Category Archives: Cooking

Lentil Stoup

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You’re probably thinking “stoup, what is that?”…. No, it’s not a typo. It’s what I had for lunch.

Hot. Flavorful. Hearty. Delicious!

When I bought green lentils, I set out to make lentil soup, however whilst eating, it occured to me that the consistency wasn’t really soupy, but rather stewy, hence the “stoup”.

Tastewise this meal was perfect so personally I wouldn’t change a thing. I know that lentils are the kind of food that you either love or hate (at least that’s what it’s like in my family) but if you’re one of those lentil lovers I’m sure you’ll like this Lentil Stoup.

Lentil Stoup

makes 3 portions

You will need:

  • 2 strips of thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped (if you like you can use bacon instead)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped into half moons
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp. tomato puree
  • 1 cup lentils (about 200g), washed
  • herbs: thyme, oregano, marjoram
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • salt, pepper
  1. In a large pot, fry the prosciutto for 2-3 minutes. Then add the onion and garlic and mix well. Stir occasionally.
  2. After about 3 minutes add the carrots. Once well incorporated add the tomato puree. Mix well.
  3. Then mix in the lentils and the herbs. Stir.
  4. Add the vegetable broth, once everything is well mixed. Let the mixture boil for about 5 minutes. Then turn down the heat and let the stoup simmer for about 35 minutes.
  5. Check on the stoup occasionally and stir well.
  6. Once the lentils are cooked, add salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

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Tarts

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I love salads, but sometimes I like having something on the side to nibble on. Bread is good but often not good enough. So I decided to make a tart to enjoy with my salad today. All you need is puff pastry and your favorite vegetables and off you go…

I made two tarts because I wanted to try two different flavors: Tomato-Leek and Broccoli-Cauliflower. I used the same base for both of them which made things really easy. Usually I would have probably used ricotta as a base, but I forgot to buy some so I made my base by whisking together 1 egg with yoghurt and added herbs salt and pepper. The consistency wasn’t as thick as ricotta would have been, but it was very creamy and fluffy….sort of like scrambled eggs ūüôā

 

Other variations that I’ve tried so far include Basil-Ricotta with Tomatoes and Asparagus-Cheese.

I taste tested half of each tart on the side with my salad and I have to that I personally liked the Tomato-Leek Tart a little more but that’s just because I love tomatoes that are warm and juicy, fresh out of the oven.

Enjoy the rest of your day!

Family Favorite

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The recipe I’ll share with you today is a family favorite and has been for many years. My sister introduced me to Ebly (wheatberries) about 6 years ago. The taste was so intriguing that we started experimenting by adding different ingredients. Wheatberries are so versatile and make great salads, side dishes, some people even have them for breakfast or you can just make this…

Mixed Vegetable Ebly

serves 2

You will need:

  • 120g (about 3/4 cup) Ebly
  • 1.5 cups water
  • vegetable broth
  • your favorite vegetables and legumes. suggestions: zucchini, eggplant, carrot, tomato, corn, mushroom, pepper, beans, etc.
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • parmesan, freshly grated
  • salt, pepper, mixed herbs
  1. In a large pan (or wok) heat up the olive oil. Once hot, add the garlic and stir.
  2. Add the Ebly and mix in with the garlic. Wait for about 2 minutes. Don’t forget to stir.
  3. Add the water and wait for it to start boiling. You may also like to use vegetable broth instead of the water as it gives it a more intense flavor.
  4. After 3 minutes turn down the heat a little and wait for the Ebly to cook.
  5. In the meantime cut the vegetables into bite-size chunks and add them to the Ebly mixture. I always add the vegetables that need to cook longest first and tomatoes last.
  6. When the water has almost fully evaporated, add salt, pepper and herbs.
  7. Serve with freshly grated parmesan.

 

According to the Ebly container the recommended serving size per person is 60g but you will most likely have leftovers because the vegetables add a lot of volume. You might like to reduce the Ebly to 45g if you don’t want any leftovers but really, I never mind¬† having leftover Ebly because it is one of the most delicious foods around!

It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas!

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Yesterday, when I came back from Uni another Christmas surprise was waiting for me:

These are traditional Austrian Christmas cookies (“Vanillekipferl”) and out of all of the delicious cookies my mum bakes each year, these are my favorite ones. I wish you could smell their heavenly, vanilla scent…divine! I will ask my mum to give me the recipe and I’ll post it as soon as possible.

For lunch today I felt creative enough to create my own Veggie Burger. Personally I feel that vegetable burger are one of the most difficult things to create because, first of all the flavor has to be exciting and secondly the texture has to be right. I decided that brown rice would make a good base for the patties, and included carrots, zucchini, onion, seeds, nuts and eggs and baked them for about 25min. Tastewise these were a winner, but some tweaking needs to be done before I can share the recipe with you guys.

 

The Veggie Burger was served on Le Pain Quotidien Walnut Bread with a big, colourful side salad (which included tomatoes, bell pepper and homemade cranberry sauce) and Oven-Roasted Parsnip Fries. It was a very filling, but healthy meal!

Oven-Roasted Parsnip Fries

(serves 2-4)

You will need:

  • 1-2 parsnips
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt, pepper
  • spring onion, cut
  1. Preheat the oven to 220¬įC.
  2. Cut off the tops and bottoms of the parsnips and peel them. Cut them in half lengthwise and cut into smaller, longish pieces.
  3. Place the pieces on a baking try (with kitchen foil) and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and spring onions.
  4. Roast for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

 

Same Ingredients – New Recipe

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If you read my post yesterday you will probably remember that the main ingredients used were tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant and a little bit of garlic. Due to the fact that the zucchini and eggplant were only used sparingly I had some leftover, which means I decided to use them today. And what better to make with zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes and garlic than Ratatouille!

I’ve never had the pleasure of tasting proper French Ratatouille so I can’t tell you if mine tastes anything like it’s supposed to, but the ingredients and herbs are pretty similar so there’s a change the flavor will be too. At least I hope so!

As I was making this I actually thought that it’s perfect for autumn as the colors of the vegetables happen to be red, orange and green!

Ratatouille

For about 3 portions you will need:

  • 1 onion, peeled and cut
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, either crushed or cut
  • 1 large or 2 medium eggplants, cut into small pieces
  • 2 medium zucchinis, cut into small pieces
  • 1-2 bell pepper, cut into small pieces
  • 4-5 tomatoes, cut into small cubes (you may prefer to use canned tomatoes)
  • herbs: basil, oregano, thyme, marjoram
  • salt, pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp. olive oil
  1. Begin by heating up the olive oil. Once hot, add the onion and garlic. Sauté for a couple of minutes.
  2. Gradually add the vegetables, zucchini, eggplant and bell peppers. Then add the tomatoes. Turn down the heat a little and continue to stir well. Add the herbs.
  3. Let the vegetables simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes or until you feel they are soft.
  4. At the end add salt and pepper.

I had Einkorn with my Ratatouille, but you can also serve it with rice or as a side dish to meat or even with some pasta instead of the usual Bolognese sauce. It really is simple to make and will  enrich any meal. Trust me!

 

Hope you like it as much as I do. Let me know what you think!

Christmas in a Box

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Look at what my lovely parents sent me: Christmas in a Box!

 

Christmas essentials, which includes an Advent calendar, delicious chocolate, Austrian Gingerbread and some beautiful  decorations. Now it feels just right to listen to Christmas music!

But let’s turn to the food:

Today I was craving some pasta. I decided to be adventurous and tried making pumpkin sauce to go with it. It turned out having a lovely smooth consistency and the flavor really complemented the Parmesan. I added some Italian herbs, mainly for some extra color but it really did enhance the taste. Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think!

Creamy Pumpkin Pasta

For 2 portions you will need:

  • 180-200g pasta
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (400g)
  • 1/2 onion, cut
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. Greek yoghurt
  • Italian herbs
  • salt, pepper, cinnamon
  1. Begin by cooking your pasta. Once al dente, strain and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the onion. Fry for 2-3 minutes, stir occasionally.
  3. Add the pumpkin puree and stir well. Add 1 tbsp. of Greek Yoghurt to enhance the creaminess of the sauce. Season with herbs, salt and pepper. Add a little cinnamon at the end for some extra Christmas spice.
  4. Mix the sauce into the pasta and stir well. Let the flavors combine for another 5 minutes.
  5. Serve with some freshly grated Parmesan.

If you feel that the sauce is too thick, you can  add 1/4 cup of vegetable stock to the sauce before mixing it together with the pasta.

 

 

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Guilt-Free Alternatives to French Fries

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Growing up we rarely had french fries. My mum always cooked healthily and there was hardly ever a day when our meals did not include a gigantic mixed salad, so french fries just didn’t make the cut. However, that does not mean we never had potatoes, quite the opposite actually. My grandmother used to grow her own potatoes and where I come from they sort of are considered a staple food.

Today, a lot of people choose not to include potatoes in their diet because of their high carbohydrate content. I never was one to cut out carbohydrates because I believe in eating a balanced and varied diet. I do choose sweet potatoes when they are available because they are more nutritious, however don’t consider potatoes to be unhealthy. In fact, potatoes contain vitamins (especially vitamin C) and minerals and fiber. The reasons why potatoes are considered to make people fat is simply because they are often eaten as chips or french fries and are loaded with fat.

When we have potatoes at home we like to roast them. The preparation time is next to nothing and they are so much more flavourful than fat-dripping french fries.

Oven-Roasted Herb and Spice Potatoes

Depending on how many portions you make you will need:

  • Uncooked potatoes, washed
  • Olive oil
  • Herbs
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Any other seasoning you like
  1. Preheat your oven to around 150¬įC
  2. Cut the potatoes into even slices. It’s really important that the slices are all about the same size, so that they are done after the same amount of time
  3. Drizzle some olive oil into a oven-proof dish. You really don’t need a lot, just enough so that the potatoes don’t stick to the bottom
  4. Place the potato slices into the dish and flavor them to your liking. I use a little salt, pepper, chilli powder and mixed herbs
  5. Drizzle a little olive oil on top of the potatoes
  6. Put the dish into the oven and wait for about 35 minutes. I like turning the heat up a little towards the end so that the potato slices get crispier, but that’s just personal preference.
  7. Enjoy!