04 August, 2011

High protein, high fiber breakfast pancakes

Have you ever thought about the word breakfast? I, for one, spend much time pondering random things such as word origins, and not long ago, my musings led me onto the word breakfast. The Danish word for breakfast, morgenmad, is as simple as can be. It just means morning food. The English word, however, is slightly more interesting. The word breakfast has nothing to do with breaking something swiftly. Instead, it indicates that with your first meal of the day, you break the period of fasting which you have undertaken since your last meal of the previous day (unless you are one of those sleep eaters; I watched a documentary once that showed a woman getting out of bed in the middle of the night, cooking a full on meal and eating it, and having no recollection of it the next morning. But that's a whole other story).

Personally I like to break my fast gently, and although many a health buff has tried to convince me that the ideal way to start a day is with eggs and beans, I just prefer my breakfast soft, comforting and mildly sweet. That being said, I can quite clearly feel the benefits of having fibre and protein with my breakfast in terms of how quickly I get hungry again, so when I stumbled upon the idea of making pancakes which were high in fibre and high in protein, I knew I had to try it. These pancakes are 25% protein, 63% carbs and 12% fat, and one portion (half of the recipe underneath) comes in at around 150 calories. I top that up with a huge pile of fruit and some almonds, and aim to land at 250 calories all together. Best of all, this portion keeps me full until lunch time!

Breakfast pancakes:

2 portions, 6 little pancakes all together

60 grams rolled oats
60 grams banana
3 egg whites (I use pasteurized egg whites, since they are already separated from the yolks, and happen to know that 3 weigh 100 grams)

Stick it all in a blender and blend until smooth. Add water until the dough has pancake consistency  - I use just under 100 millilitres. I cook them without oil or butter on a non stick frying pan. I find that the key to not making them stick is having the pan very hot. Watch them carefully, and turn them when the upper side is bubbling and you see little holes in the dough. It will take about a minute, if that.

Ps. I call these breakfast pancakes because in my world, if they are the small and fat variety, as opposed to the thin full-pan sized pancakes that are traditional in Denmark, they are for breakfast.  However, you are very welcome to enjoy them any time of the day :)

27 July, 2011

Pasta free spinach and ricotta cannelloni

On Monday night, I desperately fancied spinach and ricotta cannelloni, but with my current slimming efforts, having both pasta, ricotta cheese and bechamel sauce in one meal was out of the question. I couldn't quite let the idea go though, and I came to think of how raw foodists use julienned zucchini to replace spaghetti, which inspired me to take the same approach to my cannelloni craving (only with every intention of heating it to above 42 degrees!). It was a bit of an experiment, but it worked really well, and I would definitely make it again. I will never love it as much as I love the real deal, but you know, needs must!

The below recipe is what I made for one, and I had a little left over. I doubt it could have served two though.

Spinach and ricotta zucchini cannelloni:

Serves 1

1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 tin of chopped tomatoes (400 grams)

1 tsp butter
1 tsp plain flour
150 ml milk

1 zucchini
150 grams frozen, chopped spinach, defrosted
100 grams ricotta cheese
Salt and pepper

First, make your favourite tomato sauce (or crack open the jar, if your favourite comes in one of those). I sautéed a finely chopped onion and a couple of cloves of garlic, poured over a tin of chopped tomatoes, seasoned with salt and pepper, added some fresh basil and left it to simmer while I got on with the rest of it.

Next, prepare a bechamel sauce. Seeing as I was only making enough for myself, I used just a teaspoonful of butter, the same amount of plain flour, and 150 millilitres of milk. Regardless of the quantities you are using, make a roux by melting the butter and stirring in the flour, then add the milk gradually and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

T0 make the cannelloni, wash the zucchini and trim the ends off. Now cut it into thin slices lengthwise. I found this tricky and actually mauled an entire zucchini trying to make it work (thankfully I had bought two). I tried using a carrot peeler, but it wasn't wide enough. I ended up using my mandoline, which made slices that were far too thick, and then carefully slicing those in half.

In a bowl, mix spinach and ricotta, and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Now lay out three or four zucchini slices next to each other on a cutting board, overlapping slightly by about half a centimetre. Place a couple of spoonfuls of the spinach and ricotta filling in a line across all the zucchini slices, close to the end nearest you, and roll up the zucchni slices into a little tube around the filling.

Spread out some of the tomato sauce over the bottom of an oven proof dish. Arrange the zucchini tubes next to each other on top of the tomato sauce, top with the remaining tomato sauce, the bechamel sauce, and perhaps a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. Bake at 200 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until the bechamel sauce is golden and the zucchini tubes are soft.

I had this as is, but had I been less impatient, or maybe serving it to company, a simple salad with rocket leaves and roasted red peppers, and maybe a nice glass of red wine, would have suited this dish well.

23 July, 2011

Banana whipped oat porridge

For three or four weeks now, I've been slimming down for summer, as they say. Not that it looks like summer is planning on coming to Denmark any time soon, but I'm going to Barcelona in August, and surely it will be summer there! After a full two months of revising and exams, during which I had eaten literally nothing but s#!t, some serious effort was necessary to get me bikini-ready, so now I'm doing what I always do when things need to happen quick  - I'm counting calories!

I often find that counting calories is somewhat frowned upon, but frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn! Counting calories works for me, it has done before and it will do again this time, and what's more, I can see results quite fast, which is really the only thing that can convince me to keep going. Obviously I hope feel completely certain that this will be the time I don't gain the weight again, but we'll see.

Either way, as of now, I'm counting calories, and a few people inspired by the few kilos I have lost so far, asked me to share some of my favourite low calorie meals here. So I will, starting with what I've been eating for breakfast for the past couple of grey, rainy mornings: Oat porridge with banana and skyr (or fromage frais), topped with almonds and dessicated coconut. Oats for fibre, banana for sweetness, skyr for protein, healthy fats from almonds, and dessicated coconut for... well, I don't know if it's good for anything, but it sure does taste good! If anyone knows that it is good for something, do fill me in :) All together, it makes for a warm, comforting breakfast, which keeps me full until lunchtime.

Banana whipped oat porridge for one:

30 grams rolled oats
30 grams banana, thinly sliced
Just under 2 decilitres of water (1,8 decilitres, maybe?)
50 grams skyr (Or fromage frais of low fat Greek yoghurt)
10 almonds, roughly chopped
5 grams dessicated coconut

Add the oats, banana and water to a saucepan, crank it up to the max and bring to a boil, stirring continuously. As it starts to boil it will thicken, and as you stir vigorously, the bananas will disintegrate and become one with the oats, leaving no lumps but only the lovely sweetness of bananas. When your porridge has boiled for a minute or two, and the porridge has thickened, remove from the heat and pour into a bowl. Now, stir in the Skyr and top with chopped almonds and coconut. For extra luxury, add a sprinkling a cinnamon. Enjoy!

If you can't be bothered with the saucepan, I find it works just as well to add the oats, banana and water to a microwavable bowl and zapping it for 2 minutes on max, followed by a quick stir, but I do enjoy the old school method.

This portion is 250 calories.

14 July, 2011

Macaroni cheese

An American classic, which I have eaten from a tin when I was in England, but which tastes a gazillion times better when it's home made. It's not healthy by anyone's standards, but it's good old fashioned comfort food, perfect for a rainy day, which seems to be all Denmark has to offer at the moment. Using cheddar is textbook, but I prefer a combination of gouda and parmesan. My boyfriend prefers it topped with breadcrumbs, I prefer slices of tomato - so we do both!

Macaroni cheese:

Enough for four people, or maybe two if you're pigging out!

1 large tbsp butter
1 large tbsp plain flour
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tp paprika
500 ml milk
100 grams grated gouda cheese
50 grams grated parmesan cheese
250 grams pasta (I suppose you should use macaroni, but my shop doesn't have it)
Salt and pepper
Bread crumbs or tomato, optional

Heat your oven to 200 degrees. Boil the pasta, preferably for a few minutes less than suggested on the packet.

While the pasta is cooking, make the cheese sauce. First, make a roux by melting the butter and stirring in first the cayenne pepper and paprika, then the flour. Cook for a minute or so, then gradually add the milk while whisking constantly. When all the milk has been added and the sauce has thickened, add the cheeses and season with salt and pepper.

Combine the cheese sauce and cooked pasta in an oven proof dish. For a crunchy topping, top it with a thin layer of bread crumbs and perhaps a few knobs of butter. Alternatively, top it with slices of tomato. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and your topping is starting to brown.

I had it with a breaded Quorn fillet and roasted asparagus, and you can bet your last Mcnugget it was delicous!

04 July, 2011

Kidney bean patties

These patties are really versatile, and could probably be served in any way you could imagine. As a perfect light summer meal with a filling salad, on a cold autumn day with potatoes, gravy and boiled vegetables, stuff into a pita bread with crunchy vegetables and a dressing - the possibilities are endless! I made them sort of meat ball sized, but if made slightly bigger, they would be great in a veggie burger as well. The taste great cold for lunch the next day too!

Kidney beans patties:

1 tin of kidney beans, drained and rinsed (230 grams drained)
1 egg

1 onion
3-4 tbsp breadcrumbs
2-3 tbsp finely chopped almonds
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh herbs (I used thyme)

Place the kidney beans in a food processor and process until the beans are roughly chopped. Place the chopped beans in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients to make a dough. Leave the dough to rest for about 30 minutes, then shape the dough into patties. I used about a tablespoonful of dough for each patty. 

To bake the patties in the oven, place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake at 200 degrees for 20 minutes, turning after 10.  Alternatively, you could fry them in a bit of oil, in which case they would probably look much prettier and golden than mine did. However, they taste great baked in the oven, and you get 20 minutes to finish whatever you fancy eating with them.

29 June, 2011

Chilli sin carne

Long time, no blog! Today I finished my last exam of the season, and I am now free. Free to sit in the sun, should I so desire. Free to watch tv without feeling quilty. Free to roam the streets of Copenhagen, and free to cook food; glorious, glorious food!

Tonight, I had a scrumptious vegetarian chili, served with a tomato salsa and guacamole. Rice would have been delicious, but alas, I can allow myself no such luxuries! Two months of time consuming exams have led me to buy slightly too many take away pizzas, and as of yesterday, I am officially cutting down on carbs. Now let's see how long it lasts...

The photo is terrible, but a chilli is surprisingly hard to photograph, and I was too hungry to mess about.

Chilli sin carne:

Makes enough for about 4 people.

1 tbsp vegetable oil, I used olive
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
2 tins of tomato
1 red and 1 green pepper, diced
2 sticks of celery, diced
1 tin of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 tin of borlotti beans (or another type of beans, whichever you prefer)
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
4 tsp samba oelek
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper

Sauté the onion and garlic in a bit of oil until soft and translucent. Add the two tins of tomato and about a tin of cold water. Add the diced peppers, celery, beans and spices, and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper, and leave to simmer for about 30 minutes, while you prepare whatever you want with it: Rice, bulgur, a salad, tortillas, guacamole, creme fraiche  - anything you like. Remember to fish out the bay leaf before serving :)

19 June, 2011

Rye bread crisps with tomato salsa, pesto and fromage frais

I had this in a café a week or so ago, and it was so damn delicious, I had to attempt to make it myself. My efforts were not in vain! This turned out great and was really easy to make. I'm pretty sure I'll be having this for lunch a few times a month from now on.

I feel I should mention that most of the pesto in the picture went back in the fridge afterwards, I just didn't have any smaller bowls. But everything else was just right.

Rye bread crisps:

This portion feeds one hungry person.

2 slices of rye bread*
1 tbsp rape seed oil
Coarse salt

Heat your oven to 200 degrees C.

Soak the rye bread in water for about ten minutes, then let it drain in a sieve or colander. Place the rye bread in a bowl and use a fork to mash it with the oil  to make a thick dough.

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Use the back of a spoon to make thin circles of dough. I use about a teaspoon of dough for each circle. You can place the circles as close to each other as you want, they don't change size or anything while baking. Sprinkle with salt and bake in a hot oven for 15-20 minutes, or until they go crisp and the edges are blackened slightly. When done, let them cool for just a few minutes before picking them of the baking tray.

*I'm sure there a many types of bread out there that go by the name rye bread, but when I say rye bread, I mean Danish style rye bread, similar to what I believe they call schwartzbrot in Germany. Check out this random picture I found on Google if you don't know what I mean.

Tomato salsa:

Tomato, diced (I used 8 of the plum and cherry variety)
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Combine everything in a bowl. Mix. Done.

Serve the rye bread crisps and tomato salsa with fromage frais or similar and a green pesto. Mine was a parsley pesto, but to be honest I can't remember what I put in it, so you'll have to live without that recipe for now :)

10 June, 2011

Green smoothie with kiwi, melon and spinach

Lately, I haven't had much time for blogging, and sadly not for cooking either.  When I'm revising for my exams, I pretty much barricade myself in my bedroom (also home to my desk). The boundaries between night and day are erased, I live in my pyjamas, and I only come out of the bedroom for the occasional bowl of yoghurt. Yesterday however, I found a gap in my busy schedule, giving me just enough time to produce one delicious and nutritious smoothie!

Whenever I have leftover, ripe fruit, I always freeze it before it goes bad, and then use it for smoothies. I cut it up into small chunks before freezing it - that way it can go straight from my freezer and into my blender. Yesterday my freezer offered frozen banana and kiwi, and they became the starting point from which my smoothie took form! If you don't have any frozen fruit, I'm sure throwing a few ice cubes in there would do the trick.

Green smoothie with kiwi, melon and spinach:

A small tin of coconut milk (160 ml)
Half a frozen banana, peeled and sliced
1 frozen kiwi, peeled and chopped
A quarter of a galia melon, peeled and chopped
2 handfuls of fresh spinach 

Place all the ingredients in a blender an blend until smooth. To change the consistency, add more coconut milk, any other type of milk or fruit juice.

04 June, 2011


Today, my sister Marie and I started our day at the gym, kicking our own butts in the name of bikini season. Continuing on in the same spirit, we went home to make a quick, healthy and delicious lunch, before spending a few hours roasting in the sun in my garden. What a shame I had to spoil all my beach body efforts with a take-away pizza for dinner :)

Our aforementioned quick, healthy and delicious lunch consisted of sticks of carrot, red pepper and cucumber, fresh peas, wholemeal pitas and a big bowl of freshly made hummus. Contrary to when I make falafels, for which I would never use tinned chickpeas, simply because it just doesn't work, I normally use tinned chickpeas for hummus- that way I can have a portion ready in five minutes and don't have to plan my hummus-cravings ahead of time. 


1 tin of chickpeas (400 grams/240 grams drained)
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp tahini
1/2 - 1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Stick it all in a food processor and whiz until smooth. If you want to change the consistency, add a bit of cold water. Season with salt and pepper. 

Hummus on Foodista

31 May, 2011

Tomato soup with grilled peppers and cannellini beans

Yesterday, my dad came round for a barbecue. He brought me a freshly baked loaf of bread.  My dad has baked this particular bread throughout my entire childhood, and both my sisters and I love it. Determined to eat it all before it went dry, I decided I should use some of it with my dinner, and nothing goes better with bread than soup, right? Also, I was feeling a need to be a little bit healthy, and this soup, my friends, is healthy.

Tomato soup with grilled peppers and cannellini beans:

5 large, ripe tomatoes
3 red peppers
6 large cloves of garlic
1 litre of tomato juice
Small handful of fresh basil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
1 tin of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed.

Cottage cheese, creme fraiche or similar.

Cut the stems off the tomatoes and peppers. Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds. Place the tomatoes stem-side down and the peppers skin-side up on a baking tray lined with baking paper, and place the garlic gloves, skins left on, on the baking tray as well. Put the tray into a hot oven at 200 degrees C. Once the tomato skins have loosened and the garlic cloves are soft, remove tomatoes and garlic cloves from the oven. This should take about 10 minutes. Leave the red peppers in the oven for another 5 or 10 minutes, until charred. Once charred, remove the peppers from the oven and place them in a sealed plastic container. Meanwhile, remove the skins from the tomatoes and squeeze the soft garlic cloves out of their skins. Roughly chop the tomatoes and garlic cloves, and add them to a large saucepan. Add the tomato juice and bring to a boil. While the tomato juice is coming to a boil, peel the skin off the peppers. Roughly chop just one of them and add this to the saucepan. Let the tomato juice simmer for about 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and liquidize the soup using a hand-blender, and return to the heat. Roughly chop the remaining grilled peppers, and add these, cannellini beans and roughly chopped basil to the soup. Season with balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Serve with a slice of nice, wholemeal bread and a spoonful of cottage cheese or creme fraiche.

29 May, 2011

Home made pizza

In my family, we've been baking home made pizzas for years, and it's safe to say we're getting better at it. When I was younger, we would basically just use a simple bread dough for the crust, top it with tomato, cheap grated cheese and tons of toppings, and stick it in the oven at 200 degrees for 20-ish minutes. The result would be edible by all means, but more like a focaccia than a pizza. The crust would be a good two centimetres thick, soggy under all the sauce and toppings and soft on the bottom. As I got older and became more interested in cooking, I started searching for the perfect pizza recipe. One morning, I saw a Danish chef cooking his perfect pizza on a Danish morning chat show - I tried his recipe, and I've never looked back. I now know that high heat is essential for a crisp crust, and I never put my pizza in the oven until it has reached its maximum temperature, which is 275 degrees for my oven. The semolina flour helps to get the crust nice and crisp, too.

For the topping, I now always use fresh buffalo mozzarella. I always used to think it was ridiculous to pay four times more for buffalo mozzarella compared to the cheap cow's milk versions. The only reason I though so was that I had never tasted buffalo mozzarella! There is such a huge difference - buffalo mozzarella actually tastes of something, and I think it's well worth the extra money. Other than that I just try to keep the toppings simple, after all, I'm not trying to make a bloody Dominos Extravaganza.


Makes two large pizzas, serves 2-3.

250 ml cold water
10 grams fresh yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp salt
125 grams coarse semolina flour
300 grams tipo 00 flour

2 balls of buffalo mozzarella
Tomato passata (or any tomato sauce which isn't too watery)
Toppings of your choice

Dissolve the yeast in the water, and add sugar, oil and salt. Add the semolina flour and then gradually add the tipo 00 flour, until the dough just stops sticking to your hands and the work surface. You want to keep it as moist as possible to get a nice, crisp crust. Knead the dough well, for 5-10 minutes preferably, then leave to rise for at least one hour, or as long as possible, preferably over night. If you leave the dough over night, let it rise in the fridge.

Get your oven as hot as possible. Mine goes to 275 degrees C. I set my oven to fan and bottom heat, to get the crust crispy without burning the toppings. Leave the baking tray on which you plan to cook the pizza inside the oven while it's heating up, to pre-heat the baking tray as well.

Remove the dough from the bowl and punch it down. Divide it into two pieces, and make one pizza at a time. Dust your work surface with semolina flour - this helps to make the crust crispy. Roll out one portion of dough as thinly as you can. It should be about 5 millimetres thick. Move the rolled out dough onto a cold baking tray lined with baking paper. Spread 3-4 tbsp of tomato passata onto your pizza dough and evenly divide one ball of mozzarella over the top of it. I never slice the cheese but just tear it into pieces. Arrange your toppings over the cheese - I went for fresh tomatoes and black and green olives.

Remove the hot baking tray from the oven and carefully move the uncooked pizza onto it. I normally hold the cold baking tray right next to the hot baking tray and drag the pizza onto it, holding onto the baking paper. If you have a helper at hand though, it is easier to grab all four corners of the baking paper and lift it onto the hot baking tray. Put it back in the hot oven and bake for 5-10 minutes, depending on your oven, until the crust is crisp and golden, and the cheese has melted. Keep and eye on it. Once cooked, sprinkle fresh basil over the pizza.

26 May, 2011

Banana cake with chocolate chips

I had been dying to bake this cake for ages, but my boyfriends doesn't like it (at least he claims he doesn't), which makes baking it a very dangerous thing for me to do. The reason it's dangerous is that if this cake is in my kitchen, I WILL eat it, and within long I will have devoured an entire cake. I could freeze it, but what can be frozen can be defrosted, within minutes with the help of a microwave oven, so that won't help. It will call my name from the freezer, and I will do its bidding. 

I considered inviting some friends over, but that's pretty much impossible for me these days, since my exams are claiming my every waking minute. That's why the other day, when a couple of my colleagues at work were jokingly trying to get each other to bring cake, I screamed with excitement, "I will!". Not sharing my love of spending time in the kitchen, they asked me if I was serious, but soon understood that I was. Very serious. As one of them left work a few hours later, she casually suggested that I bake banana cake and was once again baffled by my excitement when I screamed, "thats EXACTLY what I had in mind!"

When this was first served to me by my very best sugar-loving buddy, I immediately asked for the recipe. Every time I have served it to friends since, someone has asked for the recipe. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

FYI: In spite of the addition of fruit, this cake is packed full of calories. Ye be warned!

This portion was big enough to feed my entire office. It can easily be halved, in which case I normally bake it in a 31x11 centimetre bread tin. This one I baked in a 35x25 centimetre baking tray. 

Banana cake with chocolate chips:

280 grams salted butter (Soft)
360 grams sugar
6 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
The seeds from half a vanilla pod
360 grams of plain flour
5 ripe bananas (the riper the better)
100 grams dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.

In a bowl, mix together butter and sugar, and whisk until white and fluffy. Add the eggs and stir well. Add baking powder, bicarbonate, cinnamon, vanilla seeds and flour, and mix thoroughly. In another bowl, mash up the bananas and add them to the dough, followed by the roughly chopped chocolate. Pour the dough into a tin lined with baking paper, and bake in a preheated oven for 35-40 minutes (Maybe more, maybe less, depending on your oven).

Leave to cool, if you can wait that long!

23 May, 2011

Focaccia with sesame and nigella seeds

This bread is perfect as a side for dinner, on a buffet or just as a snack. If I bake it with dinner, it will most likely be gone by lunch time on the following day. I love the taste of the nigella and sesame seeds, and they look amazing with their contrasting colours. Delicious on its own or with a couple of hunks of nice cheese - add a few olives and a glass of red wine, and you've practically got yourself an Italian feast!

Focaccia with sesame and nigella seeds:

25 grams fresh yeast
300 ml lukewarm water
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tbsp salt
250 grams tipo 00 flour (fine durum flour works well too)
200 grams plain flour

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp nigella seeds
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp coarse salt

Dissolve the yeast in the water. Add honey, salt and flour and knead well. Add more flour if the dough is sticking to your fingers, but be carefully not to add too much. Only add enough to make the dough manageable. Preferably, you should knead the dough for five to ten minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic, but if you're very hungry, less will make a perfectly edible bread :) Place the dough in a big bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise for about an hour, until it doubles in volume.

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.

Remove the dough from the bowl, punch it down, and roll it out flat, about 1 centimetre thick. Place dough on a lined baking tray, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds, nigella seeds and salt. Poke little dents in the dough, using your fingers or the end of a wooden spoon. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until crispy and golden.

22 May, 2011

Grilled halloumi with potato salad

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, I was barbecuing on a beautiful beach with a fair maiden. Many people had gathered around the barbecue, and there, in the midst of all the beef burgers and sausages, we saw something which neither of us had ever seen before. Our jaws dropped to the floor - what was this magic we saw before our eyes? Could there really be such a thing as a cheese which could lie on a barbecue without melting? Stunned, we sought out the woman who had brought this magical cheese, and that's how we came to know of the wonder that is halloumi.

Since that faithful barbecue, halloumi has become a staple ingredient in my kitchen, often taking the place of the meat I no longer eat. Tonight we had it with another household favourite, potato salad.

Hooray for halloumi, the magical cheese!

Potato salad:

New potatoes (I suppose I used around 500 grams)
4 tbsp fromage frais
1 tsp mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 bunch of dill
A squeeze of lemon
Salt and pepper

Boil the potatoes until tender and allow to cool down. Mix fromage frais, mayonnaise, mustard and finely chopped dill in a bowl and season with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cut the potatoes into thick slices and add to the fromage frais dressing.


Cut a block of halloumi into slices of about 1 centimetre. Fry on a hot griddle pan for a minute or two on each side. Serve asap - the halloumi goes a bit rubbery when it cools down. I served the halloumi and potato salad with grilled asparagus and a freshly baked focaccia.

21 May, 2011

Kanelsnegle (Danish cinnamon buns)

Variations of sweet buns with a sticky cinnamon filling exist all over the world. In Denmark we call them cinnamon snails, and I have never known a single person who doesn't like them! Me and my best sugar-loving buddy agree that the only right topping is white frosting. Chocolate frosting on cinnamon snails is just insane!

My before mentioned sugar-loving buddy and I shared these in a nearby park, lounging in the grass under a shining sun, doing absolutely nothing. Life is good.

Kanelsnegle (Danish cinnamon buns):

100 grams butter
250 ml milk
25 grams fresh yeast
2 eggs
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
600 grams flour


150 grams soft butter (yes, by now you've used an entire 250 gram tub. Mmmm)
100 ml sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the dough, melt the 100 grams of butter in a saucepan and add the milk. When the mixture is lukewarm, pour into a bowl, crumble in the yeast and stir until the yeast is dissolved.  Stir in the 2 eggs, the sugar and the salt. Add the flour and knead well. If it's too sticky, add more flour. Be careful not to add too much though - stop just as it stops sticking to your fingers. Leave in a warm place to rise for about an hour.

In the meantime, use a fork to mix the soft butter, the sugar and the cinnamon in a bowl.

When the dough has grown to approximately double size, punch it down and roll it out to form a big rectangle, maximum one centimetre thick. Using a knife or a spatula, spread the filling evenly over the dough. Roll the dough up like a Swiss roll, long ways, so the rolled up dough is the length of the long edge. Cut the roll into one centimetre pieces, fold the lose end under the bun and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Leave them to rise for another 15 minutes while you preheat your oven to 200 degrees C. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden. If you want, wait til they've cooled down and drizzle with frosting made from icing sugar and water.

20 May, 2011

Green bean, potato and tomato salad with a poached egg

If you ever have potatoes and green beans left over from dinner, save them and make this lovely salad for lunch the next day.

 Green bean, potato and tomato salad:

Mixed baby salad leaves
Green beans, cut into bite-sized pieces and boiled for 3.4 minutes
Plum cherry tomatoes, quartered
Potatoes, boiled, peeled and sliced.
1 egg


Olive oil
Lemon juice
Dijon Mustard
Salt and pepper

Combine salad leaves, green beans and tomatoes in a bowl. Mix a vinaigrette by combining the mustard and lemon, and then slowly adding the oil while stirring constantly. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper. Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables and toss to coat. Arranges the vegetables on a plate, and scatter slices of potato and capers over the top.

To poach the egg, bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Once it's boiling, reduce the heat so the water is just simmering. Add a few spoonfuls of vinegar to the water. Crack the egg into a small cup, bring the cup close to the surface of the water and gently drop the egg into the simmering water. With a spoon, gently push the egg whites closer to the yoke, to help hold it all together. Let the egg simmer for about 4 minutes. Serve the egg on top of the salad.

19 May, 2011

Home made chocolate spread and strawberry-rhubarb jam

A couple of weeks ago, I had some of my favourite people in the world round for brunch. I got up at 7 am to start baking my no-knead pot bread, and my guests arrived at 10. With the bread I served this home made jam and chocolate spread, which my sister and I had prepared the night before, much to the liking of my sugar-hungry guests!

Strawberry-rhubarb jam (makes a huge portion, I forze about 3/4):

500 grams fresh strawberries
500 grams fresh rhubarb

Cut the fruit into pieces. I don't like lumps of fruit in my jam, so I cut the pieces quite small. Combine fruit and sugar in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. There's no need to add any liquid, as the fruit gives off quite a lot of liquid as it heats up. I have to admit I'm not sure how much sugar we used, but it wasn't much. I would suggest starting with a few tablespoonfuls, and adding more to taste as you go along. Leave the jam to boil until it thickens, about 20-25 minutes, and stir every once in a while. Once the jam has reached your preferred consistency, skim the foam off the top and poor the jam into a sterilised jar. I haven't yet bothered finding out how to properly seal the jars, so I kept one portion in the fridge and ate it fast, and froze the rest for later.

Chocolate spread (made one portion):

100 grams dark chocolate (70%)
100 grams milk chocolate
200 ml double cream
50 grams salted butter

Break the chocolate into small pieces, and place it in a bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the chocolate. In a saucepan, bring the cream to a boil. Once it's boiling, pour it over the chocolate and butter, leave it for about five minutes, then stir with a whisk until reaches a smooth consistency. Pour it into a jar and leave it in the fridge to cool down.

17 May, 2011

No-knead pot bread

This is the easiest bread recipe I know. It requires hardly any work, just lots of time. On top of that it's delicious and comes out looking like it was baked by a professional baker - if you ever need to impress anyone with your bread-baking skills, this is the bread to bake!

This bread is baked inside a preheated saucepan under a lid. If you want the technical explanation as to what that does to the bread, check out this article from the New York Times. All I know is that it works.

No-knead pot bread:

500 ml cold water
A pea-sized amount of fresh yeast (or a quarter teaspoon dry yeast, according to the NYT article)
1000 ml plain flour
2 tsp salt

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water. Add the salt and flour, and mix. As soon as all the flour is mixed in, you're done.  Cover the bowl with cling film, and leave the dough to rise for at least 12 hours. I normally make the dough in the evening and bake it in the morning or when I get home from work. 

After 12 hours, the dough will be visibly full of little bubbles. Turn it onto a generously floured surface, and fold it over on itself a few times - that's all, no kneading involved. The dough is very wet, so you need quite a lot of flour to stop it from sticking to the work surface and your fingers. Now gently lift the dough back off the work surface and place it into a greased dish of some kind. I use an oval oven proof dish which I grease with oil and dust with flour. It doesn't really matter what you use, as long as it has room for the dough to grow additionally in size. Cover the dough with cling film, and leave it to rise for another two hours. When the two hours have passed, the dough is ready to bake.

About half an hour before the dough is ready to bake, heat your oven to 250 degrees C. At the same time, place the pan that you are using to cook the bread  in the oven. Both oven and pan need to be really hot by the time you bake the bread. Most recipes I've seen for this type of bread use the very fancy and very expensive Le Creuset cast iron pots. I just use a 24 cm stainless steal saute pan and a quiche tin for a lid. The most important thing is that it can handle going in the oven at 250 degrees and that the lid won't let any air in. Once the dough is ready, remove the pan from the oven, place the dough inside, put the lid on and stick it back it the oven. Let it bake under a lid for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and finish baking for 15 minutes. Turn the bread out of the pan and cool on a cooling rack for at least 20 minutes before serving.

16 May, 2011

Egg salad and Danish summer salad (radish and cucumber salad)

A very common lunch in Denmark is what I have heard described in English as an open sandwich. I'm not a big fan of that term, since the term "open sandwich" is in its essence an oxymoron. The verb "to sandwich" means to insert or enclose something or someone between two other people or things. Similarly, the noun "sandwich" means two pieces of bread or a split roll with a filling inside, and there can thus be no such thing as an open sandwich. At least that's what the linguist inside me says.

In Denmark, one of these open sandwiches is simply known as a mad, which translates directly into a food. That really says something about how common these are in Denmark - they are the quintessential food. If made with rye bread, we call them a rye bread food (rugbrødsmad). If topped with ham, they're called a ham food (skinkemad), with egg, an egg food (æggemad), with cheese, a cheese food (ostemad) etc. Today, I had two of them for lunch - one with egg salad and one with a cucumber and radish salad, known here as summer salad.

Egg salad:

2 organic eggs
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp creme fraice (I used 18% today, but less will do)
1/4 tsp curry powder
Cress, as much as you like

Boil the eggs for 8-10 minutes. Let them cool down a little, then peel and chop. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix it all together. Done!

Summer salad:

Around 10 radishes, thinly sliced
Half a cucumber, thinly sliced and quartered
200 ml creme fraiche 18 %
1 tbsp rygeost (Danish smoked soft cheese made with cows milk and buttermilk)
Salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients together. Done :)

15 May, 2011

Falafels with arab-style flat breads

I'm currently stuck in the prison that is exams. All day I spend alone in my bedroom, buried under books and notes, thinking 'til my brain hurts and typing 'til my fingers bleed. And that is exactly why I chose to cook the most time-consuming dinner I could think of! I'm really good at thinking of really important other things I probably should just get done before I can continue working on my exams - suddenly I feel an overwhelming need to wash the floors, clean the oven or bake a cake. Cooking this meal gave me a good two hour break from my studies, and it was fun, too :)

Everyone in this home (all two of us) love falafels, and we'd probably have them much more often if they didn't take so long to cook. Also, they require a little bit of thinking ahead, as you have to soak the chickpeas for about 12 hours or so before you can use them. But if you can find the time, they really are all worth it!

Flat bread (as adapted from the brilliant Danish bread blog, Brødet. Check it out here!):

I get 12 flat breads from this recipe.

350 ml lukewarm water.
25 g fresh yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
(At least) 500 g flour (I used 100 g spelt flour and 400 g plain flour)

Instructions below


250 g dry chickpeas (Tinned won't work for falafels - I can't make them work, anyway)
A couple of big handfuls of parsley
2 red chillies, no seeds
4 cloves of garlic
1 onion
2 tsp tahini
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp plain flour
1 litre sunflower oil for frying

On the night before you want to cook the falafel, place the chickpeas in a bowl and cover with water about twice as high as the chickpeas. Leave to soak in the fridge over night.

To make both flat breads and falafels, start by making the bread dough. Dissolve the yeast in the water and add salt and sugar. Then add the flour, and get your hands in there to mix. Knead for a few minutes, and add more flour if the dough is sticking to your fingers. If it's sticking to your fingers now, it will stick to the pan later! Leave the dough to rise in your warmest room while you prepare the dough for the falafels. I left my dough for about half an hour, and it was fine.

Meanwhile, put your chickpeas into a food processor, and blitz for a few minutes, until they are roughly chopped and resemble a grainy pulp. Spoon the chickpeas into a bowl, and add to the food processor the remaining ingredients, except for the flour and baking powder. Now add about four big spoonfuls of the chopped chickpeas - This will make it easier for the other ingredients to mix. Blitz for a couple of minutes until everything is roughly chopped - you might have to spoon the mixture of the sides a few times to get everything in there. Add this mixture to the bowl of chickpeas, and mix. Now in another bowl, combine the flour and baking powder and mix well. Add it to the chickpeas, and get your fingers in there to make sure everything is mixed well, and that the flour/baking powder mix is evenly distributed. The flour binds the other ingredients together, allowing you to shape the mixture into balls later. Stick the bowl in the fridge while you make your flat breads.

Get your dough, which should have grown substantially in size by now. Remove it from the bowl, knock the air out of it, and cut it into 12 equally sized pieces. Now put a pan on the hob and get it nice and hot, I always just stick it on the highest heat possible. Don't add any butter, oil or anything to the pan. While the pan is getting hot, lightly flour a surface, take a piece of dough and roll it out paper thin. If the dough is sticking to you rolling pin, dust it with flour. You might end up using quite a lot of flour, which is fine. Take your paper thin dough and place it onto the dry, hot pan. Let it cook for about a minute on each side. While it's cooking, roll out your next piece of dough. Continue until all your 12 pieces of dough have turned into yummy flat breads! If you are stacking your flat breads on a plate as they've cooked, a good piece of advice is to keep the most recently cooked one separated from the one underneath it with a piece of baking paper. I find they stick together if they touch while they're very hot.

Back to the falafels! Get the dough from the fridge. Pour your sunflower oil into a sauté pan or just a regular saucepan and place over a high heat. With your hands, start rolling your falafel dough into small balls the size of a walnut. Every once in a while, check to see if the oil is hot enough for frying. You can do that by sticking the wooden end of a match into the oil - when the oil bubbles around the match, it's hot enough to start frying. I normally have time to roll all my falafels before the oil gets hot.

Use a spoon to place the falafels in the hot oil. I only cook four at a time - adding too many will make the oil go cold. Unfortunately, one litre of oil in my sauté pan is just too little for the falafels to be fully emerged, so I have to turn them over once while they fry. I let them cook for a minute or two on each side, until they become golden brown. Remove from the oil, add another four, and keep going until all your falafels are cooked.  While the falafels are cooking, you can chop whichever veggies you want in your flat breads with them. We served them tonight, as they would have been served by our local falafel pusher, with iceberg lettuce, cucumber, tomato, finely sliced red onion a garlic dressing. It was delicious as always, and the best news is that there is plenty left over for lunch today!

13 May, 2011

Perfect rainy afternoon!

Ok, so today wasn't really that rainy, but it was grey and it did rain a little bit. Also, I was trying to come up with excuses so that I didn't have to revise, so when my Adam suggested we make pancakes, how could I possibly say no?

Pancakes are dangerously easy to make, and I almost always have all the ingredients, which does mean I make them slightly too often. When I've been clever and not bought any sweets or puddings to avoid temptation, chances are I will have eggs, milk and flour, and within half an hour, I'll find myself eating half a portion of pancakes. This recipe makes about ten thin pancakes on my regularly sized IKEA pan.


350 ml flour
400 ml milk
3 eggs
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp water

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, stir well, and fry in butter for about one minuter on each side. Add rain running down your window for optimum enjoyment.

Creamy Quorn curry

So, I realise that the list of spices used in this recipe seems ridiculously long - I thought so too the first time I made a curry from scratch. However, once you've bought them all, they will keep forever in your cupboard, and making your own curry paste will from then on seem like no effort at all!

Creamy Quorn curry:

For the curry paste:
1 onion
2 fresh red chillis
2 tsp fresh, peeled ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cinamon
4 cardamom pods (using only the little black seeds inside)
About 50 ml vegetable oil

1 bag of frozen Quorn pieces (or I suppose you can use chicken, if you're into that)
1 tin of coconut milk (I used a low fat version)
200 ml of vegetable stock

First, combine all the ingredients for the curry paste in a blender, and blend until smooth. Cook the paste in a large pan over a low heat for about five minutes. Add the coconut milk and stir, then add the frozen Quorn pieces and the stock. Leave to simmer under a lid while you prepare whatever you want to serve with it, or at least until the Quorn pieces are cooked. I served it with fried brown rice with leeks and carrots.

11 May, 2011

Mushroom quiche

This has to be one of my favourite fillings for a quiche. It's really simple, but so delicious, and when it comes to quiches, I do tend to think that less is more. Last time I made it, I used a mix of portobello and oyster mushrooms. If I were a rich man, I would have probably done the same tonight, but it worked really well with just normal white mushrooms as well. 

Mushroom quiche:

1 portion of dough for quiche crust (I used the "just add water" variety)
400 g. button mushrooms
Dried rosemary
4 organic eggs
2 dl. fromage frais
2 dl. grated gouda
Salt and pepper 

Prepare the dough for your crust, roll it out with a rolling pin or just press it out flat with your fingers until it covers the entire base of your quiche tin. Chop all your mushrooms into small pieces. Fry the mushrooms in butter until all the liquid has evaporated, and season with salt, pepper and rosemary. Divide the mushrooms evenly onto the crust. In a bowl, combine eggs, fromage frais and cheese, and season with salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the mushrooms, and bake the quiche in a preheated oven, for 35 to 40 minutes at 200 degrees (or according to the instructions on whichever quiche crust you are using).

I served it with a salad made with green beans, cherry tomatoes, finely chopped red onion and crumbled feta cheese, with a rapeseed oil, apple cider vinegar, honey and Dijon mustard vinaigrette. 

10 May, 2011

Perfect sunny afternoon!

Rumour has it that rainy weather is heading our way some time tomorrow, so I thought I'd make the most of the sun and 20+ degrees that I've been enjoying since just before the weekend, by doing my revising in the garden with an ice-cold iced coffee and a plateful of melon and strawberries. It's days like these I really enjoy being a student!

Iced coffee:

I brew a shot of espresso on my stovetop espresso maker, stir in a few spoonfuls of cane sugar and leave it to cool down (in the fridge if I want coffee fast).  Once it's reasonably cold, I pour about 75 millilitres of coffee into a glass with ice and top up with milk. Drink immediately, preferably with a side of sunshine!

05 May, 2011

Curried chickpeas

I never felt like a proper vegetarian until I started cooking with the likes of chickpeas, beans and lentils. I used to think that chickpeas were only good for falafel and hummus, for some reason I thought they would be boring and dry when used whole, but now I know how wrong I was. Chickpeas taste great, are low in fat, high in protein and fibre, and what's more, no animals were harmed in their making. What's not to love?

Curried chickpeas:

1 tin of chickpeas in brine (or dried chickpeas, soaked and boiled)
1 onion
1 tablespoon of curry powder
A bit of chilli powder
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tin of coconut milk
2 big handfuls of fresh spinach
Salt and pepper

First, drain the chickpeas and fry in a bit of oil for about five minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Sauté the onion in a bit of oil until soft and translucent. Add curry and chilli, and stop for a second to appreciate the lovely smell spreading into your kitchen. Now add the tomatoes, coconut milk and chickpeas, and season with salt and pepper. Leave to simmer under a lid while you prepare whatever you're having with it - rice, bulgur, couscous, whatever you like! It doesn't need to simmer for very long, but it won't hurt either.
Just before you're ready to serve, add the spinach to the sauce and stir until the spinach has wilted. Done!

03 May, 2011

Oat porridge with pineapple, almonds and coconut

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Personally, I'm not too sure about that - I love all my meals equally and couldn't possibly pick a favourite :) That being said, there definitely is nothing like a brilliant breakfast to brighten your morning! A classic for me is oat porridge, which was always a favourite in my childhood home. Back then it was always served topped with a spoonful of sugar, which I will still do if I'm in a rush or have nothing else available, but I'm now always looking for new and interesting ways to enjoy my porridge.

This morning I had a piece of leftover pineapple in my fridge. I always find fresh fruit works well in porridge, and it adds lovely sweetness which allows me to skip the sugar. In my drawer I had dessicated coconut and almonds, which added additional sweetness and a bit of crunch. All together, it made a wonderful warming start to what would become yet another rainy day.

Oat porridge with pineapple, almonds and coconut:

1 dl rolled oats
2 dl water
2 slices of fresh pineapple (tinned would probably be fine)
10-15 almonds
A generous sprinkling of dessicated coconut

First, cut your pineapple into small cubes. I get rid of the hard bit in the middle. Next, combine your oats, water and pineapple in a bowl, and stick it in the microwave for two minutes. When it comes out, it has magically turned itself into porridge! If you don't have a microwave or prefer to be old-school, just combine it all in a sauce pan, put it on the hob and stir until you have porridge. I, however, prefer the microwabe, as it creates less washing up, and to the best of my knowledge it makes no difference taste-wise. Top your porridge with dessicated coconut and roughly chopped almonds.

02 May, 2011


Wow, my very own blog - How exciting! It's been a long time under way. First, I spent a long time debating whether to make one at all, 'cos really, who would want to read anything I write? And how would anyone ever come to know of it anyway? But I love to write, so if I want a blog, I'm gonna have one, damn it! Even if it's just for me. Either way, it will be handy having all my recipes readily available online, when I can't think of anything to cook for dinner. Once I had come to the conclusion that I was going to create a blog, the issue of the blog title arose. It's a tricky business, and for a while it seemed like every possible blog title was already in use. But luckily my mind wandered and I ended up thinking, as I so often do, of my favourite zombie-killers Shaun and Ed, and that's how I ended up with my slices of fried gold.

To be honest, I didn't have tabouleh tonight. I had it a few weeks ago, when I was still in the blog-naming process. At that time, Denmark was blessed with wonderful warm weather, and a tabouleh salad with fresh herbs and crunchy veggies seemed the ideal dinner. For a few days now though, it's been pretty chilly, and I've spent a good part of today feeling sorry for myself cold, but the memories of this tabouleh salad reminds me that summer was once here, and that hopefully it will be back again soon.


1 dl of coarse bulgur
1 red or yellow pepper (I used yellow)

1 red onion
1 stick of sellery
3 small wine tomatoes
1 carrot
Half a cucumber
2 large handfuls of fresh flat leaf parsley
A large handful of fresh mint
1 tbsp olive oil
1.5 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic
Salt and pepper

While the bulgur is cooling down, finely chop all your vegetables and combine them in a bowl. Finely chop your herbs and add them to the veggies. Once the bulgur has cooled, add it to the vegetables and dress with a dressing made from olive oil, lemon juice, finely chopped garlic and salt and pepper.