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 😊

Simple vanilla Chia Pud

 

So i am one of those people that get very very very happy when i have prepped all my food a night before for the next  day. As this means that i can sleep longer in the mornings and that i do not have to make so called “convenient” not so nutritious food choices at university or on the go.

This recipe is super easy and so delicious and can be made a up-to 3 nights ahead. It is delicious and tastes so good and can easily be transported in a small glass jar. For this chia pudding i usually use tomato paste jar that is empty and clean, i find that reusing jars is such a nice way to store your spices and make your pantry look nice. At the same time you can use your jars to store your food like a lunch box or in my case like a “break jar” or “lunch jar”.

Ingredients:

6 Tbsp of Chia seeds

1 Tbsp of Oats

1/2 Vanilla bean

10 Tbsp almond milk

half a frozen banana cut up in chunks ( if you do not have frozen bananas in the fridge on standby at all times for nicecream emergencies, just use a regular banana)

handful of cacao nibs

pinch of Ceylon cinnamon (optional)

handful of hemp seeds (Optional)

Method:

Mix all the ingredien
ts together thoroughly. Really stir it all together or else the pudding won’t be pudding like but instead will be dry and not so great. Once you have mixed everything well together seal well and store in the fridge overnight.

Yum in the Tum!

P.s if you like it on the sweet side feel free to add in some agave or maple. Use berries instead of banana or use both. As always this should serve as an idea take it and make it to your liking.

I enjoyed the pictured chia pudding on a beautiful  wooden bench enjoying the last rays of light for that day.

Essentials: Oatly + milk rice recipe

The first product that i want to feature is Oatly. Oatly is a proud Swedish company, that makes oat drinks that are a great alternative to milk. I am all about making my own milk alternatives but sometimes the time is not there to clean everything up, therefore when i buy, i buy Oatly. Other milk alternatives brands which are available in stores contain a ton of crap like sunflower oil, i don’t understand what oil is doing in there! I recommend Oatly because it tastes amazing, contains simple readable minimal ingredients, is creamy and delicious-making it great to cook and bake with. I love their vanilla, chocolate and pure oat drink. I find all three the bombdiggity 😀

 

 

Oatly’s products are organic and place a deep emphasis on producing only plant-based products that are environmentally and eco friendly. Their website is very informative, colorful, has funny illustrations and is enjoyable to read.

Oatly also contributed at the Way out West festival which is one of Sweden’s biggest music festival which decided back in 2012 to go completely meat free this cut the festivals carbon footprint by 25%. They topped this in 2015 by going milk free too with Oatly changing the festivals name to Way oat west. (see video below)

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPTtwsFqwE0

Toni Petersson the CEO of Oatly he also posts YouTube videos under a series called Toni Tv were he posts hilarious videos like the wow no cow song and also shares his thoughts.

Oatly has made it possible for me to remake a childhood dish that i loved and still love and that is Milchreis. As a child i would have done everything for Milk rice i was a milk rice monster. Milk rice is something that is known by most people in Germany and is especially loved by children, it is like a sweet milk risotto that is topped with hot cherries, applemus/applesauce or cinnamon usually.  I have tried making milk rice with coconut milk but that reminded me more of the Thai sticky rice which i also like -don’t get me wrong- but i never really found the milk rice from my childhood till i tried to make it with Oatly. I hope you enjoy it, its super quick and easy  to make and doesn’t really require much stuff 🙂

What you need:

Stove

cooking pot with a lid

wooden spoon

Ingredients:

1 cup of milk rice or risotto rice

4 1/2 cup of vanilla oatly 

toppings: cinnamon, berries or whatever you prefer

Method:

Place the 4 1/2 Cups of Oatly and the rice in a pot and bring to boil once it is boiling turn down the heat to low and let it simmer. Stir occasionally, if it gets to dry add more Oatly. This takes about 25 minutes. Once the rice is ready turn off the heat take the pot away from the stove top and let the rice rest for 10 minutes in the pot with the lid on. Serve in a bowl add your toppings and enjoy. This is a great breakfast, lunch dinner or dessert! 😉

blll

Blacker the berry sweeter the muffin.


This recipe was a roaring success with my brother, who is might i add a very picky person. He is not as supportive of my vegan lifestyle but then again there are not many people around me who are. It gets tough, but instead of arguing or trying to convince my  friends and family i just keep on cooking and preparing delicious meals and i almost always hear hmmmm it tastes real good, i didn’t know vegan could taste good. It tastes good because it is cruelty free and prepared with love and life in mind.

 

this recipe is based on the recipe by cakeinvasion

 for 12 delicious muffins

Ingredients:

230 gram whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 Tablespoon Vanilla ( not essence but actual vanilla)

zest from half a lemon

zest from half an orange

pinch of salt

6 Tablespoons of brown rice syrup( or agave or whatever you have but the sweeter the syrup the less you will need to use)

5 Tablespoons of coconut oil ( or whatever oil you use)

150ml freshly squeezed orange juice

1 Tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice

130g Blueberries ( i used frozen ones, but fresh works well too. If you like a lot of blueberries in muffins use 150g)

2 Tablespoons of whole wheat flour.

 

Method:

Preheat oven to 175 degree Celsius.

In a mixing can add in- if you have a lot of time sift in- the 230 grams of flour with the baking powder in a mixing bowl.

Add in the vanilla, salt and zests. Mix in all the ingredients with a wooden spoon.

Now add the oil, brown rice syrup, orange juice and lemon juice. Mix all everything well, stop mixing when the mixture is smooth and lump free.

In a separate bowl gently mix the blueberries with 2 tablespoons of flour and make sure the blueberries are covered with flour. This is done so that the blueberries don’t get all squashed up.

Place the blueberries into the mixture and fold them in gently.

Line  muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Portion out one and a half a heaped tablespoon of the muffin mix in each liner.

Place in oven and bake for 20 to 25 mins.

Set aside to cool, it is essential to let them cool as this allows the to firm up!

Enjoy these with tasty date paste or with a jam or spread of your choice as these wont be that sweet,- depending on what sweetener you use- I used brown rice syrup and they were perfectly fine for me but for those who like it sweeter there is an array of spreads to use! or devour these sprinkled on top of nicecream or with a cool smoothie the possibilities are endless really!

 

Tip: you can lick out the raw mix as it is vegan! Oh yea 😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

IMG_1470
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.

Untraditional Versions of Hummus

Berlin is a fast growing and evolving city, and you could say I am a somewhat proud Berliner. Its been a bumpy road reconnecting with the city but I am in tune with the flow now. I have found my place here, and I am loving it. Berlin has taught me a lot, and has introduced me to so many new sounds, people and tastes. Especially tastes such as Hummus. Hummus, you good friend of mine. I dollop hummus on so many things now it’s insane. I always have a jar in the fridge for all occasions be it mixed in my veggie bowls, on my rice, in my quinoa, spread on my bread(sprinkled with pomegranate seeds nomnom) or dunking my veggies in it, I simply love it! Hummus is a good and cheap source of protein for vegans and a tablespoon goes a long way. Since it is protein rich it can curb cravings as you get satisfied and get full faster and longer. It is also very easy to prepare at home and can be made in so many different flavors. Below I share two of my favorite recipes.

IMG_1119   Idea: Hummus tastes great spread in a baked sweet potato with salad. It makes a simple but real yummy, nutritious and healthy dinner. Simply Good!

Tip: I also always buy 1kg of dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans from the various Turkish stores that exist in Berlin. This is not only better than buying a can as cans are such a waste, canned beans are also highly processed. Futhermore it is cheaper to buy beans of any kind in its dry form, as it lasts longer and is better for you and you can cook huge batches and freeze them for letter use. To prepare the beans soak them overnight.Drain the beans place in a pot fill with water so that all the beans are covered and bring water to boil, reduce the heat  and cook on low heat. Place a piece of onion in and do not salt the water yet as this slows the beans from becoming cooked through. Cook for an hour on low medium heat and spoon out the foam that may form. During the cooking process study, read do something anything don’t waste time 😀 and blame it on cooking! Once your beans are ready prepare them how you wish or freeze them for later use.  

1. Habibis Hummus

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups of cooked chickpeas

3 Tbsp. of Tahini

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Salt to taste

Juice of 1 lemon

2 pinches of Garam masala (or more if you like the taste)

½ cup of water

Method:

Add all the ingredients to a food processor and process till smooth. *if you don’t like garam masala or don’t have any use ground cumin

2.Baba Gahummous

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups of cooked chickpeas

3 Tbsp. of Tahini

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Salt to taste

Juice of 1 lemon

½ cup of water

2 pinches of Garam masala (or more if you like the taste)

½ tsp of paprika powder

½ red bell pepper ½

eggplant 3 medium sized mushrooms (like locally grown brown champignons)

Method:

Rub some olive oil on the bell pepper and eggplant and chopped up mushrooms. Place everything in a preheated 175 degree Celsius oven and let it bake for about 10 minutes. Just make sure that the bell pepper and eggplant are well browned (not burnt). Add all the other ingredients in a food processor place the roasted mushrooms, eggplant and bell paper into the mix and process till creamy.