One of the funniest food phenomena in the last years was, to me, the kale craze. There’s a book called Fifty Shades of Cale. National kale day was founded in the U.S. in 2013. The price of kale, a once dirt cheap vegetable, skyrocketed. And in the realm of the internet: Raw kale, steamed kale, asian-style kale, juiced kale- I’ve seen it all. In Germany, the land of the krauts, it remains hard to imagine glamour that the most common vegetable of the country has to foreign food bloggers.
Last moth I’ve been on vacation in the Netherlands, to visit a couple of old friends and my boyfriend’s family. And there, on the seventh floor of an apartment building, Inga and Pieter had a little balcony vegetable garden with a huge kale plant in it. When I told them that you could make salad of kale they looked at me in disbelief. In Holland, you can buy raw kale anywhere, but it is mostly eaten as kale hash. Curiously, we cut off a few leaves and prepared the salad with red onions, orange and spicy pumpkin seeds. A lemon and thyme vinaigrette rounded off the taste. How should I put it? Kale has never been that glamorous before. Maybe you learn most about your country when abroad.
One week until Christmas eve! Are you as excited as I am? For the children christmas revolves mainly around the presents but for the grown-ups it’s all about the meal (and the spirit, of course!). In Germany we celebrate on the evening of the 24th. Traditionally a Sunday roast is served, often with red cabbage and ‘Knödel’, dumplings made of patatoe or bread. Meat, cabbage, bread and potatoes- the staples of German cuisine in one dish. When I first became vegetarian, christmas suddenly became a challenge for me. I felt deprived because I couldn’t (or wouldn’t) have any of the roast. The food resembled my past, my family and our customs.
Fall is a romantic and sometimes melancholic season because change becomes so visible in the months from october to december. While we fetch our woolen sweaters from the back of the closet and suddenly get up in the dark, we witness the beautiful palette of reds, yellows and greens of the changing leaves. On a more delicious note, fall also presents us with a new range of vegetables and fruits: sweet pears, juicy apples and everybody´s favorite: the pumpkin. A good pumpkin soup is a fall essential that makes the waving good-bye to summer a lot easier. Here is my favorite, incredibly easy (and coconut-milk free !) pumpkin soup recipe.
Happy sunday everybody!
As you might have noticed, Frieda has been absent for a while. Well, she is touring through the U.S. in search of the best burger joint in the country. Also, she will be a bridesmaid at a real American wedding. Can’t wait to see the photos! Before she’s back (hopefully with a lot of yummy recipes) I guess I will have to come up with something to satisfy our cravings for a sweet treat on a sunday afternoon.
This is what I did: I made a cheesecake out of a block of tofu. It sounds pretty gross, but I can assure you, it came out lovely! The texture is fluffy and the crust tastes like caramel melting on your lips. I made it with a type of shortcrust biscuit called Speculoos or Spekulatius, a traditional christmas cookie in Germany and the Netherlands. Speculoos are thin and crispy and they are flavoured with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cardamom, brown sugar and white pepper (flavour explosion!). If you caramalize these biscuits and add a pinch of seasalt, the flavour comination really is stunning with the soft texture of the tofu filling. If you can’t find Speculoos in your country, just use digestives instead.
Hi y’all! It’s been a bit silent on here for a week but to make up for my inactivity I will share with you a stunning recipe for a fennel salad with clementine, mint, calamata olives, red onions and parsley. Did you know The ancient Greeks held parsley to be sacred?
Anyhow, I love this recipe because the ingredients themselves are not that fancy but when you mix them you get such an extraordinary, tasty and visually appealing result. As a plus, you can get all the ingredients during the cold season, but the dish tastes very refreshing and summery.
Frisian tea ritual
This week I will share with you a dish that I learned from my Danish housemate Lisbeth when I lived in Copenhagen two years ago. She always had a gigantic preserving jar with pickled plumsin her kitchen. Her secret ingredient: black tea. Now, I come from Germany’s wet and dreary North Sea coast where people are said to be consuming more black tea than anyone else in the world. So you can guess she got me exited with that recipe.
Granny would be proud!
With autumn approaching, what is there more comforting than a steaming pot of soup on the stove? My favourite soup (apart from Jeanne’s delicious Soupe à l’Oignon, of course) is one that my grandma always used to make. It is almost shockingly easy to prepare, the ingredients cost nearly nothing and it’s very very healthy. In fact, when I googled cucumber soup today, I found tons of diet websites adverting similar recipes. Anyhow: The recipe is not only healthy, but also very yummy, so you should go ahead and give it a try.
To elevate my Grannys dish to the next level (god, I watched too much Master Chef lately) I decided to bake two types of italian bread stick shat you can dip into the soup; one with fresh rosemary and coarse sea salt, and one with chilipepper and garlic.