Vegetarian Cannelloni – skip the meat today!

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Ok, lets just cut to the chase here: Cannelloni just don’t photograph well. They are definitely not the prettiest of the pastas. They are also not the easiest. All in all they are pretty much the nerdy and sort of uninteresting best friend of the Lasagne. You know, the one you wouldn’t date because he is too high maintenance. But I promise, what’s on the inside will be totally worth it.

Where was I? Right, talking pasta. – This recipe does require some patience so I prefer to make it on a Saturday because the mid-weekend is the best time to try out something more complicated with longer prep time or dough rising or else. Also gives me an opportunity to clean over the kitchen while food is in the oven. Yes I know, I am so industrious!

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Vegetarian Cannelloni
(serves 4)

  • 1 Onion
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 small Zucchini
  • 1 small Eggplant
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 4 – 5 Button Mushrooms
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 cup grated cheese (a mix of gouda, mozzarella and parmesan works well)
  • 2 1/2 cups of tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon each: Rosemary, Thyme, Sage and Oregano (or italian seasoning)
  • salt, pepper, olive oil for frying

Directions:

  1. If you have a food processor, now would be a good time to take it off the shelf! If you don’t, finely dice or shred all your vegetables. You want to cut them as small as possible so that you can pipe the filling into the cannelloni.
  2. Fry your vegetables in 2 tablespoons olive oil for about 5 minutes, season with salt, pepper and the italian spices, let cool completely.
  3. Mix the vegetable filling with the sour cream, cottage cheese and grated cheese. If you were impatient during step 2 the filling will still be warm and you will now have a goo of half melted cheese, ask me how I know!
  4. Transfer a portion of the veggie filling into a pastry bag or freezer bag with one corner cut off. Repeat until all Cannelloni are filled.
  5. Mix the remaining filling with the tomato sauce and spread evenly on top of the Cannelloni. The pasta should be completely covered.
  6. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes on 180C/360F. Poke a steak knife in to see if the pasta has softened.
  7. Enjoy!

ZIP IT!

Source: adapted from chefkoch.de

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Button Originals: Greek Style Salad with Couscous

So I do like Couscous. What I like most about Couscous is that it is done quickly and doesn’t require lots of preparation. My friend Nina who worked with me some 5 years ago would just make some couscous as a quick dinner for herself – using just her electric kettle. I was so impressed that I have stored the information in the back of my brain and still remember today.

1 part couscous + 2 parts boiling water + 1/2 bouillon cube

There you go, this is even easier as cake! 🙂 I usually just take my measuring cup and eyeball it. The Couscous will double in volume and is very filling so I use roughly 1/2 cup for 4 portions as a side dish, where I would use 1 cup of rice. Please also read your package instructions and make sure you wait the proper amount of time for the Couscous to rest.

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If you have never had Couscous before, try this sort of european style recipe. I once had instant Moroccan Couscous and it was just plain gross. I promise, this is nothing like it! When we have fish at buttonsprouts’ I like to serve this greek style salad with couscous. Very quick and yum and wholesome. What more do you need?

Greek Style Salad with Couscous
(serves 4)

  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 small glass of green Olives stuffed with paprika paste
  • 1 small glass Feta cubes in herb or garlic oil
  • 1 handful baby spinach (optional)
  • 1/2 cup of couscous
  • 1/2 bouillon cube or 1 cup fresh vegetable bouillon
  • freshly ground salt and pepper

Directions:

    1. Finely dice your vegetables while boiling 1 cup of water in the electric kettle or on the stove. Wash your spinach thoroughly.
    2. Prepare couscous and the 1/2 bouillon cube in a heat-resistant bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Stir well so the cube dissolves completely. Set aside.
    3. Spice salad with freshly ground salt and pepper. Drain Olives and mix in.
    4. Drain Feta, keeping a small amount of the oil aside as salad dressing.
    5. Fluff up the couscous and mix all ingredients well. Serve with fried fish or fresh baguette!

ZIP IT!

Button Originals: 5-a-day Smoothie

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To be clear: Smoothies are for the lazy! Yes, you heard me. If you have blender it should really take you a total of 2 – 5 minutes to make a Smoothie and clean up after yourself. If you are not convinced about this, ask Anna and you will find a quick and easy way to clean your blender!

So back on track: Smoothies are for the lazy. You can basically throw in all the fruit and vegetables you are supposed to eat, mix them with some liquid and you are good to go! I mainly make them in the afternoon because I need something savoury in the mornings but it would also give you a great start in the day! This is a recipe I just invented and will definitely make more often in the near future.

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5 a day Smoothie
(makes 1 large glass)

  • 1 cup of frozen fruit (I used strawberry, apple, berry mix)
  • 1 handful of baby spinach
  • 3 tablespoons granola or müsli (I used my homemade Granola from the BBC GoodFood website)
  • 1 cup of Vanilla soy milk
  • 1/3 cup apple juice

Directions:

    1. Blend all ingredients together smoothly, add some more apple juice when the mixture is too thick and your blender does not rotate properly.
    2. Serve in a large glass with a straw 🙂

ZIP IT!

Button Originals: Mushroom risotto

This is a tried and true recipe that is very simple and yummie, I usually serve it with fresh pan fried fish but I am lucky that we can get a lot of fresh fish here in Iceland.

Mushroom Risotto
(serves 3)

  • 1 small Onion
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 200g Button Mushrooms
  • 1 cup Arborio Risotto rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cube vegetable bouillon
  • salt, pepper, oil/butter for frying
  • freshly grated parmesan

Finely mince onion and garlic, dice the mushrooms.
Fry the vegetables in a little bit of oil or butter until the mushrooms release their juices.
Add 1 cup of Risotto rice and stir until rice is evenly coated.
Then add the wine, water and bouillon cube and stir until the cube has dissolved completely.
Let simmer on low until the liquid has evoporated and the rice is soft, about 15-20 minutes.
Serve hot with freshly grated parmesan.