Tag Archives: potato

Happy New Year

You will never go hungry  if you know how to make Gnocchi on the 29th in Argentina, (the day before pay-day,) or if you can make Eastern European Pirogi.
Flour, oil, salt, potatoes – both pasta dishes are easy to make and tasty soul food for a limited budget. With memories of foods in Poland, I made Pirogi, as it felt time consuming. Until I came across a copy of Terry H. Romero’s ‘Vegan eats world’. Very recommendable book indeed. The two recipes I tried were both working well and are both keepers. Following my version of pirogi and especially the awkward shaping process from an Indian Roti recipe if you have strong arms and countertop space a rolling pin may be more time saving… Get recipe here


MullagaDSC_5686.1The ‘Last Soup of the Year,’ Miss Sophie’s favorite Mulligatawny soup in ‘Dinner for One’, is known in Germany at least since the annual airing of the British play at New Year’s Night. The Anglicized Tamil-Indian soup’s name, that is spoken with a stiff lip, simply means ‘pepper water’.
There are many ways to make this soup, which always has a curry taste and a yellowy turmeric tint. Following is my vegan interpretation. Despite the Indian leaning, the soup is perfect for our Northern cold season. See recipe.

Blessed with eggplants

MoussDSC_4241It’s raining eggplants and cucumbers. While I was hoping for a green salad leaf in our last CSA delivery, I suddenly find myself loaded with eggplant bounty. Back to the Mediterranean where the nightshade recipes are a plenty. That reminded me, we never tried our own veg. moussaka, which also makes use of zucchini squash also in multiples in our fridge. Little did I know that this humble dish needs a lot of oven time. On this occasion I also learned about a nice alternative to veg. smart ground, made from scratch, however if no meat substitute is at hand, I always use some chopped mushrooms for texture and instead of bechamel, I used mashed potatoes. See recipe


BavDSC_3137What is a German potato salad? If you think it is a potato-mayonnaise salad, (which in South America btw. is referred to as ‘Russian Salad’), you may limit yourself. Finns add frozen green peas to that blend, others add eggs. However, Germans know at least 20 different ways of making a potato salad and as I wrote before, there are complete cook books about potato recipes.
Most potato salads contain animal products such as eggs in mayonnaise, cream or bacon bits, however there are also a healthier kinds with less fat. My winter favorite, Bavarian potato salad for example, has a warm marinade blended into cooked and sliced potatoes.  don’t like too pale potatoes, so I produced something like home fries with dressing, which in winter is the perfect warm side dish with carrots and peas and maybe a field roast sausage or roast. See Recipe

Mardi Gras

There is nothing traditional except color. I must admit, this is a wacky and not very festive combination, but despite the looks it is really tasty. The real recipe of the bake is with white or savoy cabbage, white beans and potatoes. However if you like a stronger taste with more character, try red cabbage and juicy black beans which also won’t discolor. Serve with quinoa burgers and tartar sauce. Cabbage blend recipe
The quinoa burgers or croquettes are quite tasty with tartar sauce. The recipe is adjusted to be non crumbly as the original German recipe was more like granola. Quinoa burger recipe

Cabbage flowers

Early Arab scientists wrote about Cauliflower in the 12th and 13th centuries. In 16th century, the French introduced ‘Chouxfleurs’. Cultivars were developed in Germany, France and Asia. Italian versions include the original white, the Romanescu and the colored varieties, also broccoli cultivars.
When I grew up in Northern Europe, cauliflower was popular. Today, broccoli might have taken it’s place. There are great in Indian dishes like Aloo Gobi, but also a soup of cauliflower and potato is a quick and warming dish, that might even work in leftover cauliflower. 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

Orange vegetables

Cauliflower comes in many colors. I am a bit weary when I see bright purple varieties on our farmer’s market. However colors are common and the orange variety is supposed to be canadian form with increased levels of vitamin A. The list of cauliflower benefits includes cell repair and cancer protection and is more potent, when the vegetable is stir fried instead of boiled. I love sauces, so Aloo Gobi, the Indian curry with lots of spices and one of the red hot chilli pepper is just right when it is getting nippy outside. Use white or orange cauliflower, as the colors won’t fight the red sauce. I tried a recipe from a German book, but had to adjust it to what I had available here and I always slip some chickpeas in the recipe… See recipe

Vampires and Borscht

Happy Halloween! For the second time in a row, Halloween has become the spooky reminder of global warming. Last year we had snow and ice that day which cancelled Trick or Treating, this year in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy, Trick or Treating happened on a limited scale with early curfew. Still groups of kids made it into the woods and I must admit, for the first time I ran out of candy. Woe is me. Continue reading

Yellow season

It is clearly yellow season. The leaves are turning, the nights are getting colder and we are craving warm foods. Ahh spicy foods. I picked up this Indian style burger recipe but never had all the ingredients, to make it. So today again, did  some creative replacements. I notice, all my burgers seem to look the same, however the taste is every time different. This time the idea comes close to Samosas. See recipe

The better Crunch

Do you remember Terra Chips? Chips made from blue and white potatoes, yams and beets. Succulent, less oily and tasting sweet and salty. A really great experience. And you can do it all yourself!
I had a big box full of sweet potatoes. If you want to make chips, most internet recipes state that you will bake them in 400˚F or higher. Most of my chips curled up and burned right away in such temperatures already after ten minutes. The better range seems to be around 300, 350 degrees, abt. 20 minutes, including turning them once. The most important part however, is cutting them all the same thickness, which won’t work by hand, you will need to use the food processor or a mandolin.
Then experiment with following recipe…

Traditional Fare

Hastings has been discovering Kale, for chips, pasta greens and of course by itself. Now you can even buy ready made kale chips in different flavors at Whole Foods and Fairways. I believe the kale season is winding down; in Germany, it is eaten mostly in winter, preferred after some frost. Most kale overseas is extremely sandy, therefore ‘triple washed’ and pre-cooked kale is offered in huge cans intended to shorten the cooking process. “Grünkohl mit Pinkel’ (Kale with hot sausage), the family favorite is well worth veganizing.  See recipe

Green Food

Asparagus is Spring food. In Northern Europe, April/May is asparagus time. As a close relative of the allium plants, asparagus is said to be an aphrodisiac. Known as early as in old Egypt, the plant was also served to Madame de Pompadour in France as ‘Love Tips’. Asparagus is low in calories, a good source of vitamin B6, fiber and protein and other important nutrients. Continue reading

With Love from Russia

Cabbage is your friend in colder seasons. From Eastern Europe, to France, Cabbage is known as a reliable winter vegetable… Cabbage contains riboflavin (Vitamin B2) which is important for a variety of cellular processes. Riboflavin solution has a fluorescent yellow color. As excess of this vitamin is removed from the body, a deficiency is quite possible. Try this country style soup to warm up on a cold day.  See recipe

Spicey Roesti (Rösti, Röschti)

Potatoes are an important staple in Northern European cooking. In Switzerland for example, you will find many different local versions of Roesti (Röschti), potato pancakes, eaten with applesauce or ‘Fleischkäse’ (cured meat). Other countries have their own recipes and expressions. Satisfying to eat and easy to make, they found their way to the US. You may have heard of Potato Pancakes, Kartoffelpuffer, or Latkes… Continue reading