Category Archives: vegan

fresh and crunchy raw vegetables for all next semester!


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!


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:


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



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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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. 



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!

Parsnip velouté with miso

Trish Deseine is a great cook. She’s Irish and lives in Paris. She writes beautiful books and in the last one I learned she worked with Donna Hay whom I find fantastic also.

I don’t think her last book exists in English (not yet at least) but just in case you get French its called “Grande table, petite cuisine” and it’s edited by Marabout.

I adapted this recipe from her book (I made it dairy free as I don’t find necessary to add cream to this delicious and tasty soup). I think that cream tends to blend/bland the taste instead of elevating it.


It’s the perfect soup for the cold weather and it changes from the pumkin soup (which I also love).

It’s a great soup to serve at a nice dinner and it’s very healthy. I do love tasty but healthy recipes so I need to share them when I can. And this one is so easy to make… One more bonus!

The red miso and maple syrup mix is delicious in itself and it’s really close to the hoisin sauce. Although here there is no additives of any kind (if you choose your ingredients well, of course). I think I’ll use it next time I make spring rolls or duck. 


 For 6 persons:

750g of washed and peeled parsnip 

1 liter of home made chicken or vegetable stock (or water if you don’t have any)

salt, pepper

3 tbsp of red miso 

2 tbsp of maple syrup 

Cut the parsnip in pieces.

Bring the stock to boil and add the parsnip. Cook them about 20 minutes until cooked through.

Mix to get a thick and creamy soup.

Mix the red miso and the maple syrup to dilute them well.

Répartir Divide the soup in the bowls and add the miso sauce on top. Don’t over mix so you get a nice contrast.

Serve warm and enjoy!



chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies are probably my favorite cookies (even though I have a sweet spot for sablés!). I discovered them when I was in Canada and I tried lots of different brands before I started cooking. But homemade cookies beats the brand any time so I’m sharing my recipe (tasted again and again over the years).

Don’t forget the salt and try to use sea salt flakes aas it really adds depth to the taste. Don’t add too much sugar as the chocolate chips are already sweet.

The great thing is that this recipe is great for everyone, whatever the diet (all the alternatives are in the ingredients list).

If you have a pastry blender, now it’s time to use it. If you don’t have one, use 2 table knives or your fingers, although it’s not as effective (the butter needs to stay cool so if you have warm fingers it can be a problem).

If you use a stand mixer, it develops the gluten too much and it incorporates the butter too evenly.

If you love cookies, scones, sablés and co, nothing replaces the pastry blender!


You can either make about 10 large cookies (15cm diameter) or about 20 small ones.


-270g flour (you can choose: wholewheat 80%, spelt, buckwheat, quinoa, or a mix of rice/coco/chickpea)


-1/2 tsp sea salt flakes

-1/2 tsp baking soda 


-185g cold butter cut in cubes or thin slices (you can use coconut oil but make sure to store it in the fridge at least 30 minutes before using)

-140g unrefine sugar (rapadura, muscovado… you can divide the amount and use down to 50g, as you like)

-1 egg or the equivalent in egg replacer (1 tbsp of egg replacer + 2 tbsp of water)

-either the grains of 1/2 a grated vanilla pod, or 1/2 tsp of natural vanilla extract (avoid synthetic aromas as it’s not as subtle as real vanilla!)

-250g of dark chocolate chips (if you don’t have any chips, roughly cut dark chocolate with a good knife)


Preheat the oven at 150°C.


Mix the flour with the salt and the baking soda.

Add the butter (or coconut oil) and work with the pastry blender until the mix is sandy.

In your stand mixer, beat the egg with the sugar and the vanilla until it’s whitened.

Add the egg to the flour without over working it then incorporate the chocolate chips.

Use a spoon to transfer little patties of dough to a baking sheet covered with either parchment paper or a silicone matt.

Wether your cookies are thinner or thicker, the result is different so vary!


If you don’t want to put chocolate all over you, you need to wait for the cookies to cool. Place them on a cooling rack and go far away in the meantime!


You could divide the chocolate chips in half and replace it with roughly chopped walnuts.

chocolate cupcake so good you’ll lick your fingers…

I found this recipe of a vegan cupcake in the Food&Wine* magazine. I was curious to try it as the replacement for eggs and dairy seemed, for once, interesting. Indeed, it’s been replaced by avocado and coconut oil. The result is great! The cucakes stayed soft and moist for several days (well 3, we couldn’t hold any longer) which is’nt the case with most classic cupcake recipes. The chocolate ganache is very dangerous for chocoholics: it’s easy to spoon and would be great on bread!

So without delay here is the recipe (adapted for 8 cupcakes):

Frosting :

1 tbsp of kuzu*

90 ml coconut milk

1/2 tsp agar agar* (powder)

90 ml water

185ml maple syrup

35g unsweetened cocoa powder

1/8 tsp sea salt flakes

140g of chocolate chips*

1,5 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp of vanilla extract 

Cupcakes :

120g spelt flour*

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 & 1/8 tsp baking soda

1/4 & 1/8 tsp salt

75g avocado (1/2 a piece)

35g cocoa powder (unsweetened)

90ml coconut milk

125ml (150g) maple syrup

70g coconut oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

Frosting : In a bowl, mix the kuzu with the coconut milk until the kuzu is dissolved.

In a pan, whisk the agar-agar and the water. Bring to boil and leave on low heat for 4 minutes. Add, still whisking, the maple syrup, cocoa powder, and salt. Whisk until smooth.

Add the kuzu-coco mix and leave on low heat while whisking for about 5 minutes. It will start to thicken and look like pudding.

Take away from heat and add the chocolate chips, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Mix until smooth and glossy.

Pour into a bowl to cool, cover, and leave in the fridge at least 2 hours. 

Cupcake :

Oven at 180°C.

Line the cupcake/muffin tin with line papers.

Sift the flower, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Blend the peeled avocado so it looks like cream. Leave the avocado in the blender or food processor.

In a pan, mix the cocoa powder in the coconut milk on medium heat. Don’t stop whisking for 2 minutes until bubbles appear.

Add the cocoa mix to the avocado in the food processor, add the maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla. Mix while scraping if necessary.

Add this wet mix to the dry mix and combine without over-mixing.

Pour into the tin and cook 25 minutes in the oven.

Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes then place on a cooling rack.

Use a stand mixer to mix the forsting until it’s spreadable and creamy. Decorate the cupcake and serve.

You can decorate your cupcake with coconut powder, minced hazelnuts, …

*Food&Wine March 2012: recipe by Sera Pelle. 

*Kuzu is a root starch with some strong thickening power.

*Spelt flour is tastier, different and more interesting to use here than wheat flour. 

*Agar-agar is a seaweed that replaces animal gelatin. 

*Look at the ingredients list of your chocolate chips to be sure it’s vegan.

raw avocado and purslane soup

 super easy to make, this soup is delicious and healthy

You just need to blend:

1 peeled avocado

the juice of one lemon

2 handful of thoroughly washed purslane

2 tbsp of cold pressed olive oil

sea salt flakes to the taste

and that’s it! You can add a little water if the soup is too thick.

if you like it, you can add 1/2 a garlic clove. My garlic is so strong at the moment, I passed on it!

You can replace the purslane by young spinach, chervil, lamb’s lettuce. 

I first tried this soup when I was a trainee at Tan restaurant in Brussels. This restaurant specialises in living food served either raw or slowly cooked at low temperatures (dehydration, low temperature oven, steaming…). 

It was a great experience to learn new techniques and new ways to serve food, very different from what you learn at cooking school!

All the ingredients were organic. The vegetables were the centre of the plate though they serve meat and fish.

This soup was serve with homemade Essene bread (often flavored with dried tomatoes and rosemary). On top of the soup, you can add a little shaved carrots, beets, and some sprouts.

The avocado is rich but super healthy, full of antioxidants and fibres. It’s great for the skin, the liver, and to feel full.

The purslane is rich in omega 3 fatty acid so this recipe is perfect as those fatty acids don’t like heat. You should buy it as fresh as you can and eat it the day of purchase.


2 sauces: ketchup & sweet chilli


Here are two easy sauce to realise at home. It’s so much tastier (and healthier) then the store bought one, it’s worth the little time.

The ketchup to accompany your homemade burgers and the sweet chilli sauce to go with Spring rolls.


800g canned tomatoes, blended

1 small minced onion 

2 tbsp of olive oil 

1 tbsp tomato paste 

150g of muscovado sugar (or unrefined sugar) 

120ml cider vinegar

1/2 tsp sea salt flakes 

In a big pan, melt the onion in a bit of olive oil until soft.

Add the tomatoes, the tomato paste, the sugar, vinegar, and salt.

Leave to simmer, uncovered, until it thickens while stirring now and then. It takes about 1 hour. If it’s not thick enough to your taste, add 1 tbsp of arrow-root, bring the sauce to boil while whisking.

Blend the ketchup so the sauce is smooth and leave to cool.

Sterilise a glass bottle or jar in boiling water and transfer the sauce. Close the lid and put the jar upside down until cold.

Keep in the fridge. Wait at least a couple of hours before eating it. The next day would be better if you can wait.



This sweet sauce gets away with those who don’t like it hot!

Well, depending on the chilli you choose, you’ll get more hotness or not. Smaller chillis tend to be hotter then bigger ones but there are so many kinds, you should ask your grocer for help.

500g muscovado or unrefined sugar 

300ml cider vinegar (2 x 150ml as you don’t use all at once)

1 lime zested and juiced

125g deseeded hot peppers 

1 red pepper

1 onion

1 tsp tomato paste

25g garlic

25g fresh ginger

1 tsp sea salt flakes

2 tbsp olive oil

Mince the garlic, ginger, onion, and red pepper.

Pour the oil in a pan and heat. Add the ingredients 1 by 1 stirring for one minute before adding the next. Start with the garlic then the hot peppers, the onion, the red pepper, to end with the ginger.

Add 150ml of the vinegar and the tomato paste. Bring to boil.

If you want to smell be carefull because hot vinegar steam will hurt your nostrils! Don’t go too close! 

Cover then turn off the heat and leave to rest for 20 minutes.

Blend so the sauce is smooth.

Pour into the pan again, add the juice and grated zest of the lime, the rest of the vinegar, the sugar, and salt.

Bring to boil once more, and leave to simmer for half an hour.

Sterilise a glass bottle or jar in boiling water and transfer the sauce. Close the lid and put the jar upside down until cold.

Keep in the fridge.

I serve it with Spring rolls, nems, chicken or even fish, with fresh coriander or fresh mint.