eats, in eat, vegeterian eat

Coconut quinoa and asian greens.

new years resolutions. one of mine was to cook more asian food. a really good resolution. a result of this is of my latests discoveries: this bowl of wonder. it’s like eating fluffy clouds spiked with great greens and chili.

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the clouds (serves 4)
200 ml white quinoa
250 ml coconut milk
150 ml water
ca 1 tsp salt
a little bit of coconut oil/flavorless oil

rinse the quinoa and fry in the oil for about five minutes. add water, coconut milk and salt. bring to a boil and then simmer for 15-20 minuter on low heat. while cooking the quinoa prep the greens.

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the greens
brussel sprouts (one net), peeled and cut in quarters
200g edamame, if frozen thawed
4 handfuls of leaf spinach, rinsed
1 bid clove of garlic, finely chopped
1/3 of a chili, finely chopped
a small piece of ginger, finely chopped
ca 2 tbsp fish sauce
juice from 1/2 a lime
a mini-dash of soy sauce
a handfull of fresh cilantro
a dash of olive oil

fry the brussel sprouts in oil together with garlic, chili an ginger. after a little while add the edamame, lime juice and fish sauce. adjust to flavor and add soy sauce if needed. divide the quinoa into bowls, top with fried and fresh greens and cilantro and then enjoy.

All content by © Sofia Hellsten 2010-2014. All rights reserved.

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fast eat, sweet eat, vegeterian eat

Plum rum jam

some memories of plums: the dried ones that i really didn’t like as a kid. the huge tree in my parents backyard, with red and yellow ones. all that sweet umeshuu (plum wine) in Japan. the salt and sour taste of pickled plums i’ll never understand. a so called (horrible) “plum tea”. fresh plum juice at some small place on a trip somewhere i can’t remember. and then there is this. plum and rum in one pot along with som dried figs that turned out to be a not too sweet, super quick jam.

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one small batch
6 plums
5 dried figs, cut in pieces
2 knives ends of vanilla
juice from 1/2 a lemon
1-2 tbsp Agave syrup
2 tbsp dark rum

wash the plums and cut in wedges, put in a pot together with the rest of the ingredients. simmer on low heat for approximately 40 minutes, or until it has reached jam-like consistency. adjust amount of acidity or sweetener to your liking. put the jam in a disinfected jar and let cool. serve with cheese, on the morning porridge, with your yoghurt or as a dessert together with some ice-cream. keeps for about a week in the fridge.

All content by © Sofia Hellsten 2010-2013. All rights reserved.

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any day eat, eats, fast eat, vegeterian eat

Black bean spaghetti with kale and pomegranate

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when i was i kid i loved pasta. and a really mean loved. i could eat it every single day for weeks if i was allowed. from time to time me and dad also used to make pasta together. this always ended up with the whole kitchen being heaped with tagliatelle on the dry. sometimes we’d go all the way and make tortellini,  another love of mine. i cherished these days. winding the pasta machine, hanging out in the kitchen, later serving the rest of the family this fantastic creation of ours. with loads of parmesan if i had it my way. at this that time my humble opinion was that pasta was the best invention the world had seen. i even remember writing a short paper on the subject when i was eight.

now it was a long time since i stood in a kitchen surrounded by pasta and even though i have a very weak spot for pasta carbonara that’s not how i approach weekdays today. since i don’t cook (or eat) much meat i try to fit in proteins into my meals wherever i can. and a big portion of veggie pasta doesn’t really fill that purpose, or my stomach for that matter. that’s a problem, since i love both the pasta itself and the simplicity in tossing of a bowl of spaghetti.

then, a couple of weeks ago i found something that turned my weekdays around completely. black bean pasta. yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. pasta made from black beans, packed with proteins and satisfyingly filling. i combined this with the great kale, a new green interpretation of my dad’s pesto and pomegranate. ending up with something both beautiful to look at, comforting to eat, easy to make and incredibly tasty. people say you should be humble about your own cooking, but seriously, i’ve made this like seven times the past weeks. i promise you it’s good.

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the pasta part
200 g black bean spaghetti
6-8 leaves of kale, washed and cut into small pieces
1 big red onion, sliced
seeds from 1 pomegranate
parsley pesto (see below for recipe)
salt & 
pepper
pumpkin/sunflower seeds, toasted (was out of pumpkin seeds..)

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parsley & kale pesto
2 leaves of kale, stalks removed and cut into small pieces
one bunch of parsley, stalks removed
100 ml almonds
1 clove of garlic, minced into paste
100 g parmesan cheese, chopped
juice from 1/2 a lemon
100 ml olive oil, more if it’s too dry
1/2 tsp honey/agave syrup (optional)
1 tsp sea salt

start of by making the pesto. put all dry ingredients in a bowl mixer and mix until semi-fine. add liquids and pulse again, adding more oil if necessary. let rest for a while to allow the flavors to emerge. then adjust flavor (salt/cheese/lemon/syrup) if needed.

on to the pasta. while bringing salted water to a boil prepare the vegetables and the pomegranate. fry the onion and kale at high temperature in some olive oil while the pasta is cooking. remove frying pan from the heat and add drained pasta and just over half of the pesto and a dash of olive oil. mix well to make sure the pesto has worked it’s way into the tangle of pasta. put on plates and add a spoon or two of pomegranate seeds, some pumpkin seeds, black pepper and a shaving of fresh parmesan. indulge with more pesto close at hand.

about that pasta: in Stockholm you can find it at a couple of health-/eco stores – just have a look around. and the non-food photos is a peek from my past weekend in London.

All content by © Sofia Hellsten 2010-2013. All rights reserved.

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any day eat, eats, Places, salt eat, Sweden, vegeterian eat

Creamy polenta with two types of kale

so. i got hooked on this dish a couple of weeks ago. before exams happened… hence the delay. it’s comforting, and super easy to make. think risotto but creamier. with crispy and lemony kale. 

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the colors reminded me of the trekking i did with my mother this summer. among crisp green trees on soft moss with spectacular views. it makes me want to go back up north. and just as the lush green of a late-summer Jämtland calms you down so does a plate of this.

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this makes enough for 4
the polenta
3 dl polenta
12,5 dl warm stock (chicken or vegetable)
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 dl grated parmesan cheese
zest from 1/2 a lemon
fresh thyme, leafed

the topping
fine mushrooms, 3 handfuls (i used brown wood mushroom, but portabella or shiitake would work nicely as well)
Kale, 2 BIG bunches
juice from 1/4 a lemon
olive oil
truffle salt

for serving: lemon and freshly grated parmesan

fry garlic and shallots in olive oil, add the polenta, give it a stir and then add the stock – whisk immediately until smooth (to avoid lumps). when the polenta has come to a boil put on low heat and steer regularly for the next 30 minutes. while the polenta is cooking rinse and chop the kale roughly. put half of it on a oven tray and bake for about 10 min at 225°c. the same thing is done with the mushrooms, halve them and put on a separate tray and bake next to the kale.

the other half of the kale is to be fried in a frying pan with olive oil for about 7 minutes, squeeze some lemon juice over it towards the end. when the polenta is done (make sure it’s still creamy!!) fold in the cheese and lemon zest together with some olive oil. Serve immediately with the greens and browns on top, a sprinkle of truffle salt and a small bunch of thyme leaves. add a pinch of parmesan and a few drops of lemon to top it off.

All content by © Sofia Hellsten 2010-2013. All rights reserved.

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Sunday pies

the mountains below are situated in toroko gorge national park in taiwan and were truly dramatic settings for a days walk with the fog hanging low among the valleys. i don’t remember what weekday it was when we visited them last december, but they remind me of sundays. sundays usually get me in low spirits. maybe it’s a combination of being tired from late saturday nights and the insight that the week has run out of time. my tactic to cope with this is to plan for something enjoyable. like cooking. taking a long walk. having a long brunch. going to a museum. or eating pies. with the butternut in season and kale in the fridge (left-overs from another recipe testing) i opted for the last one and invited some friends from class. oh and i made it a gluten free pie.

my mum is something of a pie expert. last time i went home she had prepared this incredibly creamy pie filled with chard from our garden. such an autumn treat. and both convenient and comforting – it takes hardly no effort to cook, it’s perfect prepare in beforehand and it’s something about a perfect crust with creamy filling that is highly satisfying. but then i’m a sucker for contrasting textures.

kale and butternut pie with buckwheat crust | piecefully Toroko gorge national park, Taiwan | piecefully

kale and butternut pie with buckwheat crust | piecefully Toroko gorge national park, Taiwan | piecefully

kale and butternut pie with buckwheat crust | piecefully

the buckwheat crust
300 ml buckwheat flour
150 ml millet
75 ml olive oil
2 tbsp water
salt

mix the above, press out into a pie dish and bake at 175°c for 15 min. take out and set aside.

the filling
half a butternut
3 big handfuls of kale, in pieces
fresh thyme
4 eggs
200 ml milk (soy or regular)
1,5 tbsp dijon mustard
sea salt
pepper
200 g goats cheese

rip/cut the kale in to semi-big pieces. peel the butternut and slice in 1/2 cm thin wedges. whisk together 1/3 of the goats cheese with milk and eggs, season with the mustard, some fresh thyme and quite a bit of salt and pepper. arrange the vegetables in the crust and pour over the egg mixture. top with goats cheese and plenty of thyme before baking at 175°c for approximately 40 min (until the batter is no longer runny).

All content by © Sofia Hellsten 2010-2013. All rights reserved.

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Figs and lentils.

the story of the fresh fig.
so i have this problem. or maybe it’s not a problem, more of a compulsion i should say. whenever i go into a grocery store i can’t stop myself from shopping – there is always some fantastic fruit or vegetable in season.

recognize that?

this time is was figs. oh and grapes. and mango. and blueberries. anyways. instead of just buying some cashews (the reason for my leap to the store on a ten min break from studying) i ended up back at school carrying this huge bag of fruits. next time its fresh corn. or those sweet swedish apples in season right now. though, what should a girl do when being presented with all that wonderfulness? i cave in every time.
now i’m also debating getting my own fig tree. imagine that. i dream of having fresh homegrown figs with yoghurt, walnuts and honey for breakfast every day.

back to the story; my deviation from the plan resulted in quite some feast. a solo lunch feast.

Date and halloumi salad with lentils | piecefully

so this is what you do to make a feast for one.
2 fresh figs, washed and sliced
two handfulls of baby spinach
one small red onion, in wedges
50 ml beluga lentils (the trick is to cook them with a piece of bouillon instead of salt)
70-100g halloumi, in pieces (or good goats cheese…)
almonds, toasted and chopped (or walnuts!)
crema di balsamico
fresh thyme

if i had had walnuts and goats cheese at hand i would have opted for that, but almonds and halloumi work just as awesomely. put the figs and onion in an oven tray and bake at 225°c for ca 10 minutes (keep an eye on them – you don’t want the figs too soft). whilst doing this, cook the lentils according to directions and fry the halloumi (if using goats cheese there is no need for preparation). arrange vegetables, lentils, figs and cheese on a plate – top of with thyme, almonds and crema di balsamico. then enjoy. i did.

All content by © Sofia Hellsten 2010-2013. All rights reserved.

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Peas and music.

IMG_9022  IMG_8951  Green pea pesto | piecefully

when i got home from gothenburg on sunday afternoon i was super hungry, but had hardly nothing in the fridge to work with. so this is what i whipped up. originally i though of doing something with edamame (hence the japanese somen noodles) but i realised that green peas was the only thing in my freezer, so i went with those instead. and as for the noodles – they’re one of my favorites. oh and by the way, way out west was magical, especially the three hours of pure happiness we experienced under this giant disco ball during Giorgio Moroder’s daytime session.

easy pea noodles
(good for one)

ca 1 dl (100 ml) green peas, fresh or thawed
a small glove of garlic
grated parmesan cheese
fresh parsley
a dash of olive oil
pepper
sea salt
japanese somen noodles enough for one person (soba or angel hair spaghetti works fine as well)

put everything except the noodles in a mixer and season to your liking with parsley, parmesan and pepper. cook the noodles for 1,5 min in boiling water, drain and rinse briefly in cold water to prevent them from sticking together. mix in the pea pesto and serve up.

All content by © Sofia Hellsten 2010-2013. All rights reserved.

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