Nele Liivlaid

Nele Liivlaid is originally from Estonia, but currently lives in Barcelona, Spain. She developed a more profound interest in nutrition and related diseases when she read The China Study. She is a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate graduate and spreads the word about healthy, sustainable nutrition and lifestyle through her blog Nutriplanet, where related articles and whole food plant-based recipes are published weekly.

Squash & Chickpea Stew

I’ve made pumpkin stew with chickpeas, cauliflower, tomato sauce and spinach before, but never tried with just two main ingredients. I actually got inspired by the best vegan buffet I’ve ever encountered – Mio Bio in Valencia. We had several great lunches there and on one occasion a deliciously sweet and hearty pumpkin-chickpea stew was served. I decided to recreate the dish at home, also making it oil-free.

Heart-Shaped Oat & Banana Cookies

My plant-based, oil-free, sugar-free and even gluten-free (if you use gluten-free oats) heart-shaped cookies are so simple and delicious. No need to go to a store for a treat or gift when you can so easily make them at home.

Brown Lentil Stew With Corn and Green Peas

This plant-based, gluten-free and oil-free brown lentil stew recipe is just about throwing a few ingredients into pot, adding water, grating a carrot while the stew is cooking and mixing it in at the end with some coconut milk. It can’t get any easier.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Whole oven-baked cauliflower has been popular for a while, but it’s only a few months since I first tried it. I’m glad I did – its appearance is really something special and of course it tastes great. Moreover, the cooking paid off because we ate the cauliflower for four days adding it to our evening salads.
I wanted a really great sauce to rub it in with and I thought I’d experiment at least for several times to get it right, but to my great surprise it came out just perfect after the first attempt. I knew I wanted the sauce to be spicy, smoky and red, so I went for smoked paprika and garlic to give the main flavour. Sage and parsley, besides having a beautiful green colour, give a nice herby smell and taste; and nutritional yeast boasts with its ever-so-popular cheesy flavour.
Those of you not familiar with whole foods plant-based eating might think that what about the juiciness in oil-free recipes. You can set your mind to rest! There’ll be enough sweet juices from the vegetables and cauliflower making you forget the existence of oils.

Potato & Barley Rice Paper Rolls

I wasn’t sure about the quantities, I ended up with quite a lot of stuffing (a bit too much for the three of us for one meal), half of which I refrigerated and baked a few days later. I even stored some of the ready potato rolls in a sealed container in fridge. The rice paper is nice and crispy the next day. This recipe provided us potato rolls for four days.

Sourdough Buckwheat Pancakes

Now that I’ve been making fermented buckwheat bread for ages it made me think why not use the same batter for pancakes as it’s so fluffy and has a sour taste. When I made the first batch I also used sour soymilk that I happened to have in the fridge and the pancakes turned out great. However, I realize that most people don’t happen to have sour plant-based milks in their fridges, so I decided to make the recipe with regular oat milk.
As usual, I made this pancake recipe plant-based, gluten-free and sugar-free. I would also call them basically oil-free, as only a bit of coconut oil is used for rubbing the pan.

Nutty Ginger Christmas Cake

I’m sure there are plenty of people who’d like to make healthier choices for the holidays, especially when it comes to sweet treats, but this is where people very often slip as the conventional sweets and cakes are loaded with butter or oil and sugar. The best way to control the contents of the sweets you’re going to eat is to prepare them yourself of whole food, plant-based ingredients.
The conception “treats have to be rare and are bad for me” has totally shifted. On a whole food plant-based diet it’s: “treats are good for you and you can have them every day”.
My gingered nutty Christmas cake is full of flavour and richness and it sure looks and tastes like a “real” one, but instead it’s made of soaked gluten-free whole grains, nuts, dried fruits, banana and a bit of dark chocolate. The recipe is very easy to make and it’s extremely unlikely that you’d fail. Don’t get intimidated by soaking the grains – it’s water that does the job for you!
The most time-consuming part of this Christmas cake recipe is chopping the nuts and dried fruits, but that’s what you’d need to do even when following a conventional recipe. So, go ahead and make your holidays lighter and healthier!

Tempeh & Cabbage Curry With Chard

I had chickpea tempeh sitting in my fridge and I needed to use it up before it was too late. I was also very curious to try it out, as I had never bought chickpea tempeh before. Of course, any tempeh can be used in this curry recipe.
I also had an organic cabbage head that I desperately wanted to turn into a dish, so a tempeh and cabbage curry it was! This is a lazy curry as I used dried onions and garlic instead of fresh saving a lot of time on chopping and preparing.
This oil-free tempeh and cabbage curry is perfect with Romain lettuce or with steamed chard or kale.

Lentil and Tomato Stew

Stews are my favourite thing for lunch lately. I like them very hearty, made of legumes and with some vegetables to give colour. I usually also add some chard, kale, or parsley to garnish the meal.