Archive | December, 2012

More Brussels Sprouts

28 Dec

Last week polenta with roasted brussels sprouts was on the menu, an easy and delicious meal! Recipe courtesy of Veggie Belly, I basically did all she did with some tiny variations like adding some gorgonzola to my polenta and adding some more garlic cloves and slicing them because I love garlic. As I still had a lot of brussels sprouts left, I made soup with them the day after, recipe from my vegetarian basics cookbook. Really yummy! Both recipes serve about 3 to 4 people depending on how hungry they are.

Polenta with Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients for Polenta
250 ml water
350ml milk
170 gr polenta
salt
butter
grated parmesan cheese
gorgonzola

Usually there are instructions on the package but here you go: boil the water and milk with some salt and when it starts to boil, stir in the polenta (best done with a whisk), whisk until it’s all mixed. Let the polenta cook on medium heat until it’s cooked, stir every 10 minutes. When it’s done add the butter and cheese. It’s best to use a large pan because polenta tends to splutter while cooking.

Ingredients for Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
12 brussels sprouts.
3/4 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon  balsamic vinegar
clove of garlic, peeled
thyme sprigs (I didn’t have sprigs at hand so I used minced thyme)
salt
black pepper

Pre heat oven to 190C and clean your brussels sprouts. Once done, cut them in half length-wise. Place them in a bowl with all your other ingredients, toss them and then spread them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure they’re all in a single layer. Bake until they are browned (about 20 minutes) and half way through toss them.

Brussels Sprouts Soup with Barley

Ingredients

500 gram brussels sprouts1,5 l vegetable stock
1 large onion
100 gr barley
1/4 lemon (I didn’t have one so I used some lemon juice instead)
3 tablespoons butter or oil
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
parsley (I don’t like parsley so I used chives instead because I had them)
75 gr cream (or more if you like)
3 tablespoons pine nuts
Salt
Pepper

Chop the onion, wash the lemon and cut off the rind, wash the parsley and chop in little pieces. Saute the onion with the lemon rind and parsley for a couple of minutes in butter or oil. Add the barley and cumin, stir everything together and then add the vegetable stock. Cover the pan half and let it simmer for 30 minutes on low heat. Add the brussels sprouts (cleaned and cut as small or large as you like them) and cream, stirring everything together. Let the soup simmer until the brussels sprouts are done (about 15 minutes). Taste the soup with salt and pepper. Before serving, heat up some more butter or oil and roast your pine nuts. Serve the soup with the roasted pine nuts, some parsley to garnish and bread if you like. I also added some gorgonzola to my soup which was perfect.

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Vegan Challenge 2013

15 Dec

I received the book Vegan Planet in the mail this week, a wonderful surprise gift for Christmas from a friend. Thanks again! Since I’ve become a vegetarian, I’ve been flirting with a vegan lifestyle now and then but never really went through with it. Excuses have been:

* I love cheese too much, can’t give it up. Yes there are some cheeses that I’d definitely miss, like Parmesan, Gorgonzola, Mozzarella, maybe even cream cheeses because they’re so easy to throw on a sandwich to take with me to work. However every time I see another report on what actually goes on in the dairy industry I know that I should get over my love for cheese. There are substitutes and while they might not be like Parmesan or Gorgonzola, they will give me the knowledge of no cows being abused for my cheese.
* I’m lazy. Worst excuse ever, I should just stock up on soy and rice products and do it. I love soy or rice milk as much as actual milk. Still gotta try almond milk. And soy cream to cook works as well as dairy cream. Definitely no need for this excuse.
* Vegan products are expensive. They don’t have to be, there’s no need to buy the expensive stuff and a package of dried beans and lentils will go a long way. Besides I do sometimes eat meat substitutes, not too often because I feel all the ready made stuff is not good for me, and they’ve become so much cheaper nowadays. The only thing that might be expensive here is vegan cheese and the likes but no need for that, I can make my own and I have been told that nutritional yeast is a lifesaver.
* What if I want ice cream? Either try to find vegan ice cream, make your own, eat fruit flavors without dairy or suck it up!
* Some people will think I’ve gone completely crazy. Let them think what they want, it’s my life style and my decision.
* I can’t eat that delicious popcorn at the cinema anymore. Now this one will be hard and I can’t think of any solution. I’ll just have to resign to say goodbye to this addictive stuff and resort to only making my own popcorn at home without butter.
* No mayonnaise with french fries anymore. Well veganaise yes but that doesn’t really taste as good as the real thing, at least the kind that I have tasted. I’ll have to try other kinds and I’ll look into making my own without using eggs.

This said I have decided that in the new year I’m going to do a couple of vegan challenges. I’ll go vegan for 10 days. Maybe 30 after that. Also, I’m going to try at least 52 recipes from the vegan cookbook. There are 400 delicious recipes to chose from in the book, using at least 52 should definitely not be a problem. Obviously with the 10 and 30 day challenges the number of 52 will be quickly adding up and hey, when I end up cooking 92 recipes at least, let’s make it a 100 right? Or maybe more. Maybe this will be the final push I need to become completely vegan. I already don’t eat eggs and honey (honestly the latter only because I never really use it a lot anyway) and I don’t mind leaving out milk and milk products. It’s only the damn cheese that might be a challenge but I’m going to try.

We’ll see how this goes, I’m going for the proposed challenge and we’ll go from there!

Photo A Day November

14 Dec








The list:

Brussels Sprouts Are Awesome

13 Dec

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Image by Sofie Dittman

I love brussels sprouts, hated them as a kid but absolutely love them now. I could eat them all the time, even just plainly cooked. I professed my love for them and shared some recipes a while back here over at Wit & Fancy. One recipe I shared I got from a friend, it’s pasta with brussels sprouts and gorgonzola. A couple of weeks ago I decided to change that one a bit and make it with rice, turned pretty good but that was to be expected because if you got brussels sprouts and gorgonzola nothing can go wrong.

Ingredients:

Rice
Brussels sprouts
Chickpeas
Gorgonzola
Sour cream
Onion
Garlic
Chili flakes
Salt
Pepper
Balsamic vinegar

Cook the rice and the brussels sprouts. In the meantime saute your onion and garlic and once everything is done, you throw everything together. Then add the gorgonzola and sour cream and keep on medium heat so the gorgonzola can melt. Add some salt, pepper and chili flakes to your liking and sprinkle some balsamic vinegar over your dish once it’s on the plate. Enjoy!