Monday, 23 June 2014

Half time, quick!

Did the WC2014 change your routines so far?
Over here I notice certain tendency towards quick meals for dinner.

Today I whipped up a dish which is rich in protein and accompanies half a a pint of beer like no other dish:

Altered* White Beans in Basil Tomato Sauce by Attila Hildmann 

( * the original recipe does NOT come with beer, nor nacho chips!!!)
Once again I must say that one of the major assets of Attila Hildmann's recipes is the flexibilty: you can alter almost any measurement of the ingredients and still end up with a wonderful dish.

My versions comes with 5 times as much tofu as the recipe (simply because tofu sizes are so large and I don't want to keep an opened tofu-package in the fridge). The other ingredients were doubled (two onions instead one, 4 pinches of tumeric instead of two ...).

Oh, how I love a big heavy knife! 

Also, I used tomato sauce instead of tomato paste, because I thought I did run out of tomato paste. The tomato sauce equals tomato paste + water nicely!
And I even I use dried basil and add it early, instead of the fresh basil, because I hardly ever have fresh basil at home.
Plus: today I even used a can with mixed beans, including chickpeas, because I did not find any white beans in my pantry.

You can tell, this is the perfect recipe for a relaxed kitchen session during half time! :-)

This is how it goes:

1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds in a dry skillet and put aside

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 ounces/ 50gr smoked tofu, diced

the tofu for approx. 3 minutes

1 red onion, chopped
2 pinches of tumeric

cook for approx. 2 minutes

 right before adding ....

1/3 cup / 80gr  tomato paste
6 tablespoons mineral water (of Viennese tab water, which is actually mineral water ;-))
1 can of beans
1 teaspoon agave syrup
as much dried basil as you like (or fresh basil instead, right before serving!)

stir and heat for 2 minutes:

Place the beans on a plate, garnish with
fresh basil, roasted sunflower seeds and the sliced pieces of a peeled carrot


I did not quite make it during the half time break but we are still playing the preliminary round, aren't we?

This fellow flighs by as soon as he/she senses action in my kitchen. Today he/she did not appreciate the fact, that I was way too busy to feed him/her while I was cooking. 
During half time you better cook fast!

The reason, why this dish became one of my favourite dishes from Attila Hildmann's book "Vegan for Fit" dates back to my childhood. Baked beans build a huge part of my emotional gourmet childhood long-term memories. To be more precise: all Heinz cans trigger my emotions. Tomato sauce with noodles, baked beans, tomato soup, ravioli. This was home. (*yikes* ;-))

Over the years my taste changed, today the canned food taste too salty and way too sweet. I am glad I found a simpe recipe to do my own version of the beloved bakes beans, with less salt and way less sweetness. These beans get some sweetness, too. I don't mind a teaspoon of sweetness when tomatoes play the leading role on a plate. Attila Hildmann uses agave syrup as sweetener, which is fine for me.

On with the next match!

Saturday, 21 June 2014



Sorry for being absent. 1 month!

Vienna at this very moment

The last month has proven how photo-driven this blog actually is. I have not touched my cameras in weeks. There is not a lot happening, camera wise ...

Some days have been so hot, I went swimming after work and since the beach is public and I was on my own I left the camera at home. Just not safe.

The birds keep coming to our kitchen window, which keeps us busy from breakfast to dinner. We changed the bird diet and started to add nutts.

familiar scene at the dining table

We few weeks ago, Mr Paula and I decided to make plans for our upcoming vacation. We had no clue where to go. A beach would be nice. Not too hot. We prefer sand over stones. Hamburg? Brittany? Sicily? Cornwall? Where to go?!

Well, so yesterday I was was standing at the Russian consulate, waiting in a line, applying for a visa. Russia! We are going to explore the Baltic Sea in Kaliningrad. Kaliningrad is the name of the city and also the name of the Russian exclave, north of Poland and south of Latvia Lithuania.

No one I know knows Kaliningrad today. People know about Königsberg - the German city until 1946. And of course the amber ressources - Kalinigrad is said to hold 80% of the world's total amber ressources. But that's about it. It seems as if I am going to visit another blank area on the European map, after having visited Crimea in 2013.

Most tourists from abroad visit Kaliningrad as part of an organized group tour.  I was told that people in Kalinigrad hardly speak English or German. Which is the reason why I want to go to Kaliningrad: I want to improve my Russian skills. I will attend a class in a language school. I can not imagine a better place than a region where the travel books warn visitors about the poor English and German language skills on the countryside.

Russian lession on a saturday morning

Cursive writing! And I am able to figure out, what the letters actually mean. 
The credit goes to Ruslana, my Russian teacher in Vienna. She only uses cursive writing on the blackboard, thanks to her I am acutaly able to read cursive writing.

I guess you can say languages are another passion of mine. Besides photography.

The label "Russian" on this blog is going to grow. :-)  You can bet, I will return with stories, photos and individual outlooks.

This is my first time I have to apply for a visa to be allowed to visit a foreign country. Japan, USA, Ukraine, Kuba ... we just went there on vacation. I know that many people are used to applying for visas. Well, I am not. I guess as soon as I have my passport in my hands with the visa tucked on a page, I will relax.  Until then - I admit - I will remain a little nervous.  It is always a good thing to leave your comfort zone.

Have a relaxed weekend!