millet and feta stuffed peppers

IMG-20160131-WA0000(the recipe yields 10 stuffed pepper halves)
We had these stuffed peppers as a filling and relatively quick Saturday night dinner. The parsley and spices gave them a bit of an oriental touch and I love how soft and fragrent the peppers become through baking.

5 big peppers
200g of millet
200g of feta
a bunch of parsley
3-4 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 shallots
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 teaspoon of Raz el Hanout spice mixture
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of cumin
chili (depending on how hot you like it)
salt and pepper to taste
enough vegetable stock to cover the bottom of your casserole

directions:

Wash the millet and cook for 5 minutes in double the amount of water, then let sit for 10 minutes without heat and with a closed lid, until the grains have absorbed all the liquid.
Meanwhile, half the peppers and remove the seeds. Heat your oven to 200°C (390°F). Put the peppers in a casserole or a high baking tray and let them bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
For the filling, cut the shallots and garlic and sauté them until translucent. Add them to the cooked millet, as well as the tomato paste, crumbled feta, the spices and minced parsley.

Take the peppers out of the oven and fill them with the millet mixture. Pour enough vegetable stock into the casserole so that the bottom is covered. Let the stuffed peppers bake in the oven for another 8-10 minutes.

Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top and serve. Hummus on the side compliments the flavours quite well.

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kidney bean spread

 

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1 can of kidneybeans
2 shallots
2 cloves of garlic
2-3 tablespoons of tomato paste
1/4th teaspoon of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of curry powder
1 teaspoon of dried italian herbs (such as basil, thyme, rosemary)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
pepper and salt to taste
a dash of water

optional: a teaspoon of nutritional yeast

directions:

Dice the shallots and garlic cloves and sweat in a pan with a little bit of olive oil until translucent. Drain the kidney beans and add them to the pan, stirring frequently. Add the tomato paste, then take the pan from the stove and add the herbs and spices. Let cool for a bit and spoon in a food processor, you may add the nutritional yeast here. Mix until the spread has  a homogenous consistency.

coffee energy balls with buckwheat and coconut

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I saw a similar recipe a while ago, wrote the ingredients down and now can’t find the blogpost anymore- so sorry for not giving credits! I changed it a little as I was running low on cocoa so I decided to make them coffee flavoured instead – perfect for getting out of that little afternoon energy slump! They also freeze well.

1 cup of coconut shredded coconut
1 cup of sprouted buckwheat
1 teaspoon of cocoa powder (I would advise to add more to get them really chocolatey)
about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of instant coffee, no added sugar (a little goes a long way)
a dash of maple sirup, amount depends on your preference for sweetness
pinch of vanilla powder
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
a pinch of salt
optional: a few cocao nibs

directions:

sprout the buckwheat for about a day (for example in a sprouting jar), until a little sprout is visible. Mix together all the ingredients but the maple sirup and pulse in the food processor until it has a crumbly consistency. Add the maple sirup (a little bit at first, add in more until it has the right sweetness for you). At this point of course feel free to add more coffee, vanilla, cinnamon. Roll the „dough“ into little balls and keep them in the fridge.

vegetarian borscht soup

DSCN2375Long time no see! I intended to get in touch again earlier but for some reason the kitchen gods were not in my favour and I had some cooking failures over the holidays. Well, that’s the price of trying out new recipes! Hopefully you had relaxing Christmas holidays and wonderful New Year’s Eve celebrations. Soon I’m going back to my tiny fox-borrow-sized kitchen at my University town, so I took advantage of my parents‘ roomier space (and this time succesfully!) .

So Borscht is a beetroot and potato soup, which seems to be very popular in eastern Europe, especially Poland, Russia, Ukraine and White Russia (thanks Wikipedia!). I must admit that I have never tried original borscht so I can’t garantuee its authentity. I found the recipe in a free magazine (Schrot und Korn) at a local wholefood shop and it made for a nice warming dinner (with an amazing colour!).

For 4-5 persons
800g beetroot
500g hard boiling potatoes
1 leek
600g white cabbage
1 bay leave
1-2 tablespoons caraway
1,5 litres vegetable stock
1 bunch of dill
a piece of fresh horseradish
a little oil for the pan
100g Saure Sahne/ sour cream* (the original recipe calls for 200g)

salt and pepper to taste, a splash of white vinegar or cider vinegar

directions:

Peel the beetroot and potatoes and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Wash the leek, cut it up lenghtwise and then into then into ringlets. Cut the white cabbage into little pieces.

Heat a little bit of ol in a big pot and sweat the beetroot, potatoes, leek and cabbage for about 5 minutes. Add the bay leave, caraway and vegetable stock and let simmer for 20-30 minutes with a closed lid.

Chop the dill, findely grate the horseradish. When the vegetables are ready, add sour cream, 2/3 of the dill and horseradisch, as well as salt, pepper and vinegar. Fill into bowls and sprinkle remaining dill and horseradisch on top. Enjoy!

*I wrote about Saure Sahne/ sour cream in this recipe

bear paws Christmas cookies

DSCN2344 (2)These cookies have a long tradition in my familiy, my grandma used to make them and now my Mom and I bake them every Christmas. They are called „Bärentatzen“ meaning bear paws because they are pressed into a wooden mold to form paws (though you do need a little phantasy to see the resemblance :)). They are definitely not the prettiest Christmas cookies out there but they are my favourite anyway. Also, we use less sugar than many comparable recipes call for and they don’t contain flour (a traditional gluten-free recipe you could say, dating from a time when gluten-free wasn’t even a thing!). There`s also no butter involved but lots of chocolate, which in my book are two very good things.
You don’t need that wooden mold, though, to make them and feel free to decorate them in any way you like (I’ve seen pictures of „Bärentatzen“ using sliced almond as claws, that could be an idea for next year)!

for about 25 cookies
3 egg whites
125g 85% dark chocolate
250g almond meal
2 teaspoons of cocoa powder
1 teablespoon of cinnamon
zest of 1 lemon
100g sugar*

directions:

Finely grate the dark chocolate – this is the part that takes quite a bit of elbow grease but there probably are a lot of kitchen helpers out there to quicken the process. Mix with the cocoa powder, almond meal, cinnamon and lemon zest. Beat the egg whites and add sugar. Mix everything together with a spoon. Roll the dough into balls between your palms (quite big, about 5-6cm/ 2-2,3 inches). If you have a wooden mold, press the dough balls into it to get the paw shape or use any other form that you like. You could also press the ball a bit flat to get a more traditional cookie shape (not too flat though, this way you will get a soft core). A tip if you use some sort oft mold: wipe it clean from time to time so that the dough doesn’t stick to it or roll the dough in some extra sugar or almond meal to get it out more easily.
Let the bear paws rest over night in a cool and dry place and bake them the next day at 180°C (350°F) for 20 minutes. Store them in a cookie tin. If they appear too hard and dry at first, put a few apple slices in the tin as well and they will soften up so they are just right.

*you could use less ore more sugar, it depends on your liking. Feel free to substitute it with other sweeteners like Erythritol

sauerkraut with chickpeas and tomatoes

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I fear that some people may be weirded out by this combination – but I can assure you that sauerkraut and tomatoes actually go together really nicely. I find that the tomato sauce takes away a little of the sourness of sauerkraut, while the yoghurt gives creaminess.

500g of sauerkraut
2 carrots
1 can of chickpeas
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
pepper and salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon of cumin
1/4 teaspoon of yellow curry powder
a sprinkle of olive oil
a dallop of natural yoghurt

directions:

Cut the carrots and garlic into pieces. Heat  olive oil and sweat the garlic and the carrots. Add a bit of water and let cook until tender, then add the other ingredients (drain the chickpeas). Stir well until everything is combined and hot. Serve with a dallop of natural yoghurt.

red cabbage with chickpeas and carrots

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about 400g of frozen red cabbage (or from a glas or can)
2 carrots
1 can of chickpeas
1 shallot
1 big clove of garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon of cumin
a dollop of natural yoghurt

Dice the shallots and garlic and sweat them. Add carrot pieces, then the cabbage and let cook on medium heat. When everything is nearly done, drain the chickpeas and add them to the pot. Add the spices and serve with a dollop of yoghurt.

 

Andalusian carrot salad

DSCN2314 This aromatic salad is one of my go-to recipes to bring to a party (in that case, I usually double the recipe). It can easily be made in advance as it actually tastes best when it has had time to marinate.

500g of carrots
2 cloves of garlic
3 tablesppons of apple cider vinegar
3-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
1/2 teaspoon of oregano
salt and pepper to taste

directions:

Peel the carrots, cut off the ends and put them in a pot, add just enough water so that they are covered. Let cook on medium heat until they are tender (10-15 minutes, depending on size).
Cut the garlic into fine pieces and mix with the other ingredients to make the dressing.
When the carrots are ready, let them cool and cut them into slices. Toss everything together and let steep over night or longer.

healthy German cheesecake with apples

DSCN2296Yes, another „German“ recipe, I’m only putting it in the title because – as with the onion tart – the recipe calls for a quite specific dairy product, which may not be readily available everywhere. While the typical American cheesecake has a cream cheese filling making it delisiously creamy, rich and smooth, German cheesecakes use curd cheese („Quark“) as a base. This makes for a lighter, fluffier cake, that I’m quite partial to because it tastes of childhood memories to me, it’s the kind of cake moms would bring to nursery school festivities.

Curd cheese is somewhat similar to yoghurt but produced differently. In France you find fromage blanc, which is very close if not the same. To me, the American greek yoghurt tasted very much like quark, I’ve read tips online that you can drain it through a cotton cloth it it is too runny, so that may be a substutite if you can’t find curd cheese anywhere.

Also, a slight warning. While this cakes is really, really delicious, it is not, however, a-healthy-cake-that-doesn’t-taste-healthy. It’s sweet but not too sugary, with a substantial base due to the whole wheat bottom. It’s the sort of cake which you can find at a food stall at an organic farmer’s market around here. And I really, really love that taste! „healthy German cheesecake with apples“ weiterlesen

quick flu remedy: fresh ginger tea

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This not really a recipe but just a quick reminder just how good ginger is for fighting the flu!

1  1/2 cups / 350 ml of water
a knob of ginger

directions:

Wash and peel the ginger and cut it into fine slices. Heat together with water – if using organic ginger, also use the ginger peel. Bring to aboil and let simmer for 2 minutes and fill tea into a big mug (straining the ginger or leaving it in like lazy me).  You may also add sweetener if you prefer a sweeter taste.
This may sound strange but if you can handle the heat, eat the leftover ginger after drinking the tea, I find that this also helps against a sore throat.

Get well soon!