Category Archives: Difficulty: Easy

Pea and mint spread

We are on a roll. Sarah had this at a party and it was yummy. I ate it on toasted bread with a sprinkle of cheese. It was a big hit!

Pea Sauce with Fresh Mint

Fresh or frozen peas and fresh mint turn into a creamy (but cream-free) sauce for simply cooked meats. This sauce is especially good with grilled or roasted lamb chops, or flaky white fish. Serves four to six. Yields about 2 cups.

  • 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil (always choose the superior taste of Spain 🙂
  • 1 cup chopped leek (white and some light-green parts, from 1/2 medium leek)
  • 1/2 cup to 1-1/4 cups lower-salt chicken broth depending on how thick you want it.
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • sea salt

Heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the leek and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the peas, return to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer until the peas are just tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

Pour the pea mixture into a blender. Add the mint and 3/4 tsp. salt and purée until smooth.

Drizzle each portion of sauce with some of the remaining olive oil upon serving. (The sauce may be made and refrigerated up to 1 day ahead.)
nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 90; Fat (g): 3.5; Fat Calories (kcal): 30; Saturated Fat (g): 0.5; Protein (g): 4; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2.5; Carbohydrates (g): 11; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0; Sodium (mg): 200; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 3;
by Ellie Krieger in Fine Cooking 105, pp. 35. May 6, 2010. Italics added

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Tofu for Stir-Fry

Sarah left for yoga classes, and told me this recipe. Instead of writing in a paper I will put it here.

Cut the tofu in small squares (the size of marble). Put them in the pan and start cooking high-medium. After a 15 minutes or so, they will start getting a little brownish-yellow. Put 3 tablespoons of brown sugar and 2 of soy sauce. The sugar will melt and with the salty soy sauce it will become a great sweet-salty flavor. This is works as a base or side for anything.

  • 1 block of tofu (14 oz. / 400 gr.)
  • brown sugar
  • soy sauce

post script:  I just did it, and it’s delicious.

Tomato Salsa/pico de gallo

There are tons of salsa recipies online. I only add this one because I discovered that organic onions don’t need to be rinsed of their pungency like regular onions do. If using regular onions/garlic, pour boiling water over them and soak for 5 minutes. Drain water and they are ready to use. I was amazed at the difference the organic onions made. No bad/strong after taste. I highly recommend them for salsas/chutneys. I’m not sure, but I don’t think they give off such a strong odor when they cook either… therefore if you’re pregnant and can’t stand smells, you might want to give them a try. It could help.

  • 1 small organic onion
  • 1 clove organic garlic
  • 2 fresh tomatoes
  • 1 lime/lemon fresh
  • salt
  • jalapeño pepper (add to taste)
  • cilantro

Mince onion, garlic, tomatoes, and pepper.  Rince onion/garlic as described above if necessary. Here in Europe I usually use canned/bottled jalapeño.  Juice lime (or lemon) and add to other minced ingredients. Add salt. Mince cilantro and add. For best flavor, refrigerate for a few hours so the flavors gel.

Bean Tacos/Refried beans

I thought this recipe came from a vegetarian cookbook but after looking for it I discovered it must be an old family recipe from my dad.  I love it. It is much tastier than refried beans and uses a lot less fat. Here in Denmark (and even in Spain) I can’t buy fresh corn tortillas so I make them. Recipe to follow in a separate post. Homemade salsas are also a must for a good taco.

2 cups dry pinto and/or kidney beans (a large bottle 64 oz? cooked beans could work) I soaked the beans over night and then put them in the pressure cooker for 30 minutes with bay leaves.

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 small can chopped tomatoes (400 gr.)
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp oregano

Saute onion and garlic  in a pan until very well done. Add beans and smash them. I blend them in the Tmix.  Add tomatoes and spices. Mix. If it is a little thin continue to simmer and the water will boil off.

Top with cheese/beef, sour cream, salsa, lettuce.

Pisto

Pisto manchego, is a Spanish recipe used as a side or main dish. It can also be a sauce for empanada. It can be eaten with rice, potatoes, and goes well with fried or hardboiled eggs. It’s similar to the French ratatouille, but with fewer spices or eggplant.

  • 1 large onion or 2 medium
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbs oil (preferably olive)
  • 2 peppers (one red and one green)
  • 2 zucchini
  • 800-1000 grams (28 oz) diced/pureed canned tomatoes
  • 1-2 tbs sugar
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • Salt to taste

The T-mix is perfect for this recipe. If using a T-mix chop the onion, garlic, and green peppers. If using the T-mix make sure they are in big chunks. They will get chopped finer later. Cook them for about 10 minutes. Add zucchini in large chunks and chop for a few seconds in the T-mix. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for 30 minutes on 100 C.

If you use the T-mix, you can use the varoma to steam potatoes.

Creamed Cauliflower Soup

Add cruitons for yummy factor

Add cruitons for yummy factor

We really hadn’t decided what to make with the cauliflower yet when we wrote out the menu yesterday… but we figured we would find something– and we did! Creamed soups are really good, nutritious, and easy. They don’t require a lot of fat to be absolutely delicious. So, tonight’s version was as follows:

  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 6 small carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1/2 large cauliflower
  • 4 small/medium potatoes
  • bean sprouts
  • salt/pepper/curry powder
  • 3-4 cups water
  • feta cheese
  • sharp cheddar or freshly grated parmessan to top

Saute the onion and garlic for 5-10 minutes until they are beginning to brown in 1 Tbs oil and 1 Tbs olive oil. Add the remaining ingredients in large chunks. Do Not Add Cheese (feta or cheddar yet!). When vegetables are cooked, add feta and vegetable mixture and puree in the Thermomix or in a blender until smooth. Adding other cheeses will just stick to the blender so I prefer to top the puree with them. If you need more liquid at this point add milk.

Top with homemade cruitons (by frying bread squares in olive oil and garlic) and a good aged cheese! YUM

Lentil and Feta Salad

lentil feta saladToday May 18th, is our 5th wedding anniversary. It was a long day for both of us and we didn’t have much energy to make something really difficult. I found a new lentil recipe in The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook that looked interesting and decide to make it. We couldn’t find walnuts which it calls for, but it came out well without it. We added Feta Cheese instead and ate it over a bed of lettuce. It called for balsamic (aged red-wine vinegar) or red-wine vinegar but we already had regular Spanish white-wine vinegar open. I wouldn’t have minded opening the balsamic, but at Carlos’ house you never open something new before the old is gone.  Since it was our anniversary neither wanted to be pushy. The balsamic would have given it a deeper flavor but wasn’t necessary. This meal was easy, healthy, and good. We ate it with our favorite crunchy rolls. I also made chocolate cake from scratch… it is cooling and it smells delicious. Carlos bought vanilla ice cream but is now very disappointed because as I read the Danish label he really bought lactose free “Tofu ice cream”. I think he’s going to try to take it back tomorrow.

  • 1 cup green or brown lentils, picked over and washed
  • 4 cups water
  • ¾ cup chopped scallions
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese (optional)
  • ½ tsp dry mustard or 1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 to 5 tbsp vinegar, to taste
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Combine lentils with water and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium-low, cover pan tightly, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until lentils are cooked through but firm enough to hold shape.
  2. When lentils are done, remove from heat, drain, and place in bowl along with scallions, red pepper, parsley, and walnuts
  3. In separate small bowl, combine mustard with vinegar, beating in a little at a time until thoroughly blended. Gradually beat in olive oil. Pour dressing over lentils and toss to mix thoroughly. Add salt and black pepper and serve as is or on bed of bitter greens such as arugula, chicory, or dandelion greens. (serves 3 as a meal)