Tag Archives: European cuisine

Fantastic Dutch Cuisine and Goodies

I am the lucky girl who gets to live in a city with a relatively large Dutch community. This means they have an actual store that caters towards those who miss their homeland as much as I do. This means I get to have all the Dutch goodies in the world.

Like when was the last time you had pepernoten or hagelslag since having left the Netherlands? Are any of you actually Dutch? Well I haven’t had pepernoten since last November when mom and I flew back to Holland while renewing our visa’s for in South Africa. We stocked up on pepernoten, kruidnoten, stroopwafels, Pickwick tea, and Wilhelmina mints and brought a whole bunch home to SA.

Well this November we went to the Dutch bakery in the city. Yes, it isn’t as amazing as going to the Netherlands, but instead we just went to our local store. I felt the great need to introduce my boyfriend to what I call delicious treats from the Netherlands.

I’ve now introduced him to hagelsag and he loves it. He says he prefers the dark chocolate hagelsag over my childhood favourite, the colorful one.

So having just introduced him to the goodies of my country, I thought I should do more.

Growing up my favourite dish was stamppot. Stamppot is best described as a potato and vegetable casserole which is mostly paired with meat.

My favourite was stamppot zuurkool, this being sauerkraut casserole. When I was a kid it was with delicious meat sausages but as I do not eat red meat anymore I’ve altered the recipe a bit.

Ingredients:

  • 10 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¼ cup non-dairy sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 package of sauerkraut, drained
  • 6 rashers of turkey bacon
  • 3 chicken sausages, chopped

Instructions:

  1. In a large pan, boil your peeled and chopped potatoes for at least 20 minutes until potatoes are easily poked with a fork.

  2. Drain water and beat potatoes with an electric mixer or potato masher. Add sour cream, salt, and pepper until potatoes are at desired flavour.

  3. Spoon mashed potatoes into an ovensafe glass container and set aside.

  4. Take three of the rashers of bacon and slice into pieces and begin to cook in an oiled frying pan. As bacon begins to brown, add sauerkraut to the mix and cook until heated through.

  5. Once sauerkraut is cooked, spoon onto potatoes.

  6. In same frying pan, cook last three rashers of bacon and chicken sausages and cook until both are browned.

  7. Once cooked, spread onto sauerkraut and pop dish into the oven to heat stamppot thoroughly.

  8. Remove and enjoy!

The recipe that I followed wasn’t one from an online recipe, but from my own recollection (with the help of my mother through questions) of my favourite dish.

I am so glad I made this as we both loved it so much. He had up to three servings! Completely finished whatever leftovers I was hoping to have! Oh well, he was a happy camper after supper.

IMG_2627

We’ve been indulging in all sorts of Dutch goodies now. We actually feel the need to return to the Dutch bakery soon and getting more pepernoten and hagelslag!

Although stamppot is very Dutch, we also enjoy nasi and pindasaus, this being an Indonesian inspired rice dish with peanut sauce. I also got a package of a nasi seasoning and pindasaus package. Can’t wait to try it!

IMG_2557

How fantastic is this all?

Well we both were happy having had stamppot the other day and we cannot wait to keep experiencing new meals together!

I hope you all give this a try and enjoy it as much as we did!

 

Homemade Mushroom Stroganoff Heaven

Well hello all! It has been so long since I’ve cooked my own meal, but it’s been even longer since being on here! I honestly miss being in the kitchen! Luckily I got to be in it today!

So, last time I posted something on here I was still in South Africa. That isn’t the case anymore! I’ve since been in the Netherlands for two weeks at the end of May and for the last three or so weeks been in Canada!

If you haven’t noticed yet, well, I travel a lot. It isn’t always traveling even, it is more that I move a lot. Though before it was just part of my dad’s career, now it is for me to search for the place to settle down. Well sort of. I still lust to one day find a man who travels for work and move with him. You know, like mom did with daddy. Lucky lady!

Well now I’m here in Canada, looking for work and a place of my own. Though for the last while I’ve been living with my older sister and her family. Which reminds me:

Happy first day of Ramadan!

For those of you who don’t know what Ramadan is, here is a link containing the information on it. Basically it is a time when you fast for 30 days from sunrise to sunset. Although I do not fast, I respect those who do fast and know how hard it is.

Anyway, today’s dish is pretty great. When I was a kid my mom would make beef stroganoff often. I remember disliking it at first and then as the years went on I started to like it more. Just before I gave up eating beef I did really enjoy it, but now four and a half years later I craved some stroganoff and thought I would make some!

Mushroom Stroganoff

As I am living with my sister and her family we cook large meals to feed all seven of us and as my sisters family doesn’t eat pork and I don’t eat red meat our meals are limited to poultry and fish. Now I am not sure about you, but in my opinion eating chicken all the time can get a bit boring so I brought up the idea of making a beef stew for the kids and everyone else while I would make a vegetarian dish for myself. The idea was great, however everyone else left the house so stew wasn’t made, but I did get to do my stroganoff! Yay.

Gosh how I missed being in the kitchen.

I got the recipe from Amuse Your Bouche, the direct link to the recipe can be found here. This website/blog that I got my recipe from is an amazing place to get recipes. Great options and it makes me so happy to find fantastic food from them.

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup (139g) white basmati rice
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup (160g) red onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cups (150g) mushrooms, sliced
  • ¼ cup (60ml) vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons plain yoghurt
  • 4 Tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 6 parsley leaves for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Cook rice as directed on package. Once cooked, drain and set aside and begin with the stroganoff.

  2. Heat a medium saucepan with olive oil and sauté garlic, onions, and mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are soft and garlic and onions are fragrant. Add vegetable stock to mushrooms and garlic, add smoked paprika powder to the pan and mix. Season with black pepper (and salt if needed).

  3. Remove stroganoff from heat and add yoghurt and parsley. Mix well.

  4. To serve, spoon some rice into serving dish and pour some sauce into the rice, top some mushrooms on the rice and use a few parsley leaves as a garnish.

This was a great great great dish! Even my mom who is a little ill with a common cold liked it!

Mushroom Stroganoff
Mushroom Stroganoff

If any of you like mushrooms as much as I do, you must try this! It was superb! I even went for seconds! DELICIOUS!

I honestly cannot wait to make this again once I’m on my own. Actually I can’t wait to return to Amuse Your Bouche to find other spectacular meals.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Happy eating!

Spana-what? Greek Spanakopita for Dinner!

Happy Sunday everyone!

Hope you all have had a lovely weekend! Was yours also a long weekend with Mayday – international labour day?
Well all weekend long I’ve been thinking about making Spanakopita, but I got lazy. Thankfully my mom knows when I’m getting lazy and asked whether I am up to making dinner. If I don’t give a proper response or make a certain face, she then pipes in that we should have takeout. For this I am glad that she knows me so well.

Thankfully I was able to make the Spanakopita today! Have you ever heard of Spanakopita? If not let me explain it to you. It is a Greek pastry made with spinach and feta, wrapped in phyllo pastry and then baked. You can find it at any Greek restaurant worldwide. If not, you should really wonder what sort of restaurant you are at!

Spanakopita

So I got the recipe from the wonderful website Budget Bytes, a great food website for uni students who want to eat proper food besides KD Mac n Cheese or ramen and want to keep it rather cheap. The direct link to the Spanakoptia recipe can be found here.

Ingredients:

• 1 Tablespoon olive oil
• ½ yellow onion, chopped finely
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 cup (225g) cottage cheese
• ¼ cup (25g) parmesan cheese
• 1/8 teaspoon allspice
• Pinch of salt and black pepper
• 2 large eggs
• 16 oz (453g) frozen spinach, drained and dried
• 1 sheet puff pastry
• 2 Tablespoons flour
• 1 large egg, beaten for egg wash

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 190ᵒC (375ᵒF).

2. In a small frying pan, sauté yellow onion and garlic cloves on low heat until fragrant and soft. Remove from heat.

3. In a medium bowl, mix together cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, allspice seasoning, salt and pepper, and two eggs.

4. Once mixed well, combine onion, garlic, and spinach with cheese mixture and set aside.

5. Dust a clean work space with flour and roll out sheet of puff pastry. Roll out pastry to be a 30 cm by 30 cm square (12”x12”). Drape the rolled dough over 9 inch pie dish.

6. Spread spinach mixture inside pastry-lined pie dish. Spread corners of the pastry back over top of spinach filling. If they do not reach each other it is okay.

7. Brush egg wash over pastry and place in oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

8. Enjoy!

I don’t know about you, but for my family we can’t enjoy any Greek food without tzatziki! Tonight wasn’t any different. The spinach pastry tasted absolutely FABULOUS with the tzatziki, actually it made it TEN times better. Mom even told me that I may have made the best tzatziki she has ever had. Even better than a restaurant? She said yes!

Spanakopita and tzatziki

Now that is some tzatziki if mine is better than any restaurant grade stuff!

Interested in this fabulous recipe? Just look below!

Ingredients:

• ½ large cucumber, unpeeled
• 1 cup (245g) plain Greek yoghurt
• 4 large garlic cloves, minced
• 2 Tablespoons olive oil
• 1 Tablespoon vinegar
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon ground pepper
• 1 Tablespoon dried dill

Instructions:

1. Grate cucumber and drain through a fine mesh sieve, preferably overnight in the fridge. (I drained it by hand in a half hour and then squeezed the last bits of liquid from a paper towerl)

2. Combine the yoghurt, garlic, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and dill in a large bowl and cover. Refrigerate overnight, (or until needed as I did)

3. Transfer grated cucumber into yoghurt mixture and stir to combine. Serve chilled.

Heaven in a bowl is this.

Anyway, I didn’t quite follow the tzatziki recipe, well I did, I just utilized a whole other yoghurt type. Usually I would prefer to have the basic Greek yoghurt, but I got Bulgarian yoghurt. Have you ever heard of that before? I sure haven’t!

Plain Bulgarian Yoghurt

I got the recipe for the tzatziki recipe from the Wanderlust Kitchen, however the direct link for the recipe can be found here.

It is a real hit and you all should truly try it. You can enjoy tzatziki with bread, pitas, or any specific Greek treats!

I hope you all make this entire dish and enjoy it thoroughly just as we have!

Happy eating!

Apple Goodness for Birthday

You all should know by now that I am Dutch. With the name Liselot you’d think so, right?

Well being Dutch and having lived in the country you learn about Dutch desserts. Boy, do we have a lot of them. Many of them seem to be Daddy’s favourites. He has an incredible soft spot for boterkoek, while disliking butter – weird right? He also likes tompoesjes, and last and certainly not least, he likes appeltaart.

Now, since his birthday is tomorrow I thought I’d make him a homemade apple cake.

Appeltaart

I got the recipe from here and followed it as best I could.

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 1 1/3 cups (171g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ cup (½ stick -57g) unsalted butter, chilled (cut into ½ inch cubes)
  • ¼ cup (57g) vegetable shortening, frozen (cut into ½ inch cubes)
  • 3 Tablespoons ice water
  • ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Filling:

  • 3 ¼ lb (1 ¾ kg) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 2/3 cup (134g) sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, melted

Topping:

  • 1 cup (128g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (100g) sugar
  • ¼ cup (55g) brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, chilled (cut into ½ inch cubes)

Instructions:

  1. Mix flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Add butter and shortening and mix with hands, add water and vinegar and continue to mix well with hands. Knead dough with hands and feel whether dough is moist enough or needs an additional water or not. Gather dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for thirty minutes.

  2. While dough is refrigerating, preheat oven to 205ᵒC (400ᵒF) and grease a pie plate (or spring-form pan as I did)

  3. Mix all ingredients for the pie filling together and ensure apples are fully coated by ingredients. Place in refrigerator before using.

  4. Next blend first five ingredients of the topping in a food processor and gradually add chilled butter cubes and continue to blend. When mixture resembles wet sand, you know you’re ready.

  5. Now that all parts are ready, remove dough from refrigerator and roll out on slightly floured surface (at a 12 inch circumference) and mold into pie plate. Trim overhang to ½ inch, turn edge under and crimp decoratively.

  6. Pour apple mixture into dough on pie plate then sprinkle crumbles over top the surface where the apples are.

  7. Pop pie into oven and bake for 40 minutes. If crumble is browning too quickly top with tin foil to prevent browning from furthering anymore. Once 40 minutes are over, turn oven down to 175ᵒC (350ᵒF) and continue to bake pie an additional 30 minutes to ensure apples are fully cooked.

  8. Once finished allow pie to cool up to an hour before serving. Enjoy

This recipe annoyed me. Though thank God my mom decided to peel all those apples as well as chop them. I would have probably cut myself again with the peeler or knife. Instead she did all that hard work for me, THANKS MOM!

Appeltaart

Anyway, Daddy heads out tomorrow evening to Dubai so we decided to enjoy his appeltaart tonight, plus he likes cold cake just like I like cold pasta. We must be some weird people to you.

Slice of Apple Tart with Ice Cream

I am pretty sure that Daddy quite enjoyed his birthday cake. Or birthday pie. What is this dessert considered in English? An apple pie or an apple cake? I do think that if any of you make this you will also enjoy it.

Anyway, happy 58th in a half hour Dad! Hope you enjoyed your pre-birthday cake and enjoy the gifts we have in store for you tomorrow morning. Love you.

Happy baking for those of you who give this a go!

Italian Chicken Piccata Pasta

Holy cow am I a lazy lady or what!? Since moving to South Africa I haven’t been cooking much, well no, I’ve been cooking some just haven’t been posting much! And it has nothing to do with not being able to, but for the last week my laptop has been sat on the dining table dead as a doorknob. And I’ve been far too lazy to charge it and write up something new!

Well that changed today! I’ve taken the laptop outside and plugged it in to the extension plug in cord.

So food? I cooked two days in a row this week. Had ourselves a meatless Monday (which I will write about the following Monday) and this pretty awesome chicken and pasta dish yesterday.

I can honestly tell you that I HATE touching raw chicken. Especially raw chicken that has just been defrosted. Ew! If I started this blog two years ago I wouldn’t have even been making chicken dishes as I was so grossed out by raw chicken. But things changed. Living on your own without your mama does force you into the world of food a lot better!

So this was the meal of Chicken Piccata Pasta found here.

I followed the recipe almost perfectly. Word of advice, cut everything else before you do your chicken. Disgusting mess. It looked like a six year old made dinner. Except a six year old wouldn’t have been using a Chef’s Knife to chop chicken and slice red onion. I did!

Pasta Chicken Piccata

Here’s the recipe that I followed:

Ingredients:

  • 3 (870g) chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 cups (500ml) Delallo Organic Whole Wheat Gemelli Pasta
  • 4 Tablespoons flour, divided (any variety)
  • 1/3 cup (83g) butter
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small red onion, halved and sliced thin
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1/3 cup (78.8ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup (177ml) chicken stock
  • 3 ounces (85g) capers, drained
  • 1/4 cup (5g) chopped parsley
  • Salt and Pepper to taste 

Directions:

  1. Place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, chop onion, herbs, and chicken. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the butter and oil. 
  2. Drop the pasta in the boiling water and cook as instructed on the package (about 8 minutes) then drain. Once the butter is melted, salt and pepper the chicken liberally and toss with 2 Tb. flour. Place the chicken pieces in the hot butter and sauté for 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoons and place on paper towels to dry.
  3. Add the rosemary, garlic and onions to the butter and sauté for 1 minute. Then whisk in the remaining 2 Tb. flour to thicken the sauce. Cook for another minute, then whisk in the lemon juice and chicken stock.
  4. Once the sauce is simmering again, toss in the pasta, capers and parsley. Mix in the chicken and serve warm.

Overall, this recipe is pretty damn easy. But I really did make a mess of the kitchen! Also – breading your own chicken? It looks like I have dough fingers. Yikes!

If you have a family though this could be great for you. A nice simple dinner which feeds many!

Though if chicken freaks you out like it does me, cook the chicken a little longer to ensure that they are well done. Still raw chicken is not attractive by any means. Plus it can make you sick. Salmonella is not fun.

Actually, when I was a first year student at my college in NL, we had to make meals for our classmates in the kitchen – my class did well everyone enjoyed their food. The other class? Not so much. Majority of the people who were being served food ended up getting salmonella and threw up some due to eating raw chicken. Not the best way to start off.

 Alas, some of those who didn’t cook the chicken too well are now doing much better in the kitchen. It is several years later so you would hope they learnt more in the kitchen after.

 Anyway, enough about food want to see my furry four-legged friend in a party hat? Over the weekend we went to our first dog birthday party. Yes, a dog birthday party. Personally I thought those were just on TV, guess I was wrong! Although Austin didn’t like his hat, he quite enjoyed himself until the last hours of the party where people started popping balloons. Having a skittish dog doesn’t make for much fun, but I still got lovely photos to share:

Roxy's Special Made Dog Cake

Austin in his Party HatWearing Austin's Party HatIf you make this lovely meal I hope you enjoy it as my family and I did.

Buon appetito!

Friday Night Chicken Gyros

Ah Greek food, the most amazing thing to ever be made in this world.

I remember being in our all-time favourite restaurant in the Netherlands a few years ago and telling both my parents that I have decided that I need to marry a Greek man, an Indian, or a Trinidadian. They asked me why and I told them flat out that if I marry a man from Greece, India, or Trinidad I can become great friends with their mothers and learn the cuisine I love so much. But really all I truly need to marry is a man from Greece or Trinidad, because Trinidadians can be of Indian decent and may know both Indian and Trinidadian cuisine.

But since I have yet to find prince charming from either Greece or Trinidad & Tobago, I thought it would be best just to enjoy some Greek cuisine for a meal.

Easy Chicken Gyros

So how about them gyros?

I may never get over how Anglophones say “jieros”, because in the Netherlands it is spelled as giros and well in Dutch we have a heavy sounding (almost phlegm-filled) G sound that to my Anglophone ex-boyfriend, is pronounced like “hiros”.

Anyway, I got the recipe from here, but as always its been tweaked here and there.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (283g) breast of chicken
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup (225g) baby spinach
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • Pinch of fresh parsley
  • 3 gorditas (or pitas)

Tzatziki

  • ¼ cup (61g) Greek yoghurt
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Place chicken breast on chopping board and slice into thin chunks of meat. Then place sliced chicken in a bowl with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and herbs, as well as salt and pepper. Mix until well coated and set aside to marinate.

  2. Wash cutting board (or get a new one) and begin to mince garlic for tzatziki, then slice red onion for filling of pita.

  3. Heat a small frying pan on the stove top and add marinated chicken to pan. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. While chicken is being cooked, grab a small bowl and mix yoghurt, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, herbs, and salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside.

  4. When chicken is cooked, take off heat and set up gyro to your liking (mine was set up by placing the spinach on the “gordita”, then adding the fresh parsley leaves, adding the thinly sliced red onions, a few strips of chicken, and then adding a dollop of tzatziki to the mix)

  5. Now enjoy!

Because this recipe is only enough for three gorditas, it is most likely enough to feed one hungry person or being served as an easy snack for three.

I was quite happy with three, though I may be a little sleepy now!

Spinach and Chicken filled Gyro

Now usually gyros are not made with spinach, but I thought why avoid healthy green leafy goods when they are as delicious as they are good for you? Yum!

On a side note though, I am sure those of you who have a keen eye for detail may have noticed in my initial photo there is a pot in the background.

You’re right, there is! I am growing herbs. Every evening around dusk I water my pots and the following day I see my babies have grown a little more. Fresh Herbs

In the white pot I’ve got basil growing, the light gray pot is filled with chives (and some other foreign plant), and in the dark gray pot I’ve got flat leaved parsley! I can honestly say that growing chives is the hardest as they need the most water or they begin to brown on the ends. It’s like they’ve got split ends, except they are crisp from the sunlight!

So that’s me with my partial green thumb! And my delicious Greek meal!

Hope y’all enjoy your meals just as I have!

Spicy Garlic Shrimp Paella-Like Dish!

I have recently realized that I am addicted to shrimp. Maybe even all shellfish. But shrimp is what I can get my hands on more often than any other shellfish (since grocery stores only ever carry artificial crab for salads and sushi – yuck!) I am pretty sure that artificial anything isn’t all that good. Well except for artificial food coloring, I really don’t mind things unnaturally colored a bright red or something. Colors are awesome!

But now I am going off topic. So about food, shrimp to be precise.

Last night I made a sort of Paella-like dish which had shrimp. If you do not know what Paella is, it is a rice dish that uses a lot of saffron and paprika powder. It is most commonly known for being a seafood dish, but you can use sausage with it, make it purely vegetarian, or even a meat lover’s dish! I have only ever had it as a vegetarian dish and a seafood dish, but I am sure all ways are equally delicious.

Spicy Garlic Shrimp and Quinoa

For last night’s dish, instead of using rice though, I used quinoa! The original recipe can be found here, but my tweaked recipe will be seen below:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 teaspoon paprika powder
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 teaspoons salted butter
  • 1 lb (500g) shrimp, deveined
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the onion and 2 cloves garlic and sauté until softened and fragrant. Add uncooked quinoa, ½ paprika powder, and ¼ red pepper flakes and mix for about a minute. Add broth and bring to a boil, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes. When quinoa is cooked it should be fluffed with a fork for greater volume.

  2. While quinoa is cooking, in a smaller pan heat 1 teaspoon of butter, when melted add shrimp and sprinkle with remaining paprika powder and red pepper flakes. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to the mix. Cook until shrimp are no longer translucent, finally add minced clove of garlic to the pan to add extra flavour.

  3. Melt remaining butter in 2 minced cloves of garlic to make a sauce for drizzling.

  4. Serve the quinoa and shrimp together in one dish, sprinkling with parsley. When garlic butter is melted and cooled, drizzle over shrimp and quinoa and serve immediately!

  5. Enjoy!

Spicy Garlic Shrimp and Quinoa

This dish was absolutely delicious! Though it could have been a bit more garlicky. Yet when you look at the recipe it already is pretty garlicky!

I guess shrimp and garlic are my culinary vices!

Oh and last night the Netherlands played Australia and of course kicked Aussie butt! The score was 3-2. I was fully decked out in orange in support for our national team the Hollandse Leeuwen!

Hup Holland Hup!

Who were you supporting, the Dutch or the Australians?

Anyway, if you make this recipe I hope you enjoy it! I know I did!

Eet Smakelijk!

Basil Chicken, So Good It Should Be Take-Out!

Have you ever gone to an Italian restaurant? Well of course you have as everyone who has not gone to Italy loves Italian food! Actually no, even Italians love their food! So really everyone loves Italian food!

Have you ever tried making an Italian dish which has the aroma and taste of something you could order at an Italian restaurant? That mouth watering balance between basil, tomatoes, and butter?

If you have tried making such a dish, was it easy or rather complex?

Well whether you have tried making an Italian dish or not, I have found the most amazing and simple recipe ever. This is a recipe I may have to make twice this week because it was so good!

Oregano Basil Chicken over Whole Wheat Penne

Now I know that photo doesn’t look quite as attractive, but the next photo you see after I give you the recipe definitely will look spectacularly delicious! The recipe I got was from here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb (500 g) pre-sliced chicken
  • 3/4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 lb cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 300 g of wholewheat penne pasta, cooked

Instructions:

  1. Place a medium frying pan on a stove top burner at medium-high heat, add olive oil and allow to heat up. 

  2. Season pre-sliced chicken with oregano, salt, and pepper and place in frying pan, Cook for eight minutes or until cooked thoroughly. 

  3. Turn heat down to medium and add halved tomatoes and garlic and cook for four minutes. 

  4. Add chopped basil and butter to chicken mix and allow butter to melt.

  5. Turn burner to a low and bring a sauce pan to boil to cook your pasta as directed on the box/package. 

  6. Once al dente, pour pasta into a colander and return penne to pan. Pour olive oil onto pasta to prevent from sticking and then spoon penne into a bowlplate and place chicken over penne. 

  7. Then dig in!

Tomato Basil ChickenI do not know about you, but I think that looks absolutely divine! The entire house smelled of pasta you could get at the restaurant Vapiano.

Then as soon as I gave a plate to mom the first thing I heard from her mouth was “sweet good!”, I asked her what she said and then she changed her statement to “really good!!”

Then when I took my first bite I could definitely agree with her. It both smelled amazing as it was being prepared and it tasted even better than amazing. This is 100% what you would call food heaven. Maybe even two hundred percent!

And this is saying something as I don’t quite like eating meat products. But this is seriously something I will be making again. And probably before the week is over.

There shouldn’t be any ifs, you should make this.

Tomato Basil Chicken on Penne

Buon appetito!

Vegetarian Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese is a past time favourite for me. As a family we still eat it, but I get a miniature portion with vegetarian beef crumbles while my parents and sister eat a large portion of it.

Tonight though, I made a large batch of spaghetti Bolognese – vegetarian style. I am proud to say that this sauce looked as though it truly had ground beef in it. I even took a photo to send my best friend to show her that it looked as if I was going to eat beef, but really it was all vegetarian. I am a truly happy camper for this.

Vegetarian Spaghetti BologneseDoes that not look extra beefy to you? Well it is 100% vegetarian!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups wholewheat noodles (or preferred spaghetti type)
  • 1 package vegetarian meat crumbles
  • 1 jar vegetarian pasta sauce (mine had eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers in it)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 ½ teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:

  1. Fill small pan with water to boil and cook noodles as instructed on box.

  2. Place a frying pan on medium heat and melt coconut oil, once liquidized add chopped onion and garlic and cook until translucent and fragrant. Add meat crumbles and cook until warm.

  3. Add vegetarian pasta sauce to meat and mix well. If too dry add water to sauce to become more liquid. Turn up heat and allow sauce to boil, adding oregano and paprika powder to add flavour. Add salt and pepper to taste if necessary. 

  4. Once noodles are cooked, drain in a colander and return to pan with heat turned off. Add teaspoon of olive oil to the pasta to allow noodles not to stick together. 

  5. Spoon onto plate and top with Bolognese sauce.

  6. Enjoy!

Vegetarian Spaghetti BologneseI definitely enjoyed it! I opted for without the cheese as I am trying to eat more vegan than vegetarian. But this was definitely delicious.

If you are a fan of fooling people into thinking that you are either eating real meat or having them taste real meat then this is definitely something good for you. I mean my best friend (who is a full on vegetarian) thought that this was even real meat until I of course told her and showed her the photo of the sauce in the pan.

Salsa Bolognese

I think my favourite part about this sort of meat substitute is that you can still eat it “raw”. Normal ground beef you shouldn’t eat when it is uncooked, but this you can. It doesn’t taste all too appetizing, but it is edible none the less.

If you make this meal I hope you enjoy it just as much as I did.

Buon appetito!

Almost Caprese Sandwich for Lunch

Do most people eat lunch usually? At work do you take a break in the day to consume more energy or consume enough starch to cause a food coma? I know so many people who skip the meal we call lunch to go to the gym. Is that truly smart? Not really, but you try convincing those who seem to know best…

For today’s lunch I stopped in the grocery store to buy sliced goat cheese for sandwiches and some cherry tomatoes.

I absolutely love cherry tomatoes. When we lived in Canada I even briefly had a cherry tomato plant. Although once I got my first tomato I gave up on the process of growing more. Actually, I did the same with my watermelon vine when we lived in Venezuela. As soon as the first sign of an actual fruit being made sprouted, I completely gave up making them. I could never work at a nursery.

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Caprese-Style Sandwich

My aim for this sandwich was to follow the theme of a caprese salad. Except caprese salad is made with mozzarella which comes from a cow. This cheese is just regular sliced goat cheese. And instead of using fresh basil I just went for dried basil, because why waste large box of fresh basil when you already have dried basil?

These are the ingredients for the one sandwich:

  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 slice goat cheese
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 slices brown bread
  • Soy butter for one slice of bread

Directions:

  1. Pop 2 slices of brown bread in toaster. As you wait for bread to toast, chop cherry tomatoes in half.

  2. Once bread is ready, coat butter on one piece of bread.

  3. Place goat cheese on butter coated bread, then add tomatoes on top of cheese.

  4. Sprinkle dried basil over tomatoes and cheese. Then drizzle olive oil over second piece of bread.

  5. Finally put second piece of bread with olive oil side down on tomatoes. Enjoy.

Almost Caprese Sandwich

I must say, this was rather delicious. Made me wonder why anyone would ever want to skip lunch when one could go down a healthy route or at least a tasty one!

If you try this faux Italian sandwich then I hope you like it.

Buon Appetito!