Root Vegetables Quinoa Bowl

Root Vegetables Quinoa Bowl

 

Sticking to seasonal produce in winter isn’t always a walk in the vegetable garden, the variety is limited, but if there’s one thing you can count on, it’s root vegetables, and Switzerland has plenty of it. Continue reading

They are not an exclusively winter produce, so this recipe can easily be done all year round. One thing I find works particularly well with such ingredients is adding a little sweetness; so after roasting them, I added a drizzle of maple sugar (for the quantities I quickly checked on the saveur site). For this post I wanted to have a nice flavour combination, so to complement the vegetables, I made a lemony quinoa with the added crunch of hazelnuts. On top I crumbled some goat cheese because it added some freshness to the dish, but it’s something you can easily replace with some chicken breast or even skip the animal proteins altogether (which is how I made it the first time I tried this recipe out). I had this as a main dish, after a smoked salmon based apéritif and it was enough, but if you’re hungry, I’d suggest either serving this as a side or using the ratios below for 2-3 people.

Root Vegetables Quinoa BowlRoot Vegetables Quinoa Bowl

 

Root Vegetables Quinoa Bowl

 

Recipe for 4

Cook time: 20-25 min

Prep time: 15-20 min

 

Ingredients

440 g cooked quinoa (made from 240g uncooked quinoa)

400 g peeled carrots

400 g peeled parsnips

3-4 tbsp. maple syrup

1 onion

1 lemon – juice and zest finely grated

2 tbsp. thyme leaves

2 tbsp. chopped parsley

4 tbsp. dry roasted hazelnuts

4 tbsp. olive oil

100g fresh goat cheese

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

Pre-heat oven at 210°C.

Cut the carrots and parsnips into 2-2.5 cm chunks and place them in a baking tray. Drizzle them with 2 tbsp. olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste and toss. Bake in the oven for 20-25 min, turning the ingredients once or twice during the process.

Meanwhile roughly chop the hazelnuts.

Finely chop the onion and add it to a pan with 2 tbsp. olive oil and cook on a low-medium fire until translucent, about 4-5 min. Add the thyme, zest and lemon juice and cook for a few seconds before adding the quinoa. Mix all the ingredients and cook until warmed through, stirring regularly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from fire; add the hazelnuts and parsley and mix.

Now that the root vegetables are nicely coloured, drizzle over the maple syrup and toss.

In each bowl, place ¼ of the quinoa and ¼ of the parsnips/carrots. With your hands crumble the goat cheese and evenly distribute it.

 

Carrot Chicken and Peanut Lettuce Wraps

Carrot Chicken and Peanut Lettuce Wraps

I have a thing for food pairings and I’m always on the lookout for new ideas. For this post I consulted my beloved The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit and a flavour pairing that grabbed my attention was the combination of carrots with salted peanuts. Continue reading

I didn’t want to make a simple salad out of it so I decided to make some lettuce wraps instead. In my lettuce wraps I also added some of the leftover chicken I had, and some coriander. The recipe in the book is taken from Nigella Lawson’s “The Rainbow Room’s Carrot and Peanut Salad”. The recipe calls for a generous amount of vinegar, which will cut through the oiliness of the peanuts. The vinegar will add a quality to the dish one can associate with some Asian salads. This super easy recipe is within everyone’s reach and the ingredients used are easily found all year round. I served this as an aperitif between friends and it was quickly put together went down perfectly with a little white wine.

 

 

 

Carrot Chicken and Peanut Lettuce Wraps

Recipe for 10 pieces

Prep time: 10-15 min

Cook time: –

 

Ingredients:

120 cooked chicken

10 baby lettuce leaves

2 tbsp. red wine vinegar

2 tbsp. rapeseed oil

2 carrots (not too large)

3-4 tbsp. salted peanuts

2 generous tbsp. chopped coriander leaves

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Peel the carrots and grate them using a small holed grater. Place them in a bowl. Finely chop the coriander leaves, add them to the carrots and mix.

Using a fork shred the cooked chicken meat.

In a small bowl combine the red wine vinegar, the rapeseed oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Roughly chop the peanuts.

Take the lettuce leaves and start by evenly distributing the carrots, followed by the chicken and finally the peanuts. Place the lettuce wraps on a serving plate and drizzle with the dressing.

 

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.

Swiss Cheese Tatsch with Carrots

Swiss Cheese Tatsch with Carrots The ‘Tatsch’ is another typical recipe which comes from the Graubünden canton; so basically next door to my region. Continue reading

This is actually a region I am enjoying more and more as it has a lot of recipes I really enjoy. The ‘Tatsch’ in my book is described as a kind of roasted spaezle which requires less time in the making. I had already tried this from a book I had at home and thought it was nice but that I would remake it with more flavour. I left the recipe aside for a while and did not really think about it any more until I saw the version from schweizerkaese.ch (recipe in German) and decided to try this one. I really liked the taste of this version and I particularly liked its light consistence. I totally recommend this recipe as it’s something easy and truly delicious. I will make this again and maybe add some herbs or even cooked vegetables?

Swiss Cheese Tatsch with Carrots Swiss Cheese Tatsch with Carrots Swiss Cheese Tatsch with Carrots Swiss Cheese Tatsch with Carrots

 

Swiss Cheese Tatsch with Carrots

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 20 min + 30 min resting time

Cook time: 15 min

 

Ingredients

For the Tatch:

100 g flour

100 g grated hard cheese – I used Appenzeller but you can use another tasty hard cheese such as Gruyère

2 egg yolks

2.5 dl milk

1 tsp salt

2 egg whites

Butter for cooking

 

For the vegetables:

320 g peeled carrots

The zest of one lemon

1 ½ tbsp raisins

3 tbsp chopped parsley

1 large shallot or 2 small ones

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

For the tatsch:

In a bowl, stir together the flour, egg yolks, milk, cheese  and salt to a smooth dough. Leave to rest for 30 min.

Whisk the egg whites to a peak.

Add the egg whites into the batter and fold delicately (do not over work the mass).

Melt the butter in a large, non-stick pan and pour to the batter. Cover and cook over a low heat to solidify and colour on one side. After about 10 min, turn around the tatsch with the help of a pan lid and cook second side. Cook until golden brown, for about 4-5 min. Break the tatsch up into pieces with the help of a couple of forks or a spatula.

 

While the tatsch is resting, you can prepare the carrots:

Cut the carrots and the shallot into strips about 4 cm long.

In a pan with 1 tbsp rapeseed oil, add the shallot to soften on a low fire for five minutes. Stir in the carrots, salt, pepper, lemon zest and a little water. Cover and cook on a low-medium heat for about 8 min, or until they have softened. Stir occasionally.

When ready add the parsley and raisins, stir and serve with the tatsch.

Exotic Rosti with Carrots

Exotic Rosti with CarrotsRosti is such a versatile dish and personally I love it. Usually when I make this dish I use raw potatoes but this time I wanted to do it in what many say is the real version: with boiled potatoes. Continue reading

I already cooked my potatoes the previous day so that would save me some time. Since this dish is something so versatile, this time, I wanted to make it a little more exotic than usual so I came up with this combination. I liked the crunch of the peanuts and I am a fan of their combination with carrots. I added some coriander so that it would bring some freshness to this easy dish. The only skill required is when you turn the potato cake over but once you know how to do it, you realize it’s nothing too daunting. My tip is to turn the rosti with conviction and then to let it slide back in the pan delicately (other it might break, this used to be the tricky part for me).

 

Exotic Rosti with CarrotsExotic Rosti with Carrots

 

Exotic Rosti with Carrots

 

Recipe for 2 as main / 4 as a side dish

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 25 min

 

Ingredients:

400 g boiled and peeled potatoes (the waxy kind will absorb less fat than the floury)

200 g peeled carrots

40 g chopped peanuts (about 2.5-3 tbsp)

4 tbsp chopped coriander

3 red chilies

Salt

2 tbsp rapeseed oil

 

Recipe:

Grate the potatoes and the carrots using a grater with wide holes. Add salt and mix.

Deseed the chili and finely chop it.

In a reasonably large non-stick pan heat the oil on a low-medium heat and add the potatoes, carrots, chili and salt. Cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally to allow some of the moisture evaporate.

Add the peanuts and the coriander and stir. With a spatula shape the potatoes into a large cake, reduce the heat and cook for about 15 min. Place a dish or a lid on the pan and quickly flip the rosti. Let the cake slide back in the pan and cook the other side for another 10 min.

Winter Vegetable Stir Fry

Mustardy Winter Vegetable Stir-Fry I am really trying hard to stick to seasonal vegetables, especially that in this season the choice is quite limited in Switzerland. Continue reading

The good thing is though, it’s a work out for my creativity and I like to try out recipes  with what I have in my fridge. And one thing which is never missing in my fridge is veggies. It was not always like this, in the past the only vegetables I prepared at home were salad and frozen vegetables. I liked vegetables but I didn’t feel confident enough to through myself and admittedly I was lazy. I had the habit and knowledge of veggies but not the hang of it. At least I was on the right path, unlike when I was a teenager. Well, during my high school years my diet consisted of pizzas, crêpes and yes salads: only when, with some friends, we would go on a diet. Our resolution lasted about two days and then we’d just forget about it. The longest time we held on was five days. I remember once we set a punishment where if one of us would fall into temptation even with just one bite of chocolate, chips, cheese… we would have to get down and do a hundred sit ups. The end of the diet came when one of us fell for chocolate and on about her forty-fifth sit-up we told ourselves that a few apples a day was okay but as a dessert.

Mustardy Winter Vegetable Stir-Fry

Winter Vegetable Stir-Fry

 

Recipe for 2 as main / 2 as side dish

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 30 min

 

Ingredients :

400 g waxy potatoes (I used the Charlotte kind)

2 carrots

1 small leek

150 g Savoy cabbage

2 tbsp rapeseed oil

2 heaped tsp mustard powder

½ tsp paprika

2 dl water

2-3 tbsp crème fraîche

2 tbsp pumpkin seeds

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Cut the potatoes lengthwise and slice each half into 1 cm pieces. Cut the carrot into 3-4 cm long strips. Half the leek and slice into 2 cm pieces. Roughly cut the Savoy cabbage.

Heat 2 tbsp rapeseed oil and add the potatoes with some salt to brown on all sides for about 8 min, stir occasionally. Add the mustard powder and the other ingredients one at the time, regularly stirring to mix the ingredients. Add the water and ½ tsp salt and cook on a medium low heat for about 25 min, stir occasionally.

Once the vegetables are done add the crème fraîche, stir and cook for another 3-4 min. Correct the taste if needed and add the pumpkin seeds.  Serve warm, as a main dish or as a side with meat or fish.

Winter Barley Salad

Winter Barley Salad 3It was nice to spend a few days on the lighter side after the Christmas holidays. The food was delicious there but I missed having my usual load of veggies. I spent one week eating things I like but filled with good stuff. Continue reading

I know that Fabio, a friend of mine went through a one week juice detox. It’s a good thing but personally I like to use as many sense I can when I eat. I guess my admiration towards Fabio is even greater because I know the passion of good food is something we have in common.

The other day I was reading through blogs and I saw The Paddington Foodie’s recipe of “Roasted Beetroot and Carrot Salad With Puy Lentils, Rocket and Feta” : I felt a craving for the carrot beetroot combination. With my head in the kitchen cupboard I was looking for ideas, when I found some barley and began putting this recipe together. In the end this recipe came together very spontaneously. I like these moments because I am always curious to taste the end result.

Winter Barley Salad 1

Winter Barley Salad

 

Recipe  for 2-3

Prep time : 15-20 minutes

Cook time: 35-40 minutes

 

Ingredients :

60 g pearl barley

200 g carrots

1 small onion

½ tsp thyme

3 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 tbsp cider vinegar

1 orange

150 beetroot

1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1 small handful roughly chopped walnuts

 

Recipe:

Preheat oven at 220°C.

Put the barley into a pan and add four times its amount of water with some salt. Bring to a boil, cover and cook on low heat for 35-40 minutes (water should have absorbed by then).

Peel the carrot and quarter them. Cut into pieces of about 3 cm. Cut the onion in half and then each half into four parts, divide them up. I an oven proof dish add the carrots the onions 1 tbsp olive oil, dry thyme, salt and pepper. Mix and place in the oven for about 30 min, until they are lightly charred.

For the dressing mix the tbsp cider vinegar, 2 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper.

Cut the beetroot into cubes of 1.5 cm. With a knife remove the orange peel and cut out each section. Divide each section in two.

Once the carrots and the barley are ready mix them with the beet root, the orange, the parsley, the walnuts and the dressing. Toss and serve.

 

Vegetable Rolls

Vegetable Rolls 4 (800 x 601)This week I originally had another idea for the recipe; I wanted to make a bread gratin. I did do it but I find it turned out to be bland and the consistency I was not really fond of. Continue reading

So I went through my cookbooks and stopped where I had previously put tags (about every two pages). I wanted to bake and make something with either bread or any kind of dough and found this recipe for rolls. The recipe is one among the many vintage cookbooks my mother used to own. As she didn’t literally give them to me and that is why now I try not to remind her of them so she doesn’t ask them back. It’s easy and one thing I particularly liked is the dough. I will surely remake this ad I works well for a party or as a snack. On the day I went to see how dried meat is made, I came back late at night and not having had dinner yet I had a couple of these babies.  Soon I will make this recipe again and I would actually like to try a sweet version, maybe with pears…for our Wednesday’s ladies’ night it would probably go down well.

Vegetable Rolls 1 (800 x 601)

Vegetable Rolls

 

Ingredients:

For the dough:

500 g flour (white or semi-white)

1 tsp salt

30 g fresh yeast

3 dl milk ( I used half-fat)

60 g butter melted and cooled

 

For the filling:

1-2 tbsp butter

6 large onions

4 carrots (not too small)

2 garlic cloves crushed

Salt and pepper

A handful chopped parsley

2 handfuls roasted walnuts

Nutmeg (optional)

 

 

In a bowl mix the flour and the salt. Place the yeast in the milk and dilute. Incorporate the milk and the butter to the flour and knead the dough until soft and elastic. Cover and leave to until it has risen double of its size, about 30-40 minutes.

Meanwhile cut the carrots into thin strips. Cut the onions in half and slice them a little thicker than the carrots.

Heat the butter in a pan and add the carrots and the onions. Add the crushed garlic cloves and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until soft, about 20 minutes, and stir regularly. Once done set aside to cool.

On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough in a rectangular shape (about 40 x 60 cm).

Chop the walnuts.

Now spread the vegetables and sprinkle the walnuts and the parsley (eventually the nutmeg) on the dough leaving a 3 cm margin on one of the longer sides. Roll the dough tight and use the uncovered part of the dough to seal it.

Heat the oven at 200°C.

Cut the rolled dough into slices of about 3-4 cm. Place them in a baking tray lined with parchment paper and leave them for 15 minutes to set.

Place the baking tray on the lower side of the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes.

Ideally these should be served tepid but either hot or cooled is fine too.

Potato Terrine

Potato Terrine 4 (800 x 615)In Italian there is the saying “In cucina la patata è regina” and this literally means “In the kitchen the potato is queen”. Continue reading

 To me this recipe is a proof of the versatility of the potato. This recipe comes from another my mother’s old cookbooks. It’s almost a ritual to go over the old cupboard and open the bottom door and take out a few of the stacked books. In there you can find just about any kind of cuisine and one of these cookbooks is dedicated to potatoes. When I found this terrine I thought it’d be a fun recipe to try. In my version I added some goat cheese; I used carrots and onions instead of bell peppers and chose different herbs from the printed recipe. This recipe can be made ahead and/or frozen and it works well for a dinner between friends. I am always looking for make ahead recipes, it means: no stress, one dish less to prepare and more time to take care of my quite problematic hair. Next Wednesday I will cook for a few friends and after this terrine I am thinking of serving some venison maybe with some cabbage and chestnuts… I am open to outside ideas.

 

Potato Terrine

Potato Terrine 1 (800 x 644)

Recipe for a 22 cm cake mold

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 20 min

 

Ingredients :

400 g peeled potatoes (floury type is better)

50 g butter (+ 1 tbsp for frying)

60 g fresh goat cheese

2 carrots

1 onion

1 tbsp thyme

1 small bunch chopped parsley leaves

Salt and pepper

Nutmeg

1.25 dl cream (I used ½ fat)

 

Recipe :

Boil the potatoes, remove the water and while they are still hot mash them well.

Melt the butter and whip it with the goat cheese into the mash . Mix until smooth and even. Set aside.

Dice the carrots and the onion into small pieces.

Heat the tbsp butter in a pan and add the vegetable, the thyme, salt and pepper; steam them for about 5 min, cool and add to the potatoes with the parsley, about a ¼ tsp salt and pepper and nutmeg to taste.

Whip the cream and delicately add it to the potatoes.

Place some cellophane to line the inside of the cake mold and fill it with the potato preparation. Take the care to press the mass down to fill and air pockets (it still tastes good but it’s less appealing to the eye…). Smooth the surface of the terrine, cover and place in the fridge for 4 hours. Slice and serve as a first course or as a main with a salad, salmon or chicken.

This recipe can be made one day in advance and can be frozen too. Why not browning the slices in a bit of fat and serve them warm…

Cocotte Eggs with Purple Carrot Puree and Soldiers

Cocotte Eggs with Purple Carrot Puree and SoldiersI got the idea for this week’s recipe when I went to town (Locarno) and found some unusual purple carrots which I had never tasted before. There is something else that motivated this recipe: the rain. Since one month I have to keep my drive to go out and enjoy spring because it just keeps on raining. I decided I’d keep my spirits up by cooking something comforting like these cocotte eggs and soldiers. In this recipe I like the smoothness between the egg and the pureed vegetables. Continue reading