Pineapple lentil curry 2

Pineapple Lentil Curry with Wheatberry Cauliflower ‘Couscous’

Creamy curried lentils with a fruity kick accompanied by a combination of chewy wheatberries and fluffy cauliflower.

Pineapple lentil curry 2

Some of you might wonder: Pineapple in lentil curry? Why, yes. This is another one of those dishes where I can go into more details of its whereabouts. Like I mentioned my original intention on the day I created this dish was a very different one. Lentils would have made an appearance either way but the fruity part was a spontaneous decision. Or semi-spontaneous. I’d been craving pineapple for a while yet hesitated to buy some . Because unlike what you’d guess if you’d seen me go a little overboard when being presented with a plate of perfectly ripe one when eaten on its own pineapple doesn’t sit so well with me.

Pineapple Lentil 8

But cravings need to be satisfied – plus I’m stubbornly ignoring food sensitivities at times – so I decided cooked pineapple was fine with me. And it was. The curry would probably still taste good without them but fruit in curry is meant to be and the tropical contrast to the rustic lentils [do they feel that way to anybody else, too??] was perfect. Creamy lentils, sweet pineapple and a side of both chewy and fluffy wheatberry cauliflower ‘couscous’.

Pineapple Lentil 4

The idea for my side here was a spur-of-the-moment decision, too, when I spotted a recent favourite and now long-neglected [for no reason] grain: wheatberries. With a huge cauliflower on hand I decided to combine the two for contrasting textures – which we know I’m a fan of. The cherry on top was adding coconut butter to both the curry and the ‘couscous’. This one needs no explanation: just try it! Whether on its own or with the ‘couscous’ on the side – once more comfort food in a bowl.

Pineapple Lentil 6

Pineapple Lentil Curry with Wheatberry Cauliflower ‘Couscous’

  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 small eggplant or 1/2 a medium [about 120 g for me]
  • a handful of mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup of green lentils, canned
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tsp of cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • a pinch each of cinnamon and cayenne pepper
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened pineapple chunks in their own juice [canned], juice reserved
  • 1/2 tbsp [or more] of coconut butter

For the wheatberry cauliflower ‘couscous’:

  • 1/4 cup quick-cooking wheatberries*
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups of cauliflower, riced in the food processor
  • juice from the canned pineapple
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp coconut butter
  1. Start by preparing the wheatberries according to package directions.
  2. When they’re almost done, add the cauliflower ‘couscous’ and a few tablespoons of  the pineapple juice. Cook until the cauliflower has softened. Stir in the coconut butter, season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the curry:

  1. Sauté the onion and garlic in [coconut] oil until fragrant.
  2. Stir in the cumin seeds and coriander and fry to lightly toast the spices.
  3. Add the eggplant, lower the heat and cook until the eggplant has softened.
  4. Add the mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes until they’re tender.
  5. Mix in the drained lentils, remaining spices and let simmer for about 5-6 more minutes. Shortly before it’s done cooking, add in the tomatoes.
  6. Adjust seasonings to taste.

* I use ‘Weizli’ which is similar to ‘Ebly’ – both are pre-cooked [still whole grain] wheatberries that allow for a much faster cooking time of only 20 minutes.

Fruit in curry might be a little strange [but very good] so I’m sharing this recipe with Laura as well as Kierston, Healthy Vegan Fridays and Allergy-free Wednesdays.

Happiness inducing today: Puppies! Every time I see somebody with a puppy or a grown-up cute dog I secretly wish I didn’t live in an appartment and could have a furry friend living with me, too.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

Have you ever added fruit to curry or another savoury dish?

Is there any food you can/ will only eat cooked not raw – or the other way around?

Celebrating [blogger birthdays], cereal and contemplation

While many of you celebrated a long Memorial Day weekend we’re getting a day off over here today – minus a [hopefully] short work event smack dab in the middle of the day for me. Meaning there’s even more to celebration in addition to Thinking out loud with Amanda. Onto that for now!

Thinking-Out-Loud

1. So… We’ve talked about the birthday calendar idea several times before and again last week. Call the newspapers [and while you’re at it: ask them for a job for me (: ] because I proudly present you the first birthday calendar printable:

As you can tell, though, there’s still a lot of blank space and the other months are looking even more sad – hence why I won’t post them yet. Read: Spread the news and let me know all blogger birthdays you know so the blog world gets to celebrate somebody every day of the year!

2. Yesterday brought further proof it really doesn’t take much to make me happy at times. Like this gem that turned out to be a lifesaver and let me sigh in relief when I remembered I’d packed it into my bag for work.

Just a few_May 004

Okay, maybe I’m slightly exaggerating but have you ever been stuck in a situation with, ahem, leftovers stuck in your teeth? Awesome. Only not. Picking at my teeth with my fingers even in a bathroom isn’t my first choice:  floss to the rescue!  I vote every office stocks it in their rest rooms. But in the end I know I’d better make sure to keep some in my bag every day.

3. On the issue of stocking up: Have you ever seen those people at the supermarkets looking like they were preparing for apocalypse or at least a flood? It’s a national holiday for us today and when I was at the store to quickly pick up one (!) item yesterday I saw people buying enough food to last for days. I mean, really? We’re talking about a single day of closed stores.

 

4. After reading this article I felt a serious inkling to get Google Glasses. Yes, I know they look odd. In fact, I’ve seen them ‘live’ before and made fun of them. But that was before I knew they essentially offered the thought recorder I’ve been dreaming of for ages now. Only I’m not sure I really want Google to not only track my web activities but my thoughts, too. Maybe the old-fashioned pen to paper option is still best. Some things are just too good to be true trustworthy.

5. Apparently the German weather gods are evil-spirited this year and when it rains it pours. Looks lke the weather gods made it a point to remedy every sunny day we get with an appt downpour to ‘make up for’ all the sunshine.

Recipe experimentation_May 076

It seem like we didn’t deserve a real summer over here this year – or at least according to my roommate who is convinced the fact we had a fairly mild winter means we won’t get a proper summer this year. Did I mention I don’t believe my roommate? Like, ever?!

6. Just for Amanda: Proof that aside from everything we lack – Sephora stores and proper cereal amongst others – we do toys in cereal boxes are still an occasional sight over here. And not just any but the much coveted colour-changing cereal spoons! Now who wants to buy a box so I can get my magic spoon?

Spoons_cereal

And that’s a [calendar/ weather ramble/ cereal] wrap so all that’s left to say now is: Happy Thursday and happy Ascension Day to those celebrating!

 

Happiness inducing today: Chatting with my mum on the phone.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

No questions for today just whatever comes to your mind.

Oh, and: Tell me your birth date if you haven’t as well as those of other bloggers you know!

 

WIAW: Spontaneous success and try-hard fails

Last week’s WIAW was about some unusal breakfast creations and while I tried more interesting savoury dishes since I’m back to the -sweeter- side of life food again today. Keeping up the confessions or realizations (?) related to recent kitchen shenanigans. Because isn’t learning a little —more– about the food on other people’s plates rather than just wordless pictures what What I ate Wednesday and Vegan Wednesday are all about?

WIAWbutton_1

Realisation: Cravings for certain ingredients that you don’t end up finding can lead to really good dishes. Okay, to talk a little more comprehensive: I had my mind set on trying either a savoury rhubarb and lentil dish or something featuring green asparagus. Can you guess what I wasn’t able to find in stores? Right. Neither rhubarb nor asparagus. At least no green one and white… no. The result was a dish far from what I’d had in mind: Pineapple Lentil Curry with a side of fluffy wheatberry cauliflower ‘couscous’. I couldn’t really tell you what I was doing while at it. A pinch of this, sprinkle of that, …

 

Pineapple lentil curry 2

And oh, I still have wheatberries?! Let’s see what I can use them for …  Wow, was this ever delicious. Whatever my initial lunch idea[s] might have been: this was a more than just acceptable replacement. Lentils are one of those foods I tend to forget about, then rediscover and be crazy about them for a while. It’s safe to say the latter is the case right now.
If you’re interested in sweet and spicy combinations this is the dish for you. The only downside to my freestyle cooking is that I either forget to take measurements and notes at all or manage to loose them in the process. There’s a reason why I’m no full-time food blogger…

Lentil pineapple curry

Next up is another recipe trial gone wrong. Or rather semi-fail because differently from last week’s cookies this marbled brownie cake isn’t an all-out fail. It tasted delicious pre-baking but simply turned down the unfortunate route of not entirely meeting my expectations [that you know are high – especially after trying these] after I pulled it out of the oven. Given they still tasted good I could technically post the recipe but I don’t want to unless I’m completely convinced. These are more like your healthy feel-good-about eating snack rather than the hands-and-face-covered-in-chocolate decadent brownies.

 

Marbled cashew brownies

With the second recipe fail in a short time span I wondered why they happened. Others would probably shrug their shoulders and go on with life [and okay, yes, I did, too] but that’s not the kind of person I am. Overthinking tendencies, remember? Yes. I always try to figure out the . To let you in on a secret: I expected the granola clusters to fail and the brownies to be great. Looking at the different approaches I had it only seemed logical. The granola? Mixing ingredients without rhyme or reason and hoping for the best – all while being about to dash to an appoinment. The brownies? Planned in advance, wanting to achieve a certain nutritional profile, carved out time for recipe experimentation.

 

Brownie cake

Can you spot the obvious difference? My overplanning habits got the best of me again. No matter how much I’d like it to be the other way around I have to admit recipe creation strives on spontaneity. Plus, as much as I want to create recipes that are suitable for everyone – vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free – sometimes you just can’t do it all. First and foremost, all of us – and yes, I’m just assuming everybody feels this way 😉 – should create recipes we personally enjoy. And when it comes to brownies trying to stick with a certain label [read: no refined sugar meaning no chocolate chips] is just not me. In fact, when brownies are concerned leaving out actual chocolate is – as a blend of mine agreed – a crime. Did I just admit I commited a brownie crime? Well, I’m going to call these brownie cake which totally makes a difference – and me less of a sinner ;).

 

Ice cream with Jenni

Because I needed to cheer myself up after the fail… Who am I kidding?! Ice cream doesn’t need an explanation. I finally got to try an ice cream store around the corner of my apartment with a friend on Monday evening – the perfect after work treat. We got scoops of After Eight [Mint Chocolate flavour for any of you who don’t know these popular chocolates], pistachio and dark chocolate. It wasn’t just any ice cream but vegan rice milk-based one. Germany is slowly catching up on that end. Needless to say I already have plans of going back. Because sometimes the best way of avoiding recipe fails is leaving things to the professionals. (:

Speaking of professionals: thanks to Jenn and Cara for the professional [food] party planning on their parts. Happy Wednesday to everyone!

Happiness inducing today: Finding out I’ll have Friday off this week.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

Are you a planner or spontaneous when it comes to recipe development?

Did you have any recent recipe fails you want to share to make me feel better 😉 ?

What are some of the fanciest or most unique ice cream flavours you’ve had so far?

 

 

Good good links #40

Good morning/ afternoon/ evening! Time difference is way too confusing for me so I’m taking the easy route in saying hi here. Time differences or not, though, Sunday marks the end of the week everywhere in the world and is a great day to share some favourite reads from the past seven days. That being said: here they are!

Good good links

 

Good good [food for thought]

Jonesin’ for Likes: Staying Sane on the Internet via Wit & Delight

Relying too much on outside approval in the form of likes and followers doesn’t make us happier – real life and friends do.

 Ask via Long Drive Journey

You don’t always need to have everything figured out already. If you need some help: ask.

Diet Myths We Need to Stop Believing via The Blonde Vegan

Not eating past a certain time, carbs are the devil and one lifestyle works for everyone – not.

Dreaming of the Perfect Beach Body? Let it Go… via Mindful Meals

“There’s no rules saying you have to have a flat stomach to wear a bikini and have fun on the beach.” <- this.

Good good [advice and inspiration]

Trying to kick the habit of being busy via Sprouts ‚n‘ Squats

What’s on your to-do list? Overcoming the guilt of what you ‘should’ do versus what you actually want to do.

10 Things Organized People Do Every Day via Mind Body Green

 Rituals, not postponing daily chores and having just one to-do list can help to stay on top of the game at all times.

We ALL Need to Rest! via The Lyons’ Share

Whether it’s a real vacation, taking a walk or reading a book instead of rushing around: we all deserve breaks in between.

 

Reminders For Self Love and Body Peace via A Dash of Meg

“Everything you need is already inside of you”

You May Not Be the Best and That’s Okay via Fiterazzi

Comparison doesn’t need to be the thief of joy if used in the right way. You might be somebody’s inspiration, too.

This Woman Will Change How You See “Before” and “After” Weight Loss Pics Forever via Cosmopolitan

Because giving birth is a true sign of being a woman – not abs of steel.

 

 

Blogging

Social Media for Newbie Bloggers {Part 1} via The Healthy Maven

Incorporating social media is key to building your blog and a relationship with readers.

 

Good good [things to make you smile]

Ways I Am Not Your Typical Healthy Living Blogger via Clean Eats Fast Feets

There’s no need to fit in all of the time – being the ‘odd one out’ has its benefit: staying true to yourself.

9-Year-Old Boy Created A No-Kill Animal Shelter In His Garage via Bored Panda

Can I get an ‘aawwww’? Children really are the better adults.

 

Good good [food]

Boozy Chocolate Ice Cream via Produce on Parade

 Excuse me while I go grab a piece of chocolate and mourn leaving my ice cream maker at my parents’.

Super Seed Chocolate via Miss Irina

Homemade [raw] chocolate using only three main ingredients and allowing for millions of add-in options.

Chocolate Cherry Almond Salad via Girl makes Food

Sometimes simple combinations are the best. Are you sensing a [chocolate] theme here?!

Rhubarb Recipes (that are not pies!) via Naturally Ella

Enchiladas, salsa and curried lentils – all with rhubarb and all intriguing.

Roasted, Easy, Herby Spiralized Vegetables + 13 More Spiralized Recipes via Fit Foodie Finds

And this is why I need to get a spiralizer. Is it Christmas/ my birthday/… yet???

Pear Noodle Yogurt Parfaits with Chobani via Inspiralized

Fruit noodles?! I –really- need a spiralizer. [Also linked in the post above but these deserved a special mention.]

Creamy Potato Kale Soup via Pinch of Yum

Good to know I’m not the only one craving potato soup during the warmer months still. Comfort in a bowl? Yes, please.

 

Happiness inducing today: A letter from my grandma – one of the few people in my life still writing them regularly.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

What were your favourite posts from the week?

How are you going to spend today?

 

Pin it? I’m in [for] it!

Looking at my overflowing boards it’s no secret I’m a Pinterest addict. Adding the ‘Pin it’ button to my browser made the whole situation even worse easier to handle. Lindsay had the brilliant idea of giving us another excuse to get pinning wild with her Pin It Party.

Just in case you’re surprised: yes, I’m double-posting today. Join in the randomness, too!

Pin It Party_the Lean Green Bean

If you’re new to the party it’s really simple: you pick five of your posts you’d like to see making their way to [dozens of] Pinterest boards, compile them in one post, link up with Lindsay and then pin every  three other participants’ posts. Sounds good? Great.

1. Starting with my latest but at the same time already one of my favourite recipes: Pistachio Vanilla Granola Clusters. There’s a lot to say about the recipe and at the same time just one: Try it! Okay, I get that’s not exactly convincincing but how about I tell you that the scent of this alone is enough to get you drooling? I’m not kidding: it makes a whole room smell buttery and honey-sweet when freshly baked. Plus, it’s crunchy but – thanks to the chia seeds – at the same time just that perfect bit of chewy. Resulting in big clusters only this cereal is perfect for all of us granola snobs.

Granola clusters 2

2. Another new one but yet another favourite. After my discovery of tortillas [better late than never] I ate this days in a row without getting tired – and that’s rare these days. Don’t let the long ingredient list intimidate you: it’s mostly spices that you’ll also likely have on hand. From the Vitamin C-boosting bell pepper to the cauliflower this vegan Enchilada Bake with Cauliflower Nacho Sauce screams nutritious but tastes just so good at the same time. Healthy food is boring? I don’t think so.

Tortilla Bake 4

3.  It’s getting hot outside – it’s time for frozen treats! In a perfect world I’d have time to prepare a batch of ice cream every week [and wouldn’t have left my ice cream maker at my parents’ when moving out…] but how often do dreams become reality in a pinch? This PB & J Frozen Yogurt does come together in a pinch plus it’s refined sugar-free, quick and easy to prepare and packed with protein.

faux_froyo

 

4. Summer or not I’m always in the mood for chili and I know for a fact there are others as crazy about it as me. Even better when chocolate’s included in the fun like in the [also vegan] Polenta Mushroom Chili Bake. Creamy polenta with a ‘meaty’ chili making for a satisfying hearty dish – any season, really.

Polenta bake_V

 

5. Don’t have a body – be SOMEbody:  Recipes are all nice and well but one of the posts that meant a lot to me was this one. Disconnecting our inner and outer selves by talking about ‘our bodies’ like they were separated from our souls is a habit that many of us share – with no positive outcome. Choosing to always see myself as a whole instead of picking at my least favourite [body] parts has made a difference for me. Try it yourself!

 

Happiness inducing today: Being able to wear one of my favourite summer dresses for the first time this year thanks to lots of – you guessed it – sunshine.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

Questions of [P]Interest:

Tell me

a) the last thing you pinned.

b) the last thing you pinned and made (!!)

c) which of your Pinterest boards you’re adding to most.

 

 

Everything free and fabulous [Thinking out loud]

Can you smell the weekend yet? It’s so close already and at least over here it scents decidedly of sunscreen and ice cream. For now, though, my business is still taking place in a thankfully cool office. And because thinking out loud is better kept out of there I’m sharing what’s been on my mind here. Writing it all down a theme emerged. Free everything – books, chocolate and most importantly: thoughts in free flow. Here we go!

Thinking-Out-Loud

1. Even though it’s my usual beverage of choice when I’m not in the mood for tea I never fully appreciate water as much as on hot days. Always sparkling water for me – still doesn’t do it. Many of my friends have told me how hard it was for them to reach the recommended amounts. I’d rather need to scale back. Running to the toilet all of the time? Not the best habit at work but I’ll confess I like the excuse to get up and move at least a little.

2. Is it just me or does time pass by significant faster as soon as you leave the office? Given I usually have 2935839 things on my to-do list for after work and only get a fraction done I’m convinced it does. Even leaving the office ‘early’ – read: 30 minutes earlier than usual – doesn’t help much. Now where do I apply for that job blending home office and actual office attendance. That’s because I know home office 100% of the time does not work for me. Cue procrastination when in close proximity of a kitchen.  Snack time is basically all day then.

3. Random note in this potpourri of randomness: I generated *this random number by mindlessly hitting the keys. Only to notice that produced an uneven number. That’s obviously not happening here so I changed the last number from a 9 to a 4. Much better, admit it.

4. Speaking of reading: I’ve been reapping the benefits of libraries and especially living close to a rather large one again lately. The amount of money I saved by taking piles of books home and only keeping the good ones makes me oddly happy. Free books? Yes, please. Libraries are a blessing and fingers crossed they’ll exist forever even in the digital age. Now go and pick up a book from your library to keep it in business – every book counts! (:

5. Roomates – a bane or blessing? It’s not easy to say but lately I’ve felt a tendency towards the former. Granted, bane is probably too harsh. Sometimes I feel like I’m the grown up when it comes to the roommate and me [mind you she’s 30!]. Cleaning up after her when she has cooked? Maybe it was a sign this book practically jumped at me on my last trip to the library. I picked it up just for fun but now I might need to take a closer look for some life-changing roommate hacks… Care for an update ;)?! And did I mention it’s by an American author and available in English, too? Given the price I don’t think I can expect much from it, though. But hey, it was free after all.

May 21st 037

6. Continuing on with last week’s coffee theme – just because it keeps following me around: Signs you’re a coffee addict. Thinking about it [out loud], though,  #1 and #4 perfectly describe my relationship with chocolate. And if #11 is what you coffee fiends feel like without your daily cup of joe then I feel your pain chocolate-wise, too. We’re all united in our essential daily needs in some way. A sign stores know I’m always in need of chocolate? Free Lindt. Who cares this isn’t my favourite flavour? It’s Lindt!

Free Lindt_May 2014

7. This is awesome. If you’re having a fluffy day, are self-conscious or need a mood brightener for another reason: read/ do it. Actually, scratch that: just read it in anyway. And then come back and tell me your result and thank me for pointing it out ;).

8. I recently noticed I have yet to share the blogger birthday calendar with all of you. Any ideas on how to work this out best are appreciated. Also, if you’re a blogger [not discriminating any non-bloggers but it’d be hard to figure out a way to send congrats your way easily 🙂 ] and want to be included leave a comment with your birth date.

Keep your need for random thoughts fuelled over at Amanda’s. Happy Thursday!

Happiness inducing today: I won’t ever tire of this: sunshine. Sunshine. Sunshine.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

Let your thoughts flow freely and tell me whatever comes to your mind!