Monday, May 4, 2015

BELTANE BLAST- SALAD

It is that time of the year again - wild edible greens time! Super charged with nature´s own vitamins and minerals, they are a true superfood. Eating wild, non-cultivated foods is the most environmentally friendly way to go, not to mention nutritious!

This bunch is mostly goutweed, with a few leaves of dandelion along in it. To chop it, I first rolled it into a tight ball, and then simply sliced/chopped it thinly with a knife.

Young, fresh white cabbage is another of Beltane´s treasures I crave each year. Compared to the "usual"/old head of white cabbage, this is more leafy, mild tasting, and less fibrous. Slicing it with a knife works well for making a salad, whereas the old heads need to be shaved or grated.

Mixing the two greens and serving with organic, home made rye & spelt bread makes a powerful lunch that´ll provide strength and happiness until dinner time.
  The recipe for the salad (serves two hungry people):

2 cups of mild-tasting wild edible greens (or 1 cup stronger ones)
1/2 head of fresh, young white cabbage, finely sliced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 clove of garlic, minced
black pepper to taste

+ Toss and mix in the seasonings. Serve.


  The recipe for the bread (makes 12 pieces):

2 cups water, slightly above lukewarm
1 cup wholemeal rye flour
1 cup wholemeal spelt flour
3 oz. (10g) dried yeast
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup cold pressed sunflower oil (or other mild tasting kind)
more spelt flour, until a soft dough is formed

+ Combine the first six ingredients, mixing well. Add the oil and then more spelt flour until you get a dough you can easily roll onto a baking sheet lined oven tray with a rolling pin. Sprinkle a little flour onto the baking sheet, roll with the pin to cover the whole oven tray. Take a fork and poke some holes into the dough so it won´t rise high in the middle, then take a pizza cutter and roll three lines vertically and two horizontally over the dough, so once baked, it is easy to bend the slices apart from each other.
  Bake at 400 Fahrenheit (200 Celcius) for 25 min.

  Today I had this with bancha tea, and felt healthy and invigorated afterwords. I think I´ll make it my Beltane staple from now on!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

FREEDOM FASHION: ZEBRA DRESS

  I wanted a black ´n white dress with print. That´s all the plan I had when heading for the fabric store. I found this unusual but subtle zebra cotton knit fabric, that I fell in love with right away. For once shopping was easy!

The texture is quite rough, but the fabric still feels comfortable to the skin and breathes so well.
I surprised myself by choosing to make a dress of the zebra print, because at a first glance it calls for a shirt. When accessorized minimally, the look stays casual yet interesting.

This outfit is a great place to wear my new MBT walking shoes (yes, I know they were a hit ten years ago, but to me they still rock  =), which also dress it down.

Instead of being cut on a straight fold, the center back seam sculpts the figure slightly. The weather is still mostly cool here (I´m even wearing my winter coat still), so I made the sleeves in 3/4 length to keep me warm enough.

With natural makeup and a pair of sleek earrings, this look makes a great staple for work. 
  Two funny occasions took place today, when wearing this dress.
  First at work a colleague of mine came up to me complementing my dress, and telling me she has made a sweater for herself of the exact same fabric! I mean, what are the odds to that?
  And then second, after work shopping for groceries, an elderly gentleman came to talk to me, calling me a princess, and telling me how I looked prettier than the newly selected Miss Finland... What a joke, but we both got a good laugh and he made my day. By no means do I think of him as a perverted weirdo, who ought to go where the sun does not shine. Just the opposite! It´s awesome how he spread a positive and playful tune around him. We need not be so serious all the time, even with strangers!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

TEATOX

  I don´t ever recall doing a detox in my life... (if a poor try on Master Cleanse twenty years ago does not count as a detox, it´s more like a fast). My outlook is merely a continuous overall healthy eating, not a diet or detox.

  BUT now I ran into this "teatox", which sounded so subtle and easy that I decided to give it a go. You know, just for fun and to see if it makes me feel any different. For a tea lover like me, a teatox sounds just perfect. =)

The duration is four weeks, during which you drink a refreshing cup of herbal tea right in the morning to kickstart your day, and another the last thing in the evening, every other night, to ease you into a good sleep.

The teabag fills up as it soaks in hot water, and there´s enough flavor to make two cups of tasty brew.
  If there´s any internal clarification or soothing effect on the way from this teatox, I welcome it with open arms. If not, at least I´ve been able to enjoy numerous cups of delicious tea!



Saturday, April 11, 2015

PROJECT SUMMER HOME

  Finally we got our hands on the main cabin at our summer home! It is about time to renovate it, we´ve had it for nearly four years now. Easy does it, we´ve learned. Living in and getting to know your property is the key to successful remodeling.

  The ice finally melted off, and we were able to go there by our boat. It actually feels like summer season has started already!

Looking at this picture of our boat bay, it also looks like summer too! But in reality, it was only a bit above freezing...

Signs of spring have arrived here too.

Flag up to show summer season has started! Yay!


The project begins. This is the main room, I guess it could be called the living room. So far we´ve already taken down the old bunk beds and half paneling on the walls. The bunches of panels are awaiting installation.

Originally this room was the kitchen, which we turned into a bedroom two years ago. Now it is getting another makeover.

When it comes to survival in cold and windy weather, something´s got to give. In this case it is style... =)
It was not all springy sunshine, we also got cold rain (and occasional sleet).
An unfortunate creature on the shore...
I got a tip from a Kentuckian friend of mine to try out Jack Daniel´s. Wow, so different and tasty from the Scottish or Canadian whiskies I´ve tried before. Really yummy, and surprisingly girly. Me like. Thanks Carl!
I was actually able to be helpful!

After two days of work. We built a whole new bedroom and added a window to it too. Now there are two bedrooms, in which three of us can sleep (we´ll see where the fourth one will end up... on the couch maybe?).

This is the first bedroom after makeover (the one that used to be kitchen.).
The new, second, bedroom. Here the color of the walls is quite close to the original. We used breathable and non-toxic wood wax for finishing the wood paneled walls.
In between the bedrooms we were able to squeeze a tiny toilet. It will be an eco-friendly waterless one, but more about it later.
  Phew, that was a lot for one long weekend! Now we just can´t wait for the next one!!!  =)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

THURSDAY TORTILLAS

  Thursday and tortillas rhyme and swing, making my Thursdays as healthy as these vegan and low-fat tortillas are delicious. It is still a weekday, not yet time to indulge in unhealthy and hard-to-digest party foods of weekend. Especially this weekend when it´s Easter!

A complete meal. Marinated veggies and tofu as the filling.

As much as I like to eat home-made foods, tortilla bread is one thing I cannot do. It always ends up either too thick or too thin, and it always tears apart (I use wholemeal spelt flour for the dough). So this is one place where I take a shortcut, buying them ready from the store. I figure that filling them with fresh, fibrous vegetables adds up to a lunch on the healthy side overall. It´s okay to aim for perfection, but it´s also okay to understand it is impossible (and inhuman  =).

  The recipe (yields two big fajitas):



1/2 small zucchini, thinly sliced
1/2 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
1-2 tomatoes, halved and then thinly sliced
5 mushrooms, thinly sliced
3-4 kale leaves, finely chopped
6 oz. (200g) firm tofu, cubed

Mix all with this marinade:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp soy sauce
black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1 small clove garlic, minced
cayenne pepper, to taste
a squirt of raw honey

+ Let sit in room temperature for 15-30 min, mixing occasionally.
  Ladle on tortillas, roll up and enjoy.

  If you like yours more creamy, some plain (soy) yogurt or avocado do the trick well!

  This is my version of the always gorgeous Mimi Kirk´s fajita recipe from her book Live Raw. She is such an inspiration!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

NORI POPCORN

  The first full week of work is behind now. It´s mostly been about learning new routines and timing them correctly. No biggie.
  I´ve also come up with a new recipe for quick fix munchies, when coming home after work with a growling stomach; nori popcorn.

Home popped corn with sea salt and dried nori sprinkle! A surprising combination I craved one evening, and found addictive. This stuff is actually healthy too!
The recipe (yields approx. 3/4 gallons/3liters):

a snug cup (2dl) dried corn kernels
4 Tbsp cold pressed sunflower oil (nice and mild tasting)
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp green nori flakes

+ Pour the oil in a big kettle/pot with a lid. Heat up on the stove until it steams lightly, then add the corn and immediately close the lid! Once the corn begins to pop, lower the temperature slightly and keep popping until there´s a couple of seconds silence between the pops in the end. (It will only take a few minutes altogether.) Remove from the stove and let sit with the lid on for a few minutes. Remove the lid and sprinkle in the salt and nori. Toss and serve!

  The popcorn stays well in room temperature for days, but naturally it is at it´s best freshly eaten.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

EASY COCONUT COOKIE BALLS

  I love baked flour foods, but am not a miraculous baker. Probably so because I don´t have the patience to knead and wait for the dough to rise many times over, and I like mine healthy, not loaded with white flour and extracted added gluten.

  These coconut cookies were a big hit at my daughter´s birthday party recently. Since I made them for others, and to be served in a party, I made them with regular white wheat flour. But when I make them just for myself and my daughter (the rest of my family can´t/won´t eat them), I use freshly home ground whole spelt flour.

The cookies are formed into balls, so there is no need to roll the dough even once!

The dough itself is not super sweet, but the cookies are dipped in powdered sugar once baked. It adds both, appeal and apparel. I personally found it hard to stop eating them... luckily the recipe makes about seventy cookies. =)
 The recipe (makes approx. 70 pieces):

250g room temperature vegan margarine
1,5 dl + 2 dl powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
5 dl wheat flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
5 dl dried shredded coconut
(small splash of soymilk if needed)

+ Preheat oven to 175 C. Whip up margarine and 1,5 dl powdered sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla sugar, flour and salt. Stir carefully. Add in the coconut and stir once more, adding a bit of soymilk if the dough is too dry.
  Roll out little balls, about 2 cm by diameter, and place onto a baking sheet layered oven tray. Leave some room for the cookies to spread in the oven. Bake until the balls have become only slightly tanned, about 10 min. Be careful not to burn them.
  Dip the cookies in powdered sugar once cooled down. Serve cold and store air-tight.

 (Original recipe called "Snowballs" from the awesome Raisa Kettunen´s party food book "Puputyton Juhlakirja".)