Jerusalem Artichoke Salad

What is it?
It is not an artichoke and certainly it doesn’t come from Jerusalem. It is a species of sunflower (Helianthus tuberosus) native to North America. It can be also called sunroot, sunchoke, earth apple or topinambur. It is cultivated for its tuber, which is used as a root vegetable. The knobby sunchoke tubers look similar to ginger roots, with light brown skin which may be tinged with yellow, red, or purple depending on the soil they are grown in. Prime season - from October to April, and they are best dug after a light frost. So go ahead and try them, the time is now!

Kale Cake

Adapted from Spinach cake recipe from the book A Platter of Figs and Other Recipes by David Tanis

Kale – probably the best thing you can consume in winter to boost your vitamin levels. A real super food in humble cabbage family. To be honest, I’m struggling a bit with this healthy veg: I would love to get all the vitamins and other goodies from kale leaves, yet I am not thrilled with its taste and tough texture. Some brave and very healthy looking people put raw kale in their smoothies... Well, I am not that brave yet, so I decided to put it into a savory cake. The effect was surprisingly tasty. Even my meat-loving boyfriend approved it (bacon did the trick I guess!)

Kale crisps

Inspired by My New Roots adapted from all over the net.

My 3 year old son doesn't like most vegetables. My boyfriend is not better – his favorite veg is bacon, as he says. It is a real drama for a mom who tries to feed her family healthy. I have no choice but to play food tricks and smuggle greens into my boys’ diet.
Kale is well worth smuggling! It is off the charts when it comes to nutrients. It’s the best green in terms of antioxidants. Not surprisingly, kale has been linked to preventing cancer. It is a real superfood we all should be eating regularly. And now the kale season is approaching!

Parsnip puree

Adapted from Skye Gyngell book A Year in My Kitchen

My man came back from the hunt the other day, proudly bringing a huge (4,5 kg) hare. Perfect timing, as just in a few days was our son’s third birthday! For that occasion I made the tastiest Skye Gyngell’s inspired "Hare pancetta and verjuice" dish accompanied by the humble yet heavenly parsnip puree.

Unfortunately, I was way too busy that day to document all this fancy hare-cooking. Next time he brings a bunny-rabbit or a hare I will photograph and describe the whole process through (from skinning and cleaning to the final presentation on the plate). Yes!

Nonetheless, puree was so delicious and so simple to make, that I started to prepare it as a side dish in my everyday cooking. With its sweet and nutty flavor this puree does go beautifully with rabbit or hare. But it also works with slow-cooked chicken dishes or simple grilled meats. It is very convenient side dish as it can be prepared ahead of time and reheated before serving.

Summer fruits cobbler

Adapted from Mark Bittman

This cobbler taste great and its effortless (it is literally 10 minutes of work, excluding the baking time). It is essentially perfect recipe from my favorite cooking bible, humbly named ”How to Cook Everything”.

I love to make cobblers in the summer – when fruits are cheap and at their best. I had discovered this recipe 2 years ago, and since then I baked this cobbler more than 20 times, always thrilled with the fantastic result.  So far my favorite filling was a combination of strawberries and nectarines (2:1 ratio), but you can use any fruit of your choice. Try blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches, apricots, even rhubarb. Experiment making it as a single fruit variety, or mix different fruits together (like on the picture below).

Cooked Salsa

Adapted from Mark Bittman

If you feel like having not so healthy tacos, try at least to deep them in a yummy and healthy salsa!

My man likes junk food*. Not that he eats a lot of it, but still. I have to deal with unwanted things occupying our fridge. Certain things I have to accept – like ketchup for example. But some things have to go – cheap supermarket salsa is one of them.
We do like to munch on tacos from time to time, so it is a good idea to have some salsa for a dip. But the kind I had found in our cooler is simply not acceptable. Color is the only thing which it has in common with tomatoes. To me, it tastes like vinegar with some salt and E-124. Shitty food.

Shrimp stuffed mushrooms

adapted from Tvedemose

I made these mushrooms as a fast dinner for two, when trying to clean the fridge from remaining bits of food. It turned out really delicious, however a bit too heavy for my delicate stomach. Yes, it is not a main dish recipe, but a perfect appetizer to trigger your guest’s taste buds and charm them visually! Two or three pieces per person is more than enough.  

Beet Root Chips

Adapted from Tofu for Two

As a mom of 2,5 years old I really care about proper nutrition of my child. My toddler, however, constantly refuses to eat vegetables. No luck in smuggling greens into his diet so far. Oh, well, he is untroubled to eat my carrot cake or chocolate-beetroot cake (he is even begging for second portions of these), but let’s face it: this is not exactly the nutrition I am willing to give him on daily basis. After many unsuccessful approaches of veg-smuggling, finally a big success came unexpected - in the form of a beet root chip!

Yes, these chips make a lovely, alternative snack, easy to make and surprisingly tasty. Baking the beets in the oven instead of deep-frying makes them much healthier; they tend to shrink a lot, that’s why it’s a good idea to choose the biggest beets you have. To save energy and preserve nutrients I bake them long in low temperature, but you can try to do it faster in higher temperatures.

Eco friendly mussels

Adapted from StoneSoup
Mussels are my true love. They taste great, they are very easy to cook, they are cheap, they look great and they are eco friendly! Too good to be true? No.

Many kinds of seafood are farmed unsustainably, over-fished, or caught in ways that kill other sea life as well. That is not very nice, huh? Luckily, my beloved farm-raised mussels are the kind of seafood you can feel good about eating.
Mussel farming is a simple concept for sustainable production of valuable seafood while improving coastal water quality.  It can be regarded as open landscape feeding, but in the sea. It’s like an ecological, bio-dynamic, free-range top quality chicken, just even better. (Detailed information for nerds here)

Do not hesitate, just go buy them and let the magic begin in your kitchen :)

Black-eyed beans with mushrooms

Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey

Homemade Indian food, with its bursting colors and rich aroma is a natural way to keep my family warm and comfy during the winter months. It is also a great tool to fight winter depression, which is so common, here in Scandinavia.  
It is a lovely, hearty, comforting food. It taste great eaten with simple basmati rice, naan bread or just alone. This time I’ve served it together with moong dal with browned onion, which is by far my most favorite quick Indian meal (I will post the recipe later).