Pasta with Aubergine sauce

I started listening to a podcast by a German radio station that revolves around all sorts of food-related things. One entire episode was dedicated to aubergines (eggplants for the Americans) and they featured a few simple recipes. They came to my mind when I checked the fridge this evening to make a simple but delicious dinner after a long day of work. I changed it a little and it turned out pretty well. Tuck in and enjoy 🙂

For two portions:

1 medium sized aubergine
1 clove of garlic
25g pine kennels
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed thoroughly
12 black olives, pitted and halved
1 tablespoon tomato puree 
150ml white wine
150ml water
250g wholemeal penne 
olive oil, salt, pepper

Wash the aubergine and cut off the stem and cut into 2cm chunks.

Brown the pine kennels in a dry pan over medium, set aside.

Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a pan and cook the aubergines for about 5 minutes (until they start to brown). Add garlic, pine kennels, capers and olives and continue to cook until aubergine becomes soft. Turn down the heat and deglaze with white wine. Add the water and leave to simmer on low heat.

Cook the pasta according to packet instruction. Just before draining, take one small ladle-full of the cooking water and add to the sauce. Drain the pasta and serve with freshly grated Pecorino or Parmeggiano Reggiano.  Enjoy 🙂

Stuffed Mushrooms

I found this recipe on the BBC Good Food Healthy Diet plan website and liked how easy it is to prepare. I adapted the recipe slightly. We cannot get hold of portobello or any other large mushrooms in Germany so I used  smaller ones instead.

For two portions:

8-10 medium sized mushrooms (or 4 portobello mushrooms)
olive oil
3 tablespoons of fine bulgur wheat
100g feta cheese
10 walnuts
1 clove of garlic
2 teaspoons of herbs of Provence 
pepper, salt, cayenne pepper

Remove the stalks from the mushrooms and place onto a baking tray with the closed side up. Brush with some olive oil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, cook the bulgur wheat in boiling water (slightly more than covering the bulgur) for about 8 minutes.

Remove all the liquid from the mushrooms and baking tray with paper towel, turn them. Mix cooked bulgur with chopped feta cheese, walnuts and pressed garlic. Add spices to taste and fill mushrooms.

Bake mushrooms for about 10 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy 🙂

Roasted Veg Couscous


For two portions:

1 small Hokkaido pumpkin (or butternut squash)
1 small sweet potato
1 medium aubergine
3 slices halloumi cheese
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
olive oil, lemon juice
300g couscous
250ml stock (vegetable or chicken)
fresh mint
yoghurt to serve with

Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan).

Dice the pumpkin, sweet potato and aubergine without removing the skin. Spread out evenly on a baking tray. Top with chopped onion and garlic and drizzle with some olive oil. Season with pepper and salt and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Toss the vegetables and roast for another 15-20 minutes. Leave to cool.

In the meantime, panfry the halloumi in a griddle pan. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Chop into small chunks.

Roast vegetables and halloumi can be stored in the fridge until use.

Bring stock to a boil and pour over the couscous. Leave to soak for 10 minutes before adding some chopped fresh mint.

Before serving, mix couscous with vegetables and halloumi cheese. Serve topped with some yoghurt.

The Ultimate Supersandwich


For two portions:

2 Finnish rye breads (pita bread shape)
4 tablespoons hummus (I used sundried tomato hummus)
2 roasted red peppers
1 large avocado
4 slices of halloumi (about half a packet)
optional: garlic roasted vegetables, baby spinach

Toast the rye breads and spread the hummus on the inside of the breads. Panfry the halloumi from both sides (use a griddle pan if available). Prepare the sandwich with roasted red peppers, vegetables, halloumi, and sliced avocado.


Stuffed Marrow

For 2 portions:
1 large marrow
250g extra lean minced meat
2 medium tomatoes
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 can of chopped tomatoes
some cheese  (etc. Feta cheese, camembert, goats cheese)

Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Place the marrow in the pot and cook for 5-10 minutes.

Heat some olive oil in a pan and soften chopped onion, garlic and tomatoes.

Heat some olive oil in a pan and cook the minced meat until brown. Season to taste and add onions, garlic, tomatoes and chopped tomatoes. Leave to simmer for about 5 minutes.

Take out the marrow, cut in halves, and leave to cool down. Scrape out the seeds and fill with the meat sauce.

Finish off with some cheese and bake for 15 minutes at 180-200°C (Gas Mark 5).


Printable PDF version:
Stuffed Marrow

Potato and Spinach Gratin

For at least two portions:
1 large potato
200g fresh spinach
1-2 eggs
200ml single cream
grated mozzarella cheese
cherry tomatoes

Preheat the oven for 200°C.

Peel the potato and cut into relatively thin slices. Cook the slices in boiling salt water for about 5 minutes.

In another saucepan cook the spinach in hot water for about a minute or two. Drain and squeeze out the water.

Line a baking tin with half of the potato slices. Put the spinach on top and sprinkle some grated cheese over it. I used some thin slices of camembert instead of the mozzarella for this layer (just because I didn’t have enough mozzarella) and it was delicious 😉

Cover with the rest of the potato slices and some sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle grated mozzarella cheese on top.

Whisk the egg(s) with the cream and pour over the gratin. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is brown.


Printable PDF version:
Potato and Spinach Gratin

Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup

Winter is not over yet and I decided to make soup again today.

For 3-4 portions:
1 medium sized butternut squash
3 carrots
1 parsnip
1 small suede
1 onion
1 small leek
3 tablespoons butter
2 beef stock cubes, some vegetable stock
4 tablespoons soured cream
4 tablespoons natural yoghurt
pepper, salt, red chili

Peel and cut the vegetables into chunks and sauté them in a pan with butter.

Dissolve the beef stock cubes and the vegetable stock powder in about 1 litre of boiling water. Put vegetables into a pot and pour the stock in so that the vegetables are just covered, leave to simmer until the vegetables are soft. Blend with a hand blender.

Dissolve soured cream and natural yoghurt and season to taste with salt, pepper and chili.

Serve with some fresh baguette bread.

That is what I love about English supermarkets:

You can get all the main soup ingredients in one package for about one pound!


Printable PDF version:
Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup