Wild rice and broad bean salad with orange dressing

Welcome spring! 

I just love it when spring vegetables arrive. That's the beauty of eating seasonal, you get to look forward to the beautiful vegetables and fruit nature gives us. I always get excited when broad beans, broccoli and all sorts of delicious green things arrive.
The thing is that nature is very clever, it gives us exactly what we need at each season, more roots in winter to stay warm and grounded, more greens and light veggies in spring and summer to get lighter, and embrace warmer weather. 

So here is a little recipe for you to enjoy the arrival of spring…Bon appetit!

Wild rice and broad beans salad 
3/4 Cup (120g) Wild rice
1 red peppers
1 yellow peppers
1 bunch asparagus
1 bunch chervil 
300g frozen or fresh broad beans, shelled
orange dressing
Orange dressing
1&1/2 tsp Grainy mustard
4 TBSP Orange juice
1 TBSP lemon juice
1/2 TBSP honey
5 TBSP olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven at 180c.
First cook the rice as indicated on the packet, usually cook it in a pan of boiling water for about 30-40min. Drain well and let it cool down.
Meanwhile, chop the peppers in small cubes and place them on a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven for about 25min, or until soft and slightly caramelised.
Wash the asparagus well. Cut the ends and then cut them in 3 or 4. Place them on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 20min, or until soft.
Cook the broad beans in a saucepan of salted boiling water for about 3 min. Drain. When they are cooler you can start removing the shells if you like, this is optional.
Chop the chervil roughly, set aside.

For the dressing: Mix the mustard with the orange and lemon juices, then add the honey. Stir and slowly add the olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper.

Now let’s bring the salad together: Mix the rice to the asparagus, broad beans, peppers and chervil. Poor some of the orange dressing and mix well. Of course, taste it to see if it needs more seasoning. Delicious...
Note: You can of course use any there rice, Camargue rice or brown basmati rice would work well.

Buckwheat pancakes with leeks and spinach

After Christmas and New year's eve, 
you'd have thought it would be over with indulging, but in France, it just never ends! 
The first week of January, we celebrate the arrival of the Kings with an incredibly rich (and delicious) pastry called "Galette des rois". It's basically a pie, with two layers of puff pastry filled with a rich almond cream. But that's not what we will be talking about today...
Then in February, it's Pancake day and "mardi gras" where we make loads of pancakes to fill ourselves up before the fast before easter… at least that's the tradition… 
So this month I wanted to give you a pancake recipe, but making it a little bit more unusual . 
This batter is actually usually made for " galettes bretonnes" , in Brittany. I really like the  distinct flavour of buckwheat, that goes really well with savoury fillings. 

Buckwheat is not wheat, it is a seed and is completely gluten free. It contains good amounts of vitamin B2 and B3, copper and magnesium. It is rich in soluble dietary fiber and contains about 11-14g of protein per 100g.

 Buckwheat pancakes with leeks and spinach

Serves 4 (2 pancakes each)

Pancake mix:

330g Buckwheat flour
10g sea salt
1 egg
750ml cold water
60ml Olive oil (to cook the pancakes)


4 leeks- tops removed
200g baby spinach
200g soft goats cheese- crumbled
8 Sundried tomatoes- cut into small pieces
Sea salt
Black pepper

First make the pancake batter:

In a big bowl mix the flour with the salt.
In a jug mix the water and the egg.

Make a little well in the middle of the flour mix.
Slowly poor the water/egg mix in the well and start stirring with a whisk from the centre to the edges.
Slowly add more of the water mix, still stirring well until the batter is soft. Continue with the remaining of the water until you have a smooth, soft batter. 
Cover and let it rest for at least an hour in the fridge.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling:

Cut the leeks in half, and then in thick slices. Wash if needed. 
Put the leeks in a saucepan with a teaspoon of olive oil, and a tablespoon of water on medium heat. 
Cover so the leeks can steam. In French we call that a "fondue de poireaux". 
Let them cook for about 5 min or until soft, but still bright green. If you overcook them they will become darker. 
Add the spinach, cover and let it wilt. Set aside.

Make the pancakes:

In a pancake pan, or a frying pan, put a teaspoon of olive oil. Let the pan get very hot, then add a small ladle full of batter. It should be quite a thin layer. Cook until the edges start to come away from the pan, then gently slide a pallet knife under the pancake to lift it and turn it over.
Once turned over, add some leek and spinach mix, a few pieces of tomatoes and some crumbled goat's cheese. Cook for a few minutes.
Transfer to a plate and either roll or fold the pancake. 
Serve hot with a green salad.

Happy Pancake day!

Note: If you have some batter left over, you can make sweet pancakes. One of my favourites used to be  a squeeze of lemon juice and sugar… Twist it using coconut sugar, shredded coconut, a few chocolate chips… Let your imagination guide you! 

Your Monthly recipe: Raw Beetroot and Carrot Salad

It is still very much winter, intact I often find January and February the most challenging winter months. Christmas has gone, I feel we are nearly ready for spring, but it is still quite a few months away! 
So to keep our spirits high, eating well and with great pleasure is essential to me!
I do not believe in the january detox diet, but rather like to think about it as a natural readjustment after perhaps having eaten too much over Christmas. 
So instead of thinking about it as a depressing time to be "good" and restrictive, I prefer to think about it as a time to indulge and deeply nourish my body with seasonal produce. 
Choose what you eat well, learn new recipes, have fun cooking and healthy never have to be boring or tasteless… 
So this month I am giving you a lovely salad recipe, another very easy one, full of nutrients and super delicious… I also think it's rather beautiful! 
Goat's cheese is much easier to digest than cow cheese, and goes really well with beetroot. If you don't eat dairy at all feel free to remove it and perhaps add a few more varieties of nuts.

I also really love to think about textures when I make a recipe and there is a lot of different ones in this one: some fresh crunch with the raw veggies, some dry crunch with the nuts and seeds, and some delicate softness with the goat's cheese.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
It also makes a great lunchbox addition, so have fun and bon appetit!

 Raw beetroot and carrot salad, roasted almonds and seeds, and goat's cheese

serves 4

4 small carrots, peeled and grated (about 170g)
2 raw beetroots, peeled and grated (about 170g)
1 big handful of rocket, or fresh parsley, roughly chopped
3 tbsp pumpkin seeds
3 tbsp almonds
1tsp tamari/ or soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar (you can also use balsamic if preferred)
2 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
100g goat's cheese
Black pepper 
See Salt

Preheat your oven to 180c.
Put the seeds and roughly chopped almonds on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil, the tamari or soy sauce, sprinkle some sea salt and black pepper. Mix well to coat the nuts and seeds. 
Roast in the oven for 3 to 4 min or until the mixture is golden. 
Set aside to cool down.

In the meantime, put the grated carrots and beetroots together in a mixing bowl.
Add a pinch of salt, some black pepper, 2 tbsp olive oil and the vinegar. Mix well.
Add the chopped rocket or parsley and the nuts and seeds. Mix well.
Crumble the cheese and add to the salad just before serving.

Bon app├ętit!