This ‘sandwich’ happened more or less by accident – I had some leftovers from making a raw cheese cake a few days erlier, plus lots of strawberries that needed to be eaten. It’s a nice change for breakfast, especially if you’re looking to eat less carbohydrates and more protein and fruit. You can easily make a larger quantity of the two bases and store them in the fridge for a week or even two. I love turmeric for it’s slightly bitter taste and it’s immune-strengthening qualities and like to add it to fruit, like here. Feel free to mix in some ginger or lemon zest, or use cinnamon instead.
Berlin is full of elderflowers right now. People are making elderflower cordial, there’s elderflower jam and even elderflower sorbet. My mother used to make something called Hollerkuechle, fresh elderflowers dunked in a thin batter and then fried in oil and dusted with sugar. It was delicious! I didn’t manage to replicate that yet, but I did experiment a little with elderflower cakes. This one turned out the best: moist and fluffy. I used a simple recipe for a vegan lemon cake as a base (found on The Ethical Chef), and adapted it with the elderflowers and by adding a little coconut cream. Actually the elderflower, lemon and very light coconut flavor worked really well together. You need elderflower syrup for this, so this cake requires a little advance planning. The syrup is really easy to make though if you have access to some elderflowers (I adapted the recipe from the lovely blog Glasgefluester)- and of course it can be used in many delicious ways in drinks and desserts. Make sure to wash the flowers carefully before using though, bugs seem to love elderflowers as much as we do!
I’ve been experimenting with vegan pizza lately trying different crusts and various toppings. As so often when cooking vegan, I ended up not missing the the dairy at all. In fact, I even abandoned tomatoes for all kinds of other exciting things. Like this wonderful recipe for a beet-crust pizza from Bakers Royale (try it – it’s great!), which inspired me to make a sweet-potato based crust for this pizza here. I topped it with a nice roasted red pepper-sunflower seed pesto and some purple pointed cabbage. And lime zest. But obviously all kinds of toppings would work here, maybe even tomatoes…
Radish salad is a very traditional dish in Bavaria, eaten in the beergardens during summer. Often, the radish is simplistically served in slices which are just slightly salted as part of the ‘Brotzeit’, also involving pretzels, cheeses, cold cuts or sausages and lots of beer of course. Usually, white or red radishes are more popular since they are freshly available during spring and summer. But right now, what we have in our stores is the black winter radish, which is harvested just before the first frost in October or November and keeps fresh all winter. Did you know that one radish delivers the daily dose of vitamin C? It’s a perfect vegetable to eat while waiting for more fresh produce to arrive in spring. I sort of upgraded the radish salad here with a nice and lemony mustard vinaigrette, which immediately transforms it into something special. Radish can taste a little strong, but salting the slices beforehand takes off the edge I find. You can also eat this salad as a topping on crackers or sandwiches, it’s maybe even better than on its own. Hope you like this as much as I did!
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This is a lovely spring meal. I made this the other day for two dear friends and found out that producing ravioli at home isn’t nearly as complicated or difficult as I had thought. In fact, the dough is super straighforward, and the filling is simple too, as it’s just a mix of sweet potatoes and herbs – dill in this case. I took inspiration for this from the wonderful Hortus Cuisine and used her recipe as a basis. Needless to say, one could try many things as a filling – I happen to love sweet potato ravioli and always look for them in restaurants, so I decided to go for this. But you might want to use regular potatoes, or sweet peas, or just a mix of herbs, like in the original recipe. It’s important though that the filling is relatively dry since you don’t want it to leak out of the ravioli when cooking. The pesto of course can also be made with many different types of herbs or greens and nuts. The quantities of ingredients given below are just approximations – if you make a little more, it can be easily stored in the fridge for at least a week. This was also my first time making and using dukkah – a wonderfully fragrant middle eastern spice mix that’s put together in about a minute but tastes great with anything from soups to salads. I’ve been using it almost every day since – read more about it here on The Kitchn.
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This is a seriously delicious soup. The limes, the taste of roasted garlic, some creaminess from the (also roasted) tomatoes, and the crispy tortilla strips together are true perfection, especially if you like sour things like I do. I used a recipe from saveur.com, but veganized it by using tofu instead of chicken, which is maybe a bit odd since sopa de lima is actually a traditional chicken (or, even more traditionally, turkey) soup from the Yucatan region of Mexico. In fact, it’s a recipe that goes back to Mayan times. But honestly, with all the strong flavors in this soup I find the protein is almost not needed, I just added the tofu to give it some bite.
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In some parts of the world, black eyed peas are a lucky food to be eaten at the beginning of a new year. Now it’s already March, but for several reasons I feel like starting my new year right now so maybe this curry does come at the right time :) This is a traditional recipe from Gujarat, which I found online at Saveur magazine and on this lovely blog (which has great instructions with pictures). It’s super simple and veery tasty. And it doesn’t contain any onions or garlic, instead, it gets a special flavor from the addition of chickpea flour. I added spinach here, but any other dark leafy green – or maybe even other vegetables – would do as well. Hope you love this recipe as much as I do!
It’s so easy to pickle vegetables and such a great option to always have something fresh and crunchy in the fridge. So far I thought my favorite pickle was kohlrabi, but that was because I hadn’t tried red cabbage yet. There are so many uses for this, from sandwiches to tacos to eating it as a condiment with grains or in salads. Best of all, the colors are so beautiful they really cheer you up. In the pictures below you can see how the cabbage immediately changes color when it’s mixed with vinegar.
I used Amy Chaplin’s recipe for quick-pickled red cabbage here as a start and then turned it into a more traditional pickle, which is a little more intense in flavor and tastes best after a few days in the fridge. Use the other half of the cabbage raw in salads or as a sandwich topping or braise it with a cubed apple, a few cloves, a little balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper for a delicious vegetable dish.
I can’t wait for spring and all the fresh fruit and vegetables it will bring. For now I turned to citrus – again – I was looking for a recipe for an orange cake and came across this one from Greece. Since I also had some phyllo dough languishing in the freezer I decided to give it a go. I wanted to make a vegan or at least egg-free version though. I love eggs and dairy, but I’m trying to eat less of them, so I’m usually looking for ways to replace them when baking. Ground flax seeds work well for this purpose. Here the (vegan or regular) yogurt, olive oil and orange juice add moisture and the phyllo gives the cake some structure. It’s light and refreshing and has a lovely custardy texture, especially once it has soaked up all the delicious orange-cinnamon syrup at the end.