Month: August 2017

Dreamy Vacation at the North Sea

Dreamy Vacation at the North Sea

Yay! I am on vacation! Again! How did that happen? I just got home from the South of France a few weeks ago, and my broke girl bank account wasn't equipped to sponsor another summer vacay. But

to my surprise, I spontaneously got invited to go to Wangerooge, a lovely little German Island in the middle of the North Sea. It's such a gorgeous place, and I am so thankful I get to be here.Traveling to exciting places far away is awesome, but exploring the beauty of your home country is just as important. I arrived here last week, and I have to say I couldn't feel more relaxed.

This little, lively northern island is so charming with it's cozy brick houses, cobblestone streets, and its wide, beautiful beaches. You see happy families everywhere, and life feels wonderfully simple, and laid back here.The best part about this northern beauty is that there are no cars here. These noisy little stinkers are not allowed on the island.

This makes a huge difference in the quality of the air. Breathing in feels amazing.There are not many places in Europe where you get to enjoy a car-free atmosphere. Honestly, what better place to recharge, and let go of the stress of your daily, busy life. I feel completely at peace here.

Today, I took a long walk on the beach, and found these adorable, happy butterflies sitting on these pretty beach flowers. That was the cutest thing ever! I mean come on, butterflies at the beach - it doesn't get much

better than this... I am so sad that this dreamy vacation is almost over. I would  have loved to stay longer! In case you'd like to visit this happy, little island as well, make sure to book your trip well in advance, since Wangerooge is a popular travel destination, and vacation rentals are packed fast. 

Anyway, enough for today, it's time for me to go to bed now:-)

Love, Peppa

 

Ultra Delicious Zucchini Noodles

Ultra Delicious Zucchini Noodles

It feels like fall these days... It's grey and rainy outside, and summer is nowhere to be found. August has barely started, and summer vibes seem to have vanished completely. On days like

these, I really miss the States. American summers are just magical. Never a cloudy day between the months of June, and September. Perfekt pool and ocean weather!

When I was little, and I was sitting on the airplane approaching Portland, I was always impressed by the huge amount of pools I saw in American backyards.

My grandma, and grandpa also had one. Its beautiful turquoise water got me excited every single time. I loved the idea of having a pool in my backyard.

German properties never came with a pool. When I asked my parents if they could build one in their backyard, they turned my fabulous idea down and said it would be way too expensive.

I couldn't take no for an answer so I decided to dig the required hole myself. After about an hour I was  pooped and gave up. That was the end of all pool discussions. But enough about my kiddo poolmania, let's talk food.

When I started this whole vegan journey, I was worried that I would have to eat boring, weird  food for the rest of my life. I also thought cooking this way involves yucky, fake ingredients.

Honestly, I had such a bad impression of the whole going-vegan thing. Turns out I was really wrong. Cooking this way is super easy, delicious, and doesn't require strange, artificial ingredients.

These ultra yummy zucchini noodles are proof. They're not just super tasty, they're also extremely healthy since these pretty noodle-look-a-likes are made from raw zucchini.

And don't get me started on the sauce...It is rich and creamy, and bursts with flavor despite the fact that it doesn't contain any dairy products.

I got the idea for this delightful dish from one of Attila Hildmann's amazing vegan cookbooks. Since I am not a big fan of tofu, I made a few adjustments here and there.

The result turned out great. You'll absolutely love it. Here's what you'll need:

65 g (2,3 oz) onions, chopped finely (about 3/4 onion)
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
40 g (1,4 oz) fresh chives, chopped finely
4 Tbsp olive oil
20 g (0,7 oz) sundried tomatoes, chopped finely (if possible not canned)
100 g (3,5 oz) white almond butter (weißes Mandelmuß)
250 ml (8,5 fl. oz) water
A few splashes fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste
4-5 zucchini (raw)

To make these long, spaghetti-look-a-likes, called zucchetti, you need a little tool called spiralizer. This tool can be bought online, or in well organized kitchen supply stores.

Place the raw, unpeeled zucchini in the spiralizer, and spiral away. Once you’re done with making your zucchetti, set them aside. Please note: These won't be cooked, eating them raw provides the spaghetti-like texture you’re looking for.

Now it's time to prepare the sauce. To do so, add the oil, onions, garlic, and sundried tomatoes to a pan, and set the heat to medium. Let them sweat for a few minutes. Make sure they don’t turn brown.

In case you used canned, oily, sundried tomatoes instead of the fresh non-oily kind, reduce the amount of olive oil used in the recipe.

Then add the water, and the white almond butter, and stir until the almond butter is incorporated evenly. Let the mixture simmer for 3 minutes until it has thickened.

The mixture is very watery at first, but don't worry after a few minutes it starts to thicken beautifully. Don’t forget to stir occasionally. Afterwards add the lemon juice, and salt.

Sir again, and voila your sauce is done. Attention: Place the sauce on top of your noodles right before it's time to serve them.

Why? The salt in your sauce will extract the water out of your zucchini noodles, and adding it to early results in watery noodles. Don't forget the chopped chives on top. Enjoy!

Love, Peppa

Banana Walnut Muffins & Life Changes

Banana Walnut Muffins & Life Changes

I am totally enjoying this quiet, cozy Sunday today. I am fully committed to being a very lazy girl today. I made great food, and spent lots of time in bed watching my favorite TV shows. The week

was quite busy, and I needed an uneventful, lazy day like this. Since my last post, a lot has happened. I don’t even know where to begin… As most of you know, I am a classically trained cook. This means, I have always been a big fan of using eggs, dairy, and other animal products in my kitchen.

One of my favorite ingredients has been cheese. Like so many others, I have been a cheeseaholic my entire life.  Despite becoming a vegetarian two years ago, I never understood people, who were turning vegan.To me these guys were nothing but a bunch of weirdos, who are missing out on life.

I just couldn’t understand why anybody would give up heavenly delights such as cheese, eggs and other mouthwatering dairy products. I also considered it quite snobbish to be so picky about the things you eat, if so many people on this planet don’t have anything to eat at all.

But all of this changed last week… One evening, after I got done with work, I decided to give this documentary called “What the health” a try. It was recommended to me by one of my relatives, who is a doctor. I was not prepared for what I was about to see.

In this documentary, American doctors were saying that eating meat, fish, eggs, and dairy is directly responsible for causing cancer, as well as other illnesses like heart disease, and that eating a low carb diet might help you lose weight but can result in strokes, heart attacks, and vascular dementia due to clogged arteries.

They also say that it’s not sugar that is causing diabetes, but meat, dairy, and eggs. They had a large amount of studies backing them up on these statements, Harvard studies being part of them. What struck me the most, was that they say only 10 percent of cancers are related to genes, and 90 percent are related to what we eat.

They even say that if you were dealt a bad genetic deck, you can turn things around by eating a plant based diet. I heard enough. I decided, then and there, to eliminate animal products from my diet. Me, a classically trained, dairy-egg-addicted cook. Not in a million years would I have thought this day would come.

If you’d like to watch the documentary as well, you can find it on Netflix or on whatthehealthfilm.com . By the way, I was not paid to write any of this. I simply felt the personal need to share this information with you. You probably are wondering “how the heck is she planning to cook delicious, non-complicated, heavenly food if she is a vegan?“

Well I have good news! Cooking vegan does not mean that your food has to taste lame, or that you have to use weird, fake ingredients. Just trust me on this one, and let me prove to you that it is just as simple, and just as delicious to cook this way. Wanna bet? Then try my new delicious banana-walnut muffins.

They don’t taste any different from the ones people went nuts about at my adorable, little café that I owned in the past. Here’s what you’ll need:

163 g (5,8 oz) whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

70 g (2,5 oz) white sugar

28 g (1 oz) sunflower oil

3 medium sized, overly ripe bananas

35 g (1,2 oz) walnuts, chopped

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius (345 degrees Fahrenheit). If you are not using a convection oven raise the temperature about 20 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit.) Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. Then cut your very ripe bananas in small chunks, and add them to your dry ingredients. At the same time, add the oil.

Please note: It is important that you use overly ripe bananas, otherwise your muffins won’t be sweet enough, and will be lacking the wonderful banana flavor. Now mix the dough using your hands. Do so until a nice batter has formed, and the bananas are mashed, and well incorporated. Don’t overmix your batter, since this results in tough muffins.

Now fold in the chopped nuts. Fill your batter into the muffin molds, which you lined with muffin papers earlier. Make sure to fill them almost to the top (but leave a little room at the top). Then bake them for about 10 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean. Make sure not to overbake them, otherwise they’ll be dry. Once done, remove them from their pan, and let them cool down. They taste best at room temperature. Enjoy:-)

Love, Peppa.

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