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October Recipes : Carrot Orange Soup, Pecan Pear Salad, Spinach Feta Pastry, Zucchini Gorgonzola Flammkuchen, Apple Cranberry Muffins



An amazing taste combination with brilliant color, a treat for body and spirit!

Carrot, Orange, and Ginger Soup

3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 small onions, minced
6 medium carrots, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
6 cups vegetable stock or water
1 cup fresh pressed orange juice
salt and pepper to taste
chili flakes, fresh cilantro

Saute onions, carrots, garlic, and ginger in olive oil for about 5 minutes in a large pot, stirring constantly. Add stock or water (I use a vegetable stock from my natural foods store, but of course homemade is great!) and bring to a boil. Simmer for 25-30 minutes or until all vegetables are tender. Let cool slightly, then puree soup. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Just before serving, add fresh orange juice. Reheat gently, but do not boil. Sprinkle with a few chili flakes and fresh cilantro as a garnish, if desired. Easy and beautiful.


A fresh salad idea with a unique combination of tastes and textures.

Pecan, Pear, and Parmesan Salad

4 cups mixed greens of your choice 
2 pears, cut into slices or chunks
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
a handful of toasted pecans (or walnuts)
grated Parmesan or white Cheddar cheese (eliminate to make this salad vegan)

Drizzle pears with 1 Tbsp. lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Then whisk olive oil with 2 Tbsp. lemon juice and add salt and pepper to taste. Gently toss greens with pears and dressing, then sprinkle with toasted nuts and cheese as desired. Simple and delicious.


A "Flammkuchen" or "flame cake" is a savory thin crusted tart typical for the Alsace region. Traditionally made with bacon and creme fraiche, I especially like this vegetarian version made with zucchini and red onions.

Zucchini Red Onion Gorgonzola Flammkuchen

Crust:

2 cups flour (250 g)
1 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. olive oil
one egg yolk
6-7 Tbsp. ice water

Topping:

3/4 cup sour cream (200 g / 7 oz.)
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
2 red onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese (200 g / 7 oz.)
thyme
salt/pepper

For the crust, combine flour, salt, olive oil, egg yolk, then slowly add water until mixture sticks together. Knead into a smooth dough, press into a ball, and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rest 5 minutes. Line or grease a large baking sheet and Preheat oven to 400ºF / 200ºC.

Roll dough out as thinly as possible and place on prepared baking sheet. Spread with sour cream, then add zucchini slices and top with chopped onion and garlic. Sprinkle vegetables with dried or fresh thyme leaves, and season generously with salt and pepper. Add crumbled gorgonzola cheese, then bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and cheese is bubbly. Serve immediately. 


This Greek inspired pastry is quite easy to make, but looks very elegant. Perfect served with a fresh salad.

Spinach Feta Pine Nut Pastry

Filling:

3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 pound /450 g chopped spinach, fresh or frozen
1 tsp. oregano, dried
1 tsp. mint, dried
1 tsp. cumin
pinch of chili
salt/pepper
3 eggs
5 oz. / 150 g feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup dry bread crumbs

1 package puff pastry (270 g / 9 oz.)

Preheat oven to 375ºF / 190ºC. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease well.

To make the filling, saute the onion in the olive oil until soft, then add the spinach and continue cooking until moisture has evaporated, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in oregano, mint, cumin, and chili, and saute for another 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then let cool.

In a large bowl, beat eggs and stir in crumbled feta cheese. Add cooled spinach mixture, dry bread crumbs, then check seasoning, adding salt and pepper as necessary.

Roll out puff pastry into a large sheet, then lightly brush surface with olive oil. Spoon spinach mixture in a line along the long side of the pastry, leaving a border of about 1 1/2 inches (3 cm) uncovered on the ends and the side. Fold the long border over the filling, then fold in the ends and gently roll up the dough around the filling.

To bake, place roll seam side down on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the top with olive oil and bake until puffed and golden brown 35-40 minutes. Let cool slightly, then cut into slices and serve. 


I love the combination of apples and cranberries, and these muffins are wonderful served warm. Great for a holiday breakfast treat or afternoon tea.

Apple Cranberry Muffins


1 3/4 cups flour (you can use 1/2 whole wheat)
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup oil
1 peeled and chopped apple
1 cup cranberries

Topping: 1 Tbsp. sugar + 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400ºF / 200ºC. Butter or line 12 muffin cups. Mix together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Separately, combine egg, milk, and oil. Add egg/milk mixture all at once to flour mixture, and stir until just moistened. Gently fold in chopped apple and cranberries. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Combine sugar and cinnamon for topping, and sprinkle over muffins.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown and test done. Spicy, sweet and tart, yum.

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I hope my recipes will add more deliciousness to your October, enjoy!

xoxo

Stephanie

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