Archive for the ‘vegan’ Category

Cold Soba (Buckwheat noodles) are a traditional Japanese summer dish. I replaced the traditional soy-and-vinegar dipping sauce with a sesame sauce I tried last year in Singapore though, and added a bunch of fresh vegetables to be dipped alongside the noodles.

For the sauce I used Tahini, which is basically just ground sesame seeds, as a base. It’s not technically Japanese but it makes working with the sauce a lot easier.

Sesame dipping sauce
2-3tsp Tahini
½tsp soy sauce
½tsp rice wine vinegar
½-1tsp grated ginger (I love ginger so I added a lot – it’s not necessary though)
2Tsp. water (I used the water from boiling the soba for flavour)
Optional: Some ground chili or Szechuan pepper.
Mix ingredients thoroughly, serve chilled.

Serve with soba, chopped spring onions, and whatever other veggies you like. I had tofu, sliced radishes, sliced sugar snaps and some wakame salad on the side. Yum!

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Bento #309

Back from summer break with this fresh salad bento!
Quinoa marinated with basil oil, vinegar and onions, homegrown rucola, a sundried tomato, homegrown bell pepper and cherry tomato, and corn-on-the-cob flowers. Parsley decoration.

It’s good to be back! Now if I hadn’t forgotten this box at home…

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Bento #296

A little spring-themed bento – still no sign of spring here, sigh!
Rice with a chick cut from a tortilla, bell pepper details and flowers. (cutting bell peppers with veggie cutters… not such a great idea.)
Dumplings, avocado, more bell pepper, celery, a bear cup with peanut butter and raisins for the celery.

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Bento #291

I know I know – I haven’t vanished off the face of the Earth, I’m just busy in the endspurt of a big coding project at work. The crunch is now and I just can’t get any mojo for cooking… *sighs*

Couscous with sundried tomatos and parsley on lettuce, cauliflower, tomato wedges, marinated and fried tofu and zucchini, carrot flowers, sunflower sprouts and ajvar in the bear cup.

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Need a last-minute gift to bring to your Christmas party? These homemade chocolates take almost no time at all.

Ice chocolate is also a traditional Christmas candy in Sweden, but I used to make it at home as well. It’s homemade chocolate that comes in little forms – and is cooled down by putting them out in the snow! (But warmer countries need not despair, the freezer is fine as well.)
I put my foot down on using my grandma’s recipe though – I was NOT going to make it with pre-made cooking chocolate. Nope, nothing but cocoa, sugar and cocos fat in this one.

250g Cocos fat
200g powdered Sugar, sifted
50-60g plain Cocoa powder (NOT drinking chocolate!), sifted (Adjust depending on how dark you want your chocolate to be.)
Aluminium foil cups, traditional ice chocolate forms, or even ice cube forms for pouring into
Snow! Or alternatively, space in the freezer.

Melt the cocos fat over a water bath. It only needs about 70 degrees Celsius to melt, so it’ll melt quickly. Stir in the sifted sugar and cocoa powder. Stir well!
Pour into the forms and put the forms out in the snow immediately.
When the chocolate has hardened, stack in a jar (if using disposable forms) or (if not) remove the chocolate from the forms, stack it and pour more!
Store in a jar in the fridge.

The cocos fat makes the chocolate very soft, but also cool in your mouth. Be quick or it’ll be gone before you know it!

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I’m really really sorry. I was aiming for cute animals. But I’m apparently just not a cute person. And my creative brain knows how to grab on to a good visual pun and run with it.
I don’t even listen to KISS.

Anyway. KISS onigiri on lettuce, corncob flowers, veggie dumplings, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, steamed butternut squash, bottle of soy, packet of furikake and some Japanese star candy (konpeitou) as dessert.

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I happened upon a real Farmer’s Market in town today – a proper market with stands that is, with guaranteed real and local farmers. As a bonus, most of them were certified organic. So who can blame me for not being able to resist?
The corn was our dinner today. And the flat green beans and tomatoes are a special bonus – they’re not only organic, but Demeter-type biodynamic. I’ve bought the tomatoes before – they’re just heaven in round, red shape. So curious about those beans though! I’ll definitely write a review when I cook them. Aren’t the purple freckles just lovely?

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Bento #239

Another Saturday summer picknick bento!

Onigiri and homegrown cherry tomatoes, lentil and hazelnut balls (going to write up a recipe sometime soon), bell pepper slices, olives, yoghurt for dipping in the kitty container, and mint cookies.

Not vegan because of the yoghurt dip and there’s egg in the lentil patties – I think I might leave it out next time though, it doesn’t really seem necessary.

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We’ve been away over the really hot days this weekend. Luckily, we have self-watering pots for all our vegetables, so we didn’t need to rely o a neighbour to come and water our plants.
This greeted us when we came home:

The type of cherry tomato that yielded this lovely bunch is called “Tiny Tim”. They don’t grow too high, don’t need pruning and yield fantastically. A perfect plant for windowsill farming! I think we’ll be using this one exclusively next year.

Sadly, some of the chilies seemed to have gotten too much sun despite plenty of water and dried out. But I have a nice palette of chilies anyway:

I got a whole bowl of Jalapeños that ripened before the plants died. I’ll have to do some emergency pickling and freezing tonight before we go away on vacation again! (No, not freezing the pickles. :D)
(Yes, yes, that’s my acrylics paint palette with dried-in paint on it. I thought it made a fun contrast. :D)

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I recently found those lovely, huge colourful pasta tubes. I love trying out new shapes of pasta!
The only problem is that a lot of said shapes come in sizes that are, let’s face it, designed to hold Bolognese sauce – and a lot of it. Conchiglie, Cannelloni and now these tubes – they are fun, but bring a tear to a vegetarian’s eye!

Lucky then that I finally found a vegetarian Bolognese recipe that I like!

The idea came to me in a Thai restaurant of all places. Trying their delicious peanut sauce I had the idea – why not use peanuts as a ground meat replacement for Bolognese?
After a few tries I’m now sufficiently convinced I’m on to something here. So here’s the recipe:

Vegetarian Bolognese sauce with peanuts
1 food processor (don’t do it without! Really)
1 cup unsalted peanuts
1 carrot
1 red onion, peeled
1-2 stalks of celery
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 red chili, chopped
Tomato concentrate
Olive oil and/or butter
Salt, pepper, herbs (e.g. Thyme, rosemary, oregano), sugar to taste
Optional: Mushrooms, bell pepper, crushed tomatoes for the sauce

I’m doing all the chopping for this recipe in the food processor. This saves me time but mostly it’s quite easy to get the right size for bolognese in that manner. I’m going for a random spread of particles of 0,5mm length in average. Some of it can be finer – that’s not a problem, it’ll all end up making a delicious sauce. But I want the peanuts and carrots to feel like “proper” bolognese, so I’m looking for something in between “pulverized” and “chopped”.

Start out by pulsing the peanuts in the food processor. Put them into the dry pan and roast them until they begin to smell – careful they don’t burn! Put aside.
Next, pulse or chop the onion. Fry with garlic and chili in olive oil.
Pulse the carrots, celery and optional veggies and add them. Fry for a bit.
Add the peanuts, herbs, water or tomato sauce and a good dollop (2-3Tsp at least) of tomato concentrate paste. Boil for at least 5-10 minutes, ideally at least 30 minutes, adding water whenever necessary.

Serve on al dente pasta with parmesan cheese, butter and wine. I’d recommend a nice red one, maybe a Cabernet.

This will be submitted to Presto Pasta Nights hosted this week by Theresa at The Food Hunter’s Guide to Cuisine.

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