Tag Archives: life

French Onion Soup

There is nothing better to warm yourself up in Winter than a bowl of steaming French onion soup.
Onion soups have been popular at least as far back as Roman times. They were, throughout history, seen as food for poor people, as onions were plentiful and easy to grow. The modern version of this soup originates in France in the 18th century, made from beef broth, and caramelized onions. It is often finished by being placed under a grill in a ramekin traditionally with croutons and gruyère melted on top. The crouton on top is reminiscent of ancient soups.

Today, it is still a soup that don’t cost a lot to make but is not at all seen as a soup for the poor (not that we care because it’s delicious! It’s just interesting to see how things change with time).

french onion soup oh la la livia

french onion soup oh la la livia

For two people I used:

8 brown onions
Teaspoon of coconut oil
Herbes de Provence
Bay leaves
6 cloves of garlic
Gruyère

Fry up the onion in the coconut oil until they are soft. Now add them to a saucepan with the coconut oil (this doesn’t flavour the soup at all, it’s just the healthy option, see here for details.) Now add about 5 cups of water and keep adding water when the levels get low. Keep it simmering on low for a couple of hours.

French Onion Soup with croutons by Oh la la Livia

French Onion Soup with croutons by Oh la la Livia

For the croutons, I put them in the oven with cheese on them and placed them on the top of the soup.
Delish! Enjoy and keep warm this Winter

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Healthy Chai Tea: One of My Biggest Joys in Life

Chai is a great coffee substitute. From the moment I had my first chai at the young age of around 9, I was smitten.

Unlike coffee, chai has many inherently beneficial properties. The black tea in chai is rich in antioxidants and the spices in chai have been used for thousands of years to promote general health and well-being, as well as to treat various ailments.

According to Ayurvedic (Ancient Indian) philosophy and medicine, these spices are considered to be “sattvic,” or calming, vitalizing and mentally clarifying – The perfect antidote to the stresses of modern life!

Here is why:

Cinnamon is thought to increase circulation and open breathing, increase awareness and vitality, and reduce fatigue. It is also reputed to be an aphrodisiac! (Hubba hubba!)

Cardamom
A popular spice in both the Indian and Chinese preparations, cardamom is said to benefit the lungs, kidneys, and heart. It is also a mood elevator.

Clove
Native to the spice islands of Indonesia, cloves have been used by the Chinese since 300 BC, and came to Europe in the 4th and 5th Centuries AD. Cloves have pain-relieving and antiseptic attributes. Like pepper and ginger, clove is also used to synergistically increase the potency of other herbal blends.

Black Pepper
Widely used to support circulation and metabolism, black pepper can help to alleviate chronic coldness. (We can use more of that here in Paris, in the winter!)

Nutmeg
Nutmeg has been used for centuries to ease sciatica and promote the digestion of heavy foods. It was also used by ancient Arab physicians to treat kidney and lymph problems.

Chinese Star Anise
Traditional Asian herbalists credit star anise with a variety of properties. It’s used frequently as a cough remedy and to freshen the breath.

Ginger
Long valued as a stimulant for the circulatory and the immune systems, ginger has been used to treat such disparate conditions as impotence and motion sickness. I’m mad about ginger. Read my post here.

Fennel
An important medicinal plant in the royal herb gardens of medieval France and Germany, fennel is still widely used to treat both kidney and ocular problems, as well as laryngitis.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You want a chai latté? Please do not, for the love of the human race, go drink them at Starbucks. Not only are they expensive, but the milk is genetically modified, and it isn’t real chai. It’s concentrated sugar with favour added. This is not chai. What you need is a saucepan, good organic fresh milk (unlike what is easily found here in France) and a good chai mix. You boil everything up together in the milk and strain it after a few minutes of simmering.

I will soon post my own chai recipe. I hope you love and it gets you through the winter time. I certainly need it!

I am also going to attempt chai shortbread. Om nom nom.

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Raw Kale and Beetroot salad with Tahini Dressing

This salad is just divine. So earthy and refreshing. When I finally got my hands on some kale thanks to The Kale Project here in Paris, I went a bit kale nuts. Kristen from The Kale Project and I made this last week for a big vitamin boost.

You’ll need:

  • 1 bunch of curly, green kale
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 large golden beet (or two medium) You could also use regular red beets
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 -2 cm (1 inch) of ginger
  • 1 Tbsp Tamari
  • 3 Tbsp Tahini
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 Tbsp of Coconut Oil
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon or lime

Wash and cup up the kale into very small pieces, otherwise it’s a bit too leafy.

Peel the beets and grate them.

Grate the carrots.

Mix everything up.

Blend the salad dressing in a blender and pour it over the salad.

Enjoy it! My J enjoyed it which is really saying something.

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A Macaron Class in Paris For Two ❤

My J treated me to a macaron class last week and boy was it fun! Who ever know just how complicated macaron’s are to make. Well, we didn’t.

We learnt a lot and just look at that concentration on J’s face.

In other news, look at this interview with me on The Kale Project.

J and I booked tickets for Istanbul for a 3-day getaway in November. I cannot explain my excitement in words. (I can in cartwheels)

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Very Green Kale Smoothie

Why is kale so good for you?

One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K.  It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K .Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.

Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw. (I like it raw and cooked)

Because of it’s very high chlorophyl levels, it balances your PH levels and counteracts the effects of acidic foods like red meat, pasta, cheese, cream and processed foods. This is very important for overall health and long-term well-being.

This kale smoothie is so delicious and is a real kick start to my day.

Cut up the kale, add as much as you like, I generally cut up around 4 big leaves.

One ripe banana.

A teaspoon of matcha.

A teaspoon of supergreens (this can be spirulina, or any super greens mix you use)

Half a cup of frozen raspberries

A cup of freshly brewed green tea, cooled, or at room temperature

Honey to taste

Half a cup of organic natural yoghurt

Mix and voilà!

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Pizza aux Figues et Chèvre (Goat’s Cheese and Fig Pizza)

Before figs went out of season I wanted to make the most of them. In Australia I was used to having them in my garden, and here I am restricted to having access to figs only a few weeks a year so when I get my hands on them I go all out.

This pizza is just so wonderful because it is light and with the heat the figs caramalise.

I use 4-5 figs per pizza.

For the chèvre (goat’s cheese) I use a rather young one, because I find that if you used aged chèvre it’s a bit too full-on in that quantity. That said, if you like very rich cheeses, this would be wonderful with the figs.

I dusted on my Corsican herbs. Any Mediterranean herb mix would work for this such as herbes de Provence. Or simply basil, rosemary and parsely.

A small amount of gruyere cheese.

And hop! In the oven.

A couple of spoon’s of mascarpone.

I like to add some fresh basil for colour and an extra fresh taste.

Om nom nom.

In other news, last night J and I did a macaron class here in Paris. It was just great. Photos to come.

Tonight I am meeting Kristin from The Kale Project. We are cooking a recipe together, with kale of course. I am so excited to finally eat some kale in Paris! She is doing such a great thing.

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Amazeballs Superfood Energy Balls

I’m sick of wanting a small snack to go with my coffee or afternoon tea and finding that anything I consider bying is full of refined sugars, additives and other things I cannot pronounce! I took things into my own hands and made super dooper amazeballs jam-packed with goodness, superfoods and energy.

This is how it goes:

300g of fresh dates. Despite them being quite soft, I soak them for 24 hours. This will make them easier to digest and bring out their natural sweetness too. After soaking them for 24 hours I take out the pips and add the rest of the ingredients.

Half a cup of organic cocoa nibs.

4 tablespoons of chia seeds.

half a cup of coconut.

Blend it all up.

Add half a cup of cocoa.

Roll them into bite-size balls.

Sprinkle cocoa over them to make them richer but also easier to eat!

Store them in the fridge and enjoy one each morning with your morning tea or coffee to get you going and ready for the big day ahead.

If we are going to eat chocolate we may as well do it right, do it whole, do it with real foods! Chocolate is healthy for us, it’s is the processed chocolate with milk, soy, sugar and other chemical lab made ingredients that makes it unhealthy. When it is made with raw cocoaand a natural sweetner like dates in this instance it is loaded with vitamins, nutrients, and anti-oxidants – more than green tea, red wine and blue berries! This recipe is high in magnesium,great for energy, weight loss, a protein snack before a workout, an aphrodisiac and for FEELING GOOD!

Enjoy xo,

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Gluten Free Flourless Orange and Chocolate Cake

I love making flourless gluten free cakes because I don’t feel guilty and I gobble it all up because it is moist and feels nourishing. Here is my recipe:

You’ll need:

2 oranges
1 big chunk of fresh ginger
3 eggs
1 cup of muscovado
300g almond meal
1 generous cup of raw cocoa
1tsp baking soda or raising agent
1 shot of black coffee

Place the oranges and ginger in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over medium heat. Cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain. Return to pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and cook for 15 minutes (this will reduce the bitterness of the peel). Refresh under cold water. Drain. Coarsely chop oranges. Remove and discard any seeds.

Place the orange in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth.

Use an electric beater to whisk the eggs and sugar in a bowl until thick and pale. Add the orange,cocoa almond meal and baking powder and gently fold until just combined. Add the shot of coffee. This does not make the cake taste like coffee, it simply makes the cocoa taste richer and takes away the bitterness of the rind.

Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside for 15 minutes to cool.

To decorate, I covered it with cocoa and added on four macarons and a sliced fig.

It was so moist and almost tasted like a fudge cake- minus all the dairy and flour!

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Fairydust and Dark Chocolate Cupcakes to Celebrate a Birthday

My homegirl Em got a year older yesterday so I made special cupcakes to make her feel special.

What do you think? Pretty cute, huh.

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In Oh La La Livia’s Kitchen This Week

I am always curious to see what food people buy, I love looking in fridges (that seems strange?). So I thought you may be interested in seeing how I filled my fridge this week.

The weather is getting cooler, so I changed my vegetable and fruit selection. I am favouring fruits that I can grill with unrefined sugar and vanilla and vegetables that I can put in soups and roasts.

Figs: What better way to eat them than grilled with herbs of Provence and served with fresh goat’s cheese?

I have been meaning to get my hands on some himalayan salt. I finally did and boy is it tasty!
But what can it do for you I hear you ask? This is by far the purest salt available on earth and is absolutely uncontaminated with any toxins or pollutants. Some other great things it can do for you:

  1. Regulate the water content throughout your body.
  2. Promotes a healthy pH balance in your cells, particularly your brain cells.
  3. Promotes blood sugar health and helping to reduce the signs of aging.
  4. Assists in the generation of hydroelectric energy in cells in your body.
  5. Absorbs food particles through your intestinal tract.
  6. Supports respiratory health.
  7. Promotes sinus health.
  8. Prevents muscle cramps.
  9. Promotes bone strength.
  10. Regulates your sleep — it naturally promotes sleep.
  11. Supports your libido. (WOOOP!)
  12. Promotes vascular health.
  13. In conjunction with water it is actually essential for the regulation of your blood pressure.

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR PEOPLE?

But what really made my day was the Turkish coffee gift I received from my lovely friend Emily. You can see my priorities are right, but come on, Turkish coffee is just so great.

With a spoonful of this unrefined, unaltered brown sugar it makes it even more delicious.

More details to come about this wonder sugar very soon.

What new additions do you have in your kitchen this week?

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