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

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Long-time-(n)o-bento #145, 20-07-2011

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I last made a bento… But yay, Gnoe’s back on track!

Bento #145 was my five o’clock ‘snack’ on stage 8 of the Groene Hartpad I’m hiking with @variomatic. We had to walk 21 kilometres from Woerden to IJsselstein, starting around lunchtime — and there wouldn’t be any dinner until we had walked each and everyone of those miles! We defied rain and thunder and had a great day. :)

So, what vegan goodies did I bring?

First tier
@Petra_Utrecht’s lemony couscous salad, grilled veggies (yellow paprika, fennel, courgette, red onion), garlic olive, raspberries from the balcony, radicchio leaf and romaine lettuce.

Second tier
Spicy roasted chickpeas, gherkin, dried apricots, mushrooms & leek in Bulldog tonkatsu sauce, half a tomato, orange-teriyaki tofu with extra sauce (should have added sesame seeds as topping but alas, I forgot).

Round container
Melonhomegrown organic strawberry.

And here’s what I had on the side.

Bento #145 snacks (20-07-2011)

Apple juice, almond cookies and forest fruit Evergreen.

It all came along in my kawaii *** new *** thermal bento bag!

Thermal bento bag

Don’t worry! Today’s lunch is as animal-friendly as always: no marinated moose or any other kind of meat. ;)

Monday Moose Bento, 13-03-2011
The main dish, giving its name to this bento, is pasta (corkscrew and moose-shaped) with a  soy cream sauce, spinach, oyster mushrooms and a topping of pine-nuts and sunflower seeds. The sauce contains onion, garlic, mushroom stems, red bell pepper, a basil herb cube and powdered vegetable broth. It tasted great last night during dinner as well as today. :)

This Monday bento also holds the result of the first two recipes I made from my recently acquired cookbook, La Dolce Vegan!: Sleepy Sunday Morning Scramble (which I indeed made on Sunday morning while I was still rather sleepy) and Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. My oh my, both are quite a success! I’m glad I didn’t fill a whole container with just hummus because I would have eaten it all! Dipping my raw veggies (cucumber, green bell pepper, cherry tomatoes), sesame bread sticks and half a slice of toasted pumpkin-corn bread (not shown).

The tofu scramble is really nice as well; comforting (which I contribute to the nutritional yeast) though you shouldn’t really expect it to taste like scrambled eggs or anything.

Other goodies: olives, mixed nuts, corn salad, garden cress and of course those lovely raspberries with a bunch of purple cress. On the side I had an apple that didn’t get to be in the picture. ;)

Another great bento lunch to start my vegan week with! This is my 11th bento of 2011 and they’ve all been 100% animal-free.

ExtraVeganza logo, © variomatic

CSA vegetable bag week 19, 2010

I just picked up our second vegetable bag of the season. At first I thought it was so light it had to be almost empty (well, we were warned so that came as no shock) but when I looked inside… a whole bag of GOODIES! Lesson learnt: don’t always trust your first impressions ;)

  • red Batavia lettuce
  • leek
  • eggplant
  • tree onion (sint-jansui)
  • radishes
  • spinach

YumyumYUM, that’ll provide some nice diners & bentos. I’ve been craving eggplant for a week or two, so it was a wish come true to find it in today’s bag!

Tonight we’re having Nasubi to Atsuage no Nimono (a.k.a. eggplant & tofu stew) in which I can finally use the koya dofu (freeze dried tofu) we brought home from Madeira. I hope it’ll be any good since an earlier experiment with Anpanman tofu was not a success…

I’ll substitute the green peppers with bell pepper; I do have a jar of jalapeños in the pantry but it might be better not to try too many new things at the same time ;) Which reminds me… I need to refresh my challenge to empty out the pantry!

Bunny Bento #96, March 30th 2010

You know how it is with rabbits… You start with two and suddenly there’s a whole bunch of them! So, bunnies galore in bento #96. Let’s make it my 2nd entry in hapa bento’s April B.O.M.B. Challenge!

Bunny Bento #96 en routeIn my usagi sakura bento box you find a Tofu Puff Bunny snuggling up to ordinary inarizushi, a bottle of soy sauce, rucola and parsley greens, a piece of snack tempeh and two avocado maki rolls. Yesh, I made all the sushi myself :) And it was goooooooood.

The snackbox contains homemade chuka wakame (seaweed salad), no.1 farmer’s cheese — nationally elected as ‘the best’ — and bunny marshmallows. On the side I had a mandarin and spicy rooibos tea.

Almost at the end of my hikeThe bunny bento hopped along on my hike today, where it got devoured on a bench next to the water. I walked the last 9 kilometers for my 2nd 100 Mile Fitness Challenge! Deadline is tomorrow so I’m right on time :) It was a nice trail called Kortenhoefse Plassen, crossing peat lands. A bit soggy at times ;) I especially liked the end, overviewing the lakes of Loosdrechtse Plassen.

So, what’s my end total for the 100 Mile Fitness Challenge?
163 kilometers = 101 miles. Yay!

100 Mile Fitness Challenge logo

Should I go for another round? I wouldn’t have gone out today if I hadn’t needed to trot those last few miles…

This looks like a confused bento to me: am I a bento or am I nobento?

Friday morning I was in a major hurry to get to work so my bento got done only halfway. There was no time for a picture either — and I almost forgot to take a photo when I started lunch! Thankfully I remembered to do so after I only had eaten my rye bread with cheese that had been lying in the middle of the lower tier (hence the gap). I ate the sandwich with cherry tomatoes, parsley, basil, salt & pepper (almost all in the lower tier as well).

The upper tier WAS GREAT! Leftover nasi goreng, sambal goreng with beans & tofu and a gherkin, all on a bed of lettuce. If I had had more time I would have given this tier a ‘red touch’ on top, like a slice of red pepper or a tomato star.

Did you notice btw: now you can all see how a bento looks once it has travelled to the office by bike-train-bike. Not too bad, does it? ;)

On the side I also had a summer apple and kiwi fruit.

So… bento #73 might not look much, but you missed out on something anyway ;)

Now I need to go cook… We’re having lentil salad of Lentilles de Puy (that really came all the way from Puy en Valley in France) — I think I’ll save some for my bento #74! :)) To be continued…

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 :)

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.

Ingredienten

  • 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)

Bereiding
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 :)

Ik bracht één souvenir mee van Madeira, en dat is Japanse koyadofu (tofu)..! Gedroogde tahoe. Eens kijken wat ik daarmee zal gaan maken! Iets fusion-achtigs? ;) Maar eerst moeten mijn mini-koyablokjes met Anpanmangezichtjes op want die zijn al láng over hun houdbaarheidsdatum heen…

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 ;)

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!

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Mouthwatering treats our sweet friend @2uzume brought along for tea 😛
#veganfoodporn #vegantreats #whatveganseat Getting ready for the night. Sleep tight sweeties! 💖✨ FTB: Froukje, Tula, Jessie & Jaap. Front to back: Jelle, Froukje, Kleo 💗💕