Taco Feast

img_7507What to cook when friends are coming over? I’m sure that if it doesn’t have to be too formal, a Taco Feast will be just what you’re looking for. Make it a complete Mexican themed evening if you like! By making everything separate and serving it in nice looking bowls, everybody can make their own taco. It might even be a nice idea to let everybody make and bring something. Especially when you’re with a big group. Also.. are taco’s not the best? They’re super messy to eat, but they taste so goodddd.. I don’t even eat them that often, but if I do I am really enjoying it and I always tell myself to eat it again soon. So tell your friends to bring their sombrero’s and go Mexican this weekend!

img_7509TACO FEAST

Serves: 4

-8 tortilla wraps
mince
-300 gr mince
-1 onion
-1 clove garlic
-1 tbs olive oil
-1 tsp oregano
-1/2 tsp smoked paprika
-1/2 tsp chili flakes
-1/2 tsp cumin
-salt/pepper (to taste)
salsa
-2 cups tomatoes (chopped)
-1/4 onion (chopped)
-1/2 clove garlic (minced)
-bunch of coriander leafs (chopped)
-1 tsp lime juice
-salt (to taste)
img_7510guacamole
-2 avocado’s (smashed)
-1/4 red bell pepper (chopped)
-2 cloves garlic (minced)
-2 tsp lemon juice
-salt/pepper (to taste)
salad
-1/2 iceberg lettuce (chopped)
-1/4 cucumber (chopped)
-4 babycorns (chopped)
-1 tbs olive oil
-salt (to taste)
extra
-2 cups black beans
-corn cobs
-jalapeño peppers

-Preheat the oven at 180C (for the taco’s).
-For the mince: Fry the onion in the olive oil for about 4 minutes on a medium fire. Mix in the garlic for another minute.
-Add the mince (I used the mince form Fry’s) and fry on a high fire, until hot and until it’s a slightly darker colour.
img_7508-Mix in all the spices and fry for another 2 minutes. Add salt to taste.
-For the salsa: Mix all the ingredients of the salsa in a bowl. If you like a sauce consistency better, you could also put it all in the food processor or blender.
-For the guacamole: Mix all the guacamole ingredients together and add salt/pepper to taste.
-Mix up the salad ingredients.
-Make the tortilla’s wet and then hang them, upside down, over the oven rack, so that they form a taco shell. Take them out of the oven after 5-8 minutes, when they’re a little darker. Let them cool down, so they get crispy.
-Put everything in nice looking bowls and let everybody make their own taco.

Do you like Mexican food? I’m sure you at least like taco’s, especially when you can make them yourself. Please let me know when you’ve tried it. You can do this in a comment below.. or you can tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

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Yay for King’s Day!

As I’m Dutch myself, I’d like to give King’s Day some credit from over here. Everything in the Netherlands will be orange today! Today the Dutch people are celebrating the birthday of king Willem-Alexander. As we used to have a queen for very long (King Willem-Alexander is the 1st male monarch in 123 year!), it used to be Queen’s Day. The first Queen’s day was held on 31 of August 1885, in honour of the birth of Queen Wilhelmina. What means it’s a long going tradition. Later on, the date changed to 30th of April, the queens birthday. The next queen, Queen Beatrix, kept that date in honour of her mother and I’m sure part of the reason is also that her own birthday is on the 31 of January. Way too cold! Basically everybody in the Netherlands is celebrating this day. What means it’s probably the biggest birthday party in the world. People dress up, mainly in orange, but also in the colours of the flag: red, white and blue. As the lion represents the Netherlands, this is also a symbol you most probably will spot this day. But the most important rule seems to be: the crazier, the better! There are flea markets and activities everywhere, spread over the country, but especially Amsterdam is going totally crazy! Around 250.000-300.000 are traveling to Amsterdam, from all over the Netherlands and the rest of the world, to be part of it. Because for a long time the date used to be April the 30th, there are still a lot of tourists who come to Amsterdam, all dressed up, 3 days late! Poor them! Anyway,, I’ll not be in the Netherlands this time to celebrate, but especially for King’s Day I created 2 healthy (orange) recipes.. lunch and dinner if you like. Oh and if you are going: Enjoy!

RAWR

Can be eaten all raw (leave the bread out and use raw sesame oil). It might seems strange in combination with the strawberries, but I promise you it’s tasty.

Serves: 2

1 courgette
1 cucumber
2 carrots
6 strawberries
1 avocado (smashed)
1 clove garlic (minced)
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbs sesame oil
salt/pepper (to taste)
fresh basil leaves
1 tbsp mixed seeds
2 pita breads

-Use a spiralizer for the courgette, cucumber and the carrots.
-Mix the avocado with the garlic, the lemon juice and sesame oil.
-Mix everything together and add salt/pepper.
-Shape the strawberries and the basil leaves into tulips and use them as decoration.
-Sprinkle the seeds over the salad and serve with warm pita bread.


KING’S MEAL

Super healthy and loaded with protein. Apart from eating this on King’s Day (to restore energy), this is a perfect meal for after a good work out.

Serves: 2

200 gr red lentil pasta (uncooked)
1 cup butter beans (cooked)
3 hands spinach
1/2 onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1/3 chili pepper (chopped)
3 tbs houmous
1 tbs olive oil
salt/pepper (to taste)

-Cook the pasta as described on the pack.
-Put the olive oil, the onion, the garlic and the chilli pepper in a frying pan and fry them until the onion gets brown edges.
-Add the beans and the spinach. Switch off the heat, just before the spinach all slunk.
-Mix in the houmous and then carefully mix in the pasta.
-Add salt and pepper.

Are you in the Netherlands today to celebrate King’s Day? Are you going to make these recipes? I’d love to see some pictures (of the food and of today..)! You can show them to me by tagging me in the picture or by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. I look forward to it! Thank you! X

Yo Sushi

img_7761It looks so nice.. sushi on a belt! You sit at a table or at the bar and you can pick whatever you like. When I think about sushi, I always think about a sushi belt. Though, a lot of sushi restaurants don’t even have one. There is at least one known sushi restaurant that does have one and that is ‘Yo Sushi’. Funny name! A few years ago I went to Yo Sushi, but I only remember ordering some Avocado maki. I really wanted to go again as I love Japanese food. On my last birthday my boyfriend and I went to the premier of ’50 Shades Darker’ in Westfield and as there is a Yo Sushi in Westfield, I chose to go there. So that is what we did.

img_7808It was a Friday evening, so there were no tables available anymore. Not to worry, we took seats at bar. What was fine. I asked about the vegan options and they asked if I would like to see the vegan menu. Vegan menu? Yes please! On the vegan menu you can see what dishes are vegan. To see what it looks like (every dish has a picture) and what it costs, you have to look at the general menu. If you look at the pictures I took, you can see that every plate has a different colour. Every colour is a different price. You can get the dishes from the belt or you can order them. There is plenty of staff walking around, but in case there is nobody or they’re busy helping somebody else, they invented a button. If you push the button they can see you need them to come over. Super handy! The edamame beans are on the belt quite a lot, but the img_7807maki rolls for example, you have to order. They also have a ‘Tofu Katsu Curry’ (yes!) and you have to order that one too. Of course I did, because this was one of the reasons I wanted to go here. It was super delicious. My boyfriend ordered the ‘Miso Dumpling Ramen with Rice’ and that was very delicious too. I really love that he chooses to eat vegan whenever he’s with me. He’s amazing! Another favourite of mine, is the ‘Pumpkin Katsu’ and my boyfriend really liked the ‘Vegetable Gyoza’. In total there are 17 vegan dishes and I think that really deserves a compliment! I also really like that on the bar, in a lot of places, there are 2 little taps with still and sparkly water. So you order a glass and then you can fill it as many times as you like. Next to the tabs you can also help yourself to soy sauce, wasabi and ginger.

img_7752Yo Sushi is quite a fancy restaurant I think. The sushi belt makes it look really cool I guess. Though I also really dislike the belt at the same time. It’s just because you’re eating this yummy cruelty free food, but in the meantime there are all dead fish and cows passing by every second. It would have been amazing if all plates had vegan food on it. Maybe they should introduce vegan evenings?! Haha.. would be cool! The place itself is all very bright and quite colourful. There is a lot of silver, white and bright orange. I think Yo Sushi is very nice to go to with people who all like something different, because there are so many little dishes. I think you can always find something you like.

WHO? Yo Sushi.
WHERE? 2106, Westfield Shepherd’s Bush, Ariel Way, W12 7GF.
CUISINE? Japanese.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 8 (Lots of delicious vegan options, less nice to also see the non vegan options)

Do you know Yo Sushi? Do you like Japanese food? Are you going here after reading this? Please let me know! You can do this by leaving a comment below. You can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Planet Manel’s 1 year Anniversary + GIVEAWAY!

Yay!! Today Planet Manel is 1 year old! Already for a whole year I’ve been writing about my passions. If you follow me for a while already, you know that this is mainly veganism. I love having my blog and I dare to say that I grew a lot in the past year. There were a lot of things that needed to improve and still there are things I work on and I try to improve every time I write something. I want to thank you all for following me, commenting and liking my posts. I really appreciate every one of you and I couldn’t do this if it wasn’t for my readers. Thank you so much!

As you can see, the website changed a little bit. A fresh start for a new year. I hope you like it and that this made it easier to find things. But to really celebrate the 1st anniversary, I created a little Giveaway with some of my personal favourites.

The giveaway:
-Avocado socks
-Peanut butter Nakd bar.
-Banana bread Nakd bar.
-Tony’s Chocolonely (almond/sea salt).
-Lenny & Larry’s cookie (snickerdoodle).
-Heath & Heather tea (green tea and coconut).
-‘Baa Bar’ bubble bar from Lush.

-I mean.. who doesn’t need avocado socks? Definitely great for the avocado-addicts over here! Like me.. I’ve got these sock myself! 
-Nakd bars for the win! These 2 are my favourite flavours, they even taste great together.. haha!
-Tony’s Chocolonely is hard to find here in the UK, but I brought this one especially from Holland. This is definitely the best flavour for sure! Just believe me..
-Just because after that huge work out, you need a treat!
-This green tea in combination with ‘Oatly Foamable’ is heaven! It’s like drinking green tea with coconut milk. Call it a ‘tea colada’!
-This is actually my second favourite bubble bar (Rose Jam is nmbr 1!!), but this one is lovely before you go to sleep. Soak yourself with this soy lavender goodness! Also.. it looks like a pig snout.. so it’s lovely! 

How do you win?!
-Follow my blog (you can enter your email address at the bottom of the website).
-Follow me on Instagram.
-Leave a comment below.

*** On the 1st of April the winner will be announced! (no joke.. haha!)

Thank you again and please enter the giveaway! If you have questions or if you want to send me a message about anything else, please do that via CONTACT. Thank you! X

Xmas Dinner

img_3262It’s almost Christmas! Are you reeaaady?! I wasn’t really, as I wanted to post this recipe a little earlier, but I didn’t have enough time. Sorry guys! Are you a real Christmas fan or do you think it’s all a bit too much? I personally really like Christmas, especially buying the presents and making a nice Christmas dinner for my family. At first my dad, my sister and I always made it together. My sister and I did the starter or the dessert and my dad did the main, but lately me and my sister are doing everything, what is nice too. My sister is really good at making desserts, so I decided to do the rest. I chose to do some simple things and also we’re just going to img_3264put everything on the table, instead of making every single plate. We did this because it’ll be a lot easier with 8 people and you can just take the things you like best. Now you’re probably curious about what I’m going to make? I’ll make a dill-beetroot salad and stuffed sweet potatoes from the oven, but there will also be lots of other veggies on the table like brussel sprouts, pumpkin, green beans, corn cobs and broccoli. Yum! If you don’t know what to make for Christmas yet, then this might inspire you. It’s easy to make, it doesn’t involve hours in the kitchen and it’s quite on budget too.. oh and did I say it’s delicious?!

img_3261BLOODY SALAD

Serves: 2

4 Beetroots (chopped)
2 tbsp mayonaise
1/2 avocado (chopped)
1 walnut (chopped)
1/4 cup peas (frozen)
1/4 tsp fresh dill (chopped)
1 cup spinach
2 tbsp feta (crumbled)

-Get the beetroots which are already cooked, the ones that are vacuum packed.
-Defrost the peas by putting them in boiling water for 10 minutes.
-Mix everything together and crumble the feta + come extra dill on top.


img_3265STUFFED SWEETY PIES

Serves: 2

2 sweet potato
1/2 black beans (canned)
1/2 onion (chopped)
1 clove garlic (mashed)
4 baby corns (chopped)
1 tomato (chopped)
1 tsp fresh parsley (chopped)
2 tbsp cream cheese
pepper/salt (to taste)
2 tbsp cheese (grated)
1 tsp olive oil
pepper/salt (to taste)

-Preheat the oven ay 200C.
-Rub some olive oil and a little salt on the sweet potatoes and put them in the oven for 50-60 minutes (depends on how big your sweet potatoes are).
-In the meantime you fry the onion, the garlic and the baby corns in the wok for about 6-8 minutes.
-Add the black beans, the tomato, the parsley and some pepper/salt and keep mixing it for 2 more minutes.
-Take the wok from the stove and mix in the cream cheese.
-Cut open the sweet potatoes, stuff them with the filling and put some grated cheese on top.
-Put the potatoes back in the oven (or grill) for a few minutes, until the cheese is nicely melted.

img_3260Are you having a Christmas dinner with family and/or friends?What are you going to make (or eat) ? If you didn’t decide yet, then this is a good option, also if you’re bringing (a vegan option) something when you’ve been invited. Or maybe you can make it for New Years evening?! Or whenever you feel like it of course.. haha! Please let me know if you decided to make these recipes! You can do this by leaving a comment below or by showing me on Instagram using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Easy Peasy

18It’s easy peasy to just put some things in a bowl, mix it up and eat! I use this meal quite often for after I get back from the gym. Because of the chickpeas and peas it’s a good protein meal and it has good fats. Sometimes I even make it in advance. So handy, because when I get home I can eat it, take a shower and I will have more time to relax. Apart from all this, it’s also very tasty! It’s one of my favourite quick meals. I love the structure from the chickpeas with the sweet from the peas and the spiciness from the avocado sauce. It’s a delicious combination!

16EASY PEASY

Serves: 1

salad
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup chickpeas (cooked)
1/2 bell pepper (chopped)
1/4 cup corn
sauce
1/2 avocado (mashed)
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp sesame oil
1 garlic clove (mashed)
1/8 tsp ground turmeric
salt/pepper (to taste)
extra
1 hand ful rocket

17-To make it even easier. Have all the ingredients already measured and ready to use.
-Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl. You can use a spoon or a food processor.
-Add the peas, the chickpeas, the bell pepper and the corn and mix well.
-Place a bit of rocket on a plate and serve the salad on top.

Are you going to try this salad? Please let me know or show me by tagging me or using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

AvoSmoothie

14Who likes avocados? I know you’re all raising your hand right now.. haha! Though there are actually a few people who really cant stand avocado’s (like how??), this recipe will I think satisfy everybody. There is not a very strong avocado taste and the structure obviously is way different as it comes in a smoothie. What basically leaves us with a nice creamy goodness with lots of good fats and vitamine E! Also, did you know that the potassium in an avocado can regulate a high blood pressure? So many reason to try this delicious smoothie. It’s great for breakfast or as a post work out snack!

13AVOSMOOTHIE

Serves: 1

300 ml soy milk
1/2 avocado
1 frozen banana
2 medjool dates
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until it’s smooth, creamy and has this beautiful light green colour.

15Do you love avocados? Or you really hate them? Either way I hope you will try this amazing smoothie and please let me know if you liked it! You can let me know in a comment below, but you can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Spicy Crunch

13523655_1178672738843494_261602795_oThis raw salad has a bit of a spicy crunch, though it’s very fresh! Perfect for a lovely lunch on a summer day. The radishes and the turmeric, combined with the raw garlic give a nice little tingle on you tongue. Personally I love this salad, because it has such a rich taste, it’s filling, raw and super healthy. It’s also a perfect side dish salad. With lasagna, pizza or a burger and chips.. and what about a nice vegan barbeque? And I’m sure you can also think of a good reason to make this yummy salad! So start chopping and mixing and enjoy every bite..

SPICY CRUNCH

13548753_1178672725510162_1892574530_oServes: 2

1 gem lettuce (chopped)
1/2 cucumber (chopped)
1/2 yellow pepper (chopped)
6 radishes (diced)
1 spring onions (chopped)
1 avocado (smashed)
1 tbsp lemon (juice)
1 big garlic clove (smashed)
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
Salt/Pepper (to taste)

-Put the lettuce, cucumber, pepper and spring onion in a bowl.
-Mix the avocado with the garlic, lemon juice, turmeric and sesame oil and add salt and pepper to taste.
-Add this to the vegetables and mix well.

Do you like a bit of spice in your salads? Are you going to make this fresh salad? Please let met know or show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram! Thank you! X

Scrub and Shine

13535638_1178672852176816_97452737_nFor many many years I use a natural scrub. It actually started because I found good scrubs very expensive. Also I didn’t want to use a lot, so it’ll last longer, which ended up not using enough to have the best result. I thought of sugar and salt, but the problem is that they melt. So I decided to try it with ground coffee. And it was perfect. I used it together with some body oil under the shower and I could scrub away. You can use coffee you already used(after drinking the coffee from it), but as I don’t drink coffee myself I just buy ground coffee and use that.

13461312_1169448319765936_975829400_oNowadays I use it in combination with LUSH ‘Olive Branch’. I use it for my whole body, but also for my face. For my face I’m a lot more gentle though, because ground coffee can be quite rough. The best part is rinsing it off and feel your skin being smooth and nice. I do use ‘Olive Branch’ again, just to get the coffee smell off me, haha! And I use a nice lotion (Ro’s Argan from LUSH) afterwards to hydrate my skin and make it feel extra soft. This scrub method is great in combination with shaving. After shaving your skin can be very sensitive and have some red spots or/and you have the chance of ingrown hairs. By scrubbing your skin first you make sure the dead skin cells are removed, the hairs are up right and the blades can smoothly move over your skin to give you the best result.

For my face I like to use a facemask to hydrate and feed it. You could buy a face mask, but I really like to make my own. This way it’s super fresh and your skin gets fed straight from nature. One of my favourite is with avocado:

AVOCADO FACEMASK

1/4 avocado (smashed)
1 tbsp oat flour
1 tsp coconut oil

-Mix everything together.
-Use a little bit of boiling water to make it a bit more runny, if necessary.
-Leave it in you face for 20 min before rinsing with lukewarm water.

It leaves your skin, hydrated, super soft and gives you a healthy glow. You just have to try not to eat your mask.. Good luck!

So I dare you to try it too! When you do, please let me know your experience or show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Wasabi

13271764_1155880737789361_906876750_oWho loves sushiiiii?? Sushi is heaven! I just won’t believe you if you say differently. And though people mainly think of raw fish, I think of sticky rice with veggies and delicious seaweed. My personal favourite sushi place is Wasabi, because I like to get sushi on the go, as a quick lunch or take away. Wasabi is perfect for that. There are a lot of Wasabi restaurants in London (39 to be precise), and their sushi is very nice.
In the most Wasabi restaurants there are at least some seats, but there are a few which are a bit bigger than the average one. For this review I went to the one in Knightsbridge, across from Harrods. This is a nice big Wasabi and if you don’t want to, or it’s too busy to eat it there, you can always have a seat at a very nice Starbucks next door.

13288471_1155880767789358_1893192890_oWhat I mostly eat whenever I’m at Wasabi is the ‘mini veg set’, a few extra avocado and cucumber hosomaki’s and a seaweed onigiri (truly addictive). I also always get an extra pack of ginger. Before I start eating I make my plate look pretty. Putting the soy sauce and the ginger (and some wasabi when i’m in the mood) in the little containers, unpack the extra hosomaki’s and put it all together. Doing this all before actually eating it directly is actually really nice, almost feels like a ritual. I like making time for it and even doing it for others whenever I have company.

13271771_1155880757789359_473400536_oSomething very exciting is that very recently they have a brown rice veggie set!! As you probably know, white rice isn’t that good for you. Now they have brown rice sushi available it’s so much healthier. Especially because the amount of seaweed you’re eating too. I was almost euphoric when I found out. Of course I bought a box instantly and it tastes lovely. I hope in the future the onigiri and much more sushi will be available with brow rice too!

13282375_1155880764456025_1488817603_oThe atmosphere is a the same in every restaurant. Their interior is white, with green transparent round chairs and glass tables. It’s quite cold, but because it’s so typical Wasabi you just go with it and you even start to love it.
The only thing about Wasabi I really don’t like is that they create a lot of waste. Everything is packed. A lot of plastic going on there. I would like to see that change.

What is your favourite sushi place? Anybody who likes to go to Wasabi too? Please let me know or show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X