• veggie burger

     

    I had my last veggie burger in Dublin, in a loud hotel bar filled with football fans.

    I haven’t found a decent veggie burger in Luxemburg so far (that might be down to my lack of effort) I made, or better I assembled these.

    vegetarian burger

    The bread is actually home made pizza dough which consists of flour, yeast, sugar (just a little for the yeast to grow), salt and water. A storebought bun is fine as well of course. I always replace wheat with other flours like spelt and often it is easyer to just make the bread myself.

    The onions are caramellized in a hot pan with some oil an sugar.

    The burger is a storebought mix to which I added some fresh cilantro & water before frying. The only thing left to do was to assemble the whole thing as fallows:

    bread- a little mustard -salad- burger – onions – ketchup – bread

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    This one is messy to eat…like a “real” burger;)

    Eat well

     

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  • Fish dish with tomato sauce & stealing recipes

    I said more fish & here it is!

    An easy oven dish with tomatoes stolen from my mother’s kitchen today. She has been rewriting her recipes for as long as I can remember. The task is never really completed but the really old recipe notebooks are gone, which is a pity. They had traces of food on every page from being used so many times, not the least by me as a kid.

    You need to have the key, the understanding of the logic used to categorise to find what you are looking for.

    The recipe for “Fuesend” (traditional fried dough knots) starting with an F can be found under W like “Wiener Krapfen”.

    The language situation in Luxemburg doesn’t help:)

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    This feeds 3 to 4 people:

    codfish (swordfish works fine too, that’s what the recipe says;))

    1 shallot

    1 tin of small tomatoes

    white wine or Noilly Prat

    tomato paste

    1/2 handful olives

    1/2 hand full parsley

    a few coriander seeds

    salt & pepper

    olive oil

    canned tomatoes, olives, noilly prat

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    Preheat the oven at 200°C.

    Place the fish in a ovenproof dish and season with salt & pepper. Put aside.

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    Start by peeling & dicing the shallot and heating (sweating not browning) it in a splash of olive oil.

    Wash & cut the parsley, pit and dice the olives. In a little bowl mix a tablespoon of tomato paste with a splash of Noilly Prat.

    Add this and all the other ingredients to the shallot and let it simmer for five minutes on medium heat. Salt and pepper to taste.

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    Add some crushed coriander seeds if you like.

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    Pour the tomato mixture on the fish and put it in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

    Serve with whole grain rice, salads or pasta.

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    & an after lunch jumping competition with a clear winner;)

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    Eat well

  • travel bug & rillettes de cabillaud

    I am getting ready for my last trip for this summer, NY, Montreal & Quebec. Not complaining 😉 but I could go on like this forever.

    When I travel I read about…tavelling. Places to go to next;) Right now I have my eye on the french island “Ile de Ré”.

    & I spend the last couple of days on a northern sea side, eating local fresh sea food!

    So inspired the recipe today is “rillettes de cabillaud”. This might be the first non-vegetarian dish I post. I don’t prepare fish at home very often…something to work on.

    rillettes de cabillaud

    I eat fish mostly when I’m invited or in restaurants. One of my friends is a professional chef. Knowing of my mainly vegetarian diet, he always spoils me with a tasty fish dish. Years ago, when we were neighbours, he wanted to surprise me by guessing my favorite food. So he prepared oysters (not raw but baked in the oven). He watched my face as I was politely trying to get them down and removed the plate immediately. So much for guessing someone’s favorite food! Mine is strawberries! He invited me to dinner and strawberry picking in the garden recently…coincidence?

    Back to the fish. I believe that my food should provide all the nutrients that I need and I am not an advocate for supplements since they are not a whole food which again might create imbalance.

    I do take omega 3 though since my fish intake is limited. This fatty acid is extremely important for the brain and in big parts responsible for our mood & well-being. Chocolate is not the only food that makes you happy;)

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    70g fresh goat cheese (or any other fresh/soft cheese)

    1 diced tomato

    1 chopped spring onion

    1 tsp grated ginger

    1/2 tsp of lemon zest

    1/2 a hand full of chopped cilantro (can be replaced with another herb of your choice)

    150g codfish (or any other fish of your choice)

    a splash of olive oil

    salt & pepper to taste

    Cook the codfish in the oven t 160°C for about 15 min. Make sure it’s done and leave it to cool off. Mush it with a fork. Add the other ingredients and mix thoroughly.

    And that’s it for this extremely easy fish dish. The tricky part in preparing fish is the cooking time & making it look nice on the plate. It should separate nicely but not fall apart. For rillettes, looks don’t matter!

    I did serve this with carrot sticks. The fat in this dish helps the vitamines from the carrot to be absorbed. Rillettes is generally served with some toast.

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    Eat well

  • Poor man’s dinner & a challenge

    DSC_0466I arrived well on the island of Crete and at my friend Maria’s beautiful home!
    Dinner at her house, on the wild south side of the island, is what she calles a poor man’s dinner since it represents the diet of the village people.

    Lovely plant-based meal, I say!

    Horta (local greens served cooked with olive oil & lemon), broad beans in tomato sauce, boiled potatoes, zucchini, goat cheese & a shot of the honey raki that Stelios, the loveliest taxi driver ever, has given me on the way here;).

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    Most of the produce were delivered by a neighbor (the honeylady) who is in her 70ies and apparently fitter then I am. Healthy food? Living a tough life in a rough environment? All preserving raki? What is her secret? Ikaria, another greek island is a blue zone, one of the places in the world recognized for the longevity of the inhabitants.

    That same neighbor provided kilos and kilos of green beans.

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    My challenge for the week is to come up with recipes to use them other than “Bounenschlupp”(luxemburgish traditional bean soup). My friend is greek married to a ‘burger’ and having none of that!
    I choose a classical bean salad & find inspiration in the Jamie Oliver magazine, I bought in the airport on my way here. His recipe slightly modified & added to Maria’s Tsatsiki and Pita bread….a winning combination.
    After that we agree on no more beans for the week;)

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    For the bean salad

    On one bean stalk you have older and younger beans. The older ones have a string running along the side that’s tough to eat and to digest. You can easily pull it off while cutting off the ends.

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    Wash and cook for a short while in salted water. I like them to be crunchy and only cook them for a few minutes.

    Crunchy or soft…is totally up to you! After cooking, rinse them in icy water to make sure they keep the vibrant green colour.

    Cut the beans in smaller pieces and prepare the dressing. I used 2/3 olive oil, 1/3 lemon juice, pepper, salt, 1 tablespoon of mustard and a chopped onion.

    Pour the lemon juice over the onion to make the taste a little milder then mix with the other ingredients. Pour dressing over the beans, there is the first part of my challenge completed.

    For the beans on bread

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    This time the beans are not cooked in water but in a frying pan with fresh onions and nuts. Start with the onion, add the beans and finally the roasted nuts. Again it depends on your preference for crunchy or soft beans how long you will leave them in the pan at medium to high teat.

    Season with salt & pepper to taste.

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    In the original recipe this was served with crumbs of goat cheese on top. Since we have the Tsatsiki I won’t add any cheese.

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    Eat well

  • Lentil breadspread

    I tried a lot of blended foods. Making my own nut butter,  bean butter and so forth. I killed a couple of food processor and never really liked the outcome. Honestly it’s too much fuss for me and often there is a good quality product I can buy, like for nut butter that is finally not more expensive than my homemade version (not counting the dead processor;)). I like my recipes healthy, easy & not overly time-consuming. As a vegetarian I do need to keep an eye on my protein intake. This makes pulses really important especially in combination with a whole grain food where they really become a great source for protein. So this lentil breadspread is one of the very few blended recipes I kept from all my previous experiments.

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    1 cup of yellow lentils

    olive oil or coconut oil

    1 teaspoon of turmeric

    1 red onion

    1 teaspoon agave syrup

    pepper & salt

    1/2 handful of raisins

    spices of your choice (chilli, rosemary…all optional)

    Start with washing the yellow or red lentils. They cook extremely fast, which ticks one of my boxes. 

    Cut the onion and heat it with a little olive oil or neutral coconut oil. Add the agave syrup and slightly caramelize the onions. Add the lentils, 2 cups of water, turmeric (anti-inflamatory), salt & pepper and spices of your choice. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat for five minutes cover with a lid and turn the heat off. 10 minutes later your lentils are done. You should not have a lot of excess water in them since you want to turn this into a spread.

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    Use a blender or a food processor to mix. Season to taste. Since the onions are caramelized & there will be raisins, I like to make it a little spicy to go with the light sweetness. Serve with really nice homemade whole grain bread or as a dip.

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    Eat well

  • Craving something sweet…

    …go for sweet potato soup;)

    I know you were expecting a crazy indulging something here, but I somehow managed to quit sugar…and I feel great.

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    Since I started this blog mostly baking I had to take a break while I made a somehow natural transition to whole foods, still in transition actually 🙂

    I am ready to share my new way of cooking that gives me so much more energy!

    Lately I have been traveling (London again & again) and couldn’t stick to my diet the way I would have liked to, so to make it easier to get back on track I have sweet veggies. Does the trick and is really tasty & you know me….it’s easy.

    It’s all about bringing out the simple and delicious taste of that potato.

    I start by heating one onion in ghee (clarified butter, you can go for normal butter too, just don’t heat olive oil that doesn’t come as a special heatable version) or flavorless coconut oil. I add a couple of washed and chopped sweet potatoes cover with water and let them boil until soft. I add only salt & pepper but you could go for vegetable stock instead of plain water for the cooking. I tend to use too little water and have to add more (hot) water when I blend the potatoes to get a soup & not a “purée”.

    Blend & enjoy

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    Add some quinoa or rice to make it a more complete dish.

    It’s so easy I’m embarrassed to write it down…it’s heaven for all of you who crave something sweet & nourishing!

    I’ll have my soup & am off to the movies…”Love is all you need” & good food I say!

  • Fresh goat cheese…

    …packed up nicely with apple.

    This starts with “brique” dough that you can buy in the supermarket.

    Add an apple ring in the middle.

    On top of that fresh goat cheese, some thyme & some honey.

    Naturally the size of the applering will make this more or less quick in the oven.

    This one turned out warm but not too soft (like usual it depends on your taste:))

    Bind the dough together, I used a spring onion to do that and put into the oven at 175°C for 20 minutes to half an hour.

    Serve with salad, ham…..

    Enjoy

  • carrot & mango soup

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    The first time I write a blog on my balcony 😉 It’s sooo nice out here. Birds, cows, foxes….and spiders & me.

    Time for another healthy little soup.

    As always start with olive oil and one onion.

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    Add first the flesh of one mango since it caramelizes a little in the olive oil. Add 1 kg chopped carrots, cover with water and let it boil until the carrots are soft.

    Many options for spices here. You can add cumin seeds at the beginning with the onion. When the seeds make cracking noises you have to add water since they will start burning and get bitter. I’m a big fan of Curcuma added after the water. You should add ground pepper if you use this spice & be really careful it will stain anything for ever. So I’m not using it in my favorite white pot. Otherwise I always add it since it’s really good for you;) I always cook with my indian spice box when I make soup.

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    Add pepper & salt and coconut milk if you wish. It’s nice without, it’s nice with.

    Blend!

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    No surprise that I add some dry chili and if I overdo that even more coconut milk:)

    Enjoy