Homemade taboulé

A light easy summer meal!

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Servings: 8
Level: Easy
Cost: cheap

Equipment: oven dish, large salad bowl,

Ingredients:
– 4 cups of semola
– 4 tomatoes
– 1 cucumber
– 1 pepper
– fresh mint
– 2 lemons
– olive oil
– 600g chicken fillet (Chicken is optional if you want it as a starter or side dish)

Prepare the chicken: cut it in small pieces and put it in an oven dish with lemon juice and a tbsp of olive oil. Let marinate and cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes. When it is ready put it in a cold dish and let cool down in the fridge.

Prepare the semola: put equal volume of semola and boiling water in a large bowl, with a pinch of salt. Cover and leave to rest.
Peel and cut the cucumber. Remove the seeds of the pepper and the tomatoes and cut them.
Wash and cut the mint very finely.

Add the vegetables and the mint in the semola. Add olive oil and lemon juice. Mix well. Add the chicken, mix. Leave in the fridge until you serve it.

Tip: you can keep some whole mint leaves to decorate.

Express pasta with homemade tomato sauce

Usually I do not buy tomato sauce. The reason is that once you open it, you have to finish it within a week and I love pasta and tomato sauce but I don’t want to eat that everyday! And I discovered it was so simple to make your own fresh and delicious tomato sauce that I definitely adopted it. The only thing I need to keep in my fridge is tomato puree, but that you can keep for months once the tube is open.

So to make this recipe you just need a tomato, tomato puree, and pasta! It takes 10 minutes and you’ll see than once you’ve tried you’ll get back to it very often!

Pasta-tomato

Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking: 10 minutes
Servings: 1
Level: Super easy
Cost: Super cheap

Equipment: saucepan, drainer, bowl

Ingredients:
– pasta (wholewheat penne on the photo)
– 1 fresh tomato
– tomato puree
– a tbsp of olive oil
– herbs: basilic, oregano, thyme, etc, dry or fresh

In a saucepan, bring salted water to the boil and cook the pasta.
In the meantime, boil some water, pour in a bowl and plunge the tomato 30 seconds.
Then peel the tomato, remove the seeds and chop. Keep in the bowl.
When pasta is cooked, drain and leave in the drainer.
In the same saucepan (remember I have only one, and I have no dishwasher, so I optimize!) put a table spoon of olive oil and the tomatoes. Cook 1 minute at medium heat. Then add a teaspoon of tomato puree and a bit of water. Stir.
Add the pasta, herbs, pepper, salt, stir and serve!

You can add fresh herbs on top if you have some and/or parmesan. On the photo, it is rocket salad. I like the peppery taste with the pasta.

Variations: This is really basic (and already delicious!) but you can do more sophisticated stuff by adding onions, olives, …

Tuna and potato burger

Tomorrow is my last exam and I am so bored with studying that any excuse is good to procrastinate. So I am doing other cooking experiments and since I am in a veg burger period, I tried a new one with potatoes and tuna. This is again completely experimental and I basically put everything I had in my fridge that I needed to get rid off!

Tuna-potato-burger

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 10 minutes
Servings: 1
Level: Easy
Cost: cheap

Equipment: bowl, pan

Ingredients:
– 1/4 can of tuna chunks
– 2 potatoes
– a little bit of soft tofu
– a little bit of tomato puree
– grated parmesan
– balsamic vinegar
– mixed herbs, parsley
– salt, pepper
– oil for the pan

Just mix everything, form burgers and fry them in oiled pan.

tunapotatoburger2

Serve with salad or vegetables.

Don’t be afraid to be imaginative regarding ingredients. Add spices, different sauces, vegetables, etc.

Tofu and oat veg burger

Today in my fridge was this leftover of tofu that I needed to finish. And instead of my usual stuff, I wanted to try something new. So here is the (very experimental) recipe of the veg burgers/pancakes (call that as you wish!) that I made.

galette-tofu1

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 10 minutes
Servings: 1
Level: Easy
Cost: cheap

Equipment: bowl, pan

Ingredients:
– 40 g soft tofu
– 2 tbsp oat
– 1/2 carrot, peeled and grated
– a tbsp flour + an other to roll the burgers in before frying
– grated parmesan
– a teaspoon balsamic vinegar
– mixed herbs, parsley
– salt, pepper
– oil for the pan

Put the oat flakes in a bowl. Boil water and pour on the oat to soften it. Let the oat absorb the water (better to do this step 20 minutes before). In must not become liquid, but remain quite compact.
Then add the tofu, herbs, carrots, parmesan, salt, pepper, vinegar and a tablespoon of flour (I used complete flour). Mix well until it is homogeneous.

galette-tofu3      galette-tofu2

Then form burgers, roll them in flour and fry them in an oiled pan. Cook on both sides.

Serve with a salad or grilled vegetables.

Remarks and tips:
– you can add chopped onion or any vegetable you like ( leeks, potatoes, tomatoes, etc)
– you can replace parmesan and balsamic vinegar by soy sauce
– the quantities indicated are a bit random so better trust the texture you obtain than my quantities

Sources: http://www.markal.fr/detail-recette-456.html#.U42QjCipYV8
http://recettes-vegetariennes.over-blog.com/article-galettes-de-tofu-au-parmesan-59773904.html

Almond and pear quick cake

The advantage with cakes is that since you put only good things in them, you do not take much risk creating new recipes or improvising on quantities! (Well it depends… My beloved siblings sometimes come up with surprising tastes and mixtures! But it is always worth trying)

Inspired from two of my recipes: Yoghurt cake and Financier, here is the recipe of the cake I made for a friend’s birthday and after exam treat!

cake-pear-almond
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Servings: 6-8
Level: Easy
Cost: cheap!
Equipment: bowl, cake tin, oven

Ingredients: (1 measure = 1 volume of yoghurt)
– 1 yoghurt
– about 1/2 measure of honey (or 1 measure sugar)
– 1 1/2 measures of flour
– 100g of ground almonds
– 1/2 measure of melted butter About 100g
– 3 eggs
– 1 sachet baking powder
– 3 pears, peeled, diced

In a bowl, pour the yoghurt and keep the pot to use as a measure. Add the eggs and mix.
Add honey baking powder, almond and flour, mix. Add the butter and pears, mix.
Pour in a cake tin and cook in the oven at 180°C for about 20 minutes (to test whether it is ready, put a knife in the cake: it is ready if the knife remains dry)

20140615_125031

Note: you can decorate the cake with flaked almonds (to spread before cooking)

The mug series 2: Chocolate and tofu!

Continuing my article the mug series, I tried a new version of the chocolate mug cake: no butter, no egg, but tofu! The result is amazing!!!

mug-choco-tofu

Ingredients:
– 30g dark chocolate (I take 70% dark chocolate, so good!)
– a tbsp ground almond
– 30g soft tofu
– a tbsp flour
– a teaspoon baking powder
– a tbsp sugar

Melt chocolate 20 sec in microwave with a bit of water.
Add tofu, mix with a fork. Add the other ingredients, mix.
Microwave for 1min30.
Let cool down 2 minutes before eating!

Notes: quantities are a bit random, the best way to adjust is to try and see how you like it.
Uncooked, it tastes and looks quite bad but cooked, it is amazing! you would never guess it is tofu and not the standard ingredients and you really feel the taste of chocolate! Definitely adopted!

Asparagus and soy sauce chicken/tofu

May is really the good month for green asparagus and they are really good for you. Here is an amazing dish I made with chicken and asparagus. As a variation for vegetarian, chicken can be replaced by tofu.

Asparagus-and-soy-sauce-chicken

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Servings: 1
Level: Easy
Equipment: pan, pot

Ingredients:
– 100g Asparagus
– 120g chicken (or tofu)
– 1/4 onion
– soy sauce
– pepper
– basmati rice

Chop the onion and dice the chicken. Let them marinate in a bowl with soy sauce and pepper.
Cook the asparagus in boiling water until tender (cook them vertical, head out of the water). Drain.
Cook the rice in boiling water.
In an oiled pan, cook the chicken and onions (do not add all the soy sauce that was in the bowl immediately, reserve for the end of the cooking). When chicken cooked, cut the asparagus and add them in the pan. Lower the heat, add the remain of soy sauce.
Serve on the rice and enjoy!

Variation: Chicken and asparagus couscous with lemon
With the rest of asparagus (yes there was an offer and I bought a lot!) I simply made them with chicken and semola and added a pinch of lemon juice and pepper. Cooking time: 3 minutes. Taste: ++++