Tricoloured Rice

Tricoloured RiceI’m back from a really enjoyable week in Spain. After so many years it was great to spend a few days with my mother. We had errands to run but we surely didn’t skip on the laughs, tapas, wine, sun and when travelling a Bloody Mary or two never hurt. Feeling jolly, I decided to post a colourful recipe that reflects the week we had. As a base for this recipe I took the avocado cilantro lime rice from closetcooking. I just love the way the mashed avocado blends in the rice. From now on, each time I’ll pair avocado and rice, I’ll do it this way.

Tricoloured Rice

 

 

Tricoloured Rice

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10-15 min

Cook time: 25-30 min

 

Ingredients:

300 g cherry tomatoes

240 g rice (I used quick cooking whole rice)

2 small avocadoes

4 generous tbsp. chopped coriander leaves

150 g mozzarella

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

Sherry vinegar

 

Recipe:

Preheat oven at 160°C.

Quarter the cherry tomatoes and place them in a baking dish cut side up. Drizzle a little olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper on them. Bake in the oven for 25-30 min.

Meanwhile cook the rice according to package instructions.

Remove the flesh of the avocadoes, place them in a bowl and mash them with a fork. Season with salt and pepper to taste, add to the rice and mix.

Cut the mozzarella into 1 cm cubes and add it to the rice with the tomatoes and coriander. Blend all the ingredients together, correct taste with salt pepper and sherry vinegar to your liking. Serve warm or cold.

 

Light Sweet Potato Gratin

Light Sweet Potato GratinLooking 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 Light Sweet Potato Gratin

 

Light Sweet Potato Gratin

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 50 min

 

Ingredients:

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)

 

Recipe:

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.

 

Healthy Quinoa Casserole

Healthy Quinoa Casserole
Happy 2016! I’m back after large portions dinners, family, friends and a reasonable amount of party. With my husband and a friend we spent a few days in Crans Montana, even if the snow was sadly scarce, we still had a great time strolling around, tasting wine, treating ourselves to great foods like alpine cheese, fondue, pastries, Argentinean beef on a hot stone… Continue reading

Like many, the beginning of January is ideally for me a detox period. This doesn’t mean I’ll have steamed veggies and water, but at least no alcohol, no meat and not too many sugary and/or fatty foods. So to please myself with healthy food I made a healthy quinoa casserole where the use of cheese is limited and the white sauce contains no butter. A little over a year ago I made the Swiss grape juice pie and although a sweet treat, this recipe required a form of white sauce. Today’s recipe was a great opportunity to re-use such cooking process. With the light béchamel sauce I added the goodness of quinoa, carrots and kale to complement the healthy recipe aura.


Healthy Quinoa Casserole

Healthy Quinoa Casserole

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

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 45 min
Ingredients:

120 g quinoa

120 g carrots

120 g kale

1 red onion

60 g grated Gruyere

1 tbsp. butter

50 g flour

2.5 dl milk

2.5 dl vegetable stock (alternatively replace this part with more milk)

salt and pepper

Topping:

20 g grated Gruyere

3 tbsp. breadcrumbs

3 tbsp. milk

(optional: 1 tbsp. butter)

 

Recipe:

Place the quinoa in a pan in two times its volume of water and bring to a boil. Cook for 13-15 min. Set aside once done.

Wilt the kale in a pan over medium heat with a couple tbsp. water until the leaves have softened then set aside.

Prepare the white sauce by placing the flour in a bowl and adding a little milk. Whisk until the ingredients are combined and gradually add the rest of the milk and the stock. Transfer to a pan with high sides and heat the white sauce by constantly stirring. Once the preparation has thickened, remove form the fire and add the grated cheese and stir until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Chop the onion and cut the carrot into small cubes of about 0.5 cm. To cut the carrots, start by slicing by their length into 0.5 pieces. Take each slice and cut strips out of them. Finally place the strips together and cut them into small cubes.

Melt the butter in a pan and add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook on a low-medium heat for about 10 min or until the carrot has softened but is not mushy. Stir occasionally.

Coarsely chop the kale and add it to the carrots and onion along with the quinoa and the white sauce. Mix until all ingredients are combined and transfer to a baking dish.

In a small bowl combine the breadcrumbs, 2 tbsp. milk and the grated cheese, mix and spread over the other ingredients. Optionally scatter a pieces of butter on top. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 15-20 min at 200°C.

Carrot Potato Cakes

Carrot Potato Cakes 4.1The festive season is basically here, from here to Christmas we’re booked for dinners basically every weekend day. Tomorrow for example we’re going to a friend’s company dinner. The funny thing is we’re not part of the company but he’s a lawyer and since in the office it’s only him and his secretary, he always bulks up the guest list by multiplying it by five or six times. Although I really like these social events, I know I won’t really be able to stick to my usual vegetarian way (I don’t like to be the fussy guest) and so I aim to enjoy every bit of my meals. One thing I couldn’t live without except from cheese? The super fun and versatile potatoes! It Italian the saying goes: “In cucina la patata è regina.” In English this translates as “In the kitchen the potato is queen.” I totally agree so here is an easy and oh so crispy carrot and potato cakes recipe.

 

 

Carrot Potato Cakes

Recipe for 4/ about 16-20 units

Prep time: 20 min.

Cook time: 15-20 min. per batch

 

400 g potatoes (peeled)

200 g carrots (peeled)

3 tbsp. cream

1 small onion

1/3 tsp. salt and pepper

1 small tbsp. thyme leaves

Vegetable oil or roasting butter

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 70°C.

Using a medium holed grater, grate the potatoes and the carrots, and then place them in a clean tea towel and squeeze out most of the moisture.

Finely chop the onion and add it to the potatoes and carrots along with the cream, thyme leaves, salt and pepper and mix all the ingredients together.

Place a non-stick pan on a medium heat and add about 1 tbsp. oil or butter to heat. Take a tablespoon of the grated vegetable mix and place it in the pan, using the back of the spoon to flatten the cake. Cook for about 7-10 minutes per side, until the cakes have browned on both sides. Work in batches and once the cakes are ready, place them in the oven to keep them warm while preparing the rest. The pan I used has a 22-24 cm diameter and I could fit about 5-6 cakes per batch.

Serve as a side dish or as an appetizer, maybe with a yoghurt dip.

Avocado and Roasted Tomato Grain Salad

Avocado Roasted Tomato Grain SaladNow, this is a dish I would never have thought my dog would taste. As a pup and for years she has been so difficult with food but either my cooking has improved or she has become more of a glutton. Hopefully both theories are right. Continue reading

I love the colour of vegetables and find they always manage to make any dish livelier. In addition to the avocado and the cherry tomatoes, I added some grains to this Avocado & Roasted Tomato Grain Salad to bulk it up a little and make it more nutritious. Although the recipe portions are for four people as a starter or as a side dish, one can easily make a nice meal for two out of it.

Avocado and Roasted Tomato Grain Salad

Recipe for 4
Prep time: 15 min.
Cook time: 25-30 min.

Ingredients:
200 g amaranth (alternatively use quinoa, bulgur or cuscus)
300 g cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp. olive oil (+ 1.5 tbsp. to drizzle on the tomatoes)
2 tbsp. Sherry vinegar
1 small red onion
1 avocado
1 small bunch coriander leaves
Salt and pepper

Recipe:
Heat oven at 200°C.
In a pan bring to a boil the amaranth with two times its volume in water. Let simmer for 15-20 min or until water has all been absorbed. Once done, set aside.
Meanwhile cut the cherry tomatoes in half and place them cut side up on an oven paper lined baking tray. Drizzle the olive oil on the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15.20 min. Once they are done remove from the oven and leave to cool a little.
Prepare the dressing by mixing the sherry vinegar, the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
Finely chop the red onion and the coriander leaves. Cut the avocado in two, remove the pit, scrape out the inside with the help of a tablespoon and cut it into pieces of about 2 cm per side.
In a bowl combine the amaranth, chopped onion, coriander leaves, avocado, cherry tomatoes, and dressing and gently toss. Alternatively save a little dressing to drizzle over the salad at serving moment.

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.

Oven Roasted Potatoes Raclette Style

Oven Roasted Potatoes Raclette StyleIn Switzerland when the weather gets cooler we always enjoy our melted cheese and serve it with few other ingredients. This means we either go for a fondue or a raclette. In fact, since the beginning of September I’ve already had raclette four times and I haven’t grown tired of it yet. Continue reading

So for this post I made something inspired from this national dish but instead of boiling the potatoes I baked them and as a final touch I added the cheese on top and let it melt through the layers. For the potatoes I found a nice recipe on layersofhappiness, which matched what I had in mind. In my version of the spuds I added a little less flavourings because raclette is served with simple boiled potatoes and I wanted to stick with the simplicity of the dish. I will make it again… especially if I feel lazy about taking out the whole raclette maker.

Oven Roasted Potatoes Raclette Style

 

Oven Roasted Potatoes Raclette Style

Recipe for 4-6

Prep time: 15-20min

Cook time: 1h 15min-1h 35min

 

Ingredients:

800 g waxy potatoes (preferably all about the same size)

3-4 tbsp. rapeseed oil (+extra to grease baking dish)

Paprika (sweet or spicy)

Salt and pepper

160 g raclette cheese cut into slices (alternatively use Emmetaler or Gruyère)

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 230°C.

Grease a baking dish with rapeseed oil.

Make sure that after washing the potatoes they are dry. Slice them into 3-4 mm thick slices and arrange the on a baking tray by overlapping them. Season them with salt pepper and paprika. On top drizzle 2 tbsp. of the rapeseed oil and place in the oven.

Cook for about 35-45 minutes and then drizzle another 1-2 tbsp. oil before baking for another 30-40 min.

Once the potatoes have a nice brown colour add the cheese slices on top and bake for a final 8-10 min. or until it has melted and it’s bubbling. Remove from the oven and serve hot.

 

 

Sweet Potato Broccoli Tartlets

Sweet Potato Broccoli TartletsI’m always in for any recipe I can make where I just throw everything in a container of some sort, put it in the oven and just taste it once it’s done. Yeah, I like cooking although sometimes I feel a little lazy. Continue reading

So last week I was feeling adventurous and so I decided to give these tartlets a try. When I try new recipe out of my imagination I always feel a little tense and curious but once I saw and tasted the result, I was happy with myself. This is a recipe you cannot get wrong (unless you forget the tartlets in the oven), it’s made with simple and healthy ingredients and the sweet potatoes and the broccoli can easily be cooked in advance. With the days getting cooler I find that tarts and similar recipes go perfectly with the weather… maybe it’s an idea or maybe it’s the cookng method but I find that anything that comes out of the oven has a cosy side to it.

 

 

Sweet Potato Broccoli Tartlets

 

Recipe for 6×10.5 cm tartlet moulds

Prep time: 10-15 min

Cook time: 30-35 min

 

Ingredients:

350 g peeled sweet potatoes

150 g broccoli florets

60 g grated Gruyere

3 generous tbsp. flour (+ extra for dusting the moulds)

½ tbsp. smoked paprika

1 egg

Salt and pepper

1 small tbsp. butter (+ extra to grease the moulds)

A handful of arugula leaves (optional)

 

Recipe :

Cut the sweet potatoes into chunks and boil them in salted water. Once they’re soft drain them.

Using the same pan bring another pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the broccoli florets by boiling them for 2 ½-3 min, drain them and place them in icy water. Remove them from the water and roughly chop them.

Mash the sweet potatoes add the flour and mix. Now add the smoked paprika, the grated cheese and season with salt and pepper. Mix all together and correct taste if needed. Add the egg and mix until it’s combined before adding the chopped broccoli.

Grease the aluminium moulds with butter and dust them with some flour. With a spatula or a spoon fill each mould until the top and even out the top surface. On top of each tartlet add a few pieces of butter.

Cook for about 20 min in a preheated oven at 200°C. Once done leave the tartlets a couple of minutes to cool before removing them from their moulds. If using them, top with arugula leaves and serve.

29-08-2015 The Day We Said Yes & A Welcome to Autumn

29-08-2015 The Day We Said Yes & A Welcome to Autumn

The reason I took a break last week is because on the 29th of August we got married! 😀

Continue reading

Since I still had guests from away that stayed home I decided to dedicate my attention to them…besides the fact that I really needed some rest from all the pre-wedding stress and the partying (the night before the big event I only slept four hours). I can only say that the day exceeded my expectations as we had such an incredible time, ambience and weather: a day made of all the flavours of love. Here are just a few of the pictures from a wedding in southern Switzerland.

 

Since our wedding occurred on the last actual weekend of real summer weather and now we’re gently slipping into autumn I decided to welcome the new season by cooking something with butternut squash. A nice casserole/gratin always makes me happy and with cooler evenings it’s a dish that works well. I wanted the flavours to “marry” well together. After consulting my Flavour Thesaurus from Nikki Segnit I decided to use some goat cheese and rosemary to accompany the butternut squash and potatoes. I decided to lightly roast the potatoes and butternut before baking them in the oven, this added some extra flavour to the dish. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

 

Butternut Potato Gratin with Goat Cheese and Rosemary

 

 

 

Butternut Potato Gratin with Goat Cheese and Rosemary

Recipe for 4-6

Prep time: 20-25 min

Cook time: 40-45 min

 

Ingredients:

500 g waxy potatoes

500 g butternut squash

1 tbsp. chopped rosemary leaves

2 garlic cloves

Cayenne pepper

1.5 dl milk

200 g sour cream (I used ½ fat)

1 egg

100 g grated hard goat cheese

1 tbsp. vegetable oil (+ extra to grease baking dish)

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Peel the potatoes cut them into 2 cm pieces. Bring a pan filled with salty water to a boil and cook the potatoes until they’re soft. Once they’re ready drain them.

Meanwhile cut the butternut squash into 2 cm pieces, too. Pass the garlic through a garlic crusher.

On a medium fire, in a non-stick pan heat 1 tbsp. vegetable oil and add the potatoes and butternut pieces to brown. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste. Toss regularly. After about 10 minutes add the rosemary and garlic and continue cooking for another 5-10 min.

In a bowl combine the sour cream, milk and the egg and mix all together.

Grease a baking dish and transfer the vegetables, on top sprinkle the grated goat cheese and finally pour the milk, sour cream and egg mixture.

Cook in a preheated oven at 220°C for 15-20 min.

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.