Broccoli and turnip soup

Though I have not posted anything for a while, I keep cooking and taking photos when I try new recipes. I am now working (it’s been already a year and a half!) and I don’t have much time for innovation but now and then I cook new stuff.

This winter, I started to cook soups. This is so quick to do and so warming! And with good vegetables and spices it is very tasty. Soup doesn’t have to be boring!
Here is my recipe for broccoli soup.

Broccoli soup

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Level: Easy
Cost: Cheap

Equipment: large saucepan, hand blender

Ingredients:
– 1 broccoli (300-400g)
– 1 turnip (150g)
– 1 carrot
– 1 potato
– 1/4 to 1/2 onion
– 600 mL water (or vegetable or meet broth)
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 2 tbsp fresh cream (optinal)
– salt, pepper
– turmeric (optional, “Curcuma” in French)

Heat the saucepan with olive oil. Peel and chop onion and turnip and add them in the pan. Let cook for 5 minutes.
Add carrots and potatoes (peeled and chopped), stir.
Add the water/broth. Add salt. Bring to boil. Then lower heat, cover and let cook for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, wash the broccoli, chop (remove woody parts). Add in the pot and let cook for 5-8 minutes.
When cooked – all vegetables must be tender (check with a knife)- leave to cool down for a few minutes, add pepper and spices and mix with a hand blender.

Add fresh cream and serve immediately.
Or keep it in the fridge or freezer in a glass jar (without cream is better).

You can add bread or pieces of vegetable you saved before mixing in your bowl for a nicer presentation.
Enjoy!

Notes:
Be careful with the onion, it can have a strong taste if there is too much and hide the taste of other vegetables.
Also turmeric gives a wonderful taste but don’t forget to add pepper (otherwise you don’t get all the benefits of curcumin because it is not well absorbed)

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!

Breakfast oat cake

Here is the recipe of a cake I sometimes make for breakfast. It is very simple and there is no butter or flour. You can keep it one day (but it is better freshly made!)

20140418_081745

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
Servings: 3
Level: Easy

Equipment: oven, cake tin, bowl

Ingredients:
– a cup of oats (95g)
– 3 apples or pears
– 200 mL milk
– 3 tbsp of ground almonds
– 50g sugar (I sometimes replace it by agave syrup)
– 1 big egg or 2 small
– 1 tea spoon of cinnamon (+ or – according to your taste)

Put the oat, milk, almonds, sugar, cinnmon in a big bowl.
Whisk the eggs and add them
Pell the fruits, dice them and add them to the preparation
Cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes
Let cool down before eating

Tofu and sun dried tomatoes quinoa

Here is an amazing recipe I found on the site Journal des Femmes (in French unfortunately). I tried it and loved it! The balsamc vinegar makes all the difference!

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Level: Easy
Cost: cheap

Equipment: pans, chopboard

Ingredients:
– 100 g quinoa
– 1 onion
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 40 g of sun-dried tomatoes
– 150 g tofu
– baslamic vinegar

Cook the quinoa in a pot for 15 min (follow instructions on pack or see article about quinoa)
Chop the onions and fry them in a hot oiled pan, add the tomatoes (cut)
Cook the diced tofu in a pan with balsamic vinegar
Then when everything is cooked, put it alltogether in a pan. Add salt, pepper and serve

Serving tips
Serve with a salad (I usually use a mix of rocket, spinach, lettuce)
You can use a small bowl to present in a nice shape on the plates

Quinoa: so tasty, so healthy!

I recently discovered how simple it was to cook quinoa. It is also very tasty and a nice substitute  if you want to eat starchy food, without eating only pasta and rice. You can buy it very easily from the supermarket even though it is a little bit more expensive than pasta or rice.
Quinoa has a lot of nice properties: full of dietary fibre, phosphorus, magnesium and iron, it is gluten-free and easy to digest. It also a complete protein which makes it very suitable for vegetarians, because it can be used either as a side dish or as a main dish, in a salad.

quinoa

How to prepare it:

It should usually be rinsed or soaked before use to remove its bitter coating, so check packet instructions. Bring two cups of water to the boil to one cup of grain, cover, simmer and cook for approximately 15 minutes or until the germ separates from the seed. The cooked germ should have a slight bite to it (al dente) and are translucents.

Be careful, when cooked, its grains quadruple in size.

My recipe with vegetable:

I like to add vegatables directly in the pot with the quinoa (my single pan policy…), like carrots, courgettes, peppers. You peeled them and add them: they will cook with the steam (the healthiest way to cook vegetables). The timing to add them depends on how cooked you want them. Carrots for exemple are quite long to cook so add them at the beginning. Peppers should be added later if you want them a little crunchy.

You can eat that as a single dish or with salmon or chicken (that you can cook in the oven for a completely fat-free meal).
And this can also be eaten cold, so think of quinoa for your lunchbox!

Cooking in the oven

Here is a nice tip to optimize your meal preparation: use the oven.

In fact, I often use the oven to cook chicken fillet or salmon or other kind of fish. The most common way is to do it in a pan but the oven offers many advantages:
– it is fast
– no need to stay behind the hob during the cooking
– if you only have one pan, you can use it for something else at the same time (or if you are sharing the kitchen with other residents and space on the hob is limited…)
– no need for fat (so healthy!)
– washing is easier to do (extremely strong argument!)
– chicken doesn’t get dry or burnt; it is also a good way to cook it to then use it in a salad or in a wrap

In practice:

For chicken, just put the chicken fillet in an oven dish. You can season with lemon juice or mustard or spices according to your taste. Put it in the oven at 160° for 10-15 minutes (it must be all white inside, no pink remaining)

I also tried once to stuff chicken with feta cheese and wrap it in spinach leaves and that was quite good!

For salmon, same. For the cooking, I personally prefer when it is not too cooked. If you cook it too much, it gets dry, but then it depends how you like it.

Enjoy!