bicarbonate of soda and the cornflour to the tofu and flour mix. If you are using Chia Seeds, add them now. Use a metal spoon to mix.

granny's fruit loaf slices 3

Then add the apple and egg yolk mix and finally fold in the egg whites using a large metal spoon.

Pour the batter into a cake loaf tin. Bake for 40 minutes at 160ºC.’



Lea’s Good Food Everyday airs on Smash TV everyday and you can follow on facebook . Photography by CJ Baldacchino during a live tv show.

Trade Enquiries:
Baking goods, chia seeds, dried fruit, vanilla and other spices by Good Earth Distributors
Olive oil by Costa D’Oro at J Calleja Ltd
Butter Flavour Fry Light Cooking Spray by Rimus Group
Fresh Fruit by Big Fresh Mosta and Oscars Fruit and Vegetables Paola and Barbuto for organic fruit and vegetables
Kitchenware by Tescoma

Healthy Vegan Slices [gluten free, no refined sugar]



Vegan Oat, Chocolate and Coconut Slices [gluten free with no refined sugar] Photography CJ Baldacchino during a live tv show

Vegan Oat, Chocolate [Prune] and Coconut Slices [gluten free with no refined sugar]

For the bottom layer you will need:

2 cups oats
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon linseed OR 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
3 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoons agave OR maple syrup OR stevia
a pinch of salt
3 tablespoons water
For the middle layer:
400g dried prunes
5 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup coconut
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 tablespoon ground almonds
2 tablespoons maple syrup OR agave OR stevia
a pinchof salt
2 tablespoons water
Cooking Spray, [I used avocado oil]
For the top layer:
Coconut, as much as you fancy, more for a thicker layer
Preheat the oven to 160C.
Cover a square oven proof dish with baking paper.  Spray with cooking spray.
Start by mixing the ingredients for the base and placing all the ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix well until the mixture is uniform.  Place the mixture into the ovenproof dish and use a wet spoon to push down the mixture and smooth down the surface.
For the middle layer, place all the ingredients in a food mixer and process until the mixture is very smooth.  Place the prune and chocolate mixture on top of the oat layer and press down with a wet spoon ensuring that the surface is smooth.
For the top layer, scatter the coconut on the top and press down using a wet spoon making sure that the surface is smooth.  For a thin layer use a few tablespoons and increase the amount of coconut for a thicker layer, according to your preferences.
Bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until the coconut layer becomes golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow it to cool down completely.  On tv we cut this without refrigerating but for the best result cover and refrigerate for two hours or more then use a very sharp know to cut into large or small squares.


apricot crumble slices squares

‘Another glorious Maltese summer is here to stay and with it comes an abundance of succulent and sweet summer fruits, slowly and naturally ripened by the Mediterranean sun making them so juicy and moist like no other greenhouse varieties.  They may appear imperfect, uneven in shape and size, sometimes slightly bruised but bursting with flavor.   After all beauty is not meant to be perfect and cloned.  

For this recipe I use a mix of fresh, ripe apricots and dried apricots. This is one of the easiest things to bake with a soft flapjack base made with poached fresh and dried apricots.  These are topped with fresh apricots and a crumble topping of ground almonds and coconut pulp.  

You can use any berries or stone fruit for this recipe.  Wash the apricots thoroughly and leave the skin on ‘

You will need:

For the bottom layer

250g ground almonds
250g oatmeal
120g soft dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons coconut oil
4 tablespoons coconut pulp
For the middle layer
500g fresh ripe apricots
a pinch of salt
1 vanilla pod
For the top layer
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons stevia
150g dried apricots
To brush the top:  1 tablespoon of coconut oil mixed with 1 tablespoon of agave plus 75g nuts [I used cashew flakes]

apricot crumble slice dried apricots

Prepare an ovenproof dish by lining it with baking paper.  Spray it with cooking spray.

Remove the stone from the fresh apricots and cut into quarters with skin on.  Place half of them together with the vanilla pod in a saucepan.  Chop the dried apricots and add them to the saucepan.  Immerse in just enough cold water and bring to boil on low to moderate heat.  As soon as the mixture starts to boil, reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes for all the fruits to soften up.  Remove from the heat.  Add the grated lemon zest.

Use a large bowl to place the ground almonds.  Mix the oat meal with it and then pour the melted coconut oil and softened coconut pulp.  Use your fingertips to rub in the coconut oil and pulp into the ground almond and oatmeal mixture.  Add the soft brown sugar and mixed spice and vanilla seeds.  Mix with a metal spoon so that the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.

Add two thirds of this mixture to the poached apricot mix and stir until it is has a smooth consistency.  Pour the mixture into the prepared ovenproof dish and use a plastic spatula dipped in water to smooth the surface.  If you have time cover the dish with cling film and place in the fridge for an hour.  [At this stage, you can also leave the dish in the fridge overnight and carry on preparing the rest of the recipe the following day.]

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Assemble the remainder of the chopped fresh apricots on top of the base.  Brush the surface of the fruit with the mix of agave and coconut oil.  Scatter the rest of the crumble mix on the top.  Do not press it down.

Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes then take out of the oven, brush again with the agave and coconut oil mixture and scatter the chopped nuts on top.  Return to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes.

Allow to cool and cut up into squares.

apricot crumble baked

Serve warm with ice cream or cut up into squares for lunchboxes and picnics or simply instead of a cereal bar for breakfast or a snack

Store in the fridge for up to 3 days in the summer and 5 days in the winter.  Freeze for up to a month although I do not like the thawed texture which becomes slightly soggy from freezing.

Trade Enquiries:

Fry Light  Butter Flavour Cooking Spray and Mornflake Oatmeal via Rimus Group

Ground almonds, naturally dried apricots, dried fruit, spices and baking goods via Good Earth Distributors Ltd

Coconut Oil and coconut pulp via J Calleja Ltd

My fresh succulent apricots come from Big Fresh in Mosta

Lea’s Good Food Everyday is aired on Smash TV every day and you can also follow on facebook 🙂  Photography by CJ Baldacchino during an unedited live tv show cooking in real time.