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Here’s what I learned yesterday.

If you have guests coming and no food except for a bag of chips of some kind, you can still make a marvelous dip for those chips in under five minutes. Oh, and you can utilize leftovers, while doing it!

Throw a can of beans of any kind ( I used black beans) into the food processor, add a handful of nuts (I used walnuts,) a bit of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and paper and a bit of water and process until smooth.If you want, you can add parsley or cilantro and/or some onion and garlic. My guests loved the dip! and my kids loved it for lunch the next day.


I found a really interesting raw cake recipe online, but it calls for jicama, which I do not have. Going to the supermarket with three babies is not very appealing. Also, I am really stuck on trying out this weird cake recipe and therefore am not interested in cooking anything else that’s new… So, my good friend Nina came to the rescue! She made this awesome cold soup yesterday (inspired by She used some herbs from her garden as a garnish. I think, this soup would be a perfect appetizer on a hot summer night. I also believe its temperature and texture to be very child-friendly, but that we will know tomorrow, when my kid tries it. 🙂



3 tomatoes (quartered)
1/2 cucumber
1/2 pepper
1/2 onion
Garlic clove
3 tbsp. wine vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/8 tsp. white pepper

Green herbs ( chives, basil, rosemary, cilantro -whatever you have is fine)

Place items in blender and pulse. Chill. Pour in individual cups and top with greens.

Recently, I came up with some ideas for Asian-inspired natural and healthy snacks. I usually make those for unexpected guests, because the snacks look amazing, taste amazing and take no time to prepare. So, here they are:

1. Roasted Garlic Edamame

I ate this dish  in a very fancy Japanese restaurant: there’s something about roasted garlic that causes to keep inhaling the edamame! Edamame is a complete protein and is low in fat, so inhaling it is not so bad.


1 bag of frozen edamame (soy beans) in pods

1 small jar of roasted garlic

sea salt and olive oil to taste

Boil the edamame in water, according to the package instructions. Mix it with a jar of garlic, salt if you wish and microwave for one minute.

2. Wassabi Cream Tofu

My friend Amanda makes this dish with cream cheese and it just flies off her table. So,  I decided to experiment with tofu. The result was quite good.


1 package of silken tofu

1/4 cup of coconut oil

4 tbsp. of wassabi powder (or more to taste)

Soy sauce for serving

Blend everything, except for the soy sauce, until smooth. Put the mixture in the middle of  a plate, pouring a bit of soy sauce on it. Serve with crackers. I like Mary’s Gone Crackers the best for their health and nutritional value.

Image: Carlos Porto

I love Caesar salad, but am not a fan of the creamy, heavy anchovy-rich dressing and the parmesan cheese on top. The web is full of vegan raw caesar dressings: I tried a few and eventually came up with this one. I think it tastes great.  I like to take some sprouted bread, cut it into little pieces, drizzle olive oil on it and bake it in the oven for croutons. I also like to make my Caesar a little bit more fun than just the Romaine lettuce in a bowl, so I add things like cherry tomatoes, celery slices, chopped onions or grated carrots. Chickpeas, cubed tofu or almond slices taste well in this salad and also add protein.

Let me know your thoughts.


1/2 cup soaked almonds

1 tsp tahini

2 stalks of celery

1/4 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove

2 tbsp olive oil

juice 1/2 of a lemon

4 tbsp water (or more, depending on the desired consistency)

1 tsp kelp granules (optional, but good for recreating the anchovy taste)

salt, pepper to taste

Put everything in a blender and process until smooth.

Image credit: Rose

This pate works as a cracker topper or as an interesting dip for a party. Since it packs a lot of protein, vitamins and minerals, I  love feeding it to my kid. If you don’t have lentils, feel free to use chickpeas or any other beans: the taste would be different, but just as good.


2 cups cooked lentils (or two cans of lentils)
1 cup dried apricots
3/4 cup walnuts
1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
olive oil, salt to taste

optional: 2 garlic cloves, diced, curry and paprika

Put the cooked lentils, the apricots and the walnuts in the food processor and process until well-mixed.

Saute the onion in olive oil, until golden. Add the onion to the lentil mix. Process again. Add parsley and salt to taste. Process again. Optionally, add garlic, curry and paprika to taste.

Next time your kid asks for French fries, try to make these instead.  Parsnips are rich in folic acid, copper and manganese and carrots have a lot of fiber and vitamin D. Almond butter adds extra protein to the dish. The recipe is adapted from Diet, Dessert and Dogs.




For 3-4 servings:

3 medium parsnips and 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into thin fry-like strips. The inner core of parsnips can be a bit bitter, so I usually cut around that.

3 Tbsp (45 ml) smooth natural almond butter

1 Tbsp (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp (2.5  ml) fine sea salt

1 tsp. curry

1 tsp Bragg’s amino acids

Preheat the oven to 400F (200C).  Line a large baking tray with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Place the “fries” in a large bowl.  In a small bowl, combine the almond butter, oil, and spices. Drizzle the coating over the fries, and toss the mixture with your hands  until they are all evenly coated.

Line the fries up on the cookie sheet in a single layer.  Bake 35-50 minutes (depending on thickness of your fries), until the coating is browned and a bit crispy, and the fries are fully cooked.

And if you like your fries simple, use just the olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake until the fries are browner and crispy.


Potato salad is usually a heavy dish, overloaded with fat and calories. This potato salad is lighter, healthier and some would even say, tastier than the original version. I like to use baby potatoes because of their mild and lighter flavor, but you can certainly try this salad with the regular potatoes, too.

Baby potatoes, cooked ,chilled, and quartered,  3 cups

Purple onion, chopped, 1-2 large

celery, chopped, 1 stalk

garlic, minced, 1 clove

mustard, 2 tbsp

olive oil 1/3 cup

salt and pepper to taste

optional: parsley, 1/4 cup

optional: eggs, hard-boiled and chopped, 2

Mix the onions, the potatoes and the celery. In a separate bowl, mix the oil, the mustard, the garlic and parsley, if using it. Pour the liquids into the potato mix. If using eggs, add them now.

image: Suat Eman

This raw vegan cheese can be used for five days (if kept in the fridge.) Right away, the consistency should be soft and ricotta-like, but if you continue the process (putting the “cheese” in the cloth bag and letting it sit under a weight,) the “cheese” would become harder. If you want to make a soft “cheese,” put it in the refrigerator right after you blend the ingredients.

For a simple dish, cut a zucchini in spaghetti-like strips, add some chopped tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil, garlic, paprika and this “cheese.”


Almonds, soaked in water overnight  1 cup
Cashews, soaked overnight  1 cup

1/2 tsp  salt

optional: four garlic cloves, minced

Put all of the ingredients in the blender, add water to cover. Blend all of the ingredients until smooth. Put the mixture into a nut milk bag and hang over a bowl or a pot overnight. In the morning, put the bag on a cutting board with another cutting board on top. Put weight on top (I use three thick books.) Pour the draining liquid out periodically. The “cheese” is ready for the fridge! Refrigerate the “cheese” for an hour or so.

While living in NYC, I loved Angelica’s Kitchen restaurant. It’s a wonderful vegetarian eatery with fresh , mostly local food and a relaxed ambiance. They also had a cornbread to die for: it was the non-traditional kind; it tasted grainy and hearty. I actually purchased Angelica’s cookbook just for the recipe of this cornbread! I baked it many times and modified its original version. Enjoy it with a  soup or a salad or even as a nutritious breakfast. Give it to your kid with tahini sauce as a spread and a source of calcium or with applesauce instead of a sugary dessert. The cornbread also refrigerates and freezes well.


Rolled oats 1 cup

Cornmeal 1 cup

Brown rice, cooked according to the package instructions  3 cups

Apple juice 2 cups

Applesauce 1 cup

Salt 1/2 tsp

Olive or corn oil, unrefined 1/3 cup

Sesame seeds 1/4 cup

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix all of the dry ingredients, except for the sesame seeds. Mix in the juice and the applesauce and make sure the mixture is even. Add almost all of the oil. Grease the baking dish and sprinkle the sesame seeds on it. Pour the mixture into the baking dish and bake for about an hour, or until the wooden stick you put in it to test its readiness comes out dry. Let the bread cool off and cut into squares.

Image: hinnamsaisuy

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