Month: September 2017

Yummy Lentil Stew (Vegan)

Yummy Lentil Stew (Vegan)

For an enthusiastic foodie like me, vegans always seemed like strange, pale people who ate weird things. That was until I became one of these guys myself after watching "What the Health", "Food Choices" and other shocking health-related

Netflix documentaries. Doctors featured in these documentaries said that switching to a plant-based low-fat diet helps you to avoid cancer, and other common diseases. So little Miss Hypochondriac here turned vegan.

I have to admit, when I made the switch, I thought I'd have to chew on boring, weird food for the rest of my life. I mean let's be honest the word vegan sounds like a huge turn off. The same is true for the word low-fat.

The minute you hear these two words, especially when they are used in the same sentence, you're appetite flies out the window. The word plant-based doesn't seem to make things better, since you think of plain, boiled, boring vegetables that taste like nothing.

But I quickly learned, that I was wrong. Food doesn't have to include lots of fat and animal products to taste delicious. Spices, onions, and garlic are great ways to make your plant-based, low-fat food taste amazing.

Incorporating veggies into yummy stews, casseroles or satisfying  potato salads instead of eating them plain, and overboiled will also do the trick. I always combine my veggies with plenty of satisfying carbs like potatoes, whole wheat bread, noodles, or brown rice.

I know what you are thinking: "But carbs are so bad and unhealthy". No they're not. Combined with veggies they are super healthy, and most of all they satisfy your hungry bellies. Veggies or fruit alone will never satisfy you, since they don't provide enough calories. Top notch doctors, like Neil Barnard, John A. McDougall, Michael Gregger and Garth Davis say so as well.

So with the help of these tricks, your healthy low-fat, plant-based dishes will taste delicious. Also adding a little sugar, and salt to your dishes will yummyfy your food big time. These two ingredients of course shouldn't be used in excess, but adding these mindfully will help you enjoy your plant-based healthy food.

That being said, there are a few people who will develop serious problems after eating salt, like swollen feet etc, and therefore should stay away from salt. But according to Dr. McDougall the general population may enjoy this ingredient.

He, and Dr. Neil Barnard also say sugar doesn't cause diabetes, and that the real root of the problem is fat. Sounds hard to believe? Then watch "What the Health" or read Dr. McDougall's book "The Starch Solution". 

Now it's time for today's recipe: A delicious, Swabian lentil stew with potatoes. Here's what you'll need:

6 Tbsp onion, chopped finely
200 g (7 oz) raw lentils, rinsed & drained
1 tsp garlic, chopped finely
1500 ml (50,7 fl. oz) water
5 big bay leafs
1 carrot, sliced
3 Tbsp apple vinegar
Salt to taste
Potatoes (as your side dish)

Add the chopped onions, and garlic to a pan without the addition of oil. Then set the heat to medium. Once they slightly changed their color, add the lentils, water, carrot and bay leafs. Let the mixture simmer for about 40-45 minutes or until your lentils are slightly overcooked.  Yup, that's correct - this stew requires ultra-soft,  slightly overcooked lentils.

Meanwhile cook your potatoes ( in a separate pan).  Once your lentils are done cooking, add the vinegar and salt. Drain your potatoes and voila - your yummy stew and potatoes are ready to be served. Enjoy!

Love, Peppa:-)

Dreams & Pomegranate Potato Salad (Vegan)

Dreams & Pomegranate Potato Salad (Vegan)

I am a very happy girl these days! Success has finally found its way into my life, after months of financial uncertainty, and self-doubt. As a German-American, I

always dreamed of working from home, since that would allow me to travel to the States two months out of the year, and take my work with me. So, six months ago, I decided to quit my side job to finally make my dream of working from anywhere come true. I always loved to write, so I took my chances as a writer. 

But as with most things in life, immediate success did not knock on my door. Starting out in self-employed-writer-la-la-land actually sucked big time! I wrote to countless magazines and companies, and asked if they need any new freelance writers like me. I heard nothing back!

Nobody needed me and my uber-world-renowned-pulitzer-worthy writing skills. Great! I pitied my silly, little self quite a bit. Yay, being self-employed rocked! Not! But all of this changed about two months ago. All of the sudden people wanted to work with me, and I received one offer after another.

After months of self-doubt and financial struggles, being successful feels awesome! Now I am my own boss, and I work in the best office ever: My cozy, little studio apartment! I can travel wherever, and whenever I want - I don’t have to ask for anyone’s permission. Hello freedom! So, cheers to dreams coming true.

But now it’s time to focus on food. I love potato salad. Sadly, it often is loaded with huge amounts of oil or mayonnaise. So, I decided to create a healthy version, that is low in fat, and full of friendly, colorful veggies. If you’re worried potatoes might make you fat, and unhealthy, I have great news for you. They don’t! Fat does.

Potatoes also contain all the essential amino acids your body needs. Hard to believe? Then read Dr. John A. McDougall's book called “The Starch Solution”. He recommends a plant-based whole foods diet rich in starches, fruits and veggies and low in fat to help avoid cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other common illnesses. Weight loss is also guaranteed.

I started to follow his recommendations, and noticed changes quite fast. I have lost weight, and feel great! I still have the occasional sweet treat, but only about twice a week. And I avoid processed food as much as I can. In case you’re wondering, I have not been paid to write any of this, I am simply sharing my experiences. So, here’s the recipe for this low-fat, nutrient-rich vegan potato pomegranate salad:

380 g (13,4 oz) potatoes, sliced thinly

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1 Tbsp parsley, chopped finely

1 Tbsp onions, chopped finely

1/2 tsp garlic, chopped finely

1/4 pomegranate (use only the seeds)

Less than 1/2 avocado, diced

1 Tbsp apple vinegar

2 Tbsp water

Salt to taste

Peel, and cook your potatoes. Once their done cooking, drain them and let them cool down until they reach room temperature. Meanwhile prepare, and chop the other ingredients. Once your potatoes have cooled down slice them thinly, and add them to a bowl. Then add all the remaining ingredients, and mix briefly with a spoon. All done! Enjoy this yummy, healthy treat!

Love, Peppa.

Yummy Hazelnut Chocolate Balls (Vegan)

Yummy Hazelnut Chocolate Balls (vegan)

Oh goodie, it is getting dark outside and I am ready for a massive amount of post-workday-coziness. It is beginning to look like fall outside, so I decided to light some candles. But what is a

cozy, girlie, fall evening without music? So, I am going all the way and am turning one of my favorite old school songs on: Walking in Memphis by Marc Cohn. Yeeees, now were talking. I am very pleased with my girlie, little self.

This is the perfect setting for writing my next blog post. So here we go. Even though I am committed to a healthy, plant based lifestyle that is mostly low in fat and refined sugar, I still eat a little sweet treat every now and then.

So today I want to share my satisfying, nutty recipe for chocolate hazelnut balls.These little guys are super easy to make, and only require 4 ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to make this yummy vegan treat:

120 g (4,2 oz) finely ground hazelnuts

3 tsp unsweetened dark cocoa powder

11 g (0,4 oz) white almond butter

2,5 Tbsp maple sirup (or a bit more)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and mix with your hands until a nice mass has developed. Then form little balls, and voila – all done!  Eat right away, or refrigerate up to 2 days.

Love, Peppa:-)

Delicious Lentil Avocado Burgers (Vegan)

Delicious Lentil Avocado Burgers (Vegan)

Last Friday was a very special day. I attended my cousin’s wedding. The setting couldn’t have been cuter. It was a charming countryside wedding that took place in a beautiful, rustic barn that

felt super cozy. There was a little river flowing alongside the barn, and a crowd of happy, little geese cheerfully waddled in the midst of us guests. She wore flowers in her shiny, brown hair, and looked absolutely lovely. What a beautiful day.

But there was another memorable thing that happened that day. It was quite funny actually. I met my first “fan” that day. Yay, how exciting! I always wonder who my readers are (yes, I mean you guys). Y’all know so much about me but I know so little about you. So it was really cool to meet one of you in person.

What a coincident that this lovely girl, and I attended the same wedding. We ran into each other in the bathroom, and started chatting. She then told me that she loves to read my blog, and follows me on Instagram. Meeting you was really fun Katie:-)

I hope you enjoy today’s recipe. It is a delicious vegan lentil avocado burger. Back in California I learned that the best way to eat a burger is to add avocado to it. Here’s what you’ll need to make this delicious healthy, plant-based, low fat delight:

For the lentil patties

1 large onion, chopped finely
1 big clove garlic, chopped finely
400 g (14,1 oz) lentils
1600 ml (54,1 fl oz) water
6 big bay leafs
1 Tbsp apple vinegar
115 g (4 oz) fine bread crumbs (usually bread crumbs are vegan)

For the avocado sauce:
20 g (0,7 oz) onion
2 avocados
4 sprigs cilantro (remove stem)
2 Tbsp water
Salt to taste

Raw onions, sliced
Cucumber, sliced
Tomatoes, sliced

Burger buns (homemade or from your local bakery-check the ingredients)

First rinse your lentils, and drain them well. Then set them aside. Meanwhile add your chopped onions, and garlic to a pan, and set the heat to medium.  Yes, without the addition of oil. Now sweat your onions, and garlic a few minutes. Once they start to get a little color, add the lentils, water, and bay leafs. Stir well, and cover the pan with a lid. Leave a little gap, so that a tiny amount of steam can escape.

The heat should be set to medium. Let the mixture cook gently for about 45 minutes, or until only a little bit of fluid is left. If it is still very watery after 45 minutes, cook your lentils a bit further until only a little bit of water is left. Once that is achieved, remove the pan from the heat and add the vinegar and salt. Afterwards add the bread crumbs and salt.

Let the mixture stand for about 10-15 minutes, so the moisture can be absorbed properly by the bread crumbs. Then roll the mixture into little balls, and flatten them into burger patties. Use a separate pan, add a teeny tiny bit of oil, and set the heat to medium. Add the patties to the pan, and cook them a few minutes on each side, until they browned evenly on both sides.

It is important to use very little oil for frying, since free oils (oils that have been separated from their seeds, fruits e.g. olive oil, sunflower oil) are linked to causing certain types of cancer, as well as heart disease. Dr John A McDougall has some interesting facts about this, if you would like to know more about this topic. Once your patties are done, set them aside.

Now prepare your avocado sauce. Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until a nice, and creamy texture is achieved. All done. Now it’s time to create your burger. Add your veggies, lentil patties, and avocado sauce to your burger bun. Don’t add the top of your burger bun to your burger, otherwise the taste will be too bready. That way you also eat more veggies, and lentil patties. Enjoy!

Love, Peppa:-)

Edamame-Noodle Bliss Bowl (Vegan)

I am in a bit of a rush this morning because I am invited to a cozy, little barn wedding today and need to get ready.

Just like most girls, I looove everything that has to do with weddings. So cliché I know, but the girlie girl in me just can’t help it… But before I head out, I wanted to share this wonderful recipe with you.

At first this was intended to be a noodle-edamame salad with a ginger soy dressing. But after I took the picture I was more in the mood for something hearty.

Good that I didn’t put the dressing on top before taking the picture. That allowed me to make a few changes here and there. At the end the whole thing turned into a yummy, creamy bliss bowl.

I also decided to leave the zucchini out, and replace them with mushrooms. Yuuummm. So here’s what you’ll need to make this satisfying plant-based dish:

130 g (4,6 oz) whole wheat noodles

1 hand full fresh chives, chopped finely (or more)

1 small raw carrot, roughly grated

5 hands full of blanched edamame

For the sauce:

12 mushrooms, sliced

45 g (1,6 oz) onion, chopped finely

1 very small clove garlic, chopped finely

400 ml (13,5 fl.oz) water

2 Tbsp white almond butter

1/2 Tbsp tomato paste

1/4 tsp salt or more

First cook you noodles. Then rinse them with cold water, and drain them well. Afterwards add them to a fresh bowl. Now add the roughly grated carrot, and the edamame.

Then set the bowl aside. Now it’s time to prepare the sauce. First add half of the mushrooms to a very hot pan, without any oil. Heat should be set on high.

If you add your mushrooms to early before the pan is sizzling hot, your mushrooms won’t turn brown and will become soggy, and watery. That would lead to a disappointing lack in taste.

Once your mushrooms are in the pan watch them carefully. The moment they have browned nicely on the lower side flip them to the other side, so that that one browns nicely too.

You may need to reduce the heat a little if the color gets too dark. Once both sides are brown in color, add the water. Stir well, so that the brown “stuff” in the pan dissolves in your water.

Then add the onions, garlic, and the remaining mushrooms, and let the mixture simmer gently with a lid on top. After a few minutes add the white almond butter, and stir well.

Then wait a few minutes for the sauce to thicken. Once it has thickened add the tomato paste, and salt. Stir again.

Now remove your sauce from the heat, and pour as little or as much as you want on top of your noodle-edamame bowl. As your final step add the chopped chives on top.

Love, Peppa 

Rice Pudding With Nectarine Compote (Vegan)

Rice Pudding With Nectarine Compote (Vegan)

I am laying in bed, covered in lots of tissues, and am feeling quite sorry for my sick, sniffly self. This morning I woke up with a cold. So I snuggled up under my blankie, and am sipping on some hot

cocoa (hot water, dark unsweetened cocoa powder & maple sirup) and am binging my favorite feel good show - Friends. A sense of comfort sets in and I begin to feel at ease. Speaking of comfort, today I am going to show you that comfort food doesn't have to contain tons of fat, and other unhealthy ingredients. There is such a thing as healthy comfort food.

My cinnamony rice pudding with nectarine compote is proof. This dessert is super delicious, and a great, healthy alternative if you crave a little, sweet treat. It is super satisfying, completely vegan and requires only 5 simple ingredients. Here's what you'll need to prepare this yummy plant-based dessert:

125 g rice (the kind used for rice pudding)

500 ml water

3 Tbsp maple sirup

1/4 tsp cinnamon

4 ripe nectarines, peeled

Add water, and rice to a pan, and bring the mixture to a boil while stirring. Then reduce the heat, and let the mixture simmer gently for about 20-25 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent the bottom from burning.

Once your rice pudding is done cooking, add the maple sirup, and cinnamon. Stir until everything is evenly incorporated, and pour the mixture into a bowl. Let it cool down to room temperature.

Meanwhile peel your nectarines, and remove the pits. Then add your nectarines to a blender, and puree them until smooth and lump-free. You don’t need to add sugar to your nectarine puree if you buy ripe ones. 

Once your rice pudding has reached room temperature it' s time to fill your rice pudding, and nectarine compote (puree) into the glasses. Et voila, done. Enjoy this yummy treat!

Love, Peppa:-)

© 2018 Peppa Jane

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑