Vegan at SAS | & the meat norm of in-flight meals.

bild 3SAS cater to a wide range of dietary requirements on their transatlantic and Asia bound flights. Give them 24 hours notice prior to departure to have a meal free from beef, gluten or even honey. Sounds pretty dreamy, eh?

One roll of bread and three types of condiments later

Now I don’t know if it was just as we were flying out of Copenhagen, a city that is generally quite – pardon my French – crap at providing vegan friendly food but thank goodness I had brought a whole bunch of snacks. What I was served on my near 11-hour flight between the Danish and Japanese capitals was rather ridiculous, particularly seeing as they do claim they cater to special diets and I have paid just as much for my ticket as fellow passengers in economy. Should I not receive the same amount of food?

It seemed all they had really done was to take the food items containing animal by-products and replace them with… jam. In different varieties. I mean, kudos for the effort of providing a poor vegan with the choice of different flavour jams but I am yet a little puzzled how exactly it will make my bread roll more filling? (My breakfast is pictured in photo above; while omni passengers were served filled baguettes, yoghurt with granola and a piece of frittata.)

The exaggerated meat norm should not board

And by no means is this a bash particularly aimed at SAS. (In fact, on my return flight from Tokyo the amount (and taste) of food was definitely improved.) In general it puzzles me how flight companies are thinking when planning their menus. The standard when it comes to in-flight meals on offer seems to be a choice between two. Meaning, as some people refrain from eating beef for a range of reasons, the alternative meal option will be something as far fetched as *drum roll* (or should I say drumstick) CHICKEN!

With a growing vegan population, and in regards to the fact that it is suitable for most religious- and dietary requirements, as well as just a more environmentally friendly way to eat — does it not make sense to provide a vegetable meal? Some grainy salads and for the bread roll opt brie for some tub of hummus. It is by no means original. But then again, neither is meat as an alternative to meat.


Until then, my dear special dieters – I reckon we are best off getting one of those bags Hermione carries in the deathly hallows and stuff it with snacks.

First two are outbound meals, third is return flight dinner from Tokyo.

Creamy Asparagus Quiche.

DSC_0374Literally stumbling over the finish line, here comes a last minute-contribution for Månadens Gröna — this month hosted by Tina (←who has created a jaw-droppingly fantastic looking starter with asparagus and cured carrots!).

The theme of May is Asparagus and so I have cooked (yet another) tofu quiche!
Here is how ↓
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CREAMY ASPARAGUS QUICHE

→ a bundle of asparagus, ends trimmed
→ 1 block tofu
→ 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
→ 2-3 cloves of garlic
→ ½ lemon, juice of
→ ½ dl soy milk, or similar
→ salt + pepper, to taste
→ a handful fresh herbs (opt.) — think parsley, basil, coriander
→ spices of your liking; I used nutmeg, lemon pepper, garlic- & leek powder, cayenne

For the pie crust I used a ready bought puff pastry (check that it is SFV) but you could always make a regular pie crust or try this chickpea one instead.

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HOW TO

(0). Start by draining the tofu. Wrap it in a kitchen towel and let sit under a heavy weight for at least 30 minutes. A good idea is to prepare the night before.
1. Set oven to 200°C.
Press pie crust out in a heat proof dish. Prick the bottom a few times using a fork. Pre-bake for circa 5-10 minutes.
2. Saute the leek while combining spices, nutritional yeast, garlic & herbs in the food processor. Mix until meal like consistency, then add tofu.
Blend until creamy, if the mixture needs some help — add in soy milk or similar little by little. Once leeks are softened, add into food processor.
3. Lower oven temperature to 175°C. Pour your tofu batter into the pie crust, then decorate with your asparagus on top in an alternating pattern.
Bake for circa 35 minutes. Let cool for at least 15 before attempting to slice.

Bon appetit!
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So this month marks the one year anniversary of this vegetarian cooking challenge. For this occasion, here is 3×3 of what I have created during this time (in a somewhat chronological order)

Rhubarb Mojitos | with Ginger Beer.
Strawberry & Avocado Salsa | with Quinoa, Roasted Black Bean & Sweet Potato Wraps.
Tomato Quiche | with Red Pesto.

Blackberry Pizza Bianco | with Basil & a brilliant vegan cheese mix.
Cauliflower Mac n’ Yeast
Cauliflower Tacos | with Mango + Ginger Salsa.

Apple & Ginger Compote and Vegan Gingerbread Nutella.
Carrot, Ginger & Miso Dressing | with Summer rolls.
Roasted Parsnip & Pear soup.


 

3 x Grilled (Cheese) Sandwiches.

DSC_0349Perhaps the epidemic Skam-fever has finally gotten to me too — I mean, I have been having merely sandwiches for lunch the week past. That is like the number one symptom of norwegianness.

Jokes aside, the sandwich toaster sure has kept warm lately and here are some of the fillings I have been experimenting with. (Mainly through the art of good old fashioned fridge cleansing)


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GRILLED CHEESE NACHO SANDWICH

Perhaps I was a stoner in another life, or a mere genius? The crunchy nachos and melted cheese makes this feel kind of like having a nacho platter inside your sandwich. If that does not sound appealing you need to have a serious think about your priorities in life.

• 2 slices bread of your choosing
• vegan cheese
• nachos
• dairy free butter
• red tapenade
• tomato, jalapeños (opt.)


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GRILLED MANGO, T*RKEY & CHEESE SANDWICH

This, in its regular untoasted shape, is one of my best grab-and-go lunches from Grampian Health Store in Aberdeen, mainly because I never buy meat substitutes and it is nice to have the sweet chutney in combo with the smokey t*rkey. Evidentally, it also works in grilled form. Omnivore approved even.

• 2 slices bread of your choosing
• vegan cheese
• 1-2 slices vegan smokey t*rkey or similar
• 1 tbsp mango chutney


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GRILLED BANH MI BAGUETTE

With the left overs of having banh mi the night before, I assembled the whole repetoire in the grill. Needless to say it was a good move, the combination of flavours in banh mi is such a bullet proof one anyway.

• 1 mini baguette, sliced in two
• marinated tofu
• fresh coriander
• pickled vegetables*
• sriracha mayo (or mix sriracha into mayonnaise to taste)

* grate veggies like carrot, cucumber, radish, red onions – place in glass jar, cover with 1-2-3 mixture of 1 part vinegar, 2 parts sugar, 3 parts water that you have brought to a light simmer to let the sugar dissolve. Cover jar and let sit for at least a couple of hours.


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The Foolproof (& Easiest) Way to Bake Sweet Potatoes.

IMG_6362The Internet is full of tips and tricks on how to bake sweet tatties.

It is all oil massages, foil wraps and all other things really referring to spa treatments…

Well ain’t nobody got time for that, I say. Especially not when there is an even easier way to go about it.

HOW TO BAKE YOUR SWEET POTATOES TO PERFECTION IN 3 SIMPLE STEPS:

(Every. darn. time.)

  1. Set oven to 200°C. Place an oven rack in the middle (this will enable the heat to circulate the entire potato) and a heatproof paper on the bottom of the oven (this to avoid having to scrub it clean after dinner!)
  2. Wash and pat your potatoes dry with a kitchen towel. Using a plain kitchen fork, stab the potato a few times around, piercing the skin with little holes. This will help the skin to separate later on.
  3. Place on oven rack and bake for 60 minutes. Once the hour is up, leave the potatoes in the oven as it cools.

And there you have it! Idiot-proof results every time! Now top it with your filling of choice, some suggestions:

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Coronation Chickpeas.

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Thai Green Curry.

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Sunflower T*na with vegan mayo.

And why not have a look at this peculiar combination I used in my breakfast tattie the other week:
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Yes, that is indeed chocolate! Full description is on my instagram – which I suggest you follow if you enjoy sporadic photos of flyffy dogs and food @peasandunderstanding


Do you have any favoured filling for your baked tatties?

21 Recipes for a Vegan BBQ.

YOUR GUIDE TO HOSTING AN ALL VEGAN BARBECUE.

Barbecue season is upon us, folks! Whether you are a fellow vegan looking for ideas on what to throw on the grill, an omni wondering what to make for your non-meat eating guests or simply someone wishing to eat more plants – keep reading!

Now I cannot control the weather (if I could your days would be filled with sun and soft breezes) but I can however provide you with some fabulous ideas for food.


ON THE GRILL

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(Photo credits: MinimalistBaker)

BURGERS

If you are up for making something from scratch, may I suggest:
Minimalist Baker’s Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burger
Jamie Oliver’s The Best Vegan Burger

Alternatively you can grill
a) marinated tofu blocks — defrosted ones are better at absorbing marinades
b) portabello mushrooms – like natures answer to “meat substitute”
c) scan your local supermarket’s frozen food section – there are likely to be some frozen veggie patties. Just look out for egg whites etc!

Note: Make sure buns are also free of animal products. Same goes for hot dog buns. If you are new to the topic, have a look at this guide by SeriousEats.


DSC_0446SKEWERS

→ Veggie Rainbows
You can make beautiful rainbow skewers with vegetables. These ones are particularly favourable on the grill: mushrooms, bell peppers, courgettes, aubergines, cherry tomatoes, cobs, garlic cloves.
→ Soy protein
Try some tofu pieces or perhaps tempeh added on your grill sticks.


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(Photo Credits:  ThugKitchen via LeitesCulinaria)

HOT DOGS

Carrot dogs
How crazy yet enchanting does this not sound? Follow this simple recipe to find out.
→ Grilled avocado
Nothing like a hot dog, but still the yummiest nature has. Slice an avo in two, remove the pit and brush with a squeeze of citrus juice and olive oil, then place face down on the grill for circa 3 minutes. Remove skin, load into bun and add your favourite toppings.
→ Homemade Seitan Hot Dogs
If you have got time on your side – make your own seitan dogs from scratch.

Pre-packaged ones are available from Linda McCartney (all sausages are vegan), Tofurky, Cauldron Foods etc.

→ Also have a look at Vegan Soul Power’s Hot Dog Toppings to Drool over with traditional toppings from around the globe.


SIDES

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POTATO

Can we really count potato as a side? In my heart it is definitely always the main star ❤

→ French style potato salad
Mayo who? This combination is très simple yet so tasty! Boil ~800 grams diced potato, then mix with 3 chopped shallots, fresh parsley and 1½ tbsp capers, then mix with a dressing containing of 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp cider vinegar, 1 tbsp water,  2 tsp dijon mustard + a pinch salt, sugar and black pepper.
→ Grilled Potato in foil wraps
Pre-cook the potato 5 minutes, then toss with spices of your liking (salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, lemon peel – you name it!) before adding in a bit of foil wrap topping with some dairy free butter. Grill for circa 30 minutes.
→ Luxurious Artichoke Pesto Potato Salad
In blender, combine: 400 g artichoke hearts, a handfush fresh parsley, 1 dl sunflower seeds, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 garlic cloves and 1,5 dl olive oil + salt & pepper to taste. Combine with 800 g boiled potato, 100 g sundried tomatoes, 2 handfuls fresh spinach.
(Original recipe in Swedish.)


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(Photo Credits: A Virtual Vegan)

SALADS

What better way to celebrate the warmer months than with an abundance of fresh herbs? Sprinkle them on everything. 

→ Watermelon + Mint
Fruity, fresh and fabulous! Head over to A Virtual Vegan for a guidance.
→ Filling Fun Pasta
Pasta salad is pretty straight forward; check out Queen Vegokäk’s blog for inspiration, maybe Spring Pasta with Edamame and Mint (where you opt the feta for salted peanuts) or make a salad style dish of her Artichoke & Beluga Lentil pasta. Yum, yum, yum!
→ Something simple
Bring out your best knife and get chopping for this Tabbouleh.


IMG_3357CONDIMENTS

→ Dairy-free Tzatsiki
Goes so well with smokey tones and is so easy to make. Cucumber, garlic, a dash of lemon juice and simply opt the scary dairy sour cream for a vegan version.
→ Fruity Salsa
Yes please, may I completely impartial suggest my Mango & Ginger one or Strawberry & Avocado – guaranteed to send your taste buds on a one way trip to Yum-aica!
→ Satay sauce
If your making skewers, this just makes sense. Peanutty goodness! Click here for recipe.


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(Photo credits Laura Edwards via RachelKhoo)

DRINKS

→ Chamomile & Elderflower Gin Bowl
A cooling drink to enjoy between bites. Recipe found here.
→ Vibrant Turmeric Lemonade
Sunshine in a bottle! Head to The Glowing Fridge for recipe.
→ Cloudy Ginger & Rhubarb Mojitos
Spicy, punchy, refreshing! My own recipe from last year.


What is your favourite thing to BBQ? Leave some inspiration in the comments below! ❤

Coronation Chickpeas.

April – the month with more moodswings than the world’s most angsty teenager – is behind us. And believe me, no one is happier than I stepping into the month of May. Bye bye snowfall and hello to sunshine, green grass and picnics! Nah, just kidding – it is still the north of Sweden, so I suppose indoor picnics and yellow grass will have to sustain a wee while longer!DSC_0415Speaking of picnics though, today we are making Coronation Chick…peas! (Wait, what did you think I was gonna say? No room for dead birds in my food, no thanks!)

A Vegan take on The Sandwich Filling of sandwich fillings! Or at least a sandwich filling, out of a bunch of sandwich fillings…

A little trivia: this is actually amongst what was served during the Queen’s coronation in 1953, hence the name! If it is good enough for royalty, then I suppose that does indeed make it a fancy ass sandwich filling.
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CORONATION CHICKPEAS

→ 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
→ 1 dl egg-free mayo
→ ½ dl oat fraiche or similar
→ ½ finely chopped red onion
→ 1 tbsp mango chutney
→ 2 tsp curry powder, more to taste
→ ½ tsp each cinnamon + paprika powder
→ ¾ tsp turmeric (for colour!)

For serving: baguette or baked potato, salted peanuts

Mix mayo, oat fraiche, chutney and spices until well combined, then add the onion and chickpeas. Serve as sandwich filling, inside a baguette or with a baked potato.

Why not try roasting the chickpeas with some spices before adding to the mayonnaise mixture? 10 minutes in a skillet on medium heat should do the trick!

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Also, is it just me or does things automatically taste a bit better when built on a pun? I think yes.

More things to make with chickpeas:

× Hummus from Scratch.
× Vegan Quesadillas.
× Green Tofu Quiche with Chickpea Crust.

Le Coccole | A must for any Vegan in Osaka.

DSC_0826Have you ever stepped into a cafe or restaurant so cosy you have been immediately struck by a strong urge to move right in?

That is Le Coccole for you.

It is, undoubtly, also an urge that is massively enhanced after having spent a good half hour trying to navigate yourself around the rain filled streets of Osaka before sundown. Looking up from google maps felt like a right blessing when Le Coccole appeared in front of us.

Because surely Paradise too would be decorated with light bulbs as many.
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Where French Bistro meets the Traditional Japanese

The owner, who singlehandedly runs the place this very April eve, appears a little whimsical (but who would not be on such a multitasking job; seating guests, taking orders and cooking the food fresh simultaneously) but oh-so-lovely!

Having studied the culinary arts in La Belle France she speaks a bit of French alongside her English. Nonetheless, she is a very skillful chef. You can tell the time in France comes through in the style of cooking. Albeit ingredients quentissentally Japanese, there are items typically French, such as quiches and creamed cabbage, to be found on the menu.
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No GMO’s here, no thanks!

Le Coccole prides itself on using locally grown and organic produce to the extent possible. With Japan being one of the world’s largest importers of GM crops, it is ravishing to hear that for most part of the year, the veggies used at this green space are provided by the owner’s own brother and his farm some umpteen kilometres away. (In Nara, where we had just spent the morning — felt like the day had come to a full circle!)

There were a little bit of confusion in regards to the menu. Like Fried Rice around the one thousand yen mark seemed a little over the top. That is, until you realize what a hell of a fried rice it is! I have never in my near 24 years tasted anything like it. Creamy, peanutty undertones and roasted veg.

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We also had a deli plate consisting of hummus stuffed capsicum, a selection of pickled, pureed and cremed vegetables and a tofu quiche. So many delightful flavour combinations! Unfortunately we were in too much of a rush to get back to Kyoto to have time for dessert. There is a version of the menu available in English here.

Plants, light bulbs and mismatched kitchen tiles

Last but not least… the interiors. Oh, we have to talk about the interiors! The deep colours of orange and brown bringing a funky 70’s vibe, knick-knacks like retro coffee tins and souvernirs in shape of fancy hot air baloons (same as I saw in Copenhagen last summer!) from her many travels fill up the space. Plants, light bulbs and mismatched kitchen tiles. There is simply not a dull corner in within this wee gem!


Le Coccole
Where |3-4-1 Kitakyuhojimachi, Chuo-ku, Osaka
Subway | Hommachi Station
Website
Cuisine | Vegan, Traditional Japanese-French Bistro infusion