Low Carb · Recent · Small dishes/ Appetizers/ Tapas · Veg/ Fruits · Veggie or Meat-free Meal

How to make Kale Chips

best kale chips

Finding the best temp for my kale chips : 100C for 80″

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Green kale seen in Oberwil (BL)

purple kale

Purple kale seen in Oberwil (BL)

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Kale chips before put into oven

Few days ago I tried to make kale chips for the first time. Can’t believe it was so easy to make and so delicious that before they cooled down completely, I have finished them in no time. I posted a photo in my Facebook page and unexpectedly got quite a lot of responses, can’t believe it has gained quite a lot interests.

Kale is known as Grünkohl in German; Ferderkohl in Switzerland and Boerenkool in Dutch. My first encounter of this leafy vegetable was used in Stompot, a dish that the finely chopped vegetable is cooked until soft and mixed with mashed potatoes, and goes with a cooked smoked sausage.

Then since I started making green smoothie, I learnt that kale is a wonderful leafy green vegetable, an alternative to spinach. However it is not easy to find kale in Switzerland. After I have kept asking around these 2 years, I know where I can get in my neighbourhood.

Look out in the farmers’ market around you.

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Green and purple kale selling in farmers’ store

 

To make kale chips:

  1. Remove the kale leaves from the stalks and tear them in bite size pieces.
  2. Wash and drain with salad spinner.
  3. Preheat the oven at 100C.
  4. Lie the kale leaves on a greased baking tray.
  5. Rub the kale leaves with olive oil, and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Optional: you can add a few pinches of spices, namely cayenne pepper, chili and or cumin.
  6. Bake in the oven for 80mins, the leaves should still be green.
  7. Since they taste so good, you probably want to make a few batches.
  8. Cool down and enjoy ! You can also keep them in airtight box and be kept for a few days.

 

 

Green Smoothie, Juicing · Recent · Veg/ Fruits · Veggie or Meat-free Meal

Green Smoothie

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Green smoothie is the second thing that I have embarked. However, I am yet waiting for my high speed blender to arrive. I have been using my handheld blender for 2 months. It’s okay when I use baby spinach but not the chunkier vegetables or even normal spinach.

I like in particular to make a green smoothie after jogging. It’s filling and gives a cooling effect.

The picture shown above, I have used blackberries, baby spinach, nectarines, banana, quinoa rice milk, natural yogurt, spirulina & chlorella powder, wheatgrass powder, psyllium husk, chia seeds, ground hemp seeds, ground flaxseeds, flaxseed oil and Burgerstein Probase powder.

I like this picture a lot, it reminds me of a cappuccino which I normally have in the morning.

I like the idea of having green smoothie for breakfast and juicing for late afternoon as part of my dinner. Most of the time I just do either one as juicing does take some time to make and late afternoon I have to prepare dinner for the family.

In general, I find green smoothie is quicker to prepare and more tasty than juicing, and also it’a more filling.

Anyway both methods together have enabled me to be on the right track.

Keep it up!

Green Smoothie, Juicing · Veg/ Fruits

Juicing for beginners

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So last night, I have updated the About Me which reflects more of my recents.

We all have a busy life these days and most of us cannot afford the time to write to lengthy.

My objective is to aim to keep the ball rolling again, to post more frequently and keep the post short.

How I started to go greener? Thanks to my dear friend Carmen who shared with me her experience just over a year ago. She introduced juicing and green smoothie to me. Haven’t met her for months and she looks radiant and in great shape. I was immediately drawn in to give a go.

I went to order the Hurom Slow juicer and have been juicing for 2 months. I do feel more energized after a few days of juicing. I was able to go jogging at least 3x per week in July, I got up as early as 6:30am to go running, also because it was too hot to go after 8am for those really hot summer days.

Instead of following the recipes around, I mostly use whatever I have at home, a bit of trial and error some times. For example, one time I used the radish, it tasted so sharp that I had to throw the whole thing away. We live and learn every day.

Take home message:

“A good general rule of juicing is using the ratio of 60/40 of vegetable to fruits for a beginner.” You don’t want the juice to be too sugary from using too much fruits but the fruits make the juice more tasty and easy to drink.

Happy juicing !

Kids-friendly · Low Carb · Main Dish · Seafood/ Meat · Soup/ Salads · Veg/ Fruits · Western Cooking

Avocado prawns mango salad

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Avocado prawn mango salad

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Mango vinegar  bought from Globus, Basel

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Marc enjoyed it a lot and was learning how to use fork and knife.

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Avocado prawn mango salad served

The other day I bought this mango vinegar, it says in the back that it is suitable for avocado shrimps salad or as a marinate for duck breast but there are no recipes in their website so I improvised and made my own mango vinaigrette with a bit of imagination and the result was very successful. We all like it very much and worth to make a note here so I can make again. We had heat wave last week and this tangy salad was very suitable to combat the heat.

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Asian Cooking · Chinese Cuisine · Main Dish · Veg/ Fruits

Pumpkin with Chinese Black Bean Sauce (豆鼓煮南瓜)

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It’s nice to stock up some pumpkins at home, however, once cut opened, do you also have the same problem with me? That is to think of different dishes to finish them. I have made a batch of pumpkin, carrot and leek soup and still got some left, all of a sudden it came to my mind that my mom had a Chinese way of preparing pumpkin which is very easy to prepare and yet very delicious, particularly for those who do not like pumpkins very much. Thanks to the black bean sauce which does not taste too pumpkinny if you know what I mean. Bas enjoyed this dish a lot and I thought maybe I will cook one time for my in-laws to try when they visit us this Christmas, they don’t normally eat pumpkins, wonder if they are courageous to try, ha ha!

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Soup/ Salads · Veg/ Fruits

Raw red beet & carrot salad

Last Saturday I finally visited Lörrach food market in Germany which happens every Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. I was never keen to go to the food market across the German border but since I have had some German lessons since January, I am more excited to explore more in Germany. I am not even close to fluent yet, still a long long way to go but the big difference in the exchange rate between Euros and Swiss Francs. We can really save a lot from shopping in Germany. Previously I preferred to go across the French border (St. Louis and Mulhouse) because I can communicate better in French. Now it’s time to explore the German side.

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Asian Cooking · Japanese Cuisine · Sauces/ Seasonings/ Condiments/ Cooking Ingredients · Soup/ Salads · Veg/ Fruits

white asparagus salad with soy vinaigrette dressing

Hubby has gone for a long business trip for 10 days, I am using this opportunity to eat as little meat and carb as possible.

Today is Mother’s Day, to be honest, Marc is not even two years old yet, I don’t have strong feelings that we need to do something special today. He has been really good that allowed me to lie in this morning and he was able to sleep next to me. After we had breakfast, I prepared carrot and leek soup, then we planted the baby sunflower plant together. We played football for a while in our garden, watched Formula 1 on TV and Bas stopped by briefly to give me a red rose for Mother’s Day. What a nice surprise!

Marc did not have afternoon nap today, glad he was able to hang out until after dinner and was able to turn in at 8:10pm! New record of an early night! That’s why I can take my laptop out and enjoy a glass of wine.

It’s white asparagus season right now. This season I have eaten more white asparagus than last year. Last Sunday we ate directly at the farm @Berriland Bottmingen, they have organized 3 days Spargelfest. After lunch, we bought some asparagus to take home. We asked for 500g and they gave us 1 kg. I used 500g to make cream of white asparagus soup and the remaining, I made a salad. In Basel, we have easy access to get white asparagus from the Alsace, France; Badischer, Germany, or from Greece and Spain. Alsace and Badischer are more local but my favorite is from Bottmingen which is just nearby, maybe because the production is limited and feels more special.

I love this salad with an Asian twist, another variation compared to the traditional way serving with Hollandaise sauce and ham.

Continue reading “white asparagus salad with soy vinaigrette dressing”

Main Dish · Rice/ Noodles/ Pasta/ Bread/ Other Grains · Veg/ Fruits · Veggie or Meat-free Meal · Western Cooking

Roasted pumpkin pasta with breadcrumbs

A few weeks ago, my friend Monica came over to my place with her baby Simon for lunch but the main purpose was to let Simon and Marc to play together. With kids at home, of course I could not spend too much time in the kitchen. Monica initially said to me that she could eat before she came to me because she is meat free on Friday, I said to her no problem I can figure something out.

So with the Kabocha squash left in the fridge, I made the same Ottlenghi Roasted pumpkin wedges as in my previous post, the night before to save time and let them rested at room temperature covered until the next day. I was very happy that one dish could turn into a beautiful and delicious veggie pasta. I have read that it’s pretty common to use breadcrumbs in pasta which is known as peasant pasta in the old days. By adding pumpkin, this takes the peasant pasta to another level.

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Cheese/ Dairy Products · Small dishes/ Appetizers/ Tapas · Veg/ Fruits · Western Cooking

Ottolenghi's roasted crusted Kabocha squash wedges

Had lunch at a friend’s place recently, and she showed me her new cookbook: Yotam Ottolenghi’s PLENTY. It’s a vegetarian cookbook, she said she is cooking more veggie dishes is because her daughter’s bf is vegetarian. Anyway, my friend never likes buying or keeping excessive things in her house and she has put bookmarks on those she would like to try, so this cookbook must be something. I heard of Ottolenghi’s restaurant but never been when I was in UK. A few days ago, I went to Bider and Tanner, my favorite bookstore in Basel, and found they have PLENTY in stock. I initially planned to order online but thought will do more research first but then this first edition standing in front of me looks very inviting so with further delay I got myself this copy. I was very excited to dig into my first vegetarian cookbook and started bookmarking as well. I have always wanted to get a vegetarian cookbook but didn’t know which one to get as I want to do it right. And I am glad I made the right choice. Ottolenghi is not vegetarian himself but he was asked to write a column in The Guardian featuring his veggie dishes and overtime, he got popular from this. Reading his foreword, he has nicely described the increased popularity of vegetarian cuisine, where do they come from. I am just one of them that he described that there is a group of people who are not 100% vegetarian but would like to eat more healthily and eat less meat.

Anyhow, among of those I bookmarked, I have chosen to make his crusted pumpkin wedges. I have a Japanese pumpkin, Kabocha in the garage. Kobocha is easily accessible in Hong Kong and US but not in Switzerland. When I saw Kobocha available in a health food store in my neighbourhood, I was so thrilled and without hesitation and bought one.

So with a special squash, it sounds like the intense, sweet and starchy texture of Kabocha will fit perfectly for this recipe, although it says most pumpkins would work.

The results and responsed came out extremely well, I was a bit skeptical at the beginning that my family members may not like it but they all gave thumbs up. I have not had time to explore many new dishes lately but this one is a hit, will definitely make again. I think I will use butternut squash if Kabocha is not available. Since it’s Friday night, I prepared our dinner in tapas fashion, crusted pumpkin, some Serrano Jamon, cheese, Japanese bite size August beef steak and a bottle of wine. The whole preparation was very quick except a little time to prepare the crust but luckily Marc was had been really good today, he was able to entertain himself with the kitchenware I provided him. He seems to like cooking but of course too early to conclude but at least he is interested so far.

I am not too sure if it is okay to post the recipe here due to copyright issue but I can highlight a few things from the recipe.

Continue reading “Ottolenghi's roasted crusted Kabocha squash wedges”