Red Lentil Soup

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Today would have been my dear Grandma’s 97th birthday. Unfortunately, she left us 5 years ago but she will forever have a very special place in my heart. One of many things she taught me was the importance of a home cooked meal (and a nicely set table). When you visit her, she always served amazing meals prepared with love and specifically designed for you (when I turned vegetarian at age of 15 she always put extra effort in finding new recipes to try out with me). So to honor the memory of her today, I decided to make this Red Lentil Soup that she once taught me to make. It’s so easy to make and only takes about 15-20 min.

1 diced onion
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup red lentils
1 can diced tomatoes
1-1.5 cup vegetable broth (or water + 1 bouillon cube)
Curry, turmeric, paprika powder, cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper

1. Lightly brown onion and garlic with some olive oil.
2. Add red lentils and spices. Stir for a couple of minutes.
3. Add diced tomatoes and vegetable broth and boil for approximately 15 min.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Optional: add a dash of coconut milk for some extra creaminess and taste.

Served with homemade crisp bread and hummus.

Vegan Buckwheat Pancakes (gluten free)

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I am doing a Vegan Month this month and I am now trying to find alternatives to my otherwise standing egg lunches. I love salads, but eating just salads makes me super cold, and after reading a lot about my dosha type (ayurveda) I also realize that cold salads probably isn’t the best diet for me. I am totally aware that buckwheat is also considered a cooling food in Ayurveda, and maybe not recommended for a vata-body type. But I also know that buckwheat can be grounding for a hyper vata-mind.

Anyhow, I love buckwheat and feel good when I’m eating it in moderation – so I will keep doing that. I also happened to have a new bag of raw groats in my cabinet and decided to make some blueberry pancakes for lunch.

I kinda just grab whatever I found at home but since they turned out amazing, I at least wanted to share the approximate recipe.

1/2 cup buckwheat groats (or flour)
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 flax egg*
1 tsp baking powder
2 TBS maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup almond milk
blueberries

1. Grind buckwheat groats in blender (I usually use our coffee grinder) or use buckwheat flour. Combine it with coconut flour and baking powder in a big bowl.
2. Add rest of ingredients and whisk the batter until smooth.
3. Mix in fresh blueberries. Note: If you use frozen blueberries I think it might be better to add batter to skillet first and then top with the berries to prevent bleeding.
4. Cook in coconut oil. This mix made 6 pancakes for me.

* Flax Egg – Grind 1 TBS flax seeds into flour (again, I use the coffee grinder) and add 3 TBS water. Let stand for a couple of minutes. Note: Do not buy pre-grounded flax seeds. Flax seed oils are extremely unstable and will loose their health beneficial effects almost immediately after grinding.

 

Simple Homemade Hummus (and Tahini)

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Lately, I’ve been addicted to hummus – I just can’t get enough! I eat it on my crisp bread, dip my veggies in it or simply scoop it in with a spoon. Today I made a big batch of tahini and decided to make some hummus as well.

Tahini is super simple to make yourself. Just roast a cup or two of sesame seeds in a skillet until lightly browned. Make sure to stir frequently so you not burning the seeds. Cool the roasted seeds a little bit before blending them with a little bit of olive oil (appr. 1 TBS per cup) until smooth and creamy. Depending on how powerful your blender/food-processor is, it can take 5-10 min.

Hummus is super easy to make as well – as long as you have a fairly powerful blender/food-processor. I remember when I was a kid, and my mom and I tried to make our own hummus with a handheld blender with next to no power at all – it was a very frustrating activity. But nowadays, it’s a completely different story.

Here is my favorite hummus recipe:

1 can Chickpeas (400gr)
2 TBS Tahini
2 TBS Olive Oil
0.5 dl Water
1-2 Garlic Cloves
1 tsp Cumin
Juice from 1 lemon
Salt and pepper

Put all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth. Add water to desired consistency, and add spices to taste. I usually add a pinch of paprika powder, some chili flakes, chives or garlic sprouts.

Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to a week.

Enjoy!

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Warm Butternut Squash and Kale Salad

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This recipe actually once transformed me from being a non-kale-liker to a kale-lover. Worth a try then, isn’t it?

Warm Butternut Squash and Kale Salad with Quinoa

1 Butternut Squash (small, about 1 lb) peeled and cut into 0.5 inch chunks
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

1 bunch of Kale

0.5 cup Quinoa

Dressing:
2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
2 tbls Olive Oil
0.5 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1-2 Garlic Clove(s)
Salt and Pepper

Optional: Pine Nuts and/or Goat Cheese

 

1. Preheat oven to 225C/400F.

2. Toss squash chunks into a bowl with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and bake in oven for 15-20 min (until tender and slightly browned).

3. Remove the thick stems from the kale and chop/tear into smaller pieces. Gradually add the kale into a large skillet over medium-high heat, stir constantly until kale is bright green (about 5 min).

4. Cook Quinoa to preferred tenderness.

5. Combine all dressing ingredients.

5. Mix baked squash, warmed kale and cooked quinoa into a large bowl and toss with dressing. Garnish with pine nuts and/or goat cheese if preferred.

Enjoy!

Until next time: Listen to Your Body, and Stay Strong!
Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
#healthbyyou

Freaking Hot Kale Chips

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Kale | Olive Oil | Salt | Pepper | Red Chili Flakes

What do you do with a bag of Kale that starts to go bad? Toss it in some Olive Oil (~0.5-1 tbl), season with Salt, Pepper and Red Chili Flakes and bake in oven (350F) until crisp (~15 min). Enjoy!

When I started to make my own Kale Chips, I read that it was really important to single layer the Kale on the baking sheet – it really isn’t! What is important though, is that the kale is dry (and that you’re not using too much oil), otherwise it won’t turn crispy. I am a lazy soul, and I use prewashed and precutted Kale, and usually just remove the pieces with thick stems prior to baking them. I am sure you can season with whatever you like but I am a salty and spicy person per se and usually just prefer it this way. Feel free to experiment with your favorite spices though! Let me know how it goes!

Until next time: Listen to Your Body, and Stay Strong!
Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
#healthbyyou

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Flakes

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Sweet Potatoes | Coconut Oil | Coconut Flakes | Salt

As simple as it sound. But amazingly good!

Cut Sweet Potato into chunks. Steam (or boil, if you don’t have a steamer rack) until soft.
Mash with a fork. Add Coconut Oil, Flakes and Salt to taste.

Enjoy!

Until next time: Listen to Your Body, and Stay Strong!
Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
#healthbyyou

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

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I love to make this soup in the fall when all the pumpkins and squashes are suddenly appearing in the stores, but yesterday I invited my ladies over for dinner and couldn’t decide what to serve. I ended up with this lovely Roasted Butternut Squash Soup (which I prepared the day before) and the Quinoa Kale Salad. Some Acme Bread, Cowgirl Creamery Cheese and Napa Wine on top (support local food!) and wonderful company made the evening just perfect.

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

1 Butternut Squash (medium size)

A bunch of fresh Garlic Cloves

1 big or 2 small onions

2 Carrots

1 Red Chili or Red Chili Flakes

4 cups Vegetable Stock

1 can Coconut Milk

Salt and Pepper

 

1. Heat the oven to 400F/200C.

2. Cut the Butternut Squash in half lengthwise and scope out the seeds. Cut into approximately 1 inch/2 cm thick slices (keep the skin on) and place on a baking sheet. Sprinkle some olive oil, salt and pepper on top and roast in the oven until tender and lightly browned (appr. 50 min). Halfway, turn the slices and also add some unpeeled garlic cloves (I use 5-10 cloves!!) and let them roast together with the squash.

3. Dice the onion, carrots and chili pepper into medium size pieces. Saute in a heated pan with some oil, until soft but not browned. Add the Vegetable Stock and boil on low heat for 15-20 min.

3. When the Butternut Squash and Garlic Cloves are ready, remove the skin and add the meat to the soup. Boil for another 5 minutes and then use a blender/food processor to blend smooth.

4. Add Coconut Milk and Salt and Pepper to taste.

5. Optional: Garnish with sprouts, pumpkin seeds, parsley, chives or try to add pieces of goat cheese.

Enjoy!

Until next time: Listen to Your Body, and Stay Strong!
Connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
#healthbyyou

Oatmeal boosted with Quinoa

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Are you getting tired of your regular morning oatmeal? Try this comforting version of it. The Quinoa adds a crunchy texture, and the vanilla, cinnamon and cardamom makes it soothing and delicious. It takes a little bit of time to cook (15-20 min), but make a double batch and save the other serving to the next morning. Just reheat it with a little bit of your choice of milk.

Oatmeal boosted with Quinoa

1/4 cup Oats¹

1/4 cup Quinoa²

1 cup Almond Milk³

1 teaspoon Vanilla powder

1 pinch Cinnamon

1 pinch Cardamom

Optional: Add dried fruits/berries (tips: try goji berries). Makes it even more delicious!

Cook on low-to-medium heat. Occasionally stir.
Serve with your favorite oatmeal topping (cacao nibs, nuts, fruit, berries, jam, etc).

Until next time: Listen to Your Body, and Stay Strong!
And connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
#healthbyyou

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Notes:

¹ I usually use steel-cut oats, but you can use the kind you prefer (rolled, old-fashion etc) – just try to avoid using Instant Oats (especially with this recipe since the Quinoa takes so much longer than Instant Oats to cook). The Instant Oats are pre-cooked and dehydrated which make them quick to cook but less nutritious. They are for sure handy when you’re in a rush, or don’t have a stove to cook on (we usually takes them on our camping trips), but watch out for a lot of additives of both preservatives, sugar and salt.

² You can of course use the kind of Quinoa you like the best, just remember to rinse the seeds in water first to remove the toxic bitter coating (called saponin).

³ Any kind of milk would work.

Sweet and Spicy Coleslaw

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Eating cabbage is like taking a multivitamin. It’s a natural source for many essential vitamins, such as Vitamin C, K, B6 and folate, as well as riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and thiamin. In addition, cabbage is also a good source for electrolytes and minerals like calcium, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, iron and magnesium. It’s good for weight-loss since it’s low in saturated fats and packed with fibers that fill you up. It also boosts you immune system and keeps your heart healthy. Try different kinds of cabbages to see which one you like the most. They are healthy all of them!

Try this Spicy and Sweet Southern Style Coleslaw:

500 gr/16 oz Shredded Cabbage of your choice
1-2 Shredded Carrots
(or use a premade 16 oz Coleslaw Mix Bag)

Dressing:
1/2 cup Mayonnaise (you can of course use Veganaise if you prefer)
1 TBLS White Wine Vinegar (or any other kind of vinegar)
2 TBLS Spicy Mustard
1 TBLS Honey
1 finely chopped Jalapenos
Salt and pepper

Sesame Seeds (optional)
0.5 tsp Sesame Oil (optional)

Mix all ingredients for the dressing. Mix with shredded Cabbage and Carrots.

Enjoy!

Until next time: Listen to Your Body, and Stay Strong!
And connect with me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
#healthbyyou