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surprising recipes

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appetizer

avocado kiwi cocoa smoothie

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Cocoa is always associated with sweet and unhealthy recipes causing a fat belly and bad teeth. But there is a different solution, in the form of a smoothie with for example avocado and kiwi.

Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado
  • 2 kiwi
  • 3 cups of milk (can be almond or vanilla milk)
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
  • some honey to add a sweet taste
  • some cinnamon

Method:

  • peel the avocado and the kiwi
  • put everything in the blender

the avocado makes the consistency quite thick. So it is rather to be eaten with a spoon than being drunk.

 

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strawberry arugula summer salad

strawberry arugula summer salad

Though the hot summer days still have to come (at least, let up hope) this starter or easy lunch might compensate and bring the sun in the house.

Ingredients:

  • strawberries
  • cherry tomatoes
  • walnuts
  • avocado
  • arugula salad
  • 30 ml honey vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • pepper, salt

Method:

  • Heat the vinegar and the olive oil in a pan on medium heat to reduce during 8-10 minutes. Add some pepper and salt.
  • Toast the walnuts in a pan and make sure they don´t burn.
  • halve the strawberries and the cherry tomatoes.
  • Peel the avocado and cut into small pieces.
  • Combine everything and drizzle with the vinegar-oil mixture.

mini zucchini pizzas

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I saw this easy and tasty recipe recently on pinterest. I decided to make it on New Year’s eve, and meanwhile it has already become some kind of standard for our festivities. Moreover, it is healthy and like with a real pizza, you can play with the recipes as you want. Below you will find the ingredients for the version on the pictures, but be creative!

Ingredients:

  • 1 zucchini
  • pizza sauce
  • mini mozzarella
  • black olives
  • cherry tomatoes
  • grated parmesan
  • grated Emmental

Directions:

  • Cut the zucchini in slices of app. half a centimeter thick.
  • Also slice the olives, mini mozzarellas and the cherry tomatoes.
  • Preheat the oven on 180°C and/or turn on the grill.
  • grill or bake the zucchini briefly on both sides.
  • place the zucchinis on a baking sheet.
  • Now first add some pizza sauce and then sprinkle some of the grated parmesan.
  • Organise the olives, mozzarellas and cherry tomatoes on your pizza.
  • Finish with the Emmental cheese.
  • Now place the pizza for app. 5 minutes in the oven, until the cheese is melted, and serve hot!

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turnip cabbage with carrots and sausage

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Ingredients (4 persons):

  • 2 turnip cabbages
  • 500 gr carrots
  • 2 paprikas
  • 250 gr pickled sausages
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 gherkins
  • 500 ml cream
  • 4 tablespoons of curry (or to taste)
  • 500 gr potatoes

Method:

  • Peel and slice the turnip cabbage and the carrots.
  • Cook them in water with some salt to taste (10-15 minutes)
  • Drain them and put them aside.
  • Cook the eggs until hard boiled. Then put them aside, and slice them into small pieces.
  • Peel the potatoes, and slice them into fine pieces.
  • Bake the potatoes with some butter in a pan.
  • Slices the sausages, the paprikas and the gherkins into fine pieces.
  • Bake the paprika with some olive oil for a few minutes.
  • Add the cabbage, the carrots, the cream and the curry and heat until cooking again.
  • Add also a bit of the pickles water of the sausages.
  • Add the sausages, gherkins, pepper and salt to taste.
  • Serve with the baked potatoes while hot.
  • Also cold the salad is delicious, perfect for the next day.

fried chickpeas

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As a Belgian, you have to fry your food from time to time to make sure you feel alive.  this time I chose fried chickpeas as an ‘healthy’ alternative to supermarket chips.

Drain and rinse canned chickpeas.  Make sure they are dry, as the remaining moisture might ‘explode’ in the oil.

Fry the chickpeas for 2-3 minutes in the oil and then transfer them to paper towels.  You can season them with paprika, salt, pepper, … while they are still hot.

asparagus-strawberry salad

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Finally spring is there, so it is time to make an appetizer with seasonal ingredients: a sale with asparagus and strawberries.  The inspiration is coming from the german chefkoch.de website.

Ingredients for 2 persons:

– 100 gr rocket salad

– 6 medium asparagus

– 100 gr strawberries

– parmesan

– vinegar, pepper, salt, sugar

– some nuts (walnuts, cashew, …)

Directions:

– Peel the asparagus and cut them into pieces of 4-5cm.

– Cook the asparagus for app. 10 minutes.

– Cut the strawberries in two halves.

– Mix the salad with the vinegar.

– Put the salad on the dishes and add the asparagus and the strawberries.

– Decorate with parmesan slices, some pepper and nuts.

– Serve lukewarm, you can eat it with some bread or toast.

Waldorf towers

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A Waldorf salad always reminds me of the famous TV-series Fawlty Towers with John Cleese.  I found another recipe building a tower out of it (probably as a reference to Fawlty Towers)

Ingredients:

– half a smoked chicken

– a red and a green apple

– walnuts

– celery

– 125 ml sour cream

– 3 tablespoons mayonnaise

– Chives, salt and pepper for seasoning

– lemon juice in order to protect the apples against discoloration

Directions:

– Cut the smoked chicken into small slices.

– Mix the maynaise with the sour cream and season with salt, pepper and chives.

– Cut the celery into small pieces.

– Remove the core from the apples and cut them into thin slices.

– Now build a tower with alternating apple slices and smoked chicken.

– Garnish with celery and walnuts.

– Garnish the top of the tower with a tablespoon of the sauce, which then slowly looking for a way down.

date candies

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I found this recipe a few years ago in an international cookbook. Something different, something I had to try, and still like to try 🙂

Ingredients for 4 people:

– 150 grams of dried and pitted dates

– 30 grams of raisins, soaked overnight in fresh orange juice

– 50 grams of marzipan

– 30 grams of chopped walnuts

– 30 g chopped pistachios

– A pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves

– 8 sheets phyllo dough (very thin) (or puff pastry, which is a bit easier to handle)

– Egg white

– A little oil for frying

– 2 oranges

Directions:

– Submerge the raisins for one night in fresh orange juice.

– Remove them from the orange juice, and press the juice out of them. (Drink the juice, it is extremely tasty now).

– Chop the dates, walnuts, pistachios and raisins fine with the kitchen robot.

– Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

– Mix them with the marzipan and create a paste of the mixture.

– Now it is time to taste the mixture 🙂

– Roll the mixture into a piece of phyllo dough (or puff pastry).  Use some egg white to fix the candies.

– Bake the candies shortly in a pan to make them brown on all sides.

– Enjoy and surprise your guests 🙂

smoked ham mousse

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This is de first part of my Sylvester trilogy of this year. You can find the dutch version here.

Ingredients (for 4 persons):

– 200 gr smoked ham

– 1 shallot

– 1 clove garlic

– 1 sprig of rosemary

– 60 grams of cream

– 2 tablespoons mayonnaise

– 2 tablespoons dry sherry

– 1 sheet of gelatin (2 grams)

– olive oil

– Cayenne pepper

– salt

– pepper

– 8 mini mozzarella balls

– A few leaves of basil

– Tomato tapenade

– capers

Directions:

– Cut the smoked ham into strips.

– Cut the garlic and shallot coarse.

– Cut the rosemary into small pieces.

– Put the ham, rosemary, garlic and shallots in a food processor and mash them very fine.

– Add the mayonnaise to the mixture.

– Soak the gelatin in cold water.

– Warm sherry until it is lukewarm.

– Beat the cream until stiff.

– Dissolve the gelatin in the sherry.

– Mix the sherry and cream into the ham mixture.

– Add cayenne, salt and pepper to taste.

– Divide the mousse over 4 glasses and put at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.

– Cut the mozzarella balls into two halves

– Top with the mozzarella, basil leaves, capers, tapenade and a droplet of olive oil.

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