Posts tagged Salad
Impressions of Marrakech, Morocco

Some of you might remember this entry from our LA wedding in May. About 4 months later, in September this year, we made our way to Marrakech, Morocco, for our wedding party. We wanted to bring our friends and family together, for the first time, to celebrate this special event with us. I had never been to Morocco before, but thanks to my french family we found Riad Pachavana. In this riad, we could host our guests for the weekend. We arranged a simple wedding ceremony on their rooftop and danced and dined to Moroccan drums throughout the night. It was the most magical weekend of my life, the scenery, the people, the food and our hosts.

I would love to share some photos with you on some of things I came to enjoy, from Dublin airport, all the way to Marrakech and back. Here we go!

Green-juice-at-the-airport
 

Early risings can be tough, I like to dress comfy and find a healthy treat at the airport to make it a little easier. I usually bring some homemade flapjacks or protein bars with me, and pick up something like a green juice. 

Marrakech-beauty

Marrakech. It is said Marrakech is called the red city because of the terracotta-coloured buildings, walls, alleys and plazas made with red clay and chalk. The light is beautifully reflected and makes the city shine.

Morroccan-vegetable-salads
 

Our first lunch. Moroccan salad selection; carrots, aubergine, pumpkin and spices. A masala with lots of cumin. 

 
Almond-sweet-dessert

Colorful almond pastries for dessert. 

Lunch-at-gardens-majorelle

Moroccan salad selection at Jardin Majorelle. 

Oranges

My dessert of choice; sliced oranges with orange blossom water and cinnamon.

Want-a-banana

Loved seeing people interact on the street, the liveliness, the passion for handicraft; and the fruit, spices and herbs in every corner. 

Pachavana

The peacefulness of our riad.

Morning-yoga
 
 
Pachavana-in-the-day

The carefully selected yoga spot of the weekend; surrounded by sky, petals and flower pots.

Bride-groom

And so it was time to be the groom and bride for the second time around this year. 

A-thousand-and-a-night-SPA

On our last day we went to a SPA to enjoy hammam, peeling and relaxation. We chose the SPA "A thousand and a night" which had this beautiful ceiling. The hammam was steaming warm, the peeling rough, and the tea in our bathrobes a real sweet treat. 

Namaste Marrakech, I can't wait to meet you again. 

Massaged kale, quinoa and roasted sweet potato with avocado dressing
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I finally did it, I recreated one of the best kale salads that I have ever tasted. And what is even better, it is even more delicious than I remember it. First time I had a proper massaged kale salad was at the Good Life Eatery in London. When my plate arrived I was at first almost frightened by the huge load of kale. I was used to adding it to my salads and smoothies but not as the main ingredient. What surprised me was that the salad still tasted like kale, duuh, but without the bitterness. This is how I figured out that you have to massage it to remove the bitterness and bring out the sweetness. While traveling over the past few months I haven't been able to buy or prepare any kale. But the idea of making something similar to the above mentioned (and pictured) salad have still lingered at the back of my head. Now when we're finally here in San Francisco there is, no surprise, an overload of kale in every store. And I have a proper kitchen. And I had my first blog reader request for a recipe featuring sweet potato and kale. Well, I had to get down to business.

Massaged kale, quinoa and roasted sweet potato with avocado dressing
Serves 2-3

1 bunch organic kale
1 sweet potato
4 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup quinoa, I used tricolore

1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 an avocado
1 tbsp teriyaki sauce
pinch of sea salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil

nutritional yeast
shelled hemp seeds (optional)
pumpkin seeds (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180°C/360°F. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into small chunks. Place on a baking tray, sprinkle with cinnamon and use your hands to toss the chunks in coconut oil until evenly covered. Be generous on the oil. Spread the chunks in a single layer. Place in the oven and roast for about 40 minutes until tender.

Grab the bottom of each kale stalk and pull upwards with the other hand. The whole leaf will come right off. Wash all the leaves in a big bowl. This is a trick that I learnt from the chefs at my previous job. Any dirt will sink to the bottom, and you can simply remove the top leaves after a few minutes. Squeeze out the excess water in the kale leaves before placing them in a bowl. Pour over some olive oil, lemon and salt and start to massage the greens for about 3-5 minutes.

Bring water to boil in a pan and add the quinoa. Simmer for 12-15 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the dressing. Mince the garlic clove. Mash the avocado in the bowl and add garlic and teriyaki sauce. Try to find one with natural ingredients. If you cannot find one, substitute with a mix of tamari sauce, honey, ginger, vinegar and sesame oil. Taste check. Pour the dressing over the kale leaves and mix carefully with a spoon.

Drain the quinoa and fluff with a fork. Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven when golden and crisp. Let cool. Add the quinoa, sweet potatoes, nutritional yeast, hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds to the bowl. Carefully mix together. Ready to serve!

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I also add some vinegar to the water to remove potential dirt or pesticide residues. 

Create a salad with decorative toppings, or mix it all around!

.. and since food is better enjoyed in good company - please let me know if you happen to turn around any kale critics with this recipe! That would be amazing!

Une petite salade grecque
Thessaloniki

It's time for another recipe. I've loved this simple dish for as long as I can remember. Probably ever since my first trip to Greece as a young child. Whenever an old memory from Greece pops up, there's something in me that calls out for this salad. 

A few years ago I went to Thessaloniki with my dad. We kept coming back to the same restaurant over and over again, only to enjoy this amazing salad. Or let me be honest, the waiters were quite funny too. Especially their faces of relief when they realized me and my dad were not a couple, just a normal dad and daughter traveling together. Anyway, we spent last week in Paris at Damien's sister's and I was asked to contribute a salad to the barbecue table. When cooking for other people it's always a wise decision to prepare a dish that you know. At least if you want to impress, with less stress, and who doesn't want that. 

Here is my best advise for how to prepare the perfect greek salad.

A little greek salad
Serves 4-6 people

5 tomatoes, nice and fresh, with a nice tomato-y fragrance
1 good quality cucumber
1/2 large red onion
100 g black olives
200 g feta cheese
1/2 lemon, juiced
10 tbsp quality extra virgin olive oil
black pepper and salt
pinch of oregano (optional)

Find a large beautiful bowl or plate where each ingredient can be placed when prepared. Begin by washing and slicing the tomatoes and removing the pulp. Wash and chop the cucumber into chunks of similar size. Peel the onion before slicing it into thin but-not-super-thin slices. Pit the olives and chop roughly. Cut the feta cheese into squares and crumble some of the squares with your fingers directly in the bowl.

Find a bowl where you can mix the oil, lemon juice, pepper, salt and oregano. Whisk with a fork before drizzling over the salad. Gently turn the salad.

The salad stays fresh a few hours so if you are prepping ahead for the party. Leave the dressing aside and pour on top one hour or so before served. It works as a main or a side, depending on the occasion and hunger levels.

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