Healthy and easy – comfort food at its best
Summer time and blogging just do not seem to go together. I hardly seem to be home at the moment and when I do cook for myself, I just throw together something super quick. But then last week I really needed one evening just vegging out on my couch with a movie. And what goes better with lounging around for an evening than pizza?!
But as I spent most my other nights that week at restaurants or dinner parties I really wanted to eat something healthy. A regular pizza can hardly be called a healthy. This pizza, on the other hand, is fabulously healthy: think bowl of quinoa with some veg and an (optional) sprinkle of cheese. I have experimented with quite a few different bases, and this one is among my favourites.
And if this has not convinced you: this pizza is easier to get right and comes together much quicker than a regular pizza dough. Basically you whiz some pre-soaked quinoa in a food processor voila your super-healthy pizza base is ready to be baked. Within no time you can sit on the couch, put your feet up and enjoy the comfort of a guilt-free pizza.
(Found on the blog ‘Deliciously Ella‘)
2/3 cup of quinoa (soaked for at least 8 hours)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp dried herbs (for example rosemary, basil, oregano)
optional: chili flakes
- Soak the quinoa in plenty of water for at least 8 hours or over night.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C (390F).
- Drain the quinoa.
- Place quinoa into the food processor adding the vinegar, herbs, chili (if using) and salt and pepper.
- Whiz the quinoa, scraping down the sides a few time until the mixture is smooth.
- Wipe a pizza dish with a little oil (do not skip this step).
- Pour the mix in the pizza dish and spread out evenly.
- Bake about 10 minutes.
- Add toppings of your choice and bake for about 10 minutes until hot.
Tips & Variations
Consider some of the following toppings
- Tomato sauce, cherry tomatoes, onion rings, tuna, (light) mozzarella cheese and a hanful of rocket once the pizza is cooked.
- Tomato sauce cherry tomatoes, artisjoke, olives and a hanful of rocket once the pizza is cooked.
Pure and simple
One day a year the Netherlands turn into an Orange on steroids, we call it Queensday. That is until today we called it that: this will be the last Queensday for at least a few decades with a new king taking the throne.
Queensday is not so much a celebration of the queen as an excuse for a great party: when I was a kid it was all about selling old junk on your doorstep. Then it became about joining the thousands of people on the streets of Amsterdam drinking way too many luke warm cans of beer. Nowadays the perfect Queensday is sitting at a friend’s window looking out on the mayhem, enjoying a lovely glass of wine.
The food that I associate with Queensday has also changed over the years: First I remember eating half of the cake I was trying to sell by slice. Then there were years of greasy shawarmas, French fries and burgers. And now I am nibbling on a few delicacies that have nothing more in common with Queensday than that they are ….orange.
These salmon bites take no effort to put together and make a great appetizer for any celebration.
Small tip: as only part of the salmon filet is thick enough to cut it into beautiful even cubes, have another recipe handy for the remaining salmon. Have some Salmon Burgers for lunch, for example.
a piece of thick sashimi quality salmon
Fish roe ( I used orange for the occasion, but black roe gives a very sticking effect as well)
- Cut the salmon into even cubes.
- Place salmon onto serving dishes.
- Top each piece with a dollop of roe.
- Cut the green parts of the spring onion into oval slices.
- Top each cube with a few onion slices.
Tips & Variations
You could prepare the fish in a soy sauce marinade for an Asian twist
Avocado for dessert? Yes, please!
Don’t give me that look!
Believe me: you can turn avocado into a fabulously decadent desert!
But I’ll forgive your doubt, I was skeptical as well when I first discovered this recipe. But I knew I had to try it – immediately! Some recipes are on my to-do list for years before I test them. This one made me so curious I had to try it instantly.
I was amazed by the result: super rich, creamy, thick, chocolaty. And it is incredibly quick to make….and healthy…. What more can you ask for!
Try it and be wowed!
(Found on the blog ‘Simply Dish’)
2 servings (or 1 very generous serving)
1 ripe avocado
1 ripe mango
2 tbsp dark chocolate powder
1 tbsp maple syrup
a few drops vanilla essence
a small pinch of salt
- Peel the avocado and mango and cube.
- Place all the ingredients into a food processor and whizz until very very smooth.
- Preferably chill for a few hours in the fridge. Bring to room temperature for 30 minutes. (Or skip this step and dive straight in there.)
Tips & Variations
- Replace the mango with a ripe banana
- Omit the mango and only use avocado
Enjoy gravlax with ease
Why are we so ready to believe that great results require great effort?
We live in a culture that tells us that to achieve anything worthwhile, we have to work hard, to struggle and to fight. But I am beginning to feel that quite the opposite is true. There is no proof that struggle leads us to success. Actually the focus on battling through life seems to undermine any goals of peace and happiness.
The key seems to be to look at life through different eyes; to let go of fear and strife, and to replace them with effortless and creative living.
So with this in mind, this post is not just a recipe for wonderfully tasty cured salmon, but my proof that effortless living is the secret to joy
For this dish you need to do nothing more than wrap some fish in salt, sugar and dill. Let some days pass (they will do that all on their own) and then enjoy the experience of a beautifully, clean tasting, tender piece of cured salmon.
(And just to prove that ease and adventure go together hand in hand, see “tips and variations” below for a truly wild way of making gravlax.)
400g fresh salmon skin on
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
a large bunch of dill
- Rinse the salmon and pat dry with kitchen paper.
- Place a double layer of cling film on your counter top. Place half the dill on the cling film.
- Combine salt and sugar. And rub all over the fish.
- Place fish on cling film and dill. Top with remaining dill.
- Wrap fish tightly in cling film and place into a (zip lock) bag.
- Put the parcel in a Tupperware container or oven dish.
- Place a plate or chopping board on the fish and weigh it down with heavy objects. (Or completely forget about this step as I sometimes seem to do.)
- Keep the salmon in the fridge for 3-5 days. It is best to turn the fish once a day to ensure even curing.
- Unwrap the fish and discard the dill.
- Rinse, pat dry and remove the skin.
- Cutting against the grain, serve in thin slices.
- The cured fish keeps for at least one week in the refrigerator.
Tips & Variations
Consider some of the following
- add a little crushed black pepper to the salt and sugar
- drizzle the fish with a tablespoon of vodka or aquavit
- Add lemon zest
Adventurous Gravad Lax
A friend of mine shared his way of making Gravlax with me. It is so much more exciting & wild than my “domesticated” recipe. Unfortunately it is a true winter recipe that requires frost. So although winter is hardly gone I am already looking forward to its return to try this myself.
- Rub the salmon generously with Cognac (he uses Osborne)
- Wrap the fish in aluminum foil and then in cling film.
- Bury the fish in the garden about 40cm deep (this is where the name originates from: gravad lax.)
- Dig up three weeks later and enjoy.
Thank you GdB for this amazing recipe!
Healthy no-fuss dessert: pineapple sorbet
Lately I have not been posting very much. Why? Because I have been eating.
The last few weeks I came out of hibernation and spent most evenings eating out with friends. I almost feel like I have been on a trip around the world: enjoying Asian lounge restaurants, clattering dim sum eateries, pure Italian hospitality, French Michelin starred luxury – just to name a few of the experiences I had.
On my couple evenings at home I balanced things out by eating healthy steamed fish and vegetables. But the contrast proved slightly too much of a shock.
Enter ….. my favourite healthy “emergency dessert”: pineapple sorbet.
This recipe really only has three steps: freeze tinned pineapple, allow to defrost a few minutes, blend. See below for the long version and maybe from now on you will also keep some pineapple in your freezer. Just for emergency purposes only of course
(recipe found on the blog ‘Fat Free Vegan‘)
1 can of pineapple slices in their own juice (do not take the ones that are canned with syrup)
- Place the pineapple and juice into a zip-lock freezer bag or -container.
- Freeze until solid, overnight (or just keep some in your freezer at all times- for emergencies).
- When ready to eat. Allow to defrost at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
- Place in food processor and process until smooth.
- Serve immediately. Any leftovers can be stored in the freezer. Just briefly process again before serving.