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Fruit Pie Summer

It is August guys, and it is berry time! Which is why here in Canada no one leaves for camping without bear spray, whistles, bells and myself, PIE! Yes, not only the bears are picking, I am too, as I am so blessed with raspberry bushes all around my garden. I recently found out that the pie shop here in Calgary that I worked for quite a while already actually makes their fruit pies Vegan. Not intentionally, but yeah, using Veg. shortening instead of butter and no eggs (as they are not needed..) there you go! After eating my favorite slice of Apple Pie I knew I wanted to figure out a recipe at home. A whole wheat one! 

I went through my favorite recipe book right now called ‘Home Made Summer’ which I received as a Christmas Gift from a dear friend. Most recipes in there aren’t vegan or even vegetarian, but that’s the fun (at least my fun) of living vegan. Challenges! Veganizing! Witching!

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I also learned about how to create a vegan nice fruit pie ‘Jelly’ with the help of my Vegan Mentor (hi Andrew!). Agar agar, derived from a southeast asian seaweed is the vegetarian brother of gelatin! tada! You can get it at your local health store. It sets super firmly even without the need of refrigerating and has NO taste! It is plant-based and even has a few health benefits, making you feel full for a while after eating (slimming pie oh shit!) and is a natural digestive aid.

I made two different pies, one with raspberries & blueberries and one strawberry-coconut-cream pie. I baked the pie crust on its own, sprinkled with some almonds helps the dough baking properly, but I would remove them afterwards as I didn’t really enjoy the crunch. Then you can go ahead, layer your favorite fruit, prepare your agar (boil a delicious red fruit tea with some brown sugar, mix agar with warm water in a cup until you get a very gooey mixture, whisk into your colored tea) and brush your fruit layer with as much agar as you fancy.

 

VEGAN WHOLE WHEAT PIE CRUST 

3 cups of Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 Cup of Spelt Flour (You can easily adapt this to your desire. Only WW or Unbleached Flour will work)
1 Tsp of baking powder
A pinch of Salt
1/2 Cup of Coconut or Brown Sugar
9 Tbsp or 125g of Coconut Oil
1/3 Cup of non-dairy milk (I used Almond as I make it at home)
2 Tbsp. of pre-mixed gooey Flaxseed & Water.

Knead with your hands until you have a nice feel, consistency and texture. This will be enough for 2 large pies, or a covered pie (bake with the fruit and cover up entirely). Shape dough in one or two balls and wrap in foil, let sit in fridge for about an hour. Preheat the oven to 375°F and roll out the dough, bake for about 25minutes.

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Healthy Healing Popsicle

ALL credit goes to ‘healthy hormone healing‘ and lovely Carly from culinarykarma for sharing it. I made this lemonade and had bought this popsicle kit a while beforehand. Because of the beautiful color of that lemonade, I just decided to make healthy healing popsicles! And they worked out just fabulous. Follow these links for recipes:

 

http://naturalhormonehealing.com/goji-longevity-lemonade/

 

:) Enjoy!

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Vegan Protein Layer Salad

Layer Salads became popular, and I remember especially one making its way over to Germany and being present at all bbq parties ever since.

The Tex-Mex Layer Salad! Yum, for sure, but health benefits? meeeeh. It is most of the time nachos, lettuce, beans/corn, guacamole, sour cream, sometimes even ground meat.

Look at this beauty! It’s all Vegan AND gluten free AND full of protein! yeha! what do you mean, protein without meat? yeha! It contains a total of 7 layers, all of which are healthy, most of them considered superfoods and are packed with protein.

:)

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Check it out, cook it / whip it up, layer it and bring it to your next bbq party cause iiiit is summer baby!

  1. Quinoa
    (Simmer 1c of Quinoa. Mix 1tbsp coconut oil w/ 1tbsp turmeric powder and some cayenne. Mix with your Quinoa when done! Let cool down, layer the base of your salad. Sprinkle with Lime Juice)
  2. Spinach
    (Simply wash and slice. Sprinkle with Apple Cider Vinegar).
  3. Tomato & Cucumber
    (Thinly sliced. Layer. Just that)
  4. Avocado
    [+I had red bell pepper salad with oil, garlic & onions from the farmers market. Super delicious. If you don't want to make these, just keep layering Avocado. ]
  5. Peanuts, Pumpkin Seeds
  6. Lettuce 
  7. Hummus 
    (1c Chickpeas, 2 Tbsp.Tahini, Lime Juice, 2 Garlic cloves, Lots of Dill, 1 Avocado)Decor: Olives, Radishes, Dill & Parsley 

:)

Enjoy everyone!!!!!

 

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Vegan Creamy Spaghetti with a Sting

What do you think about when hearing ‘stinging nettle’ ?

‘Ouch’ ?

Yes, in your childhood these weeds might have been nothing but in your way, but now, now that you’re all grown up, you can actually reverse their sting! For your own good!

Get out there, walk through the woods, get some grounding and pick as many nettles as you can. Because there is sooo much you can do with them.

First of all..

  • tea, always and always…
  • pesto (even raw!)
  • or sautéed replacing spinach!
  • or, as used in the following recipe, in Pasta 

:)

Why would I?

“Contrary to popular opinion, the common nettle is more than a pesky, stinging weed. It has — since ancient times — been an important source of food, fiber, and pharmaceuticals. [...] For over 2,000 years, doctors have recognized the herb’s ability to stop all kinds of internal and external bleeding, and considered it a good blood purifier. Taken as a tea, it has been found to help cure mucus congestion, skin irritations, water retention, and diarrhea. The beverage is also said to help nursing mothers produce milk and it also stimulate the digestive glands of the stomach, intestines, liver, pancreas, and gall bladder. Applied externally, nettle tea — it is claimed — relieves rheumatism in both people and animals, makes a first-class gargle for mouth and throat infections,  helps to clear up acne and eczema and promotes the healing of burns.”

* Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-health/stinging-nettle-benefits-zmaz81mazkin.aspx#ixzz37hTDyiCR

So yeah, it is pretty awesome stuff! and it tastes even better than spinach simply sautéed with garlic.

Here is my ‘Creamy Spaghetti with a Sting’ Recipe for you :) 

Fry Stinging Nettle leaves with garlic in Coconut Oil or Olive Oil until soft

Meanwhile, bring your eggless Spaghetti or Pasta of choice to a boil OR Spirale a Zucchini if you wanna skip the Gluten!

Prepare the sauce in your food processor/blender:

Mix together:

  • Sesame tahini
  • Your choice of (dairy-free) milk
  • A scoop of Nutritional Yeast
  • A scoop of Vegan Cream Cheese from your local health store OR homemade Cashew Cheese
  • Flavor with Salt, Pepper & Green dried Herbs of your choice (Oregano, Herbs de Provence..)

Whip it up!

Mix with your choice of (z)noooodles.  I used both Spaghetti & Spiraled Zucchini :)

OH AND GUYS. For your raw Pasta I can only suggest this one, perfect, greatly grating instrument called the ‘Veggetti’- You can get it at Walgreens if you live in the states. Just found this sweet ad for you haha. Now I had a laugh and I also know how to pronounce the Veggetti properly and less sexually sounding ;-). No, but seriously guys, this tool is from heaven, or as a friend said ‘It works grate’.

 

 

 

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Finest Blissful Cream of Mushroom

This Vegan ‘Cream of Mushroom’ Creation will make little wings pop out of your sides and carry you right to heaven!

I am on my take#2 of cleansing before summer rises to its peak. My first cleanse during my transition into Veganism took place beginning of May, with a full 4 weeks of avoiding alcohol, caffeine, with a peak of 10 days all-raw. This time, I am focusing on all-liquid (for at least 3-5 days and then moving slowly into one easily digestible meal) Candida & Colon Cleanse. As a real food lover, it is quite the challenge for me and I just need to create one delicious soup per day to feel saturated.

Well, I just wanted to finish that bag of mushrooms in my fridge and I’ve been serving Cream of Mushroom at the restaurant lately, so I thought I would create a creamy, healthy, cleansing variation myself. As a Candida & Colon Cleanse asks you to avoid Sugars (ALL kinds!) and Carbs, I need to get some plant-derived, healthy fats into my body to stay strong and energized, so I used coconut milk for this soup. To add in unbeatable flavors, I used Capers, Jalapenos & Sundried Tomatoes. These three are a killer-combo in my eyes and such fine foods. I used brewed Chaga Tea as a liquid base to get the magic & superfood in. You can find Chaga as dried mushroom pieces in your local health food store.

Here we go, liquid nutrition for a happy & healthy body:

Ingredients: 

  • Sautée with care: 
  • 1 tsp. Coconut Oil
  • 1 scallion
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • A whole  lotta mushrooooms
  • 2 stalks of Celery 
  • Dried Chili / Flakes
  • Black Pepper
  • -- to the Blender:
  • 1 tsp. capers
  • a few Jalapenos 
  • 3-4 sundried tomatoes
  • 1 cup Coconut Milk
  • – simmer shortly: 
  • 1/2 cup Chaga Tea

Sautée everything in the first paragraph slightly. Start boiling 2 cups of water for your Chaga Tea and let it brew for 10 minutes. Don’t cook the hell out of those beautiful ingredients, just let them soak up the garlic & scallion flavors. Add capers, jalapenos & s-dried tomatoes to the blender first, then add everything from the pan. Add a cup to 1 1/2 cups of coconut milk, purée it up. Hello holy deliciousness.

Pour 1 cup or 1 1/2 cups of your Chaga Tea in a mug, this will be your drink. Add the very creamy Mushroom Soup to the Tea leftovers and stir well. Let it simmer up for just about 2 minutes.

I garnished it here with some parsley, dried basil leaves and a few drops of hot pepper sauce. 

And I am so happy. And full. Good night! 

PS: More information on Cleansing will be coming up in my large blogpost about ‘How to return to your natural & wild self’ 

 

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Berricot Powerbars

Is there anything better than eating healthy, nutritional, raw, cruelty free food that tastes like candy ? No, there isn’t! Good, I’m glad we agree on that, here is a new recipe for you :) These Berricot ZUPAballs/bars are powerballs made from superfoods. They will satisfy your cravings for something sweet, without any sugars added, they are gluten free and they will give you energy, nourish you and you get some protein in as well.

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To make these delicious bites that will get you out of bed in the morning waiting in the fridge, all you need is: 

  • a few pecans or other nuts your choice (soaked, please)
  • flax seed
  • chia
  • pumpkin & sunflower seeds
  • coconut flakes
  • hemp seeds or hemp protein powder
  • cocoa powder

Pulse these ingredients in a food processor. I didn’t measure anything, I just let it flow, ya know, go with your feeling, I just used about a handful of nuts, and half a handful of everything else ;) After you pulse these dry ingredients you add the following magic for thickness and to glue your superpowers together

  • a good handful of dried apricots. maybe two. your call ;) also you can use / mix with dates or figs!
  • a handful of blueberries
  • a good tablespoon coconut oil

Pulse some more!

You can add some whole seeds afterwards, mix it up, shape as desired, keep refrigerated and snack away!

Much love,

kris

PS: these were highly inspired by my friend Mikala & This Rawsome Vegan Life.

 

 

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Manhattan Piss OR New Yorkia

MANHATTAN PISS or NEW YORKIA

new york, new york,

you stinky, kinky burning hell,

you’re aching it’s making me feel oh so swell.

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filthy mattresses and black gangster rap caresses

the bronx until it reaches bonx-‘de-‘ville, just over the hill,

where the light-white heavy-rich pitch a line of

‘have a great day!’ out of their cabriolet [-lay],

and norah jones moans ‘back to manhattan’ out of the radiO.

while you run a lunch at the ‘bistrO’.

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Back to manhattan it is, the piss [midtown]

its smell almost well about to crawl back up your nasal,

but unimportant as glamour is potent

it comes in skin & bones and elegant robes,

called Maryliz & Hazal.

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Free Love from above

the Empire State Building screams, beams in rainbow colored lighting

it is pride parade, Chealsea the sharade,

dancing to the music of life, thrive

alley to alley the nirvana of today,

but the bridge is just a hitch

away.

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Leaving downtown with a frown

grasp a breathe from Brooklyn the skyline under your chin,

jews & youngsters, he’s & she’s with fleas hosting markets

giving away their goods with holes as wholes,

for at least a bill, a dollar bill,

true NYC sweat, if only you let.

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New York, New York, you are a zoo, boohoo!

A cage of sinners with wings to fly so high.

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Now you do think I hate this place

as I write it in a haze,

let me tell you, just you

that it is so untrue,

as I shed a tear at LaGuardia

wishing I could still be one of those

New Yorkia.

illustration: SERIES ‘Unnaturally‘ click to see whole series.

copyright kristinzimmer, all rights reserved.

Vegan Baking 101

‘No thanks, I don’t eat meat.’

- ‘Oh, you’re a vegetarian?’

‘Actually, vegan.’

- ‘Wow. What do you eat???’

 

Yeah, to all the readers, that is quite likely what you might ask or have been asked. Vegan. So. No animal products? Fuck, really? Let me think about that! That means no eggs! And no cheese! And no butter! How do you exist?  Actually, better than ever. And – what do you eat?

- Everything I ate before, I just make it. Just…better ! 

Here we go guys, this is VEGAN BAKING 101 :)

Educating myself about a plant-based nutrition & life style, not only did I learn about how to replace eggs ( which seems oh-so-difficult) and the endless opportunities to do so, no, I also learned all about replacing oils, refined sugars etc. etc. etc. Generally speaking, if you’re not a complete stranger in the kitchen, a vegan, plant based lifestyle will automatically transform your food into something healthier. So what I would like to start out with here is some links & promo to blogs that shaped my path into Veganism and rocking Vegan baking.

  • blog.fatfreevegan.com.
  • OhSheGlows
  • Forks&Beans (Probably the most awesome, graphic summary of egg substitution)
  • The Rawtarian
  • This Rawsome Vegan Life

Basically replacing the egg is so much easier than you would think. To start with a few well known ingredients that might just be sitting on your shelf / fridge anyways, you can use bananas (yep, that simple), tofu, or apple sauce. All these work out well as binders, but after practicing and trying out a lot of things, I myself like flax seed the best. Bananas & tofu can give baked goodies like cookies a strange consistence and strong flavor, while apple sauce can turn out making it very heavy. Apple sauce btw. works great as an oil replacer. Banana bread for example is the easiest thing to make Vegan, as it is packed with mashed, ripe bananas the eggs are kind of a total waste in there. Click here for a delicious Vegan Pecan-Crust Banana Bread.

Flax Seed ( about a tablespoon mixed with 3 tbsp of water) ends up having the exact same texture as an egg and therefore binds just as well. On top of that, it is a unique nutrient packed with omega3’s and fiber. Read more about it on whfoods.com.

I got this little egg-tray at dollarama just because I am silly and I like to take my Vegan Eggs out of it for baking, but really any containers work well for you. I would prepare a big mixture of flax seed and water and fill it into containers that give you the replacement for one egg. Sitting in the fridge, the flax seed & water mixture will form into the perfect, gooey vegan egg! 

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I do not miss butter at all so far, and I even just used a recipe by Jamie Oliver for ‘Lemon Butter Cookies‘ and replaced everything, and they are the best cookies ever! Earth Balance does do a great butter replacer I’ve heard, and I might soon give it a try for a new cookie creation.

If you’re not only moving to a vegan diet but try to include a lot of raw meals into your ordinary life, maybe go on a raw cleanse every now and then (blog post about that coming up soon…) you will extent your food knowledge to a whole different level. You can make Raw Vegan Cakes that look like this:

Basically, moving to a plant-based diet will blow your mind. You will keep learning & feeling every day and if you love the kitchen, you will love the challenge, and mastering it.

Here are just a few more pictures of the Vegan goodies I’ve been baking. Please feel free to ask if you have any other question!!!!

 

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Vegan Apple Crumble

A dream come true.

Quoted Vegan:

‘Fluffy cake topped off with crunchy apple, creamy rhubarb & the crispy poppy seed crumble. Perfect amount of sweetness’. 

Quoted Non-Vegans: ‘Sorry Kris, your cake is all gone, it was just sitting there, we couldn’t resist.’

This one is so good guys, really, so good. I published this at the beginning of the year as a regular recipe so I will indicate amount of eggs in case you’re not vegan and you don’t have the egg replacer in house. BUT, read my Vegan Baking 101 and find out that you will very likely indeed have an egg replacer in house!

I made this on Saturday and I will make it again, maybe replacing the apple with strawberries, tomorrow. I am so so happy with this vegan version. This is a delicious almost entirely oil & sugar free Fruit Crumble Cake, it is a winner and a keeper. I only used a little brown sugar on the fruit and the crumbles are made with coconut oil & brown sugar. As soon as I have it back in storage, I will replace that with coconut sugar though, so that’s what I will indicate in the recipe.

Look at this picture, just look at it, dig it, and again, it’s oil free, it’s almost sugar free,it’s as healthy as a cake can get (unless you’re looking for gluten free) and it is vegan. 

This is based on a German recipe, by the way. I don’t really cook or bake a lot of German things, but yeah, every now and then I sure do because we’re great at it! Coming up soon in the savory department: Carrot Potato Stew!

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The second best thing about this, it looks like a lot of work, but it really is one of the fastest cakes to make.

Preparation time: Total of 20 minutes, 5 of them while cooking.

Cooking Time: 35 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Ingredients for ‘Cake Base’ 

1/2 cup of Apple Sauce (your oil/butter replacer)
1/3 cup of Powdered Sugar (I know I know..I will figure out how to get rid of this)
1 cup of Flour with 1 tbsp of Baking Powder (add flour later on slowly, you will want to have a flexible, soft dough that is slightly sticky)
2 Tablespoons of Protein Powder (your choice, I used Hemp Protein)
3 Flax Seed Eggs (Read Vegan Baking 101 for more info) – 6tbsp. water w/ 3 tbsp. of flax seed [your egg replacer]

This will be kind of an in between of batter and dough. It should be super fluffy, easy to knead & a little bit sticky/moist. Spray your cake pan with some veg. oil and press cake batter down so that the sides are an inch higher than the rest.

Slice your fruit of choice. Awesome combinations are:

Apple & Pear with a Raspberry Jam Topping
Strawberry / Blackberry with a Rhubarb Topping

Place sliced fruit in the ‘cake bed’. Sprinkle with some coconut sugar.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Prepare your Crumbles:

1/4 cup of melted Coconut Oil
2 tbsp. of coconut sugar
1/3 cup of flour
1 tbsp poppy seeds

Mix it up nicely with you hands, add more flour if needed. You will want to have a dough that easily shapes crumbles!

Take the cake out after 10 minutes. Spread a scoop of your jam of choice, or, even better, homemade fruit compote on top. (I used rhubarb, boiled and mashed). Top up with a nice layer of poppy seed crumbles. Back in the oven for 25 minutes.

And that’s eat!

Here are a few more pictures, in some of them the cake was not vegan yet! Coconut Oil would have been replaced by butter, as well as apple sauce, protein powder by pudding powder, and the flax seed by 3 eggs. Do you see the difference? Believe me, you feel the difference.

Thanks for giving this a read and considering cruelty free zuuupa [super] baking!

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[Vegan] Crispy Tricolore Mac’n’Squash

I’ve been waiting to make this for so long and I haven’t had Pasta in ages. And you know, when you make things like this, you just can’t make a single serving. I love sharing and I love feeding people. I am like your old Greek grandmother. So I finally bought a Butternut Squash and told my roomies that we are going to have a little ‘Family Dinner’.

I want to mention here, the majority of people was not Vegan. Everybody enjoyed it. While our conversation went on an interesting path from penguins to seals, being clubbed for their fur, it made me very content that we were eating 100% happy, cruelty-free food. I’ve been introducing plant-based living slowly and carefully to my body in the past 3 months, and both my body and mind embrace sticking with it.

Anyhow, little recipe-food-loving romance, but here you go! I wanted something close to the dish ‘Mac’n’Cheese’, so I bought nutritional yeast (for the cheesy flavor, and for the sake of nutrition..of course) and I decided to finish the dish with bread crumbs and the whole thing baked in the oven. Let’s get cooking!

You need:

500g Brown Maccaroni

For the Sauce
1 butternut squash
Rosemary
1 c almond/soy/coconut milk
Cayenne, cumin, turmeric, salt & pepper
1/4 c nutritional yeast

Frozen or crunchy bread, grated, or purchase pre-made bread crumbs.

1 bunch of fresh Spinach (or Kale)
a few green onions
2-3 tomatoes or sundried tomatoes
Jalapenos (optional) 

Step-by-Step

  1. Peel and dice the quash.
  2. Roast it at 350°F for about 45min on a baking sheet, with some garlic, rosemary & drizzled with a bit of olive oil.
  3. Cook your Mac Al Dente.
  4. Slice Spinach, Green Onions & Tomatoes
  5. Once your squash is soft and lightly browned,
    blend it with all the ingredients for the sauce. Taste it, add whatever you miss!
  6. Mix your sauce with the Mac & Vegetables.
  7. Place in a baking pan, cover with bread crumbs and bake until these are slightly brown and nice and crispy!

This recipe will soon go for round #2 with some Vegan Cheese options, like ‘Daiya’. I will let you know how it goes! I also didn’t actually bake it with tomatoes yesterday cause I kind of forgot, but I definitely advise you to! Sundried tomatoes add a wonderful flavor whilst fresh tomatoes will add a little lightness to the dish. Your call, let me know how you like it.

Lots of love for you and your food,

xo

kris

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Coconut Chia Puddings

Ohhhh nomnomnom guys, this is just THE ULTIMATE chia pudding. I can’t get over how much love I carry in my heart (tummy?) for it. Chia is a healthy superfood product, if you’re new to it read up on it online. You can make awesome pudding with it, creating different flavors with milks & spices. Mix it all up together in a glass jar, shake a few times over the course of an hour and then just let it sit overnight in the fridge and eat away the next day.

I love mine made with coconut milk. Now, you might be concerned about the fat in coconut milk, but don’t. It is saturated fats which are easily burned by the body. What you could worry about is that most coconut milks are available canned only, but you can make your own coconut milk with 4 cups of water on 2 cups of unsweetened dry coconut flakes (blended, strained & squeezed through a cheese cloth).

Anyhow, let’s give you guys some recipes. The first one is going to be for a light colored, creamy coconut chia pudding, I call it ‘The Ultimate’ as it is so easy but rich in flavor and texture. The second is going to be a layered ‘Protein Chia Breakfast Jar‘.

THE ULTIMATE CHIA PUDDING 

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- 1/4 cup Chia Seeds
– 2 cups coconut milk
– 5 drops stevia (otional)
– 1/2 t Vanilla
– 1 t raisins & goji berries
– good pinch of cinnamon & garam masala

Shake it real good, let it sit over night and tada!

PROTEIN CHIA BREAKFAST JAR

For the chia part, follow recipe on top, except: 

- Blend coconut milk with (vegan) protein bar or protein powder
– Add 1 tb cocoa
– Raisins / Gojis can be left out.

Make ‘Oh She Glows’ awesome ‘Heavenly Carrot Cake baked Oatmeal‘. 

Wash & Cut strawberries. Wash blueberries.

Layer: 

  • Carrot Cake
  • Chia
  • Strawberries & blueberries
  • Carrot Cake
  • Chia
  • Finish with some chopped nectarine / apple / fruit of your choice and sprinkle with cinnamon. 

:) 

 

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How to cook Phở !

zupadream:

and a reblog here…. search ZUPAdream for the Vegan version I just blogged!

Originally posted on zupadream:

oh holy pho[Whole recipe can be downloaded in VIETNAMESE LANGUAGE at the end of the post!]

Phở, the Vietnamese love affair.
A VNese mans wife is his rice, is what he needs, a strong, reliable and much valued constant. But Phở, they said, “Phở is what every man wants, but can’t have.”

That’s how good it is.

It is the masterpiece, my friends, because I woke up at 6am on a Saturday morning for this, to spend 6 hours dedicated to this delicacy, that probably is worth to be chosen your last supper. One of Vietnam’s national dishes, THE dish that every tourists knows but pronounces wrong, heard or seen on a TV show or read in his lonelyguidebook. Not for nothing, between all the fantastic soups this country perfumes its streets with and enchants his visitors, Phở is the most particular one, with a special taste that simply screams ‘Vietnaaaam’.

It’s…

View original 1,033 more words

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Vegan ‘Waiters-Late-Night- Phở’

After, after all, my heart still beats Vietnamese. 
 

Too hard to believe that I almost left the country one year ago, I am aching to go back, not only to see my dear friends out there, but just to take in every moment of living there. Riding through the city on a mad moped, stopping at a little stall for food, and making these beautiful souls laugh with a simple gesture or few of my Vietnamese vocabulary.

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I know, I know, you can’t speak generally about one nation, but I am sorry, I love Vietnamese. Even here in Canada, I got a key cut and I heard the old couple speak in Vietnamese to each other, it makes my heart jump a tiny bit and I grin and say ‘Cam On Nhieu’ (-thank you very much). And boom, the face of the woman transforms into sheer happiness laughter and appreciation. Yes, that is why I love them. And that is also why I am quite upset and full of worries right now, reading the news about the situation between China and Vietnam turning into something more serious. But let’s not talk about this now.

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But yeah, because of all that, it is no surprise that I come home late at night, extremely fatigued, craving a good old Pho. So whatever. I make one. Here are just some very simple and quick instructions to my fast and easy version of a Veganized Pho. I have to mention that Pho, traditionally, needs to be made with beef broth. For the real recipe that I learned in Saigon with a family from the North, click here

‘Veganized Pho’

- roast cinnamon, lemongrass, garlic, star anise on low heat until it starts smelling great. [This is the base and the secret to every Pho. Usually added in a little bag to the beef broth].
– add (homemade) veggie broth. use vegetarian beef broth if you can find it in a natural food store.
– boil up, then strain the spice-givers out of the broth 
– choose your veggies. thinly sliced cucumber, lettuce, avocado, cilantro, sprouts. whatever you want! how about dried mushrooms?
– vermicelli rice noodles (Banh Pho) till soft
– place noodles in bowl. add broth. add vegetables. squeeze lemon, slice chili. 

And there you go :) Enjoy everyone!

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Sprout it!

Do the simple things make you happy? Like fresh air in the morning, new flowers growing in the backyard, your ‘shuffle all’ playing the right song at the right moment…. and sprouts on your chickpeas?

You should, because it is simply the only way to stay sane in our fast paced environment. Enjoy and live the moment. Move your body, listen to it, give it what it needs. I am pretty sure none of you loves the feeling of being bloated, unfortunately that is what the consumption of nuts, beans, lentils etc. does to a lot of us. My personal mega-bloater are unfortunately chickpeas.

But there is a way around it! Soaking & sprouting! Yeha!  Not only does it help your guts in working those nuts, it also releases more nutrients. So yeah, we should soak and sprout as much as we can. And as it is pretty darn simple, too. Soak your beans/lentils overnight, closed lid. Dump water, fill into a Mason Jar. Cover with a cheesecloth and close without the snap lid. Store it in the fridge or a dry/cool place. Rinse daily.

And then….one gorgeous morning….you will wake up….. with these babies! And you will be jumping up and down :)

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Simply, give love and you will receive. Treat your nuts & co with lots of love and they will be so good to you.

 

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Vegan Chai Carrot Cake [Made from Carrot Pulp Juice Leftovers!]

Oh man. I am so proud of this. I had a creative moment. Actually, two. Finally I got my juicer working (yay! everyone, get one) so I made a Juice out of 4-5 Carrots, a little bit of Ginger and an Orange. My anti-waste brain was in flames afterwards, I was in a rush so I just chugged the bin with the pulp in the fridge.

Day after. Fuck yeah. CARROT CAKE!!!!! 

Day after, finally I have the time to bake. So how do I make this one a special one? What goes well with the Carrot Cake flavors? Looking around my kitchen spinning in circles, my eyes went past the teas.

CHAI TEA! Awesome. 

So I made Chai Tea Flax Seed Eggs. And a Chai Spice Frosting. And yes, it turned out great. <3

I brought a few bites to work today because, well, I love feeding people and I love cooking and baking, but if I ate everything I made myself I would be rolling in circles right now, back and forth, back & forth… ;-). And here is the review of my non-vegan coworker: A+ on moisture & density (OH SHIT!) and a B- on taste (she would prefer a sweeter version. I don’t like my carrot cake very sweet, but please go ahead if you do and replace the coconut sugar with brown sugar if you want it sweeter!).

Enough bla, preheat your oven to 370°F.

Mix wet ingredients:
2 cups of Carrot Pulp (mine included some ginger & orange, if you don’t juice, grate away.)
1/4 cup Maple Syrup
1/4 cup of Chai Tea (brewed at least 5 minutes) + 2 TB Flax Seed, mix, let sit for a few minutes. This is your awesome egg replacement!
1/4 cup Coconut Milk with a handful of dried shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup Coconut Sugar (Sub with brown sugar if you like it sweet)
1/2 cup Apple Sauce

Dry Ingredients: 
2 cups of Whole Wheat Flour
1 t Baking Powder
1 t Cinnamon
1 t Turmeric
1/2 Garam Masala

Bake 30-40 min until lightly brown at sides and as soon as toothpick comes out clean.

CASHEW CREAM-DREAM CHAI FROSTING:

1 cup soaked Cashews
1/4 cup Chai Tea (brewed min. 5 min)
Touch Coconut Milk
Touch Maple Syrup
1 t Garam Masala
1 t Vanilla
1 TB Lemon Juice

Chill Frosting for at least 30 minutes. Spread on cake after cake is chilled and out of the pan. Spread on top, keep in fridge over night, take out and let it get to room temperature before serving!

Enjoy! I am off to the Movie Premiere of ‘Chef’ in Calgary now :) So stoked!

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Vegan ‘Peanut-Pecan-Crust’ Banana Bread

Ohhhh nomnomnomnom.

Wait.

Nomnomnom. This is SUCH a delight. This is greatness from the inside out. Nobody will bitch about you being Vegan after eating this. Damn this is good.

I generally followed ‘This Rawsome Vegan Life’s’ recipe for this Banana Bread, just switched up the sugar with coconut sugar and the oil with apple sauce! And added in my own homemade peanut butter :) Basically I created a little healthier version of her Banana Bread with the help of one of my favorite blogs ‘FatFreeVegan’ but made the Crust unhealthier ;) So just stick with Rawsome’s Crust if you wanna take it easy!  But just let me tell you…the chocolate chunks on top…oh yeah.

Anyhow, preheat your oven to 350°F and let’s get started.

Here are your ingredients for the Banana Bread: 

Wet:
1 cup mashed Bananas (very ripe)
1 TB homemade peanut butter (roast peanuts, blend with veg. oil. voila!)
1/2 cup Apple Sauce
3/4 cup Coconut Sugar
1 TB Maple Syrup
1/2 t Salt
1t Cinnamon
2 TB ground flaxseed mixed with warm water

Dry:
1 1/4 Cups of Whole Wheat Flour
1 t baking powder

Mix wet & dry ingredients. And then prepare…. THE CRUST:
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 t Cinnamon
1 TB homemade peanut butter
1 TB Olive Oil
1/3 cups chopped Pecans + Dark Chocolate.

Pour batter of dry & wet ingredients into a long bread loaf pan (oil if it is not a non sticky one). Lightly spread the crust on top and bake for about 40 minutes. Check consistency with a toothpick! Let cool down before taking it out of the pan! And eat away :)

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Welcome to zupadream, it is super having you here!

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Lovely that you’re stumbling upon this blog, Jen, Jasmin, Khanh, Rebecca & Kris say Hi and welcome!

zupadream started out September 2012 with Kris and her leaving her country of origin, Vietnam being her home for a year.

Starting almost 2 years ago as a space for creative short readings, travel reports and ‘Traveling Recipes’, our 2014 Focus is highly centered around the following topics:

Recipes & Aspects of Vegetarianism & Veganism, Cleansing
– with a focus on Vietnamese / Saigonese Food if possible.
Mexican Food
DIY / Draw & Cook Art
More Sports! Active & Healthy Lifestyle!
More ways out of that quarter-life-crisis thing with the help of our Life Coach Jasmin
Book & Movie Reviews 

You can find our featured posts all throughout the right of this sidebar, with an image and a title leading you there.

Enjoy !

Lots of Love

the team <3

Gluten-Free & Vegan Lasagna

The base for this recipe is Zucchini instead of Pasta, Cashews for the creamy, cheesy part, pesto and mushrooms.

This recipe is highly inspired by this rawsomeveganlife. 

To make this, please follow the link provided and prepare the exact same pesto & cashew sauce. They’re just genius. So so so delish! All I did to the recipe was roast the Zucchini ‘Lasagna Plates’ at 350° for about 20 minutes, and pan fry mushrooms in garlic, chili & chili oil (processed with a mortar before, tiny bit of coconut sugar added). Then I just layer one goddess after the other.

Zucchini
Cashew Sauce
Zucchini
Mushrooms
Zucchini
Pesto
Zucchini
Cashew Sauce
Sliced Sundried Tomato

Tada :) 

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I served this with *Tabouli Salad mixed with fresh tomato and tomatillo!

*tabouli is a middle eastern salad based on minced parsleys and cracked buckwheat.

Vegan Lemon Strawberry Cookies

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Hey there everyone! I’ll shortly write a few blogs about my way into Veganism, but for now it is just going to be this little recipe, as it is simply fantastic! 

These cookies are inspired by Jamie Olivers Lemon Butter Biscuits and by the German Chef from Mara’s Wunderland and ‘veganized’ by me, Kris. 

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

And mix in the following order: 

125ml of Canola Oil
1 Cup Coconut Sugar
1 Pinch of Salt
1 Teaspoon of Flax Seed mixed with a Tbsp. of Water (best soaked for a while, kept refridgerated). This is your egg replacer! 
zest of 1 Lemon
A few frozen strawberries, sliced. 
1 3/4 Cups of Flour
1/4 Tsp. Baking Powder

And that’s it! I’m bringing these to work right now and I am pretty sure no one will guess they are vegan :) they are crispy on the outside, nice and gooey inside, just like you want your perfect butter cookie.  

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City Lights

This is a little something, a little positive piece of whatever, about why living in the city is beautiful.

And how living in the city should affect your mind positively.

As much as I love the outdoors from the bottom of my heart, the city gives you something else, something essential.

The city is so real.

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So vibrant.

It makes you feel small. It makes you realize that you, you are just one out of these billions, spinning in a circle looking up these skyscrapers.

It makes you feel big, because you made it out here. Because there are options and possibilities just around the block.

It shows you that happiness is in your own hands, only you can make the best out of every day, while you ride down Centre Avenue, filled with happiness, passing by friends, hugging each other dearly, while tears are rolling down their cheeks.

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Every moment counts. There are so many heartbeats out there. Some of them hurt, others, at the same moment, dancing in joy. People in cars, rushing somewhere, so many of them. They’re all going somewhere. All their heads are filled with thoughts, doubts, day planning.

We’re all the same, and we’re sharing this place. In the same time, we’re all so different.

Let the city lights guide you towards being a nice human being, respecting and treasuring these other souls, floating around.