I could not have picked a more exciting cookbook than Green Kitchen Travels to be hosting my first Book Blog Tour. It is a book I was instantly drawn to, as it appeals to two of my passions: meat free cooking & travel!
Green Kitchen Travels is the second cookbook by David Frenkiel & Luise Vindahl (the dynamic duo behind the beautiful blog Green Kitchen Stories). The first one, The Green Kitchen (UK/Australian edition) / Vegetarian Everyday (US edition) was widely acclaimed both in the UK and the US.
Since discovering Green Kitchen Stories, I regularly feature their dishes in my recipe collections. I like David & Luise’s food philosophy of healthy & simple vegetarian food made with whole grains, good fats, fruits and vegetables. A lot of the recipes in Green Kitchen Travels actually happen to be vegan. This is refreshing, as I find vegetarian cuisine sometimes relies too heavily on dairy.
Green Kitchen Travels is a compilation of healthy vegetarian food inspired by David & Luise’s 4-year travel around Europe, India, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Bali, Sri Lanka, USA, Mexico and Morocco. It takes you on a delicious culinary adventure. When their daughter was seven months old, David & Luise both took a break from their jobs in Stockholm and went travelling together around the world. Green Kitchen Travels was born from their inspiration, experiences and food encounters.
I instantly fell in love with Green Kitchen Travels. The cover is alluring and spiked my interest straight away. This is the kind of cookbook you read like a book. Recipes are beautifully styled and accompanied by an engaging introduction bringing together ingredients, methods and travel anecdotes. There is also a stunning mix of photography (courtesy of David) from recipes to travel and scenery shots.
Green Kitchen Travels is organised by course rather than type of cuisine which makes it easier to find recipes. In almost 100 recipes, you’ll find inspiration for breakfast, snack, salad, soup, dinner and dessert. The fresh and vibrant dishes will appeal to vegetarians and vegans as well as omnivores.
Where Green Kitchen Travels is different from other cookbooks focused on world cuisines, is that David & Luise have adapted ethnic recipes to reflect their own cooking style of healthy, vegetarian cuisine. They have altered cooking methods and ingredients so that dishes are mostly gluten-free, made with natural sweeteners and avoid deep-frying. Easy and straightforward, most recipes are accessible for all levels of cooking expertise.
I made the delicious “Chocolate Bean Chilli with Walnuts” which was perfect for a dinner with friends. The “Vegan Nut & Seed Bread” is fantastic for either breakfast or lunch. I am new at baked cauliflower and their “Chermoula” version is now one of my favourites. I have to admit, I was a bit wary of an ethnic cookbook where I would not recognise ingredients so I was relieved to find that there was no tricky shopping list and that I could source most of it from the supermarket.
Over the next few months, I will continue enjoying David & Luise’s recipes while cooking my way through Green Kitchen Travels. In the meantime, they have kindly offered a free signed copy of Green Kitchen Travels to one lucky reader (see competition details below) and have also agreed to share two of my favourite recipes with us.
Quinoa, Almond & Mint Salad
Moroccan couscous salads have the most wonderful mix of flavours, and sweet raisins, crunchy salted almonds and fresh herbs are an irresistible combination. We make our version gluten-free by using white protein-rich quinoa which we cook together with cinnamon. We marinate the courgette (zucchini) and aubergine (eggplant) ourselves, but for a quicker version you can get them ready-marinated in glass jars from most food stores.
Serves 4 / V / GF
- 1 courgette (zucchini)
- 1 aubergine (eggplant)
- 2 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil, plus extra
- for grilling
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- sea salt
- 300 g (10 ½ oz/1 ½ cups) quinoa
- 750 ml (25 fl oz/3 cups) water
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- juice of ½ lemon,
- a handful mint leaves
- 1 handful coriander (cilantro) leaves
- 2 avocados, cut into small dice
- 3 tbsp brown or golden raisins
- 1 pomegranate, seeds scooped out and separated
- 100 g (3 ½ oz/ scant 1 cup) toasted,
- salted almonds
- To marinate the vegetables, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Slice the aubergine and courgette into thin rounds. Place on a grill rack in a baking tin and use a pastry brush to brush them lightly with oil on both sides. Sprinkle with salt and roast in the oven until soft and slightly burned on the edges, about 15 minutes – keep an eye on them, as they burn easily. Remove the vegetables from the oven and place in a bowl. Add the olive oil and garlic and set aside.
- Rinse the quinoa well in water and drain. Place in a saucepan and add the measured water, ground cinnamon and teaspoon salt. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat immediately. Cover and simmer gently for 15–20 minutes.
- To assemble the salad, place the cooked quinoa in a large serving bowl and leave to cool slightly. Add the lemon juice, herbs, roasted vegetables, avocado and raisins and toss until everything is well combined.
- Garnish with the pomegranate seeds and almonds. Serve or store in the fridge in an airtight container for 3–5 days.
Vegan Sweet Potato & Aubergine Moussaka
I spent many summers boat-hopping around the Greek islands and vegetable moussaka was always a reliable dinner companion. This oily pasta-free Greek relative to the Italian lasagne is filled with lentils, which makes it a very nourishing dinner. Normally the moussaka is baked with enormous amounts of cheese on top, but we skipped that and went for a vegan béchamel instead. Our version has the same richness to it and makes for a most comforting meal.
Serves 4 / V
- 2 aubergines (eggplants), very thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
- sea salt
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced
Lentil & Tomato Sauce
- 2 tbsp cold-pressed olive or coconut oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tbsp tomato pur.e (paste)
- 250 g (9 oz/1 ½ cups) green lentils, preferably
- presoaked for 1 hour or up to 8 hours
- 600 ml (20 fl oz/2 ½ cups) water
- 400 g (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp sea salt
Vegan Béchamel Sauce
- 2 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil, plus extra for
- drizzling, if necessary
- 4 tbsp chickpea flour or flour of your choice
- 2 cups unsweetened plant milk (almond milk,
- organic GMO-free soya milk, oat milk etc.)
- ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- micro greens or sprouts
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6).
- Lay the aubergine slices on a grill rack in a baking tin and brush the tops with a very thin layer of oil. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and roast in the oven until soft and lightly browned, about 10 minutes, depending on how thinly sliced they are.
- Place the prepared sweet potatoes in a bowl of cold water until ready for use to keep them fresh and moist.
- Make the lentil and tomato sauce by heating the oil in a saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, cinnamon and oregano and fry until fragrant, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato puree and keep stirring until well mixed.
- Now add the lentils, water and tomatoes. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 30–40 minutes, until the lentils are soft and the sauce is ‘dry’.
- Make the béchamel sauce by heating the oil in a small saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the flour and stir until thick and slightly browned. Whisking constantly, add half the milk, whisk, add the remaining milk and whisk until smooth. Add the nutmeg and season. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce comes to the boil and thickens.
- Reduce the oven heat to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).
- Arrange a third of the aubergine slices in the base of a fairly large baking dish. Top with half of the sweet potato slices and half of the lentil and tomato sauce. Repeat. Finish with the remaining aubergine slices and then pour the béchamel sauce over.
- Bake for 35–40 minutes. Test to see if the sweet potatoes are tender by inserting a sharp knife down through the centre. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 30 minutes before serving. Drizzle some olive oil over it before serving if it looks a little dry.