Author Archives: Gourmet Traveller 88

How to make Kale Chips

best kale chips

Finding the best temp for my kale chips : 100C for 80″

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Green kale seen in Oberwil (BL)

purple kale

Purple kale seen in Oberwil (BL)

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Kale chips before put into oven

Few days ago I tried to make kale chips for the first time. Can’t believe it was so easy to make and so delicious that before they cooled down completely, I have finished them in no time. I posted a photo in my Facebook page and unexpectedly got quite a lot of responses, can’t believe it has gained quite a lot interests.

Kale is known as Grünkohl in German; Ferderkohl in Switzerland and Boerenkool in Dutch. My first encounter of this leafy vegetable was used in Stompot, a dish that the finely chopped vegetable is cooked until soft and mixed with mashed potatoes, and goes with a cooked smoked sausage.

Then since I started making green smoothie, I learnt that kale is a wonderful leafy green vegetable, an alternative to spinach. However it is not easy to find kale in Switzerland. After I have kept asking around these 2 years, I know where I can get in my neighbourhood.

Look out in the farmers’ market around you.

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Green and purple kale selling in farmers’ store

 

To make kale chips:

  1. Remove the kale leaves from the stalks and tear them in bite size pieces.
  2. Wash and drain with salad spinner.
  3. Preheat the oven at 100C.
  4. Lie the kale leaves on a greased baking tray.
  5. Rub the kale leaves with olive oil, and sprinkle with a little sea salt. Optional: you can add a few pinches of spices, namely cayenne pepper, chili and or cumin.
  6. Bake in the oven for 80mins, the leaves should still be green.
  7. Since they taste so good, you probably want to make a few batches.
  8. Cool down and enjoy ! You can also keep them in airtight box and be kept for a few days.

 

 

Cooking light after a short break in France & Holland

Paris tour effiel

Came back from a splendid week in Paris and Holland, 4 days in Paris with my old buddies. It was a foodie trip, so forget about the green smoothies and juicing for a while. Meanwhile I had a few limes with me and I have packed the superfood with me using Marc’s baby milk powder dispenser. During the 4 days in Paris, I prepared a jar of infused lime water and added in 2 teaspoons of green powder into it. It worked very well, not to heavy but I would be able to keep myself somewhat hydrated. I resumed my green smoothie routine when I arrived Holland, I packed a handheld blender with me, not super ideal but I managed.

Viet caramelized onion sauce with salmon

So after the short break, came home and time to eat light again. I made a very nice Vietnamese caramelized onion sauce to go with my panfried salmon. I served on a large bed of sautéed savoy cabbage and carrots and sautéed chanterelles, then topped with some rice in the middle and then salmon on top. The idea was to eat less rice but more vegetables. I sautéed with coconut nut oil for the cabbage at medium high heat and then lower it to medium heat. The chanterelles I sautéed with a bit of butter and olive oil. A very satisfying meal. Marc loves the caramelizing sauce, I found the recipe in my Bill Granger cookbook and adapted a little by caramelizing the shallots and red onions first before adding the fish sauce and soy sauce.

Chanterelles

I had chanterelle mushrooms in Paris to go with spinach and fowl for dinner at a neobistro and fell in love with chanterelles. I didn’t really like it in the past due to the earthy taste i cooked once. But I tried again this time, and the earthy taste didn’t exist anymore, the critical ingredient that one must not forget is drizzle a bit of cooking wine when the mushrooms are beginning to evaporate the excess liquid. I used Japanese cooking sake instead of white wine which also did the magic.

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So to finish the remaining chanterelles I bought yesterday, I decided to make a pasta. I haven’t had pasta for a while, I do miss it but at the same time don’t wanna to feel stuffed with the carb, so I prepared some zucchini spaghetti using a julienne peeler. And using Provamel Soya Cuisine and homemade sundried tomato pesto, I made the creamy chanterelle sauce, when the sauce was ready I tossed in the pappardelle, followed by the zucchini spaghetti so they become warm but still raw.

 

 

 

Green Smoothie

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Green smoothie is the second thing that I have embarked. However, I am yet waiting for my high speed blender to arrive. I have been using my handheld blender for 2 months. It’s okay when I use baby spinach but not the chunkier vegetables or even normal spinach.

I like in particular to make a green smoothie after jogging. It’s filling and gives a cooling effect.

The picture shown above, I have used blackberries, baby spinach, nectarines, banana, quinoa rice milk, natural yogurt, spirulina & chlorella powder, wheatgrass powder, psyllium husk, chia seeds, ground hemp seeds, ground flaxseeds, flaxseed oil and Burgerstein Probase powder.

I like this picture a lot, it reminds me of a cappuccino which I normally have in the morning.

I like the idea of having green smoothie for breakfast and juicing for late afternoon as part of my dinner. Most of the time I just do either one as juicing does take some time to make and late afternoon I have to prepare dinner for the family.

In general, I find green smoothie is quicker to prepare and more tasty than juicing, and also it’a more filling.

Anyway both methods together have enabled me to be on the right track.

Keep it up!

Juicing for beginners

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So last night, I have updated the About Me which reflects more of my recents.

We all have a busy life these days and most of us cannot afford the time to write to lengthy.

My objective is to aim to keep the ball rolling again, to post more frequently and keep the post short.

How I started to go greener? Thanks to my dear friend Carmen who shared with me her experience just over a year ago. She introduced juicing and green smoothie to me. Haven’t met her for months and she looks radiant and in great shape. I was immediately drawn in to give a go.

I went to order the Hurom Slow juicer and have been juicing for 2 months. I do feel more energized after a few days of juicing. I was able to go jogging at least 3x per week in July, I got up as early as 6:30am to go running, also because it was too hot to go after 8am for those really hot summer days.

Instead of following the recipes around, I mostly use whatever I have at home, a bit of trial and error some times. For example, one time I used the radish, it tasted so sharp that I had to throw the whole thing away. We live and learn every day.

Take home message:

“A good general rule of juicing is using the ratio of 60/40 of vegetable to fruits for a beginner.” You don’t want the juice to be too sugary from using too much fruits but the fruits make the juice more tasty and easy to drink.

Happy juicing !

How to make Japanese style soft boiled marinated eggs (ajitsuke tamago)

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When I checked my mailbox one day, I saw this Mail from Japan Center that the subject is Japanese soft boiled marinated eggs, I instantly clicked to the link to check out. I read many versions that require piercing or poke a small onto the egg shell and have to use a tong to clamp the egg upright for 7 mins with the hand holding the tong. How tiring is that? Also impractical as you can maximum hold 2 eggs at a time. This method is way much easier, of course you have to be gentle in handling the eggs and watch the time and remove the shells with great care and attention, other than that it’s dead simple. Thank you Japan Center for sharing the secret tips, very much appreciated and I haven adapted slightly as follow.

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Avocado prawns mango salad

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Avocado prawn mango salad

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Mango vinegar  bought from Globus, Basel

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Marc enjoyed it a lot and was learning how to use fork and knife.

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Avocado prawn mango salad served

The other day I bought this mango vinegar, it says in the back that it is suitable for avocado shrimps salad or as a marinate for duck breast but there are no recipes in their website so I improvised and made my own mango vinaigrette with a bit of imagination and the result was very successful. We all like it very much and worth to make a note here so I can make again. We had heat wave last week and this tangy salad was very suitable to combat the heat.

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Avocado Surimi Tobiko Quinoa Salad

 

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After numerous indecisive thought process, I came out this salad. It’s really awesome. The objective was to prepare something low carb. I wanted to use the quinoa to make sushi and came out too wet and failed so instead I mixed the filling together.

I have had eaten surimi tobiko cucumber salad many times in Hong Kong as an appetizer and this version has taken the salad up one level, even more delish and can serve as a main low carb dish.

 

Serves 3

Ingredients:

  • 10 Sticks Surimi, cut into very thin strips
  • 1 cucumber, deseed, partly remove skin and cut into very thin strips
  • 3 tbsp Tobiko (you can buy them frozen)
  • a small handful Coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1 ripe Avocado, cut into small pieces
  • Toasted seaweed (optional: for garnish on top)
  • 2/3 cup white quinoa

Salad dressing inspired from recipe found in CHOW.com:

  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp dark toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 3 tbsp Mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 2 tsp sriracha (Thai Chili sauce) or 2 tsp Korean Chili paste ( I have used Korean this time as I have run out of Srircha), you can add more if you want it more spicy

 

Directions:

  1. Cooked the quinoa as instructed on your pack. Drain and transfer into a bowl, set aside to cool down.
  2. Prepare the ingredients as described above and place them in a mixing bowl.
  3. Prepare the salad dressing in a small bowl, you need a little whisking to mix well.
  4. Finally toss in the quinoa with in the other ingredients in the mixing bowl and pour in the salad dressing.
  5. This is enough for 3-4 people, depending if you serve as an appetizer or main course. I like to serve in smaller portion on a small plate and garnish with a little toasted seaweed on top. And repeat when I want second.

 

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So happy the avocado was so perfect : )

 

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This meat free  small dish is so yummy and easy to prepare. You simply cut a block of firm tofu into slices and panfry in medium high heat until golden yellow or a little crispy if you like. Prepare the dipping sauce as follow by mixing all ingredients in a small bowl and served warm.

Dipping sauce:

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp korean chili powder
  • 1 tsp grated garlic
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped spring onion

Spinach Daal Tofu bites

Daal Palak on top of panfried tofu

Daal Palak on top of panfried tofu

A week ago or so I had lunch at Jay’s Indian Restaurant in Basel, I chose the Vegetarian lunch menu as I didn’t feel like eating meat that day. I really like their Kombi-Teller (Combi plate) idea of which the basmati rice, poppadoms, raitha (yogurt dip) is assembled together with the main dishes you have chosen.

The daal I had from Jay’s inspired me to try to make one myself. I don’t normally like lentils because of the texture but somehow the one at Jay’s got a very smooth texture. I had a pack of green lentils sitting in the cupboad for a long time and have been hoping to use it up. So I searched in the internet and most of them do not recommend it to cook too long as it would become mushy and none of them I saw was like Jay’s. When I was cooking, I was thinking that the daal would not be smooth no matter if you cook it longer. So I guess maybe he has blended it with a mixer, and so I did and like the results that become a smooth puree. So the trick is the extra step of BLENDING : ) From now on, I think I will eat lentils more often as lentils are very nutritious and low in calories, low in fat, no cholesterol, rich sources of protein, folic acid, dietary fibre, vitamins B & C…and high concentration of antioxidants. Great to learn lentils is a great fitness food.
A small pack of lentils ended into several portions and I read that they freeze well, so I kept some to eat for tonight and kept the remaining in portions in the freezer.

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