My favourites: Top 5 Cooking Games for iPhone, iPad, or iOS

Posted on

Every now and then, even when you have easy to make recipes at hand, what you really want to do is relax and play the best cooking games ever!

In this list, I’ve organised the top 5 apps to keep your culinary brain active when you aren’t preparing those delicious dishes I know you can make. 🙂 Have fun!

COOKING MAMA Let’s Cook!

Image for COOKING MAMA Let's Cook!

This game is simple to understand and play, but it can be definitely addictive! You play as “Mama” and you’re supposed to use the best ingredients available to make any recipe that will please “Papa”‘s taste. As you progress throughout the game, you will unlock special and seasonal recipes that increase your combination possibilities.

You can also practice before cooking the final recipe, so you will know in advance all the required instructions for a particular recipe. Depending on your performance, “Papa” will give a certain number of stars and these stars can also be used to unlock more in-game recipes.

You can download COOKING MAMA Let’s Cook! from the App Store here.

Restaurant Story 2

Image for Restaurant Story 2

The second version of this popular game introduces stunning visual effects and very important additions to the game mechanics. You aren’t not only required to prepare dishes using recipes, you will also need to grow and harvest your own ingredients.

It’s a great concept because it also promotes awareness about the importance of natural, healthy ingredients to compose balanced meals. Your virtual kitchen is also fully customisable, so you can enhance it and organise the way your prefer with new ovens, stoves, drink makers, blenders, and other utensils.

You can download Restaurant Story 2 from the App Store here.

Gourmet Ranch: Farm, Cook and Serve

Image for Gourmet Ranch: Farm, Cook and Serve

This game promotes the idea of a sustainable culture as it allows you to see and interact with all the relevant steps in the field of agriculture. You can grow organic crops, raise animals, cook your own meals with the harvested ingredients, and finally serve final customers in a busy local cafe.

It also has a social aspect, where you can trade crops and dishes with friends around the world. And as opposed to some “rush” games, the most important element in this game is planning ahead. You have to think in advance what you’ll grow so certain dishes can be prepared at the appropriate time. Definitely a complete experience!

You can download Gourmet Ranch: Farm, Cook and Serve from the App Store here.

Cooking Fever

Image for Cooking Fever

Effective time management is to key to success in this game. Here, you are the owner of a successful restaurant and you need to make sure all customers are served in a timely and satisfiable way. To make them happy, you can cook signature dishes from 12 locations around the world, including: India, China, Mexico, and United States.

In order to progress throughout the game you have to cook from main meals to desserts, using a combination of more than 15o base ingredients. If you’re doing well enough, you can even upgrade your kitchen to prepare the dishes more quickly. Do you have what takes to run a busy, successful restaurant? 🙂

You can download Cooking Fever from the App Store here.

Chef Town: Cooking Simulation

Image for Chef Town: Cooking Simulation

The life of a chef is definitely challenging, no doubt about it. In this game you are supposed to work out all the necessary steps in order to make your restaurant successful: from growing your own ingredients to recruiting the right and motivated people to work with you.

Following a completely sustainable approach, you can buy a plot of land around your restaurant and cultivate different ingredients that you can freely incorporate into your recipes later. Additional and timed sidequests pop up from time to time to keep you and your restaurant busy. Definitely something your brain will enjoy during your spare time.

You can download Chef Town: Cooking Simulation from the App Store here.

Android fan? Don’t worry, the list with the best cooking games for Android is coming soon.

I’ve also published super detailed reviews to help you find the best calorie counter app.
Make sure to check them out!

My favourites: Gluten free flours

Posted on
Image credits: www.elanaspantry.com/why-almond-flour
Image credits: www.elanaspantry.com/why-almond-flour

There are many reasons why people choose to go gluten free. It can be about taste, well-being, lifestyle, or a health condition. However, one thing for sure, when they either decide avoiding it or definitely going gluten free, they start to freak out: “what am I going to do without bread? without pasta? without cake?”.

One interesting exercise is going to the supermarket and paying attention to the huge variety of products that are available and targeted to consumers looking for options that are healthy and gluten free. Next step is to decide amongst these options which of them you are keen to try and bring home!

We know wheat flour has its own set of properties that results in distinct texture, flavour, volume, and shape to our recipes. However, by combining different types of gluten free flours you can get a similar result as if you were using the gluten star: wheat flour.

Here I’ll list the ones I use the most in my recipes:

  • Almond flour/meal: Low Carb, Paleo, High Protein, and High Fibre
    • It has a mild flavour and gives a light texture to your bakings. I love to use them on cakes, cupcakes, pancakes, chewy cookies, and muffins. As they don’t absorb too much liquid you can use almost in the same proportion as if you were using plain flour.
  • Cassava flour: Paleo, Neutral flavour
    • Cassava flour is quite new for the world in general, but in Brazil it’s very common, especially for those who live in the Northeast part of the country. I love this flour, it has a mild flavour, it’s good for cakes and breads and its texture is almost the same as using plain flour. To be honest, anything made with it is YUM!
  • Coconut flour: Low Carb, Paleo, and High Fibre
    • A good low carb version full of fibre. You must be wise when using this flour, as it absorbs too much water you might end up with a hard and dry dish. I normally use it in small quantities to add more fibre to my bakings or when I’m making something that does not require too much flour or uses many wet ingredients.
  • Tapioca starch: Paleo, Neutral flavour, and starch
    • This is a good option when you need to bring that elasticity only gluten can give. As Tapioca starch is not the best option when you think about nutrition, I use it in small quantities, only to help me giving that bounce in bakings.
  • Flaxseed meal: Low Carb, Paleo, High Protein, and High Fibre
    • Full in fibre, also absorb liquids. I recommend to use it in moderation, only to give a nutritional kick to your recipe or when the recipe needs small quantities of flour. Also, it is a good replacement for eggs.
  • Teff: Low Carb, and High Protein
    • This one is awesome either in cakes or bread. Like tapioca, it helps giving elasticity and bounce to your bakings. And the best part is: it’s high in protein and has a mild flavour.
  • Rice and brown rice flour: Neutral flavour
    • If you want to go easy, rice flour can be used 1:1 in any recipe, but as it is a grain (and I try to avoid this group) I normally don’t use it. However, it has a neutral flavour that helps a lot when you start to move from wheat flour to wheat free.
  • Psyllium: Low Carb and High fibre
    • I love this one! It’s full of fibre and low carb. As it easily absorbs liquids I normally use in small quantities. When you think about a gluten substitute, psyllium is the one. It gives elasticity, bounce and helps to keep its distinctive shape.

In another post I’m going to explain how to create the perfect gluten free blend from scratch. Keep tuned on! 🙂

My favourites: Top 5 Paleo Books

Posted on

Hi there, this is Handy!

Following a Paleo Diet is not only about eating certain types of food, whilst totally ignoring another group – it is a lifestyle choice!

This is not a blog about Paleo diets, you know, but Paleo ideas also promote the conscious consumption of natural, real food, and that’s why we also love it.

If you are keen to know more about Paleo – and you should! – find below my top 5 choices of Paleo Books.

Juli Bauer's Paleo Cookbook: Over 100 Gluten-Free Recipes to Help You Shine from Within

Juli Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook: Over 100 Gluten-Free Recipes to Help You Shine from Within

It is a very long book title, but it describes the book perfectly. In this book you can find 100 Paleo recipes (that also happen to be Gluten-Free – cool) that are certainly going to take your diet to the next level, and your lifestyle too!

Make it Paleo II: Over 175 New Grain-Free Recipes for the Primal Palate

Make it Paleo II: Over 175 New Grain-Free Recipes for the Primal Palate

Make sure you get the second version of this book (note the II in the title) to benefit from a reviewed and expanded version of the first book. Most of the recipes are brilliant transformations of popular recipes into Paleo-friendly ones. Don’t miss it!

Gather, the Art of Paleo EntertainingGather, the Art of Paleo Entertaining

This book aims to extend the Paleo mindset into family recipes that can be perfectly enjoyed even by those who are not following any diet. It also follows the essence of a Paleo diet: creating delicious food that also promotes good health.

Nom Nom Paleo: Food for HumansNom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans

Created with an extra pinch of humour, this book brings to the table a fun, fresh, and satisfying approach to cooking with Paleo-friendly ingredients. Recipes are organised in a way to fit different lifestyles, from a busy business person to an occasional cook with more time to spare in the kitchen.

Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods LifestylePractical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle

Forget all those ideas about calorie-counting and strict diets. What really matters is eating natural food, avoid processed foods and industrialised food simply labelled as “healthy”. Meal plans are included to support a healthy lifestyle and to make your life easier in kitchen.