May 20, 2013
Stumbling upon a new blog can sometimes be a magic moment – I had one of them a few months back when I discovered Leo Babauta's Zen Habits. Reading Zen Habits has been life changing. It has stirred up something inside of me that has given me strength and inspiration for life. I cannot recommend enough for you to take a few moments and read some of Leo’s hugely inspirational posts. A couple of weeks ago, he offered a 7-day vegan challenge to his readers. I decided to follow it and just finished it last Saturday. How was it? I have to say that it didn’t feel like a big difference to what I usually eat and was not particularly difficult to achieve for me. But it allowed me to have a break from dairy and eggs, which, even if I do not eat a large quantity of, was keen on reducing my consumption of. It also allowed me to think about what being vegan could mean to me, and the importance in my eyes of what you eat and where it comes from. Our various meals during the challenge included chili tofu with greens, split pea soup, asparagus and quinoa salad and a three bean chilli. Our breakfast usually consisted either of raw porridge or granola with soy yogurt. If you would like to have a try and get recipes inspirations, go to the 7-day vegan challenge's website where you will find all the info needed.
I haven’t decided to turn vegan, but really enjoyed the challenge and the break it offered me. Today, I will therefore share a vegan fav recipe of mine: dhal. Please note that my recipe is not particularly authentic Indian, but just the way I’ve made it for years. I used to have dhal a lot when I was a student and turned vegetarian. It is delicious simply served with rice or with stir fried vegetables, but also makes a great accompaniment to curry.
Have a lovely week, and I hope some of you will be inspired to take on the vegan challenge too!
Dhal – serves 4
• Coconut oil
• 1onion, finely chopped
• 1tsp ground turmeric
• 2tsp ground coriander
• 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
• 250g red split lentils, rinsed
• 3 curry leaves
1. Heat a knob of coconut oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onion and fry gently until soft. Add the spices and tomatoes and fry for 3-4min.
2. Add the red lentils and curry leaves. Cover with water. Put a lid on and leave to simmer on a low heat for about 20min until the lentils are cooked. Give a stir every so often to prevent sticking at the bottom, and add a bit more water if it has evaporated quickly.
3. Remove the curry leaves and serve with rice, steamed spinach, a vegetable stir fry or as a side for a curry.
Dhal – pour 4 personnes
• Huile de noix de coco
• 1 oignon, émincé
• 1cc de curcuma en poudre
• 2cc de coriandre en poudre
• 2 tomates, émincées
• 250g de lentilles corail, rincées
• 3 feuilles de curry
1. Faire chauffer une noix d’huile de noix de coco dans une casserole de taille moyenne. Ajouter l’oignon et faire revenir doucement jusqu’à ce qu’il soit tendre. Ajouter les épices et la tomate et faire revenir pendant 3-4min.
2. Ajouter les lentilles et feuilles de curry. Couvrir d’eau. Mettre le couvercle et cuire à feu doux pendant environ 20min, jusqu’à ce que les lentilles soient cuites. Mélanger de temps en temps à l’aide d’une cuillère en bois pour éviter que cela n’attache, et ajouter un peu d’eau si le liquide s’évapore trop rapidement.
3. Retirer les feuilles de curry et servir avec du riz, des épinards cuits à la vapeur, un sauté de légumes ou comme accompagnement d’un curry.
May 12, 2013
I’ve just come back from a lovely trip to Croatia and wanted to share a few pictures.
We travelled from Split to Dubrovnik, both beautiful Unesco World Heritage cities. We then went on the island of Korcula, before heading back to Split.
I have been amazed by the beauty of the landscapes and the kindness of the people.
The food was beyond wonder, made with fresh ingredients and tasted of a mix of Mediterranean and Middle-East flavours.
Talking of travels, my other half has just created a travel and adventure blog, called Book of Wander, check it out here.
May 03, 2013
When we grew radishes in our garden last year, they had such beautiful leaves (those which hadn’t been eaten by slugs), that I was keen on using them in some way. That’s when I came up with this pesto recipe, which we made again and again every time we had new radishes popping out of the earth. You see, until fairly recently, I wasn’t a big eater of greens. As a child I used to hate anything green and leafy (but for green salad). In recent years, I have educated my taste buds to green leaves and have decided to progressively include more and more in my diet. I’ve discovered that not only they do taste good but also have amazing health benefits – they are indeed charged with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Pesto is a delicious way of eating greens and is not only good with pasta but also goes well in salads, sandwiches, dips, spreads, etc.
Radish Leaves & Hazelnut Pesto Pasta – serves 4
• A bunch of radish leaves
• 60g hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
• 1 clove garlic, chopped
• 30g parmesan, grated
• 100ml extra virgin olive oil
• 400g wholewheat or spelt spaghetti
1. In a food processor, blend the leaves with the hazelnuts and garlic. Add the cheese and olive oil and mix them in.
2. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain them well. Add the pesto to the pan and mix well. Serve straight away.
Pâtes au Pesto de Feuilles de Radis et Noisettes – pour 4 personnes
• Une poignée de feuilles de radis
• 60g de noisettes, légèrement toastées et émincées
• 1 gousse d’ail, émincée
• 30g de parmesan, râpé
• 100ml d’huile d’olive vierge extra
• 400g de spaghetti au blé complet ou à l’épeautre
1. Mettre les feuilles de radis avec les noisettes et l’ail dans le bol d’un mixeur et mixer. Ajouter le fromage et l’huile et mélanger.
2. Cuire les pâtes selon les instructions du paquet. Bien les égoutter. Ajouter le pesto dans la casserole et bien mélanger. Servir de suite.
April 28, 2013
Suddenly spring was upon us. In a matter of days, there was an explosion of colours and bursting green as buds on the trees opened. Spring has arrived in all its glory! How sweet it is to sit on the freshly cut grass, basking in the deliciously warm sunshine and hear bumble bees buzzing around. I feel completely re-energised and longing to spend my days outdoors. We welcomed the arrival of spring by doing a little juice detox. Following this, my skin was glowing and I felt great. I then decided to carry on reintroducing more and more raw foods in my diet, which feels wonderful. This fruit salad is very simple and typical of what we would have for pudding these days. The orange blossom water gives a floral note that reminds me of spring. I hope you like it x
Early Spring Fruit Salad with Orange Blossom Water – serves 2
• 2 kiwis, peeled and sliced
• 100g strawberries, sliced
• 2 clementines, peeled and separated into segments
• 1 mango, peeled, stoned and sliced
• 1tbsp orange blossom water
1. Place all the fruits in a bowl. Add the orange blossom water and mix. Serve.
Salade de Fruit Printanière à l’Eau de Fleur d’Oranger – pour 2 personnes
• 2 kiwis, pelés et coupés en cubes
• 100g de fraises, coupées en lamelles
• 2 clémentines, pelées et séparées en segments
• 1 mangue, pelée, dénoyautée et coupée en lamelles
• 1cs d’eau de fleur d’oranger
1. Mettre tous les ingrédients dans un bol/saladier. Ajouter l’eau de fleur d’oranger. Mélanger et servir.
April 22, 2013
Pancakes are my perfect idea of a lazy Sunday morning. We have them every so often, when we haven’t got to rush away somewhere and have all the time in the world in front of us. I’m usually the first one to get up while Luke snoozes happily in bed. By the time the batter is ready, I usually call him to come down if he wants to eat his pancakes warm. Also, I really love having breakfast together. During week time, we both have our breakfast habits and tend to go for something quick that we eat in silence, barely awake. At the weekend, we just chill out and have long discussions at the breakfast table, in front of something a little bit more elaborate and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.
These pancakes turned out beautiful. Naturally gluten free and packed with goodness, I couldn’t ask for more. I used leftover raspberries I had frozen last summer, but other berries would go very well too, I am sure.
Coconut & Rosehip Pancakes with Raspberry Compote – makes about 12 pancakes
• 250g raspberries, fresh or frozen
• 1tbsp vanilla sugar
• 150g coconut flour or ground coconut
• 1tbsp chia seeds
• ½ tsp baking powder
• 1tbsp ground rosehip
• 3 bananas, mashed
• 4 eggs, beaten
• Coconut oil or ghee for frying
• Honey, to serve
1. Prepare the raspberry compote: place them in a small saucepan with the vanilla sugar. Cook on a medium heat until very soft.
2. In a large bowl, mix the coconut flour with the chia seeds, baking powder and rosehip. In another bowl mix the bananas with the eggs. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.
3. Heat the oil or ghee in a large frying pan over a medium to high heat. Add a few spoonfuls of the pancakes batters to make little portions and cook for a couple of minutes on each side. Repeat until you’ve used all the batter.
4. Serve stacked with a few spoonfuls of raspberry compote on top and a drizzle of honey.
Pancakes à la Noix de Coco et à la Baie d’Eglantine et leur Compote de Framboise – pour environ 12 pancakes
• 250g de framboises, fraîches ou surgelées
• 1cs de sucre vanillé
• 150g de farine de noix de coco, ou de noix de coco moulue
• 1cs de graines de chia
• ½ cc de levure
• 1cs de baie d’églantine en poudre
• 3 bananes, écrasées
• 4 œufs, battus
• Huile de noix de coco ou ghee, pour cuire
• Miel, pour servir
1. Préparer la compote de framboise : les mettre dans une petite casserole avec le sucre vanillé. Faire cuire à feu doux jusqu’à ce qu’elles aient la consistance d’une compote.
2. Dans un saladier, mélanger la farine de noix de coco avec les graines de chia, la levure et la baie d’églantine en poudre. Dans un autre bol, mélanger les bananes avec les œufs. Verser le mélange liquide sur le mélange sec et bien mélanger.
3. Faire chauffer 1cs d’huile de noix de coco dans une grande poêle. Faire des petits tas de pâte et les aplatir légèrement. Les faire cuire quelques minutes de chaque côté. Répéter jusqu’à épuisement de la pâte.
4. Servir les pancakes empilés les uns sur les autres, avec une cuillérée de compote et du miel.