Easy Leek Quiche

P1070120_lznSince living in France, quiche has been one of my favorite. That buttery dough with a creamy filling…don’t even get me started. Well, apparently some of my friends here like it too (I made it for my birthday the last time), among them my leek-loving friend (the one I made the Soup with). Honestly, I tried my best to make a different kind (“I have spinach, we could make spinach and feta”). But since she was doing groceries there was just simply nothing I could do.

And I didn’t mind that much, after all, because who can say no to quiche? Apart from cutting and washing leek, whisking up some egg and creme fraiche, there is nothing you have to do. Yup nothing. Not even making dough, because we are being lazy efficient and use pre-made pastry dough. P1070107_lzn

And you don’t even need a quiche pan, a simple springform pan will be enough. While it bakes, just sit back, relax and enjoy the time with your friends and in no time, a delicious and hot dish will be one the table that will wow everyone – picky eaters included.
My friend took half the quiche home for her boyfriend and he ate it all. In one sitting. Even though he had already had dinner. Can you want any more?

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With love from the student kitchen,
Johanna

Easy Leek Quiche

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 50 minutes
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This is what you need:
1 package (frozen) pastry dough (either the squares or a large sheet)
1 leek
200g creme fraiche (one pot)
4 eggs
One handful Gruyère (strong french cheese) plus some extra for on top
salt
pepper
A little Butter (to grease the pan)

And this is how we do it
1. If frozen, let the dough thaw.
2. Slice your leek first lengthwise (into to halves) and then into thin rings.
3. Wash the leek and let drain in a coleander
4. In the meantime, whisk together eggs and creme fraiche. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper (you really want to season it well)
5. Stir in the leeks.
6. Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 390°F
7. Grease your pan with butter. Line with the pastry dough (you really want to make sure the bottom and sides are covered, cut them to fit if necessary and dab the borders a bit with your fingers to make everything stick together.
8. Bake in the oven for ca. 30-35 minutes (depending on the height of the quiche, if it’s higher it can take up to 45 minutes). When it looks like it’s done (the egg mixture is set, light brown on top), sprinkle some more cheese on and bake for another minute or until the cheese is melted.
9. Enjoy slightly warm.

Leftover quiche keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3 days, it’s also good when eaten cold.

Red Pepper Quadriple Veg Pasta

P1070036_lznIt has been said that I don’t live as healthy as I proclaim to do and I get where it’s coming from – a little bit due to exam times and also because I do cook, but then I eat it and when the plate is empty I think back and am like “wait a minute, you had a job to do” (can anyone relate to that?).

But this time, I did my job (so proud): This is one of my standard recipes to get a full load of veggies on a stressful evening.Stressful meaning  waiting for an organisational skype call with 20 people (yes, 20, and it’s possible if all the people who are not speaking turn off the microphone). However, they were a little late to call so I just remembered to take a picture of this little something that’s not even really worth calling a recipe because it’s so easy. Peppers, Carrots, Spinach and Tomatoes marry beautifully with a tomato-oregano sauce and are spiced up with some red pepper powder and onions (be careful on that one though, the flavor really develops after a few minutes of cooking). Sometimes, I just make a recipe for 2 without the pasta and eat it as a veggie bowl (light and tasty, but filling at the same time), but if you have someone you are sharing this with you might want to add some carbs (or just a quadruple load of veggies).
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A little close-up so you can see all that veggie goodness. What I love is that all pieces are roughly the same size-even the pasta fits. And again, it’s easy: Cook the pasta, fry the veggies , add the tomato sauce, season with salt, pepper and red pepper and let thicken down for a few minutes. Drain the pasta, add the sauce and tadaa, dinner is ready.P1070040_lzn

Do you prefer spicy or non-spicy sauce?
With love from the student kitchen,
Johanna

Red Pepper Quadriple Veg Pasta

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 25 minutes
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This is what you need:
250 g pasta, uncooked
1 onion
1/2 red bell pepper
2 medium size carrots
a handful cherry tomatoes
3 handfuls spinach
350 ml (1 1/2 cups) canned tomato sauce
salt
pepper
oregano (dried or fresh)
red pepper powder (I used about 1/4 teaspoon)
oil for frying in the pan

And this is how we do it:
1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions.
2. While the paste is cooking, peel the carrots and cut them, wash the other veggies and cut them (except for the spinach) into evenly sized pieces (you can cut the tomatoes in half).
3. Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil in the frying pan on medium heat. First, fry the onions until they turn glossy-transparent, then add in the carrot pieces. Fry while stirring for about 5 minutes. Add in the pepper and cherry tomatoes, fry for another 3 minutes.
4. Add in the spinach and, while stirring, let wilt down.
5. Add the tomato sauce to the pan. Season with salt, pepper, dried oregano and, in the end, the red pepper powder (you really want to be careful on that one, the effect becomes stronger. It’s best if you add small amounts, stir, wait for a few seconds and then taste a little of the sauce). I used about 1/4 teaspoon.
6. Turn down the heat and let the sauce slightly simmer until the pasta is done.
7. When the pasta is done, drain it in a coleander and serve hot with the sauce.

Leftovers keep in an airtight container in the fridge for about three days.

This is my own recipe. Please do not use it commercially without my permission. When using it on your blog, please re-write it in your own words and link it to the source to give proper credit:). Thanks!

Spinach Tomato Omlette

P1060979_lznI love spinach. People say that kids hate it (the colour, the flavor, I get it), but I’ve always loved it. My mom makes it simple with butter and some garlic (which is the best) while my grandma completely cooks it down (which a lot of people hate strongly dislike, but I guess that’s just how she learned it and I like it too, so not complaining).
The problem with buying a package of spinach here is that it comes in HUGE packs. Like 500g packs. And while spinach wilts down quite fast to nothing, I do tend to live off such a package for a few days (in many varieties).

Thus, voila, an easy but tasty spinach and tomato omelette, ready to be on your plate in 10 minutes maximum.Eat this for breakfast to ensure you’ve already gotten some of your 5 a day or as a quick and easy summer lunch. Adding in some grated emmental cheese won’t hurt either.P1060972_lzn
First, slice your cherry tomatoes in halves/quarters and heat them up with a little butter, then add in your spinach, wait till it wilts down (if there is too much excess moisture you might want to spill that into the sink!).
P1060974_lznIt might look like a lot, but it will wilt down quickly. Then pour the egg mixture over it and let it set for a few minutes (you can check with the spatula underneath if it’s done enough to flip, but usually you need to wait till the top is almost set).
Flip it, let brown on the other side for a minute or two and tadaa, you are done. Fast, wasn’t it?
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Do you consider omelette a breakfast or dinner food?

With love from the student kitchen,
Johanna

Spinach Tomato Omlette

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 10 minutes maximum
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This is what you need
2 eggs, preferably organic
2 handfuls of spinach, washed and drained off excess water
8 cherry tomatoes
salt
pepper
a bit of butter/oil for frying (although I prefer the butter taste)

And this is how we do it
1. Quarter the tomatoes. On medium high heat, fry them with the oil in the pan for 3 minutes
2. Add in the spinach, stir with a spatula so it doesn’t burn while it wilts down
3. Crack the two eggs into an extra bowl, whisk them with a fork. Season with a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of pepper
4. Your veggies in the pan should be done. Try moving them to the center into a heap, then flatten out the heap a little to spread it out again.
5. Cover the veggies with the egg. The egg might run a little bit away from the veggies but you can scrape them back a little with the spatula. Let cook until they have set, checking occasionally with the spatula if you can lift them from underneath (should take about 3-4 minutes).
6. Once the egg is set, flip the whole thing over with the spatula. Let fry on the other side for 1-2 more minutes.
7. Transfer onto a plate and enjoy hot.

Just in case you might not be able to finish, it will keep covered in the fridge for a day. But try to avoid this in any case because re-heated scrambled egg is just, let’s say, not so great.

Leek and Cheese Soup (Examtime style)

P1060927_lznLeek soup is one of my favorite. Actually, almost every time my friend E and I got together we would try and make the perfect “leek and something” soup and we failed every time. Sometimes it was too much potato (because they had to go) or the carrots were overpowering (same reason) but once we had the perfect mixture it was the best. Leek soup is one of those comfort foods where you don’t feel bad afterwards because what is in there to feel bad about? Just leeks, water, broth, salt, pepper, a little extra ingredient and if you want to get decadent half a tablespoon heavy cream and grated cheese. Yum. And it’s fast! Now, this is the cheat version (aka exam time style). Why? The “normal” leek soup is made on a flour-butter base to which then the rest is added. This takes some care and effort, although resulting in a nicer soup of course, but this exam style knockoff does the trick as well. Continue reading

Mediterranean Tortilla Pizza

P1060512_lznThe other day my friend E came over at 17:30 (5:30 pm) for what we had planned to be “cook dinner and watch a movie”. Well, let’s just say we never got further than dinner and spend the rest of the evening vegging out in my room on the carpet, eating lots (and by that I mean lots) of junk food and discussing important things in life (exams, guys, E’s disgusting housemate, the upcoming vacation etc.).

Now, one could say that the dinner simply took us so long (or the cake I baked to take to my friend P’s Birthday, pics will follow soon), but that would be a lie.
Why? Because it’s way too easy and simple. Continue reading

Easy mediterranean pasta salad

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Pasta salad is always a great option for those occasions where you have to feed a crowd but don’t have enough pans to keep all that food hot at the same time. Or for picknicks in spring (since salad is a spring food, right?). The combination of feta cheese, tomato and rucola is a classic (contradict me if I am wrong) and the pasta gets to sit in the  vinaigrette over night which ensures for even more flavour. Plus, it looks so colorful. And Pasta is a cheap thing…
I made the pasta the night before I was having a dinner for 8 people (the task of cooking got dumped on me last minute but since no one else was willing to do it I said I would just make something easy which wouldn’t conflict too much with exam preparation) and is just a side dish. Of course you can also have it as a main dish or on a salad buffet.  My mom makes it with some black olives added into the mix, but since I didn’t know how picky my eaters were I chose to omit them.
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Spinach and Tomato Farfalle

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The pasta is always greener, on somebody else’s plate.

In the beginning of the academic year (most of my friends just moved away from home and we were all still kinda lost in the “whoa, I am an adult now, sort of” feeling) I had a discussion with a girl from my class about vegetables (okay and about meat but let’s not mention that part). At some point she just said: “I eat so unhealthy. But I simply don’t know how to add vegetables to anything”. End of the story: you can put vegetables into any dish (ok, almost) and one option is definitely Pasta. It’s such a typical student food (cheap, easy to make and filling) but there is way more to it than the classical bolognese, tomato sauce or carbonara. Instead of adding stuff to the tomato sauce, why not create your own, creamy and healthy spinach sauce? I promise, this one is definitely on the creamy side with  little chunks of tomatoes for the bite-y-ness and a few sprinkles of parmesan cheese (I could put that on almost anything). Plus it’s healthy. And easy to make, so give it a try.

Continue reading