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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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

 

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

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

this & that / waffles &…

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Let me apolagize for being so absent from gigi’s spcae these days! You know the excuse that is to fallow, too much to do, not enough time or time  used unwisely which I am most certainly guilty off. In addition to all of that stuff that I will not bore you with (I might do later though;)) I have not really been creative in the kitchen. When there is little time it tends to be a plate of this and that, always with a thought for health and clever combinations but never an actual foto & post worthy plate.

The one thing I have been making & combining quiet a bit is waffles. Even with little time & lots of positive stress the therapeutic effect of baking always works for me.

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For the dough (makes about 6 waffles)…whisk together:

150g crème fraiche

50g coconut sugar

a pinch of salt

2 free range eggs

125g whole grain spelt flour

1 tsp baking powder

& sometimes a handful of spelt oats to give these waffles a more wholesome texture.

I pour 1,5 tbsp of dough per waffle into the waffle maker.

Here are a couple of examples of this & that dishes that I had lately…this reminds me of a restaurant in Paris where you can have soufflé as a starter, main an dessert. That’s not what I did with the waffles although I happily could:) Waffles were made and frozen, popped into the toaster to defreeze & reheat on different days!

waffle & avocado with salmon

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waffle & poached egg

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On poaching eggs, it is so simple and still people ahhh and ohhh when you serve one…Bring the water to a boil then REMOVE FROM THE HEAT, crack the egg and bring it as close as possible to the water before you let the content drop in, not too slowly. Reduce to medium heat and but the water & egg back on. No bubbly water…a nice and even poached free range egg.

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waffle & coffee;)

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Eat well

shamelessly copied chicken sandwich

I had a “Nigella moment” coming home after my NY & Canada trip. I HAD to roast an entire chicken. Except for free range eggs and Kefir there is no non-veggie food to be found in my kitchen…usually. But it had to be done, so I bought a free range organic chicken and stuffed it with the quarters of a lemon. Between the skin and the breast I poured chestnut honey (a yearly & perfect gift from Rosa from Portugal) with thyme, salt & pepper. On top a little sweet paprika powder and olive oil. In the oven for one hour at 200°C and the result is perfection.

I didn’t do this with the intention to have chicken with potatoes or anything similar.

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The plan was…this sandwich, inspired (copied), from one I had in Montréal. THE place to have it is Olive & Gourmando in Vieux-Montréal. I walked down St Paul O., the quiet side of the street in contrast of the tourist filled opposite side. So quiet I was in doubt about having the right address until I reached a seriously crowded & chatty street corner. The crowd was waiting to be seated in Olive & Gourmando. My name was written down, not at the end of the list but on a new page and I waited…until my name was  shouted out and I got a space.

I returned for afternoon tea & breakfast, both far less crowded than saturday lunch but just as delicious!

So in memory to a perfect saturday lunch I processed the flesh of 1/2 avocado, seasoned it with a teaspoon of lemon juice, salt & pepper.

The same happened to 1/2 mango which I seasoned with a pinch of chili flakes.

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The rest is assembling. Toast, olive oil, avocado, chicken, mango, toast. This is not the recipe for the original but what I can reproduce from taste memory;) I plan to prepare the avocado and mango more often to have with toast even without the “Nigella moment” chicken.

Eat well

south of france & new love

I am writing this in the middle of the night, since it is a sleepless one. That’s a rare thing for me, I am known to sleep anywhere and under most circumstances.

Scan 28

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I made it home from the south of France this evening and am off again tomorrow, no TODAY around 6.30 in the morning for a couple of days. I just visited a friend who had arrived home from India (home being London) and the same day took her VW bus and drove to Lyon.

uztg

I should be able to cope with one little sleepless night;)

We spend our time together at a wine estate close to Nice, belonging to her brother in law and her sister. Lot’s of grapes and 2 vegetable and fruit gardens. Heaven if you enjoy a fresh plant-based diet.

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& the new love in my life is called Elvis. He woke me early in the mornings, stole my shoes, was full of joy when we came home and drank out of the swimming pool. Just as I had decided against having a dog this pure soul might have changed my mind!

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He went “zucchini hunting” with me too which is a little more difficult than expected. It’s green underneath green so spotting them is tricky. I also found some shoes…

I managed to get enough zucchini for a nice late night soup!

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I’m off again with my head full of recipe ideas , hoping to be able to experiment and write them down soon;)

Eat well