Monday, January 31, 2011

Beetroot Dip

The availability of a very good food processor in combination with leftover food from parties can (can!) result in very tasty stuff. Exactly this happened to Manuel's flatmate Maria, who thus created a gorgeous spread (or dip, or even puree) from beetroots.

Preparation time: If you have boiled potatoes, 10 minutes.
Suggested music: As we initially thought that this was a russian recipe, something from this land with the beautiful language: Vladimir Vissotski

  • 500 g beetroot (boiled; we buy them usually already boiled)
  • 300 g potatoes (boiled)
  • half a handful walnuts
  • 1 small onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • salt & pepper
  • some fresh parsley, chopped, and/or whatever herbs and spices you like

What to do:
  1. Place beetroots, potatoes, walnuts, onion, and garlic in a bowl and puree using a hand-held blender.
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in parsley.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Vegan Pizza Day

Today is Vegan Pizza Day! (See the page on Facebook.) Therefore we made pizza. And strawberry ice cream. No recipe today, just a quick step-by-step documentation.

1. Prepare yeast dough and let rise.

2. Spread on baking sheet and add tons of tasty vegetables.

3. Prepare Hefeschmeeeeelz! and add over Pizza. Hefeschmelz is a sauce made from oil/margarine, flour,  nutritinal yeast, and spices, I think it is called nooch sauce in the Post Punk Kitchen forum.

4. Bake and enjoy :-)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


(Dictionary calls them "sweet yeast dumplings". That sounds weird... )

A childhood thing, something that mothers make, and I actually have never made them myself. Today I read about them and decided I needed to make them. I am afraid they are not very photogenic. And I am not a good food photographer...

Originally they are made in a pot or pan with a bit of milk and fat, or even steamed in a pot. I am lazy and bake them in the oven.

Preparation time: about 90 minutes
Suggested music: as a variant of Dampfnudeln are known in Austria as Germknödel, listen to Falco, e.g. Out of the dark *arrrrrrr*

  • 500 g flour (I mixed in 100 g whole wheat flour)
  • 1 sachet yeast
  • 200 mL plant milk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons margarine
  • pinch of salt
  • custard (vanilla sauce, or just vanilla soy milk if you are as lazy as I am)

What to do:

  1. Prepare a yeast dough with everything but the custard. The dough has the right consistency when it forms a ball around the dough hook as in the picture above.
  2. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30-60 minutes.
  3. Knead the dough again for a few seconds, then form little balls and place in an oven pan, not too close to one another. If you are not as hungry and hasty as I was, they should look much nicer. Let rise again for 10 minutes, then bake at 180 °C for about 20 minutes, until they are browned on the surface.

Open one Dampfnudel up a little and serve with the vanilla sauce. 

Variations: Try steaming them in a pot, they will not be as dry on the surface. Serve with cinnamon or fruit sauce or ground poppy seeds. Fill with jam.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The vegan girl's guide to life

At the Paris Vegan Day, I was lucky and got the very last copy of Melisser Elliott's book, The vegan girl's guide to life. I wanted to read in it over the holidays, but I had too much luggage and the book stayed behind. In the last days, I found some time to read.

When I looked at it at the PVD, I was instantly convinced that I needed this book. It really is the vegan girl's guide to everything - veganism, animal rights, cooking, where to buy what, and many more cute tips what you can do, including sewing, stitching, gardening, and other DIY tips. The book looks very cute, and the writing is entertaining and informative. Throughout the book, there are pages with interviews of vegans, bloggers, crafters, food artists. Definitely a must-have for a vegan girl! (I don't see a reason, however, why it should be restricted to girls... ok, most men don't use make-up, but apart from that...)

There are tons of tips that are, of course, useful mostly if you live in the US. But if I go there again, I will be prepared!

There was only one part that did not convince me: the chapter about nutrition, written by a guest author, who is a clinical nutritionist. For a vegan, there are not many news in this chapter, and that is ok, but in the light of a girl thinking about becoming vegan, I think it could have been written in a more, well, positive and "vegan is not unnatural" way. For example, it does not mention that B12 is synthesized by bacteria; only that we usually get it from animal products, as if the animals produced it. The text also mentions that omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish and algae, but not that they are found in such a high concentration in fish only because they eat these algae.

Today, it was time for the final test: Cooking a recipe from the book. As there is a paragraph entitled "Attention, tempeh haters!" I thought it would be a good occasion to give this weird soybean stuff a second chance. My first trial, about two years ago, was disastrous. Therefore I chose "Brussel sprouts with crispy tempeh over soft polenta". It was easy, it was quick, and it was very tasty! (I did not have "liquid smoke" (wtf?), and used a pinch of gyros seasoning instead...) Thank you, Melisser, you have successfully healed my tempeh aversion!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year

In Berlin, lots of crazy people seem to crawl out of their hiding places in the last night of the year, and make a lot of noise. We are both no fans of firecrackers and fireworks. While they might look nice, there are so many more useful things one could do with all that money that is burnt in explosions each year, and the noise is just annoying. Therefore we decided to have a quiet evening at Viasko, which is a relatively new restaurant in Berlin and offered lots of food and company for this special night.

As expected, the evening was wonderful. The food was fantastic - soup, salads, sushi, canapés, dips, BBQ outside, soy "Geschnetzeltes" with red cabbage and bread dumplings, gnocchi. Cake and Black Forest mousse au chocolat. 

Every table even got their own little chocolate fondue!

Nice people all around, plus good music - All in all a perfect evening.

We wish you all a Happy New Year! May it be full of happiness and love towards you and all creatures around you.