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22 Feb

Dear reader,

we are moving to a new address:

www.veganbehappy.org.

This is a present from someone who loves me and who has seen me fighting against the .css.

Hopefully in this new place,

  • I will be able to add whatever feature I think will help us to communicate
  • Soon, I will get a new camera and I will post better photos
  • I intend also to post about places that I go to eat like cafes, restaurants or a friend’s house

I hope that you enjoy the new setup and please, send me comments to improve it!

Colby uncheese with crackers

6 Feb

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! For those of you with more curiosity and wonder who is the guy of the sack, he is a traditional character in the Netherlands that helps to distribute the presents to the children with Sinterklaas. His name is Zwarte Piet.

Artichokes

31 Jan

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.

Artichokes just after the cooking process.

This is the center of the artichoke with the leaves.

To eat, just detach from the center and eat what is not hard from the leave.

Ohh!! this is the best bite! leave it for the end and enjoy it.

I remember that as a kid I would not like the heart of the artichoke, all the grown ups would fight to get them and I never understood. And now here in Nederland I wish that I could get the artichokes of my dad just for their heart.

 

Double chocolate cookies – GF

30 Jan

I made two different version of the cookies from  Manifest Vegan.

The first one resembles those Spanish sweets: polvoró.

And later, I flattered and sprinkled some hagelslag (Dutch sprinkles for bread).

Oreo cake & spicy ginger bread

20 Dec

I made these two cakes to share with my colleagues at work. The reason is that I had to announce some great news and there is a tradition in our group to bring some sweets for the coffee break. We also bring sweets for birthdays or when someone comes back from a trip. The two cakes were a tremendous success, actually if I would have brought more, they would have eaten it all. Those physicists have a really sweet tooth. The Oreo cake was made with carob layers and a coconut jelly in between (but has no oreos!). For the spicy ginger bread, I used sweet-dry ginger cubes with speculaas spices, ouhh a great combination.

Recipes coming soon!

Orange & carrot soup

8 Dec

Orange & carrot soup:

Ingredients:

  • 400g carrots
  • 1 onion
  • juice from 1 orange
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt

Procedure:

Start by frying the onion in a low fire until it caramelizes. Add water to a boiling pan and add the carrot grated previously and the onion. Leave it boiling for 15min and then add the orange juice with the salt and nutmeg (as you like) and leave it boiling 5min more. Blend it until you get a nice cream/soup, if you like the pieces of carrot blend it less. Add a bit of vegan-cream and some coriander as the soup is presented in the above photo.

With the soup it is always yummy to eat a nice bread to dip into it. A good idea is to bake a nice carrot scones (salty) to end the day full of vitamin A.

Carrot bread:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 3 grated carrots
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 3/4 cup of water

Procedure:

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl including the carrot and mix it well. Then add the water and until a nice dough comes out, perhaps you have to add more water. Then leave it for 30min in big piece. Later, mash the dough in a shit shape and with a glass make the little balls. Leave them rest for 25min. Then bake them for 20min at 180ºC.

 

 

Speculaas cookies

24 Nov

The winter is coming to The Netherlands. You can notice it from several things: first, the temperature nowadays are really low, second the days are getting shorter and shorter and finally, the food stores are full of cookies like Speculaas for Sinterklaas or winter time. Usually those cookies are not vegan, so I decided to make them in a vegan way. Here is the recipe 1 that I followed, however you can also check at recipe 2, to personalize it in your way.

Matteo’s gnocchi

23 Nov

I have a really good Italian friend that by mistake or not a mistake, he did gnocchi in a vegan way. Even if his grand mum would think that this is a nonsense recipe.

So lovely home-made gnocchi, …

I am sure that I will make them really soon, yum yum

Ingredients:

  • 11 small red potatoes
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • A big bowl of water boiling with salt

Some tomato sauce as you prefer for eating them.

Procedure:

This recipe is explained by photos.

The red small potatoes cooked in microwave oven, after being pierced with a fork to prevent explosion

mashed potatoes

a ball of mashed potatoes, flour, salt and pepper and
a fine cylinder and a few already cut gnocchi in the background


gnocchi ready for being boiled

Bagels

20 Nov

What a perfect day to start with home-made bagels… As you can see from the photo, I made sesame-garlic bagels, tomato bagels, sun flower and pumpkin seeds bagels and the good thing is that you can make them as you imagination wants.

Later I made some hummus and with some tomatoes the bagels were great! (if you are crazy as me about Marmite, then you should also try one!)

All of them were really good but always one is the best and this time it was the sesame seed with garlic. However the tomato one was nicely creamy.

Ingredients:

- 2 cups of whole grain flour

- 1 tbsp of salt

- 1/2 tbsp of baking soda

- 1 tbsp of baking powder

- 1 cup of water

Procedure:

Pre-heat the oven at 180C. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk well. Then roll the dough and cut it in 8 pieces. Roll each of them a bit more and make circles. Later bake for 20 min.

To make the different kinds I used:

- Tomato bagel: put in the dough 2 tbsp of tomato paste.

- Sesame-garlic bagel: pour a mix of sesame seeds and dried garlic to the outside of the dough.

- Sun flower or pumpkin seeds bagels: add some of the seeds to the outside of the bagel.

Lemon – Orange cake

17 Nov

I just came back from a short trip to my family but still I had time to bake a nice vegan cake for them. Always when I go home, it is lovely to find the kitchen full of vegetables and fruits from the land of my dad and they contain almost zero chemical products! One problem is that you have to eat a lot of these vegetables when it is their season, however you can always try a lot of different recipes. Winter season is the season of the oranges, mandarins, endives, artichokes (coming soon a post on artichokes), pomegranates, kakis and a lot more winter vegetables and fruits. This cake is a mix of flavors from this season.

So looking around the kitchen, I could only see oranges and more oranges, so why not making a cake out of orange juice and its skin. On the top, you can see a cream made of cinnamon, cloves and orange skin.

Ingredients:

  • Lemon-Orange cake

- 1 cup flour

- grated skin of 2 oranges

- juice of the same oranges

- grated skin of 1 lemon

- 3/4 cup sugar

- 1/2 no-dairy milk

- 2 tbsp baking powder

- 2 tbsp cinnamon

  • Cinnamon-cloves-orange cream

- 1/2 no-dairy butter

- 1 tbsp cloves powder

- 2 tbsp cinnamon

- 1/4 cup grated orange skin

- 1/4 cup mashed cashew nuts

- 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

Procedure:

  • Lemon-Orange cake

Pre-heat the oven at 180ºC. Mix all the ingredients except the baking powder in a large bowl. Whisk well and then add the baking powder. Pour it in a cake shape (if the shape needs it, apply oil before) and bake it for around 30min. Leave it until it has cooled down before pouring the cream.

  • Cinnamon-cloves-orange cream

In a small sauce pan, heat the butter then add all the sugar, cashew, cinnamon and cloves. Whisk it harder and harder until all the ingredients are well mixed. Then leave it in the fridge for around 20 min. It will become a hard paste in case you heated the butter too much. Later before pouring it in the cake, make sure that the cream is smooth and soft by whisking it more and more. The longer you do it, the better the texture of the cream will be.

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