Paneer Tikka Masala

Pic by Franzi.

This dish tastes like made in an Indian restaurant (at least in my world). I made it already several times – especially for guests. It’s easy to prepare (but takes some time) and always gets lots of praise :). You can make it either with paneer (an Indian fresh cheese that’s available in good-sorted Asian stores or you prepare your own home-made cheese), or alternatively use tofu, which tastes nearly as good as paneer in this Tikka Masala.

Recipe:

Ingredients: Serves 4.

2 TblSps coconut oil for frying, 250 g paneer or tofu (cut into cubes), 3 TblSps olive oil, 1-2 garlic cloves (smashed), 1 diced onion, app. 60 ml tomato paste, 2 TSps ground cardamom, 1/2 TSp pepper flakes, 2 TSps minced ginger, 2 TSps ground turmeric, 1 TSp garam masala, 1 TSp ground coriander, 1 TSp ground cumin, 800 g whole peeled tomatoes (tinned), 500 ml heavy cream, 450 g frozen peas, salt.

Preparation:

Heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat in a big cast-iron pot. Fry the paneer (or the tofu) until it is golden-brown (2-3 minutes on each side). Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Discard the oil.

Heat the olive oil in the same pot. Add the smashed garlic, the minced onion, the tomato paste, the cardamom and pepper flakes. Roast, stirring often, until the tomato paste has darkened and the onion has softened (about 5 minutes). Add the rest of the spices (ginger, turmeric, garam masala, coriander and cumin) to the pot and roast, stirring constantly, until the bottom of the pot begins to brown (about 4 minutes).

Add the tomatoes with their juices, crushing the tomatoes with your hands while you add them. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer, stirring frequently and scraping up any brown bits. Cook until sauce thickens (about 8 minutes).

Add in the heavy cream, the paneer and the peas. Season to taste with salt. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened (15-20 minutes). Serve with rice.

Enjoy!

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Nut Roast!

Pic by Franzi.

A vegetarian classic that works perfectly as Christmas dish!

Recipe: Serves 5-6.

Ingredients:

250 g mixed nuts, 100 g shallots (diced), 400 g minced tomatoes, 3 eggs, 150 g Gruyère cheese (grated), 1 TSp fresh thyme, 2 TSps fresh sage (minced), 1/2 TSp dried mint, 1 TSp yeast extract (dissolved in 1 TSp hot water), 1 TSp lemon juice, salt, pepper.

Preparation:

Roast the nuts without fat in a pan until they are golden brown. Mince the nuts in a kitchen machine (or like us in a smoothie maker). Prepare your baking tray with baking parchment and grease it with some butter.  In a big bowl, mix nuts, shallots, tomatoes, eggs, cheese, herbs, yeast extract and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture into the baking tray. Bake for app. 50 minutes at 180°C.

Serve with tomato sauce – or, like we, with mashed cauliflower and onion jam.

Enjoy!

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me for details.

Kale Lasagna!

Pic by Franzi.

A winter recipe with an Italian vibe: Kale lasagna with tomato sauce!

Recipe: Serves 3-4.

Ingredients:

1 kg kale (washed and cut into slices), 2 onions (minced), 1 smashed garlic clove, 4 TSps olive oil, 2 TblSps butter, lasagna plates (I used gluten-free), 100 g grated cheese, 2 tins minced tomatoes, 1 TblSp soy sauce (I used gluten-free), salt, nutmeg, pepper, 2 TSps oregano, 1 TblSp corn starch, 125 ml vegetable stock.

Preparation:

Melt the butter in a (very) big pot. Add 1 minced onion and the garlic for app. 3 minutes and then add (step by step) the kale slices (this will take some time). Roast for 3 more minutes, then add vegetable stock. Close the pot with a lid and let it cook for 30 minutes, then season with pepper, soy sauce and nutmeg.

Meanwhile prepare the tomato sauce: Heat the olive oil and add the other minced onion for app. 3 minutes. Sprinkle with corn starch and roast for another minute. Add minced tomatoes. Season with oregano, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.

Grease a casserole. Start with a layer of kale, top with lasagna plates, followed by tomato sauce. Add some grated cheese and start again with another layer of kale – then lasagna plates, tomato sauce, grated cheese…

Finnish with tomato sauce and top with some more grated cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for app. 45 minutes at 175 °C.

Enjoy!

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me for details.

Those Wonderful Cookbooks! #fbm16

cooking6Love at first sight: Raw by Icelandic chef Solla Eiriksdottir. All pics by Franzi, made on the #fbm16.

Cookbooks are a big passion of mine. Maybe I shouldn’t wonder why my notebook is now full of new cookbook titles after the Frankfurt book fair #fbm16. Here are (only) twelve of my favorites I found this year – most of them were published in 2016, some re-published and some a bit older :).

Enjoy cooking (& reading)!

cooking7Vegetarian, the Middle Eastern Way: The Middle Eastern Vegetarian Cookbook by Salma Hage.

cooking12Tinned fish recipes. Really! (German): Frisch aus der Dose by Bart van Olphen.

cooking11My last coffeehouse discovery Vollpension in Vienna has now its own recipe book (German): Vollpension – Kuchen von der Oma.

cooking10A recipe biography and a dialog between the grandma and her granddaughter (German): Oma Heidi by Christina Schmid.

cooking13Vegetarian cooking – the US way (German): USA vegetarisch.

cooking9More than only cheesecake: New York Cult Recipes by Marc Grossman.

cooking5I already have the Italian version, now I need this one as well: Quick and Easy Spanish Recipes by Simone and Inés Ortega.

cooking4One of my absolute favorites this year: The Silver Spoon for Children – Favorite Italian Recipes!!!

cooking8I am still a bread baking addict: The Larousse Book of Bread by Éric Kayser.

cooking3Not only on cold days: Clean Soups by Rebecca Katz.

cooking2 Another big favorite of mine – because it answers the question what to cook on special occasions like X-Mas or a dinner with friends while living gluten-free: Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain Celebrations.

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me for details.

Chili sin Carne!

ChiliPic by Franzi.

Eating gluten-free means I am hungry all the time! Luckily, this changed with this recipe for Chili sin Carne. It was funny to prepare because it feels like cooking a lentil soup the whole time and then finally it really turns into a… Chili sin Carne. Yummi!

Recipe: Serves 4.

Ingredients:

250 g red lentils, 1 can kidney beans, 1 can tinned corn, 2 potatoes (peeled and cut into cubes), butter, 1/2 package sieved tomatoes, chili powder, 2 garlic cloves (minced), 1 onion (minced), 1250 ml vegetable stock, paprika, curry powder, salt, pepper.

Preparation:

Melt the butter in a big pot, roast the minced onions and the garlic. Add potatoes. Rinse the red lentils and add to the potatoes and onions. Add the vegetable stock and cook for app. 25 minutes. Rinse the kidney beans and the corn and add to the lentils. Cook for some more minutes, then add the sieved potatoes. Season with chili, curry powder, paprika, salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me for details.

Vegan Pasta Carbonara & Week Three of Going Vegan!

Vegan Pasta CarbonaraPic by Franzi.

I have to admit something: Week three of my Monthly Challenge of Going Vegan went not really good. On Thursday I invited some people over to cook together (vegan) Chickpeas Tajine. Unfortunately one of them brought a (not-so-vegan) cake and left it at my place … you cannot throw away a cake, can you?! On Friday I met a friend in a coffee bar and I was very hungry. I (very committed of staying vegan) asked if they may have vegan soups. I get served a tomato soup … with a lot of (not-so-vegan) cream. I was really very hungry … and a bit confused that even the modern looking waitress did not seem to know that there’s a difference between veganism and vegetarianism. On Saturday I woke up a bit later and was told by a friend of mine the whole time how delicious it would be to go to the farmers market and eat there a battered fish as a late breakfast. I had to go to the farmers market anyway and how could I resist this temptation when he was ordering it directly in front of me?! And then came the best comment of the last three weeks: “But Franzi, doesn’t the batter contain eggs – is it still vegan?!”. Obviously only the batter was the not-so-vegan part of this dish ;).

But hey, the rest of the week I remained very dedicated. One discovery I made: German vegan chef Attila Hildmann’s recipes sound all very delicious and simple and as if they would be able to help even my still-not-used-to-a-vegan-diet-and-therefore-always-hungry-feeling-stomach to get full. I tried a slightly adaptation of his Spaghetti with Mint, Peas & Cream Sauce recipe (watch the German video tutorial here) and prepared myself a (very) big pot of Vegan Pasta Carbonara. Delicious, so give it a try!

Recipe:

Ingredients (serves 4):

1 package smoked tofu (diced),  1 onion (peeled and diced), app. 200 g frozen peas, 2 TblSps olive oil, a handful fresh mint leaves (minced), 300 g pasta, salt, pepper, zest of one lemon, 200 ml soy cream.

Preparation:

Cook your pasta for app. 10 minutes in salted water. After 5 minutes add your frozen peas directly into the pasta water. Wait until pasta and peas are al dente.  Drain the water.
In between, heat the olive oil  and roast gently the smoked tofu. Add the onions, season with pepper and salt, roast gently. Add the mint, the soy cream and the lemon zest. Let cook for two  more minutes on a low flame.
Add the still warm pasta and peas directly to the sauce, mix gently and season with salt and pepper.

Recipe for PRINT

Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Attila Hildmann. Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me for details!

 

Vegetarian Classic: Baked Courgettes

Pic by Franzi.

I was 12 years old when I made it official to my family that I’m a vegetarian (…who eats fish). Even before that moment, I never liked meat (in all its variants). Thus, I don’t believe it came as a big shock. Nevertheless, my parents reacted the first years a bit…, well desperate. Admittedly, it was a slightly complicated situation with a father who adored meat and a brother who ate no vegetables or fruits at all back then. It didn’t take long until my mother came home with two recipes in her hands a friend of her gave her. They were the very first simple vegetarian dishes I knew and are still classics in my kitchen. One of them are the baked courgettes with corn and nuts. They are hearty and fresh at the same time, easy to prepare, don’t require many ingredients… what else can my vegetarian heart crave for?!

Preparation:

Ingredients:  serves 2

1 large courgette, 1 onion (peeled and minced), 1 TblSp olive oil, 100g tinned corn, 100g grated cheese, 50 g chopped nuts (walnuts, pine seeds…)

Preparation:

Wash and half the courgette. With a big spoon, core out each courgette half (save and chop the inner parts). Cook the outer shells for 2 minutes in water.  Heat the olive oil in a small pot, add courgette flesh, corn and onion; cook for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients (cheese, walnuts) and mix with a wooden spoon. Put the courgette shells into an ovenproof dish, fill the inner parts with corn-cheese-courgette mixture and bake at 190°C for 30 min.

Print version!

Enjoy!