Tag Archives: dinner

Sweet Potato Risotto

Our Spring here in Paris has been around 12 degrees and rainy for the past month, meaning I’ve been making myself dinners that are not too heavy but nourish me nonetheless as this Winter to Spring transition is not easy! For those of you that follow Ayurveda, my vata dosha has been run down. But since really sticking to a very vata-friendly diet, I’ve been feeling a bit better. Thank goodness for my trip to Istanbul tonight for 5 days of 30 degree weather.

If you want to read more about doshas and your body type, you can do a free online quiz here on the Dosha Guru website and every week you’ll receive a little update with tips for your body type. I find them very useful!

This recipe was light and nourishing. Sweet potato is great for vata dosha and as all the ingredients are well cooked not difficult to digest. Remember to not eat too late at night because it creates a build-up of toxins in the body and digestive track.


You’ll need, for 2 people:

1 sweet potato
1 1/2 cups of risotto rice
1 zucchini
a spoon full of crème fraîche
coconut oil
half a cup of chia seeds.

Heat the coconut oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan. I used an assortment of spices to add flavour: ginger, asafetida, turmeric and some rock salt. Add the sweet potato, peeled and cut into small pieces and let simmer down. Add the zucchini, cut in thin slices and then add the rice. Stir until the rice has been covered fully and mixed in then start adding cups of water, each time waiting until the water has been absorbed. You can also use stock in the place of water. As I had added spices it was flavoursome enough but if you prefer you can add stock. Keep repeating this unti the risotto is done. Add the chia seeds at the end and let them sit for around 5 minutes before serving so that they are soft.

I served with a little side of water cress and Indian lime pickle. Add a sprinkle of coriander as it gets rid of heavy metals in the body.





A healthy mashed potato

It’s been the coldest Spring in France for 30 years. I got out my big saucepan and made soups again last weekend. I whipped up this delicious healthy version of your regular mashed potato and ohmygoodness it was good.

Here is how you do it: (for one person)

4 small potatoes
half a cup of quinoa
one grated zucchini

boil the potatoes until soft. Peel them and set aside.
Rince the quinoa and boil it until cooked. Drain.
Grate the zucchini and simmer in coconut oil, ghee, mustard seeds, half a teaspoon of turmeric, sea salt, pepper and some fresh ginger. Add the quinoa and potatoes and toss together until the spices are evenly mixed. Then purée with a hand-mixer.

I served mine and decorated with fresh water cress, sesame seeds, paprika and a splash of extra virgin olive oil.

Side note: Yes, I know, I have a Simpsons bowl. I only have one- promise, and it’s not actually mine 🙂




Basil Hummus

I must say, this idea, which came out of nowhere, was genius. The apartment smelt of sweet fresh basil and it was just what I needed for a weekday dinner. The good news is, it’s easy!

Soak a cup of chickpeas overnight before boiling them as it makes them quicker to cook. Boil until they are very soft and add 4 tablespoons of tahini, as much olive oil as you need until it’s soft, a bunch of basil, sesame seeds, a clove of garlic, a spoon of yoghurt, sea salt, pepper and mix it, baby!


Served on some sourdough bread- nothing better!


How the French eat artichokes

Artichokes are sometimes scary to cook. In France I’ve eaten them a few times and have loved the way they eat them. Their soft hearts are sweet and with a bit of olive oil and balsamic it’s just divine. A great light but nourishing meal.

Here is how you do it à la française:

Cut the ends of the artichokes off and pull of any of the leaves that seem tough. Put them in a deep saucepan and fill up the pan around 1/3 of the way up with water. Bring to the boil and steam for around 35 minutes or until the outer leaves can be easily pulled off.

To serve: prepare a small finger bowl with olive oil and balsamic

To eat: pull off the leaves and dip the fleshy part in the oil preparation and eat this bit only (not the end bits of the leaves) until you get to the heart that is the best bit. As they say, save the best till last!







Kale Soup

Winter time calls for soup time. This simple recipe is something that you can make very quickly at home and is perfect for a light meal with melted cheese on toast (oops!). This soup is just so easy, see for yourselves….

Here is how I did it:
a bunch of kale
a cup of lentils
vegetable stock
a bunch of spinach

I use organic green lentils and cook them up until soft. You’ll need to then drain the water and put new water in as the base of the soup and add the vegetable stock and any herbs or spices that you wish to use. For this soup I use some garam masala and herbes de Provence. The rest is simple: add in the kale and spinach and when the soup is cooked down and soft, blend it and serve it with a dollop of crème fraîche and the zest of a lemon or lime. Yum!

our apartment

our apartment

Kale soup

Kale soup

Kale soup

Kale soup

Kale soup

Kale soup

Kale soup

Kale soup


In other news, be sure to like my boutique facebook page Cleopatra’s Bling as we will be announcing a competition this week to win a gorgeous piece of jewelry!


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

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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Oh la la livia’s first Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a harvest festival, to give thanks. It was the first time I’d celebrated it being Australian, and it was great to do so with an American like Meg who really paved the way.

It made me think about what I am grateful in my life. The answer is, what aren’t I grateful for? Everything is just perfect! (oh, besides one thing, the Winter in France but there is even a silver lining to that problematic… Winter fashion…! Superficial? Maybe.)

Just look at that wonderful spread she put on for us! The garlic green beans were my favourite and her mashed potato was so creamy and warming in Winter.

I’m mad for polaroids so we took a bunch of them.

It was just perfect! I can’t wait until the next!

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Pumpkin and Ginger Soup for Halloween

After being bed-ridden yesterday with the nasty germs that are going around Paris at the moment, and being Halloween, I thought that seeing I can’t go out dressed up with gruesome make up on I’ll make myself a pumpkin soup for the occasion!

This soup is for two people:

500g of pumpkin
1 onion
2cm of ginger
Herbes de Provence
4 cloves of garlic
Coconut oil (and not olive oil! Click here to find out why)

Cut up the pumpkin, onion, ginger and place them in the baking tray with coconut oil. Sprinkle on the herbes de provence. Bake for around 60 minutes and 20 minutes before taking the tray out of the oven, add in the garlic.

Blend everything up and serve with a dollop of crème fraîche, chia seeds and some lime rind for zest.

I am so in love with the Autumn leaves falling at the moment and I love to bring them home.

I must say, this soup goes so well with the colours of these leaves.

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Roasted Chestnut and Pumpkin Soup

Soup in Winter is bliss. Particularly in Paris where Winter pierces my skin and goes straight to my bones. This soup really warms you up. Chestnuts are a plenty in Paris.

Soup for 2 people

What you’ll need:

10 chestnuts, roasted.
Half a pumpkin
A couple of slices of ginger
crème fraîche

To roast chestnuts, they should be rinsed and dried, and a small slit or cross must be made in the skin or they will burst. Pre-heat the oven to 200°CC. Roast prepared chestnuts, in small batches, for 10-20 minutes. Transfer to a tea-towel.

Roast the pumpkin in coconut oil with the ginger until soft.
Mix everything together and add a tablespoon of crème fraîche and a teaspoon of salt.

In case you didn’t know, chestnuts are very high in vitamin C and are a lot lower in calories than other nuts.

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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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