Perfect Roasted Chicken

Perfect Roasted Chicken

Preparation time:

15 min 

Cooking time:

2 hours

Servings:

6 – 8

I used to be vegan and vegetarian for quite a few years, therefore there are not too many meat recipes on my website.

This, and the fact that I think, unless you’re really good at plating and taking food photographs, meat dishes look kind of yucky in pictures. 🙂

But this roasted chicken was way too delicious not to share it with you! So I did my best to manage a decent photo of the final result before it was devoured.

The meat was really soft and tender and the skin was crisp and juicy at the same time. Ah, just the thought of it, and it makes my mouth water.

Despite the lengthy cooking time, the preparation is quite fast and easy too.

These are the ingredients you need:

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 organic chicken
  • 1/2 lemon, halved
  • 2 tablespoon lard, melted (you can replace it with butter)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian dried herbs
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

HOW TO DO IT:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Rinse the chicken, dry it well both on the outside and the inside using paper towels, and place it in a pan.

Salt and pepper the inside of the chicken, then add half of the Italian herbs and the 2 lemon quarters in the cavity.

Salt and pepper the outside too and add the rest of the herbs.

Pour the melted lard or butter all over the chicken, adding some into the cavity as well.

Place it in the oven and let it roast there for approximately two hours. You will know once it’s done by the way the skin will turn brownish.

When it’s perfectly cooked, take it out of the oven, cover it with something (I used aluminum foil, as there was nothing available in the entire house) and let it rest for about 20 minutes.

You can easily cut it, as the meat is really soft and tender.

You can serve it with some roasted sweet potatoes on the side and red cabbage salad.

You can store the leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days and enjoy them with various other side dishes or in sandwiches (my daughter loves to make a sandwich with cold chicken breast, mustard, and lettuce leaves). 

Enjoy!

Let me know in the comments below if you like it!

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Red Cabbage Salad

Red Cabbage Salad

Preparation time:

3 min 

Cooking time:

1 min

Servings:

3 – 4

I simply love the simplicity of this salad!

One thing you need to know about me: I’m into simplicity and ease of doing things, even or maybe especially when it comes to cooking.

I find red cabbage to be not only simple to make, but also very tasty and satiating.

I have red cabbage in my fridge most of the time. I buy the smallest I can find and usually make about 3 salads of 3-4 servings out of it. That’s because my husband is not a fan of red cabbage in general, so it’s mostly me and my daughter eating it. 

Sometimes I make a bigger portion and let it sit and the fridge in an air tide container until it ferments. 

To make this salad you need the following ingredients:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/3 small red cabbage
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar or any type of vinegar to your liking
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste

HOW TO DO IT:

First, you wash the cabbage and peel off any damaged leaves.

I like to cut my 1/3 cabbage into 3 smaller parts before chopping it, as I don’t like shreds too long.  You chop, or if you have a shredder or a food processor you shred the cabbage to the thickness of your liking. I like mine medium shred.

Place it into the bowl, add salt and rub it well. I like to do it bare hands, even if I get all red; I simply enjoy it too much 🙂 Rubbing it with salt has the benefit of breaking the fiber and making it softer.

You add the apple cider vinegar and turn it in the bowl, then you add the extra virgin olive oil and you’re done!

As simple as that!

You can serve it accompanying most roasted meats (my favorite is roasted chicken) or with some roasted sweet potatoes.

Enjoy!

Let me know in the comments below if you liked it!

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Delicious Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Delicious Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Preparation time:

10 min 

Cooking time:

30 min

Servings:

4

If you’re into healthy and tasty foods, or if you’re just looking to explore new ideas for your meals, then you’re gonna love these roasted potatoes.

They are soft, sweet, and savory and can accompany almost any meal. Yum!

And their health benefits are pretty impressive.

Just to mention a few of them:

  • lower in carb content (despite their name and sweet taste) compared to white potatoes; this translates to less impact on your blood sugar levels which helps to balance energy, fatigue, and weight 
  • natural anti-inflammatory
  • great source of fiber (most of  the fiber is in the peel though), vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants 
  • promote gut health
  • support healthy vision.

             

Besides all of these benefits, they are also delicious. If you’ve never tried sweet potatoes before, I can tell you that the taste is somehow close to pumpkin’s taste.

They are also quite versatile in the way you can cook them: fried (like in French fries ;),  oven-baked fries, puree, baked, you name it.

This time I chose to roast them, in one of the simplest manners possible: with just salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Here is what you need to make this recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

HOW TO DO IT:

You can either cook them peel-on or peel-off, depending on your preference. If your choice is peel-on, you’ll get the benefit of a greater fiber quantity in your meal.

This time I peeled them, so that’s the first step.

Then you cube them. With this step, your in for a big surprise, as sweet potatoes are much more difficult to cut compared to the white ones, so I suggest you use a very sharp knife or your life partner to do it (I go for the second option). 🙂

Cover your baking pan with a baking sheet and place the cubed potatoes on the sheet.

Season them with salt and pepper. 

Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil.

I suggest you season them before you drizzle them, as the oil will create a cover that won’t allow the condiments to get into the potatoes well. This is one piece of advice I got from a chef and I follow it every time I cook something like roasted veggies or meat, salads, etc. where condiments and oil go hand in hand.

You toss them around and place them in the preheated oven, using high temperatures. I recommend baking at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Turn them halfway. 

Depending on the size of the cubes, it might take between 20 to 30 minutes to get them to the nice brownish glazed stated.

You can serve them as a garnish alongside a roast chicken or, if you’re vegan or vegetarian, you can accompany them with a red cabbage salad.

Let me know in the comments below if you enjoyed them.

Bon appetite!

 

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How To Make Keto Chocolate Cake In A Mug

How To Make Keto Chocolate Cake In A Mug

Keto is my favorite go-to tool when it comes to losing weight and feeling energized fast.

I couple it with time-restricted feeding and, after less than 48 hours, I feel renewed and rejuvenated.

Preparation time:

2 min

Cooking time:

1 min

Servings:

1

Keto is my favorite go-to tool when it comes to losing weight and feeling energized fast.

I couple it with time-restricted feeding and, after less than 48 hours, I feel renewed and rejuvenated.

Ever since I’ve become fat-adapted, back in 2018, I have such an insulin sensitivity that, if I have a high-carb meal day, which I do quite often, my body reacts very promptly. 

Therefore I make sure to get into ketosis at least once a month and stay in keto for at least two days.

It’s also my favorite period of the month because I get to eat all the foods that I love (think bacon, eggs, avocado, butter and, fat cheeses) without feeling bloated or tired.

Not only that, but I also get to lose fat while doing it. How cool is that?

Even though I don’t get sweet tooths anymore, I still love my 4 o’clock coffee and cake ritual. 

Usually, I bake coconut and orange cake the traditional way for my keto days, but today my daughter Sofi, who also loves experimenting in the kitchen, offered to make me a cake based on her recipe. She only switched the whole wheat flour with almond flour.

I was so impressed by how easy and fast to make this cake was that I decided to share the recipe with you guys.

So here is what you need for it:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 spoons almond flour
  • 15 stevia drops (you can play with this as per your own taste or brand; I find some brands are sweeter than others, so it’s kind of trial based here)
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 2 spoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 spoon milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • cinnamon (optional)

HOW TO DO IT:

You add all the ingredients in a microwave suitable mug.

Whisk everything together. I find it so easy to work with almond flour, as it doesn’t make any clumps.

Microwave for 1 minute and you’re set.

Let it cool for a few minutes and you can savor it alongside a bulletproof coffee, a bergamot tea, or a chia seeds lemonade.

Let me know in the comments below how was your experience with this keto cake in a mug. 

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Chia seeds warm lemonade, no sugar

Chia Seeds Warm Lemonade, No Sugar

Preparation time:

1 min 

Cooking time:

10 min

Servings:

1

I first discovered this lemonade a few years back, during a ski holiday at Gura Humorului, in Romania.

As I was recovering from a meniscus rupture surgery on my left knee, I spent a lot of time in the hotel, alone. The entire group I was with was, of course, enjoying the snow and the ski slopes.

Despite the fact that the hotel was very nice and with quite an appealing menu, the vegetarian food options were almost completely missing. At the time I was vegetarian, as I guess you’ve already got it by now, so I had to be quite inventive that week, especially for breakfast and dinner.
I brought some chia seeds with me for the trip, so I created this drink that I enjoying instead of après-ski drink.

It’s fast to make, it’s a good detoxifier and it’s very nourishing at the same time.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 glass warm water (not hot, because it destroys Vitamin C)
  • freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoon chia seeds

HOW TO DO IT:

Pour the lemon juice into the glass of water, add the chia seeds, whisk and set aside for 10minutes.

Savor while reading your favorite book.

For me, as I don’t like very sweet sweets, there is no need to add honey or sugar because chia seeds are slightly sweet. You can add honey to taste if you’re into more sweet treats.

Fast, healthy and nutritious.

You can serve it alongside a vegan coffee.

If you like this lemonade, please let me know by leaving a comment below.


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Chia Seeds Pudding

Chia Seeds Pudding

Preparation time:

5 min 

Cooking time:

15 min

Servings:

1

Every time I run out of cooking inspiration, my go-to breakfast recipe is one of the simplest and easiest you could make: chia seeds pudding.

All you need for this recipe is a glass of milk, whichever type you fancy, some chia seeds and honey. The rest is optional.

Here’s what I used for the one I made today:

INGREDIENTS:

  • one glass milk; I chose homemade almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon raw cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • 3 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 3-4 shredded walnuts, (I love the crunchiness it provides)
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • almonds slices for garnishing

HOW TO DO IT:

In a small jar or bowl, combine the milk, honey, and cocoa, and whisk until the honey melts,  and the cocoa is fully incorporated; I’m using the small whisker from this Ikea stainless steel whisking set.

Add the chia seeds and the rest of the ingredients and gently whisk to break up any clumps of chia seeds.

Cover the jar or the bowl and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, for the seeds to soften, swell and create the pudding-like consistency.

Garnish with whatever fruits or nuts you might have at hand, in my case sliced ​​almonds, and serve cold.

This pudding will keep well in the refrigerator, covered, for about 3 days.

You can also serve this pudding as a dessert, pairing it with some brown rice risotto with artichokes, capers & olives.

If you have more chia seeds left, you can try a chia seeds lemonade.

If you enjoyed this pudding or you wanna share your version of chia seeds pudding, please feel free to comment below.

Bon appetite!

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Vegan Fried Rice

Vegan Fried Rice

Preparation time:

10 min 

Cooking time:

20 min

Servings:

6 – 8

Rice has always been one of my favorites cereals, ever since my childhood back in Romania.

My mom used to cook rice quite often, from main dishes rich in colorful vegetables to desserts.

At the time, my favorite used to be a Balkan style dish called pilaf: rice with vegetables and chicken, cooked until the rice was soft and tender.

I like to experiment with rice and cook it myself in various ways, playing with spices and flavors. 

One of my favorite rice dishes is Brown Rice Risotto With Artichokes, Capers & Olives, an Italian style recipe.

But the rice recipe that I’m sharing with you today is an Asian inspired one, and I have to admit in all modesty, that both my husband and my daughter told me that it smelled and it tasted as good as a genuine Chinese one. 🙂

This recipe yields a lot (enough for 6 to 8 servings) so feel free to halve it and store it in the fridge, as you’ll be set for the next day too.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups Jasmine rice, rinsed and drained and cooked as per the instructions on the packaging
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup Bragg liquid soy seasoning (or regular soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 yellow onion, cubed
  • 1 large bunch of broccoli (about 1 ÂĽ pound), florets removed and sliced into small, bite-sized pieces
  • 1 pound pencil-thin asparagus, woody ends snapped off, and cut in ½-inch slices
  • 2 large garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cubed
  • 3 medium carrots, cubed
  • 1 cup diced celery (from 2 to 3 medium ribs)
  • salt, freshly ground pepper, and chili flakes to taste

 

HOW TO DO IT:

First, rinse, drain and cook the rice as per the instructions on the packaging. Add salt to the water when boiling.

Meanwhile, wash, cut and slice all the vegetables.

In a large pan add the coconut oil, Bragg liquid soy seasoning, turmeric, and chili flakes. 

One minute after the oil and soy seasoning starts boiling add the vegetables and stir constantly.

After 3-5 minutes add in the cooked rice, and continue to stir, so that everything mixes well and turns into a beautiful, colorful mixture. Stit fry everything together for 3-5 more minutes.

Remove the pan from heat and transfer its contents to a large serving bowl.

You can serve it as is, or add some fried tofu to complement it.

Enjoy and let me know if you liked it!

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Super Yummy Breakfast

Super Yummy Breakfast

Preparation time:

15 min 

Cooking time:

2 min

Servings:

4 x 300 ml

From time to time I like swapping my regular breakfast with a liquid one, which is a smoothie, as they call it.

Smoothies are not only super delicious but also super healthy, as long as you don’t overdo it with fruits and sugary liquids.

And on top of that, they’re pretty easy to make.

I always try new combinations. Sometimes the result is a delicious one, other times it’s super good, like the one this morning.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoon chia seeds, soaked for 10 minutes in a glass of water (just enough time to prepare the rest of the recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon hulled hemp seeds
  • 6 kale leaves, stems removed
  • 1 ripe banana to sweeten it up
  • 4 raw Brazilian nuts
  • 1 apple
  • 1/2 mango
  • arils from 1/2 pomegranate
  • 1/2 grapefruit
  • 1 tablespoon dehydrated currant
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon barley powder
  • 750 water 

 

HOW TO DO IT:

Throw all the ingredients into a stand blender for a maximum of 2 minutes and everything is ready to “eat”!

Sometimes we drink beer from these mugs, sometimes we use them for our breakfast!

Give it a try and if you like it, please let me know in the comments.

Enjoy!

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Zucchini Tagliatelle With Capers & Sunflower Seeds

Zucchini Tagliatelle With Capers & Sunflower Seeds

Prep time:

15 min

Cooking time:

20 min

Servings:

4

Your body is your temple!

And so is mine! 🙂

We should all learn to treasure our bodies as such and offer it only the best nourishing foods ever!

Zucchini “pasta” is a very healthy alternative to traditional pasta, especially to the white flour one.

I’ve discovered them a while back and, after I managed to get over the fact that the process of turning the zucchini into tagliatelle takes about 5-10 minutes of manual labor, which really annoys me, I started playing around with various sauces to accompany them.

Of all the zucchini pasta recipes I’ve created, the one with raw sunflower seeds has been by far mine and my family’s favorite!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 medium zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 500 ml tomato juice or tomato paste diluted with water
  • 3 tablespoons hulled raw  sunflower seeds
  • some fresh basil leaves for decoration 

HOW TO DO IT:

The first and the most timeconsuming activity is turning the zucchini into pasta.
To do this you will need a peeler and a slightly larger pot, as they take up quite a lot of volume, and that’s it.

After washing the zucchini with cold water start peeling them like you would peel potatoes, but without throwing the peel away. Keep doing it even after you remove the peel until you reach the seeds.

This is a good opportunity to practice patience, my friend:) There are times when I’m patient enough to “turn” the core with seeds into pasta, as well. But there are also many times when I’m not, and I set aside the seedy part to use it in a soup or any other dish I’m planning.

Add the oil and the minced garlic to a pan and fry it over low heat. Make sure not to let the garlic turn brown, as it turns bitter and I’m sure you won’t enjoy it.

After 1 minute add oregano and the chili flakes and leave 1 more minute on low heat, to allow the essential oils to come out and flavor the base oil.

Add the tomato paste and leave on medium heat for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the capers into small cubes and add them together with the sunflower seeds in the pan. If you have small capers, no need for cutting, just throw them in as they are. Turn up the heat to medium and let everything cook for 5 minutes.

Then add the zucchini tagliatelle and cook for 5-7 more minutes, stirring carefully, so that all the pasta get cooked and all the flavors settle in.

Since the capers are usually very salty, I don’t add any extra salt. But I recommend you taste and season everything as per your own liking.

When you plate the tagliatelle, garnish with the chopped fresh basil leaves. They provide some extra style and aroma to your dish!

You can serve as such, or by grating some parmesan on top.

Every time I cook this tagliatelle, I can’t stop myself wondering at how delicious they are.

If you find them as delicious as I do, please comment below.

Enjoy!

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Cucumber, Zucchini & Dill Salad

Cucumber, Zucchini & Dill Salad

Preparation time:

5 min

Cooking time:

30 sec 

Portions:

1

A few years back I was on a two weeks vacation with my family. We took a long road trip that included Budapest – Hungary, Baden (near Vienna) – Austria and Cluj – Romania. The Theme for our vacation was ‘sports and spa’. We had a lot of fun and we did get to relax properly.

The entire vacation was great, except for one thing: the food!

At the time I was vegetarian. 🙂 

Let me tell you: it was crazy difficult as a vegetarian to find nutritious food during this long road trip, especially when traveling to countries in which goulash and schnitzel are raised to the rank of art.

I am sure there are fantastic great places where you can find good and fresh vegetarian foods, but this time I was not my lucky time. Because of this, I came to crave a fresh, crispy salad. 

So, on the first day back home I prepared this green, delicious cucumber and dill salad.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cucumbers, thin sliced
  • 1 small zucchini, thin sliced
  • 1/2 bunch fresh chopped dill 
  • 1 teaspoon hulled hemp seeds
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 pinch pink Himalayan salt 

HOW TO DO IT:

I mixed everything in a bowl and TA-DAAA: quick, tasty, fresh, and easy to make salad, great for warm summer days and not only!

If you liked this light summer salad, please leave a comment below.

Bon appetit!

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