Tag Archives: brunch

Cannellini Bean & Basil Dip, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and life with our 13 month old toddler

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Do you know that feeling of losing touch with time and space? Days and weeks keep flying by, mornings playing, afternoons at playgrounds, weekends with friends and suddenly you realise, oh my god – it’s end of October already! Since Zoe is born this happens even more to me and funnily, despite life passing by in super pursuit mode, it feels so full and filled with fun and adventures all the time, that a few weeks can seem very long at the same time, too!

Every day brings something new, faster crawling techniques, climbing up new objects (yay, mummy – look, I can sit on the living room table!), the start of new funny conversations while we walk up and down the hill everyday, new ways of making faces (her latest is leaning her head to the side and giving me the cheekiest grin from down there), moments of laughing our heads off together and moments of desperation cause someone just does not want to eat dinner for some reason. No, – there is never a dull moment with a toddler ūüėÄ

Life of a toddler is endless adventure <3

Life of a toddler is endless adventure ‚̧

There is something about that feeling of being wiped out and tired, but also satisfied in the evening , when your baby is finally in bed and you can lie down on the sofa for 15min before making dinner for yourself and hubby who usually comes home from work too late for Zoe’s bedtime. Yes, being a mum is hard work, but I love it. And I more and more admire all women in the world who juggle two or more children, who work or who don’t have families around, like us, to help. In contrary to the past, when I didn’t have a child but of course made up views on maternity leave, working and stay at home mums,  – now this has all changed.

In my opinion, whatever works is right. I understand mums who can’t wait to go back to work because they feel they get crazy at home, I feel for mums who have but don’t want to go back to work because of financial reasons, I totally understand mums who give their child to their grandparents a lot because they are close and I admire those who decide to put their career on hold to focus on their child, cause it’s all they ever wanted. I got rid of all my pre-assumptions and I wish everybody could be open and respect whatever way. Being a mother is often very stigmatised in today’s modern world. Whatever you do, there will always be someone who thinks the opposite way would be better and believe me, there’s nothing more annoying than having to defend yourself why you chose this or that route for yourself. No matter if it’s towards men (rarely), women (more often) and especially towards other mothers (most) – there is no right or wrong. There is no competition. Nobody is perfect and we all love our children and try to do the best we can, all in our different and beautiful ways ‚̧

But of course we all know these moments of self doubt. When we ask ourself if it would be better another way, if we try hard enough, if we work hard enough, when we think all mums we know do so much better, look so much cooler and are so much more successful than ourselves. I always try to remind myself, looks can be deceiving. Especially with social media these days, when everything looks oh so perfect and great, everyone so stylish and pretty. But I can only tell from myself and also my close mum friends around me: we all have dark moments, doubts, fall backs and disappointments. We need to cry, to rant and to talk things through before we get crazy. What would we do if we weren’t there for each other? And who could understand better than all the other fellow mums who walk in very similar shoes?? I for myself promised myself these days to be more gentle with myself and try to be aware of it when I feel under pressure. To embrace all insecurities and losses. To be open and honest about them and trust in fate and the universe, that all things happen for a reason and are important for us to grow..

As some of you know, I’m currently studying with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) to become a Holistic Health Coach. Their core concept is so simple and it so resonates with me. You can have the perfectly healthy food on your plate (they call it Secondary Food), if your main areas of life like relationships, physical exercise, career, spirituality (called Primary Foods) are not in balance you still won’t feel happy and healthy in your body. As Joshua, the founder of IIN often says in his lectures (he’s a really nice, calm and funny guy): “You can eat all the kale in the world, but if you hate your job and/or spouse (for example), guess what? The kale won’t do anything for ya.” It’s really fun to go deeper and learn more about all different kinds of diets, but above all to learn so many interesting things about health coaching, how to improve your life and dig deeper into your own self and take care of your own happiness. I guess it’s a never ending journey and I really enjoy the course so far! At the moment we are practising the first part of a Health Coaching Programme, called Health Histories. So if anyone of you is interested in being my guinea pig, please drop me a note on nadisunshine@me.com or PM me on my Nadisunshine Facebook page – of course it would be totally free of charge ūüôā

So, enough talking for today. Let’s get to the yummy and healthy recipe for this month.

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Cannellini Bean & Basil dip & Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Today I wanna share with you how to make a super easy Cannellini Bean & Basil dip & Roasted Cherry Tomatoes. Both are the perfect addition to a Sunday brunch, a hearty bfast or an ideal snack or light dinner. I paired them with my favourite kind of breakfast eggs and some home baked bread, the Life Changing Loaf of Bread from the wonderful blog My New Roots. (It’s a beautiful seed bread which is so incredible nice and easy, please do yourself a favour and check it out if you’ve never heard from it.) This bean dip is a wonderful healthy staple in our fridge and a great source of protein for toddlers and adults alike. And much better for you than the store bought cream cheese! Give it a try ūüôā

What you need…
(for a nice bowl for 4)

  • 2 cans of cannellini beans (rinsed)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 hands full of fresh basil (washed & dried, stems removed)
  • Good quality salt (e.g. Himalayan, sea salt etc.)
  • Cumin
  • Olive Oil
  • A couple of cloves of garlic (peeled & sliced)
  • 1 box of  cherry tomatoes (washed)

(As always preferable go for organic & local ingredients whenever you can)

What to do…

Preheat your oven around 180 degrees Celsius for the cherry tomatoes (I roasted  at the same time as I baked the bread  – energy saving, aye :). Put  tomatoes and garlic in an oven proof dish, drizzle with olive oil,  salt and pepper. Roast them until the look nice and wrinkly (I had them in there for around 30min).

For the dip, put all ingredients in your food processor. I like to put lighter ingredients on the bottom (herbs) and heavier ones (beans) on top as they mix easier and blend until you reach a nice smooth consistency. Use a bit more olive oil or add a splash of water if it seems to thick. Season to your liking.

Serve with nice home-baked bread or some organic rye bread (there are a lot of nice flavours on the market. I like the brand Biona). Both, the dip and the roasted tomatoes keep for a few days in the fridge.

Of course you can always play with the ingredients and I encourage you to do so! The nicest combinations come out of experimenting – so don’t be shy to swap beans (black beans, butterbeans, chickpeas), use different herbs (cilantro, parsley, fennel green) or spices (harrissa, dukkha, ..) – there are endless varieties!

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Until next time I wish you all a wonderful month ahead, that you’re gentle, open and forgiving to yourself and others and maybe also find a little moment for self reflection about your own Primary Foods in your life ‚̧

If you feel like a little nadisunshine spark every now and then, come and visit me or drop me a note on my FB page or Instagram. I always love hearing from you!

Big love, lots of sunshine & yummy food,

N xxx

 

7 months of gratefulness & a lovely Chia Strawberry Jam which tastes like spring 

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Enjoying a spring day in San Anton Gardens in Attard

When I started writing this blog post last week, I was sitting on a bench next to a pond in San Anton Gardens, breathing in the lovely smells of flowers, feeling a mild spring breeze in my hair and watching the birds fly in the sunshine. Now I finish it sitting it in the same spring sun next to the sea with my darling Zoe playing happily away in her pram next to me. Have I ever imagined mummy life like this a few months ago?? Nope, I definitely haven’t. Sometimes I even think it’s too good to be true… And while I know from my fellow mummy friends that in a few weeks things might change drastically when our babies start to crawl and walk I’m even more devouring these quiet, peaceful moments in the now ūüôā .

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Chilling in Gozo with my parents. Zoe loves the sea just as much as we do.

A few days ago our little sunshine turned 7 months. Yes, of course she still wakes up at night and interrupted sleeps are part of my life, and yes, even though Zoe is a very happy and content baby, she also cries at times but all in all I must officially say I’m a freaking happy and grateful new mum and I fall in love with being a mummy even more every day. Who would have ever imagined the love I would feel? The worry when Zoe sleeps so deeply that I have to check her belly breathing (yes, paranoid. I know)? The joy when she cracks a huge¬†smile as soon as I open the door to her nursery in the morning? But also the peace and tranquility when she’s nursing or napping and allows me to¬†have a bit of¬†time to myself, to sit next to the sea like now and¬†to give me a chance to breathe, think, reflect and to feel¬†happy, free, inspired and open. Have I ever sat on a bench in a past just enjoying the moment and being grateful so much?

A baby definitely changed my perspective on many things. I take each day by each day. Each night by each night. I try to go inside myself more often and listen deeply to myself: Am I happy? Am I doing the right things? Am I taking the right decisions? I’m a strong believer in the sayings “Happy mummy – happy baby” and “You have to be happy to make others happy” so I try to live accordingly to them.

What I’m definitely learning at the moment is to put ourselves first. Not to always please others, always doing others a favor, learning to say no – it’s a hard lesson for me but I’m getting better. I also think much more about my own childhood than ever. ¬†How our parents raised us and what a great influence it makes later in life. Recently my parents came to visit us in Malta and for the first time I was consciously aware of how incredible it must be to see you own child have their own baby. The gift of life is something so incredible and I catch myself more and more reflecting on it. What will our future be like? What will our children’s future be like? Every topic on sustainability, be it protection of nature, saving the planet from too much rubbish, overfishing of the sea, politics, wars, terrorism, diseases like cancer on the rise.. The list goes on and on. Every time my head starts spinning by all these thoughts I gently remind myself that all we can do is be aware of the now, be grateful for every moment and every day and trying to be happy, sharing the happiness and enjoying the little joys of life to the max ‚̧¬†. Yoga has helped me learn this over the last years and little Zoe teaches me to do it even more! I remember my dear friend saying at our wedding ceremony “Shine brightly, together” and I think it’s important passing this on to our children.

So I try not to be nostalgic that our little baby girl is¬†growing by the day, that all our favorite outfits are getting too small (yes, I know – I have to sort them out!), that she’s slowly getting too heavy for long walks in the baby carrier, that I can’t see, cuddle and kiss her non stop when she’s in her big new stroller.. – stop! No! I try to do exactly what she does – enjoying to see and¬†learn new things everyday and enjoying the moment¬†of life you’re right at NOW ūüėä

Which finally brings me, of course, also to eating and enjoying to cook lots of wonderful spring foods Malta has to offer right NOW! Be it citrus, artichokes or strawberries.. The fruit and veggies¬†in the spring are just as fresh as inspiring and just as delicious as easy to prepare! As most of you know I’m a big fan of easy cooking and all these ingredients can be transformed into lovely meals without spending hours in the kitchen. Be it a nice fennel citrus salad, steamed artichokes with a parsley egg and lemon dip or the recipe for yummy and healthy strawberry chia jam which I’m sharing with you today! It’s not only good for breakfast on homemade bread or as a topping on porridge, but also lovely for tea time or a little healthy dessert (e.g. on yoghurt) in the evening ‚̧

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Tastes like spring! Strawberry Chia Jam

Strawberry Chia Jam

Probably all of you know the benefits of the super food chia seeds by now, but to sum it up briefly,¬†chia seeds¬†are a great source of plant protein, contain¬†Omega 3 and 6, have a positive effect on cholesterol levels and help digestion. They can help you¬†you lose weight (even more if you use this jam instead of normal one! ūüėČ ) because they have a low carbohydrate, are rich in natural magnesium, contain many essential nutrients and can therefore strengthen the immune system. As always I try to get organic whenever I can, for my superfoods I love the products of my Austrian friends of Green Panda but of course any chia seeds will do the job. You can take black chia, white chia, the whole seeds, ground seeds – they all work the same. Chia seeds have¬†binding properties which makes them perfect for puddings (recipe here), jams or in baking.
If you don’t have strawberries at hand you can also try other berries like raspberries, blackberries, blueberries etc. You can add different notes of flavors likes orange blossom water, rose water, vanilla, cinnamon – play with it!

What you need…
(for a small jar)

As a rule of thumb 2 cups of washed and chopped fruit plus 2 table spoons of chia seeds work very well. For a thicker texture add a bit more chia. 

  • 2 cups of washed and chopped strawberries (or other fruit)
  • 2 table spoons of chia seeds
  • 2 table spoons of orange juice (alternatives: lemon or lime, rose or orange water)
  • Agave or maple sirup according to your sweet tooth (honey for the raw version is nice too)

What to do…
Mash or roughly chop washed strawberries depending if you like your chia jam rather fine or chunky. Heat them up in a small pot on medium heat, I added some blueberries which I had to use up but only strawberries are fine, too. Add a bit of fresh orange or lemon juice, the sweetener of your choice and let it simmer for a few minutes until it reduces and gets nice and thick. Turn of the heat. For a raw version simply blend it all in a processor instead.

Now add the chia seeds and let it stand for a while. The longer it stands the thicker it gets but I’d wait at least 15-20min. If you’re hungry and want to eat your fresh jam right now – go for it and enjoy it some home baked bread or simply brown toast with a lovely cup of tea! Alternatively store it in a jar in the fridge and use it as a yummy topping on your bfast or on your greek yoghurt as a snack. It even goes well with a ¬†nice goat cheese and with these temperatures¬†it would also be a lovely topping on some banana or chocolate ice cream (recipe here).

Hope you enjoy it and have a lovely new month ahead!¬†For regular food inspiration don’t forget to follow my Facebook fan pay ¬†or Instagram.

Big love & thanks for reading, lovely people
and don’t forget to shine brightly ‚̧

N xx

P.S.¬†I’m also taking new clients for private cooking classes, and an exciting workshop on yoga and healthy food for mummies is in the works so watch this space or get in touch with me for more info.

 

My favorite kind of eggs: A healthy hearty breakfast hash

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Since I tried this dish a couple of weeks ago it has been a star in our kitchen, especially on weekends. Ideally you get local, organic or at least free range eggs – not only if you compare the colour of the egg yolk you’ll immediately see the difference to normal eggs and they have a much better¬†flavour, but also they are much healthier than barn or cage eggs.

I’ve spent the last couple of days recovering at home and I can definitely observe getting better day by day by gauging my desire to start cooking again myself. Luckily there are some¬†healthy options around here which deliver their yumminess home or at least offer their food for take away (beg your friends or partner to bring you some).¬†Main thing:¬†Don’t let being sick and weak drag you down and make you tempted to eat chunk. Especially those days you and your body need the nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants etc. more than ever! It’s so important to make the best out of those times… listen to interesting podcasts, watch documentaries or movies you’ve always wanted to see, meditate, read and just give yourself lots of rests and quiet time to get back on track. Another lesson I learned this time, it can also be wonderful to be taken care of and looked after. Thanks to my darling P on this note ‚̧

Anyways, today is the first day I feel my culinary spirits reawaken! After one of my lovely friends even spoilt me and delivered my organic veg and freshly baked spelt bread home (lucky me ‚̧ ), I’m dying to use this lovely kale I got again. (Did I mention I got soooo hooked on it? I know, it’s quiet late to join the hype, but things take a bit longer here in Malta – hehe!). So, tomorrow is a public holiday and I decided if I am a good girl today and rest and be quiet, tomorrow will be my first cooking day again and it shall start with this super yummy bfast hash. Try it! I hope you’ll like it as much as my love, friends and I do!

Btw, the loveliest home baked bread you can¬†easily make yourself with one of my favorite recipes of the healthy food blog My New Roots. Yep, it’s called Life-Changing Loaf of Bread and it was indeed a life changer for me as it’s so easy that I now bake my own bread on a regular basis which I’ve never done before. Thanks for that, Sarah Britton! You continue to be one of my favorite food bloggers in the world ‚̧

Healthy bfast hash

What you need….
(serves 2 or more – just take more eggs accordingly)

  • 1¬†bunch of kale or any other greens like chard, spinach etc. (always go organic if you can, if you can’t at elast soak them in water with seasalt and apple cider vinegar to get rid of the pesticide residues), roughly torn in pieces
  • 1 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 red onion, 1 garlic, chopped (optional)
  • other veg you’d like to add e.g. tomatoes, pepper (optional – play with them :))
  • 2 organic eggs (or more)
  • salt, pepper (I like cayenne), cumin (optional)
  • some coconut oil
  • sumac to sprinkle it on top
  • Organic bread (I love spelt) (optional)

What to do…

Start melting the coconut oil in a large pan on medium heat and fry first the onions, then garlic. When they start getting nice and glassy, add the diced sweet potatoes, roast a bit and then add¬†the kale. If you use chard or spinach you add it a bit later as kale takes longer to get soft. Season with salt and pepper to your taste and cook it for a couple of minutes. Now make little nests¬†in the veg and crack an egg in each. Put on a lid so the heat and moisture can spread¬†inside the pan to cook the egg. Take it off after 2min, check if the egg white got fully white and solid. Don’t wait too long so the egg yolk stays nice and runny. Give it another round of salt and pepper, sprinkle with sumac and serve with some nice bread!

Enjoy & take good care of yourself & your body cause it is our temple!
Love & sunshine,
Nxxxx

 

 

 

 

Crazy yummy Chickpea Cr√™pes. 1x savoury and 1x sweet

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Have you ever tried chickpea cr√™pes, also called Farinata which is a typical Italian flatbread? Always on the search for new healthy food inspiration I’ve read about it several times and already got the chickpea flour (also called gram flour or besan flour) home to be prepared when the next opportunity would come. Today was the day! Having a public holiday here in Malta and running out of eggs is not a good combo in our house. The solution?! Remembering about this easy and tasty sounding recipe we gave it a go and ended up in pure bliss.

To make it a proper brunch P and I decided to make savory and sweet versions which was really fun. You can truly experiment with whatever you feel like and have in the fridge.

And the best thing about the whole thing? This dish is not only easy, healthy and super yummy, but the chickpea flour also contains lots of folate which supports reproducing and maintaining new cells and is therefor great for for future mums and mummies to be. It delivers a boost of iron, magnesium and phosphor (more info here). Also, this dish is gluten free and stands on his own with only a few ingredients!

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All you need…..
(Inspired and adapted from The Whole Pantry and Kris Carr)

For the batter:
125g chickpea flour
1/4 l water
some salt and olive oil
Optional: If you only use it for savoury Crêpes, you can also add parsley, cumin, coriander, turmeric, red chili, rosemary, onion or garlic

For the savoury filling:
1 zucchini
1 red & 1 yellow pepper
some olive oil, best quality salt (I always use pink Himalayan) and herbes de provence
Optional: add some crumbled feta cheese in the end. 

For the sweet filling:
1 banana
almond butter or greek yoghurt
cinnamon and some raw honey

What to do…..

Combine all ingredients into a ¬†smooth batter and let it sit for at least 3/4 of an hour, otherwise the¬†Cr√™pes will get sticky. Until then you can prepare the fillings and set the table ūüôā

Mix the batter when the time is over, and prepare a pan on medium heat. Use a tiny bit of coconut oil if it isn’t a nonstick pan. Use a ladle to spread the batter in the pan and fry it about a ¬†minute on each side until they are nice and golden. Don’t let the Cr√™pes¬†in there for too long otherwise they get hard to fold. Hold them warm in the oven or fill them immediately with one of the fillings below or any other filling of your choice.

Savoury Chickpea Crêpes with roasted peppers & zucchini
Put your oven on 200¬įC, chop up the veg, drizzle with olive oil and herbs de provence. Roast it for about 25/30min. Use as a filling.

Sweet Chickpea Crêpes with banana, cinnamon & honey
Slice the banana. Put some almond butter or greek yoghurt in the Crêpe, add the banana and drizzle with honey and cinnamon.

ENJOOOOOOOOOY!!!

Love,
N xx