Oh, crunchy crunchety!

Oh, hi, we haven’t talked about food in a while, no? I’m a fan of keeping things  [semi-]regular  [interpret that whichever way you want to …] so here goes another What I ate Wednesday. I can’t promise I’ll be able to keep up the weekly or even bi-weekly posts but I’ll just roll with the flow and sprinkle in some food posts every now and then. Because we all need to eat and at least sometimes I actually remember/ am not too lazy to get out my camera.

One more note on the title of this post – or two, actually: a) I like themes and the amount of crunchy, crispy food made this a[n almost] no-brainer and b) I’ve been crunched for time [what’s new?]. No matter how little in general, though, there’s always time for food. Good food. Let’s get talking!

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Breakfast. .. is such a classic over here I can’t wow you anymore.  How about we skip to snacks right there? Good. The first one is proof I can’t resist new products all the way even if they bite a hole into my budget before I can get a bite of them. Pretzel Thins, friends.  How good are they??! They’ve only been making appearance on store shelves around here since earlier this year. Too bad these are so. very.  good … I don’t like macro talk but: why am I even surprised they are? They’re crispy. Carbs.  Salt. A winning combination.

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While we’re at carbs,  salt and winning combinations let’s add cheese – I know Meg agrees. Gah. So good. I could easily write a whole post on this dish.  Actually,  I  will because this recipe needs to find its way into my personal recipe book. For now I’ll leave it at saying it is another autumnal dish with an addictive crunchy cheesy potato topping.  Who said healthy food was boring?  I’m a smidgen proud to say it got my mum’s seal of approval – a rare happening – when I prepared it on Saturday.  Another bonus of her stopping by – aside from the fact itself: help in shredding potatoes. And by help I obviously mean she did the whole task.

Crispy potato topping

On the sweet side another classic made an appearance again to save me. Save me  because the current intern at our office brought in storebought cake on Friday. Am I sensing a competition for employee of the month?  Watch out, friend, I’m up for it ;). Only I couldn’t be bothered to turn on the oven so no-bake it was.  Amanda’s krispie rice cereal energie squares have yet to disappoint me.  I’ve made them more times than I can recount and don’t think I’ve used the same combination of cereal twice so far. Though the best part is obviously that non-optional chocolate drizzle …

Chocolate drizzle_cereal bars

In its whole beauty below.  Preparing it Saturday night/Sunday morning was dangerous because I had to break of those imperfect bits and bites. Pre-breakfast nibbles of cereal bars? Why not. Probably mention-worthy would be that I just try to keep up the volume of cereal when making these, sub peanut for almond butter [more budget-friendly and there are no almond butter jars that haven’t undergone double-dipping action around these parts …] and omitting the protein powder. If the cereal mixture appears too sticky I’ll add some quick-cooking oats. Et violà: cereal bar perfection.

Cereal bars_whole

 

Wouldn’t you want me to be your colleague?! I hope my colleagues will appreciate the huge lot of work that went into these 😉 . [Edited: Demolished and my boss asked what kind of cake I’d bring tomorrow. They clearly hated these treats.]

And speaking of work that’s where I’ll likely be the moment you’re reading this so:

Happy Wednesday and see you again tomorrow for some Thinking out loud!

 

 

Happiness-inducing today:

Stay in touch!

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

 

Are ’employee of the month’ run-ups actually a thing? Enlighten me! And: Do you think I’d win 😉 ??

What are your favourite treats to bring to work?

Pretzels, pretzel things, chips: what’s your salty snack of choice?

WIAW: Going back to classics

Raise your hand if you feel writing a witty intro on Wednesdays is particularly hard. Okay, maybe it isn’t usually but I’ve been feeling under the weather today so I just decided you’d agree if we got the food talk started right away. It’s What I ate Wednesday and the theme emerging this time became clear as I sorted through the pictures: we’re talking classics today. Some typically German classics, some old favourites/ personal classics. That’s what happens when you move with a lot of food still on hand …

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It’s back! My cooking motivation returned this past weekend. Oh did I miss it. Its return was likely fuelled by my mum visiting me and helping me continue at least partly with the mumables. She brought along the most immense kabocha I’ve had this year so far [more than 8 lbs – and at that making my kitchen scale go into error state]. Not just that but some of her freshly harvested snap beans, too. Green ones are obviously a classic but how about some purple ones in the mix?

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Pretty, no? I’ll let you in on a secret, though: they loose their beautiful colour almost immediately when cooked so the effect vanishes quickly. While brainstorming the ‘best’ way to use the rare home-grown beans I snacked on an old favourite. That’s the marvelous part of moving with a lot of food: you’re forced to use up what you have and end up rediscovering some goodies you bought way back. Like these double-roasted salted chickpeas.

Roasted chickpeas

In an effort to savour the precious produce I set out to veganize a German classic that I’m sure those stopping by from Vegan Wednesday will know: Birnen,  Bohnen und Speck.  Only it was far from the original not just in the fact it was devoid of any animal products. I also turned what’s traditionally a sauté with a side of boiled potatoes into a casserole. Never mind that I don’t remember the last time I had the real version: this was absolutely delicious.  Hearty, salty and comforting. If you’re curious about the details: there you go.

Birnen, Bohnen und Speck

Work has me back in my old soup lady patterns. Plans of more involved workday meals will have to wait until I figure out a good meal planning schedule that works for me. Rather than panicking at the lack of produce and ideas on Sunday.  All that in mind I think I did well on Sunday with this Parsnip Pumpkin Stew I prepped ahead of time for Monday and Tuesday lunches. A stick-to-your ribs vegan dish filled with vitamins and fibre. I ate it with a slice of seedy bread that met my criteria.

Parsnip Pumpkin Soup

A sweet ending was brought into existence by my sister. Or more specifically the fact that she lives close to an IKEA store and took a trip there solely to pick up the cutest popsicle molds ever for me. Too late for popsicles? Never. Even if a whole bowl of ice cream can seem a little too much [in terms of freeze-inducing properties] a little popsicle never hurt anybody.

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These are the simplest ever in that all I did was freeze the contents of an Alpro Soya dark chocolate dessert pot. Trust me: you want to try this! The pudding freezes to a not-at-all hard but velvety texture. If you don’t have popsicle molds: just shake the pudding cup and pop it into the freezer for a few hours. And then come back to thank me for the genius idea 😉 . Until then: enjoy your Wednesday!

Happiness-inducing today: Starting a promising new b0ok

Stay in touch!

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

 

What’s your favourite dish using green beans?

Do you prefer ice cream or popsicles?  What are your favourite flavours?

It’s all [edama]me to me

Yesterday was all about me and spilling the beans. Today’s What I ate Wednday is about edamame – the one and only bean of the day. Tomorrow’s Thinking out loud will be about me and you and no beans – it’s a post dear to me so I hope you’ll chime in. But one day at a time so here’s to another volume of What I ate Wednesday and Vegan Wednesday partying.

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Obsessions. We all have them. Those foods you [re]discover and then can’t get enough of anymore. By now you likely know I have a soft spot for a certain legume. But that actually applies to most beans. You name it – I’ll tell you my favourite ways to eat it.* The star of this post came back into the spotlight unexpectedly. My freezer might just be a shoe box-sized compartment of my fridge but it’s still surprisingly good at swallowing foods in its back. That’s where I found a half pound-bag of edamame lurking and how it all got started.

Edamame_potatoes

*unless the variety’s not available which is the downside of living in Germany.

First up was the inclusion in my go-to kind of meal: a stew. More specifically an edamame and carrot stew in a curry-infused tomato [soy] yogurt sauce. Alongside roasted potatoes which I finally (!) tried after seeing them in Amanda’s WIAW posts several times before. So simple, so good. Did I mention the dipping action going on?!

Edamame_dip

But today’s about edamame. The best part of this magical bean is – as opposed to other legumes – its slightly higher fat content. Read: it’s even creamier and more delicious. Following a recipe from a cookbook – yes, it happens once in a while though you know my usual source of recipes –  I tried Appetite for Reduction‘s Edamame Pesto. Actually, this was one of my savoury breakfasts and involved Slim Pasta which I’d gotten for review a while back. After my previous trials with shirataki pasta I was skeptical what to expect. Each package contains 200 g [7 oz] of pasta and is supposed to serve two yet I expected to need the whole bag to get satisfied given the low carb content compared to my standard breakfast.

Slim pasta_shirataki2

Which surprisingly was not the case and that’s to say something from somebody who usually needs huge servings. My verdict?  It’s better than regular shirataki yet the texture is definitely chewier than ‘normal’ pasta. The positives are that – made from konjak flour – it’s suitable for many diets like gluten-free, low carb or vegan. However, the price is rather steep so on a budget it’d be more of an occasional treat than a regular. Mock pasta with mock pesto? For breakfast. Sounds strange but good to me. If you’re curious about the pesto recipe: there you go! It’s not your average pesto but really good nonetheless.

Disclaimer: Slim Pasta sent me a bag of their product free of charge. However, I was not compensated for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Slim Pasta_shirataki

Edamame, however, is clearly in my budget. I’ve been snacking on it like it’s going out of style. Or at least like it won’t be available for long anymore. Which might very well be true because it’s very hard to find over here. I’d better fuel the addiction while I still can. Plus I’ve been eyeing a certain salad recipe… Can you guess what’s on my shopping list for today?

 
Ending on a sweet note once more: ice cream. Free ice cream. My boss generously paid for this when our team met up a while ago and I somehow never posted it but found the picture on my phone again today. It actually was a little challenge because despite the heat on that day I was the only one craving ice cream. Usually reason enough for me to pass on it, too, as it feels weird to be the only one eating. Long story short: I got my ice cream, others saw it and joined in sponatenously and those who didn’t missed out. Big time. Mango sorbet made solely from organic mangoes and agave? Win.

DasEis_Mango ice cream

 

Happiness inducing today: Chatting with a neighbour I had yet to really talk to for long while he let me use his printer after mine refused to work. Double happiness?!

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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What’s your favourite way to prepare edamame?

Do you have any current food obsessions?

Does anybody want to teach me phone photography? I’m clearly well off not using Instagram…

 

Baby, it’s hot outside!

Say it with me: heatwave. Unusual [for our hemisphere at least] and sudden heatwave. In other words: Summer has arrived in full force in Germany. We’re not just talking a few more hours of sunshine but sweat-buckets-and- temperatures for days not even cooling down at night. Now that I’m finishing up this post it’s actually about 30°C outside and I’m not-so-secretly wishing for a fan or air conditioning. Can’t always get what you want, right? What we can all get, though, is some inspiration for new hot weather eats from all around the world thanks to Jenn and Vegan Wednesday! Let’s talk about how I’ve been [more or less successfully] beating the heat with food these days.

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Needless to say with these temperatures even my go-to hot oat bran had to step aside for new breakfasts. I’m still in the trial of deciding if savoury or sweet works better for me. Or maybe it’s a tie after all? Who knows?! Either way, the purchase of 3.3 lbs of potatoes – lunatic? No. Simply a necessity if you want to get starchy ones over here. Thanks for nothing, German grocery stores – had me ponder new ways to use them. Breakfast potatoes? Why not. And because I’d long wanted to use a certain casserole dish again and had been meaning to try veganizing frittata that’s what I went for.

Breakfast potato frittata

After I spotted black beans [a rare find over here] it was pretty much a signed deal a to include them along with the potatoes, onion, bell pepper and corn. It turned out to be a surprisingly quick and delicious meal both hot and – fellow bloggers know the downside of taking pictures of your food – cold. And honestly: in 99 % of the cases I’ll reheat a dish after I’ve taken pictures? This time? Thanks, but no thanks. Thinking about it now I should have probably made another frittata for the next morning in advance right then and there.

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But little did I know the following morning would be even hotter so turning on the oven once more for a repeat was no option. Instead, I chose to try a blog world favourite: the breakfast parfait. With no granola on hand I went for a base of cooked and slightly cooled oatmeal – and then got creative.

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If you’re indecisive like me the oats will have cooled down by the time you finally settle on a flavour combination 😉 : Vegan Neapolitan Oatmeal Parfait. Admittedly, I was skeptical of the whole cold oatmeal aspect but this turned out to be a nice break from my usual stand-by and refreshing on a hot day. Crunchy, sweet, chocolatey and fruity plus how pretty is the layered effect?! The recipe will be up on Friday – just in time for the weekend. Because unless you’re better organized than me the whole act of preparing the individual layers is a little too much work for a weekday.

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Speaking of cold oats it might have been a gal used to the heat convincing me here. After I saw Arman’s recipe for White Chocolate Macadamia Oatmeal Pudding I had to try it immediately. And by immediately I mean ignoring both the fact that a) leaving it in the fridge for a few others only was cheating on the overnight part and b) subbing pistachios for the macadamias I didn’t have at hand and vegan white chocolate meant drifting from the original inspiration even further. I can safely say pistachios and white chocolate made a winning combination in this snack, too, though.

Pistachio white chocolate oatmeal pudding

Given I worked at Subway for a while it’s still a requirement to try Arman’s version some day [soon?] though it’s no secret I can’t follow recipes to a T. Actually, too bad I don’t work at Subway anymore. Because every time I had the best task ever of ‘baking’ cookies [read: dropping frozen cookie dough on sheets] I made sure none the chocolate and nuts at the bottom of the bag got to waste. Qualitly control. Obviously.

Speaking of quality testing I think I need to practice some with a certain something in my freezer… Enjoy your Wednesday and stay cool!

 

Happiness inducing today: Finding the mango I’d bought a while ago to be perfectly ripe and juicy – the best.

Stay in touch!

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

 

 

Do your regular meals change once it gets warmer?

What have you been eating to beat the heat?

Cold oatmeal: yes or no? And what are your favourite versions of it: Parfait, overnight oats, oats in a jar, others??