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.)

Asparagus Nut Cheese Starter

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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.

Zucchini Soup

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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.

Aubergine Chutney, Coconut Chickpea Hummus with Quinoa

170222 Aubergine Chutney Coconut Hummus with Quinoa-4322

This dish has three main components and makes for a delicious light lunch or a starter. Of course, the chutney and hummus can be used on their own too. The toasted coconut/nuts/seeds in the hummus gives a wonderful crunch to each bite! A must try!!

1.Aubergine Chutney
2 aubergines, finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
olive oil

½ tsp curry
½ tsp turmeric
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp agave syrup
1 tbsp soy sauce

50 ml water
50 ml olive oil
75 ml coconut cream

Shredded basil.

1. Sauté the onion, garlic and aubergine over low heat until soft.
2. Add the spices, vinegar, agave and soy sauce. Stir for a few minutes.
3. Add the liquids and simmer 10-15 minutes.
4. Lastly, stir in the basil.

2.Coconut Chickpea Hummus

100 ml un-peeled almonds, chopped
75 ml shredded coconut
75 ml sunflower seeds
salt and pepper

400 g cooked chickpeas
2 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 lemon, zest and juice

1. Toast the almond, coconut and sunflower seed in a pan. Season. Set aside.
2. Combine the chickpeas, chili, paprika and lemon in a blender and run until well blended. Add some water (or juice from the chickpeas) if it is too thick. It doesn’t have to be smooth.
3. When done, turn off the blender and stir in the toasted mix.

3.Quinoa
200 ml quinoa
500 ml water (or vegetable broth)
salt and pepper
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, whole

1. Wash the quinoa and combine all ingredients in a pan
2. Cook the quinoa for 12-15 minutes
3. Discard the bay leaf and garlic

4.Plating.
Rocket salad
Tomato
Olive oil

1. Plate on rocket salad with tomato sliced.
2. Chop some rocket salad and sprinkle on top together with some olive oil.

Lemon infused Carrots and Elderflower infused Beetroots

161220-infused-veggies-3374

Surprise your guest by serving vegetables with a whole new taste to them! First dehydrate your vegetables so that they lose a lot of their moisture, then add a new flavour of moisture by infusing the vegetable for a long time in a chosen liquid. WILL TAKE A COUPLE OF DAYS TO MAKE!

This is such a fun project. You really do need a food dehydrator for this one though. An oven may be used but it will need to stay on low temp for many hours…

I infused the carrots with lemon and the beetroots with elderflower but there are endless possibilities of combinations. A pretty foam and some greens will go nicely with this beautiful dish.

A “sous vide” to cook the vegetables in low temperature is useful for this recipe but not necessary.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Carrots:
12 small and thin carrots
Liquid: 100 ml lemon juice mixed with 200 ml water

1. Wash and scrub the carrots. Then let dry at 45 C for at least 15 hours (depending on the size of your carrot) in your food dehydrator.
2. If cooking in a sous vide: Place your vegetable in a freezer zip lock bag, pour the liquid in, press as much air out as you possibly can (submerge the bag into water up to the top of the bag, that way the air will be pressed out of the bag, then close the bag). Put the bag in the sous vide pan, set it for 60 C and cook for 10 hours. No, the carrots will not get soggy at this low temperature cooking.
3. If cooking in a pan on the stove, let simmer (or just below simmer) in the liquid until almost soft. Then cool and let sit in the juice for another 4-5 hours.

Beetroots:
4 small beetroots
Liquid: 200 ml elderflower syrup and 300 ml water

1. Scrub the beetroot well removing the outer skin. I usually use plastic gloves for this step.
2. Place in a dehydrator 50C for 24 hours. Or in an oven 70 C for 14 hours. Depending on the size of your beetroot.
3. When all shrivelled up it is time to replace the moisture with the elderflower mix.
4. Either place in a bag (as above) and cook in a sous vide 70C for 3 hours, or, simmer on the stove (covered with the liquid) for 60-90 minutes. Take away from the heat and keep in the hot water for another hour. Then keep in the fridge for 3-4 hours.

Now you have “carrolemons” and “elderbeets”. Serve with some greens, an elderflower/beetroot foam and some salt.

Eldeflower/beetroot foam:
150 ml elderflower liquid (that you boiled the beetroots in).
About 1 gram of soy lecithin.

1. Take 150 ml of the elderflower liquid that you boiled the beetroots in.
2. Pour into a shallow dish.
3. Add the soy lecithin.
4. Tilt the dish and, using an immersion blender, whisk air into the mixture. May take a few minutes to get enough foam. Spoon off the resulting foam and let it sit to stabilize a few minutes in a separate bowl.

Spoon the foam onto the dish. Serve immediately (the foam may start to disappear in about 10 minutes).

Lemony Coriander Hummus

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This hummus is easy to make your own, bursting with fresh coriander/cilantro and lemon flavours. The hummus can be served as a dip or as a sauce. Here I’ve simply made individual servings as starters (with some crackers on the side). Enjoy! (This is a low fodmap recipe.)

The hummus:
400 g canned (or soaked and cooked) chickpeas, drained
2 lemons, juice
150 ml loosely packed fresh coriander
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
A pinch of salt
(a few drops of agave to bring out the flavour, optional)
Some olive oil, if needed, so create a softer texture. (to be added last, if needed)

To serve:
½ of lemon per person
1 coriander leaf per person
(optional, some olive oil to drizzle over the dish)

1. Place all the ingredients for the hummus in a mixer and run until smooth.
2. Taste and add more coriander or lemon if needed.
3. Take half a lemon and cut off a small piece of the base so that it can steadily stand on a plate.
4. Cut of a thin, long strand along the top of the lemon (see photo) and keep it attached at one end. Make a knot on the lemon strand.
5. Using a small ice cream scoop, melon baller or similar, create little balls, flatten the base and place on top of the lemon.
6. Add a fresh leaf of coriander on top.

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Artichoke and Zaatar Dips

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Delicious dips! Perfect as a filling afternoon snack or as a fun appetizer. If you like the citrus flavoured Zaatar, please have a look at the Zaatar spiced quinoa that I posted a few weeks ago. The Artichoke Dip is a true classic and the Zaatar Dip goes especially well with the apple sticks.

Ingredients:
Cut up carrot and apple sticks

Artichoke Dip:
400 g canned artichoke hearts
100 ml pine nuts
1 crushed garlic clove
1 large bunch of basil
100 ml grated parmesan cheese (can be substituted with ½ – 1 tbsp nutritional yeast and some more artichoke hearts)
100 ml olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Spicy Zaatar Dip:
Juice from 1 lemon
400 g canned cannellini beans
2 tbsp zaatar
1 tbsp chili flakes
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt

1. Blend the dips in a food processor until smooth.
2. Drizzle some oil over the Spicy Zaatar Dip.
3. Serve with apple and carrot sticks.

Marinated Haricots Verts in a Salad

160810 Marinated Haricots Verts-1580

Sometimes cooking is all about letting the ingredients speak for itself without too many alterations. Pure, simple and delicious! This is a classic green bean salad.

350 g haricots verts
80 g parmesan shavings
Chopped walnuts
1 small pear, sliced
Rocket salad (or fresh baby spinach leaves)

Vinaigrette:
3 tbsp olive oil
1,5 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Dash of salt
Black pepper

1. Whisk/shake the vinaigrette.
2. Blanch the haricot verts 1-2 minutes in boiling water (with some salt added to it).
3. Marinate the beans in the vinaigrette for 20 minutes.
4. Distribute the salad items on a large plate. Add the haricots verts and drizzle any remaining vinaigrette on top.

Aubergine Bites

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This dish can be made into small appetizer bites, or, served as a large “pizza”. If you want to make it vegetarian, substitute the anchovies with sliced shiitake mushroom marinated in 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp tamari soy sauce, 1 tsp olive oil, dash of salt.

Either you buy a ready-made puff pastry (Schaer sells frozen “Millefoglie”) or you use this recipe to make your own, simplified version:

350 g gluten free, non self-rising flour (about 600 ml)
150 g butter
½ tsp salt
150 ml sour cream
1 tbsp cold water
Process flour, salt and butter in mixer until crumbly dough. Add the sour cream and mix, then add the water. Refrigerate 30 minutes for easier handling.

100 g parmesan cheese, grated

2 aubergines
Olive oil

5 onions, sliced
Olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
100 g canned fillets of anchovies, cut into slivers (or your own, marinated shiitake mushrooms)
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
50 g chopped black olives
50 g chopped marinated, sundried tomatoes

1. Make (or buy) the puff pastry.
2. Slice the aubergine, drizzle with olive oil and roast in the oven at 215 C for 25 minutes, turning once. When done, cut each slice into slivers
3. Slice the onion thinly, sauté with the garlic in some olive oil until soft. Add the salt, sugar and thyme and gently fry the onion another 10 minutes.
4. Roll the dough out to about 1 cm thickness. With a cookie cutter, make small rounds of the dough. On each round, sprinkle some parmesan, add some caramelized onion and aubergines. Finish by topping with a small sliver of anchovy. Lightly drizzle with red wine vinegar. OR, just cover an oven tray with the dough (on baking parchment) and spread the toppings over the dough base. After it is baked, cut into squares.
5. Bake in oven at 225C for 20 minutes.
6. When baked, decorate with olives and tomatoes.

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.

Veggie Bake with Mango Dip

1606 Veggie Bake w Mango Dip-1314

I love the indian veggie bakes. These are often made with just onions but, inspired by a recipe I found in a newspaper, here I also include cauliflower and turned out absolutely delicious! Also, they are baked, not deep fried, which I think is a lot tastier for this recipe. The sweet dip is the perfect match for the veggie bake with all its spices/flavours. Serve as a pre-dinner snack with a bowl of the sauce to dip in, as a starter or as part of a main course.

400 g cauliflower, finely chopped (no large chunks)
2 medium leeks, finely chopped
Olive oil

Coating:
200 ml quinoa- or buckwheat flour
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground turmeric
Pinch of salt
150 ml water
2 tbsp hot mango chutney
1,5 tbsp tomato puree
olive oil

Sauce:
150 g Greek yoghurt
½ large ripe mango
1,5 tbsp mango chutney, hot
6-8 fresh mint leaves
1 tsp lemon juice
Dash of salt

Oven at 200 C
1. Sauce: Mix the ingredients together with a hand held blender. Chill in refrigerator.
2. Chop and fry the cauliflower and leeks until soft.
3. Mix the coating until smooth.
4. Combine the coating and veggies well.
5. Drizzle oil on baking tray. Drop the mix from a spoon and flatten each pile slightly. Drizzle some more oil on top.
6. Bake for 25 minutes turning once. Please note that if the veggie piles are difficult to turn you need to leave them a bit longer.

Veggie Rolls

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Such a great appetizer! Healthy, fresh and very tasty. Perfect finger food. Just make sure the stuffing is cut into small pieces and won’t poke holes into the rice paper. I do not deep fry my rolls but eat them fresh or bake them in the oven.

Makes about 12 rolls.

1 carrot
1/3 fennel bulb
1 small red pepper
½ courgette (zucchini)
1 stalk lemon grass
½ red chili, seeds removed
1-2 tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp soy sauce

Bean sprouts
Rice paper for spring rolls
Sweet chili sauce (either make you own – see this link, a great sauce but NOT low food map – or buy the Go-Tan brand which IS low fodmap)

1. Remove the outer layers of the lemon grass and cut the inside finely
2. Finely chop the red chili
3. Cut all remaining vegetables (except for the bean sprouts) into fine sticks and gently fry in a little oil.
4. Season with ginger and soy sauce and taste.
5. Add the bean sprouts and quickly stir fry for another minute.
6. Soak the rice paper in hot water for a maximum of 10 seconds. Take out and place flat on a plastic cutting board or ceramic plate (the rice paper might stick if using a wood cutting board)
7. Place a line of vegetables on the rice paper and into a roll. Start them roll by folding a small piece over the ingredients, then fold in the sides to lock the filling in, lastly, roll the remainder of the paper.
8. The rolls are ready to eat as they are, or you may want to brush (or spray) them with oil and bake them slightly in the oven (about 10 minutes on 180C)
9. Serve with the sweet chili sauce

Preppy Salad (Avocado Puree, Raspberry Vinaigrette Salad)

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A “Preppy Salad” in pink and green – beautiful, fresh and tasty. Perfect for lunch or as a starter. Of course, the Serrano ham can be exchanged for something else, preferably something a bit salty.

Raspberry vinaigrette:
150 ml fresh raspberries
50 ml red wine vinegar
50 ml water
Salt and black pepper
100 ml olive oil

In a blender, combine all ingredients except for the olive oil. When the mix is smooth, slowly pour in the oil while mixing. This will make sure that the oil blends well into the dressing.

Salad:
Selected green leaves, shredded
Radishes, finely sliced or spiraled (using a spiralizer)
Cucumber, sliced or spiraled
Serrano ham
Red onion, finely chopped
Whole toasted walnuts and a few raspberries for decoration

Toss the mixed salad leaves with some of the vinaigrette.

Avocado Puree:
½ a large avocado PER PERSON
1 tbsp lemon juice per avocado
Salt and pepper

In a mixer, process the avocado with the juice

Assembly
1. On a serving plate, splash some vinaigrette
2. Place a large spoonful of puree on the plate and spread it out with the back of a spoon until about 0.5 cm thick
3. Place the salad leaves on top of the puree and then the remaining salad ingredients. Decorate with raspberries and the toasted walnuts.

Asian Octopus Foam Starter

1606 Asian Octopus Soup  -1710
I was served this amazing soup in a Spanish tapas bar and loved the lemon grass flavour together with the octopus. The recipe below is a recreation of that dish.
Unfortunatly, when recreating this, I did not have my ISI Whipper nearby but if you have one, then just strain the soup, pour it into the canister, charge with 1 cream charger and discharge into the soup bowl. Add the octopus and chopped chili. Creating a foam of the soup gives another, very interesting, texture to this soup.

Serves 2 as a main course

½ medium sized potato
300 ml water
2 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
½ stalk of lemon grass, chopped
½ small chili, chopped, seeds removed
Salt and pepper
3 tbsp lime juice
100 ml whipping cream/double cream.
Red and/or green chili, finely chopped for decoration
200 g octopus, finely sliced or in bite size pieces

1. Boil the potato with the kaffir lime, chili and the lemon grass in the water.
2. Puree using an immersion blender.
3. Add the salt and pepper, lime juice and cream.
4. Heat and then whisk to create a bit of a foam.
5. Heat the octopus in the soup or in a separate pan (depending if it is pre-cooked or raw).
6. Place in serving bowls and decorate with the chopped chili.

Nacho Cheese Sauce – Dairy Free

1604 Dairy Free Nacho Cheese-2396

A spicy dip to be served with nachos, cucumber or any other vegetable. Dairy free, gluten free and low fodmap. Quick and easy to make. Can be served directly, still a bit warm from the boiled vegetables, or cold.

4 medium sized potatoes
2 medium sized carrots

100 ml water
75 ml almond milk
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tsp salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
100 ml nutritional yeast
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp black pepper
4 tbsp olive oil
75 grams roasted, marinated red pepper (I like the Sacla brand)

1. Boil the potatoes and carrots until soft. Place in a food processor.
2. Add all the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.
3. Taste. Add some smoked paprika, lemon juice and salt as required. Remember, cheese is quite salty so if you want to imitate the nacho cheese sauce you may need more salt.

Serve with Nachos