Thursday, 19 August 2010

Easy Lunch for One Person (Couscous with Eggplant)

Being alone at midday, I wanted to cook something fast and simple and so this is what I came up with:


1/2 cup of couscous
1 medium sized eggplant
1 onion
1 tomato
dry mint
2 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil

Bring one cup of water to a boil, take it off the fire and add the couscous. Cover the pot and let the couscous do its magic. Peel the eggplant and cut it into four long pieces. Chop the onion and the tomato.

Heat the olive oil in a pot and fry the eggplant and onion until they are a bit golden on the outside, then add half a cup of water, the tomato, salt, mint and cinnamon, turn to low heat, cover and let the vegetables steam for some time. In the meanwhile check back on your couscous and if it already absorbed all the water add salt and a bit of olive oil or butter. When the eggplant is nicely soft and has absorbed the nice flavors of its companions, your food is ready. You could serve this with a bit of Greek yogurt, some slices of cheese or a little salad if you like.

(This last photo I made using some little light that leaked through the window and made the food look nicely dramatic :P )

Delicious Pasta Sauce with Pumpkin

Hello, hello,

Yesterday I made some really tasty pasta sauce out of pumpkin and some other veggies. My husband coincidentally brought home some slices of pizza, so we had a rather Italian day, I'd say. :) Be sure to only boil the pasta once the sauce is almost ready, because in my case the pasta got cold, waiting for the sauce to finish. OK, so here it goes:

What you need (for two people):

Pasta of your choice
2 1/2 - 3 cups of pumpkin, peeled and cut into cubes.
1 onion
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
2 tomatoes
2-3 garlic segments
a bit of ginger
Herbs of the Provence, or other dry herbs
A few leaves of fresh rosemary
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of cumin
1-2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
Some water

How you make it:

Chop the vegetables (the onions and peppers should be rather finely chopped). Heat the oil in a pot or pan and fry the onion and pumpkin for a bit later adding peppers and tomato.

Add enough water for the pumpkins to boil nicely, but don't put too much, as this is not supposed to be a soup. Anyway, the pumpkins absorb a lot of water, so don't worry if it looks like too much. If all the water dries out before the pumpkin is ready just add some more. When the sauce boils turn the heat to lower medium letting it boil around peacefully.

After some time add the chopped garlic and ginger, the herbs and the spices and let it boil until the pumpkin is soft enough to be easily mashed with a fork (which you should do to some of the pumpkin pieces to give a creamier consistency).

Now your sauce is ready to be served on top of your pasta!
Enjoy and experiment with your own variations of this tasty vegan sauce.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Homemade Peanut butter

OK, long time no recipe-posting from me, sorry.
Right now I am avoiding milk-products and egg and was wondering "what do vegans eat with their bread?".
I don't really mind eating a slice of bread with just tomato or cucumber, but without butter it does taste dry and boring.
Of course there is hummus and other vegan spreads I know of (and like) but I didn't want to make something time consuming like that, so I searched in the internet and mainly found ideas like making a sandwich with "XY's fake vegan meat no. Z".
I am not sooo into this products + most of them are absolutely unavailable here, so I discarded those ideas right from the start.
Then someone suggested: "peanut butter!"
It's been years since I ate peanut butter the last time, it must have been in 1997 or something, so I was interested and started to search for recipes to see if I could save some money by making it myself.
All recipes I read gave the same instructions which I am going to share with you here (with the amounts I used):


ca. 3 1/2 cups of raw peanuts
ca. 3 Tbsp. of olive oil (in the recipes I read they use peanut or canola oil)
Salt to taste

So this is how you do it:

Roast the peanuts on low heat with or without the inner brown/red peel (as you prefer) until they become toasty-golden and oily looking.
Blend the roasted nuts, oil and salt in a blender or food processor until the mixture reaches the right consistency and ready!
Try adding the oil a spoon at a time, because you might need less or more oil to get it as you like it.

It took me some extra effort because our peanuts had gotten ant-infested and I had to handpick all the still edible peanuts but it was well worth the time!
I was really amazed when I tasted it and realized that the flavor is identical to store bought peanut butter!
And the preparation is easy and fast!

So I hope you all enjoy this recipe and don't forget to share your vegan bread spread recipes with me ;)