Chilli con quorn al mole

This is one of the recipes that’s worth making a big batch and freezing it in portions. It’s even tastier if it has time to rest, and it freezes & thaws well. So go ahead and get your big soup pot out to make this.

Chilli con quorn al mole with a side of brown rice

Chilli con quorn al mole with a side of brown rice

Adapted from “Chilli sin carne al mole”, that can be found in the book Vegan with a vengeance, by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.


  • 125 gr (dry weight) white beans
  • 250 gr (dry weight) red beans
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • salt
  • 2 1/2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 chilli pepper (type of your choice), minced
  • 1 bell pepper (in today’s version, yellow), chopped
  • 320 gr minced quorn
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp smoked (hot) paprika 
  • 4 tsp cocoa powder
  • 2 bricks (500 gr each) tomato pieces
  • 500 ml vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp agave syrup


  1. The night before, place beans in separate bowls, cover with water, add 1 tsp cumin to each and soak overnight. The next morning, drain the beans, put in separate cooking pots, cover with about double the water, add a bay leaf and 2/3 tsp salt to each, bring to a simmer and cook for 45-50 minutes, until soft. Drain.
  2. In a big heavy bottomed soup pot (~7l), heat up the oil. Add onion, shallot and garlic and cook, stirring, on medium heat, until transparent. Add the peppers and cook until they start to soften. 
  3. Add the quorn, stir to brown slightly. Add all spices and stir, cook for 30-60 seconds, then add the tomatoes, cocoa powder, agave, cooked beans, and vegetable broth.
  4. Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring from time to time, for about 30 minutes. Let rest for at least half an hour, the more the tastier though. Reheat if needed before serving.

Servings: 8-10 servings, depending on hunger and what it is served with. I like to serve it with either rice, wheat, or potatoes.

Nutritional info: (based on 8/10 servings, no rice/wheat/potatoes…)

Calories: 264 / 211
Protein: 19 / 15 gr
Fat: 6 / 4 gr
Carbs: 34 / 27 gr

If you can’t find quorn, you can use minced seitan, or textured soy protein, or whatever other vegetable protein mince of your choice.

If you don’t want to bother with dry beans, you can substitute canned ones. The 375 gr dried beans yielded 875 gr cooked beans. Make sure to rinse canned beans well. I like to use a mix of white and red because it makes the dish a bit less monocolor.

On the picture you can see the chilli served with brown rice. Oh, and by the way, that’s only half a serving, I don’t like my food to get cold so I serve it in two times.

Seitan stew with raisins over couscous

A mix of sweet and salty, different textures, spices. A warming meal for a cold night.

Seitan stew with raisins and couscous

Seitan stew with raisins and couscous


  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and in cut half moons
  • 1/2 courgette, in 1cm cubes
  • 200 gr seitan, in bitesized pieces
  • 3/4 tsp ras el hanout
  • 1 small tin tomato concentrate (70 gr)
  • 30 gr raisins
  • 120 gr (dry weight) couscous
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tbsp dry parsley (or 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder


For the stew:

  1. Put the raisins in a heat resistant bowl, and cover with boiling water.
  2. In a broad pan, heat up the oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook on medium heat until golden. Add the carrot, and cook until it turns golden, several minutes. Add the courgette and cook for a few minutes. Add seitan and cook for another couple of minutes, stirring.
  3. Add the ras el hanout, and season with salt and pepper. Stir and let the spices cook for about 30 seconds, to release the flavor.
  4. Add the tomato paste and about 2-3 tbsp of water to dissolve it. Stir well. Add the raisins and their soaking water. Bring stew to a simmer and let cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

For the couscous:

  1. Place couscous in a heat resistant bowl. Add pinch of salt, pinch of black pepper, garlic powder and dry parsley. (If using fresh parsley, add once the couscous is cooked).
  2. Bring water to a boil. Measure 150 ml (the same volume as the couscous), and pour over the couscous. Let couscous soak the water for several minutes.
  3. Once all water has been absorbed, fluff couscous with a fork before serving warm with the stew.

Servings: 2 servings

Nutritional information:

Calories: 537
Protein: 40 gr
Fat: 7 gr
Carbs: 81 gr

Ras El Hanout is a spice blend used in Morocco and other North African countries. There is no definitive recipe for it, but commonly it will contain cardamom, clove, cinnamon, ground chilli peppers, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, peppercorn and turmeric. If you can’t find it, just use a mix of the spices above.

An oven omelette

Sometimes I want an omelette, more often than not, a Spanish one (potato omelette). But I also don’t feel like the pan turning mess waiting to happen. So I cook thick omelettes in the oven. It ends being a cross between an omelette, a fritatta and a (crustless) quiche. It’s just all eggy deliciousness, and you don’t have to hoover over the omelette checking that it sets but doesn’t burn. So, a veggie oven omelette was born:

Oven Omelette

Oven Omelette


  • 3 medium potatoes (~ 300 gr)
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 courgette, (not peeled), chopped in 1cm cubes
  • 1 tin sliced mushrooms (~ 115 gr drained)
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp light cream
  • 50 gr light Emmental cheese
  • salt & pepper


  1. Grease an oven dish with a couple drops of oil. Set aside. Preheat oven to 175°C.
  2. Peel the potatoes, put it a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil and cook for 10-12 minutes, until just done. Drain, and cut in cubes. Put in the oven dish.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a saute pan. Add shallot and garlic, and cook until transparent. Add carrots and cook for a couple of minutes, then add bell pepper and cook two more minutes. Add courgette and cook another couple of minutes. Finally add the mushrooms and heat through. Season with some salt & pepper. Add the cooked vegetables to the potatoes and stir.
  4. In a bowl, whisk eggs with soy sauce, cream and freshly ground pepper. Pour the eggs over the vegetable potato mix. Sprinkle cheese on top.
  5. Bake at 175°C for about 20 minutes, until eggs are set and cheese is melted. Serve warm!

Servings: 2 servings.

Sometimes, I’m a nerd.

I bought a new travel mug, because let’s be honest, having my coffee / tea be lukewarm after only 1,5 hours is no fun, and that’s what happened with my old one. It was a cheap one, so I guess I can’t really complain about that. But you see, I take the mug along when I have a 1 hour commute, and I like to enjoy my hot beverage during at the very least the whole first class of the day, and preferably longer than that.

So as I said, I bought a new travel mug. I purchased a Contigo Aria AutoSeal 470 ml. A tad bigger than my old one, but hey, coffee addicts rejoice. Notice how I also did not get the 600 ml one? I know my limits. I bought it from Cool Blue (more precisely, their theepotstore) for a mere 30€ including free next day shipping. And today around 11am it was delivered to my door.

This is the travel mug in question:

Contigo Aria 470 ml (Purple)

Contigo Aria 470 ml (Purple)

Yep, it’s purple. While Contigo does make it in other colors, it seems like most stores only carry the purple one. Not my most favourite color, but I don’t hate it.

So what’s a future engineer to do upon getting a new thermos mug? Test it out. I took out my candy thermometer, boiled some water, and took some measurements. Boiling water just poured measured at 96°C (which means I should calibrate the thermometer, but was too lazy to do it today and will take the 4 degree error as systematic and completely ignore it. Because I can). So I then measured after 5 minutes without the lid (about how long it takes for tea to brew) and put the lid on. I measured again at 30 minutes intervals and got to 7 measurements before I got bored. Results are that after 3,5 hours, the water is at 54°C, which is still nicely drinkable.

Temperature in function of time

Temperature in function of time

Of course, I did not pre-warm the travel mug before making this totally unscientific experiment. Should I pre-warm it, I expect the drink would stay warm(er) long(er), and probably up to the 5 hours Contigo states this mug keeps warm.

As for the 100% leak free? I simply upturned the mug (over the kitchen sink, I’m not that crazy), and yep, absolutely no leak. The lock mechanism works nicely, and you can indeed use it with one hand. Really handy when you’re busy taking notes. The real test comes next week, when I’ll be taking it to school.

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with either Contigo nor Cool Blue. No one has paid me to run this test and write the review.  I don’t get any cash if you click those links.

Warming soup with kohlrabi, sweet potato & tofu

Yes, another veggie recipe!

Today the weather is crummy. Grey, dark, gloomy, hail-snow-melting snow-rain kind of day. So I decided on a soup for dinner.

Warming soup

Warming soup


  • 1/2 tbsp oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled & chopped (~ 100 gr)
  • 2 fat cloves garlic, peeled & minced
  • 2 small carrots, peeled & sliced (~ 100 gr)
  • 1 kohlrabi, peeled & cubed (~ 500 gr)
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed (~ 350 gr)
  • veggie broth (I use instant)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 block tofu (~ 250 gr)
  • pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp spicy smoked paprika


  1. In a soup pot, heat up oil. Add onion and garlic and cook until golden. Then add carrots and cook for a couple minutes. Add kohlrabi and cook a couple more minutes. Add sweet potatoes and toss together.
  2. Cover veggies with broth, bring to a simmer and let cook for 15 minutes. Taste, adjust seasoning with salt & pepper. Add cayenne and paprika.
  3. Meanwhile, cube the tofu and dry fry until golden.
  4. Add tofu to soup just before serving.

Servings: 2 servings as a main, 4 as a starter.

Nutritional info: (all values are approximate!)

Calories: 453
Protein: 26 gr
Fat: 12 gr
Carbs: 65 gr

Mushroom Seitan Stew

Yes, another recipe!

Mushroom Seitan Stew with Mashed Potatoes

Mushroom Seitan Stew with Mashed Potatoes


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 500 gr white mushrooms (or other, to taste), clean & sliced
  • 1 tbsp whisky (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp marmite (or other yeast extract)
  • 1/2 tsp broth powder / granules
  • 1/2 tsp dry sage (adjust accordingly if using fresh)
  • 1/2 tsp dry rosemary (adjust if fresh)
  • 1 dl water
  • 200 gr seitan
  • salt & pepper
  • cornstarch to thicken
  • potato mash to serve
  • parsley for garnish


  1. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add onion and garlic and cook over medium heat until golden. Add mushrooms, and toss to cover in oil. Add a pinch of salt to get the juice of the mushrooms going. Cook until mushrooms have more than halved in volume (do not reduce liquid).
  2. Add whisky if using and cook for a couple of minutes. Add sage, rosemary, pepper, marmite and broth powder. Stir to melt the marmite & combine. Add the seitan and cook for a couple of minutes. (Ideally here, let it rest for half an hour, but you can go on without waiting).
  3. Bring to a boil, use a cornstarch slurry (1 tsp starch, 1 tbsp water) to thicken stew.
  4. Serve piping hot with mashed potatoes. Garnish with parsley.

Servings: 2 servings, can be easily doubled.

Nutritional info (*):

Calories: 453
Protein: 41 gr
Fat: 13 gr
Carbs: 48 gr

(*) Info calculated with approximately 150 gr mashed potatoes (with a tiny bit of butter and some milk) per serving.

Keeping up the blogging – a recipe: Sweet potato curry

Sweet potato curry

Sweet potato curry


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 fat cloves garlic (or to taste), minced
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tsp curry powder (more or less to taste)
  • 1 small tin mushrooms (115 gr drained)
  • 50-60 gr frozen peas
  • 1/2 courgette, cut in fourths lengthwise and then in thick slices
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled, cut in big pieces
  • 200 gr tempeh
  • 1 brick / tin tomato pieces (500 gr)
  • as needed: sugar, cornstarch
  • fresh or dried coriander, for garnish

Make it:

  1. Cut the tempeh in cubes approx. 2cm big. Bring a couple cm of water to the boil, and steam the tempeh for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside. Why do you steam the tempeh? Tempeh tends to have a bitter taste that some people find unpleasant. By steaming it, this bitter taste is reduced to nearly none.
  2. Heat the oil in a deep pot. Add the onion and garlic and cook until golden. Add the curry powder and cook for 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms, peas, courgette, sweet potatoes and steamed tempeh. Add the tomato pieces and add some water as needed to barely cover the contents.
  3. Bring pot to a simmer, and let cook for 45 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are easily pierced.
  4. Taste, correct acidity if needed with a pinch of sugar. Thicken if needed with cornstarch.
  5. Serve warm with coriander leaves for garnish.

Servings: 2 servings as a main meal as is, you could also serve it with rice and make it 4 servings.

And for those interested, the way I made it it turned to be (per serving, counting 2 servings without rice):

Calories: 411
Carbs: 60 g
Fat: 8 g
Protein: 26 g

Values will vary depending on the size of your tablespoon of oil, onion, courgette, sweet potatoes… 

Random Organization Idea

We have upgraded our freezer, and since it now is more than twice the size of the older, we thought it’d be a good idea to try and keep it organized. At first we thought we could buy adhesive blackboard and stick it on the front, but then we found out that there is such thing as electrostatic blackboard film! That won’t damage the surface like glue might do, so we went for that option. Then you just need a chalkboard marker or two, and this is the result:

Organized freezer

Organized freezer

What you need:

  • one shiny new (or old) freezer (or fridge) that you want to get organized,
  • one roll electrostatic film (ours is black Legamaster Blackboard, comes in a roll of 25 sheets 60cm wide by 80cm tall)
  • scissors to cut the film to fit your freezer
  • chalkboard markers (either dry erase or not)

What you do:

  1. Measure the surface you want to cover, and cut as much electrostatic film as needed.
  2. Place the film on the freezer door. Use a dry cloth to smooth it. Easy to move around and you can reattach it as needed.
  3. Write the contents of your freezer for the world to see. Ours are organized by drawers. It’s handy to write the date of the leftovers so you know when you put them in there.
  4. And you’re done!

Hey, look! Something happened to the blog!

A little bit of free time, and boredom while waiting for a delivery (I didn’t want to work on my sewing project, in case they rang the door at the wrong time) and we have a refreshing new look on the blog!

For those interested but that don’t want to go all the way down to the footer, it’s the Mantra theme, a bit tweaked by yours truly. Besides that, not much else. I did have fun working with the theme and finding fonts I liked on Google’s webfonts (cool thing, you can download the ttf files as well and use them on your computer). Oh yeah, some work has to happen with the sidebar, but that will be for another day, unless it bothers me to no end.

And as I said above, yes I am working on a sewing project. You’ll have to wait a bit to see it. Right now everything is cut and ready to be assembled.