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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Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of evil laptops, Greek yogurt secrets and kitten

There was once a girl called Amanda

who made it part of her agenda

to turn Thursday into a time of Thinking  out loud

and joined by many,  this invention can make her proud.

While I think we don’t need to discuss why I’m not writing poems for a living it’s a fact Amanda was onto somethi ng when coming up with her link-up so without further ado …

Thinking-Out-Loud

It’s called thinking out loud but we need to get some rambling out loud first. Sometimes blunt statements are best: my laptop hates me. No, I’m not making things up. It might be time to bite the bullet and invest in a new one …

Exhibit A: It took me almost an hour to get this post up. No, not write this post but upload the pictures and get it ready to publish.

Exhibit B: Do you remember me jumping back on the wagon of people watching TV shows or better yet DVDs? That turned out to be less fun than expected. Gilmore Girls is still a fantastic show but: I’m watching season five now though I actually have several episodes of the second and fourth left. The reason? My lovely laptop flat-out refusing to play certain discs – temporarily or at all. It’s a smidgen frustrating to say the least. Especially when you’ve never watched those very episodes on TV before [because you weren’t aware of the existence of this show for the longest time while it was still on TV].

Gilmore Girls_DVD

Rumor has it [almost] every blogger is singing the praises of Greek yogurt [and willing to pay a small fortune for a tiny cup]. Over here, though, it’s a true rarity to find actual Greek yogurt so I’m usually opting for a more wallet-friendly option. Something else said about us bloggers, though, is that we can’t resist new products appearing on shelves …

I’ve seen this on Instagram beforeit’s only made its way into a few stores around here recently. Any opinions? So far I’ve been able to resist the allurance [though I should probably mention it’s only been a few days since I first spotted it]. I’m a little turned off by the fact it’s almost fat-free, though.Fat is a friend, not foe and I’m not willing to wrangle my wallet for fat-free dairy.

Yet there’s something I can’t resist …

Fage_Greek yoghurt_jam_blueberry

And no, it’s actually not about the yogurt. That is obviously delicious. But here’s the true secret: I’m after the jam. Trust me: whatever Fage adds to that ‘fruit preparation’ [why not call it crack to begin with?!]: it’s addictive. Why not call it crack in a cup to begin with? Or better yet: start selling it separately?! Hm … do you think I should mail Fage and propose my idea?

Completely unrelated but too cute not to share and a surefire mood booster if you’re feeling down:

Instagram.com/foster_kittens

View this post on Instagram

Piper: equal parts sweetness and sass.

A post shared by Cindy in Seattle (@foster_kittens) on

I know at least one girl will be all over these. How could you not? And now I want a cat.

 

Happiness-inducing today: Taking a spontaneous late bike ride despite the grey clouds and not getting caught by the rain.

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No questions on a Thursday so just get random in the comments!

Marvelous in my Monday: It’s the simple things

Happy Monday everyone! How was your weekend? I hope Spring has graced wherever you live with lots of sunshine and nature awakening from its [too long] winter slumber, too.

MiMM_new

After two weeks in the city there was nothing I longed for more than seeing my parents again. Despite no real plans on hand we never fail to share some good times whenever I visit. And who am I to deny it?  I’m a country bumpkin and proud of it so being in the countryside immediately brightens my mood, too.

Pretty in pink.

Pretty in pink.

Nothing beats waking up to birds chirping outside my window. Leisurely walking around the house marveling at the flowers my parents planted and tended to. Here’s to hoping their green thumb is going to rub off on me one day, too ;).

April showers bring ... April flowers?!

April showers bring … April flowers?!

My evening walks in the city? Sure, I do enjoy them. But when given the choice I’ll always pick strolls through the woods or fields. There’s something special about not only being outside in nature but nature in the countryside. Even on my run on Sunday I could tell the difference. Does anybody else get the best ideas ever while running outside? While it also happens for me on my city runs I noticed how much more creative my thoughts were while passing cows, horses and small villages. A more natural, spacious environment also allows my thoughts to flow much better. Now if only I had a thought recorder in my brain to keep all the ideas until after my run :D.

On a walk

Grammar nerd alert: I’ll trade a „k“ for a „g“ , please ;). Dashing to the supermarket to stock up on my fake Greek yogurt – the German “Quark” – I had to find they were sold out. Bummer. However, I happened upon these …

Can you say score?

Can you say score?

Fage on clearance? Only fellow foodie friends [alliterations make me happy] will understand my delight at the sight of these. Especially now that they were discontinued around where I live – after such a short time already, mind you! Naturally, I grabbed four of the six containers still available and walked away an even happier girl.

Even more smile- and happiness-inducing, however, honestly was the time spent lying in the sun, discussing politics and chatting with my parents. I love them more than any other people and feel blessed to have them in my life.

Adoring my mum's beautiful table decorations.

Adoring my mum’s beautiful table decorations.

One thing that made today marvelous already was our beautiful host Katie’s post about her amazing baby shower. I’m so happy for her!

Did you grow up in the countryside or the city? What’s one thing you especially liked about where you grew up?

When do you have your most creative phases? Running and generally moving around outside gives me such a lot of great ideas.

What was the last surprise you happened upon in the clearance section? I’m pretty sure the Fage cups had been waiting there just for me to pick them up ;).

Trying to switch it up intuitively

First off: Thank you so much for all of your kind and supportive comments on my last post! While resting felt good reassurance was definitely needed still. It feels good to know many of you are advocating taking as many rest days as needed – not following a strict schedule.

Wait, did you come here for a specific reason today ;)? Okay, okay … let’s get onto the food! Not before thanking Jenn, though. Thanks for hosting What I ate Wednesday once again!

WIAW

Trying to exercise more intuitively was – as you might have guessed already – linked to my recent trials in Intuitive Eating. Inspired by many lovely blogging ladies like Heather and Meg I finally picked up my copy of Intuitive Eating again. I’ve admittedly had this book sitting on my nightstand for several months a while already but hadn’t really committed myself to the challenge yet. As of now I can’t pride myself with any huge successes yet but I want to keep trying.

Greek yogurt with peanut  and coconut flour, banana flakes and maple syrup that got even more decadent …

Greek yogurt with peanut and coconut flour, banana flakes and maple syrup that got even more decadent …

Eating intuitively also means questioning my go-to dishes to me. So while Blueberry baked Oats had been on the menu for breakfast for quite a while I wasn’t feeling them anymore lately. What’s a girl to do? Experiment obviously! The first time I had above Greek yogurt combo it tasted good but my stomach was undecided. The second day it hit the spot and the third …

… by adding chocolate sauce – because a girl needs her chocolate fix in the morning already.

… by adding almond butter and chocolate sauce – because there’s never too much chocolate.

Well, not even plenty of Heather’s healthy chocolate sauce which, by the way, is totally addictive was able to satisfy me that day. I’m not sure about the reason yet but I guess we just don’t crave the same every day.

When in doubt go with old favourites after all. Trying to stick with changing it up, though, I prepared a dish I had found way back and not eaten in quite a while. Yet another one not winning prices for appearance but making up in taste all the more.

One of the richest, most decadent casseroles I’ve had to date and completely vegan.

One of the richest, most decadent casseroles I’ve had to date and completely vegan.

If you haven’t tried this Creamy Eggplant Creole yet you seriously have to. Believe me: It’s totally worth the extra work of roasting the eggplant. Seeing as eggplant’s on offer this week I won’t keep myself from having it again – sorry but rules like changing it up can be broken bended for exceptional dishes like this ;).

As I semi-promised ending every WIAW post on a sweet note here’s this week’s. With Spring bringing slightly warmer temperatures a friend of mine spontaneously suggested getting frozen yogurt. Which is still quite the novelty around here so don’t even ask for fancy flavours: plain tart is all we can get. There’s a bit more to say about this frozen yogurt date but I’ll leave that for another post :).

Frozen yogurt

Do you consider yourself an Intuitive Eater?

Have you tried any new food combinations or recipes lately?

Overall: How have you been feeling lately?

Let’s talk Greek [yogurt]!

I’m so sorry I disappeared for a whole week when I’d actually meant to post more often. Kudos to all bloggers out there working full-time yet managing to stick to regular – often even daily – posts Honestly, tips on time management are much appreciated so feel free to share!

Enough of that for now, though, because it’s time for our midweekly food party once again: What I ate Wednesday. Thanks to Jenn for hosting!

WIAW GOES GREEN

Looking through my camera’s memory card a theme for this week emerged quickly. While I apparently didn’t deem lunches picture worthy enough I found plenty of evidence for my latest food kick. And as Greek sounds a lot like green I deemed it fitting for WIAW ;).

Quark

You might remember me mentioning my coconut flour and Greek yogurt combo a while back? Let’s just say I brought this snack that I’d deemed perfect to new heights. With this special new food find …

Banana flakes

Sun-ripened dried banana flakes or simply: Deliciousness.

… a new favourite was born: Coconut Banana Greek yogurt. Sweetened just by the banana flakes it didn’t need any maple syrup. Obviously topped with almond butter because it magically turns the best of snacks into something even more amazing.

It might not look like much but the flavour and texture are swoon-worthy.

It might not look like much but the flavour and texture are swoon-worthy.

As if coming up with a great new combination myself wasn’t good enough I stumbled upon this in one of the grocery stores around. Squeee!

Thick and creamy with a slight tang completemented perfectly by the sweet blueberries – hit the spot.

Thick and creamy with a slight tang completemented perfectly by the sweet blueberries – hit the spot.

Just to explain my excitement to any American readers: Germany is devoid of any of the popular Greek yogurt brands like Chobani or Oikos and grocery store brands don’t exist. The only Greek yogurt we can get at select supermarkets is full-fat and even that does only come in plain flavor. What I’ve been referring to as Greek yogurt is actually “Quark”, German curd cheese. Now you might get how delighted I was finding Fage split cups. Regarding the hefty price tag they’ll definitely be an occasional splurge only but it’s nice to treat myself every now and then. Just looking at the pictures makes me feel it might not be long until I cave again 😉 …

Happy Wednesday everybody!

 

What are some of your latest food finds?

Have you tried mixing Greek yogurt with coconut flour yet?

Unrelated to food: Did Spring make an appearance where you live yet? I’m already prepared for a white Christmas Easter.

[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?