© 2017 Green Kitchen Stories 3_Favorite_Quick_Treats

3 Favorite Quick Treats

Our daughter’s school teacher sent along a pale blue little text book for her to draw and write in during our recent trip to Cape Town. Considering that Elsa’s previous writing experiences mostly consisted of scribbling random letters from the alphabet and signing her drawings (often reversed), we honestly didn’t expect this journal to be anything more than a sketch book. But to our surprise, she filled the pages with both drawings and sentences about her days. She is no Donna Tartt just yet. Her letters look a little wonky, she spells words exactly as they sound and writes without space between (so it all looks like a long hashtag): ”weesaasharkindeseetodey”. But regardless of how much or little that happened each day, she found something to write about, she tried her best to get the spelling right and she filled that book with memories.

The connection I am trying to make here is that this blog is Luise’s and my journal. And we have been bad at filling it lately – with memories and recipes. Ever since the children outnumbered us, it has been difficult to write. Not only due to lack of time and sleep, but we’ve also been looking for meaning, relevance and motivation. We have been doing this for more than seven years now and I have personally come to a point where I want everything to be so damn perfect every time that I often get stuck in this circle of “this is not good enough”But seeing Elsa’s journal made me realise that we don’t always need the grandest of recipes or ideas. Sometimes a simple 5-minute snack or treat can be good enough.

Okay, I don’t really think one snack is good enough. So we are actually sharing three today!

These recipes are all great options when you need a late afternoon pick-me-up, a post workout treat or simple Tuesday dessert. Although different in their execution, they can all be made in a breeze and all of them also happen to include tahini. If you haven’t tried tahini with sweet flavours before, consider this your lucky day. It’s the bombest flavour combo!

First up, easy but epic stuffed dates.

gks_stuffed_dates

I shared these stuffed dates on instagram a few weeks ago, calling them ugly delicious. Although a lot of people seemed to think that they weren’t ugly, I still argue that this isn’t a very glamorous dish. Frozen raspberries, grated ginger and tahini, mashed into soft dates is preferably something that is enjoyed under dim light in front of a tv series. Unhulled tahini is excellent for this dish because of it’s richer tones. And if you’ve got a dark chocolate bar (70-80%) lying around, you can break it up and cram small pieces of chocolate into the date along with the other ingredients. It’s probably the quickest and easiest sweet firework your mouth will ever experience.

Tahini & Raspberry Stuffed Dates
Makes 10

10 soft dates
1 tsp fresh ginger
3 tbsp tahini (preferably unhulled), almond butter or nut butter of choice

20 fresh or frozen raspberries
a handful desiccated coconut
dark chocolate (optional)

Open up all the dates, discard the stones and place the dates on a plate. Grate the ginger over the dates and then fill them with approx 1/2-1 tsp tahini per date and two slightly mashed raspberries (and a small piece of chocolate, if using). Top with a scattering of desiccated coconut. Indulge.

Berry_tahini_smoothie

We obviously think smoothies are the ultimate quick treat, having written a whole book about them. They are easy to make, easy to improvise and easy to like. This recipe is not from the book but it combines many of our favorite smoothie ingredients mentioned in the book into one master smoothie which we often make in family size and portion out in mini bottles. Berries are always great in smoothies being low on sugar and high on freshness. Avocado and banana makes it exceptionally creamy. Dates add a caramel tone and cardamom, ginger and tahini blasts the flavours. Depending on the tartness of your berries, a squeeze of lime or lemon can also be good in this.

Berry & Tahini Smoothie
2 large glasses

1 banana
1/2 avocado
2-3 soft dates
1 tsp freshly ground cardamom
1 tsp fresh ginger
1 tbsp tahini
1 cup / 150 g frozen raspberries and blackberries
1 cup oat milk or other plant milk

Add all ingredients to a blender and mix on high speed until smooth. Taste and adjust the flavour, add more ginger, tahini or cardamom if needed. Add more milk if it feels too thick. Pour into two large glasses or bottles and enjoy right away or store in the fridge with a lid on.

Cottagecheese_gingerhoney_crunch

On a recent car ride from Copenhagen to Stockholm, Luise picked up a snack pack of cottage cheese with topping. It is not something we often buy but it tasted pretty good and we started talking about making our own version of it, adding lots of crunch and more freshness along with the sweetness. We have combined cottage cheese with yogurt here to make it more creamy, fluffy, tangy and rich in protein  and this has become one of our favorite post workout meals lately. We serve it with chopped apples, an easy crunchy topping of toasted buckwheat groats and nuts and top it all with a delicious syrup made of honey, fresh ginger, cardamom and tahini. The syrup should taste quite strong of ginger to contrast the cheese and it’s really what makes this dish special, but if you are not a fan of ginger, use the lesser amount. If you’ve got a jar of our Ginger & Turmeric Honey Bomb at home, that can be used instead.

 

Cottage Cheese with Apple, Ginger Honey and Crunch
Serves 2 (hungry people) or 4 (as a snack)

1/4 cup / 50 g buckwheat groats
1/4 cup / 35 g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup / 250 g cottage cheese
1/2 cup / 125 ml plain thick yogurt (turkish or greek style yogurt)
1 large apple
1 1/2-2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp tahini
1/2–1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1/2 tsp ground cardamom

Dry toast buckwheat groats, hazelnuts and salt in a skillet or sauce pan on medium heat for approx 10 minutes, stir every now and then. While it’s toasting, divide the cottage cheese on two plates or four bowls. Discard the core from the apple and chop it in roughly 1/2 inch / 1 cm pieces. Scatter the apple pieces over the cottage cheese. When the buckwheat and nuts smell fragrant and look golden, turn off the heat and scatter it over the cottage cheese and apple. Without rinsing the skillet/saucepan, use the after-heat in the pan to stir together tahini, honey, ginger and cardamom – it only need a little heat to combine easily. Drizzle generously over the two plates and finish with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Dive in!

40 Comments

  1. Erica
    Posted 21 Feb ’17 at 14:54 | #

    Haha, I love that you couldn’t just settle for one recipe. They all sound amazing but I’m going to make those stuffed dates tonite! Xx

  2. Posted 21 Feb ’17 at 15:35 | #

    All these recipes look fantastic, but I can’t wait to try the stuffed dates in particular- dates and tahini are incredible together.

  3. Posted 21 Feb ’17 at 16:15 | #

    those stuffed dates look amazing!

  4. Posted 21 Feb ’17 at 16:17 | #

    Those dates stuffed with raspberries and tahini are so beautifully photographed! I imagine the almost metallic taste of tahini, the bright fruity sourness of raspberries and the cloying sweetness of dates make a wonderful trio in each bite. Thank you -Hanne

  5. Posted 21 Feb ’17 at 17:37 | #

    Guys, you have 3 amazing kids and you’re travelling : you’re simply everyone’s dream. We know that if you’re not posting a recipe is because you’re taking care of your family and you’re “feeding” your children’s brains. And we also know that, even if you’re missing for days or weeks, the recipes that will come, will be delicious and look gorgeous ^_^

    • Posted 21 Feb ’17 at 19:30 | #

      Thank you Valentina, that’s really kind of you to say (or write)!
      Un bacio!
      /D&L

  6. Posted 21 Feb ’17 at 21:25 | #

    These all look so good!
    Cant wait to try them. x
    Izzy |https://pinchofdelight.wordpress.com

  7. Posted 22 Feb ’17 at 00:35 | #

    Yum, Yum & Yum!!
    I think the picture of the stuffed dates looks so yummy and mystically delicious!
    And please don’t start seeing the blog as a must-do-perfect-thing. We all love your work, recipes (also the ‘easy ones’) and honesty, that is exactly what we all love about it! That things are not always perfect, although social media can make it look like it is. No matter if it takes a bit longer for a new recipe to arrive, we just love that there is a new one with another honest story attached.
    Love, Mirte
    Ps. stuffed dates are also my latest addiction in combination with a date with Netflix so had to giggle about that probably louder than is appropriate ;) I often make a salty caramel version using almond butter salt and vanilla, but am definitely trying this raspberry version tomorrow!

  8. Posted 22 Feb ’17 at 02:20 | #

    I really identified with you about feeling guilty about not writing on your blog site, but Mirte is right…we love what we get from you and are patient when we don’t hear for awhile. I can’t wait for your next video.

  9. Posted 22 Feb ’17 at 02:28 | #

    I love reading your post and the connection with your daughter homework. Your blog was beautifully written like a poem to me:). I never used Tahini is sweet dishes, and I cannot decide which is my favorite, but I pick the Cottage Cheese with Apple, Ginger Honey, and Crunch. I also mix cottage cheese and greek yogurt, but I never thought to add tahini, cardamom, and ginger. I will make tomorrow for breakfast. Thank you for the recipe!

  10. Veronica
    Posted 22 Feb ’17 at 02:36 | #

    Just for the record, I LOVE your simple recipes! While I enjoy reading the longer, more involved ones, I rarely make them. After a long day at work, I don’t have a lot of energy for fancy recipes. Your simple snacks, porridges, smoothies and treats are some of my favorites. So keep ’em coming. (You don’t even have to have 3 to make a post – one is enough.)

  11. Posted 22 Feb ’17 at 03:21 | #

    Exactly what Valentina said! Your priorities are right, and while we all love reading your thoughts and adventures and drooling over your pictures itching to get in the kitchen, family is first! Blessings!!!

  12. Annika
    Posted 22 Feb ’17 at 08:52 | #

    This looks very tasty. Thanks!

  13. Posted 22 Feb ’17 at 08:57 | #

    In the past year or so, I signed up for so many projects and had so many deadlines that I was forced to let go of my idea of perfection, and surprisingly, my art got better, not worse, and I was able to accomplish so much and put so much of myself into the world.

    Kudos on this post and being vulnerable. And for sharing quick treats! I have been in such a food rut; this is exactly what I needed.

  14. Posted 22 Feb ’17 at 09:20 | #

    It’s easy to fall into thinking that a recipe isn’t good enough to share and you should have something literally out of this world every time, but most of times the simple posts and recipes are the ones people really like and use! So this was just what I was looking for and can’t wait to try that smoothie :)

  15. Posted 22 Feb ’17 at 09:20 | #

    I REALLY need to try working with tahini more. Love how you used it here. And need to get more creative with cottage cheese. I have low calcium, so I’m trying to up my dairy a bit.

  16. Posted 22 Feb ’17 at 10:01 | #

    This collection is simple, but so precious! Especially those ‘ugly’ dates, which are so damn addicive and so inviting!

  17. Posted 22 Feb ’17 at 10:49 | #

    I get what you mean about wanting to find relevance, meaning, and motivation. I’ve been blogging for almost 13 years, got waylaid with cancer 2 years ago, and am only now learning how to live (and blog) again. I guess what I’m trying to say is – don’t be too hard on yourself/selves. Understandably, our standards go up as the years go by, but I believe that sometimes, what matters more than “perfection” or more “likes” is that we’re creating beautiful, worthwhile content that speaks to our truest, most authentic selves.

    I hope you’ll always want to keep on going. You’ve inspired me and I know thousands more.

  18. Posted 22 Feb ’17 at 12:00 | #

    This looks so delicious. I need to read this blog more often. I am first time here and I am already hooked.

  19. Mona
    Posted 22 Feb ’17 at 12:06 | #

    Perfection is so overrated! Slow down and enjoy the kids. All of a sudden they are all grown up – and moved to Stockholm :-)))

  20. birgit
    Posted 22 Feb ’17 at 12:46 | #

    yeah that’s why i love your blog
    to read of your everydaylife and don’t look for perfection
    but these recipes are more then perfect
    can’t wait to make them
    only a little bit sad that i don’t know vegan cottage cheese
    but lupine yoghurt will give the proteine
    have a good time and please don’t look for perfection anymore
    all my best wishes
    birgit

  21. Sandra
    Posted 22 Feb ’17 at 13:23 | #

    Wow!! Sounds So Delicious….

  22. Posted 23 Feb ’17 at 06:33 | #

    The cottage cheese mix looks delicious. Was that our fresh cinnamon that you used? I wonder if you used the Ceylon or the Saigon cinnamon? With best wishes, Rupert

  23. Sigi
    Posted 23 Feb ’17 at 07:44 | #

    Mmh, instant delight your stuffed dates!
    I didn’t want to waste any time salivating over your new recipes. The dates were very appropriate to celebrate the beginning of my weekend. The raspberries didn’t have time to fully thaw…
    The smoothie will be my after workout treat tomorrow morning.

    Thanks heaps from finally hot Aotearoa
    sigi

  24. Posted 23 Feb ’17 at 19:45 | #

    Wow ! Treat #1 is gorgeous, I don’t know what you are talking about :-) not to mention the rest. I do the same as #1 with dried figs or prunes, as I find dates a little bit too much like toffee sometimes :-) and use black tahini for an extra-fun flavour. Thanks for sharing recipes like these that we all can do :-)

  25. Alexandra
    Posted 23 Feb ’17 at 20:07 | #

    These treats sound amazing!
    Thank you so much for sharing!

  26. Naomi Baker
    Posted 23 Feb ’17 at 23:06 | #

    I’ve recently made the stuffed dates and smoothies and oh my gosh they are so delicious! I recently had a baby and am always starving so this post has been perfect for me! Thank you! I’m looking forward to trying the cottage cheese recipe soon too :)

  27. Aliah Wilkinson
    Posted 24 Feb ’17 at 05:00 | #

    You guys are always perfect!
    I absolutely love your stories about your adventures with the kids, travel and superb food.

  28. Erin Covey-Smith
    Posted 25 Feb ’17 at 15:31 | #

    May I add to your list of tahini-yum? I just discovered this smoothie/”nice cream” (depending on how much you thin it out): Frozen banana + soaked dried apricots + hemp seeds + tahini + orange zest + ginger/cinnamon/cardamom + a little water or nut milk. Top with cacao nibs and raspberries : )

    • Erin Covey-Smith
      Posted 25 Feb ’17 at 15:32 | #

      Oh, blend all that stuff – forgot that part!

  29. TAC
    Posted 26 Feb ’17 at 01:16 | #

    The cottage cheese dish sounds fantastic but where does the yogurt listed in the ingredients come in? Thanks.

  30. Posted 27 Feb ’17 at 21:28 | #

    Looks good!I love your simple recipes.

  31. Posted 5 Mar ’17 at 01:57 | #

    After reading this, I can consider all 3 as my fave as well!

  32. Posted 5 Mar ’17 at 21:49 | #

    Sometimes simple is just perfect! All 3 recipes look amazing and the filled dates where just delicious and surprisingly caramely. My 4 kids loved them! Keep up the inspiration. Seeing your children eat healthy is definitely inspiring many families to do the same.

  33. Posted 8 Mar ’17 at 21:18 | #

    Wow, they look amazing.

  34. Posted 14 Mar ’17 at 18:17 | #

    Meat eater here. BUT, my wife stinkin’ loves vegetarian food so I can’t wait to surprise her and make it for a snack! ❤️

  35. Zishan
    Posted 15 Mar ’17 at 06:20 | #

    we always have Chinese hotpot with tahini sauce, never thought it can be part of the smoothie. I am exciting to try the berry tahini smoothie.

  36. Posted 6 Apr ’17 at 22:05 | #

    can someone please let me know what tahini is? Thank you…also where can you purchase it?

  37. Nicole
    Posted 18 Apr ’17 at 14:18 | #

    Tahini = ground sesame seeds. It’s very creamy, in a jar. Most regular grocery stores and definitely natural foods stores will carry this; in the south here that includes Publix, Trader Joe’s, etc. Try the ethnic section at the regular store.

  38. Posted 3 May ’17 at 19:16 | #

    The smoothie sounds delicious! I love raspberries and blackberries. I will be trying this soon. Thanks!

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