Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins {gf} {vg}

A few weeks ago I brought a batch of vegan Apple Walnut Muffins for all my fellow students and my teacher at the yoga teacher training. They were excited to get a nice and healthy treat after pratcice and really loved the muffins – except for one of my yogi friends. She couldn’t have one, as she cannot eat gluten. (The muffins were made with regular whole wheat flour…) At least she took one home for her son, and told me afterwards that he really enjoyed his muffin :)

IMG_0276So – for tonight’s treat after practice, I made gluten free muffins! And they are vegan too! And they are also absolutely delicious! I couldn’t wait and test-tried one already for breakfast this morning :) IMG_0288

IMG_0283Pumpkin is in season and all over the place – so why not going for a gluten free, vegan version of the all so common Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, I thought. And so I came up with this recipe using gluten free flour (from Trader Joe’s), organic canned pumpkin puree, flax meal “eggs”, organic almond butter and dairy free chocolate chips. A bit cinnamon and nutmeg, and no sugar, but maple syrup…IMG_0278

I can’t wait to share these cuties with my yogi friends tonight after practice!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins {gf} {vg}

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 12 muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins {gf} {vg}

A gluten free and vegan version of the all so common Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffin!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons ground flax mixed with 3 tablespoons water, let stand for 5 minutes
  • 1 cup (240g) organic pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted almond butter
  • ¼ cup (60ml) maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups (180g) gluten-free flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (60g) (gluten free) mini chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling on top

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (170 C). Grease a 12 cup muffin tin, or line with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, almond butter, maple syrup, and flax seed / water mixture until evenly incorporated.

Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt and whisk until smooth. Fold in 1/4 cup of chocolate chips.

Fill the muffin cups 1/2-2/3 full. Sprinkle the tops with additional chocolate chips, if desired.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffins comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

http://blog.realpeoplekitchen.com/pumpkin-chocolate-chip-muffins-gf-vg/

One Pan Roasted Halibut with Fennel, Oranges & Olives

IMG_0270After another great and intense weekend of my yoga teacher training, it’s really nice to get home on Sunday evening and go into the kitchen, start with a glass of Prosecco and prepare dinner. I mean I REALLY enjoy this! No need to go out and grab dinner somewhere else. Just relax with a bit of cooking and eating at home :)

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The past Sunday I made an awesome dish that is very easy to prepare and roast all in one pan in the oven. The halibut was from the local fishmonger, caught in Santa Barbara. If you can’t get halibut or you would like to opt for a bit less pricey fish, you can use cod as well.

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It takes about 15 minutes of preparation and 10-12 minutes of cooking. So overall, you can enjoy your dinner within half an hour. So there is still enough to relax with a nice glass of wine in front of the TV afterwards :)

How was your Sunday?

Roasted Halibut with Fennel, Oranges & Olives

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 2

Roasted Halibut with Fennel, Oranges & Olives

An easy one-pan dish that's low carb and gluten free and yet satisfying and full of flavor!

Ingredients

  • 1 orange
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pitted Nicoise olives, halved
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound halibut fillet, cut into 2 inch thick pieces (alternatively, you can use cod)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

With a zester or fine grater, remove 1 teaspoon of orange zest. Use a large, sharp knife to trim away all the peel and pith from the orange. Hold the peeled fruit over the bowl and cut in between the membranes to free the orange segments; you should have about ½ cup. Squeeze the membranes over the bowl to extract the juice; you want 1/8 cup. (Reserve any extra for another use.) Add the zest and segments to the bowl.

Halve the fennel bulb lengthwise, slice it thinly and add to the bowl with the orange segments. Add the olive oil, olives, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.

Spread everything out evenly into a baking-proof pan. Place the fish fillets on top. Sprinkle with remaining the 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper and bake for 10 to 12 minutes depending on thickness.

Enjoy!

http://blog.realpeoplekitchen.com/roasted-halibut-with-fennel-oranges-olives/

 

Classic Butternut Squash Soup

FullSizeRender-1Finally! Also, in Southern California at the beach we are getting some idea of what fall temperatures feel like. I mean it’s just slightly cooler, the sun hours per day have been decreasing, and it’s getting darker in the evening a lot sooner.

After being to Germany and Switzerland end of September for two weeks where it already felt a lot more like fall, this is kind of nice here too :-)

I always link the months of October and November to the good old pumpkin soup. While I was a child, my Mama would typically make a huge pot of soup for the guests at my birthday party (November 4th – coming soon…) which – at the time – I didn’t appreciate at all. Of course, there were other, kid-friendly dishes as well, so I was a happy and pleased birthday girl at the end!

In my teenage years and early twenties, I started liking the pumpkin soup at my birthdays… And then I finally started loving it and cooking it for myself, for husband, guests etc.

classic butternut squash soup

These days I am so glad, ’tis the time of the year again… And yesterday I cooked the first butternut squash soup of the season. This one is a “classic” approach using butter and half & half. Next will be a more Thai inspired version with red curry paste and coconut milk – so look out for it!

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The classic butternut squash soup (with lots of fresh thyme) goes very well with slices of German Fleischwurst (a kind of ring bologna) which is very common in Germany to add cold cuts into vegetable soups. I’m happy to eat the soup straight as it is and vegetarian, but my husband loves the Fleischwurst slices!

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Classic Butternut Squash Soup

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Classic Butternut Squash Soup

I always link the months of October and November to the good old pumpkin soup. While I was a child, my Mama would typically make a huge pot of soup for the guests at my birthday party which – at the time – I didn’t appreciate at all. Now I absolutely love making this soup for myself, my husband and guests!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter (or cooking oil)
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and diced
  • 3 cups (20 oz. / 560g) butternut squash, cut in cubes (I used pre-cut)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 cups (~750ml) low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons half & half (or heavy cream, if desired)
  • salt
  • red pepper flakes
  • (optional for more thickness: 1 large potato, peeled and diced)

Instructions

Heat a large pot over medium-low heat and add butter. Once it is melted, add in the onions and the ginger and stir. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the butternut squash cubes and thyme leaves (and – if using – diced potato). Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in the stock. Cover the pot and increase the heat to medium. Cook until the squash is soft, about 20 minutes.

Once the squash is soft, turn off the heat. Stir in the half & half and season with salt and red pepper flakes. Using a hand blender, very carefully blend everything until the soup is smooth and pureed. (Alternatively, pour the mixture into a stand blender to puree smoothly and pour back into pot.)

Cover and let simmer for 5 more minutes. Taste and season additionally if desired.

http://blog.realpeoplekitchen.com/classic-butternut-squash-soup/

Vegan Apple Walnut Muffins

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I will bring these cuties to the yoga teacher training tomorrow night. After a hot power class and some more training, I think my fellow trainees all deserve a little treat! So I made these vegan muffins today.

They are not too sweet, but with the apples and the walnuts, I am sure this will give us the “oh yeah, dessert after yoga”-feeling!

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Actually, I should call them DOUBLE Apple Walnut Muffins! They are made with lots of applesauce AND chunks of fresh apples.

Unsweetened applesauce is great in vegan baking as it works like eggs (I don’t like the egg substitute powder) and makes the cake batter smooth and holds everything together. Also, it gives the muffins the lightness and freshness, as buttermilk or yogurt would do.

Also, I used whole wheat pastry flour for a little bit more fiber and dense… think: healthy yogis haha :-)

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Vegan Apple Walnut Muffins

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 12-15 muffins

Vegan Apple Walnut Muffins

Nobody would ever notice that these muffins are vegan! But no need to hide it as a secret... They are so delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored & diced into 1/4" pieces
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp agave
  • 1/8 tsp + 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups (360g) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/2 cups (180g) whole wheat pastry flour (or white whole wheat flour)
  • 1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar, not packed
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp (30g) non-dairy margarine, melted (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 oz (45g) chopped walnuts

Instructions

In a medium bowl combine apple, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, agave, and lemon juice. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°F/175C. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt with a wire whisk. Add melted margarine, applesauce and vanilla extract; stir to combine and mix well until well combined. Do not over mix. Fold in apples and walnuts.

Divide batter evenly among muffin molds. Bake in the center rack about 25-30 minutes.

Let the muffins cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes, then remove and let cool completely before enjoying them!

http://blog.realpeoplekitchen.com/vegan-apple-walnut-muffins/

Breakfast for the champions – Spinach Omelette

spinach omelettFinally! I’ve been excited for the past weeks! Last weekend my yoga teacher training started. The training is from 10am till 6pm every Saturday and Sunday – and on Wednesday nights for about 3 hours…

Not sure how my energy levels would be during the long first day, I opted for eggs for breakfast. No carbs, just protein and some veggies and healthy fats.

I sautéed some baby spinach in a skillet, poured two beaten eggs (seasoned with salt and pepper) over it, and made an egg spinach scramble … not quite an omelette shape i know ;-) Some tomato, cucumber and avocado slices – and I was satisfied, filled and ready to start into the training!

The first weekend was great. I am with an amazing group of 8 more people and a fantastic teacher. I can’t wait for tomorrow, Wednesday night!

Red Snapper Veracruz

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This week’s caught at the Farmer’s Market was “Rockfish”, better known as Pacific Red Snapper. My one-pound package included 2 large fillets and a smaller one (that I saved for next days lunch). If you can’t get Red Snapper or you don’t like it, any flaky and firm fish will work, such as halibut, cod or sea bass.

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Looking into my fridge, I found more of those beautiful Roma tomatoes from which I had made this delicious Tomato Sugo recently.

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I decided for a Veracruz sauce topping for the fish. The Veracruz sauce is a deliciously spicy and tangy sauce that melds the flavors of old Mexico with the flavors of olive oil, capers and olives introduced from Spain.

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When the sauce is done, you simply place the fish into the pan, top the fillets with the sauce and let it cook! That’s it!

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Red Snapper Veracruz

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 2

Serving Size: 8oz. fish fillet plus one cup Veracruz sauce

Red Snapper Veracruz

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 to 1 whole jalapeño or serrano pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 8 large Spanish or Italian green olives, pitted and chopped
  • a dash ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1 pound Roma tomatoes, chopped (I used fresh San Marzano – alternatively, you can use canned tomatoes)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pound pacific red snapper, sea bass, halibut, or cod (any white flaky fish works great)
  • Juice of ½ lemon

Instructions

In a nonstick skillet, sauté the onions in hot oil until they begin to soften and color. When they color, add the garlic and jalapeño and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the oregano, olives, cinnamon, and capers to the onion mixture and stir. Add the chopped tomatoes, with the bay leaf. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

To serve, wash the fish and squeeze the lemon juice over it.

Arrange the fish in the (same) skillet, spoon the sauce over it, and cook according to the Canadian rule: measure the fish at its thickest part and allow 8 to 10 minutes to the inch. Remove the bay leaf and serve the fish topped with its sauce, optional over steamed rice.

http://blog.realpeoplekitchen.com/red-snapper-veracruz/

3-Ingredient Pancakes

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These pancakes are a true delight for your Sunday mornings. You will full yet not bloated, satisfied and healthy and ready for the day!

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The three ingredients: Banana, eggs and ground flax seed – that’s it!

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Mix the batter…I like to add some dashes of cinnamon to it, but that’s up to you.

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Cook the pancakes on the hot griddle…photo 3-1

Just slightly burned … I will be more careful next time ;)

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Garnish with berries and a drizzle of maple syrup. What is your favorite Sunday breakfast or brunch item?

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3-Ingredient Pancakes

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 pancakes

Serving Size: 2 pancakes

3-Ingredient Pancakes

A true delight for your Sunday mornings. You will full yet not bloated, satisfied and healthy and ready for the day!

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana, very mashed
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 heaping Tbps (10g) ground flaxseed
  • coconut oil cooking spray
  • optional: cinnamon, berries, a drizzle of maple syrup

Instructions

Mix banana and eggs in a bowl. Add the ground flaxseed.

Heat a skillet over medium high and spray with cooking spray.

Scoop ¼ cup of batter onto the skillet and another ¼ cup (2 pancakes at one time) and cook until the edges are dry. Flip. Cook until golden brown.

Repeat with the remaining batter (2 more pancakes).

(Note: I like to add 3-4 dashes of cinnamon to the batter. Garnish with berries and a drizzle of maple syrup.)

http://blog.realpeoplekitchen.com/3-ingredient-pancakes/

Good Morning Kale Smoothie

photo 4Hi everybody and Happy Friday!

I really love a homemade smoothie, especially a green one, in the morning, but most of the time mornings are busy and hectic and I don’t have time to make a fresh one…

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So I realized (!) it’s the best to prep ahead the day before and fill the smoothie into maison jars. That’s what I did yesterday.photo 2-1

Kale was on sale (what a rhyme :) ) at Whole Foods this week!

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I bought the Maca powder out of Whole Foods’ Superfood shelf. It is sometimes called the Inca “ginseng”. And although its health benefits haven’t been proven 100%, you can read more about it here . You don’t have to use it though, it’s totally optional. Some people even dislike the taste ;) photo 1-1
And this morning I simple gave it a good shake so everything was well combined again and sipped it with a straw right of the jar. And from my balcony with this pretty view:

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What a great start into the day – now let’s get ready for the weekend!

Good Morning Kale Smoothie

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 16 oz.

Serving Size: 8 oz.

Good Morning Kale Smoothie

Nothing better than a green smoothie in the morning!

Ingredients

  • 3 large kale leaves, hard stalks removed
  • ¼ cup frozen pineapple cubes
  • ¼ cup frozen mango cubes
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut water
  • 1 tsp Maca powder (optional)
  • 1 dash of lemon juice (if you don’t drink it immediately)

Instructions

Put all ingredients in a blender and mix on high speed until liquified and smooth.

Pour into 2 8oz. maison jars. Sip right away or close with lids and store in the fridge until the next morning. Before opening the jars again, give it a good shake so all the components are well combined again.

http://blog.realpeoplekitchen.com/good-morning-kale-smoothie/

 

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

photo 1This salsa is a delicious companion with anything from the grill… Steak, burger, seafood and grilled veggies!

It is so easy to make your own and so much better than the store bought!

photo 3On Labor Day, we had it with steak and a mixed green salad. Yummy!

What is your favorite condiment with steak? Salsa, ketchup, mustard…?

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Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 1 cup

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

This salsa is a delicious companion with anything from the grill or the broiler. Very easy to make your own and so much better than the store bought!

Ingredients

  • 1 lbs tomatillos
  • 1 green jalapeño pepper, halved and seeds removed
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Remove the leaves from the tomatillos and wash them. Heat a skillet (without oil) over high heat. Roast the tomatillos and the jalapeno, turning occasionally until blackened. Just before they are done at the garlic clove for 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and grind everything with fresh cilantro, salt and pepper, in a food processor.

http://blog.realpeoplekitchen.com/roasted-tomatillo-salsa/

Pear & Blackberry Semolina Mini Tartes

photo 2-2These mini tartes are great for Sunday brunch or served for dessert with a scoop of coconut cream or vanilla gelato. They are 100% vegan and 100% delicious!photo 1-3I used semolina flour which is a coarse ground durum wheat flour that gives these simple mini cakes a golden color and a tender texture.photo 2-3I got fresh organic blackberries at Whole Foods… Frozen will work as well. And you can use any kinds of berries for the top. Make sure the pears are not too firm anymore and have softened already a bit…photo 3-1Sprinkling lemon juice, lemon zest, and turbinado sugar over the cubed pears will enhance their flavor. Combine everything and set aside.photo 4This is how the batter will look like before you mix in the pears. Pre-oven shot before topping the berries:photo 1-4And the post-oven shot…photo 3-2You need to let them cool down just a little bit, but then dig in and enjoy!photo 4-2

Pear & Blackberry Semolina Mini Tartes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 6 mini tartes

Serving Size: 1 tarte

Pear & Blackberry Semolina Mini Tartes

The mini tartes are great for Sunday brunch or served for dessert with a scoop of vanilla gelato or coconut cream

Ingredients

  • 3 pears, peeled and diced (3 cups)
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • ¼ cup (50g) plus 1 Tbs. (12g) turbinado sugar (or brown sugar), divided
  • ¼ cup (50g) organic cane sugar
  • ½ cup (100g) unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup non-dairy coconut yogurt (you can use regular plain yogurt as well)
  • 1 ½ cups (250g) semolina flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • 6oz (170g) fresh or frozen blackberries

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Spray 6 mini tartlet pans with coconut oil spray.

Combine pears, lemon juice, zest, and 1 Tbs. turbinado sugar in bowl; set aside.

Whisk together 1/4 cup turbinado sugar, sugar, apple sauce, vanilla extract, and yogurt in large bowl. Sift in flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon, then stir until just combined.

Fold in pear mixture.

Pour batter into prepared pans, and dot with blackberries.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown and springy on top.

Cool 10 minutes on baking rack.

http://blog.realpeoplekitchen.com/pear-blackberry-semolina-mini-tartes/