Food Talk Wednesday #7

Would you like me to talk about my dismay if the fact some parts of Germany are getting a first greeting of snow today? No? Me, neither [and luckily, the part of the country I live in isn’t affected yet]. Rather, let’s talk about something we all like: food. Missing last week’s link-up due to those unfortunate conditions I had no control over I’m happy to join Jenn’s weekly party.

Letting go of control is also an issue present in my food choices lately. I’m trying to keep recovery posts to a minimum as I don’t want it to be the focus of my blog. Life is so much more than just recovery or even food – What I ate Wednesday and Vegan Wednesday obviously being the exceptions. Yet: it’s something I’m working on and talking about food in an honest way to me requires admitting what I’m still working on. But let’s jump into [some of] the food I ate on Monday right away.


Food Talk Wednesay_logo

In case you were wondering: yes, kabocha is still my go-to breakfast [nd also still using my preferred method of preparation]. Though I will admit eating my way through several sub-par ones lessened my cravings and had me back on the oatmeal train for a few days. But looking at yesterday it was my first meal of the day once more. The harvest is dwindling steadily, though … Send help, please! And by help I mean kabocha!

Kabocha_homegrown_breakfast

After rushing around for the first half of the day, lunch time came all of a sudden and was where I decided to let go of control and [try to] trust my intuition again. For those who don’t know: Spätzle are a – usually homemade – German kind of pasta. I recently found a package of fresh vegan ones at an organic supermarket and knew this was my chance for a challenge. No nutrtional information on the package was what scared me.I’ve  gotten better at eating out but trying new foods at home is still more difficult.

Traditionally served with fried onions and lots of cheese [Käsespätzle], I went with my go-to vegan cheese sauce and some greenery as well as the obvious chickpeas here. The serving looks small but I had more than pictured [honesty, remember :)?]. A very real photo, too, as you’ll notice the sauce spillage – it happens.

Spätzle_lunch_vegan pumpkin cheese sauce

For some reasons, I follow pretty much every of my savoury meals wth a bite of something sweet and peanut butter. Because what is following below is of the [far] more decadent variety I will only show the more nutrious part of my snacks here. Also because I ego through apples and peanut butter at a speed others find seriously impressive. No such thing as too much of those,  am I right?!

apple_peanut butter_snack

Usually, What I ate Wednesdays show only my own meals and snacks. But I hope you’ll excuse the exception for some bragging a picture of my brother’s belated birthday* cake. Much to my dismay, he didn’t specify which kind of cake he wanted leaving me to  my own indecisiveness. Luckily, I could make up my mind as I was up for experimentation and had been wanting to try this vegan Coconut Caramel Tarte [for all Germans: from La Veganista backt and found here] for some time already. Only I wasn’t entirely pleased with the caramel’s outcome – especially given how long I had to babysit it while cooking. Because  I’m a fan of honestyI will be here, too: no, I didn’t eat a piece of this. However, this is not for fear of sugar. If you’ve seen past WIAWs you’ll know  my sweet tooth. The past years of recovery have taught me about my taste preferences and cake doesn’t entice me anymore. Which isn’t to say I didn’t try the caramel or taste-tested  the chocolate ;).

Kokoskaramell-Tarte_La Veganista_coconut caramel cake

… and that’s a wrap. Or piece of cake. Either way, this was my little chat about food – not snow! – for today and why not use the bad weather to peek at what everybody else has been eating?!

See you again tomorrow!

 

Happiness-inducing today: Going to the movies with an old acquaintance and being positively surprised by the movie itself.

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How is the kabocha situation in your part of the world? Germany really needs to give more appreciation [as in: appearance in stores] to this wonderful squash.

What was the last cake you baked?

Tell me your favourite meal from this week so far!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Food Talk Wednesday #5

It’s the season! Shorter days, colder [but luckily not yet much darker] mornings – Autumn/Fall is fading in faster than we know it. In fact, you’ll all be aware today marks the meteorological start of the season. What I do know for sure is that I appreciate the gifts its bearing: – especially all. the.winter squash/pumkin.[ <- is there any difference?? Enlighten me!] Something that will be there during all the seasons, making us [bloggers] feel at home? What I ate Wednesday. Upon finishing this post, I actually noticed I’m coming full circle here as I wrote a similar post  last year. Would you have noticed? Thanks to Jenn for hosting the first What I ate Wednesday of the season!

Food Talk Wednesay_logo

Colour me orange – because that’s what my skin will look like in a few weeks. Self-tanning breakfast? Absolutely. I just can’t get enough … Kabocha. And … peanut butter. While our harvest – my mum’s been growing kabocha for me for the past ~ six years – isn’t overly huge it tastes all the better. Luckily, a certain grocery store has started carrying kabocha [though apparently just for a few weeks], too, so I’m stocking up while I can. Now onto a highly debated topic: the best way to prepare kabocha. It breaks my little squash-adoring heart to see people roast [and at worst: peel!] this wonderful vegetable. Trust me: simply steaming kabocha – no salt, no spices – creates the most amazing taste experience. If your squash happens to be perfectly ripe, that is. I’ve had some mediocre ones that I unwillingly had to use up until moving on to better ones. But no kabocha shall be wasted.

Breakfast_kabocha

Lunch contributed to my pumpkin tanning as it featured an all-time favourite: vegan pumpkin cheese sauce. This plate of sautéed cauliflower and wheat berries turned into a crave-worthy dish when adding the sauce. It’s so good I wanted to eat it by the spoonful [and I may or may not have …]. Despite its appearance I assure you I didn’t have Shrek in mind while preparing this.

kabocha_vegan cheese sauce_wheatberries_chickpeas

None of my days is complete without snacks. Actually, rumor has it they make up the largest part of my intake. Oops? What can I say: I’m a snacker, no, grazer. Yet it’s impossible to capture every morsel that enters my mouth so I just captured a seasonal one for you: raspberries. Yellow raspberries at that because they are even better than regular ones. I’m trying to claim dibs on these but some days I have to share.Which I guess is only fair since my mum grows them 😉 … Yellow raspberries_fruit

On another snack note I was successful in scoring a few reduced cups of Fage – and even my favourite flavour. Now I’m just a little worried the store is about to discontinue selling them but: live in the moment. Meaning I’m enjoying the ones I have and then see what will happen. Plus: it’s just food. Delicious but in the end just food.

Fage_Greek yoghurt_jam_blueberry

Once more no dinner picture … A few years ago, I had a full-blown obsession with pumpkin oat bran – more self-tanning power 😉 – but have been too lazy to prepare my own pumpkin puree in a long while. No canned pumpkin available in stores over here means I’m stuck with my usual oat creation for dinner – and I can’t say I was complaining. Cocoa banana oat bran with almond butter and a sprinkle of sea salt perfectly fits the bill for autumnal [or any season, really] comfort food. No picture because hi, carbs after dark [read: no, I don’t mind what time I eat which macronutrient. But pictures taken after sunset don’ turn out pretty anymore this time of the year. We can’t have everything [read: squash, colourful leaves and good lighting] at once. If you’re curious to see how everybody else has been ringing in fall, hop over to the What I ate Wednesday shenagigans!

Happy first Wednesday of Fall!

Happiness-inducing today: Noticing my mental arithmetic skills aren’t as bad as I’d assumed. Tutoring helps!

 

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What is your favourite way to prepare kabocha? Please do me a favour and don’t insist on roasting it but give a gentle steaming a try just once. Like I said: if you picked a perfectly ripe/starchy one you won’t regret it!

Tell me your current go-to breakfast! How often do you change it up?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food Talk Wednesday #4

A little birdy told me it had been a while since I last talked about food on here. It also told me that I risked losing my label as a foodie. So what’s a girl to do? Better safe than sorry so how about we talk about … .food today?  It’s common knowledge among bloggers that writing an intro is the hardest part of a post so how about we get started right away? Thanks again to Jenn for hosting What I ate Wednesday!

Food Talk Wednesay_logo

Usually I’d keep the best for last but because breakfast yesterday was [one of] my favourite food[s] in the world I’ll spill the beans right away: it’s kabocha season! Granted, not actually. But our garden has allowed me to have a first taste of autumn’s best produce while stores aren’t carrying squash regularly yet. I know some of you are lucky to have kabocha available all year round but for me it’s a few months only. A few long-awaited months. Or this year sadly just weeks because stores around here won’t carry this very kind of squash at all so I’m limited to the ~ seven kabocha babies in the yard.

Anyway, I figure I’d go best by living in the moment and enjoying kabocha to the fullest while I can. No problem because it tates so.incredibly.amazing.

kabocha_pot

Sometimes, the best dishes grace your plate when you improvise [or can’t follow your own recipes]. Case in point: the zucchini overload in our garden and lack of cauliflower combined led to me turning my Cauliflower Chickpea Curry into a, well, Zucchini Curry.  With kidney beans because I had an open can of those. So yes, totally overthrowing my recipe but keeping the spices. The result? Delicious. And obviously more afforable using our own produce. Just wait for it: by the end of summer I’ll either be fed up with squash or sadly resert back to those at the store.

Zucchini Kidney Bean Curry

No day is complete without some …? Chocolate, right. I’ve been surprising myself with a changed taste preference here. After my recent purchase I haven’t been fancying my old favourite at all anymore. Dare I say it tastes … odd to me? Well, I guess they say tastes change as we grow up. As of yet I’d asumed this was only true in terms of more nutritious foods [can you believe I wouldn’t touch a tomato as a child and now can’t get enough of our homegrown ones?] but why not include chocolate? It’s from a bean so basically a vegetable/legume after all 😉 .

Mint chocolate

Because we’ve reached the sweet ending of this post I bid you goodbye and see you again tomorrow!

Happiness-inducing today: Meeting an old acquaintance and his cute dog and having a nice chat.

Stay in touch!

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How have your taste preferences changed in the past?

What’s your current go-to breakfast? How often do you change it up?

Tell me your favourite flavour combination: Chocolate and _______________?

 

 

 

 

 

Food Talk Wednesday #3

You know you’re a blogger if you take pictures of your food with every intetion to share them on your social media outlets of choice.

You know you’re a blogger who needs to post about food if said pictures take up too much space on your phone/camera memory card.

All that being said it’s definitely time for another Food Talk Wednesday. In hopes that will reduce the backlog of pictures at least ever so slightly [who exactly am I kidding?!]. What can I say? Flowers [just wait for the bazillion of pictures I’ve been taking] and food – I can’t resist taking pictues of them.

Today’s theme – you didn’t think I’d pass a chance to give rhyme and reason to a post, did you? – are meals eaten out. I could pretend I was a lazy lady unwilling to cook.  Or fantasize about summertime heat [which Germany sadly isn’t blessed with at the moment] making me dread turning on the stove. But I’d rather go with telling the tale of living up to the goal I set myself. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t add some of the recovery lessons learned here. While I don’t want this to turn into a recovery[-only] blog I’ve been inspired, reassured and encouraged by others doing so I’m hoping I might be able to do the same in  a way.

Food Talk Wednesay_logo[Sorry for the phone camera pictures in advance. Sometimes I’m just not feeling the workout that is lugging around a DSLR at all times 😉 .]

The oldest of these pictures – no surprise my phone’s memory card is filling up fast – is of this lovely asparagus risotto I ate way back. I’d dare to say I still remember its taste, though. Risotto – another dish I hadn’t had in quite a while. Mostly for the reason I usually cook for myself only and it’s not really worth the effort for a single serving. This Asparagus Risotto with Cherry Tomatoes was just perfect. The lovely staff at the café knows me and always finds a way to accomodate my vegan preferences even if their regular menu doesn’t offer anything suitable.

Asparagus risotto

One of my favourite dishes was enjoyed at a festival [it’s not actually a festival but the concept would take too long to explain here]. Its name can’t be properly translated but it’s basically a stir-fry of brown rice, speltberries and lots of vegetables with a delicious fresh peanut sauce. Maybe it was the fact I only get the chance to eat this dish once a year but for once I actually finished the whole plate – and was still hungry. That’s something I’m still adapting to but baby steps …

FTW_June_6

Pizza! Probably sad to admit but I didn’t remember the last time I’d had pizza prior to this one. At that, recovery is a blessing because you get to rediscover the joy in eating a food others have on the regular.  The additional challenges for me: most of my family had been cycling all day while I – then still being cautious because of my injury – had joined my uncle and wife in taking the car. Aside from missing the extra fresh air lack of movement still makes me anxious. Either way, I enjoyed a few slices of this made-to-order brick oven pizza with spinach, mushrooms and vegan cheese sauce. There couldn’t have been a better way of welcoming pizza back in my life.

FTW_June_5

Pictured below is what sadly fell into the category of ‘looks better than it tastes’: Tomato and olive ragout with pan-fried polenta slices. Eaten on a day trip to meet my sister this was another reminder that sometimes a meal isn’t about the food. Did I fully enjoy the dish? No. It wasn’t awful but didn’t hit the spot or satisfy me [a little TMI: my stomach let me know it didn’t approve of this in terms of digestion later, too …]. Did I enjoy the company? Absolutely. Would I do it again? Sure. One meal isn’t worth making a fuss about and much less if it comes with a side of quality time with somebody you don’t see often enough.

FTW_June_1

Something I’ve noticed overall and hadn’t expected, though, is that eating out is actually easier than challenging myself at home. It’s one of the many surprising experiences I’ve made. First traveling as the one thing I was afraid of turning into a great way to free my mind. Then meals eaten out in general as a way to broaden my palate and delve into unknown calorie territory. At home, I’m more often than not stuck in repetition of ‘safe’ meals but handing over control to somebody else in a place different from home somehow works a little magic. Also good for anybody struggling with serving sizes: what is given to you at restaurant’s is considered the ‘right’ amount for a normal eater. As in: what we’re striving to turn into. Unless you’re faced with a pizza larger than the plate it’s served on – yes, this has happened to me before.

In short: if you can’t seem to challenge yourself food-wise at home, either, try eating out. It takes pushing past your comfort zone a lot at first but is rewarding.

 

Happiness-inducing today: Helping one of my sister’s friends editing a paper she had to write for university. Did I mention I enjoy editing a LOT?!

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Are you guilty of taking way too many pictures of food [or flowers], too?

When was your last time eating out and what did you get?

 

 

 

 

 

Food Talk Wednesday #2

Are you in for another episode of Food Talk Wednesday? Good because that’s on the menu today. If I was one of those bloggers who can make even soup [don’t tell me you haven’t had the soup phenomenon happen to you yet if you’re a (food) blogger!] look awesome. However, I’m not. Actually, I might have the potential to improve but my impatience once food appears in my focus – at least when my stomach agrees it’d be nice to get its fill – is incredible. Spending more than five minutes to get a shot of whatever it is we’re talking about? Well, I don’t think so. That’s why for now – and when I say for now it means I’m not giving up hope of my patience increasing one day – you’ll have to make do with more talk than food. But there is some of that after all so let’s get started.

Food Talk Wednesay_logo

Confession: Post- and occasionally also pre-breakfast snackage these past days has always included a handful of these. So writing this post on Wednesday morning I can confirm that yes, I’ve already had some today.

Erdnusslocken_flips_peanut
Erdnussflips, friends. Also known as: ridiculously addictive peanut curls. While plain old potato chips don’t exctite me much at all these are my kryptonite. They’ve been since I grew up – when my dad still thought it was funny to call them worms. Mmmh, appetizing. Looking back, it’s only natural I developed a nut butter addiction. Hm … now I wonder how dipping these into peanut butter would taste … <- Read: it will happen today. But first, breakfast.

oatmeal_breakfast_swirl
Remember my Tupperware oatmeal? I’ve reverted back to the slightly classier style of serving them in a pot again. In case you’re new here: that’s the way I roll and no, I don’t grab a huge spoon and eat them straight from the pot. It just keeps the remainder nice and warm while I’m scooping out smaller servings into a bowl. Also, that swirl would be soy creamer and only for decorative purposes – I still add almond butter post-picture but by now you should know my ways.

It’s essentially the same concept for lunch. I wouldn’t absolutely need to assemble this impromptu Polenta Chili Casserole into a casserole dish. But it looks so much fancier all nicely layered pre-serving. Don’t ask about the mess when scooping out individual servings, though [yes, I eat the whole dish].

Polenta chili bake

Okay, for those who asked and also because you can’t tell what’s in there exactly. This is the messy just-plated version. Yes, I’m aware it looks like [insert unappetizing noun] but oh my does it taste amazing. In fact so much so that I’ll post the recipe once I get some at least a little better pictures. It’s quickly become one of my go-to dishes and I only repeat those I really like. It’s vegetarian comfort food at its best. Maybe I’m using that phrase a little more often but it really is.

Polenta bake_cottage cheese

Dinner escaped the camera [read: I forgot a out a picture until I was about halfway through and then didn’t bother anymore because it was dark in anyway] but given I snacked a lot throughout the day and none ends without something sweet …

Lindt Chili chocolate

Chocolate. Four squares of one of these bars because nobody’s truly satisfied after one.  Also, I should add that this is by no means everything I ate all day. I’m a serious snacker and if I wanted to picture every nibble and bite I’d end up with 384758 pictures in one What I ate Wednesday. I hope this will still be considered playing by the rules by Jenn and Arman.

Enough banter now, go and enjoy your Wednesday that’s hopefully sunnier than around these parts [read: the sun’s hiding].

 

Happiness-inducing today: Calling one of my best friends who lives too far away for a spontanous visit but it makes us all the more thankful for the invention of telephones.

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Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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What’s your favourite kind of vegetarian chili?

Are you satisfied by eating a single square of chocolate? I feel I might be taking after my dad who can inhale a whole bar. It might not have gotten that far for me since I tend to actually savour it but half a bar can happen. Chocolate comes from a bean so it’s technically a vegetable, right 😉 ?

 

 

Food Talk Wednesday #1

For the fraction of a second I pondered if I should try to play an April Fools’ joke on you but really? I’ll reserve those for my family. More time to talk about any healthy living blogger’s favourite Wednesday issue: food.

Given my habit of eating 3648594 snacks per day and forgetting to take pictures of all of them I sadly don’t qualify for Jenn’s WIAWs anymore. A full day of food – it might happen at some point in the future. However, I still ilke to  get a glimpse into others’ meals for inspiration and I like to talk about food [duh!]. So why not start sharing some recent happenings on my plate in my own way? Say hello to Food Talk Wednesday [or: FTW!]. Today’s edition features no dairy whatsoever so I’ll also join Vegan Wednesday. Moving onto the food already now …

Food Talk Wednesay_logo

Gnocchi were on the menu once more and not just because buying a one pound-package at the store means you have to eat them days in a row to prevent spoilage. No, they’re simply delicious and super fast to prepare – win-win! The only ‘work’ that went into the making of this dish was preparing a vegetable-filled Italian-inspired sauce from scratch. You can hardly beat the simplicity of that and a pile – no measly sprinkling here – of nutritional yeast post-picture made this perfect for a quick no-fuss meal.

Gnocchi_italian tomato sauce

When meals don’t go as planned … you improvise and let the outcome surprise you. This is what happens when you intend to revisit your own recipe after a long time and discover your chickpea flour has turned … funky. I’m hoping it wasn’t due to flour bugs [why do they keep invading my pantry???] but it looked odd so I turned to whole grain spelt flour instead. Turns out the crespelle still work a charme though I prefer the nutty taste of chickpea flour in this dish.

Spelt flour crespelle_pancake

One of those dishes I’d almost forgotten about but was reminded of when a friend asked for a lunch recommendation. And when I’d already told her I thought why not have it again myself? So after a nice long walk I bust out my huge fancy skillet [that I hardly ever use because I’m too lazy to clean it …] and channeled my inner pancake queen failed at producing proper crêpes. Taste over appearance, though. Taking these pictures was a challenge as it had gotten rather late by the time I sat down to eat so the already not too stellar lighting in my appartment got worse.

crespelle_inside

A favourite recent but sadly not current anymore snack was edamame. And yes, I eat it frozen when I’m too impatient to wait for it to thaw. I’ve been buying those huge 500 g/1 lb packages at the Asian store for months and they never last long around my place. Like I said, though, it’s not a current happening anymore because I moved once more and there’s no place to find these wonderful green legumes.

edamame

… and that would close the first edition of my new little series. Partly also because I need to get back into the habit of taking pictures of my food. Yes, believe it or not but that has hardly been happening these past weeks anymore. But what once was a habit can become one again and maybe starting out here will bring it back.

 

Happiness-inducing today: My first ‘workout’ in four days. Is it just me or does getting sweaty again feel even better after a [somewhat] long period of [not entirely chosen] rest?

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Your turn: What has been a meal on repeat for you lately? Just one word for me: gnocchi.

Do you buy pasta sauce or prepare it from scratch? If homemade: what’s your go-to recipe?