November 23, 2015

Curried Cauliflower, Beluga Lentils & Fennel Salad

A salad bowl on a blue background

When putting together a salad bowl, I consider flavours and tastes as key elements, but I also think that colours and textures play an equally important part. It needs to be appealing for all the senses. I find there similarities to any creative process and although I sometimes have imagined the dish way ahead in my head, on other occasions I just go with the flow to mix and match ingredients which just feel right at that moment in time. All senses can also be stimulated during the making, touching, looking at, smelling and tasting the produce used for cooking, offering the opportunity to fully connect with the food, even long before eating it.

This curried cauliflower, lentil and fennel salad was created with these thoughts in mind. The lentils and cauli are tender, the fennel crispy. The curry powder gives a delicious fragrance to the kitchen and a beautiful colour to the cauliflower. There’s a mix of sweet and savoury flavours, warm and fresh ingredients that match and contrast with each other.

And life goes on, with each of us able to spread a little bit more love and peace on this planet, because this is all that we need right now and always...

With love and light x

A salad bowl on a blue background

Curried Cauliflower, Beluga Lentils & Fennel Salad – serves 4 to 6
•250g beluga lentils, rinsed
•1tsp cumin seeds
•1tsp mustard seeds
•1 head cauliflower, separated into florets
•2tsp curry powder
•3tbsp sunflower oil
•2 fennel bulbs
•2tbsp raisins
•Salt and pepper
•1tsp wholegrain mustard
•Juice of ½ lemon
•2tbsp olive oil
•1 green chilli, finely sliced
•A large bunch parsley, roughly chopped

1.Preheat the oven to 200°C.
2.Place the lentils in a medium-sized saucepan with the cumin and mustard seeds, cover with cold water, bring to the boil and cook over a medium heat for about 20min, until tender. Drain any excess water and set aside.
3.Spread the cauliflower on a baking tray covered with baking paper. Sprinkle with curry powder and drizzle the sunflower oil over. Mix well with your hands to cover the cauliflower well with curry powder and oil. Place in the oven and cook for 20min, giving it a stir halfway through. Set aside.
4.Remove the fennel tops, cut the bulbs in half and slice them finely.
5.Prepare the dressing by mixing in a small bowl some salt and pepper with the mustard, lemon juice and olive oil.
6.Place the lentils, cauliflower, fennel and raisins in a serving bowl/dish. Drizzle the dressing over and mix. Top up with parsley and chilli slices and serve.

Salade de Chou-fleur au Curry, Lentilles Beluga et Fenouil – pour 4 à 6 personnes
•250g de lentilles béluga, rincées
•1cc de graines de cumin
•1cc de graines de moutarde
•1 chou-fleur, séparé en bouquets
•2cc de poudre de curry
•3cs d’huile de tournesol
•2 bulbes de fenouil
•2cs de raisins secs
•Sel et poivre
•1cc de moutarde à l’ancienne
•Jus d’1/2 citron
•2cs d’huile d’olive
•1 piment vert, coupé en fines rondelles
•Une poignée de persil, émincé grossièrement

1.Préchauffer le four sur 200°C.
2.Mettre les lentilles dans une casserole de taille moyenne avec les graines de cumin et de moutarde, couvrir avec de l’eau froide, porter à ébullition et faire cuire à feu moyen environ 20min, jusqu'à ce qu’elles soient tendres. Egoutter si nécessaire et mettre de côté.
3.Répartir les bouquets de chou-fleur sur une plaque à four recouverte de papier sulfurisé. Parsemer de curry en poudre et arroser d’huile de tournesol. Mélanger avec les mains de façon à bien recouvrir le chou-fleur de curry et d’huile. Mettre au four pour 20min et remuer à mi-cuisson. Mettre de côté une fois cuit.
4.Enlever le dessus des bulbes de fenouil, puis les couper en deux et enfin les émincer finement.
5.Préparer l’assaisonnement dans un petit bol en mélangeant du sel et du poivre avec la moutarde, le jus de citron et l’huile d’olive.
6.Mettre les lentilles, le chou-fleur, le fenouil et les raisins secs dans un saladier/assiette de service. Verser l’assaisonnement et mélanger. Parsemer de rondelles de piment et de persil et servir.

October 28, 2015

Simple Seedy Porridge with Ginger Pears

A bowl of porridge with pears

Our little boy, Kai, came into this world earlier this month. There is no word to describe how the arrival of a baby changes your life, and I guess that you have to go through it to be able to know what it is like. Parenting is both wonderful and incredibly challenging; we’re only at the very beginning of the journey, and what has struck me the most so far is the outpour of love one can feel for a child.

Those days, when I am still in my pyjamas by midday and can’t even find time to have a shower, it is needless to say that finding time and energy to write a blog post has been rather difficult. However, I didn’t want to leave this space blank for too long. It helps me to keep a sense of normality in my life that to know that Food Moods is still going. On some mornings, my little one happens to have a bit of a lie in, and this has given me the chance to get up and prepare myself a decent breakfast. A bowl of warm porridge is exactly what I am craving, especially after a night with not much sleep, to help nurture my body. It is soul food at its best, and I have been delighting in this moment of bliss quietness at the start of the day, watching the mist and colourful trees outside and listening to my baby’s breath in the room next door, while eating my breakfast.

A breakfast table wth a bowl of porridge

Happy autumn folks and see you soon on the blog x

Simple Seedy Porridge with Ginger Pears – serves 1
•A knob coconut oil
•1 pear, cored, peeled and sliced
•A small knob of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
•60g small oat flakes
•1tbsp sunflower seeds
•1tbsp sesame seeds
•1tbsp linseeds
•A small handful Inca berries, peeled and halved (optional)
•1tbsp runny honey

1.Heat the coconut oil in a small pan or skillet. Add the pear slices and ginger and cook on a medium heat for about 10-15min, stirring every so often, until the pear is soft and cooked through.
2.In the meantime, place the oats in a small saucepan with the sunflower, sesame and linseeds. Cover with water and heat gently. As soon as it starts bubbling, add a bit more water and keep stirring for about 3min, until the porridge gets really creamy. Take off the heat and transfer to a serving bowl.
3.Top the porridge with the pear slices and Inca berries and drizzle with honey. Eat warm.

Porridge Tout Simple aux Graines et Poires au Gingembre – pour 1 personne
•Une noix d’huile de coco
•1 poire, évidée, pelée et coupée en tranches
•Un petit morceau de gingembre frais, pelé et émincé
•60g de petits flocons d’avoine
•1cs de graines de tournesol
•1cs de graines de sésame
•1cs de graines de lin
•1 petite poignée de physalis, coupées en deux
•1cs de miel liquide

1.Faire chauffer l’huile dans une petite poêle. Ajouter les poires et le gingembre et faire revenir à feu moyen pendant environ 10-15min, jusqu'à ce que la poire soit tendre.
2.Pendant ce temps, mettre les flocons d’avoine dans une petite casserole avec les graines de tournesol, de sésame et de lin. Couvrir d’eau et faire chauffer à feu doux. Dès que le mélange commence à frémir, ajouter un peu d’eau puis mélanger constamment pendant environ 3min, jusqu'à l’obtention d’une texture crémeuse. Transférer dans un bol.
3.Ajouter les tranches de poires et les physalis et arroser de miel. Déguster chaud.

October 02, 2015

Plum & Fig Crumble Slice

A crumble dish and plated slice on a dark wooden background

Quickly before the season for figs and plums ends, I wanted to share the recipe for these no-fuss and very yummy crumble slices. I went on a bit of a crumble frenzy last month and made several variations of these, which definitely were a winner in our home! There is something a bit rustic about it, perfect for the early autumn days. It is also very customizable – the plums and figs can easily be exchanged for apples and pears or juicy berries, though the cooking time might change slightly depending on the fruits used.  If you’d rather opt for a vegan alternative, simply replace the butter by coconut oil. I hope you’ll enjoy making these and I wish you a very good weekend x

A crumble dish on a dark wooden background

A crumble dish on a dark wooden background

Plum & Fig Crumble Slice – serves 6 to 8
•Coconut oil
•150g whole rice flour
•80g quinoa flakes
•80g sunflower seeds
•50g whole cane sugar
•A pinch of salt
•90g butter, cut into small cubes
•4tbsp maple syrup
•6 figs, quartered
•10-12 plums, stoned and quartered
•1tbsp corn flour

1.Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a square/rectangular oven dish with coconut oil.
2.In a large bowl, mix the rice flour with the quinoa flakes, sunflower seeds, sugar and salt. Add the cubed butter and 2tbsp maple syrup and mix with the fingertips in order to obtain rough crumbs.
3.In a small bowl, mix the fruits with 2tbsp maple syrup and the corn flour.
4.Spread half of the dry mixture across the bottom of the dish, pressing it with the back of a spoon to flatten it. Cover it with the sliced fruits. Finally, add the rest of the crumbs, in order to cover the fruits.
5.Place in the oven and cook for about 40min, until the fruits are tender and cooked through. Cut into squares and serve warm or cold.

Barre de Crumble Prunes & Figues – pour 6 à 8
•Huile de coco
•150g de farine de riz complète
•80g de flocons de quinoa
•80g de graines de tournesol
•50g de sucre de canne complet
•Une pincée de sel
•90g de beurre, coupé en petits cubes
•4cs de sirop d’érable
•6 figues, coupées en quartiers
•10-12 prunes, dénoyautées et coupées en quartiers
•1cs de fécule de maïs

1.Préchauffer le four sur 180°C. Graisser un plat à four rectangulaire/carré avec l’huile de coco.
2.Dans un saladier, mélanger la farine de riz avec les flocons de quinoa, les graines de tournesol, le sucre et le sel. Ajouter le beurre et 2cs de sirop d’érable et frotter du bout des doigts pour obtenir des miettes grossières.
3.Dans un bol, mélanger les figues et les prunes avec 2cs de sirop d’érable et la fécule de maïs.
4.Parsemer la moitié du mélange sec dans le plat et appuyer avec le dos d’une cuillère pour l’aplatir. Parsemer les fruits. Enfin, terminer avec une autre couche des miettes, de façon à bien couvrir les fruits.
5.Mettre au four environ 40min, jusqu'à ce que les fruits soient tendres et cuits. Couper en barres et servir chaud ou froid.

A crumble dish and plated slice on a dark wooden background

September 18, 2015

Oat Stuffed Aubergines

A plate of aubergines stuffed with oats, on a wooden background

The abundance of tomatoes, peppers, aubergines, courgettes, etc. at this time of year has got me wanting to cook Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Today, I’m therefore focusing on a typical Mediterranean vegetable: aubergines/eggplants, of the same family as peppers and tomatoes which come in a variety of shapes and colours. They are in season from June till September (summer months in the Northern Hemisphere). To choose an aubergine, make sure that it is firm to the touch, with a shiny skin and deep purple colour. The leaves at the stem end should be green and fresh, not brown or dried. Aubergines are fibre and anti-oxidant rich, and to best preserve their nutritional value, should be cooked with the least fat possible. In this recipe, a thin layer of oil is enough to cook them, and the heat of the oven does the rest of the job, making them incredibly tender.

A baking tray filled with grilled aubergines

I struggled a bit with coming up with a name for this dish, but never mind the name, it is wholesome and utterly delicious and will make you want to come back for more. You can adapt the recipe to your liking by for instance substituting the oat for another grain, enjoying it warm or cold, topping it up with feta, etc.

A perfect recipe to try at the weekend! Have a good one x

A plate of aubergines stuffed with grains

Oat Stuffed Aubergines – serves 4
•190g oat groats (or other grain of your choice)
•2tbsp flaked almonds
•4 aubergines
•Coconut oil, melted
•½ onion, finely chopped
•½ red pepper, seeded and cut into small cubes
•1tsp ground cumin
•1/2tsp chilli powder
•Salt and pepper
•A bunch of mint, finely chopped
•A bunch of chives, finely chopped
•Seeds from 1 small pomegranate
•150g tahini
•125ml cold water
•½ clove garlic, minced
•Juice from ½ lemon

1.Place the oats in a pan of boiling water and cook for about 45min, until tender. Drain and set aside.
2.Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the almond flakes on a small baking tray and place in the oven for 5min or so, until golden.
3.Cut the aubergines in half lengthways and then criss-cross their surface, without cutting all the way through. Place on a baking tray covered with parchment paper flesh side up and rub them with coconut oil. Place in the oven for 30min, or until the flesh is tender.
4.In the meantime, heat a knob of coconut oil on a medium heat in a large frying/sauté pan. Add the onion and red pepper and sauté for 5-10min, until tender. Add the ground cumin and chilli and fry for another minute. Take off the heat. Once the oats are cooked, add them to the pan alongside some salt and pepper, the mint and chives and the pomegranate seeds. Mix.
5.To prepare the tahini sauce, mix in a bowl the tahini with the water, garlic, lemon juice and a pinch of salt until smooth. Add more water if needed, to make the texture really creamy.
6.To serve, place the aubergines in a serving dish. Top up each half with some of the oats from the pan. Drizzle with tahini sauce and eat with a green salad on the side.

Aubergines Farcies à l’Avoine – pour 4 personnes
•190g de gruau d’avoine (ou autre graine de votre choix)
•2cs d’amandes effilées
•4 aubergines
•Huile de coco, fondue
•½ oignon, pelé et émincé
•½ poivron rouge, épépiné et coupé en petits cubes
•1cc de cumin moulu
•½ cc de piment en poudre
•Sel et poivre
•Une poignée de menthe, émincée
•Une poignée de ciboulette, émincée
•Graines d’une petite grenade
•150g de tahini
•125ml d’eau froide
•½  gousse d’ail, pelée et émincée
•Jus d’½ citron

1.Mettre l’avoine dans une casserole d’eau bouillante et laisser cuire à feu moyen environ 45min, jusqu'à ce qu’il soit tendre. Egoutter et mettre de côté.
2.Préchauffer le four sur 200°C. Mettre les amandes effilées dans un petit plat et enfourner environ 5min, jusqu'à ce qu’elles soient dorées.
3.Couper les aubergines dans la longueur et y dessiner des croisillons au couteau, sans couper complètement. Mettre sur une plaque à four recouverte de papier cuisson, côté coupé sur le dessus et les badigeonner d’huile de coco à l’aide d’un pinceau. Mettre au four pour 30min, ou jusqu'à ce que leur chair soit tendre.
4.Pendant ce temps, faire chauffer une noix d’huile de coco dans une grande poêle ou sauteuse. Ajouter l’oignon et le poivron et faire revenir 5-10min, jusqu'à ce qu’ils soient tendres. Ajouter le cumin et le piment en poudre et faire revenir encore 1min. Retirer du feu. Une fois l’avoine cuit, l’ajouter dans la sauteuse, puis assaisonner de sel et de poivre, ajouter les graines de grenade, la menthe et la ciboulette. Mélanger.
5.Pour préparer la sauce au tahini, mélanger dans un bol le tahini avec l’eau, l’ail, le jus de citron et une pincée de sel, jusqu'à ce que le mélange soit crémeux. Si besoin, ajouter un peu d’eau, de façon à obtenir une texture lisse.
6.Pour servir, déposer les aubergines dans un plat de service. Couvrir chaque moitié du mélange à l’avoine. Arroser de sauce au tahini et servir avec une salade verte.

You might also like:
Grilled Aubergines & Tomato Coulis
Aubergine Spread
Aubergine Rolls
Caribbean Aubergine Curry
Japanese-style sautéed Aubergines

September 09, 2015

Stir-Fried Millet with Courgettes - Everyday Cooking

A plate with a stir-fried millet dish

Stir-fried vegetables and a wholegrain was a very regular staple of mine in my student days. Although I don’t tend to eat that sort of dish as often nowadays, I’m still very fond of these meals-in-minutes. We’ve already stepped into September, and whether it is back to school/work time for you, or whether enjoying the Indian Summer, I am sure that simple everyday cooking ideas will always be welcome. As for me, I am making the most of the last few weeks before our baby arrives and I certainly try to keep it as easy as possible in the kitchen. Let me know in the comments what’s your favourite dish of the moment ;-)

Here are a few links to other favourite September easy meal ideas:
Sweetcorn Fritters with Avocado Salsa
Red Pepper Cold Soup
Early Autumn Market Salad
Pipérade Basquaise
Quinoa, Pepper & Courgette Galettes
Japanese-style Sautéed Aubergines

A plate with a stir-fried millet dish

Stir-Fried Millet with Courgettes – serves 4
•250g millet
•1tbsp olive oil
•2tbsp pine nuts
•Coconut oil
•3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
•1tsp ground cumin
•3 large courgettes, sliced
•3tbsp tamari or shoyu
•Black pepper
•Sesame oil (optional)

1.Place the millet in a large saucepan, heat until the millet starts popping, then add double its amount in water. Bring to a simmer, cover and leave to cook for 15-20min until all of the water has been absorbed. Take off the heat, add the olive oil, fluff with a fork and set aside to cool down.
2.Preheat the oven to 160°C. Place the pine nuts on a small baking tray and put in the oven for about 10min, until golden. Set aside.
3.Heat a knob of coconut oil in a wok or large frying pan. Add the garlic and fry for one minute. Add the cumin powder and heat for another 30sec, then add the courgettes. Stir-fry the courgettes on a medium-high heat for about 10min, until tender, then add the cooked millet, tamari or shoyu and black pepper and fry again for another 3min, stirring all the time.
4.Transfer to a serving dish/serving plates, sprinkle with pine nuts and drizzle with sesame oil, if using. Serve.

Millet Sauté aux Courgettes – pour 4 personnes
•250g de millet
•1cs d’huile d’olive
•2cs de pignons de pin
•Huile de coco
•3 gousses d’ail, pelées et émincées
•1cc de cumin en poudre
•3 courgettes, coupées en tranches fines
•3cs de tamari ou shoyu
•Poivre noir
•Huile de sésame (optionnel)

1.Mettre le millet dans une grande casserole et le faire chauffer jusqu'à ce qu’il commence à éclater. Ajouter alors deux fois son volume en eau. Porter à ébullition, couvrir et laisser cuire à feu doux 15-20min, jusqu'à ce que toute l’eau soit absorbée. Retirer du feu, ajouter l’huile d’olive, égrainer à la fourchette et laisser refroidir.
2.Préchauffer le four sur 160°C. Mettre les pignons sur une petite plaque à four et les y faire dorer environ 10min. Mettre de côté.
3.Faire chauffer une noix d’huile de coco dans un wok ou une grande poêle. Ajouter l’ail et le faire revenir une minute. Ajouter le cumin et faire revenir 30 secondes, puis ajouter les courgettes. Faire sauter les courgettes à feu moyen/fort pendant environ 10min, puis ajouter le millet, la sauce tamari ou shoyu et le poivre noir et faire sauter encore 3min, en remuant constamment.
4.Transférer dans un plat/des assiettes de service. Parsemer de pignons et arroser d’huile de sésame. Servir.