This was thrown together at the last minute on a Saturday night, and turned out to be a huge hit.
It’s really easy, and carb free. If you are looking to make it even more healthy you can obviously also skip the sausage, but it’s pretty tasty on top so I recommend keeping it.
It was inspired by something my mama often makes, with greens and white beans (I know that there are other recipes on this blog of similar variations!).
- 1/2 a large onion (or a whole small onion), peeled and minced
- A heap of garlic, as much as you can handle (we used 5 cloves)
- 1 bunch swiss chard (or other leafy greens), washed and chopped into small pieces
- 1 can cannellini beans (or other white beans), drained and rinsed thoroughly
- A giant pinch of salt & freshly ground pepper
- Sausage of your choosing. I would suggest an Italian sausage with fennel seeds.
- Sautee the onion and garlic in a heap of oil, with a small pinch of salt.
- After a few minutes (before the garlic browns), throw in the swiss chard and cook until it's wilted.
- Add in the beans, and cook for about 6 more minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid them sticking to the pan. You want them to be kind of mushy in the end, not fully intact. This gives the whole mixture a much creamier feel. Taste it, adding salt, pepper, and extra olive oil until you are happy with the taste.
- Throw the sausage on a smaller frying pan, and cook until browned and cooked through.
- Serve the chard and beans mixture with the sausages on top.
I’ll be honest, I cheated here with a blackening seasoning mix. If you want to make your own feel free to Google it, but if you are looking for a quick after work meal just buy a pre-made seasoning mix and use that.
The recipe for the black bean salad can be found here.
- 2 salmon filets
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- A few teaspoons of blackening season mix
- Wash and dry salmon. Set on a plate, and pour half the butter over the filets.
- Add the seasoning mix and spread evenly with your fingers.
- Heat the pan, and cook 2-5 minutes until blackened on the one side. As it's cooking, repeat the butter & seasoning exercise on the unseasoned side. Cook for another few minutes, until the fish is blackened, and flakes.
I know. Cornflakes on chicken seems really counterintuitive. Just go with it. This is from Nigella so you can have a little faith.
It’s crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside.
We paired it with a moroccan carrot salad that was quite tasty, but if you want to go easy you can also just put it on top of salad and it would be a great and simple combination with the chicken.
- 2 chicken escalopes or breast filles (200-300g total)
- 1/4 cup dijon or l'ancienne mustard
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and pressed
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 egg
- 3 cups cornflakes
- 1 1/2 tsp paprika or pimento picante (depending on how much you like spicy)
- vegetable oil
- 4 carrots
- 1 can chickpeas
- A handful of prunes, chopped
- A handful of almonds, chopped
- A handful of dill, chopped
- Ground coriander to taste
- Ground cumin to taste
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Keep out of the fridge before you cook so that it's not cold when you'll be frying. If you are using breasts instead of escalopes, slice them thinly.
- In a shallow dish, mix the mustard and the garlic. Add the cinnamon and the egg and whisk to combine. Put the escalopes in, turn them, and leave them while you make the cornflake mixture.
- In a separate bowl, put the cornflakes in and crush them by hand. Add the paprika and mix in.
- Dredge the chicken from the egg mixture into the cornflake mixture, and let dry on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes.
- Head the oil in a heavy frying pan, and when hot fry 3 mins on the first side, then turn them over and cook for another 3 minutes. Check that they are cooked through, if so, remove from the heat and serve.
- Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Readjust the seasonings to taste.
This is a comforting slurpy noodle bowl that you can tailor to your spicy tolerance.
Take care not to under salt, it needs to be just the right amount salty and spicy.
- 8 ounces uncooked rice noodles
- 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and de-veined
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, divided (or any mild-flavored cooking oil)
- 1 small white onion, peeled and thinly-sliced
- 1 large red bell pepper, cored and diced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
- 2 (15-ounce) cans coconut milk
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable or seafood stock
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- optional: 1-2 red Thai chiles, thinly-sliced
- toppings: chopped fresh cilantro, thinly-sliced red onions
- Cook rice noodles according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, lay out the raw shrimp on a plate and pat dry with a paper towel. Season the shrimp generously on both sides with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook for 1-2 minutes per side, until the shrimp are pink and opaque and cooked through. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the stockpot. Add sliced onion, bell pepper and carrot, and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent. Add garlic and sauté for 1-2 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.
- Add in the coconut milk, stock and ginger (and chiles, if using), and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a simmer. Reduce heat to medium, and continue simmering for 5-10 more minutes.
- Stir in the noodles. Taste, and season with extra salt and pepper and curry paste to taste. (Add a few generous pinches of salt and pepper, especially if the stock you use is not very salty.
- Serve warm, topped with a few pieces of the cooked shrimp, and your desired toppings.
This is perfect for a hot summer day. It’s very flexible (feel free to experiment with different ingredient mixes), but I recommend making this original one first.
If you are taking it to a picnic, just dress it right before you get to the picnic, it shouldn’t be sitting around too long in advance.
- 1 cup dried orzo
- 1/2 a medium head of broccoli or broccolini, cut into small pieces
- small handful of cilantro, chopped
- 1 small clove of garlic, pressed
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- a small handful of sprouts
- 1/3 cup almonds, toasted
- 1/2 small cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 medium avocado, sliced into small pieces
- 1/4 cup feta, crumbled
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously and boil the orzo per package instructions. Avoid over-boiling, you want your orzo to be cooked through, but maintain structure. About 30 seconds before the orzo is finished cooking stir the broccoli into the orzo pot. Cook for the final 30 seconds, drain and run under a bit of cold water. Just long enough to stop the cooking.
- In the meantime, whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper into the dressing. Set aside.
- When you are ready to serve the salad toss the orzo, broccoli, and cilantro with about half the dressing. Add more dressing if needed, and toss well. Now add the sprouts, almonds, cucumber, avocado, and feta. Gently toss a couple of times to distribute those ingredients throughout the salad and serve.
We were aiming for veggie burgers but this came out tasting exactly like falafels (not a huge surprise since falafels ARE chickpea burgers), but the spice mix is just perfect here.
We had them with a simple salad and a dollop of thick yogurt. You should put some cucumber in the yogurt if you remember it (we didn’t).
- 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 teaspoons ground cumin
- 3 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed, excess moisture squeezed out
- 1/4 cup quinoa
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, garlic, tahini, eggs, salt, cumin, and coriander. Pulse the mixture until it's slightly chunky.
- Pour the contents of the food processor into a large bowl. Add the red onion, lemon zest, spinach, quinoa, and parsley.
- In a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat. Using a 1/3 measuring cup, scoop out the mixture and form patties, approximately 1/2 inch thick. Add the patties to the skillet (careful not to crowd the pan), cover, and cook for 6-7 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip the patties, cover, and cook the 2nd side for another 6-7 minutes. Remove from the skillet and allow to cool on a wire rack or paper towel. Continue to cook the remaining patties in the same fashion, adding more olive oil as needed.
I recently got a new Korean cookbook called ‘Koreatown‘. It’s all the most popular recipes from Koreatowns in the US. I love how it embraces the way that Korean food has evolved in America- it’s delicious. Endless kimchi, seafood, spicy sauces. If you are interested you should obviously buy the book, but in the meantime, this is my current favourite recipe!
You might think it’s weird to have beef, clams and tofu all in the same soup, but I assure you, nothing weird about it. Do yourself a favour and cook this tonight.
If you live in Brussels you can find all the pastes you need at the Kam Yuen supermarket in the city centre.
- 1/4 cup doenjang paste
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon gochugaru
- 1/4 pound flavourful cut of beef (short ribs, chuck, or skirt steak, diced)
- 1/2 cup half-moon slices of zucchini
- 1/4 cup diced onions
- 2 scallions, cut into 1-inch lengths
- 8 oz soft tofu, cut into small cubes
- 1/2 cup chile pepper (if you can handle it)
- 1/4 pound scrubbed littleneck clams, soaked in water for 30 minutes (optional)
- 3 cups beef stock
- Put the rice on the stove according to the package instructions.
- In a separate medium saucepan, mix the doenjang, garlic and gochugaru into a paste. Add the beef, zucchini, onions, scallions, tofu, chile and clams.
- Stir the beef stock into the saucepan and bring it to a boil over high heat.
- Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes to marry the flavours.
- Serve with rice.
This was so fresh and light! We loved it. You see it here topped with salmon, Felix made the salmon, and I made the noodles- great teamwork. The recipe for the salmon is elsewhere (in Felix’s head), but as you can see in the photo it was perfectly cooked.
If you are going to make the noodles in advance (for lunch the next day for example), I’d recommend keeping the dressing, the noodles, and the toppings separate until you are ready to eat, combining just when you are ready to sit down to keep everything fresh. If you do that you’ll need to coat the noodles with sesame oil in the meantime to prevent them from sticking.
- A large handful of dried rice noodles (about half a package)
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, plus a splash to loosen noodles
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon chunky or smooth peanut butter (i used chunky)
- 3 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons Chinese rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon granulated or brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (from 1 medium-large clove)
- 1/2 cucumber, very thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts, roughly chopped
- A handful of chopped fresh herbs, such as mint and cilantro, for garnish
- Cook noodles according to package directions and rinse with cold water to cool. Drain well. Drizzle with a tiny splash of toasted sesame oil to keep them from sticking until dressed.
- Meanwhile, whisk sesame paste and peanut butter in the bottom of a small bowl, then whisk in soy sauce, rice vinegar, remaining 2 tablespoons sesame oil, sugar, and ginger to taste until smooth. Adjust flavors to taste.
- Toss sauce with cold noodles. Add in the cucumbers, peanuts, and the herbs. Stir and serve.
This was so yum and so easy.
It’s a such an easy shortcut to make the meatballs out of sausages, and they turn out really juicy and delicious.
I put this on pearl couscous and vermicelli, but you can also eat it with some bread, or on rice or even pasta.
You can’t lose with Nigella! The recipe is from her book Simply Nigella, given to me by my Bibs <3
- 500g Merguez sausages
- 2 x 15ml tablespoons regular olive oil
- 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 1 x 290g jar chargrilled peppers in oil
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons sea salt flakes
- 1 x 15ml tablespoon runny honey
- 1 cup of pearl couscous
- A handful of vermicelli
- 2 ¼ cups water
- Squeeze the sausagemeat out of the casings and then form into small meatballs, using about 2 teaspoonfuls per ball. I get 34 out of this mixture, but I have to concentrate on not making the meatballs bigger as I go – they should each be about the size of a cherry tomato.
- Heat the oil in a wide, heavy-based saucepan or casserole (with a lid), and fry the meatballs for about 3 minutes or so, then spoon out as much excess oil as you can and discard.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, then drain the jar of peppers and snip or chop them into pieces, before adding to the pan as well.
- Sprinkle the spices over the contents of the pan, add the salt and – oiling the tablespoon first – the honey, then bring up to a bubble before partially covering the pan with its lid and leaving to simmer for 10 minutes.
- While the meatballs bubble away, toast the pearl couscous and vermicelli in olive oil for about 10 minutes, stirring when needed to avoid it burning. When golden brown, add the water, and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, cover the pot and turn it down to a simmer for 10 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.
I remember making this soup about 6 years ago, and it completely blew me away.
The broth is hearty, and the contrast with the the tangy sour cream is too good to be true.
The combination of textures between the lentils, chickpeas, borlotti beans, and egg noodles is also so special.
I will confess that I forgot to add the noodles this time *sigh*. So they are not featured in the photo. If you want to refer to the original recipe visit 101cookbooks.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 long red chili OR green serrano, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ½ cups / 2 liters good-tasting vegetable stock/broth
- 100g / 3.5 oz yellow split peas or brown lentils
- 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed if using canned
- 2 cups / 350g cooked borlotti beans
- fine grain sea salt
- 120 g thin egg noodles, fresh or dried
- 3 ½ oz / 100g fresh spinach leaves, finely shredded
- ½ cup finely shredded cilantro leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- Juice of one lime
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 100 ml sour cream or creme fraiche
- Heat the oil in a large, thick-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and the chile and cook until they soften, a few minutes. Add the spices and cook for another thirty seconds, just long enough for them to toast a bit, then stir in the stock. Bring to a boil and add the split peas/lentils to the pot. Cook until they are just tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in the cooked chickpeas and borlotti beans. Once the beans have heated throughout, season with salt to taste.
- In the meantime, you can prepare the toppings. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large frying pan over medium heat along with a couple big pinches of salt. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until golden and caramelized, 8 - 10+ minutes. Set aside.
- Just before you're ready to eat, add the noodles to the simmering soup and cook until al dente. Stir in the spinach, and cilantro and dill. Add a big squeeze of lime to the pot or serve wedges along with each bowl of soup. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.
- Serve right away, each bowl topped with a big spoonful of caramelized onions and some creme fraiche.