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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Potage Parmentier (Leek and potato soup, French)

Leeks and potatoes make for a creamy, creamy and green tasting soup. One of Julia Child's classic French recipes. Perfect for spring and for enjoying along with croutons or crispy bread. :)
Recipe source: Saveur.

Last year: Pork bites in sweet and sour sauce (Thai-style).
Two years ago: Teriyaki salmon fillets (Japanese), Mushroom, pickled cucumber and cheese salad, Danish pastries with strawberry / cream cheese filling and Green pasta with Jamon serrano, Parmesan, mozzarella and olives.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Caulliflower and potato curry (vegan) (Indian)

This is a recipe somewhat similar to the Aloo Gobi but somewhat better in terms of how easy it is to make and how creamy the outcome is; although it skips the raita the other one has. Also it's lighter on the heat spiciness. 
Non-traditionally speaking, it can also work as a side dish for meat, although it's so good by itself I don't know why anybody would want to do that.
Overall, it's faster to make and lighter calorie-wise than the Aloo Gobi. It's one of my easy lunch go-to's.
Recipe adapted from here

Last year: Mâncare de mazăre (My mom's pea stew) (Romanian) (vegan).
Two years ago: Ginger ale muffins / cupcakes, The magic mushroom and almond soup (with lemon balm melissa) (vegan) and Jamon serrano and shrimp tacos (Spanish-Mexican).

Monday, May 27, 2013

Green zmuti (raw vegan)

When I saw this recipe first at Saveur it seemed like a marvelous idea. Getting some green into your system in an unconventional way that cut back on all that waste we generally produce when we throw away the stalks and leaves from broccoli, radishes, kohlrabi and so on. It seemed marvelous in terms of a harmony between us and nature; and in terms of health I shouldn't even get started, it being so obvious.
But I postponed actually trying to make this until I saw the recipe again on a blog I really like: Andie's Veggies. :) Hopefully when you'll see it here it might give you an impulse to try getting a really good habit - for you and the world :).
P.S: If you imagine something yucky when you hear of a smoothie made with green and raw and conventionally inedible leaves, you couldn't be more wrong. :) Just try and see for yourself. And maybe you'll make a habit out of drinking this every morning.
P.P.S: In case you're wondering, "zmuti" comes from "smoothie", being a cute mispronunciation.  :)

Last year: Thai chicken and crab curry.
Two years ago: Spaghetti with olives, basil, red pesto and yellow tomatoes, Salată de ardei copți (Roasted red pepper salad) (Romanian) and Pork salad (with olives, roasted peppers and Parmesan).

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Malibu banana bread (with rum, raisins and coconut)

A lovely fluffy piece of banana bread infused with all the great flavors of Malibu. :) It's pretty light, using some wholemeal flour and tastes like a sunny and rum-filled Caribbean holiday. Sliced and served with creamy coconut milk to keep the flavor theme intact.
My guess is that if you try it you'll tend to have this for breakfast everyday for a whole week or so until you'll finally decide to move on to other things. Enjoy :).

Last year: Tortilla pizza with wild boar ham and bell pepper.
Two years ago: Truffle cake (Belgian), Spicy potato and cheese fritters and Asparagus, sun-dried tomato, cheese and olive bread.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Spanakopita (Greek spinach and feta pie)

The classic and famous Greek savory pie, stuffed with feta cheese and spinach creaminess between crunchy phillo dough layers.
I've documented various sources for this recipe and in the end I stuck (mainly) to this one.

Last year: Cucumber salad with poppy-seed vinaigrette (raw vegan)
Two years ago: Mexican corn-cakes with avocado-scallion salsa and refried beans, Crispy baked chicken with Teriyaki sauce and Potato and herring salad.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Tuna, red onion and sesame wraps

A healthy meal and a delicious way to catch up on your veggie intake :). Not to mention extremely easy and fast to make as long as you have some tortilla wraps on hand: just open a can of tuna in water, season it, mix with raw red onion and sesame seeds, wrap it up and serve alongside a generous serving of field salad sprinkled with a little virgin olive oil and white balsamic vinegar. Delicious, you'll see.
Note: Some cooks recommend toasting sesame seeds before use for a more intense flavor. I prefer them raw to maintain all their nutritional qualities. But if you want a stronger sesame taste, just fry them for about 5 minutes, stirring so they don't get burnt, without oil, in a dry non-stick pan, until you can start smelling sesame :).

Last year: Crepes with macadamia cream and lychees.
Two years ago: Dulce de leche, Sweet tart crust and Mini tarts with dulce de leche and red currants.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Eggplant-tomato-pepper cous cous with mozzarella

A lovely way to prepare and serve cous cous, with flavorful eggplant and a balsamic herbal tomato sauce; and with some mozzarella slices to serve it (the cheese's taste seems to fit the rest of the dish perfectly).
I came up with this on the bus. On my way to my faculty. Becaue that's what I do. Imagine lots and lots of combinations for anything. So when I hit a really good one, you can be sure it was very well and carefully thought of, planned, calibrated and tested :). Yes, even on the bus. I can't help it sometimes. :)
If you want to keep it vegan you can skip the mozzarella part altogether without affecting the rest of the dish. It will still be among the best cous-cous dishes you ever had. 

Last year: Basic pancakes (crepes) (Romanian).
Two years ago: Focaccia with garlic oil, rosemary and yellow tomatoes (Italian) (vegan), Avgolemono (Greek chicken, lemon and egg soup) and Rice and hazelnut spicy colorful salad (vegan)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Boulangère potatoes (French)

Boulangère potatoes means literally baker's potatoes (in French). Historically, the local French folk would take their pots of potatoes to the bakeries at the end of the day, to cook them in those large hot ovens as they cooled down in the evening. As the night fell, the potato pots would turn into a lovely meal in the residual heat of those huge almost industrial ovens :).
The dish itself is a layered one - a layer of potatoes, one of garlic and onion and parsley, another one of potatoes and so on. All this slowly baked in chicken stock :).
It can be served with a fresh salad on the side (as shown above), but it's not mandatory. Enjoy.
Recipe source: here

Last year: Grasshopper hot chocolate.
Two years ago: Veronique chicken salad (French), Semolina milk pudding with pear-cardamom puree and honey and Polenta with sour cream and cheese (Romanian).

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Strawberry and white chocolate mousse cake (no bake)

A lovely strawberry and white chocolate mousse in cake form. Made in the freezer, with no baking. With a spicy cookie crust similar to cheesecakes. Decorated with strawberries and some extra melted white chocolate. Perfect for when you want to have a pretty cake available but have no time for cooking. Ideal in summer afternoons, since it's something like ice-cream and cheesecake combined :)
Recipe source: BBC's Good Food.

P.S: I'm submitting this to this month's Sweet Romania challenge (for its strawberry-themed section) :).

Last year: Carrot and feta rosti (fritters) with raita (Indian-style).
Two years ago: Lemon panacota with orange caramel and vanilla panacota with strawberries (Italian), Pasta Primavera (Italian-American) and Lemon balm cream trout with baked asparagus.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Puff-pastry fast pea and dill quiche

A faster version of quiche using ready-made puff-pastry instead of the traditional shortcrust pastry dough, saving up a lot of time. I filled this one with red onion, delicate green peas and dill cream for a flavorful green quiche, very fresh and springy. :)
It was delicious and apart from the slightly crunchier texture of the crust I could feel no difference from a classic quiche.
P.S: This recipe is submitted to this month's Sweet Romania challenge, which called for creating something around peas :).

Last year: Carrot and feta rosti (fritters) with raita (Indian-style).
Two years ago: Karaage (Tatsutaage) (Japanese fried chicken), Horiatiki salata (Greek salad with tomatoes, feta, red onion and kalamata olives) and Beefsteak with spicy butter and wedges.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Spring pasta with avocado and goat cheese

Springy-tangy-fresh tasting and easy to throw together pasta. The avocado, rosemary and cherry tomatoes are just the thing to go with the lovely fresh and soft-textured goat cheese. 
I confess this idea was born out of my smear-guacamole-on-everything fantasies, combined with my passion for pasta and my couple-of-years obsession with fresh goat cheese. And it was better than anyone might expect simply by looking at the final picture :). I shared them with my mom on a lovely spring morning a year ago, when Mira was only three months old and we had just put her in her room to nap. As we were having a break also, I wanted to throw together something fast and delicious, but healthy enough also, and what better solution could I find than pasta? Hence this dish was born. :)
The next time you feel like a quick, satisfying but healthy lunch, trying this recipe might be just the thing you're looking for. Enjoy :)

Last year: Turkey bites in Brie and walnut sauce with grapes.
Two years ago: Frigănele (Romanian savory French toast), Rosemary marinated and fried potatoes with lemon (vegan) and Thyme, pepper and lemon spicy olive oil cookies.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Fennel and Camembert pocket pies in spelt pastry

I love this kind of pocket pies, especially when the filling is a lovely white mold cheese. I was inspired by an older recipe of Brie and apple pocket pies and decided to make the fennel and Camembert version, using a heartier spelt pastry this time. The flavor combination was, once again, wonderful. :) Enjoy!

Last year: Turkey bites in Brie and walnut sauce with grapes.
Two years ago: Spaghetti with sesame oil, shiitake and chicken, Gnocchi with thyme-butter sauce and browned cauliflower (Italian) and Red wine baby shrimps with olive and tomato quinoa

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Baby spinach cream soup with truffle oil (vegan)

A lovely and healthy soup to make using fresh organic baby spinach, when it's in season (as in right now). I kept it vegan and honestly, being so wonderfully flavored and spiced (especially thanks to the truffle oil), you can't miss any animal ingredients in this one. I thought it was a nice thing to post since this week is the Holy Week in Romania, hence me and my family are fasting till Saturday :).
I also found this soup ideal for this time since the full freshness of spring and spring produce is upon us, so make the most of it.
Happy and green! :)

Last year: Wholewheat pasta with raw roots.
Two years ago: French fries with red onion (vegan), Spicy stuffed eggs (with herbs and mushrooms) and White chocolate and basil cream cups with balsamic strawberries (Italian).

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