Tag Archives: pasta

Vegan beet root ‘mac and cheese’

vegen beet root mac and cheese

I have to admit, I never really got the fuss about mac and cheese. I mean it’s white pasta with cheese – what’s so special about it? To be a ‘proper’ dish for me, there is a distinct lack of vegetables in there. That being said, this dish was heavily inspired by a vegan mac and cheese version I one tried to make (and found a bit lacking the wow-factor, if you get my drift). But I decided to jazz things up by adding beet root, which not only gives the dish a bright pink color, but also gives it a real boost in flavor. If you are not really a fan of the ‘earthy’ taste of beet roots, don’t worry, the creamy (cheese) sauce balances this out very nicely. Just give it a try!  Continue reading

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Spaghetti with swiss chard sauce and cherry tomatoes

Swiss Chard spaghetti

Ever since I have a balcony, I try to grow some vegetables every summer. This year I grew lots of tomatoes, some carrots, red radishes, mini cucumbers and swiss chard. I didn’t really knew what to do with the swiss chard first, so it grew kind of massive and I started to desperately think of ideas that would use a lot of it. So I came up with this blended swiss chard sauce, that will turn a whole bunch of swiss chard into a creamy, delicious green sauce. It you don’t want to blend the sauce, I recommend to use a different kind of pasta – so you don’t end up with either pasta or sauce on your fork. Continue reading

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Pasta salad with blanched spinach and dried tomatoes

Spinach pasta salad with 2 kinds of dried omatoes

Whether you are at a BBQ, a big summer party or simply at home – a delicious pasta salad is always a big hit! Though this takes a little more work and time to prepare, its flavour is definitely worth it! It combines your favourite pasta (I used buckwheat, but any kind works well), blanched spinach, roasted pine nuts and dried tomatoes with a flavourful garlic dressing with fresh spring onions.

The secret which makes this salad extra yummy is using two different kinds of dried tomatoes: The ones stored in olive oil and salted dried tomatoes, which are sold without any additional oil or fluid – is really just tomatoes and salt. Due to their different preservation method, they have a slightly different flavour and texture. While the salted dried tomatoes are – no surprise here – saltier, more flavourful and also a little drier and firmer, the ‘oily’ ones have a mild yet fresh flavour and are a little more ‘squishy’. By using both kinds of dried tomatoes, you get the best of both – and you also prevent your salad from getting to oily or to salty. Just give it a try! Continue reading

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Meatless ‘Grünkern’ sauce bolognese

Grünkern bolognese sauce

What the heck is ‘Grünkern’? It’s basically spelt that has been harvested while still unripe – therefore its green (‘grün’ in German) colour. It’s quite popular among vegans and vegetarians in Germany since its texture makes it perfect for replacing ground meat in burgers, chilli or pasta sauces – just like this bolognese inspired vegan pasta sauce. It’s also a good alternative if you are allergic to soy protein and therefore can’t use the most commonly sold soy based meatless alternatives to ground beef. It also brings a nice hearty flavour to every dish, so you will need less spices – especially salt – than usually. Call me weird, but its taste and smell kind of remind me of smoked bacon – though it has been years since I last ate smoked bacon, so my taste-memory might not be the best. If you search for Grünkern on your next shopping trip, try whole food stores – that’s where you would also find it in Germany. It may also be sold as ‘unripe spelt grain’, though it is usually sold under it’s German name. If you find it – give it a try! Continue reading

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Creamy avocado pasta with green peas

Creamy Avocado Pasta with green peas

The past couple of weeks were marked by almost  ridiculously warm weather with up to 23° C on some days. Starting the balcony season in the middle of march has definietelly been a first for me. I decided to celebrate these very early first days of summer with a matching dish, and created a creamy, yet light pasta sauce based on avocado and natural soy johgurt. Thai basil works really great in this sauce, even though I could only get my hands on dried  instead of fresh leaves. If you can’t find it in you local store,  cilantro will work as well. To add a few more vitamins, I cooked some frozen peas along with the pasta, so I ended up with a delicious bowl of fresh, green pasta. Just make sure to use a really ripe avocado for the sauce – otherwise your dish will come out lumpy instead of creamy. Continue reading

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Buckwheat pasta with courgette and white beans

Buckwheat pasta with white beans and courgette

Last Sunday, I decided to start this year’s outdoor running season (I use a treadmill during the winter), and of course, I ended up overdoing it. Apparently,  even the combination of regular treadmill running and strength training focussing on your thighs and buttocks isn’t enough to prepare you for running up several hills in the course of one 35 minute run. Especially if it’s pretty damn windy. Since I still felt pretty spent a couple of hours later, I decided for a lunch rich in protein and carbs to help me refuel my energy so I wouldn’t just spend the rest of the day channel surfing on my sofa.

I always have a couple cans of beans or lentils in my pantry – while it is usually cheaper to cook them yourself, it often takes hours (literally) to cook them, so if you want a quick lunch or dinner, go for the canned ones. I also had an previously unopened package of buckwheat pasta that I still needed to give a try, so I decided on a quick buckwheat pasta dish with white beans and courgette, seasoned with lime juice and a little sage. This recipe takes you just about 10 to 12 minutes to prepare, and the result is a really delicious and energizing dish with a great combination of flavours – you will be surprised how well white beans, sage and lime juice work together! And the best part: After lunch I finally stopped felling worn out! This might become a regular post-workout dish for me. Continue reading

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Wholemeal pasta salad with green asparagus and garden radish

green asparagus wholemeal pasta salad with radish

I know, I know, asparagus season is almost over, so this post may be a little late – but it’s just way to good to not share it with you even in the last moment! I seems to be a quite random combination (well, it was sunday evening, my fridge was almost empty and I was starving…) but the flavours work really great together. I really recommend using wholemeal pasta for this salad, as the nutty flavour is a perfect combination with the green asparagus and crisp garden radish. I personally am a huge fan of wholemeal emmer pasta for its unique taste, but you can also use wholemeal wheat or spelt pasta. For the dressing, I used unsweetend soy yoghurt, though this should also work with any other plant or dairy joghurt. Continue reading

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