Strawberry Buckwheat Cake

by Claudia on June 29, 2014, 2 comments

Strawberry Buckwheat Cake

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
  • 3 eggs
  • 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.

    Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

    by Claudia on May 8, 2014, no comments

    Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

    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.

    Spring Deviled Eggs with Yogurt and Goat Cheese

    by Claudia on April 27, 2014, no comments

    Spring Deviled Eggs

    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!

    Spring Deviled Eggs 2

    Spring Deviled Eggs close up

    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
  • Radish sprouts

  • 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.

    Tabbouleh Style Spring Salad

    by Claudia on April 5, 2014, no comments

    Taboulé Style Spring Salad

    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!

    Ramps leaves

    Green asparagus

    Taboulé Style Spring Salad Bowl

    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.


    Serves two:

  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 1 cup ramps leaves, chopped
  • 10-12 green asparagus stalks, ends removed
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 1 chopped spring onion

  • For the dressing:

  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

  • 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.

    Spinach Quinoa Patties

    by Claudia on March 23, 2014, no comments

    Spinach Quinoa Patties

    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?

    Spinach Quinoa Patties stacked

    Makes about 8 patties:

  • 1,5 cups Quinoa
  • 2 cups frsh spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup whole grain rye flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 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.

    White Bean Hummus with Truffle Oil

    by Claudia on March 16, 2014, no comments

    White Bean Hummus with Truffle Oil

    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.

    Saffron Polenta with Spinach and Soft-Boiled Egg

    by Claudia on March 8, 2014, no comments

    saffron polenta with spinach and egg

    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
  • 2 eggs
  • 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.

    Cumin Lentil Dip in Endive Leaves

    by Claudia on January 26, 2014, 3 comments

    cumin lentil dip in endive leaves

    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!


    Recipe from the fantastic Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook by Sara and Hugh Forte

    Serves 6 as an appetizer:

  • 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

  • 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.

    Discovering the Winelands around Capetown

    by Claudia on January 25, 2014, no comments

    Neethlingshof Mansion

    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.

    Neethlingshof wine estate

    Neethlingshof wine tasting

    Neethlingshof wine shop

    Neethlingshof barrels

    winelands Stellenbosch

    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.

    Groot Constantia wine bottle

    Groot Constantia Garden

    Groot Constantia Cheese board

    Groot Constantia Museum

    Groot Constantia Wine

    Boschendal entry gate

    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.

    Boschendal wine estate

    Boschendal picnic area 2

    Boschendal picnic area 3

    Boschendal picnic area

    Boschendal picnic menu

    Boschendal picnic baskets

    Boschendal wine bottle

    Boschendal flowers

    Foodie Hotspots Capetown

    by Claudia on January 19, 2014, no comments

    Capetown Old Biscuit Mill

    Looking at my last post, I realize that I have been absent for quite some time now. Winter time is not particularly great for food photography as I prefer natural light for my photos. Anyway – Happy New Year! I spent Christmas and New Year’s with my extended family in Capetown. Precious two weeks full of sunshine and fantastic day trips and of course: good food and wine! Capetown is a food lover’s Mecca. Especially when you love fish and seafood, like I do.

    So I would like to share some foodie hotspots of this great city with you, starting with the Neighbourgoods Market in Woodstock (an up-and-coming hipster district). The market is held every saturday at a great location called the Old Biscuit Mill – a beautiful brick warehouse with a spacious courtyard. On the grounds of this old factory, you also find the award winning restaurants The Test Kitchen and The Pot Luck Club. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to make reservations there.

    So the market which takes place there every week is a platform for local farmers, grocers, bakers, butchers and other artisan producers. A colorful place to shop and eat and a fantastic place to spend the Saturday in Capetown.

    Capetown Neighbourgoods Market

    Capetown Neighbourgoods Market 3

    Capetown Neighbourgoods Market mushrooms

    Capetown Neighbourgoods Market Tables

    Capetown Neighbourgoods Market 2

    Capetown Neighbourgoods Market Tables 2

    One of my favourite restaurants in Capetown is Wakame, offering Pacific Rim cuisine. Their sushi is super fresh and delicious and from the restaurant you have a fantastic sea view. Their open terrace is also a great place for a drink. If you stay in Fresnaye or Sea Point, I recommend a walk along the Beach Road to reach the restaurant.

    We had divine sushi quite a few times during our stay. Perfect holiday.

    Atmosphere Wakame

    Wakame Atmosphere

    Sushi Wakame

    Dim Sum Wakame

    In Camps Bay, the trendy suburb of Capetown, you will find various good restaurants on the beachfront. Camps Bay can be packed with people. Especially during the Christmas holidays, when everybody wants to go to the beach. Around dinner time, the sidewalks were full of people waiting for busses to go home. There is music and spontaneous dancing everywhere. Probably the most unlikely situation to find at a German bus stop.

    My favorite restaurant in Camps Bay is Codfather, a seafood and sushi restaurant. They have a huge counter with a great variety of fresh fish and seafood to choose from. We had different platters of grilled fish, prawns and squid to share. Family style eating – my favorite thing to do!

    Codfather Atmosphere

    Grilled Prawns Codfather

    Finally, I have a good tip for a chic restaurant in Sea Point called La Mouette (seagull). The restaurant offers modern French cuisine with a Mediterranean flair. The people at the restaurant were incredibly friendly. The menu is full of creative dishes, which were beautifully arranged. I had an extremely delicious bouillabaisse there.

    Starter La Moette

    Starter 2 La Moette

    Fish Soup La Moette

    During our stay, we visited three fantastic vineyards around Capetown, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. I will tell you about those later. Enjoy your sunday!