a healthy journey

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What pasta goes with what sauce – a quick guide on how the Italians do it: 20120628-093525.jpg Angel Hair (Capellini) Pesto, Seafood, Tomato, Vegetable Conchiglie Meat, Pasta Salad, Pesto, Tomato, Vegetable Farfalle Meat, Pasta Salad, Pesto, Seafood, Soup, Tomato, Vegetable Fettuccine Meat, Seafood, Tomato, Vegetable Fusilli Baked, Meat, Pasta Salad, Pesto, Soup, Tomato, Vegetable Jumbo Shells Baked, Meat, Tomato, Vegetable Linguine Meat, Pesto, Seafood, Tomato, Vegetable MacaroniBaked, Meat, Pasta Salad, Tomato, Vegetable Orecchiette Meat, Pasta Salad, Pesto, Tomato, Vegetable Orzo Baked, Pasta Salad, Soup Pappardelle Meat Penne Rigate Baked, Pasta Salad, Tomato, Vegetable Rigatoni Baked, Meat, Tomato, Vegetable Rotini/Spirelli Baked, Meat, Pasta Salad, Tomato, Vegetable Spaghetti Baked, Meat, Seafood, Tomato, Vegetable Trofie Pesto 20120628-093612.jpg Traditional pasta or the whole wheat kind? Here is where me and the Italians start to disagree. I absolutely love pasta but with a very high ranking on the glycemic index chart and a shockingly low nutritional content I opt for the darker kind. Whole wheat pasta is made from flour that contains the entire grain kernel which means that it’s rich in fiber and hasn’t been ripped off from all its healthy nutrients.
I do confess that when the first few whole grain pastas tiptoed out to the grocery stores I wasn’t jumping with joy due to taste explosions. BUT these days there are so many brands on the shelves and I even dare to say that a few of them tastes better than the plain boring white spaghetti, firm textured, nutty and with a slightly sweeter flavor.


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Pesto is a sauce originating in Genoa, northern Italy. Maybe you have heard about pesto Genovese, yep, now you understand why. In the traditional kind you will find basil, pine nuts, garlic, parmesan cheese and a really good quality olive oil.

The best thing about pesto is that there are hundreds of different ways of combining ingredients into this lush sauce. This is what was mixed and matched today.

Sweet stem broccoli pesto
(makes one large jar of pesto)

200g sweet stem broccoli
30g pine nuts
extra virgin olive oil
1 handful basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
1 handful of grated parmesan
1 heaped tbsp ricotta
Pinch of salt


Pesto Trapanese
(makes one large jar of pesto)

120g sun-dried tomatoes (soak in warm water for 20 min before using)
extra virgin olive oil
100g almonds
2 garlic cloves
1 handful of basil leaves
1 handful of parmesan
1 heaped tbsp ricotta

The traditional way to make pesto is to use a pestle and mortar but to save time the food processor is a great tool. After roughly chopping all the ingredients let the processor do the work as you add a little olive oil at a time. You just want your pesto to bind, not swim around in oil so keep a close eye on your mixture.



The pesto keeps in the fridge for about a week but also freezes well if you leave out the cheese. A clever person told me about the trick of using an ice cube tray, this way you have little portions ready to go.



If you’ve been following this blog for a while you’ll know that I spent 8 days juice fasting on Koh Samui, Thailand, this spring. The whole week was an amazing experience, fasting is such a great way of cleaning your body and clearing your mind, and to be able to do so at a beautiful retreat in Thailand is such a treat.

But if I’m going to be honest, the best thing about the whole cleansing week was when I got to taste the beautiful buffet after my fasting was over. Oh my, the flavors of those crunchy vegetables and the joy of chewing your food again, I couldn’t stop smiling.

The head chef gave me a few recipes from his repertoire and this lush dressing is one of my favorites. I’ve added the avocado to the original recipe to make the dressing even creamier.

Coriander root dressing
~ THE dressing


You will need
1 big bunch of coriander with roots
1 small ripe avocado
1 large juicy lime
1 tbsp light soya sauce
3 tbsp sesame oil

In the Thai cuisine nothing is thrown away, to take the coriander as an example the seeds are used for seasoning, the leaves in salads and the roots (where the most flavor is) in pastes and sauces.
For this recipe to be a proper success you need to buy coriander in a pot. The roots are very fragile so be careful when you pull them out of the soil and clean the dirt of them.

Use the handle of your knife to bruise the coriander roots before chopping them up roughly. Mix all the ingredients in a blender. Ad water until you have the wanted consistency. Pour over your favorite salad, in my case a roasted sweet potato salad with feta cheese and lots of red onion.


Coriander and heavy metals

Cilantro is commonly used in many detoxification programs and has been found to remove heavy metals from the body. And I’m not talking about Metallica or Iron Maiden here, no real heavy metals find their way into your body through deodorants (many contain aluminum), fruits and vegetables (sprayed with pesticides and fertilizers), cigarettes (yup, metals in them too) and ‘silver’ fillings in your teeth – just to name a few.

Heavy metals have been connected with many serious health problems including cancer, heart disease, brain deterioration, emotional problems, kidney disease, lung disease and weak bones.

Source Natural News

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A while ago I promised you guys a recipe for fresh and crunchy Vietnamese spring rolls, and time has come to fulfill my promise. These little goodies was our evening meal the other day served with a plum dipping sauce.

It took me a long time before I got the courage to give these rolls a go, they’ve always scared me a bit with the whole soaking and rolling little tight vegetable packages. It must be so difficult right!? WRONG. And it’s fun as well.

Wa wa we wa Vietnamese spring rolls
This is what you need to make 12 spring rolls (and when you cut them in half they magically turns into 24 pieces!)

12 sheets of Rice paper
100 g rice noodles
5 large leaves of romaine lettuce
4 carrots
1 avocado
1 mango
1 zucchini
1 handful menthe leaves
Warm water


First of all you need to soak your rice noodles in cold water for about an hour. On the package it might say to boil them for a few minutes – don’t do this, they will go sticky and soggy. Soaking is the way to go. When your noodles are soft (but al dente) pour out the water and cut your noodles into 3-4 cm pieces.

Grate your carrots. Finely slice your lettuce leaves.

Cut the rest of the vegetables and mango into sticks (julienne).

Set up a working station with all your ingredients within reach. You will need a bowl with warm water and a wet tea towel to make your rolls on, a good way i found is to fold the wet tea towel around a chopping board.

Now to the rolling business. Dip a rice sheet in the warm water for about 4 seconds and then place it on your working surface. Pile a little of each ingredient in the middle of your rice paper, fold the bottom half over the filling and make it tight by pulling the filling towards you. Fold in the sides. And roll again. Easy huh!?

For a visual on the folding technique, have a look here.




KAYAKING AND SORE MUSCLES – Carrot and lentil salad

Yup, it hurts when I laugh today, my shoulders are sore and i found some new strange muscles in my underarms that I never knew i had.. I owe it all to my amazing dad who took me out kayaking yesterday. It was a beautiful day with sunshine for the most part and a nice relaxing lunch on a tiny private ‘beach’.

Do you know how good a carrot lentil salad tastes when it’s combined with some Greek ingredients after you’ve been kayaking for a few hours.. Pretty damn good.




Carrot and lentil salad
(Serves 2 hungry kayakers)

200 g lentils (puy or green)
4 carrots – grated
1/2 leek – thinly sliced
1 large handful of pistachios – roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves – crushed and chopped finely
1 heaped tbsp of tahini paste
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
Juice from 1/2 an orange
A few tbsp of olive oil
A pinch of salt

Combine the lentils, with the roughly grated carrots, the sliced leek and chopped pistachios. Make the dressing by mixing the ingredients together, the tahini will make this dressing a bit thicker and almost creamy. Pour the dressing over the carrot-lentil-leek combo and season with salt and black pepper.

Enjoy this together with your dad who brings a greek salad and two kayaks.




What is Tahini? Tahini is a paste of ground sesame seeds used in North African, Greek, Turkish and middle eastern cuisine. Commonly used as a side dish, or as an ingredient in hummus. I love mixing it into my dressings to make them creamy and nutty flavored or as a spread on rice crackers.

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Ok, so you have just cooked a big batch of those yummy nutritious chick peas. There are so many tasty things you can use them for but the best a simplest way is still in my mind the Moroccan spread, hummus.


Did you know that it’s super easy as well? All you need to do is to mix the following ingredients in a food processor. Yes, that’s all there is to it.

500 g cooked chickpeas
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 heaped tbsp tahini paste
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch of salt

You can also add..
Paprika powder
Sun dried tomatoes
… or coriander, or basil, or parsley or ..


Nutrition and health benefits of chickpeas:

1. Nutrients and protein: Chickpeas has good source of folic acid, manganese, iron, copper, magnesium and molybendum. They also provide fat free and high quality protein.

2. Lower your risk of heart disease: Regular consumption of chickpeas or garbanzo beans can lower bad cholesterol and total cholesterol levels. Studies also shown that chickpeas can lower the risk of heart disease.

3. For Women: Garbanzo contain phytochemicals called saponins, which can act as antioxidants. It could lower the risk of breast cancer, and protect against osteoporosis. It also minimizes hot flushes in post menopausal women.

4. Iron for energy: Chickpeas can boost your energy because of their iron content. If you’re pregnant or lactating, your needs for iron increase. Children and adolescents also have increased needs for iron.

5. Weight Loss: Due to high fiber content, chickpeas are good for weight loss diets. Salad with chickpeas are tasty and also keep you full longer which helps to control the appetite. Iron is an integral component of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to all body cells.

6. Manganese: Chickpeas has excellent source of trace mineral manganese. It is an essential cofactor in a number of enzymes in energy production and antioxidant defenses.

7. Molydenum: Molybendum is a mineral for body’s mechanism to detoxify sulfites. Sulfite-sensitive individuals may experience headaches, confusion and a racing heartbeat.

8. Low glycemic index: High fiber and low glycemic index content of chickpeas prevents blood sugar or blood glucose levels from rising too rapidly after a meal. Legumes can be digested very easily because of their high fiber content. Chick peas is a great choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia.

9. Constipation: Dietary fiber prevents constipation and digestive disorders.

10. Calcium: Chickpeas has significant source of calcium. Some sources quote it as equal to milk and yogurt.

P.S Although convenient, most canned chickpeas contain significant amounts of sodium — over 700 mg per cup. Also the canning and storing process reduces some of the nutrition of the beans. Have a look here on how to cook dry chickpeas.