Weekday Weekend Challenge

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2018 is knocking on our doors and like a lot of other food blogger we are going to deal with healthy food over here at Velvet &Vinegar. By nature I always have the urge to do something good for my body after all the holiday gluttony. Although I never cared that much about diets back in the days. This year is different, I gained 20 kilograms of weight during my pregnancy and I am still carrying around 10 of them after giving birth 11 weeks ago. So I feel there is something that needs to be done about it. Don`t get me wrong I am absolutely against strict diets during pregnancy and breastfeeding but I encourage a healthy lifestyle and a moderate amount of sport.

So when my hubby got me the book “Weekday Weekend” from Elsie & Emma, writers of the amazing blog a beautiful mess, the decision was taken. We would take upon the challenge to life 4 up to 8 weeks by the rules proclaimed in that book. Who is in for it too?

First of all “Weekday Weekend” is not primarily a diet focused on loosing weight, but rather on implementing a healthy lifestyle from Monday up to Friday based on 5 rules. On Saturday and Sunday indulging is allowed.

The 5 Rules:

  1. eat a variety of healthy and different foods
  2. no refined sugars, artificial sugars & sweeteners*
  3. no refined white flour & white rice
  4. no dairy products
  5. no alcohol
  6. no meat & fish (for those ones like us, who aren`t yet vegetarians)

If you are going to follow those rules strictly, change them to your needs or extend that lifestyle to the weekend is your choice. Our household defined the rules as followed:

  • from Monday to Friday we exactly life by above rules, we also pass on eggs, which means we eat a vegan diet
  • we will try to quit on the refined sugars on the weekends as well
  • we will occasionally eat fish, meat, dairy products and eggs on weekends
  • rule 1 we extended to eating the rainbow, which means we are going to try to daily eat all the colors of the rainbow

There is a small addition to rule 2. According to Elsie & Emma natural minimally processed sugars, like honey, maple syrup and coconut sugar, as well as molasses, are allowed in small amounts. Soon there will be published a post covering that topic here on the blog. The alternatives we chose will be discussed in that entry as well.

I hope this blog post caused some motivation in all of you to take part in that challenge. Most certainly I would be happy about every single participant. If you are going to be in on this, please share your experiences and recipes. As an inspiration for all of you a  menu plan is going to be published on a weekly base here on the blog, where I show you what meals found their way on our table. I am looking forward on many participants and an active exchange of ideas.

Read you soon

Sarah

Weekday / Weekend Challenge

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2018 steht vor der Tür und wie sollte es auch anders sein, es ist die Zeit des Jahres, während der sich fast jeder Food-Blogger mit Detox, gesundem Essen und Diäten beschäftigt. Mit dieser Thematik wird sich auch dieser Blog die nächsten paar Wochen auseinandersetzten. Schon von Natur aus habe ich nach der ganzen Festtagsvöllerei alljählich das Bedürfnis meinem Körper etwas gesundes zu tun. Diäten oder Zurückhaltung standen bei uns jedoch nie auf dem Speiseplan, da ich niemals Probleme mit meinem Gewicht hatte. Dieses Jahr gestaltet sich die Situation ein wenig anders, denn ich stehe das erste Mal vor der Herausforderung mich essenstechnisch zu mässigen. Durch meine Schwangerschaft habe ich 20 Kilogramm zugenommen und die letzten 10 Kilogramm halten sich seit der Geburt vor 11 Wochen hartnäckig. Von krassen Diäten während der Schwangerschaft und Stillzeit halte ich jedoch definitiv nichts, da dies meiner Meinung nach ungesund für das Kind ist. Einen gesunden Lebensstil und mässigen Sport sind jedoch durchaus in Ordnung und absolut zu empfehlen.

Als mein Mann mir dann zu Weihnachten das Kochbuch “Weekday Weekend” von Elsie & Emma – die beiden betreiben den Blog a beautiful mess – schenkte, stand für mich die Entscheidung etwas an meinem Lebensstil zu ändern fest. So enstand diese Challenge, nach der wir bei uns zu Hause mindestens vier bis acht Wochen richten wollen.Wer von euch ist mit von der Partie und möchte etwas gutes für seine Körper und Geist tun?

“Weekday Weekend” ist KEINE primär auf Gewichtsverlust ausgerichtete Diät, sondern eine gesunde, aus 5 Regeln bestehende Lebensweise. Der Clou an der Sache ist die Einhaltung dieser Vorschriften von Montag bis Freitag. Samstag und Sonntag darf rein theoretisch gesündigt werden.

Die Regeln:

  1. täglich eine Vielfalt an gesunden & unterschiedlichen Lebensmitteln essen
  2. keine raffinierten Zuckersorten, künstliche Zucker & Süssstoffe konsumieren*
  3. kein raffiniertes weisses Mehl & weissen Reis konsumieren
  4. keine Milchprodukte essen
  5. keinen Alkohol trinken
  6. kein Fleisch & Fisch konsumieren (gilt für diejenigen unter uns, die, wie wir, nicht bereits Vegetarier sind)

Ob ihr diesen Regeln strikt folgt, sie euren Bedürfnissen anpasst oder ob ihr Weekday/Weekend sogar aufs Wochenende ausdehnt ist euch selber überlassen. Wir haben für unseren Haushalt die Regeln wie folgt definiert:

  • Von Montag bis Freitag halten wir obige Regeln strikt ein & verzichten auch auf Eier, sprich wir ernähren uns 100% vegan
  • am Wochenende werden wir so gut wie möglich ebenfalls auf raffinierte Zuckersorten verzichten
  • am Wochenende essen wir Fleisch, Fisch, Milchprodukte & Eier, sind also keine Veganer/Vegetarier
  • bei Regel Nummer 1 haben wir uns entschieden dies auf “eat the rainbow” auszuweiten, sprich wir werden versuchen täglich alle Farben des Regenbogens zu essen (hierzu ist noch ein separater Blog-Eintrag geplant)

*Zu Regel Nummer 2 gibt es eine kleine Ergänzung. Laut Elsie & Emma sind natürliche, minimal prozessierte Zuckersorten, wie Honig, Ahornsirup und Kokoszucker, sowie Melasse in moderater Menge erlaubt. Zum Thema Zucker & Zuckerersatzstoffe wird hier auf dem Blog in Kürze noch ein Post veröffentlicht werden. Dort werde ich genauer darauf eingehen für welche Alternativen wir uns entschieden haben.

Ich hoffe dieser Blog-Post konnte euch motivieren bei dieser Challenge mitzumachen. Ich würde mich auf jeden Fall über Teilnehmer freuen. Falls ihr dabei seid teilt es mir doch mit und teilt eure Erfahrungen und Rezepte. Als Inspiration diesbezüglich wird hier einmal wöchentlich ein Menüplan veröffentlicht, indem ich euch zeige, was bei uns auf den Tisch gekommen ist. Ich hoffe auf einen regen Ideenaustausch und viele Teilnehmer.

Bis bald,

eure Sarah

 

 

 

Swiss Cheese Aligot

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If you ask my Facebook account Aligot is the most trending dish on the internet right now. Every time I browse my timeline, I see people devouring this savory treat of gooey cheese and it makes me feel like I want to jump right through the screen and steal it away from them. And yes, I am definitely entitled to do so, as I`m from Switzerland, the “Land of Cheese” itself. We consider ourselves the “Lord of Cheese” *lol*. This might be the slight reason, I am so addicted to cheese. When I travel people often ask me “What is the thing you most miss about your country?”. And my answer is always straight away “Cheese”. So obviously there is no way I am going to miss out on trying Aligot.

You might already have guessed by the sound of it`s name, that Aligot is a traditionally French dish. It originates from the region of Aubrac and consists of mashed potatoes, the French Tomme cheese, cream and butter.                                                                                        Here a tiny little shout-out to the people traveling to France or staying there right now, please take advantage and try this dish, if you have the possibility (TripAdvisor may help to find a good restaurant).                                                                                                              But what if you don`t have the possibility to travel to France? Right, you try this at home and you will see, it is really delicious as well. Just get prepared to sweating a tiny little bit, due to the constant stirring the preparation requires.

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Ingredients (for 4 servings):

  • 1kg starchy potatoes
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 650g grated cheese –  I used a Swiss Fondue mixture (400g) & a cheese pie mixture (250g), but feel free to use Tomme, the cheese traditionally used for this dish
  • 50g butter
  • 200ml milk – you can also use cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg (optional)

Preparation:

  1. place the potatoes in a pan & fill in water until they are slightly covered by the water
  2. bring to boil, cover the pan & cook until you can easily pierce them with a fork (about 20 to 30 minutes depending on the size of your potatoes)
  3. drain off water & let potatoes rest for a while, so as they can dry
  4. peel potatoes & mash them using a fork, a potato masher or whatever tool you use to mash your potatoes – I used a passe-vite
  5. peel garlic cloves & press them using a garlic squeezer
  6. melt butter in a pan on low temperature, add mashed potatoes, pressed garlic, salt, milk & if you like some grated nutmeg, mix together until the mashed potatoes have a smooth texture
  7. now start adding the grated cheese step by step whilst constantly stirring
  8. your Aligot is ready and has enough cheese once it has a gooey texture and forms threads when poured from a spoon

Sorry I can not provide any spectacular video, we tried but I felt the pyjama pants I was wearing weren`t looking that great *lol*. Oh and my voice sounds terrible when taped, so I felt like I wanted to save you this experience.

Read you soon,                                                                                                                                  xoxo Sarah

Low-Fat Chicken Tikka Masala with Pineapple

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Are you ready to be taken on a taste adventure which will cause an incredible explosion of different flavors in your mouth? If yes let`s dive into the world of spices immediately.

For some of us spices are as essential in the kitchen as the stove you cook on. For others they are an exclusive accessory, they like to use to a minor degree. Of course both is very accurate. For example what would a traditional German “Krautsalat” (cole slaw) be without it`s cumin seeds? Or a mediterranean “Ratatouille” without dried thyme & rosemary? On the other hand spices are so posh, that they have the super power to transform every dish – no matter how plain –  into something extraordinary.

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If you want to experiment with spices the Indian kitchen is one good option to go for and one of the most popular dishes here in Europe is the Tikka Masala. Ok, as far as I found out through internet research Tikka Masala wasn`t created in India, but at least it`s derived from an Indian dish.                                                                                                      What is important here, is the fact that it gets you into trying different spices. The original Chicken Tikka Masala is prepared with yogurt and cream, which I substituted with milk instead. I hope I am allowed to call it low-fat because of that *lol*. Also traditionally you are supposed to marinate the chicken with a load of the same spices you gonna use later whilst cooking. My husband and I skipped that step, as our tummies were already growling because of hunger. Still I highly recommend to marinate for 15 up to 30 minutes to even achieve a more flavorful eating experience.

Ingredients (for 4 servings):
– 1 pineapple
– 300g chicken fillets
– 1 onion
– 3 garlic cloves
– 1 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 3 teaspoons paprika powder
– 1 teaspoon ground cumin
– 4 teaspoon Zanzibar masala spice or any masala spice you have
– 2 tablespoons sesame oil
– 1 cup tomato sauce
– 4 tablespoons milk or cream
– 1 cup basmati rice
– 2 cups water

Preparation:
1. pour rice in a pan & add water, bring to boil, reduce temperature to very low heat & cover the pan so they rice can cook while you prepare the rest of the meal
2. halve pineapple, if you want to serve this in the pineapple itself, make sure the pineapple remains intact
3. carefully cut out the pineapple flesh & cut into pieces
4. peel & finely chop onion
5. peel & press garlic cloves using a garlic squeezer, if you are using fresh ginger do the same steps for the ginger
6. heat olive oil in a frying pan, add onion & rinsed off chicken fillets, cook until chicken isn’t pink anymore on the outside
7. add pineapple & all the spices, tomato sauce & milk, let simmer for 5 more minutes
8. mix together with rice & serve directly in pineapple

I hope you enjoy this recipe

Read you soon                                                                                                                                        xoxo Sarah