Shape It

It’s almost Easter! When I still lived in the Netherlands or whenever I’m visiting the Netherlands at Easter now, I always make an Easter brunch. I used to always make egg/pastry bites, but obviously egg is off the table now. That doesn’t mean I can’t make something similar of course. So that is why I came up with this recipe. I made a filling with tofu and chickpea flour and used a slice of bread as a base. I kept the shapes I cut out to decorate the plates and table (I also put them in the oven, so they get toasted). They will be nice to dip in jam or chocolate.. These slices of toast are delicious with some smashed avocado and mayonnaise. They will look great on an Easter brunch table. Are you going to do a brunch this Easter?

SHAPE IT

Makes: 6-8

6-8 slices of bread
1/3 cup PB milk
150 gr silken tofu
1/2 cup chickpea flour
2-3 tbs nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp garlic granules
1/4 tsp onion granules
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
pepper (to taste)

Easter cookie cutters

-Preheat the oven at 180C.
-Put all the ingredients, apart from the bread, in a kitchen machine and blend until smooth.
-Use a cookie cutter to cut out a shape from each slice of bread.
-Put the slices of bread on a baking tray that is covered with baking paper.
-Carefully put the mixture in the shape you cut out.
-Put them in the oven for about 12-15 min, until the filling is nice and firm.
-Eat when still warm.

Are you going to make these? What shapes will you use? Please show me your creations on Instagram by tagging me or by using #planetmanel. Thank you so much and have a lovely Easter! X

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Netherlands – Easter

Early early! My boyfriend, Steven, and I had to wake up at 3:00 in the night. Walk to the bus stop and get to LiverpoolStreet. From there we took an Uber as the trains didn’t go as normal. So annoying, but apart from that it’s a lot more expensive, it’s easy though. Or it should be easy.. because the driver almost wanted to drop us off at Stansted. Steven noticed it just in time and so we were able to turn around. We did make it in time and didn’t have to wait long at the airport itself. The flight went well and within an hour we were in Amsterdam. We started with a Starbucks on Schiphol and then took the train to Amsterdam Central. I made a whole planning (always prepared) and so we started as planned, at Dam Square. From there we took a right to the Singel and crossed at the Blauwburgwal bridge. There in the corner is vegan shop called: Vega Life. They sell all vegan things here. For a good pair of vegan shoes, belts, shirts and much more, this is where you want to go. It’s not big, but they have a lot of choice. It was nice to have a quick look. From there we walked to the Prinsengracht, crossing the Herengracht and the Keizergracht. I wanted to have lunch at Bolhoed, a quite known vegetarian/vegan place. It was still a little early though, so we decided to walk around in the Jordaan (an area in Amsterdam) for a little while. We saw a lovely bakery and Steven wanted to go in for a coffee. But when he saw the delicious bread with jam a lady next to us was eating, he wanted that too. It was called the children’s sandwich, but who cares. He loved it! I had a fresh mint tea and after that we made our way to Bolhoed. The first thing I saw when coming in was a very big Main Coon! He looked so fake the way he was lying down, but after a while he moved, haha! Bolhoed is very vintage. Very different from everything you know. It really reminded me of Berlin. Vintage, strange art, but very easy going. I ordered pitta bread, with salad and humous and Steven ordered the soup of the day. Their menu isn’t big, but almost everything is vegan. The food was nice, but I expected a lot more from it. It was fresh and filling though, so it was definitely getting me through the afternoon. We walked on the Prinsengracht, all the way to the Rijksmuseum. On the way we passed a very cool Japanese Antique shop, called ‘Van Hier Tot Tokio‘ (translated: From Here To Tokyo). Steven’s eyes started twinkling and we basically looked at everything in there. Very nice! The Rijksmuseum is amazing. The building form the outside is already very impressive, but the inside is amazing too! I always wanted to go here, but I never took the time. It was very nice to now share this experience with Steven. We saw so many beautiful paintings from such famous artists.. Van Gogh, Johannes Vermeer.. but most impressive, was the ‘Night Watch’ from Rembrandt. It was amazing to see this in real life. It’s absolutely beautiful and a little bigger than I expected. The whole museum is very impressive and definitely worth going! When we came out of the museum, we took a little break at Museumplein (Museum Square). This is the big square behind the museum. It’s beautiful, with lots of tulips, water and grass. There are some little coffee/food stands and Steven got a veggie burger. They even had a vegan burger, but the only thing was that it was sold out.. a shame, but also very positive! Haha! I wasn’t very hungry actually, just the fact that a random food stand has a vegan burger makes me want to try it. Try it for me in case you can get your hands on them and let me know if it was good. We walked towards the Vijzelgracht and Steven drunk a beer on the corner there. We had lovely seats, next to the canal, in the sunshine! Then we followed the Lijnbaangracht and de Reguliersgracht, until we reached Rembrandtplein. It started of quite chilly in the morning, but now it was lovely and sunny, with a bright blue sky. We walked back via the Kalverstraat (shopping street) and the Rokin, towards the red district. Every tourist goes here and as it’s Steven’s first time in Amsterdam, I had to take him. It was quiet on the Wallen, but it’s a good way to make our way back to the station. In the meantime it was already a little after 17:00 and after another Starbucks and getting some snacks at ‘AH to Go’, we got our suitcases (we left them in a locker at the station, so handy!) and our train tickets. Turned out that the train wasn’t going to Zwolle and so we had to change 3 times before we got out at Assen. It was 22:00 in the meantime, but my mum was waiting for us over there and it was sooo lovely to see her and to introduce her to Steven. I love my mum and on the way home, what is only 20 min, we already had so many laughs. At home Julian (my brother) and his girlfriend Marsha were there and it was so amazing to see them too! Also aways lovely to cuddle the cats Kenya and Dublin and Nynjo the dog. And so nice to all introduce them to Steven. My mum moved houses a while ago and this was also the first time I saw her new house. A lovely black, cozy, Swedish house. I love it!! We all kept chatting a little bit, but as Steven and I were already awake for almost 22 hours and had such a busy day, we were also happy for our heads to finally touch the pillow.

The next day I had to drop my mum off at work at 7:00, so Steven and I were able to use the car in the morning. I did crawl back into bed for a little bit after I came back though, but then we really had to get up and get the Easter groceries. We had to go to 5 different shops and Steven still regrets he came with me. I’m kind of a nightmare in supermarkets. I did make a list, but I do like to take my time. Reading ingredients and think about how much I need. I love it, but it turns out, Steven and I do not have that in common, haha! We went to my mum’s work to pick her up (For the people who don’t know: she works as a hostess at Rikus in Eext, a lovely hotel-restaurant. You can read about it in my other travel posts from the Netherlands if you like.) and she showed Steven around. At home I made Vivera burgers for everybody. They’re so yummy and there will be a huge review about this amazing brand soon. Stay tuned! If I had to believe my weather app it was going to rain the whole time, but this Saturday afternoon it was actually quite nice outside. Though the wind was a little cold, we (Julian, Marsha, Steven and I) decided to cycle to the lake anyway. It’s less than 10 min and it’s very beautiful over there, with lots of good memories. We skipped stones over the water and though Steven made it look very easy (he is so good at it), I managed to do it 3 times, but with a lot of effort, haha! It was very nice to be in the forest and we even saw lots of tadpoles in the lake, yay! Later that day I started baking. I had to make the whole Easter brunch by myself, for 9 people. Normally my sister and I make it together, but she wasn’t coming unfortunately. So I started with a chocolate chia pudding, the Hopping Bread, a vegetable bread and a frittata. It all went well, but I couldn’t make more, because we (my mum, Julian, Marsha, Steven) decided to go out for dinner. We went to Breed, a wok-buffet restaurant. My dad came too, what was so nice and we had a lovely evening all together. They have a lot of vegan options and it’s very tasty. After we came home I put the veggie bread in the oven and Steven helped me preparing the carrot cake.

I woke up at 8:00 to continue making the brunch. It was going to start at around 11:00, but I still had to bake the frittata, the croissants, the little breads and bake the pancakes. I also wanted to make scones, but as there was already so much and not that much time, I decided not to. Steven helped me and that was really nice, as it didn’t only go faster, but it was also nice to make it with him. My mum and dad arrived around 9:00, Julian invited a friend from school and my sister dropped off my nephew and niece, Jinan & Joella.. and when everybody finally arrived, we started eating all the goodies. Everybody luckily really liked it and everything turned out well. I was worried about the frittata, as I never made it before and I just did something, without having a recipe, but everybody actually really liked it. A shame I didn’t write down what I did. I have to make it again and make it into a recipe I  guess. After the brunch and after everything was tidy and clean again, my mum, Steven and I went to my dad’s place. He also just moved houses, so we had to see his place too of course. He lives in the middle of the forest (the forest where we had loads of family holidays) in a lovely sweet little house with a veranda. I loved it so much! We did have to get back in time, because we were a little tired and my mum, Steven and I planned to go to the cinema. So after some nice tea, we drove back, we all had a quick nap and then drove to Groningn, where the cinema is. This cinema is inside the football stadium. It’s avery nice cinema. We went to see ‘The Beauty & The Beast’. I already watched it 2 times, but I loveee this movie and I really wanted to watch it again (and again actually). Steven also already watched it (we went together, right after it came out), so he went for the second time. My mum never watched it and that was the reason why we went. It was so nice to watch it again. If you didn’t go yet, then book your tickets now, before it’s too late! It’s the best movie I’ve every watched in the cinema, in my life. It’s like going to a musical. As soon as it’s on iTunes, I’ll buy it. In the meantime I listen to the songs and the music all day long. I can tell you that Steven doesn’t really appreciate the ‘repeat’ button atm. Hehe..

Today we planned to go to the north. To see the house where I grew up, the dikes, the sea, my grandparents and my best friends. We left a little later than we wanted to, but there was still enough time. For me it’s already a treat to drive the car, as I don’t get to do that much in London anymore and I absolutely love driving. It was so nice to show Steven the place I grew up and all the memories I have around there. Though it was very cold and windy at the dikes (as always), we did take some lovely pictures. We then went to my friend Nienke and her daughter Annemarie. Always so nice to see them, especially because Annemarie grows so fast and she looks like a different girl every time I see her. They also
have a pig, doggies and a cat.. so lots of cuddling! We didn’t stay long, because we also wanted to go to my grandparents. We had a cup of tea there, but as they can’t speak English and our flight was going in a few hours, we had to head back after that. Still lovely to see my grandparents though and to introduce Steven. I know they really appreciated this. When we got home we quickly packed our suitcases and left to the airport. Everything went smooth, but it’s never nice to say goodbye to my mum. It was so short this time, only 3 nights. But we did have such an amazing time. Busy days, but all worth it!

HOTSPOT LIST:
Vega Life
– Singel 110, 1015 AE, Amsterdam.
Bolhoed – Prinsengracht 60-62, 1015 DX, Amsterdam.
Van Hier Tot Tokio – Prinsengracht 262-HS, 1016 HH, Amsterdam.
Rijksmuseum – Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam.
Museumplein (Museum Square) Amsterdam.
Kalverstraat (shopping) Amsterdam.
Rikus – Hoofdstraat 10, 9463 PC, Eext.
Breed – Nieuwe Streek 35, 9351 BZ, Leek.
Kinepolis Cinema – Boumaboulevard 53, 9723 ZS, Groningen.

Have you been to Amsterdam? Did you know about these cool hotspots (you can find more in my earlier travel post about Amsterdam) or are you really excited to go now? I would love to hear about your trip! ..and what did you do with Easter? Please tag me in your Easter creations! You can also comment below or you can show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Easter Puddy

img_7197Yayyy! It’s almost Easter! What does that mean? Easter brunch! Almost every year at Easter I go to Holland for an Easter brunch. Mostly me and my sister make it together, but this year my boyfriend is coming with me and so we will make it together. Of course my sister will make things too and even my brother and his girlfriend are going to make something. It will be so much fun having so much food on the table we all created together. I’m really looking forward to it. Are you going to have an Easter brunch? Last year the Easter recipes were one of the first recipes I posted here. Do you remember the Stuffed Green Eggs and the Hopping Bread? I will definitely make the ‘Hopping Bread’ this year too, tradition! Me and my boyfriend will also make this ‘Easter Puddy’, some healthy pudding in lovely pastel colours. Just in case you’re looking for a nice Easter recipe, this will definitely impress people, with the lovely colours and flowers on top.

img_7196EASTER PUDDY

Serves: 2

green
-2 tbs chia seeds
-1/2 cup oat milk
-1 tbs agave nectar
-2 tbs yogurt
-1/2 tsp matcha powder
-1/4 tsp vanilla extract
yellow
-2 tbs chia seed
-1/2 cup oat milk
-1 tbs agave nectar
-2 tbs yogurt
-1 tbs lemon juice
-1/4 tsp turmeric
purple
-2 tbs chia seed
-1/2 cup oat milk
-1 tbs agave nectar
-2 tbs yogurt
-2 blackberries
-1 tbs lime juice
pink
-2 tbs chia seed
-1/2 cup oat milk
-1 tbs agave nectar
-2 tbs yogurt
-6 raspberries
-1 mint leaf

extra
-1 slice apple
-2 raspberries
-2 mint leafs

img_7195-Blend the oat milk with the agave nectar, the yogurt, the vanilla extract and the matcha powder. Put it in a cup.
-Blend the oat milk with the agave nectar, the yogurt, the lemon juice and the turmeric. Put it in a cup.
-Blend the oat milk with the agave nectar, the yogurt, the blackberries and the lime juice. Put it in a cup.
-Blend the oat milk with the agave nectar, the yogurt, the raspberries and the mint leaf. Put it in a cup.
-Add 2 tbs of chia seed to each cup and use a spoon to mix it in. Mix well.
-Put it in the fridge overnight.
-Cut out little flowers from the apple (use a cookie cutter) and put it on top. Then place half a raspberry in the middle and a mint leaf on the side.

Are you making (or going to) an Easter brunch this year? Are you going to make one of my recipe? Please let me know! And I’d love to see some beautiful pictures. Please share them with me on Instagram by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel ! Thank you! X

Hopping Bread

12443705_1113476632029772_506486504_oAn Easter brunch isn’t complete with some nice bread. Why not make a hopping bread to stay in theme? I always make this bread since I can remember making an Easter brunch. I used to put an egg in the middle and replace it with a nice painted egg before serving. It looked nice then, but since that is not vegan, it’s out of the question. So I just left it out now, replace it with a ribbon around it’s neck and I think it still looks adorable. I think especially when you have kids joining the brunch, this is a very fun recipe.

serves: 8-10

INGREDIENTS:
bread
2 cups of flour
1 cup of warm water
1 sachet yeast (7gr)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
decorate
ribbon

12874359_1113476528696449_1639697321_oINSTRUCTIONS:
-Put the flour, the salt and the olive oil in a mixing bowl and mixx well.
-Empty the sachet of yeast in a cup of warm water and mixx well.
-Then poor half of the yeast water with the flour. Mixx well and keep adding bits of yeast water(make sure you mix it a bit every time before poring) until you have a nice stretchy and elastic dough. (You don’t need to use all the water)
-Keep kneading the dough for about 10 min. Leave it to rest for about 20 min.
-Gently knead the bread again for a few minutes and shape:
-Roll the dough until you have about a 45-50 cm roll. Cut off 10-12 cm.
-Make the dough into a loop shape and put it on a tray covered with baking paper or oil.
12476722_1113476595363109_348331246_o-Cut the ends in half with a sharp knife. (these are the paws)
-Shape the bit you cut off into a head with ears and use the knife again to cut the ears.
-Preheat the oven to 200C. (You can put an oven dish with boiling water on the bottom to help making the bread rise)
-Cover the bread with (lightly oiled) cling foil and a tea towel and leave it to rise for about 30-60 min. (tip: to make the rising go faster/better-> poke some holes in the baking paper, using the tip of a knife, around the bunny and put it on top of a pan with hot water.)
-When the bunny is about twice it’s size it’s ready to go in the oven for 20 min.
-When the bread is cooled down you can decorate it with a ribbon around it’s neck.

It’s a simple bread recipe, so it’ll taste good with everything, sweet or savoury. Cheese, jam, chocolate spread, houmous.. or try this vegan tomato pesto like I did! Yum!

12422372_1113476512029784_733100254_oPlease let me know what you think of this recipe and I would love to see some pictures! Show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you!

Easter treats

IMG_7722Who likes chocolate? Hehe.. silly question! And thank God there are some define vegan brands who do not let us vegans miss out on Easter! Delicious Easter chocolate? Thank you MooFree! MooFree is one of my favourite brands anyway, and I especially like their tiny Bunnycomb bars(which are not only for Easter, but as there is a bunny on the front and it’s so tasty, I thought I put it on). Now I couldn’t be happier to find out they made an Easter egg of it! They definitely have outdone themselves with their Bunnycomb egg. It’s big, crunchy, creamy, yummy and so finished.. Oops! They also have plain eggs though, if you prefer that.

MooFree chocolate is made of rice milk and it’s almost all organic. Besides it’s vegan it’s also non-GMO and gluten free. And because they have their own factories, based in the UK, where they don’t manufacture any milk, gluten or soya it means the MooFree chocolate doesn’t even have traces of any of that. Can I hear a Hallelujah?!
The only thing I would like to see different is their packaging. Though the big Easter eggs are quite alright, the packaging of their bars look a bit cheap. I think if the packaging was a bit more down to earth, people would pay attention to it sooner. And it would match the taste of their really good chocolate, because that what it is.. really good chocolate! It’s even better than dairy chocolate if you ask me. Now do you want to see what else they have? Check the MooFree website!

Now there is also this other fun Easter shaped(bunny) dairy free milk chocolate. And I have to mention that the taste isn’t as good as MooFree chocolate, but it’s ok. It’s from the brand Choices. The brand also has big eggs for easter and some other chocolate choices and a lot of alternatives for white chocolate, but so far I only tried this bunny!

Have you tried any of these chocolates? Are you a big fan of MooFree too? Let’s talk chocolate! (PS: Can you spot me in the picture? Hehe..)

Stuffed Green Eggs

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When I’m with my family we always have a huge home made Easter brunch! I love it! I always make everything together with my sister. The others have a peaceful morning and long sleep ins, while we are busy making lovely dishes. We don’t mind, we enjoy making it! And when everything is on the table, the (Instagram) pictures are taken and my brother finally came down stairs, we have a lovely time eating it! Are you going to have a brunch? With family, friends or maybe just you and your lover? This is a tasty and super simple recipe to make!

12837544_1108479372529498_286054566_oServes: 4

INGREDIENTS:
filling
2 (ripe but firm) avocado’s
1/3 cup quinoa (uncooked)
1 cup chickpeas (cooked)
10 cherry tomatoes
1 yellow bel pepper (chopped)
1/2 tbsp fresh chives (finely copped)
1 small garlic clove (mashed)
1/2 tbsp sesame nut oil
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
salt/pepper (1/4 tsp of both)
extra
150 gr boodles (spiralized butternut squash)
decorate
2 tbsp pine nuts (roasted)
balsamic vinegar glaze
black pepper
chives


INSTRUCTIONS:

-Cook the quinoa with a pinch of salt. (don’t let it go too soft)
-Slice the avocados in half. Use a spoon to carefully take the flesh out(for this recipe only use the flesh of 1 avocado, you can use the other one for something else.. guacamole?) and put this, together with the garlic, the sesame oil, the lemon juice and the salt/pepper in a food processor(or use a fork) to make it smooth.
-Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, take the seeds out and pad them dry with a piece of kitchen roll. Then cut them in half again. (so you have 4 pieces out of each cherry tomato)
12422415_1108479399196162_759768153_o-Mix the quinoa, the chickpeas, the chives, the cherry tomatoes and the bell pepper in a bowl. Then gently mix in the avocado mixture.
-Use a spoon to fill each avocado. (the 4 peels)
-Put the boodles(you can leave them raw or cook them for 5 minutes) on a plate and put the stuffed ‘eggs’ on top.
-Decorate with pine nuts, balsamic vinegar, extra chives and ground black pepper. 

Are you making (or going to) an Easter brunch this year? Did you make this recipe? Please let me know! And I’d love to see some beautiful pictures. Please share them with me on Instagram using #PlanetManel ! Thank you!

a LUSH Easter

Yeah it’s almost Easter! There are lots of ways to celebrate, but I think whatever Easter means to you, it should definitely mean long lazy mornings, brunch and some you-time. Why not have a little pamper time? Lock yourself up in the bathroom and don’t come out until you feel define. Thanks to the Lush easter products this isn’t that hard! They don’t only make you smile looking at their creative shapes and colours, but they are all vegan. (Oh wait, that just makes you smile even more!)

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What do you think of these colourful reusable bubble bar carrots? ‘Bunch of Carrots’ (£6,25)

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Or you rather have this bigggg ‘Carrot'(£19,95)?

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‘Which came first?’ (£6,95) Who cares.. slide in and let all your worldly worries go with this huge pink bath bomb!

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Ok, some look a bit like they have been run over by a big truck(which I agree on isn’t very vegan), but not to worry.. ‘Tweet’ (£3,45) is a deliciously smelling bubble bar!

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The only egg you can use this easter(or ever) is this special ‘Golden Egg’ (£3,95) which will turn you into a sparkly easter egg yourself! What more do you want..

You can order all these products online(delivery is normally within 3-5 working days or you can choose for next day delivery) on the LUSH website, or what is maybe even more exciting as going to Lush is always a treat on its own, you can go and get it yourself!

Did you use some lovely Lush Easter products? Please let me know or show me via Instagram by using #PlanetManel !