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.

 

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.

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.

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.

 

Broccoli Sweet Potato Cakes

Broccoli Sweet Potato CakesVegetarian sharing friendly food is something I love to eat with my mother. When she came over I served these cakes with a salad and a glass of white wine. Continue reading

That it is either for an aperitif or a meal, I like to place this kind of food in the middle of the table so that everyone can help themselves. The broccoli & sweet potato cakes are easy and made with few ingredients. Also, while I chose to bake them (for fat content purpose as I’m trying to shed a couple of kilos) you can also easily pan-fry them. The second option will make the cooking process shorter. Whether you want to serve these cakes for an aperitif or as a side dish during dinner, you can easily prepare the potatoes and broccoli in advance so you can save up time when preparing the rest of the food.

PS: I’ll take a week off blogging as I need to get ahead with my studies, chores and of course my wedding planning. Meanwhile I wish everyone a nice weekend!

Broccoli Sweet Potato Cakes

Broccoli Sweet Potato Cakes

 

 

Broccoli Sweet Potato Cakes

 

Recipe for 16 pieces (1-2 p.p. for an aperitif / 3-4 as a side dish for a meal)

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 45 for baked version / 25 for pan fried version

 

Ingredients

400 g sweet potatoes, peeled

400 g broccoli florets

120 g grated hard/semi-hard goat cheese

1 egg

Pepper

Optional: salt and cayenne pepper to taste (and olive oil if you chose to fry the croquettes)

 

Recipe

Blanch the broccoli by placing them in a pot of salted boiling water for 1 ½ – 2 min. Then remove them from the water with a slotted spoon and tranfer them to a bowl of icy water.

Cut the sweet potatoes into chunks and boil them in the water you used to blanch the broccoli (eventually remove a little water). Cook the sweet potatoes until they are soft, about 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile evenly chop the broccoli florets.

Once the sweet potatoes are ready mash them and let them cool a little. Add the chopped broccoli, egg, pepper and eventually cayenne pepper and a little salt and mix all together.

You can either bake the cakes in the oven or fry them in a pan. So to cook with less fat I chose to bake them.

Baked: take a tbsp. of the preparation and place it on a baking tray lined with oven paper. Repeat with the rest of the mass. Bake in the oven for 20 min at 200°C then turn them around to brown on the second side.

Pan fried: Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil on a medium fire and portion the cakes with the help of a tbsp. Brown the potato cakes on both sides for about 5 min per side.

Springtime Pasta

Springtime Pasta Because asparagus season always seems too short so I wanted to take advantage of it at least once more. Continue reading

For this quick and easy dish I dressed the pasta with a creamy goat cheese sauce filled with tasty and healthy greens. These will provide two of the five portions of fruits and vegetables one needs a day. And since after almost eight years I’m still trying to get my fiancé to improve his diet, this is a good way to trick him 😉 .

Springtime Pasta

 

 

Springtime Pasta

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 5 min

Cook time: 10-15 min

 

Ingredients:

320 g pasta (fusilli, farfalle…)

320 g fresh peas (frozen ones are fine too but make sure they are at room temperature)

320 g fine asparagus

160 g fresh goat cheese

2 tbsp. olive oil

3-4 tbsp. cream

Zest of 2 lemons

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe:

Chop the asparagus into 2 cm pieces (I cut mine a little too big).

Heat the olive oil in a pan over a low-medium heat. Add the chopped asparagus and the peas with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until tenderstirring occasionally, about 6-7 minutes.

Meanwhile bring a large pot filled with salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions.

Once the vegetables are done add the lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook for another half minute before reducing fire and adding the cream and goat cheese. Cook while stirring until the goat cheese has melted.

Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the vegetables and the goat cheese. Toss and serve.

 

Sweet Potato Wedges with Goat Cheese Dip

Sweet Potato Wedges with Goat Cheese Dip Today my mother came over for our weekly lunch and since my last night was quite short, I didn’t really feel like thinking too much about what to cook for the two of us so I went to look for an idea for our lunch among my cookbooks. Continue reading

It didn’t take long to find something that appealed to me. If there is one book I totally love it’s Ottolenghi’s Plenty, the recipes there are just wonderful, fresh and delicious. I chose his “Sweet potato wedges with lemongrass crème fraiche” and adapted it according to what I had at home. This simple recipe turned out to be just delicious and I will surely make this again.

 

Sweet Potato Wedges with Goat Cheese Dip 

 

Sweet Potato Wedges with Goat Cheese Dip

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 20-25 min

 

Ingredients:

900 g sweet potatoes

1 ½ tsp. garlic powder

¾ tsp. fine salt

A handful chopped coriander leaves

1 red chilli finely chopped

 

Dip:

100g fresh goat cheese

4 tbsp. sour cream

3 tbsp. chives

The zest of 1 lemon

4 tbsp. lemon juice

salt

 

Recipe:

Heat oven at 200°C.

Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and then (always lengthwise) divide each half into four wedges.

Place the wedges in a bowl (or a Ziploc bag) pour the olive oil and toss to evenly coat. Sprinkle the garlic powder and salt on top and toss again. Place the wedges on a parchment lined baking tray and cook in the oven for 20-25 min.

Meanwhile prepare the dip by softening the goat cheese with a fork. Add the sour cream and blend. Finally add the rest of the ingredients.

Once the sweet potato wedges are done, remove them from the oven and place the on a serving plate. Top the wedges with the chopped coriander leaves and the red peppers and serve with the goat cheese dip.

Zucchini Goat Cheese and Lemon Pasta

Zucchini Goat Cheese and Lemon PastaSometimes, finding what to write on a post is already enough of a challenge and then I get the added difficulty of my dog bringing me her toys to play and she can be vocal. Continue reading

At the moment I’m staring down and I can see that two cloth balls and her tiger teddy bear have made their way to my feet. The season of one of my favourite vegetable is coming to an end and I wanted to take advantage of zucchini one last time before next year. Talking about beloved food I paired the zucchini with some goat cheese and to add some freshness I added some lemon juice.

About zucchini…. I guess all regions/countries in the world have names to call their neighbours and here in Ticino, the term we use to call the Swiss Germans is actually “Zucchini”. This name probably has to do with the resonance of the names of the cities of Zug and/or Zurich. I think they call us something like “5 cents”; I haven’t found the exact spelling of the term, which I would spell something like “Chinqueli”. As long as these terms are not offensive, I find them funny and interesting as often there is something historically related to them.

Zucchini Goat Cheese and Lemon Pasta

Zucchini Goat Cheese and Lemon Pasta

 

Recipe for 4 as a main dish

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 10 min

 

Ingredients:

500 g zucchini

320 g long flat pasta (e.g. pappardelle, tagliatelle, taglierini…)

Juice of 2 lemons

5-6 tbsp. olive oil (optional: extra olive oil to drizzle on top of the pasta at the end)

salt and pepper

160 g goat cheese log

 

Recipe:

Cut the zucchini by their length into 0.5 cm thick slices. Then cut each slice into 0.5 cm strips.

In a bowl combine the lemon juice with 4 tbsp. lemon. Crumble the goat cheese and set aside.

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile in a pan heat 1-2 tbsp. olive oil, add the zucchini strips to brown on a medium fire for 5-7 min. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the cooked pasta and the lemon olive oil mix. Toss; add the crumbled cheese, mix (eventually drizzle a little extra olive oil on top) and serve.

One Pan Rice and Butternut Squash

One Pan Rice and Butternut SquashI don’t know about you, but I like it when the sink isn’t overcrowded with dishes, cutting boards, pans, knives and co. Continue reading

That is why I like it when I can throw everything in a pan and, almost magically, in a short time you get a tasty meal. Also, one ingredient I love to take advantage of in autumn is the butternut squash so I came up with this dish. In a few week I should cook for the company that helps me when I have blog related issues, changes and questions and since I will cook in their office, I thought that this is a recipe that could work well. I don’t know how their kitchen is and this is a dish where I don’t need much and it could work as either a first course, a side dish or even as a main course. In case anyone has an idea about other recipes I would love to hear them. I should mention that one of the seven members is a vegetarian and another is lactose intolerant.  🙂

 

One Pan Rice and Butternut Squash

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 10-15 min

Cook time: 25 min

Ingredients:

500 g butternut squash (about a small half one)

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 onion

10 sage leaves

¼ – ½ chopped chilli

Zest of 1 lemon

250 g wild rice mix

5.5 dl stock

4 tbsp. fresh goat cheese

 

Recipe

Peel and then cut the butternut into 1 cm cubes.

Finely chop the sage leaves and the onion.

In a pan place the olive oil and the onion to fry for 4-5 min on a medium fire stirring often. Then add the rice, the butternut cubes, the sage, the lemon zest and the chopped chilli; finally pour over the stock. Cook for 20 minutes on a gentle rolling boil, until the liquid has been absorbed. Stir all together. Serve with the fresh goat cheese on top.

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.