• French fries… slow food

    Oh yes these are slow food indeed. At least 40 minutes to bake and nowhere near the common chip when it comes to fat content & you get to choose the quality of the fat you use.

    my french fries

    The secret lies in cutting the fries the same size. I do use a little machine designed for the purpose but you can just as well do it by hand. Soak the fries in cold water to get rid of some of the starch, since & dry. Coat them in a good quality oil that can be heated (no extra virgin olive oil) so they are just covered, no extra oil needed. I added some thyme and lemon zest to give them a little kick. (Isabella’s in NY is my source of inspiration there). Bake them on a tray at 200°C for 20 minutes on each side. Yes, that means turning them one by one😉 Make sure they do not touch each other which ensures that they get crispy.

    Eat well

  • veggie burger

     

    I had my last veggie burger in Dublin, in a loud hotel bar filled with football fans.

    I haven’t found a decent veggie burger in Luxemburg so far (that might be down to my lack of effort) I made, or better I assembled these.

    vegetarian burger

    The bread is actually home made pizza dough which consists of flour, yeast, sugar (just a little for the yeast to grow), salt and water. A storebought bun is fine as well of course. I always replace wheat with other flours like spelt and often it is easyer to just make the bread myself.

    The onions are caramellized in a hot pan with some oil an sugar.

    The burger is a storebought mix to which I added some fresh cilantro & water before frying. The only thing left to do was to assemble the whole thing as fallows:

    bread- a little mustard -salad- burger – onions – ketchup – bread

    vegetarian burger

    This one is messy to eat…like a “real” burger;)

    Eat well

     

  • Mango Lassi…

    …although not really but still delicious.

    mango lassi

    Mango Lassi for me throws me back to my time in Vienna where all we did was practice Yoga, cycle through the city, try every italian ice cream maker we could find & eat amazing meals including Mango Lassi.

    A Buddhist monk from the Himalayas once got me into a chili eating competition. No need to say that I lost. Mango Lassi to the rescue! My version is nothing as sophisticated as the original.

    A ripe mango, some kefir & water blended together to me is perfection.

     

    The perfect drink for the summer & to kill the heat from spicy food.

    Eat well

  • childhood memory

    No other food brings back childhood memories like sweets do. For an end of the school year movie afternoon I bought a lot of pop corn, gummy bears (gelatin free yay) and these flying saucers.

    childhood memories

    I have not touched any of these foods in decades. Personally I am not tempted by the gummies nor the pop corn, but the sour saucers I found out are my sweet. I guess we all have one bringing back childhood memories in no time and mine seems do be dry edible paper with a  sweet sour powder inside. These paper shells were used to actually administer real medicine back in the day, I am tempted to write in Victorian times but a historian might prove me wrong. So I stick with what I know. The kids will love my selection of sweets that will become part of their memories now and I will try to stay away from the saucers (actually I put them in the car to put a stop to the carnage).

    Have a lovely end of the school year, an amazing summer and eat well:)

  • 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

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    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:)