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Yoga, health, wellness, and recipes from YogaDownload.com


Spinach & Mushroom Vegan Dumplings
Spinach & Mushroom Vegan Dumplings
In Estonia, we are big on foraging. Berries, mushrooms, some wild herbs – we have gathered them from the forest since we were kids. As this year has been exceptionally warm (in some years, we have snow in October already), you can still find mushrooms in the forest, and I used some chanterelles I picked myself. As I know that you can not go foraging all over the world, I substituted the mushrooms in this recipe for oyster mushrooms as they are easier to find from the stores. If you can’t find those, button mushrooms are okay too. Dumplings of this style are not typical for Estonian cuisine at all, but I don’t think that everything should be traditional all the time. I love how the miso paste in this recipe rounds the whole filling up, the spinach and lemon give extra brightness, and ginger is just an excellent ingredient that also boosts the immune system. I am sure that we could all benefit from a healthy immune system in this bizarre year.

Plant-Based Chocolate Cake
Plant-Based Chocolate Cake
I will not say that the cake is exactly healthy, but it is definitely better for you compared to regular chocolate cakes. I have not used any white sugar or flour; also, I chose applesauce instead of a whole lot of fatty ingredients. Avocados, dark chocolate, and banana replace the regular sugar and fat packed filling. On top of all that, the cake is entirely plant-based—a complete winner in my book. As a disclaimer, I need to mention that for some people, used to a lot of sugar, this cake might taste too healthy. I have been practicing life without much white sugar for a long time, so if you are still a beginner, you might want to add more sugar. The cake is vegan, so feel free to taste the batter before baking and adjust the sweetness. I have made this cake at least 10 times, and I still can’t get over the fact that the base of this cake is so so soft and juicy without adding a ton of fat to the batter. Make sure not to overcook the cake.

Baked Eggplant Stuffed with Butter Beans
Baked Eggplant Stuffed with Butter Beans
I love eggplant. The sad thing is that my partner does not, so the amounts in this recipe are given for one person, but they are very simple to double or triple. Baking only one eggplant is a little sad, so I always bake more than one and make something else out of the others. I already wrote it down in the recipe too, but I can’t stress enough – do not undercook the eggplant. Undercooked eggplant is not a nice thing to eat. Baking whole like we do today, it is practically impossible to overcook it as the skin protects the tender flesh, so baking for longer is in this recipe always a better choice. I have included one of my favorite condiments in this recipe – marinated onions. As there are bigger onion lovers and the ones who only tolerate them, I did not mention amounts in the recipe (in fact, I never measure the ingredients when making marinated onions), so you can choose yourself how much of them you wish to include.

Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
Vegan Cinnamon Rolls
I used to think that it is impossible to do good soft cinnamon buns without a ton of real butter. This recipe is proof that I was seriously wrong. I still eat butter sometimes, but already for years, this recipe here has been the only one I use for cinnamon buns. In fact, I use the same dough with other fillings too – in Estonia, we do a traditional yeasted pastry with all kinds of different fillings – carrot, cabbage, meat, mushrooms, jam, cheese, and pretty much anything else you can think of. The traditional dough is made with cow’s milk and butter, but I don’t see any need to use either, even if I sometimes do use some animal ingredients to fill the pastry. Back to the cinnamon rolls – these are the softest, fluffiest and tastiest cinnamon rolls you have ever seen. Like really. You need to make them today. And the good thing is that they don’t take much time to bake at all. The resting takes time, and this is the process that you can’t skip, but everything else is effortless, and even a 5-year-old could do them. In fact, a very similar recipe (the traditional way) is the first recipe I remember myself cooking. I have no clue how old I was but definitely under ten, and I made a huge pastry called kringel in Estonian (it is a yeasted dough similar to this recipe here, filled with a lot of butter, sugar, raisins etc. and then braided into wreath) all on my own.

Red Cabbage and Potato Veggie Burger Patties
Red Cabbage and Potato Veggie Burger Patties
Vegetables are good for you. I am sure everybody knows this. But still, people usually don’t eat enough of those. I hope you are an exception and eat at least five handfuls of vegetables every day. But if you are struggling, here is a good recipe that counts towards the five servings a day. If you also add a salad to the side, it might very well be that you’ll cover all your official vegetable need for one day with only one meal. Of course, I am not stopping there – I like to keep all my meals bright, light, and naturally colorful – some purple cabbage here, a few orange carrots there, a red apple as a snack, and many greens throughout the day. I like to think that the more colors we eat, the more necessary nutrients we get from food. Healthy or not, these cabbage patties are just plain delicious. I usually eat them straight from the pan, but they are even more filling next to a green salad or a rice bowl.

High-Protein Chocolate Pancakes
High-Protein Chocolate Pancakes
I just counted, and I have 7 different pancake recipes up in my blog. And I have at least the same amount written down on post-its and waiting to be on the blog soon. Why so many? The answer is pretty simple. I often make pancakes on Sunday mornings, and since I usually do my weekly shopping on Sunday evenings, I often have run out of an ingredient, so I just replace it with something different, and voila – a new recipe is born. Usually, it works out well (there have been some disasters too, but these will definitely not be featured anywhere)! These chocolatey pancakes are a big success, and I have made these many times by now. As a bonus, the cottage cheese gives these pancakes an extra boost of protein compared to “regular” pancakes. If you want the recipe to be dairy-free, you can substitute the cottage cheese with a vegan yogurt instead.

Spinach and Artichoke Pizza
Spinach and Artichoke Pizza
Pizza is one of those fast food items that I don’t necessarily find unhealthy, especially when prepared at home, keeping the bottom thin and making good choices on toppings. Of course, homemade pizza is really not very fast food either as the dough's resting time is quite long, but in my opinion, every minute is completely worth it. As I bake sourdough bread at home, I always use sourdough as a pizza base, but if you don’t spend a few hours every week on bread baking, you can use any other recipe with yeast that you like. OR if you wish to get even faster results, just use a large flatbread or tortilla as a base, and you will get the whole recipe done in 10 minutes!

Vegetarian Ramen Made from Scratch
Vegetarian Ramen Made from Scratch
Ramen is one of those dishes that everybody loves. Homemade delicious broth, slurpy noodles, and all kinds of toppings you can imagine - what is not to like! Perfect for windy, cold, and dark autumn weather. Ramen can be extremely simple if using store-bought broth and noodles. It can be even more effortless by ordering in from your favorite takeaway. BUT if you want to create something truly special and have a few hours to spare, give this recipe a try. And imagine the amount of packaging you can avoid using by preparing the broth and noodles from scratch (I hate excessive packaging and always try to buy free from plastic to reduce my ecological footprint as much as possible).

Gluten-Free Zucchini Muffin Bites with Buckwheat Flour
Gluten-Free Zucchini Muffin Bites with Buckwheat Flour
There are never too many healthy snack ideas out there. The same can not be said about overgrown zucchini, and even if I always try to pick all the zucchini while they are still nice and firm, it sometimes happens that I am away from home for a few days and coming back, there are a few overgrown beasts out in my zucchini bed. I never recommend using too large zucchinis, but once you have them, this is one of the recipes that helps to use them up and does not suffer much from the zucchinis to be overgrown. For the first time in my 36 years of life, I had too many zucchinis for my own plants, and I am actually pleased about it. I gifted a few of them and ate around a ton of zucchini throughout the summer. Even today, mid-September, if the temperature is only around 14 degrees and it has been raining for the past 2 weeks, some of the plants are still flowering. Therefore, I still plan to eat zucchini flowers this year and maybe even get a few more baby-zucchinis.

Tomato and Nectarine Gazpacho
Tomato and Nectarine Gazpacho
In today’s soup, the sweet nectarines meet up with ripe homegrown tomatoes. It may seem a bit strange at first – especially with the onion in the mix, but I promise – it is so so so delicious! As there is no real cooking involved, all the ingredients must be at their best ripeness. During the wintertime in Estonia, where I live, this kind of soup would be impossible to enjoy as the store-bought winter tomatoes taste like plastic. So at the moment, I am enjoying as much fresh produce as possible. This recipe here is one of those where it is not important to follow the ingredients' exact amounts. I give you a recipe, but feel free to play around – if you only have 5 tomatoes, go with 5. If you have 3 nectarines waiting to be used up – use them here. The same with seasoning – just make sure to taste the soup after the first seasoning and decide if you may like a little more vinegar or little more salt. With seasoning, I recommend adding a little at the time as it is easy to add in more, but once you add too much, it is not possible to remove the extra seasoning.

Peppermint & Blackcurrant Cake Roll
Peppermint & Blackcurrant Cake Roll
As you probably know by now, then most of my recipes are extremely simple and seldom require a precise measuring, but here is one exception. Baking is a science, and this is the only type of cooking where not following the exact amounts can have catastrophic results. Believe me – I am the type of cook who loves playing around and changing up at least half of the ingredients, also when baking, and let’s just say that all of the changes do not work ☺ So follow the given amounts here, please. I originally planned to make a regular round cake with the same ingredients, but as I wanted to take the cake to a friend's place, carrying around a roll seemed more comfortable. And it was! To make the roll more interesting, I wanted to make a green base. I have baked a peppermint cake before, but as it was too strong in mint the last time, I decided to reduce the amount this time. I am very happy with the taste this time, but the result is not as bright green as I would have liked so that I will add a little spinach for extra greenness for the next time.

Quick & Creative Sushi Bowl
Quick & Creative Sushi Bowl
Sometimes it happens that you have been planning to cook a particular recipe for days, but once you get to cooking it, you find out that one of the main ingredients is missing! This is what happened with my plan to make sushi today. The missing ingredient was nori sheets, and as I realized I am all out of those only when the rice was already cooking, I got creative and made sushi bowls instead! No nori needed here, and even if I say so myself, the result was even better than the sushi would have been. I never add edamame or wakame to my sushi, but they worked amazingly as the toppings for this bowl.

Quick Chanterelle & Zucchini Pasta
Quick Chanterelle & Zucchini Pasta
This simple pasta dish takes a maximum of 20 minutes from start to finish – basically, just the time you need to boil the whole wheat pasta once you need to bring the water to boil. I usually always prepare pasta from scratch. Yes, it does take a little time, but for me, rolling out pasta is therapeutic, and I don't mind taking the extra time. However, I also always have a packet of dried whole-wheat pasta in the cupboard. We are enjoying beautiful weather right now in Estonia, where I live. It makes sense to spend all these beautiful days outside, so what better time to save time on cooking!

Simple Open-Faced Tomato Bites
Simple Open-Faced Tomato Bites
I love cooking, I really do, I love doing pastry too, but honestly, it makes sense to buy some things ready-made. One of these things is puff pastry, and I proudly use it in this recipe. Summer is the best time to use the fresh ingredients – tomatoes in this recipe are from my grandmother's garden, and I have been indulging in them for the past few weeks. Summer tomatoes are something else and love them in every shape and form. Of course, you can use other fillings for these squares too – I like to use sliced mushrooms, zucchini, and even beetroot, but if using beets they need to be parboiled first as they take longer to cook.

Roasted Red Pepper & Almond Sauce
Roasted Red Pepper & Almond Sauce
There are two types of people - those who like peppers and those who hate them. I am definitely a pepper lover, and enjoy them in every shape, color and form - raw as a snack, stuffed and baked (my favorite filling is lentils with seasonal veggies), and in salads and wok dishes. In today's recipe, red peppers are used as one of the sauce components, and the result is simply fascinating. The sauce is reminiscent of romesco, but since my version is whipped up to taste, using the ingredients I had at home (which means that half of the ingredients used for authentic romesco sauce are replaced) I don't dare call it fancy names. I believe calling it roasted pepper and almond sauce paints a good picture of this sauce.

Warm Avocado and Carrot Salad
Warm Avocado and Carrot Salad
This warm salad is a nice nutritious main meal that, in my opinion, does not need anything else, but for meat lovers, it can also be served as a side next to meat or fish. I occasionally do eat fish and meat, but I never add it to this salad myself. The carrots, avocado, and seeds are filling as they are. The dish is approved by omnivores, and even my boyfriend who never likes vegetables (and weirdly enough is a vegetarian) is always happy to eat two portions of this one. The creaminess of the avocado, crunchiness of toasted seeds, and earthiness of carrots combined is a perfect plateful for a little chillier summer night. Like many of my recipes, this salad uses a ton of coriander. If you are one of those who don’t like it, feel free to substitute for arugula. But if you have only tasted coriander for a few times, I recommend to give it another go as it is one of those flavors that needs a little getting used to. I remember when it wasn’t my favorite, and today I add it to almost every recipe!

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Cauliflower Mash
Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Cauliflower Mash
This recipe is absolutely beautiful and even my partner, who is vegetarian, and at the same time, definitely doesn’t like cauliflower, is a big fan. I am confident that once the food is served nicely, it tastes better too, so today I put on my artist-glows and set a beautiful plate – something that I usually don’t do at home if it is only two of us eating. So maybe this is what made the difference, but for me, this recipe is delicious in any shape or form! I especially like that if the cauliflower is roasted like that in the oven, it keeps the structure and integrity of cauliflower. Of course, it is nothing similar to a real steak, but in my humble opinion, it is better! Paired with the silky smooth mash and topped with dukkah, pomegranate, and coriander, it is a very nice dish that I would happily even enjoy dining out (but since it only takes a little over 30 minutes to cook I still rather prepare it myself).

Watermelon Salad with Basil and Halloumi
Watermelon Salad with Basil and Halloumi
Salads have a reputation for being bland and boring. This is not how it should be because, in reality, they can be juicy, crispy, vibrant, and delicious – very far from boring. This bright watermelon salad here is a perfect example of an exciting salad. It is juicy and sweet from the watermelon, crunchy from the toasted pumpkin seeds, zingy from the lightly marinated red onions, and has enough substance to stand out as a main meal from the halloumi. In fact, I would never serve this salad as a side dish; it is way too perfect for giving it a supporting role instead of being a hero on its own. In case you wish to keep the salad fully vegan, feel free to swap out the halloumi to firm tofu, the dish might need a little more salt in this case, because tofu tends to be bland compared to salty halloumi. Watermelon Salad with Basil and Halloumi

2-Ingredient Vegan Ice Cream
2-Ingredient Vegan Ice Cream
Have you ever made ice cream at home? I have. All kinds. Since I don’t have an ice cream machine and there is definitely no more space left in my kitchen for another gadget, I have tried all kinds of different machine-free versions. I have a recipe that calls for sweetened condensed milk and heavy cream – the consistency is nice, but it is way too sweet for my liking. I have another method, which uses traditional crème anglaise and taking the mix out of the freezer every half an hour to whisk it through, but this one requires way too much effort, and I always forget to mix it at the right time and by the time I remember it has frozen solid. For at least five years now I have not experimented with any of those complicated, overly sweet and fatty ice creams, because it only takes 5 minutes to whip up this genius recipe that:

Delicious Dill Pesto
Delicious Dill Pesto
I don’t know how it is in your part of the world, but in Estonia pesto and all things basil is rather expensive. I do grow basil in my little balcony garden, but making pesto requires loads of it. It has happened several times that I have the biggest bunch of basil you can imagine. So obviously pesto is on the menu, but once I start making it, I realize very soon that a lot of basil still translates into only a little jar of pesto. And talking about pesto, the small jar is not enough. Never. The only reasonable quantity for pesto is a lot. So, I have been playing around with other herbs and greens that grow better in this, rather cold, part of the world. Actually, all greens mixed with some sort of nuts or seeds, oil, and cheese are good. I have never prepared pesto I didn’t like in my life, but today I am sharing one of my favorites – dill pesto! Dill loves the Estonian climate, and all the gardens are full of it. Estonians like to add it everywhere, so I figured I try to use it in pesto too. And it worked amazingly! In fact, I think I need to take a break right now and whizz up a batch :) Talking about amounts, I did not give you precise quantities this time. Just add your bunch of dill on a scale – this is your one part and work from there. Salt and lemon should be added by taste anyway, but don’t add too much at one time. Start with only a little - you can always add more later on.

Eggplant and Lentil Empanadas
Eggplant and Lentil Empanadas
This version of empanadas is very far from traditional, that are usually deep-fried and often filled with all kinds of meat and cheeses. I typically try to keep my recipes on a healthier side, and I did the same with these little pies that are baked in the oven, and only two tablespoons of oil are used for the whole batch. Also, I chose eggplant and lentils for the filling as I had some cooked lentils leftover from the day before, and the eggplant was already looking a little bit tired. I am always very mindful of food waste and try to avoid throwing away anything. Now that going out, even for groceries, is limited, it is an extra challenge as I try to order food only every two weeks, and it is quite challenging to predict what I would like to eat in 10 days. I take it as a positive challenge and imagine myself in a cooking competition where I am given random ingredients and have to come up with a delicious meal!

Chocolate Black Bean Brownies
Chocolate Black Bean Brownies
I don’t know anybody who doesn’t like chocolate. If you are anything like me, then you will love this brownie. It is rather healthy compared to regular brownies containing a fair amount of protein and fiber, is gluten-free and vegan, but does not taste like a cake that is supposed to be healthy. I would even say it tastes even better than a regular brownie, but of course, the proof is in the pudding, so try it out and suit yourself! I am not keen on cleaning up, so a massive bonus for me is that in addition to a baking tray, I only need a blender and spatula for this recipe. No bowls, no bain-marie to melt the chocolate or butter, nothing. Just blend and bake – simple! I know that some of you will have prejudice about this recipe even only looking at the ingredients – beans in dessert do sound weird, but I promise it works! I have brought these brownies to my yoga students as after class treat and other events, and not once have beans been suggested as an ingredient, so I guarantee you will not even taste them.

Warm Quinoa and Eggplant Salad
Warm Quinoa and Eggplant Salad
It is spring in Estonia, and nature is slowly waking up again. We had a little setback this morning as it started to snow, but now the sun is back out, and I am always happy to see the sun. Beautiful weather or not, thanks to the virus, we are sadly still required to stay indoors. Luckily, I have a big terrace, and last week I cleaned up my little rooftop garden, so it is all ready to plant carrots and herbs and zucchini as soon as it gets a bit warmer. I was even lucky enough to find that my strawberries, mint, and parsley have survived the winter, so I could already pick some leaves for this salad too! Brighter weather means that my dishes also turn a little lighter, and this salad is an excellent transfer from colder weather to summer as it is light but warm and quite substantial. The recipe is simple and foolproof, but when working with eggplant, it is always essential to work fast brushing it with oil. It has a superpower to absorb absurd amounts of oil. Another important tip is always to make sure that eggplant is fully cooked – it should be creamy inside. It is one of few vegetables that does not win from being al dente at all.

Spinach & Lemon Risotto
Spinach & Lemon Risotto
I love risotto. All kinds – mushroom, seafood, peas, and asparagus – if prepared well, I love any kind. It is incredibly simple to make at home too. All you need is about half an hour, good rice, a little cheese and a good bottle of wine. If you don’t have wine at home, you can substitute it with apple cider or just omit it altogether. You might need to add a little more lemon juice, but you can adjust the taste right before serving, so don’t stress about it too much at first. If you do have wine and enjoy a few glasses now and then, then use the same whine you drink in the food too. For this recipe, any good white wine or bubbly will work. I used a nice crémant that I also enjoyed afterward next to my risotto. Today's version of risotto tastes like a spring to me. Spinach gives it an amazing green color, and lemon adds brightness to the taste. It would be amazing to add fresh grilled asparagus to the dish or seared scallops if you eat fish. This time I enjoyed it just plain as it is and truth to be told – I did not miss a thing!

Delicious Dukkah
Delicious Dukkah
I am going to share my favorite recipe from last summer with you. This simple mix of toasted nuts and spices is just incredible sprinkled on top of all kinds of dishes – avocado toast, hummus, creamy soup, or just a sandwich, but most of all, I find it just incredible for dipping veggies in. I developed the recipe when my garden was producing more radishes than I was able to eat in salads and other dishes. I grew all kinds – red, yellow, white, and purple. Can’t wait until its getting warmer again, so I could start with my garden projects again – this time is not far away anymore, only a few more months to go… Anyway, soon after I made this dukkah for the first time, I needed to head out to farmers market for more radishes because I could just keep eating them this way forever.