Montag, 15. September 2014

A real challenge... (Vegan MoFo #6)

Last week I had to attend a funeral. After having lived  a wonderful life my uncle had died at the age of 84. Traditionally, after the funeral itself, family and friends of the diceased perosn go to a restaurant and have coffee or a little snack.
Having just returned to vegansim, I didn't want to deal with asking my aunt for vegan food after the funeral, so I packed some nuts and muffins, just in case...
Well, we went to  nice little garden restaurant close to the graveyard and they served drinks and ... my vegan non-helal nightmare: Flammkuchen!
If you are not familiar with it: Flammkuchen is some kind of "French pizza", Dough, mostly yeast, is rolled out very thinly, spread with sour cream, then topped with onions and bacon. In the oven it gets very crispy and yummy. We were able to get a vegetarian variety for hubby and son (we do not eat any pork), but this vegetarian Flammkuchen was made with rucola and parmesan on top. It looked so good andsmelled heavenly, but I decided to stay with my nuts and muffin.
Today, I made a vegan Flammkuchen and it came out quite nice. Will try with rucola next time!

Flammkuchen, ready to go in the oven!

Here's some kind of recipe:
Prepare dough like you would for pizza, roll ou very, very thin.
Then mix about a cup of dairy-free cream (our sour cream, if available) with salt, pepper and a bit of broth powder and garlic powder, you want it to be really spicy!)
Slice two onions and sautee them in a little bit of water for some minutes. Finely dice some smoked tofu and fry it in a little oil.
Spread the sour cream on top of the dough, top with onions and tofu.
Place in the hot oven, lowest rack and bake for about fifteen minutes at 220 Celcius or 450 Fahrenheit till crispy and slightly browned on the edges. Grind some pepper on top and enjoy!

I wish you could smell that, soooo yummy!

Sonntag, 14. September 2014

Autumn Comfort Food (VeganMoFo #5)

Manage to save three dumplings from my husband!!

Autumn is just around the corner here in Germany, with rainy weather and colder temperatures. Time to revamp our weekly menu, ditch the salads and turn to soups and stews instead.
When rummaging through my pantry I found some soy chunks, so I decided to make vegan goulash. I have been wanting to make this for ages, but never found the time.
I have always loved a hearty goulash with potatoe dumplings (Knoedel) or noodles, but never cared much for the meat, the best was the sauce, with lots of onions and red pepper.
I had no real idea how to veganise this, but decided to give it a go.
I used soy chunks I bought online a while ago from Vegan Wonderland.  Due to some sad circumstances, this shop no longer exists, any suggestions for a good online shop?

Soy chunks, ready to be turned into goulash

I rehydred the chunk in some salty broth, chopped up some onions and garlic and proceeded like I would have with a "real" goulash:
Sautee the onions in some oil, add the paprika (2 Tbs) when the onions are translucent together with the garlic, then add the soy chunks and brown them in the oil.
When the soy chunks are nicely browned, add about two cups of broth, 2 bayleaves, salt, pepper and let it simmer for about 40 minutes. Then I added about 2 Tbs of soy sauce and checked for some more salt. I was pleasantly surprised, the taste was very close to the orignal. Ready to serve, with some dumplings. Dinner made me very happy that night!!

Mittwoch, 10. September 2014

Kids and Greens... (Vegan MoFo #4)

Sometimes I wonder why most people say their kids do not eat broccoli... In Germany, you get the impression that broccoli is the vegetable that kids hate the most. Here in our house, broccoli is the vegetable that everybody loves! So, here is the perfect combination: Pasta with a creamy broccoli sauce! Whenever I want dinner without fuss, this dish will be it.
Usually I prefer the sundried tomatoe sauce from "Isa does it", made from cashews, but this time I decided to try a new soy cream... not bad, but not as creamy as Isa's recipe.
It is so easy, just sautee some diced onions and garlic, add some diced dried tomatoes, next add the broccoli and a cup of vegetable broth, then let it simmer untill the broccoli is tender. Mix in a cup of  cream and season with salt and pepper. Done!
Serve with whole wheat pasta and a big salad. Easy-peasy weeknight dinner, love that!

Donnerstag, 4. September 2014

Carrots with a kick (VeganMoFo #3)

My favourite cookbook...

Recently I have purged the cookbooks in my kitchen. I gave some of them to friends, that kind of book that was lovely to look at but I never made any recipes from. Now I have only books left that I made at least two recipes from.
There is a bunch of cookbooks that I love especially: I bought them in Algeria or my husband brought them from family visits. ("What should I bring home from Algeria?" -"A new cookbook!")
They have no fancy photographs, expensive ingredients or witty writing. It's just recipes. They represent Algeria so well, a lovely country with down-to-earth people. No fuss, just good food.
This recipe is a real keeper: Very tasty, spicy and cheap. Carrots are always in seeason!

Carrots and garlic, it is that simple...

You'll need:
1 pound of carrots, cut into rounds (not to thin, about 5 mm)
5 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons canned tomatoes (or 1 grated tomatoe, as in the original recipe)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2/3 cup vegetable broth
salt, pepper
1 teaspoon harissa, or more, if you like it very spicy
2 tablespoons canola oil

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat, add carrots, tomatoe, garlic and 1/3 cup of broth and saute for 5 minutes. Add cumin, the rest of the broth, salt, pepper and harissa to taste and cook over medium-low heat until the carrots are tender. Serve with potatoes and a salad.
Leftovers are a wonderful addition to your lunchbox the next day.

Don't be afraid to add some Harissa!

Montag, 1. September 2014

Chinese dinner (VeganMoFo #2)

Don't you just love Asian supermarkets? All the wonderful veggies, fresh herbs like coriander and Thai basil, lots of ginger, spices and noodles. And rice. Of course...
Here's what I got today:

Pak choi, beansprouts, rice noodles, tofu, rice and orange mochi

And then I made dinner:

Seperate the pak choi leaves and wash them under running water. Fry some grated ginger and two or three dried red chilies in some oil, add the pak choi and let it wilt. Add about 1/4 cup of vegetable broth and some splashes of soy sauce. Cover and let it steam for a couple of minutes. Then add mushroom sauce,
4 tablespoons will do, and some more soy sauce. Add a handful (or more) beansprouts.

Mix 1/3 cup of watr with 1tablespoon of cornstarch and add to the pan. Stir to dissolve.
Taste for seasoning and serve with rice.