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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Can you lower your hereditary cholesterol? Naturally?

Yes, absolutely you can!

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I never thought it would be, because my doctor told me –

“young lady, you have the hereditary kind of high cholesterol and that means no matter what you do, you will never be able to lower it naturally. The only way for you is medication.” 

So, for the past 10-12 years, I have been on statins – every single day I popped a pill, to help me to keep a low count on my cholesterol.

However, other health problems inspired me into changing my lifestyle.

And today, I can celebrate 3 years with normal cholesterol levels and no medication!

So does that mean you need to be on a really restricted diet? No desserts, no streaks on the BBQ, no butter, no cheese, no life…….no fun ?

Nope – I eat everything and I have lots of fun!

Even cream cake

Even cream cake

So how do I do it?

It’s really simple and if I can do it, so can you!

(Please don’t go off your medication without talking to your doctor!)

This is how I do it:

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  • I shifted the balance on my plate. So 80% of what I eat is plant-based. This means 80% of what I eat is vegan, plant-based, green leaves, lettuce, salads, spinach, kale, nuts, seeds, lentils, grains, roots, all kinds of veggies, and lots of fruit.
  • I eat plenty of food that contains natural cholesterol lowering agents, like nuts especially walnuts and almonds, oatmeal, berries, avocado, fish, tomatoes, etc.

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  • 20% is whatever I like to eat – it can be anything.
  • Every day I exercise, except for one day of rest!  45 min. to an hour! Yes I know, you don’t have time! I didn’t either, but you can find time! Exercise is brutally important when it comes to lowering cholesterol naturally. I get up earlier in the morning. I wake up and have millions of excuses for not going, but I tell myself that I only have to tie my shoelaces, get out and run to the end of the curb. If I still don’t like it, I can go back home……. but it has never happened, once I am out there, once I have taken the first breath of that beautiful morning air, the last thing I want is to go back home.
  • Meditation – When we are stressed and tired we are more likely to make unhealthy choices, eat fatty foods, drink too much etc. Also research shows that the release of stress hormones can damage the blood vessels, so plague sticks more easily. I find mindfulness meditation is a great way to unwind.

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A great article about food writer Mark Bittman and his concept VB6 – Vegan before 6 

Stay tuned for the VVP – The Virtual Vegan Potluck, taking place this Saturday! 160 + bloggers will bring their delicious food to the virtual party 🙂

Spinach Grapefruit Smoothie

Smoothies for breakfast, as part of lunch, as a snack, before dinner – smoothies for any occasion ……..

But smoothies have also become THE number one “Fast Food” in our family. In a hurry, on the go, no time to cook or even eat – no problem, spin up a smoothie and away you go. Quick, nutritious and satisfying!

Today I made a green smoothie with spinach and grapefruit. I love grapefruit, but for 12 years I wasn’t able to have grapefruit! I was on cholesterol medication and something in grapefruit doesn’t mix well with that kind of medication.

Since I changed to “balanced living” and added lots of plant-based foods to my diet and started exercising, I no longer need medication to control my cholesterol!

There are, as you can imagine, many benefits connected to that – one great one is, I can enjoy grapefruits again 🙂

Grapefruit

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Spinach and Grapefruit Smoothie 

One bunch of fresh spinach

2 grapefruits

One bunch of red or green grapes

1 banana

1  slice of fresh ginger

2 Medjool dates

2 cups of filtered water

Ice

Put it all into the blender and blend into a refreshing, smooth, cool and delicious drink.

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I hope you will Enjoy it !

Now to something completely different…..

Monday I travel back to Copenhagen to spend some time with family and friends. I am SO excited!

I will try to post while I’m away so stay tuned….

To travel is to live – Hans Christian Andersen

When I come back I will be attending THE FAMOUS AMAZING VIRTUAL VEGAN POTLUCK – on May 11.!

This is such a fun event! If you would like to join the fun by featuring one of your favorite vegan/plant-based recipes, there is still time to sign up here – otherwise – stay tuned for the event on May 11.

Thank you for dropping by, for reading and for commenting!

Happy Sunday!

VVP- Carrot cake with cranberries and orange, vanilla cream icing, served with orange sauce

Welcome to the famous, amazing, wonderful and incredible – the Virtual Vegan Potluck!

This is it – the day I have been looking forward to for weeks has finally arrived! The Virtual Vegan Potluck is a gathering of more than 100 enthused bloggers, from all over the world, sharing their creative vegan recipes. Maybe you have already been working your way around the virtual vegan potluck – if so, I hope you have enjoyed some wonderful food – appetizers, soups, breads, starters, mains, drinks, and now desserts!  I am so happy I signed up to make dessert! Because….

Dessert is probably the most important stage of the meal,

since it will be the last thing your guests will

remember before they pass out all over the table” – William Powel

I love Vegan desserts and in particular Raw food  desserts make my heart beat. Apart from being sinfully delicious, they are nutritious and packed full of goodness! So go for it – eat, indulge, enjoy and be healthier for every bite.

One of my old time favorites – is carrot cake with creme cheese icing!

I have created an almost raw food version of this old time favorite, and I can’t wait to share it with you!

So lets get to it!

Carrot Cake with cranberries topped with an orange, vanilla cream icing, served with orange sauce

3 cups of grated carrots

1 1/2 cup cooked quinoa

2 oranges

1 cup of walnuts

1 cup of oats

10 -12 dates Mojol

2-4 spoons agave

1 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

In a bowl, add the grated carrots and the cooked sprouted quinoa, grate the rind of the oranges, and then add the juice of the oranges. In a blender, blend the walnuts and the oats till it becomes flour-like, and add to the carrots. Add the spices to the bowl and stir well. In a blender put the ingredients from the bowl and add the pitted dates, blend smooth – I needed to do it in two batches. Put it back in the bowl and add the agave and the cranberries.

Put it into a pie pan

Make the  Orange, Vanilla cream icing

2 cups of cashews ( that have been soaked for 2-4 hrs or overnight in the fridge)

1 orange

4 spoons of Agave

1 vanilla pod

Drain the soaked cashews and put them in the blender, add the juice of one freshly squeezed orange, add the agave and scrape out the vanilla bean. Put it in and blend into a smooth cream. Spread it on top of the cake and decorate with walnuts.

Serve with Orange Sauce

1 Orange

2 spoons of Agave

Squeeze the juice of the orange and add agave to make the sauce.

Sorry I had to take a bite and another one and one more …………………. and then tomorrow I will have leftovers for breakfast!

This is my contribution. Thank you for coming to the Virtual Potluck – I am thrilled you came!!

But before I let you go – lets raise our glasses and make a big heartfelt toast to the Virtual Potluck people! – The Virtual Vegan Potluck was initiated and arranged by one of my favorite virtual friends and bloggers, Annie at anunrefinedvegan!

She birthed this idea and made it possible – thank you Annie!! Thank you also to 3 more beautiful virtual friends and bloggers, Somer from Vedged Out  , Lidia from Veganbloggersunite and Jason from Jason and the Veganauts for helping make this event possible. Lots of work went into this – thank you guys you are amazing!!!

… and so the party continues the show goes on and on and on – click forward or backward as you please by clicking the “go forward” – “go back”  images below.

Enjoy and have fun

 

To Travel is to Live

Packing and getting ready for my flight tonight to Copenhagen.

“To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, to gain all while you give, to roam the roads of lands remote: To Travel is to Live” Hans Christian Andersen

I am overly exited and really looking forward to seing family and old friends again!

Email, skype, Viber and texting is all very good – but nothing in the world, takes the place of a real hug,  real conversation and real actual time spend together!

I will be posting on the 1st of November and be part of the amazing Vegan Virtual Potluck – so stay tuned.