Healthy Fall Granola

Granola

You are probably wondering why I posted a picture of my cereal. In a jar. (In the midst of the fall and halloween decorations) Well, first of all: it isn’t just your ordinary, plain cereal. Nop, it’s awesome and healthy, home made granola. Second of all: it tastes amazeballs, so I had to share my recipe.

Since yesterday night the wintertime officially kicked off (I bet you all loved the extra hour of sleep today) it just became all the little harder to wake up in the morning. With it still being dang dark outside AND too cold to leave the warm soft blanket… If you are anything like me, you might find yourself rushing through the morning to make it in time for the workday :).  I know a lot of you don’t take time to eat breakfast on those kind of mornings or might even skip the whole thing. Bad! You should always do breakfast. It’s a kickstart for your day and it gets your metabolism up and running to burn off those calories you eat during the rest of the day. And also, eating a banana or an apple on the go or some crackers isn’t really a lovely way to start the day, right? Soooo, luckily for you I just prepared the best on the go breakfast that you can make in big batches on a lazy, maybe rainy, sunday afternoon. I eat it with greek yoghurt and some fresh fruit and we’ve got ourselves some breakfast perfection. Quick and healthy, you have to admit those two words sound too good to be true right?

You’ll need (*)

  • 3 cups (240g) Quaker Oats
  • 1 cup (120g) sliced almonds
  • 1 cup (140g) chopped cashews (or pecans, walnuts, peanuts,… you can use your favorite nuts here)
  • 2 tsp flax seeds (preferably grounded)
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • 2tsp water
  • 1tsp Vanilla
  • 1/4 cup (28g) apple sauce
  • 1/3 cup (50g) agave nectar (or honey)

Directions:

First you mix all dry ingredients together: oats, sliced almonds, cashews, flax seeds and cinnamon. Use a big bowl, or else you’ll end up like me with 10 dirty bowls on the counter because all the ingredients didn’t fit. Kitchen queen: not so much. 🙂 On a side note: some of you might not know ‘flax seeds’ (Lijnzaad in dutch). It looks like dark brown sesame seeds. They are  a superfood and I was told they are most beneficial when grounded. Well, I can tell you these little bastards aren’t all that easy to ground! Or mash. I bought mine on the market. Still looking like seeds. I only half succeeded grounding them. (so I’ll get half the benefits? :)) Off course now I found out you can buy them grounded in a health store. So next time: I’m going grounded!

Then mix the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl. Water, vanila, apple sauce and agave (or honey). Fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture until they are well incorporated. Now, normally you should spread a thin layer on a baking sheet. But since we only own a small oven that does this turning thing while baking, I had to use a oven tray and I had a huge layer… I can reassure you guys: it does the same magic! 🙂 Bake the whole lot at 160°C (300°F) for 18 minutes, then stir and flip the whole lot and bake for another 18 minutes.

Once baked, you can add whatever you want. If you like to add some dried fruit, raisins or maybe some coconut flakes? I’m going to stick to my good old Greek Yoghurt (0% fat) and fresh berries (and maybe some goji berries :)).

(*) about the calories:

The total batch will make about 3090 kcal (fat: 153, carbs: 304, protein: 79). The whole lot weighs 650 grams. I plan on making one serving about 50 grams which is 240 kcal. But, you can choose the amount you prefer. But now you have some guidelines to calculate :). If you are a calorie counter off course.

Bon appetit!

xo, Kirsten

Italians do better burgers

Italian burger

Ok, so we often eat home made burgers during the weekend. Just because it’s easy, tasty and quick. Which makes them perfect for busy weekend evenings. Also, ever since we started to make our very own minced meat, they became to be a healthy treat. So why not? This time, we went a little Italian on the burger department. I guess they might be more suitable – taste wise – during summer… Then again: a burger on a ciabatta bun will always taste good not matter what season it is.

For the home made minced meat, check out this previous post for a how to. Otherwise, buy some mince from the supermarket. Alora, andiamo!

You’ll need (makes 2 servings, about 520 kcal pp)

  • 300g minced veal
  • 4 ciabatte buns
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • Mixed salad
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Feta cheese

Directions

Pre heat a grill pan on a high heat. Slice up your zucchini lengthwise and grill them. Put another pan on a medium heat. Prepare 4 burgers with the mince and fry them in your pan.

Your almost done about now. Cut open the Ciabatta buns, add some salad. Sprinkle some Feta cheese on top and add the burger. Now layer some slices of zucchini and close the bun. Done! Easy and quick saturday night dinner, right?

Buon appetito!

xo, Kirsten

Wild Thing!

Wild Doe

This time a year it’s all about eating pumpkin (my favorite thing about autumn) and wild meat. Which I adore. It tastes much more meat-like, more pronounced – if you know what I mean – than the other usual chicken, veal and steak we buy during the year. It reminds me of rainy and cold days where you eat a huge casserole with super tender cooked meat. Accompanied with a glass of red wine, and you can never go wrong. 😉

Another thing part of the season are chestnuts. So, today, we decided to prepare deer fillet with parsnip and pumpkin mash (I’m still skipping carbs for dinner, remember) and cooked chestnuts. The sweet taste of the parsnip and chestnuts go well with the pronounced taste of the wild meat. We made doe. It was a first for me preparing this kind of meat, but it tasted great. Your local supermarket will offer you a wide variety of wild season meats by now. Just take a pick :).

You’ll need (makes 2 servings, 530 kcal pp)

  • 300g Doe (or any other wild meat you like, e.g. wild boar)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 parsnip
  • 400g pumpkin (I got some leftover pumpkin from my mom)
  • 200g chestnuts (I bought a package in the supermarket)
  • rocket salad
  • spices
  • salt and pepper
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg

Directions

Start to stem the parsnip and pumpkin for about 15minutes. If you don’t own a steamer, you can boil the vegetables. Meanwhile put a pan on a high heat and start boiling some water for the chestnuts.

Add two tablespoons of olive oil in a bowl together with some spices or herbs. We had spices that were packed with the Doe fillet, but you can easily make your own mix with rosemary, bay leaf, kurkuma,… Now rub your wild meat in with the olive oil mix. Put a pan on a high heat, you don’t need to add any extra fat to your pan, because of the olive oil. And grill the doe fillet for about 8 minutes. When done, leave it to rest for a few more minutes without any extra heat underneath. I usually turn off the heat and add a cover to the pan for while.

Meanwhile add the package with the chestnuts to the boiling water for about 5 minutes. Once they’re cooked you open up the package and done. All there is left to do is mix together the parsnip with the pumpkin with some cinnamon and nutmeg. You can also add some salt and pepper to taste.

I promise you it tastes great. The sweetness of the mash and chestnuts together with the salty meat is amazeballs!

Bon appetit!

xo, Kirsten

Avocado mushroom mash with crunchy parma

Avocado mushroom mash

I know most people have a cheat day every once in a while… We’re only human, right? We get to slip every once in a while? Well, it’s fair to say I had a cheat week last week. So I haven’t been able to blog any healthy or good meals. That’s why I haven’t been updating. Because honestly, I didn’t feel all that healthy so I didn’t want to write anything down about food because I spent the week acting like a dang cookie monster. But, this week, I’m back in business. 🙂 Trying to remove the baby fat that’s been quietly but steadily layering around my belly and I’m back with trying to eat clean and detox a little to remove the chocolate overload in my body. (I guess I went all out with the ‘a chocolate a day keeps the doctor away’ thing. Sadly, that quote doesn’t quite have the same effect with zits. I’m currently accompanied with a humongous breakout in my face! Not a pretty sight. :))

That’s why I’m only eating carbs for breakfast and (sometimes) lunch as we speak and I’m sticking to meat and veggies for dinner for a while. Because I know I’m mostly a couch potato during the evenings. So, whenever I don’t have a workout planned, I’ve restricted myself from devouring pasta or potatoes. (During weekends, however, I get to eat it all. IF I run, swim or bike for it off course.)

Tonight we tried yet another low carb recipe that’s based on one from Pascale Naessens new cookbook (puur genieten 2). Needless to say I’m quite the fan. Since the boyfriend doesn’t have any problems with chocolate, he added some potatoes to the dish. I, however, kept the ingredients like written below. 🙂 I know a lot of people are afraid of eating avocado. Don’t be. Even thought they are high in calories, they are actually good for you. I know they are fat fruits, but it’s good fat. Your body needs it. Just like salmon, it provides healthy fats that are way better than butter or high fat dairy products.

You’ll need (serves two, about 419 kcal pp)

  • 1 avocado
  • 4 slices of prosciutto di parma
  • 200g button mushrooms
  • 300g steak
  • 1tsp coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lemon juice

Directions

Preheat your oven on 180°C and put your prosciutto di parma (or you can always use other dried ham) in an oven tray. Pop in the oven for about 8 minutes until they turn crunchy.

Cut the avocado in half and scoop out the avocado pulp in a big bowl. Add some lemon juice with salt and pepper and mash them together. The lime juice mostly obviates the avocado from turning brown, and gives it a fresh taste.

Meanwhile peel the skin from your mushrooms (or just brush the sand off, don’t wash them!), chop them in to very small pieces and stir fry them. After, mingle them with the avocado mixture.

Bake the steaks on a high heat in a grill pan. Once they are golden and brown turn your heat down a bit and leave them in your pan for another minute on each side. Unless you want them well done, then you’ll have to leave them in a bit longer.

Now use a kitchen ring. Place it on your plate and fill it with the avocado and mushroom mash. Put some of the crunchy parma on top and finish of with a pinch of pepper. Serve with the steak.

I promise, it’s really really good!

Bon appetit!

xo, Kirsten

Coconut Jacket Shrimp

foto

I’m usually not a huge fan of salads for dinner. But once something warm is added to the lot, I’m game. I know salads are usually perfect for those hot summer days, where you don’t feel like eating a big meal, but I believe this one also suits a sunny but slightly colder autumn evening. If you don’t do salads during any other season but summer it’s simple: lose the salad, keep the veggies and prepare with sautéed spinach (and maybe some rice?). But for all of you salad lovers out there – and I know my fellow healthy girls are part of that club – here is my coconut jacket shrimp salad recipe. {for those of you who are wondering where to find coconut flour, it isn’t all that hard. Your local health store/supermarket will definitely sell some and every Saturday and Sunday the Moroccan stand on the market will also sell you bucket loads of coconut flour. Great to add to your morning yoghurt too btw}

You’ll need (makes two servings, 420kcal pp)

  • 300g shrimp
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tsp coconut flour
  • Green asparagus (I used small ones for this recipe)
  • 1 avocado
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • Salad (rocket, plain, spinach,… mix it up!)

Directions

First of all crack your egg and only keep the egg white in a bowl. Now duck in your shrimp until they’re covered in egg white (I already added some pepper and salt in the egg white). Then cover a plate with your coconut flour and throw in the shrimp until they’re totally covered with a coconut jacket. Now preheat a pan with a tablespoon of coconut oil (or olive oil/butter) and add the shrimp. Make sure you don’t stir them roughly, they’ll lose the coconut jacket. Just flip them to the other side after two minutes and don’t move them around too much. Meanwhile I grilled the asparagus in a grill pan, but you could also cook them in salted water. I don’t know the exact asparagus-grill-timing. I just go with my gut feeling (or taste one :).) I you do want some timings: google is your friend!

Once your shrimp coconut crust looks crunchy and brown (about two minutes of baking on each side) your ready to go: Just add your salad, asparagus, cherry tomatoes and shrimp in a plate (I know, mine is a ‘pasta’ plate, but don’t care. I’ll ask Santa for some pretty salad bowls, promise ;)) and add half an avocado to each serving.  For your dressing mix together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and mustard with some salt and pepper and sprinkle it on top of your salad. (much healthier than readymade supermarket salad dressings) aaaaaand DONE! Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

And no need to mention you can add extra cherry tomatoes, fruit, cucumber, nuts or seeds in there… Just throw it in and keep it healthy. 😉

Bon appetit!

Feta and Fig carpaccio salad

Feta fig carpaccio salad

I love figs. There. I’ve said it. Even though I still believe they look like intestines once they’re sliced open, they taste amazing. But, that might also have been a little too much fantasy from my side while I was a kid. Which all ready explains why I didn’t eat them when I was a little girl. Boy was I missing out! Anyhow, my mom bought the latest cookbook from Pascale Naessens  and I was flipping through it last night when this fig salad caught my eye. I did not literally copy it, but the base: figs and feta was enough for me to decide what my lunch would look like today. It so healthy and easy, if you like figs as much as I do, you’re going to love this sweet and salty salad and you will crave it weekly (I know I will).

You’ll need (makes one serving, 320 kcal):

  • 3 figs
  • 50g Feta cheese
  • Rocket salad
  • 1 tsp pine nuts
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar cream (or plain vinegar)
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

Put a small pan on a medium heat and add the pint nuts. While you prepare the rest, stir the nuts often, or they’ll burn (yeah, it happens! 😉 )

Spread some rocket salad on a big plate and slice up your figs as thinly as possible and layer them on top. Crumble over your feta cheese (or do cubes) and drizzle your balsamic vinegar cream on top. Add some salt and pepper to taste (you can also add some olive oil if you want). All there is left to do is add the pine nuts and done. Best. Lunch. Ever.

Bon appetit!

xo, Kirsten