Lemon Tart

17th April 2016

Lemon pie

I’m not a huge baker, but when I do decide to make a dessert I try to make it at least a little bit healthy.

Green Kitchen Stories is my favorite site to use when baking and their Lemon Tart does not disappoint!

The ingredients are staples that I always have in my kitchen, so this tart is perfect to satiate my sweet tooth when the mood strikes!

Lemon Tart

Pie Crust (gluten free)

Custard Filling (sugar free)

  1. Making the crust: Mix nuts and dates in a blender for about a minute (it’s ok if the nuts aren’t completely grinded) and pour the mixture in a bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the bowl together with the rest of the ingredients. Use your hands to work the pastry. Coat the bottom of a 9” tart pan with some butter, and distribute the pastry evenly on the bottom and the sides. Prick the pan with fork and put it in the fridge for about 20 minutes while you make the custard.
  2. Making the custard: Heat butter, soy milk and vanilla pod in a saucepan on medium heat. Add lemon juice, zest and agave syrup. Bring to a boil while stirring, then lower the temperature and let it simmer for about five minutes. Remove the vanilla pod, set aside and let it cool. Whisk egg yolks, egg and corn starch with a manual whisk in a large mixing bowl for a couple of minutes, then add the lemon mixture while whisking.
  3. Pour the custard into the tart pan and bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes. The tart crust can easily get burnt so keep an eye on the oven. Let it cool before serving.

Moroccan Quinoa Salad with Pickled Carrots

30th September 2015

Moroccan Quinoa SaladAs I mentioned in an earlier post, my husband I really love pickling leftover vegetables. Rather than having to throw them away, pickling preserves the vegetables to be used for many more months. Plus the flavors they develop become more complex.

Most recently Koen pickled our leftover carrots with dried peppers and other spices using Bon Appetit’s Moroccan style recipe. They were finally ready to be eaten, so we wanted to choose a dish that would pair well with the carrots. I decided on Green Kitchen Stories Moroccan Quinoa Salad. This is one of my favorite salads and I knew the carrots would fit perfectly. So many delicious flavors – the garlicky marinated zucchini and eggplant with the crunch of green onions, the soft avocado, and the warm, spiced quinoa topped with fresh mint and cilantro. Mmm!

Carrots

Carrots

Pickled Carrots

  1. Pack carrots vertically into 1-quart jar, cutting spears to fit. If you have thick carrots, you can slice them lengthwise.
  2. Add lemon peel, garlic, and chiles, spilling some chile seeds into jar.
  3. Mix 1 1/2 cups water, vinegar, sugar, salt, coriander, and cumin in medium saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar and salt dissolve, then boil 3 minutes.
  4. Pour hot brine over carrots, adding all spices to jar.
  5. Cool, then cover jar tightly and chill at least 1 week before opening.  Keep refrigerated.

Moroccan Quinoa Salad, serves 4

 

 

  1. Start by making the marinated vegetables. Spread out the zucchini and eggplant slices on a bbq, in a grill pan or in the oven, a couple of minutes on each side. Put them in a bowl, drizzle olive oil, garlic and salt over them and set aside.
  2. Cook the quinoa according to the package but add one tbsp cinnamon in the water. When it’s done cooking, rinse and set aside to cool off. Squeeze the juice from half a lemon and add five tbsp of olive oil into the quinoa. Chop half of the mint leaves and half of the cilantro, throw them in the quinoa and toss it around until everything is mixed.
  3. Serve in bowls together with the marinated vegetables, avocado, spring onions, the rest of the mint and cilantro and the pickled carrots.

Maple Tossed Rhubarb and Lentil Salad

4th August 2015

Maple Tossed Rhubarb and Lentil Salad

It’s warm again in Antwerp – Thursday it’s supposed to hit 87 degrees! When the weather is hot, I crave salads. Green Kitchen Storie’s Maple Tossed Rhubarb and Lentil Salad is one of my favorites. The flavors and colors are so fresh and vibrant.

Rhubarb is a delicious addition. Before I had only used it for baking, but raw is also delicious! The chopped rhubarb adds a nice crunch and sour compliment to the sweetness of the strawberries and tomatoes.

Because I prepare most dinners after work, I like to cook my lentils either the day before or in the morning so it’s completely cool when I get home – then I only have to chop and add the fresh ingredients!

Maple Tossed Rhubarb and Lentil SaladMaple Tossed Rhubarb and Lentil Salad, serves 4

Dressing Ingredients

  1. Cooking lentils: Rinse the lentils under running water and cook in 2 cups water. Bring to a boil. Let it boil 2-3 minutes before reducing the heat to medium. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until tender. When done, add a pinch of salt and set aside to cool. We add the salt at the end, otherwise it will toughen them during cooking.
  2. Making the salad: Prepare all salad ingredients (except feta cheese) and place in a large bowl. Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing, add to the salad and toss with your hands. Top with feta cheese and a couple of basil leaves.

Cold Avocado Soup

28th June 2015

Cold Avocado SoupI love soup in the winter, but what about in the summer? Other than gazpacho, what are the other options? Well…Green Kitchen Stories’ Cold Avocado Soup! This soup is fresh and cool – perfect for lunch or as a starter for dinner. Also, I can’t think of an easier dish to make, just gather the ingredients, blend, and serve!

The flavors are perfect for summer: avocado, coconut, cucumber, and dill. Everything tastes so fresh. The color is also beautiful. Such a cool, soft green!

With weather in the 90s this week in Antwerp, I can’t wait to whip up a batch to beat the sweltering heat!

Cold Avocado Soup

Cold Avocado Soup, makes 2 big bowls/4 small bowls

  1. Add all the ingredients to a food processor or blender. Mix it until completely smooth. Season to taste. Serve immediately in glasses or bowls or keep it chilled in the fridge until serving. Top with a splash of olive oil, toasted pumpkin seeds, chopped chives and some dill.

Passion Fruit & Coconut Macaroons

26th May 2015

Passion Fruit and Coconut MacaroonsWith the weather getting warmer, what’s better for dessert than passion fruit and coconut? Tropical, sweet, and good for you!

I love deliciously simple recipes. These macaroons only take up to 20 minutes to make and stay good stored in the refrigerator for 5 days. My husband and I just bought an espresso machine and we enjoyed these treats with a cappuccino!

This recipe for Passion Fruit & Coconut Macaroons comes from one of my favorite food blogs – Green Kitchen Stories.

Passion Fruit and Coconut Macaroons

Passion Fruit and Coconut Macaroons

Passion Fruit and Coconut Macaroons

Passion Fruit and Coconut MacaroonsPassion Fruit & Coconut Macaroons, makes approximately 12 pieces

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F / 180°C. Add coconut oil, coconut milk, honey and vanilla to a saucepan on medium heat and bring to a slow simmer. Add the desiccated coconut, almond flour and salt, stir and let it all come together into a sticky mess. Remove the pan from the heat, add passion fruit and lime juice and give it a good stir.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a large tablespoon, ice cream scoop or your hands to form the mixture into balls (about the size of a golf ball) with a flat bottom. Place them on the baking paper and bake for about 12 minutes in the oven.
  3. Let the macaroons cool while you melt the dark chocolate. Drizzle the chocolate, or dip the macaroons. Enjoy!

White Asparagus Soup and Spanakopita Quiche

19th April 2015

Soup and quicheI am so happy it’s finally white asparagus season again. In Northern Europe, white asparagus season begins in mid to late April and only lasts until June. Compared to green asparagus, white asparagus is less bitter and more tender. They are so delicious that they’ve been deemed “the royal vegetable”, “white gold”, and “edible ivory”. This time of year I simply cannot get enough!

White asparagus grows away from direct sunlight so that photosynthesis never occurs and they stay white. It’s best to buy white asparagus as fresh as possible – normally you can tell by the ends. If you stick your nail into the bottom, there should be moisture. If it’s dry then they’re not fresh.

There is a bit of preparation that takes place before you can eat them. First you have to peel the woody exterior of the white asparagus. This takes time but it’s worth it! You also have to get rid of the ends. The best way is to break it off with your hands, because it will break naturally at the correct point.

There are many ways to enjoy white asparagus – boiled, steamed, in the oven, and as soup. This post includes my favorite recipe for white asparagus soup and a great accompanying spanakopita (spinach) quiche.

Soup and quiche

Soup and quiche

Soup and quicheWhite Asparagus Soup, serves 2

  1. First peel each asparagus stalk from the tip to the cut end. Chop off the tips and set them aside, then cut the stalks into small pieces.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan and sweat the shallot for about 5 minutes until translucent – don’t let it brown. Add the chopped asparagus stalks, keeping the tips aside, and sweat them gently with the shallot for another 5 minutes.
  3. Pour in the stock and simmer until the stalks are very tender. This will take 20–30 minutes, depending on the thickness of the stalks. Blend until very smooth, then pour the soup back into the saucepan.
  4. Bring the soup back to a simmer and add the reserved asparagus tips. Cook gently for about 5 minutes until the asparagus tips are just cooked through.
  5. Mix the crème fraiche and egg yolks in a small bowl. With the pan off the heat, stir this mixture into the soup and continue to stir gently for a couple of minutes until the egg yolks have thickened the soup. Warm through over a very gentle heat, stirring constantly and taking care not to break up the asparagus tips.
  6. Serve the soup garnished with a sprinkling of parsley.

Soup and quiche

Soup and quiche

Soup and quiche

IMG_5196Soup and quicheSpinach Quiche with Oat Crust

Crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Finely grind oats and almonds. Combine the oat and almond flours with sea salt in a bowl. Add the coconut oil and ice-cold water. With your hands, work the dry ingredients towards the centre until a dough forms. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap in clingfilm, then chill for about 30 minutes.
  2. Press the dough evenly into an 8 inch tart case. Trim the dough flush with the edge of the case. Prick the bottom with a fork and blind bake for about 10 minutes. While the crust is in the oven, prepare the filling.

Filling

  1. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl, whisk for 30 seconds, then crumble in the feta cheese. Stir in the oregano, chilli flakes, nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan on a medium-high heat. Add the spring onions and garlic and fry for about 3 minutes until golden. Add half of the spinach and a pinch of salt. Stir the spinach gently until it wilts, then add the rest and keep on stirring until wilted. Remove from the heat and pour into the mixing bowl containing the egg and cheese mixture. Stir well until everything is combined.
  3. Spoon the filling into the crust. Bake for about 30 minutes at 170C/325F until the filling is firm and golden. Let it cool for a while before serving.

 

Wild Berry Tart

17th February 2015

Wild Berry TartFor Christmas I received the Twin Peaks special edition on Blu-Ray from my husband. After the first couple of episodes all I could think of was pie and coffee. I had to get in the kitchen and do some baking!

This Wild Berry Tart comes from Green Kitchen Stories, although I chose to use my go-to crust from Martha Stewart. I love that the tart has both baked and fresh berries. So many delicious flavors and textures! This is a sweet treat you don’t have to feel guilty about eating!

Wild Berry Tart

Wild Berry Tart

Wild Berry Tart

Wild Berry Tart

Wild Berry TartWild Berry Tart

Crust

  1. In a food processor, briefly pulse flour, salt, and maple syrup. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed (if necessary, add up to 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon at a time). Dont overmix.
  2. Turn dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Fold plastic over dough; press to shape into a 1-inch-thick disk. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (or up to 3 days).
  3. With a floured rolling pin, roll out dough and gently fit into bottom and up sides of pie plate (do not stretch dough).

Wild Berry Filling

  1. Toss the berries with maple syrup, lemon and mint in a medium size bowl.
  2. Set aside for a while to help the flavors develop.

To Assemble

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Pre-bake the crust for about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven and add 2 cups of the maple tossed berries. Bake for about 35 minutes or until the crust is golden and the berry filling is bubbly and juicy.
  4. Remove from the oven and add the rest of the berries on top. Serve and enjoy!

Quinoa, Cauliflower, & Spinach Cakes

9th January 2015

Quinoa, Cauliflower, & Spinach Cakes

I am really loving The Green Kitchen cookbook! Whenever I’ve been eating too heavily, I like to pull it out to find a vegetarian meal that acts like a mini-detox. By mini-detox, I mean no meat and lots of vegetables and superfoods!

The recipe I’m sharing today is my adaptation of the Quinoa, Cauliflower, & Ramsons Cakes recipe. Ramsons is a type of wild garlic, but is difficult for me to find. In the book, they recommend substituting ramsons with spinach and garlic if it’s not possible to find.

Below is my adaptation of The Green Kitchen’s recipe. My cake patties were not strong enough to fry in a pan, so I just baked mine in the oven and they turned out perfectly!

Quinoa, Cauliflower, & Spinach Cakes

Quinoa, Cauliflower, & Spinach Cakes

Quinoa, Cauliflower, & Spinach Cakes

Quinoa, Cauliflower, & Ramsons Cakes, serves 2 people

  1. Cook the quinoa. After it has finished cooking, drain any excess water and set aside to cool.
  2. Place the cauliflower in a food processor and pulse until it is a rice-like texture.
  3. In a bowl, add quinoa, cauliflower, and the rest of the ingredients. Mix with a spoon until well combined.
  4. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven on the grill setting.
  6. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Take out the mixture and make 6 patties with your hands. Place the patties carefully on the baking pan.
  7. Grill each side for 3-4 minutes, monitoring carefully so that they do not burn.
  8. Take the baking pan out of the oven and serve immediately.

 

Portobello Burgers

2nd January 2015

Portobello Burger

For my birthday I received The Green Kitchen. I’m a big fan of the Green Kitchen Stories blog and was really excited to receive one of their cookbooks from my sister-in-law! To quote their site, the founders create “healthy and simple vegetarian food with natural ingredients, whole grains, good fats, fruit and vegetables.”

The recipe I’m featuring today is my adapation of the Portabello & Peach Burger. All of the flavors are so delicious – grilled portobellos and sweet fruit served with guacamole and fresh herbs. I encountered one problem. Peaches in the winter! After a bit of thinking I decided the best substitute would be mango and it didn’t disappoint! I will warn you that this is a messy burger but it’s worth it!

Portobello & Mango Burgers, serves 2

Marinade

Guacamole

  1. Clean the portobello mushrooms, removing any dirt. Peel and slice the mango.
  2. Combine all the guacamole ingredients and mash with a fork so it is mixed but still chunky and set aside.
  3. Make the marinade by combining all of the marinade ingredients. Use the rosemary sprig to brush the mushrooms and mango with the marinade.
  4. Preheat a pan and grill the mushrooms and mango slices for about 3-4 minutes on each side, marinating them as they cook.
  5. Slice the bread and toast lightly. Place a dollop of guacamole on the bottom bun, add the sliced spring onion and fresh thyme, one mushroom, and a slice of mango. Add the top of the bun and enjoy!