Oven roasted broad beans falafel

When we think of falafel we instantly think of chick peas. Did you know that you can make falafel with broad beans also? It is a delicious alternative.

The falafel in this recipe are oven roasted, the mixture is not appropriate for deep frying, the falafel are going to dissolve into the pan.

This dish is a great source of protein and is full of herbs. The taste is truly amazing, it is as fulfilling as a meat dish.

The final result will be very crunchy and a bit dry. It is very important to serve them with sauces. Any sauce will do, here they are presented with a yogurt sauce and a tomato sauce.

Rosé wines are an excellent match for falafel. Any rosé will be fine, this weekend I had enjoyed them with a Malbec rosé.

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If you wish to taste this super healthy and super nutritious dish follow the instructions below.

Ingredients for 4 people (or 2 very hungry people) :

  • 350 gr broad beans soaked in mineral water for 48 hours, skins removed
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 medium red onion roughly chopped
  • 2 spring onions finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds roasted and crushed
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds roasted and crushed
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley
  • 1 bunch of fresh mint
  • a pinch of paprika
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • salt
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbs all purspose flour
  • sunflower

Instructions:

  • Place the beans, onions, garlic, and herbs in a food processor and mix them until the beans are chopped into small pieces. Do not over-mix, no need to create a paste. If your food processor is small, place the ingredients in small bunches.
  • Put the mixture in a big bowl. Add the spices, baking soda, lemon juice,  flour and  salt.
  • Place the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Put a bit of sunflower in a pan.
  • Create little patties with your dough and flatten them a bit, it will be easier to cook them in the oven this way.
  • Place the pan in a preheated oven in 200 C. Cook for 15 minutes on one side. Then flip the patties over and cook 15 more minutes on the other side or until golden brown. Do not over cook, they will become very dry.

Your falafel are ready, enjoy 🙂

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Alkaline brunch

Rice is quite popular for breakfast all over South East Asia. I admit that I enjoy it thoroughly. I have always been the kind of person that eats a lot for breakfast. A typical breakfast in my world includes a savoury dish, some kind of sweet snack and tea.

A few years ago my sister has talked to me about the benefits of alkaline nutriments. Red cabbage, carrots, broccoli, garlic, almonds, green tea and bananas are great sources of alkaline elements. This brunch includes all of them.

If you wish to start your day with this alkaline brunch composed by vegan brown rice with alkaline toppings, green tea and frozen banana smoothie follow the instructions bellow.

Ingredients for the brown rice for 1 person:

  • 100 gr cooked brown rice (leftover rice is the most appropriate for this recipe)
  • 1/2 diced carrot
  • 2-3 red cabbage leaves chopped in large pieces
  • a few baby broccoli stems chopped in large pieces
  • a clove of garlic finely chopped
  • a small onion chopped in medium slices
  • a chilli finely chopped
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • cooking oil

Instructions:

  • In a large bowl place the cabbage leaves and the broccoli stems. Add a bit of cooking oil and salt and mix well.
  • Turn on the stove on maximum and place a large empty pan, preferably a wok on it. When the wok is very hot, place the vegetables and mix them for 1-2 minutes, until they are stir fried and glossy. Take the vegetables out of the fire. Continue the same process with the diced carrot and take it out of the fire too.
  • Turn the heat to medium and add a tbs on cooking oil in the pan. Add the onion. When the onion is almost caramelised add the garlic and the chilli.
  • Once the garlic and the chilli are tossed add the rice and the soy sauce. Add the stir fried vegetables and mix well.

Instructions for the frozen banana smoothie:

  • mix a frozen banana with a bit of almond milk.

Your brunch is ready, enjoy 🙂

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Aubergine salad with peanut butter

“Πενία τέχνας κατεργάζεται” is a very old Greek saying, meaning that poverty develops and contributes to the research of the arts.

It is not poverty, as lack of monetary means, that contributed to the creation of this recipe. It is poverty as lack of specific ingredients in the city that I live, more specifically the lack of tahini. Tahini is a sesame based paste, that is commonly used in aubergine salad. It is  quite complicated to find Tahini in Bangkok.  So I have decided to replace it with peanut butter. The result is very tasty. If you wish to try this dish please follow the instructions below.

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Ingredients:

  • 5 medium aubergines
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp of unsalted peanut butter
  • 1 small red onion
  • parsley
  • 1 tbsp of white sesame seeds
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • sweet paprika

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Instructions:

  • Cut the aubergines in big pieces.
  • Roast the aubergines in the oven covered under an aluminium foil for one hour
  • Once the aubergines are cooked put them in a food processor and mix with the onion, garlic, peanut butter, olive oil and salt. Serve with chopped  parsley and paprika.

Enjoy 🙂

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Vegan Christmas, vegetarian Berber couscous

dsc_8403Many traditional Christmas dishes are composed around meat. It is useful to remember that our ancestors did not have the luxury of meat in everyday life. So they compensated by creating exceptional carnivore dishes.

Having said this, vegetarian and vegan dishes become more and more popular. I wish to share this traditional Berber couscous from Algeria adapted to the sauce of the modern world. It is a light, healthy and colourful dish that will satisfy all tastes.The combination of spices with the chickpeas is so tasty that meat becomes unnecessary.

It is a nice idea to prepare this couscous also in case you have guests with different nutritional regimes. A slow roasted lamb shoulder in the oven can be presented as a side dish for whomever appreciates this without compromising the taste of  your vegan/vegetarian guests.

The greatness of this dish is the amazing aroma of the spices. Your kitchen will be enchanted by a beautiful Christmas scent.

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Ingredients for four portions:

  • 400 gr instant couscous (optional, if you know how to separate the grains by hand and you live in a country where you can find real couscous, take the time to prepare it properly)
  • 200 gr chickpeas
  • 3-4 medium carrots chopped in large chunks
  • 250 gr turnips chopped in large chunks
  • 2-3 medium zucchinis in large chunks
  • 4 tomatoes mixed in a food processor
  • a roasted eggplant
  • a sliced onion
  • extra virgin Greek olive oil
  • 2 tsp raz el hanout
  • salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 tbsp of butter (optional, can be replaced by olive oil)
  • 2 tsp of baking soda
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 2 l of water
  • some herbs for the presentation (parsley, mint, coriander according to your preferences)

Instructions:

24 hours before:

  • Put the chickpeas into a bowl of water with the baking soda and let them rest in the fridge for a whole day.

On the day of the preparation:

  • Put the chickpeas into a pan and boil them for 1 hour or until they become soft.
  • Drain the chickpeas.
  • Put some olive oil into a pan, turn the heat on low and add the onion and the spices.
  • Add the garlic cloves.
  • Roast for 3-4 minutes, just enough time for the spices to develop their aroma.
  • Add the chickpeas and keep on stirring in low heat for 5 minutes.
  • Add the carrots and the turnips
  • Add the water.
  • Add the tomato sauce
  • Let this soup simmer for 1 hour
  • Carefully add the zucchini.
  • Let simmer for 20 more minutes.
  • Prepare the couscous according to the instructions of the packaging.

It is ready. For the presentation separate the vegetable from the chickpeas and the sauce. Present the grains of couscous in a separate large and deep plate, the sauce in a bowl and the vegetable on a plate. In this way your guests will choose whatever they wish according to their taste.

Enjoy 🙂

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Green beans

I love the taste of green beans. I always did, even when I was a child. In Greece green beans are enjoyed slow cooked because they release a sweet nutty taste when they are cooked in low heat for 40-45 minutes.

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Ingredients for 4 portions:

  • 400 gr green beans
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • a large onion chopped in slices
  • salt
  • sesame seeds
  • extra virgin Greek olive oil

Instructions:

  • Clean and wash your beans
  • Put a heavy bottom large pan on high heat and let it burn. Do not add any oil.
  • In a large bowl mix the beans with 2 tablespoons of oil, salt, the chopped onion and the whole cloves of garlic.
  • When your pan is very hot add the mixture and saute until the beans change colour.
  • Turn the fire to low. Add half a cup of water.
  • Let your beans simmer for 40-45 minutes.
  • When cooked thoroughly turn the fire off and add the sesame seeds and the extra virgin Greek olive oil.

This dish can be enjoyed on its own

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It can also be enjoyed as a side dish or a salad.

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Berber roasted pepper sauce

There is a sweet and bitter roasted pepper sauce that is quite popular in Algeria. I make it every Sunday and I eat a bit of eat everyday during the week.

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I got this recipe long time ago from a dear friend that is dear  no more. The recipe though stays with me and it is a great accompaniment for variable dishes. It is best enjoyed with bread.

Ingredients :

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  • 500 gr of bell peppers, or corn shaped peppers  of all colours, preferably not very fleshy
  • extra virgin Greek olive oil
  • salt
  • a small chilli chopped thinly (optional)

Instructions:

  • Wash and dry the peppers.
  • Insert your finger to each pepper in order to create a whole. Put some salt in it.
  • Roast the peppers for 40-50 minutes to 190 C. It is important to slow roast the peppers in order to release their sweet flavour.
  • Put the peppers in a plastic bag and let them rest for 15-20 minutes.
  • Peel the peppers and try to discard as many seeds as possible.
  • Crash the peppers with a fork.
  • Add the chilli if you enjoy spicy food.
  • Serve with a generous amount of olive oil.

The sauce can be enjoyed on its own with some bread.

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It is also great as accompaniment.

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Enjoy 🙂

Quinoa tabouleh

This is a quinoa salad inspired by tabouleh. It can be enjoyed as a side dish as well as on its own.

Ingredients for 4 portions:

  • 200 gr quinoa
  • 150 gr of boiled chickpeas
  • a few cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 large bunch of mint
  • 1 large bunch of parsley
  • a carrot
  • sesame seeds
  • sia seeds
  • salt, paprika
  • a small red onion
  • juice of a lemon
  • a small green chilli (optional)
  • a crushed clove of garlic (optional)
  • 50 gr of raisins (optional)
  • extra virgin Greek olive oil

Instructions:

2 hours before preparing the salad:

  • Wash the quinoa in order to get rid of any bitter taste.
  • Put the quinoa in a pan  cover it with water and add some salt
  • Cover the pan and boil for 14 minutes in low heat or until the inner sprout comes out of the grain- do not over boil, the texture will be damaged
  • Add some olive oil and let the quinoa cool down
  • Cut all the vegetables in slices or cubes
  • Chop the herbs thinly
  • Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.

Your salad is ready to taste. Enjoy 🙂DSC_7826.jpg

 

 

Vegan day: Chickpeas soup

This soup contains a large quantity of Greek extra virgin olive oil. It is an essential ingredient, that gives to this dish its distinctive taste.

If you also enjoy olive oil try this soup 🙂

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Ingredients for 4 portions:

  • 25o gr  dried chickpeas
  • 2 l water
  • 2 laurier leaves
  • 2 small onions thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot chopped in stripes
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 150 ml extra virgin Greek olive oil
  • 1 ts baking soda
  • wedges of lemon for tasting (optional)
  • chili for tasting (optional)

Instructions:

  • Soak the chickpeas in cold water overnight with 1 tablespoon of baking soda
  • The following day drain the chickpeas, put them in a pan, cover with water and boil for 30-40 minutes.
  • Drain the chickpeas and discard the boiling water.
  • Put the chickpeas in a clean pan with 2 litres of water and add the laurier leaves, the small onions, the carrot in stripes and the cloves of garlic.
  • Boil in low fire of 1 hour and a half. Add the olive oil and continue boiling for 30 extra minutes.

It is ready. In Greece this dish is often enjoyed with accompaniments such as pickled fish olive oils and feta cheese.

Since I live in the tropics I may choose more exotic side dishes such as durian.

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Enjoy 🙂

About apples 3 : Tropical yogi strudel

Wherever we live in the world, it is beautiful to feel at home. And we feel at home in the company of people that remind us of all the good things that surrounded us during happy moments in our lives.

As a kid, the happiest moments of my existence where inside my mother’s kitchen. In there,  I could observe the transformation of aliments into savoury dishes, that was my world of miracles.

My friend,  amazing Tuu, is where I feel at home in Bangkok. Every single experience in her presence is elegant, tasteful, hypnotically soaked in perfection. She is the definition of success in my world, someone that I look up to with great admiration.

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She has invited me in her kitchen to show me how to prepare an apple and tropical fruit strudel. The preparation of this dessert  is an experience connecting people from different cultural backgrounds through food. In this dessert there is the knowledge and dexterity of a wonderful Croatian mama and the skills and imagination of her amazing Thai daughter in law.

It was such a pleasure to be in your company. Thank you 🙂

The ingredients for the recipe are approximative, everything was measured with eyes 🙂

Ingredients for 1 large strudel:

The dough of this recipe can be replaced by filo pastry. You will need  7-10  filo shits depending on their size.

For the dough:

  • 300 g  unbleached bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 170g warm water
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar

For the filling:

  • 4 apples thinly sliced in the mandoline
  • 100 gr drained tinned black cherries
  • 50 gr of raisins
  • 50 gr thinly sliced pineapple in the mandoline
  • 50 gr thinly sliced green mango in the mandoline
  • 3 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs cinnamon

Instructions: 

  • Mix all the ingredients for the dough and work  for 10- 15 minutes. This is important in order to make the dough more maniable.
  • Transfer the dough to a medium-sized oiled bowl and turn the dough over a few times to coat it lightly with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The finished, rested dough is now ready to be stretched and filled.
  • Line a tabletop with a tablecloth, oilcloth or linen work especially well. A kitchen table, or any surface you can walk all the way around will work; it will make the stretching easier.
  • Remove the strudel dough from the refrigerator. Lightly oil your hands. The dough should feel lightly tacky but not sticky, and it should stretch easily. Start by stretching the dough a little like a pizza, trying to keep it rectangular as you work. Once the dough is no longer easy to manage with your hands, lay it down on the covered table.
  • Use closed fists to stretch the dough. Put your hands under the dough at one corner, and gently work your fists outwards, working toward the edge of the table. Continue to do this, bit by bit, working around the dough to slowly stretch it out. The goal is to get it so thin you can see through it (if your tablecloth has a pattern, this can be a good guideline). Don’t be alarmed if the dough tears (you’ll be rolling it up, and the tears will get rolled up and hidden inside). The dough is very strong, and you should be able to stretch it without major tearing.
  • Once the dough is stretched to the edge of the table, use your fingers to pull gently around the edges to make sure they aren’t too thick.

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  • To assemble the strudel: drizzle the strudel with sunflower oil  (don’t brush it on; you may tear the dough). Spread with the filling.

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  • Sprinkle a bit of sugar and cinnamon
  • Gently grab the dough and roll it up into a tight spiral. Use the tablecloth to help you — the less you handle the dough, the less likely you are to rip it.
  • Bake for 27-32 minutes in a preheated oven at 160 °C

It is ready, enjoy 🙂

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Edible art

Ko Kret is a small island in the Chao Phraya River in the province of Nonthaburi.

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It is situated in the north of Bangkok and is easy to access by taxi.

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The island is known for its pottery crafts.

There are also numerous temples.

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In Ko Kret you can find very interesting local delicacies which are of ethereal beauty and are also delicious. One of them are the deep fried tempura style flowers.

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In the local market you can find these beautiful soft candies made of crashed peanuts, sugar and coconut milk. They are not very sweet and they taste of some kind of aromatic coconut soft candy.

Another dessert that I thoroughly appreciated is the water cake. I have no idea which are the ingredients used for this sweet. It is a gelatinous cake with a texture close to the aloe vera jelly and its taste is very light and subtil. I also suspect that it is quite low in calories.

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The next discovery were those carnation shaped rice balls filled with sesame seeds, sugar, coconut and peanuts.

And last but not least the discovery of this fruit which I found surprising and delicious.

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An impressive storm has started in the early afternoon and interrupted any further plans of discovery.

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I plan to visit Ko Kret again. If you also wish to visit Bangkok it may be interesting to take a day and discover this tiny island. I wish you enjoy it as much as I did.

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