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Marinated Tofu, Roasted Veggies & Basil Pistachio Pesto

Roasted veggies are the kings and queens of healthy cooking. No matter the weather or the season, you may basically roast everything in an oven or on a barbecue. It is not only a tasty and easy way to add vegetables to your diet but is also very cheap. What you’ll need is a fat (olive oil for example), spices (whatever you fancy), veggies and salt/pepper – it does not get as complicated as that.

I am usually preparing those every week so that I have something to eat whenever I do not feel like cooking or just do not have the time. You would like to start meal-prepping? Roasted veggies are your friends!

Along with those amazing vegetables, I usually love to marinate some tofu, which is a staple food for all vegetarian/vegan/plantbased eater looking for good quality plant-protein! Some people like it raw, and not marinated, but it is not my cup of tea. And if you are new to tofu, I would recommend marinating first so that it absorbs some delicious flavours and your body/brain will actually ask for some more!

And today, to make this article even more special, I am sharing my favourite pesto sauce recipe, which is fabulous on bread, veggies, potatoes or even as a dip. Fresh, nutty, sweet and savoury at the same time, it is my personal favourite. And here you are, introduced to my meal prep’s essentials, my spring’s essentials and my all-time favourite savoury recipes. Enjoy!

Sweet & Spicy Marinated Tofu

Portions: 2 servings

Preparation time: 35 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  •  200g of white hard tofu, cut in squares (2×2 cm approximately) or in slices
  • 3 tbsp of tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 1 – 2 tbsp of grilled sesame oil or olive oil
  • ½ tsp of chilli powder
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1 tsp of curry powder
  • Salt & pepper

Method

(1) Mix all the ingredients for the marinade and add the tofu squares to it. Leave to marinate in the fridge for about 30 minutes, stirring a couple of times to coat all the pieces.

(2) Heat a pan and pour the tofu and the marinade into it. Fry the tofu until golden-brown, making sure to turn them round a couple of times.

(3) Serve with freshly cooked quinoa, roasted veggies and some pesto on top. Enjoy!

PS: It is supposed to look like the picture above, not the one in the headline – this one is made to be eaten raw…just so you know and do not freak out!

Favourite All-Year Dish: Roasted Veggies

Portions: 4 servings

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in squares
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut in squares
  • 2 courgettes, washed and sliced
  • 2 red peppers, cored and coarsely shopped in squares
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 tbsp of dried basil
  • 1 tbsp of dried oregano
  • 1 tsp of chilli flakes
  • Salt & pepper
  • 6 – 8 sprig of fresh thyme

Method

(1) Preheat your oven to 200°C. Cover a baking tray with parchment paper.

(2) Prepare all your vegetables as indicated above, making sure to cut approximately same size pieces. Separate the courgettes from the rest as they do not cook for the same time. Add all the olive oil, maple syrup, basil, oregano, chilli, salt and pepper to the vegetables (not the courgettes), toss and make sure they all are nicely covered.

(3) Place all the vegetables on the baking tray, flattening them all out. Cook in the middle of the oven for about 45 minutes, adding the courgettes after 20 minutes and tossing all the veggies round at the same time.

(4) Once nicely cooked and tender, take out of the oven and serve (or eat cold in a salad – extremely addictive!)

The Best Pistachio & Basil Pesto

Portions: ½ a jar (round 4 servings)

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 60g of pine nuts
  • 40g of pistachios
  • 40g of fresh basil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 125ml of olive oil
  • ½ a lemon, the juice
  • Sea Salt & pepper

Method

(1) Mix all the ingredients together in a food processor or a mixer, and blend until smooth. You may leave a few seed and nut pieces for the crunch.

(2) Health tip to conserve: place in a jar and cover with olive oil, so that the oxygenation process will not alter the colour nor taste of the pesto. Mix before serving. May be kept on the fridge for 2 weeks maximum.

Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

An early-autumn evening, round the equinox. Nights are getting longer, colder, and we’re all gathered round that large wooden table, tastebuds quivering, waiting for dinner to be served. The yoga retreat vibes were high, sharing laughs, heart-warming chats, positivity and love round. In a slow and delicate dance, our hosts started to place large plates under our nose – filled with an orange liquid, crowned with a dash of olive oil and radish sprouts, a mouth-watering, oriental and spicy smell coming out of them. Eager to taste it, we digged our spoons like one man – and there, replacing the joyous noise, a complete silence settled. The sound of happiness and contentment. The squash’s sweetness coupled with some delicious lemongrass, spicy ginger and creamy coconut milk – a game-changing soup. I had to ask for more. And I had to recreate it at home. So here you are. Enjoy!

Yoga Retreat Inspiration: Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

Portions: 4 people.

Preparation time: 25 minutes.

Cooking time: 45 minutes.

Ingredients

For one portion of curry paste:

  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, coarsely sliced
  • 1 small red chilli
  • 2 shallots, coarsely sliced
  • 2 tbsp of fresh grated ginger
  • 2 coves of garlic
  • 4 Kaffir lime leaves
  • Some water

For the soup:

  • 1 portion of curry paste (see above)
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 1 butternut squash (approximately 800 grams), peeled and cut in cubes
  • 350ml of coconut milk
  • 500ml of water
  • Salt and pepper

Method

(1) Make the curry paste. Prepare all the ingredients like indicated above, add them all to a blender/mixer, with a little water (adjust while making the paste, start with one or two table spoons only) and mix until obtaining that paste consistency.

(2) Prepare the butternut as well as the onions. Heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in a saucepan and caramelise the onions, for about 5 minutes. Once ready, add the entire curry paste. Cook for about 3 minutes.

(3) Add the butternut and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the water as well as the coconut milk. Bring to a boil and then cover, leaving a little space with the lid to let the steam come out (and thus avoid soup’s spillovers).

(4) Cook on medium heat (and gentle boiling) for about 30 minutes or until the butternut’s soft.

(5) Once cooked, mix with a hand-blender (or a blender, being careful to open the lid slightly to enable the steam to get out). Eat warm, with some more coconut milk, olive oil and some seeds or nuts parachuted on top. Enjoy!

        

Liquid Gold in a Glass: Raspberry & Basil Smoothie

This weekend of late March early April has been full of magic: A Celestial Event (Blue Full Moon), the wrapping up of our third 2018’s month and the start of a new one, and finally Easter celebrations. So many empowering and releasing energies all round us, making our dreams and intentions more powerful than ever. I hope that you shared some amazing moments with your loved ones – and that even though you’re reading that later in the year, you are still spreading the love and sharing great times with those round you.

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I am one of those who do not wait for Spring or Summer to sip on deliciously creamy and satisfying smoothies and actually use it as a base for each and every single one of my breakfasts. There is nothing like a smoothie – or even better, a Smoothie Bowl topped with loads of goodness – to make me feel happy, grateful and full for the entire morning. I am especially in love with this one since it incorporates a little basil quirkiness that I just adore. Assembling unexpected flavours is my favourite thing to play round with in the kitchen and what’s best than a smoothie to try this mix out?! If not a fan of basil, you may totally replace it by mint or any other herb/scent you like – lavender or rose oil? Finally, this liquid gold is enriched with plant proteins, which makes it perfect for a post-workout snack!

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Creamy Raspberry & Basil Smoothie

Portions: 1 serving

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Freezing time: Overnight (if needed)

Ingredients

  • 125g of fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 5 basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp of almond butter
  • 1 tbsp of bee pollen
  • 1 tbsp of hemp seeds/hearts (or chia seeds alternatively)
  • 125 – 250ml of plantbased milk or water

Method

(1) Put all the ingredients together in a blender or food processor and blend on high speed until smooth and creamy. Enjoy directly!

Tips

(1) How to freeze bananas? Slice several in small chunks and place on a plate or parchment paper and straight into the freezer overnight. Then, place all the chunks in a zip bag, so that you have frozen pieces of banana ready whenever you want a fresh smoothie.

(2) If you would like a creamy almost frozen smoothie (which is at the base of a “Smoothie Bowl” for instance), only use frozen fruits and a little liquid. If you would prefer a runnier smoothie, use frozen fruits but more liquid and add slowly until you obtain the desired consistency. If you do not have any frozen fruits, no worries, you may use some ice cubes to make it a bit creamier.

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Almond, Chocolate & Sweet Potato Blondies

Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. And when you need to reduce your sugar intake, well, you come up with the most delicious ideas. Because (healthy!) sweets truly are bare necessities in one’s life. For someone that usually eats energy balls on reg, that prepare choc brownies when invited for a dinner party or just because he fancies it, that has a love/hate relationship with honey, maple, dates and so many more healthy sugars, it truly was a great challenge to bring new twists to my regular desserts and snacks.

As I was preparing some sweet potato puree for the fam and our “Buddha Bowl” evening, I wondered if I could use this sweet-tasting puree for dessert purposes. Knowing that it was working with brownies, why wouldn’t it with blondies?! It took me some time to define the right ingredients and to pair the nicest flavours together but I guess I have found my happiness so far.

     

Those blondies are THE absolute best when it comes to eating sweets. They are soft and chewy, which is totally indispensable; very sweet despite their low extra-sugar content (it makes a little less than a teaspoon of maple by portion – great right?!), since the sweet potato itself already is very sweet-tasting. These babies are a powerhouse, nutritionally full of healthy fats, vitamins A, magnesium, potassium and calcium, and some plant proteins. I am quite sure you could make them even more interesting by adding superfoods – maca, baobab or other powders – or other adaptogens – lion’s mane, ashwagandha, etc. I absolutely adore those as an afternoon pick-me-up, to fill me up for the rest of the day, or as a dessert obviously. And if you’re afraid it will taste like vegetable – well I promise it does not!

Moist, decadent, satisfying, full of textures and flavours, you’ve just been served by the heavens!

Almond, Chocolate & Sweet Potato Blondies

Portions: 16 pieces

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

Dry ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp of coconut flour (or arrowroot flour alternatively)
  • 50g of brown rice flour (or spelt)
  • 125g of almond meal (almost with a flour texture)

Wet ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp of chia seeds + 1 tbsp of milled chia seeds + 4 tbsp of water
  • 175g of sweet potatoes, cooked and pureed
  • 125g of almond butter (or the one you would prefer)
  • 50g of dates, mashed to paste
  • 3 – 4 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 2 dl of plant milk (almond, oat, spelt, etc.)
  • 125g of crushed pecans
  • 100g of dark chocolate, sliced in little nibs

Method

(1) Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line up a brownies tin with parchment paper. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside.

(2) Peel and cut the sweet potato in cubes. Place in a large volume of water, bring to a boil and cook until very soft. Puree and take only the amount you need for the recipe (eat the rest!). Mix the whole and mix chia seeds together with the water and let sit for about 10 minutes.

(3) In the meantime, mix the dates in a food processor (or with a fork!) and add the almond butter, maple syrup, plant milk and sweet potato puree. Mix until fluffy.

(4) Add this mixture to the dry ingredients along with the chia egg, the crushed pecans and the dark chocolate nibs. The dough is meant to be a little sticky and thick.

(5) Spread nicely in your brownies tin, evening out the surface. Place in the middle of the oven for about 25 minutes up until 30. A knife inserted in the centre must come out clear and the surface must be hard to touch and golden brown. Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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Raspberry Mousse No-Cheesecake

Since January 5th (yes because the day of my arrival in the US was quite horrific), I have been living the dream. Living in an entire beach house by myself; opening my eyes to the bright coloured sunrise every single morning; practicing yoga, meditation and studying at university in the most enchanting and dreamy environment of all. However, there is one thing that I miss and realised I would never be able to live without (apart from my cats, mum and friends – still a human after all): a decent food processor. The one I’ve unearthed from a hidden cupboard is good enough to make smoothie bowls and matcha lattes – but that’s it. I thus realised how much my sanity was depending on energy balls, juices and mousse cakes, like the one I have prepared for you today.

A slice of dream, a marvellous delight, all fresh, fruity and fluffy. A instant of surrender, where we let ourselves go and float in-between spiritual worlds. Even better than a yoga lesson (okay, well I am exaggerating now!). This cake is a light vegan raspberry mousse melting into one’s mouth, accompanied by a soft date and nut biscuit. Fasten your seatbelt for it is an authentic gustatory treasure, easily and quickly prepared, only requiring a few inexpensive ingredients. A dessert you would want to have this spring, to bring a little sunshine on your plates – and even in this freezing winter weather, which one needs a whole lot of comfort for! If my father has been seduced, there is no doubt you will be too!

Raspberry Mousse No-Cheesecake

Portions: 12 people

Preparation time: 1 hour

Refrigeration time: 4 – 5 hours

Ingredients

For the biscuit layer:

  • 50g of oats
  • 25g of walnuts
  • 25g of sunflower seeds
  • 50g of almonds
  • 125g of fresh Medjool dates, pitted

For the raspberry mousse:

  • 135g of cashew nuts, soaked in water for at least 6 hours and drained
  • 50g of fresh Medjool dates, pitted
  • 200g of fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 2 tbsp of honey + tbsp of maple syrup
  • 125ml of soy or coconut yogurt
  • 115ml of plant milk (oat, almond, spelt, etc.)
  • 4 tbsp of milled chia seeds (+ 1 additional tbsp if using frozen raspberries)
  • 125ml of melted coconut oil

Method

(1) Soak the cashew nuts in a large amount of water for six hours or overnight.

(2) Place the oats in a food processor and mix until obtaining a coarse flour. Add the nuts, seeds and almonds and mix until fine, keeping some nutty bits visible. Add the dates and mix until obtaining a sticky dough.

(3) Cover the bottom of a round tin (20cm ø approximately) with parchment paper and press the dough on a thin, compact and even layer (you may use a spoon or a glass here). Place in the fridge while preparing the mousse.

(4) Grind the chia seeds in a nut/seed grinder. The amount of whole chia seeds will not equal the amount of milled chia seeds, be careful about this as well as the type of raspberries you are using. Add all the mousse ingredients in a food processor apart from the coconut oil and mix until very smooth and airy.

(5) Slowly poor the melted coconut oil while mixing the previous raspberry mix until well incorporated. Poor over the biscuit and place in the freezer for about 4 hours.

(6) Take out of the freezer, gently remove from the mould by passing a sharp knife on the side, decorate and serve! May be kept in the fridge for about 5 days. Delicious when eaten frozen too (thus keep it in your freezer), or more airy and light depending on your desires.

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Cashew Cream Filled Gingerbread Cookies

Those that have been sticking round with me for a while know how fond I am of winter, its comfort, silence and amazing flavours. Even though I now am on the West Coast of the United States for a little while, it is just as if my soul lingered back in the snowy mountains, smelling those scents of hot cacao, crispy fires, cinnamon cookies and gingerbread mixes. There is nothing like novelty and freshness, adventure and new horizons, but no matter my love for the sun, the sand and all those new discoveries within easy reach, my heart still belongs to my home country, Switzerland, to all those I left, those I love.

       

It is in this very happy and bright melancholic mindset (yes, I have never been merrier and more grounded!) that I am sharing today a recipe that I have created a while ago, just before leaving. And this is when you tell me gingerbread is a Christmas and winter thingy – well, not for me! Just like there’s no weather to enjoy a lovely hot cacao, there is no season to enjoy gingerbread loafs, cookies or biscuits. And those babies are just going to verify this statement.

Delicious tastes of coconut, ginger and cinnamon are merging together and creating this complex flavour that gives those biscuit their originality. Two crunchy and nutty outside layers, surrounding the creamiest and most scrumptious (I adore this word) buttery heart. You’d be better off either eating them at room temperature, removing both biscuits to avoid spilling the cream all over or just out of the fridge, still hard and crunchy. Enjoy!

Cashew Cream Filled Gingerbread Cookies

Portions: 18 pieces

Preparation time: 35 minutes

Cooking time: 16 – 18 minutes

Ingredients

For the biscuits:

  • 200g of shredded coconut, reduced in flour
  • 225g of ground almonds (almost as thin as flour)
  • 6 tbsp of spelt flour (or else)
  • 225g/175ml of maple syrup or honey
  • 100g of coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ tsp of vanilla powder
  • 1 ½ tbsp of ginger powder
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of cardamom
  • ¼ tsp of nutmeg
  • A pinch of salt

For the cream:

  • 4 tbsp/150g of cashew butter
  • 35g of coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp of vanilla powder

Method

(1) Preheat the oven to 150°C. Mix the ingredients for the biscuits in a large bowl. Once incorporated, form a ball with the dough, roll into wrapping paper and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

(2) Press the dough down in-between two sheets of parchment paper to prevent it from sticking, on 0.5 cm approximately. With a round cookie cutter (or a champagne glass/regular glass), cut little cookie circles and place on a tray covered with parchment paper.

(3) Do as explained on point 2 until you are out of dough. Place the biscuits in the middle of the oven for about 15 to 16 minutes (check it regularly). They have to be golden-brown and the centre still slightly soft. Set aside to cool down.

(4) Mix all the ingredients for the cream and place in the fridge for about 15 minutes. Take a biscuit, place a tsp of cream in the centre and cover with another biscuit. Repeat until done with all the biscuits. Keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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