On Sunday I’ll be heading to southern Spain with my mother for five days. It’s going to be the first time in seventeen years we leave together for such a long time. Continue reading →
I’m excited but I hope we’ll get along well and will have a good time together. Like every mother/daughter relationship, there may be tensions. Fortunately we never hold a grudge for long 🙂
With an eye towards our upcoming trip, I wanted to post something colourful so I made this cauliflower and chickpea stew. This recipe is not only easy but it can partly or wholly be made in advance. Once you decide to serve it, just heat it up and add the final touch with the coriander leaves. I served this vegan stew with rice but you can also serve it with some bread, some eggs, chicken…
See you in a couple of weeks!
Cauliflower and Chickpea Stew
Recipe for 4 as a main
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 1h 30 min
3 garlic cloves
1 large red onion
2 cans chopped tomatoes
2 cans chickpeas
400-450 g cauliflower florets
A three fingered pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper
2 tsp. harissa
2 tbsp. olive oil
4-5 tbsp. chopped coriander leaves
Chop the onion and the garlic. Heat olive oil on a pan over medium heat and add them onion and garlic to fry for 5 min or until translucent. Add the tomato sauce, the harissa and season with salt, pepper and smoked paprika to taste. Cover and let the tomatoes simmer on a low heat for about 1½ hour, stirring occasionally. You can also cook the sauce for 30 min to 1 hour but more is better in this case (not only the taste will improve but its nutritional properties too). Alternatively cook the sauce in advance and reheat it when you need it.
Add the cauliflower florets and the chickpeas; toss and cook for a further 6-8 min. Once the cauliflower is cooked to your liking (I like it when it still has a crunch) and the chickpeas are hot.
On top sprinkle the coriander just before serving.
Looking for new ways to make dishes I like but in a lighter version, I came across this gratin recipe (in French) and decided to give it a try. Continue reading →
What I liked about this gratin is that its lightness makes it a dish you can also easily throughout the whole year; even when temperatures rise and you don’t want to eat something too heavy. In my version of the recipe I used sweet potatoes instead of regular ones as they deliver more nutritionally. What I liked about this recipe was its consistency, the potatoes just melted in my mouth. Also, as I can be a little lazy, I loved how you just throw everything in a baking dish and the oven basically takes care of the rest.
Light Sweet Potato Gratin
Recipe for 4
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 50 min
1 kg peeled sweet potatoes
2 dl milk (eventually more if needed)
150 g low fat cream cheese
Salt and pepper
A small pinch nutmeg
1-2 garlic cloves
Butter to grease baking dish
50 g grated cheese (I used Gruyere)
Heat oven at 170° C
Thinly slice the potatoes using a slicer or a knife.
In a bowl mix the milk and the cream cheese together and add salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pass the garlic cloves through a garlic crusher, add them to the bowl and mix again.
Grease a baking dish with the butter and arrange the potatoes in layers. Pour on top the cream cheese and milk mix. Because the sweet potatoes tended to curl up, I covered the gratin with oven paper and put a small lid on it (another type of weight works as well).
Bake for 25 min in the middle of the oven, remove the lid and paper and sprinkle the grated cheese on top. If the gratin looks a little dry add a little more milk. Bake for another 25-30 min uncovered. Once the top has a nice brown colour and the sweet potatoes are nice and soft remove from the oven and serve.
I’m back! After a bad cold and spending time sorting out some personal stuff I’m now feeling better… or at least I’m taking action. As I’ve already mentioned I’m eating much better lately and this indulgent Mascarpone Matefaim recipe is the exception that confirms my new diet rules. Continue reading →
A “matefaim “ is a broken up pillow like pancake that you can pair with whatever you fancy. This recipe comes from the Basic Cooking: Cooking Between Friends book from Sabine Sälzer and Sebastian Dickhaut and it’s something I always wanted to try but then it ended up at the bottom of the “recipes I’d like to try list”. Well this time I went for it and it’s a fairly easy procedure for a melt in your mouth result. The messiest part is when the bottom has browned and you have to break the matefaim into smaller bits while the top isn’t very firm yet. In the beginning I thought it would turn out a mess but gladly for me, it didn’t. With all the uses one can make of mascarpone cheese, this is a pretty good one for me.
Recipe for 4
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 15-20 min
1 pinch salt
50 g powdered sugar (+ extra for sprinkling on top of the “matefaim”)
1 tbsp. organic lemon zest
4 tbsp. milk
100 g flour
250 g mascarpone
20 g butter
Separate the egg whites from the yolks from 2 of the 4 eggs into two bowls. Beat the remaining 2 eggs and add them to the yolks with the salt, powdered sugar and lemon zest. Gradually add the milk, flour and mascarpone.
Whisk the egg whites to a peak and gently fold them in the rest of the preparation. Just remember not to overwork the batter; even if a few lumps of egg white remain it’s not a problem.
In a large pan (don’t use the non-stick kind) melt the butter on a medium fire and spread it on the bottom. Add the batter, which should be 2-3 cm thick and smooth it with a spatula. Let the bottom of this large pancake cook. Once the bottom will have solidified, take a fork or a spatula and break the pancake into small pieces.
Turn the pieces around using a spatula and once they’re brown on all sides place them in a serving plates, sprinkle icing on top. Accompany these matefaim with applesauce, chocolate sauce, a berry coulis or a few apple slices topped with lemon juice, cinnamon and sugar.