Puff pastry pea rolls

Almost three years into mothering my sweet little boy, I’ve had to bend a lot of the principles I had in my mind before entering parenthood. There are others though, that with the cooperation of my little gourmand, I never had any trouble to instill – and those all have to do with food.

One of them was that I absolutely wanted him to consider vegetables as an essential part of the meal. Not something I would have to push. Not something we would have to fight over. One condition: taste everything. Even just by licking.

So from his very first day at school, vegetables are in his lunchbox. September and October were still nice and warm, so raw carrots, tomatoes or cucumber were no problem. When the weather started to change though, raw vegs came back untouched – and to be honest, I can understand why. So I started to look for new ways to fill up his lunchbox with all these vitamins and nutrients.

Enter puff pastry pea rolls. Tasty hot and cold, so perfect as leftovers to feed a toddler who likes something different from the traditional sandwich. And dead easy to make.

healthy lunchbox pea pastry

You’ll need two hands full of frozen peas, cooked and well drained. Put them in a blender with a spoon of cream cheese, freshly grated parmesan. (You can add some wilted leafy greens too, if you want.) Season to taste. Blend until creamy, maybe just a tad chunky.

Preheat the oven to a 200°C. If you like them, you can bake some lardons until they’re crispy. Flatten a sheet of puff pastry, spread with the pea mixture, sprinkle with lardons. Roll up and cut into strips.

Put on a baking sheet and in the oven until the pastry is golden.


If you manage to have leftovers (or be smart and bake twice the usual amount), let them cool down completely before packing them in an airtight container. Lunchbox will be empty. Promise!



Comforting mushroom-spinach cannelloni

One thing I did accomplish this summer is a pantry-purge. It wasn’t pretty, I had to throw out a lot of things. But it inspired me as well, as I found an old pot of dried mushrooms and half a package of cannelloni tubes. Normally I make spinach-ricotta cannelloni with tomato sauce, but the mushrooms just asked for a silky white sauce. This would be a perfect autumn dish.



For this recipe you’ll need cannelloni tubes (three per person should do), ricotta cheese, spinach (I used fresh, but I can tell you that frozen spinach works just as well), a shallot, dried mushrooms (If you have some fresh ones laying around, they could do too, but you’ll need some dried to use the rehydration liquid for the sauce), flour, butter and milk.


  • Rehydrate the mushrooms in some very hot water. How many is your choice, it’s the liquid that we’ll need to make a special white sauce, but I used some mushrooms in the filling too. Preheat the oven to 200°C (that’s my standard, I hardly use any other temperature, so if you know your oven, maybe you should play around). Butter a oven proof dish slightly.


  • Make the filling: welt the spinach and when it’s done, try to squeeze out as many of the moisture as you can. When using frozen spinach: defrost (maybe you can do that ahead and let it sit overnight in a sieve over a bowl) and squeeze out the moisture. Cooking isn’t needed, it will be in the oven later, time enough to cook!


  • Chop the shallot very finely and cook until translucent. When using a few fresh mushrooms, you can chop them very finely too and cook with the shallot. For the dried ones, no cooking required, but you’ll need to chop finely and squeeze out all the liquid. Don’t throw it away, but set aside. That brownish water with the distinctive mushroom fragrance is going to add some extra to your sauce.


  • Combine spinach, mushroom, shallot with just enough ricotta cheese to bring it all together and then just a little more. Season to taste.


  • Fill the tubes with the mixture. For me, a simple plastic bag works best. Put the filling in it, cut a tiny little bit of the corner and tadaaa, great filling tool!


  • Prepare the white sauce. First, make a roux of equal quantities of butter and flour. Cook it long enough to smell something nutty, then add a few spoons of the mushroom water to it (I suggest you start with two and then go on with the milk – it can get quite overwhelming taste wise). Continue with milk, constantly whisking until you have a lovely beige sauce. It can’t be runny, but make sure it’s not too thick either, because your cannelloni will have to cook in it. Taste! Season and add more mushroom water if you like.


  • Spoon a layer of sauce into your dish, arrange the cannelloni on top of it, and cover with the rest of the sauce. Put in the oven for at least 30 minutes, maybe 45, until your cannelloni are cooked. To me, it’s a very filling meal, but I would understand the need for something fresh to accompany it. I would go for a simple salad with a light, fresh dressing. Enjoy!




Pasta para P

Sometimes a rush and some basic ingredients create the most wonderful dishes. And one of them became the absolute favorite of my husband, hence the name. The secret ingredient? Lots of fresh dill, I’ve already tried it without and it honestly makes all the difference…


  • Cook pasta. I like to use rigatoni for this dish, but penne or any short, ribbed pasta would do.


  • In the meantime, cut up some spring onions, slice a bunch of ‘candy tomatoes‘ (it’s a kind of very sweet cherry tomato, but longer, like a teeny tiny version of roma tomatoes – it has to be really sweet) and toss them in a pan, pot, wok, whatever. Let them simmer and get warm.


  • Add mascarpone, one big spoon will do for now. Season, but be careful with the salt…


  • cause you’ll add your cooked pasta, along with little slices of smoked salmon. Keep some of the salmon apart to sprinkle over it once done. Now it’s the art to make it come together, the pasta just coated, the salmon just a different color, and heaps of chopped dill. Make sure everything is warm, but don’t overdo it.


  • Serve in bowls or big plates, sprinkle with the rest of the salmon and a bit of leftover dill.
  • Enjoy. Take seconds. Thirds. Fight over the last spoon.




Mouthwatering kohlrabi curry

Kohlrabi. You love it, you hate it. Or you simply don’t know it, which was my case until it showed up in a veggie box last year. It was a veg I would never ever buy myself. I like the occasional raw diced kohlrabi salad, especially when they are young and fresh and sweet. But while they keep long, they don’t keep forever. And I had no idea how to cook it in a way it did the veg justice. So now it’s kohlrabi season apparently and they kept living in my fridge and multiplying with each veggie box. Not to mention the two beautiful cuties that came from my proper garden (yeah, I bought seedlings and forget what they were. I just put them in and they thrived! I can really recommend them for your vegetable garden).

Help was needed. Google was my friend. (I deliberately decided not to use Pinterest for this one, as my green kohlrabi friends would still be partying in the fridge while I was gasping at all those creative food pictures of the most amazing recipes from the most amazing sites. In which case I could not write this post. And believe me, you would not have want to miss it!) I found kohlrabi purees and salads. But I wanted something more fancy than a puree and I wanted it cooked, not raw. I could roast them in the oven with olive oil and salt, but I was feeling more ambitious. In came the curries.

Oh lord, the curries. We’re not big curry eaters in this house. We don’t particularly like spicy or hot food.  You could say we’re more into the pastas than into the curries. This recipe might have changed this. I made it up combining elements that kept coming back in other recipes and added my refusal to run for the store for extra ingredients. It was my day off and I had been grocery shopping the day before. (It’s not good for my wallet to stroll through the supermarket more than I need to).


You’ll need:

  • kohlrabi, preferably with the leaves still on, but you could do without them just as fine (or replace them by kale or chard or spinach or any sturdy leafy green).
  • tomatoes (I used two on three kohlrabis, but you can play around easily, this is a very forgiving and adaptable recipe)
  • onion (one large one) and  garlic cloves (three)
  • red curry paste
  • a can of coconut milk/cream (mine said milk, but it looked more like cream, I guess texture wise cream would work best)
  • cumin (I used powder, but you can grind some seeds or maybe leave them whole?)
  • pepper and salt to taste


How to make it:

  • Dice the kohlrabi. Young, small, fresh ones don’t need to be peeled. But I would not peel them anyway, since you’re making a curry and you can let it cook for as long as you want. And I’m lazy like that. I pre boiled them in slightly salted water, mainly because I wanted to reserve some for milder version for Little Boy. But I guess you could skip that and boil them in the curry, but then adding more liquid in the beginning.


  • In a little oil, let the onion and garlic sweat for a while, add a decent amount of curry paste, the cumin and let it fry a little. Then add the chopped tomatoes. Let it reduce a little, a bit like a sofrito.


  • Add the kohlrabi and  the coconut cream. If you’ve already boiled it, you can turn the heat quite low and just make the flavors come together, seasoning  to taste and adding the chopped greens (kohlrabi leaves or whatever substitute you use) right away. If your kohlrabi is still raw, you’ll have to let it cook for quite a time on medium heat. Using the thinner coconut milk might be the way to go then. Or some stock. I haven’t tried, I’m just thinking aloud here. At the end of the cooking process, add the greens and season.


kohlrabi curry

I might this batch especially to freeze, but I really had to bit my tongue to not dive in (even if it was only 9 a.m.! ) I froze two two-person portions, and I had kept some kohlrabi apart to put together with the cooked sweet potato. I mixed those with a teaspoon of the curry paste and two table spoons of coconut cream to make a mild version for the Little Boy. Everybody happy!



Linking up with:

Natasha @ Say G’day Saturday

Parsnip parmentier

In my lovely veggie box last week were a bunch of parsnips. Big ones, small ones, chunky ones. The weather was slightly cooler, so I decided to make a dish that I could prepare in the morning and then put in the oven at night. It’s my take on the traditional hachis parmentier, and I think this works with almost any veg you could put in a mash.


First, brown the mince. I used it just like that, but I would add some garlic, spring onions, or chopped onion/shallot. This will be the bottom layer of the parmentier.


Cook the potatoes and the parsnips. Large chunks are ok, you’ll mash them up anyway. I used only a slightly bit less potatoes than parsnips, but I think this dish doesn’t need to much potato. Parsnips are quite rich on their own, and maybe you could even leave the potato out.


Season your mash. Use plenty of butter (or some of the cooking water). You can add some greens if you want to. I added curry powder and it could easily have done with some more of that. It’s a good combo, parsnips and curry powder. I think it’s important not to make your mash too dry, especially if you’re going to reheat it in the oven.


Put the mash in a generous layer on the mince. You could add a little splash of cream in between, to moisten things a bit. Or you could serve it with some creamy sautéed Chinese cabbage, as I did. In my opinion, it needs some greens to counter the earthy sweetness of the parsnips. My husband didn’t want them, but I ended up eating more than him, just because of that variation in taste.



When you frowned at that title, you’re right. I just made up a word. But this one has been on the menu a lot lately, so I thought I should share the recipe. If it’s even a recipe.

I’ve never really liked pizza. There. I said it.

It has to do with the crust. For a while I liked the traditional crust of PizzaHut pizzas but then my boyfriend at the time started to work there and they caused a dramatic drop in occasions to see each other. Plus, the stories ‘behind the scenes’ made me not wanting to eat pizza for a very. long. time. Yikes.

Later, when I decided that I should know how to cook and dived right in with my favorite, cheese croquettes (which is a complicated recipe and because of that not my best idea ever), gained some experience, I tried to make pizza dough. Hey, I managed to make decent bread, pizza could not be so hard, could it?

Euh… yes it could. I fought with the dough, I turned it and twisted it and made it awful. I gave up and used pre made dough instead but it didn’t help with my pizza-hate-affair. And then supermarket was closed, I hadn’t a thing left to eat, I thought, and my husband could come home hungry any minute now.

Enter mini-pizzas on a pita. The bare fact of using pita as bottom solved the problem of not making good dough AND baking time. My husband loves them and it’s the best way ever to use leftover veggies. It’s so simple it is ridiculous.





Take little pita breads. Don’t bake them, don’t cut them, just leave them like that. Put tomato sauce on them. I use a mix of concentrated tomato puree and tubed tomato sauce. (If you’re lazy, you can as well be super lazy.) Put anything you like on it. Mozzarella cheese, bell pepper cubes, anchovies, shredded chicken, snack tomatoes, spring onions, … Sprinkle with your favorite dried herbs, season and put in the preheated oven. They will take ten minutes, twelve maybe.

They’ll be gone in less.


 Sharing with
Raia @ Savoring Saturdays