Tag Archives: vegan

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.

*** Our blog has moved! Please [abandon whatever you’re doing] and click HERE to read the up-to-date article on our new shiny blog! Thanks 🙂 ***

continue reading 1porridge

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!

Broccoli and pesto farfalle with pangritata

If you’ve ever had one of these (pictured below), you know you want to make some Italian food to go with it.

There was a good offer on Wine Demon for first-time online customers, and 5 out of 6 wines were a good mix, with lots of aromas and flavours.
There was a good offer on Wine Demon for first-time online customers, and 5 out of 6 wines were a good mix, with lots of aromas and flavours.

I made this a while ago now, and I found out that Italians have a very interesting ingredient – Pangritata, also called ‘poor man’s parmesan’. It is basically fried breadcrumbs. Oddly enough, it’s nothing like parmesan, but it does taste good.

This simple dish goes well with a glass of medium-bodied red wine, perhaps even table wine! Although I do like Malbec or Torrontes – you have a little bit with a meal, and then a little bit more after the meal. You could go with white, but this dish may overtake the flavour of the wine. The recipe below should be enough for two people.

First, make the pangritata:

3 tbsp oil,

1 garlic clove, sliced

2 tbsp chopped rosemary or thyme

50g breadcrumbs

1 or less chopped chilli

1) Mix the above ingredients and fry in oil for 2 minutes until crisp golden;

2) Season with salt and pepper and dry on kitchen paper.

For the pasta:

200g Farfalle pasta (or something boring like Penne)

150g broccoli,

2 tbsp basil pesto,

Zest of 1/2 lemon,

2 tbsp parmesan, grated (optional)

1) Cook the pasta, leaving tiny bit of the cooking water;

2) Mix in the rest of ingredients and sprinkle over the pangritata. Done.

I do enjoy some dishes with a smoky flavour. This one wasn't as smoky, but I think I fried the breadcrumbs too long, which worked to my favour.
I do enjoy some dishes with a smoky flavour. This one wasn’t as smoky, but I think I fried the breadcrumbs too long, which worked to my favour.

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.

Nutritious peanut butter granola bars

Back in Leeds we were obsessed with peanut butter. At one point we had 5x1kg tubs of 100% full-skin peanut butter from Meridian.

Do you even lift, bro?
Do you even lift, bro?

I miss those weekends when we used to use the oven since early morning. We (at least I) used to get up around 8 AM, maybe go to the gym, get a free coffee from Waitrose, and head to the market on my way back. Then I would turn on the oven, mix up the granola mass and relax with Auste in the living room, on our cozy little carpet, enjoying the view through our huge floor-to-ceiling window. Then I would take out the granola, impatiently break off a tasty chunk and burn my fingers. Those were the days!

Three full trays of granola - some were for making bars, some for granola cereal
Three full trays of granola – some were for making bars, some for granola cereal

At that point I had been reading up loads of granola recipes online, and trying them almost daily. Then we started wrapping them up in nice paper with ribbons and packing them as snacks for our trips, only because we had loads left. The good thing about granola is that you can keep it for months and the taste stays the same. If the bars come out too hard or break up into uneven pieces, you can make them smaller and keep in a jar to use as a granola cereal!

Wrap them nicely, grab a coffee before the train - it looks as if you've bought them from a fancy coffee shop!
Wrap them nicely, grab a coffee before the train – it will look as if you’ve bought them from a fancy coffee shop!
A beautiful morning enjoying home-baking and a nice cup of tea
A beautiful morning enjoying home-baking and a nice cup of tea

PART 1/3

I call this the ‘sugar’ batch, because I replaced 50% honey with sugar – you can make it no sugar, all honey, or the opposite if you’re vegan.

Mix all of the below ingredients in a BIG bowl (this is a big batch):

500g peanut butter

100g sugar [if no sugar, read on]

and 100g wheatgerm

then add 400g oats

100g ground nuts (1 cup) (almonds and cashews)

50g dried nuts (hazels) – I just put them in a bag, and smash a few times with a jar or a strong bottle

pinch of salt

and a teaspoon baking powder

Mix everything.

No need for fancy equipment - after watching Jamie Oliver's shows a few times you pick up a lot of simple yet genius ideas!
No need for fancy equipment – after watching Jamie Oliver’s shows a few times you pick up a lot of simple yet genius ideas!

PART 2/3

Once you’ve got the dry’ish mixture, add 200g honey if using sugar (if no sugar, add 400g) – if your peanut butter is not 100% peanuts, reduce the amount of honey / sugar accordingly.

Add 100g soy milk. Mix well.

 

PART 3/3

Now this is UP TO YOU, but it worked very well for me, because the bars were solid but not too hard, plus I like the below ingredients due to their availability and nutrient content:

Add 25g ground chia seeds and 25g ground linseeds.

Bake in a preheated oven (160 C) for about 17 mins (keep checking!).

 

Because I literally made a bucket of granola mass, I separated it into different containers, and experimented with different flavours. Auste enjoyed batch #3, but I loved #4, because it was very chocolatey and after eating them I didn’t want to have any other snacks.

 

Variation 1: cranberry and coconut

Variation 2: cranberry and pumpkin seeds

Variation 3: cranberry, pumpkin seeds and raw cacao nibs

Variation 4: dark chocolate

Variation 5: goji berries and banana coins

Even though they're high in sugar and fat, they're vegan and the peanut butter adds some protein, and the seeds add some micro-nutrients. If they can replace a chocolate bar or a slice of cake, why not?
Even though they’re high in sugar and fat, they’re vegan and the peanut butter adds some protein, and the seeds add some micro-nutrients. If they can replace a chocolate bar or a slice of cake, why not?