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

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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

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;) .

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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

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;)

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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