On active weeks like this one I need all the energy boosting foods I can get and this Matcha Raw Granola is fantastic to kick off each new day. I absolutely hate to say this (and I also don’t like when others do it) but I’ve been super busy lately…I don’t like the word busy. So let’s rephrase it. Life is happening a lot. I had a friend from Germany visiting and we wandered every little corner of Istanbul until we got flat feet. Before that I was sick for a few days which slowed me down and I couldn’t get things done as I had planned. I’m now trying to catch up. So I guess this is what makes me feel like I’m busy….
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….
I’m doing a 5-days raw food diet, so this roasted cauliflower bowl with cinnamon and cumin is pretty much the incarnation of food paradise right now. It’s raining outside and considerably cold. I long for a cup of hot tea and well … roasted veggies. I wouldn’t even mind eating them cold, I just love the flavour of roasted vegetables and fruits (baked banana anyone?).
It all start with the process of preparing your food to be roasted in the oven or in a pan, followed by an insanely delicious smell that fills your kitchen and warms your hearts and ends with a richly satisfying bite. Before I started my hobby cooking career (I now spend more than 10 min in the kitchen to make food), I would roast about everything – preferably in a pan. Pan-roasting vegetables is not only the easiest but also the best way to bring out intense flavours. You can literally roast every vegetable and I think it completely changes the taste. Do you also know quite a few people that don’t like steamed or cooked cauliflower or brussels sprouts? That’s the thing, it’s almost like a tradition – my family did it, yours maybe too but a lot of others for sure – cooking, and even worse, overcooking vegetables. Here is the not-so-secret secret. Roast your cauliflower and brussels sprouts instead….
So, I decided to take my raw food recipes to the next level and made raw cashew buckwheat porridge a few days ago. It’s the last few weeks of winter and temperatures in Istanbul are still somewhat cold. Let’s just agree that experimenting with raw foods makes more sense in summer, at least to most people, including myself. But you know I like my salad bowls and breakfast smoothies and those are mostly raw, too.
In the end it’s just a matter of perception and how you wrap your head around it. So many dishes are raw, vegan, gluten-free and many people don’t even notice. Like when I tell people in Turkey that I’m on a mostly plant-based diet they immediately assume I’m close to starving. While the Turkish cuisine is characterised by kebabs and meat skewers its meze dishes and salads are mainly vegetarian and even vegan. But if you put a label on it like ‘hey, your hummus and vine leaves stuffed with rice are vegan’, people are shocked and get scared….
No matter how you call them, yam, batatas, kumara or well, sweet potato, this recipe for baked sweet potato with green tahini sauce is the absolute comfort food. The sweetness of the potato goes perfectly with the nutty tahini sauce, spicy rucola, creamy avocado, crunchy red cabbage and juicy pomegranate seeds.
Last weekend I was utterly in love with waffles, this weekend pancakes and I are best buddies again. Usually I’m not that fickle but food is an exception. One week I’m all into raw spiralised veggies, the next week I’m in love with everything roasted. That doesn’t mean that I completely dismiss certain food groups. My list of recipes that I love continues on getting longer and longer. And it keeps my culinary life very interesting. …
Making waffles is life. Sweet Potato Chia Waffles are heaven.
It’s slowly becoming a weekend tradition for us to make a batch of waffles. I like to experiment with different kinds of recipes, always vegan, sometimes gluten-free and sometimes even paleo.
When I grew up we never really had waffles on Sundays (or any day of the week) like other families. My parents didn’t own many kitchen gadgets and so didn’t I until 2015 when I bought a blender and juicer in the beginning and a waffle iron at the end of last year. It’s probably no surprise that I can’t imagine life without them anymore and I’m even considering extending the family of little kitchen helpers (I’m looking at you dehydrator).
But let’s get back to the art of making waffles. I love pancakes, I really do but the love for waffles is real. Crisp outside and light inside. Just thinking about these Sweet Potato Chia Waffles makes today’s Monday so much better. They are one of my favorite waffle recipes because you can enjoy them as a sweet treat with lots of fruit, cream and syrup or you can devour them with avocado, cabbage and some herby sauce.
Admittedly they’re pretty decadent – crispy on the outside, moist and spongy on the inside and full of those sweet potato flavours.
Okay, I’m pretty hungry now. It’s 7.15 am on a Monday morning, I got up at 5.30 am (no finger pointing here but the bf went on a business trip and dragged me out of bed with him in the middle of the night) and I need some breakfast now. Maybe I make waffles. Because who said that Monday mornings are not made for waffles.
Creamy, flavourful and vegan lemon curd. Super easy to make, only 4 ingredients needed. Have it with your granola, smoothie bowl, on toast or as tart filling. The options are endless so I recommend making a big batch.
Coziness in a bowl. Easy and quick moringa pea soup that is nourishing, healthy and vegan.
I’m feeling the winter this year. Not just the crisp cold and the snow falling on my nose. The love for seasonal food. The spices of chill days. The smells of cozy evenings. The taste of roasted pears. It’s the first proper winter I experience since a few years and the first one I embrace with my new-found love for food.
I’ve always been some kind of a foodie (thanks to my dad who lives to enjoy food) but I rather loved to eat out and let others cook for me. This has changed in the last year or so. Cooking brought me closer to the ‘here and now’. I live by seasons. I create with local produce only. And I crave my regular visits to the farmers market to pick fresh ingredients and watch other people doing the same.
Cooking also got me thinking. About food traditions in my family. I remember my grandma being an amazing cook. Or maybe it’s just some blurry childhood memories. Or her semolina pudding with an extra portion of butter is the reason why I still love sweet and creamy breakfasts and desserts. And her paprika chicken was amazing, but that is not an option for me anymore. There is also my dad pancake tower he would make on weekends. For him it was almost like a competition to make the pancakes (not American pancakes but more like French crepes) as thin as possible, spread each one with plum jam and stack them to build a giant cake. But despite my grandmas puddings and my dad’s pancakes I didn’t have any other memories of childhood food. Until I ate these sweet roasted pears with nuts. The taste, the smell, the emotions, everything reminded me of …well, ehm something. And then it dawned one me. We used to have this beautiful tiled stove in our tiny apartement. And during winter season my mum would make baked apple stuffed with raisins and nuts.
So there are these roasted pears, covered with crunchy walnuts, soaked in golden coconut syrup and baked with aromatic coconut oil. And there is this sweet tahini sauce and it’s slightly bitter yet nutty taste. The cashewcream gives a fresh and simple nod….