Calabaza En Tacha (Mexican Candied Pumpkin)

Traditional prepared in Mexico for the Day of the Dead, Calabaza en Tacha or candied pumpkin is the perfect fall season treat. Pumpkin slices are slowly simmer in a caramelized dark sugar syrup.

It’s Food ‘n Flix time again! In this monthly group a host picks a movie of their choice that pertains to food. Everyone watches the movie and then makes a recipe which the film inspired. It can be any recipe you want. This month’s pick is hosted by Debra at Eliot’s Eats and she took us on an artistic trip for the senses with the movie Frida! In honor of Frida for the upcoming Dia de Los Muertos, and just as perfect for a Halloween treat, I made Candied Pumpkin slices.

candied pumpkin in syrup

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A Healthy Chocolate Matcha Smoothie

Smoothies can be calorie traps. But my Chocolate Matcha Smoothie is not only heatlhy, it is also dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan. Enjoy this delicious smoothie guilt-free!

My life changed a little bit the day I got a smoothie blender. That first summer I had so many smoothies, you would not believe it! I tried every recipe I could find and added way too many ‘extras’ sometimes. With time I learned to keep my ingredient selection more basic and simple. A perfect example is this wonderful Chocolate Matcha Smoothie.

Chocolate Matcha Smoothie

Build a Better Smoothie

I have already posted a while back a great post that explains my favorite techniques to build a great smoothie. But I have even more tips for you today for #SilkSummerofSmoothies and why not fall as well!

Limit your fruit! Yes fruits are healthy and in the begining I was adding several fruits to one smoothie. Well guess what, fruits have a lot of sugar so I ended up gulping loads of sugar unknowingly. Now I try to keep my smoothies to the equivalent of one fruit portion.

Playing with various milks! I mentioned this in my last guide but it is worth saying again. Not only is it fun to experiment with various milks, it can change the flavor of your go to recipe. You can use standard milk, coconut milk, soy, rice, hemp, oats, etc. In this chocolate matcha smoothie recipe I used almond milk from Silk which is low in calories, has no added sugar, lots of calcium and vitamin D, and a non-GMO product.

Super Smoothie! When I really want to kick it up a notch I’ll add a ‘super food’ element; like chia, kale, a nut butter or hemp. Antioxidant rich Matcha is a favorite addition but I know many folks are afraid to drink a Hulk-impersonation smoothie. Well just add a bit of cocoa powder and it is an instant chocolate feast. Endorphin boosting cocoa powder is also a rich source of fiber, iron, manganese, magnesium and zinc.

Vega One protein powder Chocolate Matcha Smoothie.jpg

Turn your Smoothie into a Meal

Now you could skip the powder and lower the milk content of this chocolate matcha smoothie for a simple drink. But why not turn it into a meal? At one point I started to experiment with protein powders . I am guilty of turning these protein packed smoothies into a dinner when on the go, when it is to hot to cook, or when plain lazy. When I started looking into protein powders I learned quickly that many of them are not very natural. I stuck with whey protein powders at first as they were the best option.

Now I am trying the Vega One All-in-One Nutritional Shake I was sent. As the name suggest, they are all vegan. I am not vegan but I love trying all kinds of products and theirs is healthy. Each serving has 20 grams of protein, 25% daily fibre, Omega #3 ALA, antioxidants, probiotics, vibrant green blends, plant-based minerals and vitamins, and is a non-GMO product.

Vega Silk Chocolate Matcha Smoothie

As you can see by the powder pic above, it is not super refined and bleached like highly processed powders. Yes the taste is less processed for sure, it is a lot more natural and earthy in taste and a bit grittier to mix. In the chocolate matcha smoothie recipe it worked great. I also really liked the other flavors (there are 6 flavors available). I tend to add more liquid then recommended but that is personal preference. And I hear they are great in recipes so I look forward to trying them out more in the kitchen.

Chocolate Matcha Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons Matcha powder
  • 1/2 cup protein powder
  • 1 1/2 cup almond milk
  • sweetner of choice, to taste
  • mint leaves, optional

Directions

  1. Put all the ingredients (minus mint) in a smoothie belnder.
  2. Place the lid on, flip over and shake a bit to mix the layers.
  3. Blend until perfect consistency is achieved. Depending on your combination you may find you need to add liquid while blending it if the consistency is too thick.
http://cultureatz.com/chocolate-matcha-smoothie/

Disclaimer: The products Vega and Silk featured in this post were provided to me free of cost. Any personal opinions reflected in this post are my own and without influence.

Punschtorte, an Austrian Punch Cake

The Punschtorte is a classic Austrian cake with a big boozy punch! A thin cake sandwiches a rum punch filling, and finished off with a thick pink fondant icing.

No one knows for sure the origins of this Punschtorte cake but it may have been introduced to Vienna in the Middle Ages by the Ottoman armies some time during the 17th century. The components include cake crumbs, chocolate, rum, apricot jam, citrus juices. It is a kick-ass cake! Individual pastries are known as Punschkrapfen.

punschtorte inside

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Cold Sour Cherry Soup (Hideg Meggyleves)

Cold Sour Cherry soup, or Hideg Meggyleves, is the quintessential Hungarian summer soup. Made from fresh sour cherries, spices, a touch of sugar and sour cream, you are sure to fall in love with the delicate tartness and slight sweetness found in every chilled bite.

A fruit soup you say? Oh yes they are very common in Hungary. In fact while in Budapest a yogurt elderflower soup and a strawberry soup crossed yours truly’s lips. These summer soups are served mostly as an appetizer and only sometimes as a dessert. It does throw a North American palate for a loop at first but I was hungry for more in no time. This cold sour cherry soup is a bit more tart, making it a great starter dish.

cold sour cherry soup

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Anchovy Ice Cream on Grilled Caesar Salad

A salad, tossed and served in a bowl – BORING! Instead throw that lettuce on the BBQ and turn your dressing into an ice cream: Anchovy Ice Cream on Grilled Caesar Salad! Voilà!

It’s Food ‘n Flix time again! In this monthly group a host picks a movie of their choice that pertains to food. Everyone watches the movie and then makes a recipe which the film inspired. It can be any recipe you want. This month’s pick is hosted by Kimberly at Coffee and Casseroles and she picked a fun movie that the whole family can enjoy: Hotel Transylvania 2. It’s been a while since I did a crazy recipe, this movie was full of insane inspirations but I took one almost word for word, that is Anchovy Ice Cream!

Anchovy Ice Cream on Grilled Caesar Salad

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4 Brazilian Dishes to Eat as You Watch the Olympics

With most of the world’s attention focused on the Olympics in Rio, it is a perfect time to discover some delicious Brazilian dishes.

So when was the last time you enjoyed a meal composed of Brazilian dishes? I am willing to bet it has been quite a while, if ever. Luckily I have sourced 4 Brazilian recipes from CulturEatz’s archives for you to try in honor of the 2016 Olympics in Rio. They are are mix of traditional recipes with a twist, a vegan version of a classic dish, a sandwich made with a tapioca crepe, and a refeshing drink made with Coca Cola.

Brazilian Dishes

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Curious about Spätzlesalat (Cold Spätzle Salad)?

Want to surprise guests with a new kind of cold salad? Then try this Spätzle Salad, a special egg noodle, served with fresh veggies, bacon, cheese and a light dressing.

My new food obsession is spätzle (or spaetzel)! I consumed large amounts of it during my summer vacation in Austria and Hungary. What are they? Well they are like a cross between dumplings and soft egg noodles. You will find them in almost every plate served to you in Central European countries. Spätzle means “little sparrow”. Almost all countries have the same spelling, yet in Hungary they are usually called nokedli. After reading this post you will be able to prepare your own delicious cold spätzle salad which will be a hit at your next pot-luck party.

And finally, a bonus at the end of the post with a few pics from my summer vacation! 🙂

Spätzlesalat Cold Spätzle Salad mit basil
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