Gazpacho – Chilled and Delicious

It’s 30 degrees C here on the west coast of Canada, and the best place to be, quite frankly,  is in the shade under the apple tree – I moved my office out there where there was a slight breeze.

The local markets are booming with fresh fruits and vegetables – this made me think – it’s time to make a cool and delicious Gazpacho soup.

It’s literally the easiest thing in the entire world to make. I think it took me 8 minutes! It’s super tasty and so packed full of goodness. It’s tango in the mouth! You can make it for lunch, as an appetizer or for dinner with a slice of homemade bread.

Ready for Gazpacho

Ready for Gazpacho

Gazpacho 

For 4 portions

800g of sun ripped tomatoes

1 clove of garlic

1 small shallot onion

1 celery stick

1 red pepper

1 small green chilli

1 cucumber

80g of stale good bread

1 -2 tablespoons of good vinegar – I used balsamic

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2-1 cup of filtered water

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Rinse and roughly chop the tomatoes and vegetables, put them into the blender along with the other ingredients and blend into a smooth delicious soup.

Serve the soup ice cold with freshly diced cucumber, peppers, and green onions.

Cool and delicious Gazpacho

Chilled and delicious

 

The perfect summer meal – enjoy!

” it’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip of wine … it’s summertime!” 
― Kenny Chesney

 

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Fresh Homemade Tomato Soup served with Garlic and Goat Cheese Focaccia

Today I went out to my local market,  a fantastic place just outside the city where I live. Right now the market is  booming with local strawberries, new potatoes, fresh herbs, tomatoes, spinach and so much more.

…and chickens wandered around in the shop while I was filling my basket – that’s my kind of place.

A basket full of goodness

A basket full of goodness

I  simply love this time of year when the markets are booming with the delicious fresh produce of the season- particularly the deep red sweet tomatoes! They are like candy in themselves and create a little party in your mouth – so intense with flavours!

When I saw them I immediately decided that I wanted to make fresh tomato soup. Continue reading

Delicious Raw Food Falafel with Creamy Tahini Sauce

As many of you know, every week we like to change some of our meals with vegan meals, and in particular, we love those vegan meals that are fresh delicious Raw Food meals.

The other night we had Raw Food Tacos and they were wildly good – and tonight we had Raw Food Falafel.

I love middle eastern food and falafel is one of my all time favourites – so I decided I wanted to create a Raw Food version of this wonderful dish  – it turned out to be equally delicious. I love how I feel after eating Raw – I feel  energized and light, full of energy.

Every bite nourishes the body.

Raw Food Falafel

Raw Food Falafel

Here’s the recipe

Raw Food Falafel with Creamy Tahini 

This recipe makes 14 – 16 falafel

2 cups of walnuts

2 big brown mushrooms

1 celery stalk

1 glove of garlic

A little piece of red onion

1/4 red pepper

1 bunch of fresh cilantro

1  teaspoon ground cumin

3 tbs Braggs

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

You also need – sesame seeds to roll the falafel in

Diced tomatoes, cucumber and red onions as an accompaniment and

radicchio lettuce – as your “pita”.

Put the ingredients for the falafel into the blender and blend until smooth – leave in the fridge for 1/2 – 1 hrs, to make them  easier to work with – then form them into little round balls and roll them in the raw sesame seeds.

Falafel in process

Falafel in process

 

Falafel

Falafel

Walnuts

Walnuts

Creamy Tahini 

Creamy tahini

Creamy tahini

 

For the dressing:

3 small tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

4 heaped tablespoons of tahini

1 clove of garlic

2 teaspoons of agave sirup/maple sirup

4 teaspoons  tamari

8 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.

Serve the falafel on a crisp red radicchio leaf, put some mixed leafy greens on top and add a good scoop of creamy tahini sauce. Top this with diced cucumber, tomatoes, red onion and fresh cilantro…. and Enjoy!

Served perhaps with a glass of wine

Served perhaps with a glass of wine?

 

On another note –

Many many weeks have gone by without my writing a single blog post…. so what happened?

I had surgery while I was in DK – hysterectomy – all went well, no cancer, a huge relief, and goodbye to the pain that has been with me for many, many months.

Recovery has been fast – incredibly fast, just 2 weeks after surgery I was biking through the forest, and now only 6 weeks later I am out running!

I am grateful!

I was privileged and happy to be in Denmark while having my surgery – surrounded by family and wonderful friends who spoiled me rotten! Taking turns to look after me!

Thank you for all your kind comments and emails asking about my health and well-being – I feel very lucky to have so many amazing people in my life – my virtual friends as well as personal ones!

Thank you!

Almond Orange Chocolate Cake

This is one of the easiest cake recipes ever! It’s delicious and super healthy – how often do you find that in a cake?

It’s gluten-free and fat- free – but you would never know.

The recipe is from a friend of mine who is allergic to gluten and she is a master in creating the very best of recipes. This one is originally an orange cake, and it’s so good that I have made it a million times, but one day I thought, hmm chocolate…….in this? I mean, dark bitter chocolate, oranges and almonds……it could only be good and it was.

Orange Chocolate Almond Cake

Orange Chocolate Almond Cake

Almond Orange Chocolate  Cake

4 organic oranges

6 organic free range eggs

150g raw sugar

250g raw almonds

150g good dark chocolate

1 large teaspoon baking powder

1 vanilla pod

sea salt

Boiled Oranges

Boiled Oranges

You boil the oranges in water for 2 hours, allow them to cool. Melt the chocolate and allow it to cool slightly.  In the blender, blend the almonds into flour, then add the sugar, roughly chop the oranges and take out the pips, then put it, including the peel (no pips) into the blender along with the rest of the ingredients – blend into a dough.

Good Chocolate

Good Chocolate

Raw Almonds

Raw Almonds

Vanilla pod

Vanilla pod

Put the dough into a very well greased cake tin and cook in the oven for about 35 min at 360F

Still too hot to cut

Still too hot to cut

Serve the cake with some stewed berries or some orange sauce.

Served with stewed berries

Served with stewed berries

Let’s face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; It does for me. Audrey Hepburn 

I agree 🙂

Hope you have a fabulous weekend wherever you are!

Honey Roasted Carrots with Fresh and Spicy Zhoug

These multi -coloured carrots seduced me at the market today. They were so beautiful I just had to find a way to turn them into a delicious meal.

Rainbow Carrots

Rainbow Carrots

I love middle eastern cuisine  – the spices, the flavours, the fragrances, the colours and the intensities. It’s the passion in middle eastern cooking,  it’s authentic and real honest food – that’s what I love!

This is what inspired me – I thought  Zhoug would make the perfect match to the beautiful carrots.  I decided roasting them slowly in the oven with honey, freshly squeezed lemon juice, sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil.

So, in the oven at 350F for about 40 min.

Zhoug is a fresh herb, garlic and chile sauce,  slightly spiced with cardamon, cumin and cloves, which I imagined would go really well with the roasted carrots.

Zhoug is not only wonderfully tasty, but also super healthy! Packed full of nutrients, antioxidants and flavours!

One of my all time favourite middle eastern cook books is Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamini’s book, Jerusalem, – it’s a visually stunning book with lots of great recipes. My Zhoug is strongly inspired by the recipe in the book, but with some tasty changes that I like.

Sauces like Zhoug, Harrissa, Chimicurri, and Muhamarra are amazing condiments. They make eating vegetables a total joy !

Fresh Parsley

Fresh Parsley

Zhoug

One bunch of big leaved parsley

One bunch cilantro

one green chilli

juice of one small lemon

1 teaspoon maple sirup

2 clove of garlic

4 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

sea salt

Wash the herbs thoroughly and put them in the blender, add the rest of the ingredients and blend into a pesto-like sauce.

Fresh Cilantro

Fresh Cilantro

Serve the roasted carrots warm or cold with the sauce and some pomegranate seeds

pomegranate

pomegranate

… and enjoy – an easy to make, but extremely tasty dish!

Honey Roasted Carrots

Honey Roasted Carrots

Perhaps, add a slice of good bread?

good bread

good bread

 I hope you have a wonderful weekend! 

Fried celery root with Chimichurri sauce

Chimichuri sauce – is a favourite of mine. It’s originally an Argentinian sauce, but the very first time I had it, was on a trip to Venezuela – and it was love at first sight  taste.

It has an intense and incredible flavour, given by the fresh herbs, the chilli, the lemon juice, and the garlic. It’s so good with so many things: fish, chicken, lamb, fabulous in sandwiches, drizzled on pizza, as dip for a slice of freshly baked bread, with omelet , or just served with vegetables.

I speculated on how it would taste with different things and came up with the idea of pairing it with root celery and …  it’s pretty magical!

Continue reading

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!

Fresh herb salad with pomegranate and lemon dressing

I love Tabouleh! It’s one of my favourite salads in the world. It’s this combination of freshness and herbs that I love so much –  that creates a true sensation of party in my mouth.

I had some leftover cooked bulgur in the fridge as well as a bunch of fresh coriander, and there was fresh mint in the garden!  I also had a big juicy pomegranate laying on the table begging me to play – so inspired by Tabouleh salad, I created this:

Fresh herb salad

Fresh herb salad

Fresh herb salad with bulgur and pomegranate

One cup of cooked bulgur

one bunch of fresh mint

one big bunch of Italian parsley

one big bunch of fresh cilantro

one bunch of spring onions

one pomegranate

1/2 cucumber

one lemon

1/4 cup olive oil 

Sea salt

Rinse and finely chop herbs and spring onions  – mix with the bulgur in a bowl. Squeeze the lemon and stir in the olive oil, mix in the salad. Add sea salt and serve with pomegranate seeds on top. Serve and enjoy! Perfect for lunch!

Pomegranate

Pomegranate

While chopping away, I was thinking how much I love spending time in the kitchen, creating – for me it’s the perfect way to relax. Kitchen meditation or even kitchen therapy for my soul  – how many problems have not been solved around a kitchen table? Not to forget the amount of amazing ideas that have been given birth to in the kitchen, deep talks, laughter, and love shared in this almost sacred space of the house.

Lots of fresh herbs

Lots of fresh herbs

Melon Spinach Smoothie

Last day of holiday in Denmark – 3 weeks flew by – all too quickly, but I enjoyed every single minute.

It was all that I had hoped and wished for – sunshine, bright summer nights, family, friends, swimming in the sea, running in the forest, blackbirds singing, relaxation, books, strawberries, new potatoes, fun – bare feet and freckles. Oh it was good!

Now I am ready to go back to the west coast of Canada – enjoy summer there and getting back to work.

Before I run, I want to share some photos and a green smoothie recipe that became a favorite this summer.

The melons are so ripe, juicy and incredibly sweet.

Gorgeously Sweet Melons

Gorgeously Sweet Melons

Melon Spinach Smoothie

One big handful of fresh spinach

1 sweet melon – I used 1/2 Gaia and 1/2 cantaloupe

1 big peach

Ice cold water

Some frozen grapes

Melon Spinach Smoothie

Melon Spinach Smoothie

So good and so refreshing on a warm summer day! 

Plenty time for reading

Plenty time for reading

Wild Flowers

Wild Flowers

Morning run in the forest

Morning run in the forest

Biking to the beach

Biking to the beach

Swimming

The life guard’s post

Caprifolia

Caprifolia

Sunsets

Sunsets

A 10:30 pm goodnight swim

A 10:30 pm swan family goodnight swim

Where ever you are – I hope you are soaking up summer and enjoying life!

Mushroom Quinoa Steak served with fresh Pesto on Baked Aubergine

I frequently enjoy replacing ordinary meals with vegan or vegetarian deliciousness. I actually eat more vegan food now than anything else. Why? Because it tastes amazing and is so good for my health.

The other day I had made both, so the family could choose what they wanted – to my surprise ALL, even the teenagers helped themselves to the vegan dishes! And there I was, stuck with the meat which I had to chuck……… imagine!

I thought, really? But yes!
IMG_0984
This is one of the dishes that win over meat in our family.

Continue reading