Virgin Bloody Mary Popsicles

I am blessed with a lot of people around me who have big veggie gardens (ours is still quite basic but we’re working on it) and who share their harvest with me! With the tomato season in full bloom, I am drowning under homegrown tomatoes and I am refusing to waste any of these delicious babies. I am stacking on slow roasted oven tomatoes, tomato sauce and eating a lot of tomato salads. YUM!

When Williams-Sonoma asked me to create my own version of Bloody Mary with freshly juiced tomatoes, I couldn’t say no! Fresh tomato juice is the best especially when you use those good ripe tomatoes! To juice your tomatoes, you can use an electric juicer (check out the lovely juicer section at Williams-Sonoma) or use a simple juicing colander (make sure to peel the tomatoes first by putting them into hot water for a few minutes and then transfer them to cold water – the skins will break which will make tomatoes so much easier to peel!)

Now, instead of regular bloody mary, I decided to make popsicles. I have a garden party coming soon (if weather allows) and I like to surprise my guests with something unexpected. If you’re not much into that virgin stuff and you’re wondering weather you could add vodka to these popsicles, you’re lucky! The answer is YES!

Virgin Bloody Mary Popsicles

Virgin Bloody Mary Popsicles
-+ 6 popsicles

Ingredients
500ml freshly squeezed tomato juice
4 tsp horseradish
2 tsp celery salt
2 tsp smoked paprika
0,5 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Juice from one lemon
Salt & pepper

Method
In a big jug, mix all ingredients till well incorporated. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Fill popsicle molds with the bloody mary and put in the freezer for at least 5 hours. If you want a little twist, you can use celery sticks instead of the wooden sticks to hold your popsicles!

Virgin Bloody Mary Popsicles

Happy Weekend!

Marta

Pre-order FOURPLAY and get a little surprise from me!

Hi friends!

So as you already know I am pretty damn excited about the publication of my very first cookbook, FOURPLAY! Woop woop!

The book, which literally feels like my first baby, is a collection of 80 seasonal vegetarian recipes spread over nearly 200 fun & playful pages! It will be available in stores and online as of September but I thought you guys deserve a little bit of a special treatment so I am launching the following pre-order action:

The first 100 of you who pre-order the book NOW will not only get a SIGNED COPY of the book but will also receive an awesome white organic cotton SHOPPING BAG with the following design!

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The price of the book is €27,5 + shipping (unless you know where to find me to pick it up).

Wanna be in the first 100 and get the bag? Hurry and send me an email
to fourplaybook@gmail.com (include your postal address if I need to ship the book + state whether you would like a signed copy and for whom the book is if it’s not you)!

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Your book  and gift will arrive as soon as I get it into my hands! I am already really looking forward to it!!

Hugs,

Marta

Iced Almond Vanilla Latte

It’s freaking humid outside the last few days and I always crave for iced coffee on those days. I’ve always loved iced coffee more than a hot coffee and this is one of my two favorite recipes (I will make sure to share the other one soon too).

iced almond vanilla latte

Ingredients
2 shots of espresso
3 drops of vanilla stevia (e.g. NuNaturals)
100 ml almond milk, cold
crushed ice

Method
Put vanilla drops in a glass. Add cold almond milk. Pour two shots of espresso. Add ice and stir well before enjoying it!

Blueberry, fresh goji berry, feta & coconut salad!

This salad is my take on a perfect summer lunch! It’s so delicious and it only takes 3 minutes to make so I have been having it four times in a row now! For my Belgian readers – if you are wondering where to get the fresh goji berries, I actually found them in my local Delhaize (how awesome is that!). Happy Friday!

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Ingredients
1 person

40g rocket salad
70g feta
50g blueberries
1 tbsp fresh goji berries
3 tbsp natural soy yogurt
1 tbsp coconut powder

Method
Arrange a bed of rocket leaves on a plate. Crumble feta on top. Add blueberries and goji berries, sprinkle coconut powder on top and finish with the yogurt. Toss gently and enjoy!

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Chia Pudding With Almond Milk & Cinnamon

Hi friends,

Just a quick post to share my favorite chia pudding recipe with you! Happy Friday!!

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Ingredients
40g chia seeds
230ml warm almond milk
1 tsp cinnamon
toppings of your choice (fruit, dried fruit, nuts & seeds, chocolate flakes…whatever floats your boat!)

Method
Mix the chia seeds with the warm almond milk and cinnamon. Let cool. Put in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. Serve with your favorite topping!

xox,

Marta

Watermelon Tea-monade with Açaí Powder

It’s been grey outside for a while now and when that happens I somehow always go into extra  colorful food mode! This is one of my current morning obsessions: refreshing chilled watermelon, delicate white tea from Or Tea  & a dash of açaí powder. It’s SO good and it just makes me happy in the morning!

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Ingredients (4 small or 2 big glasses) 
2kg watermelon, chilled in the fridge
200ml hot water
2 teaspoons white tea (or 2 bags)
2 teaspoons açaí powder

Method
Make tea extract by putting white tea in hot water. Sieve if you’re using leaves. Let cool.
Peel and cut watermelon in pieces. Put it in the blender with tea extract and açaí powder and blend till smooth. Drink up – it’s delicious!

watermelon white tea

Also – aren’t the teas from Or Tea just freaking ADORABLE!!!

Happy Sunday!

Marta

Shoot for Disney Breakfast Collection

Hey guys, every now and then I like to share my work with you and today is one of those days. I recently did some work for Mickey Mouse… ok fine, for Disney (working for Mickey sounded extra awesome), styling and photographing for their new breakfast collection! Below you can find a few shots that will be used among others in a Blokker brochure and in the stores.

Do you like the set? I think it is absolutely adorable. Not just in a childlike kind of way but it’s  perfect for the older Mickey fans out there too! I am using it for my girly brunches or when I have breakfast by myself – I am feeling a little less lonely then. Yep.

The set will be available in Blokker stores as of July 2 – the prices of individual items range between €1.99 to €6.99.

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Cooking With Sweeteners

Hi there,

As a part of a project I am working on with the sweetener platform www.zoetstoeffen.eu, I have recently ran two cooking workshops at Yves Matagne Atelier – one for journalists and one for the lovely fellow bloggers. The idea was to show what else you can do with the sweeteners aside from putting them in your coffee or baking with them! I developed three recipes especially for the workshop and I thought – why not share it with you too!

The candied pecans in the salad are delicious and so easy to make. A handy tip: you can also have them as a snack (I add a pinch of cinnamon at the end of the process  to make them extra special).

Try the pasta sauce if feel like having something else than the traditional tomato sauce. I use pasta made from quinoa or spelt, it makes the dish much lighter which is great for the summer!

Last but not least – the coconut froyo! Ok, there is no actual yogurt in it as I substituted it with coconut milk but I promise you will love it and it takes literally seconds to make! Literally.

Big hug,

Marta

salad

 

STRAWBERRY & FETA SALAD WITH STEVIA CANDIED PECAN NUTS AND BALSAMIC DRESSING
1 big portion

Ingredients
10 strawberries
50g feta
75g baby spinach leaves
30g pecan nuts
1,5 tbsp stevia (sugar consistency)

Dressing
25ml olive oil
20ml balsamic vinegar
3 drops of liquid stevia

Method
In a small pan, put stevia on low heat. Wait till the stevia starts melting, add pecans and toss to coat. Spread on a baking paper and let cool – it should take 3-4 minutes.

In a small jar, put the vinegar, oil and stevia. Close the lid and shake to combine.

On a plate, put the spinach leaves. Wash the strawberries, pick off the green tops and cut them in half. Arrange on the spinach leaves. Crumble feta on top, add pecans and drizzle with the dressing.

pasta

PASTA ROASTED RED PEPPER SAUCE
+- 3 portions

Ingredients
4 red peppers
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp veggie bouillon paste
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, peeled and finely cut
2 tbsp tomatenconcentraat
4 springs fresh thyme
Parmesan (optional)
1 tbsp tagatose sweetener
300g quinoa or spelt pasta

Method
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees. Cut red peppers in half, remove seeds and cut again in half. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil and put the peppers on it. Bake for about 30-35min till the skin is starting to blacken. Take out of the oven, put in a plastic bag and let it ‘steam’ for a few minutes. Take it out of the bag and peel the skin off. Put it in the blender and pulse for about 20 seconds.

Cook pasta according to instructions on the package.

Heat up olive oil in a sauce pan. Add garlic and shallots and sauté for a minute or two. Turn heat down and add tomato paste and tagatose and bake 2-3 more minutes.

Add thyme, stir in the red pepper and allow to gently simmer for 3-5 minutes. Add veggie bouillon and simmer two more minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add 2-3 tbsp of water. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Serve sauce with pasta. Sprinkle it with parmesan cheese and decorate with thyme.

 

froyo

RASPBERRY & COCONUT FROYO
3-4 portions

Ingredients
300g frozen raspberries
150ml coconut milk
2 tbsp tagatose

Method
Blend raspberries, kokosmelk and tagatose in a food processor for 20 seconds, until it comes together to a smooth ice-cream texture. Scoop into bowls and serve.

My little secret is out.

Hello friends,

I know that I have been awfully quiet here on the blog for the past few months so I am really happy to finally be able to share the real reason behind my ‘negligence’ with you: I was making my dream come to life.

I am super excited to let you know that MY FIRST VERY OWN COOKBOOK IS COMING OUT IN BELGIUM THIS SEPTEMBER!

The book is an extension of my work here on the blog as well as my seasonal magazine LUSCIOUS. It is a little different, a lot more playful and full of brand new vegetarian recipes! You will have to wait till September to find out more but I can already share the cover with you:

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For those who don’t speak Dutch (yes, the book is now coming out in Dutch – the tagline of the book is ‘PLAYFULL vegetarian recipes for FOUR season ‘ – hence FOURPLAY).

Making this cookbook has been the most wonderful, learning and gratifying experience of my life. At the same time, it has been the hardest, most scary and frustrating experience I’ve ever gone through. I literally went through all phases of what they call a creative process. That included excitement, joy, happiness, creative block, hitting the wall, frustration, happiness, more excitement and a great portion of joy and relief when I finished all the recipes and photos. I put my whole heart to it so I really hope you guys like it!

I am lucky to be in such great hands with my publisher Davidsfonds Uitgeverij, especially my lovely mentor Veerle Moureau. Ewelina Bocian which you might know as she is also a designer behind LUSCIOUS has taken care of the layout of the book and has done the most ah-mazing job!

Another big thank you to my talented husband for shooting the cover for the book, Allison Scott for make-up and hair and Maureen Soenen for making sure I do not invent new words in Dutch.

And thank you to all you guys who have been following my adventures here. It has been five years since I started this blog to share recipes with my friends and I never thought I would meet so many wonderful people through it and get so many amazing opportunities.

Big hug,

Marta

 

Thyme Salt

I have so many beautiful thyme flowers in the garden, I am really trying to make the best use of them! I have already stored a few bottles of thyme olive oil for gifts and now I thought of another way to make a gorgeous present for my lovely friends – homemade thyme salt. I really love how it came out, I love how the thyme smell took over my kitchen and most importantly I love how it adds that little something extra to everyday dishes! Perfect little project for this weekend!

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Ingredients
230g kosher salt
4 full strings of thyme

Method
Preheat the oven to 115°C. Put salt and thyme in a food processor and pulse it for about 20 sec.

Line a baking tray with baking paper and spread the salt on it. Bake for about 15 minutes. Take out, cool off and put it in the salt grinder. Store the remaining part of the salt in an airtight container.

For gifts, you can gift it in a little jar or in a transparent salt grinder.

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