Happy dancing with cobbler, chili and cereal

Hey, hey. How about we do a little happy dance on Wednesday? Come on now, we should all get dancing more often for those sweet little endorphins jumping right at us when we do [clearly too much caffeine in my blood right now ;)]. Really though: Wednesday is a good day for everybody. If you don’t like your job/school: Rejoice – only two more days until the weekend. If you do like your job: well, awesome, two more days of fun! And for both groups: Wednesday means it’s What I ate Wednesday time again and if that’s not a reason to celebrate and do a happy dance I don’t know what it. Dancing or not let’s thank our host Jenn [thanks!] and jump quickstep into the food.

wiaw fall into good habits buttonTo all German readers: don’t forget to look at everybody’s delicious creations for Vegan Wednesday, either. Meal time inspiration to the max with two foodie parties in one – it doesn’t get any better.

One more dish to use up a clamshell of cherry tomatoes I’d forgotten in my eagerness to eat my way through my produce stash before moving. And what a fabulous dish if I dare say so myself. Blogging apparently isn’t doing me well in terms of modesty ;). Believe me, I’m honestly not one to toot my own horn in real life. Not to digress too much but does anybody else notice they’re “different” from their real life personality at times when writing their posts. Don’t worry: I’m not secretly a b*tch but just wouldn’t tell you I was proud of something I created instead having a hard time accepting compliments. Okay, okay, I am digressing so back to where I was: this recipe is delicious.

Tomato cob.

While browsing the internet for recipe inspiration I happened upon the idea of Tomato Cobbler. I got curious because I’d only heard of dessert cobblers so far and not even had any of those before. A quick search brought up many non-vegan recipes but I like a good challenge so started cooking. What can I say? I’m quite pleased with the outcome and because I’m sure many of you find themselves with an extra load of cherry tomatoes this time of the year 😉 I’ll share the recipe soon. It might not look like that but this is strange but good. Any guesses on its secret?

Tomato

Promise: I won’t turn this blog into the weather show but it’s still freakishly cold so … chili weather! I got my copy of Happy Herbivore Light & Lean [more on that to come next week!] and the chili and stew section was the one I kept looking back at most. With my first bunch of kale in ages – what a bad blogger am I?!  – I prepared the Chipotle Harvest Chili. Naturally subbing around a lot but with a delicious result. It’s a bit unusual to work in a different kitchen and even running a lot of errands the day after my arrival I’m still out of many staple [to me, that is, not my parents] ingredients. How can there be no oatmeal or smoked paprika powder :)?! Funny to think how much my staples have changed since getting in contact with the blog world.

HH Light & Lean Chili

Above-mentioned errands – did I ever mention I’m a pro-buyer meaning I’ll plan to buy x number of things and come home with even more?! – might not hae yielded all of my staples. But I happened upon several new finds that I’m quite pleased with. One of them makes me feel a little more like a blogger …

Cereal

Yes, cereal. Okay, it doesn’t look like much but a) we can hardly find any variety in terms of healthier non-sugar-laden cereals over here and b) it was just a snack. Almond milk joined the party post-shoot because I didn’t want the crunchy rings to get soggy. While I still don’t think I’ll break out the cereal for a meal any time soon [it’s just not filling enough] it’s nice to have a new easily portable snack. And talking about snacks depening on when you read this I’ll be at work and ready for a snack. So grab one yourself and check out what everybody else is eating!

Happy Wednesday!

Happiness inducing today: Reading a good book.

Do you have a favourite chili recipe? Which one?

Cereal fiends: what are your favourite kinds/brands?

Random non-food question(s): Did you ever take ballroom dancing classes? Do you still know the steps?

Merken

Chocolate Gingerbread Mug Cake

Hi everybody! Did you have a good weekend and – most importantly – stay warm? Moving to the countryside for me also meant moving to an even colder climate [sorry but it’s true]. I guess you can’t [always] have a beautiful surrounding and warm temperatures but that’s okay – for now [ask me again once it gets really cold ;)]. Bringing on the marvelous again for a great start into the week with our lovely host Katie.

MiMM_new

Our Sunday included a family walk that – unlike that previous one – was cut short because in the end even my dad [ha!] had to admit the wind was damn cold. Hence why I’m sorry to admit I didn’t take too many pictures because I was more concered with braving the wind and debating the right choice of topic for such a cold weather walk with my dad. Kidding. We weren’t talking just about that, but yes, I had to make it a point that the wind feels even colder if you keep saying it does. Don’t you agree?! [Yes, you do, in case you were seriously pondering ;).]

Mug

What could be more marvelous than returning to your place after a walk in the cold and enjoying a cup of tea and a piece of cake. Though … a piece of cake? How about a mug of cake? Waste not want not it’s a great single-serving way to have your cake and eat it, too. I figure I could have offered some to my parents yesterday, too. When my father was rummaging the pantry when he no

Gingerbread Chocolate Mug

You’ll notice that it’s a small serving size and that’s because a) I like to make small batches of anything when trying it for the first time and b) I never eat just a mug cake as a snack. Always topped with almond butter and a side of whatever else I feel like [fruit, chocolate, …].

Chocolate Gingerbread Mug Cake

  • 1/4 scoop (5 g) vanilla protein powder*
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tbsp dark cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp granulated sweetener (I used a German brand of vanilla stevia that comes in sticks equal to 1 tsp of sweetener)
  • 1/2 tsp of Gingerbread spice [Germans: I higly recommend this one!]
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsps of applesauce
  • 5 tbsps of non-dairy milk
  1. Mix dry ingredients in a mug.
  2. Add in applesauce and water. Stir to form a batter. It shouldn’t be too ‘dry’ but neither runny. Using SunWarrior protein powder I’ve found five to six tablespoons of milk to work best.
  3. Microwave on high for 1.5 minutes.
  4. Enjoy!

Notes:

* I know 1/4 scoop is a tiny measurement but I’ve found I don’t tolerate larger amounts of protein powder well. You could always play around with the rations in the recipe but I like to go the save-for-me route.

Rumor has it that chocolate chips are a great addition to this. Not like I knew from experience …

Spoonful mug cake

Now go and bake microwave yourself a cake to celebrate … Monday?! Or yourself because you’re worth it no matter which day.

Happy Monday!

 

What is your favourite mug cake recipe? Please share it in the comments – I’m all up for trying new creations!

Favourite way to stay warm on cold days?

Good good links #14

All good things come in threes – or so you could at least say when it comes to my Good good [food for thought] picks this week. Right in time for my possible short-cut in terms of exercise three sweet ladies decided to share their opinion on the topic. Though all of different aspects so I obviously recommend you to read all of them! And one more post to rethink fitness goals in recovery.

Along with that there’s obviously some good food, advice and enough to make you laugh even on the coldest most boring Sunday – and now I sound like I was trying to sell something to you. I blame sleep deprivation ;). Anyway, let me know your great reads from the week in the comments, too!

flowers

Happy Sunday!

Good good [food for thought]

Intuitive Exercise via The Healthy Maven

Awesome reminder of listening to our intuition not only in terms of food but exercise, too. Easier said than done while being surrounded by fitspiration and else –  but worth it.

Why Do You Workout via The Little Honey Bee

Pondering the reasons we choose to exercise for – do it for yourself and nobody else. So, tell me: why do you work out?

Why I Gave Up Running via Chocolate-covered Katie

Another great post on listening to your inner voice and working out in a way that feels right for you. Even if that means stopping a certain kind of exercise you enjoyed for years but suddenly doesn’t fit anymore.

Is it Ok to Want to Change Your Body While in Recovery From an Eating Disorder? via Kenzie Life

How to distinguish healthy from disordered fitness goals in recovery  – great read!

Love & Learning to Love: Baring it All via Snack Therapy

Learn to love yourself by following the example of this gorgeous lady. Beautiful and honest inspiration!

Good good [advice and inspiration]

The Good Life Holiday Challenge via Jamie Mendell

Not a post giving advice but a whole challenge leading you through the holidays to make them less stressful and more enjoyable. Starting today!

5 Life-Changing Ways To Start Your Day via Mind Body Green

Simple habits that have the power of turning your attitude towards the new day around for the better.

20 Things You Need To Stop Doing In Your Twenties via Lifehack

Sometimes stopping can actually get you forward – case in point when it comes to postponing things, comparing yourself and others.

An Open Letter To Anyone Thinking About Trying Yoga via Mind Body Green

If you consider giving yoga a try [I do] these are some things you might want to know to avoid giving up in disappointment after your first class.

3 Ways To Stay Motivated When You REALLY Don’t Want to Work Out via Women’s Health

Use a few little tricks to get yourself moving when you’re not feeling it [but no pressure here!].

Good good [things to make you smile]

Fun Ways To Play With Your Food via Likes

You know you’re not supposed to play with it but … that cheese?! I’m impressed.

14 Times “Love. Actually” Lied To Us About Love via BuzzFeed

So you mean Hugh Grant won’t come knocking on my door this year, either?  I’m devastated.

23 Ingenious Australian Solutions To Everyday Problems via BuzzFeed

This one’s for Arman – though he obviously knew all of them already ;).

Good good [food]

Quinoa with Caramelized Butternut Squash and Roasted Brussels Sprouts via Iowa Girl Eats

The best flavours and textures (!) of fall combined in one dish.

Sweet Potato Nachos via the Real Life RD

Can you say amazing?!

Cauliflower ‘N Cheese Bake [Vegan & Gluten-Free] via Mind Body Green

It’s cheesy, vegan and needs to appear on my plate already.

33 Gluten-Free And Vegan Chocolate Desserts via BuzzFeed

Chocolate for [almost] everybody! Could it get any better???

Small-Batch Lazy S’mores Truffles via Wing It Vegan

And my urge to find vegan marshmallows has just increased.

What are your thoughts on exercise motivation and working out intuitively?

As always: Feel free to share your favourite links from the week!

Talking textures [Roasted Vegetable Casserole]

It’s ridiculous: just about every time carrots are on sale I used to pick up a bag only to end up not using them fast enough. As somebody who hates to waste food this irked me a lot so I’ve gotten better at resisting. Growing up I ate a lot of carrots* – just like about every child, I assume? – but the older I got and the more variety I brought into my diet the less frequent they became for me. When it comes to adding a vegetable to whichever dish I’m least likely to opt for good old carrots. Sad but true. Don’t judge!

*which funnily are called quite a number of different names in Germany: Mohrrüben, Möhrchen, Karotten, Wurzeln, …

sprinkled

And that’s where my use-up challenge came in ever so handy. Somehow I’d not only been lured into buying a week-only offer of yellow carrots but also a bag of the regular kind in the organic grocery. After last week’s curry I once more got out the blender to turn the carrots into puree. Not intentionally, though, as I’d originally planned to finally try maple-glazed carrots. But when the roasted vegetables from my weekend meal prep already lend some bite to the dish I needed to have a different texture for the carrots. Yes, I always need at least one ingredient offering some “chew” and one creamy component to be fully satisfied after a meal. The more textures, the merrier. In this case: the crispy, chewy [in the best way!] vegetables, starchy [for lack of a better word] roasted chickpeas,  creamy but still a little chunky carrots and smooth bell pepper sauce to top it off.

Roasted Vegetable Casserole

This is a very variable recipe in that you can use whichever vegetables you want. I noticed I’m actually a huge fan of twice-baked cauliflower and zucchini are a vegetable I liked to have on hand most days, too. Roasted chickpeas are a snack favourite of mine so I figured why not add some in, too?! Use whichever spices you feel like to switch things up to your liking.

dish

Did I mention we were talking lackluster, horribly lit pictures of delicious food today? Well, in case I forgot: there you go. I could excuse myself with the truth that my dentist’s appointments happened to be at the worst time ever. Just so untimely I couldn’t have lunch and at that take pictures of it before and came home when the sun had almost disappeared completely again. But you wouldn’t want to hear that, huh ;)?! So I’ll let the pictures do the talking words do the convincing because yes: this is good. Just trust me.

Roasted Vegetable Casserole with Creamy Carrot Puree and Red Pepper Sauce

  • roasted vegetables: you could use any kind of odds and ends you have on hand – for me these were zucchini and cauliflower [amounts once more depend on your preference]
  • 1/2 cup + 2-3 tbsps of chickpeas, divided
  • 150 g carrots, chopped, steamed and pureed – I decided to not completely blend it but leave a few chunks for [yes!] texture purposes
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • oil of choice for sautéing
  • 1/4 cup of soy milk
  • 1 generous tsp of coconut butter
  • 1/2 tbsp of chopped parsley [I used frozen]
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper
  • topping: 2-3 tbsps puffed amaranth (unsweetened) mixed with 1 tbsp nutritional yeast

 

  1. Mix the 1/2 cup of chickpeas with your vegetables, tossing them in your oil of choice plus nutritional yeast, garlic and any spices you like. I used about 1/4 tsp each smoked paprika and cumin. Roast for about 30 minutes at 350 °F.
  2. Roast the bell pepper at the same time. Let it cool and then peel. The roasting process can be done a day ahead like I did for speedier prep the day of casserole assembly.
  3. Add the oil to a small pot and sauté the onion and garlic. Mix in the carrot puree, soy milk, coconut butter, parsley and remaining chickpeas. Let cook for a few minutes to heat through.
  4. Meanwhile blend the roasted pepper with 5 tbsps of water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Transfer the carrot puree to a small casserole dish.
  6. Add the roasted vegetables and spread the bell pepper sauce on top. Sprinkle with amaranth topping and bake for about 20-25 minutes at 350 °F.

Roasted veg

Oh, and Laura and Kierston: I might still not have the whole meal planning thing down but I already have a recipe to share for next week’s link-ups. Are you proud of my dedication ;)?!

Happiness inducing today: Receiving a letter from a blend :).

 

Does anybody else need to have as many different textures as possible in one dish?

Which foods – not necessarily produce – did you ate a lot of growing up? Do you still eat them frequently?

What are your favourite carrot recipes?

WIAW: The Use-up and Mug Cake Edition

Happy Wednesday!

The title says it all: I actually managed to make a dent into my huge vegetable stash. And – if I dare say so myself – in a not even too boring way. Yes, I was somehow expecting a lot of monotony seeing as I tried to limit if not stop my produce-buying habits and only work with what was on hand. Oh, and about that cake? Well, why not stop the introduction part and jump right into the food? Deal? Deal! Thanks to Jenn for hosting our weekly What I ate Wednesday celebration of all kinds of delicious food – and reminding us to work on our good habits for bountiful gift giving on Christmas Eve. Ssssh, not like I was following any such plans ;).

wiaw fall into good habits buttonOne last dentist blame after Monday’s rant: My lack of chewing ability has to stand in as an excuse for lack of cooking inspiration this past week . Anything not blended was out of imagination from Wednesday evening to Friday afternoon. Fun times. Only not. So I kept meals very simple like this Cauliflower Kabocha Soup. Starting the post out with one of the few good though quickly [because in state of hangryness] taken picture.

Cauliflower Pumpkin Soup

Remember how I asked you for help on how to use my overabundance cauliflower but explicitely factoring out anything roasted? Well, I felt an indefinite inkling when typing it already  and what can I say: I ate my words. Every delicious bit of them. You might have already guessed if you’ve seen my food prep picture in Monday’s post.

Food prep

On Sunday, I roasted up cauliflower, zucchini and chickpeas as well as one of the [also abundant] bell peppers I had on hand. Funny fact about the peppers: I’m lured into buying them almost every time I see them on sale only to be reminded I actually don’t really like them. Okay, to be fair: Unlike some other vegetables I don’t fully despise them. But I don’t enjoy bell peppers raw at all and would pass them up in a stir-fry, too. Roasted, however? Yes, please! With no actual plan in mind on how to turn these into a dish I just started working in the kitchen. Carrots turned into a delicious creamy puree that I topped with the roasted vegetables and an easy roasted red pepper sauce. Just because casseroles are my favourite dishes that’s what I ended up with. Don’t let the pictures fool you: yes it’s good and yes you want to try it :). Recipe to come right in time for Kierston’s Recipe Friday.

Roasted Vegetable Casserole

When Amanda mentioned mug cakes multiple times last week I noticed I hadn’t shown any of them for a while anymore myself. Though they’re still an almost daily happening over here. But to mix things up a little I decided to venture from my stand-by peanut chocolate version to a more seasonal treat: Gingerbread Chocolate Mug Cake.

Gingerbread Chocolate Mug

I’m ambivalent about sharing the recipe for this. Not to say it wasn’t truly delicious but it’s just not perfect. It doesn’t rise evenly or a lot at all and isn’t pretty. Yet I’m fine with taste alone and therefore won’t alter the recipe anymore – call me lazy, I call it favouring taste over appearance. And yes, it is delicious.

Gingerbread Mug Cake

Nothing like ending a post on a sweet note and I may or may not need to bake microwave another one of these as WIAW reading fuel. Because you’d better not click through the endless temptation over at Jenn’s on an empty stomach :).

Happiness inducing today: My sister and I lending each other a hand in a respective project on either side. Class work for her, applications for me.

Are there any foods you only like when prepared a certain way?

What are some of your favourite high-volume non-sandwich [I knoow but I’m really not a fan] office lunches? I’ll be joining the working forces again on Monday – woot, woot!

Mug cake recipe: Share despite imperfection in looks or not? I’m such a perfectionist about appearance though it tastes good already.

wiaw fall into good habits buttonYay me for keeping up with my promise of using up the produce on hand and not even in the most boring way if I dare say so myself.

Recounting a week of ups and downs

Hi there and happy Monday! Did you have a marvelous weekend?

For today’s Marvelous in my Monday I’m going to switch things up talking not just about the weekend but last week’s happenings. Anyway, here’s to the ups and downs of the past week. Because seeing the positives in even the worst situations is what keeps things marvelous.

MiMM_new

Confession time: Visits at the dentist scare me like crazy. It’s not serious enough to keep me from going but I’m basically a nervous wreck the moment I’m sitting down on the chair. And I might just be the most sensitive person ever when it gets to my teeth – it’s embarrassing. Cue happiness [irony alert!] when I had two visits scheduled last week and two more to come this week. Sounds like there was a lot to be done? True. Learn from my mistakes: however healthy you might eat today it won’t make up for bad habits in your childhood. [I found this comic at random – still afraid of dentists but it’s cute.]

The upside, though? My new dentist and her team are very kind. The treatment didn’t even hurt much – after anaesthesia, obviously.  The first appointment went by without much pain and I felt good afterwards. After the second appointment, however … no going into too much detail here because: who’d be interested in hearing about that? Let me just say I was running on very little sleep on Thursday and eating was no fun.

Needless to say the cooking session I’d planned with a newly made friend didn’t sound too enticing and wasn’t going to happen with anything other than blended lightly seasoned food being out of consideration [downside]. But sticking with my goals – and also really wanting to socialize more – I still went over to hers. Being alone would have only meant giving in to the toothache, right? No way :)!

Crunchy vegetables were a no-go with my teeth but who says toothaches meant you couldn’t eat chocolate? Vegan white chocolate, to be exact.  A little tea to help it melt and I was good to go :). To be fair I’m still not a fan of white chocolate but then again not picky when it’s what the host has on hand. And about the movie? So sad but still so amazing. Thanks for recommending it to all of you who did! We ended up having a great evening [upside] that helped me get my mind of the lingering toothache [which got a lot worse on Friday making me need emergency treatment.]

First little down on Sunday:  getting up after an [admittedly self-afflicted] too short night of sleep . Upside: amazing misty scenery at the lake on an early morning run before my dad was supposed to arrive at my place. And the upside to him catching a late train? Time for food prep! Roasting some of the still abundant vegetables in my apartment.

Food prep

Now you already know what my Sunday entailed: spending time with my dad who came to visit me for the first time in quite a while. It’s been a few months if not longer and he surprised me by announcing he’d come along. We met up at my place to decide on our plans for the afternoon and after that stopped by at a café close to my apartment.

Tea

Which included my dad’s first foray into vegan cheesecake and rice milk tasting. I was a bit unsure knowing that both of these can be a little aquired in taste if you’re not used to them but: win! The cheesecake was really good and my dad apparently didn’t mind the non-dairy milk, either. No picture of the cake as – opposed to when my mum’s around  – I’m not comfortable taking pictures of food in front of my dad.

Though I feel bad admitting it I won’t lie here. I’m a fan of keeping it real. Being honest. Not sugarcoating. To me, bloggers sharing both the good and bad parts of their life are a lot more relatable and provide a reason for me to keep reading. Long story short: My dad and I have a complicated relationship. Just like the title of this post implies we go through ups and downs. So to be honest we didn’t have a nice chat while at the café but a rather wearisome conversation about my applications, possible jobs, further studies … Not exactly what I’d hoped for.
The upside was our plan for the day – visiting a reading – turning out to be interesting. But afterwards we shortly talked about my move again. And – not going into the nitty gritty details as not to bore you too much but: it looks like regular blogging will become difficult [if not impossible] while living at my parents’.  It’s hard to imagine for me right now but I hope you’ll excuse a lack of commenting, posts and still keep reading.

Despite this I’m not meaning to say my dad was or portray him as a mean person. Simply because it’s not true. His reasoning for this [not blogging only] internet ban is work-related and – as mentioned above – explaining it might bore you and I wouldn’t want to do that :).

Nonetheless I’m trying not to grieve too much. There have been many times when my dad helped me growing up. Many good memories. Just that things have gotten tougher lately and living in the same place again will bring its downsides, too, and maybe more than just a few. It’s not easy to see the upside of possibly not blogging [regularly or at all?] right now as it has become such an integral part of my life. Since I can’t end the post on a negative note I’ll pretend it’ll teach me to be more efficient and work out a blogging schedule making the most of the rare occasions I’ll have. Fake it till you make believe it, right ;)?!

[It’s another one of those posts I’m hesitant about publishing hoping it’s not too personal! The main reason I’m sharing this is because of its future impact on my blog – not to rant about my family because I don’t intend to ever do that.]

Happiness inducing today: My early run – surprising for a non-morning person like me.

What was marvelous about your weekend or the last week in general?

Do you have any dentist horror stories to share ;)? Maybe I shouldn’t ask seeing as I have to go back today but it could help to know I’m not alone …