Vegan

59. Egypt: Falafel

Posted on Updated on

So Egypt, land of mummys, pyramids, pharaos and old legends. I have been to Egypt twice. Once with my parents and once with my entire family when my grandfather turned 80. Both times were very memorabele vacations, eventhough we spent most of oud time inside a resort. However we did take a daytrip to Luxor! I still was very young back then and i couldn’t understand everything the guide was talking about, but i remember thinking: How did they make al this by hand without machines, how did het those massive stones all the way up those pyramids? I was so impressed that when a few weeks after we tot back home and my teacher asked me to write an essay about a subject we would like to learn more about. I write a 10 page essay about my fascination with Egypt, pretty remarkable for a 10-year-old! My teacher gave me a bad grade because she thought I didn’t write all of it myself (really unfair because i really did).

Egypt
Things you didn’t know about Egypt:

  • The title of longest ruling pharaoh goes to Pepi II (2246-2152 B.C.) After becoming king at only 6-years-old, he commanded the longest reign in history—94 years! Pepi II was also known to be flanked by naked slaves smeared in honey to attract flies away from him.
  • Fashion now is, understandably, light-years away from fashion in ancient Egypt. Fly swatters made from giraffe tails, for example, were very popular back then. There’s not much chance of them appearing in Vogue, though. (Yeah I guess animal rights organisations would have a problem with that nowadays!)
  • Women had rights – Women in ancient Egypt had more rights and privileges than most other women in the ancient world and, in some cases, even more than in the modern world. Among their rights were the right to own property, the right to initiate business deals and the right to divorce. Some women – usually from wealthy families – could also become doctors or priestesses.
  • They invented the callender – The ancient Egyptians were also exceedingly smart. They first people to have a year consisting of 365 days divided into 12 months – it helped them predict the annual flooding of the Nile. They also invented clocks
  • The oldest known pregnancy test can also claim Egypt as its home. The Berlin Papyrus (c. 1800 B.C.) contains directions for a test involving wetting cereals with urine. If the cereals grew barley, it meant the woman was pregnant with a boy. If they grew wheat, she was pregnant with a girl. And if neither grew, the woman wouldn’t give birth.

Falafel the only time it comes in my mind to dat falafel is when i am hungry after a good night out! Such a shame because it’s delicious! 

falafel

Read the rest of this entry »

Mango Salsa

Posted on Updated on

What I love about this dish is hard to describe I guess it’s the combination since I’m not a big mango lover. I know really really odd but as a kid I couldn’t stand them. I was quite the fussy eater, I am forever grateful to my mum for forcing me to try everything, and making my eat those dreadful mango’s kiwi’s and drink glasses of fresh orange juice she pressed herself every single morning. Yes I did not make mornings easy for my parents, breakfast was always a struggle, since I didn’t like bread or fruit or milk. If it had been up to 4-year-old me I would have eaten dry cereal without yoghurt or milk (yoghurt or milk made my cereal soggy and I hated soggy cereal) or even better nothing at all! I even would have skipped lunch. Luckily I had a strong mom who refused to give in to my tantrums. So mom’s with fussy eaters as children, make them try everything, they will thank you one day! Dinner however was and is the happiest time of day for me, since my mom is an amazing cook! I ate everything I could get my hands to, from oysters to lobster to foie gras to brussels sprouts. But back to  the mango salsa, since a few years I love mango. I was looking for a refreshing, colorful salad and stumbled upon a great mango salsa and I found it. It’s quite spicy because of chili but you could always adapt the chili to your own taste. I like a little kick so I added an entire green chili! I served salsa with a nice piece of grilled salmon, but I bet it tastes epic on a taco! Mango Salsa This recipe makes enough for 4 people as a side dish Ingredients: 1 fresh mango cut into cubes (learn how to do this the easy way right here), 1 red bell pepper seeded and chopped small, 1 green chili deseeded and finely chopped, 1 red onion, 1/4 cup of chopped fresh cilantro, juice of 1 lime, salt to taste Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and let stand at room temperature for 15-20 minutes in order for the flavors to marry. That’s it! No oil nothing else! Finito! DONE!

38. Chad: Kachumbari Salad

Posted on

You could consider Chad as Africa for the advanced. Chad is no place to travel to for the weak. Chad is as real as it gets. Bribing the police is not the exception but the rule. Added to that, the summer heat is mind-melting, travel costs can be astronomical and the security situation remains unpredictable. So why bother going to Chad right? There are plenty of reasons to go Chad, frankly I don’t even know where to start! There are the sublime oases hidden in the northern dessert, the exquisite wild life in the National Parks, and the unforgettable boat trips on Lake Chad.

oase in chad

So here are some fun facts about Chad:

  • The average Chadian woman gives birth to six children.
  • The flag of Chad has vertical blue, yellow and red stripes. The blue strip symbolizes hope , the yellow stripe symbolizes the sun, the red stripe symbolizes fire and unity.
  • Chad is sometimes referred to as ‘The Death Heart of Africa’ due to the desert climate.
  • Chad it is about the size of Spain, France and Kansas combined
  • Did you know Chad is home to up to 200,000 Sudanese refugees.

It was a real challenge to find a recipe from Chad, they mostly eat tomatoes and onions apparently. So I made a salad. It was good but just so a little too basic for my taste.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ingredients: 5 tomatoes (thinly sliced), 2 small onions (thinly sliced), 1 red or green chili (de-seeded and lengthways into fine slivers, handful of coriander (finely chopped), juice of 1 lime, 3 tbsp olive oil, black pepper to taste.

Place the tomatoes, sliced onions, chilli and coriander into a large serving bowl. Mix together the limejuice and olive oil and toss this mixture through the salad. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately. This is the traditional version, but shredded cabbage or carrot can be added.

Asian Mango Salad

Posted on Updated on

Well this recipe is certainly something. I tried making something super healthy for a change. Just because we all need our vitamins, don’t we. I love healthy food I just mostly prefer the unhealthy food, which I know is bad for me. Luckily this salad is so light and full of flavor, and the best part is no regrets afterwards about eating to many calories! Not saying, I count my calories, I never do, but my mom is worried about hers and mine! So to make her happy I made this refreshing colorful salad.

This salad smells amazing as you make it. By the time you plate it up your diners will be pounding the table!

Shredded Asian Salad

Ingredients for the Dressing: 1 tsp Garlic oil, 2 tbsp Sesame oil. 1 tsp Dark Soya Sauce, 1/2 tsp Fish Sauce, 1 tsp Palm Sugar, 1/2 a Lime Juice and Zest
Ingredients Shredded Asian Salad: 1 Mango,  1 large Carrot  Cup of Bean Sprouts, a hand of almonds or peanuts , 1/3 cup Herbs (Dill, Coriander, Parsley, Mint – but add in what you have), 1/4 cup Spring Onions, 1/2 Red Chilli, Small piece of ginger
 Take a large bowl and place the Bean Sprouts inside. Peel the outside of the Mango and Carrots, then use a Julienne Peeler to prep the  both, (if your mango is too soft like mine was, just cube it). Add to the Bean Sprouts bowl. Cut a Chilli lengthways in half and remove the seeds. Finley slice and add to the bowl. Finely chop the Herbs together. Then do the same to the Peanuts.
Make the Dressing in a separate bowl by mixing all the ingredients together. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix thoroughly with tongs. Add the herbs and mix again.

31. Burundi: Curried Spinach with peanut butter

Posted on Updated on

Burundi, well this one is pretty special to me, since my nephew is a quarter Burundi, I invited him and my sister over for this special dinner. Not my dad, but his other grandfather is from Burundi. Let’s get started! At the beating heart of Africa lies a small country called Burundi. Although Burundi is among the poorest countries in the world it has many attractions worth visiting: it’s legendary lake Tanganyika with a wild variety a birds, it’s mountains and valley’s, large savannah’s and enchanting forests. The people of Burundi have suffered a lot and are still suffering under de consequences of years civil war and hunger.

burundi-live-wallpaper-2-2-s-307x512

Here are some fun facts about Burundi:

  • Drumming is an important part of the Burundian cultural heritage.
  • Kirundi and French are the official languages of Burundi. The country’s motto “Ubumwe, Ibikorwa, Iterambere” in Kirundi means “Unity, Work, Progress”. The motto of the country is also expressed in French – “Unité, Travail, Progrès”
  • Soon after Burundi gained independence from Belgium, the mountainous country enjoyed the distinction of being one of the first black republics in the world.

This recipe is served as a side dish, with rice. It’s deliciously creamy

Burundi

Ingredients: 200 gr chopped spinach, 1 tablespoon peanutbutter, 1 cup of coconut milk, 1 chopped onion, 1 tablespoon of curry powder, 1 peeled and diced tomato, 1/2 dried chili pepper

Wash the spinach, roll leaves together and chop. Pop the tomato in boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute, peel and chop. Peel and chop the onion. Mix the peanut butter with the coconut milk. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Add the onion, tomato, salt and curry powder and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the spinach, continue cooking for about 15 to 20 minutes. Add the peanut butter and coconut milk mixture.  Simmer, for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly. The curried spinach and peanut butter may be served as a side dish or as a full meal with rice

29. Bulgaria: Tarator

Posted on Updated on

Bulgaria the oldest country in Europe. After WWII Bulgaria fell under the Sovjet regime where it became communist republic, in 1989 Bulgaria became independent but the communist architecture can still be found throughout the country. Sofia has been the capital of Bulgaria since 1879. The roots of Sofia date back to the 5th century. Nowadays Sofia is Europe’s cheapest capital for shopping, so shop till you drop! At about 10 minutes from Sofia there is a beautiful skiing resort called Vitosha. Apart from an rich history, cheap shopping and beautiful skiing resort Bulgaria also has a stunning nature; green forests, mighty rivers and over 40 large mountains with beautiful fairytale like mountain villages.

Bulgaria

Here are some fun facts about Bulgaria

  • Bulgaria is the only country in the world to have fired an elected municipal official over playing Farmville. In 2010, Dimitar Kerin, a Plovdiv city councilor, was dismissed in order to “have more time to tend to his virtual farm”. (Well they certainly have their priorities straight!)
  • Bulgarians express approval by shaking their heads rather than nodding.
  • Name Days” are celebrated in addition to birthdays in Bulgaria. As a matter of fact, most Bulgarians value their ‘Name Day’ more than their birthday. A Name Day, or “Saints Day” is celebrated by people named after a particular Saint.
  • Michael Palin upset Bulgarians by saying it is most famous for it’s gypsies (How ignorant can you be, Michael Palin?)

So this recipe is what I would call the gazpacho of Eastern Europe! It’s a perfect dish to bring to the beach on a hot summer day, or to bring to a picnic! It’s quick, refreshing and tasty!

taratorIngredients: 2 large cucumbers, 2 garlic cloves, 5 tbsp of fresh dille finely chopped, 1l yoghurt, 3 tbsp of crushed walnuts, 3 tbsp olive oil, salt to taste

 Peel cucumbers and chop into very small dices. Mince garlic cloves, sprinkle with the salt and olive oil and add to the cucumbers. Add yoghurt, walnuts and chopped dill and some cold water to adjust density according to your taste. Keep into refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve with an ice cube in every bowl
Here is some Bulgarian music

10. Armenia: Taboulleh Salad

Posted on Updated on

Armenia, a country with a history like no other. In the golden age Armenia was powerful ally or if you had them against you a feared enemy. Being on the paths of trade and war gave Armenia a unique position, sometimes in a good way and sometimes in a not so good way. They were under a constant thread of attack. but neither Alexander the Great nor any of the other great conquerers could fully suppress the brave inhabitants of Armenia. Later in history Armenia got caught between Rome and it’s enemy Persia, each would use as a buffer against it’s rival. Great cities were laid waste. Like the Greek and the Romans the Armenians had their own ancient gods but merchants traveling to the great centers of trade in the Middle East came in to contact with a new idea, a faith that would shape the identity of their country. By 301 AD Armenia had been the first to adopt Christianity as it’s official religion. A century later they were forced by the Persian empire to adopt their old religion  Zoroastrianism. The rich elite were furious and they started a riot which became a civil war and Armenia’s first challenge as a Christian country. Eventually they made a truce and allowed freedom the Armenians freedom of religion. But yet another invasion was lurking around the corner the Ottoman Empire. In the beginning they kept the freedom of religion, a few years later they started treating minorities like Christian and jews differently. Christians and Jews were not allowed to join the army or even own a weapon, they raised taxes, and their word was not admissible in court which basically ended in a massacre where the minorities where prohibited from using arms. And don’t even get me started on the Second World War. At some point in history Yerevan the capital of Armenia changed hands 14 times in 2 centuries. The official language is Armenian. Because of all the moving around, changing borders and empires a lot of Armenian moved out of the country which is why there are only 3 million in Armenia but in total there are more then 11 million Armenians. There is of course  a lot more to tell about Armenia but I think  this is enough for now! Let’s get cookin’!

Taboulleh Salad

I made a taboulleh salad! I wanted to make something healthy which would accompany the BBQ my mom prepared and to be honest it was perfect! And it’s really really really simple! But it does require some prep-time.

Ingredients: 2 cups of bulgur, 4 diced tomatoes, 1 cucumber diced, 2 cups of fresh chopped mint, 3 cups of fresh chopped flat leaf parsley, 4 sliced spring onions, juice of 1 lemon, pinch of salt, 3 cups of water. 

Let the bulgur well in the water for about 1 1/2 hour. In the meanwhile you can chop everything and put it all in a bowl. Make sure the bulgur is soft, and add to the bowl.

While preparing I listened to a really relaxing armenian playlist I found on 8tracks! http://8tracks.com/kiranb_84/armenians, seriously it’s really relaxing oh yeah and did I forget to mention that one of the best musicians of all time is from Armenia! Charles Aznavour, for the people who don’t know who this is he is the singer of the song at the beginning of  the Nottinghill movie and for the people who still don’t know! You should be ashamed of yourself and listen to it right now! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxaZMreym88