Lunch: Mine/Hers

Detox BowlAfter coming off of our summer vacation and eating 24/7 I’ve decided to do a little detox.

Here’s today’s lunch for me and for my 10 month old.

Mine: carrots (raw), avocado, chickpeas, beets, hummus and lentils with a Dijon vinaigrette.

Hers: carrots (cooked), avocado, beets, hummus, and a small piece of ham. A banana for dessert.

 

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Coconut Macaroons

My French husband laughs at calling these macaroons, after all the French are pretty particular about their meringue macarons. However, my Jewish heritage had me eating these coconut confections during Passover, but today I whipped up a batch as a sweet treat for my husband who adores coconut. The recipe is easy and the outcome is nothing short of delicious. I think they make the perfect end to a meal with a little espresso. I dipped mine in a bit of chocolate mixed with a tad bit of butter, but their perfect all on their own.

CoconutMacaroons

Bon appétit!

Au Revoir Summer: Menu with Recipes

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake

Fall temperatures have arrived finally in Lyon signaling the end of summer. We took advantage of the weather this weekend and hosted a dinner on our terrace on Friday night for a few friends. Check out my “end of summer” menu utilizing the bbq and the last of the season’s tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant and fresh herbs, along with what’s become my favorite go-to dessert.

End of Summer Menu

Aperitif

Tuna Rillettes – rillettes of all types (pork, salmon duck, etc…) are popular in France and this recipe didn’t disappoint our French friends

Entrée

Grilled Eggplant & Tomato Stack with Feta

Main

Grilled Salmon with Mint Cream Sauce – we grilled our salmon on the bbq instead of searing it in the pan

Side

Pan Roasted Zucchini with Basil & Mint

Dessert

Chocolate Hazelnut Cake with Chocolate Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting – if you love hazelnuts as much as I do then mixing them with chocolate is just the icing on the cake. I tend to cut the frosting recipe in half, as I like my cakes lightly frosted. I’ve made this cake three times and it’s a winner each time!

Here’s to a wonderful summer and what’s sure to be an exciting fall with our little one on the way.

Bon appétit!

Going Nuts: 3 Healthy Breakfast Options

Lately I’ve been nuts about healthy and natural food. Maybe it’s because my unborn baby is craving these things (I’m 5 months pregnant) or because I know they are good for her or simply because they are so darn delicious! In any case, here are three healthy and grain-free breakfast/snack options:

Homemade Peanut Butter

Homemade Peanut Butter

The French think peanut butter is bizarre and some would even say it’s down right unappetizing; therefore it’s simply not easy to find here. Of course the American in me loves peanut butter! On a recent trip home my dad put a gigantic tub of peanut butter in my suitcase to take back with me and it lasted all of one month. My husband didn’t understand that a spoonful of peanut butter was dessert for me! Here’s a recipe that may not be super creamy like the kind back home (it’s more like a paste), but the taste of the natural peanuts mixed with a tad of oil and some honey makes it a great snack:

In a food processor, mix 1/2 cup of unsalted peanuts until they form a paste (this make take 10 min.); add a pinch of salt and continue to mix. While the processor is on, drizzle in 1 tbs of sunflower oil and 1 tbs of honey. You may need to add more oil if it isn’t yet forming a paste. Stop the processor to scrape down the sides and keep mixing and tasting until it’s to your liking. (makes about 1 cup) Enjoy on toast or mixed with some fruit! I can’t wait to make this for goûter after school for baby girl.

Cocoa Loco Granola

Cocoa Loco Granola

I absolutely love granola in all of its different forms: salty, sweet, a mix of the two or in this case chocolaty. Granola cereals are typically packed with lots of sugar, preservatives and a bunch of fake dried fruit. I recently came across this grain-free granola recipe and had to give it a try. It’s the perfect compliment to some Greek yogurt or with skim milk. I couldn’t find all of the nuts here and quite frankly nuts are expensive (at least in France), but I did find a blend of cashews, peanuts and walnuts that worked (feel free to substitute your favorite nuts). I also couldn’t find coconut oil and used sunflower instead. The outcome is a deep roasted, chocolaty explosion!

3-Ingredient Oatmeal Cookies

3 Ingredient Oatmeal Cookies

Lately, I’ve been craving oatmeal cookies. First, I made these, which were absolutely delicious (I substiituted the raisins for dried cranberries and added some white chocolate), but they weren’t the type of cookie you felt guilt-free in eating. So, when I saw this recipe that called for only three ingredients I just had to try them. They are more of a pop-able bite then a cookie, since there’s no flour they don’t spread out. However, at the rate in which my husband is devouring them I would say they are a hit. A perfect snack before or after a workout; a healthy option for kids; also they are dairy free, gluten free (use of oats), vegetarian, and vegan.

Bon Appétit!

Low-Fat Chocolate Banana Bread

ChocolateBananaBread

I absolutely love a good banana bread, scratch that, I love any bread-like pastry! This recipe is not only delicious, but it is relatively good for you too. I actually mixed a few different recipes to come up with this one.

Low-Fat Chocolate Banana Bread

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Makes 8 mini bread loafs or one 9×5 inch loaf pan

Cooking spray
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar free applesauce
3/4 cup honey
2 eggs, beaten
3 mashed overripe bananas
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 ounces of dark chocolate, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. Spray the loaf tins with cooking spray.

3. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.

4. In a separate bowl, mix together applesauce and honey. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Add vanilla.

5. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten.

6. Melt chocolate in a double boiler (sit a small bowl over boiling water)

7. Pour some of the banana batter (1 cup) into the chocolate.

8. Pour some of the reserved banana batter into the tin, then add a bit of the chocolate/banana batter, then another layer of banana mixture

9. Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean.

Packaged with a petite fork attached with some washi tape and topped off with anther loaf tin makes for the perfect picnic dessert.

Bon Appétit!