March 02, 2015

Lentil & Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

Two individual casserole dishes layed on a tea towel, filled with a vegetarian shepherd's pie

There are not many signs of spring to be seen as yet. But I am well over winter. I literally cannot wait for fresh spring ingredients and a bit more sunshine. It’s that end of winter feeling, when it’s become near unbearable. I try to convince myself that I shouldn’t get impatient and simply enjoy the process, live the moment for what it is. So I am still cooking comforting dishes. After the crumble idea I posted last week, I wanted to share a savoury recipe. This one is a vegetarian take on a British classic (also called cottage pie), and was inspired by one that my mother in law cooked for us last time we visited them. It can very easily be made vegan by simply leaving the cheese out. I like serving it with a side of rice and/or a green salad, for a wholesome nourishing meal, which in those moments actually makes me love winter ;-)

An individual casserole dish layed on a tea towel, filled with a vegetarian shepherd's pie

Lentil & Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie – serves 4 to 6
•300g green lentils
•2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
•Salt and pepper
•50g grated cheese (optional)
•A knob of coconut oil
•1 onion, peeled and chopped
•2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
•1 carrot, peeled and cut into very small cubes
•1 stick celery, cut into very small cubes
•1tsp ground thyme
•1tsp ground cumin
•½ tsp chilli powder
•1 can chopped tomatoes

1.Place the lentils in a pan of cold water, bring to the boil and cook for about 20min, until the lentils are tender but not mushy. Drain and set aside.
2.Place the sweet potatoes in a pan of boiling water and cook for 15-20min until tender, drain, place back in the pan and mash using a potato masher. Season with salt and pepper, and if using the cheese, mix it in until melted.
3.Preheat the oven to 180°C.
4.Heat a knob of coconut oil in a sauté pan, add the onion and gently fry for 5min, until soft. Add the garlic, carrot, celery, thyme, ground cumin and chilli powder and fry for another 5min. Add the can of chopped tomatoes and leave to simmer for 10min. Season with salt and pepper, then add the lentils and mix well.
5.Transfer the lentil sauce to a large oven dish or individual ones and spread the mixture over the bottom of the dish. Spread the mashed sweet potatoes over the top. Place in the oven for 20min and serve.

Hachis Parmentier de Lentilles & Patate Douce – pour 4 à 6 personnes
•300g de lentilles vertes
•2 grosses patates douces, pelées et coupées en cubes
•Sel et poivre
•50g de fromage râpé (optionnel)
•1 noix d’huile de coco
•1 oignon, pelé et émincé
•2 gousses d’ail, pelées et émincées
•1 carotte, pelée et coupée en tous petits cubes
•1 branche de céleri, coupée en tous petits cubes
•1cc de thym séché
•1cc de cumin en poudre
•½ cc de piment en poudre
•1 boîte de tomates concassées

1.Mettre les lentilles dans une casserole d’eau froide. Porter à ébullition et laisser cuire environ 20min, jusqu'à ce que les lentilles soient tendres mais ne s’écrasent pas. Egoutter et réserver.
2.Mettre les cubes de patates douces dans une casserole d’eau bouillante. Laisser cuire 15-20min jusqu'à ce qu’elles soient tendres. Egoutter et remettre dans la casserole puis écraser avec un presse-purée. Assaisonner de sel et poivre et ajouter le fromage râpé et mélanger jusqu'à ce qu’il soit fondu.
3.Préchauffer le four sur 180°C.
4.Faire chauffer une noix d’huile de coco dans une sauteuse. Ajouter l’oignon et le faire revenir 5min. Ajouter l’ail, la carotte, le céleri, le thym, le cumin et le piment et faire revenir encore 5min. Puis ajouter la boîte de tomates et laisser réduire 10min. Enfin, ajouter les lentilles et mélanger.
5.Répartir la sauce aux lentilles dans le fond d’un grand plat à four ou de plusieurs plats individuels. Répartir la purée de patate douce sur le dessus et enfourner pour 20min. Servir seul ou avec du riz et/ou une salade verte.

Two individual casserole dishes layed on a tea towel, filled with a vegetarian shepherd's pie

February 19, 2015

Pear & Chocolate Crumble

An dish full of a sweet crumble and serving bowls

To me, pears and chocolate is a match made in heaven. I decided to unite them in a comfy rustic crumble, the kind I’d have on a rainy Sunday afternoon, curled up on the sofa. I remember the first time I prepared a pear and chocolate crumble, which was back in my student days, and I had invited a few friends around – they had literally devoured it! I’ve tweaked a bit the recipe since then, making a wholesome topping of oats, rice flour, a touch of muscovado sugar & almond purée. It was a winner and definitely the perfect kind of pud for cold winter days. Hoping you’ll like it as much as we did.
With love & chocolate x

A bowl full of a pear and chocolate crumble

Pear and Chocolate Crumble – serves 6 to 8
•7 pears, peeled and cut into cubes
•200g dark chocolate, 70% cacao minimum, cut into squares
•75g oats
•75g rice flour
•50g muscovado sugar
•3tbsp almond purée

1.Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2.Spread the pears and chocolate squares in an oven dish.
3.In a bowl, mix the oats with the flour and sugar. Add the almond purée and rub with your fingers to obtain crumbs. Spread over the pears and chocolate.
4.Put in the oven and cook for 25-30min until golden.
5.Serve warm or cold.

Crumble Poire-Chocolat – pour 6 à 8 personnes
•7 poires, pelées et coupées en morceaux
•200g de chocolat noir à 70% de cacao minimum, coupé en carrés
•75g de flocons d’avoine
•75g de farine de riz
•50g de sucre muscovado
•3cs de purée d’amandes

1.Préchauffer le four sur 180°C.
2.Répartir les poires et le chocolat dans un plat à four.
3.Dans un bol, mélanger les flocons d’avoine avec la farine et le sucre. Ajouter la purée d’amandes et frotter du bout des doigts de façon à obtenir des miettes grossières. Répartir sur les poires et le chocolat.
4.Mettre au four pour 25-30min, jusqu’à ce que le dessus soit doré.
5.Servir tiède ou froid.

A dish of pear and chocolate crumble and serving bowls

February 09, 2015

Root Crisps

A cone of root vegetable crisps made from carrots, parsnips and beetroots.

Root crisps have been my go-to snack this winter. I found quite exciting the idea of making my own crisps at home. When a recipe originally calls for deep-frying, there is a good chance that the oven can do the job instead, for a far healthier result. This is therefore the option I went for in this occasion and the trick worked to perfection. I’m sure you could try the recipe with regular potatoes, but I chose to use other root vegetables which are so much more colourful and really tasty too.

Parsnip, beetroot and carrots on a wooden board.

I found that using a vegetable peeler to make the crisps was what worked best as it made very thin slices of vegetable, which is what you are after. The parsnips and carrots are also best shaved lengthways, to obtain long strips. I prepared the beets in a separate bowl, so that they wouldn’t stain the rest of the vegetables. Finally, be aware that cooking time may vary slightly depending on your oven, but the golden rule is to not let the crisps burn, or you will end up with carbonised vegetables!

Have a great week :)

A hand-held cone of root vegetable crisps

Root Crisps – makes a batch
•1 parsnip
•2 carrots
•1 beetroot
•1tsp sunflower oil
•Salt and pepper
•1tsp dried oregano

1.Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line two baking sheets with baking paper.
2.Remove the ends of the parsnip, carrots and beet and peel the beet. Make very fine shavings with the vegetables, using a vegetable peeler or mandolin slicer. Place the parsnip and carrot shavings in one bowl, and the beets in another one. Add the sunflower oil, salt and pepper and oregano between the two bowls and mix with your hands to coat them lightly in oil. Spread the shavings onto the two baking sheets and place in the oven for 45min-1hour, until the vegetables are nicely crispy.
3.Lift the crisps with a spatula and transfer to a wire rack to cool down completely. Keeps for a few days in an airtight container.

Chips de Légumes Racines – pour une fournée
•1 panais
•2 carottes
•1 betterave
•1cc d’huile de tournesol
•Sel et poivre
•1cc d’origan séché

1.Préchauffer le four sur 180°C. Recouvrir deux plaques à four de papier sulfurisé.
2.Couper les extrémités des panais, carottes et betteraves et peler les betteraves. Faire des copeaux de légumes très fins à l’aide d’un couteau éplucheur ou d’une mandoline. Mettre les copeaux de panais et de carottes dans un bol, et ceux de betteraves dans un autre. Répartir l’huile de tournesol, le sel et poivre et l’origan entre les deux bols et mélanger avec les mains pour les couvrir d’un léger film d’huile. Répartir les copeaux sur les deux plaques à four et mettre au four pour 45min-1h jusqu'à ce que les légumes soient bien croustillants.
3.A l’aide d’une spatule, déplacer les chips sur une grille pour les laisser refroidir complètement. Se gardent dans une boîte hermétique pendant quelques jours.

February 02, 2015

Coconut Bread

Slices of coconut bread on a wooden board and small pot with nut butter

This winter, I’ve often found myself dreaming of escaping somewhere warm and sunny, preferably with white sandy beaches and turquoise waters… Unfortunately, this is not on the agenda for this year. Flicking through our Barbados honeymoon photo album from two years ago, I was transported to this Caribbean paradise and reminded of the food we enjoyed while there. This is when I remembered the scrumptious coconut bread that we were often served for breakfast and that I was spreading with a good spoonful of locally-made banana jam – yum!

This was enough to convince me; I had to bake coconut bread! I played a bit with ingredients and was finally satisfied by the result. Just a slice of it sufficed to take me back to that sunny island and forget that I was actually sat in my kitchen in the middle of French winter.

If you happen to have banana jam handy or fancy making your own, I’d recommend it by all means. However, another delicious alternative, like I had on this occasion, would be to slightly toast a slice and spread it with a bit of nut butter (cashew or almond are my favourite). Happy February!

Coconut bread in a metal loaf tin

Coconut Bread – makes 1 loaf
•80g butter
•2 eggs
•1 tsp vanilla extract
•300ml rice or almond milk
•100ml agave or rice syrup
•300g whole spelt flour
•100g desiccated coconut
•2tsp baking powder
•2tsp ground cinnamon
•A pinch of salt

1.Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2.Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Beat the eggs in a bowl and add the butter, vanilla extract, milk and syrup and mix well.
3.In another bowl, mix the spelt flour with the coconut, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the centre and add the liquid ingredients. Mix until you obtain thick dough.
4.Transfer the dough to a loaf tin, lined with baking paper. Place in the oven for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
5.Leave to cool down for a bit then unmold and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

Cake à la Noix de Coco – pour un cake
•80g de beurre
•2 œufs
•1cc d’extrait de vanille
•300ml de lait de riz ou d’amande
•100ml de sirop d’agave ou de riz
•300g de farine d’épeautre complète
•100g de noix de coco râpée
•2cc de levure
•2cc de cannelle en poudre
•Une pincée de sel

1.Préchauffer le four sur 180°C.
2.Faire fondre le beurre dans une petite casserole. Battre les œufs dans un bol. Y ajouter le beurre fondu, l’extrait de vanille, le lait végétal et le sirop et bien mélanger.
3.Dans un autre saladier, mélanger la farine d’épeautre avec la noix de coco râpée, la levure, la cannelle et le sel. Y creuser un puits et ajouter les ingrédients liquides. Mélanger de façon à obtenir une pâte assez épaisse.
4.Transférer la pâte dans un moule à cake chemisé de papier sulfurisé. Mettre au four pour environ 1h, jusqu'à ce qu’une pique en bois insérée au centre en ressorte sèche.
5.Laisser refroidir un peu avant de démouler, puis laisser refroidir complètement sur une grille.

January 23, 2015

One Day Detox with Raw Food Chef Emilie McBride + A Giveaway!

The New Year is often an appropriate time to make changes and take on new habits. If you’ve decided to reboot your health or embark on a wellbeing journey, doing a mild detox might just be what you need. Today, I am delighted to host a One Day Detox blog post from my friend Emilie McBride, raw food chef and coach. Emilie comes with a wealth of knowledge and experience, which she shares when running retreats, and has also just published The Raw Food Beginner’s Deck, a guide for learning about raw foods. Emilie is also giving away an exclusive recipe from The Raw Food Beginner’s Deck, see at the end of the post for how to enter the giveaway.

One Day Detox

Meet Emilie

Picture of Raw Food Chef Emilie McBride

Emilie Mc Bride is a Raw Food chef and author of the new Raw Food Beginner’s Deck, a simple guide to Raw food, its benefits and its techniques. Emilie is also the leader of B.O.D.Y and LilouCooks. Her holistic approach to detox ensures safe and optimal natural diets. Emilie defines RAW as living foods full of enzymes and higher nutrient values that are vital to a healthy digestion and a boosting immune system. Her cooking is constantly inspired by Hippocrates, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” You can find her on Instagram  @green_lilou.

Detoxifying the Body

Detoxifying: eliminating toxins that have accumulated in your body
Fasting: resting the digestive system to allow it to repair cells and detoxify the body

The body has its own detoxifying mechanism, but the build up of toxins weakens it. It is therefore important to occasionally give it a boost.
•The New Year, spring and autumn are appropriate times for a detox;
•We need to detox in order to eliminate toxins stored in our bodies. In our modern lives, we are constantly exposed to toxins (pollution, cosmetics, cleaning products, stress, lack of sleep, lack of physical activity...).

Below are a few tips to help your body detoxify:
•Go to bed early and try to get up early;
•Have lunch before 1pm and dinner before 7pm;
•Finish your shower by alternating hot and cold water, in order to boost the lymphatic system;
•Dry skin brush, starting with the soles of the feet. Come up the legs in long strokes, in the direction of the heart. Do clockwise circular movements on the belly and chest. Do long strokes on the arms up and do not forget the lymph glands.

Programme for a One Day Detox

A green juice in a glass next to a green apple

•Routines for the Day:
oUpon waking up, take a minute to mentally repeat a positive statement. Try to think about it throughout the day;
oUpon getting up, drink a glass of warm water with freshly squeezed lemon juice. This will help your liver;
oPractice yoga. Even 5 sun salutations will be helpful to wake up the body. Finish your yoga practice with relaxation;
oTake 10-15min to meditate. If you’re not used to meditating, check the internet for guided meditations. You can focus on your breath, a concept, a mantra. Create a quiet atmosphere, light up a candle, burn incense...;
o Get away from screens, emails, and social media. Read a good book;
oGo outside and breathe fresh air. Become aware of your surroundings;
oMassages, saunas and steam rooms can help with eliminating toxins too.

oGet hydrated! Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day + herbal teas;
oStay away from foods that are hard to digest such as dairy products, meats, processed foods, foods with gluten;
oIdeally, have a digestive break for 24 hours and drink only liquids.

•Detox Schedule:

Wake Up
A large glass warm water with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
500ml fruit and vegetable juice
500ml fruit and vegetable juice
500ml fruit and vegetable juice or vegetable broth
500ml fruit and vegetable juice
500ml fruit and vegetable juice or plant milk or vegetable broth
Throughout the Day
Water and herbal teas

oHave a different juice every time;
oDrink the last juice at least two hours before going to bed;

•After the detox day:
oWatch out the size of portions in your plate: ideally you should have 80% greens, raw if possible, and 20% cooked foods;
oEat slowly and with full awareness: take time to sit down, tale a deep breath before eating and get away from distractions such as TV, the computer or the telephone. My tip to eat slowly and with awareness is to use chopsticks!
oEat when you are hungry: I have to admit that this rule can be a lit bit difficult to implement, especially when having a family or professional or social duties. Do your best to listen to your body;
oChew your food: this will help with digestion;
oTake a course of probiotics and digestive enzymes: take one to two doses a day for three days, then carry on taking one dose a day for a week to 10 days. This will replenish the intestinal flora.


A red, orange and green juice

•Detox Herbal Tea:
Bring to the boil 1L filtered water with 1cmfresh ginger, 5 fennel seeds, 1 star anise, 3 green cardamom seeds, 1 cinnamon stick. Leave 15min to infuse. Filter.

•Detox Juice:
Use organic ingredients if possible and wash them beforehand. Pass through a juicer or juice extractor 2 celery stick with leaves, 1 cucumber, ¼ fennel bulb, 2 kale leaves, 1-2 apples, 1cm fresh ginger, ¼ lime. Drink.

•Detox Vegetable Broth:
Heat 1tsp coconut oil in a large pot. Gently fry 1 chopped onion until soft. Add 2 chopped garlic cloves and fry for another 2min. Add 1 chopped leek, 1 chopped carrot, 1 chopped turnip and 1 chopped courgette and fry for a minute or so. Add 1L filtered water, a sprig of thyme and salt and pepper. Cook for 20min on a low heat. You can then add 1tsp ground turmeric or curry powder or 1tbsp tamari for seasoning.

Win an exclusive recipe from Emilie’s Raw Food Beginner’s Deck!
To enter (until 31 January):

1.Like Emilie’s Facebook page;
2.Like Food Moods Facebook page;
3.Leave a comment below to let us know your number one New Year’s health resolution.

A winner will be randomly picked on 1st February and will be announced on Food Moods’ Facebook page.

To purchase a copy of the Raw Food Beginner’s Deck, click on the links below:
From Europe and the rest of the world
From the USA