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BWB’s Holiday Menu Pt. 1

Deck the halls with boughs of gluten-free, plant-based food with a French flair from Rebecca Leffler.

‘Tis the season to be healthy. Deck the halls with boughs of gluten-free, plant-based food with a French flair from Rebecca Leffler. The holidays are all about sharing delicious food with the people you love. These easy, simple recipes nourish and satisfy so you can spend less time stressing and more time counting your blessings. These recipes are great for any time of year, but voilà! An extra holiday twist to make them even more magical. Bon appétit!

La Soupe Cozy

Serves 4-6

This soup is quite simply a hug in a bowl that’s comforting for the body and calming for the soul at the same time. It soothes the intestine and warms the whole body. It’s packed with nutrients for radiant skin, even during this season of less sun in many parts of the world. It’s the perfect remedy for a cold or flu, boosts immunity and mood, and gives the digestive system a break.

This creamy soup is so easy to prepare from pantry staples and seasonal ingredients, and it’s adaptable according to your mood (experiment with spices!) and your appetite (you can make it thicker or thinner), plus it keeps well in the refrigerator or freezer. Not to mention the inviting aroma in your kitchen while you’re making it! It’s a great dish to whip up for a big group of guests or have at hand to feed YOU when the holidays get crazy or (un?) invited guests popping in last-minute. Keep it for several days in the refrigerator or freeze it to reheat at any time.

  • 1 butternut squash (about 1 kg)
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 piece of fresh ginger (to taste)
  • 1L (4 cups) of vegetable stock
  • 50 cl (2 cups) of coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • Salt, pepper
  • Just combine all of the ingredients in a blender!
Holiday Twists:
  • Gingerbread-spiced soup: Add 1/8 tsp of cinnamon, cumin, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom and cayenne pepper.
  • Garnish with smoked paprika (for a bacon-y flavor!) and toasted, crushed walnuts.
  • Garnish with spicy lentil salad (recipe in Le Nouveau Manuel de La Cuisine Végétale)
  • Add spinach for extra green flare!
(Red &) Greenoa

Serves 1

What happens when one perfect food meets another? A delicious and healthy offspring, of course! Le Greenoa, a blend of quinoa and spirulina, can star as a single dish or as a side dish. It adds a touch of green glamour to any sweet or savory dish! Rich in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, consumed hot or cold, Le Greenoa is also a great dish to take anywhere for a busy day.

  • 1-1 1/2 cups of cooked quinoa (from 1/3-1/2 cup dry)*
  • 1 tsp of spirulina powder
  • 2 tsp of olive oil or pumpkin seeds
  • Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

*How to cook quinoa correctly and healthfully (don’t listen to what the package tells you to do!):

  • Give it a bath (You can take one too!). Soak it the night before or during the day in water and add a little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to remove the saponins on its outer layer that may give it a slightly bitter taste. This also to makes it “sprout” – it’s ALIVE! – so it’s more digestible.
    • Note: If you don’t have time for a good bath, don’t worry: Just rinse the quinoa in a colander before eating it to remove the saponins. Some brands sell already rinsed quinoa, but it’s always a good idea to do it again!
  • Simply rinse it very well with water in a sieve and add directly to the pot (yes, no water just yet!) and let it toast slightly for around 1 minute.For a white quinoa served in a salad or to keep, cook it in its volume of water or another liquid. For red quinoa, you’ll need more liquid and longer cooking time and it’s more tough.
  • Vary the colors! White, black and red quinoas have almost all the same health benefits, but vary them to enjoy different tastes and textures!
    • Note: For a warm quinoa (white) breakfast porridge or quinotto (quinoa risotto), ignore the previous toasting step and cook it in twice its volume of water or other liquid.
Holiday Twists:
  • Cook the red quinoa and white quinoa separately. Turn the white quinoa into Greenoa and serve together with the red quinoa (add some olive oil or pumpkin seed oil and a splash of lemon, salt/pepper).
  • You can add to a circular mold with the greenoa on the bottom and red quinoa on top or add several layers for a festive red and green-striped look.
  • Top the Greenoa with pomegranate seeds and fresh parsley.
  • Top the Greenoa with goji berries.
Rebecca Leffler

Rebecca Leffler is a Paris-based writer and journalist who, after a career as the French correspondent for The Hollywood Reporter and as a film critic on Canal+, traded red carpets for green smoothies. She’s written five books about healthy lifestyle from Paris to NYC and beyond, including Très Green, Très Clean, Très Chic: Eat (and Live!) the New French way with plant-based, gluten-free recipes for every season, and most recently Le Nouveau Manuel de la Cuisine Végétale. Rebecca has pioneered the “vegolution” in Paris, where she continues to organize events focusing on healthy eating, yoga and la vie en rose… And green! You can keep up with Rebecca on Instagram!

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