Thursday, August 28, 2014

life update - I am very sick

So I haven't been able to post any new content here or on my youtube channel for a while and the reason being is that I was (and still am) very sick. I've had IBS for years now, and have lost a lot of weight (BMI just under 16) and have been trying to gain weight for months and months, eating about 3000 calories a day without any difference (very fast metabolism), to the point to where 2 weeks ago I even stopped being vegetarian and began eating meat/fish again because my doctors recommened it. However for the past 4 days I've had some sort of food poisonning/intestinal virus and have just been getting sick/diharrea non stop and been unable to eat anything. I've already spent 2 days in the hospital, but I lost over 5 kilos in that tiny period of time and now have a body mass index around 13 and I will have to be hospitalised for an undetermined amount of time until I have a healthier body weight. Because of this I am not sure when I will be able to post/upload anything. I have 2 videos and a few blogposts that I was working on before this happened but I'm not sure when I will get the chance to do anything with them.
I will try and keep posting if I can, but chances are I won't be able to for quite a while. 

Thanks to anyone who did read or watch any of my videos/posts. Every view meant a lot to me. I can't wait to get better so that I can start posting lots of good stuff again! ;D

Saturday, August 23, 2014

cleansing-detox ingredients for smoothies

So we all have those days where we just feel bloated and nasty, maybe it was after over indulging in a heavy dessert at dinner or having a few too many glasses saturday night or even just from plain old IBS. I know it happens to me a lot and usually I just feel like I can't stomach any solid food until I feel better, in which case I'll rely on a smoothie, especially a cleansing-detoxifying one. There are of course tons of variations to what ingredients you can use so here I'll just be sharing a list of my favorite cleansing ingredients:

fruits: Pineapple is by far the winner in my opinion because of it's high levels of digestive enzymes, it helps to digest protein. I even tend to eat pineapple with meals, especially together with proteins. Papaya also contains high levels of digestive enzymes, however they are mostly in green papayas, there are much less in the nice ripe orange ones. This is still my second favorite fruit to help cleanse/detox, especially because of it's sweet taste. Other fruits with a certain amount of digestive enzymes are kiwis and berries, which are also loaded with antioxidants which is a real bonus as well. Another fruit that I use very often are lemons for their alkalanizing properties. Bananas,while alot of people avoid them, are actually very good for your gut, because of the high levels of potassium,they can counteract with excess sodium intake and help reduce water retention/bloating. Another fruit that is interesting is watermelons, which supposedely (I can't really vouch for this) are used for natural colon cleansing.

Vegetables: Dark leafy greens are by far the best option. Spinach, kale, bok choi, watercress...etc are all great and I try to include at least one of them in each smoothie. They help clean out your intestines and provide you with lots of vitamins and minerals. Cucumbers are another nice choice because they are super hydrating. Other good vegetables are asparagus and beets. Asparagus are natural diruetics and beets help fight inflammation and infections. 

Other: Coconut water is another favorite of mine, because of it's super high levels of potassium (one serving has more potassium than 2 bananas). Green tea is another good drink because of its high levels of antioxidants not to mention it's a natural diruetic. However I only very rarely drink it because of it's high caffeine content. Another favorite ingredient ofmine  is fennel seeds which help with digestion and bloating. Ginger is also s spice I used almost daily to help with acid reflux. Personally I find it works even better than anti-acids. Last but not least natural unsweetened yogurt is also an interesting ingredient because it contains natural bacteria and can help balance out your gut flora, therefore aiding in digestion. 

Depending upon what you are in need of (help digesting the previous meal, debloating after too much salt, reducing acid reflux, releaving constipation ora combination of lots of things) just pick out your ingredients, chuck them in a blender and blitz them into a delicious-good for you smoothie. Of course I only mentionned a few of mypersonal favorite ingredients here, there are loads more. I hope this helps you create amazing smoothies!

^.^



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tibits restaurant- take away

Recently I spent a weekend in th beautiful city of Basel. As a vegetarian, I had quickly done a search before hand of some vegetarian/vegan friendly restaurants around the center and stumbled upon this place called Tibits. I tried it out and was very pleasently surprised. The food was mostly vegan, some vegetarian things as well. When you arrive you have a nice buffet to choose from. Everything is labeled (if it's vegetarian, vegan, soy free, nut free... and so on which is really nice). Not only that but all the food is super fresh, extremely tasty and healthy. They also have some sandwiches, tons of desserts (most of which are vegan) and lots of drinks such as freshly made fruit juice blends. Everything is organic and they even have breakfast items every morning, a nice brunch on sundays and even vegan ice creams. 

We ended up going there 3 times in two days it was so good!! The breakfast was amazing with delicious vegan pancakes which I highly recommend. The cozy atmosphere in the restaurant was just heavenly, many people coming just to have a coffee, but you can even get your food to go if you are in a hurry. The only down side to the whole experience is the price which even for Switzerland is a bit expensive (you pay by the weight of it). You can find Tibits restaurants in Basel, Zurich, Bern, Winterthur, Lucerne and even London if you aren't in Switzerland. I highly recommend you try one out if you are living or travelling to any of the above cities. 
For more information click here
=D

Monday, August 18, 2014

easiest homemade falafels ever

Today's recipe is perfect for if you are in a hurry or have limited ingredients. Falafels traditionally call for chickpeas, fresh onion, pita bread crumbs and a nice blend of spices. Here I'm sharing my much easier (not as tasty obviously) version of the dish. I would not recommend you make this for guests unless you tweek it a bit and add more herbs to it. 

Basically all you really need is a can of chickpeas, onion powder and possibly a bit of flour to help it stick together. Just chuck the can of chickpeas, a good 1-2 tablespoons of onion powder (more or less depending on how you like it) in a blender and mix it well. If it's too dry you might have to add a bit of water to get it going. Once the mixture is blended up well you can add a bit of flour to it (if it's too liquid) and then start forming little balls out of the chickpeas. You could deep fry them,but I personally just pan fry them quickly until cooked all the way through. And there you have it, really quick and easy falafels. If you want to make nicer ones,you can sub the onion powder for real onion, add some fresh garlic and coriander. At the end you can also roll them in bread crumbs to make them nice and crunch as well. 

I hope you enjoy and get to try this out one day when you need to cook up something but don't feel like making anything complicated!

:)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Soy free Vegan lasagna (with tahini bechamel)


Today's recipe is a bit different from my usual ones as it is a bit harder to make and calls for more ingredients. As with any lasagna there are different layers, each one calling fr a seperate recipe. 

First of all there are the lasagna noodle, you can use whichever ones you fancy, just make sure they are vegan (don't contain egg like most pastas). I personally used ones that didn't call for pre boiling, but if you are using other ones yu will have to cook them first according to the package instructions. 

I used two different sauces for the layers, a vegan bolognese and a vegan bechamel. This particular recipe doesn't call for any tofu either. (I will be making a recipe using tofu later one that I will make a post about) Nor does the recipe call for any fake cheeses, mostly because I can't find any decent ones in Switzerland (that aren't loaded with palm oil and stuff like that). So let's get started:

First preheat your oven at 180°C/350°F. Then get started on the sauces:

For the vegan bolognese you can find two recipes, one with spinach here and one using tomato here.
 
If you are a vegetarian you can make a regular bechamel sauce but here is my own vegan version. It's not only soy free but also margarine free, so no unwanted palm oil either!
For the vegan bechamel sauce, you need:

- 1/4 cup of tahini (sesame paste)
- juice of 2 lemons
- 2 tsps of garlic powder
- 2 cups of water
- 1 tbsp cornstarch (or any other thickening agent)
- 3-4 tbsps nutritional yeast/vegan cheese if you have it. I used 3 tbsps of nutritional yeast and thought it was perfect, however the rest of my family complained and all added tons (and I mean tons) of dairy cheese to their portions, so I would adjut the amount of yeast according to taste. You can also use vegan cheese if you prefer. 

 To make the sauce start by mixing the tahini and lemon juice in a pot. Gradually add in the water mixing it constantly. Bring to a gentle simmer and add your cornstarch. Let it simmer for a whle until it starts to thicken. Then add you garlic and nutritional yeast to taste. Make sure it has a nice cheesy flavour.

Now comes the fun part, the layering!

Start by putting some sauce (bechamel or bolognese) on the bottom of the lasagna tray. Then make a layer of noodles. On top of them add a layer of bolognese, then a layer of bechamel, and personally I also make a layer of plain steamed vegetables. Repeat the whole process until you have constructed your lasagna. Finish it off with a layer of bechamel on the top and if you have vegan cheese you can sprinkle some of that on top too.
Bake your lasagna for 25-30 minutes. At the very end, to get a crispy top (especially when not using any cheese) but the lasagna on the top rack and turn the broiler on for just a few minutes to get it nice and crispy.

And there you have it. Nice delicious lasagna that is good for you, high in protein (from the lentils) and calcium (from the tahini). I hope you get to try it out and it works for you! This recipe is great for when you have guests over as well. 

:D

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Quinoa stuffed tomatoes

I always make a lot of quinoa and then have tons of leftovers for like 2 days. So here is a great recipe for those leftovers, or for freshly cooked quinoa. The ingredients are dead simpleand this recipe is super quick.

All you need is 
- tomatoes (figure about 2 per person)
- cooked quinoa
- cooked spinach
- seasoning

Optionally:
- silken tofu/vegan cream replacement
- nutritional yeast or cheese if vegetarian

Simply preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Then start off my slicing the tops off the tomatoes and emptying the flesh into a bowl. (You can keep the unused flesh for sauces) Sprinkle the insides of the tomatoes with a bit of salt and turn them over so that they lose some of their water. Then mix your quinoa, spinach, and any other ingredients except for the nutritional yeast/cheese together in a seperate bowl. If you like a dryer filling omit the silken tofu/cream, if you prefer a soften one then I would add a few tablespoons of either one.
Now you can start filling your tomatoes with the mixture. I flled mine all the way up and filled the tomato tops as well, but you can easily fill them less high and put the "hat" back on top. Finally sprinkle the cheese or nutritional yeast on the top and bake for at √©east 15 minutes or until the tomatoes are cooked. 

I hope you enjoyed this recipe and get to try it! It's great for if you are having guests over as well!

:)