A pesto alternative: with parsley, strawberries, walnuts and feta cheese

A pesto alternative - with parley, strawberries, walnuts and feta cheese (via inwhirlofinspiration.com)1

You know what's the funniest thing that I have heard? "Why to experiment with an already perfect recipe and possibly ruin it?" Maybe some people agree with this, but I don't. Who can define a dish as perfect? And why not try making it more perfect? defined it as perfect? And why not try to do it even more perfect?
An already-close-to-perfection recipe. It gives character to many dishes. But it could be modified to fit with the season's vegetable and fruits or with various local products. This alternative pesto recipe contains parsley and strawberries that are everywhere this season, walnuts instead of pine seeds and feta cheese (so cliche Greek) instead of parmesan. And let the summer vibe rush over your dishes.

A pesto alternative - with parley, strawberries, walnuts and feta cheese (via inwhirlofinspiration.com) 3

Ingredients (for 1 bowl pesto):

1 large bunch of parsley
100 gr. of feta cheese
15-20 medium strawberries
2 cloves of garlic
2 handfuls of walnuts
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
oregano, salt and pepper

Procedure:

The process is simple: cutting, cutting and more cutting. You can cut all the ingredients on a large board, starting with the toughest and largest pieces (eg. walnuts and garlic) and continue with the softest ones. Then in a big bowl add the chopped ingredients, the olive oil and spices, stir, taste and add anything that misses according to your taste.
The other method is to mash all ingredients in a blender, so much quicker and cleaner, but I don't like the mashed-all-together outcome.  All textures are mashed together and the color is ehmmm not my favorite. ;) But as you wish, serve over bread as a snack or with savory dishes.

A pesto alternative - with parley, strawberries, walnuts and feta cheese (via inwhirlofinspiration.com) 2

If this version is too experimental for you, you can always return to the old safe classic pesto recipe. And here are three of my favorite ways to serve the pesto: on corn on the cob with feta cheese (omg!), with gnocchi and in a quick santwich tomato, prosciutto and a fried egg. 

Credits | Words & photos: Debbie Kortes

Comment

Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!

Try this: Yogurt with marzipan, poppy seeds & walnuts

Try this: Yogurt with marzipan, poppy seeds & walnuts | in Whirl of Inspiration

I have news for you, brilliant news! I may disappeared for a while from the face of the internet, but I returned with (delicious) discoveries. Take, therefore, a chair, sit down and listen to me very very carefully. I have for you a perfect-to-the-moon-and-back recipe. Well, it's not exactly a recipe, but a more how-to mix-3-ingredients kind of fancy description. When you purchase the ingredients and you try it, come back to discuss your experience. [...] Isn't the whole world's love in a bowl? Christmas in edible form?  It is, right? I know I know, with what do you think that I survive the past weeks?

Try this Yogurt with marzipan, poppy seeds & walnuts | In Whirl of Inspiration

Ingredients (for 2 servings):

:: 500 gr. greek yogurt

:: 1 tbsp marzipan paste

:: 1 tbsp of poppy seeds

:: walnuts
 

 

Procedure:

Add about 2 tablespoons of yogurt and the marzipan paste in a small saucepan. On low heat (don't the yogurt overheat or boil) dissolve the paste really well. Then add the rest of the yogurt and the poppy seeds. Last but not least, sprinkle with walnuts.

It can be eaten warm or cold, with oatmeal or not. Whatever you want. 

Bon appetite!

If you still have a sweet tooth, check this easy-peasy baked brie with strawberries and walnuts.

Credits | Author & Photography: Debbie Kortes

3 Comments

Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!

Strawberry & Walnuts Baked Brie

Strawberry & Walnuts Baked Brie Recipe

So the other day I made these superb cheese, mushroom & rosemary crackers and instead of eating them all bare. I had to find for them an appropriate topping. The answer for this is one and only one; cheese and fruits. Yeah I am that predictable. So, I tried strawberries and walnuts baked brie and it was gone in minutes.

Strawberry & Walnuts Baked Brie Ingredients for Recipe

Strawberry & Walnuts Baked Brie (for 1 person)

Ingredients:

:: 200gr of brie

:: 1/4 cup of walnuts

:: 1/2 of chopped strawberries

:: 1/4 tsp chopped (fresh) rosemary

:: a little ground salt and pepper
 

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 250°C.

Mix walnuts, strawberries, rosmary, salt and pepper in a bowl. Squash the strawberries a bit and let the mixture stay for the aromas to mix.

Place half of the mixture on top of brie. Flip & repeat.

Bake for 5-7 minutes, until it's nice and oozy. Serve along with your crackers.

To answer: "Can I eat the white skin, which surrounds brie?" - Yes, you can, cause it's an edible mold. The skin is formed naturally by molds and bacteria on the surface of the cheese. It starts out as fine white hairs and grows to what the French call 'poil de cha't, or cat fur. The fur is then rubbed off, and underneath is a thin rind encasing the nearly fluid interior of the brie. The rind protects brie from the air and delays drying and loss of flavor. If you remove the rind, you should eat the creamy center within a day or so.

Whether you eat the rind or not is up to you, some people do like it, others don't. The rind has a rather tangy/earthly tasting, and some people think it is the best part of the brie. A brie's rind should feel firm and silky, not hard and crusty, and can be eaten alone or mixed on the bread with the cheese.

Strawberry & Walnuts Baked Brie Recipe
Strawberry & Walnuts Baked Brie and rosemary and mushroom crackers

Bon appétit!

5 Comments

Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!

The Visualized-in-Omelette Brain Slice

4 omelettes visualizing the brain's lobes

Last month, I don't know if I mentioned it but, I was in a secret mission to the Hummingbird islands, trying to solve mystery around the identify of the Cheerful Dragon Gunslinger, as the locals call him. Such a long story. So in this mission, I came to be in the uncomfortable situation to impress the touchy-feline-owner of an infamous bar with something that hadn't ever tasted in his 6 previous lives. If he would licked his whiskers, he would meow me an ultra confidentia(h)azardous clue, crucial for my investigations. And as I was brainstorming, BAAM, the idea popped into my mind. The bar was called "food for thought". I thought, why not cook the "food for thought " itself? But, literally?

To understand this dish I will set up a little neurological background for you. Don't give up now, you will like the result. So, initially, the brain has four lobes and many other structures. Each of the 4 lobes controls some very basic awareness functions. All 4 are located just below the skull, all around our brain area. These lobes are:

  • the frontal lobe (the area just behind your forehead )
  • the parietal lobe (the area at the top of the head )
  • the occipital lobe (the area above the your neck )
  • and the temporal lobe (the area above your ears )

Then I chose a very basic function, adjusted by each lobe. I made a little omelet representing the shape of each lobe, which was made by ingredients that improve that function that I chose from each lobe. So each lobe- omelet is made y ingredients that improve this lobes performance if eaten, right ?

The frontal lobe is responsible for concentration and memory. So I tried to cook something that will enhance these functions. "Food for thought" for real. :) One of parietal lobe's main functions is the pain's perception regulation. So I chose ingredients that would diminish the sensation of pain. In the occipital lobe there is the primary visual center, the area that processes all visual information from our eyes. So, for this I worked with food that improves vision. And finally, the temporal lobe contains the primary auditory center, same optical center, only this process all the information coming out of our ears . As you can imagine I chose ingredients that enhance hearing.

4 omelettes visualizing the brain's lobes, the ingredients

The materials for the 4 small omelets that will come together to show a culinary or visualized side section of brain are:

  • for the frontal lobe - better concentration & memory : olive oil, garlic, chilli and egg white (to unite all materials )
  • for the parietal lobe - less pain : cabbage, almonds and egg yolk
  • for the occipital lobe - better vision : sweet potato, carrot, nuts and egg yolk
  • and for the temporal lobe - better hearing : salmon, peas, red pepper, grated cheese, tomato sauce and egg white

( I know that many of the upper ingredients have multiple action, eg the salmon is great for vision too. However, I decided to use only once each ingredient to keep things clear. )

(1): frontal lobe, (2): parietal lobe, (3): occipital lobe and (4): temporal lobes

(1): frontal lobe, (2): parietal lobe, (3): occipital lobe and (4): temporal lobes

Above you see the four lobes omelets, ready and cut to resemble lobes' sections from the side. Can you guess which part is which?? Let me help you.
The pure white garlicy and chilly ( 1 ) goes to the frontal lobe for better concentration and memory. The bright green of the (2 ) reduces the sensation of pain, so the parietal. The riot of orange in ( 3 ) gives you eagle eyes, so occipital and finally the fiery red (4 ) of the temporal promises better hearing .

4 omelettes visualizing the brain's lobes, the food for though omelet

The pieces came together and if you followed the flow of my thoughts, I bet that you can definitely see a mouthwatering "food for thought" dish and a colorful brain's slice.


This was my attempt to visualize that phrase and was so fun trying too. Only the fact that I combined two of my great loves, neurobiology and cooking, gives me great satisfaction. :)

4 Comments

Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!