Stir-Fry Meal with Vienna Sausage

I just love quick and healthy meals that can be cooked in one big pot. For this stir-fry meal, the rule applies as well. The Vienna sausages make the meal a bit more interesting and combine really well with the fresh and sweet cherry tomatoes. Serve it with a side-salad and, if you like, some bread. Enjoy! 🙂

Lots of fresh vegetables and some yummy sausages.

Ingredients

(enough for 4 people)

  • 1 small eggplant
  • 2 medium-sized onions
  • 2 small zucchinis
  • 250 g mushrooms
  • 450 g cherry tomatoes
  • 4 Vienna sausages
  • salt, pepper, pot-herbs, fresh chives

How to Make It

  • Wash the eggplant and slice it. Put the slices on a big plate and sprinkle salt on each of them. Let the slices sit there for 15-20 minutes. The salt draws out some of the water and bitter principles in the eggplant. When the time is up, take some paper towels and carefully dab the salt and the water away. Dice the slices.
  • Peel and dice the onions.
  • Wash the zucchinis and cut them into pieces.
  • Clean the mushrooms and cut them into pieces.
  • Heat up 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil and fry the diced onions in it.
  • Add the zucchinis, the eggplant, and the mushrooms. Fry everything and stir regularly.
  • While the vegetables are frying, wash the cherry tomatoes and halve them.
  • Cut the Vienna sausages into even slices.
  • After frying the vegetables for 5-8 minutes, add the cherry tomatoes and the Vienna sausages. Stir everything and continue to fry.
  • Season everything with salt, pepper, pot-herbs, and fresh chives.
  • Turn off the heat when everything is cooked.
  • Serve with a side-salad and some bread if you want.

Carrot Soup with Apple & Ginger

Carrot soup is a dish that works the entire year – you can warm yourself with it in winter or eat it cold as a refreshing, light meal in summer. The ginger gives it a bit of a zing while the apple adds a sweet, fruity touch. You can serve it with a dash of cream or coconut milk as well as croutons or crackers, depending on how hungry you are. 😉

Delicious, no matter whether served warm or cold!

Ingredients

(enough for 3-4 people)

  • 1 kg fresh carrots
  • 1.5 l instant vegetable broth
  • 2-3 shallots
  • 1 apple
  • a bit of fresh ginger (I use a piece about the size of my thumb. If you like spicy food, add more ginger.)
  • olive oil, salt, pepper, ground nutmeg

How to Make It

  • Peel the carrots and cut them into even pieces.
  • Prepare 1.5 l of instant vegetable broth according to instructions.
  • Peel the shallots and dice them.
  • Heat up 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil in a pot and fry the shallots until they are golden brown.
  • Add the vegetable broth and bring it all to a boil.
  • Add the carrot pieces and boil them until they are done (this should take about 10-15 minutes).
  • While the carrot pieces are cooking, wash, peel, and dice the apple. Peel the piece of ginger and dice it as well.
  • Once the carrot pieces are done, turn off the heat. Add the apple and ginger pieces. Season the soup with salt, pepper, and ground nutmeg, and let it all simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  • Take a stick blender and blend everything. You may have to add more broth, depending on how much evaporated during cooking. Taste and adjust the seasoning as you see fit.
  • Serve with a bit of cream or coconut milk as well as bread, crackers, or croutons.

Tortilla de Espinacas – Spanish Spinach Omelet

Earlier this week, I posted my recipe for the classic Spanish omelet, tortilla de patatas. Another popular variant is the spinach omelet. In this recipe, I also use potatoes in a nod to the classic Spanish omelet, but not everyone does it. If you want, you can leave the potatoes out and just add more spinach. I also add pine nuts to make it a bit more interesting.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 potatoes (≈ 150-200 g)
  • 6 eggs
  • 500 ml of (sunflower) oil
  • 50 g pine nuts
  • 200 g fresh spinach
  • salt, pepper, ground nutmeg

How to Make It

  • Peel and wash the potatoes. Cut them into thin and even slices (~ 5 mm)
  • Take a pan (or pot) and heat up the oil.
  • Once the oil is hot, add some of the potato slices and cook them – yes, you want to cook the slices in the oil, not fry them.
  • When the potato slices are done, take them out of the pan with the help of a skimmer and put them on a plate lined with kitchen paper to take off any excess oil. Repeat until you have cooked all your potato slices.
  • In a bowl, whisk the 6 eggs until they are fluffy. Whisk in 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper.
  • Add the potato slices and stir everything. You may want to squish the slices a bit with the fork so that they mix better with the egg. Make sure that the slices are not too hot or else the egg batter will already get cooked.
  • In another pan, roast the pine nuts (without any oil) until they are golden brown. When they have cooled down a bit, stir them into the potato-egg batter.
  • Wash the spinach and fry it in the pan. Season it with a pinch of ground nutmeg. Once the spinach is done and has cooled off, add it to the batter.
  • Stir the batter to make sure all ingredients are properly mixed.
  • Heat up a spoonful of oil in a pan. Pour in the tortilla batter and reduce the heat to a simmer. You want the batter to set slowly and avoid frying the underside of the tortilla while the mass has not thickened yet.
  • After a few minutes, the tortilla should have set, and it is time to flip it around. Take a plate slightly bigger than the pan, a pair of oven mitts, and cover the pan with the plate. Keep one hand on the plate and quickly flip the pan by 180° so that the plate is at the bottom and the pan on top.
  • Carefully slide the tortilla with the uncooked side back into the pan and let that side set as well.
  • You can serve it warm or cold.

Tortilla de Patatas – Spanish Omelet

Have you heard about tapas? Tapas are tasty appetizers and an integral part of Spanish (food) culture. They range from the classic, simpler snack to the more sophisticated variety and are traditionally served in bars and restaurant with your drinks. The name, tapa, means “cover” or “lid” and refers to the practice of covering the beverage with a little plate of food to prevent dirt from getting into the glass. These days, you can order tapas separately and make full meal out of them.

Today I thought I would share with you a recipe for the most famous and traditional type of tapa – the tortilla de patatas, or Spanish omelet.

(For the version that uses spinach, click here.)

Ingredients

  • 4-5 potatoes (≈ 300-350 g)
  • 6 eggs
  • 500 ml of (sunflower) oil
  • salt, pepper

How to Make It

  • Peel and wash the potatoes. Cut them into thin and even slices (~ 5 mm)
  • Take a pan (or pot) and heat up the oil.
  • Once the oil is hot, add some of the potato slices and cook them – yes, you want to cook the slices in the oil, not fry them.
  • When the potato slices are done, take them out of the pan with the help of a skimmer and put them on a plate lined with kitchen paper to take off any excess oil. Repeat until you have cooked all your potato slices.
  • In a bowl, whisk the 6 eggs until they are fluffy. Whisk in 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper.
  • Add the potato slices and stir everything. You may want to squish the slices a bit with the fork so that they mix better with the egg. Make sure that the slices are not too hot or else the egg batter will already get cooked.
  • Heat up a spoonful of oil in a pan. Pour in the tortilla batter and reduce the heat to a simmer. You want the batter to set slowly and avoid frying the underside of the tortilla while the mass has not thickened yet.
  • After a few minutes, the tortilla should have set, and it is time to flip it around. Take a plate slightly bigger than the pan, a pair of oven mitts, and cover the pan with the plate. Keep one hand on the plate and quickly flip the pan by 180° so that the plate is at the bottom and the pan on top.
  • Carefully slide the tortilla with the uncooked side back into the pan and let that side set as well.
  • You can serve it warm or cold.

Arugula Salad with Yellow Lentils, Cranberries, and Cashew Nuts

I have been challenging myself to branch out a bit more and the result is this fruity summer salad. 🙂 The lentils add a healthy component while the cranberries and apple chunks cater to everyone’s sweet tooth. We have been eating it regularly for a few weeks now and it has been universally approved. I hope you will like it, too!

Sweet and filling at the same time.

Ingredients

(enough for 2-3 people)

For the Salad
  • 250 g yellow lentils
  • 125 g arugula
  • 100 g dried and sweetened cranberries
  • 100 g cashew nuts
  • 1 apple
  • 2-3 teaspoons of instant broth powder
For the Dressing
  • 40 ml olive oil
  • 30 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 10 ml “crema de balsamico,” i.e. balsamic vinegar cream, a thicker and more aromatic version of the vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons pepper
  • pot herbs

How to Make It

  • Prepare about 500 ml of broth (with instant powder) and boil the lentils for a good 5-7 minutes in it. Make sure that they do not overcook and become mushy.
  • In the meantime, wash the arugula. I always cut the leaves to make it easier to eat. 😉 Put the arugula into a big bowl.
  • Once the lentils are done, pour out the water and add them to the arugula.
  • Coarsely chop up the cashew nuts and add them to the mix.
  • Chop up the cranberries and add them to the bowl.
  • Wash the apple and core it. Then dice it and add the pieces to the rest of the salad.
  • Prepare the dressing in a separate little bowl and pour it over the salad. Mix thoroughly.
  • Before serving, sprinkle the garden herbs on top. Enjoy! 🙂

Cream Cheese

When my husband came to Germany, he discovered cream cheese and has been a fan ever since. 🙂 Needless to say, self-made cream cheese tastes so much better than the store-bought alternative. This recipe is super easy and does not take long at all – and you can add whatever additional ingredients you like.

Easy to make and very tasty.

Ingredients

(makes about 90 g of cream cheese)

  • 500 ml buttermilk
  • 5-7 teaspoons chopped potherbs (basil, parsley, chives, …)
  • salt and pepper

How to Make It

  • Heat up the buttermilk in a pot until it is between 60-70° C hot. Do not boil it!
  • As the buttermilk warms up, it will begin to curdle. Once the whey has separated from the cream, pour everything through a cloth.
  • Take the cream cheese out of the cloth and put it into a container. Stir. If the cream cheese is too dry and lumpy, add a bit of the whey.
  • Chop up the potherbs and stir them into the cream cheese.
  • Add salt and pepper according to personal preferences.
  • The cream cheese tastes great on self-baked bread… 😉
Tastes great on freshly baked bread.

Lentil and Pomegranate Salad

In summer, we usually end up eating more salads since they are a lighter, easy meal when it is too warm outside to cook. This lentil salad is super-healthy and the pomegranate seeds give it a fresh and fruity flavor. Let me know what you think. 🙂

Lentils, arugula, and pomegranate seeds – yummy!

Ingredients

(enough for 4 people)

For the Salad
  • 200 g black lentils
  • 125 g arugula
  • 250 g feta cheese
  • 350 g pomegranate seeds (about 1½ pomegranates)
  • 150 g chopped walnuts
For the Dressing
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 25 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon “crema de balsamico,” i.e. balsamic vinegar cream, a thicker and more aromatic version of the vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garden herbs

How to Make It

  • Cook the lentils according to the instructions on the box. Pour out the water and let them cool off, then put them into a big bowl.
  • In the meantime, wash the arugula. I always cut the leaves to make it easier to eat. 😉 Put the arugula into a big bowl.
  • Dice the feta cheese and add it to the bowl.
  • Chop up the walnuts and add them to the rest.
  • Peel the pomegranates to collect the seeds. Careful, it can get a bit messy… Add the pomegranate seeds to the salad.
  • In a separate little bowl, mix the dressing. Add it to the salad and mix it well.
  • Before serving, sprinkle the garden herbs on top. Enjoy! 🙂
Tastes great with a glass of fruity cider.

Chocolate-Nougat Ice-Cream with Irish Cream Liqueur

If you love chocolate ice-cream, this one is for you! It has a deliciously aromatic chocolate flavor because of the cocoa, but the nougat also adds a sweet component – the result is a rich and intense ice-cream. The touch of Irish cream liqueur adds a bit of a twist and ensures you have an easy to make, yet fancy dessert that is mouthwatering any time of the year.

Yummy!

Ingredients

  • 400 g cream
  • 150 ml Irish cream liqueur (chocolate flavor)
  • 250 g nougat
  • 100 g cocoa powder (the kind used for baking without sugar)
  • 4 eggs
  • 200 g sugar

How to Make It

  • Mix the cream and the liqueur together in a pot.
  • Add the nougat in chunks and carefully heat up the mixture. Make sure not to boil it, though. Stir to dissolve the nougat.
  • Add the cocoa powder and stir until everything is dissolved.
  • Let the mixture cool down a bit.
  • In the meantime, whip up the eggs until they are very (!) fluffy.
  • Add the sugar to the eggs and beat it again until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Carefully stir in the chocolate-nougat-cream into the egg-sugar foam.
  • Pour the mixture into your ice-cream machine and freeze following the manufacturer’s instructions.

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!

Elderflower Syrup

These past weeks, many gardens in my neighborhood had their elderberry trees in full bloom and the white flowers looked absolutely lovely. But it was actually my mother who suggested I try to make my own elderflower syrup – I had not made the connection at all between the white blossoms and the fruity syrup… The good news is that it is surprisingly easy to make, you only need a bit of patience. 🙂

The syrup tastes great as a non-alcoholic refreshment. Simply mix 1/8 of syrup with 7/8 of cold sparkly water, add some mint leaves, and enjoy. Of course, you can also add it to a glass of prosecco or sparkling wine.

Mix it with water or add it to sparkling wine

Ingredients

  • 20-30 umbels of the European (black) elderberry tree (see picture)
  • 1 unwaxed, untreated lemon (so the peel should not have been treated with insecticides)
  • 25 g citric acid (look for it in the baking aisle)
  • 1½ kg sugar
  • 1½ water

How to Make It

  • On your next walk through the neighborhood, pick 20-30 elderflower umbels. They should be in full bloom! Make sure not to crush them or shake them too much.
  • Back at home, cut the umbels into smaller pieces and clean them carefully. The bigger and thicker stalks can make the syrup taste bitter. Also cut off any unopened blossoms. Pick off any bugs and spiders as well.
  • I would be careful about simply rinsing the umbels off, though, because then you also wash off the yellow powder inside the blossoms which give the syrup its taste!
  • Once you are done, put the elderflower blossoms into a big pot or bowl (you need to be able to close it with a lid later).
  • Wash the lemon and cut it into slices. Add the slices to the bowl.
  • Pour the citric acid on top.
  • Take another big pot and heat up the water. Add the sugar to it and bring it all to a boil.
  • Pour the sugar water over the elderflower blossoms, the lemon slices, and the citric acid and let it cool down a bit before covering it all with the lid.
  • Let the mixture rest in a dark and cool place for 4-5 days.
  • Pour the mixture through a strainer and/or a fine cloth into a pot.
  • Heat the liquid up and bring it to a boil. Then fill it into clean bottles and close tightly.
As long as you store it somewhere dark and cool, the syrup should be good for up to 21 months