Cinnamon oatmeal cake

It’s Jan’s birthday, and the birthday boy deserves a birthday cake. I gave him three options to chose from: lemon curd filled lemon cake, chocolate cake or cinnamon oatmeal cake. He chose the latter, because it sounded “weird”. So I adapted a recipe from Dessert for two a little bit, and here we are!

Cinnamon oatmeal cake with salted caramel sauce

Cinnamon oatmeal cake with salted caramel sauce

Cinnamon oatmeal cake

(adapted from Dessert for two)

Ingredients

  • 15 gr oats
  • 60 ml hot water (straight from the kettle)
  • 85 gr salted butter (or use unsalted and add a pinch of salt)
  • 35 gr dark brown sugar (cassonade)
  • 30 gr cane sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 100 gr all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 175°C. Line a 15 cm spring form with parchment paper and grease. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl / ramekin, add oats & hot water and set to soak.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar very well. Then add the egg and mix (it’ll split, it happens).
  4. In a smaller bowl, mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda & baking powder. Add dry ingredients and soaked oats (and if there is liquid left, the liquid) to the creamed butter mix, and stir until combined.
  5. Transfer batter to lined spring form. Bake in oven on center rack for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Remove cake from oven, let it cool for 5 minutes before removing from spring form.

Salted caramel sauce

(adapted from Cookies & Cups)

Ingredients

  • 25 gr butter
  • 75 gr cane sugar
  • 100 ml cream (20% fat)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. In a big microwave safe bowl melt the butter. Then add the sugar and cream and whisk until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Microwave on high (750W) for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir.
  3. Microwave again for 1 minute, until bubbly and slightly thickened. Remove from microwave, add salt & vanilla extract and mix well.
  4. Sauce will thicken as it cools.

Cashew nut dip / spread

Cashew nut dip

Cashew nut dip

Ingredients:

  • 120 gr roasted cashew nuts, soaked in water for 3-4 hours & then drained
  • 4 spring onions, white parts only
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp freeze dried shallot
  • 3 tbsp (10 gr) nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbps (20 gr) olive oil
  • 60-100 ml water

Make it:

Put all ingredients in a food processor (starting with about 50 ml water). Process until creamy, adding water if necessary. Scrape the sides of the bowl often to obtain a nice creamy dip. Add more water if you want to turn this into sauce for nachos.

 

Egg filled portobello burgers

Portobello burger with salad in the background

Portobello burger with salad in the background

Ingredients (for one burger):

  • 1 portobello (about 10-12 cm in diameter, or 70-80 grams in weight)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp grated cheese (mozzarella is a good option) or a slice of cheese to top it all
  • salt & pepper
  • one pita bread that fits the portobello
  • fixings to taste: mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, pickles….

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Oil an oven proof dish that fits the portobelo(s).
  2. Put portobello(s) in the oven dish, underside up. Season mushroom lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Season beaten egg with salt and pepper, and pour it inside the mushroom cap, trying to not spill. Top it with the grated cheese (as much as the cap can hold, do not overfill since it will bake over otherwise) or wait with the cheese for now.
  4. Put dish with mushroom(s) in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the egg has set. If using sliced cheese, top the mushrooms with it for the last 5 minutes, to allow it to melt.
  5. Pop the pita bread in a toaster until warm, crunchy and puffed. Let cool enough to handle. Slide burger into pita pocket and add desired toppings.
  6. It is handy to use a toothpick to keep the burger in place while eating it!

I like to serve the burgers with a big salad: mixed greens, carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, and vinaigrette dressing. Feel free to serve whichever way you usually do with burgers.

Spicy coleslaw

Lately I’ve been in a rut when it comes to cooking. It didn’t help that for two weeks it was too warm to consider turning the stove on (less so the oven), so we ate mostly salads. And then I had to start studying for (second chance) finals. And I was tired, and fed up, and didn’t have any imagination whatsoever to think up new exciting recipes. Or to look through my cookbooks to plan something different.

But today I felt like something different. Jan had been asking we had pitas (which translates into pita bread pockets filled with vegetarian gyros and vegetables / salad). To make it a big different, we decided to make coleslaw instead of the usual salad. And since we like to live on the edge, we made a nice spicy coleslaw. Here is the recipe so you can enjoy it too.

Spicy coleslaw

Spicy coleslaw

Ingredients:

  • 1 head white cabbage (I used pointed, but feel free to use plain ole round), approximately 860 grams
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 l water
  • 3 medium carrots (~175 grams)
  • 3 tbsp (45 gr) mustard
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
  • 1 tbsp (20 gr) agave nectar
  • 2 tsp (15 gr) sambal oelek
  • freshly ground pepper

Instructions:

  1. Cut cabbage in quarters, remove core, and slice thinly into ribbons (or shred with a kitchen robot if you have one, I don’t). Put the cabbage in a big bowl, make a brine with the salt & water, and pour over cabbage, making sure cabbage is submerged. Leave cabbage to pickle for about 30 minutes, stirring a couple of times to make sure all cabbage gets a salt bath. Once the time has passed, drain cabbage (discard brine) and rinse under tap water.
  2. Meanwhile, peel the carrots, and grate them (using the big side of a box grater, or shred them with said kitchen robot).
  3. In a small bowl, mix mustard, vinegar, olive oil, agave, sambal oelek & freshly ground pepper until it forms a nice emulsified dressing.
  4. Mix cabbage & grated carrot in big bowl. Pour the dressing over it and toss until veggies are all covered in dressing. Cover the bowl and let rest for at least and hour before serving.
  5. Leftovers keep well in a closed container in the fridge for a few days.

Makes: 8 servings (~150 gr / serving)

Nutritional info:

Calories: 62
Protein: 2 gr
Fat: 2 gr
Carbs: 10 gr

Strawberry tiramisu for a summer birthday

It’s that time of the year again, when Jan celebrates his 18th birthday! This year it was really warm the days before, so neither of us felt like me turning on the oven to bake something. Luckily the supermarket publicity came to the rescue with a nice summery recipe that required no oven! It did require some stove top time, but not too much. And so, the strawberry tiramisu became this year’s birthday dessert.

Strawberry Tiramisu

Strawberry Tiramisu

Ingredients

  • For the coulis:
    • 250 gr strawberries
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • For the cream:
    • 4 eggs
    • 50 gr powder sugar
    • 500 gr mascarpone
  • For assembly:
    • 300 gr ladyfingers (the cookies)
    • 500 gr strawberries, clean, hulled & sliced

Instructions:

  1. Make the strawberry coulis: clean, hull and quarter strawberries. Place in a sauce pan with lemon juice, heat gently for 10-15 minutes, until the fruit collapses. Using an immersion blender, puree the strawberries. Sieve the sauce using a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds. Add enough water to obtain 250-300 ml of sauce.
  2. Make the filling: separate egg yolks from whites. First, whip up whites until firm peaks form (or if you’re so inclined, they hold when you upturn the bowl above your head!). Then (don’t bother cleaning the whisk) mix the egg yolks with the sugar until white and volume is two-three times the original. Finally mix the mascarpone on its own (to soften) before adding the egg yolks and mixing thoroughly with whisk. Switch to a rubber spatula to softly fold in the egg whites in three times.
  3. Assemble the dessert: dip lightly the ladyfingers in the strawberry coulis and arrange one layer on the bottom of a serving dish. Spread with half of the mascarpone mix, then place half of the sliced strawberries on top. Place another layer of dipped cookies, then mascarpone and finish with strawberries.
  4. Chill in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight before serving.

Makes: 6 servings according to the original recipe, but make that more like 12-14 servings.

Portobello burger with mature cheddar

Sometimes I miss eating a burger. Not the (meat) flavour, but the possibility of just going out and grabbing a burger. It’s hard to find a good vegetarian burger! So what’s one to do? Make your own (deluxe, according to Jan) burger at home.

Portobello burger deluxe

Portobello burger deluxe

Ingredients

  • 2 multi-grain poppy seed bread buns (baked or unbaked)
  • 2 big portobello mushrooms, stems removed, clean
  • 50 gr mature cheddar (use the good stuff here)
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard (to taste)
  • lettuce mix, tomato, cucumber, carrot (or other salad fixings), for serving

Instructions

Here I’m really only telling you how to make the portobello burgers. I like to eat a nice salad with my burgers. Today’s was young leaves, carrot, cherry tomatoes, cucumber,  and a olive oil, balsamic vinegar & salt dressing. Salad is pretty much a pick your own adventure sort of thing, so get creative with it!

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Bake the bread buns for 10-12 minutes if unbaked, or heat up for 2-3 minutes if already baked. Take out and let cool slightly on a rack before slicing in half.
  3. Heat up a pan, drizzle a tiny amount of olive oil (about 1 tsp)  and place the mushroom caps, cut side down. Press hard down and let them cook 2-3 minutes on medium heat before turning and cooking another 2 minutes.
  4. At this point the mushrooms are still raw. Put them in an oven proof dish (stem side up so you have a cup), season with salt & pepper, and divide the cheese on top of the mushrooms, making sure it’s inside the cup. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
  5. Spread bread with your favourite seasonings.  For me that’s mayonnaise on the bottom, ketchup on the top half. Put a mushroom on each bun, top with some lettuce & tomato slices if desired, cover with the other half of the bun and devour.

If you can’t find big (and by big I mean 12-15 cm in diameter) portobello mushrooms, you can also use the smaller ones. Just make more per person and balance them on the bread bun. 

Makes 2 burgers

Nutritional info is very dependent on what bread you use, how big your mushrooms are, how much mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise you use, etc. We had a burger each with a nice side salad for 485 calories.

Courgette sweet potato quiche

It’s recipe time again. And in the oven before it becomes way too warm to want to use it. This quiche is crustless because I didn’t feel like making a crust (and to keep the calories low!).

Courgette sweet potato quiche

Courgette sweet potato quiche

Ingredients

  • 1 courgette, washed, thinly sliced (*)
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (±300 gr), peeled, thinly sliced (*)
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 goose egg + 2 chicken eggs (or 4 chicken eggs)
  • 160 ml half skim milk
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 30 gr grated cheese (or more, I ran out)
  • pepper
  • small amount of olive oil to oil the oven dish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Oil an oven dish. Layer the courgette, sweet potato & shallot. Cook in the microwave for 5-6 minutes on high.
  3. In a bowl, mix the eggs with the milk, garlic powder, soy sauce, thyme and pepper to taste.
  4. Pour the eggy mixture over the layered vegetables. Sprinkle the cheese on top, bake at 180°C for 30 minutes.

Makes 2 servings

Nutritional info

Calories: 444
Protein: 29 gr
Fat: 16 gr
Carbs: 47 gr

Bonus picture of the quiche once served

Bonus picture of the quiche once served

Mmm sweet, savoury, and then the punch comes

Sweet, and savoury, and spicy!

Sweet, and savoury, and spicy!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 big carrot, peeled, in slices
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 courgette, in quarter slices
  • 150 gr quorn pieces
  • 200 ml veggie broth (instant is fine)
  • 1 pinch sage
  • 1 pinch thyme
  • tiny sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 round tsp Marmite
  • 1 1/2 tsp sambal oelek (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp agave syrup
  • 2 tsp cornstarch + 2 tbsp water
  • 125 gr (dry weight) bulgur

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a pot. Add onion and cook until it barely starts to turn transparent around the edges. Add the carrot and cook for a minute. Add the bell pepper and cook for another minute. Add the courgette and cook an additional minute before adding the quorn and let cook for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add the broth, sage, thyme, cinnamon, ginger, Marmite, sambal oelek, agave, salt & pepper. Stir to combine well, bring to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Make a slurry with the cornstarch and water, add it to the pot and bring again to a simmer to thicken.
  4. Meanwhile bring a small pot (about 4-5 times the bulgur’s volume) of veggie broth to the boil. Add the bulgur, cover, bring to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes (or according to packaging instructions). Drain and keep warm.
  5. Serve the stew with the bulgur.

Makes 2 servings

Nutritional info

Calories: 453
Protein: 25 gr
Fat: 7 gr
Carbs: 73 gr