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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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.

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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!

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Baked Sweet Potato with Almond, Parmesan and Sage Crumble (gluten free)

This is an old recipe that was in need of an update. I love sage butter, especially mixed with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. So I thought of making a savory crumble to top some baked sweet potatoes. I used almond meal instead of normal flour and it was delicious. It’s super easy to make. You can have it as a side for thanksgiving or friends-giving. This recipe makes enough crumble for 5 sweet potatoes but you can always double it.

Ingredients:

5 medium sweet potatoes, roasted

1 cup of almond meal

60gr of grated Parmesan cheese

13 fresh sage leaves, chopped

4 tablespoons of butter, cold

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Cayenne to taste

Extra:

A few sage leaves

Vegetable oil for frying the leaves

 

First bake the sweet potatoes in the oven at 180C/350F until tender, about 1 hour.

Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, cut the sweet potatoes lengthwise but not all the way to the bottom. Try to make a pocket for the crumble.

To make the crumble, just mix all of the ingredients in a bowl, using your fingers or a fork. You want the texture to resemble breadcrumbs.

Spoon the crumble on top of the sweet potato and broil until it becomes golden. To serve, you can sprinkle some thinly sliced sage or a few fried sage leaves. To fry the leaves, just heat about 1/2 cup of vegetable oil in a small pan. Once it is hot, fry the sage leaves for about 3-5 seconds. Then transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels. Enjoy!

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Cucumber “Noodle” & Radish Salad with Miso Salmon

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I love to making oven-roasted miso salmon. This miso sauce adds so much flavor and I love to pair it with a cucumber and radish salad. This time I made the cucumber into noodles by using my mandoline with the julienne attachment. A very easy and flavorsome meal.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the salmon:

320 grs of Salmon, pin bones removed and sliced into 2 fillets

2 tablespoons of red miso paste

2 tablespoons of brown sugar

¼ cup of soy sauce

2 tablespoons of peeled and grated fresh ginger

2 tablespoons of white vinegar

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

2 teaspoons of white sesame seeds

For the cucumber noodles:

3 cucumbers, washed

10 radishes, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons of black sesame seeds

For the sesame dressing:

¼ of a cup of sesame oil

1/3 of a cup of white vinegar

3 tablespoons of honey

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup (if you can’t find it, just add 1 teaspoon of grated ginger)

Juice of 1 lime

 

To prepare the cucumber and radish salad. You can use a mandoline or a spiralizer. I used my mandoline with the julienne attachment. I sliced the cucumber into noddles, but I stopped when I got to the seed part (discard the core). For the radishes, I just thinly sliced them.

Place the cucumber noodles in a large sieve with a bowl underneath to catch all of the water. Let it stand like these to loose the moisture until ready to serve.

To make the vinaigrette, place all of the ingredients in a jar with a lid, seal it and shake it. Set aside.

To prepare the salmon, whisk the vinegar, miso, brown sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce and ginger in a bowl until combined.

Put the salmon on a plate and add the miso sauce. Make sure to coat the salmon pieces well in the marinade. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Remove the salmon from the fridge and place it on an oven dish lined with parchment paper. Pour some of the sauce on top and cook for about 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, turn on the broiler on for about 2 minutes. Check constantly so it doesn’t burn. It should be a bit browned.

Remove the salmon from the oven.

Press on the cucumber noodles to try to get most of the moisture out. Then place the cucumber noodles in a bowl, add the radishes, black sesame seeds and the sesame dressing. Mix well.

Divide the salad among 2 bowls and add the roasted salmon. Sprinkle some white sesame seeds over the salmon. Enjoy!

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Beet & Potato “Tacos”

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Not too long ago I watched a video on The Feed Feed’s Snapchat where Kendra from Paleo Paparazzi used thinly sliced Jicama instead of tortillas to make healthier tacos. That inspired me to make these. My mom is a big potato salad fan and so am I. A potato salad at the Christmas table was always a must. She would make it with cooked beets, eggs and cornichons. When I was little I didn’t like beets that much but now I love them, raw or cooked. So this is my version of my mom’s salad in taco form. It makes a great appetizer for a party too. It doesn’t require a lot of time to make and it is budget friendly.

Ingredients:

700grs of potatoes (I used 4 large ones)

2 large beets, I used 1 candy cane and one golden beet

1/3 cup of finely chopped cornichons

1 cup of blanched peas

1 ½ tablespoons of finely chopped dill

For the dressing:

1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup of mayonnaise

½ teaspoon of celery salt

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon of mustard

1 ½ teaspoons of honey

Salt to taste

 

Cook the potatoes in a pot with boiling salted water until tender.

Then drain them and allow them to cool down enough to handle. Peel them and chop them into small cubes. Remember the size of your beets; you don’t want huge cubes of potato as a filling to the tacos.

Peel the beets using a potato peeler and then with the help of a mandoline, thinly slice the beets so you get your raw “tortillas”.

To make the dressing, just add all of the ingredients in a jar with a lid, cover it and shake it until it emulsifies.

In a large bowl, add the potatoes, cornichon, peas and dill. Add the dressing and mix well.

To assemble each taco, just grab about 2 tablespoons of the potato salad and use the raw beets as if you were using tortillas.

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Beef & Sweet Potato Lasagna with Greek Yogurt (Gluten free)

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I love pasta but sometimes it’s nice to switch things up a bit. I made this lasagna with layers of thinly sliced sweet potato. And instead of making a béchamel with flour and butter; I used Greek yogurt, which I flavored with spices. Still comforting and filling, but a bit healthier.

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This recipe is for medium lasagna, I used a 27cm dish.

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Ingredients:

1 kilo of sweet potatoes

For the meat sauce:

1 red onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 bell peppers, chopped

3 tablespoons of olive oil

500gr of minced meat

500gr of tomato pure

1 tablespoon of dried oregano

1 teaspoon of sugar

100grs of pitted Kalamata olives, chopped

Salt

Pepper

For the yogurt sauce:

600grs of Greek yogurt

½ teaspoon of onion powder

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

Pepper

Pinch of cayenne

½ teaspoon of celery salt

1 teaspoon of salt

40 grs of grated Parmesan

Extras:

40grs of grated Parmesan for sprinkling on top

Wasabi arugula (optional)

 

Peel the sweet potatoes and with the help of a mandoline; thinly slice them about the same thickness as the pasta for lasagna. Season the slices with salt and pepper.

To make the meat sauce, place the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the onions and cook them until they become translucent. Then add the garlic, bell peppers and meat. Cook until the meat is slightly brown. Then add the tomato puree, oregano, sugar, salt, pepper and Kalamata olives. Mix well and let it cook for about 20 minutes on med-low heat. Stir from time to time.

In the meanwhile, place the Greek yogurt in a medium bowl and mix it with the rest of the ingredients for the yogurt sauce.

Grease your oven dish with a bit of vegetable oil and preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Once the meat sauce is ready, taste it for seasoning.

To assemble the lasagna, first spread about 3 tablespoons of the yogurt sauce on the bottom of the dish. Then add a layer of the sweet potato slices, follow it by a layer of the meat sauce. Continue it with a layer of sweet potato and then a layer of the yogurt sauce. Just make sure that the last layer is yogurt sauce. Then sprinkle the extra grated Parmesan all over the last layer of yogurt sauce. Bake it for 50 minutes.

Then lower the heat to 160C/320F and bake it for an extra 20 minutes. I like to serve it with a simple wasabi arugula salad.

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Black Rice & Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad with Leek and Whole Grain Mustard Vinaigrette

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A healthy and filling salad with a tangy vinaigrette. I’ve only started cooking with black rice a few months ago and I really love its chewier texture. It takes a bit longer to cook but you can always cook it the night before and keep it in the fridge. It makes a great packed lunch for the next day as well.

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This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the salad:

1 1/2 cups of black rice

5 cups of vegetable stock, warmed up

250grs of Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved and thinly sliced

1 cup of broad beans, shelled and blanched

¼ cup of pumpkin seeds

1 cup of pomegranate seeds

For the leek and whole grain mustard vinaigrette:

1 leek, finely chopped (light green and white part only)

5 tablespoons of olive oil

Pinch of garlic powder

¼ cup of red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon of whole grain mustard

2 teaspoons of honey

Salt

Pepper

Extra:

Garden cress for decoration (optional)

 

Start by rinsing the black rice under cold water. Then place it in a medium saucepan with the vegetable stock and let it cook covered for about 45 minutes over medium-low heat until most of the liquid has evaporated and the rice is cooked. Then turn off the heat and let it sit covered for 10 minutes.

In the meanwhile, start making the vinaigrette. Place olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, lower the heat to medium-low and add the leek, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Let it cook for about 8 minutes stirring until the leek becomes soft but not brown.

Once the leek is cooked, turn off the heat and add the red wine vinegar, mustard and honey. Mix it well. Taste for salt and then transfer it to a bowl or jar until ready to serve.

Once the rice is cooked, place it in a large bowl and add the Brussels sprouts, broad beans, pumpkin seeds and pomegranate. Add the vinaigrette and mix well. Divide it among 3 bowls and top with some garden cress.

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Genius Gluten Free Bread

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Yesterday I got invited to a lunch at the botanical garden Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam by Genius. Genius is a brand that produces gluten free food. It was created by Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne, whose son is gluten intolerant. She wanted to create bread without gluten that tasted as good as any sandwich bread. And she succeeded.

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I like experimenting with different flours to create gluten free recipes. But this was the first time I tried gluten free bread and I was quite impressed. I first tried their triple seeded bread. The texture was soft like any sandwich bread, and the flavor was good as well.

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It was a very interesting lunch, learning of the challenges to make gluten free bread and how you need the right mixture of starches and fibers to create a bread that tastes, feels and looks like it has gluten.

The first picture was my breakfast today. Toasted Genius brown bread with goat cheese, avocado, a poached egg, chili flakes and Himalayan pink salt. And a slice of toasted Genius Fruit loaf with goat cheese, strawberries, blueberries and an edible flower.

In the Netherlands, you can find the Genius products at the bakery section of the Albert Heijn.

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Peruvian Zoodle Stir-Fry (Zucchini Saltado)

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This is a Peruvian-Asian fusion dish called Tallarin saltado, which means spaghetti stir-fry. This time I made it with zoodles, but you can just replace them for cooked spaghetti. Either way is delicious. This is comfort food, something my mom would make often at home. It is very easy to make and a quick meal for a weekday.

This recipe serves 1.

Ingredients:

1 ½ zucchinis

150gr of beef steak, diced

10 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

½ red onion, julienned

1 bird’s eye chili, chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon of oyster sauce

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

A splash of Pisco, rum, or vodka

2 tablespoons of chopped coriander

Salt

Pepper

 

To make the zoodles, I used a mandoline with the julienne attachment. I stopped when I got to the core. You can also make them with a spiralizer or a potato peeler. If you use a potato peeler, just slice it into ribbons and then using a knife, cut it into julienne. Set aside.

Place the beef and the olive oil in a small bowl. Season it with salt and pepper.

Heat up a pan until it is almost smoking. Once it is very hot. Pour the meat with the oil. Sear the meat. Then add the onions, tomatoes, garlic and chili. Stir fry for 30 seconds and then add the alcohol and flambé. Once the flames are out, add the oyster sauce, soy sauce and zoodles. Stir-fry for 30 seconds and then add the coriander. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve right away.

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