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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Paprika mackerel with olive and orange salsa

A fast lunch or dinner using mackerel fillets, rubbed with a paprika-based spice mix, pan-fried and served with a quick and simple orange and olive salsa. It tastes deep-note flavorful from the paprika, with salty and fresh notes from the salsa. All in all I think it was all wonderfully balanced and I'd make it again. It could easy become a regular since it's made with pantry staples. Enjoy.
Recipe adapted from here.

Last year: Spuma di Ricotta al Cafee (Ricotta and Coffee Mousse) (Italian).
Two years ago: Herb-mustard-beer pancakes with cottage cheese and bacon.
Three years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Monday, July 28, 2014

Goat Feta bits in pesto and walnut crust

This is an easy way to serve feta cheese, especially the delicious goat feta, in a pretty-looking and very flavorful nibble platter. The feta cubes are dredged through green pesto (basil pesto) and crushed walnuts, and then topped with some more fresh walnuts. The combination is divine :).

Last year: Chili cheese nachos (Nachos con queso) (Mexican).
Two years ago: Fruit chaat (Indian fruit salad) (raw vegan).
Three years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Friday, July 25, 2014

Whole wheat goji berry pancakes

A healthy treat for when you crave a sweet breakfast. A nice way of adding more goji berries and whole wheat flour into your diet. They contain no white flour or sugar at all and they're sweetened with maple syrup (or honey, if you'd like). If you're a bit unsure about using only wheat flour in a recipe (instead of half-and-half mix with white), no need to worry: in a fry-up like this, wheat flour is actually more delicious than white flour: it gives a bit of texture and the subtle nutty flavor is addictive.
All in all, they're delicious, fast and easy to make and guilt free (in terms of healthy food choices). Enjoy :).

Last year: Chicken scallopini (Italian).
Two years ago: Fruit chaat (Indian fruit salad) (raw vegan).
Three years ago: Baby making and no cooking :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Toasted bread with za'atar and olive oil (vegan)

Very simple and quite delicious. A halved bun is toasted in olive oil and then sprinkled with lots of delicious za'atar. A perfect snack when the munchies strike but time or laziness will not allow proper cooking. Enjoy.

Last year: Mini filled paprikas (raw vegan).
Two years ago: Beer lemonade (Radler) with strawberries (vegan).
Three years ago: Baby making and no cooking :).

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Salade au chevre chaud (Warm goat cheese salad) (French)

This is a classic French salad widely available in bistros all around the French-speaking world (that means is very encountered in Belgian and Canadian cuisines as well). Basically a fresh green salad is tossed with a simple French vinaigrette (oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, seasoning) and put in the center of a plate. All around it, cherry tomato halves and.... here comes the really interesting and delicious part... warm bread pieces topped with goat cheese, freshly toasted together in the oven. 
The thing is so delicious and so simple and so healthy at the same time that after the first bite you totally get it why this salad is such a bistro staple. I like ordering it whenever I see it on the menu as well, and no matter how lazy I am at home, it's no problem to throw it together there either, since it doesn't really require much :).
Make asap and enjoy :).

Last year: Sun-dried tomato and cauliflower dip (raw vegan).
Two years ago: Green lasagna with aubergine and zucchini.
Three years ago: baby making and no cooking. :)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Chia oatmeal breakfast with fruit (no cook)

How to prepare a really nice and healthy breakfast ahead with no cooking at all: just mix yogurt with chia seeds and oat flakes (rolled oats) and leave it overnight in the fridge. The moisture from the yogurt will soak everything up and you'll have a nice creamy cup of breakfast then when you wake up. And the health benefits of chia seeds are really substantial, so maybe it wouldn't hurt if you incorporated such a breakfast in your meal rotation as often as possible.
To make it all even better, add fruit. You can either mix chunks of fresh fruit directly in the yogurt when you prepare it, or add some fruit jam or spread on top when you serve it (as I did here). Anyway, it will be good. And the combinations are almost limitless. Get creative :)
Recipe idea: here.

Last year: Căpșune cu smântână (Simple Strawberries and Cream) (Romanian).
Two years ago: Chicken, olive and preserved lemons tagine (Moroccan).
Three years ago: baby making and no cooking. :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Pizza Pescara (Italian-American)

A nice pizza that has become more and more available in Italian joints in the West in the past years. I features tuna and smoked salmon (yum) with briny capers over a bed of basil tomato sauce and grated mozzarella. It's really easy to make, since it uses fish readily available from the can / pack in the fridge, but despite the little effort it requires, it's also healthy and mind-blowingly delicious. Enjoy.

Last year: Nigella's Exceptional Salmon.
Two years ago: Chicken, olives and preserved lemons tagine (Moroccan).
Three years ago: Baby making and no cooking. :)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Strawberry lassi (Indian)

I love cardamom-laced drinks and desserts and anything. I love it in Indian, German, Scottish, Belgian, Turkish or Romanian traditions.
And, as you may have notices, I like making lassi, especially in the summer, for its naturally cooling effect and the lovely taste. Thus, strawberry lassi was just a step away (For what can scream summer better than strawberries? Well, maybe peaches, but that's a different story). What makes it different from your average strawberry-yogurt smoothie is, again, the magic touch of cardamom that gives it its distinct Indian taste.
Recipe source: Gourmet.

Last year: Zucchini and turkey soup with pesto.
Two years ago: Baked tomato-stuffed peppers with thyme (vegan).
Three years ago: baby making and no cooking :).

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Akuri, Parsi-style (Indian scrambled eggs)

Akuri is the generic name for scrambled eggs with spices in the Indian cuisine, and this particular example is done is the Parsi fashion. It's super-fast to throw together and it's mighty delicious.Go easy on the chili if you think it might be too hot for you.
Recipe source: here.

Last year: Prosciutto e melone (Italian prosciutto and melon wrap).
Two years ago: Dark chocolate and red wine cake.
Three years ago: baby making and no cooking :).

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Clafoutis Limousin (Black cherry clafoutis) (French)

A clafoutis is a very easy to make French dessert (or cake, though I would hesitate to really label it cake with a very firm hand) made by putting some fruit in a baking dish, covering it with pancake batter and baking it until completely cooked. The result is s not-too-sweet cake-y confection with an interesting fluffy texture (from the low quantity of flour and the high quantity of eggs) and the perfect feel of comfort food. 
The name of this dessert actually comes from clafir, a dialect word meaning "to fill", and it's a perfect way to describe the warm feeling you get from eating a slice of it. :) You can make clafoutis using many kinds of fruit, as long as it's on the small(er) side: try for instance berries, strawberries, apricot halves (I'd say peach halves are too big), grapes and so on. 
This one here is one of the most traditional versions of clafoutis, originating from rural southern central France. It uses black cherries (a fruit we also love in Romania, especially in jams) and a little addition of Kirschwasser or cherry liquor for extra flavor. Enjoy. :)
Recipe source: Saveur.

Last year: Creamy banana, walnut and mascarpone cake.
Two years ago: Dark chocolate and red wine cake.
Three years ago: baby making and no cooking. :)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

New potatoes and radish salad with creamy poppy seed dressing

A nice twist on the kind-of dull potato salad everyone is used to. And also a nice way to catch up on your veggie intake in spring or early summer. Soft boiled new potatoes are paired with crunchy pink radishes and rucola leaves, and the creamy poppy seed vinaigrette plays the major role in charming everything up :). 
I've experimented with poppy seeds in a vinaigrette before (notably here and here), but this is the first time I made it so creamy and so flavorful. This salad is not only super-healthy and fit for spring, but it can of course be a meal in itself. One you will no doubt enjoy. :) 
Recipe idea adapted from here.

Last year: Grapefruit-mint cooler (raw vegan).
Two years ago: Vanilla extract.
Three years ago: Baby making and no cooking. :)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Patates Çorbasi (Turkish potato soup)

A delicious soup that's ready in no time. You might think of potato soup as something nourishing, but kind of bland, but this is not the case. The flavors of lemon, bay and parsley are wonderfully featured on a slightly rich base with hints of butter. I really loved this soup. Enjoy it whenever you crave some lazy (as in easy to make) comfort food.
Recipe source: here.

Last year: Yakisoba with shiitake and sesame oil (Japanese).
Two years ago: Insalata Caprese (Italian).
Three years ago: baby making, no cooking.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Nachos with queso blanco dip (Mexican)

This is a classic snack option in many restaurants, be they Mexican-themed or otherwise. One of the simplest to make and best dips out there, the queso blanco (white cheese) dip tastes both delicate and spicy and creamy. The nachos you use couldn't get a better treat than this, and neither could you. Enjoy :).
Recipe adapted from here and from many restaurant versions.

Last year: Butter and scotch shrimps with creamy lemon pasta.
Two years ago: Quiche Lorraine (French).
Three years ago: No cooking :).

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