Hush Hush Baby

 Potatoes are so versatile! Alone, baked, chips, in indian dishes, summer salads and the list can go on. But I do have a soft spot for some good hash browns.

 Now, the question is, how can I enjoy hash browns without eggs and oil?

 My way of making hash browns is healthy, cruelty free and yes it does taste GOOD!

 Ingredients:

  • 2 red potatoes
  • 3 fresh mushrooms
  • 1 sweet bell pepper
  • flax seeds
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • black pepper
  • oregano
  • thyme
  • sweet paprika
  • cayenne pepper
  • hemp powder
  • salt
  • No Oil.

 How to:

  • I had 2 red potatoes, washed them and start the party! Grate the potatoes. Be careful with your fingers because I was not. I’m a potato.
  • After that have your finely chopped potatoes in a bowl with cold water. Leave them there for 20-30 minutes so all the starch drown in it’s own juice. Heh, phunny, right?
  • Meanwhile prepare 2-3 big fresh mushrooms and yes, grate them or finally chop them. Put your mushrooms aside in a big bowl.
  • I added one chopped sweet bell pepper in the mushrooms bowl.
  • Now it is time for Seasoning Orchestra (Antonio Vivaldi – The Four Season, op 8, “Spring”: Allegro) I have 2 teaspoons of garlic powder, 2 teaspoons of onion powder, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika and cayenne pepper, oregano and thyme together 1 teaspoon, 2 spoons of hemp powder, salt. Mix.
  • Now, I have a delightful smell that it is ready to receive some shredded potatoes.
  • Before I added shredded potatoes, I made sure I discharged with a kitchen towel all the water.
  • Add shredded potatoes in the symphony bowl and mix.
  • Ok, I have a great texture but it is unravelling. What to do? Remember my 2ShotsBurger post where I wrote about gluey flax seeds? It is the same process.
  • I added my sticky flax seeds, I mixed everything together and I placed my mixture on a baking paper sheet.
  • Yes, I had my oven preheated to 200 degrees celsius (or 400 F.Celsius).
  • No oil, exactly.
  • I baked it for 30-35 minutes until crunchy and light brown. It will be sticky.
  • Serve it with any sauce/dip you desire. It works with ketchup, vegan cheese spread, mustard, horseradish, salsa, guacamole.
  • Bon appetite!

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2ShotsBurger.

Do you know that sensation where you want to eat something delicious, bad, with a lot of flavors that travel around your nostrils and nervous system? That is what happened to me yesterday.

How to make a perfect day if not with a great burger and couple of beers?

But wait, I am vegan, right? So… supposedly I can not have a burger; or If I have one it will be with soy, no taste and crumbly. How do you substitute the egg? How do you even try to make a patty that could at least look like beef if not taste actually better than a regular burger?

Well… this is the VeganismFunLand I call it, where you can use any ingredient you want and make anything you want. Today it is about 2Shots Burger.

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Patty time! I mean, Party time.

Ingredients:

  • fresh mushrooms (4-5 large ones for 4 patties)
  • kidney beans (washed them good in cold water!)
  • flax seeds
  • sun flower seeds
  • soy sauce
  • sweet paprika
  • cayenne pepper
  • black pepper
  • thyme
  • dill
  • 1 yellow onion
  • tomatoes
  • pickled cucumber (if you like it)
  • dijon mustard with horseradish
  • yellow classic mustard
  • lettuce
  • potatoes of choice – sweet, purple, yellow, red

Patty

  • Chop them mushrooms into cubes, small or medium doesn’t matter because they will loose their volume in pan. I like to taste the mushroom and bite into it so I have bigger cubes; if you would rather have a smooth patty, dices those mushrooms good.
  • I added my mushrooms in a hot pan (no oil) with 2 spoons of soy sauce, 1 table spoon of dill and thyme; from time to time I drizzle a little bit of water – 2 spoons of water – over mushrooms to make sure they keep they moisture.

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  • After 25 minutes – 30 minutes, mushrooms are ready and I put them aside in a large bowl.
  • I sliced that big yellow onion and added it in pan with black pepper, thyme, cayenne pepper, sweet paprika( NO OIL BELIEVE ME!) – how to caramelize  an onion without oil? – just let it cook there by itself; don’t disturb it for 3 minutes at a medium heat; do you see something that might look like burn? Good, now add 2 spoons of water. Mix a little bit. The smell intensifies and it get an interesting color. You will feel the right consistency. Add more water, mix some more and let it cook peacefully; in 15 minutes its done. Put it aside. Taste it and do it again next time the way you want!
  • On top of mushrooms I added kidney beans rinsed carefully and mashed – it’s important to mashed them if you want a fine patty, or there could be some intact beans for color and bite.
  • Flax seeds! How can I get that egg consistency? Soak half of a 250 grams ( 8.8 ounces) of flax seeds in cold water, open the microwave, set it for 2 minutes first. Take it out, stir and look for The Miracle. If it’s not pasty – gluey yet, set it for another 2 minutes. After that it will bubble and you will see some white on the top. Stir and let it aside for couple of minutes and then add it in the patty mixture. This is The Egg Substitute. It is so good for immune system, and delicious by itself or in the morning with oats. But this is another story. Let’s keep our Path!

Let’s Make the Patties!

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  • Grab a handful of patty, as big as you want. Roll it in your hand, then press it a little bit. Do the same operation 3 more times ( they will be big!).
  • I had a hot pan ready to go ( No Oil; they will not stick!) and I added 2 by 2 paddies at time.
  • When you flip them twice ( 3-4 minutes per side) add a slice of vegan cheese of your choice on top of patty.

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  • I started assembling my burger with: mustard with horseradish on bottom bun, lettuce, patty with vegan cheese on top, caramelized onions (no, we don’t forget about them), a slice of tomato, picked cucumber and classic yellow mustard on top bun. Yes, It was Divine.

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  • Grab your bun, add any vegetable you want, any dressing and…take a bite. I know.

101.

I have moments where I look back in my life and appreciate every hard situation that I had to put up with. There is no day where I ask myself “for what in the world would I value a dysfunctional situation from past?”

Because when we deal with situations that imprint a mark on our personalities and lives, they can be good marks or bad. I chose to have good marks.

I used to give so much attention and spend so much energy on what other people may think, their needs. I lost control and I have forgotten how to take care of myself. How to make choices for me, bad or good. Years and years I have found myself in a ravine full of bitterness that covered my body without giving me a chance to say stop. Life does not give you this liberty but it does give you the tools to work with.

This is how I had to learn about my abilities to cope with dysfunctional situations in my life.

What was dysfunctional you ask?

  • Family – Conflicts, Misbehavior; growing up as a child understanding that such a conflict is normal. This is because of Co-Dependent parents – this is a type of dysfunctional relationship where one person supports another person’s addiction, immaturity or/and under-achievement. They relay excessively on the other people for Approval and Identity. They have an inability to tolerate being alone; chronic feelings of boredom and emptiness; low self worth; denial.
  • Friends – growing up as an adolescent understanding that parents premises are normal outside of a family; that clinginess behavior will go upscale in friends relations. They seek attention, approval and identity from their friends.
  • Relationships – growing up as an adolescent it is easy to form as an individual from your parents representation. They get no self worth; they are clingy after partner’s approval about anything. Therefore the apprehension to do things outside of a relationship like: learning new things alone, studying somewhere, going even to  work without partner’s approval is terrible and hard to comeback.

 

These situations left a mark in my life, but they didn’t dragged me down.

I have learned my skills in over 10 years without knowing for sure what they are. I have learned that even tho I grew up the way I grew up that was not a big black banner for me and for what I am today. I have learned to have compassion, empathy and to listen without judging.

I have learned how important is to give myself in what I want to do without fear. I grew up with such anguish about how to talk out my thoughts, how to ask. I was never able to speak up my mind because I was not allowed to.

I have learned how devastated my energy was because I wasn’t taking care of myself. I have learned to read every book that I could find, listen to every music I could get, study and get a degree in what interested me the most, paint, cook, express myself and my inner core. I didn’t need anybody’s approval for my identity, for my mind, for my personality.

I needed Me, Myself and I.

Make it your own way. Realize that it is You who is strong.IMG_3205

Panem Et Circenses

Ah, bread! What do we do without it? Why do we love it? Why are we so mesmerized by it’s smell, texture, visual aspect?

Those memories from our childhood where our mother, grandmother, aunt, father, grandfather was preparing The Dough for dinner. That dough was made by two ingredients: flour and water. Yes, bread is a balance between flour and water, a dance, a mantle of mother nature fungus and powder grain. This equilibrium between two powerful earth ingredients assemble what we love with every meal we can think about: Bread.

How is it possible? Our flour, water and air together make this perfect ambiance for dough to rise. The mixture of flour and water houses an ecosystem of beneficial bacteria and yeasts. Yeast is everywhere you can imagine: the bag of flour, on the surface of vegetables, in the AIR!

If we want to know more about micro-organisms… well I can say that these little organisms are everywhere! Yap, they provide all that bacteria to break down that organism when it dies. In our case, the mixture of water and flour. How Cool!

Back to reality, we want bread, we love it, nowadays it’s easier to buy bread from the store and take it home. Yeah if you want to get your stomach full of sugar, oil and package yeast wich is a no no for me.

How do we make dough if we want a clean bread at home?

This is my way, i’m not a Breadfectionist, I am still learning how to deal with my dough but this is a start! Let’s get into it!

  • 2:1 ratio of flour and water (2 cups of flour one cup of water) I used whole grain flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 spoons of flax seeds – I will talk about them in another series
  • 1 spoon of pumpkin seeds
  • 1 spoon of sunflower seeds
  • patience

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I mixed the dry ingredients together then slowly but surely I added water – oh, cold water. It’s important to add water in drizzle style (makes me think of Opagana star for some silly reason) so you incorporate all that flour with water.

I let it aside for 2-3-4 hours covered with a plastic paper and a towel on the counter. It won’t hurt to leave it away for a day, then feed it, let it another day and feed it again so you can have that living bacteria ready to go! That perfect dough. This is what I am supposed to do, but because I’m afraid of my own failure, I said let’s try with couple of hours and then ride our horses to the expert level later. Life is experience, don’t be afraid (like me) and experiment with food ( I am still a beginner).

After 2-3-4 hours see how your dough look like. Well, mine didn’t look like a glamour dough (This is why I didn’t take a photo of it) but it was ready to go!

Grab a hand of flour and sprinkle on the counter, put your dough there, roll it, roll it! But gentle, and then cut it in half or quarters. I had mine in quarters and It got me… yes… 4 mini baguettes! Well, at least there were 4, I wanted to have one cut in half for photos which I did, until I realized that more than half of that baguette was in my mouth… this is why there are only 3 and 2 sad pieces in photos left.

Moving right along,

Put them baguettes in the oven (a trick I have learned since I started reading about bread is to have steam in your oven ~ if anybody can show me an oven that shoots steam please let me know ~  therefore I put an oven casserole with water on the bottom of the oven) give them 30-35 minutes lowering your temperature every 5 minutes because you don’t want to have a hard crust and a wet inside bread.

After 35 minutes take them out and let them rest for 5-10 minutes with a towel over.

And finally! Look at them! Crunchy crust, dense inside but not crazy and Delicious!

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I served it with home made Hummus and I wish I had more.

Have Fun!

Make it in your own way!

When Spirits Collide

“A chance meeting, an unlikely beginning.

A smile, a laugh, a tease, erotic moments.

Yet the experience is different; a connection, there is harmony.

She reads and quotes Lord Byron; he is inspired.

First she shrugs him off demonstrating her commitment to goals and determined focus; he is captivated.

Laughter, passion, intelligence, compassion, exploration, a sixth sense. Not a coincidence.

Half way around the world, the connection was made.

The river of life exposed, and they choose to navigate together.

Riding together, where, for how long; all of this is unknowable and unnecessary to know.

The beauty is the river before them, the mystery around the next bend is the intrigue and reward.”

G.K.

spirits

Thank You!

O conexiune pierdută

 M-am războit toți anii aceștia cu mine, pentru un gram de recunoștiință. Știu că și tu ai fost în această situație.

 Mergem pe stradă și observăm rămășițele unei copilării îngropate în lacrimi, copilărie ce nu s-a ridicat de pe fundul mării.

 Eu-l nostru nu s-a ridicat la nivelul pe care îl doream, îl dorim. S-a scufundat precum un bolovan învelit în catifea în adâncul sufletului nostru.

Eu mi-am asumat alegerea. Am să îmi conduc spiritul mai departe pentru a da la o parte acel val roșu de amăgire, pentru a învăța pe alții, pe tine, că o să fim victorioși. Că o să reușim să ne culegem roadele, că acea gratitudine pe care o așteptăm o să vină când lăsăm armele la o parte.

Știu cât de greu este să nu fii văzut de Ei. Ei de care ai avut și ai nevoie în viața ta, mai mult decât orice, mai mult decât acea bucată de miel dospit pe care Ea îl gătește mai ceva ca un bucătar în regatul de aur și El ce ar fi trebuit să fie regele să te apere, să îți acorde mâna de fiecare dată când ai căzut, și nu sabia rece ce îți aruncă monezile de aur ca tu să taci din gură să nu scoți nici o perlă de suferință…


 Ei ar fi trebuit să fie înfrumătorii noștri și nu zmeii ce sunt gata să te răpească mai ceva precum un balaur cu 3 capete. Dar, da… Ei au 3 capete – unul pentru așezământ parental, unul pentru narcisism, unul pentru lipsa de securitate.


 Insecuritatea lor de a fi cu tine îi transformă, îi zgârie pe inima încroșetată în venin, iar pentru asta trebuie să învățăm că nu este vina noastră. Nu din cauza noastră regatul lor se destramă, ăsta a fost necazul lor pe care nu și l-au asumat. Nu din cauza noastră maștile lor curg precum lava fierbinte pe spatele nostru nostru, asta se întâmplă pentru că nu au reușit să se descopere… Iar tu reușești să te descoperi în fiecare zi.


 Asta învățăm din regatul lor, să nu ne lăsăm copleșiți de balaurii și zmeii ce se adună în jurul nostru. Să reușim să luptăm alături de cristalele suferinței pentru a acumula energia necesară a unei victorii. Victoria de a îi empatiza pe Ei și de a fi alături de Ei ori de câte ori au nevoie, chiar dacă nu ne lasă, chiar dacă se arată atât de puternici în fața noastră, adevărul este că nu sunt. Ei sunt prea sensibili acum, secați de tot nectarul pentru că s-au luptat cu proprii lor demoni înzestrați în starea de nesiguranță.


 O simt… îți simt nesiguranța. Nu te lăsa bătut. Este o cale lungă dar aducătoare de Recunoștiință.