Snack attack

Snack attack

Accidentally nailed it. These are too good to keep in your office drawer.

Lemon meringue protein bites
1/3 C buckwheat kernels (oats or more cashews work too)
1/2 C cashews
8 medjool dates (soaked soft)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 tbs of lemon zest
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 C coconut shavings
1-2 drops of peppermint essential oil

  1. Use a food processor (or blender) to grind cashews and buckwheat. Add coconut. Mix until not fine but small pieces. Remove from the processor.
  2. Mix soft dates until mushy in the food processor.
  3. Add remaining incredients.
  4. Blend until even. Remove with spatula to a mixing bowl and add 1-3 tbs water until the mixture is sticky and easy to roll.
  5. Roll to balls. This makes 12-18 balls.
  6. Store in freezer or fridge.


Did someone say Pho?

Did someone say Pho?

When you make a water based vegan soup and your carnivore boyfriend ends up begging for more, you know you have done something right. This soup is a filling and warming and it definitely costs less than a trip to Ho Chi Minh.

Vegan Pho (For two)

Broth:
2 l water
1.5 cubes vegetable stock cubes
2 gloves of garlic
a piece of sliced fresh ginger
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stalk
1 onion
2 tbs tamari

4 portobello mushrooms (or smaller mushrooms, use more)
1 tsp coconut oil
a bunch of bok choy or Chinese cabbage
Fresh mint
Fresh coriander
Mung bean sprouts
Brown rice noodles/Mung bean noodles

  1. Slice garlic and ginger. Chop onion into quarters.
  2. Use a pot to heat the water. Add vegetable cubes, tamari garlic, ginger, onion, cinnamon and star anise. Bring to boil and reduce the heat. Let simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Chop mushrooms to thin slices. Stirfry in coconut oil until cooked through.
  4. Chop herbs.
  5. 3 minutes before serving, strain the broth. Add bok choy and let it simmer 3 more minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, cook the noodles al dente and place in bowls.
  7. To serve. Pour the broth on top of noodles (with bok choy). Add mushrooms on top of the bowls, as well as the herbs and sprouts.

If there is leftover broth, heat it day after and enjoy all over again.

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Go away nasty flu

Go away nasty flu

I have been down with a flu for past three days, which sucks. See below my go for a flu healing smoothie bowl.

Immunity Booster Smoothie bowl

1-2 tsp of fresh minced ginger
1/2-1 tsp of fresh minced turmeric
2/3 C frozen cauliflower
1/2 frozen banana
2/3 C steamed pumpkin (cooled)
1 C almond mylk
2 tsp baobab
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
3 drops of orange essential oil

1. Blend everything. Add essential oil at the end and blend more.

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May all your hazelnut dreams come true

May all your hazelnut dreams come true

This is for you if you love Nutella, Ferrero Rocher, and Kinder Bueno. And coffee. Enjoy. Perfect way to start a slow weekend morning.

If you are not having an easter chocolate bender like we are at the moment, you can also use a tablespoon of cacao powder or spoonful of cacao nibs instead of melted chocolate. Or you can leave it out altogether, just hazelnuts, banana, and coffee are a divine combination.

Hazelnut Mocca Smoothie Bowl (for two)

3-4 frozen bananas
1/3 C almond mylk
double shot of espresso (or strong coffee)
1/3 C hazelnuts
1 tsp of vanilla beans (or extract)
20 g of dark chocolate (70% cacao)

  1. Roast hazelnuts fro 10-15 mins in 200 C. Let cool. (I roast these earlier and keep in a jar if I feel like this smoothie etc. They just taste richer after roasting). No oil needed.
  2. Make espresso and let it cool in the fridge.
  3. Blend 2/3 bananas and hazelnuts with almond mylk and coffee. Add remaining bananas and vanilla. Blend.
  4. Melt the chocolate on top of boiling water. use a spatula to pour the melted chocolate into a blender. Blend.
  5. Enjoy in a bowl topped with some crushed hazelnuts and more chocolate or berries.

//EDIT: I healthified the recipe for weekday mornings. I tried it today and it was still amazing. See below:

Healthified Hazelnut Mocca Smoothie Bowl (for one)

1.5 -2  frozen bananas
splash of almond mylk/any plant based milk
shot of espresso (or strong coffee)
1/4 C hazelnuts
1 heaped tbs of vanilla protein powder

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Breakfast upgrade

Breakfast upgrade

See below a yummy recipe that I have healthified to be a perfect breakfast. Again there is a few fancier ingredients involved but if you like liquorice ice cream (like any Finnish kid) this one is for you!

Liquorice Smoothie Bowl

1.5-2 frozen bananas
1/3 C coconut water/water/almond mylk
1 tbs almond butter
1-2 dried figs
Handful of spinach (optional)
1-2 spirulina tablets (optional)
1 tbs of vegan vanilla protein powder
2 tsp of liquorice root powder

  1. Blend spinach with the liquid.
  2. Add bananas and chopped figs few at the time and keep blending.
  3. Add rest of the ingredients.
  4. Top with granola and berries (especially rasberries and blueberries go well).

TIP: If you need more protein top your bowl with seeds and nuts. This is, however, quite filling with almond butter and protein powder. Also, spirulina curves sweet cravings and is good to have with all the fructose in the bowl. However, if you prefer less fruit use avocado or zucchini instead of some banana.

Sauce for any night

Sauce for any night

This one of my go-to recipes that I like to cook on weekends to enjoy weeknights. I am not quite sure how I most prefer to eat it. It is just so tasty, easy and you can have it with anything, it is not your normal tomato sauce, it is so much more. It makes any meal taste little more luxurious. Tonight I just reheated it and throw in a bowl with zoodles, roasted Brussel sprouts, asparagus and some sweet potato.

I learned from the Smith & Daughters: A cookbook (that happens to be vegan) (by boss ladies behind the legendary Smith & Daughters, and my favourite sandwich heaven Smith & Deli) to use cherry vinegar when cooking rich tomato sauces and I love it now! This book is wonderful for inspiration and ideas!

Spanish Tomato Stew (4 sides or 2 mains)

1 red capsicum
2 stalks of celery
1 onion
3 garlic gloves
2 tbs of olive oil

8 ripe tomatoes
2/3 C water
1 tbs sweet paprika
1 tbs smoked paprika
1/2 tbs dried thyme
4 bay leaves
1 tbs of cherry vinegar
Salt & Pepper (generously)

  1. Cut capsicum, celery and onion cubes. Crush garlic gloves.
  2. Heat olive oil in a pan.
  3. Add cut veggies and garlic. Let soften for five minutes over medium heat.
  4. Season with paprikas and dried thyme. Cook another 2 minutes.
  5. Add chopped tomatoes, bay leaves, and water. Season with salt and pepper. Let cook 20 minutes. 
  6. Add the cherry vinegar and let cook until the sauce thickens, 20-30 mins.

Serving option 1:

As a pasta sauce with pan fried mushrooms. Pan fry mushrooms with olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper. Meanwhile, boil pasta (I eat brown rice pasta). Serve with parsley and nutritional yeast (or pecorino cheese). We eat this at least once a fortnight, so nice and hearty.

Serving option 2:

Steam broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus. Bake sweet potato chunks in the oven with salt and pepper. Chop basil. Eat in a bowl with fresh spinach. So nice and warming but healthy.

Serving option 3:

Poor in bowls. Sprinkle some parsley or basil on top. Cut some nice sourdough. Potentially open a nice cheese (I love Botanical Cuisine Persian Feta that is based on macadamia nuts). Use a piece of bread as a spoon and enjoy every last drop of the stew.

And yes I make this on Sunday and we eat it later during the week because the taste gets even better when reheated! Hope you like it. It is definitely a budget meal too and you can mix things up by adding mushrooms, olives, greens, carrots, you name it.

The photo below is taken just after adding tomatoes. They will continue to get stickier while cooking. I love to have this cooking and smelling amazing on the stove top while I relax.

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When truffle met mushroom and we made a pizza

When truffle met mushroom and we made a pizza

This one is the bomb. This pizza is a lovechild of the passion for truffled mushrooms and foodgasm after a few great white pizzas enjoyed in Melbourne and in Italy. It has taken some serious product development with different sauces,  toppings, and bases, but now I dare to write down the recipe. The flavor in this one is something to die for and worth the trip to the supermarket to get the few fancy ingredients. It’s definitely that Sunday dish to impress and make anyone at the dinner table to love you. And literally, it is covered with all the veggies. All the best ones. Did you hear I said mushrooms?

This is a recipe that you can start and finish in an hour and so worth the effort. Also, I highly encourage to do any pizza base that you love if you are not a fan of this more alternative one, which I guess would make any Italian nonna cry.

White Truffled Mushroom Pizza (vegan, GF)

White Truffle Sauce
1/2 C soaked cashews
1 heaped tbs of nutritional yeast
1 tsp truffle oil
1/2 C water
1 tbs lemon juice
1 garlic glove
Salt & Pepper

Mushrooms
4-8 portobello mushrooms (or any mushrooms, when chopped approximately 1 & 1/2 cups)
1 tsp truffle oil
1 tbs olive oil
Garlic clove

Other Fillings
1 C chopped pumpkin (any pumpkin will do, or sweet potato)
Olive oil
6-8 asparagus
1/2 radicchio
1 tbs of lemon juice
Salt & pepper

Pizza Base 
3 tbs chia seeds
2/5 C water
2/3 C coconut flour
1 tbs psyllium husk
1 tsp baking powder
salt
1/3 C olive oil
1 C water

  1. Heat the oven to 200 C and place the chopped pumpkin on an oven tray sprinkled with olive oil. By the way, always use the peel of the pumpkin, it gets soft in the oven and is good for you. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 mins or until golden. Put the pumpkin on the side. Increase the oven temperature to 225 C after removing pumpkin from the oven.
  2. While pumpkin is baking make the sauce. Blend all the ingredients. Let it sit in the fridge until using.
  3. Chop radicchio to strings. Put it in a bowl, sprinkle with lemon juice and dash of oil and salt. Leave on the side to marinade.
  4. Half each asparagus, keep them long.
  5. Make the base. Start by soaking chia seeds in the water. Meanwhile, mix the dry ingredients. Add oil and water. Add chia mix. Let sit for a minute. The mixture is definitely strange because coconut flour acts different to any other flour, but trust me it works well. 
  6. Use your hands to press the dough to oven tray covered with baking paper. It should be easy to handle, but like I said, expect nothing like traditional pizza dough.
  7. Prebake for 8 minutes in 225 C.
  8. Next sautee mushrooms. Heat olive oil in a pan, add mushrooms and crushed garlic and a dash of water. Add truffle oil when mushrooms star to get some color. Put on the side after some 3 min of sauteing.
  9. After the base is prebaked, spread 2/3 of the sauce on the bottom. Sprinkle pumpkin, mushrooms, and asparagus on it. Add radicchio. Sprinkle rest of the sauce on top. Season generously with freshly grounded pepper. Bake for 10 minutes in 225 C.

Hope this makes you as happy as it makes me. Preferably enjoy with a glass of nice red wine and with someone, you want to make happy.

I do encourage to giving this base a go. As it is completely grain free it makes you feel satisfied but not heavy afterward. Also, it goes really well with the truffle sauce. I have adapted the recipe for the pizza base from the book Kiitos Hyvää Pikaruokaa, which is a great read by a talented author and blogger Virpi. As far as I know this book is published only in Finnish at the moment. It literally changed my pizza eating habits, I mean, chia seed pizza. But this sauce will be heaven on any base, spelt, buckwheat… You name it.

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