Time to cook

I always loved cooking and baking, experimenting new recipes or creating own dishes. It is still one of my favourite times of the day standing in the kitchen and preparing something to eat, taking time for details, surprising others with my creations. This intuitive thinking, this making choices based on your own experience, this feeling confident about every movement, this reunion of all senses, it’s all just something that brings an incredible joy to my life. And it’s not anymore about having a nice and ready meal on your table, it’s about all the process and the anticipation. It’s about every little step from the planning what you want to make, over to the shopping of great ingredients, followed by all the cooking process. It’s about being aware what you are eating, where it comes from, how it is made. It’s about experiencing it with all your senses. And in best case, it’s also about sharing.
Specially in times like these I like to spend hours in the kitchen preparing food. It’s kind of a ritual for happiness. There is nothing like good food to make you smile again. But it’s also in times like these that we need inspiration, that we need inputs to try something new and not run out of ideas ending up always eating the same. Let’s variate, let’s get crazy in the kitchen, let’s make our senses travel all around the world. In this sense I collected some ideas from other volunteers and our coordinators to share with you some recipes, soul foods and inspirations to make your cooking days more adventurous. 

Pancakes – my soul food

I think I will never get enough of pancakes in my life. It’s this perfect breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. It doesn’t matter which time of the day it is, it always fits perfectly. Either salty with cheese inside the dough or filled with vegetables, or sweet with lingonberry jam, maple syrup, apples and cinnamon, strawberries and vanilla ice cream… there are just so many options that make this dish simply suitable for every taste. Also as vegan variations with banana in the dough. Simply perfect easy good mood food!

1 egg
150 ml milk
flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbs sugar
salt
butter

Wisk the egg with sugar and salt. Add the milk and mix it. Add the flour and baking powder until it has the right consitency (not too creamy and not too liquid). Bake the pancakes in a pan with butter until they are golden-brown. If you like thicker american style pancakes then start by separating the egg and whisk the egg white. After mixing all other ingredients (making the dough a bit thicker) incorporate the egg white.

Rice dishes – different variations

Always a good option if you have some vegetables or legumes and spices at home. There are so many variations that you will never get bored. Try out your favourite combinations. 

  • Green curry with broccoli and rice
https://pinchofyum.com/green-curry
  • Vegan rice pan with colourful vegetables
https://www.thegardengrazer.com/2015/02/rainbow-veggie-fried-rice.html
  • Narakagni (by Josema)

1 cup of rice
2 cups of water
Chicken/ vegetable broth
1 glas of chickpeas
Curcuma, cayenne, tabasco

Wash the rice and let it dry for 10 min. Boil water in a pot and add chicken/ vegetable broth. Once it is yellow, add the rice, a little bit of curcuma, a pinch of cayenne, chickpeas and a bit of tabasco (be careful about the spiciness). Cook it on low flame until the rice absorbed the liquid. It is recommended to serve it with a plate of goat cheese, white bread or a glass of milk. 

Semmelknödel (bread dumplings)

If you are into typical Tirolean cuisine, then you should definitely try to make dumplings. These bread dumplings for example are very tasty and you can eat them in a soup or together with a salad, or a mushrooms cream sauce, and so on. It’s also very good to cut them in thick slices and fry them in a pan with butter.

https://www.daringgourmet.com/semmel-knoedel-german-bread-dumplings/

Sweet things

It is definitely the time to make your soul a bit happier with some sweet treats. So, if you are vegan or not the next recipes will definitely inspire you for more.

  • Vegan chocolate mousse
https://biancazapatka.com/en/vegan-chocolate-mousse/

I’m always very surprised what vegan cooking options there are that I still haven’t heard about. It’s a full new world of options to discover. I mean have you ever thought about that you could replace egg white by aquafaba and that you can whip it the same way? I haven’t until today, but I will definitely try this and some other vegan tricks.

  • Marshmallow caramel puff rice bars
https://cookiesandcups.com/caramel-stuffed-krispie-treats/

Now it’s time for you to get inspired by all this different recipes and put hands on. Go to the kitchen and start with whatever you always wanted to try. Get crazy, try out things. The time for it is now!

“There is nothings less time wasting than cooking for the people you love” – Michael Pollan

Lena C.

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