Chilled Cucumber Soup With Dill & Lemon

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My saturday was spent dancin' in the kitchen, trying new recipes and having a good time putting ingredients together for this delicious and refreshing Chilled Cucumber Soup. It only takes a few minutes to prepare and will keep you cool during the hot summer days. It's the perfect dish to bring to spontaneous picnics.

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Ingredients:

- 1 large english cucumber, peeled and sliced

- 1 cup greek yoghurt (if you're vegan, you could substitute the yoghurt with an avocado, to keep the creamy deliciousness)

- 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

- 1-2 garlic cloves

- 1-2 tbsp olive oil

- 2 tbsp fresh dill

- fresh flat-leaf parsley/ mint (optional)

- salt & pepper

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Directions:

In a blender, mix all the ingredients together. It's better to add the greek yoghurt first as it will be easier to blend the cucumber. You may need to add a little bit of water depending of your blender. Then, add the chopped cucumber, fresh dill, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley/mint and blend until smooth. Let is cool in the fridge before eating it. And voilà!

 

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It's Quinoa Summer Salad Time!

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As I'm writing this post, the thunder, lightning and rain is slowly coming after a very hot few days filled with music festivals, friends & fun. I love stormy summer nights and the freshness it brings.

This is my favorite salad for summertime, and the one I usually make for potlucks and picnics. That's what I brought yesterday to a summer night at a friend's place chillin' by the pool with a great sunset. This super fresh, healthy, full of flavors salad with a crunchy taste is perfect for vegetarians or as a side dish. I'm a huge fan of  quinoa, a seed (looks like a grain but is actually a seed from South America in the Andes region- a very ancient seed once called "The Gold of The Incas"). It's a complete protein, which contains all the 9 amino acids, it is very high in fibers, iron, magnesium and with lots of nutrients and anti-inflammatory properties. Very refreshing for a summer night.

All you need:

  • 1/2 english cucumber
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese
  • 5-10 Cherry tomatoes
  • Mint leaves
  • Herbs
  • Extra Virgin Olive or walnut oil
  • Lemon juice

 

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  • Pre-heat your oven to 200°C/400°F, place your red peppers cut in half (remove the stem and seeds) on a baking sheet with a little olive oil on top, the skin side up,  roast them for 20-25 minutes or when ready with dark spots. Then, you can take the skin off (better to digest), and cut in slices. (You can also put them in a ziploc bag for 10 minutes, which will make it even easier to take the skin off). Set aside in a dish. You can add some olive oil and herbs to marinate. It will bring more flavor to your salad.
  • Rinse well your quinoa before cooking. Cook it in water for 12 minutes. When ready, put it in the fridge to cool down while preparing the rest of the salad.
  • Crumble your feta cheese in a bowl.
  • Peel & dice the cucumber. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half.
  • Add herbs & mint leaves
  • Drizzle with olive/walnut oil and lemon juice

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Happy summer (heatwave) day!

IMG_20130727_202059Sunset from last night.

Bye Bye Summer!

Yesterday was the last summer day! So I hope you enjoyed it and that you all had a wonderful summer filled with exciting adventures and magical moments! I almost did all the things that were on my summer list! And I think my highlights of the summer was the shooting stars night, movies at the park and spending quality and fun time with friends. Hard to let go of all the good summery time but new season is always special and Autumn is definitely my favorite season, the indian summer part of course!;) Just sharing a few shots of my summer.

What were your summer highlights?

Happy Friday!

Zucchini, Tomato & Feta Tart

Love the taste, love the color, love how simple this tart is to make. It's just perfect for summer picnics and their free reggae concert in the park-great vibes. You don't need much more for happy moments. This is my new favorite veggie tart and hope you'll like it!

All you need:

  • 1 tart pastry sheet - (you can also make your own dough)
  • 1 or 2 onions
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • 1 zucchini
  • a cup of feta crumbled
  • olive oil
  • dry herbs

  • Pre-heat oven at 200°C/400°F
  • Mix the crumbled feta cheese with olive oil, crushed garlic and dry Provence herbs
  • Place your onion slices, tomatoes and zucchinis on the pie crust
  • Spread the feta crumble mix on top
  • Sprinkle with a little olive oil
  • Bake the tart for 30-40 minutes

Bon appétit!

What is your summer favorite?

Happy Zucchini Day!

Berries and their super powers!

It is berries season and we should all enjoy them as much as we can! I have been eating them from mornings to evenings. Why? Well they are not only delicious and colorful to your eyes but packed with super nutrients. It's a win-win situation! ;) They go well with breakfast- in your granola, yoghurt bowl, or smoothie-, as dessert, or snack. To get the full nutrients, it is recommended to eat them raw. You also have the chance to keep eating them during winter time as frozen berries are known to keep their nutrient value. I love them and can't wait to share with you all of their super powers!

BLUEBERRIES

Where to start?? They simply are A-MA-ZING! Don't get fooled by their small size, as they contain so many good beneficial nutrients for your health. Rich in vitamin A, C, E, K,  fibers, copper and antioxidant like flavonoids, tannin and anthocyanin. Originally from North America, Native americans have been eating them for hundreds of years for medicinal reasons.

  • #1 fruit for its antioxidant

Yes! Blueberries are the stars of antioxidant, which is a super warrior against cancer. Anthocyanin is one of the antioxidant that makes the color blue and boost at the same time the vitamin C and brings so many health benefits. So the more blue, the better! A good ally to boost the immune system. In all researches, they come as the number one food to fight cancerous cells. Anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties are found in their antioxidants.

  • Anti-Cancer

Blueberries' antioxidant neutralize free radicals. "Free radicals are molecules that can damage your cells and organs" and can accentuate diseases. Reservatrol, an other antioxidant, is also known to prevent cancer cells from growing. Compounds like ellagic acid and pterostilbene are also very efficient to prevent and fight cancer.

  • Heart disease

Blueberries help reduce belly flat which is often linked with heart disease and stroke. They lower cholesterol and insulin level. Anthocyanin, the antioxidant that prevent blood clot and other heart issues improves the arteries' elasticity and lowers bad cholesterol. They also works wonder on lowering the blood pressure.

  • Nervous system

They are named the "Brain food" as they have been known to help and prevent disease like Alzheimer or Dementia. They boost the brain cells and prevent brain aging and memory capacity and slow the aging process in general.

  • Better circulation & digestion

Blueberries improve the circulation system and the blood flow. They can prevent or help with bruising, varicose veins, and even water retention. They are rich in fibers, which helps to have a healthy digestive system.

  • Eye health

Your eyes need blueberries! Thanks to their antioxidant, they prevent macula degeneration, which is an eye illness due to aging, quite common for people over 65 years old, as well as glaucoma and cataracts.

  • Prevent urinary infections

Epicatechin is found in the antioxidant bioflavanoid which prevent and reduce the risk of Urinary Tract Infection. They are also well known in cranberries to help with the terrible Cystitis and UTIs some women have to endure.

  • Good mood

Blueberries also happen to make you happy! They have anti depressants properties.

Strawberries

Who doesn't love strawberries, right? They are the most famous berries. Those beauties are similar to blueberries with their health benefits. Packed with vitamin C, they strengthen the immune system and regulate blood pressure. They contain vitamin B for the nervous system and help reduce stress and diseases, fibers for the heart and digestion, manganese, potassium, magnesium and copper. Ellagic acid may help reduce cancer cells and is also keeping your skin away from wrinkles thanks to the good effect on collagen. They promote healthy vision and lower bad cholesterol. They have anti-inflammatory properties that are found in the substance phenol, which could have the same effect as drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen. Strawberries are a good ally to maintain a healthy weight and keep away from diseases.

Raspberries

We don't change a winning team, right? ;) Packed with vitamin C, rich in fibers which makes you feel full longer, manganese, and antioxidants. Raspberries are not only delicious but as the other berries help reduce bad cholesterol, heart disease, and cancer. Good for the digestion. The ellagic acid is a compound that has anti-inflammatory properties and could be beneficial for arthritis for example. They also contain properties against bladder infections.

Blackberries

Blackberries have pretty much the same benefits as all the other berries. Preventing eye and skin health, good digestive system thanks to their fibers. They are rich in vitamin K, and contain phytoestrogens that could relieve symptoms of PMS and menopause. The anthocyanin that gives the dark purple color are known to reduce inflammation and fight free radicals to keep your body healthy.

Time to show some love for your berries! ;)

Happy Berries Day!

 

 

Sources:

http://www.wild-about-blueberries.com/health-benefits-of-blueberries.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/349671-health-benefits-of-blueberries-as-antioxidants/#ixzz22mIwNzi8

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=8

http://www.livestrong.com/article/408281-how-are-strawberries-healthy/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/419257-benefits-of-raspberries/

http://www.berriesunlimited.com/health-benefits/info_23.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/027288_strawberries_cholesterol_fruit.html

http://www.besthealthmag.ca/eat-well/healthy-eating/10-health-benefits-of-strawberries

http://www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/8-health-benefits-of-blackberries.html