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Day 10 is officially the last day of my ExtraVeganza! pilot project. The test phase ends here, but my adventures in the world of (wannabe) vegans will go on!

I’m determined to try and keep eating vegan as much as possible. I have a book bloggers meetup Afternoon Tea coming up next Tuesday where 100% vegan isn’t an option — yes, I checked — but I made sure I won’t be getting any cheese at least. The day after that we’re supposed to have dinner at my mother-in-law’s so I’ll call her tomorrow and will offer to cook. It won’t be difficult as I know she likes chilli!

And then there’s this VERY special occasion on Friday, when a dear friend will get her PhD on Bartholomeus van der Helst — she is the specialist on the 17th century artist (from the Dutch Golden Age), and we’ll be having a celebration dinner afterwards. It’s a buffet, so there’s bound to be something I can enjoy!

I’ve made a vegan menu plan for the upcoming week. Are you interested? I’m going to serve it to you anyway! ;)

Menu plan February 6th-12th

  • Ratatouille with chickpeas & couscous
  • Mushroom risotto with spinach, tempeh & bean sprout salad
  • Miso soup, tofu puffs (inarizushi), Japanese sesame broccoli and salted lemon wheels; maybe I’ll finally try my hand at gyoza
    (Hello Japan here I come! ;)
  • Mexican chilli with tortilla wraps, guacamole and possibly salsa picante [Wednesday]
  • Turkish bulgur and red lentil soup, kohlrabi salad

Now that the ExtraVeganza pilot has ended I won’t be blogging daily about my food anymore. But here’s what I had today!

Menu Day 10 (Saturday February 5th 2011)

Breakfast
This morning I went for the successful oatmeal in almond milk again.

Lunch
Three slices of toast for lunch:

  1. Tartex olivera with olives and alfalfa.
    Good.
  2. Yesterday’s ‘green gunk’, which had gotten a little brown but was still tasty. ;)
  3. Tofutti ‘cream cheese’ with sun-dried tomato & radish.
    Good.

You may wonder about the rotating Tartex, tofutti, avocado (& smoked tofu). There’s just so much I can eat at a time so I don’t want to open any more types of spreads.

The avocado is still the same from Day 1: each time I cut off a slice I cover the green pulp with lemon (keep the stone in of course) and a piece of saran wrap as snugly on the surface as possible. If I’m correct the browning of avocados is an oxidation process, which you can delay by letting as little oxygen touch the fruit as possible. I finished the avocado today (how appropriate!), but I’ll try to remember to photograph the next one. Yes, there are more yummy avocados in my fruit basket. ;)

Dinner
Our plan to conclude ExtraVeganza! by dining out at Kitchen Punx failed again, because the eatery is closed on Saturday due to other activities. No worries, I’ve made reservations for tomorrow! Eating at the only vegan place in all of Utrecht city must be part of this project.

So tonight we had some more of the Pumpkin-coconut soup from earlier this week instead and I tried a new recipe out of today’s Guardian newspaper: quinoa stir-fry with kale chilli and nuts. It was pretty nice — better than I had expected ;) Very lemony, which I like. I tried it with, and without soy sauce (like the article suggests) and appreciated both variations. A crunchy salad on the side would have been good but on the other hand we couldn’t have eaten any more food. ;)

One of the attractions of this dish is that author Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall states it’s good hot as well as cold… Me thinks “bento!” ;) So Monday will introduce my first Quinoa Bento ever. Before today I had never eaten, let alone cooked this type of ‘grain’ before! While it’s up to 7000 years old and was considered sacred food by the Incas. And it’s a great source of proteins!

Will I make this recipe again? I may, or may not — just not sure!

Quinoa stir-fry with kale & cashews

Snacks
In the afternoon I had a fruit salad (apple, pear, kiwi, banana) with lemon juice, ginger syrup, toasted coconut, walnuts and almonds. Yay for vitamins & fibres! ;)

I’m not sure whether it’s permanent, but over-all I seem to crave less food in between meals..?! As a matter of fact: I stocked up on a whole bunch of hearty vegan snacks (and I don’t mean veggies now ;) and haven’t opened a single package!

Experiences

Anything special about today?

Yep: it’s the very last day of my ExtraVeganza pilot. And I’ve told you all about it. ;) I hope you liked to read about Gnoe’s vegan adventures and maybe even got a little inspired? That I haven’t bored you to death for the last ten days is the best I can hope for! ;)

Any difficulties?

No. Having hardly ventilated any problems at all in the past 10 days, you must agree with me it was easier than expected! :)

Though the project ends here, you may expect more ExtraVeganza! posts on Graasland; whenever the topic or recipe is vegan. And someday Gnoe’s vegan adventures may migrate to the separate ExtraVeganza! weblog!

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I can’t believe that Day Nine of ExtraVeganza! has ended and I’ve got only 1 more day to go of my pilot project. I’m actually pretty upset by it!

It’s going really well and I’m feeling so good about myself I’m thinking of prolonging Gnoe’s vegan adventures… I didn’t think it would be this easy! Only the ‘social’ part of it is a struggle: being a ‘problem’ for other people (including Mr Gnoe). I wonder how other (wannabe) vegans deal with that? I just don’t want to be a pain in the *ss to others… :\

Menu Day 9 (Friday February 4th)

Breakfast
I had a huge fruit smoothie of 1/2 cup lime soy yoghurt, 1 1/2 cup red fruit juice, 1 banana and a handful of frozen ‘forest fruits’. Filled me up till lunchtime.
I keep forgetting to make a picture of one of my smoothies… Yeah well, it’s just after I get up! I never had smoothies for breakfast until I started looking into a plant-based diet.

Lunch
Last night’s leftovers: pumpkin-coconut soup and coleslaw, pimped with grated carrot and toasted nuts. Two sammies:

  1. Tofutti, shredded rocket, radish, agave syrup and toasted walnuts (omega-3).
    This sandwich was a bit bland and needed more ‘cream cheese’ (which I had spread pretty thin) or the saltiness of sun-dried tomatoes — of course my taste buds were a little in shock of the spicy soup ;)
  2. Green gunk. ;) In other words: avocado mashed with pickled green chili, veganaise, gherkin and African Peper mix. Topped with alfalfa and cherry tomatoes. This one was yummy!

ExtraVeganza Day 9 Lunch, 04-02-2011

Dinner
We had planned to eat out at Kitchen Punx in ACU, but it is very stormy weather and we felt like staying at home. It might be a more festive idea anyway to go out to dinner on ExtraVeganza Day 10!

So instead we had the last leftovers from our Indian meal: Basmati rice, Orissan Jagdish Saag Aloo and green lentil curry. We added some mango chutney and tried a new dish from the World Food Café cookbook with the cauliflower florets that were hibernating in our fridge: Kashmir Gobi (p.64) — cauliflower in a sauce of onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, bay leaves, sugar and salt; topped with cashews and dried apricots. [Alright, actually raisins but I don’t like those in my food so I usually swap them for cranberries or apricot.]

It was pretty good! A bit strong but the recipe called for a large specimen and we only had about 1/4th for which we took about half of the spices etc. Instead of fresh tomatoes we used an open carton of passato tomato. Having more cauliflower would probably be better, but I’m not sure about the tomatoes. Will need to make it again and find out! ;)

Snacks
Again, no snacks: I didn’t feel the need to eat in between meals at all.

Experiences

Anything special about today?

Nope, nothing I didn’t tell you about yet.

Any difficulties?

Yesh. Feeling sad that it’s almost over! :( And thinking hard about how to deal with that.

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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!

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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. ;)

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

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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!

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

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ExtraVeganza logo, © variomatic

Today is the first day of my ExtraVeganza pilot. Please check out my introduction post if you’re hearing about this for the first time!

Although I actually started this morning, tonight is the official kick-off of “Gnoe’s Vegan Adventures” with Happy Herbi’s Eat Good, Feel Good workshop. Under Daphne’s guidance we’ll be cooking and eating a 100% plant-based dinner. Like you, I have no idea yet what it’s going to be! Be patient and I’ll tell you about it tomorrow.

I didn’t get all the ‘necessary’ preparations done for this project. I desperately need to organize my ExtraVeganza tab in Netvibes to make searching for vegan recipes as easy as possible. There’s still menu planning going on and I’m in the process of making ‘breakfast’ and ‘lunch’ lists with options to pick from. But here’s today’s menu so far.

Menu

Breakfast: porridge with ‘Oat Dream’ milk
Lunch: Experimental Bento #129
Dinner: Happy Herbi’s surprise dinner

As might be expected the oat milk went pretty well with the oats in the gruel. I did use some artificial sweetener, which of course obscures the pure taste a little.

Any difficulties?
Not yet. :)

Experimental Bento (#129)

Experimental Bento #129

This ExtraVeganza! Kick-off Bento is pretty experimental — not because it’s vegan (I’ve had more of those, i.e. #128, #125, #121, #111, #78), but with all other sort of new things I’m trying.

I’ve never had frozen fruit before (‘mixed forest fruit’), finally cooked up those soy beans I bought in a whim AGES ago and put them in a veggie stir-fry (with leek, cauliflower, carrot, shallot, mushrooms, courgette, garlic and fresh ginger), and tried two new Japanese recipes from The Vegetarian Table cookbook I spoke about earlier this week: rice patties (made of leftovers) and a spicy soy-lemon sauce. The sauce was a bit too strong for the patties, overwhelming their subtle taste. I’m in a hurry now (I have to leave for the Eat Good, Feel Good workshop) so I’ll need get back to you about the recipe!

Other goodies in my vegan bento: gherkin, pickled ginger, mustard cress and pecans.

That’s it for today, see you tomorrow!

Gnoe goes ExtraVeganza!

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