Hasselback Zucchini

Staying inspired and motivated to do something is often hard. After a long day at work or school, the temptation to go back home and do nothing gets the best of us, and it is totally relatable!

But once you start thinking about the amount of money you can actually save, how happy your tummy would be, how fit and healthy you can become, how your friends would be impressed or ultimatly  how you could keep yourself alive… Next time, you’ll think twice before making a cooking decision.

But you know, cooking is more like a YOGA session… It might be hard to believe, but cooking focuses your mind down to the task at hand, providing relief from worries and other problems… It is a sort of a bubble, isolated yet all connected to the universe.

“when there is a will there is a way”

Having the needed motivation would make it easier for you to look for recipes, take the big step to the grocery store, get the right gear, aquire knowledge and eventually COOK!

You see, it is all up to you… Anyone can cook only if one beleives in the power of cooking and the state of mind it provides. So take the first step my friend, and remember… “There is always time for things we prioritize”

As part of my easy recipes that includes veggies, hasselback zuchinnis are the real deal! These are cousin related to hasselback potatoes but might steal their show 😉

The idea consist on partially cutting zucchinis or courgette in a way that keeps it all together forming a beautiful hasselback.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 zucchinis
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • Edam Cheese
  • Bay leaves
  • Thym
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the tomato sauce: Preheat a pan, add olive oil, tomato juice, tomato paste, sat, pepper and bay leaves. Cook on low heat for 15 minutes.
  2. Using a sharp knife, make crosswise cuts in each zucchini, about 1 cm from the bottom. Season with salt & pepper and brush it with melted butter or olive oil
  3. Pour the tomato sauce into the baking sheet, lay out zucchinis and bake for 20 minutes.
  4. When ready, grate cheese and enjoy!

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Leave your thoughts down below if you’re planning to try this recipe Or DM me on instagram or Facebook. I just love it when I see that some of you and I shared the same food!


 

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Homemade Burger

We tend to falsely label food for so many reasons (the cultural background or the general opinion), but we never think about understanding its origins nor finding ways to change a food reputation and build a better version of it. When someone says junk food, our toughts will instantly take us into a burger fantasy; almost unreal big size juicy burgers with tempting toppings and colorful ingredients…

…But WHY BURGERS ARE REPUTED TO BE BAD FOR HEALTH?

Long story short, Burgers can be high in sodium and additives, dietary cholesterol and saturated fat. Besides, Pink slime- which is a meat product that is treated with ammonia to kill bacteria-  is used as a low-cost ground beef filler. Studies have proven that its consumption might be linked to heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

Luckily, you can still enjoy a good quality burger if you made it yourself using fresh ingredients. Thus, you will be vigilent when it comes to fats and eventually know the source of the food you eat…

That is why I am introducing you to my simple burger recipe, the burgen buns recipe will be published later in a special post!

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Adding avocado paste will give a fresh taste to your burger and balance the savors! If you can’t find Jben or ricotta cheese, greek yogurt might be a good subtitute.

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Freshness of Avocadoes and tomatoes, the acidity of pickles and the satisfying savourness of meat topped with the irresistible melted cheddar cheese is always a winner!

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Ingredients: for 4 burgers

  • 750g ground beef
  • Burger buns (horizontally cut in half)
  • 1 big tomatoes
  • 200g cheddar slices.
  • Pickles
  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 tsp Jben (or riccota)
  • Salt & pepper + parsley
  • 1 tsp olive oil

 

Instructions: 

  1. Add spices and chopped parsley to your meat. Shape ground beef in the size of your buns. Drizzle olive oil in a preheatd pan then, cook both sides for 7 min each on a medium heat.
  2. Top the cooked ground beef with cheddar slices.
  3. Prepare “Avocado + Jben” paste, then spread it on the lower slice of the burger bun. Add a tomatoe slice, meat, pickles.
  4. Cover with the second half of the burger bread and enjoy!

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Leave your thoughts down below if you’re planning to try this recipe Or DM me on instagram or Facebook. I just love it when I see that some of you and I shared the same food!


 

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Spinach Smoothie

Being healthy is more than just having good food and exercising, it is a way of living…

Before staring to convert into healthiness, I prepared myself for it… My mind had to accept many things about being healthy and part of it was that it was not only a matter of watching my diet. In fact,  it is a sort of triangle that links the mental , physical and emotional health all together…

The first question that one should answer is: why having a healthy lifestyle? Following a trend is not especially what you should look for as an answer, because if you are not mentally convinced then it wouldn’t work out as it should be…

On a personal note, I started this way of living because I wanted to maintain a sort of balance. At the end, it is not about following a schedule or a set of rules… It is mainly about letting go, being free to choose, assuming one’s actions, following instincts and learning good habits without forcing oneself to…It takes time, but when you finally get there it feels like a triumph.

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A cheat meal can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle!

Making exceptions doesn’t mean breaking up with a healthy lifestyle… After all it is part of your own pack of choices. For example, I do allow myself to eat cakes, snacks loaded with sugar… I do eat at McDonald’s sometimes and I definitely skip meals when I feel like doing so. I do not count my calories or the number of pushups that I need to do to cover up an excess of sugar in my blood. Because a ZEN attitude is enough to make it up for you, a good laugh with friends arund food is more treasured and the irony is that you know that a cheat meal can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle… Ths is why the mental part matters as well!

But, this is not an excuse to have a cheat meal every single day … Throught your journey, you will learn to enjoy food without disregarding the taste, to subtitute junk food with healthy… Honey instead of sugar, baking instead of frying, fuit snacks instead of biscuits, Ricotta or Jben instead of cream cheese!

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There are so many options to enjoy good food and so here is my own version of a healthy smoothie featuring spinach and a hint of sugar flavour ( thanks to dried figs).

Ingredients:

  • A bunch of spinach
  • 2 small Apples
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/3 cup Water
  • 1 tbs dried figs powder
  • Vanilla extract

What I love about smoothies is that there is noo complication to make it. Only one way to go, mix all the ingredients in a blender ( start with the liquids first) and enjoy!

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Leave your thoughts down below if you’re planning to try this recipe Or DM me on instagram or Facebook. I just love it when I see that some of you and I shared the same food!


 

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Muesli

When it comes to oatmeal, you can’t really count the tons of recipes you can make with; from cookies, to granola and muesli! So as you might know, my birthday was the 21 February and I was lucky enough to receive a Gordon Ramsay’s book which included a simple recipe of Muesly.

I just love how simple yet rich Museli is! loaded with fiber and vitamins, it is a great way to benefit from a balanced meal and start your day on the right foot! So I decided, to share with you this easy recipe made with ( basically) 3 ingredients.

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Muesli is a sort of nutty combination that you can prepare the night before and have it for breakfast at home maybe pack it for work or school. Kids would totally love it, especially if you teach them how to make it themseves!

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Inspired from Chef Gordon Ramsay

CHEAP, QUICK, EASY: this is what we love right?

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup Oatmeal
  • Berries (bluberries, raspberries…)
  • Milk
  • Dried fruits ( almonds, raisins…)

Instructions:

The Gordon Ramsay’s version doesn’t include boiling the milk, but I do.

  1.  So start off with mixing oatmeal, milk, almonds and raisins then bowl the mixture.
  2. Let it cool, then store in a airtight container.
  3. Top it with berries and Bon appétit! 13101191_804837089649063_1199484324_n

 

 

 

 

Leave your thoughts down below if you’re planning to try this recipe Or DM me on instagram or Facebook. I just love it when I see that some of you and I shared the same food!


 

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Salad Sandwich

YES, Sometimes a salad is not enough and the temptation to eat a sandwich on a diet is strong! So what if I told you that you can choose both: the salad and the sandwich?

First of all, there is no right or wrong way to make a salad sandwich. It’s totally up to you whether you like more tomatoes or nuggets or you prefer a hot sauce or Dijon Mustard vinaigrette… Maybe you’d rather make a Vegan version or you want to go BIG on this one.

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No matter what you choose, here is my own version of Salad Sandwich including all the ingredients that I love!

Ingredients:

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Pickles
  • Cucumber
  • Green olives
  • Lettuce
  • Gouda cheese
  • nuggets
  • Greek yogurt
  • Vinegar
  • Mustard
  • Salt & pepper
  • Grilled Toast

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your pan, cook nuggets for 10 minutes ( no need to use oil)
  2. Cut into slices: tomatoes, pickles, lettuce, olives, cucumber, cheese and nuggets.
  3. Prepare the vinegrette: mix the greek yogurt, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Drizzle over the salad.
  4. Arrange the salad on top of the bread toast. Bon appétit!13101191_804837089649063_1199484324_n

 

 

 

 

Leave your thoughts down below if you’re planning to try this recipe Or DM me on instagram or Facebook. I just love it when I see that some of you and I shared the same food!


 

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Tchiza: Trid Sandwich

I grew up in a family that deified homemade food and so I do… But I reached a point in which I needed to discover street food in order to make it at home… As a food blogger, exploration is a must and knowing a country’s street food culture is a way to measure the evolution of its cuisine… Moroccan cuisine is very rich in history and loaded with traditions, but as we are rising in a fast growing and diverse context; a culinary alliance will certainly emerge… I had to see for myself to believe it…

So, I wore my tourist cape and hit the streets of Marrakesh to seize the beauty of this amazing city… Food in general reflects a way of living and in Marrakesh it is a mix of traditions with a modern inspiration. Within each corner, a food truck you will find: Juices, snail soups, Bissara, bread and goodies…. But, one should know where to eat? what to eat? and what to avoid!!

In Marrakesh, it is better to:

  • Avoid tea in cups (which is a North’s specialty), always order tea pots (Berrad).
  • Avoid fish and sea food, nothing can guarantee that it is fresh since Marrakesh is far from the Atlantic.
  • Avoid pastries’ street vendors or shops who offer a range choice of COLORFUL pastries…  Most of them are serving low quality pastries; replacing almonds with peanuts. (TRUST ME, I was FOOLED as well)
  • Avoid to eat minced meat as much as you can (This is a rule that I always follow when I eat outside).
  • Eat in a place where Moroccan families are heading to.

Don’t worry; there are still some memorable things to see in Marrakesh…

While I was lost in the streets of the old Medina, I came across a tiny shop located in Mouassine Street near a mosque with the same name. A middle aged man was carefully and heart-fully preparing a “no bread” sandwich. The intriguing part for me was the pastry that embraced the filling, a weird “tortilla” like pastry but thinner and half cooked. The man was nice enough to share the name of the sandwich… Silly me, I forgot it after 15 minutes! But, I went back to buy a second Sandwich (yes, it was worth it) and then I memorized its name because I documented it with a video and kept repeating “ Tchiza (the sandwich) without cheese”.

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Tchiza

This snack is inspired from the Mexican Burrito, replacing a large tortilla with Trid pastry. “Tchiza” is a sort of a Sandwich spin on the classic “Trid”; which is a very thin Moroccan Pastry cooked over a M’ri or Terrada ( a copper bowl shaped pan) commonly served with chicken or meat stew and lentils as part of a dish called Rfissa.

Burrito has inspired the world, but I have always found it kind of heavy and never could finish it. But, then I tried the Trid version of it, and OMG , I went back to have a second one to make sure it was not the “hunger” effect… Never thought that my stomach would handle a sandwich filled with rice, avocado sauce, onions, tomatoes, pickles, lettuce, carrots, potatoes, olives and meat!

Ingredients: 

  • For trid pastry:
    • 250g Flour
    • 100g Semolina
    • pinch of salt
    • Water
    • Olive oil
  • For the filling: ( for 2)
    • 1 Onion + 1/2 for meat
    • 2 Tomatos
    • 1 carrot ( shreded)
    • 1 medium potato ( cubed and boiled)
    • 1/3 cup rice
    • Pickles
    • Green olives
    • Lettuce
    • Tuna (optional)
    • 500g minced meat (chicken or beef)
    • Salt & pepper
  • For the Sauce: 
    • 1 ripe Avocado
    • Lime
    • Cilantro
    • Garlic (optional)
    • Olive oil
    • Salt to taste

Instructions: 

  1. First of all, mix the trid ingredients ( flour, semolina, salt) using enough lukewarm water to make a soft dough (non sticky). Form into tinny balls and let it rest for a couple of minutes.
  2. Flatten the balls using olive oil until having a paper-thin layer then sprinkle some extra semolina.
  3. Heat a large pan, and cook both sides of the thin layer ( adjusting it to have a perfect shape). Cook for 30 seconds or so.
  4. Cook in another pan, 1/2 onion and minced meat ( spice it with salt, pepper, cumin (optional)) for about 15 minutes.
  5. When ready, Place the trid on a working surface: spread the avocado sauce and place over rice, chopped tomatoes, onions, pickles, carrots, olives, lettuce and meat.
  6. Fold up the bottom to cover the filling then fold the edges in. Roll up tightly, then heat both sides for 5 minutes until the trid becomes golden brown. 

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Leave your thoughts down below if you’re planning to try this recipe Or DM me on instagram or Facebook. I just love it when I see that some of you and I shared the same food!


 

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Almond hot chocolate

Hot chocolate is a kid’s first guilty pleasure and parents love it as well, even if they won’t admit it in front of their children ( don’t worry, your secret shall be safe with me)… For all the sweet tooth out there, It’s Hot Chocolate O’clock!

So, as we, my sister and I, were having fun at the kitchen. She suggested that we should organize a sort of a Friday girls night in ( winter edition)… Which means, a couple of movies, a blanket and a hot drink. Of course, we wouldn’t have settled with a regular hot chocolate because both of us are FOODIES and we want to send our energy and insulin levels crazy!

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This is how the almond hot chocolate idea came out, it combines the crunchiness of almonds, the sweetness of caramel and the tenderness of condensed milk. This unique recipe might turn into a real ritual and thanks to its rich intense flavor, one sip could be a killer.

So if you are a chocolate addict and love nothing more than drowning into a dreamy cup of hot chocolate to warm colder nights and adding a magical touch to a normal life, you might want to check out this -easy peasy- recipe!

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Thus, I have to warn you that it might be addictive… But if you’re feeling extra decadent, add a splash of heavy cream or ice cream to it just before serving…

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cup Milk
  • 1 tbs Flaked almonds and chopped walnuts
  • 1tbs Sugar
  • 1 tbs Dark Chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 tsp Raw cocoa powder
  • Nestlé condensed  milk ( 1/2 can)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla sugar
  • Cinnamon ( optional)

Instructions:

  1. Heat the sugar in a frying pan over a low heat it has melted. When the caramel has turned golden-brown, carefully pour over the almonds and nuts to coat and leave to cool.
  2. Place Nestlé condensed milk,  dark chocolate chips, vanilla, cocoa powder  into a medium sauce pan. Stir until everything is well combined.
  3. Gradually add the milk without boiling it. When it’s ready, pur it into cups and garnish with caramilized nuts and cinnamon.

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Leave your thoughts down below if you’re planning to try this recipe Or DM me on instagram or Facebook. I just love it when I see that some of you and I shared the same food!


 

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KAAK of Safi

If by any chance you were to pass by Safi in Morocco, you don’t want to miss the ultimate ” kaak ” of the city! A cookie ring 100% VEGAN, without eggs made with fresh products and lots of seeds. This is what I call: THE perfect snack!

Safi or Asfi ( which means river in Berber) isn’t on everyone’s itinerary, but it is one of the oldest cities in Morocco. It took me 20 years to be able to travel there and I was not disapointed by my sudden decision to discover this new town. This coastal city is well known for its pottery, artisans are famously painting their plates and tagines with turquoise, white and green emerald; thus, creating a beautiful work of art!

 

Continue reading “KAAK of Safi”

ROSE LEON: the art of fresh & light pastries!

If you are a serious eater with dietary requirements living in Casablanca, Fatine Rahhou‘s ROSE LEON is the place to be. Her new bakery offers a dedicated gluten free palette, one of the few places where you can melt in the gazzeling flavour of pistachios and mangos or drown in the sweet coconut and pineapple combo and the good part is that your belly could handle enough more to cross the apple-amlou pastry off your list. Sweet & light; this is how I label it!

Lucky me, I was invited last tuesday for the official openning of ROSE LEON! First, we took a dive right into choux pastry while showing tips and tricks on making ” Le Paris Brest Classique” with its fancy Mousseline Cream. 

Richard Hawke, an australian chef who lived in France introduced the hidden secrets of making choux pastry and its endless possibilities. For a newbie like me, I was fascinated by how ridiculously easy it seems…. I will surely speak about this experience later on the blog!

Workshop with Richard Hawke

ROSE LEON: What to expect?

Exquisite dessert, elegant, unique and rich, yet not too heavy on your taste. Fatine Rahhou along side with Richard Hawke worked hand in hand to create a combination of unexpected flavours… Clearly demonstrating their knowledge and reflecting the experience they gained through the years.

The anti-gluten and eco-friendly mission statement of the boutique brings the moral value behind this project! And we can’t be more thrilled to try their pastries that mix the French Tradition adding a touch of local flavours such as Amlou.

The shops have 7-10 flavors of sweet treats, depending on seasonal products and the evolution of the boutique. They also serve other types of pastries, from croissants to quiche and other viennoiserie pastries…

If I had to choose, I would stick to their festive desserts including Rose d’IDA; a Mousse cake with a raspberry jelly inside and rose flavored mousse. Le Chiraz; a wonderful dessert that combines a mildly sweet mango  jelly with a refreshing pistachio mousse. Le pomme d’Amlou, a downright tribute to fresh flavour combinations; a layer of almond biscuit and an Argan cream topped with praline gannache. L’aurore; the giner-lemon tart.

But, I must say that 2 desserts caught my attention:  Le Mascareigne; or the dessert’s incarnation of pinacolada, it’s light and balances a sweet and tart fruit flavor taking us all together in a tropical trip of juicy spiced pineapple, and coconut. And the Néroli Divin; so divin and deliciously airy cream puffs filled with a heavenly smooth almond praline and orange compote.

As for the prices, all the menu items are reasonably priced for such good quality… Starting at 20 Dhs! Worth the drive and the price.