egg-free

Homemade peanut butter granola

I used to be a real granola fan. But as it’s pretty much impossible to buy loose granola, I gave up my brekkie favourite. Unfortunately I couldn’t stop craving it. That’s probably not suprising – store-bought granola does not only come in plastic packaging, it’s also full of sugar, That explains why I was so hooked on it.

The good news is: There is a much better alternative you can make in less than 5 minutes – homemade granola. That’s granola minus the excess sugar and packaging. Plus you save heaps of money.

Here’s my favourite peanut butter granola recipe – for all those who wanna ditch store-bought granola and eat better!

You need:

160 g of oats

2 TS of flax seed

1 TS of chia seed (optional, can be substituted by another TS of flax seed)

a pinch of vanilla

a pinch of cinnamon

a pinch of salt

50 g of peanut butter

40 g of agave juice or other sweetener

30 g of margarine

Mix the dry ingrendients in a bowl. Heat up the wet ingredients in the microwave or a pot and mix them well. Add them to the dry ingredients and mix again. Then bake everything in the oven for about 15-20 min at 160°C. Let the granola cool down and store it in an air tight container.

And now: Enjoy!

granola

P.S. You can of course use any other nut butter in this recipe, too – for example cashew, hazelnut or almond butter.

 

Long time no see

Hello again,

after vanishing from the blogging world for the last couple of months I finally found the motivating to write again. I do have to admit I got a little lazy, but I needed some time off to regain my creative energy after an exhausting start of the year. So instead of blogging I moved houses, went on holidays and spent lots of fun nights with friends.

One of the most memoreable ones took place about three weeks ago when I went to the first “Schnippeldisko” of my life. The event was organized by Slow Food Youth Düsseldorf and intended to raise awareness for food waste. So my friends (read Amanda’s beautiful article about it) and I spent the night dancing, drinking and chopping heart-shaped potatoes, weird-looking radishes and bent carrots. The food came from a local farmer who explained to us it wasn’t perfect enough for supermarkets, so it would normally have to get thrown out – a thing that is just absolutely outrageous and sad, especially if you take into account that nothing was wrong with the food apart from its shape. The “Schnippel-dinner” proved that: The ingredients were used to cook delicious soup, a yummy side salad and a fruit salad as dessert for everyone.

Schnippeldisko

As a result of this night I’m trying to avoid food waste even harder which led to some crazy combinations on my dinner table. For example I’ve been eating nothing but asparagus for dinner for the last five days (asparagus with hollandaise sauce turned into asparagus soup turned into asparagus pasta sauce turned into asparagus sauce for German dumplings) – and suddenly my creativity is back 🙂 So before I vanish from the blogging sphere again (I decided not to overdo it, so I won’t post as regularly as I used to), I want to share an easy summer recipe with you – gazpacho soup.

It’s a great leftover recipe for using up old bread and it’s really super-quick. For 4-6 portions use:

1-2 stale bread rolls or slices of bread

5 medium-sized tomatos

1 green or yellow bell pepper

2/3 of a cucumber

2 cloves of garlic

1 tsp of lemon juice

1 TS of balsamic vinegar

salt

black pepper

parsley for decoration

optional: 1 tsp of sugar (only if the soup is too sour for you)

Soak the bread in a bit of water and let it get all soaked up for about 20 to 45 minutes (depending on how stale it is). Pour hot water over the tomatos and peel them. Then chop everything up and blend it together. Add the bread and blend again. Use tomato cubes and parsley for decoration.

Enjoy!

Gazpacho

 

Oriental style quinoa salad

A plastic-free office lunch

I hate pre-packaged salads. They do not only leave me with lots of unnecessary packaging, they also taste boring and often contain preservatives and other things I don’t want in my food. So whenever I work outside of my apartment (I’m a freelancer, so I can often cook lunch at home – a huge advantage) I make myself a little lunch box. One of the easiest things to prepare is quinoa. You just boil it in salt water or stock, let it cool down a bit and mix it with veggies and spices. Here’s my favourite version of it – oriental style quinoa salad with spinach and chickpeas. I usually make it a day in advance and it lasts for about three days.

You need (serving 4)

200 g of quinoa (in a cardboard box from Davert)

450-500 ml of vegetable stock or water

2 TS of olive oil

200 g of fresh spinach

2-3 TS of roasted pine nuts (bought loose)

200 g of (pre-boiled) chickpeas (I bought them in a glass jar at dm)

2 small carrots

3 spring onions

1 clove of garlic

3 TS of fresh parsley

juice of 1 lemon

1 chilli

1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper

1 TS of turmeric

1 TS of paprika

1 TS of curry

a pinch of sea salt

fresh ground pepper

dressing (optional):

150 g of soy or greek yoghurt

1 TS of lemon juice

a pinch of salt

Boil the quinoa for about 20 minutes until the liquid is all soaked up. Let the quinoa cool down, chop the spring onions, the carrots, the parsley and garlic. Roast the pine nuts and wash the spinach. Then mix everything with the rest of the ingredients. Then mix yoghurt with lemon juice and salt for the dressing. Et voilà: The world’s yummiest office lunch!

Quinoa salad

Sweet millet porridge

… another plastic-free breakfast idea

There is nothing more warming on a cold winter day than homemade porridge for breakfast. As I eat it almost everyday, I need some variation from time to time. So this time I just used millet instead. It’s packed with protein, magnesium and vitamin b3. On top of that it’s also gluten-free. Plus: Millet porridge makes it really easy to ditch all sweet, overly packed sweet breakfast cereals. Any more arguments needed?

For two portions use:

1 cup of millet – I literally mean fill up a small cup or mug (available in cardboard packaging at international grocer’s)

2 cups of almond milk or any other plant-based milk (soy milk in re-usable glass bottles is available in some health shops like SuperBioMarkt)

2 small apples

3-4 TS of raisins or other dried fruits (can be bought loose in most health shops like SuperBioMarkt)

2 TS of almonds (buy them loose at the market)

1 1/2 TS of agave juice (Allos sells agave juice in glass jars)

1 tsp of cinnamon (I always buy spices from the Turkish grocer, you can get them in glass jars there)

Bring the almond milk to the boil and stir in the millet. Let everything boil at low heat for 5 minutes. Let everything cool down for another 5-10 minutes and stir in the rest of the ingredients. Et voilà, so much better than sugary cereals!

sweet millet

By the way, I’m participating in the Vegan Wednesday Challenge for winter recipes. If you want to find more inspiration for the cold season, have a look here.

Coriander peanut pesto

Plastic-free cooking: A project inspired by a bunch of leftover coriander and Leckerbox’s MittwochsBox #32

Pasta and pesto is my no. 1 guilty pleasure. I reckon it made up about 50 per cent of my diet when I was a student and although I’m trying not to overdo it anymore, there is hardly anything I enjoy more than a lazy night at home with a huge plate of pesto. Fortunately pesto is one of the few things you almost always get without plastic packaging, so for a long time I didn’t really see the need to make my own pesto (although I knew how much better it tastes and healthier it is) – until I realized that it’s a great way of preserving any sort of leftover herbs (not only basil).

So last week two things came together: I had a whole bunch of coriander and I happened to stumble upon Leckerbox’s Italian blogging challenge – and this is the story of how a few leftovers turned into a unsual Italian-Asian fusion pesto. The best thing is that it is ridiculously easy to  make. Just put all ingredients in the blender, blend them well, boil up some brown pasta and enjoy!

For a plastic-free coriander peanut pesto (1 big jar) use:

1 big bunch of coriander (without packaging from the veggie shop, bring your own container or bag cause it’s normally a little wet)

a handful of unsalted peanuts (same here: buy them loose from a veggie or health shop)

1 chilli

juice of 1 lemon

1 TS of fresh grated ginger

2-3 TS of grated parmesan (packaging-free from the cheese counter), for a vegan version 1-2 TS of nutritional yeast (cardboard packaging)

a few drops of sesame oil

olive oil (start with a few TS and add more depending on how thick you want it to be

pepper

salt

coriander pesto

Et voilá, you got yourself a flavour explosion! If you got any leftovers, then store the pesto in an old glass jar and put it in your fridge. Cover it with some more oil and it will last for at least two weeks.

Beer meets cake

The perfect (plastic-free) gift for beer lovers

What’s a beer lover’s dream? That’s what I was asking myself a little while ago. Looking for an unusual party gift I found this interesting recipe on Cake Invasion, a baking blog I can highly recommend – beer cake. I tried it out and did not only turn out perfectly, it also tasted delicious – don’t be afraid of the beer component, you can’t really taste it. It’s actually kind of Christmas-y, probably because of the nuts in there.

Try it out, you will love it. And here’s the English recipe (for a vegan version use agave juice instead of honey).

beer cake1 beer cake2 beer cake3

Fluffy apple crumble cake with cranberries

Soul food for cold days

An apple a day keeps the doctor away – I don’t know if this proverb actually counts if you turn your apple into cake, but let’s give it a try. So here’s the first recipe from last weekend’s cake invasion extravaganza: apple crumble cake with cranberries.  Thanks to my dad’s gardening efforts I’ve still got plenty of apples at home. So here’s all you need to be happy on a cold, rainy day:

For the cake base:

80 g of sugar

1 packet of vanilla sugar

100 g of margarine

1 tsp of egg replacer (like “no egg”, alternatively you can use flaxseed flour)

120 ml of organic soy milk (alternatively other plant-based milk)

1/2 tsp of cinnamon

250 g of all-purpose flour

1/2 pack of baking powder

a pinch of salt

For the crumble

1 big apple or 2-3 small apples, cut in slices

500 g of apple sauce (I used homemade apple sauce)

1/2 tsp of cinnamon

1/2 tsp of fresh vanilla (alternatively vanilla sugar)

70 g of margarine

100 g of all-purpose flour

3 TS of dried cranberries

75 g of sugar

1 TS of icing sugar

Get started: Mix the sugar and the margarine with a handheld mixer until it gets a bit bigger (Make sure that the margarine is not too hard, it works a lot better if you take it out of the fridge an hour before starting your preparation). Then add egg replacer, flour, baking powder, almond milk, sugar, vanilla sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Put it in a springform pan and preheat the oven (set it to 200 degrees celsius).

Put the apple sauce on top of the cake base and put the apple slices and cranberries on top (I placed them on the cake base in a circle, but that’s totally up to you). After that mix the rest of the crumble ingredients and put little bits of it on top of the cake.

Put your cake on the middle rack of your oven and bake it for about 40-50 minutes. Let it cool down a bit and sprinkle 1 TS of icing sugar on top. Serve it with coconut cream!

apple crumble cakeapple crumble

So what’s your favourite winter cake? Recipes are always welcome 🙂