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Archive for December, 2013

I’ve been craving Indian food for quite a while. I just love all those spicy, hearty, belly warming dishes. And the abundance of plant-based options! Finally, last Saturday my husband and I went to our favorite local Indian restaurant. It’s been too long!

2013-12-15_Papadums

We shared papadums as an appetizer. They’re so crunchy! That red sweet and sour sauce was very tasty, too.

2013-12-15_Tomato_Soup

There’s a tomato soup on the menu that we’ve never tried before. Indian tomato soup? I was curious. And it was delicious! Very sweet, and full of mysterious spices. I have no idea what they put in there, but it was really good.

2013-12-15_Baigan_Bharta

This restaurant offers several different vegetarian main dishes, this time I chose baingan bharta, a creamy eggplant dish. It was just as awesome as I remembered. It’s not spicy, but full of flavor, and topped with crunchy fresh ginger. This dish is also very filling. It is served in a separate pot, accompanied by a huge pile of rice and some naan bread. I had seconds, and thirds, but I couldn’t finish the whole thing.

2013-12-15_Stollen

Last week I received a big loaf of Stollen, traditional German fruit cake, from a friend. It was good, but very sweet.

Considering all the sweet treats I was gifted in the past few weeks, I probably won’t bake any cookies this year. That’s just too much sugar altogether.

What’s your favorite Indian dish?

See you!

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Since discovering this fruit cake recipe in a German cookbook about ten years ago, I’ve made this cake every winter at least once. I just love its heartiness and rich spicy, fruity flavor.

I’ve modified the original recipe a little, to match my own preferences, and now it is free of several common allergens.

This fruit cake is:

  • dairy-free
  • vegan
  • low-fat
  • free of refined sugar
  • potentially nut free, if you omit the almond flour

2013-12-15_Spiced_Apple_Fruit_Cake

Spiced Apple Fruit Cake

This recipe yields a very dense, hearty loaf, filled to the brim with juicy fruits and seasonal spices. While this cake doesn’t contain any refined sugar, it’s still sweet enough for my taste buds, thanks to all the dried fruit and grated apples. If you prefer your baked goods to be on the sweeter side, feel free to add honey, maple syrup, or your favorite wholesome sweetener.

Prep time: 20 minutes + a few hours of soaking time

Baking time: 45-50 minutes

Yield: One big loaf

*Vegetarian*Vegan*Sugar-free*

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups mixed dried fruit, chopped (e.g. raisins, figs, apricots)
  • 1 cup water or apple juice
  • 1 Tbsp rum (optional)
  • 3 medium-sized sweet apples (e.g. gala, fuji, pink lady)
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour (optional)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves, ground
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or ground vanilla bean

Directions:

Chop up the dried fruit into 1-inch pieces, put into a bowl and add water or juice and optional rum. Mix and let soak in the fridge for a few hours or over night.

Combine flours, baking powder, cocoa powder, and all dry spices in a separate bowl. Grate the apples (note: I like to leave on the skin, but feel free to peel them) and add them to the dried fruit. Mix wet and dry ingredients, including soaking liquid, and stir until just combined. The dough will be very dense and heavy.

Pour the cake batter into a greased loaf pan, and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 45 to 50 minutes. The cake is done when the top starts to brown and the edges come away from the pan. The inside of the cake will still be very wet and appear undercooked, but that’s okay.

Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Then flip the pan and remove the cake, and wrap it in tin foil while it’s still warm. Let it rest for a few hours.

This cake is best kept in the fridge, tightly wrapped in tin foil.

Note: I recommend using unsulfured, unsweetened dried fruits. A mix of raisins, apricots, and figs is what I normally use in this cake, but you could also add cranberries, dates, mangoes or any other kind of dried fruit.

Enjoy!

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December really is the busiest month of the year, so I’m posting from my phone once again. What would I do without this thing?

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Last Sunday we went to ou village’s tiny Christmas market and I enjoyed my favorites, mulled wine and roasted chestnuts.

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On Monday I made the best tofu curry ever. It was so good! Special ingredient: apple juice. Served over brown rice.

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Also on Monday I raided our local Aldi. Those dates are stuffed with almonds and walnuts. Whole food, two ingredients each. Just amazing!

Are you a fan of roasted chestnuts, too?

See you!

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Hi foodie friends! I’m trying to post from my phone today. Let’s hope this works.

Currently, I’m at a workshop. Again. We are provided breakfast lunch, and snacks. Here are some of the things I ate yesterday and today.

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Tuesday’s breakfast: buttered soft pretzel, a Bavarian classic.

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Tuesday’s lunch: salad, mixed veggies, fruit juice.

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Tuesday’s snack: cappuchino and chocolate.

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Wednesday’s breakfast: brie on multi-grain bread.

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Wednesday’s snack: cappuchino and banana.

What tasty meals and snacks have you eaten lately?

See you!

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It’s December! Finally! Isn’t that marvelous? Only four more weeks until Christmas – and a long anticipated two-week break from work. Yay!

My hometown’s Christmas market opened last weekend, and of course I had to be there to kick off the season the proper way.

2013-11-30_Wine_Mugs

With mulled wine! The first mug had to be from the Red Cross booth, as every year. Charity and booze, that’s an awesome combo.

2013-11-30_Chestnuts

Roasted chestnuts are my favorite Christmas market snack. I love them even more than gingerbread, and that says a lot.

2013-11-30_Hot_Chocolate

After the Christmas market we warmed up at my favorite café in downtown, which is famous for its hot chocolate. This bowl was huge, filled with deliciousness, and topped with a heart. Can’t beat that.

The_Worlds_End_Plakat

Later that night we watched a movie: The World’s End. It was so funny and even better than I thought. Go watch it now!

2013-11-30_Cookie_Box

Last Thursday, my mother sent me a box of her homemade cookies. Four days later, that box is half empty already. My husband helped me a little, but still I’m totally sugared out now. I regret nothing!

Have you already been to a Christmas market?

See you!

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