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For a healthy 2017: Low carb bread

7 Jan

Uff, the time between Christmas and New Year’s day is the most intense time of the year in terms of food and drinks. It is wonderful to come together with the family and enjoy all the good food.

We saw a nice variety of different flavors on our plates this year: From traditional Czech cuisine with karp and potato salad over venison goulash to raclette.

On New Year’s day the fridge looked rather empty and a wish for something not so heavy made me create this low carb bread recipe. You can enjoy it while still warm with salad or cottage cheese. You can also eat it like a normal bread with sausage and cheese. The texture is very smooth and soft, therefore you should consume the bread within 2-3 days and store it in the fridge.

img_2176

Ingredients:

  • 1-1.5 cups shredded veggies such as carrots, cucumber, red beet and celery (I use the leftovers from my juicer)
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk or cream
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds or flax seeds
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1.5 cups buckwheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Salt, curry powder and pepper for seasoning
  • Sesame seeds for decoration

Preparation:

  1. Start preheating your oven to 220 degrees Celsius
  2. Prepare your shredded veggies – either by shredding them freshly or by using the leftovers from your juicer
  3. In a blender, mix together the veggies and the condensed milk to receive a smooth paste
  4. Then put into a medium sized bowl and season with salt, curry powder and pepper,
  5. Stir in the oats and seeds
  6. Mix in 1 egg
  7. Add flour and baking powder
  8. Place in a bread pan or rectangular cake pan and decorate with sesame seeds
  9. Back at 220 degrees Celsius for 40-45 min

Cookie dough terrine

3 Nov

Oh my sweet tooth, sometimes it makes me create little recipes without having planned any of it. Last night after dinner was such a moment, I felt like I needed something chocolaty and quick. And voila, this nice and tasty cookie dough terrine came out.

Cookie dough terrine

Ingredients:

1 stick butter or margarine

3/4 cups brown sugar

Salt

1 cup flour

Dark chocolate chips

Strawberries (fresh or frozen)

Preparation:

1) Use soft butter or let the butter melt in a small pot.

2) Combine the butter, sugar, salt and chocolate chips and stir.

3) Now add the flour until you receive a smooth dough texture.

4) Place the dough in small ceramic terrines and decorate with two strawberries.

4) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (390-400 degrees Fahrenheit) and bake for about 15 min.

 

For the cookie dough base I used this recipe:

http://www.centercutcook.com/edible-egg-less-chocolate-chip-cookie-dough/

Tartine breakfast

26 Jun

tar·tine

(tär-tēn′)

n.

A French open-faced sandwich, especially one with a rich or fancy spread.

 

tartine1tartine2

Rich or fancy spread, that is the question here. I tend to go with fancy and colorful. And most important of all: Tartine sounds nice (better than bread breakfast). You will find lots of varieties of tartine bread or sandwiches in countries where bread is part of the daily food plan.

A few that I can think of are:

Brotstulle – Germany

Sandwich – UK/US and other English speaking countries

Chlebíček – Czech Republic

Smørrebrød- Sweden and Denmark

Bocadillo – Spain

Tartines are allrounders: They are great for breakfast, lunch and dinner. All you need is bread and a topping of your choice. I prefer colorful toppings and try to make my tartines healthy. As you can see in the picture, I used avocado, radish, tomato and egg. When I made this tartine I immediately had a good start into the day.

Two tipps that I have for you:

  1. Toast the bread before you put the topping on it (unless you use very fresh and fluffy bread)
  2. Use an oily base like butter, olive oil or sour cream

Next time you make your own tartine, do not forget to include colorful and healthy ingredients and you will see how happy this tartine will make you :)

Wishing all of you a good start into the week!

Seafood bolognese with sepia pasta

28 Mar

Living in Hamburg, I am getting used to eating good fish and on some occasions seafood. Little did I know for quite a long time that the fish shacks near Fischmarkt (on Grosse Elbstrasse) that do not look very inviting from the outside but make excellent fish rolls and traditional seafood dishes are an excellent escape for a quick and good lunch. If you get a chance to spend a day in Hamburg during the week go there for your lunch and you will get to feel a piece of Hamburgeois life.

This year I tried Stinte fish for the first time – Stint is a fish that lives in the ocean and comes to the river Elbe for breeding. When the baby fish are born end of February/March you will find them on the menus of traditional restaurants across Hamburg. Stint fish are served fried with potatoes (boiled potatoes or potato salad) on the side.

Matjes and hering are also traditional fish here and should you not find the time for a restaurant visit you can go to any supermarket (e.g. Rewe or Edeka) and get your dose of fish to go. Matjes and hering are eaten cold with bread and usually come in a cream sauce.

In my corner, we do not have any fish store nearby. I sometimes store seafood in the freezer so that I have something at hand if I feel like eating seafood and this is what I came up with the other day as I was craving a simple seafood dish on a Sunday night:

Seafood bolognese with sepia pasta

Seafood bolognese with sepia pasta

Ingredients (serves 2 people):

200-250g of sepia colored pasta

1 bunch arugula salad

A handful of cocktail tomatoes

2-3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup seafood (I used frozen seafood – e.g. mussels, squid/calamari, shrimps)

2 garlic cloves

Juice of half a lemon

Large capers for decoration

1/2 teaspoon shrimp or fish sauce

Salt and pepper

For the salad dressing: cranberry vinegar, olive oil, dill mustard

Preparation:

1) Defrost the seafood. For quick defrosting: Pour hot water over the seafood and let stand for a few minutes. Drain the water and drizzle the seafood with lemon juice.

2) Chop the garlic and slice the cocktail tomatoes in half.

3) In a pan, fry the garlic in a little oil, then add the tomatoes and tomato paste. Season with salt, pepper and a little shrimp or fish sauce. Stir in the seafood. Keep warm.

4) Wash and drain the arugula salad.

5) Prepare the salad dressing by mixing 1 part of cranberry vinegar, 1 part of oil and 1 part of dill mustard together. Season with salt and pepper.

6) Boil the pasta as indicated on the package.

7) On a plate, arrange the pasta in the middle, then add the seafood tomato sauce and finally arrange the arugula salad on the side.

Carrot cake: Moist and delicious

31 May

Somehow this month is coming along with plenty of cake occasions for me: Birthdays, weddings, a job change and sometimes simply a sweet tooth on a weekend afternoon made me look through my collection of cake recipes. I stumbled across a carrot cake recipe that I was given by my German friend Mareike about three years ago. What I love about this recipe? This carrot cake is very soft, moist and the frosting gives it just the right amount of sweetness. You almost can’t stop after one piece, I swear. A practical side effect on top: It is made without nuts which is perfect for people with nut allergies and instead of spending quite an amount of time grating carrots you use a jar of carrot baby meal.

Carrot cake

Ingredients:

25o g vegetable oil

400 g cast sugar

4 eggs

500 g flour

1 pack vanilla sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla aroma (in Germany: Butter-Vanille-Aroma)

1 pack baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

380 g carrot baby meal (e.g. 2-3 jars Hipp baby meal depending on size or 400g of boiled and smashed carrots)

Frosting:

75 g butter

250 g powder sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla aroma (in Germany: Butter-Vanille-Aroma)

75 g cream cheese

Preparation

1) Except for the carrots, whisk all ingredients together until you have a smooth dough. Then add the carrots and bake at 190 degrees for 35 min (important: do not preheat the oven). You can use a normal deep dish baking pan, a cake tin or even a Auflaufform.

2) As soon as the cake is baked, remove it from the oven and let it cool down.

3) Prepare the frosting by whisking together all ingredients as indicated above and spread a thin layer over the cake.

Tip: If you do want to eat the cake immediately I suggest to store it in the fridge so that the frosting doesn’t dry out.

Simone’s home-made granola

22 Mar

Granola

Muesli and granola are my favorite breakfast meals. Paired with fruit they give you a powerful start into the day.

For a while I have been looking for a simple and kind of healthy granola recipe. I got inspired by Simone, our Airbnb host in Copenhagen, last weekend. She was so kind to invite us for breakfast on the Sunday morning and made us here home-made granola with yoghurt. Yummm.

I couldn’t resist to try my own version of it once back home and here is the result:

Ingredients:

Sunflower seeds

Pumpkin seeds

Sesame seeds

Raisins

Honey

Ratio: 1/2 cup of seeds & raisins on 1 large tablespoon honey

Simone used nuts as well (hazelnuts and almonds if I recall it right) and skipped the raisins. It’s up to you to decide which seeds or nuts you want to combine. Definitely use honey instead of brown or white sugar.

Preparation:

1) Preheat a pan and put a large scoop of honey in it as soon as the pan is warm (use medium heat, you don’t want to burn it)

2) While stirring let the honey melt. Then add your mix of seeds and raisins and keep on stirring.

3) Wait for the honey to caramelize. You will notice the caramelization by the change of color that will go from light brown to brown. Don’t wait for a dark brown nuance, that might burn your seeds.

4) Serve while still warm or let cool down and store in an air-tight container (e.g. Tupperware, glass jar).

P.S. Should you be planning a Copenhagen trip and not be sure about accomodation yet, I suggest to check out Simone’s apartment on Airbnb: https://www.airbnb.de/rooms/2547851

Liquid pleasures: Home-made smoothies

21 Oct

What’s healthier than ice cream? Smoothies. What’s better than juice? Smoothies. What makes you happy? Smoothies.

Voilà, I officially declare the smoothie our remedy for the upcoming winter months. My sister Becci believes in her breakfast smoothie. It took me a while to become a fan myself but now I think she is right. Smoothies without sugar added are an incredible refreshment and great start into the day. Maybe it is the bright color that fascinates. No, actually it is both: Taste and color!

Good news for you: There is very little that can go wrong with smoothies. All you need is a decent blender and you are ready to start smoothie-mania.

Red smoothie

I have prepared a selection of my favorite smoothies for you (quantities make 1-2 servings). Feel free to mix and match veggies and fruit:

Pink Power (see picture above)

Red beet (1/2 piece)

Banana (1 piece)

Soy milk or coconut milk (1 cup)

Vanilla flavoring or sugar (1 spoon)

Coconut flakes for decoration

Cucumber Mellow

Cucumber (1/2 piece)

Lemon (juice of 1/2 fruit)

Buttermilk (1 cup)

Pepper and Sweet Paprika as seasoning

Green and white smoothie

Green Zombie Variations (see picture above)

(1)

Spinach leaves (1 handful)

Soy milk (1 cup)

Coconut flakes (1-2 tablespoons)

(2)

Spinach leaves (1 handful)

Banana (1 piece)

Soy milk or butter milk (1 cup)

Lin seeds (1-2 tablespoons)

Cinnamon (1 teaspoon)

Coconut flakes (1-2 tablespoons)

Honey (1 tablespoon)

(3)

Diced apple (1 piece)

Banana (1 piece)

Spinach leaves (1 handful)

Lemon (juice of 1/2 fruit)

Celery (optional, 1 stick)

Fresh ginger (optional, 1 inch)

Tropical Breeze

Banana (1 piece)

Mango (1/2 piece)

Orange juice (1 cup)

Banana Classic (see picture above)

Banana (1 piece)

Milk or vanilla flavored soy milk (1 cup)

Ice cubes (3-4 pieces)

Weekend treat

Diced pineapple (1 cup)

Frozen or fresh raspberry (1/2 cup)

Soy milk (1 cup)

Mint leaves (a few leaves)

Crumbled chocolate muffin (1/2 piece)

Preparation:

1) Clean, peel and cut all ingredients as needed. Then add them to your blender and mix for 1-2 minutes until the liquid is smooth. Add 2-3 ice cubes if you like or a little water if the smoothie mixture does not come out liquid enough.

2) The smoothies can be stored in the fridge for a few hours but should be consumed the same day.

No preservatives are used: Therefore, the smoothie`s color can change quickly and they look and taste better if consumed immediately.

Portuguese tomato jam (doce de tomate)

17 Aug

Tomato jam? Wouldn’t you normally use fruit to make jam? That is right and yet it is also what make this jam so fabulous. It’s my latest discovery from Portugal. I recently spent a weekend in Lisbon and Cristiana, a Portuguese friend of ours, told me to try it. I would have not imagined that ripe, caramelized tomatoes and a sip of Port wine could create such a mouth-watering delicacy.

While the tomato season is still on,  I strongly recommend you to get at least 1 kilo (2 pounds) of very ripe tomatoes and to give it a shot yourself. The good thing about jams is that you barely cook them for longer than 10-15 min. You want to avoid caramelizing your ingredients too much because that would change the taste. The trick is to let the water evaporate a little bit and then to seal the jam in jars while it is still hot.

For one kilo of tomatoes, you will need 3 medium size glass jars of 160 ml (5 oz) as shown in the picture.

The jam is fantastic on whole grain bread or with a slice of cheese (e.g. goat cheese) or meat (e.g. steak).

Doce de tomate

Ingredients:

1 kg tomatoes (very ripe)

370 g brown cane sugar

50 ml port wine (preferred kind: Ruby port)

1 pinch ground cinnamon

1 pinch ground cloves

1 tablespoon lemon zest (from an untreated lemon), about 1 tablespoon

Preparation:

1) In a large pot, cook the tomatoes until the skin comes off (this takes about 10 min). Drain the tomatoes under cold water and immediately take off their skin. In a blender, process the tomatoes. Transfer the tomato sauce back into your cooking pot.

2) Stir in the sugar, port wine and season with cinnamon, cloves and the grated lemon zest. Bring to a boil at maximum heat and cook for 5-10 min. Stir well while you keep the jam at high temperature.

3) As soon as the texture becomes jelly, lower the heat and simmer for another 5-10 min.

4) Sterilize the glass jars by dipping them in boiling water or by pouring hot water over them. Use a pair of tongs, you can easily burn your fingers.

5) Fill in the jam up to the top of the jar and fix the lid tightly. For my jars I used rubber rings and metal clamps, a normal lid will do as well.

6) Store the jam in a cool, dark place or in the fridge. Sealed jars should last you at least 6 months.

Tip:

Add a pinch of pepper and chili powder for a little kick.

 

 

 

Red wine chocolate muffins (Rotweinkuchen)

6 Jul

Have you ever wondered what to do with leftover red wine apart from pouring it down the sink? Cook with it :) Red wine sauce, coq au vin…and red wine cake, that’s what comes to my mind when I think of how to use wine in the kitchen.
I am planning on starting a muffin challenge with my readers soon so stay tuned for more. This red wine chocolate muffin recipe is my first teaser and is both a great breakfast or a delicious desert after dinner.
Redwine chocolate muffin
Ingredients (makes 12 muffins):
1 cup soft butter or margarine (I like to use vegan Alsan)
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup red wine
4 eggs
cinnamon, vanilla aroma, ground cloves (optional), baking powder (1 tablespoon)
cocoa powder to color the dough (2-3 tablespoons)
1 pack chocolate chips

 

Preparation:
1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2) In a large bowl, whisk the butter until soft. Then add the sugar and the eggs and mix well.
3) Flavor the dough with cinnamon, vanilla aroma and ground cloves.
4) In a separate bowl combine the flour with the baking powder.
5) Now start stirring in a bit of the flour/baking powder mix, then subsequently add red wine and flour mix until the dough is smooth.
6) Finally, add the cocoa powder and the chocolate chips.
7) Fill the dough into muffin forms or in a cake pan that you have greased with butter or oil and bake for 20-50 min (20 min for the muffins, 50 min for the cake).
Tip: Serve with whipped cream while still warm. 

Red soup (Asian inspired veggie soup)

20 May

Soups are always a good idea for a light meal. I like making soups for dinner. Also because they are perfect for throwing in any leftover veggies you find in the fridge. I can’t think of any vegetable soup combination that has not worked so far. Since I prepared the Assam Laksa dish the other day, I now have a huge glass of sambal laksa paste sitting in my fridge.  The soup I am presenting today has a similar base (sambal laksa paste & tamarind) than the Assam Laksa, however, it is 100% vegetarian and vegan.

You can count roughly 30 min to prepare the soup and we finished the whole pot with only 2 people for dinner as it was quite delicious :)

A while ago I posted a Chinese sweet & sour soup recipe (https://fourchetteknife.com/2012/02/26/chinese-sweet-sour-soup/), maybe that’s also something for you if you don’t happen to have chili paste and tamarind in your fridge.

China inspired soup

Ingredients:

1,5 l water

1 small red onion

1 fresh chili

1 inch long piece fresh ginger

2 carrots, cut into thin 1 inch long stripes

1 small glas pickled mini corn

1 small glass gherkins

1 small red bell pepper

1 bunch spring onion

1 cup cocktail tomatoes

1 cup shredded or pickled red cabbage (optional)

5 dried mu-err mushrooms (soaked in water as indicated on the package, optional)

Cooking oil

For the broth:

Tamarind (sour)

Sambal laksa paste (or chili paste or also red curry paste)

Tomato paste

Ketchup

Dark soy sauce

Preparation:

1) Bring the water to a boil and add the ginger, peeled and diced. Let boil at medium heat while you prepare the veggies.

2) Clean, peel and cut the veggies. The onion should be diced, the carrots striped and all other ingredients  can be sliced.

3) In a wok or pan, preheat a tablespoon of cooking oil and saute the onion and the chili. Then add all other veggies and saute them for a few minutes. If you feel that the veggies start burning, add a sip of water.

4) Transfer the veggies to the broth. Continue cooking at medium heat.

5) In a bowl, dissolve tamarind (the size of a tablespoon) in about 1/2 cup of warm water. Then stir in 1-2 tablespoons laksa paste (depending on how spicy you want the soup to be), add half a cup of ketchup and 2 tablespoons tomato paste. Season with dark soy sauce (about 2 tablespoons). Pour the sauce into the soup and stir well. Let the soup simmer at low heat for another 10 min.

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