• 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

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    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!

  • Oat & raisins…Spelt & raisins

    Oat & raisin cookie…a classic as it seems in England. Here, less known but welcomed with open arms. oat & raisin cookie Yesterday I sat in my favorite cafe to work. I have a paper to write and will never finish it if I attempt to do it at home.

    I am the queen of procrastination and would find many occupations that would keep me from getting the job done. So here I was, being incredibly productive with an espresso some water and…feeling a little hungry.

    My only choice would have been cake or the oat & raisin cookie. I fancied the cookie but aware that both would be to loaded with refined sugar I didn’t succumb to the temptation.

    Instead, later at home, I made up my own oat & raisin cookie recipe which turns out to be spelt & raisin. Spelt has less gluten and is my favorite baking grain.

    This made about a dozen of small wholesome sweet cookies.

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    1 cup whole grain spelt flour

    3/4 cup spelt flakes

    1/4 tsp baking soda

    1/4 tsp salt

    1/4 tsp cinnamon

    1/2 cup coconut sugar

    1/4 cup nuts (crushed)

    1 tsp ground vanilla

    1/2 cup raisins

    1 free range egg

    2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)

    Start by mixing the dry ingredients. If you put in the liquids immediately, the spices will end up all clogged together and it will be a tough job to get them to spread evenly into the mixture.

    Add the egg and the cooled off melted coconut oil. I added the oil gradually so I could see if I need less or more judging by the consistency of the dough. It should hold together if you form it into a ball.

    oat & raisin cookie

    Form little spelt & raisins balls and place them on a baking tray. Flatten them a little with a spoon and bake for about 10 minutes at 220°C. Stay close and check on the cookies regularly.

    …my paper is still not finished, but this post had to be written;) ohhh

    Eat well

  • chocolate & salt popcorn…

    …covers three food cravings.

    This gives you crunch, sweetness & saltiness.

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    Whenever I go food watching in London it seems that there is always something new and over the top to discover. The popcorn variations you can find could be straight out of a movie like Charly & the chocolate factory. Not really an option for a health nut like me, although admittingly tempting, but a great source of inspiration.

    For this mid-week treat you need plain popcorn (no sugar no salt).

    I make it myself using organic corn.

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    Melt some 75% cacao chocolate.  Chocolate does help reduce free radicals and works against artery-clogging plaque and lowers blood pressure. The higher the cacao content the better.

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    Throw a small handful of popcorn at a time into the melted chocolate, since it is  little tricky to cover them with a sufficiant amount of chocolate. Place each one on a piece of baking paper and sprinkle with a high quality sea salt.

    Let them dry and tuck in!

    Eat well

  • 50% of sugar & not the raw carrot cake…

    …that I planned on making after having lunch at the new vegan place (the only one I think) in Luxemburg town.

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    The plan was to make a raw carrot cake later in the day and tell you all about the process. BUT I find that raw “baking” as much as I admire the originality and produce used, doesn’t agree with me. Too many nuts or coconut oil for me it seems, used to keep the creation together. Reading the recipe that I had for the planned cake confirmed that thought.

    In search for a middle path I settled for a more traditional version and found a recipe from Nigella Lawson. I had to adapt it to the circumstances of my kitchen cupboards & to my aversion for refined flour.

    DSC_0241

    More noteworthy, I actually used sugar which I haven’t done in ages. Only 50% of the amount indicated. I always reduce the amount indicated in a recipe by half, even if I substitute the regular sugar with the coconut version. 50% of the sweetness is largely enough in most cases & allows you to actually taste the other ingredients as well. In this case the recipe asked for light muscovado but I used dark muscovado since that’s what I had.

    This makes about 8 cupcake sized cakes

    50g muscovado sugar

    175 ml sunflower oil

    2 free range eggs

    225g whole spelt flour

    3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

    1 teaspoon of cinnamon

    pinch of salt

    zest of 1 lemon

    150g grated carrots (about 2 carrots)

    100 g almond flour

    Whisk all the ingredients together starting with oil & sugar. Fill the dough into your cupcake baking forms or use a big baking dish. Bake at 180° until they smell and look just right and there remains no dough on your cake tester.

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    Eat well

  • autumn abundance & oven inspiration

    It has been worrying really to find that although there is no season as abundant in wonderful produce than autumn it seems to leave me painfully uninspired to cook. I blamed the lack of time to even go food shopping but I just found an excuse that I like! It’s not lack of time, it’s abundance of naturally tasty produce!

    autumn fruit

    The autumn produce just needs very little to be done to it. Pick it or buy it, wash, somehow heat, eat & enjoy. My choice for this season is the oven. I put everything in there.  A big change from the raw food of the summer, but it has gotten cold and windy and a raw veggie salad just doesn’t have the happy effect anymore. Warm & cozy does.

    I recently went apple and prune picking and I enjoyed it so much I started planning on how to get some fruit trees for myself.

    autumn fruit & apple picking

    autumn fruit & prune picking

    Resisting the desire to write down something artificially original, here is one of my seasonal oven “dishes”.

    I wash, pit & cut the fruits of my choice into pieces and gather them in an oven proof dish. I added frozen berries to my mix of reine-claudes and apples just because I love them and they are so delicate when you buy them fresh.

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    sprinkled a generous teaspoon of vanilla powder over the fruit and put the dish in the oven at 200°C until everything is soft and warm. I use this on yoghurt mostly with some quinoa flakes or other. If the mixture is not sweet enough for your taste add some nice local honey;)

    These pommes-grenades  are available again too….what more do we want?

    DSC_0248Eat well & seasonal

  • newly sharpened pencils & prune tart

    Autumn is kicking in…big time. I did spend the end of the summer in Canada where the  temperatures were already half of what they were in little Luxemburg.

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    Traveling seems to be even better when you look back. The same day a couple of weeks ago my face was “burned” by the salty seawater that had been hitting me for three hours straight (I had been warned by the bus driver in charming Canadian french “Aujourd’hui tu vas te faire laver la figure pendant trois heures ;)” while trying to catch a glimpse of a whale…I cought many glimpses & a red face & a little sea sickness;)

    Back home it looks, feels and smells like autumn & every year I think about this “you’ve got mail” movie quote:

    “Don’t you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”

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    Instead of newly sharpened pencils, but filled with the same cosy autumn spirit I send you a newly improvised prune tart. I took the recipe of my “chef pâtissier” from Paris and freely changed it into a coconut oil & coconut sugar version;)

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    180g whole grain spelt flour

    20g cornstarch

    30 g coconut oil (or 100g soft butter)

    30 g coconut sugar (or 100g icing sugar)

    a tsp liquid vanilla

    1 free range egg

    prunes

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    Mix the ingredients together and roll the dough out on a piece of baking paper. I didn’t even use a rolling-pin for this one, I just flattened the dough by hand (when I say improvised….;)) and placed the washed & pitted prunes on top. Bake at 180° until brown & crisp.

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    Eat well