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

Roasted cauliflower

Lately I’ve become quite addicted to cauliflower. In Dutch cuisine cauliflower used to be the equivalent of ‘boring’: plain, no colour, all taste cooked out of it, and served with a plain white sauce…..

But wow! The things you can do with cauliflower! It’s so tasty in curries, crispy when fried, silken when turned into soup. All of these I’ve tried and enjoyed, and made over and over again. Just search for ‘cauliflower’ on Pinterest, and a whole new world will open up !

And then there are the recipes I haven’t tried yet: cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower couscous and yes, even cauliflower risotto. This just so might not be my last ode to the cauliflower…..

My favorite? Roasted cauliflower. wash, chop up, mix with oil and spices (Cumin!) and roast. Or, if you’re looking for a pretty and tasty way to bring your cauliflower to the table, try this:

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Heat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius and wash your cauliflower  (you do not need to remove the leaves), place in a heat proof dish. Add about 2 cm of water.

Brush some (olive) oil on the entire cauliflower, and cover the cauliflower in a mixture of black pepper, salt and cumin (a lot! make sure it’s fully covered in  crispy, tasty layer). Then sprinkle some more oil on the spices, and place the entire cauliflower in the oven. Bake for at least one hour. The larger your cauliflower the more time you’ll need.

Place on a pretty plate, cut and serve, eat and 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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Vegan ‘oliebollen’

It’s a Dutch traditon to eat oliebollen (fried dough) on New Years Eve, and in our family it’s a good tradition to bake them ourselves.

You can buy oliebollen everywhere these days, but if you’re a fan of homemade, of a morning  spent behind the frying pan, hungry kids swarming around your legs, clouds of icing sugar and batter everywhere…the 31st of December is the best day of the year!

This year I used a recipe of the ‘Nederlandse vereniging voor Veganisme’, that I came across on Facebook:

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375 gr flour, 375 ml water, 30 gr sugar, 7 gr dried yeast, 3 gr cinnamon, 110 gr raisins, a few drops of lemon juice, 4 gr salt.

Mix all ingredients into a sticky batter, cover your bowl with a damp cloth and put in a warm spot. Allow to rise for 45 minutes.

 

Meanwhile heat the oil in your frying pan. Use 2 spoons to place drops of batter in the oil, fry for about 6 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius, or until crispy and brown.

I never manage to make perfectly round oliebollen, but the odd shaped ones taste just as good. This year I managed to bake a baby dinosaure !

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Sprinkle with icing sugar, eat and enjoy!