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Menu Day 8 (February 3rd)

Breakfast
For breakfast I had oatmeal gruel with almond milk.
I had almost made some beschuitpap (rusk porridge) because almond milk seemed to go well with it, but when I checked the label I noticed there’s egg in these biscuits. *SIGH*
It is unbelievable how many foods contain animal products! So I changed to oatmeal — and I’m glad I did! Boy, it was good. Probably even better than with cow’s milk! (LOL that’s a lot of exclamation marks in a row! ;) The gruel was creamy and a little sweet thanks to the milk’s 1%  of agave syrup, so I didn’t need to add any sweetener like I usually do. So another great discovery today! *HAPPY DANCE*

BTW I always add ground flax seeds to oatmeal, to insure a sufficient intake of omega-3. After breakfast I had some green kukicha tea.

Lunch
Vegan Wholewheat Sunflower Seed SammiesAt midday I had 3 whole wheat sunflower seed sammies and drank some San Pellegrino with lemon juice. I concluded with a (decaf) latte. Here’s what I put on my sandwiches:

  • last night’s leftovers: falafel, salad & spicy sauce,
  • avocado & radish on veganaise with basil and African Peper mix,
  • smoked sesame & almond tofu with spring onions and toasted sesame seeds on ketchup.

Dinner
Thursday night, soup night. Mr Gnoe has piano lessons to go to. The meal I prepared helped clearing out the fridge. I used up half a pumpkin, a lonely chilli pepper and an open container of coconut milk to make pumpkin-coconut soup. From a wilting apple, open can of pineapple, green onion, red and white cabbage I mixed up a salad with curry-ginger dressing. We enjoyed it with the last bit of Monday’s pizza and some baguette. It was all very nice and so easy to make!

Snacks
Gnoe ate nothing in between meals today..!

Experiences

Anything special about today?

Rice-Almond MilkI’m so happy with today’s discovery of Isola Bio almond milk! It’s even good to drink straight from the glass. :) I’m not sure whether it’s always the same, but the type I bought is actually rice milk blended with almond paste. When I took my first sip there was a slight hint of that ‘dusty’ rice taste, but I didn’t notice it afterwards.

This is exactly what I had hoped to achieve in ExtraVeganza!: trying out many different products to find the perfect ones. Even Mr Gnoe said so yesterday. He is not too fond of ontbijtkoek but when he cut off a slice for my breakfast he noticed it smelled so good! :)

Today also proved that the sunflower seed bread I discovered on Tuesday holds up well after it has been frozen. Yay! Now I just need to look if the organic store closer to home also sells this Flemish bread.

Any difficulties?

None whatsoever.

Pumpkin-Coconut Soup

I used a Dutch on-line recipe to make this heartwarming pumpkin soup. It’s officially a starter but it came out pretty thick and served well as a main course. That might be the result of the fact that I added a sweet potato the recipe didn’t call for, but on the other hand I had only half a pumpkin. Anyway, you can choose to dilute it by adding more broth. Here’s 10 steps to comfort food!

Pumpkin-Coconut Soup

Ingredients

Serves 4.

  • 1 small orange pumpkin (washed)
  • optional: 1 sweet potato
  • 1/2 stalk lemon grass; washed (I always put fresh Asian herbs into the freezer in portions ready to use)
  • 30 gram ginger (I had only about 15 grams left)
  • 1 red chilli pepper; cleaned and seeds removed
  • 1 tbs oil (sunflower)
  • 350 ml vegetable broth
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 tbs pumpkin seeds

Preparation

  1. Cut the pumpkin in half, remove seeds and chop up the meat.
  2. Peel potato and cut into small dices.
  3. Chop up lemon grass.
  4. Peel ginger and chop finely.
  5. Chop chilli pepper.
  6. Heat oil and fry all the chopped up ingredients for a few minutes.
  7. Add broth and coconut milk, bring to a boil and let cook for 15 minutes.
  8. Toast the pumpkin seeds in the meantime.
  9. Mash up soup using blender.
  10. Serve sprinkled with pumpkin seeds.

Enjoy!

– – – – –

New recipe(s) tried for the Whip Up Something New! Challenge!

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Today concludes the first week of Gnoe’s Vegan Adventures. What seemed like a real Project in advance is turning out to be pretty easy. Partly thanks to the preparations I’ve made like stocking up on vegan foods & ingredients, trying out a few recipes and products in advance and last but not least subscribing to the Eat Good, Feel Good cooking class; but also because it’s feeling so right to eat this way and the food is generally just plain good.

I am aware that on some days I might not balance my meals enough. I hoping that will even out in relation to the surrounding days. It is something I will concentrate on when I’ve acquired a good variety of vegan dishes and habits.

Menu Day 7 (Wednesday February 2nd)

Breakfast

  • ‘pre-breakfast’: slice of ontbijtkoek (a kind of spicy bread cake), spread with soy margarine
  • 2 slices of white toast with Marmite & soy margarine

Lunch

Dinner

  • falafel on pita bread
  • salad of aragula, red cabbage, bean & alfafa sprouts, tomato, cucumber, gherkin, green chilies and parsley
  • radishes
  • sauces: garlic, spicy and mango chutney

Snacks (aside from bento)

  • cup of vegetable broth

Experiences

Anything special about today? / Any difficulties?

Today unfortunately wasn’t really my lucky day. I was sick again (yes, I’m ill a lot which is one of the reasons changing my diet seems like a good idea) and didn’t get to go to work. Still, I was happy to have my bento so there was no need to go out of bed to make lunch. And I’m feeling better again now.

Fishy Vegan Bento #130

Fishy Vegan Bento #130, 02-02-2011

[Sorry about the poor quality of this picture — I’m glad the days are slowly lengthening again: daylight photos are best.]

There’s really nothing suspect about this animal-free bento; just a little Basmati rice fishy swimming in some lentil curry. ;) We had some Indian leftovers from our Sunday dinner, which seemed perfect for a bento.

Upper tier

  • Pakistani dahl (red lentils)
  • Calcutta eggplant
  • pineapple
  • Orissan Jagdish Saag Aloo (potato & spinach)
  • a few slices of vegan farmer’s sausage (hiding)

Middle tier

  • Mr Gnoe’s green lentil curry
  • cucumber & radish
  • Basmati rice

Lower tier

  • mango chutney
  • salted pecans and ‘French fries’ potato chips
  • another one of my home-baked vegan paradise cookies

On the side

  • blood orange juice with lemon
  • a 1/8th slice of Monday’s grilled-veggies pizza (not shown)

WHOOAH! A whole box dedicated to snacks?! Yeah well, sort of ;) A treat for coffee time, to compensate for missing out on my coffee. I find that drinking coffee gives a full stomach, tiding me over till lunchtime. Tea doesn’t have the same effect. Now I won’t really miss anything because the coffee machine at the office isn’t any good. :( I only started drinking its rubbish a few years ago after having been a full-time tea-employee for ages… Just don’t ask me. ;)

I also needed something hearty for around 4 o’clock. For a Wednesday afternoon I figured a a snack like pizza & potato chips would be allowed. :) It’s not as if we’re talking huge amounts here, right?

The mango chutney is just a condiment to sooth any over-spiciness of the Indian dishes.

Bento #130 was very satisfying!

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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)

Breakfast
I started my Sunday with two slices of Marmite on toast and latte coffees.

Lunch
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.

Dinner
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

Snacks

  • 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?

Cover World Food Cafe cookbook, Chris & Carolyn CaldicottThe 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)

Vegan Mushroom Soup (freezer stash)

Breakfast
I started the day with ‘sterrenmix‘ herbal tea and 2 slices of crispbread:

  1. Tofutti ‘cream cheese’ spread with avocado, sundried tomato (in oil), alfalfa sprouts, African Peper mix.
    Too many tastes thrown together.
  2. Tartex olivera.

Lunch
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.

Dinner
Soy mozzarella 'cheese'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.

  1. Grilled vegetables (courgette, eggplant, brown mushrooms) and green olives.
  2. 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! ;)

Lime soy yoghurtDessert 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. ;)

Snacks

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!

Breakfast
Oat milkFor 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.

Lunch
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.

  1. Tartex olivera spread with green olives.
  2. Tofutti ‘cream cheese’ with gherkin and tomato.

Dinner
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.

Snacks
From lunch till dinner I had several snacks. Listed in alphabetical order ;)

  • Banana.
  • 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. ;)

– – – – –

New recipe(s) tried for the Whip Up Something New! Challenge!

Whip Up Something New! button

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It’s late and I’m tired, so I’ll just post a quick note about today’s menu & experiences.

Day 3 Menu

Breakfast: fruit smoothie (banana, white grape juice, frozen forest fruit & soy yoghurt)
Lunch: Mr Gnoe & I shared the leftovers of Thursday’s Eat Good, Feel Good cooking class (YES! I really will still post about that ;) and had some more of that winter fruit salad as dessert
Dinner: rice with veggie stir-fry (soy beans, leek, cauliflower, carrot, Brussels sprouts, chestnut mushrooms, radishes, onion, garlic, ginger, mirin and the last bit of the spicy lemon-soy sauce), kale with leek & sesame, apple-bean sprout-alfafa salad, pecan & cashew nuts
Snacks: banana, vegan paradise cookie

ExtraVeganza! Lunch, Day 3

Any difficulties?

Yes. Tonight’s dinner did not follow any recipe and was supposed to include quorn, of which we were certain it was an all fungi meat-substitute… Until I checked the label and discovered it contains about 10% egg. :( We felt we missed something substantial in our dinner, so we added some pecans and cashews as a side dish, which was a good idea.

Tomorrow presents somewhat of a challenge since we will be having guests over to watch the final four episodes of 24 – Day 8. I will need to prepare dinner and snacks, do some housecleaning, blog and prepare a vegan bento for Monday. I hope I can manage all that!

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It’s only the 2nd day of my ExtraVeganza project and I’m already not keeping up with posting daily. Sorry! But more importantly: the vegan eating is going well and I feel weirdly ehm.. ‘clean’. And you may take that by its different meanings. ;) It feels good!

Day 2 Menu

Breakfast: winter fruit salad (apple, banana, kiwi fruit, pink grapefruit & lemon juice), toast with Marmite & soy margarine (Provamel).

Lunch: 3 ‘5-seeds sandwiches’

Vegan sammies

  1. Veganaise, avocado, tomato, mustard cress, chili flakes, salt & pepper. My favorite of the day! It was smoothy & crisp — YUM!
  2. Tofutti ‘cream cheese’ spread (garlic & herbs) with gherkin, walnuts, salt & pepper. This sammy was pretty good too: garlicky, nutty & sour — a good combination.
  3. Slices of Taifun almond-sesame smoked tofu with tomato, mustard, capers and fresh herbs (thyme & parsley). The mustard was a bit too sharp, overwhelming the tofu. But it was funny to notice this combination tasted slightly Japanese! It was the tamari soy sauce and sesame of the smoked tofu combined with the bite of the mustard and ‘pickled’ capers. Still, next time I will use some other toppings, like the leftover spicy soy-lemon sauce from my Experimental Bento.

Dinner: hamburger

Snacks: home-baked Paradise Cookies, Bonvita vegan chocolate (rice milk chocolate & 71% dark with cranberries), cashews

Experiences

I was hungry again pretty soon after breakfast, but that might have something to do with the fact I had been looking at cookie recipes non-stop. ;)

Since I then made an extra sandwich for lunch (I usually take 2), it tided me over to dinner after 7. Completely averting my usual hunger attack around 4 o’clock! Wow.

Any difficulties?
Nope. What might have been a complication on Day 2 was No-Problem-At-All. We were having dinner prior to a Lost-2 mini marathon at my cousin’s and decided on a hamburger meal together. :)

So I had my Albert Heijn organic vegan burger on a small ciabatta bun from the whole food store, piled with veggies, ketchup and… garlic sauce based on the amazing veganaise I had whipped up in Happy Herbi’s Eat Good, Feel Good cooking workshop that was my official ExtraVeganza kick-off.

And no telly night without snacks to munch on! ;)

Vegan chocolate couvertureI’m one of those rare people that doesn’t have a craving for chocolate. I like a bite every once in a while and at those moments I prefer milk chocolate with nuts or white. You won’t catch me eating a piece of dark chocolate. ;) But my cousin likes it a lot so I wanted to bring some — and of course I tasted both.

To me the ricemilk chocolate couverture tasted pretty dark although the 71% one is stronger and the cranberries are a great addition. This brand uses 100% FairTrade and organic cacao.

Vegan Paradise Cookies

Today was also my first try at vegan baking. I chose an easy-looking recipe from Vegalicious for which I only needed to buy 1 extra ingredient: canned pineapple. My Vegan Paradise Cookies didn’t turn out as good looking as promised — rather pale as you can see, but they do taste nice!

Vegalicious' Vegan Paradise Cookies

They’re not as sweet as mass-produced, shop-bought and I rather like that. They’re a little crunchy on the outside, soft and a bit cake-like on the inside. I didn’t know they would be that way, so I had them in the oven twice as long as I was supposed to because they still felt elastic to the touch. It also took me waaaaaaay longer to make them than I had thought, because getting the ingredients ready (chopping nuts, mincing pineapple) took some time. So we were a bit late on our dinner date :-o

The recipe on Vegalicious doesn’t mention when to use the vanilla, so I put it in with the flour and baking powder. My batter didn’t turn out too wet to handle, like a note on the original recipe says, but that might have to do with the fact I couldn’t find any ‘sweetened coconut flakes’ and used ordinary grated coconut, which I always have in stock.

Everybody liked the chocolate as well as my coconut cookies. My family also tasted the garlic sauce and thought it good (although they took the dairy version that was also available, probably not wanting me to have too little ;)
So it’s safe to say that our ‘Friday Snack Night’ was a success. ;)

On with Gnoe’s vegan adventures on Day 3 of ExtraVeganza!

– – – – –

New recipe(s) tried for the Whip Up Something New! Challenge!

Whip Up Something New! button

– – – – –

Join Beth Fish’s weekend cooking with a food-related post!

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Oh nooooos! Reading up on some of the Weekend Cooking posts I stumbled upon a new challenge Margot mentioned: Whip Up Something New! *SIGH* I just updated my Challenge Page & sidebar yesterday and now they’re not up-to-date any more. Behind again! Yeah well, I had to join, right?

Whip up something new! logo

Whip up something new! is a monthly challenge for the many of of us who promise ourselves that we’ll try new recipes and yet we end up cooking the same old things. Although it was inspired by organising those ripped/cut out recipes, if you don’t have such a pile of paper to sift through, feel free to make something from one of your cookbooks or from the hundreds of fabulous cooking blogs. The point is to try cooking new things!

As I try some new recipes each month (often even weekly) this really isn’t much of a dare to me. The hard part is blogging them! I’m hoping this challenge will help me do just that. Fits perfectly with the newly set blogging routine of 2×4 hours I decided upon; I might even need to make a monthly topic schedule! LOL

Anyway, as January’s Hello Japan! mission is to try Something New as well, I thought I’d share  the white miso soup recipe I tried yesterday.

Miraculous Miso Soup

Undeserving picture of white miso soup

I made this dish to bring along to a friend’s house, where we were going to watch Chef of South Polar, about a Japanese cook making marvellous meals for a small research team on Antarctica. It was just a small offering compared to the work she put in making us vegetarian sushi, which even turned out completely vegan. One of the maki rolls contained kanpyo: sweet pickled pumpkin which I had never had before and tasted wonderful! It’s on my grocery list ;) and I’m looking forward to making onigiri with it!

Cover The VegetarianTable: Japan (Victoria Wise)

But on to the White Miso Soup recipe I took from The Vegetarian Table: Japan cookbook by Victoria Wise (page 41). It is absolutely delicious! I don’t think I ever want to try another recipe ;) The picture above really doesn’t do it justice.

I had made some parboiled carrot flowers and small bundles of mustard cress for decoration — which unfortunately dropped straight to the bottom of the bowls… :( Well, lesson learnt ;)

Ingredients
Serves 4.

  • 1 tofu puff sachet (aburaage) cut in 8 thin slices; can be substituted by 115 gr / 4 oz soft tofu in cubes
  • 825 ml / 3.5 cups vegetable dashi (Japanese stock)
    Note: prefab dashi usually contains bonito, which is a type of fish. You can sometimes buy a vegan version in health stores or well-stocked Asian stores, but why not make it yourself? I’ve used the recipe from Victoria Wise’s cookbook, freezing portions for quick future use. I have no doubt Maki’s on-line recipe is quite as good. Since I’m now out of dashi stock I might just try it myself!
  • white part of 1 small leek, sliced into very thin rounds and well rinsed
  • 5-6 tbs white miso
  • 12 strands (about 4 cm / 1.5 inch each) of lemon zest ~ use organic!
  • personal addition (optional): thin slices of carrot (pre-cooked), any kind of cress or finely shredded cabbage

Preparation

  1. Place the tofu slices in a colander and pour boiling water over them to rinse off the oil. Set aside.
  2. Optional: prepare other decorative ingredients.
  3. Put the dashi in a medium pot or microwave bowl and bring to a boil.
  4. Place the miso in a small bowl, add 125 ml (0.5 cup) of the warm dashi and whisk to smooth. Set aside.
  5. Add the tofu puff slices, leek and optional carrot to the dashi an simmer very gently for about 2 minutes until wilted.
  6. Stir in the miso, taking care not to let the liquid boil again.
  7. Ladle into soup bowls, dividing the ingredients equally.
  8. Garnish with lemon zest (and optional cress).
  9. Serve right away. Itadakimasu!

The easy part

This soup is really easy to make and it only takes a little time when you have all the ingredients at hand.

The hard part

The hardest part was cutting my slices of lemon zest, even though I have a special tool for it — called lemon zester ;) I guess I’ll need to practice! Since the soup is cloudy and ingredients sunk to the bottom, it also wasn’t easy to share them equally.

White miso

I’m submitting this post to January’s Hello Japan! because I haven’t used shiromiso before. At least not to my knowledge — although Mr Gnoe disputes that. There are three major types of this Japanese fermented bean paste: white (shiromiso), red (akamiso) and awasemiso; which is a blend of both.

For many years we’ve only had red miso (like I said: solely, as far as I can remember), which is much saltier. I’m now dying to try miso tamago with the more subtle flavoured shiromiso — the way it’s supposed to be made! Better do that before my ExtraVeganza pilot starts next week ;)

– – – – –

Join Beth Fish’s weekend cooking with a food-related post!

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Total amount of time spent on Bloggiesta: 9.20 hrs

Update no.2

Amount of time put in since last update: 3.50 hrs

It’s 7pm and I’m awfully tired so I’m updating this Bloggiesta Day 1 post before dinner ‘cause I have a feeling I might not be back after that ;)

I’m pretty content with what I’ve done today! Since my first update I finished my urgent ExtraVeganza post and did some odd jobs ‘off the grid’.

Off the grid

  • I looked into an articles template plugin in vain: plugins are only allowed on privately hosted WordPress blogs (wordpress.org) and not on the free wordpress.com.
  • I got sidetracked by reading and commenting on other bloggiesta task lists…
  • I participated in 2 mini-challenges

Brain teasers & Research

  • decide on set weekly time to blog  ✔
    I’m not 100% sure yet whether it will work but I decided to block 4 hours of blogging time on Wednesdays and also 4 hours in the weekend, either on Saturday or Sunday. I’m also no longer allowed to blog at night because I have a hard time falling asleep…

Tonight I’ll be probably ‘chilling’ with The Killing but I’m looking forward to tomorrow! See you then :)

Mini-challenges

Since last update: 2
All mini-challenges participated in: 2

Update no.1

Amount of time put in since last update: 5.30 hrs

Mexican Bloggiesta Lunch

I knew you were all going to squeal with jealousy but I still wanted to show off my Mexican Bloggiesta Lunch. Sorry ;) You probably won’t believe me but it was all made with leftovers!

The chili is another recipe from the Dutch vegetarian website De Vegetariër, and you’ll never guess what’s in it… espresso!

I also had two open packages of nacho chips threatening to get stale — okay, so I should have paid more attention to the oven temperature but most of it was fine ;) Of course the beet pancake isn’t really Mexican but it fitted this meal perfectly anyway.

There’s still an open can of tomatoes in my fridge, along with a package of passato di tomato, so later on I might even make some of my super flexible salsa picante.

But first things first.

What have I been doing since my last update?

Quick & Easy

  • back-up blog  ✔
  • update ‘About’-page with pages I’m featured at  ✔ (plus updated to English text)
  • add image to blogpost Books Read in 2008
  • add tag ‘weekendcooking’ to Weekend Cooking posts  ✔

Bigger jobs

  • write at least 1 recipe or food related post (urgent: ExtraVeganza!)
    Progress: the draft of my ExtraVeganza post is finished, I just need to fine-tune a little and want to add a compilation of photo’s for which I need to get reacquainted with Qimp.

Of course I also went an did some stuff that wasn’t on my original list.

Off the grid

  • cleaned up online mailbox because of bouncing mails
  • updated contact page
  • replied on comments on Graasland and Flickr-page
  • twittered

You know what’s so special about this 4th Bloggiesta? We’ve only got wifi since this week so I can work on my blog anywhere I like! :)

Mini-challenges

Since last update: 0
All mini-challenges participated in: 0

Our third season of CSA has come to a closing. Now we’ll need to decide on which veggies to buy all by ourselves again… Not an easy task! #lazybums

Last organic CSA veggies of the year (week 51, 2010)

  • purslane
  • leek
  • thyme
  • red cabbage
  • choggia beets
  • apples
  • variety of onions: shallot, red and white

When I got beets last time I made Nigel Slater’s Beetroot Seeds Cake and it was goooood!

Nigel Slater's Beetroot seeds cake

Clicking on the picture will bring you to Flickr, where I’ve put up the link to the on-line recipe and some adaptations I made.

Yesterday was another Meatless Monday (Plantaardig Maandag) and supposed to be December’s #twitterfoodparty about squash, so I made a vegan Indian curry with basmati rice and (prefab) mango chutney with last week’s hokkaido pumpkin. The picture didn’t turn out too great but it tasted better than it looks. ;) Anyway, the food party got postponed due to too many ‘twabsentees‘…! If you want to join in, just make something with squash on January 10th, use the hashtag and tweet a picture!

Vegan pumpkin curry with basmati rice and mango chutney

So, no more CSA (b)log posts until the first week of May 2011. Some of you might think that a good thing… But hopefully not all???

Foodie's Reading Challenge 2011 buttonOf course I’ve already told you all that I joined the 2011 Foodie’s Reading Challenge — and nobody was surprised at that. But I didn’t write an actual admission post, deciding on a level of participation plus books to read. Making up for that now!

Can’t do any better than being a nibbler, meaning I’ll read 1-3 books from the world of food writing.

Proposed titles:

  • Verraad, verleiding en verzoening: de rol van eten in speelfilms, by Louise O. Fresco & Helen Westerik
    Cover 'Eten in speelfilms', Louise O. Fresco & Helen WesterikDutch non-fiction about the significance of food in film, demonstrated with the help of several well-known movies like Babette’s Feast, Big Night, Marie Antoinette, Julie & Julia, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover etc.
    Wow: my love for food, books and movies combined. :) I bought it from the authors themselves on a night about Foodies, Foodporn and Food Blogs in September, so I have a signed copy.
  • Bento Box in the Heartland: My Japanese Girlhood in Whitebread America, by Linda Furiya
    Cover Bento Box in the Heartland, Linda FuriyaWhile growing up in Versailles, an Indiana farm community, Furiya tried to balance the outside world of Midwestern America with the Japanese traditions of her home life. As the only Asian family in a tiny township, her life revolved around Japanese food and the extraordinary lengths her parents went to in order to gather the ingredients needed to prepare the meals. [..] Furiya’s story begins with her first memorable meal as a kindergartener and concludes when she graduated from high school. Her story revolves around food. The preparing of it, the eating, and congregation surrounding sustenance serves not only as a backdrop, but demonstrates how it comforts an immigrant’s homesickness and aids the family through their challenges.
    Sounds like another perfect book for Gnoe, right? ;)

I might add titles to this list or change my mind on what to read, so feel free to give me any suggestions you might have! For now I really feel like doing these two. :))

Cover Decorative Food Carving

I’ve been away form the computer a bit longer than the week I expected, but now I’m back :) And… we’ve got a winner in my 3 year bentoversary giveaway!
Random.org decided on Bentoversary Giveway

The Decorative Art of Japanese Food Carving goes to…: Lena from Lenas Abentoyer! She started bentoing on Easter Monday this year and her (vegetarian) bento sounds absolutely delish for a first! I hope the book will inspire her to new bento adventures — when she’s back from her concert trip in Bolivia ;) Please check out her weblog: there’s a link in the right sidebar that’ll translate Lenas Abentoyer (such a smart variation on Abenteuer = adventure) into English. If we all ask her nicely, she might share a Bolivian bento recipe! ;)

Congratulations on winning the prize Lena, I hope you’ll make good use of it!

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!

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