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

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Happy Friend's Day (Sõbrapäev)

Apparently, in Estonia (...and also Finland!), 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

Friday, 13 February 2015

Honey Nut Snack Marbles


I hope you have had a good Friday 13th? As for me, I usually find this to be a surprisingly good day, today was a little mixed though, BUT Imma gawna see some friends and head over for Clothes Swap Part 2, and I am really looking forward to it!

But here! I found these on Cathleen's blog, a Taste of Madness (always reminds me of the Muse song, by the way!) and I noticed that I had all the ingredients I needed to make them - and so I did!
I had some trouble along the way with pressing the mixture down and getting it to set properly, but that wasn't really that big a deal, for the rest of the oaty-nutty goodness I simply rolled into marbles, et voila! Power-snack ready, for whenever you are!

Honey Nut Snack Marbles
(Makes 8 small bars or marbles)

2 topped tbsp honey
A splash of water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup almonds, dry roasted (I used half whole ones, and half ground ones, plus some leftover cashew nuts)
1 cup oats
1/2 cup dessicated coconut

- Start by heating the honey and water up in a medium sized casserole, once hot but not boiling, add the remaining ingredients and take off the heat. Mix well until combined.

- Now, you have one out of two options:
A) Roll into marbles
B) Get out a small square cake tin and line it with clingfilm, press the mixture firmly down and refrigerate for a little while. Cut into bars and keep them in an airtight container. They will keep for at least 5 days.

These are the perfect snack if you're on the go, in a hurry in the morning, or simply want a little something sweet to enjoy with your coffee or tea. My lovely flatmate highly approved of these, and I hope you will too!

Do you have any plans for the "big" day tomorrow? As for me, I think I have a date with my pyjamas, and I will most definitely be making Norwegian waffles!

Original source:

- Jules

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Carrot Cake Porridge

Good evening!

Have you had a good weekend so far?

I was working today, and I was lucky enough to bump into three lovely fellow-Norwegian students at work today! I gave them a little tour around the cafê and showed them the factory. Aaaand yesterday I got to wrap a giant gorilla made out of chocolate in cellfane, despite it being quite busy. Luckily, both days I spent the evenings with friends in Tchai Ovna - House of Tea, and now I've put my feet up. I have had the time to cook a little bit inbetween though, which has been nice!

This original recipe was made in the slow-cooker, which is really handy if you are needing something made and want to just chuck all the ingredients in there which will magically become a lovely, creamy porridge in a couple of hours time.

I scaled down the batch, and cooked it on the stovetop as an evening snack, but it will make for a perfect breakfast too!

Carrot Cake Porridge
(Serves 1)

1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup light coconut milk (I used alpro)
1/2 cup water (more if necessary)
1 carrot, grated
2 tbsp dessicated coconut + more for topping
Small handful cranberries or raisins
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch salt (brings out the oatyness!)
2 tbsp maple syrup/sukrin gold/xylitol/agave

Dessicated coconut, or chopped nuts and suryp to serve

- Simply heat up the coconut milk, water and oats, and add the rest of the ingredients as you go along and allow for it to cook for at least 5-10 minutes. adding a little more water or coconut milk if necessary.

- Once it's gotten the texture and consistency that you like, simply bowl up and top with your favourite things!

Also, I have been meaning to feature this lovely picture for some time....

My cousin had drawn a couple of christmas-related pictures on an envelope for me for the aforementioned holiday, and it took me back to the days when we were a little younger. Because - his drawing of sheep weren't much different from the reindeer, apart from the fact that the sheep was curly and had no antlers, it's pretty much the same. How old my cousin is? I think - he's awesome!

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend so far! All my love x

Original source:

- Jules

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Tangy Noodles with Shiitake Mushrooms

Today I thought: Thursday should be a "Treat-yourself-day", and what better than to zing it up with some quick and tasty noodles? Beats the take-away places any day!

You can change the shiitake mushrooms for normal mushrooms or chestnuts mushrooms, it is up to you!

Tangy Noodles with Shiitake Mushrooms
(Serves 2)

2 noodle nests (rice noodles for vegan)
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp oil
3 Spring onions, or 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
200g shiitake, sliced
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 handfuls of greens (I used peashoots, this is optional)
100g bamboo shoots (I had some leftover, so decided to chuck them in)

- Start by boiling noodles as instructed, I boiled mine for about 4 minutes. Drain off all the water and pour in sesame oil, stir well and set aside.

- In a large frying pan, or wok, heat up the oil and soften the onion and . Then, tip in the chilli, (bamboo shoots - if using,) shiitake mushrooms, and a splash of water along with the sweet chilli sauce and soy.

- At the end, squeeze in the lime juice, mix in greens if you are adding some, and swirls through the noodles to heat them through.

Serve them like they are, or topped with roughly chopped peanuts, on a bed of sliced Chinese cabbage and finely chopped coriander.

Did you treat yourself today? If not, the weekend is just around the corner! Have a good one ^ ^

Original source:
Den Lille Kokebokserien - Thai, p. 132

- Jules

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Maria's Mother's Addictive Seeded Bread (GF)

The name? Well, it was one of my favourite bloggers - Maria, who shared this recipe with the world, but then she told me that originally it was her mother who had made this for her the first time around.

I was actually thinking about how nice it is when recipes are being shared with one person to another... My favourites are the little treasures that my grandmother jotted down in her recipe book years and years ago, but lots of times it can be through your circle of friends that you get introduced to little gems like that too!

I wanted the optimal recipe for a spelt bread, and I might just have found it (I will try my auntie's recipe next, so stay tuned!)... Because I am seriously addicted to this bread! It disappeared within days although I sliced half of it and stored it in the freezer for those rainy days, but I couldn't keep my paws of them, and would time and time again have it for breakfast, or an evening snack!

Maria's Mother's Addictive Seeded Bread (GF)
(Makes 1 loaf, but do feel free to double or treble the recipe)

450g Spelt flour (I used wholemeal, but you can do 50/50)
25g oats
175g seeds - pumpkin seeds is a must! But the others areoptional, I used poppy seeds and sunflower seeds
2 tsp psyllium husk or xanthan gum (optional, but recommended)
1/2 tsp salt + more for topping
1/2 packet dry yeast (adds the nice flavour to the bread)
400 ml water (about 1 1/2 cups)
100 ml orange juice or coconut milk

- Mix all the dry ingredients in a baking bowl - reserving some of the salt and seeds for topping. Make a little well in the middle.

- Heat up the water and juice/milk until it's lukewarm, and gently mix this without overworking it. Leave it in a warm place to rise for about 30 minutes.

- Transfer the dough to a greased loaf tin, and let it rise again for an additional 30-40 minutes. Afterwards, top with a drizzle of salt and extra seeds.

- Now pre-heat the oven at 225°C, then place the bread in the middle of the oven to bake for about 40 minutes then, turn the loaf upside down in the tin and bake for another 15-20 minutes to develop the crust all around the bread.

Leave to cool slightly before enjoying with your favourite toppings! Oooor serve alongside some tasty warming soup!

Original Source:

- Jules

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Coconut Pancakes

Hello and good morning!

It is Sunday, and the first day of a new month, and what better to serve on such a day than....

Little thick but fluffy pancakes with notes of deliciously exotic coconut? Fresh from the pan, mmmmm - it was one of my days off and this is how I wanted to start my morning, will you?

Coconut Pancakes
(Makes 4)

1/2 cup semolina or rice flour
1 egg
1/3 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp xylitol/sukrin gold/brown sugar
2 tbsp dessicated coconut
Pinch of salt

Oil for frying: I used coconut, but sunflower or any other more neutral oil will work just fine!

Toppings such as:
Yogurt, vanilla extract, dessicated coconut, maple syrup, melted butter, chocolate sauce, sliced mango or banana etc.

- Simply mix together the batter, whisking until slightly fluffy.

- Heat oil in pan and take half a ladle-ful of the batter and frying it covered for a minute or two before flipping and frying it uncovered on the other side for 30 seconds to a minute until golden.

- Serve warm with your favourite toppings and enjoy!

I mixed together three tablespoons of alpro yogurt, a bit of vanilla extract and drizzled it over, followed by more dessicated coconut!

Also, as I was having these, I was thinking of traditional Norwegian pancakes that are almost like crêpes and how they are "better" when I eat them with my hands. Then, with American pancakes, I prefer stacking them up and eating them with knife and fork. I started out with cutlery, but ended up just eating them with my hands. What is your preference?

Original source:
Den Lille Kokebokserie - Thai, p. 260

- Jules