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Cover: Quick cuisine

Recipes with quick cuisine

28Jul 12

Hake with potato and hummus mash

hake with potato and hummus mashIf you have a little bit of extra time, you can, like I have done here, prepare a potato mash and add hummus to it for extra flavour. In this dish of Hake with potato and hummus mash, I have mixed the hummus and potatoes for an extra yummy and healthy mash that goes well with fish.

Just like Japanese soy and Italian green pesto, I always make sure I have a bowl of hummus at home. Lazy as I am, I always buy it ready-made, but if you have a blender, you can easily put this together at home yourself. If you’d like to try, here is a Moroccan hummus recipe that you will love!

This Middle Eastern dish is made of chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and tahini, a sesame seed paste, blended all together to form a paste. It is great as a meat substitute as it is very high in protein and a good source of fibre. It also contains loads of other goodies and is truly scrumptious, so eat away!

Hummus paste is great for sandwiches as a spread or added as an extra ingredient and flavour to something else. I even know people who eat it with a spoon!


Hake with potato and hummus mash
Recipe type: Side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
In this dish of Hake with potato and hummus mash I have mixed the hummus and potatoes for an extra yummy and healthy mash
  • 4 potatoes
  • 100-200g of Hake
  • 50g of goat cheese
  • 3 tablespoons of hummus
  • 100g of broccoli
  • A small tin of corn
  • 1-2 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2-3 pinches of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  1. Wash and peel the potatoes and boil them in a saucepan until ready (easy to mash).
  2. De-frost the Hake and place in a frying pan in the oil.
  3. When warm, place the goat’s cheese in slices on top of the Hake fillets and dribble the honey on top. Fry until cooked thoroughly - approximately 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, steam the broccoli and corn in a little water in a saucepan. Drain when done.
  5. When the potatoes are ready, drain and mash them with a mixer or fork.
  6. Add the milk and hummus and work until a smooth mash. Serve together with the fish and vegetables when ready.
  7. Ideally, serve with a glass of white wine.


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25Jul 12

Oven toast with avocado and goat cheese

Toast with avocado and goat cheeseLike I mentioned in an earlier post, when I was living with two Japanese people, they taught me how to mix soy sauce with different ingredients. Here is a simple recipe for oven toast with avocado and goat cheese that includes a dash of that salty treat. In my opinion, avocado and soy sauce are simply a divine combination because the subtle avocado offsets the saltiness of the soy.

Avocados are full of vitamin E which plays an important role in having and maintaining healthy skin and hair.

Bearing in mind that avocados are a real super-food, there is no reason not to use that fruit in abundance in your cooking or as a starter. I personally adore them and try to eat them once a week at least. My friend told me they help you maintain beautiful skin, so I try to get my fill!

One of the best ways to eat them is in Mexican Guacamole, which is basically mashed up avocados with a few seasonings. Although delicious, you have to be careful how many crisps you use for dipping!

Avocado is especially popular in vegetarian dishes since it can substitute meats in salads and sandwiches. It is rather high in fat, but luckily the fat is of the “good” kind.

This green wonder has a long history and has been reported to have been mentioned thousands of years before Christ! And, did you know that apparently the Aztecs called the avocado ‘the fertility fruit’? Food for thought…

Oven toast with avocado and goat cheese
Recipe type: Appetiser
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
simple recipe for oven toast with avocado and goat cheese that includes a dash of salty soy
  • 4 slices of toast bread
  • 100g of goat cheese
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 100g of Gruyère cheese
  • 2-3 teaspoons of Japanese soy sauce
  1. Take 4 slices of toast and pour the olive oil onto them.
  2. Wash and cut the tomatoes into slices.
  3. Now do the same with the avocado.
  4. Alternate between slices of tomatoes, avocado and goat cheese placed on the toast.
  5. On top, place the Gruyere cheese.
  6. Drizzle the Japanese soy sauce on top.
  7. Place in the middle of the oven for 12-15 minutes.
  8. Enjoy with a glass of cold beer!

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23Jul 12

Hake with teriyaki sauce

hake with teriyaki sauceContinuing with the Japanese-themed dishes, the turn has come to Hake, a fish from the cod family that is low in fat but high in protein, so excellent for people who are on a diet.

In this dish of Hake with teriyaki sauce, the yummy teriyaki sauce gives this otherwise rather tasteless fish a delicious flavour and texture.

Teriyaki is a Japanese cooking technique in which food is grilled in a sweet soy sauce marinade. The word teriyaki derives from the noun ‘teri’ which means a ‘shine’ given by the sugar content, and ‘yaki’ which refers to the cooking method by grilling.

Sesame seeds are a nutty flavoured and really versatile ingredient that can be used in many dishes either to make it look nice or for its health benefits. The seeds are known to have cholesterol -lowering effects in humans and also are a source of many good nutrients such as copper and magnesuim. They also boast high levels of antioxidants. They can be sprinkled over salads, added to bread dough or used as I have done in this dish – sprinkled over fish or chicken.

I recommend accompanying the fish with an apple, walnut, raisins and iceberg lettuce.  Those fruits and nuts will make it a fresh and altogether healthy option. You could also pair it with steamed spring vegetables with toasted pine nuts, which would be rather tasty sprinkled with a bit of teriyaki as well. It is really quick to make and perfect as an on-the go- lunch. I hope you like it!

Hake with teriyaki sauce
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
In this dish of Hake with teriyaki sauce, the yummy teriyaki sauce gives this otherwise rather tasteless fish a delicious flavour and texture
  • 300g of Hake
  • 200g rice
  • 2 tablespoons of Teriyaki sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  1. If frozen, defrost the Hake fillets. Try to get them as flat as possible.
  2. Wash and boil the rice according to instrucions on the package.
  3. Fry the Hake in the olive oil until ready then place on cutting board and carefully brush the teriyaki sauce on them, covering them entirely.
  4. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the fish fillets.
  5. When rice is ready, serve it with the fish immediately.


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19Jul 12

Chinese noodles with vegetables and oyster sauce

chinese noodles with vegetablesA simple and typically easy dish to spin together is a noodle dish, which requires basically no work. All you need are the ingredients such as vegetables and a sauce and “Voila!” – you have a tasty dish for the evening. If you want more protein, I also recommend this recipe for duck fillet stir fry with noodles.

And if you make some extra, you could stuff it in your lunchbox for the next day. That’s often what I do because I barely manage to crawl out of bed in the morning, always pressing “snooze” and waiting until the latest possible moment, with no time to spare for thinking of what food to bring for the day.

In this recipe I used corn, red onion, mushrooms and broccoli, and I steamed the broccoli before adding them to the noodles. It could not be easier!

When you steam broccoli, you preserve most of its health benefits, so I try to do that as often as possible. When steamed, they have a cholesterol-lowering benefit which always is welcome, although luckily, I´m not worried about that. Even so, it’s important to be aware of what you’re eating to avoid health problems in the future.

Also, broccoli works as a great detoxifier, as it washes out the system and eliminates unwanted contaminants.

Chinese noodles with vegetables and oyster sauce
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
A simple and typically easy dish to spin together
  • Noodles for 2 people (about 150g)
  • 1 red onion
  • 4 medium-sized mushrooms
  • 100g of corn from a tin
  • 2 "heads" of broccoli
  • 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
  • 3-4 tablespoons of Japanese soy sauce (according to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  1. Boil water and add the noodles according to instructions on the package.
  2. Cut the onion into slices.
  3. Wash and cut the broccoli into small pieces.
  4. Fry the onion and mushrooms in a frying pan in the oil until soft.
  5. Add some water to a saucepan and place the other vegetables in the saucepan so that the steam cooks them until soft. Add to the frying pan with the onion and mushrooms.
  6. When the noodles are ready, add them to the frying pan.
  7. Add the oyster sauce and the soy sauce, mixing carefully.
  8. Serve immediately.
  9. Serves: 2
  10. Time needed: 15 minutes
  11. Level: Easy


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09Jul 12

Elderflower Punch

Elderflower PunchI’d like to introduce you to a summer drink that I make up for friends and I whenever budget and opportunity allow. We used to make elderflower punch and elderflower cordial every year as a family before I came away to university. I used to love helping to pluck the flower heads from the tree in our front garden even when I was small; and I always got a little taste of it, just to feel I’d taken part in the whole process, even though it’s an alcoholic beverage.

In the last couple of years before flying the nest, I’d take a more active role in consuming this wonderfully refreshing blend of elderflower and apple; along with my parents, for whom making and enjoying elderflower punch is a long-standing tradition.

There was also a guy I remember who lived down the lane that had strawberry fields.  He used to come and share our crop to make his own elderflower and strawberry champagne – another yummy summer tipple. I hope that when I finally settle down, I’ll find a place with an elderflower tree in the garden and keep my family’s tradition alive.

This version uses elderflower cordial, because that’s what most of us have easy access to. The ratios here kick quite a brandy punch, so do reduce the amount if you want to, and top up with extra apple juice.   If you’re inspired to create more fruity cocktails, try this classic pina colada.

Elderflower Punch
Recipe type: Drink
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
Elderflowers, apples, cider and lemonade, poured over ice to refresh you in the hot summer months...
  • 100ml cider brandy
  • 200ml good apple juice
  • 800ml still lemonade
  • 50ml elderflower cordial – you can play with this to get the strength you like
  • A tray of ice cubes
  • A slice of lemon and a sprig of mint to garnish
  1. Ease the ice cubes out of their tray and place them gently into a large serving jug.
  2. Pour the brandy, apple juice and elderflower cordial over the ice and top up with the lemonade.
  3. Stir everything together and garnish with the lemon and mint.
  4. Serve immediately or leave to chill in the fridge for later.



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04Jul 12

Sea bass with white bean mash

Pike with white bean mash
I’m a fan of fresh sea bass that’s cooked right through. Not so well cooked that it turns dry and hard, but just enough to remove what I would describe as the gelatinous texture of the raw meat. I know that there will be many of you who prefer seared or flash fried sea bass, so cook them to your taste, and of course the rarer they are, the faster you’ll get your dinner on the plate. Although my sea bass with white bean mash take that little bit longer to cook, I still have the meal prepared and in front of me in little more than 15 minutes.

Mash made with white beans is simply delicious; and so very fast to make. I mix mine up with garlic, fresh herbs, lemon, and a sprinkling of salt; it’s a wonderful alternative to potato mash if you’re in a hurry, or if you just fancy it, like I often do. If I’m making the mash to go with another type of meat, I often use lemon juice and zest instead of lime, but I’m sticking to lime here as we’re also using it for the fish. I also like sticking potato chips in for a crunchy texture.

If you want an extra accompaniment, this meal is really nice served up with tomato salsa, or if you prefer something green, try these steamed spring vegetables with Parmesan and toasted pine nuts. Or serve with just a few simple lettuce leaves.

Sea bass with white bean mash
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
Mash made with beans is simply delicious; and you'll have this meal prepared and in front of you in little more than 15 minutes.
  • 2 sea bass fillets
  • A dash of soy sauce
  • The juice of a lime and the zest of half of the lime
  • A handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 35ml olive oil
  • 2 x 410g cans of white beans
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  1. Heat a griddle pan, or bring a little of the olive oil up to heat in a frying pan, and cook the sea bass on both sides until they are to your liking (you can slit through one to check how they’re doing when you’re ready). They’ll take around 10 minutes to cook through, depending on thickness. When nearing completion time, squeeze over a little of the lime juice (about a third) and a dash of soy sauce.
  2. Whilst the fish is cooking, make the white bean mash: Put the 35ml olive oil to a pan and add the garlic. Squeeze in the remaining lime juice and warm the ingredients through, stirring them together.
  3. Drain and rinse the beans and add them to the oil, lime and garlic. As they warm through, squish them with the flat of a large spoon to create a mash. Season with a little salt if needed.
  4. Serve the sea bass and the mash on a plate and sprinkle over with the lime zest and the fresh coriander.



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02Jul 12

Asparagus with bacon and garlic

Asparagus with bacon, dates and garlic

Some of my friends have their graduations coming up, so a group of us are going to throw a little party. As ever, we’re looking for ideas on a budget, and someone came up with this idea as a little side dish. If you buy asparagus in season, it’s not too pricy, and we always have a little bacon in the fridge for the odd weekend fry up. You’ll be surprised at the way the cost belies the result. It’s not going to break the piggy bank.

Asparagus with bacon and garlic hits that mix of food that’s easy to prepare but is also rather special. Normally, we make finger food for fun nights, but as we’ll be celebrating the success of our friends, and as it’s a precursor to saying goodbye to some of them; we’re going to have more of a sit down dinner party this time… it should be fun!

We made a slip up with this recipe as we were making it, mistaking anise seeds for cumin seeds initially, so a few of the anise slipped in. When we ate it, we all agreed that it was a good new discovery. The anise added a sweet edge, and honestly, it worked! (You might also want to try this curly asparagus salad with goat´s cheese and Medjool dates.)

Asparagus with bacon and garlic
Recipe type: Side Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-4
Asparagus with bacon and garlic hits that mix of food that’s easy to prepare but is also rather special.
  • One large bunch of fresh young asparagus tips, thoroughly washed
  • A small tub of bacon bits
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • A few anise seeds
  • A pinch of cumin seeds
  • 2tbsp of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to season
  1. Steam the asparagus tips over a little water for 5-8 minutes until al dente, or softer if you prefer.
  2. Meanwhile, fry the bacon bits in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil along with the anise and cumin.
  3. Once the asparagus is cooked, drain it and pat it lightly with kitchen roll before adding it into the bacon pan.
  4. Add the garlic a few minutes before you remove from the heat. The dish is ready when the bacon is cooked.
  5. Place in a pretty serving bowl and drizzle over with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.



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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.


Serves: 2-3

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

Level: Easy

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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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