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


Potato, Leek, & White Bean Soup
Potato, Leek, & White Bean Soup
The chillier it gets the more soups and stews find a way to my table. And why wouldn’t they if they are so easy to make and delicious each time! I must admit that even though this type of food is very easy to prepare in bulk, I usually still only cook for one lunch or dinner. But this does not mean that you should cook for each separate meal. Feel free to double or triple the recipe and eat it several days in a row or even freeze it for future quick dinners. I completely understand that cooking is not something that everybody loves to do and if you are one of those people just prep ahead. It is 100 times better to have a few homemade healthy meals waiting for you in the fridge or freezer, than quickly ordering something random from the local fast food joint. Not that there would be anything wrong with enjoying a burger now and then. Oh, and I kept the soup 100% plant-based and did not even add any vegan creams because the potatoes and beans are creamy in nature. But if you like things extra creamy go ahead and add cream cheese or sour cream of your choice right before blending.

Roasted Quinoa & Apple Breakfast Bowl
Roasted Quinoa & Apple Breakfast Bowl
Here in Estonia, the season is slowly changing to autumn and this means loads of produce from vine ripe tomatoes to mushrooms in the forests. And of course, loads of apples. Apples are the superstar here in this breakfast bowl. I never peel apples if I know where they are from – most of the nutrients are directly under the skin and I don’t see any reason to waste them. The other very nutritious part of the apple is its seeds, so I often eat those too. To use in recipes, I still prefer to remove the cores for smoother results.

Filing Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing
Filing Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing
Chickpeas are one of my favorite ingredients. They are extremely versatile, they work well in curries, vegetable patties, salads, and even in desserts. To be honest, sometimes I eat them straight out of a jar. Not often, but it does happen in some busy times when I don’t even have time to shop for fresh produce. Fortunately, I am quite good with time management and these times do not happen often. Besides – I don’t think that 10 minutes to prep a full meal is that much and this is about how long this simple recipe takes. If you are good with knives you most likely only need 5 minutes to make the salad. But even the most inexperienced cooks should be ready with the salad in 10 minutes. The secret to this recipe lays in the sauce. The combination of tahini, lemon, and yogurt is irresistible with just about anything and I often use it as a dip for fresh cucumber.

Chanterelle Mushroom & Vegetable Soup
Chanterelle Mushroom & Vegetable Soup
Today I invite you to take a trip to your fridge and clean it out properly. I hate food waste and make a fridge clean-out type of dish at least once a month to use up all the odd ends of produce that are still good, but maybe not for very long. I will go for a vacation soon and this means nobody will eat anything out of my fridge for the next few weeks. So everything that is there needs to be used before I leave! I do share a recipe of what exactly went into my soup this time, but feel free to customize. In case you have any other veggies waiting to be used up – go for it! Carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, zucchini. They all work wonderfully! I usually always use onion in the base of my soups, but this time I did not have any. If you do, throw it in with leeks and celery. Adding the vegetables, always try to figure out which ones take the longest to cook and add them in first. If you have something that you don’t wish to puree, maybe it works as a topping? If you are a meat-eater, just crisp up all the odd ends of your sausages and bacon. If you eat cheese, maybe just sprinkle it on top or melt it in. The options are endless and these types of recipes always work out. And in addition to a good meal, you also get some peace of mind because you avoid food waste. Win-win!

Vegan Beet-Chocolate Cake
Vegan Beet-Chocolate Cake
Sometimes the only thing you need is a cake. Feels familiar? So let me introduce you to a chocolate and beetroot cake. No need to be afraid – we do use a lot of beets in this recipe, but you can’t taste it in the result. Also, if you are afraid of too many beets, then just skip the beetroot powder in the frosting (yes, there also is a frosting!) and substitute this with pink pitaya powder or just fresh berries or skip it altogether. The main purpose of the powder here is to color the “cheesecake” frosting into a nice pink-purple color anyway, so if you are happy with white, just go for it. The cake itself is quite moist and decadent anyway and a few of my friends have mentioned that this is the best vegan cake they have ever had. To make it even more luscious, I added a whipped tofu frosting for extra moisture. And of course, I needed to go the extra mile and also candied some beetroot ribbons. For this, I first created a sugar syrup – 1 cup of water and ½ cups of regular sugar. Bring to boil, add beetroot ribbons (or just very thinly cut beetroot slices), and simmer them for 30 minutes until they turn slightly translucent). Then drain them and leave them to cool. I also cooked the rest of the syrup down to beetroot caramel, but I am honestly not sure yet, where or how I will use this.

Healthy Watermelon & Strawberry Slushie
Healthy Watermelon & Strawberry Slushie
This is the easiest recipe ever and I usually don’t even bother writing down recipes this simple, but this drink has been on my menu almost every day this summer, so I figured it makes sense to jot this one down. In Estonia, where I live, we usually have a few weeks of real summer if we are lucky. Estonian summer means something around 70°F for days and 50-60°F during nights, so rather chilly. But this year has surprised us with a real heatwave and we have had the temperatures around and even over 80°F for almost 6 weeks already. This also means that the temperature inside my apartment is constantly around 80°F and this is not so nice anymore... At one point I seriously considered just sleeping in a hammock on my terrace where there is at least a little wind. But generally, I am rather happy with the hot weather.

Soy-Glazed King Oyster Mushrooms
Soy-Glazed King Oyster Mushrooms
Mushrooms are good! One of my favorite things to forage, but of course, spring is not the high season for mushrooms (at least not in Estonia), so today I used king oyster mushrooms. I have made the same recipe with button mushrooms and while still delicious, king oysters work the best here. I like that they are not too watery and of course, the fact that 2 mushrooms are enough to make up dinner for one person helps as they are so simple to prepare. The mushroom recipe itself is very simple too, and I usually always have all the ingredients waiting in my fridge or cupboard.

Carrot and White Bean Dip
Carrot and White Bean Dip
Snacks are meant to be simple! While I do love spending time in the kitchen and sometimes don’t mind spending hours and hours to make a few little snacks, sometimes it makes sense to just whip up a quick dip, serve it with colorful veggies and call it a day. This is exactly what I did today and as I had some roasted carrots leftover from yesterday's dinner these found their way into my little dip. I am sure the dip would also work with roasted beetroot or maybe even sweet potato – whatever you happen to have leftover.

Strawberry Dream Smoothie Bowl
Strawberry Dream Smoothie Bowl
Summer is finally here in Estonia, and this means that my main meals are smoothie bowls. Strawberry season is still a few weeks away here and while my own strawberry bushes are still flowering, the frozen strawberries from the store are delicious in this recipe too and in fact, I recommend using frozen berries here as they give thicker, ice-cream like consistency that I really enjoy. Avocado brings the creaminess to the next level and the healthy fats there help to keep us feeling full for longer and as an extra bonus help to moisten our skin from the inside – always a good thing when spending a lot of time outside with the sun! To top the bowl I always use fresh fruit and berries – whatever I have waiting to be used up, nice plump blueberries this time, and of course something crunchy works well too! Both banana and strawberries can be frozen, but do not need to be. As it is quite warm outside where I am now, I always like to keep chopped-up bananas in my freezer for smoothies or ice-creams, so I always use frozen bananas, but sometimes I add fresh strawberries. Vice versa works well too. And if you only use fresh ingredients, just add in a few ice cubes to keep it cool!

Quinoa & Cauliflower Patties
Quinoa & Cauliflower Patties
Reusing the food from last night's dinner is a regular thing for me, but often I don’t feel like having exactly the same thing several days in a row. So sometimes I get a little creative and many of my recipes are developed this way. Today's featured leftover – quinoa. I used black quinoa, but whether you have a white, red, or mixed one – they all work well, and I am sure the recipe would also work with leftover barley, bulgur, or any other grains. I always use onion and celery in all sorts of patties, and these are not an exception. In case you don’t like them, just omit and feel free to add some garlic, for example. I am not a garlic lover and this is why it is almost never used in my recipes, but since we all cook for ourselves, it makes sense to trust our own tastebuds.

Easy Coconut Flatbreads
Easy Coconut Flatbreads
My secret to inventing new recipes – being lazy and not having certain food groups at home. I realize that for most people baking bread does not qualify under being lazy, but if you ask from me, then spending 20 minutes on bread baking requires less energy compared to running out to the store to get bread. So this recipe was invented on one of those Saturday mornings when I was all out of baked goods, fancied bread, and simultaneously I needed to use up some coconut milk in my fridge. Two main ingredients here are coconut milk and plain flour. The recipe is also extremely easy to remember because flour and coconut milk are required in equal amounts. Add in a dash of baking powder for extra fluff and some seasonings and you are almost done!

Greenest Smoothie Ever with Edible Weeds
Greenest Smoothie Ever with Edible Weeds
Spring is cool and in my case, it is literally cool, because the temperatures here are still mostly chilly. Still, we already seeing some green outside, and of course, the first things that start to grow are all kinds of weeds. We usually want to get rid of weeds, but did you know that many plants we consider weeds are actually edible and good for you? That is if you live somewhere far away from the big roads and pollution, of course. I happen to live in the city center, but Tallinn, our Estonian, capital is small enough to go to the nearest forest by bicycle, and still be able to pick fresh greens from the forest! In my smoothie today, I used goutweed and stinging nettles. Both are extremely unpleasant friends in your flower garden, as they easily take over everything, but both are healthy and good for you if you pick them while they are still young.

The Inspiration Download: Interview with Estonia-Based Recipe Blogger & Yoga Teacher Kadri Raig
The Inspiration Download: Interview with Estonia-Based Recipe Blogger & Yoga Teacher Kadri Raig
Kadri is a marketing expert, food blogger, and yoga teacher from Estonia. She has been contributing recipes to YogaDownload for over a year and most of her recipes are simple and don’t take more than 20 minutes of active cooking time. The time spent outside of the kitchen is often spent right next to the kitchen as she has turned her living room to an online yoga studio for the time being and teaches most of her classes online.

Vegan & Gluten-Free Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake
Vegan & Gluten-Free Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake
Chocolate and cherries are a match made in heaven. I made this cake a few months back when it was still freezing outside, so my choice of cherries here were frozen sour cherries. Using frozen cherries instead of fresh ones might even be a good idea if you do have the fresh ones available as it saves you time on taking out the pits! But using fresh cherries for decoration makes a lot of sense if you happen to have cherries – sweet or sour, available. The cake has three layers but even so, it is not a difficult cake to prepare. The most difficult part of this cake is waiting for it to set. In a perfect world, it would be good to leave it in the fridge to set for 2 hours. If your guests are already waiting, feel free to just pop the cake in the freezer to speed up the waiting time. Another thing that needs to set is the glaze, but as we use agar-agar as a setting agent, and agar-agar starts to set around 110F, this does not take long at all.

Pasta with Arugula Pesto and Green Peas
Pasta with Arugula Pesto and Green Peas
I seem to have a thing with green food in the springtime. It just calls for me and so most of my food has been green for the past few weeks already. I already have many little plants growing on my windowsill and wishing to be planted outside soon, but it is still slightly too early for them. Luckily, my windows face south, so they have plenty of light to enjoy. So, the greens for today’s recipe are still store-bought, but very soon I hope to use my own herbs and salads! The pasta today is green too. Or, to be precise, the sauce is green and you can choose whatever your pasta preference is for the actual pasta part. My choice is usually whole wheat, but there are so many different gluten-free varieties out there as well – lentil pasta, quinoa pasta, oat pasta, and even a buckwheat one.

Healthy Orange and Carrot Smoothie
Healthy Orange and Carrot Smoothie
Not really sure if anybody needs a recipe for a smoothie, but rather take this one here as inspiration. Smoothies are good for you! They are delicious, nutritious, and healthy. And maybe not everybody puts vegetables to the smoothies, but I recommend giving it a try! For harder veggies in your smoothies to work, you do need a powerful high-speed blender as you want it to be smooth and carrot has quite a bit of texture to it. With a good blender, you will not feel any harder bits in your drink. I have always liked carrots and orange together.

Celeriac and Barley Soup
Celeriac and Barley Soup
Over the last few weeks, I have made this soup several times. Soup, for me, is a perfect food for cold weather food and a few weeks ago in Estonia we still had thick snow covering all the streets and temperatures were frigid. Then we had a week of very rainy, windy, and cloudy weather, that melted almost all the snow, and it was still a good time for hot soup weather. And now for the last week, it has been colder again, but with a lot of sun and a real Spring feeling (even though there are still months to go until real Spring). I am almost sure I will make this soup at least once more before the weather gets warmer. And why shouldn’t I, it is delicious, healthy, full of winter veggies, and extremely nutritious being full of vitamins A and K, for example. I love all kinds of celery, but I know many people who don’t.

Loaded Vegan Plantain Nachos
Loaded Vegan Plantain Nachos
One day I was craving nachos. But I did not have any chips at home. These days I am going to the store just to get chips, so I almost already forgot about my craving, but then I found 2 green plantains from my fridge. Plantains are not a common ingredient in Estonia, where I live, and I always order all weird ingredients if the supermarket stocks something. I have this weird idea that if they have made effort to sell something more special then if I as a client show my support by buying, they might continue selling it in the future. I realize that only one person buying weird ingredients is not enough but again – all big things happen because several people are making a small contribution.

Three-ingredient Onion Canapés
Three-ingredient Onion Canapés
Sometimes the simplest things are the best. This recipe only calls for 3 main ingredients, and it is almost guaranteed to receive compliments whenever you serve them. Almost guaranteed, because some people do not love onions and I can not guarantee that you win them over, but everybody else for sure! I rarely cook anything savory without onions. They are such a nice base for most recipes and love all of them – white, yellow, red or green, just bring them to me and amazing things will happen!

Eggplant Tacos & Homemade Tortillas
Eggplant Tacos & Homemade Tortillas
I love spice, and if I had to choose only one type of food to eat until the rest of my life, tacos would be very high on the list! They are incredibly versatile, and I always love to pile them with a ton of fresh ingredients. There always needs to be a spice element and always something crunchy. I am pretty sure that Mexicans would disapprove of this recipe because eggplant in tacos is far from traditional, but for me, it works! Preparing soft tacos is pretty straightforward. Besides water and salt, you only need masa harina flour. I am sure that tortilla press makes preparing them even easier, but rolling them out between two pieces of parchment paper works well enough for me. The tortillas do not need to be 100% round and uniform in size. They are, after all, homemade tortillas, and nobody expects them to be perfect. Saying that – if you don’t feel like baking the tortillas from scratch, feel free to use store-bought small tortillas, and the dinner will be served in even less time. One thing to keep in mind preparing this recipe is that the eggplant needs to be eaten quickly, or it will get soggy. One way to keep it crispy longer would be to fry the eggplant sticks instead of baking them, but I prefer keeping them on the healthier side. I recommend preparing everything else in advance and letting the eggplant sticks be the last ingredient added to the tacos right before eating them.

Banana Peel Cupcakes
Banana Peel Cupcakes
If you have been following my posts for a while, you probably know that I really do not like food waste. And yet people do waste a lot of food. I can’t say I’m completely free from this sin. Still, whenever possible, I always try to use up everything I have and plan my weekly menu around the things I already have in the fridge before ordering anything new. One thing that people usually don’t consider food waste is everything we remove from produce before eating - vegetable peels, the outer leaves of cauliflower, carrot tops, banana peels etc. It all makes up a lot of food that we feel is completely normal just throw away. However, this is food waste too! For all kinds of veggie scraps (as long as they are not dirty), a good recommendation is to keep a separate box of them in the freezer and if the container is full, make vegetable broth. It saves you the money you would otherwise spend on buying the broth, and you will get all the goodness out of the veggies. Out of carrot tops, you can make pesto (I will share the recipe with you soon), and you can even use banana peels in some recipes! Don’t get me wrong – I usually also throw away the banana peels. As I typically eat at least one banana every day, it would not be possible to use up all of the banana peels, but even using a few of them now and then helps to reduce waste. And, nobody would guess that you also used up the peels in addition to the bananas. Besides reducing food waste, the banana peels are also rich in many nutrients as potassium and fiber. If you decide to give using banana peels in a recipe a try, choose organic bananas.

Vegan Solyanka Soup
Vegan Solyanka Soup
Solyanka is an old Russian soup that, in its original form, always contains a lot of meat. The most classical version includes 7 different types of meat, including kidneys. So the recipe I am sharing with you is definitely not an authentic one, but it sure is delicious. I promise you that the taste is still very similar to the original one and is so much better for the body. If you have a meat addict in the house, feel free to let them add some meat products (leftover roast, frankfurters, salami, whatever they like) to the soup after it is ready. I do eat meat sometimes, but I don’t feel it is necessary to use it in this recipe, and I definitely would never add 7 different types of meat in my soup. Who would even have so many various meat products just lying around in the fridge? Anyway, meat or not – the essential things in this recipe are onions, pickles, black pepper, tomato paste, and olives.

Homemade Mustard
Homemade Mustard
Mustard is a common ingredient in many cuisines and widely available all over the world. But I still felt that I need to spend time to make a condiment from mustard seeds from scratch. It started as an idea to add to Christmas presents – homemade cookies, sourdough rye crispbread, vegan Nutella truffles, and pickled mustard seeds – all packed up in nice little jars. Add a (vegan) cheese to this, and I am sure that most people would be happy to get this kind of present! Since preparing the mustard seeds this way for the first time, I am adding them everywhere. They are relatively mild in taste but add a wonderful zing to many dishes. The texture slightly reminds caviar bursting in the mouth, adding a wonderfully gentle and warm spiciness.

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.