Dienstag, 30. November 2010

My personal relation to traditional german food

I spent most of my life as an omni but I was a very picky child and teenager. I disliked most of the german sausages and even hated frikadellen. All those disgusting mayo flavoured "salads" like nudelsalat, kratoffelsalat and this like fleischsalat or wurstsalat scared me a lot. I kind of hated processed meat so I was a very bad german ^^. But quiet and other thing is, that my mother and grandmother are both passionate cooks and bakers even if my grandma doesn't cook or bake anymore but they itroduced me to german kitchen. My grandmother used to cook every sundays lunch for us as long as she was able to do it. She cooked things like "Königsberger Klopse", "Goulasch", "Rinderrouladen", "Kohlrouladen", "Reibekuchen", "Sauerbraten" and all those other roast, german kitchen is known for. She also prepared white asparagus when it was in season and was alwas very picky because she always wanted to find the best quality asparagus.
The dishes she made for herself at weekdays were more frugal but also traditional. She used to eat spinach with boiled eggs and potatoes, which I liked very much and she had lots of "Durcheinander"-style dishes with differnt kinds of meat. As a child i liked her fried pork chops and the beef soup. The beefsoup was always made with "Suppenfleisch", that's different kinds of cheap beef which noone would use to fry it or something but was nice in a soup even if it was fatty and soft. An other dish was "Hühnerfrikassee", a thick and tasty chickensoup served with cooked rice, which I will surely veganize in a few weeks. As a child and teenager I also traveled to the north of germany and stayed in munich for a couple of days so I was introduced to the cuisines of other german regions.
Well, this food can be gross and boring and sometimes it is quiet a pain in the a** to veganize some dishes.
The experiment during mofo made me think a lot about vegenazing meet dishes.
The challange is, that meat has it's own texture, taste, a lot of umami and fat and it provides you with raw protein, that is able to work as it's own binder.
When you try to veganize it and you what to fake this stuff autentically it's quiet hard.
I always want the texture the taste, the umami and the fat and that's the challenge for me but I will never give up to try because hey, I sucessfully faked an authentic bloodsausage without using any blood.
Let's veganize everything that's supposed to stay omni!
Do never lose the standart of doing it gourmet stile. I don't want to hear any of those food crisitcs and Antony Boudrains say, that our cruelty free food is inferior. I don't want Gordon Ramsay to cry because he has to try a vegan diet.
Vegan food is great, it's the healties choice of food you can get, it's peacefull, it's good for the environment, it's able to slow down the climate change and to stopp the hunger and it's even cheaper.
Tell me about the food that noone will be able to veganize!
After this project, I will be able to do it.
That's my way of fighting for a vegan world.

Freitag, 26. November 2010

Königsberger Klopse

This dish is originated in east prussia (the eastern part of the German Empire before WWII) and it's named after Königsberg, a town which is now part of russia and named Kaliningrad, but it's a common staple all over germany. The klopse are normaly made of ground veal, stale bread, onions and anchovies. That's a lot of cruelty inside of these meatballs but I took the recipe for chickpea cutlets as an inspiration and created a recipe without anything related to small disgusting smelling fish or cute baby cows. The meatballs are simmered in a mixture of vegetable broth,white wine, an onion and some spices. After cooking the meatballs are removed from the broth and the broth is thickened with a "Mehlschwitze" (magarine and flour) and enriched with lovely, vinegary capers. Then the meatballs are going back into the enriched sauce and are served with simple cooked potatoes or plain rice. The combination of the soft meatballs, the rich sauce and the strong flavoures of the capers is just outstanding. It's such a perfect combination, that this dish even made me like capers when I was a young boy.

Königsberger Klopse


For the meatballs:

1/2 cup of mashed chickpeas

1/2 cup of mashed firm tofu

1/4 cup of fine breadcrumbs

1/4 cup of chickpeaflour

1/2 cup of glutenflour

1/2 cup of nooch

2 tbs of vegetablestock powder

2 tbs of olive oil

1/2 medium siced onion, finely chopped

salt and pepper for seasoning and maybe a little bit of light soysauce or vegemite if you want it to be really hearty

For the cooking liquid:

1/2 a pot of vegetablestock mixed with two glasses of white wine

1 medium siced onion, pealed and spotted with 6 - 8 cloves

2- 4 bayleaves

4 allspices berries

4 juniper berries

6-8 whole peppercorns

For the sauce:

1/2 cup of capers pickeld in vinegar ( not the dry and salted ones)

1/3 cup of magarine

aprox. 1/4 cup of wheat flour

salt and pepper for seasoning

1. Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs until you've got a thick dough and mix in the gluten flour.

2. Make little, plum siced balls.

3. Bring the stock to a boil with all the other cooking liquids ingrendients, lower the heat to a temperature between low and medium. The luquid has to simmer slowly all the time. You have to avoid a rolling boil because it could make your lovely little meatballs fall apart and you'll end up with a soggy mix of mashed fake meat and stock.

4. Add the meatballs and cook them for about 1 hour to 1 1/2.(Try one of them after one hour...).

5. When completly done, drain the meatballs into a colander and save the remaining cooking liquid.

6. Heat your stockpot again and add the magarine. Wait until it has melted. Make a roux with the flour and some of the cooking liquid.
Season with salt, pepper and capers, add the meatballs and serve with cooked potaotes or rice. Some people seam to like pickeld beet roots with this dish but this is quiet unknow to me, maybe I've got to try it.

Mittwoch, 24. November 2010

Jan im Sack mit Birnen-Apfel-Kompott (Pearl barley with compote)

Well, this was a friday lunch dish because it didn't use any fake meats.
"Jack im Sack" is a quiet unknown dish, which I found during me research on traditional recipes from my region. It's mainly the same amount of pearl barley and dried plums mixed and wrapped into a kitchen towel. Than it's cooked in boiling water for about one hour. After cooking it's topped with melted magarine and your done. As a side dish I served a compote made of pears, apples and a bit of cinnamon and sugar.
Served like this it was quiet bland and I not going to have it this way again. I found some sources that say it should be served as a side dish to acompliment a roast like "Sauerbraten". May be this is a better way to use it.

Freitag, 19. November 2010

Himmel un Aed (Fried vegan bloodpudding with mashed potaoes topped with apples and onions)

Vegan WHAT?????

Yes, you're right this is vegan bloodpudding and it's so delicious.
The idea of a vegan bloodpudding came to my mind, when I tasted the iron drops my daughter had to take after she spent a few weeks at the hospital.
Well they tasted like blood and were vegan and the idea was born.
Now a few month later I just had some vegan iron pills but that could not stop my to do a little experiment. The kind of blood pudding a wanted to create first was "Panhas", wich is traditionally made out of the broth you've got after cooking some sausages on slaughter day (Ok, this sounds really really weird on a vegan blog but hey this is an all vegan recipe of course.). Some of the sausages tend to burst and you've got lots of animalparts you won't like to use for something als so this is, when the meat jumps into the game. You at some blood and bind everything with some buckwheat flour and you've got panhas.
Well, unforunately I couldn't find whole and bleeding fake pigs at the supermarket so I
had to do a little bit of inventing and substitution to do and here is the recipe:

Vegan Panhas

1 cup of firm tofu, mashed

1/2 cup of mashed cooked chickpeas

1/2 cup of mashed smoked tofu

1 1/2 cup of homemade vegetable stock, which should be heavy on leeks and onions and include some dried shitakes

1/2 cup of canola oil

1 big onion, chopped

2 tsp of hing

3 tbs of dark soysauce

2 tbs of vegetable stock powder

5 iron pills, grind them with a mortar

a good hand of chrused walnuts

3/4 cup of buckwheat flour

a pinch of salt

some pepper

1. In a big pot, fry the onions with the oil, the hing and the walnuts and add the tofus and chickpeas.

2.Add the stock along with the shitakes and all other ingredients eccept of the buckwheat flour and grind them with a food processor.

3.Put everthing back and add the buckwheat flour.

4.Cook on medium a while contantly stiring until it thickens a lot.

5. Pour into an oiled mold of your choice and let it cool down inside of the fride for a few ours.

Himmel un Aed


3-4 medium siced potatoes, pealed, cooked and mashed along with some magarine and nutmeg

1 big apple, pealed, deseeded and sliced

1 big onion, sliced into rings or strips

some magarine for frying the apples and onions

a few pieces of vegan panhas

salt and pepper for seasoning

1. Fry the apples and onions with athe butter until caramelized and season with salt and pepper.

2. In a non-stick pan fry the panhas until it's crispy on both sides. ( You won't need any oil because the pnahs is fatty enough.)

3. Put the apples and onions on top of the mashed potatoes and arange the fried panhas near to it.


Muzemandeln is a deepfried pastry coated with confectioners sugar, which is traditionally served during the carnival season.
The carnival season starts on 11.11. at 11:11 and ends on ash wednesday. The pastry is named after almonds becuase they look like them ("Mandel" is almond in german).
Here's the recipe:


375 g of wheat flour

150 g of magarine

3 generous tablespoons of chickpea flour

aprox. 3/4 cup of firm tofu, mashed with a fork

3 tablespoons of sugar

1 tablespoons of neutral tasting vinegar

2 tespoons of baking powder

falvour of your choice (vanilla, rum or else, i didn't use a falvour because you know 1910...)

canola oil for deepfrying

about 1/2 of confetioners sugar for coating

1. Knead a firm dough out of the irgendients for the dough.

2. Let it rest in the fridge for about one hour.

3. Roll it out as thick as a finger and take a tablespoon to could out almond shaped pastries.

4. Heat some canola oil inside of a falt pot or a pan and deepfry each side of the muzemandeln until it is golden brown. (This might take just a few seconds so be careful not to burn them.)

5.Coat with confectioners sugar when they are still warm and let them cool before eating.(Ok, they are great when piping hot and I know you're inpatient but to much of warm pastry will cause stomach pain.)

Mittwoch, 17. November 2010

Veganer Speckpfannekuchen mit Salat (german savoury pancakes with smoked tofu and a simple salat)

This dish is as simple as tradtional. I made the recipe for savoury crepes from vegan brunch and sprinkeled some cubed smoked tofu on top. I served this with a some iceberg salat witch a dressing made of vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and canola oil and half a finely chopped onion, which is the the kind of salat, that's served with fatty things like savoury pancakes or deepfried fish around here. Unfortunenatly I didn't manage to make some pancakes, that didn't break because I used a cheap non-stick pan but these pancakes were absoutely delicious and tasted closer to the non vegan original than I thought they would before I made them.
The german definition of a "Pfannkuchen" is quiet unclear. Some people make them as thick as an omlette and other people make them as thin as crepes or something in between those two ways and everything don't matter if sweet or savoury is called "Pfannkuchen", which literally translates as pancakes because "Pfanne" means pan and "Kuchen" means cake, but hey, there's no real translation for "Pfannkuchen". The pfannkuchen batter is never seweetened as it is often used for sweet and savoury pfannkuchen at one time. The most popular version of savoury pfannkuchen are the version I presented and plain ones, which are rolled up and filled with fried minced meat. The variety of sweet pfannekuchen is much bigger. People around here eat them with jam or nowadays with nutella and more tradiotional versions are plain ones with sugar or with sliced apples or bluberries, which are always fried inside of the batter. The last two one are tradiotionally beeing sprinkeled with a mix of cinnamon and sugar.
Back in 1910 these pfannekuchen made with wheat flour were an ocasional treat as wheat flour was expensive and people made there pfannkuchen with buckwheat flour, which I am also going to try next week. Today I am preparing a vegan bloodpudding, so stay tuned.

German Foul

I am a bit suprised right now because I searched for the correct translation of the beans I made, which are called "Saubohnen" or "Dicke Bohnen" in german, and found out that they are fava beans.
Oh my, how long did I search for some beans to make foul and found them at the turkish store where I shop every week. I pay about 60 cent for a small can of cooked "fava" beans there, which is still cheap for canned "exotic" beans in germany but on giant jar of these costs 55 cent at the ordinary supermarket. I don't know why I didn't find this out earlier but ok, it seems like this experiment about ancient german food is teaching me some lessons about how to get the irgendients for my next egyptian sandwich in december.
The fava beans went into a sauce called "Mehlschwitze",which I mentioned before ans were mixed with some lightly fried sliced onions. I served this with fried slices of my homemade potatodumplings and some friedchunks of the seitan, which was one of the edieable parts of my giant chew chew yuba goose.
The seitan tasted a bit plumlike, because it was close to the fillng of the goose but the fried slices of the dumplings and the beans were absolutely gorgeous.

Samstag, 13. November 2010

St. Martin, Weckmänner and Martinsgans (Sweetbreadguys and my very own vegan goose)

This post is dedicated to one of my alltime favourit german celebrations: "St. Martin".
First I have to say, that St. Martin is a catholic holiday and it seems to be a very german holiday, which is very popular were I live.
The story of Martin of Tours goes back to the fourth centuary. He first was a roman soldier and then changed his life and became a bishop but this is not the important part of the story.
The most important thing is, that he shared food with poor people and cut his coat into two halfes to share it with a homeless man.
At St.Martin the kinds walk trough the streets with selfmade laterns and sing special songs.
When the singing is over, they walk from house to house sing other songs and get sweets, fruits, nuts and baked goods like the kids do on halloween in the USA.
One of these baked goods is called "Weckmann" or "Martinsmann", which is a sweet and yeasted dough shaped like a man.
I wanted to bake a vegan version for my son that turned out a bit dry but still was delicious because of the icing and the roasted almonds on top.
At sunday a wanted to prepare the traditional lunch for the next sunday after St. Martin, wich is a goose with some festive side dishes.
My attmep on a fake goose was a giant yuba fake chicken style roast stuffed with homemade seitan, dried plums saked in wihte wine, a sliced apple and some pieces of raosted chestnuts. As side dishes I made selfamde potato dumplings for the very first time in my life and some blanched and fried brussel sprouts.
The dumplings and brussel sprouts turned out nice but the yuba-roast was a fail because I used a differnt kind of yuba which was soft without soaking but came out hard and kind of inedieable.
The stuffing was still nice. It's just equal amounts of pealed and sliced apples, dried plums soaked in wihte wine and roasted chestnuts. Maybe you want to try this istead of a breadstuffing for your christmas dinner.
Here's the recipe for the "Weckmänner".


(makes two monster ones or 4 normal guys)


500 g of wheat flour

250 ml of soy milk or any non diary milk plus some soymilk for brushing before baking

125 g of magarine

150 g of sugar

1 cube of fresh yeast

a pinch of salt

a few raisins for the eyes

1 cup of confectioners sugar

1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice or water

aprox. one cup of thinly sliced roasted almonds.

1. Mix flour, sugar, magarine, salt, soymilk and yeast and knead until you've good a nice dough.

2. Let it sit for about 1 -2 hours.

3. Shape it like little humans and stick some raisins into the face for the eyes and brush with a little soymilk.

4. Bake at 180° C for about half an hour.

5. Let it cool. Make an icing by combining th confetioners sugar and lemon juice or water and cover the cooled guys. Sprinkel with the roaste almonds.

6. Wait until the icing is solid and enjoy.

Homemade Potato Dumplings


8 big and starchy potatoes

some salt

a pinch of nutmeg

3/4 of potato flour or potato starch

2 tablespoons of chickpea flour

1. Cook half of the potatoes until they are done ( that's 30 minutes counted form the point where you put the heat on, 20 minutes from the point when the water is boiling.

2. Peal the cooked and the remaining ram potatoes and grate them vary finely.

3. Mix in the flours, some salt and the nutmeg and mix well.

4. Form about 8 -10 fist siced dumplings.

5. Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer the dumplings for about 25 minutes. (The water should never be boiling because the dumplings whould fall apart.)

6. Strain the dumplings and you're done.

Ähzesupp (Peasoup)

Allright, this was my tradtional staurdays lunch soup this week. It's quiet the same like the lentilsoup but without the sweet and sour part. This soup would have to be a lot thicker, if it should be traditional but i didn't had enough time to cook it that long. It was still very very tasty and I am really going to become a passionate eintopflover (praise the lord for this creative compostion of words ^^).

Dienstag, 9. November 2010

Rheinischer Döppekooche (Kind of Potatokugel with tempeh bacon and applesauce)

Okay, this was a very very busy week for my and most of the time i didn't feel like blogging and sometimes I even didn't feel like cooking so I had bread.
This was one of the recipes I did, I had this for tuesdays dinner and wednesdays lunch.
It's a traditional kind of potatokugel, which has many many names in our lokal dialect. The funny thing is, that i never had this dish bevor I started the research for my project.
The omnivore version of this dish is very very close to extermly disgusting, because the roughly grated potatoes are mixed with lots o sauges called "Mettwürstchen" and a whole mountain of cubed bacon. They also use eggs as a binding agend but i simply left them out and it was fine.
I roughly grated a few potatoes, mixed them with a hand full of raw tempeh bacon cubes and some dalt papper, nutmeg and lightly fried diced onions. I placed everything in a caserol dish and baked it for two hours. After the baking I served it with a lot of applesauce like thsi is traditionally beeing served.
It was ok but definetly not one of the dishes I am going to have once ore twice a week after I will be back in 2010.

Montag, 8. November 2010

Mofo Day 8: Reibekuchen #2

Today I had a lot of ryebread with applebutter for breakfast and lunch and made some more "Reibekuchen" (potatopancakes) for dinner.
This time I change the recipe a bit because the pancakes were a bit to hard for my taste.
I thaught about the kind of "Reibekuchen" my "Oma" (grandma) used to make when I was child.
Ok, as a child I defenetly hated reibekuchen but things have changed as I've grown older.
Her dough was always soft and the fried reibekuchen were always crispy on the outside and soft, goey and cooked in the center. Of course, she used eggs as a binding agent but I knew what I've made wrong at the first trial.
The dough has to be soft, fluffy a bit wet and not firm, defenetly not firm.
My first dough was so firm, that i could nearly make cookielike pancakes but this was wrong.
The change was very easy, I just didn't pressed out any liquid after I had grated the potatoes and used some more wheat flour.
The result was a fluffly, wet dough, that came out perfect. After frying it was soft in the center and crispy on the outside, exactly how I wanted it to be.
The result looked exactl like the first reibekuchen so i didn't take any pictures because it was already dark outside.
The reibekuchen were so amazing and I and my two year old son gobbeled them down with a lot of appelsauce. This is absolutely becoming one of my favourite dishes as it is cheap, quick and easy to prepare and heaveny delicious.

Sonntag, 7. November 2010

Mofo Day 7: Vegan Sauerbraten (Seitan-Roast marinated in vinegar with a special rasin flavoured gravy

This was my lunch today. It's called "Sauerbraten" (sour roast) and it's a roast, that's marinated in a mixture of vinegar, wine, chopped vegetables (Suppengrün) and a mix of different whole spices. The spice mix normaly includes pepper, bay leavs, cloves, mustard seeds, and allspices.
Everything I had in my pantry was pepper, mustard seeds and bay leaves but I think this was still fine. The raw roast is marinated for 4-2 days depending on which kind of meat people use. It varies from beef (which is the most popular way) to horsemeat and even pork, but pork is very unusual.

I also always wondered why the people today hate horsemeat or the meat of dogs and cats, like some asian cultures like to eat and enjoy their beef pork and chicken without even thinking about the way those animals are threated. It's always like "Uhhh, horesemeat, it's so digusting, I could never eat a horse but hey, I like my ground beef so much much, as I doesn't look at me. In my opionion as someone who has studied philosophy, which was also one of the main reasons, why a became a vegan, that sometihng that's called "Mitleidsethik" in german (something like mercy ethics, I don't know the real scientific term for that). People just care for the persons and animals of know identity. If they don't have to see the farmers in africa, who grow their tobbaco, if they've never met the poor workers in central ameica who harvest their cocoa, if they've never seen all the cows, chicken and pigs, how they threat them and how they slather them in a industrialized way, they just don't care, because their dog and cat and their horse is fine a the farmer around the corner gets paid enough to have a good life.

But let's come back to the preparation of the roast.
After marinating, the roast is fried and then baked along with the marinade until it is done. Then the marinade is strained and the gravy is, as always, prepared out of the remaining liquid. The gravy has to be sweetened, because is based one vinegar, which has even concentrated after baking and tends to be very sour. People use different kinds of sweeteners, such as sugar beet molasses, different kinds of jellies and jams, sugar, honey, raisins, dried fruit (mainly dried plums) or even different kinds of gingerbread such as "Aachener Printen" (a very hard kind of gingerbread which is even often vegan) or "Soßenkuchen" (means gravy cake, a kind of dry gingerbread from eastern germany, which is just made to use in gravys and sauces).
I chose raisins and sugar beet molasses, because those ingredients are very traditional and they perfectly fit the cuisine of my region. The sauerbraten is often served along with "Rotkohl" ( red cabbage), applesauce and potatodumplings or just cooked potatoes. I chose the cooked potatoes because thr rest of the components of this meal were still enough work to be done before lunch.

That made me think about the amount of work, that's done in the kitchen to prepare a festive weekend meal for the family. Everyone is always so enthusiastic about all the work the italian and frensh grandmas spent in the kitchen. Everyone is so impressed by the artisan preparations of pasta. But has anyone every talked about all the work, chemistry and knowledge, that's behind all those german potato dishes and other carb sides? I think that traditional german cusine can be as simple and as creative and educated as every other traditional cuisine in the world. But ok, that's an argument about the possibilities and past of german cuisine and things have changed after WWII as we got richer and lazier. People around here now tend to buy premade things and canned vegetables and often they even eat ready-to-serve-meals and when they got richer and the interest in cooking grew, the germans started to discover other cuisines and slowly lost all their knowledge about their own food.

The "Sauerbraten" turned out nicer than I thaught it would. The flavour is as close to the original as possible but I want to experiment a bit with the texture, which was like nice, meaty and chewy homemade seitan but the orginal is like the tender pieces of beef you may have inside of a stew. Maybe something based on the recipe for chickpeacutlets, like i made for the "Vegan Rinderrouladen" would fit the consitency better. This kindof fake meat wouldn't be could for marinating but you could still bake it along with the marinate and if you'd serve it along with the same sauce I think, that this would change the flavour so much and it wouldn't be so much work.
Here's the recipe:

Vegan Sauerbraten

for the homemade seitan:

1 kg of wheat flour

for the marinade:

300 ml of vinegar

150 ml of vine

a diced carrot

a smal chunk of diced celaric

a smal piece of diced leek

1 tbs of whole peppercorns

2 bayleaves

1 tbs of whole mustard seed

(maybe some cloves and allspice)

for the seitan cooking liquid:

1/2 cup of soysauce

2-3 tbs of nooch

1 tbs of vegetablestock powder

2 tsp of vegemite

some oil to fry the seitan

to finish the gravy:

one to four tbs of sugar beet molasses or any other of the sweetners I metioned

a small hand of raisins

1/2 cup of magarine

the amount of starch you want depending how thick you want to have your gravy

1. Mix the flour with aprox. 500 - 600 ml of warm water until you have a soft dough. Cover with cold water and set aside for 2- 4 hour to alow the gluten the work.

2. Knead the dough inside of a colander under running water until all the starch has gone and you've got a nice bouncy ball of gluten.

3. To make the marinade put all the irgredients for the marinate into a pot and heat it until it boils. Set aside until it's cold.

4. Put the raw gluten and the marinade into a plastic bag and let the seitan marinate over night.

5. At the next day put the seitan out of the plastic bag and safe the marinade inside of a pot.

6. Take and new plastic bag and mix the cooking liquid irgedients along with the same amount of water. Put in the seitan, seal the bag and cook in inside of a big pot with some water for about one our until the seitan is done.

7. Put the lquid to the marinade and fry the seitan until it's crispy one the outside.

8. Place the seitan into the mix of cooking liquid and marinade and bake it isinde of the oven at 180 ° C for baout one hour. Keep turnig the seitan from time to time to make sure, that the surface doesn't burn.

9. After baking, put out the seitan and slice and and strain the liquid trhough a collander. Put away the vegetables pieces and spices and bring the strained liquid to a boil inside of a smal pot.

10. Put in th raisins and sweetener and disolve the starch in some cold water. Mix in the starch and stir the gravy until it has thickened. If it's to sour for your taste, add some more sweetener.

11. Serve with red cabbage, applesauce and cooked potatoes or potato dumplings. The recipe for the red cabbage is here.

Samstag, 6. November 2010

Vegan Mofo Day 6: Sweet and Sour Lentilsoup

This is what I had for saturdays lunch and dinner.
In the rhineland and also in most other parts of germany it's an old tradition to have a hearty soup on saturday, because this is a great way to use the leftovers of the week.
These soups are mostly called "Eintopf" which literaly means onepot, a "Eintopf" is something in between soup and stew. Lets say it's a very thick and nutrious soup. A "Suppe" (soup) is usually very thin and based on a clear broth with just a few pieces of vegetables and meat inside and "Suppe" is also tradtionally used as a starter as "Eintopf" is a main dish.
This lentilsoup "Linsensuppe" is based on brown lentil cooked in vegetable broth with some pieces of "Suppengrün" inside. "Suppengrün" is a classical mix of vegetables used to cook a broth or soup, most of the time it's a mix of celariac, carrots, leek and sometimes a tiny bunch of parsley. They sell packed bundles of this mix in nearly every store here and if it's not to expensive I think, that it is quiet economical because you don't have to buy a whole celaric and all the other vegetables as you just get the excat amount of vegetables you need for your dish.
I chopped the vegetables alsong with an onion, and lightly fried them along with some canola oil, some leftovers of smoked tofu, some sliced vegan miniweiners and some cubes of tempeh. Then I added some water, some vegetable stock powder, a teaspoon of vegemite, a tablespoon of nooch, 2 teaspoons liquid smoke and a big can of brown lentils. Then I simmered evrything until it was a bit thicker. Then the sweet and sour part of the thing entered the stage. When you serve it, you put a bowl of sugar and a bottle of vinegar on the table and everyone makes his or her own sweet and sour mix. I prefer the same amount of vinegar and sugar (that's a tablespoon of each for one plate). I also had some traditional bread with rye and wheatflour and sourdough to suck up the liquid. M wife complain, that there were no potatoes inside, so this is a great example to show that the recipes for some dishes even very from family to family and you can never figure out one recipe that's exactly the original.
I liked the soup very much and also liked the fact to turn some leftovers and a cheap can of lentils into something that's unbelieveable warming, delicious and satisfying. So I think, that I am going to keep this saturdaylunch tradition, when the project will be over.
If you want a step by step recipe, than you have to tell me and I will add it to te post.
Today I am preparing sundays lunch which is always the most festive meal of the week in germany and the dish will be "Sauerbraten", which is a unique kind of meatloaf marinated in vinegar, wine, vegetables and whole spices. I am so exited if it turns out great or if it will fail. So far I can say, that the raw and marinated seitan smelled exactly like the original loaf based on beef, so stay tuned for a brand new recipe.

Vegan Mofo Day 5: Herring with potatoes and pickled mini cucumbers

Two things:

1. I known I am late for Day 5.

2. I still didn't manage to take pictures of my food before the darkness takes over every corner of my loft.

The picture you see above shows my newest creation "Heringsstipp mit Pellkartoffeln" (vegan marinated herring with potatoes).
I frosted a block of tofu an tawed it. Then I sliced it and marinated it in a mix of sliced apples, thin slices of half an onion, a cup of soy cream (soja cuisine in germany), 3 tablespoons of flaxseed oil and a chopped sheet of nori seeweed. I also added some nooch and vegetable stock powder to provide some more intensive umami flavour to my vegan fish.
After one day in the fridge it tasted nice and the flavour was very close to the orginal (as far as I can remember) but the consistency is ok but it differs a lot from the original herrng. I think it would be diffcult to make fake herring, that fits the real consistency. If you have any ideas (maybe some dutch people) than I would be very glad if you let me kown.
The reason why I had this yeasterday is, that our region was mainly ruled by catholic people and my family is catholic to. So if you're strict, there's no meat on fridays which actually means you gonna have fish or some sweat main course.
I have decided to make some fake seafood for every friday during my project.
Today I am going for my sweet and sour lentil soup.

Donnerstag, 4. November 2010

Vegan Mofo Day 4: Potatopancakes on top of rye bread and fermented green beans with potatoes and pears

Okay, first the bad news: The battery of my camera is empty and I can not find the charger. This morning I was running through our 140 m² loft, searching for the charger inside of all those nast cardboxes, which are still left from our move. After one our of searching I digged out an old 2.0 mpix camera and was happy to take this blury picture of my lunch. In german it is called "Reibekuchen mit Schwarbrot und Rübenkraut" (potatopancakes with ryebread and sugar beet molasses).
So that's the first thing diffcult enough to write a recipe.

Ingredients for one portion, that makes you feel like your belly's bursting:

2-3 big siced potatoes

2 tbs of wheat flour

a pinch of salt

canola oil for deepfrying

two slices of ryebread or maybe any other whole grain bread

two generous dollops of sugar beet molasses ( substitude with applebutter or some plain sugar)

a boatload of applesauce (I manged to finisch nearly one whole package which has 710 g but my stomach felt very bad after this and I even felt worse, when I read how much calories a "serving"(180 g) of applesauce has.

1. Finely grate the potatoes and try to sqeeze out as much liquid as you can. (Some people even you a kitch towel to press out all the liquid but I was pretty fine with my method.)

2. Add the flour and salt and mix.

3. Make smal and flat pancakes with your hand and transfer them into a heated pan with the surface completly covered with canola oil or what ever you want to use for deepfrying.

4. Fry on each site until the surface of the pancakes is goldenbrown and the edges are a bit darker. (As you can see in the first blurry picture)

5. Spread the molasses on top of the ryebread and top with the pancakes.

6. If you are me or at least an other crazy applesaucelover, then you have to cover it completly in apllesauce. If you are just a normal person, you add a big dollop of it. (the second method seems to be usefull if you want to eat it with your hands. The applesaucemonster named Juu had to use a fork and a knive.)

Then my mother in law borrowed me her cam until I'll find my charger and I took this scary looking shot of my scary tasting dinner:

Know you gonna ask yourself something like: "What the motherforking hell is this?"
Wellt this is called "Schnippelbohnen auf rheinische Art" (fermented green beans with, mashed potatoes and pears with some homemade smoked tofu bacon added).
Well the bacon was okay but cut haven been better, the potatoes and pears were allright but the beans were extremely salty and sour so I didn't want to finish th whole plate. I knew, that these fermented green beans, which are fermented the same way sauerkraut is fermented, are suposed to be very salty, so I washed them under running water. They were still to salty and so I will try to soak them overnight next time, because I think, that they could have been very nice and so I want to give them a second try, maybe even during this project.
This has even been the frist day of the project when I thought, that I would have liked something fancy because all the stuff was filling my belly with loads of carbs, fibers and fat. But hey there are other traditional foods to make and I am really looking forward to my marinated vegan herring tomorrow so stay tuned.

Mittwoch, 3. November 2010

Vegan Mofo Day 3: A Day without pictures and cooking but some thoughts about food and culture

Today i didn't have enoungh time to cook becuase it was a busy day at university but I managed to have enough ryebred with "Klatschkäs" and "Apfelkraut" so I wasn't starving today.
Normaly food plays a very important role in my life.
I'm interested in food as long as I can remember and I sloly started collecting cookbooks, when I was ten years old.
Since then I always tried to find out new stuff about food, explore international cuisines and eatingcultures. Even if I liked the traditional food, my grandma and mother prepared ocaisionally, I was always looking for something new and thought, that german food was boring.
Two years ago just a few month before I started to be a vegan, I read this book "Die deutschen und ihre Küche", written by the most important german food critic named "Wolfram Siebeck".
He is now 82 years old and has his very own ideas, opinions, prejudices and thughts about food.
He even writes, that vegetarism or veganism is a loss of culture because eating meat is an important part of it.
But I don't want to write about prejudices on veganism here.
I bought his book, because I liked him and his funny stile of writing and I wanted to know what german eating culture and cuisine realy are and how they developed during history.
As I history student I have to say, that his book is very ahistorical as he leaves out large periods of time and basicaky jumps from thought to thought like he was telling a story to his grandchildren.
The thing is, that his final conclusion is, that german cuisine has never been something that's worthy in a culinary sense and that you should just forget about it, if you want to cook something nice.
If you would ask me after this third the of my project, I wouldn't say so.
German cuisine might be easy, it may has a lack of roasty flavours and sometimes the apearance of the food might be able to make you puke. But as easy as it is, it is healty, cheap and has some very nice and clear flavoures that noone should miss.
I promis you to charge my cam tomorrow and to take some pictures of the food I am going to cook.
Here's a short overview of what I've planned for the rest of the week:

1. Reibekuchen mit Apfelmus, Rübenkraut und Schwarzbrot (potatopanckes with applesauce, sugar beet molasses and ryebread)

2. Heringsstipp mit Pellkartoffeln (my own vegan version of german herring with apples, onions, and potatoes cooked with the peal on)

3. Rheinische Linsensuppe (sweat and sour lentilsoup)

4. Rheinische Schippelbohnen (fermented green beens with pureed potatoes and pears)

5. Rheinische Sauerbraten (vegan sour meatloaf with a special gravy flavoured with raisins).

6. Puddingteilchen (a sweet pretzel made of a yeasted puffpastry and filled with vanilla custard)

Dienstag, 2. November 2010

Vegan Mofo Day 2: Starving, Klatschkäs and Cauliflower

This is what I would have liked for breakfast today but everything went wrong.
When I left the house, I thought I would some back in an hour and would be able to have breakfast but then I decided to go to the university libary and I came back at the evening.
The problem was, that I didn't take any food with me and there was nothing to eat for a 1910 vegan. Did I say nothing? No, of course there was one item at the menu of this libary cafe, that was ok for me:
A cup of black tea.
This was everything I had before dinner at 19:30, so I felt like I would be starving all day, which maybe wan't such a bad experience, because the people back in 1910 were very poor and they had to experience a lot of hunger. So I think this was a great experience on my way to understand what it was like to eat in 1910.
At the evening I was able to prepare my "Klatschkäs" for tomorrows breakfast. I just took a block of firm tofu and blended it with the food processor along with aprox. 4 tablespoons of canola oil and 2 tablespoons of sugar until every was nice and creamy.
At the first picture you can see the tradiotional ryr bread topped with the applebutter. I think it is amasing how fine and shiny it looks.
At the second picture there's the same slice of rye bread with applebutter topped with a thick layer of the "Klatschkäs". This is, what the people had for breakfast most of the time, but some people were to poor to buy bread so they had to eat cooked potatoes for breakfast. The spread varied sometimes as there are serveral kinds of "Kraut" such as "Birnenkraut" (pearbutter), "Rübenkraut" (sugar beet molasses) and even "Möhrenkraut" (carrotbutter). Sometimes they even had enough fruit in summer to cook some jelly but as far as I read, jelly was a very luxurious spread.
For dinner I had some cooked potatoes with cauliflower topped with a kind of beachamel sauce called "Mehlschwitze" and three little vegan mini weiners form the organic store.
I would have loved to take a picture of it but unfortunately my camera went out of power so I have to recharge it and I will be back with some pictures tomorrow.

Montag, 1. November 2010

MoFo Day 1: A Lot Of Bread and Cabbage with Potatoes and Tempeh

Here is what I had for breakfast and lunch today because I was very busy:

It's a special kind of applebutter from my region, which is made of the juice of apples and pears. It is very very thick and dark and tastes very fruity wih a hint of bitterness.
It enjoyed it on top of a tradional wholegrain sprouted ryebread, which is called "Rheinisches Schwarzbrot". The people back in 1910 had this with "Quark" (curd cheese) witch is called "Klatschkäs" in our local dialect. Tomorrow I will try to make my own "Klatschkäs with tofu and blog about the results.

For dinner I made this:

It's called "Wirsingdurcheinander" or "Wirsinguntereinander", which means something like "savoy cabbage mixed up". "Durcheinander" (mixed up) is a common wy to prepare all kinds of vegetables with potatoes. The recipe is very easy. I chopped some savoy cabbage, pealed potatoes and an onion and boiled everything along with some cubes of tempeh, some salt, vegetable stock, two teaspoons of liquid somke and two tablespoons of canola oil until evrything was very very soft. Than I mashed it up with a potato-masher and that's it. It looks like hell but it tasted pretty good.
After the first back back in 1910 I feel good and I enjoyed my meals so far because I liked everything. Tomorrow I won't be so busy so I will be able to have the 5 meals, like I planed it and I am also going to take nicer pictures and wrtie more detailed.
So see you tomorrow.