Plastic Free July 2018 – makin’ plantbased milk

It’s 20 days into plastic free July and our household isn’t entirely plastic free yet. That, I think, is still quite a journey. But we are making progress and are introducing new plastic free routines.

Such as making our own milk instead of buying Tetra packs with plastic lids , packs of oatmilk, soy- and nutmilk.

I started out with making oatmilk. And it is just too simple. Add a handful of oats to a jar of water. Soak for about 4 hours. Blend and strain. Et voila!

Easy, plastic free and so much cheaper. I store the milk in a glass jar in the fridge and make about half a liter at a time.

You can add a bit of maple syrup or a date for sweetness but it tastes just as well without.

Next step: experimenting with cashew and almond milk….

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Pudla……..Vegan Challenge 042018

8 days into the April 2018 Vegan Challenge, and it’s going quite smoothly.  I must say I haven’t eaten 100% vegan last week. There was a birthday cake, some snacks and left overs I didn’t want to toss. But all home cooked meals were vegan without trouble.

There are enough tasty meals to choose from, and the internet remains a rich source of inspiration. Today we tried a new recipe which I found on the Dutch website Vegetus. 

I had never eaten Pudla’s before, but I think I will again soon! These pancakes, made with chickpeaflour and  vegetables are easy to make, very tasty & a great way to use any leftovers.

The original recipe can be found here, but since it’s in Dutch and I adjusted it a little, I’ll give you a brief version in English here:

Mix your dry ingredients in a bowl:

1,5 cup of chickpeaflour – 1 tsp (teaspoon) baking powder – 1/2 tsp of salt – 1/2 tsp of garlic powder – 1/2 tsp ground white pepper – 1 tsp currypowder – 1 tsp ground cumin

Add 1,5 cups of water and 1 tsp fresh lemon juice. Stirr well.

Chop your vegetables:

You can use any leftovers you like. Today I used 1 large carrot, leek, celery, red and green peppers, and a small onion.

I used my kitchen machine to chop them very fine since tiny undefinable vegetable pieces are the easiest way of feeding the kids something new. I ended up with about 4 cups of chopped vegetables, a bit more than in the original recipe, but it worked out fine.

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Add your vegetables to your batter. Stirr well. Heat a frying pan over medium fire. Use a little sunflower oil for each batch, and bake three tiny ‘pancakes’ at once. Bake slowly so the inside can cook properly without burning the outside, turn once the top of the pancakes starts to dry up, bake on the other side for a few more minutes.

I served mine with iceberg letuce, hot and spicy chillisauce, and a home made Soy-yoghurt sauce with dried mint. Tasty!

 

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Tofu Halloumi…….Vegan Challenge 042018

The best way to get through a month of vegan eating? Discover new recipes, spend a little more time in the kitchen and try out stuff  you never thought you’d make.

And why not learn from the best?  Last week I discovered the blog One Arab Vegan, and found a treasure of recipes waiting to be tried.

The first one I tried was her vegan tofu halloumi. Why? Because I love, love, love halloumi, and – secondly – I always struggle with my tofu: how to make it so tasty I’ll be looking forward to eating it again soon?

Eating tofu never was a very tasty affair, it’s just something you do occasionally…proteins…proteins…you know….

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Well, that has changed! I tried the recipe for tofu halloumi once, ate it twice, and I’m already looking forward to making my next batch.

The idea is simple: drain your tofu, rub with a mixture of sea salt, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and olive oil, dried mint and freshly ground black pepper.  Let it rest a while. Then bake…..in your waffle grill or toaster.

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The result is simply delicious!

You can find the exact ingredients and a step by step recipe on One Arab Vegan. 

Enjoy!

You got this……vegan challenge 042018

I decided to join the upcoming vegan challenge. Over 3000 participants have signed up already, and are committed to skip every animal product from their diet for at least a month. It has been a while since last time, and I’d really like to focus more on what I do and don ‘t eat, instead of simply choosing fast and convenient. I hope to find some focus again, and to be able to make some choices on how to continue once April is over.

It’s still a few days ’till April, but it won’t hurt to start focussing a bit more, and to remind myself of some of the tips and tricks that will make this challenge work for me.

Since I travel a lot for my work, trainrides, and lunches on trains -in between meetings – are part of my daily routine.

During our early morning family rush hours it is tempting to think ‘oh I’ll just buy a sandwich/snack somewhere, later today…..’

Which isn’t just unpleasant for your budget, it’s also harder to stick to a vegan diet this way.

With a little more planning, and a stuffed fridge, it’s easy to avoid these ‘Now what will I eat?’ – moments on the road.

I like to work with what I’ve got, and these energybars are easy to make:

Mix and chop any dry ingredients you like (such as nuts, seeds and grated coconut)

Mix in spoonful after spoonful of wet ingredients, such as peanutbutter, date syrup or agave syrup

Add a little coconut oil, and mix everything together.

Spread out on a tray, carefully cut through with a knife.

Place in your freezer until firm. Then, remove from the tray and pack your energybars in small containers. Keep them in your freezer and just grab one on your way out of the house.

There you go. You got this

Cauliflower & sweet potato soup

Last July, I promised you more culinairy cauliflower adventures…….

so, after a little break…here we go!

How about soup? Cauliflower soup?

Nice? Yes. Tasty? Yes, definitily. Pretty? Well…..if you like pale…..

I’ve been experimenting a bit with recipes, but somehow the looks never match the taste. Plain cauliflower makes a pale, white soup, adding curry makes it, well, OK, yellowish…..but still.

And then, yesterday somewhat by accident I came up with a recipe that’s both tasty, and pretty (if you like orange). It was one of those, let’s see what we have lying around in the kitchen kind of days. and well – surprise- I had a cauliflower lying around, and a sweet potato ( another thing I’ve started experimenting with lately). Et voila!

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If you’d like to give it  a try, here’s what I used:

  • one medium sized cauliflower
  • one rather small sweet potato
  • an onion
  • a cube of vegetable stock
  • 120 ml coconut milk
  • half a spoon of red pepper paste
  • a teaspoon of curry
  • a teaspoon of ground coriander
  • a teaspoon of ground cumin
  • a teaspoon of kurkuma
  • black pepper

And here’s what I did:

  • heated the oven to 230 degrees Celsius and roasted the sweet potato in its skin for about 30 minutes
  • cleaned, cut and boiled the cauliflower
  • chopped and fried the onion, added all spices and pepper paste
  • allowed sweet potato to cool down, then peeled it
  • drained the cauliflower
  • added all ingredients to the cauliflower in the pan
  • blended it smooth
  • and let it boil for a little while
  • filled my bowl and sprinkled on some more pepper – black and red
  • let the rest cool down and stored it in my fridge
  • reheated what was left the next day ( today) and had a warm and tasty lunch

 

This recipe was enough for a dinner & lunch for one (no my kids don’t do cauliflower soup), and it was really thick. You can add more coconutmilk or even a bit of water to make it thinner.

And, the larger the cauliflower and the potato/potatoes, the more soup you will have. Ofcourse. Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

The single parent’s survival guide to dinner

Do you know the feeling…it’s been a long day and yet you’ve tried to make the most of dinner. Some vitamins, some colour, nothing extraordinary, just, you know something healthy…

The food isn’t even on the table yet before number one claims she has a headache and therefore…no appetite…number two is tired and iritated, and number three starts screaming as if you try to feed her poison:  ‘what’s this?! Oh no, I can’t eat that!’

All you can think is ‘why did I even bother? ‘ and….. ‘Now why isn’t there another adult at this table to  tell me ‘well, honey this is just delicious, kids, don’t fuss, eat your dinner!’? ‘

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Some nights, you’ve just got to do what makes everybody happy: feed ‘m pancakes and ice cream…………… with hidden vitamins….

For your pancakes, just make your usual batter, then add a grated zucchini (use these light green ones if you can, they’re perfect camouflage. If you use the darker green ones, be prepared to answer questions  such as ‘Mom, what are these green spots in my pancake?!?’…now try to answer that without using the V-word!

Bake and serve as you normally would…..then sit and watch them eat their veggies and smile…..

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Since we’re in a good mood, why not add some ice cream? Blend 2 chopped banana’s (frozen) and a large mango (cut into small pieces)  with the juice of one lemon. Serve, watch ‘m eat, enjoy……

Don’t feel like eating pancakes? Make yourself some soup! Chop another zucchini, boil in a little vegetable stock, throw in a handful of kale, add some cumin, coriander and black pepper, blend. Serve with some (vegan) cream, and a good swirl of ground red pepper. Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

simple, tasty lentil soup

Lentil soup is one of my favorite soups e-ver.

The basis is always the same: red lentils, an onion, vegetable stock, some veggies and cumin, lots and lots of cumin……

I can eat this for days on end, and it’s a good way of using some leftover vegetables aswell!

This version is extra creamy because I’ve added coconut milk.

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You will need:

200 grams of red lentils – an onion – a large carrot – a red paprika – 800 ml vegetable stock – 250 ml coconut milk  – 2 table spoons of sunflower oil – 2 table spoons of ground cumin – a table spoon of ground coriander – half a table spoon of ground curcuma – half a table spoon of curry spices -red pepper flakes according to taste ( the more the spicier) – dried mint

 

Chop the vegetables, wash your lentils, heat the oil in a large pan. Stirr fry the vegetables, lentils and spices (except the mint) for a few minutes. Add vegetable stock and  boil for 20 minutes ( or until lentils are soft). Add coconut milk, stirr well and boil for another 2 minutes. Blend smooth, and serve with a topping of dried mint, pepper flakes (and, if you like…more cumin!).

very, very tasty with home made flatbread!

 

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