Vietnamese Spring Rolls

9 May

Light, easy, healthy and really fun to eat, this is my version for Vietnamese spring rolls.

Ingredients:

- Rice papers

For the chicken:

- About 500 gr. chicken breasts

Marinade:

- 2 tbs peanut butter

- 2 tbs soy sauce

- 1 tbs honey

- 4 tbs olive oil

- 1 ts ground ginger

- 1 ts sweet paprika

- 1 ts hot paprika

- 1 ts chilli flakes

- ground black pepper

For the vegetables:

- 4-5 carrots

- 1 kohlrabi

- 1 green apple

- 2 celery stems

- Juice from 1 lemon

- 1 tbs olive oil

- salt and pepper

- Lettuce or cabbage leaves

- Soy sauce for serving

Preparation:

Mix all the marinade ingredients and marinade the chicken breasts.

Cook the chicken: either on the stove or in the oven, on grill,  200 degrees Celsius, for about 10 minutes on each side, just until it’s ready and still tender. Another method you can use is poaching the chicken and then mixing it with the marinade.

Then slice the chicken into strips:

Prepare the vegetables:

Peel the carrots, kohlrabi and apple, and cut into strips, cut the celery stems and mix everything together with lemon squeeze, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Cut the cabbage or lettuce loosely.

Set everything in front of you and prepare the rolls:

Take one rice paper, soak in lukewarm water for a few minutes just until it softens a little bit,

Spread the soaked rice paper on a dry clean towel.

Mount a few cabbage/lettuce leaves on the rice paper.

Mount the other mixed vegetables on top of it.

Then add the chicken breast strips.

Now for the folding:

Fold the two sides like so:

Fold the bottom part like so:

and then roll on the top part like so:

That’s it. Repeat.

It will make about 25 rolls.

Serve with soy sauce, eat and enjoy.

New Recipes Index Page

8 Nov

Hi all,

Please notice I added a new recipes index page for your convenience.

Now you can easily find what you’re looking for around my blog.

Look it up here:  Recipes Index

I appreciate any comments or suggestions you have for improving the user experience in my blog.

Gal.

Lentils and Walnuts Pâté & Zucchini Salad

8 Nov

So, it’s been a while, but I have a few very easy, quick and healthy recipes for you. Check them out.

Red Lentils and Walnuts Vegetarian Pâté

What you’ll need:

- 1/2 cup walnuts- toasted and thinly ground

- 1 cup of red lentils

- 1 1/2 cups water

- 1 onion finely chopped

- 1 ts turmeric

- 1 ts paprika (hot or sweet or both)

- 1 tbs sumac

- Salt and pepper to taste.

- Olive oil

- Lemon

How to make:

Rinse the lentils and cook them in boiling water until tender. There’s no need to soak red lentils in water before cooking. Cook them until they’re very soft and all the water are dissolved, for this recipe they don’t need to be ‘Al-dente’, so you can over cook.

Meanwhile, saute the onion in olive oil until it begins to brown, then add all the spices to the onion: turmeric, paprika, sumac, salt and pepper and mix well. Add the cooked lentils to the onion and spices and mix over low heat.

Toast and grind the walnuts, add the lentils mixture to the walnuts and grind everything together.

Add a dash of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Taste and fix seasoning if necessary.

Refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Serve on bread, toast or pita bread. Like most pates it tastes better than it looks.

Raw Zucchini Salad:

- 1-2 zucchinis, uncooked, unpeeled, but washed of course.

- A bunch of cherry tomatoes (you can use different kinds)

- Olive tapenade (about 1 tbs)

Shave the zucchini into thin strips, using a vegetable peeler; halve the cherry tomatoes and toss everything together with the tapenade.

Enjoy,

Gal.

After the Rain Comes Sun

22 Jan

The garden is recovering from the crazy weather, and I’m always renewing things, soon I’ll probably need more garden space for all my pots and plants.

Meanwhile, you may take another look around.

Mint after the rain.

I’m trying to grow eggplants, lets see how that goes.

The path to nowhere.

Remember this little dude?

Lemony thyme, really good in tea.

Sitting on the fence.

I’ve planted some bulbs in the stone and in the ground.

These cyclamens grow naturally in the stone every winter.

I love succulents.

Some more succulents.

A look from inside.

Tranquility.

Tomato Soup for a Sick Gal

5 Jan

Just as my hubby was recovering from the common cold, I got it this week. Arrgghh..

So, as you probably know, chicken soup is the Jewish natural medicine for cold (and just about everything), but since we already ate enough chicken soup last week to cure my husband, I was getting sick (sicker) and tired of it.

Well, I’m not such a chicken soup person to begin with. So, I now wish to establish a new sick food tradition: the tomato soup.

And why not? it has plenty of vitamins, it’s not heavy on my poor stomach, it’s nice, hot, comfy food and really easy to make. Just what I needed.

Oh yeah, tomato soup is the new chicken soup.

Grilled Tomatoes and Red Peppers soup

Ingredients:

- 5 tomatoes (I only had 3 fresh tomatoes so I used some canned tomatoes.)

- 2 red peppers

- 2 carrots

- 1 onion

- 2 celery sticks

- Tomato paste

- Water (or chicken or vegetables stock)

- Salt and pepper to taste

Optional: garlic, spices: paprika, turmeric, etc.

Optional garnishing: hard cheese and fresh herbs (hyssop, basil, thyme, etc.)

The eggplant in the photo is used in the next recipe

Preparations:

Start with grilling the tomatoes and peppers, just like in my Escalivada recipe here: drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle coarse sea salt and ground pepper and put in the oven, on grill, on high heat for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the soup:

Saute the onion in a dash of olive oil together with the carrots and celery (and whatever else you’ve decided to add in), pour some of the water in and leave to boil.

After the tomatoes and red peppers have cooled down a bit, peel them and take out the pepper seeds, coarsely rip them up and add to the soup.

Add the tomato paste, the spices and the rest of the water just enough to cover everything up.

Leave on high heat until begins to boil, then lower the heat and cover. Cook for about 45 minutes, or until all the vegetables are soft and ready.

Turn off the heat and grind everything up for a smooth soup (with a hand-held or in a regular blender.)

Garnish with fresh herbs and cheese. You may also add in some cooked pasta.

Now, you’re asking what’s with the weird eggplant in the first photo?

You know how you’re sometimes trying to get from point A to B, but along the way you suddenly find yourself in point C and decide it’s actually much better?

So, I was trying to make croutons for the soup out of pita bread, and they turned out great, just not so great with the soup, but very tasty on their own.

While the soup was cooking I was getting hungry and couldn’t stop eating the “croutons”, and then I ate them with the eggplant and then I added some cheese, and then, as usual, I started playing with my food and came up with the following recipe, which I thought was worth sharing.

Oh, and the eggplant, my husband bought this Zebra eggplant in the supermarket out of curiousity and, out of the same scientific curiousity I wanted to try it out, so I grilled it with the rest of the vegetables for the soup and made an eggplant salad out of it. It tastes just like regular eggplant, perheps it had a bit more seeds in it, but it wasn’t bitter. Maybe I don’t have such refined taste buds, but I couldn’t tell a big difference. Of course, you may just as well use the regular eggplant.


Eggplants and Labane Cheese in Pita Bread

Ingredients:

- 1 medium eggplant

- 2 pita breads, I used what we call a “Lafa”, which is a big flat pita bread without the pocket, looks much like a tortilla.

- Olive oil

- Sumac

- Fresh herbs: hyssop, basil..

- Labane cheese (soft yogurt cheese)

Preparations:

- Grill the eggplant just like in the previous tomato soup recipe and the Escalivada recipe, allow it to cool down and then peel it.

- Chop the eggplant and put in a bowl, add some olive oil, salt and pepper and fresh herbs.

- Lower the heat in the oven to about 200 deg. Celsius, leave on grill.

- Coarsely rip the pita bread into large pieces, put on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil (be generous with that olive oil) and sprinkle sumac on top of the pita slices.

- Place in the oven for about 10 minutes until nice and brown.

- Assemble the whole thing together: place a grilled pita slice on a plate, then add the eggplant salad, then add a layer of Labane cheese, and so on,

until you get a beautiful tower like so:

Doesn’t it look like something you eat in a restaurant? so fancy and tasty, and it’s just the basic eggplant, cheese and pita.

All the best, and be healthy!

Gal.

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