Spinach and a treat

So I was in the mood for some greens. And I came back from the market with a gigantic bag of spinach. The thing was, the market was wrapping up, the spinach was already in the bags, and the farmer gave me the whole bag for 2.20 Euro. I told him I wasn’t going to be able to eat it all, but I somehow ended up with the whole bag. He said it was a kilo, but it was actually 1.4 kilos (about 3 lbs) – so needless to say, I still have LOTS.

I washed as much as I could cram in my salad spinner, chopped most of that, and then cooked it up quickly with some lemon and olive oil. At the end I tossed in some tagliatelle and then some parmesan and something sort of like Vege-Sal (except it is salt with dried herbs).

On my way to the table I noticed the gigantic bowl of tomatoes, so decided to add a few for good measure. The vitamin C in lemons and tomatoes helps the body absorb the iron in spinach more easily.

I have enjoyed spinach a few times this week, and still have half the bag left! I am wondering if I will finish it before it gets slimy. Just call me Popeye-ette.

I tried a new recipe tonight – they are called “almond butter chews” and I found the recipe on a really fun healthy-food blog called Oh She Glows. Here is the link to the original recipe, but I didn’t have any brown rice syrup, so I used 1.5 Tbs Zuckerruebensirop (which is sort of like molasses) and 1.5Tbs Agave nectar, plus then the 1/4 cup almond butter (which I bought at the bio shop for 7 Euro for a tiny jar holy cow!), a splash of vanilla, a cup of puffed rice cereal and some chopped choco-chips. I tried to melt the almond butter and sticky syrups in a makeshift double-boiler, and then stirred in the puffed rice with some elbow grease and rolled them into bite-size rounds. After a few minutes in the freezer, I am enjoying one right now! Very yummy!! Have a great second half of the week!

 

 

 


 

Millet on Monday

Millet… it’s what is for dinner. And it is super delicious! I purchased Millet for the first time last July (!) to make these millet-lemon-honey muffins from my Heidi Swanson cookbok.

 Baked into muffins, the millet was crunchy and gave sort of a corn-bready taste. Yummy, but I didn’t know what else to do with Millet and so the grain has just been sitting in the cupboard. On Monday I was in a crunchy-vegetable-grain-salad mood, so I decided to see what sort of non-expired grains I had on hand. Low and behold MILLET. And the best part is, it cooks faster than cous-cous! Twice as much water as grain, cook 5 minutes, let sit 10 and it’s done. I couldn’t even chop the veg that fast! And I wanted a cold salad, so I put the millet outside on the deck to cool (it snowed 3 flakes that day- April 16!) while I got my chop on. Cucumber, kohlrabi, orange bell pepper, carrot, and tomato. Mixed up with balsamic/oliveoil/sea salt dressing.

This was quite a pleasant surprise. Millet looks a lot like cous-cous, but it is actually a grain (or a seed?) and it has sort of a nutty flavor and is a bit more al-dente. I have been having a problem with mushy cous-cous lately, so I really appreciated the texture of the millet. Milo liked it so much he made a millet-remix the next day with cooked up veg and tofu. We have a winner! You should try it too! Or maybe you already have, and I am the one that is late to the party. PS: I got that plate in Morocco last July, and finally put it to use. Another first =)

On Sunday we ate these awesome artichokes that we got on Friday as we were heading back from our spring-break road trip. Let me just make it known that Italy has awesome food and produce – better than France possibly. Milo made a couple dipping sauces, but we decided that they tasted the best simply with some olive oil and sea salt. Ciao!

Shopping in France

Recently we had the chance to hop the border and do some grocery shopping at the Super-U in Seltz. We love shopping in France. The selection of things we like to eat is simply better than in Germany.

Milo usually starts out in the wine section. Although we have cut back a lot on our wine consumption in the past year, it is difficult to leave france without a couple bottles. Mostly I think he just likes looking at the labels…or nevermind that’s what I like to do.

I did browse the cookie aisle while Milo was checking wine, but for the first time EVER I didn’t buy any cookies or pastries. Not even Little Lu Schoolboy cookies! I am not sure what I was thinking.

The cheese section is also a bit overwhelming, I really don’t know many names, but I am getting good at recognizing my favorites =)

Baguettes are a must. And as far as we are concerned a baguette with Brie consumed in the parking lot after shopping is perfectly acceptable, in fact recommended. Bon appetit!

We also stocked up on some fish for the freezer and some fresh mussels. A new sort of mussels this time, which were awesome!

And some shrimp.

And some shrimp pizza on Tarte-Flambe crust that we picked up as well.

Whenever we travel, one of the things we love to do is check the local markets. It is so fun to see what sort of strange food other people are eating for breakfast. And usually we leave with a full grocery bag!

 

First Asparagus of the year!

Milo brought home asparagus today. It seems to be much earlier than usual…well Easter weekend seems right, but Easter is earlier this year. I think it is because of the mild winter.

 German’s love to eat white asparagus, and especially the really thick stalks. So considering we like the thinner (more tender and more delicious stalks – hello!) it conveniently works out to be cheaper for us =) At the market Milo got about 600 grams for the two of us for 3 bucks. White asparagus is the variety of choice around here, but it actually isn’t a different “variety” in the plant-family sense. As far as I understand (and observe in the fields) white asparagus is simply covered until it is picked, and therefore does not go through photo-synthesis and turn green. If you uncovered the same plants, they would turn into green asparagus. (I am not sure what this means for vitamin content, but I am skeptical that white veggies are as a good as green). But they tasted great, especially with some serrano and a poached egg.

Happy Spring!

Corn Tortillas

Look what we found! Surprisingly, we have been getting some good avocados around here lately.

We were in the mood for Mexican food, and didn’t feel like spending 4 Euros on taco shells or tortillas, so I decided to make some. I mixed some polenta with regular flour and a bit of water, fried them up in a pan, and that was that.

They turned out a bit chewier than I like, but Milo enjoyed them. He had roasted a little chicken, so we made taco salads which we reasoned were a bit healthier than tacos. It is hard to go wrong with guacamole!

 

Eugen’s Birthday weekend in Baden-Baden

The weekend before last (24. March) we went to Baden-Baden. Milo had his last badminton game of the season and Eugen had a party on Saturday night.

Cherry trees blooming in front of the Trinkhalle in Baden-Baden

On Sunday we woke up to beautiful weather – warm and sunshiney! First breakfast of 2012 on the patio!

 

The boys went for a bike ride up to the castle in the afternoon and Sandra and I hung out on the patio and relaxed. It was so nice! Then they came back and made a grill themed dinner (which we ate outside) of French Merguez sausages (first time!) and calamari.

Guys who cook (really well!) are the best!

Carpe Diem indeed.