Growing up at the Baltic Sea, I’ve really come to miss the ocean, moody days and nordic beach landscapes here in Istanbul. Every time I go back home to visit, everything has changed, most of my friends moved away but the cooling sea breeze and smell of the smashing waves still makes me feel like this is the home I’ve never left. I never realise how much I miss it until I’m there again. As a child and teenager I would always feel most comfortable by the sea and I would never get bored looking out to the horizon. Most summers we would spend our days at the beach, mostly swimming and sunbathing, sometimes playing volleyball or learning how to windsurf. I would walk the shore and collect shells and stones only to through them back to the sea at the end of the day. There, I imagined the beautiful jewelry I could make with my finds or the artsy collages I could create. The sea always got my thinking and imagining and visualizing. Today I still feel like the ocean is the only place where my thoughts can run free. No limitations, no obligations – just an empty head that wants to be filled with ideas….
Around The World
A few days ago I posted a photo of my Raw Falafel Wraps with Apricot Tahini Sauce on my Instagram and you guys kind of went crazy for them. So I made them again and had raw falafel two days in a row. I’m usually not that kind of a person. I don’t like to eat the same thing twice in a week, let alone two days running. But the truth is, I didn’t even mind. Because raw falafel are something amazing. I’ve had them on my idea list for recipes for a few months now. So why make them now?
I’m doing a 5-days raw food challenge. I’m on day 4 now. I had a few ups and downs. No cravings but one major and some minor recipe fails. Raw food isn’t as easy and straight-forward as it sounds, especially not when you don’t want to eat salad and smoothies all the time. I’ve created some very delicious things but resources and ingredients are limited in my household and Turkey, so in the end I had too much soaked buckwheat creations and cauliflower rice. I think if I would have had Whole Foods around the corner or a dehydrator in my kitchen, things maybe, but only maybe, would have been slightly easier. And here is another truth (this post has a lot of honesty in it) I’m happy the raw food challenge comes to an end tomorrow. I like raw food, I even love it sometimes and I usually have a raw smoothie bowl every morning. I also didn’t have any severe cravings because if there are cashew nuts and dried figs around that’s all I’ll ever need….
Happy New Year! So much has happened since my last post (one month ago…ups). Like these Sweet Potato Bliss Balls. But let’s start at the beginning. We moved from Cairo to Istanbul, I had to put on my winter boots for the first time in three years because it was snowing non stop for a few days in Istanbul and I didn’t see the sun for a week now. Yes, that is a highlight (or rather a lowlight) in my life. Don’t take this as complaining. I’m super happy to be in Istanbul. And that is even an understatement. I’m super duper über excited about our move to Turkey. I’m personally looking forward to exploring the local food scene, testing and trying new ingredients, traveling to every corner of Turkey, discovering local craftsmanship and well of course meeting new friends. We also made plans for 2016 to tour an extensive part of the region. We call it ‘Project 12’ and we are aiming to visit (as the name might suggest) 12 countries including Bulgaria, Romania and Armenia. 2016 will be a great year.
So let’s celebrate with some bliss balls. One of my favorite food discoveries of 2015. I’m not a big snacker but I love making little snack so I can add them to my main dishes…. and maybe sometimes even munch on them between meals. Until now I only made sweet bliss balls. But after too many Christmas cookies and a pile of vegan white chocolate from my family I’m currently craving savoury foods. These Sweet Potato Bliss Balls are packed with herby flavours. Za’atar is a mix of Middle Eastern herbs and is used as a seasoning in Arab cuisine. The green superfood is a blend of chia seeds, spirulina and chlorella and high in antioxidants and a great energizer….
It is July 2007 and Argentina has the coldest winter since 90 years. On the other end of the world, in Germany, and at 40°C I step into the plane for my very first trip to South America. At that point, I was clueless on what to expect from a trip to a country which language I didn’t speak and people warned me to go due to safety issues. 7 months later I had not only found myself but also my love for food. It was only the beginning of my culinary journey and much has evolved since but I will forever be grateful to Argentina and its food.
My love affair with food started with Argentinian empanadas. It was love at first bite. If you ever tried empanadas in Argentina I guess you know what I’m talking about. It literally translates into “wrapped in bread” but this is a sheer understatement and does no justice to the diverse flavours and textures of empanadas. This savoury stable of Argentinian cuisine is served warm either as an appetizer or by its own.
This recipe is a recreation of what I remember empanadas are like, just without the meet and/or cheese but they are vegan pumpkin empanadas with peas and corn….