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Tartine breakfast

26 Jun




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



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!

Quick lunch idea: Yellow soup

8 Feb

This blog was born with one idea in mind: To share and spread the amazing array of food styles and tastes that I have experienced during my travels. Even today, any time I discover a dish I haven’t yet tasted, I go for it. I am way to afraid that I could miss out on something delicious. And even if it was something strange to my taste buds, it would be something unique to the locals who eat this dish. I cannot really remember food I haven’t liked so far (apart from fried worms in China maybe which spontaneously come to my mind).

At home I make it my mission to keep up with exotic dishes. I am a frequent customer at Asian grocery stores and often times pleasantly surprised with the big choice of food I can buy there.

On my latest trip to Borneo, Malaysia I discovered that Malaysia does not only have some very gorgeous food (thinking of Laksa soup, Bami and Nasi Goreng and all kinds of seafood and fruit freshly prepared at street markets) but also that the province of Sabah is an important supplier of palm oil. Extensive areas which once belonged to the populations of Orang-utans are now palm tree plantations. Palm oil is one of the top ingredients used in industrial foods these days. A little shocked by this fact, I started googling and reading about healthy and unhealthy fats which brought me to coconut oil and coconut products. Back home, I bought a jar of coconut oil which I am now using almost every day. Little of a surprise that I also included coconut in my yellow soup recipe :)

Before I present you the recipe, I want to tell you a little anecdote on how I came up with this simple name: Strolling over the food market in Kota Kinabalu I wanted to know more about the fish species they were selling there.  Tuna, snapper and bass were easy to tell but some of the fish were so bright in color they reminded me more of decorative fish in a fish tank…All the locals would tell me was: Miss, this is the pink fish. So please let me introduce to you the yellow soup:

yellow soup


4 potatoes

2 carrots

1 small parsnip (alternatively, 1 1/2 cups sliced white cabbage)

1 apple

1 red onion

Yellow curry paste

French mustard

Coconut powder or milk (small can)

Pepper, garam marsala


1) In a pot, bring water to a boil. Add a teaspoon of salt once it starts boiling.

2) Meanwhile, peel and clean the vegetables. Dice half the onion. Cut the remaining veggies in larger pieces.

3) In a small pan, sauté half your diced onion in a little bit of butter or olive oil. Put aside.

4) Add the other veggies to the boiling water, add one tablespoon yellow curry paste, stir and let boil until soft (approximately 15-20 min).

5) Now add one tablespoon French mustard with grains (preferably honey mustard or a sweet type of mustard), 1-2 tablespoons coconut powder or coconut milk and season with pepper and a pinch of garam marsala seasoning.

6) On the plate, decorate the soup with a drizzle of the sautéed onion.

Bread pudding, the other way

4 Feb

Some of my dear readers might have noticed already: I enjoy selecting themes for my recipes. Lately, I posted two new albums to my Facebook page: One with breakfasts from around the world and the other one with lunch ideas ( I will write more about another one soon (muffin challenge – stay tuned).

Today’s recipe is dedicated to lunch ideas. The idea is that we always complain how short we are in time because….we work, we are busy, we don’t like to take the time and planning effort to prepare a good meal…the list of excuses is long. I believe that there should not be any excuses. There are a ton of recipes out in the universe that are tasty and done in 30 min or less. It’s rather a matter of imagination and creativity. The most creative recipes I come up with are usually made from left over food I find in my fridge. Random creativity I call it.

Here is the story of my savory bread pudding: I sometime cut old bread into cubes and freeze it. I use those cubes when I want to make croutons. Last time I found two bags of bread cubes in my freezer they made me think of sweet bread budding – the yummy one with nutella and sugar. But because it was lunch time I had to come up with something else, so instead of nutella I used sausage and cheese :) I saw a very critical look on my boyfriend’s face; yet he had to admit that lunch was great!


DSC_0102Ingredients (serves 4):

2 hands full of bread cubes (roughly 4 slices, use any bread you like, preferably old, dry bread)

1 large leek (alternatively a bunch of spring onions or 2 onions), sliced

1/2 celery root, sliced and cut into mouth big pieces

2 Polish sausages (or any kind of smoked sausage with flavor)

1 cup grated cheese (for extra taste: old Gouda or Gruyere)

1 cup milk

2 eggs

Salt, pepper, sweet paprika powder, ground nutmeg

Butter or oil for the baking pan


1) Start with preheating the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400 degrees Fahrenheit).

2) In a pan with 1-2 table spoons oil, saute the leek and celery root until glassy. If needed, fry the sausage as well (our sausage was raw and needed to be cooked first)

3) Use a little butter or oil to grease the baking pan. Dust with flour.

4) Evenly spread out the bread cubes and the sausage in the baking pan or casserole you use. Cover with vegetables.

5) In a large cup or small bowl, whisk the eggs into the milk and season with salt, pepper, paprika and nutmeg. Pour over the bread mix.

6) Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 20-25 min at 200 degrees Celsius (400 degrees Fahrenheit).

What to cook in the winter time? A seasonal experiment with cabbage, lentils & co.

3 Feb

Winter is here and it’s so hard to get rid of it. I wish I could beam myself somewhere close to the equator or on the Southern hemisphere, that would solve my trouble in a second. But hey, let’s look at it this way: Winter has its pretty sides, too. Last week I wandered through the snow on my way back home from hot yoga. It was a perfectly clear night with loads of stars in the sky and I enjoyed my walk. Another thing I enjoy at the moment is to hide from the cold at home and engineer seasonal meals. I make use of what gets delivered in my weekly farmer’s box.

Here is my advice for you: Even if you shop for groceries at your corner supermarket, think twice about what you buy. A) Food that doesn’t grow in your country right now must be flown in from far away which is bad CO2 emission-wise and the taste and amount of vitamins of the produce are not guaranteed B) Imported food is much more expensive. That’s why I say, look out for seasonal food. You will be surprised how easy it is to cook tasty meals (minus the color – that comes a little short in the winter time).

One of my latest lunches looked like this and you only need a handful of ingredients:

Winter recipe: Cabbage with lentils


1 white cabbage head

1 parsnip or 1/3 of a celery root

5 shitake mushrooms (or other mushroom type, e.g. white or portobello mushroom)

2 shallots

2 garlic cloves

1 bag lentils

veggie broth

rice vinegar or white vinegar


1) Rinse the lentils in cold water and boil as indicated on the package.

2) Cut the cabbage head, the parsnip or celery root (whatever is easier for you to get), the mushrooms and the shallots in slices. Chop up the garlic.

3) Preheat a wok or large pan and stir fry the cabbage and the onion in a little cooking oil. You want them to look glassy. Add a little veggie broth if needed, to avoid frying them too much. When done, put aside.

4) Now stir fry the garlic and parsnip or celery. If you use celery root you may want to pre-boil it in water for a few minutes. A minute or two before you are done, add the mushrooms.

5) In a bowl, place a layer of lentils, cover with the stir-fried veggies, sprinkle with vinegar and decorate with sesame seeds.

HelloFresh’s Glazed Pork with Potato Mash & Broccoli

19 Jan

And voila, here is the third HelloFresh recipe that I had in my Kochbox: Glazed pork with potato mash & broccoli. My resume for this week: It was fun cooking out of the box :) I was offered a nice variety and liked all of the three recipes. Good choice and highly recommended! To get your box delivered, click here: www.hellofresh.comDSC_0119

DSC_0120 DSC_0127 Ingredients (serves 2 people): 2 pork filets (ca. 250g or 1/2 pound) 4 potatoes 1 broccoli head lemon juice (of 1/2 fresh lemon) 1 bunch spring onions 1 large clove garlic fresh rosemary 1/2 cup milk 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 tablespoon honey 1/2 tablespoon mustard olive oil flour salt, pepper, nutmeg Preparation:

1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)

2) Bring water to a boil and meanwhile start peeling the potatoes and cut them in cubes. Remove the broccoli from the stem. Wash the spring onion and thinly slice it. As soon as the water is boiling, add a pinch of salt and boil the potatoes for 15-20 min, add the broccoli for the last 3 min. Drain and put aside.

3) Wash and dry the pork filet. Cut it in finger thick slices. Season with salt and pepper from both sides and coat the slides in flour.

4) Prepare the glaze: Squeeze the lemon. Chop up the garlic and the rosemary leaves. In a bowl, mix the lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1/2 spoon mustard. Season with salt and pepper.

5) Heat a pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sear the meat for about 1-2 min on both sides. Then put the meat into a baking pan and cover with the marinade. Place in the oven for about 8-10 min.

6) Prepare the potato mash: In a small pot, add the milk, 2 tablespoons butter and the white parts of the spring onion to the potatoes and mash until smooth. Season with a pinch of nutmeg and salt.

7) Arrange the meat, broccoli and potato mash on a plate and decorate the potato mash with the green parts of the spring onion. Guten Appetit!

Jede Woche leckere Gerichte zum Selberkochen zu Ihnen nach Hause – Hier zum Angebot von HelloFresh

HelloFresh’s Red Thai Curry

11 Jan

Here is the 2nd recipe that was in my HelloFresh box. It is also a Best Of recipe from 2013. Be careful with the red curry paste if you don’t like it very spicy. Vegetarians may want to replace the chicken with tofu or potatoes. Other than that, I highly recommend this tasty and quick curry.

Your shopping list: 200g basmati rice, 2 chicken breasts, 200g green beans, 1 zucchini, 1 carrot, 2 garlic cloves, 1 lime, fresh coriander leaves, 250ml coconut milk, and red curry paste.DSC_0103Step 1: Clean & peel the veggies. Cut the beans in half and dice the carrot and the zucchini. Chop the garlic and the coriander leaves. Cut the meat in mouth big pieces and prepare 100ml of veggie broth.

Step 2: Wash the rice under running water and boil at medium heat in 300ml of salted water until the water has evaporated (~15 min). Start cooking the rice in cold water.


Step 3: In a large pan (preferably wok) heat one tablespoon of oil. Add the garlic and roast for about 30 sec to 1 min, then add 1/2 to 1 tablespoon red curry paste. Top up with coconut milk and veggie broth and stir until smooth. Then add the meat and remaining veggies (carrot, beans, zucchini), cover with a lid and let simmer for about 10 min. DSC_0112Step 4: Before you serve the curry with rice, flavour with lime juice and decorate with coriander leaves.

Jede Woche leckere Gerichte zum Selberkochen zu Ihnen nach Hause – Hier zum Angebot von HelloFresh

HelloFresh’s Tomato Mascarpone Gnocchi

11 Jan

I am a curious person and when I unpacked my HelloFresh Kochbox I immediately wanted to get the pot on the stove and did so, Thursday lunch plan secured ;)

Here is an overview of the ingredients that I received for the tomato mascarpone gnocchi. Serves 2 people, prep and cooking time 30 minutes:


1 pack gnocchi (500g)

1 can tomato cubes (400ml)

1 pack mascarpone (250g)

50 ml veggie broth

1 garlic clove


fresh basil leaves



DSC_0081Step 1: Chop garlic, pistachios and basil leaves

DSC_0085Step 2: Bring water to a boil and boil the gnocchi for only 2 min (as indicated on the package). Meanwhile, add a small spoon of oil to a pan, fry the garlic and add the tomato sauce. Also, add 50ml of veggie broth. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar and leave on the heat for a few more minutes.

DSC_0086Step 3: Drain the gnocchi, let them cool down for a minute until the steam is gone and then add them to the pan. Put as many tablespoons of mascarpone to the gnocchi tomato mix as you like (I used half of the pack, approximately two large tablespoons) and stir well.

DSC_0090Step 4: Decorate with basil leaves and pistachios on the plate and season with pepper as needed.

Kale potato soup

15 Dec

Green is “in” in many ways, especially in combination with a healthy nutrition. Many recipes these days feature kale as a “wunder” ingredient. Kale has many green friends. Salad, broccoli, cucumber, spinach, brussels sprouts, you name them. I have to admit that the first time I read about kale was in the States and then I re-discovered it in Northern Germany this fall where kale is a regional vegetable, eaten with potatoes and smoked sausage. Kale has quite a distinct smell and taste but I have to say that I am fully convinced. It’s a great alternative to spinach and probably just a matter of eating it once or twice, and you will like it.

This weekend I decided to go for a very easy and quick recipe: A kale soup made with potatoes, onion and carrots. A real vegetarian treat :)

Don’t be scared by the colour, it’s not to be confused with baby food. This is something good for you!

Trust me it's yummie


500 g kale leaves

300 g potatoes

2 carrots

1 onion

2 garlic cloves

1 liter veggie broth (ready to use broth or 2 cubes dissolved in cooking water)

1/2 cup creme fraiche, sour cream or Schmand

salt, pepper, nutmeg, spicy paprika powder

canola oil


1) Rinse the kale leaves and cut out the stem in the middle. Chop up the leaves into small squares.

2) Peel the carrots, the potatoes, the onion and the garlic. Cut everything into small cubes.

2) Blanch the kale leaves in salted water, i.e. throw them into boiling water for 3-5 min and then rinse the leaves under ice cold water. That way the keep their color and form.

3) In a large pot or pan, first sauté the onion and the garlic. Then add the carrots, potatoes and kale leaves and sauté for a few more minutes.

4) Top up with 1 liter of veggie broth and let cook for about 20-30 min at medium heat until the veggies are cooked.

5) Season to taste with salt, pepper, ground nutmeg and a small pinch of spicy paprika powder.

6) Finally, puree with a blender (I used a hand mixer, a smoothie blender should work as well)

7) For a creamier taste, add about 1/2 cup of creme fraiche, sour cream or Schmand as we call it in Germany.



Hello fall, it’s time for pumpkin soup

6 Oct

I am not a fan of cold temperatures and the transition from summer to fall but when I go to a farmer’s market and see the piles of pumpkins that are displayed I get happy and can’t resist to take one or two home with me. Pumpkin soup is one of my favorite soups and there is nothing really that can go wrong, it’s an easy vegetable. At home, we either have it as a starter or our main course depending on how hungry we are. It tastes great with a slice of oven warm baguette or a slice of dark German bread or pumpernickel bread.

You can easily store a pumpkin for up to 4 weeks and if you have too much pumpkin because you bought the biggest one you could find, chop it up and freeze it :)

Pumpkin soup in the making

Pumpkin soup


1 large orange pumpkin (after I cleaned mine and cut it pieces, I had 1,5 kg)

1/2 – 1 cup milk or cream

1 cup water

1 tablespoon mustard (preferably Dijon, sweet mustard if you like it less spicy)

1 teaspoon dried bear’s garlic or fresh garlic

1 teaspoon or half a cube veggie stocking

Seasoning: salt, pepper, ground nutmeg, cinnamon

Topping: A few drops pumpkin seed oil and balsamic cream (I used a special kind: orange chocolate balsamic cream)


1) Start with cutting the pumpkin in pieces: Cut it in half and scoop out the pumpkin seeds. Then cut the two halves in pieces which will fit in your pot. Don’t cut off the skin.

2) In a large pot, cover the pumpkin with water, add a one or two pinches of salt and boil it for 10-15 min until the pumpkin is soft.

3) Take it out and cut off the skin.

4) Put the pumpkin pieces back in the pot, pour the milk or cream (cream will make the soup a little heavier but also tastier, it’s up to you what you prefer) on top and add up to a cup of water. Use a hand mixer to mix it creamy. If you don’t have a hand mixer, you can also use a blender. In that case, you might want to add more water so that your mix comes out a little more liquid.

5) Season the soup with salt, pepper, ground nutmeg (just a pinch, nutmeg is fairly strong in taste), cinnamon (optional, same here, just a small pinch for the taste), a teaspoon veggie stocking, a tablespoon mustard, and 1 teaspoon dried bear’s garlic or fresh garlic.  At low heat, boil for 10 min and steer occasionally.

6) Serve with bread or baguette and use pumpkin seed oil and balsamic cream as a topping.

Tip: Pumpkin seeds are a good nutrient. It would be a waste to throw them away. If you have extra time, rinse the seeds under water and spread them out on a baking pan. Then season with salt, pepper, red paprika powder and bbq seasoning or lemon pepper. Bake for about 20-30 min at very low heat until they are completely dry and crisp. Store in a tin can and eat them as a snack or use them as salad topping. Here is a detailed recipe I posted last year:

Pumpkin seeds

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