Posts Tagged ‘asian’

My summer vacation is quickly coming to an end. Tomorrow I’m heading back into work to prepare my classroom for the new school year.

Last year I had 18 students but this year I’ll only have 12. A good number for grouping. Another benefit of such a small class is that my classroom will seem much larger. I’m looking forward to reorganizing the furniture in the classroom. Once I’m all set up, I promise to share photos.

I’m a bit behind sharing recent recipes so thought I’d do a one off of recipes I’ve been enjoying lately.

Here goes!

Puffed Amaranth


I first heard of amaranth when I was in college. I babysat for the family that began Nu-World Foods, one of the first companies to introduce amaranth to the American market. I was instantly interested in their business and was eager to try their products. Time passed and amaranth went to the wayside for me due to availability abroad.

Well, things have changed and I can now buy puffed amaranth in Germany. I’ve been enjoying it with plain yogurt and fresh fruit for breakfast. It is light and fluffy but packs some staying power. If you haven’t tried amaranth, give it a try!

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes


Mmm… blueberry buttermilk pancakes! I made these pancakes while my friend Katie was visiting. The fruit syrup was simply made by heating fresh blueberries and strawberries together until they stewed in their juices. 

Buttermilk Pancakes with Peaches


Pancakes were the main breakfast food while Katie was here. These buttermilk pancakes were great topped with fresh peaches and maple syrup. Delicious!

Roasted Green Bean Potato Salad


This was one delicious dinner! I followed Kath’s recipe for roasted tofu potato salad. The only changes I made were to add roasted chickpeas and leave out the bacon (obviously.)


When making this recipe again, I’ll probably leave out the tofu and stick to chickpeas for my protein. This creamy, warm salad is a must try!

Veggie Noodle Stir-Fry


This is really a bit of a cheat meal… but it was good enough that I ate it twice in the last two weeks. I stir-fried broccoli, a leek, carrots and mushrooms then tossed in a packet of “stir-fry seasoning” before adding the cooked noodles. Oh so comforting and easy!

Caprese Baked Egg Cups


My baked egg cups turned out nothing like Jessica’s in looks, but based on the taste, I’d say they met her mark. This recipe was beyond easy, ready for the oven in about 2 minutes. I used halloumi cheese rather than mozzarella, chopped tomato rather than cherry tomatoes and milk rather than cream; this probably explains why my baked eggs turned out like ugly ducklings, but I tell you, even with these substitutions, the flavor was fantastic!

Aloo Gobi Mashed Indian Cauliflower


I had a head of cauliflower that needed to be used up from last Friday’s CSA box. This recipe was the perfect fit; fast, warm and subtly spicy.


I ate my aloo gobi with fresh, plain yogurt. It might sound strange, but the cool worked with the heat. I’m glad I have leftovers of this mash!

So there you have it! A few of the wonderful recipes I’ve been enjoying the past couple of weeks.

I recommend you give them a try.


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I love my weekly box of fresh, organic, local produce.

Oh, have I said that before?


Sorry for sounding like a stuck record, but deciding to receive a weekly CSA delivery is the smallest change, but it has yielded the largest difference.

I am now saving money on groceries, eating healthier, and experimenting with new recipes and produce.

All the while, I’m supporting businesses that I believe in.

A win-win situation.


Here’s how I make the best use of this service.

  1. Before Wednesday of the delivery week, I visit my CSA’s online shopping center. There I can see what produce is planned to be included in my weekly vegetable box.
  2. Usually I want everything that is scheduled, but sometimes there will be items that I either don’t want or already have left from the previous week’s delivery, take carrots cor example.
  3. If I want all but one item, say carrots, I usually keep with the scheduled box but just edit my order to not include carrots.
  4. I also have the option to choose a completely different box. Biolandgärtnerei Hüsgen offers 8 different pre-planned boxes for €12.50: Vegetable, Mother and Child, Fruit, Regional Produce,Raw Produce, Single, Quick Cooking, and Full Assortment boxes.
  5. If I didn’t want any of the pre-arranged plans, I could create a Wish Box by choosing individual items from the online shop.
  6. In addition to the organic produce boxes, their online shop offers almost any other product that can be found in a small organic grocery store. I usually add a box of 6 eggs from Hof Alpermühle.
  7. Once my order is placed, I keep my eyes open for recipes that include the items I expect later in the week.
  8. I usually plan my meals based on which food items spoil more quickly. The produce with a shorter life-span is cooked earlier in the week than the more resilient veggies. This leads to less waste and better quality.
  9. On Friday, my box is delivered to my front door and the real fun begins!

Biolandgärtnerei Hüsgen makes it so simple to choose items and plan my weekly delivery. I rarely need to shop the regular grocery store and as a result, have saved a lot of money.

Although I’m pretty good at planning how to use my weekly veggies, there have been times when my fridge is about to burst with produce that needs to be used.


When this happens, I either make soup or stir fry.

My CSA Veggie Stir Fry is less of a recipe and more of a formula for using up any vegetables that linger in the crisper…


This week, my CSA Veggie Stir Fry included pea pods, savoy cabbage, mushrooms, broccoli, shallots, ginger, garlic and sesame seeds.


The garlic and ginger were cooked briefly in hot sesame oil before I added the remaining vegetables. This allows the oil to flavor which will later help to impart an even taste amongst the veggies.


Cooked over high heat, I added a bit of water every now and then to help the veggies steam.


Once the vegetables were starting to soften and brighten in color, I added a simple stir-fry sauce made with sesame oil, soy sauce, miring, agave nectar salt and pepper.


Cooked until tender yet slightly crisp, the last step was to add sesame seeds to the vegetables.


Served with jasmine rice, this CSA veggie stir fry was one of the best I’ve made yet.

CSA Veggie Stir Fry Formula

~ Vegan ~ Vegetarian ~

Prepare the Vegetables and Oil

4-5 cups raw vegetables, all cut to a similar size

2 cloves garlic

1/2 inch nub of fresh ginger,

1-2 Tablespoons sesame seeds

1 Tablespoon sesame oil

Prepare the Sauce to Taste

1 Tablespoon sesame oil

2-3 Tablespoons soy sauce

1-2 Tablespoons mirin (Japanese cooking wine)

1-2 teaspoons agave nectar

salt and pepper


Step 1

Heat the wok or non-stick frying pan. Add the sesame oil, heat for a moment then add the garlic and ginger. Cook over high heat until fragrant.

Step 2

Add the vegetables and continue to cook over high heat, stirring frequently. If the vegetables begin to stick, add a couple tablespoons of water.

Step 3

Combine the sauce ingredients in a small cup and whisk well. Once the vegetables begin to brighten, pour the sauce over top and stir to well-coat all ingredients.

Step 4

Continue to cook until the vegetables are tender to the tooth but still slightly crisp when bitten into. Stir in the sesame seeds.

Step 5

Serve the stir fry over cooked rice and enjoy!

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Bok choy.

Pok choy.

Pak choi.

Pack choy.


I’m not sure which name is actually correct, but I do know that this recipe makes for a delicious lunch.

This gorgeous head of pak choi was delivered in my last organic vegetable box.

P4175809 This recipe was a quick to put together.

First, cook up the pak choi with a bit of ginger.

P4175808 Stir-fry the marinated tofu.

P4175811 Once the tofu is cooked fully and the remaining marinade has reduced to a thick caramelizing sauce, just top the pak choi with the tofu.


Ginger Tofu with Pak Choi

Adapted from bbcgoodfood

Makes 2 servings

  • 250g fresh firm tofu , drained

  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil

  • 1cm piece ginger, sliced

  • 200g pak choi, leaves separated

  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar

  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes

  • cooked jasmine rice , to serve

For the Marinade

  • 1 tbsp grated ginger

  • 1 tsp tamarind paste

  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce

  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

  1. Gently prick a few holes in the tofu with a toothpick (this will help the marinade to soak into it, giving better flavour), then cut into bite-size cubes.
  2. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a bowl and toss in the tofu pieces. Set aside to marinate for 10-15 mins.
  3. Heat a wok over high heat and add half the groundnut oil. When the oil starts to smoke, add the ginger slices and stir-fry for a few secs. Add the pak choy leaves and stir-fry for 1-2 mins. Add a small splash of water to create some steam and cook for 2 mins more. When the leaves have wilted and the stems are cooked but still a little crunchy, season with salt and transfer to a serving dish.
  4. Rinse the wok under cold water, then reheat it and add the remaining oil. When it starts to smoke, add the tofu pieces (retaining the marinade liquid) and stir-fry for 5-10 mins. Take care not to break up the tofu as you toss it to get it browned evenly on all sides. Season with the rice wine and rice vinegar. Add the remaining marinade liquid, bring to the bubble and let the liquid reduce. Sprinkle over the chilli flakes and toss well. Spoon onto the pak choy and serve immediately with jasmine rice, if you like.

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Autumn Walks

The weather this week has been unbelievable.

Autumn in Germany is usually dreary, damp, dark and dreadful.

This year, it is warm, bright, colorful and delightful.

Sebastian and I have been taking full advantage of the beautiful weather.

PA090056 Weather perfect for long walks.

Yesterday we walked into town for dinner at my favorite falafel place.

PA080012 PA080014 PA080017 PA080019 PA080020

Today I slept in until naturally waking up around 8:30.

First thing on the agenda for the day, breakfast!

PA090027 pumpkin pancakes

After a relaxing morning at home, I went to the gym for Body Balance.

Every time I walk out of that class, I feel better than I did going in.

I feel better physically, mentally and spiritually.

It’s amazing what an hour can do to you.

Add on a relaxing 15 minute sweat session in the sauna and I’m as good as gold!

Once home, I made a fantastic fresh juice.

I can’t seem to kick this cold and am hoping the extra vitamins and nutrients will help.


purple carrots, ginger, beet root, an orange and lemon

PA090033 this combination makes a delicious and beautiful drink

Sebastian had to work tonight so we went on another walk before parting ways.

PA090060 PA090062 PA090064 I couldn’t figure out how to get the color right on this shot.           Any suggestions?

PA090068PA090070PA090071 Back at home, I made a cake for my colleague who just returned home after a month and a half away after her knee replacement.

PA090136 Keeping with the autumn inspiration, I made her a Layered Cinnamon Apple Spice Cake with Caramel Apple Sauce.

She was so pleased to see me (or was it just the cake?).

We had a nice chat and then it was back to home for me.

Dinner was Kristin’s Sautéed Asian Broccoli Tofu!

PA090148 My photos aren’t the best, but her recipe was quick and tasty.


The kitchen is clean, the garbage and recycling are out, I’m ready to relax with a book in bed.

Wishing you beautiful weather worthy of elongated autumn walks!

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I don’t know if it’s my subconscious saying, “you have to go back to work soon so take full advantage of your vacation days,” or what, but I slept in again today… to am embarrassing 10:00 am.

Needless to say, breakfast also served the purpose of lunch.

Luckily it was filling and delicious!


Vegan Blueberry Pancakes

Makes 8 pancakes


1 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup spelt flour

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 1/2 cup soy milk

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 Tbsp. raw sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 Tbsp. ground flax seed

1 cup fresh blueberries


  1. Whisk together the flours, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, combine the soy milk, coconut oil, and sugar. Microwave for 1-2 minutes or until the coconut oil is melted. Whisk together then incorporate the vanilla and flax to the liquid ingredients.
  3. Carefully pour the wet ingredients into the dry while whisking. Mix together until combined, the mixture may be a bit lumpy, but that’s ok. Gently fold in the blueberries.
  4. Preheat a non-stick skillet for at least 2 minutes then pour 1/4 cup of the batter onto the skillet. Cook until bubbles begin form in the middle and the edges are set then flip and cook the other side.

Tomorrow, my job as a teacher officially resumes.

To be honest, I’m excited to go back. I really miss being around kids and look forward to jumpstarting my creativity once again.

All day today, I did school-prep work on the computer. I also planned 2 new bulletin board displays that I’m really excited about. I’ll show you guys the finished product in a week or two.

Around 4 o’clock I was hungry again but didn’t want to eat anything too heavy before going to the gym, so I sliced up an apple to eat with a beautiful heap of peanut butter.


It has been raining all day today so getting out of the apartment and going to the gym took quite a bit of personal encouragement. But as they say, you never regret a workout, you only regret skipping one! This is true.

Once home, it was time to really feed my hungry body.

You’ve got to love a good stir fry!


No recipe here, but the veggies included 1/4 block smoked tofu, 1 carrot, 1 small zucchini, 3 mushrooms, 1/2 red pepper, 1/2 red chili pepper, 2 small cloves of garlic, a nub of ginger and 1/4 red onion. The sauce was just soy sauce, agave nectar and a splash of orange juice.

Ok, I guess that is kind of a recipe. Oh well.

So, I’m off to bed, wish me luck tomorrow as the teachers all gather back together. This will certainly be a productive week before the kiddies return!

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