December 17, 2014

Christmas Salad

Salad Bowl with a salad of rice, lentils, clementines, cranberries and Brussels sprouts

I am delightfully enjoying the lead up to Christmas and I hope that you are too. There are always routines that I am looking forward to such as baking mince pies and gingerbread men, making home-made decorations and crafts and playing Christmas songs on the ukulele. Likewise, there are ingredients which always seem to find their way in my kitchen at this time of year like clementines, spices, nuts, dried fruits, root veggies and Brussels sprouts. The idea for this Christmas salad therefore came naturally, mixing some of my favourite ingredients from the season. I am sure it will be appreciated on the Christmas table whether you choose to serve it as a side or a main for vegetarians.

Clementines on a wooden board

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas

With love and light x

Vegetables, fruits and nutson a wooden board

Christmas Salad – serves 4 to 6
•200g black rice, rinsed
•200g beluga lentils, rinsed
•A pinch of mustard seeds
•A pinch of cumin seeds
•2 handfuls pecan nuts, shelled
•300g Brussels sprouts
•Juice of 1 lemon
•Salt and pepper
•1tsp wholegrain mustard
•1tbsp maple syrup
•2tbsp olive oil
•3 clementines, peeled and quartered
•3tbsp dried cranberries

1.Place the black rice in a large pot of boiling water and cook for 25min. Add the lentils, mustard and cumin seeds and extra water if needed and cook for another 20min. Drain and set aside.
2.Preheat the oven to 170°C. Place the pecan nuts on a baking tray and put in the oven for 10-15min until fragrant. Set aside.
3.Shred the Brussels sprouts with a mandolin slicer or grater, place in a bowl, add half the lemon juice and mix well with your hands until coated. Leave aside for at least 10min to soften.
4.Prepare the dressing by mixing in a small bowl salt and pepper with the mustard, remaining lemon juice, maple syrup and olive oil.
5.To assemble the salad, place the rice and lentils in a large salad bowl, add the sprouts, pecans, clementines, cranberries and dressing. Toss well and serve.

Salade de Noël – pour 4 à 6 personnes
•200g de riz noir, rincé
•200g de lentilles beluga, rincées
•Une pincée de graines de moutarde
•Une pincée de graines de cumin
•2 poignées de noix de pécan, épluchées
•300g de choux de Bruxelles
•Jus d’1 citron
•Sel et poivre
•1cc de moutarde à l’ancienne
•1cs de sirop d’érable
•2cs d’huile d’olive
•3 clémentines pelées et coupées en quartiers
•3cs de canneberges séchées

1.Mettre le riz dans une grande casserole d’eau bouillante et faire cuire 25min. Ajouter les lentilles, les graine de moutarde et de cumin et faire cuire encore 20min. Egoutter et réserver.
2.Préchauffer le four sur 170°C. Mettre les noix de pécan sur une plaque à four et enfourner pour 10-15min jusqu'à ce qu’elles commencent à dorer. Réserver.
3.Emincer les choux de Bruxelles très finement à l’aide d’une mandoline ou d’une râpe, mettre dans un bol avec le jus d’1/2 citron et bien mélanger avec les mains pour les imprégner de jus de citron. Laisser de côté pour une dizaine de minutes.
4.Dans un petit bol, préparer l’assaisonnement en mélangeant du sel et du poivre avec la moutarde, le reste de jus de citron, le sirop d’érable et l’huile d’olive.
5.Pour assembler la salade, mettre le riz et les lentilles dans un grand saladier. Ajouter les choux de Bruxelles, les noix de pécan, les clémentines, les canneberges et l’assaisonnement. Mélanger et servir.

Salad Bowl with black rice, lentils, clementines, pecans and Brussel sprouts

December 08, 2014

Pears Poached in Sweet Wine, Honey & Thyme

Pears on small plates and thyme sprigs

I had dreamt of a poached pear recipe for a while and had imagined that I would serve it with a chocolate sauce. In my books, pear and chocolate is such a perfect combo. However, when I came to make the recipe, I had a little voice in my head whispering: ‘keep it simple’. It seems to have been my golden rule over the last few months, cooking dishes that are simple and highlight the taste and quality of the ingredients used. I decided to trust the voice and set aside the idea of the chocolate sauce, and instead serve the pears on their own, simply dressed with a few spoonfuls of the cooking liquid. The result is an incredibly tender fruit with delicate aromas of the cooking wine, honey and thyme.

Pears on a wooden board and brown linen

Choose to use a more or less strong honey and wine depending on how prominent you want their flavours to be. We found the recipe was as enjoyable eaten warm or at room temperature and this makes a lovely light festive pudding.

Have a beautiful week x

Four pears in a small saucepan on a wooden board

Pears Poached in Sweet Wine, Honey & Thyme – serves 4
•750ml sweet white wine
•3tbsp honey
•3 sprigs of thyme
•4 pears

1.Pour the wine in a small saucepan and add the honey and thyme. Bring to the boil.
2.Peel the pears carefully, keeping them whole. Add to the saucepan. Simmer on a gentle heat for about 15min, until the pears are really tender. Take off the heat and serve.

Poires Pochées au Vin Doux, Miel et Thym – pour 4 personnes
•750ml de vin doux
•3cs de miel
•3 brins de thym
•4 poires

1.Verser le vin dans une petite casserole et ajouter le miel et le thym. Porter à ébullition.
2.Peler les poires, en les gardant entières. Ajouter les dans la casserole. Faire frémir pendant 15min, jusqu'à ce que les poires soient complètement tendres. Retirer du feu et servir.

November 29, 2014

Wild Mushrooms Quinoa

Plate and cuttlery with a wild mushroom quinoa dish, and  a glass of water

While some were celebrating Thanksgiving earlier this week, I couldn’t help but feel infinite gratitude for the things that make my everyday life. Each and every day, I try to remember to silently say thank you, in my heart for all I have. The good things, but also the not so good things and learn to be content with what I have here and now. A constant work in progress.

Chanterelles, ceps, shallots, parsley and quinoa on a wooden board

At the market, we’ve been very lucky to find an abundance of locally foraged wild mushrooms over the past few months. They remain a treat as they are pretty expensive, so we appreciated them even more. I wanted to create a simple meal that would enhance the mushrooms flavours, as they really are the stars of the show. And maybe, one day, we’ll learn to recognize mushrooms in the wild and will be able to go foraging them by ourselves. My granddad used to be a keen mushroom picker and I would love to have this skill too.

We had leftovers of the meal for the next day and served it with a fried egg, which was fantastic too. I hope you’ll enjoy this quintessentially autumnal meal, before we step into winter and more Christmassy recipes. With love and gratitude x

Chanterelle mushrooms on a paper bag

Helen at Well Being Secrets has written a very interesting article on the numerous health benefits of quinoa, take a look to learn more.

Wild Mushrooms Quinoa – serves 4
•250g quinoa
•2tbsp almonds
•2 big handfuls wild mushrooms, such as chanterelles, ceps, etc.
•1tbsp ghee or butter
•2tbsp olive oil
•2 shallots, finely chopped
•A large handful parsley, chopped + extra

1.Rinse the quinoa and place it in a saucepan with double its volume in water. Bring to the boil then cover and leave to cook for about 15-20min, until all the water has been absorbed.
2.Place the almonds on a small baking tray and place in a preheated oven (180°C) for about 5-10min, until golden and fragrant. Leave to cool down then chop them.
3.Clean the mushrooms with a small brush and wash them it necessary. Chop them.
4.Heat the ghee or butter and olive oil in a frying pan or sauté pan. Add the shallots and fry on a medium heat for 2min. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 5min, until tender. Finally, add the parsley.
5.Add the cooked quinoa to the pan and mix it in the mushrooms. Dish out onto plates and sprinkle with chopped almonds and extra parsley.

Quinoa aux Champignons Sauvages – pour 4 personnes
•250g de quinoa
•2cs d’amandes
•2 grosses poignées de champignons sauvages, tels que girolles, cèpes, etc.
•1cs de ghee ou de beurre
•2cs d’huile d’olive
•2 échalotes, finement émincées
•Une grosse poignée de persil, émincé + extra

1.Rincer le quinoa et le mettre dans une casserole avec le double de volume d’eau. Porter à ébullition, couvrir et laisser cuire à feu doux 15-20min, jusqu'à ce que toute l’eau soit absorbée.
2.Mettre les amandes sur une petite plaque à four et mettre dans un four préchauffé (180°C) pendant 5-10min, jusqu'à ce qu’elles soient dorées et parfumées. Laisser refroidir et les émincer.
3.Nettoyer les champignons à l’aide d’une petite brosse et les laver si nécessaire. Les émincer.
4.Faire chauffer le ghee ou beurre et l’huile d’olive dans une sauteuse ou poêle. Ajouter les échalotes et les faire revenir pendant 2min. Ajouter les champignons et cuire à feu moyen pendant environ 5min, jusqu'à ce qu’ils soient tendres. Enfin, ajouter le persil.
5.Ajouter le quinoa dans la sauteuse et le mélanger aux champignons. Servir dans des assiettes et parsemer d’amandes et de feuilles de persil.

Plate and cuttlery with a wild mushroom quinoa dish

November 21, 2014

Quince & Apple Baked Oatmeal

Oval dish with an apple and quince oatmeal pudding

Staying with the theme of breakfasts that can be had for pudding and vice-versa, I came up with this baked oatmeal recipe a few weekends ago. All I’ve wanted in the mornings recently have been warm breakfasts. When it’s dark and cold outside, this seems to be the only way to start the day. A bowl of something warm and comforting.  Have you noticed that if you take time to listen to your body and tap into your intuition/inner GPS, it’s hard to go wrong? I love tuning in with the seasons and adapting the way I eat accordingly. Listening to your inner light and going with the flow.

The oatmeal calls for oats, which slowly release their energy throughout the morning, easily keeping you going until lunchtime. I also used a fruit that I had kind of forgotten about: quince. I remember that my grandparents had a big quince tree in their back garden, but I hadn’t seen or eaten quince for years. At first sight, you’re not really sure whether they are a big lemon or a misshaped apple or pear. However, when cutting into their tough flesh, they are definitely recognisable. I am not sure quinces can be eaten raw. They are most often found in jams/jellies or paste form. I like to mix them with apples and cook them in a compote, for an easy no fuss dessert, or like here, steam them and use them as the base for a delicious warming autumn breakfast.

Have a lovely weekend x

Quince & Apple Baked Oatmeal – serves 4 to 6
•4 quinces
•3 apples
•180g small rolled oats
•A pinch of salt
•1tsp baking powder
•2 eggs
•500ml plant milk (I used sesame milk)
•1 red apple
•1tbsp nut butter (such as peanut or hazelnut)
•1tbsp honey

1.Peel, core and chop the quinces. Steam them for about 20min, until tender. Add the apples and steam for another 5min.  Spread across the bottom of an oven dish.
2.Preheat the oven to 180°C.
3.In a bowl, mix the oats with the salt and baking powder.
4.In another bowl, beat the eggs with the plant milk. Add to the dry ingredients and mix well. Spread over the quinces/apples.
5.Core the red apple and slice it into thin slices. Spread them over the dish and put in the oven for 30-40min until cooked and fragrant.
6.In the meantime, mix the nut butter and honey in a small bowl. Add water, 1tbsp at a time until you obtain a smooth runny sauce. When taking the dish out of the oven, drizzle the sauce over the oatmeal. Serve warm.

Gruau d’Avoine au Four aux Coings & Pommes – pour 4 à 6 personnes
•4 coings
•3 pommes
•180g de petits flocons d’avoine
•1 pincée de sel
•1cc de levure
•2 œufs
•500ml de lait végétal (j’ai utilisé du lait de sésame)
•1 pomme rouge
•1cs de purée d’oléagineux (de noisette ou de cacahuète par exemple)
•1cs de miel

1.Peler, évider et couper les coings en morceaux. Les faire cuire 20min à la vapeur, jusqu'à ce qu’ils soient tendres. Ajouter les pommes et faire cuire encore 5min à la vapeur. Répartir dans le fond d’un plat à four.
2.Préchauffer le four sur 180°C.
3.Dans un bol, mélanger les flocons d’avoine avec la levure et le sel.
4.Dans un autre bol, battre les œufs et les mélanger avec le lait végétal. Ajouter aux ingrédients secs et mélanger. Répartir sur les fruits.
5.Evider la pomme rouge et la couper en tranches fines. Les répartir sur le dessus du plat et enfourner pour 30-40min, jusqu'à ce que le gruau soit doré.
6.Pendant ce temps, mélanger la purée d’oléagineux avec le miel. Ajouter l’eau, une cuillérée à la fois, jusqu'à l’obtention d’une sauce lisse. A la sortie du four, la verser en filet sur le plat. Servir chaud.

November 10, 2014

Sesame Milk - 2 Ways

Two glass bottles of plant milk, made from sesame seeds

Discovering plant milks opened a whole new array of possibilities for me. As a child, I simply wouldn’t drink cow’s milk as this would make me feel sick. I would however tolerate other dairy products, but milk on its own was a no-no. Later, I tried soy milk, but never really liked its taste either.  And then, a few years ago, I was introduced to homemade almond milk. And my universe suddenly changed. Its delicate flavour and smooth texture seemed to have been made in heaven. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to experiment with many different plant milk variations, and even if I often buy readymade organic rice or oat milk for convenience, it is always a treat to make my own. Each type of milk has a distinctive taste, and this is particularly true of sesame milk. I’ve come up with two ways of making it: the first one uses sesame seeds and I opt for this option when wanting to make a big bottle and when I have a bit more time ahead of me and the second one, which uses tahini, for cases when I want a drink that will be ready in only a matter of minutes. The later tends to be a bit thicker and richer; you can try both and see which one you like best.

Sesame milk is rich in calcium and can be used as a substitute to dairy milk, as a drink or in recipes. It can also be sweetened by adding a date before blending, or maybe a grated vanilla pod for extra flavour.  Have a great week!

Two spoons, one filled with sesame seeds, the other with tahini

Sesame Milk – 2 ways
Option 1
•100g whole sesame seeds, soaked overnight
•500ml pure filtered water

1.Drain and rinse the seeds. Place them with the water in a blender and blend on high speed until the seeds break.
2.Pass through a muslin cloth to filter the seeds. Pour the milk in a bottle and keep in the fridge for up to a week.

Option 2
•2tbsp tahini
•250ml pure filtered water

1.Place the tahini in a small bowl and add a couple of tablespoons water. Stir with a spoon to start incorporate the tahini to the water.
2.Pour in a blender and add the rest of the water. Blend until smooth. Enjoy straight away or pour in a bottle and keep in the fridge for later.

Boisson Végétale au Sésame – de 2 façons
Option 1
•100g de graines de sésame complètes, trempées pendant une nuit
•500ml d’eau filtrée

1.Egoutter et rincer les graines. Les mettre dans un blender avec l’eau et mixer jusqu’à ce que les graines soient broyées.
2.Passer à travers une mousseline, pour filtrer les graines, puis verser le liquide dans une bouteille en verre. Se garde au réfrigérateur pendant une semaine.

Option 2
•2cs de tahini (purée de sésame)
•250ml d’eau filtrée

1.Mettre le tahini dans un petit bol et ajouter quelques cuillérées d’eau. Remuer pour incorporer le tahini à l’eau.
2.Verser dan un blender et mixer jusqu'à l’obtention d’une texture lisse et crémeuse. Déguster de suite ou verser dans une bouteille et garder au réfrigérateur.

November 03, 2014

Butternut Squash & Black Beans Enchiladas

Weekend meals tend to be fairly relaxed in our home. I love cooking with my other half and we sometimes spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen preparing homey comforting dishes. Foreign foods is often what we go for on Saturday or Sunday nights, and we might be inspired by dishes from China, Japan, India, Italy or Mexico, to only name a few. We might take a basic recipe and give it a few twists to adapt it to our taste or mood of the moment. Enchiladas are a no fuss favourite of ours, and I think we’ve had the combination of black beans and squash already a number of times in the past few years, but we never get tired of it.

The past two months were incredibly hot and sunny here: I was still wearing shorts last week, going for sea swims, and temperatures were averaging 28°C during day time! But with days being shorter and eating autumnal foods, my body kind of felt a bit at odds with what’s the season. November is now upon us, and as if by magic, the weather seems to have finally turned to proper autumn. Maybe it’s just time to pause and embrace it, like the calm before the storm that December usually is.

Have a lovely week and if you decide to feed your tummies with these enchiladas, I’m sure you’ll be on for a treat! x

Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchiladas – serves 4
•200g dried black beans, soaked overnight
•1 small butternut squash
•Salt and pepper
•Olive oil
•1 onion, peeled and chopped
•3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
•1tsp ground cumin
•2tsp chilli powder
•2tsp smoked paprika
•1 can chopped tomatoes
•8 corn tortillas
•150g manchego cheese (or other hard sheep cheese), grated
•1 avocado, peeled, stoned and sliced

1.Rinse the beans, place in a large saucepan, cover with plenty of water and bring to the boil. Cover, lower the heat and cook for 1 hour. Drain and set aside.
2.Preheat the oven to 200°C. Peel, seed and chop the butternut squash into small cubes. Place on a baking tray, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Mix well and place in the oven for 20-25min until tender. Set aside.
3.In a large sauté pan, heat 2tbsp olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and fry gently until soft. Add the spices and stir them in. Then add the tomato can, mix and leave to cook for 15-20min until reduced to a fairly thick sauce.
4.In a large bowl, mix together the beans, butternut squash, half of the sauce and a third of the cheese. Place a few spoonfuls of the mixture in the centre of a corn tortilla, roll it and place in an oven dish. Repeat. Once all the tortillas are in the dish, spread over the rest of the sauce and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. Place in the oven (still on 200°C) for about 10min, until the cheese has melted. Serve with the avocado slices and a green salad.

Enchiladas à la Courge Butternut et Haricots Noirs – pour 4 personnes
•200g de haricots noirs secs, trempés pendant une nuit
•1 petite courge butternut
•Sel et poivre
•Huile d’olive
•1 oignon, pelé, et émincé
•3 gousses d’ail, pelées et émincées
•1cc de cumin en poudre
•2cc de piment en poudre
•2cc de paprika fumé en poudre
•1 boîte de tomates concassées
•8 tortillas de maïs
•150g de manchego (ou autre fromage de brebis), râpé
•1 avocat, pelé, dénoyauté et tranché

1.Rincer les haricots. Les mettre dans une grande casserole, couvrir d’eau et porter à ébullition. Couvrir et laisser cuire à petits bouillons pendant environ 1h. Egoutter et réserver.
2.Préchauffer le four sur 200°C. Peler, égrainer et couper la courge butternut en petits morceaux. Les mettre sur une plaque à four. Assaisonner de sel et poivre et d’huile d’olive, bien mélanger et mettre au four 20-25min, jusqu'à ce qu’elle soit tendre. Réserver.
3.Dans une sauteuse, faire chauffer 2cs d’huile d’olive. Ajouter l’oignon et l’ail et faire revenir à feu doux quelques minutes. Ajouter les épices et faire revenir 1min. Ajouter la tomate et laisser réduire pendant 10-15min, jusqu'à l’obtention d’une sauce assez épaisse.
4.Dans un grand saladier/bol, mélanger les haricots avec la courge, la moitié de la sauce tomate et un tiers du fromage. Mettre une bonne cuillérée de cette garniture au centre d’une tortilla, puis la rouler et mettre dans un plat à four. Répéter jusqu'à épuisement. Une fois que toutes les tortillas sont dans le plat, parsemer le reste de sauce tomate au dessus, puis le reste du fromage. Mettre au four (toujours sur 200°C) pour 10min, jusqu'à ce que le fromage ai fondu. Servir avec les tranches d’avocat et une salade verte.

October 27, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Granola

With Halloween just around the corner, I’ve had envies of squash and pumpkin. I love that there is such a variety of them and that they are so incredibly versatile and can be had in both savoury and sweet dishes. As you probably know by now, we are big fans of granola in our home. These days, rather than having it for breakfast, we often tend to have it for pud, layered with sheep yogurt and fresh fruits, or I might sometimes top up my smoothies with a couple of tablespoons of it. My trick to prevent using too much sweetener or fat is simply to use fruit or vegetable purée. Only a small quantity of it is needed, in order to keep the granola crunchy. The pumpkin spice combination is delightful: not only will it make your home smell divine, but also will spice up your taste buds every time you dig into a portion of this granola!

Happy Halloween you all and here is to a healthy treat for all to enjoy! x

Pumpkin Spice Buckwheat & Oat Granola
•250g buckwheat
•250g oat flakes
•80g desiccated coconut
•80g pumpkin seeds
•100g hazelnuts, chopped
•1/2tsp ground clove
•1/2tsp ground nutmeg
•1/2tsp ground all spice
•1/2tsp ground cinnamon
•Pinch of salt
•125ml pumpkin puree
•60ml coconut oil, melted
•80ml maple syrup
•100g dry cranberries

1.Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2.In a large bowl, mix the buckwheat with the oats, coconut, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, spices and salt.
3.In another bowl, mix the pumpkin puree with the coconut oil and maple syrup. Add to the dry ingredients and mix well.
4.Spread on the baking tray and put in the oven for 35-40min, stirring the granola every 10min or so to give it an even golden colour and prevent it from burning.
5.Take out of the oven and leave to cool down. Mix in the dry cranberries. Store in a glass jar or airtight container for a couple of weeks.

Granola Avoine & Sarrasin à la Citrouille Epicée
•250g de sarrasin
•250g de flocons d’avoine
•80g de noix de coco râpée
•80g de graines de courge
•100g de noisettes, émincées
•½ cc de clou de girofle en poudre
•½ cc de noix de muscade en poudre
•½ cc de 4-épices
•½ cc de cannelle en poudre
•1 pincée de sel
•125ml de purée de citrouille
•60ml d’huile de noix de coco, liquide
•80ml de sirop d’érable
•100g de canneberges séchées

1.Préchauffer le four sur 170˚C. Couvrir de papier cuisson une grande plaque à four.
2.Dans un saladier, mélanger le sarrasin avec l’avoine, la noix de coco, les graines de courge, les noisettes, les épices et le sel.
3.Dans un autre bol, mélanger la purée de citrouille avec l’huile de noix de coco et le sirop d’érable. Ajouter aux ingrédients secs et bien mélanger.
4.Répartir sur la plaque à four et enfourner pour 35-40min, en mélangeant toutes les 10min environ, de façon à ce que le granola dore de façon uniforme.
5.Sortir du four et laisser refroidir. Y ajouter les canneberges. Se garde dans un bocal en verre ou récipient hermétique pendant quelques semaines.

October 16, 2014

Cacao & Cardamom Amaranth Pudding

Today, I’d like to introduce you to amaranth. This tiny seed was very well known by the Aztecs who cultivated it and ate it thousands of years ago. Like its cousin quinoa, it is a gluten-free seed with very interesting nutritional value, such as being very rich in protein and calcium.

Amaranth can be eaten as replacement for grains in soups, stews, porridge, or as a side. Here I’ve prepared it in a super creamy and chocolaty pudding. You can even have it for breakfast. Yes, you’ve read well, pudding for breakfast! If you’re not a banana fan, you could of course leave it out, but I find that it adds extra creaminess. We had it warm (my favourite option) and cold, and topped it up with coconut shavings and pomegranate seeds. Pomegranates are in full season at the moment and I cannot get enough of them. We saw a tree laden with them in our neighbourhood, and maybe, maybe, one day I’ll dare ask its owners whether they wouldn’t mind me picking a couple…

Weekend is nearly here… Have a lovely rest of the week and don’t forget to try this amazing amaranth pudding ;)

Cacao & Cardamom Amaranth Pudding – serves 4
•250g amaranth, soaked overnight, if possible
•2tbsp maple syrup
•1/2tsp ground cardamom
•2tbsp raw cacao powder
•1 banana, mashed
•Seeds from 1 pomegranate
•Coconut shavings

1.Place the amaranth in a saucepan with 2½ times its volume of water. Bring to the boil, cover and leave to cook for about 20-30min, until all the liquid is absorbed.
2.Take off the heat. Add the maple syrup, ground cardamom, cacao powder and banana and mix well.
3.Spoon into small bowls or ramequins and top up with pomegranate seeds and coconut shavings. Serve.

Dessert d’Amarante au Cacao et Cardamome – pour 4 personnes
•250g d’amarante, trempée pendant une nuit, si possible
•2cs de sirop d’érable
•1/2cc de cardamome moulue
•2cs de poudre de cacao cru
•1 banane, écrasée
•Graines d’une grenade
•Copeaux de noix de coco

1.Mettre l’amarante dans une casserole avec 2½ son volume d’eau. Porter à ébullition, couvrir et laisser cuire environ 20-30min, jusqu'à ce que tout le liquide soit absorbé.
2.Retirer du feu. Ajouter le sirop d’érable, la cardamome, la poudre de cacao et la banane et bien mélanger.
3.Transférer dans des petits bols ou ramequins et parsemer de graines de grenade et de copeaux de noix de coco. Servir.

October 07, 2014

Early Autumn Roasted Vegetables & Chickpea Soup with Purple Crisps

If I had to choose my favourite way of cooking vegetables, I think roasting them would win. Not only this method allows preparing a big batch in one go, but I also love how they become incredibly tender and tasty. And did I mention how easy it is? All you have to do is chop them, season them, put them in the oven, and let it do the work. So naturally, I often tend to roast veggies to prepare soup. With evenings now getting darker and colder, I’ve been in the mood for warming dishes such as this one. The addition of the chickpeas as well as a side of bread (homemade fig foccacia in my case), makes a wholesome dish for this autumn’s dinners. I accounted for a pretty big batch of soup, however, this can easily be halved for a smaller amount. As for the purple crisps? I was instantly attracted by the potatoes’ awesome colour and thought they would stand out sprinkled on the soup. They are optional of course but make a pretty addition to the dish.

With love x

Early Autumn Roasted Vegetables & Chickpea Soup with Purple Crisps – serves 6 to 8
•3 yellow peppers, deseeded and chopped
•2 sweet potatoes, cubed
•4 carrots, chopped
•1 aubergine, cubed
•1 red onion, peeled and quartered
•4 cloves garlic, peeled
•2 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
•1tsp dried chilli flakes
•Salt and pepper
•Olive oil
•300g cooked chickpeas
•2L vegetable stock
•A handful small purple potatoes, peeled

1.Preheat the oven to 200˚C.
2.Spread the peppers, sweet potatoes, carrots, aubergine, red onion and garlic on two baking trays. Sprinkle with rosemary, chilli flakes, salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and use your hands to coat the vegetables in oil.
3.Place in the oven and cook for 30min. Take the trays out of the oven, add the chickpeas and place back in the oven for another 10min.
4.Transfer the vegetables to a large cooking pot, add the vegetable stock and blend until smooth, using an immersion blender. Heat on a low heat for a couple of minutes before serving.
5.To make the purple crisps, using a vegetable peeler, cut very fine slices. Put them in a bowl, add a drizzle of olive oil and mix with your hands to coat the potatoes in oil. Spread them on a baking tray covered in baking paper and place in the oven on 200˚C for about 20-25min until crispy. Sprinkle over the soup.

Soupe de Début d’Automne aux Légumes Rôtis et Chips Violets – pour 6 à 8 personnes
•3 poivrons jaunes, épépinés et coupés en morceaux
•2 patates douces, coupées en cubes
•4 carottes, coupées en morceaux
•1 aubergine, coupée en morceaux
•1 oignon rouge, pelé et coupé en quartiers
•4 gousses d’ail, pelées
•2 branches de romarin, émincées
•1cc de piment séché concassé
•Sel et poivre
•Huile d’olive
•300g de pois chiches cuits
•2L de bouillon de légumes
•Une poignée de petites pommes de terre violettes, pelées

1.Préchauffer le four sur 200˚C.
2.Etaler les poivrons, patates douces, carottes, aubergines, oignon et ail sur deux plaques à four. Parsemer de romarin, piment, sel et poivre. Arroser d’huile d’olive et mélanger avec les mains pour bien imprégner les légumes d’huile.
3.Mettre au four pour 30min. Sortir les plaques du four, ajouter les pois chiches et remettre au four 10min.
4.Transférer les légumes dans une marmite, ajouter le bouillon de légumes et mixer à l’aide d’un mixeur plongeur jusqu'à l’obtention d’une texture lisse. Réchauffer à feu doux quelques instants avant de servir.
5.Pour faire les chips violettes, couper de très fines rondelles de pomme de terre à l’aide d’un couteau éplucheur. Les mettre dans un bol, arroser d’un filet d’huile et bien mélanger. Les étaler sur une plaque à four recouverte de papier cuisson et mettre au four préchauffé à 200˚C pendant 20-25min jusqu'à ce qu’elles soient craquantes. Parsemer sur la soupe au moment de servir.

September 30, 2014

Slow-Roast Tomatoes - Toolbox

It’s time for a new article for the toolbox. As autumn is now starting to settle, it is perfect timing to still enjoy the last few remains of summer flavours and preserve produce. Tomatoes are still available, but can now lack the amazing sun-drenched taste they had in the summer. One of the best ways of enhancing their flavour it to slow-roast them. They shrivel during the roasting process and get packed with aromas, in what makes a supra-delicious staple, that you will always want to have available in your pantry.

A tray of slow-roasted tomatoes

So, to make the slow roast tomatoes, make sure you have plenty of time ahead of you at home, as the oven will stay on for a looong time, on a low temperature. Only a few ingredients are needed, and you might notice that the roasting time varies depending on the size of your tomatoes. Small tomatoes such as cherry toms will only need about 4 hours, while if you use large ones, they might need about 6-7 hours. As the oven will be on for a while, it can be a good idea to double the quantities and make a big batch in one go. The tomatoes will keep for a week or two in a glass container in the fridge, but if you’d like to keep them for longer, you can easily freeze them for later.

To eat the slow-roast tomatoes, you can include them in salads, sandwiches, tomato sauce or as a pizza garnish, amongst other things.

Let’s celebrate nature’s abundance and take time to slowly prepare, preserve and savour our food.

Slow-Roast Tomatoes
•1kg tomatoes
•2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
•1tbsp herbes de Provence
•2tbsp brown sugar

1.Preheat the oven to 110°C.
2.Cut the tomatoes in half and place them on a baking tray covered with baking paper cut side up.
3.Sprinkle them with the garlic, dry herbs and sugar and place in the oven.
4.Leave to cook in the oven for some time between 4 and 7 hours, depending on the size and water content of the tomatoes (cherry tomatoes will need the least time whilst big ones will need longer).
5.Leave to cool down then keep in a glass jar in the fridge for up to a week.

Tomates Confites
•1kg de tomates
•2 gousses d’ail, pelées et émincées
•1cs d’herbes de Provence
•2cs de sucre complet

1.Préchauffer le four sur 110°C.
2.Couper les tomates en deux et les mettre sur une plaque à four recouverte de papier sulfurisé, côté bombé en dessous.
3.Parsemer d’ail, d’herbes de Provence et de sucre et mettre au four.
4.Laisser confire au four pendant de 4 à 7 heures, en fonction de leur taille et de leur contenance en eau (des tomates cerises prendront le moins de temps et les grosses tomates le plus).
5.Laisser refroidir et garder au réfrigérateur pendant environ une semaine.

September 22, 2014

Spelt Flatbreads

Flatbreads are found in many forms in different cultures all over the world, and consist of a simple mix of flour, water and salt, flattened into thin dough. While preparing and cooking the flatbreads, I imagined myself working at a street food stall somewhere in the Middle East or Asia, with flour all over my kitchen, the steaming hot skillet on the hob and the breads piling up on the side. Back to the reality of my own kitchen, I found these fantastic as the base for a lunch or dinner. The flatbreads are versatile and can be used a bit like a pizza base, with toppings, or rolled into a wrap/sandwich. I opted for two different toppings. The first had a base of ricotta and top cherry tomatoes with olive oil and seasoning and rocket leaves. The second consisted of sautéed courgettes and pine nuts. Only a few examples of what you could have them with.

Happy cooking!

Spelt Flatbreads – makes 10
•300g spelt flour
•A pinch of salt
•200ml water

1.Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Add the water and mix until you form a ball of dough.
2.Knead the dough on a floured work surface for about 10min, then place in an oiled bowl for about 30min.
3.When ready to cook the flatbreads, divide the dough into 10 smaller balls. One by one, using a rolling pin, flatten them into a thin circle on a floured work surface, then pass them from one hand to the other to shake off the excess flour. Heat a skillet or griddle pan on a high heat. Place one flatbread in it. Cook for about 20-30sec, then flip it over with a spatula and cook for another 20-30sec. Set aside on a plate and repeat until all the flatbreads are cooked.

Pains Plats d’Epeautre – pour 10 pains
•300g de farine d’épeautre
•1 pincée de sel
•200ml d’eau

1.Mélanger la farine et le sel dans un saladier et y creuser un puits. Ajouter l’eau et mélanger jusqu’à l’obtention d’une boule de pâte.
2.Pétrir la pâte sur un plan de travail fariné pendant une dizaine de minutes, puis placer dans un bol huilé, couvrir et laisser reposer 30min.
3.Lorsque vous êtes prêts à cuire les pains, diviser la pâte en 10 petites boules. Une à une, à l’aide d’un rouleau à pâtisserie, les étaler en un cercle fin, puis prendre un cercle à plat dans la main, et le faire passer d’une main à l’autre pour enlever l’excès de farine. Faire chauffer une poêle en fonte à feu chaud. Mettre un pain plat dedans. Le faire cuire 20-30sec, puis le retourner avec une spatule et le faire cuire encore 20-30sec. Mettre de côté sur une assiette, et répéter jusqu'à ce que tous les pains soient cuits.

September 15, 2014

Early Autumn Frozen Cheesecake

We’ve been blessed by the most beautiful of Indian Summers. Days are still incredibly hot and sunny and the ocean is at its warmest. September is a bit of a magical month, the time of year when beaches have become empty again, but it all still retains the glory of summer days. At the market I’ve however noticed that the produce on the stalls are more and more tending towards autumnal flavours and colours. There is such abundance to choose from.

I don’t make cheesecakes very often, but I am totally fond of this one, which we had a couple of times already, varying the fruits used. The base layer is so good that I thought it could also be used for making energy bars, if you fancied trying that. The honey marries to perfection with the sheep yogurt, and the lot is vibrant, fruity and refreshing – a purple power cheesecake!

PS: one of my recipes is featured in the latest issue of Yummy Magazine. Click here to read the mag.

Early Autumn Frozen Cheesecake – serves 12
•6 red plums, pitted and chopped
•1tbsp vanilla sugar
•150g sunflower seeds
•150g almonds
•12 medjool dates, pitted
•2tbsp coconut oil
•A pinch of salt
•500g sheep’s milk yogurt (or yogurt of choice)
•100ml runny honey
•Plums, grapes, figs and blood peaches, to top up

1.Start by preparing a plum compote by stewing the plums with the vanilla sugar in a small saucepan on a gentle heat until soft and cooked. Set aside to cool down completely.
2.Preheat the oven to 170°C. Place the sunflower seeds and almonds on a large baking tray and put in the oven for about 10min until fragrant and golden. Leave to cool down.
3.In a food processor, blend the seeds and almonds together with the dates, coconut oil and salt, until you obtain a sticky paste. Spread it across the bottom of an 18cm round loose-bottom cake dish, lined with baking paper. Press the mixture with your hands across the bottom of the dish.
4.Pour the compote over the base, in an even layer.
5.Mix the yogurt with the honey and pour over the compote. To create swirls, insert a skewer in the yogurt and swirl in some of the compote.
6.Place in the freezer overnight to set.
7.Take out of the freezer at least 1hour before serving. Unmold from the cake tin and spread over the fruits of your choice.
8.Place leftovers back in the freezer.

Cheesecake Glacé de Début d’Automne – pour 12 personnes
•6 prunes rouges, dénoyautées et émincées
•1cs de sucre vanillé
•150g de graines de tournesol
•150g d’amandes
•12 dattes Medjool, dénoyautées
•2cs d’huile de noix de coco
•1 pincée de sel
•500g de fromage blanc de brebis (ou yaourt au choix)
•100ml de miel liquide
•Prunes, raisin, figues et pêches de vigne pour décorer

1.Préparer une compote de prunes, en les faisant frémir sur feux doux dans une petite casserole avec le sucre vanillé, jusqu'à ce qu’elles soient réduites en compote. Laisser refroidir complètement.
2.Préchauffer le four sur 170°C. Répartir les graines de tournesol et amandes sur une plaque à four et les enfourner pour environ 10min, jusqu'à ce qu’elles soient dorées. Laisser refroidir.
3.Mettre dans un mixeur les graines et amandes avec les dattes, l’huile de coco et le sel, et mixer jusqu'à l’obtention d’une pâte collante. Verser dans un moule rond de 18cm de diamètre à fond amovible, recouvert de papier sulfurisé. Presser le mélange dans le fond du moule avec les mains.
4.Verser la compote sur la base.
5.Mélanger le fromage blanc avec le miel et verser sur la compote. Pour créer des petits tourbillons, insérer une pique en bois dans le mélange liquide et tracer des spirales pour faire apparaitre la compote dans le fromage blanc.
6.Mettre à prendre au congélateur pendant une nuit.
7.Sortir du congélateur 1h avant de server. Démouler et parsemer de fruits, juste avant de servir.
8.Remettre les restes au congélateur.

September 08, 2014

Chia Blackberry Jam

When nature gives us blackberries, I am never short of ideas for how to eat them. You might remember from articles posted in previous years such as in tarts, parfaits, cooked and raw crumbles, smoothies, or fruit parcels that I particularly love this antioxidant-rich fruit. This year, I’d like to introduce you to one of the easiest way to prepare jam: it will take only a couple of minutes to prepare and is ideal to make a small pot whenever takes your fancy. The blackberries can also be substituted by other berries such as raspberries or strawberries.

We’ve made a little video to show you how easy it is (available at: Enjoy x

Chia Blackberry Jam – makes 1 small pot
•1 large handful wild blackberries
•3tbsp chia seeds
•2tbsp liquid sweetener (such as maple syrup or agave syrup)

1.Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
2.Transfer to a jar. Keeps in the fridge for about five days to a week.

Confiture de Mûres et Graines de Chia – pour 1 petit pot
•1 grosse poignée de mûres sauvages
•3cs de graines de chia
•2cs de sucrant liquide (sirop d’érable ou sirop d’agave par exemple)

1.Mettre tous les ingrédients dans le bol d’un mixeur plongeur et mixer de façon à réduire le mélange en purée.
2.Transférer dans un petit pot en verre. Se garde au réfrigérateur de 5 jours à 1 semaine.

August 29, 2014

Three Beans Salad & Lemony Millet

Beans come in a large variety of shapes and colours. As part of a mostly plant-based wholesome diet, they naturally find their place in my plate more often than not. However, for most of the year, I would tend to cook them from dried or canned form, so it is really an occasion to celebrate when they are finally in season and you can prepare them and cook them from fresh. In my family, we’ve always loved French beans, and as kids, we used to gather around the table with my mum to help prepare them all together. This year I decided to be a bit adventurous and to try cook fresh white beans too. They were easy enough to prepare and oh so delicious. I now wish I could eat fresh beans all year round!

Here is a recipe for a salad served on a bed of lemony millet. The beans are really the centrepiece of it. Although it will require a few pans and a little bit of time to prepare, it is so worth it. It is not every day you can eat fresh beans after all, and it is therefore worth having a feast, isn’t it?

Three Beans Salad & Lemony Millet – serves 6
•200g fresh white beans (weight once peeled)
•2 cloves garlic, peeled
•A sprig of thyme
•500g of a mix of yellow and green string beans, ends removed
•2tbsp almonds
•250g millet, rinsed
•Zest and juice of ½ lemon + juice of ½ lemon
•5tbsp olive oil
•1 large spring onion, finely chopped
•1 stick celery, finely chopped
•A bunch of parsley, roughly chopped
•Salt and pepper
•1tsp maple syrup
•1tsp wholegrain mustard

1.Place the white beans with one whole clove garlic and the sprig of thyme in a saucepan of boiling water. Cook for 20min, then add a good pinch of salt and cook for another 10min until tender. Drain and set aside.
2.Place the green and yellow beans into another large pan of boiling water and simmer for 15min, until tender. Drain, rinse under cold water and set aside.
3.Place the almonds on a baking tray and put into a preheated oven (180°C) for about 10min until golden and fragrant. Leave to cool down, then chop roughly.
4.Place the millet in another saucepan, cover with water and simmer on a gentle heat for about 20min, until cooked and all the water is absorbed. Add the zest and ½ lemon juice and 2tbsp olive oil to the pan and mix well.
5.Place all the beans in a large salad bowl, add the almonds, spring onion, celery and parsley. Prepare the dressing by mixing in a small bowl some salt and pepper with one finely chopped clove garlic, the maple syrup, wholegrain mustard, juice of ½ lemon and 3tbsp olive oil. Pour over the salad and mix well.
6.Place the lemony millet on a large serving plate, top up with the bean salad and serve.

Salade aux Trois Haricots sur un Lit de Millet Citronné – pour 6
•200g de haricots blancs frais (poids une fois écossés)
•2 gousses d’ail, pelées
•Un brin de thym
•500g d’un mélange de haricots verts et haricots beurre, dont on aura enlevé les extrémités
•2cs d’amandes
•250g de millet, rincé
•Zeste et jus d’1/2 citron + jus d’1/2 citron
•5cs d’huile d’olive
•1 gros oignon de printemps émincé
•1 branche de céleri, émincée
•1 poignée de persil, émincé
•Sel et poivre
•1cc de sirop d’érable
•1cc de moutarde à l’ancienne

1.Mettre les haricots blancs écossés dans une casserole d’eau bouillante avec une gousse d’ail et la branche de thym. Faire cuire 20min, puis ajouter une pincée de sel et poursuivre la cuisson encore 10min jusqu'à ce qu’ils soient tendres. Egoutter.
2.Pendant ce temps, mettre les haricots verts et beurre dans une autre casserole d’eau bouillante et laisser frémir 15min jusqu'à ce qu’ils soient tendres. Egoutter et rincer à l’eau froide.
3.Mettre les amandes sur une plaque de cuisson, puis mettre au four préchauffé sur 180°C pendant 10min jusqu'à ce qu’elles soient dorées. Laisser refroidir puis émincer.
4.Mettre le millet dans une autre casserole, couvrir d’eau puis laisser frémir à feu doux pendant environ 20min jusqu'à ce que l’eau soit absorbée. Ajouter le zeste et jus d’1/2 citron, ainsi que 2cs d’huile d’olive et mélanger.
5.Mettre tous les haricots dans un saladier avec les amandes, l’oignon, le céleri et le persil. Préparer l’assaisonnement dans un ramequin en mélangeant du sel et du poivre avec le sirop d’érable, la moutarde à l’ancienne, le jus d’1/2 citron et 3cs d’huile d’olive. Verser sur la salade de haricots et mélanger.
6.Etaler le millet citronné sur une assiette de service et recouvrir de salade de haricots, puis servir.

August 18, 2014

Berry Mini Cakes

Summer always surprises me in allowing simplicity. It is as if suddenly life could slow down and we could let go of the unnecessary, going back to a simpler pace of life. I guess it is the essence of summer holidays: letting go of our daily routines and finding an easy going way of life. Even if I haven’t actually taken a holiday this summer, I have tried to allow this to happen. Taking things simple.

Right now, nature abounds with fresh produce, such as a simple bowl of fresh berries. For this recipe, I simply tweaked my pear and vanilla financiers recipe from back then, using a short list of ingredients and adding fresh juicy berries. In just a few mouthfuls, they were all gone – they were that good! Happy Monday to you all and have a beautiful week :)

Berry Mini Cakes – makes 9
•120g ground almonds
•30g sugar (I used vanilla coconut blossom sugar)
•A pinch of salt
•50g butter, melted
•3 egg whites
•A handful of berries/currants

1.Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2.In a bowl, mix together the ground almonds, sugar, salt and butter. Whisk the egg whites until foamy, then add to the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
3.Pour the mixture into small silicone moulds. Top up each cake with a few berries and place in the oven for 25-30min, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
4.Leave to cool down for a bit before unmolding and cool down completely on a wire rack.

Mini Cakes aux Fruits Rouges – pour 9
•120g de poudre d’amandes
•30g de sucre (j’ai utilisé du sucre de fleur de coco)
•Une pincée de sel
•50g de beurre, fondu
•3 blancs d’œufs
•Une poignée de fruits rouges

1.Préchauffer le four sur 180°C.
2.Dans un bol, mélanger la poudre d’amandes avec le sucre, le sel et le beurre. Fouetter les œufs jusqu'à ce qu’ils deviennent mousseux, puis ajouter dans le bol et bien mélanger.
3.Verser le mélange dans des petits moules en silicone. Déposer quelques fruits rouges sur le dessus de chaque cake et mettre au four pour 25-30min, jusqu'à ce qu’une pique en bois insérée au milieu en ressorte sèche.
4.Laisser refroidir quelques instants avant de démouler et laisser refroidir complètement sur une grille.