RSS – Rice Summer Salad

August 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’ll start by saying this is undoubtedly one of the tastiest meals I have made lately – modesty aside. On Friday I boiled a big pot of brown rice and enjoyed some with spinach garlicky puree. I placed the rest in the fridge to be enjoyed sometime during the week-end.

Today I was inspired to create a light, summery dish that would make us happy without too much labour. This RSS ‘aggregates’ the slow-releasing carbs of brown rice, an array of vitamins from the eggplant and zucchini, the omega 3s from olive oil and anti-cancer properties of garlic. Epic success!

You will need:

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • one medium eggplant
  • one medium zucchini
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil – or more, to taste
  • juice from half a lemon
  • salt, pepper

The rice can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge as the RSS salad is meant to be served chilled anyway [this is also a great tip to save time when you’re in a hurry]. Chop the eggplant and zucchini in small pieces and toss with 2  tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper in a bag. This technique is hassle-free and I love it. Then pop in the oven until veggies become soft.

In the meantime…. chop the garlic and puree with remaining olive oil and lemon juice. Then pour this beautiful concoction on top of the rice and let the aromas blend well in the fridge. Once the veggies are ready, let them cool a bit and add to the rice base. The cold-warm contrast is superb and the lemon garlic flavour is to die for… Mint leaves would have been great but we didn’t have any.

We served this as a main dish as it surprisingly dense, however you could ‘dress it up’ with tahini to make it much more rich and satisfying. Needless to say, I will make this RSS much more often from now on…

There are two things that I have learned today: one is to let yourself be inspired to create a new dish without thinking too much about it. The other lesson is that great food doesn’t have to be cooked forever or contain 16498 ingredients. And the third one… I am simply a great cook.Yeehaa.

 

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What goes around comes around. The Law of Attraction

August 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

Having come back from a (very) hot and cool holiday on the French beaches by the Mediterranean I found I was having a hard time readjusting to my healthy lifestyle. Suddenly I was weary of eating salads, my energy levels had dipped and my mind was feeling foggy. I may credit that to the extreme temperatures at the beach or maybe… is it just that like attracts like?

Let me explain: while in France my diet was not ideal. Yes, I had lovely fruit and chia fresca in the morning, some salads here and there… but I also had French fries, more baguette than I would like to admit and lots of fish-based dishes. And beer. We would eat too much and too late. I’ve learned that the food I eat and the times I eat it at has a huge influence on my well-being and explains while I felt less than ideal upon returning home.

Like attracts like: the leaner food I eat, the leaner I feel and the more inclined I am to continue in that way. The more inspired I feel, the more amazing things I attract. If I am hard-working today, chances are tomorrow I will accomplish even more. If I give love to my family and friends, love will come back to me ten-fold. If I go for a run today, I might do so tomorrow and the day after – OK, this one is not so easy. 🙂

The whole point is to start somewhere: start with something positive which will breed positivity in its own turn. Case in point: last night I went to bed earlier and read a nice book before falling asleep. I woke up well rested and the fog in my brain had disappeared, leaving room for a lot of clarity and a sense of purpose. I am slowly picking up where I left at: reminding myself why I love salads so much, that this is a blessed time of the year to eat healthy and enjoy nature. Simple as that. Tonight I’m putting a big smile on my face and going for a run.

The sum is better than the parts: my affair with hummus

August 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

I will confess here and now: I LOVE hummus. Chunky or smooth, with tahini or without, on toast, in a wrap or with veggies, for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

First time I tried chickpeas I was not so impressed. It was only when I started blending them with lemon juice, garlic and chilli flakes that I fully came to appreciate the power of this amazing legume. Now I can have chickpeas in a stew or casserole, but their taste really stands out for me when they are blended or tossed in hummus, falafel or veggie burgers. Yumm!!

Now for the recipe:

  • 2 cups of chickpeas – either I cook them myself or buy them canned
  • 2 garlic cloves  – or more 🙂
  • the juice of one lemon
  • salt, pepper, chilli flakes – to taste

~ You just blend everything to the desired consistency and then slurrrrp!

As you can see I have excluded the tahini, which can make hummus a bit too heavy for me sometimes.

My new obsession is spreading hummus over pumpernickel bread and adding a bit (or more) of ajvar, salsa or tomato paste. The colours are to die for! It goes similarly well with spring onions, green salad and red pepper all packed in a wrap-to-go.Chickpeas are a nutritional powerhouse – chock full of protein they will keep your belly happy for hours and they make a great portable snack too.

Summer time is bountiful with amazing fruit and veggies. I bought tomatoes at the farm the other day and proceeded with scooping one and stuffing it with freshly made hummus, like so:

All this talk about chickpeas has made me really excited about our upcoming trip to Israel. I did a bit of research on the local cuisine and was thrilled to find that chickpeas are a staple food, along with tahini, dates and all the other foods I truly love. Ohh yes, and they serve a killer coffee… November, are we there yet? 🙂

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