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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.

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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 cooks.com.) 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. ūüôā

 

Ingredients:

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.

My husband loves tomato soup. I love to cook fast. Here’s our compromise:

 

 

 

Ingredients:

8 medium tomatoes

1 pot of boiling water

1 onion, chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

4 garlic cloves, diced

salt, pepper to taste

Basil leaves for garnish, croutons for garnish

Put the tomatoes in the boiling water, until their skins crack. Put the tomatoes on the strainer and peel the skins off.  Chop or blend the tomatoes and put them in a large pot. On a frying pan, sautee the onion in the olive oil for about 2-3 mins, until translucent. Add the onion to the pot with tomatoes. Cover with enough cold water, so there is about 1/2 inch-1 inch of water over the tomato-onion mix. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes, until the soup looks homogeneous. Add the garlic. Taste and add salt, pepper and more olive oil, if desired. Serve with (optional) croutons, parmesan cheese and/or basil leaves.

 

When you think “salad,” do you visualize a boring pile of vegetables? Or do you imagine your favorite salad that you eat day after day, because you don’t really know how to create anything new? I love “main meal” kind of salads: the ones that include some real food, not just lettuce. There some basic rules to creating a good, healthy salad. Once you are familiar with these, you can let your creativity flow and let me know what kind of super-salads you have created.

The Salad Rules:


1. Pick your greens. 

2. Pick your veggies. Cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, beets, carrots, radishes, even jicama, broccoli florets or zucchini. Experiment with finely diced or coarsely chopped and see what works better for you. Make sure to cover the rainbow of colors – the more colors you have in your salad, the more nutritionally dense it is.

3. Pick your main protein: chicken, tuna, tofu (baked or natural,) hard-boiled egg or beans, chick peas or even a scoop of cooked quinoa.

4. Pick something crunchy: croutons ( I prefer homemade,) almonds, walnuts, pecans, sunflower or pumpkin or sesame seeds, cracker pieces, etc… You can use natural or roasted nuts and seeds. I like to roast them on a dry frying pan for a few minutes.

5. Pick something oily, to balance the crunch. I love avocado, but you can also choose cheese. Goat cheese and feta cheeses work well.

6. Pick the little details. Like accessories to a ball gown, little details  matter a lot in a good salad. Try herbs, such as parsley or basil. Or, try something sweet, such as cranberries (dried) or raisins or apple or strawberry slices. Blueberries work, too and so do raspberries. Maybe, some onions or garlic? Seaweed flakes? Chia seeds? Flaxseed?

7. Dressing. Commercially sold dressings tend to be rich in preservatives and artificial ingredients. I think the best salad dressing is a mixture of cold-pressed organic extra virgin olive oil with some cold-pressed organic flaxseed oil and possibly a bit of lemon or orange juice. Maybe, a bit of Braggs or some sea salt. Sometimes, apple juice works well with the oil. You can also try one of the dressings I featured in this blog: tahini or carrot/ginger: they are fresh and full of nutrients.

image: Master isolated images

The recipe for this yummy and easy casserole was shared with me by my Russian friend Tania. I changed a thing or two, keeping the basic idea still the same: ¬†it’s the simplest vegetable casserole ever! Use the vegetables I put in the recipe, or take whatever you have left over in the fridge. Tania did not use tomatoes or potatoes, but she did use cauliflower in her recipe. She also used butter and parmesan cheese, mixed with pine nuts. You can use¬†feta cheese, like I am suggesting, or try goat cheese or tofu, fried with Bragg’s.

Ingredients:

2 small zucchinis, sliced

6  medium tomatoes, chopped

1 medium eggplant, sliced very thinly

1 medium onion, sliced

4 grated carrots

4 medium potatoes,peeled and sliced

Feta cheese or goat feta, crumbled, 2 cups

Olive oil, 1/4 + 4 tbsp. for sauteeing onions+ 1 tsp. for oiling the baking dish

Basil leaves, diced, or dry basil, 4 tsp.

Sea salt, 2 tsp. for eggplant and more to taste

Garlic, 4 cloves

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Lightly oil a baking casserole dish.

Sautee the onion in 4 tbsp. of olive oil in a frying pan, until it becomes translucent, for about 3 minutes.  Put the potato slices in a pot with 1/4 cup of olive oil and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, cover the lid, lower the flame and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Cover the eggplant slices with sea salt ( put them on  a plate first) and let stand for about 2-3 minutes, until you see juice appearing on top of eggplant slices. Salt draws the bitterness out of the eggplant. Wash the egplant slices and put them on the bottom of the baking dish. Place the onions on top of the eggplant. Place the potato slices on top of the onions. Arrange tomatoes on top. Using garlic press, squeeze 2 garlic cloves on top of the tomatoes. Sprinkle with 1/2 the basil. Crumble 1/2 of the amount of feta cheese. Arrange zucchini slices on top of the cheese. Place  grated carrots on top of the zucchini. Top off with the remaining tomatoes, garlic and basil. Add paprika, if you wish. Sprinkle with  the remaining feta cheese. Bake for about 40 minutes.

This salad is wonderful for lunch or for eating at a picnic: just add some green leaves for health value. I usually use rice pasta for it, but other varieties should work fine. The salad is also good as part of a nutritious school lunch.

Ingredients:

Penne ( either whole wheat, or rice or quinoa variety) 1.5 cups

Green beans, cut lengthwise 1.5 cups

Cherry tomatoes, halved  1 cup

Chives, finely chopped 1/2 cup

Basil, finely chopped 1/4 cup

Olive oil 2 tbsp

Optional: grated parmesan or vegan cheese 2 tbsp

kosher salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.Throw the green beans in the last three minutes of cooking. Drain and rinse in cold water. Add all other ingredients and gently toss together.

 

photo by Michelle Meiklejohn

 

The inspiration for this very simple and very healthy dish came from a famous New York raw restaurant, Pure Food and Wine. I loved their raw lasagna so much I bought their cookbook and saw a page-long recipe, which included making your own cheese out of nuts, using a food processor. I simplified the whole thing to the point that the beautiful lasagna now takes five minutes to make. Make sure that you have quality ingredients for this dish, as it has to be very fresh and crispy-tasting.

For 2 servings:

Ingredients:

Zuchini – 1 large

Tomatoes, large, thinly sliced -2

Pesto- 3 tbsp

Sundried tomato pesto -3 tbsp

Fresh basil leaves-  6

Green leaf mix -to garnish

Arrange some green leaves on the serving plates.  Slice the zucchini lengthwise fairly thinly, so that you get nice crispy zucchini rectangles.  Put two zucchini slices close together on the bed of greens. Spread some pesto sauce on top of the zucchinis. Put three basil leaves on top. Put a few tomato slices on top of the basil. Then -another layer of the zucchini slices. Then Рtomato pesto. Then Рtomato slices and one more layer of zucchini slices.  Serve immediately!

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