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In The Kitchen

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.

In The Kitchen

Recipes | 5 Rețete Perfecte de Sf. Patrick’s

March 17, 2016

Happy St. Patrick’s!

The Finacé a fost destul de atent încât să ne amintească ca azi este Sf. Patrick’s, mai exact una dintre cele mai distractive sărbători! Și nu o spun doar datorită consumului de alcool specific sărbătorii, ci și pentru că este ocazia perfectă să ne aducem aminte de prietenii noștrii irlandezi, și de câteva dintre rețetele lor delicioase.

5 Rețete pe care trebuie să le încerci de Sf. Patrick’s

1. Pâine Irlandeză

Să începem cu începutul, adică cu pâinea specifică Irlandei. Dacă unele rețete durează ore, am găsit o rețetă ce o să fie gata în mai puțin de o oră! Rapidă, ușoară și delicioasă, ce mai mult ne-am putea dori?

1 - 5 Rețete Perfecte de Sf. Patrick's


2. Plăcintă cu Miel și Guinness

Pentru carnivorii dintre voi am ales și o rețetă delicioasă cu carne. Patiserie care se topește în gură și un conținut cald și gustos, adică combinația perfectă pentru o rețetă pe cât de ușoară pe atât de decadentă. Iar pentru restul dintre noi, iată și o variantă de umplutură vegetariană!

2 - 5 Rețete Perfecte de Sf. Patrick's


 

3. Chowder cu Fructe de Mare

Fructele de Mare sunt parți integrale ale bucătăriei irlandeze, din motive evidente. Așa că o supă cremoasă cu fructe de mare suna absolut perfect de inclus într-un meniu de Sf. Patrick’s!

3 - 5 Rețete Perfecte de Sf. Patrick's


 

4. Spumă de Ciocolată cu Baileys, Sos de Caramel și Frișcă

Ce listă de rețete ar fi completă fară un desert cu ciocolată pe un blog care are ciocolată în titlu?! Iar după ce ați citit titlul nu cred că mai e nevoie să vă conving că trebuie făcută rețeta acum! 😉

4 - 5 Rețete Perfecte de Sf. Patrick's


 

5. Guinness Float

Ceva între un desert și un cocktail, aceasta este de departe cea mai ușoară rețetă dintre toate cinci, dar și cea mai definitoriu irlandeză. După cum spuneam, happy Sf. Patrick’s!

5 - 5 Rețete Perfecte de Sf. Patrick's

Live beautifully.

In The Kitchen

Mic Dejun | 5 variante de croissant sandwich delicioase

March 4, 2016

Se spune că nu are rost să modifici un lucru care merge. În mod normal aș fi de acord, dar nu când e vorba de un croissant sandwich. Pentru că dacă e o modalitate în care poți să îmbunătățești croissantele este să le transformi în sandwich-uri!

I love those things!

  • actual testimony from actual Fiancé

 

1. Croissant Sandwich cu Ouă și Spanac

O mână de spanac proaspăt tras un pic la tigaie, și un ou poșat sau fiert moale, un strop de sare și piper și gata! Croissantul savuros și sănătos e preparat!

1-variante-de-croissant-sandwich-delicioase


 

2. Croissant cu Ou și Avocado

O variantă la fel de delicioasă ca a celui de mai sus. Doar înlocuiește spanacul cu avocado feliat și a doua variantă gustoasă este gata de mâncat!

2-variante-de-croissant-sandwich-delicioase


 

3. Croissant cu Somon

Unge croissantul cu brânză topită, așează deasupra câteva felii de somon afumat și câțiva solți de ceapă proaspăt tăiată. Deja mi s-a făcut poftă!

3-variante-de-croissant-sandwich-delicioase


4. Croissant cu Prosciutto și Smochine

Cred că este ușor de dedus care sunt ingrdientele ce trebuie asamblate și în acesta. Dar ca o variantă pentru vegetarieni, cum am fi noi de exemplu, se poate înlocui cu ușurință prosciutto-ul cu blue cheese, iar rezultatul e yummy!

4-variante-de-croissant-sandwich-delicioase


 

5. Croissante cu Nutella

Croissantul este tăiat în două. Fiecare parte este unsă cu unt, apoi cu Nutella. Cele două parți se lipesc. Croissantul reunit se pune câteva minute în sandwich-maker. Se servește cald.

Vă rog observați faptul că acesta este singurul subtitlu care are trecut croissantul la plural. Da, nu te poți opri la unul singur!

5-variante-de-croissant-sandwich-delicioase

Live beautifully.