2014/07/11

SUMMER BOWL - MILLET W/ CARAMELISED FENNEL & BALSAMIC STRAWBERRIES


In between the university chaos that is life right now I am sharing a pretty decent meal with you, to knock off your summers recipe repertoire ( & socks)! Past days were filled with field trips to protected landscapes, learning about wild plants, analysing soil, laboratory, caring for a bee colony - last but not least studying here and there. These courses are fun and informative without question, yet it brought a huge change to my daily routines. I always admire people who seem to manage it 'all', because once there is time and energy consuming stuff happening in my life, I lose sight of other important things. Such as cooking, writing, meditating, cleaning, reading - all locked up and I can't find the key in all this exhausting madness. Not to speak of the neglected lonely yoga mat on the floor. Or this blog obviously!
Maybe it is just a shifting of priorities? But once you notice a shift in your body and mood, you can tell you are clearly out of balance.
So I reminded myself to stay focused and try to sneak in some activities that I love and define me!
...when this beautiful summer bowl stood in front of me, I knew I was back in the game!


















































It is yet another bowl of bliss, abundance, summer all in all healthy food tossed together!
The base is creamy millet, accompanied by peas, chickpeas, peaches, fresh basil, kale & garden salad, roasted hazelnuts, caramelized fennel and eggplant plus amazing balsamic strawberries! The sweetness of maple syrup alongside the balsamic reduction makes a perfect dressing and creates new fruit flavors!
This would be a good salad to bring to a party or picnic, even to a BBQ. Just prepare the millet and peas, marinate the strawberries in balsamic reduction and the fennel and eggplant in maple syrup and some olive oil. Then grill them for a few minutes and let them join the prepared millet salad. Simple, nourishing & colorful goodness!
























SUMMER BOWL - MILLET W/ CARAMELISED FENNEL & BALSAMIC STRAWBERRIES
makes 1 large bowl, serves 2

Ingredients
1 cup millet
1/2 cup peas, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup chickpeas, precooked
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1 large peach
2 handfuls strawberries
1 fennel bulb
1/2 eggplant
a few sprigs fresh basil
2 leaves of fresh kale
1 cup fresh garden salad

2 tbsp olive oil

4 tbsp maple syrup
5 tbsp balsamic reduction
1/2 lemon, juiced
salt & pepper

Directions
Cook the millet in 2 cups water, let it simmer for about 20 minutes, add some good quality salt at the end.
Take a small pan and roast the hazelnuts for 5 minutes on high temperature, you can also add the peas to the pan and roast them, make sure not to burn and set them aside to cool. Cut the fennel and eggplant in thin slices, add some oil to the pan and roast them on medium heat for 10 minutes, then add the syrup and let it caramelize for another 10 minutes. Set the veggies aside to caramelize on a cool plate, cut the strawberries in halves and add them plus the balsamico to the syrup pan. Roast for 5 minutes on low heat until they get mushy and a deep dark red color. Chop the peach, basil and kale leaves in very tiny pieces. Assemble the bowl with the millet, peas, caramelized veggies, strawberries, hazelnuts, chopped basil and kale. Top with some fresh squeezed lemon juice, more balsamico, salt & pepper. Add some garden salad or have it on the side. Enjoy!


























This bowl will bring some balance in your system, wether you are in a chaos situation right now or not. It is a fun alternative to most common summer salads. And leaves you feeling light & nourished on a beautiful summer day! 

Caramelized love,
Gina


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Great news folks!
I contributed to the amazing chickpea magazine again, for their summer issue.
Check out the newest issue here & you can buy the print magazine or a digital issue on their website!
Lots of beautiful pictures and inspiration for an endless summer. 
All vegan, seasonal, ad-free & high quality!

2014/06/24

SUMMER SOLSTICE - TOMATO LEEK QUICHE























To celebrate and honour the summer solstice I would always choose a big comfortable picnic outside, at best having a bonfire, invite some friends, prepare delicious food, enjoy the sun together & be present! It is a nourishing experience to eat, drink & have fun in nature. To find a good spot under a beautiful tree, to feel the grass under your feet and to create the most comfortable magical little nook in the garden or park. I try to let my life happen outside more. I believe it is important to curtail some expectations to find joy and wholeness in simpler things. To really feel & understand the meaning and love behind a gathering! It is a good practice in life to be happy & satisfied more easily. Do small things with great love! 
Despite living in the city, I have several parks or friends with gardens to choose from. But the weather is very unpredictable here in Germany, so when a good day has come I am enjoying & taking advantage of it down to the last d e t a i l and minute! 
I don't expect everyone to get as excited as I am over a gathering in nature, doing handstands and eating quiche. Maybe you enjoy it subconsciously, but it's nice to ask yourself sometimes what makes you come alive & then to go out and do that!
For me it is exactly this feeling of simplicity, gathering and sharing. To spread some love & wholesome nourishing food. 
I updated my event section on this blog to make my dream of miraculous gatherings come true & to nourish you with healthy foods that make you glow from the inside out! Take a look, a lot of exciting things will happen soon! Or maybe come over to meet to sip some magical green juice together!















































The quiche tastes good warm, cold & on the next day. I talked about abundance of fruits in my last post and here I dealt with the abundance of rich sun ripened and tasty tomatoes. I try to eat as many of them as I can in the summertime. A leek quiche is what I always connect when thinking of quiche in general and what I have always loved the most since my childhood. I remember a good friend of the family who made the best quiche and everytime my mum took me, my sister and brother to her house I asked for this quiche ( and I wanted to watch Mary Poppins every single time, I obviously sticked to what made me feel good as a kid ). Then one day she showed my how to prepare the quiche. To be in the kitchen, watching & smelling the process was really magical for me as a little girl. I value those memories and for this reason I recreated my beloved leek quiche. Somehow a dish tastes extra special when you connect it to happy memories right?
























TOMATO LEEK QUICHE
makes 1 large quiche or 6 small ones

Ingredients
Dough
1 cup rice flour
2/3 cup almond flour
4 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp himalaya salt
6 tbsp coconut oil
6-8 tbsp ice cold water
1 tbsp maple syrup

Filling
1/2 cup rice cream
1 tbsp flax seeds
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp himalaya salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp yeast flakes
2 generous handfuls of mixed ( sizes & colors) tomatoes
1 handful fresh spinach
1 large leek stalk

Directions
In a large bowl, sift together the flours and the salt, then mix in the water and coconut oil. Use your hands to form a dough ball, wrap it in clingfilm and let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
In the meantime you prepare the veggies and filling. In a small bowl, mix together the rice cream, flax seeds, nutmeg, rosemary ( leaves chopped ), salt, pepper and yeast flakes. Stir until combined and set aside. Wash the veggies thoroughly, chop the tomatoes in halves, the spinach and leek in thin stripes. When the dough is ready, prepare the tart form with a baking sheet which covers the bottom and take some coconut oil to spread around the sides. Again use your hands to press the dough into the bottom and up the sides evenly. Add the leek, spinach and at last the tomatoes, then fill up the quiche with the prepared cream. Bake for 40 minutes at 375 F / 190°c. Enjoy!



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- You can read the recipe in german/ Auf Deutsch könnt ihr das Rezept für die vegane Tomaten Lauch Quiche bei makeyourselfmove nachlesen! 

Since the summer solstice just happened and this recipe is well suited to celebrate & honour this wonderful event, I recommend you do this! However you like. Summer solstice is the day of longest light. A time for renewal, healing, manifesting, letting go, shifts, to make bonfires, stay up late to greet the dawn, move with the cycle of nature & it lets us remember that this season is short. The truth of its passing away brings us back to be more conscious and to appreciate the seasons preciousness!

Renewed love,
Gina

2014/06/14

PANCAKES W/ SEA BUCKTHORN & ELDERBERRY SYRUP


Isn't summer just the time of total abundance? Abundance of this yummy oh so good feeling of freedom and p u r e happiness paired with the stunningly beautiful abundance of fresh ripe fruits!
Sun, fruits, good company and fresh air is what we are thriving on and personally I am the happiest when the above are given. And actually I do not need more. These limited times ( at least in germany) need to be cherished and enjoyed to the fullest! And of course my way of enjoying life is by paying attention to take advantage of seasonal fruits! Especially berries & stone fruits are a welcomed change to bananas or frozen fruits which did not grow locally and clearly did not ripen in the way they should. Everyone who ate a banana or other tropical fruit in the country where it was planted knows what I am talking about. You can taste the difference to the extent that you either wish long to live on an island permanent or an easier way to live out - you think twice before buying overly priced tropical fruits way out of season and far away from ripe. Maybe tend more towards locally grown and seasonal fruits which your country offers. There is plenty and it is worth the wait!

When I went strawberry picking ( more nibbling than gathering) the other day I thought about some methods to use summers abundance to full capacity ( even when living in the city...) 

- get a wild plant guide
- research what  & when it is available in your area
- walk in the woods
- walk barefoot
- meditate outside
- have picnics in nature
- look up organic farms which offer self-picking
- buy seeds, plant & grow your own food in the garden/balcony/windowsill
- ask around if somebody needs a taker of their fruit tree produce
- pick elder flowers for juice/syrup and later on pick elderberries for jam/syrup
- freeze fruit for quick ice cream, grill fruit at a bbq
- make homemade mists/deodorant/sunscreen with natural ingredients
- flavour your water/ice cubes with herbs & fruit
- flood your pancakes with fruits & fruit syrups


























Let us pay some attention to the stars of this recipe. There are obviously the pancakes which are yummy and fluffy. The apricots and blueberries, slightly sweet and sour. But literally on top of them all are the syrups. 
Sea buckthorn & elderberry syrup! 

Sea buckthorn is used for thousands of years to treat all sorts of health issues, promotes skin health, energy and vitality. The berries contain high amounts of vitamin c ( beating lemons). Further contents are 14 essential vitamins, omega 3,6,9 and the unusual omega 7 fatty acid, antioxidants, proteins, minerals,carotenes and tanning agents which are anti-inflammatory. It is also a source for vitamin B12 which is rare to get from plants.
The oil is effective on the skin by healing burns & wounds aswell as reducing red irritated skin.

Elderberries have been a folk remedy for centuries due to its antioxidant activities. It boosts the immune system, heart health and vision. Helps fighting flus, colds and also viral and bacterial infections. Again vitamin c plays an important part, also flavonoids ( protecting cell damage) and amino acids. If you feel run down, take 1 to 2 teaspoons of elderberry syrup/extract/juice! Works wonders ( at least it does for me, I am no doctor by all means...)

























PANCAKES W/ SEA BUCKTHORN & ELDERBERRY SYRUP
serves 2-4

1 cup spelt flour ( or a glutenfree flour)
1/2 cup quinoa flour
4 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp baking powder
2 cups almond milk
2 tbsp coconut oil

1/4 tsp cardamom powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 banana, ripe ( optional, can be replaced by flax or chia seeds)
2 apricots
1 cup blueberries
some lavender buds for garnish

Directions
In a large bowl, mix the flours with the baking powder and salt. Take a smaller bowl to mash the banana with a fork, add oil, almond milk, syrup and cardamom. Combine dry and wet ingredients together, stir for a few minutes or mix with a high speed blender/hand mixer. Heat a frying pan to medium - high heat, add a little bit of coconut oil and put about 3 tbsp pancake batter to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes on each side or until they are golden brown. Repeat with the rest of the batter. Serve pancakes with fresh fruit, lavender and the syrups ( recipe below)

SEA BUCKTHORN SYRUP
Prior to making the syrup: Wash fresh berries. Then freeze them for a week (this reduces bitterness). 

500 gr sea buckthorn berries
1 cup sweetener of choice ( raw cane sugar/maple syrup/ agave syrup...)
1 cup water

Directions
Bring the water to a boil add berries, cover and lower the heat. Cook simmering for 15 minutes. Mash them and strain through a cloth, extract as much juice as possible. Add the sweetener to the juice and let the mixture simmer until it reaches a syrup consistency. Taste and adjust the amount of sweetener. Transfer to a glas bottle and store it in the fridge.


ELDERBERRY SYRUP

1 cup elderberries
1 cup black currants
1 cup sweetener of choice
1 cup water
1 tsp fresh ginger
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions
Wash the berries thoroughly. Again, bring the water to a boil add berries, currants, ginger and vanilla, cover and lower the heat. Cook simmering for 15 minutes. Mash them and strain through a cloth, extract as much juice as possible. Add the sweetener to the juice and let the mixture simmer until it reaches a syrup consistency. Taste and adjust the amount of sweetener. Transfer to a glas bottle and store it in the fridge.




























To forage, plant and harvesting is an effective and important way to explore, get wild healthy nutrients and connect to nature! Celebrate the fruits your country offers right now!
Pick some berries, let them simmer ( while crazy dancing in the sun) go outside, pour the ready syrups over these pancakes, dig in! Sounds like total bliss doesn't it? What are you waiting for? Enjoy the summer in any way you want but with a full & open heart.

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- Das wunderbare und inspirierende Magazin slowly veggie! bat mich über ein Food Experiment zu schreiben, bei dem ich mich für 3 Tage nur von roten Lebensmitteln ernährt habe. Gibt es hier zu Lesen! The wonderful and inspiring magazine slowly veggie! asked me to write about a 3 day food experiment, where I only ate red coloured food. You can read about it on their blog here!

- Auf makeyourselfmove habe ich das Rezept für den beliebten Mango Chia Pudding auf Deutsch geteilt. On makeyourselfmove I shared the german recipe for my beloved mango chia pudding! + das Rezept für die Pancakes gibt es auch auf deutsch hier zu lesen!
  

Abundance of love,
Gina

2014/06/02

BLACKBERRY YOGURT POPSICLES


I would love to tell you otherwise, but it happens all too often. The stress takes over and takes me out of balance. More or less we all are always in a hurry, do too much and everything at the same time. Sometimes you get nothing done and run on adrenaline, despite the downtime on the couch. How do you connect to yourself among all the deadlines, appointments and everyday life?
How to let go, feel free and find a way to connect your body and mind?
The huge things, retreats or decisions won't lead you that way. Rather the little things, thoughts and movements. You can start during eating or cooking - blind out the stress and be in the moment!
Meditation in motion! It doesn't have to be a visit to the ashram, because small steps help to act out this technique in your daily routine. How often do we eat on the way? Snatch a hurried meal under pressure or infront of the tv?All while wasting no thought to our breath or being more present! 

You are not only what you eat, but also how you eat it! This applies for every part of your life! Attention and gratitude go a long way!
I developed the recipe to avoid time-related stress. To rush out of the house and grab something to-go cannot be changed this easily. But we can change what we have. Smoothies for example can be freezed, but it will take time to defreeze again. Turning your favourite version into a popsicle would be another possibility! Perfect for the summertime, to-go approved or just to relax and enjoy it in the sun! The popsicles are vegan, sugarfree and improved with a little hidden veggie. Like in a regular smoothie, there is the fruit & veggie action going on here too. Berries meet red beet!
Bring some stress relief in your day by preparing the popsicles, have some patience while waiting for them to freeze up and feel a great deal of gratitude! Happy & healthy indulgence!











BLACKBERRY YOGURT POPSICLES
makes 8 popsicles

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups vegan yogurt ( coconut, soy or nutbased )
1 ripe banana
5 tbsp rice syrup
1 vanilla pod, scraped
1 cup blackberries, frozen
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 red beet
a pinch of himalaya salt

Directions
Mix the yogurt, banana, 4 tbsp of rice syrup, vanilla and salt in a high-speed blender. Take about 2 cups of the yogurt into a bowl, leave the rest in the blender to mix it with the blackberries, 1 heaping tbsp rice syrup, red beet and lemon juice until smooth. Pour the berry mixture into the popsicle molds. Fill them halfway up more or less, then add the yogurt. To create some stains and swirls, simply add a third layer with the berry mixture or some whole berries at the top, insert the popsicle sticks and stir it up and down 1 or 2 times. Freeze for at least 3 hours. Enjoy!

Auf Deutsch zu Lesen/ read the recipe in german, head over to makeyourselfmove


























Love,
Gina

2014/05/27

SUMMERROLLS W/ PEANUT TAMARI SAUCE


Let me introduce: The summerroll, lighter and green version of the springroll! I often call it the cool big sister of little springroll.
Everytime I feel I might have a cold or low energy, I get help by raw green vegetables and leaves to make me feel alive and balanced again! But sometimes I want more than just a green juice or salad, or how for a little change for your dinners which you share with your loved ones and turn them a tad more green!
Enter Summerroll - wrapped in green, green inside and green ontop! Still, its flavor and looks is definitely not boring or reminds us of medicine at all! And yet, they are little nutritional powerhouses of vitamines, minerals and herbs uniquely synergised!
Instead of fried dough, I used red beet greens. Their health benefits are of a much higher value than the beet itself. Rich in vitamines B,C,K, iron, beta-carotene, chlorophyll, calcium and magnesium. The antioxidant Vitamin A plays a huge role by strengthening our immnue-systems and supporting our body to build antibodies!
The summerrolls are filled with green seasonal veggies. Green asparagus, artichoke, snow peas, parsley, avocado and fennel. Green asparagus, parsley, avocados and even peanuts contain the protein glutathine, which is essential for our metabolism and important for the immune system. It helps fighting off free-radicals and regulates detox process!
Pretty impressing right? Truly tasty and fresh too by the way!
It's easy and real fun to eat healthy through this recipe, especially when you prepare it with others. Let yourself inspire by the summer's dazzling array or your favourite salads and turn them into little crispy summerrolls! & e n j o y!
















































SUMMERROLLS W/ PEANUT TAMARI SAUCE

Ingredients
6 big beet greens leaves
1/2 cup quinoa
1 fennel bulb
1 spring onion
1/2 avocado
1 artichocke
6 green asparagus spears
one handful of snow peas
one handful fresh parsley
one handful fresh sprouts

For the sauce
1/2 cup peanut butter ( unsalted, unsweetened)
4 tbsp tamari soya sauce
2 tbsp maple syrup
1-2 tbsp water
1 garlic clove, small
one handful fresh parsley
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

Directions
Bend open the leaves of the artichoke and wash inner and outside. Break off the stem remove the dry outer leaves aswell as the top bud. Place it in salted boiling water for 30 min. Add asparagus and snow peas in the last 5 minutes. Prior to that you wash the sparagus thoroughly and cut off one third of the bottom, remove the tips of the snow peas on both ends.
Wash the quinoa with hot water, strain and cook it (simmer) in twice the amount of water for about 20 minutes.
Prepare the sauce by chopping the garlic and parsley very tiny, mix it with the peanut butter, tamari, syrup, water and pepper in a bowl. Cut avocado, fennel, spring onion and the inside of the artichoke into slender straps. Take a beet leaf and fill it with the prepared ingredients crosswise. Finally, you roll the leaf and drizzle it with sauce. Repeat this and vary the ingredients or amounts, according to taste!

Auf Deutsch zu Lesen/ read the recipe in german, head over to makeyourselfmove

















































Let's roll! Go and make your very own summerrolls and share them with me and everybody by using the hashtag #heartysummerrolls to let us take part and inspire one another!


Greeny love,
Gina

2014/05/21

PANTRY-ENERGY BALLS


These balls are outstanding and energy loaded! In fact, this sweet little things did save my life a several times before, never get boring, are convinving to every healthfood-denying person and you can find them in my fridge all year long! My conscious and healthy lifestyle started going without white industrial sugar and his hidden friends high sugar syrup and artificial sweeteners! That's easier said than done, especially at times when nobody ever heard of agave or stevia. Yes, this state actually existed and it was not long ago, but today we can't imagine life without those alternatives. However, my adventurous spirit brought me far and I soon realised the a. our tastebuds renew theirselves every 10 days b. it feels so good to limit your sugar intake and c. there is a rich variety of healthy and yummy foods which taste sweet & they are enough! Since then, I've never looked back to sugar and its many many products. It is the best I can do for my body and I decide on it every day for almost six years. Thus I started to make my own chocolate and treats.
The great thing about the balls are not just its healthy & delicious state but also that they are quite easy to make. Plus, you can vary their ingredients every time by grabbing what your pantry offers, or what needs to be used. They can be stored for a long time in the fridge/freezer( depending on your sweet tooth). I invite you to a spontaneous-a-little-bit-of-everything-pantry-energyball-party!
My version contains dates as the base and sweetener, cacao butter and walnuts, but thenceforward everything is possible. Limitless fantasy and stock of your pantry!
Maybe you go after a tropical flavour in the summertime and a more decadent rich chocolate truffle in the fall. But you can always intermix some superfood in there!
They are perfect as a snack, on the-go, as a little dessert or after your workout!

Grab one ( or more) of following ingredients from 1.-6. on your taste and availability:
1. dry: dates, mango, figs, apricots, raisins, mulberry
2. almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnut, macadamia, brazil nut, sesame, sunflowerseeds, pistachios, flax seeds
3. oats, buckwheat/flakes, quinoa/flakes, amaranth
4. coconut oil/butter, cacaobutter, avocado, nutbutter
5. vanilla, cacao, carob, cinnamon, cardamom, himalaya salt, lemon/orange zest, fresh black pepper
6. turmeric powder, chlorella powder, acai, matcha, goji berries, chia seeds, hempseeds/powder...

PANTRY-ENERGY BALLS
makes approx. 20

Ingredients
1 cup dates ( fresh or dry)
1 cup ground oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup walnuts
3 tbsp cacaobutter
3 tbsp cacao powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp himalaya salt
zest of 1 lemon
+ coating 2.-6.

Directions
If you have dry dates, soak them in warm water 30 min. before. 
Slowly melt the cacaobutter in a bowl over a pot with boiling water. In your food processor, you mix the walnuts, oats and coconut into a flour. Pit the dates and add them to the flour mix, process further and add cacao powder, vanilla and salt. Finish by adding the melted cacao buttter and lemon zest.
Form little balls with about 1 tbsp of the mixture in your hands and place them on a baking sheet. Choose one or more ingredients from list 2.-6. and put them in little bowls. Roll your balls into them to coat the outside completely. This way you get many different ones to make them more sweet or crunchy. Enjoy raiding your pantry, rolling the balls & tasting them ( last but not least)!

You can find the recipe in german over here at makeyourselfmove!


Love,
Gina

2014/05/13

STRAWBERRY BASIL SMOOTHIE


As soon as the temperatures go up and the sun rises earlier week by week, I crave fresh fruity food!
In the past ( the time before the blender) it was always either a fruit salad or fresh pressed orange juice. Nothing else came to my mind neither was I capable of doing something different. But this changed when smoothies came to all our heads and got into our vocabulary - suddenly a whole new world of possibilities opened up! Forget about the old boring fruit salad because from now on there are no boundaries when it comes to combinations or colors. 
After my trip to new york in 2010 I was so curious and just could not stand one more day without a blender. A number of experiments with waaay too green or flaky smoothies followed. Yet step by step I managed to rule the art of making creamy & perfectly balanced smoothies! 
I like to combine seasonal fruits with a few hidden greens. According to the time of year you can create that certain something with added ice cubes or spices. This smoothie matches the beginning of the strawberry-season, it's delightful creamy with a special taste thanks to the basil!
Enjoy the upcoming summer with a big glas of healthy freshness & pretty berries!

You can read the german version here!


STRAWBERRY BASIL SMOOTHIE 
serves 1 
Sometimes I blend up an extra batch and fill it into a popsicle mold ( smoothies based on nutmilk turn into wonderful ice cream) 

1 cup strawberries, fresh/frozen
1 ripe banana, frozen
1 cup almond milk
1 tbsp lime juice
8 basil leaves
1 tbsp almond butter
2 tbsp hemp seeds
1 handfull spinach, fresh

Directions
Put all ingredients into your blender, start with the banana and almond milk. Blend on high power for 2-3 minutes until well combined. Enjoy immediately!

Love,
Gina