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How are you starting the new season? 

I hope you are feeling recharged and ready to make the best of these few months. 

After all, we are on our way to welcoming another new year…eh?... It sounds incredibly exciting to me just thinking about it! Yes, I’m pretty much a stubborn dreamer that continuously prefers optimism. And refuse to give up on happy thoughts and feelings around the new year, it brings a sense of relief somehow. But also the intrigue and euphoria of knowing what would happen next. This last few months have been the busiest for us, spending life between parenthood, work, family responsibilities, studies, blogging, creativity, plus keeping everyone at home healthy and well fed, but even with all these things challenging us every day, I couldn’t possibly feel more grateful.

The rhythm of life is always uncertain and while this can shake me up and down at times there are only three things that can keep my mind and soul at pace; the love of my daughter, good food, and creativity. And I could never let go of any of the three. 

So, in my way of being more creative with muffins, I’d decided to transform one of my banana bread recipes into a sweet muffin recipe. I used ripe bananas as the main source of natural sweetener and added some aromatic spices to the batter, fresh pear slices and walnuts on top. The result…pretty much a delicious muffin full of flavor, just beyond easy to put together and a great addition to your lunch box, picnic, breakfast, merienda ‘afternoon tea’ or as a sweet food gift.


Keep creative, eat good food, and laugh lots.

I’ll be back soon.
xx


BANANA PEAR & WALNUT MUFFINS

Make 12 Regular Size Muffins

2 C. Self Raising Flour (gluten free or regular)
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
Pinch of Salt
3/4 C. Sunflower oil
1 C. Milk ( plant-based or regular)
3 Eggs
Lemon Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon (optional)
Vanilla Essence to taste
2 Medium-Large Ripe Bananas, mashed
Coconut Sugar or Honey, to taste
Pear Slices
Walnuts, chopped

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 180 C/350 F. Grease muffin tray and set aside. In a medium bowl sift the raising flour, baking soda, and salt. Then add the oil, milk, eggs, mashed bananas, cinnamon and coconut sugar or honey to taste. Mix well until all ingredients are combined.

Pour mixture into the prepared tray. Add 2 slices of pear + chopped walnuts on top of each muffin. Bake for about 15- 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. When ready let it cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

Banana Pear & Walnut Muffins


Any other lazy weekend, when we feel like doing everything in slow motion, a good bowl of pasta is mostly just perfect for us. We either have pasta with a pesto sauce, like this broccoli pesto here, with a nice tomato sauce or simply with a gremolata.

Gremolata sauce is one of those sauces that shines for its simplicity but is filled with a delicious flavor and incredibly similar to chimichurri sauce, which instantly takes me back to my homeland.

I like adding some extra lemon juice to my gremolata, it just gives it that extra lemony punch that goes incredibly well with some fresh cherry tomatoes and pancetta.


An ideal - easy - heart-warming meal,  for to prepare this weekend!


EASY PASTA with PANCETTA & GREMOLATA SAUCE

Cooked Pasta, any of your choice

Pancetta, raw or cooked cut into slices

Fresh Cherry Tomatoes

Parmesan Cheese, grated

Gremolata Sauce


Preparation:

+ Once the pasta has been cooked, drain and transfer to a serving dish.

+ Mix into the gremolata sauce. 

+ Add pancetta, fresh tomatoes, and parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy!

Easy Pasta with Pancetta & Lemony Gremolata Sauce


A typical day of winter is here reminds me of my home country. Somehow my palate tries to replicate every dish I used to eat while growing up in Argentina. I like that. Although my knowledge about cooking, ingredients, techniques, and flavors has expanded over the years, I could never leave behind my cultural cuisine background.

Stews are incredibly required back home during the cold season, not to mention famously fulfilling. They have the ability to revive body and soul with a single spoonful! In my hometown, the essence of a flavorful stew is mainly focused on the protein of meat, pulses like beans and vegetables. These stews are much elaborated, and can usually take the whole morning to prepare. Flavors need to complement one another and be cook slowly to create something rich and aromatic. It certainly is a labor of love.

But in my intention to recreate those hometown flavors I put together this ‘Egg & Cannellini Beans Potato Stew’. Sure is not as elaborated as those flavorsome stews back home but without any doubt, this stew can be easily put together much quicker. Is the perfect comfort dish to warm up during the cold season, it just gives you that endurance and energy the body needs. It has a fantastic flavor that comes from that creamy red sauce, doesn’t have any meat (which means it cooks faster), and is absolutely fulfilling.

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Ps: For those of you enjoying summer time, I’ll come back with a summery recipe soon. In the meantime, if by any chance you have an unexpected rainy cool day, you know you can warm up with this dish.



VEGETARIAN EGG & CANNELLINI BEAN STEW

3 Medium Potatoes, peeled and cut into dices
1/2 Medium Onion, finely chopped
1 Garlic clove, finely chopped
1 Medium Carrot, grated
1 x 400 g Diced Tomatoes can
1 Tbsp. Tomato paste
1 1/2 C. Vegetable broth
1 1/2 tsp. Pimeton or Paprika
1/2 tsp. Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
5 Tbsp. Olive oil or Sunflower 
420 g Cannellini Beans, cooked
2 Eggs

To Garnish:
Fresh Basil leaves, chopped (optional)
Fresh Red chile, sliced (optional)

Preparation:

-In a saucepan add oil, garlic, and onion and cook for about 5 minutes over medium high heat. Then add potatoes and saute for another 5 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, grated carrot and vegetable broth.

-Then add spices; pimenton or paprika, turmeric, salt, pepper. Cover and simmer over low medium heat for 20 minutes or until potatoes start to get soft and tomato sauce has become thicker. 

-When the potatoes start to get soft add cannellini beans and stir. Add more salt and pepper if needed.

-Break and drop eggs over the stew, cover with a lid or plate and cook for 5 more minutes or until eggs are cooked.

-Serve with fresh basil and slices or fresh chile.

Vegetarian Egg & Cannellini Bean Stew


The only thing that I enjoy the most about winter season is warm comforting food and chocolate treats. Somehow I believe those things make the cool, rainy and gray days worthwhile.  And yes, some foods like chocolate can’t be overlooked during the cold season. I mean what not to love about chocolate in winter, right? We are not big eaters of sweet treats. But when we have a craving to indulge ourselves with something sweet we like having a good big bowl of this sweet popcorn, or these truffles or just a nice bowl of homemade cereal/ granola.

This chocolate and tahini cereal has been our favorite treat of the season so far. It has a very rich chocolate flavor and is just perfect to have as it is when you feel the need to have something sweet and covered in chocolate! 

For this chocolate cereal I use raw cacao but if you’re unable to get raw cacao you can always substitute with unsweetened cocoa powder for baking. I also use rolled oats in here but have look below for ingredients and substitution if you're sensitive to oats. You can also serve this delicious chocolate cereal with cold or warm milk!

I hope you're enjoying the season...either summer or winter.


CHOCOLATE + TAHINI CEREAL

If you're sensitive to oats, you can substitute with quinoa flakes. In here I use puffed spelt cereal but if you're unable to get this type of cereal you can substitute with unsweetened puffed rice cereal. You can either use coconut sugar or organic rice syrup or maple syrup.


2 C. Rolled Oats
2 C. Puffed Spelt cereal 
1 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon powder
3 Tbsp. Raw Cacao powder / or substitute with Unsweetened cocoa powder for baking
2 Tbsp. Unhulled Tahini or Regular Tahini
1/4 C. Sunflower oil
5-6 Tbsp. Coconut Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract (Optional)

Preparation:
+ In a bowl add rolled oats, puffed spelt and cinnamon powder, mix and set aside.

+ In a medium saucepan add tahini, raw cacao powder, vanilla extract, sunflower oil and cook over medium high heat for a few minutes until preparation starts to bubble. Add the coconut sugar or syrup and cook for another minute. 

Take off the heat and pour over rolled oats cinnamon mixture. Mix well until everything is well coated with the chocolate + tahini preparation.

+ Place the chocolate cereal mixture over a large baking tray or two medium trays and spread evenly. Bake at 150C/300F for about 10-15 minutes or until chocolate starts to form little bubbles around cereal. Let it cool completely and transfer to airtight container/ jar. This chocolate cereal will last you two weeks.

You can serve this cereal with cold or warm milk!

Chocolate & Tahini Cereal Recipe

When I started changing my eating habits one thing that I would do is implement a new (to my –knowledge) nutrient dense food or as most people call it: ‘Superfood’.

Superfoods have the particularity to be incredibly nutritious and it can provide your body with an array of health benefits.

One of my favorites is Spirulina – ''Spirulina'' is a type of microalgae and it’s a great natural multivitamin with a high content of protein, iron, vitamin B, chlorophyll, and antioxidants. And a single dose can add over hundred nutrients to your body. Spirulina is incredibly powerful and it is considered one of the most nutritious food in the world some called it ‘green gold’.

Consuming Spirulina:

Spirulina has a very distinctive green color and a seaweed-like flavor. Some people would mix the spirulina powder with water and drink it straight but I prefer adding it to my juices or smoothies. When blended with fruits or plant-based milk the spirulina flavor is almost unnoticeable and the taste is certainly much more enjoyable!

Some benefits of spirulina include:

+Balance blood sugar
+Detoxifier
+Anti-inflammatory
+Great Alkaline Food / It can balance the body’s ph
+Boost Immunity
+Decrease muscle fatigue
+Increase vitality.

Buying Spirulina:

You can either buy spirulina powder or tablets. I prefer spirulina powder since I can easily add it to my smoothies and recipes. And always remember to verify the quality of the product and choose certified organic spirulina when buying.

A Word of Caution:

If you’re under a certain type of medication you should consult with your doctor before consuming spirulina, since it can interact with some types of medications. It is not recommended for Pregnant and nursing women and it be should avoid. People with a special medical condition need to speak with their doctor first before consuming spirulina. Just to be on the safe side, always check with a doctor first.
_____________

This is an amazing nutritional food and its benefits are extensive. Having a spirulina smoothie or juice can increase vitality naturally without caffeine, sugary drinks or foods, isn’t this great? That’s why I want to share this Spirulina + Apple Smoothie with you that I love having at mid-morning or as a refresher + wake-up drink in the afternoon.


SPIRULINA + APPLE SMOOTHIE RECIPE
Makes 650 ml / 23 oz 

If you want to reduce the taste of the Spirulina powder, even more, you can always add some fresh mint leaves and 1/2 frozen banana! 

2 1/2 Small Green apples or 2 Medium, peeled and cut into quarters
2 Pineapple cut into cubes
1/2 Lemon, peeled
Thumb-Size Piece of Fresh Ginger or about 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
300 ml Clean Water or Coconut Water
1/2 tsp. Spirulina Powder
Ice optional

Preparation:

In a blender add apples, pineapple, lemon, ginger, water and spirulina powder. Blend all ingredients until you get a smooth but semi-thick consistency. Serve and enjoy!

Spirulina & Apple Smoothie + Implementing "Superfoods"


Nowadays I get to spend much more time in the kitchen with Lia. She has grown so much! She recognizes every movement that I make in the kitchen and most of the time she knows exactly what utensils, pots, pans, and ingredients I’ll need when preparing a meal or making a snack.

Our favorite time to spend together in the kitchen is while making popcorn! And every time is funnier than the last. We like having a bowl of popcorn mostly in the afternoon. Lia would open the kitchen cabinet and reach for a pot and a bowl and put them both next to the stove while I’d take the popping corn jar. Right after pouring the kernels into the pot, we both stay quiet for a few seconds while staring through the pot glass lid waiting for that fascinating second when kernels start to pop. And let me tell you that we're never tired of it!

I grow up making popcorn at home, so this is something that I’m quite familiar with. Whether was watching a movie at home or just playing with puzzles; popcorn was the easiest, delicious and most satisfying quick homemade snack we could ask for as children.

We used to heat a pot, then cook the popcorn kernels into vegetarian oil and then add salt or sugar after they popped. I still using the same technique my parents used on making popcorn but I substitute vegetarian oil with ghee or raw coconut oil and add natural sweeteners or spices to enhance its nutrition.

Popcorn is quite nutritious though, it has a lot of fiber, is completely gluten-free and is a very powerful antioxidant as well, this is not any kind of snack you see? And if you want to read more about popcorn, just have a look at this savory turmeric + garlic popcorn recipe -this, by the way, is a quite delicious savory popcorn recipe to try- So yes, as I was saying popcorn is quite nutritious and it can be made even healthier when using natural ingredients to cook it.

Not only is this an incredible, quick ‘Super Healthy Snack’ for toddlers and moms but everyone. Believe me, Lia’s little friends and moms love this sweet and salty popcorn recipe. Either way, you’re a busy parent like me or just love healthy snacks and want to have a nice treat after school or work this popcorn recipe is perfect!

It gives you a nice boost of energy and keeps you satisfied for longer during afternoon hours or between afternoon and dinner time.

In the video recipe I prepared bellow I show how to make stovetop popcorn at home just using a pot! Plus a simple way that you can incorporate wholesome ingredients when making this healthy snack. 


As always love hearing from you, any questions or comments or healthy recipes you want to see on the blog let me know by leaving a comment or just send me an email! 


Click play to watch the recipe video!



SWEET & SALTY HEALTHIER POPCORN 
If you are unable to find ghee you can substitute for clarified butter or sunflower oil. For the seasoning, you can also use organic agave, organic maple syrup or coconut sugar.

1/2 C. Popcorn Kernels/ Popping Corn
1 1/2 Tbsp. Ghee or 3 Tbsp. Raw Coconut oil
Himalayan Salt or Regular Salt to Taste
Organic Brown Rice Syrup to taste

Preparation:

In a pot/saucepan melt coconut oil on medium-high heat (not high-maximum heat). Add popping corn and cover pot with the lid, while shaking pot often until kernels start to pop. They should be ready in a couple of minutes, so be careful not to let them burn. 

Take them out of the heat as soon as they are ready. Put popcorn into a bowl, add the salt and brown rice syrup, mix well and serve. Enjoy!

3 Minutes Healthy Delicious Snack > perfect snack recipe for Toddlers + Mommies (and Others) + Video


Besides dinners, lunches are super important in our little family. I guess it's just the way I was raised. But during working days we don't get to have lunch all together. Lia and I have lunch at home while J. has his lunch at work. So we tried to get organized the night before and start preparing and packing J's. lunch for the next day. 

I know that sometimes can be challenging to keep organized with lunches and dinners during the week, especially when raising little ones. That's why I put together these healthy and budget friendly recipes for you. All recipes are vegetarian but very versatile, so feel free to add or substitute with any type of protein of your choice.

Super 'Delicious Healthy Lunches' are not only convenient and easy on your pocket but they also taste good! Say goodbye to snacks or other not-so-healthy foods, they're highly processed and have non nutritional value. You can keep your body nourished by preparing and packing your own on-the-go lunchesYou will feel satisfied and in control of sugar cravings.


Lastly, if you haven't already done so, don't forget to check out the 'aldentegourmet' new YouTube Channel. And watch our last video!

4 EASY HEALTHY DELICIOUS LUNCH RECIPES TO GO 


#1 RAW VIETNAMESE VEGETARIAN SANDWICH

This sandwich is incredibly delicious, full of fresh and crunchy raw vibrant colorful vegetables, fast, budget friendly and tremendously satisfying. This is one of our favorites when it comes to lunches on-the-go. I call it 'The Super Vegetarian Roll'. It's a humble food but the flavor combination is simply superb! Finally, this sandwich is completely vegetarian but if you want to add some protein to it, you can add some grilled chicken or tofu


Click here to get the recipe





#2 RADISH + RED QUINOA POTATO SALAD

This salad is packed full of goodness, amazingly delicious and very satisfying. All the ingredients in this salad work very well together and you can either make this 'Red Quinoa & Potato Salad' as a lunch to go or have it for dinner. You can also substitute the red quinoa for white quinoa or brown rice.





#3 PASTA BOWL with BROCCOLI PESTO BOOST

This is also a very quick and versatile lunch. It's only takes minutes to put together this simple but rich dish.The addition of 'Broccoli Pesto' not only elevates the flavor of the pasta but also it's a great way to add more greens into your everyday cooking. Broccoli it's filled with amazing nutritional value, so it will definitely give you that extra boost of energy at lunch time.


Click here to get the recipe




#3 RAW BEETROOT + EGG SALAD

Here's it is another favorite; 'Raw Beetroot & Egg Salad'. Also quick to prepare, budget friendly and satisfying! You can also substitute raw beetroots for cooked beetroots, either way it's delicious. You can also add some nuts or seeds if you'd like some extra crunchiness or some slices of mozzarella cheese or goat cheese


Click here to get this recipe

4 Easy Healthy Lunch Recipes To Go

refined sugar-free, healthier, cake, easy recipe, healthy recipes

Hello friends, so yes, I’m finally back here. Sitting down and sharing with you another blog post. The reason behind my absence is simply a lack of time, running a family and a broken computer. But I enjoy this little virtual space of mine and can honestly say that is becoming more than just a creative outlet for me. This just makes me happy and has been giving me the opportunity of meeting people from all over the world not only online but offline as well. Simply because we have one thing in common; 'we love food'. And for that I’m grateful. So I’ll be coming back here to share and connect with you as often as I can.

While planning the food styling and photoshoot for this carrot cake, which by the way is one of my favorite cake recipes, I’ve also got the idea of making a short video about it. That you can watch on my new Youtube Channel. I’m not an expert on making videos, so I apologized in advance. I made this video mainly because I wanted to show you how simple it is to make a healthy-delicious cake, without using a lot of ingredients and spending a lot of time in the kitchen. I hope you enjoy the simplicity of this recipe and like our little family movie carrot cake.

I mostly use gluten-free raising flour for this recipe but you can also use regular raising flour if you are all right with it. You can also add walnuts or pecans to the batter preparation if you'd like, they give a wonderful nutty flavor to this carrot cake and even a better crunchy texture. I like serving this with some coconut cream on top. But regular cream, plain yogurt or greek yogurt also works great.  

I wish you a blessed and joyful Easter season. And despite all the sad events happening in our world. Our world still beautiful and whatever we do, whatever thought cut across our mind, let it be a good, happy thought, and an even better action. 

Click play to watch the recipe video! 


SIMPLE HEALTHIER CARROT CAKE

200 grams/ 7 onces Self-Raising Flour (I use gluten-free raising flour)
1 tsp. Baking Soda
Lemon zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 tsp. or to taste ground Cinnamon
1 tsp. or to taste ground Nutmeg 
1 C. or to taste Coconut Sugar or honey
2 large Eggs or 3 small
1 1/2 C. Sunflower oil
A little water 
2 large Carrots, grated (about 1 1/2 C.)

Preparation:

Preheat oven at 180 C/ 356 F. Greased a cake pan and set aside.

-In a bowl mix sugar, oil and eggs. In a separate bowl sift the flour, baking soda. Add cinnamon and nutmeg. Start mixing, add a little water (about 1/4 cup) and keep mixing. Add lemon zest and grated carrot.

-Pour batter into the prepared cake pan, and bake for 35' - 45'. Or until it feels firm and toothpick comes out clean. When ready remove from oven and let it cool completely on a wire rack. 

-Serve with a cream or by it self. Enjoy.

Simple Healthier Carrot Cake