Monday, November 18, 2013

Macaroni With Mushroom Cream Sauce

Ingredients:

300 g pasta, here macaroni
200 g mix of fresh mushrooms - meadow, oyster, cantharellus mushrooms etc., chopped in bigger pieces
150 ml cream or creme fraiche
80 g bacon stripes
1 tbsp flour
Bunch of fresh thyme leaves, chopped finely
Bunch of fresh rosemary, chopped finely
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
salt&pepper
*

There were never enough dishes with mushrooms in autumn and winter. This time a version of super fast and easy pasta meal. Cook the pasta al dente. Fry the bacon stripes on a sauce pan until crunchy, get rid of the surplus fat. Add the mushrooms and stir for a while, season with salt and pepper. Pour cream over and cook. Sauce made with creme fraiche will not be too liquid, but if you use cream, you might need to thicken the sauce with a little bit of flour. Mix thoroughly so no lumps remain in the sauce. Add the end, throw in the chopped herbs. Serve with pasta and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese.
Bon Appetit!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Portobello Mushroom Salad

Ingredients:

1 pack of mixed salad leaves, preferably with argula included
2 big Portobello mushrooms, cleaned
100 g blue cheese
100 g bacon strips
1 big cooked red beetroot, cut in pieces
10 cherry tomatoes, cut in halves or quarters
Handful walnuts
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
salt&pepper
*

She had this salad as a dinner in a spa restaurant in Maarssen after an amazing relaxing day in the spa, and she couldn't wait to retry at home. The preparation took a little while longer than other salads, but it was certainly worth it as this salad was simply delicious. Wash the portobello mushrooms, place them into a roasting pan or plate and roast them in pre-heated oven for about 8 minutes until they soften. Take them out and put some blue cheese on the top, place the cut beetroot and the walnuts in the roasting pan along with the mushrooms and roast for a few more minutes so that the cheese melts and walnuts are toasted. Fry the bacon strips until crunchy. Prepare the vinaigrette by simply mixing the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt and paper. Throw the mix of salad leaves on a plate, add cut cherry tomatoes, rest of blue cheese and bacon strips. Take the rest of the things out of oven and add them on the plate. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and sever with bread if you like.
Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Chicken Breast In Port Wine Sauce

Ingredients:

1 big piece of chicken breast, sliced in the middle and halved
1 pack of pancetta bacon (8 slices)
1 cup of port wine
1 cup of rice
Handful raisins
Handful walnuts
Bunch of fresh thyme leaves, chopped finely
Bunch of fresh rosemary stalks, chopped finely
A few cloves
salt&pepper
*

There are so many ways how to prepare chicken. Wrapping has become one of the preferred ways for them. This time the inspiration came from a Dutch Allerhande magazine and has proven to be a very taste alternative. Slice the chicken breast in the middle and halve it so that you are left with four smaller pieces. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Wrap each piece in two slices of pancetta, secure with a toothpick if needed. Place the wrapped chicken pieces on a hot frying pan and fry from both sides shortly so that the pancetta releases some fat and seales the chicken meat. Remove and place into a roasting pan and put in a 180C pre-heated oven, bake for about 8 minutes until the meat is done. Start boiling the rice. Add some salt and cloves to flavour. Meanwhile when the chicken breast is in the oven and rice is boiling, use the frying pan with the pancetta fat and throw in the raisins and walnuts. Roast for a while, afterwards raise the heat a bit and pour the port wine over. Season with salt, pepper and finely chopped thyme and rosemary. Cook until the liquid starts to reduce and walnuts with raisins are soft. At the end take the chicken breast from the oven and place into the mixture and cook a bit longer. Serve with rice.
Bon Appetit!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Oatmeal Porridge With Dried Fruits

Ingredients:

50 g cut porridge oats
350 ml milk or water
1 tbsp honey
pinch of cinnamon powder
pinch of cardemon powder
Handful dried apricots, chopped
Handful dried cranberries, chopped
Handful walnuts, chopped
Pinch of salt
*

As autumn arrives, the breakfast preferences change. Warm porridge is a perfect start of the day on rainy days. Put the oats in a saucepan, pour in the milk or water and sprinkle in a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring from time to time and watching carefully that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Once ready, mix in some honey, cinnamon, little bit of cardamon and stir. Add the dried fruits of your preference, here apricots and cranberries, but can be also dried figs, prunes or raisins, along with some nuts, here walnuts, but also can be almond flakes or hazelnut, the options are numerous. Some fresh fruits are also welcome, here bananas, but can be also apples, pears and others. The porridge can be also topped up by some Greek yogurt or creme fraiche. Perfect hearty and healthy start of the day. 
Bon Appetit!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

CousCous With Smoked Chicken Ham And Melon Salad

Ingredients:

1 cup of plain couscous
1 pack of smoked chicken ham, cut in stripes
Handful dried apricots, chopped roughly
2 tbsp pine nuts
1/2 fennel bulb, sliced thinly
Bunch of fresh mint leaves, chopped finely
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
salt&pepper

1/2 small galia melon, cut in cubes
1/2 pack feta cheese, crumbled
Bunch of fresh mint leaves, chopped finely
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
salt&pepper
*

Couscous is such a versatile staple that can be prepared in hundreds of different ways. This time she used what she had in the fridge and this very taste mix came out of it. Put the couscous in a bowl and pour boiling hot water over it, cover with a lid or a plate and let raise up. Roast or fry the smoked chicken breast ham on a saucepan. Once couscous ready, throw all the ingredients in the bowl, stir and season with olive oil, lemon juice, fresh mint leaves, salt and pepper. She had a bunch of mint leaves left so she wanted to try this melon salad recipe she saw on Jamie Oliver show. His recipe was with watermelon but that one was not sold in the Netherlands anymore, so she tried with Galia. Very tasty, easy, new flavor combintation.
Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Potato And Cauliflower Curry Beef Pot

Ingredients:

200-300 g minced beef meet
5-6 big potatoes, pre-boiled (with or without skin)
1/2 head of small cauliflower, divided into smaller florets and pre-boiled
1/2 onion, chopped finely
1 pot creme fraiche
2 eggs
50 g Gouda cheese, grated
2 tbsp curry powder
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp mustard
1 teaspoon balsamic vinaigrette
bunch of fresh parsley leaves, chopped finely
Pinch of cumin seeds
salt&pepper
*

Autumn is here and with it comes a number of vegetables that are quite missed out from our dietary regimes for the rest of the year. One of them is cauliflower, a vegetable that is cheap, low in fats and carbohydrates yet high on vitamin C and compounds that might protect against cancer.
Pre-boil potatoes until soft and cauliflower florets al dente. Cut the potatoes into thin slices. Prepare a sauce by mixing creme fraiche, eggs, grated cheese, olive oil, curry powder, mustard, chopped parsley leaves, balsamic vinaigrette,cumin seeds, salt and pepper together. Or buy an already made curry sauce for meats :)
Fry finely chopped onion on a little bit of olive oil until golden colored and add minced beef. Stew the beef until cooked with a pinch of salt and grounded pepper. Dispose of any fat that might arise from the meat. Towards the end add cauliflower florets and mix together.
Drizzle bottom of a baking pot with a bit of olive oil and place a layer of potatoes circles. Afterwards layer the minced meat with cauliflower and top it up with another layer of potatoes. Depending on the size of the pot repeat another layer if you can. At the end pour the sauce over and place it into 180C pre-heated oven for about 20 mins. Top it up with more cheese for a cheese crust if you like.
Bon Appetit!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Prawn Skewer With Avocado Puree

Ingredients:

Pack of shrimps, pre-boiled or fresh, peeled
1 ripe avocado, peeled
Bunch of fresh coriander leaves
1/4 small chili pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
skewers
salt&pepper
*

Last kiss of summer. The prawn skewer was barbecued on a disposal set on a deserted island and was liked by everyone. Such a simple thing to cook. Just marinade the prawns in a mix of olive oil, dash of lemon juice, finely chopped coriander and chili pepper, salt and ground black pepper. Stick them onto the skewer and grill, bake or fry on a pan for a few minutes. Prawns do not take too long, especially if already pre-boiled. Avocado pure is made by mixing the avocado with chili pepper, lime juice, drop of olive oil, salt and pepper with an immersion mixer. Easy peasy. Serve with whatever you like. Could be couscous, rice, bread, tortilla chips.
Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Chicken Breast Fillet With Pear and Sage

Ingredients:

2 medium sized chicken breast fillets, pounded softly
1 big pear, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup pecan nuts, crushed finely
2 tbsp butter, soft
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
Dash of fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup Parmigiano cheese, grated finely
Bunch of fresh sage leaves
Few fresh oregano leaves
toothpicks
salt&pepper
*

Back to the good old chicken. This recipe was a great success and again the combination of sweet and salty flavors never fails. Start with preparing the filling by grating the Parmigiano cheese, chopping the fresh herbs finely (keep some of the sage leaves aside for later), crushing the pecan nuts and placing all of the above into a bowl with a tablespoon of soft butter, pinch of salt and pepper. Mix it all together until you have a firmer paste. Pound the chicken breast fillets so that you can roll the meat. Smear the paste on the inner side of the breast fillet and place a slice of peeled pear in the middle. Roll the breast so that the pear is in the middle, fasten with toothpicks. Preheat oven to 200C. Heat up the olive oil on a saucepan and place the chicken breast wraps on the pan. Fry from all sides quickly in high heat so that the meat seals. Remove from the frying pan and place it on roasting pan, put it in the oven and let it roast for about ten to fifteen minutes until done. Melt a tablespoon of butter on the frying pan you used before, add a dash of fresh lemon juice and place the rest of the pear slices in the pan. Add rest of the chopped sage leaves and a bit of honey. Cook the pears until they are soft. Once ready, place the chicken wrap and the cooked pears on the plate, serve with rice or potatoes. Don't forget to take all the toothpicks out from the wrap.
Bon Appetit!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Roasted Aubergine With Couscous Filling and Feta Cheese

Ingredients:

1 larger aubergine
50 g couscous
2 stripes prosciutto ham, chopped roughly
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Handful dried apricots, chopped
Handful pine nuts
Bunch of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
Pinch of cinnamon powder
Pinch of grained nutmeg or powder
1 tbsp virgin olive oil
salt&pepper
*

Tasty not only summer meal with a bit of exotic Arabic feel to it. Wash the aubergine and prick it couple of times with a fork, place it whole on a baking paper in a baking pan and bake in oven at cca 200C for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile place couscous in a bowl and pour boiling water over so that it just covers the amount, put a lid over and let it rise. Take out the aubergine and cut it in half. Scoop out the soft inside but be careful not the penetrate the sides. Chop it finely and add it to the already risen couscous along with chopped prosciutto ham, apricots, mint leaves, pine nuts, olive oil and season with salt, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir all together and fill the aubergine with the mixture. Sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese, put back into oven and bake for another 10 minutes or so until the cheese starts to brown. Serve on a bed of salad leaves and optionally with white yogurt dressing which can be made from Greek yogurt with salt, pepper, dash of lemon juice, chopped fresh mint and coriander leaves. If you prefer vegetarian version, just omit the prosciutto ham.
Bon Appetit!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Spanish Gazpacho

Ingredients:

1/2 cucumber, peeled and seeded
1/2 red bell pepper, cored and seeded
2 tomatoes, sliced and seeded
1/4 red onion
1 celery stalk
1 cup tomato juice
1/2 cup ice cubes
2 tbsp virgin olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
Bunch of fresh parsley
1/4 chili pepper
salt&pepper
*

The best food in hot hot summer days. Period. She fell in love with this soup while living in South of Spain and truly, there was nothing else she could possibly eat during temperatures as high as 43C. Refreshing, healthy, light, super easy. Just chop roughly all the vegetable ingredients and put them into mixer along with the herbs, seasonings and tomato juice. Mix it well. The ice cubes will chill the soup immediately. The longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop. Serve with bread.
Bon Appetit!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Goat's Cheese And Pear Salad

Ingredients:

1 bag mix of salad leaves
1 pear, peeled and sliced
1/2 pack soft goat's cheese
Handful walnuts

Dressing:
1 tbsp pink pepper corns
2 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp mustard
salt&pepper
*

Salads are great anytime, but in this warm weather they are almost a necessity. This one is again super easy to make and the mix of sweetness of the pear with the sharpness of the goat's cheese a great combination. Simply place washed salad leaves on a plate or in a bowl, add cheese, sliced pear and walnuts. Prepare dressing in a separate container by mixing all the ingredients well together until you have a compact liquid. Pour over the salad and all is ready. Serve with bread.
Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Lamb Chops Marinated In Chili And Mint Sauce

Ingredients:

4 smaller lamb chops
1 cup of rice
1/2 fresh chili pepper
Bunch of fresh mint leaves
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
salt&pepper
*

Sometimes a little shift from the usual chicken and fish is needed. Lamb was not everyone's favorite but this marinated version had rather a success. Put the lamb chops into marinade made of honey, olive oil, a bit of lemon juice, finely chopped mint leaves and chili pepper, salt and pepper for at least a few hours and store in a fridge. Fry on a sauce pan with a lid or grill on a barbecue if possible for about 20 mins. Serve with rice or potatoes.
Bon Appetit!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Smoked Mackerel Salad With Beetroot And Dill Yogurt Dressing

Ingredients:

250g baby potatoes, boiled
1 smoked mackerel fillet, boned and torn into pieces
2 middle sized bulbs cooked beetroot, sliced
1 cup rucola leaves 

Dressing:
1/2 cup low fat Greek yogurt
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 tbsp pickled capers
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt&pepper
*

This time a little Nordic inspiration. This meal is packed with vitamin C, B6 and B12, antioxidants and healthy omega 3s fatty acids, just be cautious of the beetroot which has a tendency to stain everything pink. Once the potatoes are boiled soft, cut them in half, mix with rucola leaves, pieces of mackerel and sliced beetroot.  In a separate bowl or cup prepare the dressing by mixing half of the yogurt container with finely chopped fresh dill, tablespoon of  capers with a bit of the pickled liquid, a squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper and  stir all together. Pour the dressing over the mix and the meal is ready. Add a boiled egg if you fancy or use fresh spinach leaves instead of rucola if you prefer.
Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Carrot And Coriander Soup

Ingredients:

5 medium carrots, sliced
1/2 cup fresh orange juice or 1 orange, juiced and pulp included
2 cups water
1 tbsp butter
Pinch of curry powder
Pinch of ginger powder
Pinch of cinnamon
Bunch of fresh coriander leaves
salt&pepper
*

Another of her favorite soup recipes, super fast, super easy and something she called a "super food" - pumped with vitamins and low on calories. Melt the butter in a saucepan and throw the carrots in. Stir around with the butter for a short while, pour over water and orange juice and boil. Season with salt, pepper, curry powder, ginger and cinnamon. Once the carrots are cooked, turn the heat off and add the coriander leaves. Mix with blender or immersion mixer. If you prefer, you can also ad a bit of cream. Serve the soup with bread.
Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Turkey Breast Accompanied By Exotic Salad

Ingredients:

1 big turkey breast fillet, sliced
1 cup of rice
4 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
salt&pepper

Salad
1/2 cup diced pineapple
1/2 cup fresh coconut
1/2 cucumber, sliced finely
1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 0% fat
Bunch of basil leaves
salt&pepper
*

Summer requires a bit of exotic feel to it and why not incorporate it into the kitchen. It is better to marinade the turkey breast upfront, ideally over night, but a few hours before will also do. Cut the turkey into medallions, season with salt and pepper and place in a bowl with a bit of olive oil, oyster sauce and a table spoon honey. Mix together, cover the bowl and leave in the fridge. Now to the preparation of the salad. Cut pineapple into cubes and fresh coconut into thin cubes, peel cucumber into thin slices. Chop basil leaves finely. Mix it all together with half a cup of Greek yogurt and season with salt and pepper. Start to boil rice. Place turkey breast on a pan and fry from both sides, the sauce and surface of the meat should caramelize a bit. Pour a bit of water on the pan if needed so that it doesn't burn. Once ready, serve with the rice and salad.
Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Legume Salad With Feta Cheese And Green Pepper

Ingredients:

1 cup red lentils
1/2 can red kidney beans
1/2 green pepper, sliced thinly
1/3 cup feta cheese cubes
5 mushrooms, sliced
Bunch of fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, grounded
salt&pepper
*

Because there are never enough salad variations and because at least 50 percent of her food stereotype comprised of salads, here is another recipe. Put the lentils in a bowl with lukewarm water and let it swell up for at least half an hour. Afterwards boil them shortly with a bit of water until soft and water evaporates, add salt, pepper, curry powder and grounded caraway seeds,  tablespoon of olive oil, sliced mushrooms and red kidney beans. Cook for a few minutes so that the mushrooms soften and soak in the flavors. Once cooked, let cool off a bit. Put thinly sliced green peppers, the legume mixture with mushrooms, feta cheese and chopped basil in a bowl and stir gently. Serve with bread as a main course or as a side dish to red meats.
Bon Appetit!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Cherry-Yogurt Crumble Cake

Ingredients:

1 cup of cherries, pitted
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup flower
1 cup sugar
1 cup white yogurt
1/2 pack baking powder
pinch of salt
a bit of butter, flower and sugar for crumb topping
icing sugar
*

Super easy cake that can be used with any seasonal fruit - cherries, strawberries, apricots, plums or even rhubarb. Sift the flour and baking powder in a bowl, add pinch of salt, spices, sugar and stir gently. Beat the  eggs into the bowl, add yogurt and mix together until the mixture is soft and compact. Pour the batter into the pan. Top up with the crumb which can be created by squeezing the butter with sugar and flour together until it creates crumbs. Place in preheated oven. Bake for about 30 mins at 180C. If needed, try if the batter is baked inside by using wooden skewer. Once ready, take out from the oven and let cool off for a bit.
Bon Appetit!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Salmon Fillet With Grapefruit And Avocado Salad

Ingredients:

2 medium sized salmon fillets
1/2 ripe avocado, peeled and diced
1/2 pink grapefruit, peeled and diced
1 pack of salad leaves mix, preferably including wild rocket
Handful walnuts
1 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt&pepper
*

Another healthy, supposedly low calorie combination that can get a nice twist over the summer if the salmon fillet is barbecued. If you cannot grill the salmon outside, bake it in an oven for about 15 minutes at 180C, no additional fat needed, only season with salt and pepper. While the salmon fillet is being grilled or baked (or even fried on a saucepan if you prefer), prepare the salad by placing the salad leaves in a bowl or on a plate, add the peeled and diced grapefruit and avocado, sprinkle some walnuts over, season with balsamic vinaigrette, salt, pepper and dash of olive oil. Place the salmon fillet on top of the salad once ready and drizzle with lemon juice. If the salad is not enough, it can be served with fresh bread or as here with roasted potato wedges.
Bon Appetit!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Asparagus Chicken Wrap With Brie Cheese

Ingredients:

2 pieces boneless chicken breast, pounded
1 cup rice
1 pack of fresh asparagus
2 slices prosciutto ham
4 slices brie cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
2 toothpicks
salt&pepper
*

This pretty simple recipe was a spontaneous "invention" that occurred during cooking itself. As oppose to cooking a classic chicken steak with asparagus wrapped in prosciutto ham on the side, it was decided that everything will be wrapped... Pound the chicken breast, lay two slices of brie cheese on top and place a few asparagus stalks in the middle. Fold the chicken around and wrap prosciutto ham around as well, securing it all with a toothpick. Place chicken wraps into a pan along with the rest of asparagus stalks, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the meat. Serve with boiled rice or alternatively roasted potatoes.
Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Orange Risotto With Seafood

Ingredients:

1 cup arborio rice
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup seafood (here already cooked shrimps)
1/2 cup red lentils
2 tomatoes, diced
1 medium carrot, grated
1/2 small onion, finelly chopped
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/3 cup white wine
1/4 cup Parmigiano cheese, grated
1 tbsp butter
Large pinch of saffron threads
1 tbsp pink pepper corns
salt&pepper
*

Another experimental meal that is not only tasty but also looks nice and colorful. Put the red lentils into a bowl with warm water and leave to swell up for about an hour prior to the actual cooking. Melt the butter in a sauce pan and fry the chopped onion until soft, add diced tomatoes and cook for a bit. Add the rice and red lentils, pour over chicken stock and white wine, season with saffron, salt&pepper and cook for about 15 minutes until rice and lentils soften and liquid is fairly reduced. Add the tomato sauce and some of the Parmagiano cheese. Cook some more until liquid is absorbed. In a different pan cook shrimps or alternatively squid or scallops or similar on a tiny bit of butter. Spoon risotto on a plate, top up with seafood of your choice, sprinkle over some Parmigiano cheese and a few pink pepper corns and meal is ready to be served.
Bon Appetit!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Lamb Leaves Salad With Tuna and Fennel

Ingredients:

1 tin tuna chunks in oil or water
1/2 fresh fennel bulb, sliced
1/2 pack lamb leaves
1/2 pink grapefruit
1/4 cup feta cheese cubes
1/4 cup black olives, cut in halves
3 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt&pepper
*

Another tip for a salad, this time with often unfairly neglected fennel. Adding this highly aromatic plant makes any salad a new experience. Slice the fennel bulb omitting the top green stalks and drizzle over with lemon juice. Skin the grapefruit and cut in pieces. Mix with rest of the ingredients and season with salt, pepper, balsamic vinaigrette and olive oil. If you prefer a sweeter taste, you can also drizzle with agave syrup or a bit of honey. Serve with bread or crackers.
Bon Appetit!

Friday, June 7, 2013

CousCous With Nectarines, Pecan Nuts and Chicken

Ingredients:

1 cup plain couscous
1 nectarine, sliced
1/4 cup raisins, chopped
1/4 cup pecan nuts, chopped
1 boneless chicken breast, diced
Bunch of fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp agave syrup
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon dried sage
salt&pepper
*

Perfect summer dinner, fresh with an interesting mix of flavors and so easy to make. Put the couscous in a bowl and pour boiling hot water over, cover with a lid or a plate and let raise up. Roast or fry the chicken breast pieces on a pan and season with caraway seeds, sage, salt and pepper. Once couscous raises, add the chopped raisins, mint leaves, nectarine and pecan nuts along with oil, lemon juice, agave syrup, salt and pepper and stir all together. Place the chicken pieces on a top.
Bon Appetit!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Carrot Cake With Walnuts And Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

Cake
3 cups carrot, finely grated
3 eggs
1 pack baking powder
2 cups flour
1 cup (brown) sugar
1/2 cup walnut oil
1/4 cup walnuts, grounded
1/4 cup raisins
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Pinch of ginger powder and nutmeg
Unsulted butter and a bit of flower for the pan
Pinch of salt

Frosting
1-2 cups icing sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 pack Philadelphia cheese spread
1 teaspoon lemon zest plus some lemon juice
*

This cake never disappoints. Great for all occasions, be it birthday or Sunday afternoon treat with a nice cup of coffee. Butter and flour a round deep cake pan and set aside. Preheat oven to some 180°C. Sift the flour and baking powder in a bowl, add pinch of salt, spices, grated walnuts, sugar and raisins and stir gently. At last put the grated carrot, eggs and oil into the bowl and mix together until the mixture is soft and compact. Pour the batter into the pan and place in preheated oven. Bake for about 45 mins. Once ready, take out from the oven and let cool off. Prepare the frosting by simply mixing all the ingredients for frosting together. Apply in a thicker layer on the top of the cake.
Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Salmon Steaks With Homemade Pesto Whole Weat Pasta And Spinach

Ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat pasta
2 middle size fresh salmon stakes
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
Bunch of fresh parsley leaves
Bunch of fresh basil leaves
Handful pine nuts
2 tbsp Parmigiano or Pecorino cheese, grated
1 tbsp olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
salt&pepper
*

Simple and fast dish, salmon can be substituted by another type of fish or even meat if you wish. Homemade pesto is really easy to prepare, just put chopped parsley and basil leaves along with olive oil, pine nuts, Parmigiano cheese, salt, pepper and lemon juice in a suitable plastic container and mix with immersion mixer until you get a soft compact paste. Cook the whole wheat pasta until soft and mix with the pesto. Fold some fresh spinach leaves into the pasta. Fry or bake the salmon steaks in oven seasoned with salt and pepper until cooked. Drizzle some lemon juice over the steak when done. Serve with the pasta.
Bon Appetit!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Turnip Salad With Apple And Blue Cheese

Ingredients:

3 small turnips, bottom cut off, sliced
1/2 medium apple, sliced
1/2 small scallion, sliced
Handfull walnuts, crushed
1/3 cup blue cheese, crumbled
Bunch of fresh thyme leaves
1 tbsp ginger syrup
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt&pepper
*

Another experimental meal that turned out rather instersting. This time incorporating turnips as a newly discovered ingredient. Turnips have a surprising taste resembling radish so this salad is rather fresh and crispy, can be eaten by itself or accompany meats. Heat oil on the pan and throw in the sliced turnips, cook for a while so they soften just a little. Afterwards mix with apple slices, chopped scallion and crushed walnuts. Season with thyme, salt and pepper, drizzle with ginger syrup, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix together and at the end sprinkle some crumbled blue cheese over the top.
Bon Appetit!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Green Pea Soup With Mint And Prosciutto Strips

Ingredients:

1 pack of fresh greeen peas
Bunch of fresh mint leaves, chopped
4 slices prosciutto ham
3-4 cups water
1/2 scallion, chopped
1/4 chicken bouillon cube
1 teaspoon butter
salt&pepper
*

The combination of pea and mint creates an unusual mix of tastes. This soup is a healthier option to the classical pea soup with ham and the mint gives it a fresh feel so it is a perfect meal for spring. Heat up the butter and add scallion, cook until soft and add the green peas. Pour water over the vegetables, add the chicken bouillon and cook for about 8 minutes. At the end, add the chopped mint leaves and season with salt and pepper. Mix with blender or immersion mixer. Decorate with prosciutto strips that were fried on a pan without any additional fat and hence became dried out.
Bon Appetit!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Quinoa Salad With Radish, Red Grapes And Blue Cheese

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup red seedless grapes
1/2 cup broad beans
1/2 cup radish, sliced
1/2 cucumber, sliced in half, core removed
Handful pecan nuts
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
Bunch of fresh spinach leaves
Bunch of fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon honey or agave syrup
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt&pepper
*

This experimental salad isn't for everyone, it has some strong mix of flavors going on, but it is worth cooking if you like to eat healthy with a twist. Why not trying something new? Cook quinoa until soft, mix with grapes, radish, cucumber, slightly crushed pecan nuts, broad beans, season with salt, pepper, dash of lemon juice, honey and olive oil, add a few fresh thyme leaves and stir together. Lay on a bed of fresh spinach leaves and top it up with a bit of crumbled blue cheese. 
Bon Appetit!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Spaghetti Alla Milanese

Ingredients:

200 g spaghetti
1 can tuna chunks in oil or water
1 can diced tomatoes or 3 fresh tomatoes, diced
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp capers
2 tbsp black olives, sliced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Bunch of fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated 
salt&pepper
*

This recipe got its name because of the place where first consumed. When in Milan, Italy, in a beautiful local restaurant, this sauce was served with pasta and was so simple yet delicious that it had to be remembered and re-cooked. Fry the onion in a sauce pan on the olive oil for a few minutes until soft, add tomatoes, either canned or fresh (then cook until soft), olives, capers and season with salt, pepper and dried oregano. Cook for a few minutes, add the tuna and basil at last and stir softly, so that tuna chunks don't totally fall apart. Serve with pasta sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
Bon Appetit!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Pumpkin Pancakes With Raisins

Ingredients:

1/2 half of small pumpkin, peeled and diced
1 cup of flower
1 egg
1/2 cup of milk
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp raisins
1 teaspoon cinnamon
butter or oil
pinch of salt
*

This was an amazing morning treat from the boyfriend. Try to make pancakes in Caribbean style, they are delicious! Cook the pumpkin until really soft and mash them so they create pure. Add the flower, egg, milk, sugar, raisins, cinnamon and pinch of salt and create a slightly liquid mixture. Smear a tiny bit of butter or oil on a frying pan and fry pancakes one by one until they have golden color. The pancakes themselves are already quite sweet so the best is to serve them with some fresh fruit or creme fraiche, as you like it.
Bon Appetit!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Beetroot Soup With Feta Cheese

Ingredients:

3 medium beets, pre-boiled and diced
3 cups vegetable broth
1 medium size potato, peeled and diced
1 medium size carrot, diced
1/2 medium size onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 celery stalks with leaves, stalk chopped, leaves sliced
Bunch of fresh dill or parsley
1 tbsp olive oil
alternatively 2 scoops of sour cream or white yoghurt
salt&pepper
*

This lighter and less caloric version of the famous borscht soup can be served both warm or cold in the hot summer days. Fry the onion on the olive oil, add chopped celery stalks, diced potato, carrot and beets, pour the vegetable broth over, through the bay leaves in, season with salt and pepper and cook until tender. Let cool off a bit and mix with blender or immersion mixer. Add a few cubes of low fat feta cheese and sprinkle with chopped dill or parsley. Serve with brown bread, alternatively with a scoop of sour cream or white yogurt  cold or warm as per your preference.
Bon Appetit!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Thai Style Chicken Curry With Stewed Broccoli

Ingredients:

200-300 g chicken breast, diced
1 head broccoli
1 cup basmati rice
200 ml coconut milk
2 tbsp almond flakes
Bunch of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 teaspoon curry powder or paste
1/3 fresh chili pepper, without core and seeds, chopped
salt&pepper
*

Who doesn't like a bit of Thai, right? All the beautiful exotic smells and tastes come together in this easy dish. Boil the rice with a pinch of salt for circa 8 minutes until water almost evaporates, cover the pot with a lid and let rest for another 10 minutes. Boil the broccoli divided into smaller florets al dente and put aside. Warm the olive oil in a sauce pan, add chicken cut in pieces, fry for a bit and afterwards pour the coconut milk over and let simmer until chicken is cooked and soft. During this process, add the spices, lime juice, salt and pepper along with almond flakes. Keep the coriander for last as well as the cooked broccoli florets so that they won't cook until too soft. Serve with rice.
Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Broccoli Salad With Brie Cheese And Cranberries

Ingredients:

1 broccoli head, divided into florets
100 g brie cheese, cut in pieces
4 slices prosciutto ham
2-3 tbsp dried cranberries, chopped
2 tbsp ricotta or white yogurt
1 tbsp light mayonnaise
Bunch of fresh basil leaves, chopped
salt&pepper
*

This salad was put together in a "mix of what is left in the fridge" sort of way, but came out surprisingly delicious. Boil the broccoli divided into small florets al dente. Fry the prosciutto ham on a sauce pan for a few minutes, afterwards chop into smaller pieces, mix with broccoli florets, chopped dried cranberries, brie cheese, ricotta, mayo, chopped basil leaves and stir gently. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with brown bread if you like.
Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fungi Bulgur With Fresh Herbs

Ingredients:

1 cup bulgur wheat
2-3 cups water
1 cup fresh mushrooms - meadow mushrooms, oyster mushrooms etc.
1/2 cup dried mushrooms (porcini)
1/2 cup Parmigiano or Pecorino cheese, rasped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 chicken bouillon cube
2 tbsp white wine
1 tbsp butter
Bunch of fresh thyme and rosemary
salt&pepper
*

Bulgur wheat is a great healthy alternative to rice as it has lesser calories and is rich in dietary fiber.
Let the dried mushrooms soften in a cup with lukewarm water. Preheat the butter and fry the chopped onion until it has a golden color. Add the dried mushrooms (water drained) plus the fresh mushrooms and cook for a little while, place the bulgur in the pot and pour water over. Throw the chicken bouillon in along with white wine, salt and pepper and let boil until bulgur is soft and water evaporates. Season with the fresh chopped thyme and rosemary herbs and sprinkle some Parmigiano cheese over. Alternatively, green peas or asparagus can be added during the cooking.
Bon Appetit!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Mix Of Healthy Snacks In Mediterranean Style

Ingredients:

1/2 zucchini, cut in rounds
50 g goat's cheese
4 sun dried tomatoes in oil
Handfull salad leaves or argula for decoration
1 chicken breast, diced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme and dried sage
1/2 cucumber
2 tbsp Greek yogurt
Bunch of fresh dill and parsley
1 can red beans
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon tabasco
Bowl of vegetable crisps
salt&pepper
*

Looks pretty and decorative, it is simple to make, healthy and tasty... The perfect summer snack or light dinner.
Put the diced chicken on a wooden skewer, season with salt, pepper, dried thyme and sage, drizzle with a bit of olive oil and roast either on a sauce pan or in an oven for about 15 minutes.
Cut the zucchini in thicker rounds, place soft goat's cheese on top of it along with half of sun dried tomato. Bake in oven for about 15 minutes.
Cut cucumber in half, remove the soft middle part with a teaspoon and then cut in half moons. You can leave the skin on, depends on preference. Mix with two tablespoons Greek yogurt, finely chopped dill and parsley, salt and pepper and drizzle of lemon juice.
Open can of red beans and pour most of the liquid out. Place in mixing pot along with lemon juice, parsley, Tabasco, salt and pepper and mix with immerse mixer into a rather thick paste. Serve with vegetable or potato crisps.
Bon Appetit!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Lentil Soup With Fresh Ginger And Coriander

Ingredients:

1 cup brown lentils
1 can diced tomatoes
3 cups water
1 medium carrot, diced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tbsp ginger, peeled and rasped finely
Bunch of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon butter
1/4 chicken bouillon cube
salt&pepper
*

This soup is perfect for rainy colder days. It is very fulfilling and thanks to the ginger has a nice spicy kick.
First of all, put the lentils in a bowl with lukewarm water and let them swell up. Brown lentils will need more time so count with a couple of hours. Afterwards, heat up the spoon of butter in a pot, fry the onion until soft along with the rasped ginger. Add the lentils and the carrot and stir for a little while. Then add water, salt, pepper, chicken bouillon and curry powder so that the flavors soak in. Boil for about 20 minutes until soft. Add the can of diced tomatoes and boil for another 5 minutes.
Afterwards, let cool off a little bit, add chopped leaves of coriander, season additionally if needed, and then mix with immersion mixer until the liquid becomes compact. Prior to the mixing, you can take some of the lentils and carrots aside and add them afterwards into the soup for some texture. Serve with bread.
Bon Appetit!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Beetroot And Goat's Cheese Salad

Ingredients:

2 cups mixed salad leaves
1 cup beetroot
50 g soft goat's cheese
1 tbsp pine nuts
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
salt&pepper
*

Super easy, healthy salad for a quick fix when you run out of time and ideas. The honey mustard dressing goes nicely with goat's cheese and beetroot provides a nice sweet taste.
Bon Appetit!

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Upside Down Apple French Tart

Ingredients:

Pastry
1 1/3 cups flour
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup butter
3 tbsp cold water
dash salt

Filling (for a smaller pie plate)
3-4 big apples, peeled and sliced into moon shape, quite thinly
2 cups sugar
4 tbsp butter
inside from 1 small vanilla bean
3 tbsp almond flakes
*

This delicious cake is a bit more time consuming and difficult to make but brings a certain feeling of satisfaction and pride when finished successfully, of course along with satisfaction of your taste buds:
Sift the flour, sugar and salt together. Add the butter, cut in small cubes, along with the water and knead the mixture until it forms thick dough. Transfer the dough into a plastic bag and put it in a fridge to rest for about half an hour. You can peel and cut the apples while waiting for the dough to rest.
After half an hour preheat the oven to about 220-250C. Take a pie plate, lightly grease the plate with butter and cover the bottom with sugar fully, so no surface is seen, add the vanilla extract. Place the pie plate in the oven and let the sugar caramelize for about 15 mins. The sugar should melt and have a slightly brown color. Towards the end of the caramelizing, take out the dough from the fridge and roll it into a circle shape. Take the pie plate carefully out of the oven and place the apple slices around to form a circle, fill the rest with more apple slices. Sprinkle a bit of sugar over the apples and add a few thin slices of butter. Cover the apples with the dough, tuck the ends of the dough down inside the pie plate (NOT outside), pressing it firmly so that the filling is completely sealed in. Prick the dough a few times with fork so that steam can get out while baking. Bake the cake for about 15-20 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Afterward take it out from the oven and let it cool off. Place a dinner plate over the top of the cake and turn it upside down. This can get a bit messy, so be extra cautious. Once flipped over, you can sprinkle some almond flakes over the top. Tip: You can make this cake also with pears. Serve with creme fraiche, whipped cream or ice cream as you prefer.
Bon Appetit!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Shrimp CousCous With Avocado And Fresh Coriander

Ingredients:

1 pack of king prawns, peeled and pre-boiled
1 cup of couscous
1 1/2 cup water
1 tomatoes, diced
1/2 ripe avocado, diced
1/4 cup raisins
2 tbsp pine nuts
2tbsp olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kurkuma
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, grounded
Pinch of chili pepper powder
Bunch of fresh coriander leaves
Few fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
salt&pepper
*

The Boyfriend's absolute favorite, this meal is simple and super fast to prepare:
Cook the prawns with a bit of olive oil or butter on a saucepan for a short while. Add the couscous and pour a glass and a half of water over it. Throw in the raisins and pine nuts, season with kurkuma, cinnamon, grounded cumin, chili pepper powder, salt and pepper. Cook until couscous softens and water evaporates. At the end add the tomato, avocado and fresh mint with coriander, stir gently. You can server this meal with a pita bread on side.
Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

White Fish Wrapped In Parma Ham

Ingredients:

4 small pieces white fish (haddock, cod, pangasius)
4 slices parma / prosciutto ham
200 g baby potatoes
1 tbsp tarragon or dried thyme
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup black kalamata olives
1 cup green beans
Alternatively 10 mushrooms
4 toothpicks 
salt&pepper
*

Easy and tasty Mediterranean meal, perfect to show off  a bit in front of your friends or family when cooking dinner for them:
Wrap the fish in parma ham and secure with toothpick. Season with salt and pepper. Boil potatoes and green beans until soft, cut the potatoes in halves. Put in roasting pan along with kalamata olives and the beans. Add salt and pepper, tarragon or dried thyme and sprinkle with olive oil. Put both the potatoes and the fish in the oven. For healthier version place the fish on baking paper, no additional oil will be needed. Alternatively, mushrooms can be also put aside. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, please note that the fish might be cooked faster than the potatoes. Don't forget to take out the toothpicks before serving. Serve with a glass of nice white wine.
Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Asian Noodle Soup With Prawns

Ingredients:

1 package tiger prawns, peeled and pre-boiled
1/2 package Asian noodles
1 l chicken broth
1 medium carrot, sliced
1/2 medium leek, sliced
1 tbsp butter
2 sticks lemon grass, whole
20 g fresh ginger, whole
1 chili pepper
Bunch of fresh coriander leaves
salt&pepper
*

For soup lovers that enjoy rich and various flavors, perfect option to the classical chicken broth:
Melt the butter in a sauce pan and add vegetables. Cook for a short while and pour the chicken broth over. When boiling, put the lemon grass, chili pepper and ginger inside along with salt and pepper. Don't forget to pound the lemon grass first so that the aroma gets out more intensely. Once broth cooked sufficiently, take the lemon grass, chili pepper and ginger out. Lower the heat and add noodles and prawns, cook for a bit until noodles are soft. At the end, add finely chopped fresh coriander.
Bon Appetit!

Recipe inspired by Výpečky.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Various Brown Bread Sandwiches

Ingredients:

4 slices of brown wholegrain bread
1/2 package smoked salmon
1/2 package soft goat's cheese
1/2 small cucumber 
Bunch of fresh dill
1 tbsp pickled capers
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 tbsp pine nuts or walnuts
50 g cream cheese spread
salt&pepper
*

Great more sophisticated alternative for a snack that can be served during family or friend's visit.
Smoked salmon tastes nice with fresh dill, capers and a drizzle of lemon juice, goat's cheese goes well with cucumber, pine nuts or walnuts and a drizzle of honey.
Bon Appetit!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Spaghetti With Courgette, Ricotta And Broad Beans

 Ingredients:

150 g spaghetti pasta
1 can of broad beans
1/2 cup green peas
1/2 courgette, sliced
1 pot of ricotta
Bunch of fresh mint leaves
25 g Parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp white wine
1 teaspoon butter
salt&pepper
*

An unusual vegetarian spaghetti meal version for those who want to try something new:
Boil spaghetti until "al dente". Melt butter in a saucepan and add sliced courgette. Cook until it softens, then add broad beans and green peas followed by the pot of ricotta. To make the sauce a bit thinner, the white wine can be added. Season with salt, pepper and finely chopped fresh mint leaves. Pour the sauce over spaghetti and sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top. Best served with dry white wine.
Bon Appetit!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Chocolate Soufflés

Ingredients for 6 servings:

200g dark chocolate, chopped
150g butter, cut into cubes plus a bit extra for buttering the ramekins
6 eggs
175g sugar
125g plain flour
Alternatively 1 orange - zest, grated and 3 tbsp orange juice
6 ramekins (as on picture)
*

These delicious chocolate soufflés (with orange flavor) attained a great success as a dessert during a Christmas dinner with friends. They can also serve as a little sweet treat for your beloved ones:
Heat the oven to 180C. Butter 6 medium ramekins. Melt the chocolate with the butter in a bowl over simmering water or in a microwave. Beat the eggs with the sugar until they are very light and fluffy and then fold in the flour carefully. Finally fold in the chocolate mixture and stir gently together. Alternatively, the orange juice and zest can be added at this point for a flavored version of the soufflés. Divide the mixture between the ramekins. Bake for 8-12 minutes, the soufflés should rise and form a firm crust but they should still remain slightly runny in the middle. These soufflés are served in the ramekins and can be accompanied by  ice cream, whipped cream or different sorts of fruit.
Bon Appetit!

Recipe altered from BBC GoodFood

Friday, April 5, 2013

Red Lentil Curry Salad With Soft Boiled Egg

Ingredients:

1 cup red lentils
1 medium size carrot, diced
Mix of salad leaves
1/2 cup feta cheese cubes
1 egg
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Bunch of fresh coriander leaves
1 teaspoon curry powder
Pinch of turmeric
Salt&Pepper
*

Red lentils is a healthy, relatively cheap and colorful ingredient that surely deserves a bit more acknowledgement in our kitchens:
Put the lentils in a bowl with lukewarm water and let it swell up for at least half an hour. Afterwards boil them shortly with the carrot until soft, add salt, pepper, curry powder and turmeric so that the flavors soak in. Boil the egg as you like it.
Prepare the mix of salad leaves with chopped coriander, top it up with the lentil mixture, add feta cheese and sprinkle with olive oil as well as balsamic vinegar. Lay boiled egg on the top and season with salt and grounded pepper.
Bon Appetit!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Courgette Soup With Blue Cheese

Ingredients:

3 cups of water
1/2 courgette, diced
1 medium size potato, peeled and diced
Bunch of fresh dill
1 teaspoon butter
100 g blue cheese
1 tbsp pink pepper corns
salt&pepper
*

The simplest and nicest soup that is suitable for those with lactose intolerance, thanks to the potato used instead of the common cream version. Takes only 10 minutes to make:
Melt the butter in a sauce pan, add the diced courgette and potato and pour in the water. Let boil until soft, add salt, pepper and finely chopped dill and mix with immersion mixer until the liquid becomes compact. Let cool off a bit and add pieces of blue cheese along with a few pink pepper corns. Serve with bread if you prefer.
Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Bulgur Tabbouleh Salad With Feta Cheese

Ingredients:

1 cup bulgur wheat
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
Handfull cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 shallot onion, sliced
1/2 cup feta cheese
1/2 cucumber, sliced
1/2 cup kalamata black olives, chopped
Bunch of fresh parsley
Few fresh mint leaves
Fresh dill
Salt&Pepper
*

Simple, healthy but a bit more filling alternative to a Greek salad, perfect as a lunch during warmer days, especially with a glass of chilled rose wine:
Boil the bulgur wheat until soft. Add salt, pepper, lemon juice and olive oil and let cool off a bit. Add the sliced vegetables, black olives, feta cheese and chopped herbs. Alternatively, pickled capers or white yogurt can be add. Stir gently and serve chilled.
Bon Appetit!