Under 10 minutes veggie bowl

I’m currently living in between places that means I have no kitchen of my own and I have very limited access to kitchen utensils. On top of that, moving to London is not cheap, therefore, I have been working a lot and have not had a lot of time.

However, I’m still staying on top of my veggie game despite my circumstances. I have noticed that people often tend to give up, and do not see the resources -even if they are limited- that they can work with. For me, my scarce resources at the moment are time and kitchen space. So I’m saying goodbye to elaborate veggie bowls for a while and hello to quick, simple but tasty spicy veggies.

Here is my quick and easy recipe.

 

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Add the spices you like and make this dish your own!

 

Spicy apple kimchi

Most of the things that i cook have a story and a life behind it. For example, I was introduced  to kimchi when i was around 10 years old by my elementary school best-friend, who happens to also be called Esther. Esther is a Kenyan born Korean, i used to spend a lot of time at Esther’s place as a child. During mealtimes kimchi was always served as a side to the most delicious friedrice or plain rice ever. The rice at Esther’s place was the best rice i have ever had in life (not exaggerating). Anyway, this post is about kimchi not rice! The kimchi was so flavourful as well i immediately loved it, therefore it is no wonder that many years later i have learnt to make kimchi for myself and i eat it regularly as a side with everything and on everything.

This recipe is not traditional at all. If that is what you are after there are a ton of YouTube videos with authentic kimchi recipes. However, this recipe is tangy, spicy and tastes like the real deal! In this recipe i added apple to give it a winter twist.

 

What you will need:

1 medium large Napa cabbage
1/2 cup of salt
water

For chili paste: 

2 tbsp sea salt
3/4 cup Gochugaru (korean chilli powder)
2 Tbsp sugar beet molasses
dash of water
3 cloves of crushed garlic (add more if you like)
1 knob of ginger (size depends on your preferences)

Vegetables: 

1 medium sized white radish or daikon (i couldn’t find any daikon so i used radish)
1 small apple
1 leek chopped in circles
some chopped up chives (optional)

Method:

Step 1:

Cut off the bottom part of the napa cabbage, slice lengthwise in half, then cut across into 4 equal parts. Place the 4 pieces into a large bowl and fill with water till the cabbage pieces are well covered, add 1 1/2 cup of salt, cover the bowl and soak up to 24hrs.

Step 2:

The cabbage is well soaked if it no longer snaps when you bend it, it should be elastic.  Once the cabbage is well soaked, drain and rinse with cold water and set aside. Make chili paste in a small bowl by adding all the ingredients and combining everything well together.

Step 3:

In a large bowl add all the vegetables and mix well. Then take a zip lock bag and wear it inside out (the zip lock bag will act as your gloves). Add the chili paste to the vegetables mix, now add in the rinsed cabbage bit by bit and place in the zip lock bag. For this amount i used two 1 liter zip lock bags.

Step 4:

Place the zip lock bags in an air tight container, and store in a dark cool place for three days if you like it very tangy and two days to one day if you prefer it less tangy.  The reason i use zip lock bags is so that the flavorful kimchi smell does not seep into the containers that i use as it is hard to get rid of.

zip lock your kimchi before placing it into an airtight container to avoid the smell seeping into your containers and making the whole fridge smell. I live in a flat-share so this is a real lifehack!

 

Step 5:

Once the three days have passed, place in the fridge and leave it for another five days. However, you can also place it in the fridge and eat it one day after.

Remember if it tastes off follow your gut feeling and get rid of it as this is fermentation and you do not want to contaminate yourself!

 

Chapatti + Potato Curry or Potato Curry in a Chapatti or Chapadilla

 

So this is a delicious recipe that was inspired by my boyfriend.

I love chapatti’s, my mother taught me at a very young age how to make them, while my friends where eating toast with jam  i was enjoying my chapatti with jam during school break. My sister and i used to make them together, since i was too young to handle the stove, i loved those nights and enjoyed kneading the dough and rolling it out and how the whole house smelled of utter deliciousness.

When i moved to Mombasa, Chapattis where easily available ( My best friends are of Indian decent so yeah lunches where always crazy good chapattis or parathas mmmhh dont get me started)  so i stopped making my own chapattis, instead i missed the German sourdough bread. I tell you its always the thing that you cant have!

So when i moved back to Berlin and i had my fair share of sour dough, to no surprise i started to miss chapattis again and naturally i started to experiment and make my own.

There are two types of chapattis that i am familiar with one is the Indian type that uses almost no oil and is flat and firm. Then there is the Coast Mombasa Chapo which is more oily, soft and is layered in texture. My mother taught me a blend of the two something in between an Indian and a Mombasa Chapo ( a hybrid chapatti)

Its crazy the reaction that you get when you tell people ok lets make bread then, or when you serve it. Its like as if people think that you have some kind of magic power when in reality making chapatti is so easy and cheap. Cheaper than bread and good for you as you can twerk it up and make it nutritious with ingredients such as seeds and wholewheat flour instead of white flour its really very easy, delicious and stores very well -therefore it can be prepared and frozen and enjoyed throughout.

I experiment a lot with chapattis and my boyfriend does too now, he recently made a quesadilla chapatti which inspired me to make one as well with a potato green pea curry filling which was delicious and then one with wilmersburger vegan cheese alternative and it turned out so delicious as well.

Hope you enjoy it too and  get crazy creative with filling !!

Ingredients:

makes 6 chapatti this depends though on how big you make them

Chapatti Dough

2 cups of flour ( of your choice i used organic wholewheat feel free to use spelt or wheat)

1 cup of room temp water

pinch of salt

1 tbsp of oil ( again your choice or feel free to omit)

Potato ‘Aloo’ filing/curry (Option 2)

4 diced potatoes the ones that get mashy in german we say nicht festkochend sondern mehlig

1 diced carrot

1 cup of frozen, canned or precooked green peas

1 diced red onion

1 tbsp of coconut oil

1 crushed garlic clove

1/2 tsp of mustard seeds (optional)

1tsp garam masala

1tsp of madras curry ( or whatever curry powder you prefer)

1tsp tumeric

1/2 tsp Cumin powder

dash of chilli flakes

1 cup of water

salt to taste

 

Cheesy version ( Option 2)

Vegan cheese alternative i used Wilmersburger Classic 

salt and pepper to taste

 

Method

Chapatti mix:

In a bowl mix the flour and salt add in the water and mix first with a spoon. Once everything is mixed together it is time to get your hands dirty. Flour a flat surface and get kneading, punch, slap, throw and pinch that dough do this workout a minimum of 10 minutes. The dough should be elastic not sticky and not dry and hard either, it should be soft and elastic. once you are done kneading roll it into a log and cut into 6 even pieces. Roll all six pieces into balls brush some oil on the pieces and let them rest on the floured surface. ( if you only want to make chapattis without the filling let them rest for up to 30 minutes before you roll them out and cook them)

Potato curry

While the chapatti dough is resting you can start making the aloo mix.

Heat the coconut oil in a medium sized pot on medium high heat. Once the oil is hot add in the onions and mustard seeds. Stir constantly once the onions are glassy add in the garlic and all the spices. stir everything well together once the spices are fragrant add in the potatoes and carrots mix well and then add in 1/2 cup of water, reduce the heat to a simmer. let it simmer for 16 minutes make sure to check on it in so that once the water has evaporated add in the other 1/2 cup. Once the potatoes are soft and mashy add in the peas and salt to taste stir well and turn off the stove.

This potato curry can also be enjoyed as a side to chapattis or with rice.

Chapatti

Place a pan on a medium high heat stove. While the pan is heating up on a floured surface get a rolling pin ( if you do not have one, a wine bottle works perfectly well for this) and roll out one ball into a thin flat disc shape ‘think chapatti’. The thickness of the chapatti depends on you however i like mine thin. Place the rolled out chapatti on the hot pan, if you are adding the filing take one spoon of the filling and spread evenly on one side of the chapatti. Close the chapatti with the other half ( that has no filling) and flip over now cook till both sides are brown ( usually 3 minutes that’s 1,5 minutes on both sides depends on your stove top) you can spread some coconut oil or whatever kind of oil you prefer on both sides before taking it off the pan ( Important if you are adding oil do this at the end that is once the chapatti is about to get off the pan). REPEAT FOR THE REST.

Cheeeeeeesee Variation

For the cheesy variation cut up your cheese and place on one half of the chapatti add salt and pepper and then close with the other half. Then its the same procedure as above- cook till both sides are brown.

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Miso Veggie Soup for the whimsical soul

So here is another super easy and delicious soup recipe, my boyfriend and i have been really into the warm fuzzy feeling that a warm soothing soup leaves you with. We even eat soup for breakfast which is an alternative to a veggie juice in the cold dark winter mornings, when you need that extra punch of  warmth to keep you going through all those lectures that are to come or that huge wonderful day that is ahead that needs you all energized up, this soup will truly does the trick.

So here it goes.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp of red paste miso

1 medium sized chopped parsley root (Parsnip)

5 Carrots cut onto chunks

150g of firm tofu cubed

1 crushed small garlic piece

1/2 chopped leek

1 tsp coconut oil

1 medium sized ginger knob crushed

1 tsp of yoko’s tofu Gewürz ***

700 ml water

1/2 vegetable stock cube

Fresh Flat Parsley leaves  to sprinkle on top

a handful of chopped up kale add as much as you like

some squeezes of lemon

 

*** if you do not have this spice mix then use some lemon grass (freshly cut up),  dash of Curcuma, dash of ground coriander, pinch of sweet paprika powder,  a dash of ground fennel seeds and some rubbed dried thyme and rosemary

 

Method:

Heat a stove top to medium heat and place the coconut oil in a approx one liter sized soup pot.

Once the oil is hot place the tofu and and leek, ginger and garlic and spice mix and stir constantly do not let the tofu stick and burn! when the tofu becomes a bit crisp add in the spice mix and all the other veggies mix everything together and then stir in the miso.

Stir everything well together and then add the water and vegetable stock cube and turn the heat to low.

Simmer for 15 minutes add in the kale now and Voila its done.

Place in to your favorite bowl, sprinkle some flat leafed parsley and squeeze in a generous amount of lemon. Now sluuurp slurrp!

P.S simmer longer if you want your veggies to be cooked more, this choice is entirely up-to you and your liking. Remember its you who eats it in the end so make it to your liking add in other veggies maybe some broccoli or cabbage this is really up-to you get creative and make this as yummy as you like it. This is again just something i did it tasted great and i thought hey let me share this so that others can make their soup creations and feel warm and fuzzy too.

 

 

Simply Good: Cauliflower-rice fry

This is part of a series of recipes that are easy and very simple to make. They are also inexpensive, full of nutrients and delicious.

I constantly hear from people that they do not have time to make a meal for themselves and that a quick fix is all that they want ( by quick fix they mean a sandwich with some processed topping or a bar of chocolate) . I think that this is a false approach, i think that we should make the time to prepare meals for ourselves of course we do not need to spend hours and hours in the kitchen ( unless you like that) however i do think that we should cook for ourselves its an act of self love and in order for you to do all the things that are eating your time you need to fuel yourself properly first.

This recipe is easy and full of nutrients as it is made up veggies and some more veggies.

Ingredients:


Vegetables

1 1/2 cup of cauliflower florets ( ‘Rice’)

1 celery stalk

1/2 cup of leek

2 Carrots chopped

crushed garlic (optional)

some chopped parsley

half  a red paprika

squeeze of lemon juice


Spices

**1/2 tsp of red ras al hanout spice ( or any other spice that you like you can get creative here)

1/2 teaspoon of paprika

pinch of cayenne pepper


Oil

1/2 tsp Coconut oil


Other things

1tbsp of tomato puree

1 tsp of Miso red paste

1 cup of water

Tahini ( optional)


Method:

Start by chopping up the cauliflower into very small pieces. If you have a food processor than place the florets in there and chop them to a rice consistency.

Place a pan on a medium high stove top and add in the oil.

Place the leek, celery and garlic into the pan and Saute for 1 minute.

Add in the cauliflower followed by the carrots and the spices and cook for 3 minutes constantly tossing everything together to avoid the veggies from getting burnt.

Place in the Miso  and tomato puree, mix eveything well. Add the water and reduce the heat and let it simmer for 5 minutes.

cook to a consistency that you prefer i do not like overcooked veggies so 5 minutes is enough for me.

serve with a squeeze of lemon juice, parsley, a dub of tahini and some freshly raw chopped up paprika.

 

Pizza me

 

So today is the day that i will share my pizza recipe and talk a bit about this blog and myself.

I am Esther i am 22 years old and i am a vegan. I have not always been vegan i was a vegetarian for close to 2 years and became a vegan due to ethical reasons. I actually just informed myself and realized that i don’t want to be a part of the madness. Simple as that. There exists enough media and research on veganism so if you want to get informed, you will get informed. Its all a matter of consciously making a decision, i think everything else is just excuses. I feel that it is possible to live a vegan lifestyle in the world that we live in now, and it is possible to eat plant based whole foods.

I made this Blog to document my plant-based adventures, to share recipes, places and people that i like and find inspiring. I am not here to tell you what to eat, how many calories, or how many crunches you should be doing or how you should look.  I am not an expert i am just sharing things that i find make me feel good and that i hope will make you feel good too.

I am not sure about a lot of things and i am aware of that, yet through eating consciously and bringing awareness to what is happening around me and my surroundings, my environment and the planet, I am getting closer to figuring things out. I think most of the time we are not aware of what is happening or of what exactly we are doing. I am trying to be mindful of my actions and its consequences. This has helped me so far overcome a lot of things and appreciate a lot of the people and moments that make up my life. I want to bring awareness to the fact that if we all actively think about the things that we eat then i think that we will be able to make clearer choices in other aspects of our lives too. Food is what makes us human i mean we have to eat to survive and i think that we shouldn’t be compromising food. The fact is that when you eat more plant based foods your body gets nutrients that help to positively influence your mood, energy and the body as whole. This  is vital as all these things influence all other aspects of your life. This blog is not about following a strict diet to lose weight or whatever, it is about going back to the basics and cooking and making your own food with the most natural ingredients in order to nourish yourself so that you can actively live your life and influence those around you positively to do the same thing for themselves and the planet as a whole.

So for those of you who are here for Pizza here it is. You see how bad can a plant-based diet? you can eat pizza and still feel great afterwards. I have used this recipe multiple times and i have always gotten positive feedback. The last time i made it was two days ago for my new housemate and he liked it. This recipe is not Gluten free but it is Cruelty Free 😀

Ingredients:

makes four medium sized pizzas depending how thick you make the crust

Pizza dough

1 Sachet of dry active vegan yeast ( about 9 grams)

4 cups of organic wholewheat spelt flour ( or 2 cups of spelt flour and 2 cups of wholewheat or 4 cups of whole wheat flour)

pinch of salt

5 Tablespoons of lukewarm water

2 and 1/2 cup of lukewarm water

some olive oil

2 table spoons of polenta flour or maize meal

Pizza Sauce

1 diced onion

1 crushed garlic glove

1 tablespoon of olive oil

pinch of dried chili peppers ( more if you like it spicy)

pinch of cinnamon

2 Tablespoons of white wine or red wine

1 can of crushed tomatoes or 1/2 liter of pureed tomatoes

1/2 cup of water

salt to taste

rubbed dried Italian mix herbs( oregano, parsley, sage if you like)

Topping

round sliced Eggplant

round sliced zucchini

some chopped mushrooms

red bell pepper

onion

fresh pepperoni

baby spinach

sliced tomato

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USE WHATEVER TOPPINGS YOU WANT, MAKE THE PIZZA TO YOUR LIKING THE ABOVE IS JUST SOME INSPO AND A COMBO THAT I PERSONALLY LOVE.

Method:

#1.Place the yeast in a bowl and add in the salt. Mix with 5 tablespoons of water set aside and let it bubble or activate for 10 minutes.

#2.Add in the flour and mix. Now add 2 1/2 cups of water and mix. The dough should be soft not too sticky, but also not too dry and hard it should stick a bit but still be moldable, it should be elastic if this is not the case add more water or flour. Think elastic! now it is time for a 12 min HIIT arm workout time to Knead that baby into a ball and i mean you have to give it all you have, punch ,throw and pinch just do it! The dough should be elastic and soft and your arms should be sore 😀 Unless you are a pro then all this was just a warm up.

#3.Oil the bowl and wipe the dough ball with with the oil, cover the bowl with a kitchen cloth but let the dough breath so leave a small opening, keep it in a warm dark space to grow for about 1 hour to 1hr 30 mins.

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#4. Prepare the pizza sauce. Take a cooking pot, a deep pan works too, put the heat on medium high and add in a tablespoon of olive oil (or whatever you prefer). When the oil is warm add in the diced onions,and toss around to avoid them getting burn.Once the onions have turned glassy add in the garlic and the chili flakes and cinnamon. Stir all together and splash in the wine and lower the heat and mix everything and let the wine visibly reduce a bit. Pour in the crushed tomato and water, reduce heat to very low and let it simmer for 45 minutes stir occasionally. Add the salt and rubbed herbs in the end and stir.

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The Pizza dough should have doubled in size. Preheat oven to 275 degrees, if you don’t have a pizza stone turn your oven baking tray upside down and let it act as a stone. ( i hope this makes sense) If not prepare how you normally would prepare store bought pizza.

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#5. Divide the dough into four equal parts and roll each part into a ball. Dust a flat surface with maize flour (polenta flour) and roll out your pizza base and crust to your liking if you like it thick than make the crust thicker if thin is your preference than roll the crust thinner.

#6. Once you have rolled out your pizza base. Spread some pizza sauce on it and dress it up with your loving toppings. Place the pizza on the upside down oven tray or on a pizza stone shove it in the oven and let it bake for 8 minutes, if your oven is good and well preheated this is all the time it needs. Last but not least be careful not to burn yourself when you take the Pizza out as the oven is hot 😀

Voila let there be Pizzzaaaaa 😀

P.S if anything was not clear please don’t hesitate to ask me:)

Misir Wot aka Ethiopian lentils

Lentils are an essential in many cultures as they are versatile and packed with protein. Misir in Amharic stands for lentils and wot means stew or curry. I was introduced to Ethiopian food by my boyfriend, we went out for Ethiopian food here in Berlin and I fell in love with the flavors, spices and food traditions like eating from a huge platter together. Ethiopian food is usually served on a huge platter (traditionally on a straw platter) an injera is laid out -the traditional Ethiopian sourdough bread made out of teff (originally gluten-free but many restaurants nowadays mix it with wheat…)- and different wot’s are placed on top of the Injera.

 

Since i am all about experimenting and cooking things myself, i had to make my own wot. Its healthier to cook things yourself as you know exactly what goes into what you are making. Restaurants in my opinion are going overboard with some ingredients such as oil, i am not saying that eating out is bad- i mean i live in Berlin a culinary metropolis-  but maybe you should let those meals out inspire you to whip up the food yourself just to your liking and with less salt and oil and all that not so good stuff.

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Vegan Take away from Betje Ethiopia in Berlin. Vegans when odering Ethiopian food dont forget to say no butter and no ghee !

This recipe does though call for original Ethiopian good stuff, that is the whimsical red hot spice mix Berbere. The Spice mix is a blend of fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds, chili peppers and korarima ( which is a plant that grows wild in Ethiopia and is known as Ethiopian Cardamon). This mix can be found in all Ethiopian and spice stores, sometimes even sold in Italian grocery stores in the spice section. In Berlin it is easy to get your hands on it, even the organic brand  Sonnentor has a Berbere mix thus you can get it in the spice section from organic stores here as well, and if all else fails just order it online. Its essential for this recipe and its what gives the lentils its red hot color and rich spicy taste.

Ingredients:

1 red onion diced ( white onion works too)

2 cups of dried red lentils (washed)

1 Tbs of tomato paste

2 tbs of berbere spice ( more if you like it spicy)

1 tsp tumeric powder (also known as curcuma)

a pinch of cumin powder

1 crushed garlic clove

1 medium sized knob crushed ginger

4 cups of water

2/3  can of crushed tomatoes

Salt to taste

1 Tablespoon of olive oil

Method:

-Put a tablespoon of olive oil in cooking pot and place it on a medium high heat stove top.

-Once the oil is hot but not smoking hot place the onions in and let them saute, when the onions are glassy add the garlic and ginger turn the heat a bit lower you don’t want the garlic and ginger to burn.

-Add in the berbere, turmeric and cumin and mix it well.

-Place in the lentils and stir everything together.

-Toss in the tomato paste and stir in well together.

-Add the crushed tomatoes followed by 3 1/2 cups of water.

-Lower the heat and let it simmer, stir occasionally and add in the rest of the water, when there is a visible reduction of water. Let it simmer for 30 mins, stir in salt to your taste and then serve.

– Serve with rice, bread and all the other carbs you can think of. However if you can get your hands on injera, then ignore everything else and devour it with injera!

Tip: This can also be enjoyed cold and stores up-to 3 days in the fridge so its also a great recipe for meal preps. Perfect recipe for creating a tasty nourishing wholesome happy bowl.

Pulp is not fiction, here have some pulp ball sauce with pasta.

Lets talk about the wonders of pulp, this is no fiction its just pure good realness. If you are a nut milk maker, you know that there is always some residue left in the nut milk bag. Unlike negative thoughts, do not let go of this residue and throw it in the trash. Instead use it to make cereal, crackers or my favorite “pueat balls” These are awesome when eaten mixed in a red sauce or when topped with pesto or anything saucy. I haven’t tried this recipe with other nut pulps,  as i usually only make almond milk, but feel free to try it and tell me how it turned out.

What you will need:

2 tbsp of flax seeds

4 tbsp of water

1 1/4 cup of almond milk pulp

4 chopped up dried tomatoes

4 chopped up olives

4 chopped up Champignons

salt to taste

1 tsp dried Italian spices mix

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 yellow onion

Method:

Preheat oven at 175 degree Celsius.

While the oven is heating up make your flax egg. Place the flax seeds in a small bowl and add water. Set aside.

Take a pan and saute the chopped up onion with 1 tbsp of onion. Set aside to cool.

In a big bowl add in the pulp, chopped up dried tomatoes, chopped up olives and champignons. Mix well add in salt and rub in the dried herbs. Pour in the sauteed onions and add in the remaining oil. Mix well and fold in the gel like ‘flax egg’. Mix well but don’t over do it, it should have a wet but not too wet and not too dry consistency which is still moldable.

Take some of the mixture and roll into a golf ball size ball. Place this on baking paper or on a baking dish. Do this with the rest of the mixture.

Put the balls in the oven and let them bake for 30 mins, or until they are firm and dry. If your oven is very very strong tune down the heat to 125 degree Celsius.

and Voila they are done if you are adding these to a red pasta sauce then pour the sauce on top of the balls and serve.

till then have a good one.