Category Archives: Vegeterian Mains

Polenta Cakes with a Winter Vegetable Topping

polenta cakes with winter vegetables

It was all rainy and grey this weekend and so I was longing for some good comfort food.

Last night we had one of my sisters over for some moules frites. I discovered a new place to buy fresh fish not too far away from our neighbourhood. I really do love seafood and having a good place like that around is something very precious. Especially when they offer fish from sustainable sources.

It was the first time I was having moules frites at home and I realized that it is not difficult to make at all. Some vegetables, parsley, a bit of fresh cream, white wine and some good quality mussles. Some white wine for the glass and then it’s time to eat with your hands.

I haven’t been posting a lot recently as it is dark when I come home from work and also I have been travelling back and forth between the city I work during the week and the city I live during the weekends. I will be back full time at home in the new year. I have been travelling by train quite a lot recently and I actually really like it. I am writing this from the train.


So today I made some golden brown polenta cakes topped with some seasonal vegetables. I am totally fascinated by the grotesque shape of some root vegetables. Ugly but beautiful at the same time.

Polenta is something I don’t frequently use in my kitchen, but it’s definitely something nice for the winter. Its creamy texture makes it a perfect comfort food for a warming winter dish. I used the polenta to make some sort of polenta patties with thyme. Polenta is also a good option for anybody on a gluten-free diet.

polenta cakes with winter vegetables

What you need for two people:

For the polenta cakes:

  • 250 g polenta
  • 400 ml milk
  • 100 ml water
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  • For the topping:

  • 400g turnip and pumpkin, chopped into small cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 handful of pumpkin seeds
  • 1 handful of grated pecorino cheese
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  • Olive oil

  • Steps:

  • In a pot, bring water and milk to a boil
  • Stir in the polenta, thyme, salt and pepper until the polenta thickens
  • Scoop it out like a dough on a baking tray about 2-3 cm thick and set aside
  • Stir-fry vegetables, garlic and pumpkin seeds in a pan until semi-soft
  • Add fresh parsley and the cheese, stir for one minute and then turn off the heat
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside
  • Take a cup, a glass or something else round to cut out round polenta patties
  • Fry the polenta cakes in olive oil on both sides until they are golden brown
  • Top the polenta cakes with the vegetables and serve hot
  • Soba Noodles with Broccoli Pesto

    Soba noodles with broccoli pesto

    Japan meets Mediterranean flavours: I made soba noodles with broccoli pesto and I love it. Creating a new soba noodle dish has been on my mind for some time now and Soba noodles are so versatile. I also discovered a soba noodle restaurant here in Düsseldorf. They make their own soba noodles, which is such an interesting trade. I really want to go there soon.

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    Artichoke Tart with Manchego

    artichoke tarte with manchego cheese

    Spring has finally arrived! The weather is beautiful and everybody is spending time outside. Time for a spring tart.

    I saw these beautiful purple baby artichokes on friday afternoon at a greengrocer in our neighbourhood. The people at the shop are so sweet. All the vegetables look so good and they are nicely arranged on box shelves. If you want to buy something they assist you pick the greens and put them in your produce bag. No self-service. Quite old fashioned like back in the mom-and-pop grocery store days but I find this very sweet.

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    Crunchy Quinoa & Cabbage Salad

    crunchy quinoa cabbage salad with forks

    I have been struggling with a cold the past week and now Philipp is not feeling well this weekend. We both need some food that gives us energy: quinoa and vegetables.

    We had a beautiful pointed cabbage in our veg box on friday (see picture). Pointed cabbage has softer leaves and tastes slightly sweeter than white cabbage. I really like it. However due to the cold weather our box has only been sparely filled over the winter months.

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    Baked Violet Potatoes with Herbed Quark (Curd Cheese)

    Potatoes with quark are a typical German lunch. An all time classic. The potatoes are usually boiled in salt water and then peeled and the quark is finished off with different herbs, pepper and salt.

    I made a slight varaiation of the traditional recipe: I used violet potatoes, which have a slightly nutty taste and baked them in the oven with some garlic and pine nuts. For the quark I used fresh basil, chives and lemon balm. Thanks to our indoor garden, fresh herbs are also available in winter.

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    Pan-Fried Brussels Sprouts with Almonds

    Pan-Fried brussels sprouts


    I took three days off work but we had grey weather and rain all weekend so I had time for some indoor projects. I started a new book by Lisa See. I devoured her novel “Shanghai Girls” and now I started “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan”. The story is quite tragic but I really like the stories of ancient China and so I can really recommend her books so far.

    I wanted to make a blog post earlier this weekend but it was kind of dark outside all day long so I couldn’t take any pictures. Apart from that my camera is broken. There is a little black spot on every picture I take. I had this once before and then it was suddenly ok again. It is quite annoying because there is really nothing I can do. I think I will look for a camera shop today to help me out, because the sun is coming out again.

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    Carrot Soup with Grilled Pecorino Biscuits

    carrots vegetable box

    vegetable box

    carrot soup with pecorino

    I am very excited that we finally have a vegetable box subscription. Every friday we receive a surprise box full of vegetables from a local organic farm.

    This friday’s box came with a lot of carrots. I don’t usually buy carrots although I really like them. So that’s the good thing with the subscription box – you receive vegetables you might not usually buy and so you get creative.

    The carrot soup I made was really rich and creamy, although it was all veggies, spices and honey. I made pecorino biscuits as a the little treat to have with the soup.

    I am not a big soup fan but maybe I am starting to. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

    What you need for two people:

  • 500g carrots, peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 small piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 500 ml vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oregano
  • Pecorino cheese
  • Paprika powder
  • Parsley
  • Steps:

  • Heat onion and garlic in a soup pot over medium heat
  • Add carrots and ginger and sauté for 5 minutes
  • Add the veg broth, lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes
  • Stir in the honey, pepper, salt and oregano
  • Simmer for another 15 minutes
  • Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180°C
  • Grate the pecorino and form small pecorino heaps on a baking tray
  • Dredge the pecorino heaps with paprika powder and grill in the oven for about five minutes
  • Let the pecorino cool down
  • Purée the soup and then serve with pecorino biscuits and parsley
  • Spicy Pumpkin Quiche with Goat Cheese

    Spicy pumpkin quiche

    This weekend is all rainy. So I decided I want to try some new things in the kitchen. Pumpkin is kind of a new territory for me that needs to be discovered and the Hokkaido was waiting in the kitchen for more than a week now until this morning I decided to make a pumpkin Quiche. A spicy orange and yellow Quiche.

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    Autumn Vegetables Gujarat Style

    vegetables for gujarat style dish

    With the beginning of autumn this week, I am looking forward to a great variety of autumn vegetables. I bought potatoes, sweet potatoes, eggplants and parsnip yesterday to make an Indian dish that caught my attention in a recent issue of Food and Travel magazine. I also bought the first pumpkin yesterday. Today it popped into my head that in the 90′s my parents used to make tons of pickled pumpkin every year (I think it was some kind of trend back then) and that I very much disliked it. Maybe I will try it this year and reevaluate the taste.

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    Green pizza with basil olive oil

    green pizza close up

    Pizza! Italia! I am really looking forward to go to Italy at the end of August. And since it is only raining in Germany lately, I am creating Italy at home, by having an Aperol Sprizz, some antipasti and mediterranean dinners. Sicily it is now. We have booked the flights and I can’t wait to go.

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