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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. ;)

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

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Homegrown chillies

These gorgeous chillies did not come from our CSA distributor Amelishof, but I harvested them myself — on our balcony! You might remember I swapped a head of endive for a couple of red hot pepper saplings in May. That was a good deal! I throw these buggers in almost any dish, but they keep on coming. I’m thinking of making sambal… :)

And here’s the picture of this week’s CSA loot.

Amelishof organic CSA vegetables week 40, 2010

  • red bell pepper
  • hokkaido pumpkin
  • chicory (curly leaf endive or frisée)
  • red leaf lettuce
  • carrots
  • shallots (yay!)

Menu plan with these (& last week’s) vegetables

  • Courgette omelet with fresh basil, pasta salade with pesto and tomatoes
    [Wednesday] New recipe from ‘Vega Gerechten’ cookbook.
  • Roasted beet salad, cabbage dish with leek & mustard seeds, potato mash
    Have made these recipes from ‘Vega Gerechten’ cookbook before.
  • Chinese take-away [Saturday: read-a-thon]
  • Indian night: Gujarati carrot salad with fresh mint, lime and mustard seeds, basmati rice, Diu corn curry
    Trying out new recipes from World Food Café Global Vegetarian Cooking.
  • Endive-potato mash with blue cheese & cashews
    Easy all-time favourite.
  • Basil spaghetti with sauce of soy cream, mushrooms, leek, sun-dried tomatoes, bell pepper & pinenuts, accompanied by tomato-rocket salad.
    Will just make it up while cooking.
  • And… (drum roll) carrot cake!!! I had it for a treat during the read-a-thon and it was Very Good. The recipe came from a magazine cut-out I had been wanting to try — hope to post it soon!

Carrot cake

I have nothing planned yet for my pie pumpkin. That’s because I want to make something special out of it for the Kookgrrls’ October theme! During the read-a-thon someone mentioned pumpkin pancakes… Yum! And tanabata from In Spring it is the Dawn was eating pumpkin bagels for breakfast.

I did have a really nice Halloween cookies recipe but strangely enough it has disappeared from earth (& cyberspace). Sigh. Maybe one of the other grrls will put up a pumpkin recipe that I can try! :)

Or do you have a nice suggestion for a veggie pumpkin recipe?

Meatless Monday button

I sometimes believe there’s a telepathic csa supervisor somewhere, tuning in to (very) special requests. This afternoon I scouted several stores in search of celery but couldn’t find any. I desperately wish to turn some leftover corn into perkedèl djagoeng (corn fritters) for my next bento you see, and it won’t work without that specific herb! :(

When I went to get our weekly vegetable bag it briefly crossed my mind… but nah, that would be really improbable and too much to hope for. Well. YIPPEE!

Just like that time when I was craving eggplant!

CSA vegetable bag week 23, 2010

I was also pretty happy to see some more of those scarlet globes, french breakfast and icicle radishes among the veggies for this week.
(Thanks for teaching me their names Judy!) Haven’t they grown since last week? :-o

  • celery
  • bunch of 3 radish varieties
  • eggplant
  • endive (frisée)
  • red chili pepper
  • leek
  • lettuce

ETA: The celery was used for corn fritters (dôh), bami goreng (twice), Russian salad and several other dishes. Half of the curled endive went into a potato stew with gorgonzola and almonds (which should have been cashews but we were out of those), the rest became toemis andijvie with bami. The leek was also used for perkedèl djagoeng and bami; the chili pepper dito and stir-fried with last week’s bok choi.

Vanavond een favoriet gerecht op het menu: Frijoles. Dit Mexicaanse bonengerecht komt regelmatig bij ons op tafel omdat het:

  1. zo lekker is,
  2. snel te maken,
  3. je er álle kanten mee op kunt!

In tegenstelling tot wat ik zaterdag aankondigde maak ik de bonen niet met verse kapucijners… Dat bleek een slecht idee omdat ze meer op erwten dan op die bruine bonen uit blik lijken :\ Ze gingen dus in een zomersalade en dat was heerlijk!

Vanavond gebruiken we gewoon een blik nierbonen volgens het oorspronkelijke recept van Eethuis Iris in Eindhoven, uit het kookboekje Feestmenu’s, verrukkelijk & vegetarisch. In de loop der tijd hebben we de hoeveelheden daarvan wel wat aangepast en bouwstenen toegevoegd ;)

Nodig voor 2 personen:

  • 1 blik rode bonen (of andere, voor meerdere personen kun je ook bonen combineren; belangrijk is dat de bonen gaar zijn ;)
  • 1 fijngesneden ui
  • 1 teen knoflook, fijngehakt
  • 1 (ruime) tl sambal of 1 schoongemaakte en gesnipperde rode peper
  • 2 el olie
  • kruidenmengsel van telkens 1 tl: komijnpoeder, paprikapoeder, kurkuma (geelwortel, of kerrie als je dat niet hebt) en korianderpoeder
  • 5 el sojasaus
  • half blikje tomatenpuree (evt. te vervangen door 2 el gezeefde tomaat, tomaat uit blik of verse, ontvelde tomaat)
  • zout (of bouillonpoeder) naar smaak

Bereiding:

Olie verwarmen en daarin de fijngehakte ui, knoflook en rode peper/sambal glazig bakken. Kruiden toevoegen en even laten meebakken (blijf roeren om aanbakken tegen te gaan). Sojasaus en tomatenpuree toevoegen en al roerend enkele minuten bakken. Dan de gare bonen in de pan doen, omroeren, deksel op de pan en zachtjes laten doorkoken. Het gaat erom dat de bonen goed warm worden en de saus wat indikt, maar pas goed op dat het gerecht niet aanbakt; doe er evt. een klein scheutje water bij als het te droog wordt. Op smaak brengen met zout.

Een simpele avondmaaltijd vormen de frijoles met rijst (en natuurlijk een salade of maïskolf als groente), maar die kan worden uitgebreid met — of vervangen door — maïschips of een nachoschotel van chips uit de oven met tomaat, olijf en geraspte kaas.

Andere keren gebruiken we de mexicaanse bonen als vulling van taco’s, enchillada’s of burrito’s — bijvoorbeeld als we bezoek krijgen :) Meestal in buffetvorm, met diverse bijgerechten: zure room (of creme fraîche), guacamole, salsa picante, geraspte kaas, pepita’s (geroosterde pompoenpitten), olijven en lente-ui.

Minder feestelijk, maar wel net zo lekker, zijn de bonen als chili sin carne: met paprika, courgette en evt. maïskorrels toegevoegd. Ik zei het al: je kunt met dit recept echt álle kanten op!

Bij de simpele doordeweekse versie vinden wij zure room en een beetje geraspte kaas eigenlijk wel onmisbaar. Yummy, ik krijg nu al trek!

I’m not superstitious and I don’t believe Friday the 13th means bad luck. Hey, on Fridays it’s almost W.E.E.K.E.N.D.! But Monday the 13th… Yaiks, that’s something else indeed! I don’t like Mondays… And now both July and August bring us that black day :(

Today I hoped to balance things out a bit by bringing bento #61 to work: 6 + 1 = lucky number 7! :)

First tier:

  • bed of romaine lettuce
  • pesto egg with sundried tomato
  • carrot
  • hot pepper (from the balcony) with houmous
  • slice of cucumber
  • cauliflower florets
  • black olives
  • pine nuts

I also added some walnut after making the picture.

Second tier:

  • mexican nut mix (‘pepita mix‘)
  • carrot sticks
  • seedless grapes
  • pasta salad (corn, hot pepper, (fresh & sundried) tomato, pine nuts, pesto, basil, red tofu)

This bento really helped me get through my busy day! :)

Of course macaroni rigate is a bit too large for a real pasta salad but I am not small-minded when it comes to using leftovers!

BTW: did you spot the 3 song titles in this post??? Answers behind the cut :)

I can see the questioning looks asking WHY this bento (#59) would be so unusual… Well, normally I don’t have a Wednesday bento :) And this was a really good one as well! Containing:

  • salad of organic romaine leaves, potatoes, oven roasted red beet, spring onion, red onion, dill and gherkin in a yoghurt dressing
  • piece of (organic) rucola (rocket), potato, cheese and pine nuts quiche
  • tiny radish
  • edamame sprinkled with sea salt
  • hot pepper (from the balcony) filled with houmous
  • walnuts
  • homegrown bean sprouts
  • organic gooseberries

It was a well balanced bento with that spicy red pepper and some fresh bean sprouts to cool down with. Yummy!

I’m looking forward to today’s surprise bag: what kind of organic vegetables will we get this week?

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!

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