Sorry for keeping you in limbo about Gnoe’s vegan adventures. Sometimes blogging just has to come last :\ In order to prevent an abundance of rss-feeds I decided to do a compilation post on the three days that went ‘missing’.
Menu Day 4 (Sunday January 30th)
I started my Sunday with two slices of Marmite on toast and latte coffees.
Erm… forgot to write it down and now I can only remember one sandwich with Tofutti and radishes! I was busy preparing dinner for our guests.
Here’s what we served our friends.
- Pakistani Dahl (red lentils)
- Calcutta eggplant
- Orissan Jagdish Saag Aloo (spinach & potato dish from Jagdish café in Orissan)
- Puy lentil curry
- Basmati rice
- Garlic-cilantro naan (bread)
- Mango chutney
- The Vegan Paradise Cookies I baked on Friday (served with tea)
- Salted pecans
- Lemon olives
- Potato chips
- 5 colours of raw veggies: radish, red paprika, carrot and celery stalk
- Dips made of veganaise: garlic with herbs and whisky
- Just for me (earlier in the day): banana & kiwi fruit
Anything special about today?
Like I said yesterday we were having friends over for dinner and a 24-Day 8 mini-marathon: the final four episodes of the very last (?) season. When having dinner guests we usually serve them well-tried dishes, possibly adding one new recipe. This time, we just dove into the deep end and prepared a completely untested Indian dinner. Now we’ve cooked Indian before, including vegan dishes, but our favourites all contained some kind of dairy or eggs.
Because we didn’t have enough red lentils to make all of the dahl recipe, Mr Gnoe was bold enough to think up an extra curry himself — you won’t catch me doing that when entertaining guests! But his green lentil dish was one of the best of the evening. :)
So far I prefer the Pakistani Dahl recipe we tried today over others I’ve had before, but I will be looking on to find the perfect one. I’m not talking Masoor Dahl SOUP here (I’ve got a great recipe for that), but the thicker kind of dish. Maybe I should let go of the thought it must be made with red lentils, since a lot of recipes I came across use yellow peas?
The aubergine and spinach/potato dishes came from the World Food Café cookbook, which I believe to have mentioned on Graasland before? The Calcutta eggplant (page 74) was nice and we will eat this again. But it doesn’t beat the spicy eggplant with yoghurt recipe from another one of my vegetarian cookbooks… :\
We thought the saag aloo (page 72) a bit dull, even though it was spicy. It tasted ‘bland’. I must confess I didn’t follow the instructions to the letter… Lacking fresh fenugreek leaves I substituted them with seeds, which of course is something entirely different. But I have never seen fenugreek leaves in the shops here and I do frequent Asian stores.
I also used yellow mustard seeds instead of black, but that doesn’t seem much of a problem to me — like taking frozen spinach (I couldn’t get any fresh as it is not in season). I also put in one tablespoon of red chili flakes instead of two and skipped the serrano chillies since I figured the meal would be hot enough already. I know, that’s a lot of changes to a not-so-elaborate recipe. Still, except for the fenugreek leaves I don’t think it mattered much concerning the taste.
Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures, but Wednesday’s bento contains leftovers!
BTW I didn’t know our common type of chili pepper is called serrano! Learned something new again. ;)
Menu Day 5 (Monday January 31st)
I started the day with ‘sterrenmix‘ herbal tea and 2 slices of crispbread:
- Tofutti ‘cream cheese’ spread with avocado, sundried tomato (in oil), alfalfa sprouts, African Peper mix.
Too many tastes thrown together.
- Tartex olivera.
I had an elaborate lunch to compensate for my small breakfast. It was very nice but wouldn’t be easy to bring along to work… I definitely need a bento box with Thermos container! :)
- Homemade vegan mushroom soup (freezer stash).
I made this soup so long ago that I can’t remember where the recipe came from… Well, plenty of those on the Web! ;)
- Veganaise-avocado-tomato-basil sandwich with salt & pepper.
- Tartex olivera sandwich with slices of celery stalk, radish, a pinch of alfalfa sprouts, parsley and salt.
- Salad garnish: more tomato & celery.
- ‘Golden mandarin‘ green tea.
For dinner we had homemade pizza (store-bought crusts), salad of chicory, apple & walnut, and water with lime juice for drinks. For the pizzas we prepared a seasoned sauce of canned tomato, shallots and garlic, which was spread on two pizza crusts. We used some Yaks soy mozzarella ‘cheese’ on both for topping. The rest of the ingredients differed.
- Grilled vegetables (courgette, eggplant, brown mushrooms) and green olives.
- Kale & rocket stir-fried with oyster mushrooms and spring onions.
The grated mozzarella looked good on the pizzas, but I’m not sure it added anything to the taste. Well, the crunchy part of it was good! ;)
Dessert consisted of Provamel lime soy yoghurt with pineapple juice. It tasted too much after soy for my liking, but Mr Gnoe was pleasantly surprised. We don’t eat desserts that often and Mr Gnoe especially doesn’t like custard (and such) very much. About the soy yoghurt he said it was better than any kind of dairy dessert he knew! Not that he now wanted to eat it regularly after meals, but it is a positive remark, right? He also didn’t think the ‘greasy’ soy taste predominated. So that’s just me. ;)
- More of that yummy cremini mushroom soup (brown mushrooms).
- Peanut butter sandwich.
- One of the coconut cookies I baked on Friday.
Menu Day 6 (Tuesday February 1st)
Time flies. It’s February already (can you believe it?!) and I’m in the second half of my 10 day vegan period. I’m almost sad it’s going so fast!
For breakfast I had oatmeal with ground flax seeds, 1/2 part Oat Dream and 1/2 part soy milk. This was a better concoction than just the oat & oat milk like I had on Day 1 of ExtraVeganza! The fat in soy milk makes the gruel a little creamier. I had a busy morning with groceries, dentist and dental hygienist appointments and this meal held me on my feet until my lunch break at noon.
I had to have a quick — and not too heavy — meal before going to shiatsu. I threw together 2 easy sunflower seed sandwiches (a new bread I had just bought) and drank a cup of green rooibos tea.
- Tartex olivera spread with green olives.
- Tofutti ‘cream cheese’ with gherkin and tomato.
Mr Gnoe made us dinner.
- (Leftover) long-grain rice with celery leaves.
- ‘Buddhist meat’ and shiitake mushrooms from World Food Café cookbook (page 121) that we also used for our Indian Sunday dinner.
- Improvised stir-fry of Brussels sprouts and red pepper.
- A handful of emping (melinjo nut krupuk).
- Water for drinks.
From lunch till dinner I had several snacks. Listed in alphabetical order ;)
- Blood orange/mandarin juice.
- Crispbread with kale pate (tapenade) from my cooking class.
- Cup of vegetable broth.
- Ontbijtkoek with soy margarine and agave syrup.
- Raw veggies: celery stalk, cucumber, radishes.
Anything special about today?
You bet! I found a vegan bread type I really like — even better than the one I normally buy and of which I’m not sure (yet) whether it’s vegan! My new find is Flemish whole wheat bread with sunflower seeds and I bought it at the Natuurvoedingswinkel (natural foods shop) in the Nachtegaalstraat. That’s a bit further away than my neighbourhood bakery so I’ll need to plan well ahead if we don’t want to run out of bread. Maybe the shop will set some apart, if requested? I also don’t know yet how the loaf will hold up after it has been frozen, but that will be clear in a few days.
This discovery makes me really happy because I have always been picky about bread. In the same store I also finally found a vegan ontbijtkoek; up until now all varieties I saw contained honey.
Tonight’s dinner served to have another try at seitan or ‘fake meat’ (wheat gluten). I’ve had canned mock-duck before. After I had eaten a fabulous Vietnamese dish with the stuff on a trip to the US, I searched for mock-duck in my own country for several years. When I had finally found it, it was nothing like I had expected — I even shuddered of the sight and texture! Seitan in a glass jar appears to be less scary (you can actually see what you’re buying ;) so a few months ago I brought it home with the World Food Café recipe in mind. But it’s totally different from the seitan we made ourselves in Happy Herbi’s Eat Good, Feel Good cooking class!
I liked the ‘Buddhist meat’ and shiitake mushrooms dish — and liked the wheat gluten, but didn’t feel it added much except maybe texture. We’re reluctant to bring any more new ingredients into our home, so we tweaked the recipe and substituted shaoxing rice wine with sake; ketjap manis for hoisin sauce. Other ingredients were carrot, ginger, garlic, green onions, light soy sauce, sesame oil & seeds. Those are all things we usually have in stock so we’ll probably make this meal again!
Day 6 was definitely Discovery Day. ;)
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New recipe(s) tried for the Whip Up Something New! Challenge!