Visiting A Hungarian Organic Farm

September 17, 2014 3 Comments

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Salanova lettuce

I met the Heroes of Responsible Dining at spring time. They are a group of four friends and a couple of volunteers who believe that saving the environment can be fun! With the Heroes of Responsible Dining initiative they aim to promote responsible choices when eating out or at home. The campaign is organized by the Hungarian non-profit organization Ökológiai Evolúció Alapítvány.

They started a new campaing a few weeks ago about getting to know more and shaking hands with your farmer. Knowing your farmer isn’t about distance, it’s about relationships. Talk to them at the local farmers market, ask them about the vegetables and fruits – where they are from and how they are grown/produced. This is a great way to find out their growing practices and policies.

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Thanks to this campaing I had the opportunity to visit one of my favourite organic farmers, Mátyás Nemes and his family in Fülöpjakab. Hungary. It was educational and so much fun for me and I really feel like I get so much out of meeting my favourite farmer and visiting his farm. On the farm horticultural activities are carried out all the year round, by applying the methods of vegetative growing in green-houses of foil with minimum heating, and cold forcing of the plants in green-houses of foil. Hardy plants are grown on the fields from early spring to late autumn. Some 70-80 plant varieties are produced in a year, mostly for sale on the market of organic products.

Know your farmer, know your food!

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Mangalica breeding at a nearby farm (mangalica is an indigenous species of pig in Hungary)

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Ganoderma lucidum mushroom at a nearby farm

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Purple Salanova lettuce (my favourite)

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More lettuces…

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Kale heaven!

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Baking bread was the high point of the visit!

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Vegetarian Hungarian bean goulash

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The boss 🙂

Tomato Bruschetta And A Little Bit Of Sunny Tuscany

August 29, 2014 5 Comments

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In the last few years we traveled to Tuscany a few times – thanks to our friends, Giulia’s and Emiko’s invitations – but I didn’t write about these experiences on my blog. Two years ago we spent a few days in Cecina with our dear foodie friends: Emiko, Giulia, Karin and Regula.

Cooking together with friends is always so much fun and it’s a great way to learn something new. I gained so much inspirations from these trips, I learnt many new recipes so I would like to share a few of them with you (step by step). The first one is bruschetta… one of the best ways to enjoy the bounty of summer. A delicious and easy appetizer that captures the flavors of ripened tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, and good quality olive oil.

I’m so sad because it looks like summer is really over here in Hungary… We can still buy sun-ripened tomatoes at the markets so until the season is over make sure to make tomato bruschetta at least once!

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Tomato Bruschetta
(Recipe: from Giulia’s second cookbook, I Love Toscana)

Ingredients

– few slices of sourdough bread, toasted
– 400 g riped tomatoes, chopped
– 2 cloves garlic, chopped
– extra virgin olive oil
– fresh basil, chopped
– salt, freshly ground black pepper

Method

Put the chopped tomatoes into a large bowl, season with salt and pepper, the chopped garlic and basil, plus add a few tablespoons of olive oil. Make this well in advance, allowing a few hours to let the tomatoes infuse the flavour. Leave the bowl covered in the fridge.

If you are ready to serve the bruschetta, spoon the tomatoes over slices of toasted bread. Drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil.

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Few photos of the trip…

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IMG_4218_aMaking authentic bruschetta

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A Big Place of Heaven: Whole Foods Market – London

June 22, 2014 3 Comments

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I don’t remember when I heard about Whole Foods Market for the first time but it was a while ago. I knew I had to visit at least one store as soon as I can. This waited until June, 2014 when I traveled to London to Food Blogger Connect conference. To make the story short I visited a few stores in London and of course my favorite one was the Kensington High Street one.

At 80,000 square feet, the Kensington home is the largest of the 5 London shops, indeed the largest in the world, which means that they can offer you more of the things that you love. Features within their foodie heaven: coffee and juice bar; in-house restaurant venues including pizza & calzones, wok station, texas BBQ, burritos, & tacos with vegetarian and vegan options; omlette station with your choice of veggies and cheeses; made in-store pastries, breads, cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and sweet bars; 3 salad bars, one hot bar and one soup bar with hundreds of meal choices; all-natural and organic produce; etc.

If you are in London, please do not miss this place! 🙂

Photo heavy post!!!

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Whole Foods Market – Kensington
63-97 Kensington High Street
The Barkers Building
London
W8 5SE
http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/kensington

Monday to Saturday 8am to 10pm (restaurants close 30 minutes before store closes)
Sunday in-store browsing from 11am; sales 12 noon to 6pm; restaurants open 10am to 5:30pm

Coconut Almond Granola

May 13, 2014 4 Comments

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Since Adam was born we have been eating oatmeal or ricemeal (from rolled rice) for breakfast with different kind of toppings (almond butter, fruits, seeds and nuts) but no sugar, honey or any kind of sweetener is added to it. We really love it, Adam also, so we can’t stop eating it!

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A few days ago I had the crave for granola… I don’t know about you but I get some serious granola cravings at times. So I headed to the kitchen and made this coconut almond granola which is absolutely the best granola I have ever tasted! It’s so yummy and healthy, I even ate it as a snack with my 70% dark chocolate pieces in the evenings. 🙂

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It’s very easy to make and you can bake it in 15-20 minutes. I added a little bit of maple syrup to sweeten but you can make it with honey, rice syrup or without any sweetener.

Coconut Almond Granola

Ingredients

– 2 cups rolled oats
– 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
– 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
– 1 cup almond, roughly chopped
– 1/2 cup desiccated coconut (unsweetened)
– 1/3 cup maple syrup
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 4 tablespoons coconut oil

Method

Preheat the oven to 175C (347F) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

In a bowl mix together the dry ingredients: rolled oats, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, desiccated coconut and salt. Add maple syrup and coconut oil. Mix all the ingredients together and spread the mixture evenly on to the baking tray. Bake for 6-8 minutes, then turn everything around with a wooden spoon. Bake again for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.

Store in an air-tight jar!

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The First Birthday Cake

April 30, 2014 2 Comments

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We have reached a huge milestone… or at least this is what I think. Adam is one year old!!! Oh My! How could this happen? I remember the first days when I had problems with the breastfeeding and now he is one year old! Everything happened so quickly. Being a parent can be wonderful and rewarding, but it can also be difficult and unpleasant. This is what Ivan and I learnt in the last year.

On this beautiful day we had a quick porridge breakfast together then Adam got a few small presents and got his first birthday cake. I cooked a vegan pancake cake for him without sugar of couse. See the photos below how Adam enjoyed his birthday cake. It was kind of the most adorable thing I have ever seen. (Plus, recipe of the cake is at the end of the post.)

We love you, Adam! Mom & Dad

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“Let me see what mom cooked for me! “

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“Oh, la la! As a French would say…”

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“Oh My! This is so exciting!”

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“Yum!”

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“This is getting more delicious!”

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“Mom, you are a super talented chef! I love you so much!” 🙂

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Vegan Banana Pancake Cake With Vegan Chocolate Ganache

I used carob powder to make the ganache. Carob is a tropical pod that contains a sweet, edible pulp and inedible seeds. After drying, the pulp is roasted and ground into a powder that resembles cocoa powder, but does not have the same flavor and texture of chocolate. Carob is naturally sweet, low in fat, high in fiber, has calcium, and most importantly no caffeine – that’s why I chose to add this to Adam.

Ingredients (to make 8-10 pancakes)

For the pancake
– 2 ripe bananas, smashed with a fork
– 40 g whole wheat spelt flour
– 60 g white spelt flour
– 150-200 ml rice milk (you can use oat or almond milk too)
– 1 tablespoon baking powder
– 1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeded
– coconut oil for cooking

For the chocolate ganache
– 1 medium ripe avocado, pitted
– 2 ripe bananas
– 2-3 tablespoons carob powder (you can use cacao powder)
– 2 tablespoons almond butter
– small amount rice milk

Method

Place the ganache’s ingredients into the kitchen blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Place it in the fridge to chill.

In a bowl mix together the flours, baking powder and vanilla. Add the smashed bananas, rice milk. Give the mixture a stir, combining the ingredients until mixed and smooth (if you find it too thick add a bit of rice milk 1 tablespoon at a time). Set aside for 5 minutes to allow the batter to rise.

Prepare a non-stick pan with 1 teaspoon coconut oil on medium heat. Spoon batter into pan, forming a pancake. Cook until lightly brown on the bottom. Turn and brown the other side. Let the pancakes cool.

To build the cake, place one pancake on a plate, spread some chocolate ganache on pancake and top with another pancake. Keep doing this until you’ve used all the pancakes. Keep some cream back for the top.