Dumplings_III

Three shades of green [Chickpea Dumpling Bake]

Deliciously plump and doughy chickpea dumplings baked in a slightly spicy tomato sauce with lots of fresh vegetables.

Dumpling_dish

It’s actually one of those recipes I just want to tell you to go try yourself right away instead of talking about if for long. Because yes, it is that good. I wouldn’t mind keeping it short on the pre-recipe talk and let the dish speak for itself for once. However, there is a little story behind why it took me so long to post this and a rather lengthy development stage. All good things come in threes?! At least that’s the number of variations I tested this recipe in until it finally finally made the blog. The number of times I’ve eaten this by now is even larger because aside from the last version I ate each at least two times. Dedication? Obsession?

Dumpl

The actual reason why it took me this long is that the pictures I took the first two times I prepared it didn’t do the dish justice and we’re not going there [today 😉 ]. And the reason for the three variations? Using three different ‘greens’. Obviousy just because I knew I’d post this for Davida’s St. Patrick’s Day Link-up and wanted to scope out as many shades of green as possible. Okay, that’s a lie but I can vouch for the deliciousness and success of this recipe working with three greens [spinach, kale and cabbage] – or even four  While I prefer the version with spinach I couldn’t for the sake of it find baby spinach – a true rarity over here – when I’d moved back to the city.

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Like with many of my other recipes I’ve never had a similar dish growing up. The dumplings I grew up with were my paternal grandma’s Hoorische [a special kind of potato dumplings made half/ half from raw and cooked potaotes] or my mum’s Semmelknödel. The latter of which you’ve heard me talk about numerous times before. Just because they are so good. Maybe I need to put my own spin on one of the recipes and share it with you one day, too. For now, though, chickpea dumplings are quite delicious, too. Made from chickpea flour that I’d picked up with no real plans in mind these were a lucky coincidence. Luck of the Irish in Germany?!

Pumpkin & Spinach Stew with Chickpea Dumplings

 Dumplings_III

 

  • For the dumplings
  • ¼ cup [30 g] chickpea flour
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Salt + pepper
  • About 3 tbsps of water to reach a cookie dough consistency
  • Stew:
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 200 ml passata [3/4 cup + 1 tbsp] or chopped tomatoes [from a can]
  • 50 g chickpeas [1/4 cup]
  • 1 ½ cups fresh baby spinach or 1 cup of chopped cabbage
  • 1 cup cauliflower, pulsed in the food processor to reach couscous consistency
  • 1 cup of kabocha squash, chopped [butternut would work, too] or a generous ½ cup carrots, sliced into half-moons (one medium to large carrot)
  • ½ tbsp nutritional yeast
  • ¾ tsp cumin
  • Salt + pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  1. Prepare the dumplings by combining all dry ingredients. Add in the water, mixing everything with a fork to reach a cookie dough-like consistency.
  2. For the stew: Sauté onion and garlic for about three minutes or until fragrant.
  3. Add in the kabocha and sauté until it is tender. Mix in the cabbage and a few tablespoons of water to let it ‘wilt’ a little.
  4. Stir in the spices.
  5. Pour in the passata, chickpeas and bring to a boil, then stir in the cauliflower ‘couscous’. Cook for another three to five minutes to let the cauliflower soften a little and the flavours mingle.
  6. Add nutritional yeast and adjust seasonings to taste. Transfer the stew to a greased small baking dish.
  7. Roll the chickpea flour dough into balls and place them atop the stew.
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes at 350 °F.

For even more shades of green and – if that’s not your colour – not-as-green cooking inspiration visit Laura’s [the balls are for you 😉 ], Kierston’s or Ricki’s blogs and Healthy Vegan Fridays.

Happy Friday!

Happiness inducing today: The fact that it’s Friday – what’s not to like about that?!

 

Did you eat dumplings growing up? Which kind?

What’s your favourite way to use chickpea flour?

 

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WIAW: No crumb[le] left behind

Today feels like a special What I ate Wednesday for numerous reasons. For one, I changed up three meals in my day [breakfast, lunch and one of my snacks] which might be the first time in a long while. Second, there’s not one but two crumbles in my day and – talking about a day – I actually made a more conscious effort to take pictures of more meals. Not a full day of eats still but a lot more along those lines than previous WIAW posts. Thanks to Jenn for allowing us to take part whichever way we like every week!

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Breakfast was a semi-new one for me. Steel cut oats have quite a few fans among bloggers and it had been years  since I gave them a try for the first time. Then deciding they a) took way too long to prepare and b) didn’t satiate me. Resulting in me never having them again. But I know that sticking with the same breakfast for weeks or even months is one of those points I need to work on so I’m trying to challenge myself more often. Inspired by Amanda’s eggy oats tutorial I turned these into egg-less steel cut oats. Almond butter added after post-photoshoot reheating.

Steel cut_I

I’m still not entirely convinced but they were better than my first try and left me saturated for several hours. Insert some productivity of my not-so-favourite sort [cleaning up] and some of my favourite  – truffle-making for my aunt’s birthday [on Valentine’s Day!]. These were a tester for Kristy’s cookbook so I can’t share a picture here but will post one on Twitter. Chocolate for a first morning snack is fabulous. Later on I got to work on my submission for Davida’s Valentine’s Day Bake-Off which served as my lunch dessert. Crumbling around for the first time of the day …

Strawberry Peanut

Crumbles are my second favourite dessert – ice cream taking a first place. This one’s a super simple Peanut Strawberry Crumble that requires little effort and the red of the strawberries was the only choice for me when it came to a Valentine’s Day treat. Can you judge me for getting a little snap-happy? I’m sure Heather would understand …

Strawberry crumble

One of the cutest apples turned into a mini snack alongside some unpictured walnuts. More specifically: sesame-coated caramelized walnuts. My mum had spotted a bag of them when she was searching tempeh for me in a specialty store on her weekend trip to Berlin. Probably the only way I’ll eat walnuts.

Apple

If you read my last post you’ll know I’m currently trying to use up at least some of my many pantry staples before moving. Random creations are a regular around here right now. It’s a fifty-fifty chance: either one of those turns out a winner or just a mediocre dish. Some leftover butternut squash, the last from my bag of brussels sprouts and other odds and ends turned into – surprise! – another crumble. This time of the savoury kind.

Savoury Crumble

I’m still debating whether or not it’s recipe-worthy but the basic idea of a non-sweet crumble is definitely a good one in my book. Chickpea flour for the win. I bought a bag over a month ago and have been using it almost every day since opening it – expect some garbanzo bean creations on the blog soon. If you’re German you might know it already but even if you’re not Vegan Wednesday is worth visiting, too, for even more delicious inspiration – because pictures speak a language that needs no words.

That’s it for me for now so: Happy Wednesday!

Happiness inducing today: Reading a great article.

Keep in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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Which way do you crumble? Savoury? Sweet?

What have been some winning creations you came up with when using up pantry staples?

Favourite thing you ate in the past week?

Roasted veg

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, …

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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?

Making every lunch count

Let’s talk lunch today – and what better time to do so than What I ate Wednesday!

Not too long ago, still, lunch was hardly ever happening for me in proper fashion. I didn’t skip it per se but was constantly finding excuses to either make it consist of many small snacks or a huge pile of steamed vegetables. Lately, I’ve even been getting more daring with changing up my lunch pretty much every day and even creating my own recipes.

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This might not sound huge for some but the possibility of a meal failure and – the horror – “wasted” calories kept me from experimenting in the kitchen. That meant I was eating the same few staple meals over and over again. All for the sake of “feeling safe”. Granted, I do still need to work on some of my other meals and snacks but for now I’ll make every different lunch count as a step forward in recovery.

Asparagus quinoa II

Breakfast, however , is something I usually settle with and change up only once every blue moon. Don’t fix what isn’t broke, right? Seeing Michelle’s recipe for Apricot Baked Oatmeal, though, I decided it was time to test a new breakfast. Being a little rebel in the kitchen I didn’t follow along her recipe exactly but used it as a guideline mixing it up with other ideas found online.  While my blueberry baked oats were a long-time favourite these didn’t win me over completely. Not that they were bad but I prefer my oats a bit creamier  – some might say almost soupy 😉 – and that’s obviously not what these are meant to be. Still, adding apricots to oatmeal is a great idea worth giving a try.

Once again topped with nut butter and drowned in soy milk post-picture.

Once again topped with nut butter and drowned in soy milk post-picture.

In case you wondered after my last post: yes, polenta did indeed make another appearance. If you’re following me on Twitter you might have already seen me declaring my polenta success on Friday. Success? Yes, absolutely. The secret? Cheese.  I’d been hesitant to add it before – calories, sigh – even though I remembered my former favourite polenta dish having been a cheesy one. On a mission to challenge myself I did add cheese and  … delicious. I might have even gone so far to declare it one of the best lunches in a while. Well, had it not been for the stellar ones to follow come the weekend.

Cheesy polenta

Third time’s a charm.

As mentioned above I’ve actually gotten more adventurous creating recipes myself. One of those that I’d dreamed up in my head and finally put into practice were Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce Speltberries. Just as good as I’d imagined them – yet more proof it’s worth daring a little kitchen experimentation.

Red Pepper Cream Speltberries

No, I haven’t forgotten about my tease regarding last weekend’s baking shenanigans. There you go: Oreo-stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies – and yes, they’re vegan.

Oreo brownies

Happy Wednesday!

Happiness inducing today:  Seeing pictures of a friend’s first ever own apartment – so excited for her.

Which new recipes have you tried lately?

Do you enjoy creating your own recipes?

Giving [pantry] shelf warmers a second chance

[Alternative title: What happens when I have too much fun editing my pictures …]

Unlike previous weeks’ WIAW posts that were about overcoming fear foods this one’s about another challenge of sorts. Let’s give second chances on today’s What I ate Wednesday. Thanks for hosting, Jenn!

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I did what had been on my list for weeks – or dare I say: months – already. Tackling not a list of fear foods but the bags upon bags of staple foods I had neglected in the back of my pantry. Thanks to Liz and Amanda for reminding me to make a more conscious effort to use them up than previously rather then keep buying new items.

Note: If it's not making a pretty picture just add a little editing magic.

Note: If it doesn’t make a pretty picture just add a little editing magic.

One of the above-mentioned shelf warmers was polenta. Is it just me or does polenta/cornmeal really happen to be one of the most unpopular grains in the blog world? At least for myself I can say that even now after giving it yet more chances I’m simply not impressed. Wanting to try new breakfast and having been quite fond of semolina pudding during my childhood I gave the classic a try with polenta. Unfortunately, though, no matter how much nut butter I added it failed to please me.

Not wanting to give up just yet I went the savoury route. Chili topped with polenta sounded like a good idea in theory but turned out lacking. There’s still some more polenta in the bag so I have some more ideas but I won’t pick up another package afterwards, I think.

Okay, this might not have left me heartbroken but disappointed nonetheless.

Okay, this might not have left me heartbroken but disappointed nonetheless.

Another grain that had been sleeping in the back of my pantry for ages was buckwheat. Having seen them on numerous blogs I’d purchased some groats and used them a single time so far. With my current zucchini pasta kick I thought they might add a nice texture to the plate. My verdict? Don’t judge me but I still haven’t warmed up to the little [pseudo] grain. Even as a yogurt add-in I wasn’t amazed by the texture.

Yes, avocado sauce on the side once again.

Yes, avocado sauce on the side once again.

One item that I hadn’t had in months but welcomed back very warmly was Lindt Chili chocolate. I may or may not have had several squares every day. I’ll call it making up for the other failed dishes ;).

Lindt Chili

Studying requires chocolate fuel, right?!

Happiness inducing today: Getting my sister’s absolutely adorable wedding invitation [which I might just have to share with you in one of my next posts] in the mail.

Which are some items that you bought and then forgot about in the back of your pantry?

What are your favourite recipes using polenta and buckwheat? Please tell me that I just didn’t prepare them the right way and will be amazed by their goodness after all :).