My latest addiction: raw buckwheat porridge! THE cold summer porridge. Porridge? Cold? Believe me – it is absolutely delicious. On cold days I love a hot oat porridge for breakfast but in the summer this one is just perfect. Get yourself a big pack of buckwheat groats! Raw buckwheat porridge its healthy, filling and easy to make.
It has been very quiet here lately as the weather has been so good and also because I started to become crazy about triathlon. I finished my first triathlon beginning of July and it was so much fun. I was so proud passing that finish line. I already signed up for the next one in Cologne in September. Training all three disciplines is never boring, it keeps me fit and strong and one of the most important things: I can eat a lot!
2 cups buckwheat groats, soaked in water overnight
1 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
1/4 cup (5 tablespoons) maple syrup
In a bowl, pour two cups of buckwheat groats with about double the amount of water. Soak for at least there hours – better: overnight. After soaking, rinse well in a strainer. Place buckwheat groats in a blender. Add milk and maple syrup and blend for a couple of minutes until smooth. I love to refine my raw buckwheat porridge with a tablespoon of nut butter (almond butter or peanut butter) and a little bit of vanilla extract. Ideas for toppings: Fresh or dried fruit, nuts, shredded coconut, chia seeds, hemp seeds…
It has been ages since our last home-baked sunday cake. So today I made a strawberry cake. Strawberry season is on and so I bought 1 kg of strawberries at the farmers’ market yesterday. We made a strawberry banana smoothie and this cake.The cake is made with buckwheat flour.
Buckwheat is often referred to as a pseudo grain as it is technically not a grain. Buckwheat is derived from the seeds of a flowering plant which is related to rhubarb and sorrel. The seeds have a triangular shape and are known as buckwheat groats. The groats are frequently made into flour to make pancakes or crêpes, noodles (in the Japanese cuisine buckwheat is used to make soba noodles) or other gluten-free products. The whole groats can be used as an alternative to rice or are used to make porridge (very delicious!). Buckwheat is more frequently used in Eastern Europa but especially in Russia. I use buckwheat quite a lot in the kitchen as I like its nutty, earthy taste.
We were so hungry when we came back from a run that we just ate half of the cake. Only one week to go until my first triathlon. The past weeks have been quite intense with swimming, biking and running. It is so much fun and I am very much looking forward to next week!
About 500g (1 pound) of fresh strawberries, ready prepared – cut into halves
2,5 cups of buckwheat flour
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 cup rice milk (or milk of choice)
1 cup raw cane sugar
A pinch of vanilla extract
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 180°C. Grease a springform pan and set aside. In a mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients apart from the strawberries until you have a smooth batter. Pour half of the batter into the springform pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Arrange half of the strawberries on top and then pour over the rest of the batter and spread evenly. Decorate the top of the cake with the rest of the strawberries and then put it into the oven. Bake for about 30 minutes.
This is so easy to prepare and you will love it: a simple hummus jazzed up with one roasted red pepper. You just have to roast a red pepper in the oven and then all the ingredients can simply be thrown in a food processor. Easy thing. A great dip for a barbecue or to be served before dinner with flatbread and some olives – that’s what we did as you can see in the picture!
1,5 cups cooked chickpeas (you can use tinned chickpeas)
1 red bell pepper
1 heaped teaspoon tahini
Juice from 1 lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper
Preheat oven to 200°C (grill-mode). Divide the pepper in half and remove the core. Place both halves on the top rack of your oven (if your broiler is located at the top of your oven). Grill the pepper about ten minutes on both sides, until the skin is a little charred. Place the roasted pepper halves and the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and process for 1 -2 minutes until smooth. Sprinkle with olive oil and paprika powder before serving.
Deviled eggs are an all time party hit! If you having a little party buffet, deviled eggs are a must and will probably be the first dish to be finished. They are also a perfect for any brunch. I love them.
I made a new version of deviled eggs swapping the mayonnaise with yogurt and goat cheese. It makes the filling much lighter. Topped with thinly sliced radishes and radish sprouts, this is the ultimate spring version of deviled eggs.
I was having a cooking spree today as I bought a new food processor yesterday. It was definitely a good investment as it can also be used as a centrifugal juicer and or old juicer is broken. And you know, I love to juice!
Makes 12 deviled egg halves:
6 hard-boiled eggs
1/4 cup plain full fat yogurt
1 tablespoon olive oil
50 g crumbled goat cheese
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon of salt
A pinch of Cayenne pepper
Thinly sliced radishes
Peel the eggs, cut them lengthwise into halves. Remove the egg yolk and transfer it into a mixing bowl. Place the egg halves on a serving plate. Smash the egg yolks with a fork. Add yogurt, olive oil, goat cheese, lemon juice and mustard and mix well until you have a smooth mixture. Season with salt and Cayenne pepper. Fill the mixture into the egg halves. Garnish with sliced radish and radish sprouts. Sprinkle with sea salt.
I have been gazing at spring food pictures in quite a few food magazines over the past weeks, longing for the fresh produce to finally be available. Every year I eagerly await the asparagus season. Now it’s finally here! And fresh ramps! Time to make a refreshing spring salad!
This salad is inspired by a classic Lebanese Tabbouleh (or Taboulé) salad. But here it’s Bulgur and spring veggies: perfect match. The almonds give the salad a crunchy twist. The salad is great on its own or served as a side dish. Traditionally Tabbouleh is part of a Mezze.
Look at the beautiful ramps!
Make sure to vote at the Saveur Best Food Blog Award 2014. A few of my favorite food blogs are nominated. Every year I discover fantastic new food blogs through this award. This year it’s Vegetarian Ventures.
1 cup bulgur
1 cup ramps leaves, chopped
10-12 green asparagus stalks, ends removed
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1 chopped spring onion
Juice from 1 lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper
For the dressing:
Bring bulgur with double the amount of slightly salted water to a boil and then let it simmer for about ten minutes over medium heat until the water is absorbed. Set bulgur aside to cool down. Simmer green asparagus in slightly salted water over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Drain asparagus and allow to cool down. After that chop the asparagus into small pieces. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl, pour the dressing on top and mix everything well.
Today I have a good idea for you to use Quinoa. Why not make some delicious and crunchy Quinoa patties with spinach? It’s quick, easy and the variations are endless. A good alternative to the classic hamburger patty. However, having Quinoa patties in-between two slices of bread or a bun is not what I recommend. I suggest serving the patties with a big green salad.
Leftovers can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days. The patties are also good as a snack on the go or as part of a lunchbox. I make myself a lunchbox everyday and I have been looking for new ideas lately. I also bought a good book called The Just Bento Cookbook which has some great ideas for Japanese style lunch boxes. This whole Japanese bento box thing – the art of composing a well-balanced and visually appealing meal in a box – is so interesting! What do you think?
1,5 cups Quinoa
2 cups frsh spinach, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup whole grain rye flour
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
Makes about 8 patties:
Cook Quinoa with about double the amount of water and a pinch of salt. When ready, allow to cool down and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Form little, flat patties and fry them with rapeseed oil in a nonstick frying pan over medium heat for about five to eight minutes on both sides until golden brown. The patties taste good with pesto.
I am a huge fan of Tapas, Mezze, Antipasti or in general all kinds of savoury snack platters. I love this ritual of sharing small delicacies with friends and family and dip my bread in all kinds of dips and olive oil. That is probably why I love Lebanese food so much.
My snack platters usually include a delicious dip. I often make the classic hummus with chickpeas and tahini. This white bean hummus is not really a hummus but it is some kind of a rich and creamy hummus with roasted garlic, topped with truffle oil.
Oh, yum! Last night homemade aioli and today this hummus – everyday should be weekend!
1,5 cups Giant White Beans, cooked (you can use canned beans)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Juice from 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
Pinch of Cayenne pepper
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons white truffle oil
A bit of flat parsley, finely chopped
Roast garlic with 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan until slightly brown. Mix the garlic and olive oil from the pan in a bowl with the beans. Add lemon juice, olive oil, Cayenne pepper and salt and purée with a hand-held blender. Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with truffle oil and garnish with parsley. Serve with toasted bread or pita bread.
Spring has almost arrived! We had beautiful weather today and went for a long bike tour along the Rhine. We were so excited to finally go biking. Even though the triathlon is July, we have been very keen to start our training. I can hardly wait for spring in general and to spend more time outside!
Also I am ready for a change of food! I am so looking forward to spring veggies and flowers on the market. Winter is not my thing.
We made this polenta dish twice this week and it is really tasty and also looks pretty. We don’t make polenta so often and this week we have asked ourselves why, because it is so quickly ready and goes well with so many things. For this recipe, the polenta is refined with saffron.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
Recipe inspired by Slowly Veggie Magazine 1/2014
Serves two as a main course:
1 cup polenta
2 cups vegetable broth
250 g fresh spinach, washed and stems removed, chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
A few saffron threads
Salt and pepper
Put the eggs in boiling water for 5-6 minutes for soft-boiled eggs. Set aside. Bring vegetable broth to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium and slowly stir in the polenta. Keep stirring for about ten minutes for a creamy texture. Shortly before you finish, stir in a pinch of salt and the saffron threads. Remove from the heat and close the lid to keep the polenta warm. Heat rapeseed oil in a saucepan and sear onions and garlic until translucent. Reduce the heat a little and add the spinach. Stir-fry the spinach for about five minutes. Season to taste with pepper and salt. Done. Arrange a dollop of polenta on a plate, top with spinach and a soft boiled egg, cut into halves. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on top.
Our kitchen has become a test kitchen lately. We are testing different recipes for our first Supper Club dinner on the 8th of February. We will host a dinner in our home for guests who like to experience a meal together with other people they don’t know in a private atmosphere. If you live in the Düsseldorf area you find more information here. The first Supper Club dinner will be a four course vegetarian winter menu with corresponding wines. We are pretty excited!
Checking out different appetizers, I came across this fantastic recipe from the Sprouted Kitchen: An aromatic lentil dip with cumin and fennel seeds served in endive leaves. Together with more different greens, it also makes a great salad. The crushed fennel seeds and cumin give the dip a fantastic flavor.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
1 cup green (du Puy) lentils, rinsed
2 cups water
2 shallots, chopped
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed with a mortar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup Greek Yoghurt
1/4 cup chopped fresh fennel fronds or I used flat-leaf parsley (more to garnish)
Pepper and salt
Some endive leaves
Recipe from the fantastic Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook by Sara and Hugh Forte
Serves 6 as an appetizer:
Put the lentils in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Drain the lentils and set aside to cool down. Dry-sauté the shallots without oil until slightly charred for about 5 minutes. Remove form the heat and place them in a bowl. Add fennel seeds, cumin, yoghurt and lentils and stir to combine. Add the chopped parsley and season to taste with pepper and salt. Fill the cavity of the endive leaves with a heaping spoonful of the lentil dip and garnish with chopped parsley.
I love South African wines, so my personal highlight of our Capetown trip were the different wine estates we visited. The Cape Winelands are fantastic. The landscape is impressive and a lot of the wine estates are historical beauties with great mansions and spacious oak-avenues.
We had the chance to do a wine tasting at Neethlingshof, a 300 year-old wine estate in the heart of the Stellenbosch Winelands. We tasted seven different wines: A crisp Sauvignon Blanc, a fruity Chenin Blanc, a sweet Gewürztraminer, a light-bodied Malbec, a medium-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon, a rich Bordeaux Blend and a full Piontage. My favorite was definitely the Pinotage (Owl Post Pinotage) with arresting flavors of raspberries and cherries. We took some bottles of this one home and had them on my birthday recently.
Another picturesque wine estate we visited was Groot Constantia. Constantia is a suburb of Capetown. We went there one late afternoon for a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and a cheese board. They have a very nice terrace where you can sit among beautiful old oak trees. They also have a frequently visited museum. However we preferred to enjoy the wine as well as the view of the beautiful buildings from the 17th Century and of course the vineyards.
A must-do when visiting the Cape Winelands is the picnic at Boschendal, one of the oldest wine farms in Franschhoek. I came there with my family a couple of years ago and we definitely wanted to go again. They have a beautiful picnic area, where they serve ready-packed picnic basket with all sorts of delicacies. We spent a couple of hours eating and drinking wine. Two unlucky fellows had to drive back home.