Once upon a time… [Spill it Sunday – Flashback edition]

Before I get to share my favourite posts from around the web tomorrow I’m joining Arman‘s quest to look through the archives for a Flashback edition of Spill it Sundays. Here are some of my favourites from the past almost two (!) years in the life of my blog.

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It’s tough to pick three posts already but at least the first one is a no-brainer for me. A recent one but an opinion that matters a lot to me and many of you chimed in: You are not what you eat. There’s so much more to blogging than food and fitness – here’s to focusing on what really matters.

Now the difficult part was favourite recipe posts. Because yes, I have some up here that I like a lot [duh! why else post them??] but as I thought about it I realized that there were many recent favourites that I had yet to share. A blogging schedule… what exactly was that? I’ll look through the organized mess that is my recipe folder on the laptop some time soon and get up the Pumpkin Spinach Tortilla Lasagna [great, now I’m getting hungry just thinking about it]. Plus –  if I manage to find my notes for what I used in there – an as of yet unpictured on here vegan Macro Bowl soon. Okay but onto some already posted favourites.
It’s summer so ice cream is a necessity to keep cool. Or – if you’re ice cream maker-less like me: Faux PB & J Frozen Yogurt.Six ingredients, [less than] five minutes of active time [clean-up not included] and this delicious snack is yours.

faux_froyo

Simple, quick and no refined sugar and did I mention it’s high in protein? There’s no reason you can’t have both this and real ice cream – win-win.

And if you’re not up for something sweet : Savoury Chickpea Crêpes with Spicy Tomato Filling and Vegan Cheese Sauce. Yes, the ingredient list is a little longer but these are fun to make and really don’t take as long as you might assume. Gluten-free, vegan, stuffed with lots of vegetables and topped with a quick cheesy sauce these make for a truly satisfying dish.

crespelle_salsa

I hope you’re enjoying your weekends, had a great 4th of July if you celebrated and I’ll see you again for some good good links tomorrow!

 

Happiness-inducing today: A warm day with sunshine and warm drizzling rain [even if it’s usually annoying summer rain is special].

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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How long have you been blogging? I can’t believe how fast these [almost] two years passed by.

Do you agree summer rain is special?? If you don’t know what I’m talking about you need to experience it yourself.

 

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Me, factually [Spill it, Sunday – ‘The Five Facts’ edition]

They say there’s a time and place for everything. If you’ve been reading for a while you know I agree link-ups make blogging schedules easier. But a) I have a little more serious post planned for Thursday and b) Arman isn’t settling on a specific day with the randomness of Spill it Sundays – despite the name making you assume elsewise. So spilling it on Tuesday it is. For once I’ll play along with the rules and not add a sixth fact to every category.

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Five facts about….your family!

1. We’re three children and three times three years apart. My brother is [28 going on] 29 later this year, my sister is 26 and I’m the 23-year-old Nesthäkchen or laat lammetjie as I now know thanks to this girl. Being the youngest had its advantages and disadvantages.

2. Which just brought me to the sponatenous conclusion that we were born in a period of nine years which is coincidentially the age difference between my parents, too. Yes, it’s little things like that making me smile.

3. My family is living in an old farm house in the countryside and I never wished for growing up in a city a single time. Country bumpkin and proud of it.

Walk

4. Both my mum and dad grew up in areas were certain dialects are spoken but raised us children to speak standard/ High German.

5. All of us enjoy cycling so much we usually packed our bikes wherever we traveld and even went on several cycling-only holidays.

Winter sun

Five facts about…your childhood!

1. For the first years of my life I shared a room with my brother and sister. Fun times. Only not when they had loft beds and you were the one sleeping on a ground level matress.

2. Luckily, I was the one getting that [biggest of all] children’s rooms once my siblings moved to other rooms of the house. It all evens out in the long term.

3. I was clearly a girly girl growing up: my best friend and I would spend hours playing Barbie. Usually with her Barbies because she had about three times as many as me.

4. I used to ride horses for many years. In fact, my mum had two horses of her own but nowadays she’s the only one still riding.

5. My favourite TV show was Ocean Girl – an Australian one about a girl swimming with a whale. It was the reason I drew nothing but humpback whales for a while.

 

 

Five facts about…you + school!

1. From 1st to 13th grade I went to three different schools: elementary school, middle school [only grades 5 and six] and then grammar school. This is rather unusual as it’s nowadays the norm over here to switch from elementary directly to grammar or any other kind of secondary school. My year was one of the last to still visit middle school.

2. My brother once did my maths homework for me because I thought it was too difficult – in second grade. Since then I’ve come to maybe not like numbers but be okay with handling them to an extent 😀 . I’ve always been better with words.

Letter

3. That being said you won’t be surprised my favourite subjects were languages. English was my first choice examination subject for the Abitur [final exams in grade 13].

4. While I got along with most of my teachers some had rather eccentric personalities. One I liked and who furthered my wish to travel the world was my 9th grade English teacher who had just come back from Australia where he’d worked for years. Actually, he has settled on the Gold Coast now and invited me to visit him and his wife should I ever make my way over there. Tempting.

5. My least favourite subjects: history and PE. Don’t ask.

 

 

Five facts about...you + travel! – Side note: This coincides pretty well with my recent travel ramblings, huh?

1. The most embarrassing fact first: I’ve yet to travel anywhere outside of Europe. I know. I’m not proud of it but I keep telling myself I’m still young so there’s time left to see the world – and I will.

2. So far I’ve been to England, France [multiple times], Greece, Ireland and Spain.

Leaving the safe harbour to get to know new sights and places.

3. Whenever I travel it’s most likely by public transport – or more specifically: trains. I don’t own a car so unless I’m with my parents or somebody else owning a car you’ll find me on trains – huge bags or suitcases in tow for all the books and food I need.

4. Environmental aspects aside I really enjoy flying but haven’t gotten a chance to do it too often yet. Just the thought of the plane taking up speed in the manoeuvring area makes me want to board one again soon.

5. This might be a stretch but I can’t talk about traveling without saying it: I’m really awesome at packing. That is if you consider taking half of your wardrobe and bookshelf with you on even a short trip good packing light.

 

 

Five facts about…your eating style!

1. The long known fact first: I’m a vegetarian eating mostly vegan and have been since 2013. Wait… has it really been 11 years already?! Funny to think it has when two years in my mum still thought I was just going through “a phase”. Just like the phase when you used to think tattoo chokers were trendy – only I’m still not eating meat anymore and don’t plan to while those horrid necklaces have long made their way into the trash.

2. Not a single day passes by without me eating almond butter. Unless I run out but I make an effort not to let that happen. In fact, I’m due for a stock-up today.

Almond butter 006

3. Get ready for a shocking confession: I don’t like any of the typical condiments. Ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, … – I don’t like them. Yes, I was the odd child growing up who’d eat her French fries plain and get Chicken Nuggets without any kind of dip at McDonald’s. Actually, I think you were required to pick a dip so I got sweet & sour sauce but never used it.

4. I’m not one to say no to free food. As long as it’s vegetarian/ vegan and doesn’t contain any nasty ingredients I’ll take a bite or grab a handful.

Lindt_Chili

5. Looking at that Lindt picture: I have a slight obsession with that company’s chocolate. I blame my grandma for instilling this because she’d mail me a bar of Lindor – the red one to be specific – for every single birthday during my childhood. Way to raise a picky chocolate eater.

 

Happiness inducing today: Wise and confirming words from a Blend.

 

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Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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It’s your turn: Tell me at least one fact about you from every category!

Dishing up breakfast [Spill it Sunday]

It’s unusual for me to post twice in a day but I’m [breakfast-]rolling with it for Spill it Sunday. If it’s not too much to ask I wouldn’t mind our host Arman to send some sun over to Germany – please and thank you. Rain is the reason I got inspired to join in this week again. Okay, that and enjoying some breakfast talk.

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1. What is your classic go to breakfast of choice?

Oats! Better yet: oat bran. Or to get even more specific: the oat bran/ wheat bran/ steel-cut oats/ chia seed mix I’ve been tweaking to my liking over months [can we say dedication?!] and now using for years. Wow, has it really been that long already?! I still remember my first time trying oat bran – and being hooked immediately. I like to change up the add-ins every once in a while but caramelized banana for sweetness is a must. As is topping with almond butter.

oat bran_breakfast

2. Favourite sweet style breakfast?
A classic bowl pot [because that’s how I roll] is cocoa banana oat bran topped with both coconut and almond butter. Comfort at its best.

3. Favourite savoury style breakfast?
This is tough because I hardly eat savoury breakfasts these days. But every once in a blue moon I plate up a mixed vegetable stir-fry for breakfast with some coconut butter for staying power. It’s more likely to happen on mornings when I don’t feel really hungry. Or my spin on the vegan classic scrambled tofu: vegan eggy casserole. Thinking about it I might actually need to have it for breakfast again soon.

Assembly - don't forget to make sure you get every drop of sauce ;).

4. Share a breakfast recipe you are a fan of – it can be your own or another bloggers!

The multitude of blogs dedicated to oatmeal makes it hard to pick. But remembering a similar baked rice pudding I want to try this one in the future. As well as Amanda’s baked apple cinnamon raisin oats. Because anything with oats and apples sounds good to me. I actually tried it a while back but forgot to take a picture.

5. Strangest breakfast you’ve ever eaten?
Maybe not strangest but most unusual: Have you ever visited the breakfast buffet at IKEA?? It’s infamous to say the least. So much so, in fact, that I’ve read an article about groups of people regularly attending it – and I found it again in case any German readers are curious. We’ve only ever been there aaages ago because my sister’s and my begging my mum long enough was successful. It was a serious feast. Meatballs, croissants, mini omelettes, pancakes, fruit salad, … Granted, I don’t remember if it actually tasted that awesome or if it was just the once-in-a-lifetime feeling that made it special.

 

6. Do you have a typical breakfast routine?

Soothing tea to settle a wonky stomach.
Absolutely. On a weekday morning it’s craziness but on the weekends I leisurely bring my oats to a boil, make a cup of my favourite tea and grab a newspaper or magazine. Lovingly arranging oat bran toppings, sitting down and reading the newspaper or a magazine while eating. Saving the sudoku or crossword for the last bites and ending your meal sith an extra spoonful of almond butter straight from the jar. Bliss.

Happiness inducing today: Creating a new recipe.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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What is your go-to breakfast?

If you like oatmeal: Tell me your favourite add-ins and toppings! I need some inspiration.

What is the most unusual breakfast you’ve ever eaten? Maybe it was a buffet at IKEA, too?

 

 

Spill it Sunday [The Carb Edition]

The second post of the day and the long-awaited [or so he said] installment of Arman’s macronutrient-focused Spill it Sundays is here. Okay, I’ll probably have to agree with him here. Because carbs are likely the most ‘controversial’ of the three macros. And because – while I generally don’t like any claims of being a fats/ protein/ carb person – I feel the latter benefit me the most.

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1. What is your all time favourite carbohydrate based food/dish?

Given the frequency I have it with I’d have to oat bran. Always prepared stove-top, always with added nut butter. But if we’re talking about dishes that hold a special place in my heart yet don’t make an everyday appearance: Semmelknödel. You’ve heard me talk about these delicious little balls more than once before – and for a good reason.

What they can’t offer in looks they make up in their satisfying doughy taste … and now I’m getting seriously hungry so we’d better go on with the survey.

2. What is your favourite fruit?

All the fruit! Limiting myself to one favourite would be unfair. It’s easier to say which fruit I don’t like [as much]: papaya [maybe I’ve just had bad luck every time I picked one up or how can they taste like nothing?], figs and pomegranates.

Fruit – despite its high sugar content – has never been a problem for me.

3. What is your favourite grain?

If the first question didn’t answer if sufficiently: Oats. They’re incredibly versatile taking on both sweet and savoury variations like no other grain. Plus, they cook super fast which is a bonus if you’re like me and not versed enough at meal planning to think and cook your grains in advance.

Topped with popped amaranth and almond butter sauce these are reason enough to get up.

It’s hard to go a day without them for me and looking at the many blogs out there dedicated to oatmeal alone I know I’m in good company.

4. What is your favourite starchy vegetable?

For once a ‘favourite’ question that’s easy to answer: kabocha. At best from my mum’s garden and just steamed. Plain perfection with a side of almond butter.

Breakfast_kabocha

5. Which carb receives unfair flack? Which carb is most overrated?

If this wasn’t just about them already I’d say carbs overall [still] get a bad reputation. The number of magazine articles, blogs and the likes promoting low-carb diets is immense. But to limit the length of my reply here: White everything receives unfair flack. Sure, white grains aren’t as nutritious as whole grains. But making them the devil and badmouthing anybody eating them isn’t fair. I personally prefer the taste of whole grains, too, but my parents don’t [unless we’re talking bread] so if I’m with them it’s likely we’re having white rice or pasta – and that’s okay. Regarding my visits at Vapiano I didn’t mention it yet but their white pasta – back then a challenge – was actually more delicious than the whole grain one [which was unpleasantly gritty unlike the brands I’d buy if cooking pasta at home].

Vapiano Arrabiata

And sorry I’m not sorry for committing a blogger sin here but: sweet potatoes are the most overrated carb in my opinion. I tried them time and time again – only to discover I really don’t enjoy them. Not even when almond butter is involved and that says a lot. No more paying high prices and turning on the oven for these, sorry. Just give white potatoes a little more appreciation. These are the ones I grew up eating and they will forever have a special place in my heart. And I know Arman shares the fondness – he just passed the food part of the German immigration test 😉 .

6. Link up a favourite carb embracing recipe (it can be your own or another bloggers!).

Ideally, I should have a recipe for Semmelknödel up on the blog by now – note to self: post one! – but given that I haven’t we’ll go with some of my favourite legume dishes. Because they have carbs, too, right?

Chickpeas in Blueberry Chocolate Mole

Chickpeas in mole

I can’t go without featuring a recipe involving my favourite starchy vegetable so: Red Lentil Kabocha Chili.

Kabocha Lentil

7. What is YOUR perception of this macronutrient?

A picture says more than a thousand words [and unless I stop writing soon I may or may not reach that mark with this post].

I like them. I really like them. In my family we grew up eating carbs/ grains for every meal: breakfast were bowls of whole grain granola or müesli, lunches always had a side of pasta/ rice/ couscous/ potatoes/ you name it and dinner was bread. Hence why going low-carb will never work for me. The days when I’d try to limit my carb intake and counted the amount of grains in my meals and snacks were sad and exhausting to say the least. As hinted to in my introduction I’d most likely be a ‘carb person’ if I used those labels. A diet made up of mostly carbs, a good amount of fats and some protein feels just right for me.

8. What benefits do CARBS play in YOUR personal eating habits?

Similar to fats they give me satisfaction, energy and make me an all around happy camper. So let’s not hate on carbs anymore, okay? Good. Go and have a …

Happy Sunday!

Happiness inducing today: Sunshine outside again after days of rain.

Stay in touch!

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

What’s your favourite carb-based dish or food?

Have you ever tried a low-carb diet and what were your experiences?