Neapolitan Oatmeal Parfait [vegan]

Crunchy and creamy, sweet and tart, fruity and chocolatey – a perfect mix of textures and flavours creating a refreshing summer breakfast or snack.

Neapolitan parfait_2

Parfait says it already: it’s perfect. In this breakfast it’s the combination of complementing flavours [refreshing fruit, tangy yogurt, deep dark cocoa] and textures [crunchy amaranth – creamy oatmeal] that makes it an all-around taste experience.

Neapolitan parfait_spoon

Let me start out by stating this: you don’t want to be my roommate. No, not because I left all my dirty dishes in the sink out of pure laziness of transferring them to the dishwasher [why??]. Or because I was that person who decides to re-schedule their household tasks from today to whenever [which means I’ll end up doing them]. And no, stealing some granola doesn’t count as one of my vices.

What I’m actually getting at: if you’d lived with me [at least after I started blogging and started taking dozens of pictures of food] you’d have experienced me blurring the lines between mine and yours.  Rummaging through the cupboards – filled mostly with my dishes – yet occasionally deciding yours were better for my pictures. Case in point again here: why in the world don’t I own a parfait-perfect glass? Answer: Simply because I’d never intended to have a parfait before.

Neapolitan parfait_5

Now that I know how easy they are [plus fancy to look at and we’re eating with our eyes, too, after all] I’ll have to look into getting some of my own. Yes, you could always just mix everything in a bowl but let’s face it: arranging the ingredients beautifully is one of the best parts of the parfait experience. Actually, the best part is eating it.

Neapolitan parfait_sprinkle

Proof that I can’t even stick with my own recipe ideas is the donut peach in this one though it’s nowhere to be found in classic Neapolitan ice cream sandwiches. They’re one of my favourite summer fruit – all kinds of berries aside – and with a case of perfectly ripe ones sitting on my counter I simply had to add some. If you can get your hands on them I higly recommend you include it here because its juicy fresh taste brought yet another texture and flavour to the whole dish.

Neapolitan parfait_8

And to share another secret about the behind the scenes of these pictures: I ‘borrowed’ some of my roommates strawberries for the pictures. At least I didn’t eat them. Now who wants to move in with me??? I might even share some of the fruit of my kitchen experimentation…

Neapolitan parfait_4

Neapolitan Oatmeal Parfait [vegan and gluten-free*]

  • 1/3  cup of quick oats*
  • 1 tsp of chia seeds
  • 1 cup of water, non-dairy milk [I used soy] or a mix
  • sweetener to taste [I used about four to five drops of vanilla stevia]
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla [if not using vanilla stevia]
  •  1/3 cup of strawberries
  • 1 tsp of dark cocoa
  • 1/4 cup of soy yogurt
  • 1/4 cup of puffed/ crispy amaranth
  • fresh donut peach, chopped

 

  1. Start by preparing your oatmeal by cooking it in milk or water with a pinch of salt. Stir in stevia or sweetener of choice as well as some of the amaranth and set aside to let cool slightly.
  2. Pour the yogurt into a tall jar.
  3. Mash half of the strawberries and stir into half of the oatmeal portion. Fold in the remaining chopped strawberries.
  4. Mix cocoa into the remaining oatmeal.
  5. Start assembly by pouring the yogurt into your jar. Add the strawberry oatmeal.
  6. Sprinkle some amaranth on top before adding the cocoa oatmeal.
  7. Top with chunks of peach. Sprinkle the remaining amaranth on top and serve!

Note:

*use certified gluten-free oats if needed.

Linking up with Laura, Kierston, Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Naturally Sweet Tuesday, Gluten-free WednesdaysGluten-Free & DIY Tuesdays and The Weekend re-Treat Link Party.

Neapolitan parfait 9

Happiness inducing today: Picking up a good new book from the library.

Stay in touch!

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

 

Any roommate applications ;)?

Are/ were you a good roommate?

If you’ve had breakfast parfaits before: what did you add?

What are some of your favourite non-berry summer fruits? I didn’t discover donut peaches until about two years ago and now don’t want to miss out on them anymore.

 

 

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Con-fusing definitions [Kidney Bean Pot Pie with Mashed Parsnip Topping]

First things first: I’m glad many of you like the idea of a Blogger Birthday Calendar! Just so I can work on it [further, that is, as I already got started] please let me know your birth date in the comments of yesterday’s post if you’d like to be included. What’s not to like about birthday wishes from all over the [blog] world?!

Let’s talked [confusing] defintions! In case you’re really busy and just want to see the recipe you’re excused to skip to the bottom of this post right away. If, like me, you enjoy some random musings in a recipe post join me in my ponderings.

bite

While taking the first bites of this dish I wondered how I personally defined strange but good. It’s [obviously] never an inedible dish but just something I wouldn’t serve to my parents [or any other family member for that matter]. Granted, they are interested in new foods and dishes but at the same time consider oat bran [not kidding!] strange already so … there you go. Who knows what my dad would think of Indian-German fusion dishes? I’d rather not try to avoid creating memories or running gags of the “do you remember the time* when you served us that weird food?!”

Bean Bake

*Michael Jackson reference totally unintended but not unwelcome

The next definition confusion: Know that when I’ using the term ‘fusion cuisine’ I actually have no idea what the exact definition is. Usually being Miss proof-read-and-check-everything-twice when it comes to work I’m letting loose of my need to control everything on the blog. That being said my definition of fusion cuisine is met by just combining elements of different styles of cooking. Mashed potatoes [Kartoffelpüree] are typically German to me, the spices in the kidney bean part are Indian-inspired – ergo: fusing two cuisines. Simple. Wrong or right? Feel free to let me know if you’re familiar with these terms.

Fusion

Vegan Kidney Bean Pot Pie with Mashed Parsnip Topping

  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • ½ cup kidney beans (100 g)
  • ½ cup passata/tomato sauce
  • ¾ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • coconut oil for frying
  • optional: 4-5 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and chopped
  • 4-5 brussels sprouts, outer leaves removed and quartered
  • Scant ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • Garlic + onion powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the beans:

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion until translucent.
  2. sprinkle in the spices. Turn the heat down to medium and carefully toast the spices for about two minutes. Don’t walk away or you might burn them.
  3. Mix in the kidney beans and sauté for about two to three minutes.
  4. Add the passata and let simmer for five more minutes. Lightly mash some of the kidney beans to create a creamier texture.
  5. Layer the kidney bean sauce into a small casserole dish. Add the mushrooms on top if using.

For the mashed parsnips:

  1. Add parnsips and Brussels sprouts to a small pot and add just enough water to cover them. Cook until tender.
  2. Pour in almond milk and blend [I used an immersion blender] until not completely smooth but leaving parts of the Brussels sprouts whole.
  3. Season to taste with garlic and onion powder*, salt and pepper.
  4. Spoon the mashed parsnips on top of the kidney bean mixture. Smoothen out the top.
  5. Bake the covered casserole in the preheated oven [375°F] for 20-25 minutes.

*I find tastes vary hugely so my advice would be to start by adding just a sprinkle of garlic powder and 1/4 tsp of onion powder for a start. Then season to taste.

Seeing this as a spin on the classic American pot pie I noticed just now that I’m writing this post that I actually fused three cuisines. An American/German/Indian fusion dish? Should we call it a multicultural taste experience?! I’ll let Laura and Kierston – as well as you – be the judges :). I’m also linking up with Healthy Vegan Friday for the first time.

Happiness inducing today: Many wonderful happening that almost made me forget today (Friday) [or todmorrow – depening on what time you’re reading this] is my last day at the newspaper.

Have you ever fused two cuisines? Which ones and how?

Are you a fact-checker or relaxed about terms, definitions and spelling? I’m usually really finicky about it and my colleagues and family are simultaneously glad and scared when asking me to proof-read any texts they’ve written. Knowing I’ll be deeply honest and hard in my criticism.

Winner, winner, kale for dinner [Kale Surprise Pastry]

Trust me I’ve spent quite a while pondering what to tell you about this dish only to come to the conclusion that a) nothing will do it justice in anyway [yes, I’m that excited to share it], b) it [hopefully] doesn’t matter in anyway as you’re going to skip right down to the recipe in anyway [why are you still reading??] and c) a glance at the time tells me I should finally get writing :D.

with sauce

Until now my  simply when I couldn’t stop thinking about it resulting in multiple repeats in a short amount of weeks. Take the Hummus Bake for example: I can’t even remember how often I’ve had it the first time after coming up with the recipe let alone in total. The downside of living alone was that I had no additional taste testers. But on the upside I didn’t have to worry about disappointing others when a recipe idea didn’t work out. Now that I’m temporarily back at my parents’ and take over dinner responsibility once a week it’s a new level of difficulty. My parents have no worries voicing their disapproval of any dish I prepare especially regarding its vegan-ness.  Note that my parents are far from big meat eaters but actually eat a lot of accidentially vegan food like vegetable stir-fries or … Conclusion: it only turns into dangerously vegan food once it comes explicitly labeled as such.

Kale Pastry

same would be true for nutritious food coming under the guise of being healthy. Needless to say I’m not advertising my dishes touting the high Vitamin C content of kale, singing the protein praises of chickpeas or proclaiming the anti-inflammatory benefits of onions. For all of you interested in these facts, though, rejoice that this dish isn’t just absolutely tasty but you can feel virtuous eating it if that’s how you roll ;).

Pastry

There wasn’t any need to worry with this dish, though. As soons as they’d had one bite of the flaky pastry, smoky spicy filling and creamy sauce they were won over. The kale was a surprise hit with my parents hence the name of the recipe. As mentioned in my What I ate Wednesday post my parents are only now discovering the versatility of kale through our family dinners. Does that make up for my bad blogger behaviour in terms of neither being fond of snack bars nor salads? I hope Gigi won’t mind me applying as a spokesperson at the National Kale Board ;).

kale_dinner

Kale Surprise Pastry

  • 5 sheets phyllo dough
  • 6 cups kale, chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed, then mashed
  • 2 heaped tablespoons raisins
  • 2 tbsps fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup soy creamer [I used Alpro Soya; might work with any other kind of unsweetened non-dairy creamer or real cream]

For the sauce:

  • coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 medium red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 cup minus 1 tbsp soy creamer [100 ml]
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Sauté the onion in coconut oil until slightly browned. Add the garlic and sauté another 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the chopped kale and sauté until wilted.
  3. While the kale is cooking arrange the phyllo dough sheets in a greased springform pan so they’re overlapping.
  4. When the kale is wilted, stir in the mashed chickpeas, raisins, lemon juice and spices.
  5. Mix in soy cream and adjust seasonings if needed.
  6. Transfer the filling into the springform pan and enclose the pastry by using the parts of the dough overlapping on the sides of the pan.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes at 375 °F/175 °C.

For the sauce: Sauté the bell peppers in  coconut oil in a small pot. Add some water or broth and simmer covered until soft. Blend with the soy creamer and season to taste.

with sauce

I’m not entirely sure how many this would serve. Served with  three of us easily polished it off with no crumb left behind but if we all have pretty big appetites so I guess it’d serve four ‘normal’ people. Or two kale fiends …

If you’re not keen on kale [but also if you are] visit Kierston’s blog for more Recipe Friday deliciousness.

Happy Friday!

Happiness inducing today: A pleasantly busy day at work.

 

Tell me about your favourite kale recipes!

What’s your surefire sign a newly developped recipe has passed the ultimate taste test?

Pastinake not pasta [Parsnip Lasagna]

Sometimes I wonder what the blog world has done to me – or more precisely my mind when it comes to recupe creating. But to let you in on my thoughts a little more I’ll begin at the beginning, okay? In an effort to use up as much produce as possible [sounds familiar 😉 ?] before leaving for my grandparents’ house for Christmas I had to come up with some meals to use them in. My initial idea was a vegetable lasagna simply chopping up every vegetable in sight and add it to the sauce part of the dish.

Pasta-naken

But when I started rummaging through my impressive vegetable stash I realized a sauce could only host so many veggies until becoming a stew. Add in that I didn’t have any lasagna sheets at hand and spaghetti [the only kind of pasta I did have] just wouldn’t have quenched my cravings. Spotting some of my favourite winter vegtables – parsnips – my mind quickly changed into strange but good mode and got spinning.

Dish_parsnip

Thinking about it maybe it’s not just Laura’s influence on my recipe creations but also the name of the vegetable itself. Pastinaken as they are called in German sounds similar enough to pasta[-naken], no? Yes, totally not what I thought initially but it came to mind when I took the first bites and laughed at myself for not trying it any earlier. Parsnips as a sub for the pasta layers: why not?*

* here’s to hoping I either don’t have any Italian readers or – preferably – none that will get mad at me for daring to present a pasta-less lasagna. Dear Italians: I like pasta [almost] as much as you, promise.

Parsnip_layer

You’ll notice this recipe – unlike my others – is not vegan. That’s because I still consider myself a vegan with benefits and couldn’t pass up the cottage cheese when it was on special offer recently. Yet another impulse purchase with no idea on how to use it in mind. Some things will never change. However, I’d seen recipe for cottage cheese lasagna before and got curious.

Cottage cheese

The verdict: Pretty good. The cheese added a unique and very interesting texture – and you know that’s a key criterion for me – as well as creaminess to the dish without being too heavy like other kinds of cheese or bechamel sauce – and way faster [hello, impatience]!  Give it a try if you haven’t yet. And parsnips as ‘lasagna sheets’? Awesome. Flavourful. And once more an exciting texture element. That’s all I have to say.

Parsnip Cottage Cheese Lasagna

Sauce:

  • 200 g carrots, chopped into half-moons
  • 150 g zucchini [a small to medium one]
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • about a 1/4 tsp each smoked paprika, oregano, thyme [season to taste]
  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped or onion powder
  • salt + pepper
  • 150 g passata [a scant 3/4 cup]
  • 1/4 cup chickpeas
  • 1 small parsnip [100 g], sliced thinly into rounds
  • 100 g mushrooms, sliced
  • 115 g (1/2 cup) cottage cheese, mixed with 1/4 tsp dried basil
  1.  For the sauce: If using fresh onion [recommended] sauté in a small sauce pan until translucent. Add the carrots and sauté covered for about 3-4 minutes. Add the zucchini and spices [onion powder if using it, too], stir-frying so the zucchini and carrots get browned a little.
  2. Pour in the passata and mix in the chickpeas.
  3. To assemble: Layer mushrooms into the bottom of a casserole dish. Add a layer of sauce. Top with about half of the cottage cheese.
  4. Layer parsnips on top. Cover with the remaining sauce and cottage cheese. It’s important to end with tomato sauce to avoid burning/drying out the cottage cheese.
  5. Bake covered for about 25 minutes at 350 °F.

Pastinaken-Lasagne

Trust me when I say this one’s not too strange to appeal to ‘normal’ eaters, either. Just maybe don’t call it lasagna but simply parsnip bake in that case. Or do however you like – because who’s listening to recommendations in anyway? I recommend, however, that you take a look at some more recipe inspiration over at Kierston’s and Laura’s for some more food fun on this fine Friday*.

* my fondness of alliterations is a well-known fact by now and I’m okay with that.

Happiness inducing today: A rainy weather run after two rest days over Christmas.

Are you a fan of parnips? What’s your favourite way to use them? Have you ever tried cottage cheese in lasagna?

Cobbled times two [Tomato Cobbler with Rosemary Biscuits]

Delayed by a week as I said I’d publish this recipe last Friday already – but lack of internet access and not scheduling it advance got in between. Trying to not let it become a full week I decided to actually post it on Thursday already. Once more I’ll be linking up with both Kierston’s Recipe Friday and Laura’s Strange but good shenanigans. Any guesses on the strangeness already?

Why not do things differently once in a while? Usually, I try a recipe, call it a creation if it turns out successful, then post a picture for What I ate Wednesday and … let it rest. Needless to say there are times when I find it a little hard to remember every ingredient used and every step included. So why not write this post right after I ate a great creation of my own?! Okay, not right after as I had it for lunch and now that I’m sitting down to write it dinner time has passed. But you know what I mean …

Tom. Cobbler

Anyway, this dish was still part of my use-up challenge and in fact the best recipe [subjective judgement but it’s my blog so I’m allowed to break journalistic rules every now and then] I came up with while making a dent into my produce stash. Shameful to admit but when taking stock of what I had on hand I somehow overlooked a clamshell of cherry tomatoes. By the time I noticed they were on their last legs begging to be used – and I happily obliged. Coincidentially, I’d come across a delightful looking yet not vegan dish calling for cherry tomatoes just a few days earlier. A dish I couldn’t get out of my mind again: tomato cobbler topped with cheese biscuits.

Cobbler

Are you wondering about the title of this post? Simple as this: the dish itself is a cobbler which is something I’d never had before so I cobbled together a recipe of my own. Loosely based on the pictures I’d looked at but deviating from the recipes because I was too indecisive in which one to follow so I didn’t read any of them. Typical.

Tomato Cobbler

The biscuits are were it gets strange but good. Instead of your average shortening-laden biscuits I used a trick I once read somewhere and subbed some banana. Trust me: if you follow my notes you’ll be surprised at how well it works. Truth, these are nowhere near as fluffy as other biscuits. But they do add that satisfying carb-y element no dish is complete without  – or maybe that’s just me …

Tomato Cobbler with Cheesy Rosemary Biscuits

  • 1 clamshell [250 g] cherry tomatoes
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced into rings
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsps balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas
  • salt, pepper
  • fresh basil

For the biscuits

  • 1/4 cup of oatmeal, ground into flour
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour
  • 1/2 tbsp peanut flour or sub with more oat flour
  • 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 ounce of banana – unripe [see notes]
  1. Sauté the onion until caramlized. Add in garlic and cook for two more minutes.
  2. Add in the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, stirring to coat. Let cook on medium-high heat for a few minutes. Watch the pot as not to burn and stir frequently, adding in water or vegetable broth if ingredients are starting to stick to the pan.
  3. Mix in as much freshly chopped basil as you like. I prefer a heavy hand on fresh herbs so add a lot.
  4. Add chickpeas.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. While the vegetables are cooking, prepare your biscuits.
  7. Mix all dry ingredients. Mash in the banana with a fork to form a dough.
  8. Divide the dough into four equal pieces, roll into balls and flatten a little.
  9. Transfer the vegetables to a casserole dish and bake in the preheated oven at 350 °F for about 15 minutes.
  10. Place the biscuits on top of the tomatoes and bake for another 15 minutes.
cobbled

Notes:

The banana should ideally be unripe and have as little sweetness as possible. That’s because you’ll want to avoid a distinctive banana flavour in this savoury recipe. Sub for cold coconut oil for a richer taste.

Happy Thursday or – if you’re reading this later – happy [add in day that you’re reading it on]!

Happiness inducing today: Lots of great tunes on the radio while I was driving.

 

What was the last dish you cobbled together?

Tell me the strangest or most unusual way you used bananas before!  Keep it clean, people – we’re talking recipes only :D.

Have you ever had a savoury cobbler before?

 

Stay in touch!
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

Merken

Talking textures [Roasted Vegetable Casserole]

It’s ridiculous: just about every time carrots are on sale I used to pick up a bag only to end up not using them fast enough. As somebody who hates to waste food this irked me a lot so I’ve gotten better at resisting. Growing up I ate a lot of carrots* – just like about every child, I assume? – but the older I got and the more variety I brought into my diet the less frequent they became for me. When it comes to adding a vegetable to whichever dish I’m least likely to opt for good old carrots. Sad but true. Don’t judge!

*which funnily are called quite a number of different names in Germany: Mohrrüben, Möhrchen, Karotten, Wurzeln, …

sprinkled

And that’s where my use-up challenge came in ever so handy. Somehow I’d not only been lured into buying a week-only offer of yellow carrots but also a bag of the regular kind in the organic grocery. After last week’s curry I once more got out the blender to turn the carrots into puree. Not intentionally, though, as I’d originally planned to finally try maple-glazed carrots. But when the roasted vegetables from my weekend meal prep already lend some bite to the dish I needed to have a different texture for the carrots. Yes, I always need at least one ingredient offering some “chew” and one creamy component to be fully satisfied after a meal. The more textures, the merrier. In this case: the crispy, chewy [in the best way!] vegetables, starchy [for lack of a better word] roasted chickpeas,  creamy but still a little chunky carrots and smooth bell pepper sauce to top it off.

Roasted Vegetable Casserole

This is a very variable recipe in that you can use whichever vegetables you want. I noticed I’m actually a huge fan of twice-baked cauliflower and zucchini are a vegetable I liked to have on hand most days, too. Roasted chickpeas are a snack favourite of mine so I figured why not add some in, too?! Use whichever spices you feel like to switch things up to your liking.

dish

Did I mention we were talking lackluster, horribly lit pictures of delicious food today? Well, in case I forgot: there you go. I could excuse myself with the truth that my dentist’s appointments happened to be at the worst time ever. Just so untimely I couldn’t have lunch and at that take pictures of it before and came home when the sun had almost disappeared completely again. But you wouldn’t want to hear that, huh ;)?! So I’ll let the pictures do the talking words do the convincing because yes: this is good. Just trust me.

Roasted Vegetable Casserole with Creamy Carrot Puree and Red Pepper Sauce

  • roasted vegetables: you could use any kind of odds and ends you have on hand – for me these were zucchini and cauliflower [amounts once more depend on your preference]
  • 1/2 cup + 2-3 tbsps of chickpeas, divided
  • 150 g carrots, chopped, steamed and pureed – I decided to not completely blend it but leave a few chunks for [yes!] texture purposes
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • oil of choice for sautéing
  • 1/4 cup of soy milk
  • 1 generous tsp of coconut butter
  • 1/2 tbsp of chopped parsley [I used frozen]
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper
  • topping: 2-3 tbsps puffed amaranth (unsweetened) mixed with 1 tbsp nutritional yeast

 

  1. Mix the 1/2 cup of chickpeas with your vegetables, tossing them in your oil of choice plus nutritional yeast, garlic and any spices you like. I used about 1/4 tsp each smoked paprika and cumin. Roast for about 30 minutes at 350 °F.
  2. Roast the bell pepper at the same time. Let it cool and then peel. The roasting process can be done a day ahead like I did for speedier prep the day of casserole assembly.
  3. Add the oil to a small pot and sauté the onion and garlic. Mix in the carrot puree, soy milk, coconut butter, parsley and remaining chickpeas. Let cook for a few minutes to heat through.
  4. Meanwhile blend the roasted pepper with 5 tbsps of water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Transfer the carrot puree to a small casserole dish.
  6. Add the roasted vegetables and spread the bell pepper sauce on top. Sprinkle with amaranth topping and bake for about 20-25 minutes at 350 °F.

Roasted veg

Oh, and Laura and Kierston: I might still not have the whole meal planning thing down but I already have a recipe to share for next week’s link-ups. Are you proud of my dedication ;)?!

Happiness inducing today: Receiving a letter from a blend :).

 

Does anybody else need to have as many different textures as possible in one dish?

Which foods – not necessarily produce – did you ate a lot of growing up? Do you still eat them frequently?

What are your favourite carrot recipes?