Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Croquettes




In grey rainy Paris,
I sat with my Belle Maman,
dreaming of hot chocolate,
yearning for a croissant.
We chatted and remembered,
old stories from years gone by,
the people we met, the things we did,
the laughter, the drama, the sighs.
Time disappeared as it tends to do,
when there is affection between two,
Maman said "We'd better start lunch,
its almost close to noon!"
So we steamed fresh green beans,
made hot cheesy croquettes,
and sat down to eat again,
simple food for our heart and soul,
our taste buds, stomach and brain........


My adorable Belle Mere, Francoise
 
  




 Ingredients:

250 gms Oat flakes
4 eggs
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup grated cheese
1 tablespoon dried Herbes
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon paprika
Olive oil.


Method:

Beat the eggs lightly, adding the herbs,
sea salt and paprika.
Add the oat flakes to the eggs,
then add the tomato sauce and the cheese
and mix it all together with a fork or spoon.
The batter should not be runny,
nor too dense. Add a tablespoon or two
of water if necessary.

Heat a pan and grease it with olive oil,
drop a tablespoon of the batter, then
continue one tablespoon at a time,
making 4 or 5 croquettes at a time,
When one side is done, turn them over
and let the other side cook, pressing a little
with the spatula. Add some more olive oil if desired.

Serve with grainy or smooth mustard,
along with a salad or steamed vegetables.


 


Notes:

I used Herbes de Provence,
a blend of dried herbs from Provence, in France.
You can use any blend of herbs and spices you desire.
Cheese used in these croquettes is Emmental Gruyere,
a Swiss cheese, that melts beautifully and has a lovely flavor.
The tomato sauce is homemade by Frnacoise.
She blanches and peels the tomatoes then cooks them gently,
along with shallots, garlic, parsley, herbs, salt and pepper.
It is the best tomato sauce I have ever tasted!
Even though I totally forgot
to add the mustard in the pictures,
these croquettes go very well with a strong mustard,
that tingles in your nose.......
We ate them with steamed green beans,
with a knob of goat's butter melting on top,
and some beautiful cherry tomatoes.
It was a perfect lunch, in this apartment
right next to the Eiffel Tower, can't ask for more, right? ;-)







Keep it Simple. Be Creative.
Taste and Play. Find your own Way.


Friday, 9 October 2009

Smiles









Someone asked me yesterday,
What is your blog all about?
And what does "healthy" mean to you?

It reminded me of the quote -
"The map is not the territory"

I did an exercise with my clients during Leadership trainings.
The clients wrote down the first 7 words that popped into
their minds, related to a word chosen by me, eg: Education, Sex, etc.
When we compared, we rarely found even one word common in all!
When we use abstract words, we assume we are talking
about the same thing, but that is rarely the case.
If we engage in a dialogue, we would very quickly discover
that we have different equivalences for every word we use.

So, what are the 7 spontaneous words that flow,
when YOU think of the word "Healthy" ???
Go on, have some fun, do this now and write it down!

My words for Healthy -

balance
smiling
gratitude
connecting
wholesome
nutritious
flowing

Balance, wholesome and nutritious
are the only words that can be directly
linked to food.........and Balance for me,
is really the keyword, the most essential!
Balance on every level, emotional, mental,
spiritual, and not only physical........
Oh well, astrology does work,
I'm a Libra and obsessed with Balance!!! :-)

I've had some serious health challenges.
The list is long -but I am healing
and so much better now.....

Dealing with physical ailments and pain,
truly teaches you about taking responsibility for yourself.
One also learns time and time again, how important
is your own attitude and approach to life.
I made huge changes in the way I eat,
but the most essential changes have been from the
inside out......

There are people who eat meat everyday in Sardinia,
have a strong community life,
and live long healthy happy lives.
There is a community in California, who are vegetarians,
exercise daily and connect together in spiritual faith.
They have long happy lives too.
There is an island in Japan, where people eat less,
eat lots of fish and veggies, and look like 70 years at 105!!!!
One thing they all have in common - they smile a lot :-)

There is so much variety in life, such a rich palette
of emotions, colors, people, places and food.
I love it all passionately........

And no judgement, no fanaticism in life, nor Food.
No black and whites, grey exists and is a lovely color.
Sustainable change happens slowly.
The way we think, be, eat - is what feels comfortable
to us and it is what makes us feel at ease.

So, one step at a time, adding new things, little by little,
having fun, no resistance, no rush.......
just respect and care......this is my way.......
Cooking delicious food that I love, my family does too,
sharing it with you, alongwith the new ingredients I use,
the experiments I do, in my kitchen and pantry,
and lots of smiles and joy connecting here together......
this is what my blog is all about.........







Thursday, 8 October 2009

Tarte




I have been taking it easy,
resting, relaxing, healing,
no housework, nor any shopping,
simply being, reflecting, feeling......
The fridge was empty,
the kitchen quite bare,
a few ingredients for dinner,
were put together with love and care.....
I didn't think of blogging,
as I chopped, steamed and rolled,
so no measurements were taken,
as I placed the tarte in the mold......
It looked pretty and full of color,
so well, how could I resist,
offering you my dinner,
even with no measures on the list.......






Crust:

Whole wheat flour
Millet flour
Flax seeds
Sunflower seeds
Olive Oil
Sea salt to taste
Water

Take a handful of sunflower and flax seeds.
Crush them together in a mortar with the pestle,
then add them along with the salt,
to equal parts of wheat and millet flours.
Pour enough olive oil, to make a crumbly mixture,
then add just enough water and knead it to a firm dough.


Spray a tart or pizza pan mold with some olive oil.

Roll out the dough with a rolling pin
on a lightly floured surface; about 1/8 of an inch thick.
If necessary, add a few sprinkles of flour
under the dough to keep the dough from sticking.
Carefully place it into the mold and trim the edges to fit.

Bake it in a preheated oven at 180 C for 15 minutes,
till the crust is almost but not all done. 


Filling:


Green Pesto
Mustard

Cherry tomatoes
Green and red peppers
Broccoli
Asparagus

Steam the broccoli and asparagus for 5 minutes.
Julienne the red and green peppers.

Spread a layer of green pesto on the crust,
then add a thin layer of grainy mustard on top of it.
Place the steamed broccoli and asparagus,
top with the peppers and cherry tomatoes.
Spray generously with olive oil.


Garnish:

Parmesan Dusting
Chili flakes
Dried Garlic flakes
Dried oregano, thyme, basil
Sea Salt

Sprinkle the garnish on top of the vegetables.
and put it back into the oven at 150 C
for another 10 minutes, just enough to warm the tart.
Eat it right away!!!! 
 

 


Notes:

I'm glad I took some pictures,
before I put the tarte into the oven
for the final 10 minutes,
because when it was ready,
we ate the whole lot,
and forgot all about shooting!!!
You can choose different vegetables,
whatever you find in your fridge,
I used whatever I could find in mine.
As for the crust, you can use any other
blend of flours, but do use some seeds,
they add a lovely crunch and texture to the crust.
I usually do gluten free,
but on rare occasions, wheat will do me fine.
This is just an idea, use it and make it yours........


Keep it Simple. Be Creative.
Taste and Play. Find your own Way.



Monday, 5 October 2009

Brownie


 



Sometimes on a chilly autumn day,
when you are in a mood to play,
and you want a sweet wicked treat,
do make a brownie my way......
It will melt in your mouth,
it will delight and please,
for a healthy guilt free treat,
this might be the bee's knees :-)


 


Ingredients:

1 and 1/2 cup cooked and drained black eyed beans (you can use canned beans)
1 and 1/2 cup grated zucchini (courgette)

100 gm unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup sunflower oil
3 teaspoons instant coffee

2 eggs
1 cup honey

1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1/4 cup cacao powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt


Method:

Preheat the oven to 180 C.
Line a 12 by 18 inch brownie pan with
parchment paper and spray lightly with oil.

Mix the 7 dry ingredients together and
set aside.

Place the black eyed beans and the grated zucchini
in a food processor, and process till they are smooth.
Set aside.

Melt the chocolate completely and mix in the oil.
Spoon in the coffee and stir till well mixed.
Set aside.

Whisk the eggs and the honey together, then add this
to the chocolate mixture.

Pour this egg, honey, chocolate, oil and coffee mixture
into the food processor and mix in well with the
black eyed beans and zucchini.

Now stir in the dry ingredients little by little
and mix well till all is combined.

Pour this batter into the lined baking pan and bake
for 30 to 40 mins till the brownie is well set.
Cool and then cut into squares.
Sprinkle fine dessicated coconut on the surface if desired.


 


Notes:

This brownie is soft, moist and delicious.
Totally grain free, gluten free, sugar free,
low in refined carbs, high proteins and good fats.
The quinoa flour adds a slightly different
nutty flavour which blends well with the beans
as well as the almond and coconut flours.
I find 1 cup of honey gives perfect sweetness,
but you may adjust and add more or less
according to your own sweet taste.
The chocolate, cacao and coffee together
create an intense flavor that is enhanced
by the sea salt and the vanilla extract.


Keep it Simple. Be Creative.
Taste and Play. Find your own Way.