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.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
(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

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
(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.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
(6 glasses)

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

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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).

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
(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!


Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Quick smoothie: Blueberries & blood oranges

This is probably the easiest smoothie I've made so far. It looks great, tastes amazing and that with only 2 ingredients. Having berries in the freezer is probably one of my greatest ideas ever (I wish I had more of those rare great ideas)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
(4 glasses)

3 blood oranges
2 hands of frozen blueberries

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Peel the blood oranges and put them in a blender. Add the blueberries. Blend blend blend. Done! There's no need to add liquid. The oranges are juicy enough ☺

I never thought that a simple smoothie like this would look so fabulous and would taste so delicious!

What do you think? What is your favourite smoothie ingredient?

Previous smoothie: Bloody good smoothie: Beetroot & raspberries

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Homemade granola with pistachios and dried figs

I always get very excited when I think about granola. Probably because it's crunchy and it contains all my favourite ingredients: nuts, seeds and dried fruits. You only add the things you like (you would be silly if you didn't, right). The combinations are endless.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

250 g rolled oats
50 g almonds, roughly chopped
40 g cashews, roughly chopped
100 g pistachios
40 g pumpkin seeds
25 g sunflower seeds
200 g dried figs, diced
4 tbsp flax seed
60 g coconut oil
4 tbsp honey
A pinch of salt
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Step 1:
Preheat the oven to 150°.

Step 2:
Take a large bowl and add the rolled oats, almonds, cashews, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and a pinch of salt. Mix it all together.
Place the coconut oil and honey in a small saucepan on a low heat and gently melt them together. When melted, pour over the oats and nuts and stir ensuring all dry ingredients are coated.

Step 3:
Pour this mixture onto a baking tray and pop this in the oven (150°) for about 30 to 45 minutes until golden brown. Make sure that you stir the mixture every now and then to get a nice, even, and golden brown colour. Nomnom ...

Step 4:
When your granola has become golden brown, remove from the oven and leave it to cool. Don't transfer your granola to jars yet as the condensation on the cooling granola might make it go soggy.

Step 5:
When it's cool, add the flax seeds and your dried figs.
And then you're done!

Pour your granola into an airtight container. This way you can keep it at room temperature for up to two months!

Do you love granola? Have you ever tried to make it at home?

Previous granolas: Super crunchy granola with banana & cranberries
                   Homemade granola with dried figs

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Bloody good smoothie: Beetroot & raspberries

Last week, I didn't have time to make a smoothie ... or errm, basically I just forgot to buy fruits and vegetables to make one (you ALWAYS have time to make a smoothie, that's no excuse). But this week, I'm happy to share a new smoothie with you ☺ 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
(5 glasses)

2 beetroots
4 hands of frozen raspberries
500 ml rice drink

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Clean the beetroots. Cut them into pieces. Put all ingredients together in a blender. Blend blend blend. Done!

Besides giving everything (including kitchen cupboards) a beautiful pink colour, beetroots are very healthy as well. They detoxify the liver and purify the blood.

I decorated my smoothie with some homemade granola of which you may expect the recipe one of these days.

Oh, and after cutting the beetroot, my hand looked like this:

I actually thought this smoothie would taste a little sweeter than it did. But the taste was pretty good after all!

Have you ever tried beetroot in your smoothies?


Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Simple marinated tofu salad with peanut sauce

Because I'm in my Easter holidays, my dad asked me if I could make dinner sometime this week. Normally, my dad is the cook in the house, but he is always very happy when someone takes over every once in a while.

So yesterday, I made this simple lukewarm salad with marinated tofu, pre-cooked wheat and peanut sauce.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
(4 servings)

For the salad:
A bowl of lambs lettuce (corn salad, field salad, whatever you may call it)
1 red bell pepper (paprika)
2 tomatoes
1 small parsnip
1 avocado
160 g pre-cooked wheat
360 g marinated tofu strips

For the peanut sauce:
2 tsp of peanut butter
1 tsp of hot water
2 tsp of maple syrup
2 tsp of walnut or sesame oil
1 tsp of soy sauce
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Step 1:
Bring water to boil in a sauce pan. Add the pre-cooked wheat and some salt and cook until ready.

Step 2:
Prepare the peanut sauce. Mix all ingredients for the sauce together until smooth. Put it aside.

Step 3:
Clean the lettuce, bell pepper, tomatoes and parsnip. Cut the bell pepper and tomatoes into very small cubes.

Step 4:
Fry the marinated tofu strips until they are heated.

Step 5:
When the wheat grains are cooked, drain off and stir the peanut sauce through.

Step 6:
Arrange the plates and garnish with grated parsnip and avocado.
Both parsnip and avocado turn brown very quickly when exposed to air. So you may want to wait until the very end with cutting them.

This was the first time I've tried to make a peanut sauce. I really love peanut butter, and now I've finally found a way to incorporate my favourite ingredient into a hot meal. Yaay!

Have you ever made a peanut sauce? Do you like it?


Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Fresh smoothie: Cucumber & apple

Since Sunday was quite a warm day, I wanted to make a fresh-tasting smoothie. So the first ingredient on my mind was cucumber. I wanted to add some fresh mint too, but we didn't have that, sob.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
(4 glasses)

1 cucumber
1 green apple
1 tsp ground fennel seeds
200 ml water

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Clean the apple and cucumber, but don't remove the skin. Cut them both into pieces. Put all ingredients together in a blender. Blend blend blend. Done!

Add some ground fennel seeds on top of your smoothie to boost the flavour because cucumber can have quite a bland taste. I think that crushed ice instead of water would do great on a hot summer day!

This smoothie doesn't have that expected typical sweet taste. But I don't think that is necessary. You could see this as a healthy refreshing summer drink :)

Have you ever used cucumber in a smoothie?


Thursday, 27 March 2014

That day when I started doing Yoga ...

That year when I started to live a more conscious live ...

It was the year when I started to eat organic food, the year when I started to take more care of my body and learned to listen to what it had to say. In that year, me and my body became friends, not the best friends, just friends.

From that year on, I've always been fascinated with yoga. Why? No idea. But for some reason, yoga seemed fantastic, like another world, like a soothing and blissful world.


I've always loved watching yoga pictures. They do something to me. They make me feel good and make me wish more than anything that I was the person in the picture doing those admirable stretching poses.

All this feeling good and wishing and fascination about yoga has never got me to that point to actually do yoga. In all those years ... never. It's crazy.

Instead, I started running. The only reason why I started running - and not practicing yoga - is that I thought that running was more intensive and so it would give me visible results. But now I finally came to realize that I was completely wrong!


That day when I started doing yoga ...

This morning I did my first ever 30 minutes of yoga. Starting at the beginning, with the basics, because I really want to do it right and learn how to control my breathing. So I found this series Basic Yoga Workout for Dummies on YouTube and watched and practiced Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Oh boy, I never thought that even this basic yoga poses would be so intensive. It all seemed so simple and easy, but finding your balance and holding the pose really asks some perseverance. Apart from that, all this stretching did my body so good. It's so calming and fun at the same time. These 30 minutes of yoga gave me such a warm happy feeling inside and I felt so light and energetic afterwards.


From this day on, I'm going to try to practice yoga every day when I'm not running. Usually I run 2-3 times a week. The other days I would like to strengthen my body and keep my muscles flexible with yoga. Maybe one day I will be able to do this ...


Woah! Or this ...


Also, for some more yoga tips and inspiration, take a look at this site: Popsugar. It's since I discovered this website that I couldn't keep myself any longer from practicing yoga.

I would love to keep you updated on my yoga adventure. And I hope that one day I will be good at it ☺

Do you practice yoga? How does it make you feel?


Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Creamy green smoothie: Kiwi, avocado & banana

I have yet another smoothie for you today! This week I wanted to try one with kiwi and avocado. And since I only had very little inspiration, I added banana, again. Banana basically goes in every smoothie, right?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
(6 glasses)

5 kiwis
1 avocado
2 bananas
400 ml almond milk

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Peel the banana, avocado and kiwis. Cut them all into pieces. Put all ingredients together in a blender. Blend blend blend. Done!

Wow, it seems like I can't hold a camera! How skewed is this picture, hehe.

Okay I have to admit that this smoothie actually doesn't look very green. But I thought to name this smoothie 'green' anyway since all ingredients are green, except for the banana and the almond milk of course, ... Hm okay, this actually doesn't make sense at all since that's basically half of the ingredients. Never mind.

The banana was very present in this smoothie, but the kiwis gave it a more acidic flavour. I thought it was too bad that you didn't taste the avocado (I ♥ avocado!). The avocado only made the smoothie a little more creamy.

What do you think? Do you like kiwi in smoothies?