Mini Salmon Caesar Salad Cups

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Caesar salad has been a favorite of mine since I was a little kid. I slightly change the dressing recipe depending on what I feel at the time, using mayo or Greek yogurt. This time I went for half & half, and skipped on the Parmesan to make it a bit health“ish”. If you want to go all Greek yogurt, you need to adjust the seasoning a bit since it is not as flavorsome as mayo. Since they are mini portions, they are perfect for a BBQ or dinner party!

This recipe makes about 17 mini cups.

Ingredients:

For the Salmon:

450grs of salmon, minced with a knife

2 tablespoons of chopped coriander

½ teaspoon of celery salt

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of onion powder

Pinch of cayenne

1 ½ tablespoons of Greek yogurt

½ cup of breadcrumbs

Pinch of salt

1 egg yolk

1 egg

Zest of 1 lime

Pinch of black pepper

1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour

For the dressing:

½ cup of mayonnaise

Juice of 1 lime

5 anchovy fillets, minced

2 tablespoons of white vinegar

Small pinch of garlic powder

½ cup of Greek yogurt

Pinch of salt

Extras:

4 mini little gem lettuce (cleaned, dried and leaves separated)

½ cup of olive oil for pan-frying the salmon

9 quail eggs

 

Start by making the dressing. Place all of the ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake it till it emulsifies. Keep it in the fridge until ready to serve.

To make the salmon cakes, place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Then form small balls with about ¼ of a cup of the salmon mixture. Once all the salmon cakes are assembled, keep them in the fridge until ready to fry.

In the meanwhile cook the quail eggs. What I normally do is boil some water in a kettle, place the quail eggs in a saucepan and then carefully pour in the boiling water. Cook over medium heat for about 2 ½ minutes. Then rinse them under cold water to stop the cooking. Peel them, slice them in half and set them aside.

Pour the olive oil into a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the salmon cakes for about 2 minutes per side, pressing a bit with a spatula to flatten them. I did it in 2 batches.

To assemble the salad, place one salmon cake over each lettuce leave. Add half of a quail egg and drizzle some of the sauce. 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 me on Snapchat: cravingsinams.

Kale, Mango & Spinach Salad with Miso Ginger Dressing

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This is a super easy and healthy salad with Asian flavors. If you want to make the avocado rose and you don’t know how to do it, you can check out my video here. Today I am taking over the Instagram account of Broste Copenhagen, an interior brand. They have beautiful products and I have been using them for a while now. All the tableware above is from them. If you would like to follow along, you can check out their Instagram page.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the salad:

1 large mango, julienned

1 avocado, thinly sliced

200grs of baby spinach

100grs of baby kale

1 tablespoon of black sesame seeds

For the dressing:

2 tablespoons of minced ginger

2 teaspoons of red miso paste

4 tablespoons of sesame oil

4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons of honey

2 small bird’s eye chili, finely chopped

Juice of 2 limes

2 teaspoons of brown sugar

2 tablespoons of chopped chives

 

Start by making the dressing. Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until everything is combined. I didn’t add any salt because the miso paste is already quite salty.

Place the baby kale, baby spinach and mango in a large bowl. Add the dressing and mix well.

Divide the salad among 2 plates, sprinkle the black sesame seeds and then add the avocado. If you want, also add some edible flowers. 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 me on Snapchat: cravingsinams.

Frisée, Gorgonzola & Bacon Salad with Cherry and Port Dressing

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This past weekend, I saw cherries for the first time at the market and of course I had to get some. Besides snacking on them, I saved some for this salad. For the dressing, I used frozen cherries just because they already come pitted but you can also use fresh ones. I love the combination of the slightly sweet dressing with the bitterness of the frisée, the salty bacon and creamy gorgonzola.

This recipe serves 2.

For the dressing:

1 cup of frozen cherries, pitted

1 shot of port

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon of olive oil

2 tablespoons of honey

Pinch of garlic powder

Salt to taste

For the salad:

5 slices of crispy bacon, crumbled

½ a head of frisée, torn into bite sized pieces

80grs of gorgonzola, crumbled into small pieces

1 cup of fresh cherries, pitted and sliced

 

Start by making the dressing. Place the cherries in the microwave for about 1 ½ minutes to thaw. Then blend them and pass it through a fine mesh sieve. Pour the cherry juice into a medium saucepan. Add the port, balsamic, olive oil, honey and garlic powder. Cook for about 4 minutes over medium heat, until it thickens a bit and the alcohol evaporates. Add salt to taste. Then pour it into a bowl and allow it to cool down.

To assemble the salad, just divide the frisée among two bowls. Add the gorgonzola, cherries and bacon. Serve with the dressing on the side. Enjoy!

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

 

Sweet Potato Falafel Salad

FullSizeRenderOn Sunday we visited the Japanese cherry blossom park at the Amsterdamse bos. It’s one of those things I look forward to every spring. The weather was just perfect that day! Sunny and warm. People brought their picnics and were chilling on the grass. It’s a beautiful place around this time of the year and very close to Amsterdam.

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I had been craving falafel and I made this one by adding mashed roasted sweet potato to the chickpea mixture. It adds a slight sweetness to it. I served them over a very simple salad with baby Swiss chard, Kalamata olives, cucumber and feta. It’s healthy, easy to make and filling.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the sweet potato falafel:

1 cup of dried chickpeas, soaked in water overnight

1 bunch of parsley

1 cup of mashed roasted sweet potato

½ teaspoon of onion powder

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of celery salt

Juice of ½ a lime

Pinch of cayenne

Pinch of salt

For the salad:

1 cucumber, core removed and thinly sliced

100grs of crumbled feta

100gr of Kalamata olives, sliced

100grs of baby Swiss chard or any leafy greens of your choice

Garden cress (optional)

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 falafel

 

To make the sweet potato falafel, soak the dried chickpeas in enough water overnight. For the sweet potato, you can roast it the night before, mash it and keep it in the fridge. Roast 1 medium sweet potato at 180C/350F for 1 hour.

The next day, drain the chickpeas and place all of the ingredients for the falafel in the food processor. Pulse until everything is well combined and there are not big chunks, but not too fine that it becomes a puree. You want it to still have some texture.

Then grab some of the mixture and form it into a ball using the palm of your hands. I grabbed about 1 ½ tablespoons of the mixture. It makes about 25 small balls.

Once all the falafels are assembled, pour about 1/3 of a cup of olive oil into a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, fry the falafel in batches until lightly browned. This will take about 5 minutes per batch. Just be careful not to press on them too much while turning them so that they don’t break apart.

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

In a large bowl, mix the sliced cucumber, crumbled feta, Kalamata olives, baby Swiss chard and garden cress. Add the dressing and toss to coat.

Divide the salad among 3 plates and then add the falafel. Enjoy!

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

Celeriac, Beet & Potato Salad with Horseradish Vinaigrette

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Today I felt like having a salad for dinner. I made this one with thinly sliced beets which I just pan-roasted, roasted baby potatoes, celeriac ribbons and arugula. A semi-warm salad perfect for the beginning of spring since it is still quite cold here.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the salad:

5 small beets (I used 3 yellow, 1 candy cane and 1 purple)

500grs of baby potatoes, washed and sliced in half

1/2 celeriac

100grs of arugula

Olive oil

Salt

For the horseradish vinaigrette:

1/3 of a cup of olive oil

1/3 of a cup of apple cider vinegar

1 ½ tablespoons of honey

1 tablespoon of horseradish

1 teaspoon of mustard

Salt

Pepper

 

To make the vinaigrette, just place all of the ingredients in a jar with a lid, cover it and then shake it to emulsify it.

Add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large pan over medium heat. Once it is hot, add the baby potatoes and a pinch of salt. Cook while tossing from time to time until the potatoes are golden outside and fully cooked on the inside. The time will depend on the size of the potatoes. Set them aside.

Peel the beets and using a mandoline, finely slice them. Set them aside. I kept and cooked the different color of beets separate so that the purple beets wouldn’t stain the others but you don’t have to.

Add about 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil to the same pan where you cooked the potatoes, add the yellow beets and cook while stirring for about 5 minutes until they cooked but still have a crunch. If you sliced them paper thin they will take less time. Add some salt.

Do the same for the candy cane beet and for the purple beet. Set them aside

Once the beets are cooked, start prepping the celeriac. You only need half of it, the other half you can reserve for another recipe. Peel it and slice it into about 1 cm pieces. Then using a potato peeler just shave it to create ribbons.

Place the celeriac ribbons, potatoes, beets and arugula in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Serve among 3 plates and eat straight away.

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

 

Thai-Inspired Steak Salad

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On the weekends, I prefer to keep my meals simple and not time-consuming. It’s not always the case but I try. And a steak is always welcome, it cooks quiet quickly and both my husband and I go gaga for it. It’s not something we could eat everyday but when we do, it is really a treat. And lately our favorite way to eat it is in a salad. This time I made a Thai-style dressing. And I added Thai basil, coriander and mint to the salad. So you have all these mini explosions of flavors in every bite. I used a mandoline to slice the carrots and cucumber into thin ribbons, but you can just shred the carrots and thinly slice the cucumber with a knife.

This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the steak:

500gr of Flank steak

Vegetable oil for brushing the steak

Salt

Pepper

For the salad:

½ cucumber, sliced into thin ribbons using a mandoline

½ red onion, thinly sliced

1 medium yellow carrot, sliced into thin ribbons using a mandoline

1 medium purple carrot, sliced into thin ribbons using a mandoline

10 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on their size

4 tablespoons of chopped coriander

8 Thai basil leaved, finely chopped

8 mint leaves, finely chopped

About 100grs of a lettuce mix of your choice (I used lamb’s lettuce, baby spinach, baby Swiss chard and baby red tatsoi)

For the dressing:

Juice of 1 big lime

2 tablespoons of fish sauce

1 tablespoon of brown sugar

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 small bird’s eye chili, finely chopped

¼ cup of vegetable oil

1 teaspoon of minced ginger

1 small clove of garlic, minced

Optional:

1 spring onion, thinly sliced

½ red chili, thinly sliced

 

To make the dressing, just place all of the ingredients in a jar with a lid. Cover it and shake it. Set it aside until ready to use.

Prepare all your veggies.

To cook the meat, heat up a large pan over medium heat. Brush the steak with some vegetable oil. Add salt and pepper on both sides.

Once the pan is hot, place the meat and cook it to your liking. For medium rare, it takes about 5 minutes per side but it will also depend on the thickness of the steak. My steak was a bit thick in the middle so it took about 1 extra minute.

Let the steak rest for 5 minutes and then thinly slice it.

Once the steak is done and sliced, place all the vegetables and lettuce in a large bowl. Give the dressing another shake and add it to the salad. Mix it well so everything is well coated, I just used my hands.

Serve the salad and then add the steak slices. Sprinkle some of the sliced spring onion and chili over the steak. Finally pour the remaining dressing from the bowl on top of the steak. Enjoy!

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

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.

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

Kale, Gorgonzola, Butternut squash, Apple & Strawberry Salad with Date Vinaigrette

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A simple warm salad for these colder months. I love the sweetness that the dates give to the dressing, to add some more flavor I added a shot of port. It’s important to really massage the kale with the vinaigrette to make it softer and for the dressing to really get through.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the salad:        

200grs of shredded kale

1 granny smith apple, thinly sliced

1 small butternut squash, chopped into small cubes

200grs of gorgonzola, crumbled

6 large strawberries, cut into small cubes

3 tablespoons of olive oil, to cook the butternut squash

Salt

Pepper

For the date vinaigrette:

1 small white onion, chopped very fine

5 tablespoons of olive oil

8 small dates, chopped very fine

1 shot of port

1/3 cup of red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon of honey

Salt

Pepper

 

To make the vinaigrette, place the olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onions, dates, salt and pepper. Lower the heat to low and cook for about 6 minutes, while stirring. Then add the shot of port and cook for about 2 minutes, to let the alcohol evaporate. Turn off the heat and transfer it to a jar with a lid. Add the vinegar and honey. Close the jar and shake it to emulsify the vinaigrette. Taste for salt and pepper.

Pour 3 tablespoons of olive oil into a large pan over medium heat. Once it is hot, add the chopped butternut squash, salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes, stirring from time to time until it is cooked through. Set it aside.

Place the shredded kale in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and massage the kale with your hands. This will allow the dressing to really get in.

Divide the kale among 3 plates. Then add the butternut squash, strawberries, gorgonzola and apple. Enjoy!

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

Crab Salad Buns

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I have a soft spot for crab and today I decided to satisfy my craving for it with these crab salad buns.

This recipe is for 12 buns.

Ingredients:

For the buns:

3 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

7grs of dry yeast

½ cup of warm water

½ cup of milk

1 teaspoon of salt

4 tablespoons of olive oil

1 egg

1 tablespoon of sugar

For the crab salad:

700gr of crab meat, I used canned crab meat

3 celery stalks, chopped very small

1 granny smith apple, chopped very small

Juice of 1 lime

8 tablespoons of mayonnaise

2 teaspoons of mustard

Celery salt to taste

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

½ cup of chopped chives, plus more for decoration

Extras:

Poppy seeds

Egg wash

To make the buns:

Place the yeast and the warm water in the bowl of the stand mixer. Let it stand for 5 minutes.

After the 5 minutes are up, add the remaining ingredients for the dough. 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 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 dough has risen, place it on a floured working area and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Place the balls in an oven tray lined with parchment paper, leaving some space in between.

Grease with some vegetable oil, one large piece of plastic wrap. Cover the buns with it, greased side touching the buns (this will prevent them from sticking to the plastic). Let them rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

About 10 minutes before the buns are done rising, preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

Once the hour is up, brush the buns with the egg wash and sprinkle them with some poppy seeds. Bake them for 15 minutes or till golden.

To make the crab salad, just mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl.

Make a cut along the top of each bun, without going all the way down. Stuff each bun generously with the crab salad and decorate with some chives. Enjoy!

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

Duck Breast Salad with Orange – Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

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I love duck breast and it’s something I don’t eat very often. Usually I have to go to a butcher to get it because regular supermarkets here don’t carry it unless it’s the holiday season. That time of the year has come and when I saw it at the supermarket, I couldn’t resist. This is a salad you can have as a first course or main, perfect for the holidays. And it doesn’t require a lot of time which is very handy if you want to host a dinner.

This recipe serves 2. If you would like it as a main course, I find it nicer to get 1 duck breast per person.

Ingredients:         

For the vinaigrette:

½ cup of fresh orange juice

½ cup of olive oil

¼ cup of apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon of poppy seeds

2 tablespoons of honey

Salt

Pepper

For the duck:

1 duck breast, about 225grs.

Salt

Pepper

For the salad:

1/3 cup of dried cranberries

2 apples, thinly sliced (I used one Royal Gala and one Granny Smith)

1 persimmon, thinly sliced

40grs of baby kale

75grs of arugula

 

To make the vinaigrette, just place all of the ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake it until it emulsifies. Taste for salt and set it aside. Just re-shake it right before serving.

To cook the duck breast, first preheat the oven to 200C/390F. Trim any excess skin that is just hanging off the meat. Using a sharp knife, score the fat of the breast in a criss-cross pattern.  Season it with salt and pepper on both sides.

Heat up a cast iron skillet or oven-proof pan over medium heat. Place the duck breast with the skin side down and let the fat render off for 4 minutes. Then sear the meat side for 1 minute.  Finally turn the breast fat side down again and place it in the oven for 5 minutes. This will give you a medium to medium rare duck breast depending on the size of it. Once the breast is cooked, let it rest for 5 minutes and then thinly slice it.

To plate up, mix the arugula with the baby kale and divide it among 2 plates. Add the cranberries, apples and persimmon.  Then add the sliced duck breast and serve with the dressing on the side.

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