Archive for January, 2013

And once again, it’s Wednesday. Time to show you what I ate on a certain day of the past week.

Last Saturday we went to another horseback riding lesson. It was our first outdoor ride ever, and it was around 20°F! But it wasn’t that bad, actually. I warmed up after a while, and enjoyed a nice lesson with my new buddy Dingo.

Breakfast Sandwiches

Before we left, I needed a substantial breakfast. One of my favorite sandwich toppings at the moment is the combination of hummus, ajvar, tofurky slices, and cucumber slices. Hearty, filling, and refreshing.

BelVita Cookies

When we go riding on Saturdays, we don’t return home before 2 pm. This time I was smart enough to pack a snack that I could enjoy in the car. I’ve seen those BelVita breakfast cookies at our local grocery store for a few months, but always thought they were just a sugar-laden marketing scam. Then I read a very positive review of those cookies on Tina’s blog, and decided to give them a try. And I really liked them! They were crunchy and hearty and thankfully not too sweet. I’ll definitely buy them again. Oh, I also had a banana with the cookies.


Our late lunch was whipped up in a flash, thanks to some leftover tomato sauce. I only had to cook two servings of pasta and reheat the sauce. Done!

Roasted Vegetables

My dinner was a direct result of my spontaneous cravings, a big pile of roasted vegetables: sweet potato sticks, tahini-crusted carrots, and broccoli. I topped it with sweet chili sauce and a tangy tahini dressing. After licking my plate clean (don’t tell me you don’t do that, too!) I was very full. But not too full for a piece of dark chocolate.

What’s your favorite on-the-go snack?

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Many years ago, when I was still an omnivore, I used to love cooking shows on TV. Jamie Oliver’s The Naked Chef, Tim Mälzer’s Schmeckt nicht, gibt’s nicht and Kerner kocht were my favorites back then. Meanwhile, my dietary preferences have changed, and as those cooking show mostly feature meat, fish, or sea food dishes, I’ve stopped watching them.

Thankfully, there are lots of awesome cooking shows on YouTube these days! Here are my current favorite cooking channels:

Cooking with Dog {Japanese, omnivore}

Cooking with Dog

It’s not what you think! The host of this show is Francis, a grey poodle with an adorable Japanese accent. He explains the necessary steps while the chef, a quiet and humble Japanese lady, prepares the food. This show features authentic Japanese recipes, which usually aren’t suited for vegetarians, but can be adapted easily. The miso stir-fry with bell pepper and eggplant was very tasty. And I admire Chef’s knife and chop stick skills. She’s a pro!

The Vegan Zombie {American, vegan}

The Vegan Zombie

This post-apocalyptic vegan cooking show is just hilarious! While some of their recipes use ingredients that are hard to find in Germany, like Tofurky sausages and Daiya cheese, it is a very entertaining show with lots of tasty looking vegan recipes. A while ago I tried the vegan shepherd’s pie, with TVP instead of seitan. It was delicious! I also have a little crush on Indy the dog. He’s so cute!

Koch’s vegan {German, vegan}

Sorry, English-speaking readers, this show is in German! The creator of this channel is a vegan chef living in Northern Germany, who posts veganized versions of classic German dishes. This is where I found the tofu goulash recipe, that I mentioned in my last What I Ate Wednesday post. Commenters can request ingredients, which will be included in one of the next videos. That’s pretty cool!

Maangchi’s cooking show {Korean, omnivore}

Maangchi's Cooking Show

This is by far my favorite cooking channel of all! And it’s not even vegetarian, but most recipes can be adapted easily. Maangchi is an incredibly cute Korean lady living in New York. She posts authentic Korean recipes, which got the husband’s seal of approval, and that says a lot! I can’t even choose a favorite recipe, they are all amazing. But I can highly recommend the sweet potato rice, noodles with black bean sauce, sweet pancakes with red bean filling, hand-torn noodle soup (sujebi), and of course her easy kimchi recipe.

Are you hungry yet? Well, I surely am. And highly motivated to get cooking in my own kitchen as soon as possible.

What’s your favorite cooking show, either online or on TV?

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This week I thought that my usual What I Ate posts were getting a little boring, so I decided to show you a collection of some recent meals instead. Most of the photos were taken with my phone, so please excuse the poor presentation. One fine day I might learn how to use my husband’s DSLR and add some pretty decorations to my kitchen counter.

Vegan Chili

A hearty meat-less chili is one of my favorite comfort foods, especially during the colder months. My version always includes kidney beans, sweet corn, red bell peppers, canned tomatoes, and sometimes a little TVP (dried soy crumbles). And a squirt of hot Sriracha sauce, but not too much, for the perfect level of spiciness. I usually serve my chili with potatoes and guacamole.

Roasted Vegetables

A big pile of roasted vegetables is my go-to weeknight dinner whenever I don’t want to cook a real meal. I simply throw all the vegetables I can find in my kitchen onto a large baking tray, set the timer to 30 minutes, and get some other things done. Okay, a little peeling and chopping is required, too, but that’s no big deal. This particular variation contained sweet potatoes, tahini crusted carrots and zucchini, broccoli florets from the freezer, and a few pan-fried mandus (Korean dumplings).

Pasta with marinara sauce

Friday night is pasta night in our household. Our local Aldi sells delicious whole grain penne, which have become my favorite kind of pasta. Their whole grain spaghetti are awesome, too, but I love how the sauce creeps into those little tubes. I usually make a fruity tomato sauce to go with the pasta, which also includes some extra vegetables like carrots, zucchini, and/or mushrooms. Topping the dish with pesto and pine nuts is optional but highly recommended.

Fried Quinoa

Fried rice makes an almost weekly appearance on my dinner plate, but sometimes I get a little adventurous and use quinoa instead of rice. I like to mix in a dash of curry powder and curcuma, to give the dish a pretty yellow hue.

Sweet Potato Cauliflower Soup

I recently found a recipe for sweet potato cauliflower soup on Manifest Vegan and immediately knew that I had to make that soup as soon as possible. I absolutely love blended vegetable soups, and that recipe sounded totally delicious. And it really was! I used homemade vegetable broth instead of water, and frozen cauliflower instead of fresh. It was simply amazing.

Tofu Goulash

A little while ago, one of my favorite YouTube chefs posted a recipe video for tofu goulash. Pork or beef goulash was one of my family’s staple dishes when I was a child, so I was excited to try a vegan version. This recipe contains lots of vegetables and only a little tofu, just how I like it. It was really good! And surprisingly simple to make. I served the goulash with potatoes, but it would also go well with pasta or a slice of bread.

Lunch Salad

I’ve also been eating lots of meal-sized salads lately, mostly as a quick and refreshing lunch option. To make those salads more filling I always add some beans or legumes, like black lentils, sweet corn, chickpeas, or kidney beans, and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds or pine nuts.

What is your favorite quick and simple weeknight dinner?

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Oh my, last Saturday was such a fun-filled day for me! But let’s start at the beginning.

Breakfast Sandwiches

I had my usual kind of breakfast, to fuel up for our next horseback riding lesson (see Monday’s post for details!).


We came back home a lot later than I had planned, and I was starving! So my husband made me some ddoekbokki (spicy pan-fried rice cakes). It looks like a small serving, but those rice cakes are filling! I plan to recreate that dish soon, so I can give you the recipe.

Later that night, we were invited to a potluck party with some of my very best friends. There was so much great food!


We started our feast with tomato bruschetta, made by Tina. They were delicious! Crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and very tomato-y.


Next up was Sonja’s minestrone. Her recipe is totally different from mine! She included lots of potatoes and pasta, and the soup was rather mild and creamy, while my version is heavy on the tomatoes. I feel inspired!


Our third course was a salad, lovingly created by Caroline. I was so happy to get some greens in! Her sweet, tangy, spicy honey dijon dressing was so good!

Veggie pancakes with rice

And finally, the main course! I brought my trusty rice cooker and vegetable pancakes. I know, my plate looks a little sad. The others also had some pork dish, which I skipped, of course. I was already rather full from all the appetizers, so I didn’t mind.


And then there was dessert! Ingrid and Michael had spent the entire afternoon making those beautiful cupcakes! They were amazing, especially the chocolate cheesecake ones. I need to bribe them to give me the recipe.

At the end of the night, my belly was full of delicious food, and my heart was full of joy. We laughed so hard and had so much fun!

Do you like potluck parties? What’s your favorite dish to bring?

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A few months ago, my husband had the glorious idea to take horseback riding lessons. With me, of course. At first I was hesitant, as usual. I’m a short woman, and horses are big and strong! But after a while he convinced me to just give it a try.

We quickly found a nice option for Western-style riding and booked our first lessons with our instructor Véronique. To be honest, I was overwhelmed at the beginning. Riding isn’t as easy as it looks on TV! You first learn how to approach a horse, how to put on the headgear and saddle, how to get up and down, how to tell the horse what to do, and most importantly, how to not fall off! At first, I was really struggling to process so much information, but now after a few intense sessions I’m slowly starting to feel comfortable on a horse.


So, does horseback riding count as exercise? I’d say yes, it does! You need to engage your core muscles all the time to keep your balance, and you’re using your legs a lot. After trotting around in the riding hall for about an hour, I’m always sore in new and unexpected parts of my body, like on the outsides of my ankles, or the area between my butt and my thighs. Eh!?

What’s also great about riding is that you don’t need to buy a lot of equipment. I usually wear an old pair of jeans, an old sweater, a warm winter jacket, and my hiking boots. (Plus a few extra layers underneath. German winters are COLD!) The only thing I bought was a helmet. The lessons themselves aren’t that expensive, either, I’d say they cost about as much as an average yoga class. And considering that we spend about two full hours there, including preparing and grooming the horses (which is actually a lot of fun, too), you get a lot of bang for your buck.


I love all kinds of animals, but I didn’t expect to enjoy being around horses so much. The horse I’ve been riding the last few lessons is a beautiful brown guy named Sugar. He’s very calm and friendly, but a little lazy and stubborn sometimes. And hungry! But our instructor said that’s normal.

I think I’ve found a new hobby. And some new four-legged friends! I can’t wait to go for a real ride outside of the hall. Okay, I’m also a little scared, but mostly excited.

Bonus: There’s a cheeky kitten roaming around the stables! That little guy likes to sneak up from behind and climb up people’s legs. Those tiny claws don’t go through my thick layers, so it doesn’t hurt at all. We usually snuggle for a few minutes after the lessons, while I comb down my horse. That much cuteness is too hard to handle!

So what’s the bottom line of this post? Try something new! Get over your fears and doubts, and do something unusual from time to time. Who knows, you might even like it!

Barkley says hi!

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Hi, I’m back! That means back to work, to (mostly) healthy plant-based eating, and even back at the gym. Yay!

I decided to skip the standard annual recap and New Year’s resolutions posts. You’ve probably read more than enough of those by now. I don’t really have any specific goals for this year, I just want to stay healthy, fit, and happy.

Anyway, here’s what I ate last Sunday, my last day of freedom, before returning to the office on Monday.

Breakfast Sandwiches

My usual breakfast, again. I swear it never gets old, as I always vary the toppings. And yes, I eat vegetables for breakfast. They are delicious!

Millet Lentil Salad

Lunch was the result of a spontaneous pantry raid. I tossed up a filling salad containing millet, black lentils, carrots, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, and sunflower seeds.

Citrus Juice

I had some oranges and clementines that were already starting to get mushy, so I decided to turn them into juice. Sadly, I only have a small citrus juicer, so this is the only kind of juice I can make. But one day I’ll treat myself to a big, fancy juicer. A girl can dream!

Vegetable Soup

And finally, dinner. I was craving I big bowl of vegetable soup, and thankfully I always have plenty of them hanging out in my kitchen. This time I used potatoes, carrots, brussel sprouts, and green beans. Veggie power!

To be honest, I also had a few pieces of dark chocolate, just like every day. But my camera isn’t fast enough to get a picture. 😉

Are you back at work, too?

See you!

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