Chicken Alfredo Pizza Ring

img_20180304_172411_9221031382317.jpgEating can be so much fun and I consider this wonderful snack Exhibit A to make my case. It is just so tasty and thus the ideal food for watching a game, as a party snack or just because you deserve a treat. If you make everything from scratch, this dish requires about 30 minutes of prep time. If you use ready-made Alfredo sauce, I’d say it can be done in 20 minutes.


  • Fresh, ready-made pizza dough (1 package for 1 large pizza)
  • 5 cups of shredded, roasted chicken
  • 10 strips of bacon
  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella
  • ½ a cup of grated parmesan
  • ½ a handful of fresh basil leaves
  • ½ a teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ a cup of Alfredo sauce (either ready-made or look up my recipe on this blog)
  • A bit of butter to grease the bundt cake baking mold
  • Aioli sauce (again, you can buy this ready-made to save yourself a bit of prep hassle)

Preheat the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit/205 degrees Celsius. Cut the pizza dough into 1 inch squares (ca 2.5 centimeters). Roll the squares into little balls and place them on a baking tray. Let the balls bake in the oven for 10 minutes. By pre-baking the dough balls separately, you ensure the final pizza ring is uniformly cooked.

In the meantime, fry the bacon in a pan until crispy. Make sure you place it in a cold pan and then let the temperature rise to a medium heat. Thereby you make sure the bacon is less greasy and much crispier than frying it in an already-hot pan. Once that’s done, drizzle maple syrup over the bacon and let it crystalize for about a minute. This adds a nice sweet flavor to the bacon and an interesting twist to our otherwise very savory dish. Cut the bacon into small chunks for the next step. Afterwards, chop the basil leaves and place them in a big bowl, together with the pre-baked pizza dough balls. Add the shredded chicken, bacon bits, mozzarella and parmesan, as well as the spices. I use garlic powder rather than chopping up a garlic clove, as this ensures that the garlic can really fully infuse the entire food mix while being less intense in terms of taste.

Grease a bundt cake form with butter and then add the mix. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit/205 degrees Celsius for approximately 25 minutes, until golden. Turn the baking mold upside down onto a plate. Ideally, the pizza ring should gently slide out by itself; if not, give it a little bit of extra help with a spatula.

Pour the aioli into a small bowl and voilà – your party snack is ready to make a bunch of people very happy.


Cauliflower pizza crust with homemade tomato sauce

img_20180301_212615_467-1066262900.jpgPizza is truly wonderful: it stands just as much for family time as for fun with friends or comfort food. Plus in terms of toppings, anything that floats your boat goes. The sad thing is the amount to calories and carbs that come along with it. Unfortunately, pizza does not qualify as a light meal. But wait a minute, there is a tasty solution to this conundrum! By substituting the main calorie culprit – the dough – it can become a healthier, low-carb weekday lunch or dinner while still keeping the fun factor high. This recipe makes one large pizza for 2.



  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • Alternative: 5 cups of riced cauliflower; if you live in the US I strongly recommend you get riced cauliflower (e.g., as available at Target) as it saves you a loooot of work
  • 2/3 cup (75 grams) of shredded, low-moisture mozzarella for the crust
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) of grated parmesan
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of ground pepper
  • 1 cup (110 grams) of shredded, low-moisture mozzarella for the topping

Tomato sauce

  • 5 medium-sized tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ onion
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of ground pepper

If you use fresh cauliflower, cut the head into smaller chunks and grate them (for instance, with a food processor). Ideally, the result sound be flakes. As a side-note: I count the days till riced veggies become a food trend in Germany as I really love this pizza dough, but I make it less often than I like simply because grating vegetables isn’t all that much fun. It was a great revelation to me, when I saw riced cauliflower in the grocery stores during our last US trip. Anyways, I digress, back to our pizza. Cook the cauliflower for 5 minutes in slightly salted water. If you use the ready-made riced cauliflower, simply follow the cooking instructions on the package, but cut the preparation time in half.

Afterwards, mix the riced cauliflower, mozzarella, parmesan and spices. Lightly beat the egg in a separate bowl and then add it to the rest. Thereby, you ensure the crust dough is evenly mixed. Spread the “dough” on parchment paper or a silicon mat on a baking tray. Make sure you aim for a thin crust style. Bake it in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit/205 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes.

In the meantime – unless you want to use ready-made pizza sauce – throw the tomatoes, olive oil, garlic clove, onion and spices into a blender and blend. When the dough is out of the oven, apply the tomato sauce and drizzle fresh sliced mozzarella on top. Afterwards, you can add any additional toppings you might like. Bake the pizza for another 15 minutes.


Chicken avocado salad with peanut butter-honey mustard vinaigrette

This salad is a wonderful meal option after an intensive workout, as it is healthy and also supplies you with a generous amount of protein and nutrients. I like it, because it has a little bit of everything: chicken, crunchiness, the creaminess from the avocado, the sweetness from the honey, the wonderful flavor of the mustard, the nutrients from the nuts and lots of vitamins. This recipe makes about 4 servings.


  • 5 handfuls of chopped Romano lettuce
  • ½ roasted chicken
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 handful of cashew nuts
  • 1 large/burrito-sized wheat tortilla; alternatively 1 generous handful of crispy tortilla strips (if available in your country)
  • 1 large carrot
  • 4 tablespoons of sweet corn

Ingredients for the dressing

  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • Freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon (approx. 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon of creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper

Place the lettuce in a large bowl. Tear the roasted chicken into smaller chunks, cut the avocado into dices and chop the cashew nuts into smaller chunks, and add them all to the bowl. Mix in the sweet corn and cut the carrot into thin carrot sticks and the onion into dices and let them join the rest of the ingredients. As for the tortilla strips, if you live in the US you can buy them ready-made in any well-stocked grocery store. I haven’t yet seen them outside of the US; however, it’s not exactly rocket science to do it at home. Simply heat up your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit/200 degrees Celsius. Use a cooking brush to apply a thin layer of oil to the surface of the tortilla. Bake it on a baking paper for approx. 10 minutes, then chop the crispy tortilla into thin strips.

As for the dressing, maybe you were wondering why peanut butter is listed here. Well, truth be told, it just adds an amazing flavor to the vinaigrette, BUT it is also one of the best and tastiest ways of getting a good protein dose. Despite being calorie-dense and thus seemingly counterintuitive as a smart ingredient, it is also very rich in healthy fat, along with the protein and fiber, which your body craves after a session in the gym. So, peanut butter is basically a “repair kit” for your muscles. In terms of the honey, I strongly recommend acacia honey, as to me it provides the best flavor. Also, honey is nature’s hidden medical champion, as it is anti-inflammatory and helps your system recover after exercising.

Just a side note, but a great trick to preserve cilantro that I came across a couple of years ago, is to keep it in the freezer. Thereby, it stays fresh longer.

Enjoy your meal!

French Onion Soup

3 little words. Say them and I am yours. Here we go: French Onion Soup. I love it. Even though I went to college in France for a year, I actually never had French onion soup until a visit to Maryland. So I had to travel across the pont to discover this delicious dish from a country that I have visited more times than I can count. This is the way I prepare this meal at home. The recipe below makes two servings as a main course and 4 servings as a starter.



  • 2 large onions
  • ¼ cup of unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 ¼ cups (300 ml) of beef broth
  • Optional: ½ cup of white wine
  • Olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 4-6 slices of baguette bread
  • 3,5 ounces (100 grams) of Gruyère cheese

Cut each onion in 4 quarters and cut each part into relatively thin slices. Melt the butter in a pan on medium heat, add the onions and let them cook until the onions are softened and transparent for approximately 5 minutes. Proceed by adding sugar and after 1 or 2 minutes add beef broth, salt, pepper and thyme (plus the optional wine). Let it simmer for 15 minutes.

While the soup simmers, cut off 4-6 thin slices of baguette bread (depending on the size of the bread and the size of your bowls), rub half a garlic clove over the slices and fry them in a pan with a bit of olive oil until crunchy.

Fill the soup into 2 suitable bowls that can resist the oven heat and place the bread slices on top. Ideally they should cover the bowl entirely. Cut the Gruyère cheese into thin slices and place them on top. The slight advantage of slices over simply grating the cheese is the slightly more solid texture you get after the soup has been in the oven. The important thing however is to have multiple cheese layers. The soup should then bake in the oven for 25 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius/390 degrees Fahrenheit.

Et voilà. You are now all set to enjoy a delicious meal.

Halloumi fries – Golden rays of edible sunshine

Who doesn’t love fries? I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they look like rays of sunshine. But who said that fries have to be made out of potatoes or their equally tasty relative – the sweet potato? That’s why this recipe uses halloumi. Don’t let their innocent appearance fool you though. If you thought that normal fries are filling, you haven’t encountered halloumi fries yet. They can easily make you feel very stuffed – but are sooo delicious at the same time. Hence, this recipe serves 2 (or 4 if served alongside another dish).



  • ½ lb (250 grams) of halloumi
  • 1 cup of flour
  • ½ teaspoon of ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon of granulated garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • Lots, and I mean lots of sunflower oil

Quick and easy dip

  • ½ cup of mayonnaise
  • 2 garlic cloves

Start with the dip. For that, pour the mayonnaise into a small bowl and add the garlic by using a garlic press, as this allows for the liquid from your cloves to already dissolve a bit. Then place the dip in the fridge until the fries are ready.

As for the fries: Cut the halloumi into sticks. They should be about the size of your ring finger. Not too thick, otherwise the frying will leave you with a “raw” core, but not too thin either, as the fries would then break very easily and most likely not survive their bath in the oil.

The secret star of this recipe is the coating, as halloumi in and of itself does not have a distinct flavor. So, the taste is pretty much defined by the spices that are used. Mix the flour with the spices in a flat bowl or soup plate. Coat your fries in it evenly. The beauty of halloumi is its inherent moisture, which means that the flour easily sticks to them.

Take a small or smallish pot and fill it approx. 1 inch/2.5 centimeters with the sunflower oil. This fits the theme, as sunflowers are the suns of the plant world. But I digress… Bring the oil up to a high temperature (try NOT to boil it, as oil burns can be truly nasty) and carefully immerse your fries in the pot. The frying should take approx. 2-4 minutes, depending on how golden you would want the sticks to be. The one in the picture was in the oil for 3 minutes.


Chili con carne – some like it hot, others like it hotter

I vividly remember making chili con carne for an American friend of mine, who announced prior to the food being served that he doubts Europeans would be able to do a decent chili, as it is an American dish. To his surprise, the chili was very tasty. So I guess I triggered his taste buds in the right way. The funny thing with chili is that it is a very simple meal to prepare, so technically you should always end up with more or less the same dish in front of you. However, each chili recipe is a little unique in its own way and so each version differs a bit from all the other recipes out there. So here is my take on chili con carne. I hope you guys enjoy it. This recipe makes approximately 4 servings.


  • ½ lb (250 grams) of ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • 5 ounces (125 grams/1 small can) of kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 5 ounces (140 grams/1 small can) of sweet corn
  • 2 cups (475-500 ml) of tomato puree
  • 3-4 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • ½ cup of warm water
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder
  • ½ tablespoon of oregano
  • ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • ½ cup of shredded cheddar

Melt the butter in a large pan or pot at medium heat and add the onion and garlic. After about 1 minute add the ground beef and cook until it is evenly brown. Then, add the sweet corn, kidney beans, tomato puree and paste, as well as the water. Stir the ingredients until the tomato paste has dissolved. Then, add the chili, ground and cayenne pepper, salt and oregano.

The most important aspect for a good chili – to me anyways – is the time you allow it to simmer at a low temperature. Ideally, allow 45 minutes to 1 hour for this and make sure to stir it occasionally. This simmering makes or breaks your chili, as it allows the spices to penetrate the entire dish and to fully interpolate their flavors. Shortly before taking the chili off the heat, the last ingredient – the cilantro – makes its grand appearance. Add it to the dish and let it simmer for another minute or two.

Serve the chili with sour cream and shredded cheddar.


(Low sugar) Pumpkin Pie

The American Thanksgiving is one of the most wonderful holidays. You gather around a dinner table full of delicious food with your family or friends. You chat, you drink, you eat, you are having a wonderful time. You think about all the positive that happened over the last year and be grateful. Plus thanksgiving sort of is the kick starter for the Christmas season. Hence the Sunday after Thanksgiving is usually the day, when we get our Christmas tree.

One of the classic, essential Thanksgiving side dishes – at least for me – is pumpkin pie. And while they are usually pretty delicious, I prefer them a little less sweet and am not really a fan of ginger, so I came up with my own recipe, which I want to share with you guys today.

Ingredients img_20171125_161930_3481852619295.jpg

  • Ready-made short crust pastry
  • 30 ounces (850 grams) of pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup of milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons of vanilla sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of honey
  • ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of ground garlic

You read that right – ready-made crust. I am usually too lazy to also make a crust from scratch, as I believe that a short crust pastry from the store is as tasty as a homemade one. Plus, the filling is the star anyways. The prep work for this one is fairly easy. You just mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl, till everything is blended together nicely. Then you spread out the crust pie in a buttered 12-inch form. Fill it with our pumpkin mix and cook it in the oven at 165 degrees Celsius (330 degrees Fahrenheit) for 1 hour. Let it cool down for 30 to 45 minutes and serve it with whipped cream and a smile. Enjoy!

P.S. if you feel like making the crust from scratch, you would need 75 gr of sugar, 150 gr of cold butter, 225 gr flour, 1 egg, a pinch of salt. Mix all the ingredients untill you have a smooth dough. Let the dough rest in the fridge for approx. 20 minutes. Roll out the dough using a bit of flour to make sure it does not stick to the surface. Place and spread out the dough in a 12-inch form.

Fettuccini Alfredo – Spoil your taste buds

Another dish you can’t really get in Germany: Fettuccini Alfredo. Alfredo sauce strikes me as one of these quintessentially Italian-American dishes. Though granted, it is actually Italian and known there as fettuccini al burro, which means “with butter”, as I learnt yesterday. I hadn’t even heard of it until a visit to the United States in 2012 with my partner, where I was able to try it.

As with everything that is largely only in one country, but not the one where you live, you face two choices: import it or make your own. The latter is my personal preference, as you can tweak it until it perfectly matches your taste preferences. No store-bought product can compete with that. So today, I will share with you my take on Fettuccini Alfredo. The recipe serves two hungry people and should only take approximately 15 minutes to prepare. For a “skinnylicious” version, skip to the last paragraph.


  • 7 ounces (200 grams) of fettuccini noodles
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1 cup ofcream cheese
  • 1/2 cup of whole milk
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2/3 cup of grated parmesan
  • ¼ cup of veggie or chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • A few fresh basil leaves
  • A bit of thyme and oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional: meat, such as some roasted or grilled chicken

Heat the butter in a saucepan at medium heat. Then add chopped garlic and immediately afterwards the cream cheese and milk. Wisk the ingredients until smoothly blended. Mix in the parmesan, the broth (I prefer veggie broth, but if you do the dish with chicken, you might as well use chicken broth to enhance the taste) and the lemon juice. Let everything simmer for 4-5 minutes. Boil the noodles in parallel and add then them to your sauce. Cook everything for another 1-2 minutes. Then add the spices. For your protein fix, add meat (roast chicken works pretty well).

Now, I know most Alfredo sauce recipes use parsley. I generally don’t, because I don’t like parsley. I therefore substitute it with fresh basil, a bit of thyme and oregano, but use whichever floats your boat. Last but not least: enjoy your meal.

How to make it skinny: Granted, Alfredo sauce and skinny do not really seem like they would fit. However, if you want to make this dish a little healthier, you can replace the butter with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the heavy cream with ½ cup of low-fat milk.

Homemade Pesto is the best(o)

Ok. I admit it. This rhyme is not exactly sophisticated or smooth. I promise however that my pesto will be. So let’s get started. This is an easy and quick recipe. So a perfect solution if you were to spontaneously decide you need to have spagettis with Pesto alla Genovese (which happened to me, just a few minutes ago). So rather than hoping to the store, I resorted to my pesto recipe and thus probably benefitted from a significantly healthier option than those that you can buy. So I thought I share my pesto recipe with you. I hope you enjoy it. This makes for 2 generous portions that go nicely with pasta.


  • 4 cups (100 grams) of fresh basil leaves, this usually equals on pot of basil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) of grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) of grated pecorino romano cheese
  • ½ cup (110 ml) of olive oil
  • ¼ cup (35 grams) of pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon of ricotta
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro

Roast the pine nuts in a pan fo 2-3 minutes and put them aside. Then press the garlic with a garlic crusher. Add the salt and grind it till it is a smooth paste. Mix in basil leaves (without stems), the roasted pine nuts and all the other ingredients and blend it for 1-2 minutes. Now you might want to ask: why is there cilantro in the pesto. Well, did once add it just for the fun of it, and realized it is really adding something to it. Which proofs once more that part of the beauty of cooking and baking is experimenting.

Zucchini waffles with sundried tomato ricotta dip

The sign for a great weekday dinner recipe is that is quick & easy yet tasty. This meal incorporates all of those feature, making it a perfect option after a day at work or full of activities, when the last thing you feel like doing would be standing in the kitchen for longer than absolutely necessary. This recipe serves 2 hungry people. You will manage to get around 10 waffles out of it.

Ingredients for the waffles


  • 1 medium-sized zucchini
  • 1 small onion
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup of flour
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • ½ cup of of grated cheddar
  • Salt, pepper, basil, oregano, chili pepper

Ingredients for the dip:

  • 1 cup of ricotta
  • 5 tablespoons of diced up sundried tomatoes
  • 1 diced up fresh garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • ½ teaspoon of thyme
  • A pinch of tumeric/kurkuma (if you don’t have any tumeric at home, you can just as easy use substitute with chili powder)
  • Salt and pepper

Ideally you prepare the dip first so it can sit in the fridge for a while and the flavors can really infuse the ricotta. So this dip ain’t exactly rocket science, and yet the preparation time can be handled at light speed. This makes it a good last minute choice if you need something tasty to go with your food. In this case our homemade zucchini waffles.

As for the zucchini waffles themselves, the first step is grating the zucchini. Place the zucchini bits in a bowl and salt them. This is a very important step for making sure all the excess water of the vegetable evaporates out. After 10-15 minutes – give or take – you can squeeze the remaining water out of the zucchini. Meanwhile, dice the onion and fry it in a pan with a bit of vegetable oil. Mix the flour, eggs, baking powder and spices. Then add the cheddar. After everything is well blended, add the zucchini. Now we are ready for the grand finale: whether you use a waffle -maker or pan really comes down to personal preference. If you use a waffle maker, your end result might be a bit more compact yet also more even. The pan on the other hand will certainly make them a bit more “fluffy”, yet also a bit less symmetrical. In any case, make sure you use vegetable oil to prepare them in whatever device you end up choosing.