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Since enjoying peanut butter sandwiches for breakfast every day at my friend’s house last week, I’ve been craving peanut butter. This is bad, since I normally was proud to be resistant to the stuff. However, I managed to find a way to incorporate it into vegan meals!

The first one I made because I was interested in tasting pak choi, also known as chinese cabbage or bok choy. Never heard of it before I started researching more vegan recipes. This one was absolutely gorgeous, great as a side or on its own!


(Image from jungle seeds )

Pak choi recipe from the Veganomicon (slightly modified):

You need:

  • 3 Pak chois
  • 1 tbs oil
  • 1 tbs chunky peanut butter
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame seeds

Stir fry the pak chois, nicely cut up, in the oil. When they start to wrinkle, add peanut butter and soy sauce. Steam for a few minutes, then serve. Sprinkle sesame seeds on for extra decoration.

Lots of recipes in Veganomicon, including this one, ask for the use of peanut oil. Lacking this vital ingredient, I opted for using olive oil instead, but adding a dash of peanut butter to the mix instead worked wonderfully! Very creamy, yummy, peanut-y (although to be fair probably less healthy).
The peanut butter works really well here, especially since using crunchy gives you little pieces of nut in your stew that make for an interesting mix of textures.

The pak chois came out very nicely. I’ll definitely buy them again, and you should consider trying them if you’ve never before. They are also rich in vitamins and iron, protein and calcium.
For more infos on pak chois check out Dancing Gecko’s Post , VeganHope gives a good list of recipe links, and this recipe also sounds delicious.

And this I randomly threw together as dinner last night, once again incorporating the peanut butter:

Extremely simple Courgette-Stew:

Stew is probably not the technical term for this.  It is not really a stir fry either though. Either way, it was very quick and very yummy, so here we go:

You need:

  • Courgette (Zucchini)
  • Mushrooms
  • Baby potatoes
  • 1 tbs oil
  • 1 tbs of crunchy peanut butter
  • Some herbs: Thyme, Oregano, Basil.. Whatever floats your boat. I used an Italian 5 Herb mix.
  • some water

Heat the oil in a sauce pan. Add the vegetables, all cut into bite-sized chunks, and stir. Fry until they are a bit crispy. Then add the peanut butter, the herbs and some water, some salt. Stir thoroughly until the butter is melted and well spread around the leaves. Then put the lid on your sauce pan and steam for a couple of minutes. I am really bad with estimating times, so I won’t give a specific time here. You’re done when the potatoes and the courgette are as soft as you like them. The peanut butter/water/herb mix should have formed a bit of a nice, creamy sauce for the vegetables. If you want more, feel free to add some Vegan Cheese Sauce to it, I’m sure that would be a nice addition as well.

Lastly, I have had this song stuck in my head the whole day. ‘Wir trafen uns in einem Garten’ by 2Raumwohnung. ‘Jaaa, dann denk ich an was andres!’

Have a good day!

One problem I have found is that it seems hard to find somewhere in town to buy quick, ready-made lunch in town. None of Tesco’s lunch deals are vegan – the few vegetarian sandwiches and pies all contain either egg, cheese or mayonnaise.

In an attempt to still get lunch which does not consist of a plain piece of fruit or bread, I went into the WholeFood store and bought this:

“Pie with fresh marinated vegetables in a jerky style sauce”
That sounds great – really does not live up to the expectations though. I guess heating it up would have helped, but due to the lack of a microwave it was just not.. so great. The picture pretty much sums it up:

Eurgh. I guess for now bringing home-made lunches or going back home for lunch is the easiest alternative. There are some clever websites like VeganLunchBox that should give some hints.

F

Cheese is what I thought I’d miss most this lent. I don’t drink much milk, and I hardly ever buy any eggs, but I do like cheese. So I started looking around for alternatives straight away…

I did some research, and it turns out that vegan cheese is available in all kinds of colours and textures and even quite cheap – but quite a few people claimed the taste was rather unpleasant and simply ‘not the same’.
Then, however, I found out about nutritional yeast “cheese”. I read about it in all kinds of other blogs like here, here and here and they all reported tastiness, easy preparation and yummy cheesy texture and feel. I also like the idea of producing the stuff myself.
So, once again, went to Health Foods on Market Street and luckily found this:

The vegan margarine, on the left side, is also a valuable ingredient. I found it in Tesco after scanning all the other one’s ingedrient lists: Who knew even plant-based margarine had buttermilk or milk proteins in it? :S

So you will need:

– 2 tbs Vegan margarine
– 3 tbs Flour
– 50 ml Water
– 1 ts Mustard
– 1 ts Salt
– 4 tbs Nutritional yeast flakes
– 100 ml Water

Mix all the stuff together in a pan in the given order after melting margarine first.
Bring it to a quick boil and then you’re done.
Then, it will have the texture of a very thick cheese sauce, so you can do whatever you like with it. I chose to pour it over my potatoes and bake it in the oven for about 5 min.

Aaaand this is the end product:

Very happy with it. Incredibly tasty, the texture is very similar to that of cheese. As you can see in the picture, it melts nicely and even has a little brown crust on it. Yum.

As I come home from work in the early morning hours, I am craving the pancakes that I am hoping my flat mates will have left for me in the kitchen. I do have some twinges of conscience because it is after midnight: some may argue that the period of lent has officially begun. My friend M’s confident encouragement that lent does really only start with the next morning, however, convinces me.

As expected, I find large piles of pancakes, this wonderful creation full of milk and eggs, in our homely kitchen. Knowing that this will be the last non-vegan meal for a while, I truly indulge in my pancakes drowned in Maple Syrup before happily dozing off to sleep.