Sunday, May 30, 2010

Arugula Risotto

This mild, light and nutritious risotto is made with brown rice. It is garnished with beautiful and delicate arugula flowers. Arugula flowers are available at some farmers markets and if you grow your own arugula you will have plenty of flowers. They are mild in taste, similar to arugula leaves.
Precooking rice:
1 cup brown rice
2 cups water
1 clove garlic finely chopped
½ tsp salt
1 tsp basil
In a saucepan, boil all ingredients and continue to cook for 30 minutes.
1 onion
3 tbls olive oil
1 cup fine green beans
2 cups arugula
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
¼ cup raw sunflower seeds chopped
1 tbls butter
1 tsp honey
2 tbls white wine
½ cup arugula flowers

In a large pan sauté onions on olive oil, add rice and vegetables, salt, pepper and wine. Cover the pan and cook over a low heat for about 15 minutes or until rice is tender and there is no more liquid. Add butter and sunflower seeds at the end. Serve garnished with grated parmesan cheese and arugula flowers.
For vegetarian version of this risotto omit butter and parmesan. You can add a little bit more olive oil and sprinkle the risotto with some more chopped sunflower seeds. When precooking the rice, instead of salt put 1 tbls of white miso.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Onion Bread

1 onion medium to large
1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
1 ½ cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp rosemary chopped
1 cup milk or (soy milk)
1 tbls olive oil
1 tbls brown sugar
¼ cup or less water

In a food processor mix the onion until almost liquid. In a large bowl combine all ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon, adding water gradually. Cover dough with plastic wrap and allow to rest at warm place for an hour. Preheat the oven at 350 F. Roll the dough to floured surface until covered in flour from each side, do not knead. Put the dough into a greased and floured loaf pan. Cover with kitchen cloth and let it rise for 15 more minutes at warm place. Bake at 350 F for one hour.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sardine Pâté

2 cans sardines in oil (125 g each)
3 eggs
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 lemon peeled and chopped
½ cup butter
2 tbls mustard
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 tbls chopped parsley

Drain oil from sardines (you will not use it). Cook eggs in water and chop them. Cut lemon into 4 wedges. With a sharp knife peel the wedges and cut lemon in smaller pieces. Put all ingredients in a food processor and mix until smooth. Add parsley at the very end. Cool in refrigerator and garnish with a fresh lemon thyme.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ginger Yogurt Cake

1 egg
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup quick oats
1 cup flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbls grated ginger
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbls freshly squeezed ginger juice
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease and flour a small loaf pan. In a large mixing-bowl, combine wet ingredients. In another bowl, mix the flour, oats, baking powder and baking soda. Add the flour mixture into the yogurt mixture, and blend together. Do not mix it too much. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and bake for 50 - 60 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

To prepare icing finely grate more ginger and strain it to get ginger juice. Mix it well with confectioner sugar. Put the icing to a sandwich size Ziploc bag and make a tiny hole at a bottom edge.
Squeeze the icing to make a nice decoration over the cake. The icing is very spicy and is giving to this cake a very gingerly flavor.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


1 ½ cup cooked and drained chickpeas

¼ cup tahini
4 tbls lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ tsp salt
¼ cup olive oil
Dash of pepper
¼ cup liquid from cooking chickpeas or plain yogurt

In a food processor mix all ingredients until smooth.

Garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro leaves or chili. Serve with olives, pitta bread and fresh vegetables.
Humus is a great snack that children love to eat with baby carrots, celery sticks and my children particularly like it with slices of apples.
- If you are trying to reduce calories you can substitute a great amount of olive oil and tahini with yogurt.
- You can use chickpeas from the can but I was actually surprised how much tastier is humus made with home cooked chickpeas. I usually make double amount of humus and freeze it in little jars. When I am cooking chickpeas, I am cooking the huge amount and than I freeze cooked and drained chickpeas. When you want to make humus, just leave it few hours at room temperature and make fresh humus.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Chocolate Chickpea Tart

This recipe is fully my invention, I have never tried anything similar, nor did I saw similar recipe. It looks like a chocolate cheese cake and tastes like a combination of chocolate cheese cake and chestnut cake. It is egg free and wheat free and it can be dairy free if you use dairy free substitute for butter.
1 cup oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
¼ cup butter
½ tsp cinnamon

Chickpea cream:
3 cups well cooked chickpeas, drained
½ cup butter
100 g dark chocolate
1/3 cup honey
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
Finely grated almonds (optional)

50 g dark chocolate
2 tbls butter
2 tbls honey
2 tbls chopped amonds to decorate

Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Grease a cake pan and sprinkle the oats mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Gently press in to the surface to get a crust. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the crust start to brown at the edges. Live it in the pan to cool at room temperature.

To prepare the cream, in a food processor mix chickpeas, cinnamon, vanilla and honey until smooth. If the mixture is so dry that it is difficult to mix it, add some water, but do not put too much. In a double boiler melt chocolate and butter and while still hot add it to the mixture in food processor. Mix again. Pour warm mixture over the crust. Spread it evenly to make it flat.

To prepare the glaze melt chocolate, honey and butter in a saucepan. While still hot pour it over the cake. You may need a little practice with this as you need to spread the glaze evenly over the cake not disturbing the chickpea layer. Shaking the pan might help with it. Sprinkle with chopped almonds.
Live the cake to cool completely and then refrigerate it for several hours or ideally overnight.

If you have put too much water in the cream, add a little bit of finely grated almonds to solve the problem.

Quinoa Granola with Coconut, Blueberries and Raspberries

1 cup quinoa
2 cups oats
1 cup grated coconut
1/3 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
2/3 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
2/3 cup honey

Soak quinoa in water overnight. Drain well. In a large bowl mix all ingredients with wooden spoon mashing the berries into the mixture (if using frozen let them warm up a little bit at room temperature). Transfer the mixture onto a large greased baking sheet. Bake at 325F for 35 - 40 minutes. Stir with wooden spoon every 10 minutes. Let it cool in the oven with open doors. When completely cool store in an airtight container. Serve with yogurt.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


1 avocado (ripe)
½ small tomato (about 3 tbls finely chopped tomato)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
¼ tsp salt
½ tbls lemon juice
1/8 tsp cumin
1 tsp finely chopped cilantro leaves
Dash of white pepper

Mash avocado with a fork and mix all the ingredients in. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves. Serve cold with tortilla chips, cooked shrimps, or just spread on toasted bread.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Yogurt Cake

1 egg

1 ¼ cup plain yogurt
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a cake pan. In a large mixing-bowl, combine the yogurt, egg, sugar, vanilla and oil. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add the flour mixture into the yogurt mixture, and blend together. Do not mix it too much. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, and bake for about 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Serve warm or cold.

Salty Sticks

½ cup butter

1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 tsp mustard
1 egg
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 cup all purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour

Mix all ingredients in a a bowl. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes. Roll it on a floured surface and cut in sticks. Place them on a parchment paper or greased baking tray. Bake them in the upper third of oven at
350 F for about 13 minutes or until they become golden and start browning at the edges. Remove from the baking tray after few minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Vegetarian Cranachan with Raspberries

Cranachan is a traditional Scottish dessert usually made from a mixture of oatmeal, whipped cream, whisky, honey, and raspberries. I become very fond of this desert during my studying years in Edinburgh, Scotland and prepared it many times. However, I would usualy omit the whisky and recently, I made this vegetarian version without cream. Even though it is quite a shift from the original recipe it is similar in taste and suitable for children, very mild, ideal for luxury breakfast (prepare it evening before and refrigerate it) or as a summer desert. I used soy milk but you can also use rice milk and even cow’s milk with almost the same results.

Toasted oatmeal:
1 cup rolled oats
2 tbls honey
In a bowl combine oats with honey and transfer it to a greased baking tray. Bake at 325 F for 30 minutes.

Raspberry layer:
1 ¼ cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
1 tbls honey
Mix raspberries and honey, do not mash raspberries

Oat pudding:
1 tbls ghee (or butter)
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups milk
1 ½ cups oats
1 tsp rose water (optional)
20 raspberries for garnishing
Combine oats and milk in a saucepan and bring them to boil. Simmer at a very low heat for 30 minutes, or until the mixture thickens. Add honey, butter, vanilla and rose water (if using).

Put a few raspberries in the bottom of each serving glass and add a little of the toasted oats. Pour few spoons of oat cream mixture. Repeat with a layer of raspberries, toasted oats and oat cream. Finish with a layer of toasted oats and garnish with few berries. Serve well chilled. Serves 4.

Lemonade with Orange Blossom Water

2 cups water
juice of 1 lemon
2 – 3 tbls honey
1 tsp orange blossom water

Mix well and serve with ice cubes. You can freeze violets, rose petals or other edible flowers in ice cubes to give it a nice touch.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Avocado Chocolate Mousse

This recipe is a real breakthrough for vegetarian and macrobiotic diet - three ingredients usually used in chocolate mousse or crème: milk, butter and eggs are substituted with avocado. Avocado is giving this cream a perfect smooth texture.
1 avocado (make sure it is ripe)
½ cup honey
½ cup water
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp cinnamon

Dissolve the cocoa in ½ cup of hot water. In a food processor smooth avocado and honey, add cocoa mixture, cinnamon and vanilla. Mix a little bit more until you have a smooth texture. Keep refrigerated – this mousse keeps few days. It is very rich and you can serve it with cakes, frozen as an ice-cream, straight or with pancakes.

Jacked Potato with Fresh Beet

4 big baking potatoes
1 tbls olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tsp salt
2 tsp lemon juice
1 ½ cups arugula
2 tbls butter
Black pepper
1 ¼ cup grated mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven at 400 F. Wash potatoes thoroughly. Bake potatoes at 400 F for about an hour or until skin feels crisp and flesh beneath is soft. While potatoes are baking prepare the filling. In a food processor grate one fresh medium size beet. Transfer to a bowl and add salt, olive oil, lemon juice and finely chopped garlic. When potatoes are done, put each potato on a plate and open it. Put ½ tbls butter in each and mash it a little bit than add beet mixture and sprinkle with grated cheese. Garnish with few leaves of arugula and black pepper.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Pasta with Black Beans, Lemon and Cheese

1 pound fusilli (spiral pasta)
1 ½ cup cooked black beans (1 can or 15.5 oz, 439 g) rinsed and drained
¼ cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Grated peel of one lemon
1 cup cheese (use hard cheese like parmesan or goat cheese)
5 fresh sage leaves
Fresh lemon thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot cook pasta in salted boiling water until “al dente”. In a large pan sauté garlic on olive oil and add well drained black beans and lemon peel. Drain pasta, add it to the beans and sprinkle with cheese. Mix well, remove from fire and season with fresh herbs. Serve immediately with green salad.

Spinach Scones

2 and ¼ whole wheat flour

1 tsp salt (or less)
¼ cup butter (55 g)
1 cup cooked chopped spinach
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup grated cheese

Preheat oven to 375 F and place rack in middle of oven. grease a cookie sheet.
In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients including melted butter until the dough comes together. Do not over mix the dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and pat the dough into a circle that is about size of a plate.
Cut the circle in half, then cut each half into four pie-shaped wedges (triangles). Place the scones on the baking sheet. Bake the scones about 15 – 18 minutes or until nicely browned. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve them warm. On the photo scones are made with whole wheat flour but they can also be made with all purpose flour or the mixture of half white and half whole wheat. Makes 8 scones

Friday, May 7, 2010

No Eggs Banana Bread

I used to love banana bread, but after years and years of baking I became bored with it. I will tell you the truth about my banana bread – I am making it every time I realize my bananas are getting too ripe which is quite often. Anyway, I always thought that bananas are better in coconut combination that walnuts and also that bananas just need a dash of something light and summery like lemon. In vegetarian and macrobiotic recipes, eggs are often substituted with bananas so I thought why not omitting eggs completely and I end up with quite nice result.
2 cups mashed banana (about 4 large bananas)
1 cup quick oats
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
¾ cup flaked coconut
½ cup olive oil
¼ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp all spice
½ cup brown sugar
¼ tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

Grease and flour a small loaf pan. Preheat oven at 350 F. In a large bowl mix together dry ingredients.

In a food processor puree bananas until smooth. Mix bananas with other wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well. Bake at 350 F for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

This bread is ideal for breakfast. It is suitable both for vegetarian and macrobiotic diet. If you are serving this cake for desert you can, while still hot, spread marmalade over it. I used homemade lemon jam that complements with bananas and coconut really well.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Picnic Chocolate Cake

This recipe is from “Simple Country Pleasures” cookbook by Friedman/Fairfax but I have changed it through years of baking it. I put less sugar (and brown sugar instead of white) and only one egg instead of two. I substituted margarine with butter and added a cinnamon. I decorated it with fresh violets flowers and dusted it with sugar. It is simple but delicious and great for garden parties and picnics.
2 cups flour
1 ½ cups brown sugar
½ tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
4 tbls cocoa
1 cup water
1 egg
1 tsp soda
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup milk
1 tsp cinnamon
Grease a cake pan and preheat oven at 375 F. In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar and salt. In a small saucepan heat butter, cocoa and water, boil for a minute. Stir chocolate mixture into flour mixture until smooth. Add eggs, soda, cinnamon, vanilla and milk. Mix until smooth and pour into cake pan. Bake at 375 F for 30 minutes. When cool transfer it into the cake pan and dust with confectioners’ sugar, decorate with edible flowers such as lilac, violets or rose petals.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Carrot Oatmeal Tahini Sandwich Cookies

This cookies are suitable for macrobiotic diet.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup tahini
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp grated ginger
1/3 cup tahini
1/3 cup carob molasses

Preheat oven to 375F degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl mix all ingredients by hand. Drop onto prepared baking sheets, one tablespoonful amount. Bake in the top 1/3 of the oven for 10 - 12 minutes or until the cookies are golden on top and bottom.
Cool cookies. Prepare the filing simply by combining tahini and carob molasses. Stir well. Spread teaspoon of filing on a bottom of cookie then attach it to another cookie. Cool I the refrigerator. This cookies make ideal breakfast, serve them with tea or soy milk.
Makes about 15 large sandwich cookies.