Quick Peanut Sauce

I love peanut sauce with rice or stir-fry dishes, but I’m not overly fond of cooking it on the stove. This week I came up with a quick version that can be prepared in the microwave and is especially helpful when needing only a small amount.

You need:
– teaspoon
– microwave safe mug or a similar container
– peanutbutter or (I use a Dutch brand which has some salt and sugar in it but is not as sweet and soft as other brands)
– Sambal Olek (or try mashed tomatoes plus spices)
– water

Mix to your own liking (I’d suggest going easy on the Sambal Olek and water first) and microwave at 800 W for 30-60 seconds, stir it, add more water or hot stuff if needed, microwave for another 30-60 seconds and stirr again. Tadaa, instant awesome hot peanut sauce! :)

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Today’s late lunch: vegetable and chicken stir-fry, leftover onigiri, and of course very hot peanut sauce

Quick Power-Snack: Vanilla Yoghurt with Blueberries

Over the course of the last two weeks I discovered a quick, simple, and tasty snack I like to eat either for breakfast or – like right now – as an early supper before exercising and having my real supper later. I just wash a handful or two of blueberries, pour some vanilla yoghurt over them, and add a little grated dark chocolate (90%).

I like my snacks sweet, but at least this mix contains some good stuff and not as much artificially added sugar as a plain old chocolate covered “cereal” candy bar. Berries are healthy, and some good quality yoghurt that hasn’t been heated to death can be good for the body, as far as I know.

The only downside is that I can’t eat this right before I go to sports class, as I noticed that consuming animal products (both meat and dairy) very close to exercising causes some unpleasant acidity in my guts. So right before exercising I’ll have a few nuts or something similar instead for an extra energy boost.

The chocolate cookie is a lie …

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I guess I’m the only person who manages to make chocolate cookies that don’t even taste like chocolate. Not enough cocoa, no cocoa butter, and too much baking soda turned my little experiment into fluffy banana bread with shredded coconut. I have no clue where the chocolate chips went, they were in the dough when I put the cookies in the oven! I think this for once deserves a hashtag – #PaleoFail.

 

Less sugar, more nuts and dates

After reading more than a few articles about the dangers of sugar and talking to people who feel much better since eating “paleo” I decided it was time for me to cut the amount of sugar I consume. A while back I already began to reduce the amount of white wheat flour in my diet and switched to less processed spelt and ray for my homemade goods, while eating more rice than pasta. I don’t plan to go completely paleo – my life would be depressing without some good bread or sticky rice, but I’ve started to replace the sweets in our snack drawer with nuts, dates, ground almonds and coconut, and all these things. Some of the flour in my sourdough breads is replaced with flax seed, amaranth, chia seed, and whatever I can find. I hope to be able to increase the amount of these ingredients as my taste adapts. But I won’t say no to the occasional store-bought pizza or – like today – baked fish in a white bun bought on the way, as long as these stay exceptions. And I’ll still eat lentils or big red beans when I feel like it, same with cheese and yoghurt.

Energy balls made from dates, almonds, coconut, coconut oil, cocoa powder, and amaranth are quite nice and taste a little like sweet brownies!

Still working on the vegetable part, though … I’ll have to learn how to prepare more vegetables in a way that really makes me want to eat them. On Sunday I’ll try to make a big meat patty (beef and egg), top it with lots of cooked broccoli and cauliflower, and put some cheese on it.

Onigiri for lunch and new chopsticks :)

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After weeks of sugary food and lots of stress I felt like treating myself with a “real” lunch today – normally I dislike cooking something more complex than only rice or only veggies just for myself (and most of the time I just use comfort food – pizza or something from a can). But after buying some new chopsticks yesterday I decided to make delicious onigiri with a mix of vegetables and chicken. Finally my onigiri start to look like onigiri! Still working on the size though. Note: forming hot rice with bare hands is slightly masochistic. Proceed at your own risk.

Step 1: make onigiri (you can add nori/seaweed, but I prefer to omit that)

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Step 2: fry vegetables and chicken (I used a box of frozen, chopped vegetables with seasoned butter as well as pre-fried stripes of chicken breast), take blurry picture …

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Step 3: put everything in a bowl and add chopsticks.

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Enjoy your lunch :)

First sourdough bread!

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Monday I prepared my first sourdough starter with rye flour. It lived on our bathroom heater, so the wild yeast multiplied like crazy and the sourdough was ready for a test run after four days – it was full of millions of tiny bubbles and the smell had turned from vinegar to freshly cut sour apples.

As recommended I added some normal baking yeast to this first use of my sourdough culture. Apart from that it contains nothing but flour, water, and some salt. I’m looking forward to slicing it tomorrow and eating some of it with butter and homegrown cress :)

The bread weighs more than one kilogramme! I need to find someone to help me eat this, as I won’t be able to eat all of it before the next baking day and our freezer compartment is really tiny (and we don’t own a toaster – I don’t like untoasted defrosted bread).

Next week I’ll try to make a bread without extra yeast. I’d also love to add some spelt flour – I prefer mixed bread over pure rye. Do I have to add yeast when I add flour other than the type I used for the starter?

rescuing thawed, dry onigiri

I just found out I can revive thawed and dried out onigiri by putting a little water and salt in a mason jar holding one rice ball, shaking the whole thing to get the rice moist all over, and microwaving the open (!) jar and its contents for 30-45 seconds. Voilà, warm and sticky-moist onigiri. Of course not as good as fresh ones, but still a good way to rescue ones that dried out while in the freezer. Not recommended if you can’t face the risk of your pretty rice ball falling apart more easily.