Frosty the Snowman – Lunch before Christmas

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Time for some easy food art!

Frosty the Snowman

 

Here’s Frosty the Snowman for lunch!
Food can be so much fun, why shouldn’t you play with it ;) .

You don’t need much to make your snowman lunch, but it looks great. It’s a nice idea for kids – or for yourself.

Frosty

This is more an idea than a recipe, but here’s what you need!

Frosty the Snowman

  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • chocolate spread
  • cream cheese (I used my homemade cream cheese, you could use tofuti, too)
  • 1 hazelnut, cut in two halves (eyes)
  • 2 small carrot (nose)
  • small raisins (mouth)
  • lettuce or baby spinach (scarf)

Lego and Frosty

 

Time for a snowball fight – I prefer the Lego version, as it’s less cold…

Oh, the chocolate spread I used for the head is homemade, too! I will post the recipe some time soon!

Have a great Christmas time!

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Gingerbread Pancakes – Breakfast before christmas

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Time to get festive!

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One thing I love about christmas time are all the spices! Cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, all spice… I love them all. They warm me from the inside when it’s freezing outside…

There are all these foods they only sell around Christmas. One of them is “Lebkuchen”, which is the German equivalent to gingerbread. But it’s more like a soft gingerbread and the spice mix is slightly different. The most famous one is the Nuremberg gingerbread. Try it if you get a chance! (I might be posting a recipe for “Lebkuchen” / soft gingerbread before Christmas, too, stay tuned!)

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To cut a long story short: “Lebkuchen” tastes great and so do pancakes (I guess I don’t have to tell you!) – so let’s combine both things! That’s what we did for breakfast today. It warms you form the inside and fills you up for a while because it’s whole wheat. And it’s a really delicious and easy way to make pancakes just a little bit different than usual!

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Gingerbread Pancakes / Lebkuchen-Pancakes
serves two

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tbsp soy flour
  • about ten chopped walnuts (1/8 cup)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp stevia
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp “Lebkuchen” spice mix OR ginger bread spice mix OR one dash of each: Cinnamon, cardamom, muscat, all spice, coriander, ginger, cloves, mace)
  • dash of salt

Mix all the ingredients, adding just as much water as you need to create a pancake batter (the texture should be like a thick cake batter). Put about one tablespoon of dough in a non-sticking pan and cook at medium heat until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip and cook until browned.

Serve with maple syrup. Or vanilla sauce, chocolate syrup, agave syrup, apple sauce… whatever you want! And remember – those are wholewheat pancakes. They will really fill you up! This a breakfast for two hungry people.

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But if you’ve been building snowmen and pancake skiing all morning, like this little friend of mine, you probably are hungry. However, don’t worry, the delicious smell that comes from the spices should be enough to make everyone crave these pancakes.

One more, just because I like it.

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Apricot Bars – Snack time!

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I was a little unsure about the naming – are they energy bars? But why do all things to be functional? And no, they are way to delicious to be no more than energy bars…

Are they pop tarts? They are similar – but there is way more stuffing! (Which is the very best part…)

So… Apricot Bars it is. Because… that’s what they are, after all. And delicious, they are really delicious, of course. But delicious is not really descriptive…

Apricot Bars

 

Oh, don’t let those Bars deceive you. They are definitelly not the most pretty thing… But one of the most tasty ones I’ve made lately. And, remember, if things are not that visually appealing, you might not have to share that much…

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Apricot Bars 

For the dough:

  • 225g  / 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour 
  • 50g / 1/4 cup ground hazelnuts
  • 100g / 1/2 cup margarine or vegan butter
  • 2-4 Tbsp water
  • soy cream or soy milk

For the filling:

  • 225g / 2 cups dried apricots 
  • 250ml / 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 50g / 1/3 cup raisins

Coat a baking pan with baking paper or slightly grease it with margarine. Mix the whole wheat flour and ground nix. Add the margarine and as much water as needed. Knead either with your hands or the food processor until combined. Put the dough in the refrigerator for about 30 min.

For the filling, put the dried apricots, apple juice and cinnamon in a pot and boil the mixture for a few minutes until the apricots are really soft. Let it cool down and blend in your blender (or food processor) until really creamy. Stir in the raisins. That’s your filling!

Roll out one half of the dough and cover the ground of your baking pan with dough. Put the filling on top of it, roll out the second half of dough and cover the bars. Brush some soy cream or milk on top (it adds a nice glaze) and bake for 20-25 min at 200 C or 350 F.

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Remember this guy? Yes, he also loves apricot bars. Maybe it’s the golden orange color that appeals to him? And don’t worry, he didn’t need his axe to cut them… they are rather soft.

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All those secret beauties! I am getting hungry looking at this picture, honestly! This is actually a really old recipe, an accidentally vegan one, which I already made before I was vegan! And I don’t know why I haven’t made those bars in such a long time…

 

The one and only female knight. I think she looks angry. She needs something to eat. People always get grumpy when they are hungry!

Bon appetit!

Djinn’s magic Chickpea Fingers

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Arabian Nights.

Wonder lamps.

Djinn.

And the perfect food for reading the Arabian Nights? Falafel? That’s an old hat! Here’s chickpea fingers! They are similar to Falafel, but a perfect finger food. So you have one hand for turning the pages and the other one for eating chickpea fingers. (Btw, I really recommend reading that book… now during the cold season, with a candle… wonderful)

Chickpeas, aromatic spices and parsley… it makes a wonderful flavor and it’s easy to make!

And what about a yogurt dip on the side, or maybe even mango chutney…?

Djinn’s magic Chickpea Fingers

  • 2 cups chickpeas, cooked and drained (or use canned)
  • 2 tbsp soy flour
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 bunch of  parsley, chopped
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • garlic to taste
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • coconut oil

Mix all the ingredients except the parsley in your food processor or blender (I used the vita-mix with a tamper) until combined. Fill into a bowl and fold in the parsley.
Now take some dough and form the chickpea fingers. They should be about finger-size (surprise, surprise!). Heat the oil in a pan (medium heat) and fry the chickpea fingers until they have a nice brown crust. Enjoy with some salad and a dip on the side!

Note: The recipe seems to work better with cooked (not canned) chickpeas. However, if you want to use canned, add an additional 2-3 tbsp of flour and take care that you chop the onion really fine!

Djinn – approved.

They are perfect for a party, as chickpea fingers are a nice finger food! And they are healthier than deep fried falafel…

What else could you wish for? ;)

Magic Instant Pizza Crust – RAW

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RAWmazing.

(yeah, I know – that’s an old one…)

I always thought I’d never make a raw pizza. For the same reason I’d never make raw bread or even a raw quiche. I recently stumbled upon a recipe for a raw quiche: It took more then 24h to make it, when you count the time for dehydration. That’s just not for me… I am a little… impatient, let’s just leave it like that.

But then… there was the idea to try an instant crust. I didn’t think it would really work… And I was surprised when I liked it even better than a dehydrated pizza crust! It’s a little more moist and not like a cracker!

I am in love with the simplicity of this recipe.

It’s magic. You see? My little friend has been working on that recipe… uncooking everything. And in the end, there was my first homemade raw pizza!

 

Magic Instant Pizza Crust

  • 1 cup sunflower seeds (or 1 1/4 cups almonds)
  • 1 cup flax seeds
  • 1 tsp dried oregano and basil
  • 1/4 tsp see salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3-5 tbsp water, as needed

Grind the sunflower seeds and flaxseeds until powdered. It does not necessary have to be very fine powder, feel free to leave it a little more coarse. I like the texture. Mix in herbs, salt oil and water and needed to create a dough you can knead without sticking to your hands.
Form a circle, add tomato sauce and all veggies you love. I love to use avocado as my “cheese”, of course, you can use any vegan cheese you want, like raw nut cheese or any other vegan cheese.
Voila, that’s homemade RAW Pizza crust without a dehydrator! It’s that easy!

In case you don’t have the possibility to grind nuts and seeds, just use store bought almond meal and flax meal (Flax- or Leinmehl, in German Reformhäusern or Bioläden). You’ll still get a delicious raw pizza crust!

Of course it doesn’t taste one-to-one like a cooked pizza crust! The mouthfeel is completely different – but it’s the idea and the spices that count. It’s fun to make and delicious – give it a try! Even if you make the raw crust, you could still add cooked tomato sauce. Just saying. (There are great recipes for raw tomato sauce, too, if you want to try it!)

Mini Pumpkin Pies – no bake

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Make it small. I like small sized food. Small cookies = more cookies. Small cupcakes = more cupcakes.

Small pies = more pies!!!

And you have a whole pie to yourself… I think that’s great. Plus it’s no bake, so these pies are not only really cute, but also fast and easy to make. Could you ask for anything more?
Oh, and by the way… I think pumpkins are the only reason why fall has a right to exist at all. (You have to know that I don’t really like any season but summer. And yes, I know, I live in a very bad spot concerning my weather preference…).

Come on, they are cute!

The filling is rather a pumpkin pudding, or a pumpkin cream. But it’s one of the most delicious thing I had lately. If you add some corn starch, you could even use this cream as a filling for baked pumpkin pie.

For the crust: It’s raw crust, made from dried fruit, nuts and oats. You could actually use any kind of nut and dried fruits like dates, figs, apricots… I just used what I happened to have in the house. Feel free to use whatever you have on hand!

Mini Pumpkin Pies

  • 100g (1/2 cup) raisins
  • 80g (1/2 cup) almonds
  • 50g (1/2 cup) rolled oats
  • cinnamon
  • 200g (one can) pumpkin puree
  • 3-4 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 175g (6 oz or half a package) silken firm tofu
  • additional sweetener to taste
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger and cardamon
  • dash of salt, nutmeg and cloves

For the crust, combine the raisins, almonds rolled outs and a dash of cinnamon in your food processor (or vita-mix like blender). Press the dough into silicon muffin pans are into tartlet  pans. It should look like this:

For the filling, mix pumpkin puree, tofu, maple syrup and spices in your food processor or blender (I used homemade pumpkin puree, but it won’t make a big difference). Taste test and add more sweetener, if you like.
Fill the pumpkin cream into the crust and you’re ready to enjoy miniature pumpkin pies!

Spider, pink flower, bat. Nothing wrong here!

Trick or treat…

Great, “This is Halloween” is stuck in my head right now! I guess I will have to watch the movie some time soon… eating mini pumpkin pies and thinking of other Halloween food.

Happy Halloween!

Do you go to a Halloween Party and will you dress up?

Simple Apple Pie Smoothie

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I never expected it… but this smoothie really taste like apple pie filling! It’s fresh, raw, foamy, yummy. The dates yield a delicious caramel flavor and sweetness. The almonds make it extra creamy and perfect.

I made this so often for breakfast this week. Seems to be my favorite right now. Another great part: It’s not pricey! Apples are the seasonal fruit right now, at my grocery store, it’s the freshest and cheapest thing I can get.

But what I like best about this smoothie: It’s so easy! I usually have all the ingredients at hand. You only need one kind of fruit! Just apples, no more.  And you won’t believe how delicious it is until you tried!

Apple Pie Smoothie
one big Smoothie

  • 2 apples, cut into quarters
  • 1/8 cup almond (about one hand full)
  • about 5 dates
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup water or as needed
  • optional: some oats or flaxseed – make it a breakfast!

But everything in your blender, ice cubes first. Add as much water as needed for desired consistence. Blend – and enjoy! If you like your smoothie even sweeter, you can add some stevia.

I put some oats and flax seed in my smoothie as a breakfast – the oats make a great “pie crust”. You could also crumble some graham cracker on top of your smoothie. Or decorate it with some cream and cinnamon!

Dive in – Yellow turnip in Yogurt Curry Sauce

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For everyone who’s wondering what a yellow turnip (or sometimes rutabaga, “Steckrübe” in German) is: No, it’s not an exotic vegetable. It’s actually a very traditional vegetable in Europe. An old one, though. But people tend to forget quickly. And they miss out!

Yellow turnip is a kind of cabbage, but unlike most cabbage, it’s easier to digest and easy on the stomach. It’s sweet taste reminds me of parsnips. In case you had too much pumpkin (wait… is there something like to much pumpkin?), this is another great nourishing  vegetable for fall that fills you up, too.

Okay, it’s not only the yellow turnip! I love this easy but great curry sauce! It won’t taste like soy, even if you use soy yogurt. Take care that you have enough sauce. It’s creamy and yummy.

Yellow Turnip in Curry Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 yellow turnip
  • 1 – 1,5 cups/ 250g  soy yogurt
  • 0,5 cup / 125 ml water
  • 2-3 tsp indian curry powder
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • optional: fresh or dried herbs (I used wild garlic)

Peel the yellow turnip and cut it into pieces. Take care that you peel it thoroughly, the peel tastes bitter. Put the turnip in a pot, cover with water, add some salt and cook until soft (15-20 min).

Heat the oil in your pan and add the curry powder. Roast the spice until it smells nice and aromatic. Let the oil cool down a little, then add 0,5 cup of water and the soy yogurt. Stir, then add salt and pepper to taste. Add the yellow turnip – or serve separately! I like to add the yellow turnip and let it sit for a little while, so it takes on the curry flavor from the sauce.

Yes, I could take a bath in that sauce. That little guy likes to dive in, too. Trust me. It’s that good.

And of course, you could serve the sauce with any other vegetable, too! Use it for mushrooms, carrots, eggplants, parsnips,… Or use it as a dip!

 

… did you ever try Yellow Turnip?

Baked Apple Cream

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It’s fall.

A few days ago, there were the first leaves on my car when I wanted to drive home from work. That means: summer is over. It’s fall.

So it’s time for fall flavors! Pumpkin is one of my favorites. Fresh pears and apples. And all the spices! Cinnamon, cardamom (my all time favorite), ginger…

Right now, it’s time for another apple dessert. Baked apples are a favorite treat around Christmas time in Germany. Okay, we were talking about recipes for fall… But however. If you ask me, one can eat baked apples all year round!

Baked Apple Cream 

  • 750 ml / 3 cups unfiltered apple juice (cider)
  • 3 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 apples
  • about 50g (two hands full) raisins
  • about 50g (two hands) chopped almonds
  • 3 tsp brown cane sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

Melt the coconut oil in a non-stick frying pan on medium  heat. Add the almonds and roast them for a few minutes. Then add the sugar and fry until it’s melted and caramelized.
Chop the apples and add them to the sugar almond mixture. Add cinnamon and put aside.

Stir the cornstarch into the apple juice until combined. Heat the juice (stir!) until it boils and turn into a thick cream. Remove the pot from the stove and add the apples-almond mixture.

Enjoy!

 

Someone has to clean up, after all…

 

I had to make this dessert twice. The first time, it was gone before I could take a picture…. it’s that good.

It tastes great warm or cold!

And of course, you could add all the spices you want. Ginger would be great. Mulling spice. Cardamom. Whatever you like!

 

Oktoberfest Beer for dessert

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Yeah, now she’s gone crazy. But I really had beer for dessert. I even had it for breakfast. And was still driving my car afterwards.

No, don’t worry, everything is fine with me.

You’ll still be sober after ten dessert beers!

They are tasty and healthy. Oh, I know there will be many men and women telling me that “real” beer IS very healthy, too. However… my beer doesn’t taste like beer at all. Okay, I admit it: It’s a fake. It’s a dessert that looks like beer. Like real beer.

And I love it. I don’t like “real” beer though. YES, I am living in Germany and I don’t like beer. It’s possible.

But I do like this dessert.

And so does the little Bavarian. (Honestly, I never thought I’d have use for him!)

German Dessert Beer

  • 500ml / 2 cups unfiltered apple juice (cider)
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp agar agar powder
  • soyatoo or any other kind of vegan cream (I used natumi)

Pour the apple juice in a pot and add the agar agar and the cinnamon, using a whisk. Boil the juice for about 2 min, stirring constantly. Pour into beer glasses and let it cool down until firm.
Whip cream and put it on top of your “beer”, it well be the “head”.
Enjoy.

It’s a perfect dessert for any Oktoberfest party. Or just for fun. At first sight, my friends really thought I was having beer!

Well, they should know me better… I’ve just been playing with my food.
Enjoy the dessert beer with a pretzel! (Aren’t those lego pretzels cute? I like it…)