Korean-Style Pork Meatballs with Stir-fried Noodles

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This is an Asian version of spaghetti and meatballs. Juicy meatballs are coated in a sauce made with Korean chili paste, grated pear and other Asian ingredients. Because of the thick sauce for the meatballs, I kept the stir-fried noodles very simple.

This recipe makes about 19 meatballs and serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

500gr of minced pork

1 spring onion, finely sliced

1 tablespoon of minced ginger

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1 tablespoon of sesame oil

¾ cup of panko

Salt

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

For the Korean-style sauce:

1 tablespoon of Korean chili paste (Gochujang)

1 pear, peeled & shredded

1 tablespoon of brown sugar

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of minced ginger

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

1 tablespoon of hoisin

Juice of ½ a lime

Pinch of salt

For the stir-fried noodles:

200gr of noodles of your choice (I used glass noodles)

3 ½ tablespoons of oyster sauce

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

1 spring onion, chopped

1 tablespoon of ginger syrup (if you can’t find it, you can use some minced ginger and some honey, or make a simple syrup infused with fresh ginger)

Extras:

Chopped chives

Sesame seeds

 

Start by making the meatballs. In a bowl, mix the minced pork with the spring onion, ginger, garlic powder, onion powder, sesame oil, panko and salt. Then using your hands, shape the mixture into meatballs. This will make about 19 meatballs; just don’t make them too big otherwise they will take longer to cook.

Place 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, brown the meatballs. Try to brown them evenly.  Then transfer them to a plate and set them aside. Don’t clean the pan.

Blend all of the ingredients for the Korean-style sauce until smooth. Pour the sauce in the same pan where you browned the meatballs over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring carefully so each meatball is evenly coated in the sauce.

Cook the noodles as instructed on the package. Heat up a pan or wok over medium heat. Once it is hot add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, spring onion and ginger syrup. Stir to mix it and then add the noodles. Stir-fry it for 1 to 2 minutes.

Divide the noodles among 3 plates. Then add the meatballs and the sauce. Finish it with some chopped chives and sesame seeds. Enjoy!

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Thai Red Curry with Shrimp & Sugar Snaps Peas

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This flavorsome meal with store bought curry is perfect for a weeknight. Easy and ready in under 30 minutes. I added sugar snap peas to have an extra crunchy texture in the curry.

This recipe serves 3 small bowls or 2 large ones.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 ½ tablespoons of minced ginger

1 lemongrass, (white part only) finely chopped

50grs of red curry paste

1 ½ teaspoons of brown sugar or palm sugar

2 tablespoons of fish sauce

600ml of coconut milk

1 sweet pepper, finely chopped

250grs of shrimp, cleaned and deveined

Juice of ½ a lime

For the sugar snaps:

150grs of sugar snaps

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Salt

Extras:

Cooked white rice

Coriander leaves

Lime wedges

 

Pour one tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the sugar snap peas and cook them for about 1 minute, while stirring. Add salt and set them aside.

In the same pan, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic, ginger and lemongrass. Cook for about 1 minute until it becomes fragrant. Then add the sugar, curry paste and fish sauce. Cook for another minute while stirring. Then add the coconut milk, mix it well and let it simmer for about 10 minutes on medium-low heat until it thickens.

Then add the sweet peppers and shrimps. Cook until the shrimp are pink and cooked through. This will take about 3 to5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the sugar snap peas and the juice of half a lime. Mix well.

Serve with white rice, coriander leaves and lime wedges.

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Beet Couscous with Balsamic Glazed Carrots & Carrot Top Dressing

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I didn’t like carrots as a kid and now I love them, especially when they are roasted. These are sweet and still crunchy, and to not waste the carrot tops, I made a dressing with it. A very simple and easy vegetarian dish but still packed with flavor.

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This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

For the carrots:

7 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into about 6cm long sticks

3 tablespoons of melted butter

¼ cup of balsamic vinegar

¼ cup of sugar

½ teaspoon of salt

For the couscous:

1 cup of couscous

1 cup of vegetable stock

1 tablespoon of butter

1 medium roasted beet

For the carrot top dressing:

½ cup of chopped carrot top

2 tablespoons of chopped basil

1/3 cup of olive oil

20gr of grated Parmesan

2 tablespoons of white vinegar

1 tablespoon of honey

Juice of ½ a lime

Salt

Pepper

Extras:

¼ cup of toasted slivered almonds

 

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

Mix the melted butter, balsamic vinegar, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Then add the carrots and toss to coat them. Spread them on a single layer in the prepared baking sheet. Pour the remaining glaze over the carrots.

Roast the carrots for 45 minutes, stirring half way through.

While the carrots are roasting, start making the dressing. Just blend all of the ingredients together until smooth. Taste for salt and pepper. Set it aside.

Once the carrots are done, start to make the couscous. Blend the vegetable stock with the roasted beet. Then pour it into a medium saucepan and add the butter over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, turn off the heat and add the couscous. Mix it well and cover it with a lid. Let it be for 5 minutes and then fluff it using a fork.

Serve the couscous with the glazed carrots, the carrot top dressing and slivered almonds.

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

 

Kimchi & Quinoa Vegetable Soup

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This is a very healthy vegetarian soup. It has the wonderful flavor of the kimchi without being too sour or spicy but add chilies if you wish, and you get your protein kick from the quinoa. It’s perfect for a weeknight since it’s very quick to make. You can also cook the quinoa in advance and just keep it in the fridge to save time.

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This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

½ cup of quinoa

150gr of mushrooms, sliced (I used a mix of chestnut mushrooms, nameko and king trumpet)

4 tablespoons of sesame oil

1 ½ tablespoons of chopped ginger

2 spring onions, finely chopped (white separated from the green)

1 cup of kimchi, very finely chopped

1 ½ litters of vegetable stock

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

3 mini paksoi

Extras:

Lime wedges for serving (optional)

Extras soy sauce for serving

3 soft boiled eggs

Sesame seeds

 

First cook the quinoa. Rinse it under cold water and then boil it for 12 minutes. Drain it and set it aside.

Place 3 tablespoons of sesame oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, fry the mushrooms in batches. Remove the mushrooms from the pan.

In the same saucepan, add the remaining tablespoon of sesame oil, ginger and the white part of the spring onions. Cook for 1 minute over medium heat while stirring. Then add the chopped kimchi and stir for another minute.

Add the stock and soy sauce. Let it simmer for 15 minutes.

Then add the paksoi and let it cook for 1 minute. Taste the soup for salt.

For the soft boiled eggs, I just placed them in a saucepan and added boiling water. I let them cook for 6 minutes over medium heat.

To serve, divide the quinoa into 3 bowls. Add the soup, mushrooms, green parts of the spring onions, soft boiled eggs and sesame seeds. I like to squeeze some lime juice over the soup and serve it with some extra soy sauce on the side.

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Cauliflower Celeriac Soup with Savory Granola & Crispy Kale (Vegan)

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I had been wanting to try nutritional yeast for a while now. I found it at Eko Plaza and it is called Edelgistvlokken in Dutch. If you have never heard of it, it has a nutty and cheesy flavor and you can sprinkle it over food as if it was parmesan cheese. It is high in protein and a good source of B vitamins. I first tried it on popcorn and really enjoyed it. And the savory granola I made with it is quite addictive. You can eat it as a snack but this time I decided to serve it over soup. It adds a nice crunch to it.

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This recipe makes 2 large bowls.

Ingredients:

For the soup:

½ cauliflower, chopped

1 celeriac, peeled and sliced into chunks

1 ½ liters of vegetable stock

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of onion powder

½ teaspoon of celery salt

For the savory granola:

½ cup of oatmeal

½ cup of nutritional yeast (Edelgistvlokken in Dutch)

¼ cup buckwheat

1 teaspoon of sumac

Pinch of salt

Pinch of pepper

Pinch of garlic powder

Pinch of onion powder

¼ cup of olive oil

2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds

For the crispy kale:

1 cup of shredded kale

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Pinch of lemon pepper

Pinch of salt

 

 

To make the granola, preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Mix all of the ingredients for the granola in a bowl and then spread it over the prepared baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring half way through. Then allow it to cool down. Leave the oven on to bake the kale.

To make the crispy kale, 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 (the time will depend on your oven, so check from time to time so it doesn’t burn).

For the soup, place the chopped cauliflower, celeriac, vegetable stock, garlic powder, onion powder and celery salt in a medium saucepan. Let it simmer for 15 minutes over medium heat. Then blend it until smooth. Taste for salt.

Serve the soup with some of the savory granola and crispy kale. Enjoy!

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.

Tagliatelle Alla Puttanesca

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It’s been such a long time since I’ve made this pasta. This is my mom’s favorite. She would make it often at home and order it when we would go out for Italian food. This is my version of it. It’s quick to make and it is full of flavor. And since this weather has me craving even more carbs, I made a caramelized balsamic onion focaccia to serve it with (and to munch on, till it was dinner time).

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

300gr of dried tagliatelle or the pasta of your choice

1 small tin of anchovies (30grs), chopped very finely. Reserve the oil.

2 garlic cloves, minced

Pinch of onion powder

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 bird’s eye chili, finely chopped

5 tomatoes, chopped

100gr of Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

2 tablespoons of dried oregano

1 tablespoon of dried basil

Pepper

4 tablespoons of chopped parsley

Grated Parmesan or Grana Padano for serving

 

In large pan over medium heat, add the anchovy oil and olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the anchovies, chilies and garlic. Cook for 1 minute.

Then add the tomatoes, Kalamata, oregano, basil, onion powder and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time until it becomes a sauce. I didn’t add any salt as the anchovies and Kalamata were salty enough for me.

While the sauce is cooking, cook the pasta as instructed on the package.

Once the sauce is done, add the chopped parsley and taste for seasoning. Then add the drained pasta and toss to coat it.

Serve with some grated Parmesan or Grana Padano. Enjoy.

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

Brussels Sprouts, Apple and Gorgonzola Quesadillas

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I can’t remember ever eating Brussels sprouts growing up and I actually don’t know why. My two guesses are that either they were not very popular in Peru, or my mom (who is by the way a very good cook) doesn’t like them therefore she never made them. I am leaning towards the last one.  It is only since I moved to the Netherlands that I realized that I actually love them. They are tasty, cook quite fast and are super healthy. Now that they are in season I am making up for the lost time. This recipe makes 4 quesadillas.

Ingredients:

350gr Brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced

2 red onions, thinly sliced

2 apples, peeled and cut into small cubes

2 tablespoons of olive oil

3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

8 flour tortillas

200gr of gorgonzola, crumbled

2 pomegranates

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Sour cream, to serve

 

Over medium-high heat, add the olive oil to a large pan.  Add the Brussels sprouts and the onions. Cook for 7 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Then add the apples and balsamic vinegar.  Stir for another minute and then add salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer to a bowl.

Place a tortilla in a large non-stick pan and add some of the sprouts mixture. Then sprinkle some of the pomegranate seeds and crumble some gorgonzola on top.  Cover with another tortilla. Cook over medium heat until it is crispy on the bottom. You will need to put a plate about the size of the tortilla over it to be able to flip it and avoid a mess. Once you have flipped it, cook until crispy and then transfer to a cutting board.

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Slice the quesadilla into four pieces. Repeat for the rest of the tortillas and filling. Serve with some sour cream.

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