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!

 

Chai Ya Mdalasini (Cinnamon) Mix

I recently read an article that was shared by a friend that was titled “Tea if by sea, cha if by land: Why the world only has two words for tea”. The article outlines how both these terms originate from China and how the spread of the words depicts how globalization worked before the term “globalization” was a term.

In Swahili, the term chai is used. I grew up drinking chai in Mombasa. I find myself drinking chai now as a way to soothe myself after a long day. Chai is something that I took very much for granted in my childhood, I now approach it with more mindfulness. 

Anyway, there are two ways of drinking chai in Mombasa; either you can drink chai wa rangi (translating literally to chai of colour) which is a blend of fresh crushed ginger, chai spices, black tea leaves and nothing else. The second way is known as chai ya maziwa(chai with milk what is a so-called chai latte here in Europe). Chai is drunk in various ways in Mombasa as there are some recipes that lean more on the Indian influence and use more cinnamon, other recipes use more crushed ginger (chai ya tangawizi). Every household has their own way of preparing chai. I remember that as a child when we would visit my mother’s village in Embu a common breakfast would be margarine spread white toast bread stacks that would be cut diagonally into right triangles, that would be dunked into the chai. I loved this breakfast as I am a sucker for dunking all kinds of things in my tea! This type of breakfast is a staple for a lot of people across Kenya.

In Mombasa, people do also drink their chai with margarine spread toast bread. Yet there is also the traditional Swahili breakfast which is chai na mahamri ( mahamri is a cardamom-spiced doughnut that is not in the shape of a circle but in the shape of a triangle). Sometimes the mahamris are filled with mbaazi wa nasi (which is pigeon peas in coconut milk stew). So delicious!

People in Mombasa add sugar to their chai which in some cases has had not so good health effects on the people. I find that by adding maybe more fennel or more cinnamon, chai can be enjoyed without adding sugar.  Therefore here is my Chai ya mdalasini (chai with cinnamon) mix.  I made a video that shows the whole process:

 

One small disclaimer this is not your Nyanya’s way of making chai. This is my way which is very much inspired by how I am feeling, where I am, what I see, read and taste. If you want your Nyanya’s Chai mix then please just ask her.

 

 

 

 

Sweet Potato Brownies

As i write this post i am nibbling on one of these brownies. In my last post i suggested that as a meal prep you should prepare something sweet for the week. This recipe is perfect for that. It is simple, cheap, chocolaty gooey, glutenfree, refined sugar free and 100% nourishing.

I made a video that shows the whole process. For the exact measurements scroll down.

 

Equipment:

35×25 cm oven dish (i used this one)

if you want to make a smaller tray just reduce all the recipes by half and use a 27×18 cm tray

food processor

Ingredients:

4 medium sweet potatos (oven baked or chopped up boiled or steamed)

1 cup date paste or 24 pitted large dates

4 Tablespoons of melted coconut oil

2 cups ground up sunflower seeds (or hazelnuts,almonds or brazil nuts but sunny seeds are cheap and delicious )

2 cups of ground up oats

12 Tablespoons of cacao powder (unsweetend)

6 Tablespoons of sugarbeet molasses ( or whatever natural sweetner you prefer, also feel free to reduce the amount or leave this out completely and add more dates and plant milk)

pinch of salt

dash of plant milk

dash of hot water

 

Method:

– in a food processor add the dates and a dash of hot water and process to a paste

– add in the sweet potatos and coconut oil and process everything

-in a mixing bowl add all the dry ingredients; oat flour, sunflower seed flour, salt and cacao powder

– pour the sweetpoato mix into the mixing bowl, add the sugarbeet molasses and stir everything together

– if the mix is too dry add in a dash of plant milk or water and stir. The mixture should be sticky and gooey but not dry and and not runny either

-place some baking paper on a baking tray and pour the mixture in and spread out evenly.

-place tray in the oven and bake for 30 mins

– VERY IMPORTANT! remove from the oven and let the brownie cool completely this is very important. The longer you wait the better the brownie I usually let it rest overnight.

 

 

 

How to cook for yourself by yourself

“I like to cook, but for other people.”

“When I am on my own; I just do not see the point of preparing food for myself; I cannot finish it all off on my own.

” I do not like to plan.”

I hear comments like these often. For me these are just excuses that these individuals have been conditioned to believe. This may come off as judgmental, however I have observed that people who tell me these things, are eating a lot of highly processed foods. Another thing I have observed is that the people that have told me these things usually complain about their sugar intake, go on drastic crash diets and fasts at some point, or suffer from some stomach ailment.

Personally, I find it annoying when people comment on my eating habits. I usually get these comments like “oh wow its insane how much effort you put in.” “I simply could not cook like you, I have too much to do.” I do not understand why the normal act of cooking needs to be commented on so much. Let us get something straight, cooking for yourself and preparing food for yourself is part of being human. Without food we as humans do not function.

Some people try to go for long stretches without food and trick themselves that they do not need adequate quantities of food because they are “so zen”. For me this just sounds like an eating disorder, as it is a matter of disciplining yourself and restricting only to binge on a whole bar of chocolate at night.

However, I do not mean to say that everyone who does not cook for themselves fits the above outlined scenarios. I get comments about my cooking especially from white cis males, who ridicule my cooking and try to gaslight me by saying that I am too extreme with my cooking habit. I assume that these individuals come from households where the parents do the cooking and that they have socially acceptable body types that they simply do not need to think about cooking. I get comments from women as well mainly women who are thin and do not experience social stigma for their body types, other times they question me buying of organic produce as if I should not be buying organic.

But I won’t let these negative comments slow me down. Cooking for myself is an act of self-preservation, it is my way of caring for myself. I have noticed that my mood and the way I think and feel all depends on how my nutrition and digestion is taken care of.

This post is for those that simply find it difficult to take care of themselves and cook for themselves by themselves and for themselves. No worries darling, I got you covered, it is simple. It may be boring at first, but you can do it.

As a side note, I am currently in a long-distance relationship myself, so I have been cooking a lot for myself and to be honest I know what it is like to be unmotivated to cook for yourself. So here is a very doable checklist to get you started on cooking for yourself, let’s get it!

1.   Meal Prep

Meal prepping is a great tool, which will assure that you always have self-cooked food available. To meal prep you need five things:

  1. Tupperware
  2. Rice cooker (optional but also essential if you are highly unmotivated)
  3. Some carbohydrate: rice, millet, cornflour, potatoes
  4. Legumes
  5. Veggies

-Get a rice cooker! At the push of a button, you can prep your legumes and you can make your rice and millet. The best part of a rice cooker is that you do not need to take care of anything or worry that something will get burnt, as it automatically switches off when everything is done.

-Prepare your veggies by simply chopping them up, place on a baking tray, drizzle them with your favourite oil (if you are oil free use water), massage in your favourite spices and shove in the oven and bake till ready.

During meal prep to avoid loneliness I would recommend listening to a podcast or to some feel good tunes, trust me it really helps.

-Now that you have prepped your meals, put everything in a separate Tupperware and once cooled place in the fridge. I always make dressings as well that I then drizzle on my food. I make different dressings so that even though the base of my food is the same; veggies, carbohydrate and legumes the dressing always differs which adds a different flavour. Here is one of my fave tahini dressing recipe:

What you will need:

1 Tbsp of tahini

½ tsp of honey or molasses

½ tsp of miso

1 Tbsp of lemon

1 tsp of apple cider

Chilli flakes (optional)

Method:

Mix everything in a small bowl with a whisk and place in a small tightly sealed jar. Drizzle on food when serving or just before consumption.

 

-For legume recipes there are a ton of things that you can make, think daal, or coconut mung beans, bean chilli.

 

2.   Prepare a tray of something sweet

If you like sweets or always need desert than prepare a tray of something sweet. I personally like to make a big tray of sweet potato brownies, that I cut into squares. I freeze half of the brownies so that they do not go bad. Another alternative is making energy balls or banana bread.

 

 

3.   Autopilot Breakfast

In winter I always eat the same breakfast which is oatmeal. This is my go to breakfast and it does not change it is part of my morning routine, since I already know what I will be having for breakfast I do not have to think too much about it.

I would recommend finding something that you always have for breakfast as well, something that remains constant.

However, if you get bored quickly of having the same thing every day then switch up the toppings or alternate between two things that you like. You could also designate a day on the weekend when you will make a special breakfast like pancakes or a chickpea omelette.

Invite a friend over on weekends and have breakfast with them or eat with your flatmates/family on weekends or when you have time.

4.   Soup for Dinner

I would recommend making a super quick soup for dinner. Soups are warming and if you are someone that maybe does not snack or goes for long hours between meals because of classes or work, soups are a good idea. Soups are super easy to make so make sure to always have a veggie bouillon (aka vegetable stock) at home.

If you do not want to wash up or anything grab your favourite soup bowl; boil water in a water cooker; take a desired portion of your vegetable stock and place it in your bowl; add boiling water into your bowl and stir; now add the veggies from your meal prep; add legumes from meal prep; you can also add the carb from your meal prep: then top with lemon juice and freshly chopped herbs; add your choice of spices and enjoy!

try my miso soup recipe.

*Tip- buy a bunch of fresh herbs wash them and freeze them, these herbs last you ages and can always be used when you need them.

5.Remember this is for you

Remember that cooking for yourself is an act of self-love. Yes, I know that some of you may not relate to this, as you have always felt love or maybe you never have, and it is difficult for you to cut out time for yourself because someone told you it is wasteful. Self-care and self-love does not always have to be cultivated by doing extraordinary things on the contrary I think that it is the little day to day things that add up like cooking for yourself. You do not need to cook something extravagant either, all you really need is simple ingredients, ingredients that you can understand. Beans, rice and spinach so simple yet so nutritious. I hope this list is of some help!

Do not hesitate to reach out to me and share your ideas and questions in the comment section below or send me a mail. Now go on you got this 😊

Fizzy Lemonade

 

This is not about Queen B, but trust me it is as good. Summer is finally upon us in Berlin, skirts and shorts are out skin and ice cream licking shaded faces are all over the place….

 

I am going to get right into the recipe, this is possibly the easiest  cooling and soothing lemonade recipe, that will really fulfill that fizzy crave that we all get when the temperatures are up.

Ingredients:

1 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (in Berlin currently there are no available lemons from Europe so i used lemon concentrate from Alnatura which is also good as it is 100/ lemon juice)

1 liter of Sparkling Water (if you cant stomach the fizz than just use still water)

2 Tbsp of Maple syrup (or any syrup you prefer)

1 cup of fresh or frozen berries (whichever berries  you prefer, i used blueberries and strawberries)

A handful of fresh basil leaves or Mint or both

 

Method:

1.place all the ingredients in a jug stir together and enjoy!

p.s If your water is not cold you can use frozen berries which can act as ice cubes.

p.s.s You can also store it in the fridge to cool and enjoy it later. Drink the lemonade within 24 hours so that everything still tastes fresh!

Enjoy!

 

Kimchi on everything

 

Hello

Have i told you how much i love kimchi. Kimchi and i go way way back. I must admit though that i was very scared of making my own kimchi, as i was scared of contamination and explosions- I know i am a little dramatic.

All things aside my kimchi turned out great and it was delicious. So here is the recipe that i used that i got off the kitchn.

However i did twerk up the recipe and added 1 tablespoon of Sea Salt and 1 cup of water, before letting the kimchi rest for 1 week. After 1 week i placed the kimchi in the fridge and waited 5 days after that i burst that jar open with a POP and then nomnonom.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head (2 pounds) napa cabbage
  • 1/4 cup sea salt or kosher salt
  • Water to soak the Napa Cabbage in

For the Paste

  • 1 Tablespoon of grated garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon of ginger
  • 1  teaspoon of sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons of korean chilli powder ( In Berlin you can get it at Vihn Loi)
  • 3 Tablespoons of Water
  • 1 Small Daikon radish peeled and cut into match sticks
  • half a leek cut into circles ( you can also use spring onions)

Finishing Touch

  • 1 Cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of water

 

Special Equipment:

Airtight seal able jar -I used this  one

Method:

  1. Cut the Cabbage in half l remove the cores and then chop medium sized strips.
  2. Salt the Cabbage, place the cabbage in a big bowl and pour in the salt massage it in well, you can use gloves here but that is purely optional just make sure your hands and nails are clean. The cabbage should start to soften once it has slightly softened add water the water should be enough to cover all of the cabbage. Cover the bowl with a chopping board and place a heavy book or canned goods on top. Let it stand for 2 hours.
  3. Meanwhile make the spicy Paste. In a small bowl mix together the garlic, ginger, sugar, chilli powder and water. Set aside.
  4. Rinse the Cabbage and wash and drain with cold water 3 times. Give the cabbage a good squeeze and drain out all the water. Towel dry the bowl and place the bowl and place the cabbage back in the bowl.
  5. Add in the paste, leek and daikon raddish. Mix everything well together, again use your hands however this time it is more advisable to wear gloves as the chilli could irritate your skin and the garlic smell may take longer to get rid of off your hands. However this is entirely up to you!  Make sure its all mixed together well.
  6. Place the mix in the jar add in 1 tbsp of salt and one cup of water, shut the jar and let the magic happen. Let it ferment at room temperature for 1 to 5 days. I let it ferment for 1 week and then placed it in the fridge and let it stand for another 5 days after that i popped it open.
  7. Check on your kimchi daily- Avoid opening the lid too often though. If anything looks off just write me or if you think something has gone wrong don’t risk  getting sick, dispose of it! Always trust your gut feeling. Taste the kimchi if it is to your liking you can eat it at an earlier stage as well, however please use a clean fork and do not use the same fork once it has been in your mouth to avoid contamination.

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once my kimchi was done i ate it with everything ( as pictured above on top of my lentil pommegranate salad) . Kimchi also tastes great with a simple bowl of rice, quinoa or what have you. Kimchi Good!

 

Here are a few links to a blogpost that i read about the benefits of fermented foods. Sauerkraut i am coming for you next!

 

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5711/Why-Im-Krazy-for-Kimchee.html

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-14758/why-fermented-foods-are-good-for-weight-loss-mood-glowing-skin.html

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-24066/the-best-foods-supplements-for-a-healthy-gut-a-doctor-explains.html

 

 

 

 

Cini Mini 1993

 

Ingredients for 3 trays

  • 250g Flour
  • 1 Sachet of Yeast
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 163ml lukewarm water
  • 15g of plant based margarine
  • Cinnamon as much as you prefer
  • Agave as much as you prefer

Method:

Place yeast in a bowl pour in the lukewarm water and add 2 squirts of agave and salt. Set aside for 10 minutes, or till visible bubbles form.

Add in the flour and mix it all well together. Knead with your hands for around 6 minutes. The dough should not be too wet and sticky, it should be very elastic and soft but not sticky. Adjust with Flour and water till you get the right consistency, but first mix everything well together and knead it for around 3 minutes before adjusting anything!

Cover the dough with a kitchen cloth and place in a warm place and let it sit for 1 hour.

After an hour has passed preheat oven to 150 degrees. The dough should visibly have risen. cut the dough into three equal parts. Take one part and roll it out on a parchment paper roll it out very very thinly now spread some margarine on the rolled out dough and then add some agave ( however much you prefer) and spread this equally all over the rolled out dough. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and spread equally as well. Then take a sharp wet knife and cut a plaid pattern all over the rolled out dough. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Place the parchment paper with the dough on a baking tray respectively, and bake for 12 minutes or till they are its golden brown.

Take out of the oven and let it cool then separate the cut plaid pattern  into small tiny squares.

Enjoy!

Recipe Inspired by http://www.mycookingloveaffair.de/rezepte/kinder/zimt-und-der-feind-in-meiner-milch/

Carrot Apple Ginger Smoothie

 

 

This  is something that i have been loving especially in the colder months as it really gives me a kick in the morning. I am slightly allergic to raw carrots and some types of apple skin -apart from Elstar apples- due to cross pollination, as i suffer terribly from hay fever as well.

However i do try to consume small amounts of raw carrots and apples in my diet to reap their nutrient benefits as well. This smoothie is a great way for me to that.

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Method

Put all the ingredients in a mixer and blend till everything is smoothie. Place in a glass or jar sprinkle some chia and hemp shells on top. Enjoy!

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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