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



Recipe: Vegan Cacao Coconut Truffles by Ginevra Held

Cacao Coconut Truffles

Not sure if I mentioned, but I don't have a car here in la belle France, so when I need to go, say to the grocery store, I need a lift.  That being said, I have discovered the amazing Epicerie sur  And today, thank you dear Amazon, I received my package.  In this package, amazing and organic, bien sur, delights.  Can you say organic coconut sugar, Organic Cacao paste, organic shredded coconut, and organic almond butter.

I took the first three and made these Vegan Chocolate Coconut Truffles. There are literally three ingredients: Organic Cacao Paste, Organic Coconut Sugar and Organic Shredded (unsweetened goes without saying) Coconut.

Before we get to the recipe, I wanted to mention I did a little research as I was a little fuzzy on the differences between Cacao paste, cacao powder and cocoa powder.

Cacao paste: also known as Cacao liquor is made when Cacao beans are ground until smooth, then cooled into whatever shape, whether a bar or wafers.  No heat is involved, so they retain the amazing nutritional benefits of the cacao beans.  Also, the cacao butter is not separated, so this is the very pure form of chocolate.

Cacao powder: the Cacao butter is separated from the Cacao liquor, so you get a powder.  Still good, but not as good as the liquor.  I prefer to hold on to the natural fats.

Cocoa powder: This has been heated and the butter removed, basically the homogenized version of cacao.  Best left to the amateurs my friends.  

So, I perused the internet a bit for some recipes, found a recipe by The Little Green Spoon, I followed the methodology of melt, chill and form, but my ingredients are different. 

My Recipe:

1. Melt some Cacao paste.  I set a ceramic bowl in a bath of warming water, to create a double boiler.  This is important, as you never want to burn chocolate.  I used about a handful of Cacao paste wafers.  Stir it a bit to get it all melted.

2.  Remove from heat and add some coconut sugar.  Stir.

3. Add an equivalent amount of Coconut shreds as chocolate, adding slowly to create a batter of sorts.  Basically it should be dense, you don't want it to break apart, so add the coconut shreds slowly.  I was trying to put as much coconut as possible so that it wasn't just a ball of cacao paste.

4. Refrigerate to cool.  Around 30 minutes.

5. Remove from Refrigerator and form little balls by rolling some of the dough in your palms.

6. Lay out more coconut shreds on a plate and roll the balls around in the coconut to coat the outside.

Here are photos of the Method.  

The ingredients, merci

The ingredients, merci

Melt the Cacao Paste Wafers in an improvised double boiler or a real one if you have it.  And congrats you, if you do. Otherwise, get crafty so you don't hurt your chocolate.

Melt the Cacao Paste Wafers in an improvised double boiler or a real one if you have it.  And congrats you, if you do. Otherwise, get crafty so you don't hurt your chocolate.

The mixture has been chilled and formed into balls.  Coconut Shreds have been placed on a plate, and the truffles are ready to roll! Literally.

The mixture has been chilled and formed into balls.  Coconut Shreds have been placed on a plate, and the truffles are ready to roll! Literally.

Luckily, as a professional hand model (not joking at all) I can model with one hand and take a photo with the other.  Rollin', Rollin', Rollin' like a river....

Luckily, as a professional hand model (not joking at all) I can model with one hand and take a photo with the other.  Rollin', Rollin', Rollin' like a river....

And thats it.  They are good to go.  I have to mention, for the photo shoot, so to speak, I wanted some normal looking tea, so I made some Earl Grey.  As I am on the 21 Day Elimination Diet, I haven't had black tea for 2 weeks.  I smelled the tea, and I don't know much about drugs, but I think that Earl Grey smelled like crack to a former addict.  Does crack smell? Not sure.  But Earl Grey smells damn amazing.

These truffles, and again not sure here, but they are pretty much little crack balls two.  If crack was made out of organic cacao paste and coconut shreds.  Just sayin'.

Try these crack babies and let me know what you think! 



Recipe: Healthy Cobb Salad with Ginger carrot dressing by Ginevra Held

Another recipe here folks!

Last night I made a roast chicken.  There is only one way to roast a chicken (don't even try to argue with me) and that is the Zuni Chicken with bread salad recipe.  As we all know, I think we all know, the Zuni Cookbook is a bit pedantic to say the least, so I always use Saveur's version of her recipe.

Chugging right along here with this 21 Day Elimination diet, again thank you Gwyneth Paltrow for all of your great ideas (I mean this both genuinely and a bit ironically as I haven't had cheese for 10 days and I am in the goddamn South of France....) 

So I saw that GOOP had a yummy looking recipe for Ginger Carrot dressing, so I thought I make a pseudo Cobb Salad and use this dressing.

I am going to transcribe the directions for the dressing here, for full ingredient list and directions click here:

1. Pulse the carrot, shallot and ginger in a blender until finely chopped.

2. Scrape down the sides, add the miso, vinegar and sesame seed oil and whiz together. While the blender is going, slowly drizzle in the grapeseed oil and the water.

I left out the water and I didn't have any miso.  I think water makes things go a bit off more quickly.  The dressing really is the bomb! So delish.

Then I assembled my Cobb salad: Lettuce, sliced fennel, cucumber, roast chicken, avocado and again with the pickled onions.

Super delish! Try it and let me know!

By the way, if you didn't already realize, I am a bit obsessed with food photography at the moment, so the photo above is mine!

xo, Ginevra