Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

I found this lovely recipe for chickpeas from the Choosing Raw- blog, and as I love chickpeas it was a great snack today. I didn’t have any raisins in the house so I substituted for chopped dates . Tastes lovely! And chickpeas are great source of zinc, folate and protein and dietary fibre. The dressing for the salad is made with Tahini, that in turn is a great source of calcium and protein, and copper and manganese.

Pesto Pasta is made fresh basilica, pine nuts, walnuts, sea salt, garlic, olive oil and nutritional yeast flakes. Yeast flakes are rich in B-vitamins, and I use it as a cheese substitute! For pasta I chose this time quinoa spaghetti, that I have bought from France. I haven’t seen it sold anywhere in the UK. But it’s a healthy option (and tastes great!) as quinoa is a source of complete protein, and a good source of dietary fibre, phosporus and is high in magnesium and iron.

Chickpea Salad:

2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 large carrot, grated finely
1/3 cup raisins (dates)

For the dressing:

2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp water
1/2 tbsp tamari
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp curry powder

Pesto sauce:

2 cloves garlic

one small basilica plant leaves

pinch of sea salt

olive oil (see how much you like depending how thick/thin you like)

handful of walnuts

small pack of pine nuts (100g)

1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes

1. mix all together with a food mixer/processor

Enjoy with pasta or quinoa spaghetti!

Quinoa spaghetti pesto

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I have to thank my friend Nicola for this recipe, as she made it for us in our study group the other day and I absolutely loved it! It has quinoa in it, which is almost super food – it’s that good or you. It’s very high in protein and is a source of complete protein. (A complete protein is a source of protein that contains an adequate proportion of all nine of the essential amino acids necessary for the dietary needs of humans) It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is also gluten-free!

Spinach Quinoa Soup

1 onion

4 garlic cloves

4 celery sticks

200g spinach

500ml vegetable stock

salt, pepper

1 cup quinoa

1. fry onion gently, add celery and garlic

2. add spinach until welted (chop first or use a machine)

3. add vegetable stock and bring to boil

4. add salt and pepper

5. add quinoa and boil around 10-15min

6. check the taste



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In Finland we celebrate Christmas already on the 24th December, with rice porridge in the morning, early morning/early afternoon SAUNA, then getting pretty and early evening Christmas dinner followed with opening the presents. And most of the time meeting the Santa Claus as well! For dinner we typically have ham, swede casserole, carrot casserole and potato casserole, and assortment of fish together with a salad. As I am celebrating my Christmas this year in England, in my Christmas dinner we had ham, salmon, Brussels sprouts and swede-, carrot- and potato casseroles. My favourite is the swede casserole, oooh so yummy!

Lanttulaatikko – Swede Casserole

  • 2 big swedes
  • 1 table spoon salt in the water
  • 1/2 litre water

Peel the swedes and cut into cubes. Boil until soft in salty water. Smash into purée.

  • 1 dl bread crumbs
  • 1 onion
  • 2 dl cream
  • 1/2 dl syrup
  • 1/2 tea spoon ground pepper, nutmeg and ginger

Cut onion into small purée, and soften in the pan for about 5 minutes. Add to the swede purée. Mix bread crumbs and cream and let stand for a few minutes so that bread crumbs have swollen. Add everything to swede purée, all the spices as well and mix well. Put into oven dish and bake in 200 degrees for one hour, and in 150 degrees the second hour. Let cool a bit and enjoy! You can also freeze this dish and enjoy later.

Porkkanalaatikko – Carrot Casserole

  • 1kg carrots
  • 2 dl porridge rice
  • 1/2 liter water
  • 1 litre milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tea spoon salt
  • 1/2 tea spoon nutmeg
  • 2 table spoons syrup
  • bread crumbs

First boil the porridge rice in 2 cups of water until the rice has used all the water, then start adding milk little by little, forming porridge. This will take about 40 minutes. Boil the peeled carrots that you have cut into smaller pieces in water, but just so much water that it covers the carrots. Boil until soft and then mash into purée. Add all the spices and syrup and mix with rice porridge. Transfer into oven dish, add some bread crumbs on top and bake in 150 degrees for about 1.5 hour.

Imelletty Perunalaatikko – (Sweet) Potato Casserole

  • 2kg potatoes
  • 2dl white flour
  • some butter
  • 0,5-1 litre milk
  • 2 table spoon syrup
  • 3 teaspoons salt

Boil peeled potatoes cut into cubes in little water (just to cover the potatoes) until soft. Mash into purée. Let cool until hand warm and then add white flour (this so that the flour doesn’t burn) Add some butter, mix and let stand over night in room temperature, covered with a lid. You are doing this so that the mixture would get a bit sweeter taste in the end. Don’t worry that next day when you open the lid it looks a bit grey, it doesn’t matter.

Next day, mix the mixture and add so much milk that the mixture is more liquid than typical porridge, but not too liquid. Add to oven dish, add some butter on top and bake 1/2 hour in 200 degrees, until it starts to boil, then lower the temperature to 150 degrees and bake another two hours.

These casseroles are served with ham. Enjoy!





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I really love the taste of swedes. Might be much a Finnish thing, as we eat swedes not only in soups but mainly in Christmas time as a swede casserole. (My Scottish husband was not used to the taste of swedes, still liked these) It is something that I hated as a child, and I believe many kids feel the same. I could not understand how my mum would love it so much. And then I grew older, and one day I noticed that my taste buds had changed! And I fell in love with the taste of swede. I will later give you a recipe for Christmas Swede Casserole, but today I will show you how to make Swede pastries, as I made these myself the other day. Remember when you buy swedes not to mix them with turnips, they look a bit alike. I made this mistake last Christmas, and while boiling them in the water and I was wondering why they looked so pale and didn’t smell the way they should… Swedes are quite yellow, and turnips white from inside! Taste is very different 😉


  • 2 pieces of swede ( I had quite big ones)
  • 1 tea-spoon salt
  • 1/2 dl syrup
  • 1/4 tea-spoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 tea-spoon nutmeg
  • 2-3 table spoons white flour
  • (one egg, but is not necessary)

Peel the swedes and cut into cubes. Boil until soft. Add spices and mix. Next do the pastry.

  • 2dl water
  • 1/2 tea-spoon salt
  • about 3dl rye flour
  • about 1,5 dl white strong flour

Mix all the ingredients and form into dough. Roll into a snake form and cut into 16-18 pieces. Roll each piece into flat thin round form. Then add a tea-spoon of filling in the middle, and close to form a moon shape. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until nicely brown, and then moisten the skin with liquid butter when you take them out of oven. Let cool a bit and enjoy! Also very nice to eat cold.

Swede pastries lanttusupikas

swede pastry

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Today I have made a lovely apple pie. It’s raining hard and I have been out for a long walk with our dog Muumi. I like autumn time when trees change colour and it’s getting colder and darker. I can’t wait to see snow! But in this kind of day apple pie makes my day. I have found the recipe for this apple pie from Kotikokki, a Finnish recipe sharing website.

I have also started studying. Eternal student Marika 😉 One day I will be Nutritional Therapist. The school is in Manchester called CNM – The College of Naturopathic Medicine.

I had my first weekend of studies the past weekend, two full days of anatomy and physiology. We started from cells and tissues and then continued to bones. Very interesting but also very much to take in. I can remember studying these things in high school, but I was not very good at it then and that put me off from a career in biology (deep-sea biologist would be my dream job!) or anything related to it. But I think this time I am well motivated and that might bring me far. Also it was great to meet my class and hear their stories of what made them interested to study naturopathic medicine. There is a range of people in my class, from diverse backgrounds, and it is nice for me to be in among a group that is interested of the same things as me.

I have always thought that I am a healthy person with very healthy eating habits. In Finland we learn about healthy eating in school, and the general diet consists of berries, mushrooms, wild game and fish – like my husband says, very much like hunter gatherers in the past. We also drink loads of milk and eat rye bread. We are educated how good milk is for you, making your bones healthy and giving you calcium. Only recently I have learned that all our nation is brain washed to believe that milk is so good for you by dairy industry, just like in America. I was quite shocked to learn this to say the truth! Also couple of years ago when I started to learn more about healthy eating, I realised my eating habits weren’t as healthy as I wanted to believe 😉 I had the building blocks of knowledge there, but the implementation of knowledge was not always part of my daily life. And still is not every day, I know how hard it can be to try to change your eating habits, but I will keep on trying.

Now the recipe for the apple pie, here it is. (I believe in 80/20 balance in your diet, if you eat 80% of time healthily, the 20% of doesn’t matter if you indulge yourself:)

apple pie recipe home made

Yammy Apple Pie

200g butter or margarine

1,5dl sugar

3dl flour

1 egg

0,75dl milk (I used oat milk)

1ts baking powder

1ts vanilla sugar

3-4 appless

cinnamon and sugar

1. melt the butter and add together with the sugar

2. add flour slowly, you don’t want it too dry, don’t add baking powder at this point yet

3. Take apart a coffee cup of dough, and leave aside, this will be used in the end

4. Now add egg, milk and vanilla&baking powder and whisk strongly. The dough is now a little bit liquid but not too liquid, at the same time not too dry

5. Now pour the dough into a pie dish and add apple slices in a nice looking arrangement. Add cinnemon and sugar on top. Scatter around pieces of the dough that you saved earlier in a coffee cup.

6. Bake in the over 200 degrees for about 30 minutes.

7. Let cool down a bit and enjoy with ice-cream or cream!

Oh, and this pie is even better tasting the next day, so better make it a day advance if you have guest coming and keep it in the fridge.

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I haven’t been writing this blog for a while now, but got new motivation when I heard that someone was actually following this blog and making these recipes?! Thank you for that 🙂

Bhutanese chili sauce

My husband brought me dried chilies from Bhutan. (What a lucky guy to go to places like that!)  They have been waiting for some time for me to find out what exactly needs to be done to use them. I have a Mexican cook book called Mexican food made simple by Thomasina Miers, and there is a recipe called Chipotles en adobo. Basically it is a chili sauce made from dried chilies, and not a sauce you would eat right away, but a sauce you would add little bit when you cook. Especially with these Bhutanese chilies.. they are SO HOT.

Basically I washed the chilis first, then opened them to remove all the seeds inside. Then boiled them in hot water for about 30 minutes. Then pureed it in my smoothie maker with onions, garlic, spices, vinegar.. and now I have a lot of very hot chili sauce, which will undoubtedly last for a very long time!

You should try this recipe, even with “normal” chilis that are not Bhutanese, because after making chili sauce, I use it a lot in my cooking, and you only need a tea-spoon.

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Summer Soup – Kesäkeitto

This is one of my favorite soups, and in Finland it is eaten in the summer when you get fresh new vegetables. As a kid I hated all the vegetables in it, and wanted my mum to make it without them – leaving only potatoes in the milk. And loved it like that! But now I love the vegetables in it.





green beans





I have not put down how many carrots or potatoes etc, as it depends on how big a pot you have. I used a couple of each, small cauliflower.. Boil the vegetables until almost soft, add salt, teaspoon of butter and about a pint of milk. Let gently boil until all vegetables are soft. Season and serve.

I like to eat this made of cow milk, but you can use any milk you like. I don’t use dairy much any more in my diet, but haven’t been able to replace it in recipes that come from my childhood, as the memory of the taste sticks in my mouth and head, and it’s not easy to change.

Here is a picture of Muumi meeting the calf’s that are the same size as her!

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