Oven-Baked Vegetables

These oven-baked veggies are another one of my favorite dishes. It is easy to prepare in advance and quite versatile. We usually eat it as a full meal in itself, sometimes with a bit of rice or pasta, but it is also a great side dish when you have a group of people over for dinner. In any case, it is a healthy, delicious, and filling meal that works any time of the year. 🙂

Great as a full vegetarian meal.

Ingredients

(enough for 4 people as a full meal)

  • 6-8 potatoes
  • 8-10 carrots
  • 250 g mushrooms
  • 2 (red) bell peppers
  • 1 zucchini
  • 4 cloves of garlic (if you are a big garlic fan, by all means, use more)
  • 1 red onion
  • olive oil, salt, pepper, ground nutmeg, pot herbs
  • (if you like: 250 g mozzarella)

How to Make It

  • Preheat the oven to 200 ° C.
  • Wash the potatoes and cut them into bite-sized chunks. Then peel the carrots and cut them into bite-sized chunks as well.
  • Take a bowl and mix the potato and carrot pieces with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper, ground nutmeg, and pot herbs.
  • Pour the potato and carrot pieces onto the baking tray and put it into the oven for 15 minutes.
  • In the meantime, wash and cut the rest of the vegetables (i.e. the mushrooms, the bell peppers, and the zucchini). You want to cut them all into bite-sized chunks of similar size.
  • Dice the cloves of garlic and the onion.
  • Mix everything in a big bowl with 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper, and pot herbs.
  • Take out the baking tray and pour the veggies on top. It all goes back into the oven for another 20-25 minutes. Make sure to stir the contents of the baking tray every 10 minutes or so to make sure it all is baked evenly.
  • If you like, you can cut up some mozzarella and sprinkle the pieces on top of the veggies for the last 5-7 minutes of baking.

Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a traditional Spanish vegetable soup mostly eaten during summer because it is served cold. This soup does not require cooking, you just need to have a decent blender and you are good to go. The result is a fresh and refreshing soup and perfect for hot summer days. Just make sure you let it get properly cold before serving it. 🙂

Ingredients

(makes about 5 liters; if you filter it, you end up with about 2.5 to 3 liters)

For the Gazpacho
  • 2 kg tomatoes (roughly 16 pieces)
  • 1½ cucumbers
  • 2 green, 1 red, 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic
  • 6 slices of toast
  • olive oil, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, “crema de balsamico”, potherbs, oregano
For the Toppings
  • ½ cucumber
  • 1 green and 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 3-4 slices of toast

How to Make It

  • Wash the tomatoes and cut out the stalks. Take a sharp knife and make a big “X” at the bottom of the tomato.
  • Take a pot and heat up enough water to submerge the tomatoes in it. Once the water is hot, put the tomatoes in it and wait until the skin starts to come off. This usually takes no more than 30 seconds. Then take the tomatoes out of the water and let them cool off.
  • Cut the tomatoes into chunks and put them into the blender.
  • Wash and peel the cucumbers. Dice them and put the pieces into the blender.
  • Peel the cloves of garlic, cut them into slices, and add them to the rest of the ingredients in the blender.
  • Take the slices of toast and cut off the crust. Put the crust to the side; you can use it for the toppings later. Soak the bread for 10-15 minutes in cold water, then carefully squeeze out the water and put the bread into the blender.
  • Blend all your ingredients thoroughly in the blender.
  • Add at least 2 teaspoons of salt and freshly ground pepper each, 8 tablespoons of olive oil, 6 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons of “crema de balsamico”, and 2 teaspoons of oregano. Add potherbs as you see fit (I am a big fan, so I add 4-5 tablespoons easily). Blend again.
  • Take a food mill and sieve the blended soup. Let it sit for 30 minutes, taste it, and adjust the seasoning.
  • Refrigerate for at least 6 hours. When serving, the gazpacho must be very cold.
  • Before serving, prepare the toppings.
  • Wash the bell peppers and dice them.
  • Wash the cucumber, peel, and dice it.
  • Wash and dice the tomatoes.
  • Cut the slices of toast into pieces. Take the leftover crusts from the toast for the gazpacho and cut them into pieces as well. Take out a small pan and heat up 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil. Fry the pieces of toast in the oil until they are golden brown. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Sprinkle the toppings on the gazpacho and serve it. Enjoy cold!

Spicy Chicken Pizza

This pizza takes a bit longer to prepare, but the effort is absolutely worth it! Depending on how much curry powder you add, the chicken pieces can become quite spicy, giving this pizza an interesting twist. The caramelized onion provides a sweet note to the whole affair.

Spicy and sweet at the same time.

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 big onion
  • 1 red, 1 yellow, and 1 green bell pepper
  • 100 g gorgonzola (or some other type of blue cheese)
  • curry powder, salt, pepper
  • honey

How to Make It

  • Cut the two chicken breasts into pieces and fry them with a bit of olive oil in the pan. Make sure to season them with curry powder and a bit of salt and pepper.
  • Peel the onion and dice it. Take another pan, heat up a spoonful of honey, and caramelize the onion in it.
  • Wash the bell peppers and cut them into pieces.
  • Roll out the dough and put it on the baking tray (or the pizza shovel to transport the pizza to the stone later).
  • Spread the pizza sauce to your liking.
  • Spread the bell pepper on the pizza, then add the chicken.
  • Cut up the gorgonzola cheese and sprinkle it on top as well.
  • Add whatever spices (like oregano) you feel like.
  • Put the pizza into the oven and bake at 250° C for 15-20 min., depending on your preferences.
  • Take it out, cut it into pieces, and enjoy!

Veggie Scrambled Eggs

I am a big omelet fan because they are quick and easy to make and a great way to use up veggie leftovers from previous cooking exploits. It is often my go-to lunch option right before it’s time to go grocery shopping again since it’s so efficient. 🙂

In my family, when we make omelet, we also add a spoonful of milk to the egg mix (1 spoonful for each egg that you add), add the spices and then whisk it. I find that it makes the omelet texture a bit creamier, but this is definitely a question of personal taste.

Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • a handful of mushrooms
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 250 g spinach
  • 5 eggs
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • salt, pepper

How to Make It

  • Peel and chop up the onion.
  • Take a pan and fry the onion with a bit of olive oil.
  • Clean and chop up the mushrooms and add them to the pan.
  • Wash and chop up the bell pepper. Add the pieces to the pan and fry them.
  • Wash the spinach and carefully mix it in. Lower the heat.
  • In a separate bowl, add the eggs and the milk and whisk them.
  • Pour the egg-mix into the pan.
  • Add the spices.
  • Carefully stir the contents of the pan until the eggs have solidified.

Empanada with Tuna, Bell Peppers, and Tomatoes

Empanada is a typical Spanish dish originating in the northern region of Galicia. Since my husband is Spanish, this dish has become a bit of a classic in our house and I thought I would share our recipe with you. Empanadas come in many different flavors, but they all have in common that a delicious filling is wrapped in a bread-like dough – hence the name (“empanada” literally translates to “enbreaded”).

It takes between 2-3 hours to make (including the time in the oven), but the taste is definitely worth the wait. Give it a try and let me know on Twitter or Instagram what you think!

Ingredients Dough

  • 500g wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 90g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 40 ml white wine (if you like; otherwise replace with oil and water)
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 50 ml lukewarm yeast water
  • 30 g fresh yeast

Making the Dough

  • Mix the wheat and the salt together. Add the eggs and the butter and mix. Add the white wine and the olive oil. Mix again.
  • In a separate container, dissolve the fresh yeast in lukewarm yeast water. Slowly add it to the flour-egg-butter-mix.
  • Mix the dough for 5-10 minutes until you have a homogeneous mass.
  • Oil a bowl, put the dough in it, cover it, and let it rest in a warm spot for 1 to 1½ hours. The dough should double its volume.
  • While the dough rests, you can start preparing the filling.

Ingredients Filling

  • 2 mid-sized onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic (or more, if you like)
  • 4 bell peppers (2 of them green, the rest as you like)
  • 400g (canned) chopped tomatoes
  • 350g (canned) tomato purée
  • 170g green olives
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs
  • 300g of canned tuna

Making the Filling

  • Peel and chop up the onions and cloves of garlic into fine pieces.
  • Sauté them in a bit of olive oil in a big pot or pan.
  • Chop up the bell peppers and add them to the onions and garlic in the pan. Fry for 12-15 minutes until they are crunchy. Make sure not to burn them, so you may have to add a bit more oil.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and the tomato purée to the mix. Boil for another 15 minutes until the liquid is almost gone and the sauce has become highly condensed.
  • Cut the olives into thin rings. Then cut the hard-boiled eggs into pieces.
  • Once the sauce has become condensed, add the olives, the eggs, and the tuna.
  • Mix it all and season it with salt, pepper, and any other spices or herbs you want.

Making the Empanada

  • You need an additional egg.
  • Knead the dough one more time, then divide it into two parts and form two balls with your hands. Let the two balls rest in separate places for another 10-15 minutes. The doughs should rise again a little bit.
  • Oil a baking tray and preheat the oven to 180° C.
  • Roll out the first ball of dough between two pieces of baking parchment until it is slightly bigger than the baking tray. This will be the bottom half of the empanada. Peel off one sheet of baking parchment, place the dough onto the baking tray, and peel off the other sheet of baking parchment.
  • Spread the filling generously on top of the rolled-out dough. Leave a bit of room on the margins.
  • Roll out the second ball of dough between two pieces of baking parchment until it is roughly the same size as the baking tray. This will be the bottom half of the empanada. Peel off one sheet of baking parchment, place the dough onto the baking tray, and peel off the other sheet of baking parchment.
  • Join the top and bottom halves of the empanada by sticking the layers of dough together. The filling should be completely enclosed by the dough on all sides.
  • Crack an egg and mix it. Take a brush and paint the top of the empanada with the egg. With a fork, poke some holes into the empanada.
  • Put the baking tray into the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes at 180° C. The top should be a delicious golden-brown.