Monthly Archives: March 2013

Carrot and red beet stewed in apple juice

Who would have thought – mixing root vegetables and apple juice in one meal?! Well, don´t say yuck until you try it 😀

It´s very very easy – slice 2 big or 4 medium carrots and one smaller red beet into thicker diagonal slices. Put them inside a pot with a pinch of salt and about 3/4 cup of unfiltered organic apple juice. The veggies should be covered by the liquid, add some more water if needed. Cover pot with a lid, bring to boil and then simmer the veggies on a low flame until soft. Thicken the remaining juice with a tablespoon of kuzu or arrowroot starch diluted in a tiny bit of water, and cook for five more minutes.

I served the veggies with brown rice/ sweet rice mixture and some deep-fried kombu pieces (just dip the seaweed into a pot with deep-frying oil for a couple seconds until the kombu puffs up and “opens” like a flower 😀 ).

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Filed under Complete meals, Recipes, Vegetable dishes

Rye sourdough bread pudding

As a kid I used to love my grandma´s bread pudding, of course made with white bread, eggs and milk, and most often also some sausage. But it´s actually unexpectedly nice even with rye sourdough bread! 😀 You can use the stale bread that´s growing old on your kitchen shelf, this recipe puts it to great use.

Cut one loaf into fairly small cubes and soak in rice (or other non-dairy) milk, I used rice cream diluted with water, also that was fine.  The bread shouldn´t be swimming in liquid, but it should be fairly saturated and spongey. Mix in 2 TBSP of shoyu soy sauce and season with black pepper, thyme and rosemary. For good binding of the mixture (and instead of the usual egg) I also mixed through a 1/4 cup of “flax seed water” – if you add a small amount of water to the seeds, in about half an hour you will get a gel-like consistency, in some recipes they call this “flax egg” 🙂 Allow the bread to soak at least for an hour.

Meanwhile you can sautee some minced onion on oil with a pinch of salt and then add sliced leek and mushrooms and cubes of tempeh ( I used ready-made flavoured tempeh, adding just plain tempeh would not be nice, so make sure to first marinade or otherwise season yours). Sautee together until the veggies and mushrooms are soft and tempeh well cooked through. Let cool and stir well into the pudding mixture. Add a generous amount of coarsely grated carrot. Transfer mixture into a greased casserole dish, smoothe out the surface and bake on about 180°C until there is a light golden crispy crust.  Serve with a fresh salad.

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Filed under Grain dishes, Recipes

Fragrant buckwheat with celery root “bacon” and sauerkraut

Yes, again my favourite combo of buckwheat and sauerkraut! 😀

This time the buckwheat is a teensy bit more fancy – I cooked it with allspice (one or two pieces will do) and a bayleaf, which I removed afterwards, you really don´t want to bite into those!

I sauteed a minced onion on some oil with a pinch of salt, added shredded white cabbage and water to cover maybe about half of the cabbage and then I simmered it under a lid until the cabbage got soft. I seasoned it with caraway seeds, marjoram and black pepper. Towards the end I mixed in also some ready-made sauerkraut and simmered together a bit longer.

I mixed the grain with the vegetable and topped them with mock bacon made from celery root – super easy to make! Just make tiny cubes of the celery root, place them into a fair amount of cold oil with a pinch of salt, turn the flame on and sautee while stirring often until the cubes become golden and look a little like bacon bits 😀

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Tempeh in a maple glaze and Sweet potato french fries

Tempeh is such a great material for further use – on its own it doesn´t have a pleasant flavour at all, and it frankly even cannot be eaten as is, just steamed or baked, but it is great material for further additions of flavour. Try this one…

First cut plain tempeh into cubes and deep-fry them in quality oil until they are light golden and slightly crispy. Drain the pieces on a paper towel. Then place in a saucepan with 2 TBSP of shoyu soy sauce, 2 TBSP of apple cider vinegar, 1 TBSP of maple syrup (you could use brown rice syrup or barley malt instead, but the maple syrup gives an extra lovely taste), a small pinch of chilli powder and enough water to barely cover. Simmer on a low flame with a lid until the water evaporates and the coating gets a bit sticky, don´t let it burn though!

As a little side I also deep-fried sweet potato cut up into “french fries”. It replicated the real thing pretty closely, especially when I added a gentle sprinkling of sea salt. Normally I never serve two deep-fried food items at one meal, but this is still a post from our Christmas holiday cooking! 😀

I also had some steamed cabbage to balance the richness a bit, and brown rice with nori flakes.

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Filed under Complete meals, Recipes, Tofu and tempeh dishes

Lentil burdock soup

I love lentil soup, it brings this comforting feeling of a cold day, when you can enjoy being inside with a warm bowl of filling hearty soup instead of having to be freezing outside… 😀

For the soup I sauteed some onion half moons on oil and when the onion browned a bit, I added sliced carrot and burdock (best is to make rather thin diagonals that align with the growth pattern of the roots) and sauteed for a while longer. Then I added already cooked dark green French Le Puy lentils. To make the lentils, I soaked them overnight, drained and rinsed. Then I cooked them until soft with a bayleaf and about one teaspoon of cumin powder, and seasoned them with ume plum vinegar when they were already cooked.  To finish the soup I poured enough water into the soup pot  to cover all and cooked for a few minutes, at the end checking the taste and adjusting with ume plum vinegar and salt.

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Pasta and rice casserole with cheesy tempeh topping

What an odd dish, I can hear you saying! 😀 Well, it´s one of those wild ideas coming from my very own head and I admit it´s not a meal you would read about anywhere in any cookbook…But it turned out rather well, so I am publishing it here for your kind consideration 😀

I cooked separately about two servings of buckwheat pasta (made by a fabulous Czech buckwheat company) and about two servings of long grain brown rice. After cooling down I mixed them together in a large bowl and added some vegetables – raw chopped celery stalk and leek and raw grated carrot and celery root. I seasoned the funny mixture with some shoyu sauce, smoked paprika powder and dried oregano. I poured it into a casserole dish and topped with a topping which I made by combining grated tempeh (you could use fried tempeh or smoked tempeh, any tempeh that is already flavoured and not plain) with corn starch mixed in some cold water and some nutritional yeast powder (adds extra “cheesiness”). I popped the dish into the oven and baked until crusty and browned.

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Filed under Grain dishes, Pasta and noodles, Recipes

Traditional Czech Christmas “kuba” the macro way – for your next holiday!

Yes yes, I know, Christmas is already far behind us and we´re all looking forward to spring coming. But sadly it takes me usually a long time to catch up on all the posts I want to write, so usually I´m writing about foods that I cooked about a month ago or even a bit longer ago… :-p My bad, but anyway, you can already make plans for the next Christmas holiday, it will be here sooner than you think!

Traditional Czech “kuba”, eaten for Christmas day lunch, is made with wild mushrooms (I didn´t have those on hand) and with plenty of butter and/or lard, so this is a more macro-friendly version…

I cooked pearley barley (polished barley) for half an hour. It was already presoaked, so maybe it would take a bit longer to cook without soaking. Nevertheless, the barley should still have a bite and not be too mushy or creamy! Meanwhile I sauteed a good amount of minced onion on oil with a pinch of salt and then sauteed it together with sliced soaked shiitake mushrooms, until the mushrooms got soft and well…nicely fried 😀 I seasoned them with some dried marjoram, caraway seeds, minced garlic (an essential kuba ingredient so don´t e shy!), black pepper and an extra sprinkle of sea salt. The flavour should not be too mild as you are making a casserole dish, not a separate vegetable dish with grain.

When the mushrooms and onions are done, mix them through the cooked barley, transfer mixture to a greased casserole dish, smoothe the surface out, drizzle with some extra oil and bake until the top is browned and a bit crispy. The dish is nice served with sauerkraut or other pickles.

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Filed under Grain dishes, Recipes