Chunky Roasted Tomato Chili and Corn Bread Rolls

After all this experimenting with savory foods that has been going on in my kitchen lately, I thought my chili recipe would need a little facelift too. As some time ago I posted this Mexican chilli recipe, I’m now super excited to introduce you a new, sort of updated version with dreamy oven-roasted tomatoes and a bit spicier tomato sauce. A bowlful of this delicious chunky chili will no doubt warm up your heart and soul, but leave you feeling satisfied in that light kind of way too. It’s super for dipping with some gluten free corn bread, and that’s why I’m sharing the recipes together. And as the October starting tomorrow, what could be better than having a new feel-good comfort food recipe to try? A healthy foodie’s dream. 😉

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The Roasted Tomatoes

about 500g tomatoes, halved
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 175°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Place the tomatoes onto baking tray and toss with some salt and pepper. Bake for about 25-35 minutes or until completely soft.

The Chunky Chili
(makes approx. 4 servings)

1 yellow onion
4 garlic cloves
3 cm knob of fresh ginger
½ – 1 red chili
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried cilantro
3 x 400g can diced tomatoes
¾ cup brown rice
2-3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
400g canned chickpeas
salt & pepper to taste

  1. Chop the onion, garlic cloves, ginger and chili finely. (If you’re lazy like me, place them to a food processor fitted with an s-blade and pulse couple times.)
  2. In a large frying pan or pot heat the olive oil to hot. Transfer the chopped onion mixture to pot and sauté until very soft (about 10 minutes). Add the spices and stir couple more minutes.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes and (rinsed) brown rice. Bring to boil and add the vegetable broth, starting with 2 cups. Let simmer for 30-35 minutes.
  4. When the rice is almost cooked, add the (rinsed) chickpeas and if needed the remaining cup of vegetable broth. Let simmer for additional 10-15 minutes.
  5. Add the roasted tomatoes, season with salt & pepper, serve with some corn bread rolls, and enjoy! 🙂

The Corn and Oat Bread Rolls
(makes approx. 4 rolls)

1 ¼ cups corn flour
½ cup rolled oats
1 tbsp psyllium seed husk powder
1 ½ tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ baking soda pinch of salt

1 ½ cups water
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 210°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients together.
  3. Add the water and olive oil and stir well by using your hands, maybe knead a bit.
  4. Form the dough into 3-4 even sized rolls and bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes or until golden and crispy. Serve with a bowlful of chili and enjoy!

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Hope you like it, have a beautiful week! 🙂

x Ella

@ellalunamaria

Ps. Yes, I’m working on some sweet treat recipes too. So in case you’re wondering: don’t worry, I’ll be popping them up sooN!

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Creamy Coconut and Red Lentil Dal

The older I get the more I find myself eating with the seasons. As my summertime meals consisted of mainly smoothies and salads, now with the autumn arrive the warm comforting bowlfuls of different stews and soups. As I already have shared one favorite curry recipe of mine, I’m now beyond excited to share a simple one pot dal recipe too! 🙂

I think I discovered the amazing world of dals too late in my life. But when I did it was definitely love at first sight. The super comforting mixture of warming spices, dreamy-creamy coconut and red lentils was a bomb. This dal is something your autumn comfort food dreams are made of. And not only is it oh-so-delicious, but extremely healthy too. Since the rich blend of onion, garlic, ginger and turmeric will boost your immune system so high even the worst flu can’t catch you.

I usually serve mine with brown rice and lots of fresh and cooked veggies. But the dal works great with an oven-baked potato or sweet potato too!

Here’s how to do it:
(makes 3-4 servings)

1 yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic
2,5 cm knob of fresh ginger
1 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried cilantro
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup red lentils
1 (400g) can coconut milk
1 ½ – 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
5-6 stems of kale

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 225°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Using a sharp knife dice the onion and mince the garlic cloves and ginger.
  3. In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion, garlic, ginger and spices. Sauté, stirring frequently until onion becomes very soft.
  4. Add the vegetable broth and rinsed red lentils, bring to boil, cover and let simmer until the lentils have cooked. About 15 minutes.
  5. Discard the kale stems and chop the leaves, transfer to the pot with the coconut milk. Let simmer covered until the kale just begins to wilt. Remove from the heat, serve and enjoy!

Have a beautiful day! 🙂

x Ella

@ellalunamaria

Buckwheat Cinnamon Rolls with Gooey Cinnamon Date Filling

My sister is a huge cinnamon roll lover. She’s been asking me for a while (six months) when will we be making them. So couple weeks ago was my first shot and can’t say I really nailed it, since it was just a big mess of dough and lots of cinnamon in a baking dish. But it did taste pretty delicious though and despite the appearance made my sister quite a happy girl.

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Ever since have I been practicing my rolling skills and improving the dough recipe. Furthermore I also had a vision of something a bit more gooey kind of cinnamon filling than what it usually is in the traditional version of cinnamon buns. And I happened to create a heavenly delicious ooey-gooey cinnamon date mixture to fill these rolls with, and it’s a bomb. I mean the dough is pretty simple one, gluten free yes, no yeast or refined sugar and only good for you stuff just with the pretty amazing health benefits of buckwheat.

The buckwheat is extremely good for your cardiovascular system, offers better blood sugar controlling and lowered risk of diabetes, the lignans (plant fibers) protect you from heart diseases and some cancers, the super buckwheat can even ease some of your asthma problems. Just to mention a couple good (great) reasons why to eat a cinnamon bun or two. 😉

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To get back to that filling. It will honestly change your life. Words won’t even be enough to describe it, so you really seriously have to bake a batch and try it by yourself!

Can’t hold your horses? Me neither, so here’s what you need:
(makes approx. 8-10 buns)

The Roll Dough

3 cups buckwheat flour
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp cardamom
½ tsp cinnamon

1 medium-sized ripe banana
1 cup plant milk of choice
¼ cup coconut oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 190°C and line a baking tray (I used a loaf pan) with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients, and stir.
  3. Place the banana, plant milk, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar and vanilla extract into a blender/food processor. Blend until even.
  4. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together. Stir and knead well by using your hands. Set aside, while you’re making the filling.

The Gooey Cinnamon Date Filling

30 small fresh dates
3-4 tbsp coconut oil
water if needed

about 1 ½ – 2 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)

Place the pitted dates and coconut oil into a blender/food processor. Blend until smooth and even paste comes out. The mixture should appear pretty runny, so that you can easily spread it over the bun-dough. If it is too stiff, add a bit water.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it’s about ½ – 1 cm thick. Spread the cinnamon date mixture evenly on top and generously sprinkle on some cinnamon. With the long end towards you, roll the dough up evenly. Place the seam down and with a sharp knife cut the roll to 8-10 even pieces. Place the pieces, cut side up, onto the baking tray. Bake in the oven for about 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, let cool a bit, serve and enjoy!

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Have a beautiful week! Let me know if you tried it 🙂

x Ella

@ellalunamaria

And here’s the happy girl with the very first batch of cinnamon rolls…

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Roasted Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Thai Curry with Zucchini Bites

Lately I’ve been cooking pretty much stew meals only. It’s the chilly autumn weather making me crave something warm and spicy food for the soul. As I haven’t got that much of a cooking experience from the stew and curry kind of foods, last few weeks I’ve been flipping through my bookshelf and all the cookbooks in it, just to learn some of the cooking secret.

This is my very first curry recipe, made with sweet roasted sweet potato, zucchini bites, flavor bursting cherry tomatoes and dried red lentils. Full of the immune-boosting vitamins A, B and C, potassium, manganese and fiber not to mention the lycopene of cooked tomatoes, making you and your skin glow healthy and happily. It’s the perfect kind of spicy stew making you feel good and warm inside and out. I shall call it veggie-high.

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Here’s what you need:

1 larger sweet potato
ground cumin, turmeric, ginger, cilantro, paprika
salt and pepper

1 ½ tbsp red thai curry paste
2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1 yellow onion
2 small or 1 larger zucchini
250 grams cherry tomatoes
¾ cup dried red lentils
1 can (400g) chickpeas
5 stems of baby kale
1 cup coconut milk

This is the way to do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 225°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Cut the sweet potato to cubes and place on the lined baking tray. Toss generously with the spices (feel free to use any additional spices too). Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes or until perfectly roasted.
  3. While the sweet potato is roasting, dice the yellow onion and place to a pot with the red thai curry paste and about ¼ – ½ cup of the vegetable broth. Sauté for 4-5 minutes or until the onion comes soft and golden.
  4. Add the diced zucchini and ½ cup vegetable broth. Let simmer for a couple minutes, stirring regularly.
  5. Cut the cherry tomatoes to half and add in the pot with the remaining vegetable broth and red lentils. Bring to boil and let simmer until the lentils are cooked.
  6. Discard the baby kale stems and finely chop the leaves. Transfer to pot with the rinsed chickpeas and coconut milk. Stir gently until the kale is wilted.
  7. Take the sweet potatoes out of the oven and add in the curry pot, stir to mix. Remove from the heat, add any season if you’re feeling so, serve and enjoy!

Pssst! This goes perfectly with some rustic wholegrain oat bread slices! 😉

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All smiles and happy vibes to your awesome day!

x Ella

@ellalunamaria

Oat Bread Rolls and Blueberry Chia Jam

Gluten free wholegrain bread rolls have been on my to-do-list for a while. Not that I wouldn’t have done them several times, but struggling how to get the rolls rise and become fluffy without yeast and wheat. Believe me, it’s been a long search for that perfect recipe.

If you’re following me on Instagram, you might have seen some sneak peeks of these bread rolls popping up here and there. And many of you have been asking me what is that bread and what’s in it, and do I have the recipe. I’ve been telling you I have the recipe but it just needs one final touch.

Today was supposed to be the big day for one final test but suddenly everything went wrong. The rolls didn’t rise at all, they just burned on the outside, the inside remaining still raw. I shall call it a baker’s disaster. After a couple of fixes, the next batch came out more than great. And as I’ve spent the whole day in the kitchen, made more than few bread rolls, I’m now more than happy to finally share the recipe with you all! 🙂

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Here’s how to make your own bread heaven:
(makes approx. 5-6 rolls)

1 ½ cups oat flour
½ cup buckwheat flour
1 tbsp psyllium seed husk powder
3 tbsp ground flaxseeds
1 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda

2 cups water
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Place the water in a pot, warm a bit, but not too hot. (Just so that you can still easily mix the dough with your hands after adding the water.) Mix together the water, the dry ingredients, olive oil and apple cider vinegar, and stir well using your hands to combine. Let the dough sit for a couple minutes.

Rinse  your hands with a bit of cold water and form the dough to 5-6 even-sized rolls. Bake in the oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until golden. Remove out of the oven. Let cool a bit, serve and enjoy!

Blueberry-Plum Chia Jam with Cardamom

1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
3 medium-sized plums
1 tbsp coconut sugar
½ tsp cardamom

2 tbsp chia seed

Place the blueberries and diced plums to a pot with the coconut sugar and cardamom and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and let simmer for a couple minutes just so that the plums will soften a bit. Remove from the heat and let cool for a while. If you like your jam smooth and even you can blend it a bit with a stick mixer. If you prefer chunks, leave it as it is. Add the chia seeds and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Serve with the bread rolls and enjoy!

Hope you like it, have a beautiful day! 🙂

x Ella

@ellalunamaria

Creamy Buckwheat Porridge with Cinnamon Baked Fruits and Gingered Raspberry Compote

The autumn has officially arrived and mornings have gotten chilly. As leaves are falling from the trees I tend to switch my summer smoothies to porridges and the fresh salads to different kind of stews, soups and curries. Anyone else doing the same?

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Being a lot like a morning person, I love waking up early and enjoying my breakfast as slow as possible. The school and work-life being back on full swing is bringing a little of challenge to that and the luxury of slow mornings is placed mainly in the weekends. Only meaning you have to make the most of it then! 😉

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Imagine waking up with the sun to a slow Sunday morning and enjoying a delicious breakfast bowl full of seasonal flavors and juicy fruits. This morning setting is super easy to make, requiring just a little effort with a heavenly outcome. Cinnamon baked apples and nectarines served over a bowl of creamy buckwheat porridge and topped with some immune-boosting gingered raspberry compote – your Sunday hasn’t ever started better!

Makes 2 servings. If more eaters double or triple the batch.

Cinnamon baked Apple and Nectarine Wedges

2 apples
2 nectarines (or peaches)
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp coconut sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp cardamom

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and grease your baking dish with a bit coconut oil.
  2. Cut the apples and nectarines to wedges.
  3. Place the fruits to a large bowl, toss in the sugar and spices and mix well.
  4. Transfer the fruits to a baking dish and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until softened.

While your fruits are baking, you can start making the other components.

Gingered Raspberry Compote

2 ½ cups raspberries (fresh or frozen)
1 tbsp coconut sugar
½ – 1 tbsp fresh ginger (minced)
pinch of vanilla

Place all the ingredients to pot and bring to boil. Let simmer for about 5-10 minutes and allow lightly cool before serving.

If you wish to get a thicker jam-like consistency, add one tablespoon of chia seeds in the mixture after cooking and let sit for 10-15 minutes. In case some leftover, this step allows you for example to spread the compote on a toast.

Dreamy-creamy Banana Buckwheat Porridge

2 + ½ cups unsweetened almond milk
1 cup buckwheat groats
pinch of salt

1 ripe banana

  1. Pour 2 cups of almond milk to pot and bring to boil.
  2. Rinse the buckwheat groats with cold water and transfer to pot. Add a pinch of salt and let cook for about 20-25 minutes, stirring regularly.
  3. When the porridge is about to be ready add the banana and the remaining ½ cup of almond milk. Stir and let sit for a couple minutes.
  4. Using a stick mixer blend the porridge into dreamy-creamy perfection. Serve with fruit wedges and raspberry compote, and a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Enjoy! 🙂

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Lots of love to your Sunday!

x Ella

@ellalunamaria

Gluten free Sweet Potato Pizza Crust

I may have or may have not gone a little crazy at the groceries and shopped myself a couple too many sweet potatoes. This sweet potato overload got me experimenting pizza crusts, which lead me to one of the best crusts I’ve ever made. It turned out to be perfectly crispy yet tasty and delicious with lots of spices, being totally yeast-free and not containing gluten – no bad stuff. Plus the sweet potatoes are a good source of beta carotene (vitamin A), vitamins C and B6, and packed with fiber, manganese and potassium. Just a couple of reasons why you should eat them more. 😉

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Without further ado, here’s how to do it:

Pizza Crust

1 large sweet potato

2 tbsp chia seeds
8 tbsp water

1 ½ cup brown rice flour
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp cajun spice blend
dried oregano & basil
pinch of salt

  1. Peel the sweet potato and cut into cubes. Transfer to a pot with water and let boil covered until softened.
  2. While the sweet potatoes are boiling, preheat your oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  3. Place the chia seeds in a small bowl with water and let set for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Mix the flours and spices together in a large bowl, stir well to combine.
  5. When the sweet potatoes have softened, transfer to a blender/food processor with the olive oil and garlic cloves. Blend until even.
  6. Mix the dry ingredients with the sweet potato mash and add the chia seed gel. Stir well to combine, if the dough comes out too runny add a bit more brown rice flour.
  7. Spread the pizza dough on the baking tray and form round. Bake for about 25-30 minutes.

Add the toppings you prefer. I used tomato purée, cherry tomatoes and red onion + sprinkled some dried oregano, basil and coriander on top and served with fresh parsley and arugula. Bake for about 10-15 minutes and enjoy!

Thank you for stopping by, happy baking! 🙂

x Ella

@ellalunamaria