Feb 2, 2015

Veggie spaghetti bolognese

An Italian classic, but without the meat! I replaced the ground meat with red lentils and they worked really well with this dish - they have a very similar consistence, are a great source of protein and they're delicious! ^^

course country time difficulty
main Italy 30min easy

Serves 2
imperial metric
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
9oz 250g zucchini, chopped
1/4 cup 50g red lentils
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp sugar
3 tsp balsamic vinegar, white
1 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
21oz 600g canned chopped tomatoes
to taste salt and pepper
9oz 250g spaghetti

  • in a pan, heat olive oil and cook zucchini on high heat until evenly browned
  • add onions and garlic and roast everything togehter for a few minutes
  • add lentils, vinegar, oregano, bay leaf, tomato paste, sugar and canned tomatos
  • and cook on medium heat for about 30min (no lid)
  • in a big pot, bring about 2l water to boil and add 2tbsp salt
  • add spaghetti and cook about 7 minutes - check single spaghetti the last minutes
  • they are done, if they are still firm to the bite (al dente)
Strain spaghetti and serve with sauce and freshly grated parmesan. Enjoy!

Jan 29, 2015

Vegan Ghanaian Chicken and rice

Another super simple and easy vegan dish - this time inspired by the classic "Chicken & Rice" from Ghana.

I used myself-made seitan (klick here, to see the recipe) as substitute for the chicken and it was delicious! I really liked, how all the flavors worked together - the sweetness from the peppers, the saltiness of the soy sauce, the taste of citrus and the spiciness. Yum!

Give it a try! ^^

course country time difficulty
main Ghana 30min easy

Serves 2

I used the same method as in this recipe.

imperial metric
8oz 225g Seitan
2 EL soy sauce
1/4 cup 60ml orange juice (100%)
1 garlic clove, pressed
2 tbsp oil
1 big bell pepper, red, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove,chopped
2 tsp curry
2 tsp paprika powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp or more chili
7oz 200ml coconut milk
to taste salt


Preparation 12-24h ahead: marinate seitan in orange juice, soy sauce and 1 pressed garlic clove If you're in a hurry, you can skip this step and add these ingredients directly to the dish.
  • strain the seitan but save the marinade for later
  • set up the rice (see link above)
  • in a pan, heat some oil and cook seitan and onions on high heat until evenly browned
  • add chopped garlic and pepper and roast a few minutes together
  • add spices and stir
  • add marinade and coconut milk
  • if the consistence is to runny for your taste, mix 1 tsp starch with a bit of cold water in a small container, add it to the sauce and bring to boil (there's also gluten-free starch, if you're sensible to gluten)
Serve seitan ragout with rice and chopped cashews

Jan 26, 2015

Majorcan garlic soup [vegan]

A super quick and easy recipe for all the garlic lovers out there! This soup is full of flavor, while being super creamy and smooth (without any diary!).
Give it a try and tell me how you liked it! ^^

course country time difficulty
starter or main Spain 30min easy

Serves 2 as main and 4 as starter

imperial metric
2 tbsp olive oil
20 (2.5oz/75g) garlic cloves, peeled
3 slices sandwich toast, chopped
4 (1lb/450g) tomatoes, chopped
4cup 1l vegetable broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp oregano
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp sugar
pinch chili powder
to taste salt
1 slice sandwich toast, chopped in cubes

  • in a big pot, heat olive oil and roast garlic and toast until browned
  • add tomatoes and tomato paste and roast for a few minutes
  • add the remaining ingredients and cook for about 15 minutes
  • use a hand blender until you get a nice smooth consistence
  • if you want, you can strain the soup through a sieve
  • put the soup back on the stove to warm it up again
  • in the meantime, fry toast cubes in a pan with a bit olive oil until crispy and browned

Serve soup with croutons and some fresh herbs of you choice

Jan 25, 2015

How to make seitan from flour

I usually cook completely without any vegetarian meat substitutes. The main reason is that most of these commercial products have loads of ingredients - like artificial colors and flavors - to make it more meat-like and I really don't want these in my diet. Most of the time I'm just fine with my legumes, nuts and other natural ingredients to account for my protein intake.

But sometimes, I want to cook something I know from my childhood - some nice hearty comfort food and traditional dishes - and these recipe usually don't work without a nice piece of meat. In this cases, I use this recipe to make some seitan, and while having full control over all ingredients, I can also fit the taste to my needs.

I hope you try it out! ^^

course country time difficulty
Basics - 2h medium

Serves 4
imperial metric
8 cups 1kg flour
2.5 cups 600ml water

imperial metric
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup 60ml soy sauce
1/8 cup 30ml vinegar
6 cup 1.5l water
2 tbsp granulated broth
2 tbsp mustard
2 tsp paprika powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1 tsp garlic powder
1 bay leaf

Of course this is just an orientation, you can drop ingredients you don't like and add others. I find the taste of the seitan with this marinade to be hearty, meaty but not to overwhelming or "specific".
But according to the designated use, you can add more "specific" ingredients like ginger to fit an Asian inspired meal or tomato paste and oregano to fit an Italian dish


  • in a big bowl, mix flour and water
  • using you hand or a kneading machine, knead the dough for about 5-10 minutes until homogeneous
  • fill the bowl with water until the dough is completely covered
  • leave for about 20 min, until you're done with the marinade

  • in a medium pot, heat olive oil and cook onions until browned
  • add garlic and roast for another 2min
  • add all remaining ingredients and stir
  • let the marinade simmer until the dough is prepared

  • begin to knead the dough under water
  • you will notice the water getting milky, that's the starch you're washing out
  • when the water is completely opaque, replace the milky water with fresh water
  • as you continue kneading, the dough will fall apart, leaving small shreds of a rubber-like substance - that's the protein we want (which is not water-soluble)
  • you may use a fine sieve to not loose these shred to the drain, while replacing the water
  • try to knead those loose pieces together by using a "folding movement"
  • continue to knead and replace the water until the water remains (mostly) clear
  • the better you wash out the starch, the firmer the seitan will be
  • loaf will be only a fraction of the size of the original dough, but don't worry, it will grow again
  • cut the seitan in suitable pieces, according to the designated use (but keep in mind, the pieces will double in size during the cooking process
  • now, add the seitan pieces to the simmering marinade and cook for about 1 hour
  • after that, fill everything in a big canning car or a tupperware container (depending on when you want to use is)
  • it's best to leaf the seitan for 1-2d to soak up all the flavor, but you can also use it after a few hours
Before I use the seitan, I usually drain it and stir-fry it in a pan with oil, like I would any meat. Sometimes, I hold back some of the marinade to use it for my sauce.

Jan 24, 2015

Self-made granulated vegetable broth

I think most people don't realize, how SIMPLE it is, to go without all the convenience, instant and super-processed broth products with loads of preservatives, flavor enhancer and other strange and non-pronounceable ingredients.

You just need some nice soup greens, some salt, a blender and an oven. You can even skip the oven part and use your veggies as paste for you soup. It's as easy as that and especially that much healthier.

course country time difficulty
Basics - 10min + 2.5h drying time easy


imperial metric
1 lb 500g soup greens (I used carrots, leek, celery roots, parsley)
3 tsp salt

This recipe is like a base to build on, you can use any soup greens you like and you can add more herbs and spices to fit your taste.

One example: if you plan on doing an soup inspired by the Asian cuisine, add ginger and/or lemongrass to you recipe!

  • clean your vegetables and chop them in big pieces
  • add pieces and salt to a blender and chop finely
  • spread everything on a lined baking sheet and put into oven for ~2h at 170°F/75°C - leave the oven door ajar
  • use a fork to loosen up the mixture every ~30 min or so
  • turn the heat off and leave for another 30min in the oven
  • fill in a suitable container and keep in a dry and cool spot
You can skip the drying process if you're in a hurry - the vegetable paste works just as fine (picture above), it's just more perishable (about 2 weeks in the fridge). When I make this recipe, I usually dry half of the chopped vegetable and use the other half freshly. When you use the paste for a soup, you can fry it in some oil before you put the water in, to get a nice roasting flavor.