Logo Veggie ChallengeIn June and July this year, the Dutch youth foundation Viva Las Vega’s organized the Veggie Challenge: a dare to eat less animal produce for at least once a week during a whole month. Depending on their diet, participants would set their own goals, e.g. 1 day vegetarian for omnis, a day vegan for vegetarians, an extra day veggie for flexitarians et cetera. 2000+ people gave it a go! Among them were three people I know — and no, I had nothing to do with that ;) Curious about their experiences, I decided to interview them for VeganMoFo.

We’ve heard from YvonneP and Uniflame and today the spotlights are aimed at JannyAn! Again, Janny is someone I met on-line first at the Boekgrrls mailinglist; I’m not sure how long ago exactly. Soon we saw each other in real life on book swaps and Wandelgrrls hikes. Now we’ve even started a film club together: the Cinephyles! It’s obvious we’ve got lots in common, except maybe that JannyAn is a real globetrotter, and I’m a bit of a homebody. ;)
A jar of Cremisso sandwich spread paprika-chili (Tartex)
Janny discovered Tartex cremisso paprika-chili sandwich spread – she thinks it’s the best alternative to cheese! I agree it’s absolutely yummy. :)

How would you describe yourself before starting the VeggieChallenge?
I was a flexitarian. By the way, there are certain things I really refuse to eat. Those are tuna, lobster, veal, frogs legs. And of course only farm-laid eggs.

Why did you decide to join the challenge?
Because I think it’s better to eat less meat. For my own health, environmental issues and, equally important, because of animal welfare.

What goals did you set and did you achieve them? Was that hard?
My goals were to eat 4 days vegetarian and 1 day vegan. The vegetarian days weren’t that hard to achieve. The vegan days were the real problem. Mostly because I do like cheese a lot. And so many products I usually eat contain butter or eggs.

What was you biggest discovery?
That’s a difficult one. Maybe that I really don’t miss eating meat. O, and I discovered that whole-meal bread with peanut butter and banana is delicious :-)

What was the most difficult or disappointing?
Eating vegan one day in a week. So many products that contain butter, eggs, gelatin, etc. It was even difficult to do shopping, find something that you like to eat on a sandwich instead of cheese, or, how can I replace eggs in a recipe.

What was the best thing you ate or drank during the VeggieChallenge?
Well I really like this pasta with spinach beet, raisins and pine seed

If you’re in a relationship: did your partner join you in the challenge and how did he/she experience it?
No, he didn’t. Sometimes I make a dish without meat and he’ll eat it. And if it tastes good he won’t mind eating vegetarian. But he likes meat too much to become vegetarian. Not to mention eating vegan.

Has anything from the challenge lasted?
I still am a flexitarian, but I now eat less meat/fish and more often vegan.

Would you recommend the VeggieChallenge to nothers ext time? Why (not)?
Yes, I would. It’s good to think about what you’re eating.

The VeganMoFo theme on Graasland is ‘vegan en route’. Do you have a suitable tip to share with us?
Always bring your own peanut butter ;-)

Do you know I’ve never tried banana on peanut butter? I guess I should! Thanks JannyAn, it’s fascinating to read about your experiences in the Veggie Challenge as a flexitarian. I recognize your frustration about how many products contain dairy, eggs or gelatin. As a vegetarian I never paid that much attention to labels, especially E-numbers,and now I’m shocked to find that some of them are not even veggie! So as a vegetarian I have probably been eating ground scale insects (E120), bones (e.g. E542, E640) animal fat (e.g. E470-479) and horse’s, cow’s, pork’s and even human hair (E920). Eew!

Anyway Janny, I hope you know that you can always ask me questions about substituting ingredients?! That goes for anyone, really. :)

Over viewing this series I’m so glad to see that all three participants look back positively! Imagine you’d join the Veggie Challenge next year, what goals would you like to set?

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

Amelishof organic CSA week 43, 2012

Lots of C’s in this week’s CSA haul. Elstars, leek and salad greens rich with vitamin C, and carrots, corn salad and cilantro starting with it… No-one’s laughing, I know. ;)

  • Carrots
  • Cilantro
  • Corn salad
  • Leek
  • Elstar apples
  • Fennel

My fridge is pretty full with open tins, leftovers and even more vegetables, so here’s my plan to use up as much as possible.

Menuplan Friday October 26th  – Tuesday 30th

  • Noodles with leftover takeaway garlic tofu from Soy with additional vegetables (carrot, leek, yellow pepper, borlotti beans) and mushrooms. [Friday]
  • Pea soup (freezer stash), pasta salad with leftover avocado pesto and sun-dried tomatoes, Caesar salad (dressing from La Dolce Vegan! p.93), bread and dip. [Saturday - DEXTER DATE]
  • Leek & potato soup with cilantro (La Dolce Vegan! p.109), tasty tempeh chili for NVV-forum La Dolce Vegan! cookbook challenge (p.163) and bread.
  • Potato salad with avocado pesto, balsamic vinegar, onion and sun-dried tomatoes, coconut-carrot soup with cilantro (La Dolce Vegan! p.112 half recipe).
  • Fennel salad with tomato, basil and olives, roasted sweet dumpling pumpkins stuffed with Gyro seitan from my new Terry Hope Romero cookbook Vegan Eats World (p.54 & 253), leftover dill sauce.

Last night I went to the Terry Hope Romero cooking demo, Q&A and book presentation of Vegan Eats World (more about that soon). We got to taste the gyro seitan with creamy cashew sauce and a banana-chocolate ‘cheesecake’. Both were awesome so I bought the book and put the seitan on the menu right away! It’s my first time making seitan, so fingers crossed…

Gyro seitan with creamy cashew sauce by Terry Hope Romero

Banana Chocolate "Cheesecake"  by Terry Hope Romero

I had planned a nice bento in orange colours last week, but unfortunately I had to skip it. But here’s a green one today instead!

Greenish Bento, 24-10-2012

First tier
Pasta salad with avocado sauce, peas, corn & sun-dried tomatoes, escarole and tiny tomato from the balcony.

Second tier
Pecans for the salad, courgette fritter, cucumber to dip in spicy houmous, and (Gnoe getting frivolous here ;) gherkin hearts.

On the side
Gingerbread with soy margarine & agave syrup and fruit salad for dessert: apple, satsuma and mango in a lemon-ginger dressing with cinnamon.

I’ve been looking for a good pasta salad recipe and now I’ve found it! I use Chloe Coscarelli’s avocado-pesto sauce, either leftovers of dinner like today, or made afresh. The sun-dried tomatoes are a must but for the rest it’s just what I have at hand. Made it with young broad beans once — ‘t was great!

Bento submitted to What’s for Lunch Wednesday on Bentolunch.net

Courgette fritters

This weekend two events came together: a ladies only family weekend and the Greece-themed Kookgrrls’ cookalong. Oh, and VeganMoFo of course. ;) Efficient woman I am, I combined as much as possible and chose a courgette fritters recipe from A Vegan Taste of Greece.

One of the first things I learned to cook as a vegetarian -we’re talking about 21 years ago- were Greek zucchini patties. I miss those now. So I’m on a quest to find a recipe without cheese, eggs or dairy. The recipe in this cookbook makes use of faux parmesan. That’s not ideal but it was worth a try! And yes, they were quite a success. Mr Gnoe and I made them again for dinner tonight, with the addition of a soygurt-based garlic-dill sauce. I will keep looking but for now this recipe will certainly do!

I posted it in Dutch on the Kookgrrls’ Blog, so that’s where you can find me today!

 

Logo Veggie ChallengeIn June and July this year, the Dutch youth foundation Viva Las Vega’s organized the Veggie Challenge: a dare to eat less animal produce for at least once a week during a whole month. Depending on their diet, participants would set their own goals, e.g. 1 day vegetarian for omnis, a day vegan for vegetarians, an extra day veggie for flexitarians et cetera. 2000+ people gave it a go! Among them were three people I know — and no, I had nothing to do with that ;) Curious about their experiences, I decided to interview them for VeganMoFo.

First to go was YvonneP. Today I’m interviewing Uniflame from She Likes Bento. I think I met her two, three years ago on Twitter — my radar picked her up as a fellow Dutch bentoïst blogging in English about her vegetarian bento lunches. Since then we’ve discovered other similar interests, like reading books and doing challenges. She’s also a loyal participant of WeekendCooking.

Here’s Uniflame’s most recent vegan bento.

Uniflame's vegan Inarizushi Bento (#126)

Uniflame’s Inarizushi Bento

Uniflame wants to be represented by an avocado, though she can’t say why. Well, I know. Avocados are so delicious you just can’t stop thinking about them! ;)

Avocado drawing

How would you describe your diet before starting the Veggie Challenge?
Officially I am a pescetarian because I still eat fish sometimes. However I eat mostly vegetarian.

Why did you decide to join the Veggie Challenge?
I like to experiment with vegan recipes, but some aspects were scary to me. Like vegan baking, for example. Committing to eat vegan for 2 days a week, forced me to step out of my comfort zone so I could experiment.

What goals did you set and did you achieve them? Was that hard?
I chose to eat vegan for 2 days a week and I did archieve that. Other than that I set some mini goals, like try vegan baking and make vegan snacks. I also wanted to eat outdoors as a vegan one time, but the latter goal I failed to do.

What was you biggest discovery?
That vegan baking doesn’t have to be hard at all, if you pick the easy recipes that don’t require to hunt down all kind of special ingredients.

What was the most difficult or disappointing?
The most difficult was to not give in to cheese cravings. It can be difficult staying committed if your house still is full of non vegan stuff. Also: I hate the fact that a lot of stuff isn’t available in the supermarket, and that I have to hunt stuff down in a lot of different stores. Like vegan bread for example. You have to make most things yourself and with my poor health, I just don’t have enough energy to keep doing that.

What was the best thing you ate or drank during the Veggie Challenge?
I can’t choose between the lemon poppyseed muffins and the cashew and bell pepper spread that I used to make vegan sushi with. So I will just mention both ;)

If you’re in a relationship: did your partner join you in the challenge and how did he/she experience it?
He did join partially. He isn’t a vegetarian but we just cook the same main dish for dinner. So on my vegan days, he ate vegan together with me. And because I made more vegan snacks, like the muffins mentioned above, he also had those. But if he wanted a grilled cheese sandwich, he just ate one.

Has anything from the challenge lasted?
Yes, I try to make more vegan recipes now than I did before. And I also made my blog more vegan friendly, like listing in my recipe index which recipes on my blog are vegan. My stack of vegan cooking books has grown and I love requesting vegan titles from NetGalley as well to review on my blog.

Would you recommend the Veggie Challenge to others next time? Why (not)?
Yes, I would. It is fun to have a reason to think out of the box. And even if you only go vegetarian or vegan for just one day a week, it makes a huge difference.

The VeganMoFo theme on Graasland is ‘vegan en route‘. Do you have a suitable tip to share with us?
Always be prepared. If you want to stop at a certain lunch room, call ahead to see if they have options or are willing to create something. If not, make sure to have something delicious with you. To me nothing is as frustrating as to not be able to have a good meal while I see my omni friends eating away and all I have is a mediocre tasting salad. Then I rather make my own. ;)

Thanks Uniflame! I’m glad it all went well and I love how you set yourself some extra mini challenges — very creative! It doesn’t matter that you didn’t accomplish them all. I had expected you to share an avocado recipe with us though… But there’s plenty of those on your blog and with the vegan-friendly makeover they’ll be easy to find!

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Vegan Wednesday buttonIn the first week of VeganMoFo I stumbled upon the Vegan Wednesdays meme. Participants are asked to photograph their food during the day and share it in a wrap-up post at night.

Not as easy as it sounds… At breakfast time I’m usually not awake enough to think about taking pictures! So I missed the first one. I missed the second. But this morning I remembered in time!

So here’s what I had today. ;)

Breakfast

Blue Witch’s Brew

Breakfast smoothie with purple kale

Aka La Dolce Vegan breakfast smoothie with purple kale. Not a good idea – Dutch kale is too tough for smoothies.

Lunch

Bloody Belly Button

Bara

Aka store-bought bara (Surinamese snack) with chilli-tomato sauce.

Dead Bat Salad with Boogers and Bile Dressing

Salad with crispy kale & curry dressing

Aka Lollo Bionda with crispy kale, pepita mix and curry dressing.

Diner

Gastric Acid Soup with Blood Clots

Pumpkin-tomato soup with coconut

Aka Asian flavoured pumpkin soup (inspired on Seitan Is My Motor) with tomato.

Crushed Toad Salad

Mixed salad with nuts & avocado

Aka mixed greens with mushy avocado.

Unnameable Dessert

Dessert

Professor Grunschnabel Café el-Khatib (coffee & cardamom) ice cream with fresh mango and chocolate syrup.

You didn’t know vegan food could be so horrid, right? ;)

Once upon a time… I promised you a category on Graasland intended for Cabbage Recipes. It did appear, but fell into a slumber after I’d only shared three dishes with you. Well, now’s the right season to revive it!

Here’s a vegan version of coleslaw that I adapted from the Dutch vegetarian cookbook Gezond genieten: Groentegerechten by Jan & Ineke Stevens.

This salad is a kind of tsukemono (preserved vegetable) recipe, so it holds well and is perfect for travelling, like in this Goodbye Bento.

Coleslaw with Avocado Dressing

Coleslaw with avocado dressing

Ingredients
Serves 3-4.

  • 350-400g white or pointed cabbage
  • salt
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 green onion
  • 2 sprigs cilantro
  • 1/2 tbs lemon juice
  • 2-3 tbs vegenaise, soygurt or faux sour cream
  • salt ‘n pepper

1. In advance

Cut its core from the cabbage, discard wilted outer leaves and thinly slice the veg. I don’t have a fancy machine to do this so I use my mandolin or a big, sharp knife and heavy wooden cutting board. Of course you can also buy pre-chopped cabbage…

Put the cabbage in a bowl, scatter some salt over it and weigh it down with a pan filled with water, supported by a saucer. Let it rest for a while until water comes out, preferably for a few hours.

2. Dressing

To make the dressing, scoop out the avocado, slice the green part of the spring onion in rings and put these aside. Chop the rest of the onion in small pieces and blend with avocado, cilantro, lemon juice, veganaise (or substitute). Add pepper to taste but refrain from adding salt until you’ve tasted the cabbage in step 3!

3. Assemble

Put the cabbage in a sieve, rinse and drain, pressing out excess water by hand. Now taste! Decide whether your dressing needs any more salt – if so, add it.

NOTE: if you do not intend to eat all of the coleslaw at once, just drain the cabbage you’re reserving and put it in a Tupperware box in the fridge. Only rinse and wring the veg when you’re ready to use it.

Place the cabbage on a nice plate or in a salad bowl, spoon the dressing in the middle and sprinkle the remaining onion rings on top.

As you can see I added some tomato and olives to the salad last time. Possibly it’s better without to let the smooth avocado dressing come to its full advantage.

Enjoy!

ExtraVeganza logo, © variomatic

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 ;)

Last November -that’s almost a year ago indeed- Annemieke from Rozemarijn kookt asked on Twitter who would like to receive her copy of A Vegan Taste of Greece, by Linda Majzlik. Of course I was interested and she kindly sent me the book. Shame on me that I didn’t cook from it until a couple of weeks back!

Now why did I finally pick it up?

Cookbook Challenge ButtonWell.. There’s a PPK Cookbook Challenge on the Post Punk Kitchen forum. A vegan cookbook is chosen each week, and if you don’t have that particular book you can choose another from your shelves. This event coincides with Uniflame’s Cookbook Challenge on She Likes Bento. The difference between the two?

  • PPK: any (vegan) book will do if you don’t have the designated title but you’ll need make at least three recipes from it.
  • She Likes Bento: there’s no set amount of recipes to try (just one will do) but you have to choose an unused or hardly touched cookery book.

Conclusion: I’m making it harder on myself by combining the two. What else is new? ;)

A Vegan Taste of Greece by Linda Majzlik

Cover A Vegan Taste of GreeceA Vegan Taste of Greece was the only vegan cookbook I own from which I hadn’t tried a single recipe — so there really was no other first choice possible.

After a short introduction on the origin of Greek food and its place in society, A Vegan Taste of Greece starts with an alphabetical list of a regular pantry, often including nutritional info. Nice! The rest of the book is divided into chapters focussing on different courses: mezedes, soups, main courses, vegetables, grain accompaniments, salads, sauces and dressings, breads, desserts and baking.

I’ve made 4 recipes from 3 different sections: a main course, grain accompaniment and two salads, one green and one legume (bean). Each recipe indicates the amount of servings; mostly four but since it’s just the two of us here at Graasland, I usually made half of it.

Main course: Briami

Greek Briami, Turkish rice with chickpeas, cumin spiced quick bread and avocado salad

Greek Briami, Turkish rice with chickpeas, cumin spiced quick bread and avocado salad

Briami is a vegetable casserole containing potatoes, courgette, red pepper, mushrooms, onion, tomatoes and a selection of herbs & spices like fennel seeds, rosemary and thyme. Wine and lemon juice provide additional liquid. The dish is finished off with olives and vegan cheese, for which I used a combination of faux parmezan and ‘rawmezan’ (a mix of ground nuts & ‘nooch‘, aka nutritional yeast). Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Despite of all the flavourful ingredients I found the briami rather bland. :( It could have used more sauce and even then I’m not sure it would be really good. Maybe my expectations were too high? Mr Gnoe thought it was okay.

It’s an easy recipe to make but it does take some time preparing because of all the ingredients required. And then it has to go into the oven for about an hour. Oven dishes that can be prepared in advance are great when having guests for dinner, but I don’t think I would dare serve this. Don’t want to confirm a possible prejudice that vegan food is tasteless! ;)

Grain accompaniment: Minted bulgar with leeks

Leek bulghhur with seitan stroganoff

Seitan stroganoff with minted leek bulghur

The bulghur was… nice, but once more a bit dull. Admittedly I forgot to garnish with fresh mint. But I could hardly taste the dried peppermint that was also in it, and the leeks were so overcooked that they’d lost most of their flavour. I like leek, so it was another disappointment. I would consider making this again though: as an idea it’s more exciting than just wheat, it’s easy to make and a great way to add more vegetables to a meal. Next time I’d bake the veg separately until just done and combine everything at the end. It was a good combo with the seitan stroganoff though!

Green salad: fennel and avocado

Greek fennel salad with avocado

Greek fennel salad with watercress & avocado

I’ve got this surprisingly good fennel-tomato salad recipe and avocado is one of my favourite fruits, so I was eager to try a Greek recipe combining them. The biggest differences between the two are that the fennel is cooked first in the new recipe and it doesn’t have basil & black olives but watercress (and avocado) instead.

You can probably guess by now… Another flavourless dish. I expect Mediterranean food to be tasty! Furthermore, all ingredients were soft (not to say mushy) and I rather like a crunchy salad. My ideas for improvement? Keep the fennel raw, add olives & basil and maybe a little ouzo or other anise-flavoured drink. Of course having alcohol with your meal decreases the body’s ability to absorb vitamins, but sometimes there’s something to say for taste too. ;) But to be honest, I think I’ll stick with my regular fennel salad recipe.

Bean salad: chickpea

Greek chickpea salad

Chickpea salad

The last recipe, chickpea salad, was a small hit — the best of the bunch anyway. Especially considering it’s rather basic: a mix of cooked garbanzos, cucumber, a variety of peppers, red onion, black olives and a dressing made of skinned and finely chopped tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, crushed garlic, fresh thyme and black pepper. I added a little salt as a flavour enhancer too. Yes, I will make this salad again when I have an open can of chickpeas!

The verdict

It will come as no surprise that I’m not really enthusiastic about A Vegan Taste of Greece. I’m considering discarding it, but first I’d like to try some recipes from other sections, like…

  • A mezé ~ walnut-stuffed mushrooms? Yellow split-pea spread fava? Courgette critters? Or jumping into the deep end with gyros made from scratch, finally using that bag of seitan starter I purchased?
  • Dessert ~ baked nectarines or orange glazed peach slices, almond & apricot pastries… They make my mouth water. :) But all require the purchase of a new ingredient: orange flower water.
  • Baked goods ~ sesame cookies, almond cakes, semolina & lemon slices… No? ;)
  • And the baked beetroot in the vegetable chapter sounds like good too.

So there’s more to explore before the curtain falls. I’d like to try one each from the categories above before my final judgement. Still, there’s a whole series of A Vegan Taste of… (France, India, East Africa, et cetera) by Linda Majzlik. Getting me to try another would require a copy to literally fall into my hands again.

I hardly dare finish with one more flaw of the book.. :\ I think it’s partly a regional problem and doesn’t apply to Americans. MANY of the recipes use vegan cheese or yoghurt. I haven’t been able to find a good cheese substitute and feel reluctant to buy and use the varieties available here. In the US there’s Dayia… Reviews are raving so I’d love to get my hands on that!

And soygurt… It lacks the sour freshness of its animal equivalent, which cannot be fully compensated by adding (extra) lemon. I just purchased a tub though, so I do plan on trying one of the recipes containing yofu too.

To be continued?

If you’ve got one of Majzlik’s books I’d love to hear you think!

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Logo Veggie ChallengeIn June and July this year, the Dutch youth foundation Viva Las Vega’s organized the Veggie Challenge: a dare to eat less animal produce for at least one day a week during a whole month. Depending on their diet, participants would set their own goals, i.e. 1 day vegetarian for omnis, a day vegan for vegetarians, an extra day veggie for flexitarians et cetera. 2000+ people gave it a go! Among them were three people I know — and no, I had nothing to do with that ;) Curious about their experiences, I decided to interview them for VeganMoFo.

First up is YvonneP from Loisirs et Plaisirs. I met her on-line 14 years ago (!) when I joined the Dutch Boekgrrls, a virtual book club by mailinglist, exclusively for women. :) Later I got to know her in real life on book-related outings (swaps!).

YvonneP’s asked to be represented by this colourful picture of red, blue and purple fruit. That doesn’t surprise me, as she once initiated a summer theme on the Kookgrrls’ blog for which she made a pink blackberry-yoghurt pudding/blob. I wonder if it can be veganized..?

fruit and berries

Before the Veggie Challenge (VC) I was maybe a flexitarian. I ate very little meat (don’t like most meat), sometimes fish, some cheese, but I love eggs, yoghurt and soft cheese (kwark). So that could be the hard part of the vegan thing.

When I read about the VC I thought it was the best I could do, because of all the alarming news about food. I am really worried about the way food is produced and the way we are not told the truth about production mistakes, etc. Though I am not the sentimental type about animals I do not think it is right the way they are treated to serve as food.

So I decided to eat 2 days vegetarian and 2 days vegan. The other 3 days I would try to slow down eating ‘wrong’ things. Well, I ended up by doing the challenge for 2 months and now, we still eat vegetarian, very, very little fish, eggs and cheese. Even our way of shopping has changed. No supermarkets anymore, no ‘grootgrutter‘, but we buy our food at EkoPlaza. So, in fact, everything from the challenge lasts. I am still refining… :-)

In the beginning I did not know what to eat my bread with on the vegan days. But then I discovered all kinds of spreads and now, long time after the challenge we never buy anything else. Those spreads were my biggest discovery! And because it was sometimes very hot I made loads of strawberry (!!) basil ice and melon mint ice! Just blend the fruits and put them in the freezer. Love fruits, love strawberries, love blueberries, love myrtilles (don’t know the English word for it).

I can not decide what was the best we ate. I ate one recipe from the Provamel publication 20 Winnaars met smaak (shared below) with tofu and oranges that was extremely tasteful, but then again: so much was so tasteful.

My partner joined me in the challenge and he is now addicted to lentil curry spread. Does not want anything else on his bread. I do not know what he eats when he is traveling for business, but at home he eats what I make and he likes it…

I have told enthusiastically about the VC to others, but everyone has to decide for themselves whether they do it or not. I liked it very much, but maybe because the time was right for me…

Wow. I’m very impressed how YvonneP (and her partner!) went way beyond her goals while she’d expected it to be difficult. It’s had a huge impact on their lives; a real success story! That’s several animal lives saved a year — yay YvonneP!

Tofu Curry with Orange

Serves: 4
Estimated time: 45 minutes
Recipe by Great Baten
Source: Provamel publication 20 Winnaars met smaak p.20-21

Ingredients

  • 225 g tofu
  • 250 g apple-green tea flavoured soygurt (Provamel)
  • 1 organic orange
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tbs raisins
  • 2 tbs almond flakes
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 tbs 100% vegetable margarine
  • 1 tbs curry powder or curry paste of choice
  • a bunch of fresh cilantro
  • salt ‘n pepper

Preparation

  1. Wash the orange and grate some of the skin until you’ve got half a tablespoon of orange zest.
  2. Squeeze the juice from the orange, add the raisins and et them soak until needed.
  3. Shortly toast the almond flakes in a non-stick pan. Don’t take your eyes of them! ;)
  4. Chop the cilantro and onion (keep them separate).
  5. Cut the tofu into small blocks.
  6. Heat the oil and margarine together in a pan. Add the curry (powder or paste) and stir for 1 minute.
  7. Add the tofu and onion. Stirfry on high heat.
  8. Add orange juice & raisins, orange zest, apple-tea yofu, plus salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Garnish with almonds and cilantro and serve with rice.

Sounds like an easy recipe that I must try sometime! Personally I would insert a step #0 to drain the tofu first (how to do this is described in steps 1&2 of the Faux Feta recipe on Graasland). And maybe add some cinnamon which, to me, seems to go perfect with this dish. What do you think?

Next week:Uniflame from She Likes Bento.

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dijon

Last week I started a series of posts called Les Vacances de Mme Gnoe, about how I fared as a vegan on a recent holiday in the South of France. Obviously I survived. ;) It may help other newbie vegans going on a journey — or those worrying about going to the land of bouillabaisse, fromage and cassoulet.

Vegan Month of Food buttonIn the first post I related what to eat en route. Today I’ll write about our first dinner in France, when we spent the night in Dijon.

As a vegan it’s wise to be prepared when going on a trip. So if you’re not sure you”ll connect to the internet, do some homework before you leave!

HappyCow's Compassionate Healthy Eating Guide

My first ‘stop’ was at Happy Cow.net: a worldwide database of vegetarian restaurants and grocery stores, also marking them vegan(-friendly). There were two places listed in Dijon: Les Pieds Bleus and Le Shanti. The first was one being described as “simple family type cooking, buffet style, in a typical French canteen atmosphere” — sounds great! So we dropped off our luggage in the hotel and set off in the direction of Place Emile Zola.

Alas… The restaurant was closed for vacation and would reopen the next day when, of course, we had travelled on! This was a surprise to us as in the Netherlands restaurants do not usually close during tourist season. This holiday we were about to learn that the French do things differently. ;)

So we went to search for option #2, Le Shanti, window-shopping and making pictures of the medieval city on our way. This time we found the venue open. There were yummy things on the menu like veggie burgers, wraps, soups and salads. But… you get the picture? More like a place to have lunch or a just quick bite, not for a special occasion like your first holiday dinner!

Back to the city centre it was, where wecould pick from a choice of restaurants on the aforementioned Place Emile Zola. Considering Lebanese first, we felt more like having Japanese and ended up at the Sushi King, “retaurant Japonais” (and that’s not my typo ;).

Menu of Sushi King Dijon

Here they served a vegetarian sushi menu consisting of miso soup, salade de choux (cabbage tsukemono) and three kinds of maki rolls: cucumber, avocado and daikon radish. The usual condiments: soy sauce (sweet or salty), pickled ginger and wasabi condiments. Since I’m a sucker for chuka wakame I ordered an bowl of salade d’algues as well. For dessert I enjoyed a whole pot of Japanese green tea.

Miso soup
Cabbage tsukemono
Sushi
Chuka wakame

We had dinner outside, cozy among other establishments on the city square. The food was good but nothing special and, aside from plain or vinegar rice, these were the only vegan/vegetarian dishes on the menu. I haven’t asked whether the fried noodles with vegetables were (or could be made) vegan and it didn’t really seem like the place to serve food off the carte.

Green tea (Japonais)The waiters were fairly quick and friendly, except for one young man who managed to whisk away our plates a little too early first and ignored us when we wanted to order another drink afterwards. He probably didn’t have his day. ;) We did.

So. If you like to have a decent meal but aren’t too demanding, I can certainly recommend the Sushi King for a vegan dinner in Dijon!

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