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Bird’s Nest Cookies

Bird’s nest cookies (also called thumbprint cookies) are one of those classic holiday baking cookies that remind you of why homemade baking is just so good. They are super easy to make and are one of those things people seem to love: buttery cookies with a tasty jam filling. What’s not to love?

Vogelnest Cookies mit Marmelade, Engelsaugen Kekse, Thumbprint-Cookies Rezept, Weihnachtsgebäck

These are, of course, my uncle and my cousin’s absolute favorite Christmas cookie (okay…next to my Aunt’s famous shortbread of course). This delicious creation was passed on to Aunt Heather by her dear friend Ann. Not too sweet, they are a fantastically delicious butter cookie. I used organic raspberry jam made from 70% fruit as well as ground hazelnuts since I already had a package on hand. Plus, it seemed like a much better idea than going through the effort of grinding walnuts myself. Yes, Anne’s version calls for ground walnuts.

Vogelnest Cookies mit Marmelade, Engelsaugen Kekse, Thumbprint-Cookies Rezept, Weihnachtsgebäck

Vogelnest Cookies mit Marmelade, Engelsaugen Kekse, Thumbprint-Cookies Rezept, Weihnachtsgebäck

As far as I have seen, Hamburg supermarkets only sell ground almonds and hazelnuts. Maybe this will turn into a “Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon” experience for me. You know, the frequency illusion. Different than déjà vu or the confirmation bias, where just because my mom says it’s true, it must be true sort of experience. Baader-Meinhof is a concept that we’ve probably all experienced at one time or another. It’s the idea of discovering something new — a car, for example, that you’ve never seen before — and then, amazingly, you see it all over the place, everyone seems to be driving one. You didn’t know it existed. And then, it seems that everywhere you turn, it’s there. Yeah, I’m pretty sure I will find ground walnuts–e v e r y w h e r e–after this.

Vogelnest Cookies mit Marmelade, Engelsaugen Kekse, Thumbprint-Cookies Rezept, Weihnachtsgebäck

Bird’s Nest Cookies
5 from 3 votes
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Bird's Nest Cookies

Bird's nest cookies (thumbprint cookies) filled with jam are classic holiday baking cookies. Delicious butter cookies rolled in ground walnuts or hazelnuts.
Course Snack
Category Baking
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 20 cookies
Calories 180 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter (227 g)
  • 1/2 cup soft brown sugar (I use GEPA organic raw cane sugar Mascobado) (80 g)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (Type 550) (260 g)
  • 2 teaspoons phosphate-free baking powder
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup ground walnuts or hazelnuts (sometimes you need a bit more) (100 g)
  • raspberry jam, or other favorite jam (about 1/2 a teaspoon or more per cookie)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Grease or line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Using a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add the egg yolks and cream some more. Add the flour and baking powder and mix until combined.

    NOTE: I whisk the flour and baking powder together in a small bowl before adding to the butter mixture.

  3. Pinch off the dough in pieces and roll into 2.5cm (1 inch) balls. Dip in the egg white, then in the ground nuts.
  4. Place the balls on the prepared cookie sheet. Using a floured thumb, create an indent by pressing into the centre of the ball.
  5. Bake for 12-13 minutes.
  6. Cool completely. Drop a bit of raspberry jam into the dent in the cookie and enjoy!

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Oven-Roasted Parsnips and Carrots with Hazelnut Gremolata

These oven-roasted parsnips and carrots are cooked to perfection then served with a splash of lemon and a nutty hazelnut gremolata, making them the perfect side dish! This plant-based recipe makes such a satisfying side dish no matter what it is accompanying. It’s fantastically easy to makes, takes 30 minutes to prepare and tastes great served warm or a room temperature!

Roasted vegetables are perfect for just about any meal, holiday or otherwise.

And I love that the possibilities are endless when it comes to creating delicious combinations with them. Lightly coating them in oil and seasoning them in a little salt helps the vegetables caramelize by browning a little on the outside and becoming tender on the inside, all the while resulting in a sort of “umami” effect, that makes them irresistibly delicious. Have you tried roasted parsnips before? The more I try roasting them, the more they become one of my favorite vegetables to eat in the winter. They are similar to carrots but have a nuttier earthy taste, as well as natural sweetness like carrots. So delicious!

Oven-Roasted Parsnips and Carrots with Hazelnut Gremolata

What is gremolata?

Gremolata is an Italian condiment made from parsley, garlic, and lemon zest. And in this case roasted hazelnuts and a little olive oil. I guess you could say it could be defined as both a condiment and garnish, as it adds extra flavor and a pop of color to otherwise dull-looking dishes. It’s often served with meat (think Italian Osso Buco with Gremolata) but it’s actually fantastic for just about anything that could benefit from a burst of bright, fresh flavors. Which is why I absolutely love to add it to roasted vegetables, like this oven-roasted parsnips and carrots recipe. The nuttiness of parsnips pair very well with it!
Geröstete Pastinaken und Karotten mit Haselnuss Gremolata, vegane Rezept
I hope you will LOVE this recipe for oven-roasted parsnips and carrots as much as I do. It’s

Super easy to prepare
Quick
Versatile
Flavorful
Delicious
& a great way to sneak more vegetables onto your plate

While delicious on its own, this dish would pair perfectly with your favorite choice of protein, or something like Mediterranean Chicken Marbella or Parsnip & Potato Dumplings with Mushroom Gravy.

Oven-Roasted Parsnips and Carrots with Hazelnut Gremolata
5 from 1 vote
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Oven-Roasted Parsnips and Carrots with Hazelnut Gremolata

A perfect side dish for just about any meal, holiday or otherwise. So delicious you may want to consider doubling it!
Course Side Dish
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 154 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

For the roasted vegetables:

  • 250 g parsnips, peeled and halved or quartered lengthwise
  • 250 g carrots, peeled and halved or quartered lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 lemon

For the hazelnut pesto:

  • 25 g toasted hazelnuts
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (from organic lemon)

Method

  1. To roast the nuts: Toast the hazelnuts over medium heat in a small dry skillet for 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant. Once cool enough to handle, place the nuts in a clean, dry kitchen towel and rub them vigorously to remove the skins.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°F / 220°C degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Transfer the vegetables to the baking sheet and toss with the oil. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt (or more) and toss again. Spread the vegetables into an even layer (without crowding them) and roast for 20-25 minutes, tossing halfway through, until lightly browned and tender.
  4. Meanwhile, in a food processor (alternatively using a mortar with a pestle), combine the hazelnuts, parsley, garlic, oil, and lemon zest. Process into a rough paste. Set aside.
  5. Transfer the roasted vegetables to a serving platter and drizzle with the lemon juice. Then scatter the hazelnut gremolata on top. Season with more salt if desired. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • Parsnips will cook at about the same rate as carrots, so cut them into similar-size pieces. If using a larger parsnip, then you can cut the bottom smaller part in half, and the larger top half into thirds or quarters (lengthwise) so everything is about the same size and cooks evenly.
  • I always use olive oil for roasting my vegetables. My favorite is extra-olive oil from Farchioni Olii which is also heat resistant, making it great for cooking and for salads. Plus it tastes amazing.
  • As an alternative to roasting the hazelnuts, already roasted hazelnuts can be found in your local organic food store.

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Cappuccino Shortbread with Dark Chocolate

It just isn’t Christmas without Cappuccino Shortbread. That’s what my family would say. These delicious cookies make an appearance every year without fail. Okay, shortbread, what’s not to love? Add a little coffee flavor and chocolate…yum!

This Canadian favorite was originally invented by a fellow Vancouverite, a caterer named Jane Bailey. It was brought to fame by former food editor for the Vancouver Sun who then republished it in the newspapers cookbook. And in my family, this has been has been baked ritually every year around Christmas time for decades. One that get passed along again and again.

The original recipe is pretty simple. Butter, sugar, flour, cornstarch, vanilla and finely ground instant coffee. My version uses caffeine free instant barley coffee, natural beet sugar and arrowroot powder (my go-to starch of choice). I also choose to chill the dough prior to forming it into cookies, as this reduces some of the spread. If your butter gets too soft, or you beat it with the sugar too long, you’ll experience a little extra spread. But happily no sacrifice on flavor!

„Cappuccino“ Shortbread with dark chocolate

Vacation in Canada

So even if I won’t make it back to my home country for Christmas this year, I can enjoy something that reminds me of them. And well, unless you are headed to the mountains for a little snow and skiing, I think summer is when you want to enjoy all that Canada has to offer. Nature galore!! So if you are interested in planning a vacation to Canada in the new year, here is great source for more information:


You’ll need an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) which as of March 15th 2016 is required for EU foreign nationals (as well as a number of other countries) prior to travelling to Canada. Definitely information we all need prior to planning a trip! Especially when planning one without the help of a travel agent. Good thing is that it’s tied your passport and valid for 5 years (unless of course your passport expires beforehand). A big thank you to VisumAntrag.de for enlightening me on this. On their website you will also find information on other country travel requirements. Something that makes planning ahead a lot easier without the risk of an expected surprise as you are about to take off!

Happy planning and I hope you enjoy these cookies!

Looking for other family cookie recipes?

Then try …

„Cappuccino“ Shortbread Kekse mit dunkler Schokolade Rezept
5 from 1 vote
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Cappuccino Shortbread with Dark Chocolate

A family favorite Canadian recipe for chocolate dipped cappuccino shortbread. Simple and delicious!
Course Cookies
Category Baking
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 36 cookies
Calories 85 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup fine sugar, I use beet sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • 4 teaspoons barley coffee (or instant coffee, finely ground)
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder (or other starch of choice)
  • 150 g dark chocolate, melted

Method

  1. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together (max. 1 minute). Beat in instant coffee and vanilla.
  2. In a second bowl, sift together the flour and arrowroot powder. Add it to the butter mixture and mix together using your hands. Continue kneading it together until it forms a dough. (the mixture is quite dry at first and takes a few minutes to knead into a ball).
  3. Mould the dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour (or overnight).
  4. Preheat the oven to 325°F / 165°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Mould the dough into the shape of coffee beans, using 2 teaspoons dough for each cookie.
  6. Using the back of a knife, press a slight indent, lengthwise, across the top of each cookie (not too deep, otherwise the cookies will spread too much).
  7. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove and slide the parchment paper onto wire racks to cool the cookies.
  8. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Dip one end of the cookies in the chocolate. Place on plates lined with parchment paper and refrigerate.
  9. Once chocolate has hardened, serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • Be sure not to cream the butter too long as this will fill it with air bubbles which can result in the shortbread spreading too much while baking. It should be smooth, rather than fluffy.
  • I bake the cookies one batch at a time in the middle of the oven as this produces best results. Otherwise, it is important to rotate and switch places of the baking sheets to ensure two sheets of cookies bake evenly.

For a relaxing atmosphere in the kitchen I recommend my personal Elle Republic: Chilled Out Kitchen Tunes Playlist auf Spotify.

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Coconut Ginger Beet Soup

Fellow lover of beets, this is the recipe for you. I love this coconut ginger beet soup. I’m not a pink girl, but just look at that color! Gorgeous AND it’s full of flavor. The simple combination of market fresh beetroot, ginger, and coconut milk is so tasty. Then there are some subtle flavors of cumin and coriander seeds just give it a little extra depth. So good!

Before you click away from this recipe thinking “oh no, the kids or boyfriend/husband will never eat this”, I really encourage you to consider giving it a go. My favorite Schwabe, which I now realize is quite picky when it comes to vegetables (no to: eggplant, zucchini, peppers, fennel, pumpkin, sweet potato and well… beets unless they are the side attraction) more often than not loves his most hated vegetables when they are done in a way that, I am assuming, doesn’t stir up those childhood memories of bland, boring or overcooked vegetables. I won’t say he loved this soup, but he definitely liked it. Small win for Camp Beetroot.

Coconut Ginger Beet Soup Vegan
So give it a try! This coconut ginger beet soup is perfect for when we’re needing a splash of color in our lives or craving a simple soup that is warm and comforting. Which is exactly what fall weather calls for!

It’s simple recipe, requiring just 35 minutes from start to finish — okay maybe 5 minutes longer than that. But it’s quick, that’s for sure! Plus it’s also vegan, gluten-free, and loaded with health benefits. This coconut ginger beet soup is perfect for fall and winter as it contains cold-fighting properties thanks to antiseptic ginger and antioxidant rich beetroot.

  • Beets are a nutritious powerhouse. They are low in fat, rich in fiber and antioxidants, and packed with key nutrients such as iron, fiber, folate, vitamin C, and potassium. They’re also a natural anti-inflammatory, are loaded with disease-fighting phytonutrients, and help the body detoxify. I guess you could call this a detox soup!
  • Coconut milk not only provides a creamy base to this soup, it also boasts a healthy dose of minerals, giving you at least 10 percent of your daily recommendation of several types, plus all kinds of other nutrients.
  • Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory and in my home, a cure all for settling an upset stomach, improving digestion and avoiding a cold (YES to ginger tea!). Also, delicious.
  • Garlic is magical. It provides innumerable health benefits. It acts as an anti-inflammatory in the body, helps to lower cholesterol levels, helps regulate blood pressure and is a great source of vitamin C, B6, manganese, and selenium. And I love it.

Rote-Bete-Kokos-Suppe mit Ingwer Rezept Vegan

Coconut Ginger Beet Soup
5 from 1 vote
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Coconut Ginger Beetroot Soup

An impressive looking coconut ginger beet soup that is easy and quick to prepare. Tastes great with your favorite crusty bread. Serve warm, at room temperature or even chilled. Serves 4-6, depending on serving size.
Course Soup
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 359 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3 small yellow onions, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 3 large red beets, peeled and cut into ca. 1 cm pieces (550-600 g)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 x 400 ml can organic coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • generous grind freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish (optional)
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Method

  1. In a large non-stick pot, heat the coconut oil over medium to medium-high heat.
  2. Sauté the onion for 5 minutes, then add garlic and ginger; reduce heat slightly, add the coriander, cumin seeds and a pinch of cayenne pepper, continue cooking, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add beets and the broth; bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the beets are fork-tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Using an immersion blender, carefully purée the soup until smooth.
  4. Alternatively, purée in a blender, in small batches, as necessary, and transfer back to the pot. Note: if using a blender make sure the hole in the center of the lid is open to allow steam to escape.

  5. Stir in coconut milk, salt and pepper. If desired, add a little water until the soup reaches the desired consistency.
  6. Serve into bowls, with lemon wedges on the side and garnish with parsley.
  7. Enjoy!

Notes

This is a wonderful soup that can be served hot or cold. If leftovers have been sitting in the refrigerator, just give it a taste. I sometimes like to perk up this soup with a spritz of lemon.

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How did you like it?

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Did you make any changes to this recipe?

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This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase through my link, Amazon will pay me a commission for it. This doesn’t cost you anything additional and the price remains the same. More about advertisements on Elle Republic.

Roasted Chestnuts and Brussels Sprouts with Lemon

What could be more reminiscent of autumn than chestnuts? There is so more to them than just the familiar small paper cone of hot, sweet roasted chestnuts you get from street vendors. Chestnuts are terrific in savory dishes, as they add a rich, earthy flavor and nutty sweetness. Roasted together with Brussels sprouts and garlic they make a flavorful holiday side dish that is terrific served alongside roast turkey or duck (or here in Germany, a Christmas goose!).

The Brussels Sprouts Gene

Yes, I know that for many Brussels sprouts has a reputation for being the worst vegetable ever, but actually if they are cooked the right way, they are actually pretty darn delicious. My mother boiled them. Terrible mistake. There are ways of cooking them so that everyone will love them. Okay, not everyone. There is actually something called the “Brussels sprouts gene: TAS2R38” Or shall I say “the anti-Brussels sprouts gene” Maybe there is a Marmite gene too. I recently read that there was a formal study done that established that sprouts contain a chemical that only tastes bitter to people who have a variation of a certain gene. The research found that about 50% of the world’s population have a mutation on this gene! It’s all clear now — there’s a reason why so many people can’t stand them! So if you are a Brussels sprout hater, you can now tell your friendly Brussels sprout lovers that there is, in theory, a chemical reason for your dislike. And parents, please, you may want to be just a little more forgiving at this year’s Christmas dinner.

Roasted Chestnuts and Brussels Sprouts with Lemon before roasting

Roasting brings out Brussels sprouts sweetness

So as someone who only has an anti Marmite, Vegemite and turnip gene, I love Brussels sprouts. The trick to making fantastic sprouts is to roast them. Roasting them sweetens their flavor by getting their sugars sizzling. Tossing them in a little olive oil is essential to getting the right amount of browning so they get a crunchy texture on the outside while being perfectly tender on the inside. Just make sure they are spread in an even layer on the roasting pan, without being too crowded. Also, the smaller Brussels sprouts tend to have a sweeter flavor but because the centre leaves are a little tighter, they can take longer to roast.

Roasted Chestnuts and Brussels Sprouts with Lemon

Two fantastic things: roasted chestnuts and Brussels sprouts.

The rich flavor of the nuts balances out the sprouts and the addition of fresh tangy lemon brings a burst of sunshine. What’s not to love?

Plus this dish is packed with lots of essential vitamins and a rich number of minerals, from vitamin C to fibre to calcium to manganese, potassium, folate, iron and loads of vitamin K, among more! Great reasons for Brussels sprout lovers to keep on lovin’ them.

Roasted Chestnuts and Brussels Sprouts with Lemon
5 from 1 vote
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Roasted Chestnuts and Brussels Sprouts with Lemon & Garlic

Roasted chestnuts and Brussels sprouts. The rich flavor of the nuts balances out the sprouts and the addition of fresh tangy lemon brings a burst of sunshine.
Course Side Dish
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Autor Elle

Ingredients

  • 750 g Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced in half
  • 200 g vacuum-packed peeled cooked chestnuts, roughly broken up
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • freshly grated parmesan, for serving (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C.
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine the Brussels sprouts, chestnuts, garlic and olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt (about half teaspoon) and season with pepper. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Transfer to a preheated oven and roast for 25-30 minutes (depending on the size of the sprouts), stirring occasionally, until Brussels sprouts are tender and nicely browned.
  4. Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle lemon juice, sprinkle with parmesan and serve.
  5. Garnish with lemon wedges if desired.

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How did you like it?

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Kale Salad with Roasted Vegetables, Lentils and Tahini Dressing

Okay are you ready for it? This kale salad with roasted vegetables, lentils and tahini dressing is my new go-to winter salad. Really it’s the salad of my dreams! It’s influenced by Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine (what’s not to love about that!?)… which in my mind, I can simply sum up as “extra delicious”.

The ultimate winter salad

First, there’s oh-so good massaged kale (three kinds – crimson-colored “Redbor” kale, curly kale and Tuscan Lacinto kale), which is tossed with French Puy lentils, then topped with roasted vegetables (a tasty mix of sweet potato, cauliflower, parsnips and heirloom carrots). Finally there is a drizzle of my go-to tahini dressing, and a garnish of pomegranate seeds for a splash of color and toasted sesame seeds and black cumin… just because it’s a great addition to this ultimate plant-based salad. Yes, you need this salad in your life.

Blumenkohl mit Kreuzkümmel

Karotten, Pastinaken & Süßkartoffeln

Grünkohl und Schwarzkohl mit Linsen

Kale Salad with Roasted Vegetables, Lentils and Tahini Dressing

I hope you all LOVE this salad as much as I do! It’s:

Delicious
Healthy
Flavorful
Super easy to prepare
Totally versatile (use your favorite fall vegetables)

So speaking of versatile, this salad makes the perfect things for serving guests (think of keeping vegan friends happy at Christmas!), or simply as a weeknight dinner that also lets you enjoy delicious leftovers for a easy take-to-work lunch. Yes, it keeps incredibly well… say hello, best packed lunch ever.

Vegane Rezept für Grünkohl-Salat mit geröstetem Gemüse, Linsen und Tahin-Dressing

Vegane Rezept für Grünkohl-Salat mit geröstetem Gemüse, Linsen und Tahin-Dressing

Looking for more kale recipes?

Check out my Simple Kale Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing, Tuscan Kale and White Bean Soup (Ribollita), Shaved Brussels Sprout Kale Salad, Turmeric Ginger Lentil Soup with Kale, or simply go to my Ingredients page to view all recipes with kale.

Or fans of tahini sauce, check out my favorite recipes: Roasted Japanese Eggplant with Tahini Sauce, Roasted White Asparagus with Tahini-Lemon Sauce, or Shredded Cabbage Salad with Tahini-Lemon Dressing.

Kale Salad with Roasted Vegetables, Lentils and Tahini Dressing
5 from 1 vote
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Kale Salad with Roasted Vegetables, Lentils and Tahini Dressing

This is a fantastic-tasting kale salad influenced by Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. Together kale is tossed together with French green lentils, roasted winter vegetables and a tahini sauce. A hearty, flavorful vegan salad that also double ups a delicious leftovers. Use organic vegetables when possible. Serves 4 as a main, or 8 as a side.
Course Salad, Side Dish
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 235 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

For the roasted vegetables:

  • 2 small parsnips, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise twice, then halved in the middle
  • ½ head cauliflower, or whole one, if small, cut into florets
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and then slice into half-moons
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • generous pinch whole cumin seeds

For the salad:

  • 3/4 cup dry French green Le Puy lentils (150 g)
  • 1 bunch kale, hard stems removed and chopped (about 6 handfuls)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • seeds from 1/2 a pomegranate, to garnish
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds lightly toasted
  • 1 teaspoon black cumin (Nigella), lightly toasted

For the dressing:

  • 4 tablespoons well-stirred tahini
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup cold water, or as needed
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F /220°C and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Place the parsnip, carrots and sweet potato on one baking sheet, and the cauliflower on the second baking sheet. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add a generous pinch of cumin seeds to the cauliflower. Roast for 30-35 minutes, flipping the vegetables over with a spatula and switching the position of the trays halfway through.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the lentils according to package instructions, in 3 times the amount of water for 30 minutes. When done, remove from heat and drain if needed. Set aside to cool.

    TIP: I recommend tasting the lentils after about 20-25 minutes to see if they are the consistency you prefer — I like them firm (al dente).

  4. Place the kale leaves, olive oil, and salt in a large serving bowl and massage for 2 minutes, until well coated. Add the cooked lentils and toss to combine.
  5. To prepare the dressing by adding tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and cumin to a small mixing bowl and whisking to combine. Season with a little salt and pepper, then add water and whisk together. If needed add 1/2 tablespoon more at a time, until it reaches a pourable consistency.
  6. When the vegetables are done, let them cool slightly. Add them to the kale bowl. Drizzle some of the dressing over top and garnish with pomegranate seeds and a sprinkle of sesame seeds and black cumin.
  7. Serve the remaining tahini dressing on the side, along with extra pomegranate seeds. Enjoy at room temperature.
  8. This salad keeps for several days and makes great leftovers.

Notes

  • Parsnips will cook at about the same rate as carrots, so cut them into similar-size pieces. If using a larger parsnip, then you can cut the bottom smaller part in half, and the larger top half into thirds or quarters (lengthwise) so everything is about the same size and cooks evenly.
  • I always use olive oil for roasting my vegetables. My favorite is extra-olive oil from Farchioni Olii which is also heat resistant, making it great for cooking and for salads. Plus it tastes amazing.
  • Black cumin (Nigella) can be found in organic food stores, Middle Eastern shops, or of course online.
  • Beluga lentils are also great with this recipe. Or go ahead and try switching them out for chickpeas.

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Wholemeal Chocolate Cookies with Cashews & Cocoa Nibs

These lightly sweetened wholemeal chocolate cookies are made from wholesome ingredients — ingredients like whole spelt flour, oats, raw cacao, coconut oil, unrefined muscovado sugar, maple syrup, cashews and cacao nibs. The result is a super flavourful cookie with the perfect balance of sweet and bitter, crunch and chewiness. With no refined sugar, and naturally vegan, this could possibly become your go-to cookie from now on! Especially, if you are lover of dark chocolate.

Wholemeal chocolate cookies are simple and quick to prepare

One of the great things about this cookie recipe is that it is also really quick and easy to prepare. They are the kind of cookies you could get prepped, baked and ready to serve in less than 30 minutes, as they only take about 10 minutes to prep and another 10 to bake. They is no chilling the dough, or rolling to be down. Simply mix together, form into cookies, bake and enjoy! This makes them a great option for Christmas when times are busy enough, or for when you simply have a cookie craving.

Wholemeal Chocolate Cookies with Cashews & Cocoa Nibs
A chocolatey flavour with cacao and cacao nibs

Lovers of dark chocolate will appreciate the pure, unadulterated flavour that cacao and cacao nibs give these cookies. Both are as close to pure cacao as we can get. Cacao nibs are simply the peeled, dried and fermented bits of the raw, unprocessed cacao beans, and the powder, well the ground of version of cacao nibs. As a well known superfood, both are high in antioxidants and magnesium. Another reason to enjoy this treat.

Wholemeal Chocolate Cookies with Cashews & Cocoa Nibs
Looking for other naturally sweetened cookie recipes?

Then try one of these cookies make with unrefined sugar:

Dinkel-Schoko-Kekse mit Cashew & Kakoa Nibs
5 from 1 vote
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Wholemeal Chocolate Cookies with Cashews & Cocoa Nibs

A delicious and easy wholemeal chocolate cookie made with unrefined sugar and whole ingredients. Big on flavour and naturally vegan.
Course Snack, Sweets
Category Baking
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 20 cookies
Calories 113 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

  • 100 g virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 90 g fine-cut oats
  • 120 g whole spelt flour (regular spelt also works fine)
  • 70 g muscovado sugar
  • 1/8 tsp bourbon vanilla powder
  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder (fat-reduced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons cacao nibs
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews, coarsely chopped (35 g)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons plant-based milk (I use unsweetened soy)

Garnish (optional)

  • Sprinkle of unsweetened desiccated coconut or Fleur de Sel

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a small pot over low heat and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (oats, flour, sugar, vanilla, cacao, baking powder, cacao nibs, and cashews) until well combined. Add the melted coconut oil, maple syrup and milk and mix well with a spoon until everything is well coated. The mixture will be quite oily, but firms up well once baked.
  4. With your hands, form into balls about 1 tablespoon in size and place on the lined baking sheet. Flatten the cookies slightly and sprinkle with a little coconut or salt before transferring to the preheated oven.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes and let cool on a cooling rack.
  6. Once fully cooled store in an airtight container at room temperature (or in the fridge to keep fresher longer).

Notes

  • Butter can be used in place of coconut oil.
  • Hazelnuts can also be used instead of cashews, as they also go well with chocolate.
  • If you like a sweeter cookies, you can easily increase the sugar to 90 g.

For a relaxing atmosphere in the kitchen I recommend my personal Elle Republic: Chilled Out Kitchen Tunes Playlist auf Spotify.

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Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Cream

It’s the time of year again, so I am busting out another Brussels sprouts recipe. This time, oven roasted Brussels sprouts with smoked pork belly and balsamic cream. Smoked pork belly is kind of a new addition cause I really thought I could convince anyone teetering between camp ” hate ’em, leave ’em” to come over to camp “#welovebrusselssprouts” for good. Add smoked bacon, pork belly, pancetta or prosciutto di Parma to pretty much anything and you convince a mighty few to get off the fence and come on over. Except of course my vegan/vegetarian friends. They of course will skip it all together.

This recipe for oven roasted Brussels sprouts is purely intended for flexitarians and meat lovers. And I’ll tell you, the trick to getting Brussels sprouts to taste good, is that amazing caramelizaton that occurs while they are roasting in the oven. It gives them a such a great flavor!

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Cream

Perfect oven roasted Brussels sprouts are easy

First rule to perfect oven roasted Brussels sprouts is a hot oven. It is essential, so make sure you preheat your oven. While the oven gets hot, you can do the trimming. Any yellow or brown leaves should be removed and a little of the woody end. Then half them, leaving the stem in place to hold the leaves together. Or at least the majority of the leaves. But keep the loose leaves, you’ll want to roast them along with the sprouts. They taste great when they crisp up! Then toss everything with oil, season with a little salt, transfer to the baking sheet and turn the Brussels sprouts so that the cut side is flat against the baking sheet. This way, the thin outer leaves will crisp up and caramelize while roasting. Result: purely delicious!

Beilage mit Ofen gerösteter Rosenkohl mit Balsamico-Creme und Bauchspeck Rezept

Beilage mit Ofen gerösteter Rosenkohl mit Balsamico-Creme und Bauchspeck Rezept

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Cream
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Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Cream

A quick and easy side dish recipe for oven-roasted Brussels sprouts with balsamic cream and smoked pork belly. The perfect side dish for Christmas. Easily adaptable to suit vegans or vegetarians.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 201 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

  • 500 g Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved
  • 100 g diced smoked pork belly preferably organic, pastured-raised
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • generous pinch of sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic cream Crema con Aceto Balsamico di Modena or more, to taste

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C and line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Transfer the sprouts and any loose leaves to the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss until combined and arrange them cut-side down.
  3. Scatter the diced smoked pork belly over the Brussels sprouts.
  4. Tranfser to the preheated oven and roast until deep golden brown, and crisp outside and tender on inside, about 20-25 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven, drizzle immediately with the balsamic cream, and toss.
  6. Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately.

Notes

Variations for the Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Cream:

  • Make it vegan – ditch the smoked pork belly: roasted Brussels sprouts make for a lovely side dish that can easily satisfy Brussels sprout loving vegans and vegetarians. Add some roasted hazelnuts for a little extra crunch or simply serve them as a tasty addition to a grain salad or green salad.
  • Or…swap it out: Pancetta is a good alternative, as is smoked bacon.
  • Any leftovers from this oven roasted Brussels sprouts recipe can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

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Chinese Chews (Date Walnut Squares)

I don’t bake often, but every now and then, I just feel the need. For me, it’s not about the eating (which is probably why I don’t do it more often), but rather it’s about going through the process of baking. Like a mini-project with an end result. Something my favorite Schwabe and his kids thank me for. I’m pretty sure they wish I did it more often. If it’s not them eating my baking, then you will find me giving it away to whoever I can.

As a good measure of course, only to save my dearest Schwabe from himself. Yes, otherwise he might just find himself indulging a little too copiously to his regret. But certainly, I’m not cruel enough to expose him to the scent of baking sweets only to wave them under his nose and steal them away. I do of course, leave a slice or two behind.

Chinese Chews – a traditional family recipe

Chinese Chews have been a Christmas favorite in our family for decades. This simple recipe has been passed onto me, by my Aunt Heather, whose Aunt Ilse passed it onto her, which may or may not been passed onto her by an Aunt too. But since that’s not for sure, then credit can be given to my great aunt Ilse for this well-loved Chinese Chews recipe.

Chinese Chews Kuchenecken Rezept, Weihnachtsgebäck mit Datteln, Walnüsse und Puderzucker

What exactly are Chinese Chews?

I guess you could say they are simply date and walnut squares with powdered sugar. And why are they called Chinese Chews? I did a little digging and it turns out no one really knows for sure why they landed with such a funny name. Apparently, the very first recipe for them appeared in a 1917 issue of Good Housekeeping. There is nothing Chinese about them, but they are chewy. And they are undeniably a dessert and not a healthy snack bar. Though, I did reduce the sugar by half, so maybe they are just a little bit closer to being something we can consider “energy-giving”.

Chinese Chews (Date Walnut Squares)
5 from 1 vote
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Chinese Chews

Chinese Chews are simply date and walnut squares with powdered sugar. A traditional family recipe for Christmas bar cookies. Easy and simple to make!

Course Snack
Category Baking
Servings 24
Calories 92 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (90 g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup superfine caster granulated sugar (100 g)
  • 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted and chopped (120 g pitted)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (100 g)
  • icing sugar, for sprinkling

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F / 150°C. Grease a 20 x 30 cm pan (8 x 12-inch) and dust with a little flour. Flouring the greased pan helps the squares from sticking and makes it easier to remove them after baking. You can also line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper to make things easier.

    TIP: for thicker squares, use a 20 x 20 cm pan and bake 5 minutes longer.

  2. In a medium bowl, stir the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until mixed, then using a sifter or fine mesh sieve, sift the mixture into a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with an electric beater until foamy, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the dates, walnuts and egg to the mixing bowl with the flour. Stir until well combined (you can expect the batter to be very wet and sticky). Pour into the prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool slightly (about 5-10 minutes), then cut into small squares and roll or sprinkle with icing sugar while still warm.
  6. Enjoy!

Notes

These also freeze well.

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Brussels Sprouts Salad with Apples & Hazelnuts

For those of you, that are already convinced of the Brussels sprouts merits, this salad is for you. Yes, a Brussels sprouts salad! One made with toasted hazelnuts, my favorite fall apples, a little red onion, and a tasty dressing made with apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and Dijon mustard. Ooh and let’s not forget Italian parmesan cheese. And this combo works. So many taste sensations. It definitely reaches the sweet, bitter and umami… all in one dish.

Rosenkohl-Salat mit Apfel, Haselnuss, Parmesan Rezept

Yes…as the queen of salads, I am of course always looking for new and interesting ways of enjoying my favorite thing – fresh vegetables! And this salad is no exception. It’s delicious, albeit, I would say this is one for cabbage and Brussels sprouts lovers. Why? Well, this is a coleslaw of sorts which means there is none of that tasty caramelized flavor of oven-roasted Brussels sprouts — which I oh so love — rather its enjoyed pure and unadulterated. That said, I do have the perfect recipe to transform borderline and ho-hum Brussels sprouts eaters. A warm Mediterranean style roasted Brussels sprouts salad. On the fence? Give it a try, you’ll love it.

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Apples & Hazelnuts

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Apples & Hazelnuts

Serve Brussels sprouts salad for seasonal gatherings

My initial thinking about this salad was… well I love raw kale salads, I love cabbage salads, and although it’s a little more work, I also love Brussels sprouts salads. So high time I create a new recipe for one. And this time, a recipe that could potentially join the Christmas table or any family gathering. The point being, it needs to hold up well — it does and really well — it needs to be seasonal — bingo — and maybe it’s time we change up tradition and simply try this underrated vegetable in a new way — as a salad! So friends, maybe it’s time to give this winter vegetables a second chance.

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Apples & Hazelnuts
4.75 from 4 votes
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Brussels Sprouts Salad with Apples & Hazelnuts

This salad is a delicious way to enjoy raw Brussels sprouts. An easy and delicious Brussels sprouts salad. Apples and roasted hazelnuts give the salad a sweet and nutty note, and parmesan the perfect amount of umami. The perfect, healthy winter salad.
Course Salad, Side Dish
Category American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 as a side
Calories 229 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

  • 500 g Brussel sprouts, cleaned and finely shredded using a mandoline
  • 2 sweet-tart apples, (I like Braeburn or Wellant), quartered, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely minced
  • 100 g toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 50 g grated parmesan

For the dressing:

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar (unfiltered)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Method

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and Dijon mustard until well combined. Season with a little salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Transfer the shaved Brussels sprouts to a large serving bowl. Add the apples, and red onion, pour over the dressing and toss until evenly coated. Add the hazelnuts and parmesan and toss again.
  3. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper, to taste, if desired.
  4. Enjoy!

Notes

  • I use a mandoline to shred Brussels sprouts. So if you have one, now is the time to break it out (be extra careful and be sure to use the protective holder / safety attachment!). Alternatively, a food processor can be used.
  • How to shred Brussels sprouts without a mandoline or food processor: trim the ends of the sprouts. Then cut them in half. Lay the cut-side-down and finely chop until they are all shredded.

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Chewy Triple Ginger Cookies

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Oh my goodness, these triple ginger cookies are out of this world delicious and a must-make Christmas cookie. They are packed with ginger — 3 sorts! — and are about as healthy as a Christmas cookie recipe could be… that is, if you don’t want to sacrifice taste! Best part is, you don’t need to wait around for December to roll around ’cause they make a perfect tea cookie. They are a little like English ginger snap cookies, but instead they are soft. Though… bake them a little longer and you’ve got your snap!

Ingwer-Kekse Rezept mit Dinkelmehl, frischem Ingwer, gemahlenem Ingwer, kandiertem Ingwer, vollrohzucker, Rohrohrzucker, gesund

A recipe for ginger cookies with fresh ginger, ground ginger AND candied ginger!

My love of ginger runs deep. So deep that I had to conjure up a batch of chewy cookies made from freshly grated, ground and candied ginger – that’s right TRIPLE ginger cookies. Enough to satisfy my ginger loving heart. All the while not being too sweet. That’s right, take heed — these triple ginger cookies are for ginger lovers only! So if you are as devoted as I am to fresh homemade ginger bread, the kind you find at the Christmas markets in Germany, then you will love these. Chewy and spicy, the inspiration for these cookies came from traditional German ginger bread (called Lebkuchen) and a recipe my aunt makes at this time of year.

Ingwer-Kekse Rezept mit Dinkelmehl, frischem Ingwer, gemahlenem Ingwer, kandiertem Ingwer, vollrohzucker, Rohrohrzucker, gesund

Use unrefined raw cane sugar and maple syrup for a soft, chewy and healthy ginger cookies

We all know ginger is good for you, so I upped the game a little by adding more of it. Plus I traded in all-purpose flour for spelt, and used maple syrup, organic mascobado raw cane sugar (for its caramel-like molasses like flavor), instead of refined sugar and molasses. Okay, I pretty much reinvented them. The result: totally delicious cookies with a rich aroma and luscious bold taste. Something I can say is now my FAVORITE Christmas cookie. Okay, there was only one other on the list. That was German shortbread. But still this one is fantastic. It makes the perfect anytime cookie that pairs perfectly with a warming cup of tea.

Super delicious ginger cookies made with fresh, ground and candied ginger. This recipe is made with unrefined raw cane sugar and pure maple syrup for a perfectly sweet cookie that balances out the ginger flavor without being too sweet. Perfect snack or treat any time of year!

5 from 1 vote
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Chewy Triple Ginger Cookies

Super delicious ginger cookies made with fresh, ground and candied ginger. This recipe is made with unrefined raw cane sugar and pure maple syrup for a perfectly sweet cookie that balances out the ginger flavor without being too sweet. Perfect snack or treat any time of year!
Course Snack
Category Baking
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 24 Cookies
Calories 102 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

  • 2 cups spelt flour (Type 630) (260 g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (113 g)
  • 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup soft brown sugar (I recommend GEPA organic mascobado raw cane sugar) (80 g)
  • 1/3 cup raw cane sugar 70 g
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature, well beaten
  • 1 cup candied ginger (made with raw cane sugar), finely chopped (100 g)
  • zest from 1 organic lemon

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F / 175°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set the oven racks in the top and bottom third of the oven. Alternatively, leave the rack in the middle of the oven and bake the cookies in two batches.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, ground cloves, cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt.
  3. In a small pot, heat the butter until just melted. Turn off the heat and stir in the maple syrup, sugars, and fresh ginger, Whisk until well combined. The mixture should only be slightly warm, not hot. Whisk in the beaten egg.
  4. Pour the butter mixture into the bowl with the flour, add the candied ginger and lemon zest. Stir until just combined.
  5. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.
  6. Scoop out the dough with a tablespoon and shape into about 2.5 cm balls. Place them evenly spaced on the prepared baking sheet. 12 cookies will fit perfectly with enough spacing. Flatten SLIGHTLY with your fingers, but not too much.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minute. Check at 8 minutes. DO NOT OVER BAKE. The cookies will be soft, fragrant and golden brown.
  8. Carefully place the cookies sheet on a rack to until completely cooled. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Enjoy!

Notes

For those of you with more of a sweet tooth, feel free to roll the dough in turbinado sugar (coarse sugar in the raw) before popping the cookies in the oven.

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Vol-au-vent (Königin-Pasteten) with a Creamy Veal and Mushroom Ragout

As a main meal or finger food, it’s representative of a traditional German or French dish made for special occasions or to celebrate a festive time of year. Armed with this information, and a festive occasion (my birthday), that was my wish. Königin-Pasteten with a creamy veal and mushroom ragout.

It was a Monday night and I was looking for a break from dining out. Since we suffer fabulously from that thing called city living in Europe, we live within the confines of small maze of Jungenstil walls with old world flare, but sadly no balcony to speak of. So my favorite Schwabe and I have enjoyed this Indian summer with a new 50 year rule and mutual understanding that if the sun is shining and the weather is warm, we dine out. That in drizzly Hamburg is concentrated into less days than you’d expect and when we are lucky like this year, those precious 93 days of summer extend into spring and fall.

So after a lovely day on the bikes, enjoying the harbor and a seafood lunch we headed homewards to have the Schwabe cook for me. On route gathering tips from his mother on where to start, we stopped off at the butcher only to have the Schwabe proudly announce that he was cooking Königin-Pasteten for my birthday. That led to singing. German’s love singing and I love Germans that sing. Especially if they tote a guitar like mine does.

Königin-Pasteten is a dish that seemingly has to be put on a “wish list” as it’s somehow seen as something that takes a lot of time and preparation. In fact, it is simpler than simple. It’s easy. Ask my favorite Schwabe.

Vol-au-vent – store bought or homemade

The puff pastry shells can be picked up a good bakery (or at least ordered ahead) or found at the supermarket. Or if you are feeling ambitious you can also make your own vol-au-vent, here’s how:

The ragout itself can be prepared ahead and simply be re-heated while the puff pastry bakes in a hot oven. Even from scratch, I witnessed that this dish easily falls into the category “30 minute meals”. So an effortless meal like this can definitely turn any day into something special.

I’m pretty sure this recipe would also taste just as great by throwing in a handful of peas. Enjoy!

Vol-au-vent (Königin-Pasteten) with a Creamy Veal and Mushroom Ragout
5 from 1 vote
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Vol-au-vent with a Creamy Veal and Mushroom Ragout

Vol-au-vent with a creamy veal and mushroom ragout in a lemony, white wine and crème fraîche sauce. A simple and fast meal that is great for kids and guests.

Course Main Course
Category German
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Autor Elle

Ingredients

  • 4 large or 8 small vol-au-vent pastry shells
  • 600-700 g veal, cubed (preferably organic - can also be substituted with chicken or turkey)
  • 300 g crimini or button mushrooms, sliced (can also use a mix of peas, carrots and mushrooms)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter (30 g)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (60 ml)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (50 g)
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (500 ml)
  • 1 x 150 g container crème fraîche
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more, to taste - I often add more
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Method

  1. In large deep skillet or saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion and garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute, add the veal and continue to cook until lightly browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add the butter and the mushrooms to the pan and sauté on low heat for 5 minutes. Slowly sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and fry briefly, stirring, to combine.
  3. Gradually stir in the white wine, the vegetable broth and the crème fraîche and stir until smooth. Bring to a brief boil. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and a pinch of sugar, plus salt and pepper to taste. Add the veal. Taste and adjust seasoning, if desired. Let simmer on low heat until veal is warm and pastry shells are ready to serve.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175 ° C.
  5. Slice the tops off the vol-au-vent pastry shells and heat the shells and the tops for about 6-8 minutes, until lightly golden.
  6. Transfer pastry shells to a plate, fill with the ragout, cover with pastry lid and serve with a green salad and cool white wine. Enjoy!

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Easy Lemon Almond Cookies (Gluten-Free)

I have three words for these lemon almond cookies – quick, easy, delicious! This simple cookie recipe requires only a handful of ingredients and takes 25 minutes from start to finish. Awesome, right? They are made with ground almonds, organic beet sugar, zesty lemon, egg whites and rolled in a little powdered sugar to give them a little bit of a crackled effect when they bake. In Canada, we call these crackle or crinkle cookies — a must have at Christmas time. And since there is no flour in this recipe, these Christmas cookies are also gluten-free.
Easy Lemon Almond Cookies (Gluten-Free)

A quick and simple cookie recipe

All you need to do to make these cookies is mix together the dry ingredients with the freshly squeezed lemon juice, beat the egg whites, roll the cookies into balls, and then into powdered sugar, pop them in the oven and within half an hour you are taste-testing these delicious gluten-free lemon almond cookies. What you can expect are a tangy cookie with a little bit of sweetness. Just enough to balance the lemon and still satisfy a sweet tooth. Heavenly!

Easy Lemon Almond Cookies (Gluten-Free)

How to adapt these Lemon Almond Cookies

I made these a couple time for colleagues, once with a little more ground almonds, but I had the feeling, as delicious as they were, that they were a touch to dry. So even that the cookie dough seems a little wet for this recipe, I prefer the cookies this way. You can always add 20 g more almond flour if you like a dryer cookie, or 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder. Either way, the result is a delicious lemony cookie. Also, if you prefer to make these in more of a cookie form than a ball, then use the bottom of a small glass to flatten the balls slightly before dipping them in powdered sugar.

Easy Lemon Almond Cookies (Gluten-Free)
3.67 from 3 votes
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Easy Lemon Almond Cookies (Gluten-Free)

Quick and easy, these lemon almond cookies are perfect if you want to bake cookies and not spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Plus they are delicious and naturally gluten-free.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 15 Cookies
Calories 92 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

  • 200 g almond meal (blanched)
  • 80 g organic beet sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind (from an organic lemon)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 large egg whites
  • icing sugar, to coat the cookies (50 g or more)

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 325°F / 165°C and line a baking tray with parchment baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond meal, sugar, baking soda, and lemon rind. Add the lemon juice whisk together to combine.
  3. Place the egg whites in a separate bowl and with an electric mixer beat until it forms soft peaks. Gently fold the egg whites into the almond mixture until smooth.
  4. Roll 1 tablespoon of mixture into a ball, repeat with the remaining mixture. Place the icing sugar in a small bowl and toss the dough balls into the icing sugar until well-coated.
  5. Place on the prepared baking sheet leaving a few centimeters space between each cookie. Bake for 14-16 minutes, until lightly golden.
  6. Allow to cool slightly on trays before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
  7. Enjoy!

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnuts and Pomegranate

So how do you transform these cute little cabbages into something amazing? — Roast them! I love roasted Brussels sprouts! And I particularly love roasted Brussels sprouts with pomegranate and roasted hazelnuts. There are tender sprouts, a hint of lemon, that uniquely sweet-tart flavor of pomegranates and roasted hazelnuts for a great nutty crunch… all together in one glorious bowl.

Rosenkohl mit Haselnüssen und Granatapfel Rezept
Rosenkohl mit Haselnüssen und Granatapfel Rezept
It’s early in the season and I’m on a bit of a Brussels sprouts kick at the moment. Possibly making up for all those years as a child where I absolutely despised them and that terrible smell emanating from the kitchen way back when. But why do they smell? Well, first of all, they tend to only get really stinky when overcooked – especially boiled. The high levels of sulforaphane are what do it. Which is also what happens to be a fantastic cancer-fighting characteristic.

Brussels sprouts have a number of seriously good for you characteristics. Like, really good. They are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, as well as beta carotene, folic acid and fibre. Plus selenium, which has power antioxidant properties that are good for thyroid health and the prevention and treatment of cancer. All the reason to find new ways to enjoy them! Roasting, sautéing or grilling sprouts can transform them into something sweet, nutty — and oh so delicious.

Rosenkohl mit HaselRoasted Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnuts and  Pomegranate

I like Brussels sprouts best when roasted at a high temperature in the oven until golden brown with a tender center and crispy browned edges! You can serve them this way with a sprinkle of lemon juice or parmesan cheese for a simple side. Or go ahead and add some color and serve your’s with sweet pomegranate seeds and crunchy roasted hazelnuts — enjoy!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnuts and Pomegranate
5 from 1 vote
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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Hazelnuts

Tender Brussels sprouts roasted to perfection and topped with the tart-sweet crunch of pomegranate seeds and roasted hazelnuts. A super easy fall and holiday side dish. Naturally vegan and gluten-free.
Course Side Dish
Category Mediterranean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 160 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

  • 600 g Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup roasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped (45 g)
  • seeds from half a pomegranate, garnish

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F / 220°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the Brussels sprouts on the prepared baking sheet and toss with garlic, olive oil, thyme, sea salt (I season quite generously) and pepper until well coated. Place on center oven rack and roast, tossing a couple of times, until tender and golden brown, about 20 minutes (or a couple of minutes longer if you want them more browned).
  3. Meanwhile, roast the hazelnuts. In a dry large, heavy fry pan over medium heat, toast the hazelnuts, stirring them to color evenly, until the skins char in places and begin to split and flake, about 10 minutes. Transfer the nuts into a clean kitchen towel and wrap the towel around them. Rub the nuts against one another inside the towel to remove the skins. Do not worry if some bits of skin remain. Transfer the nuts to a cutting board and chop coarsely; you want an uneven mixture of some hazelnut halves and some small pieces.
  4. Transfer the Brussels sprouts to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and hazelnuts, toss to combine. Adjust seasoning with more sea salt, if necessary. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and serve immediately.

Notes

  • Roasting the Brussels sprouts at a high temperature helps avoid them becoming mushy. The minimum recommended temperature for roasted vegetables is 400°F / 200°C. I either roast my 200°C for 25-30 minutes, or as in this recipe at 220°C for a slightly shorter time.
  • The hazelnuts can also be roasted in the oven or prepared ahead of time. And if you are looking to reduce the effort even more, I recently discovered that pre-roasted whole hazelnuts are also sold at my local organic food store.

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German Beef Rouladen

German food. Love, love, love it. Succulent beef, delicious gravy. The origin of the word “roulade” may be French but Rouladen is very much a traditional German dish usually consisting of bacon, onions, mustard and pickles wrapped in thinly sliced beef which is browned, then braised over low heat in a red wine broth.

Although this dish was once considered a standard meal for common people, nowadays it is often only enjoyed on special occasions. I guess that’s because most of us don’t have time to prepare a meal like this!

Yes, be prepared, this one takes some time to prepare, so plan about 2 hours in total. About 30-45 minutes for preparation and another 1 1/2 hours in the oven. Pretty much a Sunday dinner dish — but still one of my favorites. Even though I’m not a big meat eater, I love this dish!

German Beef Rouladen

German Beef Rouladen

German Beef Rouladen

Rather than streaky bacon, I like to use Coppa di Parma, which is an Italian cured ham that is deliciously spiced, cured for 3 months, and has a similar taste to Parma ham (prosciutto) but is a little fattier.

PS) this is a great dish that can also be made ahead and reheated in the gravy when ready to serve (actually I think it tastes better this way!). I always make extra so I can do exactly this the next day! And…don’t skip the dash of pickle juice at the end, it’s key to the gravy!

German Beef Rouladen
5 from 1 vote
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German Beef Rouladen

The origin of the word “roulade” may be French but beef Rouladen is very much a traditional German dish usually consisting of bacon, onions, mustard and pickles wrapped in thinly sliced beef which is browned, then braised over low heat in a red wine broth.
Course Main Course
Category German
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6
Autor Elle

Ingredients

  • 6 slices top round or rump beef (preferably organic)
  • approx. 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 18 slices Coppa di Parma, or 12 slices of breakfast bacon (preferably organic)
  • 2-3 small yellow onions, cut into thin wedges
  • 3 dill pickles, sliced long ways
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 piece celery root or 1-2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1/2 leek, diced
  • 1/2 bottle dry red wine (good quality)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups beef broth (500 ml)
  • 1 dash pickle juice
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 320°F / 160°C
  2. Lay beef out flat and lightly spread each slice with mustard; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place 3 slices Coppa di Parma, some onion slices and half a pickle on each slice; roll up and secure with toothpicks or kitchen string.
  3. Melt the butter in a large over-proof skillet or Dutch oven and brown the outside of the beef rolls (roulade). Once brown, remove and set aside on a plate.
  4. Place the celery, the remaining onion, the leeks and carrots in the pan and sauté for a few minutes, until soft.
  5. Stir briefly, then add a very thin layer of red wine; without stirring allow to cook until the liquid evaporates. Once the vegetables are dry again, a layer of wine, briefly stir and also to further evaporate. Repeat this until the 1/2 bottle of wine has been used up. Continue to allow vegetables to cook until liquid has evaporated but vegetables remain moist. Add the broth, bay leaf, salt and pepper and a good dash of pickle juice.
  6. Place the roulade on top of the vegetables, cover and braise over low heat (160 degrees) for 1 1/2 hours, or until beef is tender.
  7. Remove roulades and keep warm. With a little water, puree sauce and thicken (optional) with corn starch until it reaches the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper and pickle juice as needed.
  8. Remove toothpicks/string and return roulades to the sauce. Serve with spätzle or boiled potatoes and steamed vegetables.

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Pumpkin Soup with Curry and Coconut Milk

Warm and comforting, this pumpkin soup with curry and coconut milk encompasses the essence of fall. A pumpkin soup can of course can go in so many directions. This one is includes Caribbean flavors starting with earthy Indian curry as well as allspice (pimento), which is a main player in Caribbean cuisines. Together with cayenne and coriander, they give this soup just the right amount of complexity and a very subtle amount of heat.

I used a mild curry, but of course, if you like spicy, you could up things up a notch. And if you we hoping for a Thai-style curry pumpkin soup than I can happily say that I also have the perfect recipe for you – a Thai pumpkin and carrot soup with creamy coconut.

Pumpkin Soup with Curry and Coconut Milk

End your weekend and start your week with pumpkin soup with curry & coconut milk

But back to this pumpkin soup recipe. For me, weekends are made for soup making. Especially lazy Sunday afternoons, where I just want to curl up in front of the fireplace with a warm bowl of soup (and enjoy the fact that a big pot of soup means that there is no cooking on Monday). So Sunday afternoon, starts the process of chopping and stirring, and enjoying a wonderful bowl of something warming, satisfying and nutritious.

The great things is, this pumpkin soup with curry and coconut milk also makes a great appetizer for your holiday dinner table. A creamy pumpkin soup, in general, is a great choice for entertaining since it can easily be prepared ahead of time and be taken along to gatherings with friends and family. Whether it’s a tasty apple and butternut squash soup (one of my favorites for serving at Christmas), or a simple creamy Hokkaido soup with ginger and coconut, there’s always a place for comfort food in a bowl.
Schussel Kürbis-Suppe mit Curry und Kokosmilch, Vegane Rezept
Why I love this soup. It’s:

Creamy
Flavorful
Subtly spiced
Coconut-infused
Easy to make and healthy
Warming on a cold fall or winter night

Pumpkin Soup with Curry and Coconut Milk
5 from 2 votes
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Pumpkin Soup with Curry and Coconut Milk

Warming and satisfying, this pumpkin soup with curry and coconut milk is the perfect addition to any fall or winter menu. This Caribbean influenced soup uses curry powder, cayenne, coriander and coconut milk and is mildly spicy. Naturally vegan and gluten free. Serves 4-6.
Course Soup
Category Curry
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 439 kcal
Autor Elle

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 small Hokkaido pumpkin, chopped (1 kg)
  • 2 small yellow onions, diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 tablespoon freshly chopped thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 400 ml organic coconut milk
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • cilantro leaves, to garnish

Method

  1. In a large pot, heat the coconut oil over medium to medium-high heat and saute carrots, pumpkin, and onion, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes.
  2. Add the tomato paste, fresh thyme, allspice, bay leaf, cayenne pepper, coriander, curry powder, garlic and salt. Stir to combine.
  3. Add the broth and coconut milk to the pot. When liquid comes to a slight boil, reduce the heat and let simmer until everything is cooked, approximately 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.
  4. Season with a little more salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Using a handheld immersion blender, puree the soup to desired consistency.
  6. Alternatively, purée in a blender, in small batches as necessary. If using a blender make sure the hole in the center of the lid is open to allow steam to escape.
  7. Garnish with chopped cilantro and enjoy!

Notes

I use a curry powder from Lebensbaum or Alnatura. Choose mild or spicy depending on your preference.

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How did you like it?

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recipe turned out for you! I would love to hear how you liked it. Simply rate it with the stars above ⭐or leave me a comment and rate it below.

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