Orange & Pink Peppercorn Rolls with Orange Glaze and Pomegranate Seeds

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Holiday season is around the corner and with that comes family and friend gatherings. These rolls are great for dessert or brunch, and are perfect for sharing. I mixed the pink peppercorns, sugar and orange zest in the food processor. This allows the natural oils in the orange zest to come out and the whole pink peppercorns to be crushed. This recipe is very aromatic and the pink peppercorns add a very subtle heat and peppery taste. The tartness of the pomegranate seeds are there to balance the sweetness in the glaze, as well as to add a more festive feel to it. We just had a couple of these and will probably finish the rest during movie night later today.

This recipe makes about 11 small rolls.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

7 grs of dry yeast

1 cup of warm milk

3 ½ cups of all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling

2 teaspoons of vanilla essence

Pinch of salt

4 tablespoons of butter, melted and cooled

1/3 cup of sugar

1 egg

For the filling:

1 cup of sugar

Zest of 3 oranges

1 tablespoon of pink peppercorns

1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

3 tablespoons of melted butter

For the egg wash:

1 egg

1 tablespoon of water

For the glaze:

2 cups of icing sugar

Fresh orange juice (about 1 orange), without pulp

Extra:

½ cup of pomegranate seeds

 

Place the warm milk and yeast in the bowl of the stand mixer and let it sit for 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes have passed, add the remaining ingredients for the dough to the bowl with the yeast.

Knead on low speed for 5 minutes, using the dough hook attachment. You can also knead it by hand.

Then remove the dough from the bowl. Clean the bowl and then grease it with a bit of vegetable oil.  Form the dough into a ball and place it back into the greased bowl. Cover with plastic film and let it rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

Once the hour has passed, lightly butter the oven dish in which you are going to bake the rolls. To make filling, place the sugar, orange zest, pink peppercorns and cinnamon in the food processor. Pulse for a couple of minutes until the peppercorns are crushed. Transfer the sugar to a small bowl. Have the butter already melted and ready with a brush.

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it into a large rectangle. Then brush the top of the dough with the melted butter. Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly on top. Roll it tight lengthwise. Cut the uneven edges and discard of them. Now that you have an even rolled dough, cut it into about 11 even pieces. Place the pieces on the prepared oven dish, leaving some space in between. Brush a large piece of plastic wrap with vegetable oil. Cover the rolls with the greased side down. Let them rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

About 10 or 15 minutes before the timer is up for the second rise, preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Once the hour is up, remove the plastic wrap from the oven dish, brush the rolls with the egg wash and bake them for about 23-25 minutes until golden.

Once the rolls are baked, start making the glaze. Place the icing sugar in a small bowl. Slowly pour in the orange juice while whisking until the glaze becomes pourable. Once the glaze is of your desired consistency, just pour it on top of the rolls. Add some pomegranate seeds. They are best when served right away while they are still warm. 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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Jerusalem Artichoke Tacos with Rainbow Carrot & Beet Salad and Chive Sour Cream

Another super easy taco recipe and a great way to eat more veggies. And dinner can be ready in about 30 minutes. A layer of iceberg lettuce, topped with a crunchy salad of rainbow carrots and beet. Then some pan-roasted Jerusalem artichoke and finally some chive sour cream. I’ve been so busy lately with different projects that I haven’t had much time to make new recipes but I’m trying to catch up on my cooking this week. I can’t believe it is almost the end of the year!

This recipe makes 12 small tacos.

Ingredients:

For the salad:

5 medium rainbow carrots, shredded

1 beet, shredded

For the dressing:

¾ teaspoon of mustard

1/3 cup of white vinegar

1/3 cup of olive oil

1 ½ teaspoon of honey

Salt to taste

For the chive sour cream:

250gr of sour cream

1/3 cup of chopped chives

Juice of 1 lime

Celery salt to taste

Cayenne to taste

For the Jerusalem artichokes:

600grs of Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and finely diced

3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon of sumac

Salt

Pepper

Extras:

100grs of chopped iceberg lettuce

12 small tortillas

 

To make the dressing, just place all of the ingredients in a jar with a lid. Close the lid and shake it until it emulsifies. Set it aside.

Shred the carrots and beet but only add the dressing before serving so they keep their crunch.

To make the chive sour cream, just mix the chives with the sour cream, lime juice, celery salt and cayenne. Cover it and keep it in the fridge till serving time.

Pour the olive oil for the Jerusalem artichokes in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the diced Jerusalem artichokes, sumac, salt and pepper. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring from time to time, until they become golden.

Warm up the tortillas. Add the dressing to the carrot and beet salad, and mix well.

Stuff each tortilla with some lettuce, salad, Jerusalem artichokes and the chive sour cream. 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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Cheesy Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Crunchy Smoked Paprika Quinoa, Fried Onions & Kale Chips

I’ve been looking forward to the start of the season for Jerusalem artichokes and last week I saw them at the market for the first time. I wanted to make a sort of loaded potato soup but with Jerusalem artichokes. To make the quinoa crunchy, I first boiled it and then roasted it in the oven with some spices. Love the flavor that the smoked paprika gives the quinoa. Also topped the soup with some kale chips and store-bought fried onions.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the crunchy smoked paprika quinoa:

1/3 cup of quinoa, I used a mix of white, red and black

1 tablespoon of olive oil

½ teaspoon of smoked paprika

Pinch of celery salt

Pinch of onion powder

Pinch of celery salt

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of salt

For the kale chips:

1 cup of shredded kale

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Pinch of cayenne

Pinch of salt

For the soup:

1 tablespoon of olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 white onion, chopped

750grs of Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and chopped

1 litter of vegetable stock

250gr of cream

175grs of shredded Gouda or any cheese you would like

Salt to taste

Extra:

½ a cup of crispy fried onions, I bought already made (optional)

 

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

Start by making the quinoa. Rinse it under cold water and then place it in a medium pot. Add about 1 ½ litters of boiling water and let it cook over medium heat for 12 minutes. Then drain it.

Transfer the cooked quinoa into a bowl. Add the olive oil, spices and mix well. Spread it in a single layer over your prepared baking sheet. Roast it for 20 minutes, then stir it. Finally roast it for an extra 10 minutes. Transfer the quinoa to a small bowl and set it aside. Lower your oven temperature to 150C/300F.

Star making the soup. Pour one tablespoon of olive oil in a medium pot. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and cook them until they become translucent. Then add the garlic and cook for an extra minute. Add the Jerusalem artichokes and the vegetable stock. Let it cook for 20 minutes.

While the soup is cooking, start making the kale chips. Massage the kale with olive oil, cayenne and salt. Line your oven sheet with parchment paper and spread the kale in a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes. Then set it aside until ready to serve.

Going back to the soup; once the 20 minutes are done, add the shredded cheese and blend it until smooth. Finally add the cream, mix well and add salt to taste.

Serve the soup with some crunchy quinoa, kale chips and fried onions.

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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Spicy Asian Vegetable Soup

The stock in this soup is an explosion of flavors, from roasted garlic and onions, to clove, cinnamon, chilies and the umami that miso brings. If you have time, make the stock the day before so the flavors can infuse overnight. The lime juice balances the heat nicely. For the toppings, you can add any vegetables that you like. I just choose these to have different textures in one bite. The fried wontons strips and sliced sugar snaps give it a nice crunch. For the noodles, I used rice flakes. It was the first time I saw them at my Asian store so I gave them a try and I liked them, but you can use whichever noodle you prefer.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the spicy vegetable stock:

1 head of garlic

2 red onions

Vegetable oil

2 cloves

1 star anise

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tablespoon of chopped ginger

1 tablespoon of red miso paste

1 teaspoon of Sichuan pepper powder

3 tablespoons of chili bean sauce

1 bay leaf

½ a teaspoon of ginger powder

1 tablespoon of brown sugar

½ teaspoon of celery salt

3 litters of boiling water

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of onion powder

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup or honey

Toppings:

Juice of 2 limes

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

100grs of sliced sugar snap peas

100grs of fried wonton strips

100grs of rice noodles or the noodles of your choice (I used rice flakes)

1 cup of frozen shelled edamame

2 baby paksoi, leaves separated

1 spring onion, thinly sliced

A handful of Enoki mushrooms

Sesame seeds for serving

2 soft boiled eggs (7 minutes)

 

You can make the stock in advance. I made it the night before to let all the flavors infuse. Wrap the garlic bulb in foil with about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Do the same for the 2 red onions. Roast them for 1 hour at 180C/350F. Once they are roasted. Squeeze the roasted garlic from the shell. Peel the roasted onions and chop them.

Pour 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the roasted garlic, roasted onions, cloves, star anise, cinnamon, ginger, miso paste, Sichuan pepper powder, chili bean sauce, bay leaf, ginger powder, brown sugar, celery salt, garlic powder, onion powder and ginger syrup. Cook while stirring for about 3 minutes. Then add the boiling water. Give it a good stir so that there is nothing sticking at the bottom.

Lower the heat to the lowest and let it simmer for 1 and a half hour.

It you have time; once the stock is done, covered it and let it infuse overnight. If not, just pass it through a fine mesh sieve. Set it aside.

To fry the wontons, I just thinly sliced them into strips using a pair of scissors. Then pan-fry them in vegetable oil until golden.

For the rice noodles, I cooked them according to package instructions in a different pot.

Once you are ready to serve, reheat the stock over medium heat. Add the lime juice and sesame oil.

Add the sliced sugar snaps, paksoi and frozen edamame. Stir for about 1-2 minutes and then divide it over 3 bowls. Add the rice noodles and top with some spring onions, sesame seeds, soft boiled eggs, Enoki mushrooms and fried wontons. 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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Roasted Red Pepper Linguine with Pecan Crumbs

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Autumn has settled in and with it winter-like temperatures for me. So I turn to my trusted carbs to keep me cozy. The combination of roasted bell peppers and caramelized onions in the sauce, and the topping of toasted breadcrumbs with pecans and spices, make a wonderful combination of flavors. To save time, I bought the bell peppers already roasted.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the pecan crumbs:

2 tablespoons of olive oil

½ cup of pecans, finely chopped

1/3 cup of breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon of oregano

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of onion powder

Pinch of cayenne

Salt

Pepper

For the sauce:

3 tablespoons of olive oil

3 white onions, thinly sliced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

½ teaspoon of celery salt

4 roasted bell peppers, peeled and deseeded

250ml of cream

40grs of grated Parmesan

Extras:

350grs of linguine or the pasta of your choice

Extra parmesan for serving

 

Start by making the pecan crumbs. Place 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the pecans, oregano, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne. Stir for a few minutes until the breadcrumbs are toasted. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Adjust the seasoning to your taste. Transfer it to a bowl and set it aside.

For the sauce, place 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and lower the heat to low. Cook for about 16 minutes, stirring from time to time until the onions are caramelized. Then add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the celery salt and roasted peppers. Blend until smooth.

Start cooking your pasta according to the package instructions.

Then add the cream and parmesan to the bell pepper sauce over medium heat. Let it reduce for about 3 minutes. Taste for salt and turn off the heat.

Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the sauce. Toss or stir to coat the pasta.

Divide it into 3 plates and serve with the pecan breadcrumbs and extra parmesan

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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Butternut Squash Tacos with Apple Chutney, Kale and Tzatziki

Another veggie taco but will fall flavors. For the apple chutney, I added a bit less sugar than you would normally do because I wanted it to still have some tang. I also added chili flakes for some heat and kept the cooking time short because I wanted the apples to still hold their shape. I massaged the kale in a simple dressing of olive oil, vinegar and salt. The fritters are super simple but crunchy on the outside because of the corn meal. And the tzatziki sauce just makes it all come together and adds some freshness to the dish. Make sure to get all the toppings in one bite.

This recipe makes 12 small tacos.

Ingredients:

For the tzatziki sauce:

1 cucumber, shredded (except for the core and seeds) and squeezed

1 ½ cups of Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons of chopped fresh mint

2 tablespoons of chopped fresh dill

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of ½ a lemon

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Salt

Pepper

For the butternut squash fritters:

2 cups of shredded butternut squash, squeezed

½ cup of yellow cornmeal

½ cup of all-purpose flour

1 egg

1 egg yolk

A good pinch of salt

A good pinch of onion powder

Cayenne to taste

For the apple chutney:

4 small apples, peeled, cored and chopped into small cubes

Juice of 3 oranges

Zest of 1 orange

1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar

1 white onion, finely chopped into cubes

1/3 cup of brown sugar

1/2 a tablespoon of chili flakes (or to taste)

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons of honey

For the Kale salad:

6 cups of shredded kale

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of white vinegar

Salt

Extras:

12 small tortillas

1 cup of pomegranate seeds

Vegetable oil for frying the fritters

 

Start by making the apple chutney, you can also do it a few days in advance and keep it in the fridge covered. Just place all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook it for about 17 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated but the apples still hold their shape. Stir from time to time so the bottom doesn’t burn. Transfer it to a bowl to cool down.

To make the tzatziki sauce, make sure to squeeze the cucumber as much as you can, otherwise the sauce will become too watery. Mix the squeezed shredded cucumber with the Greek yogurt, mint, dill, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix well and add salt and pepper to taste. Keep it in the fridge covered until ready to serve.

To make the butternut squash fritters, mix the shredded squash with the rest of the ingredients.

Pour about 1/4 of a cup of vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. To make the fritters, pour about 1 tablespoon of the batter into the hot pan. Do it in batches. Cook until golden on both sides. This will only take a few minutes. Place the fritters on the plate lined with parchment paper.

To make the kale salad, place the shredded kale in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, vinegar and salt. Massage it with your hands so that it gets evenly coated in the dressing.

Warm up the tortillas in a pan. Serve each taco with some kale salad, apple chutney, a couple of fritters, tzatziki sauce and some pomegranate seeds. 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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Brie & Butternut Squash Chocolate Cake

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I’ve been teasing you guys with this cake on Instagram for over a week now. I made it for the watch giveaway and for a small tea party that I hosted for some blogger friends. I know that the initial thought of brie, squash and chocolate might sound a bit weird, but it works. Think of it as a kind of cheesecake. I keep it in the fridge because of the cheese, but I prefer to eat it at room temperature. So you can just take it out 20-30 minutes before serving if you have time. I prefer it this way because you can taste the spices a bit better. It’s a very simple but rich fall cake.

This recipe is for a 19cm cake mold.

Ingredients:

For the chocolate part:

120grs of dark chocolate, chopped

57grs of butter

½ cup of sugar

2 eggs

2 egg yolks

1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon of cacao powder

Pinch of salt

1 ½ teaspoons of ginger powder

1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

½ teaspoon of cardamom powder

For the brie & butternut squash part:

100grs of brie, weighted without the rind

1/3 cup of butternut squash puree

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup (if you can’t find it, use honey instead)

1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon of powdered sugar

½ teaspoon of ginger powder

½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder

 

For the butternut squash puree, just chop 1 small butternut squash and place it on a microwave safe bowl. Cover it tight with plastic film and microwave it for about 7-10 minutes, till it becomes soft.  Let it cool down. You can do this the day before and just keep it in the fridge.

Line the bottom of your cake mold with parchment paper. Grease and flour the edges of the mold.

Melt the butter with the chocolate in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring in between until it has completely melted. Then allow it to cool down for a few minutes.

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

While the chocolate-butter mixture is cooling down, start making the brie-butternut squash part. Place the brie in a bowl and microwave it for about 1 minute until it becomes very soft and melts a bit. Then add the butternut squash puree and blend it until smooth. Then add the ginger syrup, flour, powdered sugar, ginger and cinnamon powder. Blend it again. Finally add the egg yolk and blend until everything is well combined. Set it aside.

Then continue making the chocolate part. Place eggs and egg yolk in a large bowl, add the sugar and whisk until well combined. Then slowly whisk in the cooled down chocolate-butter mixture. Then add the vanilla, flour, cocoa powder, salt, ginger powder, cinnamon powder and cardamom powder. Whisk until everything is well combined.

Reserve about 1/3 of a cup of the butternut and chocolate mixture, to make the top swirl.

Pour the butternut mixture into the bowl of the chocolate mixture. With a spatula fold the mixture in. Then carefully pour it into the prepared cake mold.

Use a spoon to drizzle the reserved chocolate mixture over the top. Then drizzle the remaining butternut squash part. Using the back of a spoon of knife, swirl it around a bit.

Bake it for 25 minutes. Then set it aside to cool down in the mold.

Once the cake has cooled down, carefully remove it from the mold. Because of the cheese, store it in the fridge. 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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Butternut Squash & Spelt Yeasted Waffles

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Fall has arrived and as much as I prefer summer, I got to embrace all the good things it brings. And of course butternut squash is one of those things. These waffles are crispy and have a tangy taste because of the yeast. They freeze well, so you can make them in advance and reheat them in an oven at 180C/350F for about 8-10 minutes. They will become super crispy afterwards. So they are perfect if you are hosting a brunch.

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This recipe makes about 10 small waffles. You can always double the batch.

Ingredients:

1 ¼ cup of spelt flour

1 cup of lukewarm milk

3.5grs of dried yeast

1 egg

2 tablespoons of melted butter

1/3 of a cup of butternut squash puree (you can also use pumpkin)

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon of sugar beet syrup (you can also use maple syrup or honey)

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

¾ teaspoon of cinnamon powder

¼ teaspoon of cardamom powder

1 tablespoon of sugar

 

Place the lukewarm milk, yeast, sugar beet syrup and sugar in a large bowl. Let it stand for 5 minutes to activate the yeast.

Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until everything is well combined. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

Preheat your waffle iron. Brush it with a bit of vegetable oil or spray it with non-sticking cooking spray.

Pour some of the waffle batter into the preheated waffle iron and cook till golden-brown.

You can serve them with honey, maple syrup or jam. I also topped them with fresh figs and edible flowers.

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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Oven Fries with Feta, Preserved Lemon & Oregano

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I am a sucker for fries. I wanted to try a new method for making them crispy. So the other night, I tried the Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for oven fries. The result was super crispy fries with a bit less guilt since they are baked. Her trick is to boil the potatoes first and then roast them at a high temperature. Easy, peasy!

But I wanted to make something a bit different to top the fries. So, I sautéed fresh oregano, finely chopped preserved lemon, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne. Just for a bit until the oregano became aromatic. Then I mixed it with the crumbled feta. This turned out to be delicious! Not only on fries, but also on toast or crackers. So please give it a try!

This recipe serves 2.

For the fries:

½ kilo of potatoes (that will hold its shape like Russet), scrubbed and thinly sliced.

About ¼ cup of olive oil

Salt to taste

For the feta topping:

200gr of crumbled feta

1 preserved lemon, very finely chopped

Leaves of 4 fresh oregano stems, very finely chopped

2 tablespoons of olive oil

½ teaspoon of onion powder

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

Cayenne to taste

A pinch of salt (optional, but not too much because the feta is already salty)

3 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley

 

Thinly slice the scrubbed potatoes, and boil about 2 litters of water.

Preheat your oven to 230C/450F.

Place the sliced potatoes in a large pot and add the boiling water. Let the potatoes boil for 7 minutes.

In the meanwhile, line your baking tray with aluminum foil and pour the ¼ cup of olive oil into the tray. Swirl it around so that all of the surface of the tray is coated with olive oil.

Place the tray in the oven to heat up.

Drain the potatoes. Then place them in a single layer on the hot baking tray. It is important that they are in a single layer. Don’t over-crowd them, otherwise they won’t get crispy. Sprinkle a bit of salt. Roast them for 20 minutes. Then toss them, and finish roasting them for an extra 10 minutes.

To make the feta topping, place two tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the oregano, preserved lemon, onion powder, garlic powder and cayenne. Cook for 1 minute while stirring. Then remove it from the heat and add it to the crumbled feta. Mix well. Taste for salt.

To serve, just top the fries with the flavored feta. Sprinkle with some chopped parsley and 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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Chocolate & Blueberry Spelt Muffins + Electrolux Ideas Lab

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I am very excited to be part of Electrolux Ideas Lab. They have a new project where they are looking for revolutionary ideas that inspire people around the world to enjoy tastier, healthier and more sustainable home cooking in the future. And they are offering a pretty good incentive if your idea wins. Keep reading to find out more.

They asked me why home cooked meals are important to me. My answer is very simple. Basic cooking is such an essential skill in life. From then on, you can experiment as you wish. When you cook your meals yourself, you know what you are putting into your body. It is better for your wallet and most often healthier for you too.

And healthy home cooked meals don’t have to be complicated or take long to cook. The only thing it takes is some planning. What I find easiest is to prepare a menu for the week, leaving 2 days free for impromptu dinners, going out with friends or to do clean-up the fridge/freezer meals. Proper planning will not only save you time spent going to the stores too often, but it will also minimize waste and in the end save you money. Just make sure to check your pantry/fridge/freezer while making your grocery list.

Another way to ensure that I always have healthy ingredients/food at home is having a well-stocked freezer. My freezer is not very big but I use it to the fullest. I have one compartment full of frozen fruit for smoothies, quick compotes to add to porridge or for baking. Another compartment filled with veggies, like spinach cubes which are great for smoothies, soups or pasta sauces. And the last compartment I have is for leftover food or anything that I cooked extra to eat on very busy days.

Most food will keep for months in the freezer, if you have packed them well. If you freeze fruits or veggies, make sure that they are dry (or pat them dry). Use freezer bags to pack them and make sure to let all the air out of the bag. Label them with the dates you froze them. Another thing that helps prevent waste (and this also applies to your fridge/pantry) is using the FIFO method. It is something I learned in school and simply means First In, First Out. So it basically means to store your food in a way that you use the oldest product that you bought first. It is the same way supermarkets organize their products on the shelves. If you’ve ever checked the milk isle for example, you will find the milk cartons in the front are the ones that expire the soonest (oldest). And the ones in the back will have a later expiration date.

Here are some ideas:

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When you make a smoothie, you can also make a larger batch and freeze some of it into popsicle molds to have as a healthy snack. The picture above is a smoothie I made with frozen mango, Greek yogurt, a bit of honey and a pinch of turmeric. I topped it with frozen blueberries, fresh figs slices and popped quinoa. The picture below shows the popsicles I made with the leftover smoothie.

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For the carrot & butternut squash soup below, I used frozen butternut squash and fresh carrots. Since both veggies already have great consistency, there is no need to add any cream to the soup. I bought the carrots with the tops and instead of discarding them; I used the tops to make a pesto to add it as a topping to the soup. For the pesto, I used one bunch of carrot tops, half a bunch of basil, about ¼ of a bunch of chives, 3 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, a pinch of garlic powder, a pinch of celery salt, a few drops of lime juice, extra virgin olive oil (just enough so you can blend it) and salt to taste.

Besides a good spoonful of this pesto, I also topped the soup with roasted pumpkin seeds and a few slices of Parmesan. You can freeze the leftover pesto in small portions for another meal. Besides adding it to any pasta, you can use the pesto as part of the dressing for a quinoa caprese salad. Or add it to avocado toast for a quick breakfast.

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Muffins also freeze pretty well and are great to take on the go or for packed lunches.

And here is where you come in. Do you have a revolutionary idea? A smartphone app, a life hack, a food sharing program or a complete business idea? Anything that will inspire or help others to enjoy more sustainable and healthy home cooked meals? Electrolux will award the winning idea with a €10,000 cash prize and a week in Stockholm filled great culinary experiences. And you will also be able to meet mentors who can help you further develop your idea. A pretty good incentive if you ask me! You can submit your idea via www.electroluxideaslab.com . Happy thinking!

Going back to the muffins, they don’t have to be on the guilty side. I made these chocolate-blueberry muffins with a mixture of spelt and all-purpose flour. They are sweetened with apple sauce and honey, and they only have 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil per batch. The recipe is as follows:

Chocolate & Blueberry Spelt Muffins

This recipe makes 8 small muffins.

Ingredients:

¾ cup of spelt flour

½ cup of all-purpose flour

¼ cup of honey

1/3 cup of unsweetened apple sauce

4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of salt

½ cup of milk

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

2 teaspoons of baking powder

Zest of 2 mandarins

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon of cacao powder

2 eggs

1 ½ cups of frozen blueberries

Extras:

8 muffin liners

2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil for greasing the muffin liners

 

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

In a large bowl whisk the flours, salt, baking powder, mandarin zest and cacao powder until well combined.

In another bowl, add the eggs, honey, apple sauce, olive oil, milk and vanilla extract. Whisk until everything is combined.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until everything is combined (don’t over mix). Finally add the frozen blueberries and fold them in.

Line the muffin pan with the muffin liners. Brush the liners with melted coconut oil. Fill the muffin liners, leaving only 1cm of space (these muffins rise a bit, but not too much). Bake them for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let them cool down completely before eating (it’s easier to remove the liners then). Once they are cold, you can place them in freezer bags (make sure to remove all the air). They will keep for about 2 months. You can let them thaw at room temperature.

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