Boosting your way into the New Year

I admit this post is long overdue. I meant to write for Christmas and share my family recipe of “Bûche de Noël”, which I know is a favorite for some of my readers. But this will have to wait until next Christmas unfortunately… You probably won’t contradict me when I’ll say that there is always a lot going on around this time of the year. Buying last minute gifts (even though I always swear to my myself this will be the last time), wrapping a mountain of presents (this takes me a lot of time because I am a perfectionist), visiting family members, cooking delicious Christmas treats…

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However, you’ll probably like to hear that my new year resolution is to be much more active on Stefinitely Yummy! Even if this is probably going to get a bit tricky at some point… (more explanation about that soon :-)). I have so many nice recipes I’d like to share!

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Does the above snow man really looks freaky to you (so says my boyfriend Kjeld)? Vote for your favorite snow man!

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Probably unlike many of you, but I don’t blame you, I have been pretty reasonable during the end-of-year celebrations. Still, I really feel an urge for food that’s good for my body and will give me the energy I need to go through this snowy Luxembourgish winter. All I feel like is fibers and vitamins. Nice fresh and colorful vegetables. I can’t get enough of them! As I thought you might probably feel the same way after the “fois gras”, turkey and Texas Taters(*) overkill, I decided to share my ultimate energy boost and feel good recipes!

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My smoothie does not contain any salad, kale or any of the other usual ingredients in healthy green smoothies but it definitely reaches its objective in terms of freshness! I have prepared my second recipe, a carrot and sweet potato soup, countless numbers of times since I discovered it two years ago. It’s got so much flavor! Finally, the salad contains some of my favorite ingredients and the way it combines sweetness, softness and crunchiness is incredible!

I wish you all a Happy, Healthy and Yummy New Year!!!

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(*) Special reference to my dear American host-family. The Texas Taters is a recipe that Ann, the classy grand-mother, is required to prepare every Christmas. It is absolutely delicious but I don’t dare figuring out the calorie count. It contains potatoes and a LOT of sour-cream and butter! But it’s so GOOD…

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Cucumber, lemon, mint and apple smoothie
(serves 2/3)

You can add more or less apple juice depending on the consistency you like.

1 cucumber (about 400 g), peeled and sliced
juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
20 cl / 7 fl oz organic or traditional apple juice

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Remove and serve immediately.

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Carrot, sweet potato, coriander and coconut milk soup
(serves 4)

If you don’t have the Thai red curry paste or the nuoc-mâm don’t worry, the recipe also works very well without these ingredients. The coconut milk can also be replaced with any other kind of milk. On the other hand, the lime and the fresh coriander are essential! They give all its freshness to this smooth and comforting soup.

800 g / 28 oz carrots, peeled and sliced (about 9 large carrots)
1 sweet potato, peeled and sliced
1 onion, sliced finely
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
50 cl / 2 cups chicken broth (1 chicken stock cube)
40 cl / 2 cups coconut milk
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp nuoc-mâm (Vietnamese fish sauce)
2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

Place the carrots and the sweet potato in a medium pan. Cover with boiling water and let simmer for about 10 minutes. If you use a chicken stock cube, drain the vegetables on top of a large bowl so that you keep the water which is full of flavor and vitamins. Poor 50 cl / 2 cups in a measuring cup while still hot, immediately drop the stock cube in, let it soften for a few minutes, then stir until the cube is fully dissolved.

Sauté the sliced onion in a large pan on medium heat with the olive oil. When softened, add the red curry paste and stir for a minute or two. Add the drained carrots and sweet potato in the large pan, as well as the coconut milk, the nuoc-mâm and the lime juice. Stir and add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, lower to medium heat, cover and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.

Remove from stove, add 1 tbsp of chopped fresh coriander and blend until smooth. Sprinkle with the remaining coriander before serving.

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Energy boost salad
(serves 4)

4 handfuls fresh baby spinach
200 g / 1 cup quinoa
1 cauliflower
4 large carrots, peeled and grated
1 green apple
1 avocado
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
2 tbsp chive, chopped
4 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch of cinnamon
salt / pepper

For the sauce
2 tbsp low fat Greek yogurt or fromage blanc
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp maple syrup
juice of 1 lemon
1 pinch of turmeric powder
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
salt / pepper

Cook the quinoa in 2 cups of water (two times its volume) with a pinch of salt until all the water is absorbed (about 15 minutes). When ready let it cool down for 10 minutes or so.

Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F. Prepare the cauliflower by removing the outer leaves and separating the florets. Place in bowl with 1 tbsp olive oil, cinnamon, season with salt and pepper and mix well. Transfer on a parchment paper covered baking sheet and bake for about 5 minutes. Turn the cauliflower pieces over with a fork and bake for 10 more minutes, until tender but still crispy. Remove from oven.

Prepare the sauce by beating all the ingredients together until smooth.

Place the spinach, the grated carrots and about half the sauce in a large bowl and mix well. Add the quinoa, the cauliflower, the parsley, the chive and mix well. Toast the pumpkin seeds a few minutes in a frying pan on medium heat. Peel and thinly slice the apple and the avocado.

Split the content of the large bowl between four plates. Carefully add the apple and avocado slices. Sprinkle with the toasted pumpkin seeds and serve immediately with the remaining sauce.

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2 thoughts on “Boosting your way into the New Year

  1. Blandine says:

    Since my snowmen always look like scary monsters, I won’t judge yours. But I WILL try out your recipes, that will probably help us get rid ouf our fondue-fat. Thanks again for helping us stay healthy 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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