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I’m writing this post in whisper-mode. That has nothing to do with Mr Gnoe sleeping late this Saturday morning. I’m just embarrassed to confess that with the dawn of February, I still had some ‘fresh’ cranberries left over from… Christmas. Oops!

So I felt a jolt when I stumbled upon the cranberry muffins Uniflame had baked. Just perfect! Except.. they weren’t vegan. But now that I’ve been ExtraVeganza for more than a year, it’s about time I took on a challenging recipe to veganize. So I went back to the original Dutch recipe on Yummy in my Tummy and got to work.

What do you know? I was done in a jiffy! :) [drumroll..] Here’s the result!

Vegan cranberry muffins

These muffins are awesome! Light, sweet -but not too much- and with a sour ‘pang’ each time you bite a cranberry. So I’m MEGA proud of myself — and future veganizing projects seem less daunting! #happy :)

Now I’m rather eager to share the recipe with you all!

Vegan cranberry muffins

Makes about 16 cakes.

Ingredients

  • 150 gr fresh cranberries (washed)
  • 265 gr all purpose flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 160 gr demerara sugar (cane) sugar
  • 240 ml (1 cup) vanilla soy milk
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) soy yoghurt
  • 85 gr vegan butter or margarine (I use Provamel Bio Soya Cook & Spread)*
  • zest of 1 organic orange
  • pinch of salt
  • optional: powdered (confectioners) sugar

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 200 °C ().
  2. Grease a muffin tin or fill either silicon or disposable cupcake liners.
  3. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and cinnamon. Whisk well.
  4. Add orange zest.
  5. Melt the butter.
  6. Combine the soy milk and yoghurt in another bowl or measuring cup, add the melted butter and stir well.
  7. Add the wet to the dry mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until batter is just mixed.
  8. Spoon batter in muffin pan/cupcake liners. (You can also use a piping bag or sturdy plastic bag with a corner cut of but I find this too much trouble.)
  9. Bake the muffins about 20 minutes in the oven; they should be golden and when you pierce them with a skewer it should come out dry.
    Mine took 23 minutes but it depends on your oven.
  10. Let the cakes cool down in the tin for 5 minutes, then take them out and let cool further on a rack.
  11. If you wish you can sprinkle the muffins with powdered sugar after they have cooled down completely. I didn’t find this necessary taste wise.

Enjoy! :)

The whole batch of cranberry muffins cooling down

Can you freeze these muffins?
Although these muffins are best eaten on the same or next day, they stay pretty good for a while longer. It’s just that the top gets a little sticky after two days, but you can hide fix this with a sprinkling of powdered sugar.
After freezing they still taste very good, but again the top gets sticky and the texture less fluffy: a little drier and more compact. So they’re fine, but not their original awesomeness. ;)

With all the exclamation marks in this post I guess I left the quiet-modus very quickly. :) Well, that just shows you my enthusiasm about these muffins! So I hope you’ll be trying them someday too. :)

Now Mr Gnoe has woken up and it’s time to get the day started — maybe do some more baking this weekend? ;)

– – – – –

Part of the February Sweet Luv event on Zesty Palette

'Sweet Luv' event button

& Zesty Palette’s ongoing Bake Fest #4 hosted by Tomato Blues

Bake Fest button

* I’m not a shareholder of Provamel! ;) I’ve just had great experience with their products. You can use any plant-based butter but if it’s got vitamin D3 added (which it often does), it’s not vegan!

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I should have taken my 66th bento on my 13,5 km NS-hike with the Wandelgrrls: Bieslandse Bos, from Delft to Zoetermeer. Why? Because it makes me think of the famous song Route 66! And… MaaikeB brought her first bento ever for lunch! She’s got the most beautiful bento box, a gift all the way from Tokyo. Lucky grrl! :)

Anyway, we took off early (for a Sunday morning) so I didn’t have much time to plan a real lunchbox. That’s why bento #66 only traveled by train from Utrecht to Apeldoorn on Monday ;) And it contained the following…

Upper tier

  • Salad of grilled zucchini and bell pepper, lettuce, tomato, spring onion, capers and basil leaves

Lower tier

  • Dried cranberries and strawberries
  • 1/4 mini quiche made of leftovers: chard, goats cheese (feta) with basil, pine nuts and egg
  • Carrots
  • Walnut
  • Basil and parsley

Friday 19th’s bento (#55) was another good one :) I used a lot from our weekly bag of veggies from De Aardvlo, organic vegetable gardens nearby!

The upper tier contains a salad of corn kernels, tomato (*), red bell pepper (*), black olives, shallot, leek white (*), gherkin, lettuce (*), chickpea, basil (*), feta cheese and dressing from Oil & Vinegar fruschetta mix.

The lower tier contains:

All ingredients with ‘*’ added came from our veggiebag! For the rest of the week (until Wednesday) we only have some more lettuce, broccoli, leek, basil and garlic onions left. That will not be a problem ;)

Oops, it took me a whole week to post about bento #52! It came to work on Wednesday May 20th — and it’s been my last bento up until today. I was too busy! And I don’t have to go to the office for a while now, so bento’s will be sparse in the next few weeks.

In the picture my lunch looks quite cute — but don’t be fooled! The hint is a packet of Smint…

The red stuff you see in the left hand tier is Mediterranean bean paste, which erm.. had a bit too much garlic in it :-o I don’t like tasting garlic all day, so I came prepared.

Here’s another one of Gnoe’s tips: natural & healthy remedies against garlic smell (and taste) are drinking milk, eating an apple and — last but certainly not least — chewing on a bunch of parsley. That’s after you’ve eaten garlic, not before ;) In my experience these solutions work best if you don’t apply them immediately, but after you’ve brushed your teeth without result.

Well, my apple is not in the picture but it did come along. And in the photo you can also see some fresh parsley (not enough though, LOL) — and the before mentioned package sugar free Smint for emergencies ;)

What else could be found in bento #52?

  • red leaf salad (hiding)
  • 3 conchiglioni (pasta seashells) with herbs, slightly greased with olive oil so they wouldn’t stick together
  • black olives
  • slices of orange sweet bite
  • capers, small & large
  • yellow cherry tomatoes
  • parsley (like I said)
  • yogurt coated apricot
  • roasted sunflower seeds as topping for:
  • leek salad (leeks marinated in a basil-garlic dressing)
  • Mediterranean bean paste made of white beans, tomato, red bell pepper (paprika), onion, olive oil and oven-roasted garlic (to eat with the pasta)
  • grated cheese for the conchiglioni
  • pistachios and cashews
  • cranberries

Both the leek salad and the bean paste were easy to make. But… the bean spread was best on the day it was prepared. Next day it had gotten a bit ‘watery’ and needed the salty & sour addition of capers and olives.

So, bento #52 was like a wolf in sheep’s clothes: looking cute, but with a sharp bite! Well, I got a lot of work done that day with few colleagues disturbing me ;) Which is good — is it? It was really my day off… :\

Well, guess what we had for dinner yesterday… Gado-gado! Since my first — and very succesful — attempt to grow my own bean sprouts (taugeh) we have to think of recipes to use it all. LOL Gado-gado is an all-time favourite and had to go on the menu. It’s a salad of either raw or blanched vegetables, served with peanut sauce as a dressing and emping and (dried) fried onions as toppings. Fried tofu and boiled egg are essential ingredients as well. Can’t get any easier, can it? :)

Our meal was (of course) delicious and I had made enough to put some in bento #50. Yay, a real feast! Unfortunately we were out of fried onions and ate all the emping at dinner :\ In my bento I took a Japanese sesame-soy rice cracker instead; not the same — I knoooow — but something crunchy to bite anyway ;)

For those of you who’ve never heard of emping: it’s a type of krupuk (or kroepoek, as we say) that is made of melinjo nuts. No shrimp, so it’s a good alternative for vegetarians like me :) It seems you have to love it or to hate it (it has a bit of a bitter taste) but I really can’t understand that anyone wouldn’t like it! :\

About my jubilee bento. Gado-gado is a great bento filler because it should be eaten at room temperature. The veggies are either blanched or raw so it’s easy to use leftovers ;) Of course it can be nice to have a hot peanut sauce with it, but roomtemp or cold is fine. So what do you see in my bento?

Top tier (which is actually the bottom tier :\ )

  • Japanese grape sweet (Anpanman mix fruit hard candy)
  • 3 stars of dried apricot & wild berries snack
  • mix of cashews and dried cranberries
  • Apricot & wild berries fruit snacksesame-soy rice cracker
  • container with peanut sauce
  • strips of fried tofu for the gado-gado
  • homegrown mustard cress
  • little radish stars

The bottom tier contains a mix of the following

  • red leaf salad (raw)
  • white cabbage (blanched by pouring some hot water over it)
  • bean sprouts (raw, but can be poured over with some hot water as well)
  • cucumber (raw)
  • carrots (blanched)
  • green beans and haricots verts (blanched)
  • slices of boiled egg (obviously)
  • more radish stars
  • radishes with gherkin stars

I’ll post a more precise recipe of gado-gado sometime soon… (oh, me and my promises..! :\ )

Tonight we will be having more Indonesian food with taugeh on the menu: loempia (spring rolls) and lalab taugé! Spring rolls and mushroom soup as a matter of fact, because I ran out of bean sprouts! :-o

I’m afraid the recipes are in Dutch (one of them is really Flemish, to be exact ;)

Ik heb de smaak van het bento-maken duidelijk weer te pakken. Vandaag smulde ik van deze vrijdagse lunch-/snackbox! Met raapstelen, paprika en rode sla uit de eerste tas van dit seizoen. Hij voorkwam toch maar mooi dat ik op het station een zakkie chips kocht… :)

Wat zie je allemaal?

  • Griekse pilav met tuinerwtjes en rode paprika, walnoot, sinaasappelsap en cranberry’s (en een extra walnoot als garnering)
  • gemengde salade (van Romano sla, rode sla en raapstelen) met radijs, tuinkers en rode paprika
  • mosterddressing voor de salade in het kleine bakje
  • radijsroosjes en basilicum
  • geblancheerde courgettewigjes
  • notenmix van gerookte amandelen en ongezouten cashews
  • sterretjes van Port salut (een kliekje van het Brideshead Revisited loekavondje)
  • plakjes vegaworst
  • Japans superheld-sinaasappelsnoepje

En een frappucino voor het dip-moment in de dag :)

Thursday and Friday were moving days at the office. For me, Friday was the first day in the new building. I brought a bento with side dishes since I didn’t know yet how hungry I would be from all the hard labour, nor if I would be able to buy any food in or near the office site (it’s not located near town anymore). But there seems to be a canteen that I can go check out next week.

Bento  #33 on Flickr

Contents:

  • corn with several herbs
  • boiled egg
  • pine nuts and sun-dried tomato for the pasta salad side dish
  • carrot
  • again a container of humus and mojo Palermo with capers (I am almost out of the mojo that my mother in law brought us from La Palma)
  • mini crackers and bounty
  • salt & pepper for the egg
  • sesame nibbles
  • nut mix
  • and two pickles rolled in fake meat slice.

On the side some yogurt with prune jelly (homemade by my mother in law).

Bento  #32 on Flickr

Contents of Thursday November 8’s bento:

  • stir-fried spinach with corn and sesame
  • pasta salad
  • dried cranberries and bilberries
  • mustard cheese cubes
  • yoghurt coated dried apricots
  • sesame nibbles
  • smoked almonds
  • small crackers
  • a light coke
  • and a smint for a fresh breath afterwards.

Notice the nuts, fruits and seeds theme?

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!

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