Back on [the Pinterest] food track

It’s been a while since my last Pinterest-inspired What I ate Wednesday post – too long. For some reason I tend to put unneccessary pressure on myself to create own recipes rather than follow others‘.  Ridiculous much? Absolutely. But this is me and I never claimed to be normal.  Anyway,  as an attempt to fall into good habits I tried a few dishes by fellow bloggers. And  put my own spin on them . Don’t tell me you were surprised by that bit.

wiaw fall into good habits button

Inspired by Khushboo who created a chia pudding like no other I finally broke my snack rut. With December and all things Christmas right around the corner I [obviously] couldn’t follow her recipe but had to tweak it. Can you say Coconutty Cocoa Gingerbread Pear Chia Pudding?  It looks like mush but tastes so good – a recipe coming your way soon. I’m not a fan of regular chia pudding because while a staple in my oat bran for me the texture of the gelled seeds isn’t appealing in large amounts .  Here,  my dear favourite coconut flour is the main player with the chia seeds as a pleasant side kick.

 Gingerbread chia pudding

We’ll get a little sweeter again in a minute but first I have to proudly say I tried another dish featured in my very recent good good links. I wasn’t kidding when I said Hannah’s hash was totally up my alley.  The only problem I had when adding the recipe to my post was not having any butternut squash on hand.  Yet I couldn’t get over how delicious the dish looked. Enter zucchini aka summer “squash” jumping in.

Kale_chickpea_lentil hash

That’s a huge stretch because I never think of zucchini as a member of the squash family. But it was what I had at hand so I followed Hannah’s instructions loosely. Here are my changes : zucchini and cauliflower instead of squash,  chickpeas for the kidney beans called for, canned lentils. Also, I turned this into a casserole for my work day lunches so added tomato sauce, poured the “stew” into a baking dish and topped it with creamy polenta post-picture. What will I not casserole-ify*?

*[That should totally be a word because it’s so true for me these days. It’s cold, soup won’t cut it, so casserole-ifying it is.]

Casserole_beans

Do you feel the urge to spread the Christmas cheer with others when the temperatures drop and cozying up inside becomes a lot more appealing than setting foot outside? Just me?? Either that or I’ve just been bitten by the baking bug. After last week’s no-bake sweet action  I felt like turning on the oven for the first Christmas cookies of the season – and the first time playing my favourite Christmas tunes. These so-called Traumstücke were  a hit with everybody last year so I knew my first pick was going to be a success. Honestly,  it’s unbelievable how a recipe this simple can be so incredibly amazing.

Lebkuchen-Traumstücke

My neighbours also accepted several packages for me lately because I’m at work when the postman rings.  I’m glad they saved me the trip to the overcrowded post office on Saturday morning so cookies seemed like the perfect thank you gift. And because they – like all of my meals in this post – are vegan, too, I’m joining Vegan Wednesday, too. Whether you’re stopping by from there or WIAW these cookies should totally make it onto your baking list.

Happiness-inducing today: My first Yogi wisdom of the day becoming reality.

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Have you started baking Christmas cookies yet? Which ones?

What’s the latest recipe you pinned and tried?

WIAW: On the road again

… or actually: on the -train- again. The previously mentioned weekend meet-up with my mum didn’t happen but we got a chance on Saturday. Given I left at 8 AM and didn’t return until 9.45 PM packing food and eating out was inevitable.  So for today’s What I ate Wednesday and Vegan Wednesday what a day of traveling with food looks like for me

A lack of kabocha has my deviate from  my usual favourite and back on the oatmeal train [pun not intended] for breakfast again. Rolled oats cooked with water, soy milk,  peanut flour, zucchini and – necessary – salt. Topped with popped amaranth and coconut flour ‘crumbles’. I missed the almond butter. I’m not above using empty soy yogurt containers as oatmeal carriages. In fact, I consider it perfectly reasonable recycling. Only they are big enough for my servings. Oats in a jar are no option because nut butters come in glass jars over here and I don’t feel like lugging one of those around. Hello, weight lifting.

Oats_for the train

Snacks included two cinnamon chickpea protein bars. Slightly smushed after waiting in my handbag so you’ll get the pretty picture. While my favourite way to eat these is cold straight from the fridge they are delicious even Unpictured snacks were apples, a cookie, … I always crave fruit even more than on regular days when traveling. Maybe it’s drinking less – in an effort to avoid using the toilet on the train. If you’ve ever been on a train you’ll know why …

Protein Bars 1

After some – successful (!) – shoe shopping my stomach and mind were calling for a proper sit-down meal. When in Hamburg we usually like to seek out one of our favourite smaller restaurants in the Schanzenviertel. But with a limited time window and shopping downtown we went for another go-to closer by. Cha cha is one of my favourite chain restaurants – only topped by Dolores. I ordered Thai fried rice with vegetables,  sesame soy sauce and cashews. The serving was very generous [the picture doesn’t do it justice] so I didn’t manage to finish it. Especially because my mum needed some help with her dish … Only not really but that’s what she gets for eating out with me.

Eating out_cha cha_September 2014

My Mum got their Yellow Curry Noodles with Pineapple and Seitan. The pasta wasn’t vegan but I ate around it picking out the best part: obviously the coconut milk-drenched seitan. Luckily for both of us, our dishes weren’t overly spicy like some food at Cha Cha can be. Remind me to finally prepare seitan at home because this was good.

Eating out_cha cha_September 2014_2

Dinner was an eat-all-the-food affair – I returned home ready to chew my arm off. Kabocha – found in Hamburg and yes; I buy and travel with heavy squash if I spot the elusive variety. Living in no-mans-country no-[kabocha] squash-country isn’t easy.
Steamed as usual and with the added coconut oil this was all I could have asked for after a long day of traveling. I’ve yet to come to a final result on its added satiating powers but it’s delicious either way.

Breakfast_kabocha

Happiness-inducing today: The chatterbug but very kind and helpful owner of the small health food store in the town I work.

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Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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What do typical days on the road/ train look like for you food-wise?

How do you transport oats [to work or when traveling]?

Peas over nuts [Cinnamon Chickpea Crunch Protein Bars]

Quick, easy, nutritious and delicious: A one-bowl vegan and protein bar reminiscent of  a slice of soft vanilla cake. Free from gluten, refined sugars or weird additives.

Protein Bars 8

Chances are that if you’ve been around the blog world for any time yet you’ll have noticed two trends: 1) a fondness of bars and 2) protein as many bloggers’ favourite macronutrient.  Me, however? That’s where I’m not like your average blogger. I’m not fond of bars in general [at this point I expect some people gasping for breath in shock]. Me and protein bars?  Much less. I’ve always considered these a) exclusive to body builders or b) anybody doing strength training. The way I see it I don’t fall in either category. Unless you’d count lugging around [way too] heavy bags every day weight-lifting. Hmmm …

Protein bar

Which didn’t bug me much because the protein bars available at stores around here are nasty. The only one I ever bought years ago – I can actually recall the time, brand and flavour of the bar – wasn’t awful in terms of taste. But it was a candy bar disguised as a healthy snack.  The ingredient list: Sugar. Sugar.  More sugar. Oh, and some protein. Processed soy-derived. Aren’t you getting hungry reading that?!

Protein Bars 1

These? Are the opposite. Granted, that other bar won the award for appearance – how hard is it with a thick chocolate?! coating – but we already know it’s the inner values that count.  Protein not only from the powder but the peanut flour and even in the chickpeas, too. A funny story or realization about those: I had my mind set on using salted peanuts here. -But-: you haven’t seen my overflowing cupboards yet. No unneccessary purchases for me.

Protein bars 3

So I went for the closest sub and – chickpeas. Before you turn up your nose or click away: Think about it. Chickpeas are legumes – as are peanuts.  There isn’t much of a difference with that in mind. Clearly a case where peas [won] over nuts. And I’m nuts about those peas – my stash is dwindling by the day. If you’re still doubtful just let me tell you about the great texture and crunch they add to these bars …

Protein bars 4_neu

A realization and my only regret about this recipe is my habit of preparing small batches. The one I prepared Saturday was meant to last me for the week. Yet there I was whipping up another pan a day later. I’m officially addicted. But it’s a good one.

Cinnamon Chickpea Crunch Protein Bars [about four generously-sized bars or more smaller ones]

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (20 g) [I used SunWarrior]
  • 1/8 cup peanut flour [15 g]
  • 1/8 cup coconut flour [15 g]
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon + additional for sprinkling on top
  • 1/8 cup NuNaturals oat fibre OR psyllium husks* [15 g] OR oat bran*
  • a pinch of salt [generous for me and any other fans of sweet-and-salty combinations]
  • 1 tbsp NuNaturals Simple Syrup (could sub agave or honey)
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped dry-roasted salted chickpeas [20 g]
  • about 1/2 cup non-dairy milk [I used coconut]
  • 1/4 cup dried mulberries
  • Optional [but actually mandatory] raw or 99% dark chocolate, chopped**

 

  1. Combine all dry ingredients.
  2. Stir in milk and syrup to combine.  You’ll want to reach a slightly drier cookie dough texture.
  3. Put the mixture into a greased 8 x 8 inch baking dish and press down firmly.
  4. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes or until the top feels firm but not dried out.
  5. Take out of the oven and dust the top with additional cinnamon inmediately.
  6. Let cool before slicing into bars. These keep best in the fridge.

Notes:

* These are gluten-free if using either psyllium husk or gluten-free oat bran. The texture is most cake-like with the oat fibre but still fine elsewise.

** This will add some sugar so omit if opting to stay all sugar-free.

Protein bars 2

One more note on the Simply Syrup in this recipe: it’s a new product by NuNaturals and this was my first time trying it. There may or may not be a giveaway coming up soon …

Because everybody – now even me – likes protein, bars and protein bars I’m sharing these with Gluten-Free Tuesdays, Strange but good, RecipeFriday, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Recipe of the Week, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Real Food RecipesTasty Tuesdays, Healthy Vegan Friday and #glutenfreefridays.

 

Happiness-inducing today: An e-mail from a friend I hadn’t heard of in a while.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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What’s your favourite kind of protein bar?

Chickpeas instead of nuts: Strange or awesome?

Have you made your own protein bars before?

Thinking out loud #14

Looking at today’s randomness I noticed a theme -and you might remember I like that. Without further ado let’s call this ‘the bad, the good and the plain random’ edition of Thinking out loud. Because there’s an upside to most every bad – and then some thoughts that follow no rhyme or reason. The ‘bad’: it’s going to be a crazy day at work because we have a huge event coming up tomorrow. The good: Amanda‘s hosting another round of [more or less] freestyle-blogging. And now let’s move onto the random!

Thinking-Out-Loud

1. The bad: If you’re following me on Twitter [link] you might have already seen it

Fun times. Only not. However, as much as I disliked it, I felt empathy for the doctors at the practice whose regular working time was until 7 PM. But when I left at shortly past that there were still more patients waiting. What confused me even more: people annoyedly leaving the waiting room before they even got to see one of the doctors.

For whichever reason this came up searching for “waiting room”. Random post, random pictures?! [Source]

2. The good: Getting a better idea of what’s been causing me serious pain for weeks now. And this girl keeping me entertained while waiting. Blends for the win once more.

3. The random: Picking up a new hand lotion a few days ago I noticed the ’24-hour moisturization’ claim on the packaging. Now that’s all fine and well but: who needs that? Like everybody else I expect my hand lotion to keep my skin nice and smooth but Unless you were to wash your hands just once a day which would be gross. In that case please listen to me and go wash your hands now, please?!

Weekend March 14th to 16th 156

4. Are you ever lured into buying something just because it looks cute? Case in point was the above-mentioned hand lotion. I wouldn’t absolutely have needed another one to add to my ever-growing collection – though it’s nice to have one in every handbag.

5. The bad: a strike taking place that involved all public transport being closed down. Good job choosing a busy Wednesday for a strike – only not so much when you aren’t part of the strikers but those who still need to get to work.

6. The good: My boss offering to pick me up and drive me back home after work.

7. The random: Nonsensical product declarations #2. My coconut flour. The label gluten-free obviously makes a lot of sense on this one but lactose-free??! I don’t remember ever wondering if any flour contained lactose so this seems very redundant and isn’t it in a way suggesting we as customers didn’t know this obvious fact? Really, now …

coconut flour

8. The weekly life-changing quiz: Haven’t you always wondered which high school you actually belonged in?!

9. Will I ever learn not to write my posts way too late at night? Probably not but for now I’ll just leave it at saying …

10. Happy Thursday!

Happiness inducing today: Randomly getting a chance to read a book I’d been interested in for a while but couldn’t find at my library.

Stay in touch!

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

What are some of the most redundant or odd product claims you have come across yet?

Share something bad, something good and something random!

[A glimpse into] The Polka-dotted diet

Seeing as food is one of the topics I’m writing about it seemed only natural to let you know a bit more about my diet. Which occasion would be suited better than Jenn’s weekly WIAW party?! Thanks for hosting this fun, Jenn!

While I have yet to successfully photograph a whole day of meals I thought I’d show you some foods that make a frequent appearance in my diet.

Recent breakfast: Greek yogurt mixed with coconut flour and maple syrup – give it a try! And yes, I did add more granola.

Recent breakfast: Greek yogurt mixed with coconut flour and maple syrup – give it a try! And yes, I did add more granola.

 Using the term Sarah came up with I’d call myself a “vegan with benefits”. Growing up I ate meat like all other members in my family and really enjoyed it. Becoming vegetarian ten years ago was actually accidental because I simply decided to skip the meat one day and see how long I could go without. Back then I didn’t have any real reasons while nowadays there are several. Let me know if you’re interested in hearing them – for now I’ll just spare you the story :D. Anyway, vegetarian turned into vegan and that’s where I am now.

Anything eaten out of bowls and topped with salsa is a win in my book.

Anything eaten out of bowls and topped with salsa is a win in my book.

Being vegan with benefits to me means being less strict and able to adapt. Wanting to be fully vegan led to me denying myself certain foods I craved and made me unhappy and hard to be around. I still think it’s a good diet but if I went completely vegan I’d like to be sure it’s not an ED-related choice. Now I’m mostly rolling with my cravings and eating with others had become a bit easier. For example when eating at my parents’ and my mum wants to use regular milk instead of soy in her mashed potatoes I’m cool with that. And I’m certainly not aversed to some delicious Lindor chocolates …

Could you say no?!

Could you say no?!

Chocolate might be my number one sweet but thanks to the blog world it has gotten a fierce contender. Almond butter! It’s safe to say I’m having at least a few tablespoons every day – who says healthy food can’t be addictive?

Best eaten straight from the jar - one of the benefits of living alone ;).

Best eaten straight from the jar – one of the benefits of living on my own and not having to share ;).

Hope you enjoyed this little first glimpse into my diet and maybe I’ll manage to post a full day of eats soon, too.

Are you a fan of “bowls” for lunch, too? What’s your favourite combination? Inspire me!

Which is your favourite nut butter?