Festive Broccoli Salad

 

Confession: I am totally addicted to this salad. I’ve been eating it a lot lately, testing to see which ingredient combo I like best.  It’s so good I can’t stop eating it, just as well it’s a healthy Broccoli Salad.

So this is how it went down (literally). I made it for lunch which is when I have the best light for the photographs (and just as a side note, all pictures are taken in natural light without any Photoshop whatsoever) .

Then I had some more for dinner with some grilled chicken. And then some more in a sandwich the next day, the rest disappeared so that wasn’t me, I’m a little disappointed about that, someone could have given me a heads up, like…”salads almost gone”…

But no, I had to find out the hard way, anyway…moving on.

Basically what I am trying to tell you that it might be wise to make double to avoid disappointment, you’ll thank me later.

This recipe is for four as a side dish or two for lunch and it comes together in a flash.

It’s really simple, start by soaking the cranberries in warm water. They plumb up nicely like this but still keep that great chewy texture they have.

Then you caramelize the pecan nuts which are a divine mini recipe by itself. I dare you not to eat any while making these.

As these cool, you steam the broccoli florets for just 3 minutes in the microwave. I have one of these microwave steamers that I just couldn’t live without. You rinse them under cold water and drain.

The rest of the ingredients are then added and tossed with the delicious simple dressing.


⏰ Prep time : 15 minutes

🍝 Cooking time : 15 minutes

🍴 Serves : 4


 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large head of Broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/2 cup of pecans
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate arils,  reserve some to scatter on top before serving
  • 4 oz. chopped cooked ham
  • 4 oz. grated aged cheddar, coarsely grated or finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. chopped chives
  • 2 tbsp. chopped parsley, (1 tbsp. goes in and the other on top)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • a good squeeze of lime juice
  • 2-3 tbsp. milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt and pepper

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Start by soaking the cranberries in warm water.
  2. Then heat a small pan on medium heat and melt the butter. Add the nuts, salt and the tablespoon of sugar.
  3. Keep stirring until sugar is caramelizing and the nuts are golden.
  4. Transfer to a plate lined with a piece of parchment paper and make sure to separate the nuts or they will form clusters.
  5. Steam the broccoli florets for three minutes, rinse under cold water and drain very well.
  6. For the dressing mix the sour cream, mayonnaise, milk, lime juice, sugar and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Drain the cranberries and pat dry with kitchen paper.
  8. Toss all the remaining ingredients over the broccoli and mix carefully.
  9. Add the dressing and toss again.
  10. Place all on top of some salad leafs on a big platter to serve.
  11. Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and some parsley.

ENJOY!

MYRA XO

 

If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day. ♥

…and remember sharing is fun!

 

 

 

 

 

Spice Roast Chicken

 

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Spiced Roast Chicken

 

I just had one of those evenings where I couldn’t decide in which direction to go with flavouring my beautiful  organic chicken.

I was in the mood for Mexican, but also Smokey Bbq so I ended up somewhere in the middle with this amazing Spice Rub.

It was really the best rub ever, so simple but with great result! The right direction for sure!

Slow roasting a chicken is the way to go, chicken doesn’t like high heat so better to take the time and roast slowly for the best flavour development and juiciness.

I can still hear my father say, looong and slooow while roasting the Christmas Turkey.

That has stuck with me and it applies to all poultry.

The Chicken gets a beautiful deep golden crust, the flavor is smokey, spicy, salty and sweet all at the same time.

I’m making a jar full of this stuff to keep within reach.

 

Ribbet collage

INGREDIENTS:

SPICE RUB:

  • 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 ½  teaspoons  salt
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • ½  teaspoons crushed dried chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½  teaspoon  garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon Onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons  olive oil

CHICKEN:

  • 3 pound chicken
  • 2 heads of garlic separated into cloves
  • Sprig each of  Thyme and  rosemary, 2 bay leafs 

ADDITIONAL:

  • 2 lbs. Potatoes, peeled and quartered

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 160° C /  320° F
  2. Wash the chicken with cold water and pat dry with kitchen towel. Sit on a board.
  3. In a bowl mix the  ingredients for the spice rub and add the oil to form a thick-ish paste.
  4. Hold the chicken with one hand and with the other loosen the skin by inserting a finger between the skin and the breast forming a pocket. You can also do this by using the back of a wooden spoon. But be gentle not to break the skin.
  5. Put a few teaspoons of the past under the skin and spread out, repeat with the other breast.
  6. Rub the remaining paste all over the chicken and inside the cavity.
  7. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
  8. In the cavity insert the herbs and one head of garlic separated into cloves.
  9. Place the chicken in a roasting tin that has been lined with baking paper (easier to wash up) .
  10. Cover very loosely with a piece of tin foil that is the same size as the chicken.
  11. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for two and a half hours. Basting twice during cooking, by pouring the juices from the baking tray over the chicken.
  12. After one hour add the potatoes and remaining garlic cloves and toss thru the juices and fat in the tin.
  13. After an hour and a half, remove the tin foil.
  14. Bak until golden and crispy.
  15. Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes, loosely covered with foil.

 

Enjoy!

Myra XO

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If you make this recipe make sure to post it on Instagram and tag me #thecookingspoonblog

 

….’cause sharing is cool!

 

Fool Proof Lasagna

Classic Lasagna Fool Proof

Fool Proof Lasagna

Nothing beats classic lasagna!

And this is the easiest recipe you will ever make. It’s FOOL PROOF , which means anyone can make it even if you have never cooked before. Follow the recipe exactly and you will be super happy with the result. Also it can be made ahead of time and it’s freezer-friendly too!

This recipes takes some more time to make and a little bit of effort than most of my recipes  – but I promise you, it’s worth it. I even double the recipe some times and freeze  it.

The lasagna has layers of classic meat sauce, bechamel and cheese.  A.K.A. layers of goodness!

This one of those dishes that tastes even better the very next day! So if you have leftovers, lucky you!

Fool Proof Lasagna

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 9 fresh lasagna noodles
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 4 oz. finely chopped bacon
  • 1 onion peeled and diced small
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and grated
  • Salt and Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 1/2 Cup Passata (tomato sauce)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. bouillon powder or 1 1/2 cubes
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 C. red wine or water (red wine gives a fuller flavour)

BECHAMEL:

  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 Cups milk
  • a grating of nutmeg, about 1/8 tsp.
  • 1 bay leaf

ADDITIONAL: 

  • 3 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves or basil

DIRECTIONS MEAT SAUCE:

  • Preheat oven to 350° F / 180° C . Lightly oil a 9×13 baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
  • Heat  a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the bacon and fry until it starts releasing a bit of fat, add the ground beef and onion and cook until beef has browned, add the garlic. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks; season with pepper, to taste. Drain off excess fat. Put back on the heat. Stir in the passata, bouillon powder and Italian seasoning until well combined. Add the wine or water and let simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Since you are using fresh pasta you don’t want the sauce to be too wet.
  • Remove from heat.
Fool Proof Lasagna

DIRECTIONS BECHAMEL:

  1. Heat a large pot with a thick bottom, add the butter and melt.
  2. Add the flour and stir with a whisk until well combined.
  3. Add the milk slowly, stirring constantly, until very well combined and there are no lumps at all.
  4. Add the bay leaf and nutmeg.
  5. Simmer for about ten minutes until flour is fully “cooked”
  6. Remove from heat.

ASSEMBLE LASAGNA:

  1. Spread 1 cup tomato mixture onto the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish; top with 3 lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the bechamel sauce and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Repeat . Top with remaining noodles, tomato mixture, 1 cup mozzarella cheese and the Parmesan.
  2. Place into oven and bake for 35 minutes, or until bubbling.
  3. Let cool 15 minutes. This is an important step! *
  4. Serve, garnished with parsley or tiny basil leafs, if desired.

 

Fool Proof Lasagna

Fool Proof Lasagna

 

*RESTING:Letting the Lasagna rest for 15 minutes will ensure that you can cut beautiful squares or portions.

*MAKE-AHEAD: Cover lasagna tightly with foil. Refrigerate up to 24 hours. Bake for 40 minutes. Uncover; bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until completely cooked through and golden on top.

*TO FREEZE UNCOOKED: Cover lasagna tightly with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. Freeze up to 3 months. To bake, remove plastic wrap, cover and bake for 90 minutes. Uncover; bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until completely cooked through.

*FREEZE COOKED: sometimes I will make this recipe and divide it into four portions and pack them into foil baking dishes. Then freeze, when I’m in a hurry I will only have to defrost and place on a plate and microwave, and believe me….still really delicious.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

Pumpkin Mac n Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Crispy Garlic Crumb topping

 

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Just because Weekends need comfort food.

I just love Pumpkin in any recipe, here are some of my favourites,

 

Especially now with this wet weather, you really need comforting food, am I right?

This mac with Pumpkin will become your favourite fall recipe, especially with the addition of slowly cooked golden glazed onions. A perfect combination with the salty cheeses. It’s creamy, dreamy, and with a crispy golden breadcrumb topping that will make you jump for joy.

I’ve added a few different kinds of cheeses to make the flavours more complex and balanced. Pumpkin, delicious as it is can also be very bland and in my opinion needs a helping hand to bring out the best of it, the smooth creaminess.

I used a combo of Gouda, Gruyère, and Mozzarella and I literally said Oh my God as I put the first bite in my mouth. SO GOOD! You’re just going to have to make it to see what I mean, I assure you won’t be disappointed.

 

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⏰ Prep time : 20 minutes

 🍝 Cooking time : 30 minutes

 🍴 Serves 4 – 6


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INGREDIENTS: 

  • 4 tbsp. olive oil or butter
  • Salt  and Black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed or grated
  • 4 thick slices  bread pulsed into fine crumbs
  • 1/4 Cup cashew nuts
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh Parsley
  • 1/2 Lb. Pumpkin, peeled and cubed
  • 2 medium  onions thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2  tbsp.  all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound short cut pasta
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cups shredded Gouda cheese
  • 1/2 cups shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese, reserve some of the cheese for the top.
  • 1 – 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp.  cayenne pepper more or less to taste
  • 1 – 2 tbsp. butter cut into little cubes

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INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat the over to 400° F / 200 ° C .

  2. Add the bread, nuts, garlic to a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs form. Melt 2 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the crumbs and cook until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and cook another 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the crumbs out onto a plate. Set aside.

  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Boil the pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain.

  4. Meanwhile cook the pumpkin for about 7 – 10 minutes, in a pan over medium heat with a little water, or cook in the microwave. Whichever you prefer.
  5. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan. Add the onions and cook until caramelized, about 10 minutes.

  6. Whisk in the flour. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let cook gently for 1 minute, stirring once or twice to avoid burning. Gradually whisk in the milk, whisking until combined.

  7. Add the Pumpkin mash and stir to mix.

  8. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking frequently until the sauce has thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese, mustard, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Stir until the cheese is fully melted  then stir in the pasta. Spoon the mac and cheese into a baking dish.

  9. Sprinkle on the bread crumbs, some of the left aside cheese and scatter over the cubes of butter, transfer to the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the crumbs are golden brown and the sauce is bubbling. Remove from the oven and serve.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

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…..and remember, sharing is cool…

Smokey Black Bean and Sweet potato Tacos with Onion Garlic Lime Crema.

 

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To make the monday less of a drag I’ve decided to make it  Taco Monday!

I think we can all agree that Tacos can turn any dreary day into a fun day in a split second. Olé to that!

It will most certainly ease us into the week gently and give us something great to look forward to when we come home from work. You could actually do all the prep work the day before on Sunday and make dinner time a breeze. Soaking the beans is what takes the longest, because the actual recipe is pretty simple, we want simple on mondays, am I right? If it’s to much hassle for you to soak the beans and cook, just use two cans instead.

Either way, this is some seriously good food to start off the very first day of the week.

And who am I kidding really, we love Taco’s around here and we’ll have them more than once a week without a problem, different flavours and textures of course, and now that I think about it, it’s probably (one of ) our favourite food.

So these are different, I have addded Sweet Potato. and I can only tell you that I kept on asking myself why I hadn’t thought of this before. The sweet potato is just sooooo good with the smokey beans, I mean KA-POOOW!!

And so much better than plain beef tacos. That I know for sure.

But I promise the sweetness from the sweet potato is so amazing with the spicy smokey beans that even meat lovers won’t complain, I promise. It’s like soooo amazing (teen voice, rolling eyes)

 

⏰ Prep time: 15 min.

🍲 Cooking time: 15 min. plus cooking beans

🍴 Serves : 4


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INGREDIENTS:

Smokey Black Sweet potato Tacos

  • 1 lb. dried black beans or adzuki beans
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • 2 onions
  • 2 tbsp. Taco seasoning
  • 2 tsp. liquid smoke
  • 2 tsp. cocoa
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce (optional for heat lovers)
  • 1 12 oz. can passata
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro chopped
  • 3 green onions chopped
  • Himalayan salt and pepper to taste

Onion Garlic Lime Crema

  • 1/2 cup (vegan) cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup (vegan) sour cream
  • 2 tsp garlic powder*
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder*
  • 1 lime juiced
  • salt and pepper taste
  • maybe 1-2 tablespoons of milk or water

To serve:

  • 12 corn tacos warmed
  • Shredded Iceberg lettuce,
  • avocado slices
  • Grated cheese
  • salsa of choice or check out  this one.
  • more chopped cilantro

* I’m using dried onion and garlic powder on purpose, do not sub for fresh garlic because it will not get the right consistency and flavour. The dried powder will emulsify the crema in a way that cannot be achieved with the fresh counterparts.

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INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Prepare the beans. Rinse and check beans for any dirt etc. Soak your beans over night.discard the soaking liquid after soaking.
  2. Add beans to a large pot with about 5 cups of water.  Bring the beans to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the beans are soft, but not quite done. About 45 to 60 minutes. Keep checking, not all beans cook the same. Drain.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Add onion and sweet potatoes and stir. Fry for a couple of minutes and add the garlic, stir.
  4. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, until sweet potatoes are just beginning to softened.
  5. While the sweet potatoes are cooking make the  crema.
  6. Place all the ingredients for the Onion Garlic Lime Crema in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Add a little water or milk to thin if you like. It will get thicker and thicker as you let it stand.
  7. Now add the remaing ingredients to the sweet potatoes  except the cilantro and spring onions.
  8. Cover and cook another 10 minutes. Add a little water if it becomes to dry.
  9. Just before serving add the cilantro and spring onions
  10. To assemble, place generous spoonfuls of the sweet potato + bean mixture on top of a bed of Iceberg lettuce in a warm taco. Top with the onion garlic lime crema and avocado, and some cheese or any other topping of choice.

 

Smokey Black Bean Sweet Potato Tacos6

Crispy Fish Fajitas with Pomegranate, Avocado Chunks, pickled Onion and Cilantro Tzaziki.

Fish fajitas 2 PicMonkey Image

 

Since I am short of time at the moment and to be honest with you, I’m not feeling very inspired at the moment, I’m reposting an oldie but a goodie.

I think it’s the weather, one day 30° C / 86° F and the next 16° C / 60° F, for real!!! So I’m feeling lost as what to cook, my natural food rythm is confused. It has been raining a lot, which I love, I get my hopes up because I think fall is coming and then it’s blasting hot again. Sigh…..

So here’s our favourite seafood fajita, hope you love it like we do.

 

Crispy Fish Fajitas with Pomegranate

 

As a child I hated it when my mother would put fruit in a savoury dish, and she did it a lot! My dad loved it, so that was that, basically.

We never got kid friendly replacements either, nope no frankfurters or apple sauce for us.

I grew up eating Boeuf Stroganoff, Geschnetzeltes, Goulash and Crêpe Suzette for dessert. I remember thinking as a child, I can’t wait to be a grown up and to be able to cook and eat whatever I want. The thought of it alone ….was just great. I still don’t care for Boeuff S, Geschetzeltes or Goulash, and I really dislike crepe Suzette 🙂  coincidence?

However I do love anything with fruit in it, sweet or savoury.

So friends, I think you’re gonna like this one. I can’t say that its super fast to make because there’s a bit of prep work involved. But you could easily just make the fish and use store bought tzaziki if you want to cut in time. But then again it really is worth the extra bit of effort to end up with juicy crispy fish with such a refreshing cucumber and cilantro sauce. Any leftover tzaziki can be used on sandwiches.


 

⏰  Prep time: 20 minutes

🍤 Cooking time: 10 minutes

🍛 Serves: 4

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb. firm white fish cut in large-ish chunks
  • 1/2 C. fine polenta +  1/2 C. white flour, mixed
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/4 C. milk
  • 1/4 C. vegetable oil for frying
  • Taco seasoning
  • 2 large onions, sliced thin
  • 1/4 C. lemon juice and some beet juice (optional)
  • 2 Avocados, peeled and sliced in to wedges, sprinkle with lemon juice
  • 1 cucumber, washed and grated coarse
  • 1 C. Plain ( soy) Yoghurt
  • 1/4 C. mayonnaise
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and grated
  • salt and pepper
  • a handful of Cilantro, chopped
  • 8 Tortillas to serve, whole wheat or regular
  • 2 C. shredded Iceberg lettuce to serve
  • Lime wedges to serve
  • 1/2 C. pomegranate seeds to serve

 

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INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Start by grating the cucumber, put everything in a tea towel and squeeze out as much juice as you can. Next put it in a bowl. Add the yoghurt, mayonnaise, cilantro, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix and set aside.
  2. Next put the fish chunks in one bowl, season generously with taco seasoning.
  3. In an other bowl, beat the two eggs and add the milk.
  4. In a third bowl, mix the polenta with the flour.
  5. Dip the fish in the egg mixture, then the polenta-flour and put on a separate plate.
  6. Get out a frying pan and heat the oil. Fry the fish for about five minutes on medium high heat. Take out of the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
  7. Meanwhile heat the tortillas.
  8. To serve spoon a generous amount of the  cilantro tzaziki on the tortilla and some shredded iceberg lettuce, then the crispy fish on top.
  9. Add some avocado wedges and sprinkle with onion slivers and pomegranate seeds.
  10. Serve with lime wedges.

 

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Looking for more great recipes to try?  Be sure to check out this Cajun Jumbo Shrimp Tacos with Corn, a Peach & Koriander Salsa and Roasted Pepper Aïoli 

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Greek Tempeh Bbq Gyros with shoestring sweet potato oven fries

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Μπουκιά και συγχώριο

(Boukia kai syghorio) “One bite and all is forgiven.”

My never ending love for Greece and Greek food goes on and on…..

I’m not sure if this is actually totally Greek but the basics are there and I’ve added my own Bbq twist to it.

Since I’m looking for new ways to enjoy delicious, nutritionally balanced plant-based meals, and when you love Greek food as much as I do, you have to turn up your creativity dial a notch or two. So I was Wondering if I could pull of a tempeh Gyros and if it would actually be as a good as the real deal. Can I really make a meat-free gyro that tastes as good as the original? Well I’m glad to report, yes I can and so can you!

The Gyros texture and flavor were spot on!

Here’s how it’s done… Tempeh is my go-to staple whenever I’m craving a meat dish. Not only is it high in protein, but its texture is beefy and easily adaptable to many flavors and seasonings. Especially when marinated. In my opinion it is what resembles meat the most when it comes to texture.
If you have the time,  make the marinade a day in advance so it really penetrates the tempeh.

 

🔪  prep time : 10 minutes

⏰  cooking time : 10 minutes

😋   serves : 4


INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 oz tempeh (package in block form)
  • 1 ½ tsp. fresh crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp. greek oregano
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • juice of one small lemon
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. himalayan salt
  • 1/4 C. plain tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp. liquid smoke
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • a pinch of ground clove (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp dried crushed chili flakes
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup

To serve:
whole grain or gluten free pita bread
lettuce
chopped cucumber
2 fresh tomatoes sliced
½ red onion thinly sliced
tzatziki or soy yoghurt to serve
sweet potato oven fries with Greek oregano (see recipe)

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INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Make marinade by mixing the ingredients in a deep dish.
  2. Cut tempeh block in half. Bring a pot of water to a boil, place tempeh halves inside and boil gently for 5 minutes. This removes any bitter taste from the tempeh.
  3. Take tempeh out of the water, and after it has cooled slice it into ¼ inch slices or strips.
  4. Place slices in the marinade.
  5. Marinate overnight; mix up the tempeh slices every once in a while to make sure you have all of them covered with marinade.
  6. Preheat a large frying pan over high heat. add a tablespoon of olive oil. Remove tempeh slices from the marinade and place in the pan.
  7. Stir fry for 7 – 10 minutes or until golden brown and beginning to crisp at the edges.
  8. Once tempeh is done, warm the pita bread in the oven for 3-5 minutes. Assemble gyros by placing tempeh slices, fresh tomatoes, and red onions on pita bread. Cover with Tzatziki or yoghurt and top with a handful of the crispy shoe-string sweet potato fries.

For the shoe-string sweet potato fries:

Pre heat oven to 200 C / 400 F
Take two large sweet potatoes and peel them.
Cut into thin shoestrings. Dry well on kitchen paper.
Place in a bowl, toss in a two teaspoons of olive oil and add salt, pepper, sweet paprika and oregano tot taste.
Toss to coat.
Line an oven tray with parchment paper.
Spread out the fries and place in the middle of the oven.
Bake for about 20 to 30 minutes until golden and crispy, depending on the thickness of the fries.

 

καλή όρεξη!

(kali orexi)

MYRA XO

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….and remember to share, your friends will love it too ❤

Chinese Spring Rolls with three dipping sauces

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春捲

chūn juǎn

 

Spring rolls bring back memories of Dim Sum houses in Hong Kong with delicious dipping sauces. Filled with tons of fresh vegetables and a little pork, chicken, shrimp or tofu.

I’ve been to Hong Kong several times and loved it very much, such a buzzing city. And the food!!! Everything seems to evolve around food, so a great opportunity to taste as many different things as I could, and although I did skip the fried Grasshoppers, I indulged in tons of Dim Sum and lots of Spring Rolls.

You can get Spring Rolls everywhere here in Holland but they tend to be the big collosal brick sized ones, just not right or authentic in my opinion. I prefer the little chinese spring rolls so I started making my own years ago and at least I know what’s inside them.

These are great as a party food or also as a finger food for movie night. We have them for dinner accompanied with some cucumber sticks or salad. Either way they’re delicious and a real crowd pleaser. And really not as difficult as they may seem.

The vegetables are adjustable to whatever you may have lying around in your fridge or whatever is in season,  add any of the following,  the total should come up to one pound of vegetables approximately for this recipe. At least 4 or 5 different kinds is best. The ones marked with an asterix are the vegetables I have used in my Spring Rolls.

carrots*, shredded or cut into sticks

bamboo shoots

shiitake (soaked and stem removed)

chestnut mushrooms*

cabbage, shredded*

paksoy*

sugar snap peas*,

green beans

finely sliced red bell pepper

onions*,

beans sprouts*,

peanuts,

basil,

cilantro*,

 


 

🍜 Prep time : 30 minutes

⏰ Cooking time: 15 minutes

😋 Makes : 10 medium or 20 small


INGREDIENTS SPRING ROLLS:

4 oz. rice noodles soaked

1 tbsp. vegetable oil for frying, divided

1 lb. mixed vegetables

1 tsp. grated ginger

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or dry white wine

2 tbsp. soy sauce

1 tbsp. Ketjap Manis

1 tsp. Sambal Oelek or more

1 teaspoon sesame oil

black pepper, to taste

2 tsp. Boemboe Sate (seasoning) see Chicken Saté 

 

For the meat or tofu:

  • 8 ounces ground pork/chicken or scrambled tofu
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine or white wine
  • 1 tbsp. black bean sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper

For wrapping:

1 package 8″ square spring roll wrappers 

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch, dissolved in 1 tablespoon water for sealing the spring rolls
  • Canola, peanut or vegetable oil, for frying

DIPPING SAUCES; 

Sate Sauce:

Sticky Red Chili Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp. Lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. honey or agave if vegan
  • 1 tbsp. sambal oelek
  • 4 tbsp. Ketchup
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.

Garlic Lime Cashew Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in boiling water for one hour, drained
  • 1/4 cup water or more
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice, or to taste
  • 1 tbsp. aple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1 heaping teaspoon tahini
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • salt and pepper, or to taste

Mix in a high speed blender until smooth.

INSTRUCTIONS SPRING ROLLS:

  1. Place the noodles in a large bowl, cover with boiling water and leave for 2 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, then set aside.
  2. Heat a large frying pan or wok, add half the oil.
  3. When hot, add the meat or tofu to the pan and fry for a few minutes, adding the seasoning after the first minute, cook until cooked thru. Transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Put the pan back on the heat and add the remaining oil.
  5. Add the vegetables when hot and stir fry for 5 minutes approximately. After the first minute of cooking you add the spice mix and the remaining ingredients. Tossing to coat everything.
  6. Place into the bowl with the rice noodles.
  7. Toss everything together.
  8. In a small bowl, blend the cornflour and 2 tablespoons of cold water.
  9. Next, lay two spring-roll wrapper, smooth-side down, on a clean surface as a diamond shape, with one corner pointing down towards you.
  10. Spoon 3 tablespoons of the filling on the bottom corner of the double wrapper. Brush each corner with the cornflour mixture, then start rolling up from the bottom. When the filling is covered, pull the corners in from each side (to seal the ends as you go). Continue rolling until the filling is tightly covered, then press to seal the top corner.
  11. Lay the finished rolls on a large plate that has been oiled lightly and cover with a damp tea towel. Continue until you’ve filled all the wrappers.
  12. Heat the  oil in a large wok or saucepan over a medium heat.
  13. Carefully lower the spring rolls into the oil and deep-fry for 2–3 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
  14. Serve with the dipping sauces.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

Chinese Spring Rolls14.jpg

Chinese Spring Rolls12.jpg

 

……..and remember, sharing is fun!

Citrus Honey Soy Salmon

Sticky Citrus Honey Soy Baked Salmon

Citrus Honey Soy Salmon

Citrus Honey Soy Salmon

 

 

Baked salmon in foil that’s been brushed with a sticky, citrus, honey and soy sauce that will make you cry with joy!. This recipe is so easy to make and pulls together in less than 30 minutes! The salmon is  flakey and tender when baked this way and stays really juicy. You’re going to love it!

But wait, I still haven’t told you the best part — In addition to being just a quick 30 minutes cooking for this Gourmet dinner, there’s barely any cleaning up afterwards, just toss the foil in the garbage, TADAAAA! …… WIN WIN!

Let’s talk about the  sauce that’s going to make this baked salmon in foil recipe your favorite way to eat fish. It’s simplicity itself. Add all the ingredients to a sauce pan and simmer until it becomes sticky and reduced, about 5 minuutes.  I think it would be great on anything acctually, it”s just so delicious.

This is a recipe that you need to keep in your back pocket not only for weeknight dinners but also to impress your dinner guests with.  ( Pssssst.….no one needs to know how easy it was).

I like to use a double layer for the baking, first tin foil and then parchment paper , no need to butter that first. Place the salmon on top and Into the oven it goes, and the most magnificent smells will torture you for the next 14 minutes of your life.

 

Citrus Honey Soy Salmon

Serves: 4 – 6

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: ca. 15 minutes


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ¼ pound  salmon (preferably wild )
  • juice of half a lime (1 lime cut in half)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (1 lemon cut in half)
  • 3 tablespoon orange juice (1 orange cut in half)
  • 2 tablespoons Soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark Agave syrup (or coconut sugar )
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Freshly ground black Pepper

 Citrus Honey Soy Salmon

Citrus Honey Soy Salmon

DIRECTIONS:

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 200ºC / 400ºF

Cut the citrus fruits in half, take the juice needed from one half and use the other halfs to cut into slices to place on top of the salmon.

In a saucepan over medium heat combine the  juice, Soy sauce, dark Agave syrup, the honey, red pepper flakes, garlic and ginger.

Allow  to reduce to 4 tablespoon, about 5 minutes. Add the butter, remove pan from heat and swirl so the butter starts to melt. 

Let cool.

Citrus Honey Soy Salmon

Citrus Honey Soy Salmon

 

Place the salmon filet in a piece of parchment paper and on top of foil. Using a brush or spoon, brush the salmon with the  sauce. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Top with slices of citrus fruits. Bake the salmon for 10 muntes.

Switch on the broiler or oven grill and grill for 4 – 5 more minutes until really golden and sticky on top. Serve straight away.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

Citrus Honey Soy Salmon

 

If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day. ♥

…and remember, Sharing is Cool!

Grilled Cheese Meatballs in Onion Sauce

 

You know how sometimes you just can’t decide between two recipes….

Just make them both… in one!

 

Meatballs Grilled Cheese b

 

Ok, so I was in the mood for Onion Soup, that’s how it all started.

But then I had a pound of Beef in the fridge that I had to use up,  I was going to make meatballs which I love at any given moment or even just to have in the freezer, but this Onion Soup kept gnawing at my brain. Then it hit me, why not just put the two together?

Seriously, the best thing that happened to meatballs, drowning in caramelized golden onion sauce, topped with aged cheese and grilled to perfection.

ooooooh my oh my…

I just remembered that when we first went to Spain on a holiday , I must have been around seven or eight, we used to eat out all the time and my parent became friends with the owners of our favourite restaurant. I somehow made it into the kitchen because I wanted to help (no surprise there).

When I think about it now, I’m surprised I was allowed. My parents must have been really good costumers.

The lady in the kitchen, Anne,  was french and taught me how to slice onions and told me that if I didn’t want to cry I had to put the onion peel on my head the whole time. So I did.

I believed her of course, and kept doing this until I was at least sixteen, seriously, what was I thinking???

Grilled Cheese Meatballs34

 

Grilled Cheese Meatballs in Onion Sauce

 

Gluten free option

Dairy free

Ref. sugar free

 

Serves: 4


INGREDIENTS:

 

Cheddar , gouda,  Asiago,   fontina, Gruyère, Havarti, Monterey Jack are all great cheeses for melting and grilling. Make sure they are at room temerature before hand to get the best result.

Grilled Cheese Meatballs14

Grilled Cheese Meatballs17

METHOD:

Pre heat the oven to 220° C / 425° F

For the meatballs, place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix with your hands. Don’t overmix. Form 8 meatballs.

Put them in a oiled oven dish and place in the middle of the oven. Bake for about 17 minutes. I use a cast iron skillet but a baking dish is fine too.

Meanwhile heat a large frying pan and glaze the onions on medium low heat in the two tablespoons of olive oil, add a pinch of salt. Partially cover and let cook for about 20 minutes. Stirring now and again. After the 20 minutes add one tablespoon of coconut sugar and stir around until in begins to caramelize and gets a deep golden color.

Add the two tablespoons of flour and again stir until this too gets a golden color.

Gently add the beef stock and stir to completely combine. Let simmer for 10 minutes.

When the meatballs are cooked take them out of the oven and carefully pour over all the onion sauce.

Set the oven to grilling.

Cover the meatballs and onions with the grated cheese and place back in to oven. Grill for about 5 – 7 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.

Meatballs Grilled Cheese e

 

Meatballs Grilled Cheese A

Enjoy!

Myra. XO 

 

 

If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day. ♥

Not quite what you’re looking for? How about Rustic Chicken meatball, Beans and Tomato Stew with Courgette   or maybe a  Moroccan Meatballs with Quinoa