Tag Archives: Olive oil

1 – 2 – PESTO!!!

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One of the greatest things of living on a mediterrean island is the fresh herbs which are not only much much cheaper than at home in Austria, but also so much richer in flavor & smell! Last week I got a huge bunch of super fresh basil as well as rucola from one of my favorite veggie shops in Sliema, George’s. After doing some salads and juices I was afraid of not using up the good stuff in time. So the idea for pesto was born!

Now that I finally made my own pesto myself for the first time I am actually surprised I’ve never done it before?! It’s so easy and quick, and most important SOOOOOOO unbelievebly YUMMY!!!

Check it out yourself next time you get the chance to get a big bunch of one or the other, or both.

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All you need:

  • Big bunch of basil/ rucola
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic depening on your taste
  • Your best olive oil extra vergine
  • Sea salt, fresh pepper
  • Freshly grated parmesan
  • 1-2 hands full of nuts (I took pine nuts for the basil pesto and cashew nuts for the rucola pesto so they get a different flavor)
  • Ev. sqeeze of lemon

What to do:

Carefully clean the basil/rucola, wash and dry it. I love to use my salad spinner for this to ensure it’s really dry. Grate some fresh parmeggiano, peel and crush the garlic. Roast the nuts. Start processing the leaves and the garlic, later add the nuts, only at the end add oil slowly until you like the texture. Take of the processor. Mix the paresan carfully until you’re perfectly happy with the consistency, season to tase with salt, pepper (ev. chili if you like it hot) and ev. a sqeeeze of lemon juice. Put it in a jar, keep it in the refrigerator and use within a week.

Both pestos have a very particular intense flavor. You can use them as a spread, as a dip, in sandwiches, in salad dressings or, as we did it, with barbequed stuff e.g. grilled chicken, grilled halloumi cheese or vegetables. Ah yes, and pasta – but that’s something I’m hardly ever having on these hot summer days!

ENJOY : )

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Summer buckwheat salad 2.0

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Riding on my buckwheat wave I made my second batch within a week! This time I must say I liked it even better than the first one… if you try them both, let me know which one you prefer… but this time the sweet of the dried currents and the bite of the almond flakes make eating this light salad even more fun! The greatest thing is not only that all ingredients boast of health and flavour, but also that if you have the buckwheat ready prepared this meal is made upso fast, you don’t even need 10min, promised!

What you need:
(serves 2)

  • 1 cup of buckwheat (I like to do this in the morning when I get my morning wheat grass to start the day)
  • Water for soaking
  • Half of a pepper (I think in this one the orange is perfect in the color mix)
  • A chunk of red cabbage
  • A small bowl of green peas
  • Half of a feta cheese (I like sheep or goat as I try to reduce cow milk as much as I can)
  • 1 spring onion
  • A handful of dried currants
  • A handful of almond flakes
  • Olive oil
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Sea salt & pepper (freshly ground)

What to do:

Put the buchkwheat in a bowl and cover it with water, let it soak for 2hours or a bit more. Drain the rest of the water. Chop the vegetables and feta cheese. Mix with the buckwheat, add currents and almond flakes. Dress with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, season to taste with sea salt and fresh pepper.

Enjoooooooooooooy!!!

Summer buckwheat salad with grapes, walnuts & feta cheese.

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Don’t let yourself confuse by the name of buckwheat.. It doesn’t have anything to do with ordinary wheat and is even gluten free and a great alternative to the usual couscous or pasta salad which are most popular for summer salads for a picnic or a side for a BBQ! In addition to that it’s also a great source of antioxidants, iron and magnesium – so not only yummy but also worth a try from a healthy point of view.

Instead of the ordinary way to cook it my and my friend Michelle have recently been experimenting with soaking grains. It gives the buckwheat a nicer bite and is super easy to prepare e.g. soak it in the morning when you want to use it for lunch or dinner. By the time you need it it’s gonna be nice and soft, cooled to a perfect temperature and ready for further use. You can now mix it with any kind of vegetables, cheeses, nuts and fruit and give it various flavors to your taste.

My way to prepare it was a very simple and yet delicious one, also it’s very fresh and therefore perfect for a hot summer day.

buckwheat salad with grapes, walnuts & feta

What you need:
(Serving 4)

  • 1 small packet of buckwheat (soaked)
  • 2 hands full of grapes, de-seeded and halved
  • Half a packet of feta cheese
  • Some walnuts
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves
  • Sea salt, fresh pepper
  • Olive oil & lemon juice

What do do:

To soak the buckwheat first rinse it and then put it in a bowl and cover with water, put a plate on top and let it stand for a couple of hours. For the salad drain the rest of the water and mix buckwheat with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Break walnut halves into pieces. Chop grapes and feta, tear basil leaves and add them to the buckwheat. Toss gently.

Buon appetito!!

All in one BBQ salad with quinoa & grilled veggies

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Summer time is BBQ time and if you’re lucky like us you have a lovely circle of friends who all love food and whenever we get together it’s a big feast with plenty of stuff as we’re always scared we don’t have enough 😉 It’s always fun, pleasure and joy.. the only thing which often happens and I really don’t like it is that we often have plenty of left overs and I just hate to throw away food. It hurts me, especially knowing how much food is thrown away in times of huge hunger crisis in the world where people are not as well off as we are. That’s why I always try to make something out of left overs. Like yesterday when we had plenty of lovely Austrian sausages, grilled marrows and peppers as well as corn on the cob which hasn’t been eaten.

So what to do with it? After a long weekend of beaching, drinking and BBQs I was dying for a lazy evening at home tonight and I felt like something healthy. On the other side what to do with all that stuff? So I came up with a compromise solution: why not make a yummy salad with quinoa and some fresh greens as well as using my grilled veggies, the corn and small pieces of grilled sausages? Well, that’s the result and I must say it came out really nice 😀 I call it the All in one BBQ salad.

All in one BBQ salad

All you need:

  • 1 cup of quinoa (I took white and red half, half)
  • BBQ left overs: I had grilled marrows, peppers, corn on the cob and some Austrian sausages
  • Green salad & tomatoes
  • Olive oil, lemon, fresh garlic, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, fresh pepper, fresh parsley

What to do:

Cook quinoa according to instructions (mine was 1 cup quinoa, 2 cups of water for 20min). In the meantime prepare the green salad, tomatoes, mix a dressing consisting of olive oil, salt, pepper, a tea spoon of mustard, a hint of agave sirup and a  little water. Chop grilled veggies and heat up a griddle pan. When the quinoa is ready add a squeeze of lemon, salt, the chopped veg and the corn. Add fresh minced parsley and mix carefully. Fry the sausages shortly on high temperature and cut them into bite sized pieces . Prepare the plates with a circle of salad, drizzle with the dressing, put the quinoa veggie mix in the middle and add the

Detox week 1. A first conclusion & a lovely new favourite salad.

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Today a week ago I started with my detox. No sugars, no alcohol, no dairy, no white flower, no yeast and a 70% – 30% ratio of alkaline – acidic food to sum it up really briefly. In the beginning I felt quite lost. My favorite cooking methods like frying, baking with cheese – not allowed. So, it feels a bit like learning to cook a second time! After shopping all my new “basics” which means tons of grains, seeds, nuts and even more veg I felt well equipped and ready to explore new territories 😀

The first days were pretty awkward. The green smoothies in the morning were the easiest, you mix different greens with 1 apple and water, that’s it. If you like you can add cucumber, celery sticks and one day I tried to make my own almond milk out of soaked almonds and water. But the rest of the day turned out to be a bit more difficult. Lots of the stuff needs soaking so you have to plan ahead. No good for people who work from home like me and normally just go to the fridge when they get hungry! However, some of the grains came out nicely, some less (my amaranth with fresh spinach more looked like baby food) but I survived and felt tiny steps of improvement and broke myself more into the new way of cooking.

When it comes to recipes I only wanna share one thing with you this week, an amazing, super yummy salad and it’s totally alkaline and fits the diet perfectly. More photos of my experiments in the photo gallery below.

Super yummy salad with sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, fresh peas & a lemon tahini dressing

Ingredients (served 6):
Different lettuces, 3 sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, fresh peas (peeled), kale (cut in bite sized pieces without the stem), coconut oil, sea salt
For the dressing:  Mix fresh lemon juice, olive oil, tahini (I used the dark one), fresh ginger (finely chopped) and sea salt

Method:
Steam the veggies shortly so they still keep a crunch (apart from the sweet potatoes, they may be a bit soft), put coconut oil on top and sprinkle with seasalt when they are done and hot. Let them cool off. Prepare the plates with your lettuces and spread them nicely. Add the dressing. Arrange the steamed veg. Drizzle with some additional olive oil. Sprinkle if you like  – I used shelled hempseed and crushed whole hempseeds which are a vital source of fatty acids, fibre and protein.

Bon appetite!

(Thanks Mich, for the lovely inspiration, just LOVE the sweet potato – coconut oil combination <3)

P.S. If you are interested in seeing a list with alkaline – acidic foods, I am using the list on The PHMiracle website, developed by Dr. Young the kind of guru when it comes to the alkaline diet. Another website I really liked is Energiseforlife.com where a young guy called Ross takes it further with a bit of a younger, fresher approach.

tabuleh salad with roasted veg, walnuts, tahini lemon dressing & falafel.

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Do you also love arabic food? I love the flavors of the Turkish and Lebanese kitchen and find it very inspiring to taste different things and try to introduce them to my own kitchen, too. Recently I started this new habit of giving myself a treat after my lovely yoga class on Mondays. The treat is called fresh falafel and I found a place which makes them super fresh, just in front of you. While you pick your salad from the counter (my favorite mix is couscous, aubergines, parsley tabuleh and humus with it) the falafel which mainly consist of chickpeas and different spices get fried in a pan. Five minutes later you have a warm, lovely smelling box in your hand and I can hardly wait to get home.

Yesterday was another Monday so I decided to buy 3 more falafels to get a nice and quick lunch after today’s work. I knew that I still have tons of fresh herbs from the farmer’s market and wanted to try out an arabic salad version with my own stuff. The experiment came out lovely! Super tasty, healthy and boasting of amazing flavors…

Tabuleh like salad with fresh mint, parsley and rucola, topped with roasted red pepper, aubergine, fennel, walnuts and falafel, served with a lemon tahini dressing.

tabuleh salad with roasted veg, walnuts, thahini lemon dressing & falafel.

Ingredients: bunch of greens like mint, rucola and parsley, 1 red pepper, small fennel bulb, some walnuts (crashed), 1 garlic (if you like) & some fresh herbs for the roasted veg (I took fresh marjoram and rosemary), juice of 1 lemon, high quality olive oil, seasalt, pepper, 1 spoon of tahini and 3 pieces of falafel from your favorite Lebanese place.

Method: For the roasted veg cut the pepper and fennel in bite-sized pieces and roast them for like 10min with some fresh garlic, herbs and season with salt and pepper. Add the crashed walnuts only for the last couple of minutes so they don’t burn. Put aside to cool off. For the salad chop the washed and dried greens (mint, parsley, rucola) and make a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, a spoon of tahini (add a splash of water), salt and pepper. Top with roasted veg and falafel.

Oven roasted veggies. So yummy. So easy. And easy is right :-)

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There are so many complicated ways to cook. All kinds of techniques, recipes which take you hours and hours of preparation. You know what? I maybe like to eat them, but not to cook them. AT ALL.

For me cooking shall be easy, down to earth and no problem to prepare. And what I love most is spontanious cooking with what you have at home. As I leave to Austria tomorrow, I had a lot of veggies to use up from my visit to the farmer’s market last week. Gosh – and it was so worth it! For the second day in a row I made a vegetarian meal, which was so easy and tasty – just perfect for my taste, that I want at least to share one with you.

OVEN ROASTED VEGGIES with a quick sundried tomatoes dip (serves 2 hungry people)

Roasted veggies. So yummy. So easy. And easy is right :-)

Ingredients: veggies whatever your fridge gives you. I used 6 potatoes with the skin, a big piece of pumpkin, 2 carrots, 1 green pepper. Also works fine with any other vegetable like tomatoes, fennel, sweet potatoes, mushrooms etc.
For seasoning: rosmary, oregano, olive oil, sea, salt and pepper.

Method: preheat the oven to the max (220°C), chop up the veggies in bite-sized pieces and put them in one large or two smaller oven-proof dishes. Drizzle with olive oil and season with rosmary, oregano, salt and pepper. Also add some garlic and pieces of onion if you like. Cover the dishes with a double layer of aluminium foil and bake it for approx. 1 hour. Then take them out, take away the foil and put them back into the oven to make them crunchy and brown for another 20min or so. Prepare the dip in the meantime.

For the dip: half of a box of cream cheese (I like Philadelphia light), fresh herbs like parsley and coreander, some sundried tomatoes (in oil, not the Maltese salty ones, they are just too salty for my taste), salt and pepper, a bit of olive oil & milk to make it creamy.

A simple and sooooo delicious meal! Buon appetito 🙂

P.S. If you have leftovers, the cold roasted veggies also taste lovely on top of a salad or as a kind of cold antipasti.