10 new Resolutions for Ritual Cuisine and Spring Quiche

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After a long and a necessary break from my blog (not from cooking!) I decided do start again with 1o new resolutions. No matter what you do in life, sometimes it’s important to take a distance from it. That doesn’t mean to give up. It means to let go or transform all those things that hold you back from the maintenance of the initial purpose you had at first. This is what I decided for myself:

1. Cooking is for you meditation in movement. Keep it simple.
2. Preparing the food is your way of expressing yourself. Be curious. Accept, enjoy and don’t pretend to be something you are not. Be.
3. Don’t start to collect plates, cutlery, pots and other needles requisites in order to make an interesting photo- background. Your kitchen is not a theater fund and you are not a studio photographer. You are into food, not interior design.  You have never liked the “stuff”, anyhow.
4. Also, no one is interested in your new fridge, dishwasher, knife, bathtub, mattress etc. You explore and prepare the food. You are not a lifestyle blogger.
5. Write a lot, but not under the pressure. It’s ok, if you don’t have a story for every recipe. You are writing your PhD and this is the priority. Also, stop buying food-books. Write one!
6. Never again use the word healthy. It’s too abstract and boring. Besides, you are not a doctor, healer, or guru. Stay the witch you have always been.
7. Create a cozy and unpretentious atmosphere in your apartment where other people can enjoy your food. Organize even more of your supper club events!
8. Get finally a driving license and find a place around Berlin where you can grove the food (with your friends)!
9. Never become a vegan.
10. Don’t be a victim of social media. Food is your love, not a circus. Remember: “Being famous on Facebook or Instagram is like being rich in Monopoly.” But, call Ben and finally make this website prettier. You are not some old-school nerd.

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Spring quiche with green asparagus, peas and herbs

Ingredients (for the round baking mold with separable bottom, radius 23 cm):

*If you don`t have asparagus, use a fresh spinach

For the crust:

1 cup (100 g) spelt flour
1/2 cup (50 g) rolled oats ground into flour
5 Tsp. butter, chilled
2 Tsp. ice water
1/2 tsp. sea salt

For the filling:

15 green asparagus, washed, pealed if necessary, and cut in half
150 g fresh green peas
2 larger spring onions, chopped into “coins”
1 tsp. butter
3 or 4 eggs
1/2 cup milk of your choice, I used oat milk
a handful of fresh tarragon leaves (fresh oregano, or dill would work as well)
black pepper

Directions:

1. For the crust, using a electric mixer soften the butter. Slowly add in the flours and  salt and mix everything until the mixture resembles coarse crumbles.
2. With the machine running, slowly add in the water until the dough forms into a ball.
3. Wrap in aluminum foil and stick in the fridge to set for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 200 degrees and roll out the dough to fit your desired pan, creating a 2-3 cm high edges. The crust should not be thicker than 1 cm. Poke holes throughout the dough and bake for 10 minutes or until it starts to brown. Remove from oven and set aside
5. Heat the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the tarragon (or other herbs) and sauté for two minutes. Next, add in asparagus, peas, spring onions, salt, and pepper. Sauté for 5 or so minutes or until everything has softened. Set aside.
6. Beat together the eggs and milk. Pour the vegetable mixture into prepared crust and then pour egg mixture over it all. Bake for 30 minutes or until the eggs have set and there are a few brown spots on top. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
7. Season with more salt and pepper and top with more fresh herbs. Serve warm with some green salad.

 

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Almost green pea soup with poached egg

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The healthy food movement that currently spreads across our modern society somehow managed to completely corrupt the color green. It definitely refers to environmental protection, connection to nature, symbolical meaning for sustainability, youth, growth and human rights. Seems to be logical, right? Green salad, green juice, green smoothie, green soup, green planet, green soul, “eat your greens”. Green over green over green. If famous Ludwig Feuerbach’s postulate: “You are what you eat” would be true, then all healthy green consumers would walk around like green-skined zombies. The remainders who eat different colored food, such as red tomatoes or yellow bananas, and therefore having a regular skin-type, should feel threatened, because the delicacy zombies like most is not spinach ice cream, but human brain.

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Now, I am one of them who prefer eating things that also have different colors, and yet, I was never afraid of zombies eating my brain out. Nevertheless, I do like to keep being very cautious as I don’t like to become brainwashed, which is what many, many zombies like to do with their victims, before they succeed to completely incorporate their white-ish organ. There are several techniques I operate with to stay secure. The most productive one happens to be using my own brain. So I ask, read, think, research, etc. Something that everybody can do. This is how I got the urgent need to banish pure green color from my pea soup and to give it a fancy treatment: a poached egg.

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For green is not only hope and youth, forest and life. And green peas can’t make us green inside. But envy can. “Green with envy” (ancient medicine theorized that envy produced excess bile ,giving skin a greenish cast), such a common symptom in our society. Different than jealousy -a fear of losing something that we have- envy is the desire for something that someone else has. This feeling usually results from insufficient self-confidence and morbid ambitions and can be transformed into schadenfreude, hate, sabotage etc. Many religions warn about it and Christianity even declares it as a deadly sin, using a famous story about two brothers Cain and Abel where envy is a main motive for murder: Cain who was a farmer on the land was envious of his younger brother, shepherd Abel, because God preferred Abel’s sacrifice. As consequence Cain got evil thoughts, didn’t want to listen to God’s warnings and at the end he killed his brother. For this violation God expelled Cain, but trough the mark of Cain he gave him a chance for a violence-free life. This story teaches us not only that envy is a terrible sin, but that even God didn’t like Cain’s green fruit as a sacrifice. Instead he took Abel’s slaughtered animal. What can I tell you- Gods prefer meat!

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Social media has a great ability to feed the feeling of envy, especially when it comes to food. In our Instagram era, it’s pretty easy to fake food finesse. Colorful, stylish and unusual food photographs are a desperate scream for wanting to be envied: Look how good it looks! Imagine where I have been eating! See who I’m with?! Can you imagine how luxurious it is? And all those proteins! The foam on my homemade beer was perfect! I am queen of fermentation with prettiest equipment! I’m in the scene. I rule the scene. I look perfect, just like my food. I’m more creative than you! I know all spots you don’t. My matcha is greener than yours. I have all you don’t. And I force-feed you with envy until you choke on it. 

And of course: #Vegans do it better… 

Considering the Bible story about Cain and Abel and the fact that the strongest poisons are green, just like a dirty dollar bill, I’ll grab for that poached egg and save myself from food zombies who racialist-green want to rule the world. Let’s celebrate the beauty of rainbow!

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 Pea Soup with Poached Egg

Ingredients (serves 4):

400 g shelled peas
2 onions, finely chopped
2 medium sized potatoes, pealed and chopped into 1,5 cm large cubes
40 g or bunch flat parsley leaves, leaves only
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 tsp white pepper
2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp cilantro powder (optional)
knob of ghee, butter or coconut fat
2 Tsp cold pressed olive oil
1, 5 liter vegetable broth (depending on how fluid you like it- i like it more creamy)
4 poached eggs

Directions:

1. In a large stockpot, heat a knob of ghee, butter or coconut oil. When melted, add onions, cilantro (if using) and a couple pinches of salt, stir to coat, cook for 5-10 minutes until onions have browned. Add garlic, stir to coat, cook 1 minute more. Add potatoes, white pepper, stir one more time.
2. Add 1 l hot vegetable broth, (reserving 1 cup for blending or pureeing) bring to boil and cook until potatoes are done. Add peas and parsley and turn off the heat. When the parsley has wilted, transfer the soup to a blender and blend on high until smooth  or use a hand blender and puree the soup (add extra broth if desired). Season to taste.
3. Spread the soup into bowls covering each bowl with one poached egg. (Here are instructions how to poach an egg). Garnish with black cumin, chili flakes, and few drops of olive oil. Serve warm!

 

 

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Guilty pleasures. Strawberry-Rhubarb Cake

guilt3Nowadays when we speak about guilt and food we usually take part in modern moral-debates about meat consume or food fair trading. One party in this endless dialog are orthodox meat lovers, omnivores, those who traditionally refuse any kind of food revolution. For them quinoa is food for sparrows, green kale a nightmare from the kindergarten and healthy snack a sick joke. Following Darwin they see themselves as a stronger species dedicated to cruel killing and biting into raw flesh, feeling the iron-taste of warm blood. The more they eat, the better they feel. For them, food is true pleasure.

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Those who are on the other side of river don’t want to deal with these destructive monsters. According to the plant based, green souls all meat-eaters are bad humans. They should be extirpated from our ecosystem, because our planet is GREEN, you know?! No blood, no flesh, no gluten, no trash. There is no heart beating, no lungs breathing. Only turmeric latte, wooden spoon and plastic (but vegan) shoe. Meat-eaters are guilty for God loving more Abel than Cain, for sexual desire, for mass industry and earthquake in Italy. And for Trump, of course. Enlightened vegans rather feed dogs than humans in India, they carefully choose a tofu-sausage flavor and post mass-killing-animal-videos on social medias #veganforpresident. For them also, food is a true pleasure. So, don’t mess with them, because they are saving the world, for God’s sake!

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For God’s sake, indeed…

Looking back at our early history we can see us, humans, hunting and gathering, living in small groups of 15 people without blood relationships, fearing of conflict just like of animals. While moving around many of us ended in predator’s hungry jaws. It is likely that we were hunted more often by animals, than that we hunted them, because we actually didn’t know how to do it. Only because we started to use our greatest quality- quality of transformation- it became possible for us to change our position from prey into hunter. We started to imitate their claws, sounds, movements and walk (some legends say that animals actually had a upright carriage, but they got scared from our weapons, so they fell to the earth and started walking on all four). And at one point we stopped moving. We settled. We made us owners of rivers, fields, sun and sky. We created a property. And no one actually knows why we did it. Why we stopped migrating?

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There are many theories about why humans settled down (invention of fire, brewing etc.), but there is one from Roberto Calasso I like most: humans started experiencing guilt. In this phase of agrarian culture, humans firmly cohabited with animals; they used them for any kind of work and as a food resource (milk, butter, cheese etc.). Because of this close relationship between humans and animals, killing the animals was made a taboo subject. Animals were eaten only in special occasions- during a cult, for God’s sake. Animal sacrifice was accompanied by many apology-practices: rituals. Those rituals stood as a symbolic balance in the world of two poles: one that eats and another that is eaten…

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But not only eating the meat creates guilt, it’s the eating in itself that is “violent”. In order to survive there is always one life that has to glow out. Even if we destroy the smallest part of the world by keeping ourselves alive. So in our modern, industrial times we adopted a practice of faking. We fake our guilt. Animals became a mass product, but they are nowhere to see. Germans eat around 50 Milions of pigs in one year. During 10 years of living in Germany I saw 1 pig. The meat in Fast-Food industry doesn’t look like meat, the aesthetic of meat products in supermarkets hides their true origins, veggie-burgers are extremely popular and again this tofu sausage…

It is obvious that we need new forms of eating-rituals. New practices of dealing with our ancient feelings of guilt. To begin with, maybe we should start to respect our history, recognize what we really are and stop being ashamed of it. Then, when it comes to food and no matter what you decided to eat, the true guilt is if you don’t enjoy it. For God’s sake!

Enjoy this gluten-free Strawberry-Rhubarb Cake:

Ingredients (makes one 20cm baking form):

200g rice flour
200 g oats flour
70 g cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
1 Tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
100 ml mild olive oil
3 organic eggs
150 g unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large rhubarb stalks
300 g strawberries (sliced and whole)

For cocoa whip:

1 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
1 Tsp cacao powder
1 Tsp cocoa sugar
pinch of salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 180°C and oil an 20cm round baking form, dust pan with cacao powder and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, cacao powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. In another large bowl, beat together the sugar and oil with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until mixture is wet and sandy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating them on low until fully incorporated.  Add the applesauce and vanilla, and beat together once more until mixed.
4. In 3-4 applications, add the dry ingredients to the wet and blend on low until mixed.  repeat until everything is incorporated. set the electric mixer aside and with a spoon fold in a sliced rhubarb.
5. Pour the batter in your prepared pan and smooth the top.  Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 40-50 minutes.  When done, cool cake completely.  Once cool, run a thin knife around the sides to loosen it.
6. Frost with the chocolate whip and top with sliced and whole strawberries.

Chocolate whip

1.Turn coconut milk can over and open from the bottom.  Pour out the coconut water (reserve for smoothies, etc.) and scoop the solidified coconut cream into a mixing bowl.  Add the cacao powder, sugar, vanilla, and salt, and beat together with an electric mixer until all the ingredients are mixed and frothy.  Taste for sweetness adding more sugar if necessary.

 

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