Go green! (March MiniMoFo)


Hi there. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I miss blogging! There are a few half-finished posts in my drafts that I’m hoping to get to at some point, but in the meantime, I wanted to show you what I’ve been cooking lately. I incorporated this month’s MiniMoFo theme*, Go green, into my most recent market haul:

I got fennel, leeks, fresh parsley and coriander, bok choy, spring onions, Brussels sprouts, baby courgettes, and mangoes (I needed some fruit so I chose green ones to match the colour scheme, ha). I bought this at the Haagse Markt, where produce is generally very affordable (this was €8.00 total).

venkelrisotto, paksoisoep b
The courgettes were a bit past their prime already, so I wanted to use those ASAP. I roasted them in the oven with olive oil and salt, and had them with a fennel risotto topped with Vivera’s vegan bacon pieces. I adore anything with fennel – this risotto was no exception and the bacon pieces made a great addition.

It hasn’t quite felt like spring yet, so I’ve been making a lot of soup. The one pictured above, with bok choy, tofu, sweet potato, spring onions and sambal, is perfect for cold spring days: a spicy broth to warm you up, and plenty of crunchy vegetables in case you’re already craving fresh, summery food.

green soup and parsley bread d
I accidentally stored half the bok choy in the wrong spot in my refrigerator, and it came out partially frozen and limp. Not ideal for a crunchy stir-fry, but fine for a creamy soup. I paired it with leeks and basil, then stirred in some soya yoghurt and spring onions at the end.

The bread is Isa Chandra’s olive oil bread (one of my favourites). I added a parsley pesto swirl this time, because green!

fennel spread and leek pasta b
I try to always have some kind of savoury spread or dip in the fridge. This time I made one using sunflower seeds and sautéed fennel. It was pretty good – especially on crackers with sliced tomatoes and gherkins – but not quite fennel-y enough for my taste. Next time, I think I’ll caramelise the fennel for a while to really concentrate the flavour.

Looking for a way to use up all those leeks (I think I bought about ten), I realised I rarely use them as the main ingredient of a dish. This recipe from The Kitchn has you cook them in the oven with white wine, garlic, and stock (I used Bio Today’s vegan chicken flavour stock) and then serve them over pasta. This was surprisingly tasty for such a simple dish, so if you find yourself with a surplus of leeks, this would be a good recipe to make and freeze for later.

P1280159cThe Brussels sprouts started out as a salad. I made a big bowl of it – thinly sliced Brussels, sweet potato cubes, spring onions, toasted sunflower seeds and a fresh coriander dressing – thinking I would be eating this salad all week and feeling very healthy as a result. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t very good. I’m sure Brussels sprout salads can be delicious and I’d like to try a different recipe, but this one – meh. After a few days of it sitting there untouched, I decided to turn it into something else.

The new dish was a savoury galette with a crunchy whole wheat crust, a creamy filling made with sunflower seeds and soya yoghurt, and the Brussels sprouts on top. This was actually really good. I’d like to write down the full recipe because I definitely want to make it again. It may not have been quite as healthy as the original salad – but hey, food can only be healthy if you’re actually going to eat it, and this was so much more delicious.

* MiniMoFos are monthly blogging challenges from the organiser of the Vegan Month of Food. I haven’t managed to do VeganMoFo (i.e. blog every day for a month) for the past few years, but the monthly themes seem like a great way to participate whenever inspiration strikes. If you’d like to join in too, visit VeganMoFo.com for monthly themes and round-up posts!

Apple tarte tatin, beer-glazed carrots, salads, and soup with leftovers

(Nederlandstalige versie)

I missed a few days of VeganMoFo, and I still have photos of market finds & meals that I hadn’t posted yet, so I’m going to combine them in an attempt to catch up. :)
Market haul
I bought this back in July so I’m not sure what everything cost, but we’ve got rainbow carrots, courgettes, fennel, turnips, daikon, fresh herbs, lettuce, apples, strawberries, and cherries …

… which brings me to Wednesday’s prompt: favourite late summer foods. Stone fruits are definitely one of my favourite things about summer! In July it was cherries, recently it’s been nectarines; I love them all, and I hope I’ll get to eat a few more before summer is truly over.

Beer-glazed carrots

On the other hand, it’s been raining for days and I’m also starting to crave cold-weather foods. Like roast potatoes. In this picture I served them with tempeh, a salad of lamb’s lettuce with apples and walnuts, and beer-glazed purple carrots and turnips.


Let’s talk about omega-3s for a minute! (Day 11: specific nutrient.) You can get your alpha-linolenic acid by eating foods like flax seeds, chia seeds, or my favourite: walnuts. The walnuts in the salad pictured above were extra delicious because they’re from my aunt and uncle’s garden. (They gave me a big bag of them for my birthday. Aren’t edible gifts the best?) For more on omega-3s in a vegan diet (It’s also in full-fat soy products! But do you need a supplement?), read this post from The Vegan RD.

Fennel soup and leftovers

Day 14 was about sharing something vegan with a non-vegan, so here are some leftovers I shared with my boyfriend. We had flatbread, chickpea flour scramble, hummus, some kind of fresh coriander sauce, harissa, falafel, shaved fennel and courgette salad, pan-fried courgette, rocket, and fennel soup. (His plate probably had less salad and more bread, scramble, and falafel, but it still counts as sharing!) I imagine this plate would be a nightmare for people who don’t like their foods to touch, but I kind of love meals like these.

Tarte tatin

Finally, if you haven’t tried the tarte tatin recipe from Vegan Eats World, you absolutely should. (It’s also on Terry’s blog.) I mean, I didn’t even follow the recipe properly and it still tasted fantastic. This might even be good enough to serve to Obama (day 15).

Links of the day

Reading the other posts for this prompt, though, maybe I’d better send Obama over to someone else’s home. I’m sure he would love these grilled cheese sandwiches by Lazysmurf, these portobello steaks with parsley basil pesto by Jessica from Sprouts & Chocolate, or this tomato and mushroom pizza from Emily/la.vida.vegana.

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.

Market log: Panini and crostini, spicy scramble, and pomegranate jelly

(Nederlandstalige versie)

Time for another market haul!

Market day 24 June 2015
Here’s what I bought: a bag of chillies, lots of chard, lots of lamb’s lettuce, a bag of spinach, 5 bread rolls, pomegranates, orange peppers, mushrooms, strawberries, fresh herbs (mint, parsley, and coriander), the cutest little aubergines, and dried oregano. This was a while ago, but I’m pretty sure everything was €1 except for the strawberries (which I think were €1.50).

All of this barely fit into my fridge, so this is what I made first:

Roasted peppers, chimichurri sauce, harissa, quick-pickled chillies, parsley pesto, and orange pepper bruschetta Crostini

Things in jars! They take up much less space. Most of the parsley and coriander went into chimichurri sauce and parsley pesto. I really liked the quick-pickled chillies and harissa I’d made the last time I’d bought red chillies, so I made another jar of each of those, too.

My boyfriend had discovered a ready-made yellow pepper bruschetta that he really liked, so I wanted to try to recreate that. I roasted most of the peppers, then mixed some of them with garlic, herbs, oil, salt, and vinegar. Other crostini toppings pictured above are pesto & tomato, chimichurri & roasted pepper, strawberry & mint, and stir-fried aubergine.

Aubergines with garlic, chilli, and mint Chickpea flour scramble with sumac, parsley, and hazelnuts

My new favourite way to prepare aubergines (inspired by this recipe from The Kitchn): marinate them in oil with garlic, chilli, and herbs, then stir-fry until soft and slightly browned. Add a splash of wine or water near the end, and briefly cover the pan with a lid if you want to get them extra tender.

I had the leftover aubergines with a chickpea flour scramble inspired by this recipe from Serious Eats (with hazelnuts instead of pine nuts). It wasn’t until I’d taken my first bite that I remembered I hadn’t bothered to take the seeds out of the chillies and this harissa was waaay too spicy for me. Oops. At least my boyfriend liked it, and we both loved the scramble.

Flatbread pizza Panini Panini

On the left: a quick pizza made up of leftover flatbread with mushrooms, aubergines, greens, and sunflower seed cream on top.

In the middle and on the right: panini!

Pomegranate jelly Pomegranate ice cubes

After a few days, the weather got so hot that all I really wanted to eat was ice cream, water, and fruit, but I still tried two new things. Agar pudding was still on that list of cooking resolutions I keep forgetting about. This one has pomegranate juice (from mashed/strained pomegranate seeds), lemon juice, sugar, and water. I didn’t have enough agar to fill the entire mould (which may be why it didn’t come out in one piece) but I thought it came out quite well for a first try. I used the rest of the juice to make heart-shaped pomegranate ice cubes. <3 <3 <3 Getting the juice out of the pomegranate seeds was a bit of a pain (I’ll try the blender next time), but at least the jelly and drinks helped us through the heat wave.

Vegan Month of Food 2015

(Banner by Amey from Vegan Eats & Treats)

Finally, VeganMoFo 2015 is coming soon! It’s starting on the first of September and you can read all about it here and here. I haven’t signed up yet (I’m still brainstorming ideas) but I’m already looking forward to reading everyone’s posts!

Market log: bull’s blood, harissa, and quick-pickled carrots and chillies

(Nederlandstalige versie)

Market day 7 January 2014

It’s been a while since I posted a market log! I already mentioned the purple carrots and beetroot leaves in this pasta post; here’s the rest of what I got:

Three bunches of spring onions (€1), a bag of purple carrots (€1), a bag of red chillies (€1), three containers of “bull’s blood” beetroot leaves (€1), ten yellow peppers, three heads of romanesco (€1), and two bunches of parsley and one bunch of coriander (€1). I also got two pineapples (€1), but they were still in my bag when I took the photo.

I’d never seen the purple leaves before and the packaging only said “bull’s blood”. Google told me that these are a type of beetroot leaves, and that they’re similar to spinach, so we stir-fried them and had them on pizza with peppers, spring onion, seitan pieces, and a coriander and parsley pesto. Not bad.

Because the leaves are so small, they also taste very good raw. They were almost the same colour as the purple carrots, which I thought made for gorgeous salads:

Harissa Purple salad + toast with hummus

The salad above had beetroot leaves, purple carrots, and red onions with a simple vinaigrette. On the side, I had bread with hummus and toppings: a romanesco tapenade based on this recipe, only with miso instead of anchovies (a tip I’d read on Bryanna Clark Grogan’s blog); a harissa made with the red chillies in the front.

I don’t have a very high tolerance for spicy food so I think you can tell by the quantity that this harissa wasn’t very potent (next time I’ll leave more seeds inside the chillies!) but it was very good. I looked at recipes from Smitten Kitchen and The Kitchn and delicious. and made my own version using red chillies, olive oil, garlic, toasted coriander and caraway seeds, ground cumin, and salt.

Rice cakes with hummus, parsley and coriander pesto, and quick-pickled carrots

I wanted to make a kind of quick pickle out of the carrots so that I could keep them for a longer time, so I briefly boiled them in vinegar with salt and sugar and then let them sit for a while. Somehow, this process turned the carrots bright red! Not what I’d expected, but they certainly made my afternoon snack of rice crackers and hummus (with parsley pesto underneath the carrots) a lot more interesting to look at.

Enchiladas Quick-pickled chillies

After pickling the carrots, I saw Rachel Khoo do something similar with red chillies, so I decided to do the same. My version used regular vinegar instead of rice vinegar, but the flavour was still great — less spicy than raw chillies, but full of flavour and great to have in the fridge. I used them in cornbread, on sandwiches, and as a topping for the enchiladas pictured above.

I’m really pleased with the things I discovered this time. I often only use a few chillies at a time and let the rest dry out, but maybe next time I’ll buy extra to make more harissa and pickles. I’m also curious about the way the rainbow carrots seem to change colour. My Mum used them in a soup which didn’t look very appealing on its own (apparently puréeing a rainbow turns it grey), but then she sprinkled it with lime juice and the surface became flecked with a lovely bright orange. I’ll buy more of the carrots if I see them again — I wonder if they have any other surprising properties. :)

Market log: samosas, spanakopita, colourful carrots and a lot of dill (with bonus rabbit video!)

(Nederlandstalige versie)

This is what I lugged home from the market last month:

Haagse Markt, 10 December 2014

Two bunches of ripe bananas, five fennel bulbs, six bunches of dill, a bag of red onions, a bag of carrots in various colours, two heads of broccoli, and two pineapples; all for 7 euros.

Many stalls at The Hague Market sell their vegetables in 1-euro portions and those are the ones I usually go for: it’s easy see which deals are good value, and it’s convenient to pay whole euros in cash. The quantities you end up with are larger than what you’d buy at the supermarket, but I enjoy finding new ways to eat the same vegetables without growing tired of them. I know how to deal with multiple bunches of bananas by now (they’ll end up in baked goods or oatmeal porridge) but I’d never bought six bunches of dill before. I was afraid I’d be eating nothing but dill-flavoured foods for a week, and that’s almost what happened:

Roasted vegetables, dill hummus, dill bread

This was dill bread with dill hummus and roasted vegetables. I really enjoyed both the bread and the hummus, but I’m glad I decided not to add extra dill to the vegetables themselves. Oh, and don’t you love how those purple carrots look?

Roasted purple carrots with dill and sunflower seed dip

These are more of the purple and orange carrots that I roasted with cumin, paprika, en chili powder and served with a dill dip made with sunflower seeds. It’s a pity that the bright purple doesn’t really show in the pictures (they almost look burnt, but that’s dark purple) – I’ll take a better photo soon.

I ended up spending quite a bit of time cleaning and sorting the dill and part of it was already going slimy, so maybe next time it would be better to pay a bit more for one beautiful bunch. On the other hand, I now have a large supply of dill in the freezer and I got a lot of suggestions on how to use it up over at the (Dutch) NVV forum.

Spanakopita Pineapple chutney with lentil samosas

On the left: One of those suggestions was spanakopita, which had been on my cooking list for a while. I looked at a few recipes (including those from Vegan with a Vengeance and The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen) and made my own version using frozen spinach, tofu, onion, garlic, capers, olives, herbs, and lemon juice. A lot of recipes add nutritional yeast to the tofu to imitate feta, but I had just used up the last of mine and I thought the olives fitted in nicely as well. My phyllo pastry always falls apart so when I couldn’t form any more triangles I switched to little ramekins.

On the right: a pineapple chutney (which was a little dark because of the brown sugar) and samosas filled with lentils, potatoes, and yellow carrots. I used the method described here and made a filling with what I had on hand. It takes a bit of time, but I really enjoy making samosas (and eating them).

Other things we made: marbled banana bread from the PPK, a failed banoffee pie, oatmeal porridge with banana, broccoli and potato mash, broccoli soup with dill, popcorn with dill (which was recommended to me by Bianca), fennel salads, and the roasted roots with apple and rosemary from the cookbook River Cottage Veg Every Day! (loved this recipe).

And now for some actual rabbit food: I had a few carrots left over when I went to my parents for the holidays, so I thought I’d bring them along to let our rabbit try them. Then I read this post about a rabbit-friendly Christmas menu on Iris’s blog and we decided that Amina should also get a nicely plated Christmas lunch:

Bunny meal

Thin slices of purple and white carrots, parsley and coriander along the edge, and a small kale leaf with an apple heart in the middle. View the video below (or click here) to see how she liked it. (She was moulting at the time, so that’s why her fur looks a little shabby!)

She didn’t clear her entire plate (she had to get back to hopping around the garden) but I do think she enjoyed having a little taste of everything. :)

Market log: roasted pumpkin bowl and green soup

(Nederlandstalige versie)

Market day 14 November

Here’s what I bought at the market last month (I’m such a slow blogger): red onions for €1, round courgettes for €1, leeks for €1, four pomegranates for €1, two bunches of fresh coriander and one bunch of fresh parsley for €1, and a butternut squash for €1.50 (as well as bags of spinach and a garlic, €1 each, that I forgot when I took the picture).

Unfortunately two of the pomegranates were brown on the inside (maybe I should’ve peeled them all straight away) and we ate most of the other two as a snack, but I managed to save a few seeds to sprinkle into this bowl:

Roasted pumpkin and chickpeas

It’s roasted chickpeas, pumpkin and pumpkin seeds over short-grain brown rice with a coriander, parsley and tahini sauce. I crammed everything into my little oven at the same time so it was tricky to get the chickpeas and seeds crispy while the pumpkin had to soften, but the flavours were great together. Next time I think I’ll try stacking an oven dish and a baking sheet on top of each other and see how that goes.

Curry soup Green soup

On the left: I posted about this curry soup here. I had the leftovers (which get very thick and creamy) while sitting in the couch under a blanked because it’s been COLD. The only thing I got from the market in this soup was the fresh coriander (and chilli peppers I bought and dried months ago), but I think it counts because this post needed an extra picture.

On the right: I had no idea what to make for dinner until I saw this green soup recipe on the Dutch blog Ikbenirisniet. I had no cucumber, peas, or celery so I just used the green vegetables I did have (leeks, courgettes, spinach, parsley and coriander ) and it was still super good. This is a great way to get a variety of greens into your day with minimal effort. (My blender doesn’t like green smoothies and it’s way too cold for them anyway.)

Other things I made but didn’t photograph included a pumpkin and spinach curry, a polenta pie with red onions, and just a whole lot of mixed vegetable soups. (Did I mention it’s cold? OK I’ll shut up now.)

I’ve posted my most recent market haul here. It included a ridiculous amount of dill so if you happen to have any dill-heavy recipes you recommend, please send them my way. :)