Vegetarian Quinoa Balls

Vegetarian Quinoa Balls
So here we are, this is the last post before my wedding! Continue reading

Fortunately I’m trying to stay healthy with good food and exercise otherwise my patience and diplomacy could easily get lost on the way…especially for anything that has to do with hair and make up (things I usually avoid dedicating too much time on 😉 ). So for my last post as a non-wedded person I decided to make these vegetarian balls, which turned out surprisingly good, especially once I added the potato to make everything stick together. This is an easy recipe and the good thing is that the veggies and the quinoa can be cooked previously so that the final preparation will take less time to get done.

I hope you’ll enjoy it and keep fingers crossed for Saturday…may I not fall while walking down the aisle 😉

Vegetarian Quinoa Balls Vegetarian Quinoa Balls

 

Vegetarian Quinoa Balls

 

For about 13-14 balls

Pre time: 30 min

Cook time: 40 min

 

Ingredients:

1 bell pepper

1 corncob

1 red onion

2 tbsp. tomato paste

1-2 red chilli peppers

160 g boiled potatoes

90 g quinoa

300 g tofu

1.5 tbsp. chopped coriander leaves

1 large egg

2 tbsp. vegetable oil (+extra to grease the baking tray)

Salt

 

Recipe:

Cut off the top and the bottom of the bell pepper; remove the seeds and any other white part. Cut it in half and the cut it into 0.5 cm strips. Now chop the strips into 0.5 cm pieces.

Remove the grains from the corn by holding almost vertically and running the blade of a large knife downwards. Finally finely chop the onion.

Heat a non-stick pan on a medium fire; add 1 tbsp. oil with the chopped onion and cook for 4-5 min stirring regularly. Then add the bell pepper and the corn, season with salt and cook for about 8 minutes stirring regularly. Add the tomato paste and the chilli and cook for another 3-4 min.

In a high-sided pan add the portion of quinoa and two times its amount in water. Bring to a boil and let it simmer on a low fire for 15 minutes. Once done add it to the vegetables season with salt and let everything cool until lukewarm.

Mash the boiled potatoes and finely crumble the tofu. Add them to the vegetables and quinoa along with the coriander leaves and the egg. Mix until all is evenly distributed and with your hands form little balls of about 5 cm. Grease a baking dish and place the vegetarian balls in it. Combine 1 tbsp. tomato paste, 1 tbsp. oil and a few drops water in a small cup or bowl. Brush the top of the vegi balls before baking them for 20 min in a preheated the oven at 190°C. Serve asap.

 

A Thought for My Dad & Peanut Crusted Chicken with Salsa

Peanut Crusted Chicken with SalsaAfter some time I have posted a recipe with some meat. As time goes by, I find myself eating less and less meat. The only things I really still enjoy are chicken and spare ribs. I guess it’s eating with my fingers what I truly enjoy. In this recipe I have tried to combine flavours that all go well together according to The Flavour Thesaurus (from Niki Segnit) book: chicken, peanuts, tomato, coriander leaves, chilli and lime. This is the cookbook I have been using the most, I find it inspiring and even when I’m not looking for a recipe I browse through the ingredients for the fun of it. Continue reading

 

After hesitating I decided to write something more personal than usual. Today is a sad anniversary for me and I’m finding it difficult to concentrate. Exactly seventeen years ago my father died and with my wedding coming up, I am finding this anniversary more difficult than usual. On this occasion I wanted to share a picture of the two of us back in 1997:

My Dad and II so wish that on my wedding I could turn around and see him sitting next to my mother, looking at me the way he used to. Tomorrow I will certainly feel better and anyway this is life. I felt like sharing this event because I wish everyone could have known what a great person he was. I really miss him but I am also really thankful to have had him in my life, no matter how long it lasted. Thank you Dad.

 

 

Peanut Crusted Chicken with Salsa

 

Recipe for 4 as an appetiser or 2 as a meal

Prep time: 15-20 min

Cook time: 12-15 min

 

 

Ingredients

Chicken:

240g chicken breast

70 g peanuts

2 generous tbsp. breadcrumbs

1 egg (beaten)

Salt and pepper

Zest of 1 lime

1 lime

 

Salsa:

200 g meaty tomatoes

1 tbsp. chopped coriander leaves

1 large tbsp. chopped spring onion

½-1 tsp. sugar

1 finely chopped red chilli

Salt

 

 

Recipe:

 

Heat oven at 190°C.

Cut the tomato(es) into small pieces and then finely chop them. Place them in a small holed strainer and season them with salt. Place the strainer in a bowl and leave aside.

Coarsely process the peanuts and place them in a bowl with the breadcrumbs and lime zest.

In another bowl place the beaten egg.

Cut the chicken into about 4 cm pieces and season it generously with salt and pepper. Dip the each piece in the beaten egg first and then evenly coat with the peanut and breadcrumb mix. Place the pieces on a parchment lined baking tray and cook for 12-15 min in the oven.

Meanwhile prepare the salsa by mixing the tomatoes in a bowl along with the coriander leaves, spring onion, sugar, red chilli and salt.

Once the chicken is ready place it in a serving plate with the salsa on the side.

Cut the lime into wedges and place them on top of the chicken for each to drizzle according to their taste.

Tomato Sandwich with Avocado Mayo

Tomato Sandwich with Avocado Mayo

I love foods that get along with each other; they are just a wonder to combine… like tomato and avocado. So this week I thought I’d make a simple, quick but tasty sandwich with such simple ingredients. This is a sandwich I made last week with my mother when we had an improvised picnic on the terrace under the hot sun. Continue reading

I am also really excited to announce that from October on I will be blogging for the tasty association the “amis da la forcheta” which is an association that focuses on products from Ticino by organising gastronomic events and walks. They are a group that proudly supports locals products and also, they have an eye on ecological sustainability. All of these aspects I personally consider to be really important. Over the next few weeks I will write more about it; but for now I am really excited to share the news! With a heart full of excitement I wish you all a great week 😀

Tomato Sandwich with Avocado Mayo

 

Tomato Sandwich with Avocado Mayo

 

Recipe for 4:

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 5 min

 

Ingredients:

8 1 cm thick slices brown bread

2 small avocadoes

4 small tbsp. mayonnaise

2 meaty tomatoes (I used the beef heart kind)

2 spring onions (white part only)

A few salad leaves

Powdered chilli

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Toast the four slices of bread either in a toaster or in an oven. Once they’re lightly toasted let the cool by leaning them on something so that they don’t lay flat and therefore loose they crunchiness.

Remove the hard part of the tomatoes and slice them into 3-4 mm thick pieces. Do the same with the spring onion.

Cut the avocadoes in two, remove the pit and remove the meat with the help of a tbsp. Place the avocado meat in a bowl and mash it with a fork. Add mayo and powdered chilli to taste and mix all together.

Take a slice of bread and spread on one side a generous layer of the avocado mayo. On top place the tomatoes and the spring onion, season with salt and pepper, add the salad leaves and top with a second slice of bread. Repeat with the rest of the bread slice and the ingredients and serve.

 

Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat Cheese

Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat CheeseFlavourful and quick pasta recipes always come in handy. To lighten up the calorie content of this pasta dish I have replaced part of the carbs with the zucchini. In the end I was quite surprised about how filling this dish was. Continue reading

In the beginning I wanted to make the zucchini spaghetti using my knife (since I don’t have a spiralizer) but then I found here a simple alternative using a grater that I thought worked well and was also faster. It was my first time making zucchini spaghetti and since I really liked them I now have a new item on my to buy list: the spiralizer. This quick fresh and light recipe turned out to be a tasty dish and surely one of these days this is a recipe I shall serve again… especially since the wedding is less than a month away and I want to keep my food on the light side.

Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat Cheese Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat Cheese

Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat Cheese

 

 

Light Spaghetti and Zucchini Pasta with Goat Cheese

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10-12 min

Cook time: 8-10 min

 

Ingredients

2-3 zucchini

8 sun dried tomato filets

240 g spaghetti

120 g hard goat cheese

80 g crème fraiche

Zest of 1 organic lemon

4 tbsp. dry roasted pine nuts

2 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Using either a spiralizer or a large holed grater or even a knife, make the zucchini noodles. As I only have a grater I used it by grating the zucchini through their whole length. The other option is to thinly slice the zucchini by their length and them cut each slice into spaghetti like shapes.

Roughly chop the sun dried tomato filets and grate the hard goat cheese.

Cook the spaghetti in salted boiling water according to package instructions.

Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a pan on a medium heat and add the zucchini and the sun dried tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 min stirring once or twice. Add the crème fraiche, hard goat cheese and lemon zest. Lower the fire and cook until the sauce is dense but still a little runny.

Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce along with the pine nuts. Remove from fire, mix all together, correct taste if needed and serve.

Mediterranean Chickpea & Brown Rice Casserole with Feta Cheese

Mediterranean Chickpea & Brown Rice Casserole with Feta Cheese The stress for the wedding preparations is rising and last weekend my fiancé went on his surprise stag party… which I helped coordinate in secret with the best man. Continue reading

I didn’t see him the rest of the weekend since when he got home he needed to rest. Son on Sunday I had the day to myself and I prepared this casserole inspired by thekitchn. I ate a big portion and kept the rest for another time. In the evening I was still full but a couple of great friends took me out on a surprise evening between girls. We went to have a nice dinner in the nearby Italy and after that, while there was a band playing we had some gelato. It was just what I needed. I realized how thankful and lucky I am to have them in my life. Being quite sensitive at the moment, I was really moved by their gesture. Friends who are there are are an essential thing in life… like good quality food 😉

Mediterranean Chickpea & Brown Rice Casserole with Feta Cheese Mediterranean Chickpea & Brown Rice Casserole with Feta Cheese

 

 

Mediterranean Chickpea & Brown Rice Casserole with Feta Cheese

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 40 min

 

Ingredients:

1 aubergine

2 zucchini

2 tsp. chopped garlic

2 tbsp. olive oil (+ extra for greasing the baking dish)

2 eggs beaten

zest of 1 lemon + the juice of ½ lemon

Cayenne pepper

1 tsp. dried oregano

240 g cooked chickpeas

100 g brown rice (I used the quick cooking type)

200 g feta cheese

0.5 dl cream

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 180°C.

Cook the brown rice according to package instructions. Once done set aside.

Cut the aubergine lengthways into 1 cm thick slices. Still lengthways cut 1 cm strips out of these slices, then cut them crossways into 1 cm cubes. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil on a medium heat and add the aubergines to brown on all sides, tossing every 2-3 min.

Meanwhile cut the zucchini following the same method as with the aubergine. Once the aubergine cubes are done set them aside and using the same pan, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil and brown the zucchini. Toss regularly and after 5 minutes add the chopped garlic and the dried oregano. Once the zucchini are ready add the aubergine back along with the rice, the chickpeas, lemon zest, lemon juice and the cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to taste. Once all the ingredients are tepid pour in the beaten eggs and fold them in.

Transfer everything to an oiled baking dish.

In a bowl crumble the feta cheese, add the cream and mix together. Spread the feta preparation on top of the other ingredients and bake in the middle of the oven for 20 min or until the top has a nice colour. Serve alone or with a salad.

Sweet Potato and Beetroot Tian with Goat Cheese

Sweet Potato and Beetroot Tian with Goat CheeseYay! I’m quite excited since I have just finished my first official copywriting job. I really hope they’ll be happy with what I have written. Since I am trying to get into the copywriting world and I’m also taking a course on the subject and with the wedding coming up, I will only be able to post once a week until the end of august. Continue reading

This recipe is actually something I made last week during one of the days where the temperature was a couple degrees lower. Today, I don’t think I’d be able to stay near the oven for more than a few seconds. This sweet potato and beetroot tian is actually the second one I ever made… but I like its look and its taste. As a base for my version I took the recipe from ohmyveggies. I chose this recipe because it looked like the result I was aiming for. I hope you like it!

Sweet Potato and Beetroot Tian with Goat Cheese Sweet Potato and Beetroot Tian with Goat Cheese

 

Sweet Potato and Beetroot Tian with Goat Cheese

 

Recipe for 4-6

Prep time: 20-25 min

Cook time: 1 h 30

 

Ingredients:

450 g raw beetroots

450 g sweet potatoes

20 g melted butter (+ extra to grease baking dish)

2 tsp. dried thyme leaves

60-80 g grated hard goat cheese

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 180°C and grease a baking dish (mine has a 21 cm diameter).

Peel the beetroots and slice them using an electric or manual slicer. Place them in a bowl. Give the slicer a wipe or rinse it under the water. As with the beetroots, do the same with the sweet potatoes: peel, slice and place in a second bowl. In each bowl sprinkle one tsp. of the dried thyme and salt and pepper. Gently mix.

Place the beetroot and sweet potato slices in the baking dish by alternating them (1 or 2 of one sort per time). Make sure the slices are tightly placed together.

Bake in the oven for about 1 h 20 min. Sprinkle the goat cheese on top and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Let it rest for a few minutes before serving.

 

Peach, Blue Cheese and Arugula Salad with Caramelised Walnuts

Peach, Blue Cheese and Arugula Salad with Caramelised Walnuts So after a week in the very hot southern Spain I’m back and filled with motivation and excitement: – 1 month and 15 days to the wedding! Continue reading

The good thing about being back is that even if it’s too hot for Switzerland standards, it’s still cooler than in Marbella. Nevertheless the temperatures call for fresh recipes where you don’t have to stand too long in front of the kitchen plates. In this recipe I combined blue cheese and peaches because the work really well when paired. In addition I decided to add some caramelised walnuts for the sweet crunch effect. I found a really easy and quick recipe on natashaskitchen.com. Since I didn’t want to over do it with the sugar, I changed a little the proportions and it turned out just fine.

 

Peach, Blue Cheese and Arugula Salad with Caramelised Walnuts

 

Peach, Blue Cheese and Arugula Salad with Caramelized Walnuts

 

Recipe for 4 as a starter or a side dish or 2 as a main

Prep time 10 min

Cook time 5 min

 

Ingredients:

2 white peaches

50 g walnuts

50 g sugar

½ tbsp. sugar

100 g arugula

140 g Gorgonzola

3 tbsp. olive oil

1.5 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Heat a non-stick pan on a medium fire and add the butter, sugar and walnuts. Cook for five minutes stirring often. Once the sugar has caramelised and is a nice brown colour, transfer the walnuts to a piece of parchment paper, spread them around and let them cool. Once they will have cooled roughly chop them with a large knife.

Cut the peaches in half and then into quarters before de-pitting them. Cut each quarter into three segments.

Cut the Gorgonzola into 1.5-2 cm pieces.

Prepare the dressing by mixing the olive oil with the balsamic vinegar then add salt and pepper to taste.

In a bowl place the arugula and pour in about ¾ of the balsamic dressing. Toss until evenly coated and place in a serving dish. On top distribute the peach sections and the Gorgonzola. Drizzle the remaining dressing and sprinkle the caramelised walnuts. Serve asap.

 

Blueberry & White Peach Pancake Batter Cake

Blueberry & White Peach Pancake Batter Cake It’s blueberry season and this year my garden has been really generous. Generosity doesn’t only come from my garden but also from the birds which are not as greedy as last year… maybe there’s more sources of food elsewhere. I really wanted to post a recipe with blueberries Continue reading

so looked for inspiration and found an idea I liked here and from there I made my own version of this pancake batter pancake. I find it’s a perfect recipe for the summer as its light consistence goes well with the warm weather. This will be my last recipe for the next two weeks. This weekend I’m off to a high school reunion (I can’t wait!) and next Thursday we’re off to Marbella for a week with my fiancé and a friend of ours. Meanwhile I wish you all a great beginning of summer and see ya in a couple of weeks!

 

Blueberry & White Peach Pancake Batter Cake

 

Recipe for 6-8 servings / a 22-24 cm x round cake pan

Prep time: 15-20 min

Cook time: 45-50 min

 

Ingredients:

2 dl milk

1 vanilla pod

50 g sour cream

2 large eggs

50 g butter melted

225 g all purpose flour

150 g sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

130 g blueberries

1 white peach

Icing sugar

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 180°C and grease a cake pan

Add the sour cream to a bowl. Incise the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds and add them to the sour cream then mix. Now add the milk eggs and melted butter.

In another bowl place the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. If the baking powder is a little pebbly pass it though a strainer.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and whisk until the dough is smooth. Use a strainer if you end up getting lumps.

Cut the peach in half and remove the pit. Cut each half into two parts and then divide each quarter into two parts.

Pour the batter in the cake pan. Sprinkle the blueberries on top and place the peach wedges in a circle.

Bake for 45-50 min. Once the top of the cake has a nice golden colour (check by inserting a toothpick in the batter and if it comes out dry it means it’s ready) remove it from the oven and wait 5-10 minutes before removing it from its mould. Dust the cake with icing sugar and serve.

 

Summery Einsiedeln Pie – With a Soft Potato Crust

Summery Einsiedeln Pie Last Friday after a short night I got active in the morning. After my jog I got to the kitchen and preparing this summer version of the Einsiedlen pie. Continue reading

For lunch I had a friend and her one-year-old daughter coming over. I set the table out on the terrace and we enjoyed a ladies’ only moment. Now I have little experience with children but I didn’t know such a little creature could eat that much… maybe my pie was really good ;). As a dessert the three of us moved to where the blueberries are in my garden and began raiding the trees. This is a new Swiss recipe I found out about and liking the idea of using potatoes as a crust. The crust of this pie is nice and soft and thicker than a usual pie crust and the nice thing is it’s easy to make. I adapted my version from the original recipe I found here (page in French). I filled my pie with some seasonal grilled vegetables to adapt the dish to the warmer days.

 

Summery Einsiedeln Pie

 

Recipe for 4 people / Baking tray (28 x 26 cm) or cake pan (30 cm Ø)

Prep time: 20 min

Cooking time: 1 h 20 min

 

Ingredients

Base:

700 g waxy potatoes boiled

150 g flour

1 ½ tsp. salt

freshly ground pepper

 

Filling:

1 small aubergine

1 small zucchini

2 spring onions

2 eggs beaten

2.5 dl milk

140 g grated cheese (I made a mix of two alpine cheeses but Gruyere or Appenzeller cheese are just as fine)

1 tbsp. flour

salt and pepper

Olive oil

 

Recipe

Slice the aubergine and the zucchini crosswise into 0.5-0.7 cm thick pieces. Brush the slices with a little olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. On a heated griddle pan or barbecue (if you don’t have any of them use a normal non stick pan) grill the slices on both sides. Once they have a nice colour, remove them from the heat and set them aside.

Mash the potatoes. Add the flour, salt and a little pepper and mix.

On a lightly floured board, roll out the dough (1 cm). Lay on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Alternatively you can shape the dough directly in the cake dish lined with baking paper, that’s what I did.

Mix in the eggs, milk, cheese and flour. Flavour. Brown the bacon and onions over medium heat in butter.

Divide the mass to eggs, bacon and onions on the pasta.

Cook ca. 45 Minutes in the lower part of the pre-heated oven at 180 °C. For the last 15 minutes move the tray towards the upper part of the oven to brown its surface. Remove from the oven and let the pie rest for 5 min before serving.

Tomato and Mushroom Galette


Tomato Mushroom GaletteI think I’ve gotten into the habit that if I’m feeling a little low, I get in the kitchen and cook something and this always helps. Continue reading

There was nothing wrong but with the wedding approaching it’s sometimes emotionally overwhelming when something unexpected comes up. So to lift my spirits  this post I made this galette. Between cooking and tasting the results, I was back to my usual mood. To make this recipe I took inspiration and example from a galette recipe from smittenkitchen but changed a few things according to what I had at hand. Today in a month is my birthday and I’m already considering the idea of inviting a few friends at home for a party and this recipe (maybe with a different filling) will definitely be on the menu.

Tomato Mushroom GaletteTomato and Mushroom Galette

 

Recipe for 4-6 as main or 8 as an appetizer

Prep time: 25-30 min

Cook time: about 1 hour

Ingredients:

For the pastry:

160 grams all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon table salt

110 grams cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces and chilled again

60 grams plain yogurt or sour cream

70 ml ice water

 

For the filling:

450 g cherry tomatoes (even better if you can vary the colours)

120 g chestnut mushrooms

1 tbsp. olive oil

3-4 spring onions

60 g grated cheese

Salt and pepper

To glaze: 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp. water

 

Recipe:

Pastry: In a large bowl combine the salt and the flour. Distribute bits of butter in the bowl and using your fingertips work the ingredients until the preparation looks like breadcrumbs (the largest pieces should be the size of a lentil). In another bowl mix the yoghurt (or sour cream) and the water and add them to the flour mixture. Mix in the liquid with your fingertips until large lumps form then assemble them into a ball and wrap with plastic and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour (and up to 2 days).

Filling: Quarter the mushrooms and roughly chop the spring onions.

In a pan heat the olive oil on a medium fire and add the mushrooms to brown on all sides stirring occasionally. Once they’re nice and brown add the tomatoes and brown these too for a few minutes regularly shaking the pan to tilt them. Once they start to burst season with salt and pepper, cook for another minute or so and turn off the fire. Add the spring onions and set aside.

Making the galette: Heat oven at 200°C. On a floured surface roll out the dough into an approximate 30 cm round shape (don’t worry about precision for this recipe). Transfer the dough to a parchment lined baking tray. To do this easily, gently fold the dough into quarters (without cracking it) then transfer it to the baking tray before unfold it. Place the vegetable filling in the centre and spread it out leaving a 6 cm margin around. Spare a small tsp. of the grated cheese (for the crust) while sprinkling the rest of it on top of the filling. Fold the pastry on the outer borders of the galette and brush the pastry with the egg wash; finally sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 30-40 min. Let the galette rest for 5 min before serving.