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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking back [with food]

Two What I ate Wednesdays in a row? I’m surprising myself here but I really think these weekly food parties are a great way of keeping myself accountable in terms of changing up my meals and inspiring new creations. Today’s edition of looking back at how things have changed over the past years came about thanks to yesterday’s snack. You’ll see what I mean in a minute …

WIAW_new2015

Excuse the older picture of breakfast because a) I’m a repeat offender and b) while changing my go-to mixture and the toppings up lately I’m not up for taking pictures early in the day. Only you didn’t see the most important ingredient yet: nutritional yeast. It’s key. Heavy-handed is the only serving size here. What you see below is just the tame need-to-take-a-picture sprinkling …

savoury oatmeal_nutritional yeast_breakfast

Looking back: Upon first trying it I thought nutritional yeast – no, I won’t call it nooch – tasted … weird. Never in a million years would I have believed I’d become downright obsessed with it. Sometimes people ask me for my favourite uses and honestly? Cover everything in it. Or at least every savoury dish.

Because I got a last minute call asking if I could sub in for another teacher at the studying institute I had approximately 15 minutes to get ready and pack some snacks. Two of those minutes were spent trying to take a picture. #bloggerpriorities  Aside from an apple [role model for the students, obviously ;)], chocolate [nerves!] I quickly threw together a little salad to go. Salad? Me? I know. Totally untypical. My opinion on the piles of leafy greens hasn’t changed. Actually, you might not call this a salad per definition. What I did was quickly sauté some cauliflower rice with chickpeas [always!],.tomatoes and green olives. Seasoned with salt, pepper and Italian herbs. Simple but delicious.

Cauliflower rice salad_snack_tupper

Looking back:  Several years ago this would have been lunch. The amount times three or four maybe. But still: carbs? Hardly any. While it satisfied me in the snack department and until I got home to have a proper lunch yesterday it’d never have been a substantial enough lunch. Eat your vegetables but don’t forget grains, potatoes or your favourite kind of starch, either.

Speaking of grains: Let’s talk rice! Short-grain brown rice, to be specific. I’m not a fan of white rice – the one my parents prefer and have on the regular – so for a long time it was couscous, bulgur, polenta, wheatberries or any other grain for me but never rice. Then I had my first taste of short-grain brown rice and it was the beginning of a love story. Or along those lines. Either way, the even more exciting part of lunch was the return of my cooking mojo. For some reason, I haven’t felt too inspired to get creative in the kitchen the past weeks. On the weekend, however, the mood was on. Say hi to my wannabe-Indian food: Cauliflower Chana Masala. This. Was. So. Amazing. So much so I figured I’d share the recipe with you. Be back on Friday if you like cauliflower, Indian food and quick meals.

Cauliflower Chana Masala_chickpeas_rice
Looking back: It’s funny to think how much things can change. Like I said ## macros are not a concern for me ## yet I can’t deny that there still is a fear holding me back from certain foods – including grains. It’s always been all about calories for me and grains are naturally denser in nutrients than, say, vegetables. See the cauliflower example above. I’m working on increasing my amounts of grains and all I can say is it’s a newfound obsession. I’ve been batch-cooking brown rice these past weeks and: can’t stop. Won’t stop.

Cauliflower Chana Masala_chickpeas_rice_2

Ending on a sweet note – that one will probably never change for me. Rather than talk about my daily chocolate, though, how about changing things up seasonally today? Ice cream. If you caught my post last Thursday you’ll know about the decision I made. And if you’re on Instagram you might have also heard of #pintpartyfriday before. Long story short: I bought my first pint of ice cream in for-ev-er. Or at least in a year and that’s essentially the same thing. After years of getting cherry 90 % of the times I’d buy ice cream at scoop stores now mango is my go-to. This organic mango sorbet didn’t disappoint.

Ice cream_mango sorbet

Looking back: It was amazing to just scoop it out of the tub rather than measuring a serving beforehand like I used to do. I’ll admit I didn’t eat the whole pint but that’s because I was satisfied before and there’s no point in forcing down food we don’t enjoy anymore merely to reach a calorie target. One day I might eat a pint. Or maybe I never will – this is what intuitive eating means to me.

And with that I’m off to grab a snack …

Happy [What I ate] Wednesday!

Happiness-inducing today: Walking through the garden and enjoying the beauty of the flowers all around.
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How have your views on food changed in the past years/months?

Have you ever eaten a whole pint of ice cream before? I don’t remember doing it pre-ED, either, but the idea of a pint just to myself? I could get used to it.

 

Bowl-ing in Berlin again – the intuitive way

It’s time to talk about food again! But before we get to The pictures I feel like I should open up more again. As long-time readers will know I’m in recovery from an eating disorder and have been for far too long already. While I’ve made noticable progress since starting my blog these past months have shown me how much I still need to work on reestablishing a healthy relationship with food. It’s only become that much more apparent in my current situation. Traveling has proven to help once before and it did again this time. That realisation alone is huge for me because it was leaving my routine that scared [and still scares] me the most. Yet it’s true that growth occurs outside our comfort zones. And it can be delicious growth as today’s What I ate Wednesday will [at least partially because we know I never manage to take pictures of every meal and snack I eat] show. Thanks to Jenn as well the Vegan Wednesday team for coming up with awesome parties catering every blogger’s food curiosity.

WIAW_new2015

Breakfast went unpictured and not as planned. The reason? My train was leaving at shortly past 8 AM with a 45 minute drive to the station. Safe to say that being the polar opposite of a morning person I wasn’t keen on getting up even earlier than I already had to rush down breakfast. The solution? Trusty old Tupperware. While not really meal-prepping I’ve been pre-cooking brown rice to have on hand for quick meals lately. So short-grain brown rice with shredded carrots, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas and fresh parsley it was. Only it wasn’t a timely breakfast. Thanks [or not] to a major soccer game taking place in Berlin that day – and me obviously being completely unaware … – the train was more than crowded. Long story short: I spent 1 1/2 hours standing and NOT eating.

Tupper lunch_wheatberries_stir-fry[No picture of my actual breakfast but it was similar to this recent lunch]

Luckily, everything was forgotten when I arrived at my aunt’s appartment. And here’s where relaxation set in out of the blue again. Unexpectedly, my aunt and her boyfriend hadn’t had breakfast yet, either, so invited me to join them. Previously: anxiety!  This time, I ate my prepped meal plus some of their spread, too. Because that’s what intuitive [read: normal] eating includes. For somebody like me used to control just about every morsel the change was incredibly freeing. I’ll admit I still roughly track my calories in my head – it’s not as easy to give up as macros – throughout the day. However, by far not as strictly as in previous years.

Whenever I take a trip and leave my daily grind, though, I’ve noticed myself naturally becoming more intuitive in the way I eat [hence the title]. Whatever is the reason for this, I’m embracing it because regaining an intuitive way of living is my ultimate recovery goal.

Blueberries

After strolling around on a flea market, sharing a pint of blueberries [served up in a bowl] and chatting we set out to have lunch. Inspired by somebody on Instagram I’d taken notice of a new restaurant that had opened up just a few weeks ago. The Bowl – as the name suggests – serves clean [I don’t like to associate this term with food but it’s their self-description] vegan food exclusively in bowls. No sugar, gluten or any other nasties. Just delicious real food.

Needless to say I was in from the very first moment. I wish they provided their full menu online because the descriptions of every item sound too good to be true. Picking a bowl*proved to be way more difficult than expected because trust me you’d have wanted to order everything, too! How could you not with items like cashew cheese – covered Brussels sprouts, beet carpaccio or pink kimchi?

Clearly, going to Berlin means breaking out the bowls for me.

The Bowl Berlin_Mexican bowl

Ultimately, I reminded myself I could come back again and chose the Mexican Bowl Just a funny recovery note: I dismissed one bowl right away because it sounded like it was lacking carbs.Not too long ago that exactly would have made me pick it. These days? No way. Even not working out I know I need my grains for energy and – despite not counting macros – they are packed with wonderfully satisfying carbs.  My bowl containing a brown/wild rice blend, Mexican beans, grilled corn on the cob, guacamole, homemade tomato cilantro salsa, some kind of unknown dip [delicious!].  As well as a side of [refined sugar-free] ketchup and mixed greens with a creamy avocado dressing.

The Bowl Berlin_Mexican Bowl_close-up

No dinner picture because we just kept having random bits and bites – including an impromtu tomato soup [another meal from eaten from  a bowl], crackers, chocolate and fruit – throughout the evening due to our fairly late lunch. Instead, I’m offering you my aunt’s choice at the restaurant: the Falafel Bowl. Beet falafel, cashew cheese sauce, raw tabbouleh, turmeric chickpeas with miso hummus, fried eggplant and carrots as well as the complementary mixed greens.

[Snacks escaped the camera again, too, but be assured there were plenty. ]

The Bowl Berlin_Falafel bowl

All in all, this short trip enhanced my happiness level to the max and got me excited for recovery. Which sounds a little ridiculous typed out but oh well. I’ve already written half a novel of a WIAW post here so if you’re curious to hear more recovery rambles be back tomorrow.

Happy [What I ate] Wednesday!

Happiness-inducing today: Spotting an article by a friend of mine currently interning at a huge national news agency in our local newspaper. Even if it wasn’t me I’m super excited about seeing his name in print.
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What’s your favourite bowl [as in: combination of ingredients in a bowl]?
Do you consider yourself an intuitive eater?

A weekend of traveling in food, rants and recovery rambles

Long time no talk or so it feels. Not to wish any days away but rather, I’d like to rewind to the weekend right now. I already alluded to my plans for it ever so slightly in Sunday’s post but today’s the day to talk about it a little more. Because while I can’t actually turn back time and experience it once more there’s a least the chance to use What I ate Wednesday and Vegan Wednesday to reflect back on the good food eaten.

WIAW_new2015

As if I wasn’t snack-savy enough already train journeys bring out that side of me even more. Yes, tell me about how boredom eating isn’t healthy but you can’t deny that a journey of ~ six hours can get quite tiring and require some fuel. Even if most of the time is spent sitting and trying to ignore the annoying part of your fellow travellers. Dear parents, I know you think your children are the cutest ever but other people would agree much more if your little ones weren’t throwing fits in what  is a designated ‘silent’ wagoon. Okay, rant over. At least this way the attention was elsewhere and I got to snack on my favourites without any unwanted stares. Not that a stranger igiving me the looks would keep me from eating peanut butter on the train, though … Why, yes, I did. With a clean spoon I brought myself.

Bei Simone und in Pisselberg_April_Mai 181

And while I’m not usually into fake meats traveling has always been an exception to rules. Traveling down memory lane for a second here my mum would buy Müller split pots, mini sausages [back then not vegetarian], overly sweetened yogurts and other elsewise deemed unhealthy fare. Oh the joys! These days, I don’t miss  most of these foods. The snack sausages, however, have made a comeback – vegan, obviously. I’m not sure if they actually taste like meat because it’s been more than a decade since my last taste of it but they are a decidedly spicy and savoury snack in their own right.

Bei Simone und in Pisselberg_April_Mai 173

Breakfast on the day I travelled was another bowl of savoury oatmeal. It’s still a favourite going strong and I don’t see myself changing it up too soon. Aside from the break while at my cousin’s house. Oatmeal, yes, but savoury? That seemed a little too unsual – yes, I admitted it – for the one full day I spent there, though.

Savoury oatmeal_April

In case you’re wondering about lunch on Friday: it was the assortment of snacks pictured above plus some oatmeal I’d brought along on the train. Or that part of oatmeal that didn’t spill … fail.

Dinner that night … was the biggest challenge but also proudest [recovery] moment for me. Like I mentioned above I was hungry despite sitting for hours prior to my arrival at my cousin’s house. Originally, I’d expected her to be the classic bread-and-spreads for dinner person but she greeted me saying a hot dinner was waiitng for us when she picked me up at the station. But then I gave myself an inner mini pep talk because: What’s the point in sticking with the dinner you can eat every day if you get the chance of expanding your tastebuds with a dinner … ? Needless to say, I decided to face my fears [and yes, writing it out makes me feel ridiculous] and eat.

Bei Simone und in Pisselberg_April_Mai 140

Long story short: my cousin – about 95 % vegan and talented in the kitchen – had prepared a vegan stir-fry made from cauliflower ‘rice’, red cabbage, carrots and other vegetables fried in sesame oil and spiced with a generous amount of fresh ginger – delicious! Sides were brown rice [the best kind], a tahini sauce and fresh mango. Literally one of those dishes you can’t stop eating – and I didn’t. What’s even better is that my cousin used a [new-to-me] blogger’s recipe – so I can have it again at home. A winner for sure.

While I try to keep recovery posts to a minimum here for a few reasons this one was worth mentioning: my cousin – knowing about my ‘issues’ with food – commented saying she was surprised by how much I ate. Anybody in recovery will relate to the fact that’s one of those things not to say to people in recovery but this time I actually took it as a compliment. Traveling and eating food prepared by others are sadly still struggles for me. Yet this little weekend getaway proved all is not lost and I can work my way out and up there again.

Lindt

… and I obviously ended the night on some chocolate. [recycled picture, though].  Because that’s another one of those habits I don’t see going anywhere soon.

Now that was one unintentionally wordy post and if you made it until here: thanks for reading. Don’t miss out on everybody else’s delicious creations!

 

 

Happiness-inducing today: Reflecting on the weekend and realizing how much better than expected the weekend went.
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Which foods do you pack for long travel journeys/road trips?

The mango lottery: Does you agree it exists? Or any other kind of fruit that has a 50/50 chance of being hit or miss?

 

 

 

 

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?

 

Very vegan at Vengo and with Vivani

Why is it always so incredibly hard to start a post??? How about this: it’s a happy day, the sun is [hopefully as I’m writing this the night before] shining and we’re about to talk about food! What a surprise on the day of the week that combines both the What I ate Wednesday and Vegan Wednesday shenanigans. Oh well, at least I didn’t even pretend I was feeling the creative intros today. (:

* a note on that title: I was no paid by either the restaurant or the company [see further down below] but I’m a sucker for alliterations. Sue me.

 

WIAW_new2015

Can we take a moment to appreciate the fact I ate out again? I wasn’t expecting to return to Vengo this soon again but Monday saw me and my mum spontaneously meeting up in Bremen again. I wish I lived there! Not just for the food but because we spent some time touring the city and it’s really beautiful. I might just need to take some time to sort through the 384756746 pictures I took and give you a little glimpse into our stroll. For now, however: food. Blogger food: hummus.

Bremen_Vengo_hummus_March 2015

Regarding the food, however, I was slightly disappointed. After my  last visit I had high expectations. Sadly, the Brussels Sprout and Beet Curry with turmeric rice was only sub-par. The taste was deliciously spicy but the vegetables were cooked to almost mushy consistency and that’s a huge minus in my books. Also, the amount of beets – not a favourite food of mine at all but I want to like them hence why I picked this dish – was lacking.

Bremen_Vengo_brussels sprout and beet curry_March 2015

My mum’s stuffed eggplant was infinitely more pleasant, though, so I can forgive that one low. I may ro may not have considered this my second plate and stolen more than one bite. My mum loves me for that ;). Clearly.

Bremen_Vengo_stuffed eggplant_March 2015

There was a reason today’s WIAW started with lunch because breakfast is about to get classy right here. Tupper-style. Going from breakfast phase to breakfast phase I can safely say the oatmeal kick is back. The past few months were decidedly savoury but these last weeks oatmeal has been the name of the game again. I can’t say I was complaining. Others would probably talk about how they craved carbs first thing in the morning but I prefer to see it this way: I crave sweet, filling and fluffy oats. With almond and peanut butter, please.

Oatmeal_tupper_blueberry sauce_almond butter

What has changed compared to my last long oatmeal-for-breakfast stint, though, is my preferred way of preparation or better yet way to enjoy it. Still cooked stovetop but  not eaten hot. Rather, I’m all about the mock overnight variety. Read: cook oatmeal with extra chia seeds, let cool down, put into the fridge overnight and have a delicious cold pudding-like concoction waiting for you in the morning. Try it! Along with nut butters I’ve been adding fruit sauces on top. Fresh berries might cost a small fortune but frozen are a decent enough sub.

Keeping up with my favourite endings I’d like to introduce you to a new discovery in my world*. Vivani is a German company making a genuine effort to broaden vegans choices on the chocolate market. Part of this are a number of snack-sized bars in enticing flavours. I’ll try to hunt down the other ones, too, but for now I can only speak about the White Nougat Crisp. Unlike you’d expect it’s not actually a white chocolate bar but has a delightful hazelnutty taste and creamy meltiness. It’s a huge difference from my usual choice of darker chocolate bars but quite good nonetheless. A bit too sweet for my taste so it might not become a regular purchase but the next time I’m craving a milk chocolate-like treat I know how to satisfy it. So if you’re vegan or lactose-intolerant longing for dairy chocolate this one’s for you!

* Disclaimer: I bought this chocolate bar with my own money and without the company’s kowledge of me mentioning it in my post. – or even knowing I purchased it altogether.  All opinions are my own.

Happiness-inducing today: My grandma being happy about me calling her after she had a rather exhausting day. It made me feel a tad guilty for not doing so more often.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
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How often do you eat out?

What is your favourite bar of chocolate? Details! Dark? Whole milk? White? Which add-ins or fillings?