Vegetable parmesan, a spin off of the eggplant parmesan, but with a few more colorful veggies.

 

Meat free and rainbow monday again, One a week I try to have a meat free day and since i am going to eat mostly vegetables I like to eat the colors of the rainbow, to get as much and varied nutrition as possible.

This dish is almost the same as a regular eggplant parmesan dish with a few other veggies.

2 1/4 lbs (about 2 large) eggplants
1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 eggplant, normal sized
1 zucchini, normal sized

2 dl chopped carrots
2 dl chopped yellow bell pepper
2 dl chopped celery
2 dl chopped red onions

Tomato sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 finely chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic (about 1 teaspoon)
2 cans whole peeled tomatoes, tomatoes diced, reserve juices
1 dl finely chopped fresh basil
salt
Freshly ground black pepper

4 dl cups breadcrumbs
3 dl cups grated Parmesan cheese
2 dl flour
4 beaten eggs, more if needed
1/4 cup olive oil
3 dl cottage cheese
4 dl grated mozzarella

Slice the eggplants and zucchini into 0,5 cm thick rounds. Lay the slices out on a rack over a rimmed sheet pan.

Sprinkle both sides of the veggie rounds lightly with salt. Let them sit and release moisture for 1-2 hours.

For the sauce, sauté onion and garlic in a saucepan with a bit of olive oil on medium heat for about a minute, add the tomatoes and let it simmer for about 15 minutes, salt and pepper to taste and add  minced basil and remove from heat.

Sauté the vegetables in a pan with a little oil and set a side until you need it.

Put flour in one bowl, beaten eggs in another bowl and in the third combine breadcrumbs and half of the parmesan.

Pat dry the eggplant and zucchini slices with paper towels and coat the rounds in flour,  then beaten eggs, and lastly in the breadcrumb and parmesan mixture.

Fry the rounds in a pan with a little oil on medium heat until golden on both sides

Spread tomato sauce over the bottom of a large oven proof dish or in smaller individual ones. Place a third of the eggplant rounds in a single layer covering the sauce on the bottom of the pan. Add a layer of the mixed vegetables and cottage cheese

Place another third of the veggie rounds over the cottage cheese, add more sauce over the rounds. Sprinkle with 3/4 of the mozzarella. Add the remaining eggplant and zucchini in a single layer on top of the cheese. Top with the remaining sauce and the remaining Parmesan and mozzarella

Bake in the middle of the oven in a pre heated oven 180 C for about 25 minutes .

Serve with extra parmesan and some nice bread.

Delicious homemade tomato soup with sauteed colorful veggies

Homemade soups are often easier to make than instant soups and best of all you really know what is put in it.

Tomato based dishes in one the family’s favorites or maybe it is just mine;) This soup can take 15 minutes to make or a few hours, depending on how sweet you want the soup, that being said, the depth of the soups flavour also depends on what kind of tomatoes you use. As I always say that a recipe is a guide line for flavour, it is your choice of ingredients that decides the outcome. So next time you cook, think about the ingredients you use.

Yields: 4     Cooking time: 15 minutes      Prep time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients
500 g flavourful tomatoes
1 chopped large onion or equal amount of shalots
3 cloves of chopped garlic
2 tbsp Olive oil
1 liter water
1 tomato paste
2 tbsp salt reduced Fond/concentrated stock
Handful of fresh basil
1 tsp paprika powder
1,5 dl cream
salt and pepper to taste
(Meatballs)

Garnish
1 cup of chopped green bellpepper
1 cup chopped/sliced carrots
1cup chopped/shredded red cabbage
Oliveoil
Salt and pepper

Start by prepping your ingredients by chopping the vegetables and keeping everything else ready.

In a pot, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil.

As soon as the onions are nice and shiny add the chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes star to break down. Add the water, tomato paste, fond/concentrated stock, paprika powder and basil.

Bring this to a boil and use an immersion blender and blend everything to a smooth soup. Let the soup simmer for 10-15 minutes. The last five minutes, if you have some meatballs or ham add the amount you want in the soup.

Salt and pepper the soup to taste and if the soup isn’t sweet enough you can add a bit of sugar or let it simmer longer.

While the soup simmer, sauté the chopped bell peppers, carrots and cabbage, you want the veggies cooked, but still crunchy.

Plate your soup and garnish with te vegetables and some extra basil leaves.

Enjoy this with some nice bread.

 

Classic ratatouille with egg and cheese

Monday again and that means a meat free or leftover day, since there is no leftovers from yesterday I made meat free. Lately I have tried to use veggies with all the colors of the rainbow when cooking and Ratatouille is perfect for that, besides it is a dish I have not made for ages.

This colorful southern french classic, is packed with a lot of healthy goodness. Eat it by itself with some nice bread as a vegetarian stew or serve it as a side dish with the meat of your choise, I believe this dish pares well with chicken, beef and white fish.

Todays version is portioned in individual dishes with an egg and a little bit of cheese.

1 red onions
3 cloves of garlic
1 aubergines
1 zucchini
1 red or yellow peppers
4 ripe tomatoes
½ a bunch of fresh basil
olive oil
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
1 x 400 g tin tomatoes
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
½ a lemon

4 eggs
cheese

Start by preparing your vegetables.

Peel and cut the onions into wedges, then peel and finely chop the garlic. Trim the aubergines and courgettes, de seed the peppers and chop into 2.5  cm chunks. Roughly chop the tomatoes.

Heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan over  medium heat. Fry each vegetable in batches and fry for around 5 minutes, or until golden and softened, but not cooked through. Set the veggies a side until needed.

Next saute onion, garlic  and thyme leaves with a drizzle of oil, if needed. Fry for 10 to 15 minutes, or until softened and golden. Return the cooked vegetable to the pan and stir in the fresh and tinned tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and a good pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Mix well and cver the pan and simmer over a low heat for 30 to 35 minutes, or until reduced, sticky and sweet. Tear in the basil leaves, add the grated lemon zest and adjust the seasoning, if needed.

The stew is ready to be served or you can do as I did. I divided the stew in individual portions, use a ovenproof dish or something else, make a small well in the middle and crack an egg in it, sprinkle some cheese on top and bake in a preheated oven 200 C for 5-10 minutes, depending on how you like your egg.

 

Kimchikraut

Kimchikraut, what is that? You might think:D
It is just finely sliced cabbage and grated carrots  fermented with Korean flavours.
I thought to make some garnish for a sandwich that I am going to make later.
This yeld about 2 cups finished product:
1/2 finely cabbage
3 shredded carrots1 dl sea salt
Clean water
5-6 crushed garlic cloves
1 tsp finely grated ginger
1 tsp sugar
2 tsps shrimp paste
1-5 tablespoons Korean chili flakes / or regular chili flakes
4 spring onions
chopped chives

Combine vegetables and salt in a bowl to extract water for about 30 minutes.

Submerge the vegetables in cold water for about 2 hours, then rinse well and drain
Put vegetables in a colander and rinse well and allow it to drain.

Mix the remaining ingredients together except the scallions and chives. Add this paste to the rinsed and dried vegetables in a mixing bowl, with a gloved hand mix everything together. Lastly sprinkle the scallions and chives n top and mix them in with the rest.

Place the vegetables in sterilized jars.

Leave the jars for 1-5 days, you can see that it starts to bubble and the build-up liquid and the liquid may seep out.

Give the Kimchi some daily attention, push any vegetables down with a clean spoon and make sure that the vegetables are submerged in the liquid that is building up.This might releases small amounts of gases that builds up during fermentation.

Taste the kimchikraut during this process and when the flavors is as you want it, put the jars in your fridge. You can eat it right away, but it’s probably best a week or two later.

 

Milkfish paksiw

Paksiw

This paksiw is not the one I grew up with, first of all you could not get Bangus/milk fish her in the 70’s, I do not know about the 80’s because by then we were used to using other types of fish, specially mackerel. My moms take on paksiw is with rhubarb and mackerel, I will make that later, but I have to wait for the rhubarb to get in season and the mackerel.

Paksiw is a Filipino style of cooking, and means”to cook and simmer in vinegar”.

Paksiw recipe

600-800 g fish, cleaned and scales removed
1 knob ginger, sliced and pounded
6 cloves garlic, skin removed
½ cup vinegar
1 cup water
1 medium onion, sliced
birds eye chili
3-4 small eggplants
2-3 orange peppers
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon whole peppercorn

Filipino dish

Arrange the fish in the pan along with the ginger, garlic, onion, eggplants, pepper, and birds eye chili.

Add vinegar, water, salt and whole peppercorn then bring to a boil.

Cover and simmer in low to medium heat for 12 to 15 minutes.
Turn off the heat and transfer to a serving plate.
Serve hot with steamed rice.

Achara

The Filipino version of a green papaya salad, is a lightly pickled vegetables mix called Achara. The key ingredients in this salad is green papaya, ginger and of course vinegar. You can make this with or without chili, the heat is up to you.

Lovely as a side dish with grilled and fried dishes.

The brine usually used for this is very sweet, I halved the amount of sugar for this recipe

5 dl cane vinegar
250 g sugar
50 g ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
15 birds eye chilis, chopped( you can use more or less)
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 ts salt

1 small green papaya, peeled and julienned
1 carrot, peeled and julienned
1/2 Yellow bell pepper
1/2 Red bell pepper
1/2 Green bell pepper
4 red birds eye chilis, for decoration
4 green birds eye chilis, for decoration

Place the vinegar and sugar in a saucepan with the ginger, garlic, birds eye chilis and salt, stir and then bring to a boil. Remove from the heat let it cool a bit until finger warm.

Remove the ginger, garlic and chilis( you do not have to do this, but I like to do it) from the vinegar mixture and add the remaining ingredients, stir to combine and let it stand for at least 10 minutes.

Drain, discard the liquid and refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Fried rice, making use of leftovers

Fried rice is something I make if I have a lot of leftover rice, sometimes I make a little extra on purpose just so I can make this dish. This is a simple and easy dish to make, you use what you got in the fridge. This took me less than 1 minutes to make.
This is what I used for 4 people.
4 egg scrambled
1/2 chopped onion
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tablespoon cooking oil for frying (not olive)
1 liter boiled rice
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1.5 dl chopped prawns / shrimp
1.5 dl carrots cut into cubes
1 cup edamame/peas
Ham leftovers
Salt and pepper
Sliced scallions for garnish
Make the scrambled eggs and set aside.
 –
Fry the onions and garlic in a pan with oil on high heat.
When the onion is translucent and starting to get burnt edges, add the rice and fry and add the sesame oil.
When the rice is nicely fried add the rest of the ingredients and fry until everything is cooked through, salt and pepper to taste.

Stir fried beef, quick and easy dinner

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During a busy week you want a quick and easy dinner, this dish took me no more time than it takes to cook rice.

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Rice

400 g thinly cut sirloin steak

1 onion, sliced

1 clove crushed garlic

200 g Mushrooms

150 g green beans

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

Salt and pepper to taste

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Start by cooking rice.

Then prepare your ingredients.

On high heat saute onions and garlic and when the onions are glossy add mushroom and beans stir fry a bit more. Put the vegetables in a bowl or a plate.

Fry the beef on high heat quickly and add the vegetables, and the rest of the ingredients.

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By now the rice should be done, eat and enjoy:)

Eat this with stir fried vegetables, a salad or some other side dish.

I had some bean sprouts with a little sesame oil and salt and kimchi.

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Japchae, Sweet potato starch noodles with stirfried beef and vegetable, 잡채

Japcheae

Last summer, a few other previous Korean ex-pat ladies and I was invited to the Korean embassy in Oslo to learn to cook korean dishes, they had set up an outdoor kitchen with gas burners and all the ingredients we needed. Before we started, we got an introductiom from the embassys chef in how to cook korean.

K em me agj

In this potato starch noodle dish it is about colors and uniformity, all the ingredients should be cut the same length and the vegetables are supposed to be cooked by color, so not to stain the lighter vegetables with the darker.

Stir frying each ingredient separately seems like a lot of work, but each vegetable requires a different cooking time and a bit of care.

The photo above is of me, taken before I reeked havoc in the embassy garden, because if accidents would happen, it happens to me. First I managed to spill soy sauce all over my work space and by trying to save the recipes I quickly moved the papers away and managed to light them by accident on my gas burner. Oh, the horror. I managed to pull myself together and finish with dignity.

Japchae Korean noodle dish

Japchae means mixed vegetables, and this dish is often served at Korean parties and special occasions, with seasonal vegetables added. Japchae is most commonly served as a side dish, though it may be a main dish.

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This recipe is from the embassy.

2 eggs

200 g potato starch noodles

150 g beef, sirloin steak cut into ¼ inch wide and 2½ inch long strips

1 onion

white mushrooms

1/2 cucumber

1 red bell pepper

1 carrot

2 to 3 green onions, cut crosswise into 2 inch long pieces

2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Marinade:

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tsp sugar

1 clove minced garlic

Ground pepper

Seasoning sauce:

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tsp sugar

1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

 

Season the beef with the marinade in a bowl and set a side while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Make the seasoning sauce and set a side.

Make the egg garnish (jidan):

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  1. Crack the egg and separate the egg yolk from the egg white. Remove the white stringy stuff from the yolk and the thick glob in the egg white. Stir in a pinch of salt with a fork, do not beat, you do not want bubbles in the eggs.

Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil to a heated non stick pan. Swirl the oil around so it covers the pan, and then wipe off the excess heated oil with a kitchen towel so only a thin layer remains on the pan.

Turn off the heat and pour the egg yolk and egg white mixture on each side of the pan. Tilt the pan carefully around so the mixtures spreads thinly, but hold them separate. Let it cook using the remaining heat in the pan for about 1 minute. Flip them over and let them sit on the pan for 1 more minute.

Cool and slice it into thin strips.

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Boil water for the noodles.

Prepare the vegetables by cutting them into strips.

Put the noodles into the boiling water, cover and cook for about 8 minutes, until the noodles are soft and chewy.

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Strain and cut them a few times with kitchen scissors. Put the noodles into the large bowl and add the sesoning sauce and mix. This process will season the noodles and also keep the noodles from sticking to each other.

Heat up a skillet over medium high heat, add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil with the onion and a pinch of salt. Stir-fry about 2 minutes until the onion looks a little translucent. Transfer to the noodle bowl.

Repeat this with all the vegetables one by one, from white to red..

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Then fry the beef and stir fry for a few minutes until the beef is no longer pink, transfer to the noodle bowl.

Mix everything together and transfer it to a plate, add the egg garnish and  sesame seeds, and serve.

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Colorful Thai coleslaw

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This salad is based on a Thai green papaya salad, but in this one I only use green papaya,red cabbage and carrots. So that is why I called it a slaw.

This salad is nice with a lot of different Asian dishes.