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Posts Tagged ‘Vegetarian’

Our big moving day is approaching fast. Only ten days to go! Yikes!

In the past few weeks I’ve tried to use up the food in my fridge, freezer, and pantry. While I have made great progress, there is still so much left! I do realize it’s kind of silly to have seven different kinds of noodles in my kitchen. Yes, seven! And that’s just one example. You may roll your eyes at me now.

In our new apartment, I want to adopt a more minimalist approach, only buying what I really need, instead of hoarding tons of ingredients like a hamster.

I’ve also noticed that my grocery bills were a lot lower this month. Shopping from your pantry is a great way to save some money!

Here are some random meals and snacks I made over the past few days, using up some of my pantry foods.

2014-02-25_Potato_Dumplings

I finally got rid of those frozen potato dumplings. I paired them with brussel sprouts, red cabbage, and an awesome mushroom sauce.

2014-02-25_Rice_Soup

Next I made a quick broth with seaweed and dried shiitake mushrooms. And I added some frozen mandu (Korean dumplings), broccoli, and leftover rice.

2014-02-25_Cookies

A few weeks ago, I bought a new jar of tahini. It’s from a different brand, and I really didn’t like it. Way too bitter! But surprisingly, tahini is a great peanut butter replacement in cookies! Even the husband loved them.

2014-02-25_Toast

There are still a few slices of toast in my freezer. Sigh!

2014-02-25_Rice_bowl

My favorite way of eating broccoli is roasted. I just put a few frozen florets on my silicon baking mat and roast them in the oven for 25 minutes. So simple, so good.

I have plans for most of my frozen ingredients, but I’m struggling with that bag of spinach. I’ve used it in a few recipes already, but there’s still so much left.

What are your favorite easy spinach recipes? Please share!

See you!

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When my husband and I decided to get married, I knew that I would take his name and join his Korean family. It might sound strange to some of you, but I was very excited about this fact. Over the years I’ve come to love his family, and couldn’t wait to officially be a part of it. I’m not-so-secretly dreaming of getting a Hanbok, a traditional Korean dress, for myself. They are so bright and beautiful!

Thanks to my husband and my MIL, I’ve also learned to love Korean cuisine. While most Korean dishes contain some form of meat or fish, you can easily leave them out and make them vegetarian or even vegan. Traditional Korean meals already include lots of different vegetable-based side dishes (banchan), like kimchi, pickled radish or cucumbers, sautéed spinach or zucchini, and many more. And tofu is not just a weird meat replacement but a totally normal ingredient!

While my husband is very open-minded when it comes to food, he definitely prefers traditional Korean dishes, and as I enjoy them, too, we prepare them quite often in our kitchen.

Here’s what I ate last Sunday.

2014-02-16_Breakfast

A typical Korean breakfast would be a rather basic rice soup. I pass on that one. This German girl needs some kind of bread in the morning. I’m still working on using up that insane amount of toast in my freezer.

2014-02-16_Soup

On Friday I had made a big batch of beef broth for the husband, and a smaller batch of mushroom broth for myself. I used dried shiitake mushrooms, carrots, onion, and seaweed (or kelp?) and boiled it all for a few hours. Then I strained the broth and added fresh kelp, carrots, and frozen dumplings, and added a little soy sauce and sesame oil. It was delicious!

2014-02-16_Japchae

My husband offered to make japchae for dinner, and of course I said ‘yes’. This is a very popular picnic dish, made with sweet potato starch noodles and a variety of vegetables. We simply used what we had on hand: sweet red peppers, button mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, and eggs. This dish is so filling! And as those noodles are usually made of 100% sweet potato starch, this dish is even gluten-free. If you omit the eggs, it’s vegan, too! This looks like a small serving, but believe me, japchae is incredibly filling.

Have you ever had mushroom broth or japchae?

See you!

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In one of my recent What I Ate Wednesday posts I showed you a picture of semolina pudding, known as Grießbrei here in Germany. This is a traditional dessert or snack that is very easy to prepare. You could even enjoy it as breakfast!

2014-01-28_Sweet_grits

Sweet semolina pudding

To prepare this wholesome treat you only need a handful of ingredients and a few minutes, so it’s a great option to satisfy a spontaneous dessert craving. Or you could enjoy it as an alternative breakfast item.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Yield: 2-3 servings

*Vegetarian*Vegan*

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk, e.g almond milk, rice milk, full-fat cow’s milk
  • 1/4 cup semolina (Weichweizengrieß)
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • a dash of salt

Directions:

Pour milk of choice into a pot and carefully bring it to a gentle boil. Add all remaining ingredients and thoroughly stir with a whisk. Reduce heat to low and keep whisking. The mixture will look very thin but it will firm up within a few minutes. Don’t stop whisking or the pudding will burn!

After about five minutes the pudding should be firm and creamy. If not, keep cooking on low temperature and whisk regularly until it has reached the desired consistency.

Serve either warm or chilled, topped with your favorite fruit. Cherry compote or apple sauce are great options to start.

Note that this pudding will firm up even more after cooling.

I’ve decided to link up this recipe in Laura’s Strange but good round-up, as I assume that semolina is a rather strange ingredient to my non-German readers.

Enjoy!

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Fun fact: In some German regions, potatoes are called ‘Erdäpfel’, which means ‘apples from the earth/ground’. There are also quite a few recipes that do combine potatoes and apples, like soups, stews, casseroles, latkes with apple sauce, etc. But this post is not about those dishes, as I prefer to keep those two ingredients separate.

2013-11-23_Home_Fries

As a child, I ate potatoes all the time, in all different forms and variations. Steamed, boiled, fried, mashed – we had it all! My favorite way to enjoy those delicious tubers was my Grandma’s Bratkartoffeln (home fries for my English-speaking readers). I always pre-cook my potatoes, to reduce the frying time, and I also need less oil. Plus, this is a great way to use up leftovers! The key ingredients for my version of Bratkartoffeln are onions, caraway seeds, and a hefty dose of Hungarian paprika powder. I served the potatoes with green beans and tofu rosso. And ketchup, of course. Amazing!

2013-11-23_Sweet_Potato_Fries

A relatively new-to-me ingredient are sweet potatoes. My local grocery store just recently started to stock them regularly, but they are way more expensive than white potatoes, so I only buy them occasionally. My favorite way to enjoy sweet potatoes is roasted, either plain or coated with coconut oil and curry powder. I roasted some more vegetables on the same tray, and served it all with the amazing curry-flavored hummus I mentioned in Monday’s post. I think I need to repeat this meal very soon.

2013-11-24_Apple_cake

A few months ago, I discovered a fun new cooking show on TV, called ‘Sweet & Easy’. It’s all about baking, either sweet or savory dishes. In one of the early episodes, the host presented a very delicious looking apple cake. My husband was intrigued, too, and the recipe was rather simple, so I spontaneously decided to make it last Sunday. It was indeed stirred together in a flash, and it was as yummy as expected, but next time I’ll at least double the amount of apples. And I’ll probably add some cinnamon. I just have to.

2013-11-24_Chunky_Potato_Soup

Finally, I cooked a big batch of chunky potato soup. This is an awesome way to get rid of some random vegetables that need to be used up. I topped it with a chopped up vegan sausage. It wasn’t bad, but I’m generally not a fan of most meat replacement products. Whole foods are always better.

And now, I’ve finally used up all my potatoes! So I can go and buy a new 5 lbs bag, right?

No, just kidding. I’m still working on raiding my pantry, but sometimes I can’t resist the temptation to buy new stuff. Like that legendary hummus trio. Sigh!

I’m also trying to use up most of my frozen food items, as I need to deep-clean my freezer. Double sigh! I’ll report back.

What was your favorite dish when you were a child?

See you!

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Sorry guys, I’m sick, tired, and busy, so I’ll keep this post rather short.

Here are some of the things I made and ate last weekend.
2013-11-17_Pasta_Salad
On Saturday we made a big bowl of pasta salad. It contained one pound of pasta (!), sweet corn, mushrooms, peas, onions, and homemade mayo. Our family’s mayo recipe contains eggs and yoghurt, so it’s not vegan. #sorrynotsorry
I served my version with fresh tomatoes, romaine lettuce, and tofu fingers.
2013-11-17_Tomato_Bisque
I also made a big batch of tomato bisque. I used oat cream and left out the meat, of course. It’s incredibly delicious! This will be part of my dinners all week long. On Sunday night I paired it with quinoa, peas, sauteed mushrooms, nutritional yeast, and basil pesto. Amazing!
2013-11-17_Marzipan_Chocolate
I found a block of nearly expired marzipan in my pantry, and decided to roll it into little balls and dip them in chocolate. Black for me, white for my husband. Looks fancy, but it’s so simple!
Finally, I brought back the infamous bizookies! I have no idea why I stopped making them. My version isn’t really sugar-free, as I added a little maple syrup to make them a bit sweeter.
I hope I’ll have some more interesting meals and snacks to share next week.
Have you already been sick this fall?

See you!

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I think I have a problem. I’m hoarding food. Take a look at my pantry!

2013-11-10_Pantry

So much food! Those shelves are deep, and that’s not even all of it, there’s another shelf on the opposite wall with my condiments and spices, and my fruit basket on the counter. It’s ridiculous! I could feed an army!

So my mission for this week, and probably the next few ones, too, is to use as many pantry items as possible.

2013-11-10_Breakfast_Sandwiches

I have several jars of nut butter and veggie spreads in stock. Let’s eat! Btw, that almond butter and apple butter combo still rocks my socks. You have to try it!

2013-11-10_Mung_Bean_Starch

Living with an Asian guy means that I also have some strange (but good) stuff in my house, like several kinds of dried seaweed, fish powder, or mung bean starch. Mung bean starch? Yes, it is used to make mung bean jelly, a popular Korean side dish.

2013-11-10_Lunch

This was Sunday’s lunch: the aforementioned mung bean jelly and a bowl of rice with roasted vegetables, kimchi, and beans. Please ignore the dried fish at the top. I didn’t eat it, but my husband insisted that I include it in the photo.

2013-11-10_Granola

In the afternoon, I made a big batch of granola. For the first time ever! I have no idea why I waited so long. I used this recipe, but had to modify it a little, because I didn’t have all the ingredients at come. And I mixed in some dried cranberries after baking, for an extra kick of fruity sweetness.

2013-11-10_Stew_and_Salad

For dinner, I made a big pot of red lentil chili, inspired by the wonderful Miss Polkadot, using carrots and zucchini instead of kabocha. It’s delicious!

As you can see, my weekend meal prepping went a lot better than last week. I have lots of lentil chili and granola, and I also roasted a tray of bell peppers and broccoli, cooked a batch of brown lentils, and mixed up a bottle of salad dressing, as I plan to bring my lunch salads back. It’s Wednesday already, and I still have enough food prepared that I only need to re-heat or toss together.

But now I’m faced with a new kind of challenge. How do I fit all my ready-to-eat food into my tiny fridge?

2013-11-10_Fridge

Oh boy!

What does your pantry look like? Any strange items in there?

See you!

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It’s quite simple: If I want to spend more time at the gym during the week, I need to reduce the time I spend in my kitchen. The solution for this is equally simple: batch cooking on weekends. But making this approach work is not quite as simple as it seems. At least not for me.

Last weekend I attempted to prepare some food for the work week, but things didn’t quite work as well as I had hoped.

2013-11-03_Breakfast_Sandwiches

Breakfast is not an issue, at least. I use store-bought bread and toppings and need only a few minutes to assemble my sandwiches the night before.

2013-11-03_Brown_Rice

On Sunday I cooked a big batch of brown rice. I froze one half and kept the other half in my fridge. So far, so good, but plain rice is not really a complete meal.

2013-11-03_Squash_Soup

I also made a pot of my favorite curried squash soup. The resulting batch was smaller than I thought, just two or three servings.

2013-11-03_Veggie_Pancakes

Later that night, I fried up a batch of vegetable pancakes. We had some for dinner on Sunday night, and I packed the leftovers for my husband to enjoy on Monday. Yes, there’s another mouth to feed in my house.

2013-11-03_Cookie

Oh, and I also baked some chocolate cookies! Which I also gave to my husband. I’m spoiling that guy.

In the end, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen, and ‘sacrificed’ a good portion of my Sunday night. But I not nearly have enough food ready to last the entire work week!

Conclusion: weekend meal prep is a great idea, but I need to work on the implementation.

Next weekend, I plan to prepare a big batch of a hearty, filling stew, and also roast a bunch of vegetables. I also should freeze more stuff. I have a rather large freezer in my basement, and I really need to use it more.

Do you prepare your food on weekends, too? Or do you prefer to cook every night?

See you!

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