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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!

oatsseaweedmeatsarmale

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.

 

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Vegetarian burger with red beet root, millet and oatmeal.

I was looking up online for vegetarian or vegan burger recipes, and I found quite a few ideas. I decided to use the inspiration and make my own version.

 

DSCN0286I knew I would need some kind of grain, and I chose millet, which I boiled before hand and let it cool down. I knew I also needed a vegetable, and because I had red beetroot, I used that: one small red beet root, grated.

 

I sauteed some finely chopped onion in a pan, just until golden. I placed in a bowl the beet root, the onion, the boiled millet, and I added some oatflakes, ground flaxseeds, sesame seeds, salt, spices, and one beaten egg. Among spices:  pepper, sweet paprika, rosemary, parsely and dill. Oh yes, almost forgot, the finely chopped garlic.

I made burgers, placed them in a greased pan and baked them on medium heat for about 30 min. The truth is, I lost my patience, they weren’t cooking as fast as I hoped, so after 15 min I took some of them out and fried them on low heat, covered, both sides, and they were done in 10 min, and looked better than the ones made in the oven.

I served it on grain bread, with cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, and an avocado sauce.

For the avocado sauce I mashed an avocado with a bit of lemon, vinegar, olive oil and salt.

I tastes delicious, the perfect burger, honestly!

Ingredients for 8 burgers:

one small onion

2-3  garlic cloves

one spoon flax seeds – ground – optional

one spoon sesame seeds – optional

2 cups boiled millet

one cup rolled oats

one egg beaten

pinch of salt

one large beetroot grated or two small ones

spices: dill, parsley, rosemary, paprika

olive oil

For the avocado sauce:

one avocado

juice of one small lemon

one teaspoon apple cider vinegar

pinch of salt

one clove of garlic finely minced and crushed – optional

pepper – optional

one spoon of olive oil

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chia seed and oat flakes pizza dough

Ingredients:

half cup chia seeds

one cup  warm water or warm milk or rice milk

half cup oat flakes

two cups oat flour and corn flour

one cup olive oil or melted butter, your prefference

Directions:

place the chia seeds in the water and let them sit for 2-4 hours, stirring occasionally

in a bowl, mix the flour with a pinch of salt, and the corn flakes. Add the soaked chia seeds and mix, add the olive oil and knead. If  the dough is too soft, add more flour, or if it’s too hard add more warm water.

Spread in an oiled pan and bake in the preheated oven, at medium heat, for about 15 min, until it begins to harden and is slightly golden brown but not completely baked. Add your pizza ingredients and bake more.

 

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Fiber rich rice cakes

Basically, rice cakes…with a twist. Instead of just rice, carbohydrates…these cakes are filled with healthy fiber. Oats, psyllium seed husk and chia seeds.

Ingredients (makes about 10 small patties)

2 eggs – beaten

3-4 cups boiled whole brown rice

pinch of salt

one spoon psyllium seed husk

one cup spelt flour

one cup rolled oats

Mix all the ingredients. It should be soft enough to make patties, but if not, add a bit of water or milk.

Shape the patties, layer them in an oiled pan and bake them on high heat for about 20 min, until golden brown. If you don’t want them so crunchy, then bake them on medium heat for about 30 min.

Serve with vegetables, mushrooms, greens, meat…pretty much anything. They taste good cold as well and can be kept for a few days as a snack.

 

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Chocolate fruit popsicles

Such and easy to make and healthy summer dessert!

Ingredients:

Kiwis, bananas, strawberries, peaches, mangoes, melon. (Feel free to experiment with various types of fruit. Apples or plums…no…).

Pure dark chocolate for melting.

Popsicle sticks (or even sticks from a tree!)

Directions:

Make sure you have enough space in the freezer to place all popsicles without them touching each other or any other kind of food.

Peel kiwi (or another kind of fruit) and slice it in thick enough slices to that you can  insert a popsicle stick in each slice or kiwi and place on a tray (lined with parchment paper).

Freeze the kiwis for about 3 hours or overnight.

Melt the  pure dark chocolate using a double boiler over a medium heat. For a vegan version, add a bit of water and coconut oil to it. For a regular version, add some milk and butter. Go slowly and watch for signs of burning, and keep stirring continuously.

 

Dip each frozen kiwi into the chocolate; the chocolate layer should harden immediately around the fruit.

Place back into the freezer for half an hour before serving.

For a bit of a nutty twist:

don’t freeze the fruit, just insert the sticks, and set them aside. Prepare  your favorite nutty mix: walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, flax seeds, sesame seeds. Melt the chocolate and after dipping into the warm chocolate, immediately dip in the nut mix. Set aside on parchment paper. When all pieces of fruit are dipped in choclate and covered in nuts, freeze for at leats 4 hours or overnight. .

Enjoy!

 

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Molasses cookies with rice and garbanzo flour

These cookies are not too sweet and great for kids as well. They have a chocolatey flavor, and are packed with nutrients such as iron, proteins, folate, B6, Thiamin, vitamin K, magnesium, selenium, manganese, calcium… and low in carbs. The rice flour makes them kind of hard but crunchy, great for coffee or tea!

1 cup of garbanzo beans (chick peas) flour

1 cup rye flour

1 cup unbleached white self rising flour

olive oil

1 spoon molasses

1 spoon brown sugar

flax seeds (grinded)

cinnamon

half cup or a cup or organic milk

Directions:

Mix all the dry ingredients. Ad just as much olive oil to get the right consistency, a dough that can be made into a ball but it is still kind of crumbly. Then add just as much milk to get a dough that can be easily shaped in your hands, not too crumbly, not too sticky. Shape, place in a greased pan and bake  – medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until the cookies are slightly brown (it’s difficult to see it in this color, because they are already brown!). You don’t want them to get quite hard, as the cookies harden more after they cool down. If you’re not sure when they are done, better turn off the oven sooner, set them aside, check how they are when they are a bit cooler and if not done enough put them back in the oven, for a few more minutes.

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Eggplant, cabbage and red beet casserole on oats and rye crust

I needed to cook something quick with whatever I had at home, not a lot of things. I found eggplants, red beet, a small cabbage and a few other bits and pieces….such as half of a red pepper, a few mushrooms, one tomato and some grated cheese  Baked red beet in a pie or casserole, with cabbage…and eggplant? Who’s ever heard of that? Would it taste OK? Well, it resulted in an  unusual hearty and healthy low calorie vegetarian dish, quite delicious. I knew we needed something a bit more consistent for lunch than cabbage and beet…but  I didn’t want to stuff myself with bread, so the crunchy thin pie crust was a great solution. It will still give you the filling ‘bread’ feeling without all the calories. Easy to prepare, about half hour cooking time all together. Enjoy!

Ingredients for the crust:

oats and rye flour

olive oil

sea salt

Ingredients for the casserole:

one medium size fresh red beet chopped small

one tomato chopped small

one small cabbage finely sliced

fresh parsley or cilantro

grated cheese

one large or 2 small eggplants sliced

one small or medium onion chopped

a few garlic cloves finely chopped

one small red pepper chopped

a few mushrooms sliced (optional)

olive oil

pepper

sea salt

cayenne pepper – optional

Instructions:

  1. You can mix the pie crust directly in the pan. Pour in 2 cups of oats flour and two cups of rye flour (you can use more of one than the other, your choice) and a cup of olive oil over it. Mix it gently with a wooden spoon. It needs to become crumbly almost sticky, not too oily. If this is what you see, then add half cup warm water or milk and knead with your hands. If it’s too crumbly, not consistent enough, ad more oil. When you’ve kneaded the dough into a consistent soft ball, press it into the pan with your hands to create a pie crust that covers the whole pan. If at this point you see that there isn’t enough dough to cover the whole pan properly, you can ad more flour and oil and water.
  2. Place the dough in the oven, medium heat, and in the meantime start preparing the rest of the ingredients. Put the onion in a pan with some olive oil and pepper and sizzle. Add all the vegetables (tomato, pepper, cabbage, red beet, mushrooms, garlic – finely chopped) and cook until everything becomes soft, but not too soft. Season, and ad on top of the pie crust, which should by now be baked half way.
  3. On top of all this, add a layer of sliced eggplant.
  4. Place everything back into the oven and bake for about 20 min, until the eggplant is cooked, slightly brown.
  5. Turn off the oven. Add grated cheese on top and place it back in the oven for a few minutes, just enough for the cheese to melt.
  6. Cut into slices, scoop carefully on the plate (the mix comes apart easily) and serve with some fresh parsley on top, or plain yogurt sprinkled over – optionally.