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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.

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I know that I already posted a bunch of  avocado smoothies, but this one is more like a dessert. Well, and I love avocado. I think, avocado makes a fie milk substitute for any smoothie, as long as you put a small cup of water for every small avocado added.  Oh,and this new smoothie is  absolutely gorgeous. I adapted it from here.
Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp. raw cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups cold almond milk
  • 2-3 tbsp. agave syrup
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1 banana
  • One handful crushed ice.

Spoon out the avocado pulp and place in a blender with the 1 tbsp. of the agave syrup and a banana. Add 1 cup of cold almond milk, 1/2 of the ice and blend again. Don’t wash the blender yet. Divide the green mixture between 2 tall glasses. Blend the remaining 1/2 cup of almond milk with 2 tbsp. of agave syrup and 2 tbsp. of cocoa powder. Add the remaining ice. Top each serving of the green smoothie with 1/2 the chocolate mixture  (to form a separate layer.)

In my quest for how to destroy excess zucchinis, I found a great recipe. My friend, Dr. Johnny Bowden posted the best squash spaghetti  recipe ever! If you like Thai food, try my adaptation of it. I added peppers and peanuts, substituted Tamari with Bragg’s and put peanut butter instead of almond one. The  peppers make this dish spicy, which I like.

 

zuchinni noodles
Serves 6

Ingredients:

3 Tbs. raw peanut butter

3 Tbs. Bragg’s Aminos

3 tsp. curry powder

2 fresh chili peppers, diced

3 medium organic summer squash

1/4 cup unsweetened shaved coconut

1/3 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/3 cup dry roasted peanuts

  1. Combine almond butter, tamari, and curry powder in large bowl, and whisk until well mixed. Set aside.
  2. Trim ends off squash. Using mandolin or sharp vegetable peeler, slice squash lengthwise into long, thin strips.
  3. Add squash strips to bowl, and gently toss with peanut butter mixture until well coated. Add coconut, raisins, peanuts, peppers and cilantro, and toss until evenly distributed. Serve immediately, or chill for up to 48 hours.

 

 

 

 

Even after making the zucchini casserole yesterday, we were left with extra zuchinis. Here’s what I threw in the blender today:

1 zucchini

7 ice cubes

1 banana

1 cup orange juice

1/2 avocado

It turned really yummy and the yield was 2-3 servings.

Next time, I will try this interesting smoothie.

What else can I do with zucchinis?

 

My twin babies fell madly in love with zucchinis. So, I buy big quantities of zucchinis and put them in pretty much every vegetable dish. I even like them raw in a salad. Their mild taste works for the days when there isn’t a single cucumber in the fridge. Since,in my opinion, a casserole is the easiest dish to feed the whole family, I like to make this simple zucchini bake. It tastes delicate enough to eat the leftovers for breakfast. Zucchini is rich in nutrients, especially manganese and vitamin C. One cup of cooked zukes contains 1.64g of protein and .15g of omega-3 fatty acids.

You can make this recipe vegan by using flax or chia, instead of an egg and a vegan cheese instead of cheddar. I personally never tried using quinoa or gluten-free flour here, but am sure it’s possible. If you manage to make this casserole free of gluten, please, write me a note!

Ingredients

 4     cups unpeeled, chopped zucchini (and/or yellow summer squash)

¼     cup chopped onion

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

 2/3 cup whole wheat flour

½  tsp. sea salt

1 tbsp. baking powder

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. agave syrup

 1     egg

 1     cup grated cheddar cheese,  set aside ½ cup

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine all dry ingredients and stir well. Mix in all other ingredients  (except for ½ cup cheddar cheese) and stir well. Pour into a greased 8-inch pan. Bake for about 45 minutes. Sprinkle the second ½ cup grated cheddar cheese on top and bake an additional 15 minutes.

 

I was browsing through some blogs last night and stumbled upon a post about a really delicious, easy and healthy bean spread. Oh,and the spread is supposed to be placed on a sandwich with some kale on top. I was hooked. First of all, I am all about quick and easy, healthy cooking. Secondly, I could feed this spread to my twin babies, who’d love a little extra protein, so that they can finally grow up and take their toys back from their big brother. Thirdly, I could feed the kale to my oldest, who thinks that eating kale makes you grow big enough to drive a real car ( ok, I taught him that.)

I tripled the bean spread recipe and we had the leftovers for lunch today. The babies had the spread with some celery sticks and avocado chunks and we had  baked potatoes with bean spread, avocado , kale and chives. 

After playing with the  original recipe a bit, here’s the spread and the sandwich:

 

 

Rustic White Bean Spread

  • 1 can of white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 heaping cup of cooked beans)
  • juice from one lemon
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 2 Tbs tahini
  • 1 Tbs water (or more for desired consistency)
  • 2Tbs olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Process everything until smooth.

 Kale

 Heat a bit of olive oil and water in a frying pan. Add a small garlic clove, minced, stirring a minute until fragrant. Add 1-2 tbsp. of Bragg’s amino acid sauce. Toss in a couple handfuls of kale (stems removed, chopped). Sautee until wilted. Add a few drops of tobasco, if desired.

Sandwich

 Place a generous dollop of warmed white bean spread over two pieces of toast. Top with cooked kale. Squeeze a splash of lemon over everything and put a slice of lemon on top (optional). I also put a tomato slice on top.

 

This is my favorite soup. Warm, hearty, full of spices and veggies, it can heat up a cold winter night and add substance to summer lunch. If you add a couple of pieces of toast to a bowl of this soup, you have a nice meal right there. Croutons work, too. You can also have a small bowl of this soup as an appetizer. When selecting vegetables for the soup, keep the red/green balance in mind. The vegetable mixture  has to be about 50% red and 50% green. In this recipe, I put things like broccoli and sweet potatoes. There is also nothing wrong with string beans and squash: be creative, but keep the red/green balance!

The yield for this recipe is a large soup pot, for about 6-7 people.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup broccoli  florets

1/2 cup kale leaves, separated from the stalks

1/2 cup carrots, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup cup celery, chopped

2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped

1/4 cup parsley, diced

1/2 cup whole wheat penne pasta or uncooked buckwheat

1/2-3/4 can garbanzo beans

1/2 cup olive oil

Salt, paprika to taste

2 tbsp. curry powder

3 garlic cloves, pressed

7 cups of water

Put the carrots and the sweet potatoes in the water and bring to a boil. Add the rest of the vegetables, cover and let simmer for 3 minutes. Add the garbanzo beans, the pasta or the grain and let simmer for another 10-15 minutes (taste the pasta or the grain for readiness.) Add olive oil and the spices and simmer for a minute or two. Let the soup stand for 20 minutes before serving.

 

Since we have three little kids, it’s hard to go out in the evening. So, I learned to make some gourmet foods at home. Flatbread is one of those foods. The best part about this recipe ( taken from here) is that the bread is easy to make and is gluten-free. Then, you can put whatever you want on top and tell the kids it’s pizza. I like bell peppers, sundried tomato spread, portobello mushrooms, chunks of tofu, onions, tomatoes, zucchinis to top my flatbread…I sometimes put a bit of goat cheese on top and sometimes I forego the cheese altogether and the dish still tastes amazing. The recipe here is a suggestion. Make the basic flatbread and put whatever you want on top. After the bread is made, don’t forget to top it off with arugula leaves, some salt and olive oil.

I also like to quintuple this recipe and freeze the unused portions in ziploc bags. Whenever I need dinner, I thaw some flatbread dough, roll it out and put something on top. Then I bake the flatbread for 10-20 minutes and dinner is ready!

note: you can use 1 egg instead of the psyllium husk

Flatbread:

– 1 cup quinoa flour

-1/2 -1 tsp salt

-1 tbls psyllium husk

-3/4 cup (2 dl) water

Preheat oven to 200 Celsius (400 F).

Mix the salt, psyllium husk and flour together, add the water gradually so that it resembles a thick porridge, wait for a couple of minutes and then spread the batter on to a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Topping

4 tbsp. pesto sauce

1 bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 zucchini, thinly sliced

1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced

1 tomato, thinly sliced

1/3 cup soft goat cheese, crumbled

Arugula leaves, salt, pepper,olive oil

Spread the pesto sauce on top of the flatbread and put all of the veggies on top of the sauce.sprinkle some goat cheese over the veggies and bake at 425 degrees F for 10-15minutes. Take out of the oven and generously put arugula leaves on top. Put salt and pepper to taste.

I know, the name spells:  “The Weirdest Cake On The Internet,” but it tastes awesome! I found this delicious raw cake recipe about a month ago and never found time to make it. Too bad, because it only took me 30minutes today! If you like lemon flavor, feel free to also add a  few drops of lemon extract. The original recipe asked for jicama. I used something simpler and more readily available.

 

 

 

Cake
1/2 cup finely grated white turnip
1 1/2 cups Granny Smith Apples, pealed and grated finely
2 cups almond flour (almonds, ground in a food processor)
4 tbsp.  flax meal  (flax seeds, ground finely)
1/4 cup agave syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
lemon juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup poppy seeds

Mix all ingredients well. Separate into two halves. Take the first half and form in a shape of a cake.

Frosting:

1 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup agave syrup
Juice of 1 lemon  ( zest opti0nal)

Beat/Whip the coconut oil with beaters! Whip again and add the agave. Then, add the lemon juice.

Assembly:
Top the first layer of the cake with Frosting. Form the second half of the dough into another layer on a  separate plate. Flip the plate to place another layer on top of the frosting.Frost the whole cake: top and sides. Sprinkle Poppy Seeds on the sides and maybe on top, as well. Top with Lemon zest curls or slices. Refrigerate for an hour or more. Serve at room temperature.

Fourth of July will be here very soon. Before you start feeling bad for vegetarians, I have a really awesome bean burger recipe to share. It’s is vegan, gluten-free and soy-free. I found this recipe in Vegetarian Times magazine and changed a thing or two. The original recipe asked for quinoa, but I felt that buckwheat, while similar in texture, has a more “meaty” look to it. That, and I had some leftover buckwheat laying around. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1.5 cup cooked buckwheat

1 cup onions, finely chopped

1/2 cup carrots, grated

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil – drained and finely chopped

1.5 cups black beans ( cooked or canned and drained) – I like to use canned spicy beans here

1.5 cups water

2 tsp.   steak seasoning

2 garlic cloves, minced

optional: a few drops of Tabasco sauce

Salt, pepper to taste

Olive oil for oiling the baking dish

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a medium frying pan, sautee the onions, the tomatoes and the carrots for about 4 minutes, mixing periodically. Use the oil form the tomatoes to sautee. Add the beans, the spices and the water. Simmer for about 5 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Transfer the mixture to the food processor, add the buckwheat and process until smooth. Add salt and pepper.

Oil up the baking sheet. Form 8 patties, using your hands. Arrange the patties in the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the patties are crisp on top. Flip the patties and bake for another 10 minutes, until both sides are crisp and brown.

Serve in a whole wheat bun with lettuce and tomato. Mayonnaise, ketchup and cheese are optional.

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