Glögg/Glühwein/Mulled Wine

Whether you call it glögg, glühwein, or mulled wine; its warm, delicious and it is the perfect drink for this time of year. I love all of the spices and citrus flavors incorporated in this drink, and luckily it is super easy to make!

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Firstly, use a peeler to remove the zest from two oranges and a lemon, and add the peels to a pan along with 3 star anise pods, 6 cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks, and 2 bay leaves.

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Next, squeeze out the juices from your peeled lemon and oranges into the pan and gently start heating up the pan.

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Add just enough red wine (a full-bodied Malbec will do), to cover the spices and citrus, and add one tablespoon of maple syrup. Let this mixture simmer for 10 minutes (or longer) to infuse the flavors, the longer the better!

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After 10 minutes, add the remainder of the two (750 ml) bottles of red wine and 100 ml of crème de cassis, and gently heat up on the stove for another 10 minutes. It is important to not let this boil, or else you’ll boil off all of the alcohol.

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After gentle heating, serve the mulled wine in mugs with a cinnamon stick, an orange wheel, and with some grated nutmeg on top.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 star anise pods
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 100 ml crème de cassis
  • 2 (750 ml) bottles of red wine (ex. Malbec)
  • 1 piece of nutmeg – for grating

 

Method:

  1. Use a peeler to remove lemon and orange zest, and add to a pan together with the spices (except the nutmeg).
  2. Juice the lemon and oranges and bring pan to a simmer.
  3. Add enough wine to cover the spices and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add remaining wine and crème de cassis and gently heat (without boiling) for an additional 10 minutes.
  5. Serve in a mug with grated nutmeg on top, a cinnamon stick, and an orange wheel.
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A weekend (of food) in Copenhagen

Its been too long since my last post! I’ve been super busy with lab-work at university; and as a reward, my boyfriend took me on a weekend trip to Copenhagen. In preparation, my parents sent me the Copenhagen Style Guide. It is a fantastic little book highlighting little hotspots of true Scandi culture, shopping, cafe’s, bars, and most importantly food! I would absolutely recommend having a look at this guide and follow up on some of their suggestions!

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Quick instagram post before my trip featuring the Copenhagen Style Guide, and The Little Book of Hygge – another great read about Danish culture!

I arrived in Copenhagen about half a day before my boyfriend. I spent this time wandering about the city centre, and I had dinner at the Palæo food stall at Torvehallerne food market near the Nørreport station. My egg-white chicken-avocado wrap may not have been photogenic enough to make it onto my blog post, but it sure was as good as healthy fast-food can be!

After my boyfriend landed, we decided to head to Gilt; a hidden, award-winning cocktail bar, which just happened to be 5 minutes down the road from our airbnb. We celebrated the start of our weekend away with a refreshing rhubarb sour and a blueberry-gin concoction.

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Rhubarb sour (left) and blueberry gin cocktail (right)

The next morning, we contemplated going for a run – but after “sleeping in” till 9:15 (lol), we decided that the day would be better spent exploring Nørrebro, a trendy district just West of the city centre. After passing by Hans Christian Andersen’s gravesite, we had brunch at Grød, a trendy porridge bar where we both had some DIY Skyr bowls.

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Skyr with banana, 3-grain granola, roasted almonds, and ginger syrup

After brunch, we hit the shops and went to Wood Wood, Samsøe & Samsoøe, various other independent boutiques, a few sneaker stores, and then it was time for some smørrebrød! Smørrebrød is Danish classic; it is an open sandwich consisting of a piece of rye bread and a delicious topping. We went to Aamanns , where we shared five smørrebrøds.

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Panfried herring (top left), braised pork and mustard (top right), smoked salmon (middle), grilled rump steak (bottom left), and North Sea cheese with orange marmalade (bottom right)

After lunch, we enjoyed the sunset at the botanic gardens, and made our way to Ruby, which places among the world’s 50 best bars.

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The bar has an atmosphere that can only be described as hygge. It has a buzzing bar area filled with people chatting and enjoying their drinks, in the presence of comfy leather sofas and impressive moose heads mounted on the walls. After a few absolutely stunning cocktails, we made our way to Höst, where we had made dinner reservations (more than a month before, as they fill up rapidly!)

At Höst, we enjoyed a five-course dinner with 1) Stirred tartare with oysters, 2) Scallop smoked with juniper with walnuts and pickled pine needles, 3)Salt baked celeriac with truffles and hazelnuts with braised pork belly from Grambogaard with apples and pork rinds, 4) Seared duck breast with baked red kale, lingonberries, purple kale and smoked cheese, 5) Beer porridge with white chocolate, liquorice, junket ice-cream and rye bread. Overall, the food was wonderful and the wine pairings were excellent. The MVP dish was definitely the salt baked celeriac, after a unanimous vote by James and myself.

The following day, we got up and actually decided to go for a run along Søerne (the lakes). After I finished a relatively fast 6k (stopping only for photo opps and a selfie here and there) and James finished his 12k run, we left to have brunch at Torvehallerne food markets again, where Grød has another little store.

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Running at Søerne (gloves were needed)

At Grød, we decided to branch out and try some new things, I had a dirty acaii chia bowl while James had some porridge with about a hundred different toppings.

The next stop: Nyhaven. Nyhaven is famous for its brightly colored houses dating back to the 17th century. We only came to snap a quick picture as this area was filled with tourists, and was generally quite busy. Afterwards, we wandered into the nearby department store, Magasin du Nord, which has a vibrant food hall below where it is easy to pick up a free sample or two…three…four. We found an artisan liquorice brand called Lakrids (the Danes do seem to love their liquorice) which had many different flavors, as well as chocolate covered liquorice balls. By then, it was time for lunch where we stopped for a quick bite at Smushi, where the aesthetic and atmosphere were super cute.

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Porcelain tea cups, soup, and more smørrebrød

Our last stop of the day was Tivoli Gardens, a small amusement park in the city centre. It had a wonderful christmas market, better than any I have ever been to in any other European city.

Here, we walked along the lit-up streets with some glögg – a perfect way to end a great weekend. Then, it was time to head back to the airport and back to university, real life has once again started.

Granola

Making your own granola is easy and fun! You can customise it to include the nuts, seeds, and dried fruits that you like. I really like a granola that sticks together and gives you large clumps of nuts and seeds, which is why I pulse the ingredients in a food processor briefly to allow the formation of small and large nut and seed bits.

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Firstly, preheat your oven to 140 °C. To make the granola you will need a cup of raw almonds and cashews each, a quarter cup of raw sunflower and pumpkin seeds each, and half a cup of coconut shavings. Combine these in a food processor and pulse a few times, but make sure you haven’t completely pulverised all the nuts.

In a pan, heat up a quarter cup of coconut oil and half a cup of honey to make sure they mix well. Then add half a teaspoon of vanilla powder and half a teaspoon of salt to the pan. Next, add the pulsed nuts and seeds and a cup of raisins to the pan and mix well so that all the ingredients are combined.

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Spread the mixture out on a lined baking tray, and bake in the oven for approximately 25 minutes, but make sure the raisins do not burn.

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Once baked, let the granola cool for at least half an hour, and then scrape it off and break it up into chunks. Store the granola in tupperware.

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The granola is best served on top of yoghurt with fruits, but I think its also pretty good on its own!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashew nuts
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup coconut shavings
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup raisins (or any other dried fruit)
  • 1/4 coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 140 °C.
  2. Combine nuts, seeds, and coconut shavings in a food processor and pulse a few times.
  3. Heat coconut oil and honey in a pan, mix well, and add vanilla powder and salt.
  4. Add the nut mixture and raisins in the pan and mix well.
  5. Spread the mixture out on a lined baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  6. Let cool for 30 minutes and store in tupperware.

Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a raw vegetable soup that originated in Andalusia. It is mainly comprised of tomato, onion, cucumber and garlic, mixed together in a blender or food processor. This gazpacho is a fresh summery soup to accompany lunch, but it also works well as a tapa served in a small shot glass.

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This gazpacho is made from tomatoes, a bell pepper, an onion, garlic, half a cucumber, salt, pepper, olive oil, white wine vinegar, and a bit of parsley.

Firstly, roughly chop 1 kilo of tomatoes, an onion, a bell pepper, and crush one clove of garlic.

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Add the chopped tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, garlic, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar to a food processor or blender and pulse until the ingredients are mixed well and the consistency is smooth.

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Scrape the seeds out, and very finely chop the cucumber into small pieces. Then, stir these through the mixture in the blender – but do not blend, as this will create a nice chunky texture. Season the gazpacho with salt and pepper – you will need more than you think, so be generous, and keep tasting.

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Pour the gazpacho into a bowl or jugs and chill in the fridge for at least one hour, as the flavor will intensify over time and the gazpacho is best served chilled. While this chills, finely chop a handful of parsley, and for presentation bonus points, you can prepare a cucumber garnish (image below).

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Serve in glasses and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg roma tomatoes (or other ripe and in-season tomatoes will do), roughly chopped
  • 1 white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cucumber, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

 

Method:

  1. Add roughly chopped tomatoes, onion, red bell pepper, and crushed clove of garlic into a blender or food processor along with 2 tbsp white wine vinegar and 2 tbsp olive oil. Blend the ingredients until a smooth texture is achieved.
  2. Stir in finely chopped cucumber to the mixture, but do not blend.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Chill in fridge for 1 hour.
  5. Serve in glasses and season with parsley.

Dairy Free (Vegan) Pesto

Most store-bought pestos contain a world of additives ranging from yoghurt and egg lysozyme to bamboo fibre. None of these are authentic and they definitely do not belong in a good pesto. This pesto recipe contains all the tradition ingredients, basil, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic, and instead of parmesan, lemon can be added to make it dairy-free.

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Firstly, toast a cup of pine nuts in a dry pan.

DSC_0027Next, combine all the ingredients, apart from the olive oil in a food processor and blend until the basil leaves are broken up.

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Lastly, slowly pour in 1/2 cup to 2/3 cups of olive oil, depending on your desired acidity. Season with salt, pepper, and possibly and additional squeeze of lemon juice.

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Save the pesto in a mason jar and store it in the fridge for up to a week.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 packed cup basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • 1/2-2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

  1. Toast pine nuts in a dry pan
  2. Combine pine nuts, basil, garlic, and lemon juice in a food processor and blend until basil leaves are broken
  3. With the food processor running, pour in olive oil until desired consistency is reached
  4. Season with salt and pepper

 

Courgette Pancakes

Sundays back at university meant only one thing: pancakes. It was my only free morning of the week, where I could lay in bed until I could no longer resist the urge to get up and make myself some pancakes for breakfast. I’ve tried many different types, from the basic egg-flour-milk crepes to Jamie Oliver’s “smoothie pancakes“, the notorious two-ingredient “banana-egg” pancakes (although mine usually ended up scrambled or as poffertjes). These courgette pancakes, like the banana egg ones, contain no grains (and are therefore paleo/gluten free) and very few ingredients: egg, courgette (zucchini), coconut flour, and a bit of salt and pepper.

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The first step is to crack and beat 4 eggs into a bowl, and then add salt, pepper, and a tablespoon of coconut flour, and mix well.

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Next, grate (or use a food processor blade that does this) a large courgette (approx 1 1/2 – 2 cups grated). Add this to the egg mixture and mix well.

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Spoon some of the mixture into a pan and fry in coconut oil on a medium heat until the bottom is browned and then flip and repeat.

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This recipe will yield approximately 8-9 fist sized pancakes, so it serves two comfortably.

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Add some toppings and eat! These pancakes go very well with nut butter and fig jam.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 large courgette
  • 1 tsp coconut flour
  • salt and pepper

 

Method:

  1. Beat eggs in a bowl and mix in coconut flour and salt and pepper.
  2. Grate courgette and mix in with egg mixture
  3. Fry in a non-stick frying pan with coconut oil on a medium heat, flip when bottom is brown and repeat.

Chicken-Avocado Burgers

Its summer, so that means its barbecue season! However, if you live in the Netherlands/Scotland (like I do) this means: lets pretend that the weather is nice and  have a barbecue – but inside. Regardless of how good – or bad – the weather is, these burgers are always tasty and a leaner alternative to regular burgers.

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Get ready, because your hands will be dirty! Grab about 500-600 g  ground chicken (or turkey) and mix this (with your hands) together with 1/3 cup of almond flour (or regular flour), 3 crushed cloves of garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/3 tsp pepper. Make sure these ingredients are mixed well, and if the mixture still feels a bit wet, add some more flour to make sure it sticks together.

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Next, chop two avocados into approximately 1 cm cubes, and dice 1/4 cup jalapeño slices.

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Gently mix in these ingredients trying not to squish the avocado. After it is all mixed, create burger patties in whatever size you like. I usually make about 6 good-sized patties from this recipe.

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TIP: I think that raw chicken is like super gross, so if you can, make your boyfriend your sous-chef and make him touch all the meat while you cut and grill. If not, just hope that the raw meat won’t get stuck under your nails….which it probably will tbh.

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Get a large grill pan and grill the burgers until they are fully cooked, approx 4-5 mins on each side. These burgers freeze very well, so if you think 6 burgers is too many, just throw the rest in the freezer and use them on a day you don’t have time to cook.

I usually serve these burgers with sweet potato fries and a greek salad!

 

Ingredients: (Serves 6)

  • 500-600 g ground chicken or turkey meat
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/3 cup (almond) flour – but add more if you feel your mixture is too wet
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 sliced jalapeños, diced
  • 2 avocados, cut into 1 cm cubes

Method:

  1. Combine ground meat, garlic, (almond) flour, salt, and pepper in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Chop jalapeños and avocados and gently mix into the mixture, trying not to mush the avocado bits.
  3. Grill (in pan or on barbecue) until fully cooked, approx 4-5 minutes on each side.

Fig Jam

Another great spread for on top of your courgette bread is this fig jam. You can make it from fresh figs when they are in season, but if not you can just as easily make this jam from dried figs.  This recipe is quick, simple, and does not require a lot of ingredients!

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Roughly chop up your dried figs (15-20 dried figs will do). Add them to a sauce pan and add 1/2 cup of water, 1/4 cup of honey, juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon, and 1/4 tsp vanilla powder (you can substitute this for 1/2 tsp vanilla extract if you don’t have vanilla powder).

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Bring the contents of the pan to a boil and then turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes. Let the pan cool down to room temperature and then add the contents to a food processor.

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Blend the contents until a smooth jam forms. Taste the jam and adjust by adding more lemon or honey if necessary.

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Store in an old jam jar and keep it in the fridge.

Ingredients:

  • 15-20 dried figs – roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • juice and zest of half a lemon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla powder (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)

Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Let cool, and then add to food processor and blend until smooth.
  4. Store in the fridge

Nut (and seed) Butter #2

This will be my second nut butter recipe, as I posted a general one about almond and hazelnut butter a while ago. This time, I added a larger variety of nuts including brazil nuts, cashews, almonds, and walnuts, and I also added some sunflower seeds.

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Spread out approximately 350 g of mixed nuts and 190 g of sunflower seeds on a baking sheet and roast the nuts and seeds in the oven for 10-12 minutes at 175 °C. Keep an eye on your nuts to make sure they’re not burning. Roasting the nuts and seeds gives a stronger and deeper flavor to the nutbutter so it is definitely worth it!

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Next, add the roasted nuts and seeds and a bit of salt to a good-quality food processor and blend on the highest setting until the nutbutter is smooth. In my previous nutbutter post, I explain more about the different stages and how I accidentally broke a food processor making nutbutter once.

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As you blend the nuts, they will go through a variety of textures. The image below shows what I like to call the “breadcrumb stage”.

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Keep blending until the oils are released and the nutbutter is smooth.

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Store in a super cute mason or jam jar. Your nutbutter will keep in a cupboard for a very long time!

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Mmmmm, dat nutbutter.

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Ingredients:

  • 350 g mixed nuts (cashew, almond, brazil, walnuts) – roasted
  • Salt (to taste)

 

Method:

  1. Roast nuts in oven at 175 °C for 10-12 minutes.
  2. Add all ingredients to a good-quality food processor.
  3. Blend for 7-10 minutes, or until a smooth nut butter has formed.
  4. Taste, and add more salt if necessary.

Courgette Bread

If you haven’t noticed by now, I put courgette (zucchini) in everything. Yesterday I had half of a leftover courgette left from the courgetti with avocado and cucumber sauce, and decided to fill an omelette with spiralized courgette and pesto. Now however, my courgette obsession has progressed into baking things with it.

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The first step (aside from preheating your oven to 180 °C) is to grate one cup of courgette and squeeze all the moisture out using paper towels. This is an important step as you risk having a batter that is too wet, and thus will not bake well.

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Next, combine 1 1/2 cups of almond flour, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp nutmeg in a bowl and mix the dry ingredients.

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Next, blend together 1 banana, 3 eggs, and 1/4 cup honey for one minute until foamy. Afterwards, add the courgette and pulse until mixed in. Transfer the contents into a mixer.

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While the mixer is running, add the dry ingredients slowly. Mix until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated into the mixture.

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Transfer the mixture into a non-stick baking form. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes at 180 °C. You may need to cover the loaf with aluminium foil during the last 10 minutes of baking to ensure the top doesn’t burn.

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Check if the loaf is fully baked by inserting a toothpick in the centre – if it comes out dry it is done, if not bake for another 5 minutes or so and check again.

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Enjoy this courgette bread with some nut and seed butter or some homemade fig jam (recipes coming soon).

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup courgette, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour (if you can’t find almond flour to ground almonds, you can buy blanched almonds and use a food processor to make almond flour)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 banana
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey (optional)

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 °C
  2. Grate courgette and squeeze out moisture using paper towels.
  3. Combine almond flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and nutmeg in a bowl and mix.
  4. Blend together banana, eggs, and honey for 1 minute, until foamy. Add the squeezed courgette and pulse until mixed.
  5. Transfer mixture into a mixer and slowly mix in the bowl of dry ingredients.
  6. Transfer to a non-stick baking form and bake in oven for 40 minutes.