Hakkaido Pumpkin and Quinoa

Hello loves! I love autumn, I love it when the leafs change colours and everything turns yellow, orange and red around us, I love it when the sunset becomes redder than on any other time of the year and I love what nature has to offer in this season. Pumpkins are one of the seasonal’s beauties and trust me, I take full advantage of what nature has to offer these days. The great thing about Hakkaido pumpkins is that you don’t need to peel them and can eat almost everything. Moreover, you can make endless receipes with it: be it a soup, mashed pumpkin puree or placing it in the oven (sliced or halved). This recipe is, as always, super simple. The longest you will need is waiting for the pumpkin in the oven – everything else is done in about 15 minutes. It’s perfect for during the week when you don’t want to put too much effort into cooking yet aren’t satisfied with a simple pasta dish.

What you need (for two servings)

1 Hakkaido (about 800g – 1kg)
½ cup quinoa (black or white)

1 cup fresh orange juice
½ cup water
½ onion
½ tablespoon brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
1 orange
1 porree
olive oil

What to do

1) pre-heat the oven to 180°C
2) cut the pumpkin in half, take out the seeds and line the cut-open part with some olive oil
(I recommend cutting a slice off the round part of each pumpkin half, so that it stays upright)
3) once the oven is heated, place the pumpkin into it and let it sit for about 30-35 min
4) cut the onion and cook them in pot (not pan) with 1 tablespoon of oil until they are see-through and glazy
5) add the water, orange juice and quinoa and stir it well – keep the stove on medium heat
6) cut the porree into slices and stir it into the quinoa, together with the sugar and cinnamon
7) let it sit until all of the juice is soaked up in the quinoa, whilst stirring it a couple of times in between
8) cut the orange into bite size pieces and add it to the quino just before all of the liquid is soaked up (keep one or two slices for decoration, if wished)
9) once the pumpkin and quinoa is ready, you can serve the quinoa in the pumpkin

Now you can
1) add some more olive oil over the whole meal (if needed or wanted)
2) serve it whilst it’s hot
3) let it cool down for later – it’s great for eating it as a cold salade served in a pumpkin bowl (especially if you add some mint leaves to it)

Was it easy or easy? Easy, I admit. I love this recipe when friends are over (we just had some old friends visit) and you don’t really have that much time during the week. It takes no effort and the guests were delighted of this ‚quick-fix‘!

With that, I wish you a lovely continuing week. xo

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TRAVELING THE NETHERLANDS: JILL & CO LIFESTYLE N°2

Thursday already! Isn’t it great? I love working, being active, and surely cannot sit still for very long. Yet, I am looking forward to this long weekend ahead. Long because I took off Friday, to see one of my besties that is visiting from Sydney. I will be showing her around Zurich and we will catch up on everything that has happened in the past year – and surely, there is quite a lot!

Looking through my files I noticed I had not shown you the second half of the pictures I took at the incredible Jill & Co Lifestyle store – the first post is found here. How amazing does this bedroom look, please? It makes me want to re-decorate and re-furnish my whole apartment. At least the bedroom (except for those lamps and the one or other detail that is simply too much). One day – and this is a promise to myself – I will have this sort of style throughout my apartment. It looks so inviting, so comfortable, warm and yet clean. Simply said, it makes you feel home after only being there a couple of minutes. And have you noticed the incredible floor?

My mom and I have some more shops that are on our must-see list. I am probably driving up to Germany again at the end of October for a longer weekend, which we will then use to drive to Holland for a day or two to run-through our list. I am so excited, it’s almost childish! The best part is, it will be around my birthday, so I have the best excuse yet to buy myself a present, or two – or three, whilst we’re at it!

For now though, I am looking forward to tonight. We are having dinner with an old family friend that my dad knows since they were about 19 years old, and whom knows me since I was born. I haven’t seen him in a couple of years now so I am really looking forward to catching up over dinner and a few drinks (yes to good wine!). Until then, I’ve got quite a bunch to go through at work and will continue my future house-day-dreaming in between.

Have a lovely Thursday. xo

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Pak Choy & Rice Noodles

Happy Monday! The first day of the week is already over – once again, faster than I thought. The upcoming days are full, full, full, starting with a meeting tomorrow morning at 8am (way too early!). Today has been quite relaxed though, which was a nice start into the week. I had my first blood donation today over lunch, which I did at the blood donation centre in central Zurich (here). For all those capable of donating blood, I really, really encourage it. It is being used for research as well as for people who need it – it safes lives and only takes a couple of minutes. The first time through they ask you a bunch of questions and make sure you are healthy (you need to pass the questions, ie no new tattoos or piercings in the last couple of months, no infections, etc.). The actual donation takes between 5-12 minutes at max, and so it’s one of those things that can be done quickly over lunch. Let’s not forget, it’s only 3-4 times a year you can do it, and with that, you safe lives! I can’t say it often enough, and it really means a lot to me. :‘)

Now back to what I really wanted to share with you: Pak Choy. Many of you probably know this vegetable already, but if you don’t – I really recommend it. It’s so tasty, so healthy and can be combined in so many ways. I’ve been using it non-stop the past week in my kitchen and my fridge is filled with it.

I love cooking as you all know, but food needs to be done in a short amount of time for me. I don’t have the time to spend hours and hours infront of the stove during the week, yet prefer cooking fresh on a daily basis. Or at least every second day (in case I have leftovers). This recipe is, as always, gluten free, dairy free and super easy in the making.

What you need (for 2 servings)

½ onion
2-3 cm fresh ginger
2 Pak Choy 
5-6 Champions (or any other mushrooms)
160g chicken
vegetable broth (by choice)
150g rice noodles (or however much you would normally eat)
2-3 tablespoons peanut oil (or any other oil, ex. olive oil)

What to do

1) finely chop the onions and ginger and place them in a large pan with the oil and the cut chicken (bite size) – you can turn up the heat fully until everything starts sizzling and then make sure to lower it to half the temperature
2) place a pot with water on the stove and heat it up – add vegetable broth if you want – and cook the rice noodles as per instructions on the package
3) wash the pak choy and cut it in half (as on the photos) and place them on top of the onion, ginger and chicken (after turning these once more)
4) chop up the champions and place these on top of the pak choy – now place the appropriate lid on the pan and let it sit until the noodles are ready (lower the heat by another 50%)
5) once the noodles are ready (mine took about 15min), turn the heat off from both the pan and the pot
6) Drain the noodles and wash them once more thoroughly under cold water (makes them less sticky) before placing them on the plate
7) place the pak choy on the sides and add the rest of what’s left in the pan on the noodles

Voila, now you can serve the plates to the table (always good to use pre-heated plates – I like to place them in the oven for 10 mins at 60-80°C) and hopefully enjoy the meal as much as I did.

Wishing you all a great evening and rest of the week! xo

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BTW – how pretty does lighter colored food become on black plates? These were bought at Ikea and are perfect if you don’t want to invest much into them (who knows how long black will look good on the dinner table)

Smiles

Good morning loves! It’s saturday and finally weekend – the perfect day to sleep in and start that spa routine. Sadly, I fell out of bed again at 8 straight. Seeing the positive side, I’ve been pretty productive already, starting my paper for my studies and reading myself further into the subject. My lazy days are usually Sundays, which will be same this weekend. Today is packed with a meeting at noon and over lunch (exciting news to share soon, hopefully!), finishing up my project, working on some photography, and maybe going out tonight. Though honestly, I don’t mind a quiet weekend this time, so I might stay in tonight with a hot cup of tea and further working on some of my personal projects. I started a to-do list for those projects yesterday and let me tell you – it keeps growing by the hour. I have so many things planned for the future and it really takes some time-management skills to get personal, private projects, studies, full-time job and friends & family under one umbrella. But hey, keeping up the positive mood is the first step to everything. With that, I wish you a great start into the weekend – remember to smile. xo

Muesli Mornings

Good morning and happy Wednesday! Work is seriously picking up in speed now and the days are passing by faster than ever. Can you believe it’s almost Christmas in 3 months? With these faster days I need my breakfast ready in an instant, so it’s either prepared for the morning or takes me less than 5 minutes to make. I’ve always been a huge muesli lover when I was a child. I’d have oatmeal-chocolate muesli daily during school days – or nutella breads on the other days. With my intolerances towards gluten and lactose this has worn off in the past years and I’ve only occassionally eaten some glutenfree mueslis that I saw in stores.

Now I finally made my very first own muesli. A bit crunchy, yet it soaks up the milk perfectly. It filled up a big jar in the kitchen for me to take out a cup in the morning, add some lactose free milk or yoghurt and fruit to it. It’s perfect for when I don’t have much time – or I take it to the office in a small mason jar, where I keep some lactose free milk too. I’ve tried it with almond milk as well, though must admit it’s too sweet even for my taste in the mornings now. So here’s to the recipe:

What you need

1 cup buckwheat flakes
1 ½ cups popped amaranth
1 cup coconut flakes
¼ cup rice flakes
½ cup sunflower seeds
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ cup peanut oil (or any other vegetable oil)
4 tablespoons agave syrup (or more if you want it sweeter)

What to do

1) heat up the oven to 180°C
2) mix everything thoroughly in a large bowl – make sure that the oil and agave syrup are spread well
3) spread everything in a large lasagne dish / or any other large oven form you have at hand
4) bake for 20-25 min, mixing the muesli 3-4 times to enable everything to get a nice gold/brown color
5) take it out and let it cool-off (it well get slightly crunchier when cooled off fully)

Now you can

1) add some milk to the muesli (and fruit) – serve it
2) serve it with yoghurt and fresh fruit (also amazing with berries)
3) put everything in a large jar for daily usage
4) fill small mason jars and make home-made kitchen gifts out of it – who doesn’t love themselves a nice jar of muesli?

With that, I wish you some great morning breakfasts (or snacks) to come. xo

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