July 25, 2014

Food Moods Makeover & a Courgette & Tomato Tart

The blog has had a big makeover! After over four years of the same look, Food Moods was in need of a revamp and we’ve worked hard to create its new appearance, which I hope you’ll love as much as we do. A huge thank you goes to my hubby for his involvement; I couldn’t have done it without him! I plan on carrying on developing the blog, and you might expect a few novelties in the near future. I’m always happy to hear from you, dear reader, so don’t hesitate to write a comment or drop me an email to let me know what you think or make any suggestion.

To celebrate, I cooked a savoury tart, using a classic combination of tomato and courgette. The idea for the crust is not mine, as I got inspired by one of Emma’s recipes from her book (My Darling Lemon Thyme, Recipes from my Real Food Kitchen), and is totally genius! The base for the crust is indeed cooked chickpeas, which gives really good results: a crust easy to make, tasty and that has got a very nice texture. A few notes worth reading about this tart:
•I used a ceramic knife to slice the tomatoes and courgettes and managed to obtain thin slices, which were ideal for that kind of tart;
•The artichoke spread cook be very well replaced by olive tapenade or sundried tomato pesto, for instance;
•I used a 23cm loose-bottom cake tin to cook the tart, but a traditional tart tin could be used instead;
•A green salad came as a perfect side to the tart;
•If you like this tart, why not check other recipes I previously posted such as my Tomato, Cheese and Mustard Tart or my Courgette & Ricotta Tart with Marjoram.

Happy weekend!

Courgette & Tomato Tart with Chickpea Crust – serves 4
Crust recipe slightly adapted from My Darling Lemon Thyme, Recipes from my Real Food Kitchen, by Emma Galloway.
•200g cooked chickpeas or 1 can, drained and rinsed
•40g flour
•2tbsp corn flour
•1/2tsp baking powder
•2tbsp poppy seeds
•Pinch of salt
•2tbsp olive oil + extra
•1 can artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
•2 sprigs basil, leaves chopped
•1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
•1 large courgette, thinly sliced
•1 or 2 long tomatoes, thinly sliced
•2 sprigs fresh thyme
•Salt and pepper

1.Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2.To make the dough, blend/process the chickpeas until ground. Transfer to a bowl and add the flours, baking powder, poppy seeds, salt and 2tbsp olive oil and mix with your hands until you obtain a ball of dough. Line a loose-bottom cake tin with baking paper and press the dough into the tin against the bottom and the sides, using your hands or the back of a spoon. Put in the oven for 10min to pre-cook, and then set aside.
3.Blend the artichoke hearts with the basil and garlic until smooth. Spread this mixture on the tart case.
4.Arrange the courgette and tomato slices alternating on the top of the tart, then sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
5.Bake in the oven for 35min, then leave to cool down for 10min before removing the tart from the tin and serving.

Tarte aux Courgettes & Tomates dans une Pâte aux Pois-Chiches – pour 4 personnes
Pâte à tarte très légèrement adaptée d’une recette du livre: My Darling Lemon Thyme, Recipes from my Real Food Kitchen, de Emma Galloway
•200g de pois-chiches cuits, ou une boîte, égouttée
•40g de farine
•2cs de fécule de maïs
•1/2cc de levure
•2cs de graines de pavot
•1 pincée de sel
•2cs d’huile d’olive + extra
•1 boîte de cœurs d’artichauts, égouttés et rincés
•2 brins de basilic, feuilles émincées
•1 petite gousse d’ail, pelée et émincée
•1 grosse courgette, coupée en fines tranches
•1 ou 2 tomates longues, coupées en fines tranches
•2 brins de thym
•Sel et poivre

1.Préchauffer le four sur 180°C.
2.Pour préparer la pâte, mixer les pois chiches au robot/blender. Transférer dans un saladier et ajouter la farine et la fécule de maïs, la levure, les graines de pavot, le sel et mélanger avec les mains jusqu'à l’obtention d’une boule. Recouvrir le fond et les bords d’un moule à gâteau/tarte à fond amovible de papier sulfuriser et y étaler la pâte avec les mains ou le dos d’une cuillère. Mettre au four pour 10min pour précuire et mettre de côté.
3.Mixer les cœurs d’artichauts avec le basilic et l’ail jusqu'à l’obtention d’une texture crémeuse et étaler sur le fond de tarte.
4.Arranger les rondelles de tomates et courgettes sur le dessus, en alternant et en les faisant se chevaucher, puis parsemer de feuilles de thym, assaisonner de sel et poivre et arroser d’un filet d’huile d’olive.
5.Mettre au four pour 35min, puis laisser refroidir 10min avant de démouler et de servir.

July 18, 2014

Watermelon, Cucumber & Mint – 2 ways

One of my favourite combos this summer has been watermelon with cucumber & mint. On hot days, I find it incredibly refreshing and hydrating. Both watermelon and cucumber are indeed made of over 90% water, making them great to have when temperatures are high, ensuring your body stays hydrated. The mint adds that extra bit of flavour, fresh taste and can also contribute to help with digestion.

So, today I am sharing not one but two recipes, using this combination of ingredients, and not adding much else. They can both be packed and taken on a picnic, because that’s what summer is all about – easy, fresh meals, that can be taken away and enjoyed on the beach or sat in the grass. Keep fresh! x

Watermelon, Cucumber & Mint Salad – serves 4
•1 cucumber, peeled
•½ small watermelon or ¼ of a large one
•A handful mint leaves
•100g feta, cubed
•Salt and pepper
•Juice of ½ lemon or lime
•3tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1.With a vegetable peeler, make some long shavings in the length of the cucumber.
2.Make watermelon balls, using a mini scooper, or alternatively, cut the watermelon into cubes.
3.Place the cucumber and watermelon in a salad bowl and add the mint leaves and feta.
4.Prepare the dressing by mixing salt and pepper with lemon/lime juice and olive oil, and pour over the salad. Mix and serve or spread into boxes to take away.

Watermelon, Cucumber & Mint Smoothie – serves 4
•1 cucumber
•1 watermelon, peeled and cubed
•A large handful mint leaves

1.Pass the cucumber through a juicer.
2.In a blender, blend the watermelon with the mint and cucumber juice. Serve or store in bottles in the fridge until ready to serve.

Salade de Pastèque, Concombre et Menthe – pour 4 personnes
•1 concombre, pelé
•½ petite pastèque ou ¼ d’une grosse
•Une poignée de menthe
•100g de feta, coupée en cubes
•Sel et poivre
•Jus d’1/2 citron ou citron vert
•3cs d’huile d’olive

1.A l’aide d’un couteau éplucheur, faire des lanières de concombre dans sa longueur.
2.Faire des boules de pastèque à l’aide d’une cuillère à boule parisienne ou bien, faire des cubes.
3.Mettre le concombre, la pastèque, la menthe et la feta dans un saladier.
4.Préparer l’assaisonnement en mélangeant du sel et du poivre avec le jus de citron/citron vert et l’huile d’olive et verser sur la salade. Mélanger et servir de suite ou répartir dans des boîtes à emporter.

Smoothie de Pastèque, Concombre et Menthe – pour 4 verres
•1 concombre
•½ pastèque, pelée et coupée en cubes
•Une grosse poignée de feuilles de menthe

1.Passer le concombre a l’extracteur de jus.
2.Dans un blender, mixer la pastèque avec la menthe et le jus de concombre. Servir ou verser dans des bouteilles et garder au frais jusqu’au moment de servir.

July 11, 2014

Green Pâté

In France, we have a bit of a tradition with the ‘apéritif’. You tend to invite friends or family to pop round to your place and have a few drinks together alongside finger foods. It can be very informal and impromptu or can be a bit more refined and require a bit of planning in order to create beautiful platters of nibbles for all to enjoy. Summer is the favourite time of year for appetizers, with the long evenings and the possibility of sitting outside in the garden or on the balcony. Apéritifs can however be quite heavy on animal-based foods (cured meats, cheeses, etc.), and as I like to add a bit of variety and love plant foods, I’m always coming up with my own creations. Take this green pâté:  it takes only a matter of minutes to prepare, and is super versatile as you could spread it on crackers or rice cakes, dip vegetables in it, have it in a sandwich or why not with a bowl of pasta! The green peppercorns are what really add a pâté taste to it. If you find dehydrated ones, make sure you rehydrate them in water before using.

I hope you get to enjoy the long summer evenings. With love and light, Blandine

Green Pâté – makes a batch
•100g pumpkin seeds, soaked for a few hours
•250g courgette (about 1 medium courgette), chopped
•1tsp green peppercorns
•1 small clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
•Zest of ½ lemon
•Squeeze of lemon juice
•1/2tsp ground cumin
•2tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1.Drain and rinse the pumpkin seeds. Place in a food processor and blend until ground.
2.Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and process until smooth.
3.Serve with crackers or vegetable sticks.

Pâté Vert 
•100g de graines de courges, trempées pendant quelques heures
•250g de courgette (environ 1 courgette de taille moyenne), émincée
•1cc de grains de poivre vert
•1 petite gousse d’ail, pelée et émincée
•Zeste d’1/2 citron
•Quelques gouttes de jus de citron
•1/2cc de cumin moulu
•2cs d’huile d’olive extra-vierge

1.Egoutter et rincer les graines de courge. Mettre dans le bol d’un robot et mixer jusqu'à l’obtention d’une poudre.
2.Ajouter le reste des ingrédients et mixer.
3.Servir avec des crackers ou des bâtonnets de légumes.

July 04, 2014

Carrot & Chickpea Salad with Za'atar

The month of July started with some days of heavy rain. The kind of rain that soaks you to the bone (if you’ve ever been to the rainforest, this was what it felt like). We went on our weekly trip to the market at the weekend, when it started pouring down. There was no way we would escape it and because it was still warm outside we just decide to embrace it and laughed and jumped in puddles like children. It left me with the impression of having been washed from the inside out, very cleansing for the soul ;-)

Despite the far from sunny weather, I’m definitely determined to invite summer in my plate. Salads are what I tend to nourish me with at the moment, an ideal opportunity to incorporate more raw foods in your diet, to leave you light and content. I gave this one a Middle-Eastern twist, using a spice mix which I am particularly fond of. You can buy za’atar already prepared or can easily make it yourself, see the recipe for it below.

Happy July my friends, let’s hope the sun will shine again soon! x

Carrot & Chickpea Salad with Za’atar – serves 4
•Salt and pepper
•Juice of ½ lemon
•2tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
•1tsp pomegranate molasses
•6 small carrots or 3 large, grated
•1 can chickpeas
•½ fennel, finely shredded
•½ cucumber, finely chopped
•2 handful fresh herbs (chives, parsley, dill, basil...), finely chopped
•2tsp za’atar
•4tbsp sesame seeds

1.Prepare the dressing by mixing salt and pepper, lemon juice, olive oil and pomegranate molasses in a large salad bowl.
2.Add the grated carrots, chickpeas, fennel, cucumber, fresh herbs and za’atar to the bowl. Mix well.
3.Serve into plates and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

•4tbsp dried thyme
•1tbsp dried oregano
•4tbsp sesame seeds (lightly toasted or raw)
•4tbsp sumac
•Pinch of salt

1.Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
2.Keep in a glass jar.

Salade de Carottes et Pois Chiches au Za’atar – pour 4 personnes
•Sel et poivre
•Jus d’1/2 citron
•2cs d’huile d’olive
•1 de mélasse de grenade
•6 petites carottes ou 3 grosses, râpées
•1 boîte de pois chiches
•½ fenouil, émincé
•½ concombre, coupé en fines tranches, puis demi-lunes
•2 poignées d’herbes fraîches (ciboulette, persil, aneth, basilic…), hachées
•2cc de za’atar
•2cs de graines de sésame

1.Préparer l’assaisonnement dans le fond d’un saladier en mélangeant du sel et du poivre avec le jus de citron, l’huile d’olive et la mélasse.
2.Ajouter les carottes, les pois chiches, le fenouil, le concombre, les herbes fraîches et le za’atar et bien mélanger.
3.Servir dans des assiettes et parsemer de graines de sésame.

•4cs de feuilles de thym séché
•1cs d’origan séché
•4cs de graines de sésame (légèrement toastées ou crues)
•4cs de sumac
•1 pincée de sel

1.Mélanger tous les ingrédients dans un bol.
2.Garder dans un bocal en verre.