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.

Stay in touch!

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

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pump[kin] up my lunches and cookies

Oh hey, a second What I ate Wednesday and Vegan Wednesday in a row!

Not making any promises of posting weekly meals again but I do plan on joining WIAW more regularly again. I’ve fallen into a rut, no, groove [stealing this from Amanda] and I need crave change. WIAW has proven to be a helpful tool of inspiration and positive pressure here before so fingers crossed I’ll be able to shake it off up again. Onto my recent still-in-the-groove meals, though.

WIAW_new2015

 

Let’s face it: office lunches are not glamorous. Unless you a) live in an awesome city with intriguing options [Whole Foods, Panera, Chipotle – none of which exist in Germany and certainly not where I live]. What’s a girl to do? Meal prep, right. I’ve actually gotten rather good at breaking this up over the course of the weekend in batch-cooking a different grain every week plus two stew-like dishes to go along with it. That would be casserole-y-fying for you. And yes, we’ll pretend that’s a word. Thanks.

Pumpkin cheese sauce

That above is the key to one of my favourite go-to dishes: a super simple – does anybody use the abbreviation KISS anymore??? If so: that’s the name of the game. – vegan pumpkin cheese sauce. I’ve had neither Velveeta nor Kraft mac and cheese before but rumor has it they tag along that ‘neon cheese sauce’ image so maybe I can compete here? Only this sauce contains a fraction of the ingredients of boxed kinds and healthy ones at that. It’s in fact not the first time this sauce is making an appearance on here but I somehow never shared the original recipe I used it in.  Given it’s a keeper I might just have to …

Office lunch_casserole_vegan pumpkin cheese sauce

This particular dish was a mix of sautéed carrots, cauliflower, red onions and kale with – what’s new? – chickpeas. All served up with short-grain brown rice I cooked separately and sprinkled with a generous amount of nutritional yeast. The non-glamorous way it looked after lugging it along to the office and reheating it …

20150211_office lunch

… and all non-tuppered packed up. I’m not a member of the Tupper club anymore – or at least not at the office. Granted, tuppered up has a nicer ring to it but I’m really fond of my new dishes.  They’re not actually new – but you’d have a very good memory if you remembered where they hail from – but I’ve been using them more than ever before these past months. A dish you can [but I didn’t this time] bake and store a dish in afterwards?! Plus, the vacuum is pretty amazing – that little ‘zipper’ you see peeking out at the left side top of the dish. No  accidentially lifting the dish up and spilling its contents because the lid wasn’t closed well enough …

casserole_dish

And because I like my sweet endings I’ll overlook the fact I did not like the picture and show you my latest tried-and-tested blogger recipe. Amanda’s vegan Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Cookies. I will admit I didn’t care so much for the actual baked cookies but a lot of dough eating quality control was necessary. In fact, I baked another batch shortly afterwards not only because one of my colleagues was really fond of them but because I was craving some dough. We can call it a win-win-situation and still consider it a selfless act on my part, agreed 😉 ?!

Amandas_banana chocolate chip cookies

And now that I’ve talked your ears off about pumpkin cheese, tupper vs. non-tupper dishes and the importance of quality control when baking I’m hungry and we can call it a day. Let’s chat about your recent meals a little below and as always: happy Wednesday!

Happiness-inducing today:  Starting the day with a new breakfast. It’s a first step to breaking the groove!

Stay in touch!

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

 

Have you ever made a pumpkin-based cheese sauce before? Let me know of any amazing recipes worth trying.

What’s your favourite kind of cookie dough? Yes, the dough, not the baked cookie. My favourite baked cookie [shortbread-based] differs from my favourite kind of cookie dough so I dare to say others are similar.

Are you a member of the Tupper club? And can we still be friends now that I’m not fully anymore???

 

 

 

It’s a wrap, no, a crêpe! [Savoury Chickpea Crespelle]

Thin chickpea crepes with a spicy tomato-based vegetable filling baked with a quick vegan cheese sauce.

Crespelle_inside

Do you notice a trend here? First chickpea dumplings, then snacking on these special little peas and now another recipe featuring them. It’s safe to say I wasn’t lying when talking about my favourite source of protein. As an added bonus the chickpea part in this recipe comes in the form of flour not whole peas. Meaning it’s gluten-free and [hopefully] even those of you with sensible stomaches can enjoy it.

Chickpea crepes

Like previous times this recipe was inspired by one I’ve eaten in my childhood multiple times. Pfannkuchen* were a childhood lunch classic on days we had a sweet main meal. My mum would prepare a lightly sweetened batter baking piles of either plain pancakes or adding thinly sliced apples when transferring the ladlefuls of batter to the pan. As we grew older and sweet main dishes became a less frequent happening my mum found a recipe for savoury stuffed crespelle with cheese and ham in a cooking magazine. For whichever reason I woke up a few days ago knowing exactly what I wanted for lunch: that dish. Only veganized. And using chickpea flour and… oh, well, a pinch of this and that letting it strain far from the original and become its own recipe. A recipe that doesn’t need to hide and therefore has to be shared.

* literally translated as ‘pancakes’ but the German variety is different from the American so I feel the translation is misleading

Crespelle_I

One more note: yes, the long ingredient list and preparation process might seem intimidating. But trust me that I’m just being overly detailed here and the dish actually came together in a pinch. Sooner than you know you’ll be able to say: It’s a wrap, no, crêpe!

Chickpea crêpes

Chickpea Crêpes with Spicy Tomato Filling and Vegan Cheese Sauce

Crêpes

  • • Scant ½ cup of chickpea flour [50 g]
    • Mixed with ½ cup of water
    • 1 tsp cumin seeds
    • Salt and pepper

Filling:

  • • 1 small red onion, diced
  • • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • • 1 small carrot, sliced into half-moons
  • • ½ a medium zucchini, sliced into smaller-than-half-moon pieces
  • • 150-200 g chopped tomatoes [canned] – about half a can
  • • ½ tsp oregano
  • • ¼ tsp dried basil
  • • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • • Salt + pepper to taste
  • • 2 tbsps of corn

vegan cheese sauce

  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tbsp cornstarch or 1 tsp locust bean/ carob gum
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • dash of garlic powder
  • dash of smoked paprika
  • 3/4 cup of unsweetened non-dairy milk [I used almond]

Start by preparing your crêpes:

  1. Mix the batter and set aside for about 10 minutes.
  2. Heat a non-stick skillet on medium heat.
  3. Pour a third of the batter into the skillet and tilt it in a circular motion to spread the batter out as much as possible. You’ll want to get the largest-sized crêpes possible for best filling but no perfection needed.
  4. Cook until the the center of the crêpe is bubbling and the edges pull away from the skillet slightly.
  5. Transfer the crêpe to a plate and proceed the cooking process with the remaining batter. I got three crêpes out of it but two will be perfectly fine, too.

For the filling:

  1. Sauté the onion for about two minutes, then add garlic and sauté for another minute.
  2. Add the carrots, after a few minutes the zucchini and sauté until lightly browned.
  3. Mix in the chopped canned tomatoes and corn.
  4. Stir in spices, let simmer for a bit. Meanwhile, prepare the cheese sauce.

 

For the cheese sauce:

  1. In a small pot combine the dry ingredients.
  2. Slowly pour in 3/4  cup of almond milk.
  3. Once you’ve prepared the crepes bring the sauce to a light boil on medium heat. Stir to prevent it from forming a skin.

To assemble place about 2 tablespoons of the filling on the outer edge of a crêpe. Roll up and transfer the crêpe to a small baking dish. Repeat the filling process with the remaining crêpes.

Put any remaining filling on top of the crêpes. Give the cheese sauce another good stir and pour it on top.
Bake at 175 °C for about 20 minutes or until the sauce has set and the crepes have started to crisp at the edges [so good!].

 

crespelle_salsa

Topped with salsa – not a bad idea if you’re asking me. Other not so bad ideas include hopping over to see what everybody else has created over for Laura’s Strange but Good link-up, Kierston’s Recipe Friday, Wellness Weekends and Healthy Vegan Fridays.

Enjoy your day!

Happiness inducing today: A nice chat with the fruit vendor at the Farmers’ Market.

Stay in touch!

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

 

Have you ever had crespelle or any kind of savoury crêpes?

Does anybody ever say “it’s a wrap”?