Thursday, March 24, 2016

Crunchy gluten-free granola

Home made granola can be super versatile. It can be used as a part of a healthy breakfast, a little less healthy dessert or as a snack to eat on the go. It's so freaking delicious and easy to make!

This granola recipe contains a bit of maple syrup, but hey, it's still much healthier than most of the granola you find in supermarkets, and much cheaper as well. 

You only need 10 common ingredients, and it requires no special kitchen skills. It's perfect to make on a Sunday and keep over the week in a closed container. 

My favorites ways to eat granola are:

  • with soy yoghurt and berries,
  • sprinkled on top of oatmeal,
  • as a snack 
  • or simply in a bowl with some ice cold almond milk.  

I make my granola with gluten-free rolled oats. It's not too easy to find good gluten-free granola in the store so this recipe is perfect for those who avoid gluten.

I topped it off with some dark chocolate and it made my day. 

I think you will love this recipe. It sure didn't take me long to eat it up!In the near future I also plan on experimenting with this recipe to make compact granola bars to have on the go.  

Let me know if you have a go at this, and as always, I would love hearing how you like it!

1 1/2 cup gluten-free oats
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 shredded coconut
1/2 cup raisins
a pinch of salt
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbs almond butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
a tiny bit of vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 150°c.

2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.

3. Add syrup, coconut oil and almond butter to a small saucepan and warm over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir frequently until the blend is well combined.

4. Pour the blend over the dry ingredients and mix well together. Spread the granola evenly on a large baking sheet.

5. Bake for about 15 minutes, take it out and stir it around, and bake for another 5 minutes. (My oven is a piece-of-crap so I had to watch it really carefully so it didn't burn. I had to stir it more often than once so mine wasn't as chunky as it would be in a nice oven. So when you make it for the first time you might want to watch it well.)

6. Let it cool before you eat it so it gets as crunchy as possible.


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Spicy mock tuna salad

Remember when you were a kid and you, or someone else in your class, brought a smelly tuna sandwich for lunch? 
Well I do, and since I always loved tuna salad, more often than not I was the recipient of angry looks from my classmates. I never understood all the fuss until I stopped eating meat about five years ago and today the strong smell of tuna is not on my list of favorites. 

I recently started noticing fellow vegans experimenting with mock tuna salads mainly using chickpeas. To be honest I was a bit skeptical and thought it sounded a bit boring and I didn't believe chickpeas could taste anything like tuna. But I'm always game for trying new things so I went for it and the results were delicious. 

Most of the recipes I've come across contain either celery or pickles but since I'm not a big fan of those ingredients I decided to make my own recipe and use sweet corn and jalapenos instead. The jalapenos only produce a slight edge to the taste but if you're sensitive to spicy foods maybe you can find a substitute or just skip them entirely. 

I kid you not, this salad tastes a lot like tuna salad.  Probably the biggest difference is that the smell is far less potent, which I think it a definite plus. Now you can bring fresh "tuna" salad to work, school or the park without the risk of stinking the place up. 

The salad fits perfectly with crackers, a bun or toast, and I even think it would be wonderful in wraps and perhaps as a part of an even bigger salad.

But today I was in the mood for something basic, so I made a toasted sandwich with avocado, leafy greens, tomatoes and the mock tuna salad. It was amazing. I dare you to try it, I promise you'll love it! 

Mock tuna salad
1 can chickpeas - rinsed and drained
1/2 cup red onion - chopped
1/2 cup frozen sweet corn - thawed
2 heaped Tbsp vegan mayo
4 slices jalapeno from a jar - chopped
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste

1. Mash the chickpeas with a fork or a masher. You could also use a food processor but texture-wise I recommend not to process them too finely.

2.  Stir in the rest of the ingredients and add salt and pepper to taste.

Homemade vegan mayo
1 cup unsweetened soy milk
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
Oil (it's important to use unflavored oil like rapeseed oil or sunflower oil)
1/4 tsp dijon mustard
salt to taste

1. Mix soy milk and vinegar together with a hand blender.

2. While mixing, add the oil slowly until the blend becomes thick like mayonnaise.

3. Stir in mustard and salt.

Mock tuna sandwich
2 slices bread, I used gluten free bread
1/2 avocado
Sliced Tomato
Mock tuna salad

1. Toast the bread

2. Simply add the vegetables and "tuna" salad and serve.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Beetroot Salad With Tahini & Orange Vinaigrette


As a child I always hated beets. In Iceland there is a tradition to buy them pickled in a jar and eat with the holiday roast on christmas eve. Those were the only beets I had tasted and I didn't even know what fresh beets look like. It wasn't until I became vegan I found out about the numerous ways you can eat them, for example, raw, baked, juiced, etc. You can even get beet chips that taste just as good, if not even better than potato chips.
It took me some time to get used to the earthy taste but now this beautiful, nourishing vegetable is one of my favorites.

One day last week here in Gothenburg it felt like spring was finally here. Of course I couldn't have been more wrong and now everything is once again covered in snow. 

But with spring in my heart for this single day I wanted to make something that screamed summer! - so I made myself a beet- & orange salad. I couldn't decide what kind of a dressing I wanted, so I made both tahini dressing and an orange & dijon vinaigrette. They were both good but there was something missing. I actually ended up combining the two, and wow, the result was delicious. The dressing was perfect for the salad and I can't believe I never thought of it before. 


The last thing I added were maple candied wanuts. I love adding something crunchy to my salads and these definitely gave the course an extra kick. 

It is way too common that people see salads only as bits of lettuce covered in chicken and/or bacon, cheese and a some mayonnaise-based dressing. 

What's even more sad is how many think that having a vegan salad means taking away all the "good stuff" and ending up with dry lettuce and maybe a few tomatoes, not even thinking about all the delicious foods that you add to your life when you stop consuming animal products. 

We need to abolish the notion of salads being boring unless covered in meat and dairy. Let's help each other and show people how many colorful, delicious and exciting plant based foods there are and try this one out yourself!


Beetroot salad for two:
3 beets
mixed salad
1 orange

Tahini-orange dressing
2 Tbsp white tahini
Juice of 1 small orange
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp maple syrup

1 tsp apple cider vinegar
A bit of zest from the orange
Pinch of salt
1 Tbsp of water (you can add more if the dressing is too thick)

Maple walnuts
50g walnuts
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp coconut oil


1. preheat oven to 200°C

2. Scrub the beets under cold water and keep the skin on

3. Cut of the top and the bottom, wrap them in aluminum foil and bake for 45-60 minutes

4. While the beets are baking, mix all the ingredients for the dressing together in a bowl

5. Add walnuts, syrup and oil to a deep skillet and stir frequently. When the syrup is caramelized and the nuts toasted it's ready. It will only take about 3 minutes and you have to stand by it the whole time because it's easy for the mixture to burn. 

6. When the beets are baked let them cool for about 10 minutes, or until cool enough for you to handle. 

7. peel the skin of and cut them in cubes, toss them in salt and pepper and let them sit for another 10 minutes.

8. Put salad mix on two plates and equal amounts of beets and orange on each plate. Sprinkle with the dressing and candied walnuts.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Creamy tomato soup

Have I told you that I love soups? They are the perfect winter food, so comforting and heartwarming.
Last week I sat at my favorite coffee house and watched people eat creamy tomato soup with crispy garlic bread. I knew I had to make a vegan version so I did as soon as I got home.
This soup is so freaking easy to make but at the same time ridiculously tasty. The ingredients are cheap witch makes it even more perfect.

The recipe was inspired from another blog but I veganized it and made it my own. I loved putting pasta in the soup but I also think it would be amazing to serve it with vegan grilled cheese

1 can crushed tomatoes (200g)
1 can chickpeas
1 can coconut milk (I only used the thick part. I've also used vegan sour cream witch turned out amazing)
1 cup water
1 yellow onion

2 garlic cloves
vegetable stock cube
1 tsp dried basil 
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

1/2 cup uncooked pasta shells
shredded vegan cheese

1. Heat the oil in a pot or deep skillet

2. Dice the onion, add it to the pot and cook until soft.

3. Add garlic and stir for few minutes

4. Add everything (except the pasta shells and cheese) to the pot and let it simmer for 15 minutes

5. while the soup is simmering add pasta shells to a small pot and cook until soft. I like my pasta a bit salty. 

6. serve the soup with pasta and shredded vegan cheese.

Helga María

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Potato & Leek Soup

Soups and stews are my absolute favorite meals this time of year. I find there is something heart-warming about eating a big bowl of soup on a cold rainy day, of which we are having a lot these days in Gothenburg.

I'm also a big big fan of meals that don't require a lot of ingredients and aren't too time consuming. Give me a big pot and some simple ingredients to throw in there and I'm a happy girl!

A couple of weeks ago I tasted a potato and leek soup, topped with vegan sour cream and lentils, and I was determined to try and have a go at that  delicious recipe. Yesterday I did and it turned out great, and possibly even better than before.

The soup is:
Perfect for cold winter days!

This recipe is fantastic, not only because the soup tastes amazing, but also because it requires less than 10 ingredients and takes less than an hour to make. That's surely the best kind of recipe, right?

I think some kale or spinach would be a good addition to it. If you dare to try, please let me know what you think! 

The soup is perfect for those days when you want something simple and tasty, but you don't want to grab something too unhealthy. If you're in the mood for something little more fatty on the other hand, I can imagine how delicious it would be to serve the soup with oven toasted garlic bread. 

Also, if you can't find vegan sour cream where you live, don't panic. You can make your own cashew sour cream or just skip it. The soup will still be super delicious without it. 


8 small potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 medium leek, sliced
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 Tbsp frozen parsley
1 vegetable stock cube
1 liter of water

250 ml vegan cooking cream - I used the one from Oatly
Few drops of sesame oil
Salt & pepper

For serving:

Vegan sour cream
Cooked brown lentils 


1. Heat a large pot over medium heat

2. Once hot, add either a little bit of oil or water, potatoes, leek and onion. Cook for 5 minutes stirring frequently. 

3. Add vegetable stock cube, water, salt and pepper.

4.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

5. Add the cooking cream and sesame oil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

6. Use an immersion blender, or transfer the soup to a blender, and purée until you get the consistency you like. I like mine creamy but I don´t mind a few small chunks in there. 

7. Taste the seasonings. You might want to add a bit more sesame oil or parsley. Cook the soup for few more minutes over medium high temperature.  

8. Garnish with the sour cream and lentils, serve and get eating! 

I hope you like this recipe and if you make it, please let me know! 

Helga María

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Delicious christmas goodies

Christmas is around the corner and finally I feel like I'm allowed to listen to christmas songs. This is by far my favorite holiday so I like to make the most of it. It's the only time of the year where you're not judged for baking cakes and cookies three times a week, or for bailing on the gym to drink hot chocolate, while binging on christmas movies. It's also the only time of year where the cold and dark winter nights stop feeling gloomy and become colorful and filled with warmth and beauty. 

Last night I wanted to make something good and christmassy so I turned on some christmas music and made delicious treats. They turned out perfect and can make great christmas presents for those who can't, or don't want to, spend a lot of money.  They're sure to make your loved ones happy. 

Coconut bites

These are very popular in Iceland and couldn't be easier to make. The coconut bites are perfect when you want to make something with your kids and/ or something quick but delicious.

100g vegan butter
1 dl sugar
3 dl quick oats
3 Tbsp raw cacao
1 tsp vanilla sugar
Pinch of salt
Shredded coconut for covering


1. Start by beating together butter and sugar with an electric beater until it becomes light and fluffy.

2. Put the other ingredients in a big bowl and mix well together. 

3. Make little balls and roll them in the shredded coconut. 

4. Keep the coconut bites in the fridge for an hour before serving.

Salted caramel bites

This recipe was made by my friend. These treats are so freaking delicious. The combination of the sweet and salty flavors is perfect. I would eat them everyday if I could. 

2, 1/2 dl dates (remember to pit them before you put them in
the food processor)
2 dl salted cashews
1 heaped Tbsp peanut butter
2 tsp raw cacao
100g dark chocolate
1 tsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp salt flakes


1. Start by pitting the dates and soaking them in water for about 10 minutes.

2. While they are soaking put the cashews in a food processor on pulse. You don't want them to become too grated. Place them in a small bowl for later. 

3. Put the dates, peanut butter and cacao in the food processor until it becomes like a smooth paste. 

4. Put the dough in a big bowl, add the cashews and mix together with your hands. 

5. Make little balls and put in the freezer for few minutes while you melt the chocolate. 

6. Melt chocolate, coconut oil and salt flakes together.

7. Cover the caramel bites with the chocolate and garnish with salt flakes. 

8. Put in the fridge for an hour before serving.  

Helga María

Monday, October 26, 2015


I've been spending the last two months settling down in Sweden and so far I'm loving it. The weather has been wonderful this fall but it's getting colder every day now. For the last few days I haven't been feeling as energetic as I usually do and I have a little bit of a cold. One of the things I do in the winter time to keep me from getting a runny nose is juicing. This carrot ginger juice works wonders when I'm feeling under the weather. The combination of carrot, ginger, lemon and mint is amazing.

If you prefer your juices a little sweet you can throw in an apple or two but I think it's perfect as it is. 

One of the few things I brought with me from Iceland was my new whole slow juicer from Kuvings. This juicer is my favorite kitchen appliance by far. Every drop ends up in your glass and the pulp comes out almost completely dry. It's also super easy to clean witch makes juicing much less time consuming that it can often be. If you're planning on buying a new juicer I highly recommend the one from Kuvings. 

5 medium sized carrots
1 cucumber
1 lemon
A little bit of ginger
Mint leaves

A slow press juicer works a little bit differently from the regular juicer. As the name implies it works slowly so you have to be a bit patient. Unlike conventional juicers the slow presser doesn't need your muscle assistance, so make sure not to push the food down. As soon as the food touches the blades the machine doesn't need any more help. My advise is to put only one item at a time so the juicer can work through it as well as possible.

Have a nice week and I hope you enjoy the recipe. <3