January 28, 2012

Mini Tarts Choco-Kiwi

Back to some sweetness and using one of my winter’s favourite fruits: kiwi! This little gem of a fruit is not only super cute and tasty, but also boasts incredible health benefits. 1 fruit contains a high amount of Vitamin C (more than an orange), as much potassium as bananas and a good amount of beta carotene (http://kiwi-fruit.info/kiwi-fruit/Health+Benefits+of+Kiwi+Fruit). A super power fruit, well needed in the winter months.

These mini-tarts are a bit sticky but oh so delicious. You might not have thought of mixing kiwi and chocolate together, but yes, it goes really well. We had tried kiwi chocolate in NZ and loved it. And by the way, if you live in Europe, read your labels when buying kiwi fruits: they don’t have to come all the way from New Zealand – France and Italy are big producers too. Enjoy!

Mini Tarts Choco-Kiwi – makes 9 mini tarts

  • • 50g almonds, soaked overnight
  • • 40g pumpkin seeds
  • • 150g dates, seeded
  • • 120g good-quality dark chocolate
  • • 1 kiwi, peeled and sliced

  • 1. Rinse and drain the almonds. Place them in the bowl of a blender with the pumpkin seeds and blend until finely ground.
  • 2. Blend the dates in another bowl. Add to the nuts/seeds and mix well. Place a tablespoon of the mixture in the holes of a muffin pan and flatten to the bottom and sides of it. There should be enough for filling about 9 holes. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour to set.
  • 3. Melt the chocolate in a bowl, slowly, on a low heat, over a pan of simmering water. Pour into the tart cases. Leave to cool down before placing in the fridge to set for 1 hour or 2.
  • 4. Remove the mini-tarts from the muffin tin using a tablespoon and place on a serving plate. Add a slice of kiwi on top of each tart. Leave to warm up for about 30min before serving so that the chocolate is not too hard.

    Petites Tartes Choco – Kiwi – pour environ 9 mini tartes

  • • 50g d’amandes, trempées pendant une nuit
  • • 40g de graines de courge
  • • 150g de dates, dénoyautées
  • • 120g de chocolat noir
  • • 1 kiwi, pelé et découpé en rondelles

  • 1. Rincer les amandes. Les mettre dans le bol d’un mixeur et mixer avec les graines de courge jusqu’à l’obtention d’une poudre fine.
  • 2. Mixer les dates dans un autre bol. Les ajouter au mélange amandes/graines et bien mélanger. Mettre une cuillérée à soupe du mélange dans environ 9 trous d’une plaque à muffins et aplatir sur le fond et les bords. Mettre au réfrigérateur pour au moins 1h.
  • 3. Faire fondre le chocolat au bain-marie tout doucement. Verser dans les fonds de tartes. Laisser refroidir puis placer au réfrigérateur pour 1h ou 2.
  • 4. Sortir les tartes du réfrigérateur, les démouler à l’aide d’une cuillère à soupe et les mettre sur une assiette. Ajouter une rondelle de kiwi sur chaque tarte. Laisser en dehors du réfrigérateur pendant au moins 30min avant de servir pour que le chocolat ne soit pas trop dur.
  • January 20, 2012

    Winter Salad Series - Number 3: Warm Lentil Salad

    Here is the last salad of my winter salad series. I hope you have enjoyed them and that it has inspired you to create your own.

    We’ve started making plans of what we’re going to grow in our garden this year. I’m very excited about it and can’t wait for spring and summer to get it all started and make more tasty salad with home-grown veggies this time!

    Have a fab weekend x

    Warm Lentil Salad – serves 2

  • • 180g Puy lentils
  • • 50g pecans, roughly chopped
  • • ¼ green chilli, finely chopped
  • • 1 green apple, finely sliced
  • • A bunch of chervil, leaves pricked
  • • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • • Salt and pepper
  • • 1tsp wholegrain mustard
  • • Juice of ½ lime
  • • A dash of red wine vinegar
  • • 1tbsp avocado (or olive) oil

  • 1. Cook the lentils according to the packet instructions. When cooked, drain well and place in a salad bowl.
  • 2. In a small bowl, prepare the dressing by mixing salt, pepper, the wholegrain mustard, lime juice, vinegar and oil.
  • 3. Add the pecans, chili, apple, shallot and chervil to the lentils and mix well. Serve in plates or bowls and drizzle with the dressing.

    Salade de Lentilles Tiède – pour 2 personnes

  • • 180g de lentilles du Puy
  • • 50g de noix de pecan, grossièrement hachées
  • • ¼ de piment vert, finement émincé
  • • 1 pomme Granny Smith, coupée en fines tranches
  • • Une botte de cerfeuil
  • • 1 échalote, finement émincée
  • • Sel et poivre
  • • 1cc de moutarde à l’ancienne
  • • Jus d’1/2 citron vert
  • • 1 trait de vinaigre de vin rouge
  • • 1cs d’huile d’avocat (ou d’olive)

  • 1. Cuire les lentilles selon les instructions du paquet. Une fois cuites, bien égoutter et mettre dans un saladier.
  • 2. Dans un petit bol, préparer l’assaisonnement en mélangeant du sel, du poivre, la moutarde, le jus de citron vert, le vinaigre et l’huile.
  • 3. Ajouter aux lentilles les noix de pécan, le piment, la pomme, l’échalote et le cerfeuil et bien mélanger. Servir dans des bols ou assiettes et ajouter l’assaisonnement.
  • January 13, 2012

    Winter Salad Series - Number 2: Avocado, Mango & Mozzarella Salad

    Here is another salad, cold this time, which is definitely one of my very favourite salads. I love the combination of the sweetness of the mango, the softness of the avocado and the creaminess of the mozzarella. And it looks like a pretty sunshine in the plate, exactly what you need in the winter.

    I hope you’ve had a good start to the year and maybe decided to undertake a detox or cleanse – there seems to be numerous food blogs giving you advice on the subject at the moment. Last weekend I had a try at Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga which is a powerful form of yoga turning yoga postures into a dynamic flow. It was hard and hot! The teacher explained that the building up of heat and sweat is a very powerful detox, helping the body eliminate impurities...something to think about adopting if you’re doing a body cleanse...

    Note on the avocado, mango, mozza salad: this is the simple way I usually prepare it, but a few adds-on would also go very well with it such as alfalfa sprouts, walnuts or fresh mint.

    Oh, and by the way, I cut my hand while opening the bottle of balsamic vinegar...a little reminder to always be mindful in the kitchen while using tools and the likes!

    Avocado, Mango and Mozzarella Salad – serves 2

  • • 1 avocado, stoned, peeled and cut into slices
  • • 1 mango, stoned, peeled and cut into slices
  • • 1 ball of mozzarella, cut into slices
  • • Salt
  • • Ground pink peppercorn
  • • 1tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • • 1tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1. Arrange the avocado, mango and mozzarella slices on a plate.
  • 2. In a bowl, mix the seasoning ingredients. Drizzle over the salad and serve straightaway.

    Salade d’Avocat, Mangue et Mozzarella – pour 2 personnes

  • • 1 avocat, dénoyauté, pelé et coupé en tranches
  • • 1 mangue, dénoyautée, pelée et coupée en tranches
  • • 1 boule de mozzarella, coupée en tranches
  • • Sel
  • • Poivre rose
  • • 1cs de vinaigre balsamique blanc
  • • 1cs d’huile d’olive extra-vierge

  • 1. Arranger les tranches d’avocat, de mangue et de mozzarella dans une assiette.
  • 2. Dans un bol, mélanger les ingrédients pour la sauce. Répartir sur la salade et servir de suite.
  • January 06, 2012

    Winter Salad Series - Number 1: Rye Salad with Roasted Carrots, Mushrooms and Spinach

    In this early new year, my body has been crying for gentle exercise and healthy foods. Slowly, I got back into my routines, and it’s been feeling great. The New Year often means a new start; a perfect opportunity to change your diet slightly and try delicious wholesome foods that will make you feel good.

    Salads are not only for summer. In the winter too I love to be creative and prepare big bowls of salad, often warm. So after my various sweet posts on Christmas treats, I decided to get back to savouries and have a series of winter salad recipes. I hope you enjoy them.

    A few notes on the Rye Salad:

  • • If you cannot get hold of rye grain, you can substitute it by spelt, barley or buckwheat
  • • This salad really is at its best served warm, but still can be eaten cold
  • • I made this amazing paneer recipe (using goat’s milk), and I really encourage you to do so. It is quick and easy to prepare and so satisfying to make your own cheese
  • Rye Salad with Roasted Carrots, Mushrooms and Spinach – serves 2

  • • 150g rye grain
  • • 5 carrots, peeled and cut diagonally
  • • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • • 150g brown mushrooms, quartered
  • • 2 handfuls of baby spinach
  • • 50g paneer or feta, cubed
  • • 1tsp wholegrain mustard
  • • 1tsp capers
  • • 1tbsp red wine vinegar
  • • 3tbsp olive oil
  • • Salt, pepper

  • 1. Place the rye in a saucepan. Cover with 300ml water and simmer for about 40min until cooked.
  • 2. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Precook the carrots in a pan of boiling water for 10min. Drain well. Place the carrots in an oven dish. Drizzle with 2tbsp olive oil and sprinkle cumin seeds. Mix well and cook in the oven for 20min.
  • 3. 10min before the end of the cooking time for the rye, add the mushrooms and mix well. 2 min before the end of the cooking time, add the baby spinach and mix well. Drain the rye if there is any water left in the pan. Add the carrots and mix well.
  • 4. In a small bowl prepare the seasoning by mixing together the mustard, capers, vinegar, 1tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper.
  • 5. Serve the warm salad into plates and drizzle over the seasoning. Top up with the paneer or feta cubes.
  • Salade au Seigle, Carottes Rôties, Champignons et Epinards – pour 2 personnes

  • • 150g de graines de seigle
  • • 5 carottes, pelées et coupées en diagonale
  • • 1cc de graines de cumin
  • • 150g de champignons de Paris bruns, coupés en quartiers
  • • 2 poignées de pousses d’épinards
  • • 50g de paneer ou de feta, coupé en cubes
  • • 1cc de moutarde à l’ancienne
  • • 1cc de câpres
  • • 1cs de vinaigre de vin rouge
  • • 3cs d’huile d’olive
  • • Sel et poivre

  • 1. Mettre le seigle dans une casserole. Couvrir avec 300ml d’eau et laisser frémir pendant environ 40min, jusqu’à ce que le seigle soit cuit.
  • 2. Préchauffer le four à 190°C. Précuire les carottes pendant 10min dans une casserole d’eau bouillante. Bien égoutter. Mettre dans un plat à four. Arroser de 2cs d’huile d’olive et parsemer de graines de cumin.
  • 3. 10min avant la fin du temps de cuisson du seigle, ajouter les champignons et bien mélanger. 2min avant la fin de cuisson, ajouter les pousses d’épinards et bien mélanger. Egoutter le seigle s’il reste de l’eau dans la casserole. Ajouter les carottes et bien mélanger.
  • 4. Préparer l’assaisonnement dans un ramequin, en mélangeant la moutarde, les câpres, le vinaigre, 1cs d’huile d’olive, du sel et du poivre.
  • 5. Servir la salade chaude dans des assiettes ou bols et verser l’assaisonnement dessus. Enfin, parsemer de cubes de paneer ou de feta.