Sunday, 15 May 2016

Satay Sauce (low-fat) (high-protein) (vegan)

Let's talk about food culture in the Netherlands.
It is impossible to say: "what is typical Dutch cuisine?" because it does not fall in any small niche.

Of course we have hearty winter fare, most often a simple combination of a potato and vegetable mash (chunky mash mind you) for example with beet, carrot, apple, kale or red cabbage (and they all have cool names too, and paired with bacon bits, sausage or some slow-cooked beef, though of course that could be subbed out for a vegan variant with ease.

We also draw a lot of inspiration from the diverse immigrant cultures however: the Moroccan, South-African, Chinese and most importantly, Indonesian. Standard dishes have names like Nasi Goreng, Bami, and Bobotti. Not to mention our love of fish varieties and of pasta dishes.

Don't say I didn't warn ya!

But today I come to you with something that is key to a beloved favourite of mine, Nasi (fried rice). It is a spice blend-infused dish, with a variety of veggies: leek, carrot, capsicum, onion, mushrooms (all my favourites!!) an optional add-in of pork, or a vegan mock-meat, all combined with cooked rice that is stirred through all the veg on a hot plate to "fry" the rice. What makes this dish a winner is the awesome sides though!

Cocktail onions, seroendeng, chutneys .......satay sauce...

Traditional satay sauce is peanut butter with milk, chili paste, spices, lots of soy sauce and garlic. My version makes this skinny-jean friendly by knocking out the calorie-dense peanut butter for peanut flour. It also makes the sauce a pinch to make. It comes together quickly, and don't be daunted by the ingredient list, it is mostly spices.

Keep a jar handy, because you know you need this to drizzle over your next dinner!

Satay Sauce

1/4 c peanut flour, sifted
1-2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp garlic hummus
1/2 cup plant milk (I used oat)
1/2-1 tsp ginger, or 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
dash of smokey paprika
dash of ground paprika
dash of salt or a little bit of miso
1/4-1/2 tsp cumin
1/4-1/2 tsp coriander
1 tsp sesame oil
tabasco to taste
a crack of fresh ground pepper
juice from half a lemon
additional water, if needed

Whisk all ingredients (except lemon juice and extra water) together in a small metal bowl. Make sure to be rid of any lumps.
Heat gently, while stirring, until it begins to bubble, occasionally tasting and adjusting the seasoning if needed. Squeeze in half the lemon juice and allow sauce to thicken. Squeeze in the last bit of lemon juice at the end.

The sauce thickens (fast) when it cools, so feel free to whisk in a little drizzle of water to thin it out again.

Questions: Do you have a recipe that needs a vegan overhaul? Drop a comment on the blog, my instagram or send an email!

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Ginger Snaps (vegan)

Hah, I don't know if this is traditionally a Kiwi recipe in particular, but it IS everything I desire in a cookie.
Featuring a beautiful crunchy crust with crystalline bite (oh the poetry is flowing now!) and a sturdy chew, so you get to savour the whole experience. I've never been a fan of cookies that dissolve the moment you get your teeth into them, and make their way into your belly sneakily like a ninja. That just facilitates stuffing in fistfuls of cookies in order to get the feel that at least you ate something, am I right?

If your teeth are tender as mine are after an unfortunate dental decision of my wisdom teeth to further crowd my jaw, then you could also rightfully dip them in a hot beverage. I think that is reason enough to indulge that habit, plus coffee-ginger bliss!

Very artistic attempts to create some drama :)
Anywho, here's how to create a plateful of these beauts yourself!



1/4 cup + 1 tbsp margerine
1/2 cup granulated sugar (use coconut sugar if you want)
2 tsp fine ground flax + 2 tbsp aquafaba*
2 tbsp barley syrup/rice syrup/agave/honey (must be syrupy!)
2 heaped teaspoons ground ginger (add grated ginger for a kick)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup barley flour (add up to 1/4 cup more if dough is too wet)
1 tsp baking soda
little dash of salt

1/2 cup sugar for rolling the cookies in

Preheat oven to 175 C (350 F). Place parchment paper on a baking tray.
Mix your double strength vegan egg: combine flax and aquafaba (liquid from cooking beans or from canned beans).
Beat the margerine and sugar until light and creamy. Add the 'egg' and mix vigorously.
Mix in your chosen syrup, I used barley to be different, it has a malty flavour.
Now sift in all remaining ingredients, starting with 1 cup of flour.
Mix until combined, the dough will be very soft. If it is too sticky to roll into balls at all, add extra flour little by little until the dough is manageable.

Now roll generous tablespoons of mixture through the extra sugar, place on the parchment paper and flatten gently into discs.
Bake for 8-12 minutes, the longer baking time results more "snappy" cookies.
Once done, allow to cool on the tray until they firm up, then cool on a cooling rack.
If it looks like this, you are ready to bake.

Beautifully irregular!

In theory these cookies will last 2 weeks in a cookie tin, but they will probably be eaten before then!

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Ontbijtkoek (fat-free) (vegan)

The first recipe in the series I humbly dedicate to this cake which has infused my childhood memories with its firm crumbs and sticky crust.

Many long car rides on holiday to neighbouring countries were punctuated with us singing less than angelically, and pit stops in car parks to make a quick sandwich in the kitchenette of the alpen-kreuzer, and a slice of ontbijtkoek spread generously with butter or margerine.
Runny batter, but it bakes out fine

Fresh out of the oven
While the butter is out, I find a mix of coconut oil and tahini really delectable. What with being 22 hours flying away from stores selling this lovely treat, I have modified a recipe that is a dead ringer taste AND texture wise to make it vegan and to stop the sad dipping in the middle that tends to happen during the baking.



300 gram rye meal (weigh after sifting out any grits) plus 1 tablespoon
1 tbsp each of ground anise and cinnamon 
1/2 tsp each of ground ginger and cloves
optional dash of nutmeg
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

280 gram honey flavoured agave*
140 gram coconut sugar
10 gram molasses
120 mL hot water
40 mL strong liquor**

Heat oven to 160-170 Celcius, around 350 F.
Grease a small loaf pan with oil and lay a strip of parchment paper lengthwise to help remove the cake after baking.

Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium bowl.

In a small bowl, mix sugar with the hot water until it dissolves. Stir in the syrup, molasses and liquor and allow to stand a while to cool.

Add the wet to the dry and stir until combined. If you want you can add finely chopped candied ginger here. Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes until a skewer comes out dry.

Allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes, and then place upside down on a sheet of clingfilm. When it is almost cooled, wrap in clingfilm and store right-way-up on the bench or a chopping board. After a day or so the crust becomes sticky and it is ready to serve!

*if you do eat honey, just use that, or use a mix of rice syrup and agave if wished.
**I like to use rum, coffee liquor, limoncello, but do NOT recommend whiskey or gin, they are too bitter.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Guess who's back? The great vegan overhaul is coming...

Hi dear reader chum. Thanks for dropping by.
And hold on to your hats (yes, all your hats, for they will be blown away by this)....

I am going on a pilgrimage through all my top childhood treats and giving them a vegan overhaul, so all us veggie-munchers can share the joy!
Coming up are some Dutch classics, Edmond's goodies and general yums!

Check in soon to find:
  • ontbijtkoek (literally "breakfast cake")
  • fristi (berry yoghurt drink)
  • wickedly good custard
  • ginger crunch
  • haverruitjes (oat diamonds)
  • anzacs
  • anything else that comes to mind (email or comment suggestions!)
Already available is vegan marzipan if this post has given you a hankering for some yums......

Strange runny boozy batter becomes sticky sturdy cake extraordinaire!
In the meantime, I shall weather the torrential downpour by fortifying with a mug of ginger tea (which gives excellent reason to dangle in a slab of chocolate and lap up melty liquid joy!

Friday, 25 December 2015

iHerb discount! Happy shipping....

Hey everybody.

Geez it has been too long since I touched base with the free wanderers out there, those amazing people that stumble upon my unofficial online diary of kitchen success and other things! (That's YOU, dear reader!)

In a nutshell: I have quit the job in deep-fryer-hell, and spend 99.9% of all my savings on some quality solo travel in Europe. I can hereby report that airbnb will save your eggplant-bacon and that couch-surfing is NOT a death trap but a commendable way to become sociable and get to know people you would otherwise never have met. And you will be all the better for knowing them too.....except creepy single Mexicans who try to get a girl ten years their junior drunk, offering shoulder-massages and sharing the couch-bed despite their profile stating "private room".

Seriously....not cool (I drew a line the next night and insisted on the spare room, assuring him the lack of heating would not bother me in my alpine climate sleeping bag). So beware of that, I would say it is usually safer to stay with more than one person (flatters/travel buddy) or, if you're a single girl, though it is your right to travel alone and you are not "asking for it in any way", there will always be a bad apple in the tree......

But I'll dedicate some proper picturesque posts (lovely alliteration there) to my stages of travel: Praha, Barcelona, Brussel, and some cool spots beyond Amsterdam most tourists wouldn't ever think of.

Here though, I am still unemployed (ah wise cicada, little bird unbakery, please employ me!) and on the last dregs of savings. I shouldn't spend it.....
But then there is iHerb.

Online shop extraordinaire, cheaper than buying cool health goodies and foodie finds from NZ itself, since shipping comes at a niiiiice price.

Heard of them, love them too? Well, grab yourself a $5 saving of your next splurge! Follow this link, or just type LKS468 in the discount box when you check out.

Oh as a note, I will probably have one post of just street art, which comes in more styles than there are stars in the sky. I will also post stuff on my new instagram page, so give me a 'follow' and enjoy the pretty pictures, and little daily tidbits (shameless self-promotion ahem).

That was all about this, next up will be chocolate bubbly bar bonbons (I am still workin' out a name there....) so keep tuned, or just follow my blog, or subscribe (I don't even know) to be up to date on any new posts!

Sit tight for 2016

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Vegan Marzipan

Now I am not an 80-10-10 follower. I tried it once, rawtill4 and all that.
All I gained was three months of eating until feeling verrrrry uncomfortable, being constantly bloated, and gaining a few kilos. Impressive results indeed, I think it is safe to say that, contrary to what Freelee says, the lifestyle simply isn't right for everyone. This lovely blogger explains it quite eloquently in this post here, so I won't blab on about it.

But....there's nothing wrong with eating some delightful raw, low-fat treats now is there? Raw treats are generally vegan and gluten-free, so lots of people can enjoy them in moderation, a real crowd-pleaser.

I don't see a downside folks, I really don't.

Which brings us to this. A treat that brings back a whole host of nostalgic memories for me, of the festive season, cold winters and all the fun revolving around Sinterklaas (google is your friend).
The usual recipe is almond meal, equal part sugar, eggs and some flavourings.....
I kept the flavourings...and completely ditched the nuts and sugar.

I kept it cheap, a simple blend of oats and dates, and those all-important flavourings of course!

Low-fat, no baking or eggs required!

Raw vegan marzipan

1 cup raw/whole/rolled oats*
1 cup pitted dried dates
1/2 teaspoon orangeblossom water**
1/4 teaspoon bitter almond oil**
1 tablespoon hot water
a little lemon zest

cacao powder, for dusting

Blend oats into a fine flour. Finely chop the dates. Mix remaning ingredients together. Add dates and your wet ingredients into the blender. Pulse until the dates are incorporated and it sticks together into a soft dough.
Roll the dough out into two thin logs and roll through/ dust with cocoa.
Refrigerate in a sealed container until firm, then slice into bite-sized pieces.

*Rolled oats aren't raw, but they do blend easier.
** These ingredients can be found in European and Mediterranean specialty stores, or in normal stores if you live in western Europe.

Bounty Bar Fudge in a Jar

That title has a lovely assonance, does it not?
It's pleasing to say in one's head (tell me I'm not alone in that, please)...

Of course, with a title like that. the content of the post must match.
Well, I promise to deliver on that. What I concocted in my kitchen yesterday is a thing of beauty.

Complex flavours that meld together and solidify into a spoonable fudge that melts on the tongue, thanks to the low melting point of coconut fats.
The main players here are ROASTED coconut butter (too addictive for words) toasted oats, cocoa powder, and lashings of maple syrup. Add some oat milk to make delectable bounty bar cream  in your blender. Just try to put it in the jar without sampling, I dare you. Because it is made with warm ingredients, the scent will inevitably fill your nostrils with toasty goodness!

The toasting is non-optional, the anticipation will only make the finished product all the sweeter.

Bounty Bar Fudge 

2 cups coconut thread
1/2 cup whole or rolled oats

40 mL cocoa powder
40 mL maple syrup
120-150 mL oat milk
pinch of salt
optional: few drops of stevia or extra maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 150 Celcius / 300 Fahrenheit.
Spread the coconut out on one pan to form a thin layer, and the oats in a seperate pan.
Place both in the oven and toast, stirring every 4-5 minutes until the coconut is light golden. You can keep the oats in there a bit longer if need be.

Now blend both together in a high-speed blender until super-smooth and runny.
Remove from the blender, and place 1/2 cup of your coconut butter back in the blender. Add remaining ingredients to the blender, starting with just 1/2 cup of milk. Blend until combined. If need be, add additional milk in a slow stream with the blender running, watching until it becomes a slightly drippy consistency, a bit like cake batter.

Sample for flavour purposes ;)

Now you have a delectable spread/sauce, but if you are wanting fudge, more patience! Pour spread into a jar and refrigerate until firm. Get your spoon and savour. Oh, and I'm sure you'll find a purpose for the left-over coconut butter...

Action shot! For the win.

Ah, it's so beautiful!

Question: Have you ever walked in the rain, and actually enjoyed the moment?

I was caught out in my shorts and Kathmandu polyester jacket today, and there were only seriously inadequate trees for shelter.
I usually avoid rain at all costs, but having no shelter and a paper run to complete, I thought " you know what, let's enjoy the moment". A moment just is, and it is us who give it positive or negative connotations. By viewing the rain as cleansing and freeing, one can turn an unpleasant experience into a liberating one.