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A Travelling Cook: March 2015

A Travelling Cook

A Travelling Cook: March 2015

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Quick and easy vegan friendly meals to eat this week!

I've been doing a bit of an audit of my blog before I move hosting and I realised I don't have that many main meals on my blog. Which is silly as I cook dinner (and often lunch as I work from home) every day! It's easy to fall into the habit of eating toast or mashed potato or wine and cheese for dinner (especially during times when I am living alone) so to inspire me I've decided to do a weekly hosting of dinner recipes. The caveat is that they need to be vegan friendly (the vast majority of my cooking is vegan with dairy free milk and cheese, no meat, honey or animal products ), quick to make (say under 30 minutes) and not rely on any fancy equipment like a Thermomix or pizza oven. I'm listing a range of recipes that I cook fairly often. These can be made for lunch or dinner as part of a meal or a meal in themselves.

Do drop by with your recipe. If you'd like to be included, please link back to my weekly post and encourage people to view the different recipes that people submit :)

Red beans, quinoa and jerk spice soup
Lentil and green vegetable soup
Vegetable, quinoa and adobe soup
Egg free quiche
Quinoa, eggplant and mushroom balls
Kohlrabi coleslaw
Quick quinoa fried rice
Spicy, pumpkin, spinach and almond fetta pasties
Quinoa, barley and pickled vegetable salad

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Friday, March 6, 2015

In my kitchen this month

Over the last month I have been busy with flat hunting (which requires a four hour round trip to Berlin each time I go to look at rentals) and recipe testing for my new Ebook. We're subletting a big flat in Leipzig right now but as previously mentioned, it has a DIY kitchen in that the renter needs to bring not only their own fridge but also benches, cupboards, sink and stove. Hence we have a sink and stove and a little fridge, but no oven. But it's ok, it forces me to be imaginative when cooking which is great. In general fresh food here lasts a lot less time than in Australia so the trend here to shop for groceries little and often is apt.


I've been busy making a bunch of recipes that either use up leftovers, bits from my pantry or are recipe tests for my next ebook of vegan soups, salads and sides. The book demonstrates that tasty cooking is possible from the smallest kitchen and all recipes are done on the stove you see above without any fancy equipment besides a 20€ stick blender. I've got a few more recipes to go but I'll be putting it out soon! Again a portion of each purchase will go to a charity, I haven't quite decided which one yet for this one.

I made these chocolate quinoa rum balls using leftovers:


Next, an experimental potato bake made in a fry pan. Next time I'll cut the potatoes thinner so they 'stick together' better! 

Loving my new hand painted mug from Leipzig's Oxfam shop. It's the only charity shop in town (to my knowledge) that has household goods and is quite overpriced in general, so I was happy to find this for 1€. Also in the pic are my custard and chocolate wontons, ready to be cooked! 

I made a lovely creamy mushroom pasta with bio cheese and soy milk and mushrooms. The pasta is actually lasagne sheets broken in half, since I've no oven I thought I may as well use them up!

Here's some food I made for our housewarming/farewell party a couple of weekends ago. The last party I had (for Australia Day), I made a load of baked dishes from my last recipe ebook like sausageless rolls and passionfruit vanilla slice. A couple of gluten free people turned up late only to find most of the gf food had already been eaten which was annoying! It was a great party. 

This one by comparison was smaller, just a few friends so I made tofu rice paper rolls, guacamole, fried polenta bites with homemade pesto and of course chips! German people love chips, paprika flavoured ones are the most common here. It's also customary for people to serve lots of sweet things at parties in Deutschland which we tend to forget, solved when one of our friends turned up with a big bag of sweets! 

Here's some photos to show the less than glamourous side of food photography. It includes dried mushrooms (not cheap), tofu which I used to fill dumplings, homemade cheese and other bits and pieces. You can see from the second picture that photography can be less than glamourous! The lack of light here doesn't help, being winter/spring it's still very dark most days. 

Who could resist party gurken! 

And lastly proof Gurken are serious business here, check out the billboard below (not the best pic, it was 10:30 pm at night). 

That's most of the activity in my kitchen this month.  Make sure you pop over to Celia’s at Fig Jam & Lime Cordial to see what is happening in other kitchen’s around the world.

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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Quick quinoa 'fried rice'

Sometimes you just want a really simple dish, and this is where quinoa comes in. It's easy to use, has a lovely nutty flavour and lends itself to a range of sweet and savory cuisines. I had some asian ingredients leftover from making soup and rice paper rolls so I decided to make a quick lunch. It took about 15 minutes max and was a great, tasty filling meal on a cold day. You could certainly add any leftover veggies, tofu or tempeh you have handy. 

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas
  • 1/3 cup sweet corn kernels
  • 1/4 capsicum diced
  • 1 spring onion diced
  • 1/2 cup hot vegetable stock
  • handful bean shoots

  • 1 garlic clove finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons tamari sauce
  • 1 teaspoon peanut oil
  • 1 red chilli, finely diced (optional)
  • 1teaspoon Sriracha (chilli sauce)

  1. Add quinoa to a dry warm fry pan and cook until fragrant and lightly browned. 
  2. Add 1 cup water and bring to the boil for 5 minutes.
  3. Add peas and vegetable stock.
  4. Stir and top with a lid and turn off the heat. Leave for 5 minutes whilst you make your dressing
  5. Add dressing ingredients to a jar, pop the lid on and shake. 
  6. Add corn, spring onion and bean shoots to the quinoa and mix through with a fork. 
  7. Stir through dressing and serve.

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