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.

Arugula Pizza

I have been re-discovering arugula and so it did not take long for me to put it on pizza. 😛 You can spice up this classic version by using pesto alla Genovese instead of the standard tomato pizza sauce. It works nicely with the aromatic ham.

Fresh out of the oven and delicious!

Ingredients

  • pizza dough of your choice
  • 1 serving of pesto alla Genovese
  • 325 g cherry or mini-roma tomatoes
  • 80 g arugula
  • 80 g smoked ham
  • 125 g mozzarella cheese
  • potherbs

How to Make It

  • Preheat the oven to 250° C. If you own a pizza stone, make sure to heat it up in the oven. If you do not own one, no problem – either oil a baking tray or line it with baking parchment.
  • 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 pesto onto the dough.
  • Wash the tomatoes and cut them into halves or quarters, depending on their size. Put the pieces on the pizza.
  • Wash the arugula, dry it, and spread it on the pizza.
  • Cut the ham into smaller pieces and distribute it evenly as well.
  • Lastly, cut the mozzarella cheese into chunks and sprinkle them on top.
  • Add potherbs and/or oregano, if you want.
  • Put the pizza into the oven and bake at 250° C for 10-15 min., depending on your preferences.

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!

Spaetzle and Veggie Mix

Have you heard about spaetzle? It is a complicated word but refers to a very delicious type of food: a type of pasta typical for the South Germany, especially the region of Swabia. Spaetzle are made with fresh eggs and are therefore softer than the classic Italian pasta you are already familiar with.

The classic Swabian way to eat spaetzle is arguably as “Kässpätzle”, so spaetzle with melted cheese. The recipe below is my attempt to give this traditional dish a bit of a spin by adding fresh veggies to it.

Great with a glass of white wine.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized onion
  • 8-9 green asparagus spears
  • 5-6 tomatoes
  • 125 g fresh spinach
  • 500 g spaetzle (pre-packaged from the supermarket)
  • grated pecorino as to your liking
  • salt, pepper, and any other spices or herbs you feel like

How to Make It

  • Peel the onion and chop it into thin pieces.
  • Fry the onion pieces with a bit of olive oil in a pan.
  • Wash the asparagus spears. Take a potato or asparagus peeler and peel the lower third of the spears. Cut off the dry ends. Chop the spears into pieces.
  • Add the asparagus pieces to the pan and fry them for a bit. You may have to add a bit more oil.
  • Wash the tomatoes and cut them into pieces.
  • Add the tomatoes to the mix and fry everything for a few minutes.
  • Wash the spinach leaves and add them to the pan.
  • Add the spaetzle.
  • Carefully mix and fry everything. Add the spices and herbs.
  • As you serve the spaetzle, you can sprinkle some grated pecorino cheese on top.

Italian Veggie Pizza

Pizza is a versatile kind of food and you can get creative with your toppings. Basically, anything you like is acceptable. My personal favorite is a simple, yet healthy, veggie option made with zucchini and eggplant. Here, all measurements are estimates; it really depends on your individual tastes whether you want to add all ingredients and how much of them.

Ingredients

  • pizza dough of your choice
  • pizza sauce
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 zucchini
  • a handful of mushrooms
  • 150-200 g goat cheese
  • spices like oregano, salt, pepper, chili, …

How to Make It

  • Preheat the oven to 250° C. If you own a pizza stone, make sure to heat it up in the oven. If you do not own one, no problem – either oil a baking tray or line it with baking parchment.
  • 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.
  • Cut up the veggies and spread them on the pizza.
  • Cut up the cheese and sprinkle it on the pizza. Add whatever spices you feel like.
  • Put the pizza into the oven and bake for 15-20 min., depending on your preferences.
  • Take it out, cut it into pieces, and enjoy!

Why don’t you share with me a picture on Twitter or Instagram of your pizza night? 🙂

Pizza Sauce

Well, if you are making your own pizza dough, then the next step is to cook your own pizza sauce, really. It tastes so much better than store-bought tomato sauce! Below I describe how to cook your own sauce and I won’t lie – it can get a bit messy. This is why I always make more and store leftover sauce in preserving jars in the fridge. This way, you have to clean up the mess only once, but have sauce for 2-3 pizzas. 😉

Let me know in the comments below or on Instagram and Twitter how messy your stove got and whether you like the pizza sauce.

Ingredients

Makes enough for two to three pizzas the size of standard baking trays.

  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 cans of pre-cut tomatoes (1.200 ml in total)
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • spices: salt, pepper, chili, oregano, …
  • 2-3 preserving jars

How to Make It

  • Peel the garlic and chop it into small pieces. Chop up the onion as well.
  • Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a pot and heat it up. Add the garlic and the onion and gently fry the pieces until golden.
  • Add the tomatoes.
  • Let the tomatoes simmer for 20-30 minutes until the liquid has evaporated and the sauce has been condensed to about two thirds or even half of the original amount.
  • Season it with salt, pepper, oregano, and chili.
  • You can fill left-over sauce into the preserving jars, close them, and store them in the fridge for about a week to ten days.
You can keep left-over sauce in a jar in the fridge.

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.