Category Archives: green

Kale with Goat Cheese

getting stronger

We never had spinach when I was a child. Sometimes they served it in school but as a thin and tasteless soup or as a thick compact side dish for fried fish. In my later youth I was told to eat more spinach, as the iron would make me strong and less pale. It’s true that spinach contains more iron than many other green vegetables. But according to Wikipedia my body can’t really absorb it because spinach also contains a small amount of oxalate. And oxalate actually stops the body to absorb the iron! Hm!

True or not, spinach is still a great and healthy vegetable. I am eating it more now then ever before, (at least 4 times a month). The myth has also given me the taste for other green leaf vegetables such as Chard (mangold), Kale (cabbage), Collard Greens, Dandelion, Mustard Greens and a love-hate feeling for the bitter Broccoli Rabe.

Well this recipe is simple and works with many of the green leaf vegetables.

kale with goat cheese

one bunch of kale
olive oil
two cloves of garlic
chopped dried chili (what kind and how much depends on how spicy you want it)
60 ml (1/4 cup) tamari sauce
60 ml (1/4 cup) of water
one – three tablespoons of sour cream
goat cheese (you can use feta as well)

(serves two or three people)

Clean the kale carefully, trim the stems and chop the leaves into one-inch (25.4 mm) pieces. Peel and chop the garlic into tiny slices. Heat up some olive oil in a pan and sauté the garlic and the chopped chili. When the garlic starts to get golden brown, add kale and sauté until the kale starts to get a little soft. Lower the heat, add water and tamari, cover the pan and let it cook for about three to five minutes. Add some spoons of sour cream and some goat cheese. Stir without boiling for one minute (season with salt and pepper.)

Serve the kale with M:s lovely rice, brown pasta or even kasha (buckwheat).

m:s mixed Rice
(serves two hungry people)

one cup (ca 235 ml) of rice, a mix of Brown Basmati and a small amount of black wild rice
two cups (ca 470 ml) of water
one clove of garlic
one big bay leaf

Sort through for the rice for any odd bits and rinse lightly in water. Put the rice and water into a pressure cooker and turn the heat on high. When the water starts to boil add salt, the whole clove of garlic and bay leaf. Stir and close the pressure cooker. Turn heat to medium and when it starts to steam/hiss turn the heat to low. Cook for 30 minutes. When it’s finished take the pressure cooker from the heat and wait for the pressure to go (about five minutes). Open the pressure cooker and discard the garlic and the bay leaf. Ready to serve!



In Manhattan it’s hard to find great pierogi. I often find them too thick and heavy. Well M:s mother happens to be a great pierogi maker. She makes them so thin and light and fills them with sauerkraut and mushrooms, meat, or cheese and potatoes. I easily end up licking the plate. After all she is from Poland and as lovely as she is, she makes tons of them when we are around.
This summer I asked her for her dough secret. I was hoping to get the whole recipe written down, but her answer and recommendation was very short, “make them with warm water”!

dough (approximate 75 pierogi which serves about 6 people)
700 ml (3 cups) regular flour
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk (I used the egg white in the potatoes and cheese filling later)
1 tea spoon salt
175 ml (¾ cup) warm water (heated up, not directly from the tap)

Mix the flour and the salt together with the eggs. Heat up some water and mix small parts at a time into the flour mixture. I did it by hand but I think it works perfectly well to use a food processor. On a flat surface knead the dough until it’s firm and soft. Cover with a damp tablecloth and let it rest on the counter top while you are making the fillings.

mushroom filling
Here I made M:s Spicy Portobello Mushrooms. I used less water, as I didn’t want the filling to be too loose. Instead I used some cream to make it thicker.

cheese and potatoe filling
4 – 5 boiled potatoes
4 table spoons butter or olive oil
50 ml (0.2 cup) milk
1 egg white
about 120 ml (½ cup) farmers’ cheese
salt and pepper

melted butter
fine chopped and fried bacon
fine chopped and fried onions

Mash the potatoes with the egg white, some melted butter and milk. Add the farmers cheese as noted or to your own taste. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. Lastly add chopped cilantro. Note that cilantro is not really a traditional ingredient for a pierogi filling but I don’t think there are any strong rules on how to make fillings. You take what you have at home. I used a very mild type of cilantro. However many recipes seem to use fine chopped onions or chives. I will try garlic next time.

filling the pierogi
Uncover the dough and if necessary knead it some more. Divide into 4 pieces. Use lots and lots of flour while rolling one piece at the time to a 1/16” (1 mm) thickness. Make 3” circles and divide the fillings on top. Cover the filling and pinch the edges firmly to seal. Pat some more flower on every pirogi so they don’t stick together. If necessary add some more warm water to the dough as the flour makes it dryer in the process. Repeat until you have about 75 lovely pierogi.

Heat up salted water. When the water is boiling drop some of the pierogi in the water. When they are floating up to the surface let them boil approximate 1 minute more. Fish them out with a strainer. Top with melted butter and fried bacon and onions (chopped finely). Serve with a salad and some sour cream.

Well it is a long process… but luckily it was worth every minute. The pierogi ended up super thin and didn’t last very long.

There are many different versions on how to make pierogi. Some use sour cream and some use the egg yolk in their dough. My dough was inspired by several recipes but are quite similar to Kate Hopkins version.

Small Appetizers


So we went to Madrid and stayed at the quite stylish hotel, Hotel Room Mate Mario. I would not say it’s fancy like this one but it is a fun place. M:s comment was that the hotel is a perfect place for the Daleks in Dr Who, especially the dining room. I don’t know what the Daleks eat or if they eat at all. But the hotel is located in the heart of Madrid with hundreds of great tapas bars and restaurants around the corner.
Anyway at home we often have meetings and workshops. Depending on the time of the day we make either brunch or just appetizers. This is not really tapas, but something I make up from what happens to be in my fridge.

Warm Goat Cheese Tomatoes

3-4 sliced fresh tomatoes
some chevre or other stronger goatcheese
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Grease an oven-proof plate with olive oil. Arrange the tomatoe slices on the plate (they can overlap each other). Drizzle some olive oil and balsamic vinegar over. Season with salt and pepper. Cut the chevre in smaller pieces and divide them over the tomatoes. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes at 175º (350F). Serve with fresh bread, dry ham and olives.

M:s Spicy Portobello Mushrooms

2-3 portobello mushrooms or 10 smaller field mushrooms
dried chili
one clove of garlic
40 ml (1/6 cup) tamari sauce
40 ml (1/6 cup) of water
fresh rosemary leaves

Heat up some olive oil in a pan and fry the garlic and the chili. When the garlic starts to get a little soft, add the chopped mushrooms. Sauté until the mushrooms get softer. Add the water and the tamari and season with salt and pepper. Spread some leaves of rosemary over and cook it for three minutes.

Serve with fresh bread, dry ham, feta and olives.

Spinach Packages

any filo dough
one bunch of fresh spinach
dried chili
one clove of garlic
salt and pepper
feta (or parmesan)

Clean the spinach carefully and chop or break it into smaller pieces. Heat up olive oil in a pan and fry the chopped garlic together with some dried chili until it’s golden brown. Add the Spinach and sauté until it gets softer. Season with salt and pepper. Lastly mix in the feta and take the pan from the heat.

Make squares out of the filo dough and brush every layer with some olive oil. Place a spoon of spinach on the square and package them well. Arrange them on an oven-safe plate and bake them in the oven at 175º (350F) until they are golden brown.

Sometimes I also make olives with parmesan in filo dough.



One friend of mine was on a train and overheard a conversation between to guys. The conversation was about how to make the best curry. One of the guys was bragging about his curry and he even stated that it was the best. My friend thought the conversation was inspiring and decided to listen carefully and memorized the whole recipe. Excited about his new discovery my friend went home to give the curry a try. He managed to get all the ingredients and everything seemed to be great. But the bragging guy on the train had talked a little too much. The curry dish didn’t stand out at all. In fact the curry was a big disappointment for my friend.

M:s curry is probably not the best curry either, but it is tasty, quick and simple to make.

serves 3-4 people

1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2-3 cloves of garlic
½ yellow onion
more or less chili
2 teaspoons coriander powder
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
4-5 whole cardamoms
235 ml (1 cup) chickpeas
handfull raisins
handfull cashew nuts
½ cauliflower
one zucchini
two carrots

Heat up some olive oil and add the mustard seeds. When the seeds are popping in the pan, add chopped garlic, onion and the chili together with the coriander, cumin and turmeric. When the onions starts to get soft, about 3 minutes, add the vegetables. Mix and sauté for another 2 minutes before adding some water, cardamom, raisins and chickpeas. Cover and cook until vegetables are done. Add the cashew nuts at the end of the cooking. Serve with couscous or rice, simple dill cucumber salad and some nice yogurt on the side.

If you are using dried chickpeas I suggest the following: soak the chickpeas over night. Boil them in salted water together with one bay leaf and one clove of garlic for 30 minutes. Prepare some extra and you can make humus as well.

Spinach Lasagna


Well Alice on her lovely Swedish food blog Brax on Food asked me for a kitchen confession and here is one of them…
The other day we had some friends over for spinach lasagna. Just a half an hour before everybody arrived there was a small crisis in the kitchen. I had forgotten about the cheese sauce on the stove, it cooked for at least 45 minutes too long. Even though it was on very low heat the sauce had separated and the cheese had transformed into some kind of porridge that was floating in the saucepan. It did not taste burned or bad it just looked a little uneatable. One solution could be to try to get some new cheese in the supermarket. But they would probably not have a great replacement for the Gorgonzola that was floating in my saucepan. I had nothing to lose, so I poured everything in the blender and out came the smoothest cheese sauce I have ever done…

(Serves 4-5 people)

You will need lasagna noodles enough for three layers. Precook the noodles in a big pan or use already precooked noodles.

spinach sauce

2 bunches of spinach
olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
40 ml (1/6 cup) tamari sauce
40 ml (1/6 cup) of water

Clean the spinach carefully and let it dry while you peel and chop the garlic into small pieces. Heat up some olive oil in a pan and fry the garlic and the chili. When the garlic starts to get a little golden brown, add the spinach and sauté until it gets softer. Add the water and the tamari, cover the pan and let it cook for five minutes. If necessary season with salt and pepper.

blue cheese sauce

50 gram (about ½ stick) butter
50-60 ml (¼ cup) flour
700 ml (3 cups) milk
about 250 ml (1 cup) of any blue cheese (depending how strong taste you want)
salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter and stir in flour. Cook under very low heat for 2-3 minutes. Constantly stir the flour mix. Add the milk gradually and stir to a smooth blend. Add the cheese and stir until cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper.

Grease a baking tin. Start the layering with some cheese sauce and some spinach in the bottom. Keep layering with pasta in between layers of both cheese sauce and spinach. At last cover the last layer of pasta with only the sauce. Bake the lasagna in the oven at 375º for about 20-30 minutes. When the lasagna is nearly done sprinkle some fresh grated Parmesan over. Put in the oven for further cooking until the cheese is melted and got a nice color. Serve with a nice mixed salad, for example arugola, apple, grated carrots and walnuts.

… and the guests loved the lasagna.