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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around the world, eats, Places, sweet eat

Strawberry and yoghurt ice-cream with date syrup

IMG_2476Mui Ne in Vietnam this january. beaches and kite-surfing.
yesterday i craved ice-cream the whole day, just like i used to crave it when living in south-east asia. a sunny, 26°c Stockholm does that to you (also eager to use my new ice-cream maker). so i came home and whipped together this from what ingredients i had in the fridge. super-easy and tangy with moderate sweetness (you can adjust this just as you like, yet another reason to try the flavor while making it..)IMG_7270 IMG_7245 super easy, super fast, super fresh ice-cream, enough for 4 persons
one egg white (whisked until hard foam)
200 ml yoghurt
about 10 fresh strawberries
2 tbsp agave syrup (date syrup if you like! and adjust amount to your liking)

roughly mash the strawberries with the syrup. mix this with the yoghurt and then carefully fold in the egg white. i like it tangy, but flavor with more syrup if needed. pour the mixture in to an ice-cream maker or put in the freezer (if using the freezer, make sure you stir the ice-cream once every hour to avoid the “iciness”). when you have desired texture serve at once with date syrup on top. and maybe one of these cookies on the side?

(this ice-cream should be eaten straight away – keeping it in the freezer will make it quite hard and icy. but then again, why wait?)

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

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drinks, Japan, morning eat, Osaka

Winter oranges in Japan and juice on a summer morning

the past couple of weeks we’ve been making freshly squeezed juice for breakfast every morning. it’s such an easy everyday treat. this got me thinking about how much i miss all the different types of oranges and mandarins you can get hold during the winter season in Japan. summer orange, hassaku, miikan… i don’t even remember half of their names. but i can assure you they are truly wonderful in both flavor and texture, with that perfect combination of sweet and sour.

Winter oranges

this winter i spent two weeks in japan again, meeting up with my former host family ( or well, more like japanese family) for christmas and new years. one morning i decided to go for a walk in the neighborhood of Kubota (久保田) where they live in the southern part of Osaka. the weather was crisp and clear without being cold. walking the tarmac among the houses i spotted this orange tree, lavished with oranges.

Orange-ginger juice

Orange-ginger juice

gingery orange-pink grapefruit juice (enough for one glass)
one orange of your liking
1/2 a grapefruit (i prefer pink)
2×2 cm knob of ginger (peeled)

squeeze the juice and grate the ginger on a fine grater. put in a glass and let sit while preparing the rest of you breakfast (it’s hard, i know, but well worth it as it gives the ginger time to flavor the juice). i assure you this is just as great on a summer day as it is a cold winters morning. all that vitamin C and ginger boosting the immune system… both japanese and korean people eat ginger (you know with the sushi?) or drink it as tea and they both live long, keep slim and have healthy skin. i’m just saying.

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eats, festive eat, Places, sweet eat

Taiwanese tea and coconuts

Wistaria tea house in Taipei, Taiwan. built in the 1920’s. the building became a teahouse and gained its present name in 1981 and at that time it was meeting place for political dissidents fighting for a democratic Taiwan. it’s perserved as a historic monument and open for anyone to come for a cup of wistaria tea. i went there in december 2012 and i could literary have spent hours and hours sitting in the fantastic surroundings drinking cup after cup of their fragrant tea. every tiny cup was a small treat. thankfully i managed to bring some back home.

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at Wistaria the tea is traditionally brewed in tiny tiny ceramic pots, filled to the brim with leaves. the tea is then transferred to an open pot (“ocean”) before poured into the small serving cups. you get your own pot of warm water and can then pour yourself new tea as the discussions continue… just as the taipei artists, academics and literati does and have done. if you find yourself in taipei – don’t miss out.

another tiny treat that might be closer to home, and easier to try, are these pieces of chocolate covered coconut. like bounty but better and healthier, without both dairy and gluten. you make them in the swiftest of a moment and finish them off just as fast.

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Coconut and chocolate squares

one can coconut milk (400 ml)

ca 170 g shredded coconut

about 2 tbsp coconut sugar

2 pinches of sea salt

ca 150 g dark (70%) chocolate

chill the can of coconut milk in the freezer for 30-45 min. by doing this it is easy to scoop out only the coconut cream, leaving the “water” out. then put the coconut cream in a pot on the stove together with the sugar and salt. bring to a boil and make sure all the sugar has dissolved. steer in the shredded coconut. season with sugar/salt if needed. flatten out the mixture on a tray covered with baking paper (rectangular) so that is approximately 1,5 cm thick. leave to cool in the fridge a couple of hours or over night. cut the coconut in 20 pieces and dip in melted chocolate. before putting in the fridge to cool again sprinkle some sea salt ont top and garnish with shredded coconut/coconut flakes. they keep for about a week in the fridge. but don’t worry at that point there wont be any left. the recipe is an interpretation from this girl’s. thank you for the inspiration.

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any day eat, eats, in eat, salad eat, sea eat, summer eat

Greens and a parcel of saffron salmon

back home again. from a very green island to a very green plate. this makes a wonderful solo dinner.

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in the oven

150 g fresh salmon

pinch of sea salt

saffron*

chili flakes*

fennel seeds*

dash of lemon juice

dash of olive oil

honey/agave syrup

pepper

one small red onion cut in wedges

4-5 asparagus cut in half

rinse and cut of the hard ends of the asparagus, then cut in half. put the salmon on a quite large piece of oven foil. put a little bit of saffron, fennel seeds, chili flakes and a pinch of sea salt in a mortar and pound. spread on top of the salmon together with a few turns with the pepper grinder. drizzle some olive oli and honey/syrup on top. add the onion wedges and roll up the foil to make a small, closed package. put the package on a tray together with the asparagus and som olive oil. bake in the oven (225°c, 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the salmon). you might have to take out the asparagus a bit earlier than the fish, so keep an eye on it.

* a tip is to use this spice mix instead – it’s lovely.

fresh

a bunch of green leafs of choice (I used pot salad)

one avocado

a few toasted walnuts

lemon olive oil

white balsamico vinegar

rinse the salad, half the avocado and then peel and cut it in slices. spread out the vegetables on a plate and add the salmon and asparagus. finish off with walnuts, lemon olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

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