August 25, 2015

Avocado, peanut butter & cocoa smoothie

Ok ok, it’s more like a dessert for breakfast as you can actually eat it with a spoon but it totally rocks my mornings. With the addition of oatmeal, which is totally optional as the smoothie doesn’t really need it, it is perfect for my gestational diabetes and doesn’t make the whole following the diet so boring.

avocado, peanut butter and cocoa smoothie

Needed:
1/2 avocado
1/2 frozen banana
2 tsp organic cocoa powder
1 tbsp natural peanut butter (unsweetened)
150 ml milk (oat, soy or regular, unsweetened)
150 ml yoghurt (soy or regular, unsweetened)
Optional: 20 g oatmeal

That’s how you make it:
Put all ingredients in a blender and blitz till you have a delicious silky smoothie. If you’re feeling fancy, sprinkle it with some cocoa powder and crushed peanuts.

Avocado, peanut butter & cocoa smoothie

August 23, 2015

Zucchini Pancakes with Goat Cheese

Summers are the best and I am getting so spoiled with the garden produce of my friends and family! Not that they didn’t spoil me the previous years, they are wonderful like that, but I have a suspicion that that little sprout in my belly has made them even more keen on sharing their harvest with me this year! No complaining on my side, there is nothing better than home grown fruit and veggies!

As my kitchen is exploding in zucchini’s, I thought I would share one of my favorite recipes from my book FOURPLAY for super easy zucchini pancakes. They are perfect as lunch but I often make them when I feel like having a savory breakfast. Enjoy and if you need more seasonal inspiration, you know how to get my book!

Zucchini pancakes | princessmisia.com

Needed for +- 8 pancakes:
1 medium zucchini
100 g spelt flour
2 eggs
200g fresh goat cheese
1 teaspoon salt
olive oil

This is how you make them:
Mix flour, eggs and salt in a bowl. Grate the zucchini straight on to a clean tea towel and then squeeze out as much liquid as possible by twisting it. Add the zucchini to the batter. Heat the olive oil in a pan. Make small round pancakes and fry on both sides until golden brown. Serve with a spoonful of goat cheese.

Zucchini pancakes | princessmisia.com

August 19, 2015

Toasts with peanut butter, cocoa powder & blackberries

Hi friends,

Turns out even a health freak like me who has been off sugar for 8 years now cannot escape the (sometimes evil) works of pregnancy hormons. I have been diagnosed with pregnancy diabetes which means for the past 2 months I have been following a strict diet to make sure the little munchkin and I both stay healthy and in top form! One of the surprises of the diet for me was the fact that I suddenly had to reintroduce bread into my diet. My regular meals do not usually include bread for a number of reasons but I won’t lie, I do love me a slice of a good bread so it’s not such a bad thing after all. The diet you receive from the dietician is pretty standard and very ‘Belgian’ if you know what I mean but I’m trying to stay creative and make something different every day. This is one of my favourite breakfasts so far – so delicious, perfect with a cup of decaf coffee and keeps my blood sugar level under control. Also delicious if you’re perfectly healthy hihi.

Toasts with peanut butter, cocoa powder & blackberries

Needed:
2 slices of wholegrain (gluten-free) bread
Organic unsweetened peanut butter
6 blackberries
1 tsp organic unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp crushed peanuts

That’s how you make it:
Toast the bread. Spread the peanut butter on it. Sprinkle the cocoa powder. slice blackberries in three and arrange them on the toast. Finish off with crushed peanuts. That’s it! ENJOY!

Toasts with peanut butter, cocoa powder & blackberries

July 8, 2015

My new book LIMONADE is out!!!

cover limonade

My book has been in stores for a week now and I could not have been more excited about it! With the hot weather here in Belgium so many of you already got it and send me the first wonderful pics and messages about the drinks you made! They make my days and make it all worth doing! THANK YOU!!!

For those of you missed my posts about the book, it’s a budle of over 50 of my original & healthy recipes for lemonades, ice teas and infused water. There is a section with syrups in there that includes basic syrups based on sweeteners, agave, honey and cane sugar, herb syrups as well as other syrups such as vanilla, lavender or ginger.  You will also fine a lot of tips on how to make perfect homemade drinks this summer!

The book has been published by Davidsfonds, is in Dutch, it’s €19.99 and it’s available in stores & online. If you want a signed copy, don’t be shy – just shoot me an email at fourplaybook@gmail.com and it will be on your way!

Below 3 recipes to make you thirsty!

CHEERS AND HAPPY SUMMER EVERYONE!

limonade1limonade3limonade5

June 10, 2015

Philips Airfryer Review

Hi friends,

One thing you know right away when you read my blog is that I like things to be simple. In cooking that is. I don’t do overcomplicated recipes and I don’t cook many meals where I need to use devices other than my stove, my oven and my kitchen robot. I have been lucky to try a lot of devices in the past few years but disappointingly not many of them conquered a permanent spot in my kitchen. That’s because too often, they did not deliver on their promise and are for that reason stored and stacked in my garage (I might think of doing a garage sale soon hehe). So I’m not really the first person in line to try yet another device but I must admit I had been eyeing the Philips Airfryer or a little while and when I was asked if I wanted to test and review the device I said yes straight away. And it was for one very important reason: Fries.

Fries are the one weakness of this healthy geek and through the years they have also played an important role in our little family life. As you see, I never ate fries before I came to Belgium. OK, I did but probably not more than a handful of times and they would not have made my list of top 100 favourite foods for shizzle. 8 years ago, my first date with Dieter (aka husband), changed that. Since he had just come back from travelling the world and was pretty much broke, he took me out to eat fries. Not a way to impress a foodie hihi but to his credit, they were the best fries in Brussels. And they completely changed my mind about fries. Turned out I did love fries after all; I just never had the ‘real deal’. That date was the first of the many important fries moment in our life such as munching on fries while having only one hour to decide whether we should buy a piece of land after just seeing it only once, to serving fries at our Belgian wedding (you might remember we had three of those – we like to partay). In the meantime, my husband also became this household’s CFO (Chief Frietjes Officer) and always makes Belgian fries when we have visitors from abroad. And I can honestly say they are the best.

philips airfryer fries

So when the Airfryer arrived, I knew that the real test would be to see if Dieter would actually consider the fries from the Airfryer as a worthy alternative to his homemade deep-fried fries.

Before we even tasted the fries, I was already delighted that the intense frying odour wasn’t present. We have an open space downstairs so frying usually means the smell takes over not only the kitchen but also the living room and our office space. So no odour is a big plus.

Then came the time for the taste test. Fries came out looking golden and like they should but it wasn’t till I heard my husband say “not bad, not bad at all” that I knew Airfryer passed the ‘real deal’ test. He admitted he’s a fan so those fries had to be good. And they were. They were not greasy at all which I loved but they were still crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and tasted like fries should taste. Just with less fat. Happy face.

Philips Airfryer Belgian fries

The second thing that I couldn’t wait to make in the Airfryer were my rustic sweet potato fries. I am pretty much obsessed with them and could eat them all the time. I don’t really eat them that often though, because as much as I love them, it takes me over an hour to bake them in the oven and when I have a craving (and I have been having those a lot lately carrying this little munchkin in my belly), I just simply can’t wait that long. So making my fries in just 15-20 minutes and with only 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil sounded really tempting and almost too good to be true. But it wasn’t. When they came out, they were still my dear sweet potato fries but healthier. Who knew that was possible! Happy face #2.

Philips Airfryer sweet potato fries

The device is easy to use too: you heat it up to the desired temperature (between 60-200 degrees) in just 3 minutes, set the time, throw in your fries and impatiently wait till they are done so you can munch on them already. And no cleaning necessary afterwards as the parts of the Airfryer go straight in to the dishwasher. Woop!

Fries were my top of mind when wanting to test the Airfryer but when I got it, it turned out you can do so much more with it – bake, roast and grill – which I fully intend to do now I found a permanent spot for it in in my kitchen. First baking test coming this weekend as I need to do something with all that rhubarb growing in our garden.

For more info on the Philips Airfryer, click here.

May 22, 2015

Délio Good For You … and you… and you!

Hey busy bees out there! I am super excited to let you know that I have become an ambassador for the new scrumptious products from Délio called Délio Good for You. Good for you as the two salads that have recently hit the stores are packed with nutritious and wholesome ingredients and even better for me as some of those are my favourite things in the world (and when I say favourite things in the world you should already know that the sweet potato is definitely involved in the matter). The idea behind the salads is to give go-getters like I know some of you are an alternative for a balanced and nutritious afternoon snack or lunch on those days where you just don’t seem to find time to prepare fresh meal but still want something wholesome that will give you energy and make you feel good. I know something about these days as no matter how much I tell myself to take it easier and do less project the following month, I always end up running around trying to cook and shoot trillion things and meet all deadlines. So yes, speaking from experience here.

delio good for youdelio good for you

First salad is (indeed) starring my all time friend, the sweet potato. I love that it’s combined with quinoa and goji berries not only because it’s a great taste combination but it also gets rid of both my sweet and savoury craving. The second salad goes back to my Polish roots and features red beet. Have you heard of mulberries? I usually use them in my granola but they taste so good with red beet and walnuts in the second salad that I started using them in savory dishes now as well.

Curious about the salads already? I hope so! I am definitely excited and eager to start sharing my little ideas on what to eat the salads with and what to add to make them even more awesome. Since I got to try the salads last year I have experimented with some cool flavor combinations and easy editions that will make this nutritious snack into an exciting and fulfilling lunch. Stay tuned!!

delio good for you

The salads are available in Colruyt and Albert Heijn supermarkets. Check out Délio Facebook page for more info.

May 19, 2015

Oven Roasted Cauliflower & Chard with Pine Nuts

Hi friends,

You might have noticed that we are expecting a little sprout to join our little family soon. I couldn’t have been more excited and happy about it! My pregnancy started with almost 4 months of severe nausea that have prevented me from eating my favorite foods and definitely from experimenting with new ones. It’s been a little bit of a struggle, especially professionally as yeah, preparing, styling and shooting food has turned out to be impossible hehe. Luckily that’s all behind me now, I’m feeling so much better and I must admit I have found cooking even more exciting lately! Just the idea that I am feeding another person inside me makes me prepare every meal with extra consideration, making sure all ingredients are organic and off best quality. I also feel more eager than ever to try out new things and start introducing my little munchkin to a variety of veggies and fruit as early as possible (yes, that means in the womb hihi). The fact that I have no naughty cravings but crave things like avocado, or quinoa or tomatoes really help too! I hope it stays that way!

Recently I have fallen in love with chard (in Dutch called warmoes or snijbiet). It was first the gorgeous colors of the raw chard that caught my eye and even though those colors disappear when cooked, chard has turned out to be so scrumptious it has joined the list of my favorite veggies. So more chard recipes might join the club here soon!

Oven Roasted Cauliflower & Chard with Pine Nuts

2 portions

Needed:
1 medium cauliflower head
350 g chard
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp herb salt
2 tbsp pine nuts

That’s how you make it:
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Wash the cauliflower and use a knife to segregate the large florets from the roots. Cut the cauliflower into smaller florets. Wash the chard and remove the leaves from the stem. Cut the leaves roughly and put the leaves aside. Cut the stem in 3-4cm pieces.

Put the cauliflower florets and the stem pieces into an ovenproof dish. Add olive oil and sea salt and mix thoroughly. Put in the oven for 40 minutes. Take out the dish, add the chard leaves and mix. Put back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes.

Dry roast the pine nuts on a pan. Serve the cauliflower and chard with roasted pine nuts.

Oven Roasted Cauliflower & Chard with Pine Nuts

May 11, 2015

NEWS: MY NEW BOOK IS COMING OUT THIS SUMMER!!!

OMG my second book is coming out soon! And this time it’s all about drinking! OK OK, drinking lemonades. And iced teas. And infused waters. You know, I’m pregnant so my kind of drinking! HEHE

The book, called LIMONADE, will be in Dutch and will hit the stores in June, right on time for the summer = the lemonade season. I will teach you how to make basic syrups and syrups with cool flavours (all without the usual white sugar used in lemonade syrups) and will share over 50 recipes for fun lemonades like grilled pineapple lemonade, kiwi lemonade, blueberry and mint lemonade as well as adventurous iced teas like camomile and passion fruit and  some of my favourite infused waters.

Are you excited yet? NO? Ok, here is a little sneak peek of what’s coming in the book. Now get excited please!

Limonade

May 4, 2015

CHICHE!: The French edition of FOURPLAY

chiche

Bonjour les amis! This news makes me so happy – FOURPLAY, my first cookbook, my culinary baby, has been recently published in French and is now available both in stores and online!

It has been brought out on the market by a lovely French-speaking publisher Renaissance du Livre (thank you guys, it was a pleasure working with you!) and can be purchased directly from their website and book stores in the French speaking part of Belgium. The French version is soft cover and the price is €19,90.

I know many of you are waiting for the English version, fingers crossed that this one will be next!!

Lots of love,

Marta

chichechichechiche

January 10, 2015

Vegan Banana Bread with Superfoods

My husband really loves bananas. I mean he REALLY loves them. He loves bananas so much that when he does groceries he gets overenthusiastic about buying them. So enthusiastic that he unconsciously gave me a new hobby and it’s called ‘what the heck can I make with super overripe bananas”?

So this is what I made this time and it’s so delicious I had to share it with you right away! It’s vegan, made with superfoods and sweetened with maple syrup. You’re welcome.

vegan banana bread with superfoods

You will need:
5 very ripe bananas
250 g spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
50 g coconut oil, liquified (you can do it by briefly warming it up)
150 ml soy milk
75 ml maple syrup

Superfoods, seeds and nuts
(but you can use any of your favorites or even add chocolate chips):
2 tablespoons goji berries
2 tablespoons mulberries
2 tablespoons shelled hemp seeds
1 tablespoons chia seeds
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons almond shavings

That’s how you make it:
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Put the peeled bananas into your food processor and blend until smooth. Add maple syrup, coconut oil and soya milk en mix till well incorporated. In a bowl, mix spelt flour, baking soda and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix till smooth batter. Add the superfoods, seeds and nuts and mix again.
Pour the batter into a 22cm x 22cm baking tin (sprayed with baking spray or lined with parchment paper) and sprinkle the top with some hemp seeds, chia seeds and almond shavings. Bake the bread for about 40 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack. Remove the banana bread from the pan. Slice and serve.

vegan banana bread with superfoods

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