I have been neglecting my blog a bit lately with good reason. But things are about to change for the better… next month my life as a full-time working mother of 3 cool kids – with a hungry husband and a blog to attend to besides everything else that family life entails – well, that life will be a little easier. Because by next month, I will have completed my master’s in communication. One more month of discipline, before I can devote more time to composing dinners likes this one: quick, simple and full of flavor.
Sesame beef noodle salad
- 1 pound / 450 gr ground beef
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 inch / 2.5 cm fresh ginger
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsps black sesame seeds
- 400 gr rice noodles
- 1 small head of iceberg lettuce
- 1 small English cucumber
- A handful of fresh cilantro
Topping: soy sauce and salted peanuts
- Heat sesame oil in a wok or skillet and fry the ginger and garlic until fragrant. Then add the ground beef and fry over high heat until brown. Break up the meat as it cooks.
- Meanwhile finely slice the iceberg lettuce and cut the cucumbers.
- Add 1 tbsp soy sauce and sesame seeds to the meat when browned.
- Cook the rice noodles according to instructions.
- Let each person assemble their own salad to their liking and dress with soy-sauce and salted peanuts.
A few things that are good to know. Don’t skip roasting the hazelnuts. Roasting is where the magic happens. The magic that brings out the flavors of gianduja. Use Medjool dates, if you have a choice, because they are moist and sweet. You can dip the bites in dark chocolate. You can also roll them in coconut, cocoa powder or chopped roasted nuts. They contain no sugar. They are good for you. They are addictive.
Roasted hazelnut chocolate bites
- 1 cup / 2,5 dl roasted hazelnuts
- 1 cup / 2,5 dl (200 gr) pitted dates
- 2 tbsps cocoa powder, unsweetened
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Dash of salt
- 100 gr 70 % dark chocolate, optional
- 2 tsps freeze dried raspberries, optional
- Roast the hazelnuts on a pan over medium heat until they smell delicious. Use your nose. It takes a few minutes.
- Rub off as much as the peel as you can by putting the nuts in a cloth. It’s a bit messy and won’t be perfect. Just rub off what you can.
- Transfer the nuts to a food processor with the cocoa powder. Pulse till fine and set a side in a bowl.
- Now put the dates in the food processor with coconut oil, vanilla extract and salt, then pulse until it becomes thick and smooth.
- Put everything in the bowl and combine well.
- Roll into balls and cool in the fridge.
- Eat now or dip in melted chocolate sprinkled with freeze dried raspberries.
Kids love them too!
Numerous variations of pointed cabbage or white cabbage with some kind of crunch and fresh herbs has been my preferred side for the past many months. Still is actually. The recipe is so versatile that all you need are these simple suggestions for crunch and fillers and you can take it in any direction you like.
- Finely slice the cabbage of your choice.
- Add any or all of the following sliced, shredded or cut: cucumber, zucchini, fennel or lettuce such as iceberg or romaine.
- Time to add some crunch. Whatever you choose – be sure to roast the nuts or seeds first: salted peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts, sesame seeds, chopped walnuts or almonds.
- Finish with a fresh kick from either parsley, basil, chives, mint, dill or cilantro.
- The dressing is inspired by the Mediterranean cuisine and consists of extra virgin olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice. Sprinkle with flaky salt and give it all a good stir before serving.
Tonight I used pointed cabbage, cucumber, mint and salted roasted peanuts. Less is more with dressing in this salad. Try adding grilled chicken breast and feta cheese for a complete meal. Have fun and enjoy!
You might also like this fresh fennel chicken salad
Next up healthy roasted hazelnut chocolate bites.
These are great for your afternoon tea or coffee. Around 3 pm I am overwhelmed by chocolate cravings. It’s a bothersome daily recurrence. If I have some of these cinnamon crackers nearby, I am usually able to resist my urge to reach for the chocolate, which I shouldn’t be hiding in my cabinet. Spread with a good salted butter, the chocolate is definitely left untouched.
I am currently experimenting with a low carb high fat (lchf) diet. Not too strict. However, I have noticed that cutting down on refined carbs increases my level of energy and helps me control my sweet cravings. Anyway, this recipe uses neither flour nor sugar.
- 1 cup / 2 1/2 dl mixed seeds such as sunflower, sesame, pumpkin and flax seeds
- 2 tbsps coconut flour
- 2 tbsps psyllium husk powder
- 1 3/4 oz / 50 gr melted butter
- 1 cup / 2 1/2 dl boiling water
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sukrin, optional
- Preheat the oven to 300F/150C.
- Add all seeds to a foodprocessor and pulse until the consistency resembles coarse flour.
- Transfer to a bowl and stir in the melted btter, boiling water, cinnamon, salt and sukrin, if using. Stir to combine.
- Place the dough on a sheet of parchment paper and cover with another sheet of parchment paper.
- Grab a rolling pin and roll out the dough to preferred flatness.
- Bake for about an hour, then remove from the oven and cut or break into crackers.
- Transfer the crackers to a wire rack and return to the oven for about 15-20 minutes to dry out completely.
- Cool on a wire rack and store in an air-tight container at room temperature.
So life is pretty packed these days with family life, full time job, communication studies, yoga, book club and friends. That’s when a recipe like this comes in handy. It’s fast, easy and oh so tasty.
- 6 cups / 1,5 l of water
- 4 tbsps yellow miso paste
- 4 tbsps tahini
- Zest from one small lemon
- Season with soy sauce
- 4 spring onions, finely sliced
- 2-3 cups / 5-7 dl of warm cooked rice
- Black sesame seeds
- Nori seaweed
- Poached egg or fried sunny side up
- Bring the water to a boil and turn off the heat.
- Add miso paste, tahini and spring onion and stir well.
- Season with soy sauce.
- Place 1/2 cup of rice in a bowl and add soup.
- Top with egg, black sesame seeds and seaweed, if you think that sounds good.
I’m longing for spring with more daylight and warmer weather. So tonite I created this light, yet filling salad. Definitely a keeper.
- 1/2 cone cabbage
- 1 bulb of fennel
- 1 orange
- A handful of toasted almonds
- A handful of fresh dill
- 4 slices of prosciutto
- Juice and zest from 1 small lemon
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Rye bread croutons, optional
- Finely slice cabbage and fennel.
- Cut the orange in chunks.
- Chop the almonds.
- Chop the dill.
- Cut the prosciutto.
- Combine everything in a bowl.
- Add olive oil, lemon juice and zest. Season with salt & pepper.
- Gently stir and serve.
This is a family favorite in our home. It is not only beautiful, it is also light, flavorful and healthy. If you have leftover rice, you can make it in less than 20 min. You will need to make a trip to an Asian market for dashi powder though.
Specialty Store – Asian market
Instant Dashi powder. Dashi powder is a fish soup stock essential to Japanese cooking. I don’t think you will regret the effort to get ahold of this. I will post a chicken soup in the near future, which also uses dashi powder. And I have a feeling, that if you give this soup a try, you will be glad you have dashi powder in your pantry. Just a hunch.
- 6 cup / 1.5 l water
- 2-3 green tea bags
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml mirin
- 1/4 cup / 60 ml soy sauce
- 1-2 tsp salt
- 5 green onions, chopped finely
- 1 envelope instant dashi powder
- Sesame oil for frying
- Salmon, 2 pieces app. 1 pound / 450 gr
- Black sesame seeds
- Nori seaweed, cut into pieces
- Cook fresh rice or warm leftover rice.
- Bring the water to a boil in a pot and turn the heat off.
- Add the green tea bags and leave in for a few min.
- Heat sesame oil in a pan and fry the salmon.
- Add instant dashi powder, mirin, soy sauce and salt to the green tea.
- Add green onions. Heat the soup, but do not boil.
- Serve in bowls: first rice, then soup, then salmon, then topping.
The inspiration for this soup comes from a Danish cookbook called Japansk mad på dansk, Japanese food in Danish. I have added soy sauce and mirin to the original recipe. You can leave both out and serve with wasabi to add more flavor.
You may also like this salmon soba soup with dashi powder:
Posted in Asian inspiration, Dinners in 30 min or less, From the sea, Rice, grains & pasta, Soup time
Tagged Dinner in 30 min, healthy food blog, japanese food, japansk suppe, laksesuppe, leftover rice, recipes, rice, salmon, soup, stine lavigne, Suppe med ris