Sunday, January 25, 2015

Hello readers, sorry for the long absence! I've basically been busy being a really lame routine person, dedicating most of my time to working out, studying, and my cat. She's actually sleeping next to me right now and I keep pausing every few seconds to stare and pet her (can you understand how typing out one sentence can take forever here?)

So recently I had a craving for some sweet rolled buns. Of course, I love my classic cinnamon bun, but I was just too excited to use the walnuts we cracked for this year and well, chocolate. So say hello to these delicious babies! I also swapped out sugar with maple syrup, which not only gives a nice robust flavor but you get the added benefit of zinc and manganese. Enjoy!



Chocolate Date Walnut Rolls
Makes 16-18 rolls

Dough:
2 cups unbleached, all purpose flour
1 cup spelt flour
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 cup non-dairy milk
42 g cube fresh yeast or 2 teaspoons of dry yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil (or coconut, sunflower, rapeseed)
2 tablespoons warm water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Filling:
100 g chopped dairy-free bittersweet chocolate (or chocolate chips)
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
6 finely chopped dried deglet nour dates
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons maple syrup

Heat the non-dairy milk until warm to the touch. Add the yeast, warm water, and a touch of maple syrup. Stir until well combined and set aside.

Mix the flours and salt together. Add the oil and maple syrup and stir. Slowly mix in the yeast mixture, stirring in the meanwhile until everything is well combined and it forms a ball. Cover the bowl with a towel and either let sit in the fridge over night or in a warm place for 1.5 hours

Flour your surface and roll out the dough into a
1/2 cm thick 3:4 rectangle, the longer side facing you. Mix the maple syrup and oil and spread evenly on the dough, using the back of a spoon. Distribute the chocolate, walnuts, and dates over the surface, leaving about a 2 cm edge all around. Roll the dough upwards and pinch and tuck the ends in to complete your roll.

Divide the roll into 16-18 pieces, wetting the knife inbetween to get clean cuts. Distribute the rolls between two baking trays covered in baking paper. Cover with a towel and let rise for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 360ºF/180ºC for about 6 minutes. Bake the rolls for 25 minutes (if it gets darker faster, cover with a sheet of aluminum foil until the baking time is up). Take out and let it cool before taking off the tray. Guten Appetit!


Chocolate Date Walnut Rolls

Sunday, January 4, 2015



It is officially the first week of 2015 and mainly I've been lounging around the house. I've been sleeping in a lot lately and I feel like it's all due to the winter season: cold weather + warm bed = never want to get out. Same with the shower. You can imagine it takes centuries for me to get ready in the morning.

We've recently been blessed with some snow. I say blessed because last year we had none and I don't really consider it a proper winter without it! Decided to celebrate by making an igloo in the backyard!


Starting off with a good breakfast! Going for the oats with a fruit salad of kiwis, mangoes, and grapes. Also trying to cram in some German grammar.




While I was boiling water for tea to bring outside, Oli already started making the walls.




Oli making the walls stronger while I collect snow and take pictures.


Finished! Looks kind of like an egg on top but at least it allows for more head space!


We called Miku over to the house by bribing her with food . . .


It was pretty warm inside!


Cheers!

There's also something about chili on a chilly day (do you like my wordplay?) that puts me in a good mood. I mean, who doesn't like a bowl of warm, beany goodness? Here's my fool-proof recipe for chili that's super easy to make and satisfying.

A few notes:
  • I use black beans because they are a great source of protein and antioxidants. They also contain a higher amount of indigestible fraction which allows bacteria in the colon to produce butyric acid to keep it working properly. However if you don't have black beans, feel free to use another bean (kidney and azuki are good options)
  •  The vegetables used here are what I had. Feel free to use what you'd like though I do recommend keeping the onions and celery for a more familiar chili flavor.
  • The amount of cayenne here is not listed because it's all based on preference. I have a cayenne that is [to me] much stronger than others I've used so I only use a pinch of it for a whole pot. Always add less first and taste before adding any more!


Classic Vegan Chili
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil (or any vegetable oil)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 large stalk of celery, diced
1 x 15 oz. drained and rinsed can of black beans
1 x 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 tbsp ground cumin
cayenne (I use about 1/4 tsp)
salt and pepper to taste


Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium high heat. Add the garlic and onions and stir until the onions are tender and translucent. Add the celery and zucchini and stir for another 6-8 minutes.

Add the drained beans and diced tomatoes (including the juice) and bring everything to a boil before reducing the heat to medium low heat. Cover and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and add the cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Stir and let it stand for another 10 minutes so the liquid can further evaporate. Turn off the heat and serve as is or over rice. Garnish with fresh parsley or coriander/cilantro.

This dish tastes even better the next day and it's also great frozen. Make a double batch if you want to have a great meal waiting for you whenever you want.



Vegan Chilli and Building Igloos