I know that there are a lot of people who still have an inexplicable lack of faith in vegetarian dishes. For some insane reason they seem to think that “no meat” equals “no flavour”. They worry about whether it will be nutritious or filling enough. If you so much as mention you’re going to cook vegan, you can see the look of pure horror on their faces. I think those people are idiots. Seriously, it really pisses me off how so many people can still be so ignorant! In sharp contrast to every carnivore’s assumption, vegetarian and vegan food equals versatility. You’re not bound by the “I have to use meat” rule, meaning that you can be as bold and as crazy in the kitchen as you like! You will discover a whole range of new ingredients and new flavour combinations that will simply blow your socks off. A marriage of tastes and textures you wouldn’t have thought possible…
The following two vegan dishes may sound very strange to carnivores (or as I like to cool them, ignorant morons 😉 ) But I can assure you, once they will have tasted this, they will be back for more! These recipes are so cool, interesting and –above all- delicious that they will absolutely forget meat ever existed!
However, let’s not be naïve. Serving these vegan dishes to your carnivore friends won’t suddenly turn them into vegetarians or vegans as well. But it will make them realize that they can indeed survive without their precious piece of meat or fish. They may even be willing to cut back on their meat consumption and be prepared to cook vegetarian dishes of their own!
More people eating less meat. That is the ultimate goal. And these vegan dishes will help us achieve it!
Oriental Seitan and Salsify Stir-fry with dried cranberries
I know this may sound like a really really really odd combination, but I am actually incredibly proud of this dish! I love salsify but I wanted to do something completely different with it ( so not the usual salsify in béchamel sauce). I wanted to create something new and vibrant. I honestly have NO idea why I suddenly thought dried cranberries would do the trick – but hey- who am I to question my own brilliance? This dish is packed full of flavour and all its different textures marry together like a culinary harmony. The juiciness of the seitan, the earthiness of the salsify, the sweet-sour fruitiness of the cranberries, the crunch of the nuts and seeds and that gorgeous blend of spices and fragrant coriander… it almost sounds poetic!
Ingredients (serves 1):
• 100gr seitan, cut into small chunks
• 200gr salsify, I used the canned pre-cooked ones, but if you the courage to tackle that annoyingly sticky root vegetable by yourself, be my guest
• Handful of dried cranberries
• Handful of nuts and seeds
• Handful of chopped coriander
• Juice of half an orange
• 1 tsp turmeric
• 2tsp curry powder
• 3 pieces of candied ginger (in syrup) , finely chopped Method:
1. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a pan and fry the seitan chunks until they’re golden browns and crisp.
2. Add the drained salsify and the spices and stir-fry for a couple of minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Add the cranberries, ginger, nuts and seeds and the orange juice to create a wonderful sticky gravy.
4. Stir in the chopped coriander et voila! : A speedy, wonderfully nutritious and healthy dinner!
Tomato and pea curry with coconut and coriander risotto
This is fusion cooking at its best. Indian meets Italian, or as I like to call it: Italindian. The sharpness of the tomatoes blends incredibly well with the sweetness of the peas. The hot and spicy kick of the fragrant curry and the rich creaminess of the risotto create the perfect symphony of flavours. This is simply a must for everyone who loves a classic Indian curry or a traditional Italian risotto. It’s the best of both worlds, but with an edgy twist! Ingredients(serves 4) For the curry:
• 500gr cherry tomatoes, halved
• 500gr frozen peas
• 2 onions, finely sliced
• 2 cloves of garlic
• 500ml of passata
• 1tsp chilli powder
• 1 ½ tbsp garam massala
• 1 tsp ground ginger
• ½ tsp ground cinnamon
• ½ tsp ground cumin
• 2 tsp brown sugar
• 2 tsp turmeric For the risotto:
• 320gr risotto rice
• 1 onion, finely chopped
• 400ml coconut milk
• 400ml vegetable stock
• Lots of fresh coriander Method
1. Heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wide casserole or pan that comes with a lid, and add the chopped onions, garlic and all the spices, stirring frequently as you cook them over a low to medium heat for about 5 minutes.
2. Add the tomato passata and the brown sugar and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes so that all the spices can infuse the tomato sauce.
3. Add the peas and tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper if necessary and cook for a further 10 minutes.
4. For the risotto, sauté the onion in a tablespoon of oil for a couple of minutes. Add the rice and stir until all the grains of rice have a nice oily coating.
5. Add a ladle full of the stock to the pan and stir well. Cook until nearly all of the stock has been absorbed and then add another ladleful of the stock. Do the same with the coconut cream, this will give the risotto the most wonderfully rich texture.
6. When the rice is cooked, stir through the chopped coriander.
Louis Vuitton has done it again! The check board trend is back and celebrities are absolutely loving it. Vuitton’s designer, the ever-brilliant Marc Jacobs, gave the audience a runway experience extraordinaire this spring. Beautiful models descended from escalators onto a yellow-white checkered runway. It was like getting a glimpse of what this world could actually look like; a vision of pure and peaceful perfection. The perfect balance between playful elegance and an edgy retro-vibe.
I am completely smitten with the colour palet of black and white with touches of bright yellow. It’s cheeky and girly, but yet so feminine and sexy. There are no words to describe Marc Jacobs’ brilliant mind. The things he designs aren’t clothes. Damn, it’s not even fashion! It is a vision. On Life, on love, on liberty.
What I’m trying to say is: CHECK out these clothes and run to the stores to start your very own eye-popping game of CHECKERS!
The only certainty in life is that there are none. Everything changes. Everything evolves. There is one thing, however, that will never be subject to adjustment , and that is my sincere love for couscous.
I mean, what’s not to like? It’s simple, delicious and brings an instant smile to my face. Couscous is my kind of happy food: when everything seems to go wrong, all I have to do is eat a plate of couscous and all of a sudden my mood switches from “leave me alone!” to “Seize the day!”. It is truly magical!
I could use a little cheering up the other day, so I decided to conjure up the following dish: couscous with grilled vegetables, marinated feta cheese and chermoula. Doesn’t eat look and sound absolutely delicious?! Well, it was!
• 250gr couscous
• 2 red peppers, in large chunks
• 1 courgette, in large chunks
• 2 parsnips, in large chunks
• 300gr feta cheese
• Bunch of fresh coriander
• Bunch of fresh parsley
• 1 clove of garlic
• 2 tsp Dijon mustard
• Falafel spice mix
• 2 tbsp runny honey
1. Grill the vegetables in a searing hot grill pan 2 minutes on each side until grill marks appear/ Transfer the vegetables into an oven dish, sprinkle with olive oil, two tablespoons of honey, salt, pepper and a tablespoon of falafel spice mix. (I you can’t find the spice mix, raz el hanout will do 😉 )
2. Put the vegetables in a preheated oven at 220°C for about 15-20 minutes.
3. Cook the couscous.
4. Cut the feta cheese into large slices and sprinkle generously with olive oil and falafel spice mix.
5. Mix the fresh herbs together in a blender with the garlic, mustard, salt and pepper, cumin (to taste) and 200ml of water.
6. Serve. Eat. Be Happy!
I watch a lot of TV. Too much, my mother would say. But is it my fault that there are simply so many awesome TV-series out there? I’m currently addicted to Suits (no surprise there, as it is, after all, about sexy men wearing sexy suits) and Glee (no suits there I’m afraid, but all the musical songs really make me appreciate and embrace my theatrical side). One month you’re addicted to one TV-series, next month you’re addicted to another. It’s what Elton John would call the circle of TV-life.
However, there is one exception. I was, am, and will probably stay addicted to The Vampire Diaries for a very very very long time. Drama, mystery and vampires. What more could you possible need? Very sexy actors maybe? Well, consider it done, because the Vampire Diaries has PLENTY of yummy hotties! ! Since I’m confessing, every time I watch an episode it feels as if I’m thirteen again, sitting on the couch with this ridiculous smirk on my face. But I don’t care, the show is just too good to dwell on one’s childish behaviour. 😉
Anyway, here are the three main reasons why I absolutely love the show:
1) Klaus and his British accent: I have always had a soft spot for British accents and every single time he says “love” I have this sudden urge to start giggling.
2) Jeremy and his muscles: He started out as Elena’s lonely little brother but those times are now officially behind us. Bye bye baby face, hello handsome! Just look at his arms!
I’ll leave some space for you to gasp at all this sexiness 😉
3) Damon and his one liners: Apart from being a total hunk, it is first and foremost his great sense of sarcasm that turns him into the sexiest character on the show.
Spring is in the air! To some, this means getting back outdoors, redecorating the garden or taking weekend mini-breaks to spas. To me, however, spring means buying new shoes! And if you still have one foot stuck in winter, I recommend you to do the same. What better way to step into Spring than with a brand new pair of shoes, right?
Just like the buds in Spring, my shopping list is ever-growing and these lace up boots are at the top of that list! They are cool, bold and require LOADS OF CONFIDENCE AND ATTITUDE ! (They are definitely not for sissies! )
Opt for printed boots (animal, floral, galaxy: whatever you fancy 😉 ) or choose the very popular studded boots. My personal favourite – BY FAR – are the lace up Perspex boots! See-through plastics were seen in basically every designer’s shoe collection for spring-summer 2013 – and yes! – even Cinderella’s glass slippers are back in style! So why hesitate? These beauties should already be sitting on your shoe shelf by now!
Okay, so maybe I am a little bit crazy. Sometimes I think that if people actually saw what I did on weekends, I would have my own reality show by now. Craziness – how I see it anyway – means that you don’t fit the mold. It means that you prefer doing something unexpected, rather than doing something everyone else does too. You have the courage to swim against the tide and to be original. And if that makes people call you crazy, so be it. I don’t know about you, dear readers, but I would rather be called crazy and stand out from the crowd than just be plain ordinary and fit in.
So, I would like you all to embrace your crazy side and to let your overactive imagination run wild. Be unique! So long as you don’t start eating couch cushions like that lady on ‘My Strange Addiction’ , because compared to her level of insanity we’re just a bunch of wannabe crazy bitches. 😉
It was quite the challenge to apply these designer nails (it took me 45 minutes !), and I have to admit that the surface isn’t as smooth as I would have liked it to be. But apart from a couple of creases, my NAILS TOTALLY ROCK!!
The only thing I have serious doubts about, is that the package promised they “would last up to 10 days”! Given my passion for baking, cooking, chopping, grilling and stirring, I am afraid they won’t have a long life ahead of them. 😉
Oh, by the way, if you have any tips for a nail art beginner like me: feel free to comment or give advice! ^^