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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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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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