Recipe: Grilled, Braised and Frittered by Ginevra Held

Lunch today was super yummy and healthy so I had to share.  I had grilled Fava beans with shaved Comte cheese, braised fennel, and leftover Mario Batali Carrot fritters. This is not exactly a recipe, more of a food share, and this is after all the sharing economy.  However don't fret, I will tell you how lunch came about.

Grilled Fava Beans:

Super Easy:

Preheat oven, use the broiler for this, I did a broiler with fan at 220 Celsius, we have a pretty fancy oven here, so if you don't have that option, just put it on the broiler setting.

Wash and dry fava beans.  Put on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Put in oven and cooked until they are deeply brown, charring a bit.  I was going to turn them over, but didn't have to as they were browning on both sides.

Serve with Fleur de Sel, shaved Compte or Parmesan and Lemon!!!

Here is a link for Saveur Grilled Fava Recipe for reference.

Braised Fennel:

Slice fennel bulb, not too thin, not too thick.  Put oil in a pan at medium high.  Add the fennel. Leave the fennel alone! until it is brown on one side.  Turn it over and brown the other side.  Then add about a tablespoon of water and let that boil off. Done! Serve with lemon zest and lemon!

Mario Batali's Carrot Fritters: My adaptation:

5 carrots, washed, peel, cut in half

1 scallion

1/4 cup buckwheat flour

1 egg, beaten

Place carrots in food processor and process until small but not baby food.  Alternatively use the grating blade if you have it.

Place carrots in a bowl with scallion, buckwheat flour, salt, pepper, and egg.  Mix to combine. Should hold together nicely.

Using your hands, made little patties and place them onto a pan with olive oil that is relatively hot but not smoking,  Brown on each side.


Here is a link for Mario Batali's original Carrot Fritelle Recipe

Recipe: Easy Healthy Avocado and Egg Salad by Ginevra Held


Here is a quickie but a goodie for you!  You won't miss the mayonnaise when you have the avocado in the salad and tahini in the dressing.  Okay, you might, because lets face it, mayo is awesome.  But so is this salad! 


Egg and Avocado Salad:

1 Avocado, cubed

2 hardboiled eggs, cubed

1/3 cucumber, cubed

2 scallions sliced

For the vinaigrette:

1 tablespoon Tahini

3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

2 teaspoons Sesame Oil

1 teaspoon turmeric

Mix all of the vinaigrette ingredients with a whisk. Place avocado, eggs, cucumber, and scallions in a bowl.  Dress with vinaigrette, toss to combine.  

Save some of the vinaigrette for a side salad.


Healthy and Easy!!!

xo, Ginevra


Recipe: Gluten and Dairy Free Muffins by Ginevra Held

One of the results of the 21 Day Elimination Diet, for me, is more openness to gluten and dairy alternatives.  As much as I love Gluten and Dairy, I must now admit that consuming them less, does make one look and feel better.

So the other day at the market, I bought some Buckwheat flour (called Sarassin in French in case you are shopping at L'Eclerc too).  I usually check 3 sources for recipes online, Bon Appetit, Food52 and increasingly GOOP.  After perusing the 3 sites, I decided I liked Goop's Buckwheat & Banana Pancake recipe the best.  As per usual I made substitutions based on what I had, and what I like. The first time I made these, I made them as pancakes.  The next time, I made them muffins.  For Goop's Buckwheat and Banana Pancakes, click here.

What I liked about the recipe was that it called for alternative flours and dairy.  Now, although I like the idea of Almond Milk, I don't like that you pretty much can not buy one without preservatives in it.  So I thought, what is milk essentially?  It is water and fat.  So instead of milk, I substituted water and two types of oil, olive and coconut.  

The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of buckwheat and then the recipe gives you choice of 1/2 cup of all purpose flour, or spelt flour or rice flour to go gluten free.  Well I didn't have any rice flour, I still wanted to go gluten free, so I added coconut flour.  I did not have enough coconut flour, so I also added shredded coconut.

Lemon juice is critical here.  Some pancake recipes call for vinegar (Chocolate Covered Katie fatcake Pancakes) and some for lemon juice (Dr Hyman Blueberry Walnut Pancakes)  I prefer lemon juice, but if in a pinch, cider vinegar is okay. (By the way, both of those are excellent pancake recipes.)

Here is my recipe:

3/4 cup water plus 2 tablespoons

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

1 tablespoon lemon juice (about half a lemon, do not omit)

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1/2 cup buckwheat flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 coconut flour

1/4 cup unsweetened (of course) shredded coconut

pinch of salt

2 teaspoons coconut sugar

1 teaspoon each of cinnamon and nutmeg

Optional: Cacao paste discs


Mix the wet ingredients in a bowl.  Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl.  

Add wet to dry and stir to just combine. If you find the batter too wet add a little bit more buckwheat flour.  This is a wet batter but it should have some integrity.

Using a spoon, put spoonfuls of batter into your cupcake mold.  These babies rise a bit, so don’t over fill.

If using the cacao paste, gently push one or two into the cupcake and then cover with a bit more batter so that they end up in the middle of the cupcake, and don't get burned while baking.

Bake at 200 degrees Celsius (about 400 Fahrenheit) for about 15 minutes, or until golden.

Push Cacao paste wafers gently into center of muffin

Push Cacao paste wafers gently into center of muffin

Then Cover them with a bit more batter...

Then Cover them with a bit more batter...


These are delish!!!!

Also, did I mention they are gluten free!

I love coconut flour and desiccated coconut in this.  It's great to use these alternative flowers and get a lovely treat.  

Let me know how it goes!


xo, Ginevra



Health: 21 Day Elimination Diet by Ginevra Held

So yesterday I completed the 21 Day Clean Diet also known as the Elimination Diet.  I should make it clear, I am not using the shakes that you buy from Dr. Junger.  I am following the food elimination guidelines that he sets forth.

Now, I don’t like the word “diet” because it suggests an attempt at weight loss which this is not. As my friend said when I mentioned I was doing an Elimination Diet, “what the hell, you are skinny AF.”  Amusing.

I went on the diet in order to attempt to determine if I have food allergies.  The fact is since I was little, I have randomly gotten itchy red things (gross) on my face and of course American doctors are never interested in why, they just try and prescribe you something which either a) does nothing b) makes it worse or c) has ridiculous side effects.  Needless to say, I never filled any prescription they advised for my crazy skin.  

I noticed that my skin was totally acting up so I thought I would give this diet a try to see if food is playing a part.

The way the 21 Day Clean works is for 21 Days (duh) you only eat foods that are not known to cause allergies.

Simply put, no eggs, dairy (cheese, milk, butter, yogurt), no gluten at all, no red meat, no sugar. Also no caffeine or alcohol.  Also, no strawberries, oranges or grapefruits, no nightshades (eggplant, tomatoes) and no potatoes.  For the full list and guide from Dr Junger click here:

I really like pasta, eggs, cheese and yogurt and that has been the hardest.  Before starting the diet, I hadn’t had that much bread and was had gone without milk for a while as I couldn't easily buy it within walking distance, so giving those two up at the start was not hard. Additionally,  I don’t really consume much sugar, but you can’t have honey or maple syrup, which was a little annoying.

Basically, my diet these past weeks has been a lot of vegetables, in varying combinations, roasted, sautéed, stir fried (don’t forget no soy sauce).  And a mix of quinoa, lentils and black rice. Plus, at one point I really needed a chicken, so I got one to roast, along with some turkey breast, this was very helpful for a change of pace. Overall the diet is not that bad.  Plus I use a lot of olive oil and coconut oil so that helps.

I learned about this diet from Gwyneth Paltrow, of course, and I have been wanting to try it for a while.  I decided this was a good time since I am alone, so I didn't bother anyone with what I can and can not eat, and summer fruits and vegetables are not quite in full swing, so I am not missing out totally on tomatoes and strawberries.  Luckily though, there is a lot of Spring produce available.  I think this diet would be very hard in the winter with less vegetable options.

I learned a couple of things straight away:

  1. Read everything!  I mostly don’t eat anything packaged at all, however, I had a favorite curry spice mix I was using.  Before I embarked on the 21 days, I read everything in my kitchen.  The curry spice has potato in it. wait what?! The balsamic crema has high fructose corn syrup (are you f*ing kidding me.) And the herbal tea I bought for this diet, but did not ready has barley extract. WTF
  2. When you restrict your diet, you are forced to explore other modes of eating.  I think we all get into a habit of reliance on one or another food group and I know for sure I was getting way too friendly with my eggs and cheese.  They say again and again, lots of vegetables, and really its true.
  3. Vinegar and Lemon Juice are your best friend.  I have also put vinegar on everything, or wanted to and now I have an excuse.  Vinegar and Lemon are the flavor makers.
  4. Spices rock.  This has forced me to use more spices.  I am very liberal when it comes to spices, never really paying attention to how much a recipe calls for, unless its something hot.  
  5. You can eat a ton of vegetable until you feel full, but you don’t every really get that heavy feeling that comes from the other stuff. This is nice.

Now that my 21 days are completed, you begin a reintroduction phase to try and self assess allergies.  Before I get into that I want to reflect on where I am after 21 days.

I feel my skin is much clearer and I did not have any itchy reaction marks.  (actually, this is not true, there was a recipe for root vegetables in Dr. Junger's manual, it called for parsnip or ruttabega or one of those, I roasted one, and almost immediately I had a little rash.  Clearly, I am not meant to eat those, and it was easy to determine the culprit as everything had already been eliminated!)

I have retrained myself to fill my plate with vegetables.  I have always been very mindful of health and eating healthily but I think we all get side tracked occasionally and this has been a good reminder of Michael Pollan's adage to "eat food, not too much, mostly plants."  I never ever eat anything that is packaged or prepared, I was more relying too heavily on my eggs and cheese and pasta as we are want to do in winter.

Basically, I think this was a good experiment and again has really brought more mindfulness to my eating. I have been experimenting with alternative flowers and sugars etc and this has just furthered the curiosity.   

I also think Instagram has helped in a way, in that I have taken pride in my cooking to the effect that I want to photograph it and share it.  This is a good thing as it plays into the mindfulness aspect.  Good food is not just fuel, it is a way of life.

Now that I have completed my 21 days, there is a reintroduction phase.  This is where, duh, you reintroduce the foods you’ve eliminated, one at a time and in isolation so that you can assess your reaction.  I think this makes a lot of sense.  It will be time consuming but hopefully worth it.

Today I reintroduced dairy, I will let you know how that goes.  I chose to get sheep's milk yogurt instead of cow's milk.  I feel that because of this diet I am more open to alternatives.  You need to break habits every once in a while so that you can forge new paths.

Again here is the full cleanse program from Dr. Junger:

Gwyneth Paltrow’s second cook book, It’s All Good has lots of recipes for this diet.

Dr. Hyman is the other professional I have been taking advice from, he advocates avoiding gluten and dairy and not being afraid of good fat which is right up my alley.  

Are there any specific food diets you have tried?