Curly kale salad & garlic croutons

Hello,

As I did my post-holiday groceries, I came across some discounted bags of British kale. I hardly ever buy kale, but I thought it be worth to try a salad (which seems quite a popular thing here in the UK)

This article here gave me some guidelines to prepare the recipe:

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For a salad that makes 2 generous portions:

  • enough curly kale to fill 2 salad bowls
  • 2 handfuls of shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 handfuls of sultanas
  • 1 handful of chopped pecan nuts
  • 2 slices of wholegrain bread
  • 1 peeled garlic clove
  • 1 chopped spring onion to garnish (optional)
  • salt & pepper

For the dressing:

  • 3 tbsp of argan oil (can be replaced by another vegetable oil of your choice, but I really like the nutty flavor that argan oil brings to the salad)
  • the juice of 1 lemon (here I used 1/2 lemon – 1/2 lime)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar

Prepare the sultanas: in a sauce pot, cover the fruits with water and simmer for 10 minutes until soft. Drain and keep aside.

Rinse the kale and put in a bowl. In a smaller bowl, combine all the ingredients for the dressing and whisk until smooth. Pour the dressing on the kale and “massage” the leaves to make them tender.

Add to the seasoned kale the shredded cheese, the sultanas, the nuts.

Toast the slices of bread and rub the garlic clove to season them. Cut the garlic-flavored bread into dices.

Just before serving, add the garlic croutons to the salad and toss well.

Top the salad with a poached egg (or tofu as a vegan option), olive oil and chopped spring onions.

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enjoy!

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Courgette-potato frittata

Hi,

Summer is finally here in London! To celebrate the hottest day of the year (supposedly today as we’re going to hit the 30 degrees), I would like to share a nice summer recipe with you. It’s simple, tastes great and can make easily a main dish!

You will need (serves 4):

  • 2 nice courgettes
  • 2 big potatoes
  • 5 eggs
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 red onion
  • olive oil for cooking
  • salt & pepper

Start with the courgette: peel and slice the vegetables, before steam cooking them with one of the garlic clove you will have peeled and crushed. (For that, I use the basket which is included in my rice cooker – so I don’t have to look after it!). The slices of courgette should be a bit tender but not mashed.

Peel and cut the potatoes, the onion and the garlic in small dices.

In a large frying pan on medium fire, heat the olive oil (at least 2 nice tablespoons) and cook slowly the onion and the garlic until tender. Add the potato dices and stir regularly. The potato should be golden brown, slightly crunchy outside but soft inside. The more regularly you stir the potatoes, the better the result!

While the vegetables are being cooked, break the eggs in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper, or a bit of chili powder if you like more spicy dishes. Beat the eggs until the yolks and the whites are completely mixed. (the more you beat the eggs, the better it is).

When the potatoes are cooked, add the courgettes slices and stir well to mix the flavors. Then pour the eggs on the vegetables. Let it cook slowly until you have a nice omelette. The top of the frittata is still a bit liquid at this point, so the best thing to end the cooking is it transfer it into the oven for 5 minutes until the frittata is completely set.

Enjoy warm with a green salad.

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Fruity flapjacks

Hi,
Today I am sharing with you a really reasy but delicious snack recipe: my raisin flapjack.

I discovered flapjacks in the UK, as there are available in the most vending machines. But as I always want to avoid the preservatives and all the nasty things the food industry adds to the recipe, i decided to my owns 🙂 Moreover, it’s a great way to get rid of some oatmeal, if you’re a bit sick with your morning porridge!

I got inspired by the following recipe as it was my very first try – but I changed the recipe to fit what I had in my cupboard 😉

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For this you will need:

  • 350gr oatmeal
  • 100gr unsalted butter
  • 3 tbps clear honey
  • 75gr caster sugar
  • 2 or 3 handful raisins
  • 1 pinch of salt

Start with the butter: cut it into small cubes and make it melt in a small milk pan on low fire. Add the honey and the sugar and stir well until you get a smooth texture.

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In a metal bowl, pour the oatmeal. Add the “sweet butter” preparation and stir well to get a compact paste. Add a pinch of salt and the raisins and stir again. Spread the mixture on a buttered metal tin – with a thickness of approximately 1cm. Bake in the oven (180°C) for 25 minutes until golden brown, the flapjack should be a bit soft. Take the preparation out of the oven and cut the big flapjack into 5cm squares. Let them cool down.

Enjoy!

My healthy snack recipes…

Hi all,

Recently I had a chat with a friend of mine about the fact we love snacking at work – although it gives us a deep feeling of guilt. Afterall who doesn’t a small treat to keeps him going in the middle of the afternoon?

Normally we don’t need snacks, as our 3 meals are supposed to bring sufficient energy throughout the day – we all know that.

Anyway, I felt that there are many cases where snacks are useful:

– you just quit smoking, so you feel like eating something you enjoy and that will not harm your health.

– you try to implement healthier eating habits, and you want to start small by introducing small amount of vegetables and fruits to your diet.

– you’re trying to lose weight: as restricting your calorie intake is not paying off on the long term, why not introduce small snacks so you are not craving for a chocolate bar or crisps.

So here are my tips for nice snacks that will satisfy your cravings:

Some are very simple and are ideal to bring to work, some require a few more minutes of preparation.

Enjoy!

***Sweet snacks****

  • blueberries + cottage cheese + honey/agave syrup
  • one slice of wholegrain bread topped with butter, honey and honeybee pollen
  • a smoothie made of: 1 green apple, 1 carrot, 1 orange, 5 strawberries and 1 slice of fresh ginger
  • one self-made porridge: oat + water + 1 teaspoon of honey + 1 handful of berries + 1 tbsp of yoghurt
  • one small “breakfast” bowl: 3 tbsp of muesli + 3 tbsp. of  yoghurt + 3 tbps of compote + a few nuts

***Savoury snacks***

  • celery/carrots sticks with homemade hummus (for hummus: just mix the content of a chickpeas can with 2 tbsp. olive oil, the squeeze of a lemon, 2 cloves of garlic and a bit of tahini or sesame oil if you like the taste of sesame paste)
  • thin slices of bresaola on some rucola leaves, on a Wasa slice topped with Philadelphia.
  • one slide of Wasa, topped with a slice of smocked salmon, 2/3 slices of avocado, 1 tbsp of Philadelphia cheese and chives.
  • celery sticks stuffed with a mix of creamy cheese/blue cheese

Super easy almond biscuits

Okay, I admit this post is a kind of “bonus” for the sweet teeth like me. But there is a recipe I want to share, as it is just the easiest biscuits recipe I found recently by trying the experience. I recommend it  if you have to bake big batches (ideal to bring to your work colleagues, although Christmas time is over!).

Moreover I am glad that I created a recipe which is  100% vegan and all the people who tried these biscuits could not recognize the difference of taste with a “standard” cookie 😉

You will need (for 1 batch of 25/30 biscuits – depending on how big you like them)

  • 100gr of almond powder
  • 170gr of almond butter
  • 100gr of sugar
  • some drops of almond extract if you want a stronger taste (I personally do not use it)
  • some icing sugar (optional)

Before starting, heat up the oven at 180°. Start by shaking the jar of almond butter so the texture becomes homogeneous. In a large bowl, mix the almond butter with the sugar until the texture becomes pale and smooth using a manual or electric whisk. Add the almond powder and the extract, and mix well. You should get a dense dough, were you can still feel some crunchy almond pieces.

Now, the funny part of the recipe ( it is time for people around to contribute!):  form regular “almond croissants”, mines are approximately 7cm wide. Lay them down on an oven plate recovered by baking paper. Bake for 20′ (stay in the kitchen to watch them!) until golden and crunchy. Let them cool down before   sprinkling with the icing sugar.

Share and enjoy!

Sweet ginger roasted squash

Hello,

To start this new year with a nice and comforting dish, I am suggesting you my Sweet Ginger Roasted Squash recipe: in my recipe I used Kabocha squash, but you can use any type of winter squash you enjoy the taste (Butternut, Hokkaido, Acorn, etc). This recipe is easy (the biggest part being cutting the squash), tasty (if you do not like that much the taste of strong ginger, you can use only half a tea spoon of grated ginger) and will provide you plenty of vitamins to face the cold winter!

For this recipe you will need  (serves 4):

  • 1 nice winter squash 
  • 2 tbsp. of honey or agave syrup
  • 1 big piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp. of sweet paprika powder
  • salt and pepper

Start with heating up the oven at 180°C. After cutting the squash into halves, remove the seeds from the “heart”. Then cut each halves into small segments of a thickness of 2cm.  Once you have nice “C”s of squash, it will be easier to remove the skin with a strong and sharp knife. Spread all the “C”s on an oven plate, letting enough space between them.

Grate some ginger, or cut it into small pieces if you want a stronger taste (I took the 2nd option here :). Crush the garlic clove. Mix the ginger with the garlic using the honey (do not hesitate to a bit of water if you are using solid honey) and spread this “syrup” on the pieces of squash. Prinkle with the paprika powder, salt and pepper.

Bake in the oven for 30min, until the squash Cs are well-roasted, tender and caramelized with the ginger-honey mixture.

Serve with some green vegetables for a nice vegan dinner (here I cooked a mix of green beans/broccoli/onions/roasted pepitas)

A simple risotto

Hi everyone,

It’s been a while I haven’t posted any recipes. But I have good excuses: weekend away, invitations, eating out with my partners. Tonight I was craving for some champignon risotto – it is simple, easy and is a good main dish for a vegetarian meal.

You need – serves 2/3:

  • 1 cup of rice (take either the Italian arborio rice, sushi rice works fine too as it is a round rice)
  • 1/2 red onion
  •  1 small zucchini
  • 5/6 Paris champignons
  • 3/4 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
  • 500ml of water
  • 1 cube of vegetable stock (or chicken, beef…whatever gives flavor to the rice)
  • 100gr of Parmesan cheese (half to cook, the other half can be cut into big flakes to serve)
  • salt/pepper

First, prepare the risotto base: in a large pan, heat the olive oil with the onions cut into big slices. Stir well until the onion get tender. Add the dry rice and stir until the rice becomes almost transparent. Boil the water in a sauce pan, and add the vegetable stock to melt it. Add half of the broth to the onion-rice mixture in the pan. Cook on medium heat, and add some more broth to keep on cooking the rice.

Clean and cut the champignons into halves. Peel the zucchini and cut it into small cubes. Add the vegetables to the risotto. Once it is well-cooked, add half of the Parmesan cheese that you will have grated beforehand. Keep on stirring the risotto. The vegetable should be very tender and the rice melting and shiny. No need to add cream to the dish, the cheese is enough to have a melting texture. Serve in bowls and top with Parmesan flakes.

Enjoy!