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September 2014

Enjoyistic butternut squash and sage pizza


Well this is something else. When you get a slice of tasty gluten free pizza, then you know you´re having a good day. I already have one nice gluten free pizza recipe here, a cauliflower pizza that is. And now here comes another champion! This stuff is gluten free and grain free, so it’s suitable for many kinds of diets. Also to people who follow enjoyism, which I do. The most important guideline in our ideology is to eat only food that we can enjoy, other we steer clear of.

The most interesting thing about this deeply enjoyable pizza is that you don’t add any tomato sauce, but instead you spread generously ricotta cheese on the base. Then you slice some butternut squash and mince some garlic on top. And enjoy it with fresh sage leaves.

-Very exquisite taste, said my husband. -Fucking good!, slipped from my mouth. And even in front of our child. Happily, she didn´t probably hear. By the looks of it, she too was following the rules of enjoyism, swinging slowly, with her eyes closed and savouring deeply her pizza slice.


2 pizzas

Pizza base:

  • 2 dl Coconut Flour
  • 2 dl tapioca flour (starch)
  • 1 tablespoon psyllium husk
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 dl olive oil
  • 1 dl heated water
  • 2 organic eggs


  • 2 dl ricotta cheese
  • 1 Butternut Squash
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • pinch of flake salt
  • black pepper
  • a handful of fresh sage

Preheat oven to 225 celsius degrees. Combine coconut flour, tapioca flour, psyllium husk and salt in a bowl. Pour in olive oil and warm water and stir. Add the lightly whisked egg. Mix until well combined. Add two to three more tablespoons of coconut flour until the mixture is a soft but somewhat sticky dough. Place the pizza dough ball onto a sheet of parchment paper. Roll out the dough until it is fairly thin. Add flour if needed, but be careful that the dough wont´´ become too dry. Place the rolled out dough into preheated oven and pre-bake for about 12 minutes.

Slice the butternut squash into thin slices, with mandolin or with a sharp knife. Take the pre baked pizza crust from the oven. Spoon on some ricotta cheese and place the butternut squash slices on top. Grind on some black pepper and sprinkle some salt finger. Chop one clove of garlic on the surface (or squeeze it on top of baked pizza with a garlic clamp). Bake in the oven for about 15 more minutes. Take out from the oven, top with some fresh sage leaves, serve and enjoy!

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Figs, Pears and The Great Escape


This year fall came suddenly. It came from the bushes, ran briskly beside me when I was on my morning jog precisely today at 8.30 am. Gave me a smile way too fresh and zesty, a smile I wasn’t at all ready for. Gave me goose pumps. Sniffling and my fingers numb, I returned home and started making some warm and comforting crumble pie. And planning my Big Escape.

No, this isn´t the kind of a post where you praise the fresh autumn days, candles and wool socks. Sometime ago, I would have tried my very best to find something good in the cold and dark season that is on it´s way, and on some level I still do it, but at the same time I’ve grown in that kind of honesty where I can admit that the upcoming winter kind of frightens me. Even though I know the season will bring me some exciting work stuff.

Honesty feels good. You don´t have to like winter. It’s ok not to be a winter person, even if you live in Finland. So, that being said, I have ordered from the universe´s mail order a second home for me and my family somewhere warm and sunny. Maybe in the West Coast of US? Maybe. We’ll wait and see for my order to be processed.

Back to that crumble pie. Its soul is made of figs and pears. I’d say it’s perfect food for this season. Warm, honest, kinda heavy, juicy, plump and sweet, still somehow easygoing. I ate the whole pie for my breakfast-lunch. Wearing wool socks. I lighted a candle, too. It was all kinda sweet, I have to admit. But the thing that warmed me the most was the thought of my big escape.


Fruit Filling:

  • 4 large fresh figs
  • 1 large ripe pear
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • sweeten with vanilla stevia (or 2 tablespoons of domestic honey)
  • Cumble

  • 1 dl almond meal
  • 1 dl rolled oats
  • 0,5 dl almond flakes (or for example pumpkin seeds)
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons soft butter or coconut oil
  • sweeten with vanilla stevia (or 2 tablespoons of domestic honey)
  • Preheat the oven to 175 degrees. Wash and slice the figs and pears. Put the pieces in a saucepan, add water, vanilla extract and stevia. Bring to a boil and simmer on low heat for about ten minutes. In the meantime, make the crumble.

    Apply almond flour, rolled oats and almond flakes in a bowl. Add the salt and cinnamon and mix. Pour in the melt butter and add stevia. The mixture will be chunky and crumbly.

    Pour the fruit filling into a buttered baking dish. Add then the crumble topping. Bake in center of the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the surface has a slight tint. Take out of the oven, serve and enjoy! Try for example with greek yogurt!

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    Chocolate bread in bed


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    So it’s Friday. Time to pamper you.

    I have created an awesome duet for your weekend´s easy mornings: chocolate bread with whipped vanilla butter. I know, sounds almost ridiculously good. And to tell you the truth, when I took the first bite, I actually had to laugh out loud. It was luscious. Rich and moist. Mind-blowing.

    The chocolate bread built on almond flour and banana is by itself an experience. But with vanilla butter – whipped vanilla butter – it becomes luxurious.

    So try it and enjoy it slowly, at breakfast, in your pyjamas, maybe in your bed. Take all the time in the world. Have no hurry. In the end, we are eternal beings in a ready-made world. At least after this chocolate bread and vanilla butter it seems ready.


    (gluten-free, milk-free, paleo)

  • 3 dl almond flour
  • 1 dl raw cocoa powder
  • 0.5 dl chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon psyllium husk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 4 organic eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 dl oat milk (or, for example coconut or almond milk)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons melt coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp local honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • The dish size: about 12 x 20 cm

    Preheat the oven to 200 celcius degrees. Lightly oil the loaf and cover with baking paper. See the instructions here.

    Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Separate the eggs – egg whites in another bowl and the yolks in another bowl. Whisk the egg whites until peak arises. In the other bowl mix the egg yolks, mashed banana, oust milk, apple vinegar, coconut oil, honey and vanilla extract. Combine all ingredients together in a bowl. Mix. Pour the mixture into the prepared bread pan. Bake for about 30 minutes. Take the loaf from the oven, turn the oven temperature into 175 degrees, remove bread from loaf pan, place it on the oven rack and bake for another 15 minutes. To try if the bread is done use a toothpick. Insert about half of the toothpick into the bread. If the toothpick comes out with dough on it then you´ll need to bake the bread for 5 more minutes. Repeat this step until the toothpick comes out clean. Take the bread out of the oven and let it cool a while. Serve and enjoy.


  • 100 g soft butter
  • 0.5 dl almond milk (or other milk drink)
  • 1 tablespoons local honey
  • vanilla seeds or 0.5 tsp vanilla powder
  • Apply the softened butter, almond milk, honey and vanilla in a bowl and beat until creamy, fluffy and white. Store in a refrigerator. Excellent spread for example with the chocolate bread!


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    3 Ingredient Cinnamon Cookies


    Today there are cookies on the menu! Watch our cookie video and try this super simple, cute and tasty recipe. You can also try oatmeal flakes or buckwheat flakes instead of coconut.

    3 Ingredient Cinnamon Cookies

    Approximately 6 – 8 pieces

  • 1 big and ripe banana
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Preheat the oven to 175 degrees. Mash the banana and ddd the coconut and cinnamon. Mix. Taste and add seasoning or sweetness if desired. Shape the cookies into balls on a baking sheet and press them to about half a centimeter thick cookies. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the biscuits get a delicate golden brown color. Allow to cool and enjoy.


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    Cool down hottie


    I´m the type of person who tends to heat up easily. When there are not enough hours in the day for all the ideas, projects and inspiration, my mind and body go into overdrive. Usually I can find the balance quite easily by calming down and eating more alkaline food, drinking green juices and so on, but once in a while the cooling down task proves to be more difficult.

    Lately I have been working with two very dear and big projects, this website and my upcoming cookbook that will be released in Finland in December. These projects combined with other work stuff and a quite speedy life with a 2-year-old have made my body collect some extra heat.

    So now, with all you lovely readers as my witnesses, I promise to take action and make cooling off and quieting down my main missions. This means more daily meditation and being conscious, being present.
    I believe that in a peaceful state of mind you can be just as effective as when your mind is in overdrive.

    What is needed is just a little bit of learning and more concentrating when it comes to my type of hotties. And hey, lovely cooling treats like this pretty sorbet made from frozen grapes! You can find the recipe in HERE.

    Some meditation and some sorbet will help you to cool down and take the edge off an agitated state, for sure.

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    Wow. This is it. Vanelja is finally here. A webpage that combines all my favorite things in the world – genuine food, fresh beauty, flowers, drinks, cakes, children and movement.

    Photos, recipes and other writings in Vanelja are mainly done by me, Virpi Mikkonen. Videos and othe media content is made and produced by Vanelja Media. Maybe someday the Vanelja team will grow but for now this is mainly my playground and an webpage build on my value an taste.

    The story of Vanelja started already in September 2013, when I quit my wellness orientated Kiitos hyvää blog. It was right after then when I started to yearn for something more, dreaming of some bigger online project. Something that was not so much concerned about wellness, but more about pleasure. Then a word Vanelja popped in my head, and I knew that it had to be the name on my new webpage.

    And a year later, after planning, visualizing, some resting, long needed quiet time, after many laughters, some tears and lot of help from my dear friends came Vanelja alive. A page for pure pleasures.

    Nothing in Vanelja is permanent, no goals has been set. That makes it possible to grow to whatever direction life takes it to. It is exciting to see what kind of flowers will Vanelja bloom in when the fertilizers are freedom, passion and pleasure!

    Words can´t describe how happy and relieved I now feel. And how grateful I am to all the people who helped this came true. Thank You All. Especially Lotta Nieminen, Leena Oravainio, two graphic designers and visual geniuses behind Vanelja´s layout and Antti Takalahti, a computer mastermind who encode this page from scratch. I´m also oh-so grateful to my husband, my daughter, my friends, parents, all who helped and encouraged me with this project.

    Now I just welcome you all warmly and let you take a tour in Vanelja. I would love you also to leave a comment and let me here your thoughts.

    Welcome to create and experience Vanelja!


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