January 28, 2014

Freekeh Bowl with Mushrooms & Kale

I like simple winter meals. My criteria are as follows:
•nourishing for the body and the soul;
•can be prepared in minutes;
•and of course delicious and enjoyable
This is one of those, and gives me the opportunity to introduce freekeh, a great alternative to couscous, bulgur, rice or any other grain you might be used to cooking with. It is made from young grains of wheat, harvested at their nutritional peak and then lightly toasted. On the nutrition side of things, freekeh is high in protein, a great source of fibre and has got a low glycemic index. I hope you’ll enjoy this little bowl of goodness x

Freekeh Bowl with Mushrooms Kale – serves 4
•200g freekeh
•2tbp light olive oil
•250g chestnut mushrooms, quartered
•2 large handful kale, leaves removed from the stalks and chopped
•1tsp chilli flakes
•Salt and pepper
•4tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
•A bunch of parsley, leaves picked
•1 lemon, quartered

1.Place the freekeh in a medium saucepan of boiling water and leave to simmer for about 15min or until cooked. Drain and place back in the pan.
2.While the freekeh is cooking, heat 2tbsp light olive oil in a large frying pan, add the mushrooms and sauté gently for about 6-7min, until tender. Add the kale and cook for another 3-4min. Add the chilli flakes, salt and pepper and cook for another minute.
3.Add the mushrooms and kale to the freekeh and mix until combined.
4.Dish out into plates, drizzle with 1tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, top up with parsley leaves and serve with a lemon wedge.

Bol de Freekeh, Champignons & Kale – pour 4 personnes
•200g de freekeh
•2cs d’huile d’olive légère
•250g de champignons rosés, coupés en quartiers
•2 grosses poignées de kale, feuilles séparées des tiges et émincées
•1cc de piment séché
•Sel et poivre
•4cs d’huile d’olive extra-vierge
•Une poignée de persil, effeuillé
•1 citron, coupé en quartiers

1.Mettre le freekeh dans une casserole d’eau bouillante de taille moyenne et laisser frémir pour environ 15min. Egoutter et remettre dans la casserole.
2.Pendant ce temps, faire chauffer les 2cs d’huile d’olive légère dans une grande poêle, ajouter les champignons et les faire revenir doucement pendant 6-7min, jusqu’à ce qu’ils soient tendres. Ajouter le kale et faire revenir pendant 3-4min. Ajouter le piment séché, le sel et le poivre et cuire pendant encore 1min.
3.Ajouter les champignons et le kale dans la casserole de freekeh et mélanger.
4.Servir dans des bols ou assiettes, arroser d’1cs d’huile d’olive extra-vierge dans chaque bol, parsemer de persil et servir avec un quartier de citron.

January 20, 2014

Pineapple Chia Pudding

January usually comes with a feeling of normality. With all the celebrations of the end of year over and behind us, it’s like stepping back into routines (possibly creating new ones too), and getting on with the everyday life. This year however, for some reason January has felt incredibly busy to me, both at work and at home, spending time on some exciting projects. But I’m already looking forward to some time off soon to come, to kick back and slow down.

Chia pudding is something quite new to me, even if I’ve been using chia seeds in my cooking for a while now, often as egg replacers. This would be the typical kind of pudding we would have on a week day. It was really delicious with pineapple, bringing sunshine and tropical flavours to our plates, but it could be customised to your taste, using whatever other fruit you like or have at hand.

Have a great week!

Pineapple Chia Pudding with Maple Roasted Nuts – serves 4
  • 500ml apple or pineapple juice
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 90g chia seeds
  • ½ pineapple, peeled, cored and cubed
  • 1tbsp walnuts
  • 1tbsp hazelnuts
  • 2tbsp maple syrup

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the apple juice with the vanilla extract. Pour the chia seeds in, all the while whisking. Set aside for 2min, then whisk again. Set aside for 5min and whisk again. Repeat again 5min later, then leave for 1 hour. Whisk again and either use straight away or keep in the fridge until ready to use.
  3. In the meantime, place the nuts on a small baking tray, drizzle with maple syrup, mix well and place in the oven for about 15min, until the nuts are fragrant and caramelised. Leave to cool down and then chop finely.
  4. When ready to serve, layer the pudding in small glass jars, alternating layers of the chia mixture, pineapple cubes and nuts.
Dessert de Graines de Chia à l’Ananas et Noix Rôties au Sirop d’Erable – pour 4 personnes
  • 500ml de jus de pomme ou d’ananas
  • 1cc d’extrait de vanille
  • 90g de graines de chia
  • ½ ananas, pelé, évidé et coupé en cubes
  • 1cs de noix
  • 1cs de noisettes
  • 2cs de sirop d’érable

  1. Préchauffer le four sur 150°C.
  2. Dans un bol, mélanger le jus de fruit avec l’extrait de vanille. Ajouter les graines de chia tout en fouettant le mélange. Mettre de côté pour 2min et fouetter de nouveau. Mettre de côté pour 5min et fouetter de nouveau. Recommencer encore après 5min, puis laisser de côté pour 1h. Fouetter de nouveau et utiliser de suite ou mettre au réfrigérateur.
  3. Pendant ce temps, mettre les noix et noisettes sur une petite plaque à four, arroser de sirop d’érable, bien mélanger et mettre au four pour environ 15min jusqu’à ce qu’elles soient caramélisées. Laisser refroidir et émincer finement.
  4. Lorsque vous êtes prêt à servir, faire des couches dans des petits pots en verre, en alternant les couches de graines de chia, d’ananas et de noix caramélisées.

January 13, 2014

Parsnip Chips with Express Raw Ketchup

On a Sunday, our kitchen often resembles a battle field. Food is at the centre of what we do on that day, often starting with a lazy breakfast, when we might make pancakes or something savoury. The rest of the day is intermitted by preparing lunch and dinner, but also staples that are going to last for the week – so that we can prepare lunches to take to work or dinners to reheat in only a matter of minutes. I’d love to be able to cook fresh food every single day of the week, but juggling with work and other activities does not always allow it, and simply sometimes, after a long day at work, I do not have the motivation to spend hours in the kitchen. Yes, as much as I love cooking, I need a bit of a rest from it every so often.

Back to our weekend, we cooked up a storm, from sushi to homemade chocolates, flapjacks, vegetable stew, bread, and fresh juices. Oh, and these parsnip chips! Don’t you find homemade oven –baked vegetable chips hard to resist? I love them, ranging from the good old potato to celeriac, sweet potato and parsnip. I whipped up a raw ketchup too, which only takes minutes to make (set aside rehydrating the sundried tomatoes) to go with the chips…simple and cheap as chips!

Have a great week x

Parsnip Chips with Express Raw Ketchup – serves 4
• 35g sundried tomatoes
• 6 parsnips
• 1tsp ground ginger
• 2tbsp dried herbes de Provence
• 4tbsp light olive oil
• 2 tomatoes, seeded
• 1 Medjool date, stoned
• 2tsp cider vinegar
• ¼ tsp salt
• 1 small garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Soak the sundried tomatoes in warm water for about 30min.
2. Cut the ends of the parsnips and peel them. Cut them in half and then into long and thick chips.
3. Place the parsnips on two baking trays. Sprinkle with ground ginger and dried herbs and drizzle with olive oil. Mix well, so that they are coated with oil. Place in the oven for 15min.
4. After 15min, take them out of the oven, give them a good stir and place back in the oven, swapping the two baking trays, for another 15min.
5. In the meantime, prepare the ketchup by blending together the sundried tomatoes with 3tbsp of their soaking water, the tomatoes, date, cider vinegar, salt and garlic. If the mixture is too thick, add some of the soaking water, 1tbsp at a time. Set aside when ready.
6. Serve the parsnip chips warm, with the ketchup.

Frites de Panais et Ketchup Cru Express – pour 4 personnes
• 35g de tomates séchées
• 6 panais
• 1cc de gingembre en poudre
• 2cs d’herbes de Provence séchées
• 4cs d’huile d’olive légère
• 2 tomates, égrainées
• 1 date Medjool, dénoyautée
• 2cc de vinaigre de cidre
• ¼ cc de sel
• 1 petite gousse d’ail, pelée et finement émincée

1. Préchauffer le four sur 180°C. Faire tremper les tomates séchées dans de l’eau chaude pendant environ 30min.
2. Couper les extrémités des panais et les éplucher. Les couper en forme de frites assez épaisses.
3. Répartir les frites sur 2 plaques à four. Parsemer de gingembre en poudre et d’herbes de Provence et arroser d’huile d’olive. Bien mélanger. Mettre au four pour 15min.
4. Après 15min, sortir du four et mélanger de nouveau. Remettre au four, en échangeant les 2 plaques dans le four, pour 15min.
5. Pendant ce temps, préparer le ketchup en mixant les tomates séchées et 3cs de leur eau de trempage, avec les tomates, la date, le vinaigre de cidre, le sel et l’ail. Si le mélange est trop épais, ajouter de l’eau de trempage, 1 cuillérée à la fois. Mettre de côté.
6. Servir les frites de panais à la sortie du four avec le ketchup.

January 03, 2014

New Year - Creamy Millet & Banana Porridge

When 2013 came to a close, I felt so grateful for all that I was able to live this year and the amazing people that I have in my life. I also felt really grateful for having carried on writing this blog, reminding me that I am so lucky to be able to eat whatever food I like on a daily basis.

Every day, I am learning about foods and their health benefits, and it is incredibly exciting to know that there’s always something new to try or to learn about. Eating seasonal and healthy whole foods is really what my food philosophy is about, and although I am neither a chef nor a health expert, I thrive at sharing on this blog my discoveries and experiments.

The New Year has now come and I am looking forwards, feeling positive and excited about what lays ahead. I like the idea of starting the year like you want it to continue and this kind of breakfast is perfect if you’re trying to build new healthy habits.

Wishing you a magical New Year

With love and gratitude x

Creamy Millet & Banana Porridge – serves 2
• 100g millet flakes
• 2tbsp goji berries
• 2 bananas, one mashed and one sliced
• Almond milk
• 2tsp bee pollen

1. Place the millet in a small saucepan with 1tbsp goji berries and the mashed banana. Cover with almond milk. Heat gently until the mixture starts bubbling. Stir constantly until the liquid has evaporated and the porridge is creamy. Take off the heat.
2. Serve into bowls and top up with the sliced bananas, the rest of the goji berries and the bee pollen.

Porridge Crémeux au Millet et à la Banane – pour 2 personnes
• 100g de flocons de millet
• 2cs de baies de goji
• 2 bananes, une écrasée et l’autre coupée en rondelles
• Lait d’amande
• 2cc de pollen

1. Mettre le millet dans une petite casserole avec 1cs de baies de goji et la banane écrasée. Couvrir de lait d’amande. Faire chauffer à feu doux jusqu’à ce que le mélange commence à frémir. Remuer constamment, jusqu’à ce que le liquide soit évaporé et le mélange soit crémeux. Retirer du feu.
2. Servir dans des bols et parsemer de rondelles de bananes, du reste des baies de goji et du pollen.