Creamy and flavorful, this olive spread is the answer when you’re in the mood for something delicious but not overly complicated. This olive paste is also quite versatile, it’s absolutely divine spread over fresh bread, it can be rolled into wraps or served as a dip for a plethora of raw vegetables. The technique is as simple as it can be. You press the olives against a wooden board to smash them, you remove the pits and you blend them in the food processor. In the end you season the spread with garlic, capers and salt and you enjoy this delicacy spread over a nice crusty, preferably homemade slice of bread.
Ingredients (for 4 servings):
300g olives (I used 200g black olives and 100g Kalamata olives)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp capers
1 garlic clove
salt to taste
Remove the pits. For this step I never use pitted olives as they tend to be less flavorful. Smash the olives against the wooden board using a knife. Remove each stone with your fingers.
Pat the olives dry. Place the olives on a paper towel – lined cutting board and cover them with another paper towel. Gently press the olives to remove the excess moisture.
Blend the olives. Place the olive chunks and blend them until you form a chunky spread, adding about 1 tablespoon at a time.
Season. Peel the garlic, place it in a mortar, season it with some salt and smash it with a pestle. Add the capers and smash them as well until you form a paste.
Serveing and leftovers. Add the condiment over the olive paste and give it a few pulses to make sure the spread is homogenous. Place the leftovers (if any) in a bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
It would be impossible for me to even try to describe how delicious these homemade buns are. From my point of view, these are the perfect burger buns; they taste amazing and smell absolutely divine, they have a tender, flavorful crust and an elastic, pillowy center. Even though I’m not the typical ‘bread on every meal’ kind of person, I cannot stop at just one bun. These guys are so delicious that I cannot imagine a person who could stop after just one piece. They are simply exquisite. And I just have to tell you a tiny secret: they are vegan. Over and out.
Egg substitute. Grind the flax seeds using a mortar and pestle. Add 3 Tbsp of water and leave aside for 5 minutes.
Activate the yeast. Heat the water and the milk in a small saucepan until lukewarm (36 – 38°C). Add the sugar and the yeast and leave aside for 5 minutes. The mixture should be frothy.
Sift the flour. In a large bowl sift the flour and make a well in the center. Add the oil, flax seed mixture and yeast mixture and mix with a fork.
Add the salt. Add the salt and continue mixing with your hands until you form a sticky ball.
Knead the dough. Bring the sticky dough on a floured working surface and knead it for 10 minutes. Use a dough scraper to knead the ball.
Proof. Place the dough in the bowl, cover with cling film and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
Form the buns. Heat the oven at 400°F/204°C (gas mark 6). After 1 hour, place the dough back on the working surface and knead vigorously to knock out the air bubbles. Divide dough into 20 pieces and shape them into 20 balls (I had 20 balls x 40g).
Rise. Place them on a tray lined with parchment paper and let them rise for about 30 minutes.
Garnish. Mix the milk with the sugar, heat the liquid slightly and give them a quick wash. Sprinkle some black sesame seeds.
Bake. Bake them in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden. Let them cool for 30 minutes before serving.
This creamy and spicy roasted pepper pasta are the ideal option on those busy evenings when time isn’t precisely your friend. With some basic organisational skills, this dish is ready in less than 1 hour. While the water boils, the peppers are being roasted and while the pasta is being cooked, the sauce simmers on the stove. I find that pipe rigate are the perfect option for this type of sauce. Once mixed with the sauce, this type of pasta captures the creamy sauce and you get to enjoy that decadent sauce with every bite. Simply amazing…
Ingredients (for 4 servings):
for the sauce:
2 large red bell peppers
360ml almond milk
1 medium red onion
4 garlic cloves
3 Tbsp active dry yeast
1 ½ tsp corn starch
1 ‘bird’s eye’ dried chili
salt and pepper to taste
350g dry pipe rigate
fresh basil leaves
active dry yeast
Pasta. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Drain them using a colander and cool them under cold tap water. Drain them very well and place them in a large bowl.
Roast the peppers. While the water boils, take a metal disk, place it on the stove and roast the peppers on each side. Place the roasted pepper in a small saucepan and cover with a lid. Proceed the same with the second pepper.
Peel the peppers. Carefully peel each pepper. Remove the stem and the seeds, give them a quick wash and pat them dry with a paper towel.
Onion and garlic. Peel the onion and slice it carefully. Peel the garlic.
Prepare the sauce. Place the milk, onion, garlic and chili in the bowl of a blender. Mix until smooth. Add the peppers, olive oil, corn starch, and dry nutritional yeast and blend until smooth and creamy.
Cook the sauce. Add the sauce to a medium saucepan and simmer it over low-medium heat until thick (for about 7 minutes).
Serve. Add the sauce to the pasta and mix well. Serve in large bowls and garnish with basil ribbons and nutritional yeast.
I love arugula, as well as I love quinoa. So it was practically impossible for me not to fall in love with this salad while the stars in the recipe are precisely the ingredients mentioned above. When you add to this equation red bell pepper, onion, pine nuts and a sweet and sour citrusy dressing you get a wonderful salad. One of the many reasons I love this salad is its delicious taste and its beautiful color scheme. Also, this salad is so nutritious and filling. It’s simply divine!
Ingredients (for 2 servings):
⦁ 100g uncooked quinoa (1/2 cană) ⦁ 240ml water (1 cană) ⦁ 40g arugula ⦁ 1/2 red bell pepper (100g) ⦁ 1/2 red onion (30g) ⦁ 1 Tbsp pine nuts (15g) ⦁ 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar ⦁ 1 Tbsp olive oil ⦁ 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup ⦁ zest and juice of 1 orange ⦁ zest and juice of 1/2 lime ⦁ salt and pepper to taste
Quinoa. Place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse it with cold water for about 1 minute. Drain it very well. Place quinoa in a sauce pan, add 1 cup water and 1/4 tsp sea salt and bring to a boil on high heat. When the water begins to boil, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to minimum. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let it stand covered for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, fluff it with a fork. Spread it on a plate to cool down faster. 2. Pine nuts. Carefully brown the pine nuts in a skillet, over medium heat. Set aside to cool. 3. Pepper and onion. Cube the red bell pepper. Peel the onion and cut it into fine cubs. 4. Citrus. Grate the peel off the citrus and squeeze the juice. 5. Dressing and assembly. Prepare the dressing by mixing in a medium bowl the vinegar with the oil and the maple syrup. Add the zest and the citrus juice and mix. Add the onion, bell pepper and the arugula and stir. Finally add the quinoa and mix well. Garnish with toasted pine nuts. 6. Leftovers. Place the leftovers (if any) in a bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
I simply love to make bread, I find the science behind it fascinating and I cannot think of a better therapy than kneading the dough with my bare hands. But my adventurous side keeps me from repeating the same old recipes over and over again, so every fortnight I came up with new and exciting recipes. Some of them leave me as soon as I rest my head on the pillow but others refuse to leave my side. It’s been more than three years since I discovered this delicious Maroccan semolina bread and I turn to it every month ever since. It’s one of the easiest bread recipe I’ve ever made and the taste is simply amazing. It has a lovely thin crust and a pillowy and chewy center. I must confess that although I’m deeply fond of all my bread recipes, this one has a special place in my heart.
Ingredients: ⦁ 180ml lukewarm water ⦁ 1 tsp sugar ⦁ 1 tsp active dry yeast ⦁ 200g semolina ⦁ 170g all-purpose white flour ⦁ 1 Tbsp olive oil (15ml) ⦁ 1 tsp salt
1. In a small bowl combine water, sugar and yeast and let aside for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, the mixture should be foamy. 2. In a large bowl sift together the white flour, semolina and salt and make a well in the center. Add the yeast mixture and the olive oil and mix with a wooden spatula until you form a ball. 3. Bring the dough on a floured working surface and knead it for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, the dough should be smooth. 4. Place dough on the semolina-powdered working surface, cover with a clean towel and let it relax for 10 minutes. 5. After 10 minutes using a rolling pin, roll the dough in a 1 cm thick disc and place it on a parchment paper – lined tray. With a sharp blade score the surface in a diamond pattern. Cover with the same towel and let it rise for 45 – 60 minutes. Preheat the oven at 400°F/204°C (gas mark 6). 6. When the bread has doubled its thickness place the tray in the preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. 7. Let the bread cool down on a wire rack for about 1 hour before slicing it.
I’m beyond happy I’ve found these spinach and quinoa stuffed tomatoes because they are incredibly tasty. For this recipe I’ve picked some ripe tomatoes from my veggie garden, I removed their cores, I stuffed their cavities with a pesto, spinach and quinoa mixture and and I baked them just until wrinkled. The result was such an elegant yet rustic entree. I must confess the stuffing is so rich and flavorful that I’d gladly devour the whole bowl, but paired with the acidity of the tomatoes, it gets somehow better. Such a simple yet delicious vegan dish!
Ingredients (for 4 servings):
⦁ 8 medium ripe tomatoes ⦁ 60g uncooked quinoa ⦁ 250ml vegetable soup (divided) ⦁ 1 Tbsp olive oil ⦁ 1 medium red onion (75g) ⦁ 150g fresh spinach ⦁ 4Tbsp vegan pesto – recipe here
1. Quinoa. Place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse it with cold water for about 1 minute. Drain it very well. Place quinoa in a sauce pan, add 160ml vegetable soup and 1/4 tsp sea salt and bring to a boil over high heat. When the soup begins to boil, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to minimum. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let it stand covered for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, fluff it with a fork. 2. Spinach. Peel the onion and chop it finely. Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a skillet and sautee the onion over low heat until translucent (about 5 minutes). Wash the spinach, pat it dry and chop it. Place it in the skillet, cover with a lid, and sautee it until wilted (for about 5 minutes). 3. Tomatoes. Take one tomato and cut 3mm off the base to give it stability. Slice the tops off the tomatoes and set aside. Scoop out the seeds and pulp from the tomatoes with a teaspoon, but be careful not to cut through to the base. Proceed the same with the rest of the tomatoes. 4. Stuff the tomatoes. Place the quinoa and the pesto in the skillet and give it a stir. Season with salt and pepper. Place the tomatoes in a ceramic tray and season well with salt and pepper. Stuff each tomato with 1 Tbsp of quinoa mixture, place it in the tray and cover it with its top. 5. Bake the tomatoes. Place about 6 Tbsp of vegetable soup in the tray and place the tray in the preheated oven. Bake at 200C / 400F (gas mark 6). Bake for 20 minutes (or until the tomatoes are soft and wrinkly). 6. Serve & leftovers. I served my tomatoes warm with a slice of homemade bread and some pesto alla genovese. Place the leftovers (if any) on a plate, cover with cling film and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
One of the most famous Italian sauces is undoubtedly pesto alla genovese, a sauce made by smashing together 5 ingredients: fresh basil, olive oil, garlic, pine nuts and cheese (a mix of parmigiano regiano and pecorino romano). The traditional way of making this amazing sauce requires a mortar and a pestle, its name comes from the Italian verb pestare (= to beat). Pesto alla genovese has a great taste, it’s definitely not shy nor delicate, it has lots of bold flavors which complement each other beautifully.
1. Wash the basil in cold water and pat it dry with paper towels. 2. In the mortar, crush the clove of garlic with about 1/4 tsp of salt until the garlic has softened. 3. Begin adding basil leaves about 1/4 of the quantity a time. 4. Add the oil one teaspoon at a time, stirring continuously. 5. Add the pine nuts and crush them as well. 6. Add the nutritional yeast and mix until combined. 7. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container. Refrigerated, it will keep up to one week.
Creamy and flavorful, this zucchini soup saves me each time I have less than 30 minutes to make something rich and filling. And I say it from the bottom of my heart, a bowl of zucchini soup is the only thing you’ll need after a long working day. It’s tasty, it’s smooth and creamy, it’s delicate and hearty at the same time. For making this soup, my oraganisational skills come in handy. Therefor, I chope the onions and I sautee them in a saucepan. Meanwhile, I heat the soup in a small saucepan and I chop my zucchini. I season the onion with garlic and thyme, I add the zuchhini and the boiling soup, I cover with a lid and I cook the zuchhini until tender, for about 15 minutes. I blend the soup, I add the cream and I serve it. Quick, budget-friendly and heart-warming good!
Ingredients (for 4 servings): ⦁ 3 medium zucchini (1 – 1.2 kg) ⦁ 2 medium onions (150g) ⦁ 3 garlic cloves ⦁ 2 springs of thyme ⦁ 2 Tbsp olive oil ⦁ 3 cups vegetable soup ⦁ 50ml whipping cream
⦁ grated parmesan cheese ⦁ crutons (I used Backerbsen)
Method: 1. Onion. Peel the onion, half it and and chop it. Take a large saucepan and heat the olive oil. Add the onion and sautee it over low heat until translucent (for about 5 minutes). 2. Soup. Place the soup in a small saucepan and bring it to a simmer. 3. Zucchini. Wash the zucchini and pat it dry. Trim their ends, cut them lenghtwise and chop them. 4. Sautee the veggies. Add the minced garlic and the thyme leaves to the pot and sautee until the garlic is fragrant (for about 1 minute). Add the zucchini, the boiling soup and cover with a lid. When the soup starts simmering, boil it over low – medium heat until the zucchini are tender (it takes no more than 15 – 20 minutes). 5. Blending. Take about 1 cup of boiling liquid and set aside. Carefully place the vegetables and the remaining liquid in the bowl of a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. If the soup is too dense, thin it with the remaining soup. 6. Season. Place the soup in the same saucepan. Add the cream and season with salt if necessary. 7. Serve. Serve it in bowls with parmesan cheese and croutons.
With a crispy crust and a creamy center, these fried zucchini flowers are a stunning Italian appetizer. A budget-friendly, delicious and simple yet elegant treat. I first tried this recipe about 5 years ago and I remember it was love at first sight. Since that particular moment, I’ve been preparing this recipe at lest once a month. When I’m in my veggie garden, admiring my zucchini bush, it fills my heart with joy the fact that I’m able to create something extraordinary from an ingredient that I’d otherwise throw away. Regarding the batter, I’ve trying a lot of recipes that required whether baking powder, sparkling water or cold beer. Hands down, my favorite version was this simple three-ingredient one. It requires only flour, water and yeast, a pinch of sugar and a pinch of salt. These ingredients create a incredibly crunchy crust which hides a delicate and creamy filling.
Ingredients (for 6 servings):
15 zuchhini blossoms
150g all-purpose flour
220ml lukewarm water (38-40C)
15g fresh yeast
Activate the yeast. In a small bowl combine 1/3 of the water, sugar and yeast and whisk until well combined. Let aside for 5 minutes.
Form the batter. In a large bowl sift the flour. Add the salt and a pinch of nutmeg and make a well in the center. Add the remaining water (2/3 of the quantity) and whisk until smooth. Add the yeast mixture and whisk until well combined. Cover with cling film and let it proof in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
Clean the flowers. Meanwhile take each flower and remove it’s center, as well as those tiny outer leaves. Clean under cold water and place them in a colander to drain.
Cook the blossoms. After 30 minutes heat the oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. One by one, dredge the blossoms in batter, shaking off the excess. Gently lay them in the oil, without crowding the pan. Cook, flipping once with a slotted spoon, until golden brown, 2-3 minutes total.
Serve. Transfer to paper towels to drain and serve warm.
I’ve discovered this amazing creamy salad two years ago and now I can’t imagine my life without it. Since it’s so easy to make and since it tastes absolutely delicious, it’s no wonder I tend to make it at least once a week every summer. Those vibrant green beans are cooked in salted water just until they become tender, without losing their bite. After they are cooked to perfection, I cool them down in ice cold water, to make sure they keep their lovely color. While the beans rest in cold water, I make mayonnaise, I mix it with Greek yogurt and season it with garlic and parsley. I dress my chilled beans with this creamy sauce and I devour the salad without regrets.
Ingredients (for 4 servings):
500g green beans
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 Tbsp Greek yogurt
2 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley
salt to taste
Trim the beans. Wash the green beans and trim their ends. Cu them in half using a sharp knife.
Cook the beans. Fill a large pot with water, cover with a lid and bring to a boil.
When the water starts to boil, add 1 Tbsp of salt. Add the beans and simmer them for 7 – 8 minutes.
Blanch the beans. Meanwhile prepare the ice bath by adding 1 cup of ice to a bowl filled with cold water. Carefully drain the beans and immediately place them in the ice bath. Let them cool completely and drain them using a colander.
Prepare the sauce. Meanwhile prepare the mayonnaise (this is the technique I use). In a large bowl mix it with Greek yogurt, lemon juice and minced garlic.
Serve. Add the green beans to the bowl and stir. Season with salt and serve it with toast.
Leftovers. Place the leftovers (if any) in a bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate for up to 2 days.