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!

 

 

 

 

 

Bacon Pomme Duchesse

Bacon Pomme Duchesse

Bacon Pomme Duchesse

Bacon Pomme Duchesse

With every one so full of Holiday spirit already, I thought I’d share this wonderful side dish with you.

Side dished do tend to be the same everywhere you look, roast potatoes for Christmas, Brussel Sprouts with chestnuts….come on, we can do better than that, right?

I love potatoes served in any way, and sure there’s nothing wrong with a good ‘ol roast potato but this year and also because my daughter is crazy about them, I made Pomme Duchesse.

Not just any Pomme Duchesse though…

Pomme Duchesse with tiny bits of crispy bacon in them and crème fraîche.  I will be serving this at my next Christmas Dinner because they are so amazing.

I boiled the potatoes first, let them steam dry completely, then added butter. Mixed it thru, then crème fraîche. Seasoned generously.

Then 1 egg yolk and one stiffly beaten egg white .

The beaten egg white gives the potatoes almost a soufflé like consistency and we are completely in love with these fancy Pommes. Then with the little bits of crispy bacon, I mean….seriously. Could it get any better?

The bacon has been cooked until complete crispness, then drained on kitchen paper. Cooled and processed until tiny crumbs in the food processor.

Note to self: I think I should  keep a jar of bacon crumbs in the fridge for over pancakes or through the batter, for over omelets or even over ice cream and cup cakes.


⏰ Prep time : 30 minutes

🍝 Cooking time : 20 – 25 minutes,

🍴 Serves : 6


INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 lbs. medium/ large potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2  tsp.  salt for the boiling water
  • 4 oz. bacon cubed or sliced
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • a good grating of nutmeg
  • salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp soft butter
  • 1/4 C. crème fraîche
  • 1 egg, separated

Bacon Pomme Duchesse

Bacon Pomme Duchesse

Bacon Pomme Duchesse

Bacon Pomme Duchesse

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Place the peeled and quartered potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water about half way, add the salt.
  2. Bring to a medium boil with the lid half on and cook for about 20 minutes, until fully cooked and tender when pierced with a fork.
  3. Turn off the heat. Drain, and return to stove, let the steam off.
  4. Now pre heat the oven to 200° C / 400° F
  5. Meanwhile gently and over low heat cook the bacon until very crispy, this can take up to ten minutes so be patient. You want to render out all the fat. Reserve the fat! Remove the bacon and place it on a kitchen paper to drain.
  6. Process the bacon until very fine crumb in the food processor.
  7. Now add the butter to the potatoes and start mashing, then add the crème fraîche.
  8. Season with the onion, garlic, nutmeg and salt and taste.
  9. Add the bacon crumbs.
  10. Add the egg yolk and mix through with a wooden spoon.
  11. Beat the egg white until stiff and fold through carefully not to lose air.
  12. Get out a pastry bag and fit with a large nozzle of choice. Fill with the potato mixture.
  13. On a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, pipe out rosettes the size of a ping-pong ball.
  14. Brush carefully with the reserved bacon fat and place in the middle of the oven.
  15. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden and crispy. Serve straight away.

 

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!

 

 

 

Endive Salad with Grilled Peaches, Feta and Boursin Dressing

 

PicMonkeyEndive Salad with Grilled Peaches, Feta and Boursin Dressing.jpg

 

The end of Summer is here. And with that sadly also the end of Peaches and Nectarines.

I have broken the promise I made to myself to make tons of peach recipes this summer, but I didn’t nearly make as many as I had planned originally. I’ve eaten tons of peaches obviously (and very grateful) but not as many recipes as I had hoped for. The summer has passed by so quickly that I’m almost freaking out about the peaches coming to an end.

Note to self: freeze some peaches before they’re all gone!

So before it’s too late here’s one salad that it fun, delicious and crunchy with feta cheese and juicy grilled Peaches. And so simple with just a few ingredients.

Since endive aka chicory can be a little bitter, what better way to compensate that than to add some juicy grilled stone fruit.

And then there’s the Boursin dressing, seriously a joy for life! And one that will go with anything, or even as a dip or over baked potatoes. I could keep going for a while.

Basically this salad covers it all,  savoury,  sweet, bitter, crunchy, acidic, juicy……YUM!


 

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⏰ Prep time: 10 min.

🍲 Cooking time: 10 min

🍴 Serves : 4 as a side

 

FOR THE SALAD:

  • 4 endive spears, gently cleaned
  • 2 large peaches
  • 4 oz. feta, cubed
  • some parsley
  • Boursin dressing
  • chili flakes

 

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INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cut off the bitter ends from the endive spears, pull off some leafs and leave them whole.
  2. Chop the remaining endive and arrange on a platter.
  3. Heat a griddle pan.
  4. Cut the peaches in half and remove the stone.
  5. Cut into wedges, about 4 to 8, depending on the size of the peach.
  6. I didn’t need to oil my peaches because I have a very good non stick griddle pan, but if you prefer, gently brush the peach wedges with a little olive oil.
  7. Place the wedges on the griddle pan and grill for 4 minutes approximately on each side. Do not turn or touch during cooking because the griddle stripes will mess up, just flip over once and that’s it. I do this with the tip of a knife.
  8. Place the warm peaches on the endive salad.
  9. Scatter over the feta cubes.
  10. Sprinkle over some parsley leaves.
  11. Sprinkle with some chili flakes
  12. Dress with the Boursin dressing just before serving.

 

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INGREDIENTS BOURSIN DRESSING:

  • 1/2 Cup cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 Cup Buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoon parsley, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon chives, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dill, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon savory, chopped (optional)
  • salt
  • black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a bowl mix cream cheese and buttermilk until smooth.
  2. Peel and grate the garlic on a mandolin or crush. Add to the bowl.
  3. Then add the Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, lemon juice, honey and herbs and mix with a small spoon.
  4. Add a little milk if it is to thick, you need to be able to pour the dressing.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Place in the fridge and let the flavours develop.

 

Enjoy!

Myra XO

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……………..and remember to share with friends and family……………….

Chinese Spring Rolls with three dipping sauces

Chinese Spring Rolls PicMonkey Image

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!

Grilled Spring Zucchini with Peas, Lemon and Feta.

Grilled Spring Zucchini with Peas, Lemon and Feta 00.jpg

This has to be the ultimate summer salad. I’ve completely fallen in love with this dish and I have eaten it at least 6 times in the past few weeks. I  make double for lunch the next day every single time because I just can’t resist. The combo is just…..I mean, garlic, lemon zest, feta, grilled zucchini and then the sweet peas.

And I know it’s not summer yet but with 31° (88° F) outside, I think we can call it summer, after all it’s just a technicality.

You can prepare the Grilled Zucchini Salad with Peas, Lemon and Feta ahead of time and bring it back to room temperature before serving or,  serve it warm or cold. It all works. It’s super simple to make and the flavours are simple irresistible. This would be amazing for your next Bbq too. Grilling the Zucchini on an open fire will enhance the flavours and make this dish even more amazing. Your friends and family are going to love it!

Grilled Spring Zucchini with Peas and Feta2

Gluten free √

Vegetarian √


Serves 4 as a side or 2 as a main dish.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 Zucchini
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 4 oz. Feta in one piece or little Feta balls
  • zest and juice of half an organic lemon
  • 2 garlic clove, peeled and grated
  • a small handful fresh mint
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper

 

METHOD:

  1. Wash the zucchini and trim the ends. Cut lengthwise into 1/2 cm or 1/4″ slices.
  2. Heat a griddle pan and when hot, cook the zucchini for about three minutes on each side. Only turn them once so you get beautiful “grilling stripes”.
  3. Remove from the heat and cut the slices in half, place them on  a serving plate.
  4. Boil some water in a large pan and blanch the peas for about five minutes until just tender.
  5. Remove from the heat, drain and refresh under cold water.
  6. Sprinkle them over the zucchini.
  7. Heat the olive oil in  small pan over medium low heat and cook the garlic very gently for a minute or so until just fragrant.
  8. Pour over the veggies and let it cool down a bit.
  9. Next grate the lemon over the salad and then squeeze out the juice of half a lemon over it too.
  10. Season with salt and pepper.
  11. Sprinkle over the feta and the mint leaves tearing them up a bit and leaving some leafs whole.
  12. Serve as a side or as a main course.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

Grilled Spring Zucchini with Peas and Feta4

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Beet Falafel Quinoa Salad Bowl with Cashew Lime dressing.

This baked beet falafel quinoa bowl with Cashew Lime sauce  is a very satisfying balanced and filling meal in just one dish. You can double the falafel recipe and freeze them for another day and just pop them in the oven until heated thru and crispy.

Beet falafel are a great twist on the traditional falafel with an earthy flavour from the beets and a fantastic colour. A great taste with an extra dose of vegetables.

They’re baked rather than fried for a healthier and oil-free recipe and served on a bed of quinoa and a mix of delicious greens and veggies. 

I actually always bake my falafel to keep them healthy but if you prefer to fry them that’s fine too. 

Vegan 

Vegetarian

Dairy free

Ref. sugar free

Egg free


 

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS:

 Falafel:

  • ½ cup dry chickpeas, soaked overnight then drained
  • 1 large raw beet, peeled and coarsely grated (about 1 ½ cup)
  • Half a medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped, divided
  • 2 tsp.  ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoons coriander
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 ½ tablespoons flour (or more)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • Black pepper

Dressing:

  • ½ cup raw cashews, soaked overnight or in hot water for 15 minutes, drained the next day
  • ½ cup unsweetened plant milk
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • a few drops hot sauce
  • Salt and pepper

Salad:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 4 radishes, sliced
  • A small bag of mixed salad greens
  • 25 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • carrot ribbons
  • red bell pepper slices
  • some toasted pine nuts

INSTRUCTIONS

Pulse the chickpeas, beet, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, flour, salt and pepper in a food processor until you have a rough, coarse meal that’s not quite a paste. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by blending the cashews, milk, lime juice, hot sauce, garlic, pepper and sea salt until creamy. Put in the fridge to thicken and allow the flavours to blend.

Prepare the quinoa according to the package directions.

Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F and line a baking pan with parchment paper or foil.

Form the falafel into balls, squeezing to see if they stick together.  If they’re not sticking together,  add more flour, a tablespoon at a time, until they hold together. Shape in to balls and place on the lined baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the balls are crispy and browned on the outside.

Make the bowls by dividing the quinoa between four bowls and topping with the vegetables and beet falafel. Serve the sauce on the side to drizzle over.

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. ♥

Zucchini Noodles with Wild Garlic Pesto and Parmesan

Zucchini Noodles with Wild Garlic Pistachio Pesto and Parmesan cheese

Zucchini Noodles with Wild Garlic Pesto and Parmesan

I’m back again with the “zoodles”!

I know, I know, you must think is this all this girl eats? Yes, actually I eat them a lot. I would rather have pasta but since portion control isn’t my strongest suit, I should stick with the Zucchini noodles. They fill you up like you wouldn’t believe especially if you load up the proteins too.

I have seen spiralized vegetables in the supermarkets now too, so if you don’t have a spiralizer this the way to go, although having said that, if you plan on eating a lot of spiralized veggies you should probably get one ( Spiralizer 5-Blade Vegetable Slicer, ). You can use them for tons of vegetables, like sweet potato, curly potatoes, carrots you name it.

The other day shopping at a market in Germany I came across this beautiful bunch of Ramsons, aka Wild garlic. I just love the look of these pretty green leafs.

They’re related to chives and have  bright green garlic-flavoured leaves. They grow  in the woods and other shaded areas  in  Spring and have  beautiful white star-shaped flowers which are also edible, as are the bulbs. Wild Garlic can be eaten raw, added to soups or stir-frys, and be made into pesto, like I’m doing today.

Zucchini Noodles with Wild Garlic Pistachio Pesto and Parmesan

Zucchini Noodles with Wild Garlic Pesto and Parmesan

 

Lacto vegetarian √

Gluten free  √

Egg free  √

Serves 4


INGREDIENTS: 

  • 3 – 4 Zucchini, spiralized
  • 1 cup  cherry tomatoes or small tomatoes, cut in half or quartered
  • 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup toasted Pistachios for serving
  • one recipe wild garlic pesto
  • Parmesan to serve

Wild Garlic Pesto: 

  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 large handful of Wild Garlic Leaves  aka Ramsons (washed and dried)
  • 1 handful basil leafs
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, shelled
  • 1 clove of  garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 3 – 4 tbsp  or olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan

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INSTRUCTION: 

  1. For the pesto. Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until it’s a smooth bright green paste. Taste and add a little more salt if required. Set aside.
  2. Spiralize the zucchini.
  3. Heat a large frying pan and toast the pistachios (for serving) for a few minutes until they turn a bit golden and release a nutty aroma. Set aside.
  4. In the same pan heat the olive oil, and add the zucchini to the pan. Frying at high heat for a 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Add the tomato halves and sun dried tomatoes, cook for two minutes more until heated thru.
  6. Stir in the pesto and serve immediately with lots of Parmesan  and the toasted pistachios.

NOTE: This pesto is great as a spread on bread or use as a dip. Keeps in a jar in the fridge for about a week.

Zucchini noodles with Wild Garlic Pistachio pesto

Zucchini noodles with Wild Garlic Pistachio pesto

This post contains affiliate links.

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. ♥

How about dessert?   Two ingredient Coconut Ice Cream

Coconut Ice cream10

Potato Leek soup with Cheddar and smoked Peppered Trout

Leek Potato Soup 1

A lucky person is someone who plants pebbles and harvests potatoes.  Greek proverb.

A man who prides himself on his ancestry is like the potato plant, the best part of which is underground. Spanish proverb

 

Who doesn’t love a potato? The humble tuber that can be both a super comfort food or be served alongside some posh meats or fish. Versatile like nothing else.

And although potato dishes are countless I am offering you this recipe for potato-leek soup, that I’ve up-graded with a bit of smoked peppered trout and a sprinkle of cheddar. Potato soup may not be revolutionary, but this version is remarkably delicious, satisfying, and thank goodness, still light.

When you buy fresh potatoes remove them from the plastic bag since this will make them mold quicker, as does storing them with onions or garlic. Don’t store them in the fridge either, this will give them a funny flavour since the starch will start to convert to sugar.

The best choice is a cool, dark, dry place, such as the back of a pantry.

Also Leeks  like  onions, are nutritional stars, offering plenty of potassium, some folic acid, beta-carotene (in the green part) and plenty of vitamin C.

 

 

Serves: 6


INGREDIENTS:

 

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil for cooking
  • 4 large leeks, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb.  potatoes (the kind for mashed potato), peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and grated
  • 5  cups low-sodium vegetable  stock
  • 11.25  oz. pack  soy cream
  • 1/3 cup grated cheddar or vegetarian/vegan cheddar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup minced chives or green onions
  • 8 oz. peppered smoked trout, flaked (leave out for vegans/vegetarians)

 Leek Potato Soup10

METHOD:

  • Put the olive oil in to a large pot and add the leeks and garlic.
  • Turn heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the potato and broth; bring to a boil. Cover partially and simmer over low heat until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
  • Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender, then return it to the pan.
  • Add the soy cream, cheddar and nutmeg and simmer for 10 minutes longer.
  • Season the soup with salt and pepper, garnish with chives and smoked trout and serve.

 

Enjoy!

Myra. XO 

 

Leek Potato Soup4

 

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  Spiced Pumpkin Soup with a twist or  Carrot Soup .

 

 

 

Baked lentil fusilli

Crispy Baked Lentil Penne Pasta with Cauliflower Alfredo

Baked Lentil Fusilli Cauliflower Alfredo9

Baked Lentil Fusilli Cauliflower Alfredo10

So, from all things healthy this is going to blow your mind. You CAN NOT taste the cauliflower at all and even kids truely don’t believe that the sauce is vegetable based. How cool is that? Kids eating tons of veggies and not even believing it?  In fact there are plenty of adults who aren’t crazy about vegetables and they too will become a big fan of this amazing Cauliflower Alfredo Bake.

The creamyness of the sauce is incredible. To be honest, I still can’t get over it, every time we eat this at home, I’m still amazed at how creamy and good this is without the gallons of dairy fat. Ok, there’s some cheese to go over the top that you could even sub for vegan cheese or just leave out all together if you really want to cut the calories, either way it certainly  beats a sauce with tons of cream and eggs. I am super thrilled about this recipe and I really encourage you to try. It’s a really easy recipe and very budget friendly too. 😊

I just want to add that Lentil Pasta has less carbs than regular pasta, it’s gluten free and full of fibre, what’s not to like?

Vegan option ✔

Vegetarian option  ✔

Gluten free  ✔

Dairy free  ✔

Ref. sugar free  ✔

Dairy free  ✔

Egg free  ✔

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS:


  • 12.5 oz.  Red Lentil Penne
  • 1/2 lb cauliflower florets
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped fine
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and grated or crushed
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
  • 1 cup low fat (soy) cream
  • 1 cup cooking liquid
  • 2 tsp. Vegetable Bouillon Powder
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 cup cooked chicken or vegan/vegetarian alternative
  • 1/2 cup (Gluten Free) Panko Bread Crumbs
  • 1 cup (vegan) grated cheese

Baked Lentil Fusilli Cauliflower Alfredo 1

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METHOD:

Pre heat oven to 200° C / 400° F

  • In a large pan bring water to the boil and add salt. Add the lentil penne and cook for about 6 minutes or according to package instructions. When cooked, remove the pasta to a collander using a slotted spoon reserving the water in the pan. Alternatively you can drain the pasta over another pan to catch the water and return it to the heat. Place the pasta in a oven proof dish and set aside.
  • Once the water is boiling again you can add the cauliflower and boil it for about 7 minutes or until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife.
  • Meanwhile gently cook the onion and garlic in the oil over meadium heat until translucent , about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  • Reserve two cups of the cooking liquid and drain the cauliflower. Let all the steam evaporate.
  • When the cauliflower has cooled down a bit place it in a food processor together with the onion,  garlic and a pinch of nutmeg. Add one cup of the cooking liquid the 2 teaspoons of stock powder and process. Add the cup of (soy) cream and process again until it is smooth. Season with some more salt and pepper if necessary.
  • Add this point you can add a cup of cooked chicken or vegan alternative to the pasta in the baking dish.
  • Spread the Cauliflower Alfredo over the Penne pasta and toss so everything is coated.
  • Sprinkle over the cheese and then the breadcrumbs.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until nice a golden on top.

Enjoy!

Myra. XO 

Baked Lentil Fusilli Cauliflower Alfredo11

Baked Lentil Fusilli Cauliflower Alfredo12

Baked Lentil Fusilli Cauliflower Alfredo18

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 Garlic Herb Shrimp with Bacon over Angel Hair Pasta  or maybe Spaghetti alle Vongole

Low Carb Broccoli Pizza Crust

Low Carb Broccoli CrustG

Homemade broccoli crust pizza,  gluten-free and low-carb and comes together in under 30 minutes. 

I mean I think it’s safe to say that we all need a healthy pizza crust in our lives. Everyone loves pizza, but we all sort of try to avoid it because of the calories and carb overload.

SURPRISE………..Problem solved!!!

This one is even better than the popular Cauliflower crust. To be honest with you, when I was experimenting with this crust I happily finished it off without any toppings at all, that’s how good it is.

And another plus is, that you are eating tons of vegetables while you’re at it and you will not overeat with this broccoli pizza crust because you will be fulfilled very quickly and simply enjoy pizza with health benefits!

It is also made in minutes, especially if you use left over broccoli.

 

Vegetarian  ✔

Gluten free  ✔

Ref. sugar free  ✔

 

Serves: 1


INGREDIENTS:

Base:

  • 2 Cups steamed and cooled Broccoli florets
  • 1/4 Cup cheese
  • 1 egg
  • a pinch of salt and some pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder

Low Carb Broccoli CrustP

Low Carb Broccoli CrustO

 

 

Toppings:

  • 1/2 Cup Marinara sauce
  • 3/4 Cup grated cheese or sliced Mozzarella
  • Fresh Basil to serve

 

NOTE: Add any kind of sliced meat or vegetables

 


 

Low Carb Broccoli CrustK

Low Carb Broccoli CrustA

 

 

METHOD:

Pre heat the oven to 220° C / 425° F  with a baking tray in the oven

To make the base have your Broccoli steamed and chilled. You can do this the day before or use leftover from dinner the night before. (that’s what I usually do).

Place the broccoli in de food processor an pulse a few times until it ressembles rice.

Transfer to a bowl and add the remaining ingredients.

Lay out a piece of parchment paper and form a circle with the broccoli mash.

Transfer to oven and bake for about 12-14 minutes or until crust is lightly browned.

Remove the tray from the from oven and put  the marinara sauce and the mozzarella and/or cheese on the Broccoli base. At this point feel free to add desired toppings (veggies or meat).

Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted

Myra. XO 

Low Carb Broccoli CrustC

Low Carb Broccoli CrustE

 

 

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 Stuffed Peppers and Aubergines