Hey guys, let me introduce you to my friend Belinda. We met and immediately became friends in 2007, when we both decided to spend part of our summer in Costa Rica. Mainly to attend a language school, but I mean, who doesn’t love Spanish, partying, the rainforest and an ocean full of surfers. I remember it like it was yesterday. Such a crazy month I surely don’t want to miss. So as you can see, we have been friends for a pretty long time, mostly we wrote each other long messages about how life was treating us. We have seen each other in person 7 times in 7 years. How poetic.
One thing I have always loved about her life is that she travelled a lot as a kid, and still does. She grew up in countries like Cameroon, Benin and the U.S. Her parents are Congolese but currently live in the States. We talked a lot about common stereotypes, racism and feminism. I got a better insight and understanding for things I may not have thought of myself.
One of her favorite dishes as a kid was HACHIS PARMENTIER AUX LEGUMES DU SUD. Last time she visited me, I made it for her. Whenever her family wanted to celebrate something, her mum made this dish especially for her. I created this vegan version by simply replacing minced meat with Kamut and cream for coconut cream. Did you know, baking mashed potatoes is, simply put sinful. Oh lord. Of course I couldn’t resist taking pictures of this sweet girl. She was very nervous, since it was her first actual photo shoot but I couldn’t be happier about the outcome. I mean, just look at that face. Beautiful. After finishing her bachelors degree in English Literature, Lilly spend one year in Krems, Austria as an au-pair to make new experiences. Now she is back home in the States, planning her next adventure. I am curious about her further plans, change is in the air. Hopefully she is gonna be a writer one day, because I can’t wait to read more of her poems and plays. I asked her to write one for this blog entry. And here it is:
There is nothing better than eating really good food with really good friends. Amidst the chaos of life, between new jobs, breakups and everyday drama, sharing a meal with friends can be therapeutic.
In that moment, you can remove yourself from your life and just be. Simple serenity. The voice and laughter of your friends, added to the taste of food is almost intoxicating.
Truly the best is eating your favorite childhood meal made for you by your best friend. Old memories mix with new ones and you are home.
– HACHIS PARMENTIER AUX LEGUMES DU SUD –
for 4; vegan
400g of Kamut or Rye
2 tbsp. of red bell pepper powder
1 tbsp. of cumin
1 tbsp. of cilantro powder
1 tbsp. of salt
1 kg of potatoes
200 ml of coconut milk
LAYER NR. 1:
1. Wash and boil Kamut according to package instructions. Drain and bring into blender to make a minced meat like consistency. Blend several small amounts. Set aside.
2. Cut tomatoes and garlic into tiny pieces and bring them with into pan on medium heat with red bell pepper powder, cumin, cilantro and some salt. Stir for up to 10 minutes until a thick paste has formed.
3. Turn up the heat and add your kamut minced meat to the pan with the tomato paste and mix everything up well for another 10 minutes. Bring mass into your casserole dish, and spread out evenly.
LAYER NR. 2:
1. Cut eggplants, peppers and tomatoes into pieces and fry them for 15 minutes until soft.
2. Add some salt and bring your second layer into casserole dish.
LAYER NR. 3:
1. Boil potatoes until soft. Remove skins.
2. In a large bowl bring together potatoes, coconut milk, salt and grated nutmeg and mash up until a very smooth mass has formed.
3. Spread out well and bake for 35 minutes on 220°C.
Kamut has a nutty flavor, also called Khorasan wheat and makes a worthwhile addition to your diet. It provides you with fiber, protein and several minerals. Protein plays a central role in maintaining strong tissue and also aids in oxygen transport and immune function. Consume kamut as an excellent source of the essential minerals selenium and manganese. Both minerals function as antioxidants, which means they protect you from genetic mutations and cell membrane damage caused by free radicals. Kamut also benefits your health by providing considerable amounts of magnesium and zinc. A diet rich in zinc benefits your immune system and promotes healthy thyroid function, while magnesium strengthens bone tissue and activates enzymes your cells need to function.
Potatoes are a very popular food source, mostly consumed in an unhealthy fried way. They are nutrient dense, help to lower cholesterol and slows down digestion to keep you full longer. They are full of vitamin C, but most of it will get lost due to the heat of cooking. Moreover they contain vitamin B6, potassium, iron, copper and phosphorus. Vitamin B6 is essential for the formation of virtually all new cells in the body, also some amine-derived neurotransmitters require vitamin B6 for their production, such as serotonin, a lack is linked to depression and melatonin a hormone needed for a good night’s sleep and more.