Bonjour Paris

21When I woke up to this sky in the morning in Paris I was comforted by the stillness and peacefulness. Another spectacular day ahead of me:) Paris has a charm different to that of Nice or Avignon. Of course it is one of the biggest holiday destinations, so you see touristy places full of crawling people. Then you take a turn to narrow side streets and find yourself away from the hustle and bustle. So easy to get lost. Oh I never walked this much in my life >.< We walked average 20km a day while staying in Paris. Cobblestones look pretty but not that great for my feet. I strongly recommend to take super comfortable walking shoes when going to France.
13We started walking along the Seine to say a quick hello to Eiffle tower on the first day. Oh I so enjoyed pretty Autumn colours in Paris – yellow and red colour-changing leaves, beautiful sun and cool breeze. People were casually having a sunbath and drinking French wine along the river.
14My first encounter with this charming city was about 10 years ago. There are many beautiful places around the world that want to go back to. Paris is one of those that keeps calling me back and makes my heart flutter. I was there with my brother in my early 20s and visited obligatory touristy places. This time it was nice to step off the tourist track and wander around quiet back streets. I cannot put in words, but compared to 10 years ago, it definitely felt different when I went in my 30s. Would that be different again in 40s? I will find out…
14These love locks have gone viral all around the world, even on these old bridges in Paris. Unstoppable lingering thoughts – what kind of love story these love locks have, are those people happy now together, have they ever come back to find their locks again, how many keys are under the Seine? I wonder.
10Vintage markets on the street, rose petals after the wedding, couples doing wedding photo shoots, cute little arcades… all the things that we discovered by walking, not using metro or bus. Sore feet were worthwhile in the end.weddingLuxembourgI absolutely enjoyed poking in and out gourmet shops and groceries in Paris. This restaurant was one of them, very hidden in the back streets. Why not stop for a quick dejeuner? A platter of grilled vegetables, slices of cold meat, Parmesan cheese and a basket of baguette was simple yet delicious. Affogato was surely a nice finish to the amazing meal.11

Raw Snack Bars with Oats and Figs

oat and fig bars1
I adore little dried figs for snacking or adding into salads. Soft and gooey outside when you bite into it, then little seeds pop up in your mouth. Such a nutrient-dense funny little fruit! Figs are beautifully sweet and juicy when you can get them fresh from the markets. Dried figs are relatively easy to find all year around and naturally sweetness in them is just amazing. Why are they good for us? Dried figs are high in both soluble and insoluble fibre, which helps your digestion and blood sugar level. One serving (about a half cup or 4 big ones) can provide you 12% of daily value for calcium, which makes them one of the calcium-rich foods, good for your bone health. Not only that, figs are abundant in essential minerals such as potassium, magnesium. iron and antioxidants.

I cannot believe how easy and quick to make these snack bars at home with no nasty and artificial ingredients that you normally get from the packets. Most ingredients are there in your pantry. So all you need is a couple of minutes to blitz your food processor 🙂 These snack bars are loaded with goodness and yumminess, great for a snack with a cuppa, a treat in your lunch box, before or after exercise or when you feel like sweets in the evening. Any time of the day x
oat and fig barsIngredients (makes 4)

100g rolled oats
100g soft dried figs (soak in warm water for a couple of minutes if you have hard ones)
2 tbsp raw honey
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tbsp pepitas
1 tsp cinnamon powder
a pinch of Himalayan salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until you get a paste consistency. Add a bit of water if the mixture is too dry. Transfer the mixture into a container and press firmly with a spatula. Set in a fridge for 30 minutes before cutting.

Pea Mint Coconut Soup

pea coconut soupNormally making soup takes a lot of effort and time, but this one takes only 15 minutes to prepare and flavour is light and delightful. It is your choice to serve either warm or chilled, but both are seriously good. I think when you have a house party, serving this in shot glasses will impress your guests and is a great refreshing appetiser before seafood. Super easy and delicious!

Why is this soup good for you? Coconut is highly nutritious and rich in fibre, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. Coconut milk is made from grated coconut flesh soaked in hot water and then extracted to a liquid. It is lactose free, great for vegan and people with lactose-intolerant. Lauric acid in coconut milk has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, that may protect you from infection and virus. Although it is good for you, you need to enjoy in moderation since it is quite high in calories and fat. You can reduce the amount of coconut milk by half in this recipe and simply replace with water or stock if you are conscious.

Ingredients (serves 2)

200g green peas
1 sprig of mint
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 onion
1/2 tsp minced garlic
400ml coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste

Heat coconut oil in a pot over medium heat. Add finely chopped onion and garlic and keep stirring until translucent and fragrant but not browned. Add green peas either fresh or frozen and coconut milk into a pot and simmer for 5-10 minutes. You can add a bit of water or stock if you want a thinner consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Ladle into bowls or cups and drizzle olive oil to serve. Serve either warm or cold.