Monday, 15 August 2016

Chachouka


Chachouka is a North African spicy stew. I've slightly changed the original recipe from River Cottage and I can only tell you, this is almost too good to be true. In contrast to my usual dishes, this one takes a bit longer, but it's oh so worth it!


Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder OR 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 medium-sized potato
  • 1 yellow or orange pepper
  • 400 g plum tomatoes (tin)
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 egg
  • to garnish: fresh basil and parmesan


Directions
1. Heat olive oil in an ovenproof frying pan. Peel and chop onion and garlic clove into bite-sized pieces. Add those and the cumin to the pan and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.

2. Cut pepper and potato into bite-sized pieces (I sliced my potato to make them look like chips). Add them to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes. Now add the tinned tomatoes (with the juice) as well as the paprika and chili powder and salt and pepper. Cook on low heat for another 10 minutes and pre-heat oven to 180 °C.


3. Make a little dip in the middle of the pan and break an egg into it. Transfer the pan (again, it has to be ovenproof!!) to the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes, so the the yolk is still a little bit runny. Note: You can add more eggs or leave them out completely - it's totally up to your taste.

4. Garnish with fresh basil and some parmesan and enjoy while still warm!

Notes:
For more vegetarian everyday dishes, I recommend this book.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Lentil salad with tomato, cucumber, olives and egg


Lentils are such an underrated ingredient! To be honest, even I don't use them as often as I should. They are so delicious, a good protein and folate source and can be combined with pretty much any vegetable. This lentil salad is perfect for lunch, dinner or as part of a picnic and can be served warm or cold. Enjoy!

Ingredients (2-3 portions)

Salad

  • 150 g green or puy lentils (or a mix of green and red lentils)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 3-4 tomatoes
  • 50 g olives

Dressing (I've used the jar as my measuring unit):
  • 1/2 jar olive oil
  • 1/4 jar balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 jar white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • Optional: fresh herbs, such as mint and basil

Directions
1. Prepare the lentils according to the directions on the packaging: Usually that means to rinse them, place in a pot and cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer for ~15-20 minutes. They should be al dente - soft, but not mushy! 

2. Meanwhile, boil the eggs until hard. Cut cucumber, tomatoes and olives into bite-sized pieces. When the eggs are done, peel and cut them as well.

3. To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake, shake, shake!

4. Once the lentils are cooked, remove from heat, drain over a sieve, rinse with cold water and transfer to a bowl. Leave to cool for a few minutes, but make sure they are still slightly warm.

5. Add tomatoes, cucumber, olives and eggs. Toss with the dressing and add some fresh herbs (optional). This salad tastes great when the lentils are still slightly warm - but it can also be stored in the fridge and eaten cold. In that case, keep the dressing in the jar and toss the salad with it just before you want to serve it.

Variations
You can add red onion, nuts, raisins, feta or goats cheese or greens (spring onions are great!).

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Quinoa bake with apples, raisins and cinnamon


So I got a bit bored of my usual oatmeal for breakfast and wanted to try something different. This quinoa bake is tasty and pretty much like soul food. And because I love it so much, I now even take it as my lunch to work with me! You can also vary this basic recipe (see below) according to your preferred food - add different fresh or dried fruits or use a different kind of milk. I promise, you will love this dish!


Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 apples
  • 50 g raisins
  • 300 ml milk of your choice
  • optional: flaked almonds, coconut flakes, dates, maple syrup


Directions

1. Preheat oven to 200 °C. Chop apples into bite-sized pieces (you can peel them if you want to).

2. Cover the bottom of an oven-proof baking dish with the quinoa. Sprinkle cinnamon, apple pieces and raisins on top.

3. Cover with milk, stir everything with a fork to make sure all ingredients are covered by the milk (you might have to add a bit more - remember, the quinoa will soak up a lot of it!).

4. Bake for 30 minutes or until there is only a very small amount of liquid left.

5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Now you can either directly eat it or cover and refrigerate it. This tastes great both warm and cool and can also be re-heated! This keeps really well in the fridge for ~4 days.


Variations:
  • Use 1/2 cup of quinoa and 1/2 cup of amaranth (super delicious!)
  • Use other fruits: apricots or peaches work really well with this, but really, you can use whatever you have at hand
  • I prefer using almond milk, but you can use your preferred milk. It also tastes great with coconut milk!
  • Add some honey or maple syrup for a sweeter taste, use nuts or coconut flakes or experiment with the dried fruits (dates are lovely in this)
  • Serve with some Greek yoghurt or chocolate sauce (come on, you deserve a treat)! Or top with fresh fruit.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Egg-fried cauliflower rice with carrots, courgette and peas


So I've read a lot about this "cauliflower rice" recently. And because I love cauliflower, I thought I'd give it a try. You basically process the cauliflower so that it resembles the texture of rice. And what can I say? It is actually super delicious!!! The key to this recipe is the lime juice though, so make sure to add it! Just beware - this meal is very filling (I did not expect this)!


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cauliflower head
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 courgette
  • 50 g peas (frozen)
  • sesame oil
  • curcuma powder
  • paprika spice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 lime

Instructions
1. Cut cauliflower into small florets and place in a food processor. Pulse until it resembles rice.

2. Heat up 2 teaspoons of sesame oil in a non-stick skillet (or wok). Peel carrot, cut carrot and courgette into small pieces and add to the skillet. Cook for a few minutes. 

3. Add cauliflower "rice", frozen peas, curcuma powder, paprika spice and pinch of salt. Toss well and cook for another few minutes, occasionally stirring. 

4. Move the vegetables to the side, so that you create a hole in the middle of the skillet. Crack the egg in there, cook for one minute and the mix everything together.

5. Transfer to a bowl, add the juice of 1/2 lime and enjoy!

Note:
You can add a bit of soy sauce if you like - just make sure it's the gluten-free version! Also, if you don't have a food processor, grating the cauliflower does the job, too! In my case, I've actually processed the whole cauliflower head and just saved have of it for the next day to make another meal out of it.

Monday, 25 April 2016

Sweet coconut rice pudding with banana, apple and almonds


Rice pudding is one of my favourite treats from my childhood. It takes a bit of time to make it, but it is actually quite easy and I wonder why I don't do this more often - especially considering how delicious this is! You can serve this with any fruit you like and be creative with your toppings.

Ingredients (2 portions)
  • 125 g risotto rice
  • 250 ml milk of your choice
  • 250 ml coconut milk (I recommend using the full-fat version, but this is up to you)
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 apple
  • 20 g almond flakes
  • 20 g chocolate flakes
  • optional: vanilla essence

Instructions
1) Mix both the "normal" milk and the coconut milk in a pot and bring to the boil.

2) Add the risotto rice, reduce to low heat and cook for ~30 minutes, occasionally stirring. If necessary, add a bit more milk (to prevent the rice from burning).

3) Meanwhile, cut the banana and apple in bite-sized pieces.

4) Transfer the rice pudding to bowls and top with fruits, almond and chocolate flakes. If you like, add a bit of vanilla essence. Enjoy while still warm!

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