Monthly Archives: January 2013

Alternative grains

Another wheat alternative is Buckwheat, also called Kashi. The name comes from its resemblance to the triangular, but bigger beechnuts. A short growing season makes buckwheat perfect for colder climates or as a second crop. Historically, with increased output of wheat and other grains in colder climates, buckwheat has lost its importance over time, but has become recently more popular  as they offer an alternative to a gluten free diet. In general, it is a good idea to include buckwheat in our diet. Recipes I have seen use buckwheat pasta together with vegetables as a salad. To avoid eating the dish cold in this season, I lightly sauteed the vegetables and topped everything with marinated, fried tofu. See recipe

Old Fashioned favorites

Simple, yet satisfying is split pea soup. Split peas are high in protein and low in fat. They contain some of the highest amounts of fiber, (26 grams of fiber per 100 gram portion,) which helps to make people feel full and satiated. Therefore split pea soup used to be the comfort food at big markets and events (with a serving of Wiener sausages). There are several recipes, of split pea soup, some sweet and pureed, some more country style. I wanted something that cooks in less than an hour and tasted as strong flavored as my mom’s soup, but with veg. bacon bits and sauteed onions instead. This recipe is for the pressure cooker. See recipe

Artisanal Cheeses

A challenge in plant based diets are cheeses. …or better, the lack of it. The addictive taste has been for many a reason to stray from a vegan diet. While commercial solutions have been more or less acceptable, there has been recently a trend in homemade cheese recipes. I tried already the Mozzarella style cheese from the VegNews article. Another recipe I tried now is for a french chèvre style cheese, that can taste like ‘Boursin’, I also changed it to a very garlicky spreadable ‘Le Tartare’. I altered both from the basic chèvre mix, that includes making Rejuvelac to incubate the cheeses. The process takes several days. So far, I love the results of the spreadable cheese. Contact me for recipe

Home Remedies

A friend asked me about German onion cough remedy. Apparently a Greek version has alcohol in it, but I know only family style ‘onion juice’. The recipe requires the onion to be cooked. With the hot version, you can also add herbs. However there are other recipes that are using the juice cold, which some people think is more potent. Both are supposed to help with cough and cold and flu symptoms, are tasty and safe to give even small children. The remedy lasts abt. 4 weeks in the refrigerator. See recipe here

Smooth Sidekick

Savoy cabbage is a native in the Savoie region. The big Mediterranean winter vegetable is milder than other cabbages and sometimes eaten as salad. Some outer curly leaves are dark green, however the inside is usually pale, still with curly leaves. Some varieties grow pointy tops, some stay flat round. The very mild and sweet flavor of Savoy cabbage is often combined with strong and salty flavors in meat. But its fast preparation quality makes it also perfect for veg’n dishes. I like to combine it with grain meat and home fries. The big leaves are also superior for stuffed cabbage leaf recipes. See recipe

What about Tofu?

Tofu has a non-taste. Maybe veg’n food has a bad reputation as tofu is too often used as a quick and careless replacement for meat. The bean curd has very different properties, besides little taste it has a chewy to creamy texture depending on style. It might accompany a veg’n dish but should not be the sole center of attention to replace a steak, even if it is marinated and grilled. See my recipe for scrambled tofu. Continue reading

Swabian delicacies

Spätzle are the German answer to Gnocchi! The popular board scraped or machine sliced fresh pasta, traditionally from Swabia, is flavored with spinach or cheese. Above picture shows the spinach style, which indeed looks as if someone slayed a dragon. There should be, other flavors possible. Just as the Gnocchi, they taste better freshly made. I veganized the recipe and also made a very convincing and tasty cheese sauce with it. Serve with salad and you will have a great lunch. Recipe

How to heat the house

Heat the kitchen by baking buns! I am still working through a couple of recipes and this one (besides that I already ate a good breakfast) has caught my eye. What a great excuse and great lunch as well. This fat free veg’n ‘Happy Herbivore’ recipe was not easy for me, as the recipe has only lax indications of baking pan dimensions, dough thickness, rectangle size and from which side it should be rolled up, not mentioning yeast dough rising times either, duh. Just be creative. No matter which size, these little guys are quite forgiving. I got twelve minis instead of 6 big ones and used rum-raisins for the filling.
One sure resolution for the New Year is to make better pictures. Having some patience, using the tripod and also increase the depth of field. It already looks better on first attempt…Recipe 

Humble beginnings – Happy New Year

The New Year should start with a fanfare… celebrated with a special recipe and New Year’s greetings. However today, after so many specials and baked goods, we are craving healthy foods. So I just do, what I kept doing on my blog, cooking and posting ideas and recipes. While I am reading the ‘Happy Herbivore’ book, I made these handsome spiced corn pancakes from the dried and ground CSA corn to go with my black bean soup and salad. A nice combination. Recipe at the Happy Herbivore