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18 February 2017

Tuna & Spinach Quiche

Amazing, unbelievable and wonderful season is coming.... Spring! A time of the year when nature wakes up and showy us all the beauty. First flowers, small green leaves, juicy grass... So looking forward. My favorite season! And what can be better than getting it all on the plate?! Today in my menu Tuna and Spinach Quiche with Corn. Colorful, juicy, greeny... just like Spring! Enjoy it and get ready!

Ingredients:
yields  24 cm Ø round pie

110 g all-purpose flour
110 g wholewheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp white yoghurt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2-3 tbsp cold water
2 tbsp butter
450g canned tuna, drained and flaked
200 g fresh spinach
2 tbsp sweet canned corn (optional*)
small bunch of parsley leaves, finely chopped
250ml whole milk
2 tbsp creme fraiche
3 large eggs, beaten
50g Parmigiano Reggiano or any cheese of your choice, grated
salt
pepper 

In a medium bowl whisk whole-wheat flour and all-purpose flour with salt. In a kitchen processor mix flour, butter, yoghurt and oil. Pour 2 tablespoons of ice water over the mixture. Blend again and if the mixture seems dry, add up to 1 more tablespoon water. Wrap the dough into plastic foil and leave in the fridge to rest for minimum 30 minutes and up to 2 days. 

Meanwhile mix the filling in a separate bowl: tuna, spinach, parsley, salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Butter your baking form, mine is 24 cm in diameter. Press the dough into the form and make a thin layer on the bottom as well as on the sides. Bake the dough for 10 minutes. Then fill it with tuna-spinach mixture. Decorate the top with sweet corn for more colors. 

Whisk eggs with milk , cream fraiche and cheese. Pour it all onto the filling to cover it and bake for 40 minutes until the edges get golden brown. Let the quiche cool down and enjoy this packed with protein pie. 

Healthy, easy and so tasty.

Gourmet Balance: From home-made to Gourmet!



23 December 2016

Best Christmas Recipes

Hello there! Long time - no see. And already Christmas. The time flies with the speed of light. And since we all have to be ready and fit for Christmas I prepared a Special Edition ""Best Christmas Recipes".

As you know my priorities when cooking are time and health. Therefore the recipes are made of good ingredients, less sugar, more love, less fat, more harmony. All in all a perfect choice for you if you DO CARE :)

Here they are, my TOP RECIPES for your 3-course Christmas menu:

Starter

I find it very convenient to make an exact menu for the evening so that you do not get lost with all the different dishes on the table and the most important - so that you do not overeat as this is the worst we can do for our bodies. Therefore I propose to prepare a very easy, fresh and tasty appetizer.
For example, one of these:
 Fresh Figs with Roguefort and Balsamic Sauce

King Prawns with Mango-Avocado Salsa on a Carrot Pillow  

Main Course
 
 For the lovers of tender lean rabbit mean I have a special recipe from Paris - Rabbit under Creamy Wine Sauce with Rosemary
 

For those who want a real Christmas atmosphere with seasonal products on the table, here is the best venison recipe - Bacon Rolled Venison Tenderloin under Wine-Cranberry Sauce on an Arugula Pillow

And if you like duck I have something for you  - Baked Duck Breast with Fresh Salad 

Dessert 

 In our family the number one cake is always my  Chocolate Naked Cake with Mascarpone Cream and Fresh Berries .

However, you are always welcome to have a cozy  tea time with typical Christmas treats like ginger cookies. I have a wide range of recipes here. For example, Easy Ginger Bread Christmas cookies  or Hand Made Ginger Cookies that you can by the way also use as Christmas tree decorations. Or for sweet marzipan lovers - Marzipan Hearts in Dark Chocolate .
Mmmm , Yummy!!!!!


 And the next day you finally have time to prepare a complete breakfast like one of those in Breakfast Section here

My Breakfast Special is Wholewheat Banana Date Bread .

Wish you a lot of fun, merry Christmas and do not forget: everything is good in moderation!!!!

7 November 2016

Wholewheat Fig Pie with Almonds and Poppy Seeds

Autumn is almost gone and I just realized how quickly the time passes by...Only couple of weeks ago I was enjoying visiting my parents and here we are in November: Christmas markets are already being built all over Hamburg.... Nice times with hot wine and baked chestnuts have come. And as my oven was not working properly for some time you can imagine how happy I am now with the new one. Finally baking!!!! This time I wanted to bake something appropriate as a TO-GO Breakfast as well because it is getting harder and harder to wake up in the morning earlier in order to prepare it.  And I knew where to look for such recipe. "Super Food" can help. You probably remember how happy I was cooking this healthy breakfast by Jamie Oliver or baking a wonderful banana bread. For the latter I did not have figs and almonds that time so I chose dates and walnuts. But this time I tried to follow the recipe. I did my best. Although no the Best Best :) Well, you know me :) 

Ingredients:
yields 1 round loaf of bread 24 cm in diameter or heart shaped in my case :)
adopted from Everyday Super Food by J.Oliver

250 g dried figs
100 g wholemeal spelt flour
50 g wholemeal buckwheat flour
4 tbsp grape seed oil
5 tbsp Bulgaria yogurt
2 tbsp sesame
2 large eggs
3 ripe bananas
1/3 tsp vanilla paste
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
100 g ground poppy seeds
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 apple
50 g whole almonds

For the recipe scroll down....... 

When I prepare my breakfast I find it very important to balance energy and protein intake reducing sugar as much as possible. At least not to pack my breakfast with added sugar. Fruits and healthy fats in moderation are welcomed. Hence this recipe took my attention: no added sugar, wholewheat flour, protein from nuts and poppy seeds, healthy fats and natural sweetness. Therefore it serves a perfect snack to-go, breakfast or dessert. I personally had a wonderful breakfast today.... Yummy!!!

First of all preheat the oven to 180 °C. Line a 24 cm round ovenproof form with baking paper.Or just simply take a silicon form if you have one. Wash the figs and place 200g of them in a food processor together with eggs, peeled bananas, oil, yogurt and vanilla seeds. Blitz until smooth. Then add both flour types with baking powder, ground poppy seeds and turmeric. Pulse until combined with the rest of the dough.
Grate the apple and mix it in. Pour the mixture into the form and spread evenly. Cut the remaining figs into pieces and decorate the bread with them, pushing them a bit. Then place whole almonds all over the top. Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden, cooked through and as inserted skewer comes out clean. Let it cool a little.

And here you go. It can be served with clotted cream (as my husband prefers) or peanut butter / yogurt or just eaten as it is because the texture it moisture and smooth with pieces of crispy fig parts.





12 October 2016

Spaghetti vongole

Who is up for some italian food? I thought it might be a good idea to add a bit of summer sea fleur into these cold autumn rainy days and therefore sharing this full of flavors italian recipe with you.
 Ingredients
yields 4 portions
1 kg small clams (scrubbed and clean)
3 cloves garlic
12 cherry tomatoes
200 ml white wine
400 g dried spaghetti
salt and pepper
1-2 tbsp olive oil

Boil the water for spagetti. Meanwhile check your clams and if there are any not closed through them away. Put a large pan with a lid on a high heat and pour some olive oil into it. Peel and chop the garlic.

Add the pasta to the boiling water with a generous pinch of salt. Cook asper instructions until al dente. Meanwhile start preparing your sauce. Pour some olive oil into the hot pan and add the garlic. Season it with salt and pepper. Stir everything constantly and when garlic begins to get color, add the clams and pour in the wine. Put the lid on the pan and shuffle it a bit. Wait for couple of minutes and keep shuffling the pan around until all of them have opened. Turn off the heat. 

As soon as pasta is ready drain it. Then add it to the pan of clams. Toss for a further minute in order to let the sauce and juices from the clams be absorbed into the pasta. Serve right away with a touch of cherry tomatoes. You can also add them into the sauce together with garlic but I decided to have then freshly served. 

Enjoy your wonderful time and eat just like italians - slowly, in a friendly company and with good wine.

 


29 September 2016

Vegan Pumpkin Soup from Chef de Cuisine: Special Edition

 Autumn, chestnuts, pumpkin... What else do you think about when the first leaves start falling down? Cosy evenings under the blanket? With hot cup of tea or spicy hot chocolate? My autumn always starts with a bright orange pumpkin. Then come the chestnuts ;) 

You might have understood, that I love pumpkin. Although I have to admit it was not always like that. When I was younger, I could easily live without eat. Now I know why. Except of baked pumpkin squares with cinnamon and oatmeal porridge with pumpkin pieces I had no idea that there are so many tasty dishes with this wonderful bright and seasonal fruit. Spicy pumpkin pie like this sugarfree version, or a pumpkin layer cheesecake variation or creamy pumpkin soup. Mmmmm... Where have I been before?!

After I started trying to cook on my own and exploring different interesting recipes, I found out a lot of fascinating ones. And just when I started visiting cooking classes I got access to special ones. And today in Special Edition I want to share with you this recipe of a wonderful pumpkin soup directly from the Wild and Noble vegetables cooking course led by Chef de Cuisine - charming  Julia Eckerstorfer.

 Ingredients:

1 kg chopped Hokkaido pumpkin with skin (seeds taken out)
1000 ml water
1 carrot
2 white onions (1 peeled and chopped, another whole)
broccoli (apple size piece)
1 bay leave
2 peppercorns
1/2 apple or 6-7 dried apple slices
salt, pepper
pumpkin seed oil
roasted pumpkin seeds
sprinkle of oregano


Why Hokkaido? This is a wonderful pumpkin, that you can cook with its skin. So it saves your time, energy, tastes wonderful and adds so much color to the final dish. Like Sun in a bowl! Of course, you can choose some other type (e.g.Butternut). Just wash and peel it before cooking.
The very first step for a soup is to make a good stock for the soup. I prefer vegetable stock for this one. Although if you have some rests of chicken broth it will go well in this recipe. But if not here is the recipe and a little tip I have got from Julia.

1. Fill a pot with water. Put it on the stove over medium-high heat.

2. Add peeled carrot, 1 onion, broccoli, peppercorns and bay leave. You can add celleri sticks if you have some. But they are optional.

Cooking Tip!
In order to add special sweet note to balance stock's taste, add a handful of apple slices. I personally had no idea that apples belong to the veggie stock. But when I tried this recipe I was amazed how good it goes along with pumpkin. I always have dried apple slices from my parents garden at home and they are just perfect for the stock.

3. Cover your pot with a lid so that water can come to the boil quicker. When it starts boiling, reduce the heat and take the lid off. Add salt up to your taste. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Then put aside.

4. Now it's time for pumpkin. In a bigger pot heat vegetable oil and add chopped onion. Stir for about 30 seconds until it starts loosing color. Add chopped pumpkin and stir well at lower heat for another 2-3 minutes. Then start adding your stock until pumpkin is 80 percent in the stock. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes.

5. As soon as pumpkin has softened take the pot from the heat and blend the pumpkin in a mixer util smooth. For an extra smooth texture, the processed soup should be passed through a fine sieve, using the back of a ladle to push it through.And this is a very important moment to get the texture. Do not be lazy because it is so worth it.

6. Serve warm with a tablespoon of pumpkin seed oil, some pumpkin seeds (freshly roasted) and sprinkle of dried oregano.

Bon Appétit!!!

Enjoy the autumn and don't miss Pumpkin Season ;)