Sunday, 9 November 2014

Uplifting and revitalizing smoothie

These past few weeks I've been experimenting more with adding seeds and fresh herbs to my smoothies. Just to give them that little extra flavour and provide you with more energy. In addition, fresh ginger is probably my new favourite ingredient. I've been adding it to all my smoothies lately. Its specific and warming flavour instantly wakes you up.

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(6 glasses)

1 pineapple
1 cup of frozen strawberries
1 cup of (frozen) spinach
1 inch of fresh ginger root
1 tbsp of chia seeds
1 tbsp of flax seeds
1-2 tbsp of pumpkin seeds
Almond milk (unsweetened) or water

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Clean the pineapple, grate the ginger and put all ingredients in a blender. Add almond milk or water. Blend blend blend. Done!

A good tip I got from a friend for when you're not in possession of a good blender is to put all your ingredients in a large bowl. With a simple hand blender you can mix all your ingredients into a smoothie. Super easy and probably less washing afterwards ☺

Smoothies like this can instantly cheer me up. It sounds quite silly, but they really make my day ☺

Do you like adding seeds or fresh herbs to your smoothies?

Previous smoothie: Pastel green smoothie: Cucumber, pear & banana

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Stuffed veggie spaghetti squash & homemade pesto

October always makes me think of cosiness - with its first cold days, snuggled up in a blanket on the couch - and pumpkins. Since I last year discovered the gorgeous butternut squash and its wonderful taste, it has become my go to winter vegetable of all times (along with sweet potato, but that's another story).

I recently spotted a spaghetti squash at the organic supermarket where I work. Its quite silly name made me very curious about its purpose. Is it a secret ingredient for spaghetti bolognaise? (It happens regularly that I have these blonde thoughts, ehem).

So last week, I made this very simpel stuffed and veggie spaghetti squash for dinner. It was the best dinner I've ever cooked in my whole life. Seriously!

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(3-4 servings)

For the stuffed spaghetti squash:
1 spaghetti squash (rugby size)
1 turnip
2 tomatoes
1 parsnip
1 small zucchini
2 handfuls of baby leaf spinach
1 handful of rocket lettuce
200 g meat substitute of choice
Olive oil (extra virgin)
Coconut oil
Pepper, salt

For the pesto sauce:
2 cups of baby leaf spinach
1/2 cup of rocket lettuce
Juice of 1 small lemon
10 cashews
A good glug of extra virgin olive oil
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Step 1:

Cut the spaghetti squash in half with a very sharp knife. Be very very careful!! A spaghetti squash is very difficult to cut (I wish my dad was around when my knife got stuck in the squash, ugh). Remove the seeds.

Drizzle both halves with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper (act in this order, otherwise the oil will wash away all the spices). Place in a preheated oven at 200 °C for about 40 minutes until you can easily pierce the flesh with a fork.

Step 2:

Clean all the vegetables, peel the parsnip and turnip and cut them all in small chunks. Stir-fry in coconut oil for about 15 minutes. Season to taste with pepper, salt and oregano.
Add your meat substitute and fry until ready.
At the end, add some baby leaf spinach and rocket lettuce.

Step 3:

Prepare the pesto sauce. Put all ingredients for the pesto sauce in a blender and blend until you have a silky smooth and gorgeous green sauce. Put aside.

Step 4:

After about 40 minutes, remove the cooked spaghetti squash from the oven. Using a fork, remove the flesh from the skin. You'll see your spaghetti strands appear. Highlight of the recipe! (the eating of it not included of course)

Step 5:
Fill the hollowed shells with some spaghetti squash strands, mixed vegetables and top off with your homemade pesto sauce.

And tadaaaa ...

For having never ever prepared a spaghetti squash before, this was actually a very successful experiment. The taste of the homemade pesto sauce came fully to its own in this recipe. The lime just made it perfect. Yummm ...

Have you ever made a spaghetti squash?


Wednesday, 22 October 2014

I proudly present ... my comeback

Where should I begin ...

It has been a while (yes, you can safely say that). Since things got a little busy around May with studying for my finals and working in the summer, I took a step back. Blogging seemed to be the first thing I should let go of, because it can be quite time consuming sometimes. And so I did ...

But now I've come to that point where I really miss taking pictures of my own food creations. Even though I'm still learning how to make a good photograph, succeeding in taking just one good shot can be very satisfying already, haha. Anyway, without further ado, I'm back, yay, hurrah! ☺

For those who are dying to know about my latest life adventures and adventures to come, it's your lucky day! Just continue reading.

Things that happened:
- I graduated in July and am now officially considered to be a mature woman, oh dear.
- I'm currently working as an interim at the place where I had a Saturday job last year, an organic supermarket. I love working there, but should actually search for a job that suits my qualifications.
- I still love running. Today actually I ran my new personal record: 15 km (in 1h25)! Wooh!
- During those months that I didn't blog, I deleted quite a few of my old posts, actually, most of my personal posts because I wasn't sure whether I was going to continue blogging in the future or not and I didn't want them to be hanging around on the internet for ever. Do I regret? No not really.
- Apart from the fact that I really missed blogging, the main reason why I've been planning a comeback is that my boyfriend is very enthousiastic about me having a blog and rambling about my life to strangers. I was quite scared to tell him at first, but I'm so glad I did (just a few days ago actually).
- And erm, yes, you've read it right. Someone has been so brave to steal my heart ♥

Things that didn't happen:
- I didn't grow. I'm still as tall as a hobbit. Sigh
I still don't have a driver's license (even though I turned 24 in July). Still working on it though.

Things that are going to happen:
- Next Tuesday, I'm having my driving test for which I'm very very nervous already. So hopefully I can delete that item on my wish list next week!
- I'm still (and probably always will be) a major food lover, healthy food lover (we must be exact right). So most of my upcoming posts will probably be about healthy food: recipes, tryouts, thoughts ... and all that.

Okay, that's all for now. I didn't expect that I had so much to say actually. However, congratulations for reading the whole thing, that's why I've missed you!

I hope you're all doing well!


Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Pastel green smoothie: Cucumber, pear & banana

It has been a while since I made a smoothie. So it's definitely time to change that!

To please my mum - it was Mother's day after all - I made one with banana on Sunday. She only wants to drink my smoothies if they have banana in them. I can't blame her, every smoothie with banana tastes great.

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(6 glasses)

1 large cucumber
2 little pears
2 bananas
200 ml of almond milk

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Peel the bananas and put them in the blender. Clean the cucumber and the pears, cut them and put them in the blender as well, unpeeled. Add the almond milk. Blend blend blend. Done!

Simple, easy and delicious!
Add some chia seeds and hemp seeds on top, or anything you like.

Are there any other banana smoothie lovers?

Previous smoothie: Quick smoothie: Blueberries & blood oranges

Thursday, 8 May 2014

One day juice cleanse ~ My experience and thoughts

Today, I did my first juice detox ever. I've been wanting to do this for such a long time, but there was always something that was holding me back: not the right time, no juice in the house, justifying myself to other people ... Postponing, for ever and always.

But then this week the perfect moment was there. Since I don't have school this week and I'm staying at home, I told myself to give it a go, this time for real.

Because I'm a major food - healthy food - lover, I was highly convinced that I wouldn't manage 3 days (= short cleanse cycle) without solid foods. In the morning, I always get up with a growling bear in my stomach. I need to be fed ... or I'll get really moody! So I thought I'd be kind to myself and do a cleanse for only one single day. I'm so brave!

The day before

Before I tell you about the actual cleanse, I must say that when you are planning on doing a juice cleanse, it's best to eat light a few days before and cut out the bad (alcohol, caffeine, sugar, dairy, meat, processed foods). Since I already try to avoid these products as much as possible, I just ate soup for dinner the evening before my cleanse.

Actual cleanse day

So I bought these two organic juices: organic apple beetroot juice (amzing!) and organic carrot juice (wasn't that great, too high expectations). I know, I know, I didn't make my own juices. The reason: I don't have a juicer (only a blender for smoothies) and it would be a big effort ... and I'm too lazy.

Of course, this morning - like every morning - I was awake at 6:18. Noooo, why, WHY?! And when I'm awake, I can't sleep anymore, so I jumped out of bed. An early morning means a long day means a long time without solid food. But, I was ready!

Ignoring the growling bear in my stomach, I grabbed a glass of water to flush out all the nightly formed toxins and waste. And of course I was thrilled to try out my juices so I also poured myself a glass of apple beetroot juice. Delicious!

Besides the juices, I also drank lots of water. Cleanse, cleanse, cleanse. The hardest part of the day was lunchtime and dinner. Everyday I'm always looking forward to what I'm going to eat. Yes, most of the time my thoughts are with food. The fact that there would only be juice on the menu, was a little disheartening. But I kept strong, cooked dinner for my family (that smell!) and drank courageously my juices.

The whole morning I was very hungry but that feeling slowly faded during the afternoon. And now, at this given moment, at 8:10 pm, I'm getting hungry again. Surprisingly, I didn't feel flabby during the day but I did have a slight pressure above my eyes and I was a little tired.

The day after

Oh, I'm so looking forward to tomorrow! Just like the days before your cleanse, it's best to slowly build up your diet again. Start with fruits and vegetables, then nuts and grains, then meat and fish. So tomorrow, for breakfast, there is still one avocado waiting for me (YEEEEEEEEEEES!!) and a banana, and some leftover juice (haha). I'm so going to enjoy this!!

And now, I just made myself a large cup of green tea and I'm going to bed early. To be honest, I'm not sure if I would do another cleanse in the future. Therefore I like food too much, good food of course. And because I'm trying to eat as healthy as possible (just because I like healthy food the most), I don't think it's worth the "suffer". But if I do, I would definitely make sure that I have a lot more different juices in the fridge. Only 2 juices, it gets really boring!

Have you ever done a juice cleanse? What are your experiences?


Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Colourful veggie quinoa

Today, I made this super easy veggie quinoa bowl with red kidney beans and feta for dinner. Since I'm a big (the biggest) vegetable lover, I also tried to add as many different colourful vegetables as possible.

Besides the fact that this dish is very healthy and vegetarian, it also only takes 30 to 40 minutes to prepare (cleaning and cutting vegetables included).

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(4-5 servings)

200 g of quinoa
1 red bell pepper (paprika)
1 yellow bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
4 small carrots
10 cherry tomatoes
250 g organic red kidney beans (mine were canned)
200 g feta
Turmeric (curcuma)
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Step 1:
Bring water to boil in a sauce pan. Add the quinoa and some salt and cook for about 15 minutes until ready.

Step 2:
Meanwhile, rinse the canned red kidney beans and clean the vegetables. Cut the peppers and carrots into small cubes and cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters.

Step 3:
Add the peppers and carrots with some coconut oil (or olive oil) in another larger pan and heat them briefly.
Meanwhile, cut the feta into small chunks.
Add the red beans and tomatoes to the pan, just to heat them up. Season to taste with salt, pepper, turmeric, basil and oregano.

Step 4:
When cooked, add the quinoa to the vegetables and mix well together.
At the end, add the feta chunks and serve.

Super simple and it looks very pretty as well, don't you think? My sister whispered to me that she found it very tasty. This really means a lot because I know she mostly prefers something with meat. RESULT!

What do you think? Are you in for this colourful bowl of quinoa?


Friday, 25 April 2014

Reminder: Be yourself!


Today I just wanted to leave you with this. I found this quote a few weeks ago on Pinterest and it has really been the best motivation to help me not to care about what other people think and to be myself. It's okay to be different. It's okay to stand up for what you love to do. And it's okay to be unique. Because THAT is what makes you interesting and makes you YOU.

So remember this for when you're feeling insecure. You don't have to do what everyone else is doing. Just be yourself, because that's something that ONLY YOU can do best!