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Homemade vegan oliebollen with apple & cranberries for New Year's Eve!

There’s a first time for everything. I’m 42 but today I made oliebollen for the first time in my life. I used a vegan recipe from Lisette Kreischer’s cookbook Ecofabulous (which I was recently able to obtain as e-book), and replaced the raisins with cranberries — I’m still in a Wadden Island mood, where we spent Christmas!

We’re toasting here with blueberry wine while Juno is waiting for her chance to ‘catch’ a fritter. Can’t blame her, because they are yummy! :)

Wishing you all a very happy, compassionate and animal-friendly 2013!

Special thoughts tonight for my friend muizz who recently lost her father, and for WM who’s dad is also terminally ill. It’s hard to celebrate a new year when you know your loved one won’t be there to enjoy it with you. :(

The Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of book lovers on the web, blogging about bookish things of the past week, visiting each others weblogs, and oh — reading books of course ;)

Months ago, it must have been somewhere in spring, I suddenly had enough. I haven’t told you (really didn’t mean to keep it a secret! ;) but I quit all the challenges I’d subscribed to for 2012. Just like that, cold turkey, after having been an addict for years! ;)

Cookbook Challenge Button

Then came October… autumn. And Uniflame announced a two-month Cookbook Challenge inspiring people to cook from under-used cookbooks — who doesn’t have some of those hanging around? Of course I had to join. :) So Gnoe’s back in business!


Since it’s VeganMoFo this month, I’ll concentrate on vegan cookbooks. Starting of with A Vegan Taste of Greece by Linda Majzlik, that was passed on to me earlier this year — and until now I hadn’t tried a single recipe. I’ll probably share my experiences with the book next Sunday Salon.

Cover Vegan Taste of Greece (Linda Majzlik)

Other vegan cookbooks on my shelf that qualify:

  • Non-fish-a-licious and
  • (maybe) Lisette in Luilekkerland, both by Lisette Kramer.

Vegetarian nominees:

  • Yogi food (Jet Eikelboom & Seth Jansen),
  • The Art of Tofu (Akasha Richmond),
  • Living Among Meat Eaters (Carol J. Adams),
  • Koken in McDonald’s kitchen (Andy McDonald).

One omni cookbook that I’ve had for two decades, haven’t cooked from and still fail at getting rid of: Aan tafel met Yvonne Keuls, a collection of family recipes from Yvonne Keuls, a Dutch writer with Indonesian roots.

Which cookbooks have you hardly used?

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Join Beth Fish’s Weekend Cooking with a food-related post!

Beth Fish Weekend Cooking logo

Lunch on October 13th: 2 sammies in a SnackTaxi bag and a bento box full of goodies. A picture of the sandwiches with hummus and vegan pate coming out of their bag can be found on Flickr.

Bento #158

The bento contains carrot-cabbage salad with apple, walnuts and curry dressing on a bed of lettuce. Next to that is a star container with fennel caramelised in balsamic vinegar (recipe from the Ecofabulous cookbook by Lisette Kreischer) and pistachio nuts for gap fillers. In the small white container on the lid is a mix of sunflower seeds and pepitas for my salad.

Tabbouleh in the other tier, tomato & basil, grilled oyster mushroom, green olive on usagi pick, half a spicy veggie sausage with roasted paprika sauce to dip (leftover from last night’s pizza), chigai-giri banana and a slice of my first ever tempeh bacon cut in three pieces (recipe from Vegetarian Food for Thought podcast by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.

Clicking on the photo above will give you a little more of a close-up of this bento box.

Vegan Cookbooks
It’s been a long time since I posted a Sunday Salon. But today I wanted to share my growing pile of vegan cookbooks for VeganMoFo.

When I started ExtraVeganza! in January I didn’t have a vegan cookbook worth mentioning. That wasn’t a problem since I managed quite well with my vegetarian cookery books and the Web. I hadn’t used my World Food Cookbook as intensively before and was very content with the amount of vegan recipes! The Vegetarian Table: Japan turned out a faithful companion to my journey as well.

Still, it’s no fun picking a recipe and having to think if, and how, it can be veganised. Especially when you have to conclude it’s no use trying… Remember I am just a beginner!

Cover La Dolce Vegan: Vegan Livin' Made Easy (Sarah Kramer)Also, even though much of your regular cooking can easily be made animal-free, there are some basics that make life as a vegan easier. My silent wish for a completely plant-based reference book was quickly granted by my sister-in-law, who gave me Sarah Kramer’s La Dolce Vegan!

It was an instant success (which I’ve raved about but still need to expand upon) but while looking for another appropriate handbook something else hit me: the difference in American and European cooking, especially concerning ingredient availability.

So today I own no less than 3 Dutch vegan cookbooks! Antoinette Herzenberg & Jacinta Bokma’s Puur Plantaardig, Lisette Kreischer’s Lisette in Luilekkerland and Non*fish*a*li*cious (admittedly the latter contains 1 non-vegan recipe which uses a vegetarian tuna-substitute).

Cover Ecofabulous, Lisette KreischerI haven’t really cooked from these yet, but that’s because I thoroughly had to explore my library copy of Ecofabulous first.

This 2009 publication is out of print already and I wanted to find out whether I should preorder the 2nd edition, coming out in December. Hell yes! :) Even if it’s only for Veggie in Pumps‘ AMAZING pumpkin-ginger cupcakes… :)

One of the Ecofabulous pumpkin cupcakes I baked

I’m eagerly awaiting the ‘ecofabulous’ *drop* into my mailbox and from that moment I guess I’ll own about all the Dutch vegan cookbooks existing on the planet. But as Puur Plantaardig was only published last month (!) and Non*fish*a*li*cious in June this year, it’s safe to conclude that green living & vegan eating is gaining popularity!

Cover The Art of Tofu (Akasha Richmond)
Two other vegan (cook)books that I actually did own already before ExtraVeganza! are Akasha Richmond’s The Art of Tofu and Living Among Meat Eaters by Carol J. Adams.

The first is a kind of promotional publication for Mori-Nu tofu, the latter a nonfiction book about how to handle aggressive questions about your strict vegetarian (= vegan) lifestyle. Cover Living Among Meat Eaters (Carol J. Adams)I bought ‘Meat Eaters’ years ago but didn’t really get around to reading and certainly didn’t try any of the recipes at the end of the volume since they all contained one or more ingredients not commonplace as far as my kitchen cupboards are concerned. Now they are. ;) The same goes for The Art of Tofu. So I’ll probably be checking their indexes out again in the near future. I’m specifically interested in Akasha’s baking blend that works as an egg-replacer. There are several easier egg-substitutes around so I’m curious if this one’s better than the others.

Let’s hope I’ll manage to review all of these vegan cookbooks in the near future!

Do you have any recommendations on books I should add to this collection?
It goes without saying that they don’t need to be Dutch!

Currently reading

Tinkers (Paul Harding)Of course there’s other bookish news as well. I’m currently reading Tinkers by Paul Harding; a recommendation on Books on the Nightstand (a podcast I like to listen to). I first started reading about 2 months ago but couldn’t get into it, even though the starting point is pretty interesting. The first line of the book:

George Washington Crosby began to hallucinate eight days before he died.

After finishing all 3 volumes of Haruki Murakami’s 1q84 last week I decided to give Tinkers another try. It’s a quick read and didn’t win last year’s Pulitzer Prize for nothing, right?!

I’m about a third in and this time I actually like it! :) That just goes to show you the moment or emotional state in which you read a work of fiction does influence your appreciation. At least it does with me. :)

24 hour readathon

And yay, it’s that time of year again! Dewey’s semi-annual 24 hour readathon runs on Saturday October 22nd. I usually just join the fall edition and I’m a bit sad that I can only partly participate this time because of an important birthday party I’m going to.

So here’s what I’m going to do.

  • The official starting time in my area is 2pm (GMT+1). That would hardly leave me any time to read so I’ll be beginning my readathon at 8am.
  • As I will be staying over after the party I’ll stop the readathon at the beginning of the evening (before or during our trip) and write a wrap-up post on Sunday afternoon when I’m back home.
  • Due to this I don’t think I’ll be participating in (m)any mini-challenges…

Next Sunday I’ll show you the books I plan to pick from! Are you joining in as well? Reading rules!

Sunday Salon logoThe Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of book lovers on the web, blogging about bookish things of the past week, visiting each others weblogs, and oh — reading books of course ;)

This post is also submitted to Beth Fish’s Weekend Cooking.

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