Mexican-style Rice, Black beans & Spinach Enchiladas with Red Pepper Sauce

It’s been a long time since I’ve made enchiladas. I don’t know why, because I love them. I wasn’t sure yesterday of what to make for dinner and then this popped into my head. I love roasted red pepper sauce and buying the peppers already roasted saves time and at least here, it tends to be cheaper too. The sauce couldn’t be simpler, just blend all of the ingredients and you are done. No cooking since it will thicken in the oven. I went veggie for the filling, and used Mexican-style rice, black beans and spinach. This is a very filling meal and any leftovers make a great packed lunch. Weather hasn’t been great here. It’s cold for being summer, so this was the perfect meal to warm up.

Ingredients:

For the filling:

100gr of fresh spinach

1 cup of shredded cheese, I used Gouda

1 cup of canned black beans (drained)

For the Mexican-style rice:

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

1 teaspoon of cayenne

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of salt

2 cups of white rice

3 3/4 cups of boiling vegetable stock

½ cup of tomato puree

For the red pepper sauce:

350grs of roasted peppers, about 5 large bell peppers if you want to roast them yourself

250ml of cream

1 teaspoon of celery salt

1 teaspoon of onion powder

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

Extras:

6 tortillas

1 cup of shredded cheese, I used Gouda

1 jalapeño, thinly sliced

Fresh coriander for serving

1 lime, sliced into wedges for serving

 

Start by making the rice. Place the vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over the lowest heat. Once the oil is hot, add all the spices and rice. Stir for about a minute. Then add the boiling vegetable stock and tomato puree. Cover it with a lid and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.

In the meanwhile, make the red pepper sauce. Just blend all of the ingredients until smooth. Place it in a big bowl and set it aside.

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Once the rice is cooked and while it is still hot, transfer it to a large bowl. Add the fresh spinach, black beans and cheese for the filing. Stir until everything is mixed and the spinach has wilted.

Spoon a thin layer of the red pepper sauce on the bottom of your baking dish

Dip one tortilla into the red pepper sauce, shake off the excess sauce. Then place the wet tortilla on a cutting board. Stuff it with the rice and then roll it tight. Place it in the prepared baking dish. Repeat for the rest.

Add the remaining sauce on top of the stuffed tortillas. Sprinkle the remaining cup of cheese. Bake for 20 minutes.

Then broil for an extra 5 minutes.

Serve with some chopped coriander, sliced jalapeños and lime wedges. Enjoy!

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Kimchi Loaded Hasselback Potatoes

Today is the first workday in weeks that I finally have our place all to myself. I could finally catch up on my own work which makes me super happy. The construction has finally ended and now we only need to work on minor details. Can’t wait to show you more once it is finished. I am also very excited about a  mini trip we are doing soon.

Going back to the recipe, I caramelized onions with kimchi and Gochujang paste to make the red sauce. Then added some shredded cheese, sriracha sour cream for a bit more extra heat and freshness. And finally some chives. Slicing the potatoes this way makes the edges quite crispy. A very easy and cheap party appetizer.

This recipe is for 1 kilo of potatoes.

Ingredients:

For the potatoes:

1 kilo of russet potatoes, I used medium-small potatoes

Olive oil for brushing the potatoes

Pinch of salt

For the caramelized kimchi and onion sauce:

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil

Pinch of salt

Pinch of garlic powder

½ cup of kimchi

1 teaspoon of Gochujang paste

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup (if you can find it, you can use honey with a teaspoon of minced ginger)

For the Sriracha sour cream:

125grs of sour cream

1 tabelspoon of sriracha

Juice of half a lime

Pinch of salt

For the extra toppings:

½ a cup of shredded cheese (I used Gouda but you can also use cheddar)

Chopped chives

 

Preheat your oven to 200C/390F. Line your baking tray with parchment paper.

Scrub, wash and dry the potatoes.

To make it a bit easier on yourself, place the potato on your cutting board in between the handles of two wooden spoons (you can also use chopsticks). This will help prevent that your knife cuts all the way through the potato. Just be patient and go slow as you slice each potato as thin as you can, without going all the way through. Repeat for all the potatoes.

Carefully place them on the prepared baking tray. Brush them with olive oil and sprinkle with some salt.

Bake them for 30 minutes. Then brush them with olive oil again and finish baking for 30 minutes. You can pinch the biggest potato in the middle to check if it is cooked or not. Keep the oven on afterwards.

While the potatoes are baking, start making the kimchi and onion sauce. Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over low heat. Once the oil is hot, add the sliced onion. Add a pinch of salt and garlic powder. Cook for about 6 min, while stirring from time to time.

Then add the kimchi, Gochujang paste, ginger syrup and a pinch of salt. Cook for about 3 minutes to caramelize the kimchi. Blend it until it becomes a paste. Set it aside.

To make the sriracha sour cream, mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Keep it in the fridge covered until ready to serve.

Using a spoon, spread some of the kimchi on top of each roasted potato. I used about 1 teaspoon per potato. A bit more for the bigger ones. Then sprinkle the shredded cheese over the kimchi layer.

Return the potatoes to the oven and bake them until the cheese has melted. About 5 minutes, check so that it doesn’t burn.

Drizzle some of the sriracha sour cream on top of each potato. Sprinkle some chives. Serve straight away and enjoy!

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Baked Buttermilk & Curry Chicken Wings with Coconut Rice and Mango Chutney

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I’ve been into curry lately and wanted to try a new wings recipe. I marinated the chicken wings overnight in a mixture of buttermilk, curry and spices. I then baked them for 1 hour. The result is super tender and flavorsome wings which are complemented very well with the coconut rice and the mango chutney. The wings themselves are not really spice but you can always adjust the heat to your liking. If you prefer, you can also use chicken legs or thighs instead.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the chicken wings:

1,2 kilos of chicken wings

1 litter of buttermilk

2 tablespoons of curry powder

1 teaspoon of cumin

1 tablespoon of garlic powder

1 tablespoon of onion powder

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of paprika powder

1 ½ tablespoon of sugar

1 teaspoon of mustard powder

1 ½ teaspoon of cayenne

For the mango chutney:

250gr of diced mango (I used frozen mango, but you can also use fresh mango)

1 medium white onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon of minced ginger

1 bird’s eye chili, chopped

¼ cup of apple cider vinegar

¼ cup white vinegar

¼ cup of sugar

½ cups of water

Pinch of salt

For the coconut rice:

1 ½ cup of rice

1 ½ cup of coconut milk

1 ½ cup of boiling water

Pinch of salt

Extras:

1 bunch of fresh coriander

Sliced chili (optional)

 

Make the marinade the night before. Place the buttermilk in a large bowl. Whisk in the rest of the spices and then add the chicken wings. Make sure the wings are covered in the marinade. Cover with plastic film and let it sit in the fridge overnight.

The next day, preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Once your oven is hot, line your baking tray with parchment paper. Arrange the wings in a single layer over the prepared baking tray. Sprinkle some salt over them. Bake them for 1 hour.

In the meanwhile, start making the mango chutney. Place all of the ingredients in a pot over medium-low heat. Let it cook for about 18 minutes, stirring from time to time until it has a chutney consistency. Then transfer it to a bowl and allow it to cool down.

To make the rice, 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 until you are ready to serve.

Serve the wings over a bed of coconut rice. Then add some of the mango chutney, some fresh coriander and sliced chili. Enjoy!

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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!

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Harissa & Turmeric Roasted Aubergine with Cashew & Sumac Crumbs

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It’s been a while since I’ve cooked with harissa so I decided to use it as the base for these roasted aubergines. For extra flavor, I added turmeric, dried oregano and celery salt. For some crunch, I made some sumac flavored crumbs with cashews and bread. A delicious and very healthy vegetarian meal!

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

2 small aubergines, sliced lengthwise (about 1.5cm thick)

100grs of harissa

2 teaspoons of turmeric

8 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of dried oregano

2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon of celery salt

For the cashew & sumac crumbs:

4 slices of crusty bread, chopped

¾ cup of chopped cashews, unsalted

4 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of sumac

Salt to taste

Pinch of garlic powder

Extras:

6 tablespoons of chopped chives

Edible flowers (optional)

 

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

In a small bowl, mix the harissa, turmeric, olive oil, dried oregano, apple cider vinegar and celery salt.

Brush both sides of the sliced eggplants with the sauce. Place the sliced aubergine in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 40 minutes.

While the aubergine is roasting, start making the crumbs. Place the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Once it is hot, add the chopped bread, cashews, sumac, salt and garlic powder. Cook for a few minutes while stirring until the bread is toasted.

Place the bread and cashew mixture in the food processor and pulse until you get crumbs. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Transfer it to a bowl and set it aside.

Serve the roasted aubergine with some of the crumbs, chopped chives and edible flowers. I like to eat it with white rice. Enjoy!

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Baked Eggs on Sweet Potato Skins with Avocado

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This was my breakfast yesterday and I got many questions on Instagram on how to make it, so I decided to post the recipe. It’s super easy and very healthy.

Update: Here is how to make the avocado rose:

This recipe makes 4.

Ingredients:

2 sweet potatoes, I used small ones

4 eggs

1 avocado

1 tablespoon of chopped chives

Sea salt

Chili flakes

 

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking tray with parmenchent paper. Once the oven is hot, bake the sweet potatoes for 1 hour, or until tender.

Then take them out of the oven (keep the oven on) and slice them in half. Scoop the flesh out, leaving a thin layer attached to the skin so it keeps its shape. You can use the sweet potato flesh for another recipe.

Sprinkle a bit of salt on top of each sweet potato skin. Since I like my yolks still runny, I separated the eggs whites from the egg yolks. I added an egg white to each sweet potato skin and baked them for 20 minutes until the egg white had set. Then I removed them from the oven and added the yolks. Finally baked them for an additional 3 minutes. If you don’t like your egg yolks runny, just add the whole egg at once.

Once the eggs are done, remove the potato skins from the oven. Topped them with thinly sliced avocado and sprinkle with some chopped chives, sea salt and chili flakes.

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Baked Coconut Oatmeal

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One of the good things about baked oatmeal is that you can make it the night before. Which is what I did and keep it in the fridge, covered for up to 3 days. It’s perfect to have on busy mornings. I used half brown sugar and half coconut sugar; because I ran out of coconut sugar but you can use either of them.

This recipe is enough for a 23 x 23 cm baking dish.

Ingredients:

¼ cup of melted coconut oil, cooled

1 cup of milk of your choice (I used a coconut-rice milk)

3 cups of rolled oats (Here they are called haver-vlokken)

½ cup of dried unsweetened coconut

2 eggs

1 ½ teaspoon of baking powder

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

¼ cup of coconut sugar

¼ cup of brown sugar

 

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

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, vanilla, sugars, baking powder and salt. Then add the cooled melted coconut oil and milk, and whisk to combine.

Finally add the oats and dried coconut. Mix well.

Pour it into the prepared baking dish and spread it evenly.

Bake it for 40 minutes till golden on top.

Serve with milk or yogurt of your choice.

You can keep it the fridge, covered for up to 3 days.

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Lentil Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Mash

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This is a vegetarian take on the traditional Shepherd’s pie. Still hearty and comforting, but a bit lighter. The addition of smoked paprika and port to the lentils gives it another depth of flavor. The cauliflower mash is soft, creamy and cheesy.

This recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

For the lentil stew:

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

3 bell peppers, finely chopped

1 leek, finely chopped

1 large carrot, finely chopped

1 ½ cups of beluga lentils

1 shot of port

1 cup of tomato puree

1 liter of vegetable stock

¾ teaspoon of smoked paprika

1 tablespoon of sumac

11/2 teaspoon of celery salt

Salt to taste

For the cauliflower mash:

1 medium head of cauliflower, chopped into chunks

½ cup of cream

½ teaspoon of onion powder

1 cup of shredded Gouda cheese

Salt to taste

Extra:

40grs of grated Parmesan

Chives for decoration (optional)

 

Start by making the lentil stew. Place the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and leek. Cook while stirring for about 6 minutes. Then add the garlic, bell peppers and carrot. Cook for about 2 minutes while stirring. Add the smoked paprika, sumac, celery salt and some salt.

Then add the lentils, port and tomato puree. Stir for about one minute and then add the stock. Let it cook for about 40 minutes, stirring from time to time. It’s done when the lentils are cooked and most of the liquid has evaporated. Adjust the salt and spices to your liking.

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Boil the cauliflower until tender, about 8 minutes. Then drain it.

Blend (or use a food processor) the cauliflower with the cream, onion powder and salt. Once you have a creamy mash, add the shredded Gouda and mix until it is well combined. Taste for salt.

Place the lentil stew in an oven-proof dish and spread the cauliflower mash evenly over it. Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan.

Place it in the oven for about 40 minutes until the top is golden. Sprinkle with some chives and enjoy!

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Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni with Butternut Squash Béchamel

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It’s been too long since I’ve made cannelloni. I was at an Italian store the other day getting squid ink pasta for another recipe and when I saw boxes of cannelloni, I just had to get one. I stuffed them with ricotta and spinach, and made a butternut squash béchamel sauce to cover them. I could eat pasta everyday!

This recipe serves 4.

For the filling:

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

300gr of fresh spinach

Pinch of onion powder

Salt

Pepper

500grs of ricotta

Pinch of lemon pepper

Pinch of cayenne

For the béchamel:

3 tablespoons of butter

Pinch of garlic powder

3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

5 cups of milk

1 medium butternut squash

40grs of grated Parmesan

Extras:

16 cannelloni

40grs of grated Parmesan for sprinkling on top

Fresh sage leaves (optional)

Vegetable oil to fry the sage leaves(optional)

 

For the butternut squash, slice the butternut squash into chunks. Take out the seeds and place the chunks on a plate. Cover the plate with plastic wrap and microwave for 9 minutes. Once the squash is cooked, be careful when you remove the plastic wrap so that the steam coming out doesn’t burn you. Spoon out the flesh of the squash and place it on a medium bowl. Set it aside.

Place the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the spinach, onion powder, salt and pepper. Cook until the spinach has wilted. Then place the spinach on a sieve with a bowl underneath and press to get rid of most of the liquid. Set it aside.

To make the béchamel, melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add a pinch of garlic powder and the flour. Stir for 2 minutes. Then add the milk and stir until it thickens, about 6 minutes. Add the cooked butternut squash and Parmesan. Blend it until smooth using an immersion blender. Taste for salt.

To finish making the filling, mix the wilted spinach with the ricotta in a bowl. Add the lemon pepper, cayenne, pepper and salt. Mix well.

Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Place the ricotta filling in a piping bag and fill each cannelloni with it.

Grease with some olive oil a medium oven dish and add about 3 ladles of the béchamel. Spread the cannelloni over the sauce. Cover them with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle some extra grated Parmesan all over. Bake it for 40 minutes until golden.

If you want, you can fry some sage leaves in a small pan with vegetable oil, then place them on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the extra oil. Then use them to decorate the dish.

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Twice Baked Butternut Squash with Harissa Butter, Feta & Pomegranate

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This is a very easy to make side dish for the holidays. The harissa butter adds a bit of heat that goes well with the sweetness of the butternut squash.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

1 medium butternut squash, sliced in half

1 tablespoon of butter

1 teaspoon of harissa or more to taste

2 tablespoons of Parmesan

2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs

Salt

Extras:

½ cup of pomegranate seeds

100grs of crumbled feta

Micro arugula for decoration

Handful of arugula

Olive oil

White vinegar

Salt

Pepper

 

Preheat the oven to 200C/390F.

Place the butternut squash in a roasting tray lined with parchment paper. Add ½ cup of water and cover it with aluminum foil. Bake until very tender. Mine took about 1 hour but the time will depend on the size of your squash.

Once the butternut squash is tender, spoon out all of the flesh into a bowl but leave some attached to the edges of one half so that it holds its shape for the second bake.

Turn up the heat to 230C/440F.

Melt the butter in a pan with the harissa. Place the butternut squash flesh, harissa butter, Parmesan, breadcrumbs and salt in the food processor and pulse until smooth.

Stuff the reserved butternut half with the butternut puree. Place it on a oven tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes.

To serve, mix the arugula with a splash of olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Place the butternut squash in the middle of a large plate. Place the arugula salad all around the squash. Top it with the crumbled feta, pomegranate and micro arugula. Serve right away.

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