Thursday, February 26, 2015

Detox Soup And Healthy Banana Bread

After a weekend of indulgence and a few days of eating leftovers, it is time to take care of our bodies. Last weekend we celebrated the 4th birthday of our daughter Teresa and we made lots, lots and lots of food. Probably too much. We made Mexican chicken tinga with chorizo, served on tostadas with sour cream, guacamole, refried beans, salsa and lettuce. We snacked on pico de gallo, onion dip, hummus with veggies and all sorts of chips, as well as a Russian salad. There was also tres leches cake and Magnolia bakery vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese strawberry frosting. OH, yes, did I mention chocolate banana bread with Kahlua?

I have been having eggs for breakfast almost every single day this week, topping it with the gorgeous leftover smoky salsa. Followed by some toast, buttered of course, and more toast with jam. Time to get back on track with oatmeal and fruit, so today I had a grapefruit, with my coconut granola, natural yogurt and pomegranate.

Finally the leftovers are gone and I was craving something clean, fresh and low in calories. I decided to make a veggie soup, from the Oh She Glows cookbook, with cumin, ginger and a hint of cinnamon- healthy, cleansing and energizing. I was out of kale but I had cabbage, and I used that instead. I would recommend using one or the other, but not the two of them at the same time. Might be too much.

Eat Your Greens Detox Soup
Oh She Glows

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
2 cups shredded cabbage
2 cups sliced mushrooms, portobella or cremini
2 cups broccoli florets
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons cumin
1/8 teaspoons cinnamon
6 cups vegetable broth
2 cups torn kale leaves, optional
fresh lemon juice, for serving

Start with 1 onion, which you fry in a little bit of olive oil. Add three cloves of garlic, chopped. Add about two large carrots, peeled and chopped as well and about two cups of shredded cabbage. Next, add two cups of chopped mushrooms, 2 cups of broccoli florets, salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the ginger, turmenic, cumin, and cinnamon and saute for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the broth and stir to combine. Bring to boil and reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 15-20 minutes. You can stir in kale and a squeeze of lemon juice just before serving.

I served the soup with flour tortillas with avocado, roasted sweet potatoes, shredded lettuce, salsa and some yogurt on the side. You can also use coleslaw and regular or refried beans.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Czesia's Donuts

I cannot believe how fast this year has gone by. Only recently I have been preparing for the arrival of my daughter, sketching plans for the year off and all the possibilities and all the travel I was going to do. It went by so fast because I was at home not only with my newborn, but my three year old as well. She is about to turn four and start Kindergarten this September. How crazy is that? From the care-free 20 year old something, who thought the world was her oyster, suddenly I am a responsible mother of two, with a mortgage and bills to pay, too much post pregnancy weight and very little time to myself. Even at nights my little one still wakes up, so I am lucky to watch a 40 minute TV show without being interrupted.

However, no matter how crazy and busy my schedule is or will be, I will always find time to cook fresh and delicious meals for my family. At the dinner table is where we bond, we set rules for table appropriate manners and at the moment, we are doing more of nagging and putting fires off than relaxing. As crazy as it seems, the meal finds its way to the table, somehow. In the midst of one million questions from my 4 year old, which mostly are- "Can I have...?", every two minutes, and my little one crawling around, grabbing my legs because she wants to be with mommy, somehow I cook those meals most days. Some days it is just creative leftovers which we we eat straight out of containers. Once in a while we buy take-out ramen or schwarma. And then there are days of pure bliss, of meals cooked from scratch such as Mexican salsa, guacamole, chicken tinga or carnitas, shepherd's pie or beef stews. Days of coffee cake and muffins, waffles, pancakes. I hope one day we will sit with my girls at the same dinner table and we will be able to hold a conversation about everything and nothing, and remember the craziness of messy floor, spilled drinks, food on the floor, dancing in the kitchen, the laughter and the popcorn we eat late at night when some of us do not want to sleep, and that would not be the adults around here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Perfect Lemon Pound Cake

Perfect Coffee Cake? Move over and make some space for this wonderful pound cake. I am very happy about it as I tried making pound cake numerous times, but it never tasted as good as I wanted it to taste. It was either too sweet, too lemony or too fluffy. This was has the perfect texture and taste and I can say I found a perfect recipe.

It took me a while to write this post, as we were away in Mexico and as soon as we came back I could not get back on track to writing. Being busy getting back into my routines after vacationing. I know some of you will be very happy with this recipe. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Lentil Chickpea Soup, Spinach Mushroom Crepes and Brownies

This it the worst part of winter. January is over and you are hopeful for warmer days, because the days are getting longer. But, hold on. We are far from the spring. We just got the biggest snowstorm of the season and more snow is on the way. So buried inside the best is to eat hearty meals and read books (an activity people used to enjoy before Facebook and Television). Do you remember being lost in a book?

We just recently came back from vacationing in Mexico, so this winter is even tougher to get through. Today I made chickpea and lentil soup with vegetables and mushroom and spinach crepes. For dessert dark chocolate brownies with toasted hazelnuts. Deliciousness awaits! And buried inside we warm ourselves up with memories of Mexico and delicious food.

Lentil Vegetable Soup
(Once Upon A Chef)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, diced
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika (smoked is in the original recipe)
3/4 teaspoon cumin
4 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup lentils (dried or canned, dried will initially cook longer)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (14 ounce) can of chickpeas
1 cup frozen or fresh vegetables such as peas and green beans

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Morning Oatmeal And Other Bubbles and Squeaks

The best way to start January mornings is with a steaming bowl of oatmeal. I love steel cut. Many people do not like it as it takes forever to cook it, however with just a simple little trick of soaking it overnight you can easily cook it in under 10 minutes. 

Simply place one cup of oatmeal in a medium sized pot with 3 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Cover with a lid and leave overnight. I usually like to prepare this on a Sunday night, cook it up on Monday and I have breakfast for most of the week. In the morning bring to boil and cook, stirring frequently until the water cooks of. 

Serve with a little bit of milk or yogurt, maple syrup, honey or agave syrup, cinnamon and some nuts or dried fruit. My favourite are dried cherries and roasted almond flakes. Nothing makes a morning better and more comforting especially when it is cold outside. Keep the leftover oatmeal in the fridge and heat it up in the microwave with a splash of milk in the morning. Add whatever you fancy.

Make January Snacking Right- Granola Squares

My January started pretty perfectly with a trip to Mexico coming up very soon and even though I need to get back into shape after Christmas and I am not depriving myself of simple pleasures such as snacking. Of course everyone tries to diet, exercise and have resolutions for themselves in the New Year. But the most important to remember in all this is to not necessarily share those resolutions with the whole world but be true to yourself in trying to be a better person than we were last year.

Diet is so hard for me. As you already know I love food. And now that I have to feed my whole family my pantry and fridge are stocked. It is easy to eat chocolate or chips without making any effort, on the run or watching TV. I will try to really celebrate and enjoy my meals. Even if it takes me a whole day to wait until I have a moment to celebrate few squares of chocolate or a cookie, it will be so much better and deserved than few of them eaten mindlessly in between tasks.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!!!!!

I want to wish a Happy, Delicious and a Wonderful New Year to all my wonderful and faithful readers. I hope this New Year will bring you new surprises, challenges, happy and proud moments and those full of inspiration and pure joy! Happy New Year!!!!! Feliz Ano Nuevo! Szczesliwego Nowego Roku!

I gathered some of my favourite and most popular recipes from this year. It was delicious! And I hope next year will be even more delicious!


 Coconut Granola

Creme Brulee

Short Braised Ribs

Pear Coffee Cake

 Chia Pudding

Breakfast Scramble with Chorizo and Bagels

Barley Salad with Roasted Veggies

Kale Overload Salad

Healthy Spelt Flour Cookies

Cranberry Muffins

Braised Chicken Thighs with Mango

Mexican Day Of The Dead Bread