Avocado Strawberry Salad

171129 Avocado Strawberry Salad-8432

A beautiful, slightly sweet and spicy, starter.

Serves 4

2 avocado, ripe but firm, chopped into small pieces
100 ml finely chopped strawberries
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt
Chili flakes

1. On a plate, make a pile of the avocado, add some salt and chili flakes
2. Place the strawberries on top, mix in some salt and chili flakes
3. Drizzle with oil and vinegar

171129 Avocado Strawberry Salad-8451

Carrot and Parsnip Soup with Crunch

Carrot Parsnip Soup-8273

A warm, filling soup – perfect on a chilly evening with some crusty, gluten free bread (why not try the potato bread recipe? You’ll find it in the search bar).
Roasting the vegetables in the oven before adding to the soup, brings out some wonderful strong flavours. Add the pecans and coconut for some nice crunch.

Serves 4

5 medium sized carrots
4 medium sized parsnips
olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Dash of salt

150-250 ml coconut milk
350-450 ml water

100 ml chopped pecans
50 ml shredded coconut
salt
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Chili flakes

1. Peel and cut the vegetables into halves even sized slices and place in a casserole dish
2. Drizzle with olive oil, vinegar, chili flakes, juice and salt.
3. Roast in oven 200 C about 40 minutes (until caramelized and tender)
4. Deglaze the oven pan with some of the above water (pour the liquid into the hot pan and stir to release the flavours that have stuck to the bottom of the pan).
5. In a saucepan, add most of the milk and water (including the deglazing liquid) with the veggies and let simmer for 15 minutes.
6. Using a handheld mixer, purée until completely smooth. If too thick, add some more liquid.
7. Taste and add more chili or juice, as needed.
8. In a dry pan, toast the pecans and coconut, add some salt.
9. Pour into soup bowls and add the pecans and coconut then drizzle balsamic vinegar, olive oil and/or chili flakes on top

Vegetable Medley with Apple and Fennel

Vegetable Medley w Quinoa-8496

The fennel, black pepper and apple really makes this dish. Sweet and spicy. Great as a side dish (halloumi makes for a perfect combo) or as a starter.

Serves 4

2 red peppers
2 yellow peppers
1 fennel bulb (keep the sprigs/fronds for decorations)
1 zucchini/courgette
2 apples
Olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Generous amount of black pepper
Dash of salt

200 ml quinoa
400 ml water
Dash of salt

Decoration:
Radish cut into thin strips
Fennel sprigs
Lingonberries

1. Rinse the quinoa and simmer with water until done (10-15 minutes). Season
2. Cut the vegetables and apple into small even pieces
3. Sauté in olive oil until done
4. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice
5. In a mold, place the quinoa on the bottom, then add an equal layer of vegetables on top. Remove the mold.
6. Decorate with sprigs/fronds of fennel, radish sticks and lingonberries.

Miso Cooked Cauliflower Spinach Salad

Miso Cooked Cauliflower Spinach Salad-7888

A really great side dish which actually uses the cauliflower stalks (most recipes use the florets). Sweet, salty and spicy. Delicious!

Salad:
Fresh spinach leaves
½ head of cauliflower stalks (the florets cut off to be used for cauliflower rice or similar dish)
Radish
Walnuts

Olive oil

Miso Dressing:
½ teaspoon chili flakes
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon miso paste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt

1. Remove the outer cauliflower florets and keep the stalks
2. Chop the cauliflower stalks into smaller, bite size pieces.
3. Fry the stalks in olive oil until slightly browned.
4. Mix the miso dressing and add the pan. Gently simmer for a few minutes.
5. When done, take out the stalks and reserve the dressing in the pan.
6. Toss the spinach leaves with some of the dressing.
7. Cut the walnuts into smaller pieces
8. Slice the radish into thin slices.
9. Add the stalks, walnuts and radishes.
10. Add remaining dressing.

Rösti, Mushrooms, Pickled Red Onion

Rosti Mushrooms Red Onion-8157

Deliciously crunchy and flavourful. To be enjoyed as a starter or a side dish. My very favourite recipe!

4 servings

Pickled Red Onion:
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
75 ml white wine vinegar
100 ml sugar
225 ml water

Herbed Oil:
50 ml olive oil
large bunch parsley

Rosti:
10 medium sized potatoes, peeled and finely grated
Salt and black pepper
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil

Mushrooms:
400 g mixed mushrooms (Portobello, chanterelles…), sliced
1-2 tablespoons of cooking oil (for frying)
1 tablespoon cognac
4 tablespoons (dairy free*) crème fraiche (based on oat, soy…)

Decorations:
Lettuce (Rosso), sprouts and broccoli stalks

1. Start by preparing the onion. Whisk together the vinegar, sugar and water until the sugar is completely dissolved. Place the onion slices in a jar and pour the vinegar mix on top. Cover, shake and let sit for at least 1 hour.
2. Run the parsley and oil in a blender. Let sit for a minimum of 30 minutes and remove solids with a sieve before serving (drizzle on the plate).
3. Squeeze the starchy water out of the grated potato and season. Then fry on medium heat in a little olive oil. Create thin patties, 2 per person. In the frying pan, press down and flatten the patty but do not move until one side is done (2-3 minutes). Can be made ahead of time and heated in the oven (180 C, 10 minutes) before serving (will also ensure the patty is nice and crisp).
4. Slice the mushrooms and fry over medium heat until all water has evaporated. Add the cognac and cook until it has evaporated. Add the “crème fraiche” and stir until heated through.
5. Layer the rösti, lettuce, mushroom mix, sprouts, another rösti and top with the pickled onion. Drizzle the plate with the herbed oil and add some broccoli.

* There are many ways of making your own dairy free crème fraiche, if you can’t find a good ready-made option. It is important to add lemon and nutritional yeast in small increments (while tasting) so that they don’t become overpowering.
1) Silken Tofu, blended with a dash of lemon juice and a little nutritional yeast gives the soured cream taste. For obtaining the right texture, add some almond milk.
2) Soak cashews overnight, rinse and blend with a little almond milk, lemon juice (and a small amount of nutritional yeast).

Ratatouille

ratatouille-7935

A wonderful vegetable side dish or starter, the tiny cubes takes for a lot of chopping but allows for the rich flavours to release and mix, thus creating a delicious dish!!

2 zucchinis/courgettes (1 to be kept for decorations)
1 onion
1 aubergine
3-4 tomatoes
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper
4-5 tablespoons chopped parsley

Some chopped parsley to decorate and black pepper

1. Oven at 175 C
2. Cut one zucchini and one aubergine, first in 5 mm slices then lengthwise and across to create 5 mm cubes.
3. Cut the tomato into wedges, cut out the seeds and discard. Then cut the tomato flesh into fine cubes.
4. Chop the onion finely.
5. Mix the vegetables with the oil, juice and spices.
6. Spread in wide oven proof dish.
7. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring 3-4 times during this time.
8. Slice the remaining zucchini into very thin slices using a vegetable slicer, if you have. Also, a cheese slicer can be used (or a knife, but that is a bit harder) to create a long zucchini ribbon.
9. After the 25 minutes of baking, add the zucchini ribbons on top (see photo) and bake another 10 minutes.
10. To serve: press into ring molds, drizzle with oil and chopped parsley.

Ratatouille-7948

Baked Root Celery. Minted Pea Puree. Corn Gremolata.

Baked Root Celery-7796

A gentle vegetarian meal with a hint of sweetness. If you want more of a bite to it, add some chili flakes to the honey for the root celery. This dish has many components. Feel free to experiment with them in other recipes/combinations. The Beet Shards should be made in advance (may be kept in the freezer).

Baked Root Celery:
I slice per person
½ teaspoon honey per person
Olive oil
Salt

1. Cut the celery in 1 cm slices
2. Brush each slice with olive oil and 1/2 tsp of honey. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
3. Bake in 175C oven for 30 minutes.

Cheesy Beet Shards:
150 ml chopped pickled beets
60 gram macademia nuts, soaked overnight
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
½ tsp nutritional yeast
salt and black pepper
2 tsp flax meal (to be added after all the other ingredients are well blended into a smooth puree)
2 tsp black sesame seeds

1. Run all except flax meal and sesame seeds in blender until completely smooth
2. Add the flax meal and sesame seeds and blend just until combined
3. Pour thinly onto sheets and place in dehydrator, 45C, and dry until crisp. Probably overnight.
4. Brake into shards and keep in freezer until use.

Pea Puree with mint:
300 ml frozen peas
Water to boil in
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
1 teaspoon vermouth
½ tablespoon of olive oil

1. Simmer the peas in water for 3 minutes
2. Run cooked peas in blender together with chopped mint leaves, vermouth, olive oil and a little (2-4 tablespoons) of the hot water
3. Add more water if needed
4. Push through a sieve (this step may be omitted if the puree is smooth enough)
5. Cool quickly as to not losing that strong, green colour

Corn Gremolata:
100 ml chopped hazelnuts
100 ml parsley
50 ml corn (canned or frozen)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoons lemon zest
salt and pepper

1. Pulse in food processor, do not puree, make sure some chunks remain.

Tomato liquid:
400 ml chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons roughly chopped basil

1. Run all in blender until smooth. Add the basil and briefly pulse.
2. Pour into wide casserole and set in 100C oven for 30 minutes to reduce
3. Strain

Plate with the tomato liquid, a slice of root celery, the pea puree on top, gremolata, pieces of the beet shards and, maybe, some extra corn. There are some beautiful colours to play with!

Sweet Potato Plum Pesto Starter

170900 Sweet Potato Pesto Plum Starter-7702

This starter really has it all; it’s sweet, it’s spicy, it’s sour and it has crunch!!
My garden is overflowing with plums so I try to create as many varying dishes with plums as I can. This is a layered sweet potato dish that can be served with or without a spoonful of Greek yoghurt.

Serves 4

Sweet potato:
1-2 large sweet potato, peeled
Olive oil
Coarse salt

1. Heat oven to 205 C
2. Slice the sweet potato (you need 3 slices per person)
3. Coat with olive oil and sprinkle some salt on top
4. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes

Plum mix:
75 ml cut up (pitted) plums
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

• Gently fry the plums in the oil. If you, like me, have sweet plums, add the vinegar. If the plums are really sour, add a few drops of agave instead.

Pesto:
75 ml shelled pistachios
100 ml loosely packed basil leaves
½ tablespoon lemon juice
1,5 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of salt
1 clove crushed garlic
½ tsp chili flakes

Plus some extra basil leaves for decoration

• Combine all pesto ingredients in a mini prep and run until well combined but still chunky (crunchy).

Plate:
• Start by drizzling some plum mix on the plate, then layer the sweet potato, plum mix and pesto with three layers of each. Decorate the plate with some drops of juice from the plum mix and some basil leaves. Enjoy.

Summery Citrus Salad

Summery Citrus Salad-5654

Just a simple salad – but, oh, how lovely! Refreshing, tasty and with a crunch to each bite. Complements anything from the BBQ – how about serving with some grilled halloumi cheese?

100 g mixed lettuce leaves
1 grapefruit, peel and white pith cut out
2 oranges, peel and white pith cut off
1 large avocado, sliced
50 ml toasted sunflower seeds
50 ml toasted pine nuts
50 ml toasted pumpkin seeds
1 red onion, cut in 2 halves and thinly sliced
100 ml olives

Dressing:
1 tablespoon fig balsamic dressing
1 tsp Dijon mustard
50 ml olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Combine the salad in a bowl
2. Shake/whisk the dressing well and toss with the salad.
3. Serve

Red Sauce

170607 Not a Ketchup-5514

Red Sauce (not a ketchup).
Sometimes, it is good to have some healthy, tasty sauces on hand. I like to make this Kidney Bean sauce which can be used together with so many different things. It’s beautiful pinkish red coloured sauce to plate with (goes especially well with smoked and BBQ dishes). Make ahead and keep in the fridge.
Below you will find three other suggested uses.

The Red Sauce:
250 g Kidney Beans, cooked (about 350 ml)
1 lemon, juice from
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ medium sized red onion
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
A few drops of honey
Pinch of salt
½ tsp chili flakes

1. Run in blender until smooth. Taste. Season some more if needed.
2. If too thick add another spoon of olive oil. Consistency should be like a smooth apple sauce.

SERVE AS A SAUCE WITH GRILLED AUBERGINE/EGGPLANT AND DIJON BALSAMIC DRESSING: (great starter or snack)

– pour the Red Sauce into a squeezy bottle and place in fridge until time of use.

Dijon Balsamic Dressing:170607 Not a Ketchup -5569
50 ml olive oil
50 ml red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt

1. Whisk or shake to combine. Make sure it blends well.
2. This sauce is rather thin, plate with pipette or drop from tip of spoon.
3. Drizzle on plate.

Roasted Aubergine:
1 large, sliced aubergine
Olive oil
Sea salt

1. Oven on 200 C
2. Place on baking sheet. Drizzle with salt and oil.
3. Roast 35 minutes.

170607 Not a Ketchup-5560

SERVE ON TOP OF AN AVOCADO SANDWICH:
Please see my previously posted Crisp Bread recipe.
SERVE AS A DIP:
– with serve with carrot sticks, celery or sliced apple

Marinated Carrots with Fennel Foam

170531 Carrots with Fennel-5470

A healthy, tasty and colourful starter! Sometimes, I add a few drops of brandy to the foam (a little goes a very long way) which adds a rounder flavour. Possible a drop of vinegar would have the same effect?

2 large carrots, thinly sliced (best to use a mandolin slicer)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt

Some fresh spinach leaves on the plate to serve on.

1. Heat oven on high grill setting
2. Toss the carrot slices with juice, oil and salt. Leave for 30 minutes.
3. Place the carrot slices on an oven sheet
4. Roast under the grill for about 10 minutes, until slightly charred and caramelized

Fennel Foam:
1 fennel bulb, tips and “grassy tops” only
Water
Ice wate170600 Carrots with Fennel-5447r

A few drops agave syrup
Dash of salt
½ tsp olive oil

½ tsp lecithin

1. Cut off the tops (including the grassy parts) from the fennel bulb. The bulb can be saved for use another time.
2. Bring some water to boil and blanch the tops for 30 seconds.
3. Remove the tops from the boiling water and put in an ice bath (to secure the green colour).
4. When cool, place in blender with a 2 table spoons of water. Add some more water if needed. You want a smooth, thick mix but do not over blend.
5. Add the syrup, salt and oil. Blend briefly to mix.
6. Set aside until you are ready to make the foam (may be prepared and kept in the fridge until the following day)
7. Mix in the lecithin.
8. Pour the mix into a large shallow container. Using a handheld blender, incorporate air into the mix, thus creating a foam. Might take a few minutes! Spoon off the foam into a separate bowl and repeat until you have a bowl of foam.

Serve the carrots with the foam on top.

Alternative to the foam:
If you’d rather make a fennel cream to go with the carrots, you can either mix in a couple of tablespoons of coconut cream or some double cream. No lecithin. By choosing the coconut cream you will have less of the fennel taste and, instead, some coconut flavour which goes wonderfully with the carrots.

(On this photo I have sprinkled some black, Hawaiian salt on top.)

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!

Asparagus Nut Cheese Starter

Asparagus Nut Cheese Starter-4953

A tasty and fresh spring starter. For a smaller/lighter starter, serve just one cheese ball per person.

Serves 4
(3 small balls per person)

Steamed Asparagus:
12 green, young asparagus
2 tablespoon olive oil

Pine Nut Cheese:
200 ml pine nuts, soaked for at least 2 hours
1/2 of small garlic clove
1 1/2 tsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 tsp chili flakes

Decorations:
Toasted pine nuts, chili flakes and the tips of the asparagus.

1) Heat an empty pan on the stove. Add the asparagus and 3-4 tablespoons of water. Cook until all water has evaporated. Add the olive oil. Shake to coat, cover with a lid and take off heat.
2) Run all ingredients for the Pine Nut Cheese except the chili flakes in a food processor until smooth. Stir in the chili flakes. Set aside.
3) Cut of the tips of the asparagus. Set aside.
4) Chop the asparagus stalks into small pieces. Fold the small pieces into the nut cheese.
5) With a small ice cream scoop or a melon baller, make balls of the pine nut cheese mix. Place 3 balls on a plate, decorate with asparagus tips, pine nuts and chili flakes.
6) Optional – serve with gluten free crackers.

Spicy Salad with Balsamic Pearls

170412 Spicy Salad with Pearl Dressing-5240

This is a way to jazz up the serving of a tasty, but ordinary looking, salad.
The ingredients aside, you will need a pipette and a slotted spoon (or a fine strainer) for this recipe. Looks really professional and is so easy to make!

Ingredients:
3 medium sized tomatoes, quartered, seeds removed and chopped
½ cucumber, seeds and skin removed, chopped
¼ chopped leek
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red chili, seeds removed, chopped
50 ml dry toasted sunflower seeds, salted
1/2 lemon, zest

Dressing:
30 ml olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 tablespoon honey
Salt and pepper

1. In a bowl, combine the salad ingredients.
2. Whisk together the dressing and pour on top.
3. Refrigerate.

Pearls:
90 ml balsamic vinegar
1 tsp of honey
1 tsp of lemon juice
½ tsp agar agar

Vegetable oil as below for the freezer

1. In a freezer, for minimum of 30 minutes, chill enough oil to measure 15 cm tall in a glass.
2. In a small pan, bring the mix for the pearls to a boil and then take it off the heat.
3. Let sit for 5 minutes.
4. Using a pipette, drop the dressing mix into the glass containing the cold oil. Let sit for 2-3 minutes.
5. Remove the pearls from the oil using a slotted spoon or pour the oil with the pearls through a fine strainer.

Serve the pearls with the spicy salad.

This technique can be used with many other sauces apart from balsamic dressing. Just play with it and be sure to (in the comments below) let me know what you did and how it turned out!

170412 Spicy Salad with Pearl Dressing-5244

Zucchini Soup

Zucchini Soup-4705

A wonderful, easy, quick, delicious recipe! Serve as a starter, lunch or, with some bread, for dinner.

Serves 4

6-7 medium sized zucchini/courgette, washed (no need to peel)
1 liter of vegetable broth (or more if you want a thinner soup)
Dash of salt
(optional: black pepper and a drop of agave/maple syrup)

2 tsp Boursin garlic soft cheese (or just 1/3 of a minced garlic clove)

Optional: 50 ml sour cream (or coconut cream)

Decoration: Parsley and 2 tbsp of sour cream

1. Cut the zucchini into thick slices. Place in a saucepan along with the vegetable broth and salt.
2. Simmer 15-20 minutes until the zucchini is soft.
3. Take off heat, add the cheese and blend with a hand-held immersion blender. (At this point you may also add the optional sour cream – this will make the soup creamier)
4. Add some more broth if you prefer a thinner soup. Reheat if the soup got too cool.
5. Season with more salt and pepper, if needed. A drop of agave or maple syrup can help balance the flavours.
6. Pour into serving bowls, drizzle sour cream and add some parsley leaves.