X-mas, New Year’s Eve and Turmeric – a short review

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Hi folks…

Are you guys still up for those snowy days? I surely am, cause they have been rare this winter in Berlin 🙂
More so my december and january where filled with dry book pages, which I have been reading for university — but they felt as many as snowflakes in a winter storm 😉
However, I wasn’t lazy on the culinary side either, and when x-mas time was near I found myself in the kitchen sourrounded by 99 vegan pralines I had created, and that where now all to send to my relatives — I have to say it was a delightful break from learning, though very time consuming. Which is the reason why I haven’t taken as many photos as I wanted to and haven’t had the time to post about them. But there soon will be one dedicated to the pralines only (with some new photos and measurement validations) — a little teaser…

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Unfortunately my New Year’s Eve was also divided into book cracking and preparing ‘a little something’ for the buffet at our party…so at the end of preparing I was in such a hurry that I didn’t take a photo of the results 😦

But because it is a really delicicous recipe and a perfect hand food at a party I wanted to share it with you…
Note: this is one of the few recipes I use some (organic) processed foods in, because that makes it much faster to prepare. I use a vegan spread (most of the time something like this or this : they have a slightly sweet curry-mango-papaya flavor and make a good match with the dates and the vegan slices), but feel free to experiment with the flavors here and also a homemade spread would be pretty amazing. The second product I use are vegan slices (like these : they have a nice smoky flavor; products like them are now popping up all over the supermarkets…be sure that they are really vegan – some companies use dairy and egg white in them, and the labels are sometimes confusing – at least in Germany: there is a ‘V’ label that stands for ‘vegetarian’ and a ‘V’ label for ‘vegan’ – how intelligent is that?), but if you want a less processed product here, you could probably use somked tofu.

Dates in a Blanket (vegan version of ‘pigs in a blanket’ or ‘Würstchen im Schlafrock’ or the pretty funny vegan german interpretation of the french ‘Croque Monsieur’) 😉

You will need:
for the ‘blanket’
baguette dough (measurements doubled, prepared like described)
I think for a less extensive preparation you could also use a recipe for vegan pizza dough or a light gem or panini dough.

for the filling
ca. 1,5 cups dried dates
2 pkg (=200g) vegan slices or 200g smoked tofu sliced very thin
ca 1/2 cup vegan spread
rosemary, thyme

toothpicks to secure the dates (I think you could do it without them, but they make wrapping the dough around the filling more easy)
Directions:
1. Prepare your dough.
2. Cut the vegan slices into halves. Put a teaspoon of your vegan spread on each half and sprinkle with rosemary and thyme.
3. Place a date on each half, wrap it with the slice and secure it with a toothpick.
4. When your dough is ready, form a long roll with it. Cut a fingerthick slice from it by using a sharp knife. Place one end of the slice at the edge of one wrapped date (remove the toothpick now) and wind it like a tight helix around it. Seal the end a bit and place it on a baking tray layered with parchment paper. Do the same with all the other dates one by one. Spray them with a little water with sea salt in it, and dust them with flour. Let them rest under a damp towel for 20min.
5. (Pre-heat your oven to ca 220°Celsius – normally I don’t pre-heat my oven, but pasties like these (or the baguette) need a pretty high temperature from the beginning, to be fluffy inside and crisp from the outside.) So Pre-heat your oven and insert a waterfilled ovenproof dish on the lowest track.
6. Spray your pastries one more time with some salted water and dust them with flour, and insert them into the oven. Bake them for 12-15 minutes, occasionly spraying some water into the oven. Remove them when they are golden and let them cool on a cooling tray.

 

So something else came up while I was writing this…I wanted to insert a photo of the process making the pastries and had to learn that our uploading limit is reached at wordpress. Judith and me will have to go Premium or something to get more space — so we’ll work on that.

Fortunately the photos of my phone camera aren’t as big as those of my other camera so I can fit in two last ones…

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It seems like the whole world is into turmeric these days — and I am too! 🙂
And why shouldn’t we? This ginger-like rhizome contains a good load of healthyness and benefints while also tasting pretty nice in sweet and savoury foods. I am very happy that this new popularity of turmeric among the healthy foodies and foodists, made fresh turmeric more available in organic stores. It is a little more intense like the powder and has also fruity and earthy notes…
His benefits are really numerous and I will just name a few to not get you lost in facts…turmeric is believed to be anti-inflammatory (really benefical for you endomitiosis-warriers among us), antioxidant, antitumour, antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal. It is potentially efficent against several diseases and is used for thousands of years for medical treatment in the areas where it natuarally grows (south India and south, southeast Asia), especially by the traditional Indian medecine which is calles Siddah. There it is used to cure stomach diseases, skin conditions, wounds, … and the list goes on. Note that pepper increases the bio-availability of curcurmin – one of the strongest agents in this power-root.

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So I felt a little under the weather last week and what you see above is my attempt to kick any sicknesses’ kiester: a vitamin bombing blood orange juice (I think it where 5-6 blood oranges) with two whole fingerlong pieces of fresh turmeric and a pinch of fresh ground back pepper. Needless to say it tasted divine 🙂
But also more and more recipes of Vedic Golden Milk are popping up and I have to try this one (by Elenore of Earthsprout) as soon as possible.

I hope this quick update from my side wasn’t too mazy…and I’m really sorry about the photo problem, that kinda crushed my plans…

Have a wonderful week everyone!
❤ Lilith

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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Trying something new – Vietnamese Bún Cha

IMG_0116A nice warm full-moony “Hello” to everyone!

It wasn’t easy to capture luna on a good photo cause the lights of the city disturbed her beautiful warm, silent and calming vibrancy a bit. But anyway I did quite enjoy her great day of the month: admiring her as soon as she was there, mid-afternoon, then rising and shinig more and more, until the night’s canvas was giving her precious beams the perfect contrast – a magical matching perfect alignment. Like a kiss from and in the sky.

DSCN1345So maybe it was the new energy I won by luna’s night and light, that inspired me the other day to finally try to cook one of my favourite meals these days. Due to my two jobs and university starting over a couple of weeks before, I more and more lacked the energy to cook dinner for myself at night. And so I got more and more used to getting delicous Vietnamese food at a nice vegan/vegetarian Vietnamese Restaurant, the Chay Village, which is nearby my home. They make fantastic foods with loads of fresh delightful herbs and salads…I simply adored everything I tried there – and I tried a lot 😉
But since the costs of getting constantly outside foods will ruin me and also due to the remorse I feel for not cooking for myself, apparently now the time came to get into Vegan Vietnamese Cooking 🙂  – which wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, since the most original cooking tutorials and pages I found were all in Vietnamese language…and mostly non of them vegan. I realized that this would be a nice project to start, veganizing some of them…and fortunately I finally found the beautiful pages of Helen’s Recipes , where she presents her homemade Vietnamese dishes in the English language. She also has a gorgeous page with her sister Uyen – the Danangcuisine . One of her youtube clips, presented (in a pork-version) one of my favourite meals I use to order at the Chay Village – Bún Cha (see Helen’s video here) – and I choose to make it my first veganized Vietnamese dish.

I think it tasted even better as the one I tried from the Chay Village 🙂

Vegan Bún Cha Recipe

Ingredients

for the marinade
ca 250gr Seitan, cut into palatable pieces
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 minced shallots
1 tbsp mushroom sauce or vegan oyster sauce (look in your local vietnamese/asian grocery for this – there are also a few recipes online to make it at home, but I didn’t have much time)
2 tbsp vegan fish sauce (see below for quick recipe)
1,5 tbsp dark agave syrup
+ 1 teaspoon molasses
1 tbsp instant vegetable broth
1/2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper

1-2 tbsp virgin coconut oil for frying

for the pickled veggies
ca 1 cup sliced bell peppers (I used one whole small sized)

ca 1 cup sliced carrots (see Helen’s video to see how to cut them in cute little flowers)
Helen uses carrots and kohlrabi/ stem cabbage (as an alternative she advises green papaya)
so it’s up to you 🙂

2-3 teaspoons sea salt to dehydrate
1-1,5 tbsp agave syrup + 2-3 tbsp rice vinegar (acidity 5%)

for the dressing
1/3 cup dark agave syrup
1/2 cup vegan fish sauce
3 cups water

for the topping
(Helen suggested chili and minced garlic but I didn’t have them)
a handfull peanuts
thinly sliced spring onions
both shortly strirr fried in 2 teaspoons virgin coconut oil

serve with
rice vermicelli (cooked following the packing’s directions)
different kinds of vietnamese herbs (visit your local vietnamese/asia grocery for this)
I had:
Rau kinh giói (it tastes a bit like lemon balm) – like 3-4 twigs
vietnamese cilantro – 3 twigs
red basil – 2 twigs
all of the herbs roughly chopped (hard stems removed)
some lettuce
– 4 leafs cut into slices

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Directions

1. First you have to prepare the vegan fish sauce. I found this brilliant vegan recipe created by vegan miam – thank her very much for that! And as I didn’t have light soy sauce or tamari sauce on hand, I improvised a little.
Here my version
1/2 cup warm water
4 tbsp raw turbinado sugar
1/s cup pineapple juice
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp Genmai Miso
1,5 teaspoons Shiro Miso
stirr all together until the sugar and the Miso pastes are dissolved – refridgerate, covered with a lid for 1 hour
.

2. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade in a mixing bowl until everything is well mixed. Add the seitan pieces and mix well until the pieces are evenly covered with the marinade. Let it rest in the fridge at least 30min before cooking.

3. Put the sliced bell pepper and carrots in a bowl and add the 3-2 tbsp sea salt. Set aside for ca 15min to let them loose some water. Drain the water and wash the vegetables in a sieve for a few times. Place them back in the cleansed bowl and mix well with the agave syrup and rice vinegar. Let them rest for 1 hour before serving.

4. Prepare the herbs and salad and arrange them in a bowl. Cook the rice vermicelli following the directions on the packing – arrange them in a bowl, too.

5. Prepare the nuts and spring onions in a pan by shortly stirr frying them – set them aside on a small dish, then grill the marinated seitan pieces over medium heat until they get a little crispy on both sides. Be careful not to use too much heat for the marinade would burn – mine did turn a bit black on the end… When they are done remove them from the pan and place them on a plate or in a bowl.

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DSCN13396. Dissolve all ingredients for the dressing in a small pot over medium low heat  – it should just get handwarm. Pour ca 2 cups into a bowl and arrange with some of the topping.

7. Arrange everything arround the bowl with the dressing inside. Take always a little from the salad and herbs, some vegetables and noodles and enjoy with a piece of yummy seitan.

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Enjoy!

As you may got by my praising words above: It was definately worth trying this out by myself! In fact maybe I’ll have it again today 🙂 Or maybe Miso Soup with rice…I can’t decide yet 😉 But what is sure is: this dish in it’s homemade version will be on my table more often than the bought one from the restaurant!
And now that I figured out, how to make vegan fishsauce and learned, that there is a vegan version of oystersauce – there are no barriers no more in my way on discovering the Vietnamese kitchen – and you will definately find more of the results here AND I think it won’t be the last time that Helen’s Recipes will be my inspiration 🙂

So I wish everyone a beautiful sunday – and a very nice start into the new week tomorrow!

❤ Lilith

Vegan MoFo #12 – Grey Sky vs. Rainbow-colored Markets and Vegan Samosas

veganmofo2014_1Hi folks!

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Unfortunately those grey skies dominate the scenery over Berlin these days – so for my daily stroll through the ‘kietz’ (that means ‘hood’ in German 😉 ) I prefer visiting the markets and (popping up everywhere) vegan food’n’juice-bars for their relief in rainbow-colored fruits and vegetables, juices and smoothies…
As I don’t live or work on a farm yet (but maybe off next spring I will) I have kind of really strong cravings for all those healthy looking greens – even if I can’t buy them all… 😉

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DSCN1302And a few of these photos I took at a market stall of a farm that might be my training farm. Hopefully next spring I’ll start a training as an organic gardener/farmer – and if fortune is on my side it will be this farm, with a variety of over 200 old tomato specimons, a lot of wild herbs and salads, old potato varieties, grapes, those litte purple navets you see above and and and…and also those pretty little sweet orange raspberries I showed you in this post! It would be SO awesome for me to have that opportunity 🙂

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So for now these are just boxes on the market I can show you, but I’m looking forward to take photos of the places they’re coming from for real for you guys…

But I promised a recipe for Vegan Samosas – and now we get there.
Just one word before we start: I love Samosas – not only they are one of the rare Indian dishes that are open to improvisation (most Indian recipes follow directions and require ingredients that haven’t been changed for hundreds and thousands of years…so would you change something?) but also with a little exercise samosas are quick and easy to make and sooooo delicous!
In this recipe, and as you will see on the photos, I used blue potatos (an old specimon that goes by the name Blue Congo), chickpeas and broccoli for the filling – but really anything that you can scare up in your fridge, on your jar-shelve or under those vegetables that lay lazy on your kitchen table, goes here…

Vegan Samosa Recipe (makes 24 samosas)

You will need:

235 g (2 cups) white wheat flour (unbleached)
3/4 tsp salt
60 ml (4 tbsp) melted coconut oil
30 ml (1/3 cup) soy yogurt
30 ml (2 tbsp) cold water, or as needed

1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp fennel

4 whole cloves
2,5 cm (1-inch) piece cinnamon stick
, crushed into small pieces
2 tbsp coconut oil to prepare the filling
a small dash of asafetida powder

1/2 broccoli, cored, trimmed, coarsely diced and steamed until tender
1 cup chickpeas (either precooked from a jar or soaked overnight and cooked)
5 medium sized potatos, diced and steamed until tender
1/2 tsp turmeric (but I used circa 2,5 cm fresh turmeric, finely chopped)
1 tsp salt

coconut oil for deep-frying (depending on your chip pan you’ll need a lot – it should be 6,5-7 cm/2.5-3 inch high in the pan)

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1. Blend the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the softened coconut oil and rub it in with your fingertips until it’s fully incoroporated and the mixture resembles fresh bread crumbs. Add the yogurt and 1 tbsp cold water and work until the ingredients can be gathered into a ball. Add the remaining tablespoon of water in dribbles, or as necessary, to form a nonstick, kneadable firm dough. Knead on a clean surface for about 8 minutes or until the dough is smooth and pliable. I consider this work always kind of ruminant, as the dough is really smooth and easy to work. Shape it into a ball, rub it with oil, cover with plastic, and set aside to rest for 30 min – 1 hour while making the filling.
2. Place the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel, cloves and cinnamon in a heavy frying pan over moderately low heat. Dry-roast until the seeds darken a few shades, then remove and coarsely grind them in a spice mill or stone motar. Heat the 2 tbsp coconut oil
in the frying pan over moderate heat until it is hot but not smoking. Drop in the asafetida, and a few seconds later add the steamed broccoli, potatos, chickpeas, turmeric and salt. Then add the toasted and ground spices and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, then remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
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3. Knead the dough briefly, roll it into a rope about 30 cm (12 inch) long, and cut it into 20 equal pieces. Shape them into smooth balls and set aside on a plate, without touching, then cover with a damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Collect the equipment you need for shaping: a small bowl of water, sharp parking kife, dusting flour and a rolling pin. Working on one piece of dough at a time, flatten it into a patty, then roll out on a lightly floured work surface into a thin 15 cm (6 inch) round. Cut the round in half to make two semicircles. Dip a fingertip in water and moisten half of the straight edge of one semicircle; then pick it up and bring the other half over it to form a cone, making a 6 mm (1/4 inch) seam of a dry edge over a moistened edge. Press securely to seal the seam well.

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4. Fill the cone 2/3-3/4 full with stuffing, moisten the inside of the opening, pinch the top closed, allowing a good 6 mm seam. (All seams must be well sealed. If they are weak, stuffing will fall out during frying and, worse, hot oil will seep into the pastry and the samosa will become heavy and greasy.) Set the samosa seam side down on a baking tray in a cool place.
Make all 24 samosas
in the same way.

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 5. Heat 6,5-7,5 cm (2,5-3 inch) of coconut oil to 185°C (365°F) in a deep sauté pan over moderate heat. Fry 3 or 4 samosas at a time for 4-5 minutes or until they are crisp and golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Samosas are usually fried just before serving as a snack or meal savory. They are also delicous at room temperature in a lunch box or on a picnic. To reheat samosas, place them on a baking tray in a 175°C (350°F) oven for 10 minutes. They go very well with ‘Catsup’ – see below for a quick recipe.

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quick Catsup Recipe

Combine 1 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tbsp ground coriander, 1 tsp garam masala, 1/8 tsp each ground nutmeg, ginger and cloves, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or paprika, a dash of asafetida powder, 1, 5 tbsp agave syrup with 1,5 tbsp coconut or canola oil and 1,5 cups seeded tomato purée and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix well and enjoy with your samosas!

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Maybe this recipe is something to try on the next rainy day…it definately needs some preparation time 😉
The sky is still grey, but after writing this I need a walk, too. So I’ll grab the opportunity of a non-rainy phase to get out there a little.
I hope you guys enjoy your sundayafternoons, too 🙂

Have a good start in the new week tomorrow y’all!

Vegan MoFo #11- A Mulberry Breakfast

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Hi there,

as I am still a little tired after a small surgery on my leg, today’s post might be a bit shorter as usual – but it comes with a teaser at the end so you guys can look forward to my next (and more elaborate) entry  😉

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This persistent plant managed somehow to grow the whole way from deep down in the old coal cellar up to the sunlight of the street – I find that pretty impressive so I honour it with this photo and the title of ‘Most Impressive Plant of the Week’ 😉

But today’s post is about another hero I discovered actually last year…yet I had to wait until last week to get some of his delicous treasures: An old big mulberry tree on the playground of my street!

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And those pretty little ones are really treasures…
Not only are the mulberry trees a bit rare in northern germany and their harvesting is pretty tricky if you don’t have one in your own garden: because they are not all ripe at once and they are just at their best when they fall off when you gently shake the tree – so on a public mulberry tree you will be able to gather often just a handfull of that little ones at one time…but also they are due to their high amounts of zinc, iron, calcium, potassium and a moderate amount of magnesium real superfood heros! If you live in Germany you can search for mulberry trees and other pubilc fruit trees, vegetables and herbs in your region on mundraub.org .

My favorite version – besides eating them sweet and juicy as they are – is to combine them with my (and Judith’s) favourite raw buckwheat porridge :

For the Mulberry-Version you will need:

1 cup buckwheat, soaked in water for a few a hours
1/2 cup
cashew nuts, soaked in water for a few hours aswell
the juice of 2-3 oranges
1-2 tbsp chia or flax seeds (mixed with 3-4 tbsp water)
1/4 tsp salt
spices of your choice like vanilla pulp or extract, cardamom and cinnamon
a handfull of mulberries
1/3 pomegranate

Preparation:

1. Drain the buckwheat and the nuts into a sieve. Combine them in your food processor with the orange juice, chia/flax seeds, salt and your spices. Process everthing until it forms a creamy mousse and pour into a dish.
2. Wash the mulberries and scrape out those delicous pomegranate seeds. Top your porridge with them and give everything a big dash of powdered cinnamon on top.

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Bon apètit!

So I hope you guys apologize this post for it’s shortness but also enjoy this easy yet delicous recipe…and as the promised teaser for next time – hold on to your hats for the upcoming post with a Vegan Samosas Recipe including delicous toasted Indian spices combined with old specimon blue potatos, chickpeas and broccoli, and as for the dot on the i, a nice spicy ‘catsup’ to go with them.

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DSCN1287 I wish a wonderful day to everyone! ❤

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Vegan MoFo #5: Antipasti Zucchini and Eggplant/Aubergine Rolls

veganmofo2014_1

Hi everyone!

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The sun finally had some mercy on those of us who were shivering from cold winds and august-unlike temperatures the last weeks – it has come back to give us nice warm end-summer days and probably the last precious injections of Vitamin D.
Even more precious for us veganistas because this little but so freakin’ important fella – Mr. Vitamin D3 – occurs in a natural way only in small (unfortunately too small) portions in avocado and button mushrooms…while omnivores are able to consume it in larger amounts by eating fish – which is for us out of various reasons of cruelty against animals and nature, not an option!

So get out there and enjoy a large piece of this mood brightening star under the provitamines! – but be sure to protect your skin, too 😉 !

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DSCN0954So unfortunately the season of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and all those other various sweet, light summer-berries is almost over in this region. Thus my daily smoothie had to give way to more rich vegetable and fruit juices, provided by this season – almost every evening I throw together some first apples and oranges, last apricots, peaches and nectarines combined with carrots, beetroots and other vegetables my juicer can handle and enjoy one of my daily portions of raw fresh fruit and vegetables in this delicous refreshing way 🙂 !

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DSCN1145But for today’s recipe I have planned something different…I thought while it’s getting warmer once again, a little Antipasti-Recipe that can be enjoyed hot or cold would be a nice inspiration for you guys! And also I promised my beloved sister Judith that I’d share this – easy to prepare and variable – recipe this summer…so it’s my last chance to keep that promise 😉

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Zucchini and Eggplant/Aubergine Antipasti Rolls Recipe

Ingredients (for one portion)

1/2 zucchini (cut lengthwise from the whole zucchini)
1/2 eggplant/aubergine (also cut lenghwise from the whole eggplant/aubergine)
sea-salt to
dehydrate them

for the filling and gravy

(but it is really up to you what you use here – try different variations of nuts, seeds, herbs, vegetables ect.)

1 big tomatoe, minced (like coer du boef)
1 oyster mushroom, minced (but you can experiment and improvise on this, too!)
2-4 tbsp ground or minced cashew-nuts
6 olives, minced (I had some marinated with herbs and a garlic knob in the middle on hand)
(when your olives are without garlic, add an additional garlic knob to the filling and later on one to the gravy)
1 oninon, minced
a handfull fresh basil, minced
salt & pepper
agave syrup to taste (I used like 2 teaspoons)
3 tbsp red balsamico vinegar
6-8 tbsp good native olive oil (please check if yours
is safe to be heated)
ca 1 + 2-3 tbsp/300ml tomatoe passata

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DSCN1164Preparation

1. Cut the zucchini and the eggplant/aubergine lenghtwise into very thin slices. Place them on a paper towel and salt them generously with the sea-salt. While you let them dehydrate through the salt (for ca 10min) you have time to go on with the next step.

2. Combine half of the onion, (one minced knob garlic if you don’t have garlic olives) and all other minced ingredients like the tomatoe, oyster mushroom, nuts, olives and the basil with 5-6 tbsp of the olive oil. Add 2 tbs of the red balsamico vinegar and mix everything together. Salt and pepper to taste and add also a bit (like 1/2 teaspoon) of the agave syrup, mix again and set aside for 10minutes to allow the ingredients to soak in the dressing a little.

3. Prepare an oven-proof dish like a casserole: sprinkle in like 1 tbsp olive oil and 3-4 tbsp of the tomatoe passata, just to cover the bootom of it.
With another paper towel dab away the exposed water from the eggplant/aubergine and zucchini.
Take them one by one, placing them lenghtwise in front of you and spoon a little of the filling on the bottom of a piece. Carefully roll it up from the bottom to the top, slowly rolling in the filling by gently pressing it forward inside of the roll. Place it – edge down – in the casserole. Do this with all of the zucchini and eggplant/aubergine pieces.

4. Add the remaining olive oil (1-2 tbsp), vinegar (1 tbsp), agave syrup (1,5 teaspoons), one knob garlic, the other half of the onion and the remaining tomatoe passata to the left-overs of the filling. Mix and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour everything over the prepared Antipasti-Rolls and shake the casserole a bit to allow the gravy to soak into the rolls.

5. Put the closed casserole in the oven at ca 175-180°C for about 35-40min. As I have a gas oven I never have to prehat it or something – if you have another oven type you might have to adjust the time accordingly.

6. Serve immeditealy (for example with some potatoes) if you want a nice piping hot dinner. Or let it cool and take it to a lunch, picnic or gardenparty. It’s also really great with some ciabatta and salad for a light meal.

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Bon appètit!

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At last I want to write shortly about something off-topic, that is really bothering me these past days here in Berlin: About the struggle of refugees here, which isn’t getting enough attention! Over the last years there have been many protests of refugees and people who are supporting and want to fight with them in their struggle for the basics of human rights – here in Berlin, and all over Germany. With it’s asylum laws and it’s past and current practices, Germany does not only deny refugees basic human rights, like free-movement – it has also established a racist and discriminating system and handling on basis of those laws. And those refugees who protest against the undeserving circumstances under which they have to live here, or against the other discriminations through the asylum laws and their executive forces, are treated with even more force of harassment and discrimination.

This is how a country – that wants to be a democratic, human rights observing state – treats the ones who are in need the most. It makes me very sad everyday. And also everyday I recognize that the ongoing fights and protests of the refugees don’t get the deserved medial attention – the opposite is the case: the offical media channels play it down!

So here it is: One of the various protest places here in Berlin is the Guertelstraße – where 5-6 refugees are squatting the rooftop of a former hostel, that has been used as a ‘lager’ (thats a kind of mass accommodation for refugees who have not yet been guaranted asylum – note: the housing in this ‘lagers’ is undignified, they are often overcrowded, there are too less sanitary facilities, the people are being isolated from a life in the community, they are not allowed to leave the district their assigned ‘lager’ is in – and also very often the other resitents of the area go on with discriminating and harrassing the resitents of the ‘lagers’). These people on the rooftop of Guertelstraße, fled up there from beeing deported – they were promised by the Berlin Senate to get a benevolent handling of their application for asylum, which was denied soon after that promise was given.
This was more than a week ago and when the deportation busses came these guys fled on the roof to protest against all this. Since then the police shut down the whole area around the hostel – neither allowing anyone to bring food or water or needed medicine to the protesting guys on the rooftop, nor allowing the other protesters and supporters to be in their sight or near enough to communicate with them. They protest against §23 of the German Asylum Laws and have some other demands respectively the Human Rights violating treatment they are undergoing. This situation is ongoing and while it is widely ignored by the responsible regional politicans – they won’t speak to the refugees, they won’t hear their demands…  – some of the refugees are so desperate that they want to jump off the rooftop if the police tried to get them down, without any changes on their and other refugees’ lifes situations. For up-to-date information check their twitter-account and wordpress-blog.

Please support the refugee fights in your community! If you are from Berlin or are otherwise interested in more information about the situation I described check out the links I embedded.

SAY IT LOUD, SAY IT CLEAR: REFUGEES ARE WELCOME HERE!

WE ARE HERE, AND WE WILL FIGHT: FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT IS EVERYBODYS RIGHT!

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(translation by me: NO HUMAN IS ILLEGAL! — Support the fighting refugees on the rooftop of Guertelstr. 39!)

click on the picture to read some statements of the refugees (in English)

 

Thank you, if you lasted to the end, dear reader! Have a wonderful day!

Veganmofo 2014: #2 Season’s Greetings

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Hi there!

We have the second day of the wonderful and inspiring VeganMoFo – yay! Check out the Website to see more information about it and to surf through all the amazing photos, recipes, blogs and themes people from all over the world share this month with all of us. It’s really amazing to skip through all the creative stuff!

I love lingering on organic markets these end-summer days, just watching the abundance of amazing fruits and vegetables in all their glory. For me it is the best inspiration for my meals later: from time to time I see somthing that is so special, that I have to get it – jumping from that point, my head instantly begins to rotate inventing recipes to prepare that precious one. And step by step, treasure by treasure that wanders into my bag, thousands of recipe-ideas pass through my mind. If only I could cook them all one day 😉

But seriously, at the moment evertime I stumble over a market I’m stunned by all the nice colours and flavours this season brings:

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I mean – aren’t they beatutyful?

As Judith and I decided to concentrate a little on seasonal food for this month, I instantly thought of one my favourite recipes these days Lemon-Zuccini-Spaghetti. A refreshing lunch or dinner if the days are hot as they were a few days earlier and hopefully will be once again this late-summer…

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Lemon-Zuccini-Spaghetti

Ingredients (for two poertions)

1 small (yellow) Zuccini (or if you got a bigger one take the half)
the cest of one organic lemon + 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 knobs garlic
1/2 onion
7 tbsp native olive oil
salt & pepper

175gr Spaghetti

some fresh basil and chopped cashews for decoration

Preparation:

Chop garlic and onion into fine pieces. Pour native olive oil into a small bowl and add salt, pepper, lemon cest, garlic and onion. Grate the zuccini with a spiralcutter or use a vegetable-peeler and a knife to shape it into spaghetti. Put them to the other ingredients, swirl everthing a little with a fork and let it rest while you prepare the “real” spaghetti. When you pour off the cooking water let them rest in a sieve, while you prepare the dressing in the pan. Add the olive-oil-zuccini-lemon mixture into the pan and let it shortly heat (but carefully, don’t let it get too hot – or the precious olive oil looses most of its goods), pour in the spaghetti – put it on big heat and stirr like crazy for about 30-45 seconds. Et voilà! Serve immediatly with some chopped cashews and the basil on top.

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Bon appétit!

For desert after that enormous sunday dinner I employed another treasure I brought the other day from the organic market next to my house: Orange Raspberries!! And – oh! – were they sweet and delicous! If you see them by any chance anywhere – you should definitely try them, they are worth their price!

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And they made a light and delightful desert with some fresh soy-yoghurt and cinnamon…yummy!

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Check out your regional organic markets to get treasures like this. Local organic producers often culitvate old specimons you’d never find in supermarkets. And with buying them you support the preservation of those old varieties – it’s worth it!

Cheerio friends – Happy Vegan MoFo!