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/

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/

Pan-seared Fish Fillet with Fennel and Nectarines

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I recently signed up for another subscription… No, not for a magazine. For a local seafood service  that has 1 pound of freshly caught fish ready for me to pick up at the Farmer’s Market every Wednesday. I started last Wednesday. Last week’s caught was yellowtail, right here from the coast. Yellowtail is also known as Ahi Tuna. It is high in healthy omega 3 fats .

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But no worries, if yellowtail is not available at your fishmonger. You can use any other firm fish fillet (think Mahi Mahi etc.) for the recipe!

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photo 3I decided to serve this rich and flavorful fish just with something light and picked a mix of fennel – which goes along any fish, yum! – and nectarines.  And dill is the perfect partner for fish and fennel anyways… The red pepper flakes give a nice kick  :)

The dish easy great for a summer weeknight, ready in less than 20 minutes! Start searing the fillets skin side down first.

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Then flip and finish them on the flesh side while the fennel nectarine mix is sautéing together with the dill and the fennel fronds. photo 3-2Et voilà! Dinner for 2 is ready!

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Yellowtail with Fennel and Nectarines

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Serving Size: 2 people

Yellowtail with Fennel and Nectarines

A perfect weeknight summer dish - quick and light!

Ingredients

  • 1 lbs fish fillet – I used yellowtail (Mahi Mahi or any other firm fish fillet will work as well)
  • red pepper flakes
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 bulb fennel, stalks removed (but reserve fennel fronds), quartered and sliced in wedges
  • 1 tsp agave syrup
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable broth
  • ½ yellow nectarine, sliced and thin wedges
  • ½ bunch fresh dill, chopped

Instructions

Season fish with red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper.

In a skillet, heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium high and sauté fennel for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high, and place fish (skin side down, if any) into it. Sear for 6 minutes. Flip to cook for another 4 minutes. When done, remove from heat and let rest.

Season fennel with red pepper flakes and add agave syrup. Add vegetable broth and let cook covered with lid for 5 minutes. Add chopped fennel fronds, dill and nectarines. Increase heat for 2 more minutes. Season to taste.

Spoon fennel nectarine mix onto plates and place 1 fish fillet on each plate.

Enjoy!

http://blog.realpeoplekitchen.com/fish-fillet-with-fennel-and-nectarines/

Naked Beef Burgers

Naked Burgers

… aka “Frikadellen” in Germany!

1 lb grass fed ground beef (93% lean)

¼ cup red onion, diced and sautéed

2 Tbsp capers, drained and chopped

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tsps Siracha sauce

2 egg whites

¼ cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

salt and pepper to taste

2 tsps olive oil

 

Mix all the ingredients (through salt and pepper) together until well combined. Shape into 4 evenly sized patties. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Place patties in skillet and fry for about 5 minutes on each side, until they are nicely browned.

Enjoy!

I served the burgers with a cucumber bell pepper salsa :)

Naked Beef Burgers

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 burgers

Serving Size: 2-4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb grass fed ground beef (93% lean)
  • ¼ cup red onion, diced and sautéed
  • 2 Tbsp capers, drained and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsps Siracha sauce
  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsps olive oil

Instructions

Mix all the ingredients (through salt and pepper) together until well combined. Shape into 4 evenly sized patties. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Place patties in skillet and fry for about 5 minutes on each side, until they are nicely browned.

http://blog.realpeoplekitchen.com/naked-beef-burgers/