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Pumpkin vegan chocolate spread

Pumpkin chocolate spread , a healthy nutella alternative and relatively easy to make, the only downside is that it won’t hold for as long as porcessed food of course. You can unvegan it by using butter instead of coconut oil.
Bake squash or pumpin (boiled will be too watery).
Blend pumkin chuncks with your choice of seeds and nuts: walnut, hazelnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds…) and cocoa. Add brown sugar, honey or agave nectar if you wish. Melt some dark chocolate with coconut oil or butter, let it cool down and bit and add the pumpkin mix. Refrigerate. Hold for about a week.

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no bake easy avocado cheesecake

Not the healthiest recipe but it’s easy to make if you like cheesecake. If you have all your ingredients ready, it will take you  no more than 20 min to make it.  If your kids don’t like avocado, this is one way to sneak it into their favorite dessert!

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Ingredients:

plain or whole wheat cookies

butter

cream cheese

brown sugar

avocado

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vanilla flavoring (optional)

ground flax seeds (optional)

Directions:

To make the pie crust, crush the cookies into a bowl and mix them with the melted butter. Press the gooey mix into the pan, make a thin layer (about half centimeter) making sure you cover all sides of the pan.

To make the cheese filling:

Blend the avocado until smooth. In  a bowl mix the cream cheese with teh avocado, brown sugar as much or as little you wish, and vanilla flavoring. Spread over the pie crust. Sprinckle ground flax seeds over the cheese fiiling and refirgerate for a few hours before serving.

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Lettuce and chard soup

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Do you have a head of lettuce but you’re bored of salads? Is it summer, but you feel like soup, maybe a cold soup, something light, refeshing? Do you want your kids to eat their greens, but they won’t touch salad or spinach or chard or kale? Try this summery refeshing soup made with yougurt. I don’t know where it originates, but  I used to eat as a child in Romania, during the spring or summer when people have loads of lettuce in their gardens and can’t have any more salad! The traditional recipe is made with lettuce, but I included chard as well, in order to add more nutritious value, and also because I love chard in general. Feel free to try other greens if you feel like experimenting: spinach, kale or mustard greens. The soup is thickened traditionally with thick sour cream and eggyolk, but for a healthier and lighther version I’ve used yogurt instead of sour cream. I’ve used bacon, as it is usually made in Romania, but you can skip the bacon. I’ve also used ginger in this recipe, which is my own thing, not at all Romanian or Eastern European or french, but it gave the soup a great kick.

Ingredients (for 4 people):

one head of lettuce

3-4 leaves of chard

one big onion

4-6 head of garlic

one spoon of chopped ginger

fresh parsley and dill (dry if fresh is not available)

one small yogurt container

vegetable broth (or not)

olive oil

sea salt

pepper

one egg

juice of one lemon

 

Directions:

Chop the onion and the bacon, and put them in a pan with some sunflower or coconut oil , and sautee them for 1-2 minutes, stirring ocasionally. Add the chopped garlic and ginger and continue cooking for a few more minutes, until all the flavours come out.

Pour the vegetable broth over. You can also use water instead, the flavour will be stronger with the vegetable broth of course, but it should be fine with water as well, especially if you use bacon.

Allow to boil for a few minutes.

In the meanitme wash the lettuce and the chard, and chop them in thin long strips.

 

Separate the eggwhite from the eggyolk.

Add the eggwhite to the soup while the soup is boiling, and do not stir. Leave it for a minute or so, and only then, lightly stir, so that it breaks into pieces but it won’t completely dissapear in the soup.

Add the lettuce and the chard, and boil on low temeprature for about 8-10 minutes. turn off the fire and let the soup cool down a bit.

In a bowl, mix the yogurt with the eggyolk and the lemon juice. Do this right before serving.

Pour it into the warm (not hot ) soup while mixing. Turn the fire back on and heat the soup up to boiling point, but don’t really let the soup boil again.  Sprinckle some fresh parsley and dill on top and serve.

The soup can also be served cold.

 

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Roasted cauliflower in tomato/mustard sauce

It’s easy to prepare and it tastes great ! Have it as a side dish, or on it’s own.

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Ingredients:

one big auliflower head

one can of all natural or organic tomato sauce (or your homemade version)

one spoon of dijon mustard

one cup of olive oil

4-5 chopped and crushed with salt garlic heads

warm water

salt, pepper, parsley, oregano

Directions:

Place the cauliflower head in a large pot and boil it for only 5-10 minutes, until it softens a bit, but is not really boiled.

Take it out, let it coold down a bit and break it into pieces, larger or smaller, whatever you prefer. I prefer them a bit larger. Place them in a pan.

In a bowl, combine the tomato sauce, olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, parsley, spices and the crushed garlic heads, and pour them over the cauliflower. If the sauce is too thick, add some water to it. You want it runny, so that the whole cauliflower can be covered in it.  Toss well, but gently,  making sure that all the cauliflower is covered in the sauce.

Bake or roast for about 20-30 minutes, at 180 degrees, moving them around gently from time to time.

Serve warm.

 

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Vegan buckwheat, olive oil and roasted chicory root cookies

Ingredients:

buckwheat flour

warm water

olive oil

brown sugar

baking powder and a teaspoon of vinegar

cinamon

a pinch of salt

a spoon of roasted chicory root that is normally used as a coffee substitute

Optional: one full spoon of chia seeds, chopped almonds, chopped walnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, lemon or orange zest, fennel seeds, cocoa or carob

Directions: mix the buckwheat flour, brown sugar and some olive oil until you get a crumbly dough that does not stick together. Add the baking soda and vinegar, let it bubble, and then mix everything. Add some warm water so that the dough becomes sticky, the right consistency to shape into cookies by hand.

Add the rest of the ingredints of your choice: roasted chicory root, nuts, seeds, salt and cinamon, and mix.

Shape into round flat cookies, and place in the greased pan. Bake for about 20 minutes. The cookies will still be soft, don’t remove them from the pan right away, they’ll crumble, wait until they coold down and they will harden and become cruncy. DSCN0493

Chicory root is comonly used as a coffee substitute and it has many health benefits. If you’re worried about makind these cookies for kids, chicory root is safe for kids, and even more, it benefits them in many ways: enhances calcium absorbtion, controls weight, supports digestive health and bowel regularity,  detoxifyes, protects liver and helps the body fight inflamations.

For people with diabetes or on weight loss, you can skip the sugar, and they taste just fine.

https://smartypantsvitamins.com/5-benefits-of-chicory-root-for-kids/

https://draxe.com/chicory-root/

 

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Sauteed red beetroot greens

If you ever buy fresh beetroot and throw away the stalks and the green part of it, do it no more! There is an easy way to prepare this part of the beetroot as a side dish.

Chop some garlic, wash and cut the stalks. In a pan, ad some olive oil and the garlic. Add the beetroot stalks and greens and sautee for about 5 minutes, until softened but still kind of crispy. Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper, or some herbs if you wish. Serve warm. DSCN0495.JPG

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Cabbage rolls stuffed with rolled oats and seaweed

This is a recipe inspired by the traditional Eastern European stuffed cabbage : sarmale or dolmas.

In the traditional recipe the cabbage leaves are stuffed with rice and ground meat. Instead of rice I’ve used rolled oats, and instead of meat, seaweed and mushrooms. I’ve also made some rolls with ground meat added to the mix, and they tasted pretty good too.

This dish takes a bit of hard work…I won’t claim it’s easy to make. But if you have the time and enjoy cooking,  it’s definitely worth.

Can be served hot, as well as cold.

As a side dish you can serve mashed potatoes, polenta, rice or simply fresh whole wheat bread which you can dip in the tasty  sauce!

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Ingredients:

(for about 4 people)

1 large onion

5-6 cloves garlic

one cup soaked seaweed

chopped fresh mushrooms of any kind

2 cups rolled oats

olive oil

sea salt

one large head of cabbage with large leaves that have no wholes

tomato sauce

paprika powder

optional: ground red meat

Directions:

Chop the onion and sautee it in olive oil. Add the chopped garlic. Add the mushrooms and the drained seaweed. If you’re not using meat, add the mushrooms and seaweed to the onion and cook for about 5 min. Add paprika powder.

Put everything into a bowl, add rolled oats and mix it all up until you get a thick dough. if you’re using meat, add the meat as well.

Set aside.

Take apart the cabbage leaves, wash them and place them carefully in a large pot of boiling water.

Boil them for a few minutes, 2-5 min, just enough for them to soften, but not become mushy. Take them out carefully and set them aside. Strain them, let them cool down, and even pat them dry with paper towel.

Chop the rest of the cabbage and place half of it on the bottom of a large and deep pot.

Fill the mushrooms with the oats mix. You can find videos online that show you how to stuff cabbage leaves. For example:

Place the stuffed cabbage leaves over the chopped cabbage. Layer them, and place the rest of the chopped cabbage on top. Pour tomato sauce on top, and cover with a lid.

Boil for about one hour on low heat.

Serve warm or cold, with some yogurt or sour cream on top.

For more flavour, mix the sour cream (or yogurt)

that goes on top with chopped and crushed garlic, sea salt, olive oil and dill.