The last thing published was some half year ago. I was gone for a while, trying to finish my studies. I was too close to quit, but just couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. That’s when a friend whom I haven’t seen for ages told me “you’ll make it, but you’ll really have to work your ass off this summer.”
I gave up all my hobbies (and of course accidentially got into some new ones) and finished my both masters. I did it. I was happy, but there was a bitter taste of that feeling of time lost. Winter turned into spring, spring into summer, summer into fall. I suddenly had no memory of things that happened in between. I did not feel, I did not see the beauty of the change. I was lost.
Few days ago I was walking down the street and realized that trees have dropped all of the leaves. Looking at the gray misty sky, I felt a soft, colourful, leafy carpet under my feet. I made a deep breath. I could smell winter. And I realized I started to feel myself again.
Sweet potato and pumpkin soup
Ingredients (serves 3 – 4):
- 1 sweet potato (400g aprox.)
- 1 big hokkaido squash
- 2 big shallots
- 500 ml milk
- 150 ml cooking cream
- water or vegetable stock as needed
- salt, pepper
- oil for baking
- 400g oyster mushrooms
- half garlic clove, finely chopped
- 200g tofu (I used ginger carrot tofu from I Like Tofu)
- 100g buckwheat noodles
- fresh parsley
- pink peppercorns
- Preheat oven at 220ºC. Wash, peel and cut sweet potato, squash and shallots. Transfer on a baking tray, sprinkle with salt and oil. Bake until soft (aprox. 40 mins).
- When baked, combine all the vegetables, milk and cream and blend until smooth and creamy. If needed, add some water or vegetable stock (depending on the thickness you prefer). Transfer on stove and heat up by stiring. Add some nutmeg, ground pepper and salt, if needed.
- Meanwhile, cut tofu and mushrooms. Heat some oil in two seperate pans. Stir fry both separately. Add some salt, pepper and chopped garlic to the mushrooms.
- Heat the water and cook the noodles.
- Serve the soup in a bowl, topping it with some noodles, mushrooms and tofu. Sprinkle with pink peppercorns and fres parsley leaves.
Oeuf cocotte, a french classic and probably one of the easiest things to do. I won’s say you don’t need the right technicque to get it cooked to the point where the egg white hardens and the yolk stays liquid, but one way or another, I should have this more often, because it’s soo good and easy to prepare. Choose whatever topping you like, but mushrooms go perfectly with buckwheat.
Gluten free bread is a story on its own… I tried number of recipes, but no matter what flour I used and no matter how much oil I added, it always turned out too dry. So I did my homework and found a solution: psyllium seed husk.
Psyllium seed husk contain soluble and insoluble fibers. It is probably one of the nature’s most absorbant fibers, so this means it will bind all the ingrediends together and will prevent the bread from drying out. Plus, it is really good for digestion.
Oeuf cocotte with mushrooms
Ingredients (serves two):
- 4 eggs
- 150 g mushrooms
- 1/3 tsp garlic
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Tbsp liquid cream or crème fraîche
- 1 tsp butter
- Finely chop the mushrooms. Sautee on a tablespoon of olive oil. When the liquid starts evaporating, add garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook for anothe couple of minutes.
- Grease the molds with butter. Add mushrooms and reserve some for garnish.
- Add two eggs in each mold, top with some cream and the rest of the mushrooms.
- Put the molds into a baking tin filled with hot water that rises to the middle of the molds.
- Bake at 170ºc from 6 – 10 mins. Keep an eye on it: ideally the egg white should harden and the yolk should still be liquid.
- Season with salt and pepper.
Buckwheat bread with walnuts
Ingredients (makes 4 buns):
- 70 g buckwheat flour
- 70 g corn flour
- 20 g corn starch
- 12 g fresh yeast
- 1 tsp honey or agave syrup (for yeast)
- 20 ml milk (for yeast)
- 250 – 300 ml milk or water
- 15 g flax seed
- 40 g walnuts
- 25 ml olive oil
- 20 g ground chia seed
- 20 g psyllium seed husk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Prepare the yeast: mix 20 ml of warm milk (not hot), fresh yeast and tablespoon of honey or agave syrup. Let double in size.
- In a big bowl mix the flours, corn starch and salt. Add flax and walnuts.
- Using a cofee grinder, grind chia (you can also grind psyllium, but that’s optional). Than mix chia, psyllium, olive oil and milk or water. Let soak at least 3 mins.
- When the yeast and chia mixture are ready, add both to flour mixture.
- Mix with wooden spatula until all ingredients combine. Add flour if too sticky or water/milk if to compact. Keep in mind that psyllium soaks up a lot of liquid. Flour the working surface and kneed into a ball. Dough should be soft, but not sticky. Let rise.
- When doubled in volume, knead once again to let rise for the second time. If you prefer little buns, now’s the time to divide the dough.
- When second rise is done, cut the crosses on the top of the buns. Bake in preheated oven at 220ºc for 30 – 40 mins. The bread is done when it sounds hollow if knocked on the bottom side.
- IMPORTANT: always put some water into a baking tray underneath the bread rack to create steam. This is how you will get a moist inside and crunchy crust.
This recipe was created as a part of a project for Spar Slovenija and their magazine Dobro zame.