Summer Salad with an Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette

Currently, being the lucky one to have 7 night shifts in a row, *yay*, I have a dilemma (major first world problem) – when do I sleep? Summer has finally arrived, temperatures are rising, skirts and dresses are out on the town, tanning is part of the daily routine and afterwork drinks on a roof terasse are also a must. How am I meant to work at night, get enough sleep and still manage to soak up all of the sun needed to restore my probably depleted Vitamin D levels?? Let alone take part in exciting summer activities such as swimming, cycling, (golfing – don’t judge), BBQ-ing, ice-cream eating and day drinking. Red Bull has helped a bit, but if you have any tips on staying awake 24/7, 7 days in a row, let me know. And no, drugs are not an option.
Lucky for me it is possibly the last set of nights in 2016 as I am starting a new job in October – exciting, but also terrifying.
Anyways, the heat always manages to rob my appetit for warm food. Summer is a time for salads and fruits – so why not combine the two? The other evening I decided to use up some random fruity citrussy ingredients lying about in my fridge and came up with this. Satisfying, refreshing, delish. Perfect as a starter or main (if you add some oven baked/grilled salmon).

Summer Salad with an Orange Balsamic Vinaigrette


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How to Cure Your Flatmate’s Hangover

This past month has been insane – I can’t believe it’s already March. It started with two days out of my usual surgical routine, namely in the life of an Anesthetist, because why not. A perfect base specialty for going into emergency medicine – a potential career goal after (hopefully) successfully becoming a surgeon. It continued with a few crazy days of Fasnacht (= my local carnival), the highlight! Have you been? If not, add it to your bucket list. Apparently it’s even listed in 1000 Places to See Before You Die, the city goes insane, who thought Swiss people could actually have fun? Fasnacht lasts for just 3 days, but what glorious days these are. One calls them the “drey scheenschte Dääg” (= three nicest days of the year). I don’t think I would go that far, but they are fun. In a nutshell – parades of giant burning wood pieces, booze, confetti ALL OVER, parades of crazy people throwing oranges, flowers, alcohol and again, confetti, at you, flour soup (ew), booze, cheese tart, cellar bar hopping, booze, more confetti, amazing brass bands, schnitzelbängg (satirical poetry), crazy costumes. Also, very little sleep. Retrospectively it would have been wiser to take the days off work before my 10 day shift……

Now, after all this booze, my roommate and I were not in the best of states, understandably. Ideal culinary hangover cure? 1. Bacon, 2. Garlic, 3. Bacon, 4. Garlic, 5. Alcohol (always), 6. Panko breadcrumbs. Turn that into something crispy and satisfying? You end up with Chicken Kiev. There is a debate going on whether this dish is of American, Ukrainian or Russian origin…. honestly, who cares, thank you to whoever invented it, it’s delicious.

P.S. Apologies for the picture – blaming it on the hangover.

Chicken Kiev with BACON


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Champagne is ALWAYS the answer

What better way is there to enjoy a warm Summer’s evening than with a delicious salad and a refreshing glass of Champagne? Transfer this scenario to the actual Champagne region in France. Now we are talking! This past weekend I was lucky enough to take part in such a road trip to this specific region and oh my was it amazing. Cycling through vineyards around Épernay with the most beautiful views, beginning the day with bubblies, exploring Champagne cellars, ending the day with bubblies, what more does one need for a Saturday? For all of you haven’t managed to make a brief escape in this direction: plan it and add it to your bucket list. Once you do go, don’t fill your car with too much of the golden bubbly goodness, as it’s cellar life is only 3 years after sale. So, if you have a lonely bottle at home sitting in the corner waiting for that special occasion, which you bought just under 3 years ago, it’s high time to invent that special occasion and indulge! And if I live in your proximity, don’t forget to invite me.

Below you will find a salad which, in my eyes, is a perfect accompaniment for a glass of your favourite Champagne. Apologies for the picture, it does not do the dish justice at all.

Proscuitto, Basil, Mozzarella and Fig Salad

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Caramelised Onion, Goat’s Cheese and Thyme Tart

Every year on the 25th December my mom goes all out for Christmas Dinner: Turkey, Sausage, Sage & Onion Stuffing, Mash, Sprouts, Cranberry Sauce, followed by a traditional Christmas Pudding with an extremely alcoholic sauce. The pudding is usually courtesy of a very close family friend and, as you may know, has to be made two months in advance. As you might remember from a previous post, I actually assisted in the making of the Pudding this year. Of course one can’t just spend a whole afternoon making dessert on an empty stomach – the Chef de la Cuisine decided to whip us Pudding helpers something up for lunch. At first I was very sceptical when the menu was announced. Honestly, I am not the biggest fan of goat’s cheese. Nonetheless I decided to be adventurous and tried the tart – and LOVED it so much that I had to remake it a week later. E voilà.   P.S. The Medical Gourmet’s (mom’s) Christmas Dinner Recipe will follow in a years time…. I got so excited about eating two nights ago I completely forgot to capture the moment photographically. Something for all you out there to look forward to :-).

Caramelised Onion, Goat’s Cheese and Thyme Tart

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Ebola Virus – Beware!

For those of you who have been reading the news, I’m sure Ebola Virus Disease rings a bell. The recent outbreak of this filovirus, formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, in West Africa has already caused 729 deaths in Guinea, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Liberia.  Four of the five Ebola viral species can infect humans, with 90% of cases being fatal. The natural hosts are fruit bats, however infections have also been documented in chimpanzees, gorillas, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines. Transmission from animal-to-human or human-to-human results through direct contact with blood, secretions and bodily fluids. Apparently semen is still infectious up to 7 weeks after recovery. After an incubation period of 2-21 days, the virus presents with a sudden fever, weakness, muscle pain, headache and a sore throat. Vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver functions follow. There is also potential for internal and external bleeding. Amongst other blood results, one expects to find elevated liver enzymes and low white blood cell and platelet counts.  Sadly there is no treatment or vaccine available, leaving patients with supportive care.
According to Médecins sans Frontieres, the epidemic is now out of control. There is a high chance of the virus spreading via international air travel and aid workers. The WHO suggests the following for reducing the risk of infection in people:

  • “Reducing the risk of wildlife-to-human transmission from contact with infected fruit bats or monkeys/apes and the consumption of their raw meat. Animals should be handled with gloves and other appropriate protective clothing. Animal products (blood and meat) should be thoroughly cooked before consumption.
  • Reducing the risk of human-to-human transmission in the community arising from direct or close contact with infected patients, particularly with their bodily fluids. Close physical contact with Ebola patients should be avoided. Gloves and appropriate personal protective equipment should be worn when taking care of ill patients at home. Regular hand washing is required after visiting patients in hospital, as well as after taking care of patients at home.
  • Communities affected by Ebola should inform the population about the nature of the disease and about outbreak containment measures, including burial of the dead. People who have died from Ebola should be promptly and safely buried.”

As the risk of the epidemic spreading to Europe is present, I thought it was important to bring this virus to your attention. It is spreading like wildfire.

On a different note, today’s recipe is great for a Summer picnic in the park. I was initially sceptical about roasting grapes but WOW it makes such a difference in flavour. The caramelised pecans are an addition of my own, recently I have come to realise that caramelised nuts are perfect with almost any dish, especially salads and asian cuisine. Enjoy!

Roasted Carrot and Grape Rice Salad with Green Beans, Rocket and Caramelised PecansIMG_3015

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Empire Salad

Unsurprisingly, starting a food blog can be detrimental to your diet. So I decided to be ‘healthy’ and make salad for once. When I invited friends round for a salad with sweet chili dressing and pesto, they were dubious, to say the least.

After tasting they openly regretted their rather vocal doubts now – this salad was delicious.

Empire Salad


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Couscous Salad with Chicken, Pomegranate and Rocket

The essence of this salad is in the pomegranate seeds. Add those crunchy sweet pops to anything and its taste will magically transform to a gourmet level. Ok not quite, but almost. I really only discovered the diversity of pomegranate when in a beach club in South Africa. They had a pomegranate mojito. It was amazing. Best mojito ever.


Warm Couscous Salad with Chicken, Rocket and Pomegranate seeds

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