VeganMoFo 2015! and redcurrant pancakes

(Nederlandstalige versie)

It’s 1 September, which means the ninth Vegan Month of Food has officially started! You probably already know all about VeganMoFo if you follow my blog, but just in case: the Vegan Month of Food is an awesome worldwide vegan blogging marathon dedicated to celebrating vegan food. Starting this year, it’s no longer limited to bloggers: you can now participate through Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, or any other platform you can think of.

As for me, I’ll be updating this blog when I can and supplementing blog posts with photos on Instagram (which may be enough of a challenge in and of itself as I haven’t used it much and don’t own a smartphone). I hope spreading MoFo across many different platforms will be a nice way to take the pressure off blogging and to allow people to participate in whatever way they want. It also means that you can still join in even if you haven’t signed up: just use the hashtags #veganmofo and #vgnmf15!

Another new element in this year’s Month of Food is this list of daily prompts from the MoFo HQ: a different theme for each day of September. This means that lots of people will be posting about the same topic at the same time, which I think will be really fun to see.

Today’s prompt is an easy one: “show us your breakfast”! I’ve already posted this morning’s breakfast on Instagram, so here’s one from last Saturday.

Redcurrant pancakes

Redcurrant and oat pancakes (adapted from Vegan Brunch), citrus and pomegranate soya yoghurt swirled together with pomegranate seeds on top, an apple, and fresh mint tea. Best breakfast of the week! I love making savoury brunches, but most days I need something sweet to get me out of bed. It’s usually just oatmeal porridge, so these pancakes made me happy.

Links of the day

To spread the VeganMoFo love, I thought I’d share some of my favourite posts that I’ve seen so far.
I loved this post from Vegan Eats and Treats, partly for the breakfast ideas, but mostly for the incredibly cute illustrations of Amey’s morning routine which includes three dogs and two cats.
Jojo from Vegan in Brighton posted a recap of the best soya yoghurts she’s tried so far while travelling through Europe. I love soya yoghurt and Alpro’s is the only one I eat regularly (those are the Mild & Creamy pomegranate and citrus flavours pictured above) so I liked seeing the different brands she’s found.
Speaking of vegan yoghurt, Rose from Dandelion Vegan Blog posted about her experiences making cashew yoghurt. I’ve made my own soy yoghurt before, but it always comes out very thin, so I’d love to try adding cashews sometime.
If you’d like to look at more delicious vegan pancakes, check out these buckwheat pancakes with blueberry coulis from Little Vegan Bear, these carrot cake pancakes with aquafaba from Veganopoulous, and these spelt pancakes with salted date caramel from Tartes and Recreation.

Who else is participating in VeganMoFo this year? Please let me know if you think I might not be following you yet – Happy VeganMoFo everyone! :)

Friday favourites

(Nederlandstalige versie)

It’s Friday and I have favourite things I want to tell you about!

#1: When my wife was a shiitake

Rice and shiitakes
Yesterday I read the short story When My Wife Was a Shiitake, in which a man rediscovers food after his wife passes away, and I immediately felt inspired to make sushi with stewed shiitakes. I soaked my shiitakes in water, pan-fried them in oil, stewed them in water with soy sauce, vegetarian oyster sauce, and a pinch of sugar, and served them on top of vinegared brown rice with vegetables on the side.

#2: Pancake soup

Pancake soup!

Pancake soup! I’d heard about this before (probably on Mihl’s blog) but I decided I had to try it after reading this post by Bianca. You make a few thin pancakes, cut them into strips, and put them in your vegetable soup. They’re like noodles, but thicker and better and more like pancakes.

#3: Gewoon Vegan

Gewoon Vegan is a new website by Martine from Vegetus with photos and reviews of vegan products you can buy in the Netherlands. It’s already helped me discover a few things I didn’t know about!

#4: Vegan Easter eggs

Chocolate Easter eggs

If you’ve been to Martine’s site you already know about this, but just in case you don’t: Lidl now has several kinds of vegan chocolate eggs! Pictured above are amaretto-filled eggs (on the left), eggs filled with hazelnut praline (on the right), and a big hollow egg (in the middle). Usually solid dark chocolate eggs are the only vegan ones (in regular supermarkets, anyway) so I’m glad Lidl is giving vegans a few more options this year.

#5: Poffertjes


I finally made poffertjes in my waffle iron and that worked wonderfully and now I want to eat them every week. I did feel like these came out a little drier than the ones made in a poffertjespan, but that may have been due to the amount of fat I used. I updated my recipe so it’s now available in Dutch as well as English and in grams as well as cups.

Have a good weekend! :)

Pancakes with blueberries and a few VeganMoFo favourites

(Nederlandstalige versie)

A few years ago I did a “brunch on Sunday” post every week during the Vegan Month of Food, and I thought I’d bring that back (or at least for today). I meant to put this up yesterday so I’ll probably update twice today.


I found a recipe for ricotta pancakes in the book Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights and decided to veganise it using fresh tofu. The end result was OK; I actually liked the addition of the tofu, but I didn’t have any lemon zest or lemon extract to flavour them so they were a little plain on their own. Fortunately we had blueberries and golden syrup in the fridge so this was still a lovely breakfast. I definitely want to try the pancakes again sometime.

Since that’s about all I have to share for today, I thought I’d list some of my favourites from the VeganMoFo blogs I’ve read so far.

Did you know there are at least three blogs doing Harry Potter themes this year? These triple bacon sandwiches from Dumbledore’s Vegan Army and this onion soup from Vegan Knyquol are both inspired by Mrs Weasley’s cooking, and this spotted dick by Miss Kitchen Witch looks like the perfect dessert for a Hogwarts-inspired feast.

Jenny from The Lusting Mind is devoting the month to meals inspired by Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain. Her posts make me want to watch this film again soon, preferably while enjoying a soup and salad or waffles with jam. I’m hoping for a post on crème brûlée as well.

Hasta la Vegan is spending MoFo cooking from bizarre and outdated cookbooks and features gems such as Crunchy Topped Cauliflower, A Sculpted Mound Fancifully Garnished, and “Breadless” toast (spoiler alert: it’s a slice of tofu).

If you’d like to use MoFo as an opportunity to learn about a new cuisine, have a look at these blogs: Mämmi‘s theme is Finnish coffee table culture, Jessica from Ichiban Vegan writes about Japanese food, Imogen Michel blogs about Vegan Scotland, and Rosie from Rosie’s Vegan Kitchen shares her vegan versions of Welsh recipes.

Finally, Julie from Apologies for the Novel is doing weekly themes, and she’s also ending all her posts with pictures of her cats which really I think we should all start doing.

Carrot Cake Pancakes from the PPK Blog

Carrot cake pancakes

First of all: good news, my oven’s working again! Thankfully, the problem was pretty easy to solve so now I can bake again. Before it was fixed, though, I still spent the morning making a few recipes to freeze for later that don’t require an oven, and this stack of carrot cake pancakes was one of them. I’ve been following the PPK blog for years but whenever I browse the recipe section I always find a few new things I still want to try. I really love these pancakes – they’re pretty healthy for a sweet breakfast (well, they have a vegetable! I also used some whole wheat flour) and the flavours are lovely as well. I didn’t have maple syrup (I used a little brown sugar in the pancakes, instead) but they were great even on their own or with a little vegan butter. I just love the combination of carrots and spices, especially this time of year. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever tried an actual carrot cake! I may have to bake one soon…

Pancakes from BitterSweet and Kumquat Poppy Seed Scones

I’m super sleepy right now, so here’s a quick post about the delicious breakfast & scones I made today!
Blueberry PancakesI felt like having a nice leisurely weekend breakfast but I didn’t really want to make something elaborate just for myself when I had too many other things to do. I did have some blueberries I needed to use, though, so I was really happy to come across this Pancakes for One recipe on Hannah’s blog. Okay, most pancake recipes don’t really take very long to prepare, but I guess I just needed the reminder that sometimes it’s worth a little extra effort to make a meal a bit more special. In the end my boyfriend joined me for breakfast even though he didn’t have much time (who could say no to blueberry pancakes?) so I made a double batch of the recipe to share.

The following treat doesn’t technically fit in with my MoFo theme for this month as it’s not a recipe from a blog, but it is from one of Hannah’s cookbooks so I’m including it anyway:
Kumquat poppy seed sconesKumquat poppy seed scones! My parents came dropped by for a visit today and I wanted to make them something tasty they hadn’t tried before. I knew they love baked goods with poppy seeds and I’d just picked up some kumquats at the market, so these scones from Vegan Desserts were perfect! I hadn’t tried kumquats before but I knew I could rely on Hannah’s recipes to turn a new ingredient into an original and delicious treat.  I was a little worried these wouldn’t turn out as I had to replace the margarine with oil, but I don’t think it affected the texture too much (I froze the oil beforehand so it was solid – a trick I’d learned from Vegan Pie in the Sky) and these scones were absolutely lovely.

I hope everyone’s enjoying MoFo 2012 so far. The first week’s gone by so quickly!

Sourdough experiments

I’ve been making my own yeast breads for a while, usually with pretty good results, but for some reason the idea of making sourdough bread at home always seemed intimidating to me. Whenever I tried to look up recipes for a homemade starter, I only found elaborate instructions and contradictory information on the addition of sweeteners, yeast, and different flour types that only made the process seem even more daunting. However, after reading these simple instructions by Mihl from Seitan is my Motor, I decided to just give it a try.

Her recipe uses just flour and water – definitely no added yeast or sweeteners – and it’s very easy: Start by mixing together one part flour and two parts water, stir every 12 hours, and feed every 24 hours until the starter is ready to use. Mihl’s post has additional instructions and helpful step-by-step pictures, but the basic method is surprisingly simple. And it worked so well! I really wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to tell when the starter was ready as I’d never baked with sourdough before, but by the fifth day the batter had clearly changed and the smell, which was pretty unappetising during the first few days, had become nice and fresh, a little like fresh fruit – just as Mihl described.

Sourdough pancakes

After five days of feeding the starter I had quite a lot of it, so I used up a couple of hundred grams in this batch of pancakes. I started with this recipe but didn’t add any berries or spices to the batter because I really wanted to be able to taste the sourdough on my first try working with it. As a result, they were a bit plain on their own, but we love pancakes and I served them with some grilled nectarines so they were a great breakfast. I did notice that they weren’t quite as fluffy as other American-style pancakes I’ve made, even though the recipe included baking soda and baking powder in addition to the starter. Maybe it would help if I let the batter sit for a while so that the sourdough could contribute to the leavening process? I’m definitely going to make sourdough pancakes again because they seem like a fun dish to experiment with and you can never really have too many pancakes.

Sourdough loaf

After polishing off the pancakes I quickly moved on to bake my first actual sourdough loaf. I followed Mihl’s instructions as closely as possible using all wholemeal flour, just as I’d done for the starter. I was pretty pleased with the results, especially for a first attempt! It had a good crust (I should practice scoring my loaves, though), and I liked the sourdough flavour which actually seemed to improve as I let the finished loaf rest (I wasn’t quite patient enough to let it cool completely before slicing). It was still slightly too dense for my liking and almost undercooked in the middle, though, so I think I should’ve left it in the oven for just a little longer and then let it cool properly. I’m also going to try and let the dough rise just a little bit longer the next time I make a loaf that’s 100% whole wheat.

For my next loaves, I used plain flour in addition to the wholemeal flour and I also added a spoonful of the gluten flour I use to make seitan in an attempt to mimic the high gluten content of bread flour. This combination of ingredients seems to work quite well, though I did notice some loaves turned out lighter and crustier than others – I think the rising and cooling times can really make a difference here. I also decided to bake the loaf in a ceramic baking dish that I kept in the oven as it preheated, and I think that helped to improve the crust a little.


I’m going to keep experimenting with these recipes because I love bread and it’s so much fun to try out different shapes, sizes, flours, and other ingredients. Baking with sourdough is super cheap, too – most of the loaves only contain water, flour, and salt.

Has anyone else baked with sourdough? Do you have favourite recipes you’d like to share? I’ve made breads and pancakes now, but I’d also love to try making things like waffles or baked goods!

Summer Breakfasts

Today was a long, cold, dark day. Seems like the perfect time to go through my photos from this summer and share a few breakfasts I’d been meaning to post! I don’t remember all the details about these, but I assure you everything was delicious.

Tofu scramble, roasted potatoes & veggies, strawberries

First up is this plate of tofu scramble (with almost more veggies than tofu, it seems), roasted vegetables and a few strawberries as a little dessert. I used the Roasted Root Vegetables recipe from Vegan Brunch as a base for the side dish, using potato instead of some of the roots. Loved this!

Blueberry Corn Pancakes

I made these Blueberry Corn Pancakes from Veganomicon as a treat for my boyfriend one morning because he usually really likes things with blueberries, and we both loved them! I definitely have to remember to make these again when I have blueberries around.


I also made poffertjes! I had made them before, using a recipe from a cookbook, but this time I adapted a basic recipe from Wikipedia. They were really tasty (and so much fun to make), so maybe I’ll try and post a recipe if I try them again in the future.

Pineapple Carrot Sunshine Muffins

Hmm, I think it was already autumn when I made these muffins, but their name definitely fits the summer theme: the Pineapple Carrot Sunshine Muffins from Veganomicon. Lena from the NVV forum recommended them to me, so I gave them a try, and they turned out perfectly! I didn’t have golden raisins, as you can see in the picture, but these were still a great success. They’re very moist and tasty and made for convenient snacks to take with me to classes (in my little cupcake container!)

Oh, I’m already looking forward to being able to enjoy summery breakfasts outside in the garden again. Meanwhile, I’ll keep enjoying delicious pumpkin-flavoured foods! More on that tomorrow.