27. Juni 2013

Oven Roasted Potato Salad with Herb Dressing


I am a lover of “oven-roasted-everything”.
You know, there isn’t any other way to prepare your food that is more convenient and brings out more delicious things than your oven. Pop in a sheet of sliced vegetables, slightly brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper and you’ve prepared yourself a fantastic meal that will be ready to eat within the next 30 minutes. Or let’s talk oven roastes pumkin or sweet potatoes. They tend to caramelize slightly and come out even more pretty and especially tastier than you’d ever have imagined!
In Germany we mostly eat “normal”, yellow potatoes. That’s what I grew up with and I must say that I still kind of prefer them to their orange counterparts (Although I know that sweet potatoes and potatoes aren’t related ,their names are kind of misleading!).
Wheneverof  I crave potatoes, I usually cut them into sticks or cubes and prepare them in the above mentioned manner. So, so convenient since all I have to do is season them with a littly salt and pepper and a drizzle of oil. Swoon!
When they have browned nicely and have become slightly crunchy, I either shuffle them onto a plate or just eat them straight from the baking sheet. Why bothering with dirting additional dishes? That’s after I squeezed half a bottle of tomato ketchup on a plate for dipping. Ehem…I know. Ketchup is my “bad” eating habit but I can’t help it…I am in love with that vicious stuff.

This time around, I did resisted the urge to drench the potatoes any kind of sugary sauce but coated them with a herbed dressing, instead. Potatoe salad style.
And it was delicious. I ate the whole batch on my own in one day. That’s enough said.


Oven-Roasted Potato Salad with Herb Dressing

(Serves 2-3)

1 kg potatoes
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 tsp salt
Pepper to taste

Herb Dressing:
6 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
1 tsp mustard
3 Tbsp minced basil
2 Tbsp minced chive
2 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
16 minced mint leaves

Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F).
Peel and wash the potatoes and cut into cubes. Season with salt and pepper and mix with the olive oil. Spread potatoes evenly on a lined baking sheet and bake at 200°C for 30 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown.
In a wide bowl mix dressing ingredients.
When the potatoes are done, let cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes. Add into a bowl and drizzle with the desired amount of dressing. You’ll have plenty and you probably won’t need it all.
Leftovers store well in the fridge.

23. Juni 2013

Special Marinara Sauce

Pasta is my go-to meal when I am in a hurry or come home already starving.
It comes together quickly (especially if I make the sauce ahead of time!), and satisfies my carb craving every time. I love carbs, I breath carbs, especially in the form of noodles. That’s no secret.
Italien pasta dishes never fail to comfort me in a way only Italian food does. There is just something so heart warming about them that I kind of wish I could go to Italy and eat pizza in Naples, just like Elizabeth Gilbert did in Eat,Pray,Love. I love that book. Probably because there’s so much amazing food in it. Food topics paired with travel, spirituality and womanhood get me every time, I just can’t help it.

But let’s get back to the marinara.
A good tomato sauce has always been my favorite thing to ladle generously over my pasta. I normally get kind of creative with my sauces but this one is actually my favorite because I really like the subtle taste of the pepper and thyme in it.
I use to serve this marinara over penne or spaghettini, alongside a hearty arugula salad with balsamic vinaigrette. If you love (vegan) parmesan as much as I do, please don’t omit it! It takes the sauce to the next level!


Special Marinara Sauce

(makes approx. 1 litre)

2 Tbsp olive oil
3 shallots, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 large sprigs of thyme
800g whole tomatoes, canned
1 bird’s eye chili
1/3 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
Pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a pot, add shallots  and thyme sprigs. Cook on medium heat until shallots are translucent. Add bell pepper and chili and cook for a few minutes. Now add tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring sauce to a boil and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes.
Remove thyme sprigs and purée until smooth.
Adjust seasoning to taste and serve with additional thyme.

16. Juni 2013

Let’s have a warm salad experience: Baby Arugula with Lentils, Millet and Strawberries (+Balsamic-Mustard Vinaigrette)

I love fruit and I am crazy about berries. Especially strawberries. There is no other berry that makes my heart jump with more delight than strawberries do.
This strawberry love is deeply engrained in me since my childhood when we lived at the other end of the city, only one step away from strawberry fields. Every June my Mum and I would grab a few Tupperware containers and walk to the nearby fields to fill them with red berry goodness. We always went home delighted and with bellies full. Taste-testing, you know.
Although I am now in my twenties, I still go to the same old fields I went to when I was a child.
I go there every year, and  it seems as if nothing has changed. The same fields, the same faces that sell their family’s fresh produce. Picking strawberries my kind of relaxation, my way of remembering those happy childhood days. It’s something I will always remember and keep locked in my heart even when one day, I’ll live somewhere else.
But let’s get back to the food. Strawberries make me kind of soppy, I guess ;).
Normally I have my strawberries plain, with some yoghurt or ice cream. Cake is also great but sometimes my cravings call for something hearty.
So, yesterday I made a salad, using baby arugula. To make it a filling meal, I added lentils and millet to go with it, and I really liked the mix of warm and cold in this dish.
The balsamic-mustard vinaigrette is my go-to recipe when it comes to arugula, and I think it also went very well with the sweetness of the strawberries.
This salad is like the main and the dessert all in one dish. The best of two worlds.


Let’s have a warm salad experience: Baby Arugula with Lentils, Millet and Strawberries (+Balsamic-Mustard Vinaigrette)

(makes enough for 3-4 people)

1 heaping tsp sweet mustard
1 tsp yellow mustard
1 Tbsp agave syrupe
2 Tbsp dark balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp light balsamic vinegar
1 /4 cup (60ml) olive oil
½ tsp salt
Pepper to taste

For the salad:

1 cup (200g) brown lentils + 3 cups (750ml) salt water
1 cup millet (225g) + 2 cups (500ml) salt water

Per person you’ll need:
1 large handful (approx. 65g) baby arugula
250g strawberries, halved or quartered

Add all ingredients for the vinaigrette into a wide bowl and whiks with a wire whisk until emulsified. Set aside.

Cook lentils in salt water for about 25-30 minutes on low until tender but not mushy. Drain and set aside.
Cook millet after packaging directions, approx. 10 minutes and let sit covered for additional 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

To arrange the salad, add a few tablespoons of cooked lentils on a plate. Then add arugula to a bowl and add desired amount of vinaigrette. 


Now comes the fun part: Use your hands and massage the salad slightly to cover everything evenly with dressing.


 Add onto the lentils. Top with millet and chopped strawberries . 

Add more salad and vinaigrette. Serve.

15. Juni 2013

Sweet Raspberry Cornbread (gluten free)

Todays blog post features the first totally gluten free cake recipe I have ever done in my life.
Drum roll, please!
Although I am not gluten intolerant, I am  sensitive to wheat. Most of my baked recipes use spelt flour since I love its health benefits and I digest it more easily.

My first gluten free baking experience was quite frightening because I did not know what to expect. Will it taste like dry wood or will it crumble like old wakllpaper that has been painted far too often? Luckily, neither of this happend and I think the cornbread turned out well enough to share with you.


If you have never had corn flour before, you’ll probably find that it has a dull and slightly tart taste to it. But don’t be fooled! It tastes great when balanced with something sweet, rich and fruity. Thus I chose two of my favorite baking ingredients: honey and vanilla.
If you want this recipe to be completely vegan, replace the honey with any other liquid sweetener you prefer.
I know, I know…June is the “Month of Strawberries”, so why the hell did I chose raspberries?! Eh, the raspberries went into the cornbread because….I had them in the freezer? That’s it. I had them in my freezer. And they were already talking to me because I had slightly neglected them. I mean, who can resist the begging of a pink cuty patootie  raspberry? I can't-
Also, I love to wing it, you know…Sometimes improvisation brings out the best results.

As always, have fun in the kitchen and enjoy!

Sweet Raspberry Cornbread (gluten free)

Ingredients (for a 30 cm pan):

100g (3/4 cup) corn flour (masa harina)
115g (3/4 cup) corn meal (polenta meal)
1 Tbsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 Tbsp vanilla sugar
1 Tbsp ground flax seeds
4 Tbsp honey or other liquid sweetener
1 heaping Tbsp coconut oil and more to grease the pan
1 ¼ cup oat milk
1 cup frozen raspberries

Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F).
In a large bowl mix flours, salt, vanilla sugar and baking powder. Add honey, coconut oil and milk and stir to combine. Fold in frozen raspberries and pour into a greased  round pan.
Bake at 175°C for 25 minutes or until golden brown and the top slightly cracked.
Let cake cool on a rack for 15 minutes before slicing.