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/

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/

Veggies & Heirloom Tomato Pasta Sauce

photo 2-1We love pasta, sometimes just the regular (white) spaghetti, but also a whole-wheat kind or a gluten-free one, such as these Fusili made from brown rice and quinoa! And not to forget the low-carb “fake” pasta aka Zoodles made from spiraled Zucchini…

A tomato-based sauce that goes along with all of them is always great, but can get boring if it’s always the same Marinara Sauce… Last week I made a Roma Tomato Sugo which was awesome, so this week I tweaked the recipe a little bit, using different kinds of Heirloom tomatoes and added some veggies to it.

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The vegetables – onions, carrots, celery – and the bay leaf are the classic ingredients for a Italian Bolognese sauce – minus the meat ;)… (A classic Bolognese recipe will be my next “project”).

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The key is to get the veggies to soften before adding the Heirloom tomatoes and then let the whole thing simmer until it has thickened and the flavors have incorporated into the sauce!

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Veggies & Heirloom Tomato Pasta Sauce

Yield: 4 cups of sauce

Serving Size: 1 cup

Veggies & Heirloom Tomato Pasta Sauce

Veggies and Heirloom Tomatoes for a twist on a classic Marinara Sauce!

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ white onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely diced
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and finely diced (optional)
  • 2 lbs assorted heirloom tomatoes, coarsely diced
  • 2 Tbs fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Instructions

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, carrots, celery, and chiles and sauté until onions are translucent and carrots have softened, for 7-10 minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes, thyme and bay leaf. Season with salt and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, add balsamic vinegar and let simmer for 30-50 minutes w/o lid, until the sauce is nice and thick.

Serve with your favorite pasta (regular or glutenfree) or over zoodles.

Optional, add some fresh basil for garnish.

http://blog.realpeoplekitchen.com/veggies-heirloom-tomato-pasta-sauce/

4-Ingredient Roma Tomato Sugo

Guess which is the Best Farmers Market in the United States according to Conde Nast Traveler? ;-)

Last week’s shopping at the Santa Monica Farmers Market included two pounds of  locally grown San Marzano tomatoes. This type of Roma tomatoes is perfect for a classic tomato sauce. I also bought some fresh basil, and then I immediately went home into the kitchen.

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photo 3I chopped the tomatoes, minced the garlic and sliced some basil leaves – how easy is that?

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Olive oil into the skillet and there you go!

photo 2-1photo 3-1It needs some time for the sauce to cook and to thicken – the longer the better.

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No worries, if you don’t get the San Marzano’s, but maybe look for Roma tomatoes as they don’t turn out as watery as other varietals of tomatoes.

As it turned, the next day we were going to do a 5k / 10k run along the beach, so the tomato sugo was perfect for our pre-race pasta night!

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4-Ingredient Roma Tomato Sugo

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

4-Ingredient Roma Tomato Sugo

An easy and classic tomato sauce!

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs San Marzano tomatoes – or Roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • (Staples: salt and black pepper to taste)

Instructions

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.

Add the garlic and cook for a minute then add one tablespoon of fresh basil. Cook for a minute.

Add in the chopped tomatoes, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Simmer for 30-50 minutes while stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. The longer you cook it for the thicker it'll become.

Check seasoning and let rest warm till needed or remove, let cool, and store in the refrigerator. Will keep over a week or you can freeze it for use when tomatoes aren't in season.

Serve with your favorite pasta! Enjoy!

http://blog.realpeoplekitchen.com/4-ingredient-roma-tomato-sugo/

Herbed Cauliflower Mash

I know… Not the prettiest photo, but really tasty!

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This cauliflower purré makes a wonderful stand in for mashed potatoes! It is low-carb, yet creamy and a satisfying side dish that goes well with everything from roasted veggies to pan seared fish fillet and even Bratwurst…

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Mr. RPK actually loves mashed potatoes, but I got him on this cauliflower mash.

My secret ingredient is freshly ground nutmeg (which I also use for the mashed potatoes).

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I added fresh herbs and green onions, not just for better taste but also to add something green to the white cauliflower. Looks so pretty!

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Ingredients:

1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets

2 green onions, thinly sliced

1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves

1 Tbsp chives, thinly sliced

½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg

1 Tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, bring water to boil. Add cauliflower florets and cook for 10-15 minutes.

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In the meantime, sauté green onions in a small skillet for 2-3 minutes until they soften. Remove from heat and mix with chives and thyme.

Drain the cauliflower and place it back into the pot.

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Add nutmeg, herb mix, olive oil and s & p. Mix until well combined.

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Using a hand mixer, purré everything into a mash.

Adjust seasoning if needed.

For dinner, we enjoyed the cauli mash with Italian sausages…

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Next day’s lunch we had the leftovers with arugula salad and roasted veggies. Delish!

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Herbed Cauliflower Mash

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Herbed Cauliflower Mash

A low-carb stand in for mashed potatoes. The nutmeg and the herbs make the difference!

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 Tbsp chives, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

In a large pot, bring water to boil. Add cauliflower florets and cook for 10-15 minutes.

In the meantime, sauté green onions in a small skillet for 2-3 minutes until they soften.

Remove from heat and mix with chives and thyme.

Drain the cauliflower and place it back into the pot.

Add nutmeg, herb mix, olive oil and s & p.

Mix until well combined.

Using a hand mixer, purré everything into a mash.

Adjust seasoning if needed.

http://blog.realpeoplekitchen.com/herbed-cauliflower-mash/

Avocado Cucumber Dip with Dill

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Most of you will know that avocado is full of healthy fats. Did you also know that it is a tree fruit? And that it is said to be the butter for vegans? ;-)

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Well, I am not vegan, but I just like plant-based dishes and options. And as my husband doesn’t eat dairy, this dip is a creamy non-dairy option! He likes it along oven-roasted potatoes – instead of anything that contains sour cream…

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It is wonderful with crudités or oven-roasted fingerling potatoes, but also as a spread on toast. You can even use it as a dressing on firmer lettuce like kale or radicchio!

The cucumber is great to balance out the creaminess of the avocado with some freshness.

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And dill pairs well with cucumbers anyway!

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When using it as a dressing, just 1-2 tablespoons of the dip (depending on how much salad you are going to make) and add more lemon juice. No need to add more oil – you will get enough healthy fats from the avocado itself already!

 

Ingredients:

1 ripe Hass avocado (or any variety), peeled and chopped

½ Hothouse cucumber (about ½ cup), chopped, peeled and seeded

1-2 Tbsps minced fresh dill

1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp pure maple syrup

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Place all the ingredients in a mini food processor or chopper. Alternatively, in a high container and use your hand mixer – I did that, works wonderfully!

Add ¼ cup (60ml) and blend until mixture is very smooth.

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Season with salt and pepper.

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Et voilà!

And for you? Avocado – yeah or nay?

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Avocado Cucumber Dip with Dill

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 1 cup

This dip is wonderful with crudités or oven-roasted fingerling potatoes, but also as a spread on toast. You can even use it as a dressing on firmer lettuce like kale or radicchio, whisk some of the dip with more fresh lemon juice!

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe Hass avocado (or any variety), peeled and chopped
  • ½ Hothouse cucumber (about ½ cup), chopped, peeled and seeded
  • 1-2 Tbsps minced fresh dill
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

Place all the ingredients in a mini food processor or chopper. Alternatively, in a high container and use your hand mixer – I did that, works wonderfully!

Add ¼ cup (60ml) and blend until mixture is very smooth.

Season with salt and pepper.

http://blog.realpeoplekitchen.com/avocado-cucumber-dip-with-dill/

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/