Candied pecans. Vegan.

There is an easy recipe I have been making a lot recently and I would like to share it with you today.

When the holiday season and cold weather comes the best thing is to stay at home with your family, drink hot cocoa, eat cookies etc.

I made this crunchy snack a month ago for the first time and now my daughter is asking to make ” yummy nuts” every other day.

Of course I am not making them too often but we always have them now for the family movie nights.

You can even make them and put in the glass jar, as a piece of a holiday present for your friend or a family member.

It takes very little time to make and makes everybody happy.

Vegan, gluten free recipe.

Candied pecans.

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Ingredients:

½ cup coconut sugar

2 cups pecans, or any other type of nuts (slivered almonds, walnut halves etc.)

pinch kosher salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

Line a cooling rack with a parchment paper and set aside.

Heat coconut sugar with a little water, spices in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Stir occasionally with wooden spoon. After several minutes, the sugar will begin to look sticky. Continue to stir. After several more minutes, the sugar will begin to melt. Continue to stir gently. When sugar is completely melted, add nuts.

Empty contents of skillet into thin layer onto prepared rack. Heat the oven to 250F and put the nuts in the oven for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Let cool and break into pieces. Store in cookie tin or glass jar with tightly fitting lid.

Enjoy.

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Winter girl’s clothes wishlist.

Every season there is something in the fashion field that I really like. I will try to make a list of my favorite pieces now, to keep it organised and easy to find when I want to buy something. I like to check the lists like that from the other people too, so maybe mine will be a help for somebody as well.

Collage wish list

So let’s go:

1. Polarn O. Pyret Merino Wool Dress.

How cool is that? Perfect to wear as a layering item or warm fashion piece. 100% merino wool.

2. Polarn O. Pyret Swedish Embroidered Holiday Dress.

Swedish folk style with short capped sleeves. Decorative contrast color Broderie Anglaise detail at skirt. Dress has back button fastening.100% cotton.

3. NextDirect Frozen T-shirt.

The most popular theme for the last year. It’s hard to find some nice piece of clothes with Frozen on it today. 65% cotton, 35% polyester. I am not really happy with the material of this shirt.

4. TeaCollection Chevron Dress for Girls.

Stylish and wellmade dress for girls. 100% cotton sateen.

5. NextDirect Cream Jewel Embellished Coat.

Fancy, stylish coat for a little lady for this winter season. 50% wool, 50% polyester. Lining 100% polyester.

6. NextDirect Pewter Glitter Long Boots.

Show me the girl who doesn’t like glitter? These boots will look great with jeans, dresses, leggings etc.

Upper: textile. Lining and sock: textile/other materials. Outer sole: other materials.

Double Chocolate Mousse Cake.

Does cold weather make you crave more sweet treats? It does for me and with the temperature’s going low I am starting experimenting and trying new dessert recipes.

I haven’t made anything with chocolate for a while and with the coming holidays filled with cocoa and citrus smell, I decided to try something new in case if I want to make it later.

I found this amazing vegan, raw chocolate cake recipe at the Oh, She Glows blog. To be honest, she has tons of vegan recipes and I am just starting learning more about her and trying her dishes. It’s been a success so far, so I am glad I found her blog.

I will share with you my Chocolate cake result today. The original recipe you can find on her blog.

The recipe is vegan, gluten, dairy, refined sugars free.

Double Chocolate Mousse Cake.

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Ingredients:

Crust:

1 1/4 cups packed pitted Medjool dates
1 1/4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
2 1/2 tbsp ground flax seed
2 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt, or to taste
1 tsp water (if needed to bind the dough)

Filling:

2.5 (70%) good-quality dark chocolate bars
1 (400ml) can full-fat coconut milk, room temperature
4 tbsp. pure maple syrup (or liquid sweetener of choice)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
small pinch fine grain sea salt

 

In a heavy duty food processor, add the pitted dates and process until finely chopped. A big ball will form. Add in the rest of the crust ingredients (including the shredded coconut) and process until everything is combined. The dough should stick together when pressed between your fingers. If it doesn’t, add optional water and process again.
Spoon the crust mixture into the prepared pie dish. Spread out evenly. Starting at the centre, press down firmly moving outward and up the sides of the pie dish. Place dish in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

Break up chocolate bars into chunks and place into a medium-sized pot. ( I used Trader&Joe’s and Theo dark chocolate bars: they are soy, dairy free). Melt the chocolate over the lowest heat setting. When the chocolate is 2/3 of the way melted, remove from heat and stir until completely melted and smooth.
With a spatula, spoon the melted chocolate into a large bowl. Now pour one entire can of room temperature full-fat coconut milk into the bowl with the melted chocolate. Whisk vigorously until completely smooth. Finally, whisk in the maple syrup, vanilla, and a pinch of salt until smooth.

With a spatula, scoop the chocolate filling into the pie crust.

Carefully transfer the pie dish into the refrigerator for approx. 3 hours, or until firm throughout.
Remove pie dish from the refrigerator.
Slice and garnish with toasted coconut flakes, coconut cream, and flaked sea salt, if desired.

Serve immediately as pie will soften quickly.

The cake is very rich and sweet so one piece was enough for me.

Enjoy!!!!!

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Citrus Coconut Cookies.

I always experiment with cookies recipes because cookies are popular in our house. Who doesn’t like cookies? They are easy to make and last for a long time. It’s simple snack or dessert which I prefer making myself instead of buying at the grocery store.

One of my favorite combination in cookies is citrus and coconut. I love the smell, the taste and the freshness of these two ingredients mixing together.

The recipe I am sharing today is vegan, gluten, refined sugars, dairy, wheat free.

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Citrus Coconut Cookies.

Ingredients:

2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup ground almonds or almond flour
4 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
4 tbsp honey
zest of one lemon or orange
juice of one lemon or orange
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
a pinch of sea salt
pecans for sprinkling

 

Preheat the oven to 320 F, and line a baking tray with baking paper.

In a food processor, add all of the ingredients. Blend for 1-2 minutes, or until the mixture starts to mix together like a dough.

Use your hands to form small balls, and place apart on the baking trays. Press down on the balls lightly to flatten, and then sprinkle with the pecans or any other nuts.

Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until crispy and golden on the outside.

Leave to cool completely, and then enjoy!

Kids Approved!!!!

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Roasted Eggplant Curry.

I found one good advice recently about weekly grocery shopping and eating on the budget. One of the thing is to eat healthy, clean and on the budget is ” eating the food that is on season”. But this advice tells you to get the food that is available first and after you get home plan what you will make with it. Not the opposite way, as most of the people usually do: plan their dishes for a week and then go and buy everything what they need, at the end it usually looks like you spend more as you expected, because you need all these extra ingredients for your recipe.

I am trying to use this advice and it works for me so far. Of course, I always have something in my head when I see some veggies or fruits in season, and I even have these ideas come to me during grocery shopping. Anyway, eggplants, tomatoes, bell peppers are in season now, and I have been cooking using them a lot.

The recipe I am sharing today is really delicious and works as a main dish with the brown rice or quinoa on the side. There are always leftovers after it, which makes me happy because I can use them the next day for lunch or dinner.

 

This recipe is completely vegan, gluten, dairy free.

 

Roasted Eggplant Curry.

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Ingredients:

1 pounds eggplant (about 5 medium Chinese or Japanese eggplant)
3 tbsp. coconut oil
salt, as needed

3 tbsp. or coconut oil
1 cup diced yellow onion
1tbsp cardamon powder

2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tbsp ground turmeric
4 large garlic cloves, peeled and slivered
1″ chunk of ginger, peeled and cut into long, thin strips

1 pound ripe tomatoes stemmed and diced
1 (13.5 ounce / 400 mL) can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup water

 

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. If using a long, slender variety of eggplant, cut them on the diagonal into 1-inch thick slices. If using a globe style eggplant, cut them into 2-inch square chunks. Pile the eggplant slices on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with the coconut oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss to coat with your hands. Spread the eggplant pieces on the baking sheet, and roast until golden on the bottoms, about 15 minutes. Remove and turn off the oven.

 

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Heat the coconut oil in a large pot over a medium flame until it shimmers. Add the onion, and cardamon powder. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden and tender, 10-15 minutes.

When the onions are soft, stir in the ground spice mixture, turmeric, garlic, and ginger. Cook for a few minutes to toast the spices, then stir in the chopped tomatoes, coconut milk, water, and the roasted eggplant. Increase the heat to bring the curry to a simmer, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. When finished, the eggplant should still hold its shape, but the sauce around it should be slightly thickened stew-like. It will thicken further if allowed to sit and cool.

Serve over brown rice or quinoa.

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Stuffed Potato Skins.

There are some food blogs that I adore. Some bloggers have just tons of amazing recipes and you want to try to make at leaf 80% of them.

One of my favorite food blogger is Edible Perspective. She has incredible recipes and everything that I tried from her blog was delicious and healthy.

She has this recipe recently posted on her blog and I decided to make it on the weekend. It takes a little time to prepare that’s why I picked the weekend day.

Stuffed Potato Skins is the perfect dinner or lunch dish and will work at any time of the year. It’s easier to make it now with all the fresh produce at the market and grocery store. Just make sure to use organic potatoes for this recipe because potatoes are loaded with pesticides especially if you eat them with the skin.

You can find the original recipe here, but I changed a few things a little: 1. didn’t use the cheese; 2. used the yellow onion instead of red; 3. used salsa instead of chipotle adobo sauce.

Stuffed Potato Skins.

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Ingredients:

5 medium russet potatoes,  scrubbed clean
2-3 tablespoons refined avocado oil, or other high heat safe oil
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 1/2 cups finely chopped kale, stems removed
1 1/2 cups black beans (cooked)
1+ tablespoons salsa sauce
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon salt + pepper

Avocado Cream:

1 ripe avocado
juice from 1 lime
salt to taste

 

Preheat your oven to 400° F and prick your potatoes a few times each with a fork. Place in the oven on the rack for about 50-65 minutes, or until fork tender and soft to the touch. Prep all veggies during this time.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Raise the oven temperature to 450° F.

While the potatoes are cooling, heat a large pan over medium with about 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and let cook for about 5-7 minutes until just starting to soften. Stir occasionally. Then add the chopped bell pepper and corn and let cook about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and stir for about 1 minute. Then add in the kale, black beans, salsa sauce, oregano, salt, and pepper. Let cook for 2-3 minutes, until the kale starts to wilt, then taste and add more salsa sauce.

Carefully slice each potato in half with a sharp knife. Holding the potato in your palm, gently scoop from one end to the other out about half the potato and place in a storage container. Repeat with all potatoes.Rub or brush all sides of the potatoes with oil. Place the cut side down on a large baking sheet and sprinkle each with salt. Place in the oven for about 5-7 minutes. Flip over to see if the cut side is crisped and browned. If so remove the potatoes from the oven.

Flip all potatoes over and lightly salt. Fill each with the bean mixture. Bake for another 3-5 minutes.

Place your avocados, lime juice, and a healthy pinch of salt in a food processor. Process until smooth. Taste and add more lime juice and salt if desired.Scrape into a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge until ready to use.

Serve with avocado cream, hot sauce, cilantro, etc.

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Vegan Apple Pie.

My favorite season just started and I can’t wait to enjoy this fall. I love, love, love fall. I love fall holidays, fall foods and everything that reminds me about this colorful part of the year.

Sophia started school yesterday and because of it, I decided to bake something special for her.

I just wanted to make this day special for her and associate with something warm and delicious.

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The best choice for me for this season is apple pie.

I do enjoy any kinds of apple pie, especially warm with the hint of cinnamon.

When I start thinking about the recipe for the apple pie it always needs the ingredients that I don’t have at my house: butter, all purpose flour etc., and I am glad that it’s still easy to make delicious apple pies without all these things, and keep it simple and healthy.

The recipe I used yesterday is vegan, gluten, refined sugars free and easy to make. The only special ingredient is the millet flour that I have for a while already and didn’t have a chance to use it, so yesterday was my first time using it, and it worked great. I believe you can easily replace it with GF oat flour if you don’t have a millet flour.

After Sophia tried the pie she said: ” Mommy, I forgot to tell you, that you’re amazing. I love when you bake for me. I also forgot give you a kiss.”

It means a lot to me when my family enjoys food that I make for them.

Vegan Apple Pie.

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Ingredients:

CRUST INGREDIENTS:

2 cups millet flour

1½ cups almond flour

½ tsp sea salt

½ cup coconut oil

½cup maple syrup

FILLING INGREDIENTS:

3 apples

2 Tbsp lemon juice

2 Tbsp maple syrup

3 Tbsp  crushed pecans

GLAZE INGREDIENTS:

½ cup (gluten free) apricot jam or preserves

2 Tbsp water

1 tsp lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350F. To make the crust: In a food processor, combine millet flour, almond flour and salt. Over a low flame, heat coconut oil and maple syrup; stir to combine. Add coconut oil and maple syrup to flour; pulse until combined. Spread dough in a 9.5 inch oiled tart pan (preferably with a removable bottom). Press down and fill sides to form a crust. Pierce crust with a fork several times and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and flatten crust with a fork, pressing down to make it as compact as possible.

To make the filling: Peel and thinly (and evenly!) slice 4 apples and pile in crust. Combine maple syrup and lemon juice and brush over the apples. Sprinkle pecans on top and bake approximately for 1 hour until the apples are soft and slightly browned.

To make the glaze: Combine apricot jam and water in a small pan and heat on low until the preserves are thinned. Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Brush tart with glaze and serve warm.

Enjoy!!!!!

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