This past week has been intense, exhausting and very tiring. First of all, autumn is coming to an end. That’s such a bumper if you ask me. Icy winds took over colourful leaves. A thick scarf, a woolen hat and even gloves have become essential accessories on a Sunday morning walk. Here and there you can already hear the first Christmas tunes. But I’m not ready to let autumn go yet. After all it’s my favourite season. I love its cold but sunny afternoons. I enjoy its flavours and produce. Everything pumpkin and apple, preferable with cinnamon and cardamom lets my heart jump of joy. I even love the first very cold and rainy days, snuggled in a blanket with a hot cup of chai latte. I’m lucky that I live in Istanbul because it’s still autumn here. That means I can still hold on to autumn a little longer. Also my very autumn-y smoothie recipe with Spiced Persimmon and Roasted Apple relives this season….
I’m not a baker. I love making raw treats. But as soon as dough is involved I have my difficulties. For a long time I even disliked baking cakes. Too much sugar, too much carbohydrates. But that’s a different story which I’ll tell you another time. A lot of things have changed since then. I’ve tried to improve my baking skills. It’s not that easy because vegan baking (and often gluten-free) is slightly challenging.
Like at this very moment, I’m on my second round of testing a vegan cinnamon roll recipe and the struggle is real. I have the feeling there will be many more rounds. It is in these moments that I treasure the simplicity of crumbles. The love for crumbles is real at our home. I love it because it’s so easy to make and absolutely nothing can go wrong. The boyfriend loves it because it’s kind of healthy and has lots of fresh fruit in it. You can also mix and match any kind of flavour and fruit, depending on the time of the year….
Hello, hello and happy autumn. I know the beginning of meteorological fall on the 1 of September seems like centuries away. But there are two reasons why it took me so long to finally welcome my favorite season into our home. First and most obvious, the weather. Istanbul was “gifted” with a hot summer and equally warm September. While I was seeing apple, pumpkin-spiced and warm golden mylk recipes popping up on my Instagram feed I was happy for every cooling food I could get my hands on. Though I was mentally ready for autumn I just wasn’t in the mood for hearty stews. Despite, the local produce in Turkey didn’t look very autumnally either. Until two weeks ago I could still buy the juiciest and sweetest strawberries. They are still available now but slowly loosing it’s delicious flavor so it’s not worth buying them anymore.
Do you know that moment when you suddenly realize, the end has come? You knew it all the time but you repressed that thought. And from one second to the other your life may change completely because you know peach and strawberry season is going to end soon. Yes?! Sounds familiar? Well, I had that moment a few days ago and decided to pay a little tribute to my favorite summer fruit combination. So I created a little collection of three recipes with peach and strawberry as the main ingredients.
But this isn’t a selfless act to bring you creative healthy food. After our Lisbon trip and the overload of sweet treats I ate during those few days, I felt a little sluggish. Maybe it’s also what people call the post-vacation blues. Though I have to admit I’m quite happy being back home with my cats and to an abundance of fresh summer fruits and veggies. Either way, I don’t regret anything (because who has ever regretted a bite of freshly baked pastel de nata) but it was time to go back to my usual diet….
This cold blueberry soup is a reminder of my recent trip to Helsinki and its many wonderful food markets. We arrived by ferry from Tallinn in the morning and spent one day in the city, all while the sky gleamed in bright blue and the sunshine warmed the streets of Finland’s beautiful capital. It was a perfect day to explore Helsinki. Strolling the food markets became an instant favorite. They were overflowing with fresh produce from the region, colorful flowers and the occasional fish stand. One things that surprised me to see over and over again – berries of all sorts, colors and shapes….
When was the last time you tried something for the first time? For me, it was just last weekend. I actually tried a few things for the first time. Had a housewarming party. Served only vegan food. And offered a raw lime cheesecake which had avocado as the main ingredient. Of course, I didn’t tell anyone because I was sceptical at first too. I mean I had tried avocado pudding before. I even shared my recipe for Matcha Avocado Pudding over on The Chalkboard Mag. But making a cake version at home…for other people, some of whom are clearly no vegans or experimental eaters…that was something else. To be honest, I did prepare two other cakes. One was a peach and apple crumble and the other one a strawberry coconut tart. I knew at least these two would be crowd pleasers….
I’m pretty sure that you have noticed my affinity with cashews and this Quinoa Cashew Pudding is yet another recipe to strengthen that bond. Cashews have become my new best food friend lately. I can’t imagine life without them anymore, it’s so beautifully diverse. I always have a jar of soaked cashew nuts in my fridge. It’s almost like a daily ritual – I usually soak one cup of cashews every night before I go to bed. This morning I used up half a cup for the über-yummy Quinoa Cashew Pudding. And while I’m writing this the other half of my soaked cashews is waiting to be made into a vegan pesto with purple basil and nutritional yeast. But I’ll tell you about the recipe for best pesto in the world another time….
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.
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….