Quinoa Kale and Edamame Salad with an Avocado Dressing

Quinoa Kale and Edamame SaladSummer time and cooking is easy… with the hot weather and the wide range of fresh produce, we don’t want to spend too long over a hot stove so cold and healthy meals are always welcome during the summer months. Continue reading

Whether you’re making a barbecue, a picnic or a usual lunch, this recipe will fill you up with valuable nutrients such as fibres (from kale, avocados and edamame) and proteins (from the quinoa).

Some components of this salad can be made ahead so when the time to assemble it comes, it will only take a moment to put together; for instance you can cook the quinoa and the kale a day ahead. On Sunday I’ll enjoy a day of relax and I plan to make a last healthy meal before my thirty-… birthday and I’ve decided to make this salad again and serve it either with some tofu or a couple of eggs. Afterwards I’ll dive into a one of the books I’m reading, under the sun, looking like a glazed doughnut, smothered in 30spf sun cream… I’ll need the relax as the following day I’ll be in contact with my inner child in an acrobatic park. 🙂

Quinoa Kale and Edamame Salad

 

Quinoa Kale and Edamame Salad with an Avocado Dressing

 

Recipe for 4 as a side 

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 15 min

 

Ingredients:

120 g steamed edamame

120 g wilted kale

120 g quinoa

1 spring onion

1 not too large avocado

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. sherry vinegar

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Bring to a boil the quinoa in two times its volume of salted water. Simmer for a about 15 min. or until the grain will have softened. Once done set aside.

Slice the kale into about 1 cm strips and finely slice the spring onion.

Remove the flesh of the avocado, place it in a salad bowl and mash it with a fork. Add the olive oil and the sherry vinegar, season with salt and pepper and mix.

To the bowl add the quinoa, edamame, kale, spring onion and mix.

Crispy Almond Crusted Asparagus

Crispy Almond Crusted Asparagus

Asparagus season is drawing to an end, but before saying, “See you next year” I wanted to make a last recipe for this spring with these green spears. Continue reading

This simple recipe is something versatile since you can serve it on its own as an appetiser or you can serve it as a side dish or on a nice salad, maybe with some cheese or salmon. I wasn’t too sure about the how much to heat the oven so here, I found a recipe for oven roasted asparagus that worked perfectly. For the breading, along with the flour and egg I made a mix of dry roasted ground asparagus and polenta flour, which gave an extra crisp to the texture.

Crispy Almond Crusted Asparagus

 

Crispy Almond Crusted Asparagus

 

Recipe for 3-4

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 20-25 min

 

Ingredients:

320-340 g asparagus washed woody part removed.

50 g ground almonds

1 large egg beaten

3 generous tbsp. fine grain polenta

2 tbsp. flour

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Pre-heat oven at 220°C.

In a non-stick pan place the ground almonds and dry toast them on a medium fire, stir regularly. Once the almonds will have browned, place them in a dish and set them aside to cool.

Take three shallow dishes and in the first place the flour, in the second place the egg and in the last combine the polenta with the ground almonds and some salt and pepper.

Take an asparagus, dust it with the flour, and then dip it in the egg, making sure there are no dry spots left. Finally evenly coat it with the polenta and almond mix and place the asparagus on a baking tray lined with oven paper. Repeat the process up to the last asparagus.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus. Serve as a side dish, as an appetizer, on a salad….

 

Cauliflower Chickpea Salad

Cauliflower Chickpea Salad
I don’t know about you but I go through periods where I love eating healthy food and other times when I have a passionate attraction towards anything greasy, chocolaty or very cheesy. Continue reading

As you can see from this recipe, I am now in the first phase. Since the days are not as warm as before, when I make a salad I like to have something warm in it so in this recipe I baked some cauliflower florets. To make this salad I used flavours that pair well with the cauliflower: lemon juice, almonds and parsley. This salad can be easily made ahead and the ingredients are easy to find all year round.

 

 

Cauliflower Chickpea Salad

 

Recipe for 3-4 as a side dish

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 18-20 min.

 

Ingredients:

280 g cauliflower florets

250 g cooked chickpeas

2 tbsp. finely chopped onion

2 tbsp. finely chopped parsley

3 tbsp. olive oil

1.5 tbsp. lemon juice

2 tbsp. almonds

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 230°C.

If the cauliflower florets are too large cut them into smaller pieces and place them in a baking tin. Drizzle a tbsp. olive oil on top and season the florets with salt and pepper, toss to coat evenly. Bake the cauliflower for 18-20 min tossing once or twice during the process.

Meanwhile prepare the dressing by mixing the lemon juice with 2 tbsp. olive oil, a few drops of water, salt and pepper to taste.

Roughly chop the almonds.

Finely chop the onion.

Once the cauliflower is ready, remove it from the oven and let it cool a moment before roughly chopping it.

Place the chickpeas in a bowl with the cauliflower, onions, almonds, and parsley, drizzle the dressing on top, toss and rectify taste with salt and pepper if needed. Serve.

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.

 

Bacon & Radish Salad

Bacon Radish Salad Yesterday was my weekly lunch with my mother and since we were out doing groceries till later than usual I wanted to make something quick for the two of us, so I prepared this recipe while we sipped some wine and enjoyed a little smoked salmon on the kitchen counter. Continue reading

The glass of wine and salmon has over the last couple of years become a mother daughter ritual, and I love it. Usually I cook very little with bacon but for a quick a tasty dish, it’s always a great addition. While we were grocery shopping, I found locally produced organic radishes and they just went great with this salad as it added colour, texture and a slightly spicy taste to the recipe.

Bacon Radish Salad

 

 

Bacon & Radish Salad

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 7-9 min

Cook time: 5 min

 

Ingredients

200 g bacon

200 g radishes

100 g salad leaves

1-2 spring onion (white part only)

2-3 tbsp. pumpkin seeds

1.5 tbsp. white wine vinegar

3 tbsp. olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

Cook the bacon until crispy and nicely browned. Remove from heat and place on some kitchen paper. Cut the bacon into 2-3 cm pieces.

Finely slice the spring onion(s) and the radishes.

In a bowl make the dressing by mixing the vinegar and olive oil with salt and pepper to taste. Add the radishes and spring onions, mix and add the salad leaves and the pumpkin seeds. Toss all together and if using a serving plate transfer the salad. Top with the bacon and serve with some crusty bread.

Chicken & Blue Cheese Salad

Chicken & Blue Cheese SaladI don’t know about you but the transition from winter to spring is always a challenge for me. Between mood and energy swings, I never know how the day will turn out. One solution I found to help me was to simplify everything, even my cooking. This is why I made this straightforward chicken and blue cheese salad with celery. Using leftover chicken, I found this recipe to be versatile as I can spread it on a sandwich for a quick lunch or serve it on toasts for an aperitif or eat it the way it is with some green salad. It’s a refreshing recipe, which is ready in no time; it’s creamy but with a crunch coming from the celery.

Chicken & Blue Cheese Salad

 

Chicken & Blue Cheese Salad

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10-15 min

 

Ingredients:

280 g cooked chicken

140 g celery stalks

100 g mascarpone

100 g Gorgonzola

80 g sour cream

3-4 tbsp. chopped chives

1 tbsp. walnut oil

Pepper

Either 4 buns or some sliced bread

 

Recipe:

Cut the chicken into thin strips and finely slice the celery.

In a bowl mix together the mascarpone, Gorgonzola and sour cream. To it, add the chicken celery, walnuts, chives pepper. Mix all together and either use it for an aperitif on some bread or as a flavourful sandwich filling.

Walnut Crusted Tomme Cheese & a Night Out in The Village

Walnut Crusted Tomme CheeseA part from the different decorations I’ve seen around, I really feel Christmas is just around the corner. Since a few years, in my village there is a contest about who makes the best nativity scene. Continue reading

The day the contest officially starts there is a small celebration in the village; besides looking at the nice work the inhabitants have made, there are also a few food and drink stands where we can enjoy a nice moment together. Friends of mine produce an amazing cheese and I knew they would hold a Raclette stand so I told them I would come by. When I arrived it was still early but soon people began arriving and not long after I found myself helping them preparing the melted cheese. I had a really nice time and despite my initial idea was go to there, have a bite and a drink, I ended up being among the last people to leave the celebration. Here are a few pictures of the “Via dei Presepi” (“The Path of The Nativity Scenes”).

In the mood for some more delicious melted cheese, I made this recipe, which is very easy but so tasty. For the breading I used walnuts which, with a cheese that has the consistence of a brie works very well. Together I made a radicchio and apple salad with a honey dressing and I found the combination to be just heavenly.

 

Walnut Crusted Tomme Cheese

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 15 min

Cook Time: 8-10 min

 

Ingredients:

For the cheese

4 tomme cheeses (100 g each – not too soft)

45-50 g chopped walnuts

4 tbsp. breadcrumbs

2 tbsp. flour

Pepper

1 egg

1.5-2 tbsp. grape seed oil

 

For the salad:

2 tbsp. grape seed oil

1 tbsp. white wine vinegar

1.5 tbsp. runny honey

Salt and pepper

200 chopped radicchio

1 small apple (I used Braeburn)

 

Recipe:

Start preparing the salad by mixing the first four ingredients in a bowl. Quarter the apple and slice each quarter. Add the radicchio and apples to the salad, toss and set aside.

Take a dish and add the flour with a little pepper, break the egg in a bowl and mix and in a third dish mix the breadcrumbs with the walnuts.

Start by dipping one tome in the flour, shake of any excess, then pass it in the egg and finally coat with the breadcrumb-walnut mix. Repeat for each piece.

Heat the grape seed oil in a pan and add the breaded tommes to cook for 3-4 min per side.

Remove from pan and serve without waiting accompanied by the salad.

 

Fennel and Grapefruit Carpaccio

Fennel and Grapefruit Carpaccio 4.1 I always find it hard to stay awake after lunch, except when I have something light and possibly with little or no carbs at all. Yesterday I had this fennel and grapefruit carpaccio and didn’t feel drowsy; unlike today where I had a pasta bake and I keep on visualising my bed. Continue reading

So, instead of yawning my way through the afternoon, my solution is to get some movement and breathe some fresh air in. Fortunately soon I’ll head to my local butcher to get the meat I ordered for Saturday. I’ll actually be catering for one of our usual dinners with my fiancé and a friend of ours. To get idea through, the two first begun by complimenting my cooking and then, they asked if I could cook and bring the food to Andy’s house. I won’t admit it to them but I liked the idea. After having dinner at his place, we will then go out to the nearby bars (where the choice of places to go out to is slightly better than in the valley I live in).

 

Fennel and Grapefruit Carpaccio Fennel and Grapefruit Carpaccio

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 5-7 min

 

Ingredients

1 large fennel or 2 small ones

2 grapefruits

4 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. finely chopped parsley

4 tbsp. slivered almonds

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

In a non-stick pan place the almonds and roast them until browned. Remove from pan and set aside.

Slice the top and bottom of the grapefruit and following the contour of the fruit slice the peel all around. Holding the grapefruit above a bowl, cut along the membrane to remove the segments. Keep 2 tbsp. of the juice as you will need it for the dressing.

Cut the bottom of the fennel off and using either a slicer or a knife, thinly slice the fennel(s).

Mix the 2 tbsp. of grapefruit juice with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

On each serving plate place the sliced fennel and then the grapefruit on top. Drizzle the dressing and on top sprinkle the parsley and the slivered almonds. Serve.

Apple Beetroot and Crusted Goat Cheese Salad

Apple Beetroot and Crusted Goat Cheese Salad I really didn’t feel like going to the dentist this morning and I almost felt like calling in sick… I thought about it and came to the conclusion that I would just be postponing the unpleasant moment. Continue reading

So I got ready and took the ten-minute walk to the bus stop (under the rain). For once the hourly bus was on time and I had just taken my seat when my phone rang: it was the dentist’s assistant telling me that he was ill and that my appointment was to be postponed. I continued my journey into town for some groceries anyway and a nice coffee break with a childhood friend of mine. I came back it was past noon and since I wasn’t in a hurry, I walked at slower pace, taking the time to look at the surroundings and their changing red autumn colours. The way home is partly on a dirt path among the fields and as beautiful as it may be; I couldn’t help but notice that some people still haven’t learned not to littler in the nature. I found wrappers and cigarette butts. Personally it saddens me to see how little people care and how little they realize the harm they are doing. Well, I ended up staying there and picked up what I could find and placed it in the bin which was just a couple of meters away (I admit I cursed a little at whoever did this). Once I got home I wrote this blog post and searched for an appropriate quote:

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.”

– Robert Swan

Apple Beetroot and Crusted Goat Cheese Salad

 Apple Beetroot and Crusted Goat Cheese Salad

Apple Beetroot and Crusted Goat Cheese Salad

 

Recipe for 4 as a starter

Prep time: 12 min

Cook time: 4-5 min

 

Ingredients

For the salad:

2 cooked beetroots

2 apples

100 g soft green salad or arugula

1 onion

200 g goat cheese log

1 egg

4 tbsp. breadcrumbs

4 tbsp. chopped walnuts

1 tbsp. olive oil

 

For the dressing:

2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. walnut oil

1 tbsp. runny honey

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

Cut the beetroot into 2-3 cm chunks.

Peel and core the apples and roughly cut into the same size as the beetroots.

Thinly slice the onion.

In a small bowl mix together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, walnut oil, honey and salt and pepper to taste.

On each plate, place the salad leaves and on top add the beetroots, apples and sliced onions.

Cut or break with your hands the goat cheese into pieces of about 3-4 cm. In a bowl break the egg and beat it with a fork. In a second bowl place the walnuts and the breadcrumbs. First pass the cheese pieces into the egg wash and then roll them in the walnut breadcrumb mixture.

Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan and add the breaded goat cheese to cook for 2-3 minutes, until they start getting soft but are not too runny.

Finally add the dressing just before serving the breaded goat cheese and serve.

 

Borlotti Bean and Aubergine Salad

Borlotti Bean and Aubergine Salad This is the kind of dish I love making for myself in summer. Continue reading

First my dog is not trying to get a piece of it because there is no meat and secondly I cannot do it when my boyfriend is home because he cannot eat aubergines. Did I just put my dog in front of my boyfriend? Apparently I did, but then , I only see him about once a week (my boyfriend, not the dog) and this leaves me the freedom to make all recipes I enjoy. Since it was some time I had not made any dish with beans, I thought it would be a good idea. When I don’t plan meals I end up using the canned form but when I do I always feel a little guilty because of the bisphenol-A. This time my conscience was clean as I went all the way and soaked my beans and cooked them the following day. For this recipe I combined ingredients I enjoy (I especially like the aubergine walnut combination) and the end result turned out to be a real treat.

Borlotti Bean and Aubergine Salad

 

Borlotti Bean and Aubergine Salad

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 15 min

 

Ingredients

450 g cooked borlotti (the canned ones will also do the trick)

6-7cherry tomatoes

1 large aubergine

2 tbsp chopped basil

7-8 dry roasted walnut kernels

2 garlic cloves

2 tbsp lemon juice

4 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

1 spring onion

 

Recipe

Heat oven at 240°

Cut the aubergine into cubes of about 1.5 cm. With the blade of a knife crush the garlic. Place both ingredients in a baking dish with two tbsp. olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika to taste. Toss and cook in the oven for 15 minutes. Toss the vegetables half way through the roasting process.

Meanwhile chop the spring onion and the walnut kernels and quarter the cherry tomatoes.

In a bowl make the vinaigrette bay combining the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Remove the aubergines from the oven and add them to the salad dressing bowl with the borlotti beans, the basil and the walnut kernels and the tomatoes. Toss and on top add the chopped spring onions. Serve.