Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Comfort Food: Spaghetti with "meatballs"

Yes, another comfort food recipe. I have made a few in the past weeks, and now I am playing the catch up game, I am not bothered by paying attention to change it up. I just want to get the recipes on here as soon as I can, because they are piling up ;) I hope I will be able to blog every day for a week or so to be able to catch up fully, but I am not sure yet when exactly this will happen. PS I am still blogging from a crappy old laptop and it sometimes doesn't register my typing. While I try to correct this, I am sure there will be extra errors in my posts because of this!!!!

Anyway: today I will share a recipe that I wanted to try for a long time when I saw it on Pinterest. It is spaghetti and "meatballs". I am so glad that I tried this because it really tastes great! The original recipe comes from Cookin' Canuck. It is already in English, but I will blog it too because of the oz to gram calculations, which I don't feel like making every time ;) Otherwise I did not change much of the recipe.


Spaghetti with "meatballs" (serves 4)
- 640 gr Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 roasted red bell pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 spring onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
- 1.5 tsp dried oregano
- 1 egg
- 0.5 cup breadcrumbs (maybe a bit more, depending on the moistness of the mixture)
- 0.5 tsp kosher salt
- 0.5 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups of your favorite marinara or tomato sauce
- Parmesan cheese for grating
- 300 gr spaghetti, cooked

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Place a baking sheet on your oven tray. In the bowl of a food processor, combine beans and roasted red peppers. Pulse until chopped, but do not over process. Stir in spring onion, garlic, parsley, oregano, egg, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper until well combined. Using about 2 tablespoons of the bean mixture, form “meatballs” by rolling between the palms of your hands. Place the “meatballs” on the baking sheet. Bake until the meatballs are firm to the touch and have a light golden brown coating, about 15 to 20 minutes.

In a large saucepan, heat you favorite marinara or tomato sauce until it simmers. Add “meatballs” and stir to coat. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve over spaghetti and top with grated Parmesan cheese.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Menu for week 15

I am a bit late with this post, because I had friends over today :) But here is the weekly menu. I will keep this really short this week. I hope I will have time to blog some more recipes next week but I have some medical appointments this week. I am not sure if I will be able to.

Sunday: Soup with bread, I forgot to take a picture


Monday: Fish with a tomato-cheese crust and chili corn


Tuesday: Sweet potato mash with rocket lettuce, feta and sundried tomatoes


Wednesday: Strawberry Avocado Couscous salad


Thursday and Friday: "Chicken" Madras


Saturday: Homemade Veggie Burgers


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Beltane: Strawberry Avocado Couscous Salad

It isn't Beltane until the first of May, but I will already start to blog some related recipes while I make them. Especially because the Beltane department is lacking on the blog. Somehow I always manage to post recipes for Ostara and Imbolc, and after that I kind of forget.... So not this year! Beltane might be known to people as May day, it is part of the 8 pegan festivals, and I try to celebrate them each year because I like to be in tune with nature and these festivals follow that flow. Typical Beltane foods are strawberries, honey and edible flowers. The latter is a bit of a challenge, but I might come up with something. This year a picknick is planned with some friends, and I will make things for that too. But this recipe appeared on the menu because I was looking for something summery that was easy and a bit on budget. The recipe is vegan and will be very suitable for a picknick. The avocado holds up nicely in this recipe because of the vinaigrette. But you have to play a bit with the sweet and sour balance. I like it a bit more on the sweet side. Original recipe comes from Damn Delicious.


Strawberry Avocado Couscous Salad (serves 4)
- 1 cup couscous
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 0.5 cup corn kennels
- 0.5 cup strawberries, sliced
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 tbsp pine nuts (optional, does make it more expensive, but would taste great)

Lime vinaigrette:
- 0.25 cup olive oil
- 0.25 cup apple cider vinegar
- zest of 1 lime
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 3 tsp sugar or more to taste

For the vinaigrette whisk all the ingredients together. Set aside.
Prepare the couscous, by pouring boiling water over the couscous in a pan. Stir through for about 90 seconds until the couscous absorbed the moist. Cover and leave it to rest for about 3 minutes.
Combine with the other ingredients and stir in the vinaigrette.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Comfort Food: Chili Sin Carne Tex Mex and Guacamole

I wasn't able to blog for a while at all because I have terrible back pains. Sitting behind a pc only makes things worse, so I hardly spend time online anymore except on my phone. Now I am trying to use Nick's old laptop, to see if that will work. So this post is a bit of a test ;) The blogging schedule will probably remain irregular for a while. But I have a backlog of recipes I want to share so today I will try just that. But don't be surprised if you might see posts for 3 days in a row and then nothing again for a while. This is how things are atm.

Let's move on to the recipe. This is one from my old cookbooks, a project that I still continue to do, so I can pass on my meat cookbooks to others. This recipe is extra special, because this was my favorite chili recipe before I became a vegetarian. Luckily the adapted veggie version is just as good :) Nick agrees that this is the best chili recipe we tried so far, so it deserves to be on the blog. The original recipe is from Mexican Cooking by Anne Wilson. The Chili itself is vegan, but this version of guacamole isn't.


Chili Sin Carne Tex Mex (serves 4)
- 250 gr beef replacement (the ones we used have a nice bite similar to the real thing)
- 250 gr mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 spring onions, sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- 250 ml tomato juice
- 440 gr canned tomatoes on juice
- 100 gr corn
- 450 gr red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 0.5 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp cumin
- 0.5 tsp chilipowder
- tortilla chips for serving

Heat oil in a pan and bake onions, garlic and mushrooms shortly. Add tomatoes, tomato juice and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and lower the heat. Place a lid on top and let i simmer for a while. This is shorter than with the meat version because the ingredients take shorter to cook. The sauce needs to thicken. Lastly add corn and kidney beans with the spices. Heat through. Serve with the tortilla chips and guacamole.

Guacamole (serves 6)
- 2 ripe avocdos
- 1 tomato
- 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
- 60 ml sour cream
- 1 tbsp lemon juice

Mash the avocados. cube the tomato and mix all the ingredients together with the avocado.
We ate the chili for two days, so we made half of the recipe for each day. But you can also place the pit from the avocado back in the guacamole and cover it with plastic foil.


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Menu for week 13

Time for our weekly menu again. We have been trying so many new recipes lately, that I can't keep up with blogging them all ;) I generally blog about 3 recipes a week now, but we have been trying much more than that. I might need to put a week of food together with no new recipes at all to catch up ;) But not sure when that will happen ;)


Sunday: Vegetarian Scotch Eggs for Ostara.


Monday and Tuesday: Spaghetti with vegetarian meatballs (recipe to come)


Wednesday lunch: Courgette fritters


Wednesday: Take out sushi


Thursday and Friday: five herb risotto (recipe to come)


Friday baking: Roadrunners (recipe to come)

Saturday: We had leek fritters for lunch, which I want to share the recipe of, but I forgot to take a picture. And for dinner was falafel in pita bread with a mushroom salad. Because we had visitors all day we kinda forgot to take pictures that day.



Friday, March 28, 2014

Ostara: Vegetarian Scotch Eggs

This will be the last Ostara recipe of the bunch. I saw these eggs on Pinterest and they seemed interesting to make. Of course Scotch eggs are normally made with minced meat, but it was easy to find a vegetarian recipe. This tastes a bit like falafel but then with an egg in the middle. It is a bit of a fuzzy recipe, because wrapping the chickpea mixture around the eggs is not as easy as it sounds. But when celebrating, we don't mind taking a bit extra time. This is also a great dish to bring to an Ostara potluck.
The original recipe comes from Daily Fix.


Vegetarian Scotch Eggs (serves 4)
- 6 large eggs
- 25 ml olive oil
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- 2-3 courgettes, grated
- 400 gr canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 100 gr flour
- 150 gr white breadcrumbs
- sunflower oil, for deep frying

Boil 4 eggs for 8 minutes. Remove from the pan and put under cold water. Once cooled, peel and pat dry. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and add the spring onions, garlic, courgettes and cook for a few minutes. Put the mixture into a food processor with the chickpeas and garam masala and blend. Wrap the mixture around the cooked eggs. Make sure you put some flour on your hands, but this will be very messy. Beat the remaining eggs. Dip the covered eggs into flour, then into the beaten egg and then into the breadcrumbs. Refrigerate the covered eggs for 10-15 minutes. Deep fry them until golden.
We served them with a potato-avocado salad with cucumber.

I blogged 3 new Ostara recipes this year, which can all be found, under the tag. I am not sure if I can keep this up for Beltane, but we will see ;) Beltane is all about red fruits, honey and edible flowers. I guess there will be some baking ;)


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

FoodBlogSwap: Blondies

For the monthly FoodBlogSwap, I got to cook from Written by Nick, a fun food and lifestyle blog that I didn't know before. It was a bit funny because my BF is called Nick too. Anyway, I saw a couple of good looking recipes on there, but because my BF is a real white chocolate lover, we choose to make Blondies. Those are brownies made from white chocolate. And I am really glad we did. Because they were one of the best things we baked. I was also a fan of the coconut-lime cake, which I am sure we will make too. But not sure if it will be this month. (Yes I have written this post in advance on the 7th of March, so who knows ;) )

Anyway, back to the blondies! This recipe is great to make together because when one melts the chocolate, the other prepares the batter. This way you have made this recipe in a flash. One thing I thought was very clever is using a muffin tin for these! I don't have a brownie pan, and I often was just using a rectangular oven dish. But this works great too!


Blondies: (makes 16)
- 400 gr white chocolate
- 75 gr butter
- 3 eggs
- 90 gr light castor sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 200 gr self rising flour

Pre heat the oven to 160 degrees. Melt 300 gr of the white chocolate with the butter au bain marie. This means on a double boiler.
With a mixer, beat eggs and sugar together. Then add the vanilla and self rising flour and mix this until you have a smooth batter. Then mix the melted white chocolate together with the batter. Lastly, chop the rest of the white chocolate and scoop that into the batter.
Fill a cupcake tin (I have silicone, so I don't need to grease the tin) and bake them for about 20 minutes. Like brownies, they still need to be soft inside, so don't overbake them.