Potatoes

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Roasted, mashed or baked, we all consider potatoes most of the time as comfort food. Being available all year long, potatoes are one of the few vegetables I grew up with. There wasn’t a day without potatoes.

You need to store them in a cool, dry and dark place.

Potatoes are indigenous to Peru, where they have been cultivated by the Inca Indians since around 200 B.C. They were introduced into Ireland during the early part of the 16th century where they became popular.

Nutritional value of potatoes per 100g:

  • How many calories in a potato – 77
  • How much protein in a potato – 2g
  • How many carbs in a potato – 17g
  • What is the fat content of a potato – 0.1g

Health benefits:

For pain and discomfort caused by rheumatism use raw potato juice

Lectins like those present in the potatoes inhibit cancer cell growth

Helps with the maintenance of bone and structure with minerals like phosphorus, iron, magnesium, calcium and zinc.

Potatoes contain dietary fiber, which helps lower blood cholesterol.

Provide support for a healthy heart because they contain potassium, fiber, vitamin B-6 and vitamin C.

Vitamin C is promoting the ability of collagen to improve skin texture and smooth wrinkles.

The B vitamins help to support adrenal function, calming and maintain a healthy nervous system.

Learning photography

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rice potato pancakes dessert

I have been asked about online courses or books about photography or food photography many times. Learning about photography is a long process and takes time and practice, patience and love for this beautiful art. There is no recipe for learning or any magic trick. I am no expert, but I can share with you my learning process. It took me lots of years to get here and will take more years to move forward.

Photography started as a hobby and was a hobby for 4 – 5 years. I read a lot about it and most of the reading was online or from books because I couldn’t find a proper photography course in my city at that time.

Learn the basics and practice a lot. Be prepare for feedback. At the begging you will get a lot of bad reviews, but in time you will start to do better and your reviews will get better. Don’t be mad, people tend to forget that they were in your place too. Remember that you are just learning.

Another big step is to choose which part of photography you want to learn. Some people will say that photography is photography so you can shoot everything: food, people, landscape, etc. True. Learn the basic and you will shoot everything, but you will be a mediocre photographer shooting everything. If you want to be good choose something you like and then go back to learning some more. Be the best in an area of photography.

It took me years to decide what I wanted to shoot. I was shooting people, landscape, plants, but never felt like I really found my area. So in 2012, shooting some food in my house I discovered that I like it but I am no good at shooting food.

So I went back to learning. I searched on internet and found food photographers and their websites. Made a big list and start learning from them.  Also, I bought Styling Lighting Photographing Food Professional. This is a food photography book from Lara Ferroni. I love her style and I love this book. It helped me a lot to see what I was doing wrong and improve it.

Another thing that I did was to take a 30 days course of food photography: Learn food photography. It is free and helps you. Make time for it.

Now, I can tell you that the best way to learn about photography is to join a good course. If you can’t find one in your city try one online. But let it be a good one. If you settle for something cheap and bad you will waste money, but the most important, you will waste time and not learning anything.

Find a group of photographers in your area and go out shooting. Exchange ideas, technical stuff and as questions. Don’t be afraid.

If you have a good photographer in your area try and talk to him/her to take you under his/her wing. Pay him to go and work with him, or just intern for a studio. This is a good way to practice. Choose someone good, because you want to go forward, not back.

Go to workshops. Always find photographers that are good. A good workshop is not cheap but is a great way to learn from the photographer you really admire.

Good luck!

Healthy vegan green juice

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Happy New Year! Let’s begin 2017 with a healthy juice. Having a clean start for our body and mind is the best thing we can do.

Ingredients:

  • 1 hand parsley
  • 1 lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseeds
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 200 ml water

Directions:

Put everything in the blender. Mix it well and drink it during the day. Full of vitamins and minerals. Enjoy!

 

 

10 healthy desserts for a New Year’s Eve party

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Christmas is gone and the end of the year is almost here. I put a list with 1 healthy desserts to impress your guests. They are easy to made and very healthy. So next to your fancy dress and your beautiful decorations, your guests will be mesmerized by your desserts.

Some recipes are raw, for some recipe you will need use the oven. But they all take little time and little effort.  Enjoy!

  1. Chocolate cupcakes without sugar and flour
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Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting

2. Raw vegan cheese cake

raw vegan cheese cake

3. Dessert raw vegan

dessert raw vegan

4. Raw cheese cake

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Raw cheese cake with raspberry sauce

5. Raw chocolate truflles

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Raw chocolate truffles

6. Chia seeds pudding in layers

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7. Raw vegan snickers cake

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8. Raw vegan cheesecake

raw cheese cake

9. Mini lemon bundt cakes

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10. Pears baked in pastry

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Spices for Christmas

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Christmas spices

Cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and cardamom are just a few spices that instantly conjure up Christmas. I am using them in mulled wine, cakes, cookies, hot chocolate and coffee. I know turmeric and cardamom are not really spices for Christmas, but I think they deserve to be on my spices list for Christmas.

Cinnamon is obtained from genus Cinnamomum in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India and Burma.

Ginger is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale and is indigenous to southern China.

Turmeric the rhizome of the ginger family Zingiberaraceae in Southern Asia.

Cardamom is a spice made from the seeds of several plants in the genera Elettaria and Amomum in India.

At Christmas, these spices helps me make the holidays real. Added to the food, drinks or just in the air they just add a different feel and taste.

All this spices are exotic and come from warmer climates. They were once sold at the price of gold.

They are also a great gift. Mix them all together and put them in a nice small jar, decorated with some Christmas band or a cinnamon stick and give them to your family. They will use them in the coffee or hot chocolate or cookies. Enjoy!

Happy Holidays!

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Christmas spices

Nests of meat stuffed wine vines rolls for Christmas

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There is no Christmas dinner without the traditional meat stuffed cabbage rolls. The traditional recipe is with sour cabbage, but my mom made us a light version of this recipe with wine vines. Sour cabbage is quite heavy to digest despite being very healthy.

Doing this recipe for so many years, my mom (like most moms and grandmothers) doesn’t use measures any more. Everything is a little bit of this, a hand full of that, some of this, etc. For a newbie in the kitchen, like me, this kind of recipe is doomed to go bad from the beginning, so I managed to make so measures for myself.

Ingredients:

  • Wine vines
  • 500g minced pork
  • 500g minced beef
  • 4 tablespoons rice
  • 3 tablespoons lard (butter)
  • 2 chopped onions
  • Salt and pepper
  • Thyme
  • 300ml tomato sauce or 1 kg tomatoes
  • 1 liter vegetable broth

Directions:

To have wine vines in the winter, you put them with salt in a big jar in the fall. Before making your rolls, you take them out and leave them in cold water to get out the salt.

In a large pot, cook the onions in 2 tablespoons of lard until are slightly brown. Add meat, rice, salt and pepper. Let it cook for 10 minutes.

To make a roll, place a wine vine flat and on it place a teaspoon of meat mixture. Turn the right and left edges over toward the center and then starting with the end begin to roll. Tuck in the loose side edges.

In a clay pot with lard, place the rolls in layers and add thyme and some tomato sauce on each layer. Last layer will be of tomato sauce. Add vegetable broth on top to cover the rolls. Put the pot covered in the oven for 2 hours and then uncovered it and leave it for another 1 hour.

Serve them with sour cream and polenta. Don’t forget a great red wine to go with them.

Because the wine vines are small, you will get very small rolls and it will take a lot of time. So be patience. In the end you will get some jewels to impress your guests.

Enjoy!

 

Turmeric milk

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turmeric milk with cinnamon and honey

Just a few years ago I discovered turmeric, a new spice which I love. With all the healthy benefits, turmeric became an important spice to use in my kitchen. This year I discovered turmeric milk and now I am drinking it before I go to sleep.

I use my own recipe because is a way to add to this milk other healthy ingredients. If I don’t have almond milk or rice milk in my fridge I use cow’s milk.

Turmeric milk, an Ayurvedic drink, helps you boost your energy and health. Most of us drink turmeric milk at night to help with our sleep and heal common colds or sore throat. It also helps with indigestion, menstrual cramps, headaches, arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome.

Turmeric milk also fights different types of cancer: breast, colon, liver and prostate, and helps with depression, purifies blood, relieves pain and helps with neurological disorders.

You can enhanced the taste and the healthy benefits by adding cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, coconut oil, honey, etc.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond, rice or cow’s milk
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

 

Directions:

Pour a glass of milk into a pot and turn the heat on. Add turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon and coconut oil. Let the mix boil for a few minutes. You can strain it if you like. Add honey and enjoy your turmeric milk.

Chocolate dipped mandarin slices for Christmas

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mandarin dipped in chocolate

With all the heavy foods on Christmas is nice to have an easy dessert. When I make my Raw vegan chocolate I always end up with chocolate left in the bowl. Instead of eating it from the bowl, this time I decide it to put it on some mandarins. I like this fruit – chocolate combination and is also very healthy.

You can use mandarin, clementine or orange for this recipe. If you want to be bold try it with lemon or lime. A banana is a must especially if you use peanut butter and chocolate. This is also an excellent snack and very healthy to eat between meals or after effort.

Your kids will fall in love with this snack. They will get plenty of Vitamin C and antioxidants for the day. You can substitute your granola bar or crackers or any other snack you usually eat with this mandarin dipped in raw vegan chocolate.

Ingredients:

  • 5 – 6 mandarins
  • Raw vegan chocolate

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Peel the mandarins. Make the chocolate. Here is the recipe: Raw vegan chocolate. Dip each slice halfway into the chocolate and place on the baking sheet. Repeat for all the slices. Let it in the fridge for 10 minutes or until the chocolate has hardened.

You can keep them in the fridge in an airtight container for 2 days.

Enjoy!