November-Experiments Or Vegan Bounty Bars, a virgin Guava-Cocktail and Vegan Bò Lá Lôt

Hello to everyone on this sunny November’s day!

Today I’d like to present some somehow pretty unrelated recipes…exept…well…two of them are somehow again very inspired by my latest food-crush on Vietnamese dishes. And the third one emanated from my sudden, but very strong desire to finally create vegan Bounty-Bars…
I’m trying to find a logical order in which I can present them to you…but my sunday-relaxed-mind seems to figure this as obsolete…so I’ll jump right in on it and hope you don’t mind the missing arches  😉

As a starter and just because it’s the easiest one (but suprisingly good) here’s a virgin cocktail, I tried to copy from that Vietnamese food place I told you guys about in my earlier post – the Chay Village

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Guava – Sweet-Balm – Cocktail (Virgin)
Recipe (makes one)

You’ll need
1 cup Guava-Juice (try to get a product that is without added sugars – there is one good one I found, by Voelkel: click here )

1/2 – 2/3 cup club soda/mineral water
a good handfull of sweet balm leaves (rau kinh gioi – I wrote about it in my last post, It is available in Asian shops or Vietnamese grocery stores)
2-3 tbsp dark agave syrup (or as much or less as you like)
1 tsp lemon or lime juice
a little sugar (if you want to decorate your cocktail glass)

1. Moisten the edge of your cocktail glass with some guava juice and dip the glass downwards into some sugar.
2. Put the ingredients (save some leaves for decoration) into your food processor and pulse until the sweet balm leaves are finely shredded.
OR
Put everything into a high jar and process with a handheld mixer.

Note: the texture should NOT be like a smoothie’s but like a soda’s 😉
3.
Pour it into the prepared glass and decorate with some sweet balm leaves, if you want to.
Enjoy!

For the next one, I’d like to present something I suddenly longed for a couple of days before: Vegan Bounty Bars…and as it turned out, while they are pretty easy and fast to prepare, they are a go-to recipe for hectic christmas times 😉

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Vegan Bouny Bars (makes 13-15 bars)

You need
160-180 ml creamy coconut milk
2-3 tbsp creamed coconut
1 tbsp native coconut oil
1/2 tsp lemon juice
200 gr finely shredded coconut
4 tbsp finely processed cashews (I used my foodprocessor here to really get it to a flour-like texture)
18-20 gr dried agave syrup powder (or powdered sugar, but I didn’t test that)
100-150 gr melted chocolate (+ a dash of cinnamon and a vanilla bean’s pulp, if you like)

Directions
1. In a large bowl placed over a smaller warm-water-filled bowl, melt coconut oil, coconut milk and creamed coconut
together with the lemon juice. Add the shredded coconut and cashew flour and mix with a fork until everything holds together. Sift in the agave syrup powder and again mix well with a fork.
2. Taking ca. 1 tbsp of the mass for each bar, form little bars by pressing and shaping the mass with your hands. Place the bars on parchment paper. (When the mass appears to be too loose, you can try to add some more shredded cashews or dried agave syrup powder or you can put everything into the fridge for some minutes.)
3. Put the bars for 1 hour into the fridge or for 1/2 hour into the freezer.

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4. Use a warm waterfilled bowl below another one to melt the chocolate. Here you can optionally insert the vanilla pulp and cinnamon.
5. Cover the bars with chocolate by using a fork. Place them on parchment paper and let them cool at room-temperature
. This might take a while. When the chocolate is cooled, carefully remove the bars – if needed and the downsides of the bars are not covered enough with chocolate, you can give them a second run in the melted chocolate.

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Enjoy again 😉

Now we come to last week’s…to put it elevated…masterpiece – but it really enlightened my mood that day, filling the whole apartment with a fantastic smell and my stomach with its virtuosic taste…
*drumroll*-please!
TADAAA… Wild Betel Leaf wrapped Tofu OR Tàu hu cuôn lá lôt (which is the Vietnamese name but my keyboard doesn’t include all correct letters…sorry folks – the meaty version of it – Bò Lá Lôt – seems to be a traditional new year’s dish of the 12 courses of meat (I hope I got that right, maybe there are less :-/

For this recipe you will need wild betel leaves, these should be available fresh or frozen in your local Asian shop or Vietnamese grocery shop. As it is only used in the Vietnamese kitchen, you may have to ask for it: the name is wild betel leaf or lolot and should not be confused with betelpepper or betelnut leaves!
But it is totally awesome – I can’t describe this beautiful and tasty dish with words…so you might have to try it 😉
Ah – and by the way – there are three ways at the end, to grill those beautiful wraps: two ways you can do just at home and the third option would be to bring this dish to a BBQ – it will definately get tons of positive attantion!

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Wild Betel Leaf wrapped Tofu Recipe or Tàu hù cuôn lá lôt

Ingredients
ca 150 gr fried tofu (look for it in your Asian shop), thinly sliced
1 tsp each: pepper, salt, sugar or agave syrup, vegetable stock

1 tsp each: minced garlic and shallot
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp lemongrass, minced or 2-4 tsp lemongrass paste
optional: 1 tsp five-spice, 3 tbsp crushed peanuts
13-15 wild betel leaves, washed and patted dry carefully with paper towels

for serving the whole menu (you can also see my last post)
lettuce and Vietnamese herbs like sweet balm, perilla, cilantro/coriander, mint or thai basil
cooked rice vermicelly

light Vietnamese dipping sauce/dressing (ok you have to see my last post for it)
stirr-fried spring onion and roasted peanuts
some pickled or shortly wok-fried vegetables

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1. Put all ingredients for the tofu-marinade in a large bowl and mix well to get the tofu evenly coverd. Set aside for at least 15 minutes.
2. Roll the tofu into the wild betel leaves: Place a leaf in front of you with it’s dark side downwards and it’s tip pointing into your direction
. Place a bit of the filling (ca. 1 tbsp) near the tip and begin to roll up the leaf carefully until you’ve nearly reached the stem. With a toothpick, poke a little whole into the leaf and insert the stem in order to seal it. Place it on a furnace grate that you lined with a little piece greased (with coconut oil) aluminum foil. When you are ready, brush the rolls with some more coconut oil to prevent them from burning.

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DSCN13813. You have three options to grill them:
Grill them on the furnace grate in the oven at 180°Celsius for 15-20 minutes.
OR
Insert 4-5 each on a saté-stick, putting some vegetables between them and grill them on your next barbeque party! Your friends will be amazed!
OR
Pan fry them by placing them in a large pan or wok with the secured parts downwards, 2,5 – 3 minutes on each side at medium heat. (If you want to do that, be sure to pat the leaves REALLY dry before filling them – otherwise the oil will splash like hell during frying)
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DSCN1395Voilà…and again, I hope you enjoy!

My Sunday is almost over and I’ll spend its last hours relaxing on my couch, watching some series (no brainfood for me today…but sometimes it is what it is…) and enjoying my latest creation that arose from my new quest to develop a Vegan Milky Way Bar …but this time the outcome were cashew-almond-petit-fours – not bad at all! See the food-porn below…and I wish you all a relaxing, calming, detoxing, fresh-air-filled and deliciously tasting Sunday!

My ❤ to y’all!

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