Guilt-free desserts

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There is something so sweet about it. Something that warms up your soul and satisfies every cell of your body. Yes, I am talking about chocolate. Recently, I have become obsessed with the taste of chocolate and the feeling of satisfaction it leaves you with. Of course, next to snacking on the unhealthier version from time to time (normal chocolate, or worse, M&Ms), I try reaching for the rather guilt-free and healthy version whenever possible. On Saturday I had a friend over for dinner (salad) and made him this tasty guilt-free chocolate mousse for dessert. He wouldn’t believe me when I told him it was mainly avocado and bananas he was eating right then and there. I’ve shared the recipe before, so I will link it again here for you. The salad was absolutely amazing as well – I paired it with some avocado, egg, chicken, and mango; which really gave it that last fresh kick it needed. Especially now that summer is coming (slowly but surely I hope!) I love mixing in fresh fruit and especially berries into my meals. It’s just so satisfying and refreshing. Tomorrow I will have another friend over for dinner before we head out for some drinks and then come back in (a sleep-over; yay!). I will most likely make that chocolate mousse again because 1) I love it and 2) she is the biggest chocolate lover I have ever met in my life (typical Swiss hehe). So it will be interesting to see whether she enjoys the healthy version or whether she needs the real chocolate one to satisfy her cravings. I am still unsure what to make for dinner as such – and am thinking of going for a salad again – but do you have any ideas? I’ve become quite boring with my food choices lately. :)

Fueling Food

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Oh, the past weeks have been emotional – devastating! It’s when suddenly all seems to pile on top of each other and no matter what you do and how hard you try, some things are just not under your control. I felt helpless and a bit left alone – and by no means was I actually left alone. It’s times like these I am so, so thankful for having my lovely family and best-est friends around me and supporting me no matter what. As the saying goes, its important to value those not only supporting you in times of happiness and fame, but those catching you when you fall, feel deprived and when things are not going as straight as planned.

One thing that I learned, and a lot of thanks goes to my mother here, is to fuel the body especially during those times when the energy is really needed. It goes without saying that food is super important and that we are what we eat – we want to try and do our best everyday. So: stay focused even when you feel your worst! Of course, I am nowhere near perfect nor the healthiest eater. Looking back a few years, I remember stuffing myself with the most unneeded foods ever when in a sad or bad position in life. I have learnt from that and try, as soon as I notice I am not on top of my own game anymore (and that happens to everyone once in a while) to fuel my body with extra vitamins and nutrients. I make sure to eat fruit and vegetables everyday, go rather for a salad or quinoa base with chicken rather than the unhealthy fries. I started working out again at the gym, and in combination with the food I am finally finding my balance again – emotional and as well as in general. That is not to say I’ve found the perfect way to eating healthy my life long, but it sure put me back on track. And let’s not lie, I did steel some fries from my friends plate the other night and do enjoy my one (or two, or three) glass of wine on the weekend – in the end, we only live once.

Now I am sitting in my hotel room in London after having landed only a couple of hours ago. My dinner wasn’t quite as pretty on a plate but very delicious indeed. I got myself a quinoa salad with chicken from around the corner as I didn’t quite feel that I wanted to go outside. Instead I am working on some more emails tonight, trying to catch up on work, and going to bed early. Tomorrow my 2-day conference starts and I can already see myself arriving back in Zurich exhausted Wednesday night – though I am looking forward to these days. Another reason to try an fuel myself a bit better than usual! Other than that my week ahead is not all too spectacular, it’s really about work most of these days. I will try to catch up on my studies again and get into the routine to finally finish off my thesis which is due this summer. Yet, I am definitely looking forward to the weekend – lots of fun activities are planned; including yummy dinners!

*salad with egg, chicken, avocado and a vinegar and oil dressing

LCY-ZRH

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Oh, how I love coming home. When flying into Switzerland and seeing the beautiful alps – it’s when I get all excited to being home soon again. Buh, I also love London. Especially this time of the year – when all the Christmas decorations are up and lighting up the city streets – it couldn’t get more beautiful. Tonight the Christmas lights will be put on here in Zurich; and I am so excited. It gives a feeling of warmth and love, despite the the freezing cold temperatures that are taking on the country. I will be meeting up with a few friends at Bellevue (in Zurich) to take a first sip of the hot wine (Glühwein in German) as the Christmas Markets open. I’m surely changing into some warmer clothes before it though! For lunch I am meeting a girl that I met at an event a couple of months ago (remember this?) – so excited! It’s such a great feeling to meet people more or less my age, outside of work for once, and talking about all things girly, beauty and fashion. Really looking forward to it! Tonight I’ll probably go for dinner again, as my fridge is screaming empty and there is no point in buying anything now. Why you ask? I am taking off tomorrow once more: Friday evening to Monday afternoon I’ll be in Malta. My dad is turning 50 (!) so we have a few family members flying into Malta where they have their home and will be celebrating on Sunday with a great dinner on Saturday. And yes, I am surely looking forward to the somewhat warmer temperatures before heading back here next week. What are your weekend plans? xo

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Guaca Everywhere

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You might have noticed that I love using avocado whenever I have the possibility. Be it as a substitute for butter, smashed on a piece of toast or simply in form of a good guacamole – you cannot go wrong with avocado. Imagine one would be allergic – is that even possible? I think it would be my nightmare come true. Either way; as you might remember I had a dinner with a few girls at my place a couple of weeks ago (before I started my travels). Speaking of travels – it feels so good being back at home with the loved ones!

For one of the starters I had made these eggs filled with guacamole. Simple, tasty, quick in the making – and super cute! For 8 halves you (obviously) need 4 eggs, round about one medium sized avocado, some salt, pepper, lemon juice, hot paprika pulver and perhaps a little onion. Once you have boiled the eggs and let them cool off, carefully cut them in half and take out the egg yolk. Add the yolk with the mashed avocado, add a little pepper, salt, the juice of half a lemon, and if you like, a small onion (cut into small pieces). Mash up the whole thing and add whatever ingredient you feel is needed to making it taste as good as you can. Carefully fill the egg-white halves and sprinkle a little paprika pulver on top – eh voila; off you go and present it to your guests.

I love making this little treat as a snack on the side or even as a topper for a good green salad. Nevertheless, don’t underestimate the power of an egg-avocado guacamole – it is SO filling. My friends and I snacked on these together with the homemade sweet potatoe and pumpkin/hokkaido chips (recipe here) and were basically full. Going over to the main meal was already a heavy task given we were so full – and we actually never made it to the dessert (which got eaten a day later). I’ll present the two courses to you shortly, too – and will also post a couple more footage from my trip.

Today and tomorrow is mostly office and admin work. There is so much to catch up on and so many emails to go through. Thursday I’ll be leaving to Geneva for a night, enjoying a lovely (business) dinner event and going to some meetings. I love these kinds of dinners – they have them every couple of weeks in different cities – and they are absolutely great for networking within the industry. I may have time to write another post on the train so do stay tuned!

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Sweet Potatoe & Hokkaido Chips

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Finally October! As much as I enjoy the summer, the heat, the long summer nights, the fresh whites in my closet and home – I absolutely love autumn, too. When the sunsets become golden, leaves change their colors, my decorations change to warmer, golden and bronze colors – and pumpkins can be found on every little table. I love pumpkins in every color, every size and shape – and especially cooking and baking with them. The receipe choices are endless and you can enjoy them in every meal.

This past weekend I had my besties over, cooked a lovely dinner at home and prepared some snacks – right before we had a girls-night-out! Now that it is finally October, I of course had to make autumn-inspired meals and snacks. Because duh. I started with serving some hokkaido (pumpkin) and sweet potatoe chips with a home-made guacamole dip.

May I say?
It was d e l i c i o u s ! And super simple in the making. I was always ‘afraid’ of making my own vegetable-chips. Don’t ask why, but they always seemed more complicated then they are. I didn’t want to put any work in and end up with soggy chips afterwards. Well, that thankfully wasn’t the case.

For these two little bowls I used about 300g Hokkaido, and 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes. Yet, there is no restriction in the amounts you use – the more, the merrier in this case (or the more to snack on). First, pre-heat the oven to around 200°C. Now simply cut the vegetables in thin slices (mine were about 3mm), throw them in a bowl, add around 2 tablespoons of olive oil (or any other vegetable oil) and throw on some salt and herbs of choice (I added some chili and paprika). Mix everything well in the bowl so that all slices are more or less covered a bit – but you do not want to use too much oil, either. Next lay them out on the baking paper, making sure they don’t overlap (otherwise they will become partially soggy!). Once all are spread out, place the sheets into the pre-heated oven. Leave them in for around 6-8 minutes, then lower the heat to 150°C and place a wooden stock between the oven door and oven itself. You want the heat to be able to escape slightly, so that the chips become crunchy (it’s the key to not having soggy ones!). Keep an eye on the chips, though after about 20 minutes, when they start turning slightly golden-brown on the edges, they are done! Let them cool off so that they become crunchy and you are ready to serve (or enjoy) them in no time.

The guacamole dip was super simple, as well. I merely pureed a ripe avocado (peel and take out the stone before), added a hint of fresh lemon juice, some salt and pepper!

Et voila – within less than an hour you have your own homemade vegetables chips. How cool? I am in love with these so I will make sure to making some more when returning from my travels. I will also try them out with beetroot – doesn’t that sound fancy? Speaking of travels, I will now need to rush to the office and later to the airport. London is calling from today until Thursday!

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