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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Red Bell Pepper Soup

This is a flavorful soup that incorporates all the elements of the idea behind this blog: Healthy, easy, beautiful and super tasty. And during fall harvest it is a very affordable dish too...


What you need is:

4 Red bell peppers
1 Parsnip
1 Celery root
1 Yellow onion
1-2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fresh chopped or dried crushed chili flakes
1/2 tsp paprika
48 fl oz low sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Salt and pepper to taste


All the good stuff





-Wash, de-seed, and coarsely chop the bell peppers. Peel the parsnip and celery root and chop into 1/2 inch size pieces. Peel the onion and cut into eight wedges. Peel garlic and cut into fours.
-Heat the oil in a heavy-based pot and heat chili and paprika while stirring, app 30 seconds.
-Add the vegetables, lower the heat to medium and cook while stirring for about 5 minutes.
-Add the stock. If it doesn't cover the vegetables, add water until they are just below the surface. Bring to a boil and leave it to simmer under lid about 40 min. Remove from heat and leave to cool with lid removed until you can scoop an equal mix of liquid and vegetables into a blender. Fill the blender half way and liquify.
-Pour the soup back into the pot and reheat, adding salt and pepper to taste.
-Stir in the cream and serve immediately...



A bowl of comfort


A decadent touch: Serve with a teaspoon of small garlic marinated shrimp on top...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Graham Bread with Acorn Squash


Pumpkins and squash beautifully represent fall and as they are nutritious and cheap I'm all about incorporating them wherever even remotely appropriate. As fall is also baking season I came up with this bread that is an absolute favorite with my boys and stays moist up to four days after baking.

1    cup acorn squash puree
1    tbs honey
5    cups graham flour
1    package dried yeast
1    tsp salt
5    tbs butter
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup warm milk

- Split the squash, scrape out the seeds, and place it cut sides up in a tray with 1 cup water. Bake in a 400 F oven until tender, app. 30 min. Cool 10 min before scooping out the flesh.
- In a large bowl mix the flower, honey, yeast, and salt.
- Mix the butter, squash, water and milk in a small bowl and stir the mixture in the the big bowl with the flour mix.
- Knead the dough thoroughly on a floured surface until elastic, shape it to a ball and place in oiled bowl, cover with film and leave in a warm place to rise for about an hour.
- Pour the dough out onto lightly floured surface and roll out into a 10 inch square. Cut the dough into 10 strips and place 5 of the strips on an oiled baking sheet. Fold first, third and fifth strip halfway back. Take a new strip and place it over the second and fourth strip, then fold the three remaining strips back over and now fold the second and forth back, crisscrossing a new strip and so forth until all strips have been applied.
- Fold the ends under the bread and gently round it. Leave to rise under a clean, damp dishcloth for app. 40 min.
- If you wish, gently brush the bread with a beaten egg, milk or plain yogurt and bake in the over at 350 F 30 - 40 minutes until golden.










Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Herbs for joy


As a tenant it can be hard to make too many changes to the place you live and being without my green house and vegetable garden has in many ways been challenging. First of all because I have had to do without the freshly picked tomatoes and just dug up potatoes but also because of the lost joy of the actual labor that seems to soothe the mind and give birth to sound thoughts and ideas.
To compensate we built a herb garden and what a treat! The crisp flavors have enriched our meals ever since; yesterday's spaghetti squash salad tossed with chopped onion, tomatoes, olives and feta cheese was topped with freshly picked Thai basil and the Tilapia filets that I baked in the oven with chili pepper, lime rind and garlic was delightfully boosted with a handful of fresh, chopped oregano. Waiting for the sage to grow strong enough to get picked and make boneless chicken breast stuffed with mozzarella and sage, cooked in a creamy lemon sauce...


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Toasted marshmallow biscuit with licorice syrup

Something new, something old and something borrowed...

Just back from annual summer month in Denmark and this deliciously evil treat came about one tranquil evening around the barbecue...


The traditional "Mariekiks" (Marie biscuit) is a true reminiscence from my childhood. Sweet and in many ways insignificant, this makes the perfect base for the American favorite, toasted marshmallow. Crisp on the outside while hot and fluid inside the treat was topped off with lightly salted licorice syrup, a great addition to my selection of condiments.

Yum! 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Quinoa and green lentil salad with radicchios



Super colorful, packed with healthy stuff and great on its own or as a side to practically anything this is a delicious and inexpensive salad that I highly treasure. I often cook a big load of quinoa and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge and just add the flavor of the day to it, be that avocado, mango, jicama (yambean), or whatever I find around the kitchen, making a filling lunch or snack.

1    cup quinoa
1    cup sprouted green lentils
3    radicchios
5    sugar plum tomatoes
1/2 ball mozzarella cheese
1/2 avocado
4    tbs roasted pine nuts
juice of 1/2 lemon

- Pour lentils in a bowl and cover with water. Leave to soak app. 5 hours.
- Cook the quinoa according to directions and let cool.
- Chop the radicchios, tomatoes, mozzarella and avocado and mix in a serving bowl with the drained lentils and quinoa.
- Lightly roast the pine nuts and add to the mix.
- Squeeze the lemon juice over the salad and serve!


Last night this salad became a side to Danish Rugbrød (see recipe) with sole filet and curry mayo - yum! We had two soles each as they were on the smaller side...

Sole (for 4):

8 filets
1 egg
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 tbs butter
salt & pepper

- Break the egg and beat it lightly with a fork on a dinner plate.
- Pour the breadcrumbs out on another dinner plate and add a bit of salt and pepper.
- Dip each filet in the egg first, gently squeeze off excess egg and coat in breadcrumbs.
- Heat the butter in a pan until golden, lower to medium heat and cook the filets about three minutes on either side. Cool a minute or two before serving.

Curry Mayo:

2 tbs mayo
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tbs lemon juice

- Stir all ingredients together in small serving bowl until even.

The picture below shows my dinner plate: Rugbrød (rye bread) with lettuce, sole filet, a dash of curry mayo, avocado and a few sprigs of micro cilantro with the quinoa lentil salad on the side...




Friday, May 18, 2012

Tip of the Week: Cottage Cheese all over!

My cottage cheese romance has a long history of full flare or completely dead - and these days it is on!
I have mainly used it as a low calorie spread on Danish Rugbrød - or lately, on Anthony's pot baked loaf, recipe to follow soon - adding finely chopped cucumber, turkey, sweet mustard and salt and pepper, but a couple of days ago discovered it as an excellent substitute for sauce or hummus to go with an otherwise slightly dry plate of meat and salad.
I had left a pork sirloin cut into 1/2 inch slices in a zip lock bag with 2 tbs shredded fresh ginger, 2 cloves garlic, 2 tbs fresh lemon juice and 2 tbs soy sauce for a couple of hours. I washed and boiled about a pound of fingerling potatoes for 3-4 minutes, strained them and mixed them in a bowl with an egg yolk and 2 tbs sesame seed. Placed them close together on a tray and baked them half an hour in the oven at 400 F.
Meanwhile, I made a raw salad consisting of lettuce, thin slices of radicchio and sliced buckets of washed cauliflower.
I cooked the meat, browning it at max heat for a minute then turning down the heat to medium for about 3 minutes on either side, making sure to brown both sides, and left it to rest on a plate while I poured the remains of the marinade into the pan and reduced it for a couple of minutes. This left a very thin but tasty sauce (and not much of it) but when adding a tbs cottage cheese to the plate it all fit perfectly.

Cottage cheese barely has a taste but is really in it for texture in this dish. Because of its neutral appearance I can think of numerous dishes that would benefit from this addition!

Sorry about the lack of pictures...


Monday, May 14, 2012

Leek and Carrot Quiche with Graham Crust


This is a very simple quiche that serves great as a side to Danish Meatballs (see recipe) or on its own with a large side salad.

Crust:
2    oz graham flour
1.5 oz wheat flour
1    tbs olive oil
3    tbs cold water
1/4 tsp salt

-Mix alt the ingredients together and knead it with your hands. The dough should be soft; add a tiny bit more water until the desired consistency is attained. Wrap in film and leave in fridge for about half an hour.
- Heat the oven to 400 F. Grease a pie mould with olive oil and roll out the dough. Fit it in the mould, it does not have to fit perfectly but use your fingers to stretch the dough to come up the sides.
- Use a fork to poke small holes in the crust and bake it in the oven for ten minutes. Take it out.

Filling:
2 carrots (app. 4 oz)
2 medium sized leeks
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper
1 oz grated cheese

-Finely slice the leeks and carrots. Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil, add salt and gently cook the vegetables for a couple of minutes. Drain (if you are making meatballs save the water and use as liquid with the meat) and set aside.
-Whisk the eggs, milk, nutmeg, salt, and pepper together in a bowl and grate the cheese.

-Spread the cooked vegetables over the quiche crust. Pour the egg mix over the vegetables (it should just cover them, if not you can add a bit more milk) and sprinkle the cheese on top.
-Cook in the oven for app. 35 minutes until the crust is crisp and the top lightly browned. Take out and leave to cool at least ten minutes.

This could be devoured either hot, at room temperature or cold out of the fridge - I love it either way!