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Cheers to home-made food!

People, I couldn’t be happier to be back in Vienna! Be back, having my own kitchen again and go crazy on cooking and trying new recipes!

For those of you who don’t know: I spent the last two months working in Doha and was staying in a hotel. Nice to have someone make your bed every day and not to have to worry about doing the dishes, but I really badly missed my kitchen! Especially when I came home at 10 at night, looking at that one, lost banana on top of my mini bar, reminding me that… “Right! There was something” this little voice in my head came on. “F O O D!” Time to rip open another pack of nuts or just go to bed and dream of a nice dinner…

The only cooking I did in the past eight weeks was boiling rice noodles in the water kettle in my hotel room.

I remember adding some Indian sauce, cherry tomatoes and fresh coriander during my first week, which is pretty sophisticated for a hotel room, I guess, but still far from what I’m used to. And in the end, dinner came basically down to plain rice noodles, some salted nuts or a bag of crisps. The crisps felt like the bottom of my diet, especially after all the food education I put myself through over the past years.

Of course, some of you may say, you can eat out or do take-away! Yes, you can, in theory – but at 10 at night after 14 hours in the office you just wanna go home and not drive around longer than needed and wait another 20 minutes for your food. Moreover, after several weeks of eating out and doing take-away I was just tired of it. I hate to go out for food even if it’s only three days in a row… You never really know what they put in your meal, and a lot of times it’s not really good, either.

To sum it up: After these weeks of salted nuts, white Arabic bread and cookies I couldn’t wait to have my kitchen back! I was really happy to prepare Saturday night dinner last week and go crazy around two new recipes (one of them the summer salad below).

Time to focus on non-processed food again! And in Austria and Germany we are really blessed with all the good food we get. All the organic fruit and vegetables, the variety of flours, the sugar free non-dairy milk and juices. It’s a gift!

A long-term feel-good recipe

For all of you who’ve gotten to know the pleasures of whole foods and all-the-way home made meals: You know what I’m talking about. For all others: What seems like a lot of trouble and over-the-top fussiness: it’s a long-term feel-good recipe. Once you’ve tasted and experienced what it’s like to prepare food yourself, you don’t wanna go back. (And I’m pretty proud of myself that despite all the snacks and diet sins I didn’t go this far back: Indo-style instant noodles. These devilishly practical and addictively seasoned meals in cup on which you only have to pour hot water. I was tempted but resisted, having in mind my former helplessness with regard to all kinds of packet soups, Asia noodles and mashed potato flakes.)

And here are my favourite dishes of the past week:

Summer salad with avocado, spring onion, yellow capsicum, radicchio and rice noodles, topped with sesame and great dressing made of peanut cream, fresh chilli, ginger, lime juice, curry powder, a little bit of oil and honey. Add a dash of soy sauce if you like. (inspired by Attila Hildmann’s book “Vegan to Go. Schnell, einfach, lecker”).

Everyday lunch salad: Green salad with tomatoes, cucumber, avo, left-over lentils, fresh lemon and flaxseed oil dressing. So fresh and positive on my well being!

Simple dinner and one of my everyday favourites: all kinds of spiced vegetables with kind-of-a sauce and brown rice. We call it “curry”, the ingredients are what’s in the fridge and the spices go with the mood of the day. Every time a new taste: sometimes our beloved cumin wins, sometimes you can clearly taste the black seed, sometimes the dried chili. It’s a simple meal, but I love, love, love it! Of course, it has to be served the right way: hot, in one small bowl, rice at the bottom, vegetables on top. Then eat it with chopsticks or one of these Chinese china spoons. For me, lately, chopsticks are the way to go: just so much more fun eating!

Cheers to home-made food and a brilliant healthy spring!

And what about you, guys: What’s your favourite home-made meal recently? Any spring food ideas to share on Kat’s Sofa?

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