The holidays are approaching fast, and therefore it’s time to start with the first preparations! My mom got remarried in the summer, and this year we will celebrate the holidays in a big patchwork-family fashion – which makes dinner planning slightly more difficult than usual. While most members of my patchwork-family insist on having a roast on Christmas Eve (the current plans involve rabbit roast), my stepsister and I don’t eat meat, and my mom started to worry about what so serve us as meat-free alternative. And by ‘worry’ I mean she started pestering me with increasingly urgent sounding e-mails asking for recipes. So I went on a little ‘holiday appropriate meat alternative invention’-trail, and tried out different types of dishes – with varying results. The vegan roast I tried to prepare came out kind of dry and crumbly, though that might be due to my probably-older-than-me stove. So, I changed tactics and went for pan-fried meat substitutes, and this recipe is the final result! The main ingredients are brown rice, rolled oats and mushrooms, which combine to a deliciously savoury flavour. You can also use quinoa or other grains instead of rice, I just went for the most common one to keep holiday shopping easier. Continue reading
Celery stalks is something I eat really often, 1) because I really love its fresh and crunchy flavour, and 2) because they are already in the perfect dip-and-munch shape and therefore perfect as a small snack when you are having a lazy moment. (Not that I would ever have any of those of course…) Root celery on the other hand is something I rarely buy, mostly because I too often think ‘why bother with a knobbly root if you can have crunchy stalks with pretty much the same flavour?’ Which is actually kind of discriminating against knobbly beings if you think of it.
So, this week I purposely bought a nice, lovely knobbly little celery root to make this special treat: apple celery soup. Don’t let yourself be fooled by the seemingly random fruit-vegetable combination – the flavours of apples and celery work perfectly together! Savoury, fresh and just slightly sweet – this soup will make you want to lick your plate clean! Just make sure not to use very sweet or mushy apples, crisp and slightly sour ones are the best choice for this dish. Also, even if you are feeling lazy, I would not recommend skipping the topping – it makes the soup go from ‘pretty good’ to ‘amazing’ in taste! But try it for yourself: Continue reading
Ok now, let’s be honest: Where do you buy bread? At a local bakery? At the supermarket? As much as we would probably all enjoy fresh bread from a quality bakery every day, you have to admit that bakeries are much more expensive than supermarkets. Especially for students, who often live on a tight budget anyway, fresh bakery bread is therefore more a treat saved for special occasions than an every day food.
But the good news is: You can make your own bread – as tasty as from a bakery, though much cheaper and with just 5 minutes of work per loaf. Yes, you will need no more than five minutes (plus baking time, obviously) to make an amazing loaf of bread! And, since the recipe below describes a no knead bread – no exhausting kneading! I have to confess, my doubts were very high concerning no knead breads, since I still remember how my late grandmother once told me that in order for a bread to rise properly, you have to knead the dough for at least 10 minutes. Well, I’ve tried kneading for 10 minutes several times, and my bread never turned out as great as will the no knead method. So give it a try yourself!
Before we start: You can use whatever kind of flour you like for your bread, what I have written below is my personal favourite, but feel free to adjust it to your liking. Continue reading
What to do if it’s Sunday evening, all shops closed, and your fridge is frighteningly empty? Get creative with whatever is left in there. Which in my case, was a sad lone fennel in the vegetable drawer. (I may or may not be a little exaggerating about this.) I know fennel has a quite, well, distinct flavour that not everyone likes, but I assure you that even fennel sceptics will love this salad! To make up for my lack of other vegetables to go with this dish, I prepared a delicious orange-mustard dressing that will get you addicted with your first bite. The result was a very tasty, slightly sour and sweet crisp salad with just the right blend of fennel and orange-mustard flavour. Give it a try! Continue reading
A stir-fry is a perfect dish if you come home late from uni or work and don’t really feel like cooking, but don’t want to stuff yourself with unhealthy take-out either. It only takes about 15 minutes to prepare, and you can use whatever vegetables you have in your fridge. If you know you’re gonna be late one day, you can even cut up the vegetables in the morning, so all you have to do later is to heat your pan or wok and add your veggies of choice. Broccoli and tofu are by far my favourite stir-fry combination, but feel free to use any other vegetables you like! To make this dish even more yummy, I added a simple yet delicious peanut sauce. The ‘secret ingredient’ of the sauce is dark miso paste, which gives it a great, hearty flavour. The peanut sauce also freezes really well, so I usually prepare twice the amount (i.e. using a whole tin of coconut milk instead of just half of it) and freeze the leftovers. Continue reading
I case I have never said it before, I love sweet potatoes. Like, LOVE them. They are sweet enough to work as fruit-in-disguise-of-a-vegetable (perfect for desserts), are deliciously creamy when baked in the oven but they still work great in savoury dishes like curries and soups. This soup here is one of my favourites for the first colder autumn days, it’s spicy enough to really warm you from the inside but not as heavy as many winter stews. The flavour of the sweet potatoes blends perfectly with the peanuts and gives this soup a very nice rich, creamy taste. It is also a perfect base to experiment with different flavour combinations, so go ahead and experiment with various spices (how about some garam masala?) to make this soup just a little more perfect for you – have a go at it! Continue reading
Is there a better way to spend the last days of summer than to sit in the sun and enjoy a big bowl of delicious ice cream? I don’t think so. As in my first recipe for homemade ice cream, I used frozen banana slices as base, which are very versatile for making you own ice cream. And you can always get them at your local supermarket, so no need for any fancy or expensive ingredients. And you don’t need any additional sugar! The banana slices are even sweet enough so that they nicely balance the sourly taste of blackberries with lightly salted roasted pistachios (yes, salted, you read that right). I know that salty ingredients and ice cream seem to be a rather odd combination, but I promise you will not regret trying this out. If you are not sure if you will like this, go for unsalted pistachios first, and try to gradually replace them with salted ones. Continue reading