Walnut Bread

Nothing quite like homemade bread……

People frequently ask me – “really, do you make your own bread?”

– I would never have time for that, they say, but really, it doesn’t take that long to make delicious homemade bread. Once you have gotten into the routine, it’s the easiest thing on earth! Honestly! And fun! And rewarding!

Actually, mixing up the dough takes less than 5 min. And then the secret is to leave it to raise for at least 4 hours, the longer the better – I usually mix it in the evening before going to bed. Put it in the fridge or leave it on the counter with a wet cloth, to do it’s magic overnight.

In the morning I let it rise a second time, while the oven is heating and then I pop it in to bake, which it does while I’m in the shower.

Freshly baked bread in the morning is such a treat for everyone.

Just imagine waking up to the smell of homemade bread – a day starting like that, is bound to be a good one!

Not all bread now-a-days is honest as there are so many additives that go into store-bought bread today. Unless of course you get it from a good baker!

When you make your own bread you know what goes into it. 

Bread from the good baker

Bread from the good baker

 Walnut Bread

2 cups of water

1 teaspoon dry yeast

2 teaspoons of salt

2 tablespoons of raw sugar

3 tablespoons of olive oil

4 cups of organic unbleached flour

1 cup of chopped walnuts

1/2 cup of extra flour

Dissolve the yeast in the water, add the oil, the salt and the sugar, add the chopped walnuts and add the flour little by little while stirring.

Walnuts

Leave the dough to raise with a wet cloth overnight or at least for 4 hours.

Fold in a little extra flour and sprinkle some on a clean countertop. Place the dough on the flour and gently fold the the sides of the dough underneath – without kneading it.

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Allow the dough to raise on the table while you heat the oven to 450 F – place a cast iron pot with the lid in the oven for 1/2 hour to heat it.

Take the cast iron pot out and carefully place the dough in the very hot pot, put the lid back on – please don’t burn yourself! And place the pot back in the hot oven and bake for 30 min.

Take the lid of and bake for another 10 min

Take it out, and try to let it cool a little before cutting it, I know it’s difficult :-).

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Enjoy!

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Muhammara – Spicy Lebanese Pepper and Walnut dip with Pomegranate

Today is THE Day of THE amazing VVP – The Virtual Vegan Potluck!

Welcome!

168 bloggers gather around the virtual table, each bringing a delicious vegan dish.

You do not have to be vegan to enjoy it – believe me!

This is THE perfect place to be inspired and possibly even awe stricken by all the incredible delicious and creative dishes coming from the vegan kitchen!

VVP was originally created by Annie, the amazing woman behind the wonderful  blog anunrefinedvegan.

Thanks to all the wonderful people behind VVP – Somer, AnnieJason and Lidia for hosting the event. You guys rock!

This is how it works:

If you want to start from the very beginning you have to go to veganbloggersunite – Or you can go from here and simply scroll down and press the “go forward” or the “go back” buttons, and away you go.

And so the party begins! I hope you have fun!

My contribution this year is an appetizer, inspired by the Lebanese kitchen. It’s intense, spicy, a little hot with a hint of sweetness. It’s delicious and it tastes SO good as dip for veggies or on a cracker.

This is my version of the Lebanese dish Muhammara – originally it is made with the little Piquillo peppers, but I used red peppers to make a milder version.

red peppers ready for the grill

Red peppers ready for the grill

Muhammara 

Spicy Lebanese Pepper and Walnut dip with Pomegranate 

3 red peppers

1.5 cup of walnuts

2 slices of good bread

1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses

1 tablespoon of cumin

1 heaped tablespoon of chopped sun dried tomatoes

1-2 cloves of garlic

1/2 green chili (depending on how hot you like it)

1 tablespoon of paprika

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Freshly squeezed juice of one lemon

Sea salt – and freshly ground pepper

Grill the peppers on the BBQ or bake them in a hot oven till the skins are completely black. Let them cool a bit before removing the skins, the seeds and the core.

Put the walnuts and the bread in a food processor and pulse until finely processed.

Walnuts and bread

Walnuts and bread

Add the grilled peppers and the other ingredients,

Muhammara magic

Muhammara magic

the pomegranate molasses, the balsamic vinegar and the olive oil to the blender mix.

Pomegranate molasses and balsamic vinegar

Pomegranate molasses and balsamic vinegar

Process until it turns into a smooth paste.

Serve in a bowl with a sprinkle of fresh pomegranate seeds and a dash of olive oil.

Fresh pomegranate

Fresh pomegranate

Enjoy the Muhammara with homemade crackers

Served with crackers

Served with crackers

A delicious mouthful

A delicious mouthful

or serve the dip with fresh vegetables

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“I drink to the general joy o’ the table” – William Shakespeare Macbeth

Thank you for coming I loved having you here!

Please visit the other blogs by clicking the links below. Have fun!

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Zucchini Fettuccine – with fresh tomato sauce and caper berries

I love the feeling that I have after enjoying a raw food meal. A kick of energy from a meal packed with live nutrients – which leaves me wonderfully vibrant, satisfied and energized for hours!

The satisfaction that you get from a raw food meal is quite a different feeling than you get after eating a typical lunch. A typical meat-based meal will often leave you feeling tired and heavy afterwards – ready for a nap. But the last thing you think about after a raw food meal, is taking a nap 🙂

 Zucchini Fettuccine served w/ fresh tomato sauce and caper berries 

This dish is perfect on it’s own, but it fits wonderfully well with a piece of grilled salmon.

Yesterday, we had it for lunch, with slices of avocado and fresh crispy baby spinach.

Raw Food Fettuccine

Raw Food Fettuccine

 

It is simple and delicious, refreshing and so easy to make. All you need is:

1 Zucchini

4 Ripe tomatoes

1/2 red pepper

Italian parsley

1 clove of garlic

1/2 lemon

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Caper berries

1 avocado

A bunch of baby spinach

First you make the sauce – you chop the tomatoes, peel the garlic, cut the pepper in half and remove the seeds.

Put it in the blender, squeeze the 1/2 lemon, add sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Blend into a deliciously fresh tomato sauce.

Fresh tomato sauce

Fresh tomato sauce

You make the zucchini fettuccine by using a potato peeler and length wise cutting thin strips like this…

Zucchini fettuccine

Zucchini fettuccine

Serve it with leaves of crispy baby spinach some avocado, drizzled with plenty of fresh tomato sauce, leaves of Italian parsley and caper berries and a glass of fresh cool water

Cool fresh lemon water

Cool fresh lemon water

Fresh and delicious

Fresh and delicious

Almond Cake with Tangy Citrus and Raspberry

The weekend is just around the corner, but before I head out in the world, I just want to share this extremely delicious cake with you. It is guaranteed the worlds easiest cake to make and is incredibly moist with intense flavors.

My friend who is allergic to gluten made this for me a while ago and I have been craving another bite of it ever since! Luckily she gave me the recipe and permission to share it with you.

I remember my mom making an orange cake with orange glaze and zest on top when I was little which was absolutely divine, and I decided to enhance the flavors even more by adding this to the cake – sweet memories!

Almond Cake with citrus

Almond Cake


Almond Cake 

4-5 organic clementines, sweet lime, lemons or oranges – I used 3 Meyer lemons and 2 oranges

6 eggs

150 g raw sugar

250g of freshly ground almonds

1 large teaspoon of baking powder

1/2 vanilla pod

a pinch of salt

Oranges and Meyer Lemons

Oranges and Meyer lemons

Boil the fruit 1 -2 hours till they are completely soft. Let them cool, cut into quarters and remove the pips.

Finely grind the almonds in the blender. Add the citrus (including the skin), the sugar, the eggs, half the vanilla and scrape out the beans, a pinch of salt, baking powder  – blend it all till it’s smooth.  Pour into a greased spring form and bake in a 375F preheated oven for about 35 min till it feels firm in the center, cover with foil if you can tell it is getting too brown towards the end.

Ready for the orange glaze

Ready for the orange glaze

Orange glaze

1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange

70 g raw sugar

Freshly grated orange zest

In a small saucepan, cook the fresh juice and the sugar slowly till it reduces into an intense and flavorful glaze, add the freshly grated zest.

Pour over the cake and serve on its own or with a raspberry sauce.

–Last summer I went out and picked raspberries – the biggest and most beautiful raspberries I have ever seen and I filled my freezer with them–

The sauce is made with some frozen berries and some raw sugar, just gently simmered on the stove.

Enjoy

Enjoy

Gluten-free, butter-free and you would never even know!

Happy weekend!

Lime and Herb Infused Green Papaya Salad

A total craving for Green Papaya Salad lured me out into the cold and windy day, on the hunt for green papaya. I love my local China town – it’s always full of life, hectic, intense, full of colors, smells and hints of adventure. Then, the sun came out, and what more can you really ask for?

China Town


Fisgaard market

Red Door

Fan Tan Alley Victoria

China Town Victoria MarketMarketMarket

I found the freshest and most beautiful green papaya fruit, a deliciously sweet pineapple, fresh herbs, big juicy oranges, tangy lime fruit and dried cranberries. That’s when I knew I was fully ready to go home and create a delicious Green Papaya Salad.

Green Papaya Salad

Green Papaya

Green Papaya

Papaya in Julienne

Papaya in Julienne

Filets of Orange

Filets of Orange

Juicy Orange

Juicy Orange

Mint, Cilantro and Basil

Mint, Cilantro and Basil

Green Papaya Salad

1/2 green papaya

1/4 fresh sweet pineapple

1 big orange

1 bunch fresh cilantro

1 bunch fresh basil

1 bunch fresh mint

A handful of cranberries

Cut the papaya and the pineapple into julienne strips and cut the orange into fillets. Wash and finely chop the herbs, mix everything in a bowl. Add a handful of dried cranberries

Marinade

2 lime

3-4 sps of maple syrup or agave

1 -2 cloves of garlic

some freshly grated ginger

Squeeze the lime, add maple syrup, squeeze garlic and grate some fresh ginger – mix well.

Pour the marinade over the salad and enjoy!

Green Papaya Salad

Green Papaya Salad

Sweet potato coconut soup served with fresh Thai pesto

This soup is a flavourful adventure. An explosion of flavours in your mouth that will make your taste buds dance.

Creamy, intense and deeply satisfying.

I make this with either yams or sweet potatoes. Sometimes I add garlic fried prawns which suit the soup fantastically.

An old time favorite in our house especially on a cool winters day!

Sweet potato coconut soup

Sweet potato coconut soup

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Healthy Energy Truffles

This recipe is from a very dear and special friend of mine. She suffers from gluten allergy and therefore she is always looking for new and creative ways for eating healthy and gluten-free.

She gave me her recipe here for these “Healthy Energy Truffles” and I just love it. They are easy to make and can be put in the freezer and taken out to enjoy whenever and whereever you need a good healthy snack.

Perfect snack

Perfect snack

They are full of goodness – seeds, raisins, cranberries, honey and chocolate chips.

Energy Balls

Healthy Energy Truffles

1/2 cup  toasted sunflower seeds

1/2 cup  toasted pumpkin seeds

1 cup toasted sesame seeds

1 cup  quinoa flakes

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup raisins

1/2 cup of cocoa powder – or 100g dark good quality chocolate

1 cup dried cranberries

2 cups of peanut butter (1 jar @ 500g)

1/2 cup of honey

1 cup of toasted sesame or coconut seeds to roll the truffles in. I used toasted sesame seeds and a bit of pumpkin seeds.

Everything is mixed well together and made into balls the size of a golf ball and finished of by rolling them in toasted sesame/ pumpkin or coconut. Keep what you need in the fridge and freeze the rest.

Served with a nice cup of tea

Served with a nice cup of tea

Moroccan Vegan Burger with Spicy Homemade Harissa

One of the ways I like to keep healthy by is making some of my meals with plant-based foods.

In general I try to be 80% plant-based as I feel my body thrives and feels content that way. So much so I could never go back to my old “regular” diet. I smile when I see my children eating more and more vegetables too.

Hey they do as you do, not as you say 🙂

This way of eating keeps my cholesterol levels down, naturally. I maintain my ideal weight. I have tons of energy all thorough the day. And the Meniere’s disease I once suffered from, has gone!

Yesterdays plant- based invention was this:

Morrocan Vegan Burger with Homemade Spicy Harissa

Moroccan Vegan Burger

Moroccan Vegan Burger

 

Moroccan Vegan Burger with Spicy Homemade Harissa

3 medium sized yams – cooked until tender

2 cups of cooked quinoa

500 grams dark mushrooms

3 shallots

Olive oil

2 cloves of garlic

3 spoons of flaxseed meal

Sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

Seasoned flour

Spice mix

small 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Small 1/2 teaspoon cardamom

Small 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

Small 1/2 teaspoon Allspice

1/2 teaspoon Cumin

Finely chop the shallots, rinse and chop the mushrooms – put the mushrooms into a hot frying pan with olive oil and fry until they are until golden brown. Add the chopped shallots and continue frying until they are tender. Add sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

In the blender put the de-skinned baked yams, the cooked quinoa, the cooked mushrooms, the spice mix, the freshly squeezed garlic, the sea salt and the freshly ground pepper-blend. Put the “burger” mixture into a bowl and add 3 tablespoons of flaxseed meal. The mixture is quite soft so it can be a little tricky to work with – you can put the mixture in the fridge for a couple of hours before you make them into patties so they can firm up a bit. Then turn them in seasoned flour like this:

Turn lightly in flour before frying

Turn lightly in flour before frying

Gently fry the patties in olive oil until they are golden brown on both sides.

Serve on a good bun with homemade harissa sauce, slices of red onions and a handful of Arugula or mixed lettuce – (see recipe for homemade rolls here )

Homemade Spicy Harissa

Spicy Harissa Sauce

Spicy Harissa Sauce

I love this sauce on anything – the perfect dip for any vegetable! But also good with fish, chicken, lamb, – well, as I said, anything 🙂

2-3 red peppers

1-3 cloves of garlic depending on how fierce you want it

1/4 cup of olive oil

Red chilli – I use 1/2 , how hot do you like it?

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

Juice of one lemon

Cut the peppers in halfs and bake them in the oven with the skin up until they are tender and the skin is beginning to get dark, actually almost almost black. Leave them to cool and then take off the skin.

Place all the ingredients in the blender and blend into a smooth sauce.

A healthy spicy bite

A healthy spicy bite

Let them know it’s Christmas …………

I love traditions and Christmas is filled with them. Traditions bring coziness and hygge, comfort and joy.This year there was something missing and I couldn’t quite put a finger on it. Then one day I came in to the kitchen and my daughter had put cloves in to the oranges and the whole kitchen was filled with an intense smell of Christmas and tradition. The smell always reminds me of how my mom stuck cloves in the oranges, put red ribbon around them and hung them in the kitchen windows .

That lead to the idea of making hot wine (Gløgg) or mulled wine. Christmas in our house means a warm glass of Gløgg with marinated raisins and slivered almonds and a handful of pepper nuts or baked œbleskiver. Gløgg and peppernuts/œbleskiver are served  everywhere in Denmark and the smell of spices fills the air and adds to the feel of Christmas.

As I prepared the gløgg and the peppernuts, the smell of freshly baked cookies, cinnamon, cloves, orange and cardamom filled the air – a smell of hygge and old tradition filled the house. I took a deep breath and realized I felt that Christmas had finally and fully arrived 🙂

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I prepared a traditional gløgg and an non-alcoholic gløgg

Both equally flavorful and delicious.

Traditional gløgg

You need to make a flavorful intense essence first – preferably allow it to work its magic by making it hours before you need to use it so the spices come out in full bloom.

You need:

One cup of red wine

1/2-1 cup of brown sugar or raw sugar (depending on how sweet you like your drink)

2  cinnamon sticks

15-20 cloves

15 – 20 cardamom seeds

1 orange

Heat it up and put it aside to work.

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Now marinate the raisins

you need 3/4 cup of raisins

1 cup of port wine

Allow them to stand next to the essence to soak up the port wine and become soft.

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Now make the almonds – don’t buy the bagged slivered almonds – they tend to be dry and have lost their flavor.

1 cup of raw almonds – pour boiling water on them and allow them to stand for 10 min to soak. Drain them and take off the skin – which just pops off and make the almonds go flying around the kitchen easily.

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When you are ready to make the gløgg

add the rest of the bottle of red wine into a pot

along with one orange

pour the essence through a strainer and into the pot.

Add the raisins along with the port and the slivered almonds – and a dash of brandy. Heat it all up.

Serve in glasses with a spoon to scoop up the goodies.

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The non-alcoholic gløgg

You can make this delicious drink with apple juice, elderberry juice, or grape juice and cranberry juice – excellent if you don’t want an alcoholic drink and the kids will love it!

I used grape juice and cranberry juice

For the essence you need:

1 cup of grape juice if you are using apple or elderberry use this to make the essence too

one orange in slices

2 cinnamon sticks

15 cloves

15 cardamom seeds

1/2 -1 cup of raw sugar or brown sugar

Heat it all up and allow it to stand to let all the spices work their magic – at least a couple of hours

Now soak 3/4 cup of raisins in some freshly squeezed orange juice

Prepare 1 cup of almonds as above for the traditional gløgg

When you are ready to make the gløgg –  strain the essence into a pot and add 1 cup of grape juice and  2 cups of cranberry juice. Heat it up, add the raisins and the almonds – see if it needs more sugar.

Serve and enjoy!

Gløgg is always served with treats – traditionally with œbleskirver ( I thought this blog with a delicious recipe for œbleskiver  was pretty cool) ( I know my friend, Somer, at Vegdedout makes amazing vegan œbleskiver)

AND, I made peppernuts another Danish tradition. Little cookies that are eaten in large quantities throughout all of December – by the end of December you sweat you will never eat another peppernut in your life! But in by the end of November the following year you cannot wait for the first peppernuts to come out of the oven!

Peppernuts –

300 g of butter

300 g of raw sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoon of ginger

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of cardamom

1/2-3/4 teaspoon of white pepper – ( all depending on how strong you like them)

600g of flour

Mix it all together in a bowl- I use my fingers to make it into the perfect dough. (It takes a little while until that happens – just keep mixing it together with your fingers)

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Now roll them into little balls like this

peppernuts

Place them in a 360F hot oven and bake them for about 12-14 min

Another little treat I made – as filled dates. They are easy, delicious and healthy!

filled dates

I used Medjool dates  and filled them with a little piece of marzipan, topped them with a mix of 50 g of melted  70% dark chocolate and 1/2 cup almond butter.  So to assemble, place a half date, add a small piece of marzipan, a scoop of chocolate mix and place a whole almond on top. A perfect treat.

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Let them know it’s Christmas!

 

Cool Green Smoothie with Cinnamon and Cloves

Why not add a bit of Christmas flavor to the green smoothie?

Thinking of how to add a bit of Christmas flavour to your smoothies?  Here’s a simple idea, and it tastes truly amazing – creamy, sweet, cinnamonny and delicious!

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green smoothie

Cool Green Smoothie with Cinnamon and Cloves

What you’ll need for this….

Big handful of fresh kale

2 crisp apples

1 very ripe banana

4 -6 Medjool dates

2 small teaspoons of ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves

2 cups of filtered water

Ice cubes

Put it all in the blender and blend into a smooth cool and healthy drink – drink and enjoy!

If you leave it in the fridge for a couple of hours to allow the flavors to come out – it is a divine mouthful!