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My Quest Is Finally Over: I Have Found My Very Own Olivia Pope Coat

Published September 17, 2014 by The Feminist

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Loyal readers will know by now that I am probably the biggest Scandal fan on the planet.

I honestly love that show. It’s intrigue. It’s drama. It’s Kerry Washington in all her stylishness wearing the most power-exuding clothes imaginable.

I love it.

Love it, love it, love it, luuuvvv it.

I even based my thesis on stereotypes of African American women in US television on the character of Olivia Pope and Scandal. That’s how much I love it. (Shonda Rhimes, If you’re reading this, I’ll gladly come to ‘Merica to discuss the remarkable results of my research with you, if you like. )

Those of you who are as passionate Scandal fans as I am (hard to imagine someone can be as big a fan as I am, but hey…)will already have highlighted September 25 in their agenda (or in my case, I circled the date with glitter and surrounded it with pink fluffy cat stickers)

On that day, season 4 of Scandal will finally premiere and I have been looking forward to that day ever since last season had its very awesome yet earthshattering final last Spring.

The question that is probably on all of your minds right now is why the hell am I telling you all of this??

Well, dear readers, because something amazing happened yesterday that is intrinsically linked with Scandal. You see, for the past year I have been looking for my very own (read: affordable) Olivia Pope coat. Especially that one coat with the big envelope collar truly made my fashion-beating heart melt. As you can imagine, Olivia Pope’s designer coats are not within my budget (uhum), but that didn’t stop me from embarking on a quest to find a more affordable version.

I looked everywhere, but never ever found what I was looking for. Either the coat was way too expensive, or just not as elegant/sharp/ I-am-a-career-woman-looking as Olivia Pope’s.

I had even given up on my seemingly impossible quest and was trying to get the image of me looking all powerful and important with a starbucks coffee in my hands out of my head.

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And then yesterday, as if God was rewarding me for my patience, I found my very own Scandal coat.

I bought it at Mango, it’s a charcoal grey colour, has a soft fabric and it makes me look like a sharp and elegant career woman.

mango coat

And it has an amazing collar:

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Conclusion: Miracles can happen!

Warning: I’ll be looking real Scandalous this winter!

PS: Yes, I’m aware hers is light and mine is dark, but with my pale skin, a cream coat is just not the way to go.

Fishy Business: Two Inventive Dishes from the Sea

Published August 24, 2014 by The Feminist

fish

Contrary to what the first part of the above title may suggest, this post is actually a celebration of all the wonderful things that can be found under the Sea, and has nothing to do with rather suspicious or shady affairs with handsome Italian business men in Armani suits. (Sorry to disappoint you)

Although I will always attempt to eat vegetarian, there are days when I simply cannot resist the enticing call of a wonderful fish dish. (After all, I am a Pieces.)

The following dishes are true showstoppers that will make for a perfect Sunday meal with the family. They are full with bold flavours, colours and textures and will satisfy your fishy cravings in a heartbeat.

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Oriental Fish Fingers with a Thai-inspired Warm Noodle Salad

These fish fingers are without a doubt the best on the entire planet. Yes, I repeat: the best. You can also use this method to make crispy prawns, scallops, salmon and vegetarian alternatives such as tofu.

For the Fish fingers:

  • 600gr of strong white fish, cut into thick strips
  • Flour
  • 100gr desiccated coconut
  • 2 eggs
  • Pinch of chili powder
  • Salt and pepper

For the sweet-and-spicy dip:

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 5 tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

For the warm noodle salad:

  • 300gr soba noodles, cooked according to the instructions on the package
  • 2 red chilies, finely sliced
  • 2cm piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 pak choi, cut into chunks
  • 1 red pepper, cut into strips
  • 200gr bean sprouts
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • Lots of fresh coriander
  • Handful of sesame seeds
  • Juice one 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

Method:

  1. Season the chunks of fish with salt and pepper and a tiny bit of chili powder. Place the flour onto a plate. Place the beaten eggs into a wide bowl and place the desiccated coconut on another plate. Take a piece of fish and dust it in the flour, next dip it in the egg (allowing any excess to drip off) and finally into the coconut. Put the fish fingers on a large plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes. (This is an essential step in creating the perfect fish fingers, so do not be tempted to skip it!)
  2. Meanwhile, make your dipping sauce by mixing everything together and pouring the sauce into individual serving jars.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large wok and add the pak choi, ginger, chili, garlic, and red pepper and fry 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked noodles and beans sprouts and add all the other sauces and lime juice. Stir in the sesame seeds and season to taste. Finish with lots of coriander and spring onion.
  4. Deep-fry the fish fingers for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Serve with a wedge of lime, the sweet and spicy dip and the fragrant noodles.

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Red Bream and Pesto lasagna

What makes this lasagna truly stand out is the home-made basil and almond pesto. Sure, you can just use store-bought pesto if you want, to save yourself the time and effort, but trust me: this pesto will transform an already great lasagna into an I-can’t-stop-eating-this-is-sooo-good lasagna.

Ingredients

For the basil and almond pesto:

  • 2 huge bushes of fresh basil
  • 50gr parmesan cheese
  • One clove of garlic
  • Handful of white almonds
  • Salt and pepper
  • Good quality olive oil

For the lasagna

  • Sheets of dried lasagna (no-precooking necessary)
  • 2 large courgettes, cut into 0,5cm slices
  • 1 yellow pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 500ml tomato passata
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp harissa
  • 500-600 gr red bream filet, cut into strips
  • Home-made pesto
  • 200gr mozzarella, cut into thin slices

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Grill the courgette slices for a couple of minutes on each side until you get a lovely griddle effect. Set aside.
  2. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, add the garlic, onion and pepper and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the tomato passata, oregano, balsamic vinegar and harissa. Season with salt and pepper and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Make the pesto by blending all the ingredients together. The pesto should have a rather thick consistency and look more like a tapenade rather than a pesto.
  4. Grease individual baking dishes with butter and start assembling the lasagna. First a layer of lasagna sheets, then the courgette slices topped with a thin layer of tomato sauce. Then another layer of lasagna sheets, followed by the fish topped with a generous layer of that home-made pesto. Now another layer of lasagna sheets and another of the courgettes and tomato sauce. Finish with a final layer of lasagna sheets and spread some remaining pesto over the top. Put the mozzarella cheese on top of the lasagna and put in the oven for 30 minutes.

Baking With Booze: My Very Own Cooking Show

Published August 13, 2014 by The Feminist

Behold, dear readers. I’ve just started my very own cooking show.

Yes, me.

That crazy chick from Belgium.

It is a show about baking.

It is a show about booze.

It is a show about baking with booze.

Now before you start breaking out into a sweat because of the sheer marvelousness of it all, I do would like to warn you: this is anything but your regular cooking program. First of all, because it is supposed to be my quirky and foolish take on the classic cooking shows. Secondly, because my camera and editing skills are seriously below average. (Seriously below average!)

So  if you cannot stand watching such amateuristic work or just  don’t like staring at my face for more than ten minutes (I do use quite a lot of heavy Italian hand gestures), you can always simply read the recipe below.

Because this moist chocolate, lime, chili and rum cake served with a mint and lime flavoured sour cream deserves to be baked by you as well!

Ingredients:

for the chocolate cake:

  • 200gr butter
  • 200gr dark chocolate
  • 300gr caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp chili flakes
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 100ml rum, plus extra to drizzle
  • 130gr plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 30gr cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs

For the soured cream dip:

  • 3 –4 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • Zest of ½ lime
  • 200gr sour cream
  • 1 tbsp honey

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C and line a loose-bottomed cake tin with baking parchment and grease it with butter.
  2. Put the butter, chocolate, sugar, chili, rum and lime juice together in a pan and melt on a low heat. Let it cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl put together the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder.
  4. Pour in the warm chocolate mixture and stir until it forms one smooth consistency.
  1. Whisk in two eggs and pour the batter into the baking tin and cook for 30-40 minutes until the top of the cake is firm but the center is still gooey and soft.
  2. Meanwhile make the dip by mixing all the ingredients together.
  3. When the cake comes out of the oven, pierce the cake a couple of times and drizzle some extra rum over the top
  4. Let the cool completely before serving with a good dollop of soured cream.

Simplicity At Its Best: Mediterranean Dinner in France

Published July 28, 2014 by The Feminist

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When I was on holiday in the South of France (I don’t mean to rub it in) I discovered one simple truth: simplicity is the key to good Mediterranean cooking. With ingredients that you can count on just one hand, you can conjure up the most delicious dish imaginable.

So there I was…in my (temporarily rented) garden… watching how the boats sailed into the harbor… and I just knew that I had to attempt one of those classic, simple dishes myself.

So meet this delicious Coeur de Boeuf and Burrata mozzarella starter. In my homecountry  Belgium, I would never have voluntarily opted for a tomato and mozzarella salad at a restaurant. The tomatoes taste like water, the mozzarella tastes like water… I just found it really bland and boring most of the time. Until the French Riviera made me realize that a simple plate of tomato-mozzarella can be truly magical if you have the best products on the planet to work with. These Coeur de boeuf tomatoes were juicy, succulent and bursting with flavour and the burrata mozzarella… by golly, don’t get me started on the mozzarella! Burrata is the creamy King of mozzarella cheese: a texture that almost resembles thick yoghurt and a lovely rich flavour that almost does not require any additional seasoning. To make my version of this Italian classic dish extra special, I used some extraordinary olive oil I bought in Nice in the restaurant Oliviera (which I already blabbed on about in my previous post). It has a lovely sweet and nutty, almondy flavour and gives a peppery finish at the back of your tongue.

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Ingredients:

  • Burrata mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • Coeur de boeuf tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Good quality olive oil
  • Fresh basil

Following  the rules of simplicity, I also made this lovely fish dish: locally sourced fish topped with an almond and red pepper tapenade on a bed of courgette and fresh flageolet beans. Served with some homemade garlic bread (really really garlicy!)

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Just spread some good quality, store-bought almond and pepper tapenade (preferably bought at a local market, of course) on top of your fish. Put in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 200°C until tender and juicy. Cut the courgettes into thick slices and take the beans out of the pods. Blanche the beans al dente. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a huge pot, add the courgettes and salt and pepper and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the blanched flageolets and let it simmer for a further 10 minutes. Right before serving stir in some fresh basil leaves and sprinkle on some lemon juice.

Now pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy the sun!

 

 

Pizza Lovers, Be Warned: Pizza with Strawberries, Goat’s Cheese and Pink Peppercorn

Published June 15, 2014 by The Feminist

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Forget all the pizza knowledge you have acquired throughout your pizza-adoring life, because it is time for a reset!

A pizza is not just a brilliant edible plate to help you transport tomato sauce smothered with mozzarella into your mouth, it is also –and more importantly- a white canvas that you can paint with all the yummiest flavour combos on the planet. And when I’m talking about flavour combos, I don’t mean the usual peperoni-cheese/ tuna-olive / ham-pineapple (oh horror!)/ …

Oh no. What I mean by yummy flavour combos are those bonkers, stylish, avant-garde flavours you would normally never put on a pizza. Not in a million years. And yet you do it, because you’re the Queen of Flavour Bombs and trust your own foodie instincts.

A couple of days ago, I (the one and only Queen of Flavour Bombs) had a pizza epiphany:

I.Put. Strawberries. On. My. Pizza.

I put strawberries on my pizza.

Iputstrawberriesonmypizza.

Merely saying it, makes my mind boggle with foodie lust.

Seriously, dear readers and fellow pizza aficionados. This pizza is in every possible way the best thing on this whole damn planet (and far far beyond!).

It’s the classic, posh combination of strawberries, pink peppercorn and balsamic vinegar.

Put on pizza dough.

Together with goat’s cheese.

Some extra juicy nectarine.

And to finish some fragrant basil.

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I’m in heaven.

And if you would like to join me – there is plenty of room on my cloud – here is the recipe:

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Ingredients:

  • One pizza sheet
  • 1 nectarine, cut into slices
  • 2 handfuls of strawberries, sliced
  • 100gr mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 100gr goats cheese, crumbled
  • Basil (lots and lots of it)
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Pink peppercorns, crushed

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 250°C.
  2. Roll out your pizza dough and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle on some salt, pink peppercorn and basil leaves.
  3. Layer the pizza with thin mozzarella sliced. Season with salt and pink pepper.
  4. Now put on the fruit. Season with pink pepper.
  5. Crumble on the goats cheese.
  6. Put in the oven for 15 minutes.
  7. Before serving, drizzle on some balsamic vinegar and sprinkle lots of basil leaves over the top.

Super Healthy & Super Tasty: Red Quinoa With Sticky Mushrooms and Asian Veg

Published April 24, 2014 by The Feminist

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Some ignorant idiots still believe that healthy food means compromising on delicious flavours and unforgettable taste. They frown when they hear the word quinoa and go running up the hills out of utter fear when they are served something vegan.

Like I said: ignorant idiots.

Because let me set one thing straight: healthy(or vegan )food is super tasty. To prove my point, I conjured up this mouth-watering vegan dish that truly made my heart sing and my taste buds dance. The Eryngii mushrooms are marinated in ketchup, tandoori powder, soy and palm sugar, to give them a sticky sweet and spicy flavour. I kept my stir-fried vegetables rather simple. Just some teeny weensy bit of soy sauce and lots of garlic and red chillies. These crunchy flavour bombs were ready in just a couple of minutes, so if you are in hurry, these are the veggies you want to make!

And last but not least: the red quinoa. Quinoa is often called a “superfood”, because it contains lots of protein and fiber and is rich in magnesium and iron. Furthermore, it even contains calcium (which makes it ideal for vegans) and it is gluten-free. In short, a superfood for all us superwomen! There are different types of quinoa and as you can see I opted for the red variety, which is slightly earthier in flavour.

So combine the earthy quinoa with the sticky sweetness of the mushrooms and the crunchy, fragrant vegetables and you’ve got a vegan meal that totally blows your socks off! 😉

Ingredients (serves 3)                                                       

For the quinoa:

  • 250gr red quinoa
  • Vegetable stock
  • Pinch of tandoori powder

For the vegetables

  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 red chilies, finely chopped
  • 1 pak choi, roughly chopped
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 250gr bean sprouts
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • Freshly chopped coriander (optional)

For the mushrooms:

  • 6 eryngii mushrooms (or any type of mushrooms), cut into slices
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • ½ tbsp palm sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp tandoori powder

Method:

  1. Cook the red quinoa in double the amount of vegetable stock for about 20 minutes until tender and the quinoa has absorbed all the stock. (Stir in some tandoori powder for some extra flavour if you want.)
  2. Mix the ingredients for the marinade together in a bowl and brush the eryngii generously with the marinade. Heat a little bit of vegetable oil in a pan and fry the mushrooms until the marinade starts to caramelize and the mushrooms are tender.
  3. For the vegetables, heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok and add the garlic and chilli. Add the pak choi and peppers and stir fry for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the mirin and soy sauce and season to taste. Finally stir in the bean sprouts and some extra coriander.

Viva Sweet Springtime: Two Astonishing Spring Dishes

Published April 17, 2014 by The Feminist

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On this beautiful sunny day I think it is best to shut up for once and let some poetry do the talking. I am a huge EE Cummings fan and am often left bewildered by his astonishingly beautiful absurdity. The following poem truly captures the spirit of spring and the rhythm of these sexy vegetarian dishes. It is full of life. Full of love. Full of joy.

“sweet spring is your
time is my time is our
time for springtime is lovetime
and viva sweet love

(all the merry little birds are
flying in the floating in the
very spirits singing in
are winging in the blossoming)

lovers go and lovers come
awandering awondering
but any two are perfectly
alone there’s nobody else alive

(such a sky and such a sun
i never knew and neither did you
and everybody never breathed
quite so many kinds of yes)

not a tree can count his leaves
each herself by opening
but shining who by thousands mean
only one amazing thing

(secretly adoring shyly
tiny winging darting floating
merry in the blossoming
always joyful selves are singing)

sweet spring is your
time is my time is our
time for springtime is lovetime
and viva sweet love”

 

I couldn’t possibly give you a better introduction to the recipes myself.

So please, enjoy!

Feta, Pea and Mint Quiche

This wonderful quiche is a celebration of spring flavours. The sweetness of the peas dances a classic waltz with the fresh mint and together they rumba sensually with the sharpness of the feta cheese.  Perfect for a springtime brunch!

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Ingredients:

  • One sheet of short crust pastry
  • 400gr frozen peas
  • 5 tbsp freshly chopped mint
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3 eggs
  • 200ml milk
  • 300gr feta cheese, cut into chunks

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Blind bake the short crust pastry in a lined pie case for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the peas in salted water until just tender. Mash the peas together with some olive oil, pepper, salt and ground cumin and stir in the chopped mint leaves.
  3. Once your pastry comes out of the oven, spread the pea “pesto” on the bottom of your pastry case. Now put the feta cheese on top in any kind of pattern you fancy.
  4. Mix the eggs with the milk and salt and pepper and pour over the filling of your quiche.
  5. Put in the oven for 30-40 minutes.

Exotic White Asparagus Omelet

White asparagus are a true delicacy this time of year and are often referred to as “white gold”. Although that last part might be a bit exaggerated, I do want to stress that white asparagus are divinely delicious. Traditionally they are served with a hollandaise sauce, eggs or smoked salmon, but as you all know, I like to think outside the box and wanted to try something different with these beauties. I made an exotic omelet with them. That earthy flavour of the asparagus went wonderfully well with the coconut, chili, lime and curry in the egg batter. It may seems strange at first, but trust me when I say that this tropical version is to die for.

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Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 6-8 white asparagus, peeled and cleaned
  • 2-3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander
  • 1 tbsp fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp sesame seed, toasted
  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • ½ chili pepper, finely chopped
  • Zest of half a lime
  • 1 tbsp grated coconut

Method:

  1. Steam the asparagus until just al dente.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs with all the other herbs and spices and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a knob of butter in a non-stick frying pan and sauté the asparagus for a minutes. Now pour in your egg batter and let the omelet fry on a medium heat until just set.
  4. Finally, sprinkle on some extra sesame seeds and finish with a good squeeze of lime juice. Delish!

 

Maneesh Mania: Delicious Middle Eastern Flatbread

Published April 13, 2014 by The Feminist

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Some use a knife and fork, some use a spoon and some use chopsticks, but the best way by far to enjoy a dish, is if you can eat it with an edible spoon. This awesome Middle Eastern Flatbread is one of those edible eating utensils that make any other type of cutlery seem superfluous. Maneesh is a super easy, deliciously comforting flat bread topped with Za’atar (or other seeds and dried herbs you like) and is the perfect accompaniment to a mezze. Whether you’ve made some hummus, baba ganoush or a spicy harissa-yoghurt dip, everything will taste divine on this homemade bread.

I’m not an expert in the art of baking bread, but I can honestly say that this Maneesh recipe (adapted from baking God Paul Hollywood) is absolutely foolproof. The dough doesn’t need too long to proof, baking it into the oven requires only 15 minutes but transforms the house into a Middle Eastern Walhalla and eating it is even more gratifying. Soft in the middle, crunchy on the outside and the aroma of spice as the ultimate cherry on the cake. (Or in this case “the topping on the bread”)

So gather around some delicious dips, salted olives, refreshing salads, crumbly cheese and some friends to share it with, and start dunking your Maneesh!

You don’t even have to sit at a table. The only thing you need to start your dinner party are your fingers and your maneesh (and maybe possibly some napkins 😉 )

Ingredients (makes 4 flatbreads)

  • 500gr strong white flour
  • 10gr salt
  • 25gr caster sugar
  • 10gr instant yeast
  • 20ml olive oil
  • 360ml tepid water

For the topping:

  • 2 tbsp za’atar
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp oregano

Method:

  1. Mix together the flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Add the olive oil and 250ml of water. Mix the ingredients together with your fingers. Gradually add the remaining water until all the flour has come away from the sides of the bowl and you have a soft dough.
  2. Pour a little oil onto your work top. Place the dough on top and knead for 5-10 minutes. The dough will be wet in the beginning (that’s completely normal so don’t panic!) but will form a smooth dough once kneaded.
  3. Place into a clean oiled bowl, cover and leave to double in size. (This will take approx.. 1-2 hours.)
  4. Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment.
  5. Tip the dough onto an oiled work top. Knock the dough back until all the air is knocked out and the dough is smooth. Split the dough into four and roll into large circles/ squares/ whatever shape seems suitable.
  6. Mix the topping ingredients with a little olive oil until you have a thick paste and spread the topping over each of the breads.
  7. Place onto the lined baking trays and leave to rest for another 20 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 230°C.
  8. Bake in the oven for approx. 15 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

 

 

Lighter days: The Chocolate Avocado Mousse Project

Published April 10, 2014 by The Feminist

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It is no secret that I love baking and that I adore eating decadent desserts. My afternoon treats often involve loads of chocolate and heaped hills of sugar, which –as we all know- are not really that good for your health. (Bummer!)

Although the naughty cakes and pies on my blog may make you think otherwise, I truly believe that healthy eating is the way to go. Not only will it keep me from exploding out of my jeans (‘cuz I can still rock a crop top, high five!), it also helps keeping my mind –not just my body- in shape (Mens sana in corpore sano, and all that.)

Now, before you start complaining “but naughty treats are just so damn good!”, remember that the lighter version can be naughty too. All you need is a good dollop of sassiness and a large spoon of adventurous spirit!

Die-hard readers will probably remember the delicious and healthy muffins I baked a couple of weeks ago, or the most brilliant brownies on the planet I baked a couple of months back. These were both daring and bold bakes, but also very delicious and healthy!

The only problem with lighter baking so far is that many people frown upon the array of strange looking and sounding ingredients (I can’t blame them, they often do sound terribly frightening!). That is why I prefer to stick to ingredients that are widely available in supermarkets, which makes the recipes both easier and less expensive.

Last week, I was craving chocolate mousse. (Fun fact: I normally never crave chocolate mousse, because I find it dreadfully boring, but for some reason I really needed some smooth, comforting chocolaty goodness.) There was only one problem: I didn’t have any in the fridge. And I didn’t want to go to shop to go and buy the ingredients, because I wanted it now and not a couple of hours later. (Or maybe I was just too lazy?) What I did have lying around in my fridge was an avocado… and so my experimental journey of trying to make a chocolate avocado mousse began!

Chocolate avocado mousse is a big thing on many vegan/ healthy diet blogs. I always thought the idea was fascinating, but never attempted making one, because –like I said- I usually don’t eat chocolate mousse. However, I was now on a mission: I really wanted to obtain the lightest chocolate mousse possible but one that was still bursting with flavour.

The fruits of my labour resulted in this heavenly glass of chocolate avocado mousse. It was good, dear readers. Really good. Could you tell that it wasn’t made with eggs and double cream? Maybe. But was it still damn tasty and oh so comforting? Hell yeah!

Please don’t let the avocado freak you out! It adds creaminess without the actual cream. What more could you possibly desire? 😉

Ingredients (makes 2 glasses)

  • 1 avocado
  • 4 tbsp soy milk
  • 1 tbsp  cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp dark chocolate chips
  • 2 -3 tbsp honey (depending on how sweet you want it)
  • Handful of fresh raspberries

Method:

  1. Put the avocado, soy milk, cocoa and honey in a blender and mix until you get a mousse texture. Melt the chocolate chips and stir the melted chocolate in the avocado mousse.
  2. Spoon the mixture in the glasses and decorate with raspberries (optional)
  3. If you want you can add other types of fruit (like mango) or sprinkle some extra chocolate biscuits on top (this, of course, will make it less light 😉 )

Perfect Primavera: Spring In My Step, Spring In My Risotto

Published March 28, 2014 by The Feminist

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By golly, don’t you just love it when the sun shines? I mean, what’s not to love? Those sunbeams shining through branches of trees and the first spring warmth in beautiful harmony with a refreshing breeze…

Sigh. The sunny start of spring is making me very optimistic! I almost feel the urge to touch the flowers, dance in the grass and sing with the birds! (If only I could do that without people looking at me as if I were completely bonkers.)

However, to spare you all some traumatized ears, I won’t be bursting into song. Instead, I will cook something delicious; something reminiscent of this beautiful sunny day.  Sounds good, huh? 😉

This risotto primavera is what spring is all about: fresh, tasty and vibrant. It’s a classic combination of green asparagus and peas, a flavour combination that always sweeps me of my feet in all its simplicity and freshness. The creamy and unctuous texture of the rice balances so well with these tender yet crunchy veg and the basil highlights the green colour palette oh so beautifully. It’s almost like a Van Gogh painting, ready to be eaten…

Risotto with Green Asparagus, Leek, peas and Basil

Ingredients (serves 3)

  • 250gr Arborio rice
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • Vegetable stock
  • 9 large green asparagus
  • 2 leeks, finely sliced
  • 200gr frozen peas
  • 100gr parmesan cheese
  • Lots of fresh basil

Method:

  1. Clean the green asparagus and steam them until just al dente. Cut them into approx. 2cm chunks. Set aside.
  2. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan and sauté the garlic and onion until soft. Add the rice and let it fry for a couple of minutes.
  3. Pour in the white wine and let it simmer until the rice has absorbed almost all the liquid.
  4. Stir in the leeks and add a ladleful of stock. Stir frequently until the stock is fully absorbed. Continue this process, adding the stock one ladleful at a time.
  5. Once your risotto rice is almost tender, stir in the frozen peas and the al dente asparagus and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  6. Season to taste with pepper and parmesan cheese and finally stir in lots of fresh basil.