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Gluten, egg, dairy free almost vegan muffins

26 Jun

I’ve been trying the whole gluten free thing, not sure if it’s working for me…

It’s called “almost vegan” because it has honey. I don’t know what to call myself, probably vegan that eats seafood and honey, allergic to nuts, temporarily gluten-free. It’s complicated, I know

Meanwhile, finding recipes is a struggle. Here is one of the good ones, with modifications. Found on Kitchen Stewardship blog, the photo is from there too. This recipe is a bit different from the original on the blog, still tastes great, if you ask me.

  • 2/3 c. brown rice flour
  • 1/2 c.  buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 c. corn starch
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. raisins
  • 3/4 c. honey
  •  2 Tbs. freshly ground flax + 6 Tbs. hot water
  • ½ c.  coconut oil
  • 1/4 c. cold water
  • 1 1/4 c. apple sauce – regular or with cinnamon


Mix all dry ingredients, then add liquid, mix all together. Add flax seed egg replacement in the end, when it becomes gooey. Preheat the oven to 350, bake it in muffin pan for 15-20 min

My personal tip – if you use measuring cups for oil and honey – pour oil first, then use the same cup for honey. This way the honey will not stick to the sides.

Good luck, my gluten-free friends!



Juicing is great – but what to do with leftovers?

6 Mar

So you are juicing every day (or every other day? Once a week?) like me and don’t know what to do with pulp or leftovers?

Here are my few solutions.

If you use carrots – juice them first, take this pulp away and use it for

-baking cookies (use apple pulp as well);

-veggie burgers;

-thick soups (never tried, but I’d add it to lentil soup)

Lately I’m juicing fennel bulb, and all the fennel that is left simply is not possible to use fresh. So I collected the fennel from 2 bulbs, dehydrated it (temperature under 40 C to make sure it’s “live”) – for about 8 hrs. Then I milled it in a coffee grinder, collected in a jar, stored in the refrigerator for better times. It is a very fine powder, I think I’ll use just a bit for anything I will be cooking.

Hope this works for you too!

photo 1 (2) photo 2 (2) photo 3 (2)

Green smoothie sucess

4 Jan

Lately I’ve been skipping on my greens so I make sure I drink green smoothies. I remind myself about it every evening, but soon it will become a habit. I consider it as a snack


It is very easy to make one.

You need:

-any greens (kale, collard greens, butternut squash, romaine lettuce etc) – try to use only organic;

-any soft fruit (banana, mango, melon);

-any berries or one more fruit (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries etc);


It may look weird or “too healthy” but believe me you will like it after you try.

For the beginners – use more fruit. When you get used to it, try 2/3 of greens, 1/3 of a fruit. Blend water with fruit and berries first, then add greens. No need for fancy blender – mine was about $40 3 years ago and still going strong.

Good luck!

Mixed berry bundt cake – vegan, soy and nut free; simply awesome!

10 Oct

This recipe is from book “Vegan – 100 everyday recipes”, with some changes that I’ve made, as usual.

bundt_cakeYou need:

2 3/4 cups whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups sugar

3/4 cup dry unsweetened coconut

2 cups coconut vanilla milk

2/3 canola or any other oil (not pure olive)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups mixed berries



1. Preheat the oven to 350 F

2. Mix dry ingredients

3. Add liquid ingredients, mix well. Add berries

4. Butter the bundt pan, pour the batter in there.

5. Bake for 45 min – 1 hr. Check with a toothpick


When it’s ready, the book suggests serving it with vegan ice cream. Should taste awesome, but mine was great without it as well


Coffee Coconut Milk Ice Cream

6 Sep

coconut_ice_creamI’ve got KitchenAid ice cream maker attachment and gotta make it work! So here is the ice cream that I made, the original recipe is from  here (they have beautiful photos there)

Coffee Coconut Milk Ice Cream 
Serves 3 (I always divide by 2)

  • 15 oz coconut milk (regular or vanilla)
  • 3/8 cup regular sugar
  • 3/8 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine coconut milk, coffee and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk until well combined – about 5 minutes.Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla. Transfer to a bowl to let cool completely in the fridge – at least 6 hours, overnight being preferable.Transfer to ice cream maker and prepare according to manufacturer instructions (I let mine churn for about 20 minutes, at which point it was done). Pour into tupperware container, smooth out top, and press plastic wrap directly to the ice cream. Cover with tupperware lid. Let harden for several hours in freezer. Let stand for 15 minutes at room temperature before serving. Top with hot fudge, sprinkles, etc!

I topped it with some hemp seeds, that’s what you see on the photo

What’s growing on our balcony garden

22 Aug

basilI’ve never been excited to work in the garden because I spent a lot of my childhood days at the summer house (“dacha”) working on a field. Summer house in Ukraine and Russia is not your American summer house. It means you go there to work in the garden picking up weeds and collecting apples, berries, cucumbers etc. Usually toilet is outside, no shower etc. I’m sure new houses have all these goods built in, but it was not the case in our case…Next step down the civilization is a village. Village has bigger fields, and our grandparents have 2.5 acres of fields. I am very thankful we don’t have any animals there (my grandparent live there from Spring till Fall, not the full year).

My cousins always seemed to enjoy digging in the grounds and telling me that I should help my grandma better with this. But I just hated it. Especially the outfits you put on when you go to the field – someone’s old clothes and shoes, yuk.

So it is very funny how I like growing herbs now. Last year I started doing this, this year I got better, next year I’ll be the pro

The easiest thing that grows is basil. It grows no matter what like nobody’s business. If I don’t water it for 2-3 days, it doesn’t mind. You add some water – it’s alive again next day. It is really nice to have fresh basil anytime I need it. I use it for hummus mostly.

Then I have arugula. Next year I’ll have more of it, and will plant it properly, so it’s not overcrowded. I use just a couple of leaves at a time. If I needed a bunch, my balcony garden wouldn’t be able to provide that space.

Rosemary. I’ve got it for one recipe, and planted it, but really it has no use in my cooking. My daughter likes to eat it tho. Maybe I’ll skip it next year.

Mint. The best herb ever. It grows no matter what! You should plant it separately from everything. I love how fast it grows leafs back. I use it for vitamin water, and for other cooking. The more leafs you pick, the faster new ones will grow.

Cilantro and Parsley. This year I planted just one of each, but next year these plants will get more attention. Usually you need a lot of them, so when you harvest them, you need to wait 2 weeks for them to grow back. Next year I’ll plant 3-4 bushes of each.


Vegetable Vegan Dumplings

20 Aug

vegetable dumplingsI love some vegetable dumplings, especially their low calorie count. I’ve been buying Gyoza brand in Chinese store for a while (190 cal per 6), but reading the ingredients did not make me happy. Too many ingredients I cannot even pronounce!

So this was an attempt to make my own, and it was a good one.

For stuffing I used leftovers stuffing from stuffed eggplant I made the other day, and added ginger and carrots. Wrappers I’ve got in HMart (wonton wrappers).

The recipe for the stuffing one more time plus additional ingredients, all divided by 2. You can prepare more and freeze them (that’s what I’m going to do next time)

  • 1/4 small onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup chopped button mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup millet (you can use quinoa!)
  • 1/6 cup green lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 inch of ginger, grated
  • 1/4 of chopped eggplant without the skin
  • oil for frying

1. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in saucepan. Add onion, and sauté 7 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Remove 1/8 cup onion, and set aside. Add mushrooms and eggplant to pan, increase heat to medium-high, and sauté 3 minutes, or until tender. Transfer mushrooms to bowl.

2. Reduce heat to medium, return 1/8 cup onion to pan; add millet, and sauté 2 minutes. Add lentils and 1 cup of water, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Remove from heat; let stand, covered, 10 minutes. Transfer to bowl with mushroom mixture.

3. Unfreeze wrappers. Add 1 teaspoon of a mixture in each and wrap them. I wet hands a little bit and close the wrappers, otherwise they don’t stick

4. The best way is to freeze them after you’re done. I line the container with parchment paper, and place them the way they don’t touch each other.  Each layer has to be lines with paper. Then I prepare them on steam, steaming about 6 min.