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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


  • 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


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

ExtraVeganza! button

Round-and-Round Bento #189

I love this round usagi box but don’t often use it because of the rectangular bag I bring to the office. Right-angled bentos are a better fit. ;) But this Wednesday I had a lot to carry so I took a backpack — and chose a container shaped accordingly!


  • Green salad (Romaine lettuce, cabbage, leek sprouts, snow peas, cucumber) and a cherry tomato.
  • Strawberry-rhubarb muffin.
  • Red berries.
  • Olive crackers, sesame dressing for my salad, tip-top-tofu loaf, parsley, chili sauce and cucumber spread with dill & nori blossoms.

Obviously this bento was a bit too high on proteins and too low on carbs. But I made do with what I had in the fridge. It was delish so why complain? :)

As a Dutch foodie blogger quartet we had so much fun with our previous ‘cool collective Weekend Cooking post’ (about dips & spreads), that we decided to do another blog hop this month. Tofu & Tempeh is today’s topic.

Greek salad with faux feta

I chose a recipe that I had my doubts about but wanted to try anyway: tofu feta. I’ve heard plenty of positive stories but would not believe it could really taste like the real thing. And there was only one way to find out! As a newbie vegan I do sometimes miss the fresh, somewhat stingy taste of dairy, like in feta, yoghurt, sour cream and things like that.

But what am I saying… v-gan newbie??? This post marks my 1 year anniversary of going ExtraVeganza!

ExtraVeganza logo, © variomatic

What started out as a 10-day pilot meant to help reduce my intake of animal products in January 2011, turned into Gnoe going totally herbivore. Although I know I’ve come quite far, it’s rather shocking to hear it’s already been a year. O_o

My biggest hurdle is still the feeling that I’m a pain in the *ss for other people, whether they are friends, family or restauranteurs. :\ But I’m healthy and it feels really good to live this way, so I’m mostly very HAPPY about the step I took! :)

As you probably know, soy products like tofu and tempeh are an important protein source for vegetarians and vegans. Except if you’re unlucky like our Weekend Cooking host Beth Fish, who is hyper-sensitive to it. I don’t know what I’d do without my daily soy cappuccino!

Faux feta

So today I’m sharing a tofu recipe: faux feta. There are many recipes around, but I used the one from Becky’s Tasty Planet. She served it to a Greek omni friend and it passed the test!

Most mock feta recipes are easy to whip up but they need a lot of waiting time. Marinating often takes a minimum of 24 hours. What actually happens during that time is that the fermenting process is (re)activated.


Ingredients for Faux Feta

  • 250 g tofu
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp white miso
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 big or 2 small garlic cloves, smashed but left whole
  • dried oregano (to taste)
  • crushed red pepper (to taste)


  1. Drain tofu and wrap in a clean kitchen towel or paper.
  2. Place a cutting board on top and weigh that down with something heavy like a cast iron or water-filled pan, books, cans of beans, etc. Leave for ca. 30 minutes to drain out excess liquid.
  3. In the meantime whisk together the rest of the ingredients for the marinade.
  4. Unwrap the tofu and cut into 1 cm thick slices.
  5. Put the tofu in a container with a well-closing lid, pour over the marinade and refrigerate for at least 24 hours, preferably 2-3 days.
  6. Flip the container every few hours to ensure even coverage.
  7. Pat the tofu pieces dry before use and crumble or cut into desired shape.

Taste test

I was pleasantly surprised with the taste and texture of this faux feta. The bite actually resembles the real thing and its sour tang is good too. You could use a little more salt (real cheese is pretty salty most of the time), but that can be easily fixed with a salad dressing as well. Still, this is no feta cheese. I guess that’s why Becky called it “feta-style marinated tofu” in her post. :)

I will probably make it again and try other recipes as well, like this one on Vegweb. Have I made you curious enough to have a go at it?

Salad with feta-style marinated tofu

Please check out the yummy recipes my fellow blog hoppers shared!

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

Beth Fish Weekend Cooking logo

Zoals ik al aankondigde in mijn post over ochazuke, gebruikte ik in juni nóg een Unidentified Cooking Object als onderdeel van mijn hamsteruitdaging: koyadofu, oftewel gevriesdroogde tahoe. Ik had een kinderversie van kleine blokjes met figuurtjes van Anpanman erop: ideaal voor in een bento natuurlijk ;)

Gedroogde tahoe moet je eerst 10 minuten wellen in (kokend) water of bouillon, daarna kun je het verwerken in misosoep of noodles. In ons geval was dat een van onze all-time favourite miegerechten: soba met spinazie, oesterzwam en walnoot. Zonde, want de tofublokjes waren hartstikke smerig! Ik kan er geen ander woord voor verzinnen :\ Of misschien… MUF?! Toegegeven, net als de ochazuke waren ook déze ruimschoots over tijd ;)

De tofu uit Madeira moeten we maar sneller opmaken! LOL Gemarineerd/gesudderd in een sausje wel te verstaan, met soja, mirin, sake, miso of dashi: mogelijkheden genoeg! Maar het blijft jammer van de Anpanmannetjes want die gingen linea recta naar de groenbak in plaats van in mijn bentobox :(

De naam koyadofu komt van Kōyasan, een berggebied in Japan waar zich een belangrijk boeddhistisch centrum bevindt dat beroemd is om zijn (traditioneel) vegetarische keuken. Misschien moet ik daar maar eens heen om te leren hoe je koyadofu lekker klaarmaakt! ;)

Recept Noedels met spinazie en oesterzwam

Jaah, dit recept is veganistisch — maar zelfs verstokte vleeseters smullen ervan! Het is een favoriet gerecht dat we ons bezoek graag voorzetten. Het komt van de website van de Nederlandse Vereniging voor Veganisme, maar omdat ik al vaker heb meegemaakt dat links naar recepten doodgaan (en we het geheel ietwat hebben aangepast), zal ik jullie hieronder uit de doeken doen hoe je deze makkelijke en heerlijke maaltijd voor 3 á 4 personen maakt.


  • 500 ml dashi, uit een pakje of zelfgemaakt (recept zit in het vat ;) of evt. groentebouillon
  • 220 gr soba, somen of andere soort Japanse noedels
  • 2 eetlepels sake (rijstwijn) of mirin (rijstazijn)
  • 2 eetlepels sojasaus, liefst Japanse (Kikkoman)
  • 120 gr oesterzwammen, schoongemaakt en in plakjes gesneden
  • 450 gr wilde spinazie of biologische grove bladspinazie, schoongemaakt en grof gescheurd (gewone spinazie is ook goed hoor ;)
  • 3 eetlepels olie om te wokken (bijv. arachide, maiskiem, zonnebloem)
  • 1 teentje knoflook, uitgeperst
  • vers gemalen zwarte peper naar smaak
  • 10-15 walnoten, grof gehakt of gemalen
  • 1 eetlepel gesnipperde nori (gedroogd zeewier)

De bereiding van dit gerecht duurt ongeveer 10 á 20 minuten, voorbereiding (schoonmaken en snijden van ingrediënten zoals boven genoemd) niet meegerekend!

Kook de noedels maximaal 5 minuten in de dashi (bouillon). Let op dat ze niet te gaar worden want dan vallen ze uit elkaar bij het eten met stokjes… Doe intussen de olie in een wok en fruit de knoflook 30 seconden. Doe de oesterzwammen in de wok en bak ze 1-2 minuten. Voeg de spinazie, sake/mirin en sojasaus toe en blijf nog 1-2 minuten roerbakken, totdat de spinazie iets zachter wordt. Doe het vuur uit. Breng op smaak met peper. Giet de noedels af als ze klaar zijn, doe ze in de wok en meng ze voorzichtig met een vork of eetstokjes door het roergebakken mengsel. Serveer de noodles bestrooid met een mix van de walnoten en nori. Yummy!

Hoewel de proeftuin in juni qua Japanse ingrediënten niet echt een succes was, ben ik wel tevreden over mijn inspanningen! Op naar de juli-etappe van de uitdaging :)

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!


Currently grazing

Gnoe herding…

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My current fav spot to graze

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