All posts by Mervin

Butternut, Kale & Feta Quiche

gks_butternut_quiche_1

Last weekend we went to a crayfish potluck party in a friend’s garden. Vegetarians at a crayfish party might sound awkward but the crayfish are actually just an excuse to spend an evening with your friends, sitting outside until dark, drinking, eating, singing songs and wearing silly hats. Life in its very essence.

Since we don’t eat crayfish, we made a couple of salads and baked a large, round version of this butternut quiche. We have been talking about making a butternut quiche ever since we first tried it, two years ago at a café in Bondi outside Sydney. Their version had large chunks of salty feta cheese and a slight tartness from vinegar that balanced the sweetness from the pumpkin perfectly, so we made ours the same way. We also used our favourite oat & almond pastry which added a nice nuttiness to the quiche. The addition of kale to the filling makes it a little greener and more substantial and the pieces on top crisps up into chips. I guess it’s not our most unique recipe but a really good one to keep up your sleeve for picnics and late-summer parties.

When we recreated the quiche the other day, we also shot this video below. It all came together in a rather stressful hour between soccer practice and dinner time and we didn’t have much light to work with either, so please excuse the blurry quality here and there.

Crayfish_party_2016

gks_butternut_quiche_2

gks_butternut_quiche_3

You can probably veganize this by leaving out the eggs and replacing the feta cheese with tofu, a squeeze of lime and nutritional yeast. The pumpkin makes it very rich and creamy on its own, but since we wanted to recreate the butternut and feta quiche from our travels, we didn’t try a vegan version ourselves this time. Do let us know if you succeed with it!

gks_butternut_quiche_4

Butternut, Kale & Feta Quiche

Pastry
3/4 cup / 100 g oat flour (or 1 cup / 100 g rolled oats mixed into flour in a food processor)
1/3 cup / 50 g rice flour

1/2 cup/ 50 g almond flour
2 tbsp potato starch or arrowroot
1/2 tsp sea salt
100 g / 3 1/2 oz chilled butter or solid coconut oil, cut into dices

3-4 tbsp ice-cold water

Butternut & Kale Filling
1 small butternut squash/pumpkin
a drizzle of olive oil or coconut oil
2 sprigs fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
sea salt & black pepper
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
2 large handfuls (100 g / 3 1/2 oz) tuscan kale / black kale or regular kale, remove stems and chopped (if you can’t get kale use spinach instead)
2 tbsp unfiltered apple cider vinegar (or balsamico)
sea salt & black pepper
1 cup milk of choice (we use oat milk or almond milk)
2 eggs
150 g / 1 block feta cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C.
Prepare the pastry: Add oat flour, almond flour, rice flour, potato starch and sea salt to a bowl and toss until combined. Add the diced butter to the flour and use your fingers to mix the dough into a rough breadcrumb consistency. (These steps can also be made by pulsing the butter with the flour in a food processor.) Add the water, little by little, and work it together into a dough. Flip it out on a floured workspace and shape it into a thick disk. If it feels crumbly, add 1-2 tbsp extra water. Gather the dough into a disk, wrap in clingfilm and chill for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the filling.

Prepare the filling: Line a baking tray with baking paper. Peel the butternut, discard the seeds and cut into 1 inch / 2,5 cm dices and place on the tray. Drizzle with oil, add the spices and toss to combine. Roast in the oven for approx. 20 minutes or until it starts to brown and soften. Set aside. This step can easily be prepared ahead and stored in the fridge for up to a couple of days before baking the quiche. While the pumpkin is in the oven, heat oil in a skillet on medium heat and stir-fry the onion and garlic for 10 minutes until transparent and soft. Add the chopped kale, stir around and stir-fry for a few more minutes, add the apple cider vinegar and season with salt and pepper and leave for two more minutes. Set aside.

Assembling the quiche: Place the chilled dough between two baking papers and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough until you got a rough circle, about 1/8 inch / 5 mm thick. Carefully transfer it to a 10 inch / 27 cm tart pan (or rectangular as in the video). You can also press out the pastry dough directly into the pan. Trim off any excess dough then use a fork to prick it a few times. Blind-bake for 10 minutes to prevent the crust from getting soggy.
In a large bowl, whisk together milk and eggs. Add onion and kale, crumbled feta cheese and half of the baked butternut to the egg mixture and gently combine. Pour into the blind-baked quiche crust. Press extra roasted butternut into the quiche if there is still space (any leftovers can easily be used in a delicious salad or inside a sandwich). Place in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden. Serve the quiche warm with a light salad on the side.

Isac_2years

PS. We have also been celebrating this little 2-year old smoothie maniac and kitchen helper throughout the week. Happy birthday Isac!

At the Studio: Coconut Yellow Split Pea Soup

It might be incredibly hot where you live right now, and, if that’s the case, I apologize for posting a soup recipe. But its one I love, and it’s the sort of thing I like to take for lunch at the studio. Also, I live in San Francisco, and it’s nearly always sweater weather – 58F. The soup: the base is yellow split peas incorporated into a ginger-spiked yellow coconut curry broth (lots of turmeric). It’s filled with flavor, and substance – with a good amount of protein to get you through the afternoon strong. You get an added bit of summer and sweetness from yellow cherry tomatoes, and vibrant chive oil, toasted seeds, and some micro greens take the whole bowl over the top. Give it a try – you can transport the soup in one jar, and toppings in another.

I posted the recipe here.

Coconut Yellow Split Pea Soup

Continue reading At the Studio: Coconut Yellow Split Pea Soup…

Best Watermelon Margaritas (3 Ingredients!)

Best Watermelon Margaritas (3 Ingredients!)

I’ve made watermelon margaritas before, but none as simple as this.

We’re talking 3 ingredients.
No sweeteners.
Just tequila.
Just lime juice.
Just blended watermelon.
THAT’S IT.

And let me tell you, it truly is the best watermelon marg on the block (pats self on shoulder).

This recipe is as easy as it gets!

To make watermelon juice simply throw a bunch of watermelon in a blender and blend into juice!

Best Watermelon Margaritas (3 Ingredients!) from Minimalist Baker.

Smash-and-Toss Roasted Potato Salad

I’ll kick this off by saying, this is a roasted potato salad with a secret weapon ingredient. Or, if you prefer, a wild card. Pickled sushi ginger. It sounds odd, but I’m going to argue that it works. Here’s what’s happening. I took the tiniest, little baby potatoes I could find, and threw them in a hot oven until they were fluffy and tender. Not long at all. Then I smashed a portion of them, and tossed the whole lot with French lentils, plus a mix of ingredients that really punch when it comes to flavor – sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, scallions, pickled ginger, and lemon juice.

We had some leftovers, and I plan on working them into a frittata I’m planning on making tonight.

Smash-and-Toss Roasted Potato Salad
Smash-and-Toss Roasted Potato Salad

Smash-and-Toss Roasted Potato Salad

For those of you who appreciate variations – I can imagine a smashed chickpea version of this, or roasted cauliflower. I made this with sun-dried tomatoes driving the flavor profile, but kept thinking a version with preserved lemons and preserved lemon oil would also be a stand out! Enjoy!

Continue reading Smash-and-Toss Roasted Potato Salad…

Podcast: Diabetes Management Part 1

Since diabetes management is such a loaded topic, we broke things up into 2 parts. This month, we’ll be go over risk factors for diabetes, signs/symptoms, getting a proper diagnosis, and the process of self-monitoring glucose (blood sugars) at home. Our special guest, Margarette Edouard, is a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) & Registered Dietitian (RD) […]

Continue Reading…

The post Podcast: Diabetes Management Part 1 appeared first on Food Heaven Made Easy.

Podcast: Diabetes Management Part 1

Since diabetes management is such a loaded topic, we broke things up into 2 parts. This month, we’ll be go over risk factors for diabetes, signs/symptoms, getting a proper diagnosis, and the process of self-monitoring glucose (blood sugars) at home. Our special guest, Margarette Edouard, is a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) & Registered Dietitian (RD) […]

Continue Reading…

The post Podcast: Diabetes Management Part 1 appeared first on Food Heaven Made Easy.

Podcast: Diabetes Management Part 1

Since diabetes management is such a loaded topic, we broke things up into 2 parts. This month, we’ll be go over risk factors for diabetes, signs/symptoms, getting a proper diagnosis, and the process of self-monitoring glucose (blood sugars) at home. Our special guest, Margarette Edouard, is a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) & Registered Dietitian (RD) […]

Continue Reading…

The post Podcast: Diabetes Management Part 1 appeared first on Food Heaven Made Easy.

Penne Pomodoro with Vegan “Tuna”

Vegan_tuna_pasta_1

I have crawled up in a rusty canopy swing with the computer in my lap, spiderweb from the canopy tangled up in my hair, Mr Bojangles on repeat (I always write with a single song on repeat in my ears) and Elsa balancing on my legs. We are spending a few days at my dad’s summerhouse and while Luise is drawing with Isac, I wanted to tell you about this pasta dish that we cooked and photographed the other day.

I’m trying to formulate my thoughts into words. How soaked sunflower seeds almost magically get the texture of canned tuna when mixed in a food processor. But it’s not easy. Elsa is using every muscle in her body to steal my attention from the computer screen. Her mouth is forming words (that I can’t hear because of the earplugs), her head is jumping from side to side while her eyes are actively seeking mine. She is smacking her hands together right in front of my face and she grins when I finally look up from the computer and pull out the earplugs.

– Do you know what this means on sign language? She asks me with giggle in her voice while she keeps smacking her hands together and then pointing at herself.

– No, tell me.

– I want a saaaaandwich!

– Are you hungry?

– No, I’m just teaching you sign language.

– Ok, nice. But I’m working right now. Maybe you can teach me more later?

– Ok. Just one more. Do you know what this is? [Taps her forehead with her hand and pulls it away in a half circle.]

– Ehm, maybe a unicorn?

– Nooo stupid, it means thank you. Actually, I think I want a sandwich.

– Maybe you can ask mom to help you?

– Okaaaaaaay.

She jumps down and runs into the house. Earplugs back in. I’m guessing that I have approx 5 mins to write this. Here we go.

Vegan_tuna_pasta_4

It’s not often that we create dishes that mimics meat. In fact, we often do the opposite by letting the vegetables shine in all their glory. I don’t remember eating tuna a lot before I became a vegetarian, but after having seen a few vegan sunflower seed “tuna” recipes on the web (especially this beautiful Tuna Tartine from Faring-Well) I suddenly got this weird craving for it. So we decided to give fake-tuna a try. By pulsing soaked sunflower seeds in a food processor together with salty capers, shallots, oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon and nori sheet, you actually get something that looks weirdly similar to canned tuna with a crumbly, moist texture and a flavour that reminds me of salty seas and umami.

Most recipes we’ve seen use this sunflower seed tuna as a spread or as a tuna salad (often with the addition of celery and herbs) but we instead added it to a tomato sauce and served it with penne, creating a classic Italian poor mans dish. The vegan “tuna” adds a nice texture to the sauce and it improves the flavour as well. The kids loved it! It is a simple recipe if you are on a budget and it is a tad more special than your basic pasta pomodoro. So go put your sunflower seeds in water and pretend they are a fish.

I can see Elsa eyeballing me from the window now so I better round this up. I have got a class in imaginative sign language up ahead with my favourite teacher.

Vegan_tuna_pasta_2Vegan_tuna_pasta_3

Penne Pomodoro with Vegan “Tuna”
Serves 4

It’s important to soak the sunflower seeds to achieve the right texture so don’t skip that step. If you’ve got some white wine opened in the fridge, you can add a glug of that for extra depth and flavour.

Vegan Tuna
140 g / 1 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked in water for 6 hours or overnight
1 small shallot or red onion, minced
3 tbsp capers + brine

1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil (coconut oil, ghee or butter)

1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 sheet of nori (the seaweed you use for sushi), cut into tiny pieces (optional)

Pomodoro Sauce
1 onion

2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
3 x 400 g / 14 oz cans of chopped tomatoes
1 handful fresh basil or 2 tsp dried

sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Serve with
Pasta of choice (we use wholegrain penne or a gluten free version made from dried beans)
80 g / 1/2 cup large capers
fresh parsley, finely chopped
ruccola

To prepare the “tuna”, simply add all ingredients to a food processor. Pulse a few times until it you have a coarsely textured mixture. Taste and add more salt, lemon juice or vinegar. Pulse again and scoop the mixture into a bowl.

Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic. Place a large sauce pan on medium heat and add olive oil. Sauté the onion and garlic for a few minutes until fragrant. Add tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust the flavours throughout. Add a splash of water or white wine if it starts looking dry.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package.

When the tomato sauce is ready, stir in 2/3 of the “tuna”, saving the rest for serving. Divide the pasta in 4 bowls, top with tomato sauce, capers, fresh parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.

Blackberry Saffron Honey

The first time I made this was a year or two back, while visiting my friend Bonni’s cabin. It’s a riff on the Saffron Honey I included in Near & Far. Both rely on a technique using the alcohol in either vanilla or almond extract to pull the saffron flavor into a liquid. You then stir that saffron liquid into honey (or whatever else you like). It’s incredible. Drizzle over cheese, yogurt, oatmeal, waffles – you get the idea. When blackberries are in season, I like to heat them just long enough for them to break down a bit, and then stir the berries into the honey as well. That’s what you see here. I used blackberries, but blueberries or other ripe, seasonal berries are equally delicious. It’s one of those things you can make in a flash that ends up putting a special accent on a breakfast, brunch, cheese plate, etc.

Blackberry Saffron Honey

Blackberry Saffron Honey

Continue reading Blackberry Saffron Honey…