Corn Salad with Green beans and Tomatoes.

July is the best time at the farmer’s market. There are so many kinds of fresh vegetables and fruits there, so every week when I go to the farmer’s market, I have the most difficult choice: I want to buy everything at once, but then I have to think what dishes I will make with all these foods before they go bad. That’s why I am trying to keep myself in control and buy something else every week. This rule doesn’t work for fruits: There is never too many fruits in our house, especially now when Sophia goes to summer camp, she always has at least 3 containers of fruits packed in her lunch box.

Last week when I saw corn at the farmer’s market for the first time in this season, I grabbed 5 and decided to make something special with it, not just grill or boil it.

The idea came the next night when I was making dinner: salad.  This recipe is very easy to make. It’s a great complement to any outdoor party. Fresh, juice and delicious.

Corn Salad with Green Beans and Tomatoes.

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Ingredients:

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 ears corn, grilled or boiled
1 pound green beans, blanched and cooled
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup basil leaves, thinly shredded

Prepare vinaigrette by whisking together mustard, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Cut kernels off corn cobs and put in a large bowl. Add beans, tomatoes, onion and basil. Drizzle vinaigrette over and toss to combine. Serve.

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Strawberry Cupcakes. Gluten Free.

My daughter’s favorite kind of berries is strawberry. She can eat everything with strawberries in it: ice cream, cupcakes, tarts etc.

One of her favorite dessert is a cupcake. I don’t make them a lot, because it should be a special occasion for this, but sometimes you just want to make a little surprise for your loving ones. I knew my daughter would love the idea to have a strawberry cupcake with no reason for it, so I made these gluten free, refined sugar free strawberry cupcakes.

This cupcake is perfectly moist with just the right amount of sweetness. There’s fresh strawberries in both the batter and the frosting, so you taste the berries with every bite.Using a blender to mix the ingredients ensures that the almond flour is blended into an extremely fine grind, making the cake smooth and light. A little lemon juice in the batter and frosting makes the tart strawberries sing.

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Strawberry Cupcakes. Gluten free.

Ingredients:

2½ cups blanched almond flour

¾ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon sea salt

⅔ cup maple syrup

⅓ cup coconut oil, melted

4 large eggs, room temperature

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

½ teaspoon lemon zest

½ cup finely chopped strawberries

Frosting:

1 cup raw cashews, soaked before

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 cup chopped strawberries

1 tbs. lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a standard muffin tin with baking cups. Combine the maple syrup, coconut oil, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla, and lemon zest in the jar of a blender.Puree on medium speed for 20 seconds or until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and blend on high for 30-45 seconds. The batter should be very smooth and contain no lumps. If needed, scrape down the sides with a spatula and blend again for a few seconds until all of the dry mixture is incorporated. Gently fold the chopped strawberries in by hand. Divide the batter evenly into the muffin tin, filling about ¾ of the way full. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until a toothpick can be inserted into the middle and comes out clean.

Let the cupcakes cool completely on the counter before frosting.

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For the frosting mix all the ingredients in the high speed blender until smooth.

Decorate the cupcakes with frosting and fresh strawberries.

 

 

Zucchini Noodles With Cilantro Avocado Dressing.

Zucchini noodles is a great alternative to the regular grain pasta, especially when you love pasta and ready to eat it every day.

When I first tried to make zucchini noodles, I served them raw, and it upset my stomach, so I didn’t cook them for a while. But now when it’s summer and you can get organic zucchini pretty easily at any grocery store, I decided to give it the other try.This time I cooked them with a sauce in the pan for a few minutes and it made a huge difference. They taste better, and digest very easy not giving me any discomfort.

The easiest recipe for me is to have zucchini noodles with marinara sauce, a little garlic and basil. I can eat them every single day and still crave them the next day.

Today I decided to try something else. Because I have some cilantro in my fridge and a half of avocado, I tried to make an avocado cilantro sauce, which worked great with zucchini noodles.

I didn’t add any salt, but feel free to add some.

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Zucchini Noodles With Cilantro Avocado Dressing.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup mashed avocado (I used 1/2 whole avocado)
3/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove
3/4 teaspoon sea salt

1. Put all of the ingredients in a blender (or food processor) and process until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if desired.

2. Make zucchini noodles and heat them up with a little water in the pan or just serve them raw. I like mine cooked a little bit.

3. Serve the dressing over zucchini pasta, spoon a few tablespoons over spiralized zucchini and mix well. Add more dressing and fresh ground pepper to taste.

 

Lemon Strawberry Cake. Gluten Free.

Because I had a lot of strawberries left after me and Sophie picked them the other day, I was making different desserts for my family to enjoy.

One day I decided to make a cake. I planned to make it healthy and delicious. The perfect version would be vegan, but because I picked the almond flour for baking, I needed to use the eggs in the recipe. I still can’t find the substitute for eggs when cooking with almond flour. When cooking with almond flour you need a lot of eggs, otherwise, you cake will be dry.

So I decided to make lemon almond cake with fresh strawberries and strawberry frosting.

By the way, lemon and strawberries work great together and make the delicious combination in this cake.

My only advice is to let it stay in the fridge for at least 4 hour, before serving. The longer it stays, the better it tastes.

Lemon Strawberry Cake. Gluten Free.

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Ingredients:

3 lemons, weighing approximately 375g

5 eggs

1 heaped teaspoon of baking powder

½ teaspoon of baking soda

250g of ground almonds

250g of coconut sugar

Frosting:

1 cup soaked raw cashews

1/2 cup fresh strawberries

4 tablespoons maple syrup

4 tablespoons almond milk

 

Put the lemons in a saucepan with cold water and bring to the boil before reducing the heat and simmering for 2 hours, or until soft. Drain the water and set aside to cool. When cool, cut the lemons in half and remove any large seeds.

Grease a springform pan and preheat the oven to 350F.

Pulp the lemon in a food processor before adding the eggs, baking powder, baking soda, almonds and sugar and processing until you have a smooth batter.

Pour the batter into the springform pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Check after 40 minutes to ensure the top is not cooking too much, if so simply cover with foil.

Let the cake cool in the tin before removing.

Put all the frosting ingredients in the high-power blender and blend until smooth.

To decorate the cake smooth over a crumb coating and refrigerate until set before smoothing over another layer of the frosting.

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Vegan Strawberry Tart.

Strawberry season is officially open in our area. It was a little late this year, that’s why we didn’t wait too long to go picking strawberries on the local farm.

I have great memories from my childhood, picking strawberries every summer with my grandma and eating them fresh and juicy with sour cream and sugar.

I guess that’s why strawberries are my favorite kind of berries, and I still love picking them. Also I am trying to build some lovely memories for my daughter too, teach her where the food originally comes from and just enjoy the fun with her on the summer day.

Last weekend was day when we decided to travel to the local farm for picking the strawberries.

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I was wondering if something changed from the last year, because she got older. Actually, nothing changed: mommy picks, Sophia eats.

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The strawberries are huge and juicy this year, so Sophia ate at least 1 pound there while I picked around 12 pounds.

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Because we have a lot of strawberries to eat, until they get bad, I experimented with some desserts for the last couple of days, using these juicy berries and making my family healthy, delicious treats.

One of the recipes I am sharing today is completely vegan, gluten free and easy to make.

Make sure you have all the ingredients before you decide to make it.

Vegan Strawberry Tart.

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Ingredients:

Crust:

Coconut flour, 44g

Brown Rice flour, 100g

Coconut sugar, 50g

Almond flour, 50g

Coconut oil, 6 tbsp

Water, ice cold, 4 tbsp

Salt, a pinch

Vanilla,to taste

Preheat the oven at 360F.

Mix all the dry ingredients together. Melt the coconut oil, then mix it in the flour mix. Slowly add the icy water, hand mixing and compacting the mixture as you go along. Line the inside of your  tart mould with the mixture, taking care to press it hard. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Take the tart bases out and let them cool on a plate.

Coconut Cream:

1 can coconut milk

1 cup strawberries

3/4 cup cashews

3 tbs maple syrup

vanilla extract

In a high speed blender, blend the cashews and the milk, adding the vanilla, strawberries and maple syrup. The consistency should be smooth and creamy.

Spoon the cream into the tart base and decorate with the strawberries. Put it in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
Enjoy!!!!

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Kid’s Make Up Kit. Review.

My daughter was interested with make up for a while already. She kept stealing my make up case and if she is lucky, she even had a chance to use some of it:

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This time I decided to get her own make-up set, and she won’t use mine anymore. There are a lot of different kid’s make-up sets on the market, but 95% of them are cheap, plastic, toxic junk. I spent more than 2 months to find something that is kid’s safe, well made and fun to play.
Pinky Cosmetic Set

The set is made by Wonderworld company, that I wrote about before.

First of all it is made in Thailand from rubberwood and strictly using non-toxic paints, dyes and lacquers and formaldehyde free glue. Packaging is made from at least 70% recycled paper.

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The Pinky Cosmetic Set wooden pretend set includes a mirror, face powder, eye shadow, lipstick, nail polish and makeup brushes (yarn bristles) in a cute fabric cosmetic bag. This is the ultimate play cosmetic set.

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Sophia loved it from the moment she opened it:

 

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This adorable set allows her to feel that she is putting on makeup with out the mess.

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The “brushes” do not hold their shape but they are not supposed to.

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The cap for the lip stick doesn’t stay on very well, but because it is wood that is to be expected, and it does not bother us at all:

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I would recommend, especially for parents who would rather have their kids play with wooden toys instead of plastic ones.
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Our every day now starts with putting make up on, also Sophia puts everything in the make-up case and take it everywhere with her.
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Veggie Burger.

I have been looking for some new veggie burger recipe for a while. I needed something simple, delicious and unique at the same time. So I found the amazing blog with amazing recipes, and there was the perfect veggie burger recipe for me. I kept thinking about it for a week and finally after getting all the ingredients I made it today.

There are some little changes in my recipe, but you can always check the original one.

I usually make bread by myself, but I wasn’t ready to make burger buns, so I got the healthiest version of burger buns at the grocery store:

http://www.foodforlife.com/product/buns/ezekiel-49-sesame-sprouted-grain-burger-buns

They have very few ingredients and taste delicious.

For the topping you can use any kind of sauce( mayo, ketchup), I personally made the cashew sauce and it was amazing; different kinds of veggies and greens.

Veggie Burger.

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Ingredients

Burger:

2 cups cauliflower florets ( steamed)
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 clove of garlic, peeled
1 tbsp Old Bay seasoning
1 tbsp olive oil
squeeze of lemon juice
1/4 cup chickpea flour or oat flour
1/3 cup chopped scallions

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Add all the ingredients except the flour to the food processor and pulse the mixture until thoroughly mixed. Stir in the flour until your mix is fully combined and the flour is absorbed. Divide the mixture into 6 equal parts and form patties with your hands. Let them set up in the freezer for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°, transfer the patties to the baking sheet and bake them in the oven for 40 min., gently flipping over after the first 20 minutes.

Lemon Cashew Sauce.

1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours
1 tbsp lemon juice
1tsp of apple cider vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp-1/3 cup filtered water
salt to taste

Mix all the ingredients in the blender on high until well combined and smooth mayo consistency.

Toast the buns and put your veggie burger together using veggie patties, cashew sauce and different kinds of vegetables.

Enjoy!!!!

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