Tag: baking

Vegan Walnut Coffee Cake

January 14, 2017 2 Comments


Me and coffee? Yes, we have a good relationship… thank you for your question. If there is something like social smoker, I assume there is something like social coffee drinker. I am one of them. I never drink coffee to wake myself up, I never drink coffee early morning on an empty stomach. I drink coffee – usually after lunch and a few times a week – because I love the taste of it and I love the feeling and ritual around it.

I remember I started loving the taste of coffee when Ivan and I were backpacking around Morocco. Two backpacks, two flight tickets, a Lonely Planet guide book and some money – that was all we took. And – of course – the road plan in our head about what we would like to see. No accommodation bookings, no pre-paid train tickets, nothing. Although we drank as many cups of mint teas as we could, we also had many coffee lattes. I don’t know what the Moroccans’ secret is to make so creamy and dreamy coffee lattes but it was amazing. Maybe the way they cook the coffee or the quality of milk… I don’t know but I haven’t had so tasty coffee lattes since then!


A couple of years later my taste has become more sophisticated and I’m interested in the quality of coffee too. I also became vegan so I usually drink my coffee with almond or oat or rice milk. This is how I like it: great coffee + non-dairy milk, plus a bit of cane or coconut sugar. If I go out I like to drink coffee at one of the many specialty coffee shops in Budapest. As this article says: “It seems like a new specialty coffee shop opens in Budapest on a weekly basis, which isn’t a bad thing – the fierce competition only results in better baristas, better service, better facilities, and, of course, better coffee.” Coffee has a culture now in Budapest, it is very trendy to have a cup of hot deliciousness at one of the popular places – that are also great meeting points or working/study places.

If I drink coffee at home I like to try different kind of blends for example from www.gourmesso.com that has Nespresso compatible pods that come in 25 varieties – which differ in flavour and intensity – of which most are Fair Trade certified. This selection gives me the opportunity to have that feeling and ritual that I like to have when drinking coffee. And it is always great to have a slice of cake with your coffee… like this walnut coffee cake which has a slightly coffee taste and also moist because of the bananas and crunchy because of the chopped walnuts on top.


Vegan Walnut Coffee Cake

Ingredients (for one loaf)

– 2 bananas, peeled and mashed with a fork
– 1 and 1/4 cups walnut meal (ground walnut)
– 1 and 1/4 cups white spelt flour
– 1/2 cup coffee
– 1/4 cup rice milk (you can use any non-dairy milk)
– 6 tablespoons maple syrup
– 3 tablespoons coconut oil
– 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
– 6 tablespoons water
– 3 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder or 1 vanilla bean, split and seeded
– 1/2 cup roughly chopped walnut + 3 tablespoons coconut sugar


In a small bowl mix together the ground flaxseed with the water to make a “flax egg” – let the mixture sit for a 6-8 minutes until thickened. Line a 23 cm (9 inch) long loaf pan with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 180C (356F).

In a bowl combine the dry ingredients: spelt flour, ground walnut, baking powder, vanilla and salt. In another bowl mix together the ricemilk, the coffee, the coconut oil, the maple syrup and the mashed bananas. Add the flax egg and pour these wet ingredients mixture into the dry one, stirring until just combined.

Pour the mixture into the loaf pan, sprinkle the top with the chopped walnut and coconut sugar and bake it on 180C (356F) for about 60 minutes. It’s ready when the cake tester (or toothpick) comes out clean but the cake will be very moist (because of the coffee and bananas).


Vegan Cocoa Almond Quinoa Breakfast Cake

January 21, 2014 1 Comment


This is a very simple but great breakfast idea… how to use quinoa in a not usual way. It is best served when you have time to enjoy it with a cup of tea or coffee.


The base of the cake is quinoa and almond meal so it is not only vegan, also gluten-free. It is sweetened with dates and apple sauce, packed with nutrients, fiber, protein thanks to quinoa, flex seeds and almond.


Vegan Cocoa Almond Quinoa Breakfast Cake
(Recipe with a bit of change: Whole Foods iPad application)

Ingredients for a 20*20 cm square baking pan

– 1 cup quinoa
– 1 and 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or soymilk, rice milk, oat milk – whatever you prefer)
– 1 cup pitted dates
– 3/4 cup almond meal
– 1/2 cup flax seeds
– 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
– 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
– 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt


Rinse quinoa until water runs clear, drain and transfer to a pot. Add 2 cups water, bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until water is absorbed (15-20 minutes). Set aside, leave to cool, then fluff with a fork.

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Line the baking pan with parchment paper.

In a kitchen blender purée almond milk, dates, flex seeds, apple sauce, cocoa powder and salt. Transfer this mixture to a bowl, stir in quinoa and 1/2 cup almond meal. Transfer to the prepared pan, scatter the remaining 1/4 cup almond meal over the top and bake until firmly set (about 1 hour).

Set aside to let cool. Cut into squares and serve.


Spicy Butternut Squash Lentil Salad

October 15, 2013 2 Comments


I love butternut squash. It’s a versatile vegetable that can be roasted, toasted, puréed for soups, or mashed and used in casseroles, breads, and muffins and cakes. I love that the squash has a sweet, nutty taste. It is also a good source of Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium and Magnesium, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese. We should eat as much as we can during fall and winter.

This lentil salad is a good example to eat a bowl of healthy lunch full of protein, vitamins and minerals.  Did you know that lentils have the third-highest level of protein, by weight, of any legume or nut, after soybeans and hemp?


Spicy Butternut Squash Lentil Salad

Ingredients (serves 2)

– 1 and 1/4 cups brown lentils
– 3 cups (about 430 g) peeled and cubed butternut squash
– 1 avocado, peeled, deseeded and cubed
– 1/2 red onion, chopped
– 4 tablespoons olive oil
– 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
– 1/2 teaspoon salt


Soak the lentils for at least 3 hours (or overnight). Drain then put into a pan with fresh water and a pinch of salt and cook for about 20-30 minutes until tender.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

In a bowl mix together cubed butternut squash with 3 tablespoons olive oil, cinnamon, salt and chili powder. Place the mixture in the baking tray and bake at 170-180C (350F) until tender (about 20 minutes).

In a bowl mix together cooked lentils, baked butternut squash, chopped red onion and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season to your taste. Serve with avocado.


Stuffed Butternut Squash With Mushroom And Couscous

October 1, 2013 2 Comments


I started the pumpkin season with this stuffed squash recipe and it became one of my favourite autumn main courses. Sweet soft butternut squash with a nice spicy heat from chili and packed with porcini and couscous and other herbs. Yum!

I found the recipe in one of Jamie’s cookbook (Happy Days with the Naked Chef). The dish is really perfect for cold fall and winter days because it warms our heart and soul. 🙂 Jamie made it with rice and pine nuts but I changed these ingredients for couscous and walnuts. The interesting thing is that the rice or couscous cooks in the squash using only the moisture from its flesh.


Stuffed Butternut Squash With Mushroom And Couscous

Ingredients (serves 4)

– 1,5 kg butternut squash, cut in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds and soft fibres
– 1 small handful dried porcini mushroom
– 1 red onion, finely chopped
– 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
– 5 pieces sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
– 100 g couscous
– 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
– 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
– 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
– 1/2 handful walnuts, very coarsely chopped
– olive oil
– salt, black pepper


In a bowl soak the porcini in 200 ml water for about 5 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200C (392F).

Using a spoon, score and scoop out some extra flesh from the length of the squash. Finely chop this flesh and set aside. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a  frying pan and add chopped red onion and garlic. Saute them for a few minutes, then add coriander, chili, rosemary, the chopped butternut squash flesh and the sun-dried tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes until tender. Add the porcini and soaking water, season with salt and black pepper and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the couscous and walnuts, then spoon the mixture tightly into the 2 halves of the squash and then press the halves together.

Rub the skin of the squash with olive oil, wrap it in foil, place in a baking tray and bake in the preheated oven for about 1,5-2 hours until the squash is tender.


Spinach Gorgonzola Strudel With Sesame Seeds From Karin Of Yum And More Blog

September 3, 2013 1 Comment

fresh Turkish spinach

Karin and I met two years ago in London at Food Blogger Connect.  We got on well for the first time we started talking. Karin likes talking a lot… and I love listening to her stories for hours. She is lively, friendly and funny. She writes the wonderful blog Yum and More.

Hers she is sharing a delicious struder recipe. Karin says: “I am very excited about doing this guest post on Zita’s wonderful blog Zizi’s Adventures for two reasons: it means that Zita and Ivan’s precious child has arrived into this world and because it is an honor.

I have chosen a simple recipe for spinach gorgonzola strudel with sesame seeds. It is delicious and elegant, a perfect combination of tastes and can be ready within an hour and 15 minutes. Although we never ate spinach when I was a child and I didn’t like it as a teenager I really love it’s versatility now and will buy it fresh whenever I see nice spinach at an acceptable price. I then wash it and shrink it in olive oil as described below and freeze it in portions of around 300 grams about the amount left over from 500 grams of fresh leaves. I prefer Turkish spinach to the local German kind, its stems are longer and the leaves are thinner and don’t leave that thickness on your tongue that some spinaches do. I use spinach in pasta sauce, on quiche or pizza, and in this lovely spinach strudel that makes a perfect light meal for three with a side of tomato or other salad, a dollop of yoghurt. It is also perfect as an appetizer for a larger crowd.”

spinach mound on pastry

Spinach Gorgonzola Strudel With Sesame Seeds


– 270 g puff pastry, rolled into a rectangle
– 120 g ripe Gorgonzola cheese or other blue/green cheese
– 500 g fresh spinach or 300 g cooked spinach leaves
– 6 large mushroom, cleaned and cut into pieces*
– olive oil
– 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
– 1 teaspoon Arrabiata spice mix (a spicy chili based mix used for pasta sauce usually contains: garlic, tomatoes, hot chili, carrots, celery, basil and salt)
– 1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
– 1/2- 1 clove of chopped garlic, optional to taste
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– flour for dusting while rolling pastry dough
– 1 egg, beaten for egg wash
– plain yoghurt for serving

* You can leave out the mushrooms if you prefer.


If you are using fresh spinach, cut off the stems and wash the leaves 2-3 times until no sand or dirt remains. Spin the leaves in a salad spinner to shake off excess water.

Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Now place all the spinach leaves into the pan at once, squish them in or pile them up, don’t worry they will shrink. Cover with a lid or other top. After 3 minutes lift the top and add some salt, mix and stir gently until all leave have collapsed. Do not overcook you just want the leaves to shrink together. Remove from the heat and put spinach in a colander to let any further water drip off and to cool it.

Cut the Gorgonzola into smaller pieces.

Preheat the oven to 180° C.

Wipe down the pan you used to shrink the spinach and reheat on medium heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Put in the chopped shallot, the mushrooms and the garlic if using, stir-fry for 4 minutes lowering the heat so that it doesn’t burn. Squeeze the spinach one last time to remove any excess water, roughly chop it and put it in the pan. Add the Arrabiata mix. Stir the mixture carefully to blend and remove from the heat.

Roll out the dough on baking paper to the size of a baking sheet – use some flour if needed. Place the spinach mixture on the dough carefully making an even mound of it on one end of the long side of the baking sheet. Leave a spinach free rim of dough on either end of the mound. The spinach will still be warm and will make the dough soft so you need to be fast and careful.

Distribute the chunks of Gorgonzola along the spinach and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

Now roll up the strudel carefully. Start by folding in the short sides and then rolling up the long way. Use the baking paper and a dough scraper for help. The dough will be soft because the spinach is warm.

Turn the strudel over if necessary so the seam is on the bottom, and the strudel in the middle of the baking sheet on the baking paper. Cut two small slit in the top to release steam or make 2 holes and decorate them with pastry cut-outs. Brush the roll with egg wash and bake for 35 minutes until the pastry is done and golden brown.

Serve in slices – use a bread knife to cut the slices – with a dollop of yoghurt and enjoy!

spinach strudel served


Interview to get to know Karin more…

Where are you from?
K: I am orginally from the United States I was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in New England and in France living with my French Grandmother outside of Paris.

Where do you live?
K: I live in Frankfurt am Main, Germany since 1984 and have lived in Germany since 1977. I really like living in Frankfurt but hope to retire to the United States some day.

What is the name of your blog?
K: Yum and More.

How long have you been blogging?
K: Since September 2010

When did you start cooking/baking?
K: As a child and for my family as a teen.

Who (where) did you learn cooking/baking from?
K: From my Grandmother, my mother and from my own curiousity.

What is your signature dish?
K: My “Leaning Towers of Peaches and Tomatoes”. My lasagna is the most asked for but it is not my personal favorite although delicious. My best dishes definitely contain lemon, tarragon or cilantro, mustard and vinegar and are composed salads or veal dishes such as “blanquette de veau”, my sauces are pretty awesome too.

What is your favorite vegetarian/vegan meal?
K: This strudel or something with fresh peas. I detest green beans!

Where do you get inspiration from?
K: Everywhere! The market, my travels, magazines, blogs, cookbooks…. I soak up inspiration through my eyes and it goes straight to my taste buds and my food inspiration memory.

What was the most memorable food you have eaten during your travels?
K: Definitely whole crab in thick curry sauce on Lankayan Island in Malaysia. I also found Singapore to be an amazing city for food inspiration.

Name three things you always have in your fridge!
K: Mustard, cheese, fresh herbs

Is there a food that always reminds you of home?
K: Lobster, clams, steak and cheesecake

What would people be surprised to find in your kitchen? Is there anything you want to share?
K: I have 30 types of mustard and 15 types of vinegar. I prefer cooking with gas to induction and I love my built-in steamer. My kitchen would not be complete without the frog picture.