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.

IMG_0132

 

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!!!!

IMG_0124

 

IMG_0119

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.

IMG_0077

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.

 

IMG_0063

 

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.

IMG_0071

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.

IMG_0027

 

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.

IMG_0029

 

IMG_0018

 

IMG_0035

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.

photo

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.

photo

 

 

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!!!!!

photo

Beet Coconut Soup.

I love beets. I guess it comes from my culture and our traditions to cook. We use beets a lot in our recipes: soups, salads etc.

One of my favorite dishes is Ukrainian Borsch. It’s a traditional Ukrainian soup with beets.

The soup I decided to make today tastes very similar to Borsch, but takes less time to make. I got some juicy and fresh beets at the farmers market two days ago, so the decision to make the beet soup today was obvious. I love using coconut milk in this recipe, because it gives the creamy texture to this soup and makes it even more delicious. I also used some lemon juice in the recipe to turn it to a vibrant star.

The recipe asks for vegetable stock, but I don’t use the store bought one, and I didn’t have the homemade this time, so I used some:

Seitenbacher Vegetarian Vegetable Broth and Seasoning, 5-Ounce Cans (Pack of 6)

This is the only one I trust. It has few ingredients and all of them are safe to eat: nutritional yeast extract, carrots, onions, turmeric root, parsley, leek, nutmeg, garlic, lovage, celery, pepper, balm, dill, paprika, rosemary, mustard.

IMG_5514

Beets Coconut Soup.

Ingredients:

4 large beets; peeled and cut into 1″ chunks

1 onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 tbsp lemon juice

4 cups vegetable stock or 4 cups of water

1 can coconut milk (approx. 400 ml)

1 tablespoon coconut oil

sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for five minutes.  Add vegetable stock and beets and bring to a boil. Cover, lower heat and let simmer for approx. 20-30 minutes, or until beets are tender. Using a blender, purée the soup. Add coconut milk, lemon juice, salt and pepper and stir.

I served it with whole wheat baguette with homemade vegan cream cheese.

Here is a quick and easy recipe for vegan cream cheese which is my favorite so far.

Vegan Cream Cheese:

 Ingredients

1¼ cups pine nuts

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 very small clove of garlic

2 tablespoons water

½ chopped white onion

1 tbsp. coconut oil

Add pine nuts, salt, lemon juice, garlic, onion, water, and coconut oil to a food processor. Process until creamy. Pour mixture into container. Cover container and freeze 2 hours, then store in refrigerator.

Enjoy!!!!

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.

IMG_8969

 

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.

IMG_8956

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.

IMG_7991

 

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.

IMG_7956

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

Decorate the cupcakes with frosting and fresh strawberries.