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It’s finals week. It’s finals week, and I feel, look and eat like the most cliche stressed student you could find. That means that my food during finals – I’m not proud of it – consists of 90% peanut butter, 10% cereal and 40% bagels.
Bad Russian joke.

Luckily, I have my dear coop where I get my lunches from! This seriously made my day, and makes sure I don’t go insane from lack of greens and veggies. I feel so much better now!

Grain Salad, Veggie Burger, Sauteed Mushrooms, Garlic Hummus, Jalapeno Hummus, Sweet Potato Chips, Tomatoe Salad

Vegan pizza with peppers, mushrooms and onions;

Kidney bean, chickpea & balsamico salad;

Olives;

Grapes;

Grapefruit;

and some plain lettuce.

So lucky to have vegan options on my meal plan! 🙂

Also, I just told the staff at our kitchen that I am vegan (which I am not entirely yet). This means that from now on, I will eat only vegan meals at our cafeteria. Also, it means that there are now 3 vegans in our cooperative, so hopefully they will start incorporating vegan desserts as well.

To give them credit, a lot of the vegetarian meals are vegan as well. While I was registered as ‘vegetarian’, I tried to pick only the meals that “seemed” vegan – but now I can be sure. I was hesitating to do this step for a while since it meant I wouldn’t take any muffins or cake anymore since technically I wasn’t calculated in for it. But today was the day. Feels so good to have done it now. SCORE!

Do you ever hesitate to tell others about your dietary choices like I did?

Dear readers,

Exciting news: It’s time for Vegan MoFo!

Throughout the month of October, over 700 vegan food bloggers will display their art and get knee-deep into some vegan cooking, baking and writing. I am excited to participate this year. It’ll be a great motivation to try out more new recipes. This is the perfect time of the year to this as well- the leaves are turning yellow and it’s becoming cold outside…

Next thing: picture of my lunch!
I live in a coop, so part of the deal to live here is to do 3 hours of kitchen work a week. And I love it! In the short time I’ve lived here, I’ve already learned so much about cooking, using the right kitchen utensils, which flavours work well together etc. And I get to make awesome vegan things – and eat them 🙂 Here is my lunch from yesterday:

What’s in it?

  1. Eggless “Egg”-Salad
  2. Barley-Chickpea Salad
  3. Spicy Hummous: Tabasco & Pepper
  4. Classic Hummous: Tahini
  5. Carrot sticks!

The Barley-chickpea salad was my favourite. I don’t remember the exact recipe, but I’ll try and remember as best as I can:

  1. Cook 1.5 cups of barley
  2. In a bowl, throw together a can of chickpeas, some cut up spring onion, some fresh parsley, juice of a lemon.
  3. Add some extras. These could be: dried raisins, cranberries, pistachios*, dried apricots. I also used sun-dried tomatos because I love them, worked out well.
  4. When the barley is tender, spread it out on a flat pan. Drizzle some olive oil over it and let it sit for a little bit.
  5. Put together a spice mix of black pepper, cinnamon, cayenne, nutmeg, turmeric. This is where my memory gets fuzzy. There may have been more spices. I also left out the turmeric because we didn’t have any, and it worked out well!
  6. Mix the barley with the rest of salad.
  7. Throw the spice mix in and stir.
  8. Let it sit for about an hour before serving. Maybe drizzle more olive oil on if it seems dry.
  9. Enjoy!

(*The recipe is originally a barley-pistaccio salad, but we always leave nuts out of all recipes in the coop kitchen for those who are allergic.)
The best thing was that I made all of the above and then knew they were being diminished by fellow coop-ers at lunch. Yay – vegan food for everyone!

Lastly, I tried out the raw pumpkin butter recipe from Raw Is Sexy last night. I used this baby:

I still had it sitting on my counter from the visit to the Farmer’s Market the other day. I knew it was time to try this…

This is what it turned out as: Yummy raw, cinnamon-y pumpkin goodness! I spread some on a sandwich and digged in right away. The rest is sitting in the fridge now.

Any ideas on what I could with it? Mix in some muffins? Make pumpkin bread out of it?

Lastly, I want to point you guys to some awesome vegan blogs I’ve discovered through vegan mofo already. For the complete list, check here:

To the above and all the other mofo-ers: What is your goal for Vegan MoFo 2011?
I am mainly hoping to have fun, explore some new vegan recipes (particularly soup! I haven’t made much soup yet at all but the season is calling for it), and find more vegan bloggers I like 🙂

Have a nice Sunday everyone!

This is the perfect recipe for when you feel in the mood for a quick, fresh pasta sauce/dip/spread. Very versatile and easy.
It is basically like pesto, but stripped of a few ingredients for those of us who never quite manage to keep that pantry nice and stocked up. It still tasted awesome though! (Assuming you like spinach and garlic..).

All you need:

– Spinach (2-3 cups)
– Garlic (2-3 bulbs)
– Olive oil

For a more fancy proper vegan pesto, add:

– Basil (1 cup)
– Pine nuts / walnuts (1/2 cup)

Then just blend everything together.
Look at this beautiful green mushyness:

This will go well on pasta, bread, rice, anything really. Have fun with it!

Inspiration for the pesto was found on K ❤ Wellness, get body phat, mindbodygreen and Vegan Visitor. Thanks for that, people.
Enjoy your weekend guys!

I’ve been crazy busy with traveling and work the last couple of days, which is why you haven’t heard from me.

Being vegan at home was challenging, but also interesting. My sister made a lovely vegan cherry cake for me, that was great! Danke nochmal! 🙂 A similar recipe can be found here .

This isn’t it (camera broken still), but it tasted as great as that one looks. Image taken from here . Kirschstreusel

My mum, on the other hand, seemed to have a bit of a harder time understanding.
I told her that I am vegan at the moment and tried to explain what that implied, and the food I won’t eat. After some negotiation about lunch (she really wanted to make something for me, as in the good old times), we decided to just have some vegetables, spinach and potatoes. Sounded good to me. We agreed that she’d cook dinner, while I unpack, do some laundry, have a shower.
When I was done, I quickly sneaked into the kitchen to see how dinner was doing. On the kitchen counter, right next to the oven, I saw an open pack of butter. For a second, I thought about speaking up, complaining. But no – I didn’t say anything. When I came back to eat, the butter was gone. I think that in this situation, it is better to overlook the incident. The only thing I could have done, anyway, is to not eat any of the dinner – but since she was cooking purely for me, that surely isn’t a good idea. I don’t see my family all that often any more, so I think there is no point in having a fight about a little butter. Do challenge my point though, fellow vegans: what would you have done in the situation?

Lastly, my cookbook should arrive today – Yay! Hopefully, I shall be able to start cooking again soon (The last couple of days I’ve just been living off the AMAZING German bread I brought from home. Nom nom nom… No better thing. Truly the only food I have been missing since leaving Germany.)

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