Avocado Quesadillas and a Fresh Balsamic Lamb’s Lettuce Salad

I really, really like quesadillas.. you know.. those flour tortillas with cheese (and a whole lot of other things, if you want) between them. I like the simplicity of the dish and I really like how easy it is to make them. This time, I had an avocado left that I wanted to use, so I made a quesadilla with an avocado spread and some old cheese. To be totally honest.. I did not know if this combo was any good, but I loved it, so I decided to quickly take a few pictures so that I could share the recipe with you all. I really had to take the pictures QUICKLY, because it had already started getting dark, oops. So sorry for the crappy quality of the pictures!

AVOCADO QUESADILLAS AND A FRESH BALSAMICO SALAD

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THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED (yields two dinner-size servings)
for the quesadillas
– 4 flour tortillas (I used multigrain tortillas)
– 1 avocado
– 1/2 a garlic clove (crushed)
– 1/4 red onion (finely cut)
– pinch of pepper
– fully mature cheese, slices (bought at a specialist store, or cheesemonger, preferably)

for the salad
– 100 gr  lamb’s lettuce
– 2 tomatoes (parts)
– 1 avocado (dices)
– 1/4 red onion (finely cut)
– balsamic vinegar
– pinch of sea salt
– pinch of pepper

– skillet (bigger than flour tortillas)
– salad bowl
– small bowl

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THIS IS WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO
1. Mash one avocado in a small bowl.

2. Add crushed garlic and finely cut red onion.

3. Divide the mashed avocado mixture among two flour tortillas.

4. Add sliced cheese and put the other flour tortillas on top, making two ‘tortilla sandwiches’.

5. Heat the skillet (really hot!) and put the quesadillas in the skillet (without oil or butter) one by one and turn them once they start to get brown.

6. Meanwhile, put the lamb’s lettuce in the salad bowl and add the tomatoes, avocado and red onion.

7. Season with sea salt and pepper, and add some balsamic vinegar to taste.

8. Cut the quesadillas in quarters and serve with salad.

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Corn salad with avocado dressing

One of my goals is to throw away as little food as possible. According to the European Union, about 90 million tones of food is wasted annually in Europe alone. And in industrialized countries, a shocking 40% of food waste happens at the retail and consumer level. So, we can all try to minimize food waste and I think we should keep this in mind when we’re at the supermarket.

But, what to do with an overripe avocado? In all honesty.. I do not really like avocados that are super soft, I like them with a little bite, but I really really didn’t want to throw it away. So, I turned it into a dressing for my corn salad and it turned out to be DELICIOUS!

[klik hier voor het Nederlandse recept]

CORN SALAD WITH AVOCADO DRESSING

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THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED (yields 2 servings)
For the salad
– 200 gr kernels of corn
– 1 red onion, chopped
– 2 scallions, chopped
– 12 cherry tomatoes

For the dressing
– 1 very ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
– 2 heaping tbsp cream cheese
– 1 clove of garlic
– sea salt and pepper

– (hand) blender or food processor
– medium sized bowl

THIS IS WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO
1. Turn the avocado, cream cheese, garlic, sea salt and pepper into a dressing by using the (hand) blender or food processor.

2. Put the corn, red onion, scallions and cherry tomatoes in a bowl and mix well.

3. Put the avocado dressing on top and enjoy!

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The easiest banana blueberry smoothies

In the next few days (in the Netherlands), temperatures will rise and the Dutch will spend their days in their gardens, at the lake or beach, etc. Not me, though. I’ll stay inside (4th floor, flat roof, save me!) finishing the draft version of my thesis, which has to be handed in next Monday. To enjoy summer just a tiny bit, I made two versions of a super, super easy blueberry smoothie.

[klik hier voor het Nederlandse recept]

BANANA BLUEBERRY SMOOTHIES (1 serving)

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THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED
– 100 mL (vegetable) milk or fresh orange juice
– 1 small banana
– 75 gr blueberries
– optional: ice cubes
– optional: handful of oats

– blender or food processor

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THIS IS WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO
1. Put all ingredients in the blender or food processor. If the smoothie is too thick, add some more (vegetable) milk, orange juice, or even water. If you want to have a cold drink instantly, add some ice cubes. If you want to make your smoothie a meal (breakfast, for example), add a handful of (gluten free) oats.

2. Save the smoothie in the fridge if you want to serve it later or if you want to cool it without using ice cubes.

3. Enjoy!

PS: check this blogpost for a smoothie recipe with banana, pear, and lime!

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Aragula salad with balsamic strawberries and toasted walnuts

Lunch time. I look at a plastic bag in the hallway, given to me by my granddad. The plastic bag is filled with fresh walnuts. Beautiful, delicious walnuts from the walnut tree in my grandparents’ garden. While I am thinking of a way to use them for lunch, I search my kitchen cabinets and the fridge for ingredients to combine them with. This salad is the delicious result of my granddad’s gift and my search for ingredients to combine the walnuts with.

[Klik hier voor het Nederlandse recept]

ARAGULA SALAD WITH BALSAMIC STRAWBERRIES AND TOASTED WALNUTS

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THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED (yields 1 serving)
– a handful of aragula/rocket
– a handful of a lettuce mixture of your choice
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
– some basil leaves (cut
– 5 strawberries
– 5 walnuts (cracked)
– a pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper

optional ingredients
– 1/2 red onion
– some grated parmesan cheese (for the non-vegan version of the salad, obviously)
– 1 tsp honey (don’t use it if you don’t like the salad to be sweet(er) or if you want it to be vegan)

– small bowl
– medium sized bowl
– skillet

THIS IS WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO
1. Take the small bowl and mix the balsamic vinegar, honey and basil leaves.

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2. Slice the strawberries and add them to the small bowl with the balsamic vinegar and honey mixture.

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3. Toast the cracked walnuts in the skillet, over medium heat, for about 3 minutes. Do not let them get burnt!

4. Take a handful of aragula/rocket, and a handful of your other lettuce mixture and put it in the medium-sized bowl. Mix well and sprinkle with olive oil. Also add a pinch of sea salt and pepper.

5. Optional: slice the red onion and add it to the salad.

6. Add the balsamic strawberries and walnut to the aragula/lettuce mixture and mix well.

7. Optional: add grated parmesan cheese.

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Frozen cranberry almond tarts with a banana coconut filling

Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time on writing my thesis, which leaves me with little time to cook, bake and create. Unfortunately. But, even without a trip to the supermarket I managed to make a delicious dessert for a family gathering. I might’ve mentioned before that I have a lactose free diet, and my dad has a gluten free diet, so you could say desserts are a challenge. However, this dessert is gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free, and therefore it suits our whole family. Perfect, right? Seen the fact that this was just an experiment I was rather… preserved, but it turned out really well and I got some lovely comments as well. I hope you’ll like these (raw) ice cream tarts with cranberries, almonds, banana and coconut as much as we did!

[klik hier voor de Nederlandse post]

FROZEN CRANBERRY ALMOND TARTS WITH A BANANA COCONUT FILLING (yields 9 tarts)

Frozen Cranberry Almond Banana Coconut Ice Cream Tart 

THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED
For the crust
– 125 gr dried cranberries
– 100 gr raw almonds
– 35 gr coconut oil (melted)
– 1 tbsp agave syrup (or honey)

For the filling
– 2 ripe bananas
– 40 gr coconut oil (melted)
– 35 gr coconut cream (melted)

– food processor or blender
– muffin tin (for at least 9 muffins)
– sheet of baking paper (cut in strips)

THIS IS WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO
1. Put the raw almonds in the food processor or blender and process for about a minute.

2. Add the cranberries to the almond grains and process for another minute or two.

3. Add the melted coconut oil and agave syrup and process shortly.

4. Take the muffin tin and add one strip of baking paper to each hole. This will help you to take the tarts out of the muffin tin when they are done.

5. Put about 1 (heaping) tbsp of the cranberry and almond mixture in each hole of the muffin tin and form cups with the back of a spoon or just use your fingers.

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6. When you’re done, put the muffin tin in the fridge.

7. Next, put the bananas in the food processor or blender and process for half a minute.

8. Add the coconut oil and coconut cream to the banana puree and process shortly.

9. Take the muffin tin with the cranberry almond crusts out of the fridge and divide the banana coconut mixture over the nine crusts. I actually had too much of this mixture, but I’d suggest you put it in the freezer and you’ll end up with some nice ice cream as well!

10. Put the muffin tin in the freezer and let them chill for a few hours.

 Frozen Cranberry Almond Banana Coconut Ice Cream Tart

Frozen Cranberry Almond Banana Coconut Ice Cream Tart