Sometimes, there is something special about people. You stare at them and you are trying to figure out exactly what is it. What is it that makes them so magnetic, wonderful, important and significant? No matter how long you stare, you can never find exactly one specific reason. Just because there isn’t such. What makes these people so special is their whole essence, their whole personality.
The passion, the desire, the drive with which they go though life. The inspiration they have- the key spice that helps them turn every moment into a masterpiece.
My guest today is this kind of person. Her name is Katerina Rangelova and she definitely knows how to turn every moment into a masterpiece and each food into an art and a tasty meal.
I invited Katerina to share some of her unique, healthy recipes; share more about “the secrets”of healthy cooking and tell us how sport, healthy eating and taking care of her body was welcomed into her life.
KR: Hi! My name is Katerina Rangelova and I’m author of the blog Sugarmouse. In my blog I share all about my favorite hobbies – cooking, painting and DIY projects, but definitely lately the cooking recipes prevail.
I’m very pleased to be your virtual guest, Ines, thank you for the invitation! When I go visit someone, I like to bring something sweet for the hosts, but as far as I know you’re not a big fan of desserts. So I prepared a little different “cupcakes” for you, I hope you like it
Here’s the recipe:
Add 1 egg and some spices to 500 g minced meat and mix well.
In a pan with little oil sauté the cut vegetables:
200 g mushrooms,
2 cloves of garlic,
100 g tomato paste and
100 ml white wine
Season with salt and pepper. Allow to simmer until the liquid boils off.
Boil 700 g potatoes (could be substituted with broccoli or cauliflower). Mash them with a fork and add:
1 egg yolk,
60 g butter,
80 ml fresh milk and
100g yellow cheese (or Parmesan)
Into greased muffin molds make “nests” of minced meat by pressing it with your fingers to the sides of the mold. Fill the nests with the cooked vegetables and bake in a preheated to 180 *C oven for 25 minutes then remove from oven and decorate with the mashed potatoes. Return to the oven and bake for another 20-30 minutes
IS:What do you do? Is cooking just a hobby or is it a passion that is about to become a profession?
KR: I do a not very interesting administrative desk job. Cooking is my hobby, one of my favorite things to do in my spare time that satisfies my daily need for creativity. I got fond of cooking maybe 2-3 years ago, but it quickly turned into a passion. All the time I’m browsing food blogs and web sites to find new recipes and ideas that I’m eager to try. To turn my hobby into a profession, however, is not likely at the moment, I’m not even sure I want it to happen.
IS: Would you share some secrets and tricks in cooking with raw, healthy products? (What do you use to substitute flour and sugar, etc?)
KR: For me, a healthy diet means to consume homemade food prepared with high quality products. If I’d like to eat some bread, it’s ok, as long as I make it by myself. Still, I prefer to use less flour and sugar. But when I do, I use unrefined brown sugar and wholemeal flour – I prefer spelt or einkorn flour. In almost all recipes white flour can be replaced with whole wholemeal flour, but make sure you sift it well and throw larger particles and launches away. Usually, I eat meat, eggs, seasonal fruits and vegetables, raw nuts.
When I want to avoid wheat flour, I usually use ground nuts or ground quinoa seeds. I think a lot of the popular flour foods have gluten-free versions – pizza, pretzels, pancakes, pie, cheesecake, even bread. I don’t remember when the last time I ate classic wheat flour pancakes was. Gluten-free desserts recipes are countless and very very tasty!
I never use cane sugar in raw foods. Depending on the recipe I could substitute it with homemade honey, dried fruits or stevia. I used to substitute cane sugar with honey in all the recipes, even in baked desserts, but then I thought it’s better to use cane sugar than to cook honey. Furthermore, in most of the simple recipes there’s no problem to replace the sugar in the recipe with the same amount of honey, but if you do that in a professional and complex recipe, it is very likely that the result would not be very good, at least in appearance.
Replacing sugar with stevia in sweets is quite complicated and requires more serious adaptation of the recipe. But I’ve done some very successful desserts with stevia, including ice cream.
IS: Do you think it takes a long time to prepare a delicious, healthy meal? Will you share some of your favorite recipes?
KR: On the contrary, I think in most cases it is faster and easier to make a healthy meal than a less healthy one. With a little imagination you can achieve a wide variety in cooking – add a new spice or a vegetable to chicken fillet for example and you have a new dish. J If you feel like eating something sweet you can just mix together some tahini and honey with cocoa powder and cinnamon or you could prepare sweets from ground nuts, dried fruits and butter or oil – it’s much more quickly than making a sponge cake.
I will share some of the more interesting recipes that do not contain wheat flour and cane sugar and are easy and quick to do.
IS: Since raw nuts are the basis of many of the raw desserts, would you share what we need to know about them? How to preserve them, what we should do before we move on to “cooking” with them?
KR: I love desserts (not just raw) with nuts. As I buy large quantities of nuts at a time I store them in airtight plastic containers. You can also store nuts for at least two months in glass jars in a kitchen cabinet. If you need a nut flour, I grind the nuts just before use (I don’t buy ready nut flour from the shop – taste and quality are quite different). Ground nuts can be stored up to 2-3 days in a refrigerator. For grinding nuts I use a food processor but a blender or coffee grinder can be used too, even if it’s more slowly. Use the food processor at low speed because at high speed nut oil is separated from the nuts and they stick together.
I think we all know that nuts ate much better absorbed when soaked for several hours in cold water. However, this makes them less durable, and if you will be grounding them into flour they must be perfectly dry.
IS:Besides cooking, one of your hobbies is working out – the physically active life as a whole. Would you tell us a little more in details what sports did you do and what they brought you to, what training philosophy did you built on the basis of your rich experience and what you think one needs to do in order to be in shape?
KR: I fell in love with work outs very suddenly about 6 years ago when I stumbled into a gym for personal training. Then I started to pay attention to the way I eat and the way I think. J Strength and condition training have become a passion of mine. I had a growing need to move. For a couple of months I was very fond of boxing, I used to work out almost every day – before work, after work, some days I used to have strength training after the boxing work out, I was passing many personal boundaries. I trained with different coaches and followed different schemes of training. Currently I work out lighter and less frequently, but I walk much more – I walk for about 5 km a day with the dog and even more in the weekends, when we walk in the mountains. There, we always choose steep and difficult paths, because they are less crowdedJ.
Definitely, training changed me a lot, made me stronger (physically and emotionally) and happier.
I think there is not a generic truth about training and nutrition; we must learn to know ourselves better, to understand our needs and desires and to be in harmony with ourselves. In order to be in good shape, I think it is important to feel the joy of movement in all its forms – whether it comes to lifting heavy weights or walking in the park.
IS: What is your wish for the future and how my readers can contact you and order delicious raw dessert prepared especially for them?
KR: In the future I wish more and more smiles. J The easiest way to contact me is through my Facebook page.
IS:How could people who believe that healthy food is boring and monotonous to diversify their menu? Share recipes you would include.
KR:I always look for variety in cooking and my biggest challenge is to find new recipes for cooking meat . Boring as chicken can be, it could be cooked with cream, cheese, spinach… I’ve gathered together some very quick ideas for cooking chicken fillet – here, and I try more and more to expand the “meat dishes” section in my blog. A good appetizer and very appropriate if you’re having guests, are these colorful spinach or red beet rolls, which are flour free. Also very impressive is the spring cheesecake – also flour free. Instead of a traditional muffin for breakfast you can make egg muffins, banana omelette or my favorite curd crackers that can satisfy the hunger for pasta and bread, and I sometimes serve it with soup. And speaking of soup – try this cream of red beet soup, my favorite one this fall ! I think a healthy diet includes healthy desserts, and there is a huge variety.
IS:What according to you is happiness? What a perfect day would be like?
KR: Happiness is time spent with your beloved ones I love the most the days devoted to long walks in the mountains, followed by a delicious dinner
IS: One last question: How can you cook so many delicious things and refrain from eating them? :))
KR: I don’t even try to refrain! I achieved some sort of balance and my appetite is regulated without experiencing bouts of ravenous hunger or cravings for sweets – this is since I stopped staring so much on the food I eat. In fact, although there’s a lot of sugar in the recipes in my blog, I cook sweets and pasties only on weekends and even not every weekend. Besides, I prepare half the doses stated in the recipes. During the rest of the time I cook and eat meat, eggs and salads, sometimes quinoa, buckwheat, red or black rice, potatoes. And some quality chocolate too I share what I cook with my boyfriend, and usually he takes the larger piece.
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