Monday, April 8, 2013

Simple food

A couple of you asked for some recipes of healthy treats I make, smoothies and stuff.
The problem is that I hardly ever follow any recipes, so I don't have specific amounts of anything. I tend to just wing it, whether I'm cooking or knitting or whatever.

But I can write a little bit about how we eat and give you recipes of sorts -or at least explanations on a couple of things we frequently make.

I'm a really lazy cook. On my own I would never ever eat two warm meals a day, some days I would eat none. We almost always have one-bowl meals. It's usually rice or pasta with some sauce with it.  Bolognese sauce, and fresh avocado with fresh basil, leaf parsley and parmesan cheese (flavor with salt, lime juice and fresh red chili pepper) are among favorites. The avocado recipe is super easy, you just mix everything in a big bowl and add the cooked pasta.

I can't imagine spending two hours in the kitchen preparing dinner.
What also makes it "simple food" is that I don't offer many different dishes at once. We may eat baked potatoes with cheese and just have some raw veggie bits with them. Often I "deal" with the veggies by peeling carrots and giving them to eat while the hungry ones are waiting for dinner.
We don't have a lot of food waste, because I make sure we eat left-over before making new food, and I think also because of creative cooking - if there is something in the fridge that needs to be used, I use it in a dish where I would normally not use that ingredient. I also sometimes create new dishes from leftovers, by adding stuff to them.

We really love salads, and when I make a salad I make a big one that we can eat for two or three days. Because I'm lazy, and it's a lot of work to wash and peel and chop all the ingredients, and it feels like less work to do more at once ;) Indiana doesn't eat salads, so I will just give her the usual carrot sticks and bell pepper slices and some fruit, and she will eat those with some frozen food like veggies patties or falafel, or if we are also having salmon or something, she will have that with her veggies. If she is still hungry she can have some bread as well.

I'm not above letting her eat toast or cereal for lunch sometimes. She may eat goat cheese straight from the container.

I do use convenience foods. I don't feel too guilty about skipping a meal because we had too many snacks. I love it when we eat out and I can skip cooking for the day.

It's all food, and it's still much more varied than most people in the world have, even if it's not always the healthiest possible option.

And now for the delicious treats our kids and husbands will devour and  get a bunch of healthy stuff at the same time :) They are also super easy to make.


-Frozen fruit or berries. We use strawberries the most because they are Indiana's favorites, but also blueberries and raspberries and currants and even lingonberries (tart). I also buy frozen mango, because that happens to be found at the store and those are good to use in  yellow smoothies :) You can mix any combination of course.

-Any juice. We also sometimes use coconut milk or almond milk or rice milk or soy cream.You just add enough liquid to cover the frozen stuff and add more if it seems too thick.

-Honey to sweeten

-I usually put in a  couple of raw free range eggs for super healthy protein, but you can skip them if you don't like the idea. I can tell that I have been doing this for 9 years and nobody ever got sick. I learned to use raw eggs like this in Cambodia.

-I almost always add banana for the thick consistency. I may add other fresh fruit too.

- I often add frozen or fresh spinach or some other green stuff. If you don't put too much nobody will say a word :) You can of course put in other veggies too, like carrots.

Good combinations include: Strawberry-coconut, Mango-orange juice-banana, Blueberry-raspberry-spinach.. but the variations are endless.

Tofu pudding:

-A block of soft tofu

-Maple syrup (or honey) to sweeten

-Vanilla (we use vanilla sugar)

-A heaping tablespoon of almond butter

-Dash of cream or soy cream (you can even skip it but it makes for a milder taste)

Blend everything until the tofu is smooth. This is the basic recipe, but the last time I made this I also added in the left overs from a chocolate spread (that my husband likes to eat with rye bread).

For variations, your imagination is the limit. You can add some frozen or fresh fruit, berries or other nut butters. You can sweeten with brown sugar.

I think most people know this one, but I will still tell you about one other favorite,

Banana Ice cream:

-Bananas, sliced and frozen (flat, so they don't clump together). Blend until the consistency is like soft serve ice cream. You can add frozen strawberries(or other frozen berries) but really the only thing you need is bananas!

For me, simple eating is about not making a big fuss, not getting stressed about it, not having strict rules. I'm so glad I no longer react to gluten, and that Indiana is not quite as sensitive to dairy anymore. Her mild milk allergy is the only restriction right now. We eat when we are hungry, not at a specific time. This gives our life flexibility. If I don't have to have a strict schedule, I won't impose one on myself, though I do realize some people rely on them for their life to run smoothly!

Do you have any favorite simple foods or recipes to share? I'm always glad to get new ideas!


heini said...

Ymmärrän niin hyvin monet tunteesi, joista kirjoitat tässä postauksessa... Minulla myös aika fleksiibeli suhtautuminen (esim. pastan tms. sijaan ihan hyvin voidaan ottaa vaan leipää ja täälläkin porkkanaa kuluu, varsinkin just kans ennen ruuan valmistumista :) ja tykkään luovuudesta keittiössäkin. Kehitellä kaikenlaista siitä mitä sattuu olemaan kaapissa. Usein yksinkertainen on herkullisinta. Toisaalta kyllä tykkään valmistaa esim. joitakin suomalaisia perinneruokia, joiden tekeminen vie aikansa (lähinnä uunissa menee aikaa). Kuten kaalilaatikko, mämmi, uunipuuro, ruispalat, riisipuuro, karjalanpiirakat... Harvemmin niiden tekemisille tosin on aikaa. Meillä on ruoka-ajat melko kiveen kirjoitettu. Huomasin jossakin vaiheessa, että helpointa niin meillä kun on monta lasta. Monelta kohtaukselta on vältytty!

Vappu said...

heini: Joo, voin kuvitella että juuri useamman lapsen kanssa tulee tarpeelliseksi nuo säännölliset ajat, muuten olisi koko ajan joku lapsista kinuamassa ruokaa ;) Omatekoiset karjalanpiirakat on aivan parhaita, pitäisi itsekin taas joskus tehdä. Uuniruuat niinkuin uunipuuro ja karjalanpaisti ja kaalilaatikko on ihania, kun siellä tekeytyy itsekseen alkuvalmistelujen jälkeen - kunhan muistaa aloittaa ajoissa ruuan laiton. Kaalikääryleitä tein kerran ja olihan ne hyviä... mutta kamalan vaivalloisia!

mamauk said...

We love to top pasta with thinly sliced courgette and garlic and tomatoes and plenty of basil and grated cheese. It tastes delicious! It's a ten minute meal, the courgette and garlic are lightly fried with a good olive oil and tomatoes are added at the end to warm through before it gets piled onto the pasta. We eat this so often!

Vappu said...

mamauk: That sounds really good! I'll have to try this..

tammy j said...

i love the way that naturalness and simplicity extend to every area in your life. you are truly so inspiring.
thank you for being simply vappu!

Little Miss Know-it-all said...

Thank you for giving us what we asked for LOL!!
It was nice to see your simple eating habits and I look forward to trying some things out.
I also prefer to eat very simply, somewhat hampered by a husband who is a gourmet and a daughter who adores meat (well, they both do)... ah well, when I am on my own during the week, I can do my own thing and eat when and what I want!

Lauren said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who likes to keep things simple when it comes to food! I use Pinterest and there are so many recipes for food and it really gets overwhelming. I've only recently started eating better, but these are good ideas!

Jamie Elizabeth said...

i found your blog while on a search for good minimal lifestyle blogs, and i must say that i love it and will be following regularly. :)

Netti Byrd said...

Thank you so much for sharing! I will try these recipes soon.

Anita Lim said...

I only just recently found my way to your blog, & just wanted to say I love it! :)

Rain San Martin said...

Inspiring salad and smoothie images. My goal is to replace my big daily treat with a banana, berry & honey smoothie 5 days per week.

Sarah Spaetzle said...

Hi Vappu, just want to say how much I love your blog. I've tried to comment several times before without success, don't know what the problem is. Hopefully this time it will work!
When I read one of your posts it's like getting a breath of fresh air.

Merry said...

I agree with Sarah's comment. :) Your blog *is* a big breath fresh air; couldn't have said it better myself.

The smoothie recipe sounds SO good! I must try this sometime.


rebekkastarfish said...

We made smoothies, such a great idea! I'm not big fruit or vegetable eater, so having a big glass of blended fruit/juice several times each week is a really good addition of vitamins :) I really need to start this habit again. Can't wait to hear more of your ideas!

Bubblegum Casting said...

Smoothies are great
Sometimes I have them for breakfast!

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Bubblegum Casting said...

love it !

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