Little Gem Lettuce Wraps

170517 Gem Salad Wraps-5298

The perfect fun, light and varied dinner or appetizer finger food. Here with 4 different toppings but any of your favourite stews or mixes will work. As long as they are not too liquid.

Ingredients:

Baby gem lettuce, trim off the outer leaves, rinse and separate the leaves

Creamy Quinoa Mix:
200 ml Quinoa cooked in vegetable bullion as per instructions on the package
1 small leek, finely chopped
2 tablespoons spicy mango chutney
50 ml coconut milk
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp ginger

1) Cook the quinoa
2) When done, stir in the remaining ingredients. Keep stirring over low heat until warm. Set aside.

Chili Cauliflower Mix:
½ garlic clove, crushed
Olive oil
½ a large head of cauliflower, cut into small pieces
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
3 tablespoons coriander leaves, shredded
1 lime, juice and zest
1 tablespoon olive oil
Chili flakes to taste

1) Sautee the garlic in olive oil
2) Add the cauliflower pieces
3) When soft, remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients
4) Stir to combine

Asian Beef Mix:
Small onion, chopped
Olive oil
400 g ground beef
2 tablespoon of soy sauce (Japanese)
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp ground ginger

1) Sautee the onion.
2) Add the beef and fry until done.
3) Add the remaining ingredients.

Creamy Shrimp Mix:
200 g peeled shrimp
1 avocado, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons crème fresh/sour cream
Variation 1) 1 table spoon Asian sweet chili sauce
Variation 2) ½ lime, juice from

1) Combine all ingredients and, if you want, add variation 1) or 2)

Add salt and pepper as needed to the 4 mixes.

Place the lettuce leaves on a plate. Add the toppings. Enjoy!

Aubergine Lentil Lasagna

170419 Aubergine Lentil Lasagne-5273

A nice and spicy “lasagna”. Don’t forget to start by soaking the almonds in water at least 8 hours in advance. Then, for a whiter sauce, remove the almond peel, or, like me, let it stay on.

Makes a lasagna 25 cm by 25 cm

150 g green lentils, cooked
1 aubergine/eggplant, thinly sliced (about 3-5 mm slices – use a mandolin)
A bit of olive oil
Salt

Sauce:
½ white onion, chopped
½ small garlic clove, crushed
1 green pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, diced
½ red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
400 g canned chopped tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp lime juice.

Almond Cream:
300 ml soaked almonds (should be soaked about 8 hours)
100 ml water
50 ml almond milk (unsweetened)
½ tsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp lemon juice
dash of salt

Parsley, chopped

1. Oven at 200C. Slice the aubergine thinly, spray (coat) with some olive oil and sprinkle some salt on top.
2. Roast the aubergine slices until brown (about 15 minutes)
3. In a pan, boil the lentils in plenty of salted water for about 20 minutes.
4. Sautee the onion and garlic until soft but with no colour
5. Add the green bell pepper and the zucchini – sautee for another few minutes.
6. Add the chopped tomatoes. Simmer a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
7. Add the cooked lentils and remove from heat.
8. Stir in the lime juice.
9. Take a few spoonfuls of the sauce and spread on the bottom of an oiled lasagna casserole.
10. Lay a layer of roasted aubergines, then another layer of the sauce, continue the layering and finish by a layer of sauce.
11. Bake in oven 180C for 15 minutes.
12. Make the almond cream by combining all ingredients in a blender and then running until smooth. The cream will not be completely smooth, though, (unless you change the almonds for cashews).
13. When the lasagna is ready, serve with the cream and some parsley on top.

Crusted Haddock with Chorizo Foam

161019-crusted-haddock-w-chorizo-foam-9978

Serves 4

Tomato Salad:
300 g cherry tomatoes, quartered
150 g snow pea pods, sliced
1 red onion, finely chopped

Dressing:
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt
(a few drops of Agave syrup to create a balanced dressing and bring out the flavours, optional)

Crust:
150 g blanched almonds, chopped
100 g sesame seeds
Salt and pepper

500 g haddock, fillets (or cod, if preferred)
2-3 tbsp olive oil

Foam:
200 g chorizo, cut into pieces
250 ml heavy cream
200 ml milk

1. Prepare the salad. Combine the dressing and pour on top. Set aside.
2. Toast the chopped almond in the oven for 5-6 minutes on 200C. Add the sesame seeds and toast another 2-3 minutes.
3. Cover the fish in olive oil, dip into crusted mixture. Fry in a pan for 1-2 minute on each side. Then place on baking sheet (if the crumbs fall off, add a few more). Bake in oven for 5 minutes, or until done.
4. Fry the chorizo in a pan until a lot of the flavoursome oil has seeped out. Add the cream and simmer for 6-7 minutes. Add the milk, bring to a boil and then remove from heat. Remove the chorizo pieces (and discard them) by straining the mixture into a deep pan. Let cool for a few minutes.
5. To create the foam, use a hand held immersion blender, tilt the pan a bit on its side so that half the blender is in the liquid and the other half is not. When you run the blender on maximum speed a foam will be created. You need to have a lot of air flowing in thus the tilting of the pan is important. Mix for a few minutes until a thick foam is created.
6. Place the tomato salad and the fish on individual plates, spoon over the foam and serve immediately.

Leftover salad and crust:
For a delicious leftover lunch, use the salad, add some protein (halloumi, tuna, chicken…) and drizzle the crust (sesame and almond mix) on top.

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Spicy Organic Chicken Casserole

160824 Chicken Casserole-1272

A wholesome casserole, full of flavor. Serve with gluten free pasta, rice, marinated zucchini noodles (see recipe below) and/or the Parmesan Muffins I posted a few weeks ago.

Serves 4

500 g free-range organic chicken, cut into pieces
Olive oil

3 carrots, thick slices
100 g root celery, cut into pieces about the same size as the carrots
5 shallots, chopped
Olive oil

1 clove of garlic, crushed

800 grams of peeled, canned cherry tomatoes in its juice
2 bay leaves
1 chicken bouillon/stock cube
50 ml lemon juice
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
Salt and black pepper

6 slices Serrano ham, cut into smaller pieces
Fresh thyme for decoration

1. Fry the chicken in a bit of oil until colored, set aside
2. Sautee the carrots, shallots and celery. When done, add the garlic and sauté for another minute.
3. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, spices and let simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Add the chicken and simmer another 10 minutes, or, until the chicken is done.
5. Add the ham and simmer 2-3 minutes.
6. Sprinkle some oregano on top.

160825 Marinated Courgette-8213

Marinated Zucchini Noodles

These noodles are quick and easy to make and simply delicious. I like to marinate them a little more than 30 minutes – this way the zucchini has time to soften and the flavor of the marinade penetrate the dish.

3 medium size zucchinis
2 tbsp of white wine vinegar
4 tbsp olive oil
Salt and black pepper

1. Whisk the marinade.
2. Using a spiralizer, create the noodle like threads of the zucchini.
3. Pour the marinade over the zucchini and let stand for +30 minutes.

Jerked Salmon with Tomato Quinoa and Apple Lemon Sauce

160720 Jerked Salmon w Tomatoe Quinoa and Apple Sauce-1542

This dish can also be served as a finger food in small pieces on top of spinach leaves with small dots of sauce on top. Here I’m serving the dish as a main course with a Tomato Quinoa. Smoked salmon is very rich which is why I’m suggesting quite small servings. The allspice and the cayenne pepper is what gives the dominating taste of jerk spice rub but, for the rest, feel free to experiment.

Serves 4

300-400 g smoked salmon. In one thick piece, not sliced.

Jerk spices:
½ tsp dried cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground allspice
2 tsp dried thyme
½ tsp ginger
¼ ground cloves
1 tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Dash of salt

1 tsp honey
2 tsp lime zest
(optional – 1 garlic clove, crushed)

Tomato Quinoa:
200 ml quinoa
1 vegetable stock cube
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Olive oil
6 tbsp tomato puree

Sauce:
1 small apple
1 tbsp lemon juice
2-3 tbsp Greek yoghurt

Black pepper or chili flakes, to decorate
Spinach

1. Boil the quinoa, with the stock cube, according to manufacturer’s instructions.
2. Sautee the onion and garlic in some olive oil for a few minutes. Add the tomato puree and, while stirring, fry for another minute.
3. Add the cooked quinoa and stir, still over heat, another few minutes.
4. Combine the dry jerk ingredients. Add the honey and lime. Mix well.
5. Cut the salmon into serving portions. With your fingers, rub the spice onto the salmon, all over. Fry briefly over high heat, 45 seconds each side.
6. Mix the apple and lemon juice with a stick blender. Strain to remove some of the liquid. Add the yoghurt and stir.
7. Place some spinach leaves on the plate together with the salmon, quinoa and sauce. Decorate with some chili flakes or black pepper.

Zaatar Quinoa with Dijon Bean Salad

160615 Zaatar Quinoa

Zaatar is a wonderful spice mix often used in Middle Eastern cooking. It is based on Sumak (citrus/sour flavoured ground berries) and herbs.

Quinoa dressing:
3 tbsp zaatar
50 ml olive oil

200 ml uncooked quinoa
Parsley, chopped

Dijon dressing:
100 ml olive oil
50 ml white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper

12 sugar snaps, cut in 3rds
½ onion, finely chopped
200 g cherry tomatoes, halved (or, if large, quartered)
250 g canned kidney beans (drained weight)
250 g canned butter beans

1. Slowly whisk the Zaatar into the olive oil until well blended. Set aside.
2. Cook the quinoa according to the instructions on the package. When cooked, stir in half of the Zaatar dressing.
3. Whisk the ingredients for the Dijon dressing.
4. Combine the beans, onion and tomatoes. Add half of the Dijon dressing.
5. When serving, play with drops of the remainders of the two dressings.

Scallops Citrus Salad

160224 Scallop Citrus Salad-1541

A wonderful salad where everything, except the scallops, may be prepared in advance. Great as a starter or a main course.

1-3 large scallops per person (depending if starter or main course)
Butter for frying

1 grapefruit
Baby gem lettuce
Cherry tomatoes, halved
½ avocado per person
Crab meat, canned, 40-50 g per person

Dressing:
Any preserved grapefruit juice from the cutting
¼ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. Cut away the grapefruit peel and then “segment” the fruit. That is, cut away the thin, white membranes separating each wedge. Preserve any juice that seeps out.
2. Combine the ingredients for the dressing and whisk/shake together.
3. Prepare the salad, including the crabmeat, and place on serving plates.
4. Drizzle with dressing.
5. Keep the scallops refrigerated until you need them. Wash and dry them thoroughly.
6. Heat a frying pan with some butter. When hot, add the scallops. Place them a bit apart in the pan. Leave them for 2-3 minutes (depending on size) before turning. Add some cold butter when you turn. Fry another 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately on top of the salad.

Fruity Quinoa Rice with Grilled Mackerel

1602 Fruity Rice Quinoa w Grilled Mackerel-1463
The Fruity Quinoa Rice is really the most important part of this dish. Instead of serving mackerel with it, you can choose chicken or some smoked fish if you prefer.
Any leftover rice will be delicious the next day, refreshed with some sautéed portobello mushrooms, some pieces of chorizo and, maybe, some paprika powder too.

Serves 6

100g pistachio nuts (including shells)
50 g pecan nuts, cut into pieces
70 g dried apricots
300 ml quinoa
300 ml red rice
Vegetable bouillon (to cook the rice in)
1 leek, finely chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A handful of peppery rocket salad, finely chopped
3 medium sized mackerels, whole (but cleaned)
Salt
Olive oil

  1. Shell the pistachio nuts and dry fry all the nuts in a pan.
  2. Cut the apricots into smaller pieces.
  3. Cut the rocket salad finely.
  4. Cook the quinoa a few minutes less than the instructions on package indicate.
  5. Cook the rice in vegetable bouillon a few minutes less than the package instructions indicate.
  6. In a large pan, fry the leek and garlic in some oil.
  7. Add the cooked quinoa and rice. Sautee a few minutes.
  8. Drizzle some olive oil on top. Add the vinegar and salt and pepper. Taste. Season some more.
  9. Mix in the nuts and apricots.
  10. Stir in the rocket salad.
  11. Score the back of the mackerel in 3-4 places and the coat the fish with olive oil and salt.
  12. Place the mackerels in the oven under a hot grill and grill for 20-25 minutes, turning half way through. (If you have a combination steam oven, use 30% steam during the grilling.)

 

Glorious Gazpacho

1602 Gazpacho-1339

Many are not aware, but Gazpacho normally contains breadcrumbs which are blended with the tomatoes to create a slightly thicker soup. This version does does not need any breadcrumbs.

Choose your tomatoes with care, they are your main ingredient!

Serves 4 as a main course

1 kilo ripe tomatoes, cut into pieces
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 red pepper, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
25 ml white vinegar
25 ml olive oil
A pinch of salt
Garnish; a small chopped cucumber, chopped red pepper or chopped green pepper

1. Place all vegetable pieces in a blender.
2. Add vinegar, oil and salt.
3. Blend until smooth.
4. Add water until desired thickness (about 50 ml)
5. Add more for oil for a creamier soup.

Chill in refrigerator several hours.
Garnish with cut up vegetables on top and a few drops of olive oil.
Serve with some gluten free potato bread.

Roasted Vegetables

160127 Roasted Vegetables-1125Anything goes here. I’ve put together a meal consisting of my favourite vegetables. The most important is to cut the vegetables in appropriate sizes so that they will be done at the same time. With this dish, I think that the Chevre Dip and the Apple Mustard Sauce goes really well.

1 red onion
1 large courgette
Chestnut mushrooms
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 large parsnip
3 Jerusalem artichokes
1 large carrot

Oven at 210 C

  1. Place all cut up vegetables on a large baking tray.
  2. Drizzel with oil, add some salt and pepper
  3. Roast in oven for 45-55 minutes (depending on the size of your vegetables).

Chicken Chorizo Casserole

1601 Chicken Chorizo Casserole-1031 A chicken dish full of flavours inspired from a Louisiana recipe. For some added heat, I like to choose the picante chorizo. A dish that is well suited to be prepared in advance and just re-heated before serving.

Serves 6

600 g chicken fillets, cut into pieces
3-4 tbsp soy sauce

1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
Olive oil to fry in
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp thyme

600 g chopped tomatoes (canned)
4 bay leaves
200 ml chicken broth

200 g chorizo (dry cured pork sausage), sliced and halved
100 ml single cream
Salt and pepper

Red, green and yellow peppers, thinly sliced
Lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Cooked rice
Chili flakes

  1. Marinate the chicken in soy sauce for about 20 minutes.
  2. Combine the peppers, seasoning and lemon juice, set aside to marinate a bit.
  3. Cook the rice.
  4. Fry the onion and garlic for a few minutes. Add the spices.
  5. Add the tomatoes, broth and bay leaves. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the chicken, simmer for another 20 minutes (until done).
  7. Add the chorizo and the cream, simmer for another 5-6 minutes.
  8. Remove the bay leaves.
  9. Season if needed.
  10. Serve the casserole with peppers and rice, sprinkle with chili flakes.

1601 Chicken Chorizo Casserole-1054

Almond Crusted Cod with Sweet Potato Wedges, Roasted Carrots and Tomato Sauce

160113 Almond Crusted Cod-0968
This dish is inspired by a Swedish salmon recipe with mustard sauce. It is a dairy free/low fodmap recipe.

Serves 6

1 kilo cod loins

Crust:
70g almond, blanched and roughly chopped
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped dill
Salt (from a salt mill)

Tomato Sauce:
12 (1,5 kg) tomatoes, cut each in 4 wedges, then in half creating 8 pieces from each tomato
2 red peppers, cut into pieces
1 fennel bulb, cut into pieces
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

Roasted Carrots:
I kilo carrots, halved lengthwise
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp maple syrup (100% pure)
2 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Sweet Potato, wedges
Salt
Olive oil

2 lemons, wedges
Oven at 200C

  1. Roast tomato sauce vegetables with oil, vinegar and seasoning in 200 C 40 min
  2. Coat the carrots with the oil, syrup, juice and seasing and roast them for 20 min in 200 C
  3. Roast potato wedges with the oil and salt for 30 min in 200 C
  4. Combine the ingredients for the crust
  5. Spread crust over fish
  6. Bake in 200 C oven for 10-12 minutes (depending on thickness of the fish)
  7. With a hand held blender, briefly process the roasted vegetables into a sauce.
  8. Serve with lemon wedges on the side

 

Aubergine Parmigiana

160106 Parmigiana Starter-0946

A good Parmigiana should be made with a great roasted tomato sauce and lots of cheese! This one is a favourite!

Serves 6
3 medium aubergines, sliced lengthwise about 1 cm thick
Olive oil
400 ml tomato sauce
4 eggs
80 g parmesan cheese, grated
200 g mozzarella, thinly sliced
Fresh basil
Salt and pepper
Tomato Sauce:
1 red pepper, cut into pieces
4 (0.5 kilo) large tomatoes, cut into pieces
1 red onion, cut into 6-8 pieces
1 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
5 basil leaves, shredded
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Spinach leaves
 

  1. Oven at 200 C
  2. Place all vegetables for the tomato sauce on an oven tray, sprinkle the garlic, vinegar and oil on top. Roast 30 minutes. When done (soft and slightly charred), let cool, place in blender and mix until semi-smooth.
  3. Sauté the aubergine slices in oil over high heat. Place on paper towels to absorb some of the oil.
  4. Cover the bottom of a casserole dish with ½ of the tomatoe sauce
  5. Whisk one egg and pour on top
  6. Place a layer of aubergines and sprinkle some salt on top
  7. Pour remaining sauce on the aubergines
  8. Spread ½ of the parmesan cheese on the sauce and all of the mozzarella
  9. Put some of the basil on the mozzarella
  10. Layer the remaining aubergines on top
  11. Spread the remaining parmesan on the aubergines
  12. Whisk 3 eggs and pour on top
  13. Place some basil leaves on the dish and place in the oven. Bake 20 minutes.
  14. Serve on a bed of spinach leaves, with some ham or with some gluten free bread.

Anchovy Courgette Pasta

160106 Courgette Anjovy Pasta-0775

The courgette pasta, courgette cut into long spaghetti strands (you do need a spiral slicer/spiralizer), is wonderful when combined with a flavoursome sauce. This anchovy sauce is both salty and sharp in taste, the perfect addition to this dish!

4 anchovies (tinned)
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
Chili flakes
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp capers

400 g chopped tomatoes
200 ml black olives, chopped

A handful of dry roasted pecans, pine nuts and pistachio nuts
Parmesan cheese, grated

5 courgettes, spiralized

  1. On medium heat, fry the anchovies and onion in the oil
  2. Add the tomato puree and chili flakes. Let cook 1-2 minutes
  3. Add the capers and cook another minute
  4. Add tomatoes and olives.
  5. Let simmer 5-10 minutes
  6. In a dry frying pan, toast the nuts, then add them to the anchovy mix.
  7. Using a spiralizer, create spaghetti looking strands from the courgette.
  8. Fry the courgette a few minutes on high heat.
  9. Serve with some Parmesan cheese.

Tomato Cod with Crushed Potato and Saffron Vegetables

151230 Tomato Cod with Crushed Potato-0971

This dish is easy to prepare in advance. The vegetable saffron mix and the sauce can be made beforehand and the vegetables just heated before serving. Only the fish should be prepared in the last minute. A beautiful, colourful and very tasty meal.

Serves 4

600 g Cod
Salt

Olive oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 red pepper
Salt and pepper
0.5 g saffron
200 ml vegetable stock

4 tomatoes, sliced
Parsley, chopped

6 medium sized potatoes, scrubbed, skin on
Salt and pepper
Optional, 3-4 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese

Sauce:
200 ml Greek yogurt
100 ml Quark
2 tbsp chopped dill
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp chopped leek
2 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Oven at 200C

  1. Place the fish fillets in an ovenproof dish, sprinkle with some salt and cover with aluminum foil. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
  2. Boil the scrubbed potatoes. When done, use a potato masher (or a fork) and slightly crush the potatoes. Don’t make mashed potatoes, just crush them slightly. Season. (Stir in the parmesan cheese.)
  3. Sauté the vegetables (excluding the tomatoes) in some oil, season with salt, pepper and saffron, add the stock, let simmer 5-10 minutes.
  4. Combine the ingredients for the sauce.
  5. Place the vegetable saffron mix on a plate. Add the fish. Put the tomato slices and parsley on top. Add the sauce and the potato.