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Cover: Quick cuisine

June, 2012

29Jun 12

Oven-fried slices of pork in a coconut and mango chutney sauce

Oven-fried slices of pork with coconut and mango chutneyI often think that it is the sauce that makes a dish, and the protein source is a matter of choice. Although I will say that pork is quite tasty and goes really well with all types of fruits. Take this roast pork with apple cider recipe. Although I prefer to pair my meat with mango and coconut, the combination of apple and pork in that recipe is divine!

In this dish of oven-fried slices of pork in a coconut and mango chutney sauce, I have chosen coconut flakes and mango chutney to add flavour to the sauce. (For an extra fruity flavour, try this pear and mango chutney.)

Coconut products, including coconut flesh, coconut water, coconut oil, and coconut cream all deliver superb health benefits. Did you know that as well as killing off a whole range of viruses and bacteria and being great for your skin when used in creams, coconut oil is thought to boost the metabolism by consuming energy faster and therefore burning excess body weight off?

So if you are looking to slim down in time for summer, this might be a good recipe for you since the meat used in this is also low in fat. Instead of full-fat products, you can use a lighter version if you prefer to.

I hope you enjoy it!

What we need:

  • 250g of salted and slightly smoked cut of pork meat

  • 50ml fresh cream

  • 75ml full fat milk

  • 1/2 tsk curry powder (according to taste)

  • 1-3 tablespoons of orange juice

  • 50ml of water

  • 1 tablespoon of mango chutney

  • 1 tablespoon of coconut flakes

How to make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees celsius.
  2. Cut the pork meat into thin slices and place them in the oven-safe form.
  3. Mix the cream, milk, curry, water, mango chutney and coconut into a sauce. Pour in the orange juice according to taste.
  4. Carefully pour the sauce over the meat.
  5. Next, place the oven-safe form in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes, until the pork is cooked well throughout.
  6. Serve alongside a garden salad for some extra greens.

Serves: 2

Time needed: 30 minutes

Level: Easy

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27Jun 12

Vegetable lasagne

Vegetable lasagne with spinach and cranberriesI love experimenting with different kinds of lasagne because you can basically put just about anything into a lasagne, and it still turns out delicious. Here is one  vegetable lasagne in which I have used spinach, due to its pure healthiness, and cranberries since they are delicious and more versatile than just in desserts. (If you like meat in your pasta, try this beef and kale lasagne.)

Did you know that cranberries have lately been marketed as a “super-fruit” due to their high content in nutrients and antioxidant qualities? They are a great source of vitamin C and are low in calories but high in fibre.

Cranberries are very much part of North American and Canadian cuisine. They use them in marmalades, sauces, desserts and, not to forget, as a very important part of the Thanksgiving dinner.

Native Americans were the first to use cranberries as food. Native Americans used cranberries in a variety of foods, but also for medicines and dyes. It is believed that the natives introduced cranberries to starving English settlers who later incorporated them into the traditional feast of Thanksgiving.

What we need:

  • 6-8 lasagne noodles
  • 400ml of tomato sauce

  • 100ml of full fat milk

  • 1 teaspoon of thyme

  • 1 clove of garlic, minced

  • 1 carrot

  • 1 onion

  • 200g of fresh spinach, chopped

  • 20 dried cranberries

  • 100g of cheddar cheese

How to make it:

  1. Pour the tomato sauce into a bowl and add the thyme, garlic and milk.

  2. Wash and peel the carrot. Cut both the carrot and onion into small slices.

  3. Mix the spinach, carrot, cranberries and onion all together.

  4. Pour some of the tomato sauce into the oven-safe form.

  5. Add a layer of lasagne noodles.

  6. Alternate between the pasta, tomato sauce and the veggie/cranberry mix.

  7. End the last layer with the last lasagne noodle. Add the last of the tomato sauce and sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top, grated or in slices.

  8. Place in the middle of the oven for 40 – 50 minutes.

Enjoy!

Serves: 2-3

Time needed: preparation time 15 minutes and then oven time.

Level: Easy

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26Jun 12

Japanese noodles with bell peppers and beef

Japanese noodles with bell peppers and beef
Noodles are always super easy to make – it takes virtually no time at all to place them in boiling water and, voila! 5 minutes later they are ready. The tricky part is to make the noodles tasty – it depends on what you put in the dish. With a noodle dish, the good thing is that, much like pasta, you can make a nice dish out of what you happen to have at home that day. If you have salmon steaks left over from yesterday’s dinner in the fridge, then cut it into pieces and add to this dish.

I happened to have peppers and mushrooms in my fridge. Less glamorous than salmon, but still tasty. Here is a dish of noodles with teriyaki sauce in which I have added apple pieces for a little more interesting flavour and red peppers and mushrooms for their scrumptiousness and for being healthy. I try to always keep the “five-a-day” in mind!

This is a recipe I often make when I come home late in the evening and just want to flop in front of the telly with a glass of white wine. I hope you enjoy it! (I also recommend this duck fillet stir fry with noodles.)

Japanese noodles with bell peppers and beef
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Noodles with teriyaki sauce and apple pieces for a unique flavour
Ingredients
  • 300g egg noodles
  • 150g beef, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 small red pepper
  • 1 small yellow pepper
  • 6 big mushrooms
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Teriyaki sauce
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Japanese soy sauce
  • ½ an apple
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Instructions
  1. Heat up the oil in a frying pan.
  2. Wash and cut the red and yellow peppers as well as the mushrooms into slices. Place in a frying pan in the oil.
  3. Peel the apple and cut it into small pieces. Add it to the frying pan.
  4. Let them all fry together until soft.
  5. Meanwhile, boil water in a saucepan and add the noodles. The water should cover the noodles. Let it simmer for 5 minutes or until ready.
  6. Drain the water from the noodles and add the noodles to the frying pan and lower the heat.
  7. In a separate frying pan, cook the beef strips until cooked throughout. When done, add this beef to the veggie and noodle mix, drizzling over the teriyaki and soy sauces.
  8. Serve immediately.

 

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25Jun 12

Penne with creamy pesto

Penne with creamy pestoThey say that almonds are great for a number of things, including your skin, so I try to eat a small handful a day. As they are also delicious, I incorporate them into as many recipes as I can to get the benefits from these little but potent health bombs.

This dish of penne with creamy pesto is really easy to prepare and has healthy goodies such as mushrooms, garlic and my beloved almonds, which have a whole load of benefits for our bodies.

Almonds are healthy due to their many nutrients and vitamins such as vitamin E, and they are also low in saturated fat. They contain calcium and magnesium for strong bones, as well as compounds called phytochemicals, a compound which scientists say may help protect against cardiovascular disease and even cancer.

Due to the high level of vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant, almonds are used in many skin cream products and are thought to keep your skin supple-looking.

Being both heart-healthy AND scrumptious, there really is no excuse why you should not go nuts for these nuts – they will even do wonders for your complexion, so start munching!

What we need:

  • 150g penne pasta

  • 200ml of natural yoghurt

  • 10 large mushrooms

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 100g of almond flakes

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of pesto (You can buy this store-bought or make it yourself. Check out this recipe for home-made pesto!)

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

 How to make it:

1. Boil the pasta according to the instructions on the package.

2. Wash and cut the mushrooms into thin slices. Fry them in the oil in a frying pan until golden brown.

3. Peel the garlic and crush them. Add to the frying pan along with the almond flakes.

5. Mix the yoghurt and pesto together in a small bowl.

6. When the penne pasta is ready, drain it and pour it into the frying pan.

7. Pour over the yoghurt-pesto mixture and mix carefully.

8. Serve immediately with a glass of cold beer.

Serves: 2

Time needed: 15 minutes

Level: Easy

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22Jun 12

Oven-fried vegetables with tuna steak and curry sauce

Oven-fried vegetables with tuna steak and curry sauceOne brilliant way to get your 5 servings of veggies a day is to chop up several vegetables and oven-fry them in some oil, sprinkled with salt and thyme. This is what I have done in this dish of Oven-fried vegetables with tuna steak and curry sauce. My personal preference is tuna, but you can use salmon or any other fish steak that you prefer.

I have used mushrooms, carrots, red onion, red pepper and potatoes with a curry sauce based on natural yoghurt. So, although you have to do some peeling and chopping, once it is in the oven, you can go about your business for around half an hour until it’s time to fry the tuna steak and mix together the sauce, which is done in less than 5 minutes.

Fish and veggies are a classic healthy combination. Try this recipe for tuna steaks with roast peppers. You won’t be disappointed!

Serve the tuna and veggies on a bed of ruccola leaves or as it is. By doing so, you will have reached your goal of getting five vegetables a day, and in such an easy and tasty way!

What we need:

  • 180g tuna steak
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 small red pepper
  • 4 big mushrooms
  • 2 meduim-sized potatoes
  • 150g of natural cooking yoghurt
  • 1/2 – 1 tablespoon of curry powder (according to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 2 pinches of thyme

How to make it:
1. Wash and peel all the vegetables. Cut them into chunks.
2. Place them on an oven tray in some of the oil and pour some of the oil over them. Sprinkle the salt and thyme over them.
3. Place in the middle of the oven at 250 degrees. Leave for 30 – 40 minutes or until ready.
4. 10 minutes before the vegetables are ready, take out the tuna steaks and fry them in a frying pan until golden brown.
5. Pour the yoghurt into a small bowl and add the curry powder and honey. Mix carefully.
6. When the vegetables are ready, place them on a plate on a bed of ruccola salad and serve the fish with a dollop of yoghurt sauce.

Enjoy!

Serves: 2
Time needed: 30-40 minutes
Level: Easy

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20Jun 12

Chicken with rice and pistachios in a yoghurt sauce

Chicken Risotto with Pistachio and yoghurt saucePistachios are one of my favourite nuts, and if someone doesn’t stop me, I could just eat them forever. They are so moreish! However, they contain quite a lot of calories, so I have to watch out.

On a good note though, almost 90% of the fat found in pistachios are unsaturated fats – the good kind! They are also a great source of fibre and vitamin E – great for skin health!

Pistachios are used in everything from ice cream to sauces, and in this dish of Chicken with rice and pistachios in a yoghurt sauce, I have tried to use enough pistachios to let the taste of this yummy nut shine through.

Pistachios are thought to have been enjoyed since as far back 6750 BC, and they were often used as travelling food due to their high nutritional value and long storage life. They were particularly popular among explorers and traders, and rumour has it that they were the snack of choice for travellers across the ancient Silk Road that connected China with the West.

Although pistachios are often used in desserts such as ice cream or other sweets (like this Indian lass with cardamom and pistachios), they can be used in a variety of other recipes. Try this rice dish and see for yourself!

What we need:

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

  • 200g of rice

  • 200g of chicken

  • 3 tablespoons of pistachos

  • 1 onion

  • 1 carrot

  • 1 small tin of green peas

  • 1/2 courgette

  • 150g of  natural yoghurt

  • 1 clove of garlic

How to make it:

1. Wash and boil the rice according to instructions on the package.

2. Wash and peel the onion, carrot and courgette. Cut them all into small squares.

3. Cut the chicken into cubes and place in a frying pan in the oil.

4. When the chicken has been frying for a while, add the vegetables and the peas.

5. Chop the pistachios and garlic into small pieces and mix with the yoghurt in a bowl.

6. When the rice is ready, add it to the frying pan and mix it carefully with the chicken and veggies.

7. Place the rice mixture on a plate and dollop the yoghurt sauce on top.

Enjoy!

Serves: 2

Time needed: 20 minutes

Level: easy

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18Jun 12

Pollock in caviar sauce with dill

Pollock in caviar sauce with dillA cheap kind of caviar or a caviar substitute can work wonders as flavouring in sauces, and adds a bit of excitement to dishes such as this healthy fish recipe made using Pollock in caviar sauce with dill. A creamed smoked roe, caviar paste or a similar caviar substitute can be used in this recipe, and dill adds an extra flavour to this light dish.

I like adding veggies to my recipes. With this sauce, I recommend corn and green beans. For extra substance, serve the fish alongside boiled potatoes, lightly salted. (Also try this broiled salmon with spicy bell pepper sauce.)

Corn is a superb source of fibre and vitamin C and is closely identified with the Americas, perhaps more so than any other food. Did you know that the Mayans revered maize? They expressed their respect and appreciation in everyday rituals and as well as in their religious ceremonies. Corn was equally highly valued by the Native Americans of North America. So there you have it – not only yummy and healthy, but with an interesting history too!

What we need:

  • 400g of Alaska Pollock
  • 1/2 a leek
  • a small tin of corn
  • 250ml of single cream
  • 4 tablespoons of caviar (add according to taste)
  • 200g of frozen green beans
  • 3 tablespoons of finely chopped dill
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • 2 pinches of pepper
  • 30g Parmesan cheese

How to make it:

  1. Defrost the fish. Once done, cut it into 4 pieces. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees.
  2. While it’s heating up, wash and peel the leek. Cut into thin slices.
  3. Bring water to the boil in a pot and cook the frozen green beans for 10 minutes, per the instructions on the package.
  4. Place the pieces of fish in an oven-safe form and sprinkle over the salt and pepper. Place the form in the oven for around 15 minutes.
  5. As the fish is cooking, heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the leek for a few minutes.
  6. Add the cream to the pan and let it all boil together for 5 minutes. Add the caviar and more salt and pepper according to taste.
  7. Add the dill, corn and green beans, stirring it all together. When well-mixed, pour the sauce over the fish in the oven-safe form.
  8. Sprinkle over the Parmesan cheese and place in the oven for another 5 minutes.
  9. Serve hot.

Serves: 4
Time needed: 20 minutes
Level: Easy

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15Jun 12

Pasta with pesto, broccoli and Feta cheese

Pasta with Veg and PestoPesto is an all-time favourite of mine and one of my must-have sauces at home. There is both a green and red variety, but I prefer the green one because it is so versatile. Here is a dish of pasta with pesto, broccoli and Feta cheese that I make a lot – often in the morning before I rush to catch the bus to Uni!

A typical pesto is made by first placing garlic and pine nuts in a mortar and reducing it to a cream. After that, you add washed and dried basil leaves and grind it to a creamy consistency. Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino cheeses are then added together with some olive oil. However, if you don’t want to go to all this trouble, you can find pre-made pesto in most supermarkets. The most common one is pesto alla genovese.

You may believe that pesto is only used as a sauce for pasta, but think again! These pesto cod and chips use it as a dressing on top of seafood. Play around with pesto, and you never know what new delights you might discover!

What we need:

  • 200g of tricolour pasta
  • 2 tablespoons of green pesto
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 1 dl of broccoli florets
  • A small tin of green beans
  • 10 black olives
  • 100g of Feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Tip! If you want to make your life easier, you can even use frozen vegetables instead of fresh.

How to make it:

  1. Wash and chop the onion, pepper and broccoli into pieces.
  2. Pour 1 litre of water into a saucepan and bring it to the boil.
  3. Add the pasta and cook it according to instructions on the package.
  4. Pour the olive oil in a frying pan.
  5. Place the vegetables in the frying pan and let it all fry for a few minutes until the vegetables are soft.
  6. Add the green beans.
  7. Chop the olives into halves and add to the frying pan.
  8. Drain the pasta when ready.
  9. Add the pesto to the hot pasta and mix carefully.
  10. Add all the vegetables from the frying pan.
  11. Grate the Feta cheese over the pasta and stir once or twice.
  12. Serve hot or store it in a Tupperware for later use.

Time needed: 15 minutes
Serves: 2
Level: Easy

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12Jun 12

Japanese style fried rice with tofu

Japanese style fried rice with tofuContinuing my love affair with Asian cuisine, the time has come to try a dish with tofu. Tofu is made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks that is then used in cooking, often as a meat substitute. (Another example of an Asian recipe using tofu is this recipe for Vietnamese spring rolls.)

Tofu can be used both in savoury and sweet dishes and is low in fat, high in protein, and with a low calorie count, it is excellent for vegetarians or for those of you on a calorie-restrictive diet. I have added oyster sauce and ginger to this dish of Japanese style fried rice with tofu for that scrumptious Japanese taste that I never get tired of.

Tofu is thought to have originated in ancient China, and techniques for its production and preparation eventually spread to many other parts of Asia. Today, many different varieties, such as fresh, fried, marinated, firm or soft tofu are eaten all over East Asia, and its use has spread to the west as well, probably as a result of the rise in vegetarianism in the 20th century.

What we need:

  • 100g jasmine rice
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 large mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons of rapeseed oil
  • 125g of tofu
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped ginger
  • 4 teaspoons of Japanese soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds (optional)

How to make it:

1. Boil the rice according to the instructions on the package.
2. Wash and cut up all the vegetables into thin slices.
3. Fry the vegetables in the oil in a frying pan.
4. When the rice is ready, pour it into the frying pan, mix and let it all fry together for a few minutes.
5. Cut the tofu into squares and put it in the frying pan.
6. Add the ginger, garlic, soy sauce and the oyster sauce and mix carefully. Sprinkle over some sesame seeds if desired.

Enjoy!

Serves: 2
Time needed: 20 minutes
Level: Easy

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09Jun 12

Mushroom lasagna with mozzarella and tomatoes

Mushroom lasagnaI´m a big fan of Italian cooking, but usually I don´t have time for more than throwing a handful of macaroni and some vegetables into a saucepan and letting them boil together. Last Friday night I thought I´d try a more elaborate pasta dish and found this recipe for mushroom lasagna with mozzarella and tomatoes to be easy enough even for a busy student like me.

Although the preparation does take some time, after that the lasagna makes itself in the oven while I bury my head in the books. Half an hour later, the dish is ready and you can have yourself a well-deserved treat!

What we need:

  • 300g dry fusilli pasta
  • 450g of sliced mushrooms (frozen or fresh)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1/2 a courgette
  • 400 grams of chopped tomatoes from a tin
  • 400 of crème fraîche
  • 400g of mozzarella
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • a pinch of salt and pepper
  • a sprig of fresh basil (optional)

How we make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 225 degrees.
  2. Meanwhile, boil the pasta, but not too much as it will later go in the oven as well.
  3. If you use frozen mushrooms, place them in a frying pan and fry until the liquid is gone. Place them on a plate for later use.
  4. Peel and chop the garlic, onion and courgettes.
  5. Fry them along with olive oil in a frying pan and then add the chopped tomatoes and the sugar. Let it boil for around 10 minutes.
  6. Heat the crème fraîche in a saucepan and take half of the mozzarella and place it in lumps in the crème fraîche. Let them melt together. Add the salt and pepper.
  7. Take an oven-safe form and put some of the tomato sauce in the bottom.
  8. Place a layer of the fusilli on top, covering the form.
  9. Now, alternate between the crème fraîche sauce, tomato sauce and fusilli pasta.
  10. On the top, place the rest of the crème fraîche sauce and add the rest of the mozzarella cheese.
  11. Place in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes.
  12. Remove from oven and sprinkle over the fresh basil.

Serves: 4
Time needed: 50 minutes (including oven time)
Level: easy – intermediate

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