Saturday, 20 September 2008

Everybody loves pancakes

The first time I ate pancakes wasn't so much time ago. I don't remember when exactly it was, but it was after I became vegan, for sure. My family has not the habit of eat them. Moreover, they don't eat lot of things. My father is more open to try, but just him. I don't know from who I got this love for food and new experiences... Well, the thing is that I tasted the pancakes when I was living with a friend that is vegetarian and she had a vegan recipe! And it is so easy to do!!

The American style of making pancakes usually has honey or chocolate syrup on top. But in most countries of South or Central America, we have a different way to make them. They are usually salted and, while also having eggs or milk or both, are rolled and served with a filling of meat or chicken. Another difference is that we eat them at lunch or dinner and not for breakfast.

After this good friend taught me how to do them (in the South America style), I have never stopped cooking and eating them. The best thing is that you can fill them with different kinds of sauce! And to fry them is always fun too! It's an awesome food to cook to your friends or family. Well, maybe not for mine, but this week I cooked pancakes for my husband's family. They had never eaten them before and they loved them too, as all of my friends that tried my vegan pancakes before!

I cooked some salty pancakes first, with a sauce made of tomatoes, tofu, sausages and a kind of soy milk cream! These ones I suggest you to eat closed, filled with the sauce. Very, very good!! And to finish, I cooked some to eat as a dessert. We ate them with vegan ice cream and chocolate syrup and my husband's sister ate a pancake with two different flavors of fruit jelly. The sweet ones you can eat either opened or just folded in the middle. It's up to you!

I can tell you that pancakes are a guaranteed success!
Try to cook some for your friends or family, then tell me if they liked them.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

I just want chocolate!

Today I started singing this Brazilian song, from Marisa Monte, which says “Chocolate, chocolate, eu só quero chocolate...” (Chocolate, chocolate, I just want chocolate..). Maybe because I really just want chocolate. I read a lot of times that a piece of chocolate brings happiness. If it is scientifically proved, I don't know, but I feel happy eating some pieces of chocolate. Some studies say that the pheniletilamina, that we can find in pieces of milk or dark chocolate, stimulates the production of serotonin, known as the "molecule of happiness". So it may be possible that the happiness we feel is not just psychological.

Since always I'm in love with chocolate. Before becoming vegan, I probably had tried all the existing chocolate kinds I could buy. And I'm pretty sure that I have never found a piece of chocolate that I didn't like. There are some I like less, like the white chocolate, but it's impossible not to like it. Well, to be sincere, it is possible. I know some people around the world that don't like chocolate at all, but I think they have a kind of (taste) problem!! Well, back to the point, for the last eleven years, I had my experience limited to dark chocolate. It was hard to find vegan chocolate in Brazil and I don't know how to cook “bombons” (small balls of chocolate, usually with some cream – of fruits or peanuts or hazelnuts or walnuts – inside).

But this year has been awesome and I have not just one but two friends that cook delicious “bombons” and I couldn't feel better! I ate lots of them before leaving Brazil. Now I miss them (the food and both friends!), but I found some different and new chocolates to prove here. In Italy it's pretty easy, if you see the word “fondente”, the chocolate is vegan. And there is one brand mark called Ritter that has the best one: fondente chocolate with peanuts. And the best part: you can find them at almost all supermarkets around! Well, in Switzerland you can find all kinds of chocolate you want everywhere. And in Dublin, well, I talked about Dublin in my last post... I just found the best chocolate bar ever! Ah, I found a white chocolate one in Dublin too. One of my friends, the one that makes the awesome bombons (including the paçoca ones which I will have to write about some day because paçoca, as açaí, is something you can just eat in Brazil) bought a lot of white chocolate pieces when she lived in Berlin and gave some to us. I was more curious than excited, but I liked it. So we decided to buy more in Dublin. But it's not the same good sensation... And I read these days that the white chocolate, because it doesn't contain cocoa mass, doesn't promote the positive effects as the milk and dark ones. One more reason to keep up with them ;-P

Another good thing about the dark chocolate: recent studies say that it is great for of the heart and blood pressure. But, of course, in small doses.

And if you think you are a chocolate addicted, you're not alone (neither am I). In an interview for the magazine "Health", the American nutritionist Kristen Bruinsma revealed that 15% of men and 40% of women have this behavior. And, yes, women usually are more addicted to sweet stuff too.

So, try to control yourselves, my good friends!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Much more than potatoes

Last week we went to Dublin, Ireland, to spend five days. Before going, I had two different ideas in my mind: First: We could find a lot of vegan stuff there, because the country is close to England, the vegan paradise, or, second: we wouldn't find anything good and we would stay five days eating just potatoes, because Ireland is famous because of that! And I was fine with both ideas, even the second one, because I love potatoes too.

Well, after a search on Internet, we found some addresses to go first and try to find vegan food. The first restaurant we went to had nothing vegan. Sad... So, we decided to go to a store called Nourish, to buy some stuff to eat back at the hotel. There we found tofu, mayonnaise and sausages. And the best thing, which would make our days the happiest in Dublin: a nice girl who worked there and gave us lots of addresses of places that have vegan food!! Everything in the heart of Dublin center.

I couldn't feel better. The first place we went to have lunch to is a small and charming restaurant, with a take away style, called Blazing Salads. It has salads, for sure, but much more: hamburgers, pizza, snacks. We tried pizza, snack and an organic cola soda that is pretty good. Awesome! Then I saw a chocolate bar with “vegan” written in big letters, just the best hazelnut nougat chocolate ever! After that, we went to another Nourish store, bigger, to buy our dinner. And there we could find one of the best vegan stuff: fake cheese! We don't have vegan cheese in Brazil, neither in Italy, so this is really great. Of course we went to this store all days and bought all kinds of cheese we found: mozzarella, cheddar and cream cheese!! What I thought that could be the potatoes days turned out to be our cheese days!

We still went to another vegetarian restaurant called Govinda's (it's the same kind of restaurant we went the first day where we didn't find anything vegan, but there are lot of these in Dublin and the food is different from one to another, I don't know why). It is a big place with Indian and Krishna food. You pay a fix value and they give you a big plate with great food! Some people have told us that food in Dublin is expensive, but I don't think so. It's much cheaper than in Brazil and it comes a lot and it is delicious!

On our last day in Dublin we came back to have lunch at Blazing Salads, we bought more chocolates and we went to Nourish too to buy some cheese to bring to Italy so that yesterday I could cook an awesome vegan lasagna, with ham and cheese!

Thanks, Dublin, we love you and we will be back!!

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

French fries (always) save the day

Since I became vegan, it's not so easy to find food everywhere. Some years ago it was worst and I was used to eat just french fries when I went out. That is not a problem because I love them, but during the last few years I have been having more options and I just eat them when I really want to. Of course, the best choice is always the combo hamburger + french fries + coke, as I told you some posts before ;-)

Last weekend we went to Switzerland to watch a hardcore show. It was happening in Luzern, but we decided to stay in Zurich (it's just one hour away). We just left our stuff in Zurich and we decided to hang out in Luzern before the show. My friends always say that there is a lot of vegan food in Switzerland, but we did a search in Internet before traveling and we couldn't find any vegan/vegetarian restaurant there...But we decided to go and try to find something to eat at least.

We arrived to the center of the city and we went to a chocolate store (oh yeah, swiss chocolate is really very good! I just can speak for the vegan ones, but you can figure out the rest!), we bought a piece and we decided to ask about some places to eat. At this point we knew we couldn't find a vegetarian place, but we were looking for some fast food or, at least, french fries! I asked the girl that was working there, in english. They speak German but usually in touristic places most of the people also speaks English. Well, not at all. That girl couldn't help us. But she asked to a woman that was buying some stuff there and she told me she could talk to us... in English, of course. So, I did my magic question: Hey, do you know where we can eat some french fries? She smiled and answered Yes, there is a really good place close to here! You need just to walk five minutes and you will find the best french food of the city! Is that what you want, right? Well, I didn't know what to say!!! She was so nice that I couldn't just tell her what french fries really are. We just said thanks and walked away.

We saw the center just thinking that we would have had to wait to eat at the show... But after some time walking around we found a place that had french fries!! It was a relief because I couldn't believe it could exist a city in the world that didn't have them!


Blog Widget by LinkWithin