August 26, 2015

Summer Holiday Pasta Salad

A big bowl of pasta salad

With a bike amongst the pine trees

Let’s face it: in the summer time, when the weather is at its glorious peak, who wants to spend hours in the kitchen preparing meals? My go-to option for simple meals is most often than not salads. Big bowls of nourishing salad. If they can be prepared ahead or last a day or so in the fridge, it’s even better.

Today, I’m taking you on a little escape with this video which we filmed when on holiday a little while ago. Pasta salad is typical summer holiday food, ready to pack, take on a picnic and enjoy living easy!

Pine tree tops

The sea

Summer Holiday Pasta Salad Video

Summer Holiday Pasta Salad – serves 6

I like using gluten-free/wholegrain pasta such as fusilli to put in salads. If you can’t find fresh sweetcorn, you can use a can of organic one instead. The salad can keep easily till the next day in the fridge.

•300g pasta of your choice
•4tbsp olive oil
•Salt and pepper
•1tbsp red wine vinegar
•1 tsp wholegrain mustard
•2 shallots, peeled and minced
•4 large tomatoes, cubed
•2 small red peppers, seeded and chopped
•Grains from 2 corn cobs or 1 small organic sweetcorn can
•150g feta, crumbled
•A large bunch of fresh dill, chopped

1.Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, drain, put back in the pan and mix with 1tbsp olive oil. Set aside to cool down.
2.Prepare the salad dressing directly in a large salad bowl by mixing salt and pepper with the vinegar, 3tbsp olive oil and mustard.
3.Add the pasta, shallots, tomatoes, peppers, sweetcorn, feta and dill. Mix well. Serve straight away or transfer to jars to take on a picnic.

Bowls of various ingredients to make a pasta salad

Salade de Pâtes des Vacances – pour 6 personnes

J’aime utiliser des pâtes sans gluten/complètes telles que fusilli pour cette salade. Si vous ne trouver pas de maïs frais, vous pouvez utiliser une boite de maïs bio à la place. La salade se garde facilement jusqu’au lendemain au réfrigérateur.

•300g de pâtes de votre choix
•4cs d’huile d’olive
•Sel et poivre
•1cs de vinaigre de vin rouge
•1cc de moutarde à l’ancienne
•2 échalotes, pelées et émincées
•4 grosses tomates, coupées en dés
•2 petits poivrons rouges, épépinés et coupés en cubes
•Grains de 2 épis de maïs ou une petite boîte
•150g de feta, en cubes
•Une grosse poignée d’aneth, ciselée

1.Faire cuire les pâtes selon les instructions sur le paquet. Egoutter, remettre dans la casserole et y mélanger 1cs d’huile d’olive, puis laisser refroidir.
2.Préparer l’assaisonnement directement dans un saladier en mélangeant du sel et du poivre avec le vinaigre, la moutarde et 3cs d’huile d’olive.
3.Ajouter les pâtes, les échalotes, les tomates, les poivrons, le maïs, la feta et l’aneth. Mélanger. Servir ou transférer dans des bocaux pour emmener en pique-nique.

A bowl of pasta salad

August 10, 2015

Failing Recipes + Apricot & Blueberry Tarts

Two mini fruit tarts on a wooden background

Does it ever happen to you that you go into the kitchen with an idea for a recipe, you start cooking and then the result is simply not what you were expecting? Do you sometimes prepare a meal and it turns out not right? This seems to have happened to me a fair number of times in the last few months. I’ve felt vulnerable. It’s been as if my cooking skills had been thrown out of the window and I was losing faith in my ability to cook and come up with new recipes. There’s also been many times when I’ve felt tired and had no energy to cook. There’ve been failed recipes, many times when I had planned on trying new recipes and photographing them and decided not to do so, and countless occasions when I’ve opted for preparing lunch out of bits and pieces that we had left in the fridge rather than the meal I had initially planned...

As much as I sometimes felt like crying or fighting against the situation, I’ve tried to surrender to it. Acceptance is a notion I’ve worked with since the beginning of my pregnancy, and although it’s been incredibly hard, I’ve noticed that from the moment when you decide to let go, things seem to flow and you don’t feel so upset as when trying to resist. 

A fruity tart on a wooden background

So, it took me a while to share this recipe with you, because I just had to do it over again several times before having one that was good enough to share on the blog. I first came up with the idea when having breakfast: I topped up my muesli with slices of apricots and fresh blueberries. The colour contrasts were so pretty that I knew instantly that apricots and blueberries were a perfect match. My first version was a raw tart, but it just didn’t turn out right. And it took me a couple more tries before I had a recipe I was satisfied with. Apricots and blueberries are now reaching the end of their season, so make sure you enjoy them while there are still available. I’ve tried to keep the recipe as simple as possible to highlight the beautiful flavours of the fruits. I hope you’ll enjoy it. With love x

Apricot & Blueberry Tarts – makes 4 small tarts
•160g brown rice flour
•90g ground almonds
•25g corn flour
•4tbsp unrefined sugar
•Finely grated zest of 1 lemon + a squeeze of juice
•1 large egg, beaten
•60ml sunflower oil
•4 or 5 tbsp water
•200g blueberries
•2tbsp maple syrup
•6 to 8 apricots, finely sliced

1.To make the dough, mix in a large bowl the rice flour, ground almonds and corn flour with the sugar and lemon zest. Make a well in the centre and add the beaten egg and sunflower oil. Start mixing until the dough comes together. If needed, add water, one tablespoon at a time, and work the crust until it forms a ball. Wrap it in cling film and place in the fridge for 30min.
2.In the meantime, place the blueberries in a small saucepan with a squeeze of lemon juice and the maple syrup. Cover and cook for 5min on a medium heat, then remove the lid and carry on cooking for another 10-15min until thick and jammy. Take off the heat.
3.Preheat the oven to 180°C. Take the dough out of the fridge and separate it into 4 portions. Flatten each of them into a circle with a rolling pin, on a lightly floured work surface and fill 4 individual tart dishes with the dough. Prick the bottom with a fork.
4.Spread a couple of spoonfuls of the cooked blueberries in the bottom of each tart case. Arrange the apricot slices on top.
5.Place in the oven and cook for 35min. Leave to cool down for 15min before eating.

You might also like my Baked Apricots with Honey & Lavender recipe

Tartelettes Abricots & Myrtilles – pour 4
•160g de farine de riz complet
•90g de poudre d’amandes
•25g de fécule de maïs
•4cs de sucre complet 
•Zeste d’un citron + quelques gouttes de jus
•1 gros œuf, battu
•60ml d’huile de tournesol
•4 ou 5cs d’eau
•200g de myrtilles
•2cs de sirop d’érable
•6 à 8 abricots, dénoyautés et coupés en fines tranches

1.Pour préparer la pâte, mélanger dans un grand bol la farine de riz avec la poudre d’amandes, la fécule de maïs, le sucre et le zeste de citron. Creuser un puits au centre et y verser l’œuf battu et l’huile. Mélanger et si besoin ajouter de l’eau, 1cs à la fois, de façon à pouvoir former une boule de pâte. L’envelopper dans du film et la mettre au réfrigérateur pendant 30min.
2.Pendant ce temps, mettre les myrtilles dans une petite casserole avec quelques gouttes de jus de citron et le sirop d’érable. Couvrir et faire cuire à feu moyen 5min, puis retirer le couvercle et poursuivre la cuisson 10-15min jusqu'à ce que la consistance épaississe et prenne l’aspect d’une confiture. Retirer du feu.
3.Préchauffer le four sur 180°C. Sortir la pâte du réfrigérateur et la séparer en 4 portions. Etaler chaque portion en un cercle à l’aide d’un rouleau à pâtisserie, sur un plan de travail légèrement fariné, puis étaler chaque cercle dans des moules à tarte individuels. Piquer le fond à la fourchette.
4.Etaler quelques cuillérées de myrtilles cuites dans le fond de chaque tarte. Répartir les tranches d’abricot sur le dessus. 
5.Mettre au four et faire cuire 35min. Laisser refroidir 15min avant de déguster.

Vous aimerez aussi peut-être ma recette d’Abricots Rôtis au Miel et à la Lavande

Two fruity tarts on a wooden background

July 31, 2015

French Toast with Peaches

A plate of French toasts and fresh fruits on a wooden background

We sometimes buy bread but wait a bit too long to eat it, and it then turns rock solid. When this happens, I try not to let it go to waste and there are usually two things I tend to do: I will either make croutons to top up a salad or soup, or French toasts. And this is when the magic happens: transforming a hard loaf of bread into something utterly delicious. I often like to imagine how people first came up with a recipe, and I can totally relate to those situations when you’ve left an ingredient on the countertop for a wee bit too long but it is still edible. Making French toasts with stale bread is the perfect example for this, and a breakfast I am definitely fond of. It can be prepared in minutes, but nicely dressed with a pile of fresh/cooked fruits, and you’re on for a breakie similar to what you could have been served in a fancy café. In this instance, I prepared a topping by reducing peaches into a simple compote and sprinkling ruby red currants on top, making it a super vibrant plate. An invitation to slow down and savour long summer days...

A plate of French toasts and fresh fruits on a wooden background

French Toasts with Peach Compote – serves 2
•6 peaches, peeled and sliced
•A squeeze of lemon juice
•3tbsp unrefined raw sugar + 2tbsp
•2 eggs, beaten
•200ml plant milk
•6 thick slices stale bread
•Coconut oil or ghee
•A handful fresh red currants
•Honey, to serve

1.Start by making the compote: place the peaches, lemon juice, 2tbsp water and 3tbsp sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil, cover with a lid and leave to cook on a low heat for 15-20min until tender. Set aside.
2.In a large bowl, beat the eggs with the plant milk and 2tbsp sugar.
3.Heat a knob of coconut oil or ghee in a large frying pan. Dip the bread slices (3 at a time) in the egg mixture until soft and add to the pan. Cook for 2/3min on each side until golden, then dish out on a plate. Repeat with the remaining slices of bread.
4.To serve, top up the bread with a few spoonfuls of peach compote, sprinkle with red currants and add a drizzle of honey. Enjoy while still warm.

Pain Perdu & Compote de Pêches – pour 2 personnes
•6 pêches, pelées et coupées en tranches
•Jus de citron
•3cs de sucre complet + 2cs
•2 œufs, battus
•200ml de lait végétal
•6 larges tranches de pain rassis
•Huile de coco ou ghee
•Une poignée de groseilles rouges

1.Préparer la compote : mettre les pêches dans une casserole avec le jus de citron, 2cs d’eau et 3cs de sucre. Porter à ébullition, couvrir et laisser cuire à feu doux pendant 15-20min, jusqu'à ce que les pêches soient tendres. Mettre de côté.
2.Dans un saladier, battre les œufs avec le lait végétal et les 2cs de sucre.
3.Faire chauffer une noix d’huile de coco ou de ghee dans une poêle. Tremper les tranches de pain (3 à la fois) dans le saladier, jusqu'à ce qu’elles ramollissent, puis les ajouter à la poêle. Cuire 2/3min de chaque côté et mettre sur une assiette. Répéter avec le reste du pain.
4.Pour servir, ajouter quelques cuillérées de compote de pêches sur le pain, parsemer de groseilles et arroser de miel. Manger chaud.

July 20, 2015

Sweet Potato Crust Pizza with Courgettes & Cherry Tomatos

A round pizza on a white background

Pursuing a healthy lifestyle is all but boring. One of the reasons is that you get so many opportunities to experiment. The kitchen becomes a bit of a laboratory for all sorts of wonderful and delicious creations (I’ll admit there are a few failures sometimes, but this is all part of the fun). I find really enjoyable to take classic dishes, and see how I can ‘healthyfy’ them – it often only takes a bit of tweaking, such as using wholesome and fresh ingredients instead of more processed ones. This is where this pizza comes into the equation. We do love a good pizza in our home, like I’m sure many of you do, and although I wouldn’t say no to a ‘classic’ pizza once in a while, I often find that they leave me bloated and with a feeling of overeating, that will take a few hours to dissipate. When I first read about vegetable-based pizza crusts (i.e. cauliflower, courgette, etc.) I thought this was totally genius, and I haven’t failed to experiment various recipes. Not only does the pizza get extra flavour from the ingredients used in the base, but it also leaves you feeling nourished but light as a feather. Here is a recipe for a sweet potato crust with a topping of courgettes, tomatoes and hazelnuts. You could of course change the topping to whatever other vegetables are in season where you live. Purists might not call this pizza, but I will dare and challenge you to try it and let me know what you think!

Have a great week!

A round pizza on a white background

Sweet Potato Crust Pizza with Courgettes & Cherry Tomatoes – serves 2 to 4
•1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
•1tbsp chia seeds
•125g almond flour
•60g rice flour
•1tsp baking soda
•Salt and pepper
•1tsp oregano
•2tbsp olive oil
•3tbsp tomato purée
•100g mozzarella, grated
•1 small courgette, cut into ribbons
•A handful cherry tomatoes, quartered
•2tbsp hazelnuts, roughly chopped
•Basil leaves

1.Cook the sweet potato in a pan of boiling water for about 20min until tender. Drain, rinse under cold water and mash until smooth. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
2.In a small bowl, mix the chia seeds with 3tbsp water and set aside for 5min until it forms a gel-like texture.
3.In a large bowl, mix together 125g of the mashed sweet potato, the almond and rice flours, baking soda, a pinch of salt, oregano, 1tbsp olive oil and the chia gel, in order to obtain a slightly sticky dough.
4.Spread the dough on a baking tray covered with baking paper into a thin circle, using the back of a spoon or a spatula to flatten the disk. Place in the oven for 30min.
5.Spread the tomato purée on the pizza disk, then sprinkle with the grated mozzarella. Add the courgettes, tomatoes and hazelnuts. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with 1tbsp olive oil. Place in the oven for 10min. Serve with a green salad.

Pizza à la Patate Douce et sa Garniture de Courgettes & Tomates Cerises – pour 2 à 4 personnes
•1 patate douce de taille moyenne, pelée et coupée en cubes
•1cs de graines de chia
•125g d’amandes en poudre
•60g de farine de riz
•1cc de bicarbonate de soude
•Sel et poivre
•1cc d’origan séché
•2cs d’huile d’olive
•3cs de concentré de tomates
•100g de mozzarella, râpée
•1 petite courgette, coupée en rubans
•1 poignée de tomates cerise, coupées en quartiers
•2cs de noisettes, émincées
•Quelques feuilles de basilic

1.Faire cuire la patate douce dans une casserole d’eau bouillante pendant 20min, jusqu'à ce qu’elle soit tendre. Egoutter, rincer à l’eau froide et écraser au presse-purée. Préchauffer le four sur 200°C.
2.Dans un petit bol, mélanger les graines de chia avec 3cs d’eau et laisser de côté 5min jusqu'à l’obtention d’un gel.
3.Dans un saladier, mélanger 125g de purée de patate douce, l’amande en poudre, la farine de riz, le bicarbonate de soude, du sel et du poivre, l’origan, 1cs d’huile et le gel de chi, jusqu'à l’obtention d’une pâte légèrement collante.
4.Etaler la pâte en un cercle fin sur une plaque à four recouverte de papier cuisson à l’aide d’une spatule ou du dos d’une cuillère en bois. Mettre au four pour 30min.
5.Sortir la pizza du four, y étaler le concentré de tomate et parsemer de mozzarella. Ajouter les rubans de courgette, les tomates cerise et les noisettes. Assaisonner de sel et de poivre et arroser d’une cuillérée d’huile d’olive. Remettre au four pour 10min. Servir avec une salade verte.

July 02, 2015

Summer Smoothies

Three different summer smoothies

Throughout my pregnancy, I have really enjoyed snacking on smoothies. I have found that I can’t digest large meals very easily, and feel much better when spreading my food intake throughout the day. So for my mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks, I’ve naturally opted for healthy options to nourish mine and my little babe’s body, and this is when smoothies have been the perfect partner.

Admittedly, with the weather being scorching at the moment, a cool and hydrating drink is the obvious option. Below you will find three different ideas, using beautiful summer produce. Don’t hesitate to share other favourite of yours in the comments.

Happy summer! x

Summer Smoothies - Smoothies d’été

A red smoothie in a jar in the grass

Watermelon & Strawberry Smoothie – serves 2
•4 ice cubes
•½ medium watermelon, peeled and cut into chunks
•2 handfuls strawberries, hulled
•A sprig of fresh mint leaves

1. Put the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Smoothie Pastèque-Fraise – pour 2 personnes
•4 glaçons
•½ pastèque, pelée et coupée en cubes
•Une poignée de fraises, équeutées
•Quelques feuilles de menthe fraiche

1.Mettre les ingrédients dans un blender et mixer jusqu'à l’obtention d’une texture lisse. Servir.

Smoothies in small glass bottles

Cucumber, Pineapple & Basil Smoothie – serves 2
•½ pineapple, peeled and cut into chunks
•½ cucumber, cut into chunks
•A sprig of fresh basil leaves
•250ml coconut milk

1. Put the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Smoothie Concombre, Ananas et Basilic – pour 2 personnes
•½ ananas, pelé et coupé en cubes
•½ concombre, coupé en cubes
•Une poignée de feuilles de basilic fraiches
•250ml de lait de coco

1.Mettre les ingrédients dans un blender et mixer jusqu'à l’obtention d’une texture lisse. Servir.

A green smoothie in a Kilner jar

Layered Green Smoothie with Raspberries – serves 2
•2 handfuls fresh raspberries
•Juice of ½ lime
•250ml rice milk
•2 peaches, peeled and cut into chunks
•½ avocado, stoned and peeled
•1 large handful baby spinach leaves
•1tbsp hemp seeds
•1tsp spirulina (optional)

1. Place the raspberries at the bottom of each glass with a squeeze of lime juice and muddle until mashed. Place the rest of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Carefully pour over the raspberries and serve.

Smoothie Vert et Rose – pour 2 personnes
•2 poignées de framboises
•Jus d’1/2 citron vert
•250ml de lait de riz
•2 pêches, pelées et coupées en cubes
•½ avocat, pelé, dénoyauté et coupé en cubes
•1 grosse poignée de pousses d’épinards
•1cs de graines de chanvre
•1cc de spiruline en poudre (optionnel)

1. Mettre les framboises au fond des verres avec le jus de citron et écraser les en purée. Mettre les ingrédients dans un blender et mixer jusqu'à l’obtention d’une texture lisse. Verser doucement le smoothie sur les framboises. Servir.