seitan is my motor - vegetarian recipes

Try it! You will enjoy it!

Plant-Based Summer Meal Plan, Part 2

Vegan Southern Sweet Potato Biscuits

6 Health Benefits of Hummus

Hibiscus Orange Blossom Turkish Delight










seitan is my motor vegetarian recipes

Best Vegan Brownies

July 2 2017 seitan is my motor 

Hello, blog readers! I am back to blogging. ha, ha! Yeah, I know. But I found the best brownie recipe ever! The post Best Vegan Brownies appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Dresden Stollen (Raisin Stollen)

December 18 2016 seitan is my motor 

Recently there was an interesting studio discussion on the radio. There were a couple of experts discussion marzipan. They were talking about traditional ingredients and methods of marzipan production. It was absolutely amazing. People were calling in, asking questions or sharing their methods and tricks. They sounded so respectful towards these old methods and recipes.Read more The post Dresden Stollen (Raisin Stollen) appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Kürtõskalács {Baumstriezel or Chimney Cake}

December 7 2016 seitan is my motor 

On Monday my coworkers were discussing which weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market) they had visited on the weekend. An outsider would have assumed they had travelled to different cities to shop for gifts and drink glühwein. But no! They all went to different markets here in Dresden. I like to joke that I can usually leave myRead more The post Kürtõskalács {Baumstriezel or Chimney Cake} appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Protein Packed Pasta Arrabbiata

November 29 2016 seitan is my motor 

At restaurants I am not the person to order the same dish over and over again. Of course there is one exception to this rule: In our town we have a branch of a chain that serves Italian food. They have a couple of vegan options and still every time we visit that place, IRead more The post Protein Packed Pasta Arrabbiata appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Kale Tortillas

November 12 2016 seitan is my motor 

This week sucked. After the political thing that happened on Tuesday I didn’t feel very motivated to post anything about food anyway. Sorry, Vegan MoFo! Then F and I also got sick. But I guess we all still need stuff to cheer us up, right? And why not use some colourful food for that? LikeRead more The post Kale Tortillas appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Ritter Sport’s New Vegan Chocolate {Review}

November 5 2016 seitan is my motor 

Those who have been following this blog for a while know how much I love everything sweet. Especially chocolate. When I went vegan (almost 10 years ago!) Ritter Sport had a couple of vegan options in Germany. Their semisweet chocolate (50% was vegan) and so were their marzipan and peppermint bars. When they changed theRead more The post Ritter Sport’s New Vegan Chocolate {Review} appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Reformationsbrötchen (Reformation Rolls)

October 29 2016 seitan is my motor 

I have to admit that I don’t know much about Halloween. It has become very popular in Germany lately, mostly because companies and shops have been pushing it. When I grew up I only knew Halloween from US-American pop culture and I don’t think it would ever have occurred to us to celebrate it inRead more The post Reformationsbrötchen (Reformation Rolls) appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Santana Apple Cake

September 26 2016 seitan is my motor 

Every year during spring and summer I put myself on an apple fast. I don’t eat them anymore because all of a sudden I think they are the most boring fruit in the whole world. In spring there’s rhubarb that suddenly seems so much more interesting. And then summer starts and brings fantastic berries andRead more The post Santana Apple Cake appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Flammkuchen with Squash and Chanterelles

September 12 2016 seitan is my motor 

Although we are still enjoying some unusually hot days, autumn produce has been entering the stores, especially pumpkins and squashes. (Which we also call pumpkins in German. I neer know what’s what in English.) Every year I discover a new variety. And even though there is no need for hot soup yet, I bought aRead more The post Flammkuchen with Squash and Chanterelles appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Bienenstich or Bee Sting Cake with Gooseberries

August 14 2016 seitan is my motor 

Bienenstich. Literally translated it means bee sting cake and this cake is definitely one of my favourites! The bakery next to my parents house had an amazing bienenstich and made in a very traditional Northern German way: A soft and airy yeast based sheet cake topped with toasted almond brittle and filled with a sweetenedRead more The post Bienenstich or Bee Sting Cake with Gooseberries appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Zucchini Soup with Tahini and Mint

July 20 2016 seitan is my motor 

We just returned from a wonderful vacation in Denmark. It was a rather spontaneous decision. We had to find a family friendly last minute destination, so Baltic sea beaches and a very quiet rural area sounded just about right. (The German part of the Baltic sea is usually packed during summer.)  We rented a sommerhusRead more The post Zucchini Soup with Tahini and Mint appeared first on seitan is my motor.

The Ultimate Vegan Croissant. {Part Two – The Recipes}

June 22 2016 seitan is my motor 

Welcome back to the quest for the ultimate vegan croissant. (Find part one with tips and tricks here.)Writing these two posts down and taking all these pictures took almos as long as making the actual croissants. But once in a while I really love to splurge on these things. Because after all baking and bloggingRead more The post The Ultimate Vegan Croissant. {Part Two – The Recipes} appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Hollerwaffeln {Waffels with Elderflowers}

June 17 2016 seitan is my motor 

These tiny elderberry flowers are the most flavourful thing you can imagine. During the year there is only a short window where you can pick them. Here in Dresden, this window is almost over. And still F and I went out on a rainy Sunday to pick the last umbels in a park nearby. ThoseRead more The post Hollerwaffeln {Waffels with Elderflowers} appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Manaqeesh (Levantine Flatbread)

June 7 2016 seitan is my motor 

I live in a city that is used to homogeneity, not multiculturalism. In the last year though this town has been forced to welcome more and more people from other countries. I consider this a huge enrichment. It’s interesting to hear what these people have to tell us about their lives, their home countries, theirRead more The post Manaqeesh (Levantine Flatbread) appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Baked Beet Schnitzel

May 24 2016 seitan is my motor 

Breading and baking is not the same as breading and frying. Seriously, it’s not. So I won’t start this post with: “It’s like the real thing! You’ll fool everybody, even yourself!” Because you won’t. But this is not what my post and my recipe are about. This post is about how no matter if youRead more The post Baked Beet Schnitzel appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Why I still use refined white sugar

May 17 2016 seitan is my motor 

When browsing a vegan only store I found the perfect food. It has zero calories per 100g. And it’s only 10 to 22 EUR per kilo. That is crazy, you think? No, it’s just one of the fancy new sugar substitutes that are marketed to us. Sugar is a bad food, it has empty calories,Read more The post Why I still use refined white sugar appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Raspberry Fondant Ruffle Cake

May 8 2016 seitan is my motor 

Recently I saw a beautiful cake picture on Instagram. (The blog this picture was from is beautiful, too.) This cake looked so lovely and perfect that I immediately wanted to make it. Which is unusual because the cake was a fondant cake. And I don’t like fondant. Well, that is not really true. I likeRead more The post Raspberry Fondant Ruffle Cake appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Vegane Mayonnaise – drei Zutaten

April 29 2016 seitan is my motor 

Ich liebe Mayonnaise und könnte alles damit zukleistern. Auf ein Baguette mit Tomaten, Basilikum und gebratenem Tempeh gehört unbedingt Mayo. Zu den Pommes esse ich natürlich immer Mayo und nie Ketchup. Und manchmal mache ich einfach den Kühlschrank auf und esse einen Löffel direkt aus dem Glas. So ist das. Mittlerweile gibt es verschiedene veganeRead more The post Vegane Mayonnaise – drei Zutaten appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Macaroon Cake with Blueberries

April 26 2016 seitan is my motor 

  I know I am a bit early here, but damn, I want it to be summer! I am so sick of the darkness, the cold and the rain. I want T-Shirts and sunblock and fresh berries. Lots of them. I often wish I lived somewhere where blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are available all yearRead more The post Macaroon Cake with Blueberries appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Mohnkringel {poppy seed kringel}

April 18 2016 seitan is my motor 

Mohnkringel {poppy seed kringel} These are my invention. Mohnkringel don’t exist, I think. Well, okay. The post Mohnkringel {poppy seed kringel} appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Cobwebs Fall on an Old Flour Jar*

November 22 2015 seitan is my motor 

Cobwebs Fall on an Old Flour Jar*It’s been a while since I posted my last recipe and I feel like I owe those who still follow this blog an update. I think the time has come to take a little (or probably longer) break from blogging. Many things have changed for me lately and I don’t have the time and energy to keep up with my site right now. Right now I’m pretty happy if I manage to reheat a frozen meal once a day. So for now I’m saying thank you everyone for reading, commenting and writing to me! For baking and cooking my recipes and for recommending my blog to your friends and families. Thank you for sharing your stories with me and thank you for ranting about your unsupportive family members. Thank you for liking my posts and pictures and for sharing them online. Thank you for letting me know how stuff you made from this site turned out.  Thanks for being vegan! I’ve always enjoyed this little project and it’s been so absolutely fantastic to get to know vegans and likeminded people from many parts of this world. Thank you all and maybe I’m getting back to recipe making and shooting food. I’ll let you know here! I’m really not got at talking about myself and at saying goodbye, even if it’s only semi-permanent. So let’s change the subject and pease check out the holday zine I did last year! I worked pretty hard on it it features some fantastic new holday recipes. (At least if you haven’t had the chance to try them last year.) The zine is still free but please consider a donation to a charity, especially one that does work with or for refugees. I’d recommend donating to Pro Asyl, they do a lot of hard work to protect refugee rights in Germany. If you’re not based in this country, there are probably other options for you like the Red Cross (who do really a great job here in Germany running refugee camps) or Doctors without Borders. Download Please do not republish the contents of this ebook without my permission. If you have any questions, suggestions, or problems, don’t hesitate to contact me via email or on facebook. I hope you enjoy! *Of course I stole the headline from the Cake album Fashion Nugget from 1998. The original line is “cobwebs fall on an old skipping record”, from the Song Frank Sinatra.  

A Trip to Hamburg

September 8 2015 seitan is my motor 

A Trip to HamburgToday’s Vegan MoFo Promt has to be tweaked because I didn’t stumble on a new vegan on my way out of the door. (I could probably have ambushed them in one of the vegan restaurants here in our street. But, well.) So I am not telling you about a new vegan friend I made recently. Instead I am telling you about my new favourite vegan friendly city here in Germany. (Move over Berlin, it’s about time!) Hamburg is a wonderful city. I’ve been there a couple of times when I was a kid. We would usually go by car, driving through the long Elbtunnel, which made it extra exiting for us. Especially because there was a traffic jam right in front of it every single time. Now I live finally ive right next to this river, but it’s much smaller here, no big ships to watch, and people speak a dialect I am still not used to. Travelling to Hamburg happens rarely. (And if it happens, we have to listen to this German song.) But this year, when we planned our vacation, we thought it would be in order to stop here for a couple of days to visit friends. When we were looking for food and restaurants online, it was really hard to choose from an abundance of options. On the day we arrived we drove to a vegetarian restaurant, which seems to have been in Hamburg for 38 years now. (Not under the same name though.) The Tassajara had a daily lunch special plus several other daily specials and a long menu to choose from. Many options were vegan or veganisable and I ordered a seitan dish from the menu. When I asked for the vegan option, they offered to make the green pepper sauce with coconut milk instead of regular cream. The green pepper sauce was delicious and the seitan had exactly the right texture. I also got a salad on the side. The service at this restaurant was absolutely wonderful, too. Although F was in a super bad mood due to being tired, they were very sweet and tried to make her comfortable as well. And if you successful at making a crabby three year old comfortable, you’re good at your job. We had rented a flat in the Ottensen neighbourhood and tried to get some reservations at a local vegan restaurant. They had no free tables though and told us to book at least a week in advance. At first I was impressed and thought the place must be fancy. But then a friend, who’s been living in Hamburg forever, told us that this is standard procedure in most restaurants. If you want a table, you need to book it early. Since we are absolutely not used to this (We just walk in and sit!) and were only staying for a couple of days, we had to improvise a bit. Instead of eating out for dinner, we tried our luck at lunch. I am happy we did because I got to eat a mindblowing coconut chickpea curry at Veg Out. Veg Out is a small vegetarian place in Ottensen. It doesn’t have too many seats and it’s more like a diner. (The German word for this is Imbiss, which can also be translated as small meal.) The service is fast and I think they mostly cater for people looking for food during their lunch break. Due to the small room it was a bit hectic. But the food was so worth it and the prices were very reasonable. Our food arrived super quick and as I said, my curry was outstanding. Creamy, fruity, and perfectly spiced. I also ordered a lentil soup for F. But of course I forgot to ask if it was hot. And of course it was, at least for F. who cannot tolerate even the tiniest amount of pepper or chili. I liked the soup, although there was a bit too much of curcuma in it. We ended up sharing it all together and left the restaurant pretty stuffed. Then we wandered around the neighbourhood and found a cute candy shop. They were making candy right at the counter when we entered, which, of course, was our death sentence. We had to buy some! (Bonscheladen means candy store. Bonsche(n) is Northern German/­­Lower German for hard candy.) After that we still had room for some sugar. When P was in Hamburg one or two years ago, he already told me about an amazing ice cream store with lots of wonderful vegan options he had found. So  we had to check that out as well. (And yes, our kid had a giant lolly pop and some ice cream on the same day within the same hour. It happens.) On that day, Eisbande had more vegan options than non-vegan ones and they all looked great. I went with Mousse au Chocolat and Schniggers (Northern German pronunciation/­­malapropism of Snickers). Both taste and consistency were perfect. I just found the names a bit misleading. The Schniggers version was more like stracciatella with some peanuts, and Mouse au Chocolate must have been made with a ton of cocoa powder instead of chocolate. (This is just my personal pet peeve and not their fault.) I am not saying it was bad, because it really wasn’t. Just not what I had expected. There would have been so much more to explore in Hamburg and now that I know how vegan friendly this city is, I’ll definitely come back more often!  

Dicker Schmidt, Dresden {Restaurant Review}

September 6 2015 seitan is my motor 

Dicker Schmidt, Dresden {Restaurant Review}  I am not sticking to today’s Mofo theme, which is called, “re-create a restaurant meal”. Instead I want to write about a meal I ate at a restaurant and want to recommend the restaurant! I cannot or do not want to recreate the meal I am going to talk about. Because I am just glad I can step out of my flat, walk a few steps, get this made for me, enjoy it and just walk away without doing any dishes. The restaurant meal I want to share with you today is a veganised version of the very popular German fast food called döner. (Döner is in fact Turkish. But the German version is different from the Turkish.) I never had a non-vegan döner in my life and tried my first vegan version a couple of years back at Vöner in Berlin. I admit that like some other things I just tried it to spite those who tell vegans not to eat fake meats. Let me tell you nay sayers, you are missing out. Vegan döner is usually made with seitan that comes on a rotating spit just like the meat version would. It’s cut off in thin slices and served with flatbread, vegetables, onions, and tzatziki sauce. The combination of soft, fresh flatbread, tangy sauce and chewy, well seasoned seitan is very, very hard to resist once you’ve tried it. I was always sad that we didn’t have something like this in Dresden. Thankfully this changed last year when a couple of life savers decided to open a new vegan restaurant in our neighbourhood. It’s called Dicker Schmidt (Fat Schmidt). Their tagline is “hausgemachte vegane Esskultur”, meaning homemade vegan food (or more precise: eating) culture. I always found both this title and the headline absolutely brilliant. In a time where veganism first and foremost seems to be all about healthy aka “clean” eating, weight loss, and complying with today’s stereotypical beauty standards (healthy, young, and lean) it’s refreshing to see such a concept. At Dicker Schmidt vegan food culture is also equated with fake meats, processed foods, and fats – lot’s of things that are not considered a part of so called healthy vegan diets anymore. These things take the center stage and are perfected with homemade marinades and fresh vegetables. They don’t call their signature dish döner, they call it Dicker Schmidt. If you don’t like seitan, they have a soy based alternative or you can  get a fake meat free version with roasted vegetables, too. Another pretty asesome thing about this restaurant is their shop counter. Here you can choose from lots of different plant based meats, cold cuts, and spreads to take home. They have vegan liverwurst, salami, egg salad, Hackepeter (the original version is made from raw minced pork), etc. I’ve seen people roll their eyes and make comments like: “Why do vegans eat this fake crap? They should suck it up and eat real meat instead!” or “I gave up meat. I don’t want to replace it!” To which I reply that if you’ve always been a liverwurst person and told everyone you could never live without liverwurst, here’s your chance to go vegan. Foods like these do mimic the flavour of meat products, true. And why not? The only thing you signed up for as a vegan is living without animal products. It’s not about sacrifice. You don’t have to give up your favourite flavours. And you don’t have to feel bad or weird for eating something that looks like meat. It still is not and eating it doesn’t make you a less fantastic person. If vegan versions of processed foods make you happy and enjoy veganism then please go for it! Many of them have their own qualities and in the end it’s just food. Probably tasty. So why not? Dicker Schmidt, Rudolf-Leonhard-Straße 32, 01097 Dresden, all days 12 am to 8 pm.    

Blackcurrant and Lavender Pie

September 4 2015 seitan is my motor 

Blackcurrant and Lavender PieToday’s Vegan Mofo challenge is called “Tell us about a weird food combination that you love.” Ha, good one. I don’t think I like a single weird food combination. I am very boring when it comes to flavours and sweet and sour is already too much for me. When I think about new recipes for this blog, I usually go for complementing and supporting flavours. Some of these combinations could be labeled as weird. For example, I like tart berries a lot and I like to exaggerate their flavour by pairing them with herbs. Black currants, sea buckthorn, blackthorn (sloe) are rarely sold at stores. They haven’t made it next to the much sweeter varieties such as raspberries, strawberries, and cultivated blueberries. Black currants, sea buckthorn berries, or sloes all have different flavours, but they have one thing in common. If you taste them, their flavour makes you think of Scandianvian forest, of moss and water drops on dark green leaves. You can smell conifers and moldy soil. Or in the case of sea buckthorn you can feel the wind in your face and hear the waves. These berries have a complex flavour, a hint of intractability, that is not pleasant for everyone. Some of their flavour comes from the essential oils and tannins present.  That is why they are not widely popular, I think. But this is what makes them so outstanding. Herbs usually have essential oils, too and that’s why they go so well with tart berries.  My favourite combination used to be berry plus rosemary, but this year I finally made use of the lavender bush in our yard. I used two teaspoons of dried lavender buds, but you can halve the amount, if you don’t trust this flavour combination. But that probably doesn’t count as weird anymore. If you don’t have black currants available you can use blueberries.   Print Black Currant and Lavender Pie IngredientsFor the crust 210 g (1 3/­­4 cups) flour 200 g (2 2/­­3 cups) ground hazelnuts 100 g (1 sifted cup) powdered sugar 100 g (1/­­2 cup) granulated brown sugar 110 g (1/­­2 cup) soft refined coconut oil 60 ml (1/­­4 cup) vegetable oil 1/­­2 teaspoon ground vanilla 1/­­2 teaspoon salt For the topping 450 g blackcurrant jam (storebought or homemade) 2 teaspoons dried lavender buds InstructionsTo make the crust, combine all ingredients except for the oils in a bowl. Add coconut and vegetable oil and knead until a crumbly dough forms. Reserve 1/­­4 of the dough for the topping and form the remaining dough into a disk. Wrap in foil and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Grease a round pie or tart pan with a diameter of 28 cm (11 inches). Roll the dough out between two sheets of plastic foil and press into the bottom and the edges of the pan. For the filling combine jam and lavender buds. (If the jam is very thick you can heat it for easier handling.) Pour into the crust and form the reserved dough into large crumbs. Distribute on top of the cake. Bake for 35 minutes and let cool completely before removing from the pan. 3.1 http:/­­/­­www.seitanismymotor.com/­­2015/­­09/­­blackcurrant-and-lavender-pie/­­ Copyright (C)2015 All rights reserved. www.seitanismymotor.com

Schnippelbohnensuppe {Green Bean Soup}

September 2 2015 seitan is my motor 

Schnippelbohnensuppe {Green Bean Soup}Hello all, welcome to the second day of Vegan Mofo 2015. Today’s promt is: I am pretty sure that my grandmother’s Schnippelbohnensuppe was one of my favourite foods when I was a kid. (Schnippeln is a verb, it means to chop or cut up vegetables, but the verb sometimes also refers to cutting something with scissors.) But although I always loved green beans, I probably didn’t like this soup because it had beans. I liked it because it had sausages. My grandmother put smoked sausage (called mettwurst) in there and they contributed most of the flavour. Although I really do not miss meat, I couldn’t live without the combination of smoky and salty. I am thankful there are things like liquid smoke and smoked salt to stand in for the sausages I used to eat. I freely admit that I put a vegan sausage into my soups here and there, too. I don’t really get the hate that is directed at these products sometimes. Meat eaters telling me I shouldn’t eat them, vegetarians telling me I shouldn’t eat them and even vegans who tell me this and refuse to eat “fake” meats with a passion. Sure, they are processed. Sure, they have a lot of salt. So what? You can eat them once in a while. Also, please don’t tell me I shouldn’t eat sausages and other plant based meat products because I swore off meat. Exactly. I swore off meat. I never swore of sausage shaped seitan or tofu. It’s plant based. It’s not different from plant based cheeses or plant based milks which never get that amount of hate. So, if you have access to smoky vegan sausages or something like this Merguez that would be a great mettwurst substitute. For this soup, I still used smoked tofu (which can be substituted with any kind of your favourite sausage) because more accessible, I hope. Print Schnippelbohnensuppe {Green Bean Soup} 2 servings Ingredients2 tablespoons oil 100g (3.5 oz) smoked tofu, cubed 50 g (1/­­2 cup) finely sliced leeks 70 g (1/­­2 cup) celeriac (celery root), cubed 280 g (3 small) potatoes, cubed 1 carrot, sliced into thin rounds 350 - 400 g (13 - 14 oz) fresh runner or other green beans, cut into bite-size pieces 480 ml (2 cups) water 1-2 teaspoons fresh rosemary 1 teaspoon smoked salt, or to taste salt and pepper to taste InstructionsHeat the oil in a large pot. Add tofu and fry for five minutes. Add vegetables and fry for another five minutes. Pour water into the pot and add rosemary. Cook for 10 minutes and add smoked salt. Season with salt and pepper. 3.1 http:/­­/­­www.seitanismymotor.com/­­2015/­­09/­­schnippelbohnensuppe-green-bean-soup/­­ Copyright (C)2015 All rights reserved. www.seitanismymotor.com

Quick Tomato Mint Salsa (Plus Sandwich Idea)

July 31 2015 seitan is my motor 

Quick Tomato Mint Salsa (Plus Sandwich Idea)Now that the temperature has finally cooled down and we’re back to a regular rainy German summer, I can think so much clearer! And suddenly all those hot weather food ideas are popping up in my head again. There is an abundance of fresh produce to choose from right now. Even though we don’t have a garden we managed to grow some tiny tomatoes on our window sills. Other vegetables we often get for free, like zucchini or chard. A couple of our neighbours also grow mint. And if any of you has ever planted this wonderful herb their garden, you know that it has the potential to overtake your whole patch. Mint invasion. When that happenens you will want to try and limit the damage by harvesting like a madperson and then handing out your herbs left and right. A couple of days ago P met one of our neighbours with a huge batch of mint in her arms and before P could even blink, he had one in his arms, too. Now we’re having everything mint! Mint tea (hot and cold) and mint smoothies, mint in?????? ?  (tabbouleh) and in soups. I try to use a little of that huge bunch we have in our fridge every day. For a quick lunch I made this tomato salsa that calls for mint instead of cilantro. It’s a wonderfully refreshing sauce and a great sandwich ingredient as well. After I had made the salsa, I fried some tempeh slices in a pan and deglazed them with a huge splash of soy sauce. I toasted two slices of whole rye sourdough bread and spread both with a thin layer of peanut butter. Then topped one slice with tempeh, cucumber slices, and salsa. This is a perfect recipe for the next heat wave. It doesn’t need much preparation and you only have to turn on the oven to fry your tempeh. (Which cou could also prepare a day in advance. And now it’s your turn. Please help me out and share your favourite mint recipes! Print Tomato Mint Salsa Ingredients1 small onion (80 g) 1 clove garlic 250 g cherry tomatoes, halved 10 g (2 tablespoons) fresh mint sliced into thin ribbons (or more to taste) 1 tablespoon hot sauce 1 tablespoon lime sauce 1/­­2 teaspoon coriander salt and pepper to taste InstructionsPlace onion and garlic in a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Add remaining ingredients and process until the tomatoes are all chopped up and have released their juice. Dont process until completely smooth, this sauce should still be chunky.3.1 http:/­­/­­www.seitanismymotor.com/­­2015/­­07/­­tomato-mint-salsa/­­ Copyright (C)2015 All rights reserved. www.seitanismymotor.com

Pepper Almond Soup with Spicy Tempeh

July 3 2015 seitan is my motor 

Pepper Almond Soup with Spicy TempehAfter I’d been to an Indian restaurant a couple of times, I tried to recreate the meals I had tasted there. Of course I failed. Back then I had only a couple of cookbooks in my possession and nothing more. It didn’t occur to me to look for recipes on the internet. (It’s been a long time! Did didn’t even have my own computer back then.) I thought the “curry” recipes I had in front of me might suffice. Well, they didn’t and I ended up with hopelessly underseasoned vegetable stews. Only slowly I learned about the power of spices. I didn’t want to be afraid of them and the next time I tried to make an Indian dish, I bravely doubled every single spice that was mentioned in the recipe. That was a start. One day I found out that curry powder comes in many different variations, when I visited a small tea and spice shop in my university town. They had about 15 different curry blends and every single one was so much more aromatic and interesting than the generic blend I used to buy at the grocery store. Today I have a ridiculously huge spice rack. And I learned a couple of tricks to make spices really shine in my food. I don’t remember who taught me about toasting spices. Whoever it was, I want to thank you. I couldn’t believe my nose when I smelled a bunch of toasted cumin seeds for the first time. And I finally understood one of the secrets to Indian food and really aromatic vegetable dishes. I toast spices often now and I do not reserve this technique for Indian dishes. Toasted spices make even this simple soup taste spectacular and it doesn’t take much time to get the best out of them. Because a vegetable soup isn’t really that filling, at least not for me, I also made a batch of marinated tempeh to go with it, using the same spice blend. It is so flavourful that you don’t even have to marinate the tempeh. Just mix everything andplace it in the oven, bake it and serve with your soup. If the ingredient list of this recipe looks too long, you can replace the spice mix with whatever you have on hand. I think berbere would work great, too. Also, I don’t know about your weather, but it’s hot here! So both the soup and tempeh can be served cold. (You can chill the soup and keep the tempeh at room temperature.) Print Pepper Almond Soup with Spicy Tempeh 4 Servings IngredientsFor the toasted spice blend 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds 10 cloves 10 black peppercorns 5 black cardamom pods, crushed 5 allspice berries 1 star anise For the tempeh 200 g (or an 8 oz package) tempeh 120 ml (1/­­2 cup) water 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1 red chili pepper, seeds removed and sliced (or 1/­­2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper) 2 cm fresh ginger, minced 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 tablespoon ground, toasted spice blend (see above) 1 teaspoon salt 1 - 2 teaspoons agave syrup or sugar For the soup 50 g (1/­­3 cup) whole almonds 1 tablespoon oil 85 g (1 cup) leeks, finely sliced 1 small onion, sliced into rings 4 cloves garlic, minced 4 red bell peppers, cut into stripes 2 teaspoons ground, toasted spice blend (see above) 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon ground sweet paprika 1 star anise 1 tablespoon tomato paste 720 ml (3 cups) vegetable broth salt to taste 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar InstructionsTo make the spice blend, heat a cast iron pan and add spices. Toast until fragrant, for about 1 - 2 minutes. Set aside to cool. Once the spices have cooled completely, grind them into a powder using a coffee grinder. To make the tempeh, preheat the oven to 200°C. Cut the tempeh into thin slices and cut each slice into half both length and width wise, so that you get 4 small rectangles per slices. Place all ingredients for the marinade in a casserole dish and stir in the tempeh. Bake for 34-40 minutes, or until all the liquid has evaporated. Make sure to stir the tempeh from time to time. To make the soup, decrease oven temperature to 180°C (350°F). Place the almonds on a baking sheet and toast them for about 5-8 minutes, or until slightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside. Add oil, leeks, onion, garlic, and peppers to a large pot. Fry for 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients (except for vinegar and salt) and cook for 15 minutes. Remove star anise. Place almonds and about 1/­­2 cup broth from the soup in a blender and blend until creamy. Add the rest of the soup and blend until smooth. Season with vinegar and salt and serve with tempeh.3.1 http:/­­/­­www.seitanismymotor.com/­­2015/­­07/­­pepper-almond-soup-with-spicy-tempeh/­­ Copyright (C)2015 All rights reserved. www.seitanismymotor.com Pepper Almond Soup with Spicy Tempeh is a post from: seitan is my motor

Chocolate Shortbread and Hazelnut Squares

June 22 2015 seitan is my motor 

Chocolate Shortbread and Hazelnut SquaresSometimes I look at old recipes on this blog. And the I cringe. Or a serious laughing fit makes me fall off my chair. But I probably shouldn’t be too hard on myself. After all I didn’t know much about baking in general when I started this blog. Plus, there weren’t too many vegan baking books to get help from. So I veganised ingredient lists and worked by trial and error. I wasn’t afraid of recipes that called for a ton of dairy products and I didn’t set those aside which called for three or four eggs. It was fun and creative. Baking from scratch felt like being Molly Bloom. It was mostly about what came to my mind and what came to my mind next. A stream of ingredients, a weird meandering of methods. I probably could have made recipes simpler. But that’s the good thing about blogging as a hobby. You can do whatever you want. If you want, you can make a fool of yourself. It’s just a recipe blog. I mostly want to have fun and learn a thing or two. So far, I learned a lot. And I do bake differently now. I want things to be precise and I want recipes to work (and not only for me). That’s why I sometimes rewrite old recipes, update pictures and and put the posts back on the blog. Once I found a recipe for chocolate hazelnut squares in a grocery store leaflet. I don’t remember the original ingredient list, but judging from my adaptions it must have contained a ton of dairy and eggs. I probably tried to replace every single one of these ingredients. I also mixed together my own weird version of an egg replacer by combining tapioca starch, margarine, soy creamer, and baking powder. Was that supposed to be an egg? What was I thinking? Whatever, I remember that the bars were indestructible and came out excellent. And that weird recipe stuck in my head and I’ve always wanted to revise it. Now I finally did, crossing off some ingredients and specifying the instructions. The finished bars taste almost exactly as I remember them: a delicate and rich shortbread base combined with a moist and soft hazelnut topping. And this time I got there much faster. How have your cooking and baking techniques changed over the years? What did you learn and how has your confidence improved? Did your approach towards baking or cooking change? Did you find new methods and realise that certain steps or ingredients you relied on are unnecessary? Note: I know that there’s been going on a lot of discussion about which fats to use in baking. I started using refined coconut oil instead of margarine quite a while ago. That is mostly because I have very easy access to refined coconut oil and it’s cheaper than margarine. If you buy organic, it’s also more sustainable than palm oil. But I do also think that this is completely up to you, your dietary choices and other circumstances. So you can use margarine instead of coconut oil, if you want. For the curst, increase the amount to 200 g (3/­­4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) and adjust the plant milk. You’ll probably need less if any at all to get the crust hold together. Print Chocolate Shortbread and Hazelnut Squares IngredientsFor the crust 300 g (2 1/­­2 cups) all-purpose flour 100 g (1 cup) sifted, powdered sugar 60 g (1/­­2 cup) sifted cocoa powder 1/­­2 teaspoon salt 1/­­4 teaspoon baking powder 165 g (3/­­4 cup) refined coconut oil, softened 1-2 tablespoons soy milk For the topping 200 g haselnut meal (or ground walnuts) 180 g brown sugar 3 tablespoons cornstarch 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/­­4 teaspoon salt 80 g (1/­­3 cup) soy yoghurt 80 ml (1/­­3 cup) vegetable oil 60 ml (1/­­4 cup) soy milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract InstructionsGrease a 20 x 20 cm (8 x 8 inch) brownie pan or line with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). To make the crust, combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder. Knead in the softened coconut oil with your hands and add soy milk if the dough seems to crunbly. Press into the prepared pan and refrigerate while making the filling. To make the filling, place all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Add liquid ingredients and stir until everything is combined. Pour on top of the filling and spread out evenly. Bake for 45-50 minutes. If the filling gets too dark, cover with a sheet of aluminium foil. Let cool completely and cut into 16 squares or whatever size you like.3.1 http:/­­/­­www.seitanismymotor.com/­­2015/­­06/­­chocolate-shortbread-and-hazelnut-squares/­­ Copyright (C)2015 All rights reserved. www.seitanismymotor.com   Chocolate Shortbread and Hazelnut Squares is a post from: seitan is my motor

Rhubarb is the New Strawberry {Rhubarb Ice Cream}

June 9 2015 seitan is my motor 

Rhubarb is the New Strawberry {Rhubarb Ice Cream} Last year, when my father visited us in Dresden, he brought a box of strawberries from a grocery store around the corner. “Those aren’t good. You should not buy them,” I said. He tasted a berry and replied that they weren’t too bad. “But they are terrible compared to those we can get at home in our village!” I guess ten kilograms of childhood memories came out with that sentence. When we were children my dad would buy fresh strawberries on Sundays. Sometimes we helped him wash and slice them, sometimes he would even let us whip the cream. Nothing was better than those fresh strawberries. We ate them straight from the plant if we got the chance. For example during our bike rides, when we picked some at the edge of a field. Or when we emptied the patches in our neighbour’s garden. All these memories came back when I told my father that the strawberries here in the city weren’t good. He disagreed. He told me that the fruits back home weren’t that much better anymore. He even thought they were worse. I didn’t believe a word of what he said. That simply couldn’t be true. During this years Pentecost vacation F and I made a trip to my parents’ place. My father picked us up from the main station in Bremen. On our car ride to my parents’ village, we drove by several strawberry fields. I got exited and mentioned something about eating them for breakfast every day. My father said I should probably find something else to eat. They had changed the breed a couple of years ago, he elaborated. Those berries weren’t worth the trouble anymore. Yes, they kept well but most of the flavour was gone. Why would he say that? Some weird berry conspiracy theory? Did he not remember how we all loved to eat strawberries together? That he always would pick them up for us? The next day F and I prepared lunch. Suddenly my father stepped into the kitchen with a box of strawberries in his hand. I smiled. I told F that this would make such a wonderful dessert. Then I looked at the strawberries. They looked vary pale. I  asked my father, “Why did you bring these? Were the good ones sold out?” “No,” he replied. “They do all look like that now. I thought that if you tasted them you would finally believe me.” I was still in denial. I gave one to my daughter. “Taste it! The best strawberries you can get.” She tasted and then looked at me disgusted. I said: “But those are good.” It wasn’t true. I didn’t believe what I just said. I think I just wanted to share an important childhood memory with my daughter. But there was nothing to share. I was disappointed and those strawberries were just pale, sour, and watery. Okay, okay. Maybe this is all in my head. Maybe I am turning into one of these “everything was better in the old days” person now. Or maybe it was just the beginning of the season and I need to give those strawberries some more time to grow. There are other childhood memories to share or to improve. Like my relationship with rhubarb. This vegetable/­­fruit was something I mostly ignored when I was a kid. At least when it came to baked goods.  Our neighbours made tons of rhubarb cakes and many grown ups tried to trick me into liking it. They pretended it was great in desserts. They pretended it was sweet. But it wasn’t. There was never enough sugar in those cakes and a kilogram of whipped cream could not change that. Back then I thought those neighours wanted us to give up our sweet tooth. But that wasn’t true. Nobody tricked us. Rhubarb was something we did not appreciate very much.  We spent our afternoons stuffing our face with strawberries instead. Now that those strawberries are disenchanted I can finally appreciate the tartness of rhubarb. It’s now my daughter who refuses to eat it. But you can make very sugary things from rhubarb, too. Sugar can be used as a preservative, for example in jams. Or syrups.They are very simple to make and they can be kept in the fridge for 1 or 2 weeks. I made a batch for my ice cream recipe, but it’s also a base for refreshing lemonade. (Simply dillute it with (sparkling) water.) If you want something tarter, rhubarb compote is a great choice, depending on how much sugar you add. For my ice cream I didn’t use too much sugar, but if you want to pair the compote with oatmeal or grießpudding, you can double the amount of sugar used. Just adjust it to your taste. There are a couple of wonderful methods to make vegan ice cream, but I like to try something new from time to time. I admit it’s definitely not the easiest and fastest method to make ice cream. But I’ll also talk about a couple of  shortcuts in a minute. This version calls for whipped chickpea brine (called aquafaba), which improves the texture a lot and makes the ice cream light and easy to scoop. In fact, even after over a week in the freezer, this batch still had a consistency similar to soft serve. Since we’re  without an ice cream machine rightn now, I used my blender method for this recipe. That is a bit involved, but it will produce similar results to ice cream from a machine. If you thing this all sounds to complicated, I have a couple of ideas for you: You can leave out the aquafaba and make this into a “regular” coconut based ice cream. You can also use an ice cream machine, if you have one. If you wanto to use a machine and include the whipped aquafaba, churn the coconut milk and syrup mixture  and fold in the whipped chickpea liquid once the machine is done. Then proceed to freeze it, add the compote, and freeze until solid. If you don’t have an ice cream machine or a blender, make a simple semifreddo by combining the coconut milk and syrup mixture and the compote. Pour it into a container and freeze it until solid. Instead of scooping it out, you can slice it for serving. Another tip is to split up the workload and prepare both the syrup and the compote a day in advance. Print Rhubarb Ice Cream Ingredientsrhubarb syrup recipe only very slightly adapted from this recipe - For the syrup 500 g (4 cups) sliced rhubarb 240 ml (2 cups) water 250 g (1 1/­­4 cups) sugar juice from 1/­­2 lemon vanilla seeds scraped from 1 bean For the compote 200 g (1 2/­­3 cups) sliced rhubarb 100 g (1/­­2 cup) sugar For the ice cream 1 400 ml can full-fat coconut milk 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil or canola oil 50 g (1/­­4 cup) sugar 240 ml (1 cup) rhubarb syrup (see above) 60 ml (1/­­4 cup) brine from a can of chickpeas 50 g (1/­­4 cup) sugar a splash of lemon juice 1/­­2 a batch of rhubarb compote (see above) InstructionsTo make the syrup, combine sliced rhubarb and water in a small pot. Bring to a boil and cook until the rhubarb falls apart, about 5-10 minutes. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve and pour back into the (cleaned!) pot. (Discard the rhubarb pulp left in the sieve.) Add sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla. Boil for 10 minutes and make sure the mixture doesnt boil over. Let cool and pour into a sterilized jar. (Store leftovers in the fridge for up to two weeks.) To make the compote, combine rhubarb and sugar in a small pot and bring to a boil. Cook until the rhubarb falls apart. Set aside and let cool completely. To make the ice cream, combine coconut milk, oil, and sugar in a bowl and whisk. Add syrup and whisk again. Transfer to a shallow container such as a brownie pan and place in the freezer. Freeze for 2-3 hours, or until mostly solid. Once the coconut milk mixture is frozen, combine the chickpea brine and the remaining sugar. Whip the mixture with a hand held mixer or in a stand mixer until very stiff. This may take up to 10 minutes. You can add a splash of lemon juice to speed up the process. Cut the frozen coconut milk mixture into smaller pieces and transfer to a high speed blender. Blend until it has the consistency of soft serve. Pour into the chickpea fluff and fold the fluff into the coconut mixture until everything is smooth. Make sure to do this slowly and carefully. You dont want the chickpea foam to collapse too much. Pour into a container and freeze for another 2-3 hours. Fold in the rhubarb compote and freeze until solid. 3.1 http:/­­/­­www.seitanismymotor.com/­­2015/­­06/­­vegan-rhubarb-ice-cream/­­ Copyright (C)2015 All rights reserved. www.seitanismymotor.com Rhubarb is the New Strawberry {Rhubarb Ice Cream} is a post from: seitan is my motor

Rhubarb Vanilla Meringue Tart

May 6 2015 seitan is my motor 

Rhubarb Vanilla Meringue TartI am so behind on blogging, it’s embarrassing. My draft folder is full. But there is something that keeps me from posting here. One and a half months ago I took up learning another language. Right now my head is spinning. I am trying to memorise personal pronouns, tense prefixes and suffixes, and weekdays. Before that I spent three weeks learning to trill the r. Which I was never able to do before, and believe me, I tried. But now, with the help of several Youtube videos (especially this and this one), I can do it most of the time if it’s surrounded by some nice vowels. I also learned to read and write. Yes, that is right. I am learning to read and write all over again. Because I left my European comfort zone by taking up an Arabic class. I was always decent at learning languages – except for Latin, but that was because there’s no one to talk to unless you’re friends with the pope – and I guess that’s why I signed up for this new class without thinking twice. Well, it has been challenging. And slow. We learned to read, we’re practicing to write, and we’re doing tons of grammar. My small talk skills are still very lacking. But I guess I should be more patient.  I am getting a general concept of the language and that is very important and useful. It’s something you don’t feel you have at first when everything is written in letters you can’t read. When even the alphabet comes in a completely new order and with several letters you cannot pronounce. And when there’s not a single similarity to any other language you learned before. Because those languages were either related to Latin (Spanish) or Latin and German (English) or German (Norwegian). All of this is very exiting but naturally it steals a lot of time. Time I would normally spent cooking and photographing for this blog. Instead of baking or reading other blogs,  I am now watching Arabic Youtube videos. Last Sunday, when I tried to practice for a dictation exercise, I was reminded that there was about a kilo of rhubarb in our kitchen. And  I had promised to make a cake. But what cake? My brain was toasted, I had no ideas for any kind of recipe. So I looked at my blog and decided to do a simplified version of a rhubarb pie I posted four years ago (wow!). At that time I felt bad for putting the recipe up. It was a delicious cake but it called for an uncommon ingredient: dandelion honey. Rhubarb is such a simple and humble vegetable, so why add something as fancy to the ingredient list of this pie? I probably was just super exited about my little jar of vegan honey. (To be honest, it’s not really fancy. You can make it at home, it’s made from sugar, water, and dandelion flowers.)Whatever, last Sunday I rewrote the recipe. The tart/­­pie is now made with the most accessible ingredients you can think of. It’s a simple recipe, with a very tender, sweet crust and  a tart filling that calls only for a hint of sugar. But there is a little twist to it. I made another batch of marshmallow fluff  for an easy and super sweet and sticky meringue topping. A perfect Sunday treat and some brain food that made learning those letters and prefixes a lot easier. Notes: Refinded coconut oil is very common where I live. If you cannot get it and don’t mind the coconut flavour, use unrefined coconut oil instead. Margarine should work fine, too. To make the marshmallow fluff for this recipe, double the amount of sugar (100 g or 1 cup powdered sugar). You can also omit the fluff and use coconut whipped cream instead, or leave the tart naked. Print Rhubarb Vanilla Meringue Tart IngredientsFor the rhubarb filling 750 g rhubarb, sliced into 1 cm (1/­­2 inch) pieces (6 cups or 1 lb and 10 oz) 50 g (1/­­4 cup) sugar 1 tablespoon cornstarch For the crust 1/­­4 teaspoon salt 250 g flour (2 cups plus 1/­­2 tablespoon) 200 g (1/­­2 cup) sugar 110 g (1/­­2 cup) soft refined coconut oil, cubed zest of one orange For the custard 240 ml (1 cup) soy milk 30 g (1/­­4 cup) cornstarch 50 g (1/­­4 cup) sugar For the soft meringue 1 recipe marshmallow fluff made with 100 g (1 cup) powdered sugar InstructionsTo make the filling, combine rhubarb, sugar, and cornstarch. Let sit for about an hour and stir well from time to time. To make the crust, mix salt, flour, and sugar in a bowl. Add coconut oil and orange zest. Mix with your hands and form into a crumbly dough. Make sure the fat is incorporated well and there are no lumps of coconut oil remaining. Grease a springform pan (26-27 cm or 10 inch) with fat. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Pour the dough into the pan. Press into the bottom and the sides of the pan. (Only line about 2.5 cm or 1 inch of the sides with dough. You just want a small border, so the filling doesnt leak.)Set aside. For the custard, combine soy milk, cornstarch, and sugar in a small saucepan. Whisk until the starch is dissolved and bring to a boil. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until thickened. Pour over the crust. Sprinkle rhubarb on top. Bake for 40 minutes. While the tart is baking, prepare the marshmallow fluff. Transfer to a piping bag with a star tip right before the cake is done. Pipe dollops on top of the tart, increase the temperature to 200°C (400°F) and bake for another 10 minutes, until the meringue is browned. Let cool completely and remove from pan. 3.1 http:/­­/­­www.seitanismymotor.com/­­2015/­­05/­­rhubarb-vanilla-meringue-tart/­­ Copyright (C)2015 All rights reserved. www.seitanismymotor.com Rhubarb Vanilla Meringue Tart is a post from: seitan is my motor

Walnut Caramel Ice Cream (without ice cream maker)

April 13 2015 seitan is my motor 

Walnut Caramel Ice Cream (without ice cream maker)I swear, there are no bananas in this recipe! And I just lied. You might need a machine for this, just not an ice cream maker. Ours broke and at this point I think that we probably don’t need a new one. I found a perfect replacement. It’s our high speed blender.  “Those vegans and their fancy blenders!”, some of you might think now. And you are right. These gadgets are wickedly expensive and not essential to whatever you are making in your kitchen. But please don’t click away just yet. I have included a popsicle recipe you can make with a couple of pans, a hand held blender or food processor, and a freezer. (If you don’t have a food processor or hand held blender either, you can replace the walnuts with some nut butter of your choice.) Simply pour the ice cream batter (recipe follows at the bottom) into glasses, ice cube or popsicle molds,  let them sit in the freezer for about 1 – 2 hours, insert some sticks and let the popsicles firm up completely. Just that simple and quick! There’s just one little caveat:  Whatever anybody tells you, ice cream popsicles are not the same as ice cream. They will still be nice and refreshing, but they will not be perfectly smooth and creamy. They will be a little bit crunchy as some of the liquid will form large ice crystals during freezing. Since nobody is churning anything here, these crystals can’t be kept from forming and there’s no additional air stirred into the batter. But if you keep all this in mind, I think you will not be disappointed with these walnut caramel popsicles. After all they are a sweet treat, perfect for a warm spring day. And look at that hand model above. I got P. to help me with my pictures and hold that ice cream. But I am digressing. For a perfectly smooth and light ice cream, you can either use my blender method, or you follow David Lebovitz’s instructions. For that you’ll need a hand held blender and a shallow container. If you want to follow my method, here’s how: You simply freeze your ice cream until solid. Then you cut it into cubes, about 5 x 5 cm (2 x 2 inches), place it in a high speed blender that is capable of doing this hard job. Then you blend on high until your ice cream has the consistency of soft serve. After that you put it back into the freezer and let it firm up. This will result in an ice cream that has exactly the same texture as if it was made with an ice cream maker. To be honest, it’s not only the blending method that makes for a good texture. I’ve experimented a lot and I used to think that fat was the most important ingredient to achieve a creamy texture. Well, sure, but it cannot do the work alone. In the past I would pair it up with a thickener and binder, such as guar gum. But that is not necessary and if you use too much, you’ll just end up with a box full of frozen slime. There’s a much better ingredient for creamy and perfect to scoop vegan ice cream.  And no it’s not a bunch of healthy bananas. It’s plain old sugar. (If you like bananas in your ice cream, please go ahead and use them! I freeze and blend some myself once in a while. I am not against frozen bananas. Just don’t make me believe a frozen banana pudding is the same as ice cream.) While you mix your batter, the sugar dissolves and during freezing much of it remains unfrozen. So if your ice cream is rock hard after a couple of days in the freezer, that might mean going low sugar is not always an option. This recipe has lots of sugar and there’s a little extra trick making things even easier. With more sugar. If you add some caramel to your ice cream, it will improve the texture even more. That is, as long as you can abstain from eating it. (I managed a whole week. But that was only because I was sick.) And isn’t caramel ice cream just the best? A couple of notes: For the ice cream pops you won’t need the whole batch of caramel. You can reserve it and serve as a sauce. (Keep in mind that the sugar will crystalise after a day or two though.) Yes, this ice cream calls for coconut milk. Coconut ice cream is great, but personally I don’t want all my vegan ice creams to taste like coconut. And since I am sure that some of you are with me here, I did my best to mask the taste. Of course, you have to judge for yourself, but we couldn’t detect any coconut flavour in this batch. I divided this recipe and used it both for the blender and the popsicle version. It’s embarrassing, but I cannot tell you how many popsicles this makes. The whole recipe yields about 6 cups. My glasses held about 1/­3 cup. Thar means half the recipe should make about 9 popsicles.   Print Walnut Caramel Ice Cream (without ice cream maker) IngredientsFor the caramel 150 g (3/­4 cup) brown sugar 150 g (3/­4 cup) white sugar 60 ml (1/­4 cup) agave nectar 60 ml (1/­4 cup) water 1 generous pinch of salt (up to 1/­4 teaspoon for a salty caramel version) 60 ml (1/­4 cup) full fat coconut milk 200 g (1 3/­4 cup) walnut pieces, chopped For the ice cream 480 ml (2 cups) soy milk (almond milk is fine, too) 1 400 ml (14 ounce) can of full fat coconut milk 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder (or cornstarch) 1/­4 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons vegetable oil walnut caramel (recipe above) 1-3 teaspoons of vanilla extract InstructionsTo make the caramel, combine sugars, agave nectar, and water in a small saucepan. Heat carefully while dissolving the sugar. Stop stirring immediately once the mixture starts to boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in salt and coconut milk, bring back to a boil and simmer for another 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in walnut pieces, set aside and let cool completely. To make the ice cream, combine milks, arrowroot, and salt in a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil and cook for one minute. Reserve about 120 ml (1/­2 cup) of walnut caramel and set aside. (You can store it in a glass jar until ready to use.) Pour the remaining caramel in the pot with the milk. Stir until the caramel has dissolved. Pour into a blender. (Food processor should work, too, hand held blender will also be fine.) Add oil and vanilla (to taste), and process, until the mixture is creamy and all walnut pieces are pulverised. If you are going for the popsicle version, simply pour the batter into shot glasses or popsicle molds and freeze until the batter is stiff enough to hold wooden sticks. Insert them and place in the freezer again until completely solid. If you are going for the blender version, pour the liquid into a freezer suitable container and freeze until solid or over night. Cut into small cubes, about 5 x 5 cm (2 x 2 inch) and place in a high speed blender. Blend until your mixture has the consistency of soft serve. Make sure not to overprocess or your ice cream will melt and you have to start over. Transfer to the container, then to the freezer and freeze for another hour or so. Your mixture should now be firm but you should still be able to stir it. (This will take one hour more or less, check your ice cream after 30 minutes. Or if necessary, let it sit for longer than an hour.) Now pour the remaining caramel over the ice cream and quickly fold it in. Dont blend it completely, you are aiming for swirls. Freeze for a couple of hours, or until firm. 3.1 http:/­/­www.seitanismymotor.com/­2015/­04/­walnut-caramel-ice-cream-without-ice-cream-maker/­ Copyright (C)2015 All rights reserved. www.seitanismymotor.com Walnut Caramel Ice Cream (without ice cream maker) is a post from: seitan is my motor

Homemade Vegan Marshmallows

April 3 2015 seitan is my motor 

Homemade Vegan MarshmallowsIt’s been eight years now since I went vegan. It’s also been eight years since I started this blog. That is a reason to celebrate, don’t you think? But technically I am not even allowed to dance today. I am going to do it anyway. And eating a ton of these soft, fluffy, and sticky blog anniversary celebration marshmallows that melt the moment I pop them into my mouth. (After eight years I am allowed to use these clichés, don’t you think?) Anniversary miracle! Oh, wait. This is not a miracle. I cannot claim much of this idea for myself: The recipe is based on chickpea brine used ass egg replacer. I found that idea here. I honestly would not have thought that it would be possible to follow a regular marshmallow recipe and simply replace the eggs with chickpea brine and the gelatin with agar. But it worked and so I used David Lebovitz’s recipe and modified it slightly. I also got a lot of helpful tips from this recipe for vegan marshmallows, especially the idea to boil the agar before adding it to the remaining ingredients. (Gelatin is usually soaked but not boiled.) I have not had many marshmallows in my life. I do like to buy a package of Dandies from time to time though and when I compare my version to the storebought one, the biggest difference is that mine are softer and stickier. But in a good way. They have a light mousse like texture. And still you can cut them into all kinds of shapes. If you have some egg or bunny cutters around, these would make some gorgeous Easter treats as well! And you can toast them. A couple of recipe notes: 1. For this recipe you have to work with hot sugar syrup. Make sure all your equipment is heat proof. I only have a handheld mixer, but a stand mixer would be easier to work with. The recipe is a bit involved and you have to do a couple of things at the same time, so make sure you have everything in place. If you are new to baking and cooking maybe ask somebody to help you. 2. This recipe calls for syrup. I used a flavoured sugar syrup that is a mixture of inverted sugar syrup and glucose syrup. Golden syrup (lys sirup in Scandinavia) or light corn syrup should be fine, too. 3. I use my homemade vanilla sugar for flavouring. You can replace it with regular powdered sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Print Homemade Vegan Marshmallows IngredientsFor the marshmallows 120 ml (1/­­2 cup) plus 80 ml (1/­­3 cup) water 1 1/­­4 teaspoon agar powder 200 g (1 cup) sugar 100 g (1/­­3 cup) syrup (see notes above) 120 ml (1/­­2 cup) chickpea brine from a can 1/­­2 teaspoon guar gum 1/­­8 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1/­­2 teaspoon lemon juice 1 tablespoon homemade vanilla sugar (see note above) or powdered sugar plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract For dusting 50 g (1/­­2 cup) powdered sugar 60 g (1/­­2 cup) corn starch InstructionsPlace 120 ml (1/­­2 cup) of water in a small saucepan and add agar powder. Dissolve and set aside. Combine sugar, syrup, and remaining water in another small saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer. Bring to a boil and cook for about 6 minutes over medium high heat until the mixture reaches 100°C (210°F). Bring the agar mixture to a boil at the same time, cook for one minute while stirring and remove from heat. While the syrup is still boiling combine chickpea brine, guar gum, and cream of tartar in a heatproof bowl. Beat for about two minutes, then add vanilla sugar (or powdered sugar and vanilla extract) and beat for another two minutes or until the mixture is very stiff. Very carefully pour the hot syrup into the chickpea brine mixture while still beating. Dont worry if your mixture deflates and liquefies. Continue to beat for two minutes until everything is mixed well. Add agar mixture and beat for another five minutes or until the bowl has cooled down. This step is important as you can beat in some more air and improve the texture. Sift together powdered sugar and starch. Dust a rectangular pan (18 x 28 cm or 7 x 11 inch - alternatively use a 8 x 8 inch square pan) with half of the starch and sugar mixture. Make sure the whole bottom is covered. Carefully pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan. Let cool for two hours (at room temperature) or until set. Cover with starch and sugar mixture and cut into small squares or use your favourite cookie cutter. Roll in starch and sugar again to avoid stickyness. Store in an airtight container. 3.1 http:/­­/­­www.seitanismymotor.com/­­2015/­­04/­­homemade-vegan-marshmallows/­­ Copyright (C)2015 All rights reserved. www.seitanismymotor.com Homemade Vegan Marshmallows is a post from: seitan is my motor

Vegan Marshmallow Fluff from Chickpeas!

March 15 2015 seitan is my motor 

Vegan Marshmallow Fluff from Chickpeas!Vegan cuisine is very innovative. Sure, some people might say that if you try to recreate a vegan version of every animal product based food there is, that is not innovative. But it is, because so many people come up with the most mind blowing techniques or very unexpected ingredients to create these “fake” foods. And we must admit that they are often so much more amazing than the “real” thing. Last year a blogger posted a way to make a vegan version of beaten egg whites that works perfectly for all kinds of meringues. And the most fascinating thing is, they used brine from a can of beans or hearts of palm as a base for their recipe. And if you think about it, it makes sense. During the cooking process beans release starches and proteins. These compounds form a stiff and stable foam that rises to the top of the cooking liquid. The brine has starches and proteins, too. If you combine this liquid with sugar, the two ingredients act exactly like and egg white sugar mixture: The protein is turned into a foam and the sugar traps and stabilises the air bubbles. This is the easiest and most widely available method to make vegan egg white foams and it has been all over the internet for the last couple of weeks. Somebody already came up with a recipe for macarons and meringues have been popping up, too. People are very exited about this invention and trying it out like crazy. It’s amazing how innovative, adventurous and creative people have been over the last few weeks. I hopped on this train quite late, I saw a picture on instagram and then a link here and there. I didn’t do much research exept for reading that French blog post and I have been experimenting for two days now. I came up with my own versions of meringues and macarons and I plan to share them soon. (I posted a preliminary recipe for the macarons on facebook, but it’s not perfect yet.) But since both recipes are a bit tricky, let’s start with something foolproof here, that will totally win you over: marshmallow fluff made from chickpea brine. And no, it doesn’t taste like beans once you have whipped it up with sugar and vanilla. The picture above shows a basic foam, made from chickpea brine drained from a can and and powdered sugar only. I made a first attempt at meringues with this and it didn’t work out because the foam was too runny to pipe. Only later I learned that you just need to whip longer. I whipped for about 2 minutes when 10 would have been more appropriate. But impatience is sometimes a good thing. The blogger behind révolution végétale mentions two ingredients that will help stabilise your foam: guar gum and cream of tartar. Cream of tartar is often used in angel food cake and in meringue preparations. It helps to give more volume to regular egg white foams. Guar gum is a binder. Like xanthan gum it is often used in gluten free baking. You can also add it to ice creams to make them smoother. If you’ve ever worked with guar or xanthan gum you know that if you add too much, it will turn our slimy and gum like. For this recipe, the gum like texture is perfect as the gum will speed up the whipping process and change the texture of your foam greatly once the sugar is added. It changes from soft peaks to stiff peaks in a minute or so. Note that you cannot substitute cornstarch, agar agar, or tapioca starch here. Those have to be heated to swell and bind, while guar gum will swell once it’s combined with a liquid. Cornstarch or agar agar will do nothing to change the texture of your foam at this point. This bean fluff has a very firm but sticky consistency, just like melted marshmallows or marshmallow creme. The only downside:  It will probably creep up your beaters and stick to the mixer. It’s ean with a wet cloth, so I personally didn’t worry about it. Use  for ‘Smore pies, as a cookie filling or try some rice crispy treats. I used it as a base for my meringues, so stay tuned! If you are looking for a more delicate version you can put on top of pies, I suggest to leave out the guar gum and simply whip your foam until you have reached the desired consistency. Print Vegan Marshmallow Fluff Use this marshmallow fluff for Smore pies or as a cookie filling. Its also the base for my upcoming vegan meringue recipe, so stay tuned! Ingredients120 ml (1/­­2 cup) chickpea brine, drained from a can of chickpeas 1/­­2 tsp guar gum 1/­­8 tsp cream of tartar 50 g (1/­­2 cup) powdered sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla InstructionsCombine brine, guar gum, and cream of tartar in a large bowl. Beat with a handheld mixer for two minutes, until the mixture resembles lightly beaten egg whites. (See first picture) Add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat on high for five minutes, until the mixture is stiff and sticky. Transfer to a jar. 3.1 http:/­­/­­www.seitanismymotor.com/­­2015/­­03/­­vegan-marshmallow-fluff-from-chickpeas/­­ Copyright (C)2015 All rights reserved. www.seitanismymotor.com Vegan Marshmallow Fluff from Chickpeas! is a post from: seitan is my motor

White Chocolate Spread

February 20 2015 seitan is my motor 

White Chocolate Spread When I was a kid I loved everything sweet. I never missed an opportunity to eat a cookie or candy. Never. But even though nutella is a very popular breakfast item among a lot of German children, I was never a nutella kid. Sometimes we asked for a jar. My father would refuse and we’d start begging and begging until he gave in. He bought it even though he know that it would sit in our pantry forever, about three quarters left, and nobody would ask for it again. How could that happen? Well, my parents did not allow us to eat the spread straight from the jar, as we had intended. They wanted us to eat it on a slice of bread. “What is your problem?”, you think. A slice of crispy warm toast with hazelnut chocolate spread is the best thing ever. Yes, that might be true. But the bread my parents used to buy wasn’t white wheat bread made with yeast. It was a fantastic sourdough bread made with both wheat and rye flour. Don’t get me wrong, we loved that bread. My parents usually bought a fresh loaf from the bakery right next to our house. It was so good straight from the oven! It had a wonderfully shiny and crispy crust and a perfectly soft, pillowy crumb. My mother would often get annoyed with us because of that bread. We’d cut it into thick slices, rip off the crust, eat it and then devour the crumb. My mother would buy a loaf around noon and when my father came home in the evening, there was almost nothing left. The bread was great with everything savoury on top since it had a strong sourdough flavour. But this flavour was also the reason it didn’t go so well with jam or nutella. And so although that bread was one of our favourite foods, it ruined nutella for me. Okay, this is not entirely true. Because even if my father had told us not to eat that hazelnut chocolate spread right from the jar, we still would have done it. After all we were regular kids. The truth is, I simply didn’t share my schoolmates’ love for nutella. Because I wasn’t a real chocolate kid. I liked things made with chocolate, for shure. I liked all kinds of chocolate bars filled with caramel, nougat, or nuts for example. You know the kind I am talking about.  But the combination of cocoa powder, hazelnuts, and vegetable oil found in nutella just was too much for me. It was too rich. I couldn’t eat it. It was also the cocoa. because cocoa powder mixed with vegetable fat simply isn’t chocolate! And that was the simple reason why the jar of nutella was collecting dust in our pantry, just like my father had predicted. The chocolate I loved had something in common with nutella though. It wasn’t real chocolate, too. It had no chocolate liquor.  It was white chocolate, the kind that is so awfully sweet. If there had been a white chocolate version of nutella, I know I would have bought it! Giving up the taste of white chocolate was one of the hardest things to do when going vegan. Over the years it has become easier to find vegan white chocolate and I am really happy that I can enjoy it again. My favourite kind has a ridiculous name and is available in bar form and in 500 g (1.16 lb) bags. I used to treat myself to such a bag whenever I ordered vegan stuff online, which was probably two or three times a year. But now I am back to unlimited access, because of Kokku, a vegan online store. They are based here in Dresden and have their warehouse only five minutes away from where I live. And If I order stuff there, I can usually pick it up the same day. And of course I am ordering white chocolate! It’s a weird feeling when you finally have easy access to a rare food again. Because you learned to live without it. You survived the cold turkey phase and then you stopped thinking about it. White chocolate is something special. All chocolate is, as we often forget. I cannot eat it straight out of the bag anymore, I have to put it to good use. So I finally made this incredible crunchy white choclate spread, a vegan white nutella. And yes, eat it straight out of the jar if you feel like it. Or on toast! And stay tuned if you want to use this in a recipe for white chocolate lemon tartelettes. That is coming up next! Print White Chocolate Spread This vegan white chocolate spread is a delicious alternative to a regular chocolate spread. Its made with only a few ingredients and comes together in no time. This spread is best kept at room temperature. If youn want to store it in the fridge, make sure to let it sit at room temperature for about 1 hour before serving. Ingredients180 g (1 3/­4 cup) slivered almonds seeds from 1/­2 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 150 g (5.3 oz) white chocolate, melted 1/­8 teaspoon salt InstructionsPlace the almonds in a small pan and toast them until golden brown. Let cool to room temperature. Add the almonds to a food processor and grind until the nuts start to release their oils and the crumbs turn into nut butter. Depending on your food processor, this may take a while. Scrape down the sides from time to time and make sure not to overheat your processor. As soon as your almond butter is ready, add vanilla and blend again. Pour in chocolate, add salt, and process until smooth. Transfer to a glass jar. NotesFor an even quicker version you can make this spread by using 150 g (5.3 oz) store-bought almond butter.(C) seitanismymotor.com 2015. All rights reserved. 3.1 http:/­/­www.seitanismymotor.com/­2015/­02/­white-chocolate-spread/­ Copyright (C)2015 All rights reserved. www.seitanismymotor.com   White Chocolate Spread is a post from: seitan is my motor

Chili with Soy Curls and Fava Beans

February 17 2015 seitan is my motor 

Chili with Soy Curls and Fava Beans This blog is a mess! I have a couple of new recipes in my draft folder but cannot seem to find the time to publish them. Over the weekend I posted pictures of them on facebook and instagram and asked everyone which to post first. It was a pretty close race, but I promise those white chocolate lemon tartelettes you were crazy about are going to be next! I don’t claim that I know a lot about chili. Heck, I can’t even get proper chili powder over here. And for this recipe, I used some ingredients you would probably not put in a chili. So maybe this just a stew and not a chili? Well, you decide! When we were in Malta I picked up a couple bags of rare (in Germany) looking beans. I got some dried fava (broad) beans and some black beans. The black beans were produced in Madagascar and were double the size of a black turtle bean. The fava beans were even bigger. I bought both because I wanted to make my own version of the Maltese bean spread bigilla. I just hadn’t looked up what bean to use. Later I found out that bigilla is made with fava beans, but I never got around to make it. So those beans were lying in my pantry right next to some soy curls that were a gift from the generous Panda with Cookie. This weekend I finally brought myself to pull these items out of their corner. It had gotten cold again, there was a tiny bit of snow and so it was the perfect occasion for a warm chili. Typical chili spices are ground chili peppers, oregano, cumin and when I collected them from the spice rack I spotted my jar of star anise fruits. Star anise is often used in Chinese or Vietamese cooking and it’s one of the components in five spice powder. The Indian spice blend garam masala may contain star anise as well and you can find it in chai. For me it is associated with Christmas baking, as I put it into my lebkuchen spice mix. I like star anise a lot for its liquorice flavour and its beautiful shape. It is often used in meaty dishes, admitted these are Asian recipes. Since I was planning on a meaty chili by adding some soy curls, I thought I should try and throw in a star anise as well. It was a very good idea. Cooked for 30 minutes and then removed, the anise fruit added only a very subtle liquorice flavour that made this stew stand out from other chili recipes.   Chili with Soy Curls and Fava Beans (makes 2-3 servings) Ingredients: 60 g ( 1 1/­2 cups) soy curls 480 ml (2 cups) hot vegetable broth 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 onion, finely diced 2-3 cloves garlic, minced 1/­2 large green bell pepper, finely diced 1 red bell pepper, finely diced 60 ml (1/­4 cup) dry red wine 400 g (2 1/­4 cups) chopped tomatoes 1 cup cooked black beans 1 cup cooked fava beans about 240 ml (1 cup) water 1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika 2 teaspoons cumin 1 teaspoon oregano 1 star anise 1 bay leaf salt and black pepper to taste 1 green chili pepper, sliced into rings 1 chipotle in adobo, minced Instructions: Place the soy curls in a bowl and top with hot vegetable broth. Let sit for about an hour. Heat oil in a large pot and add onion, garlic and peppers. Fry over medium heat for 5 minutes. Deglaze with wine. Drain the soy curls and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Reserve the liquid and place in a measuring cup. Add water and fill up the measuring cup to 600 ml (2 1/­2 cups). Pour the liquid into the pot. Add drained soy curls, tomatoes, beans, and spices. Bring to a boil and cook covered for 10 minutes. If desired, remove a serving for a child or someone else who doesn’t like spicy food now. Add the chili pepper and the chipotle to the pot. Cook for another 20 minutes. Remove star anise and bay leaf and serve with bread. Notes: 1. Dried fava beans have a tough skin that is commonly removed after cooking. But dont do it! The skin adds both flavour and texture to the chili that you dont want to miss. Alternatively you can use canned favas, they come with a softer skin. 2. We have a toddler in our household who doesnt tolerate heat. Therefore I removed her serving before adding the green chili and the chipotle. You can add them earlier, if heat is not a concern. Chili with Soy Curls and Fava Beans is a post from: seitan is my motor

Marzipan Cheesecake Brownie Bars

February 4 2015 seitan is my motor 

Marzipan Cheesecake Brownie Bars This year I haven’t baked much so far. I admit that I needed a little sugar break after I had finished my e-book on holiday baking. I didn’t really crave a lot of sweet stuff until I saw a picture of a marzipan cheesecake bownie cake. I saw it and wanted to have it on our dessert plates right that moment. But that’s the problem with pictures and with the internet, too. You can stare all you want, that cake is not going to appear in front of you. Plus, it wasn’t even vegan. If you’re going to veganise a cheesecake, there are two methods, depending on what kind of cheesecake you’re making. If you are making a US-style cheesecake, vegan creamcheese is the substitute of choice because most Northern American cheesecakes are made with creamcheese. If you’re going for a German/­­Eastern European cheesecake, many people these days use drained soy yoghurt, because traditional cheesecake recipes call for curd cheese (quark), that is often drained. The recipe I was looking at was made with creamcheese and sour cream. I can get vegan versions of both these things, but I went with a mixture of drained yoghurt and cashews instead. It’s totally weird but whenever I use vegan substitutes for my recipes I feel like cheating. After going vegan I “grew up” making my own substitutes and now that most people can get them, I don’t need them anymore. And isn’t it funny that I consider creamcheese and sour cream substitutes but yoghurt and soy milk not? Yeah, it’s weird. Anyway, I veganised the cake with ingredients I am most comfortable with when it comes to baking. By comfortable I mean these are ingredients I know good enough so I can make a new recipe from scratch. If I would have used creamcheese, I probably would have had more work and maybe I would have been forced to make some changes. Or maybe I wouldn’t have liked the taste? I don’t know and it doesn’t matter. These bars came out so wonderful. They have a moist crust and the filling is creamy with a hint of marzipan. They are best eaten on the day they were made, right after they have cooled down.  If you store them in the fridge make sure to take them out one or two hours before serving. Marzipan Cheesecake Brownie Bars (makes one 20 x 20 cm or 8 x 8 inch pan) For the brownie crust: 120 g (4.2 oz or 1/­­2 cup) firm tofu 6 tablespoons vegetable oil 6 tablespoons non-dairy milk 100 g ( 1/­­2 cup) sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1/­­2 teaspoon ground vanilla 120 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour 1/­­2 teaspoon salt 1/­­2 teaspoon baking powder 170 g (6 oz chocolate or 1 cup chips) dark chocolate, melted For the cheesecake filling: 500 g yoghurt, drained over night (see note) 175 g (6.2 oz or 1 1/­­4 cups) raw cashews 110 g (1/­­2 cup) melted margarine or refined coconut oil 120 ml (1/­­2 cup) non-dairy milk 125 g ( 1/­­2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) sugar 150 g (5.3 oz) firm marzipan, finely chopped 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/­­4 teaspoon ground vanilla Note: To drain the yoghurt place a sieve over a bowl and a large cheesecloth over the sieve. Pour in 500 g of yoghurt and let sit in the fridge over night. There probably won’t be much drained liquid in the bowl as the cloth will soak up almost everything. The next day, scrape the yoghurt into a bowl. It should have a creamy consistency similar to greek yoghurt or sour cream. Use immediately or cover and store in the fridge until ready to use. Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a 20 x 20 cm (8 x 8 inch) square pan with parchment paper. To make the crust, combine tofu, oil, milk, sugar, and vanilla in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Place flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl and mix well. Pour in tofu mixture and stir well. Fold in chocolate. Pour into the prepared pan and use a spatula to smooth down the batter. To make the filling, combine yoghurt, cashews, margarine, milk, and sugar in a blender and process until smooth. Add the marzipan and blend again. This will probably take a while. Make sure your blender doesn’t get too hot. Once the marzipan is blended in mix in cornstarch and vanilla. Pour on top of the crust and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the filling is nicely browned. If it browns too quickly, place a piece of aluminium foil on top. Let cool before serving. Tip: For decoration you can use chocolate shavings or cut out marzipan and powdered sugar. Marzipan Cheesecake Brownie Bars is a post from: seitan is my motor

Simple Buckwheat Fries & Einkorn Pancakes

January 21 2015 seitan is my motor 

Simple Buckwheat Fries & Einkorn Pancakes Some more thoughts on the topic of inspiration: I think I do get a lot of it from cookbooks. But its not the recipes that inspire me, its the ingredients. I realised this when I started to test for the awesome new cookbook project by Tami Noyes and Celine Steen. The Great Vegan Whole Grains Cooking Book will be available in 2016 and its going to be full of unique and inspiring grain recipes. Cooking recipes for this book brought me back to a phase where I used to have all kinds of grains stuffed into my pantry. That was when I bought a grain mill and made my own bread. The grain mill gave me a lot of flexibilty when it came to baking. I made whole flours not only from wheat, rye, or spelt but also from farro, oats, buckwheat, einkorn and kamut. But having all those grains around also inspired me to use them in their whole form for everyday meals. Then I stopped baking bread because I let my starter die a couple of times. I used up all the grains and went back to eating expensive and far travelled quinoa instead of cheap and local buckwheat or einkorn. Testing recipes for Celine and Tami has been very inspiring. I restocked my pantry with whole grains and have been using them a lot not only for test recipes. I use different flours for baking again, especially for those pancakes pictured above, which a certain person in our household demands several times a week.These were made with homemade einkorn flour. The recipe will be at the end of this post. If you dont have farro flour, you can use another whole grain flour such as wheat or spelt. Pancakes are very hard to mess up and great for experimentation! I also remembered how much I love oat flour! It can be a bit difficult to grind because it is so soft. But that is also an advantage because you can make it from oats using your food processor.  These cookies are adapted from the Chocolate Almond Bake or No-Bake Cookies from 500 Vegan Recipes.  The original recipe calls for only a handful of ingredients and is super easy to make. I had no chocolate on hand I used 1/­­4 cup of oil instead and it worked like a charm. Pancakes are not the only food F is obsessed with lately. She also likes to make pizza. I know I need to stop bragging about my child here, but I think its pretty great that a three year old makes her own pizza. We knead the dough together and then she gets a piece to roll out and top. She can do that with no help at all. I like that shes so interested in cooking and making her own meals. We do not demonise frozen foods or convenience products but I still think that shell have a lot of alternatives to frozen pizza once she has to cook for herself. I think that no matter what, knowing how to cook is a great skill to have and I am glad F is starting so early with this. It also teaches her that every family member is responsible for food preparation and she can be part of it, too. Last weekend we were home alone and F decided we should make another pizza. When we were mixing the dough from freshly ground spelt kernels I realised that we had made way to much! I guess I got carried away a bit. It didnt matter though because leftover pizza dough makes great bread. We made mini spelt breads tossed in poppy and sesame seeds and that way we were set both for dinner and our next breakfast. If you experiment and improvise a lot, you can sometimes find great new cooking techniques for foods you are not so wild about. For example, I was never a big fan of buckwheat. Many people like to eat it raw (for breakfast cereals) or cooked but I could never deal with its consistensy. Buckwheat doesnt seem to absorb much liquid. If you mix it with water, it will get a texture similar to soaked flax and chia. And I am not a fan of slimey foods. So since all that didnt work for me, I ground the raw buckwheat into a flour and tried to use it in baked goods. Its is pretty popular with gluten-free folks and I thought I should give it another chance. But when I made my first waffles with buckwheat flour I realised that I had to combine it with many other ingredients to make its much to prominent earthy flavour go away. So after a bit of experimentation I went for a gluten-free flour mix instead, including buckwheat and other flours. The waffles I made based on that mixture were actually pretty good! But I still think that buckwheat flour is a much better ingredient for breads or other savoury baked goods than it is for sweet waffles or pancakes. And I still dont like it cooked except for one recipe, which I really love. One time when I wanted polenta fries but was out of polenta, I cooked some buckwheat instead, processed it, and placed it in a baking dish. Once it was cooled it was very easy to slice and had exactly the consistency of cooked and cooled polenta. And it also tasted fantastic, especially when mixed with garlic. So after all that ranting here is a recipe for simple buckwheat fries that made me, the buckwheat hater, turn into a buckwheat fan. The fries are really easy to make and you can both fry and bake them. You can also store the prepared and processed buckwheat in the fridge and fry it whenever you want. The sticks make a wonderful snack but are a fantastic side dish, too. I like to combine them with stir fried bok choi and chickpeas. Oh, and dont forget the hot sauce. Simple Buckwheat Fries 100 g (3.5 oz) buckwheat 240 ml (1 cup) water or broth 2 cloves garlic salt and pepper to taste oil for frying or baking Combine buckwheat and water Cooked buckwheat cook for 10 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the buckwheat is soft. Also check your package for specific directions on cooking buckwheat. Immediately place the hot grain in a food processor with garlic and salt and process until most of the buckwheat is finely ground. Transfer to a greased baking dish about the size of a loaf pan (Of course you can also use a greased loaf pan!) and use a spaltual to press the batter down evenly. Let cool completely. Once cooled, cut into 1-2 cm (1/­­2-1 inch) thick strips. Heat a pan and brush with oil. Fry the sticks on all sides until crispy. Add more oil if necessary. If you want to bake these, brush them with oil and bake until crispy.   Einkorn Oat Pancakes 120 g  (1 cup) einkorn flour (use spelt or whole wheat as a substitute) 30 g (1/­­4 cup) oats 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/­­4 teaspoon salt 240 ml (1 cup) water or soy milk 60 g (1/­­4 cup) apple sauce 2 tablespoons agave nectar oil for frying Combine all pancake ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Let sit for 10 minutes. Heat a pan over medium heat and add oil. Pour about 2-3 tablespoons of batter into the pan and fry until golden brown. Flip and cook the other side. Einkorn flour browns very fast so check often and dont burn the pancakes. Serve with jam or sugar.   Simple Buckwheat Fries & Einkorn Pancakes is a post from: seitan is my motor

Vegan in Malta

January 9 2015 seitan is my motor 

Vegan in Malta I have been to a few places in Europe and so far my favourites were the capitals of Hungary and Portugal. But now Budapest and Lisbon have to move over, as my new number one is Malta. At the beginning of December P was able to take a few days off and he wanted to go on vacation. We didn’t take any this summer because we both worked a lot, so now was the perfect time for a break. We ended up in Malta mostly because the weather was nice. And because I’ve always wanted to go there. I am interested in languages and history, and there’s much to discover about both on this little group of islands. It turned out that Malta wasn’t the easiest destination to get to for us. We took a train from Dresden to Leipzig and stayed in a hotel to get up very early the next morning in order to take a train to the airport. That morning started great with a kid that refused to get up (I completely understand) and an almost missed train. When we arrived in Düsseldorf, we were supposed to pick up and transfer the luggage, but of course we coldn’t find it in time and missed our connection. Thankfully the airline was very accomodating  and booked us on a new plain to Valletta via Zurich.  We had gotten up at 6 am and finally landed in Valletta at 8 pm where we took three different busses to get to our apartment in Sliema, which is a town close to Valletta. In the past I would have been a little bit anoyed about all the delays and the chaos. But if you travel with a three year old child, your only concern is to keep her in a good mood. And I am still amazed by how calm she was. We had taken books with us to read to her, spent a lot of time on carousels and playgrounds at the airports and tried to keep her occupied somehow. It seems that she is the perfectly calm and patient traveller! I think I also hat such a positive experience in Malta because this was the first vacation with our child that truly enjoyed. In March we went to Mallorca and made the mistake not to take a stroller or push car with us. We ended up carrying our child everywhere and that was not very enjoyable. This time we simply put her in the push car and walked while F was sitting in her stroller singing and talking. The next day we tried to explore the island. Malta is the most interesting place I have ever been to, I think. So much has been going on on these islands since the stone ages and so many historic monuments have been preserved on so little space. We made a walk around the coast and finally reached a spot where we had the most fantastic view of Valletta, the capital. This city was once built by crusaders, the Knights of St. John. They made Valletta into a fortress and ruled it until Napoleon drew them out. It’s very easy to get around in Malta. The public transport by bus is slow, but very good and cheap and you can reach every destination by travelling this way. There are also a couple of ferries and cruises which will take you to Valletta or the second biggest island Gozo. The islands are small but highly populated and urban. Every person speaks both Maltese and English so you will have no problems getting around. We took the ferry from Sliema to Valletta, which was much faster than the bus and only took ten minutes. We walked around the city to find the St. John’s Co-Cathedral, where we wanted to look at two Caravaggio paintings. Unfortunately it was a public holiday and the church was closed in between services. Malta has a long Catholic history and you can see the big role the church and the Catholic belief play or have played here on every street corner. Houses are often decorated with little sculptures and tiles that picture prominent Catholic characters. The churches in Malta are quite impressive. One day after a walk through ?al Tarxien and Paola (Ra?al ?did), two places famous for prehistoric temples, this huge parish church popped out of nowhere. The light building with the shiny roofs was very beautiful to look at with the blue sky and the sea in the background. In ?al Tarxien we visited the Megalithic temples. We have lots of old sites in the area where I grew up, but I have never seen anything nearly as striking as these ruins. Malta is a very small country and it’s kind of isolated from other countries because it’s an island group. You cannot just get there by simply walking over an European border. I come from a large country with several big cities, a very long history, and nine neighbour countries which all are part of our history somehow. Much of that history sometimes gets lost because there is an infinite number of pieces you have to put together and they are all over the place. There are so many places, so many people, so many events. Of course Malta’s history is like that, too. Especially since it has been occupied so many times due to geostrategic reasons. These occupations are a big part of the Maltese culture: the first official language derived from an Arabic dialect, influenced by Italian and written in Latin. The second official language and the left-hand traffic brought by the British. The Catholic church and belief brought by the Maltese knights, and so on. But Malta is also small. On this tiny island group with very small distances and a very urban infrastructure, you can find history everywhere and you can put together the bits and pieces yourself without travelling far. You also don’t have to travel far when you want vegan food. I have read quite some complaints about Malta not being vegan friendly but I didn’t find them to be true. It is definitely true that on these islands vegan restaurants don’t pop up at every corner as it is the fashion in several European cities right now. It shows that we have bee spoiled lately amd many complaints are simply about missing convenience. When I travel food is not my main concern. I want to get around and see things. I want to explore a city, a country, an area. I want to get to know people and learn about their culture and life. I don’t mind living on potato crisps and white bread for a day. Although that is definitely not neccesary in Malta. The local cuisine is very heavy on meat, but there is an abundance of Italian restaurants, too. Since everybody speaks English, it is absolutely no problem to order a vegan pizza or a vegan pasta dish. This is what I had for dinner in Sliema one evening. I don’t remember the place, but it was an Italian restaurant at the harbour: This was the pizza marinara from the menu, which had items marked as vegetarian, lactose free, etc. I probably could have gotten a pizza with vegetables as well but I liked this! F had pasta marinara and that is basically what she lived on during our trip. Sliema also has several Arabic restaurants that we unfortunately never got to try because they were either closed or too crowded. I assume that they have vegan options, too. (Kebab Ji and Mamounia are example – to be fair, we tried to eat out on a public holiday.) Mint is another option for vegan food in Sliema. They have a counter where all the food is displayed so I wasn’t sure if it’s an option to get something customised. They usually close already at 4 pm, so we decided to go there for breakfast. The vegan items were limited to lasagna, a bean salad, and a rhubarb ginger crumble (vegan without ice cream). Since I am not a very big breakfast eater I chose a small serving of bean salad and the crumble. The salad was nothing special but the crumble was very good! In Valletta we had lunch at Soul Food, which is a very small Italian restaurant in the centre of the capital and the have several vegan and vegetarian options. I had a burger patty with some side dishes. You can choose what kind of patty you want and I went with the chickpea variety, which was very dry, unfortunately. We ate out only on these few occasions, most of the time we cooked food in our apartment. The supermarkets carry lots of fresh vegetables, you can get all kinds of pulses, plant based milks and Alpro soy yoghurt, fresh bread, hummus, and other spreads and so on. Many foods are imported from the UK, Germany, Austria, or Italy and the supermarket frequency is not very high. You can find many small grocery stores though which are open on public holidays and weekends. Malta has several markets where you can buy fresh food, too. We had fresh bread for breakfast every morning and I topped it with jam, hummus or bigilla, which is a vegan bean spread available all over the islands. Malta is a very beautiful country with lots of interesting places to visit, it’s easy to get around and you can see a lot even with a toddler, because distances are short. We’ve enjoyed simply walking  trough streets or around the coast all days long. Of course we had to explore playgrounds with F, too. There were plenty, especially along the coast. Temperatures in December were always around 18°-20°C and even though it’s one of the rainiest months, we only had one rainy day. It was really hard to leave and I am already dreaming of going back! Vegan in Malta is a post from: seitan is my motor

Zuckerguss Zine -- Free Vegan Holiday Baking Ebook

December 4 2014 seitan is my motor 

Zuckerguss Zine -- Free Vegan Holiday Baking Ebook  For us Christmas season starts two or three days before Christmas. Before that we dont bother with Christmas at all. We know were going to be welcomed in perfectly decorated houses and we just have to fall into line with our families schedules. We know whats going to happen and when. Theres not much to be done for us. Except for baking. My family doesnt bake much and even though my father makes vegan meals during the holidays he leaves the vegan baking to me. Our other relatives also dont do much vegan baking. So every year before we travel all over Germany I spend the last few days in the kitchen. Its messy and chaotic and I usually do five things at a time. But in the end I can leave with a suitcase full of homemade treats to share with family and friends. I am thankful for the fact that the people I care about love my food. I know vegans who have a hard time during the holidays and its sad to hear that someone refuses your cookie just because you didnt use butter. I have made those experiences too, but most of the time people go out of their way to whip up a vegan treat for me. And if they cant they ask about recipes and baking tips. Its a great way to break the ice and start a conversation about veganism. I try to do the best I can when baking and I try to give out samples to as many people as possible. I know its only a little start but I think its great when I can convince someone that baking without eggs and butter is not rocket science and that vegan cookies taste as good as every other cookie. This year I thought Id hand out some recipes with my treats. Of course everything got a little out of hand and as a result I am exited to share my first ebook with you. Zuckerguss means sugar glaze. Its what makes every cookie even sweeter and more beautiful. For me, its the best part about Christmas baking. It makes me happy like maintaining this blog makes me happy. So this book is not only for people who ask me about recipes, its also a big Thank you! for everyone who reads my blog, takes the time to comment on my entries, and tries out my recipes. I really do appreciate the time you spend here and it always makes me happy to hear back from people from all over Europe, Northern and even South America. The ebook contains 15 baking recipes plus 4 basic recipes for spice blends, a chocolate hazelnut spread, and my favourite spice cookie recipe (spekulatius). I know its probably not necessary if youre a regular reader of this blog but Im still gonna warn you: Almost all of the recipes do contain white wheat flour, white sugar and soy. Many of the recipes also call for nuts. I mostly use refined coconut oil for baking which is a very cheap staple here and (with some adjustments) a great alternative to margarine made with palm oil. Like everything on this website this ebook is free. I would be very happy if you would spread the word and please feel free to share the link to the Zuckerguss Zine with your family and friends and on social media or your blog. Developing the recipes, taking the pictures, and assembling the contents was great fun but also much work and it took a lot of time. Please do not republish the contents of this ebook without my permission. If you have any questions, suggestions, or problems, please dont hesitate to leave a comment or contact me through email or on facebook. Let me know what you think, I hope you enjoy! Let me know what youve made! Download    Contents: 1. Spekulatius Nutella Bars | Almond Lebkuchen Pull-apart Bread | Peanut Crescents 2. Stollen Waffles | Cashew Fudge | Almond Cinnamon Cookies 3. Spekulatius Tiramisú | Lebkuchen (Pepperkaker) | Elisenlebkuchen 4. Marzipan Jam Cookies | Blackforest Cheesecake | Coconut Spice Mini Cakes 5. Chocolate Almond Pillows | Almond Pistachio Cookies | Mini Apple Cranberry Pies with Walnuts {plus: spekulatius spice blend | lebkuchen spice blend | spekulatius recipe | holiday chocolate hazelnut spread} Zuckerguss Zine -- Free Vegan Holiday Baking Ebook is a post from: seitan is my motor

Celeriac Roesti with Roasted Onions

November 25 2014 seitan is my motor 

Celeriac Roesti with Roasted Onions I still remember the impressive roesti I used to order at a vegetarian restaurant in Leipzig: It was a huge, crispy potato fritter topped with spiralised, deep fried onions, and guacamole. Even though we moved to Dresden a long time ago and the restaurant closed a couple of years back I will never forget this dish. To me that restaurant was a special place. It was not only because I could chose whatever I wanted from the menu. I think that at this restaurant I realised that vegetarian cuisine can be an independent cuisine with food that is interesting, unique, satisfying. A cuisine not about the meat that’s missing but about different ingredients and tastes. In my hometown I was used to the menus of restaurants specialising in German cuisine. Going to a restaurant meant a lot of sweating and being good at finding those two or three hidden vegetarian dishes somewhere on page four or five, right after 20 varieties of schnitzel. So when I went to this place in Leipzig I was very exited and at the same time very overwhelmed. Thankfully the menu did not only list fancy items. They also had a couple of basic dishes that I could identify as something I knew. Roesti, a large potato fritter, was one of them. The dish was made from only a couple of simple and cheap staples like potatoes and onions. Still it was prepared so well and tasted so perfect, that I will never forget this meal. I admit that my own roesti version will never be as good as the one I used to get at this vegetarian restaurant in Leipzig. With a simple trick I was still able to turn this meal into something special for me. And I did save a root vegetable from becoming a stock ingredient. Don’t misunderstand me, homemade vegetable stock is something awesome. But that poor celeriac needs more attention. It’s a fantastic starchy vegetable with basically the same characteristics as potatoes but with much more flavour. You can cut it into vegetable fries or mash it and you can even turn it into a schnitzel. Of course you could make these fritters with other root vegetables, too. Or mix up the ingredients and use potatoes and celeriac or celeriac and beets. Carrots would also be awesome in this. The only thing you have to keep in mind is to be very careful and patient while frying the roesti. Traditionally these are bigger and they are cooked with a plate covering them to make them cook faster at a low temperature. I made smaller versions and simply used a very large spatula to flip them. Celeriac Roesti with Roasted Onions and Avocado Mash (makes 5-6 10 cm roesti or two srevings) For the roasted onions: one large red onion 1 tablespoon oil salt for sprinkling For the fritters: 300 g (10.6 oz) celeriac, grated 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 1/­­2 teaspoons salt, or to taste freshly grated nutmeg to taste oil for frying For the avocado mash: 1 ripe Hass avocado 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1/­­2 teaspoon cumin 1/­­2 teaspoon Hungarian paprika salt and pepper to taste To make the onions: Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the onion into 1/­­2 cm (1/­­4 inch) thick slices and place them on the baking sheet. Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the onions have browned. To make the fritters: Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Preheat a non-stick pan to medium temperature and add about 1 tablespoon of oil for frying. Use about 2 tablespoons of the celeriac mixture per fritter and place it in the pan. Use a spoon to press down the celeriac and push the edges together to shape the fritters. Cook for about 10 minutes. (Lower the heat if the fritters brown too fast.) Use a spatula the size of the fritter and carefully flip it. If it breaks apart just press and push it again. Cook for another five minutes. Make sure to add more oil after you’ve flipped the fritters and when you add a new batch of fritters to the pan. Prepare the mash while the fritters are cooking. To make the mash: Mash the avocado with a fork, add remaining ingredients and mix well. Serve the fritters with mash and top with onions. Celeriac Roesti with Roasted Onions is a post from: seitan is my motor

Roasting Vegetables for Vegan Wednesday

November 12 2014 seitan is my motor 

Roasting Vegetables for Vegan Wednesday It’s another vegan wednesday. If you want to participate, post the link to your post in the comment section of this blog entry. There are three things that make autumn awesome: an oven, winter vegetables, and spices. Roasting sturdy vegetables like cauliflower or beets is one of my favourite leisure activities right now. You won’t have to watch roasted vegetables as closely as those which are fried and you will get much more flavour from roasted vegetables than from cooked ones. We recently visited P’s family and his aunt gave me some of her spice supplies, which she buys in bulk when she visits her family in India and Nepal. Most of them are apparently meant to be for meaty dishes and I feel kind of bad for displaying them on a vegan blog, but they are great for seasoning roasted vegetables, too. Like garam masala or curry powder they are all spice blends. As you can see in the little picture in the right corner of the following foto the meat masala has a special note printed on the side that says “no curry powder”. I thought that was funny, maybe it’s just there to tell tourists what’s what. It still tastes similar to a hot curry powder and also has the same yellowish colour. I used it to season the pumpkin soup pictured above. The pindi channa masala is great for all kinds of chickpea dishes, especially this one (which also explains what the word pindi stands for). This time I used it to season my beet chips. The tandoori chicken masala is a hot masala that I love to sprinkle on roasted cauliflower. I usually mix a tablespoon or two of olive oil with a teaspoon of this spice and half a teaspoon of salt. I roast the vegetables at 200°C (400°F) for 20 minutes. This goes great with chili, which is such a great autumn and winter dish anyway. I think I made lots lately. Usually I make it from scratch and often use different beans, add some pumpkin, sweet potato, or TVP. I thought I had a recipe on my blog but it turns out that I don’t. I start by frying an onion and some cloves of garlic, then I add a teaspoon of whole cumin seeds and toast them. I put a can of diced tomatoes into the pot along with cubed pumpkin pieces or soaked TVP. I think this recipe is a good place to start from, I usually use roasted pumpkin instead of the purée and vegetable broth instead of the beer. Since chili powder in most parts of Europe is something completely different than the US version, I use Hungarian paprika and some oregano instead. I have been working on some new recipes because I am planning to do my first baking zine/­­ebook and I am very exited about this! I hope I can finish it by the end of November so that those who are interested can pick up some new holiday baking ideas from this little book. It’s going to have cookie recipes, yeast baked goods, but also some bars and maybe a cake or two. But I am still open to suggestions. This is the prototype for some speculoos nutella bars. Happy (vegan) Wednesday! Roasting Vegetables for Vegan Wednesday is a post from: seitan is my motor

Lebkuchen Chocolate Granola

November 20 2016 seitan is my motor 

If you are thinking about giving your friends edible gifts for the holidays this year, you should include this granola. It is inspired by a lebkuchen chocolate that I tried recently. I had no idea that lebkuchen (the German version of gingerbread) and chocolate go together so well, especially if the chocolate is a rich,Read more The post Lebkuchen Chocolate Granola appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Speculoos Truffles and Cinnamon Stars

November 7 2016 seitan is my motor 

Recently I have been getting a lot of traffic for an old post. An really old post. With terrible pictures and links that don’t work anymore. And while the pictures may be awful, the recipes are great and still two of my favourites. That is why I want to update them today. They are ChristmasRead more The post Speculoos Truffles and Cinnamon Stars appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Hazelnut Raisin Snack Balls

November 1 2016 seitan is my motor 

November is finally here which is this years Vegan Month of Food. I decided on a topic I am calling Warming Winter Meals and for my first post I don’t really have a meal.  But a warming snack. It contains dried fruits and nuts, which are both foods I do associate with winter. These nutRead more The post Hazelnut Raisin Snack Balls appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Mushroom Bolognese (And Vegan MoFo in November!)

October 21 2016 seitan is my motor 

Hey, soon it’s that time of the year again! The Vegan Month of Food is coming to you in November. And although I thought last year was my last MoFo, turns out it’s not. And here’s a little preview to what we’re gonna do on Seitan Is My Motor. Vegan MoFo originated in the USRead more The post Mushroom Bolognese (And Vegan MoFo in November!) appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Fig, Plum & Pomegranate Jam

September 16 2016 seitan is my motor 

I am not a jam maker. (Not always true.) It’s funny, isn’t it? I love to spend hours and hours on cakes but can’t be bothered to make such a simple food. One reason probably is that we don’t have a garden and that we buy our fruits at the store. Usually in quantities thatRead more The post Fig, Plum & Pomegranate Jam appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Poppy Seed Crumb Cake with Berries

September 3 2016 seitan is my motor 

I am pretty sure you are going to kill me. Because my blog is silent for almost two weeks and then another poppy seed cake recipe? Well, yes. Because poppy seed cakes are the best thing ever and there can never be too many. Never. (Did you know that 100 g of poppy seeds containRead more The post Poppy Seed Crumb Cake with Berries appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Apricot Cheesecake {No Baking, No Nuts}

July 22 2016 seitan is my motor 

Before I can introduce today’s apricot cheesecake recipe I have to start with a couple of technical things. Because for this recipe, you are going to make your own quark. (No worries, it’s very easy!) I’ve mentioned a couple of times that German cheesecakes are different from Northern American cheesecakes. Traditionally we use quark insteadRead more The post Apricot Cheesecake {No Baking, No Nuts} appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Pistachio Ice Cream {Four Ingredients}

June 28 2016 seitan is my motor 

Pistachio is one of my favourite ice cream flavours. It’s a flavour that is not available at every ice cream parlour and at some it is more expensive than regular ice cream. But I would absolutely pay the extra price if there were vegan pistachio ice cream options available. But they are not, at leastRead more The post Pistachio Ice Cream {Four Ingredients} appeared first on seitan is my motor.

The Ultimate Vegan Croissant. {Part One – Tips and Tricks}

June 21 2016 seitan is my motor 

Croissants are some of the foods many of us take for granted. They seem like a lot of work, so we just buy them at the bakery. Yeah. That is unless when you are vegan. No croissants for those butter despisers, right. Because croissants need butter. Actually they don’t. I used to make them withRead more The post The Ultimate Vegan Croissant. {Part One – Tips and Tricks} appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Chocolate Cherry Guglhupf

June 14 2016 seitan is my motor 

Today I have a very serious question for you. What is your opinion on pairing chocolate with fruits? I live with a huge opponent of this combination and I have to admit that I do sometimes agree with him. I don’t like all fruit and chocolate combinations (for example chocolate and orange). I don’t careRead more The post Chocolate Cherry Guglhupf appeared first on seitan is my motor.

On Veganism, Meat Alternatives and High Horses

May 26 2016 seitan is my motor 

In Germany there is a new trend of large meat and poultry companies selling vegetarian and sometimes even vegan products. I’ve often heard that this is a good thing because it shows that vegetarians and vegans have the power to change the market. I have heard people say it means less animal products are sold,Read more The post On Veganism, Meat Alternatives and High Horses appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Raspberry Tiramis?

May 19 2016 seitan is my motor 

My husband and I used to cook together a lot. When we were still living in different apartments, with different flatmates, and in different towns that was one of the highlights of our weekend. We also used to bring a lot of food to parties. Mostly dessert. And we were probably a bit snobby aboutRead more The post Raspberry Tiramis? appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Kohlrabi Curry

May 12 2016 seitan is my motor 

If you ever thought that kohlrabi is a weird word and maybe switched on your computer to look it up, Wikipedia will have told you that it is a German word. (It’s not really. Kohlrabi is a composite derived from two Latin nouns. The first part has a lot in common with the name ofRead more The post Kohlrabi Curry appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Baking Powder Sensitivity

May 3 2016 seitan is my motor 

I don’t like to make up conditions. And what I have is not a condition. It’s nothing serious, nothing to see a doctor for etc. It’s just that I have a problem with certain baking powders. I don’t have any allergies, I don’t have any food intolerances and it’s probably a bit exaggerated to callRead more The post Baking Powder Sensitivity appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Three-Ingredient Vegan Mayonnaise

April 29 2016 seitan is my motor 

Mayonnaise is one of my favourite condiments. I use it as a sandwich spread, as a dip, and of course I eat it with fries. And sometimes I eat a spoonful all by itself. There. There are a couple of vegan mayonnaises on the market and I think they are super convenient to have. ButRead more The post Three-Ingredient Vegan Mayonnaise appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Easy vegan caramels

April 22 2016 seitan is my motor 

Easy vegan caramels A reader recently asked me, if my dulce de leche recipe could be turned into candy. I told her that I hadn’t tried it and it probably wouldn’t work. The ratio of liquid to sugar is too high. The post Easy vegan caramels appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Rhubarb Rice Pudding Tartelettes

April 13 2016 seitan is my motor 

Rhubarb Rice Pudding Tartelettes At first taking a really long break from blogging was a great idea. The pressure was gone. No more long hours trying to find the perfect angle and the perfect light for the perfect photo. The post Rhubarb Rice Pudding Tartelettes appeared first on seitan is my motor.

Birkeskage {Danish Poppy Seed Cake}

September 10 2015 seitan is my motor 

Birkeskage {Danish Poppy Seed Cake}Thank you, Vegan Month of Food, for giving me the opportunity to put another recipe with poppy seeds on my blog! Poppy seeds are blue and that is today’s Vegan MoFo promt. And I cannot tell you how much I love poppy seeds. I love them so much that I’ll scoff at those lemon poppy seed muffins you probably like, because they don’t contain more than homeopathic doses of my favourite seeds. I am going for 100 % poppy seeds instead! This recipe is from a Danish baking book I bought while visiting Copenhagen (maybe two years ago?). The book was bigger and heavier than a luxury edition of the bible. That and the pretty pictures lured me into buying it. Bagebog by Claus Meyer has a lot of interesting recipes, and while some of them might be considered as Danish or at least Scandinavian, most seem to be international. So I am not sure about the authenticity of this birkeskage. Something similar might be served to you in many Eastern European countries, and even in German bakeries you can find Mohnkuchen varieties. I am still calling it Danish because it’s from a Danish book written in Danish! Smart, hm? The original recipe called for 4 eggs but those were easily replaced by both soy yoghurt and aquafaba. I made some more alterations, so that new recipe doesn’t have very much to do with the original version anymore. I have never tasted the original, obviously. But my version is a wonderfully moist and aromatic poppy seed cake with a delicate shortbread crust. Print Birgeskage {Danish Poppy Seed Cake} IngredientsFor the crust 80 g (1/­­4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) refined coconut oil (softened) 2 tablespoons sugar 150 g (1 1/­­4 cups) all-purpose flour For the topping 80 g (1/­­4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) refined coconut oil, softened 175 g (3/­­4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) sugar, divided 120 g (1/­­2 cup) sweetened soy yoghurt 180 g (1 1/­­4 cup) ground poppy seeds (Grind them in a small coffee mill. Make sure the mill is suitable for grinding oily seeds.) 45 g (1/­­4 cup) semolina 60 ml (1/­­4 cup) chickpea brine from a can juice from half a small lime InstructionsPreheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease a rectangular pan (18 x 28 cm or 7 x 11 inch) and set aside. To make the crust, beat coconut oil and sugar until light and fluffy. Add sugar and mix until a crumbly dough forms. Make sure the fat is incorporated completely. Press the dough into the pan and place in the fridge. To make the topping, beat the coconut oil and 125 g sugar (1/­­2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) until fluffy. Add yoghurt, poppy seeds, and semolina and beat until smooth. Combine chickpea brine, remaining 50 g (1/­­4 cup) sugar, and lime juice in a second bowl. Beat until stiff peaks form. (I use a handheld blender. It takes about 5 minutes with this one, but beating time can be longer or shorter.) Fold the chickpea brine mixture into the poppy seed mixture until everything is smooth. Remove the pan from the fridge and pour topping over the crust. Smooth down the topping and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before serving. This cake tastes best straight from the fridge where you can store it for several days. NotesAdapted from a recipe in Claus Meyers Bagebog. (Birkeskage, p. 246.) Lindhardt og Rindhof 2012 (K?benhavn). 3.1 http:/­­/­­www.seitanismymotor.com/­­2015/­­09/­­birkeskage-danish-poppy-seed-cake/­­ Copyright (C)2015 All rights reserved. www.seitanismymotor.com By the way, I did not skip yesterday’s promt “most retro recipe”. I made something and posted it on Instagram! I chose westfaelische Quarkspeise, which is a dessert made with German (or westfalian) Pumpernickel. Pumpernickel is a popular bread in the North of Germany. Most traditional versions are flourless and very different from what you might be used to in Northern America. It’s made with sourdough starter and whole rye berries or cracked rye, salt and water. That’s it. No molasses or sugar. It’s baked at a very low temperature for a very long time (around 24 hours). That way all the sugar present in the wheat berries caramelises and gives this rye bread the dark brown colour and a slightly sweet taste. Pumpernickel has a very unique texture that is chewy and al dente and still it melts in your mouth. Using the bread for desserts is super retro to me. These days it cannot compete with chia seeds, goji berries, or quinoa. Westfälische quarkspeise is a layered dessert made with toasted pumpernickel crumbs, chocolate shavings, quark (a cream cheese like curd cheese), and canned cherries. I used an online recipe and cheated big time when it came to the quark. But my version with whipped soy cream was just as good and since I also added some Kirschwasser, it was almost like a quick Black Forest dessert, especially since the pumpernickel goes just as well with cherries as chocolate!    

Grand Budapest Hotel & Courtesan au Chocolat

September 7 2015 seitan is my motor 

Grand Budapest Hotel & Courtesan au ChocolatSince this blog is about food, I rarely get to talk about other things I like. But today’s Vegan MoFo promt is the perfect occasion to change that. I like books and films a lot and I like it even more when films are about books and writers. The Grand Budapest Hotel is a film about writers. Sort of. It’s also a  film about the author Stefan Zweig, whose works have inspired Anderson’s movie. (Also sort of. If you haven’t seen this movie, go watch it, it’s hard to describe. I promise it’s going to be fun!) In addition the director credits several old films, like Grand Hotel. Grand Hotel by the way is based on the fabulous Novel Menschen im Hotel ( Grand Hotel) by  Vicky Baum. There are other novels that could act as the model for this movie, like Hotel Savoy by Joseph Roth.  I have read Zweig’s The World of Yesterday but not the other works Anderson mentions. When I first saw Grand Budapest Hotel I was absolutely amazed by the fictional world Anderson had created. In the movie everything was torn apart and put back together in a way I have never seen before. The setting is a hotel in the fictional Central European country Zubrowka. The town around this hotel has similarities to Eastern European spa towns. Most of the the material was shot in Görlitz though, a small and beautifully renovated town right at the Polish border. It’s not far from Dresden where I live and it has become a popular US-movie location. Dresden also plays a little part in the Grand Budapest Hotel, I recognised a couple of streets and museum halls. In one of the most fascinating scenes in the movie a couple of characters chase each other through such a hall. Then they leave though a door and we find them back in Görlitz or somewhere else, but definitely not behind the museum in Dresden. Admittedly, this movie is not a documentary. And Anderson makes no secret of the fact that “the places [he] had envisioned just didn’t really exist anywhere“. He says he’s interested in the invention, he’s not trying to be realistic. He definitely has accomplished that. I recognised many buildings but couldn’t follow the characters’ paths because they were invented. I recognised the time period Anderson was covering but his interpretation was completely different both from the fictional and non-fictional works I have read about this period before. As I said, he put everything together again in a completely new way, even the tiniest details. The German location names used are funny and absurd and the spelling of many things is only superficially German (or French). I don’t know that much about Wes Anderson but his socialisation outside of Europe seems visible in all these details. (Or maybe he did it on purpose.) For example, there’s a bakery in this movie called Mendl’s. In German this would be Mendl or Mendls Bäckerei. No apostrophe, I would say. At least not back at that time. Then again I might be wrong. I am siding with Konrad Duden here, who published Germany’s most influential dictionary. Thomas Mann on the other hand used apostrophes with genitive cases. So we’re probably lucky he wrote great novels instead of designing and printiong bakery signs. Anyway, Mendl’s supplies everyone with a pastry called courtesan au chocolate, which is again a mix of English and French words. Those courtesans au chocolate are a colourful and elaborate version of the French pastry Religieuse. For the movie this version was invented in a bakery in Görlitz and the recipe is online. The funny thing is that they used a dairy shop in Dresden, Pfunds Molkerei,  as setting for the pastry shop. I’ve only been there once in my pre-vegan days, not to buy cheese, just because it’s an outstanding location and a tourist magnet. I only lasted ten seconds though because it was smelly as hell in there. So I cannot really imagine it turned into a bakery, even if it’s only for a few scenes. Those poor actors. Beautiful pastries smelling like aged cheese. Whatever, let’s finally get to today’s topic: “Make something inspired by a book or film.” I did not only veganise the original recipe, I changed the whole thing. Because  my recipe is how I has imagined the courtesans before learning about the recipe. It’s my version of the story! Note: For the food colouring I tried to go with natural dyes, but I think artificial ones would have been better. My colours came with a taste and I didn’t like both the matcha and the blueberry plus soda versions that much. So if you have access to artificial vegan food dyes, I recommend to use them. P.S.  We’re on the last day of our vacation and I am writing this recipe on the road. The recipe plugin isn’t working that great on our tablet. Sorry if the ingredient list looks a bit confusing. I’ll fix that as soon as we’re home. Print Grand Budapest Hotel & Courtesan au Chocolat IngredientsFor the doughnuts 240 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour 1 1/­­2 teaspoons instant yeast 120 ml (1/­­2 cup) soy milk 50 g (1/­­4 cup) sugar 2 tablespoons oil 1 pinch salt 1.5 to 2 litres of oil, suitable for frying For the ganache 2 tablespoons sugar 1/­­2 tablespoon cornstarch 60 ml (1/­­4 cup) soy milk 160 g chopped dark chocolate For the glaze 150 g (1 1/­­2 cups) powdered sugar, divided vegan red food colouring (I used 1 teaspoon. Adjust according to your package directions.) 1-3 teaspoons water 1 teaspoon matcha powder 2-3 teaspoons lime juice 2-3 teaspoons blueberry juice (from cooked blueberries) 1 pinch baking soda For the icing 55 g (1/­­2 cup) refined coconut oil or shortening, softened 50 g (1/­­2 cup) powdered sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract InstructionsTo make the doughnuts, combine flour and yeast in a bowl. Add milk, sugar, oil, and salt to a small pan and heat until luke warm. Add to the flour mixture and knead for about 7-10 minutes, or until your dough is firm and doesnt stick. Cover the dough and let it rest until doubled in size, about 60-90 minutes. Roll the dough into 4 equally sized pieces and use differently sized cookie cutters to cut each piece into 3 differently sized disks. Note: This is what I did. Its easier just to roll each piece of dough into 3 differently sized balls. Use leftovers to make 4 additional small balls, about the size of a grape. Let the disks or balls rest (covered) until doubled in size. Heat the oil in a pot. If you choose a smaller pot, youll need less oil. Just make sure that the doughnuts will be able to float and not stick to either the bottom of the pot or to each other. Use a candy thermometer. The oil should be around 160°C to 175°C, and definitly not hotter than 180°C. Fry the doughnuts for 1 or 2 minutes, or until crispy and browned. Transfer to some pieces of kitchen paper towels to drain off excess oil. To prepare the ganache, mix sugar and cornstarch and set aside. Place soy milk and chopped chocolate in a small pot. Heat carefully until the chocolate has melted. Make sure the chocolate doesnt burn and stir. Remove from heat and add sugar mixture. Whisk until silky. To fill the doughnuts, use a pastry bag with a long and small pastry tip. Use the tip to poke a hole into the big and medium sized doughnuts and then pipe some of the ganache into them. This takes a little experience but after a couple of doughnuts you should get the hang of it. To make the red glaze combine 50 g (1/­­2 cup) of powdered sugar with red food colouring and 1-3 teaspoons of water, depending on the amount of food colouring you used. The glaze should be silky and not too runny. Dip the small doughnuts into the glaze and let them dry on a cookie rack. To make the green glaze, combine 50 g (1/­­2 cup) of powdered sugar with matcha powder and lemon juice. Dip the medium sized doughnuts into the glaze and let dry. To make the purple glaze, combine 50 g (1/­­2 cup) of powdered sugar with baking soda and blueberry juice. Dip the large doughnuts into the glaze and let dry. The glaze will change its colour after a while and turn purple/­­blue purple. Dip the grape sized dough balls into leftover ganache and let dry. To make the frosting, place coconut oil and powdered sugar in a small food processor. Whip until smooth, add vanilla and whip again. To assemble, piple some frosting onto the large doughnuts and top with a medium sized one. Top the medium sized doughnuts with frosting and add a small one. Place the grape sized dough ball on top. Now try to eat this! 3.1 http:/­­/­­www.seitanismymotor.com/­­2015/­­09/­­grand-budapest-hotel-courtesan-au-chocolat/­­ Copyright (C)2015 All rights reserved. www.seitanismymotor.com      

Marinated Eggpland Sandwich {Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day}

September 5 2015 seitan is my motor 

Marinated Eggpland Sandwich {Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day}Welcome back to another day of Vegan Mofo 2015. Best sandwich ever? Ar you kidding me? I don’t have best sandwich recipe ever, but I have a best sandwiches ever book. Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day came out three years ago and I still use it on a regular basis. It’s been a life saver during this crazy hot summer, even though many recipes call for baking or frying something. But it’s easy to make a lot of things in advance and have them handy once you get super hungry and don’t feel like preparing an elaborate meal. The following recipe shares the title “Best Sandwich Ever” with several other recipes in this book by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes and it has been on our plates several times since the book came out. I love that there are two different marinades, which are also very flexible. Instead of Cajun spice mix I have used curry or berbere. Both the tofu and the eggplant slices make a lot. I usually store them in the fridge and use them as sides for other dishes as well. (If you cut the tofu into slices thinner than 1/­­4 inch.) Print Marinated Eggpland Sandwich {Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day} 4 Sandwiches IngredientsFor marinated eggplant 1 small (14 ounces, or 400 g) eggplant, cut in half widthwise, then cut lengthwise into 1/­­4-inch (6-mm)-thick slices 1/­­4 cup (60 ml) olive oil, divided 2 tablespoons (30 ml) apple cider vinegar 2 teaspoons Cajun spice mix 2 teaspoons vegan Worcestershire sauce 1/­­2 teaspoon liquid smoke For tofu 1/­­4 cup (60 ml) white balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil 2 tablespoons (15 g) nutritional yeast 1 teaspoon onion powder 2 cloves garlic, pressed Salt and pepper, to taste 1 pound (454 g) super-firm or extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cut lengthwise into four 1/­­4-inch (6-mm) steaks For sandwiches 1/­­2 cup (112 g) vegan mayonnaise 4 sub sandwich rolls or mini baguettes, 6 inches (15 cm) long, cut in half and lightly toasted 1 1/­­3 cups (96 g) shredded lettuce InstructionsTo make the marinated eggplant: Preheat the broiler to 450°F (230°C, or gas mark 8). Place the eggplant on one or two large baking sheets. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the olive oil with the vinegar and Cajun spice mix. Lightly brush this mixture on both sides of the eggplant slices. Broil for 4 minutes on each side, or until dark brown. In the meantime, in another small bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil with the Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke. Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with the Worcestershire mixture and let them cool on a wire rack. Let stand for at least 30 minutes before serving, or even better, up to overnight. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. To get the best out of the flavors, bring back to room temperature before serving. To make the tofu: Combine the vinegar, oil, nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large rectangular shallow dish. Add the tofu and turn to coat thoroughly; let marinate for 30 minutes. Decrease the oven temperature to 425°F (220°C, or gas mark 7). Bake the tofu for 30 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Note that the tofu will become chewier once cooled. To assemble the sandwiches: Spread 1 tablespoon (14 g) mayonnaise on each side of the roll. Place 1/­­3 cup (24 g) shredded lettuce on top. Place 1 tofu slice on each sandwich and place 4 to 6 slices marinated eggplant on top. Serve immediately.NotesRecipe from Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day by Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes. Fair Winds Press 2012. Recipe published with kind permission from the author Celine Steen. 3.1 http:/­­/­­www.seitanismymotor.com/­­2015/­­09/­­marinated-eggpland-sandwich-vegan-sandwiches-save-the-day/­­ Copyright (C)2015 All rights reserved. www.seitanismymotor.com

Thin and Crispy Tarte Flambée

September 3 2015 seitan is my motor 

Thin and Crispy Tarte FlambéeI know you think I am tricking you here. This doesn’t look quick, right? But it is! So welcome to today’s edition of Vegan Mofo 2015. Tarte flambée or flammkuchen, as it is called in German is a dish popular in Alsace, France and in the South of Germany. It’s a large topped flatbread that is prepared and served similar to pizza. There are a couple of important differences though. Traditionally tarte flambée is topped with cr?me fraîche, onions, and some kind of ham, bacon, or lardon. (I’ll never know the correct English term for this.)  The crust has to be rolled out paper thin, you want it to be really crispy. To achieve that the dough is made without any kind of leavening. No yeast and most definitely no baking powder. It’s also baked on a very high temperature. Because of the missing yeast and a high oven temperature the tarte only has to bake for a couple of minutes. The crust itself can be prepared in advance. The dough has to rest but it doesn’t need time to rise and it can be stored in the fridge for up to a week or even longer. For the topping you need very thinly sliced vegetables. Those can be prepared in advance, too. Simply place them in an airtight container and store in the fridge until ready to use. For this version I used red onions, leeks, and radishes. For a more traditional flammkuchen use onions and finely cubed smoked tofu instead. Print Thin and Crispy Tarte Flambée IngredientsFor the crust 250 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour 4 g (1 leveled teaspoon) salt 1 tablespoon unsweetened soy yoghurt 1 tablespoon oil 120 ml (1/­2 cup) water For the cr?me fraîche 250 g (1 cup) unsweetened soy yoghurt 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley or chives 1 tablespoon oil 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1/­2 teaspoon salt or more, to taste pepper to taste For the topping 1 thinly sliced red onion the white part of a thinly sliced leek a couple of thinly sliced radishes InstructionsTo make the dough, combine flour and salt. Add remaining ingredients and knead until the dough is firm and elastic, about 10 minutes. Cover and let the dough rest for 30 minutes, or refrigerate until ready to use. To make the cr?me fraîche, place all ingredients in a bowl and stir until combined. To make the flammkuchen, place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat the oven to 250°C (480°F). Divide the dough into four equally sized pieces and place each piece on a sheet of parchment paper. Roll out as thin as possible. Let the dough rest and relax for a minute or two from time to time, so that rolling is easier. Thinly spread with cr?me fraîche and top with vegetables. Carefully remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and slide the sheet of parchment paper with the flammkuchen on the baking sheet. Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until the edges are crispy. Repeat with the other three pieces of dough and serve immediately.3.1 http:/­/­www.seitanismymotor.com/­2015/­09/­thin-and-crispy-tarte-flambee/­ Copyright (C)2015 All rights reserved. www.seitanismymotor.com

VeganMofo Breakfast Edition

September 1 2015 seitan is my motor 

VeganMofo Breakfast EditionI was quite sure I wanted to take part in the Vegan Month of Food again. It’s the most exhausting part of the year for us vegan bloggers. But it’s also the most exiting. Like good old times when reading and writing blogs wasn’t outdated yet. Last year I quit halfway through, I couldn’t keep up with my ambitious German Desserts II theme. This year I wanted to do something else, but I didn’t know what. But someone at the MoFo headquarters must have read my mind. For this year they made new guidelines and came up with a list of 30 themes, one for each day of September. I absolutely love this idea, it’s great to have some help and inspiration! I am also looking forward to what other people come up with for these themes. I still consider my blogging about German food at this kind of the year as a tradition, so I will try to loosely stick with it as well. But now let’s get started! This is today’s theme: When people ask me about my vegan diet, they don’t ask me, “Where do you get your protein?” They ask me “What do you eat for breakfast?” instead. In Germany breakfast is important, but it’s also the meal most people try not to put too much work into. So the main component of a German breakfast is bread. People eat Schnitte, Butterbrot or Brötchen. Butterbrot is a concept that most of you probably know from the Muppet Show, where it’s called smörrebröd. Schnitte is a noun derived from the verb schneiden, which means “to cut”. It refers to bread slices. Brötchen are like rolls. You spread them with butter and then decide if you want jam, cheese, or cold cuts on top. You see the problem there? If you’re vegan all you can put on your brötchen is plain jam. Or at least that’s what people think and that is why they throw me a commiserationg look and ask me about my breakfast. Which is weird, because by now there are tons of vegan spreads, cheeses, and cold cuts available. There’s lots of variety, but most of these foods can also be a bit costly. A much cheaper way to eat breakfast is müsli. And that is what I am having almost every single day. Germans don’t bother with cooking oats or pre-soaking them or whatever you can do to increase preparation time. We simply pour some milk and eat. (I swear there is soymilk in that bowl. It just got soaked up while I took the picture.) I usually add flax seeds or some other seeds like pumpkin or sunflower and one or two fruits. But much more importantly, I’ll have a coffee first thing in the morning. Otherwise I’m not even able to find the fridge.

Doughnuts with Berry Glaze

July 14 2015 seitan is my motor 

Doughnuts with Berry GlazeOne day my daughter was sick and stayed home. In the afternoon we made a little walk around the neighbourhood, which is a city neighbourhood with lots of grocery stores, shops, and bars. It was spring and still cold and rainy. We walked past a bakery with had put a sign out. It pictured a couple of doughnuts, all in different bright colours. When F. saw the sign she begged me to buy a batch. The bakery was one of those chains with self service and products made with much more than flour, yeast, salt, and water. Germany has come a long way with its bakeries, but it’s not a good one. Discounter stores with self service are popping up everywhere and their products are so cheap that they can’t be made in a bakery where employees are paid decent wages. Instead of quality you get a jamboree bag of enhancers and preservatives. These baked goods don’t keep fresh very long and taste pretty bland, but they can be produced quickly and without skilled employees, I guess. I didn’t want to spill all that over my kid, so I pulled out my second argument and mumbled something about “crushed bugs” in the glaze and asked her if she wanted to make her own doughnuts instead. After that I immediately thought, “Damn, why did I say that? Doughnuts take time and patience.” Even if I sometimes have these character traits, my doughter definitely doesn’t know what they mean. Ah, well. Sometimes I am my own little discounter store. I like shortcuts, too. So I decided we should pull out the doughnut pan and make some baking powder leavened baked treats instead of yeast leavened deep-fried ones. I used a simple muffin recipe as a base and for the frosting I cooked some raspberries, strained the juice and mixed it with powdered sugar. These quick fix donuts are not comparable to their fried counterparts, but my daughter still thought they were perfect. Since all kids love bright colours, these would be great for any kind of children’s (birthday) party and we will probably make them again. And even if you’re not a kid, you deserve bright colours and a little sugar, too. Note: The colour of the glaze can vary a bit. For some reason mine came out very bright red the first time I made these. The next time the glaze had more dark pink shades. So if you want red instead of dark pink, use frozen (or fresh) red currants or strawberries instead. The light pink version that you can also see in the pictures was made by thinning the glaze with some lemon juice. Print Doughnuts with Berry Glaze 12 doughnuts IngredientsFor the doughnuts 280 g (2 1/­­3 cups) all-purpose flour 150 g (3/­­4 cup) sugar 1 3/­­4 teaspoons baking powder 1/­­2 teaspoon ground vanilla 1/­­4 teaspoon salt 240 ml (1 cup) soy milk 120 g (1/­­2 cup) vanilla flavoured soy yoghurt 6 tablespoons oil For the glaze 130 g (1 cup) fresh or frozen raspberries 120 g (1 unsifted cup) powdered sugar sprinkles (optional) InstructionsGrease a 12-hole doughnut pan and preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). To make the doughnuts, combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Add liquid ingredients and stir until most lumps are gone. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes, remove from the pan and let completely before applying the glaze. For the glaze, place berries in a small pot and cover with a lid. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the raspberries have broken down. Drain the berries and reserve the juice. Place the powdered sugar in a small bowl. Add 2-3 tablespoons of berry juice. Start with 2 tablespoons and stir to see if youve reached the desired consistency (silky and pourable, but not too thin) and add more liquid if necessary. Brush the doughnuts with the glaze, coat with sprinkles and let dry completely.3.1 http:/­­/­­www.seitanismymotor.com/­­2015/­­07/­­doughnuts-with-berry-glaze/­­ Copyright (C)2015 All rights reserved. www.seitanismymotor.com Doughnuts with Berry Glaze is a post from: seitan is my motor

Coconut Raspberry Cupcakes and Raspberry Meringues

June 29 2015 seitan is my motor 

Coconut Raspberry Cupcakes and Raspberry Meringues Are cupcakes still a thing? Of course they are, especially during summer. I admit that mine do not look perfectly elegant and that is because I overfilled the tins out of lazyness. (And yeah, my piping skills could be better.) I had pulled a muffin pan for six muffins out of my huge collection of baking pans and didn’t want to go looking for a second one. If I had, I probably would have gotten eight servings out of this recipe. But if there can be jumbo muffins there can also be jumbo cupcakes, right? And I tried very hard to replace some elegance by adding meringues to these treats. Vegan meringues. I know, you’ve all heard the story by now. But probably not your non-vegan friends and aquaintances. Serve these raspberry flavoured meringues to everybody who’s going to tell you how vegans have to make so many food sacrifices. The meringue recipe is based on my vegan marshmallow fluff. But the idea to make meringues is one I got from révolution végétale and the vegan meringue facebook group. It’s best to prepare the meringues a day in advance for better time management. Keep them stored in an airtight container. They get sticky fast once they are exposed to air. The topping for these cupcakes is a whipped coconut cream topping. So while you are making the meringues, place a can of coconut milk in the fridge. Print Coconut Raspberry Cupcakes and Raspberry Meringues IngredientsFor the raspberries 150 g (1 1/­­2 cups) frozen or fresh raspberries For the meringues 60 ml (1/­­2 cup) chickpea brine from a can of chickpeas (aquafaba) 1/­­2 tablespoon guar or xanthan gum 50 g (1/­­2 cup) powdered sugar 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1 tablespoon raspberry juice (see recipe instructions) For the cupcakes 150 g (1 1/­­4 cup) all-purpose flour 30 g (1/­­4 cup) shredded, dried coconut 1 1/­­2 teaspoons baking powder 1/­­4 teaspoon salt 125g (1/­­2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) brown sugar 120 (1/­­2 cup) coconut milk* 60 ml (1/­­4 cup) vegetable oil 60 g (1/­­4 cup) cooked raspberries, drained (see recipe instructions) For the cupcake topping Coconut cream (the solid fat) scooped out from one 400 ml (14 oz) can of coconut milk** 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, or more to taste 1/­­2 - 1 tablespoon raspberry juice remaining coocked raspberries for garnish InstructionsTo make the cooked rasberries, place berries in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Reserve both the fruit and juice and store in the fridge. To make the meringues, preheat the oven to 100°C (212°F). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine chickpea brine and guar or xanthan gum. Whip for two minutes using a handheld mixer. Add sugar and raspberry juice and whip until very stiff. The fluff should keep its form so you can pipe it easily. This may take up to 10 minutes. Fill the fluff into a pastry bag with a star tip and pipe about 2 cm (1 inch) large (or larger) meringues onto the sheet. They wont spread so you can put them relatively close together. Bake 1 sheet at a time for 1 1/­­4 to 1 1/­­2 hours. Baking time can vary a lot, start checking on your meringues after 1 hour. If you went for larger meringues they might take up to 2 hours. They are done when completely dry. Make sure they dont start to brown. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container. To make the cupcakes, preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) and line 6 muffin tins with liners. Combine flour, shredded coconut, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Stir to combine. Combine sugar, coconut milk, and oil in a second bowl and whisk to combine. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until all lumps are gone. Fold in cooked raspberries and fill into muffin tins. Bake for 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. To make the topping, scoop out the coconut cream that has solidified at the top of the can and place it in a bowl. Add powdered sugar and whip on high spead until fluffy, for about three minutes. Add raspberry juice and whip again. (You can also fold the juice in right after whipping, and dont mix the cream and the juice completely. This makes for a nice pattern.) Place the coconut cream in a piping bag with a star tip and pipe onto your cupcakes. Decorate with cooked raspberries and meringues. Serve immediately. Notes*You can also use the liquid from your chilled can of coconut milk: Scoop out the coconut cream and place it back in the fridge. Then measure out 1/­­2 cup of the clear liquid and use insteead of coconut milk. **Place a 400 ml (14 oz) can of coconut milk in the fridge. Chill it for at least 8 hours, preferably more. 3.1 http:/­­/­­www.seitanismymotor.com/­­2015/­­06/­­coconut-raspberry-cupcakes-and-raspberry-meringues/­­ Copyright (C)2015 All rights reserved. www.seitanismymotor.com   Coconut Raspberry Cupcakes and Raspberry Meringues is a post from: seitan is my motor

Simple Rhubarb Crisp

June 14 2015 seitan is my motor 

Simple Rhubarb CrispI am a language nerd. I spent this morning looking up why rhubarb, or rhabarber in German, is written with an h after the r. The latin word for rhubarb is rheum barbarus. Barbarus means foreign. Rheum is derived from the ancient greek rheu, and that’s where the h comes from. It indicates a certain pronunciation of the letter rho at the beginning of a word. Not that interesting? Alright. While I was looking all of this up I found some funny sentences in the book On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee (highly recommended, by the way). On page 317 McGee writes that rhubarb’s “main use in the West is as a tart stand-in for fruit”. On page 367 he adds that rhubarb “often masquerates as fruit”. Both statements sound kind of mean, as if rhubarb stalks would sneak into our kitchens, drag the strawberries out of a pie and take their place only to dupe us. But I guess McGee has a point, because he also explains that rhubarb only became popular in pies and other sweet foods after sugar had become affordable. Since then it has been treated like a fruit and made palatable in desserts with tons of sweetener. But then it’s not the rhubarb that dupes us here. It’s the sugar. (See, sugar is bad.) Last Sunday we were enjoying our last rhubarb stalks, baked into a crisp, which is basically nothing else than a very, very lazy pie. This is a simple and versatile recipe and almost every ingredient could be substituted with something else. I used coconut flour, but oat flour or even whole wheat flour would work. For the almond butter you could use any other nut butter as well. Oh, and if you don’t have rhubarb, use berries or even apples. I used a 22 cm bread pan (9-inch loaf pan) for this recipe, and that makes enough for three people. P complained that the filling wasn’t sweet enough. He’s probably right but it’s no problem to double the amount of sugar mixed with the rhubarb. Print Simple Rhubarb Crisp Ingredients400 g (3 1/­­3 cups) thinly sliced rhubarb 1 tablespoon cornstarch 1/­­4 cup agave nectar or sugar (double for a sweeter version) 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 60 g (1/­­2 cup) old fashioned rolled oats 50 g (1/­­4 cup) brown sugar 30 g (1/­­4 cup) coconut flour (substitute oat or whole wheat flour) 60 ml (1/­­4 cup) oil 2 tablespoons almond butter (any nut butter is fine) 1/­­4 teaspoon salt InstructionsPreheat oven to 200°C (400°F) Place rhubarb, cornstarch, and agave nectar in a 22 cm (9 inch) loaf pan and stir to combine. Combine remaining ingredients and stir well. Sprinkle on top of rhubarb. Bake for 20 minutes or until the rhubarb is soft and the topping crispy. Serve warm or cold. 3.1 http:/­­/­­www.seitanismymotor.com/­­2015/­­06/­­simple-rhubarb-crisp/­­ Copyright (C)2015 All rights reserved. www.seitanismymotor.com Simple Rhubarb Crisp is a post from: seitan is my motor

Ramps Cauliflower Chimichurri

May 16 2015 seitan is my motor 

Ramps Cauliflower ChimichurriShame on me, ramps season is almost over again, isn’t it? I’m still pretty sad about the fact that I am not living next to that small forest in Göttingen, a small university town in Lower Saxony, anymore. Every spring there was an amazing garlic smell which would lead you directly to a giant ramps carpet. We could pick several bunches and there would still be much more left than anybody could wish for. And I knew exactly when ramps season started and when it ended. These days are over and whenever I see ramps now, it’s in a store. Although you can still pick them if you know the right place, they have also turned into a fancy herb you can buy at organic foods stores for way too much money and in way too small packages. Fortunately I have a wonderful neighbour who’s growing ramps and other herbs in her garden. She just gifted me with a huge bunch of both ramps and chives. If you’re not familiar with ramps (ramsons, wild leek, wild garlic), they have a similarily sharp taste as chives, but mostly they do taste like young garlic. It’s very easy to turn ramps into pesti or sauces. They will make every dish very aromatic and special only by adding a ridiculous amount of flavour. I had several pictures of our fantastic ramps pesto pizza topped with only grilled asparagus. I had to make those pictures fast, hungry people were waiting for me and of course not a single picture had turned out. So I wanted to redo the pesto and take some more pictures. But then I changed my mind and made a chimichurri sauce instead. (I’ll post the pesto recipe at the end of this entry, too.) Chimichurri is great for tofu, tempeh, or even seitan. But when I made the sauce it turned out I had been too quick with my meal planning. We had no tofu, no tempeh, no seitan. But a head of cauliflower! So here’s a recipe for a wonderful caulflower chimichurri that you can serve over some cooked grains or legumes. It’s also a great addition to a brunch table or a buffet. If you don’t have ramps on hand, you can make this with all kinds of herbs, especially fresh parsley, or use chives and scallions.   Print Ramps Cauliflower Chimichurri Ingredients1 small head cauliflower (300 - 400 g) 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 50 g (2 oz) fresh ramps, roughly chopped 3 tablespoons water 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 onion, minced 3 cloves garlic, optional 1/­­2 jalape?o or red chili pepper, chopped 1/­­2 teaspoon chipotle powder or smoked paprika salt to taste InstructionsPreheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the cauliflower into florets about the size of a golf ball. Place on the baking sheet and drizzle or brush with oil. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cauliflower starts to brown. Toss from time to time. Meanwhile prepare the chimichurri sauce by combining all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pulse until relatively smooth. Add salt to taste. Pour half of the sauce over the cauliflower and use a spoon to distribute the sauce well. Make sure to cover most of the vegetables in sauce. Bake for another 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and serve. Pour more sauce over the cauliflower.3.1 http:/­­/­­www.seitanismymotor.com/­­2015/­­05/­­ramps-cauliflower-chimichurri/­­ Copyright (C)2015 All rights reserved. www.seitanismymotor.com Pistachio Ramps Pesto Ingredients 40 g (1/­­3 cup) roasted and salted pistachios 30 g (1 oz) ramps 30 g (1 oz) chives 3 tablespoons water 2 tablespoons oil 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes 1 glove garlic salt and pepper to taste Instructions 1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. 2. Blend until relatively smooth, season with salt and pepper. Ramps Cauliflower Chimichurri is a post from: seitan is my motor

Spicy Currywurst with Mango Curry Sauce

April 20 2015 seitan is my motor 

Spicy Currywurst with Mango Curry SauceThis post is going to be about sausages, and food, and decisions you make as a parent. And it’s probably full of contradictions. But let’s start with something light. What did you eat this weekend? Did you eat out? Did you have takeout? Did you make a meal from scratch? On a typical weekend, I used to shop for groceries and then spent hours in the kitchen cooking. I always considered this very relaxing. It gave me time to unwind and think about stuff. But that was pre-child. These days I am lucky if I can prepare a sandwich without being interrupted. For several reasons there is not much time for quiet and long weekend cooking anymore. The main one is that we try to spend our weekends as a family. We want to go out and do stuff together. And then we get home starving and throw together whatever very quickly. Or we order a pizza. This habit has sneaked into our household since a really wonderful little pizzeria opened in our neighbourhood. They have terrific pizzas, fresh garlic oil,  and a vegan cheese option. It’s quick and it’s super convenient. If we do cook, it is not always very relaxing. Having a three year old person running around in your kitchen can sometimes be a little bit nerve-stretching. You have to think about putting the sharp knife away. You probably don’t want to leave your child unattended next to that pot of boiling spaghetti, and so on.  And then there is always: “Mum, when is the food ready? When? I am starving! Can we eat already?” But sometimes I think I am getting the hang of it. F knows she cannot touch my knife and most of the time she doesn’t.  She wants to take part in our daily activities and she loves to help us cook. She’s taking the tasks I give her super seriously and it’s pretty cute to see her so exited about making her own food.  I won’t let her cut stuff just yet, but she can stand on a chair next to the oven and stir vegetables in a pan. She’s often very close to hot pans and steaming water, but so far she hasn’t burnt herself. Once I let her cut some vegetables but that almost gave me a heart attack. I think she needs to learn handling knifes as soon as possible, but until I am ready for that, we’re concentrating on kneading stuff. Especially seitan sausages. All the food we make at home together is vegan food. Although our daughter is not vegan. Compared to me and P, she is growing up very differently. We live in a city, not a village, the food we eat never comes fresh from a farm. The only farms F ever sees are those idealized little fantasy farms in some of her books. I grew up in a village with lots of farmers around me. My grandparents were farmers, too. Many people told me how they saw someone kill and slaughter an animal when they were kids. They even helped to prepare food made from these animals. This often comes up when people argue that killing animals for food is natural. They say that it is important for children to see where their food comes from and I agree. Food production is very often tied to exploitation of both human and non-human animals. We shouldn’t hide that from our children. But what do we do with it? Do we have to agree with it? Do we have to accept it and just shrug our shoulders? Or shouldn’t we teach our child that exploitation is wrong and that we’re not always powerless about it? My daughter knows how “animal based” sausages are made and what the main ingredient in Haribo gummy bears is. But I am also trying to teach her that it doesn’t have to be like this. That we can change things by doing them just a little bit differently. That you can, for example, eat a sausage or a handful of gummy bears without having to accept that it is “normal” to base those foods on dead animals. And still we are not doing everything right. We are not living a perfect vegan life here. We buy stuff and that stuff is way too often based on exploitation. F is not always able to change things because we make other decisions for her. We agreed to raise F vegetarian and not vegan. We’re taking part in animal exploitation. Right now she’s just accepting things as they are. She’s still so small that she’ll base her decisions on what we tell her. She doesn’t eat meat and isn’t tempted to try it. But she does eat dairy although she knows where it comes from. Her father eats these foods too, so of course it’s okay for her. Although she also knows what I think about cow’s milk or cheese. Some people say this is an easy decision. If you want the best for your family, they should all go vegan. Maybe some would even soay I am not a “real” vegan because we have dairy in our house. I don’t think it is so easy though. For this family parenting and living together with others in a household is based on compromises.When I met my partner ages ago I was a vegetarian. He was a meat eater. I accepted his way of life, he accepted mine. When I went vegan years later, P did not judge me, he supported me the best way he could. When I got pregnant it suddenly felt difficult to have all these different lifestyles under one roof. We talked about how to raise our child, and what kind of food to cook. P knew I would not be able or willing to cook meat. So we settled on compromises. P went vegetarian. His compromise. My compromise: raising the child vegetarian, not vegan. At least not in the long run. At least not, if it wasn’t really doable. In the short run our daughter spent her first year as a vegan. It was really easy, she was with us all day, we cooked for her and there were no animal products in her life. But I knew this would change soon.  I am not a stay at home mother, I never wanted to be one. We don’t live in a very vegan friendly environment, at least not when it comes to childcare. Childcare is the main reason why F is not a vegan. Excuses, excuses, you say. Maybe. Being vegan all by myself is easy. But having a family, a job, and other things to do or to decide together often makes these things difficult. We always agreed on sending F to childcare once she would turn one. At that time it was really hard to find something, so there wasn’t much room for being picky. Our applications for a public daycare space was tuned down, so we looked at childminders. Most of them would serve meat almost every day and I felt very queasy about it. I knew I’d have to bring up the food subject. I was sure I would not be able to tolerate having my child eat meat. But I was willing to make some compromises, the compromises we had agree on before.  The person who finally became our childminder served meat only once a week.  She instantly suggested to make vegetarian food for F on that day. That was more than I had hoped for and I felt grateful. The childminder cooked her own food and fed the kids three times a day. I didn’t want to ask about vegan food and I didn’t. I thought I had already been lucky. And that is how our daughter became a vegetarian. Two years later we applied for a public kindergarten spot. We didn’t get a spot at the daycare we wanted, but we got a spot. I was feeling queasy again. We asked about the food and it tuned out they had a caterer who served meat once per week. The teachers told us to talk to the caterer, maybe they could provide an alternative? They had alternatives for allergy kids and muslims, too. But apparently being vegetarian doesn’t entitle you for an alternative meal. When they refused to provide for our  daughter, the kindergarten staff had no objections to homecooked alternatives. And I was willing to provide them. Once a week, I could do that. F is now the only vegetarian kid in a daycare with about 160 to 180 children. I admit that I would feel overwhelmed if I had to  provide all of her daycare meals. It’s a relief that she gets fed at daycare. The caterer, although stubborn, is a relief, too. I’ve seen other kindergarten menus, with lots of meat. I know we can always do so much better, it’s not perfect, sure. But it’s a start. And F, unlike many of her friends, knows where her food comes from and what’s it made of. I am trying to explain where eggs and milk come from and why I decided not to eat them, too. For now I am trying to make it about personal decisions although I don’t see veganism that way. If we were a family of vegans I probably could (or would) draw clear borders. Make it about them vs. us. But since we’re not I cannot make it that easy. And maybe that is a good thing, because things are never that easy. Well, you are probably still waiting for that recipe! This is another one F and I made together. It’s currywurst, a popular German fast food and maybe you have heard of it. I’ve made it before, you can find my basic recipe of the blog. It’s a fried sausage (bratwurst) smothered in a sauce that is made from ketchup, spices, and curry powder. For this new version I increased the amount of spices, starting with the sausage itself. And I made the sauce a little bit more interesting by using mango puree. (You can find that at Asian grocery stores.) The sausages can be made spicy or mild, depending on your preferences. For a milder version simply use mild smoked paprika powder instead of the chipotle plus a mild curry powder. If you feel that these don’t have enough spice, use one tablespoon of chipotle and reduce the amount of paprika powder to one teaspoon. Also use hot curry powder and double the amount. Note: This recipe calls for mushroom powder. I got the idea to use dried mushrooms from Vegan Yack Attack’s awesome currywurst recipe. The idea to pulverise them is courtesy of Celine Steen who uses mushroom powder in her latest cookbooks. Print Spicy Curry Sausages with Mango Curry Sauce IngredientsFor the currywurst 144 g (1 cup) gluten powder (vital wheat gluten) 16 g (4 tablespoons) nutritional yeast 1 tablespoon mushroom powder* 1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika 1 teaspoon garam masala 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon granulated onion 1 teaspoon chipotle powder 1 teaspoon hot or mild curry powder 1/­­4 teaspoon turmeric 300 ml (1 1/­­4 cups) water 2 tablespoons oil 2 tablespoons tomato paste For the mango curry sauce 80 ml (1/­­3 cup) ketchup 160 ml (2/­­3 cup) mango puree 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 tablespoon hot sauce 2 teaspoons curry powder, hot or mild 1 teaspoon avage nectar 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar) oil for frying InstructionsCombine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together water, oil, and tomato paste and add to dry mix. Knead well until everything is combined. Have four pieces of parchment paper and for pieces of aluminium foil ready. (About 38 x 21 cm or 15 x 8.3 inch) Divide the batter into four pieces and roll each piece into a 15 cm ( 6 inch) long log. Wrap in parchment and twist the edges, then wrap in foil. Place a steamer basket in a large pot and add water. Bring to a boil and add sausages. Reduce the heat so that the water is simmering and steam the sausges for 50 minutes. Remove and let cool in their packaging. Let the sausages sit in the fridge over night to improve flavour and texture. When ready to serve, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pan and cut the sausages into small pieces. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until crispy. Serve with sauce and fries. Notes*For the mushroom powder simply place one ounce of dried porcini mushrooms in a coffee grinder and pulverise. Store leftovers in a glass jar and use in soups and sauces. 3.1 http:/­­/­­www.seitanismymotor.com/­­2015/­­04/­­spicy-currywurst-with-mango-curry-sauce/­­ Copyright (C)2015 All rights reserved. www.seitanismymotor.com Spicy Currywurst with Mango Curry Sauce is a post from: seitan is my motor

Cinnamon Buns with a Chestnut Swirl

April 5 2015 seitan is my motor 

Cinnamon Buns with a Chestnut SwirlFor me there is almost nothing better than a quiet Sunday morning with a cup of espresso and a yeast based treat. These things are magical and great pick me ups for morning grouches like me. Yeasted pastries and sweet breads are a cosy and comforting way to celebrate a holiday as well. In Germany they are an essential part of Easter. Here you can find all kinds of stuffed or plain yeast braids or bunny shaped rolls and even yeast based easter baskets with a boiled egg in the middle. For many people the soft and sweet dough is a perfect comfort food and for others yeasted baked goods are just much easier to make than a large cream or frosting based cake. Well, if you are one of those people who say that baking with yeast is complicated, get over it. It really just does take some practice and I promise you will get the hang of it. Just start. My first rolls looked and tasted like cobblestones and now look at this. In Germany cinnamon buns are not very common. We like to stuff our rolls and buns with poppy seeds, pudding, or nuts instead. This diversity and a couple of small tins of chestnut spread in our pantry made my mind wander to a chestnut and cinnamon filling for these little Easter treats. Since chestnut spread is mostly sugar, it does caramelise very nicely during baking and also makes for a wonderfully sticky filling. The most widely available chestnut spread is Faugier brand Cr?me de Marrons, which I used. (Okay, I bought it in France but I can get it at a department store in my town, too.) But you can also make your own, there are a couple of recipes online. For a simple alternative use a regular cinnamon bun filling  and leave out the chestnut spread. (Another idea is to substitute apple butter.) If you look at the preparation method for this recipe you will find that I have already included such a filling. So technically these could be called “double stuffed”. All this folding might look complicated to you, but it will improve the texture and make the buns a bit flakier. Of course you can skip that step and sprinkle the sugar and spice mixture right on top of the chestnut spread. Lots of variation possible here, so you can make the recipe work for you.     Print Cinnamon Buns with a Chestnut Swirl IngredientsFor the dough 250 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon instant yeast 50 g (1/­­4 cup) sugar 1/­­4 teaspoon salt 60 ml (1/­­4 cup) vegetable oil 150 ml (1/­­2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) luke warm water For the filling 2 tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/­­2 teaspoon cardamom 200 g (7 oz) chestnut spread InstructionsTo make the dough combine flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in a bowl and mix well. Add oil and water. Knead dough well for about 5-7 minutes. Cover and let rest for 1 hour. Place on a lightly floured working surface and knead for one minute or so. Roll into a 40 x 30 cm (15.7 x 11.8 inches) rectangle. Combine sugar and spices and sprinkle on top of the dough. Fold the dough as if you wanted to fit it into an envelope: Fold the short side over so that you have a rectangle half the size but still the same shape. Then fold it over again to quarter the size. Roll the dough into a 40 x 30 cm (15.7 x 11.8 inches) rectangle again. Spread the chestnut spread on top and roll the dough into a log, starting with the long side. Grease a 12 tin muffin pan and preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). (I used a square tin pan but a regular one with round indentions works just as well.) Cut the dough into 12 equally sized rolls and place them in the tins. Cover with a greased piece of plastic or with a damp kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, let rest for five minutes, then remove from the pan and let cool completely before serving. (If they are still a touch warm that is okay, too.) NotesAll your ingredients should have room temperature. (The water should be luke warm.) Let your dough rise in a warm place. If your flat is cold, the dough might take longer to rise. (For your first rise, you can also put the dough in the oven. No temperature setting, just the light switched on. 3.1 http:/­­/­­www.seitanismymotor.com/­­2015/­­04/­­cinnamon-buns-with-a-chestnut-swirl/­­ Copyright (C)2015 All rights reserved. www.seitanismymotor.com     Cinnamon Buns with a Chestnut Swirl is a post from: seitan is my motor

Vegan Fl?deboller (Soft Marshmallow Treats)

March 27 2015 seitan is my motor 

Vegan Fl?deboller (Soft Marshmallow Treats)Since my last post I have been experimenting a lot with turning chickpea brine into different kinds of egg white based things. All these years there has been a cheap and easy alternative to eggs and egg replacers and most of us didn’t know about it. I still think this is the most amazing food and baking related thing I ever heard about. So while I was determined to come up with a vegan macaron recipe, a couple of my German readers asked for a recipe for schokokuesse (chocolate kisses). And yes, why not? A schokokuss is a pile of marshmallow fluff or soft (unbaked) meringue that sits on a thin wafer and is covered in chocolate. They are similar to mallomars, but taller, looking like a bowler hat without the rim. In Denmark a very similar treat is called fl?deboller (cream buns). The meringue or marshmallow fluff is piped onto a cookie or a disk of marzipan and then covered in chocolate. In Germany schokokuesse are very popular for children’s birthday parties, where they are used for eating contests: The kids are not allowed to use their hands while eating a schokokuss and the person who eats the fastest wins. The best part of this being the kid’s pictures, of course. If you have never had a schokokuss or a fl?debolle I must warn you though. When I ate one yesterday I was remembered how sweet and rich they are. Even though I have a massive sweet tooth I can’t eat more than one at a time. That’s why I decided to keep the yield reasonable here. The recipe makes about 7-8 schokokuesse, which can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a maximum of two days. Although these meringue treats are usually made with gelatin, I based my recipe on a version that did not call for a gelling agent. It is easier this way but since I was working with chickpea brine instead of egg whites, the result wasn’t as stiff and mousse like as the omni version. They do keep their shape perfectly but the texture of these vegan schokokuesse is a bit softer. It’s like whipped cream that is not perfectly stiff yet. To me it was close enough though, especially because they taste exactly like an egg white and gelatin based version – as far as I can remember. And F can confirm that these treats are perfect for any kind of birthday party eating contest: “Mum, if you eat this, the filling squeezes out and it’s all over your face!” Yup, quite true.    A couple of notes: Usually schokokuesse are made with thin round wafers. I didn’t have those on hand, so I used baking wafers with a diameter of 50 mm. If you cannot find those, you can use any kind of thin wafer or cookie as an alternative. This recipe uses hot sugar syrup that is poured into the chickpea meringue. Use heatproof equipment (bowl and whisk attachments) and work very carefully so that you don’t burn yourself. I used a handheld mixer for this but if you have a stand mixer, go for it, it’s probably better. Print Vegan Fl?deboller (Soft Marshmallow Treats) 7-8 marshmallow treats Ingredients60 ml (1/­­4 cup) chickpea brine from a can 1/­­4 teaspoon guar gum 1/­­8 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1/­­2 teaspoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/­­8 teaspoon ground vanilla 125 g (1/­­2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) sugar 1 tablespoon water 7-8 baking wafers or thin round cookies 150 g (5.3 oz) dark chocolate 1 tablespoon refined coconut oil InstructionsTo make the filling, combine chickpea brine and guar gum in a tall and narrow heatproof bowl and whip with a handheld blender for 2 minutes. Add cream of tartar or lemon juice and vanilla and whip for another 5 minutes or until them mixture is very stiff. Set aside. Combine sugar and water in a small pot and slowly bring to a boil, while stirring constantly. Cook into a syrup over high heat for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat Briefly whip the chickpea mixture up again. Now carefully pour the hot sugar syrup in while still whipping. Make sure your bowl is very steady and take care not to burn yourself. (If you have a stand mixer its probably better for this step than a handheld one.) Whip until everything is well combined. Place 7-8 baking wafers or thin cookies (about 50 mm in diameter) on a piece of parchment paper. Scoop the meringue mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe a generous amount on top of a wafer. (see picture) To make the chocolate coating, finely chop the chocolate. Combine with the coconut oil and melt in a water bath. Use a spoon to pour the chocolate over the marshmallow treats. Make sure not to miss a spot. Let rest for 5 minutes then use a dipping fork or a very thin spatula to transfer to a cookie rack. Move every 10 minutes or so so that the chocolate doesnt stick to the rack. Let dry completely.3.1 http:/­­/­­www.seitanismymotor.com/­­2015/­­03/­­vegan-floedeboller-schokokuesse/­­ Copyright (C)2015 All rights reserved. www.seitanismymotor.com P.S. Charis from Floral Frosting came up with an amazing looking recipe for vegan macarons. Check it out here! Vegan Fl?deboller (Soft Marshmallow Treats) is a post from: seitan is my motor

White Chocolate Lemon Tartelettes

March 12 2015 seitan is my motor 

White Chocolate Lemon TartelettesI made a resolution to post at least twice a week, but this resolution was crushed instantly when F woke up with a temperature of 40°C (104°F) a while ago. And then some random virus infection knocked her out for two weeks. At first she was fine. She’s always been one of those kids who don’t mind fever. She did enjoy being at home and we spent a lot of our time together cooking. But then one day I asked her if she wanted pancakes and if she’d like to prepare them. She didn’t. Instead her energy levels dropped and she needed a lot of rest. She spent over a week sleeping a lot and all she was eating were three spoonfuls of yoghurt per day. It’s interesting how different we react to illness. When I get sick I try to ignore it, grab a pain killer and some tissues and do business as usual. I want to function alright. Sometimes it works, but a sinus infection or the flu will force me to bed just like anybody else. F intuitively did the right thing. She slept a lot and refused to eat. That last part drove me crazy because she’s usually a pretty decent eater. She got checked up at the doctor’s office a couple of times and the virus was accompanied by a bronchitis. I am not very good at being patient and I was dreaming of a shot or some super pill that would make my kid act normal again. I hated sitting at home and I wanted to go back to our regular schedule. Of course a couple of days later my vegan superpowers (just kidding) left me and I got the same bug. At least we were sharing our misery now. I think I learned a lot during these two weeks. Not for the first time I had another lesson in parents don’t know best. Since a fever usually never lasts longer than 3-5 days with F I was pretty sure that she had to be seriously ill. I rolled my eyes when the doctor told my husband that all we could do was wait. They see these infections every day and even a hacking pertussis imitation cough won’t make them blink.  I couldn’t stand F refusing to eat day in day out. I didn’t really trust her body. But my child is tough and she knows what is best for her. Eventually the fever went away and she was feeling better. I realised this when I opened a cookbook at the table and she pointed out some brownies. She told me we had to make them. The next day we sent her back to kindergarten where she ate two servings of pasta for lunch. And when she came home, she ate two large squares of the brownies I had made for her. She was back to her old self. A while ago we also made some white chocolate and lemon tartelettes together. Yes, the ones I told you about. But while we were stuck in our flat trying to beat that bug, you probably ate all of that chocolate spread I told you not to eat. Well, that’s okay. I don’t blame you. Because while we made these tartelettes we had a similar problem.  F asked me about a hundred times: “Can I eat some now?” Because we have a lot on common: We are very impatient and we like to eat dessert.   Print White Chocolate Lemon Tartelettes For these vegan white chocolate and lemon tartelettes you wont need an oven. All you need is a little patience to let them set in the fridge. IngredientsFor the crust 200 g (7 oz) craham crackers or shortbread cookies 2 tablespoons oil For the filling 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 4 tablespoons water 6 tablespoons oat cream or coconut milk, divided 6 tablespoons sugar 1/­­2 teaspoon agar agar powder 2 teaspoons cornstarch For the topping 225 g (8 oz) white chocolate spread InstructionsHave 6 ramekins ready, about 9 cm in diameter. To make the crust, combine crackers or cookies and oil in a food processor. Process until coarsely cround. Divide between the ramekins and press firmly into the bottom. To make the filling, combine lemon juice, water, 4 tablespoons of oat cream and agar agar in a small saucepan. Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of cream with the cornstarch and stir until dissolved. Bring the lemon mixture to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Add starch mixture and cook for another minute. Pour into the ramekins. To make the topping, place the spread in a small heat resistant bowl and melt over a water bath. Pour over the filling and place the ramekins in the fridge, until the tartelettes have set. Remove from fridge about 1 hour before serving. 3.1 http:/­­/­­www.seitanismymotor.com/­­2015/­­03/­­white-chocolate-lemon-tartelettes/­­ Copyright (C)2015 All rights reserved. www.seitanismymotor.com White Chocolate Lemon Tartelettes is a post from: seitan is my motor

Maultaschen with Spinach and Smoked Tofu

February 19 2015 seitan is my motor 

On Ash Wednesday Lent started. A long time ago that ment Catholics were advised to pray a lot, repent and give alms. It also ment to reduce or eschew the consumption of certain foods, for example meat. It seems that some people had clever ways to opt out of the meat abandonment though. They simply wrapped it in a piece of dough and pretended it didn’t happen. At least that is one of the food legends surrounding Maultaschen, the German version of ravioli. I grew up Catholic but this was more a tradition than a belief and we never observed Lent. But Maultaschen are delicious, no matter what, especially if they are meat free and nobody has to cheat. For this recipe you just have to hop over to All About Vegan Food, where you can find my contribution to their wonderful website.  You should also have a look at their Instagram feed or their facebook page for lots of vegan food inspiration. If you love Maultaschen but are not so much into smoked tofu, you can also try out my tempeh version here. Maultaschen with Spinach and Smoked Tofu is a post from: seitan is my motor

Product Review: Will’S Vegan Shoes

February 9 2015 seitan is my motor 

Product Review: Will’S Vegan Shoes You wanna know what’s really difficult about a vegan lifestyle? Finding decent vegan shoes, is my answer. I want a shoe that looks good, is affordable, doesn’t fall apart after two weeks, and is ethically made. Until recently it was very difficult for me to find footwear which did fit all those criteria. Sure, there are lots of companies selling vegan shoes. But usually those are too expensive for me or I don’t like the model. Or both. In the past I had to make a lot of compromises when it came to shoes. Often these compromises were bad. (I bought shoes that were vegan but not ethically produced, for example.) Last year when I spent another evening searching the internet for new shoe models, I stumbled across Will’s Vegan Shoes, a UK based company, that sells both shoes and accessories, such as belts and wallets. I hardly could believe my eyes when I browsed their website because not only did I like the majority of their models, they also weren’t too expensive for me. Another great thing is that they ship worldwide and you can return and exchange their shoes for free. The main materials used for these shoes are breathable and water resistant microfibres. On the website it says their products are “animal and human friendly” but that’s almost all the information they provide regarding production processes. Their shoes are made in Europe “while workers are paid in accordance with European guidelines”. But that can mean all kinds of things and isn’t necessarily a guarantee for decent wages and working conditions. To be fair, I know that production processes in retail are usually quite complicated and it’s hard, often impossible, to get reliable information about them from most companies. So it’s already great to know these shoes arent made in some Asian sweatshop. After a short internet search I learned that Will’s are made in Portugal, “where people work in decent, safe conditions and are paid a fair wage”. Well, I took the company’s word for this and ordered their shoes. Three pairs to be exact. At that time the shoes I chose were only available for preorder and I had to wait for them. Three to four weeks. I am very impatient and that was pretty hard! But it was also worth it. When my shoes arrived they came in white shoe boxes, wrapped in colourful wrapping tissue. The first model I unwrapped were these black Chelsea boots which I’ve been wearing quite a lot since I got them. Their shape and cut is great, I do love that they are not as slim shaped some other Chelsea boots I tried before. Still, their fit is a bit narrow for my wide feet when worn with thick socks or extra insoles. (But I don’t see a fault with the shoes, I have had this problem before and I could have ordered a larger size to compare.) Thankfully the winter has been mild so far and I’ve been using regular socks without getting cold feet. (And to be honest, during really cold weather I have hiking shoes that will definitely keep me warm.) Last winter I found some great knee lenght boots that I had to return after only a couple of months. They started to break apart. (I bought them from a large retail company, I am pretty sure they were not ethically produced and considering their poor quality, they turned out way too expensive.) I was disappointed and sure I could never replace them. But I was wrong. And I cannot tell you how happy I am about this. These brown boots shown above are exactly what I was looking for! When it comes to shape and cut, they are very similar to my Chelsea boots. But instead of side gussets, they have a zipper and an adjustable strap at the the calves. Even though I have the same thick sock problem with them they do fit my calves, which is not a given. Often I cannot squeeze my legs into knee lenght boots. So I am really exited about these shoes. The third pair I got were black heeled shoes, also shown above. I hardly wear heeled shoes and if I do, I won’t last long. If you see someone hobbling and jumping on the sidewalk, that’s usually me wearing heels. But not in these shoes. They are very comfortable and have an extra soft and quite thick insole that feels like a cushion. The heel itself is quite broad and supportive. I also think the large zipper on the side is a nice detail. My review is a bit late (I wanted to actually try these shoes out and wear them a couple of times) and both the heeled shoes and the knee length boots are sold out right now in most sizes, but the company has many new models in stock, which you should check out! I am very pleased with the look and the quality of my choices and they have a good price. (I think paying about 90 – 100 EUR for a pair of vegan shoes made in the EU is pretty fair.) I had intended to keep two out of three pair. But in the end I kept them all because I think they will last a while. I don’t like to buy new stuff each season, I rather have good quality items that last more than one summer, and I think these shoes fit the bill, but I’ll keep you updated. Since I had them shipped to Germany from the UK, I paid 11.48 EUR for shipping (the fee seems to be dependent on how much your order weighs)  but got a 3.82 EUR discount, because shipping for the first item was free. (I subscribed to their newsletter and got a voucher.) I purchased all of these shoes with my own money and was not paid or compensated by Will’s Vegan Shoes in any way to write this review. I wrote it because I like their products and think this company is worth supporting. Product Review: Will’S Vegan Shoes is a post from: seitan is my motor

Cookbook Review: The Lotus and the Artichoke Mexico

January 30 2015 seitan is my motor 

Cookbook Review: The Lotus and the Artichoke MexicoWhenever I go on vacation I try to learn something about the local cuisine. Often there is a lack of authentic vegan food though. Most of the time that means I impulse buy a cookbook, I write down ideas, I search the internet, I veganise one or two recipes. Then I move on because that vacation was only for a week and what could you possibly learn in a week? But what if it was possible to spend more time in a certain spot, what if there was a chance to really get to know both the people and their food? What if you have the time to create your own vegan versions of the food you see around you? That is exactly what Justin P. Moore did with his second book. “The Lotus and the Artichoke ?Mexico!” is about a three month trip the author and his family made to Mexico. In the introduction he talks about how easy it was to find vegan food there. He also got to know chefs  and hosts who taught him a lot about the local cuisine. He then developed his own recipes inspired by the local cuisine and put them all together in his new book on Mexican cooking. The book is small and light and every recipe goes with a picture. Some of them were familiar to  me because I already own Terry Hope Romero’s Vegan Latina book, but that way I can get a better understanding of this kind of food and learn about alternative preparation methods. All of the recipes I tried were simple and delicious. Because of the appetising pictures it was very hard to decide what to make. For this review I had to stop somewhere but I am not putting this book down anytime soon. The recipes are flexible and the author offers many ingredient alternatives and substitutions. I also like Justin’s attitude towards cooking. He doesn’t see it as an exact science and encourages his readers to experiment. I often found the ingredient lists a bit confusing though. Ingredients are not always listed in the order they are used. That can sometimes be uncomfortable, you have to go back to the book and find the ingredient you need to use next. 1. Mango-Limetten-Ceviche (Mango Lime Ceviche): I have to admit I was very sceptical about this recipe at first. I have never had ceviche before and had no idea what to expect. I liked the way the the tofu was prepared and that’s why I made it. You sauté it with onions, garlic, ginger, anc chili and that is one of my favourite ways to prepare tofu. But then there were other ingredients like mango and radicchio and I honestly couldn’t imagine I would like that. Sweet and bitter and savoury? No, thank you. I made it anyway and I am so glad I did. This was the first recipe I tried and that was the one that won me over. There’s only a little radicchio and the tofu mango combination worked really well for me.  2. Caldo Tlalpe?o: This soup reminded me of Hungarian goulash soup. It’s made with TVP but the author suggests alternatives such as smoked tofu or seitan. I used the TVP and the soup came out very thick and chunky, which I liked a lot. It was a quick, tasty and comforting meal. 3. Pizza de Papas: This pizza is made by frying the topping before placing it on the pizza and I think that’s what makes this  really special: crispy, aromatic, and spicy. We loved this a lot. 4. Tacos de Lentejas: The original version of this calls both for lentils and potatoes. I was out of potatoes so I used the suggested cauliflower as a substitute. I think the potato version is probably amazing, but the cauliflower version was, too! Like everything else this was delicious and filling. I am fortunate to have access to great organic wheat tortillas which taste like actual food, but if you can’t find decent tortillas Justin also has recipes both for flour and corn tortillas. 5. Mexican Magic Rice: Rice, seitan, and olives, for me the perfect comfort food. I’m repeating myself, I don’t know what else to say. This recipe was easy to make and delicious. It can be made ahead and then you can keep it in the fridge, take servings to work, eat its leftovers for lunch, etc.  6. Chimichurri Tofu: This was the only recipe that didn’t work for me. First of all the instructions didn’t seem very clear. It says to preheat the oven but doesn’t mention where to put the tofu. I used a baking dish but maybe a baking sheet would have been better? I also didn’t have enough sauce. The recipe calls for a bunch of parsley, which is usually about 50 g where I live. Next time I’d double it because it simply didn’t make enough for me. You are supposed to brush the tofu before and while baking. That didn’t work out  because I had used up everything the first time around. And that was even though I had reduced the amount of tofu from 400 g to 300 g. I also didn’t like the preparation method because most of the hearbs looked pretty dark and wilted to me after baking. (But, mind you, that was only because I had already used up the sauce.) The sauce itself is good and I would probably make this again with a couple of changes. Either I would double the amount of sauce or I would  pre-bake the tofu and also brush it wish some soy sauce. I would only add the sauce at the end of the cooking time, maybe 10 minutes before the tofu is done baking. Sometimes things go wrong and that shouldn’t reflect badly on this cookbook because I think it is an inspiring book full of interesting and delicious recipes. They call for fresh vegetables and herbs, are easy to prepare and don’t take super long to prepare. I am very happy that this book is now a part of my cookbook shelf and I am looking forward to making more amazing recipes from it. The Lotus and the Artichoke ?Mexico! is a new vegan cookbook by Justin P Moore. I reviewed the German version but the English version is available, too. Justin has another cookbook out, which you can check it out here. Don’t forget to browse through the recipe section on Justin’s page, where he features many of his awesome international recipes. I got my review copy for free from the publisher Ventil Verlag.   Cookbook Review: The Lotus and the Artichoke Mexico is a post from: seitan is my motor

Savoury Buckwheat Pancakes with Roasted Sunchokes and Chickpeas

January 13 2015 seitan is my motor 

Savoury Buckwheat Pancakes with Roasted Sunchokes and Chickpeas Recently a fellow German blogger asked me to do a little interview. One of the questions was: “Where do you get the inspiration for your recipes?” I had to think quite a while before answering. Most of the time my inspiration comes out of nowhere. I have a certain ingredient in mind and then I start thinking about what to make from that ingredient and how to serve it. I think about new flavour combinations, colours, and themes. But for this recipe the first inspiration did not come from my head, it came from my daughter. She loves us to read her books and she listens to audio plays. Among her favourite stories are Pettson and Findus. Findus, the cat, loves pancakes and Pettson, the old man Findus lives with, makes them for him all the time. In one of the books there is a picture about how exactly they are made: in a cast iron pan with about six to eight indentations. Once F saw this, she wanted pancakes for breakfast every morning. But she wouldn’t let me make them alone. She wanted to help and she had very precise thoughts about how they should look like. “First”, she told me “we need maaaaany ingredients. And then we need to stir them.” So we added all of the ingredients to a bowl and F stirred. Then she told me I was not allowed to make large pancakes. “Findus only eats small pancakes.” And to make sure I wouldn’t cheat, she dragged a chair in front of the stove and climbed up to check. This is how I cook in my kitchen these days, people! I have fierce competition and supervision. After all these pancake mornings I thought about changing things up a bit. I tried to think about pancakes in a different context and with warm, wintery ingredients. Buckwheat flour came to my mind first, because of its quite unique rustic and earthy flavour. In my opinion it’s best highlighted in savoury foods so I wanted to make sugar-free pancakes. then I thought about different meal types. If we can have pancakes for breakfast, why not for lunch as well? And then complementing flavours came to my mind, which would have to be quite wintery as well. Sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes) are a wonderful and aromatic winter vegetable. They taste sweet, earthy, and nutty at the same time and to enhance all these flavours, they should be roasted. The pancake recipe was adapted from this sweet version and it was quite easy to veganise. There’s no need for an egg replacer but since the recipe calls both for an egg and yoghurt, I added some blended chickpeas into the batter to make up for it. Both the pancakes and the vegetables are seasoned with fresh ginger, which makes the dish a little bit hot and you can leave it out if you are serving this to kids (or other people) who are sensitive to heat. Savoury Buckwheat Pancakes with Roasted Sunchokes and Chickpeas (yields 8 pancakes) For the pancakes: 180 g (1 1/­­2 cups) buckwheat flour 1 tablespoon cornstarch 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/­­2 teaspoon salt, or to taste 2 teaspoons grated ginger 2 cloves garlic, grated 360 ml (1 1/­­2 cups) water 90 g (1/­­2 cup) canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained oil for frying Instructions: Place flour, starch, baking powder, salt, ginger, and garlic in a bowl and mix well. Combine water and chickpeas in a blender and purée until smooth. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until the batter is smooth. Preheat a large pan and brush with oil. Use a serving tablespoon and place about 1 1/­­2 – 2 tablespoons of batter in the pan. I usually cook three pancakes at once. Cook until the pancake is lightly browned and flip around. You can keep these warm in the oven until ready to serve or you can reheat them in a toaster. For the roasted sunchokes: 300 g (10.6 oz or 2 cups cut pieces) sunchokes, peeled and cut into cubes (1 cm or 1/­­2 inch) 90 g (1/­­2 cup) canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained 1 tablespoon oil 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1/­­2 tablespoon liquid smoke 2 teaspoons grated ginger 2 cloves garlic, grated salt and pepper to taste Instructions: Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Combine all ingredients in a small oven save dish and mix well. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the sunchokes are soft. stir from time to time and season with salt and pepper once the vegetables are done. Serve over pancakes with a salad on the side. Savoury Buckwheat Pancakes with Roasted Sunchokes and Chickpeas is a post from: seitan is my motor

Stollen Bites

December 14 2014 seitan is my motor 

Stollen BitesLast week, after I published my holiday baking ebook, we went on vacation to Malta. It was an amazing trip and most of all it was warm and sunny. (A blog post about that is coming up later this week, I promise!) I forgot my phone, and that meant although I had access to the internet, I didn’t have access to my email account passwords, etc. When we returned I was completely overwhelemd by all the positive feedback for my ebook. Thank you everyone who downloaded it, left a comment or wrote me an email! I really appreciate all your feedback. You guys are the best! I hope you will enjoy the recipes. When I translated the zine into German yesterday, I realised there were some unclear instructions in two or three of the recipes. I am pretty sure you’ll figure it out anyway, but I uploaded a corrected version, too. Now we are back in Germany and as soon as I saw they grey skies outside, I was back in baking mood! In Germany is one of the most traditional baking items during holiday season. It’s a cake made from a very rich yeast dough and it’s stuffed with raisins, succade, and nuts. Usually it is made from one part fat (traditionally butter is used, some recipes also contain lard) and two parts flour and as little liquid as possible. It has a very dense texture but it also keeps for weeks, sometimes even months if stored properly. That’s because of the high fat content and the habit to brush it with tons of butter after baking. I made a whole loaf of stollen last year. (I made it with cranberries and it’s basically the same recipe used for the stollen bites.) But even though it keeps well, we tend to get tired of eating stollen after a couple of days. A whole loaf is great if you have a bigger family to feed! So I came up with single serving mini stollen. They can be eaten fresh and still warm, but if you want to experience the traditional texture, you should wrap them in plastic foil and let them sit for 2-3 days. My grandmother used to make stollen every year. She used rum to soak the raisins in and lots of succade. I think both flavours are essential to a stollen, that’s how our stollen always tasted. But when I was a kid I also picked out all of the succade pieces before eating my slice of stollen. And I still do that. It is too bitter for me. Since P and F also don’t seem to like it, I tried to preserve the flavour it adds without actually using succade. I used lemon flavoured olive oil and it worked out quite well. If you like succade and have acces to it, you can use regular canola oil instead of the lemon flavoured oil and replace one or two tablespoons of raisins with succade or chopped, candied lemon peel. Stollen Bites (yield: 11 bites) adapted from this recipe Ingredients: 300 g (2 1/­­2 cups) all-purpose flour 50 g (1/­­4 cup) sugar 1 1/­­2 teaspoons instant dry yeast 100 ml (7 tablespoons) lukewarm soy milk 1/­­4 teaspoon salt 1/­­8 teaspoon ground vanilla 6 tablespoons canola oil 2 tablespoons lemon scented vegetable oil 50 g (1/­­2 cup) sliced almonds 100 g (2/­­3 cup) raisins 60 ml (1/­­4 cup) white rum powdered sugar and melted refined coconut oil or margarine Method: Mix flour, sugar, and yeast in a bowl. Add soy milk, salt, vanilla, oils, and sliced almonds. Knead well. The dough will be form but greasy. Cover and let rest in a warm place for 1 – 1 1/­­2 hours. The dough won’t rise much. Combine raisins and rum and let sit while the dough is resting. Drain the raisins and knead into the dough. Place on a floured working surface. Roll into a square, about 1 inch thick. I used a rectangular cookie cutter (7 x 4.5 cm or 2.8 x 1.8 inch) to cut the dough into 11 equally sized pieces, but you can use a knife, too. Cut into 10 pieces of the size mentioned before and use the remaining dough to shape into a 11th piece. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise for 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F). Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and immediately brush with melted oil or margarine and dust with powdered sugar. Serve once cooled or wrap in plastic and store in a cool place. Stollen Bites is a post from: seitan is my motor

Zuckerguss Zine – Free Vegan Holiday Baking Ebook

December 4 2014 seitan is my motor 

Zuckerguss Zine – Free Vegan Holiday Baking Ebook  For us Christmas season starts two or three days before Christmas. Before that we don’t bother with Christmas at all. We know we’re going to be welcomed in perfectly decorated houses and we just have to fall into line with our families’ schedules. We know what’s going to happen and when. There’s not much to be done for us. Except for baking. My family doesn’t bake much and even though my father makes vegan meals during the holidays he leaves the vegan baking to me. Our other relatives also don’t do much vegan baking. So every year before we travel all over Germany I spend the last few days in the kitchen. It’s messy and chaotic and I usually do five things at a time. But in the end I can leave with a suitcase full of homemade treats to share with family and friends. I am thankful for the fact that the people I care about love my food. I know vegans who have a hard time during the holidays and it’s sad to hear that someone refuses your cookie just because you didn’t use butter. I have made those experiences too, but most of the time people go out of their way to whip up a vegan treat for me. And if they can’t they ask about recipes and baking tips. It’s a great way to break the ice and start a conversation about veganism. I try to do the best I can when baking and I try to give out samples to as many people as possible. I know it’s only a little start but I think it’s great when I can convince someone that baking without eggs and butter is not rocket science and that vegan cookies taste as good as every other cookie. This year I thought I’d hand out some recipes with my treats. Of course everything got a little out of hand and as a result I am exited to share my first ebook with you. Zuckerguss means sugar glaze. It’s what makes every cookie even sweeter and more beautiful. For me, it’s the best part about Christmas baking. It makes me happy like maintaining this blog makes me happy. So this book is not only for people who ask me about recipes, it’s also a big “Thank you!” for everyone who reads my blog, takes the time to comment on my entries, and tries out my recipes. I really do appreciate the time you spend here and it always makes me happy to hear back from people from all over Europe, Northern and even South America. The ebook contains 15 baking recipes plus 4 basic recipes for spice blends, a chocolate hazelnut spread, and my favourite spice cookie recipe (spekulatius). I know it’s probably not necessary if you’re a regular reader of this blog but I’m still gonna warn you: Almost all of the recipes do contain white wheat flour, white sugar and soy. Many of the recipes also call for nuts. I mostly use refined coconut oil for baking which is a very cheap staple here and (with some adjustments) a great alternative to margarine made with palm oil. Like everything on this website this ebook is free. I would be very happy if you would spread the word and please feel free to share the link to the Zuckerguss Zine with your family and friends and on social media or your blog. Developing the recipes, taking the pictures, and assembling the contents was great fun but also much work and it took a lot of time. Please do not republish the contents of this ebook without my permission. If you have any questions, suggestions, or problems, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or contact me through email or on facebook. Let me know what you think, I hope you enjoy! Let me know what you’ve made! Download    Contents: 1. Spekulatius Nutella Bars | Almond Lebkuchen Pull-apart Bread | Peanut Crescents 2. Stollen Waffles | Cashew Fudge | Almond Cinnamon Cookies 3. Spekulatius Tiramisú | Lebkuchen (Pepperkaker) | Elisenlebkuchen 4. Marzipan Jam Cookies | Blackforest Cheesecake | Coconut Spice Mini Cakes 5. Chocolate Almond Pillows | Almond Pistachio Cookies | Mini Apple Cranberry Pies with Walnuts {plus: spekulatius spice blend | lebkuchen spice blend | spekulatius recipe | holiday chocolate hazelnut spread} Zuckerguss Zine – Free Vegan Holiday Baking Ebook is a post from: seitan is my motor

The Best Way to Prepare Millet

November 18 2014 seitan is my motor 

The Best Way to Prepare Millet I talk about food. Too much. Yesterday I even had a little conversation on Instagram about how to prepare millet. Cooking millet is one of the first cooking skills I ever learned. When I bought my first cookbook (Vegetarian Cookery by Rose Elliot) I picked up a little trick that changed everything. No more mushy millet, I swear! Before you cook millet, you have to toast it. Toasting the grain does not only improve the flavour, it also helps to absorb more liquid during cooking. Just place it in a small saucepan and toast it until golden brown, stirring constantly. Then remove from heat and carefully add the cooking liquid. Some other tricks for fluffy millet are: do not stir during cooking. Once the millet is done, remove the pot from heat and let it sit covered for 5-10 minutes, then fluff with a fork and serve. Basic Fluffy Millet Recipe (yield. 2 servings) 100 g (1/­­2 cup) millet 360 ml (1 1/­­2 cups) vegetable broth Place millet in a small saucepan and toast the millet until golden brown. Stir constantly. This should take about 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat, carefully pour vegetable broth into the pot, stir and cover. Simmer for 15-20 minutes over medium heat until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit covered for 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve (for example with potatoes and plantains). If you want more than a basic grain side, millet patties make a great appetizer or snack. To prevent them from falling apart, you don’t want your millet fluffy though. In this case it should be mushy. You should also skip toasting the millet and you need to cook it with more vegetable broth or water. Stirring it often will give you are porridge like consistency and makes the patties easier to handle. Millet patties (makes 8 large patties) For the patties: 100 g (1/­­2 cup millet) 480 ml (2 cups) vegetable broth 1 teaspoon oil 1 clove garlic, minced 1 small onion, diced 70 g (1 cup) grated celeriac root 80 g (1 cup) grated carrot 2 tablespoons lupin flour (substitute soy or chickpea flour) 120 ml (1/­­2 cup) water 1/­­2 teaspoon salt or more to taste 1 1/­­2 teaspoons cumin 1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika 1-2 tablespoons flour oil for frying For the mayonnaise dip: 4 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise 2 teaspoons hot sauce Prepare the patties: Place millet and broth in a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed. Stir every couple of minutes. While the millet is cooking, fry garlic, onion, celeriac root, and carrot together with the salt in a small pan for about five minutes. Remove from heat. Combine lupin flour and water and whisk until creamy. Add fried vegetables, lupin flour mixture, and spices to the cooked millet. Stir well and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon flour. Mix one more time and carefully form 8 patties. Add more flour if necessary. Heat a large non-stick pan and add 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Carefully place the patties in the pan and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Turn them very carefully and cook the other side. Let cook for about five minutes before serving and serve with dip. These are also great when eaten at room temperature. Prepare the dip: Combine mayonnaise and hot sauce and stir well. The Best Way to Prepare Millet is a post from: seitan is my motor

Cranberry Butterscotch Flapjacks

November 4 2014 seitan is my motor 

Cranberry Butterscotch Flapjacks Flapjacks were the first cookie bars I actually made years ago when I had no clue about baking. I really love that you almost cannot mess them up. (I used to mess up a lot of baked goods.) Usually they are simple and consist of only a few ingredients. They are my stand-by cookies when I am out of flour for example, or need a snack that keeps well and is easy to transport. To make them a bit fancier, I used a butterscotch flavoured syrup that I got at my favourite shop here in Dresden. It consists of invert sugar syrup and flavourings, so it works like regular corn syrup or golden syrup, which is often used in bars like these. The syrup improves both the texture and colour, it makes them all shiny and chestnut-coloured. And of course it adds this amazing buttery toffee syrup. I added cranberries and almonds but I think this recipe is quite adaptable. For example you could use butterscotch chips instead of the cranberries. Of course you can use raisins instead of the cranberries and you could leave out the almonds as well for a simpler and cheaper version. Note: I used this brand of butterscotch syrup but there are other brands, too. A German equivalent would be this kind of syrup. If you don’t have access to butterscotch syrup at all, you can use agave nectar, rice syrup or corn syrup instead. This will change the flavour but should not affect the texture. Please keep in mind that the baking time might be shorter when using agave syrup. Cranberry Butterscotch Flapjacks (makes 16 bars) Ingredients: 150 g (3/­­4 cup) sugar 80 g (6 tablespoons) soft refined coconut oil 200 g (2 cups) rolled oats 125 g (1 cup) cranberries 100 g (1 cup) slivered almonds 4 tablespoons butterscotch syrup 1/­­4 teaspoon salt Method: Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a rectangular pan (28 x 18 cm or 11 x 7 inch) with parchment paper. Beat sugar and oil until creamy. Add remaining ingredients and knead with your hands until everything is mixed well. Press into the pan and bake for 23 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing and serving. Cranberry Butterscotch Flapjacks is a post from: seitan is my motor

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