Posted by Vegan Be Happy on 31/03/2011
This is another post about the typical cuisine around the Mediterranean sea. This time is the turn of an island called Mallorca. It is a favorite tourist destination for Germans and Britons. There are some neighborhoods where you can get wurst and pints but in other neighborhoods the traditional Mallorcan – Catalan food and culture remains such as ensaïmades, sobrassada, coquets, … and espardenyes. Unfortunately not vegan food however vegetarian or vegan versions are available.
One of the traditional things that are cooked now in Mallorca is Panada. The version that we cooked is a vegan option which actually it is really typical and you can find it everywhere in Easter time. The panada is filled with peas and onion, so simple and tasty. Usually the panada dough is made with white flour, but we used a multi-grain one.
The dough proportions are: 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 cup of water with a pinch of salt and add the flour that the dough needs to not get sticky. In order to shape them, just make a small ball and start from the center making a small bowl. Later when you have filled it with the peas mix, cover it with a thin round piece of dough and then roll the end to seal it well. Apparently this step is an art and you learn it by making a lot of them once a year. As you can see, I am starting in this business and my edges are not so gorgeous as they should be.
Posted by Vegan Be Happy on 19/03/2011
This is a great snack that is really fast to prepare as you do not have to wait for the rice to be cooked and cool. Basically use the vegetables that you have around and simply grate them and ensemble them as in the photo. The raw sushi is tasty ….
For my raw sushi I used carrots, radish, cucumber, courgette, sprouts and sesame seeds and ginger for the taste. You can be creative …
Posted by Vegan Be Happy on 13/03/2011
This weekend I am visting family in València. The weather is great and the food as well. Today I cooked one of my favourite rice dishes that the València cuisine offers. It is known as arros al forn which translates as rice in the oven. Basically the ingredients are the ones that you can see in the photo: tomato, potato, chickpeas, garlic, spring onion, rice, paprika powder and a pinch of saffron. It has simple ingredients, however the combination makes it delicious. Always when I visit my family this is one of the meals that I ask for. I tried to make it several times abroad however it is never as the one cooked here. I don’t know why because I follow the same steps however here always taste much better. For sure it is the mix of all the gorgeous mediterranean ingredients that I use in València what makes the difference.
Posted by Vegan Be Happy on 06/03/2011
This is a perfect dessert to impress someone after a full course meal. I say that because apparently it looks like a heavy, greasy, sweet way to end a meal but it is not. The fruits with the chocolate give a fresh, sweet touch to the dish and the coconut and almond pudding give the right jelly consistency. I was inspired by Sketch free vegan eating with their recipe of sweet cinnamon panna cotta. I did not follow their recipe 100% because I found that the amount of coconut would give a undesired greasy texture. Instead, I used almond milk and dashed coconut with a hint of cinnamon and some sugar. This is a really easy recipe and as you can see from the photo, it can impress your guests.
- 1 cup of almond milk
- 1/2 cup of dashed coconut of coconut flour
- 2 tsp of cinnamon
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 2 tbsp agar flakes
- Strawberries and cranberries
- Chocolate to melt
In a sauce pan, mix the almond milk, the coconut, the cinnamon, the sugar and the agar flakes. Bring it to boil until it has dissolved (around 15-20min, it depends on the size of the flakes). Then place the liquid in a recipient to cold down and become jelly. For decoration, melt the chocolate and pour it on top of the fruits and the pudding as in the photo.
Perhaps people find that the dessert is not sweet enough. The amount of sugar described above just gives the dessert a small hint of sweetness. If you desire a sweeter one, just double the amount of sugar.
Posted by Vegan Be Happy on 01/03/2011
This post is about schorseneer or black salsify and it is one of the most strange things that I found this year in the Netherlands. Where I come from, it is not normal in winter to have so many different types of roots, turnips or in general tubers. So apparently here is the paradise of all these tubers since the winter is so cold, that is the only thing that naturally grows here. In old times, they were known as the asparagus of the poor people since they resemble in shape. Here I could only find them in the natural store Eko Plaza. They are not eaten commonly anymore in Dutch families.
Here are black salsify roots sprinkled with some salt, pepper of may colors and dried garlic with some drops of oil.
I accompanied them with a sauté of leek, mushrooms, sprouted soy and some turnip cooked with sesame oil.
Posted by Vegan Be Happy on 26/02/2011
The other day, I had to celebrate some good news with people, I found some explanation for my work and as I was so excited that we went for dinner to De wankele tafel (in English: the wobbly table). This place is small, cozy and humidly warm. They have around eight tables, a counter and a small kitchen. In my view, the place is run by a Dutch couple, but I am not sure about this fact. He was cooking amazing dishes in the kitchen and she was serving them with sympathy and delicacy. The menu is simple but rich. I ordered the soup of the day which consisted of parsnip with a touch of mustard, great combination of flavours. As main dish I ordered the plate with sate temphe, curried lentils with rice and a baked banana. The portion is was big so if you are not so hungry, it can perfectly be shared by two. And later, I ordered a haverklap (the name is derived from the Dutch expression: om de haverklap) which is a slice of oat cake as dessert. Ouhh that was really good, it had a crunchy crust, nice applesauce taste and a big hint of cinnamon.
Posted by Vegan Be Happy on 22/02/2011
One of the things that I like the most during relaxed days is to go to Baklust and get a nice lovely Vegan cake. This is one of the few places that I have around where they have regular vegan cakes and pastries. The place is really cozy to go with some friends and have a nice chat, also just to go alone and read or just do nothing and contemplate the canal that runs in front of it (look at the pictures on the website). I love the tables, each of them of unique form, color and with all kinds of chairs … Usually the waiters are young people that speak Dutch and English with no problem. The menu consists of soups of the day, quiches of different kinds or empanada, several salads and main dishes. All the dishes can be chosen with fresh self baked bread. More or less half of the menu is vegan and on request they can veganise dishes if possible. As well they usually have several fresh smoothies and juices. I forgot to mention just as an small note that the products are biological/organic.
Just to show you a bit, the other Sunday I just popped in and I asked for the delicious vegan chocolate cake with cranberry and strawberry filling and some mascarpone-like cream on the top. It was delicious with a nice coffee and the waiter intentionally made sure that my cookie was also vegan, lovely no!
Posted by Vegan Be Happy on 06/02/2011
When becoming vegan, one is always afraid of missing to eat cheese in all kind of forms: in sandwiches, roasted, as a spread, dipping sauces, … However, and to my surprise as well, there are substitutes that work perfectly well and I would say that they are even better than the real cheeses.
Recently I have made several different recipes that required cheese however following some recipes and reading in different blogs, I made an awesome “cheese” banana cake, a “cheese” dipping sauce and what it is posted here a “cheese” for crackers. All the recipes are soy free and if you want to be a bit more inventive and create alternatives for cheese without soy products, I really recommend you this book: “The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook“. There are a lot of different recipes with cheese alternatives and the author gives you the alternative to cook with soy or be soy free. A heads-up with respect to the key ingredients, you will have to fill up your cupboards with nutritional yeast, white kidney beans, cashew nuts and agar agar.
The uncheese from the photo resembles “Colby cheese” and really believe me it is awesome
Posted by Vegan Be Happy on 31/01/2011
Do you know which is my favorite vegetables of the winter that grows in Valencia? Yes yes you guessed right, Artichoke. We eat it all the winter long in all kinds of forms: with Spanish omelet, baked, in stews, barbecued, in soups, raw in salads, … more and more ways … The artichoke is known for its anti-age properties, for the vitamin E and other more interesting properties but even if they were unhealthy I would still eat them, they are so good!
Stewing the artichokes is one of the best ways to eat them. They come out really tender and full of flavour. Basically remove the extra leaves from the outside, open the center with your hands or hit them against a table, clean the inside with water and place them as in the photo in a thick bottom pan. Then pour water until the artichokes are covered half and in the center of each of them sprinkle salt and olive oil. Cover the pan and cook at low flame for around 45-60 min (depends on the size and the tenderness of the artichokes). If at the end of the process there is no more water, you can add extra and cook for a while more. This broth is great to pour into the artichoke or to cook with something else.