• 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

     

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  • 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 & 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:)

  • 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

  • preparing for winter…with jam

    I am not chopping wood or knitting jumpers. Just back from London I stick to my promise of making apricot and strawberry jam for my nieces’ and nephew’s pancakes as well as for the yoga retreat that I will be catering for later in summer.

    making jam London Derren Brown

    I am in London quiet often, this time I went to see Derren Brown. If I could just beam me back and forth between Luxemburg an London…the perfect mix of inspiring big city creativity and the comfort of the familiar as well as the serenity of country side living. Derren’s amazingly clever show is of course a secret and I will stick to that promise just as I do to the jam one;) There is not much to say about making jam, so after a short description I will shut up and spam you with a few pictures…

    making jam London Derren Brown

    For 1 kg of washed and pitted fruit you need 1/2 kg sugar (the special jam kind)

    The test to see if it will turn into jam is to pour some on a plate and see if it “gels”, if not keep cooking.

    The glasses should be as clean as possible, I submerged each one in cooking water although the were already dish washer clean.

    Fill to the brim, put the lid on and turn upside down for a couple of minutes.

    making jam London Derren Brown

    Eat well

  • Slowing down with fish

    Straight away I have to tell you that today this is not the animal protein free space that it is most of the time. Please bare with me even if meat and fish is strictly off limit for you since the dish that is following can be vegetarian even though it’s not new. I tell you what else it is, incredibly easy, time-saving and close to zero effort in washing up.

    oven roasted vegetables with fish

    I am just back from Cologne and am generally getting in the mood for traveling since my summer vacations have just started. But on these first days of freedom it’s hard to slow down and my body is showing me that it needs help to recover from the last months and relax and settle for the summer. One of its ways is to ask me for animal protein which I give into by eating fish. If people ask me on advice about animal protein or generally on what to eat I tell them to listen to their body and use the best produce they can afford. No need to comply to any label, vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, flexitarian (although I kind of like that one;))…

    oven roasted vegetables with fish

     

     

    As a kid I used to spend whole summers on the belgian sea-side, eating fresh sea food and I do like it, I just prefer a vegetarian diet most of the time but not exclusively. I try to stay flexible;)

    On that note I have to tell you about the food box that I get regularly. It’s filled with all kinds of organic goodies and clever recipes that tell you how to use them.

    I read the recipes to find inspiration but I managed to stick to them once. I try to use all the ingredients from the box (and for once food that comes in a box is good;)) freestyle and have nothing left before the next box arrives.

    One of the good things about this…I get stuff in there I would NEVER buy, like bell pepper. And then I discover a way of preparing and most of the time loving the shunned produce and that way bring it back into my diet  and with it more variety.

    For those who live in Luxemburg, the boxes come from avocado.lu and are worth a try!

    onion & lemon

    Today I used the root vegetables from the box & onions and lemons. Washed and chopped coarsely I popped all of these on a baking tray with some thyme, olive oil, pepper and salt. In the oven at 220° until roasted nicely and there is you vegetarian dish that you can combine with quinoa, pasta, toast….

    After I took the veggies out I put a piece of frozen fish on that same tray still sizzling with the scented oil and put that back in the oven until the fish was nicely cooked. How easy can it get?

    oven roasted vegetables with fish

    In the final dish I added some olives, salt & pepper for the fish and finally squeezed one of the baked lemon quarters over the fish.

    roasted squeezed lemon

    My next stop is London for yoga, Derren Brown and exciting food.

    Eat well and listen to your body

  • 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

  • how to eat potatoes…

    how to eat potatoes

    Being part of the first after 2nd world war generation in Luxemburg ,my parents’ world has changed a lot from being one of the first families with a washing machine to booking a flight on an iPad. The value of a potato is still very much real for this generation that did not grow up in abundance as we did. It’s a bit of a running joke how many potatoes we were fed as children and for a long time after moving out I didn’t buy or cook any.

    If we go back to the idea that our gut has the right bacteria to digest the food we grew up with I am destined to eat potatoes. But what is the best way to eat them since they have a bad image concerning the glycemic index, the sugar spike they cause in our blood and the effect on insulin production.

    The answer is cold. Eating them when they are cooled off changes a lot. Half of the starch that would normally be considered as a carbohydrate by your body and treated accordingly transforms into fibre once it has cooled off. Fibre that your body can not digest but gives your gut a friendly push from the inside and motivates it to do its job.

    how to eat potatoes

    This way even me, member of a spoilt generation with the luxury of worrying about the glycerine index of my food can enjoy potatoes;)

    In my dressing you will find 1 tbsp mustard, 4 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp apple vinegar, pepper & salt and finally chopped pickles.

    Eat well