Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Very Veggie: Eggplant and Mushroom Packages

It was my plan for a while to make those cute little packages with veggies in the oven. I was always curious how that would turn out. In The Green Kitchen we found a recipe that we would like to try. Preparing the veggies this way is really easy and the taste is so moist. The recipe said it was for 4 packages but we ended up with 4 packages each. Because we originally thought this would be a side dish, we served it with baked potatoes, but it was a bit much obviously if you end up with double packages ;) Anyway, it was a really great, summery meal. We are still eating on the couch, so don't mind my Nintendo DS on the picture ;)

Eggplant and Mushroom Packages (makes 8)
- 175 gr hazelnuts, chopped
- 1 eggplant
- 16 white mushrooms
- 4 twigs oregano, leaves only (thyme would be good too)
- 200 gr ricotta cheese
- juice of 0.5 lemon
- salt and pepper
- baking sheets

Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees. Cube the eggplant and quarter the mushroom. Place them in a bowl with the chopped hazelnuts, ricotta, oregano and lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well until everything is combined and let it rest.
Cut 25 cm squares from baking sheets. Scoop some stuffing in the middle of each square. Grab all 4 corners of the paper and twist them together. Binding them with some rope if needed. Bake them for 25-30 minutes. The eggplant needs to be soft.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Menu for week 33

I am so happy about what we ate last week! Everything me made was really delicious! Prepare for a lot of new recipes! I am planning to write and schedule some posts, so the blog won't stay completely empty during the Abunai period. I need to see if I can squeeze it in, so no promises, but the recipe will appear sooner or later anyway ;)

Sunday: Vegetarian lamacun wrap, a Turkish pizza. Really easy, really delicious. This will become one of our new favorites!

Monday and Tuesday: Mushroom and herbal cheese quiche. Another really easy but good recipe!

Wednesday Baking: Vanilla shortbread cookies. A basic cookie recipe that is good for using cookie cutters.

Wednesday: Summer fritatta with soup. Light, and very tasty!!

Thursday and Friday: Beans, Indian Style. No curry, but good all the same!

Saturday: Kumpir. A Turkish stuffed potato. Also a dish that I wanted to make since forever. All of the above recipes will be shared on the blog :)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Veganize It!: Green Beans with Minced "Meat" in Sateh Sauce

Back in the days when I still used boxed mixes for cooking, this mix had to be one of my favorites. Nowadays, I can't really eat it anymore because it is so salty!

I am no longer used to it. But when I saw a recipe based on this mix in a cookbook from Koken Met Karin, I had to try it. Funny thing is that when you replace the minced meat with faux minced meat and leave out the trassi (shrimp paste) that she used, the recipe is really easy to veganize. Really tasty too! So I can finally enjoy this dish again.

Green Beans with Minced "Meat" in Sateh Sauce (serves 4)
- 350 gr faux minced meat
- 400 gr green beans
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 spring onions
- 1 small can of corn
- 100 gr unsalted peanuts
- 1 tsp sambal
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 200 ml coconut milk
- dash of Japanese soy sauce
- sunflower oil
- rice for serving

In a food processor, mix onions, garlic, sambal, peanuts and a pinch of salt until you have a paste. Make sure you scrape the sides from time to time. Cut the green beans in 3 cm pieces and steam them. Cut the bell pepper. Heat some oil in a pan and saute the peanut paste for about 2 minutes until it begins to smell good. Add the faux minced meat and the bell pepper and bake shortly. Add the coconut milk and soy sauce. Rinse and drain the corn. And add this together with the green beans to the sauce. Leave to simmer with a lid on the pan for about 2 minutes until warmed through.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

On a Budget: Penne Rigate with Cauliflower and Tomatoes

The cauliflower was on sale again. It seems that every other week the cauliflower is on sale lately ;) Luckily the vegetable is very versatile and there are a lot of different things that can be made using cauliflower. I was looking of the 24-Kitchen website for inspiration this time and came across this easy pasta dish. For me a dish is budget if I can make it for 5 euro or less per day for the two of us. Because I could afford it within that budget to actually buy percorino, instead of a cheaper grated cheese, we went with that. But feel free to substitute for another cheese.

Penne Rigate with Cauliflower and Tomatoes (serves 4)
- 300 gr penne rigate
- 1 spring onion, in rings
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- olive oil
- a bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
- 400 gr cubed tomatoes (canned)
- 1 cauliflower
- 75 gr pecorino, whole

Boil the pasta and steam the cauliflower. Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a pan and saute onion and garlic for about 2 minutes. Add the parsley and warm through. Add the tomatoes and let the sauce simmer for about 10 minutes. Add some pepper to taste. When the pasta is done, drain it and add to the sauce together with the cauliflower. Grate the pecorino on top before serving.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Summer Special: Luxury Potato Salad

In spring and summer there is a new harvest of small potatoes. These are always very tasteful, and I love to use them in salads. Potato salad is one of my favorite salads to make, but I don't make it that often. While my go to potato salad is the Japanese potato salad, I tried this new recipe a few months ago. It is different because it doesn't use mayonnaise, but therefore also a tad more healthy.

Luxury Potato Salad (serves 4)
- 4 eggs
- 800 gr mini potatoes
- 150 gr frozen peas
- 100 gr sugar snaps
- 20 gr fresh basil, chopped
- 20 gr fresh parsley, chopped
- 60 gr Parmasan cheese
- 60 gr pine nuts
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 200 ml olive oil
- 0.5 tsp white wine vinegar
- salt and black pepper

Boil potatoes and the eggs. Steam the sugar snaps. Pour some boiling water over the frozen peas, leave them for about 30 seconds, then drain.
Add cheese, basil, parsley, garlic and pine nuts to a food processor until you have a paste. Add the olive oil and pulse until you have a pesto. Pout into a large bowl.
Drain the potatoes and cut them in half as soon as you can handle them (they absorb flavours better while warm). Add them to the bowl with the pesto together with peas, sugar snaps, and vinegar. Mix everything well. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Lastly, cut the eggs and add those to the salad.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Menu for week 32

I am ashamed! I only have 4 pictures to show you this week! This is partly because I ate away from home 2 days this week and weirdly enough, I almost always forget to take pictures of my food when I eat elsewhere. Anyway, here is the menu.

Sunday: We celebrated Nick's and my birthdays at my moms place. We did a BBQ. I made stuffed mushrooms to grill and we made our own herb butter and couscous salad to go with the BBQ.

Monday and Tuesday: The cauliflower was on sale again and we tried this simple but tasty pasta dish with cauliflower. (recipe to come)

Wednesday Baking: Apple Flapjacks from the new apple pie book I got for my b-day (recipe to come)

Wednesday: The lentil and white bean stew. Yes, on a budget. We have been eating on a budget the past weeks, and will mostly continue to do so in the weeks to come.
Thursday: We had a meeting at location for Abunai! They served luxury breadrolls at the meeting. I had one with salmon and one with old cheese.

Friday: Baked potatoes, creamy spinach with egg and veggie meatballs.
Saturday: I was supposed to go work on more Abunai! stuff at another staff member's house, but I got sick so I had to stay home. We didn't plan for anything, so we just ate store bought quiche.

Friday, August 8, 2014

So Sweet: Charlotte Cake with Apples and Cherries

Well if there is a recipe that combines Nick's and mine favorite fruits in one cakes, that has to be tried, yes?
So a couple of weeks ago, in between the tropical days, we baked this really moist cake! The recipe comes from Grandma's Kitchen. Can't really go wrong with that!

Charlotte Cake with Apples and Cherries:

- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1.25 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 0.25 tsp salt
- 0.25 cup honey
- 0.25 cup oil
- 0.25 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1.5 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups apples, peeled and chopped
- 1.5 cups halved cherries, pits removed

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Place a baking sheet in a small oven dish. In a small bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. (Flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.)  In a large bowl, mix together the honey, oil, and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until well combined. Add the dry mix to the wet mix, stirring just until combined. It will be very thick! Add the apples and cherries and stir, just until combined. Spread the mixture evenly in the pan. Bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
(the original recipe said 15 - 20 minutes, but there is no way a cake can be done in that short amount of time. Our oven needed 60 minutes)
The original recipe also added a topping of sugar and cinnamon before baking, but the cake is really sweet enough without it :)