Spaghetti Squash Pizza Crust (Gluten Free)

 

I’m so happy that spaghetti squash is finally becoming popular here and I can now buy it at supermarkets. Before I could only find it at the farmer’s market. But these are only on Saturdays, which sucked if I didn’t have time to go or plan ahead. I wanted to make a slightly lighter pizza so I used spaghetti squash as a base for the crust. It’s basically a vegetable fritter. I used egg white, Parmesan and a bit of buckwheat flour to bind it together. So it is gluten free.

This recipe makes 3 individual pizza crusts.

Ingredients:

1 medium spaghetti squash

2 egg whites

¾ teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of salt

1 ½ teaspoon of onion powder

1 tablespoon of dried oregano

40grs grated Parmesan

2 tablespoons Buckwheat flour

Extras:

Olive oil

 

Preheat your oven to 200C/400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Slice the squash in half. Spoon out the seeds and the stringy bits of flesh. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on each piece of squash. Place the squash with the cut side down on the prepared baking sheet. Roast it for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the squash. Keep the oven on. Remove it from the oven and using a fork, scrape off the flesh. Transfer it to a large bowl. Set it aside to cool down.

Once the squash has cooled down, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Place a non-stick pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, brush it with a bit of olive oil. Add 1/3 of the squash. Press it down with a spoon and shape it into a circle. It is important that you don’t make the pizza crusts too big or too thin as they will be more difficult to flip and most likely to break. So keep that in mind.

Cook for about 2-3 minutes per side, until it gets slightly brown. The easiest way to flip each fritter is to flip the pan into a plate. Do it carefully so that it doesn’t break. It is also important that you don’t add too much olive oil into the pan before cooking the squash. You don’t want hot oil to drip onto you while flipping the fritter. Repeat for the rest.

Once your spaghetti squash pizza crusts are all done, top them with your favorite pizza toppings. Line an oven sheet with parchment paper and bake for about 10 minutes. For these I used tomato sauce, mozzarella and shredded Gouda. After the pizza was baked, I added some prosciutto, arugula and chili flakes. Enjoy!

Side note: If you want to use mozzarella, avoid using too much and make sure to pat dry each piece with paper towels. The moisture in the mozzarella can make the pizza very watery.

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Cold Noodle Salad with Miso & Sesame Dressing

A super easy salad that can be easily adapted to what you have in your fridge or any other toppings you feel like having. I love vinegar and I have been eating a lot of pickled veggies lately. So for this, I pickled some radish in red wine vinegar to add a pop of color. You can also use pickled ginger instead. To keep it simple I just added avocado, a 6 minute egg, cucumber and edamame. This is great to take to lunch the next day too.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the miso & sesame dressing:

1 teaspoon of red miso

1 tablespoon of minced ginger

4 tablespoons of sesame oil

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons of agave syrup or honey

1 clove of garlic, minced

Juice of 1 lime

1 teaspoon of chili oil

For the salad:

200grs of noodles of your choice (I used a gluten free variety, made with brown rice & amaranth)

½ a cucumber, thinly sliced

A bit of pickled radish (I pickled my own in red wine vinegar, hence the color , with a bit of salt, sugar and chili), you can also use pickled ginger.

150gr of cooked edamame beans

1 egg

1 avocado, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon of Togarashi

1 tablespoon of black sesame seeds

 

To make the dressing, just place all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until it emulsifies. Set it aside.

For the soft boiled egg, place it in a saucepan and add boiling water. Let it cook for 6 minutes over medium heat. Then rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking. Peel it and set it aside until serving.

Cook the noodles as instructed on the package. Then rinse them under cold water to stop the cooking. Drizzle a little bit of sesame oil so that they don’t stick.

Divide the noodles over two bowls. Add the avocado, edamame, cucumber, radish and egg. Sprinkle some togarashi and black sesame seeds on top. Serve with the miso & sesame dressing. Enjoy!

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Chicha Morada Popsicles (made with Peruvian Purple Corn)

Chicha morada is a non-fermented purple corn drink from Peru. It is said that this particular corn is packed with antioxidants. But for me it’s not about its nutritional value, that’s just a plus. For me, it reminds me of my childhood. Just the smell of it while it is cooking brings me back to Peru. This is and will always be my favorite drink. If you go to Peru, the chicha morada will taste a bit different at each restaurant. Some add more cloves or cinnamon. Some add more sugar or less lime juice. So you can always adapt it to your palate. If you make it to drink it though, keep it refrigerated for 3 to max 4 days. You can also spike it with Pisco or rum to make it into a punch. A good chicha morada will have a deep purple color, so it will not be a translucent liquid. You can buy the purple corn at stores that sell Latin American products or online.

This recipe makes about 12 popsicles or about 2 littles of Chicha Morada.

Ingredients:

500g Purple Corn

Rind and core of one pineapple

4 cinnamon sticks

4 cloves

2 apples cut into quarters

4 liters of boiling water

Sugar to taste (I add about 1/2 cup of sugar)

Juice of 2 to 3 limes (or to taste)

 

Place the purple corn in a large pot with the pineapple rind and core, the cinnamon sticks, cloves, apples and 2 liters of boiling water. Let it simmer over medium-low heat for 45 minutes. You can also partially cover it with a lid because it does splatter if it gets too hot. Otherwise just lower the heat a bit. After the 45 minutes have passed and the liquid has reduced, add the remaining 2 litters of boiling water. Let it simmer for an extra 45 minutes. You know it’s done when the corn kernels sort of crack and you can see the flesh of the corn.

Sift the liquid and discard of the solids. Be careful not to splatter the liquid over your clothes.

Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves. Since the liquid is hot, it will dissolve quicker. Transfer it to a pitcher and let it cool at room temperature. Once the chicha morada is cold, add the lime juice to taste. Mix well and then pour it into each popsicle mold. Insert the sticks and freeze overnight.

The next day, carefully remove them from the mold by rinsing them over hot water. Enjoy!

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Curry Fried Rice with Mango & Pineapple

Last week, I bought a little container of mango powder at a spice store here in Amsterdam. It’s called De Volkskruidentuin, if you ever want to go there. I’ve been wanting to use it since, but I wasn’t sure on what yet. And then I remembered one of the dishes we ate quite often while we were in Thailand. Both Pieter and I loved the curry fried rice serve in a pineapple boat. So I thought of making my own version. If you can’t find the mango powder, don’t worry. This dish still has plenty of flavor from all the other spices. I made the coconut rice the night before, so keep that in mind if you have the time.

This dish serves 2 as a main course and 4 as a side dish.

Ingredients:

For the coconut rice:

1 ½ cup of rice

1 ½ cup of coconut milk

1 ½ cup of boiling water

Pinch of salt

For the fried rice:

3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1 tablespoon of finely chopped ginger

1 cup of cashew nuts, coarsely chopped

1 large sweet pepper, finely chopped (you can also use a bell pepper instead)

½ a teaspoon of onion powder

½ a teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of hot curry powder

1 teaspoon of mango powder (optional)

1 teaspoon of lemongrass powder

1 teaspoon of kaffir lime leaf powder

1 tablespoon of Thai shrimp chili paste

1 teaspoon of salt

1 cup of fresh pineapple, finely chopped (reserved from the pineapple for serving)

1/3 cup of raisins

1 tablespoon of brown sugar

1 teaspoon of fish sauce

Juice of half a lime

3 tablespoons of chopped coriander

Extras:

1 whole pineapple

1 tablespoon of freshly chopped Thai basil (optional)

Chopped coriander for serving

Lime wedges for serving

 

It is better to make the rice the night before if you can. Place the rice, coconut milk, water and salt in a medium pot over the lowest heat. Give it a good stir and cover it. Let it cook for about 15 minutes. Then let it sit covered for 15 minutes. Then remove the lid and allow the rice to cool down. Once cold, keep it in the fridge until ready to use.

To prepare the pineapple boats, slice the pineapple in half lengthwise. Remove the flesh with a spoon and discard of the core. Save half of the flesh for the stir fry. I ate the remaining pineapple while I was cooking. I just can’t resist it, it’s one of my favorite fruits and this one was so sweet.

Place all of the ingredients for the fried rice in a large pan except for the coconut rice, lime juice and coriander. Cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat, while stirring. Then add the lime juice, cold coconut rice and chopped coriander. Stir-fry for about 2 minutes till everything is mixed together.

Serve the fried rice on the prepared pineapple boats. Add some chopped coriander and Thai basil. Serve with a wedge of lime and enjoy!

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Kimchi, Caramelized Onion & Potato Pancakes with Okonomiyaki Sauce

For me, kimchi makes everything better. Of course, you have to like kimchi. If you don’t, you can skip it. A potato and caramelized onion pancake is still delicious, but I am going for Asian vibes here. For the sauce, I just paired it with a very simple Okonomiyaki Sauce (you probably already have all of the ingredients in your pantry). For a cheap and easy meal, give this a try!

This recipe makes about 6 small pancakes

Ingredients:

For the pancakes:

1 kilo of potatoes (like russet), peeled and shredded

½ cup of kimchi, minced with a knife

2 ½ tablespoons of tapioca flour

1 egg

1 egg white

Pinch of salt

Pinch of black pepper

Pinch of garlic powder

1 red onion, finely sliced

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

For the Okonomiyaki Sauce:

½ cup of ketchup

3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce

1 ½ tablespoons of honey

Pinch of garlic powder

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

Extras:

Vegetable oil for frying the pancakes

Chopped chives for serving

 

Start by shredding the peeled potatoes. To save time and the possibility of hurting my fingers, I used my food processor for this. Once the potatoes are shredded, place them in a fine mesh sieve. And press them to get rid of all the liquid that you can.

In a medium pan, add the sliced onion over low heat. Let it cook for about 6-8 minutes, stirring from time to time until it caramelizes.

Add the potato, onion, kimchi, tapioca flour, egg, egg white, salt, pepper and garlic powder to a medium bowl. Mix well using a fork.

To make the sauce, just mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Reserve for serving.

Add about 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil to a large pan over medium heat. I used a mold to try to get the pancakes more even in shape, but you don’t have to. I placed a circular mold in the hot pan. Then I added a few tablespoons of the potato mixture and pressed to shape it. Then I removed the mold. I cooked 3 at a time. Let the pancakes cook until golden on both sides. Time will depend on the size/thickness of course. Mine took about 4-5 min per side.

Serve warm with the okonomiyaki sauce and chopped chives. I added some edible flowers for a pop of color.

For more foodie inspiration, travel & lifestyle; you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and Youtube channel.

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Thai Spiced Nuts

Inspired by our lasted trip to Thailand, I created this spiced nuts recipe. When I travel, I always like to visit the local markets and supermarkets to see and try what they have to offer. I could spend hours browsing through each isle or stand. Pieter actually got tired of waiting for me on our last supermarket trip there while I was examining the information on the packaging of every snack I found interesting.

These nuts are sticky and they have a sort of umami taste. I just used the Thai basil for decoration but you can add it freshly chopped right before serving. And it’s done in 20 minutes with minimal amount of cooking. I was generous with the spice measurements. If you like it spicy, you can always add for chili powder or cayenne.

Ingredients:

150grs of unsalted cashew nuts

125grs of unsalted almonds

80grs of unsalted pumpkin seeds

For the Sauce:

Juice of 1 lime

1 ½ teaspoon of kaffir lime leaf powder

1 ½ teaspoon of cayenne or chili powder

1 teaspoon of lemon grass powder

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1 ½ tablespoon of salt

½ teaspoon of ginger powder

¼ cup of sugar

¼ cup of water

 

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place all of the ingredients for the sauce in a medium saucepan. Whisk so all the spices get dissolve into the water. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Don’t forget to stir constantly so that it doesn’t burn. It’s ready when most of the water has evaporated and it has become a syrup.

Add the nuts and mix well to coat them. Spread them in a single layer over the prepared baking sheet.

Bake them for 15 minutes. Stirring half way though the cooking time.

Once they come out of the oven, allow them to cool. Then try to separate the nuts into smaller chunks.

If you want, add freshly chopped Thai basil right before serving. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, travel & lifestyle; you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories.

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Chocolate Caramel & Puffed Quinoa Pecan Bars

If you follow my Instagram stories, you probably saw that I was making these bars yesterday. It’s been a while since I’ve made a new dessert bar, so it was due. These are decadent, not overly sweet and they have a hint of heat from the chipotle roasted pecans. And they are very easy to make, without any corn syrup or candy thermometer. I got some questions already of where I get chipotle powder in Amsterdam. I bought it at Tijn’s toko close to the Albert Cuyp market.

This recipe is for a 22cm baking square dish.

Ingredients:

For the roasted pecans:

180grs of pecans

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

2 tablespoon of maple syrup

3/4 teaspoon of chipotle powder (optional)

Pinch of salt

For the puffed quinoa crust:

2 cups of puffed quinoa

3 tablespoons of butter, melted

1 vanilla bean, or 1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla essence

3 tablespoons of icing sugar

1 egg white, slightly beaten with a fork

For the chocolate caramel:

1 cup of sugar

2 tablespoons of water

6 tablespoons of salted butter

1 1/2 cup of heavy cream

120gs of dark chocolate, chopped

½ teaspoon of vanilla extract

Pinch of sea salt

 

Start by roasting the pecans.  Preheat your oven to 200C/400F and line your baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix the pecans with the vegetable oil, maple syrup, chipotle powder and salt. Spread them in a single layer over your prepared baking sheet. Roast them for 15 minutes, stirring half way through.

To make the puffed quinoa crust, first melt the butter and preheat your oven to 180C/350F. If you are using a vanilla bean pod, add the vanilla beans to the melted butter and mix well so that it dissolves. Then add the vanilla butter to the puffed quinoa, icing sugar and egg white. Mix well. Line your baking mold with parchment paper, also cover the sides of the mold so that it is easier to remove the bars later on. Place the quinoa mixture into the prepared mold and use the back of a spoon to evenly distribute it and press to make it compact. Bake it for 15 minutes. Then remove it from the oven and allow it to cool down.

To make the chocolate caramel, place the cream in a bowl and microwave it for 45 seconds. Then add the chopped chocolate, vanilla essence and salt.  Microwave it for 30 second intervals till the chocolate has melted. Mix in between. Set it aside.

In a large medium saucepan, add the sugar and water. Let it melt over medium heat until it becomes amber in color. Swirl the pan around from time to time. Then lower the heat to low and add the butter, one tablespoon at a time. Stir with a heat-proof spatula until all the butter has melted. Then add the chocolate cream that you made before. Stir constantly over low heat for 10 minutes until it becomes a thick sauce, like fudge. Then turn off the heat and keep stirring for 2 minutes to allow it to cool down and become thicker.

Carefully pour the chocolate caramel evenly over the quinoa crust. Swirl it around so that it covers the edges. Carefully place the pecans on top in a single layer. Let it sit in the fridge to set for at least 5 hours.

Store them in an airtight container in the fridge. I’d like to take it out before eating since I prefer them when they are at room temperature and the caramel is chewier.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories.

 

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Peanut Butter & Sea Salt Caramel Popcorn

The other day we had unexpected friends over and while they started opening some beers in the kitchen, I made some kettle corn to snack on. This is what I love about popcorn, it’s so easy and quick to make. The variety of flavors you can add to it is basically endless. And this Peanut butter popcorn is such a divine combo! I’ve partnered with Calve Peanut Butter to create this recipe. It’s crunchy, salty, sweet and addictive. The perfect snack for movie night and it also makes a nice edible gift.

This recipe makes 1 large bowl of popcorn.

Ingredients:

For the popcorn:

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

105grs of popcorn kernels (1/2 a cup)

For the Peanut butter & sea salt caramel sauce:

100grs of sugar (3/4 cup)

45grs of butter tablespoons of butter (3 tablespoons)

105grs of water (¾ cup)

75grs of Calve smooth peanut butter (1/3 of a cup)

1 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt

1 ½ to 2 teaspoons of baking soda

Brush one very large bowl with vegetable oil. If you don’t have one large enough, grease two medium ones. Keep in mind that you need to have enough space to coat all the popcorn in the caramel.

Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.

In a large pan with a lid, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the popcorn, cover and keep the pan moving until all the kernels have popped. Transfer the popcorn to the greased bowl. Remove any unpopped kernels.

Add the sugar, water and butter to a medium pan. Cook over medium heat until it becomes a light golden color. This will take about 10 minutes. Swirl the pan from time to time.

Remove the pan from the heat. Quickly add the peanut butter, sea salt and baking soda. Stir with a wooden spoon until it is all well combined.

Pour the peanut butter caramel sauce over the popcorn and mix well. Spread the popcorn over the prepared baking tray. Allow it to cool down. Once cooled, you can break them apart into smaller chunks. It will keep in an air-tight container till the next day. Enjoy!

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow my Instagram stories and my Snapchat: cravingsinams.

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Salted Chocolate Ganache Tart with Coconut Macaroon Crust

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I made this tart a couple of weeks ago for a friend of mine that came over. It is very easy to assemble. It has a chewy coconut macaroon crust, a rich chocolate ganache filling and a sprinkle of sea salt adds the final touch. For the crust, I used coconut condensed milk for extra coconut flavor. If you can’t find it, just use regular condensed milk.

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This recipe is for a 35x11cm tart mold, preferably with a detachable bottom.

Ingredients:

For the coconut macaroon crust:

1 egg white

2 cups of unsweetened shredded coconut

½ cup of coconut condensed milk (you can also use regular condensed milk)

Pinch of salt

For the filling:

320ml of whipping cream

225grs of dark chocolate, chopped

30grs of salted butter

1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

Extras:

Sea salt for sprinkling over the tart

 

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F and grease your mold with a bit of vegetable oil.

Start by making the crust. Place egg white, condensed milk, shredded coconut and salt in a large bowl. Mix well. Then press it into the bottom of your prepared baking mold. Try to make the crust as even as possible. I used the back of a spoon to press it into the mold.

Bake it for about 13 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Be careful that the edges don’t burn. Allow it to cool down completely.

Once the crust is cold, start to make the ganache filing. Place the cream and vanilla essence in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the cream starts to simmer, turn off the heat. Add the chopped chocolate and butter to the cream. Stir until everything has melted. Then pass it through a sieve to make sure there are no lumps.

Carefully pour the ganache over the crust. Place it in the fridge to set for at least four hours or better overnight.

Sprinkle some sea salt before serving. Enjoy!

Keep it stored in the fridge.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook. For behind the scenes, more of Amsterdam and a peek of press events, you can follow me on Snapchat: cravingsinams.

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Mini Cucumber with Greek Yogurt & Savory Granola

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A super healthy snack since summer is around the corner. It’s super crunchy, fresh and very easy to make. Great to take to a picnic too.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

2 cups of Greek yogurt

8 mini cucumbers, sliced lengthwise

Drizzle of olive oil

Chopped chives

For the savory granola:

½ cup of oatmeal

½ cup of nutritional yeast

¼ cup buckwheat

Pinch of celery salt

1 teaspoon of sumac

Pinch of salt

Pinch of cayenne

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of onion powder

¼ cup of olive oil

 

To make the granola, preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Mix all of the ingredients for the granola in a bowl and then spread it over the prepared baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring half way through. Then allow it to cool down.

Serve the Greek yogurt in one bowl, drizzle some olive oil and top with a bit of chopped chives. Serve the granola in another bowl. Dip the cucumber slices in the Greek yogurt and then coat them in the granola. Enjoy!

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