quick summer black soya bean spaghetti (vegan, gluten free)

When the sun is shining in Scotland and temperatures goes up it’s not the time to sit indoors. This weather is not going to last for long, so the best you can do is to try to enjoy it as much as you can. If your work allows you to take advantage of the sun and spend time on the beach or hiking – good for you. To take the most of the Summer and do not die starving you definitely need a quick, healthy and delicious meal you can prepare effortlessly in your kitchen in less than 30 minutes.

So here comes fresh and colourful veggie pasta. But it’s not an ordinary spaghetti. It’s black soya bean spaghetti – gluten free, dairy free, wheat free. Free of almost everything 😉 If it would be carbohydrates free it would be ideal 😉 But it contains 15g of carbs per 100g, so it’s half less than in regular pasta.

Veggie season is officially opened – I started receiving my organic and local veggie delivery and it always inspire me to prepare something new, fresh and delicious. I love having plenty of veg in my fridge because it’s so easy to cook with them – you can easily prepare something yummy, good looking almost from nothing. I keep on learning new things about veggies, about their edible parts we usually put to rubbish (to learn more about this click here) and it gives even more opportunities to make the most of each vegetable.

I highly encourage you to include more veggies into your diet, Summer is the best moment for that. Experiment with veggies you don’t know and never tried, prepare salads, smoothies, stir fry or grill veggies if you have a chance. Veggies are the easiest and quickest to prepare if you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. But remember to buy locally, veggies that didn’t travel thousands of miles, but are locally grown with love are the best veggies.

So today we have easy-peasy and quick gluten free and vegan spaghetti with stir fry veggies and bunch of delicious spices. Although you don’t need to use these exact spice mix. If you have your own favourite mix – use it. If you want to try something new grab some fenugreek, nigella seeds, fennel, coriander seeds, black pepper and cloves. You can use a mortar to grind them together or simply pop them into the coffee grinder. Then add dried tomato flakes, chilli flakes, some dried parsley and chives, mix with some onion powder and voila!

quick summer black soya bean spaghetti

(vegan, gluten free)


  • 1 pak choi cabage
  • handful of sugar snap peas
  • couple cherry tomatoes
  • small tin of chickpeas
  • 1 spring garlic (or couple garlic cloves plus spring onions)
  • 200g black soya bean spaghetti
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds oil
  • natural rock salt to taste and to cook spaghetti
  • mix of spices: onion powder, fenugreek, tomato flakes, nigella seeds, chilli flakes, fennel, coriander seeds, parsley, black pepper, chives and cloves


Cut of the ends of sugar snap peas and boil in water for 4-5 minutes, then drain. Also cook black soya bean spaghetti in salted water for 2-3 minutes as describe on the packaging. Slice spring garlic, finely chop its green part. Also thoroughly rinse and chop pak choi. Cherry tomatoes cut in halves.

Heat a large pan adding 3 tbsp of olive oil, add snap peas and chickpeas, fry for 3-4 minutes and add all the spices. Then add sliced spring garlic, leaving the green part on the side. Add cooked spaghetti, tomatoes and pak choi cabbage. Give it 4-5 minutes so pasta can soak all the flavours. Add more spices if needed. At the end drizzle with a tablespoon of sesame seeds oil and sprinkle with green part of garlic.

Serve fresh and hot. Enjoy!

all veggies you didn’t know you can eat raw

We are so used to prepare certain foods in a certain way, don’t you feel a bit bored with your cooking choices? When it comes to veggies we usually prepare them in a same way – cooked, pickled or raw. Typically we use raw so called “salad veggies” like: cucumber, cabbage, lettuce, bell peppers or tomatoes. Others like: broccoli, cauliflower and root veggies usually land in the soups, stews or casseroles. But what if we would look out of the veggie comfort zone and see if we can eat raw these vegetables that we usually cook?

Curious? Lets go then!

But before we get to the point lets have a look at some nutritional facts.

Apart from vitamins and minerals obvious for everyone, what else vegetables have that other foods don’t?

The answer is fiber. According to food science dietary fiber is essential for healthy body.

But what it is exactly and what it does?

Dietary fiber is the parts of plants that your body cannot absorb or digest. Normally all the carbs, fats and proteins are processed in your body and transformed to energy. Fiber travels thorough your digestive system mostly intact, and simply leaves you body. It also contains different nutrients and minerals but have different function. Scientists divided fiber into two types:

  • soluble fiber – this type of fiber dissolves in water making gel-like consistency. They bypass the digestion of the small intestine and are easily fermented by the microflora of the large intestine. Soluble fiber helps to lower glucose and cholesterol levels.
  • insoluble fiber on the other hand helps to move all of that you’ve digested to smoothly get to the point where you get rid of it. So it’s really helpful when you have constipation issues.
So what are the benefits of fibre?
  1. Ability to decrease body weight or attenuate weight gain – soluble fiber, when fermented in the large intestine produces hormones generate feeling of satiety. So Foods that contain a lot of fiber make you feel full and satisfied for longer.
  2. Dietary fiber may significantly decrease energy intake.
  3. Dietary fiber intake increases, the intake of simple carbohydrates tends to decrease. Soluble fibre can slow down the absorption of sugar and improve blood sugar levels.
  4. Fiber increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it so it’s easier to pass. When you increase your fiber intake also increase the amount of water you drink, so the fiber can absorb it properly.
  5. A high-fiber diet may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and small pouches in your colon (diverticular disease).

That’s some of the good things that fiber does for our body. Although researchers still don’t know everything about what fiber does, many of them claims that there’s is a strong relationship between fiber and coronary diseases and certain types of cancer. There’s still a lot to discover.

So finally let see what veggies you didn’t know (or maybe you already knew that and it’s just me?) you can eat raw.


Rich in nutrients, full of fibre. Great low carb alternative for grains and legumes. Recently very popular as a replacement for everything (I mean popular in low carb and ketogenic communities). Can be eaten raw, and taste delicious for examle with avocado dip, joghurt and garlic sauce or tomato salsa. My favourite option – caulislaw – coleslaw like salad made with raw cauliflower instead of cabbage. Yummy!


Did you know that courgette is actually botanically clacified as a fruit not a vegetable? Wild courgettes are very bitter and should not be eaten raw. This bitterness comes from cucurbitacins, which may be poisonous for humans and animals. Store bought courgettes are safe, and can safely be eaten raw. Although if you bite into courgette and it tastes extremely unpleasant and bitter, it’s best to spit it out and dispose of the entire fruit to avoid the risk of cucurbitacin toxicity. Don’t let this discourage you from eating courgettes. It’s very unlikely that you’ll buy very bitter courgette in the shop. The best is always buy from proven stores or farmers markets. You can use courgette for variety of ways: it’s great in salads, you can use it as a low carb noodles, as a wrap or simply eat with a dip as a snack. The sky is the limit!


Oh I love beets, but all my live I’ve been eating them cooked or pickled. If you like beets, try them raw. According to a 2016 study in the Journal of Current Research in Nutrition and Food Science, pickled beets have less nutrients than raw ones. You can eat raw beets in many different ways: thinly slices, served as carpaccio, grathed or chopped in salads, blended in fruit and vegetable smoothies, you can juice them with other fruits (like apples) and drink. Beetroots comes also in other colours than red, they are yellow and white. Try my raw beetroot recipes: raw beets and avocado salad, raw beets, broad beans and feta salad, golden beets carpaccio.

Brussels sprouts

Surprised? I was as well. But actually you can eat them raw as cabbage. They are quite firm and not everyone will enjoy their taste, especially if you’re used to eat them roasted or cooked. Wasn’t my favourite raw veg of choice, but definitely I could consider adding raw Brussels sprouts to all sorts of salads. The best way is to slice them very thinly, you can use a mandoline. With all sorts of dressings will be great addition to sandwiches or side salad for meat dishes. Definitely give it a try to find out if you like it or not.


Just the same as cauliflower, broccoli can easily be eaten raw. Small tendersteam broccolies can be delicious in all sorts of salads, but regular large broccoli finely chopped or divided into small florets can make crunchy, beautiful green salad. Just let yourself experiment.

Parsley root

Did you know you can use parsley root just the same as you use carrot? Add raw parsley root to smoothies, salads or make thin slices using a peeler and prepare small rolls adding some goat cheese for example.

Root celery/celeriac

Exactly the same as parsley root – instead of popping them into a broth or stew prepare juicy spring salad. You can grate celery root and prepare all sorts of different side salads. It goes great with: apple, raisins, cranberries, sweetcorn, pineapple, hard cheese, Greek yogurt or mayonnaise. Perfect with white meat or fish dishes.

Collard greens

I love collard greens slightly sauted with butter and garlic, but as othe cabbage they can also be eaten raw. Although similar to kale they need a lot of chewing. To make it less difficult to eat you can chop them finely, drizzle with olive oil and some salt and massage rubbing the toughness away. After this “treatment” you can add them to your salads and happily eat without feeling like a cow in the pasture 😉 Because of their large leaves, they will be also a great wrap if do not enjoy traditional flour wraps.

When you got to this point and you think: I wish I could eat more veggies, but they make me feel bloated, I have cramps and gases! Okey dokey – that may happen if your body is not used to eating raw foods (I mean raw vegetables) and whole grains. In this case start adding high fiber foods gradually and observe which ones makes you feel better which ones make digestive issues. That’s the easiest way – observing how your body reacts to certain foods if you feel like your body doesn’t like certain veg, you feel discomfort or simply don’t enjoy the taste, just grab a different one. Vegetable world is wide and for sure you’ll find couple veggies you really like. Or maybe you don’t like it’s cooked version, and the raw one will taste much much better? Become an explorer in a vegetable world this Spring and find your favourite tastes.

And one more thing before I let you dive into your veggie drawer: always wash your vegetables thoroughly before you eat them raw! Choose veggies from trusted source – your local shop or farmer. Personally I hate buying veggies packed in plastic, that travelled thousands kilometres before they landed in my bag, but it’s obvious that buying sustainable and local isn’t always possible. So choose wisely, but also do not resign from buying vegetables, just because you can buy them only in the supermarket. Work with what you have, the best you can 🙂

Source of knowledge:



quick & easy stir fried collard greens

Collard greens is my latest discovery. As I’ve mentioned in couple recipe posts, every Friday I receive a box of veggies from a local farm. Couple times my box contained collard greens, I’ve never tried before, so I googled it, to figure out how can I prepare them. And one of the easy ways was to stir fry them. Collard greens are popular in East Africa mainly lightly sauteed in oil until tender, flavoured with onions and seasoned with salt, and served either as the main accompaniment or as a side dish with the preferred meat. So I decided to give it a try, but haven’t had any great expectations. Because I love garlic I swapped onion with some fresh garlic cloves and added generous amount of lemon pepper for some fresh lemony flavour.

They are so delicious! I would never expect that the bunch of green leaves may be so tasty. But I’m a fan of chopped & fried spinach, so if you’re not a amateur of this kind of green stuff on your plate, you might have a different opinion about stir fried collard 😉

Collard is a part of the same group as kale and spring greens. The name “collard” comes from the word “colewort” – the wild cabbage plant. Collard greens are great source of Vitamin K. Vitamin K acts as a modifier of bone matrix proteins, it improves calcium absorption, and it may reduce urinary excretion of calcium. One cup of boiled collard greens provides 770 micrograms of vitamin K. It’s also full of Vitamin C, E, A and folate. This green leaves are also source of all essential micro elements: potassium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, sodium and iron. So all the basic and very important nutrients you should consume every day to keep yourself strong and healthy.

Collard greens like other cruciferous vegetables can lower risk of developing various types of cancer, including cancer of the upper digestive tract, colorectal, breast cancer, and kidney cancer. One cup of boiled collard greens provides nearly 8 grams of fiber. Results of a study published in 2014 suggest that a high intake of fiber might reduce inflammation and glucose levels in people with type 1 diabetes. It may help people with type 2 diabetes to achieve better levels of blood sugar, lipids, and insulin. Fiber along with water content also help to maintain healthy digestion.

If you’d like to consider collard greens as keto friendly – one cup of cooked greens contains 10.73 g of carbohydrates, including 7.6 g of fiber and less than 1 g of sugar, which is a great score. So if you find them available in your local store do not hesitate and grab a bunch to stir fry them with garlic or onion.

quick & easy stir fried collard greens


  • bunch of collard greens
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • olive oil/coconut oil/clarified butter – choose accordingly to your preferences
  • pinch of natural rock salt
  • good pinch of lemon pepper (or coarse pepper if you don’t have lemon pepper)


Thoroughly rinse collard leaves under running water. Cut off the hard stems and roughly chop the leaves. Heat a frying pan adding olive oil, coconut oil or clarified butter. Toss collard greens and fry 5-7 minutes on medium heat. Thinly slice garlic cloves, add to the pan and fry another 2 minutes. Sprinkle with lemon pepper and salt. Serve hot, you can drizzle with some extra olive oil for more healthy fat. Stir fried greens are very versatile, the y go great with meat, fish or fried eggs.

Source of knowledge:



orange and chinese cabbage salad (vegan, gluten & dairy free)

Very summery, light and slightly tropical salad recipe. This orange and Chinese cabbage salad will refresh you on a hot summer day. If you’re vegan and you like mixing veggies and fruits – that’s a great salad idea for you. Or if you just want to take a break from meat and dairy, that’s also a great idea.

We have some healthy crunchy cabbage, sweet and juicy oranges that gives the tropical vibe and grated carrots full of antioxidants (good for eyes). For even more crunchiness we have also hazelnuts (or walnuts) – perfect source of healthy fats, vitamin E and fiber that helps you to digest properly. To finish this crazy mix – we have slightly Asian sauce, spiced up with apple cider vinegar that improves digestion.

With one bowl of this mix, you get whole world of vitamins and microelements:

  • vitamin A
  • vitamin E
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin K
  • folate
  • calcium (oh yes, it’s in cabbage, carrots and hazelnuts)
  • magnesium
  • phosphorus
  • sodium
  • zinc
  • copper
  • manganese
  • selenium
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (again cabbage and olive oil)
  • Omega-6 fatty acids (again cabbage and olive oil)
  • antioxidants
  • choline

That’s a a quite nice bunch of goodness, isn’t it? Colours will make you happy even before you eat it. I personally love adding different kind of nuts to my salads, they not only adds a nice crunch to it, but are also a source of fats, that make your belly feel full.

Preparation is as easy as it can be and will take you not more that 15 minutes. Just dice all the ingredients, make a sauce and your salad is ready. You can keep in in the fridge for about 2-3 days in airtight container.

If you enjoy this kind of veg & fruit mixes, you also have to try this crazy keto strawberry salad.

orange and Chinese cabbage salad (vegan, gluten & dairy free)

INGREDIENTS for at least two people:

  • small Chinese cabbage
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 carrots
  • 100g hazelnuts or walnuts
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 3 tsp spicy mustard
  • pinch of coarse pepper
  • 1 tsb gluten free soy sauce
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp parsley (I prefer dried because it has more gentle aroma)
  • 1 tsp dried basil


Finely chop the cabbage, grate the carrots. Peel both oranges, remove white membranes and dice the flesh.

Using olive oil, mustard and spices prepare the sauce. You can make it very quickly using a small clean jar – just put all ingredients into the jar, cover with lid and shake until you get smooth and uniform liquid.

Now basically just stir all ingredients together, add sauce and nuts (you can use both types of nut if you have) and voila! Salad is ready.


vegan mango and ginger smoothie

While preparing this post I stumble up on a very interesting article, but before that let me introduce you this delicious tropical flavoured smoothie. If you live in hot climate or your summer time is extremely warm, this kind of drinks will be a good option for you. There’s a reason why tropical fruits grow in tropics. When it’s hot you’re appetite goes down, you sweat a lot, so you need more water. Fresh summer fruits and vegetables, generally raw, have a cooling nature. So if you live in a climate where all year round is hot eating more of raw veggies and fruits will be more natural and healthy for you. Whilst if you live in a climate with four seasons let’s say, Summer will be the best time to treat yourself with some tropical fruits. Diet based on only salads, cocktails or such popular smoothies, will not necessarily work in the cold and snowy Autumn and Winter. Therefore, the Eskimo’s body needs different food than the inhabitant of hot Africa or Australia. A diet dominated by products from a different climate zone, will provide us with the wrong proportions of nutrients (and different nature) and in the long run might not be beneficial to our health. But that’s only my opinion. Although there must be a reason why world was build like that.

Another thing is that large-scale import of products from the other end of the world, is not without impact on the natural environment – generating increased fuel consumption and mass production of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In addition, food transported thousands of kilometres must be properly protected from deterioration – usually by freezing or chemical preservation – which causes it to lose a large part of its original values and body absorbs a lot of different (not necessarily healthy) chemical ingredients along with the fruit. Most of the fruit is transported unripe and gets ripened (or not) in transport, so the fruits you buy in the supermarket has completely different taste, that if they would ripened in its natural habitant.

This, of course, does not mean that we should completely give up products from other climate zones. We live in a world where it would be hard to imagine life without bananas, citrus fruits or cocoa. Although I’m sure there would be many people, who would deal with it without any problems.

That’s why I think informations about food nature, nutrition and more importantly – the way they grow, they way they are transported and preserved, should be clear and evident. So everyone could make a concious decision about what kind of food they want to consume and what outcome they’ll get. But let’s be honest, I’m afraid it’s never going to happen, from obvious reasons. If people would know what they actually consume, how the food is produced, transported and preserved etc., any of the big food companies could probably no longer exists.

That’s why I think spreading the knowledge and awareness is so important.

Now we can come back to that interesting article I’ve stumbled up on while preparing this post. Article comes from Civil Eats website nonprofit news organization, daily news source for critical thought about the American food system. Although I think this problem is not only American, every country has its own laws and regulations regarding food production and preservation. Some of the countries has more restrictions, some of them are more reckless, and unfortunately US is one of them. On Civil Eats website you’ll find many interesting articles about food policies, food and farm labour, health, nutrition, and technology that is used in food industry, not only from US perspective but also European (UK for example). So if you’re interested in this subject I highly recommend checking out this website.

The article I stumbled up on refers to orange juice production – I would never in my life get the idea, that orange juice industry came up with. But lets start from the beginning. We have four types of orange juice (considering the production process) we can buy in the shops.

  • fresh, unpasteurized orange juice, pressed using the Cold Press method (cold pressed). Fresh, unpasteurized juice retains its freshness and value due to the cold pressing of vegetables and fruits. This method allows you to keep the temperature low throughout the entire juice pressing process. This is crucial, because at low temperatures vitamins and enzymes are preserved almost 100%, while preventing the growth of bacteria that initiate the process of spoilage. It is also important to limit the access of air to the juice by pouring it almost under the cork of the bottle. Another important factor that allows juice to maintain their nutritional value is their storage in the cold and dark cartons during transport, protecting against accelerating the process of spoiling and destroying the nutritional values ​​with light
  • made from concentrate – i.e. juices deprived of most water. When the water is eliminated, we are left with a thick and flowing liquid – concentrate. This process usually serves to extend the usefulness of the juice, because without water bacterial growth is inhibited. Among other things, thanks to this, concentrates are cheaper to pack, store and transport. In this process, the taste of the juice may be diluted, which is why some manufacturers use flavor additives. Unfortunately, these are usually artificial compounds produced from fruit waste. To make matters worse, high-fructose corn syrup is often added to fruit concentrates. It happens that artificial colors and flavors are also placed in these products. Most concentrates are filtered, evaporated and pasteurized. They are stored at room temperature or frozen. Most often they are intended for dilution with water
  • pasteurized juices are juices subjected to temperatures ranging from 72 ˚C – 100 ˚C for a specified period of time to kill microorganisms present in the juice. The destruction of bacteria protects the product against spoilage, thanks to which it can be stored on the shelf for a longer period of time, usually from one to several months, without exposing stores to financial losses. However, the process of pasteurization, in addition to bacteria, also destroys many valuable vitamins and antioxidants, which is exactly what we care about most and is the most important for health. Some vitamins, such as vitamin C, may be destroyed by pasteurization up to 90% compared to freshly squeezed juice. So what remains in such juice? Some fiber, fruit sugar, some vitamins and water. Some manufacturers still add synthetic vitamins
  • the last one that Civil Eater writes about is orange juice although not made from concentrate but with new technology which is “aseptic storage”. Process “which involves stripping the juice of oxygen, a process known as “deaeration,” so it doesn’t oxidize in the million gallon tanks in which it can be kept for upwards of a year. When the juice is stripped of oxygen it is also stripped of flavor providing chemicals. Juice companies therefore hire flavor and fragrance companies, the same ones that formulate perfumes for Dior and Calvin Klein, to engineer flavor packs to add back to the juice to make it taste fresh. Flavor packs aren’t listed as an ingredient on the label because technically they are derived from orange essence and oil. Yet those in the industry will tell you that the flavor packs, whether made for reconstituted or pasteurized orange juice, resemble nothing found in nature. The packs added to juice earmarked for the North American market tend to contain high amounts of ethyl butyrate, a chemical in the fragrance of fresh squeezed orange juice that, juice companies have discovered, Americans favor.” (source)

What do you think about it? I would never ever imagine that this kind of “magic” can be used to make something as simple as orange juice, that everyone can make by themselves in 3 minutes using own hands. Are we so lazy? In what kind of “only buy cheap” trap we are? And lastly where this world is going? As I said, some of the countries has more restrictions, some of them are more reckless, so it doesn’t mean that every bottle of orange juice is dangerous for your health, but let’s be honest…Don’t you think it’s kind of crazy?

Hopefully after reading this you’ll grab two real oranges, although they might travel to you for thousands of kilometres, and are waxed with some kind of preservative, at least they haven’t spent a year in a tank, and have no extra perfume in it. And I don’t know what’s worse – that they add this kind of chemical or that they don’t need to inform about it on the label?

Oh my goodness!

Next time I’ll find something about bananas.

mango and ginger smoothie


  • 2 oranges
  • 1/2 fresh mango
  • 150ml plant milk (coconut will go great with tropical vibe)
  • 1 small banana
  • slice of fresh ginger


Squeeze the juice from two oranges. Peel the ginger. Place all the ingredients in a smoothie maker or use a blender, like I did. Add couple of ice cubes if you want it extra cold. Serve straight away.

grilled mushrooms #ketofriendly

Today I wanted to show you great side dish, even if you’re not on keto. Grilled mushrooms – deliciously buttery with some garlic flavor. I love garlic, so for me it’s mushroom heaven, especially garlic mixed with butter. That’s great combo. The best is to use baby button mushrooms or any other closed cup mushrooms that will be small in size. Closed cup will help to avoid losing water and getting soggy. The recipe is very easy to make and very quick. Mushrooms don’t need much time just a few minutes on each side to get golden brown.

You can use it as a side dish when you serve fish or chicken, or by itself as an evening treat. They can be good substitute for chips or crisps when you have a movie night.

Mushrooms are great source of seleniumantioxidant that helps to improve your immune system. When grilled even more antioxidants are activated. They are also source of vitamin B and non animal source of vitamin D, which is always great.

There’s not much more to say about them. They are just yummy!


grilled mushrooms


· baby button mushrooms
· clarified unsalted butter
· garlic salt
· dried parsley
· black pepper

You will also need long thin skewers, brush and a grill pan or a BBQ.


Wash all the mushrooms thoroughly and cut off the stems. Melt the butter, add dried parsley and garlic salt. Carefully. I always over-salt. Gently skewer mushrooms onto the stick, the way it’s on the photos – skewer the cap rather than through the stem. It will be easier if you twist them onto the stick rather than just push the stick through it.

Place skewers on the hot grill pan or BBQ. Using a brush grease them with butter, flip and brush other side. Give them couple of minutes on each side, until get golden brown. Keep the heat quite high – so they toast nicely. We want to keep them firm not soggy. If you make a bigger batch, it’s good to wipe the pan with paper towel to get rid of burned butter and garlic – it can get bitter when burnt.

Serve straight away. They are the best straight from the pan. Enjoy!