Andrea and I went to university together for our Bachelor’s. We’ve known each other for some time and we’re quite good friends. She now lives and works in Amsterdam and shares a lovely home with her husband. I’ve known for a while that she’s totally into healthy eating and today I finally got to see and try it firsthand. And it was just great!
Andrea prepared a two-course lunch – a poke bowl and banana bread. I will take after Jamie Oliver’s 30-minute meal recipe book and show you the process in the order it took place.
We started with the banana bread. Andrea is from Slovakia and for this cake she brought out the big guns – biological and very high-quality honey brought from home.
Four medium-sized bananas were squashed with a fork (Andrea recommends it to using a blender, as the latter might make the result too watery). Some cinnamon, a bit of nutmeg, two eggs and some flour. But not any flour – Andrea uses buckwheat flour, a much healthier version. Of course! I make a mental note.
Then some crushed almonds. She said the original recipe is with walnuts but since her husband is allergic, she has found a good replacement.
Everything whisked to a nice cake-dough consistency and in it goes into the baking form. Instead of regular oil to prevent the cake from sticking to the form, Andrea uses a no-stick cooking spray made with canola oil blend – zero calories. I make another mental note.
In the oven for 45min. And now it’s time for lunch!
Poke (pronounced poh-keh) bowls seem to be the hype these days. Andrea says she went to the opening of a joint selling these Hawaii-inspired dishes in Amsterdam and really liked the concept. It’s a base of rice (or the healthy version is quinoa), some fish, usually raw or smoked, and a thousand varieties of combinations possible. Just my type of cooking!
Andrea’s choice was a colourful blend of a variety of ingredients, starting with avocado.
There was some shrimp and soy beans, too. And, something I hadn’t tried before, mango in the main dish. Andrea said this is an inspiration from when she is cooking Asian food.
Then some crab sticks and smoked salmon.
And some mushrooms in the pan, with a bit of salt and a bit of chilli (or a lot of chilli, but Andrea was kind enough to take it easy on me). Oh and the magic oil spray once again.
And this is the resulting spread. Not half bad!
Andrea also made a special version of soya sauce – gluten free soya sauce mixed with a couple of spoonfuls of honey. What a combination – but it worked! It turned out to be the perfect moisture for our meal.
And it was time to eat!
Andrea did the honours with the first bowl, me watching her every move. Outcome was a true explosion of colour, textures and tastes.
It was totally delicious.
What about the dessert, you may wonder? Perfect timing for this lovely cake.
Bread doesn’t come anywhere close to what this beauty tasted like.
Andrea said she also puts either almond butter (very similar to peanut butter) or dates syrup as topping. So we did that. But by that time the camera was tossed to the side and I just enjoyed the sweet (but healthy!) combinations.
Suffice to say that on my way home I stopped by the supermarket and bought bananas. And almonds. And buckwheat flour.
To healthy Sundays!
You can find and follow Andrea on Instagram at @andreahoubova