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


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.

Healthy Avocado & Halloumi Burgers
Healthy Avocado & Halloumi Burgers
All fast food does not need to be unhealthy, and this recipe here is a perfect example of a quick, delicious recipe that satisfies our junk-cravings (I still have them sometimes) without being loaded with unhealthy crap. I do love vegetable burgers, and I often use them in my burgers, but today I opted for halloumi cheese instead, because it is so incredibly salty and chewy that I just love it. Especially with avocado! If you are fully plant-based, I would recommend substituting it with tempeh. For the buns, I always choose dark whole wheat buns. I am sure you find something nice from your local stores. For my own burgers, I toast the buns, so they are a little crispy. My boyfriend does not like crispy and crunchy food (weird, if you ask me, but oh well), so I usually just add his buns to the pan on top of the halloumi slices for the last few minutes, so they warm through.

Beetroot Raspberry Smoothie
Beetroot Raspberry Smoothie
I usually don’t share smoothie recipes because smoothie is a very creative and simple food and what goes in my blender mostly depends on what I have waiting in my fridge or fruit bowl. I don’t remember a bad smoothie, so as long as your ingredients are fresh, I would say go for what you have. But since I have been adding raw beetroot to my smoothies for a few months now, and before I did it for the first time I did not even think about it, I figured it might be worth sharing. Raw beetroot in smoothies is fantastic! Like truly amazing. Especially with red berries in a supporting role. At least with my nutribullet, the smoothie is worth its name – smooth and velvety, so no reason to worry that raw beetroot will be grainy – it is not.

Cauliflower Soup with Crispy Chickpeas
Cauliflower Soup with Crispy Chickpeas
I sometimes have food ideas that pop into my mind and refuse to leave until I have tried out the recipe. That was the case with this soup. Chickpeas and cauliflower are such a beautiful combination that I often use in different curries and salads, but I've never made a soup of these ingredients. But now I just could not resist the appetite for a soup that is creamy and luscious, mildly spiced, but not spicy, and that warms up my body in cold and rainy Estonian spring. Not that I would be going outside much these days anyway – I don’t want to take the slightest risk that because of me, the virus will get a chance to spread, so I figure that it is better to stay home as much as possible. At least I have time to cook and practice yoga. and Yogadownload.com classes have been an excellent inspiration. Before the crisis I rarely had time for home practice, and if I did, I practiced myself.

Vegan Peppermint Meringues
Vegan Peppermint Meringues
I am happy to announce that making vegan meringue is possible! After three failed attempts, I was slowly losing hope already, but this recipe here has been working for me already several times, so I am ready to share this with you. The secret, of course, lays in sugar. I always try to reduce white sugar in my baking, and this is why my first attempts failed. But now, to think about it – regular meringues contain a ton of sugar too, so I am afraid that there is no good way to cut sugar from meringues anyway. So these are with white sugar too. But they are treats anyway and not meant to be eaten too often. What I like about this recipe is that it is pretty much created out of nothing. The liquid from a jar of chickpeas is usually just thrown out anyway, and I don’t like throwing away food. Of course, most of the time, I still do not use the liquid (eating so many meringues would definitely not be good for me), so should you have more recipes for aquafaba, please share!

Coconut-Miso Noodle Bowl with Shitake Mushrooms
Coconut-Miso Noodle Bowl with Shitake Mushrooms
This recipe doesn’t need many extra words. It is a straightforward bowl of noodles, mushrooms, and vegetables, covered in a delicious sauce. I used carrots, broccoli, spinach, and spring onions, but there are no rules – use whatever you happen to have. Pak Choy would be beautiful instead of spinach I also imagine zucchini and radishes working very well instead of the veggies I used or maybe even extra. If I had had coriander leaves, I would have definitely used them. For noodles, I have left you a choice, because almost any noodle would work here. This time, I used egg noodles, but I have often also used soba noodles (which are delicious cold as well) and rice noodles. And in case you are not so keen on consuming too many calories, I suggest giving almost 0-calorie shirataki noodles a try – they don’t have a lot of flavor, but with this miso-coconut sauce they work wonderfully. Coconut-Miso Noodle Bowl with Shitake Mushrooms

Hearty, Healthy, & Delicious Potato Salad
Hearty, Healthy, & Delicious Potato Salad
This salad has been a hit on many occasions, very suitable for potlucks, as a side dish when the barbeque season starts again, and also a very simple weeknight dinner that takes less than 30 minutes to make and is likely made of only cupboard ingredients. I always have sundried tomatoes, capers, and mustard in my fridge – they take any boring meal to a different level and do not spoil quickly. Since most of my recipes start with ‘Peel, dice, and slice an onion’, I obviously also have onions, and if you have seen an Estonian person in your life, then you surely know that our most common food is potatoes.

Homemade Bao Buns with Oyster Mushrooms
Homemade Bao Buns with Oyster Mushrooms
By now, you are probably used to my recipes – only a few ingredients and hardly take over 30 minutes to prepare. Today’s recipe is quite different as it takes 5 hours in total to make and contains four sub-recipes. I promise it is worth it. I agree – 5 hours is a very long time to prepare the recipe, but luckily, most of it is resting time during which you can catch up on whatever tv show you are binging on or fit in a yoga session. The bun recipe is an interesting one – the dough is proved with yeast, but after that, baking powder is also used. Sounds weird, but it works. Of course, my bao buns do not look as perfect as the store-bought ones are. But it is nice to say that mine are made from scratch and come out of the steamer piping hot and fresh. And by ‘steamer’, I mean the homemade system that I build every time I fancy something steamed. The system consists of a big pot, small wooden basket and a plate covered with baking paper. I don’t even know why I haven’t purchased a real steamer as I am eating steamed foods at least once a month… In case you have an oven with steaming function, this should work well too, and saves you from steaming the buns in patches.

Sweet & Crispy Tempeh
Sweet & Crispy Tempeh
If you have been following my recipes for a while, you know that I am a chili lover. I also happen to be a lover of Asian food, and this recipe here is inspired by my travels to Indonesia. I am generally not a fan of soy products, but tempeh is a huge exception – I LOVE it. I love how crispy it can get, and this recipe is just amazing. Tempeh itself is fermented soybeans tightly pressed together – very high in protein and also has a lot of fiber. In short – healthy stuff! While I can’t say that the sugar used in this recipe is the healthiest thing on earth, but a little bit of it doesn’t hurt you, and the flavor is worth not having a dessert after this meal. This sweet, sticky and spicy glaze is amazing, and turns a simple bowl of rice into something truly delicious. I served it with red whole grain rice this time, but every type of rice works well. I also added a simple sambal of more chili, and lemongrass, because, well, chili. Sweet and Crispy Tempeh

Kale & Sweet Potato Super Salad
Kale & Sweet Potato Super Salad
I love salads, no matter what the weather outside is like. Sunny, windy or snowing – give me a good salad, and I am happy! Salad does not mean a pile of greens and a boring dressing (although, as a side, I do enjoy this type of salad too), salad can be exciting and full of different flavors and textures. One of my favorite greens is kale, and I have already shared an amazing warm kale and chickpea salad with you. Here comes another one, also very winter-appropriate, featuring sweet potatoes and load of other delicious good-for-you ingredients. I always like to make sure I eat as many colorful foods throughout the day as possible. The colors in different plants are different phytonutrients – natural chemicals that help our bodies to fight diseases and stay healthy, and let’s be honest – they just taste amazing. In this salad pretty much all the colors are covered – kale for green, sweet potatoes for orange/yellow, red onion and pomegranate for red, apple for white and black beans, you guessed it, for black – so I can peacefully eat white bread for the rest of the day. Just in case – the last part about white bread was a joke. After a lunch that healthy, I always feel so good that I never crave anything unhealthy. Kale and Sweet Potato Super Salad

Beetroot Cured Salmon
Beetroot Cured Salmon
I do not label myself as vegan, vegetarian, or even flexitarian, but I very rarely eat animal products. So, if there is a rare occasion that I do eat something that is not plant-based, it better be amazing. This beetroot and citrus cured salmon ticks this box, and since it is rather festive in its bright pink color, it is very suitable for the Christmas table too. I have prepared this salmon several times for cold spreads, and every single time I will be asked for the recipe, so it is not only me who finds it delicious ☺ The earthiness of the beetroot and zing from the citrus create perfect harmony. It pairs exceptionally well with freshly toasted bread. If you can find them, then the big caper berries are a nice addition to this dish, but be careful – the capers have a strong taste, so it might make sense to serve them on the side.

Energy Balls - Perfect for a Small Present
Energy Balls - Perfect for a Small Present
I don’t know how it looks like all over the world, but in Estonia, Christmas time often means overindulging big time. I am talking about eating way too much meat (mostly pork) in different preparations – roasted, as blood sausages and aspic. Aspic is a meat jelly, set with natural gelatin from cooking the bones and a pig’s head for a long time on a low temperature, and blood sausages are exactly what they sound like. Both of them may seem weird, but actually, they are much more delicious than expected. Besides – if the poor pig is anyway, then I am always voting for the whole animal to be eaten. Next to this enormous amount of meat, there are also loads of different sides and sweet treats throughout December.