Crispy Yam with Spicy Harissa

When I was first diagnosed with high cholesterol I believed that there was nothing in this world I could do to change that. I believed that I had to be on medication for the rest of my life because I had the generic kind.  A dad and a brother on cholesterol lowering medication, a granddad who suffered a heart attack and an uncle who died. I knew this was no laughing matter, soI faithfully took my statins and didn’t ask questions.

No questions

No Questions

This year I celebrate 4 years of normal cholesterol and no medication.

I did it with lifestyle changes!

Changed my diet and started exercising. You can read exactly how I did it here and a great story about the power of lifestyle changes here

A healthy lifestyle is the worlds best medicine

Lifestyle changes the best medicine

Lifestyle changes the best medicine

An example of what I eat for lunch instead of a sandwich filled with meat and cheese.

Crispy Yams and Spicy Harissa 

Lunch

Lunch

Crispy Yams and Spicy Harissa

3 red pepper 

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup olive oil

juice from one lemon

1 clove of garlic

1/2 -1 red chilli

Bake the peppers till they are tender and the skin almost black. Allow them to cool, tear off the skin and put the flesh in the blender. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend into a smooth and delicious sauce.

2 big yams

Olive oil

sea salt pepper

3 red pepper1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup olive oil

juice from one lemon

1 clove of garlic

1/2 -1 red chilli

Slice the yams and put them on a baking tray – drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Bake till golden brown, crispy  and tender.

Serve the crispy yams on a salad with the spicy Harrisa and a  fresh squeeze of lemon.

This dish can easily be made as dinner served with whatever takes your fancy – and it can be the perfect leftover lunch to bring to work.

Harrisa Sauce

Harissa Sauce

Wishing you a wonderful weekend wherever you are!

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Open faced Sandwich with Portobello, baked peppers,eggplant, freshly made hummus and rosemary

Open-faced sandwiches are so good and, being a Dane, I was raised on them. In Denmark, we have open faced sandwiches every day, in all variations and in every creation. Open-faced sandwiches rock! The perfect finger food and greatest snack you can imagine. Only your fantasy sets the limit for what you can put on them. This is served on “no knead bread” but could easily be served on freshly made rye bread, which is the traditional for Danish open sandwiches. Continue reading

Lima beans with garlic, sunripe tomatoes, chili and zucchini

The perfect mix –  sun ripe organic tomatoes, fresh zucchini, garlic and chili – and Lima beans. An easy dish enjoyed on its own or as a perfect companion to fish, chicken, etc.

Lima beans with garlic, sun-ripe tomatoes, chili and zucchini

Prepare the beans

200 g Lima beans

a sprig of fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

sea salt

Rinse well in cold water. Add beans to a big pot of cold water, bring to the boil, drain and rinse in cold water. Do the same 3 times before finally boiling in water added salt, fresh thyme and a couple of bay leaves. Cook till tender – cool.

and then the zucchini, garlic, tomato and chili

2 small zucchini

3 ripe tomatoes

3 shallots

2 cloves of garlic

fresh red chili or dried

Olive oil

Slice the zucchini, finely chop the tomatoes, the garlic and the shallots. In a frying pan, fry the zucchini till golden, add the garlic and shallots. Continue cooking until the shallots and garlic are soft. Add the tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes while mixing and stirring. Add the cooked Lima beans and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Add chilli to taste. Serve hot and enjoy on its own or as the perfect accompany to fish or chicken.

Easy Beets

I love this time of year – so great to cook with the great harvest from the garden or the market. I am not a gardener, have never had a single interest in the gardening before, but this year, something changed.

I love my garden – It is magical to go out in the garden early in the morning while the day is fresh, to water and then later to pick lettuce for salads, kale for greens smoothies, spinach for salads and pies. And now the garden is booming with juicy cherry tomatoes and plums. Yesterday I went out and harvested beets – delicious beets.

The garden has been so generous! Today a recipe for Easy Beets

 

8 beets, wash them, clean them and cut off the tops and ends. Put them on a baking tray, drizzled with olive oil and sea salt – put them in the oven to bake for about 20 min at 360F all depending on the size of the beets.

While the beets are baking, put a big pot of water to boil with added salt. When the water is boiling  throw in the beet leaves, leave them in til they are just wilted . Take them out and run cold water over them to stop the cooking process.

When the beets are cooked, take them out to cool. The cooking time depends on the size of the beets so check to make sure they are right. I cooked mine for about 20 min

When everything is cool –  skin the beets and cut them into quarts, arrange them on top of the wilted leaves.

Make a dressing of the juice of one lemon, mixed with 1/2 cup of olive oil, some sea salt, freshly ground pepper and some freshly chopped parsley, mint and basil – pour the dressing on the top and VOILA, one delicious salad!

Plant-wild week-day 5

Wow – this is one effective diet! I wasn’t trying to loose weight, all I wanted was to boost my health – give myself a serious health kick. That has happened in a big way, but on top of it, I have lost 2kg!!!

I’m feeling great, so great, that I’m excited about continuing this plant-wild adventure another day!

Here’s today’s breakfast

Slices of fresh watermelon and a delicious fruit smoothie made from summer berries – strawberries, raspberries, almonds, ice and filtered water.

Lunch

Baked tomatoes and red pepper fattoush – one of my absolute favorites – full blown taste of summer!

6 big ripe tomatoes

4 red peppers

1/2 cucumber

fresh mint

large-leaved parsley

1/2 red onion

some black olives

olive oil

4 pita bread

Cut the tomatoes into quarters, half the peppers and take out the seeds – put them on a baking tray (on baking paper), drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt – and bake slowly in a 300C oven for about an hour – checking so see that they don’t burn. Once they are done, take them out and leave them to cool.

Cut the pita breads in half and then separate them – put them on a baking tray in an 400F oven – bake till they are slightly brown and crisp. Put aside to cool.

Cut the cucumber in half length-wise and then cut into bite sized slices. Wash and roughly chop the parsley and the fresh mint, cut the red onion in half and slice it. Remove any skin of the red peppers that is burnt. Cut the red pepper into smaller pieces. In a bowl put the cucumber, the herbs, the baked tomatoes and pepper and the olives. Mix carefully, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar,

Serve with pieces of the crispy pita bread on top – and enjoy, preferably outside in the shade with a cool drink!

Dinner

Pasta with sun dried tomatoes and olive pesto – topped with garlic, chili and herb bread crumbs and served with summer salad

Spaghetti 75 g pr person

Pesto

Big bunch of fresh basil

100g of sun dried tomatoes ( I used about half a small glass)

15 black pitted olives

1 big clove of garlic

1/2 olive oil

2 table spoons of nutritional yeast

2 table spoons of pine nuts

Add all the ingredients in to the blender and blend into a perfect pesto sauce

Bread crumbs

1 cup of bread crumbs

a bunch of basil

a bunch of fresh oregano

2 cloves of garlic

some red fresh chili ( depending on how hot you like it baby)

grated lemon peel

sea salt

I used some of the good, but now stale, bread and chopped it into tiny bread crumbs. Finely chop the herbs along with the garlic and the chili, grate some lemon peel and mix everything all together.

In a frying pan – add some olive oil and heat – add the bread crumbs, stirring and tossing all the time to prevent them from burning, fry until they are slightly golden, then add the herb mixture and mix well. Leave on the heat for another minute still mixing. Take off the heat.

Cook the pasta – detente – drain and mix with the pesto sauce, serve on big plates with the bread crumbs. Serve with a summer salad, with tomatoes, of course.

Plant-wild week-day 3

I’m well into this adventure and feeling amazing, vibrant and full of energy – it does make a difference, whether I fill myself or nourish myself. I run better on plants than on spareribs and ice cream!

Another thing I think is really cool, is that it is so easy to go shopping, I just head for the vegetable section of the grocery store, stock up on veggies and fruits, and away I go.

Okay, so last night’s dinner had some bread dough left over – which I had covered with a very wet cloth and left on the kitchen counter for the night. This morning I turned on the oven to 415 F, and before having my shower I scooped out the dough onto a baking sheet and put it in the oven. When I finished the shower, the bread was ready – about 20-25 min later – hot yummy bread.

Today’s breakfast-  slices of bread served with coconut butter, honey, walnuts and fresh blueberries – and a glass of smoothie made from fresh blueberries, raspberries, a good chunk of fresh juicy pineapple, some frozen summer berries and a handful of almonds. The almonds make the smoothie creamy and filling, the berries makes it irresistibly delicious.

Snack

Green juice and fresh peach

One bunch of collard greens

5 sweet apples

a slice of fresh ginger

1 lemon

Run it through the juicer and serve  on ice with slices of fresh peach.

Lunch

Warm kale Salad with tahini, lemon/garlic dressing, pine nuts and red pepper

Ingredients

2 big bunches of kale

one red pepper

2 spoons of pine nuts

For the dressing:

2 small tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons of tahini

1 clove of garlic

2 teaspoons of agave sirup/maple sirup

2 teaspoons  tamari

4 tablespoons of olive oil

1/3 cup water

a good squeeze of lemon

sea salt

Put everything into the blender and blend it into a creamy tasty dressing.

Wash the kale and take the leaves off of the stem. Roll up a couple of leaves at a time and cut thinly. Slice the red pepper into strips. In a frying pan, add some olive oil and saute the red pepper, add the kale – saute for a couple of minutes and add sea salt. Serve warm with the tahini dressing, pine nuts on top and some extra lemon for those who like.

Dinner

Summer Paella with vegetable served with baked cherry tomatoes on the wine

One favorite recipe in our family is paella with seafood, chicken and with intense flavors of fresh herbs, saffron,tomatoes, garlic and wine. Today I have left out the seafood and the chicken and made a delicious version with only vegetables. I was anticipating that there would be some complaints, about the missing seafood and chicken, but no, everyone ate and enjoyed.

I served it with a simple green salad with a oil/vinaigrette dressing

I used:

4 shallots

3 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon of tomato pure

200g of fresh ripe tomatoes

200g of sweet cherry tomatoes on the vine

300g of green beans

1 bunch of green asparagus

1 red pepper

lemon

1 teaspoon of paprika

fresh oregano

fresh thyme

1 1/2 cup of long grained rice

1 l. of vegetable stock

a dash of white wine

Prepare the vegetable so that they are ready to go in the paella. Wash and cut the red pepper into bite size, wash the asparagus and green beans and cut into smaller pieces,

Finely chop the shallots – (Shallots have a more intense flavor than regular onions, the limo of onions), garlic, fresh thyme and oregano. In a saute pan add some olive oil and gently saute the shallots, garlic, fresh herbs, add a spoon full of tomato paste and the paprika, add the rice and mix it with all the ingredients, add a good pinch of saffron, stir, add a dash of wine – let it reduce, while stirring.

Now add the vegetable stock and cook gently with a lid, stir the dish every now and them. Depending on how you like your vegetables done you can start adding them in at this time. I like my vegetables just crunchy so I put in the green beans already when the rice has cooked about 3/4 of it time and then wait a couple of minutes before putting in the red pepper. In the meantime, put the cherry  tomatoes in the oven – see below. Stir the rice dish again and again to prevent it from sticking and burning on the bottom, and now add the red peppers, wait a couple of minutes and finally add the asparagus, put the lid back on and cook another 3-4 min.

Cherry tomatoes – Turn the oven on at 350F. Place the sweet cherry tomatoes on a baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and sea salt, bake and keep and eye on them – for about 15 min keep them warm.

When the dish is ready and the vegetables are done to your liking – season with sea-salt, fresh pepper and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Serve the dish with the baked cherry tomatoes on top!

I must admit I was dreaming of seafood while I was making this dish – but it tasted so good I completely forgot all about the seafood and thouroughly enjoyed every bite!