December 30, 2010

Parsnip fritters

Parsnip fritters

I couldn't resist making these this morning.. As you might have noticed I totally love having fritters, especially for breakfast, but I'd never tried making them with parsnip before.
And since I had a parsnip in my fridge, waiting to be used before the new year arrives.. I made parsnip fritters!
And they were really good, if not the best fritters I made until now.

Parsnip fritters (serves 1)
- 1 small parsnip, grated
- 1 small winter carrot, grated
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 handful of raisins
- 1 tsp coconut oil

1. Add all ingredients to a bowl, except for the oil and stir until well combined.
2. Heat half of the oil in a frying pan and put in a heaping tablespoon of the parsnip mixture, add 2 more heaping tablespoons, leaving about an inch in between the fritters.
3. Reduce heat to medium and turn fritters after a few minutes.
4. After approx. 2 minutes, check if both sides have nicely browned, and transfer the fritters to a plate.
5. Repeat steps 2-4 with the remaining mixture. Makes 7 fritters.

December 28, 2010

Broccoli and cranberry chicken

Broccoli cranberry chicken

Finally, Christmas is over and life has gone back to normal. Not that I don't like Christmas, on the contrary, but after stuffing myself for the past couple of days I feel like having simple and healthy meals again.
What I haven't shared yet, is what I got for Christmas: a Magimix 3200 food processor!! Wow!
It was a huge surprise and I'm so happy with it. I feel completely spoiled.. My parents are going to bring it over next week (I didn't want to take it on the train for obvious reasons), and I'm already thinking about the way this expands my cooking possibilities.
My mom had a whole bag of cranberries left over from Christmas, so she gave it to me. Today I made a cranberry sauce and served it over some stir-fried chicken and broccoli. Yum!

Cranberry sauce (serves 4)
- 1 bag of cranberries (340g)
- 1 cup of water
- 3 tbsp agave syrup
- 1/4 cup raisins

1. Bring water to a boil and add cranberries. Bring to a boil again, reduce heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes, until all cranberries have burst. Stir occasionally.
2. Add agave and raisins, stir well, and simmer for another 5-10 minutes, until desired thickness is achieved.

If you want you can add some more agave to make it sweeter, and I guess some cinnamon would make a nice addition too.

While the cranberry sauce is simmering, you can start making your cinnamon chicken and broccoli stir-fry.

Cinnamon chicken and broccoli stir-fry (serves 2)
- 250g chicken fillet, cubed
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 large head of broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1 tsp cookie spices or a mixture of ground cloves and nutmeg
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 handfull of cashew nuts

1. Heat coconut oil in a wok or frying pan and stir-fry chicken until browned.
2. Add onion and stir-fry until browned.
3. Add broccoli, stir-fry for a few minutes, then add spices.
4. Add about 100ml of water, keep stir-frying so the chicken and vegetables get a nice glaze.
5. Stir-fry for another 3-5 minutes.
6. Serve with cashew nuts on top, and add a few big tablespoons of cranberry sauce. Enjoy!

December 26, 2010

Wonderful Christmas time..

White Christmas

Look, it's a white Christmas! How beautiful!
This is what the South of the Netherlands looked like yesterday when we went out for a walk.
Yesterday's dinner was a huge success, and my mom made it all.
We started out with pumpkin soup, followed by the main course which consisted of Moroccan stir-fried veggies and a wonderful beef stew.
My mom used this stew recipe from the BBC GoodFood website and it was absolutely delicious, although she made it with beef instead of lamb. So if anyone is still looking for a challenging recipe to make for New Year's Eve, this is one you should definitely try!
Last but not least, we had poached pears, with some vegan and gluten free ice-cream. (which, of course, was delicious!)
Today, we're going to have a chicken curry.. And (shh, don't tell anyone..) chocolate fondue!

And finally, I just have to show you how my cat is enjoying Christmas, pretty cute, right?
Luna december 25

December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Unfortunately, I don't have any recipes to post today.. (I tried making something with my rutabaga puree today, but it failed..)
Anyhow, I still wanted to wish everyone very happy holidays, with loads of good food. Tasty and healthy, and maybe sometimes not all that healthy because it's Christmas. As long as you enjoy these days!

There will be new recipes next week!

December 22, 2010

Rutabaga and beef mince stew

Rutabaga and beef mince stew

What a wonderful name for a veggie; rutabaga! Whoever made that up should get an award!
Or maybe it's just because I'm Dutch that it sounds funny to me..
Cooking with rutabaga (can't say it enough) was completely new for me. I'd only eaten it once before in my life, without actually knowing what it was. Because I wasn't able to go to the market last Monday I was browsing the supermarket for new veggies. This was the only one I'd never cooked with, so I bought it.
Because my rutabage was pretty huge, I used half of it for this stew, and I steamed and pureed the other half. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the puree yet but I guess I'll see about that tomorrow.
I know the picture of this stew isn't that clear, but just in case you were wondering; it tastes good!

Rutabaga and beef mince stew (serves 2)
- 1 small rutabaga, peeled and cut into approx. 2 x 2 cm cubes
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 leek, in rings
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 250g beef mince
- 1 apple, cut into cubes (discard core)
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp dried herbs (parsley, coriander, whatever you like)
- 1 tsp coconut oil

1. Heat coconut oil in a wok or frying pan, and stir-fry onion and garlic for a few minutes until it starts smelling good.
2. Add beef mince and fry until browned.
3. Add rutabaga, leek and apple and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes. Add garam masala, cinnamon, pepper and dried herbs, stir well.
4. Add 1 cup of water, cover pan and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes until rutabaga is soft and the water has evaporated.

Serve hot, and enjoy!

December 21, 2010

Curried parsnip, creamy savoy cabbage and oven baked fish

Curried parsnip, savoy cabbage and fish

These days I've been eating quite some leftovers I had in my freezer, or I simply didn't have time to think of a new recipe. Today I felt like cooking something new again!
A quick and creamy savoy cabbage, curried parsnip and oven baked yellowfin sole fillets. Now I come to think of it, I made 3 dishes today, all within 40 minutes and ready to be served at the same time.

It's almost Christmas now.. People are getting into a festive mood and saying 'see you next year' doesn't feel as strange anymore. Last weekend I did my final Christmas food shopping; I bought some lentil papadams with red chillies, from Lijjad Papad, at the local Asian supermarket. These will make the perfect side dish for our chicken curry!
Of cours, lentils aren't truly paleo, but they're way better than grains so we don't mind having these during Christmas.

Savoy cabbage

I couldn't resist taking a picture of my savoy cabbage, it looks so complex and yet so perfectly beautiful..
I'd better get to those recipes now!

Curried parsnip (serves 1)
- 1 medium parsnip
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp curry powder

1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
2. Wash the parsnip and cut it into equal pieces, about 1/2 cm thick.
3. Spread parsnip over half of the baking tray, pour olive oil over it, add curry powder and mix with your hands until all pieces are covered with a layer of curry powder and oil.
4. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and soft.

In the mean time, prepare your fish:
Oven baked yellowfin sole fillet (serves 1)
- 2 yellowfin sole fillets
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- lemon pepper, freshly ground
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped

1. Put fish fillets into a small oven dish, or make one yourself by folding some aluminum foil into an oven dish.
2. Sprinkle oil and lemon pepper to taste over fillets.
3. Put the oven dish into the oven, next to the parsnip on the baking tray, when the remaining baking time of the parsnip is 12 minutes.

While everything is baking, you can prepare your savoy cabbage.
Creamy savoy cabbage (serves 1)
- 1/4 of a head savoy cabbage
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 shallot
- 1 tsp ginger, freshly grated
- 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp coconut oil

1. Wash savoy cabbage and cut into thin strips. Finely chop the garlic and shallot.
2. Heat coconut oil in a wok or frying pan, add garlic, shallot and ginger and stir-fry for a minute or so, until it starts smelling good. Make sure it doesn't burn!
3. Add cabbage and stir-fry for a few minutes, then add coriander and coconut milk and stir-fry until the cabbage has wilted and has gotten creamy.

By now, the parsnip and fish should be done, take them out of the oven and put them onto a plate. Sprinkle lemon juice and coriander leaves over the fish.
Add creamy savoy cabbage and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Serve hot and enjoy!

December 19, 2010

Italian kohlrabi crumble

Italian kohlrabi 2

Sometimes you just don't feel like eating meat or fish, or anything like that. Not because it doesn't taste good, but maybe just because it's a lazy Sunday.
Now my Sunday wasn't exactly lazy (I ploughed through the snow on my bike, just to go to the Christmas market in town, and did a lot of laundry too), but I still didn't feel like eating meat or fish for dinner.
I did want to use one of the kohlrabis I still had in my fridge so I decided to make an oven dish with an almond crumble topping; just to add some more protein.
It tasted really good and wasn't much effort to cook either. I'm definitely going to have my leftovers for breakfast tomorrow!

Italian kohlrabi 1

Italian kohlrabi crumble (serves 2)
- 1 kohlrabi, peeled and grated
- 1 winter carrot, grated
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 eggs
- 1 tbsp thyme
- 1 tbsp rosemary
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp mixed Italian herbs, dried (oregano, etc)

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
2. Put kohlrabi, carrot and onion in a small oven dish and mix.
3. In a bowl, combine eggs, thyme, rosemary and pepper, mix well and pour over kohlrabi.
4. In an other bowl, mix almond flour, oil and Italian herbs until well-combined and it's got a crumbly consistency.
5. Sprinkle crumbles over kohlrabi evenly. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
6. Remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes, until browned.
Serve warm and enjoy!

December 18, 2010

Turnip puree

Turnip puree

Seems like I'm eating a lot of mashed veggies this week. I love them all.
Just like this turnip puree.
I pretty much made it the same way as I made my parsnip mash, but this has a whole different texture and it's more refreshing. It's even better when you eat it cold!
Oh and something that doesn't have anything to do with food, but that I just wanted to share; I've got real heating in my home! Finally! They've installed it this morning and ever since, my home is nice and warm. Just in time for the holidays.

Turnip puree (serves 2-3)
- 2 turnips
- 2 apples
- 1 tablespoon coconut flour
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1. Peel turnips with a vegetable peeler, cut them into small chunks and steam for 6-8 minutes, until soft.
2. Cut apples into pieces, discard the core, and put them in a bowl. Add turnip pieces and puree with a hand blender. (you could also put everything in a food processor)
3. Add coconut flour and cinnamon and stir well.
Serve warm or cold, whatever you prefer.

For serving, I sprinkled some more cinnamon on top because I thought it looked kind of festive. I served it with a simple chicken and kale stir-fry. But it might as well be part of any meal of the day. It could even make a sweet snack.

December 16, 2010

Parsnip cookies

Parsnip cookies 1

What to do with my other portion of parsnip mash, that's what I asked myself yesterday. Since those pumpkin cookies last week worked out so well, I figured I might be able to make parsnip cookies as well.
I had one for breakfast this morning and it was really good!
It's a whole different way of using parsnips but it works.
Today I really needed to have something nice to eat after work; we had drinks and snacks to end 2010 and for a good start in 2011. Of course I couldn't take any of the snacks so I got home hungry, but a little too late to -in my opinion- make dinner. I also had to cycle all the way through the snow so I was pretty wet and looked like Frosty's sister.
Having tea and a cookie made me feel so much better!

Parsnip cookies 2 Parsnip cookie

Parsnip cookies (makes 10 cookies)
- 1 batch parsnip apple mash (for recipe, see previous post)
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp gingerbread spice
- 2 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
2. Put parsnip mash in a bowl, stir in eggs.
3. Add other ingredients and stir until well-combined.
4. Drop heaping tablespoons of batter on a cookie tray, lined with parchment paper.
5. Bake cookies on middle rack for about 40 minutes, until golden brown.
6. Let cool for a while and serve.

December 14, 2010

Parsnip apple mash, with lemony salmon stir-fry

Parsnip mash and salmon stir-fry

And here's today's dinner! I'd been thinking what to do with my parsnips; bake them in the oven (been there, done that), make fritters out of them (sounds good, but I already had fritters for breakfast) and since I'd already put them in a curry as well, I decided to mash them. With apple. I totally loved it!
It was actually meant to be my side dish, but I guess it felt more of a main course and I ended up eating it last. (I always save the best for last)
I also made a quick lemony stir-fry with salmon and savoy cabbage, also quite tasty.

Parsnip apple mash (serves 2)
- 3 parsnips
- 1 medium sweet apple
- 1 tsp cinnamon

1. Peel parsnips with a vegetable peeler, cut them into equal pieces and steam them for 8-10 minutes, until soft.
2. Chop the apple and discard the core.
3. Put apple pieces and steamed parsnips in a bowl and puree with a hand blender. Add cinnamon and stir well. Serve warm.

Lemony salmon stir-fry (serves 2)
- 2 salmon fillets, diced
- 1 large onion
- 1 tsp freshly ground ginger
- 1/2 savoy cabbage, chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
- lemon pepper, freshly ground
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- 1 tsp coconut oil

1. Heat coconut oil in a frying pan and stir-fry onion and ginger, until the onion starts to get soft. Add salmon and stir-fry until browned.
2. Add savoy cabbage, curry powder, lemon pepper and coconut milk. Stir-fry just a minute or so until cabbage turns bright green, but isn't too soft yet.
3. Add lemon juice, stir well. Take off heat and serve sprinkled with chopped coriander leaves.

This dish would also make a good lunch, even when cooled.

Asian beef stew

Beef stew 2

Beef stew is what we're going to have for Christmas this year, and when my mom told me on the phone that her 'try-out' version was a big success, I only craved one thing: beef stew.
A couple of weeks ago I'd tried to make one, which got really bitter because of the eggplant. I still had some beef steaks in my freezer so I decided I'd try it again, using different vegetables of course.
I loved it! This really is the kind of dish you can only make on weekends, because it has to be on the stove for such a long time. Or you could make it in the evening of course, to eat the day after. The time-consuming process of cooking it makes it extra special to have beef stew to me, it's just totally worth while!
I gave my stew a bit of an Asian twist, just because I like it that way.

Beef stew 1

Asian beef stew (serves 2)
- 250g beef steak, diced
- 3 leeks, cut into rings
- 3 winter carrots, diced
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 3 tbsp almond flour
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- freshly ground black pepper
- 800ml water
- 8 dried apricots, halved
- 1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- handful of roast cashew nuts
- 1 tsp coconut oil

1. Heat coconut oil in a large pan or wok. Fry garlic and ginger until they start smelling good, don't let them burn.
2. Add leeks and carrots and fry for a couple of minutes. Add beef, almond flour and spices and fry for a minute or so, to combine everything.
3. Add water, bring to a boil and cover the pan. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2.5 hours.
4. Remove lid from the pan, add apricots and simmer for another 15-30 minutes, until the stew is as thick as you want it to be.
5. Sprinkle with chopped coriander leaves and cashew nuts and serve hot.

Tastes great with some pumpkin puree, or over riced cauliflower.
For people who've never heard of riced cauliflower: coarsly chop the cauliflower, removing the thick stems, and grind it to the consistency of rice in a food processor. Stir-fry in some oil for a few minutes with the spices of your choice and enjoy.

December 13, 2010

Turnip (and zucchini) frittata

Turnip zucchini bake 2

This was what I had for breakfast this morning. I prepared it yesterday and just reheated it today, because I like having a warm breakfast.
At first I only wanted to use turnips for this, but unfortunately, I didn't have enough to fill my oven dish. A zucchini came to mind and, luckily, it made a good combination. I would recommend to use turnips only though.
Today I bought myself some new turnips at the market as I'm not done experimenting with them yet. I also bought another daikon, some kohlrabi and parsnips (and much more, but I won't list everything now). Parsnips have become one of my favourite veggies lately and I can't wait to make other dishes with them. Does anyone have any ideas on what to cook with my parsnips?

Turnip frittata (serves 2)
- 3 large turnips, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
2. Divide turnip slices over the bottom of a small oven dish.
3. Add rosemary, thyme and pepper to the beaten egg and stir well. Pour over turnips.
4. Cover the oven dish with aluminum foil and bake for about 50 minutes.
5. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes until browned. Serve warm and enjoy!

Of course you could add some other ingredients to this dish as well; onions for example, or sundried tomatoes. Whatever you like!

Turnip zucchini bake 1

December 12, 2010

Kohlrabi and mackerel salad

Kohlrabi mackerel salad

After my last experiments with kohlrabi, I decided to keep it simple this time. I made a salad.
When visiting my parents last week, my mom had bought me some grilled mackerel in oil; my all-time favourite fish. It's a bit expensive, so I hardly ever buy it. But last week we had made those samosa's, so there wasn't any room for the mackerel and my mom made me take it home with me.
I'd been saving it 'for the right time' in my fridge, and apparently that time is when there's not much more left in my fridge than mackerel and kohlrabi. They do, however, make a perfect combination.

Kohlrabi and mackerel salad (serves 1)
- 1 large kohlrabi, peeled and grated into julienne strips
- 100g of grilled mackerel fillet, drained
- small handful of raisins
- 1 tsp extra vierge olive oil
- 1 tsp coconut milk
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp agave syrup
- 1/2 tsp powdered mustard seeds
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds

1. Put kohlrabi on a large plate. Pull mackerel into smaller pieces with a fork and add to kohlrabi. Add raisins.
2. In a small bowl, mix oil, coconut milk, lemon juice, agave, mustard and pepper until well combined.
3. Pour dressing over the salad and mix well. Top with coriander and sesame seeds, and serve cold.

Note: in my picture, there's no fresh coriander. I used the dried version, which was good, but fresh is always much better.

Treating myself

Well, yesterday was a really lazy Saturday for me. I had to wait for some parcels to be delivered to me (my new winter coat I ordered online and some food supplements), and of course they didn't come until late in the afternoon.
That gave me the time to treat myself a little yesterday! And without the potato crisps this time, for which I'm kind of proud of myself. I didn't even crave them. Thank you Paleo diet!

I did however feel like treating myself a little. So in the morning, while going to the mall for some groceries, I got myself a new lip gloss. I actually came to buy ground flax seed in that store but I noticed that they all of a sudden carry some Burt's Bees items now, which happens to be one of my favourite brands.
I got some Lip Shimmer, in the colour Rhubarb. It was hard to choose, maybe because my zodiac sign is Gemini (twins), but I often have that problem when a choice needs to be made. (a lot of times I just end up taking both options)

So, all happy with my new lip shimmer, I made myself comfortable on the couch yesterday. I read half of a book I'd been wanting to read for a few months, I enjoyed my decorated home, listened to Christmas songs and watched a few movies.
Normally I'm like a busy bee, but being able to have a nice and relaxing day like this definitely made me feel better. I think I also have an underlying cold (my throat is a bit sore, I'm having a dry cough and my lymph nodes in my neck are swollen and painful) so a day 'off' was what I needed.

My other treat to myself was baking some cookies; very healthy cookies, and possibly the best cookies ever; Pumpkin spice cookies!
I followed this recipe from Everyday Paleo, it's called 'Laura's Amazing Cookies'. Well, amazing is what they are!
For the rest of my meals, it was leftover day. I had some leftover curry for lunch, and for dinner my leftover beet salad with some chicken, leek and garlic stir-fry. How easy!

Chicken, leek and garlic stir-fry

December 10, 2010

Warm beet salad with apple and walnuts

Beet apple walnut salad

Going out to dinner yesterday was fun; had a nice time and great food. The food was very high quality and delicious.
As an appetizer I ordered the deer carpaccio, served with a little salad, pine nuts, egg and berry sauce. I had never eaten carpaccio before, because I thought I wouldn't be into raw meat, but I really liked it. The meat was really tender and soft, and the berry sauce combined wonderfully with it.
My main course was the grilled trout, with some sea salt. I still had to remove the bones and such, which I normally don't like at all; I always end up having small fish bones in my mouth.. The fish tasted really good and in the end it wasn't that much effort at all to make it 'edible'. It was served with a salad, chicory with ham and fried potatoe chips. Because of my diet, they gave me seperate servings of these, instead of larger ones everyone could take from. I loved that, because that way I had more veggies than the others. In the end I still think we got way too little veggies, unfortunately that's the case with most restaurants in the Netherlands these days.
For dessert, they weren't able to make me anything else than a fruit salad. Of course there's nothing wrong with that, but when I crave dessert I don't feel like eating fruit. Chocolate is more to my taste, especially on the rare occassions I go out to dinner. So I just ordered some tea, which was served with some dark chocolates, lucky me!

Today I decided to use the beets I got from my aunt last week. I've always liked beets, but it had been a while since I ate them, and I'd never cooked with them myself. I ended up making a warm salad out of it; warm because I wanted to eat it right away. I think it would taste good when cooled too, which I'm going to try with my leftover portion. I served it with some pan fried yellow fin sole fillets, one of my favourite kinds of fish.

Warm beet salad with apple and walnuts (serves 2)
- 4 medium sized beets
- 1 sweet apple
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin seeds
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- handful of chopped walnuts
- 1 tsp coconut oil

1. Chop the tops and bottoms off the beets, peel them with a vegetable peeler and grate them into julienne strips.
2. Wash the apple, remove the core and chop into small pieces.
3. Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan and stir-fry the beets and apple for about 3 minutes.
4. Add cinnamon, ginger and cumin, and stir-fry for another 3 minutes. Then add lemon juice, stir-fry another minute or so, until the beets are nice and soft.
5. Serve with walnuts on top, and with meat or fish of your choice.

This would also make a wonderful side dish to serve during Christmas dinner. Either warm or cold.

December 8, 2010

Butternut and kale mash

Butternut and kale mash

The 'holiday fever' has got to me again this year. Christmas really is my favourite time of the year, and the snow that has fallen last week definitely helped me to get into my holiday mood.
I put up my Christmas tree (which was even smaller than I remembered.. but it's a tree, and it looks festive, so it's ok) and I decorated my home with a big star and a long string of lights. I even got some Christmas presents from my overseas penpals and some cards already!
Since I'm celebrating Christmas at my parents' home this year, my mom and me will do the cooking together. There will be two dinners; the first one for my grandparents, the second one just for us. (in the Netherlands, there are two official days of Christmas; December 25th and 26th)

Of course we've already started planning both dinners, and they're going to be delicious!
Did I mention I love Christmas yet?

These days I also feel like cooking somewhat more wintry meals. Kale is the perfect vegetable to do so, and since I didn't think I could keep mine fresh much longer, I decided to use it today. I also had a small butternut and hoped it would combine well with kale and luckily it did.
I served it with a simple oven-baked salmon fillet, sprinkled with some lemon juice and fish spices.

Butternut and kale mash (serves 2)
- 1 small butternut squash
- 1 big bunch of kale (approx. 10 branches)
- 1 red onion
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ginger
- handful of raisins
- handful of walnut pieces
- coconut oil, for frying

1. Peel butternut with a vegetable peeler, remove seeds and cut into chunks. In the mean time, boil some water in a steaming pan.
2. Steam butternut chunks until cooked, for about 10 - 12 minutes.
3. Put coconut milk, cinnamon, ginger and butternut in a bowl and puree.
4. Cut the kale leaves from the thick stems, discard stems and chop the leaves into smaller pieces. Finely chop the red onion.
5. Heat some coconut oil in a wok or frying pan and fry the onion until soft.
6. Add kale and stir-fry until the kale is dark green and tender.
7. Reduce heat to low and add butternut puree and raisins, stir until well-combined.
8. Serve warm, with walnut pieces on top.

While listening to Christmas songs, doing the dishes wasn't even that bad. And as I often do; I put one serving in my freezer so all I need to do next time is defrost it and pop in into the oven for an easy meal.
Tomorrow I'm going out to dinner with my colleagues, so I won't be doing much cooking. I love cooking, but being able to sit down and get a meal served in front of you is a real pleasure every now and then.

December 6, 2010

Curried kale chips

Kale chips

Just because I had a huge kale and to see what all the fuss was about, I made kale chips today. When I was looking for a recipe, I noticed there were so many people blogging about these, I just had to try them.
I actually made them twice.. The first batch failed horribly. I followed a recipe exactly, but somehow my oven was a little hotter at the same temperature, and I burnt them. They were totally black, and my whole home smelled really bad because of it. Of course that made me want to make these chips successfully even more.

Luckily my second batch worked out just fine; I put the oven temperature a little lower and sat in front of the oven almost the whole time. Ready to jump into action, in case something went wrong.

The recipe also told me to 'massage in the oil'. Well, I'd never given a veggie a massage before, but perhaps that's why these taste so good?

Here's my version:
Curried kale chips (serves 1)
- 4 kale branches
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp curry powder

1. Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
2. Rinse the kale branches and dry them with some kitchen paper.
3. Tear the green leaves off, along the thick stems (don't use the stems), and tear them into bite-sized pieces.
4. Combine oil, lemon juice and curry powder in a bowl, and pour it over the kale pieces.
5. Gently mix everything with your hands, then divide the kale over the baking tray. Make sure they don't overlap, so they'll cook evenly.
6. Bake for about 10 minutes, until dark green and crispy. Let them cool for a few minutes and enjoy!

Taro fish cakes

Taro fish cakes

Finally I got the time to use my taro roots. I bought them last week, and kind of hoped they would keep in the fridge until today. They did!
At first I wanted to make a cake with them, but since I already stuffed myself with pumpkin pie and some muffins last weekend, I decided to make something else: fish cakes.
It took me a while to make them, and everything went wrong this morning, but in the end they worked out just fine and delicious.
Just to let you know what went wrong today:
- I cut my finger on my hand blender, didn't notice and soon the blood was everywhere.. (not in the food though, luckily)
- While transferring a big spoonful of fish cake mixture to a pan, it dropped on the floor (obviously)
- I tried to make kale chips, did everything the way they told on a youtube film, and burnt them. And I mean that in the non edible way. (later today I made them again, this time it was a success, will post recipe soon)
- And because of a huge layer of ice and snow remains on the cycling paths, I couldn't go to the market to buy fresh herbs and veggies. (the local government seems to think it's unnecessary to clean these..)

Anyway! That's just the bad stuff, sharing helps me feel better about it. In the end I did have a relaxing day at home, with fish cakes for lunch.
I'm not sure if taro roots are completely paleo though.. They seem to contain quite a lot of starch, and they're inedible when they're raw. In that case, they wouldn't be all that paleo. However, they have been eaten for a really long time, they were consumed before grains and potatoes were added to people's diet. That would make them more paleo.
Confusing as it is, I suggest eating them just once every now and then.

Taro fish cakes (makes 10)
- 3 small taro roots, steamed for 40 - 45 minutes (don't peel them!), until completely cooked
- 3 white fish fillets (like tilapia, or yellowfin sole) OR 2 salmon fillets, steamed for 8 - 12 minutes, until cooked
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 heaping tsp curry powder
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 tbsp coconut oil, for frying

1. Peel the skin off the cooked taro roots, cut the flesh into chunks and puree.
2. Pull the cooked fish into small pieces with a fork, add to taro puree.
3. Add onion, egg, lime juice, curry powder, coriander, sesame seeds and pepper, and stir until well combined.
4. Heat 1 tbsp coconut oil in a frying pan, and drop 3 or 4 big heaping tablespoons of fish cake batter into it. Slightly flatten them out with the back of a spoon, to shape them into patties.
5. Reduce heat to medium, and when the patties are golden brown on the bottom, flip them over and fry them on the other side until golden brown as well.
6. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the rest of the batter. Serve warm.

They would be great with a salad, or some stir-fried veggies.
Just a quick note, in case anyone notices; my recipe says 'makes 10', but there are only 9 cakes in the picture. I ate the 10th one before taking the picture, I was hungry!

Samosas and walnuts

Samosa and salad

Here's what I made, together with my mom last Saturday. We've already had this idea for a while, but haven't had the opportunity to actually do it before.
We made Samosas! Of course they're grain fee and dairy free.

My mom had made a delicious Moroccan oven dish for lunch on Saturday, with mince beef, dried apricots, tomatoes, zucchini, onion, ras el hanout and more. We had some leftovers, and since we'd already had the idea to make samosas sometime, we thought this would make a great filling.

For the dough, we used this recipe for biscuits from Elana's Pantry. We'd already made the biscuits once, loved the dough and recipes kept popping up into our heads.
Our samosas turned out pretty big, one batch of dough made 6 samosas. But I think you could easily make 8 smaller ones out of it.

We simply rolled out balls of dough with our hands on a piece of parchment paper, put about 2 tablespoons of filling on it, folded them in half and pressed the edges onto eachother. Super easy!
We baked them at 175 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes, so they browned nicely.


We served them with a salad and had them as a light meal.
I'm going to make these again, as soon as I have some leftover chicken curry as I think that would make a good filling. Spinach would be great too! I'm also going to adapt the dough recipe by then, I've already got a nice idea on how to do that.

This week, I'm having loads of veggies to cook with again. My aunt has a huge vegetable garden and she gave some of her 'harvest' to my mom and me. I got one huge kale, some leeks, carrots, kohlrabi, winter lettuce, a paprika and some beets. I love beets, but I've never cooked with them before, so I can't wait to make some delicious recipes with those.
I also got walnuts; loads of walnuts, as you can see on the picture below. I had just run out of supply, so I'm really happy with these. They make a good addition to so many recipes!
So, what I wanted to ask; does anyone have an easy way to crack these? My mom gave me a nut cracker, but I'm afraid that if I work my way through this pile I won't have any hands left. Or should I just do a few at a time, when I need them?


December 4, 2010

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin pie 2

My first attempt on making pumpkin pie. It's really good! Not too sweet, but it's not like you're eating just pumpkin either. It's not too heavy or filling, but still satisfying. I couldn't resist having a piece for breakfast today..

My inspiration for this recipe came from this Pumpkin Pie recipe from Everyday Paleo. But I made a different crust and adapted the filling recipe too, making it totally fruit sweetened and adding some more pumpkin.

Pumpkin Pie
- 1 1/2 cup of almond flour
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 500g pumpkin puree or cooked chunks
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 2 bananas
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cookie spices (or a mixture of ginger, cloves and nutmeg)

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius. Line a tart pan or (spring) cake tin with parchment paper, or grease it with some oil.
2. Mix the ingredients for the crust in a bowl and spread it over the bottom of the cake tin, press down to form a nice crust. Bake for approx. 12-14 minutes, until it starts to brown.
3. In the mean time make the filling by combining the ingredients for the filling in a food processor. Process on high for about 30 seconds, until well-combined.
4. Pour the filling into the baked crust and bake for another 45 minutes, until set.
5. Let it cool and serve! Would be great with some coconut cream.

Pumpkin pie 1

Pumpkin puree is really easy to make; just put a small pumpkin into the oven on 200 degrees celsius for about an hour, let it cool and peel the skin off. Cut it into chunks, removing the seeds and threads, and puree.

December 3, 2010

Parsnip and kohlrabi beef curry

Parsnip kohlrabi curry

Yum, finally a beef curry that worked out well this week. I had to use my parsnips and the kohlrabi today, because they definitely wouldn't be usable after the weekend. So I thought, why not make a curry with them, instead of adding thyme and things like that.
Next time I'm going to make this with a banana in it, I think that would work really well.

Parsnip and kohlrabi beef curry
- 3 parsnips, in small cubes
- 1 large kohlrabi, in small cubes
- 2 small red onions, chopped
- 200g minced steak
- 1 can (400ml) coconut milk
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- black pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp freshly chopped coriander leaves
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil, for frying

1. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the meat until browned.
2. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and fenugreek seeds, stir-fry until the onion starts getting soft. Then add the parsnip and kohlrabi.
3. Stir-fry a few minutes, then add the cardamom, cinnamon and pepper and the coconut milk. Stir well, reduce heat to low, cover and leave for approx. 10 minutes.
4. Sprinkle coriander on top and serve.

Next up: baking a pumpkin pie.. I'm going to do that right now.

December 2, 2010

Black radish chips and Italian chicken

Black radish chips

Here's what I did with my black radish today. Again, I didn't know what a black radish would taste like and after googling it, everyone seemed to recommend either frying it or putting it into a salad. I chose to fry mine, I simply cut it up in thin slices, heated some oil in a frying pan and fryed them on both sides until browned and soft.
I let them drain on a few paper towels, sprinkled them with lemon pepper and thyme and that's it!
It was really easy, and I would recommend serving these as a side dish. They're quite tasty and you could add some more spices too if you like.

Tonight I served these with Italian stir-fried chicken. One of my favourite quick chicken fixes. Simply cut a chicken fillet into cubes, chop up an onion, heat some oil in a frying pan and fry chicken until browned. Add the onion, stir-fry until soft and browned and add some pepper and dried Italian herbs. Easy does it.
Even better: I got some chicken left over for my lunch salad at work tomorrow!

As we speak my turnips are in the oven, they need another 45 minutes to go.. I realised I bought a little too many veggies this week, because I'd forgotten I wouldn't be at home during the weekend. That's why I'm making an extra dish today; I'm simply going to freeze it and have it next week or so.
Turnips seem to be good when baked or pureed, so I chose to bake them this time. Hopefully I can get my hands on some more at the market on Monday, so I can try and puree them as well.
I still need to make a pumpkin pie, and use my taro roots as well. So I guess I've got a lot of cooking to do before Saturday!

December 1, 2010

Even better Daikon fritters

Daikon fritters 3

Today it was time to use the other half of my daikon radish, and because I thought there would be a way to make those fritters I made with the first half even better, I tried making fritters again.
And they did turn out better!
I was quite happy about that, because yesterday I used my Thai eggplants and okra to make a beef stew. I added all these wonderful spices and it smelled great, until I tasted it.. It was really bitter, I guess I could've known with eggplants. I ate it anyway, but right after swallowing the last bites, I had some fruit to make the bitter taste go away. So that wasn't much of a success..
As for these fritters, I simply added a few ingredients and left some out; I added carrot, replaced the shallot with a red onion, replaced almond flour with coconut flour and added some more sesame seeds and an extra egg.
They didn't even need a sauce, unlike my previous attempt on daikon fritters.

Daikon fritters (revised, makes 10 fritters)
- approx. 15 cm of daikon
- 1 small carrot
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 3 eggs
- 2 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 tbsp arrowroot
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- 1/2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- pepper to taste
- vegetable oil, for frying

1. Grate the daikon and carrot in a large bowl and add the red onion.
2. In another bowl, mix eggs, coconut flour, arrowroot, sesame seeds, coriander and ginger.
3. Add the egg mixture to the vegetables and stir until well combined.
4. Heat some oil in a frying pan and drop in a big, heaping tablespoon of the daikon mixture.
5. Reduce heat to medium, and flip the fritter when it starts to brown on the sides. (approx. 3 minutes)
6. Fry for another 2-3 minutes on the other side, until browned, and transfer to a plate.
7. Repeat with the rest of the daikon mixture. Of course you can always fry multiple fritters at the same time, depending on the size of your frying pan.
8. Serve with a green salad, or as a side dish. Works great for breakfast too.

Daikon fritters 2