Posts with tag food matters monday

food matters monday – raw strawberry cake

we had an amazing week with our little ones, no school, just party … raw cakes, ice- creams and water experiments :)
this week everyone in The Food Matters Project are choosing their own recipes, i chase to share our favourite of the week – layered cake with strawberries, mint and raw chocolate.
it was so delicious that we ate it all in one day… and the next one is already in the freezer… yuppy




raw strawberry cheesecake
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup shredded coconut
3 pitted dried dates
3 layers filling
1/2 cup cashew (soaked in a water over night)
250g silken tofu
1/2 ripe avocado
1big ripen banana
10 dried pitted dates
1/2 lemon juice
1 lemon zest
1 cup spinach
1/2 cup mint
1 cup strawberries
6 strawberries for another layer
50ml soya milk (almond milk or even water)
2/4 cup ococonut oil melted
chocolate glaze
1/3 cup cocoa
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup agave


place tofu on a plate, put on top smaller plate and something heavy to drain out water. Leave it for 1 h.
cut all dates on halves and soak them for 1 h in the milk.
in a food processor place the walnuts, coconut and 3 soaked dates. mix. spread the crust in a 20 cm pan.
for the 3 layers filling, place in the food processor cashew and pulse well. add avocado, banana, tofu, ¼ cup melted oil and remaining dates with milk, pulse well. add lemon juice and zest and pulse it until smooth.
set aside 2/3 cream.
to another 1/3 cream add strawberries, remaining ¼ coconut oil and pulse until creamy. place on top of the crust and set in the freezer for 30min.
place 1/3 cream in the food processor with spinach; mix well and place on the top of strawberry cream. if u want u can add on the top of this layer another thin layer of fresh sliced strawberries. set cake in the freezer for another 30 min.
place remaining 1/3 cream in the food processor with mint, pulse and place on the top of the cake for another 20 min or until u finish chocolate glaze.
for the glaze, place all ingredients together and place on the top of the cake. set the your cake into the freezer to set for a few hours before removing from pan.
make sure to take it out a good while before eating, around 20-30 min or even more.

food matters monday – raw chocolate ice-cream

hey there!
i`m sorry that it took me a while to get back to you, i have been really busy lately, making preparations for my upcoming project, school holidays and even trip back to Latvia to meet up with some of my best friends :) tnx guys for such a nice weekend off, love u all
anyway today actually i’m posting late monday post with Food Matters Project. this week’s recipe is raw chocolate tofu ice-cream by Meg of Fledgling Foodie.

it was super delicious. we made it together with my little ones and even they liked it a lot – another big step into their journey of taste

raw chocolate/banana ice-cream
4 servings
for ice cream
500 g silken tofu
2 ripe bananas
2 tsp vanila extract
1/4 cup cacao powder
1/2 cup agave or more (depends how sweet u want)

put all ingredients in a blender and mix until it is completely smooth, freeze at least 4 h. before serve let thaw it a bit and eat as soon as soften. serves with nuts,fruits or this time we ate it with fresh strawberry/mint sauce (blend it)… yummy
cook with fun :)

food matters monday – mediterranean cobb salad

day in the park with fam and super delicious lunchbox (Sara’spicked recipe from Mark Bittman book ”Food that Matters Cook book”) – mediterranean cobb salad with a lot of greens, energy and tasty Holand’s tomatoes…

challenging day – first steps in rollerskating



mediterranean cobb salad
4 servings
30 minutes
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons wine vinegar, or to taste
3 anchovy fillets, with a bit of their oil (or use more capers)
1 tablespoon capers, with a bit of their brine
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
4 cups mache lettuce or another lettuce u like
4 cups arugula
1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas
12 cherry tomatoes, sliced in halved
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
½ cup crumbled Gorgonzola (or without)
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
combine the oil, vinegar, anchovies, capers, parsley, and black pepper in a blender and turn the machine on; a creamy emulsion will form within 30 seconds. taste and add more vinegar or pepper if necessary.
put the greens on the plates and spoon the other ingredients around it in rows or mounds. just before serving, drizzle the top with the vinaigrette, toss it at the table, and serve.

food matters monday – indian cuisine

happy monday! this week i’m the Food Matters Project host (my first time) – responsible for the recipe of the week. and I have chosen to give a shot to indian cuisine (one of my favourites).


dal with lot of vegetables from Mark Bittman The Food Matters Cookbook
1 tbs vegetable oil, plus more as needed
1 tbs gee
1 cup chopped onion
2 tbs minced ginger
1 tbs minced garlic
2 cups cauliflower florets and stems cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup cubed eggplant (salted, rinsed, and dried if you like)
1 cup cubed zucchini
4 cardamom pods
1 tbs mustard seeds
curry powder
garam masala
2 cloves
1 dried mild chilli optional
1 cup dried red lentils, washed and picked over
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
put the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. add the cardamom, mustard seeds, curry powder, gara masala, stir until the spices are fragrant but not burning, just a minute.
add 1 tbsp gee and then add the onion, ginger, and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes.
add the vegetables and lentils and cover with water by about 2 inches. cook until lentils and vegetables are tender about 25 to 35 minutes.
season with salt and pepper to taste. garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and serve.

black beans masala
2 cups black beans (1 cup dried), soaked over night and drained
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp oil
1 cm ginger, peeled and chopped
1 – 2 cloves garlic, peeled and squeezed
½ can chopped tomatoes (3 small tomatoes or 2 large fresh)
1 tsp gr coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
chilli flakes (optional)
4 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
drain and rinse black beans well. add 6 cups* of water and buy leaf into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. cover, remove from heat, and let stand for 1 hour.
drain the beans, reserving the liquid and set aside.
heat the oil in a large saucepan on medium low heat; add ginger, garlic and mustard seeds until the seeds start to pop.
add the rest of the spices and heat thoroughly in the oil.
add chopped tomatoes, black beans and reserved liquid from the beans. add water if it’s necessary to just cover the beans. cover and cook for 10 minutes.
add the chopped cilantro and serve.
* beans that have been soaked will require about three cups of water for each cup of beans. still, it is always best to add more water and drain at the end. be sure to routinely check the water level during cooking, if you run out of water, the black beans will start to burn and acquire a burnt, smoky taste.

tofu masala
tofu, sliced
4 tsp oil
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
pinch of cinnamon
1 bay leaf
3 cloves
1 cm ginger, chopped
3 garlic gloves, chopped
1 tsp cumin
2 tsb of sugar (to taste)
chilli to taste
3 cardamon pots
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
200 ml coconut milk
bunch of cilantro and mint leaves, roughly chopped
heat 2 tsp oil in a large saucepan on medium low heat, add sliced tofu and fry them on both sides until golden brown, set aside.
heat remaining oil, add spices and fry for 30 sec.
add onions and fry about 3 min.
add garlic, ginger and fry for few more minutes.
add tomatoes, sugar, coriander and mint leaves (reserve some coriander leaves to garnish), cook about 5 min.
finally add tofu and coconut milk, cook about 10 min.
garnish with cilantro leaves and serve with rice or naan bread.

tomato onion salad
3 tomatoes, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1-2 tsp oil
Salt to taste
chilli powder
coriander leaves, finely chopped – as much as you like
mix all ingredients together

food matters monday – roasted veggies in the oven

The recipe of The Food Matters Project this week is Provencal Vegetables and Chicken in Packages, chosen by Nancy. I made four different veggie recipes

Roasted potatoes with caraway/ rosemarie or thyme (up to your taste)
1000 g potatoes, sliced 5mm tick
1 tbsp caraway
salt, to taste
Boil the water, add potatoes, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Dry them, add oil, thyme (or another flavor) and salt, mix carefully. Place potatoes on the baking dish and bake until golden brownish. Serve.


roasted tomatoes with thyme
500 g cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves
fresh thyme springs
1 tsp sugar
2 glove garlic, minced
salt&pepper, to taste
heat the oven to 200 degrees. mix oil with garlic, salt, pepper and thyme leaves. place tomatoes on the baking sheet and spoon over with oil mix. sprinkle with sugar and place baking dish with tomatoes in the oven. bake about 25 – 30 minutes. serve.


cauliflower with brazilian nuts, by Četras sezonas
700 g cauliflower, roughly divided and steamed al dante
40 brazilian nuts, chopped
70 g sharp tasting cheese of your choice, shredded
salt&pepper, to taste
heat the oven, place cauliflower on the baking dish, sprinkle with oil, salt, pepper, cheese and Brazilian nuts. bake until cheese is melted and brazilian nuts are golden brownish. serve.


honey glazed carrots in the oven
500 g carrots, sliced lengthways in halves
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 gloves garlic, minced
salt&pepper, to taste
heat the oven to 210 degrees. boil the water, add carrots, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. dry them, add oil, salt and pepper. place carrots on the baking dish. bake about 20 minutes. meanwhile mix honey, mustard and garlic. spoon mixture on the carrots, mix and bake another 10 minutes, until caramelized. Serve.

food matters monday – lemon/blueberry crumble

o yeah march! spring is almost here… morning birds are singing louder, the wardrobe is refreshed with more colours and in the garden is peeping first crocuses.

the flavour of this monday is delish lemon/blueberry crisp chosen by Laura J from Chef Laura at Home. Other great takes on this recipe u can see in The Food Matters Project website.

lemon/blueberry crumble with hazelnut topping
makes: 6 to 8 serving
time: 40 to 50 minutes
2 tbs oil plus more for greasing the pans
2 cups fresh or unfrozen blueberries
4 cups apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup hazelnuts
¼ cup agave
½ cup whole-wheat flour
½ teaspoon nutmeg
pinch of salt
grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tbs squeezed lemon juice
heat the oven to 375°F. grease an 8- or 9-inch baking dish (i used the 6 little ones) with a little oil.
put ¾ hazel nuts into the food processor until ground, add flour, nutmeg, salt, oil, agave and mix well.
mix apples with blueberries and lemon juice.
spread the fruit mixture in the backing dish and sprinkle the top with the lemon zest. add on top hazelnut crumble, press down gently and cover with remaining chopped hazelnuts (1/4 cup).
bake about 30 to 40 minutes until the filling is bubbling, and the crust is just starting to brown. serve.

food matters monday – cabbage rolls

the recipe of the week is rolled cabbage chosen by Keely Marie. i did a little research and found out the wide variety of cabbage rolls are quite popular all over the world.
for my recipe, i decided to mix different versions and made my own one with pickled cabbage leaves (often used in Southeastern Europe), rice/vegetable mix and ginger flavor (recipe below).

bits and peaces about cabbage tools

a cabbage roll (also stuffed cabbage) is a dish consisting of cooked cabbage leaves wrapped around a variety of fillings. it is common to the ethnic cuisines of the Balkans, as well other parts of Europe such as finland (kaalikääryleet) and sweden (kåldolmar), russia (golubtsy) and the middle East (dolma).
in sweden on 30 november is even the day of the cabbage roll called “kåldolmens dag”, celebrating the death day of charles XII of sweden with the purpose stated by its initiators to hail the multifaceted swedish cultural heritage involving national symbols with immigrant background. it is arranged by “kåldolmens vänner” (friends of the cabbage roll).
in croatia stuffed cabbage is favourite dish at christmas. also in romanian stuffed cabbage rolls (sarmale) are traditionally served on christmas and new year’s eve and also served throughout the year at weddings, baptisms parties and other large celebrations.
in europe usually the cabbage rolls consist of meat (beef, lamb, or pork) seasoned with garlic, onion, and spices. also, common is a vegetarian version with rice, barley, eggs, mushrooms, and vegetables. in turkey vegetarian dolma consists of pickled grape leaves for wrapping and rice, olive oil, pinenuts, currants (or dried figs/cherries), herbs (fresh parsley, dill and mint) and spices (usually allspice, cinnamon and black pepper) for filling.
in asia for stuffed cabbage is used chinese cabbage with seafood, tofu and shitake.
in russia golubtsy is one of the comfort foods and for most of the soviet union children cabbage rolls bring back memories of mom or grandma and long, comforting meals in a warm russia, this dish appeared in the 18th century, at a time when french cooking was getting its first wave of maniacal followers in st. petersburg. the dish earned its name for the french practice of cooking pigeons wrapped in cabbage leaves – the russian word for a pigeon is “golub.”

cabbage rolls

for my recipe i decided to mix different versions and made my own one with pickled cabbage leaves (often used in southeastern europe), rice/vegetable mix and ginger flavour.

1 pickled cabbage head (from authentic Russian shop)
1 cup basmati rise
1 big carrot shredded
1 onion chopped
2 garlic gloves crushed
200 g champignons chopped
2 cm ginger chopped
1 can chopped tomatoes
6 bay leaves
salt, pepper
smoked paprika powder
chilli flakes

heat the fry pan with oil, add onions and cook for 3 min, add ginger and garlic and cook another 3min, add carrots, salt (be careful not too much, cabbage leaves are already salty), chilli flakes and cook until tender for about 4 – 5 minutes. Set aside.
heat fry pan with oil again, add mushrooms, salt, paper and cook about 6 minutes.

combine together cooked ingredients and rinsed rise and mix well.
Put a large 2 – 3 spoonful of the rice mixture into a cabbage leaf, taking care not to overfill it, and roll loosely. you’re shooting for 8 – 10 cabbage rolls, but if you have extra filling, use all of the leaves. Put the rolls seam side down in the bottom of a large heat resistant pot; it’s okay to stack them on top of each other in the pot.

add the tomatoes wit their juice and 1 cup of water on top of the wrapped cabbages, add bay leafs, cover the pot and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat so that the mixture barely bubbles and cook, undisturbed, for 30 minutes. check to see if there’s still liquid in the pot. The cabbage should be just submerged; if not, add a little water. Cover and cook for another 30 minutes before checking again.
When the rolls have plumped up and absorbed most of the liquid, and are firm, turn off the heat and let rest, still covered, for at least 10 minutes (or up to 20). serve with chopped spring onions.
click here to see what the other members of the project made this week!

food matters monday – smoked bell pepper paella

Welcome to the east corner of Spain!
This week Meg of Fledging Foodie chose our recipe of the week: paella. And just for a minute it turned me back in andalucía, costa del sol, where I ate the most delicious paella ever. The flavor is still there, in my gourmet memory box.
bits and pieces about paella
paella is a valencian cooking metal pan (paellera) and a rice dish that originated in its modern form in the mid-19th century in valencia, on the east coast of spain. many non-spaniards view paella as spain’s national dish, but most Spaniards consider it to be a regional valencian dish. valencians, in turn, regard paella as one of their identifying symbols.
paella is a catalan word, which derives from the old french word paelle for pan, which in turn comes from the latin word patella for pan. valencians use the word paella for all pans, including the specialized shallow pan used for cooking paellas. Paelleras are traditionally round, shallow and made of polished steel with two handles.
according to tradition in valencia, men are cooking paella on open fire, fueled by orange and pine branches along with pine-cones. this produces an aromatic smoke, which infuses the paella. also, dinner guests traditionally eat directly out of the paellera.
there are three widely known types of paella: valencian paella (spanish: paella valenciana), seafood paella (spanish: paella de marisco), and mixed paella (spanish: paella mixta), but there are many others as well.

smoked bell pepper paella
i cooked my own vegan version of paella (last week I’ve started fasting, so no seafood until easter, at least).

smoked red bell peppers paella
i cooked my own vegan version of paella (last week i’ve started fasting, so no seafood until easter, at least).
1 cup short grain rice (also used in risotto)
2 1/2 cup water
2 red bell peppers smoked and cut (you can also use fresh ones or canned)
1 can chopped tomatoes (in summertime – fresh tomatoes, about 700 g)
1 onion chopped
1 garlic glove minced
1 cup cooked or canned red beans, drained
2 tsp sweet paprika
A pinch of saffron (optional)
2 rosemary sticks (optional)
Salt, pepper
heat oil in a big pan (wok pan). add green vegetables: onion, red bell peppers (if u use it) and sauté until soft. add garlic, chopped tomatoes, beans, smoked red bell peppers and sauté. add salt, pepper and paprika and sauté. add water, saffron and rosemary. boil to make broth and allow it to reduce by half. add rice and simmer until rice is cooked. if it gets too dry, add more water.
garnish with more rosemary or parsley.
p.s. great paella
paella usually has a layer of toasted rice at the bottom of the pan called socarrat in spain. this is considered a delicacy there and is essential to good paella. the toasted rice develops on its own if the paella is cooked over a burner or open fire. if cooked in an oven, however, it will not. to correct this, place the paellera over a high flame while listening to the rice toast at the bottom of the pan. once the aroma of toasted rice wafts upwards, remove it from heat. the paella must then sit for about five minutes (most recipes recommend the paella to be covered with a towel at this point) to absorb the remaining broth.
indoor smoked red bell peppers
you can use special grill pan. this time, i roasted them on the fire, on our gas stove. i’ve put the red bell pepper one by one on the cooker ring and occasionally turned them to get smoked on all sides. it took about 10 – 15 minutes. then, you have to set them aside in a bowl and immediately cover with plastic wrap (or a tight fitting lid) and let them sit for about 15 minutes. the steam will loosen the skins so they’ll peel right off.


food matters monday – oatmeal/ banana pancakes

morning on another FMP Monday with aura’s great pick, oatmeal pancakes!

we had a lip – smacking sunday breakfast with these little healthy pancakes, fresh strawberry jam and dried peppermint tea. lately (5 years already :)) our weekend favorites are apple banana pancakes (will post the recipe soon) but these are for sure the runner-up. and i also like the idea of making them with oatmeal or another mush leftover (leftover strength). this time we made a fresh one and it’s totally worth it.



banana/oatmeal pancakes

we are still on the way to our “perfect” family diet. so I made some changes: replaced eggs with banana, sugar with agave and instead of white we always use whole grain flour.
1/2 cup whole grain flour
¼ cup rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
1 banana, grated
1 cup soy milk (another milk)
2 cups cooked oatmeal
rise oil, for frying (another oil)
combine all ingredients together in one large bowl.
put a frying pan over medium heat. add the oil and let it get hot. cook pancakes of any size you like until both sides have turned golden brown. serve with your favorite topping.
how to cook oatmeal
get a cup of oats.
put the cup of oats and a cup of water in the pot and set it to medium high heat on the stove. in about 3-5 minutes the oats will start to boil and froth, this is a signal to turn the heat down to low. Give the oats a stir to get an idea of the thickness. let the oats boil for about 5 more minutes, and give them a stir to see if they feel thick and gooey, when they are, the oats are done and you have your own oatmeal. experiment with the amount of water, ranging between 1 and 2 cups. use 1 cup if you like thicker oatmeal, or 2 cups if you like it more soupy.

food matters monday – pear raspberry crumble


cold weather treat: cammile’s selection and my interpretation – pear raspberry crumble.


nothing describes winter better than a baked, warm, fruit dessert, with flavors of cardamom and cinnamon and crunched nuts on the top. at least for me…



originally, the crumble is a dish of british and irish origins (since second world war), but it can also be traced, in the american cuisine, all the way back to the European colonization of the americas. in some parts of america very similar dish may be called a crisp.


interesting for me was to find out that it can be made both in sweet and savory versions. although the sweet version is much more common.


there are a lot of different types of crumble, depending of type of fruits used and also of variety of toppings (rolled oats,  different kind of nuts, cookies or cereals).


i like experimenting. one time with apples, strawberries and corn meal, another time (this recipe) is with pears, raspberries and oatmeal.


pear raspberry crumble
1 kg pears, pealed, cored and cut in pieces
200 g frozen raspberries
1 tb squeezed lemon juice
1 cup roaled oats
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped for the topping (optional)
2 tsp cardamom
2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup agave or honey
4 tbsp rice oil or butter
pinch of salt

heat the oven 2000C. Combine the flour, oats, walnuts and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. Add the oil and agave and pulse until the mixture is crumbly.

in another bowl mix together pears, lemon juice, raspberries and spices (cinnamon and cardamom).

grease 20 cm – 23 cm round baking dish with a little bit of oil (this time i used little baking dishes, so everyone had their own dish).

press half of the crumbled mixture over the bottom of the prepared pan. spread the pears mixture evenly over the crust and sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture and chopped walnuts over the top. bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown. remove from the oven and serve hot or cold as u wish.