Popcorn with Pecans and Oven-Baked Rainbow Beet & Carrot Chips

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Yesterday I was craving a salty snack so I made this combination of popcorn, pecans and oven-baked veggie chips. I used rainbow carrots and beets to add some color.

Ingredients:

For the popcorn:

1/3 cup of popcorn kernels

1 ½ vegetable oil, or coconut oil

Salt

For the beet and carrot chips:

1 medium purple carrot

1 medium yellow carrot

2 medium candy cane beets

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

Salt

Extras:

1 cup of pecans

 

Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

In a large pan with a lid, add the vegetable oil or coconut oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the popcorn kernels. Cover with the lid, and keep shaking the pan until all the kernels have popped. Transfer the popcorn to a large bowl, add salt and set aside.

Peel the carrots and beets. Using a mandoline, thinly slice them. Place the slices in a bowl. Add the olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Using your hands, rub the slices with the oil and vinegar so they are all well coated.

Place the slices on a single layer in the prepared baking tray and sprinkle them with some salt. Bake for 15 minutes and then flip each slice. Finally bake for an extra 5-10 minutes. This is where you need to check, so they don’t burn. They might need a little less time depending on your oven and the thickness of the slices.  Then transfer them to a cooling rack. Once the chips have cooled down, mix them with the popcorn and pecans. Serve right away and enjoy!

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Asparagus & Basil Risotto with Rainbow Carrots

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I went to the market yesterday and got beautiful asparagus that I decided to add to this risotto. To add some extra color and texture, I topped it with julienned rainbow carrots which I just sautéed with some olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. A comforting vegetarian dish that I had for dinner yesterday since the weather was still a bit chili. At least it stopped raining, so I won’t complain!

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This recipe serves 3

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons of olive oil

3 shallots, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

400gr of Arborio rice

1 bunch of asparagus

1 cup of white wine

1 ½ litter of vegetable stock plus 1 cup to blend with the basil

125ml of cream

1 bunch of basil

30gr of grated Parmesan

Salt

Pepper

3 rainbow carrots, julienned

Garlic powder

Extra olive oil to saute the vegetables

 

Start by prepping the vegetables. Chop off the tips of the asparagus and set them aside. Chop the stalks into small pieces and set aside. Slice the carrots into julienne.

Saute the julienned carrots in a bit of olive oil, a pinch of garlic powder, salt and pepper. Do it over medium heat for about 1 minute. For presentation purposes, I sauteed the purple carrots separately because they tend to stain the others.

Saute the asparagus tips in a bit of olive oil, a pinch of garlic powder, salt and pepper. They will also take about 1 minute depending on their size. Set aside.

Blend the basil with the cream and 1 cup of the vegetable stock, set aside.

Keep the stock warm in a pan with a ladle close by.

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan over medium heat. Add the chopped shallots and cook for about 2 minutes until they become translucent. Add the minced garlic and rice. Stir for about 1 minute. Then, add the white wine and let it reduce.

Start adding the vegetable stock one ladle at a time and keep stirring. Once the liquid has reduced to half, keep adding more stock and stir. Keep doing this for about 20 minutes, until the rice is cooked.

Add the chopped asparagus stalks to the risotto along with the basil cream and parmesan. Stir until everything is combined and let it cook for about 1 minute to allow the liquid to evaporate a bit and become creamy again. Taste for salt.

Divide the risotto into 3 plates. Add the sautéed asparagus tips on top of the risotto. Finish by adding the sautéed carrots. Sprinkle some extra Parmesan if you want.

 

 

Carrot Salad with Tahini-Sumac Dressing & Halloumi

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This is a stay at home weekend. The weather hasn’t been the nicest, so I’m taking advantage of that by catching up on posting recipes as well as testing new ones. I’ve been baking this morning so if everything goes well, there will be a sweet recipe here tomorrow.

For now a healthy salad recipe, this carrot salad has a bit of an unusual dressing but it accompanies it very well. The tahini makes the dressing really creamy and the sumac adds a nice tanginess to it.

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the salad:

4 big carrots, shredded

½ bunch of coriander, chopped

1/3 cup of pistachios, chopped

1 pomegranate

225gr of halloumi

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Pepper

Salt

For the dressing:

3 tablespoons of tahini

1 teaspoon of sumac

Juice of 3 limes

1/3 cup of olive oil

1/3 cup of white vinegar

2 tablespoons of ginger syrup

1 teaspoon of salt

Pepper

 

To make the dressing, just place all of the ingredients in a jar and cover with a lid. Shake until everything is combined. Set aside.

Slice the halloumi into 1cm thick slices, season with salt and pepper. Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a pan over medium heat. Fry the halloumi until golden on both sides. This will only take a few minutes. Set aside.

Place the shredded carrot, coriander, pistachios and pomegranate seeds in a large bowl. Add the dressing and mix well.  Serve with the pan-fried halloumi.

Zucchini Ricotta Fritters with Avocado-Greek Yogurt Sauce and a quick Beet & Carrot Slaw

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Not the best day to go outside today. There is a summer storm going on and it got worse while we were doing groceries at the market. A tree fell over a road close to our street; luckily we didn’t see anyone hurt. My hubby and I actually ran home on the last 2 blocks because big branches were falling on cars next to us. This is the first time I was actually scared of a storm here.

Veggie fritters are something that we eat quite often at home. They make a super simple and quick dinner. The creamy avocado-Greek yogurt sauce goes very well with the fritters and the slaw adds a nice crunch to the dish. I love eating raw beets and their sweetness mixes very well with the apple cider vinegar from the dressing.

This recipe makes about 10 fritters.

Ingredients:

For the Fritters:

3 Zucchinis, shredded without the core (seeds)

250gr Ricotta

1 egg

Pinch of cayenne

½ teaspoon of onion powder

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of lemon pepper (optional)

Pinch of pepper

1 teaspoon of salt

1/3 of a cup of panko breadcrumbs

¼ of a cup of breadcrumbs

Olive oil for frying

For the quick slaw:

2 beets (I used the candy cane variety), shredded

1 carrot (I used a purple one), Shredded

¼ of a cup of olive oil

¼ of a cup of apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons of honey

1 teaspoon of mustard

Salt

Pepper

For the avocado-Greek yogurt sauce:

2 avocado

4 tablespoons of Greek yogurt

Juice of 1 lime

2 tablespoons of chopped parsley

¼ of a teaspoon of celery salt

Extra salt to taste

Decoration:

Chives

 

To make the quick slaw, first shred the beets and carrot. In a bowl, whisk the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, mustard, salt and pepper. Add the beets and carrot. Mix well. Let it sit in the fridge until ready to serve.

To make the avocado sauce, just place all of the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until you get a creamy sauce. Transfer it to a bowl, cover with plastic film and let it sit in the fridge until ready to serve.

To make the fritters, shred the zucchini. I don’t shred the core part with the seeds. Then squeeze out as much water as you can from them. Transfer the squeezed zucchini to a large bowl, add the reminaing ingredients for the fritters and mix well.

Add some olive oil to a large non-stick pan over medium heat.  To form each fritter, just scoop about 1/3 of a cup of the zucchini mixture and place it on the hot pan. Flatten it a bit with a spatula and fry it until golden on both sides. This will only take a few minutes per side.

To serve, spread some of the avocado sauce on each plate and serve the fritters stacked on top of the sauce. Finish it by adding some of the slaw and a bit of chives.

Roasted Carrot & Leek Salad with Greek Yogurt & Gorgonzola Dressing

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I wanted to make a simple salad of roasted vegetables that would be great to accompany any meat or be eaten on its own.  I don’t use leek enough as a main ingredient and it is such a nice vegetable. Roasting the leeks makes them silky and tender. Once they are roasted and you separate all the layers, they look almost like pasta.  I decided to add rainbow carrots to make the salad pop and add a different texture.  I made the gorgonzola dressing with Greek yogurt to make it a bit lighter.  This recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

8 medium carrots (I used purple & yellow)

5 medium leeks (not the hard green parts)

4 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt

Handful of pumpkin seeds, pine nuts or any other nuts/seeds that you may like

For the Dressing:

100gr of Gorgonzola

150gr of Greek yogurt

Juice of ½ a lime

½ teaspoon of mustard

Salt

Pepper

 

Peel and slice the carrots lengthwise. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil. Place the carrots on the prepared baking tray, drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add some salt.

Slice the leeks in half lengthwise. Clean them. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil. Arrange the leeks in a single layer. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add some salt. Cover the tray with aluminum foil. Seal it.

Roast the carrots and leeks in an 180C/350F oven for 30 minutes.

To make the dressing, just place all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.

To serve the salad, first separate the layers of the leeks and arrange them on each plate. Add some of the carrots. Drizzle some of the dressing and finish with the seeds/nuts.

Roasted Carrot Soup with Carrot Top Pesto

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As a kid I never used to like carrots, I would always pick them out. But my mom would make a soup very similar to this one and that would be the only way she would get me to eat my carrots. She would always tell me they are good for my eyesight. My eyesight was pretty bad, so I don’t think carrots would have made a difference even If I loved them. I ended up getting Lasik when I got older and couldn’t be happier.

You can use the carrot top to make pesto, instead of throwing it away. This recipe for pesto yields more than you need for the soup.  So you can use the leftovers to top roasted vegetables or eat it with some crunchy bread.

Ingredients:

For the soup:

2 bunches of carrots with the tops

4 medium white onions

2 garlic cloves

Olive oil

8 cups of chicken or vegetable stock

200ml of cream

½ cup of grated Parmesan

Salt to taste

For the pesto:

2 bunches of carrot top

3/4 cup of fresh basil

120gr of toasted pine nuts

3/4 cup of grated parmesan

Zest of 2 lemons

About 1 cup of olive oil

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

 

To make the soup:

Remove the carrot tops, reserve them for the pesto. Peel the carrots.

Wrap the garlic cloves with the skin on with aluminum foil, pouring a bit of olive oil inside. Place the wrapped garlic, onions with the skin on and peeled carrots on an oven tray lined with aluminum foil.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top of the vegetables. Roast at 180C/350F for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Once the vegetables are roasted, peel the onions and the garlic cloves. Chop the carrots. Place them in a large pot. Add the stock and blend it. I like to pass the soup through a sieve to make it smoother, but you don’t have to.  Pour the soup back in the pot. Then add the cream, parmesan and mix it until it is all combined. Then add salt to taste. Warm up the soup on medium heat.

To make the pesto, just place all of the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until it is all combined.

Serve the soup with about one tablespoon of the carrot top pesto. If you want, drizzle a bit of cream on top for decoration.

 

Beet, Carrot and Wheat Berry Salad with Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette

Wheat berry salad

As a child, my mom would make wheat berry as a stew with tomato sauce.  That’s pretty much the only way I remember eating it as a kid. Then I kind of forgot about it, and only started eating wheat berries again about 1 year and a half ago. I still make it the way my mom does, but this time I wanted to make it into a salad with these beautiful vegetables from my local market.

Just make sure you keep the purple beets separate from the rest so it doesn’t turn the rest of the salad purple.  The vinaigrette is quite thick because of the figs and the balsamic reduction.  If you have never made a balsamic reduction before, it is very easy to make. It is just reducing it until it has become a syrup. I tend to always have it in my pantry, since I like to drizzle it over salads. It is a very wintry kind of salad and it is great for the holidays as the colors really pop and you can make it in advance.

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Ingredients:

For the salad:

400gr wheat berry

4 golden beets (3 roasted, 1 raw)

2 purple beets (1 roasted, 1 raw)

1 yellow carrot, sliced

1 purple carrot, sliced

150gr of gorgonzola, crumbled

1 pomegranate

6 sprigs of thyme

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

For the Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette:

2 shallots, chopped

4 dried figs, chopped

1/3 cup of balsamic reduction

½ cup of extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup of white vinegar

1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon of honey

¼ cup of water

Pepper to taste

Salt to taste

To make the salad:

Reserve 1 golden and 1 purple beet for later. Wrap the rest of the beets in aluminum foil and roast in the oven at 180C/350F for 2 hours, until they are tender.  Allow to cool, then peel and slice them. You can roast the beets in advance.

Rinse the wheat berries under cold water and then boil for 1 hour. Drain and set aside.  You can also cook the wheat berries a few days before.

In a medium pan, over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the carrots, thyme and sauté for a few minutes, until tender.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Peel the raw golden and purple beet that you reserved earlier. Slice them as thin as you can, then chop them into thin strips and then into really small cubes.  Do them separately, so the colors don’t get stained. Set aside.

To make the vinaigrette:

First make the balsamic reduction, pour 250ml of balsamic vinegar into a pan. Reduce over medium-low heat until it has reduced to about 1/3 of a cup.  Don’t let it get too thick though, as it will thicken as it cools down.  You can make this in advance.

In a small pan, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the shallots and figs. Cook for about 3 minutes over medium heat.  Add 1/3 of a cup of the balsamic reduction and cook for 30 seconds. Then pour it into a medium bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend.  Taste if it needs more salt or pepper.

To assemble the salad, mix the vinaigrette with the wheat berry in a bowl.  In another bowl, mix the roasted beets with a bit of olive oil and salt.

Serve the seasoned wheat berries on each plate. Then top with some of the crumbled gorgonzola, roasted beets and carrots. Finally add some of the pomegranate seeds and the raw chopped beets.

I do all of this separate only to show the different colors of the vegetables. Feel free to mix it all if you don’t have the time, but the purple beets will stain the whole salad.