The perfect Christmas dish

INSTRUCTION:

  1. Pre-heat oven at 180 Celsius and prepare a baking try with a baking sheet
  2. Scoop out seeds from pumpkin halves and wash thoroughly. With a brush lightly oil each half. Season with some sea salt, pepper, dried rosemary and paprika powder. Place on baking sheet and bake for 40 Minutes until soft
  3. Wash and drain green lentils and pour into a sauce pan. Add a dash of red wine and three times the amount of water. Let simmer until all water is absorbed and lentils are soft. Season with some salt and pepper.
  4. Wash broccolini and cut into 3cm long pieces. In a frying pan, heat some olive oil and add chopped onion. Sauté until translucent. Add broccolini and cover frying pan. Add sea salt and smoked paprika. Let cook for about 10 minutes until broccolini starts to soften. Make sure to check frequently so that broccolini does not get burnt.
  5. Mix lentils with broccolini and scoop into the pumpkin halves. Top with some pomegranate seeds.

I came across the idea to use half a pumpkin as a bowl for my lentils when scrolling through Instagram (I can't remember which account it was) and thought this was a genius idea. Not only does it add color to your plate, it is also a wonderful way to surprise your guests.

I've already written in earlier recipes what an amazing food lentils are. To give you an overview I've created a little infographic.

Since a couple of weeks I'm using opentaste.sg to order fresh vegetables and fruits and when scanning their products I saw broccolini - I do like broccoli, but I looooove broccolini so I had to order them. It turns out that they perfectly fit with lentils and pumpkin and even add an additional color to the dish. Broccolini is basically a hybrid of broccoli and gai lan which makes their floretts smaller and their stalks longer. You can eat the whole thing, so no need to through away the stalks.


INGREDIENTS (2 - 3 Servings)

  • 120g Green lentils, raw
  • 2 Pumpkin halves
  • 2 Bunches broccolini
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt & Pepper
  • 1 Tsp paprika powder
  • 1 Tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tsp dried rosemary
  • Dash of red wine (optional)
 

It's also the prefect Christmas dish with its green and red colors. The pomegranate seeds add a crunchy texture and the sweetness goes very well with the light bitterness of the broccolinis. Hope you enjoy this little festive treat.

Nurture your happiness
Dominique

Vegan breakfast explosion

A plant based whole foods diet should be the basis of everyones nutrition - lots of vegetables and fruits, legumes, grains and beans, nuts, seeds and other healthy fats. If you come from a western country cheese and cold cuts are essentials for the breakfast table and are usually accompanied by some sort of eggs.

This vegan open-faced sandwich is the perfect plant based start into a productive day. The bread is a spelt-rye mixture and the olive paste gives a salty flavor. The Falafel provide the necessary proteins and fiber and with the avocado you get some filling healthy fats.

INGREDIENTS:

Falafel (10 small balls)

  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 2 Tbsp spelt flour
  • 1/4 onion, cut
  • 1-2 gloves garlic
  • 1 Tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tsp curry powder
  • 1 Tsp turmeric
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Olive paste

  • 150g pitted black olives
  • 30g caperes
  • 1/2 lemon, juice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Spelt-Rye Bread

  • 200g Spelt flour (whole grain)
  • 350g Rye flour (whole grain)
  • 2pck dry yeast
  • 350ml lukewarm water
  • 1 Tsp salt

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pre-heat oven at 180 Celsius
  2. For the bread, dissolve yeast in water and mix everything together. Kneed until you get a soft dough. Let raise for 2 hours.
  3. For the falafel, drain and rinse chickpeas. In food processor add chickpeas with all the remaining ingredients and blend well. Form little balls with your hands.
  4. For the olive paste, put all ingredients in a food processor and blend well
  5. From the bread dough form a loaf and let raise for another 30 minutes. Then bake for about 45 minutes.
  6. Heat some coconut oil in a frying pan and roast falafel gently from all sides.
  7. Top a piece of bread with some olive paste, avocado and falafel. (you can also take a whole grain wrap instead of the bread)

Another Barley medley

Well, barley got me hooked. That's why I created a new, very simple barley medley. It's prepared in less than 30minutes and packed with proteins, fibers and good fats. Even though barley is not gluten free, this meal is free of any animal products and boosts your carbonfood-print. The added lemon juice further helps the nutrient (especially the iron) absorption and gives a refreshing note.

All in all, this recipe is just a slight adaption of my Sweet n' Sour Barley but yet another great meal to prep for the week. Of course, if you like to get a gluten free version, just replace the barley with buckwheat and Ta Da!

For gluten free version, replace barley with buckwheat or brown rice.

For gluten free version, replace barley with buckwheat or brown rice.

INGREDIENTS (1 Serving)

  • 60g raw barley (soaked over night for easier digestion)
  • 100g frozen green peas
  • 60g Edamame beans (frozen, no skin)
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 1 lime, juice
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

INSTRUCTION:

  1. Cook barley with three times water (appr. 30 minutes)
  2. In the mean time, bring some water to boil and poor over frozen Edamame and let soak until soft
  3. Heat frozen green peas in a sauce pan, add some water if necessary.
  4. Peal avocado and cut into chunks
  5. Mix everything together, add lime juice, salt and pepper (other seasoning could be paprika powder, turmeric, basil, oregano etc)

Sweet n' Sour Barley with Avocado

While spending some time in Zurich last week I had to try one of the delicious lunches from Lunchclub.ch. (if you don't know them and you work in ZH, go have a look at their homepage) It was a combination of barley with hazelnuts, cranberries and avocado. As I was flying on that day, I took the lunch with me to the airplane and even up in the sky the lunch was just amazing. So back home in Singapore I had to come up with something similar. The result is a fresh summer salad to keep you cool during hot weather.

INGREDIENTS (1 portion)

  • 60g raw lentils
  • 30g raw barley
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 1/2 Lemon, juice
  • 1 medium capsicum
  • Handful blueberries
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Soak lentils and barley overnight. Rinse them and cook in 3 times water until soft. Add water if necessary
  2. Cut capsicum and avocado in little cubes and mix with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice
  3. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and add salt & pepper

This recipe is also perfect if you are invited to a BBQ party and you want to bring a healthy and refreshing side dish. Replace capsicum with any vegetable you like.

I'm not using only barley as the addition of lentils adds some extra iron and protein to the dish.

 

 

Become a meal prepping pro with this super nourishing quinoa bowl

If you plan to meal prep you don't want to overburdern yourself with too much work. Therefore you should opt for an easy but filling lunch option where the different ingredients can be prepared and cooked at the same time. This quinoa pumpkin bowl with cottage cheese and pomegranate is the perfect meal prep dish.

INGREDIENTS (for 1 Serving)

  • 80g raw quinoa
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 300g Pumpkin
  • 150g cottage cheese
  • pomegranate seeds
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tsp paprika powder
  • Salt and pepper

INSTRUCTION

  1. Pre-heat oven at 200C
  2. Cook quinoa as indicated on packaging. If you like it soft cook with ratio 3:1 Water: Quinoa. To get a crunchier texture use 2:1
  3. Wash pumpkin and cut into 2 cm cubes. Mix with olive oil, some salt and paprika powder. Feel free to add any other spices you like. Kurkuma goes well but also some curry powder or pepper
  4. Spread pumpkin on a baking sheet and bake for app. 20-30 minutes until golden brown
  5. Peel avocado and cute into cubes. To prevent browning just add some lemon juice
  6. Place cooked quinoa in a bowl and top with pumpkin, avocado, cottage cheese and pomegranate seeds.

Soba Noodles - East meets West

Soba noodles are a great gluten free alternative to the Western Spaghetti. They are made with buckwheat flour and have a nutty taste. When buying Soba noodles read carefully the ingredients list - most of the producers replace a big quantity of the buckwheat flour with wheat. Here in Singapore I can recommend to order Eden Foods selected buckwheat Soba noddles from iherb.

This recipe combines the Asian flavors from Soba and ginger with the Western vegetables. It is perfect for a light lunch and provides you with complex carbohydrates and filling proteins.

INGREDIENTS (1 SERVING)

  • 80g Soba Noodles
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 150g frozen green peas
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 Tsp ground paprika
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • vegetable stock
  • soy sauce

INSTRUCTION

  1. Heat coconut oil in a frying pan and glaze onion
  2. Deglaze with vegetable stock and add green peas plus carrots
  3. Cook Soba noodles as indicated on packaging
  4. Let vegetables cook until soft, add ginger, paprika and some soy sauce
  5. Mix noodles with sauce and enjoy

 

Mediterranean millet salad

If you are looking for a nice change to all those quinoa salads, millet might do the trick. It is also gluten-free and high in fiber and antioxidants. Even regarding protein content, millet does well. With almost 3g per 100g it lies just behind quinoa with 3.5g. So what are you waiting for - get the millet cooking.

INGREDIENTS (1 serving)

  • 60g raw hulled millet
  • 1/2 capsicum
  • 200g zucchini
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6p cherry tomatoes
  • 70g feta cheese
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp ground paprika
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • fresh basil leaves

INSTRUCTION

  1. cook the millet as indicated on the packaging (usually 1:3 millet:water)
  2. Heat oil in frying pan and add capsicum, zucchini and tomatoes (onion if liked). Fry until slightly soft
  3. Add cooked millet to the vegetables and mix with basil leaves and other spices
  4. Top with feta cheese

Tuna salad with avocado-lemon dressing

Salads always sound healthy and they tend to appear on peoples diet if they want to lose weight. However, there are a few buts to add:

  • You can destroy a healthy salad with a mayonnaise loaded dressing.
  • If your salad only contains vegetables, chances are high that you get hungry a couple of hours after lunch.
  • Only cause the potato-cheese salad is called salad, doesn't mean it's healthy and helping on your diet.

My easy to prepare tuna salad includes everything you need for a filling but healthy lunch. The avocado-lemon dressing is creamy as your ranch dressing but replacing the saturated fatty acids with essential ones. To give you a longlasting fullness, the tuna chuncks provide the necessary proteins.

INGREDIENTS

  • 135g canned, drained tuna chuncks in water
  • 100g lettuce mixed
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 18p cherry tomatoes
  • 1 capsicum
  • 1 slice brown toast
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 Tbsp aceto balsamico
  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 1 tsp ground paprika
  • Salt and Pepper

INSTRUCTION

  1. For the dressing, mix avocado, aceto, onion, lemon juice, paprika, salt and pepper with a blender. If it is too thick, add some water
  2. Mix remaining ingredients, except toast, and pour dressing on top
  3. Eat toast as side

Quinoa risotto with spinach

I once talked to a chef about risotto and he explained me that they add at least 250g butter per person!!! WOOOOW, that's a lot of saturated fat I thought to myself - so I came up with a much lighter version which is packed with proteins.

INGREDIENTS

  • 80g raw quinoa
  • 125g drained cannellini beans
  • 1/2 onion
  • 210g frozen spinach
  • 3-4dl vegetable broth
  • 10g grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil

INSTRUCTION

  1. Heat coconut oil and glaze onion
  2. Add raw quinoa and frozen spinach and deglaze with vegetable broth
  3. Let cook until all the water is absorbed
  4. Mix parmesan cheese and cannellini beans

Egg and sweet potato omelet

Biological value (BV) describes how much of our food’s protein in incorporated in your body’s protein synthesis. There are 9 essential amino acids (smallest unit of protein) meaning that our body can’t synthesize them. A complete protein source contains all of those 9 amino acids. As most animal products are considered complete proteins some vegetarians/vegans might find it difficult to get their amino acids. But there are certain vegetarian food combinations, which lead to a complete protein when eaten together. One good example is eggs plus (sweet) potato.

INGREDIENTS (1 serving)

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 medium sweet potato, grated
  • 200g broccoli
  • ½ tbs coconut oil
  • ½ onion
  • salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mix eggs, grated sweet potato and salt and pepper
  2. Boil salted water and cook broccoli until soft
  3. Heat coconut oil in frying pan and glaze chopped onions
  4. Add egg-sweet-potato-mix to pan and fry from both sides

 

Zoodles with mushroom cream-cheese sauce

Zoodles are spiralized zucchini and can replace spaghetti for a low calorie/carb meal. For some people portion sizes are an important detail when it comes to losing weight. They are afraid of not getting enough food on the plate. Zoodles allow you to fill your bowl brimful and they give you a satisfying feeling after your meal.

There are several kind of spiralizers - I don't have any specific brand I could recommend but find some inspiration below.


From Crate & Barrels

Can also be used for sweet potato curls

INGREDIENTS (1 Portion)

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 10 medium mushrooms
  • 40g cream cheese
  • 0.5 Onion
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • Salt & Pepper

INSTRUCTION

  1. Spiralize zucchini and set a side
  2. Heat coconut oil in a pan and add chopped onions. Fry till glazed
  3. Add mushrooms and let cook until mushrooms are soft
  4. Heat 1L water and fully cover zucchini for about 5 minutes
  5. Add cream cheese to mushrooms and simmer until cheese is melted. Add Salt & pepper.

Buckwheat-Feta-Casserole

Buckwheat and quinoa are great gluten-free grains which can be used instead of rice, potatoes or pasta. They are high in fiber which keeps your blood sugar level balanced and prevents you from cravings. This casserole dish is great for a family dinner as it can be prepared in big portions. Or you just take the left-overs with you to the office.

INGREDIENTS

  • 80g raw quinoa/buckwheat
  • 18pc cherry tomatoes - can be replaced with 1 red/yellow capsicum
  • 200g raw broccoli
  • 40g Feta cheese
  • 100ml vegetable bouillon
  • 1 tsp garlic and onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp dried rosmary
  • Salt & pepper

INSTRUCTION

  1. Prepare buckwheat/quinoa as indicated on the packaging
  2. Blanch the broccoli floretts until al dente (not too much, as it will still be baked)
  3. Mix cherry tomatoes (cut in half) with broccoli and add salt & pepper, dried rosmary, garlic and onion powder
  4. Place cooked buckwheat/quinoa in casserole, cover with vegetables and feta crumbles.
  5. pour bouillon even over casserole
  6. bake for 30min at 180C

Whole meal pasta and chickpea salad

Most people have a negative position towards pasta. Pasta makes you fat, pasta has too many carbohydrates etc. Let me tell you - all bull***! This meal includes complex carbohydrates providing whole meal pasta and in combination with protein rich chickpeas it is the perfect lunch to bring to your office.

INGREDIENTS (1 person)

  • 80g raw whole meal pasta or quinoa
  • 150g canned & drained chickpeas (in water - try these)
  • 18pc cherry tomatoes
  • 5pc black olives
  • salt & pepper
  • fresh basil leaves

INSTRUCTION

  1. Prepare pasta/quinoa as indicated on package
  2. Drain chickpeas and rinse with water
  3. Mix chickpeas with tomatoes, olives and pasta. Add salt & pepper according to your taste. Garnish with basil leaves