January 30, 2014

Vegan almond spread

Yesterday, I decided to make vegan almond spread (it is sort of similar to dairy cream cheese). I adopted this recipe and added chives.

This is what you need:
  • 1 cup of blanched almonds (I had almond flour at home, so I used 1 cup of that)
  • Garlic
  • About 3/4 cup of water
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 3 tbsp of lemon juice
  • Sea salt
  • Chives


If you have blanched almonds, start with processing them in the food processor. When you have achieved a flour, mix this with all the other ingredients but water. Add water at the end until you have a pretty thick texture (not runny).


The last step is to put the mix in a cheesecloth and store it in the fridge for 24 hours. I didn't have a cheesecloth, so I used a coffee filter instead.


And 24 hours later: voilà!

Pickle mania!

Getting ready for date night tomorrow with my husband. Burgers are on the menu!


We'll be having pickled red onion and cabbage. I used this recipe, but exchanged the rice vinegar for apple cider vinegar.

January 29, 2014

Filled peppers - Crete style!

Since I am still longing for summer, I decided to make a dish that we had on Crete this summer: filled peppers with mint and raisins.

This is what you need:
  • Bell peppers
  • Rice
  • Yellow onion
  • Garlic
  • Lemon juice
  • Beans (cannellini beans would probably be best, but we had black beans at home)
  • Crushed tomatoes
  • Mint
  • Pine nuts
  • Raisins
 

Preheat the oven to 220 °C (425 °F). Chop onion, garlic and fry with pine nuts and beans. Add lemon juice, mint, a little bit of crushed tomatoes, and raisins.


Cut the tops of the bell peppers and fill them with the bean mix. Place them in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Enjoy!


January 27, 2014

Vegan ice cream!

Did I mention I miss summer?

This vegan coconut-raspberry ice cream takes you right back to the beach. Vegan and easy to make!

You need:
  • Coconut milk (I used a rice-coconut mix)
  • Vanilla
  • Fresh raspberries (frozen works as well)
  • Sugar


Mix about 3/4 of a cup of granulated sugar with about 1 3/4 cup of coconut milk. Add vanilla - I only had vanilla extract at home, so I used a teaspoon of that.

Add the mixture to the ice cream maker. At the end, add the raspberries (cut them into smaller pieces first) and place in the freezer until the ice cream hardens (or eat semi-frozen - om nom nom!).

Pretend it's July.

It tastes a million times better than it looks!

Paella!

It's January. I've barely seen the sun since October. I really, really, really long for summer. What can you do? Make paella.

This is what you need:
  • Rice
  • Fennel
  • Sugar snaps
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Chili pepper
  • Saffron
  • Pickled oven roasted bell peppers
  • Zucchini
  • White wine 

 

Start by cooking rice. I add stock powder to the water to add some extra flavor.


Fry garlic, chili pepper, zucchini, and onions until they soften. I prepared the fennel by letting it cook in white wine. When the liquid had reduced I added the fennel to the zucchini and onion mix. Add chopped up oven roasted peppers.


Add rice and saffron while you keep stirring. Finally, add the sugar snaps. They don't need to cook for long - they taste best crunchy.

Enjoy!






January 20, 2014

Need to make meal plans!

We started shopping for dinner at seven thirty tonight; hence, we are eating pre-made tomato soup. Note to self: make meal plans for the week.


Spiced it up a bit with some black beans and fresh coriander (still not super exciting, but OK if you're hungry). With the soup we had avocado, spring onion, and spinach salad. Sprinkled some lemon yogurt dressing on top (Greek yogurt, olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and salt). Delicious!


January 19, 2014

Borstj!

I made bread in our Dutch oven today for the first time today. It turned out great!


And what is delicious with freshly baked bread? Borstj!

This is what you need:
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Garlic
  • Yellow onion
  • Stock
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Turkish yogurt
  • Horseradish


Peal carrots and beets and fry them with garlic and chopped up onion. Add water and stock and let it all boil until the carrots and beets are soft.

I can't get over how beautiful beets are!


Now blend the soup!


Add paprika (I used about two table spoons). Season to taste with cayenne pepper and sea salt.

Serve the soup with bread and horseradish yogurt (mix yogurt with grated horseradish and season to taste with sea salt and black pepper). I also sprinkled some white truffle oil on top. Om nom nom.



Winter fennel casserole

Fennel has recently become one of my absolute favorite vegetables. Quite often I just cook it in the oven together with white wine, but the other day I decided to make a fennel and celery casserole instead.

This is what I used:
  • Fennel
  • Celery
  • Crushed tomatoes
  • White wine
  • Orange juice
  • Turkish yogurt
  • Black beans
  • Unrefined sugar
  • Sage (fresh)
 
Serve with quinoa.

   

Chop fennel and celery and fry for a couple of minutes in olive oil. Add wine - I think I used something like a cup of white wine. Add about a tablespoon of unrefined sugar.


Reduce the wine by letting the vegetables boil in it for about ten to fifteen minutes (no lid). Add some freshly squeezed orange juice and reduce some more.



When pretty much all the liquid is gone, add the beans, crushed tomatoes, and yogurt. Finally add sage and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

 



Berry and hemp seed protein shake

So. In all seriousness I got the following question the other day from a colleague when we were having a discussion about working out:

 - Is there protein in vegetarian food?

First of all. Didn't think there was anyone out there that actually thought there were no plant based proteins. I was wrong.

Our bodies use proteins to repair cells and make new ones. Proteins differ from each other primarily in their sequence of amino acids. There are 20 amino acids, nine of which are so called essential amino acids our bodies cannot produce themselves. Hence, we need to consume them.

Meat, fish, milk and eggs do contain all of these essential amino acids, but so do soy beans, quinoa, and spinach. I compiled two tables using data from the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference to show the essential amino acid content and protein content of a selection of vegetables (and a grilled T-bone steak)2.


Our bodies are smart enough to use amino acids from different sources - so as long as you mix it up and eat food that together contain all these essential amino acids you are fine. In fact, research suggests to take it easy on the red meat (although it contains all the essential amino acids) since it has been shown that consumption of red meat is correlated with a higher risk of colon cancer, heart disease, and diabetes1.

Ok. Got a bit carried away. What I wanted to share was this berry and hemp seed protein shake.

You need the following:
  • Frozen mango
  • Frozen raspberries
  • Orange juice
  • Blueberry juice
  • Hemp protein powder


Pour all the ingredients in a blender and mix!


Hemp seed is great by the way! It contains approximately 35% protein (the product I have contains 48.9% protein) but also essential fatty acids3.

1 http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/protein/
2 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2013. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 26. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page, http://www.ars.usda.gov/ba/bhnrc/ndl
3 http://www.agmrc.org/commodities__products/fiber/industrial-hemp-profile/

Other sources to check out:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002467.htm
http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/protein.php

January 17, 2014

TGIF

So. In Sweden we have this thing called fredagsmys (directly translated as Friday coziness). Among other things (such as Swedish Idol on TV) it calls for taco dinner. Actually, I don't think it has to be tacos. But it has to be Mexican food. So here's a recipe for fredagsmys-burritos!

This is what you need:
  • Black beans
  • Leek 
  • Chili pepper
  • Barley
  • Bell pepper
  • Soft tortillas
  • Lime
  • Spices (I use cumin and paprika)
  • Avocado
  • Lemon juice

Optional:
  • Grated cheese
  • Pickled jalapeños
  • Salsa


Cook the barley. I use vegetable stock to add flavor.


Fry sliced leek, chopped bell pepper, the chili pepper, and black beans.


Add lime zest, lime juice, cumin and paprika. You always end up using about three times as much cumin as you think you need.


Mash up the avocados in a bowl and season to taste with lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper.


Heat up the tortilla breads, fill them with all the stuff you just made and roll up as a burrito. Happy Friday!


January 16, 2014

Brett Special

Today we made Brett Special. It's a meal that my husband came up with a few years ago and that we make quite often; it's yummy, quick and easy!

This is what you need:
  • Chili pepper (yes, we like hot food - we use chili in everything!)
  • Leek
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Parmesan
  • Pasta
  • Mushrooms
  • Oat cream (or regular half-and-half)


Fry sliced leek, mushrooms and the chili pepper and start the pasta water.


Add the oat cream and start cooking the pasta.


When the pasta has about two minutes left, add the halved tomatoes to the pasta sauce. Serve with lots of parmesan!

January 13, 2014

Monday dinner

Monday dinner this week meant heated up leftover Sunday pizza! However, since I don't have any pictures of that (ate it too quickly), here is a recipe of the side salad we had with the pizza instead.

You need:
  • Avocado
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Walnuts
  • Honey

Cut avocado and tomatoes and mix it in a bowl with the spinach. Roast the walnuts together with the honey in a hot pan - make sure to stir constantly. Add the walnuts to the salad.

And for the yogurt dressing:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • Desired flavoring (I used lemon juice and ginger)

January 12, 2014

Pickled white radish

This is what I had with my risotto (see previous post).

The recipe (yes, had to use one here) is taken from here.

You need:
  • 1 white radish
  • 1 dl of white sugar
  • 1 dl of rice vinegar
  • 2 dl water
  • 1/2 tbsp salt


Heat the ingredients in a pan, but don't let it boil. It's ready when all the sugar has dissolved.

Grate the white radish and put in a glass jar that can be properly sealed. Fill up with the sugar mixture. Store in the fridge - it will be ready for consumption the next day.


Fake risotto!

So, this is a favorite of ours. Instead of using arborio rice, we use barley - more fiber!


You need:
  • Barley
  • Mushrooms
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Lemon
  • Stock
  • White wine
  • Parmesan
  • White truffle oil 
Start by cooking the barley. I let it cook for a few minutes less than the carton recommends since it will cook with the rest of the ingredients for a few minutes at the end. I also exchange some of the water (most of the water) for white wine.


Fry up some onion, garlic and mushrooms. Add salt and pepper.


Mix the cooked barley with the rest in the pan. Add lemon zest and lemon juice.


Shred some parmesan.


Add the parmesan and (lots!) of truffle oil to the risotto. Nom nom nom!


I had some pickled white radish and spinach with my risotto. Delish!