30. Mai 2013

Banana Nectarine Cobbler with Coconut Streusel

May is a great month when it comes to long weekends. I think we had at least 4 in the course of the last 4 weeks. Yiha!
Today I rang in the last of May’s holidays with a special breakfast.
Normally I have a smoothie, oatmeal or muesli with some kind of fruit for breakfast but once in a while it’s nice to get out of the rut and make something a bit more time consuming. This recipe takes about 30 minutes from start to finish, so it is perfect for weekends or holidays or days you have a little more time left for preparations.
Otherwise you can totally make this a day ahead and eat it on Moan-day since it keeps well in the fridge for a few days.
I really love baked bananas and I could have eaten the whole batch of the dish myself this morning. So, so good!
I chose nectarines to go with the bananas because it’s a classic (for me) and I had some very ripe ones on hand. Peaches would be great, too, but I prefer nectarines because I despise the furry peel of the peaches. I am sorry.


I topped the fruit mixture with coconut streusel to give the dish a more tropical flair and because I have been craving coconut muesli for days!
Now I have two of my favorite things in one dish: coconut muesli and warm banana! Mmmm…Enjoy!

Banana Nectarine Breakfast Bake with Coconut Streusel

(serves 3-4)

For the fruit base:
6 nectarines, chopped (into 8 pieces)
2 ripe bananas, cut into thick slices
2 Tbsp Agave nectar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
¼ tsp ground vanilla
½ tsp cornstarch

For the streusel:
1 cup (100g) rolled oats
¼ cup (25g) shredded coconut
1 Tbsp coconut oil, and more to grease the pan
1 Tbsp creamed honey or rice syrupe
1/3 tsp cinnamon

In a large bowl gently mix the chpped nectarins and banana with the Agave syrup, lemon juice, ground vanilla, and cornstarch. Place into a greased round pan (ø 30cm) and set aside.
Add all streusel ingredients to a bowl and mix until crumbly and well combined. Top the fruit mixture with the streusel and bake at 175°C (350°F) for 20 minutes or until the streusel are golden brown.
Serve hot or cold with a dollop of plain soy or Greek yoghurt.

Although it is called breakfast bake, you can also serve this a dessert alongside some delicious vanilla or yoghurt ice cream.

29. Mai 2013

Sweet Potato Red Curry Bowl

Today I’ll start my post not talking about food, but comfort. You know, comfort is a great word and for me it means being hold tightly, and feeling save and full. Full of love and energy, but relaxed at the same time. Does that make  sense? During the last few weeks I have missed that feeling of comfort because I kept going and going and did not have the time to stop and recharge my batteries with comfort and love.
I am a pretty sensitive person when it comes to my inner feelings of completeness and satisfaction. Normally I am a pretty content and positive person but sometimes physical and emotional stress makes me tired. The kind of tired that makes you want to quit. And you know what? Today I “quit”. I went home from university, glued myself to the couch with my laptop and doing nothing but reading food blogs. The only thing I wanted to do was cook myself a meal that I had planned to make for over a week. I had all my ingredients sitting in the fridge for 7 days but a full schedule detered me from putting my plans into action. Hate when that happens.
Cooking keeps me sane and not having the time to do so saddens me. Food gives comfort and that’s why todays dish was just what I needed.

The recipe:
Curry is comfort food at its finest. Creamy, spicy sauce, studded with a ton of vegetables,  ladled over steaming hot Basmati rice.


I can go crazy over my curry bowls!
Especially when sweet potatoes are involved. It is an easy equasion: Sweetness and soft texture plus creamy coconut milk = melt-in-your-mouth-delisciousness.
If I haven’t made myself clear enough I should just admit that I ADORE sweet potatoes and try to find excuses to sneak them into my dishes. There you have it. Sweet potato addict. I guess there is no cure, but I am ok with that because look, it’s sweet potatoes! I mean, who am I?!
If you cannot find sweet potatoes where you life, you can probably use some kind of yellow squash (butternut, Hokkaido) instead. Green beans can also be replaced by snow peas, but I would add them together with the red pepper and scallions to keep them crunchy.


Sweet Potato Curry Bowl

(Serves 4)

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2x2cm cubes (approx. 675g)
1 eggplant, sliced and quartered
250g green beans, halved
2 small red peppers, chopped
4 scallions, cut into 4 cm pieces
1 large garlic clove, sliced
2 stalks lemon grass, crushed (only use the white part!)

1 Tbsp coconut oil, at room temperature
400 ml coconut milk
500 ml water
3-4 tbsp red curry paste

Lemon wedges

In a large pan heat 1 Tbsp coconut oil. Add garlic, sweet potato cubes, eggplant, green beans and lemon grass. Cover pan with a lid and cook vegetables on medium heat for 4 minutes. Then add the curry paste. Slightly roast it on the buttom of the pan and deglaze it with the water and coconut milk. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cook covered for 6-7 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender. Now add the scallions and chopped red pepper. Cook covered for an additional 5 minutes and season with salt to taste.
Serve immediately with Basmati rice and cilantro.


26. Mai 2013

Asian Noodle Salad Bowl

I really have a thing for bowls. To be honest, I almost eat all my meals out of a deep bowl. They feel special to me, and I always have the urge to buy any pretty bowl I lay my eyes on. Since I do not live in a house with 200 billion rooms where I have enough room for my bowl and tableware addiction, most pretty bowls I pass have to stay where they are. At the shop.
So sad. I just hope that some day, some day I will have the house and the money to buy them all! And by all, I mean ALL! Understand me?
Oh, did I just tell you that I am kind of a tableware shopping addict? Please, forget that.
Let’s get back to todays dish. Ehem.

As much as I love bowls, the food I eat out of them is even dearer to my heart. Especially Asian meals are a bowl-lovers dream. Stir-fries, curries, miso soup. Ok, sushi may be an exception. No, wait. Maybe not if you shovel a ton of wasabi onto your platter and drench your rolls in soy sauce. Then you should probably consider to just use a sushi-bowl instead. Is therea thing  like that in the market actually? Please tell me if there is, so I can go get one!

 The recipe:
The salad I made, combines a few of my favorite Asian ingredients: Cilantro, rice noodles, tamari, thai chili and ginger. Peanut butter is not really Asian (or is it?) but it goes so well with the rest of the ingredients! And everything just tastes better with peanut butter anyways.
The salad is quite lovely and a great alternative to your regular noodle bowls, especially during summer.
Get your chop sticks ready my friends and dig in!

Asian Noodle Salad Bowl

(Serves 2-3)

Dressing (double if you want more!):

3 Tbsp Agave nectar or apple syrupe
3 Tbsp smooth peanut butter
8 Tbsp tamari (mine had 25% less salt)
4 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
2-3 (depending on how hot you like it) dried bird’s eye chilis, crushed
3-4 Tbsp water

Add all ingrendients except the water to a glass jar and shake, shake, shake! Then add the water and shake again. Done.

Salad ingredients:
1 red pepper, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, juilienned
250g green beans
6 spring onions, thinly sliced

125g dry rice noodles
1 Tbsp sesame oil

Bunch of cilantro
2 sprigs of mint, leaves chopped
6 sprigs of parsly, leaves chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 thai chili, sliced

Blanche beans in salt water for about 5 minutes or until bright green and still a little crunchy. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process and set aside.

Chop your veggies and add to the beans. Stir to mix.

Cook the rice noodles according to the packaging direction. Then rinse under cold water and mix with Tbsp sesame oil.

Now arrange your meal: Add half or 1/3 of the noodles to a deep bowl and add about 1 Tbsp of the dressing.

Then add your desired amount of  veggies and drizzle with more dressing. Serve with a lot of fresh herbs,  lime juice, chili slices and additional tamari.

Dig in!

21. Mai 2013

Herb Lemonade, aka "Almdudler"

When I was a kid, I hated all kinds of soda. But everything orangy, especially. I can actually remember the only two times I had Fanta: The first time at a summer party in Kindergarten and the second time as a sixteen-year-old-anti-alcoholic, at a birthday party where the only non-alcoholic drink they had was Fanta.
What can I say. Fanta was not my thing.
As were all kinds of sweet things, kids are normally crazy about. A free lollipop from the nice bakery lady? Ehm. No thank you. I’d rather take the piece of Fleischwurst at the butcher’s. Maybe I was a little strange when I was younger. Who knows. But, there was one lemonade that conquered my heart the time I had my first sip: “Almdudler”. Oh yeah.
You could probably compare it to root bear. It is slightly sweet with a strong herb flavor that kind of reminds me of liquid Ricola candy. And it is so sparkly!
“Almdudler” was the kind of soda I wanted! No artificial orange or lemon flavours! If it has to be artificial, let’s at least have fake herbs. Ok, I am sorry. But there is a method behind my confusion. Trust me.
See, if there hadn’t been this Almdudler thing, I would never have thought of making a herb flavoured lemonade on my own. I mean, don’t you do that all the time?

This lemonade really made my weekend. It is so simple to make, yet so delicious.
Can we say that it is also healthy? Yes, we  can, because the only added sugar we have are 2 Tablespoons of natural sweetener. Could be worse, I think.
Additionally, the herb flavor is “real”, means you throw in a good amount of freshly picked herbs, and let the juice absorb the falvours. Easy-peasy.

Go ahead and make you some crazy delicious “Almdudler” and pretend you are a cool kid. Wait, actually you totally are. I’m not sure about the side effects, though. If you should start yodeling, call your doctor, please. I've warned you.

Herb Lemonade (aka “Almdudler”)

500 ml (2 cups) unsweetened apple juice
2 Tbsp liquid honey, Agave syrupe or maple syrupe
6 Tbsp lemon juice (juice of one lemon)
3 large sprigs of rosemary
4 sprigs of  thyme
4 sprigs of basil
4 sprigs of mint

500 ml sparkling water

Pick your herbs.

In a pot bring apple juice and honey to a boil. Remove from heat, add herbs and lemon juice, cover pot with a lid and let juice sit for 30 minutes.

Then drain the juice with a colander to remove the herbs. Fill lemonade into a bottle and let cool completely before placing in the fridge.
The lemonade should be served cold with half sparkling water/ half lemonade, ice cubes and lemon slices.
Perfect for a summer barbecue or picnic at the park.