Fermenting stuff / Kimchi

Recently I started studying again. This meant after a long day at work, kilos of paper were waiting for me to be read. Less time for fun stuff, it felt soul crushing really. So I quit the new studying plan and the weight liftet from my chest was huge. But I do not mind getting the big books out to explain why you should have a go at fermenting stuff. I guess it depends on what I am studying;) .

DSC_0051

Kimchi

Small servings of fermented vegetables like “Sauerkraut” or “Kimchi” aid the digestion. They can even be beneficial for restoring the intestinal flora by promoting growth of Lactobacillus acidophilus (this is where you notice I am using the big books, “Healing with Whole Foods”in this case.)

The first time I made Kimchi I added all the garlic in the recipe and what I created was an unbearable stinky substance that I had to throw away with the jar that I had put it in. I just couldn’t face opening it one more time. I had given some away too and as I have been confessed to later, it had also been disposed off very quickly. Now I leave garlic out completely. I just do not like it although it’s good for me.

This time it turned ou great and I am ready to make another batch tonight. It is really spicy, so if you want to reduce the amount of chilli, feel free. I am mainly using cabbage here, but you could go for daikon radish, broccoli, cucumber, cauliflower, greens, turnips…I will certainy get more adventurous over time as well although cabbage has immune-enhancing properties and tradition has gotten it right once again.

DSC_0032

cabbage

I used:

1 cabbage

2 carrots

3 spring onions

1/2 apple

30g fresh ginger

10g Chilli (5g would be good if don’t love really hot food)

15g good sea salt (you can leave the salt if for health reasons your diet demands this)

DSC_0043

Kimchi

Cut eveything up. Mix it together in a bowl and give it a good massage with your hands. I see why this used to be done with the feet. It is a real little workout. This will reduce the volume and you will see some liquid forming. You can leave the mix on the counter for another 30 minutes and give it a little turn now and then.

DSC_0044

Kimchi

Now it’s ready for the very clean glass jar. Leave the jar in the kitchen for about four to five days. Throw away the top layer if the cabbage has changed color. Close only loosely or open from time to time to release the gas that will form inside the jar. Taste the Kimchi and if you think it’s done, keep it in the fridge to be enjoyed with your dinner.

Eat well

Another kind of detox…

is the one for the mind.  It is just as vital to delete stress and negative emotions as it is to have a balanced diet and get the toxins out of our bodies from time to time. This mental detox can be more challenging then the physical one. Every day challenges like not taking on other peoples stress, getting the world – life balance right, being able to switch off to really enjoy the time with your family & friends or making time to discover something new and different can be tougher to master then eating the right thing. The contradiction, while you relax and enjoy life that peace of cake you avoid normally might be exactly right. It’s all about balance:)

Eat well & relax

IMG_3228

 

Detox & tea

Simple but powerful. You can buy ready made tea that has a detoxifying effect and I do have that as well. Although the herb of my choice this week has been sage.

sage

sage

You cook 1 & 1/2 tbsp of sage leaves in 1/2 l water for three minutes. Put it into a flask and drink it over the day. 1/2l is not much for a day so a sip here and there does the job. Sage is has among many others, antimicrobial properties.

The taste gets quiet strong. I happen to love sage so no problem;)

DSC_0028

Eat well

Detox & why

<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/14697193/?claim=zqfvmq3m45e”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

I admire people who are so taken by an idea that they know there way to be right. I tend to be more undecided and I basically overthink everything. The same with detox, did one once in my life so far to quit sugar and the effect was amazing. But I do think that if you have a balanced diet even with the occasional excess, maybe you don’t need a detox.

Over the last months though I have been unwell on and off and the amount of antibiotics I had to take is in my mind just unreal and my body seems to feel the same. So now it’s time to help my liver & to prevent the infections that my body had to deal with from happening yet again.

I’m not opting for a cold turkey juice fast though, even if it might be good for me I am more drawn toward the mellow and not extreme methods.

First I want to introduce my hot chocolate! Yes chocolate:) It is sugar free, raw (maybe, I’m not sure because the milk is hot) & vegan (sure).

This healthy treat starts out with nutmilk. By now there are so many video’s that will explain how to make some and I would recommend you Sarah Britton from “my new roots”.

soaked almonds nutmilk

soaked almonds for nutmilk

You have to soak the nuts of your choice over night. If you use softer nuts like cashew a couple of hours will do. You discard the soaking water and rince the nuts. Put nuts into a powerful blender and cover with water. You can determine if you want milk or creme by using more or less water. I added a couple of dates for sweetness and ground vanilla for luxury:) Blend the mix well and strain the liquid through a cheese cloth or an actual nutmilk bag if you have one.

nutmilk in cheesecloth

nutmilk in cheesecloth

The milk heats like regular milk so keep an eye on the stove. You can of course buy nutmilk at a health store, I do enjoy making it from scratch.

nutmilk

nutmilk

I add 1 tsp of turmeric and 1 1/2 tsp of raw cacao powder. If you want more sweetness you can add some maple syrup.

curcuma & raw cacao powder

turmeric & raw cacao powder

Chocolate has detoxifying qualities. Obviously not once sugar and dairy are added,but in it’s raw state it’s really good for us.

Turmeric has anti-inflammatory & antibacterial properties. With my little hot chocolate I get a tsp a day and if that can help me to avoid the next antibiotic, I’m in.

good for you hot chocolate

good for you hot chocolate

Eat well!

meringues

For the health nut that I am posting this is out of character, but…

We celebrated my nephew’s fifth birthday and he had ordered these weeks ahead. That is more than enough reason for me to undertake the easy but sticky endeavor of making “meringues au chocolate”. I used a 85% dark chocolate to balance out the extreme sweetness that characterises meringues. It seems to be this balance that makes them the better treat, at least high in demand…

meringues au chocolat

Traditionally these are put in the oven in the bakery after everything else is done, the ovens are turned off and the remaining heat is enough to slowly dry the sugar & egg mix. They would be left until the next morning when they were finally taken out, pale, crisp outside, sticky inside.

The egg whites can be frozen, so if you bake and you have left over ones, freeze them until you are inspired to make “meringues”

dark chocolateThere is french meringue, suisse or italian! This is a french one.

8 egg whites (whipped)

slowly add 500g of sugar. The meringue looks shiny.

My patisserie chef would add a pinch of salt before whipping the whites. Do not add the sugar at the beginning.

Melt some dark chocolate and let it cool off. In corporate into the meringue mix without actually mixing it. Pour it on top and start spooning the meringue on the baking tray (baking paper is a must). The chocolate will find its way into the mixture without your help.

meringues au chocolat

Bake or rather dry for 30 to 60 minutes at 120° to 150°.

They should be dry to the touch when you take them out.

Enjoy!

life without wheat…

I finally got my head around life without wheat after reading and researching for two days. I thought it would turn out to be quiet a challenge but in this case doctor’s orders are fun.

photo

I stocked up the pantry and have been reading all I could get my hands on. Most importantly I already feel a difference in the right and pain-free direction after only a few days without wheat. I guess the challenge will be travelling since every snack you can buy on the road has wheat (even gum)…I will let you know how that went! Watch this space for gigiandwheatfreefood:)

White pizza & It’s not easy being green…

…not for Kermit the frog, no, but for this pizza yes. I am aware that a pizza without the red tomato sauce is a white pizza, BUT this one having exclusively green vegetables on it, I call it green.

white pizza green pizza

I got an organic food box again this week delivered right at my doorstep and I was finally able to get rid of two of my return boxes. In many neighbourhoods the concern would be for somebody to steal a box. I my street these boxes keep coming back to me like boomerangs. Instead of letting them sit outside for the delivery guy to take them away somebody always brings them back to me so that I end up with many cumbersome boxes. The intention is good I know…

In my box I had 150g spelt flour that was mixed with dried herbs. I added a teaspoon of yeast and enough water to make a dough that is not to liquid and let it proof for an hour. I added flour to work the dough into a non sticky ball and then roll it out.

white pizza green pizza

I added green tomatoes, courgette that I had slightly fired in a pan beforehand, some thyme and rosemary and finally mozzarella.

white pizza green pizza

Preheat the oven at 250°C and bake your pizza until the crust is as you like it and the cheese has melted and bubbled nicely!

white pizza green pizza

white pizza green pizza

Here comes your green pizza.

chilli oil spicy

I do not want to have pizza without spicy oil. To make some yourself, choose a nice bottle, put dried chillies inside and add a good quality olive oil. You can obviously add other spices, I just go for chilli. You leave this for a month and taste if it’s spicy enough for you. If it get’s too spicy over time you can add fresh olive oil to the mix.

chilli oil spicy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you feel like a trip down memory lane with Kermit, here you go:

Eat well

eggplant couscous & cookbooks

I have spent a few days in Munich, a city I am totally in love with. Before l left I bought a great “wintery” vegetarian cookbook. I ordered the one this recipe is from by Rachel Khoo and it was sitting in my mailbox, happily waiting when I cam back home. In this book she travels through France and collects recipes and it makes you wanna pack your stuff and join. I should also tell you that I bought two more cookbooks in Munich one being the “Luitpold” book which is more like a fun coffee-house history & recipe book, that I enjoy reading sitting underneath my fig tree on the balcony, the other one an italien vegetarian one. I know that’s addictive behaviour but it could be worse.

eggplant taboulé rachel khoo

I more or less did as told by Rachel Khoo as I prepared this dish with a couple of exception due to the ingredients in my pantry and the fact that I added raisins. Having a sweet touch in your meal takes away the possible craving for dessert. I left aside the yoghurt dressing & wanted to add mint but I bought the wrong plant just looking at the label not the actual plant at the shop;) & I have no clue what I brought home and planted in a pot with love.

aubergine couscous rachel khoo

2 Eggplants

2 tbsp olive oil

1tbsp tomato paste

1 tbsp Espelette pepper (I used chilli since I was out of piment d’Espelette)

parsley to garnish (also out…)

2 cloves of garlic (me garlic never, seriously, but I know it’s healthy YES)

Cut the Aubergine into sticks, omitting the spongiest part in the middle.

Blend the ingredients for the marinade together and “paint” your Eggplant sticks.

Put them in the oven at 180°C until they look and smell done.

eggplant couscous rachel khoo

For the couscous

160g couscous

zest of 1 lemon (organic untreated )

a pinch of salt

180 ml boiling water

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

a few raisins (if you like) & I did smuggle in some tomatoes as well…

Mix the dry ingredients together, add water & olive oil, cover and leave for 5 minutes so the couscous can soak up the water.

A happy vegetarian summer meal and if Rachel is right it has it’s origin in the Basque country.

Eat well

the missing pinch of salt

I literally forgot the pinch of salt in my picture of ingredients. Please add one right away. It should not me missing, not in the granola & nowhere else.

granola wholesome

This small batch of granola will go with me to Switzerland to sit and study on the mountain. I will truly be stuck on a mountain with a bunch of lovely fellow students and teachers. No cars allowed up there and the cable car is still on winter time so the last ride up is at six in the afternoon.

I somehow imagine it like “The Grand Budapest Hotel” minus the murders.

I always feel a little off when I am fed in an hotel for a longer period of time. In general my sugar levels are not too happy and a wholesome breakfast can help me to get through the day even if my diet is not ideal & I can not influence it too much either.

My little survival breakfast:

granola wholesome

1 bowl of oats

2 tbsp of chia seeds

2 tbsp of roasted nuts

1 tbsp of honey

1 tbsp of unflavored coconut oil

pinch of salt:)

vanilla (as much as you like, which for me is A LOT)

granola wholesome

Preheat the oven at 180°C and mix everything together in a baking tray. I just wait for the coconut oil to be melted before giving the mix a little stir. Check the granola every ten minutes, stir and take it out of the oven to cool as soon as it’s slightly brown and crisp.

granola wholesome

granola wholesome

Eat well & hope to see you here when I’m off the mountain

Yoghurtcake…to bake with kids

…rather to let them bake. If you can restrain from interfering and are able to let the kids try this on their own, even if it means a bit of a mess and a couple of moments of total self-control;) I’m not telling you to leave the room! Just ‘help’ less & assist with the oven part of baking.

I’m not just talk, I tried this with larger groups of 4 to 6 year olds, who were first surprised by the lack of adult interference, ultimately happily produced cakes. Some slightly eggier but still a big hit with their fellow kindergarten friends.

Yoghurtcake children bake

Yoghurtcake is easy to make, no measuring or weighing involved, a good choice if you want to bake with small children. You can add chocolate chips to the dough or fruit. I sprinkled a handful of frozen blueberries on top just to pimp it a little bit for the picture;)

I didn’t give the rest of the pictures the same consideration since I originally made them for work. I photographed the recipe step by step so kindergarten children could “read” & make this by themselves. I made little books out of the pictures that they use as a recipe book without words. I also added full or half stars to indicate the amount of refilled yoghurt pots on each picture which is missing from the ones presented here.

I was debating writing the recipe down but I won’t! Hoping that the pictures will be enough;) Step by step…with a few words to replace the missing indication of quantity that the kids got in form of the star system & numbers.

DSC_0274 DSC_0275 DSC_0276 DSC_0277 DSC_0278 DSC_0279 DSC_0280 DSC_0281 DSC_0282 DSC_0283 DSC_0284 DSC_0285 DSC_0286
DSC_0289 DSC_0290 DSC_0291 DSC_0292 DSC_0293 DSC_0294

one pot of sugar

3 pots of flour

1/2 pot of vegetable oil

1 & 1/1 tsp of baking powder

DSC_0261     at 180°C

yoghurt cake kids baking

For the healthier option you can use whole grain flour & coconut sugar. The result is obviously different but delicious as well.

yoghurtcake

Let them bake!