I enjoy hearty dishes in the first cold days of winter, but comes January, I start craving something lighter. This is my perfect January soup: bit spicy, warming and fully comforting, but light and green at the same time.
When you look at the recipe, it might seem like a lot of work, but it's not. The recipe is super easy and putting everything together will take a maxiumum of half an hour and that includes making the curry paste and crispy broccoli topping. And you can always use a good store-bought green curry paste and limit the toppings to fresh coriander and sesame seeds.
Recipe: Green curry broccoli soup
3 tbsp green curry paste
one large broccoli, divided into small florets
800 ml vegetable stock
400 ml coconut milk
a handful fresh coriander
Heat a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat.
Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes.
Add broccoli florets and cook, stirring, for another 1-2 minutes.
Slowly add the stock and coconut milk, combine, cover and bring to boil.
Simmer over medium heat until the vegetables are tender - 5-10 minutes .
Before serving, blend or process until smooth.
Season with lime juice.
Top each serving with fresh cilantro and crispy broccoli florets.
Recipe: Crispy broccoli florets
a handful broccoli florets
one tbsp coconut oil
one tbsp soy sauce
one tsp honey
2 tbsp sesame seeds
Heat coconut oil in a small pan, add broccoli and fry for one minute.
Add soy sauce combined with honey and continue cooking, stirring, for 1-2 minutes.
Add sesame seeds and combine.
Recipe: Green curry paste
5 medium green chilies, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, roughly chopped
2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
a bunch fresh cilantro
2 lemongrass stalks, chopped
2 limes, juice and zest
one tbsp coriander seeds
one tsp ground cumin
one tsp black peppercorns
2 tsp soy sauce
Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and blitz to a paste.
It seems to be the first Christmas post in the history of this blog! I guess it's fair to say that I'm not crazy about Christmas. However, this year I felt a strange need to make edible Christmas tree decorations. The cookies are simple, easy and fun to make. And even the biggest Grinch would admit that they're adorable.
Recipe: Christmas cookies
Makes about 15 cookies
75 g butter
150 g flour
50 g powdered sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
Sieve the flour and combine with sugar, baking powder and salt.
Combine with butter.
Add an egg and mix to a firm dough.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface and cut cookies (I used a star-shaped cookie cutter).
If you want to hang your cookies on a Christmas tree, make a small hole in a top of each one.
Place cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake at 180C for 10-12 minutes and let cool.
Recipe: Orange icing
4 tbsp powdered sugar
2 tbsp orange juice
Extra: a few branches of rosemary
Whisk sugar and orange juice to make thick icing.
Using a bruch, cover each cookie with icing and top with some fresh rosemary.
When the icing is set, thread ribbon or cord through the holes and hang on your tree.
Traditionally served with crispy duck, this pancakes make a great vegan dish as well. Thick hoisin sauce and fresh cucumber and spring onions go great with fried tofu. Perfect snack for a small gathering.
Recipe: Chinese tofu pancakes
200 g firm tofu
2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 cucumber, cut into matchsticks
1/2 bunch green onions, cut into matchsticks
a few branches fresh coriander
1/4 red chilli pepper, chopped
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
10 thin pancakes
Slice tofu and combine with 3 tbsp of hoisin sauce.
Fry tofu slices on heated sesame oil, about one minute each side.
Steam the pancakes and keep them warm in a bamboo steamer or covered with foil.
Arrange fried tofu, cucumber and spring onion stick, coriander leaves, chilli and hoisin sauce on the table and allow everyone to help themselves.
Spread some sauce on each pancake and top with tofu, cucumber and spring onions. Sprinkle with coriander and chilli and roll up.
Recipe: Homemade hoisin sauce
7-8 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp rice vinegar
3 tsp sesame oil
one tsp finely chopped chilli
one garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp black pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a small pot.
Simmer over low heat, stirring, until well combined.
Perfect tacos: crispy, aromatic, colourful and vegan. Great for small or larger gatherings. All you have to do is prepare the toppings and ask your guests to compose their ideal snacks. I chose roasted sweet potatoes, black beans and corn, creamy cashew paste, pomegranate seeds, fresh chillies, aromatic coriander and lime juice. You can add your favourite fruit, vegetables and herbs.
Recipe: Vegan tacos
8 soft corn tortillas
a bunch coriander
one corn on a cob
one cup cooked black beans
rosted sweet potatoes (recipe below)
cashew paste (recipe below)
2 green chilli peppers
1 small pomegranate
Roast the corn at 180C for about 30 minutes, until tender.
Kut off the kernels and combine with cooked beans.
Deseed the pomegranate, slice the chillies and cut the lime into quarters.
Heat the tortillas in the oven or on a pan and cover to keep them warm.
Serve all the ingredients together and let everyone compose their own tacos: roasted sweet potatoes with pomegranate and fresh coriander or corn and beans with cashew paste and fresh chillies. Or everything altogether :)
Recipe: Roasted sweet potatoes
2 sweet potatoes
1 red onion
one tbsp olive oil
one tsp smoked paprika powder
one tsp sweet paprika powder
a pinch of salt
Peel and dice the potatoes.
Cut the onion into eitghts.
Mix diced potatoes with onion, olive and spices.
Transfer into a baking dish and roast at 180C for about 30 minutes.
Recipe: Cashew paste
100 g cashews, soaked overnight
2 tbsp plant-based milk (I used coconut milk)
1 lime (peel and juice)
a pinch of salt
Blend soaked chashews with milk, to make a smooth paste.
Add lime juice and peel, combine. Season with salt
I love tuna! Especially when it's lightly seared outside and almost raw inside. You have to try out this recipe: seared tuna chunks with sesame seeds with amazing dipping sauce with tamarind paste, soy sauce and honey. Perfect for ligh lunch or with a bottle of wine and fine conversation. It's a kind of dish that I appreciate the most: minimal effort, maximum results. The preparation takes 20 minutes tops, looks lovely and is really delicious. Give it a try!
Recipe: Seared tuna chunks with sesame seeds
200 g thick tuna steak
3-4 tbsp black and white sesame seeds
one tsp sesame oil
1/2 red chilli pepper
one spring onion
a few leaves of fresh mint
a few leaves of fresh coriander
Slice tuna into smaller chunks and coat them in sesame seeds.
Heat sesame oil on a pan and sear four sides of each chunk for about 15 seconds per side.
Finely chop chilli and herbs.
Cut the tuna chunks into 3-4 cm slices.
Place tuna on the plate. Top with chilli, spring onion, mint and coriander.