The rainbow recipe round-up of everything I created for the food competition Crazy Delicious, including my experience with the competition!
Warning! This post contains spoilers. So If you haven’t had a chance to watch the Crazy Delicious episode with me, then it is available on the Channel 4 (episode 5) and Netflix (episode 3)!
It may or may not surprise you to know that earlier this year, I (as Samira rather than Alphafoodie) took part in a televised food competition show. Crazy Delicious aired on Channel 4 this January and is now available on Netflix from June 24th. So whether you’ve stumbled across this post accidentally, or found me after watching the episode, this post is a little about my experience and a round-up of all the recipes that I made on the competition.
All illustrations were commissioned, done by YellowStoneStudio, capturing me as the fairy of rainbow food!
The Crazy Delicious Show
If you haven’t seen the show, then you may be wondering what the concept is and what it’s all about. Well, let me set the scene for you. Crazy Delicious is part Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, part Garden of Eden, and part… terrifying food competition with time limits and stress?
In an enchanted garden, where almost everything that you see you can eat, myself and two other contestants were tasked with turning ordinary ingredients and foods into something extraordinary.
The aim? To impress the ‘Food Gods,’ which include Heston Blumenthal, Niklas Ekstedt, and Carla Hall. All in the hopes of winning the coveted Golden Apple.
The competition was set over three rounds. If you continue to read on, I’ll let you know all about them, what I prepared, and at the end of this post (if you don’t already know), the results!
Round 1: The Magic Ingredient
The first round of Crazy Delicious was all about using an everyday ingredient and transforming it into something spectacular. Our component was the humble (but delicious) carrot. Early on, as the judges talk about all the options you can use carrots for, Carla Hall exclaims that ‘ if it is a soup. It’s not crazy!’
Spoiler alert – I served soup! But, as you’ll see, it’s not just any soup. Inspired by the edible enchanted garden, I decided to make my own edible woodland scene.
For the first round, I served Carrot pond soup with carrot top pesto, alongside stuffed carrot trees and Fallen leaf crackers.
The Carrot Recipes:
Squash and Carrot Soup Pond
In fact, I love serving food out of pumpkins and squash so much that they aren’t the only options I have on my blog. I also have this Turmeric and Ginger Spiced Pumpkin Soup, Pumpkin Quinoa and Kale Salad, or even Mini Pumpkin Cakes with Coconut Cream Frosting (yup – cakes served inside a pumpkin!)
Carrot Leaf Pesto
Naturally Colored Crackers
Carrot Logs/Trees (Vegan Stuffed Carrots)
The Results: Watching the competition back, I think a moment I’ll always remember is Niklas Ekstedt saying something along the lines of, ‘you think it’s just soup ‘and then BOOM!’. Maybe I should put that on my business cards? Just kidding.
But my hard work paid off, and after being named the winner of round one (yay!), I was given an extra ten minutes for round two.
Round 2: Transform the Ordinary
The second round was all about transforming an ordinary, well-known dish/meal into something extraordinary. Our dish was ‘The Burger’, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with this. If you’ve seen my recipes or Instagram account before now, then you probably know that I am rainbow food-obsessed, all colorful – but also all-natural!
Not to mention that I’m not a massive meat eater, so I knew I had to do something tasty, rainbow, delicious, and meat-free! Introducing the rainbow falafel burgers with black squid ink buns.
Okay, when you read squid ink, you might instantly be questioning my sanity, but stick with me a moment. Squid ink is an all-natural colorant that, while smelling quite fishy, doesn’t actually flavor the buns at all with the small amounts used. Plus, it’s better for us than the charcoal food trend that is currently going around. But you can read more about that on the recipe post.
The Black Burger Buns
The Rainbow Falafel
The Result: Even with the extra time, time may have slightly been my enemy here. A few of the falafel needed just a couple of extra minutes to cook through. But if you want to give the recipe a go at home, sans time limit, then here’s hoping you love them as much as I do.
Unfortunately, this round, we saw one of the contestants going home. Luckily, it wasn’t me – but I’ll let you in on a secret. It’s horrible seeing someone get sent home when you know that they are just as passionate about food as you are.
Round 3: The Final Feast
The final round was all about creating a crazy delicious feast. Our theme was a picnic, which instantly brought little healthy bites of rainbow deliciousness to mind. As I think I actually say on the show, healthy, colorful, and yummy – that is what a picnic is to me!
As part of my feast, I served up Cucumber Sushi, Rainbow Hummus dips, Savory Rainbow Muffins, Magic Rainbow Lemonade, and ricotta cheese stuffed figs. There are a couple of other bits on my final board that you may notice, too, like an additional Rose Lemonade. But I don’t blame the show for having to cut a couple of my 7000000 elements out the show – whoops!
Big, gorgeous, rainbow platters are kind of my happy place, though. I couldn’t wait to fill that board with little colorful goodies!
The Savory Sundried Tomato Muffins
Savory muffins deserve more love. In fact, alongside these, I also have a recipe for Rainbow Mixed Vegetable savory Cupcakes.
The Rainbow Hummus
This was used as the frosting on the savory muffins as well as served as dips.
Rainbow Cucumber sushi
Magic Color-Changing lemonade
With just a squeeze of lemon juice, this healthy, all-natural lemonade transforms from a deep blue to a gorgeous purple.
I also made this rose water lemonade (recipe is coming soon to the blog).
The result: I ended up wearing half the homemade ricotta… Okay, but seriously, whoops! I’d like to say it’s not always that chaotic in my kitchen at home. But I always get a little carried away when I’m inspired in the kitchen.
The Final Result!
A thunder and lightning display roared surrounded us as the food gods descended from ‘the clouds’ to judge our food one last time. And, of course, I was terrified.
Hopefully, you’ve seen the episode, so I don’t spoil anything by this big reveal. I WON THE GOLDEN APPLE! And it now sits proudly on my mantlepiece.
For those who’ve followed my journey, you’ll know that food blogging was never actually my intended goal. I have a Ph.D. from Oxford University. Then, I was teaching MRI physics and mathematics to university students at the time that my life completely flipped around. And it all started with a love for smoothie bowls and healthy rainbow food!
A few years later and I have taken home the prize for a cooking competition and make my living experimenting in the kitchen with all the things I love. It’s crazy to think where life has taken me over the past few years. If you’ve enjoyed seeing my healthy rainbow food creations, then you might want to follow me on Instagram @AlphaFoodie.