Saturday, 28 February 2015

Vegan Dark Chocolate with Pistachios & Sea Salt

Good morning and happy Saturday!

It is the weekend at last, and what better way to treat yourself than with some home made and healthy chocolate?

Have a square with your morning cuppa, or in the evening with a glass of red.

I was really excited to try out this recipe, and boy was I in for a treat! This chocolate is super dark and cocoa-y, just the way I like it (and hopefully you will too!).

You can substitute the nuts and sea salt for something else like pecans and cranberries if you like! That is one thing I love about this dark chocolate-base recipe, you can make so many alterations to it depending on how you feel or what you have at hand.

So without any further a-do *drumrolls* Chocolate!

Vegan Dark Chocolate with Pistachios & Sea Salt
(Makes 1 small cake tin's worth)

75g cocoa butter
2 tbsp cashew butter (or other nut butter)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp syrup (I used agave, but maple syrup works well too!)
5-8 tbsp unsweetened cocoa (depends on how dark you like it)

A good handful of chopped piastachios
A small drizzle of sea salt
A good drizzle of syrup, OR 2-3 tbsp sweetener such as xylitol, brown ugar or sukrin gold

- Start by having a small frying pan on low heat and add your cocoa butter, once it starts to melt add your cashew butter. Stir until they are both mixed well and melted.

- Now, turn off the heat and stir through the syrup, vanilla and the cocoa powder. Pour into a silicone cake mould, silicone cupcake moulds OR into something covered with baking paper.

- Drizzle with the pistachios, sweetener and salt and leave overnight to set (if you are impatient you can pop it in the fridge for an hour or so).

Break up into smaller pieces and serve along with a glass of red, as part of a spread, or just enjoy as a healthy treat - because you can! Or maybe a glass of spicy Chai Masala? You can find lots of recipes on how to make your own spice mix online ^ ^

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Any plans?

Original source:

- Jules

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Vegetarian Maori Salad

Hey! How goes it?

I hope you have had a great week so far! I have mainly been working, but last night I got to hang out with some of my amigas, and we went to Tchai Ovna for some worldly teas and homely food. But now! To the recipe....

I changed this recipe a little bit, making it vegetarian - but you can use shredded chicken if you happen to be a carni- or omnivore.

Exciting flavour combinations that I myself didn't know would work so well together! I lightened it up using mainly yogurt instead of all-mayonnaise as well, and it turned out to be really lovely and creamy.

Bon apetit!

PS. Just a warning, this portions is pretty large! But that only means that you have a lovely little serving for later when you're feeling peckish. I had to keep myself from making more later on, so good!

Vegetarian Maori Salad
(Serves 1-2)

1 tsp Garam Masala
1 cup low-fat or vegan yogurt
1 tbsp (light) mayonnaise
150g cooked quorn chicken-style pieces, chopped (or roasted nuts?)
1/2 cup cooked rice
1 small red or white onion, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 red, green, yello or orange bell pepper, chopped
2-3 tbsp vinaigrette (I used French dressing)
1 kiwi, peeled and diced (you can use 2 if you want!)

Bread to serve (optional)

- If the quorn and rice isn't prepared, make sure to do that first.

- Then, mix the garam masala, yogurt and mayonnaise in a cup or bowl and set aside.

- Wash and prepare the vegetables and kiwi, and stir in the dressing, garam masala dressing and then the quorn and rice. Toss well to combine before serving with bread.

I thought this was a great idea, and reminded me a little of a more exotic Waldorf salad if anything!

What is your favourite creamy salad?

Original source:
Good Mood Food, p. 102

- Jules

Monday, 23 February 2015

Double Bill! Cashew Creamed Kale Crisps & Falafel Spiced Parsnip Fries

...Now that you might say - is quite the mouthful, but I thought I would give you two recipes for vegan-type snack today!

Both are delicious in each their way - but both also have one thing in common; they are finger-lickin' good! I promise you! First of all.... we have the crisps...

When I came across this recipe for kale crisps with...nut butter I was confused and intrigued at the same time.

I decided that I had got to try these out - and it definitely will not be the last time, it's flippin' awesome!

Unfortunately, I only had one baking tray so mine got layered and thus not as crisp as it would had I used two or three trays, but you know what? It didn't matter, it just added textured to it, and the edges were beautifully crisp!

Kale Crisps with Cashew Cream & Onion
(Makes 1 bowl)

200g green kale or leafy greens, roughly shredded
4 tbsp cashew butter
2-3 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lime or 1/3 lemon
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp onion powder
A good drizzle of salt

- First, pre-heat your oven to 175-180 °C.

- Then, rinse your greens, making sure they're nice and clean.

- Now, mix the remaining ingredients together in a little bowl, before massaging it into the kale for about a minute until it has wilted slightly and the "dressing" is incorporated evenly into the greens.

- Divide the greens between two or three baking trays and bake for about 10-15 minutes until crisp.

- Leave to cool slightly before attacking.

I have to confess minutes after these were out of the oven, half the bowl was gone. My flatmate Carmen helped me though! I needed a second opinion and she thought it was tasty. I wonder how long it will take me to make these again.... Probably before the end of the week, yum!

Do you like kale crisps? What is your favourite take on them?

And second up, are you ready?

Based on my previous recipe where I made plain (but delicious) parsnip fries. Being as addicted to falafel-anything as I am, I figured why not add the same spices to fries?

Falafel-Spiced Parsnip Fries
(Serves 1)

1 parsnip, about 200g, washed and cut into fries
2 tsp coconut (or olive) oil and 1-2 tbsp water
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/3 tsp turmeric
1 tsp onion powder

- Pre-heat the oven to 160ºC.

- In a small pot, melt the coconut oil along with the spices (or heat up the olive oil on medium heat), and add the water. Coat the parsnip fries in the mixture.

- Sprinkle with salt and pepper, place a lid over it and give it a good shake! Place the fries on a piece of baking parchment, and place it in the middle in the oven. Let them bake for about half an hour before turning them and roasting them for a further half hour, or more if you like them crispier. You can also turn the heat up to 180ºC for the last ten minutes, and leave them for a tiny bit longer, to get them extra crisp.

Serve along with sweet chilli sauce, ketchup, hummous, or just as they are!

Recipe by yours truly!

And the kale crisps I found the recipes for over at Ragnhild's blog:

I hope you have had a nice weekend and a good start to your week?

Lucky as I was, I got to visit Edinburgh once again yesterday, and I managed to track down Forest Cafê! It is this lovely little vegetarian cafê that serves up delicious food and a range of drinks. I had the wrap of the day, and it was served with a lovely slaw and spiced fried chickpeas - yum! There was also a folk band that had a debut gig there, they sounded fantastic, and I tried to look up what their band name was, but couldn't find it, sigh!

If you are travelling through Edinburgh, I would definitely recommend Forest Cafê though, as well as From 10 to 10 in Delhi!
Have you been to Edinburgh before? What is your favourite places there?
I cannot wait for it to get warmer outside so I can climb Arthur's Seat!

Enjoy your evening, hope to hear from you!

Hugs'n'luv Jules

Friday, 20 February 2015

Parsnip & Potato Soup

...something to go with your bread!

Originally, a whole head of garlic was used here, and then courgette instead of the parsnip, but this worked a treat too!

Parsnip & Potato Soup
(Serves 3-4)

1 onion, chopped
4 cloves (or a head) of garlic, chopped
2 tbsp oil of choice (olive, coconut, sunflower... subtle oils!)
A small piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated
3 potatoes, peeled and diced
3 parsnips or courgettes, peeled and diced
Enough vegetable stock to cover

Toasted pumpkin seeds to garnish

- Heat oil in pan and soften your the onions as you prepare the other vegetables and add them to the pan; garlic, ginger, half the stock, potatoes, parsnip aaaand then the rest of the stock.

- Turn down the heat, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until the potatoes and parsnip are tender. Take off the heat and use a stick blender or food processor to whizz until smooth.

- Top with toasted pumpkin seeds, and tuck in!

I have yet to try a recipe from the Good Mood Food book that doesn't make me happy! I know it's Friday and that I should probably post up a recipe for taco, pizza or burgers - but here in Glasgow there is still a bit of a chill in the air and so a hearty bowl of soup with some crusty, seeded bread is just as good I reckon!

Have you got any plans for the weekend? I'm lucky enough to have the weekend off, and I am consiiiidering a little day trip to Edinburgh, we'll see! It's going to have to come down to a bit of improvising anyway that is for sure.... But I don't mind ^ ^ Tonight, I am going to take it easy and recuperate!

I hope you have a lovely evening! x

Original Recipe:
Good Mood Food, p. 113

- Jules

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Velvety Avocado Cheese Pasta

Hello and good evening!

When I first found this recipe, I thought "It seems a little strange, avocado and cheese".... But then I realised, that with some seasoning, that's a flippin' fantastic combination! I lightened it up a little, using ricotta cheese instead of mascarpone, and it turned out great!

Easy on the tabasco or the hot sauce you're using, so as to not throw the cheese sauce off balance. I topped it with some fresh basil, and it went so so well with the whole dish - so I hiiiighly recommend that!

Velvety Avocado Cheese Pasta
(Serves 2)

160-200g wholemeal or gluten-free pasta (depends how hungry you are)
1 large ripe avocado
100g ricotta
4 drops tabasco or 1 tsp hot sauce (start with half the amount and add more to taste)
Finely chopped coriander and/or basil, about a small handful or so
Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh basil leaves for garnish, or chop them and swirl them into the pasta - yum!

- Start by cooking the pasta as instructed.

- In the meantime, make the sauce: scrape out the avocado, and mash with a fork, then stir in the ricotta, tabasco/hot sauce, chopped herbs, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep the stone in the bowl if you are not serving it straight away.

- Turn off the heat of the pasta, drain, and stir in the soft, velvety cheese sauce. Serve and top with fresh basil leaves. Grab a fork and go!

Have you had a good week so far? I hope you celebrated Pancake Tuesday last night (yes, a capital P, because this is a national day, and pancakes are super important!). I was lucky enough to get to go to my friend Epikat aka Katie and we made almost a bucket-load of crêpe batter, we also had a wee crêpe-dance that we made up last year. Y'know, cause it makes time pass quicker when you are waiting for your crêpes or pancakes to cook ^ ^
I was also lucky enough to get my flatmate home yesterday after she had been on holiday to Latvia, and to celebrate this Imma gawna make her some waffles tonight, since she missed out on my Saturday and Sunday breakfast waffles (she gave me a nudge nudge on facebook when she heard I had made them without her, hah!).

Anywaaaay, I hope you have a lovely rest of the day, and feel free to give me recipes for some of your favourite weekday dinners!

Take care xx

Original source:
Good Mood Food, p. 114

- Jules

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Courgette & Cashew Curry

This recipe, I kid you not, called for a whole green chilli for two people. I was a little sceptical, but then you know what? It didn't even turn out very spicy!

Like my old boss and cooking teacher used to tell me: Green chillies are a bit of a hit and miss, some are spicy, and some aren't, that's why we use twice as much here. I guess she was right!

This lovely green curry was really simple, and was ready in about 15 minutes! I served it with some leftover pearl barley that I had at hand and it worked a treat! Then I cooked up some noodles for the second round of it.

Courgette & Cashew Curry
(Serves 2)

Note: The size of this bowl is massive, and so a normal portion looked tiny when served in it!

1 tbsp oil
3 Spring onions, chopped
1 fat garlic clove, finely chopped or minced
1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 large courgette, diced (or 2-3 small ones, thickly sliced)
80g mushrooms (like shiitake or chestnut mushrooms), sliced
40g cashew nuts
Chinese chives (optional - I left them out)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp fish sauce (sesame oil for vegetarian/vegan)
Rice, barley or noodles for serving

- Start by simply heating the oil in a big frying pan or a wok. Soften the Spring onion, garlic and green chilli for a few minutes.

- Now, toss in the mushrooms and the courgette (zucchini), and for for a fe wminutes on medium heat until tender. I cooked them for a little extra.

- Finally, add the Chinese chives, nuts, soy sauce and Fish sauce (use a bit of sesame oil for vegetarian/vegan), and allow to heat through for a couple of minutes.

Serve with noodles or rice, and tuck in!

I hope you like it as much as I did. Being generous with the cashews add a bit of crunch, which just makes this dish so good!

This weekend has been nice and relaxed, I went to Part 2 of my friends' clothes party on Friday, and yesterday I lounged in a cafê whilst reading a book, followed by lunch with one of my best friends at Cafê Hula. In the evening there were a handful of us, having dinner, playing a home made board game of epic proportions and watching a movie.
Today? Less productive if anything, but I needed that. I have been reading some more and cooking, which was really nice actually, just recuperating and energising before another five days of work!

What have you been up to this weekend?

Original source:
Mat fra hele Verden - Thailand, p. 101

- Jules

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Happy Friend's Day (Sõbrapäev)

Apparently, in Estonia (...and also Finland apparently), Valentine's Day is more focused on spending time with friends as opposed to be all lovey dovey, doesn't that sound nice?

I have never been particularly fond of Valentines, but I do think it's a good reason to use as an excuse to spend time with the people you care about the most. Whether it is going out for a meal on the day, during the week of Valentines, or having a picnic in the living room!

I was lucky enough to be invited over to my Estonian cat Mari (who isn't actually a cat, but she calls herself that, and sometimes I feed her, making her dinner if she hasn't been over for some time, meow! It all makes sense... I promise). She was having a clothes swap Part 2, and had made lots of delicious food for us this time. She makes a mean carrot cake! Which sadly doesn't have a recipe form, it must be black magic or something... We were a bunch of people there and we had such a great evening just catching up, swapping more clothes, and feasting *smiles*

This morning, I had decided to do my new 14th February tradition and start the day with waffles! So I made a Norwegian style waffle, and topped it with mashed banana and nutella. I might hunt me down some Norwegian brown cheese later on, if I dare brave the world, haha!

What are your plans for the day? Seeing a special someone or hanging out with friends? Maybe having a movie marathon? Who knows! Just make sure it's a good one!

xox Jules