Tag Archives: pasta

#VegBoxChallenge End of Week 1

This is what I made with all my beautiful veg:

♔ A delicious salad inspired by Jennifer from milk and honey. My version of the recipe is here, for this I used half of the broccoli from my box.


♔ A super tasty asparagusbroccoli quiche. Oh and it’s topped with marinated feta. Recipe here!


♔ Antipasti courgette roll-ups filled with cream cheese and sweetcorn, in a tomato sauce topped with marinated feta. Recipe here.


♔ Moonblush (Cherry) Tomatoes (recipe here). These were supposed to go into the salad, but since that changed, we had them in a halloumi wrap that was served with spicy rice (similar to the one at Nandos).


♔ Salad. I smothered it in an avocado-jalapeno dressing and had it with some green pepper in a wrap. Butterhead lettuce, my actually favourite kind of lettuce, used up (no photo, sorry)

♔ Roasted beetroot, carrot and red onions with cumin. This was surprisingly tasty, thank you for the idea Anthea! Unsurprisingly, I had it in a wrap (needed to use them up, I don’t actually live on wraps) with some greek yoghurt and marinated feta. NOM.


♔ Delightful fennel pasta. I have to say I was super surprised how tasty this was. The recipe is from here. I had it without basil, because my basil decided to be an absolute let-down and be mouldy after only two days (again, no photo sorry!)

So here’s my first blogpost reporting back what I did with all the lovely things I had in my veg box last week and how it went in general. Having made it into a challenge and blogging about it actually really helped me to force myself to use everything up. For example, whilst I had made a food plan for this week, I didn’t think the order through properly. One of our dinners should have been the butterhead lettuce with an avocado-jalapeno-buttermilk dressing, halloumi etc etc. BUT I was so focused on waiting to have it when the avocado had reached perfect ripeness, that I forgot that lettuce doesn’t last forever. So when I realised, that it already wasn’t looking its prettiest on Tuesday, I decided to just have it for lunch in a simpler version instead… I would have definitely thrown it away otherwise (I’m not proud of it, but it’s true), since I’m not a big fan of lettuce at the best of times, and quite picky with things that have gone past there best before date, if it wasn’t for knowing that I’d be annoyed to have to report back, that I threw 1 veg away.

And this post my friends I think shows that I actually made great use of everything. I’m actually very happy with how the first week went. As I said before I used up more than I probably would have otherwise, and I put in a lot more effort to make it interesting (to a big part thanks to people giving great tips), and I think it paid off. I can honestly say that I enjoyed every single one of those dishes. For everything that’s actually a recipe, I’ll post recipes on here next week (hopefully). How did you get on with your veg, what did you make?

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RECIPE: Delightful Butternut Squash Pasta with Sage and Caramelized Onions

2013-04-16 20.13.08Last week, we decided we wanted to make Squash Wellington again (recipe here from sorted food), because we absolutely loved it last time we made it (you need to try it, it’s divine), but being into the #VegBoxChallenge etc, I wanted to make sure we also use the other half of the butternut squash for another meal. So whilst Daniel was training away at his Kung Fu class, I decided to try and come up with a delicious, creamy pasta dish, without actually using any cream (get me!). And well, we liked it, so I thought I’d share it on here. (I didn’t tell Daniel I hadn’t put in soured cream (as planned) and he didn’t notice, so that’s got to show that it’s tasty without it, right?)

RECIPE: Delightful Butternut Squash Pasta with Sage and Caramelized Onions

♠ Preheat your oven to 200°C
♠ Cut your (peeled) upper half of a butternut squash into little cubes
♠ “Marinate” the cubes in a little olive oilsalt and a pinch of cayenne pepper
♠ Put them on a baking tray and in the oven for approximately 30mins (or until they’re cooked, it might take less or more time depending on your oven, you can tell they’re cooked by that they’re really easy to squeeze and turn into puree without applying much pressure)

In the mean time, get on with your sauce
♠ Cut one white onion into thin slices, chop half a chili and a small handful of sage
♠ Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan, when it’s heated up, add the onion
♠ Add just over 1 teaspoon of vegetable stock powder, the chili and the sage
♠ When it starts to catch, add a generous splash of water. Let it cook off and repeat this procedure until your butternut squash is cooked. Honestly it’s worth it! 
♠ When the butternut squash is cooked, put your pasta on. 
♠ Add a generous splash of balsamic vinegar to the sauce
♠ Turn the heat off and add the butternut squash cubes, as well as 2 tablespoons of Greek Yoghurt to your sauce
♠ Puree with a hand blender and serve with the pasta and plenty of grated Parmesan (or a vegetarian hard cheese alternative)

Note: The photo of the dish also includes roasted chickpeas, but they really didn’t add anything, so I didn’t include them in the recipe. I also would not recommend using the pasta I used, it just doesn’t cook in any sort of reasonable amount of time. Just a tip, you know. 

2013-04-16 21.29.48


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RECIPE: Pasta with Baked Aubergine and Tomato Sauce

This has to be one of the simplest recipes of all times. It’s also comfort food. What’s better than comfort food that doesn’t involve a lot of effort? Hmm? Not much. Except for macarons, but who says you can’t still have those for dessert, hej? This blogpost is what my version is based on btw.

RECIPE: Pasta with Baked Aubergine and Tomato Sauce

1. Slice 1 Aubergine into 1.5 (ish) cm thick slices and cover with some salt. Leave for 10 Minutes.
2. Get rid of the liquid that came out of the aubergines with some kitchen roll.
3. Cut the slices into cubes and mix with olive oil, cayenne pepper, pepper and salt. Spread on an oven tray, add two cloves of (peeled) garlic and put in the 200° (ish) hot oven for around 35minutes. They’re done when they’ve taken on some colour and are really really soft.
4. Mix half a jar of tomato puree with a little over 1 tablespoon of sugar and heat up.
5. Cook your pasta.
6. Add in the baked aubergine and garlic and some grated Emmentale cheese and liquidize into a puree.
7. Serve with your pasta.

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Things to Try Thursday: Leeks

As my fridge is still pretty packed with leeks, I’ve decided to do a Things to Try Thursday just for leeks. Because I’m cool and that.
There won’t be any sweet recipes, so instead of organising them by sweet or savoury, I organised them by which food blog I found the recipes on”

Serious Eats
Sweet Potato Leek Soup
Polenta with a Leek and Mushroom Ragu
Leek Fritters (because we love fritters!)

Closet Cooking
Mushroom and Leek Wild Rice Salad
Wild Leek Pesto Pasta
Fiddlehead and Leek Tart covered in melted Gruyere (mmmh)

Our Kitchen
Leeks Vinaigrette and Roasted Potatoes with Herb Oil

Dana Treat
Pizza with Silky Leeks, Smoked Mozzarella and Eggs

Delicious Days
Risotto with Leeks and Winter Squash

Smitten Kitchen
Leek and Mushroom Quiche
Leek Bread Pudding

Food 52
Leek, Lemon and Feta Quiche 
Leek Tart with Ricotta and Pea Purree 
Layered Mushroom and Leek Paté

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RECIPE: Spicy Spaghetti Napoli with Crispy (Fake) Chicken

Today I thought I’d share one of Daniel’s recipes with you, because I absolutely love it when he makes this, and it’s one of the only two dishes that usually involve meat, where I find it’s actually worth replacing the meat with fake meat (normal people might call it quorn, but you know, there’s many different kinds, so if you say fake chicken, you instantly know which one!). Normally I’d just leave it out, because I’m not too bothered.

But since I already got talking about quorn and it’s other meatless friends, I thought I could also share my favourite products (in the UK that is… I really struggle to find any in Germany and/or especially in France). As I said before, I don’t really use them to replace meat in what I cook, but I think it’s nice to have some of them in the freezer, especially when you’re going somewhere, because others often want to get you something that replaces the meat, but don’t know what. So here’s which products I would definitely recommend:

1) Chicken Fillets from Quorn. I think they taste really nice and they are easy to handle. They are also what’s used in this recipe. I’ve just been on their website for the first time, and there’s many recipes for their products (who would have guessed hej?), so I think it’s worth having a look!

2) Anything from Linda McCartney really! Everything I’ve tried, has been absolutely delicious and it’s by a long short the best meat replacing stuff I’ve come across. I particulary like (well I haven’t tried more… otherwise I’m sure this list would be endless!):
Burgers (nice for a fuzz-free BBQing, especially if you can’t see vegetable anymore and really can’t be bothered to marinate even more feta!)
Country Pies (for when the others are having a Roast sort of meal)
Sausages (my beloved aunt would actually not believe these aren’t meat, when she was served them at a B&B).
But now that I browsed through the website, I decided I will definitely also try the following:
 Cranberry and Camembert Burgers
Farmhouse Pies
Mini Snack Sausages
Mozzarella Burgers
Red Onion and Rosemary Burgers
Yep that’s right, pretty much the whole range! Btw you should definitely at least click some of the links, because they have pretty photos of the foods on the website.
Linda McCartney also has a campaign called Meatless Monday, which, if you haven’t been able to figure out from the name, encourages people to leave out meat at least once a week, which I think is a wonderful idea.

Anyway I think I’ve talked enough, haven’t I? Here’s the recipe:

Spicy Spaghetti Napoli with Crispy (Fake) Chicken
1. Defrost fake chicken in the microwave. For normal people I’d recommend two pieces each, if you’re as greedy as I am though, use three.

2. Prepare three bowls. In the first one you put flour, in the second one you scramble up an egg and in the third one is for breadcrumbs.
3. Put the fake chicken (obviously the meat eaters among you can use actual chicken, but hej let’s all be a bit more vegetarian, shall we?) in the flour first (making sure it’s covered, but shaking off any excess), then egg, then breadcrumbs. Put aside.
4. Caramelize 1 chopped red onion, add in 1 crushed clove of garlic and 1 chopped chili (or less, depending on how strong the chili is).
5. Optional: Add roughly 500g of sliced mushrooms. But if you do this step, take into account that it will take some time for the water of the mushrooms to cook off. This is also the time, where you might want to start pre-heating the oven.
6. Add 1 tin of chopped tomatoes to the pan and any spices you would like to add (salt, pepper, curry powder, sugar whatever you fancy) and thyme.
7. Stir well and let it cook for a little while to get rid of any more excess liquid.
8. In a different frying pan, heat up some olive oil and fry the fake chicken pieces (make sure the oil is hot).
9. Cook Spaghetti according to instructions on the package. Use roughly 100g (dry weight) spaghetti per person.
10. On an oven tray, put the fried fake chicken pieces on some grease proof paper and put some of the tomato-mix on top. Cover with sliced mozzarella and put in the oven until the mozzarella is melted and slightly golden.
11. Mix the spaghetti with any sauce that wasn’t used (if any), and divide amongst the plates. Put 2-3 pieces of fake chicken on top of them and you’re done!

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RECIPE: Rich Tomato-Basil Pasta Sauce with Creamy Peas

1) Cook some frozen peas in good quality vegetable stock

2) Cook spaghetti according to instructions on the package.

3) Caramelize 1 red onion (cut into tiny little cubes) with sugar

4) Add in half a jar of pizza sauce* (or another tomato-ey equivalent)

5) Spice with curry powder, salt, balsamic vinegar, possibly some more sugar and a lot of fresh basil (chopped up!)

6) Let it reduce for a little bit to get it nice and rich

7) When the peas are cooked, mix them with some lemon juice and something creamy (like Crème Fraiche or Ricotta). I once again used la vache qui rit, but only because it was in our fridge, not because I think it’s a particularly elegant solution! So if you go shopping, I’d definitely definitely go for either one of the above options!

8 ) Then it’s up to you really, you can mix the peas in or serve it seperately, you can see how I did it on the photo. Serve et voilà

* Or more, this was for one person!

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RECIPE: Spaghetti with Caramelized Shallots, Pesto and Peas


When you read the title, you were probably expecting some delicious recipe for homemade pesto. I’ll put a link in a second, don’t you worry. Whilst I would love to tell you all about how I made an amazing pesto, I unfortunately can’t. Firstly, it’s sunday, and in France (and Germany) that means that shops are closed), secondly I was in England and just returned this afternoon, so I probably wouldn’t have been bothered enough to go out and buy things anyway and thirdly, this badly equipped kitchen doesn’t have the right tools to make pesto. Sad times. Anyway, as promised, I’ll at least give you a link to a homemade basil pesto, which I think sounds delicious. It’s (who would have guessed) from closetcooking.

Aaaaaaanyway, I still had a much better time than expected eating this, so I thought I could share it, especially seen as I haven’t exactly posted an awful lot lately. First I thought I only had pasta and pesto in the house. Not the most exiting thing, but, you know, alright.

Then I remembered, I also had Mozzarella.

And Peas.

And Shallots.

Having remembered all these thrilling ingredients were in my cupboard in the kitchen, I decided I might as well try and make this a bit more exiting than Pasta with just bought pesto.

Anyway, I think I’ve  made this a slightly too long story, because really it isn’t one at all, but you know, I enjoy typing, so here’s what I did:

1) You’re hungry, so as for all quick “sauces” (can I even call it that??), you should start by putting on some spaghetti. Don’t forget to put salt in the water. I know everyone knows this, but I always find that most people are a bit shy about it. I recommend you do what my lovely aunt taught me: Use one tablespoon of salt for pasta for two people or so.

2) In another saucepan, bring some good vegetable stock to the boil and put in a big handful of frozen peas.

3) Cut 1 shallot into little cubes and start frying them in a little bit (but not much at all!) olive oil.

4) If you’ve read this blog before, you’ll know what now: Put some sugar on them to get them lovely and caramelized.

5) When that’s done, put in about 2 teaspoons of pesto. Obviously fresh pesto is best, but I enjoyed it with bought pesto too.

6) I then mixed in some la vache qui rit to get it nice and creamy

7) By now, the peas are hopefully done, so add them into the sauce as well.

8) Nearly done: Now you only need to mix the sauce with the lovely al dente spaghetti some mozzarella and some lemon juice et voilà. Not exactly difficult or haute cuisine, but a pretty nice dinner on a sunday night, when you don’t really have much in the house. Enjoy.

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RECIPE: Summer Pasta with Aubergine

When I made the aubergine burgers the other day, I had one aubergine left over, so I’ve been wanting to do something with it all week. This is what I did:

1) Cut 1 Aubergine into fairly slin slices, and put some salt on them to get unnecessary liquid out.

2) Dry them with some kitchen roll

3) Chargrill them for as long as it takes for them to become lovely and crisp

4) Cook some pasta

5) In a frying pan, caramelize 4 spring onions with some sugar

6) Crush in 2 cloves of garlic

7) Deglaze with some sherry

8) Add in about 1 Tablespoon of Crème Fraîche, some freshly ground black pepper, some grated lemon zest and the juice of half a lemon.

9) Mix in the aubergine slices (slightly chopped up if you like) and then mix with the pasta.

10) Grate over some Parmesan


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Things to Try Thursday (11 August)


1) Even thought it doesn’t necessarily seem that way, it still is summer, and how much more summery than Blueberry Lemonade can it get?

2) I know at least one person, that would/will really appreciate these, but to be honest, I think most people would, because there’s nothing to dislike about the idea of Brownie Crisps and Icecream Sandwiches

3)This one just sounds and looks so incredibly light and fresh and summery and it’s got rose extract in, which makes it sound romantic too: Pink Grapefruit and Rose Cake

4) No words needed: Blueberry and Strawberry Clafoutis


1) This one sounds like it could make for a nice and easy lunch: Pea, Basil and Feta Cheese Frittata

2) As mentioned a couple of times, I love butternut squash and this Butternut Squash, Feta Cheese and Rosemary Quiche just sounds too tempting to resist.

3) I’m always looking for ways to use quinoa, since it’s so healthy and keeps you full for quite a while. Quinoa combined with courgettes? Sounds good to me: Quinoa Courgette Cakes

4) BBQing as a vegetarian can become a little bit boring, especially when it’s always the old marinated feta and roasted veg (did I mention that I’m not the biggest fan of vegetables), so Aubergine Veggie Burgers sound like a good alternative to me!

5) This recipe actually includes a sweet and a savoury part, but if I actually get to try one, it will probably be the savoury one: Japaleno-Cheese Soft Pretzels (the other one included in this recipe is apple pie soft pretzels, so if you’re more of a sweet person, you should still have a look!)

6) Mushrooms, Pasta, simple, delicious, try: Wild Mushroom Pasta 

7) This one is not exactly revolutionary, I’ve had it many times, but I haven’t actually made it yet (…and the vinaigrette in this one sounds very delicious): Greek Salad

8) I haven’t exactly figured out what this one is, but it looks like it’s some sort of flatbread and even more important it’s topped with some marinated and grilled courgettes. Most of all, whatever it is, it looks like something I’d enjoy, it’s called: Piadine with Grilled Courgettes

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CLASSICS: Tomato sauce

If I had to choose three foods for the rest of my life, pasta would definitely be one of them. I like pasta in all shapes and forms and with all sorts of sauces (or just without any sauce at all) but tomato sauce has to be one of the classics, so here we go:

(This is how Mr Tomatosauce-maker himself: D. taught me how to make tomato sauce)

1) Cut 1 red onion into little cubes. (When I made this sauce for lunch today, I also added some sliced spring onions for a bit of summer-y taste)

2) Heat up a bit of olive oil in a frying pan, and when it’s hot, add the red onion and fry it with a little bit (or a lot) of sugar. (If you’re using spring onions as well, add them slightly later)

3) When the onion is nearly perfectly caramelized, crush in 1-4 cloves of garlic. How many cloves depends on how many people you’re planning to kiss in the next 24 hours and furthermore how much you want them to enjoy the kiss(es). (If anyone wants to know a formula, let me know and I’ll come up with one!!!!)

4) You can then add some sherry. This is not essential, but I think it adds to the flavour nicely. I always have a bottle of sherry in the cooking area, but if you have a bottle of red wine open, feel free to substitute it in!

5) Now is also the time to put in some fresh thyme. As said before the more the better, but I personally often give up quickly, because I find picking thyme slightly or maybe even very annoying.

6) When the sherry (/red wine/dessert wine/raspberry-mango-maracuja milkshake) has evaporated add tinned tomatoes (I use about a tin per two people)

7) Now’s the time to go mad with spices, add whatever you feel like. I normally use a lot of curry powder and some freshly ground pepper and sea salt. Sometimes I also find that it’s not sweet enough yet, so logically if that’s the case, you can add more sugar.

8) Just before you’re ready to serve, add some roughly chopped fresh basil (because you know, it’s not exactly a secret, that tomato and basil go together well… )

9) Serve with some al dente spaghetti or alternatively (if you let it cook for a bit longer, so all the liquid can evaporate) as base sauce on a pizza (also delightful!) 

Whichever option you use the sauce for, I’m sure you’ll have a great time🙂

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