eats, Kyoto, summer eat, sweet eat

Mango-banana spring ice-cream

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working from home on saturdays has it’s perks. this is one of them. taking a break with non-cream ice-cream. and also the sunny color matched this week-end’s sunny weather. mental note to always keep frozen banana and mango at home.

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1 small banana, frozen in pieces
a handfull of frozen mango
a knifes point of vanilla bean powder

coconut flakes for topping

put the fruit on the counter for a while so that it’s not deep frozen. then, in a mixer put the banana, mango and vanilla powder. mix until smooth. top with coconut flakes. eat.

(oh and the wonderful flowers are from a couple of years ago in a blooming Kyoto)

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

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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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eats, festive eat, salt eat, sweet eat

Cinnamon Popcorn & Apple Chips

i know i might be late but i’ve had a popcorn epiphany. popcorn anything. any day of the week. this is my latest favorite. it’s like christmas and fall in one and the same treat.

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apple chips (a small amount)
two good apples

popcorn (single serving)
1 1/2 tbsp popcorn kernels
1/2 tsp canola oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp agave syrup (or maple?)
2-3 pinches of sea salt
a small handfull of apple chips (bought or homemade)

for the apple chips.
wash and dry the apples. cut in 4 wedges and remove the core, then slice each wedge in 1 mm thin slices (making small triangles). put on baking paper, making sure pieces are not on top of each other. now dry in the oven at 75°c for approximately 5 hours (or until crisp). to let steam out put a wooden spoon/kettle-holder in the oven door, that keeps it open.

now the popcorn.
start by popping the popcorn on the stovetop in the small amount of canola oil. medium high heat and the lid on, continuously swirling the kernels. when popping stops remove from the heat. powder with cinnamon, drizzle with syrup and sprinkle with sea salt. stir and then mix in the apple chips. indulge.

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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eats, morning eat

Granüsli.

good morning.

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i’ve been in love with breakfast ever since i can remember. in my opinion it’s the best meal of the day. several cups of good earl grey and time to read a full news paper gives you peace. and the food. somehow i feel that breakfast food is in many ways comfort food. pancakes. cheese. butter. sweet fruits. waffles. warm porridge. flaky croissants. refreshing orange juice. peanut butter. scones. yoghurt. and granola.

autumn granola | piecefully

when i was a kid the only thing i ate for breakfast was cheese sandwiches. preferably swedish “polarkakor” or anything my mum baked (usually some kind of rye bread). i used to microwave the sandwiches to let the cheese melt. oh the goodness of that. sometimes, when served, i would also go for semolina porridge, with way too much apple purée. i did not at all like swedish sour-cream and müsli (except once every summer during vacation when we would be allowed sweet, sweet granola or muesli with real pieces of chocolate. then i’d eat the sour-milk just to get the sweet bits). and so i kept myself to bread and cheese for a very long time. basically until i moved to japan and had to adapt to eating fish, rice and miso soup in the morning. which was, believe it or not, fantastic. then a couple of years ago i discovered turkish yoghurt and that threw my morning routine over again. the simplicity and freshness in thick, creamy yoghurt with fresh fruit and a few nuts and some honey on top is remarkable. and my long fight with the sharp, sour flavor and liquidity of most yoghurts was over. my next combat was the muesli.

i still love granola. but the amount of sugar in it kind of makes me back of. (legit reason?)
i still hate regular muesli. feels like eating pure oats and cornflakes (the fright!) that get all soft…
i want to eat stuff which is good for your body. and tastes great.
i don’t want to pay crazy amounts of money for something i can make myself. and i like knowing exactly what i put in my morning bowl. so i set out on a quest to make the prefect granola/muesli. granüsli?

this is one version.
i’ve made so many batches before this and there are many more to come. though i think i’m starting to get the hang of it; the other day this batch was claimed to be “the best muesli i’ve ever had”… and my sister tries to prohibit me from making it since she can’t resist. which says something. i presume these jars will be finished within a week. and i’ll most definitely be partly to blame.

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one quite big batch.
the granola
1 banana
200-300 ml oats
200 ml spelt flakes
1 tbsp whole cardamom kernels, ground
2 tbsp maple syrup

the seeds and nuts
200 g walnuts
100 ml sunflower seeds
100 ml pumpkinseeds
100 ml ground flax seeds
4 tbsp psyllium seeds
2 tbsp chia seeds
2-3 tbsp maple syrup

the good stuff
50 ml cacao nibs
150 ml coconut chips
200-300 ml quinoa puffs
200 g dried cranberries
200 g dried goji berries

preheat the oven to 175°c.
to make the granola: mash the banana thoroughly and mix with the rest of the granola ingredients. squeeze into crumbs and put on a oven tray. the seeds and nuts: break the walnuts in halves and then mix together with the rest of the ingredients and the syrup. put on a oven tray. now bake the two trays in the oven for about 40 min, stir now and then and keep an close eye on the oven so that nothing burns. the nuts and seed should be a bit golden and the granola dry when ready. now mix it all with the good stuff and put in airtight jars. and feel free to exchange any nuts/seeds/berries to you liking.

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

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