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The Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of book lovers on the web, blogging about bookish things of the past week, visiting each others weblogs, and oh — reading books of course ;)

Last November -that’s almost a year ago indeed- Annemieke from Rozemarijn kookt asked on Twitter who would like to receive her copy of A Vegan Taste of Greece, by Linda Majzlik. Of course I was interested and she kindly sent me the book. Shame on me that I didn’t cook from it until a couple of weeks back!

Now why did I finally pick it up?

Cookbook Challenge ButtonWell.. There’s a PPK Cookbook Challenge on the Post Punk Kitchen forum. A vegan cookbook is chosen each week, and if you don’t have that particular book you can choose another from your shelves. This event coincides with Uniflame’s Cookbook Challenge on She Likes Bento. The difference between the two?

  • PPK: any (vegan) book will do if you don’t have the designated title but you’ll need make at least three recipes from it.
  • She Likes Bento: there’s no set amount of recipes to try (just one will do) but you have to choose an unused or hardly touched cookery book.

Conclusion: I’m making it harder on myself by combining the two. What else is new? ;)

A Vegan Taste of Greece by Linda Majzlik

Cover A Vegan Taste of GreeceA Vegan Taste of Greece was the only vegan cookbook I own from which I hadn’t tried a single recipe — so there really was no other first choice possible.

After a short introduction on the origin of Greek food and its place in society, A Vegan Taste of Greece starts with an alphabetical list of a regular pantry, often including nutritional info. Nice! The rest of the book is divided into chapters focussing on different courses: mezedes, soups, main courses, vegetables, grain accompaniments, salads, sauces and dressings, breads, desserts and baking.

I’ve made 4 recipes from 3 different sections: a main course, grain accompaniment and two salads, one green and one legume (bean). Each recipe indicates the amount of servings; mostly four but since it’s just the two of us here at Graasland, I usually made half of it.

Main course: Briami

Greek Briami, Turkish rice with chickpeas, cumin spiced quick bread and avocado salad

Greek Briami, Turkish rice with chickpeas, cumin spiced quick bread and avocado salad

Briami is a vegetable casserole containing potatoes, courgette, red pepper, mushrooms, onion, tomatoes and a selection of herbs & spices like fennel seeds, rosemary and thyme. Wine and lemon juice provide additional liquid. The dish is finished off with olives and vegan cheese, for which I used a combination of faux parmezan and ‘rawmezan’ (a mix of ground nuts & ‘nooch‘, aka nutritional yeast). Sounds good, doesn’t it?

Despite of all the flavourful ingredients I found the briami rather bland. :( It could have used more sauce and even then I’m not sure it would be really good. Maybe my expectations were too high? Mr Gnoe thought it was okay.

It’s an easy recipe to make but it does take some time preparing because of all the ingredients required. And then it has to go into the oven for about an hour. Oven dishes that can be prepared in advance are great when having guests for dinner, but I don’t think I would dare serve this. Don’t want to confirm a possible prejudice that vegan food is tasteless! ;)

Grain accompaniment: Minted bulgar with leeks

Leek bulghhur with seitan stroganoff

Seitan stroganoff with minted leek bulghur

The bulghur was… nice, but once more a bit dull. Admittedly I forgot to garnish with fresh mint. But I could hardly taste the dried peppermint that was also in it, and the leeks were so overcooked that they’d lost most of their flavour. I like leek, so it was another disappointment. I would consider making this again though: as an idea it’s more exciting than just wheat, it’s easy to make and a great way to add more vegetables to a meal. Next time I’d bake the veg separately until just done and combine everything at the end. It was a good combo with the seitan stroganoff though!

Green salad: fennel and avocado

Greek fennel salad with avocado

Greek fennel salad with watercress & avocado

I’ve got this surprisingly good fennel-tomato salad recipe and avocado is one of my favourite fruits, so I was eager to try a Greek recipe combining them. The biggest differences between the two are that the fennel is cooked first in the new recipe and it doesn’t have basil & black olives but watercress (and avocado) instead.

You can probably guess by now… Another flavourless dish. I expect Mediterranean food to be tasty! Furthermore, all ingredients were soft (not to say mushy) and I rather like a crunchy salad. My ideas for improvement? Keep the fennel raw, add olives & basil and maybe a little ouzo or other anise-flavoured drink. Of course having alcohol with your meal decreases the body’s ability to absorb vitamins, but sometimes there’s something to say for taste too. ;) But to be honest, I think I’ll stick with my regular fennel salad recipe.

Bean salad: chickpea

Greek chickpea salad

Chickpea salad

The last recipe, chickpea salad, was a small hit — the best of the bunch anyway. Especially considering it’s rather basic: a mix of cooked garbanzos, cucumber, a variety of peppers, red onion, black olives and a dressing made of skinned and finely chopped tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, crushed garlic, fresh thyme and black pepper. I added a little salt as a flavour enhancer too. Yes, I will make this salad again when I have an open can of chickpeas!

The verdict

It will come as no surprise that I’m not really enthusiastic about A Vegan Taste of Greece. I’m considering discarding it, but first I’d like to try some recipes from other sections, like…

  • A mezé ~ walnut-stuffed mushrooms? Yellow split-pea spread fava? Courgette critters? Or jumping into the deep end with gyros made from scratch, finally using that bag of seitan starter I purchased?
  • Dessert ~ baked nectarines or orange glazed peach slices, almond & apricot pastries… They make my mouth water. :) But all require the purchase of a new ingredient: orange flower water.
  • Baked goods ~ sesame cookies, almond cakes, semolina & lemon slices… No? ;)
  • And the baked beetroot in the vegetable chapter sounds like good too.

So there’s more to explore before the curtain falls. I’d like to try one each from the categories above before my final judgement. Still, there’s a whole series of A Vegan Taste of… (France, India, East Africa, et cetera) by Linda Majzlik. Getting me to try another would require a copy to literally fall into my hands again.

I hardly dare finish with one more flaw of the book.. :\ I think it’s partly a regional problem and doesn’t apply to Americans. MANY of the recipes use vegan cheese or yoghurt. I haven’t been able to find a good cheese substitute and feel reluctant to buy and use the varieties available here. In the US there’s Dayia… Reviews are raving so I’d love to get my hands on that!

And soygurt… It lacks the sour freshness of its animal equivalent, which cannot be fully compensated by adding (extra) lemon. I just purchased a tub though, so I do plan on trying one of the recipes containing yofu too.

To be continued?

If you’ve got one of Majzlik’s books I’d love to hear you think!

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

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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dijon

Last week I started a series of posts called Les Vacances de Mme Gnoe, about how I fared as a vegan on a recent holiday in the South of France. Obviously I survived. ;) It may help other newbie vegans going on a journey — or those worrying about going to the land of bouillabaisse, fromage and cassoulet.

Vegan Month of Food buttonIn the first post I related what to eat en route. Today I’ll write about our first dinner in France, when we spent the night in Dijon.

As a vegan it’s wise to be prepared when going on a trip. So if you’re not sure you”ll connect to the internet, do some homework before you leave!

HappyCow's Compassionate Healthy Eating Guide

My first ‘stop’ was at Happy Cow.net: a worldwide database of vegetarian restaurants and grocery stores, also marking them vegan(-friendly). There were two places listed in Dijon: Les Pieds Bleus and Le Shanti. The first was one being described as “simple family type cooking, buffet style, in a typical French canteen atmosphere” — sounds great! So we dropped off our luggage in the hotel and set off in the direction of Place Emile Zola.

Alas… The restaurant was closed for vacation and would reopen the next day when, of course, we had travelled on! This was a surprise to us as in the Netherlands restaurants do not usually close during tourist season. This holiday we were about to learn that the French do things differently. ;)

So we went to search for option #2, Le Shanti, window-shopping and making pictures of the medieval city on our way. This time we found the venue open. There were yummy things on the menu like veggie burgers, wraps, soups and salads. But… you get the picture? More like a place to have lunch or a just quick bite, not for a special occasion like your first holiday dinner!

Back to the city centre it was, where wecould pick from a choice of restaurants on the aforementioned Place Emile Zola. Considering Lebanese first, we felt more like having Japanese and ended up at the Sushi King, “retaurant Japonais” (and that’s not my typo ;).

Menu of Sushi King Dijon

Here they served a vegetarian sushi menu consisting of miso soup, salade de choux (cabbage tsukemono) and three kinds of maki rolls: cucumber, avocado and daikon radish. The usual condiments: soy sauce (sweet or salty), pickled ginger and wasabi condiments. Since I’m a sucker for chuka wakame I ordered an bowl of salade d’algues as well. For dessert I enjoyed a whole pot of Japanese green tea.

Miso soup
Cabbage tsukemono
Sushi
Chuka wakame

We had dinner outside, cozy among other establishments on the city square. The food was good but nothing special and, aside from plain or vinegar rice, these were the only vegan/vegetarian dishes on the menu. I haven’t asked whether the fried noodles with vegetables were (or could be made) vegan and it didn’t really seem like the place to serve food off the carte.

Green tea (Japonais)The waiters were fairly quick and friendly, except for one young man who managed to whisk away our plates a little too early first and ignored us when we wanted to order another drink afterwards. He probably didn’t have his day. ;) We did.

So. If you like to have a decent meal but aren’t too demanding, I can certainly recommend the Sushi King for a vegan dinner in Dijon!

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I had to play truant for a couple of days, but now I’m back at VeganMoFo with my traditional CSA (b)log post and menu plan.

Amelishof organic CSA vegetables week 41, 2012

  • Red, yellow & chioggia beets
  • Silver beet
  • Lollo Bionda lettuce
  • Hokkaido pumpkin
  • Doyenné pears
  • Parsley

I still got last week’s runner beans and will be getting cauliflower and purple kale tomorrow from another local organic garden. So what’s up this week?

Menuplan Thursday October 11th  – Wednesday 17th

  • Thursday: homemade tomato soup, leftover pasta with pesto, and leftover saag with chickpeas made into a pasta sauce with mushrooms, leek and baked onions.
  • Friday: rice with chili (freezer stash), avocado, home-made salsa picante and steamed silver beet.
    Baking pumpkin crumb cake with pecan streusel from Veganomicon (p.255) for my friend Loes’ birthday. Will adapt the streusel to a nut mix as I don’t have enough pecans.
  • Saturday: Turkish beans (taze fasulye), carrot-walnut salad with soygurt dressing (cevizli havuç salatasi) adapted from Lokanta cookbook and pide bread or a grain dish.
  • A variation of The Green Cuisine’s pumpkin-paprika soup -another VeganMoFo inspired dish!- and beet-potato salad
  • Baked potatoes, veggiedogs and sautéed silverbeet with creamy cauliflower ‘queso’ from Cadry’s Kitchen.
  • Quesadillas with leftover cauliflower ‘queso’; autumn salad with beetroot and baked pear/apple adapted from Baking Made Easy.
  • Dessert: sugared puff pastry with pear and chocolate syrup.
  • Snack: kale chips (or this VeganMoFo spicy kale recipe from The Green Cuisine).
  • Sandwich spread: eggless salad with last week’s celery. Recipe recommendations really MUCH appreciated!

I can hardly believe it: here’s Monday again and a whole week of VeganMofo has passed. Not only that, I managed to post every day! Yay me. ;) I’m really enjoying blogging again. :))

Today we’re having comforting Thai carrot soup here at Graasland. There are three ways to make this recipe:
a) quick and dirty easy,
b) less quick but still dirty easy,
c) elaborate — involving making your own curry paste from scratch.

I’m a medium-sized grrl. ;) So here’s version B!

Thai Carrot Soup Recipe

Thai Carrot Soup

Ingredients
Serves 2-3.

  • 300 g clean carrots (if you’d like to peel instead of wash them you’ll need about 450 g to start with)
  • 1.5-2 tbs olive, peanut or rapeseed oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 heaped tbs of red curry paste (check the ingredients to make sure it’s vegan)
  • 500 ml vegetable stock
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • salt & pepper
  • optional: 1 tbs lime juice
  • optional: chopped cilantro

Oven-roasted carrots for Thai Carrot Soup

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 225 °C (gas 5).
  2. Cut the carrot into 1 cm pieces. Put them in a casserole with 1 tbs of oil and mix until all the carrot is coated with oil.
  3. Put it in the oven for about 25-35 minutes or until tender.
  4. In the meantime chop the onion.
  5. When the carrots are done, heat the left over oil in a pan. Bake onion, crushed garlic and curry paste for a few minutes until soft.
  6. Add carrots, stock and coconut milk, bring to a boil and quietly simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and blend to a smooth consistency.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste, plus lime juice if using.
  9. Garnish soup in bowls with chopped cilantro.

The easy way out -you may have guessed- is to just cook the carrots in the stock. The soup is still good that way, but I really recommend roasting the veg in the oven because it enhances the taste. And it’s not much effort; just waiting time in which you can type up a blog post. ;)

This is one of the favourite dishes on our rotation scheme. It’s great for bento too, as it can be eaten on room temperature or chilled. If you plan to eat it cold I advise you to add some more broth as the colder the soup, the thicker it is.

I hope you’ll like this Thai carrot soup too!

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The Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of book lovers on the web, blogging about bookish things of the past week, visiting each others weblogs, and oh — reading books of course ;)

Months ago, it must have been somewhere in spring, I suddenly had enough. I haven’t told you (really didn’t mean to keep it a secret! ;) but I quit all the challenges I’d subscribed to for 2012. Just like that, cold turkey, after having been an addict for years! ;)

Cookbook Challenge Button

Then came October… autumn. And Uniflame announced a two-month Cookbook Challenge inspiring people to cook from under-used cookbooks — who doesn’t have some of those hanging around? Of course I had to join. :) So Gnoe’s back in business!


Since it’s VeganMoFo this month, I’ll concentrate on vegan cookbooks. Starting of with A Vegan Taste of Greece by Linda Majzlik, that was passed on to me earlier this year — and until now I hadn’t tried a single recipe. I’ll probably share my experiences with the book next Sunday Salon.

Cover Vegan Taste of Greece (Linda Majzlik)

Other vegan cookbooks on my shelf that qualify:

  • Non-fish-a-licious and
  • (maybe) Lisette in Luilekkerland, both by Lisette Kramer.

Vegetarian nominees:

  • Yogi food (Jet Eikelboom & Seth Jansen),
  • The Art of Tofu (Akasha Richmond),
  • Living Among Meat Eaters (Carol J. Adams),
  • Koken in McDonald’s kitchen (Andy McDonald).

One omni cookbook that I’ve had for two decades, haven’t cooked from and still fail at getting rid of: Aan tafel met Yvonne Keuls, a collection of family recipes from Yvonne Keuls, a Dutch writer with Indonesian roots.

Which cookbooks have you hardly used?

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Yay for VeganMoFo! Not only did my readers suggest wonderful pear desserts, one of them ‘clicked’ with a recipe I’d just come across at one of my fellow MoFo-ers, Have Cake, Will Travel!

Here’s the pear with chocolate syrup and sliced almonds I had for afters last night. It was awesome!

Untitled

It would have been lovely on a pear tarte tatin as well. ;) But that was too much work for a Friday night.

I made 1/3 of the original recipe -which is SUPER easy- and still have plenty left to experiment with this week. Ideas: chocolate milk, banana split adaptation, fruit or (speculoos) cookies dipped in chocolate, chocolate soygurt… I can go on and on! ;) A new favourite for sure. Try it!

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Street in Rosières

Although many people seem to think so, it’s really not that hard being vegan. But travelling can be a bit daunting, especially going to places famous for their cheese, fish and meat-worshipping cuisine.

This summer Mr Gnoe and I had our first ‘big’ vacation abroad since I went ExtraVeganza. We’d decided to go to the Hautes-Alpes in France. When visiting the Auvergne some years ago, it was often difficult to find anything vegetarian on the menu — aside from omelet, “sans jambon, s’il vout plaît“. So I admit I was a bit worried there’d be nothing to eat…!

Vegan Month of Food buttonIn a series of posts called Les Vacances de Mme Gnoe, I’d like to ramble about how I fared on this trip. Obviously I survived. ;) It may help other newbie vegans going on a journey — or those worrying about going to the land of bouillabaisse, fromage and cassoulet.

Today’s post is about our two day car trip to Oze, via Dijon. What provisions kept us on the road?

Bought or bRought?
I already wrote about the Bento En Route we had for lunch. It consisted of Indonesian leftovers accompanied by cold Thai carrot soup. For snacks there was some healthy fruit, a small bag of potato chips, liquorice and Napoleon candy as treats.

Bento En Route #194 (part 2): cold carrot soup
Bento En Route #194 (part 1): lunch for two
Potato chips
Bento En Route #194 (part 3): summer fruit snack

All these refreshments we brought from home. At the gas station I bought a bottle of Orangina with pulp to get into a French mood, and a bowl of fruit salad at the next pit stop. Can’t find the picture of that so I think I accidentally deleted it. O_o

Orangina

The second day we only had a three hour trip left, so we just bought a drink, in my case Pago citrus fruit juice, and I ate the Utrecht opal plums I’d brought from home.

Pago citrus
Opal plums

So the first part of our holiday I mostly relied on our own provisions. But I haven’t told you yet what we did on dinner time in Dijon. I’ll do that later in a restaurant ‘reviewing’ post!

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It’s World Animal Day today, coinciding with VeganMofo! Not only that, in the Netherlands it’s also unofficially “Don’t-Eat-Animals-Day”: EetGeenDierenDag. All Dutch are called to refrain from eating meat or fish today, even if it’s only for a single day in the year. If every inhabitant rose to this challenge, that would save 400.000 animals in JUST ONE DAY.*

So I hope all my fellow countrymen are joining! Several canteens from major companies will also only serve vegetarian food – yay! I wish they would do that every week for Meatless Monday though… There’s always a next step. ;)

I was too late in realising I should have invited a bunch of people for dinner and now I’m going out tonight. But I’m putting it in my calendar for next year, which will be a Friday!!! Nothing wrong with early planning. ;)

Back to the present. Here are the organic vegetables we scored in our CSA this week and the meals I plan to cook with it.

Amelishof organic CSA vegetables week 40, 2012

  • Lollo rosso lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Runner beans
  • Red mustard
  • Corn cobs
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes

Menuplan Thursday October 4th (World Animal Day!) – Tuesday 9 th

I still had some carrots so they’re priority no.1! This is what I came up with. World cooking!

  • Thai carrot soup, cumin bread (freezer stash) and salad.
  • Indian saag (spinach), leftover dal tarka (lentils), basmati rice and papadums with chutney or soygurt-mint sauce.
  • Turkish beans (taze fasulye), carrot-walnut salad with soygurt dressing (cevizli havuç salatasi) adapted from Lokanta cookbook and pide bread or a grain dish.
  • Pasta avocado, peas and seaweed (instead of pickleweed) from Puur Plantaardig (p.82).
  • I plan to make a dessert with some local pears that are ripe now — any suggestions?
  • And with this week’s celery I finally hope to try my hand at some eggless salad.. Recipe recommendations much appreciated!

So, what will YOU be eating tonight?

Tonight I won’t be eating at home. I’m going to watch ‘Japalicious’ foodie films on the Camera Japan festival in Rotterdam: Eatrip (documentary) and Our Homeland (fiction). Alas, neither will be vegan but there is a Buddhist monk in the first one… And of course I won’t be eating animals today anyway! ;) On Saturday I’ll be going to the festival again, with Mr Gnoe and friends. Then we’ll be eating at a world restaurant, Bazar!

Any eggless salad recipe you can recommend? Or a pear dessert?

I’d love to hear it!

Last week’s menu is pimped with pictures, if you care to have a look.

* According to the host of EetGeenDierenDag, Wakker Dier.

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Sometimes you try a recipe and it immediately turns into a favourite. That happened this summer, when I served spinach pesto for the Italian Kookgrrls Cookalong.

I made it several times since and always to a great success. It came to a garden potluck and we spooned it out as a starter at a special dinner for my mother-in-law and one of her friends. The verdict is unanimous: this dish is GOOD!

So here’s the recipe, translated and slightly adapted from the Dutch vegetarian cookbook Gezond genieten: Mediterraan koken by Jan & Ineke Stevens.

Spinach pesto

Spinach Pesto with Olive Crackers (1st Kookgrrls Cookalong: Italy)

Ingredients

  • 300g clean fresh spinach
  • 2 tbs pine nuts
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic (to taste)
  • 3 sprigs of fresh basil
  • salt & pepper
  • a good variety of olive oil (extra virgin)

When it’s still wet from washing, put the spinach in a saucepan and cook the leaves on high for a couple of minutes while turning them over a few times — until welted but still bright green. Drain thoroughly.

Blend the cooked spinach together with the garlic (it’s best to start with one clove and add more if necessary), pine nuts and basil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Slowly add the olive oil until the pesto has a smooth consistency. Using a good type of oil improves the taste!

Now that’s easy, isn’t it?

This spinach spread is good with toast, crudités, as a side dish, on a sandwich and probably with pasta. And it’s perfect for bentos!

Courgette Flower Bento #193

Courgette Flower Bento #193

Summer Picnic Bento #191

Summer Picnic Bento #191

Bulghur Bento #190

Bulghur Bento #190

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!

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