Tag Archives: healthy

Raw Vegan Buckwheat Porridge with Raspberry Jam

First thing’s first: It’s tasty, and we’re not even vegan.

It just happens that nearly half the time when we make food, it turns out to be vegan. We aim for having fresh/healthy ingredients in our kitchen at all times. There are exceptions, of course.

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Maybe you can relate to this too (Friday evening after a looong week):

-“Honeeeyyyy, look at all the goodness I’ve bought! We’ve got some nice broccoli, cauliflower, salad, cherry tomatoes, ripe bananas, juicy mangos, fresh coconuts – I can’t even name half the stuff!”

-“Oooh, sounds delicious! We could make a nice big bowl of salad for dinner, what do you think?”

-“I’m pretty tired to cook anything though, and I could do with some comfort food. What about a pizza?”

-“Awwwhhh, pizza! It’s been ages since we had one. And a beer!?”

-“Yeah, a nice cold dark beer!!” (mutual agreement reached)

-“We’ve got quite a number of fresh groceries though, you think they’ll keep until tomorrow?”

-“I’m pretty sure they will”. (mutual agreement reaffirmed)

Two days of 7-11 sandwiches, three nights of eating-out and 2 new coffee-shop discoveries later you look at the salad wilted ONTO the side of the refrigerator… Fortunately this only happens occasionally.

Auste has been trying out some raw porridge recipes, and the first time I took a bite, I was less than amazed as it didn’t have a specific taste. It had a texture of what would could be a ground cashew nut porridge. However with every spoonful of this textury mix with raspberry-honey sauce, I wanted more. It still didn’t reveal any distinctive taste, but I just couldn’t stop. It had minor hints of vanilla, oats, and cinnamon – all in one. I only ate it cold, and didn’t even consider heating it up.

It is also suitable to take for lunch to a refrigerator-less office. Tested twice.

buckwheat porridge raw vegan breakfast

For the porridge (adapted from Oh She Glows):

3/4 cup buckwheat groats (they have to be raw, not roasted)

1 1/2 cup of water for soaking

400 ml milk (I used soy milk cause that’s what I had at hand, but I imagine almond milk would work even better with the flavours here)

3 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp honey (or Agave syrup for a raw version)

1 tsp vanilla extract (or you can use vanilla pods – even better)

1 tsp cinnamon

For the jam:

1 cup raspberries (frozen or fresh)

1 tbsp honey

raw vegan raspberry jam breakfast

1. Soak the buckwheat groats overnight. They will be slimy and smell a bit strange in the morning, so you have to rinse them a couple of times and they’ll be ready to use.

2. Mix the buckwheat groats with the other ingredients and blend until smooth.

3. Taste it. If you can feel the buckwheat and you don’t like the texture – add more milk with chia seeds and more honey / vanilla / cinnamon to taste. Make it a little bit more liquid than you would like it to be and let it sit in the fridge for about an hour.

4. Make the raspberry jam. Simply crush the raspberries using a fork and mix them with honey. If you want the consistency to be a bit more jam-like add some chia seeds.

5. Take the porridge out of the fridge, pour the raspberry jam on top, add fresh berries, nuts or anything else you fancy and enjoy!

Hummus (eating healthy in Thailand)

Street food, street food, street food… We were obsessed with it, and that was one of our main reasons for coming to Thailand. We used to watch Mark Wiens’ videos nearly every day and drool over amazing-looking dishes he tried across the country. Then we came here.

We found that 90 % of food on the street is meat-based, and the other 10 % is fruit. With an aim to lead a healthy vegetarian lifestyle we quickly invested in some kitchen appliances and our exotic foodie adventures shifted from the street to our own kitchen.

It’s just meant to be I guess – if you enjoy doing something, circumstances WILL make sure you end up where you should, in our case – the kitchen. So here we are in Thailand, off the beaten foodie path, making our own creations and enjoying old classic dishes. One of which is HUMMUS – a simple moreish supper that we recently made. It’s like peanut butter – you just can’t get enough of it.

If you follow the recipe without changes (maybe just the water content to help blending), it should come out not too smooth or thick, tasting a bit smokey, a tiny bit acidic, with a gentle touch of garlic and a protein-ish texture. Leftovers? (happens for meal-planners, right?) Make a hummus-veg sandwich with a nice toasted baguette, bell peppers, some rocket salad or sunflower sprouts, and freshly ground black pepper. It’s also great with falafels.

Hummus

HUMMUS ingredients:

1 teaspoon cumin

2 chopped garlic cloves

3 tablespoons of each water and oil

Juice of ½ lime

1 can chickpeas

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1- Toast the cumin in a dry pan for under a minute until smoke starts appearing, then grind it in a food processor (or pestle and mortar, OR a bag and a dough roller/heavy item)

2 – Mash/blend the drained chickpeas with garlic, lemon juice, oil and water (I prefer not using water, but it just doesn’t blend in our processor)

3 – Add ground cumin, salt, pepper and mix everything thoroughly

4 – Sprinkle with the paprika and some parsley for more aroma, both being optional.

Cauliflower steaks with couscous and red cabbage salad

After we came back from our holiday in Krabi, we’ve been kind of lazy with our work. It’s nice to chill out every once in a while, but when it’s too long of a lounge you feel a bit frustrated with your lack of progress. And on the fifth day of sluggishness productivity came to light! We managed to write like 6 pieces of work, sort through hundreds of photos, and make this beautiful meal out of nowhere.

vegan cauliflower steaks

So, okay, this is vegan, and quite healthy. It’s too easy to make, and you can adjust the spiciness. For the protein-heads out there (including myself), just chuck a few pieces of firm tofu in the pan with the cauliflower.

For one person you’ll need:

A cauliflower

50 g dry couscous (more if you’re hungry) – replace with quinoa for gluten free version

4 cloves of garlic

A few fresh chillies

Salt, pepper, 1 tbsp oil

Ground coriander (optional)

 

For the salad:

1/5 of small red cabbage

½ of small carrot

Handful of sunflower sprouts

1 garlic clove

Juice of ¼ of a lime

Salt, pepper, 1 tsp oil

 

Directions:

  1. Cut the cauliflower in half, making sure each side has a bit of the centre stem left. Then cut a ‘steak’ about 1 cm thick from each side of the cauliflower. Make sure all pieces hang on to the stem so it doesn’t fall apart.
  2. Heat a pan with a tablespoon of oil, throw in your steaks together with a few smashed garlic cloves and a chilli or two (I removed the chillies from the pan this time, but the hot air in the kitchen still made me cough).
  3. Turn over once the bottom gets a bit of a char. If you have a grill – all the better, as you can use less oil.
  4. While waiting for the steaks just put a tiny bit of salt, pepper to the couscous, and pour hot water to cover it. The water level should be just above the grains. I also put a sprinkle of ground coriander as it gives it a nice aroma. Two minutes in, it should be ready.

red cabbage sunflower sprouts salad

To make the salad:

  1. Grate the carrot and garlic, slice the cabbage and cut the sprouts. (Sunflower sprouts work well for me because they are even crunchier than the carrots and are not too bitter or sweet).
  2. Squeeze the lime, add a tiny bit of oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. When I cut the lime, I just cut the side of it, as you can see in the picture with the red chillies. This way you don’t have to worry about the lime seeds, as they’re all in the center, which we’re not touching!

There you have a nice and quick meal which you can take to work the next day. However the salad won’t taste as good even if you keep it in the fridge. Bon apetit!

vegan cauliflower steaks

The English weather. And a chestnut and sage recipe.

So I’m going to talk about the weather now. If you’re non-English in UK, you’re getting used to little weather chats in awkward situations:

**Making a cup of tea in the staffroom. Another person waiting for the kettle**

– So… The weather’s awful today, isn’t it?

– Yeah… It is, isn’t it?

– Yeah… See you later.

**Both leave at the same time in silence**

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Apparently Wales and the south-west of the Kingdom have been smothered in storms, waves and floods for months now.

This year it has been very dry, warm and tranquil, which is unusual for English weather. Well, at least in Leeds. This means we were able to have a breath of fresh air and a glance at the sun. And maaan, I haven’t seen the sun in a long time!

We live on the bank of River Aire and the area is relatively green and quiet. Whenever we go to the city centre, this is what we see:

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This is the main hall of the newly-opened Trinity shopping centre. Talk about crowded… Every day. What can you possibly be buying?

Well, we were buying chestnuts.

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The UK supermarkets still stock chestnuts at this time of year. They’re quite pricey, but you can get them for at least half the price at a local market. Both sellers probably get them from the same supplier overseas, China being one of the largest suppliers of chestnuts to the UK.

I didn’t know that once bought, you were supposed to keep them in the fridge. My lack of knowledge resulted in them accumulating mould inside their shell and eventually half of them ended up in the bin, which is a bit of a shame.

What you need:

A bag of chestnuts, around 200 grams

A cup of rice [to two cups water]

10 sage leaves

A knob of butter (use olive oil if you’re vegan)

What do I do with all these ingredients??

1) Roast the chestnuts for 15 – 20 mins in 180 C oven and peel once cool;

2) Cook the rice for 10+ mins with a little salt;

3) Fry sage in butter until crispy, remove carefully and leave aside;

4) Fry the peeled nuts in leftover butter with some salt, arrange everything on a plate and enjoy.

As you take a bite, you can taste the sweetness of the chestnuts. Follow that with the savoury rice and buttery, yet crunchy sage and you’ll be amazed how such little ingredients can have so much character.