Grilled Tempeh Sandwich

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As my father was grilling a juicy pork kebab, I reserved half the grill for myself and made a nice tempeh sandwich. Keeping my promise of using as many unusual ingredients as possible in the next few months, I decided to try some Daiya cheese. I tried the Jalapeno and Garlic kind. For some reason it is called a wedge, but it is simply a kind of a cream cheese. I, and my whole family, liked it. I wouldn’t say it is a “cheese” but it tastes good. Now to tempeh. It is great fried in a pan with some oil and black pepper. I decided to grill it in some marinade. It is delicious. It does not replace meat, and I would not recommend it someone who is trying to replace meat in their diet. However, tempeh works great for people who are not trying to replace the taste of meat, but are simply trying to find an alternative source of protein.

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Ingredients:

1/2 block of tempeh, cut into two

1 tbsp barbeque sauce

juice of half an orange

1/2 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp Daiya cheese

1 pickle

1 ring red onion

spinach

tomato

mustard and black pepper to taste

2 pieces of pumpernickel bread

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Directions:

1. Mix the barbeque sauce, maple syrup, and orange juice in a shallow bowl.

2. Place the tempeh into the marinade for a few minutes.

3. Grill the tempeh for 4 minutes on each side.

4. Assemble the sandwich using the rest of the ingredients. I toasted the bread because I like toasty bread but it is not necessary.

5. Serve with a glass of nice red wine.

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All I have to say is: “YUM!”

In conclusion, I do not think I will be missing Daiya cheese when I live in Mongolia. The same goes for tempeh. I cannot believe I am saying this, but I do prefer tofu to tempeh. They are two different textures and tastes but tofu is better. Not that I am a great fan of tofu. I guess my point is I do not like either. Beans are better. The end.

I wish you love and understanding,

M.A.

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Stuffed Grape Leaves (vegan, gluten-free)

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I have been in Canada for almost three weeks now. I cannot describe the reverse culture-shock. There is so much of everything, people are so big, roads are so wide, and I can get whatever vegan “crazy” ingredients I can. I started one night with some Italian truffle salsa, delicious pumpernickel bread, and Greek olives. My mom then pulled out a jar of grape leaves from her (very much overstuffed with all kinds of deliciousness) pantry. I immediately decided to stuff them. Here’s what we came up with.

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Ingredients:

1 c brown rice

20 Medjool dates, soaked for 15 minutes

10 dried apricots

1/2 c pecans, soaked for 15 minutes

1/2 lemon, juiced

chopped (chiffonade) fresh mint to taste ( I used about 20 leaves)

30 grape leaves, soaked in fresh water to get rid of brine

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Directions:

1. Cook the rice according to directions. Slightly under cook the rice because it will be cooked more later.

2. Chop up the dates, apricots, as well as nuts.

3. Mix all the ingredients except for grape leaves with the rice.

4. Taste the leaves. Most of the store-bought grape leaves come in a jar covered with brine. Brine is just a salt solution. Soak the leaves and rinse them to get rid of excess salt.

5. Spread one leaf on a working surface. Cut off the stem. Place a tbsp of rice mixture at the base of the leaf. Fold the sides on top of the rice and roll/fold forward to make a nice grape leaf package. Place the rolled leaf into a pan onto the seam. Continue until the pan is full of leaf packages. Make sure they are tightly packed.

6. Fill up the pan with water until the leaf packages are covered. Steam for about 20-30 minutes, or until the packages look very tender.

7. Serve hot or cold with some lemon juice. Non-vegans can have some yoghurt on the side.

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These stuffed grape leaves turned out really well. The leaf provided some acidity, while all the dried fruit provide all the sweetness needed to balance said acidity. The nuts added some nice crunchy texture. Lemon juice finished off the dish. My family said that the yoghurt added just the perfect amount of a creamy finish.

My goal for the next few months is to use as many unusual or hard to get ingredients in my cooking as possible. The reason is simple; I will not have access to these ingredients for the next two years living in Mongolia. I am also super busy planning my wedding and getting all the things ready for the big day. Forgive me if I am not posting as many vegan http://wayfaringteacher.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1462&action=edit&message=10recipes as possible.

Try these stuffed grape leaves; you won’t regret it.

I wish you light and warm weather,

M

Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons (vegan, gluten-free)

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In Korea, there is no such thing as a Christmas break. We get only Christmas day off and nothing else. It is really hard to get into the spirit of the holidays for this reason, but we try. Christmas music has been on replay for a few weeks in the house and I’ve been baking lots of seasonal goodies. One of my favorite treats to make during Christmas is macaroons. They usually involve a lot of egg whites but this year, I’ve attempted vegan macaroons and they turned out super! I’ve stepped it up a notch and made them gluten-free as well. These macaroons are non-vegan fiance approved.

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Dry Ingredients:

1 c dry unsweetened coconut flakes

2 tbsp coconut flour

2 tbsp almond flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 c dry cranberries

Wet Ingredients:

2 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp freshly-squeezed mandarin juice

zest of 3 mandarins

2 tbsp coconut xylose sugar

2 tbsp coconut milk

pinch of salt

Extra:

1/2 bar of dark vegan chocolate for melting.

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Directions:

1. In a bowl mix the dry ingredients.

2. In a smaller bowl mix the wet ingredients until the sugar is dissolved.

3. Transfer the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix well with a fork. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 130 degrees Celsius. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

5. Have a bowl of water handy to make the macaroon cones. Measure out a tbsp of the macaroon mixture and use your hands and fingers to shape into cones. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until the edges start to brown. Cool.

6. In a double boiler, melt half a bar of vegan chocolate. Dip the bottom of each cone into the chocolate and place the cones on their sides to cool. You may choose to place all the cones in the fridge for the chocolate to harden, or just leave them on the counter, depending on the time you have available.

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These macaroons are to be kept in a tight container in the fridge. I don’t know how long they last for in the fridge because they were immediately eaten in this house. I wrapped a few of them with a pretty bow to give as last minute gifts at the office. These are completely gluten-free and not that bad for you! So go ahead, indulge.

P.S. Almond flour is my new favorite flour. It doesn’t taste like almonds and can be used in the place of any other flour. So great! Try it; you won’t be disappointed.

Enjoy your holiday break everyone! Stay safe and warm. Peace be with you.

Love and light,

M

Gluten-free Lemon Squares (vegan)

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I have been MIA for about three weeks now. It’s been pretty crazy here. Chris and I went through a series of interviews for a few jobs, which in the end resulted in nothing. It’s been an emotional roller coaster. Needless to say I had no time or the will to cook anything. We’ve been surviving on simple rice and beans, and quick curries for the past few weeks. Well no more, my friends! I want to welcome you into the beginning of this year’s Christmas season! Yes, yes I know, Christmas is a day, not a season. I, however, consider the whole month of December one giant celebration of the end of the year. This is the time to wrap up the year, make some conclusions about the year passing, and, of course, write down a  whole bunch of plans and promises for the year coming. I’ve been reflecting and making plans but I’ll tell about all of this some other time. Right now, on to the lemon squares!

I love lemon in December, but traditional lemon squares are usually packed with cups of powdered sugar and butter, which makes them delicious, yes, but so bad for you! I decided to experiment with no eggs, no real sugar, and no butter. I used almonds and corn starch to thicken the filling, coconut oil for fat, and erythritol as sugar. Erythritol is my new favourite find. It is a naturally-occurring sugar alcohol which contains 95% less carbohydrates than regular sugar but is 70% as sweet! Some people say that it upsets their stomach but I haven’t  had any problems with it. Try it! Now that I know it exists there is no reason to ever use regular sugar.

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Ingredients for crust:

1 c brown rice flour

1/3 c melted coconut oil

1/2 c powdered erythritol

3 tbsp coconut cream

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Directions for crust:

Preheat the oven for 175 degrees Celsius. Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper.

1. Mix melted oil with erythritol until erythritol is dissolved.

2. Add the flour and mix until incorporated.

3. Add the coconut cream one spoon at a time. You might not need all of it.

3. Mix until the dough comes together.

4. Press the dough into the pan and bake for 20 minutes. It should be a little under baked.

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Ingredients for filling:

3/4 almonds, soaked for 2 hours

1/3 c water

zest of 2 lemons.

juice of 2 lemons (about 1/3 c)

1 c erythritol

2 tbsp brown rice flour

2 tbsp corn starch

powdered erythritol for pretty topping

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Directions for filling:

1. In a food processor, add the almonds and 1/3 c of water. Let the processor combine water and almonds until a smooth paste forms. You may need to scrape the sides a few times. It took me about 5 minutes to get the paste form. Don’t worry, you won’t make almond butter because there is water present in the mixture.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the powdered erythritol) and let the processor mix until the mixture is homogeneous.

3. Transfer  the lemon mixture on top of the crust, smooth it out, and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until set.

4. Let it cool at room temperature, cut into 16 squares and transfer into an air-tight container. Chill the squares for about an hour in the fridge. Serve with powdered erythritol on top.

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Well these were a giant success. They taste just like the real deal but creamier (thanks to almonds.) The crust tastes like shortbread, and the filling is to die for. They are just sweet enough to be enjoyable and not too overpowering. Next time I’ll add more lemon zest because I like my lemon squares super zingy! I used this brand of erythritol and loved the results. I’ve looked around and to my knowledge it is gluten-free but if you are aware of other information, please let me know!

Christmas baking is in full swing here in my Jeju residence. Stick around for more recipes for your vegan and gluten-free Christmas.

Enjoy this wonderful joy-filled season and don’t forget to fit in quick work outs along with indulging in sweets this holiday season.

Maria

Three-Seed Rosemary Crackers (vegan, gluten-free, grain-free)

I love flax and chia seeds. They are amazing! Not only do they both contain omega-3 fatty acids (good for the joints), flax seeds are rich in fiber and chia seeds also absorb seven times their volume in liquid. This property makes chia seeds work as a perfect binder in baking. I thought to take advantage of this gel-like property of chia seeds and make some crackers in the oven.  Normally I wouldn’t have time to do this sort of thing but you see, Korea is celebrating Thanksgiving this week and everyone has 5 days off. Fantastic! With all this time of my hands, I decided to try things in the kitchen that I would usually have no time to attempt.  Crackers were one of those things. I’ve seen cracker recipes on many blogs and they always call for a dehydrator. I do not have a dehydrator (nomadic lifestyle and all) and was scared to make these in the oven. Why? Who knows. Today I decided to take my fear by the horns and tackle the art of cracker-making.

Ingredients:

1 c flax seeds

1/2 c sesame seeds

1/2 c chia seeds

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp coconut flour

1 sprig of rosemary

1 tsp black pepper

1 c water

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

1. Mix everything except for the water in a bowl.

2. Put the mixture in a food processor and turn it on.

3. While the processor is running, start adding the water until a slightly dry but doughy mixture forms.

4. Spread the mixture on the parchment paper. Make sure the mixture is spread thin and evenly. Score the mixture into the size crackers you want. Scoring will help the crackers snap once they’re baked.

5. Bake for 20 minutes or until browned. Watch the process closely so the crackers don’t burn.

I used to be afraid of making crackers and just stuck to vegetables as a dip option. Well friends, the fear has been conquered and I am able to make delicious healthy crackers for the hummus. They are crackly, crunchy, yet soft enough so teeth don’t get broken. The taste is mild enough but not bland and they do go perfectly with hummus.  Break them up into your soup, too! These crackers are grain-free and gluten-free making them very easy on the stomach, so don’t be afraid to indulge a little bit.  Enjoy!

Keep enjoying autumn everyone!

Maria

Vegan Berry Crumble (Gluten-free)

With the days getting shorter and cooler I was craving some home-made warm and sweet goodness on the weekend. One of my favorite desserts for the cooler months is oat crumble. When I still indulged in animal products I used to add extra butter to the oat crumble topping. Now, however, I have been off butter for quite some time and have found an equally tasty alternative. Coconut oil and coconut flour make any dessert taste posh and super sinful. Not only do both of these ingredients add indulgence to the dessert, they are also gluten-free. This is a definite win-win, my friends.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 c berries of any kind. Use fresh or frozen. I used canned cherries and raspberries because that’s all I had.

2 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp lime juice

1/3 c coconut flour

1/4 c maple syrup

1-2 tbsp coconut oil

1/4 gluten-free oats

1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Oil a baking pan (I used a small loaf pan.)

1. In a bowl, mix berries, 2 tbsp maple syrup, lime juice and a tbsp of coconut flour. Empty into the pan.

2. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl until crumbly and spread on top of the berry mixture.

3. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Enjoy warm.

So pretty, homey, and tasty! If you take out the sugar and reduce the oil there is a weekend breakfast on your hands. Try this recipe and let me know what you think!

I really miss Canadian fall. Being in Canada in the fall is magical; the air is crisp, the leaves are beautiful, there are pumpkins everywhere…ah! Not to worry! I will just have to make up for all the extrinsic feelings by smell and taste. I foresee a lot of autumn-inspired vegan baking in the nearest future for this little blog. Stick around!

I wish you a fantastic fall,

Maria

Failed coconut butter and successful mint candy (Vegan Junior Mints, gluten-free)

Today is a great day of failures. I failed to go to work because the typhoon hasn’t quite calmed down when I had to leave the house. I was a little bit scared of the flying branches outside, and my coworkers understood. Another failure was my coconut butter. I was looking forward to making some smooth coconut butter and it failed. It just wouldn’t “butter” but instead clumped together, teasing me until I would stir it only to find out that the coconut flakes were still just that…flaky.

“Oh, well”, I though. “I will make peppermint candy!”

I looked around the web to see how to go about making a peppermint candy/patty and found some great recipes. Unfortunately, they all called for something I didn’t have, or a LOT of powdered sugar. I decided to work with what I had and this is the recipe I came up with.

Ingredients:

1/2 c of dessicated coconut flakes

1/4-1/2 c almond flour (start with 1/4 cup)

3-4 tbsp brown rice syrup ( make sure it’s gluten-free if you’re sensitive.  Some brown rice syrup is fermented using barley, which contains gluten.)

1/4 tsp peppermint extract

1 tsp coconut oil

1/2 bar of organic vegan dark chocolate. I used Endangered Species bar shown here, but 80%.

Directions:

Line a dish with tin foil.

1. Place the coconut flakes in the food processor and let it run just until the coconut flakes start to release oil. Ideally you would make coconut butter and use it. However, for some reason the butter never formed for me. Maybe the coconut we get in Korea is old or maybe it was the typhoon, who knows.

2. Place the coconut mixture/butter (whatever came out of the food processor) into a medium size bowl and add the almond flour. Mix well with a spatula.

3. Add the extract and mix. Add the syrup and mix. If you find the mixture too dry, add more brown rice syrup. It is not too sweet, so the flavor won’t be affected too much. Alternatively you can add more almond flour if the mixture is too wet.

4. Add the oil and mix well.

5. Form dough balls of the size you want your candy to be. I made balls of about 2 cm in diameter. Place them on a dish covered in tin foil. When all the balls are formed, place the dish in the freezer while you prepare the chocolate.

6. Melt your chocolate in a double boiler and take it off the heat.

7. Take the balls out of the freezer and dip each one in the chocolate, swirl with a spoon and take out. Place on tin foil. Repeat until all balls are covered in chocolate. Place in the freezer to harden.

This recipe is what you would call a success. It turned out amazing! The balls were perfectly chewy and not too sweet. The peppermint and coconut flakes provided a nice aftertaste, and the dark chocolate took me to heaven. Ummmm-ummm!

You can make peppermint patties out of this dough as well but I didn’t want to bother with the whole rolling thing. These would be fun to make with kids, although I am not sure how many kids are that much into peppermint. I will definitely be making these for Christmas because they just scream “fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la” to me.

I strongly recommend you to try them and tweak the ingredients to your liking. If you want more sweetness, just add more syrup. Just remember to balance it with a little more almond flour. I also saw a few bloggers adding protein powders to their recipes. Why not? Add some hemp powder for green color, or some beet juice for a fabulous red! Anyway, the recipe is flexible, so have fun with it like I did.

I wish you love and light.

M

Creamy vegan salad dressing

I’ve been on a salad kick ever since our return from Japan. People don’t eat a lot of vegetables in Japan. My Japanese coworker explained that vegetables are just too expensive there, so people opt to have rice to fill themselves up; not vegetables. The only vegetable that is common in Japan is cabbage, and they just serve it raw as a side dish. No dressing, no salt, just cabbage. Yum….?

I have been making simple lettuce+shredded carrot+cucumber salads for the past two weeks with my favorite mustard/olive oil dressing. One day I had a craving for something more creamy so I came up with this dressing. It is now my favorite salad dressing. I also put it on lentil loaf, rice, quinoa, you name it. It is my new “go to” sauce. The best thing about the dressing is that you can control the amount of spice/zing in it by adding or taking away chili powder and lime juice. Try it, and you won’t be disappointed.

Creamy almond dressing

Ingredients:

1 c almonds, soaked for 1 hour

1 c water

1 tbsp soya sauce

2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast

3 tsp dijon mustard

zest and juice of one lime, or more if you like the zing!

chilli powder and black pepper to taste

Direction:

1. Put the almonds in the food processor and let them go until they form fine crumbs. Do not over process, or it’ll turn into almond butter.

2. Add all the other ingredients and let the food processor work until you reach a smooth consistency.

3. Add some chopped parsley for garnish and extra flavor!

Note: I threw in just a tbsp of tofu for added protein. There was no taste difference. Try it!

If you want to add some protein to your salad try these favorites of mine:

-hemp hearts (I find I need to cook them a little bit, otherwise my body rejects them)

-more nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds)

-some pan-fried tofu

-some kidney beans or chickpeas

I hope you enjoy this dressing as much as I do and keep getting healthier!

This weekend my friend and I will be trying our hands at home-made bagels, so stick around for the bagel entry!

We are also experiencing a crazy typhoon here in Korea. It is called typhoon Bolaven. Schools are closed and everyone is just sitting at home, waiting for the wind and rain to go by without too much damage. I cannot wait to eat some hot curry and cuddle up in bed, watching a cool movie!

Be safe and happy,

Maria

Vegan Cabbage Kimchi

The first question everyone in Korea asks of a Westerner is “Where are you from?” The second question is almost always “Do you like kimchi?” Kimchi is as integral to Korean culture and identity as freedom is to Americans, as wine is to the French, and as pasta is to the Italians. Kimchi is served as a side dish with everything from rice to steak. In the minds of some Korean people kimchi also cures everything including cancer. Yes, my dear readers, spicy fermented cabbage is capable of miracles.

Fermented food is not on the list of favorites for a lot of people. In fact, I’ve heard it said time and time again from fellow expats that after years of living in Korea they still cannot stand the smell of kimchi. Some do not like the texture. I,  however, love all of it. I like the spiciness and the slightly crunchy yet soft texture of the cabbage. I like the tartness, the sweetness that comes after, and I love the smell. What can I say, I’m Russian; we like stinky pickled vegetables.

There is one problem. Even though the naive North American might believe that kimchi is a fully vegetarian dish, it is not. Kimchi is always made with fish sauce and sometimes, the friendly crooked kimchi maker will put  some oysters into the mix to make the kimchi extra special. Not to mention all the garlic that goes into it. Ufffffff, that is one stinky lunch.

The only time I can get garlic-free vegan kimchi is when I go to a monk restaurant which isn’t often. Thanks to my friend who used to work at one of these restaurants I learned how to make my own garlic-free, vegan kimchi.  It takes a little bit of time and work but it is all worth it because you can flavor the kimchi any way you like.

Vegan Kimchi

Ingredients:

1 big Chinese cabbage

1 c coarse sea salt

2 inch piece of ginger (if you want garlic, add as much garlic as you want along with the ginger)

1 c Korean spicy pepper flakes (Gochu karu, 고추가루)

1 c Korean sticky rice (Jjapsal, 찹쌀)

1 inch piece of dashi seaweed (Dashima, 다시마)

1 big piece of fruit (The recipe asks for an Asian pear but I couldn’t get any this time. You can use one apple, 3-4 plums, some pineapple, or persimmons. This time I used 3 nectarines. )

1/4 c soya sauce

Directions:

1. Cut the cabbage in half. Wash.

2. Salt the cabbage carefully in between each leaf. Leave it in a large container for a few hours. This will break down the cell walls in the cabbage, release the water from the cells, and significantly reduce the volume.

3. While the cabbage is salting, mix the rice with enough water to cover. Drop the seaweed into the pot and cook the rice for about 30 minutes, until is is very soft and mushy. It will be used to make the paste. Cool the rice.

4. When the rice is cool add it to the food processor along with he fruit and the spicy pepper flakes. Mix and taste. If it isn’t salty enough, add some soya sauce. Do not add all the soya sauce at the same time but do remember that the mixture should taste very salty.

5. Rinse the cabbage to get rid of salt.

6. Put on some plastic gloves and start putting the sauce in between each leaf of the cabbage. That’s right, between each leaf. It takes a while but it
‘ll be sooo goood!

7. When all the sauce is gone and the cabbage is covered in sauce, place the cabbage in an air tight container. Make sure the container is big enough to fit the cabbage but small enough that there is no extra space available after. Alternatively you can use a simple plastic bag.  You see, we are making fermented cabbage. For fermentation to take place there needs to be zero oxygen available. This is why the container has to be exactly the right size. If your container is too big the cabbage will simply rot.

8. When all the cabbage and the sauce is packed into your container, leave it be for a few days at room temperature in a  dark place. I store mine under my kitchen counter. Check it in a few days, taste the cabbage. Is it salty enough? If not, just sprinkle it with salt. I am sure that if any Koreans are reading this they would be appalled but it’s worked for me many times. The longer you leave the cabbage fermenting, the more sour it will be. I like mine  the most at the week and a half mark. After the kimchi has reached your preferred state of fermentation, transfer the container to the fridge to stop the fermentation process.

Have you tried grilled kimchi? It is pretty much the best grill food I can think of. The heat dries it and deepens the flavors. It’s a must for our summer barbeques on the beach.

Let’s talk about fermentation.

Originally people started fermenting food to preserve it. You know, eating rotten cabbage didn’t work out so well for all the poor folks in the Middle ages. However, some time later people figured out that there are actual health benefits to eating fermented foods. Here’s a list of just a few.

-This one will make all the gluten intolerant folks happy. Fermentation greatly reduces the amount of gluten present in the food. So if you just cannot live without bread but cannot stand gluten chose a sourdough bread.

-Fermentation breaks down lactose in the dairy. Which means that not only is it easier on digestion but the carb content is reduced as well! Eat up that yoghurt non-vegans!

-Fermented foods restore the healthy good-for-us probiotics  in our digestive system.

There are many more benefits to eating fermented foods. It is always better to make your own fermented food because mass-produced foods, such as sauerkraut, aren’t given the time to ferment properly and develop all the goodness people look for in fermented foods. They are made quickly in order to move the product.

You probably already enjoy a lot of fermented foods without even knowing it. If you haven’t tried kimchi, give it a go. I think you’d love it!

I wish you digestive health,

Maria

Black bean brownie bites (vegan, flourless, and oil-free)

Last night I was in the mood for chocolate. However, we are still on the special diet for P90X. But I wanted something sweet. But there is only one more week left until the end of P90X. But ….chocolate….

What’s a girl to do?

Make black bean brownies, of course!

Black beans are so great! They are full of protein, fiber, as well as antioxidants. I absolutely adore the flavor of black beans as well. They are rich and earthy (Muladhara anyone?) Black beans are also very hard to come by in Korea. Luckily, I found a bunch at the local supermarket last week and stocked up. I know… things I do in Asia…stocking up on beans. Laughable!

I also definitely wanted something sweet but not totally bad for the diet. Something delicious and rich but not oily. So I made up this recipe for just the right amount of brownie bites to satisfy a chocolate craving.

Black bean brownie bites

Ingredients:

1/2 c black beans, cooked

1/4 c cocoa powder

1 chia “egg” (3 tsp of ground chia mixed with 6 tbsp of water)

1/4 c almond butter made by a fantastic friend

1/4 c agave nectar

1/2 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

Some Hershey Kisses (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius.

Line a muffin pan with small muffin papers. It is OK if they do not fit.

1. Make the chia “egg” and set aside to gel.

2. In a food processor, pulse beans, almond butter, agave, baking powder, vanilla, and cinnamon until smooth.

3. Add the chia “egg”. Process.

4. Pour about 2 tbsp of batter into each muffin paper.

5. Bake for 10 minutes.

6. If you would like to add the Kisses on top, do so immediately after the brownies come out of the oven.

These brownie bites were sweet enough to satisfy a sweet tooth craving, and so rich that I felt as if I drank a cup of liquid chocolate.  They did not at all taste like black beans! Who can refuse a healthy dessert? I ate about 5 tiny brownies. This recipe make about 8-9 brownie bites. Enough for two people to have with tea as the sun sets.  Or just enough for one chocolate-hungry Russian.

I have been having trouble staying in the kitchen lately. Partly because I am so busy and partly because it is so nice outside! Who wants to cook when you can just go to the beach and enjoy a fresh watermelon all to yourself? So I am asking for help. What are your favorite easy summer recipes to make? Help me out.

I wish you love and light,

Maria

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