Montag, 25. November 2013

Our Three-Course Dinner!

We had a lovely time with some of our friends last night! After spending the occasional hour or two eating vegan things together, both in different restaurants and in our friends' private vegan guerilla café, we decided it was time for us to put together a full dinner evening, once at each couples' home. There's a tv show in Germany ("Das perfekte Dinner" - goes by "Come dine with me" in other countries") which inspired us to have a three-course meal, nice decorations and good drinks.

Here's what we did:



Some nice edible decoration, candles, vegan fair trade wine from the local fairtrade shop, friends, a bit of freshly baked bread with herb "butter"...


Sonntag, 17. November 2013

Party Food or why Silken Tofu is Awesome!

Our friends know that we always serve food when we invite people. Yes, if they spontaneously drop by, I may not have anything prepared, but when actually invite people, they know they shouldn't eat before showing up.

Yesterday, we had some friends over for a whisk(e)y tasting and of course, we needed something to go with that. Sorry for the poor picture quality.



The boyfriend and I made Frikadellen (meat balls), roasted peppers with a herb/dried tomato cream, some small tomato rolls with a herb "butter," and mousse au chocolat.

The Frikadellen recipe originates in Jérôme Eckmeier's blog, but of course, we always make our own little adjustments.


Dienstag, 12. November 2013

Fried Noodles with Tons of Veggies! (and maybe some mock duck)

Die deutsche Übersetzung findet ihr unter dem englischen Rezept!


I love to cook for other people... and for myself. But I think eating ought to be a social activity. So today I made some food for the boyfriend and a friend who does not have the time to cook.
And who would say no this:





Sonntag, 10. November 2013

Celeriac Soup with Herbes de Provence Bread Rolls

As I mentioned in a previous post, I get a box of assorted organic veggies + fruit from a local organic farm once a week. This week, it came with two celeriacs. Since there was so much of it, I decided to make a soup! And because there is nothing better than fresh bread, I decided to make some rolls to go with the soup.





Ingredients:


For the soup:
  • 1.5l of veggie stock 
  • 1 onion
  • 4 smallish potatoes
  • 2 celeriacs 
  • 250ml of white wine
  • 1 leek
  • Dried herbes de Provence (thyme, rosemary, oregano) (These herbs were actually picked in southern France by my friend Caro! Thanks again!)
  • salt
  • 1 pot of soy cream
  • a little bit of olive oil
  • a little bit of freshly ground black pepper to garnish
I intentionally didn't put any exact gram measurements with the different veggies used. If you happen to have two leeks and one large piece of celeriac that should work just as well as the combination I had. 

Vegan Kitchen Staples

Since my friend Joni (who is new to exclusively plant-based cooking) asked for some explanation of the things that appear to be more exotic to those who cook conventionally, I decided to collect a few things that I find in my pantry to explain them.

Firstly, I would like to mention that you can easily cook awesome vegan food without using soy, seitan, and all these other things. The main ingredient in my kitchen will alwaysdesc be vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, etc. There is nothing wrong with tofu etc., but in my kitchen vegan cooking does not have to mean that I copy conventional recipes and replace meat with tofu. I do that sometimes, because I used to enjoy eating meat. I do not think that there is anything wrong with the taste of it, I just no longer see the necessity to use meat/dairy/eggs in order to get a great meal.

So. The main ingredient that should be available anywhere near you is this:




Sonntag, 3. November 2013

Chocolate Walnut Cranberry Coffee Cake with Pistachios

Ah, another inspiration from the Vegan Food Magazine. On page 55 of their first issue, they published a lovely recipe ("Chocolate Pecan Cranberry Coffee Cake") by Fran Costigan. I changed it according to my taste, available produce and equipment. It turned out perfect! At least as far as I can tell. This is definitely my favorite fall/winter cake! It's super juicy, but the nuts give it a nice crunch, and the chocolate and maple syrup give it a wonderful rich taste! It is a bit costly because of all the awesome ingredients, but... that's okay.
 

Equipment

  • a 28cm/11in springform pan
  • a scale
  • 2 cooling racks (or one rack and a plate)
  • 3 bowls (one small, one medium and one large bowl) 
  • an oven
  • parchment paper
  • a mixer or whisk
  • a knife and cutting board
  • a juicer (nothing fancy, just the thing that you use with citrus fruits cut in half)
  • a fine grater 
  • a spoon or two
  • a bain-marie and a small pot 




Raw Vegan Carrot Cake (no baking, no refined sugar!)

Last week I was truely excited to find that a free, vegan online magazine had been launched. The Vegan Food Magazine is a truely beautifully designed and interesting read! You can get your copy for free as a pdf on their website.

The pictures in the magazine were so mouth-watering, I had to try out a few recipes. I do wish they would release a paper copy of the magazine, so I could take it on the train, the couch or to bed with me (yes, I'm one of those dinosaurs who does not own a tablet), but also so I could take notes. The recipes I tried were in American cup measurements, which I find incredibly inconvenient. I have cup measures, but I prefer to weigh ingredients on my little scale. I have changed both recipes (the Raw Vegan Carrot Cake and the coffee cake that I will post later... it's still in the oven) a little, and I would have loved to write that down on my recipe copy. Oh well. I'll just keep track of my version in this blog. :) Speaking of recipes and blogs, here is the recipe for the carrot cake!

This looks pretty green, but that's just the light. It's actually a light orange-beige-y color.


Heads up: You will not need an oven, but you will need a food processor and a freezer, as well as a 15cm/6 inch spring-form pan.

Ingredients:



Freitag, 1. November 2013

Traditional German Cuisine: Roulades!


Roulades with red cabbage, gravy, and potatoes

Roulades with fried napkin dumplings and "bacon" beans


Conventionally, Roulades in German cuisine are made from thinly sliced beef filled with onions, bacon, and pickles. They were served with potatoes (or mashed potatoes), lots and lots of gravy and usually cooked red cabbage. It's the type of dish that many people of my generation (you know, those millenials, generation Y, people born in the 80s) were fed as a special treat when they visited their grandma. The same was true for me. Roulades are a little like individual little roasts that each diner would cut up themselves on their plate instead of being served a slice of a big roast. 
I like roulades. But obviously I wouldn't want any cow or pig on my plate. The boyfriend likes this type of cooking (you may go as far as calling it comfort food because Rouladen are usually associated with the coziness of your grandma's living room, the woman who spoiled you rotten. Yeah, I know that's not true for everyone. But you get the point.) even more than I do, so he insisted we'd try this recipe by Jérôme Eckmeier, a chef who's made himself quite a name in the vegan scene in Germany. We made some slight changes and are convinced that our instructions will be much better than his. ^_^