Baking in Veganuary – Frangipane Tart

Veganuary doesn’t mean you can not have Treats!
I made this yummie Frangipane tart in a Gluten Free Version with Raspberries. You can choose to use different Fruit, like Apples, Pears or maybe Blueberries.

You need a little bit of time as the Pie Crust needs to rest for 30 Minutes in the Fridge, but it is absolutely worth it.

Put your baking Form (26 cm Circumference) / tin in the Fridge as well, so it is cool when you put the Dough in.

The baked Cake can be Frozen as well, so if you actually have anything left over, it will not go to waste.

Here is the Recipe:

Base – Pie Crust

250 gr Flour – (I used Buckwheat Flour as the Gluten Free Option)
1 TBSP Psyllium Husks (if you use Gluten free Flour)
50 gr Sugar
1/2 TSP Salt
120 gr cold Vegan Butter, cut into Small Pieces
60 ml (5 TBSP) cold Water
Optional: 1 TBSP Plant Based Milk + one Pinch of Tumeric



Add all ingredients and combine into a Dough. Form a Ball, put into Foil and let rest in the Fridge for 30 Minutes.

Filling

300 gr Raspberries
100 gr. Icing Sugar
approx. 1 TBSP Plant Starch

Or: 2-3 Apples / Pears

Topping

100 gr Pistachios, hacked into small Pieces.
or 100 gr flaked Almonds



Place the Raspberries into a pot, add 1-2 TBSP of Water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and stir until the Raspberries fall apart.
Use a Sieve and a Bowl and pass the Raspberries through it, so the Kernels are separated. If don’t mind the Kernels, you can skip this step.
Put the Raspberry “Juice” back into the pot, add the Icing Sugar and still until dissolved. Increase the heat and add the Starch. Bring briefly to boil until the Juice thickens. Take from the Heat and let it cool.

Preheat the oven to 200 °C

Vegan Frangipane

125 gr. Ground Almonds (I used blanched ones for a lighter colour)
1 TSP Baking Powder
85 gr soft Vegan Butter
85 gr. Sugar
85 gr. Apple Sauce (unsweetened)
1 Pinch of ground Vanilla (optional)
1 TBSP Plant Starch
45 ml Almond (or other) Plant Based Milk

Add the dry ingredients in one Bowl and set aside.

Place Butter and Sugar in another Bowl and use a hand mixer and beat until creamy. Add in the other ingredients and combine. Afterwards add the dry ingredients in batches until everything is well combined.



Take the Dough out of the Fridge and roll between two Sheets of either Foil or Baking paper until the Circumference is big enough for the Baking Form.
Place the Dough into the Baking Form. Use a Fork to poke some holes in the dough. Then place some Baking Paper on Top of the Dough and Add Baking Weights (blind baking). Place the Baking Form into the Oven and bake for around 15 Minutes. Remove the Baking Form from the Oven and – optional – brush the edge with the Milk/Tumeric blend for colouring. Place the Cake back in the Oven and bake for further 10 Minutes.
Remove the Baking Form and set aside to cool slightly.



Lower the Heat for the Oven to 180 °C.
Add some Tablespoons of the Frangipane Mixture on top to the Pie Crust and spread evenly. Afterwards put the Raspberry Puree on top of it and spread evenly as well*. Then place the rest of the Frangipane Mix on top of the Raspberry Puree and spread. I used a Spoon for this and then carefully spread it. As the Puree is liquid, you need to be careful to not mix it too much. Top with the Pistachios.
*If you use Apples or Pears you put all the Frangipane Mixture in the baking tin and place the Fruit on top, followed by the Pistachios or flaked Almonds.

Place the baking form back in the oven for approximately 50 Minutes. Use a Tooth Pick to see if the Cake is baked. Once this is the case, take it out of the Oven and let it cool.

And enjoy! It is also nice with some Vegan Ice Cream or Caramel Sauce!

Happy Veganuary!

A Very Happy New Year! May this new Year be a very good one for you.

Another January, another Veganuary! As always I am delighted to see it Happening. All those adverts from various Companies to make it as easy as possible for those who would like to try, extend or go back to a plant based Diet or Lifestyle.
Being Vegan is not automatically more Healthy, as always it depends on what you eat, how much you eat and what Quality of Ingredients you decide for or can afford.
There are now some Companies delivering “Ready made” Packages for you, meaning they deliver all the Ingredients for Recipes they give you and you only need to make the Meal. Whereas I really like the idea – and would support this in our recent situation with a Global Pandemic – I am also thinking Eco-friendly and wonder how much waste is created for this kind of Model?

There are now hundreds of free Recipes that are easy and don’t have to be expensive in the Internet. Have a wee look around. If you are tight in terms of time, why not spend a couple of hours on a weekend to pre-cut and freeze Veggies? This is actually even fun with children (peeling, cutting should be done age depending!). Maybe make a wee Food Plan and go for one big Shop to get it all into the House. This way you don’t have the hassle of figuring out what to cook on the Day and have all items at Hand.
Herbs and Spices are your best Friend when it comes to the Vegan Cuisine, so I would always suggest to stock those as well.

When you take time to cook, make more than you need and freeze it for those Days where you simply are not in the mood, too tired, not feeling up for it or have really no time to cook anything. It is such a Treat and lots of Dishes actually taste better re-heated.

The Vegan Food market has changed massively in the last years, in the supermarkets and also in Cafés, Restaurants or Pubs.
So, no more excuses – go for it!

I will post some Recipes later in my Blog that should be Easy and Yummie.

For now Have a Great Veganuary and Enjoy all the new and old Dishes.

Yours
Kerstin

Summertime – Bruschetta Time!

Summer has arrived in Scotland (yes we do get warm Days and lots of Sunshine!) and as usual, my Body goes into “cool” mode, meaning I do not need cooked meals! So Salads, Fruits, Sandwiches or easy recipes are now on high demand.

Here is one of my absolute Favourite. It is so easy to make, takes very little time and has few ingredients!

My Gluten Free Recipe:

4 Gluten Free Panini (I used the ones from Schär)
1 Garlic Clove peeled and halved
200 gr small Vine Tomatoes
2 Tbsp chopped Fresh Basil
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
Salt & Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste

Cut the Tomatoes into Quarters, put them in a Bowl and add the Basil, Oil, Vinegar, Pepper and Salt to taste, then mix Ingredients together.

I cut the Panini before putting them in the oven into two Halves and turn them around half way through their baking time.

Spike the Garlic with a Fork and rub it onto the cut side of the Panini after they have been baked in the oven.

Using a Spoon, top the Garliced Panini with the Tomatoes and Serve.

I hope you will love this Recipe as much as I do!



Vegan and Gluten Free

I remember some years ago, when I went to a Café, I saw these “Gluten free and Vegan Cakes”. I also remember what I thought “Really? What is this cake made of?” I know, I was judgemental and did not know better!

Today I am following a Vegan and Gluten free diet. I am not a Coeliac but Gluten sensitive. Me! Who loves Bread, Cakes, Pasta and all the rest!

I started developing symptoms that I had no explanation for. More Headaches, Migraines, Brain Fog, Muscle aches, digestions problems and the weirdest: Stumbling for no reason when walking sometimes. All of those can of course have another cause (Thyroid problems, Pre/Menopause and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for example). As I went through a stressful time with renovating a new House while working two Jobs and eventually moving, I put the severity of my ill feeling down to that. But the Symptoms did not ease off after we moved. By coincidence I saw a Documentary about Gluten and why so many People struggle today which was my eye opener. Gluten itself is not harmful, neither can the body do much with it and takes longer to digest it. The development of the Grains and the Chemicals used today have made a massive change though and are believed to be the issue for so many People.

So I thought I can at least try and see if that is actually what is effecting me so much. Luckily, every Supermarket these days stock many “Free From” Products and so it was not a difficult move for me.
After a three to four weeks things got better for me, especially my bad Muscle aches. I also realised that I feel much better with less Gluten based products. “Lighter” I would describe it as.

Going into a Café or Restaurant though comes with challenges. You will find both options in General, but combined is a different story all together.
At home it is very easy. There are many options for Bread (from Schär for example) and Pasta alternatives are plenty, made from Corn, Beans, Rice, Lentils, Peas, Quinoa, Buckwheat etc.
Give it a try, they are actually really good.

So just in case you find yourself with issues as described, have a look, do some research, maybe speak to your Doctor.

I for one will stick as much as I can to a Gluten free Vegan Diet.

The recipe for the Cabbage salad with Fried Sesame Tofu from this Blog Entry will be here soon. As will others. Stay tuned 🙂

A Vegan turns 50 !

So the Big Day arrived last week. My 50. Birthday. Half a Century. It sounds sooooo old :).

Luckily most people think me younger which I don’t totally allocate to my Vegan Lifestyle. My parents never really looked that old before they passed away. My Grandmother was 91 when she died (she lived by herself almost to the end) so Genetics play a part here I guess.

I am not sure how to feel when you are Fifty. I do not feel different from being Forty at all. Also – like most people maybe – I think I am very different from my Parents in their Fifties but again, that might be down to Perception?

Whatever the Case, age does not really matter in the end. What matters is the Life you have. The Choices you make. We all live in unprecedented Times and right now it seems that this is never going to Change. But it will as it always has. Our Plans might be on hold and it might feel that our Freedom has been taken away from us. 100 Years ago, the Life we are having now was probably the Norm to most people. They worked, raised a Family, went for Walks when they could. There was no TV, Entertainment was limited to a certain amount. Life was simpler, even humble I guess. As much as I miss being able to Travel or have a Coffee in my favourite Café, I also appreciate that life seems somewhat slower. I guess now is the best Time to reflect upon your Life. Are you Happy the Way things are working out? If not, take this Opportunity, take the Chance and make the Change you might need.

Looking back on my 50 Years, some Events stand out:

Becoming a Mother
Becoming a Vegan
Making my Dream come true and move to Scotland
Starting my own Business
Publishing two Novels
Finding the most Wonderful Man I could have hoped for

At this stage in my Life I am in the Happy Position to say that I don’t miss anything. I am not craving something I don’t have. I am not Sorry for missed Opportunities.

Life is for living – let’s just do that!

A Healthy Vegan

There is always lots of Discussion around Health when Veganism is mentioned. It is either from the opposite (Omnivore) side telling a Vegan how unhealthy the Diet must be with regards to B12 or it is assumed that being Vegan must always mean you are Healthy.
Both things are a Myth. Any Diet is only as good as the Person makes it. You can have a very unhealthy Lifestyle as a Vegan and eat mainly Processed foods.
Any Processed food can be considered unhealthy and the Vegan Options are no exception to that.
Just as well when it comes to supplements and people pointing out the B12 subject, I tend to make the point that the Supplement Industry is a long standing one and is mainly serving the non Vegans.

A Balanced Diet is key, always. Our Body needs all the Nutrients, Zinc, Vitamins, Iron, Selen, Fats (Omega 3 & 6 are best). To help your Body cope with Stress, Environmental Impacts and the “wrong” Foods, Antioxidants are a key element. High concentrations are to be found in Blueberries for example (or any other dark Berries) and Dark Leafy Greens.
If you do like Matcha (I use it in my Yummie Smoothie) – it is another very good Source of it (EGCg).

One thing I would like to point out is: Go for Organic where you can. There are Options even in Lidl and Aldi in the UK if you are on a tighter Budget. The many Toxins used by “conventional” Agriculture will counterfeit your effort to live Healthy.

Sport has been a constant in my Personal Life. I am a passionate Runner, although I am struggling to get properly back into it for a year now after experiencing an injury. I still go for my Power Walks though and use my Fitness DVDs when the weather is really bad. Going for long Walks or Hill Hiking is another Passion I share with my lovely Partner – and we are in the perfect Country for that! Only three hours and we are in the Scottish Highlands.

Besides all this (and I find that rather important), we should also realise that Life is for Living and to die Healthy not necessarily the aim. A good Balance of Everything is Key I guess.

So be Happy, be Healthy but don’t forget living! Eat the Cake, have a Drink and be super lazy once in a while :).

10 Years a Vegan – Yay !

It is 2021 and I realised some days ago that this is my 10th Anniversary of becoming a Vegan. So Congratulations to me :).
The picture shows me hosting my Birthday Party for the first time with only Vegan Food. Everybody loved it! Since then my journey has continued, I have learnt more about Veganism, swapped more things to the Vegan Option and found hundreds of yummie recipes or made my own.

I remember back then some people thought “I lost it” – the majority was curious and some even tried Vegan Options themselves.
I never regretted this decision nor will I ever. To the Day Veganism seems to be controversial, especially for the Dairy and Meat Industry. We all know why! However, the growing numbers of Vegans or Flexitarians speak for themselves and this new awareness will only grow from here.

How did Einstein put it “Nothing will benefit Human Health and increase the Chances of Survival of Life on Earth as much as the Evolution to a Vegetarian Diet.”

I for one believe that he was right, even though I think that the Vegan way is even better.

Now, time for me to pop a bottle and celebrate!

Below a collection of pictures from the last 10 years (one from each).

Happy New 2021

It has been a while since I have published anything on my Blog. Life changed a lot in the last two years and I simply got so busy that time to do fun things was next to non existent!

First of all a very Happy New Year and Happy Veganuary! I hope you had a good time, despite the ongoing challenges we are facing.

In the last year lots of new Vegan products have come out, recipes can be found in almost any magazine now and wherever you go, there are milk alternatives in most Cafés and Vegan options on the menu. People are aware that we are not an “extremist” group of Weirdos 🙂 but have legitimate reasons for a Vegan diet and / or lifestyle.

At home I have two Omnivores who follow a Vegan diet most of the time, probably by 95 % just now. That is because Vegan food is yummie and they do not miss anything. The old fashioned view of a Vegan diet consisting of some Muesli, unseasoned Tofu or sad Salad is long gone. Yes, there will always be people who shout loudly that a Vegan diet is wrong and how we are not Vegans by nature. There are always people who feel offended by Greggs offering a Vegan Sausage Roll whilst still selling the meat Version. You probably can’t argue with these people. They do not want to hear anything for their own reasons. Maybe they secretly admit that we are right? Whatever the case: Each to their own. You will never win anyone over with just pointing fingers, with just talking about the uncomfortable truth on animal farming and dairy farming. What is convincing is what is out there, what it looks like, how it tasted and how it is full of good nutritions. Show them.

After 10 years of being a Vegan I regret nothing. I will not defend myself for my position. I will not be questioned if I do not follow Veganism to a T either. I will follow my path with passion and good food. This year I would like to explore newer recipes. As is usually the case, you get into a routine of what you are cooking, Vegans are no exceptions here! So off to new shores of the Vegan world.

I hope you have a great 2021 and come here from time to time to find new recipes, blog entries or else.

The future is Vegan.

The Eco Vegan – Alternative to Cling Film

Before I decided to follow a Vegan Lifestyle, I was already trying to live Eco friendly. For me this was buying Organic Produce as well as Organic Cleaning Products and Cosmetics. Since then the market has immensely grown and almost every regular Supermarket stocks Eco friendly Options.

One of the things I still struggled with though was cling film. I always try to just cover up a bowl with an upside down plate to keep things fresh but for some food this simply doesn’t work.
The same goes for Bread or Cake which I either had to wrap in Cling Film or Aluminium Foil.
In 2018 I tumbled over a new product – an Eco friendly reusable Wrap. Unfortunately every single product I found was produced using Bees Wax, which made me decide not to buy it.

Today I was happy to see that there now is a Vegan Version of this kind of Wrap! Yay!
I bought two of them as one is large (for Bread etc.) and the other pack had two smaller Wraps to cover bowls or other containers.

It is so pleasant to see how the Vegan market seems to be growing by the day and that more and more people consider and Eco-friendly approach.

So in the UK, you can now buy the product as shown below. I found mine in Real Foods in Edinburgh, but I am sure there must be many other Health Food Shops around who will sell them. I am also sure that there are companies in every Country on the Globe now which will offer a similar alternative. Keep your eyes open!

As always, I am happy about any Feedback from my Followers.

Happy New Year!

It is 2019, yay! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and a good start to this year. I had a quiet time and enjoyed it thoroughly. Reading, knitting, running and not having to be woken up by the alarm is a nice change.
So now back to the routine. My body is craving to get back into “cleaner” eating. I like to indulge at Christmas time but I have to admit that the Sugar and the amount of Carbohydrates I consumed is something my body is not too happy with. So this was my annual glitch and I am looking forward to my usual diet again.
There will be many new Vegan Products on the market this year and Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, Aldi and Sainsbury’s in the UK are all increasing their Vegan range. Even Greggs has a Vegan Sausage now. I have to say, I won’t try it as I am no fan of Greggs and personally not necessarily need a Vegan Sausage. But maybe I miss out, who knows?

So this entry is only to say Happy New Year! I really hope that all you plan for or want to do in 2019 comes true.

Thanks for keep reading my blog and don’t be shy to comment if you like.