Family Visit in Malta & A New Vegan Rice Recipe

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What a week it’s been! So much going on, so many travels, business meetings, enjoyable moments, good food, and: my very first food poisoning (not so fun!!). The week started off in Zurich for a night, went on in London for two days and continued in Zurich on Thursday. It’s been rather stressful on the business front, yet thankfully also quite successful! My agenda for the upcoming months is filling up quickly and as much as I cannot wait for all the travels, meeting people and seeing new places, I likewise more and more cherish my days at home with my loved ones and spending time with Zaphira.

Thursday night started amazing! I had a busy day that ended with a lovely business dinner and then went over to a nice evening with hours of talks over a good glass of sparkling wine. Then it all turned negative: at around 3am I woke up with the worst fever and chills. Then it all took its turn, and the food poisoning fully hit me. The joy..

Friday didn’t look much brighter. What was meant to be an amazing day ended up with me feeling dreadful and wishing the day went past even faster! It started with me receiving the keys to my new apartment. What was supposed to be an amazing experience, however, ended in me barely noticing what was going on around me. Thankfully my dad was in the city and helped out with everything. I also had to skip the business meetings and spent half the day in bed. in the late afternoon however I had to get ready, off to the airport and off to Malta. I got home (family home in Malta) at around 8pm and was dead asleep an hour later.

The good news: Saturday I felt much better. Although I couldn’t eat most of the day, the nausea was more or less gone. In the evening I made a new vegan rice dish for the family. I looked at different recipes on the internet, got my inspiration and changed it up a bit. I must say: it was super delicious! The family loved it and it was decided we’ll add it more often to our monthly recipe options!

So here it is – super, super simple.

What you need for 4 people:
– 200g of uncooked rice
– 600g of spinach (frozen is fine)
– 200ml of water (boiled) with 1 tablespoon of vegetable broth
– 1 can of chick peas (including the liquid it’s in)
– 1 large onion / and one clove of garlic if you want
– 1-2 tablespoons of yellow curry paste (depending on how spicy you like it)
– 40g of yellow raisins
– 1 tablespoon of olive oil (coconut oil works just as well)
– 50g of unsweetened and unsalted cashews (for the topping, if you want)
– salt and pepper

What to do:
1) heat up the oil in the pan and add the curry paste
2) add in the chopped up onion (add one clove of garlic if you like)
3) boil the water, add in the broth and add it into the pan
4) add in everything else
5) let it simmer for around 20-25 minutes (until no more liquid is left and the rice is cooked) – eh voila – you are done!

6) if you want a topping – you can roast the cashews in a separate pan until they are golden-brown and add them on top before serving

super simple, super yummy!
the view from our balcony – always amazing!
the coast on a rather windy day
I could take a million photos of the ocean – I love how every second there is something new and exciting to see, how the image is never the same and brings about so much inspiration!

Vegan Brunches: 26 Rose Garden

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Good morning and happy Sunday! One of my all-time favourite activities on the weekend is a good brunch; usually happening every Sunday for me. I absolutely love sitting down with friends, chit-chatting over life and updating one another – and of course – good food.

I’ve been going to more or less the same brunch place forever now, it seems. Yet, this time, my friend and I decided to explore Zurich’s brunch options a bit more and try out something new. After a short online research, we found 26 Rose Garden.

It’s such a cute little place, a bit outside of the city center, where one feels home the minute you step into it. The owners and employees were extremely friendly and even my dog got her well deserved attention with lots of cuddles and kisses included ;)!

One of reasons I chose 26 Rose Garden is due to the fact that they have a lot of vegan options. Having certain intolerances (especially milk products and eggs), going for a brunch can sometimes be somewhat complicated for me. Or at least, I usually don’t have as many choices on the menu as the others do. This surely was not the case here. I loved the vegan scrambled eggs (made of tofu), the gluten-free and vegan croissants (which tasted totally normal!) and especially their home-made onion & cinnamon quiche they had on offer. I am surely coming back to this place!

Yet, I’m curious. What are you favourite brunch locations in Zurich? Any recommendations?

Linzertorte – Daddy’s Birthday Cake Recipe

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Happy belated Birthday via this blog, dad!

Last week was my dads birthday. Since seemingly forever, one of his all-time favorite cakes is the so-called Linzertorte. My mom used to bake it for him every year at least once for his birthday; sometimes just in-between during the winter season. It’s also a traditional Christmas season cake in Germany. This year my dad was in Zurich for his birthday – mom joined, too. Because they arrived the night before his birthday, I decided to bake the cake a day before and surprised him in the morning with it and a lit candle.

Even though I am not the biggest fan of the cake, I must say it did go pretty well. The only thing I would note down for next time – the jam: it was too sweet for my taste. It really is important to find a good jam too add to the layer – or, make one yourself. Perhaps something I can do the next time around. For now, however, I wanted to share the recipe with you.

What you need

250 g soft butter / I used plant-based margarine
200 g brown sugar
2 medium-sized eggs
1 egg yolk
200 g grounded almonds
200 g flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
knife tip of clove powder
250 g of your favorite jam (I used raspberry – the traditional receipe idea)
more flour
coconut oil 

What to do

1) In a large bowl, mix the butter with the eggs and sugar until nice and soft
2) add in the almonds, 200g of flour, cinnamon and clove powder – keep mixing
3) heat up the oven to 180°C 
4) spread coconut oil (best to use a cooking paintbrush) all over the baking tin (diameter around 26 cm)
5) add ⅔ of the dough into the tin, spread it equally and add jam on top of it (leave 2 cm free towards the edge)
6) add in more flour to the ⅓ of dough – so much, until you have a thicker cookie-dough like mixture
7) spread this dough onto transparent film, roughly 0.5 cm high – and place it min. 45min into the fridge
8) once fully cooled down, take out the dough and cut it into long strips, around 1cm wide
9) you’re ready to now place them onto the jam in any weaving-style you want
10) once done, whisk up the egg yolk and brush it onto the dough (this prevents the cake from burning and turning too dark)
11) now off into the oven – 40 min straight baking

E voila – there you have it! You’re (perhaps) first Linzertorte! Actually easier than it looks on the photo, I swear!

Note: I was inspired by the German-written recipe on the Betty Bossi website (though slimmed-down the recipe slightly) – though feel free to check out this one, too!

Vegan Falafel for the Win

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Another week, another recipe! I surely do not want to bore you with recipes only on this blog, but if I am in love with something I need to share it. So here I am telling you about my rather newly discovered love: chickpeas! Who would have known that these little yellow fellows are so healthy, so filling, and can be used in so many recipes.

A new favorite recipe of mine is this vegan falafel recipe! It is so simple that it’s almost scary – so good that you cannot stop eating them and the preparation time takes around 10 minutes at max. Personally, I like simple recipes and things that do not take long to make after coming home (usually somewhat late) after work. Given this reason I made these falafel after work the other day and did not even add a side-dish. What I can recommend, though, is a cucumber salad (speaking of, I found a great recipes that I will share in the near future!).

For these crispy, little falafel, you need

240g (drained) & pre-cocked chickpeas
1 large onion
1 handful of fresh coriander
1 tablespoon cumin
2 tablespoons buckwheat (or any other) flour 
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
a hint of salt

What to do

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 250°C 
  2. add all ingredients into a food processor and mix until you get a smooth mixture (make sure it doesn’t become too smooth or else you will get a soup)
  3. take roughly one large tablespoon of the mixture and form each patty with your hand
  4. place them on a baking sheet and sprinkle (or paint) all patties with a light layer of olive oil
  5. bake until golden-brown for roughly 18-20 minutes

Et voila – within a couple of mintues preparing and baking, you have the perfect, healthy (and vegan) falafel ready.

Vegan, Sugarfree & Glutenfree Waffles

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Sundays are probably my favorite weekdays. Why you ask? Simple – the week is coming to an end, I can sleep in, usually all household cleaning has been done, and I either go for brunch or make my own larger-than-usual breakfast at home! I have changed up my diet quite a bit these past few weeks – going from eating meat every day to eating completely vegan for a month. The idea behind it was to give my body a break from all the animal derived foods and seeing how my body would adjust to such a change of lifestyle. Although I have gone back to eating meat once in a while now since a week or two, I still try to eat plant-based most of the times these days. I believe everything should be done in moderation and as much as I enjoyed the vegan lifestyle I still do enjoy meat too much once in a while to giving it up completely. Perhaps that will change in the future – or not, we shall see. Either way: during my plant-based diet phase, I tried out several new recipes that were – obviously – vegan.

I am a huge fan of sunday-waffles! Previously, I would make waffles with standard recipes – which usually contained either eggs, butter or some other form of animal derived by-product. This time I went for an all vegan recipe and switched a few things up from the normal recipe I would have used earlier.

What you need (for 8 waffles)

1 large, ripe banana
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
150ml warm water
100ml almond milk with slight vanilla flavor (can use plain almond milk)
200g glutenfree flour (I used buckwheat flour)
2 teaspoons baking soda (glutenfree)

What to do

  1. get you waffle iron ready
  2. mash the banana and add it into a large bowl
  3. add all other ingredients and mix everything together until you have a smooth dough
  4. heat up the waffle iron once without any dough
  5. add two tablespoons of dough into each iron set (or however large your waffle iron is)
  6. let it bake the waffle until ready

This recipe is super easy, quickly done and barely needs any ingredients. Note that the waffles are not very sweet. If you do want it a little sweeter, I suggest adding a tablespoon of maple syrup or the like to the dough beforehand.

I topped up my waffles with some fresh blueberry “jam” which I made whilst waiting for my waffles to bake. Here I used ¾ cup of fresh blueberries, 1 tablespoon of agave syrup and 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and mixed everything up.

Et voila – time to enjoy a lovely little breakfast without having the guilt crawl up after indulging!