Sunshine on a plate
Some weeks are such a roller coaster ride that by the time the weekend arrives you just want to curl up at home and rest your weary bones. When I woke up this morning the week was still with me like a nasty hangover. I knew I needed a day of pampering myself. So first I turned around and dozed a little longer…
Then I slowly eased myself into the day with a little reading and some yoga. But to me a beautiful slow morning is not complete without a plate piled high with heartwarming pancakes.
Pancakes must be one of my favourite foods. It’s fabulous how you only have to stir together a few simple ingredients and within no time the house fills up with a soothing aroma.
But I think what really does it for me is the endless amount of healthy variations you can experiment with: oats, rye, rice – and now my newest discovery is a buckwheat pancake with cottage cheese. The outside is lightly chewy, the center light and wonderfully moist.
Flip them onto a plate and smother them with hot blueberries. Or serve them savory with some fried bacon, tomato and mushroom. Granted, the grey clouds outside were still grey, the cold rain still ruthless, but hey, I was inside enjoying my weekend and my nourishing pancakes.
(hardly altered from the blog “Jul’s Kitchen“)
100-125g cottage cheese (or ricotta)
100g buckwheat flour
1 pinch of salt (or 2 for the savory version)
1 tbsp stevia (or a little black pepper if you are going savory)
1 tsp baking powder
- Separate the egg. Whisk the egg yolk together with the cottage cheese and the milk.
- Stir in the buckwheat flour.
- Season with salt and pepper (or stevia).
- Whisk the egg white until light and stiff.
- Stir the backing powder into the batter.
- Fold the egg white into the batter.
- Heat a frying pan and fry small pancakes (about 10-15)
- Whilst the pancakes are cooking stew the blueberries until hot
Tips & Variations
Instead of a sweet version with stewed fruit fry some bacon until crispy, sauté 100g of mushrooms and fry some tomato halves.
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.
These muffins make a fabulously healthy snack
It was on a cold and dismal day that I came across this recipe. I wanted to curl up on the couch with a good book, a hot cup of tea and something sweet. Books and tea I have plenty, but sweets I really never have in the house. So I started looking for a little treat that was both healthy and could be made without having to head into the cold outdoors for ingredients.
This muffin was a fabulous find: the recipe could not be simpler. It is incredibly tasty and ever so good for you. Did you know that oats have been found to improve the immune system and lower bad cholesterol amongst other things.
Make plenty ( I would double the portion) and keep the rest in the fridge for a quick breakfast on-the-go.
(found on the blog ‘my baking heart’)
Makes about 6 muffins
90g (1 cup) oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 ripe banana
1 small egg
60ml (1/3 cup) rice milk (alternatively almond or soy)
1/3 tsp vanilla extract
20ml (1/9 cup) agave nectar
50g (1/4 cup) blueberries (no need to defrost if frozen)
- Preheat oven to 175C (350 degrees).
- In a bowl combine oats, baking powder, oats.
- In a second bowl mash the banana with a fork.
- Whisk in the egg.
- Add almond milk, vanilla and agave.
- Add the oats to the banana and mix until just combined.
- Carefully fold in the blueberries.
- Scoop into a 6 whole silicon muffin tray (alternatively place cupcake liners in a regular muffin tin).
- Bake about 20 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown and set.
Healthy comfort food for cold mornings
Winter slowly seems to be on its way out: one day you are skidding and sliding in the snow, the next the promise of spring is in the air. At the same time mornings are still crisp and chilly.
On a weekday I just have a hot cup of coffee, wrap up warm and brace myself. But in the weekend I treat myself to a heartwarming breakfast. This fragrant bake comes together in minutes and bubbles away in the oven whilst you have a hot, leisurely shower.
Soft quinoa, berries bursting with juice and the gentle crunch of nuts. This dish tastes so luxurious and is ever so for you: Blueberries are the stars of antioxidant foods and quinoa is one of the most protein- and fiber rich ‘grains’ around.
(slightly altered from the recipe on the blog ‘Greatist‘)
170g (1 cup) quinoa (uncooked)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice (DE, NL: piment)
500ml (2 cups) rice milk (or regular semi-skim milk)
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp stevia powder (alternatively add another 2 tbsp maple syrup)
150-250g frozen blueberries
1 apple (or pear)
10-20g and pumpkin seeds and whole, peeled hazelnuts (or other nuts, either whole or chopped)
Oil or butter for greasing oven dish
- Preheat oven to 175C (350F).
- Lightly grease an oven dish (about 20x20cm / 8×8 inch).
- In a bowl stir together uncooked quinoa with the cinnamon, allspice and stevia. Spread into the oven dish.
- Peel apple and cut into 1,5 cm cubes. Scatter on top of quinoa together with the berries and nuts.
- In the bowl, you used for the quinoa, beat the eggs. Then add milk and maple syrup.
- Pour liquid over the quinoa.
- Bake for about 1 hour. Start checking once in a while after about 40 minutes. You are looking for a slightly crunchy, golden base and top with a soft center.
- Serve warm.
Some lentils, cleriac, nuts and a bit of seasoning – amazing that something so simpel can taste this increadible
Do you already own Yotoma Ottolenghi’s amazing recipe book ‘Plenty’? No? It is a collection of extremely creative and unbelievably tasty vegetarian recipes.
I already shared recipes based on his chickpea pancakes and his lentils with roast vegetables and grilled aubergine. As I mention in this last post, I will not be sharing many of his recipes as you really should buy his book. But to whet your appetite, here is one more wonderful dish.
And just so you know: I have cooked a few other dishes from the book. I loved them, but will not share them with you. I will not even tell you what they are called so you cannot search for them on-line. You will just have to get the book yourself and explore 🙂
A big thank you to RE for the beautiful little dishes I served the lentils in. Such a lovely present – you know me so well 🙂
( hardly altered from Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe from ‘Plenty’)
60g whole hazelnuts
200g Beluga or Puy Lentils
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs of thyme
1 small celeriac (about 650g)
4 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp hazelnut oil (alternatively use walnut oil)
3 tbsp balsamic (or red-wine) vinegar
4 tbsp chopped mint
salt, black pepper
- Preheat oven to 140C..
- Scatter hazelnuts on a baking tray and roast for 15 minutes.
- Allow to cool and chop roughly.
- Combine lentils, water, bay leaves and thyme in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or all dente.
- Drain in a sieve and discard leaves and thyme.
- Peel the celeriac and cut into 1 cm chips.
- Bring water to the boil. Add salt and cook celeriac for 8-12 minutes or until just tender. Drain.
- Mix the hot lentils (if they are cool they will not absorbe the flavours of the dressing) with olive oil, 2 tbsp of the hazelnut oil, vinegar, pepper and plenty of salt.
- Add three quarters of the celeriac and stir. Adjust seasoning.
- To serve warm: stir in half the mint and half the hazelnuts. Spoon on a serving dish and drizzle with the remaining tbsp of hazelnut oil. Garnish with the rest of the celeriac, mint and nuts.
- To serve cold: allow the lentils to cool and adjust seasoning again; possibly adding some more vinegar as well. When you are ready to serve finish the dish the same was as when serving hot.
- As a vegetarian main with a side salad. Yotam recommends radish, cucumber, dill dressed with sour cream and olive oil
- As a side dish to a plain steamed white fish