Seitan stew from De Groene Keuken and lemon sago pudding from Little Vegan Bear

(Nederlandstalige versie)

The eighth day of this Vegan Month of Food is all about reaching out and making new vegan friends! I figured this would be a great opportunity to hop onto Randomofo and stop by more blogs I hadn’t commented on before, and to tell you about my dinner from yesterday, because I made two new recipes that I discovered during the first week of MoFo.

Stoverij

Sara from De Groene Keuken posted this seitan stew as her recreated restaurant meal on Sunday, and I wanted to try it right away. Now, I know my picture doesn’t do the recipe justice (I just wish I’d added some fresh herbs or something) — but aren’t the ugliest dishes often the most delicious? This stew has caramelised onions, mustard, soy sauce, brown sugar, and vinegar, among other things. I cooked it for about two hours and kept adding more of the stock I’d boiled the seitan in, so it was super flavourful by the time it was done cooking. I wasn’t sure about which vegetables to pair it with, but I had peas in the freezer and they went quite well with the chips and stew.

This was also my first time making seitan by kneading plain wheat flour and washing out the starch instead of using vital wheat gluten. It was much easier than I’d thought, and kind of fun!

Lemon sago pudding

For dessert, I made the lemon sago pudding that Caeli from Little Vegan Bear posted for the childhood meal theme last week. I’d had a jar of pearl sago in my cupboard ever since I’d bought it for this delicious seitan recipe, so I was excited to use it in a sweet dish too. It may not look very appetising (I may have made mine a bit too thick, and I can see why Caeli calls it frog’s eggs!), but I thought it was really tasty and so simple to make. I’ve made pudding with tapioca flour before and really hated the slimy texture, but I thought these little balls were much more pleasant to eat.

Links of the day

– Check out this photo of Sonja from Tartes and Recreation — she’s helping out at her local VoKü to cook meals for thousands of refugees Munich, Germany.
– I saw a few bloggers interviewing each other for today’s theme – such a fun idea! I enjoyed reading these interviews with Kyra and Bianca.

Stuffed grape leaves and roasted chickpeas (A Feast for Crows)

(Nederlandstalige versie)

[W]hen the door finally opened it proved to be only the servants with her midday meal. “When might I see my father?” she asked, but none of them would answer. The [chickpeas] had been roasted with lemon and [spices]. With [them] were grape leaves stuffed with a mélange of raisins, onions, mushrooms, and fiery dragon peppers. “I am not hungry,” Arianne said. … “Take this away and bring me Prince Doran.” But they left the food, and her father did not come. After a while, hunger weakened her resolve, so she sat and ate.

– George R.R. Martin, A Feast for Crows

Roasted chickpeas and stuffed grape leaves

OK, so the original quote didn’t say chickpeas, but it’s the Vegan Month of Food, and I didn’t want to spoil anyone’s appetite. :) I made a few meals inspired by Game of Thrones last year, and I’m glad today’s prompt is giving me an excuse to try more. The main character in this chapter got left out of the TV series completely, so I highly recommend reading the books if you’d like to know more about her and other characters from Dorne (and not just because their food sounds so good).

I’d never stuffed grape leaves before. I looked at a few recipes for a plain rice-stuffed version and adapted them by mixing raisins, onions, mushrooms, chillies, and herbs into the rice. The bottoms got a little crisped and burnt because I didn’t add enough water while steaming (whoops), but thankfully they softened up and were all right after a night in the fridge.

The chickpeas were much easier: I coated them in a mixture of oil, lemon juice, cumin, paprika, syrup, lemon pepper, and salt, and roasted them at 180-200 °C (350-400 °F) until they were nice and crunchy — just keep checking on them and stirring them up so they don’t burn.

Links of the day

– Lacey from Avocados and Ales posted this blue ice cream with galaxy macarons inspired by Guardians of the Galaxy. Look at the colours on those macarons! I couldn’t stop saying “wow!”, “WOOOW” as I was scrolling through her post.
– More blue food: Tracy from Stairway to Vegan made blue leek and potato soup inspired by Bridget Jones’s Diary.
– Mike and Sarra from Fake Meat & True Love recreated Todd Ingram’s chicken parmesan and gelato from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. You’d better try their versions if you want to hold on to your vegan powers.

Dame blanche

(Nederlandstalige versie)

When I read today’s VeganMoFo prompt — to recreate a restaurant meal — there were plenty of dishes that came to mind. There’s the cashew fondue from De Hagedis, the vegan kapsalon from De Vegetarische Snackbar, the babi pangang from De Oude Plek

But in the end, I chose something else, because
1. I didn’t have the time/ingredients to do those restaurants’ dishes justice anyway, and
2. I had a stronger craving: ice cream and chocolate sauce.

Dame blanche

Dame blanche (aka vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce) used to be one of my favourite desserts to order when we went out to eat, and I think it’s a shame that vegan versions aren’t easier to find! But fine, we’ll just make our own. I used this ice cream recipe from Serious Eats with a few changes in order to use the ingredients I already had. I didn’t have corn syrup, but keukenstroop is also supposed to be high in glucose so I used that. I had some vanilla-infused whiskey from a vanilla extract experiment, so that went into the mix as well. My biggest mistake was probably that I used cheap (watery) coconut milk which made the ice cream a bit icy — but nothing a generous amount of chocolate sauce can’t fix!

Links of the day

I’m loving everyone’s recreated restaurant dishes and I’m seeing so many things I want to eat! Right now, I would particularly like to try this stoverij with seitan from De Groene Keuken and this aubergine/eggplant parmesan from Vegan Eats & Treats.

Flatbread and falafel

(Nederlandstalige versie)

There are few meals that can’t be improved by adding good fresh bread, and from the MoFo posts I’ve seen today, I think most of us agree that trying to choose the best sandwich ever is both impossible and pointless. Instead, I’ll just add another great sandwich to the ones that have already been posted today.

Now, I know from listening to The Sporkful that not everyone considers wraps and flatbread to be proper sandwiches, and I see their point. But why would we exclude them when they’re so delicious? They have the same basic components as other sandwiches. I think the perfect sandwich is different for every person and every occasion, so I like sandwiches like these:

Flatbread with falafel and toppings

You make a big stack of flatbreads, decide on a few fillings, and surround them with little bowls of everything you have that looks good, then everyone assembles their own sandwich the way they like it. Today, I tried to recreate a falafel sandwich that I love from Maoz: falafel (recipe from Jerusalem), hummus, aubergine, and as many veggies as I can fit on top. (There were actually a few more toppings that didn’t make it into the photo — it was too dark to take pictures indoors so I’d put everything outside, but then it started raining and I had to rush back inside for fear of soggy flatbread!)

Oh, and those are waffle-cut potato crisps on the top left. So good! I make them by using a waffle cutter that looks more or less like this. They’re more annoying to cut than regular crisps or chips, but I had to make them for Best Sandwich Night.

Links of the day

This post from Rosie’s Vegan Kitchen and this post from Flicking the Vs just made me realise I should have put those waffle crisps IN my sandwich instead of on the side. D’oh!

Peanut butter & sugar beet syrup (and more unusual food pairings)

(Nederlandstalige versie)

Stroop met pindakaas

The fourth day of this Vegan Month of Food is all about weird food combinations. Unfortunately (though I love this idea!) I haven’t been able to think of anything truly bizarre. However, there is one combination of toast/sandwich fillings I’ve grown up eating that I know some people consider a little strange …

Stroop met pindakaas

… and that pairing is stroop met pindakaas. I feel like I have to say it in Dutch because I’ve heard it so many times it sounds like one word to me, and “peanut butter and sugar beet syrup” just doesn’t sound right. You may not think this looks like a weird pairing at all — it’s not that different from peanut butter and jelly or peanut butter and honey — and I agree! But to me it’s always been something that only people on my Dad’s side of the family seem to like, and everyone else seems to think it’s gross. It’s the first thing that came to mind when I saw today’s prompt.

Links of the day

I’m seeing so many posts involving peanut butter today! I think we can conclude that peanut butter goes well with just about anything, so none of these pairings actually qualify as weird. Here are a few non-PB pairings that caught my eye today.
This hot chocolate with cheddar by Pepa Jobo was my favourite (weirdest).
Crisps/chips with jam (from Christykramer) sounds pretty weird too, though I guess jam isn’t that far removed from chutney or ketchup.
– Another sweet/savoury pairing: these potato pancakes served with both tomato spread and mango apple sauce by Homo Culinarius. I’d love those toppings served separately, but I’m not sure about the combination.
These lasagne noodles with cooked plums from Vegancookbookaddict are a kind of deconstructed pierogi, so the presentation is unusual, but the dish sounds super delicious.
– Finally, I don’t think this blackcurrant and lavender pie from Seitan is my Motor is weird at all, but it looks so beautiful I had to share a link. :)

Cucumber noodles, tomato toasties, and redcurrant pie

(Nederlandstalige versie)

First of all, great news: the blog roll for this year’s Vegan Month of Food is now available at the HQ! Head over there to see all of the blogs participating this month.

And now for today’s topic: quick, easy, and delicious meals. Unfortunately, quick dishes aren’t really my specialty. I like to take my time when I’m cooking something new, and when I need something quick, I tend to make the same things over and over. But before we get to the meals, let me show you what I got at the market two weeks ago:
From the market
6 courgettes for €1, 8 cucumbers for €1, 5 fennel bulbs for €1, 3 containers of lettuce (rocket and bull’s blood) for €1, 27 tomatoes for €1, 7 red peppers for €1, 3 bunches of herbs (parsley, coriander, mint) for €1, 5 bread rolls for €1, 3 pomegranates for €1, 2 containers of redcurrants for €1, a jar of peanut butter for €4, and a package of yeast for €2.95. 

Cucumber noodles
The quickest, easiest, most delicious thing I made were these cucumber noodles with peanut sauce and coriander. Maybe “noodles” is a little misleading because it’s more like a spicy salad, but anyway — they were super tasty and refreshing. I used my julienne peeler to slice the cucumber (a regular vegetable peeler or a spiraliser would work too) and mixed it with peanut butter, soy sauce (kecap manis), chilli sauce (sambal oelek), fresh coriander/cilantro, and a few pickled chillies.

Tomato toastie
Another quick & easy meal: toasties! I considered doing a whole post about toasties for today’s prompt, but I realised I don’t know that many good vegan toastie combinations. I need more ideas! These had rocket pesto and tomatoes, which was good, but maybe a little boring?

Redcurrant pie

This pie wasn’t exactly quick, but at least it was delicious. I wanted to make a frangipane with something other than almonds, so this one has sunflower seeds. I mixed in a little amaretto and cinnamon, and it tasted fine, but I’m afraid that grey colour doesn’t look very appetising.

A few other things I made: fennel and rocket soup (more or less this one with rocket/arugula mixed in); one-pot spaghetti with lentils, bull’s blood, courgettes, and tomato sauce; ravioli with a pea, rocket, and mint filling and a roasted red pepper sauce; pasta with rocket and hazelnut pesto; a parsley and mint cake; these redcurrant pancakes; fresh mint tea; oatmeal porridge with redcurrants; courgette soup; and probably other things I’m forgetting right now — some of these may show up in future MoFo posts.

Links of the day

It’s 11 p.m. as I’m writing this and all of your posts are making me hungry.
– Looks like I found my toastie inspiration! These waffle toasties from Hasta La Vegan look amazing.
– Don’t you wish you had some of this homemade nut-free-tella from Two Vegan Sisters right now? We could use it to make this banana-stuffed French toast from Ichiban Vegan.
– Salads are usually quick, and it’s easy to make them delicious — this gorgeous Mediterranean chopped salad from Boards & Knives just reminded me of that.

(Not actual) rösti

(Nederlandstalige versie)

I was a pretty picky eater growing up. Sure, there were some vegetables I would eat, but I also remember a lot of macaroni with grated cheese, pizza margarita, and plain iceberg lettuce. Thinking about childhood meals for today’s VeganMoFo topic, however, there was one thing I really wanted to make again.

Rösti

This is what my parents would make with leftover boiled potatoes and whatever else was in the fridge: onions, peppers, maybe a few mushrooms or a tomato. They’d mix it all up in a frying pan and cook it until crispy, then add a layer of cheese on top – which, let’s be honest, was probably my favourite part as a child. We’d call this dish rösti, and I suppose it has the same basic ingredients, just with a few extra things thrown in. It’s a great meal for when you don’t have much energy to cook but you were clever enough to boil a few extra potatoes earlier in the week.

The potato and vegetable part was easy enough to recreate. Grate a few of yesterday’s boiled potatoes and chop an onion, a pepper, or whatever vegetable you like. Add a thin layer of oil to a frying pan, and cook the potatoes and vegetables until they’re as crispy as you like them. As it cooks, flip the rösti every few minutes: it will keep falling apart at first, but that just means you’ll have more brown crispy parts mixed in, and eventually it’ll form one big disk.

The cheese portion was a little trickier to veganise. There are vegan cheeses that would be great here, but I rarely have them on hand, and this dish is about using whatever you have in the fridge. Instead, I made a cheesy sauce with sunflower seeds, miso, roasted red pepper, and a few other ingredients that are always in my cupboards. The sauce required an extra pot and some stirring and blending, so it didn’t exactly fit my no-fuss meal criterion – but it did provide the flavour profile I was looking to recreate, and I made enough to go with several batches of rösti.

Rösti

My favourite mix-ins are onions, red peppers, garlic, and mushrooms. I was out of onions when I made the rösti pictured above, so I added a teaspoon of nigella seeds.

Rösti

To get everything extra browned and crispy, I placed the rösti in the oven for a few minutes after covering it with the sauce. I was actually surprised by how much I liked it before adding the sauce, too – I guess I’m not as addicted to cheese as I used to be. :)

Links of the day

Some of my favourite posts from today:
– On Instagram, Bianca from Elephantastic Vegan also posted a childhood meal involving crispy potatoes and veggies! It’s called Gröstl and I’d never heard of it, but I know I want to eat it.
– Jenny from Herbivore’s Heaven is taking us with her on a quest to find the best vegan cooked breakfast.
– Maya from Singeries & Boules de Riz shares her vegan version of creamy mushroom pasta as well as a few ways to make a childhood meal appear more grown up.