Tag Archives: Wholefoods

Darkest Peru magic bullets!

Raw balls of pure energy

Do you feel sometime that you need a break from your daily life? That you are up for a different kind of challenge?! That you are hungry for new views, new flavours, new emotions? Last week, this blog was travelling to Galicia in Northern Spain. You might know that already if you follow me on FB or Instagram… I was walking the millennia old Pilgrim’s Way and feeling way out of my comfort zone…  But loving every minute…

The Way of St James

The Way of St James

Here are some of the items I carry in my backpack :

Energy balls ready to pack!

Energy balls ready to pack!

Lucuma fruity energy balls to sustain my companion and I through the long daily walks! This is a new version of my Energy Balls– this time flavoured with orange , chocolate and Lucuma – a protein packed Aztec powder that a Peruvian friend introduced to me this year. To say my walking companion is addicted is an understatement: I have promised the recipe and here it is.

Lucuma Cocoa and Orange Energy Balls or Darkest Peru magic bullets!
Ingredients list:

  • Cup of almond(soaked)
  • Cup of dates
  • Handful of raisins
  • Zest of one small orange
  • 1 tbsp lucuma powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tbsp linseeds
  • 1 handful sunflower seeds
  • 2 or three squares of very dark chocolate (I use 100% cocoa sans sugar)
  • Cocoa powder and more Lucuma powder to roll in

Mix it all in a grinder /blender until it makes a sticky paste.
Roll each bite into a mix of cocoa and lucuma, as you would for a chocolate truffle! Those healthy chocolatey truffle melt in the mouth and done in the Thermomix, they are smooth and fudgey… Plus super packed with everything you need to walk all day with 8 kg of back-pack!
Store in a metal box. They can keep for weeks but they will not last that long.

We were walking from Santiago de Compostella to Finisterre, the “end of the world” – or at least the extreme western point of Europe!

IMG_9698_2 IMG_9791_2

 Postscript: You can find Lucuma powder in Peru -but also at your nearest Wholefoods store. It is rich in B vitamins and has a high protein content. It tastes a bit sweet and chocolatey so goes really well with cocoa and orange!


Superfood granola

Granola is a relatively new comer on the food scene- I don’t recall eating anything like that when I was younger. But it is a very worthy addition to a health-conscious larder and even though there are some delicious shop-bought versions, it remains a luxury product. Given it is such an easy thing to make in big quantities, I would really recommend you try doing your own customised version from time to time.

Best homemade breakfast

I do realise that this is my second Granola on the blog but they are very different: the previous one had the smoky and rich taste of treacle and held into clumps because of the butter content ; while this new one is a finer, paler edition and has a delicate hint of citrus with the addition of grated lemon and orange zest. I also really love the coconut shavings I’ve added! Let’s say it’s a springtime version…

I have it in the morning with oat milk, for a snack directly from the jar and if coming back hungry from late night outing, I enjoy it over yogurt with a hint of honey or agave syrup. You can have it with milk, add fresh fruit to it, the combinations are endless…

Ingredients list:

  • Rapeseed oil (with dash of linseed oil) 160ml
  • Maple syrup 120ml
  • Rolled oats 200g
  • Barley or quinoa flakes 50g (optional)
  • Agave syrup 2 Tbsp
  • Mix of pecan nuts, linseeds, pumpkins seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower and linseeds
  • Coconut shavings or ground coconut
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Zest of one orange and one lemon

Mix all the dry ingredients into a large bowl, then add the oil and mix it in.

Add the maple syrup and rub it all in.

This time I used some toasted coconut shavings that I had found at Wholefoods and they were a great addition! But if I don’t have them I’ll try something else!

I love experimenting with new flavours and the hint of citrus brought in by the zest makes my morning every day at the moment! Aromatherapy tells us that lemon and orange essential oils are both uplifting and energising so I feel this is therapy as well as a meal.

Spread the mix into a shallow dish and place in the middle shelf of your oven for no more than 40 min at 150°. Slowly baking is best. It is ready when toasted and golden. A low oven is important because the seeds burn easily.

>Spaghetti ala chitarra with button mushrooms and chicken liver sauce

>A tasty lunch inspired by the chicken liver salads I love but robust enough to feed a few hungry teens! 
I decided on this twist of a recipe while browsing the mushroom stalls at Wholefoods (see photo).
Sorry no pictures… It got eaten too quickly…

Spaghetti a la Chitarra with button mushrooms and chicken liver sauce

Ingredients list:
One packet of Spaghetti a la Chitarra (a nice old-fashioned type that grips the sauce with its rough surface, due to the particular way it is cut)- worth searching for! I found mine in Somerfields Co-op.
300g of small button mushrooms- that’s a big bowl of them!
Rapeseed oil to fry
5 to 6 fine bacon slices
Chicken livers 250g
Thyme, basil and oregano (fresh if possible)
Aroowroot 1 spf
Some red wine
1 glass of beef stock or water

Slice two shallots finely with a mandolin. I’ve just bought my first one ever and it has changed my life around! Honestly, it is incredibly simple but totally addictive as a tool and  cuts the finest and daintiest vegetables ever. The brand is Zyliss but there are lots of slightly similar ones to try.

Any how… Fry your delicately sliced shallots in  rapeseed oil in a large frying pan- Again: my new one is brilliant and a cross between a wok and a frying pan! -non stick on top of that!
Forgive me if I tend to get ecstatic about new kitchen implements… If I wasn’t that way inclined I would not be writing this blog!

Back to the frying pan: Now fry the bacon slices in with the shallotts. Leave aside while you deal with the chicken livers.

Clean and de-nerve the livers – that’s easy: just cut off any fatty and nervy bits. Cut up in chunks  and throw them in with a good splash of red wine. A fruity merlot works best. Brown the meat a few minutes.

Clean the button mushrooms and add them whole. Season with a capful of OXO, abundant thyme and pepper. Then add a glass of beef stock or just water. Let the pan bubble while you cook the pasta in a pasta steamer. Sprinkle a coffee spoon of arrowroot to thicken the sauce then a big spoon of mascarpone. Cut some fresh oregano and basil on top.

Leave to simmer until the sauce is nice and creamy . When the spaghetti are cooked “al dente”(about 10 min in rolling boil), throw them in the pan and just coat them in the rich sauce. Add more basil or oregano or pepper if necessary.
Serve for lunch with a green salad.

Nutrition notes: This is a very balanced meal with lots of fibre and some good amino acids and iron from the liver. Because it is a carbohydrate dish, it is advisable to eat it for lunch rather than dinner so that you can burn the energy during the day. All carbs are better metabolised if eaten at lunch-time.