Category Archives: dairy free

fresh and crunchy raw vegetables for all next semester!

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When I think about it salad doesn’t appeal to me. I imagine somme watery and old lettuce or unrecognisable veggie under tons of mayonnaise. Of course nothing compares to a freshly picked lettuce with some great seasoning; not what you find in supermarkets! I’m more tempted by raw vegetables that would be crunchy and fresh. It always satisfy my appetite.

Today, two examples very simple to make and delicious right now that the days are beginning to shorten, the evening are becoming chilly and nights and mornings are getting cold.

But I’m not yet ready to dive into auutumn just yet, so to accompany a bowl of miso soup, a plate of steamy risotto or a slice of very good bread with a bit of salty butter, I choose those two ideas.

The first one is inspired by a friend from Chili. She makes it with white cabbage, lime and fresh coriander. Here is my version with what I had on hand!

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Press 1 pink grapefruit and keep the meat that detaches from it (although try to leave the little inside skin away) and press 2 lemons . Thinly cut 1 pointed cabbage, either with a mandoline (vegetable slicer) or a very good knife. Cut 2 avocados in half, take the pit out and peel the fruits as you would oranges. Cut the avocados in thin slices then in chunks.

In a salad bowl, put the grapefruit meat, the avocados, then pour a generous amount of the citrus juice. Add the cabbage, a bit of olive oil and some salt. Mix delicately.

It’s delicious with grilled meat on a BBQ, slow cooked fish, hot tofu… For the version from Chili, use lime instead of lemon and grapefruit and add minced fresh coriander.

The second recipe:

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I recieved about 2 kilos of beetroot from generous friends who have a very beautiful garden. Beetroot seem to have enjoy the summer weather, so there are a LOT af it! I need to find ways to cook them that won’t bore the family after two meals. I prefer raw beetroot as the cooked version (except in a red velvet chocolatey cake) as I find it less earthy and more sugary. besides I love the crunchy feel of beets under my teeth.

With a mandoline (vegetable slicer), I make very thin and supple slices of beetroot. I sesaon it simply:                                         2-3 tbsp of olive oil                                                                                                                                                                     1 tbsp of apple vinegar                                                                                                                                                               a dozen roughly minced hazelnut                                                                                                                                                some salt 

Yesterday that salad accompanied some patties made with tuna, goat cheese and oat flakes. It’s great with a piece of cheese like Comté or with quinoa mixed with fresh herbs such as young spinach, parsley and chervil. You can replace half the olive oil with hazelnut oil.

May those two easy recipes accompany you through autumn and winter!

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Spring rolls

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SPRING ROLLS WITH CUCUMBER

This fresh recipe is also crunchy and full of layers of flavors that awakens the taste buds. You can change it to make it a salad. 

The sauce works on steamed vegetables, slow cooked poultry, white fish or silken tofu… You can prepare a lot of the sauce and keep it in the fridge for a few days. Take those rolls for a pic-nic or lunch but wrap them separately so they don’t stick together and stay humid. 

For 12

Sauce & marinade :

150ml soy sauce

120ml lemon juice

4 tbsp fresh peeled and grated ginger

1 peeled, minced garlic clove

1 deseeded Thaï red pepper, thinly minced (use gloves while working with hot peppers)

2 tsp of sugar

freshly ground pepper

  • Put everything in a bowl, mix well and put aside.

The rolls :

2 cucumbers, peeled to makes stripes, deseeded and cut in thin julienne

1 avocado cut in thin stripes

1 carrot, peeled and cut in julienne about  7,5 to 10cm long

1 red pepper, deseeded and cut in thin stripes

200g thin rice noodles (prepared as said on the package)

1 dozen fresh coriander branches, minced

2 tbsp of sesame oil

12 rice paper sheets

  • First marinate the cucumber. Prepare all the other ingredients then sieve the cucumber but keep the sauce for service.
  • Put the rice sheets, one by one, in warm (but not hot) water so it softens.
  • Garnish the soften sheets with the noodles, then with a little of each ingredients. Roll, folowing the instructions on the rice paper package.

Garnish :

1 small handful of grilled and salted peanuts, coarsely minced

To serve:

  • Cut each roll in two, put on a plate, pour some sauce and sprinkle with the peanuts.
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This is a recipe that makes me travel. I also forget the weather, if it’s a bit too warm to be comfortable or a bit cold for the season. There is some sweetness, some acidity, some salt, a bit of umami. It’s quite balanced and the meat eater won’t miss the meat here although you can add some chicken or shrimp in each roll. Actually, I find it more whole when prepared this way. I guess I could add some crunchy onions but I don’t really miss it here.

I think spring rolls are a great way to eat lots of veggie and to adapt to each season although you might want to change the name then!

What is your favorite spring roll recipe?

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vegetables stew with lentils, coriander and spices

 

This a nourishing meal, easy to prepare un advance. Rich in vitamins and minerals, it can be adapted to all seasons…

I like my vegetable cooked al dente but you can leave it to cook longer, until melted.

Cover 1/2 a cup of green lentils in water and leave to rest overnight. The next morning, drain and rince well. Leave in a colander over a bowl. Before preparing your meal, rince well again and cook in a steamer, covered in water for about 25 minutes.

This way you get sprouted lentils which are easier to digest in richer in many good nutrients. 

Once cooked, drain the lentils if necessary.

 1 tbsp of coconut oil or olive oil

1 peeled and minced onion

2 peeled and minced garlic cloves

2 tbsp of minced fresh ginger

1/2 tsp of strong paprika or mild chili flakes

1 tsp of grounded fennel seeds

tsp of grounded coriander seeds

1 tsp og grounded cumin

1/2 washed brocoli cut into florets

2 washed, peeled and diced carrots

1 small fennel, washed and minced

1 small zucchini, washed and cut in thick dices

2 cans of tomatoes

1 bouquet de coriandre fraîche lavée et émincée

Heat the oil in a cast iron pan or in a wok. Add the onion and the garlic. Once melted, add the spices (cumin, coriander, fennel seeds and paprika) and the ginger. When you can smell the spices, add the brocoli, the carrots, the fennel and the zucchini. Cook over warm heat for about 5 minutes then add the tomatoes and the lentils. Leave to cook 5 to 10 more minutes.

Salt in the end.

Serve with the fresh coriandre.

For a more whole meal, serve with a bowl of steamed rice. 

Adapt the vegetables to the season (replace zucchini for squash, use fresh tomatoes…). Vary the spices, the fresh herb, replace the lentils for garbanzo beans or quinoa…

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savory butternut pie

Even if winter is weird here this year and that some trees are burgeoning, we should try to stick to seasonal food and use colorful squash!

My favorites are the ones I don’t have to peel like butternut and potimarron. But you could use any squash to make this recipe if you have some from your garden or from a generous neighbour.

 This pie can be eaten warm, thawed or cold. It could be made as a sweet pie like a pumpkin pie but it’s another chapter! You can use any non-animal milk and any spices you fancy. I was going towards India with coconut milk and coriander seeds.

 You could serve this pie with some winter salad like endives. The bitterness of the salad will balance greatly the sweetness of the pie.

 Even though I gave you my pie dough recipe at least a thousand times, here is one of the many version I use and that I would eat even with nothing on it!

 162g of butter in thin slices

500g of flour (I used T110 semi-whole grain but it would be great with whole grain or even with a gluten free flour like buckwheat)

salt

175ml of water

 Preheat the oven at 180°C.

Work the butter with the salt and the flour until sandy (use a pastry blender if you have one). Add the water and mix until the dough doesn’t stick to the bowl anymore. Make a ball.

Put some flour on your tabletop and roll the dough to a few mm.

Line a pie tin with parchment paper then add the rolled dough. Prick it with a fork, cover with parchment paper and cooking pastry marbles or beans.

Put in the oven and cook for 10 minutes. take the marbles/beans and the paper away and cook 5 more minutes.

 Wash and cut the butternut in half, take the seed away and cut in cubes.

Cook in a steamer for 25 to 30 minutes until completely soft.

I use a blender to mix the butternut with 5 eggs, salt, coriander seeds (about 1 teaspoon) and 400ml of coconut milk (1 can).

With the use of coriander seeds, you get some bites that are more subtle other that are stronger in coriander taste. If you want something more consistent trough the whole tasting, mix the coriander seeds before adding it to the butternut.

 Pour the mixture in the cooked pie dough and cook in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes until the custard is completely set.

 As said, enjoy warm, thawed or cold!

 

Tapioca pearls

Hello everyone!

I’ve been resting at home with a strict diet (last trimester of pregnancy) so I read more cookbooks then made recipes although I fond simple and easy meals to make compatible with the said diet.

As I had to rest and as standing up became harder, I had to find ways to cook quickly. I had fun but I was often frustrated not to be able to do more. Tha’s why I’ve been away for so long! And also because my had is elsewhere, I can’t help it!

I did test an ingredient that was in my cupboard for some time. I had read about it but never found the time to make anything with it. Until my mother-in-law came back with an easy recipe and praise about the thing.

I had all the ingredients needed to make an easy dessert. And a way to use those tapioca pearls, at last! Tapioca pearls can also be called Japanese’s pearls. It’s really pretty! Uncooked, the pearl are very small and white. It looks a bit like some washing powder but a bit larger. When there are in contact with water and heat, it becomes translucent and bigger. It doesn’t taste much but it give a good texture to the cream made with it and it’s filling (so you can also serve it in the middle of the afternoon if supper will be late!).

Some people use it to thicken soup when there’s no time for a real meal (or when our great-grand-mothers wanted everyone to feel full and they hadn’t much else to fill everyone’s stomach).

And the great thing about it it’s that it suits every diet (vegan or not, gluten-free or not, lactose-free or not…)!

Here is the easy and delicious way to use tapioca pearls:

Coco and pineapple tapioca cream for 4: 

60g of tapioca pearls

30cl water

30g rapadura or muscovado sugar (unrefine sugar)

25cl coconut cream or milk

1 pinch of salt

4 unsweetened pineapple slices with the juice

 Rince the tapioca pearl in a sieve and leave to rest for 5 minutes in the said sieve. 

Bring the water to boil and add the pearls. As soon as it boils again, add sugar and salt. Lower the heat, mix and leave to cook for 5 minutes.

Then, add the coconut milk or cream, mix and wait for the next boiling bubble. 

Cover and leave to cool for an hour. Pour into individual bowls and leave in the fridge arount 45 to 60 minutes.

 Mix the pineapple to get a thick coulis, add the juice as you like it. Serve over the pearls just before eating! 

 If you prepare it the day before, you’ll need to add more liquid as it tends to thickens with time.

 As said before, it is a filling dessert so serve it after a light meal.

It works really well with any vegan milk (almond, coco+rice, chestnut…) and with any other fruit especially the tangy type like citrus, mango and raspberries. 

 

 

a summer’s menu

It has been a while that I didn’t share my cooking trials. Don’t worry, I haven’t stop cooking! But time flew by without me noticing!

So to get your taste buds excited again, here is a seasonal menu (here, we’ve welcomed summer with open arms; too much rain gets on everyone’s temper!).

Of course, nothing’s better than a meal shared with good company, a light wind to cool down the atmosphere when the sun goes down, some fireflies to reflect the stars when it’s time for dessert…

For the amuse-bouche, I made maki sushi with mango and cod liver, served with wasabi and tamari.

I don’t say that the sushi contain cod liver as some had the terrible experience to have to drink cod liver oil to prevent any winter diseases (I was one of them!). But even those with this memory love these sushi!

Then I served tomato and espelette hot pepper custard.

To serve really cold!

 For me, the tomato lover, this custard is perfect! 

Here is the recipe:

Mix 100g of tomato purée with 40 to 50g of tomato paste. Add 1/4 tsp of baking soda if some are sensitive to tomato’s acidity.

Add 2 eggs, 5 tbsp of milk (I chose rice milk but do as you like), a good 1 tbsp of espelette hot pepper, salt and minced fresh basil.

Pour into container and cook at 200°C for 10 minutes.

Well if you make bigger portion then me, adjust the time!

Leave to cool then place in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

To accompany the rest of the meal, I made my classic bread cooked in a cast iron pot but I added a goof quantity of butter (coconut will work greatly). As the pot was a bit too big, the bread spread and we had a great golden crust. It reminded me of the ciabatta we used to buy by my grand-father’s place but I’m sure they used olive oil instead of butter!

The first course was a tatin pie with caramelized tomatoes and eggplants, served with fresh cheese mixed with honey and thyme. The crust contained parmesan.

The eggplants are ready to be caramelized!

And the result:

The second course was a mix of France and Japan. I make it often with salmon but this time I used colley. Cooked at low temperature, covered with white miso and sake, I served the fish on top of rice paper rolls, minced snow peas and I poured some homemade dashi kombu broth on top then sprinkle the plate with basil, fresh chives onions, and some espelette hot pepper.

Eat it with a fork, grabing the fish with the dashi broth. The white miso will mix with the dashi and the combination will be delicious.

For dessert: the acidity of mango and passion fruit cur, the freshness of mint cream and… 

 … the crustiness of coconut sablés!

Serve bubbles for the starters, some fresh white French wine (Loire or Languedoc) for the courses and coffe, tea or infusion with the dessert.

It had been a while sinds I last made such a meal but I had great fun!

I hope you have a delicious and fragrant summer!

 

Quick! some raw sauce to enjoy before the sun’s gone again!

Quick, quick, before the sun disapears again… a sudden need for raw food!

If you have great quality and in season ingredients, it’s almost enough by itself! Like my own best of (although I should be patient and wait for a while, though knowing August will be the best time): tomatoes with just a few drops of great olive oil, a bit of sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper.

I try all the tomatoes I can get my hands on: ancient varieties, green, yellow, Italian, heart shaped, big, small, cherry… I can’t get enough!

But today, as I have to be quick about enjoying the weather (tomorrow it’ll rain again), I decided to make a delicious raw sauce in which I will dip the vegetables I have on hand. Maybe I’ll put a teaspoon or two inside an halved avocado. If I can stop myself from eating it directly from the bowl 

It would be wonderfull with cabbage rolls or California style rolls (I just roll a nori sheet around some julienned vegetables and spread this sauce before I wrap the sheet and can’t wait to taste!). For the meat and fish eaters, it would be very good with chicken, turkey or any fish, either raw (for the fish) or steamed (for meat and fish).

Just blend:

4 tsp of white miso 

2cm fresh ginger roughly chopped

4 tsp of lime juice

2 tsp of almond butter

4 tsp of water

It’s great with tahini instead of almond.

I would suggest you make more of the sauce, respecting the ratios. It keeps for a few days in the fridge (I can’t help spooning in the bowl every time I pass by the fridge…).

I add the water carefully to get the right texture. You don’t want it to be too liquid.

So, if in your part of the world, spring has a hard time showing up, give it a hint with this recipe!

versatile carrot custard

There are flavored custard, easy to make, that’ll make everyone eat carrots!

I prepare them in mini cocottes, it’s so cute and so much fun comparing to classic white ramekin.

You won’t need a lot of ingredients and is super versatile.

I’ll give you the basic recipe that I got from a French book “mes MINI avec Le Creuset” from Julie Andrieu but I couldn’t resist twisting it in many ways! 

600g washed and peeled carrots

2 peeled and minced shallots

3 eggs

4 tbsp of sour cream (cow or soy)

1 tbsp olive oil

a few sprigs of chives

salt, pepper

tomato coulis

Preheat the oven at 210°C.

Melt the shallots in a frying pan until lightly golden.

Cut the carrots in thin slices and steam them for about 15 minutes until tender.

Mix the carrots with 4 tbsp of the cooking water and season with salt and pepper.

Beat the eggs with olive oil, sour cream, half the chives.

Add the carrot mix, half the shallots and rectify the seasonning (if you don’t want to taste it raw, cook a spoonful in a pan).

Divide the mix in the mini cocottes. Put in the oven and cook 15 minutes. Down the temperature to 180°C and cook 15 more minutes.

Leave to cool.

Heat the tomato coulis with a bit of olive oil, the remaining shallots, salt and pepper.

Serve the custard, sprinkle with ciseled chices and a bit of the tomato coulis.

Instead of chives, you can replace it with:

-fresh cilantro and add caraway powder to the custard mix

-fresh mint and add star anise in the custard 

-fresh basil and add a few roughly minced pine nuts on the custard

-fresh flat leaves parsley and add roughly minced walnuts, hazelnuts or peanuts to the custard

-thaï basil, replace the sour cream with coconut cream and add curry and hot pepper to the custard

And for the carnivorous, a thin slice of smoked bacon, grilled to be crunchy to set upon the mini cocotte.

 

irresistible tapenade


 An irresistible recipe, under the condition that you like the ingredients!

Don’t hesitate to make twice the amount as you can keep it for about 2 months in the fridge.

Well, in my house, it never lasts that long and we use it on bread, on pasta, or on steamed vegetables. 

Of course, but do I have to repeat it, the quality of the ingredients makes all the difference.

I received salted capers (hard to get in my neighborhood)  and they’re more subtle than those preserved in vinegar. But if you only have those preserved in vinegar, it’ll be delicious too!

You won’t need three Michelin stars to make it right, nor just one star for that matter, just a small food processor, a blender, or,  for the purists, with a mortar, a pestle, and some muscles.

250g pitted black olives (not too salty if possible)

3 tbsp of drained capers (or rinsed if it’s preserved in salt) 

50g of anchovies

2 pressed garlic cloves

thyme, rosemary (as the chef feels it)

10cl olive oil(and a little bit to cover and preserve)

1 tbsp of lemon juice (unless you use capers in vinegar) 

freshly grounded black pepper

Mix all the ingredients but the pepper and the lemon juice.

Don’t overmix as it’s better if it’s a bit lumpy and not too smooth.

Add pepper and lemon juice.

Pour in a sterilised jar, knock the bottom of the jar on your hand to have less air inside the mix and cover with olive oil to prevent oxidation.

With a few slices of fresh bread…! Irresistible!

duck and pistachio pâté

Oh yes, I know, time flies and, before tonight, I haven’t found any to share any new recipe!

So, I will give you this gorgeous recipe for a duck terrine with pistachios and port. It made my week-end and the leftovers made my lunch today as, like any terrine should be, it gets better with time.

It’s an easy one to make!

 

1 duck magret or filet without the skin

2 peeled garlic cloves

1/4 + 1/4 tsp of dried thyme

120ml of red port (and a small glass for the cook!)

1kg of minced pork and veal (if you can mince it yourself, it’ll be even better)

15 thin slices of prosciutto crudo (raw Italian ham) 

100g minced pancetta (cut it with a good knife, not your meat grinder)

90g unsalted, peeled pistachios

salt and pepper

Marinate the duck magret/filet with half the port, 1 garlic clove cut in half, and 1/4 tsp of dried thyme. Leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Drain the duck and keep the marinade.

Preheat the oven at 180°C.

Mix the minced meat with 1 minced garlic clove, 1/4 tsp of thyme, the other half of the port (and cheers to you!), the duck marinade, the minced pancetta, pistachios, salt and pepper.

To taste the seasoning, cook a small spoon of the mix, taste and correct the seasoning if necessary. Be aware that the pancetta is salty. Mix well.

Cover your terrine with the prosciutto crudo and leave some hanging out so you can fold it on top of your terrine.

Add half the mince meat and press well. Cut the duck so you can cover the whole length of the terrine on top of the meat. Add the other half of the mince meat and cover with the hanging ham.

Cover then put in a shallow dish with water (enough to get to mid high of the terrine).

Put in the oven and cook for about 1h30.

Leave to cool before putting in the fridge overnight then serve with another port glass, in front of a warm open fire, and surrounded by great and funny friends.

 

As I don’t think I’ll have time to come back before next year, I wish you all some delicious and appetizing parties for this end of 2012! And that 2013 will be lucky, savory, and shared!