Sunday, April 24, 2011

Tame the lion!

How often do we vegans hear the sentence: "Oh yeah, vegan, cool thing, but I could never live without honey!"
Ok, not so often. But the truth is: There is vegan honey, and it's easy to make. We followed this recipe (german, lots of helpful pictures): Löwenzahnhonig. Next time, we will try to use more dandelions and less lemon, but it is already very good.

Preparation time: 2.5 hours in the evening, 2.5 hours in the morning
Suggested music: Dandelion, of course

  • 3 handful of dandelion blossoms (without bugs)
  • 1 L water
  • 1 kg sugar
  • 1/2 lemon (juice and grated zest)

What to do:
  1. Put the dandelion blossoms in a pot and add the water. Let rest for about 2 hours. Every 15 minutes, check for the little bugs that you oversaw during plucking and rescue them. They don't like the cold water, so they will crawl to the surface and look out for a helping deus hand ex machina.
  2. Bring the water to a boil, then let cool and rest over night.
  3. In the morning, decant the water. We used a noodle strainer for the big parts, and then filtered through two layers of kitchen roll paper.
  4. Put the filtered liquid back in the pot (it should be a much larger pot), add the sugar and the lemon, and bring to a boil.
  5. Let simmer for 1-2 hours without lid, until the consistency is honey-like. Put a small drop on a plate and let cool to check the final consistency.
  6. Fill in clean glas jars and close.

Happy Easter!

A happy cruelty-free Easter to all of you! Celebrate spring and green and growth and sunshine. Send your good thoughts to all of our little friends who will never feel the warm sun on their feathers or fur, or smell the wonderful spring air.

(First attempt at yeast easter bunnies... Next year will be prettier!)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sweet potatoes with coriander

I have to admit that I lost track of the banana project at some point. But they have all been eaten, and in very unspectacular ways. So it's time to move on!

Here's the veganized version of a very easy and quick sweet potato recipe from "Wok vegetarisch", one of my favorite cookbooks, although I don't even have a wok.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Suggested music: Hel - Hämnaren (I hit "random" in iTunes)

  • 600 g sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons oil (for sauteing)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts (I used cashews)
  • 250 g soy yoghurt (commonly referred to as Yofu in Germany)
  • 1 lime (I used a lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon oil (for dip)
  • fresh or frozen cilantro
  • salt & pepper

What to do:
  1. Wash the lime, grate some of its zest and juice half of it (I did not use the zest). Wash and mince the cilantro. Mix with yofu, and season the dip with salt, pepper, and maple syrup. I usually add a little bit of oil to such dips, as it enhances the taste.
  2. Peel the potatoes and cut into lengthy pieces about 0.5 cm thick. Heat oil in wok or pan and saute potatoes for 4-5 min. Add walnuts/cashews, until they become a little brown. Add coriander and season with salt.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Banana no. 8, 9, and 10 - and Swabian soup

My stomach protested against something last night (not bananas!), so I did not eat very much all day and am therefore lagging a bit behind with using all the bananas...

As mentioned a few days ago, I wanted to try the leftover gluten free pancakes with banana and chocolate sauce. It was ok, but it's definitely better with my usual crêpe made from wheat flour. Banana no. 8!

I love that plate!

In the evening, I tried to get my electrolyte balance back with something really salty and lots of liquid: Pancake soup! In southern Germany this is called Flädlesuppe. I used the last remaining pancake. This was actually pretty good, although I would still prefer the wheat pancake in there, it is not as stiff. Basically, you only cut a pancake in stripes and add hot vegetable stock.

To finally get some more calories into me that would stay in, I made pan-fried bananas. Oil -> pan -> sliced bananas -> turn -> cinnamon -> maple syrup. Banana no. 9 and 10!

I will keep that swedish cinnamon "kanel" glass forever!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Breakfast and banana milk

Featuring banana no. 5, 6, and 7.

Someone from the Paris Vegan Meetup Group told me about her breakfast with millet and buckwheat, and I thought it was interesting. I wanted to eat more millet because it's so terribly healthy, but I didn't succeed so far. Eating it for breakfast could solve this problem.

I am using roasted buckwheat (kasha) right now, but next time I'll try the unroasted version. It does have a very intense flavor... but I got quickly used to it, and now I like it. (Edit: I am using unroasted buckwheat b now, and I prefer it. It does not have that intense taste of the roasted version, and therefore the grains can be mixed with not-so-intense tasting fruits like apples also.)

  • 1/2 cup millet
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat 
  • (apple cider) vinegar
  • fruit etc. to add (here banana and kiwi, dates and cranberries, unshelled hemp seeds or ground flax seeds)
  • some sweetener if you feel like it (I use maple syrup)

What to do:
  1. Soak the millet and the buckwheat (if using unroasted) for 24 hours in 1 cup of water each, with 1 tablespoons vinegar. (Soaking seems to be good for everything that could possibly sprout, read more at Bonzai Aphrodite.)
  2. Wash and put in a pot with a little less water than before. Simmer over low heat until the water has been soaked up and the grains are soft (about 10 minutes). If using roasted buckwheat, add to the
  3. Let cool and store in a container in the fridge. This amount is enough for one week of breakfasts for me.
  4. Every morning, take 3-4 tablespoons of the grains and warm in a pot with a little water.
  5. Add to a bowl with your desired fruit and stuff.

Oh, and banana no. 6 & 7 went into a late night banana milk.

I should probably eat more plain bananas as a snack, but to be honest, I don't like them "pure" when they are overripe. Plus, I forgot to take some to work. I am good at that...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Where have all the bananas gone?

The organic store close to my work often sells big bags of fruits and vegetables that do not look very pretty anymore for 1-2 Euros. Today I bought 2.5 kg overripe bananas.

Some of my Facebook friends were interested what will happen to them, so here we go: Banana no. 1-4: Banana bread!

Recipe at the Post Punk Kitchen. Changes: I used an estimated amount of canola oil due to lack of margarine. And plain soy milk without vanilla. And only 3/4 cup of sugar. And four bananas, obviously, because they were small and I had to cut away some definitely too ripe spots.

Filled gluten free pancakes

I baked gluten free cookies once. Since then, gluten free flours are blocking my fridge. Time to change that!

Preparation time: about 40 minutes
Suggested music: Dornenreich - In Luft geritzt; here's the first song from the album: Drang (Why? Why not?)

  • 1 cup corn flour (edit: quinoa flour works also very well and tastes even better!)
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
  • 2 cups soy milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • salt
  • any spices you want; I used some coriander in the mixture, and some parsley for topping.
  • oil for the pan
  • ingredients for your filling; I used some leek, sauteed, added a bit of water+arrowroot to get a sauce, seasoned with salt, pepper, and mace.

What to do:
  1. Mix flours, flax seeds, soy milk, baking powder. Add salt to taste (yes, raw chickpea flour tastes really weird!).
  2. Add a tiny bit of oil to a pan and heat over medium heat.
  3. Pour a bit of the batter into the ban. Bake for 1-2 minutes on each side.
  4. If you want to fold them, do it quickly - they become relatively stiff when cooling.
One leek gave me enough filling for only two pancakes. Therefore I will try a sweet version tomorrow, and even pancake soup (pretty heretic with egg- and gluten-free pancakes, I guess...).

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Alsatian field salad

(Elsässer Ackersalat)

A quick and easy salad for which I am not able to give exact amounts of ingredients. I always prepare it give or take a bit.

Preparation time: about 20 minutes
Suggested music: The subjonctiv song! (I ate this salad for the first time at a family celebration when I was 14. At the same time, I got my first CD player. And my first CD was Celine Dion. Now I am in France, and Alsace is also in France, so it has to be a french song. This one features many verbs in the dreaded verb form of the subjonctiv. Yeah!)

  • Field salad (for 1-2 persons)
  • 1-2 pears (they don't have to be very soft, they will soften in the pan)
  • soy sauce
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • optional: some walnuts

What to do:
  1. Wash the salad and put into a bowl.
  2. Wash the pears and cut into quarters. Slice these into about 0.5 cm thick pieces.
  3. Heat a bit of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the pears and saute until they become slightly translucent.
  4. Remove from heat and deglaze with a bit of soy sauce (don't use too much, it might become to salty). When it has stopped steaming, add some balsamic vinegar. (Do NEVER add the vinegar to the really hot pan! This will smell awfully like acetic acid and hurt in your nose!)
  5. Pour over the salad, add the optional nuts, mix and serve immediately.