Simply eating

Veg: Blueberries stuffed pasta aka “coltunași cu afine”

This is a very quick veggie homemade Romanian pasta dish to be served as dessert. It is very close to my heart because my granny used to make it for us in the summer.




  • 400-450g white flour (you could also mix 50-50 with wholemeal flour)
  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • 50-75 ml water
  • optional: 1 egg
  • salt
  • 100g blueberries
  • 100g Crème fraîche
  • 3-4 Tbsp sugar or stevia

Cooking time:  30 mins

Preparation of the pasta: Just mix the flour with the oil, water and optionally the egg. Use a normal roller to roll out the pasta and then cut squares of 7×7 up to 10×10 cm. The doe is quite forgiving so the thickness can be between 2 and 5 mm. Place the washed blueberries in the middle of the squares. Make sure you wet the sides with water so that you can seal the corners properly. You can fold them as triangles or as rectangles. It can look as homemade as possible.


Boil 2 liters of water with a bit of salt in it. Place the blueberries pasta pockets into the water and let boil for 3-5 mins depending on thickness. Meanwhile mix very well the crème fraîche with the stevia/sugar. Once you take out the pasta from the water, just lay the sweet sauce over the little pockets of deliciousness.


Veg: Potatoes, leeks and mushroom tartelette

This is a very quick left overs tartelette. You can play with the ingredients as you wish. Use whatever you want as long as you have mashed potatoes as a binding base.




  • 4 squares 15cm/15cm sheets shop bought puff pastry (in NL you find them already cut)
  • 100g leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1 leek
  • 150 g mushrooms
  • 150g leeks
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2Tbsp mustard (I prefer Groninger)
  • 2Tbsp creme fraiche
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Cooking time:  30 mins

Preparation: Chop the leeks, mushrooms and onions


Start by pre heating the oven at  220C. Place the mashed potatoes in a bowl and mix with the mustard and creme fraice. In a pan fry the onions, garlic for 2-3 mins until golden brown and add the leeks.  Cook for 3 more mins. Don’t over cook it because the oeven will also do this.  Add them to the mashed potatoes mixture. Saute the mushrooms in the same pan for 1-2 mins and then add them to the mixture. Mix well and place on the pastry sheets. Bake for 17-18 mins at 220C.


Veg: Spinach soup with ginger

This is a simple and quick soup.

spinach soup_resized


  • 250g spinach leaves
  • 2 thumbs of ginger
  • 225g potatoes
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 Tbsp of mango vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • hand mixer
  • 400ml boiling water or broth, optional: organic vegetable stock or cube

Cooking time: 5 mins to prepare mins the veggies, 15 mins to cook

Preparation: Chop the shallots, garlic and peel & slice the ginger. Wash the spinach. Peel and cut in small cubes the potatoes.


Fry the onions, garlic, ginger for 2 mins in the oil and then add the spinach. Let it wilt for 2-3 mins. Add the potatoes, the stock and simmer for 10 mins on low-medium heat. After that let it cool down for 5 mins, blend until smooth, add the mango vinegar and serve optionally with a drizzle of sesame oil.

Pork: Bulgogi pork with wilted cavolo nero

The greatest thing about living in Amsterdam is that you meet people of all nationalities and who lived all over the world. And which is the best language to speak? Food. I learnt how to work with bulgogi marinates from a dear friend of mine, who lived in many parts of the world and “stole” cooking knowledge from many nations. This recipe is my simple interpretation for something as spicy as a bulgogi sauce with the italian veggie, cavolo nero, my favourite cabbage.



  • 10-12 stalks of cavolo nero
  • 250 g pork neck or loin, depending how much you like fat with your meat
  • 8-10 Tbsp bulgogi marinate, you can buy it from Korean shops
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • olive oil, salt & pepper

Times: 5 mins for preparation, 10-15 for cooking

Preparation: Preheat your wok. Slice the meat in thin stripes and marinate in the sauce. I prefer not to let it stay too long cause I like the spicy more on the outer surface of the meat. Remove the middle of the cavolo nero (look on youtube the fast way of doing that), wash it and slice it in small pieces (1 cm squares approx).


I use a wok for this because it is less messy. Start by adding a bit of oil and the meat+marinade. Fry on most part, and continue to stir for 5 mins. If, at this point, it is not too wet, then add a bit of water. Cook for 5 more mins, depending how much you like the meat done. Place the meat into a bowl and continue to do the cabbage. don’t rinse the wok, because all those juice are flavour. Add a bit more oil + the garlic, cook for 10 seconds and add the cavolo nero. Add 3-4 table spoons of water. Let it wilt for about 5 minutes.

Enjoy this simple, Italy meets Korea recipe!

Veg: Tomatoes stuffed with aubergine salad

This recipe is very close to my heart. My mother and both my grandmothers used to make this a lot over the summer. It is also done for the New Year’s eve celebrations in many Romanian families. It is not a quick recipe, but it is a simple one.




  • 10-12 medium size tomatoes
  • 3 aubergines
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • olive oil
  • optional: 1 egg yolk or tahini
  • salt & pepper

Cooking time:  2 hours

Preparation:Wash the aubergines and grill them quickly on the flame, about 3 mins on each side. After that put them in the oven on bake function for 35-45 minutes depending how big they are. Let them cool down for 5 minutes then open them and scoop the middle out. Put some salt over them let them drain (I use a colander) for 30 mins. You can chop them finely afterwards.


Just mix the chopped aubergines with the chopped onion, garlic, olive oil, the egg yolk and tahini. If you want instead of oil and yolk you can use mayonnaise. The tomatoes you need to cut a bit the bottom so that they can stand in a stable position on the plate and then just cut the top off, scoop out the middle and fill in with the salad.


Enjoy the taste of Romanian summer!

Veg: Home made herbs butter
May 29, 2015, 17:12
Filed under: Busy lifestyle - quick fixes, Gluten free, under 15 mins, Veggie | Tags:

One of the best things when you have your own herbs on the balcony is to make your own herb butter, especially because you can keep the salt under control.




  • 200g butter
  • bunch of herbs
  • salt & pepper

Ideally pestle and mortar, but you can also use a blender, mixer.

Cooking time:  5 mins

Preparation: Wash and chop the herbs


Mix the herbs with the butter, salt, pepper and keep on mixing until it becomes a smooth. I just love it with freshly baked bread but also with a nice juicy steak (oops, not so veggie ;-))


Veg: Ginger and raspberry lemonade

Most people that come to my home parties know that I am not a huge fan of fizzy drinks, but I prefer to serve freshly made lemonade. It is so easy to prepare in advance and a much healthier option. Recently I have learnt the recipe of an African lemonade with ginger, so I decided to try to mix and match and the results was worthy of sharing it online here. You will need a blender/magic bullet to make this lemonade. If worse comes to worst you can use a grinder.




  • 150 g ginger
  • 1 liter of water
  • 100g raspberries
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 6 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 6-8 lemons
  • mint leaves

Cooking time:  5-10 mins

Preparation: Wash the ginger and the fruits.


Blend the ginger with some water (100ml) and then strain the mixture through a sieve. Squeeze the lemon juice and mix with the ginger liquid. Add the honey, the maple syrup and the remaining water and mix very well. I don’t like to put sugar in my lemonade and I prefer the healthier options of honey and maple syrup, but that is a personal preference, so feel free to adjust as per your taste.

Crush the raspberries on the bottom of a glass and pour the lemonade on top. Decorate with mint.


Veg: Spicy plantains

I have recently done an African food workshop and learnt about food from Benin, so I decided to share one of the recipes. So delicious, so quick to do and perfect for a party. Just get your hands in there!

spicy plantains resized


  • 2 plantains (ripe, meaning black, but not past ripe)
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1½ tsp grated ginger
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves
  • vegetable oil
  • salt & pepper

Cooking time:  15 mins

Preparation: Grind the ginger, pepper, cloves, salt in one go. Chop the onions. Peel off the plantains and cut in cubes.


In a glass bowl mix the spices together with the onion and the plantains. In a frying pan heat the oil and add the mixture enough to cover 75% of the pan and start mixing as if you would do scrambled eggs. Continue to stir unil they are cooked.

Dry it off on the absorbent paper and keep it warm until all the mixture is fried.


Sweet: Chocolate cookies with icing sugar

I had recently the pleasure to bake cakes for a few colleagues of mine and I wanted to do something not too sweet and not too “chocolaty”. And based on the feedback that I got from them, it looked like I achieved just that. This is quite an easy recipe, only the baking is time consuming.

not your ordinary cookies resized

Ingredients for 26-30 cookies:

  • 90g whole wheat flour
  • 85g white flour
  • 3 medium eggs or 2 large ones
  • 8g baking powder
  • 100-110g unsalted butter (room temperature or slightly melted in the microwave)
  • 170g light brown sugar
  • 50g icing/confectioners sugar
  • 110g cocoa powder
  • a bit of salt
  • Optional: rum essence

Cooking time: 40 mins to prepare the custard and bake.

Please preheat the oven at 180C

Mix the butter with brown sugar preferably with an electric mixer or with a whisk for 2-3 minutes and then add the beaten eggs. Separately mix the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and add them to the butter mixture and mix on the lowest speed.

With wet hands shape little balls out of the mixture (the volume of a walnut/quail egg) an roll them through the powder sugar and place on a tray lined with baking paper. Place them about 4cm apart. You do not need to flatten them, the baking will do that naturally.

Bake for 13-15 minutes and let them cool down on the side for 2-3 minutes before you remove them from the tray.


Chicken: Late saturday night ethiopian spicy hamburger

For a person who doesn’t drink or doesn’t like sandwiches I seem to be posting a lot of entries with them. What does one have to do to attract more readers 🙂

mitmita chicken burger resized


  • 150g minced chicken meat
  • mustard like Dijon or Groninger or whatever you like (preferably spicy one)
  • 8-10 spinach leaves
  • 1 cheese bun
  • 10g mitmita, if you don’t have that you can use tandoori poweder or berbere or harisa or any other hot spicy mixture
  • salt&pepper
  • optional fried egg, wasabi mayo

Cooking time: 10 mins

Preparation: Wash the spinach leaves and pre heat the oven.


First thing add the bun in the oven cause it usually requires 6-7 mins to be warm.

Mix the chicken meat with the spices and fry in an oven proof pan for 2 minutes on each side after which place it also in the oven for about 5 mins at 180C.

Lay the mustard on the bread, then the leaves, the burger, the wasabi mayo, the fried egg and the second piece of the bun.

Enjoy and please let me know if you made it.