Zucchini Waffle Dippers with Avocado Sour Cream

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I love finger food, especially on the weekends. These waffles are great for brunch or as an appetizer.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the zucchini waffles:

1 zucchini, shredded (not the seeds) and squeezed

1 egg

1 cup of all-purpose flour

1 cup of milk

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 teaspoons of baking powder

20grs of grated Parmesan cheese

Pinch of salt

Pinch of onion powder

Pinch of garlic powder

For the avocado sour cream:

1 avocado

125gr of sour cream

Juice of ½ a lime

Salt to taste

 

Blend all of the ingredients for the batter until smooth. Then add the squeezed zucchini and mix it with a spoon or spatula.

Brush your waffle iron with some vegetable oil or use cooking spray. Pour in some of the waffle batter. I made small waffles so each corner would be bite size. The cooking time will depend on your waffle iron. Mine takes 4 minutes per waffle.

To make the avocado sour cream, just blend all of the ingredients until smooth.

Slice the waffles into small pieces, serve with the avocado sour cream as the dipping.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Cauliflower & Ricotta Fritters with Radish Salad (fritters made with cauliflower & radish leaves)

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I have been following the amazing Sarah Phillips on Instagram (@food) for a while now. Not too long ago she created another account called Ugly Produce is Beautiful (@uglyproduceisbeautiful), to create awareness of how much food is wasted. It is a great initiative to educate people of how you can actually use produce that is considered imperfect or not good for sale anymore. And parts of produce that you might not know are edible, like radish and cauliflower leaves.

In an effort to promote less food waste, I created this recipe. I roasted the cauliflower (florets plus stem) with spices and olive oil and then mixed it with the chopped cauliflower leaves, radish leaves, ricotta and Parmesan. I finally served the fritters with a simple radish salad. It makes a delicious vegetarian meal!

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the fritters:

1 small cauliflower

¼ cup of olive oil

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of celery salt

Cayenne to taste

Salt

Pepper

Radish leaves (from the bunch for the salad), finely chopped

Zest of 1 lemon

2 eggs

125gr of ricotta

60gr of grated Parmesan

1/3 cup of bread crumbs

1/3 cup of panko

1/3 cup of cornmeal

For the radish salad:

1 bunch of radishes, julienned (I used a mandoline)

1 1/2 tablespoons of chopped chives

For the dressing:

1/3 cup of olive oil

¼ cup of white vinegar

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon of honey

1 teaspoon of mustard

Salt

Extra:

Olive oil for pan-frying the fritters

 

Preheat your oven to 230C/446F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Remove the leaves from the cauliflower and finely chop them. Set them aside.

Finely chop the cauliflower, including the stem. Try not to leave any big chunks. Place the chopped cauliflower in a large bowl. Add ¼ cup of olive oil, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, celery salty, salt and pepper. Mix well and spread it over the prepared baking sheet. Place it in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, stirring half way through.

To make the dressing just place all of the ingredients in a jar, put the lid on and shake it. Set it aside.

Remove the cauliflower from the oven and allow it to cool down for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix the chopped cauliflower leaves, chopped radish leaves, lemon zest, ricotta and parmesan. Mix well. Then add the cauliflower, panko, bread crumbs, cornmeal and a pinch of salt. Mix to combine and then add the eggs. Mix everything well.

Pour about 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Grab about 2 tablespoons of the cauliflower mixture and shape it into a ball, place it in the pan and repeat for a few more. Flatten it a bit with the back of a spatula. Cook until brown on both sides. Repeat for the rest. It’s better to make the fritters small so they don’t break while flipping them.

Add some of the dressing to the julienned radishes and chives, mix well. Serve the fritters with the radish salad and extra dressing on the side.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Skillet Breakfast Pizza (with Greek yogurt)

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Yesterday was such a gorgeous spring day here. For the first time this year we could bike without our jackets on. We took advantage of the beautiful weather and were out pretty much all day. We went out for lunch, for ice cream and just biked around the city feeling the sun on our skin. Since the weather is quite temperamental here, if it’s sunny and warm you go outside and enjoy it. No question about it because you don’t know when you’ll have another day like that. And of course the whole city was out. People were laying in the park and having BBQs. The cherry trees are blooming. On the weekends I try to be more active on Snapchat, especially if the weather is nice. So if you would like to get a peek of Amsterdam, you can add me: cravingsinams.

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I could eat pizza at any time of the day and now that spring is here, why not a breakfast pizza that screams of spring? It’s perfect to make on the weekend. For the sauce, I made it with Greek yogurt, spices and olive oil. The only cheese I added was thinly sliced Parmesan.

This recipe makes 2 small pizzas. I used a 23cm cast iron skillet.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

3.5grs of dry yeast

1/2 cup of warm water

Pinch of sugar

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Pinch of salt

1 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour

For the Greek yogurt sauce:

120grs of Greek yogurt

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of cayenne

Pinch of celery salt

2 teaspoons of olive oil

For the toppings:

¼ cup of blanched edamame

6 asparagus, thinly sliced (I sliced the tips in half lengthwise)

4 slices of Parma ham, broken into pieces

20grs of parmesan, thinly sliced with a knife or grated

2 eggs

Extra:

Olive oil

 

Start by making the pizza dough; place the warm water, yeast and sugar in the bowl of the stand mixer. Let it stand for 5 minutes.

After the 5 minutes have passed, add the flour, salt and olive oil. Knead on low speed for 5 minutes using the dough hook attachment. If the dough is too sticky, just sprinkle a bit more flour and let it knead for 1 extra minute.

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 is up, place your skillet in the oven and preheat it to 230C/446F.

Mix all of the ingredients for the Greek yogurt sauce.

Place your dough in your floured working area. Divide it into 2 equal pieces. Roll out one piece about the same size as your cast iron skillet. Once your oven is hot, remove the skillet (use gloves). Pour about 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil into the skillet and swirl it around so it covers also the edges.

Place the dough in the skillet, spread half of the yogurt sauce and add half of the asparagus, edamame, ham and Parmesan. Separate the egg white from the egg yolk in two small bowls. Only add the egg white in the middle of the pizza.

Bake for 15 minutes. Then remove the pizza from the oven and place the egg yolk on top of the egg white. Bake it for an extra 3 minutes.

Remove from the oven and repeat for the remaining piece of dough. I suggest you share this one while the other is in the oven.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

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.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Savory Granola

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Not too long ago I tried savory Greek yogurt for breakfast. I topped it with oven-dried cherry tomatoes and smoked almonds. And I really enjoyed it. I’ve been seeing different recipes for savory granola passing by online, so I decided to make my own version. It makes a great salad topping. 

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I used it to top this salad which I had for dinner tonight. Wasabi arugula, baby kale, shallots, pan roasted sweet potatoes and apples. It adds a delicious crunch.

Ingredients:

1 cup of oatmeal

¼ cup of pumpkin seeds

6 sprigs of fresh thyme

20gr of grated Parmesan

¼ of chopped walnuts

¼ cup of olive oil

1 egg white, beaten

Pinch of cayenne

Pinch of salt

Pinch of onion powder

 

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl, I used a fork. Try to break any big clumps.

Spread the mixture over the prepared tray.

Bake for 20 minutes. Then stir the granola, breaking any big clumps.

Bake for an extra 5 minutes until it is all evenly golden.

Allow it to completely cool down before storing it in an air tight container.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Heirloom Tomato, Goat Cheese & Greek Yogurt Tart with Basil & Almond Pesto

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I’m taking advantage of summer produce as much as I can. Every time I go to the market and see beautiful heirloom tomatoes, I can’t help myself and have to get some. For this tart, I first oven dried them to keep them from getting the filling moist.

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The filling is a bit lighter since I used Greek yogurt instead of cream. I swirled some pesto into the filling for extra flavor and to add a different texture.  I added grated parmesan and freshly ground pepper to the crust for extra flavor as well. I ate it with a baby kale salad with a simple vinaigrette.

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Ingredients:

For the tomatoes:

3 big heirloom tomatoes, sliced about 1.5 to 2 cm thick

5 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

1 teaspoon of sugar

Salt

Drizzle of olive oil

For the crust:

1 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons of grated parmesan

Freshly ground black pepper

100gr of cold butter, chopped

Pinch of salt

¼ cup cold water

For the goat cheese filling:

1 cup of Greek yogurt

200gr soft goat cheese, at room temperature

2 eggs

Pinch of salt

Pinch of pepper

For the pesto:

45gr peeled roasted almonds

1 bunch of basil, reserve a few small leaves to decorate the tart later

30gr of grated parmesan

1/3 cup of olive oil

Pinch of garlic powder

Pepper

Pinch of salt

 

To oven dry the tomatoes:

Place the tomato slices on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with salt, sugar and drizzle some olive oil. Dry them for 2 hours at 130C/270F. Once the 2 hours are up, remove them from the oven and set aside to cool.

To make the pesto:

Place all of the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until everything is mixed. Cover with plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge until ready to use. You will only need 5 tablespoons of this pesto; you can use the leftover for something else.

To make the crust:

Place the butter, flour, parmesan, salt & pepper in the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix on low speed for a few minutes until the pieces of butter get smaller.  Then add the cold water and mix on low for a few extra minutes, until you get an even dough. Form a ball with the dough, flatten it a bit with your hands, wrap it in plastic and let it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Once the dough has rested in the fridge, preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Grease and flour a 9 inch – 23cm pie mold. It is better if it has a detachable bottom, just makes it easier to slice the tart later.

Lightly flour your working area and roll out the dough in a circular shape, enough to cover the pie mold. Line the pie mold with the dough, pressing firmly on the edges. Place it in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Take the pie out of the fridge and pinch the bottom with a fork.  Line it with parchment paper and fill it with uncooked rice or pastry weights. Bake for 10 minutes. Then remove the rice and parchment paper, and bake for 5 more minutes. Remove it from the oven but the keep the oven on.

To make the goat cheese & Greek yogurt filling:

Just blend all of the ingredients until evenly combined.

To assemble the tart:

Pour the goat cheese filling over the partly baked crust.  Just don’t pour it up to the edges, because it still needs the pesto and you don’t want it to overflow.  Separate 5 tablespoons of the pesto and spoon it over the filling. Then grab a knife and swirl it around, be careful not to touch the crust. Bake it for 20 minutes.

After the 20 minutes are up, remove the tart from the oven. Spread the oven dried tomatoes over the top and bake it for 10 extra minutes.

Allow the tart to cool down for 1 hour before slicing it. You can decorate it with some fresh basil leaves. I like to serve it with a simple salad.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

Pecan Pasta Sauce

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I love this rich pecan sauce. It’s not something I eat very often but when I do, it is so satisfying. Especially during these cold months.  It is one of those dishes that I would ask my mom to make me as a kid. But with time I kind of forgot about it.  It is not until a couple of years ago that I started to make it. It is super easy to make.This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

3 medium white onions, sliced

2 tablespoons of olive oil

4 sprigs of thyme

1 garlic clove, minced

100gr of pecans, chopped

250ml cream

½ cup of milk

40gr of grated parmesan

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

¼ cup of the pasta cooking water

400gr of the pasta of your choice

 

Over medium heat, add the olive oil to a large pan. Add the sliced onions and thyme. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. Then lower the heat and cook for another 4 minutes.  Add the garlic, pecans, cream and milk. Stir and then put it all in a blender. Add the grated parmesan and blend.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the pasta as instructed on the package.  Reserve ¼ cup of the pasta cooking water to loosen up the sauce.

Add the reserved pasta water to the sauce and mix until combined.

Mix the cooked pasta with the sauce and serve it right away. If you want, you can add a bit of chopped pecans and some thyme leaves to decorate the plate.