Sweet Potato Fries with Guacamole

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Sweet potatoes and avocados are pretty much my favorites and are like a little slice of heaven. Avocados, that's what I would bring on an island if I had to choose one food. You can make this as a side dish with some greens and is kinda perfect with guacamole for happy hour if you ask me!

Sweet potatoes contain vitamin A (beta-carotene), which is great to boost your immune system and for your skin, vitamin C, magnesium with relaxation benefits and are packed with anti-inflammatory properties.

Avocados are a great source of healthy fats, oleic acid which reduce inflammation and fibers. They lower your blood sugar spikes and keep you full longer which has also been linked to weight loss. They contain vitamin K, C, B5, B6, E, folate and potassium.

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Ingredients:

Fries:

  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • a dash of cinnamon

* Coconut oil has a high smoke point (200°c/ 400°F), which means that it can be used to cook at higher temperature - compared to olive oil (which is better used in salads or slightly sautéed).  The smoke point is the temperature until the oil/ fat can be cooked before it starts to smoke and transforms into compounds that could be bad for your health.

Guacamole:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp parsley or coriander freshly chopped
  • sea salt

 

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven at 200°C / 400° F
  2. Wash the sweet potatoes, peel and cut them in fries shape or wedges (lengthwise).
  3. Put them in a bowl, add the coconut oil and spices. Toss together until well coated.
  4. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes then flip them for another 10 minutes or until done- depending your oven.

In the meantime, prepare your guacamole. Scoop the avocados with a spoon and put in a bowl. Mash it with a fork. Add the onions and tomatoes, salt and paprika. Mix well.

Fries are best eaten right away.

 

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Enjoy the goodness!

xx

 

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.

Red Lentils, Sweet Potatoes & Green Beans

Hi Sunshines!

Hope you all had a cozy and relaxing weekend. Spring weather is still a bit shy where I live and I was craving for some warm comfort food-healthy of course! ;) So I cooked my favorite dish. I just love seeing all the colors in my plate and I heart sweet potatoes. They are packed with health benefits and are anti-inflammatory. They contain vitamin B6-good for your heart, fibers for a healthy digestive system, iron, magnesium, potassium to lower blood pressure, Vitamin A- antioxidants. They also help stabilize blood sugar levels. They are the queens of healthy food! :) And red lentils are a good source of protein and fibers and can be a good replacement for meat.

All you need:

  • 2 cups of dal (red lentils)
  • 2 cups of romano beans or green beans
  • an onion
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 2-3  sweet potatoes
  • Coconut milk
  • Turmeric
  • Curry
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • A red pepper (optional)
  • A cup of mushrooms (optional)

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  • In a large pan/skillet, heat the olive oil and sautee the onion, garlic, turmeric, curry together.
  • Add the sweet potatoes (cut in little cubes without the skin) and 1-2 cups of water. Cook on low-medium heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes. I'm a big fan of cinnamon so I always sprinkle the potatoes a little bit -but it's optional.
  • If you want to add mushrooms and a red pepper, they can be added to the sweet potatoes pan.
  • Cook in another pan the romano/green beans in boiling water until almost cooked.
  • Cook the dal in boiling water for 15 minutes. When ready add the lentils to the sweet potatoes pan. Add the cinnamon stick.
  • Stir in the lentils, sweet potatoes and romano beans together.
  • Add a few tbsp of coconut milk.
  • And Voilà! It takes about 30 minutes and you'll have a healthy delicious plant based dish to enjoy!

Bon appétit!

xx

A sunday kind of Green Smoothie...

IMG_0712 It's a sunday kind of smoothie...it's actually been a week of daily green smoothies. I am back to my daily green drink and feel great! With the holidays and end of year craziness I let my green smoothie routine a bit on the side and could feel I needed my daily dose of vitamins back. I usually have it for breakfast. It's quick & easy to make and it's packed with fibers and nutrients to make you feel full longer. I noticed I have less sugar cravings. And I just love the feeling of eating food that is healthy and gives you plenty of energy to start your morning and in the same time boost your immune system, which is pretty essential in snowy winter! ;) All you need:

  • 1 Banana (high in potassium, vitamin B & C)
  • A handful of spinach (Vitamin K & C, folic acid, lutein, iron, calcium)
  • 1 Orange (Vitamin C to boost your immune system, fibers, Vitamin A & B1)
  • A teaspoon of Açai powder- of course if you have access to the real berry, then it's better. (B Vitamins, minerals, fibers, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antimicrobial properties)
  • A cup of water

Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix it!

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Happy Green Day!

Sources:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=37

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/acai/an01836

"The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia", Rebecca Wood, 2010