Golden Beet & Yellow Carrot Soup with Feta & Pistachios

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As far as the weather forecast goes, it seems like temperatures are finally going to rise. And I couldn’t be happier. I’m so tired of feeling cold every time I go outside. So I am very much looking forward to warmer weather and picnics in the park. But till then, a creamy golden soup for this meatless Monday.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the soup:

800grs of golden beet, peeled and chopped into chunks

700grs of yellow carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 leek, finely chopped (white part only)

2 medium shallots, chopped

1 1/2 litters of vegetable stock

100ml of cream

Salt to taste

Toppings:

150grs, crumbled feta or goat cheese

40gr of chopped pistachios, pan roasted

Garden cress

 

Place the olive oil, leek and shallots in a large saucepan over medium low heat. Cook for 5 minutes while stirring from time to time. Don’t let it get brown.

Then add the carrots, beets and garlic. Stir for 1 minute and then add the vegetable stock.

Let it cook for 25 minutes until the beets and carrots are cooked through.

Then blend it until smooth. Add the cream and salt to taste.

Divide the soup into 3 bowls and top with some crumbled feta (or goat cheese), pistachios and garden cress. I also added some nasturtium leaves as decoration.

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Miso Roasted Eggplant Gyoza

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I can’t go too long without having some dumplings. I mixed a finely chopped eggplant with miso sauce and used it as the filling. Very simple but packed with flavor. I normally let them steam but this time I pan-fried them. They are crispy little delights.

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This recipe makes about 30 gyoza.

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant, chopped into very small cubes

About 30 gyoza wrappers, defrosted

For the miso sauce:

1 tablespoon of aka miso

1 teaspoon of honey

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of white vinegar

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

2 tablespoons of sesame seeds

For the dipping sauce:

1 tablespoon of chopped fresh ginger

3 tablespoons of chopped chives

Juice of 1 lime

1 bird’s eye chili, finely chopped

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1/3 cup of soy sauce

Extra:

Vegetable oil for pan–frying the gyoza

 

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

To make the dipping sauce, just mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Set it aside.

Thinly slice the eggplant and then chop it into very small cubes.Since the wrappers are quite small, you want the eggplant chopped as finely as possible.

Place all of the ingredients for the miso sauce in a large bowl and whisk until everything is well combined. Add the eggplant and mix well.  Spread it evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Roast it for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through the cooking time. Then allow it to cool down.

Once the eggplant has cooled down, start to assemble the gyoza. Place about 2 teaspoons of the filling in the center of the wrapper, brush the edges of the wrapper with some water and then fold it into a half moon shape. Starting at one end, fold/pinch the wrapper tightly together. Keep going until it is completely sealed, trying to get rid of any air bubbles. Repeat for all.

Once the gyoza are ready, pour about 1 cup of vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the gyoza in batches until golden on both sides. This will only take a few minutes and since the filling is already cooked, it goes quite fast. Place the gyoza on a plate lined with parchment paper to absorb any excess oil.

Serve them right away with the dipping sauce. Enjoy!

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Quinoa, Butternut Squash & Gorgonzola Burgers

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A super simple recipe for meatless Monday.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the patties:

2 cups of cooked quinoa

1 butternut squash

3 eggs

1 cup of panko

½ teaspoon of salt

¼ teaspoon of onion powder

¼ teaspoon of garlic powder

¼ cup of chopped chives

150gr of gorgonzola, crumbled

Extra:

Olive oil for pan-frying

Optional:

Fried sage leaves

Extra Gorgonzola for serving

 

Peel and shred the butternut squash. Then squeeze it to get rid of some of the moisture. In a bowl, mix the butternut squash with the remaining ingredients for the patties.

Heat up about ¼ of a cup of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.

Place about 3 tablespoons of the quinoa mixture in the hot pan to form each patty. Fry them until golden on both sides.

I like to serve them with extra Gorgonzola and a few fried sage leaves.

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Beet & Barley Salad with Black Radish, Brussels Sprouts, Arugula, Kumquat & Grana Padano

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This past Saturday at the Farmer’s market, I got some beautiful black radishes. I had never seen them before so I was very excited to give them a try. They are stronger in flavor than the average radish. They are a bit spicy. I wanted to keep things simple so I just thinly sliced one radish (they are quite big) and added it to a simple beet & barley salad. This one is a bit different since I cooked the barley in a mixture of vegetable stock and beet juice. A delicious and filling salad for these colder months.

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This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the barley:

2 cups of barley

1 ½ cups of beet juice

4 ½ cups of vegetable stock

For the salad:

75 grs of arugula

1 black radish, thinly sliced

9 kumquats, thinly sliced

30 grs of thinly sliced Grana Padano cheese

12 Brussels sprouts, stems trimmed, halved and leaves separated

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Salt

Pepper

For the balsamic dressing:

1/3 cup of olive oil

1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon of mustard

2 tablespoons of honey

Salt

Pepper

 

Cook the barley with the stock and beet juice over medium heat for about 40 minutes, until all of the liquid has been absorbed and the barley is tender. Once it is cooked, let it stand for 5 minutes with the heat off. Then transfer it to a bowl and allow it to cool down for a bit.

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

To cook the Brussels sprouts, place the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the Brussels sprouts leaves, salt and pepper. Cook them for about 20 seconds. Set them aside.

To plate the salad, mix the arugula with the barley. Divide it over 3 plates. Top with the radish, kumquats, Grana Padano and Brussels sprouts. Serve he salad with the dressing on the side.

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Beluga Lentil Chili with Crispy Kale

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It’s been a long time since I’ve made chili, so I made some today but with beluga lentils. I made it this morning and have been snaking on it throughout the day, luckily I made plenty to last for dinner. I served it with some crispy kale, avocado, cheddar and sour cream. I also made some cornbread to go along with it. Perfect for meatless Monday!

This recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 red onion, chopped

2 bell peppers, chopped

1 jalapeño pepper, chopped

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of onion powder

Pinch of cayenne

½ teaspoon of paprika powder

Pinch of cumin or more to taste

Salt

1.5 litters of vegetable stock

500ml of tomato pure

1 tablespoon of honey

2 cups of beluga lentils

For the crispy kale:

4 cups of shredded kale

4 tablespoons of olive oil

Pinch of lemon pepper

Pinch of salt

Toppings:

Grated cheddar

Sliced avocado

Sour cream

 

Place the olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven, over medium heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, jalapeño and all the spices. Cook for 3 minutes while stirring.

Add the vegetable stock and the tomato puree. Stir to mix it and let it cook for 10 minutes. Then using an immersion blender, blend it until smooth.

Add the lentils and honey. Let it cook for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time until most of the liquid has reduced and the lentils are cooked through.

To make the crispy kale, preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Mix the kale with the olive oil, lemon pepper and salt. Spread the kale in a single layer on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes until the kale becomes crispy.

Serve the lentil chili with a dollop of sour cream, avocado slices, grated cheddar and some of the crispy kale. Enjoy!

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Sweet Potato & Lentil Sliders on Homemade Mini Pretzel Buns

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I have been craving a veggie burger lately. I am a sucker for small food so I made sliders. Since my husband doesn’t love lentils, I made these with red lentils which don’t hold their shape. This makes it easier to mix them with other ingredients, therefore hiding them a bit. I cooked the lentils in vegetable stock to add more flavor. A panko coating makes this sliders super crunchy. The result was a delicious treat. My husband loved them. I only told him about the lentils afterwards.

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It’s hard to find good sliders buns here, so most of the times I just make my own. I used my Soft Pretzel Twists to make these mini pretzel buns. The ingredients are the same; there are just a few different steps.  Once the dough has risen, divide it into 16 equal pieces.  Then form each piece into a ball. Place the balls in the baking soda/water bath for 30 seconds. Then place them on a prepared baking tray (lined with parchment paper and lightly greased with vegetable oil).  Cut a cross in the middle of each bun, brush the tops with an egg wash and sprinkle with some sea salt. Bake for 8 minutes at 230C/450F. For the recipe of the pretzels just click here.

This recipe makes 14 sliders.

Ingredients:

For the sliders:

600gs of sweet potatoes

½ cup of red lentils

2 cups of vegetable stock

40grs of grated Parmesan

Pinch of onion powder

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of lemon pepper

Pinch of celery salt

Pinch of cayenne

Pinch of pepper

1/3 cup of breadcrumbs

2 sprigs of fresh thyme

For the breading:

1 ½ cups of panko

½ cup of breadcrumbs

¼ teaspoon of Salt

¼ teaspoon of Celery salt

¼ teaspoon of Paprika

For the lime mayo:

7 tablespoons of mayonnaise

Juice of ½ a lime

Celery salt to taste

Extras:

2 avocados, sliced

A handful of frisse

Garden cress

Olive oil for pan-frying the sliders

 

Roast the sweet potatoes for 1 hour at 180C/350F.

While the sweet potatoes are in the oven, start cooking the lentils. Place the lentils and vegetable stock in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until soft, stirring from time to time. This will take about 15 minutes. Once they are cooked, turn off the heat and let them dry out in the saucepan for 30 minutes.  Once the 30 minutes are up, mash them with the back of a wooden spoon.

To make the lime mayo, mix the mayo with the lime juice and celery salt. Set aside.

Once the sweet potatoes are done, peel them and place them in a large bowl. Mash them with a fork. Add the lentils and the rest of the ingredients for the sliders. Mix well.

Mix all of the ingredients for the breading in a bowl.

Grab about 2 tablespoons of the sweet potato mixture and form it into a ball. Coat the ball in the breading. Apply some pressure so it sticks. Repeat for all of the mixture.

Pour about 6 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, place 7 balls in the pan. With the help of a spatula, press each ball a bit to create a hamburger shape. Cook until they are evenly brown on each side.  Repeat for the rest of the sliders.

Serve on the mini pretzel buns, with some frisee on the bottom and top them with avocado, lime mayo and garden cress.

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Panko Crusted Cauliflower Steaks with Greek Yogurt & Sriracha sauce

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The cauliflowers were calling my name at the market. I got one and I made it into “steaks”. But instead of roasting them in the oven, I covered them in a panko-cornmeal mixture, and then pan-fried them. To feel a bit less guilty about frying them, I made a sriracha sauce with Greek yogurt instead of mayo. The result is crunchy goodness drizzled with a cool, zesty, sweet and spicy sauce.

This recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

1 large head of cauliflower

4 eggs, beaten

1 ½ cups of panko

1 ½ cups of cornmeal

1 cup of flour

1 teaspoon of paprika

½ teaspoon of onion powder

1 teaspoon of salt

Vegetable oil for pan-frying

For the sauce:

1 cup of Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon of sriracha, or more to taste

Juice of 1 lime

1 ½ tablespoons of honey

Salt

Topping:

Chives for decoration

 

To make the sauce, just mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.

Trim the leaves from the cauliflower and trim the end of the stem but leave the core intact.

Slice the cauliflower from the center into 4 “steaks” of about 1 to 1 ½ cm thick.

Mix the panko, cornmeal, paprika, onion powder & salt in one plate. Place the flour on another plate and the beaten eggs on a separate plate.

Coat each cauliflower in the flour, then the egg and finally in the panko mixture.

Add some vegetable oil to a pan over medium heat. You’ll need a bit more than ¼ of a cup.

Once the pan is hot, add the cauliflower steaks. Cook until they are golden on both sides. This will take about 3 minutes per side. Place the steaks on a cutting board lined with paper towels to absorb some of the oil.

Serve the steaks with a drizzle of the sriracha sauce and some chopped chives.