Decadent Pad Thai

Decadent Easy Pad Thai

ImageWhatcha need:

1 pack rice noodles

2-3 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon water

1 small bouquet of broccoli roughly chopped

1 carrot shredded

7-8 leaves of napa cabbage thinly chopped (or 3-4 heads of bok-choy)

1 small can water chestnut

4-5 sprigs of green onions chopped

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon agave nectar

1 tablespoon peanut butter

1 handful of bean sprouts (you can use the canned ones too, about half can)

1 lime. Half for the sauce and half can be added as slice when serving.

toasted peanuts (optional)

Whatcha do:

In a medium size pot, bring water to boil. Drop the rice noodles in boiling water, turn the heat off and let the noodles stay for few minutes. Specific instructions can be found on each package of noodles.

In a well-heated wok, add garlic and 1 tablespoon of water. Cook for about 1 minute stirring constantly to prevent burning. When the garlic starts to release fragrance, drop the broccoli and the thick parts of the chopped napa cabbage and the shredded carrot . Cook for 5-6 minutes to soften up. Save the soft parts of the napa cabbage for decoration.

Add the green onions, water chestnut and stir. Save green ends of the onions for decoration. Mix in soy sauce, agave nectar, half lime and peanut butter stirring to cover all veggies with the sauce. It shouldn’t take more than 2 minutes. In the meanwhile, drain the rice noodles and rinse them then add then to the wok to warm up. Mix all veggies with the noodles and the sauce for another 1-2 minutes.

When serving, sprinkle the green ends of the green onions and the napa cabbage. If desired, add lime wedges for extra kick.


Roasted Eggplant Dip


Whatcha need:

1 large eggplant

2 tablepoons of slivered almonds (or chop them a bit if you have them whole)

¼ teaspoon mustard seeds

¼ teaspoon sesame seeds

1 small onion diced

1 small jalapeno seeded and diced

1 teaspoon ginger root, minced

1-2 cloves of garlic

juice from half lemon

salt to taste

Whatcha do:

First, preheat the oven to 400 F. Wash the eggplant and dry it. Then prick it with a fork all over (it needs to release air when roasting). Place it on a non-stick cookie sheet and roast it for 45 minutes or until it is tender. If you have a grill, put it on the grill. The smoke adds to flavor. I also roast several eggplants at the time since I have the oven hot already. I use to for my eggplant-lentil burger, Romanian eggplant spread or just freeze it for future use.

When the eggplant is cool, pel it and let it drain of any extra liquid. Mash it with a wooden or ceramic chopper (I prefer wood or ceramic  tools for eggplant to prevent oxidation).


In a small pan, heat the almonds, sesame seeds and mustard seeds. Fry until the sesame releases oil and the mustard seeds pop. The almonds are releasing the sweet fragrance so you know they are done.

Add onion, jalapeno and ginger and cook on medium for a few minutes. Transfer to a blender and pulse a few times.

Add the almond puree to the eggplant and season to taste.

Serve it on raw vegetables or your favorite crackers. Great on pita bread, flat bread or naan.

Peruvian Quinoa and Purple potatoes Salad

Peruvian Quinoa and Purple potatoes Salad



  • 12 ounces purple Peruvian potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces


  • 4 water
  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) frozen peas, thawed



Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan with enough cold water to cover the potatoes by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside to cool.

For the quinoa: In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, bring water, quinoa, and garlic to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Remove the garlic and discard. Using a fork, fluff the quinoa and place in a large serving bowl. Add the peas and the cooked potatoes.

For the dressing: In a food processor, combine the olives, oregano, oil, agave nectar, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Blend until chunky.

Pour the dressing over the quinoa and toss well until coated.

Cook’s Note: The potatoes can also be steamed in a steamer basket for 15 minutes until tender.

End of the Week Journal

I had a busy yet fabulous week. Monday, got my eyebrows done so that is an accomplishment thinking of it. Tuesday, I had the afternoon off so I got my raw Vegan Chef attitude and whisked some goodies, put them together and got a decadent Peanut Butter Fudge (recipe coming up this weekend) and a wonderful,crunchy Oat Squares with goji berries. See recipe here

Wednesday and Thursday were quit challenging since my clients were very much aware of their needs and wants in food but had almost empty pantries. Figured out gourmet meals despite their resistance to shop for food. Delighted! Both, them and me.

Friday, worked half day and came home to cook some more food for the weekend. My mom made her signature vegetable rice and cabbage soup. For some reason, I love cabbage soup but I forget to make it. My mom’s soup is awesome. Had 2 bowls of it….yup ! That good. to top it off, mom baked Sally’s (our neighbor) delish oatmeal cookies and a very nice looking cake rolled in chocolate syrup and coconut. i say “nice looking” because I didn’t taste it. Eggs.

Quinoa with Purple FingerlingsQuickly, I made a stir&fry for my son and then I dived into exploring 2 new recipes. First one is Peruvian inspired and it contains quinoa, of course, and purple fingerlings (or purple potatoes). The second recipe is Italian inspired and it is a very scrumptious tapenade with pine nuts and eggplant. Recipes for both coming up very soon.

Well, that’s my end of the week journal. I retire into reading, movies, relaxing and other pleasurable activities while enjoying a quiet evening.

Wonderful weekend to all !

Oat Squares – Raw Vegan

Oat Squares


2 1/2 cups rolled oats

1 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup goji berries

2/3 cup almond butter or any other nut butter

1/2 – 2/3 cup agave nectar (adjust based on how well things stick together)


Mix oats, sunflower seeds, raisins, and goji berries in a large bowl.

Whisk together nut butter and agave. Pour into oat mixture,
and mix well, till everything is sticky and combined. If it’s too dry, add a bit more agave.

Press mixture into a shallow baking dish that you’ve lined with foil or saran wrap. Cover with more foil/saran, press well into the baking dish, and refrigerate for 4 hours. Cut into bar shapes or squares or any shape you like, wrap, and keep refrigerated till ready to use. They ought to last two weeks at least.

You can also add cocoa or carob nibs.

Marinated Mushroom Salad

Marinated mushrooms Salad


To marinate mushrooms:

½ lb white button mushrooms or any of your choice

2 tablespoons tamari sauce

pinch of nutmeg

1 clove of garlic

juice from half lemon(pr depends how much juice it has. About 2 tablespoons)

Slice mushrooms and mix with the other ingredients and let it stay for  few hours or overnight.

When ready to eat, slice red pepper, green pepper, yellow pepper, red onion or scallions, spinach, walnut,radishes. Use your imagination to make it colorful and pretty.

Sprinkle with some olive (or your choice of)oil.

It will stay well in the fridge 1 day.

Now, if you don’t have time to wait on marinade or just don’t want to, go ahead and mix all ingredients of the marinade with the veggies and serve it like that. It is very good as well. I love the versatility of mushrooms and in general of eating raw.

Fruit Kabobs with Yummy-licious Banana Dip

Fruit Kabobs with Yummy-licious Banana Dip



Assorted fruit–green grapes, watermelon balls, cantaloupe balls and strawberry halves


Dip Ingredients

1 cup (8 ounces) plain soy (Almond or rice would work too) yogurt

1/2 medium ripe banana

4 teaspoons honey

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon




Thread fruit alternately onto skewers. In a blender, combine the remaining ingredients; cover and process until smooth. Serve with kabobs. 

Yield: 1-1/2 cups dip.

Sunny Broccoli Salad

SunnyImage Broccoli Salad

2 cups broccoli florets cuts small (bite size)

2 cups cauliflower florets cut small (bite size)

2 tablespoons raw (or toasted) sunflower seeds

few cherry or grape tomatoes sliced in half

Italian dressing (recipe below)

Toss all ingredients and if there is time until serving, store in the fridge to let flavors combine.

Italian dressing

1 c. olive oil

1/2 c. lemon juice

1 Tbs. honey

2 cloves of garlic

1 tsp oregano

2 tsp parsley

1 tsp basil

Pinch of salt

1) In a mixing bowl whisk olive oil, lemon juice, and honey together.

2) Press garlic in bowl and add the remainder of the ingredients.

3) Whisk until creamy.

4) Serve in a nice bowl over your favorite salad

Forbidden Rice Salad

I love salads but not just plain salads. I like the ones who dare me not to have more. I enjoy texture and exotic flavors. I think I just reached the highest peak of salads. THAI FORBIDDEN RICE SALAD… is so good it should be forbidden. The Emperor’s food of choice, exclusively made just for royalty. Thought you may want to know that Forbidden Rice not only looks and tastes great but has very high nutritional value as well; in Chinese medicine they say it is a blood tonifier, aids in the circulation of the blood . It invigorates the spleen and brightens the eyes. Black foods are considered kidney tonics.


1 cup black rice

2 cups water

2 tablespoons tamari(soy sauce)

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

½ lime juiced

½ teaspoon chili paste (optional)

1 cup roasted cashews(not salted)

½ red bell pepper finely chopped

½ yellow bell pepper finely chopped

6 green onions or scallions thinly sliced


Put the rice, 2 cups water, and a pinch of salt in a pan.  Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce the heat, and simmer gently until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the tamari, sesame oil, lime juice, and sambal oelek or chili paste together in a salad bowl.

Add the cashews, red and yellow bell peppers, and green onions.

When the rice is ready, add it to the mixture and toss to coat everything well.

Add salt, pepper to taste.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

If you can’t get Thai black rice, try wild rice, or wild rice mixed with long grain rice, instead, and cook according to package directions.

Raw Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

In my experiments with raw food, I came up with this recipe of stuffed cabbage, one of the traditional foods from Romania. This recipe is easy to make, budget friendly and tasty. Word of caution to all of those who would expect the taste of “sarmale”, it is not. It looks like sarmale, some of the ingredients are the same but it doesn’t taste like it and the texture is different. Yet tastes delicious.


1 cup buckwheat soaked in water overnight

1 cup nuts soaked in water overnight

1 cup carrots finely shredded

1 medium onion finely chopped

10-11 leaves of sauerkraut sliced in half

1 cup tomatoes diced

salt, pepper to taste

1 tsp nutmeg

3-4 tbsps cold pressed olive oil

Soak the cabbage leaves in water for half hour to take away dome of the saltiness.

When you are ready to roll the cabbage, drain the water form the buckwheat and nuts and rinse well.  Mix with the shredded carrots, diced onion, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

In the prepared leaves, start to spoon about one spoon of the mix and roll.  I’ve got 24 rolls from my leaves.

From the leftover leaves and the tomatoes make a salad, sprinkle it with the oil and serve with the cabbage rolls. It can be saved in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Vegan Coconut Snowballs


8 oz vegetable spread

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp coconut flavor

1/2 cup coconut milk powder

1/2 confectioner’s sugar

1 cup toasted coconut (I use shredded)

2 1/2 cups unbleached flour

For coating use 1  cup confectioner’s sugar and 1 cup coconut milk powder


Beat vegetable spread and salt until very fluffy. Mix in confectioner’s sugar, coconut milk powder and coconut flavor. In small amounts, Add flour and toasted coconut. Mix well and form dough into 1″ balls using a teaspoon scoop (melon?). Place balls on ungreased baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes at 350F. Let cool for 3 minutes. Roll warm cookies in coating and let cool completely. Re-roll in coating if needed. Then, roll in shredded coconut to cover evenly.

These cookies can be freeze or saved in a cool place in sealed containers for up to a month.

Vegan Strawberry Cookies

Yields 60-65


1/4 cup vegan spread

8 oz chopped dates

1/4 cup flaked coconut(i used not sweetened)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp egg replacer (mix with 1 tbsp water)

1/8 tsp salt

1/4 chopped walnuts

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cup rice crispies



Melt vegan buttery spread, do not burn it. Add dates, coconut flakes, sugar, egg replacer and dash of salt.

Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly, stirring often.

Remove from heat and stir in walnuts, vanilla and rice crispies. Let it cool for 10 minutes.

Take about 1 teaspoon of the mixture and shape it like a strawberry with your fingers.

Roll each cookie in red sugar crystals and let it dry on wax paper. Trim with green frosting to make leaves.

Can be stored up to 1 month  in tins with wax papers separating the layers.

Vegan Thumbprint Cookies

Vegan Thumbprint cookies

Yields 40-45 cookies


2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup ground almonds

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup canola oil

1/3 cup orange juice

1/3 cup agave nectar

1 ½ teaspoons almond extract

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

raspberry preserve, pineapple preserve, apple mint jell for filling



Preheat oven to 350.

Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine liquid ingredients and mix well.

Add wet ingredients to dry and mix well.

Scoop dough and form into 1” balls.

Roll into finely ground walnuts or almonds.

Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. With the end of a wooden spoon, make indentations in the middle of each ball, making sure not to pierce it through.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown.

Cool on a rack and fill each “thumbprint” with the preserve of your choice.



Barley Soup

Barley soup

Yields about 1 ½ gallon of soup


1 small cabbage

1 cup barley soaked overnight

2 carrots sliced

1 medium onion diced

1 red pepper1 green pepper diced

5-6 tomatoes peeled and diced (or use 1 can of diced tomatoes) optional

salt, pepper to taste

In a hot pot, add some oil of your choice (I used canola since olive oil is loosing its properties when cooked. If you like, you can add some olive oil to the soup after it is finished as it provides flavor and is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids.)

Add the vegetables and sautee for 10-15 minutes being careful not to overcook them.

Add barley including the water it was soaking in. add water or vegetable stock to cover the vegetables. Simmer for 30-35 minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK as the veggies will be mush !

“Raw or not so raw” Snack Bars

So, today, I was experimenting with food. And this is what I got.

Raw or not so raw” snack bars. Inspired by Tabita.


2 tablespoons sesame seeds

4 tablespoons buckwheat

4 tablespoons quinoa seeds

8 dates (choose Mejdol. They are more moist)

8 dried figs chopped

1/2 cup raisins (doesn’t matter what color. i chose black)

1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey

Grind the seeds to a fine texture but don’t make it flour. Mix all ingredients in a processor until the mix is sticky. Remove and with your hands, make whatever shape you like, I chose bars. Roll the bars in sesame seeds.

Up to this point everything is raw and these bars are very good raw if you keep them in the refrigerator to harden a little bit.

Here comes the not so raw. If you prefer, toast the sesame seeds before rolling the bars. Then, turn your oven to 350 F and bake the bars for about 30 minutes. Or if you have a dehidrator (I don’t ) pop it in there for overnight.

Either way, the result is delicious and i bet nutritious too.

Mango & Avocado Wraps with Spicy Mango Sauce (Raw)

Mango and Avocado Wraps with Spicy Mango sauce

1 mango, peeled and cut into julienne strips

1 avocado, peeled and cut into julienne strips

1 cucumber, peeled and cut into julienne strips

1 bunch cilantro sprigs

1 tablespoon green onion, very thinly sliced


4 large Romaine lettuce leaves


Spicy Mango Sauce (recipe below)


Equally divide mango, avocado, cucumber, cilantro and green onion into the four lettuce leaves.

Drizzle spicy Mango Sauce and serve.


Spicy Mango sauce

1 cup mango diced

1 cup cucumber diced

1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated

1 tablespoon lime juice

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

¼ salt of your choice


combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Adjust flavors to your personal taste. It can be stored in a closed jar up to 3 days in the refrigerator.


Dumplings with Plum -Galuste cu Prune – Szilas Gomboc

Dumplings with Plum – Galuste cu prune –Szilvas gomboc


This recipe is adapted by a recipe by “Bucataresele vesele”. Thank you, girls !


1 cup water

4 tablespoons vegetable buttery spread (I used Earth Balance)

1 tablespoon egg replacer combined with 1 table spoon of water

1 ½ cup all purpose flour or flour of your choice

½ teaspoon salt

4 fresh plums (or even better from compote).

1 cup bread crumbs


Boil the water with salt and when it bubbles add the buttery spread. When it starts to boil again, add the flour gradually until the composition is smooth. Let it cool aside. When it’s still warm, add the egg replacer mixed with a tablespoon of water and work the batter until its well blended.

Roll it on a wood board in a long shape and divide it in 8 equal parts. Then spread each part in between the palms until it is flat. Place the plum in the middle and fold the dough around it to form a ball. Drop it in boiling water with a dash of salt and let it boil until it floats atop. Scoop the balls out and roll them in breadcrumbs that were previously toasted lightly with few drops of oil or a teaspoon of buttery spread.

Serve with powdered sugar and cinnamon, whipped cream or sour cream mixed with sugar. Or make your own desired topping.

Raw Strawberry Cake

I made this cake for my birthday and it was a hit. This recipe is courtesy of Angi Constantinescu. I adapted it to my own taste replacing oranges with strawberries. Thank you, Angi.

Ingredients crust

1 cup mixed nuts and seeds(sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews) soaked but not necessarily

2 tablespoons carob powder

1/2 cup raisins




Ingredients creme

3 cups chopped strawberries

6 tablespoons psyllium husks

2 tablespoons agave nectar ot honey


Ingredients crust

1 tablespoon carob powder

1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey


Mix the crust ingredients in a food processor until smooth then press evenly into a detachable ring tray. Mix the creme ingredients until smooth and silky/fluffy and pour on top of the crust. Pour the glaze and pop in the freezer for couple of hours. When ready to serve, ornate as desired. You can use sliced strawberries, mint leaves, kiwi slices.

Curried Sweet Potato with spinach -Raw Vegan


1 large sweet potato (or garnet yam)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon of curry powder

juice form one lemon

handful od spinach leaves thinly sliced

shred the yam in a food processor or on a mandoline. Place the shredded sweet potato in a bowl, add all listed ingredients except of the spinach. Gently squeese the ingredients together with your hand until the seasoning are mixed well. Add the spinach and ENJOY !!!

Beet and zucchini Pasta Salad-Raw Vegan


1 golden beet, peeled and sliced into angel hair pasta (or similar. Use a spiral slicer or just a mandoline)

1 zucchini, peeled and sliced into angel hair pasta (same as above)

1/2 grape tomatoes

1/2 cup cucumber, peeled and cubed

1/4 orange pepper, diced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon fresh basil cut into ribbons

1/4 taspoon minced garlic

pinch of salt to taste


Using a spiral slicer or a mandoline, slice the beet and the zucchini into thin ribbons (angel hair). Set it on a plate. Place the tomatoes, cucumber, orange pepper. Add the basil ribbons .

Ina small bowl, whisk the olive, lemon juice, minced garlic and salt then drizzle over the salad.

Raw Vegan Tangerine and Fennel Salad

5-6 tangerines, peeled, seeds removed (I bought seedless ones)

1 bulb of fennel thinly sliced

1 shallot finely chopped

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)

1-2 tablespoons olive oil (preferably extra virgin)

salt and pepper to taste


Put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until well coated. Toss gently and serve.

Raw Sunflower Seed and Bell Pepper Pate (spicy)

This dish will be very welcome as a snack or an appetizer. Easy to prepare, delight to eat. Budget friendly. The recipe yields for 2 cups of prepared pate.


1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 cups of raw (not roasted or salted) sunflower seeds (soaking optional)

Place the red bell pepper, garlic, lemon juice, soy sauce and sunflower seeds in the food processor and process until reaches a smooth consistency. Add few drops of water if too dry or not smooth enough. For a spicy kick, add a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Serve as a dip with celery sticks, spread on a veggie wrap or on a cracker.

Vegan Peach Crisp


  • 6 – 8 cups of peeled and sliced peaches (8-10 peaches)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Crumble Topping:
  • 1 1/4 cup unbl. wh. flour (use 1/2 wh. wheat or spelt flour if you like)
  • 1 1/4 cup quick oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup chilled Earth Balance or other veggie spread
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Instead of blanching the peaches, i decided to just peel them and slice them, sprinkle with brown sugar.
  3. Cut the peaches in half and remove the stones
  4. Slice peach halves evenly into 1/2 inch wedges
  5. Mix peaches and sugar together and spread evenly in cake pan
  7. Add the cold veggie spread to the flour
  8. Use a pastry blender to cut into small pieces blending with the flour
  9. Add the oats, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon
  10. Using your hands, rub all topping ingredients together until the mixture is crumbly
  11. Spread the topping evenly over the peaches. Don’t pack it down, just let it be uneven. Gaps are okay
  12. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until the topping is browned

Cool on a rack for 1/2 hour before serving

Raw Vegan Blueberries Ice cream

Blueberries are a superfruit. They are extremely high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties which combat oxidative stress and inflammation that many experts believe are involved in all the major killer diseases as well as age-related conditions like arthritis and memory loss. In fact, blueberries are considered the ultimate memory food. Bananas contain potassium and fiber. Avocados are high in good heart-healthy fats, and lutein, an antioxidant that’s great for your eyes and skin.

All tremendously healthy foods to eat. Blend them together and you’ve got one of the most delicious and satisfying desserts ever. Well I think so anyway.



2 cups frozen blueberries

1 frozen banana

1/2 avocado

juice of 1 lemon

1 tbsp honey
dash Himalayan sea salt




Add honey, lemon juice, flesh of the avocado and dash of salt to blender. Blend well until creamy, add a bit of water as needed to keep it blending. If you add the honey after the frozen fruit it will harden and be harder to blend in.

Add remaining ingredients and blend well until creamy. Add water, a little at a time, as needed to keep the mixture blending and get the consistency you like.

Serves 2. I made it double.

Raw Mediterranean Garbanzo Salad

This is a quick and easy meal that can easily go as a main course salad and it is another example of how to include healthy, protein-packed beans in a warm-weather menu. This recipe is for two and just had it for lunch with my mom.

As for the garbanzo part, you can do two things. Either soak the beans overnight until they start to sprout and when ready to use it, pour over them hot water and then chill them with cold water. This will eliminate the bitterness of the sprout.Or you can use garbanzo beans from a can, as I did in this case.



1 yellow squash (or zucchini) diced

1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained (or 1 cup garbanzo beans sprouted)

a handful of parsley

a head of iceberg lettuce (or any other type of lettuce but i prefer iceberg since it is soft)

salt and pepper to taste

italian vinaigrette ( 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp mustard, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar or lemon)


Toss all ingredients , except lettuce, in a large bowl.  Arrange lettuce on a plate and top with the bean mixture.


p.s. You can also add a diced  tomato and few black Kalamata olives.

Trip to South Haven, MI. August 14, 2011

South Haven


Today, we had a wonderful time driving to South Haven, MI. My dad’s friend, Bill, invited us to go pick peaches and blueberries. First stop was at his new vacation house and I posted some photos of the gorgeous interior and the serenic view surrounding. We went to pick peaches at an orchard close by b ut we skipped the blueberries since we got them already in a box. Frank picked them for us. At the orchard, we ate peaches, I had 5, Lior had 4. It was a lot of fun and for Lior was a first experience. Mom and dad remembered the childhood times and I cannot wait until mom will do peach preserves and jam.

We stopped to few fruit markets  on the way to buy tomatoes, grape tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, corn, apples and yellow string beans. I picked some nice organic strawberry marmalade and raspberry jam. Lior got some peach hot sauce.

Trying to find a place to have lunch (or early dinner), dad remembered of a place where he ate before. Finding the place, we went to the back yard and ordered. The staff was very friendly and I had a feeling they have great food. We ordered as follows: for appetizers, fried pickles and jalapeno poppers with a  raspberry vinaigrette salad.Pizza baked in a stone oven outside was prepared for us. Dad ordered broasted chicken , potatoes and coleslaw. Lior ordered jumbo wings (and they were huge) dipped in original house hot sauce. Mom and I shared broasted potatoes with green onions, willy chips and a salad.  While waiting for the food that was prepared fresh, we played bags. Of course, team Mom & Dad won. The owner, Pat, the Maui Gipsy as they call her, came to talk to us and we couldn’t stop complementing her on the food. Lior got a jar of her special sauce to bring home. To surprise us, she brought us homemade clairs filled with her original homemade blueberry icecream. It was really delicious, the flavor was not too sweet yet delicate, the color was so appealing I couldn’t stop looking at it.  I have to be honest, I’ve never had such good icecream.  Everything was so pleasant that I am considering go back there for my birthday on labor Day weekend.

The restaurant is located at 10336 Blue Star Hwy in South Haven, MI (JUST 5 MINUTES FROM downtown). Their menu, typical American,  is a large variety of burgers, sandwiches, salads, the list of appetizers is very appealing and most important, the owners are eager to accommodate special diets such as Vegan.

Being stuffed with such good food (and kinda greasy, but we considered some indulgence cannot hurt once in a while), we decided to go to downtown south Haven and walk the promenade. The weather was beautiful but windy. The waves on the lake were high and we saw many kite surfers. It was fun to watch them and I couldn’t stop admiring the force they needed to maneuver the kite. I took as hort film of one of the guys that was actually “posing” for us. He was good, oh well, until he lost his board at one point. That movie, after light editing, will be posted on youtube shorlty. We took a bunch of photos, admired the beautiful homes around the shore and the marina, the boats. Then, took a short walk by the little boutiques filled with candies, fudge, icecream and other goodies but we were too stuffed to eat. Just look. Lots of tourists, street performers, sunset, cute little puppies….it was a pleasant way to end the evening.

The drive back home was 2 hours, no traffic. We had a beautiful sunset and later on clear skies with stars. Fromt eh highway, we could see the fireworks at US Cellular filed. I can say that it was a beautiful and exciting day, driving back home with a trunk filled with fresh, organic vegetables and fruits, great memories and last, bellies full with great food.

Thank you Dad for driving us, thank you Mom and Lior for the awesome company.

Thank you God for this special day.

Raw Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Raw Stuffed Cabbage Rolls


In my experiments with raw food, I came up with this recipe of stuffed cabbage, one of the traditional foods from Romania. This recipe is easy to make, budget friendly and tasty. Word of caution to all of those who would expect the taste of “sarmale”, it is not. It looks like sarmale, some of the ingredients are the same but it doesn’t taste like it and the texture is different. Yet tastes delicious.





1 cup buckwheat soaked in water overnight

1 cup nuts soaked in water overnight

1 cup carrots finely shredded

1 medium onion finely chopped

10-11 leaves of sauerkraut sliced in half

1 cup tomatoes diced

salt, pepper to taste

1 tsp nutmeg

3-4 tbsps cold pressed olive oil


Soak the cabbage leaves in water for half hour to take away dome of the saltiness.

When you are ready to roll the cabbage, drain the water form the buckwheat and nuts and rinse well.  Mix with the shredded carrots, diced onion, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

In the prepared leaves, start to spoon about one spoon of the mix and roll.  I’ve got 24 rolls from my leaves.

From the leftover leaves and the tomatoes make a salad, sprinkle it with the oil and serve with the cabbage rolls. It can be saved in the fridge for 2-3 days.



Raw tagliatelle with Cocktail Tomatoes and Basil



1 zucchinni

1 clove garlic

1 spoon olive oil

5-6 cocktail tomatoes

1 spoon rosemary (can be dry or fresh)

salt to taste


Peel the zucchini and with the peeler continue to slowly peel long strings  until you reach the seeds. This is how you make tagliatelle. I don’t have a spirooli yet but I crave raw pasta, so I found a way to enjoy it. I do angel hair on a mandolin but it’s not the same. I normally don’t like angel hair pasta.

For the sauce, I blended the tomatoes, garlic and rosemary and when the consistency was pretty smooth I added salt and mixed it with the pasta. In mine I added a teaspoon of hot gardiniera for a spicy kick.


Enjoy !

15 days of juice cleansing – First three days.

For a while now, I have been contemplating on starting a juice cleansing “diet”. REading about the many benefits and recently inspired by “Fat, sick and nearly dead” Joe Cross, I have decided to enter a new world of cleansing my body from the inside out. So here I am, at the end of day 3.

First day was hard to describe. It wasn’t hard yet it wasn’t easy either. I was doing fine with my hunger or cravings until the evening. As my job requires, I cook all day long. And enjoying all the beautiful flavors and smells, it wasn’t very easy for me. Armed with 2 liters of green juice and  1 liter of carrot-apple juice, I started my first day.

Second day was somewhat better  until my dad ravished my taste buds and all senses by inviting the whole family to “Taboun”, my favorite Israeli restaurant. Lucky me, it was closed due to observance of fasting days before Tish b’Av.

Third day. I woke up energized and ready to attack my green juice, I was an andrenaline ball all day long. No hunger feeling and I have noticed that I drink more water than usual, especially after my “meal” juice. Yup, I am thirsty. Who would think I can be thirsty when living on liquid only?

I will keep you posted during these 15 days and let you know how it goes.

Below, I post some of the recipes I will be using.

Juice # 1

6 leaves of kale

1 cucumber

4 celery stalks

2 green apples

1/2 lemon

1 piece of ginger (thumb size)

Gives you 12 -16 oz of juice.

Juice # 2

handful of spinach

3 stalks of kale

2 golden delicious apples

small handful of parsley

half lemon

1 cucumber


Juice # 3

1 pear

1/2 green apple

handful of spinach

handful of parsley

2 celery stalks

1/2 cucumber

ginger (thumb size)

slice of papaya

juice # 4 (very good to use it for better digestion )

1/2 cucumber

1 green apple

1 stalk fennel with leaves

2 sprigs of mint

1/2 inch piece of ginger

Juice # 5

1/4 head green cabbage

3 stalks celery

1 cucuber

handful of spinach

2 apples of your choice

Of course, all quantities can be adjusted to your personal taste.


Carrot-Apple juice

For this one, I use 6 big carrots (previously peeled and let in water overnight) and 4 green apples. It gives me aprox 1 liter of juice.

Mango Jicama Chopped Salad

Mango Jicama Chopped Salad
For dressing:
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup olive oil 

2 cups chopped peeled jícama (about 1 pound)
2 mangoes, pitted, peeled, and coarsely chopped
1/2 pound Napa cabbage, sliced crosswise (about 3 cups)
1 head romaine (1 1/2 pounds)
1/2 seedless cucumber, cut into 2- by 1/4-inch sticks

1 cup toasted salted pumpkin seeds (or sunflower seeds)


Make dressing:
Whisk together juice, honey, vinegar, and garlic. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Make salad:
Toss together jícama, mangoes, cabbage, romaine, and cucumber with dressing to taste. Serve salad sprinkled with pumpkin seeds.

Yeastless Pizza Dough – Vegan

I put together this recipe one evening when I had a craving for pizza but realized I had no yeast and no time to let it rise. So I tried this.



2 cups of flour (add a bit more water if you use wheat)

1 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

2/3 cup water

1/4 cup olive oil

optional, few sprinkles of rosemary



Preheat oven to 400F.

Combine all ingredients. Knead by hand until it becomes a dough and doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl.

Spread it to a lightly greased pizza pan (I use few drops of olive oil).

For topping, I use chopped tomatoes, fresh or from can (drain the liquid), onion slices, peppers (of any color). I sprinkle it with a dash of salt, oregano, basil , vegan cheese and off to the oven it goes for 30 minutes.

And voila !

Bon apetite !


Raw Vegan Carob balls

1 cup raisins
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1/4 cup raw carob powder
1 teaspoon mesquite powder (optional)
1/8 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt

Recipe Tips:
I was not able not taste the walnuts as the other ingredients were so flavorful. The original recipe uses 3/4 cup, but if you like walnuts there’s no harm throwing some more in there. You could also try the recipe with any other nut that you like. You may prefer to use cacao powder instead of carob power. I’m sure the recipe would work just as well with this substitution.

Store the balls in the fridge or freezer. If you store them in the freezer then you will need to thaw them for a few minutes before you eat them. I placed half in the fridge and half in the freezer. The freezer ones were firmer, but it wasn’t a huge difference to the ones that had been in the fridge. I did like the coolness of the ones from the freezer though. Supposedly they last for weeks in the fridge or freezer, but I couldn’t tell you for sure since they disappeared in my home within 24 hours icon_smile.gif

Vegan Indian Tofu Rice Pilaf








To make this Indian tofu rice pilaf recipe vegan, I’ve substituted tofu for panir and oil for ghee.





1 1/4 c long grain brown or white bhasmati rice

1 Tbsp cooking oil

1 lb firm tofu, drained

2 Tbsp Braggs liquid aminos or soy sauce

1 stalk celery, chopped small

1 small zucchini, cubed

1/2 red or green pepper, diced

1 or 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped or 1/2 c tomatoe puree

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp black mustard seed

1 tsp dried basil leaves

1/2 tsp dried marjoram leaves

1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves

1 – 2 Tbsp minced jalapeno pepper, halved and seeded, or 1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne

1 – 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced, or 1/2 – 1 tsp dried

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 bay leaf

1/2 cinnamon stick

4 green cardamom pods

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 c cashew pieces, toasted in a dry pan or with a little oil

2 1/4 c. water

1/4 c. minced cilantro or parsley




If using brown bhasmati rice, soak 4 – 6 hours, or 1 hour in boiling water

Drain (your plants will love the soaking water), rinse 3 times, set aside

If using white bhasmati rice, rinse and drain until the water is clear

Drain and cut tofu into smallish cubes or slices

Marinate in Braggs or soy sauce 15 min – 1 hr

Heat 1 Tbsp oil or ghee in a non stick frypan, and lightly brown tofu pieces on 2 sides and set aside (leave this until last for slow cooker or crockpot cooking)

Prep veggies

Sauté* veggies, (including jalapeno & fresh ginger if you’re using) in oil 5- 10 minutes

Add remaining spices and herbs, except cilantro, and sauté another two minutes

Add rinsed, drained rice, sauté another 2 minutes

Add salt, water & tomato puree if using

Slow Cooker or Crockpot: Place all in preheated crockpot, cook on low for 1 hour, or 2 hours for brown rice. For the slow cooker, it’s better to marinate the tofu ahead, then fry just before before adding to the cooked rice and veg

Stove Top: Bring to a boil, cover & simmer 30 min for brown rice, 10 – 15 min for white

Remove the bay leaf and cardamom pods, which will be floating on top

Gently stir in the tofu, cashews and cilantro or parsley, and cook for 5 – 10 more minutes

*’Sauté’ means fry on med-high heat, stirring constantly. It’s different from stir fry, which uses more heat, and is the end step in cooking. Usually after sautéing, the contents are subjected to another step, like steaming or adding to a soup or stew.



Although white rice is faster cooking and lighter, the brown rice adds taste, texture and substance that is truly satisfying.



I reduced the fat content and cooking time, varied the vegetables, and added cashews. This dish is lovely served with a green salad. The original Indian vegetarian version, with zucchini, ghee and panir, is also delicious.



Nutrition Info for 1 Serving, 141g: 238 calories, 35g carbohydrate, 9g fat, 350mg sodium, 3g dietary fiber, 6g protein, Estimated glycemic load: 23 This food is very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Vitamin C, and a very good source of Vitamin K and Manganese.



Serves 4 – 6: Either white or brown long grain bhasmati rice works well. For more heat use the larger amount of jalapeno, ginger and cayenne.



Adapted from Lord Krishna’s Cuisine – The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking, by Yamuna Devi




Raw Vegan Salad with mayo – by Ligia Pop

Raw Vegan Salad with mayo – Credits to Ligia Pop








1 glass of water

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 cup macadamai nuts, pre-soaked

2 garlic cloves

1/2 cup sunflower seeds, pre-soaked

sea salt to taste

chopped parsley to taste

2 tbsp buckwheat, pre-soaked

1 stalk of celery

1/2 white cabbage

1 carrot

1/2 turnip

1/2 red beet


for mayo:

add macadamia nuts, half of sunflowers seeds, buckwheat, lemon juice, garlic, sea salt and water. all blend well, until smooth. sET ASIDE.

in a food processor,  Shred cabbage, red beet, carrot, turnip and celery stalk and the rest of the sunflower seeds.

Mix with mayo and plate as you wish.


Raw Vegan Pecan Pie

Raw Vegan Pecan Pie Squares

An energy-filled and nutrient-loaded alternative to traditional pecan pie


If you loved pecan pie (before going “raw,” of course), I’m certain you’ll think these are out-of-this-world delicious! They’re quick and easy to make, and will stay yummy in the fridge for up to one week. Raw Vegan Pecan Pie Squares make a wonderful mid-morning or late-afternoon snack, or a lovely dessert after any meal! We eat these throughout the day at my house.



2 cups pecans, made into a smooth “pecan butter” (your food processor can do this)

30 dates, pitted (I recommend medjool)

1 1/2 cup shredded, dried coconut

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup pecans, chopped


In food processor, process dates until smooth (or as close to smooth as you can get). Add the “pecan butter,” coconut, salt, and cinnamon. Process until everything is well mixed. Remove from food processor and place the mixture in a medium-sized bowl or onto the counter, then sort of “knead” in the chopped pecans until they’re well distributed. Press this sticky, pecanie-datey, bit of yumminess into a 9×9 or 8×8 inch glass pan. Store covered in the fridge. Depending on the size you slice these bars, I’d say this makes 16-36 bars. Enjoy, and thanks for making such nutritious food for yourself–Raw and Vegan is so much better for you and the planet!




Vegan Carrot cake with soy cream cheese frosting

This recipe relies on unsweetened applesauce and almond milk to provide the telltale moist texture of classic carrot cake.


Carrot Cake
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3 tablespoons egg replacer
2 cups light brown sugar
1 cup safflower oil
1 cup almond milk
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 pound carrots, finely grated (about 3 cups)
1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
1 cup seedless raisins

3 tablespoons non-hydrogenated margarine, chilled and cut into pieces
1 box  soy cream cheese, cold
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease a cake pan with tall sides; set aside.

For the cake, put flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and egg replacer into a mixing bowl and whisk together to blend. Put sugar in a separate large mixing bowl and whisk in safflower oil, almond milk and applesauce. When fully combined, add almond milk mixture to flour mixture and mix just until smooth. Stir in carrots, walnuts and raisins, then pour into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the center springs back gently when pressed. Remove from oven and transfer to racks to let cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the frosting. Beat margarine in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add cream cheese in pieces and mix until thoroughly blended. Slowly add sugar and vanilla and mix until blended. Increase mixer speed slightly and continue mixing for 2 to 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Cover and set aside until ready to use. I use just a little on top for flavor. It counts too many calories and carbs for spread an entire layer.

Vegan creamy broccoli salad

This salad is so easy to make, but it is always such a crowd pleaser! Suitable for persons with allergies to dairy, wheat, gluten and peanuts.

Serves 4 to 6

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes


For the dressing:
1 12.3 ounce box silken extra firm tofu, drained
2 T. olive oil
2 T. stone ground mustard
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 T. sugar, plus more to taste
¼ t. salt, plus more to taste
For the salad:
4-5 cups chopped fresh broccoli florets
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2-4 clementines or tangerines, peeled and sectioned
1 cup raw cashews

1. In a blender, process the tofu with the olive oil until smooth. Add the mustard, lemon juice, sugar and salt, processing for 30 seconds to 1 minute longer, until creamy and well combined. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, toss together the broccoli florets, chopped celery, red onion, clementines and raw cashews until well mixed. Toss the salad with the dressing and refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

Monkey Bread – delight for kids and parents too….

SAMSUNG CSCIngredients

3 (12 ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough
1 cup turbinado cane sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup melted butter (can be substituted with vegetable oil)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9 or 10 inch tube/Bundt® pan.
Mix the turbinado cane sugar and cinnamon in a plastic bag. Cut biscuits into quarters. Shake 6 to 8 biscuit pieces in the sugar cinnamon mix. Arrange pieces in the bottom of the prepared pan. Continue until all biscuits are coated and placed in pan. If using nuts and raisins, arrange them in and among the biscuit pieces as you go along.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the brown sugar over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute. Pour over the biscuits.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 minutes. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Do not cut! The bread just pulls apart.

Amaranth- the little golden grain

The word amaranth means “everlasting” in Greek. Indeed, this tiny seed has endured the ages, as an important food source for ancient civilizations in South America and Mexico, to its current resurgence as a highly nutritious gluten-free grain.

Top 10 Reasons to Use Amaranth in Gluten-Free Recipes
Amaranth contains more protein than any other gluten-free grain- and more protein than wheat. One cup of raw amaranth contains 28.1 grams of protein. Oats are a close second with 26.3 grams of protein. In comparison, 1 cup of raw white rice contains 13.1 grams of protein.

Amaranth is an excellent source of lysine, an important amino acid (protein). Grains are notorious for low lysine content, which decreases the quality of their proteins. The high lysine content in amaranth sets it apart from other grains. Food scientists consider the protein content of amaranth of high “biological value”, similar in fact, to the proteins found in milk. This means that amaranth contains an excellent combination of essential amino acids and is well absorbed in the intestinal tract.

Another advantage of the protein content of amaranth is that the primary proteins in amaranth are “albumins” and “globulins”. In comparison, the major proteins in wheat are called “prolamins”, which are considered less soluble and less digestible than are albumins and globulin proteins. Bottom line- the amount, types and digestibility of proteins in amaranth make it an excellent plant source of high quality proteins.

Amaranth is second only to teff in calcium content. 1 cup of raw teff contains 347 milligrams of calicum, amaranth 298 milligrams. In comparison, 1 cup of white rice contains 52 milligrams.

Amaranth contains more magnesium than other gluten-free grains. 1 cup of raw amaranth contains 519 milligrams of magnesium, followed by buckwheat with 393 milligrams and sorghum with 365 milligrams. In comparison, an equal amount of white rice contains 46 milligrams of magnesium.

Amaranth contains more iron than other gluten-free grains. 1 cup of raw amaranth contains 15 milligrams of iron. Teff is a close second with 14.7 milligrams of iron. In comparison, white rice contains 1.5 milligrams of iron.

Amaranth contains more fiber than other gluten-free grains. 1 cup of raw amaranth contains 18 grams of fiber- buckwheat and millet contain 17 grams. In comparison, white rice contains 2.4 grams of fiber.

Amaranth is slightly lower in carbohydrate content compared to other gluten-free grains. 1 cup of raw amaranth contains 129 grams of carbohyrates, white rice 148 grams, brown rice and sorghum 143 grams and teff 141 grams of carbohyrdates. Oats contain 103 grams of carbohyrates, making them the lowest carb gluten free grain.

Amaranth is a good source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (as are most whole grains) and it contains vitamin E in similar amounts to olive oil.

When you add amaranth in amounts up to 25% of total flour used in gluten-free recipes you improve the nutritional value, the taste and texture of gluten free baked goods. Additionally, amaranth is an exceptional thickener for roux, white sauces, soups and stews.

If amaranth is such a nutritional powerhouse, why not use it exclusively in gluten-free baking?

Amaranth, by nature, absorbs water very easily. That’s what gives it great emulsifying properties. But if amaranth is used solely in gluten-free baking recipes, baked goods become too dense. Breads will not rise properly and pancakes and cookies become too heavy. The challenge and rewards of gluten-free cooking come from combining a variety of gluten free flours, starches and gums that work in unison to mimic the properties of gluten.

By adding amaranth to gluten-free flour blends, sauces, soups and stews you can significantly improve the nutritional quality of your gluten-free diet.

Chocolate Ganache Cake-No bake


Whatcha need:

14 oz  (3 packs) of tea busicuits

1 cut of toasted and chopped walnuts

For the chocolate syrup:

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable butter or coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

For the chocolate ganache:

1/2 cup coconut milk

4 oz dark chocolate chips

Whatcha do:

In a large bowl, break the biscuits into small pieces.

In a medium pan, toast the walnuts lightly. Then add them to the biscuits bowl.

Now, to the chocolate syrup. In medium sauce pan, away from heat, mix the sugar and cocoa powder. Stir until well combined. Add the water in droplets, while stirring.

When mixed well, put it on the stove and add the butter to melt over medium heat. Cook it for about 5 minutes.

Remove it from heat and let it cool for several minutes before adding it to the biscuits bowl.

With a spatula mix well and pour the composition into a spring form (9″) or a 9×13 rectangular form.

With the spatula press down to make it even and refrigerate while making the chocolate ganache.

In a small saucepan, heat the coconut milk to boil and then add the chocolate chips. Remove from heat and stir until all chips are melted.

Pour the ganache over the cake and return to refrigerate for couple of hours.

Now, your cake is ready to serve.

Mexican Hot chocolate Cookies

FullSizeRender-2Whatcha need:

For the cinnamon sugar:

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


For the dough:

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup maple syrup

3 tablespoons almond milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup grapeseed oil (or any oil with minimum flavor)

1 1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder (preferably unsweetened)

*optional: 1 envelope of Mexican Hot Chocolate mix (not Vegan)

1 teaspoon baking soda

dash of salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (can add more for an extra hint of heat)

Whatcha do:

Preheat oven at 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with foil.

Mix first 2 ingredients in a bowl and leave it aside.

In a mixing bowl, mix well the wet ingredients and the sugar. Add the dry ingredients to obtain a soft cookie dough.

Divide in balls of 1 inch and roll in the sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Place on the cookie sheet at about 2 inches intervals as the cookies will flatten when baking.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. They will feel soft at touch and crackled on top.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a cooling rack.

Eat and enjoy! Just not too many at once….lol

Journey -five months mark


On January 1st, 2015, I embarked in a journey of wellness, self love, meditation, exercise regimen and healthy eating. Wasn’t I eating healthy before? I have been plant based for years now, do not eat processed foods, boxed foods, just fresh goodness. However, with life on the rollercoaster, I have experienced weight gain, sluggish metabolism, chronic fatigue, slight depression, etc.

So, back to January 1st, where all New Year’s resolutions start and fail to last for too long. However, my resolution was not to loose weight (that was a bonus) but to train my brain to a lifestyle that will sustain health for the long haul.

I started my first week with a juice detox, then moved on to adding light salads, smoothies and protein shakes. I started to exercise at the gym but I hated it. So, on the sunny days, I walked outside. From 1 mile a day, I’ve got to 4 miles a day by Spring. By February, I was down 18 pounds. Feels great, right? So I pushed myself to walk faster and for a longer time. I cut my food portions in half and ended up using dessert plates for my main meal. Sounds funny? Trust me, it works. I kept on juicing and making mindful food choices. There is no secret that we eat more than we need, we eat when we are happy and when we are sad. We just love to eat. I am one of the people who love to cook and eat. After all, I am making a living outta cooking, right?

More on food. Do I feel like eating something less healthy, forbidden or not appropriate for a diet? Yes. Most of the time. How do I manage it? Trust me, I will not tell you I substitute cake for a stick of celery. It’s not working in the long haul. If I feel like snacking, I will drink a tall glass of water, wait 15 minutes and check with my stomach to see if it still wants a snack. Most of the time, it doesn’t. I drink about 1 gallon of water a day, and I mean, pure and simple water. If I want to eat pasta, I will eat it, just a very small portion. The craving is satisfied, the taste buds are happy and with everybody happy, I am happy too.

About exercise. I wasn’t raised to exercise and I have to admit I hate to exercise. Well, I started with what was easy to do. Walking. Everybody walks, right? To the car, to the store, from the couch to the bed, etc. I put my training shoes on and started to walk the streets of my neighborhood. Using MapmyWalk, I was able to measure the distance walked so each week, I went further and further. At the end of these 5 months, I walked about 145 miles and burned about 15,000 calories. I walked every day 4 miles and on weekends, anywhere between 6 to 8 miles.

Besides walking, I started to lift some weights at home, do push-ups (oh, boy, these are hard), plank holds, step ups, etc. From 10 minutes a day, I escalated to 30 minutes of weight exercise 3 times a week. On the other days, I do yoga and balance exercises. In any case, I walk every single day, seven days a week, and I exercise various muscle groups each day as well. It is not easy and it takes commitment.

I committed to myself that I will exercise every day and train my mind to love it. I actually, love it now. Do I have days where I just want to sit down and watch TV? Sure. I found a trick for this too but I will not spill all my beans at once. I have learned how to make my TV time efficient…..

I know that there are many out there giving their weight loss testimony. My personal journey has been a long one and it is on going as I grow into a better, beautiful, strong self. Weight loss is not a goal. It should be a bonus of a healthy lifestyle. Wanna give it a try? Let’s talk about it.

p.s. I will not post before and after photos as I do not feel that this is what empowers someone to loose weight. But I will sure walk you through a wild and fun journey of self discovery.

How to substitute traditional ingredients for plant-based ones

Most of us enjoy the flavors of “childhood” and we hold certain dishes dear to our hearts. It might bring back childhood memories, family dinners and other pleasant experiences. Some of these dishes might not fit your new healthy lifestyle. If you are new to plant-based cooking or you want to convert old recipes, I compiled a list of substitutes to make your cooking experience easier.

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 12.09.41 AM

Vegan PepperJack Cheese


Whatcha need:

½ cup almond milk (or soy milk, or if you’ve got neither, water should do it too)

½ cup cashews (preferably soaked for at least 4 hours)

2 tablespoons sesame seeds (or tahini)

¼ cup nutritional yeast

3 tablespoons lemon juice ( about 1 lemon)

1 teaspoon onion, diced (or powder onion)

1 clove garlic (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)

1 cup diced peppers (jalapeno, red bell pepper or any color you want)

1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (optional, for extra kick)

1 cup water

3 tablespoons agar powder (for those of you who are not strict, can use gelatin)


Whatcha do:

Combine all ingredients in a blender, except the water and agar powder (gelatin). Blend until creamy.

In a small saucepan, bring to boil the 1 cup of water and stir in the agar powder, whisking to prevent clumping. Reduce heat to low and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes, until it forms a gel. Make sure it is not too thick though.

With the blender on, add the agar gel and blend some more, about 30 seconds. Add the diced peppers and the pepper flakes and give it a 3 second stir to mix. We want to keep those chinks of pepper whole.

Prepare a mold (I used a bowl) by oiling the surface lightly and pour the cheese mix into it. Place it in the fridge for at least 1 hour to set. When ready, turn it upside down on the serving plate.

I do not know how long can be kept in the fridge yet, but trust me, it is so good, it will go faster than you think.

If the apron could talk:

It is the easiest vegan cheese and the best so far. No mess, no fuss, fool proof.

Pineapple Sweet & Sour Rice


Whatcha need:

1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and cubed

1 medium red onion, peeled and sliced into wedges

1 red bell pepper, wedged

1 tablespoon brown sugar (or can be substituted with honey)

1 teaspoon Toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon water

juice from 1 lime

1 tablespoon coconut flakes


For the rice:

1 cup rice of your choice

2 cups water

1 small white onion, diced


Whatcha do:

Mix the pineapple, red bell pepper and red onion wedges in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle with brown sugar, toasted sesame oil and transfer to a baking dish.

Roast for 30 minutes and then, broil on high for 2 minutes. The broil step is optional, unless you want to give it some nice browning.

In the meanwhile, sauté the onion and add the rice giving it a few stirs before you add the water. Cook the rice as usual.

When both dishes are cooked, plate the rice and top it with the pineapple roast. drizzle some lime juice and sprinkle the coconut flakes.

It can be served hot or at room temperature.

Enjoy !

Ethiopian Injera (flat bread)-gluten free

Yields: 8-9 flat breadsImage

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Rising time: 1 hour

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Whatcha Need:

1 cup Teff flour (can be substituted with brown rice flour)

1 ½ cup warm water

1 ½ teaspoon active(instant) yeast

½ teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon vinegar

½ teaspoon baking powder


In a mixing bowl, whisk together 1 cup of Teff with 1 cup warm (room temperature) water, sugar and yeast.

Cover with a tea towel and let it sit for 1 hour. The dough should get a foamy crust and rise a bit.

Add ½ cup water, salt, vinegar and mix well. Sprinkle the baking powder and whisk. The dough should bubble and become foamy. The texture would be similar to the pancake mix. If the mixture does not bubble when poured in hot oil, sprinkle more baking powder. If it is too thick, add more water and remix.

In a hot skillet, drizzle few drops of oil and pour about ½ cup of mixture. Cover with a lid and cook for 1 minute or until the idle of the bubbly pancake is cooked. Remove the lid and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the edges feel crisp and starts to pull away.