ground coriander to taste (optional; can be any seasoning of choice)
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, no oil (optional; can be any add-in of choice)
Add one can of drained and rinsed chickpeas, minced garlic, oil, and lemon into a food processor or blender. Blend until the consistency is smooth. Then add the seasonings of choice, and blend again. Lastly, add the herb of choice, and pulse to incorporate but not disintegrate the herb. Mix in any other topping desired, such as sun-dried tomatoes or chopped olives! Serve chilled.
4 flax “eggs” (3 tbsp flaxseed meal + 9 tbsp water), or use regular eggs
Side Note: This amount made 8 large crepes for the savory filling AND 16 small crepes to stack for the crepe cake.
Mango Whipped Cream Filling:
2 ripe mangoes
1 pint of cold whipping cream (refrigerate for at least 6 hours)
1 tbsp of vanilla extract
3 tbsp of brown sugar
4 tsp of unflavored gelatin water (2 tsp of gelatin + 6 tsp of water)
Side Note: an electronic mixer will be useful to whip the whipping cream… or prepare yourself for an arm workout. RIP to my arms.
Chicken Lemon Basil Pesto Filling:
6 cups of chopped kale
1/2 jar (11 oz) of lemon artichoke pesto (or your choice of pesto! I purchased this from Costco; the vegan option is to make my basil pesto from scratch!)
2 lbs of boneless and skinless chicken breast (or choice of protein; don’t forget to defrost ahead of time!)
1/3 cup of minced garlic (or mince one garlic head and add half of a juice of lemon and 1/3 cup of water)
Preparing the Crepe Batter
Make the flax “eggs” by beating the flaxseed meal and water together. Set aside.
Obtain two big bowls and a strainer. In one bowl, whisk the milk and flour well. Add the “eggs”.
Strain the batter into the other large bowl in increments. Whisk the batter in the strainer to help transfer as much of the mixture. Once completed, cover with a plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Mix the chilled batter, and lightly oil a pan on low heat.
To make the savory crepes, use a medium pan. Add about 1/2 cup of the batter, and tilt the pan in a circular motion so that the surface is entirely covered with the batter. Cook for about 5 minutes or until lightly brown, and flip using a spatula. Cook for another 5-6 minutes. Set aside for the savory filling!
Side Note: This made 8 medium crepes.
To make the sweet crepe cake, use a small medium pan. Add about 1/4 cup of the batter, and tilt the pan in a circular motion so that the surface is entirely covered with the batter. Cook for about 3 minutes or until lightly brown, and flip using a spatula. Then cook for another 2-3 minutes. Let these crepe stacks cool before constructing the cake.
Side Note: This made 16 small crepes to layer for the crepe cake.
Savory Direction: Cooking the Chicken Lemon Artichoke Pesto Filling
Cube the chicken breast, and transfer to a bowl. Season with black pepper, and add the minced garlic. Let it marinade for 30 minutes. (Side Note: I’m not seasoning it with salt because I am using store-bought pesto which already contains sodium!)
In a non-stick pan heated to low-medium, add the marinated chicken. Cover with a lid, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the kale, and continue cooking until the kale is tender.
Add half the jar of store-bought pesto. If you’re using my vegan basil pesto recipe, drain out the water/liquid first, and then add homemade pesto. Let it marinade on medium heat for 5 minutes while continually mixing.
Turn off the heat, and serve on the crepes!
Sweet Direction: Making the Vanilla Whipping Cream Filling
Slice the whole mangoes into three so that you have 2 “cheeks” and the bone (middle part with the seed).
Score the mango’s “cheeks” using a knife, and carve out the cubes using a spoon. (Side Note: Be careful to not puncture through the skin and slice yourself!! Here’s a tutorial in case you need it, haha). Carefully slice off the mango “meat” off the sides of the bone as well. Set aside the cubed mango pieces.
In a big mixing bowl, add the chilled whipping cream, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Whip until peaks form.
In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the gelatin and water. Let it sit for a few minutes, and then microwave for 10 seconds or until the gelatin is fully dissolved.
Transfer 1/4 cup of the whipping cream mixture into the gelatin, and mix immediately. Once incorporated, transfer that mixture into the original whipping cream mixture. Then, whip again until peaks form.
Take 5 cooled small crepes, and stack them on top of each other. Use the top of a bowl and a knife to trace out circles and to cut out the rough edges. Repeat with the rest of the crepes.
Take one crepe, and place it on a plate. Spread a thin layer of the vanilla whipping cream. Place another crepe on top. Repeat. Add the cubed mangoes after five layers have been stacked, and after 10 layers have been stacked. Save the remainder for decoration.
Use the remaining vanilla whipping cream to decorate the crepe cake. Top with remaining mango cubes if desired!
Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl, and mix all the wet ingredients in another bowl. Transfer the dry ingredients into the wet bowl in increments, and mix well.
Lightly grease muffin tins with oil. I used a canola oil spray can! Fill each compartment with the mixed batter. Bake for 18 minutes. Once done, let it cool for 5 minutes, and transfer the cornbread muffins onto a plate.
Serve with (vegan) butter or honey/agave/maple syrup, if desired!
Today, April 5th, is my mother’s birthday! She wanted to eat fried chicken and coleslaw, which my sister made, and so I made these vegan cornbread muffins, mashed potato, and gravy to compliment the dishes. My mom also made chicken lumpia from scratch, and my dad made veggie pancit.
Despite the shelter in-place happening, I am so grateful that I am able to have times like these where I can be safe with my loved ones. I hope you are all having a safe and healthy time as well. Sometimes, it simply just helps looking at things in a different perspective and making the most of the moments we currently have.
Happy New Year’s Eve! I just want to thank everyone who has been subscribed to @rovikapaprika // rovikapaprika.com since the beginning of 2019. I originally started this project for my Lola in hopes of sharing easy and healthy recipes to promote cheap, quick, and nutritional eating. This quick winter-inspired milk tea recipe concludes this project, and I will post whenever I can for the year of 2020! Thank you all so much, and I hope you all a happy new year! :~)
1 peppermint herbal tea bag
12 oz vanilla soy milk
Tapioca (large or small)
(Makes one serving)
Cook the tapioca as directed in the instructions. Once it is cooked, steep the tea bag in 1/8 cup of water for 10 minutes. Remove the tea bag, and add the milk. Mix, and place your desired amount of tapioca! If desired, add sugar for extra sweetness. Enjoy :~)
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE! For November, I wanted to create a quick recipe that is also Thanksgiving-themed (I actually made this for a “Friendsgiving” I went to last weekend, and people said it was really good so… ;~)), and so I thought, “Sweet potatoes are in season; pies are great. Let’s make mini sweet potato pies.” I hope you guys try out this recipe because it’s super easy to make! Enjoy!
Sweet Potato Pie Filling
4 medium-sized sweet potatoes
1/2 cup of agave syrup
1/2 tbsp pumpkin spice
1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
Oat Pecan Crust
2 cups of oats
2 cups of pecans
1/4 cup sugar of choice (white, brown, coconut, etc.; OPTIONAL)
6 tbsp of flaxseed meal
12 tbsp of water
(Side Note: This makes 24 mini pies, but it will vary depending on how thick you want the crust to be, and how much filling you want for each!)
First, steam the sweet potatoes until they are soft. Let it cool.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
To prepare the crust, first combine the flaxseed meal and water. While this thickens, use a food processor to pulse the pecans and oats into a fine consistency. Once a thicker viscosity is reached with the flaxseed meal and water, add it to the pecan-oat flour. Mix until evenly incorporated. If more sweetness is desired, sugar can be added, but personally, the nutty flavors from the pecans and flaxseed meal are good enough for me!
To make the filling, peel and mash the softened sweet potatoes. Then add the remainder of the ingredients, and mix.
Lightly grease a cupcake tin. Place the oat pecan crust mixture in each slot, and use your fingers to spread it out until the surface is evenly covered. Add the sweet potato pie filling, and spread it out evenly as well.
Place the mini sweet potato pies into the oven, and bake for 30 minutes. Then let it cool for 30 minutes.
It’s that time of the year… PUMPKIN SEASON! Pumpkins, a type of squash, are rich in vitamin A, C, and E which have been linked to be important for healthy eyesight and skin! I guess pumpkins are ACEs… eh? ;~) (Good one Rovika.) The following recipes are super quick and easy to make. I hope you enjoy them!
Mix the oats and pumpkin spice seasoning together in a mason jar or choice of container. In a cup, dissolve the coffee in soy milk, then pour into the pumpkin spice oats. Stir until the liquid is evenly incorporated.
In the following order, top the oats with pumpkin puree, Greek yogurt, and cinnamon. Feel free to drizzle with honey or add nut butter. Leave overnight in the fridge, and enjoy the next day!
Basil Pumpkin Pasta
Ingredients (Makes 2 servings)
6 oz of pasta (I used Trader Joe’s black bean rotini pasta for fiber and protein!)
1 cup of chopped basil
1 cup of chopped kale
2 tbsp of sun-dried tomatoes (oil-free!)
1/2 tbsp of coriander
1/2 tbsp of ground black pepper
1 can of pumpkin puree
Mini heirloom tomatoes
1/4 tbsp of Trader Joe’s 21 salute seasoning for garnish (or choice of dried herbs)
Cook the pasta according to the instructions, but save the pasta water for the sauce!
In a non-stick pot on low heat, add the chopped basil and kale. Soften by adding 1/4 cup of the pasta water into the pot. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, and let the flavors meld for five minutes.
Add in the pumpkin puree, coriander, and ground black pepper. Stir, and simmer for 7 minutes. Turn off the heat, and fold in chopped mini heirloom tomatoes.
Place the cooked pasta on a plate, and top it with the pumpkin basil sauce. Garnish with 21 salute seasoning, or your choice of dried herbs, for another layer of flavor and the aesthetics! ;~)
HELLO EVERYONE! August was a really busy month for me, so I apologize for missing a recipe post. BUT, I am releasing two recipes this month to make-up for it! ;~) They’re super quick and easy to make. They’re also quite flexible as you get to choose the protein and vegetable sources you’d want to add! Hope you enjoy these recipes!
Lycopene? More like WHY-copene should we consume it in our diet?
Alright, I’m not the best at puns. ANYWAY, lycopene is a subclass of carotenoids, a class of phytonutrients, that contribute to the red, orange, and/or yellow pigment of fruits and vegetables. Lycopene has been studied mostly for its relation with antioxidants. Throughout our lives, our cells naturally undergo metabolism (click for March post on metabolism) and produce free radicals as a by-product. As we age, we accumulate more of these, which cause damage to our cells. According to the a scientific review paper in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, lycopene induces antioxidant/phase II detoxifying enzymes through nuclear factor E2-related factor (Nrf2) signaling. Some studies have shown the chemopreventive effects of lycopene in vitro (in cells/tissue culture) and in vivo (in animal models with carcinogen-induced cancer), but as how it usually is with food science, more studies need to be done.
Regardless, lycopene-rich foods, such as tomatoes, are filled with wholesome nutrients, like vitamin C, which is overall great for the body. The bioavailabilityof lycopene in tomatoes is enhanced if it is cooked, so in this recipe, we are making vegan black bean tomato pasta with tomato sauce from scratch…. in less than FIFTEEN MINUTES!!! This meal is low-fat and good source of fiber, protein, and vitamin B and C!
Disclaimer: It is important to note that each human’s lifestyle varies, and many variables (e.g. genetics, health status, etc.) must be accounted for. It is typically best to consume in moderation, and consulting a registered dietician/nutritionist is recommended when trying to find a diet catered to one’s personal lifestyle.
1/2 pack of Trader Joe’s organic black bean rotini pasta (or choice of pasta)
2 medium tomatoes
4 tbsp tomato paste
4 tbsp sun dried tomatoes (not in oil)
1/2 purple onion
1/4 cup unsweetened plant-based milk
3 cups of kale
Trader Joe’s seasoning salute (or choice of dried herbs)
Cook the pasta according to the instructions.
In the meantime, dice half an onion and 2 medium tomatoes. In a medium-heated nonstick pan, cook the onions. (You can cook it in oil, but I just use splashes of water to ensure it doesn’t stick). Then, add the tomato paste and Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute to taste. Let it simmer for 2 minutes.
Once it is simmering, add the plant-based milk and nutritional yeast to give it a creamy, cheesy flavor. After everything is evenly incorporated, add the kale and tomatoes. The pasta should be done cooking around this time. Drain and add to the sauce. Top with herbs or vegetables, like I did with this leftover eggplant verde from Whole Foods!
Zinc is a mineral required for regulatory processes, such as growth and development, immune response, and wound healing, throughout our lifetime. Zinc is an essentialnutrient which means it must be consumed through diet. High sources of zinc include red meat and poultry, but if you’re like me who doesn’t consume red meat and opt for plant-based meals, then these recipes are for you! Vegan and vegetarian options for zinc sources include beans, dairy, and whole grains, so that’s why this month’s recipes include5-minute bean bowl and pear banana-nut Greek yogurt oat bowl! I highly suggest reading the sites cited below and consulting a dietitian. For example, pregnant women require a higher amount of daily zinc intake, and vegetarians/vegans are less likely to meet their recommended daily intake because of their diet. It’s always good to increase awareness!
Disclaimer: It is important to note that each human’s lifestyle varies, and many variables (e.g. genetics, health status, etc.) must be accounted for. It is typically best to consume in moderation, and consulting a nutritionist or registered dietician is recommended when trying to find a diet catered to one’s personal lifestyle.
5-minute Bean Bowl with Choice of Protein
Black Bean and Riced Cauliflower
Drain and rinse a can of black beans. Put it in a pot on medium-heat. After a minute, add 1 cup of riced cauliflower, 1 diced Roma tomato, and your choice of seasonings. I added turmeric, black pepper, cayenne pepper, parsley, and coriander. Mix, and with the cover on, let it cook for four minutes. This yields 2 servings.
In the meantime, you can steam your choice of vegetables either on the stove or in the microwave. I chopped broccoli and carrots, and I heated them in the microwave for 4 minutes. Then, I added nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor and a boost of Vitamin B12!
My Necessary Add-ons: Chipotle Chickpea Hummus, Grilled Chicken, and Sweet Potato Chia Chips
For an extra boost of health and flavor, I added chipotle chickpea hummus and grilled chicken, which are both sources of zinc. I also added sweet potato chips with chia seeds as a source of omega-3’s!
5-minute Pear Banana-Nut Oat Bowl
In a bowl, add 1/2 cup of instant oats, and microwave in soy milk. I microwaved these oats for 2 minutes, but it may vary depending on the type used.
Once the oatmeal is ready, I splashed a bit of soy milk and added 1/3 cup of plain Greek yogurt dashed with cinnamon. For my healthy fats source, I added a dollop of banana peanut butter and 1 tablespoon of flaxseed meal. I garnished it with chopped pears for a pop of color and an extra source of vitamins!
I would like to apologize for being MIA the last two months! I went to the Philippines to see my Lola!
The theme I went for the full-course dinner I prepared is Japanese food. It’s my favorite cuisine along with Filipino food, but she would also cook that better than me so… Japanese food it is! Haha. Keep reading if you want to learn how to make onigiri, chicken Japanese curry (curry roux from scratch), and no-bake matcha yogurt oat bars!
Appetizer: Ebi Furikake Onigiri
Cooked sticky white rice
Side Note: No measurements included because it depends on the size and amount of toppings you want!
Cook the white rice according to directions. Using water to dampen hands, take a clump of cooled rice, and mold into a triangular shape. Once desired shape is achieved, coat the sides of the onigiri with furikake. You can do this by putting furikake on a plate and pressing the onigiri against it. Place a strip of roasted seaweed in the middle.
Entrée: Chicken Japanese Currywith Homemade Curry Roux
As I am not culinary-trained and didn’t want to experiment since I’m cooking for my Lola, I used these recipes to make the Japanese chicken curry and curry roux from scratch!
Side Note: I omitted the apples and honey to reduce sugar content! We already had dessert comin’.
Dessert: No-bake Matcha Yogurt Oat Bars
6 pitted Medjool dates
3/4 cup oats (I used organic steel-cut oats)
2 cups of nonfat vanilla yogurt
2 tbsp matcha powder
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Soak the dates in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes to help them soften. In the meantime, blend the oats until a finer texture is reached. I try to get a consistency that’s between regular oat-shaped and powder.. if that makes sense!
Once the dates are ready, add them to the blender. Add splashes of water to help with blending. Pulse until the dates are incorporated. Using a rectangular or square glass or aluminum tray, mold the mixture until the bottom is fully covered. The height of the mixture should be 1/3 to 1/2 of an inch to ensure it can hold the matcha yogurt layer.
To prepare the topping, simply mix the matcha and vanilla extract into the yogurt. Feel free to add sugar or matcha if you would like it sweeter or a stronger matcha flavor. Pour the mixture on the oat layer. Cover with plastic wrap, and freeze for 2 hours or until solid.