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In The Kitchen

5 Dinners In The Kitchen

5 Dinner Recipes to Cook this Week: From Fresh to Exotic

May 1, 2017

From extremely fresh to very exotic this week’s selection of vegan dinners is comfort food at its best! Enjoy!

1. Instant Pot Spinach Dal

Exotic comfort food that’s vegan and gluten-free, this is the perfect dinner recipe to start the week!

2. Roasted Artichoke Avocado Toast

This one‘s for everybody that’s like me and would love to have breakfast any time of the day.

3. Roasted Eggplant Hummus With Turmeric & Tomato Corn Crackers

Another easy and flavorful recipe where you get to make your own crackers! Bonus points, it easy to make it in advance and store it in the fridge.

4. Hearty Homemade Vegan Chili

If there’s one thing I loved before going vegan that was a good chili, so I couldn’t be happier to find this vegan chili. Even better than the original!

5. Southwest Buddha Bowl with Agave Lime Seitan

Buddha bowls are healthy bows full of color and nutrients, and this one makes no exception!

Live beautifully!

Breakfast Bliss

Yummy Tropical Melon Breakfast Bowl

April 28, 2017

The other day I stumbled upon our honeymoon photos from last year, which means that I spent a full hour looking through pictures of lush nature, fresh fruit, tropical sunsets, and general summery happiness. But because I couldn’t just flip my magic wand and find myself on a beach sipping from a freshly cut coconut, I hopped on over to the kitchen and proceeded to make the most tropical breakfast I could imagine. And that is how the Yummy and super easy to make Tropical Melon Breakfast Bowl came to life. Oh ya, and did I mention that it’s full of health benefits?!

Health Benefits:

  • Melons are full of Vitamin C (growth and maintenance of all tissues in your body); Vitamin A (healthy teeth, skin and bone); Potassium (heart health); and Lycopene (powerful antioxidant). They lower the risk of lung cancer, are beneficial in curing kidney disease, prevent clotting of blood cells, promote digestive health, are an energy booster and are ideal for weight loss.
  • Kiwis are full of vitamin C and antioxidants, boost the immune system, help manage blood pressure, and protect against vision loss.
  • Coconut supports immune system health, improves good cholesterol, improves digestion and absorption of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, provides a natural source of energy and enhances physical performance.

Yummy Tropical Melon Breakfast Bowl (for 2)

Ingredients

  • 1 melon
  • 2 kiwis
  • 2 soy yogurts
  • a cup of granola
  • 1/2 cup of coconut flakes

Method

  1. Cut the melon in half, scoop out the seeds and fill each half with soy yogurt.
  2. Top that with your choice of fruit, granola, seeds, nuts, etc. I choose granola, kiwis and coconut flakes. Refreshing and delicious!
  3. Enjoy!

P.S. Told you it was easy! And isn’t it amazing when the list of health benefits is longer than the steps needed to make the recipe? 😀

Live beautifully.

5 Dinners In The Kitchen

5 Dinner Recipes to Cook this Week: fresh quinoa salads and savory asian dishes

April 23, 2017

With cold weather and a busy week, today I’m going to focus on light, flavorful, and easy dinners! Enjoy!

1. Black bean sweet potato quinoa salad with smoky pepitas and roasted jalapeño lime dressing

Vegan and gluten-free, this delicious salad is not only full of nutrients and vitamins, but also great to make-ahead. You really have no reason so not give it a try!

2. Apple cranberry cashew shaved brussels sprouts quinoa salad

I don’t usually use brussels sprouts in a salad, yet after reading the ingredients list and looking at the pictures this salad had to make it on this week’s 5 dinners list.

3. Instant mango pickle – kerala style mango pickle

Spice up the week with an indian flavored dish, instant to make and easy as 1, 2, mango!

4. Vegan Japanese Burger

I’ve just made a vegan burger last week and advertised it as “The Best Vegan Burger” . Even so, after this description “if you’re looking for a slightly different, but absolutely delectable meat-free burger, you must try this Vegan Japanese Burger!” I’m going to make this one too!

5. Vegan Tofu Satay

The hubby loves satay so much, that when I stumbled upon this vegan tofu satay I knew it was going to be my crowning glory for this week!

Live beautifully!

In The Kitchen Nutrition

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Balancing Cholesterol

April 20, 2017


When it comes to cholesterol there are 2 basic things you have to know:

1. Not all cholesterol is bad

There are 2 types of cholesterol:

  • The Bad: LDL is the one which builds up on artery walls and ultimately can lead to cardiovascular disease.
  • The Good: HDL is the one which eliminates the LDL out of the blood and protects the heart’s health.

That is why not ALL cholesterol is bad and the focus should not be on lowering it, but balancing it. And…

2. Cholesterol levels are intrinsically linked to diet

Cholesterol is produced by the liver and is present in all animal foods such as: meats (dooah!), high-fat dairy products (double-dooah!), egg yolks and certain fish.

According to the cholesterol theory of heart disease, both heredity and diet have a significant influence on a patient’s LDL, HDL and total cholesterol levels.

So, if we leave out heredity, that means that our diets play an essential roll in cholesterol levels. That being said, let us see which healthy foods can help us achieve the perfect balance.


1. Almonds

Almonds are top of the list because they both lower unhealthy LDL and raise healthy HDL. More than this, almonds are a superfood, and a great source of calcium and vitamin E. Just remember to keep your portions to under 1 cup/day  as they do have a considerable amount of calories.

2. Walnuts

Walnuts are a cocktail of omega-3’s, alpha-linolenic acid, melatonin, copper, manganese and vitamin E, and should be nicknamed “The Guardian of the Heart”.

3. Pistachio

A great source of  monounsaturated fat, fiber, and antioxidants, pistachios are not only super-healthy, but also super-good at reducing LDL cholesterol.

4. Berries

All berries are excellent at maintaining optimal cholesterol levels, with a special emphasis on blueberries. Another superfood, these miracle berries do an excellent job at keeping your arteries clear. Bonus: they’re just at good at their job whether fresh, frozen or dried.

5. Oranges

Oranges are the literal cholesterol-police as they trap (pun intended) it and carry it out of the body even before it is absorbed into the bloodstream.

6. Pomegranate

Excellent at keeping the heart healthy, pomegranate keeps the blood healthy too!

7. Olive Oil

Rich in antioxidants and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats this should be your go-to-oil for all culinary purposes. Actually scratch that. You should use it in you homemade natural beauty masks too! 😀

8. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are lycopene-rich which means that if you eat at least half a cup of tomato sauce daily you both keep those LDL levels down and break down artery-clogging fat. Now that’s what I call a win-win situation!

9. Beans

An excellent source of energy, beans are also full of calcium, potassium and folate, and all of the B-vitamins. What better reason for a vegan-friendly burrito?

10. Sweet Potatoes

Delicious and nutritions, the main selling point for sweet-potatoes is the fact that they are rich in water-soluble fiber. Just remember that a lot of those fibers are in the skin and that they are best boiled or steamed.

11. Green Vegetables

Low in calories, but rich in nutrients and fibers, this is really a no-brainer!

12. Chia seeds

Full of antioxidants, protein and minerals this little superfood should always make its way to your plate at least once a day!

13. Green tea

Green tea isn’t just an antioxidant wonder, but it also does wonders with lowering LDL levels.

14. Avocados

I’ve saved the best for last, because I am literally in love with avocados. I would eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I would put them in every beauty product. I would replace my blood with avocado puree. Ok, too much information, I know. But seriously, these bad boys are full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, and are the absolute perfect cholesterol-balancing food!

Live beautifully.

Bento Box Lunch In The Kitchen

Bento Box Lunch: The Best Vegan Burger

April 19, 2017

In my quest for a lunch recipe that is easy to make and easy to assemble and that fits into the Hubby’s Bento Box and that’s delicious AND vegan I stumbled upon Jamie’s recipe for The best vegan burger. And let me tell you my dearest dearest readers that if a hyperbolic title was ever true it’s this time!

“Packed with flavour, these vegan corn burgers are healthy and seriously satisfying. ”


Ingredients

  • 1 x 400 g tin of chickpeas
  • 1 x 340 g tin of sweetcorn
  • ½ a bunch of fresh coriander (I used dried, and it was just fine 🙂
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric (not in the original recipe, but I’m currently having a love-affair with turmeric, so I’m putting it in everything!)
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 3 heaped tablespoons whole wheat flour , plus extra for dusting
  • rapeseed oil (again, I used olive oil and it was lick-your-fingers delicious)
  • 1 small round lettuce
  • 2 large ripe tomatoes
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • tomato sauce
  • 4 wholemeal burger buns

Method

  1. Stars by draining the chickpeas and sweetcorn, and add them to the bowl of your food processor.
  2. Add the spices, salt, lemon zest and flour and pulse until combined, BUT stop before it turns into a paste. Remember, you still need a little texture.
  3. Divide the mixture into 4 equal-sized patties about 2cm thick on a flour-dusted surface, and then place them in a fridge for about 30 minutes.
  4. Heat a little bit of oil in a non-stick frying pan and cook the patties over medium heat on each side until golden. I’m considering placing them in the oven next time, and I”ll let you know how that turns out.
  5. Assemble and enjoy! Bread bun + tomato sauce + veggie patty + tomato slices + avocado + bread bum.

Packing tip

Pack the bread separately to keep it fresh, and place the buns on a bed of spinach leaves to keep them fresh.


Bon appetit!

Live beautifully!

Bento Box Lunch In The Kitchen

The Best 5 Lunch Boxes under €30

April 17, 2017

Hello! My hame is Ioana and I am a BOXaholic! Ever since I was a little girl there was no box I could resist, whether it was my mother’s hand-carved jewelry box, or a simple cardboard one. So how can I not extend the same fascination to lunch boxes, since these include my second favorite thing: food! And since this week I’m starting a new blog section titled Bento Box Lunch, this feels like the perfect time to give you a selection of my 5 favorite lunch boxes:

1. Bento Box by TAKENAKA – €17

Gorgeous, sleek design that comes in a variety of sizes, colors and prices to fit all budgets, this is the Bento Box to make you forget about all others. Oh ya, and did I mention it’s the one I got for packing lunches for the Hubby?! And we all know that a good Hubby deserves only the very best! So yes, at least when it comes to lunch boxes, the Japanese definitely do it better!

2. Black & Blum Box Appetit Lunch Box – €26.67

I discovered Black + Blum while updating my ASOS Wish List, which just goes to show you that you don’t always get what you want, but you definitely get what you need. In this case, this beautiful Black & Blum Box Appetit Lunch Box. With its water-tight lid, sauce dipping area and separate trays for different meals, this “is the one for your weekday lunch, on-the-go eats and chillin’ in the park duties.”

3. Black & Blum Lunch Pot – €26.67

And I’m not finished with Black & Blum, but we’re moving on to the Lunch Pot by Black & Blum for those us you who prefer a more liquid lunch. Ok, that didn’t sound very appetizing, but we all know it is, so lets move on to what this lovely little pot can offer you: water-tight design, small pot fits into larger pot when empty, AND it comes with a carry strap. I don’t know about you guys, but my next ASOS shopping spree will surely include this pot.

4. Happy Jackson Hello Lunch Box – €11.99

We can’t have a proper Lunch Box selection without at least one that is simply pretty! And the Happy Jackson Hello Lunch Box doesn’t just come with a cute slogan in a cheerful color, but also with a removable compartment and a secure clip fastening. Not microwave-friendly, but oh-so-pretty!

5. Pusheen Snack Pots – €10.67

And a very special surprise for all of you who made it to the end of this post! Yes, good things do come to those who wait. Without further ado, I give you **drum roll** the Pusheen Snack Pots! I rest my case.

Live Beautifully.

In The Kitchen

10 Reasons Not to Eat Lamb

April 5, 2017

I could tell you a lot about why you shouldn’t eat lamb. I could start with the TIME’s “The Gastronomic Case Against Eating Baby Animals“.

Or restate what Pope Francis said about eating lamb for Easter:

Among the most ancient Christian communities, the lamb was represented on the shoulders of the Shepherd and symbolize the soul saved by Christ. The murder of Easter has no basis in the Christian tradition, but rather is rooted in the Old Testament. It is a ritual, strong bloody conflict with the concept of the resurrection, which brings with it a revival of faith and hope. It is a ritual that is not necessary in a society like ours, already kneaded of violence and death, which serves only to satisfy the interests of the food industry.

Or if you’re not Christian-oriented, maybe Mahatma Gandhi is more up your alley:

I do not regard flesh food as necessary for us. I hold flesh food to be unsuited to our species. To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being. I should be unwilling to take the life of a lamb for the sake of the human body. I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man.”

But instead, I will tell you 10 simple reasons why you shouldn’t eat lamb this Easter, or ever:

1. They have a soul, they are not food.

2. They have a soul, they are not food.

3. They have a soul, they are not food.

4. They have a soul, they are not food.

5. They have a soul, they are not food.

6. They have a soul, they are not food.

7. They have a soul, they are not food.

8. They have a soul, they are not food.

9. They have a soul, they are not food.

10. They have a soul, they are not food.

Live beautifully.

In The Kitchen

5 Dinner Recipes to Cook this Week

April 2, 2017

Because even a maven in the kitchen needs an extra boost of inspiration I’ve decided to introduce a new section for my “In The Kitchen” category: 5 Dinners to cook this week. Every weekend I’m going to explore a bunch of yummy vegan recipes and share them with you the next Monday. This way you don’t have to worry about what to cook for weeknight dinners, and I get to have a place where I can collect all of my favorite recipes. Plus, I think my husband is tired of my spamming him on facebook with everything we “HAVE TO TRY” for dinner 😀

1. Chickpea ‘Tuna’ stuffed avocados

If there’s one thing I find difficult to let go of that’s tuna. And because I’m a strong believer of having your vegan cake and eating it too, I found this delicious mock-tuna recipe. And if that didn’t trigger your taste buds, let me say this: vegan, gluten-free & grain-free.

2. Creamy Fall Vegetable Risotto

The fact that this is a Fall vegetable Risotto should in no way deter you from making it every season. Because yes, the creaminess does not come from dairy, but from cashew-goodness.

3. Raw Fettuccine Alfredo

You cannot get a healthier or easier recipe than zucchinis noodles with cashews creaminess. Easy as one, two, zucchini!

4. Spanish Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

I love the all of the Minimalist Baker’s recipes at least as much as you’ll love these quinoa stuffed peppers. Vegan, gluten-free, and with just 10 ingredients! I would say ‘enjoy’, but I already know you will!

5. The Vegan Buddha Bowl

Let me tell you darlings: this is definitely not just any other Buddha Bowl, but THE Vegan Buddha bowl! Plus, a must-read article that includes the phrase: “But the assertion that one person going vegan doesn’t make a difference is completely untrue.” Namaste!

Live beautifully.

In The Kitchen

Recipe | There’s a New Banana Bread in Town

November 17, 2016

I hope you remember my Extra Special Banana Bread Recipe, because this weekend when I wanted to bake one I just couldn’t find it. Yes, hitting the ‘search’ button on my own blog didn’t even enter into the equation. Regardless, all’s well that ends well, and after a short google search I found a good banana bread recipe that only needed a very tweaks to become the new extra special Banana Bread recipe.

1-banana-bread-chocolate-and-cashmere

Ingredients

  • 100g butter
  • 40 ml oil
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 3 large egg, beaten
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 1 packet baking powder
  • 2-3 very ripe bananas mashed
  • cinnamon
  • coconut shavings
  • 100 gr chopped walnuts

2-banana-bread-chocolate-and-cashmere

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter a 2lb loaf tin and line the base and sides with baking parchment.

  2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then slowly add the oil, and then the eggs with a little flour. Fold in the remaining flour, baking powder and bananas. Then add the cinnamon, coconut shavings and walnuts.
  3. Pour into the tin and bake for about 45 mins until a skewer comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then remove to a wire rack. Finish it off with powder sugar and serve!

3-banana-bread-chocolate-and-cashmere

Live beautifully.

In The Kitchen

Recipe | Lemonade – rețeta lui Beyonce

May 5, 2016

Lemonade, nou album vizual proaspăt lansat de Beyonce ne-a umplut newsfeed-urile, secțiunile de comentarii și, în mare, viața. De la Buzzfeed la The New York Times sau CNN, da, C(!)N(!)N(!), cu toții discutăm despre importanța culturală a noului album al lui Queen B. Ah da, și despre cine este “Becky with the good hair”. Unde este Jessica Fletcher atunci când avem nevoie de ea?!

beyonce-lemonade-recipe

Dar între timp ce ar fi să ne ocupăm de o problemă mult mai presantă? Rețeta lui Beyonce pentru the perfect Lemonade! Iar rețeta vine de la însăși Queen B în ultima secțiune a albumului Redemption, o rețetă moștenită de la bunica ei Agnéz Deréon.

Take one pint of water, add half pound of sugar
The juice of eight lemons, the zest of half lemon
Pour the water from one jug, then to the other several times
Strain through a clean napkin

beyonce-lemonade-recipe-2

Iar ingredientele?

1 pint water

1/2 pound sugar*

8 lemons, juiced

1/2 lemon, zested

Mai exact o limonadă extra dulce și foarte relaxant de făcut, adică perfectă pentru o zi călduroasă de vară!

Live beautifully.