Life has been quite hectic around here lately. I’m sure you know what I mean, we get caught up in the whirlwind of time and soon enough it’s been entirely too long since our last post. I often find myself missing this little nook in the world-wide web and sharing all that’s delicious and healthy with you, Golubka’s lovely readers.
This time it’s a simple savoury meal, one that we find ourselves coming back to this winter due to its satisfying, earthy flavours. Falafel and tabouleh. My love affair with falafel started years ago, when my Middle Eastern cuisine loving husband took me out for a falafel pocket with tabouleh, hot peppers and yogurt sauce. I was, of course, hooked. Since then I’ve made my own falafel the traditional way and, more recently, this much healthier and very delicious version.
As for Paloma, she is often the first one to wipe her plate clean, busily switching between eating with a fork, spoon, and her hands. We often have to remind her to chew her food. She takes after her parents. We’ll be back with more elaborate meals soon, as well as a few stories. But for now, I hope you enjoy this flavourful meal and have a tranquil weekend.
Summer is officially over – And yes, I’m just now getting the memo. Ok, that’s not true, I got the memo when then blogoshpere blew up with pumpkin-everything – however, I just chose to ignore. Why? Because as I get older, I realize the start of fall means one month closer to the beginning of winter – and that, makes me extremely sad.
Celebrating the end of my most beloved favorite season, I was gifted a large bag of basil from a good friend last week. While most of the basil will be used to make pesto for the winter months (it freezes beautifully), the rest I wanted to use in a more special and unique format. After all, I’m sure no one wants to come to my blog and see a recipe for pesto, right? Right. So instead, I came up with this carrot and basil ice cream concoction.
Carrots are beautiful for a few reasons: they’re easily accessible, they’re affordable, and they transition wonderfully between sweet and savory dishes. Moreover, they also have the ability to take on flavor profiles such as pumpkin, which is exemplified in this recipe. I swear, if you close your eyes and take a bite, you’ll think you are eating a pumpkin-based ice cream. And the best part is, you didn’t have to prep a pumpkin — Ohhh, the angst.
So – put the pumpkin down, step away, and instead, give this much-simpler-to-use veggie a try!
Thanks again to Mike and Stephanie for providing me with such wonderfully fresh and tasty basil this summer – I look forward to next year! (you’ve created a monster
I’ve decided that it’s time for a few recipes. I’ve been sitting on these for a while now. In fact, I made the pudding in the summer, as you’ll see by the green plants in the background of the picture – the ground is now covered in snow. The second recipe is a wintery ice cream. It’s very different from the ice creams I’m used to making, and more in keeping in line with my latest dietary needs. In both cases I’ve used young coconut as a base. I love its versatility!
Mint and vanilla are one of my favorite flavor combinations. They don’t necessarily appear to be a match, but there is just something about these ingredients that works well together. It’s my favorite Moonie Pie flavor too – you’ll see that the mint filling is actually filled with both vanilla and mint.
Speaking of moonie pies, a funny thing happened today. Philip is in England right now and while he was dining at Saf Restaurant, he saw a moonie pie on their dessert menu (he even snapped a pic of it written on the menu, for me, hehe). He never tried it or saw the actual dessert, but we found it interesting. I’ll take it as a compliment.
This recipe is fairly low glycemic, with coconut and stevia as the sweeteners. I like to use both fresh mint and it’s essential oil to balance the flavors and make them come to life. If you don’t have the essential oil use a natural extract, but the oil is superior in quality and taste. Like the mint, I use two kinds of vanilla (the seeds of the fresh bean, and a natural extract) to achieve a more multi dimensional taste.
The other day, we were taking a walk on the beach and recollecting our many summers spent on the Black Sea shore. Sochi (where the 2014 winter Olympics will be held) was where we usually stayed with family, in a charming old house. Whole days were spent on the beach, bathing in the gentle water and soaking up the sun, completely content. Summer in Sochi is truly magical, with warm windless days, chilly evenings, fireflies, and water temperatures that are refreshing yet welcoming. And that is where we got our yearly dose of figs. In our hometown, figs were a rarity – expensive and shipped from afar. But Sochi was a different story. Come the “velvet season”, at the end of August, and the many fig trees in the streets and backyards exhibited the plump fruit. For some unknown reason, the locals did not care for them. So we became fruit thieves in neighbor’s yards, justified by the fact that the figs would go to waste without our rescue. It’s a known fact that the less the time between harvesting and eating, the better the flavour. And freshly picked, those figs tasted like honey, and their sweetness lingered on our lips all season long.
The other true jewel of those times in Sochi was hazelnut. Hazelnut trees were abundant and beautiful with their trios of ready to pick nuts hidden in green cocoons. We would take bags of freshly harvested hazelnuts to the beach and crack the nuts with smooth sea rocks. They made for an unforgettably tasty snack. Folk medicine is rich with tales of the nut’s healing powers. In fact, one such remedy calls for the mixture of figs and hazelnuts to be taken at the end of the meal to aid digestion.
Now that figs have come into season, we decided to build this pizza around them with the addition of hazelnuts, caramelized onion, and basil sauce.
Lately I’ve been gaga over mulberries and wanted to find a recipe I could incorporate them into. What better way to use them than in a sweet and nutty high protein granola. Mulberries are kind of new to the superfood scene but have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine as a tonic herb for the blood, liver and kidneys. They’re high in vitamin C and contain resveratrol, the same cancer fighting antioxidant found in grapes and red wine. They have been used to help relieve fatigue, weakness, constipation, anemia and in reversing gray hair. If you can’t find mulberries in your area feel free to substitute with your favorite dried fruit like raisins, cranberries or goldenberries. I also included some other superfoods like goji berries, chia seeds, and hemp seeds along with some high protein buckwheat and rolled oats.
A quickie kind of post, for a quickie kind of recipe. However, these are so gosh-darn good, that they really don’t need much of an explanation. I’m addicted. Remember thin mints, the ones you ate as a kid? Well this is my Raw/Vegan version of the Thin Mints. A must try! Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
I’m in love… with my latest creation – Cinnamon Marshmallow Mousse. It’s fluffy, springy, soft and downright delicious. I guess I’m on a bit of a kick, since I posted a Dark Chocolate Mousse only days ago. This one is inspired by the Cinnamon Chaga Mousse that I made a few months ago.
I’ll be teaching a raw dessert class in Adelaide on Sunday March 6th! I’m so excited about this. It will be my second class in Australia, as I will also be teaching in Byron Bay. Here’s the info: Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
It’s time to get the basics down people. Making nut milk couldn’t be easier. Almond milk also happens to be a goto milk for most of my recipes. It’s one of the most versatile of all the nut milks. So, no more heading to the grocery store to buy factory made boxed up milks. Trust me. When you taste this you will never wont to buy that (crap) old stuff again.
To make nut milks you only need to invest in a very inexpensive nut milk bag. You can substitute other nuts for the almonds… hazelnuts, pecans, cashew, brazil nut, walnut…and if you want a richer milk increase the amount of nuts or decrease for a lighter version… Now go make some milk!
This is not one of my typical nice and easy recipes, but it’s so delicious that I couldn’t help myself and spend half of my day in the kitchen trying to recreate something I ate a couple of days ago. To be more precise, these should be the infamous mini bites with cashew, vegetables and portobello mushrooms as stated on the menu of the Food Forum list. They were part of our free lunch menu, created by the Chefs of Menu magazine and tasted so good that I ignored my natural sense of shame, got back to the table and asked for one more :)
The main problem with preparing the bites at home was that I had absolutely no idea what’s in them except for the obvious part – vegetables and mushrooms. So I decided to trust my palate and cooked them combining most of my favorite vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, aubergines, carrots, garlic, red peppers and baby spinach. A feast for all the senses with the added portobello mushrooms, cashews, ginger and powdered indian pecans.
Except for the divine food the Forum was also rich in interesting lectors and visitors, a bunch of raw chefs, vegans, Ayurveda specialists, nutritionists, all kinds of healthy foodists and some misguided adventurers like my paraglider instructor. The best place to meet “one of your kind” and share ideas. Like the girl who offered to sell me earrings made of small jars filled with flaxseeds… really cute. Or a vegan canadian woman working for the bulgarian Cru restaurant. People like “uncle Mitko” who decided to start a biodynamic agriculture farm at the age of 55 and working in it for 15 years now! That man looked better at 70 then most 50 years old you can meet on the street. A marvelous event, which I wish will happen more often from now on, because the 400 seats theater was sold out well in advance and lots of people couldn’t attend. Great job, Gorichka, for the Food forum!
“Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die” – a graffiti quote seen in Belgrade from one of the Food Forum lectors, Yana Petkova.
A perfect way to use your very soft ripe avocados, not to mention a deliciously spicy way to eat them! Pour this raw dressing over just about anything you like really. You will be very happy you did… Perfect for salads, steamed vegetables, grains, seaweed, baked potatoes, beans…Mmmm Mmmm
Oh and if you happen to be one of those people who hate cilantro (I cry at even the thought of hating cilantro. I am a huge lover of the herb) use a combo of mostly parsley some basil, and a few leaves of mint.
Now, here’s a cooking mystery that I’ve been trying to solve. The original fig bar recipe calls for coconut oil in the “dough” part instead of the almond butter that I used in my adapted version. I’ve tried to use coconut oil, but it immediately went rancid in the dehydrator. I didn’t give up easily and tried to use different brands of coconut oil, but the result was always the same – rancid. I’m puzzled – it never happens when I use coconut oil in other recipes that require dehydration. If you happen to know the reason, please let me know. I’m truly curious.
Blueberries – nature’s candy and nature’s medicine, packed with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C. I just happen to live in blueberry country. It’s one of the few perks of living in the north. Every year I battle the bears out in the old logging roads to pick pails and pails of berries. I gobble them up in their natural state, in addition to using them in smoothies and desserts, before freezing heaps of them to enjoy throughout the year.
The taste of wild berries can’t be compared to store bought ones – in fact, I never buy them because I know what the REAL ones taste like. I often invite my raw food friends up to my little corner in northwestern Ontario, Canada to partake in my wild adventures, so consider this an invite to join in my summer berry expeditions!
I hope you’ll give this blueberry cheesecake a try. It’s delicious with the cardamom but you could easily omit it if you’re not a fan.