A pie, an accountant, a vegan cafe-restaurant, a squash and some chickpeas

The accountant

The title pretty much says it all, but I will give you some more details about everything. Let me start by saying that today I am quite proud of myself as I managed to get my dreaded 2013 income taxes sorted and had a meeting with my accountant. My accountant is an awesome guy who loves his job and has kids my age. Every time I go there he shames me into promising that I will try and make more money the next quarter. He does that in a fatherly way and he has a huge collection of ladybugs in his kitchen, so he cannot be a bad person. Today I went there with N., as he had some questions, and he was thrilled to show us all the childcare subsidies that we can get once our kid is born and we decide to take him/her to the daycare. On one hand, I can’t figure out how someone can be so excited about taxes, exemptions and discounts, but on the other hand this guy seems so happy and passionate that I am kind of jealous of him. May we all find the peace that my accountant has found.

The chickpeas

Chickpeas with sauerkraut and vegan sausage.

Chickpeas with sauerkraut and vegan sausage.

We love chickpeas around here. First of all, you can make them into delicious hummus. Then, you can add them to soups, to make them more hearty. You can always make baked or fried chickpea nuggets. Or you can improvise and do something completely different.You will need:

Ingredients

  • Chickpeas! As many as you can eat. A can, I guess.
  • 2-3 vegan sausages (for 2 people)
  • 1,5 cup sauerkraut. We can find it fresh in the supermarket, but canned versions or jars are equally delicious.
  • 1 courgette cut in cubes
  • 1 bell pepper cut in small pieces
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste.
  • lemon juice (optional. Of course, everything is optional, but you know what I mean).

Instructions

  • Drain and rinse the chickpeas from the can. If you are boiling them from scratch, do not overcook them.
  • In a wok or other deep pan add the chickpeas, cherry tomatoes and bell pepper.
  • Let it simmer covered for about 10 minutes.
  • Add the sauerkraut and simmer for another 5-7 minutes, until the sauerkraut is also hot.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • In another pan add 2-3 tablespoons olive oil.
  • Cut the sausages in slices and fry them until they look gorgeous.
  • Serve the sausages on top of the chickpeas and if you want, add a few drops of lemon.
A chickpea close up.

A chickpea close up.

This is a seriously satisfying and uber-delicious winter dish that you should definitely try. I think it would be amazing with a glass of red wine, but these days I have to make do with pomegranate and cranberry juice.

The pie

The easiest pie ever made.

The easiest pie ever made.

The missing piece.

The missing piece.

This is honestly the easiest pie you will ever make and it tastes delicious too. The secret here is crescent roll dough. You know, the one that you get at the grocery store and when you open it, it does this very scary “pop” sound? I am talking about something like this. Most brands of this product are vegan! How awesome is that? Now, let’s see how you are going to use it to make a pie.

Ingedients

  • 2 packages of crescent rolls (the ones that you can make 6 rolls with)
  • Whatever greens you like. I used spinach, leek, onions, garlic, mushrooms and I think a bell pepper too.
  • Some non-dairy milk, to wet the surface.
  • a few tablespoons of flax or sesame seeds to top the pie.
  • salt and pepper to taste.
  • some olive oil or margarine, to grease the baking pan.

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven at 180-200.
  • In a pan add a bit of olive oil and the chopped-up vegetables with the salt and pepper. Cook for about 5-6 minutes, until their volume is reduced.
  • Grease a deep baking pan.
  • Unroll the one package of crescent rolls and DO NOT separate the triangles. Just put the whole sheet into the baking pan. That is your base.
  • Top the base with the greens.
  • On top of the greens put the other sheet of crescent roll dough. Make sure that at the edges the two sheets meet. You can use a fork or butter knife to push gently the top sheet around the edges.
  • Wet the top sheet with milk and sprinkle with the flax and/or sesame seeds.
  • Bake for 30-45′, depending on your oven.
  • Enjoy!
And a close up.

And a close up.

The vegan cafe-restaurant: Spirit

I admit that the last 1,2…4 years I have not been a very social person. Whenever I decide to meet new people though, It usually turns out great. This was the case this Monday that I met a lovely vegan, mom-to-be lady in Rotterdam. She took me to Spirit, a great place with tons of vegan goodies and the first place I have ever visited in the Netherlands that does not only have soy milk for your coffee, but also almond and rice milk! Aaah, the little joys of life! If you live in Rotterdam or close to it, Spirit is really close to the Blaak station. And it is next to a lovely grocery store and one of those hippie shops that sell meditation cushions that I love. Make fun all you want! I adore those places. In fact, I am taking N. to Spirit this weekend for brunch. I had a vegan apple pie and an almond milk latte and they were both delicious.

The butternut squash.

No, not the one we made a soup with. Another one. We bought this one a few days ago and it was standing on our kitchen table. If I let it there a few more days it would become our friend, so I decided to give an end to this absurd friendship, before it begun. And I chopped it up today. You don’t even need a recipe for it. All you need to do is peeling, chopping and cooking in a deep pan with some olive oil for 5-6 minutes. Then add a cup of boiling water and let it simmer covered for another 10 minutes. Add a bit more water, salt pepper and thyme and simmer for another 5. It tastes delicious! You can serve it with mashed potatoes, like I did tonight, but I can also see it as part of a mix dish with chopped up root vegetables, like glazed carrots, sweet potatoes and beets. And maybe a soy yogurt sauce to go on top? Yum…

Squash with mashed potatoes.

Squash with mashed potatoes.

What are you waiting for? Time for grocery shopping!

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